WARBAND & M&B Pendorian Stories

SXIII

Knight
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A good idea. It would help to distinguish them from The Serpent cult. The peasant-like troops should have a separate troop tree or be a mix of low Pendor troops. This would give greater access to Pendor troops if they won't be available for hire in village (in V2.0).
 

tommylaw

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWBWF&S
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i agree, the current strength of heretics and particularly the serpent cult is too high
 

noosers

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWB
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Hendrik the Cruel




During the Great Summer in 327 a small babychild was born to one of his most seasoned soldiers of the old Lord of Rane. The little one was  named Hendrik – after his father. The summer of 327 was one of the most pleasing ones any of the old ones could remember. The harvest riped most promising in the fields, game, deer and cattle prospered and provided plenty of livestock for the smallfolk.

Yet the only thing the inhabitants of the area of Rane in Ravenstern remember nowadays of that summer was the terrible defeat taking place at the shores of the Pendorian Middle Sea. An army of Renegade Knights had been sailing across the sea trying to reinstate the old fiefdom of their outcast order. The invaders came fast and hard – and took the garrison of Rane and it surrounding strongholds by surprise. The old Lord of Rane – a seasoned warrior and capable leader back in his days – rallied his troops and gave those fearsome intruders battle on the shores.

The ensuing battle took  the lives of  many fathers, brothers, husbands and sons – on both sides. It  was  fought most brutal and merciless since the intruders had nowhere to turn, having the sea in their backs and thus fought with the  desperate strength of those who can´t flee. Their unholy Gods of War favoured them and it seemed victory was close when half the Ravenstern foot was routed – when the current King Gregory IV ´s father arrived on the field of battle and reinforced the last desperate defenders. His heavy cavalry charged immediately upon arrival led by the glorious Knights of the Order of the Dragon and drove the vast majority of the Renegade Knights back into the sea and put the remaining rest to the sword until nightfall ended the massacre.

A few of them, however, were able to escape into the night and swore venegeance upon the Realm of Ravenstern.

Among the casualities was Hendrik´s father as well as half the male population of that area and the Lord of Rane. The locals of that area still claim the beach where the Great Summer Battle took place haunted by the mutilized victims of war, the drowned whispering and mourning of the foreign countries they came from and the cries and curses  of the dying.

Many a valorous deed of arms and virtue had been performed on that beach – one of them beeing the rescue of the Heir of Rane by one of his household Squires who sacrificed himself to enable his future Liege Lords safe escape.

For that honorable act of devotion the widow and mother of Hendrik was given work at the Castle in Rane and her little son taken as page as soon as he came of age. Since Hendrik was a quick thinker and showed prowess in the feats of arms, he was soon the favoured squire of the Lord of Rane. This created jealousy at the court and finally lead to open murder. One of the hosted Fierdsvain Squire´s stabbed Hendriks mother.

Outraged by his loss and grieving for his mother Hendrik sought vengeance – and left Rane one stormy night to take it. It should become the first Fierdsvain blood he drew with his weapon when he killed the murderer of his mother. Unfortunately, someone recognized Hendrik and witnessed his deed, thus Hendrik had to flee.

It might have been a desperate situation for an outcast had the old glory of the Pendorian Empire still existed, but in a war torn and plagued Land that Pendor was nowadays it opened a whole lot of new opportunities for Hired Swords. Hendrik came across such a company of sellswords and was allowed to particpate since he was obviously prone to weapons. The company was shortly afterwards utterly defeated and Hendrik was lucky enough to escape with what little gear he had left and his life. He realized that he´d never ever follow any leader or take orders by anyone like the stupid brute who led his late mercenary company and decided to start one himself.

The starting was slow and perilious and filled with dangers. Helping peasants hunting down deserters and thieves he quickly realised that he was a capable commander. His fellows did the same and the more experienced they became, the more wealthy and famous became their leader – Hendrik. Wherever he showed up the adventurous young men would willingly be suscribed to his banner.

Hendrik became the Bane of Deserters, Vanskerry Raiders, Mystmountain Raiders, Renegade Knights and the Cult of the Snake pretty soon and the tales of his feats of arms and prowess in battle finally arrived at the court of Gregory IV, King of Ravenstern.

Beeing in desperate need of capable Leaders due to a huge invasion of the Mystmountain Tribes in the north and an advancing Fierdsvain invasion in the south topped by the revolt of the northern Peasants he offered Hendrik, called the Cruel for his merciless and quick punishment of foes, vasselage to the ravaged and harrassed kingdom of Ravenstern.

Hendrik agreed and became Lord of Shapeshte, the  homevillage of his dear mother. Ever since he became a Lord of Ravenstern his fame and battle prowess increased. His victory over the Mystmountain Army is as legendary as the crush of the Peasant Revolt or his recent siege and capture of Valonberry. He crushed every single Fierdsvain army and put it to the sword. The King of that folk has been held prisoner by Hendrik the Cruel twice so far and had to pay vast fortunes for his release from captivity. He is feared and known all over the Land of Pendor. His name is whispered in awe and fear strikes his enemies if they see his Banner of the White Beast on the Green Fields of Shapeshte. The great Kingdom of Sarleon – who thought they could take advantage of the Fierdsvain crushing Ravenstern – soon realized it would lead to their complete downfall if they continued battling the most fearsome Commander in Pendor, sued for peace and put their greedy eyes  on the remains of the old Empire.

Hendrik the Cruel lately found some old books in the Castle of Ansen Lodge which he took by force before the fall of Valonberry mentioning the old Knight Orders. He decided to reinstate those old orders of the Gryphon and Falcon and use their unmatched power on the fields of battle for the just cause of Ravenstern. Therefore he instated his seat in Anson Lodge and started to gather up the most promising knights from all over Pendor to train them in the art of ultimate Knighthood. The training is long and intense, and many an aspirant perishes before he achieves accolade into one of the two ancient orders.

Due to his achievings and saving of the Kingdom of Ravenstern Hendrik the Cruel was lately awarded hereditary Baron of Quay and this investiture caused a great ramble amonst the nobles in the realm who fear for their rights. But on a continent driven by war everything is possible and just lately rumors of a gigantic Army of Snake Cult Followers invading Pendor at their eastern shore to start an unholy crusade against the remnants of the old Empire converting them to their evil belief arrived in the various Kingdoms. An urgent need for the best warriors, knights and generals of Pendor may arrive to ward off that threat and the first messengers already arrived at Ansen Lodge...

