The Red Wheel:
Torleif had a brother-in-law who scrapped what little coin he had saved up to start a caravan. The man helped the only way he knew how, and became a caravan hand to guard his long time friend on the road. When a bandit raid saw the entire operation destroyed, and his sister’s husband dead, Torlief became depressed. When news of the loss spurred his sister to suicide, he was completely shattered. For months he continued on quietly while keeping to himself. When he had saved enough capital of his own, he and two friends started a mercenary band named The Red Wheel in reference to the tragedy that caused its creation. It was dedicated to protecting other caravans from a similar fate, but has since branched into other types of contract work. Below is their marching song.
“Our war rolls on without a cause. Our glories pile without applause.
No one mourns a sell-sword’s life, we die for coin and live for strife.
Are you a client or a toad crushed along our winding road?
Who will buy our strength today? Who will stand in Red Wheel’s way?
Bones have cracked between the spokes, Wood has stained from many soaks.
All else breaks while we roll on! Crows eat well where we have gone!
Speak up brothers, shout with zeal. How fare the men who fight the wheel?
‘Cold and quiet as the grave, ground into the road we pave’
‘They feel what priests and dead men feel, their weapons break against the wheel’!
What of the ones that don’t stay dead? The ones with veins already bled?
‘Breaking the cycle is a sin! They rise and so we kill again!’
‘They feel what proper dead men feel, we grind their bones under the wheel’!
And of the orcs – foul, unclean, ugly, stupid, huge and mean?
‘With skin of green and blood of red? They number too among the dead!’
‘They feel what priests and dead men feel, we crush their strength under the wheel’!
Raise your steel and honor well the ones who fought where you do now.
‘New blood in when brothers fall, new spokes till we’ve replaced them all.’
‘New recruits repair the wheel, and reinforce the rim with steel!’
‘All else falls under our weight, all else meets the same old fate’
‘For priests and dead men cannot feel, and were long left behind the wheel.’