It is a cool Thursday night when the party almost reaches Dachau. Friday morning, it is brisk, and you are well bundled up as you ride past the Dachau city walls. Andrej recognizes the burned out gatehouse a mile from the North Gate, and the copses of trees and the overall look of the place. It seems bustling, unaffected by the events from last spring, with the gates open and a host of citizens driving their flocks of ducks and sheep out to make the most of the dried brown grass and field stubble. The apple trees have lost their leaves, the aspen nearly so.
There's no sign of anyone familiar, certainly not of Emmanuel ... in his wagon, he would not have reached this far yet. You don't know by which way he travelled - probably further to the east than did the party.
In the early afternoon of Thursday, you come to the great city of Munich. The weather, for the first time in this year's memory, does not greatly warm up with the day. There is a drizzle that starts as you reach Munich, and in the brisk temperature it is positively disheartening. You round the city, taking note that there seems to be an effort to pile up a great deal of building stone and timber ... there is scads of both, timber in particular, stacked in fifty foot piles and stretching far south from Munich.
There's no snow on the ground, though there is a bit in the high country above you. The heavy snows have not yet begun ... and you do not see any flakes that fall. When you arise the next morning, and travel over the low pass that leads you into the valley of the Inn - and reach Innsbruck - it is yet brisk, but the clouds are not thick above you. There's little wind.
You are quite surprised to discover, upon crossing the wooden bridge that spans a hundred feet over the Inn River, that there is a tournament in procession. There are some twenty knights in plate armor, with pikes, waiting to be told by their Hapsburg lord (the Count of Tyrol) who specifically is to begin ... and a crowd of a thousand waiting to see. The location for the contest is a flat stone rock extending several feet over the Inn River.
You notice a frame constructed over the rock platform, which is about ten feet wide and 25 ft. long; from the frame hangs a small ring on a chain, in nearly the platform's centre, about five feet above the ground. The frame consists principally of two tall posts, and below the ring, two feet above the ground, there is a chain strung between them.