Mercenary Empires

Interlude: Notes From the Author

The current roster of characters is becoming a bit unwieldy and, after running a few months of the campaign, there are some mechanics I would like to tweak.

I started the campaign by adding the Physical, People, and Savvy skills of the Warrior Heroes: Legends Base. I still do not like Shooting, Melee, and Magic all being equal to Rep and Feel it would work better having them as separate skills as well. After reviewing the Swordplay rules, I prefer fewer tables based on class. The distinguishing of Noble from Warrior from Soldier, for example, seems unnecessary. I like the Sword play table that divides into melee, shooter, other and whether mounted or not. I slightly prefer the older SP rules regarding shooting as between bows and crossbows. The current SP rules present the same issue as WHL- why ever use a crossbow if a bow does everything the crossbow does but doesn’t require reloading? Since I find the reloading check cumbersome, that is gone. Instead, the no fire until next active is fine for crossbows, but with the addition that they are +1 on the Ranged Combat Table. Additionally, replace Duck Back with Knocked Down on the Ranged Damage Table. Misses require a Received Fire Reaction Test. Pass 0d6- Flee the Encounter Pass 1d6 Duck Back Pass 2d6 Carry On.

For melee, I kind of like fights that continue over multiple rounds and can swing back and forth. Having it crammed into one round feels off. So I will keep the WHL Melee damage table.

Perhaps the largest change is setting. I have never really liked working under the fictional settings of others. I have my own ideas on world building. Instead of Talomir, I will be using a fantasy setting I have built since the old high school D&D days. We’ll see how that turns out.

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Return to Wolfsburg
Year 1 Month 5

Leopold and company hire a horse team to speed progress and arrive in the Eastern Marches before month’s end. There, Leopold learns of the tragic fate of three of the dwarves. The fact that dark elves were involved and that they guarded powerful items that the merchant sought bothers him. First seeing to the honorable internment of the slain, Leopold then turns his attentions to the merchant. Gyllir volunteers to seek out information in the seedier parts of town and Leopold agrees, but for a different reason- there is a sorcerer that he knows has recently arrived that he thinks may assist them in finding some hidden truths.

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Success! The party recovered 13 talos 1 food, 1 HW, shield, 1 bow, Sword of Seeking, Sword of Saving, Armor of Strength, and Cloak of Stealth.
2 Talos paid to Gyllir, Ulfar, and Thurnor, leaving 7, which is added to the stores at Home.
No one improves.
Armor of Strength, Caster’s Book, and Cloak of Stealth given to Caster. Sword of Saving to Gyllir, bow to healer, 1HW and Shield to Brother Captain.

New members:
Isabel D’Montaigne
Nicoli il Mago
Njál the Healer
Dwarf Healer Rep 5, AC4 HW Shield, bow
Noble Rep 6- Heavy Armor, 2HW, 1HW, Shield, White Knight, Charismatic, Born Leader
16 members + 2 horse and 3 mules= 20 food consumed for the month.

Gathering the Lady D’Montaigne, the wizard Nicolai, and the dwarf Njál, Leopold shares what he has learned from the merchant.

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Goblin Hunt (Part II)
Year 1 Month 5

The dwarves, now lead by Gazti embark into the yawning Cliffside cavern.
Dungeon: Goblins ER 5

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1) Entrance

2) Encounter- 7 Rep 3 archers lead by goblin with Potion of Vision and Sword of the Sun. Dwarves win in sight. Svali misses. Magdi misses. Kaethrus misses. Buri hits- 1 archer OOF. Erdin misses. Dagin charges, 1 archer OOF. Dronur charges, 1 archer OD, Frumbir charges 1 archer stunned. Yali charges, 1 archer OD, Gazti charges leader and stuns him. Remaining archer charges to help leader and draws with Gazti! Frumbir finishes 1 archer. Kaethrus draws weapon and charges to assist Gazti- slays the goblin. Gazti finishes the leader and claims his weapon. Recover 8 talos, 7 Sbows.

