Finish Your Games Challenge

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

March 8, 2015 1:52 am  #1

Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day One

It has been nearly five years since I left the Skyward Kingdom, sent away by my father on my fourteenth birthday to live with distant relatives as punishment for a youthful indiscretion. That was the reason given to me at the time. It wasn’t until my father’s death several months ago that I learned the real reason.

At the time of his death, my father, who was the King’s Steward, had been making plans to join me and had sent his papers to me for safe-keeping. When news reached me that he had been killed in the war with Dreadmyre, I started sorting through those papers and discovered that I had been left penniless.

Worse than penniless. My father had been living beyond his means and had abused his position of fiduciary trust by ‘borrowing’ funds from the kingdom’s coffers. To pay those funds back he had ‘borrowed’ elsewhere or forced people to wait months, or even years, before he paid them for their goods and services.

It had taken me two weeks to compile a list of the people to whom my father owed money. The total amount owed was staggering. If our house hadn’t been too badly damaged in the war, I might be able to sell it and clear the debts. If the house had been destroyed...

In desperation, I had written a letter to Queen Sophia, pledging my loyalty and seeking permission to return to the Skyward Kingdom so that I could settle my father’s massive debts. Since I would need to work for a living, I also asked the queen if there were any positions available at court. Like all women of noble birth, I had received instruction in needlework and music. Perhaps she has need of a seamstress or a musician.

I had always felt a bond with Queen Sophia. We had both been born without magic nearly nineteen years ago, on the eve of the Summer Solstice and had been playmates until her parents had taken her to the Dreamless Castle for safekeeping. Only she could truly understand the obstacles I face due to my lack of magic.

The letter I received in reply astonished me. She had been impressed by my determination to make restitution to the people my father had cheated and had decided to offer me the position of Steward! She would instruct the Captain of the Queen’s Guard to offer me whatever assistance I needed.

The Queen had warned me that I would find the kingdom very much changed. Every building in it had been damaged, even the Castle. I could forgot any plans I might have had for selling my family home.

Even with her warning, I was unprepared for the bleak landscape of Landsong Village. The land is brown and cracked, parched from lack of water, for the stream has dried up. The buildings have all been so severely damaged that they now consist of just a roof and one room. My house is in the same pitiful state.

Waiting for me outside my house is a pink owl who introduces herself as Linea. She has a letter for me from Queen Sophia. Queen Sophia has gone on a journey to make sure Dreadmyre’s threat has ended once and for all. She has left the kingdom in my care and asks that I look after and guide ‘our people’. The use of the word ‘our’ confuses me. Linea adds that she hopes that I will help rebuild the Kingdom. I nod absentmindedly, still puzzled by that word ‘our’.

Linea is getting impatient. The Captain of the Queen’s Guard is waiting for me up at the Castle. The queen had instructed her to give me the Castle key but Linea dropped it in the Forgotten Glen. We’ll have to go look for it.

The Forgotten Glen is overgrown with vines and weeds, but the Castle key is bright and shiny and easily spotted. Sitting beside it is a squabbit. The little fellow looks lonely and I decide to adopt him. I’ve always wanted a pet squabbit. I pick him up and cuddle him and he snuggles happily in my arms. I’m sure he will bring me luck, so sure that I decide to name him Lucky.

Linea implores me to hurry because I’m keeping the Captain waiting. I’m tempted to point out that if we’re late it’s because she lost the key, but decide to hold my tongue. Don’t need Linea flying off to Queen Sophia with complaints about me. I need this job.

As in Landsong Village, the land surrounding the Castle is bleak and stripped of its vegetation. The entire facade of the Castle is covered with thick purple vines. A young man with auburn hair is looking up at the Castle through a spyglass and hasn’t noticed our arrival.

When he turns around, Linea introduces him as Captain Greg. I gasp. Greg is now the Captain of the Queen’s Guard? He’s as startled to see me as I am to see him. We both quickly regain our composure and he explains that the vines are a manifestation of the curse Dreadmyre put on the Castle. He thinks that if the Queen’s Crest is repaired, the power from its light crystal might be strong enough to dispel the curse. But the curse is preventing him from getting near the Castle.

During our conversation he addresses me as Steward and I follow his lead and call him Captain. I ask him how he had planned to reach the Crest and he indicates a length of rope attached to a grappling hook.

I take the spyglass and have a look for myself. The light crystal is still partially sitting on its base. If Linea could fly up there with the rope and position it just so, we might be able to pull the crystal forward enough to...

Captain Greg looks at me with surprise, raising his left eyebrow. It just might work, he concedes. He takes back the spyglass and gives directions to Linea for positioning the rope, then hands the spyglass back to me. I will have to guide him as he pulls the light crystal into position.

It worked! The curse is dispelled, revealing crumbling walls, broken windows, cracked pillars, a leaky roof, and towers that look as if they could fall down any minute. But the Crest looks good. Gotta start somewhere.

I hand the Captain the Castle key so that he can unlock the door. A lady always allows the gentleman to unlock the door. Again the raised eyebrow as he stands aside to let me enter first. The Castle interior has also been ravaged by the war and is also cursed. The staircase has collapsed, the chandelier and its crystals are broken and scattered on the floor, banners ripped, and both walls are covered with purple vines obscuring artwork which is undoubtedly ruined.

The vines are less thick on the left wall. If we can find a light crystal somewhere, we might be able to remove the curse from that side of the Entrance Hall. The Captain mentions rumors of crystals being found in the Forgotten Glen. I hadn’t noticed any when I was there, but I hadn’t spent much time looking around. It’s worth a try.

Sure enough, we find a light crystal and once again the curse is dispelled, revealing a broken glasswork. I add it to the ever-growing list of things that need to be fixed.

There’s no time to admire our work. The Mayor is waiting to meet me and the Captain wants to climb up and inspect that light crystal outside and make additional repairs to the crest. But he’ll need five hundred bolgins to pay the workers. Before I hand over the money, I prepare a receipt and ask him to sign it. He does so, grinning. And once again, his left eyebrow travels skyward.

At Landsong Village, the Mayor behaves as if he’s never met me before and introduces himself. I wonder if everybody will adopt that polite fiction to avoid mentioning my father. He starts to tell me about Queen Sophia’s plans to rebuild the kingdom. Since she’s not here, it will be my job to see those plans through.

Before we can rebuild, we need to find resources. But before we can find resources, I need to be issued my new citizenship papers. Linea also needs information regarding my mailing address. I hand over my old ID card. The old one had described me as ‘Berengaria, daughter of Berengar, the King’s Steward’. The new one proclaims me to be ‘Berengaria, Queen’s Steward’.

Finally the Mayor, Lucky and I are off to look for resources. We find obsidian in Mystic Copse and golden oak in the Forgotten Glen. Poor Lucky looks nervous every time we go back to the Forgotten Glen. Don’t worry, little fella, I haven’t changed my mind. I’m not going to abandon you.

We take the building supplies back to Landsong Village and hire workers to rebuild the Town Hall. The Mayor gives me ten crystals and urges me to use one to induce the workers to hurry up. I do so and voila! Town Hall is up and running.

The Mayor thinks the people need some encouragement. Posters announcing the plans to rebuild Landsong Village will provide that encouragement he decides. But we’ll need poster glue. I should be able to find some in the Forgotten Glen.

He also points out the pedestal in the village. Dreadmyre’s curse scattered the relics across the kingdom. Finding the relics will restore the magical nature of Landsong. If I could find time to search Mystic Copse...

I don’t really mind having to search those two places again. During my previous visits, I had noticed some fruits and vegetables lying about. I had been too proud to pick them up before, but now my pride had given way to hunger. I find enough carrots, corn, and apples to last for the next two days.

I also find the glue and the relic. I decide to stop home first to drop off my groceries before returning to Town Hall. The Mayor is waiting for me beside the pedestal and is pleased to see that I’ve found the relic. When I insert the relic into the pedestal, the grass changes from brown to green and water fills the river and cascades down a waterfall.

