Chapter 1 – Seasons of the Moon

The wind picks up speed, flying through the air. The figure, who wandered far from his home to catch this rare sight, may get what he wished tonight. The figure wandered into the forests of the land called Richardson and walked through the old and dead branches. His ears wide open, waiting to hear the sound again that he heard earlier.

It was a man who was following these noises that he had been studying for months. He was a wizard of the Richardson Castle; and a much respected wizard for his work at the castle. However in the last couple of weeks, this wizard had been creating a growing hatred for the King who was in power. The King did not understand, or in the wizard’s own words, ‘wouldn’t understand’ about his research.

Pictured as a grey robe figured, the wizard had a hairy look on his arms and legs. He always had a concerned face.

There again it goes! The sound of the wind again and the wizard pressed on with much speed. He watched leaves flow around him and noises on the ground, sounding like footsteps. The wizard then he saw something that lit up his eyes. An invisible hand appearing to pick leaves from a branch. Could he hear a voice as well?

“It is true then. There are beings in the woods. Beings in the woods,” the wizard whispered to himself.

The invisible hand then whispered something to itself and the wizard closed in to listen.

“Fly my little leaf and tell the others that autumn is on its way!” it cried.

The wizard turned around to keep himself together, that moment, that voice. It was the proof that he needed to show to the King.

“The myths, the fantasies and the books. They are all true and I have seen one of them talking to nature, to change the season. I Morcar, the Richardson Wizard second to Alfred the Old. I can make my place in the history books of this day and age, now what I know is true,” he said to himself.

Morcar moved off through the branches and the leaves again. The wind started to pick up again and then it dropped off. Morcar knew what had happened. He held out his arm to feel the wind brush aside him.

“The figure has disappeared. I wonder where it goes when it’s time for bed time?” he asked himself.

He soon found his way out of the woods and found the large Richardson Castle in the distance.

“There it is and off I go to tell the King,” he cried as he headed off into the land.

Richardson Castle was known for its old appearance. It was a truly good looking castle and it showcased the history of its kings and queens. There was a beautiful garden in the centre of the castle where only few had been. To the east of the garden were the throne room, where two of the most important figures were in it. The King was talking to his wizard, Alfred the Old, about the signing up of the new knights.

‘We need strong knights for the castle Alfred. Not those stupid ones we got from the north. They were a mess when they battled the eastern castles,” said the King.

The King was dressed in his usually red and green satin robe. He liked this piece and wore it about in the castle. He was average height, middle aged and looked like a tired figure.

“I just don’t know where to find them now. No one really is interested in being a knight. It appears to be dangerous to them nowadays,” explained Alfred.

“They are weak, those young men. Is there any place left to find a new knight. Just the one?” asked the King.

“Maybe around the edges of Richardson there are some interested parties there. I will sniff some of the possible knights out there, won’t I?” asked Alfred.

“Of course you will, Alfred. Find me a good knight,” stated the King.

“Indeed I will,” promised Alfred.

When Alfred went to leave through the door, it opened and in came Morcar with his news from the woods.

“Hello Morcar,” greeted Alfred. “Hello Alfred,” replied Morcar.

The two didn’t seem to get on with each other. King Richardson leaned forward to see Morcar who came up to him. The king gave a worried look towards Morcar and who gave a questioning look at the king. They never saw eye to eye on certain subjects but on normal ground they agreed with most things.

“What news do you bring Morcar?”

“I was in the woods earlier today and saw for myself one of the people of whom I spoke before,” Morcar said to the King.

“I don’t think that these beings exist Morcar, its rubbish I tell you. Stop believing in these tales at once,” answered the King.

Morcar’s eyes shone at Richardson and his concern grew within him. He had to convince his King about the weather creators. The tiredness in Richardson’s eye grew with each word Morcar spoke. He didn’t want this to happen.

“They are true King Richardson, you must believe. I saw one talking to a leaf. It was changing the season in front of my own eyes!” cried Morcar.

