From the top of the guard tower, Pablo watched the smoke billow as the smith's hammer swing mercilessly again and again at the glowing metal.
If he hadn't met Eleri he would have been well on the way towards opening his own smith, probably somewhere further west than Andor. When she discovered she was with child, they'd run east from Katar until they ended up in Caemlyn, penniless and desperate. As it was the Queen's Guard was the only place recruiting and he had been forced to join.
The Queen's Guard was full of adventure-seeking youngsters and mysterious men with strange habits. The pay was a little low for his liking, and the hours were often excruciating, but at least he didn't have to pay for the uniform, and he got to moonlight some nights collecting debts from shopowners and other vendors for extra income. In truth, it was no place a Borderlander man touching his thirties looking for a quiet stable job, but it mattered little in the long run- it looked reasonably safe, and if he managed to save enough, perhaps little Bannan would have the chance to choose his own lot in life..?
Pablo blinked. He had little ambition to reach the lofty officer ranks of the Queen's Guard. Let those jobs go to the young men racing to Sergeant-Major. All he wanted was a stable job and a quiet, safe place to raise his son. Maybe a small shed where he could keep his hand in...
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