Cry for the Wolf, Chapter 1. by Richard Walker

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Regardless of the source of the booth space itself, may it please thee, we would be greatly honored and flattered to know that thou hadst this matter placed in the hands of one of thine own most capable and knowledgeable clerks, that the proper forms and papers needful for this modest troupe to attend this grand and sumptuous event so magnanimously thrown by thine illustrious, wise, and gentle king, long may he reign, be prepared according to the needs of thy wise governance, whatsoever those requirements might be. The funds with which our agent has been equipped should also suffice for these purposes and all incidental expenses related to expediting such work through the offices of the Warden's clerks. In preparation for this matchless event we humbly yet eagerly anticipate your gracious letters, sealed under thy seal, made in due form, to await our arrival in thy fair city of Fallon, flower of the Eastern Kingdoms, to assure our place and smooth our way that we begin plying our trade post haste upon the event of our arrival. In return for this most generous service we swear before the Light Eternal that we shall ever be thy grateful and willing servants, offering to the Light for thee and thine progeny mighty orisons in most gracious and sincere thanks.

Written at Scarborough this 29th day of December, 7th day of Litmastide, in this year of our Grace in the dawning of the Light one thousand two-hundred seventy.
Thy humble servants and bedesmen to thine greater grace and glory, with every wish for the increase of thine health, wealth and otherwise good fortune howsoever thou couldst wish,
Bandar of Kamaar, Master of the Guild of Scarlet Players, & Company by the hand of Myranna aus Eignenzeitburg, clerk


Road dust rose in a thin cloud from a dirt track as it wound through the gentle hills of the coast of Shanria, blown to streaming tatters before the steady breezes. The wind bore a trace of salty crispness on this, the windward side of the hills, borrowed from the sea which coast lay a little more than a league away, both winding their way east towards the ancient merchant principality of Scarburgh. Another day neared its end.
The late spring air held a crystal clarity as the sunlight lanced through the wind-whipped ghosts of dust to fire the colors of a gaudy painted gypsy wagon and gild even the sun-bleached and weather-beaten wood of an old timbrel following that slowly wended their way along the rutted dirt track called the Scarborough Road through the hills of the great realm of Shanria on their way to the famed port city of Fallond. Like so many others at this time of year, the city's renowned four-week long Crown Fête was their destination, known to the common folk as the All-Feast. Having had a break from the spring rains long enough to raise the road dust should have made the travelers happy, but they had been on the road for more than two years without relief, so long that the generally resigned looks on their faces said it just didn't matter anymore.

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