Palace Guard: Day 14

We stood there and watched the skeletons pick up weapons; ancient and rusty swords that still appeared lethal. Josephus remained in the clutches of the man who called himself Rulatha. We were surrounded and appeared to be out of options. Our chain mail armor would not even help us.


“You have three days to bring me the Baron’s daughter,” Rulatha started, “After that time, I shall unleash my host upon the Kingdom and claim her myself.”


“Three days?” Grantiere asked, “It took us that long to walk here.”


“My associate will see that your return is swift,” Rulatha held out his hand. One of the skeletons came forward, wearing a black Mage’s cloak and carrying a staff made of petrified wood. Its dark eye sockets had the faint glow of burning embers. As it walked toward us, it gestured toward the passage that would take us to the mouth of the cave.


“Three days, or your friend will be lost forever,” Rulatha taunted. With a snap of his fingers, Rulatha and Josephus disappeared. The remaining skeletons all came toward us so that we were forced to retreat to the cave’s opening. Once outside, the cloaked skeleton moved its arms in a very specific pattern while pointing with its staff.


I remember closing my eyes, and when I opened them, we were all standing outside the gates of the town. The guards in the towers were startled by our sudden presence, but called to open the gates. We moved inside and immediately reported what had transpired to our commander. He told us to get something to eat, but to meet him for a special court in and hour.


After our meal, we entered the chambers of the Queen’s royal adviser. In the chamber was our commander, the Queen’s adviser, the Bishop, and a man whose face was not known to me. Also in attendance was Baron Galt-Haldane. We all took our places around a table and we told them all of what had happened.


“I shall not hand over my daughter to this sorcerer!” insisted the Baron.


“Not sorcerer,” the unidentified man said, “Vampire.”


“Are you certain, Trevor?” the Bishop asked.


“There is no doubt in my mind,” Trevor responded, “My order has been tracking a vampire in this area for many years.”


“Why does the vampire have such an interest in a pendant?” the Queen’s adviser queried.


“You will have to ask that of the Baron,” Trevor replied.


“I do not know what you speak of,” the Baron stammered.


“Do not lie to me,” our Commander belted, “You’re putting the lives of one of my best men and the entire Kingdom in jeopardy!”


“If our foe truly is a Master of Death and you do not cooperate, Baron Galt-Haldane, it can be viewed as heresy,” the Bishop warned.


The Baron’s eyes darted around the room, meeting each of our gazes, as if he was hoping someone else would provide an answer. The room was silent as we all awaited to see what the Baron would say. After what felt like ages, the Baron sighed and leaned back in his wooden chair.


“I’ll need you all to come to my Manor,” said the Baron reluctantly, “There’s something you need to see.”

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