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Odessa

Founding of Korbgrad

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Raynar had very little to say or do about what happened after the events of Ex-General Balthazar.  Whisked away to the throne room of none other than Grey Fenrir himself.  His heart had stopped for several beats at the shock, hell he even nearly soiled himself truth be known.  He was in no position to plunge his spear into the man's heart if it was even in his body.  He was forced to listen and worry if he was about to lose his life, yet what happened might have far worse.  Marked by the Emperor of the Black Empire and raised in rank to General to fill the very void he helped to create.  There was no mistaking that Grey knew he had a hand in releasing Balthazar from his control.  Yet he seemed pleased by this turn of events which would make any person worry.  Grey's hand seemed to melt into his arm yet no pain was felt during or even after it left.  Though the mental shock of his screaming voice in his head when given his order made it clear he was now Grey's.  Sent back to the very place he had stood before being summoned though now surrounded by different Gorgons from around the Black Empire.  The soldiers dropped to their knees and bowed their heads.  Showing loyalty to Raynar as heard the voice of his young daughter call out and his heart literally dropped from his chest.  Grey knew all along or found out this had been a silent threat but one that rung louder than any words could.  Miss step and you will not be the one to pay the price.  You have a lovely family shame if something was to happen.

As his daughter ran up to meet him, her hands held out to hug her father.  He refused to let the worry show on his face but those truly close to him or even Krauser after their trek across Blasted Lands and Hinterlands would have seen how the stoic man's eyes burned with rage, and a hint of terror but not for himself.  He had resigned his own life away long ago but every day he lived he did everything he could to protect his family and his people.  Grey must have known more about him than he ever would have realized possible.  He was cursing Balthazar, and Krauser both at this moment.  Cursing Grey just as much truth be told but he now had no choice in what he did.

"Kayeda!" He knelt down and embraced his daughter picking her up and hoisting her up onto his shoulders like he would have done at any reunion with his family.  She was laughing and giggling as he picked her up and she looked around at all the new faces and all of the Gorgons. "Daddy is going to be busy but we will play later darling."

"Rise up men!"  His voice boomed with authority as he called out to the soldiers and addressed all the Black Empire citizenry.

"This Fortress has fallen into disrepair and we will see the rubble cleared and a new fortress and town built!  I will not tolerate any slackers among you.  Work hard and stay or I will send you back."  It was a line in the sand drawn for each and every one of them here.  You would pull your weight or be sent back to the factories and mines.  Left half starved and worked until even a Gorgon was exhausted to the bones.

"I want several small patrols organized and rotations made to secure the area.  Get anyone with Earth Magic helping to clear the rubble no matter what their normal profession.  Everyone else will see to getting a camp organized and temporary housing.  I wont have us roasting under that blazing sun all day and night now get to work."

Raynar watched as the soldiers now stood up and the officers among them started to organize and get details hammered out.  Many of the Gorgon's here where Earth Magic users and half were told to start while half were sent to rest until night.  They would work 24 hours a day in rotating shifts to complete everything in a timely manner.  It wasn't too surprising to Raynar that after his very clear and blunt threat of being sent back that no one reported any slackers during their work shifts.

Several Hours later.

A command tent had been erected as well as several smaller tents for people to use as shelter and a large mess tent where people could eat in shifts.   Raynar was inside the tent and joined by his wife and daughter.  He was calmer now that things had started to get done, and he could sit out of the public eye for a moment.  His daughter had actually worn herself out some running around the new place while also staying away from the worker's busy areas.  She had carried water to people to help to show that even she was expected to assist and do what was needed.

"I am sorry"  Raynar looked more vulnerable than ever as he stood in front of his wife and apologized.  He didn't say what he was sorry for but she already knew what it was.   He had tried to keep them away from the grasp of the Empire.  Though they were citizens as well he had made it a point to never mention them, never talk about his marriage or child to anyone in the army or those that deal with the army.  He wasn't sure how Grey found out but he did and that means Raynar had failed to protect them from the worst.  They could be and where being used against him.

"I told you before you fool if he wanted to know he would.  You rose in rank and knew ever promotion put us in further in his eyes but the more rank you had the more protection you could provide.  You are a General now.  No one will even think about bothering us except for the Emperor himself."  She walked closer to him and cupped his cheek.  "Do what you have always done and you will do right by me and our daughter."

