Age of the Wolf is a very nice campaign system, but it doesn't include all standard SAGA elements. I've previously discussed how players could incorporate Priests and Swords for Hire units into campaigns. One SfH unit that is perhaps unlikely to be selected as a mercenary though is the Wandering Bard (although I think players should be allowed to do so if they wish).
Bards can be useful in games (especially since they generate a SAGA die). But I think many players also consider them something of a liability - especially when facing Vikings!
So I've had a think about how to include them and think it's all down to fate...
The post battle fate table on pg. 20 of the supplement allows warlords to choose their own fate if they roll a 6 followed by a 6. Warlords choosing their own fate? I think not!
This 'choose' option could be used to introduce all sorts of things to the campaign. Here's my take on how it could be used to introduce bards.
If a 6 followed by a 6 is rolled on the fate table (pg. 20), replace 'choose' with the following.
The Warlord's growing reputation is spreading far and wide and has attracted the attention of a Bard. The warband is immediately joined by a Wandering Bard who takes up an available unit slot (ignore if no slot is available). The bard insists on accompanying the Warlord and must always be selected as part of the warband. Standard Swords for Hire Bard rules are followed. In addition to any other future victory spoils, the Bard's wild tales of death and glory mean that the warlord gains one extra Reputation point. A warband may only include a single bard. If a second bard is rolled on the fate table, roll again.
Bards slain in battle use the non warlord casualty table previously described for priests (just replace the word 'priest' with 'character').