The Forest Cabin Book One

Linda Harrow is a teenage girl who arrives at Forbes Hill Cabin in the deep forest.
When she meets a wizard named Greywood, her life changes forever.

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1. The Forest Cabin Book One-Part One

Linda Harrow walked down the path that led to the dark forest. She shivered, as she saw a bright light of a lamp illuminate the old cabin; she heard the loud creaking of the brown door. Suddenly Greywood, the Grand Wizard, gripped his black cane in his right hand. "I was expecting you tomorrow", he stated. Linda smiled. "I've decided to arrive early, Grandfather". He laughed. "Please come inside", the wizard said. Linda followed him through the double door, and saw the spacious Feast Hall that was in the middle of the forest. 

***

Linda saw an elf was warming its cold hands by the fireplace. "Good afternoon, I'm Linda". The elf bowed to her. "Good afternoon. I'm Lorrie". Linda nodded. She noticed an arched door that led downstairs to the Dragons' Room; she took a long, deep, breath, as Lorrie attended to its chores. Suddenly, as it started to rain, they heard the sound of horses' hooves coming down the cobbled road. Greywood saw Sir David, the Knight, arrived with a group of six Knights, who were away fighting dark elves in the town of Moorland, three miles' away. They wore grey helmets on their heads; and silvery armour across their chests, arms, and feet. Lorrie stopped working. "Sir David, this is Linda Harrow, Greywood's Granddaughter". Sir David smiled. "A pleasure to make your acquaintance, My Lady". Linda smiled, as he kissed her on the right hand. The romantic gesture caused Linda to blush. She regained her lost composure, and focused on the fireplace.

***

Linda saw a black bar. "I'll be in charge of it, Grandfather", she said. She got dressed in a red gown, black boots on her feet, and a silver watch on her right, middle, finger. As the Knights were sitting on rustic looking stone seats, Linda took their orders, as she cooked hot stew for dinner for herself, Lorrie, and the wizard.

***

After dinner, Linda worked for several hours until it was dark. "I'm going to bed", she told Greywood. "Good night, Linda". By ten-thirty in the evening, the shadows of the cabin loomed over the windows. She slept in the spare room down the thin hallway; she dreamed for a future that was unknown, while the other travellers also yawned as they all slept as well.

***

The early morning sun shone brightly by seven o'clock in the morning. Sir David stretched his legs, as he strode purposely towards the warm fireplace. Greywood walked near him. "Good morning, Sir David", the wizard said. "Good morning, Greywood. It's been a week or two before there's been any kind of trouble in the cabin". Greywood nodded, then sighed. "I had hoped Linda would arrive and handle everything while I'm away on business", he said. Sir David nodded. "I'll protect her if the need arises". The wizard smiled. Suddenly Linda arrived. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?", she asked. "No, child. Besides, you must go exploring. You can collect wood from The Gleaming Forest", Greywood answered. She kissed him. Then she opened the front door. It was cold. She walked through the forest, and saw an axe that was in a piece of charred wood. She was about to grab it, when she saw several dark goblins. They were holding sharp scythes in their clawed hands. "The wood is cursed, human. You mustn't hold it. Only we can do that", the first dark goblin grinned. It showed off its rotten teeth. Linda backed away, as she saw a silvery sword that was embedded in the mud. She picked it up with her small, right, hand; she stood near the dark goblins. "Go away, or I'll use magic on you". The dark goblin leader named Rodrick was about to swing the scythe at her chest when she heard the sound of footsteps. A teenage boy dressed in a black robe held up a wand in his left hand. "Back away, Roderick. The girl's not to be harmed". The dark goblin's black eyes glared with hatred at the intruder. "This isn't over, Daniel". It walked out of the forest with the other five members of the group, leaving Linda to feel relief that she wasn't dead. "I have firewood that isn't cursed. It's clean for your cabin. You're Linda, Greywood's Granddaughter", he said. Linda nodded. "And you're...", she said. "Daniel Westwood, the protégé of Blacklock the Grand Wizard", he said. "I haven't heard about him", she told him. "Blacklock is a secretive wizard. He lives in the Ice Tower that's through the forest. I have certain powers that I learned from him. And I'm still learning". Linda smiled. "Can you come to the cabin, and help me place the firewood in the grille?", she asked him. "Yes", Daniel answered. As they reached the front door of the cabin, a cold breeze blew from the north, causing them to shiver.

