Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Salvador Duranti: Part II

After his part in the failed defense of Winterhaven in Southern Llael, combined with the fact that they did not in fact get paid for their crucial role in evacuating the civilians, Salvador Duranti had a dispute with his employer and left the yet-unformed mercenary company, vowing to make his own and do it better. He still had in his possession the several pages from the Libre Mechanikus that they had found in the old barn, a fact that he had not bothered to mention to the others. It was a simple matter to find members of the Order of Illumination in the area, since they were looking for their fallen fellows and the stolen pages. He told them what he know and sent them toward the farm where they're found the pages, then offered them those same pages for a reward.

Handsomely compensated, Sal turned his attentions west to his homeland of Ord. He made his way to Corvis and booked passage down the Dragon's Tongue River to Five Fingers, where he disembarked and began looking for work. His status as a Lieutenant in the Steelhead Mercenary Company (a title he still maintained on his "hiatus") allowed him to make several contacts early on who were eager to work with a warcaster-for-hire. The most promising of these leads was an old acquaintance of his named Terkainen Calhoon, a Rhulic mechanik of some notable skill. Terkainen had been employed working for a mining conglomerate the last time they had spoken, but the dwarf now seemed to be looking for work, alongside a beat up laborjack with a bodged together halberd the dwarf affectionately called "Rust Bucket". Sal suspected that his current unemployed status from the mines was related to his possession of the 'jack, but without prying too deeply he decided that having a skilled mechanik with his own 'jack would end up being very useful.

With the beginnings of a legitimate outfit, Sal drafted up a charter for "Salvador Duranti's Preemptive Salvage Specialists", which he envisioned would specialize in the destruction and salvage of military hardware, then utilizing Terkainen's mechanikal expertise they could upgrade Rust Bucket or any other 'jacks they might come into possession of. This was a plan that could eventually lead to a sizable force-for-hire, and would allow for the training of him and his associates to be worthy of far more impressive contracts.

The second big break came when he made contact with Egan Eisman, a representative of the wealthy House Mateu. The Mateus were looking for discrete mercenaries on retainer to use in undisclosed operations for an indefinite period of time. It was an ideal set up, and Sal jumped on the opportunity. Several hours of haggling and drafted contracts later, and a very solid deal had been come to. They would have their expenses covered and steady work, with respectable pay for each job, and a place to use as a base of operations. Terkainen immediately started setting up in an empty shop as his mechanik's room, while Sal began looking around for additional members.

The next acquisition was a kayazy traveling alchemist named Michael Western looking for more steady work. In addition to his obvious skill with explosives (never a bad thing) he was well-trained in dealing with money, and Sal assigned him as the Company Treasurer to ease his mind from needing to count coppers all the time. Next he found an ex-trencher sharpshooter named Elias Kurgan with extensive medical background, and Sal hired him as the sniper and medic for the group. Finally he found a pirate on the docks who was looking to stay clear of his former crew - something about a betrayal or mutiny, but Sal didn't care so long as the man was willing to fight alongside them for coin.

With his five specialists, Sal made arrangements with Egan to travel to Merin, where they would work on retainer for House Mateu. Over the several days of travel it took to get there, Sal did his best to form a unit out of the disparate personalities and skill sets. He trained them on fire-and-advance tactics, allowing Rust Bucket to screen them while the rifles picked off anyone too close. He demonstrated his ability to allow his comrades to find cover virtually anywhere to remain safe from explosions and bullets.

Until they are tried in combat, though, it's all just words.

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