Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baroness Cromm



Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            The fellows watched as the hulking paladin made his way up the worn path toward the front gate of the keep. Occasionally Remenissions would look down and correct the path of his horse, at least making a show of avoiding any potential tracks.  

            "Dorian, keep your bow aimed near the paladin," Justian hissed through clenched teeth, "just in case of hidden ambush."
           
            "I know what I'm doing," Dorian snapped.
           
            "Aye. My apologies," Justian replied.

            Haeming glanced at the two as they bickered, silently hoping that this bickering that seemed to be almost constant would get the attention of some lizard men and end this constant waiting.

            Remenissions found the way to the small castle clear, with only dead lizard men to greet him. The gates to an interior courtyard were wide open, with one of the gates resting crooked against a stone wall. Its wood splintered inward and hinges mangled beyond use.

            As he entered the courtyard the paladin could feel sweat bead on his brow, and his eyes begin to sting. He used everything he had learned about horses, riding, and horsemanship to urge his steed on.  Black acrid smoke still poured out from many windows, but  was not as thick as when they had first arrived. The heat was intense even from yards away, but he could feel it slowly dying.

            The courtyard was filled with the living and the dead. Men held dead wives, and wives held dead husbands. Parents tried to comprehend the loss of a child, and children tried to get the attention of parents who would move no more.

            The paladin took in the grisly sight. Those who were not covered in ash were covered in blood, or so much gore.

            Remenissions gripped the handle of his massive war-hammer as an ash-stained woman, accompanied by a forlorn attendant rushed towards him, only to relax his hands as the woman threw herself at the hooves of his horse. Her clothes may have once been elegant but battle and death had taken all sense of wealth and class from this small stronghold.     
           
            “You must help him. You must!” she sobbed. Tears made lines down her face as bubbles of snot blew from her nose.“He’s gone after the rest of them, into the swamp!”

            "Who, milady?" the paladin asked.

            The woman tried to answer, saying the same words over and over again, her sobbing  distorting her voice and obscuring her answer. Remenissions asked again, until the woman began to scream over and over again, "help him!"

            Her attendant knelt beside her, trying to hold her and console her. She was too far gone into her grief.
           
            Remenissions sighed, "Leave her be boy, and tell me who is in the swamp?"
           
            The servant glared at the unfeeling warrior before him.

            "The Baron Cromm is in the swamp, he chased after the lizard men." The servant replied, as he stood up and searched form something unstained with ash, blood or smoke to wipe his mistresses face with.

            The clatter of kicked masonry caused Remenissions to violently wheel his horse around, nearly knocking into the sobbing Baroness Cromm  and her servant. The paladin grabbed his war-hammer, expecting an implacable foe, only to see the other fellows creeping into the ruined courtyard, walking their horses behind them.

            "Ye'd taken so long friend," Coryn explained, "we grew worried." The cleric could hardly speak as he surveyed the dead and the. He dropped the reins to his horse and began to administer what aid and comfort he could, while offering up a prayer to Torm for safe passage of the dead.

            Remenissions nodded his understanding and turned back to the servant.  

            "And which way is the swamp?" Remenissions asked, acting as though he were speaking to a child, despite the fact that the servant was at least twenty years his senior.
           
            The attendant raised his hand, pointing to the southwest.

            Remenissions's nodded as he once again wheeled his horse around, taking off out the gate ruined gate, yelling as his tired horse was once again pressed into hard service. " Get back on the horses, now! Come on!"
           
            The fellows quickly scrambled to get on their mounts and follow the paladin in his pursuit.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cromm's Hold



Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            "No time for you to break in your new boots." Sherlen said, running her hand through her dark hair. "It's a two hour ride by horse, if you push for speed. I can loan you some of the Militia's."

            "Oh, that is very good, Commander." Justian thanked her. His cheeks flushed at the excitement to come. "Thank you greatly for the horses."

            "Works for me," Dorian grunted.

            "Ranger, we will need you to guide us there." Justian stated, not bothering to ask for the rangers help. It was an assumption Dorian would remember.

            "What makes you-" Dorian began.

            "Dorian," Remenissions asked, oblivious to the ranger's growing irritation, or that the ranger had even begun to speak,  "that direction wooded or fairly flat?"