***

Daniel walked in his blue boots towards the cabin. Greywood smiled at him. "Daniel, I thought you were away", he said. "I was studying when I decided to take a break. As I was walking in the forest, there was a group of dark goblins. I protected Linda. Roderick is back", he said. Greywood nodded. "I was afraid so. There was rumours of a dark goblin war. Obviously, we must be prepared for anything". Linda placed the firewood in the grille. Once it was lit up, the burning flames warmed the cabin, as the cold disappeared.

***

The girl walked down the cobbled path. In her left hand was holding onto a basket. She heard the sound of birds singing. As she saw a campsite in the middle of the forest, she stopped walking. She saw foot prints coming from the deep mud. She saw a sign that read: DWARF'S HOUSE. Before she could do anything, she saw a dwarf boy grabbing some vegetables in his hands. "Can I help you?", she asked. The dwarf stared at her. "Ah, yes. I'm Harris". The girl smiled. "Cara". Harris let her carry some of the vegetables into the house, as the door closed behind them.

***

The house was small. Cara saw a family of dwarfs were cooking in the kitchen. She removed her boots due to the mud. Harris did the same. Once they were inside, they put them back on their feet. The chimney fire billowed smoke, as the aromatic smell of chicken, parsley, onion, and gravy, was cooked in grey pans in the kitchen. "Mother! Father! I'm home! We have a guest", Harris said. A dwarf woman, who was wearing a blue apron, glided towards the hallway. "Harris, you've been gone a long time". He nodded. "I was on patrol when I saw a human girl. She was in the bad area of the forest. So I decided to help her". "I'm Cara", she said. The dwarf woman laughed. "That's a beautiful name for a human". Cara bowed. "We saw some dark goblins. Harris saved me". The dwarf woman shivered. "Dark goblins, here! They must've been walking through the Ice Castle of Blacklock". Cara nodded. "Blacklock is a dark wizard, he has evil powers", she noted. "Child, it's not nice to go outside in the forest. Where's your parents?", she asked her. "They're imprisoned in the cold dungeons in Mooretown, five miles away because they can't pay the high cost of taxes to Prince Anderson. I fled our home, and seek a new place to live", she answered. "You can stay here, child. Prince Anderson wants to be King one day. I'm Deanne". Cara hugged her, and felt happier than she was before she went into the forest.

***

Linda saw Daniel was clapping his hands. Seconds later, there was a magic book that appeared in the air. She hadn't seen anyone performing magic for a long time. She gasped in wonder. Afterwards, she saw that the book was called: "The Magic Cookbook" by G. I. Vickery. "Can I read it?", she asked him. "Yes", he answered her. She nodded, and looked at the recipes in the book.

***

Prince Anderson gripped the reigns of his black coloured horse with his hands. He arrived at the Kingdom of Darkness, on a mission of peace. He hadn't the nerve to ask Lord Frederickson outright about wanting to be King; he knew he wasn't going to exert his power over the Lord. He had his own way to power. The Prince stopped riding. Suddenly he saw lamps that illuminated the grey bridge. "Let's go, Zander", he shouted. When he reached the end of the woods, he saw the bottom of the eerie looking castle of evil, and continued on riding.

***

Lorrie was cooking chicken in the kitchen. He smiled at Linda.

"Are you hungry?", he asked her.

"Yes, may I help in any way?", she asked him.

"You can chop the onions, and potatoes on the black board", Lorrie answered. She nodded. As she grabbed a small knife in her right hand, she took ten minutes to do the chore. Once she finished, Lorrie smiled. "That's good. Now we can eat", the elf said. As they ate their meal, Greywood arrived. "I could smell the aroma from my study", he laughed. Sir David, and the other Knights, sat on the black chairs, and ate as well. Linda savoured her meal, while they were prepared for any kind of attack from outside.

***

Cara yawned. 

