Solo Rekindling

After a season of stagnation, the idealistic Dragoon finds his spark again.

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

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Rekindling

Postby Tarn Alrenson on February 11th, 2019, 1:36 am

14th of Winter, Eleventh Bell
Tarn Alrenson, the once proud, idealistic, even noble young man—to hear his late grandfather describe him—had finally been broken by the Sun’s Birth. In the dragoons’ barracks he sat on his cot, numb to the riotous calls and gestures of his fellows. They laughed and smiled, all sharing some fine joke one of them had told. Tarn did not smile. He hadn’t in quite a while. He did little talking as of late either. The others paid him little heed. They had grown used to his supposed misanthropy.
Tarn laced his boots, lost in the sluggish quagmire of his own thoughts. He had patrol today with another dragoon. A raider whose name Tarn had never bothered to learn. He had stopped doing extra patrols by himself a while back. They had never been of much use to anybody anyway. Tarn finished with his boots and grabbed the peculiar brown bag he had acquired on one of those patrols. He fished around in it, not quite sure what he was looking for. By chance his thoughts fell on another odd item, a statuette of his. It appeared in Tarn’s hand and he pulled it halfway out of the bag. He stared at the smooth features of the goddess depicted on the idol for a few seconds before stuffing it back where it came from. Prayers were another thing he didn’t do much of anymore.
Tarn stood up briskly, slinging the bag onto his back and buckling his sword belt on. He left his grandfather’s spear tucked under his cot. Too many memories he didn’t care to deal with today. His eyes slid over the gaggle of his comrades, still gathered together laughing, more than one of them drunk. Tarn caught the eye of the one he was to patrol with, and indicated toward the door with a sharp jerk of his head. The raider rolled his eyes, taking a deep swig from another man’s bottle before ambling casually over to Tarn.
“Time to go already Deadeyes?” Deadeyes. That’s what they called him. He didn’t mind much. It was all the same to him if these bastards never sullied the name his mother had given him by uttering it with their filthy tongues. Tarn didn’t respond to the question. The man already knew the answer, and Tarn had no desire to mince words.
Tarn left the barracks with the raider swaggering close behind. He set out toward the Western Heights. The area was as close to a warzone as one was likely to see in Sunberth, with just about every major gang trying to carve that little piece of this gods-forsaken city off for themselves. The Sun’s Birth were the same as all the others. They sent patrols like this one out through the streets, blindly hoping that eventually everyone else would just accept their authority. It was a fool’s game, but Tarn was just another pip on the dice his masters were rolling, with people’s lives as a wager.
Last edited by Tarn Alrenson on February 23rd, 2019, 7:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. --CS Lewis
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Tarn Alrenson
We all can make a difference.
 
Posts: 81
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Joined roleplay: June 27th, 2018, 3:14 am
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Rekindling

Postby Tarn Alrenson on February 12th, 2019, 5:49 am

Once--in a frightened and innocent state--Tarn had thought the Sun’s Birth could be different from the other gangs. That the fact that they were organized, that their men showed loyalty, spelled out hope for some modicum of order in the city. Later he had realized that the faction’s leaders were just as aimless and petty as any gang-member on the street, just with more power. Without clear direction, the whole organization fumbled, vainly competing for dirty streets without giving mind to the people who lived on them. The gangs in Sunberth fought for land, but there was an abundance of it outside the city gates left uncontested. It only stood to reason that the primary factor that made the land they fought for valuable was the people living there, and yet nobody put any reasonable effort into turning the public’s hearts to their cause.
Once thoughts like this had run abound in Tarn’s mind constantly, fueling the furnace that drove him to take extra patrols alone, to try and make something of the city in any way he could. The Sun’s Birth had snuffed out that spark quickly. Sometimes he felt something like his old passion when he saw the other dragoons abusing the citizens, or when he himself was given particularly loathsome assignments. Sometimes it was like there was a voice in his head, whispering to him that things just weren’t right. Sometimes it was just a vague feeling of nausea. He’d never taken the necessary step though. Even when he had possessed the passion he now only caught glimmers of. The one step that he knew would mollify him, yet bring him no end of grief and pain. He had never quite had the will to take it.
Insubordination.
That’s what it would be, to stand up and speak out against the Sun’s Birth’s crimes. Insubordination, treason. Infractions dealt with swiftly and harshly by the dragoon brass. He could take that step, but it would be the last one he would ever take. That was why he had given up. He couldn’t commit, wouldn’t throw himself into the flames for the sake of idle morality. But without it there was no purpose to his passion, no fuel for the fire in his veins. Now… now he was just a soldier. A man barely past his boyhood and without a lick of sense to show for it. Another faceless dragoon for the city’s people to pin their misfortunes onto. And they wouldn’t all be wrong to do so.
Tarn could almost feel it in the air when he and his companion passed from Sun’s Birth controlled territory into the disputed Western Heights. The people here were on-edge, and looked at the two dragoons with everything from nervous glances to outright hostility. Tarn picked his way through the alleys, stopping at larger intersections to survey the people milling about with unfocused eyes. Their presence here was a show of force. They were meant to be seen, not to actually keep watch for anything. If they caught sight of any Daggerhands, there would be trouble, but in Tarn’s albeit limited experience they rarely traipsed about openly in sight of Dragoons. The Sun’s Birth had the numerical advantage, and the Daggerhands had learned long ago that they had to pick their battles when fighting Dragoons. Unfortunately, when open conflict did occur it was often vicious and bloody.
Despite Tarn’s inattention, the raider accompanying him kept a keen enough watch for both of them. However, the objects of his interest tended to be more buxom than actually threatening.
Last edited by Tarn Alrenson on February 14th, 2019, 8:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. --CS Lewis
User avatar
Tarn Alrenson
We all can make a difference.
 
