Copyright© 2007 by Volentrin
John found himself at a somewhat large seaside town, just two days later. The group that had intercepted John had been the local baron and his men. They were checking the area for bandits. Complaints had come to the Baron, and he had responded by going out with one of four groups of men to put a check on the bandits.
The Baron, Jaston Brevor, was the hereditary lord of Breverton, which was the port city. They were just ten miles from the Duke's home city of Candon. Duke Candon was lord of a huge area, and was responsible for all taxes, citizen safety, low, middle and high justice. Only the king could change the outcome of high justice, once it had been dispensed. He was the final appeal.
The Duchy of Candon was one of the oldest and staunchest of supporters for the king. The Duke raised a small army, which was then attached to the king for his personal use. The army numbered usually between fifteen hundred to two thousand men, usually foot soldiers.
Baron Brevor was excited by the possibility that John presented to him. They had arrived back at Brevorton during late evening when most people were at home in bed. While a few people had seen John and his RV being escorted to the castle, most had not.
Rumors were flying about the strange rolling wagon that had shown up, casting bright light before it. It was thought that a powerful magic was at work. John knew better, as he had experienced magic first hand, with the translation spell. He was stunned that magic actually worked.
Another thing that was different was John was several inches taller than those around him, making him a veritable giant of a man among the locals. The tallest he had met so far, was only five foot eight inches tall. He was one of the Baron's guards. John, himself, was six foot even.
John was still stunned to find himself in a totally different land and time. While he was dealing with it, he still would stare around himself, and shake his head. For several days, John was escorted around the castle, and shown the port town of Brevorton. He was given local clothing, so that he did not stand too much out of the norm.
Brevorton was a rich town. It was a port town of 'small city' size. There were about sixty thousand people living in and around the town, and the local countryside. Candon itself was perhaps a town of twenty to thirty thousand, walled, and had never been taken in war.
John was having a good time sight seeing, and was trying to understand how the people of this place lived.
The first thing he noticed was the dirt and filth. He shook his head over the smell that assaulted his nose from the human and animal waste. People threw their waste, day and night, out into the gutter. It was then up to the weather, or the few cleaning wagons, to take care of it. All in all he was disgusted with the highly unsanitary conditions.
While some homes were made of stone, most were wood. Evidence showed that fires had occurred in the past, and had taken out complete blocks. The homes were squeezed together, sometimes supporting each other, or at least leaning on one another. The town of Brevorton was crowded, and land was at a premium in the little city.
John had just finished his breakfast on his fifth day at Brevorton, when the lord Baron knocked and entered.
"Ah, John. I have a parchment from Duke Candon. He requests I bring you to an audience in three days time, and for you to bring your traveling home of which he has heard so much about," Baron Brevor said.
"I see. And what am I supposed to do at this audience? I don't know what to say to a Duke," John said to lord Brevor.
"Not a problem. Just let him lead the conversation, and you will be fine," Brevor instructed John.
So it was that John waited the three days with a little trepidation. Finally the morning of the audience dawned bright and clear. John got into his RV as well as the Baron and two others. Several guards followed on horseback, in case they were needed.
John drove out the north road, which was in fairly good repair. The king demanded his main roads be kept in good repair year round. Baron Brevor had found a use for criminals in his city, which was to wash down streets, collect human and animal waste, and to do road repair for up to five miles outside the city.
Despite the relatively good condition of the road, it still took some time to get to the Duke's city of Candon, as they did not want to outrun the guards following on horseback. When John got to Candon, he was leery about driving over the rickety drawbridge, and there was a good chance that the RV would not fit through the gates.
John and the Baron took two horses from two guards, and completed the trip on horseback to the Duke's palace. The city of Candon was walled and the palace itself was inside a second wall. This was an old, old city and had been the seat of a Duke for better than two hundred years. His family had had enough time to wall the entire countryside, if they had so desired.
It took another fifteen minutes from the gate to the palace proper. Baron Brevor and John waited in a room like a library while the Duke was sent for. Refreshments were offered and accepted, John taking his cues from his new friend Baron Brevor.
Finally the Duke arrived and the audience began. The first thing the Duke wanted to know was where the RV was. It was explained it was parked outside the city south gate, with most of the guards there to guard it. John explained he had been leery about driving it over the bridge, at the moat, as it was in bad shape and the RV was heavy.
The Duke then asked for a history of John, and John spent quite some time explaining who he was, where he was from, and how he had come to be in this land. Well, he explained as best he could. It was all guesswork on his part, but Brevor spoke up saying his magician had sensed a gate opening, which was why they had traveled that particular road that day.
The Duke then sent a servant out to the stables, and instructed that horses be readied and an escort provided, for they were going to ride for the South gate within the hour. Soon, John found himself mounted again. He sighed silently, as he had never been truly comfortable on a horse.
Those people of the town, who saw their Duke ride by; while not demonstrative, shouted questions or waved. The Duke would shout back or wave in return. It was apparent to John that this Duke was well liked and respected.
A short time later they reached the RV, which had gathered quit a crowd. The guards that Baron Brevor had left behind had kept the crowds back, but John was not worried as he had locked the vehicle when he had left it.
He pulled out his key chain and pushed a small button on a remote, which unlocked the RV for the group. Soon, John, the Duke and the Baron were inside, along with one of the Duke's guards. John demonstrated some of the features of the RV.
John explained some facts about the motor home to the Duke. He used the distance from Breverton to Candon, to estimate for the Duke and Baron how far it would go before it ran out of fuel. He had a little over nine hundred miles left on the fuel cell, and then he would have to park it.
The television was a hit, as was the music he played them from his CD collection. The refrigerator was still stocked except for eggs and bacon, and the freezer were a hit as was the stove and oven.