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June 8, 2015 10:58 pm  #1

Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 1

This morning, the guards told me to pack all my belongings. Once again, I was being relocated. I didn’t waste time asking where we were going or why. I already knew what the answer would be. We were going ‘someplace else’ and it was a ‘matter of safety’.

For several years now, I’ve been tempted to ask ‘whose safety’? Surely I, a mere girl of eighteen, posed no danger to anybody. And why would anybody want to harm me? I was of no consequence and very few people even knew of my existence.

My entire life has spent in exile, moving from one barren, desolate border outpost to the next. My mother had been banished from the her home in the Skyward Castle once her ‘delicate condition’ became obvious and once it also became obvious that she had no intention of naming the man responsible so that he could be forced to do the honorable thing.

Her former governess had agreed to accompany her into exile and for the first six years of my life we had lived in one place, guarded by two soldiers to ensure that we didn’t try to escape, though I can’t imagine where we would have escaped to. Every month two new guards would arrive, bringing with them whatever supplies we needed, and the old guards would depart.

It’s wasn’t until my mother died that somebody decided that it was necessary to us move from place to place as a 'matter of safety'.  Some of the guards cruelly suggested my mother died of shame. I prefer to believe she died of a broken heart, caused by being abandoned by the two men she loved most - my father and my grandfather.

I had only seen my grandfather once. He had come to question the governess in the hope that my mother had confided to her the identity of my father. I remember him staring at me, intently examining my face for some resemblance to any of the men residing in the Skyward Kingdom.

He had found none. I was the spitting imagine of my mother. Like her, I had long, wavy honey-blonde hair and blue-green eyes. Also like her, I was impulsive and head-strong. In fact, there was only one way I was different from my mother: I was a non-wielder.

Like Princess Sophia, I had been born on the eve of the Winter Solstice. There must have been something about the alignment of the stars that caused both of us to be born without magic. Sophia’s birth fulfilled the prophesy that the kingdom would someday be ruled by one born without magic.

My birth? The ignominy of having a granddaughter born without magic was more than my grandfather could bear. For my grandfather was the Royal Court Wizard, Patrick Dreadmyre.

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

June 10, 2015 12:02 am  #2

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 2

This morning I said goodbye to the governess. A carriage arrived to take her to the village of her birth to care for her ailing parents. Another carriage arrived to take me to Landsong Village. I have been summoned to the Skyward Castle by Queen Sophia!

During the long journey, I read and reread the letter the Queen had written to me. For many years, Lord Dreadmyre had been a true and loyal subject, a good friend to Sophia’s parents, the King and Queen. But at some point, my grandfather had ceased to be loyal and had used his considerable magical powers to serve somebody or something Sophia called The Shadow.

Acting under The Shadow’s influence, my grandfather had turned a number of the kingdom’s citizens into stone statues using petrifying magic. He had put a curse on Sophia’s parents sending them into a spiritless sleep and had threatened to do the same to anybody who opposed him.

Sophia had released the petrified citizens from their stone prisons, but she was unable to do anything to wake her parents. She had fought with my grandfather and chased him from the Skyward Kingdom. But the war has left the kingdom in ruins and the Queen expects me to restore it to its former glory!

The woman must be mad. I may be the last of the Dreadmyres but I have no magic. There’s no way I can do what she asks without the considerable help of others, and why should anybody agree to help me?

The letter mentioned that the Queen had appointed three individuals to advise me: the Mayor of Landsong Village, the Captain of the Queen’s Guard, and Linea. None of them were waiting to welcome me when I arrived in Landsong Village. I wonder just how much assistance and guidance I can expect from any of them.

There wasn’t any time to look around the village. The sun was setting and it would soon be dark. It was light enough for me to see that ground is brown and cracked, parched from lack of water. There had once been a waterfall feeding a stream, but the water no longer flowed. The buildings were damaged and looked abandoned.

The roads were damaged and the carriage was unable to drop me off at my doorstep. I had to drag my truck to the house assigned to me, which was at the very edge of the village. It was in need of repairs, just like all the other buildings.

Inside was neat and tidy. The main room was about twenty feet by twenty feet and was comfortably furnished. There was a small supply of food in the larder and a fire had been lit. Somebody had been expecting me to arrive today.