A continent, full of possibilities for a sharp and quick sword and a charismatic Leader.

Pendor, the year is 354.​
 

Bei Tianmeng

Recruit
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I just started the mod yesterday and after reading the introduction, and how my first fifteen minutes ingame wound up... I was inspired to share the tale that is based on true facts! Even the easily conjured up events did indeed occur. The only liberty I took was just in how I reached those events and lucky moments... anyways... here it is.

- - -

An aging third generation merchant flipped open the flap to his tent. It caused a rush of cold northern air to flood into the small dwelling and swirl around its resident. The man shivered from the sensation and scratched at the ever growing black beard, now streaked with slivers of grays. He didn’t care for the cold much, but since his purse had begun to shrink at the lack of profitable trading, the merchant was more or less forced to stay in the north.

The merchant then stepped out of his tent to dig around in the dying campfire, hoping to find a few warm embers with little luck. A heavy sigh was interrupted by the neighing of a nearby horse that caused the man’s head to rise up. The black saddle horse shook its mane and looked squarely back, eager to enjoy its pending meal. Eager to oblige, the merchant wandered over to the equally aged horse, putting the feed bag in place. He then repeated the process for his pack horse. They were the only two companions the man had left.

It had been three weeks since Durak Denos had enough coin to afford a proper escort. These days, he just wasn’t able to pay market value at some of the cities and pay a decent wage for protection. His last guard had actually left in the middle of the night, taking most of the rations that Durak had left in lieu of coin. It made for a sobering experience and now Durak traveled alone.

With his camp broken down, Durak consulted his map once more and rode in the direction of Ravenstern. The city was barely visible in the distance when a loud whistle crossed his ear. Turning in his saddle, Durak saw a group of six, led by two Red Brotherhood members, riding full gallop towards him. Another whistle caused Durak to wince as it grazed his leg. He needed no more convincing to flee.

Durak hurried to get away from his ambushers, but they were right on his heels and fired repeated crossbow bolts at him. Reaching for his own crossbow, Durak stretched his arm behind him and pulled the trigger, only to watch his missile to arc high and away. Despite his attempt at a show of force, the bandits kept on. The chased lasted mere moments before a blinding pain paralyzed Durak, causing him to black out, and later become a prisoner to the Red Brotherhood scum.

For what felt like eternity, Durak was held by the bandits as they raided other poor souls on the open road. The only delight Durak was able to enjoy in captivity was seeing only five of them return to their camp one day. Apparently, one of the outlaws got separated from the others and killed. Sadly, it meant whoever had done the killing sealed the fate of the others that day. There would be no prisoners; no slaves to sell from that robbery.

Another day came, and another attempt at highway robbery. Whilst the bandits were gone, Durak managed to free himself and escaped with what remained of his belongings, including his horses. A couple days later, Durak finally arrived at Ravenstern.

Seeking to erase the memories of his last couple days, the merchant sought refuge in a local tavern. There, he met Engrid and she shared with him a similar story of running into the Red Brotherhood and how she would gladly travel with him, though she needed fifteen hundred denars to pay off some debts to a family that housed her since her troubles. Fifteen hundred was something Durak did not have and sadly he had to bid her goodbye, but not before promising to return once he did. Afterall, he needed a true friend; a companion; a bodyguard.

From the surrounding local villages, Durak recruited nine of the locals to seek revenge upon the very brotherhood band that had taken him captive. Of course, he knew he could also line his coin purse in the process. It did not take long to find them. They were on the trail of ten villagers and had just caught up with them right when Durak arrived. The lifelong merchant, with little fighting skill to his name, rode to the villager's rescue. The brotherhood gang had been short another member due to another such highway robbery, and once Durak and his men entered the fray, the fifth of their number was wounded and nowhere to be found. This left four that the twenty one, between Durak's band and the villagers, had to face.

The fighting was intense and seemingly one sided at first, since while Durak and his band had numbers, the brotherhood were better equipped, mounted and skilled. For Durak the fighting lasted forever as he chased one brotherhood, exchanging crossbow bolts with him and their mounts being the only victims. The chase ended with the brotherhood member being encircled by six villagers and Ravenstern recruits. They pulled him off his mount and proceeded to beat him unconscious with thick cudgels.

As Durak looked around, two of the red bandits, as he now called them, were left and he kicked his horse into full gallop to chase one. The red bandit was skilled with his crossbow. He circled the flat-footed fellows following him and picked off two. Durak could do nothing to stop him as he wildly shot bolts to bring the bandit down with no luck. The red bandit then noticed the old merchant in chase and began to weave to fire bolts in response, forcing Durak to steer further away. The last time he met the group, it was a crossbow that had taken him down in two shots, and he was eager to leave that as the only such occasion. Durak, however, would not quit. Once he steered away and notched another bolt, he pointed his mount back in the direction of the bandit. There was no style to his aiming. There was no trained eye or experience in wielding such a weapon. Durak simply pointed and loosed the bolt. Amazingly, to the cheer of his remaining comrades and the grateful villagers, the bolt struck deep into the side of the bandit's head, painting the soil the very color of the bandit's brotherhood as he fell hard against the earth.

The rush of adrenaline was intense. All around Durak they cheered for him. The other bandit had been slain just moments before and the victory was theirs to enjoy. If there was one thing Durak was taught growing up, it was that all things came at a price, and life was no exception. Two of his own recruits had been delivered to the afterlife, while two more suffered injuries. The rescued villagers would later mourn the passing of a beloved sister and her husband. The two had been found together. Another farmer was also killed with a fourth villager suffering minor injuries. All of this was the price to kill one of the red brotherhood and one of his outlaws... the two that survived the fight, one being the surviving red brotherhood thief, would now spend their time in captivity to the very man they held captive just days before. The wounded bandit left at their camp would be taken back to the people's village to pay for his group's crimes there. There would be no more chances at life for that bandit.

Durak took the red brotherhood member, and the other hired thug, back to Ravenstern where he had met someone else at the tavern during his last visit. A man named Harris said he worked for the local red brotherhood and bought prisoners to ‘sell’ into other walks of life. Wasting no time, Durak took a sort of perverted pleasure in selling the poor wretch he captured to his own kind, making him have to live a life as a slave to others. It was a sort of just desserts for Durak. The tables had been turned, or in the old merchant's vernacular, he had just tipped the scales.