She saw the darkness outside the window. Several hours later, she awoke. The sound of frantic shouting caused her to open her eyes. "What's the matter?", she asked Deanne. The dwarf opened the front door. Seventeen dwarfs were riding their horses. One of them stopped. "Eldred, do you bear any bad news?", she asked her eldest son. "Aye, mother. There's a group of dark orcs camping nearby. Apparently they're living in The Gleaming Forest. We must take care of them before there's more fighting". Deanne nodded. Cara stared at them. "Beware of Lord Blacklock", she said. Eldred bowed. "No humans have travelled so far here, my Lady", the dwarf bowed. He wore grey armour, black boots on his feet, and was holding a sharp dagger in his right hand. "I'm Cara. The dwarfs have welcomed me here since it's too dangerous to travel at night time". Eldred bowed. "Cara. That's a lovely name. Shall you join me at the Feast Hall's table?", he asked her. Cara grinned. "Yes", she answered the dwarf. And he smiled, as he took off his boots. Then he waved at the group of dwarves, and they walked through the hallway, and turned right, where ten chairs were surrounding the warm fireplace. Once they settled down, Cara cooked the stew for them. She served them first. Then she poured some stew in a bowl for herself. When she was finished, she sat near Eldred, and the cold weather was forgotten as all of the dwarfs ate their meal together.

***

Prince Anderson loathed the heavy rain. Zander, his horse, was drinking water from the Pool of the Great Seals. "We must hurry now", he said. The horse finished drinking. He rushed through the forest, and led to the Ancient Bridge. Two troll guards were snoring near the wrought-iron gate. To the right of them were black clubs in their grey hands. "Sit up!", he ordered. The trolls opened their sunken, black, eyes. "Sorry my Prince. We were on a break", the first troll said. "I won't hear such insubordination. This Castle needs to be protected". The second troll sighed. "Aye, my Prince. Lord Frederickson is awaiting your service". The trolls bowed. Then they opened the gate, and let the Prince inside.

***

Lord Frederickson stood on his majestic throne. He cast an ominous presence, as several members of the Royal Families across the lands were in attendance on regal looking gold chairs. "My Lord, we have company", Lady Edwina Sher said. He gazed at the Prince. "What do you want, Prince? I am at an important meeting to manage?", he asked him. "My Lord, forgive my intrusion. But there's talk of dark orcs in the area. And they plan to overthrow your Kingdom", he answered. Lady Sher gasped in shock. "Overthrow the greatest Lord in the Kingdom. Pray it can't be true". Lord Frederickson waved his left hand theatrically. "Silence! I've dealt with all kinds of creatures in my time. Dark orcs can be tamed. They'll be in the dungeons if they dare attack us. Prince Anderson bowed. "I'll head back to my own Kingdom", he said. He jumped back on the horse, and headed back along the bridge, then raced through the Gleaming Forest, and reached his own Kingdom, just as the rain started to disappear.

***

Princess Karolina De Harte, the First Daughter of King Harold De Harte and Queen Gretel De Harte, sat at her seat near the old silver mirror in her private chambers. "My Lady, shall I brush your hair?", Lola Grimes, her servant, asked. "Aye, you may. I have to write in my diary soon. You may be excused from your duties after you attend to me", the Princess answered. Lola, who had long, blonde hair, green eyes, and petite, wore a light blue gown, and grey boots on her small feet. The Princess, who was fourteen, had long, black hair, hazel eyes, and tall, wore a silver crown on her head, a black gown, and red grey slippers on her feet. On her right hand was a gold ring on her right, middle, finger. "The Ceremony of The Arches is tomorrow at Midday, my Lady. Shall you be there?", Lola asked. "Aye, I shall. Prince Anderson shall be watching all of the other Princesses. He is waiting for me to reach my Marriage Age Day to wed him", Princess Karolina answered her. The rain had stopped. "My Lady, may I be excused?", Lola asked. "Aye, you shall. I need you in the morning at seven o'clock", the Princess answered. "Aye, my Lady". Lola bowed, then she opened the chamber door, and attended to other matters inside the old Kingdom.

