Flashback Boys Will Be Boys

In a chance encounter with a local brat, Roland acts like an idiot.

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Boys Will Be Boys

Postby Roland Eir on July 19th, 2013, 8:06 am

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16th of Spring, 499 AV


Rain fell in sheets off of the roofs of Sunberth as Roland wandered the streets below. He struggled to keep out of the precipitation, hugging the walls of a noisy tavern. The laughter that filtered through the glass often broke into a shout as one man or another threw a punch. Roland cast a glance inside the foggy windows and sighed. His own father very well could be in one of those chairs, enjoying the spoils of their latest caper. He leaned against the wall and shivered. It was an unforgiving afternoon, and his soaked tunic clung to his skin; the water chilled him to the bone.

Twelve-year-old Roland lifted a hand to squeeze some of the water out of his brown hair, using the opportunity to push the unruly mop out of his blue eyes. Sunberth wasn't an easy town to grow up in. His nights were spent plotting with his father, or out on the job. One night he fell in to bed after delivering a shady looking letter to an even shadier looking fellow, only to be immediately awakened by his father and sent out again. If he had any energy during the day, he spent it avoiding his family. The last thing he wanted to do after a late night stealing was spend time with his innocent young sister. Her chubby, cherub-like features made him sick to his stomach when he thought about what was likely in store for her.

Noise down the road caught his attention. A group of boys around his age--maybe a little older--were walking brazenly down the middle of the road. They ignored the rain that plopped on their laughing faces. Roland narrowed his eyes as he recognized the sandy-haired boy who led them. Though his name escaped Roland at the moment, he knew that the boy's father had once been a guard or something in another city, before using his position to steal quite a sum of money and fleeing to Sunberth. The boy used his father's old title as some sort of status symbol.

As the group of boys passed close, sandy-hair noticed Roland staring and stopped them. "Something wrong, boy?" he asked, drawing out the last word. Roland sneered. His questioner was barely a year old than him! Still, he wasn't worth the effort. Roland sighed and turned away, shrugging his shoulders dismissively. A rough hand grasped his shoulder and spun him around. "I asked you a question." With a frown Roland shoved him off.

"Get off me." he growled. He looked closely at the group. There were four of them, including sandy-hair. The youngest was his age. The three followers looked at their leader expectantly, barely containing smiles. The older boy was stepping up to Roland with a cruel grin.

"What did you say?" The boy scoffed. "Do you even know who I am? My father was a Sylirian Knight, you petcher!" That's right! His name came to Roland now--Breggan Wole or something.

"I don't care if your father is king of Sunberth."

"Sunberth doesn't have a king, you imbecile. Not yet at least."

Gods above, thought Roland. He's gonna get himself gutted in an alley some day with that ego. After a second of thought, Roland smiled and told him so out loud. Breggan scowled. Roland gave a short laugh and turned to leave. Once more he felt the older boy's hand on his shoulder. This time it gave him a mighty shove.

Roland fell forward onto his hands and knees, scraping his palms on the slippery cobblestones. He was wiping mud out of his eyes when Breggan spoke once again around a boyish laugh. "It's better than you'll end up. What are you? Some whore's son I suspect." Roland's temper flared. The insult might not have phased him, if it hadn't held a ring of truth to it. His young sister's origin's were not a topic of discussion at home. His father wouldn't even look at the girl.

As Roland began to stand, another boy came forward and kicked him forward back into the mud and stone. "Stay down, little worm boy," he jeered. "The mud suits you." Roland knew that the smartest thing to do would be to play at Breggan's pride. To goad him into a one-on-one fight, where Roland felt he easily held the upper hand. Instead he shoved himself off the ground with a roar and rushed the whole group.

The first punch knocked him senseless.

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Roland Eir
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Boys Will Be Boys

Postby Roland Eir on July 19th, 2013, 8:35 am

~ ~ ~


"Remember boy, in a fair fight, you've got nothing," Marcus Eir stood across from Roland in the upper level of their small home. The table and chairs were pushed into the corner to give them as much room as possible. "Our kind, we don't stand a chance in a fair fight." Roland nodded, but inwardly he rolled his eyes. Maybe his father didn't stand a chance, but Roland had learned a few things in the last couple of years. "Every advantage you can take, you snatch it." The man grasped at the air dramatically, and Roland flinched back a step. His father didn't notice.

They had fought each other before--Marcus called it "sparring"--and each time left Roland with bruises up and down his body. Marcus was merciless in his teaching. He had taught him some basics--the difference between a jab and a cross, how to bring his hands in to protect his head, etc. From there he left it to experience. "In a real fight, everything is a weapon. A sword is well and good, but a jab with a broken bottle or chair leg can be just as effective. I'd demonstrate, but I don't think your mum would like it if I broke all the furniture over your head." The man laughed, but Roland wondered if he wouldn't actually do it.

That evening's sparring began as every other evening did, with Marcus randomly charging and driving a fist at his boy's ribs. Roland staggered, caught off guard and trying unsuccessfully to dodge. The blow caught him and sent him to his knees. His father sighed, but there was a gleam in his eye that made Roland uneasy. "I've told you a thousand times, boy. If you can't dodge or block, just lean into it. It'll soften the blow." As if to give him another chance, his father gave him another blow.

