An Ancient Knightly Tale
Table of Contents
Chapter I: The Twin Bell Towers
Chapter II: The King’s Fair
Chapter III: A Distant Cry
A brief history of the Twin Bell Towers of The Kingdom of Rowan
These historic Twin Bell Towers of Rowan have most profound meaning for almost every citizen in the Kingdom of Rowan. They who deeply appreciate the heritage of their forefathers, have long since revered this innovative landmark of great renown, for its meaning and prestigious design, as well as its unprecedented usefulness in keeping the time, and the bells ringing on every given hour, from 7am to 7pm.
On the North face of the East Bell Tower of Rowan, inscribed in metal on a granite memorial placard, is written a brief yet compelling history of how these two twin towers came to be:
These Twin Bell Towers of Rowan, having been constructed as a gift from the great King Rama of the Kingdom of Rahue to the West, for the King and peoples of the Kingdom of Rowan to the East, signify that these two kingdoms are kindred, friends and peaceful allies. This is so because of the glorious deeds performed by King Gordan and his son Prince Germain and their people of Rowan to the East, for King Rama, his son Prince Gilbert and their people of Rahue.
When King Rama’s Kingdom of Rahue was under attack, falling into the perils of a numerous clan of ferocious neighboring bandits, King Rama sent out his son Prince Gilbert with command of his superior knights to thwart off their attack. Prince Gilbert did so, and having succeeded, he drove out and pushed the bandits far away to the East near the borders of Rowan.
To Prince Gilbert’s awful surprise however, as he was in the very act of victory, his forces were ambushed by the Mandricks, who were a barbaric tribal entity, which festered and brooded in the wilderness, ever plotting and planning ways to gain more power unto themselves.
To Prince Gilbert’s utter dismay, these two rebel forces, the bandits and the Mandricks, bonded together and joined forces.
Now, unbeknownst to the Prince’s weary residue of survivors from this grueling battle, his troops shockingly beheld that the Mandricks had also secretly and subserviently joined allegiance with the largest tyrannous group on their Monocratic continent, named the Shizors. The Shizors were known abroad for their laying siege and conquering status, continually rampaging to expand their powers of unrighteous dominion.
Together, under the design of the unquenched bandits, the Mandricks and Shizors all planned to combine their powers, and attack and seize the entire Kingdom of Rahue. To Prince Gilbert’s utter relief and amazement, the citizens of Rowan, who were on the outskirts of the farmland of the Kingdom, boldly made themselves aware of the Mandricks’, Shizors’ and bandit clan’s divergent plans to conquer Rahue, and interceded through posing as neutral and naïve friends, “hoping to keep the peace.” They put forward and offered a peace drink offering for all the tyrant leaders.
Not wanting to pass up such a proposition, but with no intention of honoring the promise, the combined tyrant leaders partook. These drinks were prepared in their strength to achieve the desired taste, and administered to with a portion of plant herb known as hamactin. This herb was used by many homestead physicians to remove infectious fungus on feet. These drinks incapacitated their speech, making it slurred unrecognizably, as well as creating a measure of lethargy, which made it easier to destroy them and their ranks. Having thus wrought upon the enemy’s leaders, resulting in a lack of battle commands and confusion, the Mandricks, Shizors and clan slowly began to fall back from before the forces of Prince Gilbert. King Gordan of Rowan also sent out his son Prince Germain with all his knights and warriors to aid in the defense of Prince Gilbert.
Finally, the bandits and the Mandricks were all slain, and the Shizors outfought, for they had sent the largest portion of their army onward, to continue with their planned invasion of the Kingdom of Rahue, thinking they could still take it. While the forces of Prince Gilbert of Rahue and Prince Germain of Rowan were still conquering, King Gordan saw the Shizors’ departured movement, and hurriedly sent his son Prince Germain onward to head off the Shizors, and thwart them in their planned attack. He also sent ahead a hurried embassy to forewarn King Rama by way of messenger scouts, of the Shizors’ oncoming attack.
Making things even worse for the Shizors, King Rama of Rahue had also just received new recruits to his army, which when met by the tyrants on Rahue’s own soil, King Rama and his son Prince Gilbert, along with the warriors of Prince Germain of Rowan, warred victoriously, gaining the first victory ever over the Shizors, whose numbers had significantly reduced through battlement. This was such a huge feat in the land, that because it had been accomplished, it gave way to hope for many of the other righteous kingdoms in the land to spread forth their reign and dominion, without the fear of tyranny.
