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A Game of Bowls, Part 1

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You either win, or you lose a preseason ranking

An OBNUG Special

Lord Bryan Harsin stood on a balcony overlooking Albertson’s Keep. The Festival of Brooks had just concluded, and much of his empire was still in a drunken stupor.

“Juarez, is everything ready for the assembly?”

“Yes, milord.” A shady figure appeared behind Lord Harsin. “All the lords of the Western Mountain await our arrival.”

“Good. Let them wait.” Lord Harsin “In the game of bowls, you win or you lose a preseason ranking.”

Juarez nodded sagely. “I am told Lord Rolovich is up to his usual antics this year.”

“He does what he can to increase his influence despite Island Kingdom’s lack of power. Respectable, but not to be imitated. We have our honor.” Harsin shook his head. “A mighty leader with a weak army should be respected, but not feared.”

A hot breeze blew over the balcony, hearkening back to the frozen battlefields of December. The inglorious defeat at the hands of Duke Tedford and his Dogwalkers still burned the psyche of Lord Harsin.

“Do you think Duke Tedford will be voted into the Iron Bowl?” Juarez inquired.

Lord Harsin laughed. “He’s an old man, an old, lucky man. He caught us off-guard, but his reach exceeds his grasp. No, I do not think they will submit to that relic.”

Juarez looked confused “Then why assemble the Lords of the Western Mountains like this?”

“I suspect that the Lords of Westcalios have been spurred to action by Lord Longrock. That old bastard still believes himself the rightful lord of the Iron Bowl.” Harsin smiled grimly. “The senile old fool.”

Juarez shrugged “We are ready to leave, milord.”

Harsin took one last look over Albertson’s Keep, then turned to Juarez. “Let us be off to that pit of sin and violence, before one of the other lords tries to incite a rebellion again.”

The Northernmost kingdom of the western mountains, Boise still baked in the sun during the summer months. Some clouds provided scant cover as Lord Harsin’s party departed for the assembly.

The Game of Bowls was about to toil into another season.