Chapter 1 - A Message

Chapter 1 - A Message

A Chapter by Leigh
"

A message is received from the Venturer

"

Chapter 1 - A Message

 

A scrawny looking bird landed on the windowsill of the giant birdhouse and joined the others pecking at birdseed put out by the Birdhousemaster. It was different from the other birds, bigger and tougher looking, it had a small scroll tied to its leg and blue and white paint daubed on its head. As it hopped inside the birdhouse and pecked at the floor where there was more seed, Ab the Birdhousemaster closed the window and the trap was complete.


"Gotcha," he said smiling victoriously. In the complete darkness the birds flew around in panic, but the scrawny bird stood still, not able to move, exhausted from its long flight. Ab grabbed it, took the scroll and knew immediately he should take it to the local Squire, Squire Bouffant. He started to run along the coastal path, with the note in hand, but looking up at the summer low sun, knew it meant Bouffant would be in an alehouse and more than likely drunk. So he ran on, straight to the Manor House; to his Lord.


After ten minutes of running he entered the great Manor's courtyard, exhausted he shouted to the courtiers standing and sitting around. "I have a message -  from the ship that sailed north, I need to speak to Lord Virintis, is he here?"


"Lord Virintis is busy. What is this all about?" a prominent courtier, a man called Bran said. He wore a mustard and black trouser suit that was only appropriate for social wear and had a fine pointed moustache. He stood forward holding out his hand expectantly and snatched the scroll. He casually opened and read it. Slowly taking in the contents he walked off towards the Great Hall without looking back. Ab stood where he was, feeling out of place and wondering if he should go. The courtiers looked at him as though he was in the way, an annoying thing blocking their view. He retreated to a corner behind some vines and waited.


In the Great Hall Lord Virintis was eating at a large wooden banqueting table, there was a roaring fire behind him and candles dotted around the walls; even though it was a summers day all the windows were shut.


What is it?" Virintis shouted as he saw Bran standing between the large wooden doors. "I don't like to be interrupted while I'm eating, so this better be important," he laughed in bewilderment, took a gulp from a pewter tankard, wiped his mouth with his sleeve and stared straight at his man, who he saw as one of his more favoured courtiers.


"There has been a message from the Venturer, my lord," Bran said as he crossed the threshold of the two house guards, who had not reacted to him.


"Ah," he paused, thinking. "Read it out then, can't you see I'm eating," he barked as he tore a chunk off a chicken leg.


"It says here that land has been found the other side of the sea..." Bran's voice gathered excitement as he spoke.


"Oh...oh really,"

 

"That's what it says here and it goes onto say they, the crew of the ship are surveying the new found land and will report back their findings as they can," Bran said, his tone having raised in pitch.


"This message is obviously a hoax," Virintis said as he got up and walked around the table still chewing, but still thinking. He handed the half eaten chicken leg to a waiting servant girl who took it from him tentatively, hiding her disgust.


"If I may say, an elaborate and pointless one then as it has the seal of the ship and the parchment issued to it, by the looks of it," Bran said. Virintis looked at him for sincerity.


"It does?...I mean, I'm sure it does. Go on man,"


"We have taken a bearing of true north and have encountered no storms or currents to take us off course,"


"Who wrote this rubbish?" Virintis said his sharp voice full of accusation. He came close to Bran and peered over the top of the note, trying to look at it without being noticed. This was fitting into place, it was so unreal, it had to be true he thought.


"It's signed by the captain, Captain Marks," Bran said squinting his eyes to read the small writing. "It also says we have not found small islands, but what appears to be a large land mass. The mountains are...,"


Virintis shook his head which was full of thoughts and schemes. "And where did this writing of fiction come from exactly?"


“As is the norm a bird from the Birdhousemaster, Ab, my lord,"

"Let me see it,"


Bran gave Lord Virintis the small scroll of paper and watched him read it over and over. After several minutes Virintis opened a curtain, letting in a shower of bright and dusty light. He stared at the rolling hills in the distance, lush and green and below them the low fields that led down to meet the glint of the sparkling sea. The sea that had always been the edge of the comfortable and known world, but what had been written and received, if true, was going to change everything; he looked around and down in contemplation. Why today of all days? Today I was going to go hunting. Virintis leant against the cold stone wall, processing the facts presented. He had to maintain a calm and pragmatic mind, while others around would have the luxury of doing what they liked on hearing this glorious news and not thinking of the consequences or the impact of new lands. The impact to Virin, the Kingdom of the North and the whole known world.


