Friday, September 27, 2013

Bode's story

I wanted to get this taken down and I hope that you write what I said because I’m going to have someone else read it to me and so it better be right.  
My name is Bode Pförtner which means porter or doorman and my family were fetch and carry men for the coach lines.  I grew up poor but not as bad as some folks. I would have been a porter too but my papi was a lucky man and once found a nobleman’s bag that had walked away on him.   It must have been an important bag because that man said now he owed Pa a debt and so Pa said you take my sons to the army to be soldiers, and not two penny men nor diggers neither.  And so my brother Cole and me we went off and became soldiers.
I had steady hands and was a real good shot, better than most, and so I went into the Crossbowmen and then the Handgunners.  My brother Cole was better than me even, and smarter too, and he made a scout and even got taught to read and do sums.  I caught on that he wasn't just a normal scout either because he knew things and the guys he ran with were not regular soldiers.  One time we were up in the Fallow Hills and Cole told me I should be sick that morning and when I told him no I’d stick by my crew he threw a punch or two and got us both in the stocks.  So in the morning I missed my post and sure enough there were gobs that had got past the lines and killed 9 guys in my unit.  Cole knew it was coming, but what makes me cold sometimes is that the brass must have knew too, and they sent us there anyhow.  Cole never said what he did and I never asked.  A soldier knows how to keep their mouth shut though and I’m saying too much, even if I’m not in the army anymore.
It was pretty good being a Handgunner and we got early mess and dry beds because the guns.  I’m glad I had good hand and eye because I never had to try to sleep squatting in a bog with my sword across my knees like I sometimes saw infantry doing.   Then again, I knew lots of infantry who’d rather kit out in a bog than sleep beside the powder.  We sometimes got overrun and had to get in with sword and board, or had to form up to break a charge, but mostly we were out of the boil and somewhere high up spotting and taking shots.  I think those were the best days of my life, back before the Third, making the Silvers and getting my Hochland.  I’d kill a man for a Hochland, but then most people would likely.  I wouldn't sell it though so that's different.
I don’t remember a lot of the actual war, just a flash here and there.  I know I was covering the Greatswords and it was going our way until they just left position.  I remember feeling that something wasn't going right and wondering where Baerfaust had gone and seeing the Mad Count’s banners flapping alone on an empty field.  Well not empty because there were suddenly gobs and squigs everywhere and we couldn't load fast enough or pull back before they hit us.  I took an axe to the head and that was all I remember until I woke up in the Shallyan temple and couldn't understand why couldn't talk or move my arms or legs.  So that’s how I found out had been knocked out for some eight months and so all my muscles were soft and also that I had a piece of brass in my head to keep my brain covered up.  Thats also how I found out I was out of the army and all my wages had gone for my care and to pay the chirurgeon and healers.  I likely would have wound up in a hole as well when the money ran out except for Gravin Clothhilde who kept a fund going for some of the more pitiful cases.  She came to the hospice too, she didn't just pay for our bread like she was buying off a lively past, she came to the temple and she helped bring us our meals and she helped us eat them.  She read books to us.
I got better fast once I woke up.  It took me another month to get my strength back after being in bed so long and I spent that helping feed and care for those ones worse off than me.  There was a man there who had lost both legs at the knees and an arm and he was the most cheerful fellow in the place and always said he was just happy he still had his prick and one good hand to hold it.   So I felt I was a lucky man like my papi. I had lost a lot of things though, and not just my trade and my money. Most of the Third was just a blur to me and I had a hard time with names of guys I used to know or remembering faces. I asked about Cole and someone said he’d been to see me while I was asleep. He had said he was doing a job down by the docks and I should look him up if I woke up. But I hadn't woke up and when I finally did he wasn't anywhere around the dock anymore.  At least I think he wasn't, I’m kind of worried that I don’t remember his face anymore either...

1 comment:

  1. Great Stuff! - I really enjoy your character backgrounds.