Love, Honor, and Justice. Three worthy causes... for a damned fool and an early grave. Poets harp on about the noble and gallant, but it’s all hollow tales and lukewarm lies. No, what we've got is a cold truth of mud and sweat and steel and blood. Don’t fool yourself, kid. The world’s a hard and mean place. Nobody’s going to do you any favors out there.

If you're going to make it, you've got to be harder and meaner and smarter than the next bastard. If you don't get your throat slit by some starving peasant turned jackal, you might yourself starve after some fluttering dove or two-penny mountebank takes you for everything you own. That's to say nothing of the cut-purses and back-alley thugs who'd be just as happy to take your coin through honest thieving and violence.

Establish yourself, and things only get more complicated. Suddenly, you're caught up in the petty quarrels and ambitions of the nobility, running afoul of beggar-knights and jumped-up livery boys who have it in for no-name upstarts, or having to gut some bravo or guild-rat looking to carve a sword-for-hire reputation out of your corpse.

But maybe you make it after all. Maybe you win yourself a fine patron, pull one last score and finally strike it rich, or earn yourself a black reputation as a named man. Nothing comes cheap, kid. Can you pay the price? What part of yourself are you willing to sell?  Who or what are you willing to sacrifice to make that happen? Whose blood ends up on your hands?

High or low, I reckon every man is one kind of bastard or another. Some are bastards for money, some for power. Others are for lust, or love, or fame or reputation. The poor bastard beholden to honor and conscience usually winds up the biggest bastard of them all.

And that brings us to you, kid. There’s the question. What are you willing to risk? What are you ready to lose? Have you got what it takes? Are you willing to find out what kind of bastard you really are?


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