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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Arrival in Redfern (all Horse Competition participants)


Matalina
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OOC: Below is a description of the town.

 

Redfern is a small town a two day right west of Tar Valon. Redfern is a farming community and a close night family. Each year Redfern hosts a Horse Competition where everyone is invited to come. People come from far and near to compete in this tradition. It is a carival of sorts and even horse traders come to make sales and watch their competitors.

 

Redfern is a poor town but rich with people and compassion. The houses are built by the locals for each individual. The community is like one large family and they love to share this love with strangers. They are a trusting bunch, knowing that the Tower is only a few days ride away and no one in their right mind would mess with a town under the watchful eye of the White Tower.

 

Redfern has a population of approximately 300, with about 1/3 of that living inside the town itself, the rest reside on farms and ranches outside of the town limits.

 

 

IC: Talyn was eager to see the village of Redfern on the horizon. It was a nice happy place with lots of fond memories. Talyn hoped to have a good time this year with out his folks over looking his every move. Talyn wondered how Taylor was getting along and if they'd be here. Perhaps he could best his little brother once and for all.

 

The town neared and Talyn could feel the aniticipation rise in his stomach. He was getting nervous and feared he'd sick up. That would be undignified and Talyn chocked back the thoughts and feelings as they road into the main square of town. The inn was probably nearing capacity and he hoped that all of their contingent could get in. The inn was a far better place to be after the days events then in a stable or in someone do-gooders home.

 

The towns folks bustled with joy and eagerness as they prepared for the days to come. It was probably the busiest the town was all year long.

 

Talyn

 

*****

 

The familiar sight of the village came into view, although Yrean had mixed emotions at seeing it, the people may be friendly country folk, but their hygiene left a lot to be desired, that is if the room Yrean stayed in last year was any indication of conditions in their own homes. This year, though, Yrean had brought his own tent and had decided to camp on the outskirts of the village. One or two others had also brought their own tents, and soon a small group were busy working on erecting the their tents, some with more luck than others. Eventually all the tents were up, and thoughts turned to food. There was a plentiful choice of Inn’s that would be serving food and drink late into the night.

 

Making his decision, Yrean turned to the others and voiced his opinion on where they would find the cleanest Inn and the best food. The small group talked over the other choices, eventually deciding to go with Yrean’s initial decision. Setting out, they made the short walk into the village; the road was still busy with more and more riders looking for a place to stay, and somewhere to drink. The crush was the worst at the center of the village, but as they neared the far side it lessened and they all managed to arrive without too many mishaps, although one of their number had lost his purse.

 

Yrean Stavrosi

 

OOC: Anyone want to jump in and spend the evening drinking and eating feel free.

 

*****

 

Esthelle had not really looking forward to sleeping in a tent, so she had dug into her savings and was very much planning on staying in the Inn. It seemed that their party had arrived on time to have them all still be allowed in the Inn that was proving to become overcrowded on a very short notice.

 

Redfern was bustling with activity and anticipation under the sunlight. People were everywhere; setting up tents, making camp, caring for horses or just standing about chatting amiably about the competitions that were ahead.

 

Esthelle guessed that the cute village did not usually host more than 300 souls, but right before the competition the village size had pretty much doubled. Esthelle patted Sunny's neck affectionately. "Looks friendly, doesn't it?" she said to the mare. "Let's see if I can find you a good stable, hun. We have races to compete in tomorrow."

 

She had no idea if she even had a chance for winning, but for once she was not even feeling competitive. Esthelle was usually the sort of girl who was a very sore loser, but this time she had signed up just because she thought it would be fun, not because she thought she stood any chance. At least she and Sunny got along splendidly and she was a better rider than she thought she would be; but that didn't really mean anything. She had been practicing on some of the competition elements but most of all she liked racing and jumping, as did Sunny. "We share one spirit," Esthelle had said once and Sunny seemed to agree with it. Spirited, just like me!

