Late that night, in the light of Aurora Borealis, the castle watch reported three horsemen approaching the castle from the East. Approaching the Western Front, not very quietly, as it turned out, there were two horsemen and one centaur. Their letter of introduction identified them as Georg and Werner, Teutonic warriors, and Clute, the last of his breed.
These were sent by Queen Jansi of Furstentum Gramlich in Germany. I knew Queen Jansi as Ruthellyn's sister. She was a frequent visitor to Castle Bisset and acts as a good-will ambassador on her many travels. Known only to a selected few, she is also a spy for Castle Bisset. A most valued one, though her missions are classified top secret.
Each warrior carried a mysterious item donated by a wizard friend of Queen Jansi's. He acquired them on one his time travels and were called "cell phones." I understand that they are some sort of a communication device and must be attached periodically to a currant bush to be "recharged." We located a few of said bushes near the castle for their use.
I mentioned that these would be especially good in foul weather when our carrier pigeons could not fly or if the sea serpents proved to be adept at catching them.
The warriors also passed word to me that Queen Jansi was enroute from Paris to Leichtenstein. What she would be doing there one can only guess but she knows what she is doing and is a great asset to Castle Bisset. We wish her God speed and safety.
Update: She was seen in Luzerne, Switzerland, recently ... hmmm??
Night passed rapidly, it was almost daylight before we got the warriors and centaur billeted. There were assigned to Sir Jeffery and his regiment.
After getting a few hours sleep, I was awakened by Lady Laura. A message had arrived by carrier pigeon. Sadly I read the news that saddened me and the youth of our domain. It seems that Puff, the magic dragon, was caught by surprise and was killed by rogue sea serpents. The deed was not witnessed, perchance for the best, but Ted of Castle Bisset, our wheelright, was delivering a repaired cart to it's owner when he came across signs of a recent engagement. Numerous green scales emitting a strange greenish smoke and dark green blood were found by a lake about two miles from the castle. The scales were not of the type that belonged to the local dragons, and Puff was known to be on his way. It was surmised that serpents were given the power to exist in fresh water, and these demoms surprised Puff as he drank from the lake.
Also, there was more evidence that we faced a powerful enemy in the unknown wizard. We must keep a constant guard on the Castle Bisset moat lest the serpents hide in it. And, obviously, these beasts know no mercy.
However, after hearing the details she volunteered to help us in our cause. She had no love for sea serpents and was quite surprised that they were more than just a few feet from the ocean. She had never actually fought them but welcomed the chance.
The lovely Maiden Kay made quite a fuss over serving Norma a hearty meal and the rest of the castle staff took to her right away. I, myself, harbored a few doubts about her abilities until she challenged me to a mock duel after she ate. I laughed, and said she was just a little outmatched with her primitive weapons. She gave a sly grin and fought me to a stand-off. Sheepishly, after that, I gained a lot of respect for her "primitive" methods.
Rather nervously, I spent the rest of the day making rounds of the castle; making sure all guards were in place and preparations were in order. Our scouts reported that the sea serpents were on the march toward Castle Bisset. I reported this to King Paul and he thought that it might be a good idea if I went and saw for myself. I prepared to leave home and hearth.
I kissed Lady Laura farewell and shape-shifted into a dragon and flew above the castle. I don't think Lady Laura will ever get used to the idea that she is now married to a dragon! She backed away and turned aside as I flew off.
As I took off, I forgot that I now had dragon-strength and as my tail wrapped around a watchtower, I knocked it over. The guards in the tower were not badly injured, really, but later made me vow that I would not take off near the towers again!
In the cool breeze of March, I rose to a height of several thousand feet so that if I were seen by the sea serpents I would appear to be no more than a bird flying North. However, it did not take me long to find them. Indeed, using my dragon-sight, I soon spotted them much closer to Castle Bisset than I had thought. Gad Zukes!! The numbers!! I had no idea there were so many. Row upon row, they advanced. I estimated their number to be between three and four hundred.
Moreover, I had no trouble picking out their leaders. Immense creatures, each leading a large corps of fellow serpents and at the very lead was a golden serpent. Furthermore, unlike dragons, these serpents were well organized. Almost all sea serpents are black, so I took this golden creature to be the mysterious wizard. Horrified, I watched as they destroyed everything in their path, wantonly killing all who could not escape. This was no enemy to trifle with!!
Hurrying, I flew back to the castle to make my report to King Paul. After informing him, I called a meeting of all knights. I gave them their orders and dismissed them with a word of caution about leaving the castle. Finally, no more scouts were to be sent as the sea serpents' direction and intent were plain. They would be at Castle Bisset some time the next day.
Obviously, very few in Castle Bisset slept that night, especially the German warriors and the centaur. They seemed to be intent on drinking all of the beer in the Castle. When I informed them that it was not wise to consume so much the eve of battle, they stated that this was English beer. Not nearly as potent as their good, dark German brews. I left them to their ways but gave orders that to one else was to indulge.
(Am I mistaken to think I saw Lady Laura, Lady Jocelyn, and Lady Ruthellyn, as well as other ladies of the Castle offer a toast to victory..as well as to the success of all "secret missions"??? And..broken glass was found in the haunted upper chambers..Strange, indeed!!)
Note From Scribe: There is a time and plce to put tea-totaling ideals aside; the eve of battle is such a time. A castle under siege, is such a place. This said, forsooth, I would plead the 5th but there is no constitution here.