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Author: Robert Miklos (Page 1 of 6)

Star Stone Sceptre of Dorn

The Caravelle family were proud but downtrod.
Hunted for food to fend of their hunger.
Watched as a star came falling to sod,
which a hole through the world it did tear asunder.

The family so proud rode out to the fire.
and passed through a gape in the air and the soil.
“Its a deamon from hell?” we at once did enquire.
For the ground was all burnt and the pond water a boil.

But Father lurched forward as if drawn to a drain.
And grasped in his hand the stone as it glowed.
“Its talking to me,” he stated insane,
Then picked up the stone and to us he showed.

“It says we are home, for here is our hearth.”
And then set down the rock, which dented the dirt.
A retainer walked up, and dug at the earth,
but soon coiled back, his hand he had hurt.

“It ways so much more, I’d say fifty ton.’
like a boulder he could not as much as disturb.
Then Father returned and lofted it on.
“its as light as a feather, as the smallest green herb.”

From that moment forward and from those days so old,
Did the Star Stone Scepter only call to its kin.
Only Caravelle can lift it, command it and hold,
No imposter can wield it, only family can win.

Caravelle Family Saga.

Reggie the Kitchen Boy

“Boy, bring me more wine!” “Boy, bring me more mutton chops!” If I heard that once I heard it a thousand times. I didn’t know my father, and my mother died in childbirth, god rest her soul. I’m told she worked in the kitchens, and evidently I was born to spend my life replacing her in the kitchens. Still, it could have been worse. There were many children in Dorn who were much worse off than me, begging in the streets, down by the docks hoping for fish from one of the fishing boats. Or worse yet.

And I was never beaten. Other kitchen boys were beaten, but never me. The ladies said the Duke had ordered that I should never be beaten. I wonder why. Some said that it was because I looked like his son, Leopold. A LOT like Leopold. Some snickered, but I didn’t catch why at the time. All I know is that I didn’t walk around with the bruises that the other kitchen boys and girls did.

But I’d rather have been beaten, to tell the truth. The Duchess Catherine was especially mean to me. She went out of her way to have me do the filthiest tasks, the hardest tasks, the longest tasks. No one would ever explain why she was so mean. And her son Leopold was a spineless dandy. He enjoyed being mean also, took after his mother. That treatment got me some sympathy with the other kitchen workers.

Then one day, about a year ago, the Orcs came. They were said to be raiding up and down the coast, looking for some sort of stone. I didn’t care. It upset my routine and made everyone on edge. By now, at 18, I was a man, but everyone still called me Boy. I sure didn’t like that. I remember Leopold dressing in armor, with a sword in hand, and I thought that he was just asking to be killed. He wasn’t a fighter, not like me. He had all these notions about honor, and chivalry, where as the kitchens and the castle ruffians had taught me that the winner got to say he was honorable. So win any way you could, and tell everyone later that you were honorable. Since the other guy wouldn’t be around to dispute it, who would know.

Leopold would sometimes train in sword fighting with me, since we were the same height and build. One time I made the mistake of winning, and he flew into a rage. I cleaned the latrines for a week. I never won again. That made Leopold very happy.

When Duke Archibald’s men rode out to meet the Orc Sea Raiders, the castle was too quiet. We waited and waited, hoping for some good news. Good news never arrived. Duke Archibald had been slain on the beach attacking the Orc Raiders, and what forces were left went flying back to Dorn Castle to try to withstand a seige by the Orcs. Leopold rode into the castle square, tears streaming down his face, and loudly proclaimed that his father was dead and that he was the new lord of the castle. How sad. At that moment, he needed to rally his people, but instead he felt it necessary to proclaim his position and lord it over people. Some people, reading the tea leaves, decided they had no confidence in their new Duke Leopold, and quietly slipped the castle walls. Most said they would catch a boat to Stonehelm on the coast, that Dorn was lost. I stayed. I don’t know why.

Almost immediately the Orcs invested Dorn Castle. There were hundreds of Orcs, and only twenty fighting men left (most having died with their Duke on the beach). It took a week, with food running out, but on Monday night, around midnight, the Orcs battered through the main castle gate, and rushed into the castle grounds. Panic was everywhere. Most of the castle workers were cut down where they ran, as were most of the castle troops. But Duke Leopold was no where to be found. I thought to myself where would I go if I were Leopold. I quickly ran to the Duchess’ chambers, and sure enough, the two of them were barricaded in her main chamber. I rushed to them and asked if I could fight, could I help, and the Duchess spit out something about how she’d rather die then be helped by a bastard. Leopold held on to his mother’s robes, and the two of them braced for the Orcs as growls, grunts, and heavy footsteps got louder and louder.

