The Shadow Returns

Coach Caven sat in his office, contemplating the just completed first season of Shadow Company.  It had not turned out as he planned.  They won their last two matches, which was an improvement, but they had lost four others and tied with some Halflings.  Halflings!!!  Missing the match against the Brettonians still irked him.  On the outside, it seemed unprofessional to have to forfeit a game, but on the inside, it was completely necessary.  Team owner, Mr. Moneybags, had asked him to escort the Junior Shadow Company to a tournament, claiming that this season was a loss, and they needed to focus on new talent.  Everyone knew, that what Moneybags wanted, he got.  For the amount of money Caven was being paid, he did what he was told.  Not that money was everything, but a lot of gold was certainly better than no gold!  Moneybags had brought Caven back for a second season with Shadow Company, so now it was time to start planning and figuring out a system that could make them successful.  They would certainly build on the final two games, ugly wins, but wins none-the-less. Beating the other Dark Elf team in the division had probably saved his job. Moneybags was a Dark Elf himself, and didn’t view himself beneath any Dark Elf.

He was woken from his reverie by a knock at the door.  “Enter” he said, rather gruffly.  The door opened, and a courier stepped in with a large envelope.  “Invitation for you, Coach Caven, from the MML.  They want to know if Shadow Company is returning next season?”  Caven stood, and accepted the envelope, and handed the courier a gold crown.  “Tell the executives that Shadow Company will, indeed, be returning.  We have unfinished business.”  The courier bowed, and backed out of the room, closing the door with a soft touch.  Caven sat down at his desk, and proceeded to fill out the required paperwork.  It was a bit tedious, but necessary, he supposed.  He could never understand why they insisted on including an image and an essay along with the entry papers, but who was he to question a bunch of overbloated, self-important…uhm, hard working administrators.  He would need to watch his attitude around them.  They could make losing games a habit, if gold was placed in the right goblin or referee’s hands.

Caven looked over his roster.  His blitzers had all developed very well, and Tamden, the new Witch Elf, and shown a capacity for finding the end zone in such a short time with the team.  He needed to start training the linemen more.  Their agility helped them immensely, but they needed to get stronger, and learn how to take down opponents in order to open holes for the ball carrier.  His kicker need much more practice.  Too many times, the ball ended up well short of its intended placement, which made it tough on the defense.  He knew they would stay in the Challenge League for at least one more season, which meant that there might well be new opponents to face, but also that there was time to train and refine the team.  He needed to get them ready for the Pro’s!  If only he had some of Gutrad’s super serum, he could have some enhanced strength for his blitzers.  But alas, that ship had sailed when Gutrad retired and vowed never to disclose the origination of that serum. Oh well, he would just have to take the road less traveled and prepare his team as best as he could.  The next season would be much, much different…

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