it looks like i started a novel based on my jolly bard's tavern world. this is the beginning of chapter 1...
A dark figure rides upon a dark horse down the dark, dirt path in the dark. It is very unusual for anyone to see this figure, being it is quite well hidden in all the darkness. But, then again, this figure belongs to a very dark person. Not an evil dark, mind you, but a hidden, sketchy dark. No one really knows this dark rider of the plains of Gujoh. No one really cares, either. He doesn’t bother anyone, and no one bothers him. That’s how it goes.
Suddenly, the brown stallion stops at the apex of a hill, as if sensing unseen danger. The traveller dismounts his steed and has a look about. A small amount of dawn light pokes up from the eastern horizon, allowing for our mysterious friend to see a rank of soldiers marching in the distance. After examining each of the twenty-five soldiers, and noting their out-of-town colours, he decides to pay them a little visit.
“Come, Lightfoot! Kya!” the dark fellow commands his horse. With an agreeing whinny, horse and rider start toward the gang of infantry. Silent as the wind on their backs, galloping onward.
Lieutenant General Rowan Ipswich Plink of Royal Legion Five of the Kingdom of Malgen looks toward the east to find rays of light making their daily debut. His mind never wanders from his task, however, and he keeps marching northward, toward Gujoh Castle. Lt. General Plink is hardly enjoying himself. So he yells the order to halt, and turns to look at his men, his legion. His eyes dart back and forth as they meet with forty-eight others. His eyes settle on a nice pair of blue eyes, and he begins to look the owner up and down. Plink notices two buttons undone on the soldier’s uniform.
“Farmboy! Front and centre!” The leader begins enjoying himself.
Good, the lieutenant general thinks, I’ve struck fear into his heart.
“Git your shirt buttoned, then drop and give me thirty—no, fifty!” A grin crosses his face.
“Uh... Y-yes, s-s-s-sir.”
After fixing his tunic, the boy puts his palms on the ground and starts pushing up and down. Lt. General Plink counts out loud.
“One!.... Two!.... C’mon, you’ll have to do better than that! Three!...” Another soldier sneezes, and the commander looks up. “You, boy! Join the farmboy! That’s it.... Six!.... Seven!...”
This continues for several minutes, and soon the whole army is doing push-ups.
“Twenty-five!.... Twenty-six!.... Pick up the pace, girls!! Twenty-eight!!....”
Plink is almost giddy as he persists to count, the heads bobbing up and down, sweat dripping down their foreheads. As the number increases, the grunts and groans from the cohort grow in multitude and volume.
A strange whistle is heard as the wind seems to change in direction. The general’s ears prick up, as a dog when called. His counting ceases and he is left to spin about, looking for this mysterious whistling’s source. The men, oblivious to all things, continue to torture themselves. Time stands still. Suddenly, from behind, the wind blows through the commandant, and he sprawls on the ground. He looks up to his assailant, but finds none there. He is now confounded, and gives a shout to his men.
“Ranks! To arms! Ready yourse—” An expression of shock replaces that of confusion, or perhaps they both exist at the same time. A gasp escapes from his trembling lips, a gasp, then realization. He finds he is bleeding profusely, a wound from being run through with a sharpened staff. The world spins about him, a carnival of pain. He feels dizzy, queasy. He burps and chokes on his own blood. He then sees nothing.
Some men choose to run for their lives at this point, but others merely gawk at their fallen leader. The wind has returned to its proper direction, and all is again as it was. The remaining company has just realized what has happened. There is much rejoicing.
Geoffrey de Lifdonne stands and clears his throat.
“Lieutenant General Rowan Plink, we spit on you from the bottom of our hearts.”
A round of spitting takes place.
“Men,” adds he, “We have two options. We can either go back home, or find board for the night.”
A murmur blows through the crowd, and a decision is made for the latter choice.
“Let us then figure out where we are, so that we may seek an inn,” concludes de Lifdonne, assuming the supplementary role of leader.
The sun breaks free from the bonds of the horizon, and in the distance a forest is visible. De Lifdonne leads the men into the woods. A sign at the entrance states that the forest in question is, in fact, the Pleafwood Forest, and that the village Paixamour awaits in the way.
A soldier speaks, “There must be an inn there!”
Another inquires, “But what of our uniforms? Will not our colours get us killed?”
“You speak truth,” responds de Lifdonne. “Let us change into something else!”
They stop and change tunics, replacing their purple and blue with greens, browns, yellows, tans, and the like. Now better suited, their venture continues. There came a split in the road.
“Whither now?” asks the bold, but not too bright, Edouard the Younger, who is more recognisable to you, reader, as the boy with the undone tunic.
“Follow the signpost!” cries the unison company.
And they thus reach the lovely river-side village of Paixamour. Upon entering, they are greeted by town councilman Stephan le Sage.
Story continues: "Weary Travellers..."
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