Following our success with the treasure fleet we sailed north around the Estalian Coast stopping in at many of the towns along the way. I spent my time surveying the forts and other defences, both for future use in raiding and to produce a book on the state of the estalian military. It appears that the south has focused on coastal defences, a sensible precaution with Sartosa lying so near. In the north however the threat of piracy is distant so the main focus is on land defences in the form of city walls. This also makes sense as their main worries are the beasts of the forest and their neighbouring lords. It appears that much of their armed forces is peasant militias and mercenaries. While this is fairly common across the old world, it has its disadvantages. The peasants are lacking and military training and the mercenaries are loyal only as long as their gold keeps flowing. If I were to be given control over a city I would use what income from trade could be gained to finance a professional army fashioned from the peasant militias. As long as the peasants require to till their fields they will never truly be soldiers, but by using locals they will be loyal to the city over their purse strings.
Leaving the state of Estalia’s military aside, I find I am taking to a life at sea well. It is far less strenuous than a life in the army, but I find I miss the open space and strict discipline of the army. The crew are as good as can be expected, but we are not the well oiled machine that I dream of by day. I could only thank Sigmar for the professionalism of the crew upon reaching Bretonnia. We made port in a sorry excuse for a slum on her southern coast in order to attempt to sell our Estalian treasures. The peasants showed the correct respect of the nobility, but the local nobles sicken me. It is their duty, and my own, to protect and look after the peasants, what with them being incapable of such duties. To see the grandeur of the castles and the decadence of the noble lifestyle while the peasants lived on the edge of constant starvation is and abomination to the feudal system. On my father’s estate the peasants would never go hungry, even if it meant we had to live less lavishly than others. The quality of the nobility also left much to be desired. Having been raised on stories of Bretonnian chivalry I was appalled to see how thin the veneer truly is. A more preening group of self important idiots you are unlikely to find. With Bretonnia bordering the Westerland it is no wonder that the upstart merchants of Marienburg see the nobility as a corrupt establishment.
Speaking of pompous fools, we met a knight of Bretonnia who was attempting to find and kill an imperial writer of some renown. While I find the writer’s works to be somewhat derivative and cheap, it appears he was trying to unmask the preening Bretonnian knight, a task which I find difficult not to endorse. We gave the writer refuge and made the knight escort us to the Enchantress’s castle to sell our loot, a companion that would give me little pleasure.