Klane Kalonia and the Great Burning (21) by DMFW ()
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The early races were ones of endurance and distance and they were not suited to Klane’s natural abilities. It was quickness of thought and of limb and agility of mind and body in which he excelled. So at first, husbanding his energies, Klane just mingled with the spectators and bided his time. He found that the story of the fight between the Southern Pralannians and the Thranish Riders was on everyone’s lips and an evil atmosphere of uneasiness, resentment and even fear affected Riders and townsfolk alike.
The sprint races were announced in the hour before noon. There would be two heats and a final between the winner of each. It was a thinner field than expected and Klane found himself competing directly against two of the Southern Pralannians in the first race, but they were not natural sprinters and he won through easily. In the final he faced a Rider of the Nykwin, a swift and leathery runner who eyed him sternly at the start and shook his hand with a firm grip. But Klane was at the peak of his fitness, lean, athletic and very, very fast. He took the race in style and claimed his first victory token.