Master of Firin’ Sword CH2: Pole to Pole

By Rutskarn
on Nov 22, 2016
Filed under:
Lets Play

I did say that heroes come from humble origins. Well, my humility will be the stuff of mythThose bandit left me with nothing but ten thaler, my clothes, my Erik, and my Fanny. And I know what you’re thinking. Rutger, wouldn’t a hero have murdered those poor bandits? Wasn’t it cowardly to spare their lives?

Prudence, my friend, is what separates captains from flotsam. If I had shot them all there would be a chance–however slim–that they would have shot back.

No–this was the correct choice to ensure I survive to be commemorated. This is how a legend begins: by surrendering to bandits. Then, running away.

You will tell no one.

After some happy hours trekking across the unmilled Polish countryside, I am delighted to find A Town. I believe it has a name. More directly relevant to my personal fortune, it has a Warlord.

Jan is a busy man, and cannot be expected to extort EVERYONE.
Jan is a busy man, and cannot be expected to extort EVERYONE.

My new friend Jan has the right to tax the village Snechko. He finds this duty burdensome, and offers to appoint me his ad hoc revenuer.

As I understand it the situation is this: if I go to the village on his behalf, invoke his name, and collect his rightful taxes, I will be able to keep absolutely all of it. He does offer to let me give him four-fifths of his money, but privately I’m not sure I see the percentage in it. Ah, no, there it is: twenty. Twenty percent of the money. No, I believe that is less. I believe I will take more money. If you’d like to renegotiate afterwards, you’re welcome to find me in Sweden. We offer some very approachable apprenticeships in mercantile, if you’d like to be a businessman someday.

Now–I believe I still have a debt to collect from Casmir at Castle Lodz. So I ride, and after many more happy hours trekking across the unmilled Polish countryside I come to…

Another Town. Marvelous.

Shooting a fleeing man? You have my attention.
Shooting a fleeing man? You have my attention.

Someone killed one of Warlord Janusz’s men, which naturally came as a shock to the military, and he has put a bounty on the head of the culprit. He believes I might be the man to collect it.

“Let me understand you,” I say. “You wish me to kill this fugitive–a defenseless man?”

“He is not defenseless,” says Janusz. “He is a vicious and desperate thug who does not hesitate to kill.”

“Ah,” I said. “Well.”

After the brief and uncomfortable silence, Janusz says, “He’s not well armed, though.”

“You have my steel.”

I am once again thrilled to tatters by the unmilled Polish countryside, and after many happy, happy hours, I at long last reach Yet Another Town. I’m delighted to hear that a man named Kasimir is in residence, but upon presenting myself at the manor I discover it’s not the Casimir I’m looking for. It’s just this fellow.

What a tedious disappointment.
What a tedious disappointment.

Since I wasted my time coming here, I ask him if he has any work for me. He says that I might deliver for him a correspondence of some urgency, should I be journeying to Krakov. I accept the letter and his gratitude.

I’ve always been taught that if a king asks you to do something, you say yes. So I said yes. I’m not going to Krakov, but that’s not really what’s important.

“Where are you bound for?” he asks.

“Well, Krakov, obviously. But at some point, once that obligation is dealt with: I am bound for your beautiful and indomitable fortress at the southern border, Castle Lodz.”

“It’s pronounced Łódź.”

“Are you certain?”

Once my horse is refreshed, I set out, again.

If you gave me a mill I would personally grind every inch of the Polish countryside into powder. Ah, look–it’s Lodz Castle!

Her walls were built to last centuries. Which is fortunate, because THAT IS PRECISELY HOW LONG THIS TOOK.
Her walls were built to last centuries. Which is fortunate, because THAT IS PRECISELY HOW LONG THIS TOOK.

I sweep inside and beg an audience with Casimir. At last, a chance to get my hands on some real legend. This poor fellow doesn’t know what’s about to hit him.