To ever after give an appreciation for the King and people of Rowan, for their heroism and bravery, I King Rama, anointed under the hand of my father King Royel, do now signify on this granite and metal plated memorial placard, that these magnificent twin bell towers, built and hallowed by the craftsmanship and gentlemen of Rahue, that the great Kingdoms of Rahue to the West, and Rowan to the East, are seminal kindred, and honored friends.
To further the appreciation of King Gordan and Rowan’s people, a clock has been built and established in the Easternmost tower, to live as a legacy, and help govern the affairs of this people in this part of the land. To ever remind its people of the kinship shared between these two kingdoms.
The Twin Bell Towers
The Kingdom of Rowan was all amazed. Their twin bell towers had been ringing all morning. At the time of this new excitement, Shrad, the town’s Bell Towers’ trustee, had enlisted the help of his youngest son Heroum, a lad of fifteen, to examine the cause of this tumult.
“Heroum, we must do something to stop this constant ringing.” he stoutly shouted, “It’s upsetting all the town’s people. Let’s go and put a stop to this!”
Shrad had been at the towers all last evening, finishing installing some new equipment, and realigning the gears and timers, without losing any of the clockwork time in between. As the privileged and respected trustee of the towers, and father of four, Shrad feared that the new equipment had either been incorrectly installed, or had been faulty.
Because the tower’s trusteeship ran through family line, Shrad, along with his sons, were the only ones responsible for maintaining the functionality and cleanliness of the bells and towers. Shrad had the obligation then, to teach and train his sons in the ways of the towers, in the same way he was by his father and grandfather. This so that when they were of age, one of them might take charge.
As Shrad and Heroum embarked to discover the cause of the ringing, the two knew this was not going to be an easy fix. After having been taught many things about the towers from previous trustees, including discovered hidden secrets, they felt certain they could work things out.
“Father, this ringing is so loud! It’s hurting my ears!” Shouted Heroum above the piercing powerful noise.
“Yes, and it will make it more difficult for us to thoroughly inspect the gear work.” Shrad replied, “but we must do our part. The people of Rowan are depending on us.”
The twin bell towers of Rowan were built to last, made of brick and stone, cemented and fortified in the structure in which each brick had been laid, making them exceedingly strong.
Each tower was identical in formation, but not in design, for the inner workings, as well as some of the outside appearance, had special markings of significance. While only the East tower bore a clock, known across the land for its grand and meticulous design, both towers were laden with bells. Their acoustic design, as well as the surrounding landscape, caused a resonation, which could be heard by much of the outstretching lands.
Shrad and Heroum confidently climbed the steep stairs of the towers’ lower edifice, carefully inspecting all the gear work along the way. Higher and higher they each climbed, insuring that every little gear and mechanism was properly in sync. When they reached the upper most platforms within the towers, having no success, they half crazily came storming down the stairwells, desperate to find relief from the noise.
“The bells are making it too unbearable to continue,” said Shrad, “but something has to be done.”
The people of Rowan were looking to Shrad and his son for help. Some were highly troubled, even staring accusingly at Shrad and Heroum, as if asking why the problem had not yet been fixed. Others were already trying to go on, as if accustomed to the loud sounding bells, but strangely and honestly, somewhere deep inside each citizen, they mysteriously felt that something more than these bells was awry.
“Son, do you know what this means?” asked Shrad, above the blaring of the towers’ bells.
“Yes Dad, the switch.”
“That’s right Heroum! We must pull the secret lever switch.”
The lever switch was first discovered by Shrad’s father Naham, who upon examination, was able to deduce its ability to reset the clock gears, which would manually realign them, and thus in this case, they hoped, stop the ringing of the bells. Shrad had no other alternative. With this disruption of the town’s people’s lives, he knew he must pull the towers’ secret lever, which by Shrad’s knowledge, had never been pulled.
Having been taught many secrets of the towers by his own father and grandfather, Shrad now had the opportunity to teach these things to his sons. The mystery and secrets of these towers is clearly known by the Griffin family trustee line, but what Shrad and his forbearers did not know, was what it was that caused these different unexplained phenomena which took place. So strange had been the actions and certain outcomes of the towers and their innerworkings, that Shrad almost had a belief that they almost had a life of their own.
