The King in Green
The mercenary speaks, “Old Lady Grun may be a fat whore, but in these times of peace, honest work for an honest soldier is hard to come by, ain’t it! That’s why you’re in luck today, friend!”
He is foul mouthed, but he looks friendly enough.
“Oh, I never introduced myself! My name is Guy Tremiere … That’s right!” _A feigned look of recognition appears on his conversational partner’s face, who retorts with a quip unheard over the noise of the tavern, “Hahhaha! That right bastard, eh!”
He nudges his elbow towards the person he is speaking to. Guy looks a little confused when the burly man he is speaking to answers something about being the man he caught in bed last night with his wife…
You don’t exactly remember how it all started, as you watched Guy Tremiere get stabbed by the city guardsman. You watched him groan and collapse to the ground, bleeding profusely. Then you felt the ham-sized paw of a Goliath grab your collar! You might not remember all the detail, but I do. I remember that the party had converged upon The King’s Cup; a friendly tavern serving the citizens of the docks. The uncomfortable “troubles” of monarchical succession were five years gone, and several years of peace had begun to overwrite two decades of squabbling for the throne.
The city of Grun had grown prosperous again, and the dock-yards were bustling with merchant traffic bound for Grun’s sister cities. The gates were clogged with wagons bringing goods to market, and business was booming.
The rose colored glasses of peace, a large mug of ale, and sunny day may have had something to do with the mood, but we were all inside the quaint little tavern and there was a whip-thin but well dressed mercenary with a story to tell, unfortunately no-one was listening. A game or two was being played by those willing to make a minor wager. The atmosphere in the place may have even been contagious, because even the losers seemed happy! Food and drink was in abundance and could be had for the buying by simply asking one of the wenches working their way between tables. Why, I even remember that off in a lonely corner by the hat-rack, a “community” bulletin board was posted with several papers of interest: “Join the Guard!”, it read. “Vagrants will be impressed!”, it read; although I don’t know what the vagrants were supposed to be impressed by, to tell you the truth, but that’s what it read, and may I burn in Pelor’s Light if I am lying!
I remember that Guy Tremiere kept offering employment in a mercenary company known as the “Red Legion”. He spoke of the Company receiving a contract wanting to expand the Legion with a few good soldiers; except no-one listened. Things looked bleak for Guy, until he lit upon you!
Guy spun the most baffling line of bullshit you had ever heard, remember? Don’t look at me like I’ve just fallen off of a turnip-wagon, boy, I asked you a question! He spoke of glory, remember? He spoke of three square meals a day, wine, women, and song! Did he talk about the mud? About the blood, and the gore covering you so thick that it dried in your hair and you couldn’t get clean for a week? Answer me, man! No.. you don’t remember him telling you about those little joys, eh? You just remember joining with a song in your heart and five gold crowns in your hand!
You don’t remember him telling you the way it really was… but you do remember what happened that day it all started; You remember that sneering Sergeant of the Guard with steel showing. Remember the look in his eyes? Ahhh, I smell it on you, that’s fear, boy, that’s anger, that’s life! You remember the feel of the calloused hand of the Goliath snatching your collar too, eh? Alright, since I seemed to have jogged your faulty memory a bit, what say YOU tell the rest of the story? My old throat is a little parched, hand me that flask, will ya?