Chapter 1: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9127.html
Chapter 2: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9141.html
Chapter 3: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9184.html
Chapter 4: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9263.html
Chapter 5: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9297.html
Chapter 6: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9307.html
Chapter 7: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9356.html
Chapter 8: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9422.html
Chapter 9: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9472.html
Chapter 10: https://www.theonering.com/docs/9530.html
Rowen could feel Dragon’s unease as she galloped.
“I’m sorry girl, but he’s the one who told me to leave!” Rowen said indignantly. Dragon snorted and rolled her eyes. Rowen slapped the horse’s neck. “Hey, you, he’s the one who is all secretive and tired to drag me along on some mad trip! I don’t know why he wanted me to come, except that he went along with Sabor.” Dragon stopped short, causing Rowen to smack her head on the horse’s neck. Dragon turned her head as far as she could to see Rowen, and snorted loudly. “What?” Rowen cried. Dragon just snorted again and began to trot, then canter.
Through the trees, Rowen could make out the roof of an inn. “Ah good, I can get a drink.” she said to herself. She dismounted upon reaching the inn and turned to the horse. “Go back to Jack, Dragon, I can take it from here.”
Rowen strode into the place self-importantly, her chin high and shoulders back as if she owned the place. She sat down loosely at the bar and caught a pint as it slid in front of her. The bartender just stared. Rowen happened to be the only female there, and many of the men were drunk. One of the men walked up to Rowen and grabbed her arm.
“Hey there girlie why don’t you come with me, we’ll have lotsa fun…” A roar of laughter rose up from the rest of the bar. Without looking away from the mug of beer she held, Rowen let fly a punch that sent the man flying.
“Charmed, really.” Rowen called across the bar, smirking. After a moment of surprised silence, the rest of the men roared with laughter and joined Rowen at the bar. Soon enough she was engaged in numerous arm wrestling tournaments (she won many) and drinking contests. She could take shot after shot and not get drunk. A tall, attractive figure watched her, then whispered something to the bartender, giving him a bottle of some liquid. Then the man, whose name was Castamir, sat down in front of Rowen.
“Okay Rowen, see if you can beat me.” He smirked and grabbed a shot-glass. The bartender filled Castamir’s with the regular drink, then filled Rowen’s with the special bottle Castamir had given him.
Both took shot after shot of alcohol, but strangely Rowen began to feel woozy. She had never felt drunk before, alcohol had never affected her because of what she was. But it affected her now. Castamir grinned as he could see the shock in her eyes. But Rowen kept going, until finally she passed out. Castamir stood up triumphantly, raising his glass to the round of cheers.
“Oy, Castamir, wha’ are we gonna do wit her?” a man called out from the crowd. Castamir surveyed the audience of drunken men and thought it best not to leave an unconscious Rowen lying in their midst.
“I’m taking her. Go back to your games,” Castamir replied, and picked up Rowen. He walked up the stairs, up many flights, to his room. Evidently he was well known and respected in this bar, or visited often, for the room was very much his own, and well kept. As he opened the door, Rowen woke up. She put her arms around his neck and giggled, obviously drunk. “Take it easy Rowen, or that stuff will knock you out again,” Castamir said as he closed the door behind him. Rowen just laughed, not herself at all. Castamir put her down on the bed in the corner. “Alright you, sleep that off or you’re gonna be feelin’ it. I’ll guard the door and make sure no one bothers you.” He sat down in front of the door while Rowen nodded off to sleep.
Later that night, Rowen awoke (still a bit drunk) to the sound of Castamir walking around the room. “Oh good, you’re awake,” he called over to her. Rowen groaned.
“Did you sleep at all?” She asked him groggily, with the tone of one talking to a long-time friend.
“Nope. It’s only midnight.” He replied, still sifting through his belongings. He stood up and pulled off his shirt, pulling a new one from his pack. He was handsome, and powerfully built. Obviously he was a traveler from the look of his stuff and his well-worn boots.
Rowen got up shakily and tried to walk over to him, but was having a hard time. She was still slightly drunk, and couldn’t walk straight. Castamir caught her in his arms as she stumbled and fell, trying to hold her straight. He finally just scooped her legs off the ground, picking her up, and began to walk back to the bed to lay her down. Rowen laughed and nuzzled her head against his chest, her arms around his neck. Whatever Castamir had had the bartender give her, it certainly intoxicated her and put her way too much at ease. Castamir put her down right before the bed, but she just stood, leaning her entire weight against him. He put his arm around her waist and softly brushed the hair from her face. “You’re going to be a help to me more than you know,” Castamir murmured to her.
Abruptly a voice called from outside the door, interrupting them. “Oy! Castamir! C’mon! You’ve had enough time wit her! Bring her down here!”
Castamir took one look at the still-drunken Rowen wrapped around him and knew that bringing her back down to the bar was not a good idea. But how could he get her out of here, without going downstairs? Surely they would not let her leave… Castamir’s eyes flitted to the window. He pried Rowen off of him and grabbed his traveling gear, then picked her up.
“You’re coming with me,” He put his hand around her waist and her arms around his neck for support, then squeezed through the open window and onto the roof.
“Kaytar!” He called, whispering for his horse. The stallion trotted around the house and waited patiently as Castamir slid off the roof. He patted the horse and jumped on, pulling Rowen up behind him. Making sure her hands were safely around his waist, Castamir galloped his horse into the woods.
Dragon, it appeared, had not gone back to Jack, but watched Rowen through the windows and waited in the woods until Castamir came out with her. Dragon then galloped back to find Jack.