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Old 09-20-2008, 08:52 PM
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Mill Wilkinson Mill Wilkinson is offline
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Default Mill, Meadowbrook Warmaster

Things calming down in Meadowbrook I decided to take my leave I had been hoarding for years now. Eventually, after several bar-fights, wenches, drinks and gambling, I had ended up in Dragon Tavern. Meadowbrook army had had enough of me. At least until the next unrest or battle.

The Dragon Tavern is legendary for being the hotspot for adventuring folk, so I fit in with my armour quite nicely. I floated from table to table, listening the stories of snotnoses and scarred veterans alike and having a jolly good time. Indeed, this was something very different from the grey routine in Meadowbrook.
One conversation, of two men, struck me in particular:
"...then the captain yelled us to charge, but he was roasted long before we could even raise our spears I tell ya!"
"Nooo, seriously?" thinner man asked and looked a little sceptic.
"Ho, you can't even imagine the smell! So, now we are without a captain and ended up in here."
"Yea, right. You untrained louts couldn't even squish an deer, let alone a dragon!" thin man leered.
"Excuse me", I barged in and took a seat, "but I heard you fellows don't have a leader?"
"And who the horna are you?", I-am-a-veteran man asked squinting his eyes.
"Mill Wilkinson, War Master of the Meadowbrook army and apparently looking for you lot."
"Hey, hey, hey! I swear she said to be over fifteen..." thinner man objected and started to flee, but I grabbed him by the arm.
"Oh, good heavens, no. I meant that I am a leader without some boys, and you are some boys without a leader."
"I'm not with that guy", thinner objected again. "There is fame and glory", I persuaded.
"Na-a. Not interested in that."
"Gold?"
"I can get that easily. Why do you even want me with you?"
"First, I like your style of obtaining things. Second, I want my purse back."
"Oh, that. There you go", thinner said and threw me my rune-labeled purse containing my several week's wages.
"How about women?"
"Women?"
"Yes, women. Ever heard? Graces of the earth, opposite gender, men gawking after them..."
"Yes yes yes. What about them?"
"Adventurer is the one who gets the ladies."
"I'm in. What are we to do?"
"Well, first of all, we ought to have you, you and your friends some modest equipment. Then we are to find some good spot to train some tactics..."

Ought to be continued.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:29 AM
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Mill Wilkinson Mill Wilkinson is offline
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"No, no, no! Never leave the safety of your companions, mate! You would have been eaten in no time!"
"But sir..."
"No buts! Keep the formation, unless I tell you otherwise!"
"Yes, sir."
"Now, again! Shieldwall! Form a line! Run like hell!"
This drilling had been going on for days, as I trained his newly gained men from some random folks from the street into a respectable fighting force. It was only a squadron, some 8 men, but I certainly made sure each of them got standard issue armour and armament. Vito, my second in command, was surprised to see how fast his companions of crime
were adapting to stiff discipline.
"Aye, mate. Your fellows are better than I expected. Soon we will be able to go for the Skyclaw Mountains", I grinned.
Vito was shocked. "What?"
"Skyclaw Mountains. No better place for us to train some real battle!" I heckled happily and then turned his attention to the newly-made squadron.
"What the hell did I just see! Wield your blade!"
"Sir, I dropped the spear!"
"Exactly! If you drop your spear, wield the sword!"
"But you said that spear is our main..."
"...weapon, yes", I cut him short, "but it doesn't mean you should danger your fellows by picking it up!"
"Yes, sir."
"That's the spirit, mate!"
I ordered Vito and Johnnie to take place on the right flank of newly formed shieldwall. "Blades on the right, otherwise the spearmen would have hectic time, should some hostiles flank you." I took my position on the far right and picked up the banner. It was green with a silver wolf's head. Yelling some more orders the troops started to move accordingly.

In the evening I was happy as ever. At the Dragon Tavern I pulled up a Skyclaw Mountain map and showed it to Johnnie and Vito.
"Aye, mates. Tomorrow we will visit the goblins up there..."