Only left to do is assemble those posters. After they are completed, the Mayor notes that I look tired and gives me some olives to replenish my energy. He also shows me the small office that I will be sharing with Captain Greg. It’s really cramped and we will probably have to take turns using it. Given our past history, that might not be such a bad thing.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 8, 2015 11:39 pm  #2

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day Two

Once again, Linea is waiting outside my door. She has another letter for me from Queen Sophia, or rather, she had another letter for me. She heard a disturbance at the Castle, peeked inside, and probably dropped the letter there. She’s hoping that I will help her find it.

I had been looking for a reason to return to the Castle to see if the light crystal in the Queen’s Crest was still working, but didn’t want it to appear that I was checking up on Captain Greg or seeking his company. Now I have one. Thank you Linea!

There’s no sign of the Captain - not that I wanted to see him - but outside the Castle lurks a man who introduces himself as a ‘humble peddler’. He’s heard that I’m going to restore the kingdom which pleases him but he warms me to be careful because ‘there are still some dark forces lurking in the shadows.’

Inside the Castle, the letter is easy to spot. Queen Sophia writes that she’s heard of my deeds from Linea - as I suspected, Linea does report my every move to the Queen - and thinks she was right to entrust the safekeeping of the kingdom to me.

The letter also mentions a gift. I look questioningly at Linea who then remembers to hand over twenty crystals and one thousand bolgins. The letter calls the gift a token of the Queen’s gratitude, but Linea claims the Queen hopes the gift will might help me in my efforts to oversee the kingdom.

Although the letter could be interpreted to mean the gift is intended for my personal use, I reluctantly decide to add the funds to the kingdom’s treasury. Reluctantly, because those funds would have helped me make a start paying my father’s debts. But I can’t risk being accused of misappropriating funds.

Now that the curse has been cleared from one side of the Entrance Hall, the back door, which is missing some tiles, is being guarded by a Goblin named Bouncer. He thanks me for clearing the curse but refuses to let me through the door until I find the missing pieces.

I’ve spent more time than I planned to at the Castle. I need to report to Town Hall and find out just what people expect me to do. I scoop up Lucky and run all the way there.

Captain Greg has already been there and gone. He’s managed to squeeze two desks into the room. Mine is heaped with the various items I found yesterday. His is all neat and tidy. In my mind I rename him Captain Efficiency.

Also squeezed into the room is a Goblin woman named Blessilda and a little boy named Quinn. Quinn has brought his pet squabbit Mr Vanderkins along with him and hopes my squabbit and his will become good friends. Mr Vanderkins and Lucky don’t look too thrilled with the idea.

Quinn has heard from the mayor that I’m going to rebuild the kingdom. He has a secret project and needs some golden oak and obsidian for it. I need to get Mr Vanderkins away from Lucky, so I quickly look through the things on my desk and give Quinn what he needs. As he leaves, he confides that he’s going to build a fence for the animals.

Blessilda learned about the plans to rebuild from the posters. She used to run the General Store at Gobholme but has decided to start fresh in Landsong Village. She needs supplies and would like me to accompany her to Mystic Copse to search for them.

I would like to stock up on food so I’m pleased to have a reason to go there. I would also like some information regarding why the former Captain of the Guard has been replaced and Blessilda likes to gossip. Before we even reach Mystic Copse, she wants to know what I think of Captain Greg. And before I can answer, she tells me everything I had planned to ask her about!

 According to Blessilda, during the war with Dreadmyre - in the very first battle, in fact, - the former Captain of the Guard had been killed and his son, who by the kingdom’s laws and traditions should have been the new Captain, had panicked and fled, leaving the army leaderless. Greg had assumed command and rallied the troops.

When the son finally returned, the men refused to accept him as their captain. They wanted Greg. The son went to see the King, Sophia’s father, demanding that Greg be arrested for inciting mutiny. To his astonishment, the King banished him for his act of cowardice and officially appointed Greg captain.

Blessilda continues to prattle on about various residents of the kingdom until we reach Mystic Copse. She then begins to chatter about the objects she needs for her potions. Lucky and I concentrate on finding carrots and apples.

When we return to Town Hall, I hire workers to rebuild the General Store and promise Blessilda I’ll stop by to buy something when the store opens. This time I do not give the workers crystals to speed things up. Faster is not always better if the rickety storage shelves in my office are anything to go by.

Since I now have the office to myself, I decide to spend some time moving all the things on my desk onto the shelves in the storage cupboard. I just hope I get everything balanced properly. One false move and the shelves could collapse.

I only get a few things sorted and put away before a Goblin named Gobie bursts in. The Forester, owner of the orchard in the Faire of Light, went out to forage for some herbs in the Forgotten Glen and hasn’t returned. Gobie would like me to come with him to look for clues.

At the Forgotten Glen, we find the Forester’s basket. Gobie examines the basket and tells me the thorns sticking to it are not from the Forgotten Glen. He wants to examine them further and he’ll keep me informed if he finds out where the thorns came from.

The Mayor is concerned when he hears that the Forester is missing and suggests that we put up posters asking if anybody has seen him. As I’m hanging up the posters, I notice that the General Store is now open for business. I drop in and purchase an energy potion using three hundred of the bolgins Queen Sophia has sent me.

I feel a bit uneasy about spending the money, but my instructions are to rebuild the kingdom. Surely that means I need to rebuild its economy as well as its infrastructure. Somebody has to make the first purchase and get the economy stimulated. Might as well be me.

Besides, the way things are going, I’m going to need some extra energy. Quinn is waiting for me at Town Hall. Mr Vanderkins is missing. Quinn thinks he must have followed me to Mystic Copse. I ask Lucky if he remembers seeing Mr Vanderkins there but Lucky just looks at the ceiling.

Quinn, Lucky and I go to Mystic Copse to look for Mr Vanderkins. He’s managed somehow to get himself trapped in Mossbeard’s mouth. I stare at Lucky who quickly looks away. Tonight, little squabbit, you and I are going to have a long talk.

Quinn suggests that we ask Blessilda for a potion to wake up Mossbeard. While Blessilda prepares something, Captain Greg shows up. He wants to discuss repairing the Castle’s wall.

I tell him I can’t talk now. I have a missing Forester to find and as soon as Blessilda returns with a potion, I have to go rescue Mr Vanderkins from Mossbeard’s mouth. The Captain hadn’t heard that the Forester was missing and wants me to fill him in on the details. What part of ‘I can’t talk now’ doesn’t he understand?

Blessilda arrives with the potion, asks me if I could find her some moonflowers while I’m out and offers to get Captain Greg up to speed regarding the Forester. Terrific. With her love of gossip, who knows what she will tell him about me.

Blessilda warns me that the potion’s effects might not last that long, so I’ll need to mix the ingredients at Mystic Copse. The potion works and Quinn is so relieved to get Mr Vanderkins back. I tell Quinn to go straight home and hold on tight to his squabbit. Meanwhile, I’m going to the Rose Garden to look for those moonflowers Blessilda needs.

When I return to Town Hall with the moonflowers, Blessilda and the Captain are still chatting but immediately stop when they see me. Guess I know whom they were talking about. I give Blessilda the blue, yellow, and scarlet moonflowers she requested and she hands me a jade and a pink moonflower. Does this make us best friends forever?

Gobie still hasn’t returned with any clues that might help us find the Forester so I might as well listen to what the Captain wants to tell me about the Castle’s walls. He thinks we should repair them before they crumble. He’s even prepared a work order listing cost and resources needed. Captain Efficiency indeed.

Just as I’m about to sign on the dotted line and hand over the building materials, Quinn arrives with a list of things he needs to build a Squabbit Den. I don’t have enough obsidian for both the Castle’s walls and the Squabbit Den.

I look at Quinn, who’s so afraid of losing his beloved pet again. I look at Lucky and think about how I’d feel if he were lost. Then I look at the Captain and tell him sorry, but children and squabbits come first and give the supplies to Quinn. Quinn tells me he’s so happy he could cuddle me.