The usually cold and stoic man was butter in her hands.  She was no pushover, no damsel in distress.  She could and would knock a man flat on his ass.  Though she was not really a warrior she was a taskmaster of a wife, running a household.  There was a good reason he had his forge that was his place the house was her!

"Thank you, my love."  Knowing she wasn't angry and also understood pretty much how things were and that she and their daughter were both safe but also in danger still.  Strangely put him at ease.  She was a strong-willed woman and hell would freeze before she would willingly bend or give up.   They kissed briefly for the first time since they had been reunited and as the sun went down clothes got discarded.

The next morning.....

Raynar woke and stretched.  He was feeling much more relaxed especially after having spent the night with his wife.  A small tub of water had been delivered to the tent very early in the morning so that they could use the water for morning bathing.  Washing his face first and then wiping the sweat off of himself with a damp cloth before dressing and donning his armor once more.  He needed to see what kind of progress was being made at clearing the rubble and also the dead bodies.  A large pile of the bodies had been made on the opposite side of the ruins to keep the stench of death from enveloping the camp.

He would nod or Salute back to people as he passed them during his morning stroll.  One of the head soldiers seen him starting to walk and joined him.

"Half of the ruins have been processed and cleared of the bodies we expect to be done by tomorrow of this task and the mass grave finished by tomorrow afternoon Sir."

"Good work, and make sure you let your people know that as well.  So what is your name soldier?"  Raynar paused during his walk and turned to look the man in his eyes as he told him his name.  He looked him over and it was obvious he was older than Raynar but only was in good shape still.   Raynar was rare among his people being so tall and leaner built most Gorgons where tall but stockier and thicker.  This man was build like that standing at around ten feet or so and weighing in like a boulder.

"Captain Faulk, Sir." The man snapped to attention and saluted the General.

"At ease."  Raynar saluted him quickly.  "Things are going well for now but I can assure you it won't always be this easy.  I am very serious about not accepting any slacking with the people here.  If need be, give them one warning of 50 lashes.  If they slack again send them back to the Black city in chains to the mines.  If I find this order is not being carried out you will be lashed 100 times in public before being sent there yourself."  He stared the man dead in the eyes as he spoke.  They might have sounded unfair or even unjust to people from outside of the Black Empire but they were used to harsher, crueler things here.

"I understand Sir."  Faulk watched Raynar closely as he spoke and informed the Captain what would happen to him if he failed to keep the peace as Raynar had ordered it kept.  He was being strict but hardly cruel by the Black Empire standards some might even call these methods soft.

"Good now I need you to gather up the master craftsmen and builders I need to know exactly what I am working with and also plan out this city and fortress so that we can start building it not just cleaning up the trash left behind."

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Raynar continued along as Captain Faulk went about to collect the people he has requested to see and start the real planning of things.  This needed to not just be a Fortress but a place these people could live and grow.  The Black Empire is harsher than their neighbors but this is an opportunity in Raynar's eyes to start and build a city with Gorgon hands and rule it as he needs and sees fit.  Just as all the other General's do in their own homes or granted areas before him.  He wouldn't likely be able to start trade routes or anything with the neighbors and would even likely need to raid or attack if ordered too but he would not be focusing on such actions.

A few hours later.

Raynar was back at his Command tent, his wife Esmene was off tending to injuries from work and people exhausting themselves.  Food was still an issue at the moment but it was not harder than usual for these people.  Several gorgons lead by Captain Faulk arrived about that time.

"Sir these are the people you have requested."  Captain Faulk saluted and stepped to the side after he was acknowledged but didn't leave the tent as he was also one of the requested people.

"Please come inside and have a seat everyone.  I'm not going to go into details about how or why this happened or what I know about what happened to the previous fortress that stood hear.  Just know that I plan to try and make the best of it for our people, but this does not mean I will be rebelling or revolting in our people's name.   So any deeply hidden desires about that just keep to yourself or I will have to kill you.  Escape and flee if you must but know if you do it will make it even harder on those left behind and I will place a kill order on anyone seen fleeing."