I quickly prepared some dinner, unpacked and then tried to go to sleep. Tomorrow I am going to meet my advisors and I need to be well-rested. Who knows what tasks I’ll be expected to do?

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

June 11, 2015 1:15 am  #3

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 3

Today I met my three advisors. None of them were anything like I had imagined. Linea is a talking pink owl! She brought me another letter from Queen Sophia. Although she has never even met me, Sophia has gone on a journey and left the kingdom in my care. That’s a rather irresponsible thing for her to do. And why does the Queen refer to the citizens as ‘our’ people instead of ‘her’ people?

Linea was also supposed to give me the key to the Skyward Castle but she dropped it somewhere. So my first task as Steward was to find the missing key. We located it in the Forgotten Glen. Guarding it was a little squabbit. There was no sign of his family so I decided to take him with me. Perhaps he will bring me luck.

Captain Greg, the Captain of the Queen’s Guard, was not how I had imagined him to be, either. He has auburn hair, hazel eyes, and can’t be more than twenty-five. I had expected him to be much older.

I also expected him to have better manners. He was quite annoyed at having been kept waiting and rebuked me for being late, then strode toward the Castle without so much as a backward glance to see if I was following.

His manners improved when I was able to come up with a plan to restore the Queen’s Crest and remove the cursed vines from the Castle’s exterior. Suddenly he became very concerned for my safety and tried to put a protective arm around my shoulder when we entered the Castle. But I was having none of that.

Cursed vines covered the walls of the Entrance Hall. This time the Captain came up with the solution to the problem: we would need to search the Forgotten Glen for sky crystals. One look at his face told me it was futile to point out that I had just come from there and hadn’t seen any sky crystals. He was not accustomed to people contradicting him.

It was a good thing that I had said nothing because, sure enough, we found a sky crystal. Actually, my little squabbit found it. When the Captain remarked that luck had been on our side, I knew that I had to name the squabbit Lucky.

We returned to the Castle and used the sky crystal to remove the curse from one wall. Then the Captain went off to do whatever it is he does when he’s not looking down his nose at me, and Linea appeared to escort me to Landsong Village to meet the Mayor.

The Mayor is a Goblin and much older than the Captain. He has white hair, blue eyes, and his glasses are perched on the end of his nose. He also has a very officious manner and insisted I must fill out various forms before I could be allowed the privilege of accompanying him to Mystic Copse and the Forgotten Glen to look for building supplies to repair Town Hall.

The Mayor was impatient for Town Hall to be ‘up and running’ as he put it, and suggested that I use one of the ten tiny sky crystals he had given me to speed up the work. I did so, and in a blink of an eye, the workers had finished.

I was not finished, however. The Mayor showed me the village pedestal and explained that it once contained Relics which, when found, will restore the magical nature of Landsong. It was obvious that I was the person expected to find these missing Relics. In case I had any doubts, the Mayor reminded me that the Relics were lost when Dreadmyre cursed everything.

I had hoped to return to the Forgotten Glen to gather some of the vegetables I had seen there. I don’t think I can assume that whoever stocked my pantry and larder will continue to do so. But when I suggested that I search there for the Relics, the Mayor told me to look in Mystic Copse for the Relic and to go to the Forgotten Glen to find poster glue.

I did as the Mayor asked and soon returned with carrots for Lucky, corn and tomatoes for myself, poster glue for the Mayor and the Landsong Nature Relic. According to the Mayor, placing it in the pedestal would bring life and vibrancy to the natural surroundings.

And so it did. The grass was now green, the trees sprouted leaves, and water cascaded down the falls into the stream below. All that was left to do was to assemble some posters. When finished, the Mayor remarked that I looked tired and hungry and gave me some olives to take home.

I had survived my first day on my own. Lucky squeaked. Guess I’m not on my own after all.

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

June 12, 2015 1:37 am  #4

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 4

Yesterday I couldn’t figure out just what Linea’s job was or why she was selected to be one of my advisors. Today I found out: Linea is the kingdom’s official tattletale. She brought me yet another letter from Queen Sophia, the contents of which made it sky crystal clear that Linea is keeping the Queen informed of my every move.

