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Shepherd

Train the Eye ~Attention: All Scouts~

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Scout Training: The Eye

 

“As Scouts you’re only as good as your eyes, and the sharpest weapon at your disposal should be your mind.†Ram addressed the Scouts with a firm military tone, one he had learned and copied from Mehrin and Amon. Some of these young soldiers didn’t know who he was, and he wanted to make it very clear that he was not a leader to be taken lightly. Men died in combat if they didn’t respect and listen to their leaders.

 

‘I’ll have no one dieing because they never learned to take their commanders seriously.’ Of all the many things a person could die of in battle, it was a shame to have a life wasted simply because of the soldiers own stupidity. ‘But, that’s what I’m here for. It’s the officer’s job to enlighten his soldiers and make sure they don’t make stupid mistakes.’

 

“I’m Banner Captain Shepherd, and today I’ll be in charge of your training.†Usually Ram trained the higher ranking officers, but today his class was open to any Scout that wanted to learn a new lesson. He had also wanted to get acquainted with some of the newer recruits. Ram had been gone on assignment for over a year and in his absence a lot had changed at the Citadel.

 

“Were only going to be gone for the day, but I still want all of you to carry a full Scouts pack. It’s about time some of you get acquainted to the weight you’ll be carrying on the field.†He held up his own pack and said, “It’s not as heavy as an Infantryman’s gear, but after a full day it’ll feel heavy enough…â€

 

Inside his pack was a bedroll, food, and field dressing kit every scout was assigned. His simple traveling food consisted of three loaves of flat bread, smoked venison, dried fruit, and a flask of wine and water. The field kit contained small clay jars of expressed wild onion, garlic, and chickweed leaf juice. Along with a bundle of dock leaves and clean bandages. Several tiny leather bags were filled with burdock root, mallow leaves, oak bark, linden flower, mint leaves, sorrel, and many other useful herbs a person attending the wounded might need.

 

He slung the light pack over one shoulder, opposite his short sword. He always left his pole axe behind on scouting missions; it drew to much attention being a weapon primarily used in war. So, in place of his pole arm he had chosen a steal enforced staff. The weapon could easily be passed off as a walking stick and was a deadly tool in his hands.

 

“We’ll be going to a peaceful area, but it’s important that you get used to thinking about how things will be during a time of war. While a Scouts primary duty is to convey messages and information, there will be times when you’ll be forced to engage the enemy in combat. Get used to moving quickly and silently with the added weight of your weapons.†If they had time he planed on instructing them in some basic field combat tactics. It would all depend on how they faired the other exercises he had in mind for them that day.

 

The wind picked up and blew his long light brown hair, which was mostly gray, into his eyes. Ram tied it back with a leather thong and adjusted his traveling cloak. He was dressed in the simple uniform of a ranging scout. His trousers and boots were brown, his shirt and vest forest green, and he wore a hooded reversible cloak of black and greenish-brown. All his clothing was colored to help conceal him in the forest or out on open ground, during day or night, and it was all together completely unremarkable for blending into both city streets and country fields.

 

Ram looked over the gathered Scouts; his sharp cloudy blue eyes going over them and their equipment, making a list of things he thought were good and bad. The thing which stood out most to him was the fact that they were so young.

 

‘Light, I’m not that old myself… despite the grey hairs… but dear Creator, if I haven’t seen a greener bunch of soldiers…’ Ram was almost thirty summers old. People mistook him for being much older because of his hair, but when they saw his face and build they would realize their initial mistake.

 

He was around six feet tall, his build very muscular but not defined muscle. He wore his hair long and his beard forked in the Kandorian style. On his forearms were two tattoos of rams charging, inked in red and black. Also on the left side of his face, running from the top of his forehead to the bottom of his jaw, was a long jagged scar he’d gotten from a trolloc’s blade when he was just a child.

 

‘Compared to this bunch, I’m a weathered crotchety old man!’ The thought amused him and he smiled to himself.

