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The Campfire (Open RP)


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OOC: just thought this would be a good chance to start establishing some relationships and a good chance to have some conversational RP. Anyone's welcome to join in.


Rurak hunkered down next to the flames he had been getting going. It was getting chilly out, especially with the sun finally heading down. The latest batch of new archers had recieved their training, now all he had to do was just watch them practice and make minor adjustments. Hopefully they'd be ready in time before any upcoming major engagements.


Rurak glanced up at the sky. It was a perfect cloudless night and the stars shone brightly. Beautiful night. One of those nights where you could just like back and contemplate anything and everything from why the bugs would only crawl into his left boot when he put them on in the mornings, to his very existence. That line of reasoning was dangerous though...what if you thought yourself out of existence?


Carefully setting up a spit Rurak slowly began to rotate the meat over the fire. It was a rather large amount of food to be eating all by himself, but Rurak had the feeling that the smell of fresh cooked meat wafting over the Citadel would quickly attract an eager following of people that would just happen to be passing by and willing to share his fire. Well, that wouldn't bother him a bit. After all, he was in a good mood this night and feeling like a little company. So much had changed this second time back with the band and he needed time to figure things out and really get to know some people. Truth be told he didn't really have any friends as of yet. He had never had many to begin with, and those that he had, seemed to have moved on to bigger and better things. Or moved on in different ways....


No, not something to dwell on for a night like this. Rummaging through his pack, he found some seasoning to throw over the meat. If they hadn't come yet, that would definitely attract the scavengers. Smiling to himself, Rurak settled in to wait and began singing what had become the band's theme song, jack o' the shadows, to pass the time.

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Pausing in the lee of a small building, she had no idea of where she was heading. Truth be told, she had no fixed goal in mind to justify wandering about in such a chill, only an urge to be outdoors.


She lifted her head and took a long deep breath of the night air, her thoughts still in turmoil. She could do discipline, she could. To pretend she liked it though... that would be a lie. It wasn't in her nature to plod along meekly hemmed in by rules, nor to keep her fists by her sides when provoked and that had landed her in the middle of yet another stand off with yet another smart mouthed Bander who thought he had more right to be there than she. Lucky there had been no officers in the vicinity. One of these days such incidents were going to land her in hot water.


With a slight sigh, she moved on once more, out near the training area where some practice was still ongoing. Her long legged stride ate the ground up quickly, making her at least look as though she had a purpose.


There's no doubt about the quality of the troops in the Band, she thought, eyeing those still visible in the diminishing light.


They worked their recruits hard and their full soldiers harder. In her short time at the Citadel, she'd been impressed by the set up and was coming to believe in all the tales, rapidly becoming legends, bandied amongst the common folk.


Nearby singing gradually intruded on her ponderings and she looked for the source just as the smell of roasting meat caught her nostrils and had her sniffing appreciatively. Her stomach growled in agreement. Too long since the last meal that morning.


A man sat, not far away, by a small but rapidly growing fire, its glow making the evening shadows jump merrily across the dark dust of the grounds. She was hesitant to intrude, wary of yet more confrontations but the mouth watering smell and the chill overcame her natural instinct and she walked forward into the light. 


"Maybe we could save the dancing with old Jak until after we have a hot meal in our bellies?" she queried of the man with a small quirk of the mouth, extending a hand from which dangled a decent sized flask of brew. "If you have enough there to share that is?"


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Part of army life, it seemed to Jehryn, was that there was a lot of sitting around doing nothing.  This led to boredom, which in turn lent itself to short walks through the Citadel.  For the first few months that Jehryn had been in the Band, he'd waited until full dark, when he could walk in the shadows without his signature bandages.  As the months had gone, and Commander Jaem had gotten himself settled into his position, things had changed slightly.  Activity at night had picked up slightly as duty rosters were altered slightly, and Jehryn had once again been force back into his mask.


It was a lovely night, no denying that.  A crisp, clear night sky that seemed to dwarf the mind of the beholder spread itself off into infinity, the pinpricks of starlight glimmering.  The beauty was awe-inspiring and mocking, all at once.  And in the Field of the Fallen, beauty could only mock.  From amongst the silent headstones, Jehryn gazed into the heavens, bandages abandoned for the moment.  The flames that had robbed him of his face had also robbed him of the small pleasure that a cool evening breeze against a cheek could feel.  It was a bitter thought, but after eight years of a hairless, burnt face that did not belong on a living being, bitterness was second nature.


