let me cure these blackened hearts

POSTED: Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:01 pm

When Brocade padded his way onto the training ground, he grunted when he found it littered with frost. There were scratch marks left by dragging feet, long scores that showed where others had come to train before him. Salsola was a people made for war – and Brocade felt himself bare his teeth in a smile as he pressed his way into the ring. This was a place where stories were told in movement, dances as important as the ones which rippled through The Last Supper performed with biting teeth and shining swords.

Brocades supplies had dwindled in the wake of his cabin’s destruction, and the weapons which he toted with him now were from the packs communal supply.

A bow lay slung across his shoulder, a short sword balanced against the curve of his hip. His spear had been lost to the flames and each time the palm of his hand bounced off of the bow he felt himself pining for it. He rumbled softly, scanning his head from side to side and chuffing a breath over his tongue. The Arena was abandoned, but he could smell the faint traces of other Salsolans and the thick musty scent of horse sweat.

The man dropped his belongings and stripped down to his tunic, yanking his leather armor over his head to deposit it carefully upon the fence.

He leaned the sword against a post and plucked the bow string with his fingers, ears twitching at the sound. Quietly he slid into position, tugging a leather vambrace across his forearm to protect it from the whip of the string. With a grunt he drew the string back across his chest, squinting one eye to as he aimed at the target down the range.

Come train with Broc!

Salsola
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Amanda
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POSTED: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:10 pm

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March

Andrew returned to the training ring with a cart full of lumber. It was no small task, replacing the rot that settled in the wood of the ring. Yet, it was a task of his own accord and not one given by the holder of his debt. He took it on his own time, what little he had, not only for himself -- but for the betterment of Salsola. To bolster the kingdom's strength, to belong, and perhaps, to even to show he had worth beyond what Helena saw in him.

Of course, she knew of his undertaking. Approved of it. Before he left, she'd even given him instructions to collect any weapons left carelessly in the open and to return them to storage before he returned. Yet, the command lingered only in the back of Andrew's mind. He was a man on a mission, consumed with tunnel vision concerning the task at hand.

Gods, it felt good to work with his hands again. To build. To create. It was like reconnecting with a long lost, missing piece of Andrew's very identity.

He bid the horse that pulled his cart to stop and rounded the back to unload. Up until now, he had done his repairs while the training ring was empty. However, the master of the shield's scent lingered nearby. He'd heard the news of the poor man's home, of course. News as grave as his spread even to servants ears. He carried on, saying nothing as an arrow whizzed through the air.

Fence board slung over the servant's shoulder, he started a pile of lumber by the training ring's run down fence.

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POSTED: Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:01 am

There was an undercurrent to Salsola that the Nobility did not see. Brocade cared little for the ebbs and flows that came from indentured servitude; he was not one to ply the trade or purchase a soul to report to him. There were many in Salsola who collected debts the way they collected secrets. There were new slaves who wandered through The Ruins with glassy eyes that were broken and unfocused – and others who burned brightly as if touched by fire.

Brocade did not wonder what it was that had drawn Helena sown the path of ownership, but he did know that the man who meandered along The Arena with his cart and horse belonged to his sister in-law. The soldier flicked and ear toward him before inhaling to release the arrow toward his target. It shot true and landed with a satisfying thunk against its middle.

His fingers grazed another one of the arrows, the feathers tickling the pads of his fingers before he chuffed a greeting to the slave.

The Director released another arrow upon the target before lowering the bow to pad his way toward the fence.

”Helena ask you to do this?” He assumed that Andrew was not one for thinking his own ideas, but perhaps this was wrong, ”I didn’t realize you were a builder.”

Come train with Broc!

Salsola
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Amanda
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POSTED: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:55 am

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March

The freshly milled board fell from the servant's shoulder with a soft, earthen clap just as the Director turned his way. Andrew froze, initially wary of being noticed. A man of his status often went unseen in plain sight, yet there was comfort and safety in this situational invisibility. However, when notice turned his way, Andrew knew it often meant trouble. He feared those among Salsola who wielded power -- true power-- rather than the underlings who liked to puff out their chest and pretend to be Lords.

The Director: leader of the shield and man in Elphaba's ear, he was one to fear and respect. Yet, even the powerful could find themselves in dire straights. It was a shame what had happened to him. Andrew often heard whispers second hand, this one regarding a house burnt to ash.

His ears fell back and he pulled his gaze down in reverence. "Director," he muttered in greeting. Wasting no time, Andrew answered his question with a shake of his head. "No. It's, uh -- it's my own project." While his primary duty to his master, Helena, Andrew too had a duty to serve the Kingdom whenever he could. "I saw it needed to be done," he explained. So, here he was.

He was a builder, Andrew nodded. "I am." It was a fulfilling thing to work with one's hands. It was a source of pride and worth when pride and worth were often in short supply. A pause followed. "-- My condolences about your home, Director," Andrew offered. He knew all to well the pain of losing his home to fire. "Should you need my services..." They were his to command.

