Greetings to all at The Green Castle!
Firstly: Thankyou! to all the visitors who have given such encouraging and sometimes extremely very flattering comments about the new foods and services on offer at the castle. And thankyou also to the fine staff who cheerfully and reliably provide them!
And now, alas, I have to give some unhappy news about the castle’s staff: the great entertainer Elrichus, my pioneering Troubador-In-Residence, recently had to beg my personal leave to end his term at the castle and urgently return to his family home in the distant Margonian Highlands. A messenger had been sent by an expensively long relay of privately-hired riders, to highlight the importance of the plea from his family. The written missive did not, I’m afraid, give any hint of whether the problems could or would be remedied or defeated quickly or not. Elrichus could not tell me much himself, as the note had not been detailed – there was only something about a wayward younger brother, mysterious debts and many goblins trying to steal the family’s hoard of savings.
Given such a dire situation and that it was obvious to even a village idiot that the troubador would not be concentrating on any performances at the castle while the family woes preyed on his mind, I felt I had to let him leave as soon as he could be ready, and for an unknowable period. I had one of the scribes woken up in order to prepare a glowing testimonial, on very special parchment – on the chance he finds the commendation helpful for later employment. It will be a sad loss for everyone at the castle and for visitors and town folk alike, as Elrichus was both highly talented with his voice and instruments, had a rare gift of storytelling and did not cause any troubles or tensions with other castle staff either during performances or in off-duty times. He even proved to be quite adept at simple blacksmithing and woodwork jobs and was fit enough to keep up with seasoned deer-hunting parties when he had occasional chances to join them.
Truly, The Green Castle was most blessed to have this troubador among us. Go well, you prince of courtly entertainers!
************** Here endeth the account of the troubador and beginneth the account of the minstrel.***********
And so to the rogue minstrel, “Partanbrask” as he styled himself, who started as a promising temporary new Chief Entertainer after his singing and juggling at big monthly markets were rated highly by a few guild masters I have come to trust.
“Partanbrask” presented himself most confidently at the castle gates, one recent late morning. A youthful-looking sort, he was plainly but neatly dressed, carried most of his tools of the trade and his costume in a cloth bag and had a small harp slung on the back of his workday/travelling tunic. Leiharl Roughbeard (my trusty main man-at-arms and Guard Captain) later told me that on being confronted by the Gate Man On Duty for the morning, Partanbrask happily flourished a surprisingly large variety of references from no less than: a goldsmiths’ guild master, an abbott (not the one described earlier, re: problems with supply of apprentices and journeymen), a notable senior wine merchant and a moderately prestigious apothecary! Does anyone except the most hardened and suspicious type even start thinking “this is too good to be true” on the very first day, in such a situation? The castle was simply in very serious need of a new minstrel/troubador, and I needed to secure the services of one as soon as possible, so we welcomed him through the gates…
To be continued…
Go well, fair people, and may your dreams be untroubled by rogues