After my bath I put on the plain dress and went in search of something to eat. On the small breakfast table a fine meal had been laid out. A loaf of the delicious bread waited along with a variety of cheeses and fruits. Happily I applied myself to the spread enjoying a little bit of everything before me.
When I finished I realized, with some surprise, that there had been no grapes on the table. I had noticed the recurring theme of grape vines as I had moved through the castle and anyone could have smelled the mouthwatering scent of the grapes as they entered the outer courtyard. The absence of the fruit puzzled me and I questioned it along with everything else, but with my stomach full and my body rested I didn’t linger very long on the occurrence.
It was still early enough that I didn’t feel ready to climb into bed so I headed for the miniature library in the other half of the room. I perused the volumes on the lower shelves first, but I didn’t understand the scripted writing on the bindings. About half way up the bookcase I began to understand the writing and one title popped out at me: Castle at Perdeen.
I pulled the book from the shelf and walked over to the chair sitting closest to the fire. It was green leather bound with silver writing in the spidery script I was growing accustomed to. I opened the cover carefully. The first page contained a beautiful depiction of the castle where I now sat and the caption stated: The Castle at Perdeen. I studied the image for several minutes before turning the page.
The first chapter began a description of the land surrounding the castle. It was located in a beautiful country called Anderosea, of which the capital city was Perdeen. The chapter discussed the countryside and forests at the outskirts of the land and then moved on to a description of the city itself. The city was located on the eastern most shore of the Carscher Sea and was a main point of contact and trade for the western kingdoms.
When I finished the first chapter I was no closer to solving the mystery of this place than before except I knew where I was, though I still didn’t really know. I turned the page to Chapter Two, Grapes.
The title of the chapter intrigued me. It was apparent that grapes were very important to the people of the castle. The chapter spoke of the fame of the Anderosean grapes and how merchants from the four seas had traveled to Perdeen to gain just a taste. Anderosean wines were supposed to be the most widely acclaimed and their juices even more so.With this small revelation my brain questioned even more fiercely the absence of the said grapes from my dinner table. If Anderosean grapes were so popular and the only place you could get them was from the port at Perdeen then why was there no one here.