The Captain lifts his eyebrow and asks if he promises to cuddle me, could he have the next batch of obsidian? And of course my new BFF Blessilda chooses that moment to return. She apologizes for interrupting us but she thought I might want to know that I could trade a set of moonflowers for ten pieces of obsidian and gives me directions to the Exchange. Too bad I have nothing that can be traded for some poster glue so I can glue the Captain’s eyebrow in place and Blessilda’s mouth shut.

When I return from the Exchange with the obsidian, Gobie is waiting for me. According to him, the thorns on the Forester’s basket could only have come from the Rose Garden. We need to go rescue him. Now!

Sounds good to me. Better than staying here and being cuddled by a man who’s involved with another woman. Guess the Captain didn’t think I had noticed the moonstone pendant around his neck. Or maybe he thinks my change in circumstances means he can take liberties with me. Wrong on both counts.

I tell the Captain to help himself to the building supplies and follow Gobie to the Rose Garden where we find the Forester lying in a ditch and covered with vines. Gobie and I remove the vines and free him. We then return to Town Hall where the Mayor joins us. The Forester tells us about seeing a cloaked man casting some sort of a spell in the forest. The man saw him and trapped him.

The Mayor tells me it’s the first time someone was attacked in this manner. He’s going to warn the citizens. Good. I’ll leave it to him to tell Captain Greg. I’m going home. It’s been a long day, so long that I can’t even remember how it started.

As I fix dinner, I tell Lucky I think I know why Queen Sophia chose me to be steward in spite of my lack of qualifications. Nobody else wanted the job.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 9, 2015 11:03 pm  #3

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day Three

On the way to Town Hall, Lucky and I stop to admire the Squabbit Den. In addition to housing Mr Vanderkins, Quinn has provided shelter for a number of baby animals orphaned by the war. He asks me to help him feed them and, when we’ve finished, shows me some pet clothing he’s selling. Lucky casts an admiring eye on the brown fedora.

I had read Lucky the riot act last night, reminding him that I am the Steward and it’s my job to help people. As the Steward’s Squabbit, it’s his job to help me and making more work for me by locking up other people’s pets in Mossbeard’s mouth is not helpful. Quite the opposite.

To show that I have forgiven him, I buy him the hat, using some more of the bolgins from Queen Sophia. I had been thinking of using them to purchase some olives. I just hope I’m able to forage some food today so we don’t wind up having to eat that hat.

Once again Lucky and I are the last to arrive at Town Hall. Captain Greg is busy interviewing people who claim they know something about the cloaked man. Most of the people lining up to see him are women. Well, he is the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor. I wonder if the woman who gave him the moonstone pendant is among those waiting.

The Mayor pops in to give me a lecture on the benefit of friends. He claims the weight of running a kingdom is lessened by having a friend at your side. That may be true, but it’s also true that in this tiny office, there’s no room for anyone, friend or foe, to be at my side.

Lecture over, the Mayor gives me a list of things to do and then departs. First he’d like me to search the Rose Garden for a relic fragment. Captain Greg looks up and frowns. He doesn’t think it’s safe for me to go there, since that’s where the cloaked man attacked the Forester.

Too bad. I’m not going to spend the day watching him being ogled by half the kingdom’s female population. As I prepare to leave, the Captain sighs, goes to the storage cupboard, and takes out a bow and a quiver of arrows. He hands them to me and asks if I still remember how to use them.

I swallow hard and nod my head yes. Of course I remember. When I was thirteen, my father arranged for me to have archery lessons. I had the very best of teachers. Him. I can feel tears welling up and hurry off to the Rose Garden before anybody can see me cry.

It was those archery lessons that ultimately led to my father sending me away in disgrace. Other children had bullied and teased me because I had no magic. I had been lonely and friendless, starved for attention and affection. Until Greg came to give me lessons.

Greg was of noble birth, but his family had fallen on hard times. His parents had lived simply and made sacrifices in order that they could buy him a commission in the army and provide him with the very best armor and weaponry. When my father had asked him to give me lessons, Greg had been pleased with the chance to earn some extra money which would enable him to repay his parents in some small way.

Greg had been patient and kind. Although he was nearly four years older, he never spoke down to me or treated me like a child. I dreamed that he was my boyfriend and wrote down my dreams in my diary. It was the happiest time of my life...until my father found the diary and read it.

My father refused to believe that I had made it all up and ordered that Greg and his parents be brought to him at once. My father read my diary to them and asked Greg just what he had to say for himself. Instead of calling me a liar, Greg replied that he was prepared to do the honorable thing and asked for my hand in marriage!

This enraged my father even more and he began to rant and rave about Greg only being interested in my fortune. Greg’s parents were equally angry with him. They hadn’t scrimped and saved for all those years so he could throw away his career to marry some scheming little minx who was no better than she ought to be. The next day I was sent away.

The final humiliation came when I went through my father’s accounts: the archery lessons had never been paid for. Greg is among the many people to whom I owe money.

Lucky gives me a gentle nudge. Right. Pity party is now officially over. Let’s find that relic fragment. While we’re at it, we can look for tonight’s dinner. Before long we’re ready to return to Landsong Village with not only the relic, but grapes, coffee beans, and a lobster as well. Tonight I’ll be able to have a proper meal instead of just fruits and veggies. We’ll just drop these things off at home before we return to the Town Hall.

The Mayor is pleased that I found the relic piece and says I should do favors for the citizens because you never can tell which of them might be able to provide information regarding the whereabouts of the missing relics.

I can start by doing him a favor and going to the Forgotten Glen to look for the gems that will open up the Armory at the Fairy Dragon Nest. He’d also like me to have a word with his friend Mr Chumblepot and encourage him to open a glassworks shop.

Quinn would like to come with me and help find the gems to open the armory. He claims it’s the least he can do to thank me for rescuing Mr Vanderkins. I’d rather go there by myself, but this is a good opportunity to see if Lucky can behave when Quinn and Mr Vanderkins are around.

Lucky is on best behavior but is a little bit peeved when Mr Vanderkins finds a carrot and he doesn’t. I quickly spot the gems but leave them for Quinn to find. Quinn wants to go directly to the Fairy Dragon Nest, but I tell him we need to go back to Town Hall and touch base. We don’t want to be away from Landsong Village for any great length of time. People might think that we had been attacked by the cloaked man.

It’s a good thing I insisted on going back. I had forgotten to speak with Mr Chumblepot. He used to be a souvenir merchant and wants to open his own shop selling souvenir glassworks, but lacks inspiration. He thinks a pocket dragon eggshell would get his creative juices flowing but they’re not easy to find.

And on my desk are two pieces of paper. One is from Captain Greg. He thinks ‘a little bit of nature’ would make the Castle less gloomy and would like five hundred bolgins and five pieces of golden oak. Maybe he’s going to stick the planks of oak in the ground and use magic to transform them into trees? There’s no mention of cuddles.

The other is yet another request from the Mayor. He’d like me to find the money and resources necessary to expand Town Hall. Sounds good to me. Maybe it will be roomy enough that I can have my own office. At the very least, with more room we might be able to arrange the desks so they’re not touching and facing each other.

Quinn and I and the two squabbits head out to the Fairy Dragon Nest to open the armory. While I search for a pocket dragon egg, Quinn looks for dragon scales. I’m not sure just what the squabbits are looking for. This isn’t a very good location for finding anything to eat for squabbits or people.

When I return to Town Hall Linea is waiting for me. She wants me to know that if I ever need to write a letter, she can deliver it. She’ll even try not to lose it. If I want to write one now, she’ll deliver it straight away. Okay, I’ll write to Captain Greg and tell him he can have the golden oak and bolgins he requested. With any luck, it will take a long time to find him and I can finish up and be gone by the time he returns.

