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    Messages in The Guard
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The Guard

Iothora 1st, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 15th hour, in the Yards



The cool of the spring evening was settling across the yard accompanied by Valdorn’s Promise as the four young Corians finally reached the blue, yellow, and white recruiting canopy. They’d been standing in line for the past two turns of the sands waiting for the chance to speak with the coster’s agent—two long hours surrounded by the unfamiliar company of sellswords and mercenaries. The smells of unwashed men, the rough laughter at uncouth topics of conversation that would have caused their mother’s no end of shock had they heard, and the boredom of the long wait had taken its toll, but there was no other option for the four of them. They were at the end of their rope and they’d been burning it from both ends for the past two weeks until they’d had to admit that there was nothing else for it. They needed to find employment, or they’d starve…or worse.

Of course, there were always the usual jobs available for young people their age. Veses could have easily picked up any job requiring his strength and capacity for hard labor, and both Issant and Liones could have found their way into the employ of any of the yardsmen with tanning, or stable-tending. Laise would have probably even made it as a barmaid were she not so beautiful that whenever she found herself outside of the company of her family, men would push themselves on her in frightening and too friendly ways. Even standing in line her brother Veses had been forced to position himself threateningly between her and one mercenary or another. It was doubtful that those hardened soldiers had truly been intimidated by a weaponless farm boy, but they’d laughed and backed away from their advances all the same.

So it was that the four farmers from Pelin Hamlet had determined they’d needed to find something that kept them in each other’s company lest they be whittled away at by the hustle and bustle of the unfamiliar city to eventually become lost altogether. That had led to many debates over their options, and it had been Laise who had suggested the employment of a merchant coster as guards. It was true, the lot of them had barely ever seen a sword, much less strapped one on, but they’d contested the notion until they were blue in the face, and finally, after much deliberation, they’d consented to at least try. As Issant put it, “It isn’t likely they’ll hire us on anyways, what with how wet behind the ears we all are.”

The event that had brought them to Coria City from their little hamlet was still vivid in their memories barely a couple of weeks old. Some would have grown sullen, withdrawn, even dangerously depressed, but these four were made of hardy stock and they were determined to not only survive, but to find those responsible and bring them to justice, even if the city guard were of no help in the matter. How they might do that was another matter, but they were determined nonetheless, and as Liones had pointed out, “If we’re to find those responsible we’ll need to better know how to defend ourselves or we’ll just end up in D’hurgen’s Realm like butchered sheep.”

“Well, now. What have we here?”

The man behind the stout weatherworn wood table was chubby with a wide face that housed two pinched eyes and a bulbous red nose. His lips were thick and pouty, and his chin sported a tower-like mole that had a growth of brown, stringy hair hanging from it. He was balding, and his scalp was peeling from sunburn. His piggy eyes were watery and red, and though his clothing was of bright coloring (mainly the yellow and blues of his coster), it was stained by old sweat, wine, and across his sleeves there were streaks of snot. On either side of him stood two guardsmen in leather armor bearing shields and spears, both as different in appearance and countenance as they were to the recruiter between them.

The one to the right stood a little taller than Veses, and was perhaps just a bit broader in the shoulders, though slimmer of waist. He was much older as well with dark, wavy brown hair that puffed out from beneath his slate gray conical helmet crowned by a comb of blue-dyed horsehair. His beard was fully grown, thick and coarse, and his mustaches were grown out to dangle two inches below his jaw, tied off with bright blue, yellow, and red beads. Across his right eye he wore a black leather patch that bore the relief of an eyeball burned into it with a skull for the pupil, and a nasty scar cut through his cheek from underneath the patch to run all the way into his beard. He wore a chain hauberk under his blue and white tunic with the symbol of a floating castle presented proudly upon his chest and steel shield, and he leaned on his spear in a relaxed manner, a scowl on his face.

The one to the left looked a little less at ease. He stood even of height with Liones, was clean-shaven with an angular face and green eyes that looked as though they could see into one’s soul. He wasn’t extremely attractive, but he was fair to look upon, and though he stood with a steel shield and spear in hand the same as his counterpart, he didn’t wear the coster’s colors, nor the chain hauberk. Instead he wore simple leathers over reddish-brown and gold clothing with a gold-brown cloak draped across his shoulders. His was also a conical helmet, and its comb was a natural brown in color.

“It would appear that we have some fresh meat, Mausin,” the scarred man growled.

“As fresh as it comes Captain Omains,” the pudgy Mausin giggled into the back of his hand and wiped his already encrusted sleeve under his red nose. “Fodder for the Road?”

“So it would seem…” Omains ground his teeth causing his jaw muscles to tense and the scar to pull at his flesh. “They are here after all. The lot of you have swords? Armor?”

