Scattershot Barracks

Even hired blades have a sense of duty, you know. All honor is not lost simply because a man chooses to pick up his sword for a coin rather than some crusty old codger with the word "Lord" before his name. In a way, a good sellsword is the most trustworthy of men. He'll do the job. He'll do it well. And he'll do it again if you're able to pay. All a merc has is his word and his blade, and the former is the better tool for finding employment.

But some causes require no coin. Some battles must be fought by any and all who are capable. Alas, such times are these, when the hordes of Malefar threaten the Four Nations like a deadly pestilence. Artra Finn knew this well when he established the Scattershot Barracks not long after the bloodbath that was the 49th Feast. In all my travels, I've yet to hear a tale that adequately explains how Lord Finn predicted the dark times that awaited the Four Nations. Some claim he was some sort of demigod, using men as playing pieces in a celestial stratagem. Others claim that he was an agent of the Malefar, sent to sow discord among the Four Nations, leaving them ripe for conquering. Then, of course, there is the commom opinion that he was simply insane and that his perverse antics regarding members of the defunct Merchant Caste were the unintended cause of the Protest of the Tables and, hence, the Malefar incursion. There are not enough consistencies among these various accounts, though, that lead me to be able to glean anything that might be considered truth from them.

What is known, though, is that although Lord Finn was certainly at the heart of the events responsible for the impending doom of the world as we know it, he also could very well be called the savior of the Four Nations. Without the Scattershot Barracks, humanity would have had no chance to stand against the cruel and twisted swarms of the Malefar. The Barracks are the last bastions of civilization, the final refuge toward which the weak can flee and where the strong can prepare to fight. Nestled in forest and foothill, mountainside and canyon, the Scattershot Barracks are strewn all throughout the Four Nations, away from the Malefar intent on the destruction of man. But men do not sit idle there, waiting for armageddon. They watch. They learn. They look for the opportunity strike their foe like the venomous serpent and take back what is theirs.

- Marcello Josse


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