|In an attempt to shed more light on the College and those who live there, I include a series of short stories. Often, these stories are only parts of bigger stories (stemming from role-playing), taken out of context. In these cases, I will try to give the reader enough information about the goings on that he will enjoy and understand the fragment. It is my hope that these stories will give insight into my version of the College that would be difficult or even impossible to impart in other ways.|
In the course of the following two weeks, Sagarl and Morden discovered several hidden traits of the Itanian, legacy of his K'ta'viir heritage. When Morden left Sagarl's office for the last time, he had learned much, and no longer did he think the man insane. Distracted and confused, perhaps, but not insane.
If you want to know more about Morden Nôk, you should pick up the Grand
Campaign by Terry Kevin Amthor. Click here
for its Internet source.
The Wings, having won the previous year's contest, had the lower lane, then came the Girls, last year's second place, the Claws and then the Uppers. The Bigguns, not having participated last year, had the upper lane.
The first sign of someone's good preperation came as the referee signaled that the participants were to don their bathing suits. All but one of the contestants, the represantitive of the Uppers, seemed to have serious trouble removing their shoes. The rules were quite clear on this point, no more than a regular bathing suit was to be worn. The Uppers had to start alone, the others could only do their best to get those shoes off before the Uppers had won the race.
The potion was given to the one starting walker, and he started strolling along. It did not take long until the Girls' contenstant was free of her shoes, drank the potion and went off. The others were still struggling, some had brought tools with them and were busy removing the shoes forcibly, while others were forced to improvise. The first to succeed were the Bigguns and their walker started walking over the river, somewhat hastily. Next came the Claws, and somewhat later the Wings had their man on the water.
The Uppers were now in trouble; half-way across the river, a large tree bristling with branches had suddenly emerged in front of their walker and got caught in the ropes of his lane. There was no way to get around it without leaving the lane, so he tried to walk through. His failure was spectacular, several of the spindly branches caught in his clothes and he was effectively stuck.
In the mean time, the Girls' walker (or walkress as they like to call her) was a clear leader, the Bigguns a hundred feet behind, then the Claws and the Wings closely behind.
Suddenly, without warning, a huge flock of birds came over the trees on the far side of the river, and stooped down at the participants. At this time, a new row boat had appeared upriver, thirty feet or so from the Bigguns' lane. The boys in the boat, Wings all, tossed a scarecrow-like contraption into the river, where it floated in an upright position. They then hid under a tarp they had in the boat. At the same time, the Wings' walker dove into the river, disappearing into the cold water.
The birds flocked around all the visible participants, causing several to lose balance and fall into the river. Only the Claws' walker remained standing, but did not make much progress against the onslaught. After half a minute or so, the birds flew off as suddenly as they had come. The roar of the crowd replaced the flapping of bird wings to the participants' ears. All the walkers were white with bird guano, something the spectators found hilarious.
Those who had fallen into the river were helped up into the row boats by their seconds and continued the walk as best able. It was clear that the Bigguns' participant had had enough, he refused to leave the boat. The Girls' walkress was obviously upset and had difficulty making much progress. This left the Claws and the Wings on almost equal terms. The Wings' walker was the faster, but was several yards behind the Claws as they continued. The rest of the walk was largely uneventful, but there was much cheering as the Wings gained on the Claws. The Claws' walker had obvious problems with getting bird goo in his eyes and stumbled along. He couldn't take the chance of washing it off, as he needed help to get out of the water if he should fall. Unfortunately, his seconds' boat had gotten entangled into the Wings' boat and they were both drifting slowly down the river. The Claws were vigorously trying to disengage, the Wings were not. The Wings' walker, only being wet, passed his adversary half way back across the river and crossed the finish line first, for another Wings victory in the annual river walk.
The Uppers had mixed a glue they managed to get into every participant's shoes, a plot they had flawlessly succeded in hiding and executing. This speaks of defeat on the Wings' side, who see it as their business to find out all the dirty tricks that will be attempted at the Walk and use the information to their own advantage. The Claws had rigged the tree underwater with an elaborate rope setup to be able to release it at the correct time. The Wings were also ignorant to this fact, but it didn't affect them much. The Bigguns had trained the birds to assault all the participants but the rightmost, which would be their own. This was found out by two Wings members and Dunas had devised the plan to introduce the scarecrow - one identical to the ones the birds were trained with - to make the plan backfire on the Bigguns.
The honor of being the fraternity's walker is quite questionable. One is normally happy to accept volunteers, this is something it can be quite hard to persuade someone to do.
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