***

Cara slept in one of the chairs by the fireplace. She was afraid of the dark orcs. She remembered her parents. And how they loved their only daughter. She hadn't imagined that the dwarfs would take her into their own world; she was certain that she would stay the evening, and leave of her own free will. There wasn't any kind of magic; there was just a sense of 'fitting in'. She slept peacefully. Eight hours' later, she saw the bright sun's rays shine brightly through the arched windows; she saw a carriage on the cobbled road. To her surprise she saw a man opening the front door of the old carriage. She knew it was Lord Firestone's carriage. She got out of the chair, and walked down the hallway that led to the front door. Cara opened it, and smiled. A tall, regal looking, man who was wearing a grey coat, gripped a black cane in his right, gloved, hand. He strode forward on the cobbled road. "My Lord, shall I help you?", Cara asked. The Lord, who was in his early fifties, smiled. "Aye, child. I am getting too old to travel long distances these days", he answered. "You're not as old as my Grandfather. And he's eighty. You're too young. I'm Cara". Lord Firestone grinned for the first time in a long time. "Silas, give the child ten gold coins for the service". Silas, the driver, nodded. "Aye, my Lord". The driver, who wore a red coat, took out the coins out of a grey bag. "Here, child. Now, take care of the horses while we attend to our business". Cara bowed. "Aye, of course, Sir". Silas grinned, and he walked inside the dwarfs house, with Lord Firestone.

***

Linda walked out of her chambers. She saw Daniel was sitting on the blue rug warming his cold hands. "Lord Firestone's in town. He's meeting the dwarfs, according to the news I heard". Linda took in the information. "The dwarfs aren't used to wars", she said. "No, but they'll be useful against Lord Frederickson". Linda shivered. "I don't want you to be hurt", she said. Daniel held her left hand gently. "I won't be, my Lady. Besides, I'll protect you from danger". He kissed her on the left cheek, and she blushed. "Shall we go for a walk, Daniel, down the cobbled road path?", she asked him. "Aye", Daniel answered. And they walked together, as the sun's rays hit the old cabin.

***

In the Gleaming Forest, Roderick ate some meat that was cooking on the fire. It was hungry. Before it could do anything, someone rung a loud, silvery, bell nearby. It stopped eating, as the sound infiltrated the pointy, grey, ears; it seemed to be distracted by the Kingdom's Church's first sermons of the morning. It finished eating. Then it gripped its sharp dagger in its right hand, and waited for other dark goblins to arrive.

***

Sir David ate his stew in a stone bowl. He had decided to go exploring in the Gleaming Forest for supplies. He was low since the last hunt was a failure. "I have to leave soon", he told Linda. She hugged him. "Please be careful", she said. Sir David bowed. "I will be back in three hours' time. Good-bye, my Lady". He took the bowl to the small kitchen. Then he grabbed his sword in his right hand, and strode forward along the cobbled road. He walked towards the front entrance to the dark forest, and begun to get as many items as possible before the light went dark.

***

James Harding, the servant-boy, grabbed some potatoes from the market. He placed three of them in a small, black, bag. He was thin-faced, and was wearing a grey tunic, grey breeches, and black boots on his feet. At eight year's old, he was the sole bread winner for his home since his parents were too sick to go shopping. "How much for the potatoes?", he asked Mage the Grocer. "Two silver coins", the grocer answered. He extracted three silver coins from his ripped bag. "I saved up for the market", he said. Mage, who was bald, nodded. "A boy like you should be in with your mother and father...". James nodded. "I want to have a life, Mage. That's why when I turn of age of thirteen, I'll work for myself", he said. He headed towards the fruit stall. "And one orange please". Mage gave the boy the fruit. He paid the last of the silver coins. "Here's some meat, James. For free", Mage said. James grinned. "I'm not that poor", James begun to say. "Child, you are poor. You can work for me until you have enough coins to survive", Mage told him. "Aye, Mage. I'm grateful for the work". Mage smiled. "I shall be watching you like a hawk, James, until you're grown up, and leave the Kingdom". James grabbed his bag in his right hand, and left the busy market alone.

***

Lord Firestone sat on one of the bigger seats with the dwarves. "Lord Frederickson has too much power", he said. Eldred listened to the news. "My Lord, there isn't anything we can do. The Council of the Great Light can do so much to prevent an invasion", Eldred said. Lord Firestone sighed. "It's as I've feared all along. He intends to oversee all of the Kingdoms...and use his power to become the most powerful Lord of all time", he said. "Maybe we'll attempt to persuade him to be banished from the Kingdoms", Lady Anne Roland said. She sat down on one of the chairs, as Deanne spoke to them. "I vote for the banishment of the evil Lord", she said. And, after everyone voted in favour of the news, they hoped that the dwarven Kingdom would be free once and for all.

