The Castle of Warriors
“What is it, Namby?” asked the little man Pamby.
The big barbarian shook his head and replied with his baritone voice. “I never saw such a castle.”
“I hear much noise,” Pamby said. “I want to see it closer.”
Namby was a large rough man with huge muscles and a bit of a belly–adorned with minimal clothing and a huge battle axe. Contrastingly, Pamby was a slighter man wrapped in a cloak with deep dark eyes and a sinister nose. Dangling from each side was a curved sword and on his back was a bow.
They approached the castle that had a massive encircling wall and a lofty keep on one side. They trudged through a forest which had short thick grass and a little pond with white ducks.
“Odd,” Namby said.
Pamby pulled forth his bow, strung it, nocked an arrow, and shot a duck that tried to fly off but expired in a cloud of white feathers while the others soared away. Namby swam out and retrieved the duck, cut off its head, and tied it to his belt to save for supper.
Traveling about three more bow-shots they came to the edge of the forest.
“Unbelievable,” Namby said.
Before them was a smoothly paved road of brick and there were all manner of civilized folk riding in bizarre noisy carriages back and forth. Around the castle there were many building and small homes and townsfolk were all about with colorful paint on their faces. There was an occasional outcry of a host of people coming from inside the castle as if they were all watching some sort of event.
“Wow, this is what civilization is about, Namby?” Pamby said.
Namby nodded in astonishment. “We came a long way to see this. I am impressed.”
“I don’t think that is exactly a castle,” the smaller dark eyed man said. “I think it is some sort of arena.”
“No matter. I think we should attack it,” Namby said.
Pamby scolded the big brute. “Are you stupid. There are too many of them. Maybe they are not a warlike people.”
“They are pretty civilized looking. We will try your way first but if they get weird, I am attacking.”
Nonchalantly, the two wilderness men strolled across the street as if their attire was normal. Namby’s loin-skin attracted some attention from the well-dress townsfolk and Pamby’s cloak made him look a little suspicious.
“I hear music and chanting,” Pamby said.
“It sounds like they are trying to scare us away,” Namby remarked. “I have heard drums and chants like that before.”
Pamby pointed out that the castle had many entrances instead of one main gate like most they had ever seen. Upon the high walls flew the banner of the local folk who seemed to be amused at their appearance but did nothing to stop them.
“They don’t seem to fear us,” Namby said. “They have not heard of us it seems. The swords of Namby and Pamby are legendary where we come from.”
They selected an entrance that appeared to be guarded by only two unarmed men. From that they guessed that war had been abolished in this realm. As they tried to enter one of them put up a skinny hand to stop them. He said something in a broken language but it sounded like they wanted a token or something of the sort to pass through the gate.
Namby kept walking and Pamby shrugged. One of the men wearing a broad flat brimmed hat came after him and pulled forth a little stick and pointed at the Axe on his back.
Namby laughed and met the man with a fist to the face knocking him cold. There were shouts all around and the two barbarians took off into the castle pushing through crowds of folk trying to become lost for they knew the castle guards were after them.
“I have never seen so many folk in a castle in all my life,” Namby hollered.
“I told you it is some sort of arena, Namby.”
They knocked people to the ground who were carrying all kinds of good smelling though odd food and little puny mugs of ale and such. Pamby pointed toward a stairway and they two bolted upward knocking down some old fellow that tried to stop them. They saw daylight ahead and they emerged on a large mezanine overlooking a grand courtyard of green grass surrounded by thousands of people paying homage to a mounted warrior in the center of the courtyard.
“Heretics!” Namby shouted. “That man is the enemy.”
“He looks like a warrior of Grum,” Pamby said noting the hides he wore and the warpaint on his face.
Namby charged down another set of stairs leading between the rows of worshipers and Pamby ran behind. They leaped over a wall, onto the grass courtyard where two walls of colorfully clad warriors stood on each side preparing for battle. The warrior in the center was being cheered as he held his spear high overhead and was beginning to slam it point first into the ground.
“AHHHHHHHH!” Namby shouted out loud as he launched himself at the rider.
Namby drove his shoulder into the surprised rider atop the horse as he flew through the air driving him into the ground on the other side. The leather clad warrior grunted hard when he hit the ground and started screaming like a girl. His painted face was smeared with the red and white war paint and was dazed from the hit.
Namby arose expecting a fight but the frail warrior laid on the ground with stiff limbs pointing in odd directions. Namby could not believe the warrior was so affected by just one hit.
Namby straddled the enemy and pulled back his arm about to deal a blow with his big fist when he was stopped by a horde of shouting guards with the flat brimmed hats. They proceeded to beat him with sticks and he laughed at their little things they seemed to think were weapons but then they sprayed something in his eyes that brought him intense pain he could not ward off. Namby hollered with pain he had not felt in a long time.
“Namby, they got me too,” he heard from behind.
* * *
Hours later they sat in a dungeon looking through the bars with five other mean looking fellows.
“They said his name was Osceola,” Pamby said. “I think you were mistaken. He was not a warrior of Grum as we thought. He was much too puny.”
“I did not think they had so many guards. They all seemed so mesmerized by their warrior worship,” Namby replied. “Else I would have been more careful.”
“Pleasant place here they call Florida,” Pamby said. “I figured we would be beheaded by now even though they seemed as bent about the duck as they were about your attack on the warrior named Osceola.”
“From what I heard one of the guards say, I think they are more worried about being attacked by some kingdom called Oklahoma.”