3) Trap- Pass 2d6

4) 12 Rep 4 AC 4 BM soldiers leader with Sword of Seeking! Dwarves win In Sight. Svali misses. Magdi misses. Kaethrus misses. Buri misses. Erdin misses. Dagin charges, 1 soldier OD. Dronur charges, 1 soldier OD. Frumbir charges, 1 soldier OOF. Yali charges, driven back then draws. Gazti charges leader and takes him OOF. Soldiers countercharge- Dagin charged, 1 soldier KD. Dronur charged and stunned, becomes Carry On. Frumbir charged, 1 soldier OD. Yali charged, 1 soldier OOF. Gazti charged, 1 soldier OD. Dagin charged, 1 soldier OD. Frumbir charged, 1 soldier stunned. Soldiers pass 2d6 Man Down. Dwarves win activation, Dagin takes out stunned. Dronur shakes it off and 1 soldier OD, Gaazti slays the last soldier. Recover 7 Talos 3 Food.

5) 8 BM Elves! Rep 5 Healer wearing Enchanted Armor with 7 Rep 5 soldiers! Elves win In Sight and charge the dwarves. Dagin stunned, becomes Carry On, then fights to draw. Dronur charged and KDs an elf. Frumbir is charged and slain. Yali takes two charges resulting in 2 KD elves. Gazti is charged and 1 elf OD. Leader then charges Gazti and is slain. Enraged Buri shots and kills Frumbir’s slayer. Rest miss. Gazti charges to help Dagin and 1 elf OD. Both dwarves and elves pass 2d6 Man Down. Dwarves activate first- Dagin kills an elf, dwarves brutally slay the rest. Recover 4 talos and 1 food. With heavy hearts, they continue.

6) Secret Passage

7) Contact! 10 goblins, leader with potion of MR, Hard Cloak, Battle Axe of Dexterous Virtue
Dwarves win In Sight. Svali hits-1 gobli KD. Magdi hits,1 goblin OOF. Kaethrus misses. Buri hits, 1 goblinOD. Erdin misses. Dagin charges, 1 goblin OOF. Dronur charges, 1 goblin OOF. Yali charges, 1 goblin OD. Gazti charges, 1 goblin KD. 2 Goblins charge Dagin- 1 goblin OOF, 1 goblin KD. Leader pass 0d6 charge. Goblins Carry on! Dwarves activate first. Erdin hits leader- OOF. Rest slain. Recover 6 talos, 2 food.

8) Contact! 6 BM Altengard Rep 4 AC 4 soldiers. Dwarves win In Sight. Svali misses. Magdi misses. Kaethrus hits, 1 soldier OD. Buri misses. Erdin hits, 1 soldier KD. Dagin charges, 1 soldier KD. Dronur charges and slays another. Yali drives 1 back and then kills him. Gazti charges, 1 soldier OD. Dwarves activate and slay rest. Recover 7 talos, 3 food

9) Contact! 16 Goblin warriors, leader with Armor of stone and Sword of the Sun, Potion MR, Rage, Sword of Saving
Dwarves win In Sight. Svali misses. Magdi hits, 1 goblin KD. Kaethrus misses. Buri hits, 1 goblin KD. Erdin hits, 1 goblin OOF. Dagin charges, 1 goblin OOF. Dronur charges, 1 goblin OOF. Yali charges, 1 goblin KD. Gazti charges and slays a goblin. 2 goblins charge Dagin, 1 goblin KD, 1 OD. 2 goblins charge Dronur, who slays 1 and 1 put OOF. 2 goblins charge Yali, 1 goblin OD, 1 goblin OOF. Leader and 2 goblins charge Gazti who easily butchers the two underlings before putting the leader OOF.. Dwarves finish off the rest. Recover 18 talos 5 food.