"With that bit of unpleasantness finally over and addressed we need to start planning how we shall be rebuilding this place.  I will require a large section in the middle of what will be the town to be reserved for the Fortress.   A wall will surround the fortress, and also the town itself.  Start by building What will be the Fortress's Wall so that we can begin using it as a way to have lookouts watching the horizon while we continue construction.  After the First wall is up we will move the majority of the camp town into its confines for protection.  While the wall is being constructed we will also start designing and planning the town.  We should be receiving normal supply shipments from the capital.  Any issues at all with any of the soldiers or personnel that make the deliveries will be reported to me and I will decide upon how to deal with it personally.  I will not tolerate any of the citizens here endangering what is being done here by lashing out at how the Vegonians have always treated us and will likely continue to do so.  Am I clear on this?"

Raynar was not surprised to see every head nodding that they clearly understood and that this was not something he was will to talk about or compromise on at all.  He knew all too well that weakness in the Empire is not tolerated or cultivated.  He would have to rule with a firm hand even with it being just his own people.  Because they still needed to be able to survive outside of this town and inside of the Empire he could not let them grow weak or feeble, nor did he want them to become the monsters that the Vegonians had become either.

"Good, Now I want those of you here to come to me if problems arise within the groups that you help to govern.  I will not promise you will have the results you want but I will listen to the concerns of the people.  We need to keep things moving and the Earth Magic users will be the most vital in quickly building the walls and moving the rubble so they will be getting more resources until we can get things going well.  Continue to have the crews work around the clock and rotate their shifts as needed.  The sooner the first wall is up the sooner we have some protection.  Push the workers but do not drive them into an early grave.  I have already heard about some succumbing to fatigue from working too hard.  Get a Water magic user on the task of finding a freshwater source, even if it is under =ground and we need to make a well.   I know there was an old sewer system under this fortress.  Collapse every bit of it that is found I don't know who all knows of it or of hidden entrances to it so I want it gone.  Ex-General Balthazar is still out there and he is no longer sided with the Empire.  That is all, you all know the first tasks and I need the plans started to be drawn up for the Fortress, I have some special requirements for it so we can discuss those after we have seen the Fortress Wall built."

Three weeks later.

Construction of the Fortress's Wall had been worked on per Raynar's orders day and night.  At first, the rubble from the ruins had been used, Earth Magic to remold and shape the stone, combining smaller pieces and breaking larger ones as needed.  As the large stones were set into place more Earth Magic was used to make each smaller stone one combined piece.  The whole wall was literally one piece of solid stone no cracks, no cuts, no flaws.  As each section was finished the second group of Earth Magic users would follow behind to ensure the quality of work was completely up to what it should be.  Towers had been built into the corners of the wall and two smaller towers between each corner tower to make a barbican.  As each wall was finished and the towers build the soldiers started getting stationed around the place instead of sitting around and just watching the workers or helping out.  Which would slow progress down going forward but started to getting the people used to them being where they should be.  It also would mean that they could do their job and guard the citizens and watch for danger.

The camp town had been relocated inside of the cleared space within the walls without to much trouble and just about that time was when the first supply shipment arrived.  A small caravan of troops and workers to drive the wagons had arrived, and having been on the road and headed to this exact spot had all the Vegonians on edge.  It had spread like wildfire that General Balthazar had gone mad and laid waste to his own Fortress.  Also that General Raynar had been given this new command and thus far only Gorgons have been assigned the new post.  Ghost stories running rampant with the soldiers have them on edge as the wagons come through the already finished walls.

The vegonian in charge of the caravan seems the most on edge.  Barking orders and yelling at people as they come through the gate.  He even snaps his whip for the beasts at a slow-moving gorgon that almost made them slow down.  Cracking him hard across the back yet not a word was said in protest.  The citizens had been warned and knew that lashing out would do them no good.  Though as the caravan moved to drop its supplies off word had already spread to the Command Tent and thus Raynar that an incident had occurred.  His soldiers had been watching and using non-verbal hand signals from the towers to signal watchers at the tent.  Raynar rose from his dinner table with his family.  Nodding to them before he donned his armor and grabbed his spear.  Walking out of the tent and towards the supply tent.

 

"Hurry it up, you dimwitted, oafs.  I don't have all day to sit around and watch you.  We should already be back on the road!"  The Caravan leader was shouting as the Gorgons went about unloading all of the supplies from the wagons.  A small crowd had formed around the supply tent as people saw General Raynar walking that way yet a clear path was in front of him the whole way.  These people respected him, he was fair to them without being soft.  He was trying to do better for them and they knew it took time.  Gorgon's were not a hasty race at least anymore.

