It seems to me a bit strange that after conquering Veluca, all the Swadian lords just took off! You'd think they'd stay and prepare for a counterattack, especially after this is the third time in two months that the city has changed hands! Ah well, I get paid either way.
I wandered around Rhodok territory for a while, seeing if there were any prisoners I could rescue, but found none, so I headed to Praven, were I took a job hunting bandits in the surrounding countryside for the guildmaster. 40 denars for a group of the sorry, rotten scum isn't a bad rate.
After I got bored of slaying knife-wielding ruffians, I remembered that I had a score to settle with a certain group of bandits up north. I recruited 4 mercenary crossbowmen in Praven, and more rabble from nearby Azgad, and set out for Nord lands in hopes of recruiting some axe-wielding heathens. Of course, then the Nords have to go and declare war against Swadia. At least my mercenary contract will soon be up, but until then my revenge will have to wait.
I heard that the Swadians and Rhodoks have made peace. I wager the treaty will last for three weeks, will which be a new world record. I headed to Uxhal with my motley band to join Count Delinard and the other lords to break the seige. I thought I'd be wetting me blade in the blood of pagans, but the strangest thing happened: We were about to charge, then stopped, and turned back. Then, we went towards the Nords, then turned around. This went on for a good hour before some of the Nords, the more dull-witted, turned tail and fled. Delinard and his men, satisfied that justice had been done, rode off into the night, but the rest of the Nords just went back to building their seige engines.
I decided that if none of the morons...I mean, lords...were going to aid Uxhal, then I and my 8 men would. The Nords, being honorable, or not thinking us to be a serious threat allowed us entry, and we helped Count Plais prepare for battle. In the tavern, I recruited three more crossbowmen, for all the good they'd do us.
That night, they attacked. Turns out all the siege engines they were building were just a ploy to scare Plais into surrendering. The fools rushed the walls with only one bloody ladder! I stood on the walls, sword in hand as men fell around me to the arrows and spears of the nords, awaiting to split the skull of any heathen that made it up.
The fighting by the ladder was horrendous, and the walls soon became slick with the blood of Swadian and Nord. Finally, they managed to push their way past and made it to the wall, but we still fought like madmen.
I slew at least a score of them, but finally I was overwhelmed as a sea of vikings passed over me. I was out for I know not how long, and was finally pulled out from under a pile of shields by a helpful squire who told me that we won! Most of my men were killed, as usual, though. I went to the local tavern and bought the survivors a round of ale.
That night, as I lay in a rather filthy bed on the tavern's third floor, my insides held in by bandages and a prayer, a man burst into my room, shouting like a maniac. "CONNOR! CONNOR!" He bellowed, waking up the whole city. "COUNT DELINARD NEEDS YOU TO BRING AT LEAST 8 GOOD MEN AND MEET HIM AT...WHEREVER HE IS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!"
Then, something unfortunate happened. The poor idiot then tripped and fell on a bastard sword which someone had so carelessly left laying around, and then he jumped out of the window. I don't care what the coroner or the witnesses say, he wasn't run through and then tossed out the window like he so deserved for wakin' me up. Honest.
Anyway, I was with Delinard before the fool so bravely decided to leave Uxhal to fend for itself and he bloody well could have called for me then instead of waiting til I was lying half-dead after a seige which he could've prevented in a tavern the middle of the bloody night! So bollocks to Delinard, bollocks to Harlaus, the fat pig and all his goons, and the rest of Swadia! I stayed in Uxkhal two more nights, just long enough to heal, sent my men home, and headed off to the lands of the Vaegir, where I'm going to hunt down those bloody taiga bandits at last.
There were a group of raiders from the North following me across the icy plains. At first I was able to outrun them, but I was really in the mood to give a good thrashing after the Uxkhal fiasco and readied myself for combat. Six against one...I liked those odds.
The battle was quick and brutal, just how I like it. The raiders began with the time honored tactic of throwing pointy, sharp things, but one man, darting from left to right with a shield up isn't as easy to hit as a tightly-packed formation. When they ran out of pointy things to throw, I dropped my shield to make full use of me long sword. Five of them, I could tell, were simply peasants who took up raiding to earn some extra money. They fought without finesse but an excess of viciousness that is only gained from years of experience, but still weren't a match for me. I took maybe two light blows, not enough to seriously hamper me skills. Their leader, however, was a trained soldier, outfitted in chainmail similar to mine. I parried each blow and returned in kind, and soon he lay bleeding to death in the snow. I took his helm, a finely-crafted replacement to my dented kettle helmet, and his sword, which was well-balanced and would bring a good chunk of denars. Onward to Rivacheg!
