Scout Lore

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Chronicle Scout

Most consider Rogues creatures of civilization, but there are some among their ranks who almost never venture into a city or town, specializing in reconnaissance instead of burglary or murder. Anyone looking to find an ancient ruin or wage war in rough country will need a guide through the wilderness, someone who can find their way through forest or fog and spy out the movements of enemies. The are some among the Rogues who will eagerly provide all of these services... for a price. A keen eye, nimble foot, and silent tread: the traditional talents of the Rogue can prove quite valuable in the wild, and Scouts have them in abundance.

Every Scout is a master of finding their way, even under the direst conditions, and can make good speed over the roughest terrain. Scouts are also superb trackers and foragers, though most never learn much of the ways of beasts. A Scout's greatest assets, however, are their senses. A good Scout can spot potential foes hundreds of yards away, and most have honed their senses to such a degree that it is almost impossible to catch a Scout unawares. While capable in a fight, most Scouts on a job are loath to reveal themselves, bypassing trouble or looking to their skill at stealth to keep them from harm. A Scout's skills and quick wits are his only protection from death in the wild, and those who live to an old age are as wily as any Ranger.

While Scouting is considered a legitimate profession by most, all Scouts are still Rogues at heart, and Commanders who treat their Scouts badly should beware. Scouts hire out their skills to any who can afford them. While questing heroes maintain a high demand for Scouts' services, these Rogues of the wild are found far more often in the employ of armies. Good reconnaissance can be the key to victory in battle, and most Commanders refuse to take their armies into hills or forests without a pack of Scouts to serve as their eyes and ears.

Narrative

Alright, now listen well. At the end of this valley there are two trails leading out and to the east. The leftmost looks easiest, but it isn't: it ends in a steep defile about half a mile from here. Lead your men the other way instead. Beyond there's a river, and the bridge has been destroyed. Don't worry, I found a ford off to the north, good enough for men, horse, and wagons. Just opposite the bridge Osric's men are waiting. He's got about two score archers hidden in the underbrush, while the main body of his troops are camped in a meadow just beyond those trees there. No - those trees. A pretty shabby lot, all long pikes and leather armor. They look like easy pickings, but it's a trap - Osric himself is with a company of elite troops hidden in reserve at the end of the meadow. Nasty bunch: heavy horse, the rest of his archers, and some strange tattooed fellow I'll wager is a spell slinger. Caught a bit of what they were saying, and it looks like they're expecting us. That's about the size of it, scout's honor, and if you don't believe me, you can ride ahead yourself and see.

How did I get so close? Well, it's what you pay me for, isn't it? I've been living on my own in the wild since I was ten years old. I know to stick to game trails, weave fronds into my hair, and paint my face green and brown so as not to be seen. I'faith, I could crawl right through a dry briar patch without making mark or sound. I grew up in the streets of Rovayle, as poor and cunning a guttersnipe as you could imagine. Crept through my share of creaky hallways and narrow windows before they banished me, and in the times since, I've only gotten sharper. I can see a squirrel in the boughs of a tree a league away, and hear the whisper of an owl in flight. No wolf or Wyldkind's ever got the drop on me, and none ever will.

In my day I've worked with all sorts of Scouts, from woodfolk to farmer's sons to strange, ugly folk I'd swear was part Orc. Some have lived in the woods all their lives while others found their way there, like me. Don't much matter in the end, after all - if we do our job, you lot always come through fine. I've seen enough idiots get slaughtered to know what happens to an army without any scouts. Some scouts swear allegiance to a prince or bishop or clan, but most just live from job to job, seeing the world one sneak at a time. A good scout's worth more than gold, and trust me, commander, you're working with the best. I thought of swiping Osric's helm from his luncheon table and bringing it back to you as a prize. No, I was that close, and I could've gotten back past their guards, too. But then he'd know I'd been there, see, and he'd know that you know where he is. Can't have that, right?

Back to business. Osric's thinking you'll just barrel right up the valley and into him, and if we turn to the north for the ford, his archers'll see it. I can manage to find another way. Pull your men back, then veer north to that promontory there... no, that one there with all the trees. Then we can cut straight across the ford and pinch his reserve right in the arse before he knows we're there. With all due respect sir, it seems a worthy plan to me. But whatever you're going to do, you'd best be quick. Osric will have scouts of his own, sure as snow in the North, and I guarantee you that they're watching us and counting your troops right now.

Promotion Narrative

So what are you, some pickpocket? Some petty burglar who's run afoul of one law too many? Do you seek an easy way out of town, and a Scout's badge that'll earn you easy employment in the Guild wars? It's not that easy, see. Sure, you're quick, and quiet too, but there's far more to it than that!

I've been living on my own in the wild since I was ten years old. I know to stick to game trails, weave fronds in my hair, and paint my face green and brown so as not to be seen. I'faith, I could crawl right through a dry briar patch without making a mark or sound. I grew up in the streets of Ravayle, as poor and cunning a guttersnipe as you could imagine. Crept through my share of creaky hallways and narrow windows before they banished me, and in the times since, I've only gotten sharper. I can see a squirrel in the boughs of a tree a league away, and hear the whisper of an owl in flight. No wolf or Wyldkind's ever got the drop on me, and none ever will. Think you could do as well? We'll see,

Well, you have some talent, and some spirit too -- that counts for something. If you'd be a Scout, you'll have to sharpen those eyes of yours, until you can see a mouse run on the next hillside before a flying hawk can pick him out. Better yet, pick him out blindfolded, by ear alone. On a battlefield the unknown is always the gravest danger, and there are far too many who can walk unseen. A good Scout, though, will hear them, or smell them, and the best can flush them out for all to see. A good scout can spot their foes a league away, and most have honed their senses to such a degree that it's impossible to catch them unawares, day or night.

Sure, your berserks and knights get all the glory, but without a good pair of eyes they'd get lost on their way to the fight, or ambushed before they were halfway there. Strength and swords are all well and good, but Scouts know that the best defense is to see them coming, and then not be there. A Scout's skills and quick wits are his only protection from death in the wild, and those who live to an old age are as wily as any Ranger.

In my day I've worked with all sorts of Scouts, from woodfolk to farmers' sons to strange, ugly folk I'd swear was part Orc. Some have lived in the woods all their lives while others found their way there, like me. Don't much matter in the end, after all -- if we do our job, the soldiers always come through fine. I've seen enough idiots get slaughtered to know what happens to an army without any Scouts. Some of us swear allegiance to a price or bishop or clain, but most just live from job to job, seeing the world one sneak at a time. A good scout's worth more than gold, and trust me, you're learning from the best.

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