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2012 Garden of Heroes. Episode 3 (Finally!!)

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Episode 3:
The Meeting

One by one all the men were shown to their horses for the short walk to the Palace from Post-on-the-Hill.
-Lord Featherline you take the brown mare, Lord Waltz the dark brown stallion, Lord Billingsley that cream one over there with the yellow laces, Lord Teabush this black beauty, my Lords Applewhite you both get  those cinnamon mares there and Lord Redcross you … oh! We run out of horses, you’ll have to take that one – Said Captain Ubrik Wall.

- What? Are you kidding me? That . . .  arse?

-No my Lord I’m not kidding you. That’s all we have left. It’s a very nice… donkey. You won’t have any trouble keeping up with the rest.  He is used to heavy loads.

-But look! He can barely support me! I’m starting to think you have something against me!

-Not at all my Lord, not at all. – To each its own, he thought.

-All right! Enough of that! It’s time to leave. – Said sheriff Pepperback.

-I hope that poor little donkey make it to Coghaln City.  - He muttered under his breath.

They were flanked, left, right and back by mounted guards and men-at-arms on foot.  At the front a wagon with more guards made way for the Lords.  The market place outside the City had been deserted when they went across it; and when they passed by the main Portcullis and were shown to one of the side entrances they couldn’t help thinking they might be about to face some terrible fate or at least a not very honourable welcome.

After they entered the city, they walked up hill for a few minutes until they reached a training square where they were welcomed by the Royal Steward, Garban Fork.

-Welcome my Lords, on behalf of our King, the City Officers and myself. King Edward is absolutely delighted and grateful for your presence at the Palace and your good disposition to this strange circumstances in which you have been brought here. I hope you understand that all security measures are proper and justified for the porpoise of this Council. I apologise if there was any inconvenience.

-I doubt very much that this meeting is a secret, steward Fork, so no! we don’t understand!  We have been travelling on broad daylight and have been followed all the way, we saw dark shapes moving above us, and bright eyes watching from afar. On the other hand, no one had ever told any of us that this was supposed to be a secret council nor why have we been summoned. All we have got are assumptions and questions.  What is exactly going on? -  Asked Lord Everald Waltz.

-We must leave this talk for later, my Lords. Your Grace is waiting to greet you. – Said Garban Fork putting an end to the matter.
The Lords exchanged confused looks, but the prospect of a “Royal” welcoming was gratifying and reassuring after all they’ve been through.

They were led to one of the Audiences Halls. It was a huge space of solid rock walls with a row of windows at the top from which the setting light of the sun was pouring in, filtered by the coloured windows’. The floors were made of exquisite marble; in the middle of the room, two immense columns of marble and gold decorations, held the roof and determined the area in front of the King’s Throne where the circumstantial guest or speaker should stand to audience with the King. A carpet had been placed between the columns, for the Lords to stand on. Though the Hall was poorly decorated and furnished, it was breathtaking nonetheless. It would have been empty if it wasn’t for a herald and a servant on their positions.
Behind the throne there was an elevated balcony from where the most important Nobles and City Officers could watch the ceremonies.  Under it, there was an arched gallery for the Orchestra, the Chorus or the Jury, depending on the circumstances of each meeting; in this case, it was the place for the only pieces of decoration of the room.

When the Council Members arrived they felt warmly welcome just by the fact that the King had opened that Hall for them.

The steward nod to the herald and the herald proclaimed:
-Hear, hear! Your Grace, Queen Regent Alinah Lovehoved, Duchess of Coghlan County, Mistress of the Arts, Keeper of the Secret Tower and Mistress of the Order of the Golden Plume!
-Your Grace, Lady Esther Soggy Bottom, Earless of New Soggy Bottom and Mistress of Grey Castle.
-Lady Grace Rosebush and Lady Rose Graceword!

All women entered the room as they were announced and took their places.
All feeling of warmth in the gentlemen was replaced by confusion once again. Where was the king? They thought.
At once they all bowed to the Queen. Then, the Queen began to talk.

-Welcome dear Lords! It is with great pleasure we receive you here at Coghlan Castle. I must thank you for your promptness and I feel obliged to apologise for the circumstances in which you have been brought here. I trust Steward Fork has explained to you. Urgent matters have made the King leave the city and will not attend the Council . . .

-I am sorry my Lady, but actually steward Fork was not very opened to explain much – interrupted Lord Redcross with a bow. – And now you tell us the King is not here for a council he summoned himself. Who are we going to council for?

-Lord Redcross! – Shouted Lady Esther standing up– Do not forget who you are talking to sir! Queen Alinah has been temporarily named Regent and she is perfectly suited for the task!

