Greywatch bustled with activity under the high noon sun. While patches of snow still remained scattered throughout the camp from the winter storm that had swept in from the bay the night prior, the day grew older and the last vestiges of the storm began to vanish.
“Strike! Strike! Parry!”
The Marshal’s commanding voice boomed throughout the training grounds as Templars trained vigorously in the muddy pit. He walked through the pit with his hands behind his back while he studied each strike, each move, with the utmost care.
“Well struck, Templar. Now plant your heel and use the leverage to strike with greater force. I want that dummy to know true fear.”
The young female giggled and did as she was told, planting her heel and driving fresh steel through the dummy’s straw-filled chest.
“Much better. Know that in battle, strategic opportunities are few and far between when the enemy is bearing down on you. You must make every blow count, down to the finest detail of where you strike your enemy and how hard you strike them. Keep up the good work.”
The young Templar nodded, her focus trained on the dummy, and continued practicing her strikes.
“Marshal Mason. A letter has arrived for you.”
He turned his attention to the courier that stood just outside of the muddy pit and approached, taking the rolled parchment from the couriers hands and studying the wax seal.
“Thank you, James.”
The courier bowed courteously and continued to make his rounds throughout the camp.
He broke the wax seal and unraveled the page, reading over its contents.
I hope that the work I asked you for has turned out nicely. I drew a map to guide you to where you can deliver it. Again, if you need any payment, just ask and I will arrange to pay it. I appreciate what you have done. See you soon.
He studied the map for a moment before turning his attention to the forge across the way. A wooden box nailed shut and wrapped with two leather straps sat just outside of the work shed on a patch of grass, the top still wet with snow melt. Neatly packed inside was a fresh start to a brighter future and a promise that the Marshal would see fulfilled.
He folded the letter and slipped it in his sack. There were preparations to be made.