Chapter Ninety-Six

June 22, 2013


9th of Plowmonth


As we leave, our group is invited to every inn and tavern in the city.  We choose to go to the Golden Dragon Inn, where we drink and carouse the night away.  Finn stops drinking around one in the morning, and others slack off.  At around three in the morning, a very well-dressed man enters the bar and bows before Ulric.  He says he has a business proposition and Ulric invites him to sit.

The man tells us all about how different the tournaments are in Tomasina, and explains that their champion is his enemy, and he wants to see the man soundly beaten and humiliated.  He offers a sum of 10,000 on arrival at the tourney grounds, and another 10,000 if his enemy is soundly beaten.  He requires no commitment now, but explains the tournament will be held in a year, and invites us to compete on his behalf.

After a bit more discussion, he leaves.  I take notice of the fact that he came in with his own drink and left with it; he didn’t order from the bar.

We sit and drink with the Paladin of Moridin.  He tells us of a vampire he’s heard of in Tulcea.  He hasn’t seen the creature, but he has examined one of the victims.  The talk meanders around many subjects, mostly martial.  Around 3am, we retire to our tents.


At around 5am, Aethelred comes into Ulric and Briggette’s tent and attempts to rouse her to train with the men.  She is not ready and asks him to run todays training and promptly returns to sleep.  Later, around 9:30, Boian and I go to inspect the grounds for the melee.  We find no real weapons hidden amongst the tournament blunts, and no other suspicious things around the area.  At Boian’s request, I go to the stables and choose the two fastest horses.  By the time the melee begins, I have them ready and waiting just outside the ring.

When the fight begins, the first ten minutes are rather boring, narrowing the field of three hundred down to about two hundred.  Briggette and Finn fight back to back, easily handling combatants as they approach.  Another ten minutes pass, and the field is down to roughly a hundred remaining fighters.  After about twenty-five minutes have elapsed, two men approach Briggette and Finn.  Both are wearing furs, but as they run, we can see that at least one of them is wearing plate under the furs and bears the sigil of one of the northern houses.  Finn lands a mighty blow, and one of them almost falls.  The other hits Briggette, but is stunned when Finn’s hit lands on him, dropping him to the ground.  In short order, the first is down, too.  A quick glance around the ring shows that about twenty fighters remain.