Chapter One: ArrivalMature

Three cloaked figures- two men and a woman- trudged through the snow and muck underfoot as they entered the city gates. Even in winter, the sickening stench of rotten food and sewage pervaded the streets. Buildings leaned far overhead, creating an eerie twilight beneath.

The three travelers were eager to seek an inn. "Where can we find adequate lodgings?" asked the woman from beneath a snow-covered woolen hood. An older woman pointed down the street at a building with a large, wrought iron sign. The cloaked woman handed the other a coin, and they moved on.

They opened the creaking door and the woman threw her hood back. She was indeed a striking figure, tall, with long dark hair, rosy skin, and slate grey eyes. Though not what one would call a great beauty, she carried herself with a self-possessed, noble air. Anyone could see that she was of good birth.

The other two swore quietly as all of the tavern guests stared. "You wanted to make a grand entrance, Brigid?" one of her companions asked in an infuriated voice.

"Yes. One can't go everywhere cloaked and hidden, can they, now, Gerrard? Argos, what do you think of this?" But to her surprise, the third had slipped away.

He came back in a few moments. "I have us a room." he said, and pointed to the stairs.

Brigid made a very thorough check of the room. Thankfully, the bed was fairly clean and had fewer fleas than she expected. A tallow candle smoked in it's holder, casting a glow that was absorbed by the dark wood paneling.

After a dinner of thin barley soup, hard, dark bread, washed down with a tankard of watered-down ale in the inn's tavern, they retired for the night.

The End

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