Ought to be continued.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:25 PM
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nice story
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Old 10-04-2008, 05:10 PM
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Mill Wilkinson Mill Wilkinson is offline
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((Yay, first comment!))

"Charge!" I yelled and followed my own orders, while the men pushed themselves onward yelling furiously. It was only a band of some 30 goblins, but good training nevertheless. My men used their shields admirably to cover each other, and Vito made sure to remain in the right flank. He was pure thunder when he got that blade swinging, that was for certain.

Eventually the last goblins were dissipated, and I ordered the men to look for some loot. Finally one of them brings in a money pouch.
"Here, sir. I found it on the goblin master."
I took it and peeked inside. Goblin trade markers, should be worth some coin back in the Tavern. I tossed them into a large loot sack and started to throw some corpses down the ridge after examining them. Finally I was satisfied. "Men, move back to tavern!"
"Aye!" Loud shout emerged and we started marching back their own tracks. It was a long trip, but necessary. Nowhere else they could sell their loot to the highest bidder as easily as in Dragon Tavern. Maybe the Treasury would buy off some of the more exotic items...

In the evening we had to split the money. It was a huge pile of gold, gained through weeks of fighting, looting and harnessing. Men looked at it hungrily, but they were stopped by Vito and Johnnie. "No one touches them if captain doesn't tell us to do so", was Vito's counter argument.
"Aye, thanks for that", I said and divided the pile into two. "I take this pile and you share that pile. Understood?"
Counter-arguments rose immediately, yells of unfairness and even some threats. I lowered my head and sighed. "What now?!"
"Man, you get so much! We want it all shared, not just half! There's like over ten of us!" It was true, new men had joined the band after the news of their deeds had started to spread.
I slammed my fist into the table, literally, and roared: "And with what am I supposed to feed and equip you!?"
Silence fell, and I regained my patience. "The money goes fully to get you lot new armours. Did you folk really think I would keep it? No sirs, I'm happy with my salary in the army."
After a few minutes of uneasy silence one of the men said: "it sounds fair."
"I think so too. Now, shall I divide this money into equal parts, or can I go to sleep?" I smiled wearily. They were in my command, but they weren't my men yet. The process would take months, even years.
The spokesman cleared his throat and walked forward. "No, sir."
"What?"
"I'd like to see that all used on our equipment."
Murmuring and wondering looks were given to him, but nobody started to counter-argue. I accidentally batted my eyelids. "What?"
"Yes, use it all. It goes into better use that way. Just give us our normal salary and use the rest to buy us some gear."
"Why?"
"Why not? The money goes to waste if we just spend it on girls and booze. I'd like to see tomorrow too, right guys?" spokesman turned to look his companions for support. Eventually they all nodded and said agreements.
I hope my face was stoic, but actually I was jubilant. The men showed good sense and trust in me. It touched.
"Aye, I shall do that. With this you will be using tower-shields and horses in no time."
"Horses?"
"Yes, horses. You shall become cavalry. I am a cavalry-captain in the army, didn't I tell you?"
With that, I pushed the gold back into a huge sack and went for some traders, leaving my men wondering.
Maybe the process wouldn't be so long after all...

Ought to be continued.
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Last edited by Mill Wilkinson; 10-16-2008 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:58 PM
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(Three months has passed since the previous view on the life of Mill Wilkinson and his greenhorn men.)

I am somewhat pleased with the methods I have taken in training these men. Practical practice in practice, as general Demethos said. Infantry tactics were a must, as the Skyclaw mountains tend to turn rugged and unsuitable for cavalry actions. I still had every intention of training these mercenaries into a infantry-cavalry, a combination not seen since the days of Darios the Great.

They train as hard as any men, I have to admit. Some men have troubles with their horses, but step by step they start to trust each other. Few of them have some background in the cavalry or nomadic practices, so I have given orders for them to help the ones not so talented.
Altough sometimes I have second thoughts about cavalry training...

