JHARSTAN IRON-AXE, IRON-SHIRT is one of two MERCENARIES who are sole keepers and residents of the MERCENARY'S GUILD in PILGRIM'S PASSING. JHARSTAN is a bear-like man who is perpetually clad in a thick chainmail hauberk. He also always has a large, double-bitted iron ax leaning against his chair, resting across his lap, or laying next to him in bed. His fondest pursuits are good fellowship, frothy beer, and exaggerated story-telling. JHARSTAN has spent many a hard night on the campaign trail. He knows that the minutes it takes to don a suit of armor when the last-shift alarm is raised can mean the difference between life and death. They call him IRON-SHIRT for a reason - he never, ever takes his hauberk off.
JHARSTAN can train Members of the Mercenary's Guild in the use of Heavy Axes and Throwing Axes up to +2 attack, +3 damage. Each bonus will cost 4 weeks of bruising, arm-aching training and 1000 Lunars.
JHARSTAN can train Members to sleep in their War-Harness or Heavy Harness without it affecting their night's rest. This technique costs 2 weeks of hard camping on rough ground and 800 Lunars.
JHARSTAN allows Member's use of the GUILD'S training equipment (giant round stones, sand-filled bags, weighted logs, etc) to increase strength and endurance. Violence Power and Endurance can be raised in this manner, at a cost of 8 weeks and 2000 Lunars per point (as JHARSTAN and NAHVAROK watch over and provide invaluable advice). PC attributes cannot be raised through this method above JHARSTAN'S attributes, which are 16 in both Violence and Endurance.
JHARSTAN knows the Spell COUNTER-MAGIC, which will counter 1 Spell-Point worth of Spell cast by an enemy per spell point expended by the user. JHARSTAN only has 2 Spell Points and so can only teach PCs to use up to 2 Spell-Points. He will teach this spell at a cost of 4 weeks and 1000 Lunars.
When DRONLAN THREE-SWORDS became SHERIFF 35 years ago, JHARSTAN attempted to challenge him for the title. DRONLAN did not kill JHARSTAN, but instead crippled his back so that he can now move about only with great effort. JHARSTAN takes great pains to conceal this weakness. Of course, all this is mostly water under the bridge now - mostly.
NAHVAROK ONE-HAND is the other Mercenary resident at the MERCENARY'S GUILD. He is JHARSTAN IRON-AXE, IRON-SHIRT's best friend and compatriot. Together, they spend much of their time swigging beer and swapping old stories. NAHVAROK always wears a tattered, battle-worn red cape. His right sleeve hangs empty over a missing fore-arm. Unlike JHARSTAN, who is boisterous and sanguine, NAHVAROK tends to be taciturn and short-spoken, mumbling through his own words like he doesn't want to hear them. Drink tends to loosen his tongue, and he then proves amiable and full of fond tales of manful nobility.
NAHVAROK can train Members of the Mercenary's Guild at Swords up to +3 attack and +1 damage, at a cost of 4 weeks of punishing sword-play and 1000 Lunars per bonus point.
He can also train Spears up to +1 attack and +1 damage, at the same rate.
NAHVAROK can train Members to coordinate their small-unit tactics. Once this training is complete, PCs will be able to communicate through battle-signs and secret battle-language, allowing them to plot tactics without the enemy's knowledge. The cost is 8 weeks of field training and 400 lunars per person. A new member to the party will have to also go through this training or else learn on their own time in order to benefit from this coordination.
NAHVAROK knows the Spell IGNITE, which sets fire to flammable objects with a touch (even in unfavorable circumstances such as high wind or rain). This Spell costs 1 Spell Point for those with below 15 MAG, and 0 points for those above 15. Training takes 3 weeks and costs 500 Lunars.
NAHVAROK was once a Red Knight of Kos. This is the type of secret that everybody knows. The cape he wears is his old Knight's cape, retained from some lingering sense of pride. He lost his weapon arm from the elbow down in combat, and decided to retire to the Mercenary's Guild rather than re-learn how to fight the Endless Crusade with the wrong hand.
JHARSTAN worships the Iron Lord with average fervor, and makes abeyance to Kos, the Blood Bull, and Io.
NAHVAROK worships Kos with average fervor, and makes passing abeyance to the Iron Lord and Io.
