Omnipotent view - A day in the life of Bradus the bard
Date: Thu, March 07, 2013
Topic: Stories & Fiction
In this story, Bradus the bard's day goes from good to bad very quickly.
by Richard Di Ioia - aka Longetalos
A day in the life of Bradus
Today was a great day, thought Bradus. He conned the village into granting him free room and board, he had the blacksmith’s wife this morning while the oaf was working and the lord of this piss-ant fiefdom was coming to see him tomorrow morning about a position in his keep. That position would allow him to influence the direction of policy, avoid the chaos going around in the back roads of Furyondy, and make him even richer than he already was. Plus the lord’s young daughter was a nice dish he was planning to kidnap once his mission for the Shadowclaw was through here.
All he had planned for this afternoon was to sit around the inn, drink ale, and wait for his Shadowclaw messenger to show up. Maybe it would be priestess Eliana he would have to provide his status report to. For a priestess of Iuz she cleaned up nicely and she enjoyed some really messed up things in the bedroom. Hopefully she recovered from the last session we had together thought Bradus with an evil chuckle.
Ah yes, things were great for good old Bradus the Bard.
“Do you think you deserve that drink Bradus. Do you think I already forgot about your past failures.” Mocked a familiar voice from behind Bradus. As recognition of the voice penetrated the bard’s brain, a cold sweat whispered through his body.
“No Lord …. I am just pretending to enjoy myself … as part of my cover.” Stammered Bradus.
“Very good, remember your place here Bradus. Remember my promise to you; the next time I was … disappointed … I would be eating your broiled tongue over a nice bed of rice.”
“Yes Lord Treason, absolutely my Lord. Everything is in order. No mistakes this time around.”
“I am glad we understand each other. Now tell me a tale good bard. Tell me a tale of my opponents in this land. I wish to be entertained by their antics.”
“Yes my Lord. The following is information I was able to pull together based on the contacts I have, rumors, and what other members of the Shadowclaw told me. There are many factions at odds within Furyondy ……” Bradus spent a few hours filling in Lord Treason on the various players within Furyondy. The synopsis of the conversation is information that many members of BorderWatch already knew through their own contacts.
The chaos currently ongoing in Furyondy is an explosion due to the various factions coming to a head. The most aggressive factions fighting for control are: The Shadowclaw, The King’s Own, The Steel, Blue, Green and Silver dragons, an alliance of mercenaries led by BorderWatch, The Knights of the Hart, The Heroes of Furyondy, The Seven Families, The Knights of the Holy Shielding, The Chamber, the various religious orders, The Royal Hand, and an unnamed faction.
“The Shadowclaw being the Iuzian agents within Furyondy, you are already well briefed on their activities within these lands my Lord.
The King’s Own are the military, navy, ministers, the Royal Guards and the King’s Guards. The military is stretched pretty thin guarding the country against overt threats. The 500 Royal Guards are busy keeping the king and the capital safe. The fifteen King’s Guards are running all over the country acting as ambassadors trying to keep the patchwork together. Overall the King’s Own is neutralized as a force.
The Steel Dragons are working their hidden influence more overtly. They have been in this country for many centuries and have a lot of nobility already indebted to them. They are taking advantage of the chaos to try to maximize their profit and ownership of the country. They do not want the current status shifted too quickly as their long term plans might be jeopardized. They are not a threat in and of themselves in the short term.
The Blue and Green dragons are upstarts to this country and as such are trying to upset the status quo. This will allow them a greater chance to break the hold the Steel have on this country. They are sending troops, monsters, and otherwise trying to cause enough disruption so that they can seize areas of power. We can take advantage of this to further the Old One’s goals. I have arranged a meeting with a Baron Mintor, a servant of the Green, to discuss common strategy. With my abilities, he will be under Iuzian influence in no time.
The Silver dragons are doing the same as the Blue and Green, only their methods are less directly violent. They also want to break the rule of the Steel. The Silver dragons are closely aligned with the current king’s policies and I believe might already have his ear. Although they have their own agenda, they seem to be supporting the King’s efforts.
BorderWatch has started an alliance among the mercenaries companies here in Furyondy. Although but a small number of troops, with little official standing, because the mercenaries are not tied down in fixed garrisons or serving lords they have flexibility not available to the King’s Own. In addition, many are specialist in different areas and as such are unpredictable in their behavior. Luckily many can be turned by the promise of gold, so the Shadowclaw has made some successful dealings with some companies. Apart from a few companies, we should be able to control them easily enough. The big concern is BorderWatch which has stymied our efforts in the past and seems to be incorruptible. My informants tell me that they ran afoul of some followers of the Red Dragons in the past and a squad of assassins is making attempts on the members.
The Knights of the Hart are an order dedicated to defending Furyondy. Although quite proficient warriors, they are conventional troops and not a concern. We know who they are and their capabilities. Many of them are engaged with dealing with the obvious chaos and dragon troops. They have limited time to affect the Shadowclaw.
The Heroes of Furyondy fall into the same category as BorderWatch. These are a mix of various powerful beings rewarded by the King for great and special service to the crown. They have been a thorn in our side for years. Luckily there are less twenty of them still alive.
The Seven Families still bicker amongst themselves and vary from supporting the King to wanting full independence for their province. We have our agents in place in their households and continue to monitor them. I am certain that the other factions also have spies within the Seven Families. This is the game of nobles at its highest level.
The Knights of the Holy Shielding are focused on retaking the Shield Lands from our Master. We are fighting them with our troops as well as behind the lines to cut off their support from Furyondy. This campaign is going quite well as many of the Furyondy nobles are feeling the effects of the other factions so have less troops and funds to support expansion.
The Chamber is a loose confederation of mages started by the Chamber of Four. They are a bunch of independent, self-centered, and unlikeable group. The average Furyondian does not trust mages and therefore they are not much of a threat at the moment. Our powerful mages are easily a match for the quacks Furyondy can bring to bear.
The various religious orders are feeble beings worshipping weak gods. The Old One’s dedicated followers will sweep them from the field of play at will. The fight among themselves and cannot agree on which “good” path is the best. Fear not Lord Treason, the righteous path of Iuz will burn these heretics when it is time.
The Royal Hand is a loose organization of thieves within Furyondy. They picked the name to mock the tax collectors as they view themselves as a different form of tax. Many of the Shadowclaw recruits and informants are from their ranks. They support whoever ensures they become rich.
Finally there is a hidden faction, with key agents and well funded, that works against us. We do not know who they are or who they work for. All we know is that sometimes our plans are told to the authorities and we are intercepted by patrols or militia. We will also find our agents assassinated or disappeared. I believe it might be the Scarlet Brotherhood but why would they be here. Whoever this secret order is, they are very good at what they do.
And that Lord Treason is the status of Furyondy at this time.”
“There are a lot of holes in your information. You have talked for hours and told me very little of how Iuz the Greatest of all, can use this to conquer these feeble begins. Do better next time I come. There are others of greater importance than you that I must see. Succeed in this mission and you will be well rewarded. Fail and I will be well fed. Hahaha…” the last was said as Lord Treason stood up and walked out of the inn limping on his cane.
Bradus stood there sweating, nervous and thinking to himself … this has to be the worst day ever.