"And then a wedge!" I shouted and couched my spear. Men formed up almost acceptably into a spearhead, but Johnnie had his spear the wrong way around, the tip pointing behind him. Luckily Vito slapped him on the helmet and they managed to turn it around.
We didn't have horses, because I wanted to teach them the formations before they started to mess with the reins and probably strangle themselves with them.
"Loose formation!" I instructed and waited. This was the easiest part for now. Later on they would do it in a pattern, not just a band of folks gathered loosely together.
"Pause!" I have to correct myself, this was the easiest formation.

Another three months has passed, and now I had regained my confidence in my men. Training in the Skyclaws and open fields of Dragon Tavern certainly has paid its debt back with high interest rates. The men were stiffer, better equipped and, most important of all, better disciplined than the gathering of bums I had met three quarters before.
"Men ready for inspection, sir", Vito said and held the banner high up in the air. He had got his self-respect back, and it was obvious that he was a sergeant in times immemorial. "Thank you, sergeant", I replied and nodded in approvement. They weren't at the level of a Meadowbrook regular yet, but any mercenary band would have sold their mother for this level of discipline.
"Very good, men, very good. I see you have gotten some backbone!"
The fellows smiled proudly. They had every right to do so.
"And tomorrow we leave for Daggerspine!"
"Excuse me?" Johnnie, my third in command and "resource gatherer", asked curiously. He still had some issues with face-to-face combat, but managed to handle them in a tight spot.
I patted the money pouch at my side. "This needs a filler, and Daggerspine needs some folks to do cleanse the area for pioneer civilians. I have been asked by the Meadowbrook High Command to offer my services there, but they didn't mention how. I suppose you lot wouldn't mind a little expedition?"
"NO SIR!" my company roared as a one voice, and I felt my cheeks blushing a little bit. My company.

Ought to be continued.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:59 PM
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I almost wrote "the High Five" instead of "the High Command" in the story. Would have been too amusing, now wouldn't it?

Please comment on the story and tell me some review of it.
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Last edited by Mill Wilkinson; 10-16-2008 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:37 AM
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Its good.If it was an RP and not a story it would be fun to join.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:14 PM
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Daggerspine wasn't the glorious adventuring hotspot it was made sound like. Or at least that was Johnnie's thought when we were entering yet another unnamed tunnel deep under the mountainline. For a week we have been trampling over goblin hordes, wild beasts and criminal parties, avoided and stumbled upon traps of all kinds and, worst of all, according to Johnnie, had to have an eye over a caravan going towards the Bay of Bos. It wasn't the constant criminal threat that bugged Johnnie in that assignment, it was the lack of good-looking women and booze. They were a caravan of monks.

Now I was leading my men to an old enclave of wizards and priests who had made millions of interesting experiments with human biology and anatomy. Too bad that the enclave had been overrun by a horde of goblinoids and other mischievous creatures.
"And then there was the Captain. Captain promised us wealth and riches, not some damp and decomposing buildings inside some bloody mountains", Johnnie grumbled. I patted him on the armor-clad shoulder and smiled. "You do remember that you gave me the money to have those horses we have outside?"
Johnnie went quiet for a while, before starting the mumbling of curses again. I decided to leave it at that, as Varis returned from scouting. "Two large steel doors ahead, other one is used, the other one is not."
"How is that?" I asked and scratched my chin. It needed a shave. Varis shrugged and said: "maybe the buggers don't want to go there?"
"Or they leave their hoard there and don't let anyone else see it", Vito proposed looking hopeful. Varis smirked in agreement.
"Let's go take a look", I said smiling widely. Varis bolted onward and made it to the door before anyone else. We had made sure that our new armor didn't make a sound when we moved, but it still felt like a massive power was gathering to greet us, and not in a friendly way.

The door was rusty, but it had clean and oiled hinges, and it opened loomingly easily, like it was greeting us. It never postponed good.
"I'll go first", I said and covered behind my shield before entering the chamber. Nothing happened, but it just made me feel more uncomfortable, like I'd like to get rid of my body and just fly away as quickly as possible.
"See anything gleaming?" Johnnie asked by the door.
"Only your greedy eyes, Johnnie", I answered and the fifteen laughed nervously. They were hardened in battles, but this was something they weren't used to.

