• Memory • [Drakengard] Two Young Men and a Bag of Coins (Caius)

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• Memory • [Drakengard] Two Young Men and a Bag of Coins (Caius)

Postby Torqin » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:07 pm

Vhalar 11, 706 - Age 15

Torqin walked through the white stone streets of Drakengard, taking time to smile and nod his head at anyone who looked his way or greeted him. It was still morning, around the ninth break or so. It was one of the few full days off work Torqin had, and he almost always spent them visiting his mum here at her shop. He stopped in front of the barrack like structure. It was a long two story hall, with a simple sign over the door, "Lefty's Shields", a name that was always amusing to the young Lotharro. He could smell the furnaces already heating up, and the loud pinging of someone who'd set to work a bit earlier than the rest. He pushed through the doors, greeted by the reception counter with the young blonde human girl, smiling at him, about the same age as him.

"Welcome back Torqin. Your mum's out back, she's got the middle shift on the furnaces today. So... you'll know how she'll be. How ya been? How's your dad?"

He flashed a bright smile back at her, subtly admiring the swell of her chest as she barrelled her way into womanhood, then chuckled, scratching the back of his head, teasing at the close cropped hairs. "I think we all know. As do the neighboring shopkeepers." He stepped forward, and leaned against the desk, looking her in the eyes, "I'm well, we just got a new Oscillus mare in yesterday. Her mane is the same color as yours." He reached out and plucked at one of the long curls playfully, holding it up as if for an example, then letting it drop back down. Standing back up to his full height, taller than most human men, and still growing, he continued, "Dad's doing well. Been really busy, lots of traveling these days it seems. You know how it goes." The young woman flushed a bit crimson, "Yes, I understand. Gotta keep the crown polished, right?"

Torqin nodded, looking around the reception area, an impressive stone stair case off to the left of the desk. The walls were adorned with the masterwork shields the smiths here produced in order to prove themselves true masters. Those shields were never sold, no matter the amount of gold offered. They stayed with the shop until the smith moved on or retired. At that time, the shield is returned to its creator in a ceremony. They also served as advertising to potential customers, showing off the differing individual styles each smith possessed. The upstairs floor was split into two wings. The left hand wing is the shop, where finished shields are displayed and sold. The right hand wing is a training room, where customers who wish to have a custom shield built can be watched by their smith, so the best shield can be made. This training room is lavish, for often times the customers are nobles or high ranking military members.

The ground level floor is two wings, both filled with furnaces and anvils and crafting tables and other tools of the trade. There is also a basement underneath it all, that serves as storage for raw materials and spare tools. But Torqin ignored all of this, "You have a lovely day, Vedanya." He walked around the back of the staircase, and out the simple backdoor into the training yard. There were a few students of the Shield Training school here, working with their masters, and the sound of wood on wood thunked through the air. There weren't any live weapon trainings going on today, the current students all being of lower skill. They used training swords and shields, wood with iron cores, to help build strength and learn the basics.

And there at the back of the yard, was a very angry blonde woman wailing on a training dummy, a proper spear and shield in hand. Yep, mum was in a mood. Torqin already knew what was coming, so he picked up two training shields, a training sword, and a training club, and walked across the yard toward his mother, Amyriah. Before he'd even said anything, Amyriah spun and threw the spear at him. Torqin steeled himself as best he could, but still flinched as it zipped over his shoulder, burying itself into the dirt behind him.

She huffed angrily, and set her shield down. Torqin tossed her the sword and shield, both of which she caught deftly, before launching into a charge at him. Torqin stepped back, not in fear, but rather to brace his stance, holding his shield out in his left hand, his club bouncing lightly at the ready in his right. The woman growled loudly as she did a wild sideways chop at his shield side. Torqin kept his shield raised and stepped into the blow, swinging his club low, hoping to get beneath her guard.

Amyriah's shield came down, knocking it away, before she stepped forward into him, running her shield into his exposed arm and side. He was knocked backwards, but focused on maintaining his footing. He recovered, and settled back into his defensive posture, as his mother was already charging at him, snarling. She swung, stabbed, and battered at Torqin over and over. He stopped some, avoided others, but she still got past his guard whenever she wished. The skill difference was truly apparent to anyone watching.

She slashed low, and Torqin skipped back from it, but it had been a ruse. Amyriah was already charging forward, and rammed her shield heavily into his, with much more force than a woman of her small stature might expected to carry. He was thrown of balance, and was skipping backward on one leg, his other kicked back just to keep from tripping over his own feet. He got his kicked out foot down, and moved forward, to press back. And met no resistance. She'd been expecting it and backed off. His balance thrown forward, he was unable to stop the shield that came in and crashed into the side of his face, throwing him to the ground.

And that's when the day's training ended. That was his mother's rule. "You've gotten much stronger, Little Tiger. But your balance is all over the place. Always keep your feet beneath you, your weight centered. Remember, you're not just guarding yourself, but the ground you stand upon." She tossed down her training weapons, and pulled her son into a hug, her head just at his chest these days. "I'm going to be a bit busy, second shift on the furnaces and all. Would you mind grabbing me some lunch, yourself some too? I doubt I'll get a chance to nip out, and I forgot to cook last night." Torqin just smiled, he knew that meant she'd gone out drinking and passed out. Not an uncommon occurrence for the small woman, she loved her booze.

