[The Barracks] Orientation

The capital city of the of Rynmere, here is seated the only King in Idalos.

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Cassidy
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[The Barracks] Orientation

Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:03 pm

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7th of Ymiden, Arc 718

It was hot, and Lowtown smelled like shit.

When Cassidy enlisted in the Skyriders, he thought he'd be heading to Windkeep. He imagined the sight of a hundred Volareon soaring through the air, blackening the skies with their wings. He pictured himself standing alongside them, clad in military dress with maybe a saber at his side.

He was not expecting to be standing outside the Barracks, dressed in civilian clothes with a kit bag on his shoulder, and waiting with a dozen or so other recruits who looked as green as the grass in Oakleigh. An irritated growl slipped past his lips as Cassidy wiped the sweat from his brow, frustration mounting the longer they stood together in the sun. He left his home in Berwick to serve, to fight for his family, for his country, and for his Immortal. Not to stand in the damned heat awaiting some soldier to let them in. He should have been flying by now, not fidgeting next to the rest of the cadets.

And what an odd group they were. Cassidy let his pale blue eyes rove over the collection of future airman that stood before the Barracks with him; taking in what made them unique and what made them unassuming. Part of being a Kane was learning how to tell a noble from a nobody, a cutthroat from a courtier. From what Cassidy could tell from cursory glance, the Skyriders weren't ones to turn away anyone, especially in light of Rynmere's continued conflict with the mages. Men and women from all walks of life stood next to him, some rich, some poor. Some had the look of innocence about them, and some looked like killers. Like Cassidy. All of them, however, stood united in their intent to enlist in the armies of the air.

As soon as they opened the damned door.

A slow and sudden creak filled the rank air, and Cassidy sighed in relief. Any longer and he would have been tempted to try and scale the walls, which he doubted would have been the best way to make a good impression on his trainers. As the group of recruits collectively marched forward into the surprisingly clean courtyard of the Barracks, Cassidy briefly considered what kind of impression his officers might already have about him. Carrying a name like Kane, it came with a certain amount of baggage. His family was known to be troublemakers, and they didn't exactly have the best relationship with the law keepers of Andaris. Not exactly the type pegged for military service.

With a shrug, the Kane pushed back his idle thoughts. If they didn't take him as he was, that was their problem, not his. It was like his teacher Saular used to always say: Fuck 'em.

The group of recruits slowed to a stop, and Cassidy found himself staring at the wrinkled form of an old soldier. He stood in front of the crowd with a powerful presence, glaring down each and every one of them as he paced back and forth before the group. His face was so heavily lined that Cassidy couldn't tell if they were wrinkles, scars, or some combination of the two. Atop his head lay a mat of grey hair slick with sweat, and he was clad head to toe with black armor.

"LINE UP, YOU LITTLE SHITS!" he bellowed, spittle flying from his mouth as he shouted. The recruits, Cassidy included, were quick to follow his demands. It was apparent this was a man not to be meddled with; a soldier old enough to have earned his respect.

"Sloppy," he growled, disgust dripping from his aged voice. "Alright, let's get this over with."
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Re: [The Barracks] Orientation

Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:55 am

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"People around here call me Ray, and the tick you walked through those doors, I became the most important person in your life. More important than your parents, more important than your siblings, and more important than anyone you have or ever will fuck in your entire lives! I run these Barracks. and now, by extension, I run you miserable lot," He paused in the middle of his tirade, casting a withering glare over the crowd of fresh-faced recruits that stared back at him. Cassidy saw some stare out of fear, and others out of reverence.

Himself, well, he could barely hide a smile. The son of Kane had seen this type of dressing down more times than he could count in his youth. Most of his instructors were either mercenaries or soldiers that had fallen in with the wrong crowd, and every trainer he had loved to assert their authority. It was a scare tactic, meant to build the idea of a chain of command while toughening up a new recruit. Still, Cassidy had to give the man credit. He possessed a...particular way with words that rivaled even the most articulate teachers couldn't match.

"DID I SAY SOMETHING THAT AMUSED YOU, YOU SCALPED, SMIRKING FUCK?!"