I tried to lit the torches, but as soon as I got my fire near one of them, they all burst into a bright, magically enhanced glow revealing a massive stone table with some delicate machinery on top of it. The gadget covered the table completely, and it sparked magically under the newly gained light.
"What the horna is that?" Vito asked and started to circle the machine. It had a huge container on top of it with a meter shoving that it was half full of something.
"I do not know, Vito, but I'd like you not to touch anything, okay?" I said and examined the thing closer. It had small levers and pulls in it, just calling for me to test them. Resisting the urge I peeked to my left, where all the men were gathered like a flock of hens. Johnnie was leaning forward to something when I walked to him and looked dazzled by the pretty buttons in front of him.
It was then when I noticed the two-parted floor. Our side was black while the other side was bright white.

"Couldn't I try one of them, captain?"
"No, Johnnie."
"Just one, boss? They are so pretty lights..."
"Don't you dare!"
"Just this one..."
"Stop him!" I yelled, but too late...

When I opened my eyes, I felt a great relief. I was alive, and listening to the moaning around me I had a strong feeling that at least some of my men were alive too.
"What happened?" a high voice asked softly, but cursing like a harbour-worker. I levered myself up to my elbows and looked at Vito. Or what seemed to have Vito's armour and weapons, but definitely wasn't him.
"Oh shit!" we both said loudly.

We made it back to Daggerspine, and I knocked the door of the one man I trusted enough to help me on this. Luckily he was sleeping at our cousins' house, so it wouldn't cause too much a stir afterwards for me to bang their door.
"Matt, Matt! Get up and down here immediately!" I yelled when I noticed a curtain move upstairs.
"Do you know what time it is, dear?" Matt's voice asked from the window sleepily.
"I don't give a crap of the time! Get down here now!"
"Sure thing, doll.."
"And don't you dare to 'doll' me again, you swine!" I roared furiously. I most certainly wasn't in the mood for silly jokes.

Finally the door opened and Matt's head peeked through it. "Who might you be, then?"
"Me? I am your god-forsaken brother Mill, you twat."
Matt opened the door wide open and looked at me and my soldiers. For a moment he was still and quiet, but then he started to heckle. "I think you are better called 'sister' now, bro", he managed to say before bursting into a thundering laughter and falling to his knees.
I looked behind me and sighed. All fifteen looked more or less like women, the most distinctive features I had known from their time as men still shoving. Varis had his nose and Johnnie his skinny figure, but otherwise they were all purely women. Like was I. The armor was loose somewhere and tight elsewhere, and it most certainly wasn't the way I liked it.

"How on earth did you do that?" Matt asked when he had got a control over himself and escorted us to our cousin's place to have a cup of something to drink.
"Beats me. If Johnnie hadn't had that sudden urge to push a button..." I growled femininely and then slammed my fist to the table. "I am already full of this, Matt! Thrice we had to shove away a band of outlaws because we 'looked lonely' and twice we were asked why didn't we have an escort! Bloody horna! The fact we had armours on and were armed to our teeth didn't differ the fact that we were 'without men'!"
Matt grinned and tapped his lip. "Daggerspine is a little conservative state, I can tell you that much..."
"Do shut up and get us some help."
"That is somewhat tricky, mate. It might be that your hair has grown to a beautiful raven-hair when I have done that..."
Luckily my men, or women, got me before I strangled my own brother.

Ought to be continued
(Kudos for Ed Greenwood. )
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:57 PM
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((Now, long forgotten tales of Mill Wilkinson continue))

