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Legend, Lore, and the Truth

Posted on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 @ 10:22pm by Hawke Windwalker
Edited on on Mon Oct 16th, 2017 @ 10:56pm

Chapter: Light's Journey
Location: Mid-Morning, Guard Recruit Training grounds
Timeline: Open Scene

Hawke Windwalker strolled along the path. He had just been aimlessly walking to enjoy the fresh air after breakfast when he heard the faint sound of voices and clacking wood. A smile curved his lips as memories drifted back and without conscious thought, his feet carried him in the direction. Hawke turned a final corner and walked through an archway into an open field inside the walls. Scattered throughout the area were pairs of Trainees facing off with wooden training weapons under the eyes of wandering drillmasters. Hawke kept against the wall and slowly walked along the edge, watching the training. The sounds of the wooden sticks the drillmasters wielded on the unwary Trainees brought a wider smile to Hawke's expression. He still could feel the sensation of the fast moving sharp sting as they hit the arm he had in the wrong place or the leg he had too far forward or back when supporting his stance. Thorsen had not held back on him or Mikhael back in their days training even before their official Guard Training.

Hawke's reverie was interrupted by raised voices nearby. His brows furrowed as he moved closer along with a sort of slow unknowing tidal motion of the other Trainees. Hawke was wearing plain clothing and only his belt with his twin fighting daggers, so he did not draw much attention. The Ryndar gently pushed to the edge of the crowd. A Drillmaster stood in front of four trainees as they loudly disagreed with him. "I know the stories my father told me about D'hassa...!" One of the Trainees said with a lot of head nodding in the crowd. "...He was with the charge that attacked Darian's camp. He tells of his handful of comrades holding off Darian's personal guard while the High Lord himself went to face off with the Emperor alone." The Trainee's superiority of youth came through with his sneer. "Outnumbered like that facing Darian's best veteran troops...there is no way they should have won!"

Hawke smiled to himself and stepped from among the Trainees. He moved up beside the Drillmaster and rested a hand on the man's shoulder. His head spun around with a comment that died on his lips and his eyes widened. "Ryndar!" A buzz of talk rippled out among the Trainees, and they all began to stiffen to the Position of Obedience. Hawke waved an arm and shook his head. "No! No! Stand easy men...no titles on the Drill Field." Hawke shared a warrior's clasp with the Drillmaster and turned to the group of doubters before him. "Drillmaster Straven here was in the trenches at D'hassa. He doesn't know what happened at Darian's camp but he and the men there were doing most of the work that day..." Hawke felt the Drillmaster stiffen and blush. "If you want a much better story you should get him to tell you about standing all day against multiple assaults from Darian's troops. That's a man's work. Mikhael, the men with us and I may as well been taking a leisurely ride in the country in comparison."

The group of doubters seemed to gain strength from the Ryndar's words, and the leader nodded. "But that does not explain how you and the men who made it into the center of the camp managed to hold off Darian's personal guard! All of you should have been killed." Hawke nodded. "Yes, if a lot of things happened as we think they should. We rode into Darian's camp at full gallop. We were probably as much a surprise to them as it was for us to get in as easily as we did." Hawke turned a bit to make sure everyone nearby could hear him. "We headed straight down between the tents toward the clearing at the far end where Darian's tent was. Make no mistake...we were losing men the whole way. Pulled off their horses, speared...Darian's guards are no weaklings, and they reacted fast once they got over their surprise."

Hawke looked around and realized all the trainees were hanging on his words. "Anyway, I reined in when we reached the edge of the Guard tents and signaled for everyone to do the same. Mikhael realized what I was doing and kept right on going for Darian's tent. What was left of our raiding party formed up, probably a couple hundred of us...not the handful the stories seem to say. We were outnumbered, but Darian's Guards were scattered all over the camp and had to come running to get to us. They arrived in groups here and there, not one massive force." Hawke then grinned. "And of course, once Mikhael and Darian began to fight, and the...unusual things began to happen...Darian's men were distracted, to say the least."

One of the doubting trainees still kept his expression disbelieving as he listened to the story. "I still say your heroic story is false! No one could fight like they say you did..." Hawke regarded the trainee quietly then stepped to the edge of the crowd. He reached and scooped a wooden training weapon from the hand of a trainee and hefted it experimentally. He twirled it a few times to feel the weight and balance of the wood. "Well, If you need to know how it's possible. Then perhaps you and your friends would like to show your comrades how it's impossible for one man to equal four Aquilonians?" Hawke stood patiently as the circle widened and the four trainees picked up training swords, standing in a huddle and talking quietly before spreading out in a semi-circle, watching Hawke warily as he never moved from his place. His eyes moved slowly to gauge each man and his apparent skill. "Shall we begin...?" Hawke said right before the first man charged.

Five minutes later, Hawke stood poised, legs spread with the wooden sword in both hands, held ready in front of his body as his head turned to look at the four trainees sprawled around him. All of them lay in various positions, curled up or spread out dazed and senseless. Their moans or various sounds showed none were in any danger of dying. Hawke inhaled deeply, happy he was not as out of breath as he thought he might be. The Ryndar turned and tossed the wooden training sword back to its wide-eyed owner, and he kept turning, eyes falling around the crowd of Trainees. "Anyone else?"

 

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