Linea is also in charge of losing things. Before I could read the letter, I had to go find it. She had heard a disturbance inside the castle, went inside to have a look around, and dropped the letter somewhere. At least she didn’t lose the gift Sophia had sent me - twenty sky crystals and one thousand bolgins.

There was no sign of advisor number two, Captain Greg, up at the castle but there was a peddler loitering outside. He heard I was here to restore the kingdom and warned me to be careful because there are still some dark forces lurking in the shadows.

Inside the castle, at the very back of the Entrance Hall, a goblin stood guarding a door. He refused to let me even attempt to open the door and told me first I had to find the twelve tiles it was missing.

When I left the castle, both Linea and the Peddler were gone. I figured I might as well check in with advisor number three, the Mayor, and see if he was correct about the posters encouraging the citizens to check out the changes that are planned.

While I waited for encouraged citizens to seek my assistance, I spent time arranging things in the tiny office the Mayor had assigned to me. It wasn’t long before a little boy named Quinn poked his head in.

Quinn has big blue eyes and an earnest expression. He also has a squabbit named Mr Vanderkins and thinks his squabbit and my squabbit might become good friends. One look at the two squabbits told me that they had other ideas.

Quinn had heard from the Mayor that I was rebuilding the kingdom and wanted to tell me about his secret project. He had been thinking about building a fence for the animals and hoped I could give him some building materials. He didn’t mention what other animals he has besides Mr Vanderkins, but a fence to corral them sounded like a good idea.

Shortly after Quinn left with the building materials, a goblin woman named Blessilda stopped by. She told me she used to run the General Store in Gobholme but had decided to start fresh here after seeing the posters in Town Hall. Blessilda added that she thought the building next door would be suitable and mentioned that she was a good friend of the Mayor.

The village was certainly in need of a General Store and I had the necessary supplies on hand. One General Store coming up! While the necessary repairs were being made, I accompanied Blessilda to Mystic Copse. While she searched for whatever it was she needed, I took a good look at her.

She is about the same age as the Mayor and has green eyes, gray hair and wears enormous hoop earrings. She is also a great gossip and had lots to say about Captain Greg. Apparently he’s the kingdom’s heartthrob and his nose was put out of joint when Queen Sophia showed an interest in the Navigator, Captain Jackdawes, rather than him.

Terrific! I’ve been saddled with the kingdom’s stool pigeon and the kingdom’s Lothario as my advisors. Wonder what character flaw the Mayor possesses that nobody has told me about?

When we returned from Mystic Copse, Quinn was waiting for me and trying hard not to cry. Mr Vanderkins had disappeared. Quinn thought he must have followed me to Mystic Copse.

I hadn’t noticed an extra squabbit joining us, but I had been concentrating on what Blessilda was saying. When I asked Lucky if he had seen Mr Vanderkins, Lucky refused to make eye contact with me.

Sure enough, Mr Vanderkins was in Mystic Copse, inside Mossbeard’s mouth. Thank goodness Blessilda had decided to settle in Landsong Village. She prepared the ingredients for a potion that would wake Mossbeard long enough for us to rescue Mr Vanderkins.

I had survived my first crisis. And a certain squabbit went to bed without his dinner.

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

June 13, 2015 2:33 am  #5

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 5

Today started out pleasantly enough. There was no sign of Linea which I took to mean that she had neither lost anything nor received a letter from Queen Sophia. The Mayor had gone to the General Store to gossip with Blessilda.

Through the window I had spotted Captain Greg heading for Town Hall, followed by a bevy of besotted village maidens. My office is only slightly larger than a broom closet, so I was grateful that his fan club decided to wait outside for him.

For a change, the Captain was smiling. I have to admit he’s rather attractive when he smiles. Disturbingly so. Especially in such cramped quarters. It seemed an eternity before he finally told me why he had come to see me.

He wondered if I agreed with him that it was time we repaired the Castle walls. I hadn’t really thought about it. I had been too busy finding lost letters and squabbits. But I nodded my head yes.

Captain Greg thereby helped himself to some building supplies and bolgins. Then he invited me to come up to the Castle and watch while he and his soldiers repaired the walls. I shook my head no. I have no intention of joining his fan club. He didn’t seem at all upset that I declined his invitation.

Before long Quinn arrived. He also wanted building supplies so that he could construct a Squabbit Den for Mr Vanderkins and his other animals to prevent them from wandering away. It would also shelter them from the cold.

