Honestly, it was almost as if the castle was mocking him. Galanoth had been pacing around its walls—well, wall really, it was a circle after all—for roughly thirty minutes now, and he had still yet to figure out how to get inside of it. It shouldn't be this hard to get into someone's house.
Though the house in question wasn't really a house; it was a castle. A very small castle, but a castle nonetheless, complete with an outer wall, a drawbridge (which as far as he could tell had no means of opening from the outside) and a moat.
He stared at the moat in question with absolute hatred. The moat was the main reason he couldn't reach his destination; it and the drawbridge. Though, the castle's owner was also at fault here. There had been a perfectly acceptable house standing where this little castle and its moat now stood mere weeks ago. But, obviously the house wasn't good enough, as that Dragonlord that he still couldn't believe was his neighbor tore it down and put this bright silver eyesore on the glacier in its place.
Galanoth willed his legs to take him around the castle one more time before he left. He'd wasted too much time here already: the neighboring villages were still being attacked and he needed to organize a search party to rescue anyone that had been left behind when the last village was evacuated. The indentation in the outer wall that housed the drawbridge quickly came into view—because again, it was a small castle—and as he followed the curve of the moat, the first of a pair of (what looked like) energy dragon sculptures adorning the sides opposite the bridge came into view as well. Simple things, really: the two sculptures held a combatant segreant posture, obviously poised to attack, yet each had a clear yellow orb stuffed in their mouths. Galanoth was sure that the statues had some sort of symbolic meaning, but as he walked past the sculptures and the drawbridge and started towards the business district to charter some griffons and get a search party underway, he really couldn't bring himself to care. He could wonder about the sculptures later when there wasn't anything better to do.
"Leaving so soon?"
Galanoth froze. There was no one on the street as far as he could see. Where the hell had that voice come from?
He turned back to face the castle. Almost immediately his eyes were drawn to the pair of dragons on the wall: the orbs they carried were glowing a bright yellow now, as were the single pair of eyes that he could see. What?
"Who are you?" He shouted. What the hell was going on? Obviously it was magic, but what the hell?
"I am the Gatekeeper. My master had me installed in the outer wall so that visitors could come and go as they please, without the need for such clumsy means as a pulley or a lever. You just need to say the word Mister, and I will lower the bridge for you." The voice chimed. He noticed that the light the orbs were emitting fluctuated at the voice's every syllable.
"The…Gatekeeper?" Galanoth echoed.
He felt like slapping himself now. Of course the gate was magic. Everything was magic nowadays, why had he assumed different. Great.
"That's right!" The entity in the wall chimed," My master had me installed in the outer wall so that visitors could come and go as they please, without the need for such—"
"Yeah, alright I get it, you already said that." He snapped.
The orbs dimmed in their glow. For a second, Galanoth was afraid that he'd broken the damn thing, but then the orbs lit up again and the Gatekeeper resumed its chattering.
"I'm sorry, I was programmed with a limited list of responses. Do you wish to enter the castle?"
Well, that was what he came here for.
"Very well then, I will lower the bridge for you, Mister! Please make yourself at home while I alert my master."
With that, the orbs ceased glowing almost instantaneously. Galanoth shifted his weight from foot to foot for a few moments before the bridge began to lower as well. After what seemed like an eternity, the drawbridge made contact with the stone streets of Dragesvard, and the legendary Dragonslayer cast a look of smug satisfaction at the now conquered moat before entering the castle before him.
Well, the interior of the castle certainly didn't look how he thought it would.
There was the standard stone floor and walls, as well as a great spiraling staircase that lead up to the second floor, but certain things seemed very out of place. For starters, he'd entered the castle into a large-ish hallway with the staircase at the end. Two archways built into the left wall opened up to a kitchen and a den, with a large window built into the wall between them. An actual door on the wall to his right led to something very large, if his estimate of the castle's circumference was accurate. He wasn't going to open the door and check, but something told him he'd find out what was in there eventually.
Some chairs and end tables lined the walls, as well as a few paintings and what looked like a dozen lamps. Everything was decorated in only four colors: red, orange, gold, and black. Obviously Price didn't much care for cool colors. As he inspected one of the paintings on the right wall—an oil painting of what looked like an old style rendition of a sandstorm—Galanoth had to admit that the Dragonlord had good taste in interior design, despite what the incredibly tacky exterior design of the castle had led him to believe.
The thumping sound of hurried footsteps began to trace its way across the ceiling and spiral down the staircase. Obviously, Galanoth thought, that was Price. If that note he'd left with the muffins was any indication, the dragonlord would probably be wanting to impress him. He turned to face the stairway and greet owner of the castle, already prepping himself for any possible dialogue, but to the Dragonslayer's surprise, all he saw coming down the stairway was a rather large pridelord, which ignored him and made its way into the den.
As Galanoth was staring at the archway the pridelord had dissappeared through, the door on the right wall clicked open behind him. Through the door walked Price with a rather large smile on his face.
"Oh hey!" The Dragonlord chirped, "I didn't expect you to stop by. Welcome to the castle, make yourself at home!"
NOTE: I need to stop getting grounded. Seriously. So, after—what, four months now? We get chapter four. Galanoth has headed to Price's house to speak with his new neighbor and possibly say thanks for the muffins. Tune in next chapter, where we see dialouge between the two, hopefully get a plot started, and maybe find out just what the "K" stands for.
Years of playing The Sims has given me an eye for interior design. With the exception of the hallway, the dragon sculptures, and a few minor changes, Price's house is basically my in-game house. If you want to see it, my ID number is 11960405.
If your curious about what "combatant segreant" means, look up heraldric attitudes. Heraldry will pop up here every once in a while.