Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chapter Nine, Scenes 5 and 6

Here's a couple of short scenes, written basically to show time passing by, and segue from the previous scene to the one that follows these two.

* * *

They spent the next week practicing sword-play at the guild, as well as learning a few things about the life of a caravan guard. Balfrith and Eldamir had discussed a few ideas, and given that their goal was to reach the School for Learned Studies in Westmere, they hoped that they might be able to get employment with a caravan heading that direction.

In the mean time, however, Balfrith had to bring his fighting skills up to a level where the guild would be willing to recommend him. And since Eldamir was already there, they practiced together as much as possible. The only challenge they ran into was, once word got around that an Elf (Balfrith cringed at the word now) had joined the guild, members from all around the city were coming by to meet him, and when they saw his fighting ability, they then requested a chance to spar with him.

And that opened up an interesting opportunity for Balfrith, for he noticed that many of the members were exchanging coins after each bout: obviously, they were betting on the results. So, he started up a conversation with some of them, and tossed his few coins into a bet for Eldamir. The odds, at that point, were running two to one in favor of Eldamir, so his winnings were small - but they were winnings just the same. Over the next few days, the odds continued to increase, until by Freyasday, it was four to one in favor of Eldamir, and even then it was almost impossible to find a taker. But Balfrith had tripled his coin by that time, so he withdrew from the betting. And Eldamir, having gone undefeated for five days straight, announced that he needed some rest, and was “retiring” from competition.

He and Balfrith, of course, continued their practices. And Balfrith quickly regained the skills that he’d forgotten over the past few years, so that he was soon fighting as well as he’d ever done against his father. Not that this was particularly good, but at least he could ask for the guild’s endorsement of his skills, and he and Eldamir could finally start looking for serious employment. Though their winnings had earned enough coin to keep them going for a while longer, Balfrith estimated that with their need to purchase additional equipment, and their daily expenses, it would only last another week, at best.

* * *

It was at the end of their first full week in Castor, that Balfrith suddenly remembered he also had a message to deliver: the first of the three letters from lord Felaranthir was destined for a man who supposedly lived in the city, and Balfrith realized it would look bad if he didn’t start trying to find this person soon.

And so on Moonday morning, as he broke his fast with Eldamir in the inn’s common room, Balfrith said, “Eldamir, do you know of a man named Adradomir? It sounds like an Elefdar name to me, though I’m not certain of the meaning - something about the world?”

Eldamir nodded and said, “I would translate it as ‘worldly man’. But the name is not known to me. Why do you ask?”

“Your father asked me to deliver three letters to friends of his, while we were on our own journey. And the first one is addressed to this Adradomir, who apparently lives in Castor. I just remembered it this morning. Thought you might know him, if he’s a friend of lord Felaranthir.”

Eldamir shook his head. “Though I’ve visited this city before with my father, I never met such a man. Perhaps we can ask at the guild, if anyone knows him.”

“Aye, perhaps,” Balfrith said, though he was doubtful. They continued their breakfast in silence.