laure: (Firelit Laure)
Sigh. Firentis came to me, calling Katrin a harlot. He said that every time she sees him she points the five fingers of her hand at him—a peasant's sign to ward off evil. He said that he knows he probably deserves that treatment, but he'd rather not endure it. He seems genuine in his repentance. However, a fratricide is a fratricide, in my book. I told him that Katrin is a capable member of this company, and that he shouldn't pick fights with her.

Then I thought on it some more.

When it comes down to it, it seems Katrin now hates two members of my party. Baheshtur I would like to keep, but Firentis... well, I don't much like him myself. After some reflection, I have asked Firentis to pack up his things and go.

I dropped him off near the city of Tihr.
laure: (Laure at Court)
I have grown bored of killing sea raiders. I have decided instead to ride a grand circuit through Calradia in search of more friends.

While passing through Wercheg, I happened upon Firentis, a poor soul who, in a drunken moment, kind of sort of killed his own brother. He feels bad about it. Honestly. And he is look to redeem himself... through... more murder. But murder of only bad people! To whom he is no relation!

He asked for no money to join me, and the price seemed right.
laure: (Laure)
This courser I've been riding is decent. Fast, certainly. But I've always been fond of hunters. They seem to run about 1500 denars in the marketplace, though, and that's still too rich for my blood. I have to have enough money to feed and pay my forty-four men. That's no small thing.

But! Today in the market I found a lame hunter for only 600 denars. I've purchased him. My hope is that he'll eventually heal, so long as I don't ride him.

Sigh. Need more cash flow. Need to build up money for investments. I'm tempted to accept a mercenary contract soon, but my guess is that the extra cash won't make up for the lack of freedom. I'll have to think on that.
laure: (Firelit Laure)
I knew it was only a matter of time. Today, Baheshtur came to me, whining of a dispute he'd had with Katrin. While going through loot after a recent battle, he had found a very decent cooking pot. A pot. The dispute was over a pot. "Often I had wished to find such a pot, so I could boil some of the stews that my people use to warm their bellies during the winter months," he tells me. "But Katrin grabs the pot, and tells me that I will not be allowed to taint it with heathen food."

Sigh. I really can't believe Katrin's behavior. I told Baheshtur that he has my support on this, and that Katrin should hold her tongue. Hopefully things will even out at some point, but I worry. I'd like both Katrin and Baheshtur to remain in the party.

Otherwise, not much has happened of note. We've been wandering up and down the coast, making a living off of butchering sea raiders. They're a lot of talk. They jump us and scream things like, "Less talking, more raiding!" or "That's a nice head you have on your shoulders!", but ultimately they are like gnats against our band, easily swatted away. It's a bit boring, but the money is good.
laure: (Default)
We were heavy with loot after taking on the raiders, so I left sea raider territory behind for a bit and rode to Wercheg, where I made a new friend! Finally!

Her name is Katrin. She's spent the past 30 years following troops, outfitting them with food, wine, women, you name it. But she's over that now, and is looking to be a fighter herself. She's got some skills from all those years on the lines. She wanted 100 denars to join me, but it seems money well spent. She can ride a horse, for starters, and it seems as if she also has skills in trade, which will help us to get better prices on food and more cash for our loot. Like it or not, that's still our primary source of income.

As much as I'm eager to make a name for myself in this land, I must say it's worthwhile to be neutral. It allows me to sit back and watch, to learn which realms are strongest, so that I can decide where to lend my sword when the time is right. Everything in the land of the Nords seems to be on fire as of late. Upon riding into Sargoth I learned that it had recently been taken over by the Vaegirs. Disgraceful.

At any rate, in Sargoth I made another new acquaintance, Baheshtur, who'd been driven from his home by local feuding. He required 400 denars to accompany me, but I think he'll prove himself to be a good investment for my cause. He can ride a horse as well as I can, and is excellent at horse archery.

