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Written by Sir Aelfred   
Thursday, 14 September 2006
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Team of Destiny
Page 2

Chapter One:

A SHAKY BEGINNING

The hangover was terrible and the coach ride was not making it any better. The road evidently was not smooth going into the Moot as I felt my stomach rise and fall with every bounce. The inside of the coach was stuff and hot. I could feel the sweat drippings down my back. I drew back the cloth curtain keeping out the dust kicked up by the horses and wheels of the carriage to see the countryside and hopefully get some fresh air. I could see that the road was following a river and across the river, as far as the eye could see there were rolling hills of lush green plants. A few farms with sheep dotted the pleasant countryside. I knew this area of the Empire was called the Moot, and the Halflings controlled it. Few outsiders had ever ventured into this area, not because it was dangerous, but because nothing exciting ever happened in the Moot.

I leaned back into the coach as the dust from the road was making my mouth even drier then the cottonmouth I had from drinking. I remembered from my school days at the Ostland State University, that the Emperor gave the Moot the race of people called the Halflings. These halflings ruled the Moot as their own land but still answered to the Emperor. I wasn’t too sure about the politics but then again no one had ever accused me of being a politician. I wasn’t too sure what a normal halfling looked like. The only halflings I had seen were in human bars or taverns and to be honest I hadn’t really been sober when I had seen them. I was told that halflings looked like plump little human children, so I guess that the Halflings got their name because they were just that, about half the height of a human.

Another bump and my stomach gurgled and my head pounded. Something solid in my stomach would help calm it down and at the last Coaching Inn, the Ostler told me that I would be in the Moot before sunrise. That had happened awhile ago, and if we didn’t arrive at a Coaching Inn soon, someone was gonna have to clean a mess up.

In fact, good food and drink was one of the main reasons I had taken this job in the Moot. Even I knew that Halflings were known for their excellent cooks. It was rumored that the best chefs in the Empire were all halflings. Only once did I have the pleasure of sampling halfling cooking and that was when I had the pleasure of dining with the Emperor and Elector Count of Middenhiem. If I thought hard enough, I could still taste the filet minion and garlic butter sauce as it had melted in my mouth. My stomach grumbled and began to rebel some.

Of course the other reason, and perhaps the real reason, I had taken this job was that I was broke, flat broke. For the last month, I had been living on borrowed credit from my landlord and I wasn’t sure where I was gonna stay or how I was gonna eat next month. So the arrival of the Moot’s agent couldn’t have come at a better time and the fact that I received a large, well maybe substantial, payment in advance allowed me to clear my debt and come to the Moot to see more about this job.

My contract, which I felt in my breast pocket, also included all of my expenses to be paid. I could remember the most important phrase of my contract, which was Section B, paragraph 1. It stated "any and all expenses, whether directly or indirectly related to said contract, shall be paid by the First Party, also known as "Employer". The Second party, also known as "Employee", shall stay at five star hotel accommodations when staying overnight, shall have a personal coach and four for all travel, and a personal halfling master chef for the duration of employment." At least during this job, I will sleep, travel and eat like an emperor for awhile, and if I can convince the master chef to come back to Altdorf with me, I could live in luxury for the rest of my life. All I needed to do was open a small restaurant with that chef and the money would roll in faster than this coach and four was moving.

Another large jolt brought me back to reality and made my stomach felt queasy. The extra tankards of Bugman’s Brew the friendly dwarfs had bought me last night were coming back to haunt me. Friendly dwarfs, I had to smile at that. Who would have thought that when they had found out who I was, they would pat me on the back like I was some dwarven war hero and order round after round of Bugman’s Brew on their tab too. Finally after too many rounds to count, the dwarfs had to go and I was able to stumble up to my room. The feather bed was very comfortable but unfortunately, the Innkeeper woke me up before the sun rose so that I could get an early start.



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2006 )
 
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