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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Joining the Band of the Red Hand [open]


Moseley

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For five weeks, Willaem Mozelei had ridden through the countryside, spending working during the day, spending the night in the barn or if he was lucky a spare room, then riding on, further and further from home. Occasionally he would stop at a village inn, and would try to find the wherabouts of this Red Tower. Eventually he found himself in a secluded part of Andor, known as the Two Rivers.

 

As he approached the Red Tower, his heart beat faster and faster. He had traveled so far already! He could hardly believe that he, Willaem Mozelei, was traveling alone, through a distant country, signing up for an army he knew nothing about. And it had been little more than a month! What am I going to face in a year?

 

After asking around, he found the tent where he could sign up. He tied his bay stallion, Alcair'caba to a post and stepped inside the tent, awaiting his future.

 

________________

 

 

OoC: Can someone be the person 'manning' the desk? or should i just keep going?

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Shealyn Donal was standing in line awaiting her turn to sign her name to the roll, when a young man walked in behind her. The two were able to look each other straight in the eye. Shealyn turned a way quick so as not to alarm him with her strange mismatched colored eyes. But she felt it would be rude not to introduce herself after making eye contact. Plus she knew she needed to get over the nervousness about her eyes.

 

She turned to him and extended her hand and said, "Shealyn Donal, pleased to meet you."

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Willaem looked at the young woman who had just introduced herself and was startled to see two different colored eyes. But his cousing back home had had the same thing, and he knew it wasn't anything to be scared of. He smiled told her his name.

 

"Did you just get here?" he asked, trying to make polite conversation. "I rode from Ghealdan. Where are you from? Have your ridden a horse before?" After she looked a little puzzled, he realized how many questions he'd asked. "Sorry. I tend to get carried away asking questions..." Willaem's cheeks turned the color of the tent.

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"Nice to meet you Willaem of Gheldan. I am from a small town in Andor about some thirty miles from the Cairhien Border," she replied in her almost constant serious manner, as they shook hands.

 

The youth then rattled off a list of questions almost too fast for Shealyn to keep track.

 

"Yes, I only just arrived yester noon, and talked with Captain General Stromblade. I told him I was interested in the cavalry.'

 

' I was told to get a night's sleep then come sign up with the Lion Platoon. I have never rode a horse but it seems as if I am about to learn.'

 

' After this I will probably go to the stables and find myself a horse, if one can be found that I am compatable with, a horse and rider must get along well, I think; don't you?'

 

He seems a likable enough fellow, if a little shy,Shealyn thought.

 

Shealyn turned to see it was her turn to give her information to the clerk and sign her name to the roll of the Lion Platoon of The Band of the Red Hand. She was now offically Private Shealyn Donal Of the Band of the Red Hand.

 

She looked at Willaem and said only half to herself, "Time to toss the dice. Good luck Willaem, I hope we meet again soon. You are the first I have met who has not flinched when looking at my eyes. Thank You."

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"You are the first I have met who has not flinched when looking at my eyes. Thank you."

 

Willaem frowned. Why would she be thanking him for that? "I have a cousin back in Ghealdan who also has two different colored eyes. I'm used to it I guess..." He saw the clerk impatiently rolling his nails. "Anyway, good to meet you! See you around?" He waved goodbye.

 

Turning toward the clerk, he smiled apoligetically, then filled out the application as quickly as he could, barely thinking about what he was doing. Then it hit him. This is what I'm going to be for the rest of my life! I'm going to be a soldier.

 

As he walked out of the tent, he kept hearing over and over what the clerk had said: "You are now officially Private Willaem Mozelei of the Band of the Red Hand." Private Willaem Mozelei.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Estel

Since his promotion, Carnhain had taken up going for long walks in the afternoons. Mainly because then he could avoid both his clerk, who really only needed to summarize everything and leave that in writing on his desk rather than relate every minute detail orally, and the constant flow of complainers from his corps. Light, he had never known cavalrymen and women to be so… whiny!

 

He was just on the way back to his office when he turned the corner to notice Shealyn, who he had just met that morning, walking off in the other direction. Only about a minute after she had left, another obviously-new private left the registration office. Interested, and procrastinating, Carnhain walked up to greet him.