Today is not my lucky day. Chumblepot, who dropped in to see if I had found a pocket dragon egg for him, remarks that I have ‘just ignited his passion’ at the exact moment that Captain Greg returns. The left eyebrow climbs higher than it usually does.

Chumblepot doesn’t notice that anything is amiss and continues to babble on about wanting to spread Queen Sophia’s legacy by selling glassworks souvenirs. Could I possibly help him set up a shop? I can and will. First thing tomorrow. But now I’m going home.

I have no trouble falling asleep, thanks to the wonderful dinner I had and all the fresh air and exercise I’ve been getting. In my dreams, I hear a male voice whisper ‘You have ignited my passion.’ The voice does not belong to Mr Chumblepot.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 11, 2015 12:02 am  #4

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day Four

I’m feeling very pleased with myself. This is only the beginning of my fourth day as Steward and I’ve already helped repair three buildings, with a fourth scheduled to be repaired today, found enough food so I don’t starve, acquired a pet (Lucky) and two friends (Quinn and Blessilda), and ignited a man’s passion (Chumblepot). There’s room for improvement, especially on the last item, but over all, I’m doing quite well for a woman who never expected she’d have to work for a living.

There’s nobody at Town Hall, but I can see a steady stream of people making their way up to the Castle. Better check it out. I really need to go there anyway to look at the ‘little bit of nature’ Captain Greg wanted and see if has made the Castle seem less gloomy.

I have to admit that the trees do make the Castle look less gloomy. It’s the sight of the Captain chatting with a woman wearing a sunstone pendant that has lowered my spirits. Everybody except the Captain and Miss Sunstone Pendant are looking the empty pond. Make that previously empty pond. It now contains what looks like a purple orb which is emitting a purple haze.

The Mayor is too scared to investigate the mysterious object and wants me to do it. I sigh and step into the pond. Just as I’m about to touch what is indeed a purple orb, the Captain cries out ‘Berengaria, no!’ and pulls me out of the pond and into his arms. Seconds later, a cloaked figure rises up from the orb and the pond fills with purple vines which also emit a purple haze

My heart is racing and I can’t stop shaking. I can feel somebody stroking my hair and a voice whispering soothingly in my ear over and over "I’ve got you. You’re safe." From what seems like far away I can hear the Mayor asking if I’m all right and telling me how brave I was to check out that malevolent orb.

As the Mayor, the Captain and I stare glumly at the pond wondering how we can dispel the curse, the Peddler appears and offers his services for free. But he stresses that this is a one time offer made only because there’s a danger the curse could spread beyond the pond.

He gives me a list of things he will need from the Ancient Pond, Fairy Dragon Nest, and Rose Garden. At the mention of the Rose Garden, Captain Greg sets his jaw and declares that The Rose Garden if off limits to me until he finds out just why the cloaked stranger had been there.

I’m pretty sure I already have the things needed from the Rose Garden back at Town Hall. I look around for Lucky. He was some distance away, squabbling over a carrot with Mr Vanderkins, and had missed all the excitement at the pond.

As we walk back to Landsong Village, it dawns on me that during the entire consultation with the Mayor and the Peddler, Captain Greg had continued to hold me in his arms! Even now, as we stroll down the hill, he has his arm across my shoulders. I can just imagine what the citizens are saying about me. Seeing as how my reputation is already ruined, I leave his arm exactly where it is.

At Town Hall, the Captain watches as I gather up the items the Peddler needs and checks them against the list. Satisfied that I will not need to go to the Rose Garden, he departs.

Quinn has followed me back to Town Hall and asks me to take him to the Rose Garden so that he can see where the Forester was attacked. Not today, I tell him. Next he asks if we can go light crystal hunting. He’s sure he’s seen some at the Forgotten Glen, Mystic Copse, and Ancient Pond.

Hmm. If whatever the Peddler has got planned doesn’t do the trick, light crystals might. I agree that Quinn can come with me to the Ancient Pond, but he’ll have to leave Mr Vanderkins at the Squabbit Den where he will be safe from the curse. Quinn agrees.

Lucky looks at me. I tell him if he’s afraid of the curse, he too can stay at the Squabbit Den. Lucky decides he’d rather go with me to the Ancient Pond. I also need to go to the Fairy Dragon Nest and decide we should go there first. I only need one more rune from there and find it quickly. I also manage to grab the glass shards I need for Chumblepot.

At Ancient Pond, while I look for skycrystal earrings, Quinn searches for a large light crystal. The one he finds turns out to be an ordinary crystal, useless for dispelling curses. So much for Plan B. I hope the things the Peddler wants work.

We race back to the pond and the Peddler uses the objects to dispel the curse. Not having magic, I’m clueless as to what he did, but the vines are gone so I’m happy. The Peddler takes the purple ominous orb as payment for his services. I’m uneasy about that, but have no other ideas as to how to get rid of the thing, so I agree.

As the Peddler leaves, he warns me to keep my guard up because it seems that someone is not pleased with me restoring the kingdom. Well, I’m not pleased with someone cursing the kingdom, so I guess that makes us even.

When I return to Landsong Village, it occurs to me that I never got around to hiring workers to rebuild the Glassworks shop as I had promised. Better do that right now before another emergency crops up.

What to do next? Maybe I should find Quinn and look for those light crystals. There’s still a curse in the interior of the Castle that needs to be dispelled. And I’d like to get a few days worth of food stockpiled. The places Quinn spotted crystals are my favorite foraging spots so far.

While Quinn looks for light crystals and the squabbits fight over the carrots they find, I search for food. I pick up a pumpkin and some corn at the Forgotten Glen which I can use to make soup, and find an eggplant and a pineapple at Mystic Copse. I also remember that I’m supposed to be looking for things that the citizens might need and grab as many moonflowers, runes, pots of glue etc as I can carry.

Quinn is upset because all the crystals he finds are ordinary ones. And he still wants to go to the Rose Garden to see where the Forester was attacked. Not until Captain Greg says we can, I tell him.

The Mayor also wants me to go to the Rose Garden. He tells me the first step to rebuilding the Skyward Castle is to find out the many secrets of the Dreamless Castle. The Rose Garden is said to contain many of the secrets left behind during the Exodus.

The Mayor wonders if the cloaked man was looking for the relic ‘we’ found yesterday. I just shrug. I wonder if Captain Greg knows about the Mayor wanting me to go to the Rose Garden. Must be okay. The Mayor wouldn’t disobey the Captain, would he?

In the Rose Garden Quinn finds a cockatrice egg. We also find a fragment of cloth which might have come from the cloak of our mystery man. We stay long enough for Quinn to find three eggs and for me to catch another lobster. Then it’s back to Town Hall to show the Mayor the piece of torn cloth before heading home.

As I drift off to sleep, I relive the events at the pond and realize I have a new problem to deal with. I’m falling in love with Captain Greg.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 12, 2015 12:48 am  #5

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day Five

At night, snuggled under the blankets with Lucky, the bleak reality of my new life disappears. In the morning, when daylight streams through the broken windows, it slaps me in the face as soon as I open my eyes.

I will never be able to marry. I am penniless, have no dowry, and no man worth having would want to align himself with the daughter of an embezzler, Captain Greg least of all. Not after the way my father insulted him and his family. Besides, he loves somebody else.

The best thing for me to do is to arrange things so that I spend as little time with Captain Greg as possible. I can start by approving the plans to upgrade Town Hall and ask the Mayor to give us separate offices. And I’ll approve the Captain’s request to fill the pond and plant flowers. Changing the scenery at the Castle will help me forget what happened yesterday.

I manage to get to Town Hall before the Captain does, and have just enough time to gather the resources he needs for the pond before he arrives. And he’s not happy. The mayor has just shown him what Quinn and I found in the Rose Garden.

Suddenly I realize he’s waiting for me to answer but I didn’t hear the question. He wants to know what I’ve got planned for the day. I tell him I’m going to authorize the expansion of Town Hall and that I agree with him that the pond should be filled. I do not tell him why those things have become a priority.

