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Rolfin's Orb
Book 12 -
Chapter 14

            “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 your back.”

“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 question.

“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 hair.

“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 eyes.

“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,” Fiona said.

“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.

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