10) +1 ER

11) Treasure guarded by 6 Rep 5 dark elves. Dwarves win In Sight. Svali misses. Magdi hits, 1 elf OD. Kaethrus hits, 1 elf OOF. Buri misses. Erdin hits, 1 elf OD. Dagin charges and cuts an elf down. Dronur charges, 1 elf KD. Yali KDs another. Gazti slays the last standing elf. None are spared. Recover 2 talos, 2 food.

Treasure- 10 talos, Caster’s book, Sword of Saving, Heart Breaker Arrow

12) Trap-pass 2d6

13) Trap! Svali fail 2d6- rolls a 1, OD

14) Rep 4 AC4 RS Altengard healer w/Scroll Courage. Gazti manages to convince him to join. Given a shield and bow.

15) Nothing but Nerves

16) BB! Rep 5 goblin with Sword of Seeking and Potion of Rage escorted by 12 Rep 3 warriors.
Dwarves win in sight. Healer hits, 1 goblin OOF. Magdi misses. Kaethrus hits, 1 goblin OOF . Buri hits, 1 goblin OD. Erdin misses.
Dagin, Dronur charge, and Yali charge, each killing a goblin. Gazti charges the leader and KDs him..
2 goblins charge Dagin who slays the first but is stunned by the 2nd. His dwarven fortitude reduces this to Carry On. 1 goblin charges Dronur and the dwarf knocks him to the ground. Another charges Yali, who promptly slays the goblin. 2 charge Gazti, who easily dispatches both. Goblins Carry On.
Goblins activate first- KDs recover. Dagin slays a goblin. Dronur puts 1 OOF. The leader snarls and leaps back at Gazti who slays him, ending the fight. Recover 12 talos, 4 food, Sword of Seeking, Potion of Rage.

17) 8 Rep 3 AC 2 goblin archers w/Potion MR
Dwarves win In Sight. Healer misses. Magdi misses. Kaethrus misses. Buri misses. Erdin hits and takes 1 OOF. Dagin charges, goblin rush shot misses, and Dagin kills him. Dronur charges, 1 goblin KD. Yali charges and slays a goblin. Gazti takes another down.
3 goblins fire- two miss, one hit Magdi. Magdi OD! Dwarves Carry On and activate. Healer hits, 1 goblin OOF. Kaethrus hits, 1 goblin OOF. Buri misses. Erdin misses. Dronur finishes the KD goblin. Gazti charges and slays the last goblin. Recover Potion MR, 5 talos, 4 food. The healer says a short prayer for the fallen dwarf and they continue.

18) 9 Rep 3 goblin warriors with a leader who carries a Potion of Heightened Senses, Potion of Rage, Scroll of Casting, and Sword of Rage
Dwarves win In Sight. Healer misses. Kaethrus hits, 1 goblin OOF. Buri hits, 1 OOF. Erdin hits, 1 OD. Dagin charges and takes 1 OOF. Dronur charges and slays a goblin, Yali another, Gazti a third. 1 goblin charges Yali and fights to a draw. The leader charge Dagin, leader OOF. Yali continues his fight and takes the last goblin OOF. Recover 3 talos, 7 food.

A difficult victory costing the lives of Frumbir, Magdi, and Svali.

The survivors learn from their mistakes and successes. Erdin and Dronur gain +1 Rep.

They are paid 5 more talos for their task and turn in the Sword of Saving and Heartbreaker Arrow to the Merchant. This brings the total pay to 10 and 87 talos recovered.

Items recovered:
2x Sword of the Sun, 2x Sword of Seeking, Sword of Rage, Battleaxe of Dexterous Virtue, Enchanted Armor, Armor of Stone, Hard Cloak, Potion: Heightened Senses, Potion: Vision, 3x Potion rage, 2x Potion MR, Scroll of Casting, Caster’s Book, 31 food.