 

“Alright, before we get moving out, I’d like a role call. Some of you are as new to me as I am to you, so I’d like to know your names and ranks.â€

 

OOC: Alright everyone just let your first post be getting ready for the training and meeting with Ram. I just want to get a feel for where your characters are at to give me a better idea how the training should progress. If you have any questions or problems during this thread, just PM me. Later all…

 

Scout Banner Captain

Bruce Shepherd

Ram

“There’s a thing called temper for both men and steelâ€

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ooc: It has been entirely to long since I've done one of these

 

Kedyn rested his chin on his two hands, resting ont he top of his longbow. He listened to what Ram was saying, though only half as attentively as most of those around him. He had all of it over and over from the large Scout Banner Captain. He had been one of the driving forces behind Kedyn's training early on, first in the Officer Training and then on some longer scouting mission with himself, Ram, Pug and Lavena.

 

He knew the drill, his pack was already slung over his shoulder, his longsword was jutting up from his shoulder mostly conceanled under cloak and pack to hide it from casual notice. His quiver hung on his belt and he was carrying his bow unstrung, bringing back memories of days long gone.

 

Perhaps one of the reason's Lavena's death had been so hard was that Ram had been absent, Kedyn thought of him as a sort of friend, as close as they could be, and he had gone to the older man a lot for advice on how to deal with everything and the loss of one more friend at that time was not a very easy thing to handle.

 

But he had come back to himself all the same, which was why Kedyn looked down the line with a small grin instead of a scowl. He ganced at Miria down the line and smiled quickly as she peeked at him for a few seconds. It was because of her that he had been brought the final few steps back to life, her stubborn insitence.

 

Kedyn turned his smiling gaze back to his commander as he caught the last bit of talk. Turning to the left Kedyn waited until the line caem to him. "Kedyn Alastair, Sergeant."

 

 

Kedyn

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OOC: I’m going to continue with this thread, and the rest of you who haven’t joined yet will just have to play catch-up.

 

IC:

 

Once the role call was taken, Ram nodded his head in approval, saying “Alright then, let’s move out. Everyone fallow my lead and even though we aren’t going far and their most likely aren’t any enemies waiting outside the gates, I want everyone to be on alert and conduct yourselves as you would in hostile territory.â€

 

He set out at an easy pace, little more than a jog, as he headed northwest from the main gate. The other Scouts fallowed behind in a simple line. Ram called two experienced men to the front with him. He meant to act like they were entering hostile territory. “Wooder, Mayson, you two are the advanced guard. Pick up the pace and wait for us at the old ford near the new town that’s grown there.†As the two men ran off, he called two more up to the front with him. “Cutterson, Miller, you two are the rear guard. Fallow our tracks and meet up with us later. You know the drill…â€

 

He wanted the inexperienced Scouts to learn from his example and know that they should always take precautions.

 

Soon he called Kedyn up front, and as they jogged along, Ram said, “Sergeant, I’m sorry I haven’t had much of a chance to talk with you since I returned. My time has been spent catching up on the things I left undone…†He sighed. Ram was once again buried underneath a mountain of paperwork. ‘Bloody reports! Who knew so many fighting men could read, let alone write?’

 

“But, since we have the time now, I’d like to know how things have been for you and the rest of the Scouts.†Ram paused, for he also wanted to know about something that was a very painful subject for Kedyn.

 

“…and, what happened to Lavena…â€

 

 

 

Later on that day, after the main body of Scouts had caught up with the advanced guard, Ram let them rest and eat some of their rations. As they sat there eating, he also paired up the more experienced Scouts with some of the younger ones. “Everyone’s going to take turns scouting out this area while the rest up us wait here and eat. Each group is on a half hour patrol. I want you to fan out at a two hundred cubit circle from here, making a swift rotation, coming back and sending out the next group.

