A Bard’s Tale Excerpt 12/2/18
The city gates stood magnificent before us as our tiny cart trundled through the opening. The bars of the portcullis were thicker than my arm and spaced so close together it was no small wonder that it moved at all.
The smells of food cooking wafting through the small market that sat just inside made my stomach growl. Cade looked up at me and winked when he heard it. Tevarin’s back went stiff with tension with every guard we passed, and Faleth just continued to drive the cart until the crowds of people became too thick to navigate.
“Alright, everyone out,” Faleth said as he dropped the reins, “Cade take Hebron here to a stable, I’ll handle the cart. Everyone grab your things.”
Tevarin and I jumped out of the back with our packs and bedrolls, while Cade walked around the front. The horse, even standing six feet tall was as gentle as a lamb when Cade put his hand up. He bent at the neck and nuzzled Cades hand lovingly.
Faleth, on the other hand, lifted the seat to the cart, pulled his satchel out, checked its contents and muttered a word as he touched just below the hinge. The cart shuddered at first then with the sound of the wheels scrapping the stone road it suddenly shrank to something resembling a toy.
I couldn’t stop myself from gaping openly as it did so, and half the crowd surrounding the wagon looked stunned as well. A murmur traveled through the crowd before it began milling about once more.
“You there, Wizard!” a guard called waving us over.
“I’ll catch up with you guys later,” Cade said as he led the horse away.
I watched him vanish in the crowd. The only indication of where he was located was the large horse parting the people as it passed. Without knowing he was there, it would have looked as though the horse had purpose for walking in that direction.
“How can I help you, sir?” Faleth asked as we reached the guard.
“This is for magic users we catch coming into the city,” the guard said handing Faleth a coin. “Are these two magic users as well?”
“No,” Tevarin and I answered in unison, shaking our heads.
“Then you two are free to go, the wizard will need to report the guards of the upper tier,” the guard said, “there is no negotiation on this as it has been ordered by the King.”
“I will report at once, sir,” Faleth said bowing.
He turned to face us and stomped up the road.
“What’s that?” I asked, looking down at Faleth’s hand where the coin was still clenched.
“It’s a geas coin,” Faleth said, “I should have looked before I took it. By accepting it, I’ve locked myself into the agreement to report to the upper tier. I believe you three will have to find accommodations without me in the lower tier.”