Lord Peadar Tasgall of Aruam Castle
Hauflin, first appeared in chapter 05 in Shadows in the Stone
The soft glow of the single candle danced on the page. It guided Lord Peadar Tasgall’s pencil as it scrolled carefully the letters to form words learnt in his hauflin youth. Here, beneath the cloak of darkness and night, the lord disconnected from his duties, the castle and the people of Maskil he served. He permitted his mind to roam to a far-off place where fresh smells of the forest and soil rejuvenated his being.
Long-forgotten scents permeated his pours until they diluted the adverse odours of the castle and the invisible force percolating through the walls and into his bed chamber.
The pencil quickened. The force grows fervent and the minds feebler. The darkness has compromised those from which we seek refuge. The child has been taken.
Peadar’s hand froze, and he gawked into the candle light. Murderer? Judgement? “I am not; I gave not,” he mumbled, his mind racing to the past, sweeping aside the darkness suppressing the truth.
He jolted upright. The strength wielded by the small hauflin child did not cause harm, but her words—I hate you!— left fuel to aggravate his subconscious long after she had been taken.
His short, thin fingers caressed the cheek that had received the blow, and he recalled why she hated him. Tears welled and a burning sensation erupted in his chest. He had witnessed the horrifying event but sat powerless to intervene though his spirit fought to release itself from the confinement crafted by the unseen lord.
A slight breeze entered the window carrying the familiar aroma of warm molasses. Peadar relaxed and stared blankly at the words he had written. Nonsense. Twaddle meant to entertain children. He surveyed his chamber for intruders, then closed the book and returned it to its hiding place in the stone wall.
Castle Keepers Vignettes: Almost five years has passed since Isla was kidnapped and Bronwyn left Maskil in search of her. In many ways, not much has happened; the inhabitants of the Land of Ath-o’Lea have continued their daily routine. But if you look deeper into the individual lives you’ll see much has changed in little ways.
The Castle Keeper vignettes provide a glimpse into the time between Shadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones. You’ll have already met many of the characters, but some you will meet in Scattered Stones.
These vignettes won’t be complete stories, only 300 words of a moment. I consider them exercises in writing and editing. I hope to write two a week and post them on Mondays and Thursdays as we lead up to the release of Scattered Stones, the second fantasy novel of the Castle Keepers series, on May 6, 2016.
The collection of vignettes will be organised on the Castle Keepers Vignettes page. On the first of each month, I will post the schedule of the characters I will write about that month.