 

Esthelle

 

*****

 

Rodrik smashed the spike into the ground. He attached the rope to the canvas covering, and knotted it around the spike. He moved quickly, making sure his tent was up quickly so he could go to the Inn for a drink or three. He was impressed at the town. They were so united, as if there wasn't a care in the world. Not like his own hometown. In Gradne, there was suspicion and betrayal everywhere. He was lucky to have been born into one of the more successful families in the town. Everyone there respected Jaim and Dawn Hellok. He had left partly for the reason that his town was not very peaceful. Not like here. In Redfern there was laughter, children playing in the streets. He pushed the thoughts of Gradne from his mind and foucused on his tent. It wasn't very large. Just large enough for him, his kit, and Thunder's saddle. It was completely green and smelled like wet dog. He was going to clean it when he got back to the Yards. He finished driving the last spike into the ground, and tying the rope. He stood back and viewed his home for the next couple of days. It wasn't the greatest looking thing, or the greatest smelling, but it would be comfortable enough. He put his kit inside, and rolled out his groundsheet. He unrolled his blankets and arranged then the way he liked it. Finally he was all set up. He backed out and went to go see Thunder. He was in the main Inn's stables and hopefully well fed by the stablemen. Rodrik had decided before coming that he didn't want to spend too much money on a room, and liked being outdoors anyway. He entered the stables and found Thunder. Thunder neighed loudly as he spotted Rodrik. Rodrik pulled out a carrot he had been saving, and gave it to him. He patted Thunder, and Thunder in turn nuzzled against Rodrik affectionately. Rodrik whispered a good night, and left the stables. He moved into the inn, and found the common room crowded. He managed to squeeze into a table with a couple friends, and ordered a platter of food and a large mug of ale. The food soon came, and Rodrik dug in. He always found that riding made him hungry. He soon polished off the last piece of chicken, and downed the mug. He ordered a second one. He quickly finishd that one, and ordered a third. His friends told him to slow down and not get plastered too quickly. He would need his brains for the next day. Rodrik agreed and slowly drank the mug. He looked outside and found it to be getting dark. He weighed whether or not to have a fourth drink, and decided on getting it. He awaited the drink while talking with his friends.

 

Rodrik

 

*****

 

Redfern, it sounded so very much like the freedom this trip entailed to Lyv. She was out of the Tower grounds and far away from the place she liked to call ‘home’. Her horse was putting up with her fussing and riding her out quite nicely, Lyv was happy to be on the road again after years of training and stacks of paperwork back in Tar Valon. She had taken a few hours to discuss this change of events with Ginae who seemed a lot more content in her positions than Lyv ever had been. She was on the trip as there were some trainees along, but Lyv could tell from the look on her face that this was a mere excuse. Everyone liked the idea of leaving their home and work, not to fight a battle full of fear and pain, but to go to a festival where they could show of their skill and have a blast.

 

As everyone settled in, Lyv made sure her horse was fed and brushed down quickly. She did it herself to make sure that the mare would be ready for the competition in the morning. It was all well and good to have fun and be free, but there was still an element of competition that Lyv had found gave her spirits a good boost. She checked the hooves, braided the manes and then brushed the neckline for a last time. After a final look-over, Lyv was out on the streets to watch as the locals of Redfern were setting up the final course. Most of it was already built up and they had passed the obstacle course as they entered the town. She felt the fresh air and the bustle of people around her and grinned, this trip would be memorable, it already was.

 

Lyv Tylin

 

 

Nikos’ step was heavier than that of the lite mare Lyv had decided to ride, but that didn’t mean the heavy stallion had any problems with keeping up. Rosheen found herself getting into the rhythm of riding again. It really was something you never forgot. The trip to Redfern went without further complications. Some of the riders allowed their horses a quick gallop, to get the nervous edge of. When they arrived at the small town it was obvious that some horses weren’t used to crowds yet. Nikos stepped lightly and carefully, occasionally swatting his tail at those who came too near his back end. Rosheen laughed as she saw the Mistress of Trainees sprint of with her horse. Or rather the other way around. “I hope she didn’t trample anyone.†She said jokingly. On horse fairs like these, people were always careful to avoid getting under the hooves of the competitors and the visitors. Rosheen was glad to see that Nikos still intimidated people enough to give her a clear path.

