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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Work...Wait, what? (attn Yriel)


The Bard Babe
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Arkin pouted at Mehrin as the man pointed him towards a horse. "You, flask-thrower, go and muck out the stables."

The flask-thrower...well, it was a title Arkin deserved, he supposed. "Do I absolutely have to, cause you know, I'd really rather not." Arkin asked, the paraphanelia on his wrists swaying as he gesticulated.

A flat stare was his response. "I'll tell you what, you can take him with you." Mehrin said, gesturing towards Yriel, a man who had joined up around the same time as Arkin, but was significantly more responsible. He was sharpening his sword, his focus fixed on the blade.

 

Barking a laugh as he caught the shovels that were thrown at him and giving Mehrin a two-fingered salute, Arkin spun on his heel and began a trot towards the stables, ready to pick up Yriel on the way. The day had been a hard one full of training with Mehrin Death to Alcohol, and Arkin's muscles bore a familiar strain from he recognised from days with his old Master, but the knives resting on Arkin's belt felt much more comfortable and well used, his muscles more confident in how to handle them than they had been for a fair while. However, he now faced the problem of work.

 

Arkin didn't do work.

 

Arkin had never done work.

 

He avoided honest ways of making money if he could help it, and the closest he had ever done was to sing in an inn, which was hardly real work.

 

Sighing, Arkin made a note to himself to avoid Mehrin if he could in the hopes that he could avoid this type of thing in the future, and came to a stop before Yriel, his dark hair swinging with medallions, hands covered in bands of lace and leather and other such things collected over his years of travelling.

 

"Yriel! It looks like we're going to be mucking out some stables together! I'm pretty sure that's a job for the little lads, but I'm also pretty sure that Mehrin Death to Alcohol doesn't like me, so it kind of makes sense, really." he said with a massive grin, handing the other man a shovel.

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Yriel was guiltily sharpening and oiling his sword honing the edge carefully as penance. Since joining the band he had realised how badly he had treated the blade and now he was trying to make it up to the inanimate object by looking after it. He eased out a few nicks that had developed in the blade. His concentration fully on the blade he didn't notice Arkin walking up to him.

 

"Yriel! It looks like we're going to be mucking out some stables together! I'm pretty sure that's a job for the little lads, but I'm also pretty sure that Mehrin Death to Alcohol doesn't like me, so it kind of makes sense, really." Yriel groaned by the time Arkin was halfway through the sentence. The man's large grin didn't help matters. After sliding his sword into its belt and strapping it in on he grabbed the shovel off the grinning scout.

 

"He may not like you but why do I have to help you, what did I ever do to him?" Yriel said even as he pulled himself up using the shovel. He had done his fair share of shovelling horse manure back in tear, when one of the stable boys had taken ill or when the Mahjere or his parents were mad at him. But none of that meant he wanted to do it again, or he at least needed a good reason. The only reason he didn't think Arkin was just trying to get free labour was the fact there were two shovel and one thing Yriel had learnt since joining the band is that quartermasters didn't want to give anything to anyone, ever.

 

As he started walking towards the stable Yriel could feel his muscle's groaning after the training. Maybe he'd been so bad at training this was he punishment, strange he'd thought he'd been doing quite well.

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Arkin couldn't help but grin even further at Yriel's audible groan. "Well, my current theories are that he likes me and he gave me some company, he's training up us newbies extra hard, or he really just doesn't like anyone and enjoys handing out manual labour." He gave a wink as he swung his shovel over his shoulder and continued bouncing forward, his small Cairhienin form finding some energy from somewhere deep in his core-no-one could insult his endurance. "I'll let you pick a theory."

 

The stables suddenly loomed before them, and Arkin took the oppurtunity to open the massive doors as theatrically as possible. Unfortunately, he was then faced with the sight of everything he'd have to shovel out of the horse-infested area.

 

Arkin stopped dead in his tracks.

 

The smell didn't shock him-he'd slept in a stable often enough, but that was just the issue. He'd slept in a stable, he'd eaten in a stable, stolen a horse from a stable, done other less child-friendly things in a stable, but never had he set foot in one with hte intention to clean it, and never had it struck him just how much horses screwed up their little houses.

 

Rolling up his sleeves, Arkin nudged Yriel. "So...do you know what you're doing here? I've only ever slept in one of these places-I'm not exactly practiced in the whole, honest labour to money thing. And we aren't even getting paid for this!"

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Yriel sighed again as the door opened. His bet was on Mehrin just giving out manual labour for the hell of it theory, not that the theory helped him in anyway now. The bounding small man seemed downhearted at the height of the task which rather cheered Yriel up. Smirking he, without answering Arkin, walked round to the side of the stable and pulled a small cart out and placed it in front of the stable. He then rolled up his trousers up as high he could took off his shoes and sword and placed them where he would be able to keep his eye on them. Throwing his shovel into the muck he turned to Arkin and finally replied.