I tapped my fingers against the table, other brow lifted higher than the other. I had been looking at myself in the mirror and knew I wasn't ugly as a female, quite the contrary. Perhaps I had a little too large straight nose and distinctive jaw, but still. The man in front of me wasn't one I wanted to please, though. "Well?"
"Man, it wasn't as fruitful as I had expected, bro, even when I brought Jackie along", my brother said sorrily. Jackie (or Jack) had accustomed to his new physical self almost frighteningly well, as if his true gender had been revealed. And he looked smart and pretty, a guaranteed attention-distracter when it came to heated negotiations on high-level gender-bendering magics, an area not many arcane masters dare to endeavour.
I sighed and fell on the couch, arm covering my face from the outside world. "K'rak!"
"Hey, no need to get all dwarvish."
"No need? We've been in Daggerspine for several months now, the High Command is already asking questions of my whereabouts, men... women are bored and I'm ready to bite a shield!"
"Time of the month again?" Matt asked innocently, which was responded by flying furniture. "Why do I have you as my brother?!!" I screeched before returning to my senses. "Sorry, I didn't mean that."
Matt laughed behind a sofa for a while before peeking whether the coast was clear. "No worries, bro, I've gotten used to it."
The fifteen other women had gathered to the living room and acted more or less like they always used to. Some picked their teeth, some snored in the corner and the rest maintained their equipment. Weapons were still useful as-is, but the chain mail had had to be adjusted somewhat, though I had postponed the operation hoping for a quick solution.
"Now what?"
"Well, it seems you will have to move back to Dragon Tavern, or Meadowbrook, to continue search."
I leaned my cheek against my index finger, looking at my younger brother. "I noticed the 'you'. I take it you won't be joining our endeavours?"
Matt took a gulp from his cup and grinned in his annoying way. "Nope, I continue the search here, I've got a job to do too, you know. Unlike others..."
"Do shut up and give me writing tools."
"What for?"
"I need to call the rest." I twisted my ankle a little and batted my eyelids. "Young females shouldn't travel the roads alone these days."
Matt puffed. "Yep, for the sake of potential robbers, I shall retrieve the tools for your ladiness."

Harkon, the corporal in lead of my remaining men, looked at me, leaning his head against his arm. "Captain, I should tell you I am not accustomed to take orders from women."
"You follow the orders of Aryada."
"Is she a woman?" Harkon asked grumpily. Before our little "accident", sergeant Aryada had been the only one allowed to the ladies room, though sometimes the right had been questioned until people got wiser. I flashed a grin and threw a peanut into my mouth. "But, now we are returning to more civilized lands, to look for a cure to this... condition."
"Cure? You ain't half-bad as a woman, bro", Matt smirked. "I could arrange a fantastic marriage with you."
"Shut up."
Harkon hid his laughter as coughing. "Still, I got something for you", Matt said and pushed a small ornamental box into my hands. "I could say it will be extremely useful."
"What is it?"
"Open the box and see, cheesh you are daft", Matt answered and rolled his eyes. "It is clear you aren't accustomed to being a woman."
I popped the lid open and saw a simple emerald pendant. "Thank you, this will be absolutely charming with my evening dress."
"Put it on."
"Here?"
"Here."
I took the chain, opened the well-made lock and wore the ornament. I waited for a second before snapping at my brother: "Well, what is the purp..."
The world blurred around me, everything sounded like coming from underwater and looked like form and distance were just toys for some sinister force of the Abyss. Then the feeling stopped and I sat on the chair again, looking at the sky knight I had the privilege of calling my brother. "What the hell?!" I yelled and shocked. The voice wasn't the warm tone I was used to, it was the low, battlefield-tuned command voice I had wielded only too long ago. I looked at myself, and saw everything was back to normal. Except for the clothes. "Uh-oh..."

It felt good to be riding again, wielding a lance and feeling the raw strength of a horse making its way onward on the royal highway. I couldn't help but touch the pendant from time to time as to thank it for the relief it had provided. It was a temporary solution, at best, but a solution anyway.
Vito rode back from a scouting trip. "Nothing special, just some small farming hamlet up ahead."
"People?"
"Working happily on the fields, kids playing as there was no worry in the world", Vito said and smiled a little. Once we had been ambushed in a small village, and now we made sure there were happily playing children before entering anything having more than three buildings.
"Excellent", I said and took my winged helmet off, lifting it up to let the rest know there was no known enemy ahead.
"Shall we take a look? I am not extremely confident there are any artists of magic there, but you never know", I smiled and ushed my horse to a light trot. Even the sun shone from the high up, making me give a small prayer to the Smith.
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