Monday, 13 October 2014

Rumours and News From the Fighting-Men

Darko Bilic staggered into Schloss Hadjusta two days late. His nag had gone lame yesterday so he'd taken the easy option and sold her to a peasant for horsemeat. Following the death of his desterier last week across the border in Vulgaria he was now, by default, a mercenary footman rather a mercenary horseman. Going through two horses inside a week rather did that to you.

Notorious as the gathering spot for mercenaries, Schloss Hadjusta and the cluster of inns and dosshouses that clung to it's ancient walls was the local place to seek fighting employment. Bilic found his feet retracing old steps through the open gatehouse (where his dishevelled state drew a few sniffs from the billmen on guard) towards the familiar Sign of the Spreadeagle.

Through the double doors and into the smoky interior (a new fad imported from Lustria some say) and he heard his name called.

It was Brokenteeth an old colleague. The half-orc appeared to be in his cups and, Bilic noticed, somewhat down-at-heel. Clearly Brokenteeth wasn't seeing much in the way of employment either. Greetings were exchanged and tankards sloshed.

"Have I missed much?" queried Bilic. "Was fighting for the Papal Bastard over in Vulgaria, some trouble over a pregnant daughter and revenge for a sacked nunnery. Left in the end, the pay wasn't good, too many Skeletons, and I needed to replace a good horse".

"Not much. The war here tiny. Humans not getting out of their hovels - hide like frightened pups. All Ogres and Ratmen. No gold to be had. No-one hiring".

Brokenteeth aimed his tankard at his fanged mouth and missed spectacularly. Unashamed he twisted his head and sucked the beer from his grimy shirt collar.

"Any action?"

"Two clashes I heard. Around Blasthof. Little village. Ogres ate the Ratmen. A bombardier here told me Ratmen warlord maybe captured. Ratmen gone back to warrens to rethink. Another clash expected soon. But not hiring yet."

"Also pointy-ears."

The Half-Orc spat on the floor.

"Pointy-ears rumoured. Humans here hate them. They steal human pups it is said".

No point trying to serve with Ogres, thought Bilic. You're liable to get confused with the breakfast. He returned to his tankard of second-hand beer. Better off waiting for a better prospect to turn up. Wonder if Duke Marco is still looking for good men to teach his peasants how to stab a Goblin?

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