 

He pointed to one group, “You’re up first.†As the two went of to the east, Ram said “Now, while the rest of us wait here, keep your eyes open, and if you must talk keep it to a whisper.â€

 

Even Scouts, when out on missions in wartime, had to rest and sleep every once and a while. It was important for the younger soldiers to learn that even when their resting, they should never drop their guard. If anything, they should be more wary having to stay in one spot for so long a time. At least when on the move you had a better chance to evade an enemy. When caught by surprise during a resting break, it was much harder to run away unscathed. More often than not they’d have to draw steal, and that always ended bloody.

 

As Ram sat beneath a tree, he desperately wanted to light his pipe, though he knew he couldn’t. Pipe smoke traveled on the breeze like perfume, and a nearby enemy could easily detect it. Not to mention at night the soft red glow would be seen a hundred yards away, revealing your position.

 

It was simple things like ‘not lighting a pipe’ that made all the difference between a Scout being discovered or getting away in war time. It was the simple things Ram had to teach these soldiers.

 

‘It’s a shame common sense doesn’t come easy to some…’

 

OOC: Alright, this first parts easy, very simple. All you have to do is write about your turn at patrol and whether or not your character understands the precisions Ram’s enforcing. Any questions, you know where to find me. Later…

 

Scout Banner Captain

Bruce Shepherd

Ram

“There’s a thing called temper for both men and steelâ€

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Miria tucked a stray blonde lock of hair behind her ear as Ram addressed her and the other scouts. She'd tied her shoulder length hair back with a piece of green ribbon, finding hair in her eyes highly distracting when she was training. Yet somehow, some hair had escaped. She sighed and pushed the lock behind her ear again after the breeze caught it and pushed it about her face once more. She would have to fix it, but not now. She wanted Banner Captain Shepherd to think he had her full attention, even if her mind did occasionally wander to focus on a certain distracting scout.

 

Right, those thoughts didn't help her training any. She needed to focus. “We’ll be going to a peaceful area, but it’s important that you get used to thinking about how things will be during a time of war. While a Scouts primary duty is to convey messages and information, there will be times when you’ll be forced to engage the enemy in combat. Get used to moving quickly and silently with the added weight of your weapons.†Grunting, Miria hefted her pack, before adjusting the quiver slung across her back, and the bow on her shoulder. She was growing quite accustomed to the weight, thanks to Kedyn making her carry them on any of her training sessions with him. Regardless, she was more comfortable taking her short bow with her wherever she went. It was her most valued possession, and she didn't relish the idea of leaving it an having it stolen. Funny, the theif worrying about theives.

 

She smiled to herself at her thought, before Ram's voice brought her back to the present. Right, focus. “Alright, before we get moving out, I’d like a role call. Some of you are as new to me as I am to you, so I’d like to know your names and ranks.†She'd always been attentive before, yet lately her mind...well it had a mind of its own. She almost laughed out loud at the absurdity of her thoughts. Light, she was becoming a mad woman! Well at least she knew where to lay the blame for THAT, her eyes flicking once more to the handsome profile that seemed to haunt her dreams of late. Entirely his fault.

 

Why were eyes suddenly on her? She hadn't said anything had she? Oh, wait...she was supposed to say something. GET A GRIP!! she mentally yelled to herself. "Miria Landen, private." She managed, somehow managing to work out what was expected of her. Shaking her head as if to clear it, she frowned when that stray lock of hair fell in front oh her eye once more. Something told her it was going to be a long day.

 

Soon enough they were moving off, and Miria fell into line, keeping pace easily enough. Thankfully she couldn't see Kedyn, he being further up the line and blocked by the scouts between them. All the better for her to concentrate on her surroundings, though the view was not nearly as enticing as...ARGH! Stop that!She berated herself, her eyes scanning the surrounding land, remembering all that she knew, and had recently been taught. She had always been observant, and this was certainly no time to be dropping on her skills.