            Coryn, could see the frustration growing in Dorian. The way the ranger set his shoulders, and clenched his jaw made it obvious. Quickly, Coryn decided it was time to move everyone on. Those who craved adventure, or just wished to do the noble thing would follow. Those who did not, would stay behind.  "Thank you, Commander, that will aid us greatly. Justian, as long as we know how to find the direction of south west, we are good to go. I am sure Dorian will be of great help, regardless."
           
            Dorian nodded to Coryn, the closest thing he had come to offering a thanks. The ranger turned his attention back to Sherlen who had stepped into her office to write something down.  

            "Show me the horses." The ranger said in his usual gruff manner.
           
            She narrowed her eyes at Dorian. Ands looked as if she were about to say something, but instead chose to bite her tongue.  "Take this to the stables, it is up on the hill. South of the Temple of Lathander. Hand the stable-master this note, and show him your badges. He will provide  you with horses."

            "Excellent," Coryn said, taking the note in hand. "Let us be off, fellows."

            The journey to the stable was almost as time consuming as the journey to the barracks. Men, women, and children of many different nations and races were crammed inside the walls of Daggerford. Many trying to hawk wears outside of the official market place. Setting up makeshift booths before the militia would show up and make them move to the marketplace or close shop.

            They could all smell the musky odor of horse manure long before they saw the stables. The building itself was made of wood, and looked to be one of the oldest looking wooden structures in town. Horses grazed in a nearby corral.

            The fellows made their way into the stable. The smell of horse manure, and unwashed stable hands made their eyes water. Coryn quickly tracked down the stable-master, a portly gentleman with little hair in his head, and too much hair on the rest of his body. The stable master looked over the note Coryn handed him, grunted, and told the fellows to make their selections. Informing them that the horses are still property of the Daggerford Militia, and there would be hell and coin to pay should the horses be injured or killed.  
           
            Coryn nodded and assured the stable master all would be well. The stable master burped his  mild acceptance at these assurances and went back to work, leaving the fellows alone with the horses.

            Immediately Dorian approached a horse, looked it over quickly, and handed the dapple grey animal off to Coryn.

            "Thanks Dorian," Coryn offered, unaware that the older ranger had already moved on to the next horse.  The horse's massive size and spirited nicker made Coryn a little jumpy. The cleric tentatively put his hand against its warm neck.

            "Hmmm. Yes, this one might be fast." Remenissions mumbled to himself as he examined horses on his own, "but I'd prefer it to one that hold its own in a fight." The paladin walked over to another horse. "Well-built. Durable."

            "Tis no worries, boys, these are gift horses." Justian said as he took the reins of the horse Dorian picked out for him.

            "Trust me on this," Dorian replied, "these are the best horses the militia has to offer."

            Coryn shrugged and mounted the dappled grey that Dorian selected for him.

            "Ranger," Remenissions huffed, "horses are my specialty."

            "I prefer not to limit myself by species." Dorian replied. "All animals are mine."

            Coryn rolled his eyes as the two seem to be in a constant state of near argument, "let us tarry not. We must be off."

            Remenissions snorted at the ranger and climbed up into the saddle of the third horse he examined, pointedly ignoring the horse Dorian had selected for him.

            One by one the fellows made their way out of the stables, Haeming the last to mount his horse, and the last to follow. A gleam in his eye, glorious battle in his thoughts.

            The travel through the crowded streets of Daggerford was much faster the fourth time through. Few wanted to crowd next to a horse and risk their feet against the hoof or wieght of the animal. Coryn at the head of the line was the first to see Sherlen Spearslyer, Commander of the militia, waiting near the west gate.  Though the gate was crowded the cleric could see her grumbling. If not for the din of the crowd he'd have expected to hear any number of curses and other sorts of profanity.

            "What troubles you so lady?" Coryn asked as he sidled his horse near the commander.

            "This is no time for a confession, Cleric," she snapped. "I was hoping you all would have left by now.  Get there, find the problem and fix it. I will make sure you are all well paid.

            "Perhaps, one last item. How do we get there." Coryn asked, feeling a bit sheepish.

            Sherlen rolled her eyes in irritation. "You cross the river, going south, turning west at a well worn trail. Follow the  markers indicating the Cromm Estate."

            "We will succeed, Commander!" Justian promised. A poor attempt to mask his anxiety with excitement. For all his exuberance, before today the young man had barely ever been in a fist fight. Now he was on his way to stop rampaging lizard men. The thoughts of what harms could potentially fall upon him were both exciting, and terrifying. He could feel his heart race, and the back of his eyes ache with  fear.

