Phillip grabbed the handle of the metal pot and pulled it from the fireplace. He bent down, both knees touching the red rug beneath him, and set the metal pot down next to him. With one hand Phillip splashed luke-warm water from the pot onto his arm pits, one and then the other. He used both hands for the rest of his body. A thirty second wash at most. Phillip always washed in close proximity to the embers of the prior night’s fire, hopeful to feel the fading caress of the dying fire’s warmth. It was a morning ritual of sorts.
Dried and clothed, he began to think of the day ahead. Desirable Defence training his first task for the day. Phillip’s least favourite training, not least of all because it was facilitated by Errius Black. The training itself was useful; defensive tactics were of great value in combat. Phillip was a runt throughout his youth, and as a result suffered many beatings at the hands of his peers. The pain of constant defeat taught him an important lesson to which his peers were not privy: a sturdy defence was insurmountably more important than effective offense.
But Errius was swine. Errius was second in command at the Castle. Or at least he liked to think as much. The truth was Errius’s tongue was so far up the Head of Castle’s arse you could see it coming out his mouth when he spoke. Phillip respected authority. He understood it’s importance within the Castle community. If every man were afforded chiefdom, the Castle would be without direction and would surely crumble. A certain amount of agreeance was necessary. Phillip saw Errius’ relentless subservience as contrived. If a dagger were handy, Phillip felt Errius wouldn’t so much as blink before thrusting it into another’s back, so long as it served to further his selfish desires. There was no doubt Errius’ arse-tonguing had afforded him a position of great stature within the Castle’s community, though Phillip wondered at what cost.