BC: New Recruits [IC]

Convicted Murderers, Thieves, and pirates. They all have a propensity towards violence. Something that the Empire of Khodar needs in its struggle against the Thelmor Dominion. As a convicted criminal, you are given the choice. Serve in the army for a chance at freedom or go to headsman. Wanting to live, you choose the former and enter the world of the Black Company.

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BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Herzog » Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:32 am

944 FE, Late Octobus - Morning

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Today was the start of a dreary day, and not just because of the weather. The sun was hidden behind a cloudy sky that threatened rain later in the day. There was a definite chill in the air that hinted winter was coming sooner than later. The cold air did little for your aches and pains from your stay in prison. The new Brand on your hand burned and throbbed, adding to the unpleasantness of the day.

Emri found herself chained to the deck of a river barge, along with some other prisoners. There were a few guards standing watch with crossbows loaded and ready, while the crew milled about. The boat itself was being pulled by a horse two team. The creak of the ropes and gentle sloshing of water against the side of the boat are heard as the barge plies slowly down the river.

The witch had been scheduled for execution that very morning, but like others who have made the same trip, had been offered enlistment in the infamous Black Company. It was an easy choice to make. Go to the headsman immediately, or sign up for a chance at pardon if you survived the ongoing war. Never mind the fact that it was a big IF. Rumor had it, the Dominion was pushing hard against the Empire in this particular war.

For now, you were heading towards Ivanstead Barracks. The barracks were a training grounds for Black Company recruits. But that is all you have been told. The guards and crew have been tight lipped about the expectations. The other prisoners where just as clueless.

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A woman who wasn't part of the regular crew came around and served up some warm broth as breakfast. It was nothing fancy, but warm and a far cry from the prison gruel you had been eating the last few weeks. She also expected every one's fresh Brands for infection. You managed to catch a glimpse of her own Brand on of her hands.

"Shouldn't be long now, " the woman said as she glanced over at some landmark on the shore.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Emri » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:26 am

"Thank you"

Emri mutters quietly as she's given the broth. She winces when the woman grab's her hand. The Mistress had beaten her before, but Emri had never been branded. The woman inspects it quickly but thoroughly, and continues down the line. Emri tries to keep to herself, not making noise.

"Shouldn't be long now"

At the woman's voice Emri looks up. Seeing the woman looking off, she tries to glimpse what the woman is looking at.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Herzog » Thu Jun 16, 2016 3:03 am

The woman merely nodded at Emri's thanks. You could tell this was not the woman's first trip fetching prisoners or new recruits one supposed.

Looking over the barges rail, you see what the woman was looking at. The landmark was an old windmill on the outside bend of the river. The blades were slowly turning in a light wind, and the building itself could use a lot of repair work.

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"Less than an hour to Ivanstead. Finish up your breakfast." The woman said as she glanced down and noticed you looking out over the river.

"And then what? " Asked one of the gruff prisoners.

"You'll see.." the pale woman replied cryptically.

There was some grumbling from the other prisoners.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Emri » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:29 am

After seeing the windmill, Emri looked back down and sat quietly. She tried to look about the boat as carefully as possible, searching for her TikTik. But it was just the prisoners, a couple guards, and the woman. When the guards came for her they did.. something. It hurt whatever they did, worse than what the mistress had done. And ever since she couldn't feel him anymore. She wanted her TikTik back very badly.

She tried the connection again, but all she got was a nauseating feedback that made her head spin. She was terribly worried about him.

Where are you, she thought.

By the time the nausea went away we had arrived at the windmill. And it was now time to see what her stay of execution meant. She would need to be useful to these people. She needs to see her TikTik again.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Herzog » Fri Jun 17, 2016 6:26 am

The barge passed the bend with the windmill and finally your destination was in sight. The Ivanstead Barracks it could be in seen off in the distance. The town nearby was a bit closer in the river. It comprised of a large mill and surrounding buildings. There was little in the way of other barge traffic this morning, but there one or two carts seen plying the road alongside the river.

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The hour ticked by slowly. There was little conversation as the crew began to make the barge ready for docking. The pale woman collected the bowls and began stowing away her own gear in preparation for docking.

As the barge rounds the last curve in the river, you get a clear view of what must be Ivanstead Barracks. It comprised of a large, squat round tower that was on next to the river, one or two tall buildings, and some walls. The construction was at least a 100 years old, maybe older as there are signs of repair and additions. On a flag pole, the flag of the Empire flew. Below it the black and grey iron cross standard of the Black Company.

Before too long, the barge is pulled up to the fort’s dock and the tow horses untethered and led away. The crew bustle about the barge, mooring it and preparing to unload cargo from the aft hold. There are no other barges at the dock this day, so the crew and guards are not in too much of a hurry.