 

She had decided to sleep in her tent, a few yards outside of the village. What was the point of an expedition like this if you didn’t enjoy the freedom it gave you to the fullest? She greeted Yraen with a wave. Her tent was set up in moments. Another thing she hadn’t forgotten, not after spending most of her childhood sleeping in tents and wagons. She left Nikos in the care of the horse handlers that were there every year, before sauntering into the town, looking for a bite to eat.

 

~

 

Ginae Auvriani had more than a little trouble getting her young gelding under control. She had expected him to be a little jumpy at least, but as it was she couldn’t get him to follow even the simplest order. Letting him run free for a few miles had cleared up his mood slightly, but as they arrived at Redfern, Roper began showing his nervous side again. In the middle of the town he decided it was time for yet another run. He sprinted through the masses, sprinting towards the less crowded end of Redfern. When he arrived there he came to a sudden full stop, almost sending Ginae flying over his head. “Woah…†she muttered, a little after the fact. Her hopes for the competitions weren’t all that high. At least she’d know what they had to practise on. She made a mental note to put Roper in crowds more often.

 

Rosheen & Ginae

 

*****

 

Great pain sat in the hind of Fid’s legs after his first few days of riding a horse. The first day was filled with constant catching up, the horse would fall behind often because it was not being pushed to keep up. Fid had finally gotten the grasps on controlling Buckshot by the time they arrived in Redfern. Just on the outskirts of town Fid climbed off of his horse and fell to the ground, barely able to support the weight of a body with sore, horse ridden legs. He pulled himself up using the reins that were still in his hands and attached to Buck. The old black tugged up which helped Fid to his feet, but made him lose footing before he could find it and brought him to his knees on the ground. Not using the horse this time he pulled himself up and stroked the grey hair behind Buck’s ears. The old horse seemed delighted for only a short moment.

 

Fid had brought very little money, just barely enough for a good meal and a couple of pints on each day of the trip, if he played his cards right. He didn’t bring a tent, but also wasn’t one for sleeping on the ground either, especially not with aching muscles like these. He began his town wide search for a pair of trees close enough together for him to fashion his canvas into the hammock. For once he would use it for something other than painting.

 

He walked around the town with the horse only stopping to survey. He decided the best place to set up would be near the nest of campers as he led the horse in that direction. Just on the exit of town he saw a bunch of tents sitting in front of a cluster of trees. “Perfect.†He whispered to Buck and without further waste, went and found a pair of trees. After tying up his canvas and horse to the trees he put the saddle under the hammock.

 

Just as Fid thought of going to grab a bite and a gulp and a place to sit, he heard a man, Yrean, saying something along those lines for all the tents to hear. He heard a few others discuss of good places to eat and Fid could only stand and nod in the general direction. Once all had decided they were off towards a place through, but away from the crowds.

 

Fid made an early exit after only eating his meal and a drink, his legs were too sore and he felt too tired from the lack of sleep before and during the trip thus far. When he got to the site he noticed a few more tents had been set up. Fid said a quick greeting before making his way towards his sleep apparatus. Buckshot, still tied to the tree, had already fallen asleep and Fid soon did the same.

 

Fid

 

*****

 

A soft nudge in her ribs woke Lyv up from her daydreaming, she had been goggling at one of the men who worked on the building of the obstacle course. He had a tan from working outside and Lyv found him quite pleasing to the eyes when Rosheen suddenly appeared next to her. “What are you up to Lyv?†she asked and Lyv winked and pointed at the man, who right then turned around and waved at them both. Lyv’s cheeks went into a bright crimson and she smiled awkwardly at him. “Ahmm, let’s get to an inn and have a bite to eat?’ she said to Rosheen who was broadly grinning at her now. “Why,†Lyv muttered under her breath as they both headed back to one of the inns their group had taken over. “Well, he was probably worth it,†Lyv said as they stepped into the common room and found a table in the crowds of people. It seemed that everyone was hungry at once and the servant girls ran around carrying plates and mugs to everyone.

