Darion Bragga (TfV B1 C1 P4)

“What are you thinking, Darion?”

The Captain looked at his life-long friend and smiled. “We ride out in as soon as the horses are fed. Those bastards won’t stick around for long. We need to catch them in the open when they move.”

“They put on quite a show, I must say. Haven’t seen bandits go through this much trouble. The balls on that kid, though.”

“Yes. He took a big chance.”

“So did you. Should have taken him. They wouldn’t have fired on you if you had their meal ticket as a shield.”

“I really doubt he’s their meal ticket.”

“Wait… you don’t mean…”

“What seasoned killer would allow a boy with piles of gold to live for very long?”

“I see your point,” Brom smirked. “You think it was the big man?”

“Maybe.”

“Get some rest, I’ll see to the men.”

“Send Tommen home. We need to report this.”

“Sure thing.”

Darion sat on the grass and stared up at the moon. He spent too much time within castle walls, swinging at a training dummy instead of sparring. Age had caught up to him and fear of death whispered in his ear every time steel was drawn. He forced a mask of bravery onto his face, while the coward in him screamed and begged for sweet smell of home.

“Time to go,” Brom’s ragged voice tethered Darion back to reality.

“Yes. Thank you.” The Captain got up and wrapped his fingers around the hilt of his sword. He drew it from the sheath and admired the weight. For some reason it felt heavier than the last time he held it.

“Coming?”

Darion turned and smiled. “Let’s hunt, boys!”

Doubt (TfV B1 C1 P3)

“Rhol? Is that you?” Sol said, wide smile spreading across his lips. “Where’s Marcus?”

“Gods be damned, Sol!” Rhol left cover of the trees to come into the light of Sol’s little camp fire. “We got separated in the escape. Tried to find him, but… Anyway, why did that little shit call the retreat?! We kill all those people and then just leave the loot behind?!”

“Because, my good friend, he’s our leader and calling things is his prerogative.” Sol explained. He rotated a plump rabbit he had been cooking and glanced up. “Does it bother you?”

“I just don’t get it.”

“Well, our job is not to question the wisdom of our fearless leader. He pays us well enough to say ‘yes sir!’ to almost anything.”

“Bah! Grown men playing out twisted fantasies of a rich fourteen-year-old sadist. That kid has something wrong with him. I’ve seen it.”

“I think we all have. But you, his loyal personal guard, shouldn’t really have such thoughts. It’s dangerous.”

“Hah! He doesn’t pay well enough for me to stop thinking. The kid’s a monster. I’ve seen some pretty heinous shit in my day, but what we’ve done in that village today…”

“Was the choice of the villagers.”

“Poor slobs,” Rhol sighed and sat heavily across from Sol. “What atrocities you think he’ll make us commit next? Seems like everything’s on the menu. I swear, Sol, we should kill him and do the world a favor!”

“Do you know why I follow this kid? It’s because he will succeed. Do you know why?”

“Because…”

“Because he is not limited by socially accepted virtues.”

Rhol eyed Sol for a moment and laughed. “I heard this shit before. When I fought in the Katalia’s rebellion. They spouted the same nonsense. Want to know the trouble with that mentality?”

“Enlighten me.”

“You make more enemies than you can kill. And, if by some miracle you do kill everyone, like the rulers of Katalia did, you got no one to rule over. Make no mistake, Sol. If this kid succeeds, it’ll be a sorry day.”

“So, what are you going to do?”

“You mean, will I kill him?” Rhol mulled over the idea in his head. “Nah. But I won’t stick around.”

“Leaving the company?”

“Yeah. Gonna go to the coast, find me a wife with childbearing hips,” he laughed.

“You’ll be missed.”

“What about you? You could come with me. I…”

“No. Thank you, but no. Rabbit?”

The Captain (TfV B1 C1 P2)

“Marcus! Riders!” Jon shouted from his lookout.

“Kill the prisoners and get the farmers into position. Archers to your places.” Men scattered to their posts like actors at a play. Horses screamed in the distance and Marcus smiled. “Farmers! Make sure you look appropriately haggard!” he ordered and rubbed soot on his face.

Several moments later twenty armored soldiers entered the village. “Swords!” shouted their leader, a broad man with a nasty scar across his face. “Let no brigand live!”

“No need, Captain,” Marcus said as he and Rhol, a giant of a man, stepped in front of the soldiers.

“What’s this?!” the Captain unsheathed his sword. “Who are you?!”

“Marcus, leader of the Band of the Wolf. May I have the honor of your name?”

“Search the town!”

“You will find a few of my men helping the survivors,” Marcus admitted. “I’d appreciate if you don’t kill them.”

“If they cooperate, no one will be hurt. Men! You heard my orders! Go!”

“Thank you,” Marcus bowed.

“How does a boy like you lead a band of killers?” the Captain asked as he dismounted. His light blue eyes did not linger on any one thing and twitched nervously at every passing shadow.

“I follow the money,” Marcus shrugged.

“So, how come you’re not in the desert with the rest of your kind? The throne of Kaa’has has more wealth than the Dragons.”

“We aren’t as likely to die here.”

The soldiers returned, all with the same story between them. The courageous Mercenaries fought off the unnamed raiders. If it wasn’t for them everyone’d be dead and the grain plundered. The Captain took their reports, mounted and readied his men to move out.

“Captain,” Marcus bowed.

“Good luck, Marcus of the Wolf,” the Captain replied and rode off.

“Well, that was rather strange,” Sol complained as he tapped Marcus’ shoulder. “Didn’t even take the grain.”

“Didn’t give his name either.”

“Oh, that’s probably not good. Yeah… that can’t be good.”

“Spread the word, tell everyone to scatter. We will meet by the Toros Crossing.”

“Good idea, boss. On it!” Sol saluted and trotted off.

Tales from Val’Sharah

What is this? Tales from Val’Sharah is basically another project I have spinning around in my head that I can’t let go. Yes, I am still very much engaged with Misery of the Halfling and spend at least two hours a day working on it. Because I have been doing nothing but editing my first and original creation, I find myself in need of a break. This has spun this new blog adventure which, hopefully, you all will enjoy.

PS: Title is just a placeholder and, like everything in a blog adventure, subject to change.

Mistakes (TfV B1 C1 P1)

“Hi buddy! How are ya? Mmm… I know. Ropes too tight? Whoa! Calm down. Yeah, sorry. I can’t take that off. I do that and I’ll be sitting right next to you wearing those same chains. I’m sorry. Hey, while you’re just sitting there, I’ll tell you a story, yeah? See, I was a farmer just like you, you know. I lived with my little girl and then he comes rolling in. Says he needs food and shelter. See, I know exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes. He looks innocent enough so I did same exact thing as you. I said ‘we got none.’ HAH! Boy, what a mistake. Next thing I know, my girl’s got a knife at her throat. Well, I sure had some food for him then, didn’t I? But, what I didn’t do is make all this ruckus you did here.”

“Sol! Leave him alone. He suffered enough, no need to torture the poor man with your nonsense.”

“Not torturing! Educating. Am I torturing you? See! He says no.”

“I guess compared to what we did here, your stories are the least of his worries.

“Ugh! Don’t listen to Rahban. He’s not like us. Look, between you and me, I’m not much fond of the company I keep. But you know what? If there is one thing that i am is smart. Left my girl with my mom and joined these guys quick. I cook for them, they keep me safe. Now, your position is tough. You already lost everything. Really sad. Seeing what happened to you makes me want to weep. Watching your entire family burn alive is… terrible. You will never recover from this. Unfortunately for you, Marcus knows this. He will come for you soon. He is just giving you time to truly understand what you did to yourself.”