TDOSS 2. Black Jacksie

Mulda 8th Morgron – Year of the Stonehammer

Monsters Slain (4) Dungeons Looted (0) Gold Earned (0) Treasure Looted (1 Eyepatch worth bugger all) Lord Cleaver (Always a shit)

Sh**ing bandits! I mean who the cock do they think they are? I’m still calming down from the blood-rage, but I just about remember what the silly idiot did so I’m going to write it down before I forget and as a warning to other prancing pricks. Good thing about this magic quill is that blood doesn’t seem to stick to it…

One thing about travelling the provinces with nothing but a horse, a banged up waggon and stinking dead wizard is that you are a little bit open to cutthroats and unholy opportunistic bastards.

Sundown, the Great North Road: Woodland

‘Ho! Off your horse and put the steel down nice and careful’ Says He

Blank looks all round.

‘Shit off and on your way’ Says I

‘Why don’t you come up here and take the steel off me?’ Says I

‘Not likely, I knows who you are. You’re Strippa Strongblade, a murdering son of a bitch with a clever magic sword’ Says He

That’s one of my names from these parts. I always quite liked it.

‘Names Lord Cleaver’ Says the sword.

‘He can’t hear you’ Says I

‘Whassat you say?’ Says He

At this point the Cutthroat clicks his fingers all smug like and three raggedy little sods with longbows pop out of the shadows o the woods. Stinky bunch. I don’t suppose they’d been acquainted with soap for a few weeks.

‘Friends of yours?’ Says I

‘The name is Black Jacksie’ Says He pointing at his face. He’s wearing an eyepatch and his good eye is all squinty.

This makes me chuckle due to the connotation and he gets a dirty look on his face. He flicks a finger and arrow bangs into my shoulder. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a barb and shaft in your flesh before but it don’t hurt much at first. More shock really, so I jump of the waggon into my fighting crouch. I know its impressive, but he’s not showing his hand because he’s got the upper one with his three chums all beading on me with those long bows of theirs.

‘Alright. You know what’s what and you know my reputation. You probably want to stop pointing arrows at me sod off back in them trees before I take real offence to the wood in my arm’ Says I

I show them my best snarl and give ’em a mean side eye. That usually works on the weak or clever ones who know when to run. My luck that these are strong and stupid. Bloody work was inevitable. I slap the horses arse and he rears and bolts towards the bandits. He’s a good horse is Bluebell and he knows the score. Trained by the battle lords of Que he was, might not look like much without the barding, but he’s a mean shit of a beast and went straight for two of the bow boys, knocking them right in the dirt. That left two for me!

Bloodrage is a funny thing, you don’t know when it comes on because it just does. Like when you know you’re getting drunk but don’t know exactly how you got from sitting on a chair being all friendly to lying on the floor in a puddle of wee. Well it was on me now. Not wee, the bloodrage.

‘You’re a dead man Black Jacksie’ Says I, spit spraying through my teeth. I leap while throwing Lord Cleaver into the last standing cronie’s face. Good shot, right in the cake hole and land a foot from Jacksie. It’s here that he starts blubbing and sobbing while he’s watching me all up in his eye and Bluebell stamping his friends to red butter.

‘I’m sorry! I’m not very good at this! This is my first robbery. Please let me live’ Says he

It’s a funny moment right there when someone plays the pity card and usually I just keep on with the killing, but the thing was that he took his eyepatch off and threw it at me. Stopped me in my tracks. There was nothing wrong with his eye.

‘It’s all an act. I was trying to look dangerous. Please let me go. Please. Please’ says He all a-tremble.

So I did something I’ve never really done before in memory and I took pity. As I write this I realise that I’m actually proud of my actions and although I did jab my quill in his eye to prove a point, I think I’m the better man. I took his eyepatch though.

Onwards to Tinth and the bounty for this stinking wizard!

Stephan Strongblade

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