"I want to see the Supply Logs."  Raynar boomed as he came close to the supply tent.  His eyes where hard staring at the man leading the Caravan.

"Yes Sir, Bran fetch the logs for the General."  The Vegonian seemed to quiet down some but was watching and even cracked the whip once more at a Gorgon he felt wasn't moving the supplies fast enough.

"No, you bring them to me.  Now."  Raynar stood at his full height not slouched over at all.  The Vegonian had heard rumors of the General's stature but obviously had believed them to be false rumors until he was being dwarfed by him in person.  Barely coming up over the General's waist he swallowed hard before grabbing the logs from the soldier he had ordered to get them and walked them over to him personally.  Raynar took the logs and read over them and passed them on to his own Quartermaster.  "Ensure everything that this list says we should have is here.  Not one ounce of flour, or water, or grain of rice not accounted for"

Raynar knew that this would take a long while.  The Vegonian had been in a rush and he wanted to know if it was only because he was scared of the place or had he embezzled supplies that where meant for his people.  He would know the truth before he passed any other judgments upon the man.  He stayed there and waited patiently for his quartermaster to finish the task.  It took nearly four hours to manually count and weight everything that has been delivered and bring back a second sheet showing how light the supplies were from what the logs say they should be.

"Well, it would seem we have a problem here.  You have lost some of the Empires precious resources for this Fortress,  struck the citizens of this Fortress without cause.  Previous Generals might not have cared or noticed such behavior.  I am not one of those.  You would have my people go hungry so that you can grow fat.  I think you need a diet.  Can't be a slow one either gonna need to lose that weight fast."

Raynar stepped forward into the soldier's personal space and thrust the butt of his spear into the man's stomach.  Doubling him over in an instant.  He then grabbed the man's left arm and stepped away as he brought the blade of his spear spinning around and lopped his left arm off just below the shoulder.   He still held the severed arm and as the soldier grasped his stump and growled through the pain he tossed it to the other Vegonians."

"You will all stay the night.  Your commander's arm will be your rations for the night and you can leave in the morning.  I will not tolerate any of you provoking fights in my town, I will not tolerate any shipments being light of their supplies either.  Make sure the others back at the capital know this as well or people will start loosing more than an arm."

With that Raynar just walked off leaving the man bleeding from his stump, and man into a living warning of disobedience.  The common soldiers did just as Raynar instructed and the man's arm has been cooked and served some didn't even wait for their share to be cooked and just ate it raw.  Krauser was right about the Vegonians being little more than beasts anymore.  But even a beast can be trained and tamed.  They would learn that they were not top of the food chain here!

 

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Raynar rose in the early morning the sounds of workers filled even the early morning hours.  Everyone knew that they had to work hard and work fast not just to build the fortress but to also get the town started and very soon crops planted.  If they didn't get in at least a late field of crops the winter was going to get rougher then the spring was already being.   Storms had delayed work for safety concerns of moving massive rocks while the ground was soft and footing slippery.  Though rainy days were easier days for most work was still being done when and where it could be, but it was also known that these days were days to let the workers rest and families to enjoy themselves.  Short of immediate concerns Raynar, Esmene, and Kayeda would enjoy a quiet day in their tent and just be a family.  It might be strange to others to see Raynar being kind and gentle, even affectionate but this is how his family knows him.

Several days later.

The rains had stopped and the ground had finally dried up enough that work could resume at a normal pace.  The Walls were completely finished, and the camp secure inside of them.  The city of Korbgrad was being designed and planned out at this time.  Four districts were being made each one would go from one barbican to the next barbican.   The four districts will be Military Residential, Non-Military Residential, Market & Labor, and lastly Temple.  The two residential districts where being focused on first so that the people could start living in homes and not in tents, then the Market and Labor district was being focused on so that goods could start being produced for around the city and also the Fortress.  The final district was not being started yet as it was not as vital to get built.  Though the district was starting to see some of the now unused tents moved and repurposed for temporary buildings and places for people to worship and learn.  The work crews did what they could but some delays could not be avoided due to weather or mishaps during the rapid construction, at least one person died during a construction accident, and several others hurt.  While many of the Gorgons were quite adept at working with the stone they were not as good at working with the wood and it showed in their work.  Raynar had to send for better carpenters to act as foremen and teach his people how to build.  In their natural ways, they would live in harmony more with nature maybe assist a tree in growing the right way to act as a pillar or support.  While cutting, carving, and shaping the wood this way is not natural for them and though the Foremen complain regularly about the pace at which the Gorgons catch on to things they realized in time it just takes a Gorgon a little while to adapt it isn't that they cannot or won't.  Raynar was glad when their needless bickering silenced and he could focus once more on not the current project but the next project his people would need to work upon.

