Bretton Barbarians: Savaged Kingmaker
Quite a shock to walk past the sherrifs office to find a wanted poster with a likeness to your own face on it. The reward for information on Kern’s where abouts was huge, but he was wanted for not only for theft, but murder too. It was certainly enough to warrant him to keep his hood up, his head down and to scamper back to his hut and gather what little belongings he could cram into his backpack and head out before daybreak. Just in time too, he realised, as he looked back to see Vonkars stocky silhouette heading toward his neighbourhood, accompanied with a few of his “associates”, Vonkar had friends in high places and that swindling back stabbing dwarf would rob his own mother for a few coin. Thieves’ Guild indeed, Vonkar was more like an information exchange, gathering snippets of news and gossip and selling it on to whoever could pay for it. No doubt the news of the dead body and stolen jewels has spread about the town this evening, the damn job was supposed to be easy, Kern should have guessed something would go wrong, but someone has obviously identified him, who? It could be anyone of the witnesses, but he can’t stay to find out, or he could find himself in the dungeon, or worse the gallows. At the sound of Vonkars men smashing his door in Kern knew it was time to go, he slipped into the night and started on the journey to [TOWN NAME] to start afresh… not for the first time either.
Weeks previous Kern caught word that Lady Benin (a very wealthy widow who had lost her husband in a rather dishonourable fight over a debt, extremely gossip worthy at the time) was to be married in a lavish ceremony to Lord Casterian. Many Lords and Ladies from across the lands where invited, and of course lots of wealthy gifts to be lavished upon the newlyweds. In hindsight it was probably not a good idea to use Vonkar as his partner, but he had a knack of finding out what needed to be known, the layout of the Ladies lavish manor, the patrols and the times guests would be out of their rooms. A simple job to slip past a few guards, some of which had already been bribed by Vonkar to look the other way. Climb a wall, run through a few guest rooms while the Lords and Ladies ate and danced, and grab all the booty he could carry.
Well the night came and Kern was assured that all bribes where in place and he set out, he scampered over the huge wall that surrounded the grounds of the Manor. Waited for a patrol to walk by then dashed for the hedge that lay at the foot of the house. He stopped and as expected two well-armed guards with dogs headed his way. Vonkar was unable to approach the men of House Hasthen, incorruptible and loyal to the last. But Kern had a trick up his sleeve; he took out the tiny carved silver whistle and blew as hard as he could. How it worked he never knew, but work it did, the dogs went berserk, howling and barking like they were mad with fever, one pulled free and ran hard to get away from the noiseless whistle, giving Kern the opportunity to hurl his grappling hook and climb to the window. As he made the last few feet a man appeared above him, Kern tried to pull himself into the wall to avoid detection but was almost knocked from the rope as the man seemed to fall and hit the ground with an ugly thump. Kern was now close enough to the window to hear voices, one seemed panicked, the other calm. He peeked over the window ledge to see two humans, one probably only a child, dressed for a lavish wedding in his gentry, sweating and nervous, the other was a guard, a guard of House Hasthen no less, blood stained his uniform. The room had been ransacked and the guard carried a bag of what Kern could only assume where valuables. “Go back to the party young Lord” that last word was emphasised, perhaps a newly gained title for the child? “Your place among the privileged is now assured”. Clumsily Kern slipped a little and gasped as he steadied himself by slapping a hand on the window ledge, the sound alerted the two humans who turned and just saw Kern slip out of sight. As Kern hit the ground he saw the human male laying still, no breath escaped his body, he was dead for sure. If it wasn’t the fall it certainly was the knife that stuck clean in the poor fellows chest. Oh nice ring he thought as he slipped in from the dead man’s finger. “You there!” called the man from the window above, Kern looked up to see the guard “GUARDS! THEIF! MURDERER!” without thinking Kern sought to leave hastily, he flicked the rope, freeing the hook from the window and he belted for the wall, ignoring the barking dogs and the shouts of the guards.
Vonkar was incredibly angry when Kern told him what had occurred, Vonkar was more concerned with his reputation than the fact his money was not forth coming. The plan was to lay low, keep out of sight and Vonkar would inform him if there was any news. Well a few weeks hence and Kern was starting to go stir crazy, not much to do in a poor Gnomes shack, and he was in for a shock. That damned wanted sign, now everyone would be on the lookout for him.