Master of Firin’ Sword CH6: The Bitter End

By Rutskarn Posted Tuesday Jan 3, 2017

Filed under: Lets Play 29 comments

At last, at long and perilous last, I am ready to approach the common clay of Poland with my gallant band of wealth appropriation artisans. I have weathered many difficulties in getting here, and frankly, my faith in free enterprise is waning. I demand nothing less than total victory in Illyintsy. If there is no room for an enterprising man like myself to exploit a nation’s industry after several days of very difficult freelance clerking, then we have come to a pretty pass and Erik and I shall go no further. I will go to the nearest town, sell my Fanny, and with the proceeds purchase an accountant’s shingle and have done with it.

I send my lieutenant along with the rest of the lads to conduct an impromptu survey re: the village surrendering. After a few long, quiet minutes, he returns.

“There you are,” I say. “Now; twenty-one men proved insufficient to terrify Illyinitsy. Don’t tell me twenty-six isn’t enough.

“Well, sir, we asked around, and the general feeling there is that it is.”

“You mean…”

“The village had a look, and they took a headcount, and they seem to have sort of reckoned, ‘Fair play, you win this one.’ Generally they set about with the grabbing of loved ones, legging it through back gardens, and leaving their homes to be burned and looted by godless outlaws.”

“Really.” I raise my eyes to heaven. “Finally, the little guy gets a break. Call the two thousand thaler I burned for this expedition money well spent. Now, what does the take seem to be?”

“It would seem to be, all considered…two hundred and ninety-eight thaler.”

The money is provided in quite a small sack.

And all at once, as my spirits wither on the vine, the cackling hellish goblins of folly crash full-force onto my shoulders. What have I done? Three hundred thaler? Three hundred thaler? I’d broke stale bread with these vermin for three hundred stinking thaler? I’d gunned down farmers on a dirt track and made an enemy of an empire for the chance to make three hundred stinking flea-ridden thaler? I sold my honor, my dignity, and my standing in the eyes of the world, all for…

“Three hundred thaler,” I say.

“Very nearly, sir.” He wipes a boogey away. “That, and all the stuff.”


“Yeah. The stuff.”

He waves me over to the pile of exotic spices, oil, fine tools, furs, salt, dyes, wine, leather, and miscellaneous valuable trade goods.

I wipe my brow. “Ah. The stuff. As you say.”

Well, that’s alright, then.


I’m having an awful week. I was just nipping back from Poland to sell the fantastically valuable loot we stole this week when–I should say rather rudely–an army of Polish soldiers sprang out and demanded justice for the homes we’ve burned and lives we’ve ruined. They outnumbered us four to one, rode far better horses than my men, and brandished far cleverer pistols.

They say that no man can evade justice forever. Well, in fact, I say it–generally to the handful of men I task with holding the Poles off so that the rest of us can go run away. This is not something I do regularly, you understand. Just every week or so when we get caught.

You might ask, “Why would mercenaries willingly sacrifice their own lives to protect you, Rutger?” I don’t presume to know that. All I can say is that there’s a quality to my mentorship which inspires men to ride directly into enemy fire.

Sometimes the men’s morale suffers for my perceived misuse, but I am always quick to offer them an olive branch. I do mean an actual, literal olive branch. These men are fanatically obsessed with olives. Throw them some olives and a bottle of vodka and they’re happy as kittens at a loom. It seems to erase all ill will instantaneously. I don’t claim to understand it.

What I mean to say is that it’s not that our run-ins with Polish law are catastrophic, or worrisome, or in any way financially or logistically inconvenient. It’s just a bit…well, a bit embarrassing, I suppose. Makes you feel a bit sheepish cashing in a small fortune in booty knowing that several mercenaries you don’t care about gave their lives for it. And my Dutch mastercraft double-barreled prize pistol isn’t back from the gunsmith, so what do I have to console myself with? Just a new wardrobe, a round of drinks for the entire tavern for the entire night, and a quiet evening calculating the interest on my new bank account.

