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Revision as of 22:38, 13 February 2020

This is a Warrior's Guild RP.


Part of the Dissonance Theory Arc


Summary: Kazeem's candidacy interview for Warrior's Guild membership is not what he expected when Lionel turns tables and asks the desert nomad to determine whether the Catalian Imperator is worthy of leading, rather than if Kazeem is worthy of being led.

Snowless Training Yard

Kazeem Ansari has been dutifully aiding those whom dwell within the halls of the Warrior's Guild since the organization's last meeting just days prior. The talk of rampaging gods of old has yet to die down, but such matters seem to have driven those brave souls whom call this guild home into a fever of meaningful activity. Warriors train both in physical exercise as well as martial skill, while smiths of various schools of craft work almost tirelessly to ensure the arms and equipment that is called for is readily available to those in need. Add in the homeless that the guild's leadership has selflessly allowed to dwell within, and the youthful would-be warrior has had quite a full plate with of chores to see to to occupy his time. Even now, the young desert nomad can be seen taking supplies to forges per smith's request, as well as handing out freshly washed blankets and spare clothes to the homeless as he awaits his own trials to become a full recognized member himself. He has spent time, when it is available, studying the various men at arms spar and practice, picking up hints at what his own true identity as a martial combatant could be. For now, he thinks he has an idea, but he shall see what the guild can offer him in finding his true self soon enough.


Lionel has elected a revised system of judgment for the qualification of prospective guild initiates of late. In days of old, before his own tenure here, Warrior’s Guild membership was chiefly driven by one’s displays of martial prowess and rigorous discipline, and such qualities still had their place to be sure. But to Lionel O’Connor, many could learn to deftly wield anything from a club to a shuriken, yet not all who marched to battle marched for noble causes. Almsgiving; humility; wisdom. These skills were the most important of all. Exceptions had been made of late — Quintessa Dragana, for example, hardly seemed to exemplify charity — but there were other things, potentials for the greater good, within certain candidates such as herself. Enough to take a gamble. And then there were those like Kazeem. The tan-skinned swordsman from the southeastern sands seemed singularly made to do the things he had thrown himself into, with an attention to detail and a nature that was, at least on the surface, quite kind. It was somewhat of a contrast to his mercurial appearance, Lionel supposed, but then... books and covers. “Hello there,” the Catalian greeted Kazeem in the middle of his chores. “You’ve done more than enough for one day, methinks. Tell me: what sorts of tribulations do you suspect I’ll soon thrust upon you?” Quite direct.


Kazeem had just handed the last of the blankets to one of the homeless that was in need just as the Imperator made his greeting and asked his pointed question. It was indeed something the wanderer had been dwelling on himself, but he answers with the only logical thought he could muster in the moment. "Whatever you seem fit, sir." He didn't quite know was exactly he should address Lionel as, but sir is always a safe bet he believes. He does add quickly enough. "But I stand ready to prove my worth, no matter the challenge." It was true enough, for even as chores and charity took up most of his time, Kaz has found the time to ensure he was staying physically fit when he could. From manual labor to outright intense physical exercise (and the occasional lone weapon training), so in his mind he could be ready to be called on for whatever task be required of him. He had sought out the guild, it would be disrespectful to them ask them to wait upon him to be ready, aye?


Lionel smirked harmlessly. “I won’t stop you from calling me ‘sir,’ but I won’t require it, either. If it pleases you, ‘Lionel’ suits me just fine. Come sit with me, Kazeem. I’m not as young as I used to be.” This, while technically true, did not seem remotely relevant. Nimble as ever, the thirty-two-year-old was far from past his prime. He even seemed to relish in it, performing a brief semi-handstand in a useless leap upon his chosen bench. Whether or not Kazeem chose to sit down beside him, the Imperator would carry on. “Maybe you had a sense of it; maybe you didn’t. Either way’s perfectly fine by me. But in truth, much of your interview has already been conducted.” A human nurse passed them by, nodding respectfully on her way to treating a cough which had been ailing one of the homeless people for days now. “Knowing how to fight is all well and good. And we teach those who don’t already have a knack for it -- and improve those who do. Like anything, combat knowledge is a lifelong training course.” Lionel knew this well; in recent days, stripped of all that made him supernatural, he had been reduced to an ordinary man who was fit and lithe but hardly exceptional. “What I like to see is compassion. Or a hint thereof. Since your arrival, your commitment to your tasks has been outstanding, and the tasks in question have been helpful, not harmful. That means something to me.” He stretched his tired arms now, folding his crossed palms on his lap afterward. The setting sun foretold the dwindling of the hustle-and-bustle of the day, as guild members started to settle in and dinner was being served. “Mind you, I know a couple of folks here in particular who would scold me six ways to Cenril if I didn’t let at least one of them give you a good old-fashioned practice spar posthaste, but that can wait. The only thing that’s left is all on you. Tell me about yourself, Kazeem.”


