Klane Kalonia and the Great Burning (31) by DMFW ()
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“Well Alderon, the self confessed Dragon Slayer, you are full of surprises!”
After Verindu withdrew in some confusion, there was a brief low voiced exchange between Muttu and Thorawn before the Conclave’s representative stepped forward to take charge. Now Thorawn was addressing Klane directly by the alias under which he had announced himself at the Anvil and Hammer only three days earlier. What long days they seemed now!
“Never before have we seen an athlete so skilled across the field of games and never before has there been a pooling of prizes. Now we have a tie for the final bid so what are we to do? How will you keep your workers should you be awarded their stewardship?”
“Ethan and his tribe have thrown in their lot with me. I shall not be alone”, Klane answered simply and respectfully but he had no trust in Thorawn’s mandated impartiality.
“Hmmm… Well unprecedented problems call for unprecedented solutions.”
Thorawn spoke more loudly now so that the assembled company of tribal witnesses to this drama could all hear him. “On behalf of the Conclave I declare that a new game must settle this impasse. Alderon and Muttu shall fight until one falls or yields! The blacksmith and his family shall pass to the winner and for the loser whatever quarter the victor grants.”
A murmur of indignation arose. It seemed obvious that, fit and agile as Klane was, he was yet no match in a fight for the battle hardened brutality of Muttu, whose skills in close combat had soured the festival even before the races began.
“This has never been the Rider way!”, Ethan protested.
“And yet it is the Rider way that the Conclave declare what is lawful and what is not”, Thorawn said in sharp rebuke.
“Peace”, Klane said holding his hand aloft. “I agree on condition only that we may each chose our own weapons.”
Muttu grinned with predatory glee, his eyes on his favourite axe. “But of course”, he said.