As usual I had no trouble sleeping due to the quantity of ale I drank the night previous. I’ve come to expect that now. Seems the more I drink, the less I dream so that’s welcome.
Upon going downstairs the next morning, with the notable exception of Ravavyr, I am greeted by Ragnar and the other members of the group I currently find myself with here in Brindol. Perhaps he had the sense enough to stay away from the inn for the night as Two-Teeth would have given him a brutal beating from his comments.
Two-Teeth. Ha! I like him. Reminds me of myself and how I appear to other people. Well if they don’t like me I don’t really care, I’ve been on my own before and survived just as well, if not better than when travelling with others.
The runt, Falcath, brings over the ale that has been ordered and I down my mug in a single gulp. It tastes funny but I pay no attention to it. I make a mental note to introduce the Halfling with his windows at some point for trying to poison me or whatever was in the ale.
We head down to the South Gate and are given our letters. The pompous Eoffram Troyas is droning on about the rules which I vaguely hear. I see the Elf, Dorian Lightstep and approach him and demand the letter that he had. If I can get it at least that’s one less competitor. He refuses me. Seems he’s grown a back bone in the night. I grin and lift him clear off the group with one hand and bring him close to my face and whisper in a menacing voice to give me the letter but before he can answer the Eladrin, Alys Thornstrike, rather foolishly gets in my face and distracts me. Her hand brushes just below my belt, I think she has stolen my letter but upon inspection of my codpiece, the letter is still there. Troyas is shouting something at me about the race not having started by I pay no attention. Dorian has scarpered as far away from me as possible so there is no chance of his letter now before the start of the race so I settle down and ready myself.
The signal to start is given and I set off at a good pace. The Eladrin ghosts past me and immediately get bogged down in the crowd however she is a nimble one I give her that and she leaps up on to the shoulder of the people and continues running. No such nonsense from me so I bellow a war cry and charge headlong into the throng, bracing myself for having to push people out of the way. Unsurprisingly the crowd parts before me as people are evidently not as stupid as they look and don’t want to be crushed.
Rounding the corner I see Alys still deftly running along shoulders and disappearing from sight, the crowds are still everywhere and I continue my headlong charge. The majority of people move but I find myself stopped short when I ram into enormously grotesque human, who is stuffing his maw with what looks to be a meat pie. Disgusted, I move round the fat man and carry on my way. I’ve lost ground to Alys but not too much.
There is even more of a commotion around the next bend than before, it seems the citizens are all crawling around on the floor trying to get their hands on what looks to be like a good number of gold coins. I assume this is Alys’ work and make my way through them. I come upon a wall and leap up and vault over it, landing it what appears to be a parade ground for the local guards. I see Alys just ahead of me, she must have been held up by something and I plough on in pursuit of her. Reaching the other side of the enclosure I vault the fencing and burst out into the market square. Damn, the crowds were huge here so I let out another war cry but catch my footing in a hollow in the ground so instead of a bestial roar it come out more of a strangled coughing noise and the mass of people does not move so I am forced to push my way through.
Up ahead, Alys turns to me and shouts that I have dropped my letter and points to a piece of paper on the floor ahead of me. I stop, confused and hastily check my codpiece. The letter is gone! That skinny bitch had stolen my letter. Quite when, I am not sure of, what I am sure of though is that I am going to break her fingers for even daring to take something from me!
Speeding on I reach the bridge at the North Gate, seeing two carts blocking the way I attempt to vault on to the side of the bridge, which I manage with ease however, I misjudge my landing and almost end up in the river so I gingerly steady myself and jump back down on to the bridge towards the carts. Because of this delay, Alys is long over the other side of the bridge and I feel my chance of winning the race slipping away. The wagon owners are arguing over who has the right of way and are surprised when I bound past and up on to the first wagon and make my way over the goods in my pursuit of the Eladrin. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the Barbarian diving off a low roof and into the river below. A worthy opponent that one indeed, I think. I am glad to have him on the same side.
As I reach the end of the bridge I hear the unmistakable sound of Two-Teeth bellowing something that sounded like “Geronimo” but I have no idea why. Perhaps he thought it was a diving competition as well as a race? I also hear the smashing of glass and rending of timber but I don’t stop to look for the source.
I clear the bridge and start my way up the tower hoping that Alys will fall. For a brief moment, my wish seems to have been granted as she falls a considerable way but manages to catch herself and clings on for dear life before continuing on her way. As I get half way up, the bell rings. I had lost. Cursing, I carry on up to the top and am greeted by the grinning visage of Ragnar who is being presented with a pair of boots, which he places on top of a coffer, brimming with gold coins.
Silently cursing myself, I head down the stairs of the tower with Ragnar and Alys spits out a comment calling him a son of an Orc and that he will pay for winning. I tell her that I am the only son of an Orc here. Well, I am. We head back to the Blue Dolphin and meet up with the rest of the group, Falcath brings ale and meat and I toast to Ragnar congratulating him on his victory. I am annoyed at myself but at leat I beat Two-Teeth.
With this thought in my head, I slip into my cups and drink myself into the early hours of the next morning…