 

Miria was feeling the burn in her legs when they finally caught up with what Banner Captain Shepherd had called the Advanced Guard. She gratefully sat, her legs crying out with relief as she rummaged in her pack for some food, coming up with some bread and dried beef. She chatted quietly with some of the others as she ate, her easy smile and cheeky dimple flashing as they joked quietly amongst themselves. She was just brushing off her hands on her soft brown pants when Ram walked through the group, pairing the scouts.

 

Her eyes widened when Ram pointed to her, before calling Kedyn's name. She was paired with Kedyn? She didn't know whether to be thrilled or irritated. He was more and more distracting of late, especially now that he was all teasing and cheerful. Yet, how could she not enjoy the chance to work with her friend, who was beginning to mean more and more to her? She gave Kedyn one of her cheekier smiles. It was always interesting with him anyway, his wit a sure match for her own.

 

“Everyone’s going to take turns scouting out this area while the rest up us wait here and eat. Each group is on a half hour patrol. I want you to fan out at a two hundred cubit circle from here, making a swift rotation, coming back and sending out the next group." Miria watched as the first couple left, taking the opportunity to pull out a crisp green apple, and the small silver knife she had claimed as her own. The light glinted off the blade as she cut a piece off the fruit, her eye glinting with mischief as she saw Kedyn notice the knife that had once been him. She enjoyed reminding him now and then that she had bested him on that occassion. Certainly not the last time it would happen either!

 

Miria had finished eating, and was bouncing on her heels, stretching out her calves once more when the first pair returned, sending herself and Kedyn on their way. "Keep up now, old man." She said softly with a broad grin as she hefted her pack and jogged lightly away, Kedyn's soft chuckle telling her he was right on her heels as she made her way away from the group, her eyes scanning back and forth methodically across the landscape.

 

Kedyn jogged up to her side as she slowed, her eyes flicking briefly to him before back. Now was the time for paying attention to something other than Kedyn's cute butt. They slowed their pace considerably, lest they miss anything, their steps light, despite their packs and weapons. Miria had always had a light tread, and moved quietly, something that had aided in making her an adept theif. She was often surprised at how quietly he was able to move, considering he wasn't nearly as small as she. Just another of the million things to admire about him.

 

Their circle was relatively uneventful, Kedyn always the teacher and making sure she had missed nothing, even if it meant stopping to point something out. He seemed satisfied enough, and soon the half-hour was up, as they came full circle. "Good job, sergeant." Miria teased as they headed back to the group, mocking him by pointing out the figures ahead of them 'just in case' he had missed them. She could never resist the opportunity to tease him. Most satisfying. Except, of course, when he repaid the favour.

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Kedyn jogged easily along with the rest of the scouts, following Ram as if they were in hostile territory rear gaurd and all. Kedyn felt rather relaxed having gone through each of these things before. His ears perked up almost at once as he heard his anme being called, and Kedyn picked the pace up a little to catch up with Ram at the front.

 

“Sergeant, I’m sorry I haven’t had much of a chance to talk with you since I returned. My time has been spent catching up on the things I left undone..But, since we have the time now, I’d like to know how things have been for you and the rest of the Scouts.…and, what happened to Lavena…â€

 

The statement cut deeper than Kedyn had expected, the gaps he had been trying to heal still were just that, healing. He had spent so long dwelling on the pain that some reminders still hurt even though he had finally began to move on with his life.

 

Kedyn decided to start with the easier subject. "The scouts have been growing, even with the losses we sustained in Carhein which were many. The Aiel were fierce fighters and with the multidude of small bands our scouting parties were easy prey. How the scouts reacted to the losses has been mixed, some took it as just a bad battles others......"