***

Greywood glided along the path that led to the Ancient Gardens. He saw Lorrie picking up a flower in his left hand. "Everything's fine, Greywood. The gardens are full of water, and sun". The wizard nodded. "I'd like to have a peaceful time here as I relax. Magic takes a toll on magicians like myself", he stated. Lorrie nodded. "There's talk that Linda will have a lot of influence in the near future". Greywood smiled. "My Granddaughter shows she's making herself known to the magic world. Now, let's search for the green plants I've been after for years", the wizard announced. And he grinned.

***

Princess Karolina glided in her red gown towards the black hallway. She saw three of her guards were standing at attention. She saw them salute her, and she smiled. "Stand still. You may guard my chambers. Father and Mother aren't to be disturbed". The guards nodded, and left the young Princess to walk across the old bridge towards The Gleaming Forest.

***

James Harding reached the edge of the Gleaming Forest. He wasn't supposed to be going too far from home. He then saw Princess Karolina walking towards the ancient looking benches. "My Lady, it's an honour to meet you. I'm James", he said. "I haven't seen you here before", she looked at the oak trees. "I'm a Princess, and you shall address me so", she announced formally. "Aye, my Princess. I was in the market getting food for the day...".  She stopped, and smiled at him. "You may work for my Kingdom". James bowed, and agreed to be in service for the Princess.

***

Linda spoke. "The Marriage Age Day isn't for me", she said. Daniel gasped. "Why not?", he asked her. "I am not worthy of marriage", she answered him. Daniel stopped walking. "But we have all of the time in the World; we have time to arrange the time and date...". Linda cried. "You won't want to marry me when I'm of the age of eighteen", she said. Daniel hugged her. "I shall wait, my Lady", he promised. And she smiled, and knew that she was eager to marry in the future.

***

James saw a young girl eating an orange. She looked pale. "James, I thought it was you", Anna said. He nodded. "I work for Princess Karolina. I was buying food at the market. Would you like to cook with me?", he asked her. Anna, who was poor herself, wore a grey children's gown, and black boots on her feet. "Yes, I don't have a home to go to", she answered with sorrow in her small voice. "I'll talk to the Princess", James said. Anna smiled. And walked with her friend towards the Kingdom.

***

Roderick held onto the sharp dagger in its right hand. The smell of burning firewood caused him to have a reaction to the rotting wood; the smell wafted up towards its nose. It backed away in disgust. Suddenly he saw a bright lamp nearby. As he made his way towards it, he saw several dark elves holding a meeting. "Roderick, it's been a long time", Carter Wildwood said. Roderick smiled. "I was busy working for Lord Frederickson. There's news he's got a Granddaughter who's working for him". Carter nodded. "According to rumours, her name is Linda". Roderick grinned. It waited a short period of time. "What shall we do with her?", it asked the dark elf leader. "We'll deal with her when the time comes", Carter answered. And it didn't grin at the news.

***

Greywood studied several magical books in his library. He was eager to write his six volume of personal memoirs entitled: "The Most Amusing Magician's Travels and Adventures of Greywood". He was about to write when there was a knock on the front door. "You can come in, Linda". Linda smiled. "I hope you wouldn't be too disrupted while you're writing, Grandfather. I was going to the market to buy meat and vegetables for the week". Greywood smiled. "Here's fifty gold coins. They're in a bag". Linda kissed him on the left cheek. "Thank you. I'll be back soon", she said. She opened the front door and headed down the thin hall. Then she headed out of the Kingdom along the bridge towards the market which was in the middle of town.

