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Story Index

This page contains links to the various stories written in the Stronghold heaven community forum: The Inn. We have listed them here for easy access.

The Were-Fated Woodsman of Helgenberg -A Story For All Hallow's Eve

A COTTAGE IN THE FOREST NEAR THE VILLAGE OF HELGENBERG

A soft knock on the door? Or am I hearing things. Ouch! Weary bones… Won’t let me rise out of this chair as easily as I could so many years ago. A little push here and a little push there. Good! Now my legs won’t straighten. One thing after another. There’s that soft knock again. “Just a minute, I’m coming. Who is it, please?” Must be a young girl. Pleasant voice, respectful. Asking permission to speak with me. “Certainly, fraulein, a moment to unlatch and open the door please.”

Squinting a little I can see she is a woman-child of no more than 15 years. She is dressed in traditional dirndl: colorful shirt, low tight black bodice and red ankle length skirt trimmed in black, green and white geometric designs. A small decorative apron completed her costume. Her deep blue eyes look at me and a smile forms on her pretty face. Nervously she brushes back a portion of her light brown hair that she imagines is out of position but really isn’t. Some noises to either side reveal the presence of a few other children of various ages who lack the courage to make themselves visible to me.

Single effort: Civis Romanus

Link: The Were-Fated Woodsman of Helgenberg -A Story For All Hallow's Eve
 

PLEASING XNDR - A Story For Halloween

Kingston fell behind the 2-person powered sailboat, the boat's bow slicing through gentle waves propelled by its wind filled canvas sails. Ann Devers, 20-something, shoulder length wavy brunette hair, brown eyes, a heart shaped face and compact figure moved the wheel somewhat left, somewhat right staying to the course set by her husband Sam just after they left the harbor.

Sam had just come on deck from the abbreviated cabin below after checking to make sure the portholes were closed. Now he attended to the rigging, making sure ropes weren’t tangled and everything else about the powered sailboat was in top form. He stood about 5 inches taller than Ann, jet black hair, strong but slender frame. Green shorts and a white tee-shirt with some company’s irrelevant advertising imprinted on it protected him from the spray cast about the bow of the vessel as it continued to pick up speed.

Squire Mouse is a tale about a valiant young mouse who finds his way to honour and glory.

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: PLEASING XNDR - A Story For Halloween
 

Fate's Portal: No Access!

LONDON - PRESENT DAY

Godfrey Stanbridge's face was far redder than the fleeting English sun could possibly have made it. He brought his hand down hard on his hardwood desk causing the pen and ink stand centered before him to vibrate. Mark Clease, the Director of Security, started just a little at this unusual display of pique, but quickly recomposed himself for the questions he knew would follow. Meanwhile, Sir Godfrey, Director of Operations for The Trust, rose from his brown leather executive desk chair and walked to the wall display behind him. Calming somewhat he reached for an ancient feathered arrow, part of his personal collection, and stroked the feathered end enough to bring a soothing feeling to his fingers and his mind.

"When did this occur?" Sir Godfrey asked in a low voice.

"About one week ago, Sir Godfrey."

"Why so long to make the report, Mr. Clease?"

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: Fate's Portal: No Access!
 

The Favored Feast - A Short Story for All Hallows' Eve

Cleo waved back to her friend, shouting loudly so her friend would hear her over the noise from the city traffic, “No, I’d love to, but I really can’t.”

“But it’s Halloween!” shouted back Janie from the driver’s seat of her ice blue Mustang convertible double parked outside of Cleo’s apartment house. “We always get together!”

“I know, Janie; but I simply can’t. I’ve an invitation to meet Darren. I just can’t say no to him.”

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: The Favored Feast - A Short Story for All Hallows' Eve
 

Weights and Measures

THE EARLY 60'S - A MIDWESTERN AMERICAN TOWN

An anonymous hand fished into a pocket and came up with a thin coin that slid with a clinking sound into a slot, down a metal chute and into a coin sensing mechanism that responded with a soft kachunk. Inside the clear windowed machine a slotted turntable filled with black disks began to turn. Then it hesitated as the anonymous hands of the former owner of the coin pressed two red buttons at one time, twice in succession, two selections made. The turntable resumed its movement.

