Coach shakeydog pushed open the doors of the Southern Sun alehouse unsure of what would await him inside.
The Southern Sun was a fine establishment around 20 miles south of the city beneath which shakeydog had spent his most recent years. The cladding on the outside of the building looking pristine from its fresh paint work while a group of bare chested men were completing the construction of a vast stable building to the rear of the alehouse.
Shakeydog suddenly felt very aware of his attire. His jacket was frayed at the cuffs, his breeches stained and his boots sorely in need of replacing. As he stood on the threshold he quickly tried to pat his hair into some sort of respectable style then entered.
Inside was a clean bar area occupied by a few men.
“My friend! please join me” an aging man wearing what appeared to be a military uniform along with a magnificent moustache.
“My name is Major Randolf Oesterson, proprietor of the Southern Sun, and I believe this belongs to you?” He reached below the table and pulled out the beautiful glittering chalice that was the MML trophy.
“I don’t understand” replied shakeydog, “we were sure it had been lost to the river”
“Some of my men pulled it out a few miles from here, it appears to be undamaged by the ordeal, I suspect there is some enchantment placed upon it to protect it from harm”.
Shakeydog was relieved to see the trophy, he had already received a letter from the MML administrators requesting the return of the trophy in the next 2 weeks but he remembered the note, the trophy would not simply be handed back.
“You said you wanted something in return for it?”
“Of course I do, I have made a small fortune during my time in the army, mostly through trading the spoils of war. My trading activities are much more profitable than my military career has been. I know an opportunity when I see one”.
“How much then?” Shakeydog nervously asked, knowing he had squandered most of what he had earned in his time with the Souls.
“I have no need of money, what I really want from you is your coaching skills. I want you to make a team from my regiment, turn them into a team and make winners of them”.
Shakeydog paused for a moment to consider, his relationship with the Souls had been a rollercoaster and he also knew he had taken them to the top, doing so had taken a toll on him. But they were his team and he knew exactly how to get them to perform, could he translate that to another team?
“The Souls are my team and I am committed to them, coaching another team is not in my plans at the moment but thanks for thinking of me”.
Randolf sat back and rubbed his chin, “have you forgotten why we are here? You need this and I have made a fair bargain for its return. Ultimately i want to keep this but I am a proud man and want to earn it fairly, you can help me do that.”
Shakeydog knew the Major had him over a barrel, he desperately needed that trophy back.
“Ok, I’ll get the team ready and coach them for a season, but I don’t want to be stuck coaching a bunch of no hopers, if they dont cut the mustard I’ll be gone.”
“Excellent news, they won’t disappoint you, I’m certain of that, come and meet some of the potentials.”
Randolf draped his arm around shakeydog shoulder and lead his to the back of the alehouse where a well drilled looking regiment of about 60 men stood in perfect formation.
“What’s the team name?” Asked Shakeydog
“The same as the regiment, I’m pleased to introduce The Southern Braves, time to get to work…..”