Posted on 07/19/04 @ 12:00 AM (updated 07/26/04
"You have been summoned. The King wishes to see you."
The stony-faced messenger departs after these brief words. A conundrum, to say the least. Only two days ago, the King sent a missive to your fortress overlooking Ruien Head, requesting you journey to his court. Almost as you arrived, the messenger appeared. Perhaps now you will find out what this is all about.
As you walk into the King's throne room, you notice that there seems to be an abnormally large number of soldiers present. Perhaps he is calling the banners. Whatever the case, you go down on one knee and recite the familiar litany.
"For King and Country, I serve."
Strangely, the King lets out a loud guffaw.
"That would hardly seem to be the case. You have been brought here today to answer a rather simple question: Are you a traitor to me?"
"Wh-what?!" you barely manage to stammer.
"A faithful servant of the land has come forth with evidence that you are. Bring him in!" The last words are shouted at the soldiers near the arched doorway.
They leave and re-enter only a moment later escorting a tall, almost lanky man. A rather familiar man. In fact, he is your steward.
"Is this the man you accuse of treason?"
"Why, yes, yer Kingship, it is." The man has a smug grin on his face.
"This is the man you have overheard meeting with the Northern Thanes, plotting my downfall? This is the man who signed those documents you showed me?"
"Aye, that it is." The King glares at him, and he hastily adds "Yer majesty."
Time and again, the King reads out from a list of your supposed offences, and the grin on your so-called steward's face gets wider as each charge is listed.
"In light of the damning evidence put forward by your steward, I sentence you to exile on the Devil's Islands!"
The Devil's Islands are a small cluster of rocky iselets jutting up from a rough sea off the east coast of this land. They are so named because the castle (now ruined) that some fool lord got it into his head to build there is believed to be haunted.
"You and the people you have embroiled in your plot will be transported there and given some supplies. I need not remind you that the Islands are overrun by bears and wolves, so I suggest you make use of the abandoned castle for defensive purposes. Now, take him away!" With that, the King claps his hands, and the two burly soldiers advance towards you.
"W-wait! Do I not have the right to defend myself?" You force the words out, hoping they do not add to your punishment.
The King looks pensively at you. "Perhaps you will. But you will have to earn it. The war with the Northern Thanes is drawing supplies like a leech from this country. If you provide me with some basics, stone, food, iron... I may relent and allow you to explain to me why you are not guilty of treason. But, for the moment, I have important business to take care of. Enjoy your stay on the Islands!"
As you are dragged down to the waiting ship in the harbour, you seethe with anger. Your steward has obviously set you up for this. In the event that you are deposed, all your lands revert to him under the laws in this country. However, you are determined to survive your ordeal and get a chance to strike back at your "faithful" servant.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is version 1.1. Scenario has been tweaked a bit, made a bit more difficult (I hope, anyway). Map design has been updated, and I've tried to remove those annoying trees. Anyway, try it for yourself.