 

Kedyn took a deep breath before continuing. Swallowing the lump rising in his throat Kedyn continued, trying not to hold anything back from his commander. "Other's like myself, took the battle extremely hard and have only started to recover. There are others who can tell you better than I can of what I was like during..that... Lavena was out, I had sent her towards the east flank with her squad and she took an Aiel arrow through her throat....Her squad left her behind because there was nothing the could do...she was already....already" Kedyn let out a long shuttering breath "..dead. I took her death about as badly as it could have been taken."

 

There were a few long moments of silence as Kedyn ran along Ram, neither of them saying anything. "Carnhain, and one of our newest Scouts were able to draw me out of it though, I'm getting better. Captain." Kedyn nodded and fell back into the pack to collect his thoughts and swallow the lump in his throat.

 

 

 

It was later in the day before the group finally stopped and RAm began to dictate the day's lesson. New scouts with older ones, Kedyn chuckled to himself when Ram paired him with Miria. The ironies of life.

 

"Keep up now, old man." Already the teasing was begining from the newest of the Fox's as the pair of them left the campsite. Reminisent of how Lavena and he had been like, sometimes scarily similar to what had happened between himself and Lavena.

 

Kedyn caught up with Miria quickly and together they slowed, Kedyn settling into his almost silent glide that he had come so accumsted to it was almost second nature. He pointed small bits and pieces of information to Miria, trying to be a teacher and so he could keep his mind of trying to tease her as he always did.

 

It was an uneventful patrol, Kedyn could only remember one actual training patrol that had ended eventfully, and that was one he wanted to forget. It was only a half hour and they were coming in sight of the camp when Miria said, "Good job, sergeant." And pointed to the campsite near them.

 

Kedyn reached over and trying to hide his motions lightly pinched Miria's rear, produced the blush he was hoping for. "You might want to wait a few minuets before coming back in my love, otherwise they may think we were....scouting" Kedyn chuckled and picked up his pace to a jog, leaving Miria behind after playing the dutiful lover that he had agreed to play.

 

 

Kedyn

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They were now on the outskirts of the small town and Ram had all the Scouts sit down and rest for a moment while he explained why they were there.

 

“A Scouts best weapon is there mind, and their primary tool is their eye.†He pointed to his own cloudy blue eyes to emphasize his point. “If you aren’t observant, you’ll miss things which might be of the utmost importance to our forces. Your Scouts, you are expected to see things others typically don’t.â€

 

Ram handed Kedyn a satchel full of paper and drawing charcoals, “Sergeant, give everyone three sheets of parchment and a piece of charcoal.â€

 

As Kedyn handed out the supplies, Ram said, “Most of you know my hobby is sketching portraits and landscapes. In fact, I have sketches of almost everyone here. My little hobby is one of the reasons I was chosen to be a Scout. When you’re trying to capture something on paper, you pay close attention to details. For example, most people, when they see a house, don’t count the number of windows or the number of steps leading up the front porch. But, and artist does all that and more when they try and copy an image on paper.â€

 

He turned around and pointed to the small town less than a quarter of a mile away. “All of you are going to hand in three drawings of some aspect of the town. I’ll accept anything, a picture of a wagon, a person, even a house, or maybe the entire town. I don’t care what your drawings are as long as you give them as much detail as possible.â€

 

Ram knew that most of the drawings would not be very good, but that wasn’t the point of this training. He wanted them to start seeing things differently, through the eye of a Scout. As long as they saw the small average details, really saw them, then when something abnormal came along it would draw their attention even quicker than before.

 

He broke them up into three man teams and sent everyone out to a different side of the town. Ram called to Keydn and the girl he was talking with. “Sergeant Alastair, Private Landen, you two come with me.â€

 

They settled on a tall grassy hill near the east side of the town. From their vantage point they could see nearly everything. They had a good view of buildings and the green patch of land at the town’s center.

 

Ram sat down and took out his favorite oak pipe, the one with the valley and mountain range carved into the side of the wooden bowl. He thumbed it full of good tabac that he had flavored with apple slices. Ram then set about the task of making a small tinder fire, taking flint to his belt knife; he struck a few sparks on a handful of dry moss. In no time at all he had a little flame to light his pipe with. Soon the air was filled with the bitter-sweet scent of pipe smoke and apples.

