Dawn - Recruit Encampment
The muck of cart ridden roads oozed out from the shoes of the horse beneath the man clad in armor. His face was cast down letting the water spill from his helm onto the mane of his steed and then into the already sodden earth to pool for days. The night before had been calm with barely a breeze, no cloud in sight and no warning of rain. t seemed the lords would not have mercy upon these men today; it was not their right to take men of the families and cast away their lives after all. And that is exactly what the men clad in metal had done.
Bangs on the door at supper brought startled mothers to the door where they were handed a note. 'By right of the Throne the first born son of each family shall be conscripted into military service to aid in the war against Gaell. In lack of a first born son, the eldest able bodied man of the family is to take his place. Any actions against this conscription will be noted as treason under the Throne and punishable by death.' Complete with royal seal. Wayland remembered many of the women that wept as a child perhaps no older than sixteen, preparing for a wedding in the summer, or to till the fields in the morning of the morrow. As he rode through the thick mud he could see just how many men had been taken from home. Fathers tilled the field in the dread downpour already, making up for what would be an incredibly hard year for many of them, and an impossible one for others.
Rows of wheat, potatoes, corn stalks, and other crops already seemed to wither along the roadside that led to a centralized camp from the four hamlets that converged. About an hours ride from the nearest hamlet a rise of white tents, mess of men squandering about in the rain and a large open area, already nearly half a foot of water pooling. It was there that the conscripts would gather, be given their weapons and welcomed to their new life. With them would also be the few that had volunteered to service, a few of them women.
Wayland gripped the reigns of his horse and pulled them to the right, edging the horse towards the gathering place. In an hour or so's time everyone was expected to be gathered here. He looked for the leader of this whole orchestra, the only man that stood above him in ranks. His armour and weapon may have held him in high regard years ago, but Wayland knew the strife it must have caused him over the years seeing as his simply life as a soldier, no gallant hero, cast shame on him whenever their forces were repelled. Nonetheless he spotted the man, complete with armour clad and urged the horse towards him.
“Captain Ornstein, sir.”
He hailed the officer, dismounting from horseback. His commander stood a good half a foot taller than him and even though he was a year younger with his silver hair Wayland seemed the younger of the two.
“Some of the men have been passing word many of the homes intend not to send their sons for the war. I've sent men to corale the runaways, but I doubt our numbers today will measure many more than a hundred.”