“Blood boiling, Harbard feet stomped on the ground, trying to keep up with Araxia. He couldn’t believe he could be so careless, that some thieves would be able to steal his pack while he slept. Luckily, Araxia had caught their scent, and he had followed them. He found them greedily counting out their findings, and he spared no hesitation in attacking. He cleaved the larger man’s head from his body, and he began approaching the wiry young man who appeared frozen from fear. Harbard’s form towered over the boy, his rage settling down, as a new idea popped into his head.”

So on the road to Shieldstone, I let Shawn have Harbard do a final bit of frolicking through the woods, in which, I decided to have a couple thieves steal his things while he slept since it was part of my random encounter table. Needless to say, Harbard did not take that well. With a huge survival roll and a some assistance from Araxia, it was quite easy to for him to find. And in angry typical murder hobo fashion, he was quick to pull out his axe. And without even a turn’s rolls on the enemy’s side he and Araxia managed to massacre one of the men before turning on the other.

Evil Grin
No one steals from Harbard Stonehand

Now, I introduced the remaining thief as a young 16 ish year old boy named Tim, who really was only stealing to survive. At this point, I thought I knew what was coming, which was either Harbard killing the boy or releasing him out into the world as a show of mercy, but as always, I am hit with a surprise, as Shawn in Harbard voice told him that he Tim’s life was his now and that he would be serving him, as he proceeded to tie the boy’s arms and hands up with Araxia standing guard over him the next night. Slavery? I’d say not. More like a kind transaction of, “I killed your friend for stealing, and you can either do the same or serve”.

 

Harbard was stern but not all together inhumane to his newfound…charge. He fed him, even if he kept the boy’s hands tied up the entire time, making him struggle for it. Eventually, taking care to keep his charge well, and continuing on, they finally got out of the mountains, and into the open plains that led to the city of Shieldstone.

 

I don’t know if that day if I was just feeling like annoying Shawn, but my random encounter table stated he would encounter a noble that day, and I made the most arrogant little idiot encounter him, and well, Harbard is as Harbard does when he encounters someone he doesn’t like.

 

Enter Logan Shieldheart, son of the principal family running the city of Shieldstone, who’s got a little bit too much pride in the privilege his family’s status given to him. In addition, he’s dragging along his two reluctant retainers on a hunting trip to the mountains of the Sun. With his pompous attitude, Harbard tried to easily wash his hands of the young man and direct him where he wanted to go. But…a few mispronunciations of his name, without any intention to correct oneself, pretty much angered Harbard to mockingly do the same. And of course, the boy touting his name, tried to attack Harbard, which resulted in his prompt defeat, and a crushed hand. I made and acted out Logan Shieldheart so annoying that even I was satisfied when Harbard’s punch knocked him out.

giphy
Logan to Harbard
Harbard to Logan
Harbard to Logan

 

It was entertaining to see Harbard threaten the retainers, Carl and Mike (whose names literally were probably the worst on the spot names I have ever thought of) who knew they were out of their league, letting Harbard take the items he wanted, including Logan’s heirloom blade, in exchange for not getting hurt. They gathered the knocked out noble, and went on to the mountains. New shiny jewel blade and his tied up charge in hand, Harbard continued on to Shieldstone.

 

“He watched as the two men carried the boy’s slumped form towards the mountains from whence he came. He looked to Tim, and gave him a bit of a nod to remind the boy not to incur his anger. Araxia nudged Harbard from behind urging him on, and they continued onward on their journey.

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