Shortly after Branson One-Thumb was murdered, I was
granted an audience with an aide from Lord
I was dining at the Blue Boar Tavern, when two order guards walked up
to me. They wore full plate mail with a hugs sword and the well known
shield emblazoned with the silver serpent. They stood behind me as I sipped
I offered them a glass, but they simply shook their
heads. I nodded, finished what was in my glass, and turned to face them.
"So, my friends, what might I do for ye?" I asked.
"We are to escort you to the castle," said one of the guards,
"Sir Duquelle wishes to speak with thee," added the other
"Sir Duquelle?" I inquired. "Who might he be, and why
would I wish to speak with him? Moreso, why would he wish to speak with
"Sir Duquelle is a member of the castle staff. He has information
for you regarding the Followers of
Armageddon," Tracy told me.
Needless to say, I immediately rose and followed them
out of the tavern. As we walked across Britain
toward the castle, I remembered Branson's murderer had posed as a guard.
But after a short moment of panic, I realized that not one of those guards
had been an order guard, one of Lord British's personal guards. Even though
there was no reason to think that same murderer couldn't pose as an order
guard just as easily, I felt reassured nonetheless. I also realized the
potential importance of what Sir Duquelle might have to say.
When we entered the castle grounds, we headed straight
up the stairs to the entrance hall. I had half expected to be returned
to the room where I spoke with Branson, so was quite relieved to find
that not so. We entered the castle and proceeded up the stairs to our
right. At the top of the stairs, we turned left and walked down the hall.
I leaned across the stone railing and enjoyed the view down into the throne
room. Tracy gently, but firmly led me over to a wooden door. I entered
and sat down, as they closed the door behind me.
After waiting for but a few moments, Sir Duquelle
entered. I rose to greet him as he introduced himself. Then we both sat
in one of the cushioned red chairs.
"I have news about the Followers of Armageddon
for thee," Sir Duquelle told me. "I have read thy depictions
of recent events and felt I could trust thee to relate some critical new
"I see. And what exactly would that be?"
I queried eagerly.
"With the recent murder of our only source who
had intimate knowledge of the Followers of Armageddon..." he began.
"You mean Branson One-Thumb, here on these very
castle grounds, correct?" I asked.
Sir Duquelle hesitated and raised an eyebrow, then
answered, "Aye. Indeed the same. With... hmm... Branson, yes... with
his death, we lost any chance of gaining increased knowledge of the personnel
and movements of the Followers of Armageddon. As such, we have great need
for any news that can be had about these scoundrels."
I listened intently as he continued. "To that
end, we are offering a reward for any members of the Followers of Armageddon
who are captured and imprisoned at the Court
of Truth in Yew. The reward
will include a substantial amount of gold, honor and glory, as well as
the personal thanks of Lord British, himself. But only if they are alive.
For dead members - nothing! We need to be able to question them. Therefore
they are worthless unless living."
I nod in understanding. "I will make it known, M'Lord."
"I thank thee, then, good sir," Sir Duquelle told me. "And
bid thee good day. Thou may leave now."
I rose with questions dying on my tongue, and nodded
toward Sir Duquelle. Then made my way out of the castle. Winding my way
back to the Blue Boar Tavern, I wonder if perhaps I could actually catch
one of the... "Nay," I chuckled to myself, "I would morelike
turn tail and run." 'Tis not a lack of valor in me, friends, 'tis
an abundance of humility.
From the Town Cryer - The Journal of Ultima Online, Wednesday, September