Like everyone else, I have my share of faults. Impatience is not one of these. Having served in Nerogue's military for so long, I've found that waiting is often the wisest course of action. No soldier worth his salt will charge before the horn is blown, or strike while the enemy's guard is still up. Nevertheless, even the most boundless patience is bound to run out eventually. I never came so close to this as on that day, in that line, standing next to that absolutely ridiculous recruit, Josef.
About this creation
What have I gotten myself into?
So I thought as I stood, sweltering, waiting to have my name put down for the Tourney. I was not, and still am not, fond of competition. The only contest I find at all worthwhile is that of army versus army on the battlefield, where lives and nations are the prizes. I had no yearning for either the title or the fame that came with victory.
Regardless, I had my orders. I was to last as long as possible, as an alibi for my surveillance of Enalica and Mythron's activities. And I was to bring Josef along.
"The Tourney!" exclaimed the aforementioned under his breath, scratching at his large fake mustache. "Don't this beat all!"
"Not really, no," I replied, keeping my eye on the surroundings. I had caught sight of that knight, Andriq, earlier, and feared that he would recognize the two of us - hence the disguises.
Ahead, an old man sat at a table and recorded the names of every entrant.
A grubby man in a battered helmet was currently checking in, and seemed to be having some trouble.
"I tell you, it is unprecedented for a pig to enter the games!"
"'E's as cultured as any o' these foreigners, though."
I tuned this conversation out, instead focusing on the man two places ahead of me. He glanced about the square, pensive. Several weeks ago, a dispatch came from Zorthan ordering mine and Josef's participation in the competition. We had chartered a ship direct to Pescado; it was doubly irritating, therefore, when the ship stopped off at Guaire on the way to pick up this black-swathed character.
"Oh, don't kid yourself," chuckled Josef, leaning in closer. His breath was a tad unpleasant. "You have to be at least a bit excited!"
"Nope," I replied, as the checker grudgingly allowed the sailor to enter with his hog and the ruffian strutted away with his fellow meatheads.
Josef looked slightly crestfallen for a bit, then adopted a faintly comical expression of nonchalance. "Yeah, well, I guess it's no big deal. I, for one, will be happy to get my hat back."
I sighed as the line moved forward once again. His dark green turban, like my hood, was entirely necessary, as I had explained time and time again. The mustache was his idea, of course.
"Not to complain," he added quickly. "It's just that the hat's my signature look."
"Again," I replied, barely holding back my frustration. "That is entirely the point of a disguise. One cannot be unrecognizable if one has an article of clothing by which one is easily recognized."
Josef grunted a reply, but my attention was taken by the masked man ahead. He had registered quickly, then ducked away, apparently not wishing to be seen by the armored Outlaw who had just joined the line. I pondered his strange behavior as the next Tourneyer reached the table.
"Ah, finally! You wouldn't believe the trouble I had in getting here! You see, first..."
After about twenty minutes, the odd, long-winded knight finally stepped away, and I moved up.
"Sornan of Nerogue," I said.
"Yes, very good," the old man said distractedly, putting my name down. "Next!"
Josef stepped forward, then stalled.
The checker looked up. "Yes? Your name?"
Josef started, then stammered. "Oh, uh... yes. My name is..."
He glanced over at me, as if I was going to fish him out of his predicament.
"Um... Jos- alin. O."
"Jozzalino. It's, um, Italian."
The scribe stared at Josef for a few seconds, then shrugged and put the name down. "Next!"
We strode away.
"Italian?" I asked.
"No idea. Just seemed like the right thing to say."
Ahem. Yes. Kindly erase the last few lines from your memory. Thank you.
I got a Tourney Intro up. Yay. This is a definite step down from my last build, but I had considerably less time here. Also the picture quality has dipped, so sorry about that.
The figless pic that I known you're all dying to see:
I figured I'd explain a few of the Tourneyers I included in the build.
These three ruffians call themselves "The Vengeful Serpents", and everyone else calls them "those drunken louts". Their leader is known as "Lord Squidvanquisher", and his name is Bert. One day he was talking to his pet pig, Hamsley, and decided to enter the Tourney. So he did. His friends, Nob and Ted, are there to cheer him on.
