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Down Range

Regies | Rose-Marie
Gabe | Arden

𝓝𝓸𝓿𝓮𝓶𝓫𝓮𝓻 𝟖𝓽𝓱, 𝟏𝟑𝟐𝟕 / / 𝓐𝓾𝓼𝓯𝓮𝓵𝓭 / / 𝓒𝓪𝓻𝓻𝓲𝓭𝓪𝓷'𝓼 𝓔𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓽𝓮 / / 𝓜𝓸𝓻𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰
Collab with @Diggerton @GreenGoat @January @RedDusk

Rose-Marie had no problems with waking up early.

What she did have a problem with was the treatment they were getting. This certainly wasn't something she was expecting when they spoke about training. In fact, this seemed to be normal drills one would do to train their troops; nothing wrong with that, but it seemed highly unsuitable for training people such as her. Each of them had their own abilities to hone. If they needed troops, then by her father's sword she could and would take a hundred men and train them to be real soldiers. But this sort of training certainly was unsuited for their needs in her opinion.

But in any case, at least Regis could be trained to shoot a musket. She knew he had never truly had need to train in fighting, considering that wasn't his job and certainly nothing he was expected to do at a regular basis, but at the very least, not fumbling when trying to fill the pan with gunpowder would be an improvement.

"Hmm, perhaps this training is for the benefit of the others" She sighed, as she looked towards Regis. "Perhaps it would do you some good to learn as well."

Regies grimaced, “Oh. Oh geez.” he said abruptly, clearly not very happy at the suggestion, but he let out a quick cough, “I mean, uh, if you see fit m’lady. I can… put… an effort into that.” indeed, he had never been much of a fighter. In that aspect his aspirations outshone his ambition, “I… uh… suppose that learning such a skill might come in useful, if we’re going to keep up with this whole bond business."

“Although…” Regies had certainly tried shooting in the past to little avail, a fact that he had no doubt Rose-Marie was well aware of. “Well, I hope this goes better than last time.” he said, directing a nervous smile at her.

Meanwhile, Gabe kept a respectful distance from the well-dressed lady and her servant, glancing curiously at the muskets they were going to practice shooting. He had seen them before; many noblemen prefered them over simple bows and arrows in their hunting trips. But he had never touched them or even seen one up close. They had always been too expensive for people from his social class.

"Welcome to the shooting range," Dinn Lemare announced as he approached the group he was assigned to train. The man had shed much of yesterday's formal attire, dressed down instead for the occasion in simpler trousers, a belt with various cases and compartments, and a fitted tunic. Much of his clothes, however, remained subtly embroidered with the fine stitching of class and wealth, a reminder that he was still their superior. "It may look shabby compared to the rest of the place, but that's because we anticipate a lot of accidents. We won't be wasting the more refined locations until you lot have a better grasp of your powers."

One of his Hounds carefully handed the man a long, sleek rifle polished to a shine along its gleaming, steel barrel and black wood stock.

"Some of you may have seen these before, but this is a gun. Specifically, a rifle. These longer types are for ranged attacks but regardless of their category they are all dangerous. If you've handled a crossbow before, you'll know what a trigger is. If you haven't, this is the trigger." He grasped the barrel and the stock of the gun, holding it up horizontally so the small lever was visible. After a moment of panning the view back and forth, Lemare flipped the gun upright so the stock rested against the ground.

"Now, before you can even attempt to fire this, you need to master the art of loading it. It's a task in its own right. Pay attention."

Slowly, but with a practiced ease, he pulled a tightly rolled wax paper packet from one of the pouches on his belt, the thin cylinder filled with the main powder charged. Deft motions untwisted one end of the cylinder and poured the black powder down the gun's muzzle. Another tight packet revealed a small sphere of iron which he eased deep into the gun with a long, thin rod from the same Hound who had brought the gun. Once that was complete, he hefted the gun into a more natural position, cocking back the hammer and opening a small chamber on top, near the rifle's stock.

Pointing to a piece of flint attached to the hammer, he stated the obvious. "This is a piece of flint. It strike this frizzen here--" he tapped a small piece of steel directly ahead of the flint "--which lights up the powder that I'm about to pour in the pan here--" the same finger pointed at the small opening right below the frizzen "--and you'll hear a crack of unholy thunder before your target keels over dead. Assuming your aim is true."

He pulled out one more packet of powder, tipping the opening into the pan before closing the small lid and wrapping a tiny cloth strip around the frizzen. "No one's firing anything today, and I don't need any accidental discharges so before you even test the weight of your rifle I'll need you all to grab those torn cloth pieces from the bin near the guns and wrap it around here," he instructed, pointing to the frizzen again. "When you pull the trigger, this little flint piece strikes the steel bit here and sets off a spark. That spark turns into hellfire and thunder and you're not ready for that until I see you loading and cleaning like the lightning itself. So get to it. I'm here for any questions, but the final rule for today is to keep your finger off that trigger until you're ready to kill something. Or someone. If we make decent headway, you can practice holding it properly, like this." He knelt and rested the stock against his shoulder, face tight against it, and pointed the gun forward, one hand gripping the stock and the other stabilizing with a firm hold on the bottom of the barrel, where the wood casing had been made to accommodate.