With the extra coin he received from pawning off the spoils of the fight, as well as the two bandits, Durak was able to pay off Engrid’s debt. From that day on, the two would hunt down the local Red Brotherhood members, bringing the end to a reign of crime that knew no limits. This would not be the end of Durak’s story, for it was just the beginning of how a forgotten merchant, in his twilight years, would forever alter the destiny of a land that believed only the harsh winds of Cloudmist Mountains could direct where a feather would fall. 
 

saxondragon

Sergeant Knight
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Really nice story!

I do not know how many times I have experienced exactly this same thing... you did a great job taking that game experience and placing it into context with your writing skills.  Well done!!

Best,

Saxondragon
 

Bei Tianmeng

Recruit
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May 354

The twilight was fast approaching the fields north of Evasolde Castle. Shadows were slowly stretching across the land like fingers grasping to control it. A breeze would then come down from the far off mountains, giving life to the phantom fingers, sending chills through the living. The dead, however, would find death riding upon the wind to carry them into the afterlife.

“I found him!” cried out an eager man’s voice. Other voices could then be heard coming closer. “Hey Durak, we thought we might have actually lost you this time,” the young man said, reaching down to help up the older merchant. With a loud groan, Durak was able to stand once more with the help of his comrade.

“Thank you, Ansen,” replied Durak Denos with a hoarse voice and one hand clutching his ribs.

“Here, let me take a look at that.”

Durak winced in pain as Ansen pulled his hand away and began inspecting his injuries. He then directed Durak to sit upon a nearby rock before he continued. Then, four others joined them just as Ansen was helping Durak to remove his mail. “Aww, now that doesn’t look so bad. Any excuse to take a nap, eh?” jested Engrid who was with the new arrivals. She stuck her sword into the ground before standing beside the pair.

A smile started to cross Durak’s lips until he started to chuckle, only to be interrupted with a low growl and scowl in Ansen’s direction. “Gah, what are you trying to do, open it up even more so you can be sure it is indeed a wound?” the old merchant hissed.

“Not at all, sir. In fact, I’m merely seeing how much of a little girl you are by finding out how much this scratch makes you cry!” Ansen then laughed aloud.

“No, Ansen,” Engrid chimed in with a smile, “little girls are even tougher than that. Only Durak cries louder than infants.” The two then shared more laughter at their captain’s expense.

“Both of you are very funny. Now I know why I’m always the one doing the leg work. I’ve employed court jesters instead of warriors!” For a moment there was silence, but then they all shared a healthy laugh as the evening conquered the day.

- - -

A few hours later, the Denos Guard had erected camp a short distance away from the battle that just occurred. In the center of the encampment was Durak’s own tent. Inside he sat on a small stool, his abdomen tightly wrapped in bandages, next to a table that had documents of all sorts laid out upon it. He blankly stared at the papers and maps as his mind began to wander.

It had been two months since the events with the Red Brotherhood, and in that time his name had spread throughout the kingdom of Ravenstern. After enlisting Engrid’s aid, Durak assembled a rabble to his side. Their first big victory happened within the village of Sheastrom. The village was being ransacked by bandits when Durak and his company were venturing through, seeking to rally more to their cause of bringing the Red Brotherhood to justice. Instinctively, Durak and Engrid both rode to the village’s aid and repelled the would-be bandits.

From that moment on, the locals began to speak of Durak Denos and his guardians. His name would later become well known among the Red Brotherhood when the ranks of his company swelled in both quantity and quality. After a couple short weeks, Durak’s band would be called the Denos Guard, protectors of the innocents, and the Red Brotherhood went into hiding.

This was what Durak and Engrid, his lieutenant, had sought to achieve. Once it had been, however, the Denos Guard became bored and idle. Denars that once flowed steadily through the capture of criminals and the selling of their weapons had stopped. Slowly, the Denos Guard was running out of funds to keep up its ranks. A solution had to be found if they were to remain.

Stories of renegade knights and mercenaries that plundered caravans, terrorized villagers and even skirmished with the kingdom of Ravenstern would be looked to as a means of keeping the Denos Guard in service. More than thirty-five brave warriors would cross the river from Saffrongate in the early days of April, seeking fame, glory and riches, but after merely a week the Denos Guard had been scattered and on the run. Skirmish after skirmish showed the true power of knights, as the lesser equipped and trained Guard was beaten repeatedly.

Brave stories of the Guard would never be known as many that were left behind to save the others, would never return. Durak would flee to Rane in shame. With him, less than ten of his Guard remained. Morale was low, their pockets empty and a seemingly unbeatable enemy now hounded them at every turn. It seemed as if the Denos Guard would fade into memory, then into history, before finally being forgotten altogether.

In this hour of need, Durak had one last chance. He sought an audience with one of the lords of Ravenstern. The lord’s name was Aldemar. Durak expressed his situation and pleaded for assistance. Lord Aldemar, having heard of the exploits of the Denos Guard, had one option available for them. Durak had no choice but to accept if he was to keep alive the Guard.

It was then in April of 354, Durak Denos and his Guard became mercenaries in the employ of Ravenstern. Lord Aldemar was able to pay Durak some initial funds as part of signing a three month contract to work for Ravenstern. This would be where the Guard would be reborn into something that neither Durak, nor Engrid could ever imagine.

They met a young man by the name of Ansen shortly afterwards who wished to join their ranks. Durak took an immediate liking to the boy. Together, the three reformed the ranks of the Denos Guard, and with the help of the kingdom of Ravenstern, organized into a well trained force that would eventually push the renegades into hiding by the end of April, much like they had done to the Red Brotherhood a month before.

It was now May, and it would see the biggest turning point for Durak as Lord Aldemar sent a courier requesting his Guard in participation of a military campaign in the defense of Evasolde Castle against the marauding forces of Sarleon. The days of chasing bandits and renegades were now behind them. Fierce battles on an unimaginable scale lay in wait for the Denos Guard. Their first taste of it was bittersweet just hours ago. While they won, they lost more in that single engagement than they ever had before. This signaled the many trials that they would now face. This was the beginning of a new chapter for the Denos Guard, and one page closer to a long forgotten prophesy.
 

