Here be Chapter 2, Raven's encounter with the Generals.
Weavers: The Raven:
Chapter Two: In The Dragon’s Den
Raven walked on purposefully and at a steady pace. She had been tempted to turn back and finish the book she had started a few nights ago, but decided against it on the grounds of not wanting to get into too
much trouble before she even officially joined the Clandestine Guard. She walked through the many labyrinth link corridors and doors of the main building before she came to a large heavy door with the words ‘Council Room’ etched on the gold plague that was bolted to it.
After standing in front of the door for a few seconds, recalling some of the likely questions they would ask of her, she walked forward and lazily extended her right hand in the direction of the door. For a split second there was a small distortion between her hand and the door, almost immediately after which, it slowly opened inwards.
Raven walked through and took in the large and lavishly decorated circular room. There were paintings all around it, some of places but most of people, famous Clandestine Guard. Her attention was drawn to one in particular, a portrait of Zei, except with short and neat hair instead of his current mop of untidy hair. There was also a large semi-circular table that took up one half of the room. This was where a dozen people were sitting, all wearing some variation of the white and black Clandestine Guard armour. Most wore the typical light, leather variation which consisted simply of a white cuirass with black detail and recesses, a small white gorget that often had an amulet or jewel attached (also with black detail and recesses) and perhaps some basic gauntlets, pauldrons, boots and/or greaves of the same style. One of them wore the heavy steel variation, which was bulkier but offered a lot more protection, and three of them wore variations of the basic leather armour, with the white replaced with silver.
They were the nine Generals and three Master-Generals of the Clandestine Guard. Normally they would not be the ones that ‘interviewed’ those hoping to join the Guard, but they insisted on doing so in the special cases, such as when any kind Daiori was involved. Like Raven.
Daiori was the name given to any who possessed innate, and often extraordinary, talents or skills. Falcons were one of the more common varieties, typically very good spellcasters and seekers of knowledge. The problem with them was that, while not necessarily evil, they were almost all complete bastards/be-atches, secretive and generally unpleasant people to know.
The majority of the Generals were male, but there was one female Master-General and three female Generals. All but one were Tsorians, one of the three human races of Ulei. They typically are of average build and height and do not generally have any particular talents or traits. The other one Raven immediately recognised as Zei’s twin, Oeli. They were identical in appearance except that Oeli’s hair was short and neat, he wore Master-General armour, and his face was marked with a long scar that went from the top of his nose’s bridge to his right jaw line, cutting across his cheek. It was then that she realised the portrait was most likely one of Oeli before he got his scar, rather than a more ‘respectable’ Zei.
Raven inclined her still hooded head ever so slightly, much to the visible annoyance of a few of the Generals.
“Raven Sola, you are here by request of the council so we can attain why it is you wish to join our ranks” Oeli spoke up in a very business-like tone. “We will be asking a few questions to that respect”
Raven nodded, her face and body language conveying none of her annoyance and exasperation. “Before we begin” cut in the male general in steel armour. “Take that damn hood down, there is no need to have it up while you are within the building”
After a slight pause that almost led them to believe she was going to refuse, she drew the hood back, her long black hair spilling down to reach the small of her back. “Happy?” she asked sarcastically, which led to an incredulous look on the General’s face.
“You should learn to hold your tongue girl”
The other generals shared a small glance before they carried on, this time with one of the female Generals speaking up. “Is there any particular reason you are seeking to join?”
After deliberating how to reply Raven decided to answer truthfully. “I’ve lived here pretty much all my life, I see no reason to leave now, especially when there is more I can learn here. I would have thought that would have been obvious, after all, I can leave at any time but I choose not to, ergo I must want to remain, it’s simple logic” a slight smirked tugged at her lips.
Once more, the Generals were obviously displeased at her response, but they did not react to it otherwise.
After a few minutes of tedious questions that did not need to be asked (such as whether she had a criminal record and what her marital status was) they asked her to step outside while they discussed whether to admit her or not. Most applicants would have been worried, but Raven knew that regardless of how difficult and insulting she was, they would not pass up the opportunity to have a Falcon amongst their ranks. At least it meant they could keep an eye on her.
She was summoned back in by the door opening of it’s own accord, one of the Generals having obviously used the Thermals to do just as Raven had when first entering.
They all maintained their business-like demeanours , although a few of them looked marginally unhappy at what had been discussed prior. The second male Master-General was the one that spoke this time. “We have all agreed that you would be a valuable asset to the Clandestine Guard, and have therefore approved your wish to join our ranks. Later today someone will give you the trainee cuirass the gorget, you must wear both whenever you are within the compound, discounting your private quarters of course, and whenever you are on official business outside of the gates. The training year will official begin in three days time, in that time your belongings will be moved to one of the shared dormitories within -”
“What?” she cut in, obviously angry at the prospect of having to share quarters with others.
“Just because you have lived here does not exclude you from the rule that all trainees must reside in their shared building. You will not have less space but you will have to put up with the presence of others”
She glared at him but did not press the matter.
He carried on, ignoring her interruption. “In that time you will also be informed of when the opening feast will be and of the details of the event itself. You will be required to attend. Both of your guardians, Zei and Sciera will be at the event due to their own official duties so there is no need to inform them about it.”
Although Raven looked as if she had gotten over the fact she would have to share a room with at least one person she was in fact still fuming about it. ‘Well then, if they want to stick me in with others than I guess I’ll just have to show them how stupid it was’ she mentally smirked while she caught the tail end of the General’s speech about how she was expected to behave.
“-so make sure you do not use any spells on other students unless you have been given permission from one of the professors. That is unless you want to have your books and personal items confiscated”
She narrowed her eyes slightly at the mention of taking her books away, but decided that it was not that big of a threat, after all, if she were to do anything outside of her classes and training sessions she was not stupid enough to do it where she would get caught.
“You will be informed in more depth about your expected behaviour after you have officially been assigned to one of the Wings” The wings were the Guard’s way of sorting all of the students so that like-minded people were generally together.
The Elves who founded the Clandestine Guard a century after the Weavers' Empire was overthrown, which was over nine centuries ago, had organised the recruits into four Wings. back then they were small wings of a fairly large building, but now they were large buildings joined by corridors with a kitchen in the middle. The Elves decided to seperate people according to their skill and interests and originally named each wing after a colour that was fitting for what they represented; white; red; grey; and black. They are still officially recognised by their colour names to this day, however most refer to them by their animal nicknames; Pegasus; Chimera; Dragon; and Hydra respectively.
“I assume you have no qualms about being placed in Black Wing?”
Raven recalled feeling positively sick about the idea of being a part of Pegasus wing, which was chiefly made up of emotional women as far as she was concerned. They focussed on the healing arts, both with and without Thermals. Chimera wing she had found equally distasteful, as it was the soldier's wing, and there would have been no way for her to survive without killing a few of the simple minded fools. Dragon and Hydra wing were the only two she could ever see herself in, Dragon wing was for the offensive spellcasters and Black whing was for the exceptionally talented, or simply those with very rich and/or influential people. While Black was the most appealing she knew she would also have to deal with the clueless Nobles that had gotten in there entirely through their parents' connections, rather than any real talents...
She simply shook her head in reply, wanting to leave as quickly as possible and knowing that regardless what she said they would place her there anyway. Not that she wanted to go into one of the other wings, if she had to be amongst others at least he could be amongst other intelligent people, and few of them.
“Then you may go, we will see you in three days at the feast”
Raven nodded and left the room, putting her hood back on as soon as she was outside and heading to get a few bites of breakfast before she returned to her room to read.
“Three days of freedom left, woooooo
” She said to herself sardonically.