Reply To: The more or less jolly adventures of the "The Iron Fist" heroes for hire

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Chapter 2

After a rowdy night the Iron Fists headed back to Wallstadt, but the only job available, destroying a large bandit lair, seemed too dangerous, in spite of the boastful mood of the men. So they headed towards Minarken in search for employment. But on the way, in the distance, they saw a caravan being attacked by several bandits, so they sped up to help it. Unfortunately all the caravan hands were dead and the caravan itself wrecked by the time they got close and they found themselves under attack of the victorious bandits. But being scattered around, going through the loot, the outlaws didn’t attack in an organised fashion.

The Fists quickly formed on a slope, with Urh taking distance shots at the enemies, and Raimund standing a bit back with a long billhook he purchased with the money paid by the last job. A thug rushed Boris but was spearwalled in the ribs twice and finished off by two arrows in the chest by Urh Keen Eyed. Robin Goodfellow, Boris and Ciaran the Lucky then overwhelmed the other thug that came close and speared and chopped him to bits. Two down, six to go. But where are they? Sneaking around the bushes it seems, manoeuvring for the attack.

The men stood a while, then decided to go on the offensive. They formed up in a line and slowly advanced to where they expected the enemy to be. One was spotted and he advanced. Boris and Edmund Hammerhand softened him up, then Raimund cleaved open his ribcage with a massive billhook strike from behind them. One more came into view and was quickly cut down by Robin and Ciaran after Urh’s arrows missed him. Two more then appeared from the shadows and Ciaran and Boris braced their spears again while the rest of men cursed at them. They avoided the spears and got close and Urh felled one with two arrows in quick succession. The other was quickly surrounded, hammered by Edmund, poked with Ciaran’s spear and then split in half with Raimund’s billhook.

The last two appeared from the undergrowth. They appeared worried but showed no sign of abandoning the fight in spite of being outnumbered. The Iron fists stood close and yelled insults at them. The first came close and Boris and Edmund moved in to greet him with mace and spear. The other moved onto a slope and hesitated. The Fists calmly stood their ground, waiting for him to make up his mind whether to fight or flee. Urh loosed two arrows towards him, but missed. This seemed to have made the bandit overly confident and he came forth. But Urh didn’t miss the second time and put a single arrow straight though his heart, killing him instantly. Boris then speared the last one and without a word the Fists set off to bury the unfortunate caravan hands. Since they did not know the destination of the caravan’s goods, they appropriated them for themselves. Urh learned how to quickly move in combat, Robin and Boris how to better hit armour, Ciaran how to adapt to enemy moves, while Raimund noticed he has become much stronger from all the physical strain.

They continued on towards Minarken, saw a hidden graveyard in the distance on the way, but thought it wise to avoid it for the time being, for one never knows who lurks there. Minarken itself seemed to be in a poor state, likely recently looted and the villagers seemed quiet and gloomy. Selling off some of their surplus gear to the local merchant they decided to look around the village for clues. After passing through the woods they came upon some ancient ruins, with bandit raiders and marksmen guarding them.

The surprise of a night attack worked and the raiders didn’t have time to form up. The Iron Fists bunched up as heavily armoured enemies ran towards them. Boris and Robin struck down one that came close, Urh put an arrow through the neck of a large, fierce looking bandit, wielding a massive two handed sword and Raimund hit another raider so hard he cursed loudly and attempted to flee, but Robin struck him in the back of the skull as he turned and he dropped like an empty sack. Urh quickly climbed a small mound and loosed an arrow towards an approaching raider, wounding him. Robin rushed towards a bowman that came to close and Edmund’s hammer hand knocked out another bandit. Robin managed to hit the neck of the bowman, felling him with a single strike, but an approaching raider hit him hard in the body, nearly tearing his gambeson to bits. Urh steadied his breath and took careful aim and hit Robin’s assailant, but his armour kept him safe, so Edmund struck him hard with a stunning blow. Meanwhile Ciaran and Raimund managed to wound the bandit that was attacking them, but just as they felt they were getting the upper hand, two more bowmen appeared from the darkness. Boris quickly speared his nearest foe then rushed the closest bowman, Ciaran finished off the bleeding bandit in front of him, while Edmund ran for the other bowman who shot at him, but missed, which gave him the chance to get to melee range. Boris and Robin Goodfellow overpowered the one they were attacking, and everyone ran towards the last remaining foe. Urh took aim, but the low visibility prevented him to hit. Edmund Hammerhand pummelled the bowman some, but not enough. Ciaran came up behind him and stabbed him once, and Urh’s last arrow finished the fight.

The men could not believe their luck. They managed to claim several chain mail armours, helmets, a few swords and a couple hundred coins without any serious injuries apart form a few bruises. They hoped they destroyed the camp that looted the village, but couldn’t know for sure. Urh attached several bags to his armour, so he could carry two more quivers of arrows and Robin Goodfellow passed his dog skull helm to him, as he claimed it helped him see better at night, but likely just because he fancied a proper mail coif more. Robin also learned where to strike a shield to crack it better. Boris picked up the large two-hander and swung it around a couple of time as if attacking several enemies at once, which he seemed so good at he earned the nickname “The Blade”. Raimund adopted quick movement, while Ciaran argued he feels he’ll be luckier fighting stunned enemies than active ones.

The Iron Fists returned to Minarken cheerful and proud, when a tall ginger man with a booming voice came forward.
“Ye seem like a capable bunch” he said “would ye have an experienced sellsword come along? I won’t ask for more than 900 coins”
“900?!?” said Robin Goodfellow “We can get three good men for 900!”
“Aye,” said the man “And I would kill all three before you were done paying them. They call me Angus the Pious and this holy water sprinkler of mine…” at the mention of which he pointed to his large flail “…brings the fear of God into any man that stands against me.” Then he mumbled more to himself than to others “As long as we avoid anything unnatural…”
The men deliberated for a while, then counted their recent earnings and agreed they can afford and welcome another strong arm after all.
“Good, good,” he laughed. “But first, a toast to our new arrangement! I’m paying.”
The tavern wasn’t far, some ale was still available after the recent raids and the coarse laughter of drunken warriors reverberated through the village until the drink and exhaustion overwhelmed them.