Lord Hattie

Regular
WB
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They called him the Fish Knight. No-one knew exactly why. Maybe it was the fish on his heraldry, maybe it was the tactic that he used, or maybe it was because he had come from overseas. Truly, it did not matter.

The Fish Knight never allied himself with anyone, remaining totally alone. Preying on members of the Serpent Cult and common brigands, he rarely involved himself in the affairs of the lords and kings of the lands. It was said that he violently killed any man who tried to follow him, and that he never slept, or ate, or removed his armour. It was said that he was invincible, and that his flesh and bone could heal instantaneously.

However, this was not true. The Fish Knight had become larger than life, almost legendary. In reality, he was nothing more than a man called Michael. A man who had come from an impoverished birth, and who had seen his friends and family killed by members of the Serpent Cult whilst moving to found a new village. In a flash of pole arms and swords, his world came crashing down upon him, and he wanted but one thing: Vengeance.

Michael continued walking many days after than fateful massacre, carrying with him the weapons of his father. He walked and walked, until finally he reached the city of Windholm. There, he was taken in by one of the Jarls. Over the years, he learnt of the many ways of killing a man, and found that he enjoyed the thrill of the battle.

Michael eventually matured, and became a part of the forces that were sent raiding. However, on his first raid, he was cut down by a soldier riding a horse, along with many of his comrades. Having not encountered these strange forces for many years, he was caught off guard, and was captured.

When he managed to escape from his captors, he stole one of their horses. Knowing that he could not survive solely on the tactics that he had been taught as a boy, he started to train on his horse, practicing his riding for hours on end, until he was able to ride even the most unruly of horses without being thrown.

Michael started off as a small time mercenary, acting as a guard for villages, defeating bandits, and doing similar activities until he had saved enough money to buy himself a crude set of Dark Armor. The man who would later become the Fish Knight then, for the first time since his childhood, faced the Serpent Cult.

The story of what happened in that battle has long since become obscured by folk-tale, but he came out of it horribly scarred, and never showed his face again, always wearing a helm to cover his now horrific visage.

(I know this is really bad, but I didn't put that much thought into it before I wrote it. Hell, the only thing I thought of in advance was the first line)
 

SXIII

Knight
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It's quite good actually. It's a type of story you would hear from an old man in a village or tavern. It might make a good ester egg or a clue for finding a strong new hero.
 

noosers

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWB
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A rather long one - but it grew while writing. As grew my fun doing so I guess there´s more to hear about Hendrik´s exploits soon!

Hendrik the Cruel and his capture of Marius I., Emperor of Pendor.

Much had happened since the Glory of the Fierdsvain Empire had vanished and been crushed under the nailed boots of the Ravenstern soldiers.

Led by their Marshal, Hendrik called the Cruel, stronghold after stronghold fell, towns were sieged, breached and sacked and their garrisons put to the sword. The last few
desperate attempts to ward off the inevitable doom were quickly dispatched and the defenders easily driven off the field of battle.
Finally, the last stronghold of the Fierdsvain fell. And with Longsbeard Lodge taken and their King dead the nobility of a the now crushed and defeated Kingdom  of Fierdsvain
vanished and scattered all over Pendor to swear new allegiances.

Shortly after Hendrik the Cruel was appointed Count of Javiskholm, a magnificent town he had taken by force though spared a sacking and thus now gleaming more than ever, the first rumors of a huge Snake Cult Army arrived at Ansen Lodge, Hendriks Stronghold and base of power. In fact not only a single Army had landed and started haunting the eastern shores of the Empire but a second had arrived shortly afterwards. The nobility of the Empire did nothing but run whenever the evil worshippers of the Great Snake offered battle - no wonder their Empire had crumbled.

Nonetheless, Marius I., Emperor of Pendor held expansionists plans to increase his realm and help it to former glory. A mad dream of a mad man. Even worse, he decided to declare war on the Dragon of Ravenstern. Marius thought Ravenstern was weak - having taken so much territory had surely as well exhausted its armies as had the bloody sieges and field battles drained the resources of that kingdom and right he was. Both men and money were scarcely available anymore in the bled kingdom of Ravenstern. Thus he called his vassals to arms, rallied his armies and marched his levies off to war. Knudarr Castle had been appointed his first target - the first of many errors the mad emperor made.

Hendrik the Cruel had prepared himself for a season against the followers of the evil Snake Cult whose misdeeds and rumors about their evil rituals caused fear and faith into half Pendor. Most of his seasoned troopers had been appointed garrison duty in both Javiksholm and Anson Lodge to protect his lands - even more important since money was tight and an issue.

Despite all this obstacles Hendrik was able to field a large amount of Ravenstern Foot, a company of Pendors most skilled archers and a score of Ravenstern Knights and
even half a dozen knights of the Order of the Dragon had joined his host camping outside Ansen Lodge. It was the eve of the day before he intended to march off on his holy
crusade against the Snake Cult Army when news of a siege of Knudarr castle arrived at Hendriks Castle.

The trumpets sounded immediately and his host was called to arms. Marching all through the dark hours of a the deep night the army finally arrived just in the nick of
time at Knudarr Castle. Marius hadn´t waited long - he had laid siege on Knudarr Castle and immediately started to assault the damaged walls of the weak castle. It looked bad for the defenders who fought most desperately yet were terribly outnumbered. Launching a feint attack on the rearguard of Marius camp, Hendrik was able to lead most of his army through the loose siege ring and replenish the desperate defenders. New spirit was brought together with expert archers, expert leadership and twoscore grim Kiergaards - all seasoned veterans of the recent conquest of Fierdsvain.
As the song of the nightingale announced the first light of a new day the Horde of the Empire launched its first and final assault wave against the crumbling piles of
stones which was the curtainwalls of the weakest of Ravensterns castles. First came the Levies and green troopers of the Empire, inexperienced and hastily equipped. They died by the score showered in arrows never seeing heir homes again. Their death had only one reason - to drain the supply of arrows of the defenders. They suited perfectly for that task and when the second battle arrived and manned the siege tower hardly any shafts had been leftover. However, the few ones left bit into mail and leather killing dozens of fearsome Gladiators and hardend Legionaries. Nonetheless all the the arrows had been spent long before the Siege Tower hit the Wall. The main assault had begun.
The Kierdsgaard elite guard of Hendrik tightend their shields and fortified their stance and waited for the rush of flesh and steel to assault them. Grim were their
faces, and grim was their work. In a valiant effort of expert combat they were able to hold the walls against the most experienced troops of the empire until the elite guard of the Emperor was thrown into the frail. The pressure was too much for the thin line of defenders and soon the Immortals had gained a decent foothold on the wall.
The situation looked grim for Hendrik when he dropped his bow and hefted the magnificent weapon he had inherited and taken from its secret hideout and entered the melee. The Immortals hadn´t sensed yet how close their peril was. Focused only on the fighters before them they didn't notice the Count of Javiksholm reading himself in their backs. For this sole reason, they never knew who killed them. Yet even those efforts had been too little and the day may have been lost for Ravenstern hadn't reinforcements arrived. Having watched the battle closely from his place at the keeps gatetower Ansen had noticed the peril and headed off towards his leader collecting every figher on his way to it. Due to his presence of mind and fast response he was able to rush the ramparts and cleanse them from enemies.
Half the defenders of the outer wall had been cut down and the greatest part of the assaulting troops lay dead or dying when both Hendrik and Ansen met on the breached wall. With an evil grin and deadly glitter in his eyes Hendrik raised the visor of his helmet and looked upon the one of his lieutenants who had assisted him. "Ready the horse!" was all he said.

