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Forum Challenge - Lamplighter Rookie major revision

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Second 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.”

Edited by Gouldenstein

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