Two weeks later The completion of the Residential disticts are complete and Raynar has a meeting

Captain Faulk and the other leaders which have basically become an unofficial council of the people who can come to an address concerns with General Raynar have been summoned to his Command Tent which still sits in the middle were the eventual Dragon Roost Fortress will be built.

General Raynar stood in the middle of the tent as the congression of people came inside to start the meeting.  He looked over each one of them as they came inside and he gauged how they looked.  He needed his people to be taken care of not worked to death after all.  If they had become ill or injured he needed to know but so far these men and women had avoided injury or illness.

"It is good to see you all in fair health.  Before I bring up the next project I wish to hear about any business you need to address with me."

Captain Faulk rose up from his seat and looked around before looking at General Rayanr. "Things go well with the Soldiers.  The new homes are being well received and I am even doing regular inspections making sure they don't just trash the places."  He then nodded and sat back down.  

An older Gorgon stood up though he was on the short side for a Gorgon he still stood about 6 feet in height. "General Raynar, or craftsmen have learned from the carpenters and I can happily report that we should be seeing increased production now that they understand the new method.  Also I have begun to host teachings once a week inside the Temple district."

"I am glad to hear that.  The delays were troublesome but understandable.   Get with the craftsmen and I would like the best craftsmen we have hosting one class a week.  Each worker will have to attend one of these classes as a weekly work day.  Fundamentals need to be the focus at first and more advanced training can be offered later to people that show promise.  Too few of us have had the chance to learn a proper trade and if we can better our people we better our town." He had already known of the classes being taught and he was glad to see the initiative of his people already.  It was a common mistake to believe Gorgons were lazy and uncaring because of there slower thinking especially inside of the Black Empire.  They make great brutes and shock troops but that is all most see out of them.

"General, Our supplies are still barely holding on with what we are getting as shipments from the Capital, and I can happily report that we have not received any other short shipments since that first load.  Though nor have we seen that same Commander deliver to us.  The special request you asked the Capital for has never come in and I'm sorry to say that a letter stating we would not be getting it arrived with the last shipment."  A leaner Gorgon though still physically fit was addressing the group.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't make it home, to be honest.  As vicious as the Vegonians are they probably finished him off and ate him on the return trip.  I would not be too worried about him returning.  Continue to keep an eye on all the supply logs and also watch for document alterations.  Well since the capital cannot or wont supply us with the seeds and starter crop we will have to forage and get it ourselves.  Vivian see to that."

As her name was called she nodded and rose next to speak anyways. "It will be seen too.   As you know we have not yet been able to pull workers away from the other duties so no fields are ready to be planted.  I will get some of out more knowledgable people with plants out there to gather seeds and roots that can be replanted to grow.  I would ask for a small group of soldiers to watch over them General."

"Captain Faulk, do we have men to spare?"

"It will stretch us a little thin but I can get you about 10 men during the day shift.  I would not suggest foraging at night after all." Captain Faulk responded quickly having been told by Raynar that this would likely be the case weeks ago when the request was originally sent.

"See that it is done then.   Anything else or is that all to report?"  Raynar waited a moment and it seemed that was the last of the current status reports and population concerns.  "Good work everyone.  Now on to the next building phase.  We will need plenty of stone for this and I am sure we will be taxing the Earth Magic users we have once again.  I would like the Fortress to be designed in much the same way as the wall has been after all.  It only makes sense.   We have the floor plans and all that finished now.  Once the last of the Tent camp is removed from the inner bailey we can actually start on its construction. and then get the outer all in place.    It has already been marked and planned so long as the districts keep to their allotted space no issues should arise.  Now a little bit of news that only the architect has known about until now. Besides as an imposing name the Dragon Roost is being named that because I do plan on having a Dragon from inside the Empire roost here.  I do not think it will be an easy or simple task.  We all know that the Black Dragons are vicious and little more than Beasts at times much like the Vegonians.  Though even if I must enslave and force one to submit we will house a Dragon here as part of our Defense."