The King tilted his crown to his side and tossed his head in worry. Alfred eyed the King and saw something that hadn’t happened to Richardson before. He was shaking and his hands were shaking also, trying to stay calm, he knew he was having trouble. It seemed that his mind was wandering else where when Morcar spoke to him. He wasn’t all there at times and the cracks were starting to show in the King.

“No Morcar, what you saw was false hope.”

Alfred was watching and asked Morcar. “What did you think you saw?” “A person in the woods who had the power to change the weather.

I saw it with my own eyes. Don’t you at least give me some credit?” Morcar asked the King.

“No, Morcar. There are no fantasies in this world. Go outside and wash your eyes. You must be drunk like the other knights!” cried the King.

Morcar bowed his head and walked outside, Alfred did the same and followed Morcar. Alfred stopped Morcar on the corner to the garden.

“I believe in the idea of the elements of the weather. King Richardson will need proof for him to understand and conceive the matter,” Alfred said.

Morcar never liked Alfred’s comments. He always thought that he was against him in everything. A spiteful look came upon his face.

“He should believe me. He isn’t a good king and you know it. Wait until I have some proof to show to the king. The elements will be found sooner or later,” warned Morcar.

“The fine history of the Richardson family has always had a strong line of Kings and this one is just the same as the others, Morcar. The kingdom will never fall. There is a strong support from the villages for the kingdom. There is a good future for everyone here,” Alfred said, the last sentence he said was weaker than the others. There was a degree of uncertainly in his voice when he said it.

“If you still believe in the faith of the Richardson Legend then so be it Alfred. I knew you would be too thick to understand what is happening, Morcar said storming off away from the throne room and Alfred.

Alfred tossed his head and was worried about the future of the Kingdom. “I fear for everyone here. With the King and Morcar like this it’s not going to be good,” he said to himself and he walked off towards the garden.

Night had fallen on Richardson and Alfred and the King were talking over papers for the castle’s new knights. The King eye’s were wide and he was stressing on the matters.

“Why don’t you let the other bishops and wizards do this for you. You are tired and weak tonight,” Alfred offered.

“No, I can’t do that. I must do everything myself in order for it to be perfect. Those bishops would make easy mistakes. You cannot let others do your work Alfred. They would try to create mistakes and make you look terrible. I must protect myself and thus do the work myself,” The King cried out from reading the papers.

Alfred watched the King again and there he saw, the shaking in his hands and the King holding his head in pain. His left leg was shaking too and he used one of his hands to try to stop the other while reading his papers. Alfred bit his lip and was sorry for the King’s changing health. Richardson shook his leg a couple of times and he gave a look at Alfred and half-smiled and continued on his work. The stress of the kingdom was starting to overtake him.

Alfred made an unwilling face at his King and tried to reason with him. “There is no one trying to dethrone you Richardson,” said the old wizard.

The shakes changed to panic and Richardson’s mood changed again. “You say those words with such ease. They are watching us, with every step, everyone is a suspect Alfred, remember that. Everyone,” he answered the wizard.

Alfred went quiet and left the King to himself and wandered out of the room. The King looked at the door where Alfred had gone and thought about it.

“The madness grows like a toxic in his mind. Eating away at his personality until he becomes a shadow of himself,” he said to himself. The wizard walked off towards his study and living room to work again.

The steps of a young girl were heard near the hall of the knights where she came to the doors of the hall. She was short for her age and had middle length hair. She had a light blue dress that came down half-way to her thighs. Blue eyes that worked with the dress and a spot for fun. The figure smiled and spoke “Let’s see what we can do today.”

She entered the room and she sat at the small bar where knights were handing out drinks and she shouted out to one of them.

“How about one for the Princess?” she asked.

Some of the knights were surprised she asked for a drink and she turned around to see them.

“Why can’t girls have a good time? Come on where’s my drink?” she cried at a barman knight.

The knights just smiled to each other and the barman knight passed a drink to the princess, “See if you can drink it,” joked the barman, “Its not orange juice, girly,” he added and the young girl frowned at his words.