"Practice shifting from a full load to this position. You'll need to do it as quickly as possible in combat. And remember: fingers off the trigger. Now pick a gun, wrap the cloth around the steel bit, and get to it."

Basic instruction done, he relaxed his stance and stood back up, turning now to the trainees to watch their attempts.

Marie would have answered Regis, had it not been for their intructor arriving just then. His teaching methods were interesting, but she had no doubt she could do better. In fact, she was confident she would be able to teach even a bunch of peasants how to shoot in a formation in just a matter of hours. It was the maneuverings and drills to instill dicipline that took longer.

"Well, Regis, didn't you hear him? Go on and use the gun."

She didn't bother picking up one, considering it more for the benefit of her untrained companion, and those peasants there rather than anyone like her. What noble did not know how to use a gun? Once more she was convinced that these people were fools. Loading the rifle was in itself already a dangerous move. A piece of cloth over the pan? Why even bother with that and just remove the flint or leave it at half cock? In fact, why bother with any of that at all, and simply allow them to shoot under guidance? And she had certainly heard of paper cartridges for ease of use in the field, but she had never seen one that separated both the powder and the ball in different paper packets. Perhaps it was their way of doing such a thing. Marie was feeling rather smug by now, thinking of Roche's superiority in that field.

"Right. Yes. Use the gun, will do." he went over and glanced at one of the rifles. He grabbed one of the cloth strips as instructed, wrapping it around the... frizzy? He shook his head, grabbing the weapon and holding it awkwardly, clearly highly unaccustomed to handling it and perhaps a little afraid of it.

He gave a glance back to Rose-Marie, “Well, this sure is a gun.” he wryly commented. He stared at it for a moment, reciting the steps in his head. Powder, ball, rod… couldn’t be too hard, could it? Or was it ball, powder, rod? No, no, the powder must've gone in first. He nodded to himself, doing his best to replicate Lemare’s loading.

Meanwhile, Gabe just stared on. The instructions were simple and the demonstration was clear and concise. He knew what to do. He understood. But still, Gabe edged around others, keeping his distance. Rifles were loud. Why rifles? Why not bows? He had seen soldiers using bows before. He glanced at Lemare, wondering if it was a clever thing to ask him. Probably not. So he complied, grabbing a rifle and fiddling with it. Loading the weapon wasn't too hard, and he managed after a few moments.

Incompetent buffoons, came her thought as Rose-Marie sighed. She had no problem letting the peasants founder, but her servant being incompetent reflected badly upon her. Perhaps another demonstration would allow them to finally figure it out.

"Regis. Watch." She picked up a rifle of her own, making sure it was unloaded. Signalling to the others to come close, Marie continued, "You, peasants, come here. I'll only be so gracious so as to demonstrate this once."

First she uncovered the pan at the bottom of the rifle after making sure the hammer was half cocked. Anyone even half knowledgable about guns would notice putting the hammer in that position would make the gun unable to fire. It was where the phrase 'going off half cocked' came from after all.

"Put some powder in the pan, inside here. Not too much, just enough to ignite the charge."

Closing the frizzen over the pan, she poured a measure of powder inside the muzzle, and put a ball in. WIth one smooth movement, she took out the ramming rod from the rifle and rammed it down the muzzle.

"Now, Regis. Are you still listening? Pour some powder into the muzzle, then ram the ball in. Make sure the ball is flush against the powder charge in the bottom, or your rifle will explode instead of sending a ball downrange."

With the rifle fully armed, she aimed down the barrel downrange, though she kept her fingers off the trigger. Once more came the overwhelming feeling she could be doing something much more productive with her time, as Marie sighed again.

Regies watch attentively. There was this little game he liked to play where he tried to guess what Rose-Marie was thinking when she gave one of her lectures. Right now, probably something along the lines of… incompetent cretins? Regies is staggeringly incompetent and it’s embarrassing?

Of course, he wasn’t bitter. He found his incompetence quite endearing.

He nodded along as Rose-Marie spoke, giving the occasional chime of, ”Yes, m’lady.” and a, ”Still listening, m’lady.” and finally a, ”I would certainly hope that the rifle doesn’t explode, m’lady.” all delivered entirely straight laced.

