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Magnus reined up his horse in front of the largest tent pavilion he had ever seen.
“And whose tent is this?” The gaudy purple canvas tent structure stood twenty feet at the center pole, at least twelve at the edge and was more than a hundred feet on each side.
“Your Grace, it is mine!” a short man announced and then bowed. “Sir Byron Alfson, of Harristown.”
“Ah, sir, you have me at a disadvantage.”
Magnus inspected the knight with narrowed eyes.
He had a mop of frail-looking brown hair tied into a short ponytail and a narrow nose that was flanked by light blue eyes. He wore a greatcoat that looked like it had been cut from the same fabric as his tent.
Harristown was one of the small villages that had sprouted up along the rail lines that ran from Agilard to Aetheston. The strange grape beer that had made the town famous gave its color to everything the town did. They had even changed their sigil to a purple field with a golden mug.
“This is quite the pavilion,” Magnus continued after a moment. “I didn’t know that the grape beer business had so much money to be made.”
“We do our best, Your Grace,” the knight said. “I hope my pavilion does not offend you, Your Grace. While it is my tent, I have shared it with many of the knights from Lord Tallet’s levies.”
“It does not offend,” Magnus lied. If he had his way, the knights would be sleeping in camp tents with the rest of his soldiers. But his advisors had warned him that not giving the knights and lesser lords their symbols of pride and authority could drive them away. He had been reluctant to accept the counsel, but in the end the tradition of tent pavilions and knightly feasts had been upheld. “Carry on, Sir Alfson.”
“Thank you, Your Grace.” The knight bowed again and disappeared into his purple monstrosity.