The pale woman steps onto the dock and reports to a burly looking soldier wearing the grey and black of the company. A dwarven smith shows up shortly with tools and goes to work on the chains. In fifteen minutes are so, you are all free of shackles. A small taste of freedom.

A squad of men arrive to facility the unloading of the barge. Horns and Cynric are among the those detailed to help out.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby PMiller » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:22 pm

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Horns was often called for the shit duty of manual labor fit for porters, but that bothered him none. It was like weight training and helped to hone those already massive muscles. The boards of the dock creaked with his bulk as his hooves clopped on the aged wood.

He picked up a large barrel and cradled it in the crook of an arm. He noted the new recruits slowly and hesitantly disembarking, looking like they were wondering what the hell they had gotten themselves into. He grunted with some amusement and his deep voice was a bellow by nature, "Welcome to the Black Company's riverside resort and pleasure palace. Har, har. Enjoy your fuckin stay, heh, heh."

Horns picked up two sacks by clutching their fabric together in his meaty right fist. The carrying the cargo looked to be effortless for one the minotaur's size and strength.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Herzog » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:19 am

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Cynric was tagging along behind Horns. He had a smirk on his face at quip from the large Minotaur.

"Indeed! Maybe some fresh meat for the sergeant to ride instead of us!"

The lankly man had brown hair down past his shoulders and walked with a bit of swagger. He was dressed in the simple black and grey of the company, and seemed to know his business. He grabbed another couple of sacks from the barge, but stopped to comment at the pale woman.

"Looking good this fine morning, Aela!"

Aela scowled at the remark. Emri and the prisoners were shuffled off the barge and onto the dock.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Emri » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:52 pm

Emri stares at the Minotaur as the boat approaches.

"So huge...." she mutters. As the prisoners are led off the dock, Emri comes up to the women and asks, "Umm... Excuse me? Is it safe to be here with... Him?" staring at the Minotaur. His enormity easily towering over the waifish Emri.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby PMiller » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:28 am

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Horns laughed as he stood there towering over the new recruits disembarking from the barge. He was looking them over, not straining in the least while holding the cargo.

“Iffin ya think the Sergeant will lay off you, ya might be right. But after I tossed one of his trainers over the fence, I am on his shit list indefinitely most like.”

“Besides, this is his leadership challenge to keep me out of trouble, heh, heh.”

He noted the look of apprehension on the wee girl’s expression. She was another of the recruits, but did not have the appearance of being a killer. She had to have been scheduled for execution though, otherwise why send her to the Black Company… Looks could be deceiving he knew, his own a prime example.

“Girl, what you done to get yourself here in this ragtag outfit?” he asked Emri.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Emri » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:04 pm

"My Mistress always taught me to defend myself" Emri replied looking at the Minotaur nervously. "Some noble thought me his, but I've never even seen him before. I was just in town to resupply and he came upon me in an alley. I... He.. " Emri chokes after reliving that horrible moment.

She clears her throat, and stares at you defiantly. "He won't be bothering any woman again after what I did to him." She continues staring for a few seconds before suddenly realizing how huge you are. Her moment of courage disappears as she looks to the ground and mutters, "Unfortunately that noble was the son of the Magistrate, I found out later. Apparently his only heir, and my efforts saw to the end of his family line. Next thing I knew I was being dragged off by the guards... and they took my TikTik."

A few tears slip down her face, she wipes them away looks back up at you, "Then I was put in chains and sentenced to death by the Magistrate. But instead of the gallows I was put on that boat and came here."
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby PMiller » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:36 pm

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Horns grunted with some respectful appreciation. The wee girl had castrated her assailant after being set upon in an alley. She did not look like much, but unless the Magistrate's newly neutered heir was a skinny bully (something the minotaur thought unlikely), it would have taken some skill and quickness.

"Well, I don't ken was a Tik Tik is, but a quick blade in an alley can be mite useful. The Black Company is not a conventional outfit and we might need you to pull that trick again if we are sneaking in somewhere."

"Though, you might want to start thinking how to make it in the initial test. Heh, heh. Lass, I gonna give you some advice."

He leaned over to speak lower to keep that deep voice of his from carrying.

"They be putting you against some veterans in a practice fight. You being set up to lose, but you can get some respect out of it. Use your wiles, maybe lift your skirt or some shit. Then jab the bastard in the balls with the practice sword. It will only work once, but damned iffin you can't take one out out instead of just getting your ass kicked."
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Herzog » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:15 pm

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Aela, the pale woman, was about to make some cynical remark about Horns, when the Minotaur beat her to it. The woman shook her head and kept an eye on other prisoners turned recruits as they filed up onto the dock.

She did have a sympathizing look on her face after Emri explained her circumstances. But she said nothing. You gathered she either had heard it before from other female Black Company recruits or endured it herself.

"It'll be fine, " she simply said in the end. She began leading the group of you prisoners off the docks and towards the Barracks proper.