            "Very well," Coryn replied. "Dorian after you sir."

            Dorian nodded as he took point, heading south along the road known as the Trade Way.

            "This will be an interesting. At least it beats home," Remenissions muttered to himself before giving his horse a quick kick and bolting out of the gate; men, woman and children scattered to get out of his way.  

            The fellows pushed their horses hard. The sweat from the animals soaked their riders and streamed outward as they galloped. It didn't take long for them to find the road that lead to the  Cromm estate. Well used, but never really maintained, it cut west through the tall grass of the plains.

            The rugged terrain of the path made Dorian fear for horse and rider alike. Rocks and  uneven footing nearly made his own horse roll on its ankle. Still the fellows pressed on, the weak hope of saving the noble house that was currently under siege called to all of them.

            As the fellows reached the crest of  yet another hill, they could see a pillar of black smoke rising from the tower of Cromm's holding. A dark cloud, but familiar to any who had bore witness to a building fire in years past. As they proceeded down the west face of the hill they could make out clearly the Cromm estate, and watched as  a stone wall fell to the earth. Its wooden supports eaten away by ravaging and uncontrolled flame.

            The fellows stopped their mad gallop, letting their weary mounts rest. The tall and obscuring grass of the plains they had ridden through gave way to cleared land.  Lizard men bodies littered the field around the  small keep.

            Dorian stopped and slid off his mount, motioning for his fellows to do the same as they caught up with him. Dorian crept over to the nearest body, leading his horse by the reins. Coryn, Haeming and Justian all nodded their understanding. Remenissions rolled his eyes.

            "This one was slain as it ran away," Dorian said as he pointed at the body of the dead lizard man.

            Coryn dismounted, trusting the ranger's judgment. "Odd that the lizard's appear to have been fleeing the stronghold."

            Dorian nodded, his head slowly pivoted to and fro, his eyes never leaving the tall grass.   

            "Heh, this won't be worth it if there aren't any lizard men left." Remenissions said with a grunt, refusing to dismount.

            Haeming nodded his agreement with the paladin. Dismounting, the skald followed the ranger's lead. His eyes scrutinizing  their surroundings, and the sky while constantly playing with the hilt of his blade. Until at last the skald drew his weapon in eager anticipation. Today his blade would see even more blood.

            The rest of the fellows followed suit, as Dorian knocked an arrow.

            Remenissions still refused to dismount, even his horse looked worried when it caught a glimpse of the oversized war-hammer carried by the paladin. "Wagers anyone? The guards won or something worse come along?"

            "Be on the ready lads," Coryn said. His shield firmly strapped to his arm, his mace held loose in the opposite hand.
           
            "Perhaps, we should send a scout ahead. " Justian said. His voice cracked and his knees nearly knocked together. What would happen if the fellows failed? He would be killed. No one would find his body. He would become food for a lizard man. Maybe even his sword and armor held as some sort of trophy of the hunt.

            "Already on it." Dorian replied as he un-knocked his arrow, and strapped his bow across his back.
           
            "Signal us if you spot the enemy, or survivors." Justian said. His voice was still cracking but his fear had died down from an internal scream to a minor yell. The lizard men were most likely gone. He hoped they were gone. the thought of being the mecry of one of those things made his bladder feel weak.
           
            "Perhaps you should let me do this one." Remenissions' condescending sneer was poorly hidden on his unshaven face. "I could get away much easier."

            "Nay," Coryn countered, "this is a job for stealth."

            "Stealth. I can trot up to the gate, take a look around, and get back." The blood lust in Remenissions eyes was unmistakable. "And I'd be much harder to hit, much less knock off this beauty." The paladin said as he patted the side of his horse.

            "Something's afoot here." Justian muttered. He knew he could not be the only one to have seen the war-hammer wielding holy warrior's unbalanced behavior, his violent tendencies, or his bizarre lie about his vocation.

            "Hm," Dorian snorted. "If he wants to do it, that's fine by me." The ranger readied another arrow, "keep your guard up. I'll cover you."

            Haeming poked the corpses with his boot.

            "If we rush the gate," Justian countered, "we should all rush together."

            "Defense is better than offense." Remenissions explained as if he were talking to a young child. "If I can get them to run to us, it would be better than running to them."

