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Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores)

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1 Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:01 pm



He hasn't had much time to convalesce at the temple where he was raised from the dead. They allow patients to stay for a time, of course, recognizing that not everyone who is raised from the dead has a home to go to. Rather than stay in the little house he rents outside the city walls, Glynlen let himself be pampered by the clerical apprentices: all the food he could eat, clean water, and privacy in which to trance he might want.

A part of him feels he ought to be happy. To be alive again is a gift; to see Sariel and Enna once more is a treasure. The Naïlo paid to raise him--paid to raise him without expectation of being paid back!--and though he feels the debt keenly, he feels also the weight of their acceptance. He never quite felt like one of them, but they've shown by their actions that he is. That they accept him. The feeling isn't a bad one at all.

Yet he's alone here in the temple. No one else was raised with him from that ugly battle. The rest of the division he'd been accompanying into the Silverwoods is gone, buried or burned as their families wanted. Few soldiers are paid well enough to allow a "resurrection fund" to be stashed away, and their families are often even poorer; in Brilight, the rich and well-to-do rarely join the army, or at least not as grunts.

So it's just him, the lone survivor of the bandit ambush he failed to predict. The feeling isn't great.

When the messenger arrives, it's almost a relief to have his thoughts occupied. She's a little wisp of a city elf child; so young her ears are almost as long as the rest of her, as the elders used to say about him. Her cheeks burn from running in the midsummer heat and humidity. Though Eleasis is almost past and Eleint soon to come, the heat will leave when it is ready and not a day before. "You're Glynlen?" she demands, her childish voice imperious in the way only one bearing an official messenger medallion can be. "Message for you from Vice-Captain Imokina. You're to report back to the city wall with me. Like, now."

Bemused, he allows the child to escort him to the city wall and the offices which the captains and vice-captains call their own. He knows the name 'Imokina' vaguely; a sort of good, solid impression of a soldier who doesn't cause trouble and does her duty well. Someone must have noticed for her to be promoted to vice-captain--if she were rich or being promoted as a favor, they'd just call her a captain and forget the intermediary step.

Her office is a jumble of books and papers, which he is forced to pick his way gingerly about while the messenger announces--or, rather, yells--his name before slamming the door closed behind him. A young human woman in her mid-twenties moves about the room gathering up papers into a stack and generally trying to combat the mess. She is failing, but you wouldn't know it from the warm smile she gives as she straightens and offers her hand to shake.

"Dolores Imokina, Paladin of Pelor, Vice-Captain of the Eight Division, she of the Brilight Army," she says, the crispness of her tone marking her as military as much as her uniform. "You are Glynlen Liadon, I am led to understand," she deadpans in acknowledgment of the messenger's earlier ear-splitting bellow.
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2 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:18 pm

Glynlen breaks into a smile without meaning to. Being up and about among people again is good for him. Dying in your sleep and being brought back to find you're the only one of your group that survived is lonely business, after all. And, despite his upbringing in the far-flung corners of the Silverwoods and beyond, he finds himself feeling at home among military folks.

"How did you guess, ma'am?" he says warmly, extending his hand and clasping hers firmly. He figures that a vice-captain such as Imokina will judge him by his handshake, if his experience with the gate grunts and fellow escorts is any indication. "Indeed, I am Glynlen, he of the Silverwoods. You can feel free to call me Glen, if you prefer."

The smile slowly recedes from his face as he thinks about the circumstances of his death and return. His eyes fall downward, to the floor. "Ma'am, I think I know what this is about." He fidgets with his hands, overcome with sadness. The losses of the division he was charged with assisting weigh heavily on him.

"I just want to apologize for... what happened. I am so sorry I let your soldiers down. I was supposed to protect them, and now I'm here and they are still gone. I understand if you have to terminate my contract. I will not protest. Please, just know how profoundly sorry I am."
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3 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:02 pm

Her gaze softens at the apology and she gives him a sympathetic look, the sad smile of a fellow fighter who has been through something very similar. "Glynlen. Glen. Sit down, won't you?" She gestures to a seat across from the messy desk.

Moving around to her side of the desk, she takes a moment to move papers from her own seat--a moment which gives him a chance to catch his breath. "I'm sorry for the mess," she says as she sits. "It's not usually like this, but a wizard was here earlier and his familiar had a fit. Pelor forgive me, but I can't stand the little things. Too shifty. Familiars, I mean," she adds with a laugh. "Not wizards. Though I don't like them much either."

