Ania and elsia
Nerds in Medicine
2014.07.23 22:28 nniroc Nerds in Medicine
Healthcare informatics combines information technology, behavioral science, computer science, communication science, and other disciplines along with health care, medicine, and nursing. We help our patients live better lives through improved processes, better management of health IT systems, safer clinical decision support systems, and a deep understanding of what our patients and fellow providers want that will make their job easier.
2017.10.11 02:52 SaveHerPlease Magiczny Świat Ani
A Subreddit for any theories or anything regarding Magiczny Świat Ani.
2023.06.05 18:56 marmars247 One in one out
2023.06.04 22:36 Apprehensive-Being20 Should I break the bank for her?
2023.06.04 06:15 CautiousCoconuts Who Are Ania And Zizou Video Viral On Twitter And Reddit!
2023.06.04 05:51 CautiousCoconuts Who Are Ania And Zizou Video Viral On Twitter And Reddit!
2023.06.03 18:42 kn1ghtpr1nce Just went hunting, shot this Irish Elk
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2023.06.03 14:08 32prjiuod Who are Ania and Zizou Video viral on Twitter and Reddit!
2023.06.03 12:29 forkedfertilization Who Are Ania And Zizou Video Viral On Twitter And Reddit!
2023.06.03 12:26 forkedfertilization Who Are Ania And Zizou Video Viral On Twitter And Reddit!
2023.06.03 10:52 ringobiscuits UK needs 2nd Amendment NOW. If Anna had owned a handgun she would still be alive today.
2023.06.03 04:56 NumerousIsopod28 What would you rate my current team 1-10?
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Would I resubscribe
It's a pleasure to communicate with Ania. That's why I'll keep my subscription to her page
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2023.06.01 19:55 minidude7777 How can I improve my chem/team 100k budget?
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Had full chem after PL tots but wanted to use some of the other tots that I have packed but have had to sacrifice chem was wondering how I could improve this for around 100k submitted by minidude7777 to fut [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 17:32 vullpii AITA for using the second common fridge we have to store my meat?
So i live witth3 other friends. The one in question, Hanna, I've known her for 5 years, lived together for just 4 months. We all pay equal rent., However she gets to have the basement all for herself (kitchen, bathroom and 2 rooms since they re a bit smaller than ours) where's we are 3 people splitting the ground floor (kitchen, bathroom, living area).
We have 2 fridges, one big with 2 drawers and a half in the freezer, and one of those with an upper freezer with 1 shelf (space above and beneath the shelf). The smaller fridge it's basically for her use only since it's in the basement where her room is, and we don't need to use more than one fridge the rest of us 3( but if we did need the space, we could use the basement one since it's common property). I, admitelly, have quite a few frozen stuff. I take up one drawer and a half in the big fridge. I also have a few things in the smaller one. However, if there is a need for space, i always make it (I've done it before a few times when asked). If i have to throw stuff out I will so that my other roommates have their fair share of freezer space.
The problem is that I had some minced meat that I had to freeze. I tried to make space in the big fridge, but i couldn't so my other roommate, Ania, went downstairs and put the meat down there since it fit.
Today I go to use the microwave and I just open the basement fridge and i see my meat thawed in there. So i text and the conversation goes like this more or less:
Me " Why is it there?"
Hanna "it fell out 5 times in a row, didn't have time for it, you have 3x times as much space in the big fridge " ( however, the big fridge is split for 2 ppl ATM, soon 3 so it's not that much then )
Me" wtf should have said something "
Hanna "didn't think about it"
Me" thanks for wasting my food"
Hanna" Sure. You can just eat the food in your own freezer if you need the space. So i dont get the issue, it was taken out yesterday "
Me " the issue is that I wouldn't have found out if I wouldn't have opened out of boredom the fridge myself"
Hanna " But if you wanna be sure - just dont use the freezer downstairs in the future"
Me" how would I know that you'd be so inconsiderate and leave it like that. Anyway, pointless having any sort of discussion with you"
And she has not replied since.
So AITA for having my frozen meat in the basement fridge?
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2023.06.01 17:02 EmergencyLibrary3532 Check out my interesting squad. Any changes or upgrades. I’m going to get 1.5 mil coins later today. Thank you
2023.06.01 08:50 No_Twist7693 Dam
2023.06.01 03:51 waste039 Wrestlemania plaque at msg
My friend just sent this to me. I’ve never seen this at Madison Square Garden. This is crazy and awesome. I hope more arenas have stuff like this.
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to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]
2023.06.01 00:46 Brandalorion3265 Water changes on a shore
How do water changes work when on a shore based tank? I have fiddler crabs, so my tank has sand sloping into water, and I was wondering how a water change would look in this context
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to crab [link] [comments]
2023.05.31 18:04 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 11 - Road to Hamerfoss Part 1/2
--- Table of Contents
--- Spring 4985, 18 Buromoth
The road to Hamerfoss was north out of Smilnda. By horse, the journey took only two days, one and a half if ridden hard. By foot, it generally took four days, but escorting a heavily loaded wagon would take the squires six.
On the first day out, Thom and Rerves released their excited energy through constant chatter. Talking about how happy they were to finally be on their way to real
training. Occasionally Shon would join in.
On the second day, they spoke about how much easier it would be to concentrate without the girls around. Shon didn’t join much in this conversation.
On the third day, they confessed to missing Daisy and Ania. Suspecting they missed the conversation, Shon attempted to chime in more often.
The fourth and fifth days were plagued with spring rain, and the boys did little more than complain, particularly about their new leather armor chafing when wet. Shon couldn't help but grumble in affirmation. He'd hated the armor from the first day.
The sixth, and final, day saw a stop to the rain. The boys spent their walk beside the wagon carefully dodging puddles after Thom submerged his entire boot in one deeper than expected. There was very little talking between them now, all three too nervous and excited for their imminent arrival.
The road outside the city had been the only part with flat fields and open skies on either side. For the rest, they'd traveled through forest, with only the occasional clearing maintained explicitly for travelers to camp. Tall evergreens growing close together blocked the view of anything beyond the road at their feet, giving Shon and the others very little to look at as they marched.
Two sturdy horses pulled the wagon of supplies for the fortress. Barrels of food and crates of scrap metal as well as sacks of letters and the Squire's personal bags, weighed down the laden wagon, the wheels carving deep channels in the muddy road.
Shon had already sketched the wagon, the horses, the Paladin driving them, and his fellow Squires many times over. He even managed a few landscape drawings, for lack of better subjects. He had no idea how the other two managed to calm their excitement before sleep. Perhaps that was why they talked so much every night.
Walking ahead of him, Rerves readjusted the hilt of his short sword while Shon pulled at the neck of his armor for what seemed like the hundredth time each. They hadn’t been trained in the proper use of either, and Shon wondered again why the Paladins had insisted the Squires wear them. They'd been ordered to guard the wagon, but who would be stupid enough to waylay a Temple cart so close to a fortress full of knights? Of course, monsters such as the draken and drakwalves were always a threat, but what were three untrained boys supposed to do against something like that?
