Joined: 26 Apr 2011
|Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:37 am Post subject: Order of the Free- Captain Arlex the Madman's Motely Crue
|Order of the Free
A Mercenary Company
The burning globe bloomed in the distance, a warm light bathing the cold, wooden boat in a soft glow. The first light the company had seen in weeks, the skies darkened the blackness over Mordheim. Those who were awake were forced to shield their eyes, cursing loudly as they did. Each wanted to see the first light. The morning was cool, heat slowly trickling into the air. It cut past icy skin and warmed the men’s blood, another feeling they had not felt since entering the dark and terrible ruins. Despite the large stash of treasure that travelled with them, none of it out shown the sun to any of them, or at least what it meant. Seeing the sun for these men meant another trek into the gaping hole of chaos had not claimed them. It meant that unlike many others, they had had the skill, and luck, to escape. A short reprieve, as their captain was dragging them somewhere that could prove more dangerous.
“How long till Altdorf, cap’n? I’d like to spend a little of me cut before you drag us off to hell again,” Grillford said, patting the jingling bag of gold resting just beside his sheathed blade.
“A few days, yet.” Arlex replied, glancing back at the swordsman. “And you’ll have a few days in Altdorf before we hitch a ride on a zeppelin straight to Lyonesse. Then we’ll make our way on foot to the city of Nez.”
“Good, I’ll spend all me gold in Altdorf, so that I die happy on that zeppelin!” Arlex chuckled, turning back to watch the churning river waters pass by the boat, the sound of creaking wood and soft splashes the only sound. That and the ogre snoring asleep on the deck.
“You’ll be fine. This is an older model, safe enough for a Knight of Bretonnia, anyway.” Grillford chuckled loudly, drawing the attention of the other two. Taris and Uthen, both skilled bowmen, looked up from their quiet card game in the corner.
“Sorry,” the swordsman said earnestly, “I don’t trust no knight. Prances around calling himself ‘sir’ and expects me to treat him like he’s better than me.”
“He is,” Ulthen replied. Grillford glared at him outraged, a pair of veins bulging on his forehead, mirrors of one another.
“At least in Bretonnia, anyway.” Taris added.
“Well, we’re not in Bretonnia, are we?”
“No,” Arlex said, “But we will be.” Grillford looked at him, dumbfounded, before swiftly moving off to the side to sharpen his blade.
The two archers returned to their card game and Arlex was left to his thoughts once more. He was Captain Arlex, The Madman, of the Order of the Free. HIS mercenary company, as small as it was. Before his ninth expedition into Mordheim it had numbered sixty-seven. Weeks of Undead, Chaos, Skaven, various Men, a crazed Witch Hunter and bad luck had whittled him down to nine. Himself, a skilled swordsman in his own right. Grillford and Yitman, two very skilled swordsmen who acted as his personal bodyguard on several occasions. Both Reikland men and both ex-military. They’d been with him since the beginning of the Order, during his first trip into Mordheim when they’d all escaped from a slaving party. Next to join the band, on the next trip into Mordheim (that were still alive at least,) was the twins Taris and Ulthen. Skilled bowman, both who’d escaped from Bretonnia after being accused of killing a knight. They hadn’t, however, but they did steal a bag of gold and the knight’s hunting bow. During the same trip, they came across Grum, the Ogre. Named for his favourite ale, which they found him literally buried in bottles of, Grum was a part of another war band that the Order had been hunting. When he passed out drunk, he was abandoned and left to die. Arlex save him from a Rat Ogre, and his Skaven handlers, and the Ogre has been his indentured servant ever since. He refuses to drink in sight of the Captain, and he’s always in sight of the captain, “Jus’ in case ‘e gets into trub’el, again.”
The only other long term member was Artist. He’d been a member of the Order for over half its life. A skilled soldier, Arlex noted and often teased him for the lack of an interesting story about him. The others, a pair of warriors and another bowman who’d all joined the same time, were brand new, the only survivors of the recent excursion. They’d all proven themselves; just being alive was enough as it was.
For all of them, even the new members, the Order of the Free was their ticket out of a life they hated. Once they were, mostly, shackled by their class or role and trapped, now they make their own decisions. They fought for themselves, and each other, all swearing an oath upon entering that no bond will ever be as great as that too their brothers of the Order. Although mercenaries, and seen as scum of the earth, each has had a code of honour thrust upon them, whether they wanted it or not.
That oath is what sends them to Nez, a volatile place ready to explode. A son of a once long lived member, Sean de Sillen, sent word to Arlex. He begged for his help with an uprising, begging him to help rally a rebellion. The mercenary captain swore an oath to Sean when he died (saving Arlex from am Vampire, no less!) to do aid his son if he called upon him. And so, this oath of honour demands The Madman and his company travel to the land of Bretonnia, for some of whom was once home, and fight a battle for others freedom. Something they all, in some way, can understand.