Steepling her fingers under her chin, she looks across the desk at him with a gentle smile. "No one here blames you for what happened at that ambush. I was with the clerics who spoke with the dead, and we pieced together what happened quite well. How could anyone have guessed that the caravan was a false one?" She sighs and shakes her head with a rueful smile. "And even if you had, I knew the captain who was leading that division. I doubt he would have listened to a contracted ranger."

Selecting a paper from the top of a nearby stack, she pushes it across the table to him with a smile, along with a small money purse; it's his old contract, signed by himself and the captain who recruited him. "Technically, I can't terminate your contract with the city guard because your death already did so; resurrections are rare enough that nobody bothers to write them in as an exception to the 'death or debilitating injury' closure of the contract. So you have served out your term early and here is your contracted-mandated honorable discharge bonus." She grins. "Don't spend it all in one place."

Pulling another paper out, she hands it over as well; it's a new contract, one that looks identical to his old one but at a much higher salary of pay than when he signed on as a green recruit. "If you're interested in signing up again, I'd like to have you, Glen. I know your record of service; you're experienced and clever and a hard-worker to boot. I also have a job with your name on it, literally, which is why the pay is higher this time 'round. I'd understand if you're done with army life, though," she adds, her expression softening. "After everything you've been through, you might want some time off."
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4 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:40 pm

"Ma'am."

Glynlen looks down at the papers and the pouch that Vice-Captain Imokina has handed to him and is immediately overcome. One can hardly blame him; in a very short period, he has been murdered, brought back to life, reunited with his sister only to part with her again, and summoned for an audience he surely knew would be one of chastisement for failure. To instead be greeted with kindness and comfort, with a reward for discharging his duties honorably, and to be offered a bigger contract with a higher rate of pay for him, and outcast and an outsider - it is all too much. He can't do anything but stare at the papers and the coin purse, unable to meet her eyes.

Times like these, Glynlen wished he wore his hair long like some of his fellow elves, so he could obscure the wave of emotion he was feeling. Elves are not ones who easily drop their masks, but he had been through so much that he could not help it.

He takes a deep, if somewhat shaky, breath. He collects himself, and he smiles, his face still a little flushed with emotion but his eyes free of tears. He clears his throat.

"Ma'am." He repeats. "Thank you so much, both for your kindness and for the opportunity."

He pauses for a moment to consider. I can do this. I want to repay the vice-captain's kindness and prove her words correct. I want to pay back the money the elders used to bring me back. Most of all, I want to make Sariel proud, he thought.

His voice strengthens and his smile widens, his jaw set firmly in resolve. "I am not done with military life. I am more than interested in signing up again. I want to live up to your words and the trust you and His Majesty have placed in me with this contract."

"If I may." Without waiting for acknowledgment, Glynlen picks up the nearest pen and signs above his name with a flourish. He stands, holding out the contract for the vice-captain. The smile on his face is earnest. He has learned from his mistakes, and he has work to do. "Glynlen Liadon, reporting for duty, ma'am."
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5 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:08 pm

Dolores grins, pleased by his words, and takes the contract to sign her name as the recruiting officer. "Pelor's light guide our paths," she tells him with a smile, filing the contract away in a desk drawer for safe keeping. She produces another money bag--his signing bonus--and this is pleasingly heavier than his termination bonus was. His weekly pay will come, he knows from experience, from Dolores or (if she is not available) from the paymaster.

Turning, she produces a carafe of warm coffee and pours a cup for herself and then for him before settling back in her chair and gesturing for him to do the same. "Now to business and this job. It's quite odd to me, Glen, but it's not my place to question my superiors. I'm ordered to have you report to the Feytower on the 7th of Eleint, there to seek the Wizard Laerdya Siannodel. You're to obey her in all things, no matter how long the job takes. Do you know anything about this?"

Glen has never been to the Feytower, but he knows it by reputation: wizards and warlocks train there, cooped up in stone halls that tower over the city like a stubby mountain. He knows less of Siannodel, save that she is elven and very powerful. She is supposed to be the city's hope for a cure against the plague, but as the strange illness has not reached the Silverwoods it has not troubled him directly.
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6 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:47 pm

Even though Glynlen had looked over the contract, he'd failed to really recognize just how much of a signing bonus he was getting. He can't help but gawk a little at the sizable bag of money the vice-captain is handing him. This on top of the bag of money she already handed him. For dying. Weird day.