-Lady Esther, thank you. – She smiled and nodded her to sit down.

– My Lords, it is time now for dinner and then you’ll be shown to your chambers. Tomorrow we’ll meet after breakfast.

With that she rose up and left the Hall, followed by Lady Esther, Lady Grace and Lady Rose, right behind her, putting an end to a very short welcome ceremony and leaving everyone present with even more questions than before.

After dinner the men were shown to their chambers where they found everything they needed to spend the night and also some more fruits, wine, and clean clothes. The chambers have been chosen wisely, up on the Sky Tower and far from each other to avoid contact between them.
-That’s your chamber Lord Waltz, have a good and safe night.

-And this one here is yours, Lord Redcross.

As comfortable as they seemed to be at first glance, after a further and brief inspection they looked more like cells rather than bedrooms. For starters, the door locks were on the outer side of the door.  Every little detail reinforced the idea that something very strange was happening in Coghlan and private and personal conspiracy theories started to wind-up in their Lordly heads.
-I believe the out-side locks and the guards are for “our own safety”.
-Of course my Lord. Let me tell you that the windows DO open from the room in case  you want some night fresh air or in case you feel incarcerated; but I trust you understand why the tower got its name . . . It is in fact,  the tallest tower in the kingdom.
-No doubts Fork, no doubts.

After studying the room and giving a suspicious look at the fruit and the wine, for he thought those could be poisoned, Lord Redcross took out his clothes and went to bed with a book he found at his night stand.  “Gravity and the theory of falling objects”. How proper he thought.
Lost in the book he lost track of time too. A few hours have passed since he started reading when suddenly he heard a knocking on the door.

 He took the candle from his bed side table and walked to the door. He said “come in” and the door opened. The steward was standing out there, two guards behind him. Fork simply said.

-My Lord, you must come with me at once. Please change into your clothes. I’ll wait here.
-But what is this? This is no time for any kind of meeting nor .  .  . I was sleeping!!

-I’ll wait here – The steward plainly said and pulled the door closed and locked it.

All the way down the castle’s hallways steward Fork kept his silence and listened to Lord Redcross’ constant questioning.
-Where are we going? What does this mean? Why aren’t answering any of my questions? Are we there yet?
-My Lord, you seem childish.
-Childish? What a nerve! You have no right to . . .
-I have every the right to remain silent as you have every right to ask stupid and childish questions! We are almost there; shut up or you will wake up the whole castle, please.

Finally they got to a hallway which walls were covered in paintings. It seemed to be a sort of weird art gallery hallway lost somewhere in the castle. There was nowhere to go forward beyond it. It was a dead end.  Fork looked at Lord Redcross and said.

-Walk to the end of the pass and knock on the wall with the portrait.
-What? Are you mad Fork? What does this all mean? What are you trying to do? Kill me and abandon me here? Who would find me?

-Do as I say!

Redcross walked along the gallery and as nervous as he was, he got distracted by all the paintings on the walls. Some were very famous and celebrated master pieces, while others were very weird and some even nerve-racking . . . things, for lack of a better word,  that no one could even think of calling art.

When he got to the end of the way, Lord Redcross turned to check on the Steward, but he wasn’t there anymore.

He was all alone.

He came to face the wall with the painting.

-What the heck is this? Who is this brat?

He knocked on the wall and he noticed it sounded like wood.



The painting gave a little turn to the right and a series of mechanical clings and clangs followed. The wall moved back an inch and then slid to the right, opening the way to a secret staircase going down.

He took a hidden dagger out of one of his boots, and went down slowly.  Down the stairs, there was a door. When he stood on the second stone step, it moved down a quarter of an inch and another series of mechanical noises preceded the sliding door closing. He was now only illuminated by the poor light of a torch.

He knocked on the door with his dagger, prepared to fight whatever was behind it.

The door opened and light poured out blinding him for a moment.

-WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS? – He asked wide eyed and utterly surprised.

to be continued  :wave:

Wonderful Gaston .... it just gets better and better   :clap: :clap: :clap:
Can't wait to see what happens next...
Love the paintings on the wall, especially the touch of HP  :love:


 :o :o :o
Amazing! But you can't leave it just there!!! 8}

Well, I like Sir Redcross if noone else does. :lol:

Wolf Knight:
What a suspenseful and full of mystery episode!!! This is really great Gaston!!!!
 :clap: :clap: :clap:

I am really anxious to see what Lord Redcross has discovered....

Amazing story Gaston, well done.
I like very much all the scenes but my favourites are these in the room.
Excellent work with so many details, you must have a lot of patience to do this.
Thanks for sharing and i will wait for your next episode.

Friendly George.


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