Chapter Nineteen

August 20, 2011


            As we discuss plans for the future and the protection of the elven city, the elder asks Briggette to see the sword we found in the temple.  He swipes his hand across the blade and ancient elven script appears.  He says it is the sword of a great elven hero, and that the hero would be pleased to see it in the hands of such a hero as she.  He had been a paladin who rode with Delrith and finally fell in battle against the dragon of the swamp.  The sword’s name is Helgae Recompensae, and Briggette takes to calling it “Helga.”

We make our preparations and depart for home.  The knight we found in the cell, Murdese,  joins us on our journey.  On the third day, as we approach the border crossing, I hear something behind me.  I see four goblins running out into the road behind me.  I yell as they loose their arrows, I yell to our group and Ulric charges.  We are surrounded, and arrows are flying in all directions.  Suddenly, a massive sticky web engulfs Ulric and Alabaster, and the horse is stuck fast.  One of the goblins is riding a worg and begins to charge toward our group.  Briggette, apparently seeing more adversaries, charges Chancellor headlong into the brush along the side of the road, running down five of the beasts who had hidden there.  As the battle rages on, we are facing at least 20 goblins.  We each fight valiantly and make quick work of the fiends.

We search the bodies, and find that the leader had a large reptilian eye painted on his shield.  We find about fifty silver pieces amongst the slain, and vow to donate it to the next orphanage we pass.

As we approach the border, the guards ride out to meet us.  They escort us back to the tower, feed us and tend to the horses.  Korvinean hunts and brings back a large deer for the evening.  We eat, drink, carouse and tell of our adventures.

We ride on toward home, and come to Madgeburg again.  We feast on roasted pheasant with stewed turnips and potatoes.  We celebrate with the townsfolk and have luxurious baths for ourselves and our horses.

We leave in style and have an idyllic ride back home.  We make our first stop the temple, where we pay our respects and our tithes.  A star—a high ranking member of the church similar to an inquisitor—says that he needs to speak with Briggette, Ulric and me.  I am frightened by this as I am not an actual church official.  I begin to wonder what I’ve done wrong.  He makes an appointment for us to come back the following day at noon.

As we ride into town, a spontaneous celebration erupts.  Word of our deeds—or a muddled version thereof—have already reached the towns folk.  The count is ecstatic to see Ulric home again, and treats us to a wonderful meal.  Briggette’s mentor, Sir Brennick joins us.  We drink a lot, and some of us pass out at the table.  We all spend the night in the castle.

The next morning, most of us wake with at least a slight hangover.  We ride into town and go to see the star.

The billet greets us at the door when we arrive.  He takes us through a side door into a room that has a long table with three chairs behind it and one in front. 

The star is sitting in the center chair.  “Please, come in,” he says.  He directs Ulric and Briggette to sit on a bench by the back wall.  He asks me to sit in the lone chair across from him and back a bit from the table.  With trepidation, I comply.

“I want you to be aware that no charges have been brought, but there have been inquiries, so an official inquiry must be made.”  He proceeds to question me about when and how I came to have horns and a tail.  “Will you freely submit to me placing a spell on you?”

“Of course.”

“Sir!” Ulric stands up, “This woman is my responsibility and while I know you would not intentionally harm her, I must know the nature of this spell before I can allow her to submit.”

He states that it is a compulsion spell which will not allow me to lie.  Ulric informs me that I am not obligated to submit to this man.  I choose, however, to do so, and he questions me further regarding my lineage and history.  After he is satisfied, he asks both Briggette and Ulric if they vouch for my reliability and trustworthiness.  Both do, and he makes several copies of a letter which exonerates me from suspicion.  He seals and gives me a copy of the letter to keep with me on my travels.

That evening, the star joins us at the castle for dinner.  After we eat, the star speaks with Sir Brennick and stands at the front of the room.  He calls Briggette forth, and asks her to kneel before him.  He prays over her, and the symbol of Cuthbert on her surcoat begins to glow.  “It appears you were right, Sir Brennick.  This will be most unusual.”  He looks to Briggette and says, “We will discuss this tomorrow.”

At five ‘o clock the next morning, Sir Brennick opens Briggette’s door and says, “Get armored up.  You have five minutes.”  She has flashbacks to her squiring days and springs into action.  She makes her way to the courtyard.  Brennick looks at Helga and says, “So, this is your shiny new sword?  It looks rather grey elven…  Well, let’s see how you can use it!”  He draws his greatsword and swings at her.  He spars with her for hours.  By the fifth hour, they have drawn a little crowd, and we all stand watching.

He deals a strong blow, knocking Briggette to the ground.  He puts his sword away and offers a hand to help her up—an occurrence that has never happened before.  “Lord Zurwald is going to hold a tournament in honor of Ulric receiving his spurs, and at the opening ceremony, you shall be knighted.  We have much to discuss.  So, tell me, how attached to Chancellor are you?”

She seems taken aback.  “I’ve known him since he was a colt.”

“That is fine.  The star shall anoint him.”  He calls to his own horse, and it runs in from around the corner.  Thinking back, Briggette realizes that whenever they would ride into town, Brennick would not stable his horse, but would simply leave him to wander.  The horse, however, always came when called.

As we disperse, Ulric is called in to see his father.  He will earn his spurs, Briggette will be knighted, and a tournament will be held.  At lunch, Briggette is asked to bring Chancellor into the temple.  She seems confused, but leads him forth.  The star rubs oils into Chancellor’s coat and ears while praying over the horse. 

He whispers in each ear in turn, then rubs a different oil into his mane.  He then pulls out a knife, and asks Briggette to give him her hand.  He bleeds her into a goblet, then uses her blood to paint the symbol of St. Cuthbert on Chancellor’s forehead.  At one point in the ritual, he rubs his hands over Chancellor’s eyes, and when he draws them away, they eyes are covered by scales.  He prays again, and the scales fall away, revealing that Chancellor’s eyes are now as golden in color as a gold piece.  At the end, Sir Brennick steps up to Briggette and says, “Dismiss him.”


“Simply look at him and say, ‘Chancellor, you’re dismissed.’”

She looks at her companion and says, “Chancellor, you’re dismissed.”  The horse disappears.  Sir Brennick explains that when not needed, he may be dismissed to the Seven Heavens.  When needed, she must simply call him, and he will appear.  Any items she places on him will travel with him to the Seven Heavens.  He is now considered “awakened,” and Briggette can feel his presence as he approaches.


We spend the rest of the week preparing for the tournament and shopping at the fair that has come to town for the tourney.