Chapter 1: Beginnings (part 3)

“Auley Fleetfoot, West hall! Finnin Long-” the soldier reading off the names paused for just a moment, re-reading the name, making sure wasn’t seeing things, “Ahem, uh, Finnin Longriver, East Hall! Bothain Greenhill-”

Next to Racieus, Finnin’s shoulders sagged. “How long you think it’s going to be like this?”

“Ah give it time,”Racieus consoled, “It’s only the first day. Things’ll be normal in a week or two I’m sure.”

“Racieus Vispilllieus, North Hall!”

North hall?” Finnin said with gasp. “But… you’re supposed to be with me!”

Racieus was just as stunned. Both he and Finnin were fully aware of the different dorms, but the thought had never occurred to either, that they wouldn’t be put in the same one.

“And that’s it! We welcome you, the next wave of Dolmen soldiers to your new home. Do yourselves, your families, and your armies proud! Squad leaders please take your places.” At this, four halflings, two in shining plate armor, one in clinking chainmaille, and the last in tight leather armor, stood and formed a line along the front of the podium. This room, the Assembly Room, was vast, and rightly so. It was where the entire Dolmen army would congregate for addresses and orders from their higher ups. As it were, there must have been at least one hundred and fifty halflings, and there was still so much unoccupied space. The ceiling was high, even by human standards, and the banners of defeated enemies, flags flown by the free peoples of Teranore, and pieces of parchment containing treaties and stories from battles long past, lined the walls and hung from the ceiling.

“Recruits, your first task is to form lines in front of your respective squad leaders, Aiden Underburrow will take those in the North hall, Alia Bilberry with lead those in East Hall , Thiery Sandweaver-” Racieus has stopped paying attention, his thoughts still trying to work through being separated from his best friend. And in truth, Fin was more than that, he was like a brother. Racieus never knew his own father, he had disappeared before he was born, and while Adral Longriver wasn’t much of a father, he had been kind enough to allow Racieus to live in his home with his son.

But what did we expect? Racieus thought to himself, Did we honestly think that we would never be separated?

He had started to say something to Finning, when the speaker barked an order, and the press of bodies began to push Racieus along. He managed to catch Finnin’s eye as they separated, and yelled “Good luck!” And although he couldn’t hear a reply, Racieus knew that Finnin had replied with the same. His body had begun to move without him, and Racieus brought himself back to the present, trying to push the emotions out of his head, and focus on what lay ahead. With or without Finnin, it was still the beginning of the training he had looked forward to all his life. And it’s not like they’d never see each other again, they were in the same building!

The young dolmen smiled, and rubbed his hands together eagerly, the anticipation of what was to come taking center stage in his thoughts.


The End

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