High Pass - Humble Beginnings

Baby Steps

For years you all have been laboring and training under the watchful eyes of many tutors, but none so watchful and critical than those of Sir Barrister Von Gillar – the knight who commands the garrison living in High Pass. With each passing year you all have grown in both stature and skill, easily out-distancing most of the other vassals to be considered amongst the ones most likely to be chosen as Apprentices this year. To be chosen as Apprentice is a great honor; you all will still be learning your places, but you will be doing so from some of the top instructors at the fort – especially from Sir Barrister himself and his two mystical advisors Master Practitioner Aldridge and Master Cleric Dom.

Finally, the Time of Choosing is upon you all, and none of you are left wanting as each of your names are spoken aloud before the gathering of soldiers for you all to take your places as Apprentices to your new chosen professions. Those of you choosing the martial life are given over to the grizzled warrior Dolin Frostbeard, the dwarven captain in charge of all the guards. For those of you who have chosen the path of the arcane, you are given over to Master Practitioner Aldridge, an older human wizard with quick eyes and an even quicker tongue, especially when dealing with those who interfere with his charges. Master Cleric Dom, a quiet and contemplative human who towers over all the others around him, takes those that seek the path of the spiritual warrior – you all still remember seeing him in action on the sparring field and know that this gentle giant is a bear on the battlefield. For those that chose to follow in the footsteps of the scouts, you have been given over to Master Scout Eliandre, a female elf whose swift, quiet footsteps have left many a quarry unprepared for her hunt. Those choosing to accompany the even quieter and shadowy path of the spies are given over to Master Shadow Hurgin, a halfling with a boisterous laugh and a twisted sense of humor to match. Finally, those finding a special calling to the faith in both spirit and arms are to be trained by none other than Sir Barrister himself, a paladin in the service of Torm.

The feast that follows takes you all far into the evening, where events began to grow fuzzy to the memory until you all only remember the time you woke the next morning, the taste of something vile upon your tongue and a particularly brutal pounding in your head. Already used to such things apparently, the acolytes were present to take away such distractions, for the day was to begin your new roles…with even more hard labor and intensive training, on top of being given additional duties within the fort to befit your new stations. Guard rotations needed to be filled, the signal tower needed to be manned on a regular basis, the newest recruits were to be trained in the basics of combat and service; all of the things that you all watched with wonder as you were younger suddenly seemed less wondrous and much more mundane and banal as you went about your next year of life getting used to the newest routine until even the futility of it all wore off and you realized exactly what it meant to be a soldier of High Pass.

One this particularly cold morning, you all awake to find an unsealed parchment set on the chest containing your personal effects – a summons from the sergeant of the guard. It reads, “You will meet me atop the High Pass Gate an hour after First Bell to receive your latest instruction. Do not be late as it shows disrespect for your instructors and discredits you as not being worthy of the honor you have received. Further information will be given unto you when you arrive.” The parchment is unsigned, but you recognize the handwriting well, and realize that Sergeant Garvin wrote it himself instead of passing along the duty to one of his understudies – something that piques your interest more so than the mysterious summons. Sergeant Garvin rarely takes the time to write his own orders; for him to do this now shows that this is something very important to him personally.

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