FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 1 Part 2d

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 1 Part 2d

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When the majority of preparations has been completed Tipper took a couple days to relax. She spent a while at the roadhouse each day, often with Adwin but not always;

The day she went to Town Hall for a quick mid-day meal with Dresmend’s oldest, after finishing off her work, lead to an encounter with the oldster that had won the coppers on her return. He bought a couple of drinks for them, told some stories from his youth and was generally pleasant enough company. Tipper had bought a couple more drinks for the table and by mid-afternoon had a good glow on. Dresmend’s oldest had become giggly and that had led to dancing and wrestling, then more drinking. Eventually the friendly wrestling led to a real challenge from one of Gibler’s lads and the serving maid, then others. The oldster kept betting on her escapades and kept winning as she out wrestled or out riddled all challengers. Shortly before sunset both Dresmend, looking for his daughter, and Adwin, looking for Tipper, came to Town Hall, nearly at the same time, through opposite doors. Neither of the men seem impressed with their intoxicated, half naked, bruised conditions and Tipper had been too drunk to be diplomatic about the situation.

She had made her apologies the next day, though neither Adwin nor Dresmend seemed overly concerned, so that was all well and good.

More time was spent with Adwin at the pool and often the two of them splashed and played, chasing each other into the grass to make love or lay together staring at the clouds or the star-filled night sky. He asked a bit about the singing of the dawn and dusk and the words she used, she explained as best she could about the wild-elves teaching the first men the songs of creation and the reliance all living things had, one to another.

After what had turned into a long winded, fairly convoluted explanation of what she had meant, all he had said was, “Oh, okay. Makes sense.”

She really was unsure if he had understood her.

Adwin’s company had become familiar to her, a comfort. As well the new friendship with Dresmend’s daughter and even the cooper himself, made their layover in Aramy pleasant. Not being alone was nice and it had been many years since she could remember not feeling lonely, even when she had been in the company of others.

In the final days before leaving they packed their gear and spent a morning hiking around the village to get a feel for the weight and make sure there was no obvious faults with the packs, bundles, armour and weapons.

Adwin thought she looked impressive in her new armour, though she found it uncomfortable and more restrictive to her movement than she cared for. Experience told her that she would get used to the extra weight and intuition said she would need the armour. She sprinted the last half yat back to the cabin, happy that her kit stayed together. Adwin did not keep up with her, nor did his kit do well at a full run.

His armour had come out a bit mismatched, nor did he have one of the Maldorn harnesses. After the test run they reworked his load and tried to improve distribution, though in the end Tipper told him he’d likely have to drop the tarp and extra water skin should they be forced to run. He had also decided to keep his floppy hat over the much more practical helmet that better matched his armour.

The afternoon before their planned departure, they were doing the rounds to say goodbye to the folks of Aramy. Dresmend was wishing them well and reminding Tipper that he would hold the balance he owed her until their return next spring. His eldest daughter waited nearby, a sad look on her face. Then one of the local lads ran up to the property gate and shouted that a trade caravan was coming in from the south and would be here by mid day, then as quickly as he had appeared the youth ran off to shout the news to the rest of the village. Dresmend excused himself, saying he needed to get some things ready for the merchants.

Tipper told Adwin that she would meet him at Town Hall in a bit, he nodded and commented on his curiosity as to where the merchants might be from. When he had walked away Dresmend’s daughter came to her, looking sulky and sad. She gave Tipper a big hug and held on tight for a few moments.

She said to Tipper, “My name day is only a month or so away. Could you not stay until then? I’d dearly love to travel with you.” The girl’s eyes were teary and her affection was touching.

Feeling a bit choked up Tipper took a deep breath and tilted the girls head so she could hold her gaze. “I like you well enough, better than most even, but it would be best if my friend and I were on the road soon. I will be back through next spring and if you still feel the same at that time then I’d be happy to travel with you.”

A tear escaped from the girls eye and ran down her cheek, she leaned in and kissed Tipper gently and hugged her once more. “I’ll hold you to that.” Then she turned and ran back into the cluttered yard.

Tipper stood quietly for a while, noticed Dresmend’s wife standing in the door of the house with hands on hips, looking at her. Tipper nodded to her and the older woman nodded back and gave a quick wave before heading back inside. “Well, I guess that is that.” She went to find Adwin.



Town Hall was busy for this early in the day, the locals were gathering and some of the caravan’s outriders had already arrived. It seemed like a pair of the outriders were displaying a spectacle of some sort and a large number of the locals we pressed in around the duo beholding whatever wonder they were displaying. There were many exclamations; “Is it real?”, “Look at the fangs on that thing.”, “Its huge!”, “Ew.”, and the taller of the two was offering for folks to touch it for a copper weight. Though, with the crowd Tipper could not see what sort of creature they had brought or whether it was dead or alive. She passed the crowd and went inside.

The hairs along her arms and across the back of her neck stood on end and a cold shiver passed up her spine. She looked around surprised, someone in the tavern was using mind magic. Her attention was drawn to a well dressed petite woman sitting at the same table as Adwin and some of the locals. As she approached the table from behind the woman, she could see the mesmerized expression on the faces of the others sitting with Adwin. He too had a dazed look on his face and was pulling out the small pouch he wore around his neck, his small collection of copper coins. Most of the others we likewise fishing out coins or taking off their jewellery and placing them on the table. Tippers drunken friend had even removed his greasy old pouch, which had a considerable weight to it.

Tipper grabbed the old drunks arm before he set the pouch down. “You don’t want to do that friend. This witch has you all ensorcelled.” She slapped the table as hard as she could. The drunk looked up at her, surprised, and Adwin stopped lifting the small pouch from around his neck looking confused. The others however did not stop and the little woman looked at Tipper and with a wave of her hand suggest she should go elsewhere.

Tipper felt the magic probe her mind, goose bumps, hardening nipples and another shiver. She leaned over and smashed her fist into the mage’s jaw, knocking her off her chair. Everyone at the table exclaimed, the old drunk made a beeline for the door and Adwin jumped up and backed away from the table. Others in the common room stopped what they had been doing and looked to see what was happening. Tipper walked around the table to Adwin’s side as the sorceress lay dazed on the floor.

Grabbing Adwin’s arm, she suggested, “Might be best if we left this afternoon.” She steered him to the back door.

Tipper hustled Adwin along the path towards the cabin, explaining that the small woman was a mage or witch, she likely had friends amongst the caravan folk and today seemed like a great day to start their journey to GreensBridge.

It only took moments to pack up the few items they had left out and a few more to put the storm shutters back up. Then she had them heading westward at a quick walk.

Adwin stopped, “What about Old Nan?” he asked, indicating the last of their goats.

“Leave her for Gibler.”


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