~The Night Watchers story belongs to AvalonTheQuin~
James is a new recruit to the Night Watchers and he is twenty years old. He grew up in a family of nobility but ran away when he was fourteen. He’s not the best swordfighter in the world but he can certainly hold his own in a fight. James tends to rely on his silver tongue, wit, and clever strategy to get himself out of tight situations. He can also be described as a bit reckless and self-absorbed, often flirting or making jokes to lighten conversation. He doesn’t like to think about the darkness in the world; he knows it’s there, but he prefers to avoid it and his sense of humor is how he copes with his pain.
Interview with James
Q: Hello. It says here that you’re called James; any last name with that?
J: (grinning) Not anymore. (Glances around the room and leans back in his chair) This place is pretty intimidating, you know? Like a real interrogation room.
Q: Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself? What sort of family do you come from?
J: Well, I used to live in this great old house with my wealthy family of nobility, but they were all so...fake and truckling that I had to get out.
Q: You ran away?
J: Yep. Lived on the road for about five years, then settled in a little town in the middle of nowhere until I was picked up by the Night Watcher recruiters.
Q: Why did you decide to join the Night Watchers?
J: (shrugs) Why not? I don’t have much other purpose, so I might as well do some good. The recruiters found me settling some town squabbles and decided that I had potential. I’m not a real fighter.
Q: How do you think you’ll do, then, in an academy filled with talented warriors?
J: There’s always gotta be someone at the bottom of the class, right? (Laughs and runs a hand through his hair) Besides, I have talents of my own. I’m a great pickpocket, so I’ll never have to worry about money. I’m quick on my feet, so I won’t have to worry about being punched around too much. And, I also hear that the Night Watchers are mostly female so that’s a plus for me too.
Q: I see...have you met any of your fellow Night Watchers yet?
J: Not yet. I literally just got here when you pulled me aside. Ask me in a few days, and I’ll have information on every single Night Watcher here.
Q: (chuckles slightly) Good luck with that...
J: What’s that supposed to mean?
Q: You’ll understand soon enough. That’s all for now, thanks. You can go.
Many years ago in the eleventh domain there was a boy by the name of James, part of the noble family line of Beaumont. He lived in an ancient house that had been in his family for generations, as long as anyone could remember. There was a hallway filled with the dusty portraits of sneering ancestors that one could look at should they wish to know just how far back the family went but rarely anyone ventured back there. The house stood in cool, dignified silence for many years, the height of propriety and elegance. Until James was born.
Of course there had been many loud children to be raised in that house; children will be children until they are taught to be adults, no? However, with James’s birth came disaster to the Beaumont family. It was no fault of his own; his father had made a few bad investments and their fortune had taken the fall. Still, when this boy filled the halls with rowdy shouts and carefree laughter it wore his father to the bone. This house was meant to be one of respect and grace, but now it was falling into disrepair and this boy was going about as though it didn’t matter. The money would last for a few more years, but if James’s father could not find an occupation and a salary they would be out of a home. He refused to ask his relatives for help, knowing that they would be too glad to condescend to help him. Instead, James’s father turned to drink and with that came violent outbursts mostly aimed toward James because of his rebellious behavior. Yes, James’s mother and siblings had their fair share of verbal abuse but with the mother gone most of the day and returning home drunk herself there was no one to protect James and his siblings apart from themselves. Though James was one of the youngest children he quickly learned to dodge his father’s drunken blows and returned his father’s abuse with some cheek of his own. His siblings warned him not to, as it would just infuriate their father further, but he did it anyway.
James knew that he was a useless boy; he wasn’t particularly clever, strong, or talented in any manner. In any case, that’s what his entire family had told him over the course of his life. Even his siblings would sigh to each other and say, “He’s at it again, that fool of a boy. At least he’s good for keeping our father at bay.”
Still, the money kept trickling away like sand from an hourglass. By the time James had turned twelve James’s father couldn’t find work anywhere and nor did he want to any longer; he claimed that it would be “an insult to his family name.” As if working hard did anyone any harm. When he was sober he would order his children to go out into the streets and find money where they could. Wanting to appease their father, they did. Elisabet found a job at the tailor’s store, Gregory became a blacksmith’s apprentice, Harriot even became the captain of her own ship. James, meanwhile, was reluctant to follow any of his father’s orders and instead wandered the streets. He picked up a few pickpocketing tricks from some street urchins he befriended and found that he had a gift: a gift for theft. What a wonderful purpose, eh? So James went to work lifting wallets from people’s pockets and ( )inging them home; not for his father, but for himself. He would save up enough stolen cash to buy himself a way out of this city. He spent most of his day prowling the street, not only stealing money but helping out a few of the less fortunate townspeople along the way. He stopped a young fellow from being mugged and helped a young woman out of a tight scrape with some shady-looking men. He had a way with words; he was able to keep talking long enough to distract his opponent into making a mistake. He was no fighter, but he knew how to dodge a punch well enough. When he returned home his father would take him by the ear and reprimand him for being a lazy, useless son. “All of your siblings are doing their part!” he would shout as his ( )others and sisters watched from the balcony on the second floor. “And what are you doing? Cavorting with street scum and dallying about with women?”
Well, if that was what his father didn’t want, that was exactly what he would do. If no one would expect him to be anything but a silver-tongued, quick-witted, womanizing scoundrel that was who he would be.
After two years James was able to collect enough money to leave. In the middle of the night he gathered his things and ran, a feeling of liberated joy rising in his chest. He could redefine himself now, he thought as he stood on the deck of a ship. No one would hurt him again.
But as James reached land his old habits quickly returned. He found himself flirting with no real interest in having a relationship with anyone who responded positively to his advances. It was just fun. He kept nicking wallets with no need to take them; after all, he’d found a job and he was paid well enough for it. That was just fun, too. He kept inserting himself into dangerous situations for no particular reason and dancing away at the last minute, usually unscathed but with the occasional ( )uise. And that was the most fun of all.
And that was when the Night Watchers decided to add him to their team. James hadn’t exactly planned on signing up but when they offered him a chance to find an honorable purpose in life he knew that he simply had to do it. He had no experience with weapons but he was assured that that wouldn’t be a problem. So, leaving his second life behind James hoped that this one would be even better. Perhaps he would even find what he was looking for. Whatever that was.
Thanks for reading!