He’s pleased but wants to know where I’ll be while Town Hall is under construction. I haven’t had a chance to decide, but grab a piece of paper off my desk. It’s a request from Chumblepot to help him assemble some glassworks. Captain Greg smiles his approval and warns me to keep him informed of my whereabouts. I just nod.

I really need to find out just who is in charge. When my father died, I thought that made me an independent woman, but now I have two men telling me what I can and can’t do: the Mayor and the Captain. Queen Sophia’s letter said she left the kingdom in my care, not theirs. I should be giving them orders, not the other way around. I think.

Before I can write up specs for the Town Hall expansion, Quinn arrives all upset. The cockatrice eggs have hatched and the Squabbit Den is no longer large enough for all the animals he has taken in. He’s worried about the animals being cold and hungry and looks like he’s going to cry.

The past couple of days have given me first hand knowledge of cold and hunger. The changes to Town Hall will have to wait. I agree to give him the funds and resources to expand the Squabbit Den but make him promise me to be more careful about bringing animals back to Landsong Village until he’s absolutely positive he has room for them.

Lucky snuggles against my legs. I guess he approves of my change of plans. Let’s hope the Captain does when he returns and finds everything at Town Hall as it was when he left this morning. Enough with thinking about the Captain. Let’s go see Chumblepot.

At the Glassworks, Chumblepot has settled in nicely and has two pieces in progress. He’s tells me how wonderful it is to create something with your own hands and urges me to give it a try. It is rather fun. I wish I could afford to hire him to fix my broken windows.

Chumblepot has heard about the Castle’s broken glasswork and wants to offer his services free of charge to fix it. All I have to do is supply him with materials. Sounds good to me. What exactly does he need?

For starters, he’ll need a bigger shop. He’s got a point. The broken window in the Castle is very large, too large to fit in this small building. Looks like Town Hall has just slid further down on my list of buildings to upgrade. He’ll also need more glass shards and poster glue.

It will be tight, but I can just manage to find what’s needed so that work can begin on expanding the Glassworks now. While that is happening, I’ll go look for the shards and glue. And maybe look for pet food as well.

It’s not until I reach the Fairy Dragon Nest that I remember that Captain Greg asked - no, make that ordered - me to inform him of my comings and goings. Oh, who cares if he’s angry, it’s not convenient to seek his permission every time I want to change locations. Besides, I’m trying to see less of him, not more.

I decide to put Lucky in charge of finding food for me and him while I concentrate on finding the things Chumblepot and Quinn need. I also help myself to a hammer and some nails just lying about at the Fairy Dragon Nest. I can use them to put up some sheets of wood over my windows. That won’t do much to keep out the cold but at least it will keep out most of the dirt and leaves.

Work is still going on at the Glassworks when I return to Landsong Village, so I put the items Chumblepot wants in the office. There’s no sign of the Captain. It’s too late to start anything new. Might as well go home and fix my windows.

On the way home, Lucky and I go see how everybody is settling into the newly enlarged Squabbit Den. I give Quinn some extra supplies of food and then help feed the animals.

Quinn tells me that Captain Greg and his girlfriend had a big fight last night. The girlfriend accused him of cheating! Quinn is puzzled. Captain Greg is a gentleman. And a gentleman doesn’t play cards with a lady, so how could he had been cheating? I struggle not to laugh.

I’m not laughing when I get home. Somebody has scribbled graffiti all over my door. ‘Slut’ and ‘hussy’ are the words most frequently used along with some other equally unflattering terms.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 13, 2015 2:26 am  #6

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 6

Last night I thought about whether to tell Captain Greg about the graffiti and decided not to. The missing moonstone pendant, the graffiti and the argument Quinn reported all added up to Miss Sunstone giving the Captain an earful about me. The last thing he needs is me giving him an earful about her. Besides, I’m already involved in a more serious triangle with the Captain and the Mayor.

It might just be my imagination, but I get the feeling that the Mayor and Captain Greg are having some sort of power struggle, possibly over which one of them is in charge, or possibly over which one of them should be advising me. I’m not at all happy about them using me to score points against each other.

When I arrive at Town Hall, before the Captain can start asking questions about why Town Hall hadn’t been expanded and the Glassworks and Squabbit Den had, and just where had I been all day, I tell him about Quinn and the animals. He grudgingly admits I made the right decision.

When I tell him that Chumblepot has offered to repair the Castle’s glasswork but needed a big shop in order to do so, he’s positively beaming. Repairing the Castle means a lot to him for some reason. When I mention that Chumblepot needs me to go to the Rose Garden, thunderclouds appear. The Rose Garden is still off limits.

Fine, I tell him. I’ll go to the Faire of Light with Quinn. The Mayor also asked me to go there. I flounce out and then flounce back in. I had forgotten I need to hire workers to expand Town Hall. I grab the paperwork off my desk, sneak a look at the Captain and notice the pendant is still missing, and leave.

Lucky is looking glum at the prospect of spending more time with Mr Vanderkins. I’m not thrilled about spending yet another day with Quinn. Maybe if we visit the Wingferry first, Quinn will want to spend some time with this grandfather and we can visit Troglid without him. Lucky perks up.

The first thing I notice when I arrive at the Faire of Light is that the Orchards are covered with a purple fog. Purple is rapidly becoming my least favorite color. Yet another area of the kingdom has been cursed. Why hasn’t anybody reported this?

Quinn’s grandfather, Old Man Seth, behaves like everybody else and pretends he has never met me before. I’m so tempted to introduce myself as Berengaria, daughter of Berengar the Crook. It’s what everybody’s thinking, might as well say it.

The Wingferry is broken..again, according to Seth...and will need to be repaired. Before it can be repaired, it will need to be stabilized. I tell Seth to make up a list of what is needed. I’ll pick it up after I visit with Troglid.

I can’t find Troglid anywhere, but I’m getting good at figuring out what is needed to repair buildings. And I can always ask the Mayor since it was his idea to start the rebuilding of the Faire of Light with the carpentry shop.

When I stop to pick up Seth’s list before returning to Town Hall, he mentions that he hopes I can find the relics missing from the Faire of Light pedestals. And while I’m at it, he’s lost his pass to visit Apricus Plaza. If I find it, I can keep it. He thinks he might have left it behind when he visited Landsong Village no too long ago.

Right. Repair the Wingferry, repair the carpentry shop, find the relics, find the missing pass, report the purple fog. Did I forget anything? I didn’t, but Quinn did. He hands me a tile piece he found while playing. Looks like it could fit the Castle’s interior door.

The Mayor then oh so casually mentions that he saw what looked like the cloaked man wandering through the orchards just before a curse fell on the trees. He thinks finding some of the relics may help dispel the curse. Before I can ask him if Captain Greg has been informed, the Mayor leaves.

I decide to check out the new office. It’s larger but not large enough to divide into two separate rooms. At least the desks aren’t facing each other and touching. What to do next? The list of things I need from the Rose Garden has grown. In addition to the two kinds of eggs Chumblepot needs, Seth needs toolboxes.

Lucky gives me a disapproving look when I mention the Rose Garden. Okay, okay, we won’t go there just yet. We’ll go ask Seth where else he might have left his pass. Maybe Mr Vanderkins will still be visiting him.

Seth gives me a list of three places where he could have dropped the pass while out for a stroll: Mystic Copse, Ancient Pond...and the Rose Garden. I tell Lucky it’s a sign that we’re meant to go there. Lucky is ready to go anywhere that Mr Vanderkins isn’t, even someplace that Captain Greg has declared off-limits.

To play it safe, I’ll check the other two places first. Maybe the pass will be found without visiting the Rose Garden. No such luck, but I do find the Pearl of Purity at Ancient Pond. The Mayor had thought its existence only a rumor.

The pass isn’t at the Rose Garden either. And although I find plenty of toolboxes and the cockatrice egg Chumblepot needs, I don’t find a single songbird egg. And I need five of those. At least I’ve managed to find myself some dinner.