After nodding politely to her prayer to Pelor - he'll take the help where he can get it, quite frankly - he extends a hand and takes the purse, emptying it and the smaller purse into the money pouch around his waist. When Sariel and Enna gave him ten gold pieces with his new gear as a rebirthday present, he already felt like a very wealthy elf. Now, he felt almost sheepish with the amount of money in his purse. He tied the pouch a little more tightly around his belt and tucked it away in his pants pocket. Can't be too careful. It wouldn't do to get mugged or, worse, murdered (again!) over some gold, especially so soon after coming back.

When she gestures, he sits dutifully, taking the cup of coffee with gratitude. Dying is exhausting and so too is coming back, apparently.

"The Feytower. Seventh of Eleint. Laerdya Siannodel. Wizard." Glynlen repeated each detail carefully, committing each one to memory.

He hesitates slightly at her instructions. "Obey her in all things, ma'am?" The thought of surrendering one's freedom to choose the best course of action gives him pause. He considers for the briefest of moments.

The vice-captain is human and therefore given to impetuousness, but her kindness and understanding have given her words extra weight. If she needs it done, he'll do it. "I understand." He nods.

"I'm afraid I don't know anything about it, no. I know generally about the Feytower and I've heard of Siannodel. Apparently she's an elf, and she's supposed to have something to do with the plague I've been hearing about, but even that largely escapes my knowledge. I know I heard some merchants I escorted talk about the plague, but I don't know the symptoms, the causes, or how serious the outbreak is. Can you tell me anything about the it? Do my orders have something to do with the plague, ma'am?"
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7 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:43 pm

In addition to the 140 gold pieces that pass into his possession, the heavier bag contains a standard issue army mess kit, a tinderbox, and a symbol of bronze which looks like a curved half-moon. The number 8 is stamped on the moon--the orientation indicating that the curve of the 'moon' is supposed to be held in the down position, as though it were liquid in a wine glass--and he knows from experience that this is meant to be worn sewn inside his clothing so he can be identified as a member of the Eighth Division if he is killed.

There is also an extremely handsome ring in the bag which fits his finger. The symbol on the ring is that of Pelor's sun, suggesting it is something Dolores obtained herself rather than granted by the city. "It's a sun-touched ring," she explains with a smile. "You tap it like so. See? Yeah, you got it. It'll shine a light about the same as a hooded lantern. Fifteen feet or so, in a cone ahead of you. There's only a few hours worth of light before it needs to recharge, but it's handier than relying on a candle in the dark."

Settling back into her chair, she looks up sharply at his question. " 'All things' as you would obey your division captain," she amends, every inch the paladin. "If she wants you to do anything immoral or inappropriate, you come file a complaint with me and we'll take it up the chain of command the way we would any other complaint. She's your superior officer for this mission--so to speak, and despite not being in the army--but that doesn't make you her slave. You're still a free man with a conscience, like us all."

She sips at her coffee then and shudders. "The plague. Now there's a bad business. I don't know much, but I know it's got two stages. The first makes a victim increasingly weary. Unnaturally so, going from needing a nap in the morning just to get out of bed, to sleeping through most of the day and night. They get clumsy and silent, and when they are awake they just sort of shuffle around and do whatever you tell them. Heart-breaking to see, and we lost a lot of good people in the first waves of the sickness."

" 'Bout the time they go non-verbal, they fall asleep for good. You can't wake them then, not even with spells. They just slip into a sort of coma and never come out. But the worst part is what happens next. When they die from starvation or dehydration or whatever it is that takes them, they rise the next day. Undead and soulless." She shudders again, making a face at her coffee. "Unlike most undead, they're not violent, but they're still an abomination under Pelor. Enough people have petitioned the government to do something that they're starting to gather up the bodies for burning, but it's... not easy for everyone to let go."

She shakes her head and sets down her mug. "As for what Siannodel wants you for, I'm in the dark and finding I don't much care for being there. I assume it's some kind of special operation that's being kept on a need-to-know basis, in which case I reckon it's one of your skills they want. But which one and why, I can't make heads or tails of. Unless she thinks the cure is in the Silverwoods and needs a guide."
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8 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:26 pm

Glynlen unpacks the items from the bag one at a time. Examining the tinderbox and the mess kit, he smiles. Food, warmth, and laughter around a campfire. These are welcome additions to his traveling supplies.

Then, he takes out the divisional symbol. He has been a contractor for some years now and has gotten comfortable around military folks - which helps explain all the ma'am-ing he's been doing, having seen the grunts talk to captains in a similar fashion and hoping to show the vice captain the respect he believes is her due. He has worked with different units and divisions. Some were more welcoming than others, but none truly thought of him as part of their unit. For her to hand him an identifying insignia that declares his belonging to her unit is truly something special.

