Standing on the far side of the bridge, Kitty catches her breath, waiting for Merisiel as she pats herself down to ensure that the flames are out.
Looking timidly around, Merisiel joins Amber, her hands now covering what her trousers no longer can..
A large door lies between them and the main castle walls. Not being able to sense anything on the other side of it, they push it open and gaze in wonderment; All around them are chests overflowing with gold, gems, and other treasures; suits of gold laid armour hang on stands, with jewel encrusted helmets; handwoven tapestries hang on the walls, depicting great battles.
Immediately Merisiel ran to the armour racks and found a padding hose/chausses to wear – they were big and very ill fitting.
As thieves do, they then raided the chests for treasures, before leaving down the spiral staircase at the front of the room.
The floor below is a large stone-walled room, with rows of long tables lined up along its length, and no other apparent way out.
Searching, they notice that the plaster on the a small section of wall, in the top-left corner of the room, is a slightly different colour; tapping on it produces a hollow echo.
A small, unlit torch hangs on the wall beside it, which piques their interest as it’s the only of its kind in the room. Kitty yanks on it, the torch pulls down, like a lever, and… nothing.
After about 30 seconds, a clicking sound can be heard, getting louder, grinding as though stone on metal. Suddenly, the wall slides to the side, revealing a very small winding staircase, going down to the floor below.
As they go down a floor, a plaster wall stands where you would expect to see a doorway. The stairs, however, do carry on downwards.
Inquisitively, they tap on the wall – a resounding echo emanates from it – another false wall!
Looking around, they see another torch. As expected, pulling on it makes a grinding, clicking noise, as the wall slides to the side.
The King’s Chamber
A short hallway lies in front of Kitty and Merisiel. To the left, an exterior door, leading to the battlements; to the right an ornate, windowless door.
Not wishing to head back outside, they sneak down the hallway, towards the decorative door.
Pushing it open, they are greeted by a most ostentatious room. The floor is encased in perfectly symmetrical black and white tiles; The walls are covered in intricate, gold inlaid carvings, which trail up to the ceiling and crawl overhead, encircling a large, golden chandelier – a mass of candles standing in its flower-shaped holders.
On the far wall, a large stain-glass window stands tall to to the ceiling. It depicts the king, looking triumphant, in full battle regalia; sword in one hand, the decapitated head of a foe in the other.
On the opposite wall is a large organ, the pipes of which rise high and then curve along outwards. Beside it, another beautifully adorned doorway, leading to the King’s private bedroom.
As they enter the bedroom, they are confronted by the humongous furled face of a grizzly bear; it’s maw open, bearing it’s fearsome teeth, a snarl on it’s face and it’s eyes staring towards you.
It lies on the floor, ready to pounce, although, it’s not. Looking more closely, it’s body appears to be oddly flat, and it’s eyes lifeless. Kitty and Merisiel look at each other in relief – it was just a bearskin rug.
Re-composing themselves, they look around; against one wall is a very large four poster bed, with plush red velvet cushions and cover; a small doorway lies opposite, leading to a small room with a bathtub and latrine.
Kitty, thinking of her profit margin, immediately tries to steal what she can, by shoving one of the plush pillows under her top. Looking around for more items to steal, she notices that a section of the wall, beside the bathroom is made from the same odd plaster as the secret doors that led them here. And, as before, a small torch hangs on the wall beside it.
As she pulls the torch the wall swings to the side to reveal a very small, cupboard sized room. Inside stands a small, but finely crafted, dark wooden table, with an exquisite red velvet cushion on the top. Resting atop the cushion is the King’s crown.
It glimmers brightly, even in the dim light of the room, it’s jewels glistening colours against the walls. Kitty steps in to pick it up but, as she does, the bedroom door swings open and in strides the King – a plethora of guards by his side, armed with halberds and swords.
“I have you at last!” The King booms. He turns his head, “Thank you Merisiel, you will be rewarded greatly”. Merisiel, her head hanging low, steps back behind the guards and stands furtively in the corner of the room.
Kitty, in shock, stammers, then pounces towards the guards! Instead of diving into them, she lands squarely on the head of the closest guard, and bounces swiftly to the next; bounce, bounce, from guard to guard, when suddenly she loses her footing and comes tumbling to the floor.
The king strides up to her, his sword raised. He brings it down with so much force, hitting Kitty on the top of the head, with the flat of the blade, knocking her unconscious.
Kitty wakes up and opens her eyes. She’s in a dimly lit stone walled room. There is some light coming from a series of small barred windows, and a large window in the centre. She is alone; Merisiel is no-where to be seen.
Suddenly a wizzing sound passing passed Kitty’s head, followed by a sharp thud. Turning she sees a large arrow embedded into the wall behind her. Attached to the end is a thick rope, which trails back and out of the large window. The tip of the shaft of the arrow is encased in a small roll of parchment, and has a pendant, on a chain, wrapped around it.
On closer inspection, the pendant is the very one which Kitty found in the box earlier. Unravelling the parchment, it contains a message which reads:
“Forgive me, Merisiel”
Kitty is furious! Not only did Merisiel betray her, by selling her to the King, but she also stole her necklace! Calming her anger for a moment, she follows the rope over to the window and looks out, to find herself at the top of one of the castle towers. The rope trails all the way down the stone wall, to a small wooden boat lying in wait, in the water.
Due to the height of the castle, the bars on the window are not too close together and Kitty manages to squeeze through them and carefully climb down to the boat below. Once there, she finds a large bag with all of her belongings and weapons in, except for the King’s pillow.
Is Merisiel really sorry, and trying to find forgiveness?
- They find lots of gold and jewels in the top room of he castle
- Merisiel finds some trousers!
- They find the crown behind a false wall in the King’s private chamber
- It’s a trap set up by the King, informed by Merisiel, who betrayed Kitty
- Kitty gets captured by the king
- Merisiel shoots a grappling arrow through the prison window, with a note apologising and the necklace attached
- Kitty escapes by climbing down the rope to a waiting boat, which contains all of her items