“No—“ Issant started to answer, but the captain cut him short.

“No? And how do you propose to protect the caravan should it come under attack? Piss on them that would do it harm? No weapons. No armor.” Omains turned his head to the right and spat. “And she don’t look like she could do much more than service the men come nightfall. Is that what you’re for? Eh, pretty? A little relief come firetime?”

Mausin giggled again, resulting in a snort. “Relief come firetime. Priceless!”

“Now see here—“ Veses stepped forward, his brow furrowed, his teeth as tightly clenched as his fists.

“See what, Dirt?” Omains shifted so he wasn’t leaning on his spear any more, but instead held it easily in his hands so that it was demonstrated prominently before him. “What is it you have to say to me, Dirt?”

“Heh!” Mausin continued to giggle. “Dirt!”

“That isn’t what I’m here for, captain,” Laise stepped around her big brother’s broad shoulders and placed her hands on her hips though she was trembling when she did so. “I can fight as well as these, and will do so with the right pay in hand.”

“The little vixen has spirit…” Captain Omains looked at the lot of them thoughtfully for a moment, then shifted back to leaning on his spear. “Sign them, Mausin. They’ll join me on this next caravan.”

“Hee hee,” Mausin replied as he dipped the crow’s quill in the ink-stained well and drew dipped it in the cork afterwards. “Name, meat?”

“Issant Bramerrecan.”

“Liones Bramerrecan.”

“Veses Bensant.”

“Laise Bensant.”

“What is this?” Omains snarled as the recruiter scribbled their names into the book before him. “A family affair? It matters not. You’re all soldiers of the Sky Palace Coster now, and it don’t matter if you’re brothers, cousins, or bedfellows. You’re all meat.

“Corporal Melis,” the captain didn’t even bother to look at the other guard as he spoke; something unsavory apparently on his tongue. “You’ll see them all outfitted first thing in the morning with Coster property: leathers, swords, daggers, bows for them that can use it, arrows, helmets, and shields.”

“Yes sir,” the other soldier replied stiffly.

“The pay is one brissan a day. You’ll eat what Cook serves, and you’ll report to the warehouses before first light on the morrow where you’ll receive your outfitting and positions among the men. Understood?”



Posted on 2010-09-16 at 06:29:31.

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


Corporal Melis

Iothora 1st, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 15th hour, in the Yards

Corporal Melis stood by looking bored as the new ‘green’ recruits stepped up to apply for the position of a guard with the Sky Palace Coster…. He stood stock still despite the growing heat of the day making his armor wear in some very uncomfortable spots... he tried not to sigh as a new group... of four ... stepped up to Mausin’s table … a simple bunch… three men and a woman… they looked like simple farmers…. They didn’t even have weapons or armor … yet they wanted to be guards… times were hard and everyone was looking for a paying job… he doubted these would be accepted… the Captain … a vile man named Omains… laying into them about being ill prepared for fighting.

“Sign them, Mausin. They’ll join me on this next caravan.”

Melis’s jaw dropped slightly as these simple peasants were accepted into the Guard… he shook his head slightly… going unnoticed by the Captain for sure as the man never looked at underlings as a matter of course.

“Corporal Melis,” the captain didn’t even bother to look at the other guard as he spoke; something unsavory apparently on his tongue. “You’ll see them all outfitted first thing in the morning with Coster property: leathers, swords, daggers, bows for them that can use it, arrows, helmets, and shields.”
“Yes sir,” Melis replied stiffly.

“Come with me,” Melis gestured for them to follow him… and led them towards a barracks … he walked in silence for a moment… until out of earshot of the Captain… then turned to look at them as they walked.

“So… none of you ever lifted a sword before?” He asked with an incredulous look on his face.

Melis was a career soldier… or planned to be… oh he was young yet… and when he was younger he use to practice the sword with a Guardsman named Edvis… when he hadn’t been gambling … so when he had joined the Guard of the Sky Palace Coster to escape his gambling debts… he hadn’t been green like these farmers… and he had been in a few skirmishes since joining the Guard of the Sky Palace Coster … he had survived and even earned rank… he had shown himself to be worthy … he intended to go far and … with luck and skill… live to a ripe old age.

“They sure seem to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel lately,” he said mostly to himself… he had noticed that a lot of the recruits accepted lately were not the fighting type… he knew times were tough but to sign up unskilled fighters was asking for trouble if you asked him.

(Insert conversation here – will backpost later to address)

Arriving at the ‘barracks’ … just a converted old warehouse... Melis moved them through the crowded place… filled with other guards of the Coster … he shows them to a spot where they can find a cot for the night … he gestures to a place next to the wall where empty cots sit.