Gazti keeps the Sword of the Sun and Enchanted Armor. Buri takes the Battleaxe of Dextrous Virtue and Armor of Stone. Dagin claims a Sword of the Sun and Potion of Rage. Dronur takes the Sword of Rage, Potion of Rage, and Caster’s Book. Erden selects a Sword of Seeking, Potion of Rage, and Scroll of Casting. Kaethrus gets a Sword of Seeking, Potion of Heightened Senses, and Potion of Magic Resistance. Yali takes the Hard Cloak , Potion of Magic Resistance, and Potion of Vision.

The healer is paid a talos and wanders off once they return to town.

The dwarves each collect 3 talos and put the remainder (75) talos in storage at Home.

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Goblin Hunt (Part I)
Year 1 Month 5

“I have heard that you dwarves are in the service of Leopold Krieghammer and know something of the goblins that trouble the area,” the merchant stated. Gazti shifted uneasily. The mere mention of goblins was enough to set him on edge after what he and the others had gone through. He calmed himself knowing that this soft human clad in his velvet and furs was a merchant and an associate of the man who had brought them out of so much misery. Still, a dwarf knew more than to trust fully any man seeking fortune at dwarven peril, and this man was asking just that.
“So you want us to retrieve these items from the goblins?” Kaethrus asked, “But why should we venture into such danger when it is you who will recover these precious items?” Kaethrus had dealt with humans perhaps more than any of the rest and it fell to him to negotiate. Naturally, the dwarves would not turn up an opportunity to strike at such hated foes, but neither would they turn up the chance at profit nor venture forth blindly. The merchant smiled, his pudgy face flushing.
“Do not worry master dwarf,” he said, pushing a small pouch across the table, “You will be rewarded in gold as well as whatever you can carry out of those tunnels. And, from what I understand, the goblins have stored much ill gotten wealth there.”

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The dwarves only recover 1 food. Svali pass 2d6 to recover and Gazti increases +1 Rep. With his demonstrated skill, Gazti becomes the new leader of the group.

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Robbery in Ausburg
Year 1 Month 5

The group decides to head back to Wolfsburg. Friedrich, Johann, Pietre, Heinrich, and Wilhelm trade in their armor and 5 armors for heavy armor. The group trades the 1 HWs and bows for 22 talos. Leopold packs the remaining 33 food and 103 talos and they depart Mirholme.

Leopold’s group journey’s back to the Eastern Marches. The sunny weather makes for quick travel. They make their way through the western marches and have an involuntary encounter in the Central Marches. Robbery! Leopold brings, Friedrich, Gyllir, Johann, Pietre, Thurnor, Ulfar, and Wilhelm.

11 Rep 4 AC 4 Soldiers face them. The Leader has a Sword of Seeking. Group wins In Sight. Wilhelm fires and hits, taking 1 robber OOF. Ulfar charges taking 1 OOF, Thurnor slays 1, Pietre loses and is KD, Johann takes 1 OOF, Gyllir charges- loses and OD, but Star Power reduces to Carry On. Friedrich charges and takes 1 OOF. Leopold charges the leader and stuns him. Soldier that KD Pietre charges to help his leader-Leopold takes him OOF. Robber presses assault on Gyllir and is KD. Soldier charges Wilhelm, Wilhelm draws sword and slays him. 2 robbers charge Thurnor and both are slain.

Group activates, robbers fail. Pietre recovers, Gyllir takes his man OOF, Leopold takes leader OOF. Recover 7 talos, 3 food, 11 1HWs, 11 armor, Sword of Seeking given to Gyllir. Gyllir +1 Phy, Thurnor +1 Rep. 1 talos paid to participants. In Ausburg, they trade HWs and Armor for heavy armor for Gyllir and 10 talos, bringing the packed total to 36 food and 113 talos.

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First Mission of the Dwarves
Year 1 Month 4

The dwarves rescued by Leopold’s band were left in Wolfsburg to finish recovery as the mercenary group escorted a noble to Mirholme. Dwarven resiliency being what it is, they soon recovered and found information indicating that a number of bandits were operating out of the Deepwood. What’s more, a small group of dwarves was reported to have been attacked near there. Buri, Dagin, Dronur, Frumbir, Gazti, Kaethrus, and Yali decide to Investigate.