I’ve had enough for one day. We’re going back to Town Hall to show the Mayor the pearl and then we’re going home. I just hope I’m not going to find more graffiti decorating my abode.

When I show the pearl to the Mayor, he congratulates me on my knack of finding valuable things and wonders when I’ll use it to purify the Mystic Pool. I just shrug. I’ll get to it when I get to it. That goes for the door tile I’m still carrying around.

I can hear a loud thumping noise coming from my office and go to investigate. Captain Greg is rearranging the desks so that they face each other and touch. The smile he gives me soon turns to a frown as he reaches out to remove a scarlet moonflower from my hair.

Caught red-handed. Or should that be red-flowered? I try to explain about all the things I needed from the Rose Garden and how it’s very unlikely that the cloaked figure is lurking there because since attacking the Forester he’s moved on to curse the pond and the Orchards.

The Captain isn’t interested in what I’ve got to say. He just keeps yelling and slamming his hand down on the desk, going on and on about how difficult I’m making his job. Difficult? I’m doing everything in my power to stay out of his way.

I ask him what has happened to the kind, considerate man he used to be. Why has he changed? He replies that he’s grown up whereas I haven’t. According to him, I’m still the same spoiled, arrogant, willful little girl who does whatever she pleases.

In that case, why ask for my hand in marriage all those years ago? Captain Greg just shakes his head. Obviously I hadn’t listened then, just as I don’t listen now. Or did I forget what my father said? He was after my fortune, the one that didn’t exist then and probably never did.

During this exchange Lucky has been cowering in the corner. I pick him up and before leaving tell Captain Greg he must be glad my father said no. He’s had a very lucky escape. We both have.

As I run home crying, cradling Lucky in my arms, I can hear the Captain calling my name, telling me to wait, claiming that he didn’t mean it. I keep on running until I’m home and lock the door behind me.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 14, 2015 2:39 am  #7

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 7

Yesterday morning I was wishing that people would treat me more honestly and stop pretending that they never met me or didn’t know who I was. Yesterday afternoon, I got my wish. Captain Greg had been honest with me, brutally honest. More brutal than honest, in my opinion, not that he’d care one way or another what my opinion was.

I really don’t have time to think about yesterday. I need to get to the office before him so I can arrange the desks to my liking. And today is a special day: it’s payday!

There’s only one way to arrange the desks so I don’t have to look at him. I need to turn my desk around one hundred and eighty degrees and push it against the wall. I can glue notes up and maybe put my art lessons to good use and do some sketches of the village.

While I wait for Linea to arrive with the payroll, I look over the list of people I owe and select two. I’ll write notes asking them to come see me at lunch time and have Linea deliver them.

I also explain my plans for a vegetable garden to Lucky. If I can clear some of the debris from the side yard, I can plant pumpkins and sunflowers. I already have some dried seeds. And I’m sure I can figure out how to grow carrots. At least we’d be assured of having something to eat instead of hoping we’ll find something.

I hear a commotion behind me and turn around to see Linea and Captain Greg. He’s frowning yet again. I hand over the letters I need delivered and Linea hands me some nice new shiny bolgins. The first money I’ve ever earned. And the first money earned honestly by my family in who knows how long.

Captain Greg clears his throat and asks if he could have a word with me. This time it’s my turn to raise an eyebrow. I cut him short by saying that if it’s in regard to more improvements up at the Castle, the answer is no. There’s not enough bolgite in stock. Then Lucky and I leave to go see Seth at the Wingferry to try once again to find that missing pass.

Quinn intercepts us just outside Town Hall. He tells me his grandfather can be a bit forgetful with his things and maybe we should search the Wingferry. It’s worth a try. While searching, I also do some tidying up and sorting of the spare parts.

There’s no sign of the ticket at the Wingferry. Quinn has another idea. Maybe Troglid knows where Seth has visited lately. Troglid reports having seen Seth stashing some items at a stone wall at the Ancient Pond. But we’ll need the Eye Key to open the wall. Quinn and I look at each other. We didn’t find any key when we searched the Wingferry.

Troglid suggests we look for the key in the Rose Garden. Seth visited there and might have dropped it. I nod glumly. I already visited there yesterday and got my head handed to me by the Captain when he found out. From the look on Quinn’s face, I can tell that he’s heard about the Captain’s tirade. From the look on my face, Quinn can tell that it wouldn’t be a good idea to ask me about it.

I’m really not up to a repeat of yesterday’s scene. On the other hand, what other nasty things could Captain Greg possibly have left to say to me? Right, to the Rose Garden we go and sure enough that’s where Seth dropped the Eye Key. Lucky has spotted a lobster so dinner is sorted. It will be lobster bisque and there should be enough for more than one meal.

Onward to the Ancient Pond. The Eye Key fits the statue there, the wall opens up and sure enough, that’s where Seth hid his Apricus Plaza pass. I’d love to go visit the plaza now, but I’ve got to return to Town Hall to make the first payments on my father’s debts.

The two men I sent for are already at Town Hall waiting for me. To my dismay, Captain Greg is also there. He makes a point of looking down at his desk as I pass him on the way to mine. I just pray that he doesn’t start yelling at me in front of my creditors.

The two men look at me suspiciously when I tell them I want to give them the money my father owed them and apologize that they had to wait so long to be paid. I just need them to sign their names next to the ledger entry to indicate that the debt had been cleared.

They look at each other and then ask for the Captain’s assistance. He takes the ledger from me, flips through the pages, frowns at one entry, and then indicates to the men that they should sign. Each man in turns makes an ‘X’ and then leaves.

I feel like a fool for not even considering the possibility that they would not know how to read or write and thank the Captain for his assistance.  Captain Greg just shakes his head as he hand back the ledger and tells me that nobody expects me to pay my father’s debts. I tell him that I’m well aware that everybody’s expectations of me are low. They think I’ll be just like my father and steal from them. But they’re wrong about me. He’s wrong about me.

Just then the Mayor pokes his head in and asks if I have time to help him assemble a poster. I most certainly do. The Mayor is pleased. He then asks if I have any golden oak and bolgite I could spare.

I had been planning to give the bolgite I had found today to the Captain for the repairs he wants to make to the Castle’s lamps and pathways. In a fit of pique, I give it to the Mayor instead.

I take my time working on the poster and when I return to the office, Captain Greg has gone. I don’t blame him. The lobster I obtained from the Rose Garden is stinking up the place. Better open the window and air the place out.

I still have that Pearl of Purity and Castle door tile to in my possession. Guess I’ll go to the Fairy Dragon Nest and use the pearl. From there I can go home and maybe get a start on that vegetable garden I want. The door tile can wait for another day.

I don’t particularly like visiting the Fairy Dragon Nest. I haven’t found anything to eat there. But it does seem to be a good place to find tools. I’m not sure whether a pick axe or a sledgehammer will come in handy, but I’ll take them anyway.

When I return home to work on clearing the side yard, there’s nothing to do. Somebody has already cleared it. How can that be? I didn’t tell anybody my plans, only Lucky while we waited for Linea to arrive.

Out of the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of something white caught on a bramble. A scrap of paper? No, a piece of cloth. A handkerchief with a ‘G’ embroidered in the corner.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 15, 2015 3:46 am  #8

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 8

I had hoped to get to the office before Captain Greg arrived. The time I would have spent clearing the side yard yesterday, I had used to make him a thank you gift. The handkerchief he had left behind was coarse, and the embroidery rather plain. I wondered who had made it for him. No matter, I decided that I would make him half a dozen new ones. I had found some of my father’s silk shirts, scissors, thread, and embroidery floss and spent the evening sewing.

I had been very pleased with my handiwork before I went to sleep, but this morning I wasn’t so confident. Suppose he didn’t like them? Suppose he got angry with me yet again? If I could arrive at work early enough, I could just leave them on his desk. By the time he found them, I’d already be at Apricus Plaza and I wouldn’t have to witness his reaction.