***

The Hooded Man strode down the cobbled road towards The Black Arches Tavern. He gazed at the group of dark elves who were holding daggers in their small hands. When they saw him, the elves shivered with dread. He didn't grin, as he opened the black door that led inside. Dim lamps illuminated the entrance. A bald keeper was cleaning the ash-filled bar with a dirty cloth in his left hand. "Cyrus. It's been a long time since you've come here". The Hooded Man smiled. "I was away on business for Lord Frederickson. I'd like a room for the night, and a meal please. I'd pay extra for the secretive nature of the importance of my delicate work". Cyrus nodded. "Five gold coins", he said. Cyrus took out the coins from a black bag that was originally owned by the thieves half a century ago. "Room 3 is available", the bald man said. Cyrus took the silver key, and walked to the room which was down the red coloured carpet that led to the Guests' Chambers. He opened the iron doorknob with his right hand. As it turned, he flicked on the light, and placed his dark red bag underneath the cheap bed which was in the middle of the old room. When he was finished, Cyrus noticed the window was open. He closed it, and saw the cobbled road that led to the fishing wharfs where sailors were in their ships readying to depart at a moments' notice for the adventure of a lifetime. He had official matters to attend to in the morning. An hour later, he opened the door, and placed the key in the deep pocket of his breeches. He walked to the warm fireplace. Three dark goblins were snoring on the grey chairs. He didn't want to disturb them. The Black Arches Tavern was notorious for letting all kinds of monsters in the tavern. Cyrus, who was known for getting into battles, had survived long enough to be left alone. Before he could walk outside, a black carriage arrived. He gasped in shock when he saw Lady Nathalie get out of the back of the carriage. The stern looking woman waved at her driver. "Take me to the front door", she ordered the dwarf. "Aye, my Lady". Cyrus bowed. "Lady Nathalie. It's an honour to meet you". She wore a red gown, and black boots on her small feet. Her dragon necklace plunged across her slim neck; her diamond wedding ring was on her right, middle, finger. Her long, red hair was like fire; her hazel eyes focused on the Hooded Man. "Take me inside, Cyrus. I have a meeting with Lord Frederickson. It's of a sensitive nature, as you can understand". He nodded. "I'm not a spy, my Lady. My parents were poor. I grew up stealing fruits from the markets. I learned to survive". Lady Nathalie, who was born in Torp Grimes Way, a regal part of town, to rich parents, walked to the front entrance to the tavern. Cyrus opened the door, and let her in. 

    "My Lady....", Kreacher Nolan Pryce said. 

    "Where's your Lord?", Lady Nathalie asked. 

    "My Lord was banished from the Gleaming Forest for treason. It's most unfair....", he answered her in a sulky voice.

   "Treason. I'd had thought he would behave himself once the Council of the Night lay down the laws". Kreacher sighed, and saw Cyrus. "My Lord, it's an honour". Cyrus laughed. "I'm not a Lord. I do have many ways to convince all Lords and Ladies to see things my way. The Council's power is sadly limited. Lord Frederickson knows that". He bowed at Lady Nathalie, as she strode boldly towards the fireplace to warm her cold hands. The dark goblins awoke. "My Lady...", they said together. "You can all stay", she ordered. The green creatures smiled, as they scattered around to attend to other important matters, leaving her to exude her power over everyone she was in contact with.

***

Cara didn't want to overhear what Lord Firestone was saying. She saw Silas was eating a mushroom and steak pie. "I could've had some", she complained. Silas smiled. "I was hungry. Besides, in my place of authority, no women, or girls, can bypass me", he stated. She frowned. She walked through the open door. "As I told you", Lord Firestone said, "...certain incidents have happened which is beyond our control; beyond my control", he stated. She walked towards him. "My Lord, may I interject....?", she asked him. Lord Firestone, who wanted to control his famous anger, sighed with growing frustration. "And what is it that's more important than this meeting?", he asked. "May I join you? I have certain connections that needs to be addressed", she answered him. "Connections. What connections?", Lord Firestone enquired. "Mainly Princess Karolina de Harte is my distant cousin", Cara said. A petite, regal, woman smiled. "Child, you're not of the royal bloodline". Cara bowed at her. "Lady Margaret, it's an honour", she bowed. "You know of me, child?", she asked stunned. "Aye, my parents worked for Princess Karolina when she was a girl growing up. Lady Margaret, who was seventy, had long, blonde hair, green eyes, and was shorter than Cara's mother. She wore a black gown, and red boots on her small feet. On her left, middle, finger was a diamond wedding ring. "My Lord, Cara shall be in my employ from now on as my assistant. Feed her, she looks hungry". Silas, who had stopped eating, strode forward. "I'll cook more pies, my Lady". He bowed to Cara, and focused on the job at hand.

