FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 2 Part 5e

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 2 Part 5e

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Adwin slept well through the night. He awoke feeling a bit cool; he could see some light slipping past the drapes and realized he had slept in pretty late. Beside him Mokha lay on his back with Setta half sprawled across his chest, their faces were very close to his. He noticed Setta appeared younger with her eyes closed and she had a cute slightly upturned nose, she snored quietly. Adwin lay there listening to them breathe, then on an impulse he slowly poked Mokha’s cheek, there was no response. Then he gave Setta’s nose a little poke with his finger, she stopped snoring, rubbed at her face and briefly opened her eyes. She smiled at Adwin and muttered something he did not understand, then closed her eyes and was asleep again.

After a few moments more Adwin rolled out of bed. He realized he had left his clothing in the bathing room, he went down stairs and found that someone had hung them up, they were still wet however.

He secured a towel snugly around his midsection, then went down to the kitchen. The other three were there, plates from breakfast on the table, steaming cups of tea in hand. They were wearing knickers and halters and in Calathy’s case, her ladyship’s robe. None of them commented on his towel. He was given a cup of tea and Addath offered to fry him up some eggs and ham.

“Yes please.”

Tipper said, “The wind dropped through the night, but it is still snowing hard.”

“That’s typical,” Adwin responded.

Adwin stretched a bit then grabbed a sweet roll. Calathy left to tend to the fires and to see about waking the other two up. Addath served him breakfast, he was hungrier than he thought he would be. Tipper watched him eat for a while. One of the cats startled them when it suddenly leapt from a counter top, pouncing on a mouse.

“So, Adwin and I were talking about a mutual problem that almost everyone here has.”

Adwin was suddenly wide awake. He looked at Tipper.

Addath looked to her as well, “Oh?”

“In the freeholds, on the last day of the year we make amends, speak a truth that was neglected, make alliances or state our intent for the upcoming year.”

“Alright. Which are you talking about? An alliance?”

“Yes, with the intent to destroy the Fingures, here in GreensBridge.”

“Well, it’s certainly in line with what Adwin and I are planning. But, no offence, what do you bring to the table?”

“None taken, you don’t know me. I see your biggest problem as two-fold; First, you have no way to legitimately remove the Fingures biggest advantage, the fear by which people regard them. Second, they have an unknown number of mages here in the city.

“I can be the link between your people and the Arcanium.”

Addath’s eyes widened at Tipper’s claim. “Okay. How do you see that working?”

“Well, I happen to know that the Warders want to go after the Fingures, due to a recent incident, that we can talk about later. They are shy on manpower, especially experienced veterans but as you know they are the mages that police the mages. It’s fairly well known that the company you work for makes a point of hiring ex-air force personal, in fact I’ve heard it’s one of the company’s mission statements. Thus, I assume you can provide some experienced veterans to help round these people up. The Arcanium can provide mages and the legitimacy, both parties will get what they want.”

“It sounds too good to be true. I also don’t see how you gain anything from this. What’s your issue with the Fingures?”

“Besides extortion and slavery? They want to kill my friends.”


“I know it’s a lot to think about, I honestly believe such an alliance would benefit everyone that’s involved.”

Addath looked unsure.

“We can talk more on this later. Just do me a favour, don’t bring it up around Calathy, she’s not involved.”

“Alright. I’m interested in revisiting this topic but… nature calls.” Addath excused herself.

When she was gone, Adwin asked, “You and Mokha had a late night chat?”

“We did.”

“You could have warned me.”

“That just would have made things more awkward.”


The others came down for breakfast, basking in the afterglow of shared passions and talking about games. After everyone had eaten they all retired to the games room and the rest of the morning and early afternoon passed pleasantly.

They had another feast and drank, sitting around the table for the rest of the afternoon, talking, drinking more and smoking. As darkness started to settle Calathy suggested they play hunter-prey, she ran off to get some masks.

The table went quiet after she had left and a few moments passed before Setta asked, “Mokha, can you play some music for us to dance to?”

“Absolutely, I was just thinking we should go to the music room. I want to try those mushrooms again.”

Tipper went around and added wood to the fires.

Calathy returned with the masks, they went to the music room and the game of hunter-prey was delayed as they drank and sang. Then Mokha passed around some mushrooms to everyone and started playing music that would get their feet stomping. Setta grabbed Calathy and they whirled around hand in hand for a while. Setta then convinced Addath and Tipper to join the dancing and Calathy asked Adwin to dance with her. Soon everyone was dancing and jumping around, even Mokha joined them and managed to keep playing as they all spun around the room.

They danced until they were too hot and sweaty, Adwin felt very warm and his entire being seemed to be vibrating. He lay on the floor and felt like he was melting. Only Tipper was neither sweaty nor winded, she did have a big smile plastered on her face.

Calathy plopped a Yule mask in Mokha’s lap and stood over Adwin to place a feathered mask on his face. “I know its not a Yule mask, but it will have to do. Ladies. We should go. Gentlemen, give us a hundred count before you come hunting.”