I hid under a table in the anteroom, and saw it all. A troop of Orcs made it upstairs, quickly broke down the chamber door, pushed the barricade aside, and made quick work of the Duchess and Leopold. I must say that Leopold, in the end, acquitted himself quite well, and actually killed several Orcs before being cleeved in by the Orc troop leader. At that moment, and only that moment, I felt sorrow for him.

As Leopold fell, he did something so strange I will never forget. He took off his signet ring, his Ducal icon of authority, and rolled it under the bed. As the light went out from his eyes, as his face was on the floor, he moved his face and looked directly at me. And he winked. Then he passed.

The Orcs, having accomplished their task, and not finding me, left after tearing through the room and grabbing items of obvious value. A chest of gold and gems. A map on the Duchess’ nightstand that looked old. The Orcs seemed especially please with that. Then they left. I waited and waited. Then, when I was sure they were gone, I checked on Leopold. He was quite dead. So was his mother. I checked under the bed, and sure enough there was the signet ring. I grabbed it, and made a plan to use it to buy passage on a boat to Stonehelm. I made my way out of that funeral of a castle, slipping the walls in the middle of the night. I hid for several days in the warf building on the Dorn docks, until I was sure that the Orcs had picked up and sailed off. When I was sure, I came out, and found a village, Dorn, stunned by what had just happened.

Leaderless, no one knew what to do. I did. I immediately went to a boat, and inquired as to passage. The boat was near full, and I approached it with cloak on from the castle, and showed the boatmaster the signet ring. At once he seemed shocked, and several in the boat hustled me lower. One women called me “My Lord”. Another said they thought it was me, that they hadn’t seen me die, and that they were glad that I fled. Another said it was important to keep the Caravelle bloodline going, that it had ruled Dorn for 1300 years. I didn’t understand. The boat master said it was okay My Lord, I must be in shock. Then he said, and I’ll never forget, “Duke Leopold, we must get you to safety.” At that moment, I ceased to be Reginald Ferme le Bouche, and became someone else. I said “Right you are boatmaster, lets proceed with all haste to Stonehelm. But I, your Duke, promise to return one day, to retake Dorn and restore the Caravelle name.” And one day soon, I shall.

Duke Leopold of Dorn

Last Words From Rodrigo Salvatore

I write this for all of you now who may not believe that this old man once sailed on a sailing ship, felt the salt of the wind swept sea on his lips, and lived life on the raggedy edge. Now, in my old age, clothed in silk with Mitre in hand, that may be hard to believe. Once long ago I came to Caribdus from Earth, as many of your fathers and grandfathers had (although not too many of the Originals, as we call ourselves, remain). Almost immediately I fell in with a sailing crew, who God Almighty propelled on a sacred mission. We didn’t know it at the time, but we had been selected to challenge the Sea Hags, to stop the flood of this world. We fought many battles side by side, and in our final battle, at the Devil’s Cross, we finally defeated the hags, with the help of so many. With the help of Jomba Town and Tulago (now known as the Maori Federation). With the help of the Atani (now the Atanic Empire, full and glorious once again as it spread into many of the Receded Lands, lands that were reclaimed from the receding waters). From Admiral Duckworth (God rest his soul), and from the women of Asy Cay, including Annie Mason, (who you know as Madame Daxson).

I often find myself longing to sit on the deck of Liberator’s Wrath once again, to talk to my many friends who we lost long ago, and that thought brings a smile to my face. So as I write this, I raise a small glass of Scotch (who would deny me one small drink, after all, I am the Archbishop!) for my friends Crow, and Liam, and Daxson, Mordecai and Brachus. They are all gone now, having lost Captain Daxson in the final climactic battle when we defeated the Caribdus Inquisition naval forces off New Madrid. I leave this letter to you, Mi Abuela. As a Masaquani, your long life promises that you will outlive me. Just as well, for I miss my shipmates. I end this with a quote from one of my favorite English writers, Shakespeare:

“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”

Archbishop Rodrigo Salvatore, June 19, 1611 AD

Empty Seats on the Deck

Abuela,

It has been a while since I wrote to you, lo siento. We sail for an uncertain destiny, and as I sit on the deck of Liberator’s Wrath, I find myself looking for my friends. Crow and I would talk for hours on the scripture. He asked a thousand questions, and I confess to not having an answer for every question. I look to the wheel for Captain Liam, turning us towards an enemy when we should sail away to fight another day. I turn to ask Mordecai a question about the Americas, but catch myself before I speak too long. Daxson is at the helm, and we have sailed together for a long time. I trust him and his sailing abilities. Liam would be proud of our course right now, straight at the enemy. We have the sword, and are determined. But with so many friends absent, I feel an uncertain future. To Quote Don Quixote: “Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”

Which book, by the way, Mordecai gifted me (since it was published 34 years in the future for me). A book about adventures. Imagine that Abuela. Imagine that.

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