The tent though it wasn't loud before went quite silent at this news.  The Black Dragons inside the Empire were feared and thought of as Feral beasts compared to their brethren.  Yet none raised a voice to protest this news.  He was a General of the Black Empire and it has been seen in previous Generals that they are often remarkable and powerful men he might very well be capable of doing this or getting it done.

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Construction of Dragon Roost Fortress was going slower than Raynar honestly liked but he had less than half of the citizens of Korbgrad working upon it,  The rest was needed to see to the day to day activities and  get the city actually on its feet and not to mention the fields planted and prepped for as soon as they had enough seed for each field.  People would be sick of eating roots, and grain only but it would be a start until they can get more diverse crops.  Besides how slow things were going he had nothing to really complain about within the city.  The people understood that he meant business and continued to do as they were told partially out of fear and partly out of respect.   He still would not let the worked begin on the Temple District during their work shifts but a few zealous individuals had slowly begun to work on it when they could outside of work and during their few days of rest.  Though they had been less productive during their normal work shifts he had seen no reason to punish them.  They were still working and even working when not required too.  They had been warned that if they did slip up more they would be disciplined.

It was now several weeks into spring and the weather was apt to get rainy and further delay progress upon the Fortress.   This left Raynar feeling anxious and stir crazy especially as he was more or less tied down to the city at this point in time.  He had to oversee its construction and ensure it could be defended if it was attacked when he wasn't there.  As he thought about that issue more and more he called for Captain Fault to meet him in the inner bailey with sixteen of his finest men.  General Raynar was waiting for them to arrive dressed in full battle gear as the heavy rain was coming down.  The ground was already soft, and slippery.

Captain Faulk and the sixteen soldiers marched up to him and gave him a salute.  Waiting for him to return one to them before easing and standing at attention waiting on further instruction.  "General Sir, as you requested these are our finest men."

Raynar approached the whole group looking over each and every one of them.  He was taking in small details and not so small details about each one.  Once he had finished checking them out he went back to the middle of the group and called out to them. "You sixteen men will be competing today for the honor of replacing Captain Faulk of his duties dealing with the Cities Defense and thus command of the City Guard.  This contest is not to be to the death.  If you kill your opponent you forfeit your own head as well.   That doesn't mean you should go easy on them at all.   Names will be called in pairs and those fights will take place.  The winner moves on to the next round but the loser is not dismissed unless needed to be seen to medically. The final victor of you sixteen will then face Captain Faulk in a ceremonial fight to prove to me and him that you have what it takes to fill in for him."

The names were called and one battle at a time was held until the first round was completed.  Eight victors and eight losers.  None of these men or women where the kind of people to give up.  Even when they had been bested they would rise up and show their defiance until Raynar would call the fight.  He would nod to both the victor and the loser as they had fought hard and with honor.  Little did they know they all where also being tried out for a second job as well.  Whoever of these men could not fill the role of Captain Faulk would be taken and trained specifically by Captain Faulk and made into Raynar's personal unit.  That's why he would not let them leave.  He wanted them all to see how they all fight and to learn about each other more.  He would need them to trust not just him but each other for what he expected of them.  It had taken several hours for only the first eight fights.  each one lasting no less than 20 minutes.  These men were literally fighting with everything they had.  It wasn't often you seen a Gorgon bite someone in a fight but these men were willing to do anything they needed.  Some might argue that that isn't honorable but none of them broke the rule of killing.  Injuries would heal, life was precious.

Raynar excused them all for two hours for the winners to rest and seek healing before they would need to fight again.  He reminded them all that everyone was required to return and when the time came not a single man was late.  The next round went much quicker having half as many fights but each fight lasted longer as these men won their last fight.  This time none of the four fights lasted less than thirty minutes of hard intense fighting.  While combat might lull some as they resized each other up they had all had a chance to study their opponent once and had taken advantage of that knowledge.  Raynar was inwardly smiling at how well and how hard these warriors were going at it and truth be told his own blood was pumping he was itching to fight watching it.