She grabbed the drink and downed it in seconds. The knight’s mouth was wide open as she put the glass down.

“You call that a drink? I don’t think so,” she smiled at the barman. “Fine then,” he answered and handed another drink to her.

The knights started to fill up the bar as the night started, and they chatted about the day and the kingdom and gossips of the town. The princess walked over to the smaller rooms where groups of knights were singing and dancing. Richardson knights were known to be quite laid back, sometimes too laid back.

There was a noise within the knight’s party as they were watching Celia. One came over and was trying to chat up the princess. At first the princess was nice and happy. The knight gave a smile and placed his arm around her. Then the mood changed and he started to move his hand around the front. A cry from the knight came and he fell to the ground holding his crotch.

“You were stupid enough to fool around with me. That should keep you busy,” she laughed at him.

The knight rolled around the ground and the other knights at the tables laughed their heads off and pointed to the knight on the ground.

She headed from the smaller rooms back to where the bar and drinks were carried out from. She watched the knights and got herself another drink at the bar. She listened in to their talk while drinking.

“You shy little fool. You wouldn’t have guts to see the Princess. You see we all have charm and the goods for her,” the knight cried from his drink and winked to the other knights as they laughed.

The knight talking was shy and was smaller than any of the other knights. He leaned down in his seat in defeat. The Princess gave a cunning smile to herself and started to make her move.

“I just don’t want to get into trouble or anything. That’s why I keep to myself,” said the shy knight.

The knights all stood up to get the next round of drinks and the princess stopped them in their path. The knights nudged each other while watching her. She came upon the young and shy knight and planted a long and steaming kiss on his lips. The knights watched in shook and awe as she placed her hands on his trousers. She turned around and faced the other knights, “You know what they say about little people,” she smiled as she looked at the trousers then to his face.

The knight stood there blankly, she smiled at the knight and passed them by as the knights gathered around the knight.

“Maybe there is something good about you, shy guy,” said one of the knights.

The Princess smiled and waved at the shy knight and smiled back at him.

The night was falling and the old wizard had finished work in his study, he decided to came to the outside world and walked passed the throne room. Alfred went down to the knight’s drinking area where he was greeted by a group of knights; he held a drink to the old wizard’s face.

“Like a drink old Alfred?” one asked.

“No, you’re drunk again! What have you remembered about this time? The Richardson Holiday hasn’t come yet and don’t say you got the days mixed up again. You’ve used that excuse many times before” commented the wizard.

“The princess has come to play,” said one of the knights. “Yeah, the princess,” cried another.

“Oh no, I’d better get down there before she gets into trouble again,” cried Alfred and rushed off down the stairs.

Alfred arrived to see dozens of drunken knights around tables copious with drink. He rushed between them looking for the King’s daughter.

“She shouldn’t be having parties at her age. She is too young,” he cried to herself.

Unknown to Alfred, the door to the room opened again and in entered another figure of whom no one knew. Each person the figure passed, had a sudden chill overcome him. Concerned knights looked around in vain for the figure. One knight moved towards Alfred and bumped into him by mistake.

“Who was that?” Alfred asked and the figure suddenly disappeared on the spot.

No one saw the act and Alfred pressed on looking for the princess. However, the disappeared one was also looking for the princess and had more success.

“Is it two that are looking for one?’ the figure asked itself.

He found the princess sitting on a knight’s lap and drinking with the other knights.

“My, my, she’s the naughty one so I say,” he spoke again without anyone hearing.

Alfred kept on looking for the princess spinning around in despair.

“Oh god, where is she?” he cried. Suddenly a knight pushed Alfred by mistake and he hit the table, knocking himself out of the search.

The shadow stood next to a knight eyeing the princess. He whispers something in his ear.

“There she is, the pick of the crowd, dare I say. She’s oh so close isn’t she?”

“Yeah,” answered the knight.

Drink up, young one, we’ll seen how far the Princess can go without being caught,” said the shadow.

The knight nodded and drank the last of his beer. The princess stood up and the shadow quickly pushed the young girl towards the knight. He caught her and held her tight.

