Child of Camp
A Mercenary's Childhood
You were born to a camp follower, one of those motley folks that travel behind mercenary companies like carrion following battle. Your innocence was brief with all the adult pleasures and horrors of the world surrounding you. In time, you decided you wanted to take up a blade with those whose gold and crumbs your people scrambled for. Other mercenaries are ill at ease with you until you prove your worth. They do not look well upon those who take their scraps, though they find them useful. In time, you will distinguish yourself and write your name in blood amongst the dog-brothers you now call family
Child of Camp Stories
|1-3||The Open Road||Well-Traveled|
|4-6||Children Are Seen, Not Heard||Spy|
|7-10||Deprivations of the Poor||Survivor|
|11-14||The Law of Possession||Selfish|
The Open Road
The road is home. You do not remember ever having a permanent residence, but simply the next camp. The revelry of the drunken mercenaries and harlots sung you to sleep. A boot in the ribs knocked you awake. When lucky, you rode on a wagon. When not, you trod along with the others. Yet, for all that, you have seen much of the world and would not trade it for a stable life.
Children Are Seen, Not Heard
Camp followers and mercenaries alike find children get in the way. If you were quiet, you learned something. In fact, the company commander once caught you listening in on his plans for the morning’s battle. At first, his lieutenants raised their hand to you, but he bade them to stay punishment. Instead, the captain had you infiltrate the camp followers of the rival mercenary company. No one noticed you, but you got wind of the enemy’s plans and, on the morning of the battle, they were slaughtered. Keeping your mouth shut and eyes open has its advantages.
Deprivations of the Poor
By pulling up your tunic, you could easily count your ribs after those long months with hardly a bite to eat. The mercenaries had not warred in some while, and the camp followers subsisted on meager food stores, then the horses. Some died, but not you. You stole a scrap of bread here, a rotten apple there, and made friends with a mercenary, tending his armor for him, in return for the remnant meat left behind on the hambones they cooked in the great fires. This deprivation happened more than once, but it did not wreck you. Instead, it made you stronger.
The Law of Possession
If they cannot prove you stole it, then it is yours. You learned that the hard way when another child in the camp took your luck-stone, a rude marble you found on a dead gambler who was knifed in the night for cheating. You got it back. Then, you realized that there were things others had which you, too, could take. The law of the camps says whoever holds it owns it… more or less. The mercenaries who steal from each other get hung. In the camps, punishment for theft isn’t nearly as merciful, but it’s much harder to get caught. Being generous never did anyone any good, did it?
“This is somewhere between civilization and barbarism, child,” your master said as he whipped you. It was for your own good. If you cannot learn the trade, you shouldn’t be apprenticed. Kind words do not hold in the mind as long as the scars on the back from the lash. You’ve grown to the level of master, and understand discipline is the foundation on which craft is built.
A black cat, hidden in the pouch of a dead man along the road. The mercenary that found it cast it aside. A dog can hunt, suss out game, but a cat has no practical purpose. The others trudged by it as it eyed them pleadingly from the mud. You picked it up, rescued it. You cannot say why. You fed the cat from your meager food and, one night, when a scout from an enemy army slipped into the ranks of the camp followers, he started slitting throats and looting. Your throat would have been next, if it hadn’t been for your cat who yelped, scratched the man in the eye, and woke you. Your dagger found his heart as if guided by unseen hands. Sometimes, it pays to be merciful.
Caste Talents: Survivor, Scrounger
Skill Gained: Survival
Skill Gained: Survival