 

‘Were in plain sight anyway, no fear of giving our position away even if we were in a hostile area.’

 

Taking out his own sketch book, he turned the pages till he found a blank sheet of paper. Rummaging through his pack, he searched for the special charcoals with fine and wide edges that where better suited to shade drawings, portraits in particularly.

 

As Kedyn and Miria began their own sketches of what they saw in the town, Ram let his mind wonder a little. He thought about what Keydn had told him on the subject of the original Scout squad and the loss of Lavena. His mind then wondered over the past years and the three women he had loved more than life itself.

 

‘My sister…’

 

Ram started to draw the outline of her face. He used to draw portraits of his twin sister every night, but as he grew older it had become too painful to look at her image, her ghost.

 

The lines on the paper started to form the familiar face. Alice had their mother’s eyes, but her nose was more like their fathers had been, sharp and broad at the same time. On this portrait Ram gave his sisters features a delicate and feminine touch. He paused for a moment, thinking about her hair, how it had hung past her shoulders, and was slightly wavy. Her light brown hair, almost blond, had been much like his. Yet Ram’s hair had always been graying while hers was fresh as spring flowers.

 

Soon the image of his twin sister was staring back at him from the paper. They had been so much alike and so different at the same time. She had been the wild and strong spirit, and he the soft spoken temperate brother. Alice had wanted to be the fighter while Ram used to be content with sitting by his mother all day in the kitchen.

 

‘My brave sister, you were truly beautiful…’

 

Once he finished with his sisters portrait, he started drawing the basic facial structure of another woman. She had high cheek bones and a graceful curve to her nose. Her brow was smooth and dignified, while her lips were thin curves that framed two rows of pearly white teeth. Hair of honeysuckle wheat was plaited in hundreds of tiny braids that hung down to her back. She had worn the clothing of a sailor, big and billowing shirt, with trousers that could have been sails for a small sea craft. Her bearing spoke of a fighting woman that guarded her kindness behind a fierce saber.

 

‘Anya… I loved you… but you didn’t love me back in the same way… we were only friends, but you held my heart in your pocket…’

 

She was gone though, just like his sister. Anya had disappeared during the Emond’s Field battle and her body had never been found. Ram didn’t like to think about the possibility that she had been dragged away to a trolloc cook pot.

 

On his third sheet of paper, he started to draw the image of the last woman he had cherished more than anything in the world.

 

‘I was willing to leave the Band for you my love…’

 

She had long curly hair darker than midnight that reached almost to her waist. Her skin was the color of fresh milk, and her cheeks had a faint rosy glow that gave her face an innocent look. Though, her pink lips curved in a slow sly smile that suggested she might be anything but innocent.

 

He worked carefully, creating each line with perfection in mind. He did his best to bring to his drawing the brilliant life that shone through her dark green eyes. Her smile, her delicate chin, and all the curves of her body, he wanted to draw everything to match her beauty.

 

‘Amelia… you truly loved me…’

 

Ram remembered holding her hand as she passed from this world to the next.

 

‘I was prepared to leave the Band for her, but she insisted I stay the fighting man she loved… We were to be wed… ’

 

As he drew the last line of her portrait, he gently brushed her cheek with his fingers.

 

‘I am strong Amelia, not many men can stand before ‘The Ram of Battle’, but all my skill and strength couldn’t save you from that fever.’

 

He had already bled himself dry of any tears, but he still wanted to weep for her.

