“In my perfect OSR, hard-eyed freemen will march into the wilderness with their inheritance spent on steel and iron rations and return, harrowed and blood-spattered, with the death screams of humanoids still ringing in their ears. And for a time, the women, modestly dressed, will giggle and cheer as they display the scalps and trophies they have taken, and occasionally some reward will be bestowed upon some fair-faced adventuring chap, but this will happen behind closed doors, and decently.
But in time, the cheers fade, and the admiration is replaced by fear. They arrive in silence, caked with old blood and filth that they no longer notice, laden with spoils they stop caring about the second they pass the gates. They could retire ten times over from the gold they have won but they always return. Some of them have died and returned from death many times. Their laughter is harsh and cruel, and they speak in the barking tongues of the Orc among themselves. At times they will empty satchels filled with goblets set with precious stones, looted gold, semi-precious stones. “Arrows. Rations. Oil.” All the sons and ne’er do wells of the village flock to their banner and march with them to some forlorn deep on the promise of glory, many do not return. At times they will simply take what they need.
To such men, what is some exotic courtesan, if not merely another humanoid? For that matter, what is another man? What worth the life of a human child if not 2 XP?”