For Part One: http://wp.me/p2VCul-kr
For Part Two: http://wp.me/p2VCul-lz
For Part Three: http://wp.me/p2VCul-lG
Gwyneth said goodbye to the Boatman, then climbed the seemingly endless steps to the walled village above the harbour. The town she found was quiet, but she walked along to a pub called the Lucky Leaf, because that’s where you are meant to go when you’re in a fantasy story and you enter a new town. If you’re lucky, there will even be signs up for the Adventurers’ Guild and you will get to slay a dragon or something.
No such signs were posted at the Lucky Leaf. However, Gwyneth did meet Aoibheann and Nathaniel, both of whom seemed to work at the pub. Aoibheann introduced herself as the innkeeper, and Nathaniel as her accountant. Kindly, Aoibheann offered Gwyn a place to stay for the night, and a job if she wanted one.
Gwyneth took the job, because there was not very much in the way of university level lecturing work to be found in Jasper Cove, and she was at least comfortable around copious amounts of alcohol.
Jasper Cove was ruled by King Alec and Queen Isabella.
Nobody really knew their story, but Gwyn was happy enough to have a roof over her head and food on the table, so she did not question these two leaders overmuch.
Gwyneth and Aoibheann soon became friends, and the same was true for Gwyneth and Nathaniel. Before long, the three Lucky Leaf staff members were inseparable — except when weird stuff happened when others weren’t present.
Aoibheann and Gwyneth had all sorts of exciting adventures, including narrow escapes from poisonings, encounters with the Huntsman, merchant wars with the sour old guy who ran the bakery, and the birth of Queen Isabella’s youngest (so far), Malachai. Eventually, they all became friends with the King and Queen as well, though Nathaniel and Aoibheann more so: Gwyneth always felt a little distanced from the two sovereigns for reasons she didn’t completely understand.
Still, there were good times. Nobody threw a picnic like Their Majesties, and the trio would sometimes find themselves invited along for a day out with the royal family in the beautiful wilds of Jasper Cove.
One night, when the village cowered in fear of the Huntsman, King Alec came to the Lucky Leaf to lay cold iron along the doors and windows. Gwyneth found herself quite distressed by this action, and the King surmised from this that she must be Fae. His wife, he said, could teach her the ways of the Fae, no matter where she had come from. As winter deepened, Gwyn looked forward to these “fairy lessons”, but things in Jasper Cove became darker and darker as the winter ground on, and Queen Isabella, with a newborn babe, had very little time to spend with Gwyneth. Aoibheann, although she had become the Huntsman’s favourite prey, was still ignorant of her heritage and openly mistrusted Gwyn’s newfound magic. To complicate matters, Nathaniel revealed to Gwyneth that he was a vampire one night. Gwyn already loved and trusted him, so this admission did not cause her any fear, but both of them feared how Aoibheann might react. They agreed not to speak of it.
But a storm was coming. Things were beginning to fall apart in Jasper Cove, and eventually the King and Queen had to cast very powerful magic over the land to make it stable and whole again. When the spell did not work, Jasper Cove was destroyed and the residents once again found themselves in a new land.
So many adventures happened in this new land– too many to recount here.
In the next installment, we promise a happy ending to surpass all your wildest dreams!
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