 

"Simple get ankle deep in it and keep shovelling till there's none left, then get the stable lad who should be doing this and leave him to deal with the cart and putting the hay down." And with that Yriel waded into the mess and began shovelling throwing the waste straight over his back into the cart, his first few shovelfuls flying disturbingly close to Arkin's head. This was rather mindless work and Yriel wondered where the stable boys, who were conspicuous by their absence, had gone they were the ones who were meant to be doing this unless Mehrin had intentionally scared them off purely to leave the soldiers some work/punishment to do.

 

"So how did you wind up with the band then?" Yriel asked casually as he continued shovelling the muck.

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Arkin was shocked by how easily Yriel began the work-it seemed quite natural for him. Watching as the man rolled up his trousers and abandoned his shoes and sword, Arkin began to do the same-he'd always learnt quickly by copying. He ducked as a shovel of something unpleasant passed uncomfortably close to his head, sailing into the cart behind him.

Listening to Yriel's explanation, Arkin grinned at the last bit. Leaving the stableboys the cart full of muck seemed like good enough payback for them not doing their job.

Arkin began to unload himself of several low-hanging trinkets and sashes with practiced fingers as Yriel asked him how he wound up in the Band.

 

Shrugging and digging his shovel into the patch in front of him, Arkin replied simply, still too downtrodden by the work to be overly epic. "Well, I was a dodgy character for a while, performer, thief and drunkard. My Master Gabbon cleared up my act, but then he left to go back to his real life, so I came here. Better than an army." He looked over at Yriel, who seemed about his age, and looked a lot like a smaller version of Arinth. Thoughts of Arinth brought a grin to Arkin's ready mouth. Light but that man was good company, he could flaming drink! "What about you? You look far too practiced at this for a fun past." Arkin finished as he shovelled another load of light-cursed muck over his shoulder.

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Yriel kept shovelling hard as he listened to Arkin's story. He wanted to ask questions but the brief tale gave the idea he didn't really want to talk about now, so he left the questioning for now. He didn't see the smirk on Arkin's face as he'd almost lost his balance and fallen face first into the piles of manure, not something that he wanted to do. After finding his balance Yriel stuck his shovel deep into the pile and let out a groan as he realised how much was left. He may have mucked out a stable before but this was almost something else entirely. He only just heard Arkin's question as he began to slip into his own little, non muck filled world.

 

"Me, oh, I was a servant since birth down in Tear occasional ventured out to do some trapping. I mostly got stuck inside the house and cleaning out the stable was a popular punishment for those of us still young enough to do it." Yriel took a pause and stretched out a crick in his neck leading to a crack. "The rest of the household was blamed for a failure of a main house and all put to death, I was out of the city at the time. I wandered round for a year after that, then decided to join the band and wandered round following rumours till I ran into them." Yriel finished what was his rather depressing tale. He stood still for a moment and leant onto the shovel. Looking at the pile left he noticed that they had already made a half decent dent into the mass of faeces.

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Arkin's mind automatically slipped into his detaching-from-the-potentially-painful-situation mode, creating a ballad about Yriel's life. His tale was just too close to his for him to manage it completely, but he hummed quietly under his breath for a moment as he debated sharing the earlier part of his life. Shovelling another load of what had once been oats over his shoulder, he shot Yriel a sad look. "I know what it's like to lose your family, my friend. Light, but I do." Arkin went to go for a swig of his ale, but found that for a moment he couldn't tear himself from the younger man's eyes. He felt a moment of empathy run between them like a shimmering thread of gold, tied at each end around their hearts.

 

And then the moment passed.

 

Shaking his head, Arkin looked over at the scarf he had left with his shoes and knives. He had avoided talking about his past for years and then he'd been telling people left, right and centre since he had arrived in the Band. Resting on his shovel for a moment, Arkin pulled a flask from one of the secret spots in his clothes that Mehrin didn't know about and took a deep pull, holding it out to Yriel in offering.

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Yriel looked over at Arkin as he reacted to his tale he saw a similar pain in the man's eyes as he expected were shown in his own. He felt the link as well, a tale of too old orphans left free and alone in the world. And Light did it feel like the world was getting darker a tales such as theirs were more common. Then again maybe soldiery just collected those with dark pasts or troubled memories. Yriel had to admit, he had craved the companionship he was beginning to find within the band. Yriel gladly took the flask of ale from Arkin and took a long slug of it down his throat.

 

"To the light and the turning of the wheel, that we'll see them again" He said raising the flask then passing it back to Arkin. He then reached behind his head and undid the leather tie holding his hair up and away from his face letting his hair fall down to hide his face somewhat. He began digging again with a slightly pained look on his face, he still wasn't used to telling anyone his story. He couldn't have risked it on the move, never knew if he was still being looked for or not. Here he was far from Tairen control and the manoeuvrings of flame cursed daes dae'mar.

