“This is cool,” Fiona said, standing in the same spot she had during King
Kegan’s time, only she was centuries before, in another era. The castle
looked much the same. She entered the gates, still wearing her robe, and
found the street vendors, selling much the same things. “This has not
changed at all. It’s like Burill stayed exactly the same; only the people
changed.” She did notice there weren’t as many people, but aside from that,
she found no difference. “I wonder how many years forty-five generations is.
Probably about a thousand years.”
“I suppose King Rolfin is in
the same place where King Kegan was, so I’ll try there first.” She saw the
guards. “They are even wearing the same ugly orange clothes. I’ve got to
talk to Queen Sarmantha about that.” She stepped up to the nearest guard.
“Hello. My name is Fiona and I’m here to see King Rolfin.”
The guard ignored her and
moved his lance in front of the doorway.
“Excuse me, perhaps you
didn’t hear me. I’d like to see King Rolfin, please.” She tried being
polite, but the guard ignored her again. She folded her arms across her
chest. “You have no manners.” She remembered the necklace and pulled it out
of her robe. “See this?”
“Where did you get that? Did
you steal it from King Rolfin?” The guard raised his lance and aimed the
sharp point at Fiona’s throat.
“Oh, so you can speak. I
didn’t steal it. I have one too because I am his family. Could you please
take me to him? He’ll be pleased that you did.” Fiona sighed.
“I will take you, but stay
right behind me. If you try to run ahead of me, you’ll find this spear in
“All right. I get it.” Fiona
shook her head back and forth. “Can we please hurry? It’s urgent that I
speak with him.”
They walked down the same
hallway as before, but this guard turned to the left instead of going
straight. He stopped in another room. It held a wooden table and chairs and
the walls were plain, aside from a banner. After the guard left to get the
king and threatening her that if she touched anything he’d break her
fingers, Fiona gazed at the banner. “This is cool. It must be from his time
in Hadremutem. Maybe it’s a family banner. I wonder if they have a last
name. All I know is King Rolfin.”
A few minutes later a man
entered the room. He didn’t wear a crown, nor was he dressed as a king.
“Hello. How may I help you?”
Fiona thought his plain ecru
robe looked rather dirty. She turned and frowned. “At least you have
manners. That guard was so rude. Who are you?”
The man laughed. “You mean
Hanndit? He’s always that way, even to me sometimes.” He ignored her second
“Maybe he shouldn’t be a
guard. He should be made to work in the kitchen, peeling onions.”
“You are a feisty one. I
like that. You remind me of one of my wives. Your name is Fiona?”
“Yes, that’s my name. You’ve
got more than one wife too?” Fiona sat in one of the chairs. “Did you know
that King Rolfin has twelve wives?” The man raised one of his eyebrows. “Of
course you do. You work in the palace. Does King Rolfin have a last name, or
is it just Rolfin? Is this his family banner? Is he nice?”
“You’re just full of
questions. I like your spirit. That is Rolfin’s family banner. Hanndit tells
me you claim to be a relative of Rolfin. Is this true?”
“I’ll ask again. Who are
you? I don’t want to tell you things. I want to speak to King Rolfin. By the
way, I like your hair. It’s long and dark. You look like an Arab man. Are
you from here or from Hadremutem?”
Again the man’s eyebrows
arched. “You certainly seem to know a lot about King Rolfin. As for your
question, I am from Hadremutem and the king does have a surname. It’s
Camille. Rolfin’s ancestors were traders, who rode the Spice Trail and
Frankincense Trail on camels. That is how Rolfin’s parents accumulated their
wealth. They had many camels and took the surname Camille.”
“Rolfin Camille? Bartolf
Camille? That is weird, but whatever,” Fiona said.
“You know of Bartolf?”
“He’s King Rolfin’s brother.
I know a lot about them. Look, I appreciate the chit chat, but I need to
speak to King Rolfin. You see, it’s important.” Fiona stood and pushed the
chair back. “This room is boring for a palace room.”
“Fiona, I am King Rolfin. I
wanted to see what you were up to before I introduced myself. You’re
harmless.” The king burst out laughing. “My last name, a royal name, Camille
is not weird, whatever that means and my palace is not boring. I dressed
this way and brought you to this room on purpose. I have many enemies. I am
not going to show them my palace.”
