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A Life Of Service and Honor

 
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Nilan
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 23
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Jobs: Body Guard, Sword for Hire
Can Be Found: Wandering RhyDin
1681.00 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:06 pm    Post subject: A Life Of Service and Honor Reply with quote

Nilan watched the time pass in the form of sunrises and sunsets, her eyes rarely drifting from the horizon as the sky changed colors. At night she would drop anchor, sleep, and after the very minimum of rest was obtained she would begin again. It had been three days out on open water before the shores of RhyDin became visible in the distance, three days of an almost meditative silence, save for the soft sounds of water lapping at the ship's hull before moving outwards again, cutting through the ocean's surface on its course had ended. For all sense and purpose it seemed almost a crime to dock the boat and then abandon it for a rented room somewhere. Nilan had chosen instead to make the boat her home. There was space to sleep, space for all of her possessions (which didn't amount to that much), and space for her to whittle the hours away as she chose.

It wasn't hard to find a few bottles of wine in this town and a bucket of fresh water, and once a crude clothesline had been erected, she sat on the docks in front of her boat with a lantern at her feet and the neck of one of those aforementioned bottles in her hand, the bottom propped on her knee. Her laundry was drying in the open sea air, the sky was lit with stars, and she was drinking - all was right with the world. The problem with wine of course, was that the mind tended to wander, and her mind could wander far, it could wander wide, it could wander left right and center. It wandered where it always wandered - to her children. It only took half of the bottle of wine for the small leather pouch worn inside of her shirt and against her heart to be pulled out, the contents within lovingly retrieved for her to examine in the lantern's flickering light. Two small portraits, no more than a decade old of a woman with guarded pale eyes and light skin, dressed in the clothes of a healer, and another younger man, this one bearing a much stronger resemblance to the olive skinned, dark haired woman drinking her night away at the dock, was leaning against the hilt of his sword, grinning like a rogue. Her son and daughter all grown up now, Athena with her own child, and Denor who knows where, raising hell. They felt like they were a million miles away, living their own lives as children must do when they reached a certain age, but they remained the constant, and greatest pride of her life.

They also remained the one thing she would never speak of to those who she was employed by. The less anyone who lived by the business end of a weapon knew about her children, the better.

Sometimes it felt like she had spent more of what seemed to her to be a very long life in the service of others, rather than living for herself. At times it evoked a powerful sense of resentment in the woman, but more often than not Nilan imagined that all bodyguards felt this way. It required a particular frame of mind, one that not everyone was equally blessed and cursed with to be willing to lay down your own life for another person's. The times when she was most resentful was when the individual in question didn't really deserve the protection they were getting. It seemed to be almost a cosmic law that the scum of the were richer in this universe than those who were precious, gifted or touched by the hand of whatever god or gods were out there, people who were a joy to keep safe. Over the decades she had spent serving this overlord or that archmage, or whomever paid the nicest price, Nilan had gotten very used to gritting her teeth and getting on with it. She had never signed herself away to one of those types for very long; it was a blessing really that her reputation proceeded her more often than not, and on the rare times that it didn't, she had a collection of official papers from previous employers speaking of her courage, her skill, the utter selflessness with which she did her duty. The part of her which had no teeth to grit, the part that remained vibrant and independent during her periods of service always seemed to be chattering away in her mind, trying to chip at the unflinching ability the woman seemed to have to simply shut up, and do her job. There were times when looking the other way during particularly tense moments seemed almost seductive in how appealing it was, but then there was that sense of duty, overriding all, every base urge, every gut instinct that screamed that the world would have been better off. In her younger days she might've done just that, but in her younger days she was a different person all together. A younger version of her would take to those precious people who really needed her almost maternally. A younger version of her would look the other way, and if - by chance - it was someone on a dangerous quest who needed her services, she would almost always end up falling in love. Something about fighting back to back with a man or woman with a mission seemed to be the ideal recipe for romance to Nilan. Thankfully she wasn't that younger version anymore. Thankfully.

But those were thoughts that only seemed to come easily after a bottle of wine, those thoughts that almost always made the need for the second bottle irresistible. Nilan carefully folded those portraits back up after one last lingering look at the faces of her two children, before she began to work the cork of the second bottle out from its - in her opinion - highly oppressive prison. Yes indeed, her laundry was drying, and there was wine to be drank; with the sounds of the water lightly lapping at the hull of her boat it was almost the easiest thing in the world for Nilan to believe that everything was right with the world.
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