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Old 04-10-2015
Sparkie's Avatar
Sparkie Sparkie is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Getting Back to Living

Elmer slowly came out of the haze of sleep to the dark of pre-dawn. He looked to the woman who slept contently beside him, and brushed her hair out of her face. Maria shifted slightly as he watched her. He’d often told her that every morning he thought he was waking up beside an angel, and this morning was no different. Slowly letting out a sigh, he began to get up and out of bed, pulling on a pair of pants. In a couple hours he’d have to go to work. He’d been the housecarl of the youngest son of house Kellridge, Magnou, for a week, and it had proved to be challenging work, but nothing he couldn’t handle. As he passed by his daughter’s room, he looked in. Sarah was short for her age, a trait that she had inherited from the women on his side of the family, with the same dark brown hair that Maria had, and her left eye still blackened from the fight she had gotten into not more than two days before. He could help but smile at her- she was much like he was at her age, and didn’t take insults to herself or friends lightly. Nor does her mother, Elmer thought with a smile. Walking out into the dining room, he looked around. The home that he’d bought with the assistance of the Kellridge family wasn’t anything fancy, but it was certainly better than what they had in Cormyr. It was a simple place, just above a tailoring shop in the Forum. The neighbors were all pleasant, and Sarah had already befriended some of the other children. Elmer walked outside, and stood on the deck for a few moments, looking around. A patrol walked past as he stood there, with some soldiers that knew him saying hello as they went by. He saluted them as they passed, and let out a sigh. He was proud of his service, but was glad to be done.

The day he retired he had met Lord Magnou, and he had to say, he was impressed by the lad. He’d go far in the Legion, could make Centurio. After meeting him, Elmer was told that he’d start the next day, so he used the day he had free to help his family move in, and spent some overdue quality time with them. It had been three years since he had been able to properly spend time with them, and that day was a breath of fresh air. Yes, Sarah had changed a bit in attitude and size, but she was also still his sweet little girl. But Maria, she was the same, just as beautiful now as the day he met her. As he stood there, watching the sky begin to turn the shade of purple that comes just before the sun crests the horizon, he heard a pair of feet pad out into the dining room.

“Papa?” Elmer turned at Sarah’s tired voice, her speech easily telling that she wasn’t quite awake yet. “Just getting some air, dear. Looking at the stars before Lathander brightens the sky. Wanna join me?” Sarah gave him a hug as she went outside, shivering a bit in her nightgown. Elmer picked her up, and she nestled into him. He couldn’t help but smile. She’d often wake up around the same time he did, and each time she’d join him outside, he’d pick her up, she’d ask him about the stars, and he’d tell her the stories that his father had told him, and within moments she’d fall asleep again. But this time was different. “Tell me what it’s like being a soldier, Papa.” He blinked, but gave her an honest answer. “Well dear, it’s a lot of things. It’s tough. It’s scary. And a lot of the time it’s not fun. But it’s also quite rewarding, and it can leave you with good memories.” Sarah was quiet for a moment. “Did you hurt people?” Elmer let out a long sigh. “Yes dear, I have. Sometimes on purpose. Sometimes because I had to stand by. Those weren’t good times.” Sarah gave a nod and yawned. “Were they bad people?” Elmer stood silent for a moment. “A lot of them were, yes.” Sarah laid her head on his shoulder. “But some weren’t?” “No, dear, some of them weren’t.” Sarah gave another yawn. “Is that why you left the Legion?” Elmer shook his head “No. I left because I had to think of you and your mother. I gave this land a lot, but I don’t owe it anything more.” Sarah gave a nod. “Why did you join the Legion, if you had to hurt people?” Elmer took one last look up and down the street before he turned around and went inside, closing the door behind him. “So others wouldn’t have to, dear. Now, let’s get my little lady back to bed, yeah?” Sarah gave an angry, sleepy huff. “I’m not a lady. Ladies wear make-up, and silly dresses, and don’t do anything fun.” Elmer let out a quiet laugh. “Some ladies do, yes. But I don’t think mine needs the make-up, and she looks silly even without the dresses.” Sarah gave him a quick but harmless kick to the thigh. He gave another laugh, and shifted her in his arms. “Alright, alright. Well, if you’re not a lady, what are you then?” Elmer looked to the mantle over the small fire place they had. On it was displayed the medals he had earned in his service, along with his release papers and ranks. Just before he retired, he had been promoted to Salararius, and he was proud to see the ranks there. The center piece of the awards displayed was a wooden bust of a head, on which sat his Crown of the Preserver, awarded to him by the Emperor himself. He straightened out some of his medals, and dusted off his crown before turning to go down the hall to the bedrooms.

