Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Chapter 97 - The Bard

 Knight Captain Ivan took his position as Defender of the Fighter’s Guild seriously.  He and the other members of the guild worked tirelessly to train and recruit new members to their cause.  Meanwhile, Archolia continued to grow and a new addition to the castle was added.
 Along with growth within the kingdom, Archolia formed alliances with many surrounding territories.  However, the Kingdom’s alliance with the territory of Aarbyville, a land founded and run by smugglers and pirates, had the potential to turn into something very detrimental.
 Troubadour Amelia was the first to notice the shady figures that had begun showing up on the outskirts of Archolia.  These gangs started hanging around after Meghan, the Pirate Queen of Aarbyville sent scouts to Archolia.
 As bard, Amelia often visits different areas of the kingdom in order to gain inspiration for her poems and plays. 
 Amelia is at the Watcher’s Pavilion when a couple of strange men approach the area.
 Amelia is not afraid, but she has a bad feeling about the men who strut about the kingdom as if they own the place.  Amelia jots down a few last notes on her parchment.
 At last she spots the leader of the group of thugs.  From what she has gathered, he is known simply as the Rat King.
 Amelia gathers up her courage and approaches the Rat King.  “What is your business here in Archolia?”  She asks in a voice that is sweet, but shows no signs of intimidation.
 “Well, well, well…are you not the prettiest thing I have seen today,” the Rat Kings observes.

Amelia ignores his statement.  “Why have you come here?”  She asks again, this time  in a voice a little more forceful.
 “Is it a crime for outsiders to visit Archolia?”

“No,” Amelia answers, “But you and your men do not appear to be here on a mere visit.”
 The Rat King chuckles, “Pretty and bold.  I like that, but consider this a warning…my business here is no business of yours! Now return to whatever it is that fine little wenches like yourself do throughout the day.”
 The Rat King walks away, obviously angered that Amelia saw fit to ask him questions.
 Amelia decides to visit the castle.  Rumor has it that the Rat King and his goons are not the only thugs roaming the kingdom.
 Sure enough, Amelia runs into the leader of the second gang.  She is known as the Queen of Hearts and like the Rat King, she travels with her own set of thugs.
 “I just ran into your rival and like I asked him, I am asking you…what is your business here in Archolia?”
 The Queen of Hearts is not amused or touched by Amelia’s boldness.  “Look little girl…if you want to keep that pretty face of yours, I would advise you to stay out of business that is not yours!”
 Amelia is not intimidated.  “I will find out what you two are up to!”  Amelia says  as  a  promise.

The Queen of Hearts lowers her head and  laughs silently in a sinister smirk.  “We will see, will we not?” She says in a threatening voice.
 Having gotten nowhere with the gang leaders, Amelia seeks out the dignitary of Aarbyville, Pirate Queen Meghan.  She steps into the banquet hall and see’s that Queen Chalyela is hosting dignitaries from all over.  With so many dignitaries visiting, Amelia knows that the queen cannot risk an international incident.
 Amelia isolates Meghan from the rest of the crowd.  “Greetings your majesty.  I sought you out because I could not help but notice that several gangs from your land have been lurking the borders of Archolia.”

A knowing smiles spreads across Meghan’s face.
 “Ah, are you referring to the Rat King and the Queen of Hearts?”

“So you are aware of what is going on?”  Amelia asks.
 Queen Meghan does not seem to be very concerned, “Aye, I have an idea.  When these two come to town, the question is not why…it tis what part of the kingdom will each take over.”
 Amelia cannot believe her ears.  It seems as if their queen knows how the gangs operate, but she certainly does not seem willing to offer up any help. 
Queen Meghan walks away and Amelia knows that she had better alert Queen Chalyela at once.

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