Author's Notes: Hey everyone, this is an idea I had awhile ago and am trying it again. Games Workshop own Warhammer.
Werner Hoelscher, or to employ his former full title Sir Werner Hoelscher sworn to Baron Guntram Becherer of Wissenland, wrapped his blanket tighter around himself and swore at the seemingly endless spring rain. For what seemed to be the hundredth time he cursed the fates which had brought him to his current situation. His mind went back, as it had almost constantly for the previous week, to the events which had led to his full title becoming his former title.
"Sigmar curse that fool Becherer and that wretched ponse Ehman and his slut!"
It was all Sir Ehman fault. He had caught Werner with his mistress, some empty-headed doxy from Nuln. It was common knowledge that he had tired of her anyway and was looking elsewhere for a more permanent arrangement and Werner had assumed that the man wouldn't care. It turned out that the man had and had challenged Werner to a duel. Werner hadn't meant to kill him, things had simply gotten out of hand. Even then it might have been the end of it if it hadn't been for Ehman's cousin, Father Liebwin. Ehman's body wasn't even cold before he was causing trouble.
Liebwin had denounced Werner, calling him a whoremonger and a murder. The people of Wissenland were as a whole highly pious and it did not take long for the priest's words to turn people against them. Even before these events Werner was rather unpopular, he was just too different. In a land of people known for their grimness and piety Werner was, if not what could be considered overly-merry by people from other provinces, much more so than many of his fellow Wissenlanders. While he honored the gods he was far less pious than many of those around him. These traits caused him to be disliked and looked down on by many and when Father Liebwin began to cause trouble it did not take him long to get Baron Becherer on his side. Not only was the baron a pious man, but between them Liebwin's and Ehman's families controlled much of the commerce in the area and were rumored to have the baron in their pockets. The results were predictable; Werner was banished from the lands the baron controlled. He could have fought it, appealed to their overlord, Elector Countess Emmanuelle von Liebwitz, but he knew that there would be no point. She was far away and had little interest in the doings of the various barons as long as they did not interfere with her own activities.
Becherer had given Werner only a short time to be gone from his lands or face his wrath. This had left Werner only one option: south over the Black Mountains and into the lands known as the lands of the Border Princes. The Border Princes! The thought of them made Werner grind his teeth in ager. A wretched land filled with monster and vagabonds! The detritus of the Old World, come there as they had nowhere else to go.
"And now I am one of them." He hissed, his voice a mixture anger and self-pity. He had been a knight! Now, while he would still have the title and technically be a knight, in truth he would be little more than a mercenary with a fancy title and the only advantage of that would be that he could hopefully command a higher price for his service.
"Price! It has come to this! Me, a sell-sword for some thug calling himself a king or some other ridiculous title!"
He took a deep breath and tried to calm himself. Hopefully his new lord, whomever that might be, would provide him with better food than the hardtack and salt beef he was currently subsisting on and something out of the wind and rain. Things had to get better he told himself, it was not as if things could get much worse. With that less than comforting thought he curled up in his blankets and tried to sleep, hoping and praying that no goblins would slit his throat in his sleep.
Fortunately the gods appeared to be inclined to hear this prayer and he awoke the next morning with only stiffness from sleeping on the ground for injuries. He mounted his horse and rode on, the mule carrying his gear and possessions. Though it was uncomfortable and tiring to wear for a prolonged period of time he wore his full armor. He was entering dangerous territory and he was not going to risk being caught off guard. His shield hung from his saddle and his hand was never far from his mace.
He rode down the road which went through the pass, grateful that he would not have to go force his way through the mountains. Though Spring had come the mountains still possessed a large amount of snow and there was a good chance that he would have frozen to death long before he made it to the other side. Rather to his surprise he met no resistance that day, nor the day after. Indeed, he was able to make his way through the pass without incident. He supposed that the pass was close enough to Karak Hirn and that the fear of the its Dwarven inhabitants kept goblins and other unsavory sorts away. The mountains eventually gave way to a forest and Werner soon found himself jumping at every sound. Several times he was sure that he saw eyes watching him, but again he was not attacked.
As the forest gave way to plains he at last saw signs of civilization, as there were clear signs of the land being cultivated. Here and there he saw fortified farmhouses and there was a road, or rather a muddy track, which clearly lead somewhere. As he followed the road he saw a cloud of smoke, not the smoke of a out of control blaze, but rather the smoke that indicated a collection of humans. Soon he saw a town ahead of him.
"Some luck at last." He said to himself. He could hopefully resupply and find out who held power in the region. As he drew closer; he felt his hopes decreasing.
It wasn't a town; it was barely even a village. It would be more accurate to describe it as a collection of huts that many of the peasants in the Empire would have turned their noses up at. It more resembled the hovels inhabited by the peasants of Bretonnia, it smelled like them as well. A little way away from the village, though still connected by the wooden wall which encircled the entire village, was a hill which looked as if it had been raised through artifice. Upon this hill was a palisade of logs and in the center of this was a single stone tower three stories high. Werner guessed that this was were the local lord, whatever his title might be, lived as it was by far the finest looking structure in the village, as well as being the most defensible.
All in all it did not appear to be as promising as it might, but it was all that there was and Werner would have to make the best of it. At the very least it looked as if he would be guaranteed that the lord of the village would take him into service. The place could not be overly well defended and thus a new sword, one wielded by a knight, would be most welcome. On the other hand, it was doubtful that the lord would be able to pay much, if the state of the village was anything to go by.
"Well," Werner said glumly; "Beggars can't be choosers." Neither his purse nor his supplies would last forever and while he had some skill as a hunter, he did not want to find out if he could support himself entirely on it. Nor did he fancy living in the wilds like some vagabond or mutant. No, he was a knight and a knight lived in a castle and served a lord. Thus he pulled off the road, shaved and polished his armor to a mirror sheen and rode towards the village's open gate.
The wall surrounding the village clearly had a walkway on the inside as two men stood on it, one on either side of the gate. Neither man wore any armor save for kettle helmets and bracers, which all showed signs of heavy use and wear. If their armor was less than impressive there was no fault to be found with their weapons. Both men bore crossbows which they were pointing at him. The one on the right, who appeared to be slightly older than his fellow, did the talking.
"Who are you and what do you want?"
"I am Sir Werner Hoelscher of Wissenland. I am new to these lands and I wish to speak to your lord." He expected the men to wave him through. Instead both of them laughed.
"You hear that Henry?" The one on the left said.
"He wants to talk to the lord?" Henry laughed and nodded. He then turned to look down at Werner.
"By all means, good knight, do come in an meet the 'lord.' The entrance fee is three pence."
Author's Notes: Hello everyone, I hope that you enjoyed it. A bit short I know, hopefully they will get longer. I have been listening to a series of lectures on the The Prince and it inspired me somewhat. I will update, but I am going on vacation and it will be a bit before the next. One more thing, if you are new to my work I loath the End Times and it shall not be appearing.