Shon sighed, letting his hand fall limply from the gorget. It was no use. No matter how many times he tried to shift it, it would just rub somewhere else until he grew uncomfortable enough to try again. He attempted to distract himself, letting his eyes unfocus and picturing himself going through his kata as he walked in a daze. Master Veon-Zih always said that mental practice was just as important as physical training, though in this case, Shon was just glad it gave him something to focus on besides his nerves and discomfort.
He was about to start the second kata when he nearly ran into Rerves. The taller boy had stopped walking, and Shon arched an eyebrow at him before realizing that the wagon had also stopped. There was no way they were there already…
Stepping to the side, Shon saw what had stalled them. A man in what looked like poorly kept half-plate stood in the middle of the path. A large war ax strapped to his back.
The stranger scratched at his short beard, scraggly and peppered like his hair, “Ho traveler, where you headed?” He called.
The three boys looked to the Paladin driving the wagon, watching as his eyes narrowed, “We are bound for Hamerfoss, good ser…”
“Ah, so the toll you’ll be payin' will be comin' out of them coffers then,” the stranger called, his face splitting into a grin as the boys looked back his way.
“There is no toll on this road, good ser.” their Paladin stated. As if their heads had been placed on a swivel, the Squires returned their gazes to him, but only for a moment as the stranger answered again.
“There is now.” the bandit lifted his hand, the Paladin stood, and the boys looked between the two with wide eyes, not sure what they were supposed to do. The bandit whistled, a sharp sound that sent birds flying from the trees as four hooded figures exited from the gloom to surround the wagon and its three terrified Squires.
The Paladin drew his longsword, ordering the boys, “Protect the wagon!” They turned frightened eyes on each other for only a moment before looking back at the bandits. Each now holding swords of their own.
The knight lept from the wagon and charged the leader, who'd reached for his ax. Thom and Rerves fumbled for their short swords, and Shon dropped into a low stance, his fists held at the ready and heart beating furiously.
“Shon, sword!” Rerves yelled, his voice somehow steady as the four hooded bandits stalked closer.
Shon actually felt himself blush despite the situation and pulled his sword from its scabbard like the rest. He felt off-balance, the weight of the weapon throwing off his well-rehearsed stance. He didn’t have time to adjust before the bandits charged. Two went for Rerves, leaving one each for Shon and Thom.
Shon tried to relax, to stay alert and ready to move, as he'd been taught. But his palm was sweating and he clinched the hilt tighter than intended. Focused on the bandit heading his way, the chaos around him blurred, becoming indistinct, like a drawing left in the rain. Shon held his ground and lifted the sword to one of the ready positions he'd seen the Paladins practice. His attacker was quite a bit taller than he was, and Shon lifted the sword above his head as the first swing came down hard from above.
The hilt shook in Shon's hand, and his attacker didn't hesitate to swing again, this time sweeping around and aiming for Shon's left leg. Clenching his teeth, Shon pivoted the sword down to block again but misjudged the length of his blade. The bandit's long sword passed below the point of Shon's block to strike just above the knee. He felt the impact, but could only imagine the damage, refusing to look and thanking Hengist the limb hadn't buckled. As the shock of the hit ran its course, the attacker flicked his sword up from inside Shon's failed guard, knocking the weapon from his hand.
The short sword flew free, but Shon had already begun his counter, aiming with his free right hand at his attacker’s extended wrist. The hit would have knocked the attacker's arm aside at the least, but with his now empty left hand, Shon struck the same arm from the outside at the elbow. In an instinctual effort to save the joint, the bandit twisted awkwardly, but predictably, bringing his head lower and closer.
Cartilage crunched beneath his knuckles and Shon's attacker reeled back, gripping his nose under his hood and cursing loudly enough for others to hear over the clang of metal and chaos.
One of Rerves' attackers disengaged from his two-on-one fight to aid his friend, who was now backing away from Shon as fast as he could. Shon hesitated a moment then dashed to his fallen sword.
Again Shon felt unbalanced with the weapon in hand. He tried to shift his weight to offset the difference but barely had enough time to bring the sword to bear as the second attacker swung his two-handed greatsword at Shon's right side.
Taking his own weapon in both hands, Shon managed to absorb some of the force of the blow, but he still wasn't strong enough to fully block the strike. His arms buckled, giving way for his opponent's longsword to hit his upper arm. This second hit hadn't fully registered in Shon's mind when the new attacker shoved his shoulder into Shon's chest, trying to push him over.
It worked. Shon fell to the ground with a splash and smack as he habitually swung his hands down to slap the ground, dropping his sword again, but breaking the energy of the fall. Just as Master Veon-Zih had taught him. Perhaps expecting Shon to be winded, the attacker didn't follow through with another attack on the prone boy; instead, turning to look at the companion Shon had punched.
Shon didn't hesitate. Still on his back, Shon twisted his hips, scissoring his legs to either side of the bandit's leg and kicking him behind the knee and inside the shin. The bigger man went down, and Shon swung his legs up, rolling onto his shoulder blades before jumping directly to a standing position. Or at least trying to. The leather armor was heavy and awkward, and he wobbled when he landed on his feet. As he attempted to regain his balance, another whistle rang out from the front of the wagon.
As one, the attackers disengaged from their respective defending Squires. The one Shon had knocked down rolled away and was helped up by his companion sporting a bloody nose. The Squires didn't pursue. Their hands shook with adrenaline, and their eyes tried to dart every way at once.
"Stand down, Squires," it was the Paladin. The knight had sheathed his sword and was moving back towards the wagon, but the boys could barely manage a glance at each other before focusing back on their attackers. Still very much on edge. It wasn't until the attackers in question also sheathed their weapons that the Squires began to slowly straighten, looking between the Paladin, the lead bandit, their attackers, and each other in quick succession.
"You all did very well," the knight said, reaching out to ensure the horses were still calm. They'd hardly moved, causing Shon to determine they must be warhorses, perhaps one was the knight's own partner.
"Not bad, not bad." the lead bandit started forward, slinging his ax back over his shoulder as he moved. Rather than being reassured by the gesture, the Squires dropped back into their fighting stance.
The Paladin snapped, "It was a test, boys. Relax and sheath your swords before you hurt yourselves." The lead 'bandit' laughed out loud at that. It was a booming sound like a bark straight from his belly as he threw his head back and planted his fists firmly on his hips.
"First time seeing battle, even a mock one, and you can't help but be on edge. It's the same every year," he said, the strange speech pattern he'd used before completely gone. He gestured, and his four underlings removed their hoods. The one with the bloody nose still had it pinched, his head tilted forward.
Mock battle… Shon's leg and arm throbbed painfully with every heartbeat, and his knuckles stung as he clenched and unclenched his fists to try and relax. But now that it was over, he realized that both hits had been with the flat of the blade.