“You’re King Rolfin? Do I
look like an enemy? I didn’t mean to make fun of your last name. I thought
you’d have a name like Trollslayer or Dragonmaster; you know,
something that shows how strong you are. You should have told me who you
were right away. We’re wasting time.” Fiona flung her arms into the air.
“Why don’t you sit in the
chair and tell me what is going on.” He lowered his arm, pointing at the
“My name is Fiona
McAllister. I know you aren’t going to believe this, but I’m from the
future. I live in Scotland in the 21st century. Scotland is the
land of the Celts and Picts. Your brother, Bartolf, has a descendant named
Dugan. He’s evil. He has a wizard, Phelan, and the wizard came back to life,
sort of, and is doing a lot of bad things in my century. There’s going to be
a big battle between the evil ones and King Kegan, who is your descendant,
and the wizards and dragons and all that.”
“Slow down. Take a breath,”
Rolfin said with a smile. “I like your necklace.” He pulled an identical one
from his shirt.
“This is the same necklace,
only mine is from the future. See how the stones are lit up and shiny? Look
at it. It is the same one. I know about the necklace and I know about the
orb that your wizard, Lehimna, made for you.” Fiona sat for the next hour
telling the king about the events leading up to the day. She ended by
telling him of Lehimna’s future death.
“That’s some story, Fiona.
Yet, I believe you. You’ve got my orb?”
“I’ve got the same orb as
you have here, only it’s in the future. I know it sounds weird, but I’ve
been sent back in time through the orb to get you and your army to come and
help with the battle. Will you come?” Fiona gazed at him with her puppy dog
“My sixth wife uses those
same eyes on me, Fiona McAllister. It doesn’t work for her; however, I will
come with you. Why don’t you spend some time with my wives while I gather my
army.” Rolfin clapped his hands.
An elderly woman came into
the room. “Onga, please take Fiona around the palace. I’d like her to meet
my wives. Is that all right with you, Fiona?”
“I’d love that. I know all
about your wives and your 150 children,” Fiona said, winking at him.
“Very well. I will meet you
in the courtyard in three hours. Onga, make sure she is fed and well taken
care of.” King Rolfin winked back at her. “Oh, show her my orb.” With that
he opened the door and left.
The hours passed quickly for
Fiona as she met and talked with each and every one of the king’s wives.
They shared stories with her of their marriages to the king and gave her a
detailed tour of each tower. When Fiona finished her visits, she was taken
to the kitchen and fed a variety of foods; olives, pomegranates, flat bread,
roasted lamb, guinea hen, oranges and pistachio nuts. Onga, upon seeing
Fiona had reached her limit, took the girl to see the orb. “It looks exactly
the same, perhaps a bit shinier,” Fiona commented and then they headed down
to the courtyard.
“I like the mosaics and the
way the ceilings vault and have different shapes and angles and colors,”
“King Rolfin will be happy
to hear that you approve,” Onga said sarcastically.
“The courtyard is pretty
too. There are a lot of fountains.” Fiona stuck her hand in the water.
“King Rolfin loves
fountains. He loves flowers too. Did you notice all the roses? Those are his
favorites,” Onga said, this time with a smile.
King Rolfin, dressed in
battle gear, looked more impressive than the man she’d spoken to in the
room. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail. His eyes looked fierce and
shone with courage. “Fiona. My army is ready.” She saw horses and swords and
all manner of battle gear.
“Follow me. We’ve got to go
outside the gates of the city.” She noticed the lead horse carried the
king’s banner. Bright yellow and rectangular in shape, it was divided into
three parts by embroidery. The top third showed a camel. The center bar
showed Rolfin’s Orb and the bottom third showed a Carthaginian ship. “I like
the banner.” Her eyes roamed across the line of men in the lead horses.
“Lehimna! I’ve met you before, in the future. How can you be back here when
right now you’re in Angus’s croft?”
The wizard put his fingers
to his lips to quiet her and then nodded in recognition. She shrugged her
shoulders. “Do you know that you get stabbed to death in the future, right
through the heart?”
“I do. It ended my life
living here with King Rolfin; however, we wizards don’t die that easily.” He
grinned at her.
Fiona smiled back and turned
to lead the group.
They passed through the
streets, a long line of soldiers on horses marched in straight lines, lances
pointed to the sky. Fiona turned to see the twelve wives and all the
children standing to the side near the gates. She waved at them as she
passed through the main gate onto the sand. She led the army through the
time warp into Angus’s croft.