'Home Guard Headquarters

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After an exhausting ride to Calanhelm Eriana approached the Home Guard Headquarters. "I'm here to see Colonel Dunnbow" she said to the guard in the outer office. Looking around cautiously she continued to explain, "I spoke with him at the Festival of Crows and he said I should seek him out when the Festival was over."
The Corporal stationed at the front door looks Eriana up and down, " Follow me." Turning, he leads her into the main building and up a flight of stairs. Before an open door he annoyances, "A barbarian female is here to speak to the Colonel, Corporeal Greenmore."

"Thank you, send her in," you hear from the room.

Looking at you, the guard nods his head and gestures for you to enter before he returns to his post.

Entering the room, you see on one side of the room a couple seats, on the other side sits a Corporal behind a desk. On the desk are neat piles of reports. Looking up from reading a report Corporal Greenmore, looks at Eriana, "What business do you have with the Colonel if I may ask?"
With a knowing look Eriana smirks at the back Corporal who has ushered her in. * "Big city dwellers are so uptight" she thinks. *

"Well met Corporal Greenmore" she says as she strides into the room. "The Colonel asked me to seek him out after the Festival of Crows. It seems he has need of a strong sword in Parsons Breech."
Standing and walking around his desk, "I see, you're from Parson's Breach are you? I know the Colonel has been trying to recruit more members for the region. And your name please?" he asks as he approaches the closed door that leads into the Colonel's office.
"Eriana Iceni"

Looking around the room Eriana is again reminded of one of her concerns related to signing up for the Home Guard. * "If I was stuck in a room like this all day I would use my blade on myself" she thought. *
Corporal Greenmore nods his head, kocks on the door and opens it, "A Eriana Iceni from Parson's Breach to see you sir."

"Aye, yes thank you Corporal, she her in please."

Stepping back, "The Colonel will see you," gesturing to the office past the open door.
For reasons unknown Eriana showed a moment of hesitation - with a slight shudder she entered the room.

With a bow Eriana showed her respect, "Colonel Dunnbow, congratulations on your recent promotion." She paused, not knowing proper protocol she continued. "I came to discuss the conversation we had at the Festival of Crows. What you said was confirmed in my conversation with the King - I am ready to make a commitment to the Home Guard stationed at Parsons Breech."

*"No point wasting time, and, I want to get out of this suffocating room as soon as possible." were her thoughts *
Walking across the room the Colonel extends arm and grasps Eriana's forearm in the traditional barbarian greeting, "glad you stopped by, thank you."

Looking at her expression, "Come lets go for a walk. Corporal Greenmore, I'll be out for a while."

"Yes sir"

"Would you prefer to walk or are you still up for a bit of a ride?" the Colonel asks as he picks up his sword belt and attaches it around his waste.
With a look of relief Eriana accepts the Colonel's greeting. "It is easier to talk on foot." Erianna says, remembering her aching thighs during the recent face-paced ride to Calanhelm.
Leading the way out, "this building serves as the Headquarters for the Home Guard as well as the city dungeons below it. No need to show you that." Nodding his head at two guards sharing tea and a card game at the end of the hall. They both get up and start to follow. "A small escort."

Leading Eriana out into the small court yard and out the front gates, he heads west into the center of the city. "The main barracks and training yard are on the other side of the city. That is where most of the units are kept while they stay in the city. When off duty, you can stay where ever you wish. Some units very rarely come to the city, mainly the furthest units stationed in other lands."

"My rules are simple when under my command. Do as you are ordered, how you follow those orders is up to you. But if your actions bring dishonour to the King or to the Home Guard, be prepared for the consequences. A commander knows his troops strengths and weaknesses. I know you are not fit to be assigned to a formation unit, a common foot solider. No, your skills will lay more along the lines of a skirmisher, small unit tactics. So do not fear, I will not assign you to a formation unit. No, what is needed in Parson's Breach is a small skirmish unit. One that can respond fast with a moments notice."

"Second rule. How you present yourself is how you present the Home Guard. Your actions, your words, your demeanor. Both on duty and off duty. I'm not looking for an exemplar, soldiers will always be soldiers, but it's how you act as a soldier shows how you represent the Home Guard."

You enter the main market square, stopping by a fruit vendor the Colonel buys some apples. He offers one to you.
Eriana is confident that the "escort" will not be much help if they run into trouble in the market but at least they should give warning if trouble does come their way. "I am happy to hear that you agree with the King on how I can best provide value to the Home Guard. My background will suit your needs well. As for honour, you saw the way I handled myself in battle at the Festival of Crows. I will let my actions speak for me."

Taking the proffered apple Eriana takes a big bite and lets the juice run down her chin as she eyes the market place curiously.

"How often would I be on duty? And who would I report to? I heard the Home Guard in Parsons Breach is almost decimated."
((hope ya'll dont mind me joining this dance if i'm unwelcome i'll repost elsewhere))

"you'd report to me" Mar says softly approaching from where he had been selling some furs nearby and bowing "colonel dunbow sir good to see you" he looks to eriana then back to dunbow "i've decided to stay with the guard at least till i'm confident that we'll have a good honourable person to take my place as sargeant"
As Eriana glances around the market place, she notices the lack of the escort.

"Aye, Sergeant Mar, I was just showing Eriana to the barracks, she has decided to join our ranks. It is good you decided to stay on, leadership helps build character. Congratulations on your team winning the Festival, will done. You'll have to fill me in on the results when you submit your monthly report."

Turning to Eriana, "when in the field you are pretty much always on duty. The villains and creatures of the realm don't take time off, so neither should we. That is not to say you have to always be on guard, but you should act with as much haste as you can when trouble arises."