Jehryn preferred to stay amongst the dead when he had his nights off from the infirmary.  The dead did not judge.  They did not care about his face.  They were also blessedly quiet.  A scent drifted on the breeze, barely noticed by Jehryn, but enough to set his stomach growling.  He had not eaten yet that night.  Deftly wrapping his face again, he set off, following his nose towards the glow of a lone fire among some of the emptiness to be found in the Citadel.


Two shapes were already at the fire that he could see, meaning that he'd have company; one of them appeared to be Elynde Sidoro, unless his eyes were mistaken.  They'd met once, briefly, in one of the Citadel's numerous taverns.  It was a short meeting, to be sure, and Jehryn doubted she'd remember him.  No matter.  Approaching within speaking distance, Jehryn saluted to the man seated there and to the woman, who indeed turned out to be Elynde.  "Good evening," he rasped, his voice dry and crackly.  "Mind if I sit?"

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"We'll kiss the girls be they short or..." Rurak's singing was cut off by what seemed to be a woman's voice breaking across the grounds.


"Maybe we could save the dancing with old Jak until after we have a hot meal in our bellies?" Glancing towards the sound of the voice, Rurak couldn't quite catch the face as it was shrouded by shadows flickering from the firelight. A sizeable flask dangled from a hand though and Rurak thought he saw some sort of smile flicker across the lady's features. "If you have enough to share that is."


"Be welcome to my fire, there is enough to share, the light willing, have a seat I'll just..."


"Good evening," A voice rasped to him out from the darkness."Mind if I sit?" Looking towards the voice, Rurak found a man, heavily bandaged. Light, that wound must have been painful. A fire from the looks of it, and probably damage done to the throat if Rurak didn't miss his guess. However, something else brought him up short. He hadn't had a chance to personally meet this man as of yet, but had seem him around in passing, and from the way everyone reacted around him, must be some person of no small rank. Returning the man's salute with in kind and adding a slight nod of the head Rurak spoke. "Be welcome to the fire, have a seat." Rurak got up and rolled over a couple of stumps "These are left over from the training I was giving some archers a bit ago. I had already planned to set up a small fire here and asked them to leave these behind. Be careful though, they've probably got some splinters here and there from practice."

Settling down on a log of his own close to the spit, Rurak resumed turning while speaking. "Truth be told sir, you're welcome to some food as well. I just got this on here, but was planning for others such as yourselves to come. I recently re-signed with the band here after a long leave and right now I am lacking in people that I know, so I thought I'd lure a few hungry souls in for some free food and a little company. Pardon my manners by the way, my name is Rurak...Rurak Gistere, Sergeant of the Archers. So tell me a little of yourselves, you sir look to be a man who has seen much in your time here, what wisdom do you have to impart to a poor lost soul such as myself?" Rurak put in with a wide grin. "And you good lady, it is not every day that one finds a woman among the ranks of the military. Yours must be quite the story to tell...though if it be troubling, then do not bother such a beautiful night with the telling." The woman had a certain fire in her eyes, and not solely from the reflection of the campfire. She was a strong one, and any man dumb enough to cross her was likely to soon be awakened to a new understanding. Rurak had become good at reading people over the years, he had to, what with having to know how a crowd would react to his 'preaching.' Wearing the bandages made it harder for him to read the other man, but one thing was for sure...the man had probably become estranged from a normal life by them. Throwing on a little bit more seasoning, Rurak let the night and the voices from around the citadel pass the time and set the mood.



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Saira was making her way to her bunk, tired after her daily training routine. She still remembered the reason she had sought out the Band in the first place, and had added a considerable amount of her own training on top of what was assigned to recruits. Which unfortunately meant she was also twice as tired as the others, but that was a price she was more than willing to pay. Still, the smell of roasting meat drifted across the field, and her stomach reminded her of how hungry she was, disagreeing with another night spent too tired to eat properly. Following the smell, her legs took her to the campfire before she knew it.


- "Umm... Hi. Mind if i join you?"


She sat down before awaiting the answer, giving a relieved sigh as she started massaging her legs and feet. As it was, she wasn't sure whether she could even get up in the next five minutes if she wanted to, but just sitting near a fire was a blessing in itself to her. She bit her lip, trying very hard not to look at the meat and not think about how hungry she was, but a loud rumble from her stomach caused her face to sink into a deep blush from embarrasment.