            "Wait," Coryn stated as he began to touch the body of the lizard man, examining open gashes and bloody wounds, and eventually flipping the body onto its stomach.

            Remenissions sat silently as he watched the cleric poke and prod the corpse.

            "Well done, cleric," Justian patted Coryn on the shoulder. "A sensible maneuver. Was it sorcery that felled these beasts? There may be more magical traps for unexpected guests if so."
           
            Coryn ignored the nervous ramblings of the young warrior as he pulled something from the lizard man's hands. It was a cheap glass item. Broken now, but it looks as though it may have been some sort of statue of a unicorn.

            Finally Coryn had found something of use. The lizard man was mostly naked, though it wore a baldric, this baldric was coated with black gore and red blood. Most of its ornamentation had fallen off. But on the front it still held one item. A feather, bright blue and very familiar. "It is the same lizard men band as from before."
           
            "Any obvious wounds, lacerations, etcetera?" Dorian asked.  The moment Coryn began to search the body Dorian kept his eye on the burning castle, and the surrounding field.

            "Cleric," Justian interrupted, "we should collect the feathers and baldrics from all the dead, if you have the space in your saddle bags."

            "Aye they seem to have been slain fleeing the house." Coryn pulled the baldric off the dead lizard man. Its dead weight causing him to struggle.  "The wounds look to be from piercing and slashing weapons."

            "Archers then?" Justian asked.

            "If there are no arrows in their backs then I doubt archers." Remenissions stated. The paladin rested his large hammer across his horse's saddle. The large horse was shifting weight back and forth, eager to be away from so much death.

             "Aye there are arrows." Coryn said, quickly coming to Justian's defense. "I could feel the arrow heads in its back. Looks like someone tried to get the arrows back, but only ended up breaking off the arrow head in the body."

            "Unfortunately that means that if these weren't slain by magic, there may be survivors." Dorian said, his eyes still scanning their surroundings. The bright light of the afternoon making beads of sweat form on his brow despite the cool air of fall.

            " Yes, I think so too, Dorian. All right," Justian said as he scratched his stubble coated chin. "Let's send a lone man in on horseback shouting ahoy at the keep and displaying a flag of parlay."

            "Enough talking and inspecting." Remenissions shouted. Hammer in hand the paladin began a slow trot toward the burning keep. The cleared area around the keep had prevented the flames from spreading, and the thinning of the billowing smoke made it clear that the flames were running out of fuel. The acrid sting of burning wood and singeing stone became had begun to reach the fellows despite their distance.

            "Be careful not to ruin any tracks you may find." Dorian warned after the paladin. The ranger wiped his eyes clear. Keeping watch and the sudden shift in the breeze had carried traces of the smoke over to the fellows. He could feel his eyes water.

            The paladin stopped his advance, "how?"

            "Just check where you're horse is walking now and then. The damage you'd do is minimal anyhow," Dorian explained.

            "Yes, and be on your guard," Coryn said.

            Remenissions rolled his eyes and urged his horse forward at a brisk pace.



Friday, July 25, 2014

Sherlen Spearslayer



Marpenoth 19, 1367 DR - Year of the Shield

            "Yes," Justian said as he looked over the long low building, "As far as I am concerned, we are only together until the matter of this statue is finished. Unless there is a doom on us after all."

            "Ahh, but what if that doom be on this town and its people?" Coryn countered.  "For me the path is the same."

            "I'll deal with that matter when it comes time to," Dorian said, as he looked over the building. It was two story, made of old cut stone and looks as though older stone buildings had been torn down and their stone used to make the barracks. The barracks was set near one of the exterior town wall, but not so close that it would interfere with patrols or if the building went up in flames it would risk the wall too.  In front of the barracks was  a field of dirt  and grass. At one end a dozen or militiamen sparred with each other under the gruff tutelage of an older men. His bearing, cursing. and shouting making it clear he held some sort of higher rank.  Closer  to the wall a series of hay bales and targets, arrows protruding from the hay at odd angles. Closest to the wall, and out of place, a small stone shrine to Torm.
           
            Coryn began to shout as they approached the field, trying to attract the attention of one of the militiamen.
           
            "Hm," Dorian grunted, "wish the militia back home was this well-trained. Then again, the damage training does to one's personality..."

            Heaming glanced at Dorian, "talking from experience?"