"As for who you report to, Sergeant Mar is correct, he is the ranking soldier in the field at Parson's Breach."

Giving a nod to Sergeant Mar the Colonel gestures that they should carry on towards the barracks.
Surveying the market one more time, Eriana turns to Sergeant Mar. "It is good to see you again. I had heard you were stepping away from the Home Guard" Just then she quickly snaps her right hand back and comes up gripping the grimy wrist of a street urchin holding the stub of a blade that was intended for the bottom of her pouch. Eriana quickly bends over and growls in the face of this would be pick pocket. "You might want to try easier game next time you flea bitten filth."

After a brief inspection of the immediate market crowd she identifies at least 4 other children who are part of the same pack. A larger child, probably no more than 10 years old is sending a nasty scowl toward the one caught in Eriana's vice like grip. "Come here" she calls to the ring leader. "I have a business proposition."

Recovering from his initial fear the boy crept forward, not quite within arms reach but within conversation range. "It appears we no longer have an escort. There is a silver in it for you and your group if you keep an eye out for any trouble that makes it's way toward us. Three silver if your warning reaches me before the trouble does. And, the silver of my blade through your belly if trouble finds me before you do." With eyes lit up by the idea of coin and a nervous stutter evoked by the real threat of the blade, the child quickly accepts the offer and disperses his team.

Turning back to Mar Eriana says "I haven't signed up for anything yet. There are a couple points we need to be clear on. I don't always understand what nobility or high ranking people expect or the proper way to treat them - I am okay with you pointing out what I do wrong, but the minute you start looking down your nose at me I f#$@king walk. I also won't pull guard duty unless there is no other option - the King understood this and Colonel Dunnbow has said he understands the best use for my skills - I need to know that you understand this too. If you want someone to be under the heal of your boot you have the wrong person. I will kill any monsters that threaten the Breach and I will protect the King if he needs it, hell, I'll even keep the peace if any skulls need to be cracked but don't ask me for much else. Can you deal with that?"
Mar nods "eriana I believe i've said this before but i respect you and i'm not about to force anyone in my command to perform duties theyre not willing to do" he smiles warmly extending his hand to her "all that matters to me is you stand bravely with me in battle and watch my back. maybe come on the occasional patrol with me if things to hit aren't coming to us" he smiles warmly "your a good warrior and in my eyes a friend eriana"
The Colonel chuckles, “But we are with escort.” Nodding to a nearby rooftop you see one of the guards from HQ with a squad of crossbowmen. Scanning the rest of the roof tops you can make out the other guard along the way with another squad of crossbowmen.

Giving a level glare at the leader of the pack, “You are lucky she offered you coin for services, otherwise it’d be a week’s service for the Crown for petty crime. Now take your coin and be gone.” With that the children disappear into the crowd.

Looking at Eriana and giving her a smile, “Nice work, very observant of you to catch one of the little cut purses.”

Leading the way across the market place, “Now Mar is going to be your superior in the field, his orders are to be followed. He is new to his leadership role, and I do know that he is not comfortable with it. But I do not feel he’s the type to give an order on a whim. Besides he’s stated he’s going to be leaving once someone is found to replace him.”

“Yes, we have had some issues with maintaining a presence in Parson’s. But that is also due in part to the situation. We just do not have the resources to assign a permanent leader there so we must draw from those present. To date, we have had little success finding a leader. The first leader out there was a noisy dwarf by the name of Klanger, he disappeared while hunting down some orcs. Next the barbarian Angus, who lost a bet to Klanger and was forced into the Home Guard, he did not want to be there or the position, and some reports have connected him to questionable conduct. This leads us to Laurent, a foreigner claiming to be a refugee to our lands. He barely qualified to be a Militiaman let alone the rank of Sergeant. A revenge murder of a Home Guard Corporal happened to expose a plot of kill the Arc’Mage and do harm to the Duchess Victoria. Both were triad and convicted of their crimes. Neither were strong spirited enough to survive. “

“That brings us to Mar, he signed a contract with a delegate of Dark Elves for one years’ service at the last Festival of Crows. The Brutii gave his contract as well as Nomans to the King, who in turn handed them over to the Home Guard. Again, we have someone forced into their position that does not want to be there. It is honorable of Mar to stay on till we find his replacement, but he simple does not want to be there. And that does reflect in his performance. I do not blame him.”

Continuing to stroll through the streets.
an exhausted Initiate of the Arcane Sanctum stops and wheels when he catches sight of the Colonel. He hurries over to the Colonel waving a scroll as he trots up to him.

Gasping for breath he hands the Colonel the scroll. It has an obvious seal of the ArchMage upon it. After a few gulps of air the Initiate straightens up and tries to steady his breath. "The ArchMage.." he gasps, slowly regaining his lungs "..asks for you to read this and then make your presence in the Sanctum with all haste."

The Initiate stands, still breathing heavily and waits to be excused by the Colonel to begin his long walk, slowly, to the Sanctum.
"Perhaps Sergeant Mar could show me around the barracks and explain anything else I should know while you take care of this business Colonel." Eriana suggested. "I would like to finish up and sample some of the wine in your tavern before leaving for Parson's Breach. I appreciate you seeing me Colonel."
"It has been a pleasure but duty calls, I will be seeing you both soon." With that the Colonel turns and heads off towards the Arcane Sanctum.
mar nods "i'll be delighted to eriana honestly i feel like the commander may have been a touch unfair about my performance i'm trying my best but well" he sighs "like he described i was hurried into this position by circumstance with no proper examples and little training i've been doing my best to fill the role" he smiles a little "and i hope as my friend you'll bear with me" he says warmly showing her aronud the barracks "any questions?"
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