“Find you a spot here somewhere to sleep for the night” he said and started to turn away, “I will come and collect you in the morning at daybreak to get you equipped…. You can find food at the cook … down at the end of the barracks just outside.” He gestured towards the far end of the barracks where an open door allowed the smells of cooking food to enter into the barracks.

He started to leave then paused and turned to look at them again … his gaze falling to Laise… his gaze wasn’t licentious like other men’s had been earlier in the day… just appraising her then looking at the men that accompanied her.

“If I was you,” he said quietly so only they could hear him, “I would stay close to her tonight… and watch her.” He then turned and left the warehouse.


Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Daybreak – Sharp!, Converted Warehouse ‘Barracks’

Corporal Melis marched into the barracks sharply… the rising sun almost cresting the horizon behind him in the doorway… marched up to where the others had bedded down for the night.

“ALRIGHT! SNAP TO IT!” He barked… regardless of whether they were in bed or already up and waiting, “Follow me… I will get you miserable excuses for recruits properly outfitted and hopefully better equipped… if you’re lucky you might live past the day.”

This got a chuckle or two from other men in the room readying their gear for the new day’s activities.

He marched them out into the yard and over to the armory… there he instructs the man there to outfit them in the livery of the Sky Palace Coster.

“They are to have leathers, swords, daggers, bows, arrows, helmets, and shields… whatever weapons they feel comfortable in using” he instructed the man at the armory, “Hopefully they won’t hurt themselves much.”

“Can any of you use a bow? A sword? Anything?” He turned to them asking… a hopeful tone in his voice… yet it held a since of disappointment to come.

He didn’t know why they were hiring such unskilled people to be guards of caravans and valuable goods…. It didn’t make sense to him… but then he was a simple soldier… he wasn’t privy to all the ins and outs of the Coster’s business… and knew he never would be.

(Edited to correct history comments)


Posted on 2010-09-17 at 11:30:13.
Edited on 2010-09-23 at 23:31:45 by YeOlde

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2200 Posts


a new beginning

Veses was glad the group had finally arrived and were going to sign up in the guard. There was a score to settle with bandits and this was the best way to do that. Enlisting was a rather easy affair, basically you gave them your name and they harrased you a bit and then welcomed you aboard. Soon they were escorted to a common room to spend the night.

"Well I don't think we made any new friends with those two. Is anyone else a bit nervous about being given an assignment that starts right after gear issue? I figured they would at least give us some training."

Veses settles in for the night and slept soundly until being awakened the next morning and being yelled and to "Fall out!" or some such and report for gear issue. A bit groggy he made his way to the armory and recived his gear. Nothing special that he could tell, of course he had never worn armor so for all he knew it could be top of the line royal armor or bottom of the barrel stuff. He would have bet on the latter if pushed. "I cannot use a bow but I am fairly handy with a spear." he replied when asked weapons choice and so he received a spear and a sword. After a few minutes of trial and error he managed to don his armor and gave the sword a few practice swings, much to the amusement of a couple nearby veterans. "Well I guess I am as ready as I am going to be for now. So what is next?"


Posted on 2010-09-18 at 14:33:47.

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 447/28
7281 Posts


Issant the Ever-Assured

Iothora 1st, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 15th hour, in the Yards

Issant had felt the derisive and dismissive looks that had been cast upon them as they stood in the line… the already trained and equipped, those whose faces and forms had already been seasoned by combat as opposed to hunting and farming, looked upon him, his brother, and his cousins as nothing more than dumb farmers… but he cared little for what the sneers and leers insinuated nor the folks who insinuated it to begin with. This - standing in this line of applicants hoping to join the rank and file of the Sky Palace Coster’s guard – was the only way any of the four of them would find the justice that they sought… the only way they would get any sort of retribution for what had been done to their home and their family and, by Shinara’s sparkling eyes, that was exactly what Issant Bramerrecan would see come of this enlistment and D’hurgen take them that thought otherwise…

Self-assurance that they would all be accepted into the guard and soul-steeling determination aside, though, Issant couldn’t help but be a little bit surprised that Omain had signed them all so readily… and send them out on the very next caravan, no less…Trial by fire, as Father might have said, the dark-haired youth mused as he followed along behind the Corporal who had been assigned to escort them to quarters, or ‘on the job training’ as Mother might have said to make it less intimidating…
“So,” Corporal Melis asked incredulously as he marched them toward the barracks, “none of you ever lifted a sword before?”

“Not and stuck it into another man, no,” Issant answered quickly, “but that shouldn’t be taken to mean that we cannot fight, Corporal, nor that we’re liable to break and run at the first sign of trouble, either…” He realized, then, that his hand had come to rest on the ogre-bone hilt of the knife his father had given him and, before the Corporal could realize it, too, and take offense, he forced his hand away.

