Ferdham. After days of travel through lands still recovering from war, Cerran found himself at his destination. Mists swirled around his feet as he walked through the streets.
Two steps left. Guard right, incoming sweep. Balance impeccable, likelihood of forcing a misstep low.
Getting through the gate had posed less of an issue than Cerran had anticipated; the wall was reasonably well staffed with armed guards, given the hour, but fortunately one of the halberdmen had recognised Cerran from one of his mission briefings during the Second Battle. Cerran didn't recognise the man - Albert, apparently. He hoped it wasn't his last stroke of luck this evening.
Sweep blocked. Testing weight? Must be trying to force overbalanced swings. Blows misleading - alternating light and heavy, seemingly unfocused but impeccable connection. Feint and *thrust*
Turning into the small square, he found his goal. The Feathered Coque. Although the sun was only threatening to rise, light streamed out several of the decoratively shuttered windows of the inn. So here the roads cross and the swords meet.
Advance now. Weakness in dealing with rapid strikes. Seeks to turn overwhelming blows. Keep footing, keep pressure. Build momentum, break defense, find gap, exploit gap. Build momentum, break defense, find gap, exploit gap.
Cerran entered the inn, drawing few gazes and fewer comments. He allows his mind to pass over the inn's occupants, scanning for non-humanoids. A red-haired bard sits across the common room, tuning an instrument between songs. It would be a private room, yes, where this meeting would occur. Away from prying ears. Yes, there
The gap! The final strik.. no, what? Slipped away, behind, low. Gripped. Thrown. The ceiling, above. A knife, throat. A whisper, close. "You fought well, visitor. Yield."
Picking up a glass of the house wine, Cerran entered the private room at the back, without asking, and extracted a book from his bag. He picked a chair in the corner of the room, brightly lit with candles, and pulled over a small side table to set his wine upon. Thumbing the pages, he reflected.
Defeated, without effort. A voice, ringing clear. "Elya, Seventh Circle Master of the Setting Sun, victor". Colours and martial symbols adorned the dojo wall. Here is where the best trained. Dragon's, Tiger's, Raven's Land. Sun, Spirit, and Desert Sand. Heart, Mind and Shadow Hand.
The war is over. Perhaps now is the time. He had heard about like-minded warriors, proven in fire and steel. He had heard about plans to meet, here, tonight. About plans to find what had been lost, the place where warriors had once found themselves.
The Temple of Nine Swords
Knowledge checks about Feldham:
Cerran will stay here, with the door to the room open. He'll poke through his book, only half reading it, sipping his wine, while continuously keeping an "eye" on the inn using Mindsight. Particularly, he will be most interesting in non-humanoids or high-Intelligence people approaching.