Crossing the border marches of Altengard had taken the better part of two weeks and the group had been plagued by bandits, but at last they had reached the borders of Mirholme. Leopold knew the journey was not over yet. Mirholme was a rugged land and the thanes and jarls of these lands were well known for raiding one another. What’s more, warbands and pirates were a constant danger to travelers by land and sea, perhaps even moreso than the ferocious beasts and monsters that roamed the wilds.
Stopping in the border town of Fregard, the group restocked and prepared for the last leg of the journey. An involuntary encounter is rolled- Robbery. Apparently they have not gone unnoticed!
Rep 5 TW AC2 Pirate with a Shimmering Shield, and Sword Seeking leading 5 Rep 4 AC2 pirates
Group wins in sight.
Wilhelm fires at the leader, OD. The pirate leader uses Star Power; Only 1 dice succeeds, reduced to OOF, which then becomes Stunned and down 1 SP. Pirates Carry On.
Leopold, Friedrich, and Johann charge. Leopold takes 1 OOF. Friedrich slays 1. Johann slays 1. 2 remaining pirates charge in. 1 fights with extraordinary skill- 5 success; Leopold meets him with 7! And then slays him with a 1. Pietre easily kills the other.
Players win activation. Johann attacks the stunned pirate leader and scores an OD result. The pirates SP reduces it to Carry On but loses 2 more SP dice! Pietre attacks and scores evenly matched. Leopold moves in and takes the pirate leader OOF with SP doing nothing. Leopold orders him spared, but stripped and bound. Recover 2 talos and 1 food, 4 1HWs. Shimmering Shield given to Pietre. Sword of Seeking goes to Friedrich.
Leopold held his axe to the fallen northman’s neck.
“Go on then,” the pirate spit,“finish it.” Leopold shook his head and sighed.
“I have no intention of killing you,” he mused, hefting his axe to a shoulder," Though it would not trouble me in the slightest to end the life of a thief, I would rather hand you over to the local authorities. I am sure they have suitable punishments for one such as yourself." The bound pirate shifted uncomfortably. “Such a waste,” the mercenary sighed, “Perhaps your talent may be put to better use. Tell me, what is your name?”
The fair haired reaver glared at him suspiciously.
“I am Gyllir Ulrikson,” he finally replied. Leopold nodded,
“I am Leopold Krieghammer, mercenary captain, and you have met my men. I can see by the arms you bear that you are a man of some martial talent. I also see that your men, desperate thieves that they were, followed you even at risk of death, indicating some measure of loyalty. Swear an oath to me, renounce your old ways, and I shall spare you. Know that I take care of my men, but also expect them to behave with honor. Join me and your thievery is a thing of the past.” The pirate chewed the words, considering his reply carefully. He had grossly underestimated the ability of these men and mistaken their foppish dress for softness. They had spitted his men, tough and trained warriors, as if they were tied hogs. Gyllir did not swear lightly and such an oath would bind him in service until released. Betrayal would brand him something even worse than a thief and Gyllir’s honor, such as it was, would not suffer that. Perhaps fortune had smiled on him, however, by offering powerful new allies. And if this man showed such mercy, perhaps he would also offer him a chance at freedom. Even if he were to remain a bonded man, service to a capable lord was hardly a punishment.
“I pledge my arm to your cause,” Gyllir replied, “My life is now yours and I surrender all that I have in tribute. I ask only that you spare my man, for he has been steadfast to me and will serve you well.”
“Can we trust him?” Heinrich whispered.
“He puts the safety of his man before his own freedom and wealth,” Leopold noted, " I think so." He gestured for the men to see to the fallen man cloaked in rough furs.
Friedrich helped Gyllir to his feet. The injuries were painful, but he would live, as would his man.
“Now that we are all friends,” the northman coughed, a wolf’s grin spreading across his face, “We must share a drink to this great victory!”
Johann raised an eyebrow,
“I think I am going to like this guy!” he chuckled.