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Monday, 21 August 2006
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Part One: From Humble Beginnings
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The two friends settled in at the table, drinks in hand.

"Brengaurd, I'm not sure you realize what you're getting yourself into," warned Kurt mildly, refilling his mug.

"It wasn't my first preference for an assignment," answered Brenguard seriously, "it's a dismal land Sylvania, rather a lonely command."

"Haven't you learned anything about Stirland's history!?! You'd think being the son of one of the province's most prominent counts, you'd know our history!" chided Kurt with a smile creeping into his countenance.

"Ah yes, the vampire wars, Hel Fen, true warriors of honor, epic campaigns. But you fail to realize my dear Kurt, Sylvania is dead," answered Brenguard with a slight smirk at his play on words.

"Let not any priests of Morr hear you joke like that. The lands of the undead are terrible. Dangerous even without a leader," chastised Kurt.

"Ah, if only it were as dangerous as you make it sound! How unfitting is it for a count's son to patrol the borders of a wasteland? Shouldn't I be leading men in the northern forest? Or even a position with the river patrol would be a more glorious place to launch my career from," protested Brenguard.

"Why so eager for military conquest? What's wrong with a position here in Wurtbad? With your father guiding you, it would be merely a matter of time before you rose to the rank of ambassador, or diplomat to our fair capital."

"Kurt, I was not born for politics. I think the constant squabbling of the politicians would be the end of me. My place is at the forefront of battle, winning honor and glory for Stirland and my family!" answered Brenguard exuberantly.

"Then why did you accept the position in Sylvania? You know your father only offered it to scare you away from a career in the military."

"Ah! Now you ask the right questions! The reason, my dear friend, is that in Sylvania I am no man's subordinate. I am my own commander. I can build my army to my specifications, no history to build from, no traditions to adhere to, a fresh start. Can you imagine, 'The Sylvan Guard, Brenguard’s Own.' My name will be remembered long after I am gone."

"Ha! By the time you get to Sylvania you'll be having your aides call you 'The Vanquisher of the Dead.' Sylvan Guard you say? Has a ring to it, but you've named an army you don't even have yet!" laughed Kurt as he took another drink from his mug.

"You're right, I am getting ahead of myself. I do have troops though. You remember Marcus?" asked Brenguard.

"Of course I do! Half the city thinks he's your brother, the other half that he's your servant."

"If it were up to me, he would be my brother. Here in Wurtbad the fact that he is born of a lesser noble makes his friendship with me looked down upon. I plan to make him my second in command in Sylvania. If any man deserves a raise in status, it is he."

"So you leave with yourself and a single commander?"

"No, my father has granted me some of his state troops. One unit of gunners and a cannon as well."

"Not nearly enough even for a small patrol," answered Kurt apprehensively.

"I'm told that there are levies of militia and some rag-tag patrols already there, mostly working as mercenaries. I'll simply assert the authority of the Count of Stirland, and if that doesn't go over with them, then I'll put a little fear of the Emperor into them."

"Be sure to write back, I doubt that someday people will believe that I was once friends with the famed captain of the Sylvan Guard" joked Kurt, rising from the table.

"I will write. Rest assured that I will miss Wurtbad dreadfully. Come and visit, if you can find the time to do so what with your knightly training."

"Vacation to Sylvania! Wouldn't quite be like old times now would it?"

"Not quite, but close enough. I'll still have my rifle, we could always go hunting."

"Hunting! In Sylvania!?!" laughed Kurt, half expecting it to be but a joke.

"Of course! No game there, but I hear they have fantastically large bats, and of course wolves. I even hear rumors of cannibalistic loners, called ghouls by the locals I believe. Just more of a challenge, that's all."

"My friend, if anyone is well suited to this job, it's you. May Sigmar watch over you," wished Kurt, extending his hand.

"And may Morr keep those I vanquish firmly underground."


Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 August 2006 )
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