Kind of hungry

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The aroma of cooking meat seemed to draw people like flies. Hardly surprising in a place where food and drink signalled a break from otherwise gruelling schedules for so many.


She made herself comfortable, unhooking a second flask from her belt as she stretched her legs out to gain some much needed warmth from the fire and listened to Rurak introducing himself to the next arrival.


Relieved to see it was someone she had already met, the sudden tension left her shoulders and she spoke to their host. "It seems you know how to cook Rurak. That smells wonderful. Elynde Sidoro at your service."


She nodded an amiable acknowledgement at the other man then and held out the first flask. "Jehryn. Well met. Have a drink, take the chill off. How fares life in the infirmary?"


No sooner had the words left her mouth than another familiar figure appeared. Ely recognised the look of exhuastion that marked every line of the girl's figure. Over practising again, no doubt, she thought and shook her head in vague admiration of Saira's determination. Well, an interesting impromptu gathering nonetheless.


Saira's stomach rumbled loudly, an echo of her own a few moments earlier and Ely smiled, the habitual hardness of her expression fading as she finally relaxed and prepared to actually enjoy some company.



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A fourth person emerged out of the darkness, it was Saira! Rurak had just recently finished up a training session in archery with her. From the looks of things she was really working herself hard, maybe a little too hard. Well...hopefully she would know when to stop herself. Smiling, Rurak picked out one of the guards by the gate. "Hey Saira, if you can tell me how far away the guard on the left is and how high to adjust your bow, I'll give you a slice of this here meat."


Hearing a rumble from across the campfire, Rurak spoke again "Well it looks like this things just about cooking and none too soon for you Elynde, a pleasure to meet you, and Jehryn was it? Well I'm glad you joined our little campfire, the Infirmary isn't that great a place to be hanging out I imagine, especially with what they're feeding you. In my opinion a good couple servings of meat will do a lot better good for you than most of your time in that infirmary there. Light, I've missed out on so much in the band between my two leaves. This latest one was a lot longer, so much has changed. I wouldn't have traded my experiences out there in the world for anything, but it's good to be back where you can make a difference..."


After an awkward silence, Rurak finally broke in "all right, fine, I'll start things off and tell a bit of my travels. You know what was the most amazing thing about the places I went? I loved being next to the shore, hearing the waves crashing against the rocks. Light, you don't find much more beatiful places than next to the ocean. I've traveled almost all the major cities this side of the dragonwall, been thrown out of all the ones that I did visit" Rurak said with a wry smile. "My favorite has got to be Camelyn. There are some more beautiful cities, tis true, but Camelyn is still close to home, and stays close to its people. There's a feeling like people care. At least I didn't get as bad treatment as usual there, I merely got politely asked to leave....backed by a couple of strong guards to see me gone! A those were the days...sadly, there is no peace in this world. That's why I had to come back here, to the band. It's the only way we're gonna bring that peace to these good folk, by bringing the dark one down one darkfriend and one trolloc at a time til they're all gone, or we are." Sitting back, Rurak realized he had been speaking a little strongly. Lauging at himself to try and lighten the mood, Rurak spoke again "wow, I seem to have stirred myself up if no one else, but it looks like the foods ready, and the light willing maybe the food will help ease the mood."

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Saira glanced in the soldier's direction, squinting a bit as she tried to make an estimate about how far away the man was. She recalled the memory of the hundred yard archery target, then looked at the soldier again as she imagined how far along those flags he would be.


- "I'd saaay.... Eighty-four feet, give or take a few, meaning slightly over half an inch up. Right?"


Light, she hoped she was right. She felt about ready to jump someone and gnaw their arm off, but fortunately the meat Rurak offered appeared to be a much better alternative. Normally she'd have dinner at the Inn, cleaning out the reheated leftovers after the majority of the Band had had dinner. It was the most economical of the meals that were offered, and she'd need all the money she could get her hands on if she were to hire the Band herself.


Whilst taking a second helping of stew, the ravenous girl listened to Rurak talk about what had led him to join the Band. It sounded quite a bit like what had made her seek out the Band, herself, and she couldn't help but look at the others, wondering just how much their stories would resemble hers in some way or another. She decided against following through and talking about her own reasons though, thinking about home made her sad and that would kill the mood. And besides, her mother taught her never to speak with her mouth full, it was impolite.




Properly raised *nods*

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