Posts: 81
Words: 81305
Joined roleplay: June 27th, 2018, 3:14 am
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets

Rekindling

Postby Tarn Alrenson on February 14th, 2019, 8:22 am

“Hold on for a chime there Deadeyes, I gotta go do something!” The raider called out.

Tarn’s gaze followed the man as he strode over to a woman he had been eyeing, cornering her and edging uncomfortably close. The woman stared daggers at him, but the raider seemed not to notice. He obviously assumed Tarn would simply wait, and he couldn't be blamed for the assumption, considering Tarn's recent behavior. To Tarn, the whole display was pathetic, but it wasn’t the raider’s own strength that made the woman hesitate to simply brush past the man, but the weight of the organization behind him. Tarn stared blankly at the pair for a few seconds.

Just as Tarn was about to stand by in silence as his companion embodied the very corruption Tarn had spent his whole life swearing to prevent, a stray gust of wind caught his attention. The wind formed above the calm waters of the bay and flowed down into Sunberth’s grimy streets. The gust caught the odors of old liquor, heavy where the sailors drank, and it ruffled the skirts of the ladies in the Gated Community. Westward it whisked across the city, all the way to the Heights, where it blew through a carpenter’s open-air shop. The gust then drifted past Tarn, bringing the familiar smell of sawdust and sap to Tarn’s nose.

Odd as it was, the refreshing smell snapped Tarn back to lucidity, bringing with it old memories Tarn had long since buried. Memories of his own childhood with his father in one such shop. Those were happy, joyful times. There could not be a greater contrast between then and now. What had changed? Well, his father had died, for one, along with his grandfather, leaving Tarn alone. Alone and angry. That anger had been powerful, it had driven him to fight back against the system that had killed the last of his family. But what had come of it in the end? He’d tried to fight back against a lawless, indiscriminately violent city with indiscriminate violence. He’d joined the Sun’s Birth for an excuse and for resources, then at every opportunity he stalked the streets, looking for thugs like the ones that had killed his father so he could dispense his justice with the shedding of blood. But was it really justice, or just petty vengeance? He’d played into a system that had created the problem in the first place. He’d resisted it for a while, but as his anger cooled he’d descended on a gentle slope to the level of the other dragoons.

That wasn’t the man Tarn wanted to be, and it wasn’t the man his father had raised him to be. He would resist the corruption of the city and of the dragoons, his own life be damned, but he wouldn’t let the fight consume him with rage. Tarn’s father had been fond of laughter, able to find joy in anything. Maybe it was time for Tarn to take up after his old man. He would take the step he had refused to take before, because without it he was resigned to a feeble husk of a soul. He would be bold in his fight, and he would do it with a smile on his face and joy in his heart, as a way to keep some part of his father’s legacy.

Like a prize racehorse bursting from its gate, these thoughts shot through Tarn’s mind in the space of a few seconds. They had likely been bubbling just below the surface for some time, waiting for something to snap Tarn out of his dreadful monotony long enough for them to take hold. Tarn savored the smell of the sawdust for one more breath, embroiled in dreams of his youth, then turned his full attention to the raider, who was fully engrossed in trying to woo a woman who would obviously stick a knife in his ribs long before she would embrace him.
Boxcode credit goes to Antipodes


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Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. --CS Lewis
User avatar
Tarn Alrenson
We all can make a difference.
 
Posts: 81
Words: 81305
Joined roleplay: June 27th, 2018, 3:14 am
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets


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