We finally exited that strange and bizarre forest after bidding farewell to our new friends, and continued on towards my uncle’s mansion. We arrived at the gates and I informed the house guard on duty that I had arrived. He was pleased to see me, as we had not seen each other in many years due to my father and my uncle’s falling out several years ago.
In the courtyard, I heard a familiar voice call my name; it was my obnoxious cousin, Heranimo, who I had hoped would be away. He always looked up to me and my tales of wonder, so it was only natural that he should take up the pen, however I, and most other people around him, wish he hadn’t. He bored me with tales of his new play which would be no doubt terrible, before finally revealing in that droll, soul stabbing voice of his, that my sweet cousin Catherine had indeed vanished into thin air! My uncle was worried sick and becoming quite ill. I knew that it was my duty to locate her, as this could be the catalyst for our family to once again be reunited as one.
Upon entering the mansion— Wait, did I tell you the mansion was built by my cousin’s own design? I didn’t? Well! The full title of my uncle’s mansion is Catherine’s Dream, and the building is a sight to behold indeed! You would scarce believe it if you should see it! The rooms are odd shapes, with hardly any structure, however this is how my sweet cousin drew her house, and my uncle sought it built. They even had a whole room dedicated to her dolls!… Ugh… Those dolls… but I am getting ahead of myself. Where was I?
Aha! Upon entering the mansion, I laid eyes upon the man whom I had naught seen for many years; my uncle Lord Kuttle Phisch. He spied me enter and upon introducing myself, he seemed to actually resent my presence! I was hurt of course, but if I knew my father I would definitely know my uncle, and I knew that he didn’t really hate me, just still not over the… Well, I didn’t know at the time what the feud was about, but I was soon to know. What’s that? No, that comes later, I must stick to the structure of the tale! I can’t just reveal the plot out of order!
Anyway, my uncle. He was so distraught over my cousin, he didn’t know what he was saying. “You can’t find her Philleo,” he said, “You’re to leave at once!” he cried, but I knew they were the words of a grief sicken man, and I brushed them off, being the forgiving man I am.
It was then that my uncle spotted one of my travelling companions, the lovely Lylah. Of course, he was gracious however I saw the look of lust in his eye. Was this really my Uncle? A Phisch would never be so crude to a lady. I could see that Lylah was being polite and didn’t wish for the attention, however my uncle was blinded by her radiance. Where is Lylah anyway? Ah, she must be upstairs praying. The real reason she was shy for attention was that I had actually woo’d her a few nights previous, and while we had originally just meant for it to be a fleeting moment, she had become infatuated with me. Of course, with her devotion to Tripos we couldn’t announce such a thing and she will deny it, but I digress…
Suddenly, without warning, one of the ornamental suits of armour began to walk across the room! Hollow inside, but striding as if it encased a man, the suit came down upon my uncle with haste! I quickly and deftly whipped my rapier into a slight gap between the plates and managed to bring apart the unfastened and seemingly haunted armour, saving everyone’s life. My uncle feigned being unimpressed and ungrateful, instead retiring to the dining room. This was where another ghostly apparition happened where cutlery began to fly around the room! Everyone was terrified, except for me of course.
We began our investigation by searching around the mansion. We began in Catherine’s doll room, which was unfruitful, yet disturbing before heading down to the guest rooms. Whilst we were checking these, a maid servant brought us food and drink, which was thoughtful.
We searched the grounds and talked to the house guards who informed us that a stable boy had become “friends” with Catherine, and that maybe he might know of her whereabouts. I knew better, of course, and that he must know where she was being held, because it was obvious that he must have kidnapped her! I confronted him at once.
Walking into the stables, there towered a huge, hulking man at least 6 foot tall, with arms like trees. He sneered and refused to answer my questions, so I threatened to clock him right in his pig-like face. He laughed and insulted my mother, so I did just that. The brute fell face down wit a sickening crunch, which was the sound of his nose breaking. He looked back, snarling, so I put him in his place with another punch which had him begging for mercy. He claimed not to know anything, so I pressed for more information by pressing hard on his face wih another punch, but still he refused to give any information. I sent him to dreamland with a final blow and asked the house guard to restrain him.
We celebrated that night, having caught the kidnapper (or so we thought!) and ate heartily, yet I still could not shake the fact that something was wrong. Later that night, my suspicions were confirmed.
Lylah awoke after hearing some noises late at night. She went to investigate and found that the creepy dolls had come to life, possessed! Obviously, the game was still afoot and this time, I felt the need to investigate my dear uncle.
Later, the next night while we were all supposed to be having dinner, we distracted my uncle and I stole into his room to have a poke around. Unfortunately, it seems my uncle had gotten wind of this, and followed me in! I hid under the bed, however no matter how well I managed to stay quiet and still, he was still aware of me! Once he revealed to me that he knew I was there, I thought it time to confess my suspicions, and revealed myself, only to find my mind invaded by his! I called for Grimes and as he entered the room, froze up and was unable to move! My uncle was a natural magic user! Obviously this was what my father and my uncle fell out about, as my father disproves of the magical arts!
Still being able to control myself, I dashed to the protection of Lylah, who was left undefended. we held off my uncle, who had now taken to crawling along the ceiling, screaming that we would never take his Catherine away from him – the culprit at last! I notched a couple of arrows and fired few off in warning, however he did not relent.
It was then that Grimes managed to free himself from my uncles magic and joined in the fight, bringing him down to the ground, where he broke down and confessed that it was he who had ‘kidnapped’ Catherine and hidden her away, so that she could not marry and leave him. When we tried to reason with him, he would not reconsider and tell us where she was hidden, and stated that if she left, he would be better off dead, and gave us an ultimatum; he would reveal her location, if we killed him.
I don’t think I need to tell you that this was a very hard moment for me; on one hand, my dear cousin was missing and needed help, but I couldn’t kill my uncle! Unfortunately, I had no choice and agreed to his demands. He told us that she was hidden in a secret room in the stables, and with a tear in my eye, I put my rapier through his neck.
We found Catherine sat on some hay, crying in this hidden room. As it turns out, she too was gifted in the natural magics and had seen everything. In fact, it was her that was possessing everything in an effort to make my uncle set her free! She thanked us for freeing her, but scorned me for killing her father.
I doubt I shall be invited to her wedding.
It was as we were leaving that one of our old friends arrived at the door, asking our assistance in Lesserford to which we packed up and moved on.
That my friends, is the tale of Catherine’s Dream. Drama, action, romance and sadness, all in one. Now, can anyone spare some copper for a drink?