He allowed another recess between the rounds though only for one hour this time.  It would only be two fights and not as many fights but he wanted to see how quickly they could recover their stamina and how hard could they push if needed.  A small meal was also served to the men and the semifinals where held.  The four combatants were focused you could see it in their eyes.  Summing their opponents up even outside of the ring.  The first set of names was called and they both rushed into the ring and straight at each other.   The sounds of metal on metal had been ringing for hours through the bailey.  Workers had been distracted watching but Raynar really didn't have the heart to crack the whip as this has been a rare spectacle to witness.  He had even noticed others from inside the city had climbed the inner wall and had been watching from the ramparts.   Cheering and hollering were quickly mixed in with the sounds of combat.   The semifinal battles each lasted about 45 minutes and Raynar immediately called for the final fight.  One combatant just out of a battle was allowed some healing magic to make the match fair but neither combatant was at full strength and neither one complained about the situation.  You didn't always get to pick when the enemy attacked or for how long after all.  This was just a fact of life.  The final fight lasted only 20 minutes with how exhausted each person was already beaten down.  Though each warrior gave it their all to the very end when one literally collapsed from a hard blow across the helmet.   Medics immediately rushed in and saw to them and gave a sign to Raynar that no fatal blow or savage attack had been given as the warrior had turned his blade to the flat just before impact.  It would leave a nasty headache when his opponent woke though.

"Congratulations on your victory.  Now once more rise up and battle Captain Faulk."

The Captain drew his sword and walked into the ring with the victor of these battles.  He had not known for what purpose originally that Raynar had called for all of them but had been filled in between the rounds.  The victory would take his spot as City Watch, the rest would join Captain Faulk as Raynar's personal unit.  Everyone here was being honored they had all worked hard

Faulk squared up and lunged at his opponent.  He wasn't being gentle or kind.  The job he would be inheriting wouldn't be kind he would need to be tough, he would need to be strong and know that the people would respect his hard-earned authority.  Faulk literally beat the crap out of this young soldier he really didn't have a chance but that was the point.  After he had been beaten down and submitted.  Faulk removed his current insignia and placed it on the young warrior.  "Rise up Captain Madrick.  You have done well and I feel good knowing you will be taking over things."

"Congratulations to you all."  Raynar boomed as Faulk Finished.

"Captain Madrick, and the rest of you all will be trained by Faulk and myself.  The rest of you will be coming to the Fortress as my personal unit lead by Faulk.   Each and every one of you will be getting personalized and group training.  You will be my Unit, and Madrick you will lead the Cities Defense.   Tonight a small feast to celebrate you all earning this."

+1521 Exp

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The smith had probably pulled off the impossible getting each warrior's custom gear measured and made within two weeks.  It helped that the basic theme was all the same just the weapons and personal needs of each armor was slightly different.   All the while he and his team of craftsman toiled in the shop other workers were finishing up the last few touches of the Fortress to make it useable.  The three main floors had been finished had has the center tower that would rise from the middle of the keep three more floors the top of which was made to house a dragon and have service entrances to bring supplies from below.

Raynar and his family had now moved into the Fortress.   Most of the civilian workers would be housed in the city and come to the Fortress for their shifts.  While the City Guard and Fortress's Soldiers be housed in the city except for those on active duty who would be required to stay inside the Fortress.   Raynar had held off until the armor was finished and also the Fortress was completed to hold a small ceremony in the Main Hall honoring once again the Elite members that would be his personal unit and the new Captain of the City Guards.  This wouldn't be a big feast like that last celebration.   Raynar stood in front of the crowd with each of the soldiers standing at attention while a crowd watched him call each one up personally.   Several attendants would then come up and display the soldier his new armor and weapon helping him to don it for the first time before falling in line behind Raynar now.  The armor that is presented to each member is a suit of full plate mail that has a Black Dragon Scale on the Breastplate like a badge.  It is very visible and helps to identify them with this unit.   Two of the armors are embellished more as they are for the two Captains Faulk, and Madrick.   Though Madrick's armor does not have the same Black Dragon Scale badge as he is the Captain of the City Guard.  It is still embellished and a badge showing the symbol that has been designed for the City Guard upon it.   While mostly a solemn ceremony and very formal Raynar nods and dismisses Captain Madrick to take up his post and see to his business within the city before looking at the sixteen soldiers left.

"Congratulations Men,   We will continue to train and drill as we will never know when the enemy might strike but you have leave for the next three days.  After that, we will be going on a hunt.  We have a Dragon Roost and no dragon.  We shall have to fill it."

+461 EXP  This RP is now finished.

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