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(Archive) The Littlest Greenshirt?

Tags: Louse,  Greenshirts,  Lo

Short Summary: Lord Barlin of Karath's recruiters are faced with an eager youngster who meets ... well, none of their criteria
Date (real-life): 2011-04-18
Scene Location: Esgaroth: Fisher's Wharf
Date (in-game): September 3052
Time of Day: Early evening
Fisher's Wharf

This area is noticeably seedier than the walk above, and on most days smells quite strongly of fish. From here, the daily horde of fishing vessels make their way out onto Long Lake. Indeed, most fisherfolk live near or even on the Wharf itself, housed in small dwellings built under the boards of Esgaroth proper. There are still the ever-present warehouses, but most are obviously boarded up and ill kept. Those that remain house small shops geared toward the fishing-trade, or are fish-shops themselves, run by the families of those who capture the bounty of the Lake to earn their silver. There are many shady characters hanging about, in the nooks and crannies of the old wharf. At the end of the wharf shines a single red light, and because of it, you can make out the weatherbeaten sign of an Inn.

Obvious exits:
 South leads to Center of Firespark Lane.
 Dark Alley leads to Northern Underdecks.
 Battered Door leads to The Fishtale Inn.

=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Real Time: Mon Apr 18 14:42:37 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Mersday, early night on a clear autumn's night, September 15 of 3052
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

Evening comes to chase away the daylight, though ere the sky is darkened for true, the Fisher's Wharf yet retains a few folk abroad. Fishermen and peddlers slip along to or from the Underdecks, some stopping in at the Fishtale Inn, but in the center of the wharf stand two rather bored looking men. Both are dressed in the livery of House Karath, a small lectern standing between them, and they yawn and stretch as they squint skyward.

"Well," says one, "about time to call it a day. Not a volunteer all afternoon..."

A small, cap-covered head peeks from the alley behind the Fishtale, waiting for a lull in the passers-by before scuttling toward the pair of recruiters. The figure is small and rather grubby, dressed in a tattered shirt and breeches rather too big for it. A few strands of dirty blonde-brown hair have escaped from the shapeless cap covering its head. The word on the street was that Karath is looking for strapping teenage lads to sign on as Greenshirts. Perhaps it is no accident that this person has waited for evening's shadows to fall before approaching the recruiters ... clearly, whatever its sex, this is no teenager.

On approaching the desk, the 'boy' greets the recruiters, "Evenin'. Wanted ta talk ta ye."

Just as one of the guards takes up the lectern, the other turns about to look down upon the child, and he squints. "Ho there, young sprat," says he, peering at the 'boy'. "And, er, just what can we do for you? I'm afraid I've got no coppers, if that's what you're after..."

The child's sharp eyes shift immediately to the speaker's belt, searching for pouches or other signs of wealth. "That so, Mister?" There is a disbelieving note in the piping voice. A moment later the youngster sticks both thumbs in the rope belt holding the breeches up (boys do that, don't they?) and announces, "Heard this Greenshirt stuff's good fer a livin'. So's I want ta sign up."

The guard carrying the lectern bursts out laughing at this, and says: "You? Son, you're no bigger than a goblin's elbow."

But the other merely chuckles, and shakes his head to his fellow. "Oh, I don't know... pluck can take one far, after all. Why'd you want to sign up with the Greenshirts then, lad?"

"Don' need ta be tall ta bite 'em where it 'urts," the 'lad' announces, staring fixedly at a point rather lower than the laugher's elbow. If it wasn't for those missing front teeth, one might be reminded of a terrier about to take on a bull. Then, the sharp green eyes lift again. "Youse gonna fight /goblins/?"

For the other speaker, the 'lad' has a gap-toothed grin. "Cos /'e/ said so. Big Lord feller wi' the arrow up 'ere." One dirty hand gestures to the forehead, and the cap slips a little.

The two guards share a glance, ere the one carrying the lectern wrinkles his brow. "Who? Lord Barlin?"

"No, no," muses the other. "I think she means a Girion, which must be Lord Lorthrain. Is that right, little lad? Is that who put you up to this? A young rich man with a sword at his hip?"

"'E was rich." The 'boy' nods confirmation to that. "'E says ta stay wi' the Greenshirts." Idly, one hand scratches at the midriff, and then at the back of the neck (where something small is indeed crawling). All this talk is getting rather wearying ... "So c'n I sign up? Ain't gettin' any earlier."

Scratching his cheek as though lost for words, the friendlier of the two steals a glance to his companion, who mere merely shrugs with the lectern in his hand.

"You're a mite small, lad," says the latter. "But I didn't hear any age limits from the Lord Barlin. I suppose, if you're a good boy, we could give you a shirt, aye. But we'd need to know that your parents approve, with you being so young..."

At that, the child stares blankly at the recruiter. "Huh?" the 'lad' blurts out. "Ain't got-" Just in time, the tumbling words are halted, to be replaced by a gap-toothed grin. "Can't see as 'ey'd mind," the young would-be recruit offers.

An appetising (or at least vaguely so) smell has started to waft from the Fishtale, and clearly the youngster is getting distracted.

Sharing another glance, the two guards nod to one another, and the one carrying the lectern sets it upon the ground once more. "Alright, we'll take your name down, and if you show up at the Training Yard tomorrow, then we'll see about that shirt. What are you called?" he asks, pulling out a parchment and a quill.

The youngster looks down at the ground and mutters something too low to be heard.

The guard narrows his eyes and cocks his ear. "Come again, lad?"

The 'lad' looks up, cheeks reddening a little. "I said ..." Again that mutter. What? Leosig? Louseg? "Most folks jist calls me Louse," the speaker admits finally, scratching again at the neck as though to prove the origin of the name.

At the vigorous motion the cap starts to slide, and with a sudden squeak the 'lad' clutche at it. "Best be goin'," 'he' gasps, and darts away, holding said item firmly. As the child runs, more strands of dirty blond-brown hair are visible. Rather long for a boy ...

Date added: 2011-05-02 05:48:13    Hits: 65
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