Arnulf and Rhiannon landed next to Piorun, still lying face-first in the mud. Arnulf helped him stand up and asked if he was alright. Piorun shook his head and wiped his face with the almost clean part of his sleeve. “Don’t worry, boy, we Dwarves are naturally talented at falling! But now –“ The shouting of the guards above interrupted him. “Oh, they’re still here... Quick, to the stable!”
They ran inside and Rhiannon quickly untied her thin bay courser, nodding towards a grey mare next to him. “Take this one, she’s sturdy.” Arnulf untied the mare and looked around trying to find Piorun. He finally noticed him in the corner, wiping his face with a large kerchief. He was standing next to what seemed to Arnulf as the largest goat in the world. Piorun, his face finally clean, packed the kerchief back inside a pouch on the goat’s saddle and noticed Arnulf’s confusion. “Ha, never seen a Visogoran ibex? It’s the main way of transport for us, the horses are lanky and unpredictable beasts. Too damn tall, too.”
Rhiannon snorted loudly and jumped onto her horse, motioning the others to follow her. They rode out of the stable right into a group of guards coming from the tavern. Rhiannon and Arnulf managed to jump over them, but Piorun and his ibex simply ploughed right through. Piorun turned in the saddle and shouted several words in Dwarfish which Arnulf assumed were obscenities, since they made Rhiannon chuckle. They quickly passed the ruins of the town ramparts and soon were out of the rain which was only contained to Mournwall and its immediate surroundings. Away from there, the sky was clear, and they could see countless stars shining above.
Piorun sighed. “Well, seems like we won’t have any roof tonight. Boy, I hope you have a sleeping bag or something similar?” Arnulf shook his head, ashamed. This made Piorun sigh again. “Pa majku mu.... You Long-Legs are always so horribly unprepared for a trip! I can’t believ –“ He noticed Rhiannon looking at him and stopped berating Arnulf. “Bah, never mind. Mournwall is too close anyways. We’ll just keep going.” He filled and lighted his pipe, leading his goat forwards. “So, you got any good travel stories?” Arnulf looked at him “I... I might know a few songs, but I don’t have a harp.” Piorun laughed. “A harp? Why of course, I’ll pull one straight out of my ass! Should it be able to play by itself, maybe fly in the air and drop golden eggs? Don’t be silly, boy, just tell us a story to keep us awake! Or, you could tell us about yourself. It’s a stupid thing to travel with a stranger.”
Rhiannon rode next to Arnulf and put a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry about Piorun, he’s just a normal Dwarf, loud and paranoid. But he has a point, we should know more about you. After that, you’ll hear our story, or at least the important parts. Deal?”
Arnulf smiled weakly and blushed, avoiding eye contact with her. “D-deal. But I’m warning you, it’s probably quite boring.” Piorun started laughing but he choked up on the pipe smoke “Hah, I can’t possibly be any more bored than I am right now! Speak, boy, and don’t worry!”
Arnulf straightened his back and cleared his throat. “Alright. My story begins...”