While drinking to me victory in the Sea Hag, I asked the barkeep about findin' work. She told me, among other things, that Boyar Belagru needed help rescuin' one o' his relatives. After finishin' me ale and leavin' a good tip, I headed over to the good Boyar's castle. The guards at the gate let me in when I mentioned I was here about a rescue. The Boyar was a wee bit rude, at first, til I offered me services. He told me that his brother, Vlan, had been captured by the Khergit Brula Noyan, who was holding him in some castle whose name I can't pronounce.
Belagru and I discussed how one man could enter the castle and free his brother, coming to the conclusion that since I had no quarrel as of yet with the Khergits, I could enter under the guise of offering my services as a mercenary and take the keys from the gaoler, either by wit or by force. Knowing me, it'd have to be by force, but first I'd need a distraction. It was likely that I could pay the nearby villagers to set a fire, requiring a good chunk of the castle's guards to rush out and have to douse the fire.
The next morning, I bought a Hunter (which I have named "Fred") before setting out for the steppes. Should help me avoid any unecessary encoutners along the way.
Well, I was wrong. I happened upon a battle which I just couldn't avoid. 6 peasants were waylaid by a group of northmen, and, try as I might to resist, my knightly training was just too strong. I rode into straight into their midst, buying the poor blokes some time to escape. I managed to kill the raiders, though I took some pretty nasty hits (notably an arrow in me armpit) before I did.. To be honest, I don't know how Fred survived. Took an arrow to the arse, and an axe to the head. After I pulled 'em out, though, he was good as new. Guess spendin' most o' me savings on him was a good decision. The peasants thanked me profusely for me help, as is proper...almost got meself killed, after all. There's a bloody hell of a lot of these norse savages 'round these parts, now that I think of it. Guess I should do somethin' about that, but now I've got other business to attend.
Well, well, well...on me way to Sungetche Castle, I stumbled upon a cave where me old friends, the taiga bandits, like to hang out. I marked the location on me map, and after I rescue Boyar Vlan, I'll round up some cutthroats and pay 'em a little visit.
I reached the castle that afternoon, and paid the elder of Bula...something...to set a fire at midnight. Then, when I saw the smoke, I was able to get into the castle without a quarrel. The gaoler was an idiot; bloody fool tried to block me sword with his bare hands. He'd only barely gotten his sword out before I split his skull. I was able to fight off the remaining guards and free Boyar Vlan, putting me on good terms with him and his brother.
Back in Rivacheg, Boyar Belgaru, I learned, had left already so my reward would have to wait. Bloody nobles, can't they ever stay in one spot? Anyways, Boyar Meriga (also a rude, smelly, Vaegir buffoon) gave me a job, though: Find where these sea raiders are landing, and wipe 'em out, which I gladly accepted.
Before I could take on the raiders or the bandits, however, I'd need a few meatshields..er...redshirts...er...warriors to back me up. To get them, I'd need cash. To get that, I needed to find Belgaru. I rode to the location he was hinted to be near, in the steppes, and found nothing, so I spent the night in Ichamur before returning to the Vaegir kingdom.
It seems as if the Vaegir are really hurting...they've lost both Curaw and Khudan to Sanjar Khan. Ah well, I care not who rules, as long as it doesn't effect my ability to obtain wealth by warfare.
Then, after riding all the bloody way out to the steppes in search of Belgaru, turns out he returned to Rivacheg! I certainly hope he throws in extra, considering that it took more effort to actually hunt him down than it did to free his brother from a bloody fortress!
On the way back to Rivacheg, a messenger arrived from Swadia. This time, undoubtedly hearing of his predecessor's...accident...his voice barely rose above a whisper. He asked, very politely, if I wanted to renew my contract with King Fatty Fat Fat. Me reply, being too profane to write here, can be summed up as "No."
Well, I finally got to speak with Boyar Belgaru, who was much more polite now that I'd rescued his brother, and handed me the hefty sum of 1500 denars for my trouble, which I immediately used to hire 5 mercenary swordsmen in the tavern, and tomorrow, we hunt norsemen!
A good day's hunting!
My party before defending Uxkhal
The Nordic Storm
War's hell, mates.
Making my stand...
Don't make promises ye can't keep, mate...
Me, the one man shield wall.
La Posta Finestra
GET BACK HERE AND DIE!
A duel in the snow.
Connor & Fred
Constitution: It should never be your dump stat.
The bandit lair...
The guards on the wall
Tonight there's gonna be jailbreak!
A bloody stupid question, isn't it?
The best kinda promise, mates.
Me stats thus far.
Update: As of yesterday, I am now playing with Calradia in Darkness, which makes the game look much better. Also, I may, seeing as how we approach Halloween, start writing another AAR featuring Connor, but this time using the original M&B Mod Solid & Shade.