Chapter Twenty-Seven

November 23, 2011


            While in Tulcea, Ulric takes Briggette out to the theatre.  I decide to surreptitiously tag along.  Briggette looks ravishing in her red dress.  They enjoy the play, then retire to the Queen’s Food Inn for an evening of fine dining.  This establishment is extremely high end, even boasting actual tablecloths on the table.
            When Ulric walks Briggette back to the chapter house, he stops and turns to her.  He pulls her into his arms and gently lifts her chin.  He leans in to kiss her, and all the lonely women of the world suddenly feel pangs of jealousy for no apparent reason.  The kiss is wonderous, breath-taking, earth shattering, and Briggette melts into Ulric’s embrace.  Eventually, they part ways, Briggette heading to her cell and Ulric to his rooms at the Golden Dragon Inn.
            We spend several days in the city, each attending to our own various tasks.  I spend a lot of time with Boian and get my shortsword enchanted.  Briggette speaks with a local bard about what she learned of her history from the ropers in Nevers. 

            We resume our travels toward home.  On the fifth day, during the second watch, Ulric wakes the rest of the camp with a yell.  A horse is galloping toward our camp at full tilt, and as it comes closer, we see a spear implanted in its haunch and a female or very young male rider on its back.
Ulric manages to calm the horse and stop it before it runs over Briggette.  The rider falls off the horse.  She appears to be about fourteen or so, and doesn’t appear to be familiar with riding horses at all.  She was conscious only moments ago, but seems to have passed out.  The horse is foamed, near dead for his exertion.

We take measures to heal and protect both beauty and beast, and Ulric gives up his knapsack to allow her a place to rest.  Korvinean comes back and tells us that the horse says, “An 8-foot tall hairy man stuck me with the stick.”  He was galloping before that, and has galloped since for quite some time.

She wakes around 9:00 the next morning and asks us where she is, how far she is from the Duke.  She says the Baron went out to fight and never came back.  The only recent fighting we know of is along the north border; however, we think that giants or ogres may be coming down from the central highlands.

As we head out, we take her with us, and when we come to a smaller road that joins into our main one, she indicates that she believes it to be the way home. 

We turn toward that direction.  Eventually, we come to a stone bridge, and Korvinean indicates a vaguely humanoid shape in the brush at the edge of the road.

As soon as Ulric is able to discern the shape, he spurs Alabaster and charges across the bridge.  Briggette follows, followed by me.  We all attack the ogre and make solid contact.  He has a friend on this far side of the bridge, and Ulric, Briggette and I make quick work of both of them.  Meanwhile, the remainder of our comrades take down two more ogres on the other side of the bridge.

            We continue on our way.