"Of course mum. Need anything else?"

She shook her head, and squeezed him a bit tighter. Sparring with him, or his father, always put her in a better mood. She never fought him with her spear though. His father said she never raises her spear unless she intends to kill, a trait from their days in Uthaldria. She shooed him off, and he walked inside, to the workshop area. He went over to her locker, all employees had one, fashioned from the stone with wooden shelves and a footlocker. He opened it up and grabbed her coin purse, slipping the pouch into the pocket of his trousers. He nodded at Vedanya on his way out, stepping out into the sunshine with just a hint of glistening sweat on his brow.

He made his way up the street heading toward Smoke Square, where the food vendors would be setting up. As he passed a shop, a woman called to him, "A flower for you young man? I can tell you got someone sweet in your life, why not show her a good time with one of my many pretties." Torqin stopped, looking at the small flower stall. The woman's selection wasn't near as good as the proper shops in Andaris, but he pondered if he should get Vedanya something. He stood there, a bit imposing in his loose white shirt in the morning sun, holding the back of his head nervously. What type of flower would she like? He knew very little about flowers, or how girls perceive them.

"Uh..." was all he managed to get out, getting even more unsure about what to pick.
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[Drakengard] Two Young Men and a Bag of Coins (Caius)

Postby Caius Gawyne » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:33 am

"But we have our own blacksmiths in Umbridge. I don't understand why we need to be here, father." The boy glanced around the street as he walked, sharp blue eyes curiously taking in the surroundings. Andaris was warm for Vhalar—there wasn't even any snow on the ground or frost on the buildings!—and the streets were white stone and the buildings and homes didn't have thatched roofs. Trees still had leaves that were just beginning to fade into their cold cycle colors and there were so many vegetables and flowers even this late into the arc. It was fascinating for the northern boy, but he was far more excited to be alone on this trip than any of the new experiences combined.

His father, the Baron Frederick Gawyne of Umbridge, had finally allowed him to travel with him instead of taking Hunter. It was a strange treat, and one that Caius had every intention of enjoying, even if he wasn't quite sure why they'd traveled for trials on end to Andaris.

"Sometimes, it's important to recognize the superior craftsmanship of others." Frederick answered simply, watching his second son take in the sights as they turned down another street, "Not everything can be done perfectly in Gawyne, and investing in the work of other Duchies helps all of Rynmere."

"Yes ser, but does anyone else really come to Gawyne?" The boy smirked, already questioning far too much, fingers tangled in his hair as it drifted into his blue-eyed vision. He was sweaty. The walk was hot. He was a little hungry, but Caius chose not to speak up about such things just yet, aware that he was pretty much always hungry, "I mean, what kind of superior craftsmanship do we offer the rest of Rynmere?"

The Baron chuckled, "Come now, these are things you should know of your House. We are known for our quarries, and we send our works and our stone across the whole kingdom. We are known for our rigorous training for Rynmere's Army, which actually means a great majority of our Kingdom's military comes to Gawyne without ever being able to object for an entire arc. We keep the records and histories of all the Kingdom, admired for our knowledge and wisdom. And, of course, we're known for our wonderful weather."

The young Gawyne laughed then, reaching to grab a hold of his father's arm as if he needed it to steady himself in his amusement, blue irises warming into a bright green, "Definitely the weather!" His laugh was loud and his smile broad, the boy soaking in the rest of his father's factual information despite what he found funny, his mind far sharper than his age could entirely contain.

"These are the things you should keep in your heart for your homeland—there are plenty of other Houses who consider us a weaker Duchy because of our small, underestimated population and our less obvious resources, but knowledge, if nothing else, is powerful. More powerful than any blacksmith's creation we're here in Drakengard to-trial to see."

"Yes, ser." The boy was still smiling, sweating, no longer taking in the sights as they turned down a new street so much as listening to the Baron his father. He was a strict man, or so Caius thought, and yet this trial felt like more of him than the boy had ever been allowed to see. It was strange, but exciting, and he was far too young to process it all.

The scents of food filled the street, which appeared to end in a square, and suddenly the young Gawyne felt as though he'd been deposited in a Labyrinth—all the delicious things to navigate through in the Square beyond and yet he assumed he wouldn't be allowed any of it.

"I tell you what, Caius," Frederick began carefully, both watching his son and aware of their destination, "We've walked quite a bit already and this first meeting won't take long. Would you like a bit of coin? Can you stay in the square here and not get into any trouble? Your brothers aren't here to tempt you. Your sisters aren't here to lead you astray. Here you can show me what kind of young man you are, yes?"

The boy watched his father reach for some coins and his green eyes brightened further into an amber hue, the blond youth's eyes widening with excitement. He nodded before he found his voice again,

"I can do that, father. I can stay here." Caius hesitated about the trouble, swallowing his excitement and holding his hand out eagerly, "I will stay safe."

