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New Arrival


Post by Julen on

The week passed far faster than Julen had any right to hope. By the end of it, his arm muscles no longer required nightly healing from Railtus, and Julen felt that he’d achieved a decent level of competency with all three weapons. If given a choice, he preferred the spear -- in part because it seemed the most natural to him, like a rake or a hoe, and in part because it allowed him to keep a decent distance from his foes. But he knew what to do with a falchion and dagger as well.

Still, Julen was far from cocky. It had not escaped him that the next time he drew a blade, it would be a real one, and his opponent would not be attacking him with wood.

During the first few days of training, their activities had drawn little more than passing glances from the gnomes who inhabited the Industrial District. But apparently word spread about the two strange humans who hung around in a vacant lot whacking each other with fake weapons. Towards the end, they’d acquired a small, and usually respectful, audience. A few gnomes even agreed to play roles in the training itself, allowing Railtus to better demonstrate group tactics like supporting pairs and suppression. It didn’t give Julen a chance to practice against full-sized combatants, but it was better than stabbing at phantoms.

And now, finally, it was time to go home. The training weapons had been returned to the Fighter’s Guild the previous night. Julen’s few possessions had been organized and packed. Rosemary’s locket once more hung from his throat, suspended on a leather cord salvaged from the arming coat. And a surprisingly reluctant goodbye had been said to Effie.

She’d gone on about how she couldn’t possibly hold the room for him, and that it would be unfair of him to expect her to lose that addition to her meager income, completely ignoring the fact that Julen hadn’t asked her do any such thing. Then, to his complete surprise, she’d thrust a loaf of bread into his hands. Not one of the stale leftovers that she usually gave him. But one of her best, filled with plump raisins and swirls of cinnamon, its brown crust covered with a light icing. “Take it to your wife,” she’d instructed. “That poor, poor woman...” Julen tried to thank her. However, Effie turned away from him, and refused to say any more.

Julen’s eyes scanned his room one more time, making sure he hadn’t forgotten anything. He hadn’t. He was ready to go.

Post by Sir Karsimir on

Julen had made no such request of Effie, but Railtus had.

Of course, not unreasonably. Railtus had offered to cover the next week of Julen's rent up front, with the understanding that if he was not back in Marn by then he would cover the following week upon his return. Quite off-handedly, Railtus stated that if he was gone for more than three weeks then he would be dead and thus hard-pressed to cover the payments. In a nutshell, she would only be behind on her finances if Railtus got himself killed, and the subject was raised just that casually. The decision was then left to her.

In the spirit of helpfulness, Railtus had been expecting to travel, so deemed it wise to pack rations. Where possible, anything that would last was purchased from Effie, so that she would be the one to profit from supplying their journey ahead. Of course, bread and pastries would not cover the entire travelling diet, so some expenditures went elsewhere, but Railtus made an effort to be canny with the direction of his costs.

Mildly frugal in a way that would astonish his family, Railtus had one last consideration on the day of their departure. Any of the lingering bread that would become a leftover, Railtus checked if that could be used to solve the first day of their journey.

Needless to say, when leaving, Railtus brought backpacks. Having travelled so far to get to Marn, he had the gear for it.

One of the training spears was destroyed, or rather, the wooden head was sawn off, with the captured spear blade socketed into place. Part of this involved driving a thin bolt through the wood so that the socket could be locked into place via a rivet. This coated the first few inches of shaft in metal, reducing the risk of sundering.

Finally, there were details to arrange with House Anstrun. Wages were drawn in advance for Julen. Most of the nobles had no objection to this journey. Lord Kendall merely took it as a sign of the boy earning his keep, Lady Maragrane looked forward to a glorious deed to add to the history of House Anstrun. Valanghar looked forward to hearing of a triumphant return. And Phelan looked forward to Railtus being gone and out of the way.

Most of all, a fond farewell was reserved for his dear lady. No nerves struck, they never did. In parting, Railtus trusted in Mavelle's complete support, even if he had not, he could not fear her reaction. It was one piece of his humanity which he had left behind.

The journey had begun, onwards to Shim.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

Post by Falcon Bertille on

Mavelle deeply regretted the necessity of Railtus’s departure. Even during his stay at House Anstrun, she couldn’t help but miss him when duty required that he be elsewhere. And now, he’d be gone for a week...perhaps longer. But Mavelle understood that, as pleasant as they might be, evening strolls and intimate conversations were not going to win Railtus his knighthood. And that knighthood meant so much to him. She wanted him to be happy, even at the expense of her own contentment.

Also, of course, earning his knighthood would permit Railtus to openly court her.

So, for a mixture of selfless and selfish reasons, Mavelle gave Railtus her full support. She also gave him a silk handkerchief. On it, she’d embroidered a red rose, in remembrance of the rose she’d plucked for him on that first afternoon in the garden. The original flower had long since died. “But this will never wilt or fade,” she promised. “Just like our feelings for each other.”

Then, rather impractically, Mavelle tied it to the hilt of Railtus’s sword, and gave him a kiss (since they’d arranged a moment of privacy to speak their farewells). After that, there was nothing more she could do except watch him walk away.

It didn’t truly occur to Mavelle that there was some risk he might not return. After all, that was not the way things happened in ballads and stories.

(This story is continued in "Unexpected Homecomings" http://www.tharshaddin.com/rp/viewtopic.php?p=7622)

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