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Old 03-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #75
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: The 1590s
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An ominous arrival...

A sound of rows of ceremonial bells on bridles mingled with the repeated reports of hoofbeats to interrupt the noises of dawn in the First Circle. Some streets were still dead calm, others were filling up during this season of festival with stallholders and swarming hawkers, but the sight of the six riders going by affected the quiet and the active alike. Housewifes, discreetly attending to hanging up their linen, stared glumly from high windows or loitered in their doorways. Rowdy toughs outside warehouses let their jaws slack the better to concentrate on staring. Any Guards of the Citadel were an unusual sight so far down in the city; and not a universally welcome one, either.

The small but formal calvacade rode two abreast, Guards leading and Guards at the rear. Three of these four horses rode black stallions, which were becoming once again prized, now that they were not associated invariably with Mordor; especially by the haughty and somewhat menacing officers of the Guard. One of the lead riders rode a big roan instead, not so flashy a statement but looking a more formidable animal even than its companions.

It was clearly an escort; in between the two dark pairs a couple of unarmoured men, one very old and one scarcely come to manhood at all, were ensconsed. Their bearing made them rather obviously commanders, rather than prisoners, of this little detachment. Lords nearly always travelled by litter; these nobles must be in a hurry, and the folk of Minas Anor knew well enough to get out of their way and watch their path from the side of the cobbles.

"Where did you say the ragamuffins were stewing themselves?" the Lord Cirdacil barked at his son.

"The Inn of Ingold, close enough to the city gates themselves, father," Sador spoke softly in answer.

"I've a good mind to thrust the pack of 'em back through them," the old man expostulated. "How far are we from this Ingold's place, captain?"

"A negligible distance, my lord," the officer on the roan answered with a tone so obedient it was almost insolent. Cirdacil did not exactly like the Tower Guard officers as a rule; they were all better born than him, and they tended to intimate that they knew it. Still, it was worth dragging a few around with him to keep up appearances in...disciplinary cases like these. They had, now, indeed arrived at the inn.

Without needing to be commanded (and again, Cirdacil thought grumpily, that was a little too consciously meticulous) the lead captain rode up from the formation and rapped on the door.

"Open up, open up at once for the Master of the Revels!"

Even in this reassuringly powerful context, Cirdacil could not help but recoil a little at the mention of his latest title. It was all just so irritating.

Beside him, Sador looked cheerful and interested; as if he was excited at the prospect of laying eyes on the famous King's Players, rather than already anticipating his plan to cast their production into rank disarray...

Last edited by Anguirel; 03-19-2011 at 06:55 PM.
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