Shrad and his sons were the only ones who knew of the lever’s existence, and with the towers’ secret lever pulled, in minutes the bells finally did stop ringing, and they discovered that once this was done, and the lever then repositioned back into its functional place, the clock and gears worked fine, and were back on track.
This was such a huge relief for the kingdom, especially since the day’s events all centered on the people, all gathering together to participate in the King’s Fair.
Shrad said to his son Heroum, “I hope now we won’t have to worry about these towers ringing this way anymore.”
“Yes, but at least we know what to do if they do.” said Heroum.
“Indeed, but I still want to investigate to see if I can find out what might have been the cause of all of this havoc in the first place.”
Shrad and his family, along with the entire Kingdom of Rowan were highly relieved at the silencing of the bells, yet to their uneasiness, it still seemed as though an eerie echo of warning remained. Although things could now resume normally, the end of this mystery was far from being revealed, and as they would soon find out, there was something more precious to these towers than they could have ever possibly imagined. For in it, they would discover a secret that would transform their whole understanding of the world in which they lived.
This very day was to be the towers’ one-hundredth anniversary, and was to be celebrated with a fair in the kingdom, with festivities, food, and the appearance of the Queen’s court. All of this excitement was to begin promptly at 10:00AM, and go until dark. With this unusual start to their day, the people of Rowan were grateful, and also excited to begin their celebration with anticipation.
On this wondrous day of their tower’s anniversary, which happened every five years, Heroum had long since made a deal with himself, that he was going to enter into the gauntlet contest, which if won, he would have the opportunity to dance with Princess Lorena at the royal ball, and have his name written in the King’s Book of Times. This achievement was the highest honor one could receive as a lad in Rowan. Each person who won this competition, was also granted the opportunity to improve his classmen-ship through education, opportunity and training, personally provided by the king’s court.
Because Heroum had risen so early to the sound of the ringing bells, which began their noise at 6:00AM, he had extra time before the festivities, to do his chores and practice once again for the gauntlet contest, as he had done so many times before. In preparation for this great opportunity, Heroum had used a large portion of his young free time, to run the rigors of the course, and utilize his opportunities to win in the off seasons, until he became of age. His great excitement in celebrating the kingdom’s grand fair came from the prospect, that now that he was old enough to participate in the gauntlet contest, he might also win it. As he had practiced all year ‘round, and prepared with growing confidence, he truly felt ready and able to win. He also desired to have the dance with Princess Lorena, and besides this, if he could win this honor, he could guarantee himself that the assignment of the tower’s trustee would go on to one of his brothers.
The King’s Fair
Once things got back into the gear of things, and the kingdom resumed preparations and readiness for the fair, everyone was in a spirit of joy, ablaze with excitement and mutual appreciation for each other. This was the electric atmosphere and kinship among the people of Rowan.
A Distant Cry
Forty years ago, a young merchant had once been attracted to Rowan, because of reputable mention among buyers there. Upon arrival, he had begun to deal treacherously with the community, and had stolen some of the town’s people’s trust, as well as their commodities.
At this point, the citizens rallied to bring him to justice, and he was exacted for his crimes, and then sent away. When the day of his liberty came, he left the kingdom never to return, and as he did so, the West bell tower rang once, and then did not ring again on its appointed times, until new equipment was put in, and the gears realigned.
Now, every five years, on the day before the forth coming fifth year anniversary, the towers’ trustee replaces and installs new essential equipment, realigns the gears and timers as needed, and does a thorough cleaning to ensure that the bells never break down as they did that year, forty years ago. The towers were to be kept ever functional and bright by each succeeding trustee, and the kingdom truly respected the Griffin family line for this stewardship.
It had originally been assigned to them because of Heroum’s great grandfather, who had fought in the original war against the Shizors, in the great war against them by the kingdoms of Rahue and Rowan. His great grandfather was both a brick mason, and a clock maker, and was noted for his original designs. It was he, who had also been involved in much of the consultation, for the making of the original plans for the towers.
Because of this, he was readily chosen by the people, and anointed by the hands of King Gordan.
These famous twin bell towers were not without reputation however, and even legends about this glorious landmark had begun to be attached.