The Captain had the same idea about surprising me and had arrived even earlier than I did to rearrange the desks so that once again, they were facing each other and touching. On my desk was a glass containing a batch of various colored moonflowers. Nice touch.

I placed the present on his desk and then sat down and buried my head in papers as if I was trying to decide what to work on today, sneaking glances to see what his reaction would be. He looked stunned and shocked.

I had never given a gift to a man before. Was my decision improper, my choice of gift too personal? Why doesn’t he say something? Well, if he won’t, I will. I blurt out that I was thinking of going to Apricus Plaza today.

Just then the Mayor and Blessilda burst in. They both notice the pile of handkerchiefs, remark upon the fine workmanship and look knowingly at each other. Terrific. The entire kingdom will know about the gift before the day is over. Why not just announce it on a poster?

The Mayor eventually remembers why they wanted to see me. The Forester has had a sudden memory of his vine attack and was struck ill by magic. The mention of magic always makes me uneasy. I haven’t got any, I don’t understand how it works.

I don’t need to understand. Blessilda knows a recipe to cure him and needs me to fetch the ingredients. I pray to every deity I know and any others that might exist that she does not need me to go to the Rose Garden. Not today. Not now. And she doesn’t. The things she wants can be found at the Forgotten Glen, Mystic Copse and Dawnshadow Lake. Right. Lucky and I will leave at once.

I glance once more at the Captain’s desk. The handkerchiefs are no longer there but I can see a corner of one sticking out of his shirt sleeve. He smiles as he tucks it totally out of sight. I guess that means he likes them.

It’s turning out to be a good day, in spite of the Forester’s flu. The things needed to cure him are found in some of my favorite places to visit. And maybe when the Forester is cured, he’ll give me some advice about planting fruits and vegetables.

When I return, the Captain is gone but Blessilda is waiting for me. She still needs something else, a Blue Shard Crystal from the Ancient Pond. It has healing properties and dispels harmful magic. Sounds easy enough to find.

I’ve found enough bolgite today for the Captain to be able to repair the lamps and pathways up at the Castle. I just wish I could get time to tell him so. Maybe I’ll write a letter as soon as I get back to Town Hall and get Linea to deliver it.

Once I return, it doesn’t take long for Blessilda to make the potion and administer it to the Forester. And it doesn’t take long for the Mayor to bring the Forester to see me. It does take long for Linea to show up, too long. The Forester has remembered the man who attacked him mentioned going to the Dreamless Castle. If I go there, we might find a lead.

It’s been almost a week since the Forester was attacked. How likely is it that we’ll find any clues? And what is the Captain going to say when he finds out I’ve been traipsing around looking for the suspicious cloaked man?

The Mayor has decided to go with me and is impatient to leave. Linea still hasn’t shown up. I scribble a quick note about where I’m going and why, leave it on Captain Greg’s desk, and start praying to the gods and goddesses that he won’t be too angry when he reads it.

When we arrive at the Dreamless Castle, we catch a glimpse of the cloaked man standing by a stone statue. When he sees us he breaks the statue into a number of pieces. The Mayor urges me to reassemble the statue and when I do, the stone crumbles and reveals a man, a prince to be exact.

The man introduces himself as Prince Edric. He appears to be dazed and confused. That makes two of us. How was I able to release him from the stone? I have no magic. The Mayor is alarmed that petrify magic was used to trap the prince. Dreadmyre was already vanquished by Queen Sophia. So who petrified the prince?

I suggest to the Mayor that perhaps it would be better if we continued this conversation at Town Hall and informed Captain Greg about what has happened. But yet again I’m prevented from seeing or speaking to the Captain. Seth is waiting for me with a message from Gobie. He has something important for me and I’m to meet him at Apricus Plaza.

Looks like I’m going to visit Apricus Plaza today after all. When I get there, Gobie tells me he found a strange object which he thinks could be a relic. But he must have dropped it while waiting for me. People in the kingdom seem to have a predilection for losing whatever it is they wanted to give me.

Eventually the object is found and it turns out to indeed be a relic, a fragment of the Faire Luminous Relic. And inserting it into the Faire of Light Pedestal dispels the curse that had been enveloping the Orchards. All that remains to be done today is to return to Town Hall and hope Captain Greg isn’t too annoyed with me.

He’s waiting for me and has already been updated on my activities by the Mayor. Instead of being angry, he appears to be dazed. I’m feeling a bit tired and decide to go home. The Captain insists on walking me home and on the doorstep, gives me a kiss on the hand. His manner reminds me of how the courtiers would greet and take leave of the king and queen. How very odd.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 16, 2015 3:29 am  #9

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 9

For the second day in a row, I need to get to the office before Captain Greg does. Unlike yesterday, this time, I succeed.

I originally had the romantic notion of keeping his old handkerchief as a sort of love token. Upon further reflection, I realized that there were only two women who could have given it to him: his mother or Miss Sunstone Pendant.

If it had been a gift from his mother, he would want it back. Besides, his mother wouldn’t want to see it in the possession of the ‘scheming little minx’ who she thought had been chasing her son. If it was a gift from Sunstone, it was no longer romantic to keep it, it was downright icky.

I quickly put it on the Captain’s desk and cover it up with the request he had submitted for repairs to made on the Castle’s lamps and pathways. I had already written ‘approved’ across them. Then I sat down at my desk to look through the requests for help and plan my day.

We’ll start off by going to the Faire of Light, Lucky. Troglid has invited me to see the blueprints he uses to make flying machines. And I need to speak to the Forester for advice about growing some fruits and vegetables in the garden. And stop nibbling on that carrot. If we don’t get an opportunity to return home at lunchtime, that carrot may be all you get to eat until dinner.

Lucky pushes the nibbled-on carrot back toward the apple that will have to suffice for my lunch if there’s no chance to stop back home for a quick bowl of soup. He then jerks his head toward the other desk. Captain Greg has arrived and no doubt heard everything I’ve said judging by the embarrassed look on his face.

He’s going to be even more embarrassed when he finds his old handkerchief. Better leave now. I clear off all the papers on my desk except one which reads ‘Gone to Faire of Light’ and prop it up against the glass of now wilting moonflowers before leaving.

Troglid is pleased that I’ve found time to visit him and explains in detail how he designs the aircraft. Using one of the simpler blueprints, I’m able to assemble a miniature version of one of his flying machines. It’s funny that Troglid’s real love is designing and building flying machines. He’s one of the more grounded and self-sufficient people I’ve come in contact with since my return. And helpful. Without his suggestions, I never would have found Seth’s pass.

The Forester, on the other hand, is one of the more timid residents. He thanks me for clearing the curse from the Orchards and gives me some good advice about starting my seedlings. But he behaves like a woman suffering from the vapors whenever the cloaked man is mentioned.

He’s not feeling well enough after his ordeal and needs me to go look for ingredients for him. Yet when I return, he proclaims himself to be self-sufficient again. It’s as silly a statement as the one he made after the Orchards were rebuilt: that it’s time he gave back to everyone as I have helped him. We’re waiting. Tempus Fugit.

It’s now almost lunchtime so Lucky and I head back home. It’s nice to be able to eat our midday meal sitting down instead of on the run. But we mustn’t linger too long, I’m sure there’s more things I need to do today.

The office is empty, but there’s a new bunch of moonflowers in the glass and a note on my desk. None of the moonflowers the Captain has brought me the past two days have been red or yellow ones. Is that a subtle hint that I should stay away from the Rose Garden?

There’s nothing subtle in the note. Captain Greg requests (orders?) me to meet him at the Castle to look at the new pathway and lamps. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen the pond or the flowers yet. And I still have that door tile that Quinn gave me. I need to go to the Castle.

But first, I’ll need to deal with Blessilda, who wants me to check out the auction with her. It might not be a bad idea. Maybe I can find the songbird eggs I need for Chumblepot going for a song. But I’m a bit scared. One of the many ways my father dug himself deeper in debt was buying and selling things on the auction.