Eager to prove themselves his mounted troops were quickly assembled and ready to charge the remaining host of Marius. The trumpets sounded, the hooves clattered on stone and earth, steel tips shone on lances in bright tones and above all flew the Green Beast of Hendrik. So quick and decisive and unexpected was this second strike that most of Marius demoralized foot didn't even bother to put up a fight or form ranks but ran for their life - only to be slain merciless wherever the heavy horse caught them.
The slaughter lasted till nightfall. Almost thousand of the empire's soldiers had lost their life's - together with a good share of the Ravenstern finest´s. While all
the pilfering and searching of dead and wounded took place a humiliated Marius was led before Hendrik. Being disappointed about the fact his war chest had been able to escape and no large sums of money or decent gear to be looted this captor raised his spirits. Hendrik would negotiate the empire for a ransom that would dry them out and help increasing the amount of wealth in his treasure chamber. An evil grin smirked upon his face when his royal captive was led off towards his new home - the  prison tower of Ansen Lodge.

This was how Marius I., Emperor of Pendor, was captured and held prisoner by Count Hendrik of Javiksholm, Baron of Ansen Lodge, Marshal of Ravenstern, Knight - Lord of the Order of the Griffin, Knight - Lord of the Order of the Falcon and Knight of the Dragon, Lord of Shapeste, Kulum and Quay, Bastion of the One Faith, True Defender of Ravenstern,subject to his most supreme King Gregory IV. of Ravenstern.

Early Summer, Pendor, the year is 355.
 

Delarock

Recruit
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The snowflake melted in his mailed hand. It was hard to ignore the cold metal entombing him now that the fighting was over. Stupid. I shouldn't have worn plate in weather like this. He looked up at the sky, the movement making him aware of his bruised neck. Still, I guess it saved my life.
"Please, Chase, let me go. I'm no treat to you now". The voice disrupted his thinking, took him back to the present. He looked around slowly. In the distance, on of his men was dispatching wounded men and horses. He had enough work in front of him. The ground was littered with dead and dying. Hundreds. Some of them friendly. No matter, I have more. There are always more.  He looked at the lord kneeling in front of him. He looked old. Old and scared. Dried blood covered the left side of his face, and it looked like his arm was broken.
"Think of the times you have eaten at my table, of the toast we have shared. Let me go, Chase. For the friendship we once had". Chase Delarock looked more closely at the man in front of him, his eyes squinting. Perhaps the old lord did seem somewhat familiar beneath the dirt and blood that was caked in his face. We were friends? I can't even remember your name.
The two guards standing behind the prisoner laughed quietly. "Look at 'm, almost pissing himself 'e is", one of them said, smiling. Chase looked up quickly, catching the guards eye. The laughing stopped instantly. I would have begged. So would you.
"Why?", his voice sounded dry even to his own ears. Dead. Lifeless. It was perfect. "Did you think you could trick me into an ambush? Did you think you could kill me?" In truth he had been tricked. Outnumbered two to one, only experience and discipline had saved the day. They both knew it, but perhaps the people around them did not.
"I told the King it wouldn't work, but he wouldn't listen. He is afraid of you, you know. Getting more and more nervous as you creep closer to his castle". Their eyes met as the old man raised his head. "Why are you doing this , Chase? You had everything."
"Not a kingdom, not a crown. Now I do."
"And how many have died for this crown of yours? How many is now only food for the crows, because of your arrogance and greed? How many more will it take before you end this futile rebelion of yours?"
"As many as it takes. The rivers will run red before this is over, and they will overflow until everybody bend their knee to me! And then... then there will be peace."
"Madness..."
Before he could think he lashed out, backhanding the old lord, blood and broken teeth spraying onto the cold stiff ground.
"Please", the lord repeated, the words almost not understandable as they bubbled from his shattered mouth. Chase looked at his gauntlet. The blood stain somewhat looked like his brother on the end of a pike. He wiped it on his dark purple tabard. Madness? Perhaps. But what of it? Isn't all great men just a little bit mad?
Chase felt a hand on his shoulder. Surprised, he quickly turned a round, and looked straight into a beautyfull face. He's mouth opened slightly in awe, as it always did. So pretty, so perfect, if not for the hate in its eyes. He felt an urge to maim, an urge to kill, but it was over quickly. Captain Ivieraso was to valuable to waste, and Noldors didn't break their oath once given. He had nothing to fear from this... thing.
"Your Highness", Ivieraso said, " Lord Knader fought bravely, and should be treated with honor. There is no need for this." Knader. That is his name. I know him.
Chase forced himself to smile. "Offcourse, Captain, you are right. We should treat our enemies with the respect they disserve." He turned back to his old friend Lord Knader, still on the ground, struggling for every breath. 
"Here, friend, let me help you back on your knees." He kneeled down and hoisted the old man up. Spit, snot and blood dripping from his chin. He wiped most of it away, the purple tabard coming away red. Still, he could see doubt in the lords eyes.
"Dint be afraid, I will not kill you", Chase said as he stood up again, catching one of the guards eyes, and giving a small nod. He could see some hope return to the Lord, then disappear again as a knife was stabbed into his neck, leaving nothing behind.
Chase looked up into the sky. It was getting dark. He liked the dark, sometimes even preferred it. Let it cover me in its dark arms. Let it hide my regret. Let it hide my pain.
"Lets get moving. Plenty of people that still need killing, and they will not kill them self."

