1998-09-02: Seek to Capture Members of the Followers of Armageddon
Shortly after Branson One-Thumb was murdered, I was granted an audience with an aide from Lord British's castle. I was dining at the Blue Boar Tavern, when two order guards walked up to me. They wore full plate mail with a hugs sword and the well known shield emblazoned with the silver serpent. They stood behind me as I sipped my wine.
I offered them a glass, but they simply shook their heads. I nodded, finished what was in my glass, and turned to face them.
- "So, my friends, what might I do for ye?" I asked.
- "We are to escort you to the castle," said one of the guards, named Madelyn.
- "Sir Duquelle wishes to speak with thee," added the other guard, Tracy.
- "Sir Duquelle?" I inquired. "Who might he be, and why would I wish to speak with him? Moreso, why would he wish to speak with me?"
- "Sir Duquelle is a member of the castle staff. He has information for you regarding the Followers of Armageddon," Tracy told me.
Needless to say, I immediately rose and followed them out of the tavern. As we walked across Britain toward the castle, I remembered Branson's murderer had posed as a guard. But after a short moment of panic, I realized that not one of those guards had been an order guard, one of Lord British's personal guards. Even though there was no reason to think that same murderer couldn't pose as an order guard just as easily, I felt reassured nonetheless. I also realized the potential importance of what Sir Duquelle might have to say.
When we entered the castle grounds, we headed straight up the stairs to the entrance hall. I had half expected to be returned to the room where I spoke with Branson, so was quite relieved to find that not so. We entered the castle and proceeded up the stairs to our right. At the top of the stairs, we turned left and walked down the hall. I leaned across the stone railing and enjoyed the view down into the throne room. Tracy gently, but firmly led me over to a wooden door. I entered and sat down, as they closed the door behind me.
After waiting for but a few moments, Sir Duquelle entered. I rose to greet him as he introduced himself. Then we both sat in one of the cushioned red chairs.
- "I have news about the Followers of Armageddon for thee," Sir Duquelle told me. "I have read thy depictions of recent events and felt I could trust thee to relate some critical new information."
- "I see. And what exactly would that be?" I queried eagerly.
- "With the recent murder of our only source who had intimate knowledge of the Followers of Armageddon..." he began.
- "You mean Branson One-Thumb, here on these very castle grounds, correct?" I asked.
- Sir Duquelle hesitated and raised an eyebrow, then answered, "Aye. Indeed the same. With... hmm... Branson, yes... with his death, we lost any chance of gaining increased knowledge of the personnel and movements of the Followers of Armageddon. As such, we have great need for any news that can be had about these scoundrels."
- I listened intently as he continued. "To that end, we are offering a reward for any members of the Followers of Armageddon who are captured and imprisoned at the Court of Truth in Yew. The reward will include a substantial amount of gold, honor and glory, as well as the personal thanks of Lord British, himself. But only if they are alive. For dead members - nothing! We need to be able to question them. Therefore they are worthless unless living."
- I nod in understanding. "I will make it known, M'Lord."
- "I thank thee, then, good sir," Sir Duquelle told me. "And bid thee good day. Thou may leave now."
I rose with questions dying on my tongue, and nodded toward Sir Duquelle. Then made my way out of the castle. Winding my way back to the Blue Boar Tavern, I wonder if perhaps I could actually catch one of the... "Nay," I chuckled to myself, "I would morelike turn tail and run." 'Tis not a lack of valor in me, friends, 'tis an abundance of humility.