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POSTED: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:47 pm

It was strange to think that all slaves had lives that had come before their servitude. It was rare to be born into the trade, and the more Brocade interacted with those that lay within their indentured ranks, the more that he found himself wondering why they had them at all. There was a certain power to be had over them, for they were intrinsically weak (or perceived to be atleast) with subservient minds that were all too eager to follow orders and placate a masters barbed tongue.

Andrew was Helenas.

It was a fact that Brocade would not forget, even despite the mans perceived warmth. He worked with his hands, and he could see even from here the callouses against them. ”Well done. Initiative is rare.” He offered a smile that did not quite meet his eyes, but shouldered the bow so that the arc of it lay flat against his back. ”Thank you. There has been too much fire running through Salsola as of late.” He alluded to the pyre that had claimed their crone, and felt a frown rippled over his features at the thought of it.

”I have not decided if I will rebuild.” He shrugged, ”I have dreams of founding a barracks for The Shield.” He gazed down his broad nose, ”Have you seen a building that would suit?”

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POSTED: Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:35 pm

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Initiative.

Andrew had always been a man inclined to manual labor, however, there were certain values that his master instilled. He was her garden; pruned, cut, and nurtured, he would bear fruit not only for her but for Salsola. After all, one did not become without something to contribute. The Quartermaster's example was one to follow, unlike her foul husband who stagnated in rank with nothing to offer the Salsolan whole. However, Andrew was but a servant -- unable to climb the social hierarchy as his master had. Yet, he could contribute all the same.

Respect was earned. Even those born in low places could claw their way out of the dirt and make themselves useful. Indispensable. "Thank you Director," the servant said, feeling the compliment ignite a small ember of pride in his chest.

The servant's eyes opened wide at the sound of opportunity. "A barracks?" Andrew spoke, raising a brow in interest. A simple house was well within his scope -- but a complex, he had made nothing of the sort. Yet, Andrew would not pass up the opportunity to do the shield a favor. "You'd need something large," the servant mused. The gears in his head turned. "Something sturdy. Stone perhaps -- something that won't burn."

There were an assortment of stone ruins scattered about -- yet, as Andrew hummed to himself, trying to think of one that would fit the Shield's needs, he came up blank. "A barracks near the training ring would be ideal, I suppose, but..." The servant's voice tapered off as he lost himself in thought for brief moment. He shook his head. There was no ruin with the size necessary. "But, we can build from the ground up." Built to the exact needs and specifications of the Shield.

"I would need time of course," Andrew went on. Time was a valuable commodity, in rare supply in the Quartermaster's service. "And hands. More hands than my own. The other Mendicants and I wouldn't be enough for something of this scale." He would need the Shield in its entirety to finish in a timely manner.

"We would need to draft plans."

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POSTED: Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:46 pm

Brocade had been mulling over the idea ever since the embers of his home had begun to cool against the snowy air. The Shield needed a place to come together that was not inside his home, but one that gave rise to strategizing and displaying their accomplishments. He wanted them all to come and go as they saw fit and though he knew that there were some amongst his ranks who did not see eye to eye – within The Barracks they would all be equal beneath his careful rule.

Brocade clicked his teeth, toying with the end of the bow as he listened to Andrew speak.

”I am looking for something that could be close to my new living quarters – where ever they may be.” He had been slow in searching for something, ”I am no builder, but there are many abandoned Ruins to be dug through and assessed.” He tapped his chin, ”There is an abandoned tower that has caught my eye – but I don’t know what could be built around it.”

”If you could source the buildings we could look at them together and then draft plans from there.”

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Amanda
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POSTED: Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:55 pm

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March

Who was Andrew to deny opportunity when it stared him in the face?

He got carried way in his own excitement, conjuring mental images of great stone balustrades and towers sweeping across the untamed sky. A structure that would stand for a lifetime and beyond. It would be a shining example of Salsolan power, and Andrew would stand behind it as the man who made it happen. Yet, the Director reeled in this burgeoning unrealistic vision back into the trappings of reality. After all, the Director's ideas took precedent over Andrew's own.

The Servant nodded, listening intently. "Yes," Andrew spoke. "Yes, that can be done." There were a plethora of old buildings in the ruins. Perhaps they could find something that could be restored and added onto with little trouble. Of course, it wasn't as worthy of glory as building a structure from the ground up, yet Andrew knew the task was still worth pursuing.

"Of course, Director," The servant went on, "I can take a look at the ruin this evening on the way back to my master's tower." His path would take him directly through the possible place. "I could borrow some charcoal and parchment from storage. Maybe we can meet there sometime before sundown." Andrew's voice lilted up like a question. Helena would allow him to take the items from her precious storage. Her servant's service to the shield would reflect well upon her house.

"But first --" Andrew gestured to the to the training ring fence. "I should probably finish the task at hand" A pause. "If you would allow me, Director," Andrew dipped his head and went about unloading the rest of his cart.

The servant smiled. "I look forward to working with you."

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We are what we are. Get in the goddamn car.
Salsola
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