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Perhaps not your typical PoP story, but I've emerged from lurking 2-3 years or so to write it, and that got to count for something. All feedback is welcome. Please ignore the spelling mistakes as english is not my native language.
Anyway, thank you saxondragon for making this mod. I've enjoyed it alot so far, and are looking forward to the next version. Your mod is the only one I'm playing these days, and that says a lot 'cause there are lot of talented people out there.
 

Thor Head

Sergeant
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He raised that black stallion from a foal, on his father's farm outside Fenada.  Darkstar, he called it... He told the men stories of them chasing antelope together over the rolling fields, riding hard like the wind from the sea.  He rode like a Jatu on that black.  He and his mount were truly one.  When we came to Fenada two months ago for supplies and fresh troops, he amazed us with his horsemanship.  He spitted five peaches on the point of his lance in less time than I could blink an eye... 

Eager for war, he was.  Eager to prove what he and Darkstar could do.  When we rode through the wastes of D'shar to the siege of Ishmatal, he gave that horse half his water, though we were all as dry as dust.  I saw him lance two Windriders on that horse when they chased us back through the sandstorms to Rela Keep.

Now he sits there by Darkstar's cooling carcass, on the body of the horse's killer.  He curses his crossbow for firing its deadly bolt an instant too late, just as the Snakeman's pick tore out Darkstar's throat.  Tonight, I'll have Ansen cut another mount out of the string for him.  He'll ride again, but will he be the same without that horse?  Will the joyful fire in his eyes still shine when we crest a ridge and see the foe arrayed before us?

I don't know... And I can't afford to care.  I have a warband to lead.  I have armies to defeat and kingdoms to conquer.  I am Ranorax, and I have a Prophecy to fulfill.   
 

Corndawg

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWBNWVC
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Alright, here is the first installment of the story. I don't really care about grammar, and as for the paragraphs, well, screw them as well. I'm just writing a story, not an English report, so don't lecture me on proper grammar and paragraphs. Thank you, and enjoy.

Edit: Edited a few small things, most importantly was I turned the story into paragraphs. Expect more tomorrow.
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It was a warm day in mid-spring, and all was going well for the man who now peered out of the woods. In his sight was a group of exactly 13, he had counted them day and night for the past two weeks. His thoughts went back to the day before he had started his journey, no, his life before he had started his journey.

15 days ago the young man was working in his father’s field. That day he was planning on announcing his plan to leave and start a farm of his own not far from his parent’s. As he worked in the fields with some of the hired hands, a group of about 20 men or so, led by a man clad in light red armor, had entered the field. They inquired into the young man of who lived here, not knowing the consequences he quickly told them that his parents did. The man in red let a small smile creep onto his face, but then quickly disappeared. The man  said something below his voice and the men moved along.

As the young man went back to work he heard a muffled scream and started walking slowly toward the house. As he neared it several of the men that were following the red figure came out carrying three bodies, his father’s, his mother’s, and his younger brother’s. At the sight of the bodies the young man let out a horrendous scream of pain, not physical, but emotional. The men carrying the bodies stopped dead in their tracks and several others drew their swords. Not caring about anything but his parents and brother the young man charged the men carrying the bodies. The man at the head of the column fell under his weight and screamed as he tried to break away from the fury of angry fists that were repeatedly striking his face. Blood started to come out of the man’s wounds as he screamed for help. His comrades just sat there and stared in amazement for the whole three minutes until their friend was nothing but a lifeless corpse. As the young man got up and turned toward the next man, the men dropped the bodies and drew their swords.

Several of the farmhands ran away, while several more of the experienced ones started advancing toward their newfound foes. Seven of the men ran toward the farmhands while the rest marched upon the young man. Realizing his predicament, the young man quickly groped the dead body of the man whose face was now unrecognizable until he found the hilt of the sword. As one of the men came within several feet of the young man, the young man drew the sword out in a slashing motion, slicing his adversary’s neck. The man fell down as blood spurted onto the young man from the open wound. There were several screams nearby and three of the farmhands fell down, while one of the evil men fell as well.

Knowing that the end of the farm was inevitable, the young man charged forward with the sword in attempt to catch the enemy by surprise. He managed to do that to one of them, killing him in the process, but the rest were quick enough to avoid him. Remembering the mock fights with his brother, and then the ones the local militia held for training, the young man brought his skills into use. Two of the evil men charged forward. The young man slashed at the one that had his sword in the air, ready to come down, and succeeded in slicing his stomach. He then quickly brought his sword up to block the next man’s attack. A small spark flew and the evil man brought his sword around for another attack, but was again thwarted. The young man grabbed the evil man’s shoulder and spun himself around, stabbing the man in the back.

The young man glanced toward the farmhands and found them either dead or running away. Hope was dwindling, but the young man continued his relentless assault. After fifteen minutes of rough fighting two more evil men were dead and the rest were retreating into the forest with the valuables from the house in hand. The young man had buried his relatives’ bodies and grabbed the family hunting bow. After stocking up on arrows and donning some of the armor from his dead enemies, the young man was finally ready for his revenge. A two week chase had ensued and now here he was.

The young man, 24 year old Corey, laughed as he stared out of the forest again. He checked his gear, and then advanced closer to the tree line. The men, who called themselves the Red Brotherhood from what he had heard, were camped around a dead cow. Corey knocked an arrow and raised the bow, taking a deep breath in the process. He steadied himself and stood in his firing position for about 3 minutes, his grip never failing. Then, as the leader lifted his head for a moment, he released the string. The arrow flew toward its target, singing the sweet song of death. The Red Brotherhood guildsman looked up, but was too late, and the arrow pierced him right between the eyes.