Kazeem watches as this legendary hero of the realm acts just like he and his friends did back home, in such a laid back and relaxed manner, it almost conflicts with the preconceived notion that "Lionel O'Connor" was this man among men, but not in a bad way. In fact it eased previously existing tension in dealing with the Catalian, and as he explains what he is looking for the Ansari heir feels a bit rewarded for (what is to him) natural behavior. But then he is asked to tell this man, this seasoned hero, about himself. No pressure, right? "I'm from a nomadic tribe of people who call the Nameless Desert home. I am the last son of my blood line, and.." he pauses as he tries to find a way to explain it. " I need to become a warrior of skill to ensure my families survival, as well as future generations of my tribe." Given the already full schedule of the guild, he wouldn't add in that he was to face magical elemental creatures spawn from the downfall of the Shattered Kingdom that prey upon those that live within the desert. He'd save that bit for another time. " I seek a means to protect my family and my people, not for money or glory or power, but simply to safeguard that which I hold most dear."


Lionel sensed Kazeem’s relative relaxation and was gladdened by it. Calmness was going to help the lad a great deal more during the Imperator’s follow-up query. But for now, he needed to address the nomad survivor’s tale. A simple tale, but Lionel could tell when there was more to a story than a speaker let on. Perhaps he had Kreekitaka of all people to thank for that one. “No pressure,” Lionel joked, though his azure eyes foretold a seriousness which soon followed. “No, plenty of pressure. That doesn’t sound enviable. Yet you carry yourself with the kind of dignity, the sort of confidence, which suggests -- to me, anyway -- that you’re equal to the true task ahead of you. This,” Lionel waved around the training yard, “seems transitory by comparison. You seek to hone your talents, or perhaps there is some lofty quest ahead of you and you require worthy allies. Either way, Kaz -- I’m calling you that, for the record -- I hope I am in turn equal to the task of aiding you.” Perhaps that statement of potential self-deprecation would be too much for this desert fellow; perhaps he would soon believe Lionel hardly worth his weight in strength. And, with Halycanos’ passing and Hellfire’s Kahran-slaying combustion, he might even be right. But this was the ultimate part of the test, the part that either inspired camaraderie… or didn’t. If it did, it was the beginning of what promised to be a reasonable union between men. If it didn’t, well, Lionel had dealt with enough Eirik-esques through the past few years to handle that however he had to. “The interview’s no longer yours, Kaz. It’s mine now. I have to prove I’m worthy to you; that’s the way the cookie crumbles. So let me tell you a little bit about myself. I was born into privilege, which I lost soon thereafter. I lived a hard-scrabble youth, and I raged against the proverbial machine every step of the way. I’ve triumphed and I’ve made mistakes. I’m imperfect. In fact, I may be one of the least perfect people you will ever meet. But I do my best, bit by bit, day by day, to protect and to preserve the world around us.” The homeless folks were headed into their tents now with pots of rice and wintry crops awaiting their supping. “That’s who I am,” the former Prince of Catal declared simply. “If you think I’m worthy, I’ll lead you.”


Kazeem is not one to seek out lies and misleading half-truths at every turn, for he is one who steps back and judges on on each individual action. Already he has seen men and women rally to his call when realm-wide disaster needed answering, he saw various people willing to set aside even personal issues (Khitti's outburst being the example) to stand next to this man and face what may come. That alone was enough days ago, but the humbling of himself, as Lionel was doing now, was far more than required by the Ansari heir, and he quickly lowers himself into a humble bow as he replies. " I thank you, Lionel. And shall do my best to earn your trust and respect, not only as a guild member, but as nothing more than two simple men trying to do our best with what we have." And if that wasn't what these two were, well, then Kazeem knew nothing about anything.


Lionel beamed not unlike a happy child. “And that,” he said, “was precisely the answer I had been hoping for.” The Catalian withdrew a brass torc from his pocket, polished to a mirror sheen. The figure of a falcon was emblazoned upon the torc, vibrant and ever-vigilant. “This is yours, Kaz.” Handing the recruit his torc, Lionel stood up from the bench and yawned. “You’re no raw initiate, methinks. You’re a neophyte, and you’re destined to be a proper soldier soon and more thereafter. I’ll get trite things like pay and first orders squared away in the morning. Better for us to go eat and drink and be Meri for the time being.” The corner of Lionel’s lips curled into a grin at the pun that he and he alone would ever know he’d just made. “Roast beast tonight. Don’t ask me which beast. I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it.” And with that, the Imperator led the way.


Kazeem takes the torc as offered, looking it over as he admires the falcon emblazoned upon it, and quickly dons it with pride. At that very moment, as soon as food is mentioned, the young warrior's stomach lets out a protest it has been holding back for hours now that signals the -need- for a good meal. " Yes! That sounds wonderful." And with his new torc placed upon his arm for all to see, the newest addition of the warrior's guild makes his way with Lionel into the dining hall.