The Sellswords: A Tale of Woe

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Jagtai
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The Sellswords: A Tale of Woe

Post by Jagtai » Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:44 am

Altdorf
Province of Reikland
1999 IC


Heinrich von Adler, third son of Baron Wilhelm von Adler of Adlersee, walked through the streets of Altdorf towards the Golden Hind Inn. He was clad in a simple yet functional dress in the red and blue colours of Altdorf, wore a wide-brimmed hat with a white feather to symbolize his Reikland birth, and carried a sword and pistol in his belt. A purple ribbon marked him as a member of the nobility.

As he entered the Golden Hind, he was greeted by his old friend Erwin Gandorfer, a fellow Reiklander, as the grizzled veteran waved from across the room. Heinrich made his way across the bar room, passing several groups of men, and pinching one of the barmaids, Heidi, as he passed her. She smiled and gave him a gentle shove before continuing on her way. Heinrich finally reached Erwin and sat.

"What news?"

Sebastian Lank, another old friend, who had been drinking with Erwin, leaned forward. Heinrich smiled.

"I have spoken with Holst. Grand Prince Siegfried has agreed to sponsor our endeavour."
"So we go?" Lank seemed elated. Heinrich smiled.
"We go." He looked intently upon his comrades. "But we need men. The three of us, however formidable a force we may be, will not be sufficient. Can I count on you to recruit some muscle?" Erwin and Lank both nodded.
"I have a few in mind." Erwin said. Lank nodded intently, obviously already thinking about prospective recruits. "What will you do?" Heinrich smiled.
"My father will surely welcome back his youngest son. I hope to persuade him to release a few of his men to my service." Erwin nodded.
"Good. Shall we meet here in seven days?"
"Ten. I need some time to reach Adlersee and return."
"Agreed. Ten days from now."

Adlersee
Province of Reikland
Four days later


Wilhelm von Adler gave his youngest son a hug hardly fit for a noble. He had not seen Heinrich for six years, and had missed him dearly.

"Welcome back, my son." Heinrich gently shook off his father's arms and smiled.
"Thank you, father."
"So," Wilhelm led Heinrich into the keep, "what do Adlersee owe the honour of your company?"
"I am on a mission for Siegfried himself." Wilhelm looked at his son with equal parts surprise and fear.
"What mission would that be?"
"I am to lead a warband into Mordheim." Wilhelm stopped dead in his tracks.
"You are to do WHAT?!" He gasped for air. "Are you mad? Do you realize the dangers that wait behind those ruined walls?" Heinrich nodded.
"I do. But the riches are greater still. And I have seen my share of danger and survived thus far."

Wilhelm did not answer. Instead he led his son further into the keep.

* * * * *

Later that night, at the feast Wilhelm was throwing for his prodigal son, Heinrich was sitting beside his father. On the opposite side of Wilhelm sat Aldred, his oldest brother and the heir to Adlersee. Aldred reached over for a side of lamb, casually remarking:

"I hear that you intend to kill yourself in Mordheim." Heinrich pointedly ignored the remark, but Aldred continued. "Of all the foolish things you have ever done, this one takes the prize." Heinrich turned his head.
"Bold words from a man who has barely left his father's keep save to woo peasant girls."

One could have a pin drop in the ensuing silence. Aldred stared at Heinrich and reached for his dagger. Heinrich smiled.

"I would not do that, brother dearest. I would hate to deprive my father of his eldest son." Wilhelm interjected.
"Enough. You will behave yourself in the home of your father, or I will disinherit the both of you." Heinrich, biting back a remark that he would not inherit anything anyway, merely nodded.
"Yes father. My apologies." Aldred said nothing, but let go of his dagger and resumed eating.

* * * * *

After the feast, Heinrich was summoned to his father's study. Upon arrival, Wilhelm motioned for him to sit, which Heinrich did. Wilhelm studied his son for a minute before finally speaking:

"You should treat your brother with the respect he deserves."
"And he should treat me with the same respect?" Wilhelm sighed.
"Of course he should. But you are both proud. I want you to come to amends with him. You are, after all, brothers and my sons." Heinrich leaned back and swung his booted feet onto his father's table.
"I am willing to make amends, but is he?"

Wilhelm stared at the feet on his table, but chose to ignore them.

"I should hope so. When I am gone, you will only have each other."
"And Adelbert." Wilhelm grimaced at the mention of his second-born son.
"Yes, and him."

