The man had been traveling for quite sometime, through all sorts of terrains and different villages before reaching his current destination. Upon arrival to the castle he stood quietly, gazing up at the marvelous structure, lifting up the front of his helm and then proceeding forward. Trees lined the small path that had been taken many times before by several other men, and owls had made homes in said trees, hooting occasionally. The moon was hidden by tree branches and the only other light came from the windows of the castle. However, they appeared to be much smaller in the distance and provided no benefit at the time. When approaching the gate, he noticed another man, smaller by at least a foot, the size of the common dwarf, whose features where cutting in and out as wind shook the tree limbs causing the moonlight to flicker. The moon had the same effect on the mans armor, which glistened brightly.
"What business do you hold here?" asked the dwarf behind the gate.
"I've come for the meeting with the Commander and the Guild of Magisters." replied the man.
The man held up is hand for a moment as he pulled his rucksack from his shoulder and fished around for a small shard of porcelain that bore a peculiar crest. The porcelain itself had been stained yellow and upon it was a small, red eagle clutching a trout in it's talon, the crest of the guild. "I believe this should do." he said, slipping it through the barred gate. The dwarf on the other side took it carefully, examining it, before handing it back. "Very well. One moment , please." he disappeared from sight and the gate creaked inwards allowing entrance. He nodded at the dwarf as he strode toward the castle entrance. In the distance he could hear running water, possible from the small stream that ran through the grounds.
As he continued up the lane, a silhouette of the gorgeous castle came into view, the lights that appeared to be no help moments before, now gleamed in the darkness casting dim reflections on the cobblestone drive that encircled the main entrance. In the windows, figures could be seen moving around in the upstairs room. The man hurried to the large, pine door, opening it by the silver knocker which was about the size of the average infant's head. The main entrance way to the manor was dimly lit, mainly because everyone was upstairs, and the marble floors accented the dark woods of the furniture. Portraits of past owners lined the walls and the occasional landscape painting settled among them. A man wearing a dull colored uniform stood at the end of the stairwell. "Good evening sir, you are welcome to enter the gathering at the top of the staircase."
"Thank you, William." The man said to the butler in his deep, noble voice.
In the drawing room, much merriment was underway as he entered. Well dressed men and women carried about with laughter and no one seemed to pay much attention to him when he came through the door, despite his attire. He lingered a short moment in the threshold and looked around the room; seated in the far corner at a table, sat an older man who wore thick-lensed glasses and a dull, green set of robes. His silvery hair was pulled back in a long plait. He seemed quite immune to all the commotion around him, humming a soft tune to himself. He looked up, just as the man approached, " Wendell. A bit overdressed, aren't you?" he asked, in a faintly wisping voice, noticing the armor on the young man. The man smiled down at him, "It's good to see you again, Commander," he chuckled, "I'd rather be overdressed and protected than underdressed and dead. I came all the way from Gray Haven, it would've been foolish to come unarmed."
"Ha. I understand. Please, please, address me by my name. We no longer meet as we once did, you are to relieve me, remember?" the old man said.
"You're right, forgive me, Maximilian." Wendell bowed with his words. Calling his former instructor by his name sent chills down his spine as he realized that it would be his responsibility to command the branch of militia he had once strived to be apart of.
"We'll work on that later." he laughed, using his hand to push his former pupil upwards. "Now tell me, what news do you bring?"
Wendell took the chair across from him and removed his helmet completely, and pulling down the chain-mail cap. "There was an attack at the capital." he started, "The King and Queen have fallen." Max nodded, "What of their children?"
"Their sons are currently fighting the war in Talamh, word has been sent. As for their daughter, she is suspected to be dead, but no body has been found." Wendell ran his hand through his messy, black hair, while pulling a handkerchief out to wipe his brow.
"Impossible. If no body was found, that must mean she's still alive then. She has to be found." Maximilian threw his hand down on the table. "Are there any possible locations for her whereabouts?"
"Frontfurd has been searched by every able knight in the area. They suspect she was either captured or escaped...if not buried already." Wendell took glass from a servant who had stopped by. "It's hard to say. Even if she did escape it would be nearly impossible to think of where she'd be now-"
"But if she was captured?"
"Then with no doubt she'd have been taken to Talamh or Caradmor." Wendell said, "I'd sooner think Caradmor at this point, though. The Crimson Ministry isn't daft enough to not think one of her brothers would find a way to rescue her and their leader, Demetri, is sure to know this." Maximilian nodded his head solemnly and looked over at the beautifully carved fireplace near the center of the room, "I'm sure, if she was captured, word would've been sent for a ransom. Wouldn't you suspect the same?" Wendell thought a moment, following Max's eyes to the fireplace, "Yes, but, if it was fortune they were after what else could they get? They've already killed the King and Queen, anything that was left in their palace would've been up for the taking." The old man looked over to the knight, who looked over after feeling the gaze upon him. "The crown, my dear boy, Demetri wants the crown and while two male heirs live, he cannot have it just yet. If he has any sense in his twisted mind, he will sooner have the brothers come to her rescue and kill them himself then to trek all the way to Talamh. If he has her, they will come to him in no time."
"With all due respect, Ser, I don't think they do have her. Someone in Gray Haven would've said something. There's a lot of gossiping that goes around in that village and word from Frontfurd would have traveled there by then."
"Then you must find her, before they do."
"But, where do I look? She could be anywhere in the region. I hardly know what she looks like." It was true, Wendell never kept up on the royal family, he hardly would've recognized the king and queen had they not been on the nations money. Maximilian reached into his robes and pulled out a small, folded slip of paper and handed it to the knight. "Take it." Wendell gingerly took the waxy paper from him and opened it. It was a photograph of a beautiful young girl, wearing an elegant gown, her dark brown hair done up in curls. Her green eyes seemed to pierce the soul of anyone to gaze into them. "This is her? The princess?" Wendell asked. Max nodded, "Yes, now, go find her. Take the best men you have and bring her here." Wendell nodded, slipping the refolded photograph into his sack. "What do I tell her to convince her to come?"
"Tell her, her grandfather seeks her company." With that, Maximilian got up and disappeared into the crowds leaving a very dumbfounded Wendell alone at his table