Now who’s having a fit of the vapors? I look through the items in the storage cupboard and pull out a female puppet. I’ll try selling this. I’ve got over a dozen of them and nobody’s shown any interest in them.

 But first, I’ll need to deal with Blessilda, who wants me to check out the auction with her. It might not be a bad idea. Maybe I can find the songbird eggs I need for Chumblepot going for a song. But I’m a bit scared. One of the many ways my father dug himself deeper in debt was buying and selling things on the auction.

Now who’s having a fit of the vapors? I look through the items in the storage cupboard and pull out a female puppet. I’ll try selling this. I’ve got over a dozen of them and nobody’s shown any interest in them.

On the way to the auction, Blessilda is anxious to fill me in on the latest gossip making the rounds. She’s heard about how I saved Prince Edric and wonders if he’ll pay another visit to the kingdom to see me again. According to Blessilda, he’s bound to be just a wee bit in love with me since I rescued him. I would have thought he would feel embarrassed. Blessilda shrugs and mentions that Captain Greg was a bit sweet on Queen Sophia after she released him from the stone that was encasing him.

What Blessilda told me has upset me. There’s no way I can compete with Queen Sophia. What am I talking about? There’s no way I can marry so what difference does it make whom the Captain cares for?

The songbird eggs for sale are priced way too high. I need five of them, but I’m not going to bankrupt the kingdom to get them. People are also asking ridiculous prices for the puppet I’ve brought to sell. I set a slightly lower price than the others and hope for the best.

I really need to hurry if I don’t want to be late meeting Captain Greg. I leave Blessilda at the auction, dash back to the office to pick up that door tile, and rush up to the Castle only to see nobody waiting for me. Now what?

I decide to go inside with the door tile to see if it fits. After that, I can take my time looking at the improvements outside. What Quinn found is indeed one of the missing tiles. One down and only eleven more to go.

When I leave the Castle, I’m surprised to see both the Captain and the Mayor waiting for me. The Captain starts to tell me about what the repaired pathways will mean to the kingdom’s citizens, but the Mayor interrupts him to prattle on about how happy Queen Sophia would be to see the progress we’ve made and that I should feel free to make additional improvements without waiting for them to be requested.

Finally the Mayor leaves. I call him a pompous idiot under my breath. Captain Greg is shocked. He tells me he thought I had invited the Mayor to join us. If I think he’s a pompous idiot, why do I ask him for advice?

My turn to look shocked. I don’t ask him for advice, he just gives it. And I don’t ask him to accompany me, he just invites himself along. Usually he’s totally useless, like he was when the purple orb was in the pond, leaves the dirty work to me, and then hogs most of the glory. It’s not surprising that Queen Sophia recommended I look for help from somebody else.

The Captain suggests that maybe it’s time I asked this somebody else for assistance. Hmm, maybe it is. If he’s not busy, perhaps he’d like to discuss the problem I’m having getting songbird eggs when I’m unable to visit the Rose Garden.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

March 17, 2015 1:12 am  #10

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - Berengaria and the Captain

Day 10

This morning I found two very interesting items on my desk. The first one was a notice from the auction house. The puppet I had listed with them sold for three thousand bolgins! I tell Lucky it must be beginner’s luck. Captain Greg arrives and wants to know what was beginner’s luck. I show him the notice and watch for the eyebrow to begin its ascent.

The other item is a business card which reads ‘Fahleed’s Fine Attire Emporium’. Mr Fahleed would like to discuss the possibility of opening up a shop in the Faire of Light. I certainly have time to see him - everything else I need to do involves going to the Rose Garden, and my newly appointed advisor is still against the idea.

I had pleaded my case yesterday to no avail. Last night, I spent several hours making sketches of each area that had been cursed by cloaked stranger, drew maps and noted each location where he had been spotted, listed the name of his victims, and tried to find something all the people, places and things had in common.

The conclusion I came to was they had nothing in common. The Forester and Prince Edric had been attacked because they had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. If the Mayor was right, and he had been after the relic, since it’s now back in Landsong Village, the Rose Garden must be one of the least likely places the cloaked man would return to.

I dump all my maps, sketches, charts and analysis on Captain Greg’s desk, ask him to at least look at them, scoop up Lucky and depart for the Faire of Light to meet with Fahleed.

Fahleed outlines his plans for a shop and shows me samples of his fabrics. In addition to selling fine garments made to order, he would also be producing bedding, draperies and carpets. I look wistfully at the beautiful fabrics that I can no longer afford, but agree to help finance his shop. There are plenty of the kingdom’s citizens who can afford the items he will sell.

The office is empty and the papers I asked the Captain to look at are back on my desk. The word ‘No’ is written in large red letters. I sit to down to consider my options.

I could just wait here until somebody needs something that doesn’t involve visiting the Rose Garden, I could visit the various shops and see if anybody needs my help, I could go out looking for food. Or I could go to the Rose Garden against the Captain’s advice. After all, just because I’m supposed to seek his advice, that doesn’t mean I have to take it.

My mind is made up: we’re going to the Rose Garden. Lucky looks displeased. Fine, I’ll go without you. You can go visit Mr Vanderkins at the Squabbit Den. Lucky opts for the Rose Garden.

Outside Town Hall, Blessilda stops me. The Mayor mentioned to her that I was exploring the Dreamless Castle and she thinks she might be able to concoct a root potion for the carriage at the Forgotten Glen. She’ll need some moonflowers and they must be fresh-picked ones.

And what do you know, one of the places I need to pick moonflowers at is the Rose Garden. I’ll have to search quickly and get back before Blessilda has a chance to speak to Captain Greg. I’d prefer to be the one who tells him I’ve visited the Rose Garden.

When I return Blessilda thanks me and hurries off to make her potion. I hurry to put the items I’ve found in the storage cupboard. I’ve found some of those eggs Chumblepot needs but it might be a good idea to wait a day or two before delivering them. The Rose Garden might not be off limits tomorrow.

Blessilda soon returns. The potion fizzled. She needs more ingredients, including moonflowers, to try again. But this time they don’t have to be fresh ones. That’s good news. Very good news. I already have everything she needs.

Blessilda leaves but returns shortly to inform me the potion is almost complete. It just needs a bit of magic from Mossbeard. Any item will do. Lucky and I hurry off to Mystic Copse.

I’m always surprised when I go there to find Mossbeard still awake. Blessilda had said the potion I gave Mossbeard when I was rescuing Mr Vanderkins would wear off quickly. I’d hate to see a long lasting potion.

What to choose for the root potion? Blessilda said anything will do, so I’ll take the fruit and veggies for me and one of these nasty looking insects for her. It had never occurred to me that the items in Mossbeard’s mouth were magical. If I eat enough of them, will that give me magic and make me like everybody else? Do I want to be like everybody else?

Captain Greg and Blessilda are both waiting for me at Town Hall. Has she told him where I’ve been? She takes the cricket I found for her and leaves to work on the root potion. While I wait, I pretend to examine the food I’ve found, stealing glances at the Captain trying to figure out what he knows or has guessed about my visit to the Rose Garden. His face reveals nothing.

I wish Blessilda would hurry up. The sooner I get to the Forgotten Glen with the potion, the sooner I can return to Town Hall and confess my crime. At last she returns with the potion. I just hope it works.

Inside the Royal Carriage I find a bottle of perfume. I spray some on my wrist and ask Lucky’s opinion. He wrinkles his nose and squeaks. Well, I’m not looking to attract the attention of a squabbit. I think the perfume smells nice. I shall take it home.

Lucky calls my attention to another item inside the carriage. It’s a relic fragment. Looks like it might belong to the Landsong Serenity Relic. See Lucky, going to the Rose Garden was the right thing to do. If we hadn’t gone there, you wouldn’t have those carrots, I wouldn’t have this bottle of perfume, and we wouldn’t have found the relic fragment.

When we return to Town Hall, I add another wouldn’t to my list: Captain Greg wouldn’t have gone ballistic.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

Board footera


Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum