Dragonlance: Ergoth, Book 01 - A Warrior's Journey by Paul B. Thompson

Dragonlance: Ergoth, Book 01 - A Warrior's Journey by Paul B. Thompson

Author:Paul B. Thompson [Thompson, Paul B.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 978-0-7869-2965-8
Publisher: Fanversion Publishing
Published: 2015-12-31T16:00:00+00:00

Chapter Thirteen

The Centaur Fountain

Tol passed the early part of the night sleeping in the doorway of the Riders’ Hall. It was late when Relfas found him, shaking him roughly awake and demanding to know what he was doing there.

“No one would let me in,” Tol said sleepily.

Relfas grasped his hand and hauled him to his feet. “Where are your bruising tribal women?”

Tol yawned. “The palace kitchens. I told them to stay there.”

Within, the Riders’ Hall was much like the barracks at Juramona, only grander. Where the provincial hall used wood, the Daltigoth building used finely cut stone. Tol followed Relfas up a narrow stair to the topmost of four floors. The youngest and least senior of the empire’s elite warriors bedded down here, while older and more favored men occupied larger quarters on the lower floors. Settling himself on a bunk in a back corner, Tol fell asleep again in an instant.

Day began early. The young nobles turned out and ate a hearty breakfast at the long table in the center of the hall. They were served by a gaggle of scarlet-clad boys. As in its Juramona counterpart, women were not permitted even as servers in the Riders’ Hall. The married lords had to sleep apart from their wives, who were comfortably housed in the vast Imperial Palace.

Once fed, Tol’s comrades fell to preparing their finery for the upcoming conclave. Sharp smells of polish, saddle soap and oil filled the hall. Shield-bearers from the city’s hordes assisted the warriors. The ceremony surrounding the laying of the cornerstone for the Tower of Sorcery was to take place in four days, when the moons Luin and Solin would meet in the constellation of Draco Paladin, the great dragon-god.

It didn’t take Tol long to prepare, for he had little in the way of possessions, and his sword and dagger were still in Valaran’s hands. He had only to polish his leather boots, belts, and braces, and to scrub the tarnish from his armor. A pair of Daltigoth shilder offered to do the work, but Tol politely declined. He said he preferred to take care of his own equipment, the better to know its condition. The two youths departed, smirking at the funny ways of provincials.

His chores completed, Tol was at loose ends by midday. He slipped outside, determined to have a look around the Inner City.

The great plaza was being cleaned in preparation for the ceremony. An army of drudges moved across the mosaics, wielding brooms, while a smaller band of lackeys scooped up the piles of dust they left in their wake and hauled them away. A company of the Inner City Guard paraded across the entrance to the palace, relieving the men who’d stood watch since midnight. No courtiers or high officials were stirring yet in the square.

Inevitably, Tol made his way to the garden surrounding the wizards’ college. It was too early to meet Valaran-the sun-clock on the inside wall showed it was six marks till sunset-but he was decidedly curious about the sorcerers.


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