Then, for her to have given him something emblazoned with the symbol and power of her faith - he knows this is no small gesture. "Thank you, ma'am. I will live up to the trust and honor you have shown by giving these to me." He slips the ring onto the ring finger of his right hand. Obad-hai would be okay with this; Glynlen is (possibly? probably?) aiming to help out with this plague thing, which is upsetting the natural order. Pelor is just helping. That's fine, right? Right.

He nods, understanding her meaning with regard to obeying Siannodel. He is confident that he won't be needing to file any reports... mostly because that means paperwork. He had become comfortable with almost every aspect of military life, but he had never fully grown accustomed to all the blasted paperwork.

He listens along as she explains the plague, wracking his brain to think if he has ever run across such a disease in his travels far and wide. To the best of his recollection, he has not. It sounds like a particularly horrible way to die, and a similarly terrible way to lose a loved one. He tries to imagine letting go of Sariel after she has become an undead husk and almost immediately regrets the thought. Best to leave that aside. Maybe he will help find the cure, and then he will never have to worry about the plague making it to Naïlo.

"If the cure is in the Silverwoods, I will make sure she finds it. I know the forest better than most anyone, even among my own tribe." He's not bragging and does not come off that way; rather, he is stating a fact. His ability to navigate most any forest is unparalleled, as far as he knows. "If it's something else, I will do whatever I can to help. Shall I send you regular reports?" He realizes that he does not have a particularly reliable method of sending those reports, but he thought it best to ask in case this is something that is customary.
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9 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:34 pm

The vice-captain can't help but smile at the last question. "I would like that," she admits, "but if this is a big secretive need-to-know mission, she may not want you to. And, of course, you may not be able to report regularly if you're heading into the woods with her, unless you have magic that would send messages back to me? Either way, I think we'll have to play it by ear. If she's traveling outside city limits and she won't give you time to let me know, leave a message with one of the guards at the gate. They know to find me and pass it along."
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10 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:40 pm

Glynlen nods. "Can and will do, ma'am. One last question. I have been resting at the temple and left my traveling gear there. Is there time for me to collect my things? I don't want to show up at the Feytower empty-handed; I want to be ready in case she needs to leave right away."
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11 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:45 pm

"You're raring to go; I like it," she says with a fiercely pleased smile. "But the summons is for the seventh of Eleint, not today. You've got two weeks to get ready, by my calendar. Though that reminds me: check in with Aldaren at the Eight Division barracks and have her assign you a bed when you get a chance? I know from your file that you have a house of your own outside the walls, and that's fine with me--as long as folks get to morning practice on time, I don't get too fussy about where they sleep--but you still need an assigned bed in case of emergencies. We get hit by a siege and have to close the gates, I need my soldiers to have beds."

There has not been a dedicated siege of Brilight since before Glen was born, but this is technically proper procedure.
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12 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:57 pm

Glynlen, so caught up in the emotion of feeling accepted and wanting to live up to the trust of his new vice-captain, had immediately forgotten that she gave him a clear date to meet with the wizard. Mortified, he chuckles. "Apologies on the date, ma'am. Like you said, I'm just raring to go." Dying will do that to you, apparently.

"I didn't have much cause to attend morning practice when I was escorting caravans. When and where is morning practice? I don't need as much nightly rest as most humans, so I would be glad to report early and lend a hand with anything you might need. And I will check in with Aldaren right away." Glynlen smiles. It's easy to be want to be somewhere when you feel like you belong there.
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13 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:42 pm

This earns a warm grin. "Eighth Division has the Owl Practice Field, the one off Hunter's Street near the stag fountain? Oh, you might know it for the fletcher who sells out of his house on the corner there. Practice is at dawn and goes for two candlemarks, then you're on freetime if you're not assigned to a caravan or the wall--which you won't be until this wizard business is done. Which reminds me: I know they took your gear down to the temple but if you need more arrows or sword sharpening, we'll check over your weapons at your first practice."
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14 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:30 am

Glynlen nods. "Got it."

He rises from his chair, setting down his coffee cup. Lots to do. "Well, ma'am, unless there is anything else, I should probably leave you to your work, and I will go get started on collecting my things and reporting to Aldaren to be assigned a bunk. I should probably look in on my house as well. Maybe I'll go down and find the Owl Practice Field and get some target practice in. It would feel good to have a bow in my hands again."

He looks at her and smiles with genuine warmth. "Thank you so much. For the opportunity. For your kindness. For the ring." For making me feel like I belong somewhere. "For everything."
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15 Re: Call to Duty (Glynlen, Dolores) on Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:12 pm

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