 

Finally a tall dark-haired woman appeared at their table, her hair hang in strands down her face and her light brown eyes looked tired. “What can I help you with?†she asked and Lyv decided to do her a favor. “Bring us two mugs and barrel of ale please,†she said and grinned at Rosheen who started to grin as well. The girl looked at her, then at Rosheen, tucked her hair behind her ear and said, “Fine,†and disappeared. Lyv grinned openly and said, “She realizes I was kidding right?†Rosheen shrugged and they asked another girl for some bread and whatever was on the day’s special. The girl said they would have to wait at least an hour, so if they wanted to wait they knew how long, it was too busy for the two cooks to prepare food for everyone. Lyv shrugged and said they had already ordered a drink so they’d be fine. The girl nodded and left, Lyv started to speak about what she expected from the race tomorrow when Rosheen stopped her and pointed at the girl who they had ordered drinks from. She had a huge barrel and kicked it ahead, moving people out of the way as she did. She placed two mugs on the table and told them they could use the tap on the top of the barrel to fill their mugs.

 

Lyv’s jaw dropped to the floor, she had not been serious but appearently this girl was. “Can’t you just bring us two mugs?†she called after the servant girl who bustled away again and then stared, pale faced at Rosheen. “This is ours?†she asked and then started to laugh, roaring and nearly rolling over the floor. “Oh my, will we be able to finish it before dinner arrives?†she said with a wink and stared at the barrel. “If we finish that, we’ll be dead tomorrow,†and took one of the mugs, with a bit of a fuss she got it filled and handed it to Rosheen. “Drink up, we have a long night ahead of us!†and filled her own next.

 

Lyv

 

 

Rosheen met up with Lyv moments after she had set up her tent. She was tempted to check up on Nikos, but also quite sure that her wilful stallion wouldn’t appreciate the added concern. He was a warhorse, not a fowl. He would call her when he needed her assistance. Or so Rosheen imagined a conversation between her and Nikos would go, if the horse could talk. She giggled for a moment. “You’re not even drunk yet, and you’re already imagining things.†She muttered to herself. Lost in her own sense of humour, she almost missed the fact that Lyv had stopped dead in her tracks. She narrowly avoided a collision. Following her friend’s gaze, she noticed a young, tanned man working on the obstacle. Lyv was about two seconds away from drooling, so Rosheen nudged her. Lyv’s blush was priceless.

 

After this moment’s distraction the two friends continued on their way to the inn, intent on getting absolutely, completely, doubtlessly drunk. Rosheen sat with her back to the wall, eying all the patrons of the inn as Lyv ordered them something to drink. A while later the servant girl arrived with a barrel of ale. Rosheen’s eyes went as wide as Lyv’s. “ehm… well… I guess she didn’t get the joke, Lyv.†Rosheen jested. The miscommunication was soon forgotten though, as mug after mug of ale came out of the barrel. Rosheen and Lyv felt generous, and handed out almost as much Ale as they finished of with just the two of them. When the meal they had ordered arrived, not one but almost two hours after they ordered it, Rosheen was definitely having problems seeing straight.

 

By the look of things, she wasn’t the only one though. She was glad she hadn’t signed up for the competitions, but only for the judging. Maybe she could do the judging while she was sleeping. Maybe Nikos could do the judging for her. He was such a clever horse, after all. She giggled at that, earning her a questioning look from Lyv. “Nikos.†She muttered, before falling into yet another fit of laughter. Finally she placed her head on the table, missing her plate by less than an inch. “I think I’m drunk.†She muttered, pleased that she had managed to get drunk without Aran being there to remind her of her stupidity the day after. Maybe that would mean that she wouldn’t get a hangover. Maybe Aran was secretly the cause of all her hangovers. She rolled her head over the table in a manner that resembled shaking her head. That didn’t make sense.

 

Sitting up again she took a moment to look at her friend, who didn’t look any more sober than she did. “We ought to find you a man.†She said out of the blue. “How about that tanned fellow you were ogling earlier? He was all kinds of pretty. Had bulging muscles too. You like bulging muscles, right?â€

 

Rosheen

 

*****

 

Lyv ran a finger over the trace of spilt ale as Rosheen seemed completely lost in her own funnies. She was odd that way sometimes, but Lyv did not mind as there was a whole world of odd about Lyv herself at any given moment. They fit together so snug like a bug on a rug and Lyv often found that when Rosheen started to giggle, she herself would soon start as well. This time, it was a comment from her friend about finding her a man that brought tears to Lyv’s eyes as she said, “Yes, I do, but I remember someone painting all the names of those I once thought I loved on my face, and I distinctly remember a name on there that was new to me,†she grinned and watched Rosheen’s face light up in a new burst of laughter.