It’s times like this where I wonder if I’ve chosen the most enriching and emotionally fulfilling path for myself. There has to something else I can do to make my name ring out in these war-torn lands.

Perhaps it’s this melancholy which draws my eye to the woman in the corner of the tavern. She seems unassuming enough.

I ask what brings a beautiful maid such as herself to this humble drinking hall. She says:

A single lacrimal discharge rolls down my cheek. “Well, my dear, I am moved. Your story has put tears in my eyes–has bored me, in actuality, to tears. You are endowed abundantly with problems no-one cares about. Now, please excuse me. I am going through a minor emotional crisis have decided to alleviate this by skewering that man over there in a duel.”

Yes, you in the hat. That collar makes you look like a shaved garden mole in the midst of surfacing.
Yes, you in the hat. That collar makes you look like a shaved garden mole in the midst of surfacing.

Yes, I’ve dabbled in swordplay lately. It’s not exactly my métier, but it’s rather more pleasant than pistols and easy to practice with my men. Having tarried with blunts for weeks, I have total confidence in my ability to best a single pub drunk in a live duel.

Yes, it’s a mean thing to be known as a bandit and a thief, but I’ve every confidence that famously killing a few men will brighten things up a bit.

I insult him until his famous Swedish honor compels him to duel me. I send him outside, finish my drink, and stride forward to destiny.

Interesting choice to begin the bout some hundred paces from me, but apparently he likes a bit of a run-up before being skewered. Tally ho, brigand!

Ah. He’s brought an accomplice. Dueling two men at once certainly will test my skills to their limits.



And so ends the legend of Rutger, prince of bandits, terror of the commons. His crimes will echo throughout history as “among the things that happened in Poland during the 17th century.



From The Archives:

29 thoughts on “Master of Firin’ Sword CH6: The Bitter End

  1. evileeyore says:

    Well damn. After all that time you spent worrying about firearms to done in my a sword… or three.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But…You said youll show us how to succeed in this game.I dont see much success going on.

    1. Falterfire says:

      He did, but if you blinked you’d miss it:

      1. Get 26 men
      2. Push over a small village
      3. Sell the proceeds for cash

      Repeat steps 2 and 3, and if at any point you’re accosted by a marauding band of do-gooders, retreat with your goods while leaving a small handful of men to cover your tracks. The money you’ve earned will more than pay for both additional men and luxury goods to make up for the morale lost.

      Since repetition without variation is how you kill comedy, Rutskarn opted to quit after only a single iteration.

      1. Jack V says:

        Presumably, getting your followers slaughtered in a valiant rear-guard action is actually *cheaper* than paying them. I assumed that was going to be part of the stratagem :)

    2. Agammamon says:

      Ah, that’s *easy*

      1. Invest in a point or two in Trade.
      2. Look for special deals.
      3. Spend 30 days racking up 15k+ in gold
      4. Invest 10k of that for 14% *monthly* interest
      5. Goto 1

      Once you’ve amassed a fortune large enough to allow you to fill your quota of soldiers, equip them all (and yourself) with the best available gear, and you’re bored with trading – *then* get into the ‘I wanna castle’ game.

      I’ve been playing with all the settings on normal and the game is stupid easy when 90% of everyone runs from you or are neutral. Just raking in cash hand over fist. Its actually hard to get into a fight as everyone can always move faster than me.

      Shit, I just realized I’ve been playing Donald Trump.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Eh, sorry, but no politics:

        I think if you look at what Shamus was saying on the most recent Denouement post, the bar has to be even higher than usual for a while.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Just mentioning Trump is not politics.Especially if what you are talking about involves business.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Mentioning him at the moment, is. As I say, we should set the bar extremely high for a while. (Edit: Although you’re right – it was more any potential replies I was hoping to head off than anything directly objectionable in the above one.)

