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Renegade Project #1

Being a mercenary in Aviyon can be a lucrative venture.  That is, if you live long enough…

Five years ago the king died, leaving behind no legal wife, let alone an heir.  When the group that would have declared the new ruler is killed in a secret raid, the entire realm splintered in war as the three younger siblings of the late ruler each fought to place themselves on the empty throne.  In an effort to limit the bloodshed, the oldest of the three demanded that no one could use magic or any sort of “unnatural” weapons, and that all battles happened outside of the main city.  The others agreed.  People rallied to their chosen leader.  The passage of time brought generous wages, rich bribes and deadly sabotage, but the war drug on far longer than anyone intended.  Eventually, the common people returned to till the stained and trodden earth in order to survive.  Men once loyal now play one side against the other while the countryside turns lawless.  The eldest of the three has recently withdrawn from the battle and the other two face nearly empty treasuries.

You can feel the tension and hint of desperation when you enter a local tavern.  People sit in tight groups around each table, but peer warily over their shoulders at anyone that moves or raises their voice.  Colored scraps of fabric tied around upper arms boldly declare allegiance – gold for Lord Tivolt and purple for Lady Cinea.  Of the entire room of thirty or so, one or two still wear blue, despite the official withdraw.  Rumor has it that Lord Sander is broke.  Several men from each table turn to eye you.  Determined to scout out your options before signaling any sort of preference, you make your way to a seat at a table of men without armbands.

At first, the men peer up at you skeptically, but a relaxed smile and an offer to pay a round of drinks earns an eager welcome.  By the time the drinks arrive, the men around have returned to the typical grumbling and bragging about their exploits. You listen with aloof interest, only speaking enough to keep the conversation going and drinking only enough of your own ale to avoid questions.

Finally, one of the men brags about a cushy job he has with a local, wealthy merchant. Room, board and ale are generously included as well as decent pay. The job sounds simple, just guard the guy’s caravans for short trips to the towns in the nearby area and when there’s no trips, help keep the estate secure. Can’t get much easier than that. However, it seems that this merchant guy demands that anyone he hires promises at least six months of service up front.

Usually, someone like you would never consider such a commitment. Much better to be able to check it out and have the freedom to cut and run whenever you need to. On the other hand, with money scare and people desperate, betrayal was all too common. Your last employer skipped out of paying you for a whole month of work. So you continue to listen in.

“Well, the merchant is an old geezer with lots of family baggage. He’s crabby, but it hardly matters since he doesn’t deal directly with the caravans. His oldest son runs all the trips and he’s doesn’t really give a darn as long as the merchandise gets delivered on time.”

“Gotta daughter too,” the man added with a wink. “She’s one lass I’d like to get to know better.”

The others in the group laughed, but when they pressed for details, the man sighed and shrugged. “The old geezer keeps a close eye on her. She never leaves the estate and the other son is always hangin’ around her. He always wears a sword, but I doubt the brat can actually use it. Think the old man orders the jerk to keep an eye on her.”

One of the other guys grins. “Probably all for show. Sounds a lot more profitable and interesting than my last job. Who do I gotta talk to to get in?”

You decide that the profit and luxuries of the job might outweigh the contract issue and certainly beats the option of being dime-a-dozen meat fodder for the warring factions.  It’s worth looking into anyway.  So you tell the other interested guy that you’ll tag along.

With that decided, you take your meal in your room.  You eat what you can stomach and shove the hard-roll in your stuff for the morning.

In the morning you wait in the common room for the other guy, but several hours pass and it’s approaching noon before he stumbles into sight, clutching his head and muttering curses.

Rolling your eyes, you confront the guy, remind him of the job offer, and help him stagger out of the inn.

By the time you track down the address it’s almost evening, but your companion has recovered from his hang-over and after washing his face at a nearby well, he’s presentable.  However, hunger gnaws at you and after hours of dragging the guy around, you’ve decided that you don’t like him.  When he finally gets around to giving you his name, it only confirms your conclusions – Taz sounds more like a street urchin or cutpurse and not a respectable mercenary.

