This is a telling of the goodbye party we had last night for Brent at my home. I'm guilty of changing the setting and putting it into one of my worlds and for that I apologize, but it is a written gift from me to Brent and a thank you for his years of service to the Space Center.
Thank you Brent. Any now your story.......
The Guests Assembled
Last evening the Great Hall glowed in torch and candle light when the guests arrived from all parts of the Kingdom to bid adieu to Sir Brent Anderson, a member of our troupe of troubadours for many years. The lord of the manor was in particularly good spirits and remained with his guests until the twenty second hour. Such a night of levity was unusual for him at the end of a week. The pressing duties of the manor weigh heavily on him. At week’s end the burden forces him to take to his bed for an early evening’s rest.
The banquet table was crowned with delicious foods from all parts of the kingdom creating a festival of colors, smells and tastes. Many suspect this enticement was the reason for the lord’s stamina. We are familiar with the lord’s weakness for fine dishes and their effect on his palette; therefore we noticed that, as the evening progressed, the lord never strayed far from the feast. He beckoned his guests to him rather than the opposite to spare him from missing a newly arrived dish from the cookhouse. The servants brought platters of new cuisine from the cook house across the courtyard in a never ending stream to insure his spirits remained high.
Earlier in the day at chapel, the King knighted Sir Anderson into the Order of Saints for his technical creations bringing the castle new masterworks of thought and craftsmanship. His creations were evident everywhere one traveled in the castle. His newly designed serving carts carried twice the amount of food the old carts could carry, and kept the dishes warmer between the cookhouse and Hall. His invention of multi wicked candles and chandeliers suspended by pulleys for ease in lighting brought savings in time for the castle’s staff. His works in pipe and fittings brought fresh running water from the wells into the castle’s rooms. Sir Anderson credited the Romans for that innovation.
Sir Anderson’s mixings of powders and liquids, derived from his herb and vegetable gardens, along with fungi and weed gathered in expeditions in the lord’s forests, brought relief to many afflicted with sickness and melancholy. All assembled in the hall could testify to cures after ingesting one of his remedies.
Sir Anderson’s greatest contribution to the Kingdom came from alchemy. In his never ending search to find the relationship between iron and gold he found new ways to strengthen brass and iron, thus strengthening the King’s swords and cannon. These inventions brought security to the land and stability to the crown.
Sir Brent Anderson's Arrival at the Feast
“Sir Anderson,” the Footman announced in a loud commanding voice. Sir Anderson’s arrival into the hall brought hushed silence from those assembled. All stood standing as the lord departed company with the banquet table and moved through his maze of subjects toward the double oak doors framing the figure of one so well respected by a Kingdom. The Lord embraced him and then turned toward the assembly.
“Here is a gentleman this manor and kingdom owe great gratitude,” spoke the lord as he raised his arm and swept it across the room to demonstrate everyone’s indebtedness. “We gather this evening to bid him adieu as he leaves the Kingdom to answer a call from His Holiness to carry the words of salvation to God's children living in the lands of the Czech.”
The assembled gathering gasped upon hearing his destination. It was assumed that Sir Anderson would be accompanying the Cardinal to Rome to take a position in the Office of the Holy See. All expected him to exchange his black cloak for one of Cardinal Scarlet. Now, instead of power and glory, their Knight would wear the simple wool of the traveling friar and bring risk and perhaps even death upon himself laboring in the land of the Czechs. Many women in the room drew handkerchiefs to their eyes. Men grasped the hilts of their swords in a jester of kinsmanship to the great task that laid before him.
“All will be well my friends,” The lord said to comfort the hushed room. “Why would God want to take Sir Anderson away from this Earth? If he died he would go straight to heaven and want to change everything from the rotation of celestial bodies to the size and shape of the clouds in our blue sky. God would grow quite weary of this I think,” The stillness broke into laughter and the somber mood lifted. Scores of well wishers pushed forward to embrace this Knight of God. The musicians broke into song and couples took to the floor in dance.
Sir Anderson worked his way across the Hall toward us, his fellow troubadours. We waited patiently for his company. A quarter candle later he sat and took food and drink. Sir Anderson was first and foremost one of us. A lover of story and song. In his short nineteen years he traveled beside us across the length and width of the land bringing joy to village and hamlet. His nature kept him behind the curtain providing the support and expertise to ensure each presentation went flawlessly. His creations made the life of a troubadour bearable, and for that , we presented him our thanks.
“Entertainment,” shouted the lord from his High Chair while waving a leg of turkey in each hand. His voice bellowed across his audience of delicious dishes to the crowd assembled.
Maidens Emily, Stacy, Lorraine, Aleta and Brittany rose from our table and walked to the center of the hall. The chief musician stuck the tune and the ladies took to pose. On the second chord they began to move with the music. The step was identified as The Rave. Their arms moved gracefully overhead as their hips traveled in extended circles causing their dresses to sway in motion to the melody. This display of flexibility caused several of the ladies present to turn to each other and engage in critical whispering, the nature of which was not understood because of covered mouth. The men kept their gaze fixed on the performance, bringing new rounds of whispering from their fair ladies.
At the end of the dance we joined the maidens. With me stood Masters Maxwell, Long and Alex the Younger. Our combined voices filled the hall with song. With an approving nod from the Cardinal, Sir Anderson joined us for one last performance.
At the end of the banquet table sat our friends, brothers Daymont, Master Hadley and Master Clegg. They were completely ignorant to our entertainment. They were in deep thought as they discussed the news of the Kingdom and other such things. There was occasional laughter which spoke of the levity of some topics.
The evening drew to a close. The entertainment was complete. The cook house closed and all that remained eating were the lord’s dogs, finishing the remains of a great feast. Sir Anderson rose to leave. All stood with him. He walked toward the towering doors and stopped at the same place where he entered hours before. He turned toward us, his fellows, and surveyed a scene he would not see again for two years.
“God Bless you all,” he said in spirited voice.
“May God Bless You,” we all answered. Silence followed the closing of the oak doors. He was gone. His horse was heard galloping away into the cold winter’s night toward the Salty Sea and from there - onward to the Land of the Czechs.