The ringleader continued, "These fine Squires are going to be the newest Paladins of Hengist. After their vigil next month." the four attackers saluted and the younger Squires exchanged glances again before finally putting their swords away. "And I," the man slapped his chest, "am your new Weaponmaster. Master Daunas Mung. It will be my job to train you in combat at Hamerfoss."
Rerves was the first to recover. He smiled, but his voice held a hint of sarcasm, "I wish I could say it's nice to meet you, Master Daunas," he tried to laugh, "perhaps once my heart has stopped trying to beat its way out of my chest." That caused the Weaponmaster to bark his own laugh again. Thom smiled nervously at Shon, who was taking slow, measured breaths to calm his own heart.
The Paladin took a moment to examine their various bumps and bruises but only used his magic to heal the senor squire's broken nose. The much larger party continued together towards Hamerfoss, Master Daunas riding with the Paladin in the wagon while the older Squires chatted amongst each other. Thom and Rerves didn’t join in the chatter, both looking as anxious as Shon felt. He could hear the two uninjured seniors making fun of the two who had fought him and wasn’t sure if he should be embarrassed or proud. He'd hardly used his sword, -dropped it twice!- and the sword was the sacred weapon of Hengist. The symbol of the god himself.
Eventually, -finally- they left the woods and immediately saw the fortress situated in the middle of a vast field. Hamerfoss was one of the oldest structures still being utilized in Clearhelm. As such, it wasn't nearly as visually impressive as some of the newer Temples in the cities. Even so, as they approached the south gate, the three new Squires gaped at its great stone walls in awe.
The outer curtain wall was twenty stones high, -at least four of the boys stacked one on top of the other- with two layers of iron portcullises, their bars as thick as Shon's forearm. Walking through the first, the boys looked up and saw the faces of Paladins looking down at them through holes in the ceiling, built for dumping hot tar or oil on invaders trapped between the portcullises. They moved a little faster through the second.
Beyond the wall was one of two open courtyards, with training dummies, archery targets, and sparring rings separated by neat stone walkways. The smell of hay and horses wafted over the whole place from the stable against the south wall to their right, and the ringing "tink, tink" of a hammer on metal filled the cool air from the smithy built into the side of the fortress proper.
"Welcome to Hamerfoss!" Master Daunas gestured widely to all before them, and Shon fixed his eyes on the fortress itself, rising up like an indomitable mountain before him. It was about fifteen feet taller than the curtain wall, with one great tower in the center jutting up another fifteen feet above that. The roof was lined with battlements where archers could rain death on an invading army.
Turning his head, Shon could see three of the four bastions at the corners of the curtain wall and the armored figures that must be more Paladins standing guard. His left hand twitched as he longed to unpack his journal and draw every detail. The bare, dead-looking vines covering the face of the west wall, he was sure they would bloom in a few short weeks and cover the stone in green; the squat smithy coming out of his workshop to wipe the sweat from his brow in the cool air of early spring; and the slack-jawed expressions of awe on his companions' faces as they tilted their heads waaay back to try and see the top of the fortress's tower. But there would be plenty of time for that. After all, this would be his home for the next four years.
"Well. Don't just stand there gawkin'! Unload the wagon." Shon jumped in surprise and glimpsed Thom and Rerves doing the same. Master Daunas must have startled them out of their awe as well.
Shon was grateful as Rerves cleared his throat and took charge. His habit of speaking first and taking control had annoyed the girls back in Smilnda, but as Thom was used to it and Shon didn’t like giving orders, it worked out well for the boys. "Thom, you get the horses settled. Shon, you start handing me things out of the wagon." Without a word of argument, Thom nodded and went to the horses, murmuring gently as he began removing their harness and Shon climbed into the bed of the wagon to lift one crate at a time down to Rerves.
Master Daunas snorted, turning away from the new boys to give orders Shon couldn't hear to the older Squires. The young men saluted in unison, one moving to help Thom and two coming back to the wagon to help Shon and Rerves. The last jogged to the blacksmith, who waved him towards the smithy. He returned a moment later, carrying a small box and marching towards the smith, who was speaking quietly with Master Daunas.
"Shon, come on!" Rerves whispered, gesturing with both hands impatiently. Shon shook his head to clear it, handing Rerves another crate. He'd been paying a little too much attention to Daunas and the smith.
"Sorry," Shon murmured, but if Rerves heard him, he just took the box and set it with the others. It didn't take long for the four Squires to finish with the wagon. Shon hopped down with his own pack over his shoulder just as Thom came out of the stable with the senior Squire to meet them.
"Horses taken care of?" Rerves asked, and Shon blinked at him, thinking, Of course, they were; Thom wouldn't have come out otherwise…
"Yep, all settled and ready to go," Thom answered with a smile. Shon would've simply nodded. He was never one to waste words on things that didn't need to be said, and now more than ever, he found himself so focused on taking in everything around him that he could hardly think of words to say.
It seemed Master Daunas had been waiting for something to be said out loud, though, because he turned towards them at the sound, "Alright lads, this here is Nangran Flintchest. He's our resident Smith, and he'll be making all your equipment." The man was only as tall as Thom, but his shoulders and chest were broader even than Master Daunas, with hands the size of shovels and a beard that hung to the middle of his chest.
"Line up, smallest... largest…" As he spoke, Nangran pointed first to the right, then to the left of Shon, and didn't bother to see if they obeyed before turning away from them to open the box the older Squire had brought. Taking out a long measuring tape and a ratty-looking notebook, the smith tossed the young man the notebook without explanation and headed toward Thom with the measuring tape. Thom quickly positioned himself to the right of Shon with Rerves on Shon’s left.
Nangran motioned with his hand, grumbling only "Arms…" Without need for further explanation, Thom stepped forward and lifted his arms like a 't', visibly swallowing down his nerves. Shon watched closely as the smith took the smaller boy's measurements. Around his chest, his bicep, lower arm, from shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist, neck to waist, and much more besides. Thom stood stiff, following the old man's clipped instructions with hesitant jerky movements. Shon thought it should be awkward to work around their armor, but Nangran didn't seem to notice.
"Sword?" Nangran asked, and Thom made a confused sound. But the smith waved a massive hand in his face, "Not you, boy. Daunas, what sword?"
Master Daunas had his arms crossed over his chest and was tilting his head back and forth from one side to the other, absently scratching his beard before he finally said. "Two hands." he then pointed at Shon, saying, "Bastard." Shon wrinkled his nose, but the offense was short-lived when Daunas pointed at Rerves, saying, "One hand."
Nangran sniffed, "One each..." he stepped over to Shon and motioned for him to raise his arms. Shon stiffened but obliged, keeping his eyes fixed forward as the old man ran his measuring tape all across Shon's body, fighting not to flinch each time the Smith brushed against him.
"Yep," Daunas answered. They were talking as if the boys weren't even there, and the older Squires just watched. Didn’t they have anything better to do? "And that one," Daunas continued, nodding towards Shon, "is a lefty." Nangran snorted without comment and continued measuring, while the Squire with the notebook scribbled a little something extra besides the numbers Nangran mumbled to him.