 

“Hello there. How are you settling in here?”

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Willaem jumped back when the man spoke to him. Trying desperatley to recover, he tried to smile and forced out a somewhat audible greeting. By the Light, get hold of yourself, man!

 

"Uh, sorry, uh, sir," Willaem muttered. "How are you? Er...I mean...I'm settling in well, uh, sir... how about you? Uh...how about your day?" Why was he reacting like this? He bit his lip and made himself apologize for what he had just mumbled.

 

"Sir, I don't deal with meeting new people well," Willaem said ashamedly and almost started muttering again when he caught himself.

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Guest Estel

Carnhain barked a laugh. “Really? Hadn’t noticed.” His tone was sarcastic but not dry or cutting as it would have been if he were he trying to insult the younger man. “I am quite settled in, thank you.” He hoped the new private had a sense of humour and understood that he jested, it was always unfortunate when one had to knock one’s men unconscious on the first day. “As for my day, I was just off to work my way through my stack of infernal paperwork but so far I’ve been managing to find excuses to delay it and so right now my day, and me, are just fine.” The blonde man laughed again at the poor boy’s expression.

 

“And now to complete the formalities, I am Captain General Carnhain Stromblade. Who are you?”

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Willaem tried to laugh at the man's odd sense of humor. But he mostly ended up frowning. I hope his humor grows on me...

 

“And now to complete the formalities, I am Captain General Carnhain Stromblade. Who are you?”

 

Willaem gulped when he heard the man's title... Captain General! And here he was stumbling over his words. Blast! He took a long breath before responding.

 

"I'm Private Willaem Mozelei from Ghealdan. And truth be told... I don't know why I'm here. I really had nothing to do at home, and I'd always wanted to see the world..." He looked up from the ground and suddenly realized how... beautiful the man was. His shoulders were broad, his arms defined. And his eyes. Grey, with a twinkle, yet also something deeper. A darker mystery...

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Guest Estel

Carnhain blinked a moment… and blinked again. The boy was here because he was bored! At least the others in his situation joined claiming to seek money or fame or some noble cause. The better part of the Band was made up of refugees from justice, like himself, and the other part of boys and lordlings seeking glory, fame or “freedom”- though why they would think to find freedom in a highly-disciplined army was beyond Carnhain’s simple mind.

 

“If you’re bored, kid, we can certainly remedy that.” Carnhain’s tone managed to stay dry while filled with amusement. “And we can keep you plenty busy in the cavalry, though I dare say you could probably find even more action in the infantry. Though,” the blonde man took the opportunity to survey Willaem as he might a new horse “I’m afraid they’d likely make a bloody pulp of you before you made it through their initiation.” Everyone in the infantry had crooked noses from having them broken usually not far into their first week and it was always easy to pick out the infantrymen from their brawny builds. The infantrywomen, few as they were, were even easier to identify by their “I-am-woman-hear-me-roar” attitudes that could have rivalled any Green Sister’s.

 

Taking a second glance at Willaem, Carnhain burst out laughing. At the younger man’s curious glace, the cavalryman shook his head and took a minute to calm his laughter before replying. “It’s nothing, just that of the last three people I’ve taken or seen in the Citadel, all have been blonde.”

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Willaem was hardly listening to what Captain General Stromblade was saying. The word went over his head. Instead, he was looking at Stromblade's toned arms and beautiful face. “If you’re bored, kid, we can certainly remedy that. And we can keep you plenty busy in the cavalry, though I dare say you could probably find even more action in the infantry. Though,” When the blonde man looked at Willaem, he smiled slightly, wondering if the man was interested in him. “I’m afraid they’d likely make a bloody pulp of you before you made it through their initiation.”

 

Both men seemed to be lost in thought. Willaem was day-dreaming of the strong man taking off his shirt, rubbing Willaem's back... when Stromblade's laugh interrupted his thoughts. Giving him a curious look, he responded after a moment of controling his laughter. “It’s nothing, just that of the last three people I’ve taken or seen in the Citadel, all have been blonde.”

 

"Oh... well, sir, that's...um... unusual?" Willaem didn't think he would know how to respond even if this man wasn't attractive. "I was wondering if you..." Willaem cleared his throat, "...could show me to my sleeping quarters?" Then hastily he added: "If it's not too much trouble.

