Role Playing Fan Fiction ❯ The Power of Three ❯ Chapter 2

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]


Bertie, Marion, Reggie And Gryffie continued their way through Dalrymalla Woods.

'Bertie, which of your former fiancées was the most pleasant?' Marion asked smiling gently.

'Sella,' Bertie answered at once.

'And besides Sella?' Marion asked curiously.

'Well, that would be Pauline,' Bertie said without hesitation. 'Countess Pauline von Sternberg, daughter of Count Kaspar von Sternberg. They live somewhere here in the Eastern Plains, Bohemia their country is called, I believe.'

'Yes, my Lord, Bohemia is the name,' Reggie supplied helpfully.

'Thank you, Reggie,' Bertie nodded smiling gently. 'Well, Pauline is lovely, clever And brave.'

'So why didn't you marry her?' Marion smiled gently.

'Well, that's a long story,' Bertie smiled gently. 'When I first came to Sternberg Castle, it's a magnificent long white stronghold on a long hill over a little river, I fell in love with Pauline, and I fell on my knees before her And asked her hand in marriage. And she agreed. But her father, Count Kaspar, a stern man, didn't like me at all. And when Pauline broke off the engagement, he was very pleased. But Pauline And me remained good friends. Well, the next time I came to Sternberg Castle, Pauline was in love with a penniless gentleman called Zbysek Chapik, And he loved her too, but he thought himself unworthy of a rich Countess. So I decided to help them. I asked Pauline for a walk in the park, And then I kissed And embraced her. I thought if Chapik saw us, he would get jealous And act on his love at last. But it was Count Kaspar who saw us instead, And he was not amused to say the least. He called Pauline home, And he locked her in her room. But Reggie brought the key to her,  And she escaped. But she came to my room. When I saw her in my bed, clad only in her shirt, I nearly fainted from embarrassment. Needless to say, I slept on a chest, fully clad. But in the morning Count Kaspar saw Pauline leaving my room. Well, you understand what he thought. And the next thing that he did was to lock me in my room. He told me through the door that I must restore his daughter's honour And that we will be married in several days time. Well, you can imagine my state. And what's even worse, Pauline agreed to the marriage to spite Chapik! But thankfully faithful Reggie brought me the key, And I escaped. I left the castle quickly. Well, Chapik asked for Pauline's hand And her father agreed. I was the best man on their wedding.'

'That Count Kaspar was a complete fool to think that you could take a maiden's honour,' Marion frowned angrily.

'You said it yourself, my dear,' Bertie smiled waving his hands.

'And that Pauline is too rash, to agree to marry you in such circumstances!' Marion frowned. 'Thank Gods that you didn't marry her!'

'Again, you said it yourself, my dear,' Bertie smiled gently, waving his hands again.

Reggie looked at them with a smile in his eyes.

'And what about your suitors, Marion?' Bertie asked a bit unsure. 'I bet you've had plenty!'

'Yes, I had,' Marion smiled wryly. 'But none of them we're to my liking, so I turned them all down. Everard Fotheringhay, my neighbour, was the most persistent. But given his bad temper I always turned him down.'

Bertie nodded smiling brightly.

'Bertie, I know that you we're maiden before our marriage, right?' Marion smiled gently.

'Well, of course I was, it's not preux to sleep with a Lady if you're not married to her!' Bertie said hotly.

Marion smiled fondly at him.

'Bertie, And how we're you knighted?' she asked gently.

'My Uncle Wilfred knighted me,' Bertie explained smiling gently. 'When I left Oxenford And returned home to Worcestershire, there was a band of robbers harassing our neighbourhood. Well, I couldn't stand it, of course. So I went where they we're rumoured to live. I challenged them. They we're three uncouth men with bludgeons. They laughed when they saw me. Well, I lurched at one of them with my Sword bared And cut his throat. Another tried to hit me but I dodged him swiftly. Third tried to strike me with his bludgeon too but I parried his blow with my Sword. Then I hit the second robber in the chest with my Sword, he fell. The third robber tried to hit me but I dodged And  hit him in the head with my Sword. He fell too. I called Uncle Wilfred's men to take the robbers away. Two of them we're just unconscious, they we're hanged later. And when I returned to Malvern Hall, Uncle Wilfred told me to kneel. I obliged. Uncle Wilfred touched me on both shoulders with his Sword And then told me, 'Arise, Sir Bertram!' It was the most Happy moment in my life - before my wedding day with you, my dear.'

