Varis’ Various Verities
A Bardic Tradition
The Hamlet of Sipsey (Part 1)
The sun was sitting low in the sky, hovering just above the forest that lined either side of the King’s Road. The air was humid, but the temperature was pleasant. I had been traveling for nine days when I happened upon a small hamlet named Sipsey.
The Weary Traveler’s Inn was the first building I saw. It’s plaster walls and thatched roof a welcome sight for a tired, road-sore storyteller such as myself. Behind it was a wooden wall, roughly twenty feet high with the locals flooding through a large gate.
“Traveler, if you don’t want the wolves to attack you, I would recommend getting inside!” A young man standing near the gate bellowed, drawing my attention to him.
As a man without a horse, I quickly ran to the gate and made it just before they shut the doors. Within a moment I could hear wolf calls echoing through the forest.
“Welcome, friend. You made it just in time,” the young man said.
“Thanks for the warning! It’s much appreciated. I’m Varis Moonwhisper, by the way.” I replied, extending an arm in greeting.
“Where are my manners,” he said, “my name’s Galter.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Galter.” I said, realizing that the Inn was outside the hamlet’s wall. “What about the Inn?”
“Don’t worry about them,” he said, “Mezzi is a retired glory-seeker. He set up his business before the town was even here. It was his idea to leave the inn outside the wall so travelers have a place to run on this side of the river.”
“How long have the wolves been a problem?” I asked.
“A few months now.” Galter replied as he fastened the chains on the gate, “They always seem to get two sheep when they come.”
“Even with your wall?” I asked.
“Yeah, it’s the oddest thing. The wall does little to slow them. We have had people stand guard and regardless, the sheep farmer always loses them.” he said, beginning his walk down the road. “So now we keep watch over the sheep more-so than the town.”
“Has anyone been hurt?” I inquired.
“We lost two people early on. Old man Raaf’s apprentice, Haemon, and the apprentice silversmith Guanlaya.” he said, shaking his head. “We think the wolves took them out into the forest. Our resident hunter couldn’t track where they were taken. He said there were too many wolf tracks around.”