I gave him the supplies and volunteered to find some pet food provided he and Mr Vanderkins remained in Landsong Village. They could watch and supervise the builders. Lucky was on best behavior and found most of the food. Guess going to bed hungry taught him a lesson.

When we returned from Mystic Copse with the pet food, there was a goblin named Gobie waiting to see me. His friend the Forester, owner of the orchard in the Faire of Light, had gone out to forage for some herbs in the Forgotten Glen and hadn’t returned.

Things are getting out of hand. First a key, then a letter, then a squabbit, and now a goblin has gone missing. If this keeps up, by the end of the week somebody will have lost the Crown Jewels or the Castle. And naturally, when there’s a real problem, all of my advisors are missing in action.

Gobie insisted that I go with him to search the Forgotten Glen for clues. That’s where we found the Forester’s basket. It was covered with thorns and, according to Gobie, these thorns were not from the Forgotten Glen. Further research needed to be done to determine just where those particular thorns came from.

Finally the Mayor showed up. His solution to the problem was for me to make posters while he spoke with the citizens and gathered clues. I noticed that the first citizen he spoke to was Blessilda.

While I was hanging up posters, Gobie returned. He had determined that the thorns came from the Rose Garden and that should be the next place we searched. We found the Forester lying in a ditch and covered with vines.

When we returned to Town Hall, Captain Greg and the Mayor were waiting. The Forester told us about seeing a cloaked man casting some sort of a spell in the forest. The man saw him and trapped him.

According to the Mayor, this was the first time anyone was attacked in this manner. He plans to warn the citizens. I take that to mean that I will be making more posters tomorrow.

The Captain was also worried about the cloaked man and insisted on walking me home. This time, when he put a protective arm around my shoulder, I did not remove it.

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

June 14, 2015 1:42 am  #6

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 6

There was a poster on my door this morning asking all citizens to stay close to home and to report any sightings of a cloaked stranger. After walking me home last night, Captain Greg must have returned to Town Hall and assembled some posters. Better him than me.

A poster was also hanging on the newly built Squabbit Den. Lucky and I stopped to talk to Quinn and to play with the animals. Well I did, Lucky seemed to be more interested in the various pet accessories Quinn was selling. Since Lucky had been so helpful yesterday, I decided to buy him a brown fedora. Quinn told him he looked fur-tastic.

Captain Greg must have been up all night making posters. They were everywhere: on every building, on every tree, and several were on my desk. The Forester hadn’t been very helpful in providing a description of his attacker. He didn’t even say whether he was attacked by a human or a goblin. And just about everybody in the kingdom wears a cloak. I could be described as a cloaked stranger since I haven’t been here that long.

The Mayor inadvertently reinforced my feelings of being an outsider when he stopped by my office. He told me I needed to make some friends because I might need their help in the future and added that the weight of running a kingdom is lessened when you have friends at your side.

I was under the impression that my advisors were supposed to lessen the weight of running the kingdom. I doubt many people are clamoring to be friends with Dreadmyre’s granddaughter.

Even Captain Greg rebuffed my attempt to be friends the first day. While we were searching for the sky crystal in the Forgotten Glen, I told him he could call me Berengaria, but he continued to address me as Steward.

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. If only the Captain hadn’t chosen that moment to walk by the window followed by posse of women I had already nicknamed ‘Greg’s Groupies’. If only the Mayor hadn’t chosen that moment to ask me to go to the Rose Garden to look for another Relic fragment.

I convinced myself that it must be okay to leave Landsong Village and search for the Relic fragment. The instructions on the poster were for the ordinary citizens, not me. I am the Steward, I could go anywhere. Besides, the Mayor wouldn’t ask me to go someplace unless the Captain had given his prior approval.

The Rose Garden was quiet and deserted. There was a waterfall and beneath it a pool had formed. The water was so clear and blue. Impulsively, I decided to go swimming. I must have spent several hours swimming and searching the area. Not only did I find the Relic segment and the moonflowers Blessilda had requested, I found apples, a lobster, and some coffee beans.

When I returned to the Village, I stopped at the General store to give Blessilda the blue, red and yellow moonflowers. In return she gave me a pink and a green moonflower and offered to show me where sets of moonflowers and other items could be exchanged.