***

Linda walked with Daniel towards The Marina of the Good Hopes. They reached the bridge. Several sailors were busy working on their ships, as Captain George Harrow, Linda's uncle, smiled at them. "Linda, it's been a long time", he said. He kissed her on the left cheek. "This is Daniel, my friend. We heard about the Prince's new taxes on everyone", she sighed. The sailor sighed. "Prince Anderson is corrupt. He has met with Lord Frederickson. He wants to be King on day, and assume the throne. Maybe someone else can take the throne instead", he said. Daniel nodded. "Hopefully my son once he's of age", Linda blurted out. "And you're married?", Captain George Harrow asked. Linda smiled. "Exactly", she answered him. "Well, I hope that you two can be on my ship The Faded Thorns soon. Good bye!". Linda and Daniel smiled. They reached The Long Bow Tavern. "I'm hungry", Linda said.

    They opened the front door, and went inside. 

***

A little boy was warming his small hands by the rusty fireplace. Because of cost-cutting, there was a lot of fires that needed to be attended to. Linda and Daniel saw the boy. "Gareth, I thought it was you", Daniel said. Gareth, (as he was called), grinned. "Mother and Father are in a meeting with Justice Zachariah. He could take away our house because we can't pay the taxes", Gareth said, sighing. Linda gasped. "He can't do that, can he?", she asked him. "He can, Miss. I intend to work as a sailor, and see the World when I'm sixteen. That's the legal age you can be one", he answered. "I'm Linda. My Grandfather is Greywood, the wizard". Gareth smiled. "A true wizard! Mother says Greywood is the greatest wizard of the lands", he answered her. Daniel saw a petite girl striding towards them. "Patricia, this is Daniel. And Linda", he said. Patricia, a lowly servant-girl, bowed. "I didn't know we had guests", she said. "I'm the Granddaughter of Greywood. We'd like to go to the Feasting Hall, and have mushroom soup, garlic bread, and tea". Patricia nodded. "That can be arranged", she said. Linda took out ten gold coins from her bag. Then she gave it to the girl. She placed the coins into another bag, and smiled. "Follow me", she said.

***

The Hooded Man gazed at the sunshine that hit the cold windows of The Black Arches Tavern. He had been working on the parchment for three hours. He stopped working, as he took a break. He opened the door, and gripped the key in his right hand. He dropped it into the deep pocket of his breeches. A woman was walking towards him. "Lady Nathalie is indisposed", she said. He blinked his eyes. "Is she. I was too busy on my work. Who are you, my Lady?", he asked her. "Lady Catherine Moore-Smyth". The Hooded Man thought for a moment. "Lord Herbert Smyth's wife", he answered. "Aye, this tavern is full of rough people", she said. He laughed. "Cyrus welcomes everyone...good or evil", he informed her. "And you're no different?", Lady Smyth announced. The Hooded Man grinned. "Including myself. I'm a scholar of the Ancient Dark Writings of Quentin Nathaniel Pryce, a warlock who was banished for using magic against the Kingdoms, three hundred year's ago. I'm continuing his work". Lady Smyth listened to what he was saying, and they talked for an hour or so.

***

Anna gasped when she saw three snoring dwarfs who were asleep at their posts. "You're a disgrace to your kind", she said to them. One of them, Sanders, opened its blue eyes. "We didn't do anything. Besides, we're on a break, you know", it said at a fast speed. James shook his head. "Where's Cartwright, the dwarf leader?", he asked him. "He's at the Forest Cabin with Greywood, the magician", Sanders answered. "I see. Greywood is as old as time itself", James stated. "He's not that old", Anna added. James smiled. She held James's right hand. Sanders, who had a black beard, hazel eyes, and small, was wearing a brown tunic, grey breeches, and black boots on his feet; he was looking at the fireplace. As the group warmed their freezing hands, the sound of heavy footsteps were heard. Before they could do anything, all of them saw Lord Zoran, the Dark Wizard, getting out of the black carriage. He stood nearly seven foot tall. He was wearing a black hat, a red cloak, black breeches, and red boots on his huge feet. He checked the time on his grey watch. Anna backed away in fear. "My Lord...", she uttered. Lord Zoran gazed at the frightened girl. "Anna, how are you doing? I was away on business with your mother. It seems she is still working for me", he asked her. "My mother is fine, isn't she, my Lord", she said. "Aye, she is. After your father's death last month from pneumonia, it seems I have stepped into the role of the father figure". Anna shook her head. "You're not like Father", she said. Lord Zoran grinned. "Indeed, I am not, child. And who are you with?", he asked her. "James, he's my friend. The dwarfs won't harm you, my Lord", she answered. Lord Zoran grinned. "Sanders, I've known of you. You will take these children to the Black Arches Tavern. I'll be there soon", he said. And he headed to the market, and brought supplies for the week.

