Seattle Side Mission 10: Recruitment – Part 4

Written by: Bear           Played on: 25 May 2013
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NEXT: Side Mission 10 – Recruitment – Part 5

With nothing left to see and the sun heading down, we headed home quickly. A scout must have seen our approach from at least a mile away. Good, I thought. They were doing their job. As soon as the drumming started, our pace quickened. When we were a few hundred feet away, we could hear the cheering of the tribe over the steadily increasing beats of the drums. The boys are cheered as Koda presents his bear’s skull and Keenai with his deer pelt. Alan and Koda are rushed to the healers to remove any chance of infection and we all get cleaned up and change into our formal clothes.

A great central fire and many other smaller fires for cooking lit the whole village after the sun had gone down. As chief, I presented the new men and their hunting party to the loud cheers, laughter and applause of the tribe.

This was another big scene for the players to fill out with minimal input on my part. I provided that they each had to do something to present the boys after the hunt, but they ran with everything else from there.

After presenting the hunting part, it is tradition that those involved speak about the new men of the Sioux tribe. Nathan “Red Shadow” Marks spoke first. First stooping low and softly chanting quietly to the fire. He stood erect quickly and the fire shot up with him, twisting and reacting to his every word and movement. “I wish to speak of the bravery I was lucky to witness. After placing an expert shot, the fearless Koda was faced with a charging bear.” At the mention of the bear, the flames soared upward and twisted into the form of a standing bear which roared ferociously, echoing heat across the tribe. “Yet he showed no fear or pain as he, Dances as Mountains, Feather in the Light and I all fell the beast.” The scene played out in front of the tribe within the living brightness of the fire. A torn, but not broken, Koda standing over the fallen bear, exemplifying Koda’s strength, bravery, and indomitable spirit.

As the tribe cheered at the story, Koda stood proudly smiling and blushing either from the heat of the flames or the feeling of joy from Nathan’s impassioned words. Next spoke Alan “Dances as Mountains” Palmer. He rose slowly, his injuries, although healed, had taken their toll on him.

“A tribe is in need of many things from its men: Great strength, a caring heart, patience and the ability to observe, build courage and motivate those who he leads. Keenai demonstrated each of these qualities. He left this village a boy in your eyes, but I saw a man while in the wilds. He stayed calm under pressure, made hard decisions and was able to keep his wounded brother in good spirits. These two young Arrows will make great leaders. I am proud and look forward to seeing what amazing things they will do!”

Again, more cheers filled the night sky as my lovely wife; a proud mother approached her smiling sons. Without needing to motion, the tribe fell silent and hung on her every word.

“All my life I’ve seen boys who grow-up wishing to be men. In this world, our culture is at risk. There are even those who have tried to destroy it. We look to our children to maintain the rituals, never forgetting the past as we move forward. Every step of the way, even when exhausted or wounded these two fine young men followed our traditions. They have brought great honor not only to their parents and tribe, but also to their ancestors and the great spirits that watch over us. Their unwavering respect will bring an unbreakable strength to us all!”

The cacophonous cheers and drumming reached a new high and deafening levels, although that may have been my heart pounding in my ears.

All eyes then turned to me. It is traditional that the chieftain gives the final approval and acceptance of new men to the tribe. For a moment there was silence as I gathered my thoughts, a split second that felt like a lifetime. There were my son’s now, strong and brave men, my wife, more gorgeous than I could ever remember with a smile that lit up the dark more than the flames her and the boys were wreathed in. An image that has haunted my worst nightmares now filled me with pride, making me happier than I’ve ever been.

As I rose to speak, the shouts and drumming fell silent.

“As boys become men, they must not only possess strength of body, but also strength of mind. Like the rising and setting of the sun, the men of the Sioux must demonstrate dependability, a steadiness to not waver under pressure and keep a keen mind on what is most important. Your Family, the Tribe, and the Land. These are the things that sustain us, support and raise us. Let the power that you gain from these things drive you to return the favor. It is only through giving back that each of us grows; one good deed is rewarded a dozen times over. It is the duty of each member of the tribe to reflect the heart of the tribe and represent the pride and shoulder any responsibilities. If you men demonstrate these traits and qualities, then one day you will lead; not only by right, but you will earn the trust, love and support of all who cross your paths. Koda, Keenai, your actions these past few days have made me proud; not only as your father, but also as your chief. Now hold your heads high Keenai “Talon of Light” and Koda “Claw of Night”; you are honorably welcomed as men into the Broken Arrows!”

From that moment my sons were men. They were welcomed into the tribe with drink, food, music and dancing. They were the future of the Broken Arrows. A future that I know will be filled with happiness. It is obvious that the tribe is now strong, and not going anywhere. I’m home and my family is happy, my friends are happy. I will always protect these people and I know that they will protect me. As I stood, watching the celebration, I felt a familiar warmth hold me from behind. June had wrapped her arms around me.

“Congratulations, chief. You now have two new men in your ranks.”

“The praise goes to you June. You raised two wonderful children into amazing men.”

“Well, I didn’t do it alone, Ben. You were always here.” She smiled as she pulled me into a kiss “Now come on. They don’t need you here anymore” With that she pulled me away to our home. That night we lay together. It was as if time stood still; our spirits, bodies and minds joined as one. I knew at that point that this was no dream. It couldn’t be, the feeling was too real. I knew that I was finally home. I could be happy. As we were lying there, embracing each other, the drumming died down and the village grew silent. It was just us, staring at the stars. I am excited for tomorrow and every day after.

“Sleep well, my love, tomorrow is another big day.” June said softly as she snuggled into my chest.

The write up doesn’t quite do the roleplaying justice here. By now, the players had a firm handle on how switching between characters was working and had a pretty strong inkling of where the rest of the run was going to go from here. It was a proud moment when June’s player started twisting the knife on her husband herself by talking about the future and how she’ll see him again in the morning. It was a pretty fantastic and emotional scene.

“Good night, my Feather. Rest well.” I whispered to the dark and kissed her head. I took in a deep breath, filling my lungs with her fragrant hair.

PREVIOUS: Side Mission 10 – Recruitment – Part 3
NEXT: Side Mission 10 – Recruitment – Part 5

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