            1. Agammamon says:

              That’s fine. While this wasn’t intended to be a *political* jab (or political at all) – just an amusing comparison – I can understand how it could be seen as inflammatory with a yuge potential to derail the thread.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                You mean how it derailed the thread already?Ironically,by a comment meant for it to not derail the thread.

                1. MichaelGC says:

                  Aye, I was thinking of mentioning that! And here I go making it worse. Ah well. The main thing was to make sure that Shamus’ head not be pecked more than it need be, though, so much as I’ll partially regret it again, I’ll still do the same next time if there is one. Thread derailment is less of an issue than would be threads speeding down a particular track.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    I dont remember seeing a thread go that route because of a joke however.

                    1. MichaelGC says:

                      Right. I don’t remember Shamus making comments like he did on the second Dénouement post, though. So, that suggests two things: firstly that the current situation may be different from previous broadly similar ones (and by that I mean different in general, not just for Shamus), and secondly – as I’ve been saying – that we should be more careful than usual.

                    2. Syal says:

                      I do remember that, from very recently.

    3. Disc says:

      I guess you could summarise it as an easy way to (at least) financial success by ripping off gullible lords of their tax money and by murdering peasants and then stealing everything from their villages.

      Which is true enough, but as we can see, there’s drawbacks.

  3. MichaelGC says:

    Slow down! Between this giant post and the release of the beginning of your game on Patreon I don’t know where to start first!

    What’s that? Ulterior whatnow? Dunno what you’re talking about.

  4. Syal says:

    Farewell, Rutger. You died as you lived; utterly outclassed by even the common drunk.

  5. stondmaskin says:

    Man that is a decidely untrue depiction of Queen Christina!

    1. Matt Downie says:

      Well, as far as we know, she abidcated voluntarily and had no desire to reclaim her throne, but it’s more interesting from a gameplay point of view if she didn’t.

  6. John says:

    So Fire & Sword has pretenders just . . . hanging around in bars? That’s different. I wonder if it’s more pleasant than the usual hanging around in castles?

    1. Matt Downie says:

      The actual Queen Christina hung around in the Vatican…

  7. MrGuy says:

    Meta: Is the background up right now for anyone else, or is it just me? I see a black (or very dark) background, instead of the traditional dice theme. Also, the comment box is grey instead of its usual blue.

    1. Syal says:

      Up for me; dark green on the left fading into dark red on the right. (“Leave a Reply” at the bottom is disappearing into it.)

    2. Mortuorum says:

      That’s what I’m seeing as well. I fired up Internet Explorer to verify that it’s the same in Chrome and IE11. I’m sitting behind a rather aggressive firewall, so I thought it was just me.

    3. Austin says:

      I’m on a tablet, and I just assumed it was redesigned, seeing as the twitter feed was relocated. But yeah, green and red.

    4. Zak McKracken says:

      Zooming out, I see it’s actually a dark rainbow. The dice have been gone for a while now. I think the background was a screenshot from some game for a while but not sure since I rarely pay attention :)

      Apart from the black “leave a reply” at the bottom of the comments, it’s actually not so bad.

      “Dark Rainbow” — there’s a name for something in there. Book, Movie, Band, fanfic … not sure. But definitely no good Book/Movie/Band/fanfic.

  8. And the legend of Rutger, born from the fires of a desire to conquer small villages and farms, comes to an end in a violent lash of requiem, as the drunken brawlers of Ilyntsy slayed the foul menace.

    I hope, though, that Erik lives on and transforms into the Pegasus, becoming the greatest horse whoever lived, who learned from his unwise master’s mistakes and transcended Poland, an earthly hollow.

  9. Somniorum says:

    A moral victory for you, in the end, I think – though slain, the three duellists were apparently so drunk that they managed to run their own heads through in perfect synchronisation directly after!

  10. WJS says:

    It’s a bit of a shame that it’s over. Mount & Blade seems like a fantastic game for this kind of series, because its story is emergent from it’s gameplay by nature.

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