Hail. My name is Gringle Gorebolde and I welcome you to the guild. I have been a part of this great kingdom since its conception, aiding the great Hwoody in his quest for leadership. As we gained in power and his followers grew in number, he gave me the position of General. The story of my first attempt at leading my new group, way back when has always been one of my favorite to tell. It happened like this...
I had been assigned my small group of 5 warriors and a rogue, there were only 20 of us in all in what was then only a small band of vagabonds. We were to leave camp just before 2:00am and travel to the nearby port town of Glindall. Once there we would trade a few wild boar carcasses we had caught the day before for some oil to lubricate our band's armor and 20 quivers of arrows since at the time we had no fletcher. After that we would circle around our camp upon returning, to scout in a 3 mile perimeter for enemy activity. Fortunately for us, all did not go as we had hoped. We made it to town fine, doing our trading with plenty of time to spare. With our free time I decided that we could stop by the local tavern and grab a round since ale was in short supply back in camp. We walked in to find a pair of fighters grappling each other and tearing the bar apart in the process. The bartender, although large and strong, was not about to get in their way as they happened to have been using magic as well. In the course of my first 5-second glimpse of the fight, one had whirled out a sword with lightning speed while the other had broken some sort of stone and grown muscles the size of kegs! Seeing all this I felt I had to do something to help the poor bartender. After all this was his place and I thought I might spare myself some money by earning us free spirits. I called my friends and told them to surround the two. The rogue slipped behind the strong one and stuck her small knife in his side allowing the sleeping poison to do its work. Meanwhile the others had surrounded the bladesman and had him in a corner. I saw that two of my men were down and one was bleeding openly from a nasty slice in his left armpit. I decided that we had done enough. "Why were you wrecking this mans establishment?" I asked indicating the bartender. "Why did you stop our fight?" he asked in response, holding his sword in tense repose. "Answer my question!" I was furious at his response, it made me look like a fool. Perhaps it had only been a bar fight. "I had no mind to the man's 'establishment', I was merely exacting justice on this useless scum! Now answer mine!" "What exactly did 'scum' over here do?" "None of your business highhand now get out of my way. I don't have time for this bullshit." He raised his fearsome looking sword and made to go to the bar. At this point I made one of the greatest decisions of my life. "Would you like to join my group, since you obviously have such better things to do, like drink away your talent? The way you use that blade is a sight to behold. I would not want it against me again in combat. But as an ally I am sure you would be well rewarded for service to my Emperor Hwoody. What's your name?" "Hwoody ehh? He's have heard many tales of his good deeds...My name is Druis."" Come follow me to the lands of Death Dreams..."
Druis Gahrl soon showed himself to be a great warrior and leader. He got along well with both Hwoody and myself and was very good at solving problems that came up on the campaign. I was very happy the day that he was promoted to Warlord of the band. By this time it was really an army and had become quite a hand full of work for just two leaders. He had earned the respect of the troops early on in his travels with us, some even said that he had extra ordinary powers. Rumors went around about him, which to his credit I think he may have started himself, of the way he could kill a man in a heartbeat and never show remorse. He could fight off ten strong men with only his sword and eat at the same time, never getting a drop of blood on his food or clothes. These stories fueled the respect he had and gained him a fearful awe from the troops, which he seemed to revel in.
Another great tale I like to tell is The Battle of Dirrigum's Ford or Gahrl's Stingâ€¦ It was a breezy autumn day in early October when the story started. We had been tracing a group of Ireki who had been harassing the villages all around our town. They were a quick and cunning bunch, as Ireki are said to be, and we had been following them for days. Only half our force was out because there were plenty of surrounding guilds that would have loved to take the town while we were out. Only that day had we managed to get word from our 5 scouts that the enemy were camped in a high meadow across the Ghole river, just opposite of Dirrigum's Ford. They knew we were coming and had set traps for us along both banks of the ford. There were supposed to be dozens of pit traps and poisoned cantrips strewn over the small beaches lining the ford. The Ireki themselves were supposed to be hiding on either side of the ford in groups of four and would take out groups of our 40 men after we had committed ourselves to crossing the ford. Unfortunately for them we actually had closer to 60 and Druis was quick to take advantage of their mistake. He dispatched me along with 20 troopers to upstream about half a days journey to the Link Bridge and cross there. After that we would come back down and take out the Ireki on the opposite side of the stream as his group came into their "trap". We would push any of the stragglers onto the ford where they would be quickly eradicated with their small bows and short spears. I had the impression the he meant to teach them a lesson with this one and so I did not comment on his plan of action although I would rather have ambushed them in a different way, leaving less to chance. So I took my cohort early in the pre-dawn and left Druis to his business. Me and my group arrived back at the forest adjacent to the ford just before dusk, having made good time, and set up to make our attack. I sent my scout out to map and if possible destroy the traps on this side, attempting to make the battle easier for my men. While the scout was out, I had a meeting with my men, briefing them on the tactics they should use against the cunning enemy. I had decided to split my group in two and have both attack in a V-shape so as to provide a good breaking point if the Ireki decided to line up. At sundown I saw the signal to ready for attack just as my scout came back reporting that all the traps were disarmed and the Ireki had no notion that our group existed. He also said that he had found all the cantrips gone all along the beach. We prepared for the battle in silence, each to his own for a minute until I spotted the first of Druis' men across the river. I signaled my men to start a slow and quiet advance as the rest of his group appeared and began to cross the ford. I saw Druis at the head of his forces, walking across as if he suspected nothing. He had him group spread out and ready though they did not show their readiness and I sensed rather than saw that they seemed excited and almost gleeful about the coming battle, as if it were something out of the ordinary. As the first Ireki came out behind them I urged my troops forward and we found the first of our own enemies completely unaware of us. We quickly slaughtered the first 5 we found. After that they knew we were there and were ready for us. After a few minutes of ferocious battle in which I found the Ireki to be unimpressive melee fighters, the 12 that were left on our side broke. I quickly spread my forces out to contain them and pushed them in onto the bridge as I had been told to do. Druis' men were ready for them and I was satisfied that we had won. I stopped my attack and had my men close ranks to seal off any escape the Ireki might have. Then I looked up to a confusing scene. Druis was marshaling his men well but rather than having them kill the Ireki he was throwing them into the rushing river. They yelped and screamed a lot but I didn't see how this would them the lesson I had been expecting. It was more likely to piss them off and make them follow us home. Then his plan came into startling clarity as I saw 4 soldiers haul a gleaming net full of writhing screaming Ireki out of the water. They seemed if anything to scream more as they were pulled up and jangled above the water. As I walked over to the "prisoners" I saw the reason for their discomfort. The net they were in was covered in the cantrips that Druis scouts had apparently picked up. The little things were stuck in all the Ireki and were causing them great pain since they were painted with the Ireki's own masterfully made poison. Druis laughed as the last of the poor Ireki died off an hour later. He said that he had taught the scum a lesson they'd not forget soon, having left two alive to spread the word and glorify the moment. I believed him!