 

‘The Light knows I tried to save you…’

 

 

 

Ram pushed the past away and focused on why he was there. He cleared this throat and said, “Alright you two, lets see what you’ve done so far.â€

 

 

OOC: Alright, in your post I want good descriptions of three things your character sees in the town. This is training not only for your characters, but for you as well. Practice writing descriptions here and when it comes time for any RP’s involving other Div’s, the Band Scouts will shine. Because you all know, we Scouts have to describe things for others, it’s our job. Anyway, if you have questions, just let me know. Later…

 

Scout Banner Captain

Bruce Shepherd

Ram

“There’s a thing called temper for both men and steelâ€

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Miria came to a halt, her cheeks flooded with colour. Kedyn continued on, his chuckle infuriating. Damn him, he always managed to make her blush! Absently she rubbed her behind where he had pinched her, desperately schooling her features. Burn him for being so appealing and...well appealing. It wasn't fair that he wielded this power over her, especially when he didn't seem to realise it, beyond his obvious enjoyment of teasing her. Men!

 

Jogging after him, Miria plotted a way to get him back, a wicked grin crossing her features as they reached the camp. "You've some hide Kedyn, running of and leaving me by myself, in such a state." Shaking her head, she grinned at him, having made sure her voice was loud enough to be heard by several others. He may do a great job of making her blush, but she liked to think she held her own.

 

It didn't take long for all the scouts to return, and Ram gathered them all together once more, before having Kedyn hand out paper and charcoal. Miria awarded Kedyn with a cheeky grin when he handed the supplies to her, before looking down at the paper in her hand. “All of you are going to hand in three drawings of some aspect of the town. I’ll accept anything, a picture of a wagon, a person, even a house, or maybe the entire town. I don’t care what your drawings are as long as you give them as much detail as possible.†Drawing? Miria had never really tried her hand at the activity before, though had often admired the art of others. This could either prove a most fun exercise, or very frustrating.

 

"Now you can't make all your drawings of me, ok Kedyn?" She fluttered her eyes innocently but appreciated the chuckle she heard from a few people close by. She'll teach him for pinching her rear end! Never mind the fact that she had strangely enjoyed it, she would pay him back. “Sergeant Alastair, Private Landen, you two come with me.†Interrupted by Ram, Miria obediently followed, settling down on the hill beside Kedyn, wiggling to get comfortable.

 

"Remember what I said..." Miria said softly with a cheeky grin, before casting her eyes down over the city, tapping a finger thougtfully against her chin.

What to draw...a white-washed inn caught her eye, and she studied it for a moment, before nodding to herself and beginning to draw, sketching the rough outline of the two story builing. The roof was tiled, though it appeared several were missing near the right side, at the front. Miria made sure to leave the gap, not realising that her tongue poked out of her mouth sideways as she concentrated, looking up at the inn and back at her page constantly as she sketched.

 

The rough outline complete, Miria began adding details, noting that 4 windows faced the street on each floor, though the top ones were off-centre to the bottom, and the door was wide open, as if to entice people off the street and inside. The porch at the front came next, Miria doing her best to give it the same sagging look that she could see, before doing a rough replica of the two horses hitched out front at the rail. Ahh, might help to draw the rail. A few more moments and she believed she was done, though a few more checks had her adding in patches where the paint had flaked away, and the sign hanging above the door. A few more critical looks, and she nodded, placing it on the grass beside her. Certainly not the best artwork she had ever seen, but she thought it was passable at least.

 

Eagerly she picked up the next page, surprised at how much she was enjoying the activity. A scene playing out below made her smile, and instantly she began sketching, four young bodies, boys from what she could see, chasing several chickens down the street, obviously escapees from a coup somewhere nearby. Not quite close enough to distinguish their features, she drew the boys clothing, two of them wearing what appeared to be soft hats, slanting over their faces in what she could only imagine was a trend they were starting. One had no shoes, that she could see, her tongue once more peeping from her mouth as she drew, quicker than before, though no less detailed. She could make out 6 chickens, one under the arm of one of the boys, who had clearly been successful. The boys soon ran out of sight, but casting her mind over the scene, Miria was able to fill out the details as she remembered them, the pants that had been too short on one lad, and the jacket that was undone against the warmth of the day.