It's not all a smooth road, however. Baheshtur has only been in our party one day, and already Katrin has come to me, complaining that he is a heathen. She says that after the last battle, she heard him muttering incantations as he looted bodies. When she questioned him, he said that he was giving thanks for our success in battle, but she worries he'll raise the ghosts of the dead to haunt us. I told her that Baheshtur is a capable member of our party and I won't have her picking fights with him.

Sigh. Interpersonal dynamics are hard.
laure: (Battle Laure)
It's been a long but good ride. We've ventured beyond Swadia into other lands.

We've picked off some taiga bandits in the land of Vaegirs, easy looting for some quick cash. I've been through a few cities, but have made no new friends of note, only the nameless souls I recruit from villages... I long for more people of talent and intelligence that I can train for the party's benefit.

Some decent news, though. While traveling along the Nord coast I located the lair of some sea raiders. Sea raiders are quite renowned for being tough fighters, but the challenge is worth it, because they're also known for having incredibly good loot.




Night time attack on the sea raider lair


We were successful! Hello stuff! New clothes for me and Klethi! New shields! Sausages for the men! And, of course, Klethi and the men and I learned a bit from the experience. I think we'll see our fortunes turn soon. I hate to admit it, but I am already look forward to an easier life. I'm not tired of the fighting, of course. I never grow weary of battle. But I am dreaming of easier battles against harder foes. With each passing conflict our skills are improving, as is our gear.
laure: (Laure at Court)
I collected taxes for four days. People got angry, but no one actually threatened me with violence, thankfully. I was then able to easily track down the King, and he allowed me to keep 1335 denars for myself. Excellent! I then asked him where Count Meltor was, as getting that other 300 denars is also important. The King told me the Count was at Rindyar Castle... but I've since found out that Rindyar is currently under siege.

That complicates matters.

But I rode that way anyway, through the night...

...and was jumped by some forest bandits. Only seventeen of them, though, and I've been doing a decent job of recruiting men, so I had twenty-five in my number. I decided to take the bandits on rather than pay their toll. My first real battle! My first true test!

Stupid me, I am the only one in my party with a horse, and I rode straight into the bandits before the others could catch up on foot. I hate to admit it, but I was nearly killed. However, ultimately the rest of the men arrived and saved my arse. We lost four recruits, but captured five bandits. That'll make for a bit of change at the next town if there's a ransom broker to be found, and I can always find more green recruits.

Better yet, I was able to finally loot some Not Silly clothes. I was able to ditch the toque for a fashionable black hood, as well as a better outfit than the nomad armor (which, quite frankly, made me look like I had a dead animal draped around my shoulders).





I immediately changed clothes, right there on the field of battle. I am very pleased to tell you that I no longer look like a gnome.

I then headed on to the city Dhirim, in search of the horse merchant. I could use a better steed, and could no doubt give this old swaybacked saddle horse to Klethi, if she knows how to ride. If she doesn't, I can teach her. The ride to Dhirim was somewhat eventful... we nicely eliminated some bandits from the village of Emirin en route, and the villagers paid us in grapes, cheese, and grain, for which my men were grateful.

At Dhirim, after picking the best of the spoils gear-wise for Klethi, I sold off our loot but was unable to find a suitable steed in my price range. Sigh. Oh well, having some money in my pocket is always good, I suppose. I headed on toward Rindyar, recruiting as I went. That siege on Rindyar, it turns out, was unsuccessful. I located Count Meltor, who was out patrolling his lands. 300 more denars for me.

These odd jobs are making me weary. I think I shall instead ride from city to city, looking for allies in the bars and participating in any tournaments I can find. If some bandits show up, we'll fight. Gods willing, we'll win.

At Reyvadin I found a nice courser, and I bought it for 1200 denars. That left me nearly broke, but I'll find a way to make up for that at a tournament soon, I hope. Coursers are fast, and that's what I need right now: speed. Speed to run from larger groups of bandits. Speed to find glory more quickly. Or perhaps I delude myself.

It also turns out Klethi doesn't know how to ride a horse. Silly girl.
laure: (Battle Laure)
I rode into Veidar in the late afternoon to hunt down the murderer.