“Count Casimir Tyszkiewicz ,” I say. “I come to you humbly on behalf of your old friend, Warlord Obukhovich, to collect the debt of four thousand thaler you owe him. When can you have it prepared?”

“That again?”

“So it seems.”

He shrugs. “I’m not going to pay.”

“Well, can I persuade you otherwise?”

“Can you?”

I lick my lips, consider the question. Then: “No.”

I began this enterprise with a hundred thaler. Now I have traveled Poland from cap to clog, and I find myself with: ten thaler.

I really think I’m going to have to relax my principles a bit.

NEXT WEEK: STAND, DELIVER, AND PLEASE DO NOT SHOOT BACK.

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20424 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.

From the Archives:

  1. tzeneth says:

    Step 1: Arrive with 100 thaler
    Step 2: Pay off bandits
    Step 3: Attempt to do jobs and fail
    Step 4: ???
    Step 5: Profit!

    Well technically you’ve earned a profit of -90 thaler.

    • Awetugiw says:

      Well, yes. Technically Rutger has, so far, made a profit of -90 thaler. But that may be the wrong perspective to take. Given the dangers of the countryside, you would expect him to have lost his horse, his musket and all 100 thaler by this point.

      So really, Rutger is doing better than expected by one horse, one gun and 10 thaler.

    • ” This is how a legend begins: by surrendering to bandits. Then, running away.”

      … And from then on, he’d lose his fortune, and his legend.

  2. Ivan says:

    Did you end up not doing tax collecting? I thought you said you were going to keep it all for yourself, but why did that end up not happening?

  3. tmtvl says:

    To steal a joke from Kikoskia:

    “Ask me how humble I am.”

    “How humble are you?”

    “Exceptionally humble.”

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Bah,you basically lost just a single 0.And who cares about zeros anyway?

  5. baseless_research says:

    So I’m just going to read the next posts in this series are delivered as if they’re scenes from the Grand Budapest Hotel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN5sqSEXxm4

  6. John says:

    In all the hundreds of hours that I have played, I have never successfully persuaded a nobleman to cough up the full amount of his debt in either vanilla Mount & Blade or Warband. I sometimes wonder if it’s even possible. Are things any better in Fire & Sword?

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I think it requires having a high reputation with the Lord in question, and perhaps also lots of Persuasion.

      I never bother cultivating relationships with Lords though, nor bother with Persuasion because it’s far easier to earn coin by killing people by the score.

  7. Mark says:

    IIRC in M&B: Warband you could accelerate time while traveling with Ctrl-SPC. Not sure that works in this one (and even there it tended to get you caught by bandits in the early game), but it might be worth a try.

  8. Mark says:

    “Well, can I persuade you otherwise?”

    “Can you?”

    I lick my lips, consider the question. Then: “No.”

    That is brilliant.

    • Noumenon72 says:

      I didn’t get it.

      • Rutskarn says:

        You’re probably not the other one, particularly since this is based on English-language etiquette, so I’ll write a full breakdown.

        “Can I (X)” is a standard English turn of phrase.

        Literally, “Can I do (X)” means “Am I capable of doing (X).” But in this context it’s clearly not supposed to be literal; it’s politely asking if the person will ALLOW you do to (X). What it figuratively means is, “I would like to do this for you, and as long as you don’t dismiss me now I’ll proceed as though you’ve agreed to let me.”

        The meaning of “Can I persuade you otherwise,” is supposed to be, “Will you hear me out?”

        Casimir responds as though the question had been posed literally and turns it around on Rutger: “ARE you capable of persuading me?”

        This is rude, blunt, and unexpected, and so it’s (in theory) a little funny. Adding to the intended humor is that Rutger is, immediately and unexpectedly, confronted with–and confesses to–the fact that he actually ISN’T capable of persuading Casimir, especially since Casimir is so blunt and overpowering.

        Anyway, that’s the joke as it’s written.

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