Thanks guys. I'm glad to be back.
Headed back to Sargoth for a bit, while I plan what to do next. Nordic mead always helps, I've noticed. Tavern keeper said one of Ragnar's Jarls, Bulba, was looking for someone to do a bit 'o work. Warned me to watch meself, though. That night, at the castle, we plotted a deed most foul. Bulba, a bloodthirsty heathen to put even the most berserk of norse to shame, was growing weary of peace asked me to start a war with the Sarranids in the south by perhaps raiding a caravan. The Merry Marauders shall return!
Four men, all skilled swordsmen, I hired at the mead hall. Tomorrow I set out to find whatever brave pagan lads I can to join me in me looting and plundering.
Just me luck, found 7 raw but willing warriors in the village of Vayejeg. Now, we set to planning. I promised me men silver and loot aplenty, and that's all they need to know. Every kingdom but the Khergits are at peace with the desert-men, so my best bet is to ride wherever I can, outside of the Sultan's domain, find a caravan, and, well, you know the rest.
Of course, while I'm out, Ragnar declares war on the Swadians, I've heard. I better still be getting paid...
Finally, we sight a bloody target, in the Rhodok highlands just outside Jelkala. Sally and me men were getting anxious. Most o' the guards are horsemen, which won't do them much good in these wooded hills, so we at least have that to our advantage.
Today was a victory, though it was plenty costly. Lost seven good men, though my plan worked almost perfectly. Bloody fools charged straight up a hill to get us, and it was no problem to cut their horses out from under 'em. The real loss came when the hardened Sarranid warriors made it up. They knew what they were doing, but it meant little in the end. We fertilized that forest with their carcasses, except for the one who decided he'd like to live to fight another day. We let him flee, to tell his people of the wrath of Connor.
Surveying the Carnage.
Food, silk, velvet, salt, and a cask of ale for me new friends, plus the near 1300 pieces of silver, minus what we set aside to send to the families of our fallen brothers made for a good day. First to unload our loot in Swadia, where it'll likely fetch a good price considering Harlaus is havin' a go with the Sultan as well, then to find Bulba and collect me pay.
Swadia burns. Every village we passed was desolate, the smoke still rising. The Nords are fiercer than their reputation would have ye believe. The men and I talk of hiring on with them, but it seems they have the situation well in hand, though only time will tell what will happen with the Sarranids. Considering, though, that Swadia is at war with every bloody faction save the Rhodoks, their days may be numbered. It will be interesting to see what happens to the heart of Calradia. More interesting, maybe, to see firsthand.
Along the way, I met with Jarl Olaf, who asked me to train 5 of his men into elite Huscarls. Since I'm thinkin' of joining with the Nords, it might be a good idea.
I entered Jelbegi Castle, in search of Jarl Bulba to find King Harlaus imprisoned there. I took the opportunity to laugh in his fat face, after which Jarl Gearth pointed me in the direction of me reward. Of course, Bubbly wasn't near Curin Castle by the time I arrived, though I did run into Jarl Marayirr, who asked me to hire on with the Nords. I consulted with me men; each man has a say in the Merry Marauders, I've decided. We voted, and it was unanimous: sign on with Ragnar. At the end of the contract, we vote again to decide whether or not to renew. Almost immediately, I was ordered to report to Jarl Turya. Fortunately, Bulba was riding with Turya and most of the Nordic lords, headed for Uxkhal.
Bulba gave me 500 denars for me trouble, though, seeing his enthusiastic approval, I feel sort of rotten. I started a war, with someone I no quarrel. That's heavy stuff, man. Ah well. On to Uxkhal!
Along the way, we had another vote; go over the walls of Uxkhal, should the notoriously quirky lords not decide to abandon the siege for no apparent reason, AGAIN, or not. We're going over the walls. [Real reason: I want to test sieges with my new machine. They're fun now!]
The defenders are damned well outnumbered, though I expect I'll be seein' Busey again by the end of the battle. Turya asked me to find him some cattle, but no way in bloody hell am I missing another fight just to have to steal or buy cows from whatever village is still standing and herd them back to his pompousness.
Not long after, We went over the walls. I knew he'd forget about the accursed bovines. My plan was to launch some arrows over the walls, then when I ran out, charge up the ladder like the rest of these mead-addled lunkheads. I killed at least four, by my count, before I decided to head up the ladder and play a little sniper.
Then, immediately after getting on to the wall, I slip on some blood and fall to the ground below, nearly breakin' me legs. Good job, old boy.
Had an interesting shootout with the Swadians atop the wall, though. 'Twas a lot o' fun till I nearly took one in the junk.
Swadians shoot back.
I begin to regret my decision.
One more time...
Bloody hell, NOT AGAIN!
I suppose I should be thanking God. I took a quarrel to the right eye, and I'm still alive, somehow, though Busey is back, telling me that if I was someone named Mingo in a former life. I'm overjoyed. Lost half me men, too. Then, of all the idiocy I saw in Swadia under Delinard, this had to take the bloody cake. Immediately after ripping the bolt from me eye, Turya sends me and three men in to take the rest of the city. In other words, though more than half the Nord army survived, the whole siege bloody hinges on one lunatic swordsman and three other guys. Bollocks.
I knew this wouldn't end well.
So, of course I'm defeated. So we have to repeat the whole bloody battle, and Ragnar and his goons are mad at ME, for some reason. I thought these blokes were different, but they're as dumb as Delinard. I think now's the time to just sit back, and get drunk while Calradia burns around me. I'm deserting. The heathen scum can go sit on a pike for all I bloody care, now.
Of course, immediately after I decide to desert, they take bloody Uxkhal LIKE THEY COULD'A DONE IN THE FIRST BLOODY PLACE WITHOUT RELYING TOTALLY ON A MAN WHO CAN BARELY TELL REALITY FROM FANTASY! I helped me men across the border to the Rhodok lands, back to Yalen, where I'm buyin' each of them a week with a lass and all the ale they can drink, then, we've decided, once the Nords have forgotten about us, we wreak a terrible vengeance. Sound good, lads?