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: (Battle Laure)
Klethi approached me as we were riding away from the weekend of feasting in Veluca. She said that I'd made quite a name for myself there, and that she suspected that, were I a man, a king would have offered me a fief by now. She said ladies shouldn't come to expect things like that, and that men will find any excuse to not reward us for our work.

I haven't told her about my conversation with King Graveth. I'm not sure what to do.

We're on our way to Jelkala to collect taxes for the king.
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: (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.

January 2011



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