Tiberium Letters

Part Six

By Dwayne MacInnes

After our evening meal, I went to check out my quarters. Fortunately, the guard's barracks are part of the castle. That would make inspecting the castle's interior easier after most of the residents had fallen asleep. My room in the barracks was on the wall opposite the door. Rows and rows of guardsmen's bunks lay between my room and the door. Just inside the doorway, there were some tables and benches where the guards could relax and/or eat.

The room I was staying in was very spartan. I had a small bed and a side table where a single candle flickered. At the foot of the bed, there was a chest to stow my gear. I did not have much gear so I hardly used it. On the wall opposite the door, was a single small window. The shutters were open, and I could see that it opened onto a narrow ledge. The ground was a good two stories down and that was actually a murky slimy moat that reflected the gray moonlight.

I sat in my bunk for a good hour. I could easily hear the guards entering or leaving the barracks most were entering and preparing for bed. I cracked my door and peered outside. There on the table next to the door leading to the castle's interior sat Reyn and two other guards. They were heavy into their drink and just conversing.

"Why do you think Brunis wants us to sit at this door all night?" the younger guardsmen asked.

"Easy, to guard her," Reyn replied nodding his head in my direction.

"Well, I don't suppose he could blame us if we had to partake of this good mead while we waited," laughed the second guard. "After all, this is thirsty work."

All three laughed at this and each took a long chug from their wooden mugs. Reyn wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as he sat the mug down onto the table. "You know I almost had the Thieves Guild revealed," Reyn started.

"Yeah, yeah, you told us before," the second guard replied in a bored voice.

"I would have had it too if I did not get this transfer," Reyn replied hotly.

"Well, you must have upset someone," the first guard supplied, "nobody gets assigned here if they did not make some enemies."

Reyn looked towards my room again, "You know I also know about her."

"I wouldn't mind getting to know her," said the first guard, definitely the youngest of the three.

"You have a thing for older women, eh?" the second guard jibed.

"Whadya mean? She can't over twenty."

"She's a hundred if she's a day," the older second guard responded. "She's an elf and they live ten times as long as men." They were both right -- in a way. I was of one hundred and twenty years. "Even if you two got married she'd still look the same by the time you are having someone chew your food for you."

"Not so bad by my reckoning," continued the first guard. Reyn just continued to drink and stare at my door.

"Are you kidding, she'd leave you and take everything you own by the time you started to lose the bloom of life. No, sir, stay with your own kind."

The first guard was about to respond when Reyn started up again. "Neither of you know what you are talking about. She's not the usual Imperial Inspector. I know what she did before. I know who she really is."

The two other guards looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders. "I think you've been into your cups too long my friend," the second guard said putting a fatherly arm around Reyn's shoulders. "Now, take Jern here. He thinks he knows everything about using that toothpick he calls a sword…"

I closed the door tightly. I learned a few things. First, I was not going to get out the barracks door. Secondly, I had better keep a closer eye on Reyn. He obviously got a good enough look at me down at the gate.

I blew out the candle and approached the window. It was a small window as I stated before, but it was wide enough to allow me to squeeze my lithe frame through and onto the ledge. I pulled my shield and bow out after me. It was not easy equipping myself piecemeal while my toes were the only thing keeping me from landing into the manmade swamp below.

I was able to shimmy sideways along the ledge until I found another window. I took a quick glance inside. It led to a small utility closet. I reversed my equipping process by silently placing my bow and shield first into the small room. I then squeezed my way through the window. Fortunately, the door did not contain a lock so I did not have to waste time picking it.

I listened at the door for a while to ensure that there were not any guards nearby. I slowly opened it and found myself looking at the throne room. There were stairs around both sides of the room that led to the private quarters.

In a matter of a few seconds, I had gained entrance into the private quarters of the castle. Here I would have to use even more care, for sentries patrolled the upper areas. Fortunately, if one is patient enough and there are enough shadows to hide you, one is able to learn where the holes are in the patrol pattern. This I did.

I quietly crept along the carpeted hallway. I did not have any plans of the castle's interior so I did not know were Brunis's room would be. So, I just went from door to door and peered inside. Most of the doors were unlocked and those that were not proved easy to open. I was able to observe -- undetected -- many of the most notable of the castle's residents sleeping, reading, or otherwise occupied with each other.

I finally found the room I was looking for. I used extra caution because it is well know that wizards love to use magical traps on their doors. I guess Brunis did not feel that he needed any because there was none. The door itself proved easy enough to pick. I quickly glanced inside the darkened interior expecting to hear snoring or to find the minister either reading or maybe entertaining a chambermaid. However, the room was vacant.

I slipped inside and began a thorough search. I could find nothing just a book on his nightstand by the High Elf Elrond Hubbard Dire-netics: Controlling your Personal Demons. I guess Brunis's mother did not love him. That would explain many of his problems.

Still I was not happy with my results. There had to be something in this room other than a book. No mage stays in a room for long without storing away some magical do-dads. I studied the room again. This time I was looking for anything out of the ordinary and I soon found it. Against the far wall there were two posts rising towards the ceiling. Normally this would not mean anything, but in a wizard's bedroom, this could mean only one thing…secret door.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on April 4, 2007 5:45 PM.

"First Contact" - Part 2 (The End) was the previous entry in this blog.

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