***

Lola walked towards The Battered Inn. The chimney billowed grey smoke. She hadn't want to bother Princess Karolina; she was eager to find out more about the wizards. Near the back entrance was an orc. In its right hand was a jagged dagger; the dagger was old. "I wouldn't go near Seamus", a elf said. Lola stared at the elf. "I wasn't. I am hungry. May I come in?", she asked. "Aye, of course. I'm Madame Poll. As you've seen, the Inn is cheaply made. It's not falling apart-yet", she answered her. Lola saw several knights were eating pumpkin soup on black seats. The lamps illuminated the face of a young wizard who was asleep. She smiled. "Davey Shipp", she said. The wizard opened his blue eyes. "Do I know you, Miss...?", he asked her. "Lola Danielson. I want to learn magic", she said. Davey, who was fifteen, nodded. "All children must learn all aspects of magic. Some don't have any ability; some do. In short, you must pass the Tests of Greywood, the good magician", he said. Lola smiled, and was prepared for the tasks at hand.

***

Sir David gripped the brown reigns of his horse with his hands. He was nervous as approached the swamp. He wasn't sure he could find out the truth about Lord Firestone's power. The horse neighed. "It's alright. There's nothing to be worried about...", he said. Suddenly a woman was holding a large cane in her right hand. "Beware of the swamp, Sir David. Follow me to my home. Go to the left, then right. That's it. The horse can trot along the path...", she said. Sir David followed the instructions. The woman smiled. "Becky Carlisle", she said. Sir David nodded. "You're the Ancient Witch of the Dark Swamp", he said. "Aye, I am. My daughter, Emma, is here cooking dinner. Would you like to have something to eat and drink?", she asked him. "I'd be delighted to", he answered. He placed a brown rope across the rafter. "It's alright", he said to his horse. He followed the witch into the house. Then he closed the door behind him.

***

Linda saw dark clouds hovering in the night sky. "Grandfather, it's time for dinner". She knocked on Greywood's study door. She opened it, and saw the wizard was busy writing. "Oh, the time flies by when you're working", he said. "Let's go to the Feasting Hall. I hear several of the guests are arriving soon", she stated. Suddenly there was a knock on the front door, and a group of magicians, witches, and warlocks, arrived at the magic cabin.

***

The young warlock smiled at Linda. "Anderson Cain". Linda smiled at him. "Linda. Please follow me to your seat by the warm campfire", she said. Anderson, who was sixteen, had short, black hair, brown eyes, and tall for his age. He wore a red cape that fell to the grey carpet. He was wearing red boots on his feet, and grey breeches. In his left hand was a magical wand. "It's new. I fought a dark elf in the Doom Woods nearby. The creature panicked, and fled towards Lord Frederickson's castle". "I'm glad that you survived, Anderson", Linda said. He grinned. "I was trained by Westall The Great Wizard. He is notorious for his privacy. In short, only the best warlocks are trained by him. I passed the Tests of Fates, and can use magic for good, not evil". As he sat down, Linda threw firewood into the fireplace. Seconds later, the wood was burning. An iron grille covered it, so that there wasn't any fires which could burn down the old cabin. Next to Anderson was a girl witch called Ella Primrose. She had long, blonde hair, green eyes, and petite. She wore a red cloak, black breeches, and red boots on her small feet. On her head was a black hat. "This cabin is bigger than my house", she said. The lamps illuminated the dim hallway. "I say, where's Greywood?", an elderly witch asked. The magician strode forward towards the old woman. "Esmerelda Deane, a pleasure to make your acquaintance", the wizard said. The witch gasped. "You know my name?", she asked him. "You're the most famous witch in over a century or more", Greywood answered. She grinned as she sat down on her seat, and awaited the Great Feast.

***

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