02 October, 2009

An Enjoyable Journey; A Faerie Tale

This comprises Chapter One; A Journey to Foreign Lands and A Perilous Aftermath.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, and in a land not so far away, there were two kingdoms that shared a border.

The story becomes complicated because two other kingdoms had “Vassals in Residence” as officials representing their various crowns and they became involved in the story because our main characters, Lord Albas Gourdy, and Lord Virid Dread, who, together with their ladies are the heroes of this tale. In order to tighten the complications into more of a knot, Lord Gourdy and his Lady are from one of the kingdoms with  Vassals in Residence, and Lord Dread, who with his Lady, are from the other.  We'll henceforth refer to each of these couples as simply our “heroes”, or just by their names, to lessen the confusion in the tale.

Lords Gourdy and Dread live in the southern of the border-sharing kingdoms. In fact, not only do they live in the kingdom, but they have taken the extraordinary step to become recognized by the kingdom's vassals and other attendants as rightful and proper permanent residents of  the southern kingdom.

Anyway, on a nice, sunny day shortly after the beginning of our tale, our heroes, the Lords and Lady's Gourdy and Dread, decided to venture forth on trusty steeds for the border frontier between the northern and southern kingdoms.  After an uneventful journey, thankfully not beset by dragons or other beasts, and no highwaymen, our heroes arrived at the border station.

It being a bridge over the river, there was the usual tribute to the troll residing under the bridge to be paid. But upon finding that our heroes were rightful and proper residents of the southern kingdom, the troll, in order to garner future tribute over the long haul (and other booty that may accrue) decided to forgo exacting his fee.

Lords Gourdy and Dread first had to present their scrolls and other documents attesting that they had rights to be in the southern kingdom in the first place, and these also attested to the identification of the heroes and their ladies.

With much fanfare, dollops of wax were affixed with ribbons and stamps applied to the wax forthwith, attesting to other kingdoms that may be encountered, that our heroes had departed the southern kingdom of their residence in good order.

Then with further fanfare, much ado was made by the northern kingdom our heroes were now entering, over the documents provided. More wax, ribbons and stamps were affixed and applied and notations made into the records of the northern kingdom attesting to the identity and dates and times of our heroes entering the kingdom.

Appropriate copies of these documents were made and surrendered to the vassals of the neighboring northern kingdom for their records and to keep their scribes gainfully employed in maintaining those records.

Making their way to the capital village of the province, for such was it called in the northern kingdom, our heroes spent the greater part of the day visiting booths and stalls of the merchants, mendicants and apothecaries, tinsmiths, milliners, and brewers of the village, buying what they could easily carry of goods not readily available in the southern kingdom of their residence.

Securing a ride on a passing for-hire phaeton with a matched team of four, our heroes, fatigued with the day's endeavors, made their way back to the northern kingdom's border station. At the station, the northern King's vassals required certain copies of the documents to be surrendered to their care, to be married up with the documents made upon our hero's entry to the northern kingdom, thereby ascertaining to the vassals that all who had entered the northern kingdom were duly accounted for and acquitted upon their exit from the same.

Chapter Two, Waylaid Upon the Trail
Some two days upon Lords Gourdy and Dread and their ladies returning to the southern kingdom whereby they are known as rightful and proper residents, the two gentlemen were engaged in exercising their mastiffs, as is their ofttimes wont. An activity undertaken on a daily basis, partly to keep the mastiffs peaceable and contented, but also to ensure no dragons or other creatures lurked, hidden in a nearby copse of trees or close-by ravines, allowing them to plot encounters to molest local serfs, nobles and other passersby.

As luck would have it, while on this engagement, the two gentlemen were rudely accosted by a varlet near a wheelwright's workshop, well familiar to all who traverse the high road of that locale.

This knave had the temerity to inquire, without proper introduction or presentation of credentials, whether he was addressing  the heroes correctly by stating in a crude fashion, “Art thou known by thy title of Lord Albas Gourdy”, and “Art though known by thy title of Lord Virid Dread?”

To which, our heroes, justly taken aback, answered in the affirmative. Not having the time to inquire as to their accoster's pedigree, he then asked in an scurrilous fashion “Didst thou cross the frontier to the neighboring northern kingdom this Monday past?” A most curious and strange question, indeed.

Again, Lords Gourdy and Dread, still reeling from the untoward manner of his approach, and not knowing of else what to do, and not being inclined as of yet to draw steel, again answered in the affirmative.

Next, to the utter amazement of our heroes, this varlet, further added to his impertinence, by producing from his jerkin, not only copies of the documents surrendered at the northern kingdom's border station upon their return from the journey, but, in fact, the actual and very same documents. Ribbons aflutter and wax seals shining in the bright sunlight, there could be no doubt as to the legitimacy of the documents.

Further compounding their amazement and confusion, he proceeded to say “Shouldst thou, rightful resident Lords of the southern kingdom, be desireth of future and multiple unfettered crossings of the border station betwixt the northern and southern kingdoms, without need to prepare and produce more documents for each journey's crossing, I can secure passes, with seals and ribbons intact and affixed, that would guarantee your Lordships ease of passage.”

All this he was willing to do for their Lordships, almost as a favor, for only 150 ducats and that they would not then be subject to the visited northern kingdom's departure dunnage of 25 ducats.

The Lords, knowing they were not subject to paying the departure dunnage in the first place, listened with patience and politeness as befitted gentle persons of title and privilege. The Lords then informed this varlet that “No decision between us could be reached at this time.”

Provision was made whereby, Lord Gourdy made one of his footmen available to carry messages and announcements from the acoster to their Lordships.