Lord Kish-neyu hails from a mysterious land across the eastern sea. He came to the Lands to prove himself and bring home the highest honor to be found there, as was the custom for his people. He carries his swords like that because it is tradition, and also because his people have not yet invented scabbards and he does not want to trip over them or cut hapless passersby. Not because he has any concern for the passersby (his people see foreigners as lowly pagans), but because cutting lowly pagans is a ritual reserved only for special feastdays and requires the liver of a Bloody Fangbird, which does not exist.
The name of this knight is unknown, as are his birthplace, his loyalties, and his reason for existence. He seems to have acquired a sword since last we saw him, as well as a purple cape. He ditched the fancy helmet because he couldn't get the visor to stay up when he was talking, which was quite frequently.
Even less is known of this dashing scalawag. Those who know him best (that is, the bartender's second cousin at the inn at which he is staying, who had a conversation of a full five minutes with him last Tuesday) report that strange ripples appear in the air around him, that he seems jumpy in dark spaces, and that he often speaks with strange, otherworldly expressions. Any of these have the potential of being drunken hallucinations, however, as the bartender's second cousin was quite sodden at the time.
This charming fellow is known as only "The Blackbird". He hails from Rainos, and is known for his impressive scowl, refined table manners (a real oddity in Rainos), and penchant for slaughtering livestock (especially chickens and ducks) in the night. There are many stories of his past, all of which are completely ridiculous and are not worth the time of writing down. They all share one thing, however:
They all tell of his past.
Next in line comes Fergus Rhine, a thug from the forests of Mythron. His is a sad tale, one that includes, but is not limited to: death, heartwrenching monologues, sorcerers, sacrifice, heroes, villains, and flags of war. The short version is this: His village was attacked when he was very young by a tribe of vampires, and he was the sole survivor, having been protected by the family Grer. The creature raised him, and he eventually left to seek his fortune, and had many adventures, involving death, heartwrenching monologues, sorcerers, sacrifice, heroes, and villains. Then he ripped a piece off a flag of war and used it as a bandanna to keep the sweat out of his eyes when he joined the Tourney.
I am not at liberty to reveal any information about these two, except that they belong to my brother and he told me that I was not at liberty to reveal any information about them.
This is Theodore Grime, a truly vile privateer, one of the worst still alive, captain of the ship Lady Vengeance. Of course, the Vengeance is no longer intact, having been disassembled to be used in the building of refugee shelters, an endeavor Grime himself oversaw. This was no big loss, you see, as he had no slaves to man the oars; he had freed them all a month earlier. He would have hired oarsmen, but he had given all his gold to the slaves to aid them in their new freedom, and it was difficult for a one-legged man to get a paying job in the Lands (he had lost his other leg five years ago saving a pair of orphans from a rampaging werewolf). Having no ship, he spent the year leading up to the Tourney doing community service and singing joyfully in the meadows. He plans to donate all of his winnings to the Foundation for Pirates' Widows, an organization that he plans to found after the competition. His eventual goal is to sacrifice himself for a helpless village of peasants and leave all of his hard-earned wealth to the children of said village.
Truly, a dark soul.
Finally we come to Hamsley the pig. He belongs to "Lord Squidvanquisher", whose name is Bert, and has lived with him all his life. He is a pig, and therefore has no large-scale plans for the future, except to open a novelty pancake house, because he feels it will be good for the economy.
It is of note that I put a great deal more effort into the Tourneyer descriptions than the actual story. Make of that what you will.
Quoting jonnylegoboy911 .
I like the use of the plant pieces here. I don't see the point in a fourth wall section when you're already breaking it in the story tho. :P Also, why the Mythronian guard?
It was kind of a joke. :P As for the Mythronian guard, Enalica and Mythron are allied, right? Also, I only have one lion knight torso, and I thought there should be more than one guard. :P Thanks for the comment!
Quoting Deus "Big D." Otiosus
You know, you asked me (us) to forget the lines with Italians... But it really bothers me.
The joke was meant to highlight the character's ignorance, not to slight Italians in any way. The part about forgetting said lines is there because those lines were sub-par writing. :P I apologize for any offense.