Beware the Baron's Wrath [v]

Alistair was relieved when the familiar form of his home came into view. The impressive front Facade with its rounded corner turret rooms was simple enough. The moat about the outer wall with the drawbridge serviceable had proven in the past enough to keep them safe. At the rear either side this body of water cascaded down walled falls to the lake. Only he knew where the secret spring was that fed the high part of the moat, cleverly hidden in the deep water due to the dams at either side.

This spring water was also fed into the castle through a network of stone and wooden viaducts. It was an idea his great grandfather had copied from the Roman Houses of old. It ended in the laundry huts at the back of the castle and then this water would filter out onto the vegetable gardens before trickling into the lake.

As a boy his father taught him the powers and strengths of his home how the fortification was so successful due to the positioning on the lee side of crown of the rocky the bald hill. It was easily guarded as the points where the dam fell jutted out beyond the cliffs in the hills – the cliffs created by the cutting of the stone for the castle. The craggy hill it faced was hard to negotiate and only the single road in and out cleared wide enough for wagons, fully in view from the turrets and impossible to approach the castle with ease. The vast lake at the rear again gave no protection from the castle for any approach and so his home was very safe!

In these days of darkness and trouble their stores and cellars were always well stocked and the villagers knew their fastest routes from their homes along the lake and in the fields to their assigned quarters within the safety of the castle. When he was away from home he made sure there were watches posted at the four turrets, two front and two rear. And that his administrator Gavin had his orders on how to protect the Castle, people and lands in his absence.

He heard the shout from the watch tower and gave the whistle he always gave when arriving home. The drawbridge remained lowered and the horses’ hooves clattered across the heavy hardwood beams.
He shouted “Raise up!” to the guard and after a moment heard the responding creaking of the chains as the pulleys were wound to pull the bridge up.

Alistair halted his charger at the door praying the magnificent horse would last the night. He had carried him well for many years and Alistair would dearly miss him. He doubted the hack given to the Princess would reach the stable yard the way his arm ached he had had to haul the beast the last mile!

Wearily he swung down from the saddle and drew the unconscious Princess from her perch to his shoulder. She made a soft grunting noise but otherwise lay still. He must be tired as he would normally find no trouble in carrying such a maid but after that ride her slight build was taxing for him. he was grateful to see the castle door open for him.

‘Gavin get the boys to walk the horses, and pray they will survive. They have ridden two days length in just this night.’ Alistair called as his administrator, a man only five years his senior, came from the castle door to greet them. Already two lads were running from around back.

Inside the modest hall a fire burned in the hearth and before it lay Gavin’s pallet of straw and fur pelts. Alistair knelt on the furs and lowered Daphne to his lap.
Her golden eyes were closed and her skin pale almost blue with the cold. Her cloak was drenched and the fine cream muslin gown next to useless. He pulled his thick woollen cloak from his shoulders and wrapped it about her. One handed he unbuckled his belts and lay his sword aside, then felt himself melting with fatigue.

With his last ounce of strength he had to tell Gavin what might happen in the morning.
‘Gavin, there will be men coming they mean to avenge the king’s name. They presume I have some how offended it.’
‘All will be well sire. Rest now’

It was as if the Administrator had woven a spell for no sooner had he spoked than Alistair dropped into a deep and dreamless sleep.

/

Baron’s Wrath [vi]

Beware the Baron's Wrath [v]

adgray

Frankston, Australia

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Artist's Description

In the moonlight of a stormy night a castle looms. Two riders are making for the safety of it at top speed, with all the evils of the night on their tails ……

Well that’s what hit me when I looked at
Blaise Castle in the Moonlight by my dear friend Dawn Davies

Baron’s Wrath [vi]

Thank you for reading my words! ♥
Keep Happy! :O)
Chookas! X♥X

Artwork Comments

  • Dawn B Davies-McIninch
  • adgray
  • Dawnsky2
  • adgray
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