Though the forest roads were widely accessed, a traveler never felt safe as they passed through the woodland. The thick growth seemed to have pact with the sun to create ominous shadows and patches of cold that made a rider's horse snort and twitch with nervousness. The men that composed the monarch's escort were no less wary of what the forest was able to conceal. Each guard had heard tale of the fateful trip that took the life of the Queen, living Mylor to rule from the throne unaccompanied.
The handful of guards that survived the excursion remained to serve the King. Each of those men were present and determined, as they were with each passage, to not let the dreadful event occur again.
“Just around this bend," said Sir Angus, the patriarch of the King’s Guard, as he turned to XXXX, one of the newest of the elite group.
“Around the bend sir?”, replied the young knight.
Angus cleared his throat as he began to retell the story.
“Aye, the mob attacked just as we made our way about the shoulder. We were completely overwhelmed by the number of men.”
XXXX interrupted, “Still, being thieves you surely had the upper hand did you not?”
“Any man who would believe a rabble of thieves were triumphant to bring down any number of skilled knights and able to take the queen’s life must be mad. Those were no pilfering miscreants. Those men were well armed, well trained, guided and full of hate for the king and queen. To this day lad, I believe someone was behind the attack. If that same man lives the king may always be in danger.”
Feigning confusion XXXX asked, “Could that be a possibility? Is there any one man able to summon that force?”
“Aye”, replied Angus, “The king does not know how close he may be to, well let us say that he…”
“ANGUS!, Join me.”, ordered Mylor from his teetering coach.
Immediately Angus tightened his hands on the reins and maneuvered his horse so he was now riding aside the King.
“Yes my lord?”
“Angus, you are well aware that I am not fond of these woods, yet I feel we must stop, make camp and await the following group. We will end the day here, I ask you to ride back and inform Demorus that we have halted and then return to me and report on the well being of my niece. I trust that Demorus will watch over her, yet I want to know first hand. They should not be far behind so I expect your quick return.”
“Of course sire. I am sure all is well. Sire, before I leave, I must have a moment in private with. I have information you may find quite important.”
“It can wait. My niece is what is important for now. We will speak once I am assured she is in no harm.”
“As you wish. I shall not waist a moment.”