“They sure seem to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel lately,” Melis half-murmured, then.

“Far from the bottom, if I might say so, sir,” Issant retorted even though he knew the man had been commenting more to himself than any other, “the bottom, sir, would be the bandits that we’ve been hired to defend against… if you don’t mind me saying so… sir…”

((Any interaction as you see fit…))

“Find you a spot here somewhere to sleep for the night” the Corporal said with and almost apathetic gesture to the array of bunks as they came into the barracks, “I will come and collect you in the morning at daybreak to get you equipped…. You can find food at the cook … down at the end of the barracks just outside.”

Issant’s gaze swept the place quickly before returning to the Corporal to offer a nod of acknowledgement. “Thank you, Corporal.” He thought that would be the last they saw of Corporal Melis for the night, as the man had turned and started to walk away but, before the man made his exit, he turned and eyed Laise appraisingly… Not like most men I have noticed doing, though…
“If I was you,” Melis said quietly after a moment, “I would stay close to her tonight… and watch her.”

Issant, after glancing at his cousin, nodded and replied in equal measure; “Don’t let her appearance fool you, sir. She is as strong of heart and body as she is beautiful. I’d match her fighting skills against any of these soft handed city boys even when Shinara’s luck refused to shine.” He knew, of course, that between Liones, Veses, and himself, though, that Laise would never have to prove that fact.

"Well I don't think we made any new friends with those two,” Veses smirked after the Corporal left, “Is anyone else a bit nervous about being given an assignment that starts right after gear issue? I figured they would at least give us some training.”

“We’ll likely not be the only guards on the caravan, cousin,” Issant grinned confidently, “Trial by fire, as Father might’ve said…” he turned eyes on his younger brother, then… “or on the job training as our dear Mother may have put it, eh, Liones?

They’re expecting us to learn as we go, I imagine. Watch the veterans and learn from their example, eh? Besides, how difficult can it truly be? Shooting a bandit with an arrow isn’t much different then felling a stag on the hunt, is it? And what’s to learn of swords but a bit of finesse? You hold the thing by it’s handle and jab the pointy end into the other man, right?” Issant laughed as he imitated a sword thrust with his knife. “It cannot be that hard…”


((Any conversation, etc… elsewise, assuming a relatively unmolested evening… ))

Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Daybreak, Converted Warehouse ‘Barracks’

“ALRIGHT! SNAP TO IT!”

Issant was already awake and was in the process of dressing when Corporal Melis’ voice boomed through the barracks. He quickly shrugged into his deep scarlet shirt and tugged his boots on as Melis stalked through the room and continued his instruction…

“Follow me… I will get you miserable excuses for recruits properly outfitted and hopefully better equipped… if you’re lucky you might live past the day.”

Issant was still securing his belt and making sure that his knife was handy as he hustled into line along with his kinsmen and followed the Corporal to the armory. Once there, he fell into the lines that everyone seemed to be instinctually drawn into and waited for the line to move as Melis addressed the armorers…

“They are to have leathers, swords, daggers, bows, arrows, helmets, and shields… whatever weapons they feel comfortable in using” he instructed the men, “Hopefully they won’t hurt themselves much.”

“Can any of you use a bow? A sword? Anything?”

“Yes sir,” Issant answered enthusiastically… and not altogether untruthfully. He’d used a bow in hunting, of course, and a dagger wasn’t that much different than a knife, and of course he’d used a sword before ¬– the Corporal needn’t know that it had been a wooden sword in those moments between chores and girls when he and his brother played soldier… and spears? Hogs were hunted with spears, weren’t they? He’d hunted before. Why not a spear?... – “Yes sir,” Issant repeated, “were no career soldiers, sir, and we’ve never carried our own swords, but we’re not incapable nor are we completely ignorant… sir…”

((Okay… there’s a start… I’ll leave it there for now and see what come next… backposts and edits as necessary, of course…))



Posted on 2010-09-20 at 01:47:17.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2200 Posts


Issant brags

"Well Issant I dare say the stags I have hunted never tried to fire arrows back at me, nor did the boars wear armor that turned aside spear thrusts. As for sword play I fear our kitchen duels with spoons is a far cry from meeting an armed brigand." He poked Issant in the ribs with a finger "sword". "I hope we are not the only guards on the caravan. Do you think the veterans will be helpful? At least we get to travel. Think of all the new places we could visit and all the people we will meet. Perhaps when we return we can tell stories at the tavern and impress the ladies."


Posted on 2010-09-20 at 01:55:03.

Eol Fefalas
Turning Capashanese
RDI Staff
Karma: 447/28
7281 Posts


Backpost

In the Barracks
“Well, Issant,” Veses chided, “I dare say the stags I have hunted never tried to fire arrows back at me, nor did the boars wear armor that turned aside spear thrusts. As for sword play, I fear our kitchen duels with spoons is a far cry from meeting an armed brigand.”

