Campaign of the Month: January 2022
Lakes of Blood and Ash
Lair/La Vigne Étalée: Édouard
The disbanding of the Away Team presented Édouard with two possibilities – accept retirement at last, or apply again to East Fort. East would have a need for men in the coming days, he’d heard, with talk of a new group being assembled which would largely pull from there.
For him, the decision was a simple one – had he not served the Lords well in Rathess, he might have considered laying down his blade at last, but that had not been the case, and so East received his application.
This took an odd course – first accepted, then followed up with an apology retracting the acceptance. This, he was only able to stew on for a few days before a summons arrived, to meet with the Lord’s consort in the Greywood.
Ah, so that goat was up to his same bullshit again.
Naturally, he attended – but was surprised to find one of the former House Guard in attendance, a youth called – was it? -yes, Valérian. The boy spoke with the beautifully measured cadence one would expect of the House Wolves, of New West and the worlds beyond, of the future that faced the Nameless Lair and the Wolf’s plans for them all.
Rehearsed, no doubt, and well-performed, but Édouard had not dealt with middlemen in Rathess, and was not about to now, so looking quite past Valérian to the Goat, he asked, “And what are your plans for us all?”
“I move as the Wolflord commands,” he’d answered, somewhat airily, before speaking truly with a grin that Édouard recalled as being more the man he’d served with in Rathess “-but within those bounds, we shall make our own fun.”
“I can work with that.”
A wolf of the North Fort from the cradle, Edouard was one of the best combatants they held for many decades – swift as wind, but with a strike like falling stone. While many of the border wolves train in pikes, with some others training in archery as the terrain of their fort allows, Edouard sought to expand his useful longevity with mastery of the pike, the sword, and unarmed combat – his best being a two-handed blade, which marked him as a true oddity amongst his kind.
Still, his skill and unique talents could not prevent the inevitable, as the fighters of the Darkwood have, by necessity, always had shorter careers as compared to those in other fields. Unwilling to retire to another job or train younger replacements as he reached middle age, Edouard filed for a transfer to East, a fort more likely to bend the rules.
This application was intercepted by the bureaucratic net spread by the Goat, and he was swiftly rejected. In his rage, Edouard abandoned his post in order to face his tormentor directly, only to be met with the proposition of joining this rumored “away team”.
He accepted, not of any gratitude towards the Goat – the initial rejection had left a deeply negative impression, and he imagined he saw at all times a smirk hiding behind the Goat’s eyes. Perhaps he supposed that an older warrior was less of a loss to risk than a young one. No, he accepted with the intention of surviving this damn thing, and then leveraging it into a return to duty, with recommendation stamped by the Goat’s own idiot hand – no more, no less.