On the way to and from the exchange, Blessilda told me how the Goblin King, Crookshank, had been turned into a hamster by his evil brother Grimble. Cyril, the Goblin Kingdom wizard, and Queen Sophia had rescued him.

I must remember to be kind to any animals I meet. Who knows, they could turn out to be somebody important. Maybe Lucky is really a handsome prince put under a spell by a wicked witch.

It had been a good day. I had found a Relic fragment, bought Lucky a hat, and neither Linea nor anybody else had lost anything. Well, not until I returned to Town Hall. Captain Greg was waiting for me and when I walked in, he lost his temper.

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

June 15, 2015 12:09 am  #7

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 7

I woke up this morning with puffy eyes and a raging headache brought on from crying myself to sleep.

Captain Greg had said some horrible things to me. He had accused me of deliberately disobeying him and making his job more difficult. And when I tried to explain that I thought the Mayor had already spoken to him, he refused to listen.

At that point, I said some horrible things to him. I told him he was useless as an advisor because he was never around. That he was vain and conceited and only interested in being admired by the dim-witted village girls.

We had continued to trade insults, most of which I can’t even remember. It was when he suggested that I might be in league with the cloaked stranger, seeing as how I was Dreadmyre’s granddaughter, that I slapped him and ran home crying.

Shortly afterward, the Captain had followed me, banging on the door and yelling for me to open it. I had told him to go away, that I never wanted to see him again. Which doesn’t make much sense, now that I think about it, because I had just complained that he was never around.

When I opened my door this morning, I saw the reason he had followed me home. He hadn’t been interested in apologizing, he was just dropping off the food I had left behind. Well, the apples and the coffee beans. There was a note stating that it would be a shame to let the lobster go to waste, so he had taken it for his own dinner.

I noticed on the walk to Town Hall that the posters had been removed. Presumably that meant I was free to leave the Village. Indeed, on my desk was a note from Captain Greg telling me he didn’t care where I went or what I did.

The Mayor had been reading the note when I arrived, but pretended that everything was normal. He mentioned that it might be a good idea to search the Forgotten Glen and find the gems missing from the Armory door in the Fairy Dragon Nest.

Quinn wanted to help me find those gems as a way to repay me for all I have done for him and Mr Vanderkins. He sounded quite sincere and is probably the only person I’ve met that judges me by my actions and not by my grandfather’s. If only Lucky and Mr Vanderkins would get along.

Quinn was pleased that he was the one who found the gems. The two squabbits were pleased that they had found some carrots. I was pleased because they seemed to be getting along. For now. Nevertheless, I decided to bring Quinn and Mr Vanderkins back to Landsong Village before going to the Fairy Dragon Nest to unlock the Armory.

The Mayor seemed surprised to see me and was even more surprised to see that I had found the gemstones. He had apparently forgotten that he sent me to find them but was sure that I’d put them to good use.

Great advisors Queen Sophia chose for me. Linea loses things, the Mayor forgets things, and the Captain yells at me. And he stle my lobster.

I still had a headache, so I decided to check out the General Store. Maybe Blessilda had a potion that would make it go away. She had already sold me one of her energy potions but I haven’t used it yet. I really can’t imagine being tired enough to drink it - it looks and smells vile.

Blessilda told me that lavender was good for getting rid of headaches and also aided sleep. She would put together an infusion and a pillow filled with lavender seeds and leave them at Town Hall for me.

While I waited, I figured I might as well go to the Fairy Dragon Nest and unlock the Armory. As I expected, it was full of weapons and armor. And other than sunflowers, which I picked for the seeds, there was nothing edible in the area.

I returned to Town Hall to find Captain Greg looking through the basket Blessilda had left for me. He seemed quite amused by the contents and raised his eyebrow and smirked when he saw me. Then he dropped a piece of paper on my desk and left without saying a word.

The paper requested that funds and supplies be made available for planting trees around the Castle because "a little bit of nature should help remove the gloomy feel in the castle." Whatever.

It wasn’t until I was getting ready for bed that I found what had amused the Captain so much. Tucked in with the lavender infusion and the sleep pillow was a love potion guaranteed to make the man of my dreams fall madly in love with me.