Marion smiled fondly at him.

'Bertie, you said you lived in Wroxeter before you inherited your lands, so what was your life like then?' she asked curiously.

'Well, I lived like most young gentlemen live, parties, balls, hunting, tourneys,' Bertie smiled gently. 'And if some robbers appeared in the neighbourhood, I always came to defeat them, And I always f defended ladies from ruffians And helped all my friends And relatives with money or deed. But then Reggie came into my life And told me about all these foreign lands, And I decided to become a Knight errant. But what I never even imagined is what I would be created a Marquess, much less that II'll marry the most wonderful Lady in the world. And I got Reggie to thank for all that!'

'You've got yourself to thank for that, my Lord, ' Reggie said gently. 'It was your strong And swift hand that defeated the warlock.'

'Er, well, thanks, Reggie,' Bertie smiled sheepishly.

'Don't mention it, my Lord,' Reggie said with a smile in his voice. 

Marion looked fondly at them.

'Bertie, sing to me,' Marion asked gently.

'What, my love?' Bertie smiled gently.

'What you wish,' Marion smiled gently.

'Right ho,' Bertie smiled brightly. He sang in his pleasant light baritone.

'Lavender's blue, diddle diddle,

Lavender's Green. 

When I'm the King, diddle, diddle,

You shall be Queen.'

'We'll send our men, diddle, diddle,

Some to the Brook,

Some to mow, diddle, diddle,

Some to cook.'

'Some to the loft, diddle, diddle, 

Some to the barn,

While you And I, diddle, diddle,

Keep ourselves warm!'

Bertie smiled to Marion And then frowned gently.

'I say!' he exclaimed. 'Mistress Briallen's familiars are somewhat clairvoyant, she said. And they sang this song to us! She said it meant just wedded bliss, but...'

'You're right, my dear,' Marion smiled gently. 'I think that they meant our future title too, And Briallen just didn't want to scare you.'

Bertie nodded smiling gently.

'Most likely, my Lord,' Reggie said with a smile in his voice.

They continued their way through the dense Dalrymalla Woods.

Suddenly five purple dragons each sized like a barn appeared in their way. 

'Oh Gods!' Bertie exclaimed. 

'Don't worry, my Lord, these aren't really dragons,' Reggie reassured him. 'They're just Wilderness Mimics, not very strong, not very fast too.'

Bertie nodded firmly. 

'So, let's take them on, what?'

Reggie nodded firmly, so did Marion.

Bertie lurched at one Wilderness Mimic, drawing his Sword. He stroke it in it's side, it hissed violently And fell down. Reggie darted from Bertie's hand, his fearsome claws forwards, And hit one Mimic in it's neck. It growled angrily. Then Gryffie darted at one Mimic And bit it with it's wicked curved beak. It hissed angrily. Then Marion looked at Bertie. He nodded And spurred his horse on. Marion drew her dagger And hit one Mimic in it's side. It hissed violently. Then it tried to envelop Bertie with it's long tongue, but Bertie darted aside nimbly. Another lashed it's tongue at Reggie but he flew off swiftly. Third one tried to attack Gryffie but it flew aside too. Fourth one tried to lash it's tongue at Marion but she dodged quickly. Then Bertie darted at one Mimic And gave it a sound blow in it's head. It fell down. Reggie darted at other Mimic And hit it in it's neck with his fearsome claws. It fell down. Gryffie flew forwards And hit third Mimic in the base of it's skull with his impressive claws, it fell down. Bertie charged forwards again at the last Mimic. Marion hit the Mimic in it's eye with her dagger. It fell down. 

'Well, it's over,' Bertie sighed.