Veidar's a decent little village, not doing too poorly, set just below a hill in pleasant rolling woodland. I rode around and around and around the village, looking for that scoundrel with the ridiculous name. Finally found him hiding behind a fishing shack. He seemed to have been living inside it, subsisting off herrings. I told him he fit the description of Sigmar Hot-Head, which he of course denied. I told him to put down his sword to prove his innocence, and he retorted that I'd have to earn my silver. "Alas that you cannot be made to see reason!" I sighed, slicing him open before riding off to claim my 300 denars from Count Meltor.

On my way to find Meltor, I had the extreme privilege of running face to face into King Harlaus. He noted my banner, and made mention that he's always looking for good warriors to fight for him, once they've proven themselves... maybe one of these days. We'll have to see how he does against his foes before I sign on with him. He had an excellent task for me, though, one that couldn't have come at a better time—to collect taxes from the city of Praven. I'll get to keep one-fifth the income!

I rode straight to Praven... Count Meltor's pitiful 300 denar bounty can wait.
laure: (Laure)
Good news! I found Count Meltor. He was having a battle against some Khergits. I waited for the battle to subside and delivered my letter. He was grateful, and in fact was so grateful he gave me a quest. I'm to hunt down Sigmar Hot-Head (yes, that's evidently his name), a murderer who's hiding out in the village of Veidar. I'm not even sure where Veider is, but I took the assignment anyway, because there's 300 denars in it.

Turns out Veidar's a bit far, but still in Swadia. Back towards Praven, a fairly safe ride. I sure could use this money, as I don't have enough to recruit troops at this point... I've barely enough to pay the mercenaries I have.
laure: (Firelit Laure)
I rode to Rindyar Castle, but it turned out the Count wasn't in. Dammit. Now I have to go find him. An awful lot of work for 30 denars.
laure: (Banner)
I have decided to traverse the length of Swadia.

In my wanderings, at the tavern in Uxhal, I came across a lass named Klethi, who seems to be a bit of a kleptomaniac, but proficient enough with throwing knives. She said she needed to leave town before it was discovered that she'd stolen a valuable amulet, and I figured she might prove to be a good addition to my band of mercenaries, what with the knife throwing and the sticky fingers. She insisted I give her 200 denars, but it seemed worthwhile. I was broke as a result, but having another lass along for the ride has been nice. I confided in her that I secretly aspire to be queen of this land, all of Calradia, and she said said I'd make a fine queen... particularly if I remembered the people who helped me get there. I shall have to file that little bit away for later.

I rode on toward Dhirim by way of Emirin. I have been successfully recruiting villagers as I traverse the land. We then came across Count Montewar of Swadia. He noted my banner, and suggested that I was the bastard daughter of a puffed-up cattle thief, or that perhaps I had stolen the banner. I was tempted to say something like, "Maybe now I'll take your banner. And your cattle. And your life," but instead checked my tongue and offered my services. The bastard had no tasks for me, then tried to flirt. Outrageous.

I had better luck when I ran into Count Clais, who didn't sass me quite so much, and had a letter he needed to run to Rindyar Castle, which wasn't too far away, so I took the job. A mere 30 denars, but it's a start.
laure: (Laure)
My name is Laure.

Yes, it's pronounced like "lore". Who knows? Perhaps it is from my legend that the word was drawn.

Drawn by the stories I have heard about Calradia and its kingdoms, I have decided to join a caravan to Praven, in the Kingdom of Swadia. Here on these pages I will tell you my tale.

The caravan I joined has taken me through the heartland. Green shoots of wheat, barley and oats are beginning to push through the dark soil of the rolling hills, and on the lower slopes of the snowcapped mountains, herds of cattle and sheep are grazing on the spring grass. Occasionally, I catch sight of one of the great warhorses that are the pride of the Swadian nobility. The land here is rich—but also troubled, as the occasional burnt-out farm bears witness.

It was some relief when I crested a ridge and caught sight of the great port of Praven, its rooftops made golden by the last rays of the setting sun.

But on my very first night here, I was jumped by a thug in the street! )

January 2011

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