“You got something, yeah?” asked the shadow with a small laugh. A Black robe appeared as the figure turned and moved around the room. The princess smiled at the knight and the knight played with her long blonde hair. She was quite short for her age.

Morcar walked into the room and saw the passed out Alfred on the floor. He headed over and picked himself up off the floor. The shadow quickly passed the two wizards and made his way upstairs to the throne room.

“Didn’t know you were a drinker,” Morcar said when Alfred awoke.

“I’m not, its Princess Celia again. She’s up to her old tricks again,” Alfred cried while trying to get up again.

“Oh yeah I see from here,” Morcar said watching.

Alfred got back up and dusted himself off. Princess Celia was caught kissing one of the knights and was acting very badly to Alfred.

“She’s too young to know this sort of thing,” Alfred waved his behavior finger at Celia and the knights.

“Come on, old goat. She should be having fun at her age. I believe girls should be entitled to the same things as boys have,”

“I don’t think so Morcar. It’s not the view I believe in. She shouldn’t be doing anything like this. Should be in her room playing dress up dolls,” Alfred said to Morcar.

“But she’s good at what she does,” smiled Morcar. “What?” snapped Alfred.

“Oh sorry, she’s got a problem. These young people, they should know better. Right Alfred,” Morcar spoke, half believing.

“Yes, I agree. At least you have come around to it now,” said a thoughtful Alfred.

Another dozen drinks were held high to salute the princess and knight. Alfred and Morcar got to the circle and Alfred grabbed Celia.

“Party’s over girl,” said the old wizard.

“Come on Alfred, this is great. All of the knights are home from the past battle. Come on and have a look,” Celia cried to Alfred.

“I would have a drink with you and the knights if ancient history in the flesh here wasn’t with me,” Morcar said to Celia.

“Come on Alfred. We must get out of here before something happens,” Alfred said to himself.

Suddenly a voice boomed from across the room and all the heads turned. King Richardson was red faced and angry at the sight of his daughter.

“What is going on, Celia? Alfred? Morcar?” yelled the King. “Morcar and I can explain to you everything,” Alfred said,

however it may have caused more harm than good.

The knights were all quiet and he walked up to the two wizards.

“I’ll take my daughter from this place. You two follow me!” shouted the King at the two wizards.

The King took Celia away and the two wizards followed in silence. The knights sipped their drinks and quietly went back to their business.

The four of them entered the throne room where the Queen and the revealed shadow were. Alfred rubbed his arms like he did in the knight’s room. Morcar shook his shoulders and looked at the shadow. The shadow was a dark and spooky character. He wore an pitch black robe and his hands were ghost like.

“Was there noise like I said?’ asked the shadow.

“Yes. The knights were drinking downstairs and there was my daughter was playing the whore!” he shouted and threw Celia down on the ground.

The shadow gave a sickly look at the princess. His eyes rolled and meet the two wizards. He had a black robe and a hood. He was a strange looking character when Alfred and Morcar first set their eyes upon them. Alfred gave a discouraged look to Gladus.

“Who are you?” asked Morcar pointing towards the shadow figure. “Gladus. You two must be Morcar and Alfred, the Richardson wizards. I have heard interesting stories about the two of you,” said the ghostly hooded figure.

“Yes we are. Nice to meet you,” answered Morcar.

“Sir I was trying to stop Celia and this knight pushed me over.” “And you failed Alfred,” interrupted the King.

“She’s ok now, King Richardson. Nothing happened. She wasn’t really in danger,” Morcar said.

“Keep quiet you fool. Don’t start him now,” whispered Alfred. “Dangerous, you say not? Morcar the Stupid should be your name

sometimes. Any knight could have killed her and taken advantage of her. She was in real danger, Morcar,” cried the King.

“I knew what I was doing father. I am nineteen,” Celia cried at King Richardson.

“Age doesn’t matter Celia. You are never allowed to be on your own again. You hear! Get this idea that you are old enough to do things for yourself!” shouted the king.

