Sometimes, a plan comes together. I love it when that happens.
That did not happen this time.
After the jump, Alice goes to jail
It all started innocently enough. Lord Laruqen had a favor to ask of me. Break a fellow lord out of prison in a nearby Swadian castle. I know from past experience that these quests can be tough, but I’ve finished quests like these on similar characters in the past and figured that this would be quite doable. By all accounts, with my rather generous difficulty settings, it should have been.
Senuzgda Castle is a Swadian stronghold on the border of the Rhodok kingdom. If the Kingdom of Rhodoks is this game’s equivalent of Italian/Mediterranean forces from medieval times, then the Kingdom of Swadia is the expy of the generic western European medieval force. Cavalry, knights, honor and jousting are the hallmarks of their forces. As a kingdom bordering my own, Rhodoks are likely to be at war with them a disproportionate amount of the time, just like at this very moment. A Swadian lord has taken one of our own hostage, and since I am not directly pledged to the service of King Graveth just yet, I am the only person in the kingdom who is able to enter Senuzgda unchallenged and potentially arrange for his escape.
Upon arriving at Senuzgda, I am allowed to enter the castle unchallenged. Walking up to the prison guard, I inquire as to who is inside and ask to be allowed in. The guard is hesitant to do so until I demand the keys. At this point, he realizes a jailbreak is planned and sounds the alarm before I can cut him down with my sword. I quickly duck into the dungeon before anyone else makes their way over to me. Greeting the hapless lord who has been held there, he states that he is weak and will not be of much help in an escape. I make the mistake of telling him to stay out of the fighting and to let me handle it.
Leaving the prison, my escapee equips his full set of armor, shield and weapon and promptly stands perfectly still at the prison door. Every guard in the entire complex begins to swarm down from the walls to stop us, and now I have to defeat them all. My overconfidence from playing high-leveled characters that might be able to survive this onslaught is quickly turning into a sense of dread as I realize that I do not have any assistance with this. I manage to defeat a fair number of the guards, but eventually end up overwhelmed and worn down by their sheer numbers. I fall and end up imprisoned in the dungeon for about a week, before a prisoner exchange sees me released. Rather than attempt to break the lord out again, which will probably just end in failure, I travel to the master’s chambers to see if the castle’s ruler is present. I have a few choice words for him.
Count Plais is not available, but Count Rafard happens to be stationed here for the moment. I figure I will give him a piece of my mind, and he throws a perfect opportunity at me. For reference’s sake, you never tell Alice Dunois that she doesn’t belong on a battlefield. I tell him that he can eat those words for all I care, and he takes offense to my attitude for some inexplicable reason. I get the opportunity to challenge him to a duel, which is the first time I have ever been able to openly goad someone into this and have them fall for it. He accepts my duel and we throw down in the arena of the nearby town of Dhirim. We’re using real swords this time, not the wooden practice swords that arenagoers typically get. I easily block his swings and stab him a few times to bring him down. I gain a pile of renown for being a lowly woman without noble blood who just publicly humiliated a lord, and I make an enemy (so exciting!) out of Count Rafard.
With what I’m planning going forward, Rafard is the first notch in my belt. Enemies… I need enemies…
Up next, we’re going to war.
(Click here for the previous Mount and Blade entry.)
Otagan, known to some as Jared, hails from the frozen wastelands of North Dakota. He is temporarily based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he works for a major banking institution that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.