After coming up with a side for the Create-a-side thread(http://www.erfworld.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1035
), I decided to write a story set there. It will be posted in parts, I'll post them in groups over the next few days. Part one follows. Comments in the comment thread please.1
Smelt was a horrid city. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have a city that specialized both in processing ore and freshwater fishing should never have been given the power to make that decision. Neither industry produces pleasant smells, and the combination was a nauseating aura that surrounded the city for hexes. The reek of rot and slag churned everyone's stomach. Regardless, it was the closest Citnalta city to Roe, and as such it was the first stop on Regent Taurus's goodwill tour.
“We were invited by your king. Did he not send word to you?”
“No,” the door warden replied, “no word has been sent that I should allow an armed stack of foreigners into the city.”
“I see,” said Taurus. And he did see. He saw the carefully blank expression on the warden's face. He saw the extra troops on the walls. He was a diplomat, so he kept his hand away from his sword, but he kept it as near as possible. “If you send for the governor I have no doubt he will give the the necessary orders.”
“I'm sure he will.” The door grate slammed shut almost before the words were said.
Maurice, the Bolerian tribal representative in the party, shifted uneasily on his mount.
“I know Murry,” Taurus replied. The reek grew deeper.
Barely audible behind the gate came padded footfalls. With a rush the gates flew open. Citnalta's chief warlord mounted on a blackdog charged forward at the head of a stack of pikers. Arrows rained.