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

June 17, 2015 1:04 pm  #8

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 8

I thought about bringing that love potion back to Blessilda. Maybe it was intended for another customer and got mixed up with my things. But suppose she had intended it for me? I’d then be drawn into a conversation about Captain Greg. He’s the only human male I’ve actually been introduced to, so he’s probably the man she thinks I’m hoping will fall in love with me.

But why would I want to use a potion to make him or any other man fall in love with me? What happens when the potion wears off? Falling in love didn’t work out very well for my mother. I think I’ll give love a miss. Better lock that potion up so nobody accidentally drinks it.

Linea was at Town Hall when I arrived. She wanted me to write letters for her to deliver. Right, and when she loses them, I wonder who she’ll ask to find them? To get rid of her, I gave her a letter to deliver to Captain Greg. Told him he could go ahead and plant trees around the Castle. Also mentioned that he owed me a lobster.

The Mayor was also waiting for me. He wanted me to talk to his friend Mr Chumblepot, who used to be a souvenir merchant in Gobholme. Apparently Chumblepot had discussed with the Mayor the possibility of opening up a Glassworks shop. The Mayor thought his friend was having trouble making up his mind and wanted me to convince him it was a good idea.

Although I don’t see how selling trinkets of dubious authenticity to unsuspecting tourists qualifies a person to make glassworks, I agreed to speak to Chumblepot. He claimed that what was preventing him from getting started was the lack of a Pocket Dragon eggshell to work with.

I invited Chumblepot back to my office because I thought I might have one of those eggshells for him. When I gave it to him, Chumblepot exclaimed that I had just ignited his passion! I heard a large snort and turned around to see Captain Greg struggling not to laugh. He had shown up to collect the resources for the trees. There was no sign of a lobster.

Damn the man! He probably thinks I used that love potion on Chumblepot! Why is he never around when I need him but always there to see or hear something that could be misconstrued?

I still had to find a building where Chumblepot could set up his Glassworks. There was one unoccupied building in Landsong Village and luckily Chumblepot decided it would be suitable with some upgrading. While the carpenters fixed the place up, I could spend some time at the Fairy Dragon Nest looking for glass shards.

Quinn wanted to come with me. He told me he had never seen a live dragon up close. Why is it the only person in the entire kingdom who likes me is a prepubescent child? Not that I’ve actually met that many people.

While Quinn searched for dragon scales, the squabbits fought over sunflower seeds. Too bad I didn’t bring that love potion with me. Maybe if I gave Mr Vanderkins and Lucky each a dose they would fall in love with each other or at least get along.

I finally found some glass shards for Chumblepot and we could return back to Landsong Village. The repairs to the building were completed and Chumblepot had already started on his first pieces. He wants to spread Queen Sophia’s legacy by making stained glass representations of her journey.

Before going home, I checked the office. Captain Greg had still not replaced the lobster he stole. Once again, dinner was vegetable soup.

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

June 19, 2015 2:06 am  #9

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 9

Earlier in the week I had decided that Linea was a tattletale, that the Captain was a Don Juan, and I had wondered what the Mayor’s character flaw was. Today I found out: the Mayor is a coward.

I had spent a pleasant morning with Chumblepot. He has settled in nicely at his Glassworks shop and had nearly finished two pieces. The first one shows the place where Queen Sophia’s journey began, the Dreamless Castle. The second one depicts Moonfell Woods and the Witch’s Tower.

Chumblepot remarked that it was wonderful to be able to create something with your own hands and urged me to give it a try. I gingerly inserted a couple of glass shards in each piece. It was fun and even an expert wouldn’t be able to figure out where Chumblepot’s handiwork stopped and mine began.

Of course, Chumblepot is the one who changed the rather ordinary glass shards that can be found in the Fairy Dragon Nest into the vibrantly colored and intricately shaped pieces that I used. To do so probably required magic.

We were discussing the damaged glasswork in the Castle’s Entrance Hall and Chumblepot had just volunteered to fix it when Linea arrived to tell me there was a problem up at the Castle and my presence was required.

I had not been to visit the Castle since Linea lost the letter from Queen Sophia because I didn’t want Captain Greg to think I was chasing after him. Now I finally had a good reason to check things out and see the new walls and that ‘little bit of nature’ that was supposed to remove the ‘gloomy feel’ around the Castle.