Although the message was unbelievable, the contents written could be true. To dismiss the message would be more convenient in the short term, but may lead to problems later on or more importantly leading to someone else gaining greater benefit. If it was a hoax, a message sent by Lord Tulla perhaps, to make him look a fool and remind him they once were enemies then the worst that could happen is that he would get laughed out of the King’s palace when he broke the news. The best that could happen is that he would be at the centre of a highly lucrative future industry that would secure his position for a long time and possibly make him King. It had to be a chance worth taking.

 

He scrunched the scroll in his clenching fist and turned to Bran sharply and continued his reading of the scroll.


...the lands are fertile and lush and we have seen no predators or any native people. The mountains are as high as ever seen in the known world, the river estuary is wider than that of the great river Sixus...


"For the sake of the gods bring me the Scribe, a fast rider and Get Ab and the dratted bird in question, but most importantly find the biggest golden birdcage in the Manor, no in the kingdom," he said. Bran stood poised ready to move. "And make ready five horses to travel to the capital. We are going to see the King with this news," Bran made a list in his mind of all that had just been said. "Have you got that, that's six things. Hold on seven, you'll need to tell Ab to get another bird ready to send out to the King immediately,"

"What type of bird, my lord,"


"His best bird of course, to send to the capital ahead of our journey tomorrow. A large corvus, with a strong beak, one that will fly straight as an arrow and not get taken by buzzards or blown off course," he spoke with irritation, anger and confusion, his flecked blue eyes on fire.

 



© 2016 Leigh


Author's Note

Leigh
In Chapter 2, Lord Virintis travels to the capital to tell the King the news he has received.

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Reviews

I loved the writing. Its very good

Posted 3 Years Ago


Very awesome read. I like how your writing flows together, to make me visualize everything that's going on. Many stories on here do that, and that's why most of the stories I read on here are good because you all are very talented and gifted, I visualized everything as I was reading it. Great writing. On to another topic. I have a website where I post my short stories, and blogs on. I also have ads on the website. I was wondering if you can go to my website, and click on any ad. you don't have to buy anything, I promise you won't get any viruses, all it is is google adsense on my website, and the more clicks on the ads, the more it helps grow my website. My website is bwlawson.com I appreciate it, that you would be taking part in helping my craft, business, product, and brand grow. Thank you!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Went to your website and loved it
The beginning makes Lord Virintis seem rather rude, but through his thoughts I can see his wisdom. And in chapter 2 I can see a hell of a lot of courage and he even shows concern for his men. I would pass his sloppy eating habits as just his way of trying to relax amidst all the stressful situations that are going on.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Thanks for your reviews,
I love the conflict and where the plot is going!

I wonder though if adding in more explanatory passages regarding the relationships of the characters mentioned and their importance in the world. I am wondering who these Lords are and who owns which lands that you mentioned! Where are they in relation with one another? Who is Lord Tulla and why would he trick Virintis? Why was this expedition so important and why/when did it begin? Unless, of course, this is to be revealed later! I was left with a lot of questions but maybe I'm inpatient, ha-ha.

I am liking the character Ab. May you add a bit more about his position and who he is like appearance ... age ... inner monologue etc.? I was left feeling rather empty when his scene ended at the beginning. I think you could pull that out a lot longer and include more setting details there! I think he has potential to be an interesting character.

Otherwise, it's piqued my curiosity and I will read chapter two!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

All will be revealed, I promise. Keep reading and more will be explained about the characters and th.. read more
It seems like an interesting story. This Virintis character comes off as all over the place, thoughts wise or I suppose in his manner of speaking. It doesn't bother me so much as it makes Virinitis seem like an awkward person. Anyway, my point was that I am intrigued and I will continue reading on. I do hope you'll return the favor and leave a review on my page. Happy writing! :)

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Thank you, he is featured a lot in the book at the start.
Nice chapter, Be! I like your style.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Thank you Nila
a very good chapter, Be. It's mysterious and very interesting. Well done. :) Rudi

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Hi Rudi,
Thank you and hope you are well
Strong opening, I like a story that begins in the middle of a task.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

Thanks very much, glad you liked that
I truly enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Leigh

3 Years Ago

You are welcome

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731 Views
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Added on May 6, 2016
Last Updated on June 1, 2016
Tags: lands, land, sea, beyond, kingdom, Life, story, adventure, unknown, romance, love


Author

Leigh
Leigh

Bristol, United Kingdom



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