Shit, he'd been spotted. Cassidy quickly dropped the half-hidden smile and forced his stance into something resembling a soldier's salute, barely maintain composure as the rapidly advancing form of the old soldier pushed through the recruits in front of him. Ray stopped only when his face was mere centimeters away from Cassidy's; so close the young man could smell the rage on his breath.

"I ASKED YOU A QUESTION, RECRUIT!"

Cassidy wanted to respond with an anger of his own, anger that matched the wrath that he could see ignite in Ray's eyes. This was a direct challenge to his dominance, to see whether or not he would yield to the ruler of this little domain. He wanted to bring his head forward and crush the sagging nose of the weathered man before him, to call on flame and fury to burn his aggressor's challenge away.

Yet, to do so would be to anger Faldrun. As much as Cassidy didn't like the idea of leaving challenges unanswered and unmet, he hated the idea displeasing his Immortal overseer even less. Faldrun had entrusted him to represent his interests in Rynmere's military. To be his soldier among soldiers. He would not fail this mission, even if it meant staining his damnable pride.

"Yes, sir!" Cassidy could see in the man's eyes that Ray at least approved of his honesty. Attempting to lie his way out of this situation would have only made matters worse in the long-run.

"Oh, and what, pray-tell, was that?"

"I found the other recruits fear of you funny, sir!"


"And why is that? You think you're too tough to scare? Got some big balls, recruit?!" Ray pressed, his voice lowered to a growl but still carrying the intensity of a man unyielding in his resolve.

"No sir. I've been taught to prepare for this, that's all." That made the other man laugh, a dry, barking sound that still shook some recruits around him.

"You've been taught! Oh, is that all?! Tell me, recruit, what's your name?" Ray asked with a smile that was entirely too toothy to be friendly. Cassidy could feel how tight a rope he was walking now. He prayed he wouldn't slip.

"Cassidy Kane, sir!"

The false smile Ray had on his face dropped the second the younger man had mentioned his family name. Cassidy had thought that would be a problem among the Airmen, but he hadn't expect it to come up on the first day. Ray took a step back, eyes flickering across the youth's form as if searching for some distinctive indicator to prove his bloodline.

"A Kane, huh? I heard one of your lot enlisted. Should've known. Well, tell you what Kane, since you're so experienced, why don't you skip the rest of orientation?" Ray paused as he chewed on his words, savoring the feeling of anticipation that built in the air. "In fact, why don't you take your bow and head to Requisitions. Have them bring a whole barrel of arrows with you to the practice yard, and why don't you fire at the targets UNTIL YOUR DAMNED FINGERS BLEED! AM I UNDERSTOOD, YOU BLACKBLOODED FUCK?!"

Cassidy felt his nostrils flare as Ray's words cut into his ears. He could feel the fire in his veins, the urge to stand tall and fight for his family. But he could also feel that slow, pulsating burn on his back flare in reminder. He served something great, and something that would tolerate his failure. He could not fail. Would not fail.

"Yes sir!"

"I. CAN'T. HEAR. YOU."

"SIR, YES SIR!" Cassidy took off in a jog away from the rest of the recruits, anger still hot in his face. He didn't even know where Requisitions was, but he wasn't about to go back and ask. Humiliated in front of the incoming class of recruits, and having made an enemy with the one man in the Barracks he could not afford to, the Kane couldn't believe his first day as an Airman had already gone so poorly.

Ray didn't, however, kick him out. Well, yet. He supposed that was a small victory in itself.
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Re: [The Barracks] Orientation

Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:11 am

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Breathe. Release.

Cassidy had been at this for breaks by now. His arms felt like rods of iron, muscles dragging heavy with exhaustion. Any callouses he had on his hands had been sliced off by his bow string, bloody blisters now forming in their place. Sweat poured from his body, not from the heat of the day but from the sheer effort it took to loose arrow after arrow into the rows of targets before him. The rhythmic twang of his bow, matched swiftly by a deadening thud of arrowhead punching through wood, had by now become a maddening sound to to his ears. Still, Cassidy couldn't stop. Not unless he was ordered.

