11th of Justinian, Dragon 9:43
Registration for the tourney went pretty smoothly. First, there’s to be a series of four-man elimination matches to whittle the contestant pool down to sixty-four fighters, after which a single-elimination bracket will be used to determine the winner of the whole event — and the dwarven smithing hammer that is both the tournament prize and the doodad we’ve been sent here to acquire. Fighters can bring anything they can carry into the arena, enchanted or not, but no spellslinging (bad luck for Daryel and Sana) and no armor heavier than leather (which will make things a bit troublesome for me). After registration, we all went our separate ways to pick up some appropriate gear for the task ahead. I think some of the others went faffing about for magical equipment of some form or another, but me, I settled for a good, well-crafted buff jerkin. I also had a nice chat with the leatherworker, who informed me that apparently the chevalier that Daryel and Sana ran into (or vice-versa, rather) is the favorite to win the event. Meanwhile, Legnar was able to secure us lodgings in the dwarf quarter — where not many others were seeking lodgings, because inevitable racism — so after securing our belongings, we went out to get some practice on the training field. I did a pretty good job of getting used to being out of armor again, and I’m pretty sure Dro scared some of our erstwhile opponents out of trying to compete in the tourney. Daryel… managed to not make a COMPLETE arse of himself, at least, which I’ll grant is reasonably impressive since he usually stands at the back in a robe and blasts folk with magic.
I’m pretty sure I saw that old one-eyed Ferelden knight watching us again. I wager we’re going to have to deal with that at some point.
The next morning we enjoyed a good breakfast while Legnar chatted with some fellow dwarves about the hammer. I wasn’t able to follow much of the conversation, but I get the sense that there’s at least two rival camps of dwarves in town for the tourney, both of whom want that hammer back in dwarf hands, either by winning the tournament or by… other methods. I don’t think the two groups are at loggerheads yet, and I believe the current consensus is to try and win the hammer by following the rules, with the alternative method being saved for plan “B.” As we were walking to the tourney proper, I asked Legnar how this was going to affect OUR plans for getting the hammer back to Azrael, but he waved me off.
We made it to the tourney in plenty of time, and Dro, Daryel and I soon found ourselves sorted into our elimination pools. (Legnar and Sana elected not to participate in the tourney fights, because… reasons…. and Alalen had to take his leave to tend to the omnipresent specter of “Dalish business.”) Daryel went first. Not to mince words, his bout was something of a farce; Daryel won, by sheer virtue of being too poor of a fighter to warrant much attention, being too cussedly stubborn to go down when attention was put on him, and getting a single lucky blow that put his only remaining opponent down for the count. Dro’s fight was a much more satisfying affair that eventually boiled down to him and his opponent disarming each other and kicking nine shades of crap out of each other until the opponent eventually yielded. Finally, I was up, along with two other big fighting men and a wiry fellow that I swear to the Maker is a Crow. The fellow moved like quicksilver and nearly put one of the other fighters down with the first flash of his daggers; unfortunately for him, that basically proved to all of us that we needed to take him out quickly, and even being a Crow can only take you so far when there’s three (eventually two) trained fighters waling on you. With the crow dispatched, it was just me and one other opponent, and from there I simply did what I do best: hide behind my shield and jab with my spear. I think the Maker must have been guiding my hand today, because pretty much every strike landed true and dealt a solid blow to my opponent’s vitals, and soon it was just me left standing. With all three of us advancing to the brackets, we left the field in high spirits and went to go avail ourselves of other amusements at the tourney. I myself made a show of strength on some contraption that involved a hammer and a bell, and managed to acquire a nice little bag of gold from it. I’ll add it to the pile for myself, Elly, and Morgan to live on when this task is finished.