FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 1 Part 8c

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 1 Part 8c

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The night was warm with a gentle breeze from the south. Many people were out and about, walking or gathered in front of drinking establishments. Some came and went from the shops further down the street. The trio wove there way through the crowds, exchanging pleasant greetings and looking in the shop windows. Tipper bought a skin of wine from a street vendor and they passed it around. Eventually they found themselves in a busy market.

Mokha had seen many larger night markets before this. However his companions were very impressed with the street performers, heckling merchants and the diversity of the various folks they passed. Adwin in particular seemed to be ecstatic, smiling and being friendly. However, surprisingly, Tipper was very relaxed and pleasant and walked with an atypical swagger he had not seen before. It seemed that the indomitable Tipper could actually unwind. Their mood was a bit contagious and fun was at hand.

Mokha stopped to look at the wares one merchant had available, a collections of used instruments the quality of most of them was questionable and the man’s prices a bit high. Tipper was nearby, checking out some clothing, Adwin had wondered out of sight.

Further along he spotted a tobacconist’s kiosk and wondered over. A slim, tall man was standing in front of the stall, his clothing was mostly leather and seemed to be from the south, likely the islands or the southern princedoms. A light sword hung from the man’s belt and he eyed Mokha over from head to toe then stepped clear of the stall. The woman at the kiosk was tall as well, she was well dressed and of a modest bearing.

“Good evening mistress, you seem to have some fine wares here.”

“Best tobacco and pipe-weed in the city, cigarillos from Maldorn, hashish made locally in the Tannican quarter. Accessories for you smoking pleasure.”

“Delightful, I’ll take a full bar of your best hashish, a pug-barrel of the pipe-weed and another of tobacco. That tobacco pipe, two of the corncobs, the middle sized hash pipe.” he paused, giving the vendor’s goods another quick scan. “And I guess that’ll do, oh a sack would be nice.”

“Can I interest you in a lighter or a box of quick-strikes.”

“Oh no, I already have what I need for fire, thank you though.”

The purchase came to just under thirty silver, he felt around in his pouch and dug out a gold and passed it to her. “That’ll do, thanks.”

She gave him a skeptical look, and placed a small wooden box in the sack she had prepared for him. “Best not to be too generous with your weight sir. When times are fair set aside a quarter share for the winter. Thank you for your custom.”

“Oh course,” He gave a slight bow and nearly backed into the thin man who had been keeping an eye on him all this time. Mokha gave him a bow as well.

Tipper wondered over, smiling “Buying up the place I see.”

“Samplers really.”

“Hey!” Adwin collided into them, a small jug in each hand, “Look what I bought.”He held up one jug, “Spiced quince.” then the other, “Tannican cider.”

“What is Tannican cider?” Mokha inquired.

“Something about cinnamon.”

“Ah, well, yeah I guess.”

A sudden distant cheer from the back end of the market drew there attention. A second cheer followed and someone bellowed “Champion!” followed by more cheering and shouts of approval.

Tipper visibly perk up, “Fight?” She darted in that direction. Mokha followed. Adwin trailed trying to explain how he had bought the booze for them, quince for Tipper and cider for him.

Just the other side of the market’s northwest corner was an open pit surrounded by shouting and cheering people, lamps and large brazers provided decent light. Tipper wove through the crowd, right to the edge of the pit. A very large man, clad in leather britches a size too small, with a bloody face was in the middle of the pit. He stood with raised fists and made gruesome faces at the crowd, soaking up their adoration over his last victory.

There was no sign of his vanquished foe. A small tent seemed to shelter the pit master and his crew. It look like bets were being paid out, a pair of lounging ladies were sitting nearby.

Adwin bumped into Mokha, “That guy’s huge!”

The pit’s front man jumped into the ring, “Who next! Who thinks they can take the mighty Troll Slayer! Come on you cowards! Who has the balls to take this man on?”

Tipper turned to Adwin, “Did you say something about quince?”

“Yeah, here, its for you. The other one is for Mokha.”

“Great, Thanks.” She cut the stopper out and drank a couple gulps of spiced quince, then spitted out pieces of cork. The pit master continued heckling the crowd, “Wish me luck.”

“Er, luck. Oh no, Tipper.” Adwin’s tone suddenly worried.

She had jumped into the pit, dropped the little jug at he feet and rolled her shoulders back and forth a few times. The pit master looking at her questioningly.

“I’ll fight him,” She said, just as bland as could be.

“The woman has more balls than any of you men! Place you’re bets people, place your bets!” He walked over to Tipper asked her a couple of questions then backed into the centre of the ring again. “The Wanderer, in the skirts! Versus our local champ, Troll Slayer! Odds in favour of Troll Slayer! Ten to one!”

Adwin said to Mokha, “We should really place a bet.”


“Yes, He just said the payout was ten times on Tipper winning?”

Mokha nodded.