 

Again she checked it over, fixing up a few lines as best she could, before placing it with the inn drawing and taking up her last piece of paper. Her eyes roved over the landscape before her, picking another scene. Settling at the city gate, she picked up her charcoal once more, propping the paper against her knees as she sketched, the harsh edges of the wall against the sky, sloping up to where the gate currenty stood open, allowing people into the city. Almost absently she sketched lines to indicate the stone blocks used to form the wall, surprised when she checked that she had put in the right number. Maybe she was getting better at this after all.

 

Two guards stood to the right of the gate, one on the left, and a cart pulled by a horse was progressing towards the gate. Miria filled it all in, her hand moving quickly to keep up with her eyes and mind as she processed what she saw, filling in as much detail as she could see. Plumes from the guards' helmets next, the shadow cast by the wagon across the hard packed earth ground, the ruts easily visible from a time when the earth had not been so dry. All this went into the drawing, Miria sketching quickly, tongue out of her mouth in concentration.

 

Lowering the paper, she looked again at the gate, noting with surprise how far the wagon had ambled on, yet the picture was still vivid in her mind. Absently she sketched a little more, finishing up some more details, smoothing out a line with her finger, until she was satisfied, putting the last page down with the others.

 

Startled she looked at her hands, blackened by the charcoal. It was also on her pants, and though she couldn't see it, was across her cheek, where she had wiped a hand absently. “Alright you two, lets see what you’ve done so far.†Ram's voice brought her back to the present with a slight jump. He wanted to look at her drawings? Well of course he did, it was a task they had to complete...but it was still difficult, handing over her work. She flinched as she handed them to him, hoping he wouldn't be too critical of what must seem to him to be crude drawings, though secretly she was quite pleased with her work.

 

"So Kedyn, three pictures of me?" She teased, poking him in the ribs for emphasis.

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"Remember what I said..."Kedyn simply siled and shook his head and Miria sat next to him on the hill overlooking the small village. Kedyn wasn't suprised at what Ram was having them do, he had seen him doddling in his little notebook many a long night and had heard why he had been chosen for the scouts more than once. Kedyn noted himself as mediocre at drawing. His words could be eloquent, his meory and wit sharp, but he couldn't seem to get what he saw down on paper.

 

And as such what he drew was more quick and precise, having as much detail as possible in a quick amount of time. He started with a small shop near the middle of town. The front of the shop was facing another direction so Kedyn drew what he could see. He began with the outline of the buidling. It was a two story building, the shop on the bottom and what looked to be a house on the top. With the outline finshed he began to add in detail, a window with clothes hanging outside of it. A small sign waving in the wind just barely visible at this angle.

 

He switched to another page and began on another this time focusing on a point in the cities wall. Behind only the top of roofs were visible, a lone gaurd standing on the wall with a halberd tucked under his arm. It was rather simply and the man in front of him went with little true detail. The face which Kedyn could not make out was left blank but he darkened the slashes on the man's coat in what could have been a house sigil or some such.

 

The last page was devoted to a long boy on horseback riding outside the city gates, just enjoying himself. It made Kedyn smile, so reminiscent of his childhood that he couldn't help but be happy. The boy rode our of sight quickly, but the image remained long enough for Kedyn to finish up with the last few lines.

 

“Alright you two, lets see what you’ve done so far.†Kedyn held is drawings out and watched placidly as Ram took them turning back to peer at the town as Miria handed over hers.

 

"So Kedyn, three pictures of me?" Kedyn snorted as Miria finger poked into his stomach and smiled, holding ack a laugh at a black streak across her cheek. With his clean thumb he brough it up to his face and licked it.

 

"It seems I didn't have to draw you, your already a drawing." Lightly Kedyn wiped at the streak with his wet thumb to take off the black. He laughed openly instead of trying to hold it back.

 

 

Kedyn

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