laure: (Battle Laure)
Already we have been called to war. Excellent. The Sarranid Sultanate are at war with the Khergit Khanate, who were besieging the town of Ahmerrad. I met up with the Sarranid marshall, a graying commander by the name of Emir Uqais, and together with the assembled army we rode to Ahmerrad.

But our fate did not lie at the walls of the city as anticipated. Instead, the Khergits broke off their siege and met us out on the open desert. Many were their number, but ultimately we had 529 to their 478. Our greater numbers did not make for an easy battle by any means, however. The Khergits have fierce cavalry troops, lancers and horse archers.

I found myself at the edge of the battle, fighting an incredible warrior indeed. He speared my horse in the chest more than once, but the hunter remained miraculously on its feet somehow! I rode off a ways so as to fire upon the man with my bow, but it seemed I could do no damage. Ultimately I regained my bravery and rode in close enough for the swing of my sword, and prevailed. With his body limp and bleeding into the sand I was able to see that he was actually a Khergit lord. No wonder he had been such a worthy foe!

But ultimately they bested us. At one point it was me against perhaps fifty of their men, and I was knocked unconscious by a couched lance. When I awoke, the next battle was to begin, and while our numbers were still slightly greater, I could tell we were overwhelmed. In short, I left.

My troops were not happy with that decision. Klethi in particular felt the need to speak up. I know the shame! Why must she rub it in my face?

But she got her wish. Urubay Noyan of the Khergits caught up with me, and would not let me run a second time. However, due to some last minute maneuvering, more Sarranid troops had caught up with us, and the margin was much more comfortable. Over two to one, in fact: 478 to 209. Better odds. We dove back in, though my head was killing me from the earlier blow. I did not seek out the front lines, kept my horse moving, the sound of its pounding hooves echoed in the pounding within my skull.

Again I was knocked unconscious. Some little bugger with a mace.

The troops kept up the fight. Klethi would be pleased. As I lay unconscious, we lost many men. But not as many as the Khergits.

When I awoke, Urubay Noyan was standing over me. In chains. "Stop! I yield!" he cried. Though it barely seemed right, I was allowed to take him as my prisoner, along with a handful of his troops. It hardly seemed fair.

Somehow, my party came out with forty-four men standing. How, I have no idea. But I should not question the gods.

As darkness fell, I rode past another battle, this time between two Sarranid nobles and the Khan of the Khergits. The Khan! I was feeling horrible, of course, having only just recently regained consciousness, but the odds were too good to pass up. Think of the reward that would be given if we could take their ruler prisoner! We jumped in on the Sarranid side, bringing their numbers to 168 against the Khan's 77.

Perhaps not one of the best decisions I've ever made. Eventually I found myself as the sole cavalry on the Sarranid side. But I was barely cavalry; my horse wasn't doing well. I decided to take a risk. I found another horse, and rode in front of it to keep it from bolting. The horse stopped, and I dismounted with the intent of riding the other steed. Just then a Khergit lancer killed my horse and scared the other one off. I then tried to kill him just for his horse, and eventually succeeded, but his horse ran away. I as I was running back to the relative safety of the other infantry, I was shot in the back.

Shockingly, while unconscious (again), we won (again). We were not fortunate enough to take Sanjar Khan prisoner, but we freed many Sarranid troops, and I hired them into my band of mercenaries, bringing our numbers back up to what they had been before the battles.

Baheshtur pulled me aside, and complained about the number of casualties we'd suffered. "Whatever Baheshtur," I thought. "Perhaps you should have fought harder." I checked my tongue, though, and told him merely that I hoped it wouldn't happen again.
laure: (Laure)
So, yeah. The tournament in Sargoth.

It did not go well. I'm ashamed to even write these words. I didn't have much money, but I bet nearly everything we had. In the second round, I was given a two-handed sword and no shield, and got on the wrong side of some blokes who were wielding axes. I did not last long. We are now nearly penniless. 35 denars, to be precise. 390 less denars than will be necessary to make payroll this week.

Some good news, though - that lame hourse I bought just five days ago seems to be all better. I've decided to ride it and have given my courser to Baheshtur, who seems to be quite a good horse archer.

As for the cash flow problem, which has now become an even greater issue due to my poor showing in the tournament? I guess I'll start flagging down passing nobles, and hope they need me to do profitable things like collect taxes or hunt down more murderers. I don't think I have the patience to just run letters all over creation, as they generally only pay 30 or so denars for that and I need a bit more than that just now.

I think I'm desperate enough that I'll start visiting villages and towns after dark, hoping to get jumped in the streets. I'm generally pretty good in actual hand-to-hand combat (I have much better armor than what's allowed at the tournaments), and bandits usually have some cash on them. It's sad that I've been reduced to this.

There's a tournament in the land of Rhodoks. In Veluca...
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.

January 2011

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