Issant grinned (mayhap a bit uneasily) when his cousin poked him in the ribs with a finger sword for emphasis. “Perhaps not,” he agreed, “but, when hunting, you have had to be mindful of other hunter’s arrows, Veses. Certainly combat will be a different thing, even than that, but shouldn’t the principles be the same?”

“I hope we are not the only guards on the caravan,” Veses continued, “Do you think the veterans will be helpful?”

“I’m sure we won’t be, cousin. I don’t think they’d be foolish enough to entrust the safety of a caravan to a handful of new recruits. As to the helpfulness of the veterans; I suppose that depends on us and Lady Luck doesn’t it? If we mind what they say and what they do, I’m sure we’ll learn quickly enough whether we are offered their assistance or not, eh?”

“At least we get to travel,” shrugged Veses, “Think of all the new places we could visit and all the people we will meet. Perhaps when we return we can tell stories at the tavern and impress the ladies.”

Whether he had intended it to do so or not, Veses’ last comment had both stung and irritated Issant and, as a result, the assured grin that had danced on his lips up to this point melted into somewhat put off scowl. “Yes, cousin,” Issant grumbled as he moved towards one of the meager cots and sat himself on its edge, “because telling stories and impressing the ladies is exactly why we’re doing this to begin with, isn’t it?”

He sighed softly, letting his mildly disheartened gaze drift from Veses to Laise and to Liones before it fixed on to an empty spot between the toes of his boots. The devastation that they had returned to when they had returned to Pelan from their supply run, the fear and horror of what had happened as related by Laise when they found her, and having to bury kinsfolk and friends and loved ones alike… The cottage I was building for Canlant and myself when we wed… My sweet, Canlant… all of these things ran through his mind and, much like the day it all happened, hit him in the heart and the gut and the mind all at once.

“We should get some sleep,” he murmured after a moment, not daring to look up at any of them just now, “I imagine we’ll be in for a long and early day come the morrow…”



Posted on 2010-09-20 at 15:44:51.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2200 Posts


An early start

It was very early the next morn, if it could be caled morn with the sun barely peeking over the horizon, when CPL Meils woke the group. There was much yelling about moving faster. Veses was glad he was a moring person but this was early even for him. Fimally they arrived at the armory and were told to select whatever equipment the desired. Looking over the armor, Veses finally settled on a set that did not look new but was in good shape. Passing by the bows he picked up a spear. 'Good weight' he thought as he gave it a few practice thrusts. Next he looked though the swords and found one that suited him. Although he had never really used one, the shields intrigued him and he reasoned that more objects between him and the bad guys was a good thing. After trying several varieties he settled on a small round shield that would allow him some protection but not interfere with his spear or sword. Last but not least he selected two daggers as weapons of last resort.

Veses looked at the pile of equipment and began the task of donning his armor. No matter what he tried it did not seem to fit correctly. Frustrated, he turned to CPL Melis. "Umm, how exactly does this work?"


Posted on 2010-09-23 at 11:38:25.

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


Backposts

Iothora 1st, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 15th hour, in the Yards

“So,” Corporal Melis asked incredulously as he marched them toward the barracks, “none of you ever lifted a sword before?”

“Not and stuck it into another man, no,” Issant answered quickly, “but that shouldn’t be taken to mean that we cannot fight, Corporal, nor that we’re liable to break and run at the first sign of trouble, either…” He realized, then, that his hand had come to rest on the ogre-bone hilt of the knife his father had given him and, before the Corporal could realize it, too, and take offense, he forced his hand away. His attention diverted, Melis didn’t notice the hand on the hilt of the knife.

“They sure seem to be scrapping the bottom of the barrel lately,” Melis half-murmured, then.

“Far from the bottom, if I might say so, sir,” Issant retorted even though he knew the man had been commenting more to himself than any other, “the bottom, sir, would be the bandits that we’ve been hired to defend against… if you don’t mind me saying so… sir…” Melis looked at the younger man and a slight smile crept to his lips, “Guess you have a point there.”

At the barracks:

“If I was you,” Melis said quietly after a moment, “I would stay close to her tonight… and watch her.”

Issant, after glancing at his cousin, nodded and replied in equal measure; “Don’t let her appearance fool you, sir. She is as strong of heart and body as she is beautiful. I’d match her fighting skills against any of these soft handed city boys even when Shinara’s luck refused to shine.” He knew, of course, that between Liones, Veses, and himself, though, that Laise would never have to prove that fact.
Melis glanced at Issant and then over to a pair of rough looking toughs that appeared to be a little more experienced than most around here.

