So, it’s going to be a slow day today where Realmgard in concerned. Had a late start, and I’ve been spending most of the afternoon working on a job application — now, to be fair, it is a pretty cool job, but it’s taken up most of my attention today.
On the other hand, we’re starting up with Charge of the Lyte Brigade tomorrow, so please be excited for that.
And, to help you get excited, why not get to know one of the story’s major characters?
Definitely Not a Raccoon
Occupation: Professor, Special Liaison to the Porthaven Ministry of Antiquities, University of Porthaven
Likes: digging, archaeological expeditions, unicorns
Dislikes: being mistaken for a raccoon, bandits, shoes
“Recently hired to facilitate cooperation between the University of Porthaven and Porthaven’s Ministry of Antiquities, Melisa is still relatively new to the faculty of the University, a fact largely responsible for her hiring as liaison between the University and the Ministry of Antiquities. With most of the senior faculty passing on the job, there were no candidates left but Melisa.
Despite the ignoble circumstances of her hiring and the tedium of many of her duties, Melisa has resolved to make the best of the situation and give her new job the utmost care and attention. Working under the direct supervision of the esteemed Sir Chiswick von Strontlebottom, Melisa has provisioned and organised many recent archaeological expeditions within the territory of Porthaven.
Despite her introverted and prickly nature, Melisa has struck up an odd friendship with the jovial and friendly Sir Chiswick, thanks in no small part to Sir Chiswick being one of the few people in Porthaven to have never mistaken Melisa for a raccoon.”
And why not take a gander at a preview chapter of Charge of the Lyte Brigade?
“So,” Melisa tells the Lyte Brigade as she surveys her surroundings. “Nice place you’ve got here.”
Nolan suspects that she is not being entirely truthful. She probably hasn’t met with many other guilds whose headquarters can boast of being home to the best fish-on-a-stick in Porthaven. Probably because most guild Captains don’t run their guilds out of their parents’ inn.
And most guild Captains don’t have their moms peeking out of the kitchen spying on them. He’s worried she’s going to come over and remind him to pack a sweater.
On the other hand, she shoots him an eager thumbs-up whenever he glances in her direction.
Nolan is optimistic that the Lyte Brigade is on the verge of getting its first-ever job. Between the six of them, he’s sure they can convince Melisa to hire the Lyte Brigade for this job.
The members of the Lyte Brigade are all crammed together on one side of their table. Matilda and Nolan are awkwardly sharing one chair. Pela is sitting on Falcata’s shoulders, inwardly enjoying a rare moment of tallness. Tancred chivalrously allowed Amara to have his chair and is standing behind the others, trying to peer over or around them to participate in the conversation.
Thus far, he’s mostly just been able to keep sight of Melisa’s furry ears.
Admittedly, Nolan isn’t entirely sure what he’s supposed to do at this point.
Does he talk first? Does he let Melisa talk first?
Fortunately, he doesn’t need to worry about it for long. As usual, Amara takes the lead in the conversation. And, as usual, the other members of the Lyte Brigade know better than to prevent her from doing so. His ribs still hurt from the times she jabbed him with an elbow whenever he tried to talk during their first meeting with Melisa.
Nolan has just been smiling and nodding along with everything Amara has said so far.
“Nolan and I have informed the rest of the guild about the situation, Professor Grevling,” Amara is saying. She smiles across the table at the Wilderling woman. “We’ve also made it quite clear to the others that you’re a badger.”
“I like you already,” Melisa says.
“So, you’ll hire us, then?” Pela asks eagerly from her perch on Falcata’s broad, tanned shoulders.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Melisa warns. “Amara says you’re all up to speed with the situation. So, what I’m wondering is, how many of you have experience with bandits.”
Falcata raises her hand without hesitation.
“And I suppose I do,” Amara says. “If you can call hitting a bandit with a tankard experience.”
“I fought a goat once!” Pela interjects.
Six pairs of eyes all shift sceptically towards her.
“What?” she asks defensively. “When you’re as small as I am, goats are big. It’s like one of you guys fighting a horse!”
“Was it a bandit goat?” Melisa asks from across the table.
“Of course not,” Pela answers. “Just a big, mean goat. See, I was helping out on my uncle’s farm and one of the goats decided it wanted to eat my hat. So, I, uh, fought him.”
“Did you win?” Matilda asks her guildmate.
“I did. I got my hat back and everything,” Pela answers proudly.
“So that’s two… ish of you with combat experience,” Melisa notes.
“Yeah, but Falcata’s an Amazon. She has to count as, like, nine people,” Pela insists.
“You must be a new guild. You’re all so eager,” Melisa says.
“Thank you?” Nolan answers.
“You do understand what you’re getting into, right?” Melisa asks. “This isn’t going to be just some field trip. Bandits are dangerous. They’re not going to go easy on you just because you’re a bunch of rookies.”
“We’re ready,” Nolan assures her. “We can handle it.”
Melisa stares at him gravely. “Yeah? You sure?”
“Yeah,” Nolan answers with a nod.
“Yeah!” Pela says eagerly. “I can’t wait!”
“We’re with you, of course, Captain,” Amara says, putting her hand on his shoulder.
“And I guess somebody has to make sure you come back to Mom and Dad in one piece,” Matilda says.
“I am not afraid of bandits,” Falcata says.
“Quite right,” Tancred says. “Let’s give these bandit louts a proper thrashing!”
“Right,” Melisa says. “Consider yourself hired.” She extends her clawed hand across the table.
“We won’t let you down,” Nolan vows, reaching to shake her hand.
“I hope not,” Melisa replies. “But don’t worry, you won’t have to do all the work. And if it comes down to it, I’m pretty good in a fight.”
“Awesome!” Pela says. “You can fight half of them and Falcata can fight the other half!”
“I’ll need a few days to finish getting ready. Do whatever you need to get yourselves ready, too. I’ll come by again when I’m ready to head out,” Melisa says.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Nolan says.
“Yay! I’m so proud of you!” Nolan hears his mother exclaim happily from the door of the kitchen. “Nolan, honey, don’t forget to pack a sweater!”
And if you want to get to know the Lyte Brigade better, read up on them here:
And catch up on their first adventure here:
And if you’re the impatient sort, and you don’t want to read one chapter a week, you could also buy yourself a copy of Charge of the Lyte Brigade on Smashwords or on Amazon.
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