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Search the Community: Showing results for tags 'rookie'.
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Gouldenstein posted a topic in Tales of InfamySecond draft, Now with character motivation! Any feedback good or bad (especially bad?) would be helpful and appreciated! Naphtha, Lamplighter Rookie Afternoon turned into evening as darkness crept over Aldebrecht. Only the swift dedicated efforts of the Lamplighters Guild would hold the darkness at bay. Preparations were underway for the Guild Ball team tryouts the following day. A lean Lamplighter, Naphtha made his way through the other Lampers as they prepared for the excitement to come. Naphtha had been making sure he was prepared for this and tomorrow he was going to become a Lamplighter footballer like his father. He left the guild house onto the city streets to get to his lamps. When he neared his section of town he saw a tall stocky figure, easily double his own size, ahead of him; Wick, his brother. Naphtha spent his whole life in Wick’s shadow, everything he set himself to Wick would find a way to do it better. Wick didn’t approve of Naphtha’s desire to join the team, even though or maybe because Wick himself was on the team. “Hello Nap.” Wick said loudly as he approached. Naphtha was not in the mood for being coy “Why are you here? Maybe try to talk me out of trying out?” Wick sighed “So you’re still mad that I worry for you. I simply don’t want to lose my brother the same way we lost father” Naphtha stood defiantly “Don’t’ worry for me, I can protect myself and once I’m on the team I will be an excellent player, better than you even.” Wick shook his head “It’s not about who would be better, it’s about my kid brother not getting killed on the pitch. Or him being consumed with vengeance for father’s death.” Naphtha tried to hide his surprise but wick picked up on it. “I know about your plan to kill the man that killed our father, I’d hate to see you waste your life on a foolish thing like that. Killing him won’t bring father back.” “I know it won’t” Naphtha snapped at Wick “you don’t understand at all. Good night Wick.” Naphtha stormed away from Wick into the night to light his lamps. The morning was filled with grueling exercise. Sprinting the length of the pitch, passing drills, dodging attacks and making attacks of your own. The ball was heavier than expected and the attacks connected much harder than expected. Several times Naphtha felt like quitting, the exhaustion from sprinting the pain from the fighting drills beat him down throughout the morning. Each time he hit the bottom and thought he couldn’t go on he thought of Wick, and it made him angry. He used that anger to push through the pain and exhaustion. This went on all morning till coach called to them. “Take a breather rookies. You sorry bastards get the honor of playing against the Lamplighters Guild. If you survive that you might play with them next time.” The coach bellowed. Relieved Naphtha collapsed in the shade till game time. Naphtha made his way onto the pitch alongside the other rookies and moved to his midfielder position. The Lamplighters Guild jogged onto the Pitch across from the rookies, he had seen them from the stands many time but they appeared very different now for the first time in the tryouts Naphtha felt nervous, he felt a knot in his gut that made him long for the discomfort of the morning drills, this was the real test of the day. Rookies would receive the ball. Naphtha was to move the ball to the forwards or break up attacks from Lampers. Wick was to kickoff. Seeing his brother brought back the anger of last night and the fights before. Wick kicked to the opposite side of the pitch, the rookie closest to it; Votive snatched the ball with a quick pass to Wax the rookie center fielder. The ball no sooner left his foot when Phosphor charged in and slammed him to the ground. Lampers captain, Burner, was bearing down on Wax, he’d frozen up after seeing Votive hit so hard. Naphtha sprinted to intercept Burner he managed to connect with him before he made it Wax who was still motionless. The hit pushed Burner off course buying Wax and Naphtha some time. Naphtha’s yell for Wax to pass the ball finally snapped him alert and he sent the ball flying at Naphtha. The pass went wide but he was able to collect it. As he moved toward the Lamplighters goal looking for a striker to pass the ball to and saw none, Burner and Phosphor had moved on. He scanned the pitch as he sprinted but there was no one to pass to. Wick charging toward him seemingly not worried about his brother being hurt now. He swung out wide to the wing of the field to make his run to the goal while reaching into his pack. He grabbed his bottle of lamp oil and lit the plug in the top before throwing it onto the pitch between him and wick. It shattered when it struck the ground setting the oil alight as it sprayed in every direction slowing Wick enough for him to get away. Still seeing no other team members standing he turned to sprint to the goal. As he turned there was a crack as pain spread through his head he groggily finished the turn to see Snuffer swing his pole weapon Naphtha’s head one more time before the world went dark. Naphtha woke to the coach’s voice “kid, wake up”. Naphtha slowly came back to consciousness when his eyes finally focused he saw the Lamplighters players and some of the rookies around him. “If you're going to burn my pitch like that you damn well better score a goal, but I'd settle for dragging you arse past midfield! At least you lasted longer than any of the other rookies we have. We might be able to make a footballer out of you” coach looked down to see that Naphtha was still awake “Guess you’re in the minor leagues kid.”