 

There was a distinct chink a Yriel felt his arm jar almost painfully as she blade of the shovel hit the stone floor in front of him. There was still a lot to do it buoyed his mood slightly again. Once this was down he was going to find some Ale or spirits and get very drunk, no matter what Mehrin thought at training in the morning.

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Arkin considered Yriel's expression as he took a deep drink. The man seemed to hold things very close to the vest, and seemed uncertain of sharing too much. Arkin let it go, accepting the flask and taking another sip before it disappeared up his sleeves. Digging into the slowly decreasing pile of muck before him, Arkin observed as Yriel let his hair loose-a move Arkin recognised as a bid for privacy.

 

A moment of silence descended-a very rare thing with Arkin-interrupted only by the squelch of muck. A grin spread across Arkin's face as he heard Yriel's shovel hit the floor. "Aha! Progress!" he grinned.

"Alright, enough of the past, what of the future Yriel, my friend? What division do you want to join? What do you want to do, what do you like to do outside of the Band? You've found us now, you need a new goal. Any ideas?"

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Even Yriel was caught up by Arkin's enthusiasm at almost-not really being done with the work. He looked up at him a smirk on his face. He leant on his shovel again giving his muscles another short break from the strain, the muck was deceptively heavy.

"To be honest my main plan extended as far as join the band, make a few friends, get stronger faster and better at fighting. But now here I'm joining the infantry, despite running round with a crossbow." He still didn't know whether he'd be forced to give up the crossbow and forced to learn the shield or the war axe.

"As to what I enjoy, mostly lounging around in the wilderness occasionally with a book, waiting for one of my traps to be sprung." He must have spent a weeks worth of hours waiting for something to run into his traps. The fact that he was learning to get stronger to take revenge was a fact he planned never to reveal.

 

"What about you, I'm guessing your not going to join the cavalry yourself?" Even as he said it the image of the small man bouncing around with his assorted pot pans and other noisy trinkets made his smile even larger. He started digging again scrapping up the muck.

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Arkin laughed at the absurd suggestion of him on a horse. He'd only ever been on a horse three times in his past, and all of them against his will. Yriel in the infantry...he could see that. Arinth would whip him into shape.

"No, believe it or not with all of my colour, I'm a scout." he shrugged. "You'd be surprised how easily thievery can become scouting." he added with a grin, digging into the next and newest pile of muck. "And as for a crossbow, that weapon is far too cool, and if you're good enough at it, you'll probably get to stick with it."

Noting the hedging about the man's new goal, Arkin didn't push it-he was a simple man, he took information as it came and if he grew curious, he would ask.

He could see Yriel sitting beneath a tree with a book, totally at peace. He couldn't help but smile.

 

Arkin didn't think he had ever read a book. Thinking about it, Arkin didn't even think he could read. He could read music, and he could deal with small words if given a moment to concentrate on them...Arkin suddenly felt a massive urge to become literate. He couldn't write, but it couldn't be that hard. If he could write music, then he should be able to write words...right?

A sense of loss entered Arkin's chest. Why had he never learnt to read? He knew the answer to that, he had been learning with his father just before he'd lost his Mother, and then everything had stopped.

 

He had never consciously avoided it, in fact, he'd never even considered it, the idea of being able to read had simply never crossed his mind. Quite suddenly, after his moment of shocked, epiphany, Arkin stated, "I want to learn to read."

 

Ooc: this came upon me as I was writing this-I think I want to have him get a heap of people to teach him to read, but if you want Yriel to teach him or be his main tutor or just be slightly involved, or not at all, it's up to you. :)

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Yriel smirked at the reply to his crossbow, and supposed after studying the small man for a brief second that he could make rather a good scout, after a quick change of clothing anyway. At Arkin's revelation he looked up at him , head tilted and observed him, the man looked a mix of sad and vexed to him. He himself had been taught to read since a early age, mostly due to the Mahjere's doting and the fact she wanted him to get a good job and maybe even eventually to become the male head of servants. A job which required no small amount of report reading, double speak and even some small spy work to keep the house addressed of any upcoming issues. In Tear it wasn't unusual for a man to not be able to read in fact it was probably rare for someone who wasn't being forced or made too learn, among non-nobility anyway.

 

"I'd be happy to teach you some, not sure I'd be the best at it but I can always help you bribe a clerk or an officer for anything I can't do." Yriel replied with a kind smile on his face. Come to think about it he wasn't sure how you'd even start going about teaching someone something like reading and writing. The only book he had was at the moment was Jain Farstrider's and that was one of the few things he'd stolen from anyone in his life, an inn near Caemlyn.

 

OOC: Sounds good, I don't mind which Yriel ends up doing.

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