Quest for the
|Legends, Sagas and Fairy Tales|
|SETTING THE SCENE:
Lady Shaishana and Wench Val, happy dwellers in a Kingdom long ago and far away, were good friends. They had shared joys, they had shared sorrows; even Lady Shai's midnight-coloured Dragon, Black ThunderWings, and Wench Val’s snow-white kitty, Miss Farnaby, were the bestest of pals (hint: No dragons can resist Scoobie snacks!!!). Wench Val was the Publican of the local Ale House, a place where Lady S. was wont to while away her evenings, with ale, with song and dance, and more often than not in the company of one of the galant Knights who dwelled in the royal Castle.
Now the Wench, she didn't much go in for such refined male company. Lady S. was one of the few humans with whom the Wench had shared her secret. After the Ale House closed down for the night and everything was quiet, the Wench would make her way downbelow, into the dark recesses of the Ale House base- ment, to a hidden crypt – the daylight refuge of her Beloved, a blue Gargoyle. And Lady S., in spite of being smack dab in the center of the social life of the Kingdom (one might even say she WAS the social life of the Kingdom!), was very, very good at keeping secrets. Nosy as all heck, she was by no means a gossip… secret knowledge gave her great joy. As well as a measure of control over the often precarious results of her own shenanigans. Now we would never call it blackmail, just wisely remember that the keeping of secrets is tit for tat!
But we all know the old saying that curiosity killed the cat. Oh no, not Miss Farnaby. This cat payed no mind to the affairs of humans, as long as there was food in her bowl, mice to chase, humans to pet her and tell her how pretty she was, and most of all, her friend the Dragon who would take her for midnight rides on his back.
Not so for Lady S. If she knew somebody harboured a secret, she had to find out. She just HAD to, no matter what the cost.
It so happened that one day, the Queen herself found evidence of quite a midnight swimming party at the castle moat. There was even evidence that some skinny dipping might have taken place (talk about scandal!). Ladies and Ladies-in-Waiting as well as a few of the Knights were once again in big trouble. The Queen naturally assumed that the Wench had been in the middle of it all, might even have been one of the instigators because truth to tell, often when there is trouble, the Wench and Lady Shai are usually right in the thick of it. But not this time! The Wench practically sneered at the idea of dipping into the moat. Had she not seen the kitchen staff empty their refuse bins into the dark waters to feed the fishes and frogs? Ugh! Besides, the Wench let slip to Lady S., she had her own Secret Cove where she and the Blue One could enjoy a quiet dip, a most beautiful place, far away from the eyes of prying humans. As a matter of fact, her place was so remote, no human besides herself had ever laid eyes on it.
Uh oh! As soon as the words had escaped her, the Wench realised that all Lady S. had heard was the word "Secret" and there her Ladyship went, skirt flying, whistling for her Dragon and jumping on his back, off to find this place and see for herself. The Wench just laughed and shouted after her that there was no way the narrow entrance would allow for ThunderWings to make it through. "Then I'll take a measure of gunpower," Lady S. called back, but stopped as the Wench explained that a spell had been put on the entrance, it had effectively been invisibled.
Alas, she didn't stop for long because this wasn't an obstacle that would deter Lady S. A quick side-step to her castle, and the next thing you know, a very reluctant Wizard had been dragged out of his study, under heavy wizardly protest chased atop the Dragon, and Lady and Wizard were soon flying through the air, off to find the Wench's and the Blue One's Secret Cove.
Story and page design copyright Valkyrie Grant
The writer would like to thank Lady Shaishana for her friendship and for the inspiration
for this story, which came about during their friendly banter in an on-line chatgroup.
Lady Shaishana Doll by Lady Shaishana.
The Wench Doll is a present from Lady ThistleWing.
Background by Valkyrie, with dragon tube from Blaufalke's Bonepage.