The Sellsword principle. Ch.1
Aye, I suppose you are asking why I am here again – another talk you suppose about the values of professional soldiers for hire? Sure, but I guess it was high time I did a bit of recalling of my adventures; perhaps one day people might recall the tales of the band of brothers who fought for lord after lord and made a hefty profit.
Earlier some nobleman came to me and the lads and offered up some gold for a campaign he was putting together; our band isn’t much, just some fifty lads who were good at killing but that didn’t matter to the fat plump lord so off we went into his army. When we got there the forces were a mess; half were farm boys who have no combat experience and were armed with makeshift spears, and the other half were knights who seem to be dressed for a tournament and not a battle – “oh dear,” I thought, “this will be another fight we cut our losses.”
Then a surprise came over the horizon – another company of sellswords popped up, this time with two hundred men. Now I must confess I’m not familiar with every sellsword band out there, but these lads seemed familiar – perhaps we fought against one another, perhaps we fought together side-by-side for glory and for the lord and all that nonsense.
Later that night we didn’t drink much – the two hundred seemed to be swallowing ale like it was going to be cut off and that was the last drink for the rest of time; stupid fools. Being hung over is one thing, being hung over and having to fight on a noisy battlefield is another. The lads and I we just ate our meals, cleaned our blades and went to sleep – we would need it come the morning.
Battle took place late in the afternoon the next day; something about a gentlemen’s fight and both sides had to be fed and rested. Whether it takes place early in the morning or at noon matters little – when the arrows start to fly and the steel starts to flash people will die and whoever has the best lads wins, no matter how many eggs and ale they stuffed down prior to the fight.
Battle turned south on his around two hours later; the two hundred ran for the woods though I think they had lost about half their number – must have been the ale, or the fact that they needed to piss and couldn’t do it mid-fight. The lord cursed as he rallied his infantry to make another stand against the rampaging opposition. Never knew a lord so fat to be so courageous – I almost felt sorry for the poor man. Fat lads feel the blades the most when they stab into you, and all that meat and ale doesn’t add to the armour when steel drives itself home. Still, despite that he fought on while we skirmished off to the side, cutting away at – what I presumed to be – some sort of elite guard. Lots of armour these boys had, shame we couldn’t salvage what was left after they had all died – too many dents, and we have no smith to fix them up so we had to leave them.
Fight ended near early eve, and surprise we actually won. Turns out after we had ended the elite guard-looking boys the knights that the other lord brought turned out to be sellswords as well – they ran after our lord rallied his own knights who were sitting off to the side like frightened little girls and smashed into what was left of the infantry before taking the head of his opponent and seizing the day.
That night we drank a little; ale was our own and we had already collected our coin. Nice heavy chest of gold for me and the remaining forty lads – we lost ten of our own sadly. Down the road I plan to recruit some more to bring us back to fifty but if we keep getting more and more contracts like these then we might end up with a hundred or so mouths to feed. Next up it’s off to the south – away from the cold of the north and perhaps another fight; I hear some free city down there is looking for help in a war they are waging with another city.