Breathe. Release.

He would have pictured Ray's face in place of the target, but that would have just made him angrier. Cassidy couldn't aim angry, and if he was going to be spending the trial shooting at still targets he at least wanted to improve. Another recruit with the same punishment might have just gone through the motions of the exercise, but not Cassidy. He was still placing every arrow he loosed. His arms might have shook from the effort, his eyes may have burned from the strain, but the Kane would be damned if he didn't prove he was putting himself in every single shot.

Breathe. Release.

"You shoot like an outlaw."

Focus slipping, his shot went wide. An frustrated growl rumbled to life from the pit of his stomach and sang free from his lips. For the first time since he walked into the archery range, his eyes turned from the target. What they saw surprised him. A slight woman with an inquisitive grin and a mane of red hair leaned against the wooden safety railing which separated the range from the rest of the barracks. She tilted her head as she examined Cassidy, and he could feel her warm brown eyes take him apart. Her eyebrow cocked in curiosity, it occurred to the youth that she was waiting for a response.

"That would be because an outlaw taught me how to shoot," he replied to the woman, matching her casual smile with a grin of his own. The woman found something in his response amusing, her laughter ringing across the otherwise empty training grounds. It was light and full of life, and something that Cassidy could listen to all day.

"Trixie," she offered, hand sticking out from behind the safety railing. Cassidy slung his bow over his shoulder and strode over to where the woman stood.

"Cassidy," he returned, clasping her hand with his own. His smile swiftly shifted into a grimace as the sores on his hand screamed in protest at the contact. Again, the woman's laughter filled the air. The pain was worth that at least.

"Been shooting for awhile, have we?" she inquired, a soft and sympathetic tone infiltrating her inflection. Cassidy simply nodded in response, massaging his wounded and offending appendage. Trixie's eyes flicked over to the targets littered with the arrows, shafts bristling outward like angry quills of an animal. "Well, that'll happen when you piss off Ray."

"Word travels quick around here, doesn't it?" He sighed, still trying to force the kinks out of his hands. Seeing his struggle, Trixie took his hands into her own. She kneaded the cramps into dull submission, rough hands working with shocking delicacy. If Cassidy had to guess, he'd say this woman had dealt with pains like this on her own before. After a few ticks, she released his hands from her grasp. Cassidy stretched his hands, testing every finger as he inspected the extremities. Surprisingly, his hand felt leagues better.

"Like you wouldn't imagine. Scuttlebutt is how soldiers stay sane around here. You'll get used to it if you stick around long enough," she smiled, brown eyes meeting his blue briefly before they turned back to the range. Cassidy watched as she took in every arrow carefully, as if she were trying to dissect something about him from the echoes of his archery. The Kane wished he could read the woman, see what thoughts went through her head as she inspected his shots. Why bother talking to a no-named recruit who managed to piss off the boss on the first day?

"What showed where my training came from?" Cassidy asked, breaking the comfortable silence which had slowly filled the air. Trixie turned to look back at the youth, her careful gaze reminding him of a hawk. Again, she smiled; a simple, patient thing that put him instantly at ease.

"Nobles are trained to shoot for competition. They're slow, aiming every arrow as if they have all the time in the world, because they've been taught they do. Soldiers are drilled to shoot in sequence, every arrow falling into a rhythm that is conducted by their commanding officers," she paused, pointing to the range littered with the evidence of Cassidy's effort. "Outlaws, bandits, and brigands, however, shoot selfishly. Like individuals. They put themselves into every arrow, because they know every shot they take might be their last. You hold your bow like a highwayman." Trixie laughed lightly as she spotted his furrowed brow, aware of how confusing it might be to have a soldier compare you to a criminal. "That's a good thing, Cass. It makes you unique, and it makes you dangerous."

"And here I thought the Iron Hand didn't do 'unique'," he joked, still taken aback by the woman's unorthodox perspective. Cassidy couldn't help but feel a surge of pride as Trixie's laughter filled the air. It was a deep, honest, and full thing: the type of laugh that one had to earn in order to enjoy.