Roland let it hit him in the shoulder and rolled off of it, breathing heavily. He used the momentum to launch a counterattack, bringing his small fists to bear against his father's gut. The man shrugged the blows off and shoved his son to the wooden boards below them. "Not horrible. But you aren't strong enough to do any real damage yet." He leaned forward, placing a bare foot in the square of his son's back. "Feel that boy? It's good pain. Mean's you're growing up tough. You'll be able to fend for yourself when I'm gone." Roland wheezed and struggled to lift himself.

His father let him up, and then drove a kick at him. It caught Roland under the legs, tripping him up and landing him heavily on his rear. "Too slow boy." Roland didn't move. Marcus walked over and tapped him lightly with his foot. The boy didn't stir, but closed his eyes tightly. With a grunt, the man kicked him repeatedly. Roland curled into a ball as the man shouted at him again and again, ordering him to get up.

~ ~ ~

Last edited by Roland Eir on September 13th, 2014, 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Boys Will Be Boys

Postby Roland Eir on July 19th, 2013, 9:12 am

Shaking the memories from his mind, Roland found himself sprawled in the mud. His head ached, and he could feel a bruise starting to form around his right eye. The other boys were standing around him, guffawing at some wonderful joke Breggan had just made. The rain continued to fall, and Roland thought maybe it would be best to just lay there. The clouds above swirled and churned, content to pour buckets of water into the overcast sky below.

Remembering his father had set Roland's blood boiling. Lying there, defeated, he felt for the first time that perhaps he really didn't like his father very much. The thought felt rotten in his mind. He hated these boys for making him feel bad about his life. His family. Brow furrowed, he pushed himself up on his arm. He heard more than saw two of the boys come forward to push him back down, but then Breggan stopped them. "Let him come," he said. "Little boy wants to prove himself, I'll fight him."

Roland grinned. It was exactly what he wanted. He tightened his right hand around a glob of mud from the street, and rose to face the bullying boy. Breggan raised his arms to either side, as if to say "Come and get me". Roland was ready and willing to oblige him.

He shuffled from one foot to the other, loosening up, before suddenly whirling his right arm forward. Breggan easily caught his arm, which is what Roland had expected. He released the mud from his grip, and it flew into his opponent's face. Breggan spit mud from his mouth in a rage while Roland drove a wild punch at him with his left hand. The older boy took the punch with a grunt, and tightened his grip on Roland's right arm. Roland readied a left-handed punch, pulling back that shoulder.

Breggan yanked on his right arm, sending him off balance. Wiping the mud from his eyes, the sandy-haired youth looked down on Roland with a derisive smile. "Good effort, whore's son." He pulled bodily on Roland's arm, and drove a punch into the younger boy's gut as he stumbled forward. Roland collapsed to his knees. "I see your father didn't teach you to fight as a man, so why don't you stay there in the dirt like the worm you are." The other boys chanted worm-boy and whore's son as Breggan twisted Roland's arm behind his back.

Pain flashed up and down Roland's arm as his limb was contorted. He set his teeth together, not willing to let himself cry out in pain. His other hand was in the mud, trying to gain leverage to push himself up. The bigger boy was too strong. As his arm was stretched, Roland briefly wondered if it would break. When it became unbearable, Roland screamed in pain from behind gritted teeth. Breggan laughed and released him. Worn out, Roland let himself fall to the muddied cobblestones.

Breggan crouched next to him. "This is how it is, worm," he whispered, just above the sound of the pouring rain. "You're a Sunberth whelp, like all the others. I'm Sylirian blood. I'm just a purer breed of man." The boy then stood and walked off, his entourage following him without a second-glance at Roland in the mud.

In another city, someone may have stopped to help. In another city, the wise old man who approached Roland would have propped him up and taken him under his wing--teaching him advanced fighting techniques and higher moral values. But this was Sunberth, and the wrinkled face showed no emotion as the old man passed his hands along Roland's sides, looking for coin. They found none, and the man was off.

Eventually Roland mustered the energy to stand. He didn't bother to shake the mud from his body, or cradle his bruises. His tears cleared the med around his eyes. He made sure his sobs were quiet before he entered his home. The last thing he wanted was to attract the attention of his father. The young boy made his way inside, trudged up the stairs, entered the small room in which they slept, and collapsed in front of a cold fire. He ignored the exclamations of his mother, content to pass into the blissful embrace of sleep.

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Roland Eir
The Reluctant Thief
 
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Boys Will Be Boys

Postby Twister on December 13th, 2013, 8:38 pm

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Grade on Hold.

I sent you a PM earlier about this as well; your Ledger is currently not up to date. When you return and sort this out, PM me and I'll get your grade posted. Until then, this placeholder will be sitting here.

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Boys Will Be Boys

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 20th, 2016, 3:05 am

ImageGrades Ahoy!


Name: Roland Eir

XP Award:
  • Observation +1
  • Brawling +2
Lore:
  • Sylirans: Purer Breed?
  • Giving in to Bullies
  • Brawling: Everything is a Weapon
  • No Help in Sunberth

Penalties/Rewards :
Roland will suffer a black eye for the next 6 days, with it fading to yellow and green after the second. His muscles will be sore around his torso, and there will be pain in his arm if he should try to use it to support any weight or move any peculiar way.

Comments :
Even though the thread was short, I really enjoyed reading it. I got a good feel for Roland's relationship with his father, and with Sunberth as well.

Don't forget to edit your grade request to show this one has been graded, and if you need anything else, just PM me or Anarkhos.
"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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