Restoring a River Guardian, Overview
Sir Caelan surveyed the “old broken soldier” before him, a relic of a time when the Provinces were hostile to each other, before peace and prosperity came. Now regretfully those hostilities had returned and the River Guardians, a series of fortified watchtowers along the river border with Loreos, were needed once more. This one however had definitely seen better times.
Caelan also surveyed with growing concern his newly-hired master engineer, a man of short attention span and even shorter temper, as he verbally abused his masons for minor infractions. ‘Rupert of Featherstone’, he called himself.
He heard Tavish, his archer man-at-arms, ride up behind him. “What a complete waste,” Caelan stated to his friend.
“Oh, I think not, this old soldier can be saved after all,” the archer corrected cheerfully.
“No, I meant the campaign.”
“Ach, lad are you still mopin’ over that?” Tavish chided him, “W’as done is done. Did ya really think these three peoples could get along for more than a few months time?”
“Bunch of hotheads. The Outlaws are our true enemies. Now they get the last laugh as the factions dig in and shake spears at each other. Common sense is not common.”
“You’re too naive. Besides, we did very well anyways. Lenfald now has an outpost on the island, we got the Ice Wizard, and walked away with all his silver to boot!” Tavish laughed, pleased with the thought. “Now you finally have some money lad. You can woo that wee lassy of yours in Durrough who caught your eye.”
Calean turned to glare at him suddenly. “Shut it.” He rode forward a few steps, looking up at an upper scaffold on the tower that seemed to him to be a bit rickety.
Unfortunately Tavish rode forward as well and wouldn’t let go if it, noting in a deliberately far-off voice, “Oh look, the flowers are a bloomin’ already, and love is in the air…”
“If I were you,” Caelan countered forcefully, “I would be more concerned with Rupert the “Master” engineer you hired, than my interest in Lady Kenzie. You seem to be a lot better at finding spies than you are at hiring competent engineers.”
“Couldn’t be helped. Everyone’s buildin’ now and the prices have gone up for eveythin’. Rupert is what ya get when you give me so little money to hire with.” He smiled an ‘I-told-you-so’ smile.
Caelan sighed. “We’re going to be here at this forever. Does that upper platform look right to you?”
“I wouldn’t set foot on it.”
“Rupert!” Caelan called up to the engineer on top of the tower, “Check that upper scaffold, I don’t think it’s right.”
Rupert took offense, “I set it meself sir! It’s right as rain,” he declared stomping repeatedly on top of it. And of course it suddenly collapsed from under him.
The only thing that saved Rupert from a death-plunge was his last-second mad-grab for the chain hanging from the crane, and now he swung there cursing and screaming for someone to let him down. His workers didn’t seem to be in a hurry to save him.
The archer just laughed with most everyone else, but Caelan quickly grew annoyed with Rupert’s panicked furry. A full minute went by with no one doing anything before the young knight finally snapped, “Would you shut this oaf up…”
Tavish immediately went from relaxed mirth to utterly serious action, drawing an arrow from his quiver, knocking it and shooting the crane’s top block in one swift motion. The chain was loosed and both Rupert and chain clumsily dropped fifteen feet into a plot of flowers, backside-first.
“You’re down now,” Tavish called to the dazed fellow and gave a flourish, “ye Master of The Sky!”
Caelan sighed again. “I shall call him, Rupert The Birdman.”
“Rupert of Littlewings. We should’ve spent the money and got a better one.”