Thunder crashed outside the small inn where Claire was taking temporary refuge from the storm. It had been a good thing she’d found this place when she did; the rain was really coming down hard by now. 

   Great. It would have to be raining now, wouldn’t it? Claire shook her head in disgust. If the gods of legend did actually exist, she figured that they must really have it in for her today. In reality, she was in no hurry to get to her destination–the mountain city of Era. She had never been there before; since it was the headquarters of the Magic Council’s Fiore Branch, it wasn’t exactly the safest place for a Grimoire Heart mage to be. Despite this, Claire wasn’t too worried about being caught. She’d wanted to see Era for a while now, and when she had set out from the Grimoire Heart Guild Hall she had sworn that nothing would stop her from reaching her goal.

   Except for a storm, that is. Claire had felt the first drops of rain a couple of hours after setting out on her journey, and dismissed them. Who was afraid of a little rain, after all? Then the storm hit. 

   Claire looked around the room–it was crowded with people, most of them travelers like herself, who were dripping wet from their struggle in the gale outside. The newcomers crowded as closely as they could around the roaring fire in hopes of getting warm and dry. 

   Claire settled back in her chair and resigned herself to waiting the storm out. There wasn’t much else she could do at this point, unless she fancied drowning herself on the way to Era. She suspected that her guild would be none too happy about that. 

   This is going to take a while. She sighed. Well, might as well see what they’ve got here to eat. Claire was pretty hungry after her long walk, and she was going to need her strength for the road ahead. 

[334 Words; Arrival in Era: 3 hours]