Setting out from the village of Halstadt, they find a small cluster of cabins in the nearby woods.

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Taking the group back to Halstadt, a healer is hired for Kaethrus and Buri.
Kaethrus pass 2d6 recover, Buri pass 2d6 recover.
Erden, Magdi and Svali have joined.
Each dwarf given 1 talos, 2 used to pay healer for Kaethrus and Buri. 3 HWs traded for shields for the new recruits. 2 1 HWs weapons traded for a pack mule (Rep 3). 2 weapons traded for a pack mule (Rep 5). 5 HWs traded for 5 talos. 12 armor traded for 8 bows and 4 talos. Every dwarf now equipped with a bow. Remaining talos split amongst everyone but Buri. Food split evenly with remaining traded for talos for Buri.

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Raiding the Raiders
Year 1 Month 4

Gyllir has shared the location of a pirate camp with the group. Leopold decides that the pirates cannot be left to continue raiding the area. By the light of dawn, they prepare to raid the encampment.

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After the battle check for improvements: Leopold +1 Phy, Gyllir +1 Phy, Thurnor the Ogre +1 Rep.
Each member is paid a talos for the encounter.

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A Noble Task (Part IV)
Year 1 Month 4

“Ah, I see you have gathered local reinforcements,” the noble said, “Though they look a bit rough.” Leopold chuckled,
“That’s because they are rough, but also more than capable.” The noble nodded.
“We should depart soon, the road to Svenshold is heavily wooded and we do not want to be caught by the dark, " Gyllir noted," Bandits and Tereken raiders often hide and use the trees or cover of darkness to conceal their whereabouts."
“Oh, and when we leave town, we will be meeting a very large fellow. Very large. Do not worry,” explained Leopold “he is in my employ.”

In the town the group trades 18 HWs for 18 talos and 2 HWs for a shield for Gyllir. Ulfar trades a 2 HWs for AC 4 armor and keeps 2 HW for himself.

The group sets of for the final leg of their escort mission. Fortunately, Gyllir is sober.

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The encounter is a tremendous success, netting 22 talos, 11 food, 13 Hws, a Strong longbow, Heartbreaker arrow, Potion of Nerves of Steel, Potion:Heal, Cloak Stealth, and Boots of Agility!
After the encounter advancements give Leopold +1 Rep, Friedrich +1 Sav, Johann +1 Phy, Heinrich +1 Phy, Gyllir +1 Rep, Ulfar +1 Rep.

Having completed the mission, and arrived at Svenshold, the noble bids farewell to the party and pays them 16 talos.

Leopold makes payments for the mission: Pietre 3, Friedrich 4, Johann 4, Heinrich 3, Wilhelm 4, Gyllir, 1 Ulfar, Ogre 1.

The Potion of Nerves of Steel and the Longbow go to Johann, the Boots to Gyllir, and the Cloak to Ulfar. The Ogre gets the Healing Potion. Leopold hangs on to the Heartbreaker Arrow.

70 Talos remain with the paymaster. Deciding the cart is too slow, he trades the cart for a pack mule, but keeps the stout horse as his mount. Fortune favors Leopold and the mule is Rep 5.

The group still has a Voluntary Encounter for the month.

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A Noble Task (Part III)
Year 1 Month 4

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!

Leopold, Friedrich, Johann and Wilhelm find the road ahead blocked by a disabled wagon and notice several men closing in….

Robbery
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.

Wilhelm +1 Rep
Leopold recruits the pirate captain Gyllir and the surviving pirate berserker Ulfar (who both pass 2d6 recovery).

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.

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A Noble Task (Part II)
Year 1 Month 4

The Group has reached the Western Marches with no involuntary encounter. Their task continues as they escort the noble through the hillsides, wary of bandits.
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Advancements: Friedrich +1 Rep, Johann +1 Savvy, Heinrich +1 Savvy

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