The other troops, the henchmen, looked around and then quickly drew their swords. They checked the body and looked toward the forest as a figure charged out, sword at his side. Corey was running faster than he had ever before, and had taken down one of the henchmen with a slash from his sword. The rest quickly charged toward him. He spun the sword in his hand, a trick he had the chance to practice over the many nights tracking his quarry, and slashed back, re-opening the wound in the stomach of one of the henchmen. Then he swung around again, making a larger gash in the stomach of the man, just enough for him to die after a few minutes. Two down, eleven to go. Two of the henchmen stabbed at him from the front, but he jumped back and knocked their swords away, creating a gap between them. Corey charged for it and swung from side to side, taking out both men in a flash. With nine men advancing on him, Corey had to think fast, and he did. Rushing through an open gap, Corey made a dash for the woods. As he entered the tree line, a pain like no other physical pain he had experienced crept into his arm. Glancing down he saw an arrowhead protruding from it, and he looked back to see the rest of the shaft.

When Corey finally came to a stop he began to tend to his wounds. His revenge was complete enough. Corey let out a loud “YES!” and looked around to make sure no one heard him. Satisfied he went back to work on the arrow. He began to think out loud to himself, “Ya know, this was a great day for me, I finally got my reve-“

When Corey awoke, all he heard was the sound of the sea, then, as his vision came back to him, he saw himself in a cell on a ship. A man clad in light red armor walked by, and Corey sunk back into unconsciousness. As he was tending to his wounds, another Red Brotherhood group snuck op on him and knocked him unconscious, they then took him on a ship and set sail. When Corey awoke later, one of the men let him out of his cell and told him to go down to the rowing station. Corey obeyed, knowing that escape was impossible now. A few of the slaves looked up, while the rest kept rowing. Corey sat down in the nearest seat and grabbed the oar. Every slave was wearing a glove supplied by their captors, as to keep their hands well so a better price could be obtained. A nearby slave whispered in Corey's ear, “I hear that they’re takin’ us to Pendor.” ‘Pendor,” Corey thought, ‘where’s Pendor…’

Part 1: Arrival in Pendor

Corey awoke three days after his capture, his arms and legs sore, and his head reeling from seasickness. He walked up onto the main deck and gazed out toward the not so distant shoreline. One thing he liked about the Red Brotherhood right now was the freedom that they allowed their captives. It’s not like they were going to try to escape when at sea, so they need not worry. There was a shout from the top mast that they were coming into port and that all hands should be on deck for disembarking. Corey stared up into the sky for a moment, then slowly walked over toward the plank that was being readied.

The slaves had been drilled a few times on how to disembark, thus making everything quicker. Everyone had been warned that escape would be deadly, and if they fell out of line then they would be whipped without mercy. Corey took his spot in the second row as everyone began filing down the gangplank. The second Corey’s feet touched the ground; he felt a strange connection to the land. He groped around his neck for his necklace that was given to him as a young child. His father had told him that it was from their home, and that he should treasure it forever. When his hands felt the medallion, it was burning hot, and Corey had to quickly retract his hand to avoid being burned.

The column was quickly led to a raised area at the center of the town; Janos was the name according to a nearby sign. Then, the first slave was led to the center of the small stage area, and the auctioning began.

“50 Denars,” shouted one man.

“I’ll give you 100,” shouted another. The auctioning didn’t last long, and the first man was bought for 150 Denars. The next man was bought for 100, as was the next, then Corey was led up onto the stage. The auctioneer quickly hushed the crowd and told them the quick story of Corey’s valor and skill against the Red Brotherhood, and how he had slain several of them, and even tracked them over the terrain of his homeland. The group fell silent for a moment, and then one man shouted, “I’ll give you 200 Denars for im’,” and then an uproar ensued.

“250, I’ll give you 250!”

“I’ll give you 300!”

“500 Denars!”

“Sold for 500 Denars!” The auctioneer seemed pleased with himself, and Corey led down the line to an elderly looking man. He introduced himself as Robert, “But you can call me Bob,” he said. He was a farmer that needed hands, and had spent a lot of money on him. Corey wasted no time in telling him that he had made the right choice, considering that he had worked on a farm most of his life. Bob smiled and led Corey through the streets toward two horses that looked like they had been carrying a lot of stuff on the way there.

As the two neared the horses, Corey fished around in his pocket and grabbed 30 Denars that he had stolen from one of the Red Brotherhood men while he wasn’t looking. He tossed 10 to a nearby man who looked down on his luck, and then tapped the shoulder of Bob. He handed him 20 Denars and told him that he was grateful for spending so much for a simple farm boy. Bob laughed and told him to saddle up the horse. Corey did so quickly, and then Bob told him to mount up, as they were heading toward bob’s farm.

As they trotted out, Corey thought of running away, but Bob was very trusting of him, so he thought the better of it and followed Bob home. They arrived at Bob’s farm just outside of the town of Fenada. Corey helped Bob down from his horse, and unsaddled the two. He led them into the stables and tossed them some hay. Bob thanked him and led him toward the house. He introduced him to his family, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Sara.

After a kind dinner, Bob led them to his room. Corey inquired into where all the other slaves were staying, and Bob laughed. “There are no other slaves; I am working this place myself, with the help of the family of course. I will give you good hospitality, and treat you like one of my family members. Plus, once you work off your debt of 480 Denars, I’ll start paying you as well! Then, possibly in a few years, you can move away if you want to.” Now it was Corey’s turn to laugh.

“Honestly Bob, if you’re going to treat me like that, I don’t think I’ll ever leave. Now before we rest for the night, how are the crops right now?” At those words, Bob’s face grew dim. He told Corey the story of how there was little rain, and that water was very scarce. It was a meager living, he told him, and one that required long hours of toil. Corey told him that he would do his best to turn their situation around and help the farm. Bob thanked him, and bid him good-night.

The next morning, Corey woke bright and early. He crept down the stairs, as the rest of the family was still sleeping. He began inspecting the crops, then he started testing the earth. He grabbed two willow sticks, and began walking over the land with them outstretched. After twenty minutes, the two rods moved and crossed over each other in the form of an “X”. Corey stuck the sticks in the ground and quickly ran back to the tool shed where he grabbed a shovel. He hurried back to the sticks and began digging. After digging about fifteen feet or so, he came across what he was looking for, water. He dug a few feet more, and then tossed the shovel up. He quickly scaled the sides and hopped out.

Five hours later, Corey was pleased with his work. He stared at the small well, roughly 5 feet in diameter, which was wide for a well, and smiled. He had had a rough time finding the needed wood, but eventually did, and when he had, he began putting it together in the rough shape of a circle. Once his base was setup, he made a small area that hung over the center and then attached a bucket. He had created a much needed well for a farm that needed a lot of water.