Marion nodded gently. So did Reggie.

They rode away.

'Want something to eat, Gryffie?' Bertie smiled gently.

'Thanks,' Gryffie said gently.

Bertie nodded gently, fished inside his saddle bag And produced a golden brown pie with a diagonal net of dough stripes over crimson filling.

'This is a raspberry pie, made by Lockwood Hall's Chief cook too,' Bertie explained smiling gently. 'Here, take it!'

'Thanks,' Gryffie said gently And, taking the pie with one clawed paw, brought it to his beak And ate it gently. 'Tasty. Thanks.'

'Oh, not at all,' Bertie smiled gently. 'You're a nice bird. Can I pet you?'

Gryffie nodded gently. Bertie caressed it's gold red feathers And smiled gently.

Marion smiled fondly at him.

Some time later a group of adolescents appeared in their way, three girls And two boys, all golden haired And cute, dressed in Bright robes trimmed with brown fur, knives at their waists.

'Oh, Hello,Vigdis, Gunilla, Ingrid, Larss, Stieg!' Bertie greeted them cheerfully.

'Hello,' Marion smiled gently.

'Good afternoon, ladies And gentlemen,' Reggie said softly.

'Hello, Lord Bertram, Lady Marion, Reginald,' Gunilla said gently.

'Oh, er, I'm the Marquess of Elissar now, And Marion is my Marchioness,' Bertie said sheepishly. 'But you can call me Bertie.'

'So you're married now?' Ingrid asked eagerly.

'Well, as we had an official engagement last we met you, it pretty much was inevitable,' Bertie said blushing gently.

Ingrid nodded.

'Elissar?' Gunilla asked frowning. 'What, you are now the Lord of that great castle up north?'

'Yeah,' Bertie said sheepishly. 'Well, they wanted to make me a Duke, but I balked at that!'

Marion smiled fondly at him

Gunilla nodded.

'And you're going there now as the new Lord And Lady of that castle?'

'Yeah, pretty much,' Bertie smiled brightly. 'And how you are faring now, my friends? Last I heard, you wanted to be heroes!'

'And we still Do,' Vigdis nodded firmly. 'We're training, And we defeated some small monsters already.'

Bertie nodded smiling brightly.

'And how did you know that we we're coming?' he asked curiously.

'Well, Ingrid is a witch, so she scried the neighbourhood for new présences,  And she found you!' Gunilla explained beaming. 'We we're so glad!'

'So Sella was right that you're a witch, Ingrid,' Bertie frowned.

'Well, she's a fairy,' Ingrid shrugged. Bertie nodded.

'Well, you can come visit us at Arwarden Castle, what?' he smiled brightly.

'Thank you, Bertie,' Gunilla smiled brightly.

'Is that a Gourmet Griffin with you?' Ingrid frowned.

'Yeah, he came to us, Reggie explained what he was, And I gave him a pie,' Bertie smiled brightly. 'So now he's with us, sort of like a pet. I named him Gryffie, he seems to like the name.'

Ingrid nodded understanding.

'Lord Elissar is most generous to the Griffin, he feeds it with homemade pies,' Reggie supplied. 

Ingrid nodded gently.

'Bertie, be careful, there are Fire Eaters around,' she warned him.

'What are Fire Eaters?' Bertie frowned.

'My Lord,  they are small giants that inhabit wildernesses and can spit fire,' Reggie explained. 'Thankfully, as they are, er, fiery by nature, they most often fight between themselves when you meet them.'

Bertie nodded.

'I take it that they're strong?'

'Not much stronger than you, I or Gryffie, my Lord,' Reggie reassured him.

Bertie nodded.

'Any more monsters around, Ingrid?'

'Not near to us, Bertie, that is, not nearer than the Hermit Hag's cottage,' Ingrid supplied.

Bertie nodded gently. 

'Well, thank you, Ingrid. Oh, I say, what is your band called?' 

'The Aurora Children,' Gunilla grinned.

'Well, figures, what?' Bertie smiled gently.

Gunilla nodded grinning.

