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.