After turning clockwise for a moment, the turntable again stopped. This time a curved arm materialized from somewhere in the bowels of the machine, reached towards a slot with a black disk in it and grasped and extracted the circular piece of plastic. The disk was thinly grooved, had a colorful paper label looking like a massively crushed donut applied to each side; and the very heart, its center, was uniformly vacant of black plastic as if cored like an orchard apple. A 45 RPM record they called it, lighter, smaller, slower, but much better than the old black wax disks this machine used to hold and spin at a phenominal rate of nearly twice the speed of each slot's current resident.

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: Weights and Measures
 

MASQUERADE BALL - A Short Story for All Hallow's Eve

The crackling fire in the village inn's fireplace beckoned so powerfully I found myself sitting in a plushly stuffed armchair even before I knew what I had done. The warmth of the hot cocoa in the mug I held gently penetrated the palm of my hand and then each finger well before I put the mug down on the short, three-legged table at the side of the chair. It was in that moment, as I leaned to the side to set the mug down, that I noticed I was not alone.

The old man, his head hidden by the wings of his own high backed chair, leaned forward just as I placed the mug on the table. "Hello, young lady," he said to me. "Visiting?"

"Yes, sir," I said, somewhat startled by his voice and taken aback by the age carved into every wrinkle of his time and weather-worn face. He smiled revealing the few teeth he still possessed, none white, all the color of ancient ivory. "Are you a guest here?" I asked.

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: MASQUERADE BALL - A Short Story for All Hallow's Eve
 

The Merciful King

King Richard was a good, honorable, and fair king. One day, the king was told by his most valiant knight Sir Lancelot, that Edmond (the king's cup bearer) was guilty of stealing one of the king's royal robes, food prepared for the king's table, and his finest sword. Sir Lancelot had Edmond thrown into the dungeon.

Solo effort: SirTimothyCedar

Link: The Merciful King
 

The Valiant Beggar

In the dark of the woods, Alfred stared at the band of soldiers returning to the castle after a skirmish. Alfred quickly ran out to talk to the last knight entering the castle. "Sire, could you spare some food or money?" Alfred asked. "Don't bother with 'em, Michael.' Michael turned to Alfred and look into Alfred's eyes, he saw the suffering in him. Michael whispered in Alfred's ear, "Meet me here at sunset." Then Michael, acting like he told Alfred to get away, kicked him saying, " Get away! Go back to the pit you came from!"

Solo effort: tedman333.

Link: The Valiant Beggar
 

The Human Touch

"I DON'T BELIEVE IN MAGIC!" said the young boy to the gaudily dressed entertainer who just finished tumbling, juggling and balancing for the small crowd of gathered villagers.

"And why not, young one?" The entertainer, a jester by trade, and a master jester at that, stepped back with a feigned look of concern on his face. "Can't you feel the magic in the air? Can't you see its essence floating about begging to be captured and put to work?" Some of the other children began to look about trying to see the magic that might be floating near them. The boy, however, did not.

"Magic isn't real! My father told me so!"

A tale of mystery and...magic? Set in the same time and area as The Heir Unapparent, this tale focusses on the jester Figaro.

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: The Human Touch
 

Crusade of the Heart

The silence was interrupted by the cackling and screeching of the vultures. Only these black birds moved, heads dipping into the offal of a torn body or withdrawing with bits of human flesh dangling from clenched beaks. A quick, sharp lifting of their heads and the pieces of flesh make their way down the inside of their garrishly colored necks and into their indiscriminately caring craws.

Suddenly, two birds take flight from the ground when a body they perceived as dead moved upon their arrival with the intention to feast. The body groaned and a hand reached up and felt for the source of the pain. The hand came back encrusted mostly with dried blood and here and there a bright red spot indicating where the blood still flowed ever so slightly.

Cautiously, tentatively, Jaufre de Corbieres, a squire, pushed himself up, rolled slightly and elevated himself to a sitting position to survey the field around him. What he saw dismayed him. They were dead, all dead. Slaughtered at the hands of the Saracens of Saladin. His master's misgivings turned out to be well founded. His master! Where was he! Jaufre fought dizziness as he swiveled his head around to see if he could see anywhere the banner or colors of the knight he served.

Set in the aftermath of the Battle of Hattin, this tale follows the exploits of a young squire named Jauffre de Corbierres, and his sister Alesta.

Team Story:Civis Romanus, Lady Arcola, Iron Hussar, Jayhawk, Micah Aragorn, Ring Wraith, Tonto_Tantive.