Assuming, rightfully that there was some form of trickery afoot, our heroes felt that he would be likely to depart with the ducats, never to be seen again, or that he would provide false passes, or even real passes, but with the ducats never reaching the rightful authorities.

It was of major concern to their Lordships that much personal information was plain and evident upon the documents held by this person and as such, should not rightfully be in his possession nor bandied about carelessly and out of the northern kingdom's control.

To their credit, our heroes asked amongst themselves whether this activity was a common  practice in these northern and southern kingdoms?  If not, was it thence illegal? Should their Lordships report this to either or both kingdom's border vassals?

These questions and others were forwarded to their respective kingdom's Vassals in Residence, in hopes of obtaining some meaningful and authoritative answers and action.

Chapter Three, Second Contact
Some few days hence, the varlet at the wheelwright's on the high road, did indeed make contact once again. Using Lord Gourdy's footman, he inquired again if our heroes should be interested in obtaining these passes.

It developed during a later interview of the footman by Lords Gourdy and Dread, that the varlet had let slip that he was known as Eduard of “Feer Zeno”, or something akin closely to such name. He did inquire of the footman whether their Lordships were interested in proceeding. The footman, having been so instructed, informed Eduard that “Their Lordships are not interested in proceeding at this time.”

At this time, our heroes provided similar information to their respective kingdom's Vassals in Residence, to facilitate their kingdom's prosecution of this culprit and his likely accomplices. However, it seemed that the further up the ladder one went with the vassals, the less that seemed to be done in this regard and the less interest there was in even hearing about the event.

Their Lordships reiterated in strong and forceful language in several other communications, duly posted to their kingdom's Vassals in Residence, of our hero's concern being the exposure of their personal information to knaves and other untrustworthy vagabonds and neer-do-wells and that the documents have come to be outside the possession of the  northern kingdom's border station and its vassals.

Chapter Four, Further Visitation
After a few more days had duly expired, their Lordships took the advice of Lord Gourdy's kingdom's Vassal in Residence, to visit and explain their situation to the visiting northern kingdom's Vassals in Residence that is maintained in this village as a courtesy.

Our heroes met with Lady Alumine Samaria, the northern kingdom's local Vassal in Residence, and provided her with copies of all the documentation and correspondence between the parties. She concurred that Eduard had no right to obtain or have the documents in question in his possession.

An aside, if you will... their Lordships kingdom's Vassals in Residence recommended that our heroes not contact any one from the southern kingdom in which they currently reside, nor were they to divulge this information to casual parties whom they would or might meet. This did seem odd, but, their Lordships being true and law-abiding, followed this advice.

Their Lordships have been informed by their kingdom's Vassals in Residence that through their manners and meetings with the northern kingdom's Vassals in Residence of a high level, that these highly placed northern kingdom Vassals in Residence have been informed of the incident and that now that it is in their hands, nothing apparently further is likely to be forthcoming in direct help or support to their Lordships.

Chapter Five, Final Warning
Since there seems to be no future help, succor, or assistance coming forthwith from their kindom's Vassals in Residence, nor from the northern kingdom to curtail the slovenly maintenance of records and documents at their border station, our heroes felt it incumbent to issue this faerie tale as a warning and alert to other gentle persons and commoners desiring of transiting and crossing the border from this southern kingdom to the northern kingdom and back again, to be aware of the lack of security for their completed documents,  and to be aware of the possibility of knaves and highwaymen who may approach them offering services and further documents for coin, that there is likely something amiss and afoot that bodes only ill for those attracted to such dealings.

The Moral
There being little those of noble birth or even more so, those of a commoner heritage will be able to do individually to prevent such wanton disregard of the propriety and necessity of protecting personal information and documents from reaching the hands of highwaymen and such, it is incumbent that one stays alert and to be willing to report such future occurrences to the proper Vassals in Residence and other authorities. Anything less is to bend to the will of the criminal.

###
Finis

P. S. - This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, or the guilty. Be careful of who you deal with and how, even if you have little or no control of the situation.

5 comments:

  1. Maybe I should bring a pen with disappearing ink. Short of not leaving the kingdom by way of the north, it seems that there is not much you can do but shout in the forest. Not that anyone's listening anyway. Maybe a note to the Embassy of the far northern, all encompassing Kingdom might yield a better result or at least an advisory to others.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yikes! 'Tis a scary Faerie Tale.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous2/10/09 19:17

    Ye being of good tidings and spirit, are hereby annointed as keepers of the faith and lordships to the downtrodden. The sick, faint of heart in County Corozal, Southern Kingdom all look to your lordships for continued stewardship over your fifedom. Let trumpets hail your approach from afar, ye Knights of the faith.

    Let the tale go far and yon, to warn and wary those who may go in seek of riches in the far away Northern Kingdom, to do so at their own peril. Serpents and warlocks lie within, spinning treachery and deceit.

    Yet, your lordships are with us. And that emboldens our spirits and resolve.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous3/10/09 10:27

    My heros, yea though I wished my supposed powers for protection of your rights as a lord in our fair kingdom, my hands were also bound by the greater powers. I have seen the varlet at the crossing however he did not approach so to all beware this tale may have bigger dragons yet.

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  5. Forsooth, good Lords and Ladies. Tis heartening to ken ye take such interest in these proceedings. Verily, such knavery shoulds't ne'r go unpunished.

    Vagabonds and highwaymen such as these shall not keep us from venturing forth from the keep. Indeed, we plan another such trek to yon kingdom's theatre, such be like the Globe, seeking of entertainments as may be found therein.

    And now, let us dispense with this olde style of speech and return ourselves to the moderne. Mine head fairly spinneth with trying to do thus of the age.
    By Your Leave,
    It could be Dread

    ReplyDelete

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