Adelbert had joined the Order of the Templars of Sigmar, commonly known as the Witch Hunters, and had become a fanatic. He and Wilhelm rarely saw eye to eye.

"Nevertheless, I want you to go to your brother and talk to him - preferably without insulting him." Heinrich nodded, biting back a sigh.
"As you wish, father." Heinrich swung down his feet and began to rise, when Wilhelm spoke again.

"Why did you come here, Heinrich? You never visit unless you want something. Do you want me to sponsor your hare-brained expedition?" Heinrich smiled.
"No, Siegfried has done that. But I need men."
"Ah. Very well, you may choose freely from my guard. But only if they volunteer. I will not send my men to their deaths against their will."
"Of course. Thank you, father." Wilhelm sighed and smiled a sad smile.
"If Sigmar is willing, will you come back again before I die?"
"If Sigmar is willing."

Altdorf
Province of Reikland
Ten days later


Before leaving Adlersee, Heinrich had managed to recruit four of his father's archers, all men with no family. After doing that, he had spoken with Aldred and apologised. Aldred in turn had also apologised and wished him well, and the two brothers, though very different, had parted on amicable terms. Now, Heinrich and his four henchmen - dubbed the Adlersee Marksmen - had reached Altdorf. Heinrich led the Marksmen to the Golden Hind and found a few tables in the back.

An hour later, they were joined by Erwin and Lank and five men. Erwin directed three of the men to the table of the Marksmen, presenting the group as the Altdorf Blades, and then sat at Heinrich's table along with Lank and the last two men.

"Heinrich, this is Dieter Kurz, the son of an old friend, and Albert von Scheinfeld, fifth son of Baron Karl von Scheinfeld. They wish to earn the spurs under your command."

Heinrich greeted the two young men, satisfied with their group of 12 able warriors, and the party spent the night drinking. The next day, Heinrich led them towards Mordheim...

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Re: The Sellswords: A Tale of Woe

Post by Jagtai » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:06 am

Black Pit settlement outside of Mordheim
Province of Ostermark
1999 IC


The warband, now named "von Adler's Sellswords", had only been in Mordheim for a week, but had already tasted defeat on two occasions. Twice had the Sellswords run into a Marienburger band called Rohn's Raiders, and twice had they been defeated.

During the first skirmish - a run to take a collection of promising buildings - all but Dieter Kurz and four henchmen had been defeated and taken out of action. Kurz had found the downed henchmen as well as Heinrich and Albert von Scheinfeld, but had failed to find Erwin and Lank. The two of them had returned the next day with tales of how they had narrowly escaped and had had to find their way back to the settlement. Only Kurz had been in any shape to search for wyrdstones, and had only found a single one, which they had immediately sold for 30 gold pieces.

The second skirmish occurred three days later, when the Sellswords had run into the Raiders while searching some ruins. Seeing a chance for revenge, Heinrich had ordered the warband into action. Heinrich had been downed again, as had two henchmen, but the rest had remained standing and fighting, until the henchmen lost their nerves, leaving the rest no choice but to follow in an ignoble rout, bringing the limp bodies of Heinrich and the fallen henchmen with them. One henchmen, after waking up, had deserted the band in the middle of the night. Fortunately, Erwin and Lank had managed to hire and equip another warrior and another two marksmen for their spoils after the battle (four wyrdstones, three of which had quickly been sold to fund the recruitment of the new henchmen), but Kurz and von Scheinfeld had also managed to track down the deserted henchman.

Now Heinrich, Erwin and Lank had just entered the Mouldy Pit, a shoddy-built and very filthy tavern in the settlement. The henchman, a man named Ulrich, rose.

"So you deserted us?" Heinrich looked at Ulrich.
"I didn't mean no trouble, sir, but the last defeat was too much. You'll kill us all. I'm getting out of here while I still can." He hoped that Heinrich would observe the unspoken rule about no fights in the taverns. Heinrich smiled.
"Of course. We won't cause any trouble in here."

Ulrich picked up his hat and carefully wound through Heinrich and his companions. Heinrich turned and watched as Ulrich half-ran out of the tavern. As he crossed the doorstep, Heinrich smiled.

"Is he out of the tavern, would you say?" Erwin smiled diabolically.
"I would say so."
"Good." Heinrich drew his pistol, aimed, and fired. Ulrich stopped dead, grabbed for his back, then dropped to his knees. The last thing he saw as his eyes glazed over was Heinrich who walked past him on his way back to the camp of the warband...

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