Just do it. Slit his throat. He's lying there, waiting. "No" she said. The man in the barber chair opened his eyes looking up at her, her thick black fringe sticking to her forehead, she was profusely sweating. "I-is everything alright?" He stuttered. Valerie just smiled, before sliding her straight edge back across his supple throat, then back down again, taking away the soap with it. She wiped the blade on the flannel over his shoulder, "DONE" she exclaimed; an odd tone of relief rang through her voice. What a waste of time. She left him in the chair, getting some cold water to drink in the back of shop- "cool and calm" she said to herself quietly, staring straight at the water settling down after her swig. "Cool and calm". "Valerie." Edge interrupted her thoughts, "its time, get your kit, we're about to kick off." Valerie nodded at Edge, "I'll be there shortly." The Barbers Guild team captain, nodded and replied, "good, don't want to lose our star so soon." He winked and left, laughing. What was so funny, she thought to herself- probably at what you did to that baker boy last week. She shook the voice from her head and walked back into the barber shop. The Barbers Guild were relatively new to the game of Guild Ball, but each district the guild was in, were trying players out for the main team. Valerie was the newest of this team, having only played one game, which she was reluctant to play in. She said she wouldn't play again after the incident but Edge had insisted she had to play one more game. One more game to impress the Longshanks. Edge had big plans for his team, really get the Barbers on the map, or as he would say "get a slice of the pie." Edge was the one who took her in when she had nowhere to go, he hadn't said he'd figured out where she'd come from, but Valerie thought he probably had guessed. Edge was different, the only person she'd met that she didn't have to stop her self from harming, she hadn't worked out why yet. There were quite a few people int he crowd, all Local to their region, but none Valerie knew, the rest of her team were waving and shouting to their friends and family. The opposing team were doing the same, members drawn in from the local Gardeners Guild. Gardening was a trade only the wealthy could afford, so it was obvious how they had special kits made up embroidered and clean. Valerie's kit wouldn't come clean. The stain of the baker boys blood still splattered up her sleeves. The Gardeners were all glaring at her, the Baker whose blood she was sporting was the cousin of the Gardeners team captain, so she thought he wouldn't be the most easy going in this game. The gardener captain was a tall man, white, styled hair, clean shaven with a little knick just below his chin. Clearly the sign he's started shaving his own face after last weeks game. Let's open that cut up "Stop it." She said to herself, "it's just a game, no one needs to get hurt." But someone will, either us, or them. Valerie hated to admit it, but she was right. The two captains shook hands and the Gardener whispered in Edges ear. Edge, a stocky man, bald head and a thick beard, turned round, his face white and ghost like. What he heard must have chilled him deeply. The score was in favour of the Gardeners and they were outnumbering the Barbers with 6 to 4, it was just Edge, Valerie, Soap, and old barber, a veteran of the century war and Tyson, Edge's pet chihuahua. A very small animal with a styled Mohawk between his ears. As He looked ridiculous, had little impact on the game, but he was very distracting and the crowd loved him. Whilst she was looking at the miniature dog, she saw him barking at Edge, who had two Gardeners laying into him. They stepped back as he collapsed, a pile of black cloth, beard and tattoos. She saw them laughing as time seemed to slow, and squaring up to Tyson, ready to attack the mascot. Tyson! "Don't worry Valerie, we've got this" she said reassuring the voice in her head. Valerie charged the two Gardeners before they could get too close to the dog, she slit the throats of the young one in one quick flurry with her straight edge. At the same time she grabbed the ponytail of the other and dragged him to the floor then started kicking his head, turning it to a bloody mush, glistening on the grounds. The crowd went silent, clearly in shock of this display of violence. She let out a deep breath, then slowly turned to the Gardener captain, his face whiter than Edge's was at the start of the match. Valerie wasn't in control now. She flicked her straight edge, cleaning it in an instant, she'd clearly done this before the Garner worried... "Her", Longshanks said to his hooded associate. "We want her in the Barbers Guild." "But, but she's uncontrollable, unhinged, unhealthy!" "She's perfect. She's fury, rage and beauty." The associate looked across the pitch at Valerie. Her thick black hair, messy and stuck to her face in a mix of blood, saliva and sweat. "Beauty?" He questioned, "are, are we looking at the same woman?" "Just picture it, the revenue. She'll draw them in for her beauty before the match, then keep them there with her displays of violence. Perfect to elevate this start up Guild to the big leagues." Longshanks started to laugh, the only sound in the crowd of people watching Valerie sat in the middle of the pitch, stroking Tyson, both of them covered in the Gardeners teams blood. "Calm and Cool. Calm and Cool." Valerie repeated over and over to herself and the little dog.
