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The Horse stepped onto the drawbridge and crossed slowly, keeping its eyes fixed on two large, scary-looking guards who were positioned on either side of the gate across the drawbridge. Tom sat stiffly in the saddle, his eyes glued to the arrow slots in the walls. The Cow followed closely behind, keeping well hidden behind the Horse's body.

When they came within twenty feet of the city gates, the big guard on the left raised his right hand and motioned for the party to stop. In his left hand he gripped a 12-foot long spear.

"Halt! What business do you have at the gates of Alarin?" shouted the guard.

"We are friends of the Shining Light," said the Horse, bowing low and motioning for Tom and the Cow to do the same. "We seek an audience with King and Queen Arem. We are their humble servants." At this, the horse stood up, reached its mouth into its left saddlebag and produced a large crescent-shaped pendant hanging from a silver chain.

The guards gasped when they saw it. They looked quickly at each other and then back at the party in amazement. "You are favored by our Queen?" The guard on their right said in disbelief, as he lowered his sword. "You carry her charm. How did you come by this?"

"It was a gift from her most charitable highness, Queen Olana," said the Horse, smiling from ear to ear. "It guarantees us safe passage in all Aremsland."

"I know not where you came by this charm," said the guard to their right, "But you are right. You and your party are free to pass the city gates. We welcome you to the Shining Light of Alarin." The guards moved aside and waved to unseen eyes overhead. The air filled with the sound of rusty metal gears and heavy iron chains clanking together as the huge wooden gates were slowly pulled open.

"Thank you. We are honored to be your guests in your great city," said Tom to the guard on the left as they passed through the archway.

"Don?t get a Gateguard. They do bad things in the river," said the Cow to the guard on the right as he passed.

"Cow!" said the Horse. "You're going to get yourself tossed off this bridge before we even get into the city. Now come on!" The party moved swiftly into a wide and bustling street as the noisy gears and chains clanked once again and the guards locked the heavy gates behind them.

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Greg Loumeau ||    External Homepage · 

Greg is a web comic artist. He enjoys creating funny web comics for the Internet. It makes him happy to do humorous comics about fish. Webcomics are great, fun, and some of the best comics out there! ... full profile