Click Expand to see Alaric's tale:
It was a cold winter night in the city of Sarleon, but the local tavern was warm and buzzing with chatter when he walked in the door. He was a large, hairy man, made to seem even larger by the dented armor and huge cloak that he wore, and drew many curious stares as he stumped across the room and settled into an empty stool in front of the bar. These stares turned to grins, however, when he produced a large bag of gold and slammed it onto a table, ordering the bartender to keep every man's cup filled to the brim with spirits as long as he was still standing. Then he sat down on his stool, ordered some ale for himself, and stared off into the distance as if in a daze.
Despite the initial curiosity in the room, the patrons soon found their large guest much too quiet and taciturn for any good conversations, and the familiar buzz soon filled the room again, fueled by the free drinks. The newcomer just sat there, finishing mug after mug, and eventually he was entirely forgotten.One table away there sat a few off-duty soldiers, and one man was bragging to his buddies about a recent campaign.
"I swear to you, there was at least a hundred of 'em surrounding us!" he was saying. "Our captain thought for sure we were dead, but that was before he saw me in action! Those D'Shar fight like demons, but I must've killed at least twenty or thirty or so before they fled. My sword was coated in blood by the end, and I got a nice promotion and a medal from the King 'imself!"
"It is a pity there are no other men of your caliber in the army." remarked one friend sarcastically.
"Too true," said another sadly. "I can't remember how many comrades I've seen killed by those bastards. It's getting so bad that caravans can't even travel without fearing for their lives! Those raiders will be the undoing of the entire kingdom!"
At the sound of the mysterious man's voice the table turned to look at him.
"You think those horse-lovers are a serious threat!?" He looked angry, almost furious. "Why, I could destroy hundreds of them with both hands tied behind my back!"
"Oh you can, can you?" sneered the braggart. "I'll bet you've never even seen one!"
"One? I've seen them massed in numbers that could engulf this entire city!" He drew aside his cloak to reveal an old, chipped warsword with a handle worn from use. "I've killed more than my fair share too, escaping from captivity under the very nose of their trumped up Khan! I gave ol' Kadan a few scars too, before twenty of them wrestled me off him!"
The table looked at him flabbergasted.
"You escaped from the D'Shar capital?" One asked incredulously.
"Escaped? Hell, I laid siege to it! That's a bit of a story, actually. You see, I was riding out towards..."
Then the man launched into the incredible tales of his adventures, holding his audience in rapt attention. He had drank quite a bit of ale by now, and soon he was hollering and gesticulating wildly, so impassioned by his stories that no one dared to question him. The words and drinks flowed and flowed, until every man in the room was listening in, and even the stingiest had to concentrate to keep from swaying..
"...and then I jumped out from behind cover, surprised the entire company of *hic* Noldor, and beat each and every one of them black and blue, and a few other colors besides!"
The bartender laughed good-naturedly. He had so far abstained from the drunken merriment around him, and was more than a little skeptical of this man. "Your stories are just tall, drunken tales. It isn't possible for one man to do all that, even sober. We don't even know your name!"
The man looked at him, his alcohol-addled brain puzzled for a moment. Then a broad grin stretched across his face and he threw a huge arm around the tavernkeeper. "They call me *hic* Alaric. Alaric von Brouhaha!" He gave a conspiratorial wink to his audience. "Y'know why they call me that?" The tavernkeeper shook his head. "Because that's my name! BROUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!" Alaric gave a loud, echoing guffaw that was joined by the rest in the room, and slapped the bartender on the back, almost knocking him over.
"Tha's... tha's a good one..." Alaric said, wiping a tear of laughter from his eye. He suddenly grew morose, and spoke to his audience again in a bitter tone. "That's the problem with this world nowadays! No one *hic* believes anymore! The old stories of heroes and saviors and champions are only stories now! We used to be such a proud people..." He suddenly grew furious. "NOW WHAT ARE WE? Torn apart *hic* by Vanskerry raiders, Imperial legions, and Rav...Raven...Ravenst... REBEL SCUM! We need people to believe in a hero again, get behind him and reclaim all Pendor like it was in the legends!" Heads began nodding around the room, as the drunken tavern-goers saw the logic.
The tavernkeeper, however, was not amused. He was still reeling from Alaric's blow, and in his irritation he said something that he would come to regret very, very much. "Oh a hero, ay? And I suppose you think you're the one to fulfill Madigan's prophesy? Tell you what, I'll make you a wager: fifty denars are yours if you can unite all of Pendor under one banner, and on top of that I'll give you and everyone in here a round of drinks, on the house!"
Alaric's eyes widened. "Tha's...a lot of money..." He furrowed his brow as he weighed the bet. Suddenly he smiled and shook the tavernkeeper's hand vigorously. "It's a *hic* deal!" Turning back to his excited crowd, he hoisted his drink into the air and bellowed, "A toast! To the *hic* NEW KING OF PENDOR! LET'S GET OUT THERE AND CONQUER US A KINGDOM, BOYS!"
The patrons all thrust their mugs up into the air and toasted their king with a drunken hurrah, then downed their drinks and hurried to the door, grabbing what weapons they had and following their leader on his epic quest. The tavern-keeper was left with an empty building, and all he could hear was the startled clatter of metal on metal as the drunks clashed with the town guards, the victorious yell that announced the new king's first victory, and the empty silence when the troops had run out the gates, ready to conquer and fight for the glory of old Pendor.
This story should have ended that next morning with a huge hangover and much cursing, but for some reason it didn't. The drunken crusade continued, the drinking never stopped, and Alaric von Brouhaha, King of Pendor, saw his infamy grow and grow. The group sustained itself by raiding villages and farms by day and drinking and carousing by night, leaving startled and slightly confused peasants in their wake. As news of this mobile beer fest reached all around Pendor, the lazy and shiftless of all nations seemed to be struck with an almost religious fervor, strapped on whatever weapons and armor were close at hand, and ran off to join in on the fun. Soon Alaric's band numbered several hundreds of drunken followers, and entire villages have been said to have been consumed and ripped apart by this band, down to the very timbers of the houses. Local lords have been slow to confront this growing threat, and the last one to have tried, one Lord Bjornson of the Fierdsvain, was reportedly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of revelers, and was last seen with a tankard in one hand and a crazed look in his eyes, another party goer at the biggest and most deadly party in the world. Is Alaric von Brouhaha truly the unifier that the prophet Madigan foretold? Or will the true hero have to fight and destroy this monster, before it consumes the entire world?
Alaric (faction color orange) is the unique spawn of the Rebel Peasants' minor faction, but he only influenced The Kingdom of Sarleon population, where he managed to recruit minor nobles and many militia and deserters. He wants the best for the people he grew with, which are now being abused by lords. It can be clearly seen this by one of his speeches: "We are taking back the land for the people!!", the other two are related to his main hobby, drinking ale.
Alaric von Brouhaha can be captured. Despite the story, his army is not particularly dangerous. His army ranges between 300-600 men, and consists of the following:
- 20-70 Young Sarleon Nobles
- 150-300 Militia Recruits
- 100-600 Sarleon Deserters