“You’re keeping me in a prison!” Celia shouted at him. “I don’t care Celia. Do as you are told!” he shouted.

Gladus walked around the two wizards and patted them on their shoulders. He looked at each of them in disappointment.

“Too old these two are. They are blind to whatever happens in this castle. A problem more than a relief they are King Richardson. At least I told you that your daughter was to bed a dozen knights,” said Gladus.

“I wouldn’t,” shouted the princess.

“I don’t think so Gladus,” cried Alfred.

“You would if you had the chance,” whispered Gladus under his breathe.

“Quiet Alfred, Alfred and Morcar, be gone at once. I need to think about this,” cried Richardson to the wizards.

The two walked out leaving Gladus with the King and The Queen with Celia.

Gladus wandered around Celia and the Queen and thought about the matter.

“I’m a wizard from the deserts and I wish to put an idea to you about a discovery I have made. An idea to rule the weather and possibly the world,” spoke Gladus.

King Richardson turned around in amazement. The Queen and Celia watched on.

“You’re just as stupid as Morcar. He believes the same rubbish. It’s the same with all the wizards here. Old and stupid, they all are,” snapped Richardson at Gladus.

Gladus went quiet and turned to see Richardson’s face.

“If that is you what you believe then very well King Richardson,” Gladus said and he strolled out of the room.

“And what will you get Gladus, my kingdom?” Richardson asked him.

“I don’t want your kingdom, Richardson. I don’t want it at all,” Gladus answered.

He stopped at Celia and turned to her. He grabbed her and moved her face towards his. He moved his fingers and the room started to go dark. Suddenly Celia and the Queen froze on the spot, unable to neither see nor hear what was going on. He seemed to stop time for that moment and only Richardson and Gladus could do anything.

“She is a real trouble isn’t she?” glared Gladus’s eyes at Richardson.

“What do you mean,” Richardson said, worried about the fog on the floor appearing from no where. Richardson’s hands started to shake as well as his left leg. Gladus watched and knew what was overcoming the King. The stresses of the kingdom were on his mind. The cracks of the long line of Richardson were starting to show at last. Gladus touched Celia’s chin and smiled at the King.

“She’s no ugly duck, Richardson. You have to watch her every step my lord,” spoke Gladus.

“Why, she can just stay in her room. There she can be with herself,” Richardson reasoned with Gladus.

Gladus made a false gasp and shook his head at Richardson, “At all times you must watch her Richardson,” he advised.

Gladus touched lightly down Celia’s leg and pointed at the King. “Everyone is a suspect. Anyone could take over the kingdom.

Every knight is out for the chase,” he said giving a last look at Celia. “Everyone is a suspect. Anyone could take over the kingdom.

Every knight is out for the chase,” Richardson repeated blankly to himself as if he was in a state of confusion of the mind.

He walked away from Celia and clicked his fingers. The room returned to normal. Richardson didn’t take notice of Gladus’s character expect for what he said. His shakes continued to grow.

Gladus walked out and Alfred walked in the garden by himself. Alfred and Gladus met for a moment and a chill ran down Alfred’s back. Morcar was found to be in the knight’s room. Gladus wandered down to him and had a word in his ear.

“Finding the elements isn’t hard. The King won’t believe you, Morcar. You should give up while you’re behind. His mind was feeling his own scent of madness. He won’t believe anything that old man,” Gladus said to Morcar.

“How do you know Gladus? I could convince him in the end,” the Richardson wizard said.

“He won’t listen to you Morcar. He shakes too much and fears for everyone and anything. His mind is bent on keeping the kingdom to himself. His mind is in madness Morcar. Do you understand?” asked Gladus to Morcar.

“In a way, but let think about this. Go where you live Gladus. You’ve done everything here?” Morcar asked him.

“Yes in everyway possible,” Gladus smiled and he made his way out of the knight’s room towards the castle doors.

Morcar was alone and thought about Gladus. Even he knew something wrong was in play. That something was going to happen very soon

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