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The Bastion - Public Forums => Glen Cook's The Black Company series => "In those days..." (FAN FICTION) => Topic started by: Algheri on Jan03-2015, 22:44:00

Title: The Book of Bull Eramix - Chapter 1
Post by: Algheri on Jan03-2015, 22:44:00
There is a storm brewing to the North. 

Some things never change.

Our history exits according to the dusty volumes of the Annals, kept by The Company on paper, and in the Brothers own minds from stories long told around the fire staring into the bottom of empty cups.  According to these Annals, long ago The Company first accepted the commission and crest of Soulcatcher, entered into the service of the Lady and headed north by ship to quash the Rebel uprising. 

Then, The Company fought on land and the thought of spending time on the water was enough to give some of them thoughts of heading elsewhere - overland.

Some things do change though.

I stand on the cliff looking out off of the coast of Sandeep inhaling the warm tropical breeze as I finger my Deathshead at the clasp of my cloak.  I watch the ships pass by along the coast, fishing trawlers wallowing under their heavy loads, clippers chasing the breeze, even merchant ships loading and unloading along the coast, some running alone, some under the watchful eye of a friendly cutter.   These vessels once instilled fear within the Brothers of a cold watery grave. Those Brothers have long passed, their names and deeds remembered in the Annals for all time.  Over the year as the faces have changed, those ships now represent a full stomach, a jingle in the pocket,  or some warm companionship for an evening.   

Trade is not the company's business though. That aspect is left for those with smaller minds and bigger pockets.  Our money is in seeing those packs reach destinations along the coast or across the straits.  Sometimes our pay is for being the shepherd herding the flock along safe passage, the red eyes of the Deathshead keeping a vigilant watch for opposing traders and others with less than honorable intentions seeking to reap the profits of others' hard works.  Other times we are the wolves, the black of our sails foreshadowing death for all those unfortunates birthed on Haranya, and those Nuain born foolhardy enough to draw steel and test our mettle.   

With these new tidings of war the once diminished ranks have begun to swell once again, some with the fresh faces of those not yet blooded, but perhaps moreso with Veterans thought lost to time who have shed their warm furs by the fire for the chance to once again don the cold steel of arms and armor.

As I return across the fields bolstered by the numbers the sounds and smells of S1 and 2 begin to grow in intensity - one can hear the cursing of Lieutenant Paxton and Master Sergeant Xtra as they toil in the kitchens and warehouses to ensure there are turnips enough for all; while the ringing of hammers on anvils, and the smell of burning lumber and putrid tanning agents seem to permeate the heads and lungs as the Brothers once again toil at their crafts.  First Sergeant Bastet has stacked another set of spears  for issue or reprocessing against a weapon stand while Recruit Tempa  scrapes the remaining vittles off of a stack of fresh pelts.    By the stables the Standard-Bearer, Laotzu, stacks more lumber for transport to the warehouses, the wood shavings piled nearly knee deep as trees and logs begin their transformation to staves, bows and ships.  We have all heard the rumors trickling in, the Lords of the Northern Auroria with their stretches of land seek evermore materials and property.  The fortresses and castles once thought impenetrable have become weakened through time, corruption, and decay. 

Some say it will soon be a time when some of those ensconced within with their kingdoms will be vulnerable to attack, and that fortunes will be won and lost under the massive defensive works, and atop the battlements.

As I reach for the door to return to my loom, needles and threads I take a look back.  As I do Captain Algheri quenches a helm in water, he pauses, and watched the steam drift off before looking northwards seemingly lost in thought.

I note several Brothers pausing as they watch the Captain and his musings.  All noise seems to fade save the snapping of the Standard in the costal breeze.

There is a storm brewing in the North,

and no doubt should the war chests be as deep as the rumors suggest I and my Brothers will stand in the center of it awash in the blood of our enemies. 

- Written by Bull Eramix