There was quite a crowd gathered around the empty pond. In the center of the pond was an object emitting a purple haze very similar to the one emitted by the cursed vines that still cover one wall of the Castle’s Entrance Hall.

The Mayor told me he was too scared to investigate the mysterious object and therefore I would have to check it out. As I stepped into the dried up pond, I wondered if there was anything the Mayor was capable of doing besides making posters.

I was about to touch the mysterious object when Captain Greg called out ‘Berengaria, no!’ and with one arm lifted me out of the pond. Seconds later, a cloaked figure rose up from the orb and the pond filled with cursed purple vines. Then the Captain held me close while he stroked my hair and whispered soothingly ‘I’ve got you. You’re safe.’ over and over.

The moment was spoiled by the Mayor jabbering on, asking if we had seen the cloaked figure rising up from the orb and pointing out what was painfully obvious: that the orb had cursed the pond and that the cloaked man had nearly abducted me. The Mayor had added that I was very brave to have checked out the orb, and under his breath the Captain muttered that the Mayor had been very cowardly not to check it out himself.

The peddler had observed everything and came forward to offer his services for free.. If I could find him a few magic items, he could dispel the curse while it was still weak. But he stressed that this is a one time offer made only because there’s a danger the curse could spread beyond the pond.

I was pretty sure I had some of the items requested back at Town Hall but first I needed to find Lucky. He was sitting under one of those new trees the Captain had planted, munching on a carrot he had found somewhere. I picked him up and held him close, relieved that he was safe.

Captain Greg escorted me back to Town Hall and insisted on accompanying me to Ancient Pond to look for the items on the Peddler’s list that I didn’t already have. This would be my first visit there and I was glad to accept his offer.

I’m not sure what the Peddler did with the various runes and sky crystal earrings he had requested, but whatever it was, it removed the curse. Going back on his word, the Peddler decided to take the ominous orb as payment for his services. He then warned me to keep my guard up because it seemed that someone wasn’t pleased with me restoring the kingdom.

Well, I’m not pleased with someone cursing the kingdom, so I guess that makes us even. I was pleased, however, when once again the Captain offered to walk me home.

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

June 20, 2015 9:04 am  #10

Re: Awakening Kingdoms: Berengaria's Story

Part 10

All I could think about last night was Captain Greg. In my mind, I replayed the events up at the pond over and over – how his voice sounded as he said my name, how strong he was, how safe and cherished I felt when he held me in his arms. I couldn’t wait to see him again.

I had hoped he would stop by Town Hall in the morning or would leave me a note telling me when I would see him again. But all I found on my desk was a note from the Mayor requesting that I visit the Rose Garden to find out the many secrets of the Dreamless Castle. Oh, and to see if the cloaked stranger is somehow connected to the Relic "we" found there recently.

Honestly, I don’t know how the Mayor can dare to ask such a thing. I was nearly abducted by that cloaked man and as for the Relic, "we" didn’t find it, I did. Well, I’m not going there before I consult with Captain Greg.

But I couldn’t just sit around waiting for him to appear. I decided to approve Chumblepot’s request to expand the Glasswork shop. He will need more room if he’s going to repair the large glasswork up at the Castle.

While the construction was going on, I took Quinn and Mr Vanderkins to Mystic Copse, Forgotten Glen, and Ancient Pond to look for sky crystals to clear the curse in the Castle. Before setting out I gave Lucky a stern warning: no locking Mr Vanderkins in Mossbeard’s mouth – or any other place.

Quinn had been sure he had seen sky crystals at those three places, but when we examined them more closely, they turned out to be ordinary blue crystals. He was disappointed but went off to look some more for a real one.

After checking back at Town Hall to see if anybody had stopped by, Lucky and I went to the Fairy Dragon Nest to look for glass shards and then back to Forgotten Glen to search for poster glue. Chumblepot needed these materials to repair that glasswork.

At the Forgotten Glen, I also gathered some food and thought some more about Captain Greg. I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen him and surprised that he hadn’t tried to contact me. Lucky must have sensed my disappointment. He squeaked sympathetically.

I told Lucky the Captain was probably very busy hunting down that cloaked stranger. Or maybe he was trying to find me a lobster to replace the one he took. When he does return the lobster, maybe I should invite him to dinner.

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