 

“So maybe we should start with you, so the culprit has something to paint on your face next time you wake up in your office,†this came out in such a serious tone that Lyv burst out in a new fit of laughter and spilt another sip from her ale. “Hey,†she said all of a sudden, “maybe we could find ourselves a double date?†She thought that if Rosheen could still talk about finding men, she could pair up with Lyv and bat her eyelashes at someone who could appreciate such freedoms more than most men in the Yards could.

 

“We are out of the Yards now, if we’re ever going to find love, we might as well try our luck here,†Lyv burst into another fit of laughter as two guards appeared at their table, raising a mug for a refill. Lyv helped them out and watched as the two turned their backs again. “No, not them,†she said out loud and saw one of them eye back over his shoulder with his eyebrow raised. “Broad shoulders and a sense of humor, what about your Rosh?†she realized between grins and laughter that she hardly ever heard her friend speak of men. Maybe this was a touchy subject, but being nearly completely drunk by now they would not remember much of this in the morning anyway.

 

Lyv

 

*****

 

 

Rosheen pouted a little when the two Guards left without as much as a wink. “You know, I’m beginning to think people only like us for our ale.†She muttered, staring at the barrel, which was no doubt significantly more empty than it had been when they started at it. She shrugged then, emptying her mug in a healthy swallow. Lyv said something about the kind of men she liked. Rosheen barely noticed Lyv had asked her something, as she was too busy staring at the backside of one of the Guards. “niiiiice… huh?†she looked up, suddenly aware of her surroundings. “My type?†she pondered on that for a while. “Do I even have a type? Hrrm.†She seemed lost in thought as she pondered on the kind of man she was interested in.

 

“Well, I like…†she pulled her hands apart, a little wider than her own shoulders. “Broad. Yeah, I like broad. I think. And I kind of like tall as well, but not tall and grumpy. Grumpy is no fun. You know, I don’t think Shienarans ever laugh.†She giggled slightly. Some people still thought that she was from Shienar. Wasn’t that the biggest joke she’d ever heard. “But yeah, broad is good. Short and scrawny isn’t. You know, when I was still a trainee I always forgot to look down. They never teach you about that. They always say your enemy comes from above, or behind, or from the sides, but they never mention that they can also come from below.†She shook her head slightly.

 

“I once tripped over Nevin.†She said, looking kind of ashamed of herself. “He was just all… short and I was running, and then he was there all of a sudden and… I tripped over him.†She glared at Lyv. “I bet that kind of stuff never happens to you.†Then she laughed again, filling her mug again. “But yeah… men… I like ‘em. They’re kind of like… horses. With different benefits. Can’t trust a man to actually get you somewhere, but they’re still kind of nice.â€

 

Rosheen

 

*****

 

 

“No,†Lyv said, “I have never tripped over someone before, but I’ve done other stupid things, believe me,†she nodded fiercely and drowned another cup of ale. “I should remember to eat something, I’m in the race tomorrow!†it put a smile on her blushing face. The booze was doing its job well and she was warming up nicely, smiling as a young woman asked if she could have some of their ale. “Sure, it’s not like we’re attracting bees with our honey,†the woman eyed her strangely and left as soon as she could. Rosheen’s comment about men having benefits put them both in a new fit of laughter and when Lyv’s finally passed she asked, “What benefits would those be?†and winked at her friend.

