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Tedbald the Broken

Tedbald the Broken

Tedbald typifies a type of villain who torments Bretonnia in general and Mousillon in particular—the robber baron. These are men whose thieving and extortion are so constant and systematic that they amount to an additional tax for the commoners unfortunate enough to live near a robber baron’s base of operations. Tedbald is no different to the majority of robber barons in that he commands a rough band of cutthroats, mercenaries, and outlaws that he uses to terrorise anyone who holds out on him. Tedbald, however, is set apart from other robber barons by the extent of his success in profiting from misery.[1a]

Tedbald himself is a commoner of Mousillon birth, whose villainous ways soon outgrew his tiny village on the Grismerie. He left for the city to seek his fortune and none of his fellow peasants were sad to see him go, assuming he would be gobbled up by the monsters they all knew infested the lands surrounding the village. Tedbald reached the city intact and quickly found employment among the dock gangs, part of a floating workforce of thugs working for whoever could pay them next. But it wasn’t enough for Tedbald. He had spotted a gap in the criminal food chain—while there were plenty of racketeers preying on the commoners, there was no one preying on the racketeers. Tedbald gathered a makeshift gang of madmen and outcasts, and set to work.[1a]

If there’s anything going on in Mousillon that involves the exchange of real money, Tedbald takes a cut of it. Since almost every transaction not involving black snail shells is for something illegal, that means Tedbald extorts almost entirely from Mousillon’s criminals. This includes the dockyard gangs, mercenary companies, and the criminals who move contraband across the Cordon Sanitaire. Tedbald ensures that the fees he levies for criminals to work in Mousillon are always just within a criminal’s capacity to pay. His methods are based on threat rather than violence, but when he must, Tedbald commands a band of the most deranged murderers and worse whom he unleashes against those who refuse to pay.[1a]

Tedbald is based in a ramshackle but well-defended camp near the coast just north of the city, but much of the time he and his saner companions are riding out across the duchy, reminding Mousillon’s parasites to pay what they owe. Tedbald is an old man by Mousillon’s standards, some say pushing fifty, but the very fact that he has stayed alive for so long tells a story about how tough he is. His ruined, plague-scarred face, gnarled hands and long, lank grey-white hair tell his fellow criminals all they need to know about what Tedbald can do to them. Tedbald used to be a very tenacious fighter but he’s too old for that now, especially since a bout of disease left him with one leg twisted and withered. His talents now lie in the systematic application of fear rather than personal violence, and he is still very, very good at the former.[1a]

Tedbald is Mallobaude’s contact with Mousillon’s underworld. Tedbald does not know Mallobaude’s plans, or the source of the passion that drives the Black Knight, and he doesn’t care. Mallobaude is, however, the only person in Mousillon that Tedbald considers to be higher in the pecking order than himself. Mallobaude hopes that Mousillon’s criminals will provide him with troops and resources in return for letting their enterprises survive and thrive once he is duke, and Tedbald is the man he expects to make this fact known. Tedbald sees enormous potential in Mallobaude’s claim to the dukedom, and while the risks are great, they’re nothing he hasn’t taken before.[1a]

SourceEdit

  • 1 Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Barony of the Damned
    • 1a: pg. 38

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