Carmen could crack a shield no problem, but blocking was another story.. Her shield arm was strong, but had never taken a beaten like this; her military experience, although helpful in many situations, did not ready her for the Quartermaster’s strikes. Engraved ‘Splinter’ his mace lived up to it’s namesake, with several shattered shields lay discarded across the sand pit. “Correct reinforcement must be applied to the shield, or this will happen over and over.. Go back to the table, rebuild the reinforcement and come get me when your ready.. Again.” Dropping his mace, it buried into the sands embrace as he sauntered off.

Lumber Arm’s stone store front lay near the empty road, deep within Puzzle-Tyric’s strips, mainly used by locals to process old lumber, into the lumberyard, while bringing in stone from the Unjaryk, to be processed by the Mason’s, across the street. Caravans came in and out, but lately, whispers of caravans being raised enroute to the Unjaryk sprouted from local lips.. Armed, the Mason’s were always ready for a fight, but were not warriors, lacking their spirit and coordination.

Carmen watched the most recent caravan come in, all smiles and sunshine “No problems, boys!!, ready up the rest of the mounts, well leave with every caravan we got!” Carmen watched the celebration, smiling as more lumber was brought to the yard. Carmen eyed the lumber with her axe, following the caravan back to the yard, finding a strange irony in the fact that the same lumber that once walled Puzzle-Tyric from it’s enemies, would now wall Carmen from hers. Biting the wood in a frenetic fashion, she chopped away, until a hulking piece was separated from the lumber, that she would fashion and craft. Being at this process for almost a week, the Mason’s cries of cheer outside, now made her sense of adventure peak.

Bringing the piece of wood back to the store front, she decided to use the table outside the stone structure, hoping one of the Mason’s would speak to her and it did not take long.

“Huntress!” One of the Mason’s yelled.

Carmen turned her head, in excitement, inquiring “Heading out?”

“Aye, we were, but were short a driver, can you ride?” Patting the horse, strapped to the wagon.

Carmen responded quickly “I commanded my own unit, back in Puzzle-Toron.. Hell yeah I can ride!”

Cheering, the Mason yelled in approval “Let’s go, we got us a huntress!”

Appearing at the store’s entrance, “She ain’t no hunter yet, she ain’t even got a proper shield!”

Disappearing into the stone works, the Mason’s leader came out with a cast-iron kettle “It’s wall is punctured, but if you want shield material, you won’t find a heavier reinforcement!” adding “Although, you’ll need a mage and a blacksmith to work it down.”

Laughing, the quartermaster replied “Heh, a heavy shield to match that bulky crossbow of hers..” adding “You better move smart, when your carrying that much weight.”

Carmen smiled “You’ll give me that, when we get back!?”

One of the other Mason’s yelled “If we don’t, it’ll make a good piss pot for the captain!”

Laughs all around. Mounting up, the quartermaster made a final suggestion “Come back in one piece, I wanna get paid for training you, eventually!”

She smiled, nodding.

Yelling, the lead Mason commanded “Let her in front!”

Carmen commanded, passing the other wagons “Give me that mace!”, loading her modified crossbow with a harpoon bolt, then catching the mace, thrown to her, in mid air, before strapping it to her horse’s side, pulling the strap tight “Lets go!!” Digging her heels into the horse’s side, they begun the slow trot down the construction strip, before turning into the between road, separating the construction strip from the trade work, strip.

Turning onto the trade work strip, the cart’s wheel got caught up on the curb, jerking it’s movement forward to a halt, hearing behind her “We ain’t in the battlefield just yet, you gotta back up and try that turn again, take it wider!”

Backing the horse up, she did take the turn wider, navigating the turn, as she came onto the smoggy trade works strip, littered with wooden buildings and metal forgers, hammers pounding horseshoe and arms alike. Trotting against the cobblestone, her cart came up to the next turn and as she guided the wagon around the curb’s corner, was soon halfway onto the social strip.

Trotting against the cobblestone, her cart came up to the next turn and she could hear the social strip’s patrons, screaming and yelling at each other, no doubt over some intoxicated antics. “Wait for us.. I’m gonna fuc..” before he could finish, the man’s opponent smashed his fist into his slack jaw, hurting him bad, before returning back to one of the bars, as the man lay on the ground.  “Men, get this slob off our road!” Some of the Mason’s appeared in her sight from behind, dragging the human obstruction out of the way, before disappearing behind her once more. With the obstruction dealt with, she announced, finally “Lets go!”, more for show, than function.. She missed this. Navigating through the remaining strips, they came to the main strip’s wagon access, receiving a nod from the guard, as they passed onto the smooth dirt road, announcing “Let’s pick up the pace, we’re running out of daylight!”

 

 

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