And sure enough, in one clearing they saw three brick red giants with pointed ears, all clad in Bright rags. When they saw Bertie, Marion, Reggie And Gryffie, they sneered.

'Hey you, lad,  give us your golden belt, And you, lass, give us your belt, ring, hairnet And earrings!'

'Oh No!' Bertie exclaimed hotly And drew his Sword. He charged at one Fire Eater And hit it in it's side. It bled And growled angrily.

Reggie darted from Bertie's hand And hit another Fire Eater with his fearsome claws in it's neck. It bled And growled angrily.

Next Gryffie darted at the third Fire Eater And bit it with it's sharp curved beak. It growled angrily.

One Fire Eater punched Bertie. He cried with pain.

'Oh Bertie!' Marion cried.

'It's all right, my dear,' Bertie smiled bravely.

 Another Fire Eater punched Marion, she cried with pain.

'Oh Marion, my dear!' Bertie exclaimed. 'You'll pay for that, you bastard!'

Marion smiled gently to him.

Third Fire Eater tried to punch Gryffie, but he dodged swiftly.

Marion tried to hit one Fire Eater with her dagger, but it dodged.

Bertie charged to the Fire Eater that was hit in the neck, And slit it's throat with his Sword. It growled terribly And fell. Next Reggie flew from Bertie's hand And hit another Fire Eater in the base of it's skull with his fearsome claws. It fell like a log. And Gryffie severed the third Fire Eater's throat with his sharp beak. 

'Oh well, that's over with,' Bertie sighed. 'The damn nerve of them!'

'Yes, my Lord,' Reggie nodded gently.

'Now let's visit Mistress Briallen, what?' Bertie smiled brightly.

Marion And Reggie nodded gently.

Some time later they came to a brown wooden cottage among a glade, smoke drifting merrily from it's chimney.

Bertie dismounted swiftly And knocked on the cottage door.

The door opened, And out peeked a tall thin hook nosed old Lady in a black cape And skirt with crimson trimming And in a tall pointed hat with a crimson ribbon.

'Oh, Hello, Bertie, Marion, Reginald!' she cackled. 

'Hello, Mistress Briallen,' Bertie And Marion said.

'Good evening, madam,' Reggie said gently.

'You came to visit your March, Eh? ' Briallen smirked.

'Yes,' Bertie smiled brightly.

'Oh, but what Do I see here? Gourmet Griffin!' Briallen said eagerly.

'Yes, he just came to us, And Reggie told me what he was, so I gave him a steak And kidney pie, And well, he went with us,' Bertie explained. 'I named him Gryffie.'

'Well, well, well!' Briallen grinned broadly. 'But come in please! You have homemade food with you this time, so there's No need for Reginald to bring us game?'

'Oh No,' Bertie smiled gently. 'The Chief cook of Lockwood Hall is very good at his trade, And he uses food preserving magic too!'

Briallen nodded grinning.

Bertie alighted swiftly And helped Marion to dismount. They And Gryffie entered the house And sat  doz down at a wooden table covered by a white tablecloth. Then Bertie smacked his forehead, rose, went to his horse, fished in his saddle bag And took out some food. He brought it inside smiling brightly.

'Here, a Ham, a blueberry pie, a cherry pie And some hard boiled eggs,' he said putting all this on the table. Briallen smirked. They all dug in.

'I say, Mistress Briallen, you told us that your familiars we're 'somewhat clairvoyant',' Bertie said gently. 'So when they sang 'Lavender's blue' to us then, could they mean our future title?'

'Well, Maybe,' Briallen squinted.

Bertie nodded smiling gently.

When night fell, Bertie unhooked his doublet swiftly and put it on a bench, then lay on it himself And smiled invitingly to Marion. She smiled gently And lay beside him.

'What, No Sword between you this time?' Briallen teased him.

'Of course not, we're wed now, And I can hold my wife in my embrace while I sleep, I've done it already,' Bertie smiled mischievously.

Marion beamed at him. Bertie embraced her gently.

Reggie looked at them with a smile in his eyes. Briallen smirked.