            "Which home do you refer to?" Justian asked, as he scratched his head in confusions. "Do you mean to say a militia of the wilds?"
           
            "My village." Dorian growled. "We don't all live out in caves in the woods, you know."
           
            "Well, I was, uh,  imaging trees," Justian explained, his cheeks turning bright red with embarrassment, "but all the same, I beg your pardon."

            Remenissions  began to laugh at Justian biting his tongue having failed to work.

            After a few minutes Coryn's  shouting and wild gesticulating caught the attention of the apparent militiaman in charge. The irritation the militiaman felt could be seen in his shoulders and his walk as went over to see what the cleric of Torm wanted.

            "Pardon," Coryn started to speak as he saw the soldier approach, "but where might we find your captain? We have news of some import"

            "You looking for the commander? Why?" The militiaman narrowed his eyes.

            "We wish to make a report bidden by Priest Liam." Coryn responded as he motioned at the rest of his party.

            "She's inside, door at the back, on the left is her office." the militia men said, pointing toward the barracks. "You're in luck, she was in a good mood today!"

            "Thank you kindly" Coryn said with a slight nod.
           
            "Don't thank me yet."  The Sergeant laughed before turning away from the group and heading back to his subordinates nods.

            "Well done, cleric." Justian said as he slapped Coryn on the back. "Ok then, to the office."

            Dorian watched the his new companions enter the barracks. He preferred to go it alone. Now he was tied to these people. He scratched the stubble on his chin before following after them into the barracks. If he needed to be with them for answers, then he would be with them.

            The interior of the barracks were dark, with the exception of a slip of light from beneath the cracks of one of the doors. The light dimly illuminated the rest of the room, revealing a series of beds, and a shadowy stairway leading up, as well as a another closed door.

            Remenissions walked through the dark room, as he reached over to knock on the door he assumed was the office when he was stopped by a shout from directly behind him. A shout from Justian.

            "Ahoy Office!"

            Coryn's laugh was matched equally by Remenissions' sigh.

            "WHO IN THE NINE HELLS IS YELLING IN MY BARRACKS!" A female voice shouted from behind the door with the light coming from under it. It was a gruff voice. Had they been anyplace else they may have thought it was the voice an angry ogre.

            Remenissions turned around, reached behind the young warrior and slapped Justian on the back of the head.
           
            The door with the light beneath burst open. Illuminating the room, the party, as well as Justian rubbing the back of his head while he glared at Remenissions.

            "Which one of you was yelling in my Barracks?" The woman from the office asked. She care worn and stern, she was shorter than all of them, but her imposing glare made them all feel the size of a mouse. Wrinkles on her face made her seem much older, but  as they stared they could all tell she was still a young woman. 

            "Commander Spearslayer," Justian explained as he continued to rub the back of his head, "we have a message of dire urgency."

            "Spit it out," she snapped.
           
            "We believe," Justian continued, "a noble house under your jurisdiction may have been recently sacked by a horde of lizard men. House Cromm. We found a small band of them yesterday, in possession of House Cromm's personal idol."

            "Who gave you that nutter of an-" began to bark at the young warrior, only to be interrupted by four militiamen carrying a nobleman's retainer into the barracks. Sherlen promptly ignored her intruders and began to deal with the injured man.

            "Well what have we here?" Dorian  asked as he followed behind Sherlen.

            One of the militiamen, this one in robes of the same color and cut as the armor worn by those who had been training spoke aloud a brief incantation. The words were spidery and hard to grasp. In an instant light filled the dark barracks.

            The retainer was covered in blood. His chest convulsed as he tried to take in what breathe he could. can barely take in breath..

             "What's going on? why did you bring him here?" Sherlen barked, the tone in her voice letting her men know she would brook no hesitation, "this man needs a cleric."

            "He needed to come see you, Ma'am." The officer Coryn had spoken to earlier was the first to speak.

            "And you listened to him?" Dorian admonished the officer. "Keeping him alive should have been your top priority."
           
            "Too late now," the officer said with a shrug.

            Dorian felt an intense urge to smack the militiaman the same way Remenissions had hit Justian, but chose to sigh and shake his head, the entire time thinking, "No hope for the stupid." 

            "Coryn," Remenissions said as he placed his hand on the cleric, "you wouldn't   happen to be able to do something for this man, could you?

            "Let me see what I can do." Coryn said as he reached under his armor for his gauntlet shaped holy symbol, and a small pouch.