“Maybe your right,” he said softly, “watch her anyway.” He concluded as he turned to leave.


Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Daybreak, Converted Warehouse ‘Barracks’


“They are to have leathers, swords, daggers, bows, arrows, helmets, and shields… whatever weapons they feel comfortable in using” he instructed the men, “Hopefully they won’t hurt themselves much.”

“Can any of you use a bow? A sword? Anything?”

“Yes sir,” Issant answered enthusiastically… and not altogether untruthfully. He’d used a bow in hunting, of course, and a dagger wasn’t that much different than a knife, and of course he’d used a sword before ¬– the Corporal needn’t know that it had been a wooden sword in those moments between chores and girls when he and his brother played soldier… and spears? Hogs were hunted with spears, weren’t they? He’d hunted before. Why not a spear?... – “Yes sir,” Issant repeated, “were no career soldiers, sir, and we’ve never carried our own swords, but we’re not incapable nor are we completely ignorant… sir…”
"I cannot use a bow but I am fairly handy with a spear."

Veses replied when asked weapons choice and so he received a spear and a sword. After a few minutes of trial and error he managed to don his armor and gave the sword a few practice swings, much to the amusement of a couple nearby veterans. "Well I guess I am as ready as I am going to be for now. So what is next?"

Melis noticed the way the one made sure to address him with a ‘Sir’ and how he defended their ignorance of fighting with every chance he got… he watched as the other one struggled to put on armor and swung his sword clumsily.

“Well try not a get yourself killed the first time you have to draw that thing,” Melis said nodded at Veses, “especially don’t chop your own head off.” He left him hopefully wondering how, and if, that was even possible.

Veses looked at the pile of equipment and began the task of donning his armor. No matter what he tried it did not seem to fit correctly. Frustrated, he turned to CPL Melis. "Umm, how exactly does this work?"
“You two can figure it out I’m sure,” he said as he continued to walk away, “you’re not ignorant as your friend tells me.”



Posted on 2010-09-24 at 16:38:02.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2200 Posts


.

'Cut my own head off?' Vesus thought for a moment and concluded that CPL Melis must have been kidding. At least he hoped that was the case. His request for assistance with his armor had yielded no help what so ever. It seemed that Issant's exagerations of their ability was working against them.

"Issant, why are you trying to sound like we know what we are doing? I couldn't get CPL Melis to help with my armor. He implied that you sound like you know what you are doing. Please admit that we are clueless and maybe we will get some help that will keep us alive."

Vesus went back to fussing with his armor. After a time he got it almost right but no quite. 'Guess that will do for now.' he thought. Then he gathered his sword, spear and shield and waited for whatever was next.


Posted on 2010-09-25 at 16:52:37.
Edited on 2010-09-25 at 21:27:56 by Keeper of Dragons

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 142/11
3803 Posts


The Following Day

Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 6th hour, in the Warehouse Yards



“Hello. I’m Gwalis. Gwalis Aleins.” The young man who had suddenly appeared at the right hand of Liones was tall and gangly. He had an overly large nose, a neck that was too skinny to hold his head up, and limbs that looked too weak to even manage swinging a sword. He was obviously young, maybe Laise’s age, and he appeared much the same as a sea turtle stuck in an oversized shell.

“I’m Benant Kerrus,” Gwalis had been accompanied by a small crew that appeared to be the majority of the caravan guard. Benant was a pimple-faced lad with straw-colored hair that puffed out from underneath a poorly fitting helmet. He used the spear to compensate for his shorter right leg.

“This is Mergolin. He’s dumb.” Gwalis motioned at a large fellow with a slack-jawed expression on his face. “Strong as an ox, but can’t speak a word. And that’s—“

“Aserian,” the scowling young man who was nearly as short as a dwarf broke in.

There were four more misfits who were quickly introduced as Ellin, Saladoc, Cilla, and Naserant. The eight of them had shifted their group over to the cousins after it became apparent to them that the four were a part of their caravan.

“Fall in!”

The call carried easily across the compound as Captain Omains strode from behind the main warehouse and made his way towards the line of oxen, wagons, and drivers. There were seven soldiers with him that the cousins had never seen before (except for Corporal Melis who brought up the rear). They were older men and women who fit their armor well, and carried their weapons with the ease of practice.

“All right, meat!” Captain Omains barked as everyone gathered loosely in front of him, five of the six soldiers falling in with the new recruits. “This should be a walk in the park. We’re traveling to Calestra, using the main route, so there’s likely nothing that should concern us. But I’m required by the coster to cover the basics. So, here’s how it will work.

