Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Chapter Ten, Part Six
It was Miylla who stood next to speak saying, “You will leave at dawn to enter Castle Penmaryll, so I suggest you all get a good night’s sleep and be ready to leave early tomorrow morning. I’ll ensure everyone is awakened in time and will serve breakfast at the appointed hour – so rest well my friends, for the day is apt to have surprises of its own in store for you. I will not be accompanying you into the castle tomorrow, for there is much work for me to do at the moment in spirit, so I wish you all good fortune in the morning. Good night, everyone…”
With that she disappeared, as did the waitstaff that had been serving them – and as soon as they got up from the banquet table it, too, disappeared! The fire in the fire pit also extinguished itself. Everyone realized it was now time to turn in for the night, and they all retired into the tents provided for them. Jonathan called to Sammy who returned to him without his new-found friend, and everyone settled in for the night.
Jonathan thought about how abrupt the evening had ended, and realized there was more to this sense of urgency than simply getting to sleep for tomorrow’s entry into the castle. It was almost as if preparations were underway even now behind the scenes, as the Myull began weaving an enchantment over the castle to prepare it for tomorrow’s events. His thoughts quickly turned to Hampton and his home on the Spencer Family Farm, as he drifted off into a deep sleep.
In the morning it was birdsong that woke the company long before dawn. Jonathan had dreamed of mists swirling through the night, and of faces going in and out of focus. It wan’t a restful sleep, despite having slept deeply. He shook off the images of his dreams and got ready for breakfast.
A new banquet table was set with breakfast, and the waitstaff was attentive to their every need. If someone inquired as to a favorite breakfast item of theirs, it appeared in an instant, and was served to them on a silver tray. Jonathan thought it would be very easy to get used to living like this! Yet, the events of this enchanted Wood seemed to be overly theatrical to him, and he wondered why such enchantments and magical happenings were important for the group to experience.
It then occurred to him that these enchantments were a way of bolstering their courage for the day ahead, for if these fanciful events were possible in the Wood, the Myull were capable of much greater enchantments to ensure their safety and success in the castle. Of course, Jonathan couldn’t be sure he was right, but even thinking of the magical protections that would cover them in their endeavor gave him the encouragement he hadn’t had the night before.
After breakfast they all set out towards the north along the Enchanted Way. Jonathan took a look behind him as they set out on the trail, and watched as the entire camp vanished before his eyes. No matter how good the food was, thought Jonathan, he couldn’t get used to the fact of everything appearing and disappearing around him at will. It was all rather unsettling to him, no matter how fun initially, and he held the hope that these same enchantments would protect them while entering the castle.
It led him to think about what might happen to someone who was not supposed to be in Myullar Wood – or those who had taken over the castle and what might happen to them – if the Myull decided to act. He shook his head and tried not to imagine the outcome, only then to have the spirits of his dreams reappear again in his thoughts. It was then that he realized the Myull’s enchantments may be a way to help Sammy and himself return home to Ohio – and in that moment, Jonathan smiled broadly as he took note of the idea for pursuing later!
After a couple of hours they found themselves alongside the River Myuthall in The King’s Preserve, and left the path to walk a short distance and climb down an embankment. There beside the river, hidden under roots of a massive tree, was the narrow entrance into a cave. It was Arrydor who then gathered the company together and said, “This is the entrance into a deep cave in which the tunnel begins at the far end, leading to the southeast tower of Castle Penmaryll. We will all travel through the tunnel, and at the end under the foundation of the tower is a staircase of timber leading up to a trap door of the lowest level.”
Continuing he said, “Captain Pallamar will lead the way into the tower, as he is the most familiar, having organized its construction. Rulyan will protect the rear of the company during our approach, securing Dijia, Jonathan and Sammy in case there is any trouble entering the tower. I will follow Captain Pallamar, while Juyall, Siyall, Siyth and Sylth will follow in turn behind me. We have no idea of what awaits us in the tower, so proceed with alertness and caution. May Light and Love guide our steps and our hearts.”
The company then went into the cave, and entered the dark tunnel constructed of heavy, stone blocks, while using the Talspar stones to light their way. Jonathan held his Talspin pendant in his hand to add additional light as they traveled along the tunnel. He noticed a small opening like a crawl space, joining the tunnel at about waist high above the tunnel’s floor, without giving it much notice. It looked to be an air shaft bringing in fresh air thought Jonathan, as the group passed by on the way to Castle Penmaryll’s southeast tower.
Presently, they reached the end of the tunnel in a small, stone room underneath the foundation of the southeast tower. Captain Pallamar immediately went up the ladder made of stout timbers, to push open the heavy wooden door in the oak subfloor of the tower’s lowest level. Seeing that the way was clear of any defenders, he beckoned the others to follow quickly.
The room was filled with stacks of dried, cut blocks of peat awaiting burning in the castle’s fireplaces this coming winter, with little else of interest in the room. There was an open doorway in the stone wall of the tower, and within it, a narrow winding staircase of stone steps leading up to the higher levels of the tower. Captain Pallamar led the company quietly up the staircase, winding their way silently up the tower one after the other, not knowing what was awaiting them…”