            Coryn pushed one of the militiamen aside and set the small leather pouch holy smbol next to the retainer. The cleric then pulled off his backpack and pulled out a waterskin and a small knife.  Blood was seeping from wounds and quickly began to stain the goose down mattress.

            Using the small knife Coryn cut off the stained and torn shirt, washing the retainers  many wounds, then used a nearby blanket to dry the retainer.  From the small pouch the cleric pulled out a long thin white cloth.

            "What's that for?" One of the militiamen asked.

            "It's for binding his wounds." Coryn responded, "Now one of you hold him up while I wrap this around his torso."
           
            "Why don't you just pray over him?"

            "Everyone just shut up and let the cleric work." Sherlen snapped as she helped the injured retainer sit up.
           
            "It is fine. Why ask of the gods when we can easily do ourselves?" Coryn replied as he bandaged the injured man. "If he gets worse then I shall pray, but this at the least should help. Give him water, and he should be able to answer some questions."

            The injured retainer's eyes cleared as his wounds troubled him less. The retainer struggled to speak as once again the militiamen began to talk amongst themselves about what may have happened.

            "Everyone shut up," Sherlen shouted again. The commander knelt down next to Coryn, as she attempted to hear the retainer better. "What did you need to tell me?"

            Her voice was softer this time, with none of its steel. As if she were talking to a child.

            "Lizard men..." the retainer he gasped.  "Lizard men raided Baron Cromm’s holding . . . need help . . . please . . . “
           
            Haeming began to fiddle with the pommel of his sword, eager anticipation in his eyes.

            "How many?" Dorian asked as he stepped forward, unconcerned for the injured man's health.
           
            It is as I feared." Justian said.

            The injured man's eyes began to roll into the back of his head as his body went limp.

            "Dead?" Sherlen asked. Coryn couldn't tell if it was concern for the man's life or concern needing more answers.

            "No," Coryn answered, "but he is not out of the woods yet. He needs to stay calm and take his ease."
           
            Sherlen nodded, though Coryn could tell she was far from happy with his answer.

            "Let me see what I can do." Remenissions said. The paladin removed his gloves and stepped next to the blood soaked bed. Kneeling down, he placed his hands on the comatose body of the retainer.  A glow began to emanate from the paladins hands as many of the minor cuts and wounds of retainer closed. "He will live. But as Coryn said. He needs to rest."

            " Zustrin!" Dorian cursed  "If the attack is still going on we need to get there quickly. No time for a stealth approach."

            "Dorian, I agree, we must haste to this house." Justian said as he followed Dorian's pacing with his eyes. "How far away is it?"

             "And we found that idol on some lizard men as we were traveling here." Remenissions reminded them all as he stood up and put his gloves back on.

            "I wonder," Justian said as he began to think aloud, "if Korbus was accosted on the road yesterday on his way to deliver it. I fear he may be dead."

            "No time to stand around here flapping our gums." Dorian said with a sneer directed at Justian.

            "I hand delivered that statue to the Estate myself. By the Nine Hells!" Sherlen cursed again before dismissing the militia back to their posts.

            Dorian began to think of a plan, but he needed to know his resources first. "Can you spare any militia to aid in clearing the house?

            "I need someone to check on the estate. Today is market day and I don't have the manpower to do it." Sherlen said, spitting on the floor in irritation.

            "Aye let us be off and to their aid" Coryn offered.

            "Well then," Justian said, his thoughts dark and focused on what horrid things the lizard men may do, "as  it may be that the attack is over, should we still go?"

            "Yes!" Dorian snapped, "we should still go immediately to look for survivors."

            "Well then," Justian said as he glared at Dorian, "Commander, let me volunteer for this duty."

            "Indeed," Coryn agreed, "where be the barony?"

            Sherlen walked into her office grabbed a small wooden box and walked back out.
           
            "Here," she said as she tossed each of them a medallion with the emblem of Daggerford on it, a bloody silver dagger on a deep blue field. "It will let anyone you meet know you are with the militia. The Cromm Estate is about twenty miles away. To the southwest."

            Each man put the medallion on their chest. An awkward splash of color on blood stained and filthy armor.

            "Looks like we have quite a walk ahead of us." Remenissions groaned as he tried to scrub off some of the dirt from his tabard, hoping to make it match his new medallion at least a little.