Kill or Be Guild, CH5: Croft to a Bad Start
Through no fault of my own, I’ve been squished up into a quilted gore diaper. Again: I am entirely blameless. All I did was order my employee to attack the most powerful crime syndicate in town over a pocketful of loose change. And then I rushed to his aid. And then he died. And then I rushed from his aid. And then I died. And then I hit fast-forward. And then I came awake while fast-forwarding and accidentally hit “attack” on the same pickpocket and died again, along with my other henchman who was standing nearby.
And now I’m just fine, thank you. Well. I guess I’m a bit, you know…
…walking nightmare, but that’s fine. I’ll be fine. I’m too poor for medical care, but as far as I know 27 hit points is enough to get through the rest of my career. I’m barely noticing either of my mortal wounds thanks to this tooth rot!
You know, I really woulda thought I’d be feeling smugger by this point in the game. Loucher. I was shooting for “piggish.” Maybe I’ll feel better once I’ve pulled the Learning Curve out of my gut wound, which, if I keep getting helpful tips like this…
I don’t know. I don’t know what this fucking game is. “Artefacts” were not covered by the tutorial, or at least not so’s I noticed, but honestly I think I’ve got plenty of mundane problems to be going on with. For example, I don’t have enough cash for a doctor, but when I pressed the button just for giggles this came up:
In case you’re some kind of freak who has trouble reading bright white unbordered text against a bright background, that says there is no suitable hospital in range where Rhodisland can be treated. Which, okay, what does that mean? What “range?” Is that town limits, screen limits, bad breath distance? Do I need to hit the “get treated by a doctor” button when I’m already standing near a doctor? I guess that makes “sense,” but then why is it a separate button I can press instead of being part of a menu, like most vendors have?
Moot point, I suppose. Right now the medical plan at Rhodisland Enterprises has exactly one coverage level: light comforter.
As I settle in for a medicinal nap, I marshal my remaining pennies and weigh options. With my whole workforce ravaged, I don’t think I have much choice but to hire a new Tramp. The starting fee will eat up nearly all of my ready cash, too. I won’t even have enough to pay his next round’s salary, supposing optimistically that he lives so long.
Nothing to do for it. Tramp aboard, Trampsman.
We’re going to need ready cash. As of yet robbery and mayhem are my only moneymakers, but I’m going to need to strike a pretty severe balance between “profitable” and “vulgar waste of a gallon and a half of Trampsblood.” I’ll avoid anything with a green flag hanging off it. Anything that didn’t turn a profit before. Anything that’s greyed out, obviously. Which leaves me with…
…a random croft on the outskirts of town.
Okay, so let’s address the several vile-smelling sheep in the room. Yes, there’s a reason you haven’t heard of The Great Small, Rented Farm Heist of 1412. It’s because I used the thousands of gold talents I stole from the farm to rewrite Transylvanian history, probably. Get some, Tramplington; go ahead and rob these luckless, pluckless rubes.
My new Tramp races to the open front door, sweeps his arm theatrically over his head, and a cannonball plunges out of the sky and hits him in the neck.
So behind the farm are two ramshackle tree forts, and apparently, they’re packing ordinance, rangefinders, and evil-detecting X-Ray glasses that can spot skulking Tramps through solid croft. Needless to say, I’m taken aback. I’m taken so very far aback that I fail to notice the armed, angry Patrician stalking up the lane with bared steel.
If you’re wondering how the battle between my intern and two cannons plus an armed landowner goes…no, you’re not. But if I’m speaking my piece, I must say that shooting a man in the back with a god damn culverin for the honest mistake of trying to snatch some hay should be the real crime. And what does that make these farmers?
Criminal masterminds, that’s what.
God, I wish I was as badass as a farmer.
NEXT WEEK: TRAMPLESS IN TRAMPSYLVANIA