Jerik pushed and shoved through the crowded armory at a snail’s pace, the clanking sound of platemail suited mercenaries, all barking nonsense at each other as they equipped themselves, and snorting of freshly tamed swamp dragons filling his large helmet. It was not long before he found the Commander standing between several weapon racks, seemingly hiding from the rest of the crowd, conversing with a nameless arcane controller, the likes of which Jerik and his mates had come to despise. It wasn’t just the silence they kept or their shadiness that got to him, it was the unseen pall that shrouded every one of them. Jerik had done some evil things in his time, but these coal skinned, red eyed jesters of magic and machine had done far worse.
And for that, Jerik feared them.
“Boss?”, said Jerik, removing his helmet, his eyes not acknowledging the controller that stood by.
The Commander did not turn, standing there adorned in his helmetless suit of impeccable platemail and girt with a sword that always emitted a strange red glow seen even through its sheath. The two continued to speak as if Jerik was not there.
“Boss, its important”, Jerik said in a slighter higher tone.
Letting out a sigh, the Commander asked pardon of the controller and turned to Jerik.
“What is it Captain?”
Jerik nodded in the direction of the controller, “Should this one be present?
The Commander gave a dismissive gesture, “I ain’t got time for niceties Captain, out with it”.
Jerik cleared his throat, straightening his shoulders, “It’s the men boss. They’ve been gossipin’ like housewives again, and the wrong whispers are goin’ about this place. They think they’re concerns are bein’ passed over, thrown away. I need somethin’ to tell ‘em boss, ease their worries. Ease my worries.”
The Commander removed one of his gauntlets and wiped his face in frustration.
“Jerik, if this is about the contract, I already put out orders. There’ll be no bitchin’ on the subject, and the men would do well to remember that.”
“It ain’t just the contract boss.”
The Commander cut into his next words, “The Blue Scorpions then?”
Jerik smiled, “Boss you know we ain’t no one to shy back from competition, especially from these lanky, prancing, Tokunite pansies”.
“Then by all the King-forsaken Virtues, what is it?”
Jerik looked around, feeling his stored emotions well up, he let out a frustrated sigh.
“Its these jesters for one, boss”, Jerik said motioning toward the controller, whom responded only with a dark grin,”They mosey on in unannounced, bringin’ those machines, wanting only to nose into the fight. They stalk our boys, work with demon-spawn, refuse pay, and the worst part is, no one even questions it! Not the King, not you!”
The Commander took in a breath to speak but Jerik cut him off.
“And the device boss, you know it as well as I do. We are all top notch, crack mercs, but this piecemeal strategy is foolish! When can be bring our full strength into the open? Already our attacks make them run fer their homes, but our forces are sufferin’ when they don’t have to! Lets put the hammer to the anvil boss, we are ready! What –”
“Enough Captain! Your worries are heard!”, the Commander interrupted. Jerik’s body stiffened.
Exchanging a moment of silence, the Commander then spoke in a calm and confident voice.
“Jerik, go and tell the men that the presence of the controllers and their creations is essential to our success with this contract. Tell them that less pay on their part is more on ours, especially now that we got the Scorpions on the move. And for British’s sake, remind them they ain’t paid to voice their opinions! They get paid to keep their mouth shut, do what you and I say, kill what I point at, and serve me dinner at the victory table!”
Jerik nodded, “And what of the device sir?”
“Tell them to shut their traps and strap their swords on tight. Everythin’ is coming together and soon they won’t have a reason to be complainin’.”
Jerik nodded again, “Yes boss”.
Jerik backed away and turned to go carry out his orders.
“Oh, and Captain”
Jerik turned back around.
“Once you’ve counselled the men, be fully suited up and find a pretty swamp dragon to plant yerself on, then report back to me.”
“Is it about the next attack boss?”
The Commander gave a wide smile.
“No, Captain. I have a special assignment for you. It involves a certain claim we had overlooked out near Skara Brae. I’ll need you to see to it.”
Jerik nodded, half understanding.
“Now quit wastin’ my time. Off with ya.”, said the Commander, turning back to the red jester.
Overlooked? But it was me who laid out our preparations. What place could we have possibly overlooked?, Jerik thought as he pressed back into the multitude.
(Mini-Event Date and Time: July 12th, 2009 at 6:15pm PST- 9:15PM EST)
(Location: Skara Brae Fairegrounds)