So, the forum challenge inspired me. First, a couple of notes: - In my mind, the Astronomer's Guild has several related business interests beside tracking the stars. The have excellent navigators, the best cartographers and mathematicians in the Empire, and even dip their toes into fortune telling and stuff we'd classify as astrology in the real world. Game wise, these would be represented by control effects and luck-modifying abilities like Confidence. In the War, in addition to navigation, cartography, and logistics, the guild would also have had some folks able to do combat trigonometry* who would either be ridiculously good snipers or part of elite siege- and anti-siege-artillery teams with the Engineers. - "Seyfert" comes from "Seyfert Galaxy", which is a galaxy with a "small, intensely bright" center. I thought that sounded pretty Rookie-ish so I grabbed it. - If it were up to me, the Astronomers would have an Owl named Archimedes, or Arc for short. This references Watchmen's Nite Owl, and through it Disney's Sword in the Stone, and Arc could also be short for Arc-Second which is a measurement used in astronomy. I just couldn't work Arc into the story properly. - I wish Grange wasn't named Grange, because "Lagrange" would be a great Astronomer name. - "Corona" is intended to be one of the Astronomer's Captains. - Other astronomer-y names I like: Mote, Syzygy, Albedo, Apogee and Perigee, Nadir and Zenith, Nova, and Umbra. *TVTropes link; follow at your own peril. Anyways, here's draft one. Tell me what you think of it, and if you think there need to be any changes to improve it! Seyfert, Astronomer Savant Seyfert did his best work at night. To be sure, most of the Astronomer's Guild could say the same; the line of work did often require a view of the firmament, after all. But even those parts of his studies that did not require a direct view of the sky - the mathematics, the memorization of star charts and of maps of the Empire, even the card-reading he so struggled with - all came more naturally to him by the light of a candle or the full moon than by the glare of the Sun. And so it was with this assignment. Mistress Corona had gently "suggested" that he should try for her Guild Ball team. He wasn't quite sure why. Compared to the brutes he'd seen running the field at the few games he'd attended, Seyfert was waif. He'd put up as much resistance to them as a leaf does a river. So here he sat, in the middle of a shadowed courtyard, staring intently at a ball illuminated only by the scant, powdery light of the moon. He studied its seams and stitches, as if he could divine some shred of skill from it like a crystal ball. Just as with the cards, no answer was forthcoming. He threw the ball away with a scoff, and as it bounced across the cobblestones he let himself fall back, arms spread-eagle. The sky above him was painted with stars. It was a perfect night for viewing. This was what Seyfert lived for, the dance of the stars in the night sky. Even if he weren't here "practicing", he'd have been out well into the morning recording their paths. The "Song of the Spheres", Corona called it. Seyfert glanced at the ball where it had come to rest. How could something so crude be worth the Guild's attention? He got up to fetch his equipment from his quarters - he couldn't let the night's sky go to waste, he rationalized to himself. The ball sat forgotten. --- Seyfert cursed at himself under his breath as he rubbed his eyes. Why were the tryouts being held so early in the morning? He'd have thought, with their nocturnal line of work, the Guild's officials wouldn't be any more keen on mornings than himself. Perhaps the higher echelons of the Guild were too busy with their politicking and maneuvering to make observations themselves. Regardless, he sat on a bench outside of an interior court, waiting his turn to be judged. He'd hate to disappoint Corona, but he expected failure would be his lot. The sooner this was over, the sooner he could return to The Song. Every few minutes, the door to the room would open and a consul would beckon another candidate in, and few more later the prospective player would leave, downcast or angry, begging for another chance or fuming. No one seemed to leave pleased. All for the better, Seyfert thought; he wouldn't have to feign disinterest or disappointment, then. Finally, nearly nodding off, Seyfert was called into the court. Inside it was a dome, thick metal ribbing criss-crossing seemingly randomly, each arc holding a stylized moon or sun or star. The consul handed him a ball, and explained to him the test; he had ten minutes to find the goalpost and hit it with the ball from the center of the court. No more. The consul returned to the door and pulled a few levers in a console set into the wall. With the last, the floor of the court seemed to rumble; the bands along the wall began to move as the floor slowly rotated. It wasn't just a court - the room was a functioning mechanical orrery. It must have cost a fortune to commission from the Engineer's Guild. At first, he couldn't see a goal to kick for, but after a few moments of searching he found it - a small brass disc polished to a mirror finish was the only plate in the whole room that wasn't ornately decorated. It orbited slowly, constantly obscured by the motions of the other rings. As he followed it, Seyfert kept expecting it to reveal itself in its fullness so he could finally take a shot, but without fail another would intercept its path and prevent his shot. Seyfert scowled and looked at the ball at his feet. Once again he was struck with how unimportant it seemed, how crude it was compared to beautiful motion of the night sky, or even the facsimile cranking away around him. All of this was pointless compared to the Song of the Spheres. Seyfert started with a sudden realization; wasn't a ball just a sphere? Perhaps it was ridiculous, comical even, to put it in those terms, but already it had him looking to the walls with a new perspective. He could now see the rhythm of the orrery, the patterns in the orbits of the stars and the paths the arcs took. His head jerked to the side - there, that was where the arcs would part and reveal the goal, even if just for a moment. He looked down at the ball, calculations running in his head, estimating when the goal would show itself, how hard and how far he needed to kick the goal, accounting for the rotation of the floor. He took a breath, then kicked. The ball flew in a gorgeous parabola, its path like that of a star in the sky sped up to last seconds instead of hours. Seyfert's heart began to sink as he saw the spot he had aimed for was still blocked - maybe he was wrong, and he would leave the court disappointed. But at the last moment the arcs parted, and with a sound like a gong his shot struck home. Seyfert collapsed to the floor as the room ground to a halt, laughing giddily under his breath. Maybe there was something to Guild Ball after all.