Link: Crusade of the Heart
 

The Duty An Easter Story

The strange instrument cried its melancholy tune to an audience in the small room consisting only of the tall man with jade green eyes who plucked its strings. A "lute" he called the instrument, something from "the east" he brought with him from travels in lands covered by desert and spotted here and there by an infrequent oasis.

His name this day is Gaius Accipiter. It has been and will be different on other days past, present and future, but here in the city of Jerusalem, in the Roman province of Judea, his name is Gaius Accipiter. His 6 foot, 4 inch frame took the measure of the chair on which he sat. The crudely constructed chair did its task with only minimal squeaks and woody groans. He sat facing an opening in the room that looked eastward and vented the heat the afternoon sun of Judea built within the walls of the inn. Here Gaius awaited the coming of dawn on this third day following the tragedy on Golgotha. As he plucked the strings of his lute, Accipiter's thoughts wandered back to the grissly scene on the rise outside of the city.

This tale is set in Jerusalem at the time of the Crucification of Jesus, called Christ. It features a familiar figure with a difficult task.

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: The Duty An Easter Story
 

A Knight Must Choose

The two knights, one wearing red armor and the other wearing black armor, halted their advance on Lancer a few paces of a horse away. Lancer angled his horse to hide the side where his sword should have been sheathed. It was best they didn't know his only weapon was a lance.

The red knight, noting Lancer's placid stance, lance pointed skyward, determined the warrior would not attack unless provoked. The red knight carefully holstered his lance and removed his helmet. Lancer saw the resemblence to the dead bandit/red knight immediately, sans the facial scar. It was his brother as the news had reported. That would mean, Lancer promptly concluded, that the black knight was...

The black knight followed the red knight's lead and removed his helmet as well. Lancer's conclusion was correct. The black knight was Sir Robert of Lancashire. Sir Robert leaned towards the red knight and said something Lancer could not hear. The expression on the red knight's face hardened. Lancer decided Sir Robert had just confirmed that the man opposing them was who they were seeking.

It was Sir Robert who spoke first. "Lancer, we know you are not a knight; but it wouldn't serve our reputations well to confront you before the stronghold's witnesses other than under the rules of chivalry. Will you grant us the same courtesy in kind?"

"If this battle must be, then I grant you the rules of chivalry," answered Lancer.

The story of the life of a warrior named Lancer and his love for a young woman named Emily.

Solo effort: Civis Romanus

Link: A Knight Must Choose
 

The Heir Unapparent

In the town centers of dukedoms, citystates and villages all along the PO River, towncriers called out their summons in loud voices and the ringing of brass hand bells.

"To me! To me! There is news! Important news!" Anyone and everyone in earshot who could hear rushed to learn what news the criers carried. The centers filled with cobblers, butchers, tailors, carpenters, smithies and with every level of citizenry there present, from peasant to merchant to strolling nobility.

"There is news from the east and the west!" called out the crier. "There is war between Genoa and Venice!" The dukes in the west favor Genoa and ally with her! The dukes in the east ally with Venice! They battle at sea near Acre!"

A rousing tale of love, friendship and betrayal.

Team Story: Lancer (Civis Romanus), Cellish, GillB, Jayhawk, Micah Aragorn, thurdl01.

Link: The Heir Unapparent
 

Squire Mouse (A Medieval Fable)

The young brown-colored mouse one last time counted the various seeds packed in his little sack. Then he tied the ends of the patch of cloth into a nice tight knot sealing the seeds inside. It was time to leave the cool, dark hole in the ground and comforting straw that had been his home and resting place for these 30 days.

Mama said goodbye to the last member of her first family of pups. It was sad but necessary... There was another brood of pups soon to arrive and there must be room for them to grow. It is the way with mice, she told him. Now it was time for Crispin to find his own way in the world of the Tigwood Forest.

He looked back on the entrance to his former home one last time only to see Mama wave once and then scurry back into its depths. Crispin thought, "Gee, just one wave? That's all? I guess that is the way of the mouse like Mama said."

Mama saw her last pup begin his journey to full mousehood. She waved once and hurried to a dark place inside the home in which she raised him. She didn't want him to see her tears...

Squire Mouse is a tale about a valiant young mouse who finds his way to honour and glory.

Team Story: Lancer (Civis Romanus), Jayhawk, mouse.

Link: Squire Mouse (A Medieval Fable)