The dawn of the 14th day of the Month of Newbirth, you arrived, stiff and cramped from a long night of travel by wagon, at The Duke’s Training Grounds. Quickly formed up and standing erect, you were dressed down by your commanding officer, and trainer, Sergeant Lacy. Sergeant Lacy reminded you of your obligation to your home and to your countrymen, and of the penalty for desertion. Then proceeded to beat on Nix, the beautiful blacksmith.
The five of you were thrust into a Unit and told to set camp. Alice quickly took control of the large sail cloth tent with Mercy, while Nix and Calvin, the blacksmiths, dug a trench for the latrine. Koram, seeing nothing else to do, quickly pushed debris away from the campsite. Once finished, Mercy bolted for the mess hall, and arrived before all other trainees, even those who started setting camp before her unit.
At breakfast, introductions and small talk were made and Alice checked in on her brother Jonathan, who appeared slightly nervous. But then, he’s always a bit nervous.
The five of you resumed formation and were greeted by the Commander of the Duke’s Training Grounds, William Eton. A striking, Named man, Captain William apologized for your forced conscription and promised to do his best to make sure you were safe. He also relayed his personal history about getting a Name, and that it may be possible for you as well.
After that, your training began. A week of running, swordplay, and archery left you weary, but closer to each other as you had to work often as a unit. Other units had taken similar positions, asserting themselves as the top Unit, or by naming themselves. Suspicions about Jonathan’s Unit grew.
Late on the night of the 21st day of Newbirth, the team awoke to the sounds of guards running. Calvin looked out to see four trainees fleeing the site, one with a large bag over his shoulder. While Calvin and Nix took off in pursuit of the runaways, Koram, Mercy, and Alice sneaked over to their tent.
Inside the tent, they discovered the fifth member of the Unit, James, bound and gagged. He disclosed that they had stolen goods and weapons from the manor and had tied him up so that he would not warn the guards. After some light interrogation, James admitted that he had the team tie him up so that it would not appear that he had aided them. Alice noted this down and reminded him that she expected a favor in return.
Calvin and Nix, being warned that they were facing armed men, squared off against three men, two holding daggers, while the man with the loot ran on. Calvin and Nix made short work of the ruffians, though Nix took a deep cut to the body, tearing across her stomach and maybe nicking the spleen. Koram, seeing things were well in hand, sprinted after the man with the bag, stopping him with the gift of gab and delaying him long enough for the guards to arrive.
Calvin was summarily sent off to get medical help for Nix, while Mercy and Alice saw to her. They were also sent away, back to the tent, as was Koram. Calvin, seeing a grumpy Sergeant Lacy and a concerned Captain William, informed them of the need for medical attention. Captain William told him to return to the tent. Calvin, ever obedient, returned to Nix, where he was caught disobeying the order by the Captain, when he arrived with the nurse.
The Captain brought the injured Nix and Calvin back to the tent, where the others waited. The Captain was asked what would happen to the people who fled, but demurred, saying that he had to speak to them first. Nix informed the Captain that they acted to protect their fellow Coasters, and that since they were stopped, they had not truly deserted. The Captain would not answer, but said he would consider her opinion.
They went to sleep, wondering what decision the Captain would come to in the morning.