14th of Bloomingtide, Dragon 9:43
The now ex-warleader of the Tal Vashoth village wasted little time gathering his effects and making his way out of town, and we were right behind him, keeping close by as his route took him out of town and, conveniently, in the same direction we were headed. Eventually the tension became too much for him, and he whipped around, demanding to know what it was we wanted. (Or something like that, I think. Still don’t speak Qunlat.) Dro walked up to the grumpy bastard, the two had a heated discussion… and then we went one way while Jerkface went the other, with a distinct and unexpected lack of my-spear-shoved-up-his-arse. Odd, that — wasn’t Dro the one who specifically said he couldn’t be trusted not to bring hell down on the village if he was allowed to live? Did something change his mind?
At any rate, we continued on the road to the Grand Tourney. Of course, because it’s us, we hadn’t gone far before we stumbled over more excitement. In this case, excitement took the form of a gaggle of bandits that had cornered a merchant’s cart against a tree near the road, and were about to do some deeply unpleasant things to the merchant and her traveling companions. (We discovered after the fact that the merchant was carrying mabari pups, and the bandits were a bunch of Ferelden nationalists who didn’t take kindly to a non-Ferelden selling Ferelden dogs to other non-Ferelden. I’m no Ferelden myself, so maybe it’s a cultural thing, but that seems like the sort of thing you address with a strongly-worded letter or an organized boycott, not a sharp piece of steel to the kidneys.) We managed to chase them off, but not before the merchant came uncomfortably close to meeting the Maker, and Daryel demonstrated for the second time that he’s actually kind of a shite healer under pressure.
… I shouldn’t say that, he’s kept us all alive thus far.
Since the merchant’s horses got away during the battle — by which I mean we cut the horses loose during the battle so that the bandits couldn’t use them to steal the cart — we hitched our own mounts up and helped her get to the Tourney, which she seemed to appreciate. Despite all the faffing about we’ve done since leaving Aneth Ara, we still managed to arrive a full day before the events started; the pre-tournament festival was in full swing, and we all split up to take in the entertainments and deal with our respective business. Me, I didn’t come all this way just to miss the entry deadline, so my first stop was the registration booth. The locals were surprisingly unhelpful in directing me where to sign up (although frankly I’d be more surprised if they weren’t at this point), but eventually they pointed me in the right direction. I did encounter a bit of commotion on the way, as apparently Daryel and Sona nearly got run over by some Orlesian knight, and of course HE was the one demanding an apology. Luckily, it seems that one of the merchant’s traveling companions has some noble blood of his own, and his dick-waving contest with the Orlesians proved distracting enough that the two elves were able to slip away. That one seems an interesting fellow; might have to keep an eye on him, as I have a feeling our paths will be crossing again.
Speaking of keeping an eye on someone, I swear there was this ancient-looking Ferelden knight that was watching me as I got into the registration line. Wonder what that’s all about?