Roughly five minutes later, Corey heard the door to the house close, and someone came rushing out. The form of Sara quickly came into view and she ran up to Corey. “What are you doing up so early,” she exclaimed, “It’s only 7 o’ clock.” Corey gazed at her with disbelief, at his home the sun came up much later than 2 o’ clock. Sara gazed past Corey at the well and let out a little gasp of surprise. “Oh my goodness, I think you just saved us with this well, oh thank you, thank you, thank you!” She jumped up in the air several times, and her dark hair smacked Corey in the face.

Bob and Lisa came out next as Sara jumped around in excitement. When the two spotted the well, they looked as if they might as well. Bob ran up to Corey and said, “How did you do this!” Corey explained to him how he did it and how it had taken him a lot longer because he had no help. Bob laughed and gave him a manly hug. Corey smiled and patted him on the back, “Now,” Bob said, “let’s get to work on the crops.” Corey laughed and they started toward the field.
 

Lord Hattie

Regular
WB
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In the darkness, between Stagheart and Nomar, there was a small camp of ten or twenty men. Whilst most of them were out of guard, wary of the heretic covens and the Red Brotherhood bandits, three men sat round a campfire, eating from a pot over the fire, which seemed to contain a stew of some sort. Like all fireside discussions, this one turned to the discussion of tales, myths and legends. For a while they spoke of Hendrik the Cruel, then of Chase Delarock, and then, finally, of The Fish Knight.

"I once fought with the Fish Knight." One of the men commented, to the chuckles of the others. "No, I really did. I had been hired by a caravan, I think it was a Fierdsvain caravan. We were attacked by a combination of Red Brotherhood men and some assorted other scum that had crept their way out of the woodwork. We were ounumbered, and had little more than fifteen spears between the twenty of us. We were guarding the caravan, many of us dying when, like a hero from the days of old, he lept out on his horse, his heavy lance skewering three men at once. Unfortunately, one of the bandits, armed with a bow, pegged his horse right between the eyes. The horse fell, but before you could say 'Gods help us!' he had risen to his feet and cut the throats of another five men. It was then that I saw his sword. I had never seen anything like it, but I had heard of swords like that being wielded by the Noldor. Whether he got it off a corpse, or whether it was given to him by the Noldor themselves, I don't know, but it was as fast and as balanced as any sword I've ever seen. He took nary a hit, blocking any wayward blow with his shield, emblazoned with his Fish, and finally, found the Red Brotherhood man who had organised all this. He grabbed him by the throat, whispered something to him, drew his sword and..." The man trailed off.

"And what?" One of the others said, after a few seconds of silence.

"And let him go. The bastard looked terrified, and from what I could tell had probably soiled himself, but he ran, and ran, and ran. And our caravan was never attacked again." The man smiled.

"I say you're a liar, my good man." The third man laughed. "Everyone knows the Fish Knight is just a myth bandits made up just to scare their little children."

"I wouldn't be so sure about that." A fourth man said, his face shrouded by the shadows of the cooking pot. "I met the Fish Knight once. Or, at least, I thought it was him. He was in his armor, with his faceplate. He asked me where to find the nearest horse merchant, and I told him the way. He gave me 10 Denar for my troubles. A few hours later, I was sitting in the tavern, when he came in, sat down, and announced that he was buying everyone in the tavern a drink. Instantly he was the most beloved person in the building, other than the barkeep of course. Hours later, with our pockets considerably lighter, and with much ale in our bellies, we left, me and the Fish Knight, and he wandered off, to the stables, saying he was going to camp near the city limits. After that... I never saw him again." The fourth man finished, as he put his bowl down.

"Well, I say that your story is just like my friend's: A lie." The third man sneered.

"Believe what you wish my friend. I must leave. Good bye, all of you. I hope to meet you on the battlefield." The fourth man chuckled, as he turned and left. A few minutes later, the men realised that the stranger had left a shield behind. They turned it round, and found it emblazoned with a white fish on a blue background. And in the distance, hooves could be heard, as the Fish Knight vanished into the night

(Ah yes, the return of The Fish Knight. Once again, I don't think this is very good, it's all very spur of the moment, but... I think it's better than the last one.)
 

Deer

Sergeant at Arms
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This is just the beginning of my new character, which i intend to play in PoP 2.0
As the story unfolds i intend to write more chapters (If i remember it :wink:).

Alone

Expelled… That simple was it.

This was no honourable ending for the late Chieftain’s wife. She had been a respected member and leader of her tribe, especially after her husband fell of the horse during a raid, and broke his back.

But the traditions of the Windtooth’s tribe were clear as the night in the desert; no woman can possess property of her own. Not even what was given to her due to the bounds of marriage.
She was a skilled and beloved leader, but that changed nothing. She had refused to join hands with another man, and could therefore no longer be a part of the tribe.
Even her sons agreed to that. – Her sons… she had carried them, brought them to the world and raised them. She had taught them about the life in the rugged southern desert of the D’shar’s land. Their first horses were chosen by her. Their farther had loved them too, no doubt about that. But he had mostly been interested in them, as they grew old enough to learn the way of the warrior. A man, and especially the chieftain of the tribe, could not be degraded to the work of raising children. He would take the boys and turn them into men, but she had created those boys. Didn’t that mean anything?

She obeyed the decision though. The desert does not accept weaklings. The tribe must stay firm, fit and stick to the traditions, on which they have survived for centuries. There is no room for individuals, she knew that, and had more than once made similar decisions when the warriors and her husband were away.

She smiled bitterly as she rode through the night. An expulsion was supposed to be a death sentence. Left by the tribe in the ocean of sand, with no or little water…
They had been merciful though. They gave her a bow, some arrows, water and a horse. Fools… as an outcast she was no longer a Windtooth, and they had no obligation towards her. The tribe comes first.
But she was thankful. She was skilled in surviving in the desert, and a good hunter. If she avoided slaves and bandits she would do fine. Maybe she would find a tribe with more open rules for women with property and weapons. If not she would seek north to the cities and lands of grass.

She had lost the ground on which her life was built, but she would find another rock, where she could carve in and recreate her place in this world…
 

noosers

Grandmaster Knight
M&BWB
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You should have given the lass a name, Deer!

If you´re lucky and curious enough you may find one or two references to a story character posted till now in PoP 2.0. A little something I had to do to award your efforts!