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"Well damn girl!" Cynric said with a flashy smile as he carried a couple of sacks. Both he and Horns kept pace with the prisoners and others detailed to help unload the barge. "Who would dare such a thing!" The long haired rogue may act a bit of a womanizer, but he still had respect for the fairer sex when it came to them saying no.

"Whats A Tik tik?"
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Emri » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:22 pm

With a glare at Horns Emri starts, "I WOULD NEV--" But as she's interrupted with Cynric's question she stares at him for a moment before smiling. In a complete switch from her shy, dejected demeanor, she says with a child-like voice,

"My TikTik is mine. He's fluffy, and playful, and OH!! He likes to play hide and seek all the time! And he's SOO tiny, like this big," She puts her hand about to her knee with great enthusiasm. "And he always helped me with chores, though the mean lady didn't like him so much. I've always had him around...... But now... "

Emri starts tearing up, remembering that they took TikTik, "Buuut Nyow, *sniff* *sniff* 'Ee's not heerree... " Openly weeping now, "I.. *sniff* I.. missh 'im SSHHOO *hiccup* ... mucssh" Emri cries for a little while longer before suddenly stopping...

Wiping her face with her sleeve, she looks back up. Seemingly back to normal, though with puffy red eyes, "Have you seen a crate with my TikTik? He's a small monkey, with black and gold fur. I didn't see him on the boat that took me, have you seen him?" She asks as if the past few minutes never happened.

She looks to Aela, "Do you know what they would have done with him? Is he ok? Do you know?"
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby PMiller » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:17 am

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Horns grunted at the denial about unorthodox tactics.

He turned to Cynric commenting, "Hopefully that crying shit will be useful too. Pretend to be a trollop, start bawling, or anything to get her foe off guard. Otherwise, she ain't gonna be pulling her weight and soon be dead."

The huge minotaur was not terrible sympathetic to any prisoner's plight, they all had death sentences and hardships. Those that survived and thrived would be those that adapted. The rest would be victims or dead.
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Re: BC: New Recruits [IC]

Postby Herzog » Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:30 am

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Cynric looked away in a bit of shame as Emri started bawling about her monkey. He sort of wished he never asked, but now he knew that Tik Tik was a monkey. Something more than a pet it seemed. Kind of like Aela's damn crow. Thinking of the annoying bird, the long haired man glanced around to see if the flying rat was up to no good. He narrowed his eyes as he spotted the black bird up on one of the parapets of the barracks. It looked down with disdain.

"Eh..." the man said in rather a clueless fashion about Emri and her monkey.

"Right, the waterworks could definitely be a tactic, " he said as an aside to Horns.

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Any sympathy Aela had was lost now. Her face was a bit cold at the mess of emotions Emri had become.

"No crate on the boat."

Annoyed now, the pale woman strode up ahead of the group. Emri, Horns, Cynric, the other prisoners and guards followed. Within a minute or so, you enter the Ivanstead Barrack's proper.

Once past the walls, you enter the courtyard of the old fort. It is rather spacious and contains a couple of fenced off practice areas. Along one side of the yard is a barrack looking building, only two stories tall. The other building is about three stories. The first floor of that one looks to be a kitchen and mess area. Stables are tucked around in the corner.

The practice yards are currently empty, but there seemed to be some squads of Black Company soldiers loitering about. Glances are cast your way, some curious and speculatory, some with disdain. It does seem you are expected, as new recruits.

Eventually, you are brought to a covered pavilion adjacent to the practice yard. There are several racks of various practice weapons ranging from swords to axes to maces. One rack contained some range weapons, where the arrows and bolts are blunt or otherwise non-lethal.

Cynric and Horns delivery there goods to the store horse and join some of the members of their squad near the practice yard.

Emri and the new recruits are then shortly greeted by a stocky sergeant. The man had dark hair and beard, and his face was hard. There was an air of experience around him in in the way he carried himself. Disciplined, like the army. He was wearing some leather armor over the black and grey tunic, and had a chevron strip on his sleeve. It looked like he was some one of rank.

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He looked around and shook his head.

"What in gods name did they send me today, " he muttered.

Then with a drill sergeant voice.

"Alright! Listen up ladies!

"I am Sergeant Redarm. I am one of the many here at Ivanstead that are tasked with making you useful in battle. You've all have taken a life already, otherwise you wouldn't be here with the Brand. So the capacity to kill is already present and that is something we wished to sharpen in order to use against the Empire's enemies. But first, we must test your mettle. To see what kind of man we must work with. To break down and remold."

Sergeant Redarm paused and looked at each of you. His gaze lingered on Emri, evaluating before moving on to the others.

"In a moment, you pick a practice weapon and go out in to the practice yard and face off with some veterans, armed with similar weapons. Myself and others will be watching and evaluating. We shall find out what we have to work with. Welcome to the Black Company."

"Any questions?"
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