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Hello once again and welcome to WIPpet Wednesday. I hope you’ve had a lovely week.

Thank you to those of you who gave input on WIPpet length last week. 🙂 I appreciate your opinions and ideas. The general consensus was that shorter WIPpets work a bit better than longer ones. That was the way I was leaning, myself, so it was nice to have my hypothesis confirmed. But. um… I’m ignoring it this week. Sort of. I couldn’t figure out how to break this scene down without leaving it hanging awkwardly, so I’m giving you the full 14 paragraphs for the 14 of 2014. But don’t worry! It’s still under 350 words.

As always, hats off and a big Hurrah! for our fearless leader, K.L. Schwengel and my fellow WIPpeteers.

Arvid and Oya reached their intended stopping point of Uttermost, a village with a monster legend attached to it…

The fence surrounding the village, though formed of well-pointed spikes, reached only mid-way up Arvid’s thigh. A man with bulging arm muscles, rotund belly, and skinny legs met them at the narrow gate. He wore a glour that seemed put on for the occasion. “Good evening, Ladies. We don’t get many travelers up this way, but it’s my job to make the inquiries. Where’re you from and where’re you going?”

Oya took a step forward, putting on her sweetest smile. Arvid stepped back to let her work her people skills.

“I’m from Hyarta. I just need to stay the night. I’m planning to start back tomorrow morning.”

The gatekeeper cocked a brow. “Your donkey’s well-laden for such a short trip. That’s a lot of weapons.”

“Oh, it’s not my donkey.”

“Oh no?”

“No. It’s my friend’s. Surely you recognize her?”

He looked Arvid up and down before turning a politely quizzical expression toward Oya.

“You were at the Gathering, were you not?”

“Someone has to stay behind to guard the place.”

Oya crinkled a brow in a way most men found adorable. “That’s too bad. Otherwise you might recognize her.”

The gatekeeper studied Arvid more thoroughly. She shifted under the scrutiny. “Looks like an ordinary girl to me.”

“An ordinary girl dressed in armor and traveling with a donkey-load of weapons? She’s Arvid of the Prophecy! The woman tasked with bringing Balak the Wizard down from the mountain.”

The gatekeeper’s surly expression broke into a hearty guffaw. “That’s the best story I’ve heard in a long time. Whatever you have planned, you’ll need a place to sleep tonight.” He opened the gate. “Follow me, Ladies. We don’t have an inn, as you might call it, but there is a nice Grandmother that keeps an extra couple of beds made in case any travelers come through. Be sure to tell her your cute little story. She likes a good yarn, too.”