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Guest Estel

Carnhain wasn’t purposely being derisive, but he found the much younger man’s obvious terror of appearing less-than-satisfactory incredibly amusing- never mind that Carnhain had been the same when he had first arrived; it was too far back for him to remember. “Not so much unusual as… well, interesting. Blondes tend to carry the reputation of being air-headed and so one might make a joke about the intelligence of the Band deteriorating- or at least one would if one were not a blonde himself.” Rowul- Light bless his soul- had rubbed off too much on him before dying, leaving Carnhain far too pompous for his own good.

 

“As to your sleeping quarters, they’re around outside the Keep itself and in the cavalry’s quarters. On our way, do you mind if we swing by one of the mess halls for a bite? The food is awful in the public eateries here but I don’t feel like waiting to go into the city for a tavern.”

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“Not so much unusual as… well, interesting. Blondes tend to carry the reputation of being air-headed and so one might make a joke about the intelligence of the Band deteriorating- or at least one would if one were not a blonde himself.” The more Willaem listened to CarnhainStromblade, the more he became confused. He seemed like a nice man, but his humor was not what Willaem was used to in his small town in Ghealdan. Though he was very beautiful, Willaem would have to let this one pass.

 

“As to your sleeping quarters, they’re around outside the Keep itself and in the cavalry’s quarters. On our way, do you mind if we swing by one of the mess halls for a bite? The food is awful in the public eateries here but I don’t feel like waiting to go into the city for a tavern.”

 

"I don't mind, sir," Willaem said, feeling his stomach growl. "And surely the food can't be that terrible. Soldiers have got to eat, haven't they?"

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Estel

Carnhain guffawed loudly. “An army is a business too, Willaem. Like any business, the cheaper a thing can be done, the better. It doesn’t so much matter what the soldiers are eating as long as they are fed enough that they can perform their tasks. Since the messhalls are paid whether or not soldiers actually eat their food, they have no need to put any effort into improving taste, and in their food there is little, and the quicker, easier and cheaper the better.”

 

By the time the simple-minded officer was done with his little speech on economics, they had arrived at one of the many messhalls. The pair of blondes joined the queue of rather unenthused privates and corporals, with the occasional officer who had lost his coin gambling or else drunk it all away sprinkled around. Not being a regular to these sorts of establishments, few took the time to notice the badges of office on his rarely-worn uniform coat.

 

“Welcome to the mediocrity of common soldier.” said Carnhain, grimacing at the unidentifiable substance covering his plate. The lady serving had called it gruel and indeed it looked as though eating it would be a gruelling experience on the taste buds. His bun was crusty and left crumbs over the table when broken. Inattentively dipping it in the pasty mush, the older of the two started a conversation between bland mouthfuls.

 

“You were bored at home, eh? Tell me, what about home was so boring?”

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The man seemed content to talk for the duration of their walk to the Mess Hall. He went on about the army being a business and such, which Willaem was sure was interesting to some, but he wasn't one of those. The pair of blondes stood in a line of other soldiers like himself, and they all looked rather bored. “Welcome to the mediocrity of common soldier.” Willaem's plate recieved a load of congealed oatmeal-esque something and a stale bun. He held in a groan.

 

Captain General Stromblade chose a table that was not crowded, and Willaem sat down. He prepared himself for a sewer-water taste, yet was surprised at the blandness. It wasn't good, but it didn't repulse him either.

 

“You were bored at home, eh? Tell me, what about home was so boring?”

 

Willaem swallowed before answering the blonde man. "Well, sir, I worked as a farm hand on my sister's farm, and farm life is not exciting. I never got along with the other guys really, and I was never one for girls. It's hard to live in a small village when you want to learn about the world. If you don't mind my asking sir, where are you from?" He had apparently gotten over his apprehension around the man.

