Heroes for Hire

Bernards Personal Journal.

I have been trapped in this hell hole with this rabble now untold months. Somehow I’ve been mistaken for a “Ranger”, which is just my luck. I went for archery so I could avoid front line action like any sensible individual, but fate has managed to stick me with leading these mouth breathers, as if I know where the hell I’m going …I swear by the gods above that the hairy one thinks he’s a dog. He keeps peeing on things, and I caught him sniffing my rear on more than one occasion.

The assignment here was almost wrapped up, but naturally there was just “one more thing” to deal with, ..isn’t there always just one more thing. Our overfed and horrifyingly under bathed employer has sent us off to locate some misplace goods or some such. It was colder than a witches tit when we departed the city. I lead the party in what I was sure to be the wrong direction, only to stumble on the culprits camped in what may once have passed for a small tower of some purpose. If it weren’t for bad luck we would have not luck at all, which I would honestly prefer. Planning around an established level of incompetence is much more reliable.

Knowing all to well that Dog boy, Chop Chop, and Sir Sneaks Alot would be sure to rush in and bring down all hell on our heads, I addressed the problem with a two fold solution. Firstly, I put myself as far from the trinity of disaster as I reasonably could by acting as a “decoy” to “draw away the sentries” on the ground. Which actually worked in both regards, and to my surprise, my “Allies” took the opportunity to get the drop on them and speedily dispatch the goons.

Secondly, by placing myself at such a distance from the center of the action, it insured that I would be the last to enter the crumbling deathtrap excuse for a tower, which I assumed would dramatically reduce the likelihood of me encountering a direct engagement. Or at least safely resolve whether the rotten oak door was, as I had guessed on initial inspection, the single remaining load bearing structural element of that retched facade

Two my surprise, and I expect the towers as well, it didn’t collapse as the hairball smashed through the door and into the middle of what sounded like a room full of surprised rabid pigs. The gods only know how, but they overcame what must have been even less competent goons than themselves and cleared the ground floor rather quickly. Sneaky barely had time to ascend the exterior of the crumbling walls before he raced back down and joined Twiddle Dump and Twiddle Dumber, now doubt afraid he might miss something interesting. I waited for the their eviscerated, well deserving corpses to come rolling out the door at any moment, but they didn’t, so after a healthy wait, I entered to find them miraculously still breathing through their mouths, only louder than usual.

It became clear that there were still misfits of untold number and size on the next floor ..if you can call it a floor, sagging like a cows utter as it did. I suggested we simply withdraw and burn it to the ground, or even push it over, which would no doubt have been an easier solution than fighting, wounded, from a position of low ground against an un assessed and forewarned opposition. That logic was drowned out by the canines barking as it rushed up the ladder and burst on to the second floor pushing the rogue ahead of it. Dubious of this brilliant bit of battle tactics, I retreated to the exterior to assess other option short of burning down the tower with all in side. An option which I hadn’t completely eliminated at that point.

The twang of crossbows and corresponding yelps made it obvious that my cohorts were pinned down. Deciding that the least bad decision would be to enter and assess the situation, I scaled the ladder and was quickly pinned down by overwhelming fire power as well. I could have resolved then manner with a few well placed arrow shafts, but fate saw fit to smile on me yet again in the form of an arrow shaft that nearly fell me on the spot. For once Dog boy was of use, as he proceeded to go bat shit crazy and attack the remaining tenants with the zeal of dog licking its balls. And it apparently it worked, as the remaining poor bastard seemed to decide that being bitten by him was too great a disease risk, and fled the abode.

We did manage to acquire a good bit of coin for our effort, Sadly my “allies” couldn’t grasp the concept of selling off the recovered merchants loot. ..I really must get in the habit of using smaller words when communicating with them.

- Bernard

North by West...
Thought for the day - Rear guard is harder than Frontal Assault

A shipment of rare and raw materials in route to Prell has been hijacked and stolen, and the squad is sent to find and retrieve it.

Despite signs and eyewitness reports indicating that the shipment had been taken west, the squad’s ranger leads the party off to the north woods, where his instincts prove fortuitously correct—an abandoned tower is being used as a base by the bandit horde.

The squad’s ranger quickly devises a complicated decoy operation, and bravely volunteers to act as the bait. His forthright tactics are successful, and he manages to lure four guards away from the tower. Two of them are dishonorably dispatched from behind by the squad’s man-at-arms and irregular.

The irregular scales the heights of the tower to attempt to flank the bandit horde from above as the man-at-arms and furry breach the lower door. The irregular is shocked to find the bandit leader atop the tower, and more surprised to discover that the leader is a Gnoll. Unprepared to battle such a fierce monster alone, the panicked irregular hastily retreats, leaving behind valuable military-issue climbing gear. Meanwhile, below, the furry and the man-at-arm have managed, more thru luck than skill, to dispatch the berserker lieutenant of the bandit hordes, and several of his henchmen. Aided by the still-shaken irregular, the squadmen barely manage to hold their own against the three-to-one odds they face, only managing to turn the tide when the brave ranger, exhausted from his epic, marathon chase thru the woods, arrives to place a well aimed arrow fletching-deep into one of the nameless bandit swordsmen.

From there, the squad proceeds to the second floor of the tower where they encounter the remainder of the bandit horde… several archers, and swordsman, a spellcaster, a goblin chieften and, eventually, the Gnoll. The man-at-arms, furry and irregular are able to eliminate the threat there. The ranger, assisting until he sees his compatriots have the matter well in hand, retreats to secure the ground floor against any possible returning reinforcements the bandits might have. In the ranger’s absence, the other squad members are able to eliminate most of the bandit horde, unfortunately allowing the goblin chief to escape, and, embarrasingly, at cost of great personal injury to themselves.

Sallo Prell’s goods are recovered, yet, oddly enough, the bandit horde has no other loot, treasure, booty or schwag.

The squad returns to Prell’s to await their relief, eager to return to the main camp of The Shattered Tower where, perhaps, they can induct a cleric into their ranks.

- Chronicles of an Underpaid Mercenary, Chapter 1

And so it begins...
Thought for the day - The pointy end of the sword goes in the other person.

The party is a squad from a mercenary comapany known as The Shattered Tower. Their most recent assignment has seen them stationed at Arngrdfell, The nominal capital of the North. They have been contracted here as guards for an Imperial Merchant named Salo Prell. Several days ago word reached them to expect a relief squad and reassignment. Sometime within the next week the squad should be arriving, along with a Shattered Tower Captain by the name of Rommel Kreiger.

However, with the squad still under contract, Salo Prell intends to get his moneys worth, and has one final task for them before their reassignment…

- A Voice from On high…


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