War and Pieces part 4

As Rumil settled in to the mundane life of the keep, he realized he had forgotten to return the extra gold to Nitram. He and a few of his scouts carried the extra gold back to Nitram, hoping it would come in handy in the coming months.

Frederick spent the time that he was not needed (which was, let’s be frank, an awful lot) divided between further study of magics connected to the land and the lines of power that crossed it and practicing his craft in the public area and the taverns.

He worked his recent adventures and encounters in with some of his classic material, trying to convey to those listening the wonder and mild terror of being thrust into a life so unfamiliar from that he had left. On every fifth night, he would tell the landshark story, as it was an old friend and had seen him well through many performances.

If people came back, or came to another location that he was at to listen to his tales and songs, he made sure to greet them and get to know at least a little about them; people, after all, were some of the best stories.

Dast spend his days getting to know the people at the fortress. He was particularly interested in the tales that the bard Frederick was telling of his recent adventures, frequenting the taverns in which he told his tells. Dast made sure to enjoy a good ale while he listened to the bard and was always quiet during the stories.

One morning, Nitram awoke to the sounds of fighting in the courtyard of the Fort. He grabbed Kinslayer and began moving quickly to a window, but stopped as he heard Sgt Slickster’s voice call out, “Stop! Stop! Stop! If you keep doing that you’re going to get yourself and the man next to you killed. Pay attention this time! Like this….” there was a pause and then Nitram heard a loud grunt. Arriving at the window, he saw Slickster with about twenty men going over unit combat. At the other end, he could see another group trying to ready crossbows to fire. Turning from the window, he mumbled to himself, “Glad to see the Sergeant took some initiative with those recruits.” “Now I need to make sure they get paid…”

Once dressed and fed, Nitram sought out Scholar Sohei to ensure the recruits were paid. He found him with Lt. Gentry, who looked up and said, “We were just discussing the hiring of new recruits. They’re a little raw, but have decent potential. Sgt Slickster is one of the best – he’ll mold them into an effective fighting force in no time. We only gave them part of their pay up front, they’ll get the rest when they’re ready to fight. I hope that is to your satisfaction…?”
Nitram smiled and nodded, “That’s sounds good. I look forward to having your men at full strength soon. We’re going to need them.”

As the ranger paused, Lt Gentry continued, “After the council meeting the other day, I took the liberty of sending word to a few contacts I had in Aerie City regarding our desire for a cavalry unit here. There are a few options of varying quality…in my opinion.” He paused, waiting for Nitram to respond.

The half-elf quickly said, “Wonderful. Thank you. What are the options?”

“The Lightning Brigade – they took their name after us, though they’ll deny it – is a capable group of skilled riders. They are fast, especially in the plains. There’s the Doe-Newt Riders. I don’t know much about them. They’re fairly new, having been recently funded by someone outside the City – that’s where they got that silly name from. They have excellent equipment though. I’ve also heard that the Horde is available. They have a long and glorious history, having been around in some form or fashion and survived since before Falconaire was a kingdom. The last group that I heard was available is known as the Marauders. While their start was a little nefarious, they are very experienced and fairly disciplined.”

Nitram thought a moment, ”Who do you recommend? You know this area? You are familiar with the fight and the need we have here. Who would best suit us?”

Lt Gentry, ready for that question, promptly replied, ”I think the Maruaders would serve you the best. They may not be as fast as the Lightning Brigade, but their leadership is more imaginative and flexible. I’ve heard the Horde is starting to lose its edge; not sure why exactly, but there’s not a lot of people talking them up anymore. The Riders are just too new for me to recommend and probably too inexperienced to operate effectively here right now. Based on what we are facing – or think we are facing – I would go with the Marauders.”

”Sohei, work with Lt. Gentry and see if we can get them here…as soon as possible.”

Scholar Sohei quickly responded, ”Lord Nitram, where will we house them? We have no stable or barracks to house another unit of soldiers and their mounts.”

The ranger smiled again, ”Looks like we have some work to do before they get here then. Let’s hire some craftsmen to construct both. We have quite a bit of unused space in the main courtyard. We can put the stables by the blacksmith and find a spot for a barracks. While we’re at it, see if we can get a small tavern in there too…but not near the barracks. Let me know if we don’t have enough funds for all of it, but I’m confident that you’ll be able to make it work.”
Sohei nodded at the compliment, ”I think it’s likely, especially now that the elf returned some of the funds you sent with him to Aelvinwode.”

Nitram looked at both men, ”Thank you both. For all that you are doing for this place and the people here.”

War and Pieces part 4

Unconquered Kingdoms SkidAce