laure: (Firelit Laure)
Sure enough, a tournament! Seems to be a contest of archery and swords, a bit of javelin throwing. Straight-forward stuff. As ever, I placed some sneaky bets on myself, and again things turned out rather well. I took home 2500 denars.

Afterward, I hit the market and found a lovely and large bag of Bodkin arrows, which I promptly bought in celebration. Much as I would have loved to have invested in something with greater return, I've been really coveting a decent bag of arrows, and I've only about 3500 to my name. Need a bit more than that to invest in baked goods or wine making.

At the tavern I met a farmer who was having a bit of trouble with desert bandits in his village. My crew and I easily did away with them. Again I refused their payments of cabbage and dried meat. They're peasants. Those days aren't too far behind me, and I remember what that's like.

So, in short, Durquba was made of win. Win for me, win for my men.
laure: (Default)
I have arrived in Durquba, too late in the evening to inquire about the tournament—the arena doors were locked.

The tavern held no joy for me, either. No interesting prospects, only moderately interesting wine.

Looking forward to tomorrow.
laure: (Default)
The tournament master at Narra tells me there are tournaments to be had soon in Sargoth and Durquba. Both of these are fairly far flung from my present location here in Khergit territory, but I've never been to Durquba. It lies in the lands of Sarranid Sultanate. I've longed to go there, because I hear they have some amazing cavalry amongst them and I'd like to hire some on in my company.

To Durquba!
laure: (Laure)
Ah, Beltane. Best not to think about that too much, and instead discuss happy things.

I won another tournament. This time at Tulga. What a grand tournament! All javelins and archery. I think I may have found my niche. Another 3500 in winnings.

After the show, I went to the tavern. And who should I find, but Bunduk! His 200 fee was easily paid, and he is now a member of my party.

I decided it would be prudent to again invest my winnings, not just go off and buy a round for everyone at the tavern (tempting as it was). The guild master set me up with a brewery for 2500, with an anticipated profit of 187 a week. Not much, but decent given the investment price. I think if I continue in this vein, spreading my investments out across all of Calradia, I'll end up with a steady income stream regardless of who is at war with whom.
laure: (Firelit Laure)
While riding through the land of Vaegirs looking for more men, I learned of a tournament at Curaw! Unexpected, but welcome. I've a bit of money as of late, but no real income stream. Things are good right now, but in reality I'm living hand to mouth, so such opportunities are very welcome indeed.

I won the tournament, which gave me a total of 6094 denars. That lack of income, hand to mouth thing? Time to start taking care of that.

I paid a visit to Curaw's guild master, and inquired about various investment opportunities. A brewery would cost me 2500 and turn an estimated profit of 211 per week. Another possibility is a bakery, which is only 1500, and would turn a profit of about 132. Ultimately, I went with an iron works, from which tools are made. The investment was a bit higher (3500 denars), but the return is good. They estimate 546 denars a week!

The iron works will pay for itself in no time at all, and then turn nothing but profit. Good profit at that.
laure: (Firelit Laure)
Headed back to Praven. Perhaps Bunduk will still be there; I'd like to hire him.

Morale is dropping among my men. The tournaments were good for me, but the men need blood to cheer their souls. Hopefully we will encounter bandits or deserters on our way to Praven.

Unfortunately, Katrin is not untouched by the melancholy of our group. She thanked me for taking her into the company, but told me she finds this life no more to her liking than driving a wagon. Too much cold, she said, too much hunger. I asked her to stay, but she wouldn't hear of it. I am sad to lose her.

When we reached Praven, I found that Bunduk had gone, but I met a man named Nizar, who fancies himself a warrior poet and a great lover. He is a good looking black man, to be fair. And he's on a horse. I decided to take him into my party.
laure: (Default)
So, yeah. The tournament in Veluca.

It did not go well. Déjà vu...

But it turns out that there's a feast going on, and that there'll be multiple tournaments each day for a few days.

In my second tournament I actually did very well—I won, in fact. Afterward they invited me up to the castle for some wine. There were a few counts there, all of whom were rather nice to me. Flirted with me a bit, I think, though I'm not much good at gauging these things. Still, none of them struck my fancy, and in reality no one is going to seriously consider sharing my tent on the battlefield. It's difficult, being a lady of war in these times. Men don't take you seriously.

Do I wish to marry? At some point, perhaps. It might even be necessary in order to build my standing in Calradia. In reality, it may mean marrying for power, rather than love or desire. My heart sinks a bit at the thought. But why worry about that, when it's so far in the future? Sigh. Yes, why worry indeed. Perhaps because I can't help it.

I don't know if it's the fact that I'm preoccupied with this new idea of seeking love or what, but the rest of the tournaments in Veluca did not go so well. I participated in two more, and lost them both. But the valor I'd proven allowed me access to the feast, which allowed me to hob nob a bit, and the king gave me a gig collecting taxes (always profitable).

So, not a total wash. He also hinted that a person of my valor should lend my sword to the realm. I'm not sure I'm ready for that just now.
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: (Battle Laure)
Praven. There were two men of interest in town: Artimenner and Bunduk.

Artimenner's an engineer. While I see myself needing such skills eventually (for constructing ladders and siege towers to take castles and cities), I think those days are unfortunately still a ways off. He may prove himself in battle in the meantime, but he wants 300 denars just to come on board. Were I in need of his engineering skills, it would have been worth it, but as it is, I've told him good day. Perhaps our paths will cross later at a more opportune time.

Bunduk, on the other hand, seemed immediately useful and only wanted 200 denars to join on. When I went to check my purse, though, I realized that I only had 548 to my name, and my men would soon need to be paid. I told Bunduk I couldn't afford his services just now.

I had to question myself. Why was I on this grand tour, looking to take on skilled soldiers, when I hadn't the cash flow to support such an endeavor? I realized that, in truth, I'd taken on this new plan out of mere boredom. Not a very wise reason.

The problem: I need money before I can get more men. I've been doing okay with killing bands of raiders, but not enough to really pull me up out onto solid ground. How else to make money, I wondered...

Then it came to me: tournaments. I'd won the tournament in Praven, right after coming to this land. My skills have greatly improved since then. Surely I can risk placing some sly bets on myself and really make some money. I went to the arena in Praven and asked the tournament master where the next tournament would be. Sargoth.

So, to Sargoth it is. We ride.
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: (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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