Mark of Falworth awoke to see the wooden rafters of a ceiling.
Looking around he found himself in a small, sparsely furnished room with one stained-glass window and a strongly built door.
Rising and moving to the door he found it was securely locked, and of immense strength.
Mark took a few steps around the room, "How is it that I find myself here?" he thought to himself.
"I must have passed out from the extreme altitude." He mused
"But that still does not explain where I am now..."
It was then that Mark recognized the style of the woodwork and the shape and color of the window. He had seen architecture like this before...
In the Highlord of Lenfald's palace!
Mark was now quite terrified at the prospect of being a forced guest of his arch-nemesis.
Moving quickly towards the window he was about to bash through headfirst when the door opened suddenly behind him.
Mark whirled around to find three huge steel-clad soldiers with swords drawn!
With nothing more dangerous then a belt buckle about him Mark felt this might be the end...
Instead of attacking him the guards said,
"The Highlord of Lenfald will see you now, Sir Mark."
Seeing no other viable option, and wanting to disguise his anxiety, Mark cheerfully replied.
"Ah, Excellent! Lead on, good soldier!"
After a short trip through the corridors of the palace, Mark was led into a large, richly decorated room. Mark remembered visiting this very room during the days of the late Highlord Godfrey Wenseclaus II.
But now a different person sat upon the throne, Triphian I.
Only one guard had continued into the room with him and after bowing to the Highlord, announced:
"May I present to you Sir Mark of Falworth, High Councilor of Loreos."
Mark made a respectful nod in the Highlord's direction as Triphian rose from his seat.
"It is good to meet you at last, Sir Mark." The Highlord said lightheartedly. "I finally have a glimpse of the fierce warrior who has torn a gaping hole through my domain!"
"It could have been much worse for you...
This palace and all that surround it would be nothing but ashes if you hadn't had the good fortune to remove me from my command."
"The reports of you did not exaggerate! Your optimism and boldness in the face of your great danger is quite admirable."
"May I ask you something, Lord Triphian?"
"How is it that I find myself in your palace, when I last remembered careening towards the city in the teeth of a dragon?"
"Aha! That is quite a tale! The mighty beast that brought you here had the great cheek to drop you right on top of a large anti-war protest! As soon as your identity was discovered, complete pandemonium broke out!
Mark's smile widened.
"it must have been quite a scene! I'm only sorry I was unconscious!"
"It was indeed, quite a scene! My men were lucky to get you out unharmed. As the story goes, three battalions of my best troops couldn't restore order, many in the streets are still chanting "Death to Falworth!"
"It seems I've made myself unpopular in these parts..."
"The animosity is not to be unexpected. "The bane of all outlaws" is now "the hammer of the Lenfels"
"Then I suppose you intend to appease the populace by having me drawn and quartered publicly?" Mark reasoned.
"Certainly not! While that action may make me more popular here, the fury of your countrymen would be unparalleled. Loreesi troops still prowl the woods and the best way for us to stop them is to keep you alive and well. So long as your friends stay away, you shall be my guest, if they venture to attack us again your life is forfeit. And they have been made well aware of that.
I have sent a message to your uncle, I hope that by your presence here, we may find a way to end this terrible war."
"But until then, you are my honored guest!
I would advise you not to try to escape from the protection of these walls, I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to you outside..."
Mark smiled again.
"I quite agree with you. I have a particular dislike of angry mobs."
"Good, I will see you tonight at the banquet. Farewell, Mark of Falworth."
"Farewell, Lord Triphian."
And with a bow, Mark left the audience chamber...
I built this in 20 minutes a few days ago. I didn't want to leave MoF Hanging. ;)
My bro Steven was a great help with the figs and details! :)