Drawing from The Unexpected Traveler—Ruins of Malgon Castle

Here’s an image from The Unexpected Traveler and the text it illustrates. For more information, see the project page.

ruined castle

The ruins of Malgon Castle. Art by Loretta Casler, www.aldea-art.com

     Very slowly we ascended the stairs. At the top the breeze whistled past a heavy wood door that hung on one hinge. We crept around it. The strong breeze told us we’d hit ground level—but instead of arching ceilings, stars ruled the night sky. All was still except for our footfalls, Rainier’s mail, and the slight rattle of my sword against the sheath’s metal locket.
     The more we walked, the more destruction we found. A room with several large windows held only rain-washed ashes, charred wood and bits of glass. Rainier told me it was the Document Repository with the cadastral records, and its destruction meant none could defend title to their land—not human nor elf nor dwarf nor anyone else in all the land of Orgon.
     A walk through the kitchen revealed a couple more skeletons, including one of a dwarf. Rainier stared long and hard. We found our way into the great hall, but it offered only a few charred beams left over from the high wooden roof. We could see stars and a half moon. Here the breeze was strong and cold. The moon was considerably larger than Earth’s and correspondingly brighter.
     The breeze brought with it the smell of burning wood. Rainier looked completely puzzled. I held my finger over my lips and motioned him to follow. We turned the flashlights off and used the moonlight to pick our way through the debris toward what we could now see was a flickering yellow light. The whistling breeze hid the noise of our boots crunching over grit and broken rock. The castle walls loomed high above us. None of the stonework seemed badly damaged, just the wood.

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