"Oh trust me, they don't, and Ray likes it the least. I imagine he's going to send you here as many times as he can before you make Sergeant," she said, meeting his eyes before continuing. "Don't let yourself lose it though. You may suffer for it here, but it'll keep you alive out in the battlefield. And at the end of the day, a soldier that is alive is infinitely more useful than a soldier that followed orders into his grave."

"How do you shoot?" Cassidy asked suddenly. He needed to know more about this women, who appeared out of nowhere and seemed to understand him so deeply but revealed nothing about herself. His interest was piqued, and, like a true archer, his eye wouldn't be shaken for the target.

She looked thoughtfully at Cassidy, as if considering if she could trust the man enough to show him this part of herself. Then, with a wink, she moved. She snatched the bow from his shoulder and stole an arrow from his quiver. Surprised by her sudden closeness, the Kane felt an uncharacteristic blush creep up his neck. If she noticed, she didn't react to it. Instead, she strode forth further down the range, nocking her arrow and choosing her target carefully. In one fluid motion, she drew and released; her fingers moving across the bowstring like a poet's quill across paper. In that single shot, Cassidy caught his first true glance of who this woman was. There fierceness hidden behind that patience, an intensity that could not be contained by the chains of command. A wildness that roared to life as the arrow screamed through the air, sinking into the target as lion's claws would sink into the kill. She had an anger in her, an anger that Cassidy had seen in himself before. In that moment, he saw a side of Trixie that he doubted he would have spotted if she had not allowed him to look. She was beautiful.

His question answered, the woman handed him back the bow.

"I think you've been punished enough for one trial. I'll take you to the medic to treat those sores, and then I'll drop you off at your bunk."

"Wait, why are you helping me? I don't want to get you in trouble with Ray." he insisted, slinging the bow back across his shoulder.

"If Ray tried to discipline me, he would have to train the archers. Trust me, he'd spend the night with Chrien than deal with that," she answered, her eyes once again turning sympathetic. "Besides, I wanted to show you that not everyone is against you. That there is a place for a Kane among the Skyriders. If you work hard enough. If you want it."

"I want it." His answer was instant, words flowing before his mind could even register he was speaking. After meeting Trixie, after seeing her shoot, he knew that could do this. That he needed to do this. He could put flame that raged in his veins to good use, just like the woman before him was doing. He could be an Airman. He would be an Airman. He would take to the take skies for his family. For his country. For Faldrun. Or he would die trying. After all, he was a Kane, and Kane's never did anything halfway.

"Then come on, lets get you to bed."

"You know, you could join-"

"Ha! You're funny, Flyboy."

"I'm more than funny-"

"Keep talking and I'll send you back to the range."

"Shutting up, ma'am."


His muscles burned with exhaustion, he had no idea where anything was in the Barracks, and he was fairly sure that he wouldn't be able to move his fingers for a week, but he had made it through the trial. He was a part of the Iron Hand. A Skyrider in-training. Now all he had to do was survive the experience.
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Re: [The Barracks] Orientation

Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:19 am

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Cassidy


Knowledge:

Ranged (Shortbows): How a noble shoots
Ranged (Shortbows): How a soldier shoots
Ranged (Shortbows): How an outlaw shoots
Ranged (Shortbows): Can't aim angry
Ranged (Shortbows): Extended shooting leads to injury
Discipline: A soldier doesn't smile

Non-Skill Knowledge:
Ray: Commanding officer of the Barracks
Ray: An asshole
Trixie: Ranged weapons expert
Trixie: Hidden temper
Trixie: Likes me, but not like that
The Barracks: Shooting range
The Barracks: Iron Hand base
The Barracks: Lowtown

Loot:
N/A
Injuries:
Exhaustion, Eye Strain, Finger Blisters
Fame:
+5 (being chewed out by a commanding officer in front of new Airman)
+5 (Enlisting in the Skyriders as a Kane)
Magic:
These points can NOT be used for Domain Magic


Skill Points:
10




Notes:
Great thread, well written...Sorry for the wait >__>



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