But then the smith ran his hand down Shon’s forearm, touching the skin of his wrist, and pulled away in surprise. Shon jerked his hand back but quickly returned it with a nervous swallow. The smith stared at him, his brow furrowed, "You're cold as ice boy. Nervous?"
Shon shook his head, but the smith continued to stare, so he added, "No sir. I'm always cold."
The smith hummed and went back to measuring around Shon's wrist and back up his arm, "They say cold hands make a warm heart," Nangran muttered.
Beside Shon, Rerves and Thom snickered. "Whoever says that has never met Shon," said Thom, who had relaxed noticeably once the smith had finished with him. Face forward, Shon glared sideways at him, but there was no real anger in it, and Thom snickered again.
Master Daunas let out another bark of a laugh, "I see you get along well! That's good; you'll want friends in training." Shon tried to relax, taking a deep breath through his nose and letting it out through pursed lips. He did get along with his fellow Squires. He felt his lips tilt up in an almost imperceptible smile. He would even go so far as to call them friends. Even if they did poke fun at each other. Or maybe it was because they did.
Smith Nangran moved on to Rerves, and Shon looked from the larger boy to the smaller and back again before focusing his gaze on Master Daunas. It seemed neither of them was going to ask the adults to clarify what they meant by the sword assignments, so he would have to. Feeling more at ease, he asked, "I thought we were going to be trained in all weapons…"
Daunas must've seen where Shon was going because he spoke at the pause provided, "Oh, you will, boy. But I was watching you fight back on the road. You didn't think we staged that little raid just for fun, did you?" Shon didn't answer. He had
thought it was just for fun. Perhaps some kind of hazing ritual. When Shon didn't say anything, Daunas continued, "You boys haven't been trained, so your movements were on instinct, giving me an idea for what fighting style you may lean more towards." he pointed at Shon, who crossed his eyes to focus on the finger, "You, boy, are going to be a problem. You're the one old man V's been training." Who?
Shon refocused on the Weapon Master's face, arching an eyebrow in confusion. When Master Daunas didn’t respond to the look, Shon guessed, "Master Veon-Zih?"
Daunas continued, "He's got you jumping around with no mind to the armor you'll be wearing or the weapon in your hand. You'll have to work twice as hard to adjust some of those habits." Shon was taken aback, shocked, and a little afraid… He didn't want to lose what he'd already learned… but Master Daunas continued, "But with a hand-and-a-half sword, you'll be able to switch between one and two-handed maneuvers." he smiled softly, and Shon realized his emotions must have been showing on his face more than usual because the Weapon Master seemed to be comforting him. "You mark my words; you'll favor the bastard sword for sure."
Nangran finished with Rerves and began rolling up his measuring tape. He turned his back on the boys but spoke to them as he took his notebook back from the senior Squire, “Take that leather off and put it in the wagon. I’ll have better ready for you by first watch week.” The Squires exchanged looks, then began following the command, stripping off the leather armor and thick gambeson and trying in vain to straighten the sweaty wrinkled uniforms underneath.
“You four,” Daunas addressed the seniors, who moved from parade rest to attention in perfect unison, “show these three around and give them the rundown of how things work around here. You three,” he looked over his shoulder at Shon and the others, scratching his neck again, “this is your last day of freedom, enjoy it while you can.” all seven Squires saluted and Daunas sighed, giving a lazy salute in response before walking off, muttering to himself, “I need to shave…”
The older Squires approached the younger, two of them snickering after Daunas was far enough away not to hear. Shon arched an eyebrow at them and, seeing the expression, the tallest explained, “He’s normally clean-shaven. He let his beard grow out all week for the wagon raid.”
“You’ll be doing one too, in your last year.” another of the four added.
“Sorry about your arm,” the one who had fought Thom said, holding out his hand to the younger boy, “You really did do well, considering.” Thom shook the young man’s hand with a grateful smile at the compliment.
The two who had fought Shon exchanged looks with each other then looked at him, their expressions expectant. Shon arched his other eyebrow instead. Did they really expect him to apologize? They
had attacked him
. And he was four years younger than they were.
“So…” the one Shon had bloodied started, drawing the word out.
“Who taught you how to fight?” the second interjected.
When Shon didn’t elaborate further, the two exchanged silent shrugs. Shon looked away from them, frustrated. They could communicate with each other fine in gestures and expressions, yet, he
was expected to explain details they didn't need? Would they even know what a Monk was? Did it even matter? He was here to train as a Paladin now.
The only one who hadn’t spoken yet cleared his throat, and the other three turned his way immediately. Apparently, he was the unofficial leader of this group, just like Rerves was the unofficial leader of theirs. “We'll show you the barracks first. You should shower and change your uniforms before we walk around the rest of the fortress.”
“You have showers here too?” Rerves blurted in amazement, then snapped his mouth shut, blushing.
The two who were prone to laughing did so again, “Why wouldn’t we?”
“I bet we need it more than most of the official Temples.” the two laughed again.
Thom shuffled his feet nervously but said, “They told us things would be a lot rougher here.”
“They were probably just trying to scare you,”
“They were talking about the work,” the leader said sharply, then turned towards the fortress.
Shon and the others quickly grabbed their bags and rushed to follow. The leader continued to talk as they fell into step behind him, “Your day will start just before sunrise, at fifth bell. You will get dressed, make your bed as quickly as possible, then gather with the others in the courtyard,” he gestured with one hand at a wide-open spot on the training grounds, “From there we run. Around the fortress ten times in formation. After that are drills and then breakfast. After breakfast, we have prayer, followed by lectures, then heavy weapons and armor training, then lunch.” they made their way into the fortress and up a long flight of stairs to the third floor, “After lunch, there's more classwork, then light weapons and combat training. You’re then given an hour of free time to shower and rest before dinner. After dinner, there is mandated study or prayer time, then another hour of free time before lights out at ninth bell. Once every season, we take four weeks to stand watch, one week for each shift.”
He took them down a long hall lined with doors on one side. Shon tried to listen and count the doors at the same time and was glad he did when the leader stopped beside the ninth, “These three rooms are yours. Go ahead and get a new uniform and meet us back out here.”
One of the nicer boys stepped forward to open the first door, “This one is Rerves, followed by Shon and Thom.” Shon entered to find a small room barely six feet square. Directly across from the door was a bed that took up the entire wall and a small high-set window that looked out over the training field. Beside it was a small desk with a single wooden chair. Under the bed, Shon found a long shallow box full of neatly folded uniforms. His name was embroidered in the lining of each piece, and on top was a pinned note with instructions detailing the laundry procedure. Shon only skimmed it, it was the same as the fortress in Smilnda, and most likely the same the Provence over, perhaps even the kingdom.