JOINING THE MERCENARY'S GUILD
The Mercenary's Guild is always on the lookout for new members. To join, the candidate must be:
- Of sound physique, and possessing a measure of skill at arms
- Willing to swear the Mercenary's Oath
- Willing to pay 60 Lunars initial membership, and 10 Lunars per month thereafter
The Mercenary's Oath is thus:
1. Never steal from another Brother Mercenary
2. Never accept a contract that will force you to fight another Brother Mercenary
3. Never share secrets of the Guild with Non-Brothers
4. Tithe 10% of money taken from any Mercenary Contract to the Brotherhood-Guild
5. Fulfill any Mercenary Contract you accept to the best of your ability
6. Share all gossip you learn with all other Brother-Mercenaries
In return, potential members will be given Provisional Member status, able to vote in matters pertaining to their local region. After one year, if their conduct is good, they shall be granted Full Brother-Member status, and can vote on decisions at any Mercenary Guild anywhere in Kos. JHARSTAN and NAHVAROK have heard that there's another Guild in AMBLE EDGE, but don't know if any others still exist anywhere.
All members will be provided free room at any Mercenary Guild, as well as free beer or ale. All other provender (ie, food) is the member's own responsibility. Items stored in the Mercenary's Guild are not the responsibility of other Guild-Brothers.
Only Members can receive training from Guild-Brothers.
The initiation ritual consists of initiates stripping to their undergarments and being covered in ritual blue warrior-paint. A senior Brother will then let some blood from each initiate's arm into a bowl, and then from his own arm and that of any other Brothers present. This blood will be swirled around in the bowl so that it commingles, then offered symbolically to the statues of the Iron Lord, the Blood Bull, Io and Kos. Then it will be dumped into a cask of beer, at which point a drinking contest begins amongst all participants.
Each round, every contestant tries to roll under their Endurance score. Each subsequent round, their effective Endurance is reduced by 1. Failure means rolling on the following chart. Only the last man or men standing do not have to roll on the chart.
Drinking Contest Mishaps
1) Make a fool of yourself in public. 35% chance to gain reputation in Pilgrim's Passing as a drunken lout.
2) Involved in random brawl. Roll Violence Power check or start next day d3 hit points short.
3) Minor misunderstanding with local authorities. 50% chance that a minor infraction against the town chart levies a fine of 2d6 x 25 Lunar. 50% chance (or inability to pay fine) indicates d6 days in the LOCK-UP.
4) Romantic entanglement. 1-2 unattached farm girl, 3-4 married farmwife, 5-6 Idiot Girl
5) Gambling losses - 1d100 Lunars
6) Gain local reputation as the life of a party. JHARSTAN and NAHVAROK are more friendly.
7) Insult local person of rank 1-2 RYNT, 3-4 DRONLAN, 5-6 URIEL
8) You couldn’t really see the rash in the candlelight. Roll Endurance check to avoid venereal disease.
9) New tattoo. 1-3 it’s actually pretty cool 4 it’s lame 5 it could have been badass, but something is goofed up or misspelled 6 it says something insulting, crude or stupid in an unknown language.
10) Beaten and robbed. Lose all your personal effects and reduced to half hit points.
11) Gambling binge. Lose all your gold, gems, jewelry. 10% chance to lose any magic item
12) Hangover from hell. First day of adventuring is at -2 to-hit and saves. Casters must roll MAG check with each spell to avoid mishap.
13) Target of lewd advances turns out to be a witch. Save versus polymorph or you’re literally a swine.
14) One of us! One of us! You’re not sure how it happened, but you’ve been initiated into some sort of secret society or weird cult. Did you really make out with an emu of was that just the drugs? 1-3 Blood Bull, 4-6 Io
15) Invest all your spare cash (50% chance all gems and jewelry, too) in some smooth-tongued merchant’s scheme. 1-4 it’s bogus 5 it’s bogus and Johnny Law thinks you’re in on it 6 actual money making opportunity returns d% profits in 3d4 months.
16) Wake up stark naked in a random local temple. 1-3 the clerics are majorly pissed off 4-6 they smile and thank you for stopping by.
17) Major misunderstanding with local authorities. Imprisoned until fines and bribes totaling d6 x 1,000gp paid. All weapons, armor, and magic items confiscated.
18) Despite your best efforts, you fall head over heels for your latest dalliance. 75% chance your beloved is already married.
19) When in a drunken stupor you asked your god(s) to get you out of some stupid mess. Turns out they heard you! Now as repayment for saving your sorry ass, you’re under the effects of a quest spell.
20) The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire! Accidentally start a conflagration. Roll d6 twice. 1-2 burn down your favorite inn 3-4 some other den of ill repute is reduced to ash 5-6 a big chunk of town goes up in smoke. 1-2 no one knows it was you 3-4 your fellow carousers know you did it 5 someone else knows, perhaps a blackmailer 6 everybody knows.
The above table was created by Jeff Rients, and found at http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/12/party-like-its-999.html (modified slightly by me)
I highly recommend his blog to any and all