“She’s going to win, she beat everyone who challenged her in Aramy one afternoon.” He waved over one of the pit bookies, placed a bet of five silver and took the slip.

Mokha shouted over to the bookie, “You take a gold on the lady?”

“A gold?,” he paused and looked at the two fighters in the pit, “Sure friend, if you want to throw your weight away who am I to stop you.” He made a note and passed Mokha a slip.

In the pit the big guy was flexing, sharing a bloody grin with the crowd then looking to Tipper. Pointed and shouted for all to hear, “I’m going to break you little girl!”

Tipper kicked off her boots and socks, bent down to grab the jug and took a couple gulps of the distilled quinci. She nodded to the pit master and set the jug down at the edge of the ring.

“Last bets! Last bets!” A pretty lady, standing beside the pit master raised a white cloth, the crowd quieted. “No weapons! No magic!” The cloth fluttered from the pretty lady’s fingers and fell to the ground. “Fight!”

The big guy bellowed, spread his arms and charged towards Tipper. She kicked sand towards his head, moved to the side, ducked under one reaching arm and punched the guy below the ribs as he lumbered past. He grunted and barley stopped himself from over rushing the edge of the ring. Tipper backed away, light on her feet, joyful smile on her face.

Troll Slayer brushed sand from his face, blinking rapidly. Then he turned back towards Tipper and started walking slowly towards her. “First I’m going to rip you’re hair out, then I’m going to rip your arms off,” He bore down, relentless, backing Tipper towards the edge of the ring, “I’m going shove one arm down your throat and the other up your c—.” She spat at him, a spray of misted liquid, full in his face as he started to reach for her. He bellowed in surprise and discomfort, covering his eyes.

Tipper darted to the side, and kicked him hard in the back of the knee. The Troll Slayer staggered and then fell to one knee, still rubbing at his eyes. Tipper kicked him below the ribs and punched him in the side of the throat. He roared in anger and flailed around grabbing for her. She moved back, smiling at him.

Infuriated he lunged up, barrelling towards her, she dropped and rolled side on, her legs collided with his and he crashed to the ground. She rolled away and back up to her feet. Taking a bit of a bow. The crowd cheered her.

Troll Slayer pushed himself up, shook his head and forced himself to stand, favouring his right ankle. Mokha could see tears streaming from the guys eyes, grit and dirt stuck to his face from the spray of quince Tipper had spat at him.

“Had enough?” Tipper asked.

The big guy shook his head, “Not a chance.”

“Good.” She moved in, he started to fight defensively, bringing his guard up and trying to keep her to his left. She was much quicker and easily manoeuvred around him to his right side. Then she darted in behind him, delivered a quick kick to the back of his left leg. Down he went. Tipper moved in and kneed him in the lower back and wrapped an arm around his throat, locked the other arm in place and started choking him. He surged to his feet, she kicked at the back of his knee, knocking him partially down again. The crowd cheered.

Once again Troll Slayer got up, Tipper again kicking. Before she could catch the back of his knee again her foe jumped up and back, crashing down on top of Tipper. There was an audible whoosh of air and a ragged gasp from Tipper, despite having the wind knocked out of her, she was able to get her legs around his waist and dug her heals into his inner thighs. It looked like she might of kicked him in the groin.

Tipper lay under her foes, keeping him immobile, choking him and driving her heals into his thighs. Troll Slay tried to roll, flailed a couple head buts, but to no avail. The crowd bellowed and cheered. After a while the guy stopped struggling and a short while after that Tipper rolled him over and staggered to her feet. The crowd was silent.

Tipper wandered over to the quince bottle, other than rubbing her breast bone she seemed unmarred by the fight. She took a drink, winked to Adwin and turned around as the ring master came out from his tent to stand over his fallen champion.

He looked at Tipper, seemingly angry. “Those were some pretty dirty tricks girly. I’ll give you the win, it was a good fight and we’ve drawn a good crowd. You’re fighting until someone takes you out.”

The crowd loved it and the pit master went over and raised Tippers arm. Some of the crowd started shouting Wanderer! Wanderer! Mokha smiled and thought about how nice it was to be back in civilized lands.

Adwin and he made there was over to the tent to collect on their bets, Troll Slayer was back on his feet, the pit master ranting at him, sending him off, telling him not to come back. Adwin collected his fifty silver and thanked the frowning bookie. When Mokha passed his slip in the guy just looked uncomfortable, he went over to the pit boss and had some quiet words with him. That sent the pit boss into another round of angry scolding after which he stomped over to Mokha.

“You the one made this bet?”

“Yes.” Mokha gave him his most innocent look.

“Bea said you know the girl in the pit. That true?”

“Yes, in fact I hired her as protection on my journey to GreensBridge? She really is quite good at this sort of thing.”

The pit boss scowled at him, “I’ll pay you out, but I’d ask you wait a couple fights until I’ve made up the difference.


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