He left his pack by the desk and returned to the hall with one of his uniforms to find it empty. Glancing down either side of the hall, he shrugged at Thom’s questioning look when he was joined by his two fellows. They waited at least ten minutes before the seniors returned, without their armor and holding their own spare uniforms. They looked nearly as disheveled as the juniors. The leader gestured for them to follow again and said, “Once you get your armor, you will keep it in your room. It's your responsibility to keep it oiled or polished as appropriate.” well, they would be good at that at least… Had they been left to wait while the seniors cared for their armor? Shon didn’t bother to ask, following the four deeper into the fortress.
They were taken to the showers, a single large room with spigots set into the walls and drains in the floor. The seniors started to strip down, placing their dirty uniforms in a basket by the door and setting their clean sets on the benches set along the same wall. Thom, Rerves, and Shon all exchanged looks before following their lead.
There were only ten showerheads, and Rerves finally asked, “How many Squires are there here?”
The seniors each moved to their own showerhead, and the room was quickly filled with hot steam, “Twentyone, including us, but we will be gone in a month, so that will leave seventeen.” one of them answered, stepping under the hot water with a grateful sigh, rinsing the sweat and dirt from the road off his surprisingly well-muscled body. Shon counted the shower spigots again as he moved towards his own. Almost twenty Squires and only ten showers at a time… it sounded like a nightmare. But at least they had hot running water.
Though he had above-average cold tolerance and preferred the winter chill far more than the summer sweat, Shon always enjoyed a truly hot shower. Master Veon-Zih liked to argue that baths were far superior, but in Shon's experience, baths always cooled off too quickly, which was why most ordinary citizens of Clearhelm used the public steam baths.
After they were washed and dressed, the real tour began. They were shown the hall with the officer's rooms, the infirmary, the mess hall, the library, and the classroom. “There’s only one?” Thom asked, peeking into the room with a blackboard across the far wall and long tables situated in front.
“Tomorrow is the last real day before the watch weeks start. You'll spend those four weeks catching up on foundational stuff. Kingdom-wide law, and your assigned sword dills, that sort of thing. After that, the lessons are given in a four-year rotation, so your first classes after the watch weeks will be new to both you and everyone else." the leader explained.
The nicest one elaborated, “You’ll have the same schedule we did, so comparative law, followed by history, then theology, then comparative cultural studies.” Shon wasn’t sure what he looked forward to least on that list. Though all would be better than fighting for a shower…
"There's also etiquette, monster studies, combat tactics and command, and war history and theory." his friend added, and Shon was relieved that at least most of those seemed more interesting.
Next, they were shown some of the less-used rooms. The war room, full of charts and maps and only used for large-scale tactics training, and an indoor sparring room that looked like it was never used.
“This is supposed to be for heavy weather.” one of the laughers said with a snicker.
“But Master Daunus says your enemies won’t let you move a fight inside, so why practice there,” added the other. Shon happened to agree, but also wasn’t looking forward to training in the rain after having walked in it for two days.
Lastly, they were shown the chapel, not as fine as the one in Smilnda but with the same sweet incense and warm comfort. The atmosphere seeped into Shon’s bones as they approached the head altar for a brief prayer and a blessing from the resident Cleric. He was a young man with pale brown hair and green eyes. He smiled warmly down at the new boys, saying, “Welcome to Hamerfoss, Squires of Hengist.” which in turn made each of them glow with enough pride to banish the nerves of their first day and daunting future.
--- Part 2/2 ---
--- Table of Contents
All comments and criticism is welcome.
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2023.05.31 15:31 lonngilmore WORLD REGION BATTLE ROYALE
2023.05.30 04:10 Copper_spongeYT most historically accurate hoi4 mod
2023.05.29 23:36 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 10 - Hurry Up and Wait
--- Table of Contents
--- Summer 4984, 13 Doumoth
“Ugh! I hate this!” Daisy whined loudly, letting her head fall back to stare at the ceiling.
“Almost done…” Rerves said to reassure her, though he lacked his usual smile.
Ania picked up the last piece of armor, a steel vambrace, and began polishing with a groan to match Daisy’s, “When we aren’t cleaning, we're polishing, when we aren’t polishing, we're cleaning. How is this Paladin training?”
“If I wanted to be a servant, I would've joined their guild…” Thom’s small voice chimed in.
Shon said nothing. The five Squires, Shon, Daisy, Thom, Rerves, and Ania, sat under a shade in the Temple courtyard, polishing the knights' spare armor for the hundredth time. The sun beat down mere feet away, reflecting off the finished pieces as the shadow of their shade crept closer and closer, the sun climbing towards noon. The yard was mostly clear, the Paladins not on duty retreating into the cool stone fortress while those on duty only occasionally coming to check on the Squires' progress.
Ania had the right of it. Ever since they'd moved into the Temple proper and became official Squires, the five of them had done nothing but clean, polish, and memorize armor and weapon vocabulary. And complain… the others always complained. Shon just sighed as the four others continued to gripe. There was no point in it, the work needed to be done, and they were the ones assigned to do it. It didn’t matter how annoying or monotonous it might be.
Sometimes the younger Paladins would join them in polishing, caring for their own armor while the Squires worked on the spare pieces. The spares were used mainly by the enlisted, and only if they hadn’t finished buying their own sets yet. Occasionally a Paladin would check out a set to practice with. Although most of them had a preferred style, they needed to stay proficient with all types. At least that meant only half of the pieces the Squires had to clean were still polished from the day before. If the armor was never used, it really would be a useless task, instead of half useless as it seemed now.
The Paladins never complained…
The Squires hadn’t started out tired and annoyed. Daisy and Shon had been joined after their first week by Thom and Rerves, who both came from the capital city. They'd been friends growing up, Rerves was a noble, and Thom's family worked as their personal stewards, one step up from servants. A week after that, Ania arrived from a small village in the south. Only having known one Paladin and having never seen a proper Temple before, she'd been in awe of the fortress Temple of the city for at least a month. But then the excitement had given way to frustration, and -for Shon at least- boredom. And so the others had started complaining.
Their relationship with each other had started out warm enough. They stayed up late into the night, sharing their histories and dreams of their future as full Paladins. Shon joined them when prompted but mostly preferred to listen. He didn’t think he had any stories worth sharing, though they had bombarded him with questions after Veon-Zih’s first training visit. Just like everyone else, they didn’t seem to know how to deal with Shon’s quiet nature. But unlike everyone else, they hadn’t pulled away and stopped talking to him altogether. Except when they complained. Shon never complained. He didn’t see the point. When asked, he would say that they needed to follow orders. So they'd stopped asking him.
Shon held his last piece of steel plate carefully by the leather straps, wiping the last bit of polish off with a clean rag. He could see his reflection distorted by the curves and dings, and wondered if he could manage to draw the changes accurately when given a chance. The tinking of metal on metal sounded in the distance, and the Squires' heads shot up, followed by their bodies as they scrambled to their feet to salute the woman approaching.
General Rasnah was resplendent as always in her uniform, the chains of office clinking on her shoulders. She walked towards the Squires with her head held high and her hands clasped behind her back. With her was Master Veon-Zih and Shon felt his spirits rise just a little higher.
