Mount And Blade: Rise of War, Chapter IX – The Nords

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The Nords were ruled by a ruthless man, who was called Rothgar. He managed to overthrow and single handedly kill the noble king Ragnar. The truth is that the whole kingdom of the Nords, was against king Ragnar’s decision to surrender his arms to Harlaus and pay tribute to him, after the heroic victory of the Swadian king outside the walls of Sargoth.

After this compromise that Ragnar made, his kingdom was divided. As you can imagine, Ragnar’s army soon run away from their rightful king and joined Rothgar’s cause, who after a short siege of the Nordic capital, beheaded his king and crucified his body just above the city gates, for everyone to see. His head stood at a pike outside the main gates of the city. This was, in short is the story of Rothgar, the usurper. Or at least this is the way Harlaus told us about him.

The War Begins

I married the young and beautiful Elina, but I could not stay with her for us to have our honeymoon. I had orders from Harlaus and I had a duty to the kingdom of Swadia. By marrying the daughter of Delinard, not only I made a powerful ally, but I also now had the title of the vassal of the kingdom. Harlaus, for old time’s sake, he gave me as a property the village of Azgad, the very first village I got to visit and the place where I found Fendrel, Oliver and the rest of the gang. My warband had reached the capable number of 500 men.  

The beginning of the war found us winning from the very beginning. The Nords were brutes. Raiding and pillaging our mainland, was their objective. This gave me the possibility of waging guerilla warfare. Weapon caches destruction, murdering patrols. The Nords soon realized that they must be more careful with their approach. For me and my tactical mind, I always had solutions for problems like these. The Swadian generals, they wanted a direct approach, an open battle against the Nords. But I explained that, although we could win, there was a big chance of losing too. And if we did lose the battle, then the rest of the kingdom would lest defenseless. Of course, the majority rejected my proposition.

Making a giant bleed

But Harlaus agreed. He gave me resources and three months, to prove the worth of my plan. And so I did exactly that. Soon me and my squad, became the terror of the Nords. They realized that this is not typical warfare. I wanted to make them tire and always be afraid, never be able to calm down. Soon, Rothgar, realized that he could never defeat me like that, and that his troops would bleed out if he continued the raids. He backed off and not only that, but he send me a letter for me to bribe me to go to his side.

“You are a man with extraordinary capabilities. Imagine what my brute force and your cunning mind could achieve” said the letter at one point. I showed it to Fendrel.

“You are acknowledged even by your enemy” said with a smile. “Good job”. He stood in silence for a second. “I don’t believe that you are considering to accept this?”

“No need to worry friend” I said, laughing at the idea. “I am not going to succumb to his charms”.

And so I wrote a letter back to Rothgar, saying the reasons why I would never join him and his army.

“I think you do not understand how things work in Swadia. In the face of the enemy, we stand together, and we win. There is no other way here”.

“Touchy” said Fendrel when I showed him.

Soon, Harlaus and the kingdom marshal, Count Tredian, called us to join the main army. After my successful guerilla warfare, I notified the king that we could at last march against them.

Preperations

We made camp on a hillside, facing the land of the Nords. Me, Rafard, Harlaus and Despin, were going to advance from the North, in order to meet Delinard, Grainwad and Mirchaud. I had a bad feeling about the choosing of the allies and vassals from king Harlaus. He said that he doesn’t want his vassals to argue and fight each other. And the best place to brotherhood, is the field of battle. Although, Fendrel and I, were having our eyes open, just in case, we pledged ourselves to the will of king Harlaus.

One day Harlaus called me to his tent.

“You must go to the other side and scout the enemy territory. If there is a problem, you report it back. We will reach you at no time. Any questions?”

“No sir. Thank you for the trust”.

“Yeah… Trust”.

“What sir?”

“Nothing. Go now, Tharon”.

The Nords Conspiracy

I left early in the morning. Something inside me was telling me that something was wrong, but I am a soldier and we have a war to win. At least that was what I thought. We arrived at the other side at the afternoon of the next day. I send for men to scout and report back to me. We built an encampment and we waited for the rest of the main army to arrive.

The next day early in the morning we saw dust at the horizon.

“Propably Harlaus is here earlier than we expected” said Oliver to me.

“Yeah…” I replied, but realizing that something was seriously wrong here.

Two of my spies arrived, riding their horses in haste.

“Sir, sir!” they shouted.

“Take a breath, man and tell me what is going on!”.

“These are not Harlaus’, they are the Nords of Rothgar. We are trapped sir!”.

Betrayed

Rothgar’s army soon reached us and they stopped just in front of us. A very tall and muscular man stepped ahead of the Nordic army.

“He must be Rothgar” I said to Fendrel, who was standing beside me.

“Hail, great Tharon” shouted the man to me. “Your reputation proceeds you. Your king will not be here today, nor tomorrow. You are all alone out here”.

“You are lying!” shouted Oliver at him.

“I’m I? Tharon, I know that you fought with Graiwad and Mirchaud. You were a problem to many. So they abandon you here, for me”.

I could not believe in my ears. After all these that had happened, they abandoned us. And with me another 500 souls would perish.

“I will give you until morning to decide to surrender” said Rothgar. “If you don’t, I cannot control what is about to happen.   

I looked around. The army of the Nords had already surrounded us. I was just hoping that Delinard was not in any danger, nor his son. If I was to die, someone has to take care of my beautiful wife. My thoughts were going always towards her, and this gave me more reason to fight and live through this. But one thing was sure. I would get my revenge on Swadia. But not now…

Regrets

I felt a hand on my shoulder. Fendrel was standing beside me, full of armor. For sure, his thoughts were with his beloved Sonadel, hoping that he could see her again someday soon.

“I’ m sorry…” I said without even realizing.

“For what?” he asked me back.

“For bringing you here, dragging you here… You should never be here”.

“Listen to me Captain”. Every time he used the word captain, he was being dead serious. “I chose to come with you. You have been a game changing chapter to my life, and I will be grateful. I would have never met Sonadel, I would still be back in my village farming and chasing wolves. You gave me a whole new life”. He stood at attention, with his hand at his heart. “It has been an honor, sir”. He pointed towards the camp.

A Final Speech

“The men are waiting for you”.

I turned to my men.

“Whoever wants to leave, can leave. I dragged you here and I take full responsibility. This is not your fight. Live to see another day. I will not judge any of you”.

There was a momentary silence between the men. Then a soldier, Jarvan being his name the oldest of them, walked past the line and stood before me.

“Sir, we are here to fight for you. Everyone who knows you, everyone who have met you, even those new to the band, understand you are a great man, a talented and a special one. But also, you are a good person, which is the greatest of all those things about you. You are a man worth dying for. You gave us a second chance, gave us a purpose. If it is my last day on this earth, on this land, then, by the gods, I prefer to stand by your side than anything else. And, I believe, everyone else stands with me”.

Oliver crying a battle cry, he drew his sword and started hitting his shield rhythmically. One after the other, the men drew their weapons and started hitting them in their shields on a rhythmic shield taunt. My eyes were full of tears.

“Thank you, men… I thank you…”.

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