Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you part one of, The Kingdom of Ardenell
“On the day after the eldest princess’ marriage, a coronation will be held, whereupon the King will relinquish his crown to the new ruler, his son-in-law.”
There were many laws in the
, but it is because of this one in particular we have story to tell. Araunah was thrilled to be back home. Standing there in her stone observation tower just where the meadows gave way to the sandy shore, she could imagine she’d never been gone. kingdom of Ardenell
“What do you think, Retrevar? Has anything at all changed since you and I stood here one year ago?”
Retrevar gazed at the castle nestled among the hills just by their river that wound beside it. The castle faced the small bay the river emptied into and was beautiful with it’s white limestone walls and turrets glistening in the morning sun. He let his eyes follow the course of the river and the forests that are fully trailed along beside it. He then turned to the mouth of the river where four large Great Danes stood guarding it. His reverie was broken as Araunah rushed on not giving him time to respond.
“I mean, look at the river- how I’m longing to go sailing on it- aren’t you, my own quiet friend?”
“Oh, of course, my lady.” Retrevar quickly responded. He shook his long black, curly locks, enjoying the feel of the morning sun warming his body as he listened to his mistress, the Princess Araunah of Ardenell continue.
“Truly, even the bay looks inviting this day.”
On that point Retrevar could not agree. The jagged row of rocks staggerd with both underwater and open air caves had always reminded him of teeth…teeth much sharper than his own. They were staggered in such a way as to completely block any passage for a large ocean goeing vessel; indeed, many had met their doom on their storm sharpened stones. Besides, he could never forget what lived and fed there; nor indeed could any resident of Andenell. The Princess suddenly stopped her gay little speech as the sound of footsteps on the stone spiral staircase fell on both their ears. As a matter of long habit, Retrevar positioned himself between Araunah and the door. However, her was not at all surprised by the form that soon filled the doorway. Araunah ran to the arms of Petrar, her betrothed. They embraced warmly, feeling the long year of separation melt away.
Soon, they were telling each their experiences and lessons they had learned. Araunah had spent her year in the mountains far away learning of the ancient art of healing. Petrar had traveled the Kingdom seeking to know better how to serve and to comprehend the needs of all from the lordly Canine who guarded the borders. Such was the custom in Ardenell. Each new royal was to spend a year apart preparing themselves for taking the crown and all magical power related to it.
“The Kingdom is happy. None of the creatures are in need of any kind. Your father has completed the task with honor. Still, though, everyone is anticipating the change. You know yourself, Araunah, how vibrant the Kingdom feels after the crown is placed on a young head.”
“I am happier than I’ve ever been and only need on thing more to make this day complete.” Said Araunah. “A race.
“You know you never win, but if it pleases you so much to have me the victor once again, I will gladly challenge you.”
Turning to Retrevar Araunah said, “You know Petrar will keep me safe. Go- go home to your family and you can return to me as sunset.
Bowing low, Retrevar turned and trotted gently down the stone stairwell. Retrevar was looking forward to seeing his family again. His mate Genera was of noble blood herself and had been a royal guard herself before starting a home and family with him. The pups- well, they wouldn’t be pups any more- soon they’d be fully grown. He would need to begin teaching them…though no doubt Genera had already started telling them the way of the canines. She had probably started telling them how their sole purpose in life was to serve the King of Ardenell. The safety both of their outer borders and inner fields and forests was the responsibility of the canines. It was because of this great burden first kingof Ardenell had granted all breeds of the canines the gift of speech.Retrevar picked up his pace- he couldn’t wait to hear what his pups sounded like.
The end of part one! It's a pretty long short story...so I will give you the next part as soon as I can! The Infinity Braid will be the next hair tutorial! Look for it next Saturday!