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Ch 2: William

     William could not stop shaking as he stood in line at the recruitment office. He did not want to join the Army, but he really had no choice. Not since the incident with the bull anyway.
     Will was born on a farm. He was not built for this. He was stick thin and could barely carry a bucket of milk. He did his best but he was clumsy and easily distracted. He felt like a disappointment to his parents and was often beaten for being lazy.
     Then two days ago Will became a hero and an abomination on the same day. The farm was going through a rough time and there were too many calves. Will's father decided it was time to castrate the bull. Will sharpened the knife and set the iron on the fire to cauterize the wound. Will's father was quick when he severed the scrotum but not quick enough. The bull kicked out and hit him in the head. The bull bucked and ran away through the pasture. Then it stopped, turned, and began to charge Will's father who was unconscious on the ground
     Will ran between his father and the charging bull without thinking and yelled "NO!!" The bull fell to it's knees and slid for a few feet before stopping in a cloud of dust.
     When the dust settled Will knew his life was over. The bull was dead. It was bleeding from its eyes and mouth and the fresh would where it's testicles used to be was pooling vvery quickly into the grass and the blood was steaming and boiling on the hot summer day.
     That was the day Will discovered he was a hemo-magus, a blood mage. He had boiled the blood inside the bulls body.
     When his father came around and found out what happened he was furious. He yelled and screamed and threw Will out of the house to the wailing protestations of his mother. Will's father did not beat him though. For the first time in his life someone was afraid of him.
     Word got around quickly about Will and no one would help him. Hemo-magi were rare and the collages of magic refused to admit them claiming that with training they would be too dangerous. After sleeping in the woods and barely eating for two days Will decided to join up.
     The Army was the only place he could go. No one would hire him and he would be an outcast anywhere else.
     "Oh Gods" thought Will. There were only two more people ahead of him in line now. He was shaking so badly he was sure people noticed. A little whimper even escaped his mouth. He feared he might be sick.
     After no time at all Will was standing in front of the desk of a fat man in a military uniform.
     "Name" demanded the fat Sargent.
     "William, Sir".
     "Do you have a family name son?" the Sargent asked not unkindly.
     "N...no sir. My parents are just farmers sir."
     "Ok" said the Sargent "William Farmer" he said as he wrote it down on a piece of paper. "Congratulations son. Now you have a family name. How old are you son?"
     "Seventeen sir" Will replied.
     "Do you have any weapons training or special skills William Farmer?"
     Will hesitated but he figured word had already gotten around. "I am a blood mage sir." Will mumbled.
     "What's that son? Speak up."
     "I'm a blood mage sir. I just found out."
     The fat Sargent looked at him with surprise "Really?" said the Sargent and Will cringed inside. "That's great" continued the Sargent. "If you can prove that in training there will be a promotion for you."
     "Really?" asked Will surprised
     "Oh yes. there's power in blood magic. Most mages are made corporal after training if they don't fuck up to bad." said the Sargent grinning as Will blushed at the profanity. "Go on down to the last door on the left and wait there until the rest of your unit arrives. Someone will be by to collect you later. And welcome to your new life Private Farmer."
     Will walked down the hall in a daze. None of this felt real. He entered a plain room with no windows and chairs lining the walls. There was an elf and a dwarf already in the room.
     The dwarf grinned and walked straight up to Will with his hand outstretched. Will had only ever sen a few dwarves in his life and they had always had beards, long hair and clan tattoos on their faces. This one had close cropped hair a smooth chin and no tattoos to be seen. Will thought it may be rude to mention this so he just shook the dwarfs hand. He was lucky to get his hand back after the crushing shake.
     "Nice to meet ya brotha" the dwarf said as he nearly shook Wills arm off. "The names Glimmet Stonecleaver, but me friends just calls me Glim. That pointy eared bastard in the corner calls imself Shay" He said indicating the elf who nodded to Will.
     "I'm Will" said Will "Or I guess it's private Farmer now."
     "What is it you do?" asked Glim.
     "My parents were farmers, and we raised some cows." Will told him with some feelings of guild.
     "No, no no" said Glim "I mean what do you do? All the other rooms ave a bunch of people in em and the last two are empty. Me, I'm the best blacksmith this side of the mountain and Shay there is a fuckin night witch."
     "Night witch?" asked Will.
     "I am a shadow-magus" the elf interrupted in musical tones "I can manipulate shadows and darkness."
     "Wow that's even more rare than a hemo-magus" Will said with wonder.
     "Glims eyes widened with surprise "Yer a bloody, blood mage? I knew it. There puttin the ones with the best talent in together. I bet they have somethin special planned for us. I'm gonna be the armorer of heroes I am, and no two ways about it."
     Will was glad to be accepted despite his new found power, but what the dwarf said scared him. Will did not want to fight. He was hoping to get a desk job or maybe be a steward for some officer. Only time would tell he supposed. Will took a chair and tried to settle into his new life.
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