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Guest Estel

Carnhain snorted, not meaning to be unkind though perhaps he was. What he would have given to have a childhood like that; a loving family, steady business, time to himself and siblings. He had a sister somewhere- if she was still alive. “Never take family for granted, boy.” he said bitterly. “Few enough here have any, or if they do, theirs’ weren’t pleasant. Nor did most here have farms to become bored of. Most are here because this is the only work they can find; the only work they can do that enables them to pull themselves up from the abysses of their childhoods to nobler stations and better ways of life. Are you willing to risk your life just to avoid boredom? Most men would give their good right arms to…” He trailed off, drawing his ale in a single gulp as if that communicated the end of his sentence better than any words.

 

“Never mind me, Willaem.” Carnhain sighed after glancing wistfully at the bottom of his lunch ale and then at the long line of hungry soldiers. “Doesn’t matter where I came from originally, I grew up in north Andor. I didn’t have a farm, or a family, as far as I knew I was an orphan who was “benevolently” taken in by the local innkeeper.” He emphasised those words with every ounce of bitterness he could find- and he could find plenty. “I slaved to earn my keep, nothing more for fifteen years. After that, I came here to make something better of myself. I don’t suppose they taught you to read and write on our farm, did they?”

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General Stromblade's lecture on family made Willaem think about his own. He was the oldest boy, and felt responsible for his younger siblings, yet they always seemed to keep him from doing what he wanted to do. He had often thought of leaving, yet the responsible side always won out. But when his Cedries married into the family, he felt like he could leave the family in good hands.

 

"Willaem?" Willaem looked up and snapped out of his daydream. "Huh? Sorry what did you ask?"

 

"I don’t suppose they taught you to read and write on our farm, did they?” General Stromblade repeated, slighty amused.

 

"Oh, well, no sir. They didn't. Being the oldest boy, I had to take care of my brothers and sisters until my sister was old enough to take care of them. But that is one thing I want to learn here. My mother said that here they would teach me to read and write. Can you?"

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Estel

Carnhain rested his chin on the arm he propped up on the table. “Barely. I learned here- or at least tried. I wasn’t a quick study and by the time they taught me to read and write I was already a functioning officer illiterate though I was. I suggest asking for lessons early on, before you end up with promotions and too much on your plate.”

 

Speaking of plates, the blonde man sighed as he scraped the last of the porridge from his bowl, softening the rock-like bun. He looked hopefully at the new private’s plate, hoping to snatch another bite or two as his stomach still rumbled. Out of luck, Carnhain resigned himself back to the mountain atop his desk. “Anyways, I better go back to using my limited literary skills and signing my name. I’ll walk you to your barracks and then I’ve got to get back to work.”

 

ooc: unless you've got any other important stuff you wanna do with this thread is it okay if we close it off? I've managed to bury myself under a mountain of posts and I'm trying to wrap up a few of them so my work load isn't so big. I'd love to do another RP though once I've closed off a few others.

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...I suggest asking for lessons early on, before you end up with promotions and too much on your plate.” Willaem nodded, as this seemed to make sense. If he judged correctly, most officers would know how to read, and he could ask any of them to teach him, though to learn the basics, Carnhain could do it.

 

Seeing that the blonde man was wanting to leave, Willaem finished up the last bites of his bland meal and cleared both of their plates. “Anyways, I better go back to using my limited literary skills and signing my name. I’ll walk you to your barracks and then I’ve got to get back to work.” He motioned Carnhain to lead the way. He followed him out and after a surprisingly short walk they arrived.

 

"Thank you, General. I'm sure I'll be seeing more of you soon." Willaem akwardly half-nodded, half-bowed and feeling flustered, walked briskly up the stairs, where a clerk met him and showed him where he was to room. Willaem opened the door to his new quarters. A two young men sat around a small table, playing dice. With a heartwarming cheer, they welcomed him in. He smiled and sat down, asking them what they were playing. When they told him, thankfully it was a game he was familiar with and he was brought in. This is a new life, he thought. No one knows my past, or what I'm like. I can be anyone, and they can think that's who I am. He made up his mind that he would try to be cordial and friendly toward people. Some day, they may be my fellow soldiers on the battlefield. And they save my life. Or I theirs. He picked up his cup and rolled the dice.

 

OoC: Sorry Estel! I feel bad keeping you waiting! I tried to post, but my computer stupidly shut the Internet off and I haven't been able to repley since. I think we can be done with this one. Look forward to RPing with you in the future!

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