 

They bantered on for a bit more and then a thought appeared in Lyv’s mind, like a little light that went up all of a sudden. “What about our new Commander, Krelsa, broad shoulders and his own room too,†she grinned wickedly and heard Rosheen mutter something about not following Lyv in a staff sleep-over, no pun intended. Lyv grinned, “Yes, well you’re right about that. I did have a relation with my boss, drove him out of the Yards at that,†and they both laughed again, knowing that this was not true and that it was way more fun to just laugh than enter into the subject seriously. “We should find ourselves some drinking buddies, I say,†Lyv said and raised her hand to call on a serving girl. “We want food and drinking buddies, whichever you can provide us with first,†and then turned to Rosheen, “Right?â€

 

Lyv

 

*****

 

 

Talyn sat in a corner watching and drinking alone. He wasn't big on parties as of late, he'd gotten too drunk at his Tower Guard Ceremony and found himself in a strange bed. He still didn't know what had happened and he had no intention of asking anyone either. But the serving girl kept filling his glass even though it never emptied, Talyn didn't notice when Lyv and Rosheen had walked in nor when they'd sat down at a table near him. But he did notice their comment about drinking buddies. He wondered whether or not to join him. He was merely a trainee in both their eyes. Rosheen his mentor and Lyv was Mistress of Trainees when he entered the yards. Talyn opted to stay in his corner and drink alone. But he watched the women carefully. Stray thoughts wandered his mind as the drink went down. Talyn barely remembered he had a race tomorrow as he sipped his mug of spiced wine.

 

The serving girl that the women had asked for drinking buddies pulled Talyn's mug from his hand and set it down on the table the girls shared. He glared at the woman and handed her a coin. "Another round I suppose." His speech was a little slurred as he sat down on a bench facing the women. "I guess she thought I could use the company."

 

Talyn

 

*****

 

 

 

Arriving in Redfern Shawn was a bit taken aback by the number of people crammed into this small town. Despite being born and raised in the Tower, Blaize was none too happy with the crowds that were bustling around on all sides of him. Truth be told the colt was probably too young for Shawn to be using him in these competitions but as he didn't expect to win anyway he'd decided it would be a good bonding experience for them. It was important to Shawn that he and Blaize learn to trust one another. When you're in a battle a loyal horse can be the best weapon there is, or at least that was what he'd read in one of the books Corin had assigned him to read.

 

The crowd was a bit much though so Shawn turned aside from the main part of town to a field with some trees. As he had no money of his own yet he'd had to borrow gear from the Tower's storerooms and would be staying out of the inns and taverns while he was here. That was fine with him. Not that he didn't like people, just that he wasn't comfortable in crowds-even crowds of people he knew.

 

As he approached the trees Shawn saw Fid finish tying off his hammock and leave ith a group to go into town. It seemed he had something else in common with the captain of one of the rival teams besides sharing a mentor with him. Shawn set up his own hammock, tying one end to one of the trees Fid had used and the other to one just barely within reach of his rope.

 

The two hammocks formed an open sided triangle and Shawn built a fire between them to cook his dinner. He'd shot a rabbit earlier while they were riding and he cleaned it now and roasted it over the fire. It would be nice to go into town and socialize with some of the other trainees and the Tower Guards that had come, but his pride wouldn't let him ask for handouts so he would make himself content with some canteens of water and a peaceful evening by the fire before the next day's competition.

 

Maybe one of the others would come back early and he could share some intelligent conversation before he turned in for the night.

 

Anwashawn

 

*****

 

The ride to Redfern had been, for the most part, uneventful yet greatly welcomed. Fid had seemed to find it harder by the hour to find a comfortable sit to his horse on the final day of travel. This had Corin a little concerned about his safety come the competition. He would have to keep an eye on the boy, perhaps have a chat with him in the morning before the race to ensure he was okay. Shawn seemed to handle the ride better outwardly, whether that was truth or appearance he was not sure but Corin would check on him as well. They were out of the Tower, but Corin was still finding it a little hard not to worry about their health and safety. Especially considering the discussion he had been invited to with Ginae after that little incident in the sparing ring with Shawn.

 

Corin had never been to the town before and only knew what he picked up from various conversations along the ride. The ride had been actually rather promising in pieced information and observation. Corin enjoyed the opportunity to practise some of the skills he had been learning to obtain while not feeling the pressure to fulfill them completely. He was away from the Tower and it’s bindings for a spell and he was determined to enjoy it. Part of that enjoyment would be to see how well some of these new skills might serve him.