Sarah finally spoke up. “I’m a Legionnaire.” Elmer stopped in his tracks. “Oh? When did you join the Legion?” He continued down the hall, a smile beginning to spread across his face. “I haven’t yet, Papa. But I’m going to join them.” His smile grew as she spoke. “I think you’re a little young to join up, dear.” Sarah let out a frustrated growl. “When I’m grown up, I mean.” Elmer chuckled as he walked into her room. “I know dear, I’m just teasing you. So, why are you going to join them?” As he set her down in bed, she looked him in the eye. “So others don’t have to.” He gave her a proud smile, and kissed her forehead. “That’s my girl. Now, remember your prayers to Torm when you get up later.” He tucked her in, and Sarah turn to her side with a long yawn, nestling into the pillow. “I will, Papa.” Elmer hadn’t even turned to leave when she had fallen back to sleep.

As he went back to his room to get dressed, he looked over to the small room that he had turned into a study, of sorts. There was a desk, a chair, a small book shelf, containing prayer books of Torm, Tyr, Tempus and the Red Knight, along with books on Legion tactics, and a book of Sundren’s history. On the far side of the room was his Legion issued armour and shield, all kept clean and polished, as was starting to become a nightly ritual of his. He looked at his armour for a moment, and thought of how many battles it had seen him through. By now, far too many to count. He then started to think of the friends that he’d had over the years. Altherion, Bjorn, Sandro, Dante, Emiliana… Most had either left the Legion, or the Hands as the case may be, or simply left the Valley. He still wasn’t sure what had happened to Altherion, but he hopped his elven friend was well. He didn’t know what happened to Bjorn, but he prayed that lad was alright. Sandro and Dante were both sad stories to him. Both friends of his that had left the service of the Hands. Dante’s joining the Black Hand still upset him, but he was sure that the good man he knew was still there, somewhere, and he hoped that one day he would come to his senses. As for Emiliana. Well, it had been a while since he’d heard from her. He would always remember her as the strong commander she was, and as a good friend. Perhaps one of these evenings he’d write to her, see how she’s been. He could probably find out where to send the letter pretty quickly. After a few moments, his thoughts turned to faces that were fairly new to him. The Triadic priest Charoum and the Heartwarder Chime. They were good people by him, both were good soldiers while in the Legion, and he considered them to be friends. There were quite a few others he had met and known while in the Legion, but he couldn’t remember them now. Elmer let out a long sigh. He’d met many, and lost a lot of his friends. Many men and women that had stood with him in combat had died or left the Legion, either through retiring or desertion. But, those that he still knew in the Legion were good people, and he felt confident in leaving with them there.

Three years of his life went into the Legion, and there weren’t many days that he regretted out of them. There were days that he could have done better, he could have made better decisions or done something different, but what had been done was done, and there wasn’t anything he could do about it. He ran his hand through his beard, some streaks of grey beginning to show through. He’d be forty in about a year, and while it was nice to feel like he had been able to relive the days of his youth, it was time for him to settle down again. His new position with the Kellridge family wasn’t one that could be considered easy, but he could still do it, even if he was starting to slow down. He came out of his thoughts when he felt a pair of arms wrap around him. “What are you doing out of bed so early?” He turned his head to see Maria standing there behind him. She smiled up to him, and pressed her lips to his cheek. “You don’t have to going for work for an hour or two yet, do you?” Elmer shook his head, and turned around to hold his wife. “No, I’m just working on the Legion schedule, still.” She began to walk backwards to their bedroom, pulling him along with her. “Well, come back to bed then, and spend some time with me.” Elmer gave her a squeeze and a smile. “That sounds like a great idea, dear.” He followed her into their room, and shut the door behind them. Getting used to life outside of the Legion again would be a bit difficult, but Elmer had a feeling that he would adapt back to it, in time.

Elmer Brown, retired 2015
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We can axe if we want to, leave that sword behind. Because your friends don't axe, and if they don't axe then they're no friends of mine.

Last edited by Sparkie; 04-10-2015 at 08:40 PM.
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