The women left, Adwin sat up and the mask slipped to the floor. He picked it up and looked at it, it was made from black and blue feathers on a dark felt. It only covered the upper part of his face, he laughed and tied it on. Mokha’s mask was big and fit over his head, he looked like a demon. That too made Adwin laugh.

“Have you been counting?”

“No, I thought you were.”

“Obviously not.”

“Alright, I’ll start, one, two, three…” Fits of laughter interrupted their count more than once. Eventually they decided that it must have been a hundred by that point and they headed out in search of their prey. Mokha went one way down the hall and Adwin the other.

Mokha was the first one to find someone and from where he was, Adwin thought it was Setta. It seemed they had startled each other and had succumbed to fits of laughter. Mokha was also making an attempt at roaring. Smiling he moved quietly, searching.

A bit later he heard Addath shout and the sounds of her being chased, he moved in that direction. Though before he reached them Mokha had her cornered. Mokha said “Rawrrr.”

Only two prey left and the round would be called soon, he needed to get both of the other two, to be able to pass his mask along. Then he heard Calathy squeal and the sounds of the chase. Calathy ran into the hall, ten paces from him, Mokha came up behind her, grabbed her, gently taking her the floor and then said “Grrr.” Calathy turned out to be very ticklish and Adwin felt obliged to rescue her after a few moments of being tickled.

Tipper came out of hiding all smiles, she had won the round by surviving a ten hundred count, though Adwin was really dubious whether anyone could count right now. They all laughed a lot. Tipper chose not to be a hunter and Mokha then gave his mask to Addath.

They played another round, Adwin found Setta early and then Addath caught Calathy after a short chase. Since both hunters had captured the same amount of prey they could both pass their masks along. They played a few more rounds, no one caught Tipper the entire game, Adwin was the only one to even chase her and she sprinted off down the main hall and escaped up a servants stairway. Another thing that was pretty consistent through the game, was Setta getting caught first, also in the rounds where Mokha was a hunter, he often caught three of the prey.

After the game, Adwin gave the sitar to Mokha, the man was speechless. He gave him a big hug. Everyone wanted him to play. Mokha was too emotional to actually play, though he promised them he would do so the next day.

They had cider and smoked hashish from the water pipe, Calathy sang some more, Mokha told a version of the great hunt story, they snacked and eventually had a very late bath before retiring to the master bedroom.

At some point later in the morning Adwin was woken and then caught up in a rather pleasant tangle of intimacies. He slept and woke again, he was thirsty with a headache developing, he went down to the bath and cleaned up. Then to the kitchen for food.

Adwin was kind of partied out by this point, after eating he retreated to the servant quarters and found a bed to sleep in for a while. Eventually Calathy found him and they snuggled for a long while before making love, she was really tender with him, it was nice. Then they cuddled together, a while later Adwin felt a drop of water on his chest and then another, she sniffled and another tear landed on him.

“Are you okay?”

“Oh yeah, I’m just happy-sad, right now. This has all been so much fun, I feel like a completely different person, I’m going to be sad when everyone goes. And really, if I’m being honest with you… I don’t want to work here anymore.”

He smiled, “From my experience, I’d highly recommend running away from home. I mean, I’ve nearly died at least three times and I’ve been in some pretty scary fights.”

She rolled over to watch his face, “Go on?”

“Um, well, on the plus side of that, I’ve come the GreensBridge, which is something I’ve dreamed of since I was a child. I’ve become wealthy and done a lot of things I never even considered as an option until I was here. I’m a hero to a tribe of goblins.”

“What? No way!”

“Seriously. See this?” He pointed to the mark under his right earlobe, “Their historian gave this to me, marking me as a friend.”

After a while they headed down to the kitchen, sometime after it was dark again, Tipper was there and looked like she was getting ready to head out, Setta was seeing her off. “It’s been a great Yuletide, thanks for inviting me. I hope your shift in uneventful.”

Tipper hugged Calathy and Adwin, then told him that she and Setta had talked things over and it looked like everything would be coming together in the new year.


“Bye,” She waved before climbing up through the snow, getting to the university would be a challenge. Tipper was not the sort to miss her rotation on guard duty.

Addath and he decided to stay an extra day since it would take that long before the city was dug out. Setta stayed the extra day also, they ate well and slept a lot. They helped clean up.

When they left Adwin felt like he really was leaving his old self behind and that anything was possible going forward into thew new year.



SkadWind was open for business the first day after the end of the Yuletide. Most of their initial clients were employees of Roburns Shipping Company, but there was also a few locals who wanted to inquire about the services available. Adwin’s job for that day was to meet and greet people.

It was mid afternoon when Calathy came through the door, Adwin was startled to see she had a puffy split lip and a black eye. When she spotted him she rushed over, “Mokha’s been abducted. I went to the university first, I was able to find Setta Vrith and then Tipper. Setta sent me to tell you that Tipper is going after the Fingures.”

“Oh, no.”


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