“At ease, Squires.” Sir Rasnah said as she drew to a stop just outside their shade. She waited until they'd taken the formal 'at ease' position, legs shoulder-width apart and hands clasped behind their back, “Report.”
Rerves took charge, as usual, “Sir, we're nearly done, Sir.”
“Just one piece left, Sir,” Ania added, then blushed furiously as she usually did whenever addressing a high-ranking officer.
Sir Rasnah nodded, then glanced to the sky. She then looked to Veon-Zih, who smiled and shrugged. Her lips turned up on half her face in what could almost be called a grin before she cleared it, serious again as she addressed the Squires, “You may have the afternoon off. Report to the kitchens and evening duties before sixth bell.”
“Sir, yes, Sir!” the Squires spoke in unison, Shon’s four fellows grinning broadly and sneaking happy glances at one another.
They held their positions until Sir Rasnah turned away, walking back to the Temple proper and leaving them to their freedom. Veon-Zih remained behind, smiling warmly at them and addressing Shon, “Lunch? I found a fine eatery a few blocks away.”
Shon nodded, finally smiling with the rest, “And practice?” he asked.
“After food,” Veon-Zih answered, stepping aside and gesturing towards the gates. Shon rushed to help the others put the clean and polished armor away, then jogged to Veon-Zih before falling into step with him as they left the Temple.
Veon-Zih waited until they were well clear of the gates before asking, “So what do you think of your fellow Squires?”
Shon sighed in answer, which made Veon-Zih chuckle for some reason. But the sigh hadn’t really answered the question, so Shon said, “They complain a lot.” he probably could have, and should have, come up with something nicer to say. But after hours of hearing them gripe while they worked, it was the only thing on Shon’s mind.
“There's nothing wrong with complaining, you know.” Veon-Zih mused. Shon merely shook his head. The knights never complained; he'd been watching them. If there was a job that needed to be done, they would do it. His fellow Squires seemed to complain before, during, and after every unpleasant assignment. Though never in front of the Paladin giving it.
“Do you honestly think the knights like
polishing armor? Do you
like polishing that much? Maybe you should've come to the Monastery after all. We don’t wear armor, but we have many fine statues that all need to be polished every day. Every little nook and cranny scrubbed clean and shining.”
He glanced at Shon with a grin, then leaned over to whisper, “They hate it too, but just like your fellows won’t complain in front of them, they won’t complain in front of you.”
“It needs to be done…” Shon tried to argue, though it sounded hollow considering his own, though silent, annoyance.
“A perfect excuse,” Veon-Zih stated, turning sharply down a side road, so Shon had to jog to keep up, “There are many reasons spare armor needs to be polished. The most obvious is that it's needed to stay in good repair. The task is assigned to Squires because it gets you intimately familiar with armor beyond just naming the parts. And
because no one else wants to do it.
“That doesn’t mean we should be complaining about it…”
“Not in front of the officers, no. But amongst each other? Why not?”
Shon furrowed his brow but didn’t have an answer. Veon-Zih gave him one, “Joint misery creates companionship. Even if you have nothing else in common, everyone knows you all hate polishing already clean armor. Right now, I bet your fellow Squires are scratching their heads, wondering if you do
actually enjoy the task. Some might even be wondering if they're worthy of being Squires. Since they complain, and you don’t.”
Shon’s steps faltered. Would they really think he was more worthy than them? For something so trivial as chores? He had to rush to catch up and argued, “But there's no point in complaining. We have to do it anyway.”
Veon-Zih sighed and stopped walking. He waited for Shon to turn to him then said, “But my statement still stands. Joint misery creates companionship. Your fellows take a risk in voicing their complaints to you, hoping that they're not alone in their opinions. What if they're the only ones who hate it? What if that really does mean they aren’t meant for the Temple? Just because they can channel divine magic doesn’t mean Hengist will choose them.”
Shon let himself ponder that for a while. The other Squires always seemed so sure of themselves, so excited to begin real training. Did they really have doubts and fears the same as he did? And what did that say about his assumptions? That they would complain and the knights didn’t? Was he actually judging his fellows as unworthy without realizing it?
“The Paladins really complained when they were Squires too?” he asked.
“I guarantee it.” Veon-Zih answered and started walking again, “I know I did, and all the other Monks in my class too.” he chuckled, “Sometimes routines like cleaning and polishing can be meditative. You can let your mind wander while your hands work through the familiar motions. But before you get to that point, or if you would rather be doing something of your choosing, then it's nothing but monotonous work. Necessary work, but still work.”
Following Veon-Zih around another corner, Shon pondered his Master’s words. They got all the way to the little eatery the Monk had been looking for, even took their seats, and gave their orders before Shon spoke again.
“I hate platemail the most…” he said. Veon-Zih arched an eyebrow at him, and he continued, “It’s bulky, and there's just so much of it. Then as soon as you're done, someone moves it aside and gets fingerprints on it again. Chainmail isn’t much better. You can’t see the fingerprints, but it’s hard to get the oil between the links. And yet water obviously has no problem with it because that’s where all the rust is.”
Veon-Zih laughed boisterously, throwing his head back and startling those at the closest table, “I hated the creases in the palms of the statues the most,” Veon-Zih held up his hand, his forefinger and thumb forming a circle, the other fingers extended, “how can so much dust cake itself in such a small space in only a day?” he complained, dropping his hand and shaking his head.
The waitress brought them their stew and drinks, and Shon started eating while Veon-Zih thanked her. Picking up his spoon, the Monk paused as he dipped it into his bowl, musing, “I wonder which parts your fellow Squires dislike the most?” Shon didn’t know, but he wanted to. Would they agree with him that the plate was the most frustrating? Daisy seemed to groan loudest at the leather, but their complaining always seemed to be general moans at the work as a whole…
“Maybe I’ll ask,” Shon mumbled, embarrassed for some reason.
“Or,” Veon-Zih took his first bite, then pointed at Shon with his spoon, “you could just tell them your least favorite, and they will open up and share their own.”
That’s what they expected of him, wasn’t it? They expected him to join in the conversation, not just answer questions… Shon could only nod.
Shon had grown so much. It was difficult for Veon-Zih to watch him without smiling. Only a head shorter than his Master, Veon-Zih could still see the ten-year-old oddity he'd spied upon almost four years ago in the church courtyard. And yet, he had grown so much. Veon-Zih wondered if anyone else could see it.
They practiced in one of the parks in the noble’s district. Veon-Zih thought it was important that Shon get out of Temple whenever possible, that he see the city and its people, to remember what he was training for, and why he wanted to fight. Shon was more like Veon-Zih, and his order of Monks than the boy would ever know. Or admit. He strove for perfection. Every punch, kick, and kata they worked through needed to go exactly right, or he would do it again. Like many Monks, Shon found true enjoyment in the process of working and growing better than his past self. But he was also different in a critical way. Shon wanted to use his strength. Wanted to protect people, fight evil. Many Monks never left the Monastery. A single Grandmaster could easily fell a small raiding force alone. Yet, so many chose not to fight outside their sparring rings and training.
