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Rct. Bobbin Socks (Color)

By SunsetteSkye
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Character  Bobbin SocksLocation  The Sundered Marches
"Ladies and gentlemen!" A woman's voice rang out high and clear, as she held up a shining platinum crown beneath the noon sun. In her middle years, her face showed some sign of weathering, not that it made her smile any less infectious or charming. She was clad in the scarlet grenadine uniform of the Lanvan Revolutionary Aerie, with the crowned triple chevron of a Sergeant Major.

"A shining platinum crown for any woman or man brave enough to defend their homeland! Take the Margrave's crown, take up arms, and take the fight to her Imperial Majesty!"

A few months ago, she'd have been swarmed with volunteers; Margrave Reighd's newfound fiscal largesse was certainly appreciated by his subjects, a welcome change from the overwhelming tariffs that had been imposed under the Empire. But it benefits the observer to let the eye linger a little longer over the recruiter. It might have seemed strange to have such an esteemed grognard as a veteran Sergeant doing recruitment work, but if you moved your eye to her other hand, you could see she had a cane and favored the opposite leg. And while her smile was earnest and genuine, a pained grimace flickered at the corners of her lips when she moved. Though she coaxed and cajoled, no one would do more than an awkward shuffle and a few words of encouragement. The price of the coin was quite heavy, and everyone in the capital knew it was a fool's trap by now.

Everyone, that is, but her day's assistant, the new fifer for the battalion. The young man's eyes were heavy with dismay as he looked at his cargo: off of one shoulder hung a bag full of heavy platinum crowns that few had grasped all day. The redcoats were heroes, as far as he was concerned. But he also knew the pain in the crowd's eyes when they saw the small imperfections in the Sergeant's gait.

He raised his fife to his lips and closed his eyes. If dismay would blind him, then he did not need to see. The notes started low and soft, wafting about like the prairie breeze, carrying his braids into the air around him. It was a Glorin ballad, as far as he knew; the words were lost to him. He never did the singing, that had always been for another boy.  But he could remember each of the boys — each of his brothers — that had once sung alongside of him.

How Doyle and Frances would sing of parsley, and sage, and rosemary, and thyme.

How George and Arthur would ask for acres of land, ploughed clean and through.

How Henri and Joyeuse would smile their gentle smiles towards all the ladies, lovers of thine.

It was a song for lovers, he knew. But he loved his brothers, and that counted for something, didn't it?

Bobbin did not know exactly how long the song was supposed to go; it seemed the boys could make the verses go on forever if they wanted. But when he'd gone through the chorus five or six times, it felt like that had been enough; he drew the music out to its final notes and lowered the flute. When his eyes opened, they were neither dry nor heavy with dismay anymore.

Everyone was looking at him. A sheepish, toothy grin danced across his lips and he lowered the flute slowly, the wind lazily coming to a standstill as he did. "...Sorry, Sarge. I should have asked first."

The woman was silent — not quite furious, she found to her visible surprise, but definitely some kind of angry. As she rubbed at her brow, a girl's voice interrupted the quiet.

"--I'll take the coin." She didn't look much older than Bobbin, though she was certainly taller by a good few inches. "...For my little sister. She was at Fairwinds. Kind of... reminds me of you."

He smiled up at her. She smiled back down at him.

"Well," the Sergeant said, clasping her hands together. "Let's get this Aerie flying. Coin for your left hand, raise your right, and get ready to repeat after me..."


wildersurge did all of the amazing lineart, shading, and coloring on this picture! Freckles and some minor color corrections for uniformity by yours truly.
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© 2019 - 2020 SunsetteSkye
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