He repeated the steps to himself again. Powder in the pan, but not too much. Powder in the muzzle, ram the ball in. Make sure it’s flush or you’re going to have a really bad day. To his credit, he was a lot better at remembering with Rose-Marie barking at him. ”Thank you for the demonstration, m’lady.” he said with a wry smile, doing his best to replicate the process with his own rifle. He was a little slow, but he got the steps right – certainly he could speed up with a little more practice.

Arden, meanwhile, picked up a similar rifle carefully and following the instructions, trying to remember his teenage lessons from days he had long left behind. He tested the noticeable weight of it in his hands and remembered faintly the feeling of a heavy kick and the ringing in his ears afterwards. He had never really liked the new weapons, but he couldn't deny their efficacy. Targets often dropped instantly, a hole pierced clean through their bodies. It took him several attempts to remember the rusty skills of loading and moving into position, but it came back quicker than expected, his mind beginning now to dredge up relevant information.

Are you worried? he asked through their bond, the convenience of its use a blessing in these moments.

Gabe didn't reply at first, far too occupied with their new weapons. But after a few moments, a response came through.


It's very loud--the gun.

I know.

They called it the new era of warfare. These things. They kill very quickly.

But loudly. A flash of annoyance passed through their bond. Everything will run away after one shot.

They were made to kill people better, even if the nobles use them more for sport and game. On the battlefield, it doesn't matter how far you run. The distances it can hit are...tremendous.

I'm not using it.

You'll die out there if you don't master this. A murky feeling filtered through their bond, but Arden quieted it before Gabe could identify. Still, the contents of the message was enough indication of what it was.

Gabe looked up at Arden then, head slightly tilted.

They aren't sending us to war, are they? Aren't we...important?

They're training us for war, Gabe. And I would do anything to keep you alive.

Gabe just looked stunned for a few moments, before shaking his head and turning back to the rifle.

ℂ𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕒𝕓𝕠𝕣𝕒𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 ℙ𝕠𝕤𝕥 / / @Diggerton@Baklava

𝕎𝕖𝕕: 𝕆𝕔𝕥. 𝟙𝟜, 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 / / 𝕌𝕊𝔸ℝ𝕀𝕃ℕ ℂ𝕒𝕞𝕡𝕦𝕤 / / 𝕆𝕦𝕥𝕤𝕚𝕕𝕖 𝕠𝕗 𝔹𝕦𝕚𝕝𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝔹 / / 𝟙𝟞𝟘𝟘

guess i'm back home... is this place 'home'?



Moving to... Room 203. I wonder who was here before me?





I wanted to throw Siena a birthday party, but I don't think she was interested. Maybe I'll just drop off a cake?




Felsi awoke to a dreary morning. It wasn't unexpected, considering the local climate, but a little depressing all the same. She wasn't sure if it was the weather or her inability to read Lorrimor's positively fascinating books, but she had felt a little down on awakening. After a short breakfast she decided to set out towards Lake Lias. The town, by all accounts, had quite the fishing community. Felsi wasn't interested in fishing, but surely the lake would be a little less dreary than the town.

The path from Ravengro to Lake Lias was fairly well worn. Those in village who fished as a living had to travel it every day when they went out, so many obstacles or other impairments tended to be taken care of fairly quickly. The trees had started to shed their leaves already, providing Felsi with a light crunch to every step as she walked along. Because the canopy was sparse, the woodland paths were actually fairly well lit today. Still, it was a decently long trip to the lake; 5 miles seemed fairly short when you had a horse-drawn wagon to bring home the daily catch. But, the scenery was nice, and there was something the Slyph could enjoy about the path.

As Felsi walked down the path, she noticed a few odd shapes that seemed different than the usual silhouettes of birds. Nearly the size of baseballs; two buzzing creatures bobbing through the sparse canopy, opposite the direction she was going. Whatever they were, they either didn't notice her or didn't care, as they did not stop.

Felsi hadn't ever seen any notes or knew of anything that matched what she had seen. Whatever they were, they at least appeared to be somewhat insectoid in nature.

Felsi was previously lost in thought, but now upon seeing the unfamiliar creature her curiosity was suddenly piqued. The promise of a new discovery, at the very least new to here, pushed her back down the path towards town after the two creatures.

Unfortunately, the creatures had the advantage of soaring above the treetops, while Felsi had to attempt to navigate the forest while also trying not to lose track of the mysterious bug-like things. A task that proved harder than anticipated, as Felsi nearly wandered into a thorn bush, and immediately lost sight as she made her way around it. With no vision on them, she wouldn't be able to tell where they went specifically, even if she walked back to town.

Fortunately for her, it wouldn't be too hard to follow her own footprints back to the path.

”Oh, crumbs.” Felsi muttered, realizing there was no hope of catching the creatures. With a sigh she turned back, retracing her steps back to continue her way towards the lake.

For a moment, as Felsi wandered back to the trail, the wind rustled through the trees. A few leaves fluttered down, the crisp air nipped at her, and for a brief moment the sound of wind rushing past her ears sounded almost musical. Like a soft song, played for less than a second before it vanished. As she walked back she felt a faint unease and wasn't quite sure why.