Even Veon-Zih hadn’t left the Monastery because he wanted to help those locked outside its walls. He'd left because he believed he couldn't attain the perfection he strove for inside them. He'd wanted to be tested by the world, to rise to the challenges life presented and overcome them with his discipline and practice. Along the way, he'd learned to be more like Shon was naturally. He'd made friends from other orders, and saved countless non-combatants. Only after seeing the results of his fights, the grateful families reunited, had he realized the moral folly in his fellows and in himself.
They practiced and even sparred until well after fifth bell. The display at first earned them a few disapproving glares from the nobles and servants passing the park. Then they'd actually attracted a few spectators, who clapped as though watching a show. Shon blushed furiously at this, his pale cheeks growing pink as he tilted his head down, trying to let what was left of his now short hair slip down to hide his face. Yet, he never lost step or stopped the training. Veon-Zih had barely resisted laughing, though if more at the foolish watchers or his embarrassed student, he wasn’t sure.
Veon-Zih finally called their training to a halt, and Shon glowered at him. The boy had nearly gotten in his first solid hit in their sparring and was obviously reluctant to stop after making such progress. “It’s nearly time for you to get back, and Sir Rasnah will not accept me as an excuse for tardiness.” Shon’s eyes went wide, and fear replaced the look of frustration on his face. He ran his fingers through his hair, looking up at the sky to try and gauge the hour.
Veon-Zih chuckled, “I’ll race you back.” he said, a hint of mischief seeping through his voice. Shon arched an eyebrow and Veon-Zih could practically hear his thoughts. Run? Through town? You must be joking.
“There's no law against running,” Veon-Zih argued with the boy’s expression, “Every moment offers us an opportunity to train. We're late, so this is the perfect opportunity to test our speed against time and run.”
Shon alternated his arched brow to the other side, looking down the road then back to Veon-Zih before confirming, “A race?”
In answer, Veon-Zih ran. He sprinted past Shon -though not at his full speed- before slowing down just enough to keep things fair. Shon bolted after him. Nobles, servants, and even a few guards gasped and called out in indignation as Veon-Zih and Shon swerved around them on the wide roads of the nobles' quarter. They were forced to slow when they reached the more densely packed streets in the city center. Shon was careful to run around the people doing their shopping but kept his eyes set ahead, planning his route and scaring those who noticed him out of the way with his intense blue stare. Veon-Zih was much more confident in his ability not to hit people and so brushed much closer, never quite knocking into them but often brushing their clothes as he passed.
Ahead a cart laden with crates and barrels ambled across the thoroughfare, and Shon slowed to a jog, trying to run around it. Veon-Zih lept, landing on his hands on the cart and propelling himself up and over before hitting the ground again and continuing the race. He heard the merchant curse and the bystanders gasp in surprise but was more amused at the growl of frustration that came from his student, who put on an extra burst of speed to try and catch up. Veon-Zih was half tempted to let him and half tempted to sprint all out and leave the boy in his dust. He chose to do neither and just laughed, continuing at the pace he'd set and soon coming into view of the Temple gates.
The Paladins on watch saw him coming and exchanged confused and nervous glances, drawing their swords but not barring his path. Veon-Zih didn’t slow his run until he reached the knights. Turning to the side and planting his feet, he slid past them on the cobblestones. Turning back as he slid to a stop, he found one of the Paladins facing him as though ready to fight and the other facing out as though looking for whatever force had sent Veon-Zih sprinting for the Temple.
Shon slowed to a jog and stopped before the knight facing him, breathing hard. “What’s going on? Squire report.” the Paladin demanded, still holding his sword at the ready.
Shon had to take a moment to catch his breath but eventually managed to gasp out, “Race…” before looking absolutely horrified at what he'd just done and said. “Sir…” he added quietly as if that might somehow make his unconventional arrival more acceptable.
“And you managed to keep up with him?” Sir Rasnah appeared from beyond the gate, arching a steely eyebrow and drawing sharp salutes from the Paladin guards who finally sheathed their swords.
“I went easy on him,” Veon-Zih assured her, earning a glare from Shon, who passed through the gates, still breathing deeply but no longer gasping for air. Veon-Zih hadn’t even broken a sweat.
Rasnah looked between the Master and student, finally settling on Shon, “Oh, don’t look at him like that, Squire. Master Veon-Zih could beat a riderless horse in a foot race.” which drew a befuddled look from Shon and a laugh from Veon-Zih.
“General Rasnah, Sir,” another man ran towards the gates wearing the uniform of an enlisted. A messenger from the city gates.
“It seems today is a good day for running,” Veon-Zih quipped as the guards allowed the man to pass and give his report.
“A wyvern has been spotted over the woods near Lakeland,”
Sir Rasnah didn’t respond right away. She narrowed her eyes at the messenger and spoke to Shon, “You have duties, Squire, hop to it.”
Shon saluted, though Rasnah still wasn’t looking at him. He glanced at Veon-Zih curiously, then turned to follow the orders.
Veon-Zih hesitated but decided to follow Shon. If he was needed, Rasnah would let him know.
“A wyvern?” Shon asked in a whisper.
“An abomination,” Veon-Zih explained, “Monstrous beasts with a body as large as a wagon, not including the tail. They fly like birds and will hunt anything that strays into their territory, including humans.”
Shon’s brow furrowed, and Veon-Zih patted him on the shoulder, “It'll be alright. They rarely attack settlements unless they're starving.” Which was good because a single wyvern could destroy a small town.
“What will the Temple do?” Shon asked as they reached the back door to the kitchens.
“That depends… most likely, they'll send a group to the village and watch the skies.”
“They won’t hunt it?”
“Maybe, and maybe not. Wyverns are dangerous enough that it’s a real risk to hunt one, but they also can’t be allowed to harm nearby towns. The Temple of Saint Giorgos will want it destroyed, but Sir Rasnah won’t needlessly risk her men if it isn’t necessary.” Veon-Zih explained.
Shon thought for a moment, then asked, “Have you ever fought a wyvern?”
Veon-Zih tried to make his smile reassuring, "Twice. Though I would rather not try a third time if it can be avoided.”
“Red, what're you doing?” Ran asked.
She rolled Her eyes, focusing again on what She was doing and not bothering to answer him. Her fingers ached, but She worked them into the cracks between the stones of the tower wall, shifting Her weight from one hand to the other and searching out the next handhold.
Brom laughed, and She heard the slap and woosh of breath as he pat Ran on the back hard enough to knock the air from the thinner man’s lungs, “Can’t you tell? She’s climbing!”
“Sort of…” Ran mumbled.
She wasn’t climbing up the wall, as much as She wanted to. Instead, She was up only about a foot off the ground and working Her way sideways around the tower. “Afraid of falling, Red?” Ran asked instead. That question was even more stupid than the last, and She arched Her neck back, holding tight to the wall and looking at him upside down.
