Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Fyrd

Fyrda (Militia)
The Fyrd are Búras and Ceorls (peasants and freemen) who when called upon to do so, must arm themselves and serve their lords in time of war or muster quickly to defend their lands from raiders. Although this is a service they owe to their Thegns and Eolderman, their lords are also obligated not to keep them from the fields and their professions for too long. Some men prefer service in the Fyrd to toiling in the fields and become almost a standing army of semi-trained soldiery.

Esne Fyrd (Levy)
The Esne(low)Fyrd are inexperienced and untrained farmers and tradesmen called to muster and armed with whatever they have to hand. Used to swell the ranks, or harry an enemy already routed, they cannot be expected (or trusted) to hold against real warriors. The best of the Esne are woodsmen and hunters armed with axe and bow.

Búras: Armour Class: 9 [12]; Hit Dice: 1/2; Attacks: 1 (1d3); Special: Survival Instinct; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 1/2/15.

These peasants will stand as long as there are warriors in front and behind them. They’re more inclined to run than stand, and have a canny knack for slipping away quietly: -2 on all morale modifiers +2 on all rolls to evade pursuing enemies.

Dræfend: Armour Class: 9 [12]; Hit Dice: 1/2; Attacks: 1 Huntnaþboga (1d3); Special: Hit and Run; Move: 11; HDE/XP: 1/2/20.

The Dræfend’s, or hunter’s, bows have a maximum range of 240’ but they are not archers drilled to fight in massed ranks and are more adept at ambushing armies on the march than facing them on the field.

They are also excellent woodsmen and at their most deadly fighting hit and run engagements in woodland. On a roll of 1-4 on d6 they are able to loose a volley and retreat to safety before their foes even realise they were there.

Wuduweard: Armour Class: 7 [12]; Hit Dice: 1; Attacks: 1 wood axe (1d6-1); Special: Hack Attack ; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 1/30.

The Wuduweard, or wood wards, work and care for the forests, most of them are large bear like men, armed with wood axes. Folklore, or gossip, has it that many have more than just a passing resemblance to bears, but a big man with an axe is dangerous, bear kin or no.

They aren’t warriors, but can give even seasoned troops a shock. In short and ferocious attacks they strike armed foes at +1, can split a shield if the wielder misses their ST, fight so fiercely their effective AC is beyond that expected of unarmoured troops, fight with a morale of 10, and on a critical hit will sever limbs (for an extra 1d3 damage).

They cannot maintain these shock assaults for long, for each combat turn after the 3rd their powers begin to wane: no criticals, AC worsens +1 [-1] , To Hit Roll -1, morale -1 each round after the 3rd.

Ceorls: Armour Class: 8 [11]; Hit Dice: 1; Attacks: 1 Gár (1d6); Special: For Home and Hearth ; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 1/30.

Ceorls are free men, mostly farmers and artisans, who have a duty to serve in their lord’s Fyrd. However their Lord also has a duty not to keep them from their trade, and especially from the harvest, for too long.

Although not warriors most have some military experience, can be expected to march and fight in formation, and provide their own shield and spear.

They are best used defensively and when led by a Thegn and massed in a shield wall gain a -1[+1] bonus to AC. They can also use their spears to strike from the second ranks of the shield wall. When defending their home lands they gain a +2 morale bonus.

Fyrdmenn: Armour Class: 6 [13]; Hit Dice: 1; Attacks: 1 Gár (1d6)or Seax 1d3+1; Special: For Gold and Glory ; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 1/30.

These men are the core of the Fyrd, and are full time warriors, preferring the military life to the life of the farmer or artisan, yet still not part of the warrior caste.

In war they can be relied on to stand (though not necessarily prevail) against all but elite troops. In times of peace they serve as guardsmen. As semi professional soldiery they are better equipped and trained than the rest of the Fyrd and most will own shield, spear, saex, a leather cap and jerkin.

Although as patriotic as any of their kinsmen, it’s the chance to better their lot that really gets their blood boiling. An act of outstanding bravery on the battlefield can earn them gold and silver rings from a generous lord, or even the chance to become a Thegn. They gain +1 to attack, movement, and to morale if there’s even a hint of a chance to gain gold and glory.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Redwald Will Return . . . after this short message from our sponsors . . .

Born of Evil - an 11,277 word/45 page Fantasy Novelette.

A Dark Fantasy tale in the traditional Swords & Sorcery style.

Kindle UK
Kindle US
Kindle De

Once Finnon was a lord, a lord with warriors, a wife, a son, but Jarl Karstak took everything he loved. Now all he has left is the love of the Only God, an iron will, and a fearful talent for slaughter. One sword against Karstak and his thousand riders, Finnon’s only hope of vengeance is to lead his foes deep into the ice wastes and let cold and attrition do the work his single sword cannot.

When he himself is overcome by the cold only the intervention of mysterious Ísascynn, the Ice People, saves him. But the Ísascynn are plagued by an enemy of their own, and enemy far more fearful than Karstak and his thousand riders, a monstrous creature created for destruction and born of evil. A creature the Ísascynn claim Finnon is destined to slay.