Lake Lias was relatively calm at this time; the breeze gained some more chill as it passed over the rapidly cooling surface of the water. A few wooden docks traced their ways out to the water, seeming to barely grasp at the edges of the lake. Out in the distance, the odd fishing boat trawled along slowly, nets accumulating their aquatic cargo as they went. The forest seemed to surround the lake completely, giving it the illusion of being a hidden spot in the woods; were it not for the obvious signs of other people around, that is.

The serene tranquility of the lake was only broken up by the soft breeze that sent ripples over the water. As Felsi watched, one boat quietly drifted into the docks, squirming payload bound tightly in a net on the deck. One of the crew jumped from the ship to the boardwalk, grabbing one of the trailing ropes and securing it tightly as the boat drifted to a complete stop. Out in the distance, more boats gently glided back and forth, nets searching for a similar bounty.


Cold ground. Sea soaked, the bitter tinge of salt water on her tongue and filling her nostrils. It had come and went so quickly, but Emma hadn’t quite found the will to pick herself up of the ground yet. For a moment she just let herself lay there, well aware of Determination crouched over her. He was never far from her side as he had been since he had ‘awoke’. The swell of water had knocked her off her feet, for a moment she had panicked, thinking more would come, but it receded as quickly as it had come. She realized that for a moment she was afraid of dying- afraid of drowning, cold and alone, in the middle of fucking nowhere.

Maybe she wasn’t ready for it.

Another long moment. ”Transmit. I’m fine.” she finally hissed, working up the will a while after the others.

She felt the familiar the smooth cold touch at her back – Determination’s shadowy hand. ”You’re okay.” it was more of a statement than a question.

”Yeah.” she confirmed, slowly picking herself up, pushing herself off the ground. ”Alive, at least.”

”More than could be said for some.” the implication of the statement hung in the air for a moment, a hint of bitterness in Determination’s voice coloring the statement with intent. It didn’t take long for Emma to connect the dots.

”Sorry. I…” a statement that she couldn’t finish. She found her back against the walls of the lighthouse, finally sitting up now. Determination, for a moment, said nothing.

”You can’t keep killing us.”

”I know… I just…”

”Get the white-haired girl next time.” he interrupted.

Emma sighed. ”Right. Yeah. You’re right.” the matter of Lily’s healing, it seemed, would be getting more complicated. She could worry about it later. The Amigos still might be a threat. She had lost track of what was happening while she was on the floor. She finally fully rose, walking towards the ruins of the lighthouse’s window. It looked like it was over, at least for the moment. The battle had come and passed and Emma hadn’t really done much of anything, now instead viewing the wreckage of the fight that she might’ve changed. There was no Angel, but plenty of injured. Was that her fault? Maybe. Probably.

Her that her continued uselessness was par for the course.

As Emma turned away from the window she finally caught sight of a shock of purple on the ground. Her scarf. She had lost it in the flood, she realized. She bent over, picking it up from the ground, squeezing the water from it. A gift in tatters, soaked with salt water and stained with blood.

Sorry, Val.

She’d have to find the time to mend it. Maybe their next stop in their hellish, seemingly unending, journey would give her enough respite to do just that. She decided to stuff the tatters of the scarf in her pocket, seeing as it wasn’t in much of a state to be worn.

She was looking around aimlessly as Ernie came in, giving her much needed direction. "Right..." she muttered, still in thought.

It had been 3 months since Felsi left Lepidstadt. The place she had called home for as long as she had remembered. She wasn't exactly sure what brought the desire to leave- maybe it was academic curiosity, the desire to see with her own eyes what she had read for so long. Or perhaps it was just wanderlust. And maybe, partially, a desire for wealth and fame.

Probably not the last one. Maybe.

All the same the news of Professor Lorrimor's death was quite the surprise. Maybe not the death itself, but certainly the fact that she'd been named as a beneficiary in his will. She'd known the man fairly well- he was an old colleague of her father's, a learned man that had assisted in both his study of the Astral Planes and in the particularities of her own origin. To this end she'd talked extensively with the man, although she could hardly see why she'd be included in his will. They were friends, she supposed, to an extent at least...

She did, however, intend to attend the funeral. Lorrimor was a scholar much like herself, and there was little doubt that there could be much to learn at his estate. Doubtlessly the man had an extensive library, and perhaps he'd taken some small step in cracking the mystery that her father dedicated himself towards. More likely he had his own work to attend to, an exciting enough prospect in itself.

She let out a long sigh. That meant another journey. Yet another exciting prospect, but a scary one all the same. She'd almost been happy enough staying locked in an inn studying. Almost. And so she set about collecting her things and then taking the shortest road to Ravengro.
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