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Rolfin's Orb
Book 12 -
Chapter 10

            Gruznig, a redcap, stood outside of Angus’s croft. He gazed into the window and watched as the wizards and dragons appeared in the room. He rushed back to Castle Athdara. “Master Wizard, I have done as you commanded and as you predicted, the dragons and wizards have appeared. They came through some sort of time portal. There are hundreds of them. The girl you told me of went into the time portal.”

“You did your job well. I won’t kill you, at least not right now,” Phelan said to Gruznig.

“Thank you, Master.” He lowered his head and joined the other redcaps.

“Fiona’s gone back in time to get Kegan and probably Rolfin too. It’s time for me to bring their counterparts here to the castle.” Phelan looked around the cold stone room. “You,” he pointed to a sluagh. “Stand guard while I tend to some business. If one thing leaves this castle, you’ll understand a new meaning of the word pain. Am I clear?”

The sluagh bowed. “Yes, Master. As you command.”

Phelan rushed to the room with the portal that the twelve men used. “I have to send someone back to get them.” A guard stood next to the door, as it had been ordered to keep everyone out. “You. I have a job for you.”

“Yes, your Wizardship. What can I do?”

“I want you to go through this time portal to Zanaad and bring King Dugan and his army back here.”

The guard gawked at Phelan. “I have no idea who King Dugan is, your Wizardship.”

“Very well,” Phelan said. He sent a bolt of lightning out from the tips of his fingers and vaporized the trow. His helmet and sword clanged on the ground. Phelan stepped outside the room and saw another trow down the hall. “You. Come here.”

The trow shook with every step. “Yes, Master?”

“I command you to go into this time portal. Go to Zanaad and bring back King Dugan and his army.” Phelan snarled at the Shetland trow.

The trow looked at the pile of ash that was once his friend.

“Do you have a problem with that?” Phelan snarled.

“No, your Wizardship. I will oblige,” the trow said.

“Wise choice. When you return, or should I say, if you return, you will go in again to get King Bartolf. Hurry on then.” The trow hesitated. “Step into the blasted sparks and go. What are you waiting for?” Phelan pushed the trow into the light and roared in anger. “Fools. None of you are worth the hairs on your chests.” He stomped around the castle knocking into whoever or whatever got in his way.

                   *  *  *

     “This feels really weird,” Fiona said. She whizzed through a spiraling rainbow of color as she traveled back in time. “I’m dizzy.” A few moments later she landed with a thud in the sand. She sat still for a while, allowing the twirling feeling to stop.

     “Where am I? Oh right, I’m in Burill. Am I in the days of King Kegan, or of King Rolfin? I guess I’ll find out soon enough.” She glanced at her clothes. “I doubt if any girls dressed in denim jeans.” With the power to change objects, she switched from her modern clothes into a maize-colored robe, leather sandals and a beaded strap around her head. “There. Now I look more like a Burillian.”

     “Jacob was right,” Fiona said, twirling around in a circle. There is nothing around here for miles, just sand. Whoa! Look at that castle. It is as high as the clouds; higher even. I guess I might as well go inside and start searching for the king. I wonder how I’ll get near him. Surely they won’t let a young peasant girl like me get near the king.”

     The arched gateway caught Fiona’s attention immediately. Instead of a wooden gate, as she’d expected, it was made of pure gold and decorated with gems of every type imaginable. It was actually two doors that opened in the middle. Both were wide open, allowing the inhabitants and guests in and out of the city.

     Trees sprung up along side the cobblestone road, but Fiona saw them growing behind houses and in the surrounding orchards. Dates, banana palms, lemon, orange and lime trees saturated the air with fragrant tang. “This is so pretty.” Stone wells sat on every corner; fresh water flowed from springs and funneled through stone runways around the city, supplying everyone with enough.

     The stone block wall encircling Burill stood about twelve stories high. Three ramparts were built on each side of the wall and a walkway allowed the guards to move from one rampart to the other without difficulty. Rectangular holes had been cut in each wall, providing protection from oncoming warriors. “Genghis Khan would have loved this place. I wonder if he ever tried to attack the Burillians. They’d have given him a fight.”

     Archways and domes covered with mosaics, gold and sparkling jewels glittered in the sunlight. Fiona looked at the castle. “There are twelve towers and they are all different in size and shape, just like Jacob said. King Rolfin must have loved his twelve wives. That is so gross to think about. Yuck. There are twelve huge domes, twelve giant archways. I remember Jacob saying everything here was done in twelves.  I wonder where the main door is.” Not in a hurry, she continued wandering around the city, delighted by all the sights, sounds and smells.

People wandered the streets; all smiling, cheerful and full of laughter, kindness, and respect for one another. Stalls sold fresh breads, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Others sold leather goods, fabrics and polished stones to use in jewelry. Fiona couldn’t resist a peek. A woman stood behind a cart of jewelry. “I love this necklace. What’s it made of?” Fiona grinned at the woman, who grinned right back at her.

“You are a beautiful girl. Your hair is so fair. You are not a Burillian native are you?” The woman touched Fiona’s golden locks.

“No. I’m here with my family from…” Fiona had to stop and think. “We’re Germanic.”

“You are welcome in Burill. What is your name? You can call me Abir. The name means ‘fragrant one’. My mama sells perfumes and oils. Nice name, don’t you think?”

“It’s a beautiful name. My name is Fiona.” She was glad she could speak any language. The words flowed from her mouth as if she’d lived there all her life. “Is King Kegan the king, or is it King Rolfin?”

“What a silly question to ask.” Abir laughed. “King Rolfin lived forty-five generations ago. This is 1070 A.D.”

“Oh. Sorry for asking that, but I’m feeling a little odd today.” Fiona shrugged her shoulders.

“That’s all right. I have days like that myself. Fiona, what necklace do you want to purchase today?” Abir picked up the one Fiona had looked at. “This is made of moonstone. It is magical, you know?”

“Really, Abir. Magic?”

“It’s not real magic, but they say it is magical. Watch.” Abir held up the blue stone and a mysterious gleam appeared whenever she moved it to a different position. I have some other colors of moonstone. Would you like to see the green, peach, gray, orange, and brown ones?” Fiona nodded.

“I love the green one,” Fiona said. She picked it up and held it to the sunlight. “Gorgeous.”

“They say that if you wear it, it will make your dreams stronger and it is a good stone for lovers. But you are too young for that, no?”

“Yes. I am way too young. I’m only eleven.”

“Of course. About the moonstone, I should warn you it is very delicate and will break easily. Would you like one?” Abir held the blue one up.

“Yes, I’d like four of them. I want a blue one, a peach one, a green one for me. Make it two blue.” Fiona remembered about money. She had some in her pocket. She closed her eyes and made it change into Burillian money, whatever that may be. She pulled coins from her pocket and handed it to Abir. “This is for you. Is there enough to pay for these?”

Abir gasped. “That is far too much money. Your father must be very rich. I would hide that. All these vendors will try to get you to buy their wares if they see you with all that money. I will take what you owe me.” Abir picked some of the coins out. There.” She handed Fiona a small cloth bag that tied at the top. “This will keep them safe.”

“Abir, I will think of you whenever I look at it. Thank you.” Fiona smiled at the woman and was about to leave, but stopped. “Oh, can you tell me where the entrance is in the palace. I have a meeting with King Kegan.”

“Your father must be very important indeed. Go down this street to the end and turn to the left. The main entrance is there. You’ll have to get past the guards first. Good luck, Fiona.” Abir turned her attention to another customer.

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