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Wednesday, August 12

Castle Ambrose: Part 19a – The Enchanted Sword of Sylaire

The area around Sylaire was brown, open moor studded with druidic stone pillars. Sebastian patiently explained that Sylaire was both the name of the ruined castle and the name of an enchanted land.

They jogged across a grassy field, halting under the eaves of a forest of tall and shapely trees: lichen and moss cover them. Leaves twirled down to the earth.

“Stay close,” said Sebastian. “They say that a great sorceress lives in these woods, a witch of terrible power. All who look upon her, fall under her spell and are never seen again.”

Beldin snorted. “Well, here is one dwarf she won't ensnare so easily. I have the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a fox!”

The path into the enchanted land led through a stone arch. Beyond the arch the trees were larger and greener than those in Carcosa. Even the seasons seemed different, as the sun shined longer and winter seemed very far away. They climbed a winding way among the great trees as the last rays of evening sun stream through their trunks. They ascended the path until night fell.

In the enchanted land only one high, round tower stood where the mighty castle of Sylaire once was. In the blue glow of a moonlit night, they climbed a twisting stair at the bottom of a tower, past glimmering lights of silver and blue. Far above, the silhouetted shapes of the shadowy tree-branches loomed.

A curving walkway lay before them, leading up a low stair to an archway. Three-pronged, golden leaves were scattered about. Slowly, they gathered before the arch. With a glow issuing forth from her, a Lady descended to meet them.

Thick-curling chestnut hair, bound by a light silver fillet, billowed over her shoulders and burned to red, living gold where the sunrays searched it out through the foliage. Hung about her neck, a light golden chain seemed to reflect the luster of her hair. She wore a bodice of vernal green velvet, baring the upper slopes of her breasts, clung tightly about her as a lover's embrace. A purple velvet gown, flowered with pale azure and crimson, molded itself to the sinuous outlines of her hips and legs. Her slender feet were enclosed in fine soft leather buskins, scarlet-dyed, with tips curling pertly upward.

Vlad and Beldin stared in awe. Sebastian bowed his head in greeting. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:48 AM


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