“This is Sergeant Menival. He’s my second, and his word is as good as mine when it comes to law. He’ll arrange watches, and assignments while on the road. There’s plenty to do, and the wagoneers have enough on their plates without having to handle the things like latrine duty, and patrolling. Corporal Melis will be in charge of two squads, while Sergeant Menival will take the other two. Sergeant Menival’s squads will take the front half of the caravan, have evening and early morning guard duty, and be responsible for scouting. Corporal Melis’ crew will handle the rear of the caravan, latrine duty, striking camp, and take the midnight shifts.”

“My crews will consist of Saladoc, Cilla, Naserant, Mogan, Gargiance, Taurel, Ligrience, and Helis. The rest of you are assigned to the corporal,” Sergeant Menival growled in response.

“Well, that about sums it up. The lot of you fall in,” Captain Omains turned about just as a horse was brought over by a stablehand, and mounted up. The Sergeant pushed his squads into motion with a wave of his hand, the lot of them running up to the front of the caravan as all of the drivers were climbing on their perches and taking rein in hand.

“That leaves us to eat the dust,” Aserian mumbled as he scratched at the feint, pale stubble growing on his chin.

“And dig the latrine pits,” Ellin sighed, stepping up to Laise and shaking her head as though the other young woman could empathize. “At least we’re not the only girls on this run.”

“Have you been before?” Laise asked in a voice that was much stronger than she felt.

“Yes.” The look on Ellin’s face made Laise hold her tongue against any further questions. She didn’t want to know what the other girl had faced. Leaving everything they had known…the deaths, the horrible deaths of all those they had loved…Swallowing her fears she motioned after the corporal they’d met last night.

“We should be off, I suppose,” she said softly.

“Well,” Gwalis grinned amicably and started after the corporal. “Here’s to new beginnings.”

Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 17th hour, in the Warehouse Yards



Dirt clung to them like a thin sheet of earthen armor by the time Captain Omains called for the wagons to circle. As the wagoneers made to follow, the captain called to the sergeant and corporal, and then rode a short distance from the dust that the wagons were kicking up. There was still a couple of hours of daylight left, and they’d likely make a few more miles if they continued on, but the captain seemed intent on calling a halt to their daily travels.

“Corporal,” Omains said as the men approached. “You get a nice watch set up with your squads. They can eat once Menival’s men do. Then set up your midnight watches, and report back to me with the order. Menival, you get your men established with their bedrolls, and get Cook to start the stew. Maybe Mogan will deign to play us some ditties on those pipes of his tonight.”

“Sure thing,” Menival chuckled as he kicked a clod of dirt from the heel of his boot. “Hey, Corporal. Make sure your lot don’t let nothing sneak up on us while we eat.”

Chuckling, Captain Omains dismounted and together with the sergeant they made their way back towards the wagons.



Posted on 2010-09-26 at 23:33:42.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2200 Posts


Long walk

Vesus wondered which hurt worse; the blister on his right foot, his back where something on his pack kept poking him or his shoulder muscles from the weight of his armor. A sudden coughing fit struck him as his lungs tried to clear out the dusk he had been breathing the past few hours. 'What have we gotten ourselves into?' he wondered to himself. The veterans seemed to move with an ease more fitting of a stroll in the park than a forced march. Veses tried to clear his mind and ignore the pain for it was only noon.

As he sucked the last precious drops of water from his skin, Veses heard the Captain call a halt. "CPL Melis, is there a place to refill my water skin?" Veses hoped there was for he was indeed thirsty. Hoping that the halt was more than temporary he dropped his pack and found the offending lump. A quick shuffle of the contents took care of the lump. He dug out a change of socks and quickly took off the sweaty ones and replaced them with dry ones. This at least made his feet feel a little better. As for the pain in his shoulders he deceided that perhaps it was best to leave the armor on and bear it for now.

Veses waited for orders that he was sure where to come. "Want to bet that we get latrine digging duty?" he asked of his companions.


Posted on 2010-09-27 at 01:08:20.

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


On the road...

Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 6th hour, in the Warehouse Yards

Corporal Melis’ crew will handle the rear of the caravan, latrine duty, striking camp, and take the midnight shifts.” Captain Omains barked out his orders.
Great! Melis thought… I get the most inexperienced bunch… he was sure that Omains had it out for him after the ‘incident’… Melis was sure that the Captain blamed him for the accident which took the man’s eye… it was true that Melis had been knocked into Omains… back in that fateful day 3 years ago… during the battle with the Wemic’s that attacked their Caravan… and that ‘bump’ had caused the … then … Sgt Omains to drop his guard for a moment allowing the Wemic to get in a blow which took the man’s eye… but as Melis saw it… it was Omain’s fault… if he hadn’t cowardly been hiding during the attack and had come to help Melis and his comrade Kervene when they were pinned down… then maybe the ‘accident’ wouldn’t have happened… but Melis was sure that moment would haunt him for as long as he worked with Captain Omains.

