Having read "Fairy Gold" first, not originally knowing the order of the stories, I was pleased, when I started to read the opening story, "The Valor of Cappen Varra," to recognize place names like "Norren" (p. 124). As in several much longer series, Anderson quickly establishes the sense of a familiar, consistent background for the activities of diverse characters like, in this case, Arvel Tarabine and Cappen Varra.
"Cappen said nothing. If she wanted to think that he had come especially to rescue her, he would not be so ungallant as to tell her otherwise." (p. 95)
"...of course, if she wanted to think he was being magnanimous, it could be useful later -" (p. 98)
I have commented more than once both on Anderson's rich vocabulary and on his "list descriptions" of busy, bustling street scenes. Here, vocabulary-wise, we have:
"'...a theomachy...'" (p. 124);
"'...her coadjutrix...'" (p. 125);
"'...your inamorata...'" (p. 125).
These are all easily googled.
I think that "'...a sikkintair...'" (p. 126) is a denizen of Thieves' World as hobbits and Balrogs are of Middle Earth and as Marshwiggles are of Narnia.
Here are some descriptive lists:
(i) "Merchants, artisans, porters, servants, slaves, wives, nomads, courtesans, entertainers, beggars, thieves, gamblers, magicians, acolytes, soldiers, and who knew what else..." (pp. 102-103);
(ii) - and, continuing the same sentence, "...mingled, chattered, chaffered, quarreled, plotted, sang, played games, drank, ate, and who knew what else." (p. 103);
(iii) - next sentence, "Horsemen, cameldrivers, wagoners pushed through..." (p. 103).
The description continues, though with less lists. Music, vendors, neighbors and devotees each get a sentence or a clause to themselves. But then the street scene closes with a list of smells:
(iv) "...of flesh, sweat, roast meat and nuts, aromatic drinks, leather, wool, dung, smoke, oils, cheap perfume." (p. 103)
We are told that, "Ordinarily, Cappen Varra enjoyed this shabby-colorful spectacle..." (p. 103), although today he is preoccupied.
As ever, Poul Anderson celebrates human activity and life.