Baron Frederick Gawyne laughed then, passing the coins to his second son before ruffling the boy's blond hair with unashamed affection in the middle of the Square. Both of them were dressed plainly enough that if it wasn't for the quality of the clothing, they could perhaps be mistaken for anyone of the upperclass. While Frederick wore a signet ring of his House, his saber at his side and hints of violet in his beautiful brocade vest, they had no escort, no obvious announcement of their status. Caius found this comfortable, and he assumed it was what drew out the casual kindnesses of his otherwise much more stoic father.

"Thank you."

"Now, stay in the Square." The Baron warned one more time quietly before he pointed to a statue in the square, "I will be back here in a break, and I expect you to meet me there."

"Yes, ser." Caius chirped again, feeling the weight of money given in his pocket and the warmth of freedom in his chest. Alone. Vendors were setting up food carts and other merchants were selling various wares. Bright, amber eyes watched his father disappear into the crowd and down the street while the boy stood for a moment, taking it all in. It was almost too much to enjoy at once, but the young Lord consumed it all anyway—every snippet of conversation, every bright color, and every new smell.

Wiping the back of his neck with a too-warm palm, he began to wander the Square aimlessly, looking for just that right thing, that object that would hold his attention, that would catch his busy mind or his creative gaze juussstt right—

The flower cart was small, but a few of her tiny bouquets were of familiar flowers, flowers that bloomed for barely a season in Gawyne. Slipping past a taller, darker young man who seemed to be agonizing over his decision, Caius interrupted his view with his unkempt blond hair and well-tailored clothes on a boy who appeared to be alone. He caught the end of their conversation, the suggestion of the woman, and he couldn't help but grin sheepishly when the older boy stood and stared,

"Honeysuckle and carnation's what you want, but this bouquet also has some Sweet William." He pointed to a particular bouquet as if the two of them had invited him into the decision-making process. Caius spoke quietly, shifting not to face the older youth but to examine the bouquets more closely as if staring at them aided in his obscure observation, "My mother th—my mother says that all flowers have meaning, a language. I only know some of it because, well, flowers aren't all that exciting."

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[Drakengard] Two Young Men and a Bag of Coins (Caius)

Postby Torqin » Fri Mar 16, 2018 4:21 pm

And suddenly there was a blonde mopped boy popping up in the lower part of Torqin's vision. The boy was finely dressed, far more so than Torqin was, which suggested at least wealth, if not nobility. But Torqin had learned long ago to make no assumptions when met with a new person. The only nobles he was obligated to know upon sight was those of the Andaris family. The rest would have to introduce themselves, or be introduced. Wouldn't want to make the mistake of calling a merchant's son a lord, that would be potentially more embarrassing for the Andaris name. An employee making such a social faux pas.

And the well dressed blonde boy immediately went about to assisting Torqin, and though uninvited, it was most welcomed. Torqin stooped to look more closely, much as the boy was. He saw the little white flowers pointed out as honeysuckle, as well as the carnations, which to him, looked like the floofy dresses some women wore to fancy events, the kind that looked like more trouble than were worth. The sweet william was pleasant, pink, large bundles of tiny flowers, to make it seem like one big flower. Listening to the boy speak of his mother and some hidden language of flowers, Torqin tried to understand. He failed, of course, but people looked for meaning in everything, it seemed.

Torqin tapped a single silver upon the stand, "That bouquet there." The woman took the coin, shooting a glare at the interloping Gawyne, for she'd intended to talk the Lothar boy up to a more expensive bouquet. Young men were so easy to do that to. Bouquet in hand now, Torqin smiled down at the blonde, "Thank you for that," his hand reached up to hold the back of his own head nervously, "I'm uh, not so good with such things. My mum taught me more about shields and fighting than flowers. Although she spoke often of some flowers back in Uthaldria, but it seemed many of those were just as likely to kill you as any beast."

He stuck his hand out, "I'm Torqin. What brings you to the flower stall? Aside from helping the hopeless?" He looked over at the woman whose arms were now crossed as she scowled further at Caius, "And apparently upsetting the keep." Torqin held the flowers high above him in the light, admiring them. Smelling them, they were sweet, not too pungent.

"Vedanya will definitely like these I think. Hopefully they don't mean marriage or anything so serious though?"

Looking up the street, he could see a crowd forming, "Would you like to go check it out?" Torqin didn't wait for a reply as he strolled up the street, and using his taller stature to get a premiere spot in the crowd, all gathered around the front of a statuary shop. There was a large creation out front, covered in a cloth tarp.

An unseen man's voice spoke, "Ladies and gentlemen, I present the latest creation by the master Shorefield." The tarp was pulled away by a rope on a pulley, revealing a beautifully carved white stone dragon, curled around a shield lovingly. It was flawless. "True Treasure." There were oohs and ahs abound, and all eyes were on the statue, aside from a pair of young lasses that had eyes on Caius and Torqin, pointing and giggling at them.

Oblivious to them, "A dragon with a shield. That would be quite the city guard, don't you think? Certainly leave an imposing impression."
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