 

After looking the small, one time cozy, town over as it burst at the seams with competitors and spectators alike he had decided to remain outside the village proper in what was rapidly become a small tent town. He nodded to several people he had know or met along the ride as he began to set and prepare his site. Glancing up he noted Rosheen on her huge stallion making her way through the gathering of canvas. Both her and her friend Lyv were on this little trip which meant the trip would definitely not be dull. Memories of the last untimely meeting of those two flashed into his head, as he unconsciously rubbed his ankles. He had made sure Rosheen had not caught him off guard again after that, well other then the Ball. He had been rather surprised at how well she moved across the dance floor. The vision of what they must have looked like brought a chuckle to him. The tall Mohawk women towering over him as they swayed across the floor; a strange peacock gliding on the water dragging a trinket. He had not seen Lyv since they had arrived but made a mental not to warn his two mentee about that pair.

 

Once he was satisfied with his temporary home and had secured care for the mount he had ridden from the Tower he decided to head to town and see what he could find in the way of food, drink, and fun. With this many travelers in one place there is bound to be entertainment and interesting turns of events. The process of getting through the bustle that mired the streets of the small town turned out to be a feat in itself. Without a doubt the town’s population must have increased three fold from the crush of people attempting to move through the streets. Corin was finally able to break free of the crowd and reach the door of a rather quaint looking Inn. The inside was as bad as the streets, wall to wall the common room was stuffed with people; serving girls barely able to make there way through the laughing, singing mass. Finding a table was going to be an impossibility from the looks of it so Corin grabbed a mug of ale at the bar before beginning the slow procession through the crowd in search of some corner to lean in. Several times he passed by a serving girl working her way through the mass laden with food or drink. In a way Corin almost felt sorry for the girls; the constant fight to move their loads through the crowds and heat must be very tiring. They probably did not see this many people in a month.

 

Finally finding a corner in which to lean back against he made himself comfortable and looked back into the bottom of an empty mug. It had taken the whole mug to get to this corner and now that he was here he had nothing to show for it. Catching the arm of a raven-haired girl passing he indicated his empty mug and got and exasperated look before she nodded and continued on her way. Taking the opportunity to look around Corin noticed several men passing mugs back and forth between them and a table obscured from view. What can it hurt, by the time she get’s back my throat will be as dry as a desert sand. He passed his mug over toward the flow and it was quickly collected and passed on toward the table, only to return a short time later full of the golden liquid he had been hoping for. Indeed if every night here turned out like this it was going to be quiet an interesting time.

 

After what seemed like hours of small talk with people that passed by or stopped for a break from the flowing mass. One of the girls returned with a plate of something that he assumed was to be the evening’s meal. The sent of cooked meat and spice radiated from the plate and caused his stomach to turn and growl angrily for the plates contents. He had forgotten how long it had been since his last meal and the smell of the food brought that reminder to life in a harsh way. As he devoured the offering on the plate he continued to scan the room noting several more of the riders that had caravanned out from the Tower. Even if only half of the people he saw were in these competitions it was going to be an arduous task come the judging. He had signed up as a judge when he noticed the sheet rather empty on the posting wall. That and the fact that his two mentees had driven him crazy about wanting to come and compete. He was not much in the way of a competitor himself, least not when it came to horse, so judging seemed the natural option.

 

A break in the crowd almost caused him to choke on the last mouthful from his plate. Across the way a Mohawked women sat at a table where his mug had been passed earlier. After careful examination locks of red could be noted over shoulders and around necks as the person sitting opposite her. There is only one Mohawked women I know or have heard of and the red head companion makes it to coincidental. Rosheen and Lyv, now there is an opening for disaster if I have ever seen one. Those two together with …. A keg?? Disbelief painted his face before he could gain control of his features at the sight. Noting the young man that sat to their table as well Corin tipped his glass to the man knowing he could not see it through the crowd. “Good luck young fellow, I hope you know what you have gotten yourself into.†He smiled ruefully at the little gathering; making note of Rosheen’s condition. He was sure she had signed up as a judge as well. Perhaps he could have a little fun at her expense for a change come morning.

 

 

Corin Danveer

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