Saturday, August 1, 2009

Viking Commandos

From Elizabeth Boyer's The Sword and the Satchel:

"How many fighters can we count on?"

"Twenty longbows, thirty spears and lances, eighteen broadswords and axes, fifty with slings and stones, and perhaps a hundred with clubs, knives, flails, hooks -- whatever they can lay their hands on."

"No horsemen?" Asny asked.

"Horses are rare nowadays. All instruments of war were confiscated, and that included horses," Njal said.  "We thought we could do as well or better without them. Our warriors are trained to walk through the woods without a rustle or snapped twig. They can hide like the wild beasts themselves in places where there is no cover. You could walk through fifty of them and not realize it until the single fatal arrow is flown." Njal spoke proudly of his men...

Do these guys sound like thieves to you? They ain't. And when one buries an axe in your skull, it will be even more obvious. All hail the viking commando!


  1. I'd be surprised to see anyone (at least any old schoolers) call those guys thieves. They sound more like 1e rangers to me.

  2. Incidentally, I still haven't got around to picking up the Boyer books, though I've been watching on eBay.

  3. Ha! You know, I JUST realized yesterday that you share the same handle as the main character in The Sword & The Satchel (i.e. "Kilgore"). I know you mentioned earlier that the book was an influence on you.
    : )

    And I was actually very fortunate to find copies of all her books in a used book store recently. Probably because I like close to Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle) that has a large viking (i.e. Scando) community.

  4. To be honest, the meaningful "influence" was rather small, just a sort of Norse outlook on things. I happened to be reading the book right when I DMed for the first time ever.

    I DID steal the name "Kilgore" for an NPC (with a legitimately rolled 18(97) strength) who later turned into my main PC.

    I also think there was a wizard named "Skanderberg" in the book, though I'm not positive it was the same book. I used that, too.