“My crews will consist of Saladoc, Cilla, Naserant, Mogan, Gargiance, Taurel, Ligrience, and Helis. The rest of you are assigned to the corporal,” Sergeant Menival growled in response.
“Rest of you fall in over here!” Melis yelled at the lot that had been left to him. Once they were all over by him he read off a list in his hand.

“Aleins, Kerrus, Mergolin, Aserian, Issant & Liones Bramerrecan, Veses & Laise Bensant.” He read and looked up at them for assurance that he had the right people. Once he received acknowledgement, either by word or nod, he looked them over and shook his head.

“Fall in line here.. Right Here!” He marked out a line in the dirt with his foot and waited for them to line up… still shaking his head.

“All right! I am surely hated by the gods to be graced with such a bunch of misfits and slack-offs” He said as he paced in front of them inspecting them. He stopped in front of Veses and his jaw almost dropped at the sight of his armor.

“I guess it was too much to ask that you would be smart enough to figure it out.” He said shaking his head once again…

“You..” he turned to Aserian who stood to Veses’s left., “Help this man get his armor straight before we hit the road.”

“Now you all with have the rear guard,” he continued to talk to all of them, “so get your gear together and fall in behind the wagons in 5 mins….. Snap to it!”
He left them to walk over to the wagons and left them to get their things ready. Once they all arrived he got them into a formation of sorts and began to march them behind the wagons once the caravan got moving.


Iothora 2nd, 452 E.R. (Spring)
Coria City, The Kingdom of Coria
Shortly past the 17th hour, on the road to Calestra

“Corporal,” Omains said as the men approached. “You get a nice watch set up with your squads. They can eat once Menival’s men do. Then set up your midnight watches, and report back to me with the order. Menival, you get your men established with their bedrolls, and get Cook to start the stew. Maybe Mogan will deign to play us some ditties on those pipes of his tonight.”

“Sure thing,” Menival chuckled as he kicked a clod of dirt from the heel of his boot. “Hey, Corporal. Make sure your lot don’t let nothing sneak up on us while we eat.”

Chuckling, Captain Omains dismounted and together with the sergeant they made their way back towards the wagons.

"CPL Melis, is there a place to refill my water skin?" Veses asked as he dropped his pack

Melis was right there in his face in an instant, “Shut your trap Grub… pick up your pack and you will rest when I tell you to rest.”

“Alright troops!” Melis called out to all of his group… “you will be paired up in the following manner… Aleins with Issant… Kerrus with Liones… Ellin with Laise … and Aserian with Veses.”

“Now pair up with your watch partner,” he gave them a couple moments to do just that.. “Ok … I want one watch pair in each direction about 50 paces from the circle of wagons… Take your weapons and shields if you have them. Come along and I will set each of you up.”

With the group following he takes and sets them up each in the North.. Aleins/Issant… West… Kerrus/Liones … South… Ellin/Laise … East.. Aserian/Veses… he gives them all the same instructions.

“I want each pair to stand about 10 paces apart and keep a close eye on the area and if you see anything call out to the camp…. I will be by every so often to check on you… so no slacking off.... oh and after you eat... you will dig those Latrine trenches before turning in.”

If there are no questions… he will leave them in their designated areas and true to his word he will come back every 15 mins to check on them…. This watch set up is good till they are relieved for them to eat… then… he will have them dig the latrine trenchs… then they can bed down till the midwatch … Melis will go around and wake them up and make sure they get set into their positions… he will stand watch with them… checking each position every 15 mins as usual.

(I did change my location line as I thought from your post that they are on the road.. Even though your location said they were in the warehouse yards… if I am wrong let me know and I will edit my post. )


Posted on 2010-09-27 at 01:44:12.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 51/18
2200 Posts


Watch

Veses felt humiliated when CPL Melis commented on his armor but he intended to not let it happen again. He took his place on watch and engaged his companion in conversation. "Aserian, thanks for the help fitting my armor. I am sure you know I have never done this before. Some of my companions don't want anyone to think they cannot fight but I am not afraid to admit I have no real experience. I was hoping that you might teach me during our trip; at least enough that I can stay alive and protect your back at least."

The watch went slowly but finally it was time to eat. Food had not tasted so good in quite awhile. Perhaps it was due to the rumbling in his stomach from the day's march or it could be that the cook actually knew his craft. Either way he was glad to have food in his gut. Too soon after the digging of latrines began. When the holes were all deep enough and the group turned in for a rest Veses had a few new blisters and a few muscles he did not know he had proclaimed their displeasure at the day's activity. Sleep came easy.


Posted on 2010-09-27 at 23:53:02.

   
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