“Really?” She asked in response to his denseness. He should know She wouldn’t be afraid of falling. She had fallen many times when She'd braved climbing the trees around the perimeter. Even broke Her arm once, and that hadn’t stopped Her from trying again with the splint still on. But that was when they used to let Her out more often, about once every other week. No, the thing that kept Her from climbing up the wall was the same thing that had stopped Her climbing trees. The same thing that stopped Her running around the tower at top speed while Brom or Ran kept time and She tried to beat Her record. And the same thing that kept Her from even crossing the tree line to play pretend in the woods.
Ran had the decency to look embarrassed, realizing his mistake eventually. There was only one thing that ever stopped Her from doing what She wanted, and even that often took multiple ‘lessons’ each time. Morndancer had grown increasingly erratic and more often violent of late. He would mutter to himself in draconic then give opposite orders to the journeymen and apprentices in common. Though everyone in the tower spoke both languages. He would lock himself in his room for days and hadn’t been back to visit his family or the Mages Guild in weeks. Shaloon would cover for him, but she wasn’t much better, cutting holes in reality and staring into the outer plains for hours on end, whispering. Half her words in draconic and the other half in common, mixing the languages in the same sentence.
Brom and Ran had refused to talk to Her about it, but She had listened at Her door when they thought She was sleeping. The Archmages were going mad. The eventual cost of power, they said. Though neither seemed upset that the same would happen to them eventually. Perhaps their lack of concern was the first sign they'd already started.
She continued Her climb, putting Her worries about Brom and Ran’s sanity out of Her mind for the time being. She would have plenty of time to stew about it when She was locked in Her room. For now, She wanted to enjoy being outside in the brief summer warmth.
A burst of sudden wind from above set Her hair whipping about Her face and nearly cost Her grip on the stones. Squeezing Her eyes shut, She tried to shake Her hair back, blowing at the strands against another huge gust before something heavy shook the ground behind her. She let Her head fall back again, so Her hair fell away from Her face, and She could see what had come upside down. The sight caused Her to fall off the wall.
Landing hard on Her backside, She scrambled to Her feet in a mix of awe and horror. A monster large enough to fill Her entire room and then some, stood in the clearing around the tower. It had a long sinuous neck and dull brown scales. It walked on great taloned legs in the back and the joints of its leathery wings in the front. It snapped at Archmage Shaloon as she jumped from its neck to the ground, its teeth as long as daggers and looking just as sharp. It didn’t bite the Archmage, who ignored it as she approached the journeymen.
“What are you three
doing out here
?” she demanded, mixing draconic with common and glaring at the two men who, for some reason, looked ashamed despite the permission they'd gotten to be out today.
The Firewyrm ignored the question, asking one of Her own, “What is that
?” She pointed at the monster, not sure if She felt sad or disgusted at the sight of it. Both seemed odd emotions to have at the sight of a beast that could eat Her in two bites.
Fingers snapped, and She flinched, reaching for Her collar. The monster let out a strangled roar, thrashing its head wildly, its own copper collar shimmering with light and magic. “Another failure of our predecessors, thousands of years ago
.” Morndancer exited the tower, his robes billowing around him.
Another snap, and the Firewyrm flinched again. But Shaloon just snorted, sneering at the other Archmage after stopping his torment of her mount, “The north-western
Talon was gracious enough to lend us this sample
of training. It should come in handy with the local
draken who worship
its kind as gods
.” the beast snarled at the humans just out of reach but didn’t step any closer, digging its talons deeper into the ground and hissing, “It was a great success
after the slaying
. We’ve only had one greater.” she glanced at the Firewyrm who tilted Her head at the two of them, curious for more but sure they wouldn’t give it to Her.
Archmage Morndancer dismissed the defense of the monster’s existence with a snort, “And yet we are still facing the same problems as those before us. What information do you have?
hit out at sea
, and there are signs of another possibly
brewing in Halakon.”
Ran swallowed nervously, and Brom stuttered, “Should we…?”
“No.” Morndancer answered the unfinished question, “There is only one thing that can stop these storms,
and we are the only ones willing to make the sacrifices to do it.” he turned away from them, returning to the tower door before glancing over his shoulder, “Get back inside
, we need more samples if we are to make up for our own successful failure.”
“Saint Giorgos says the wyverns are the last vestiges of the dragon’s evil in the skies…” Sir Rasnah sipped her tea thoughtfully.
Father Branston snorted, “Yes yes, and drakes are their evil on land, and leviathans their evil at sea. They are beasts, Rasnah, as old as memory.”
“Branston's right,” Veon-Zih shrugged, rolling his teacup between his hands, “They're terrible beasts with some magic to them, but they're no more intelligent than a drakwalf or horse.”
They sat together in Father Branston’s office to enjoy warm tea and a colorful sunset through his massive windows. But none of them could really relax with the news of a wyvern flying around the woods to the north. Just to the west of Hamerfoss.
“They've been known to hunt for sport,” Rasnah reminded them, her face pained at the memory.
“So do house cats.”
“House cats don’t pick off entire barbarian tribes over the course of a week.”
"I'm sure they would if they could,"
Branston sighed, reaching for his teapot and pouring himself another cup, “What will you do? If you need healers, I have a few skilled enough to go.”
Rasnah sighed, rubbing her forehead and resting her cup in her lap, “Perhaps one. I’ll send a group to watch. If it's sighted again, we'll have to do something.”
Veon-Zih cleared his throat to get her attention and arched a questioning eyebrow her way. The Paladin returned the look with a smile and said, “I will make sure they have a sending stone. If you're needed, I’m sure they'll wait for you to arrive before seeking it out.” her smile faded, and she stared into her cup, “If they really are vestiges of dragons then I suppose Saint Giorgos is right and all of them were evil.”
“Having a crisis of faith, Rasnah?” Branston asked softly, but with a smile, “Legends say Hengist was allied with goodly dragons.”
“Dragons of Gold and Silver and all the precious metals,” Veon-Zih finished for him, then added, “None of that matters anymore. All we can do is face the challenges life presents us with in the here and now.”
“Of course,” Rasnah agreed, looking up at her old friends and managing a lopsided grin, “And now
we have a wyvern possibly claiming territory in our forests. Do you think Daunas will want to join the hunt? If necessary,” she added at the end.
“Mung's boy? He’s still stationed at Hamerfoss then?” Branston asked.
Veon-Zih chuckled, “I don’t believe he would forgive you if you didn’t let him.” his chuckle died, and the three gazed mournfully out the window. Remembering their last wyvern fight, and their friend lost in bringing it down. It had been their last adventure together.
-End of Part 1-
--- Table of Contents
All comments and are welcome and wanted.
submitted by NamelessNanashi
to redditserials [link] [comments]
2023.05.29 21:25 Manthing81 First thing I did after booting up the new update, he lives! Defintely done legitly, no toolpack used whatsoever, no sir!
submitted by Manthing81 to Kaiserreich [link] [comments]