The estate lies at the very edge of Aviyon and looks like an old military garrison with rotting timbers and crumbling brick mortar that someone had tried to convert into sprawling nobleman’s home, but gave up in the middle of the process.  Moss and dark ivy tendrils covered sections of the outer wall allowing multiple areas for would-be intruders to hide and considering the crumbling gaps you can see, you wouldn’t be surprised if some of the ivy covered holes big enough for such an intruder to slip through.

When you inquire about the job at the guard house, you are led through a servants’ entrance in the back of the main house and into a sparse library where an old gray-haired human sits at a large desk scribbling on parchment and counting silver coins.

He peers up at you with squinting gray-blue eyes.  “What do you want?”

Choices:

“We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.”

OR

Whip out your knife and demand, “Hand over those coins and no one gets hurt.”

 

For those who missed the rules for this game check them out here!

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About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

19 comments on “Renegade Project #1

  1. Okay, okay, for anyone a bit skeptical about one of my options here, I apologize. I just couldn’t resist. Most of my choices are a bit more serious than this one, honest.

  2. “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.”

  3. “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.” has my vote.

    Very neat setting by the way.

  4. Gonna have to go with, “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.”

  5. […] Filter Posts ← Ren’s Report of 2010 Renegade Project #1 → […]

  6. Tough. Tough. Were I playing my normal Lawful Good character, I’d go with “we’re looking for work…” but you’ve set it up to possibly be Neutral Good or even straight Neutral and those make great cut and run thieves.
    Hmm.
    This time I’ll go with the group and try the obvious adventure. “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.”

    (next time maybe an “A” and “B” choice?

    Good start!

    • lol, I know what you mean… it could be a really crazy ride… but who knows, I’ve committed to this Project for at least 6 months (unless a publisher hands me a contract and slaps me with a deadline which isn’t likely). If we reach an end to whatever thread is pursued, then we could come back and explore paths we pass up. However, if we do that, I reserve the right to mix up the story elements (such as who are good guys and who are bad guys, etc) in order to keep the game interesting. Bypassed options on here are never lost. Unlike life, we may indeed pass this way again!

      My intention is to take my cues from you guys as to what sort of story we want to create. Could be the honorable hero, fast and loose anti-hero, romantic or devious.

  7. Wasn’t sure if I’d vote or not, but even though I’m currently outnumbered, I’m a bit curious to see what would happen if we all chose the second choice – Whip out your knife and demand, “Hand over those coins and no one gets hurt.”

    • “I’m a bit curious to see what would happen if we all chose the second choice”

      … actually David… so am I, because you see, I haven’t explored down that path yet. Rest assured that I was prepared to write it if it was chosen but looks like that will wait for another time.

  8. “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.”

    I also tend to stick the Lawful Good character however my pick this time is more pragmatic. Your companion is a wild-card (a surprise action could turn him against you or with you, he is too much an unknown to be predictable yet) although you might be able to take both the old man and companion if need be. But then there is the fight for an exit. Too little detail to work out plausibility of escape. Then there is the great unknown of magic usage. The magic ban as written implies a universal ban, but context could also mean no magical warfare (but as usual, only if you get caught) but protecting your estate from a would-be thief may be okay.

    In short: too big a gamble, especially if you want to live long enough to make mercenary work profitable. Take the safe route and better scout your options.This won’t preclude a neutral/opportunistic nature to manifest later should the group vote that way later.

    • Oh Seth, what have they done to you at College? Or is it your work that has turned you into such an analyst? Lol. Yes, a rather detailed and logical assessment there. Thanks. A worthy adviser in a high-stakes adventure, for sure.

  9. “We’re looking for work and heard you were hiring.”

    Cause there is no chance to get to know the girl if you are an enemy of the estate. ;-)

  10. Here’s my resume.

  11. Okay, so voting is closed and we’re going for the job.

    And, since I happen to have it ready, I will be posting part two tonight. Then voting will be open until Tuesday. Tuesday night I will tally the votes and go from there.

    This is a change of schedule, but as I said, I’ve a mind for getting along on our adventure!
    Thanks for playing!

  12. […] And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1 […]

  13. […] And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1 […]

  14. […] And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1 […]

  15. […] And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1 […]

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