But no one had expected to find a castle on the hill overlooking their valley.
Rumors spread quickly about the new addition to the mountain. Hushed conversations and outright shouting matches were the order of the morning throughout the village. Finally, the villagers agreed someone had to go to the castle and investigate.
Sir Randall Pike stepped up and offered to venture up the mountain to explore the castle. Armed with the best sword and lance in the village, he mounted his steed, a gray mare that had been battle-tested, and left the village. The trail up the mountain was rough, and the trek slow and treacherous.
When he arrived, he noted that the castle looked like it had been there for centuries. The path to the gate was well worn from use. How could this be? The structure didn’t exist yesterday.
To his shock, the gates swung open he approached. He hesitated but slowly passed through the opening. Inside the courtyard lay mounds of debris, carts, and tools, cast about haphazardly. No one else seemed to be about, and nudging his horse, he rode into the courtyard toward the castle.
The quiet that filled the space was almost deafening. He could hear his heartbeat and see his breath in the frigid air. As Sir Randall Pike dismounted his steed, he let the reins drop as his eye caught movement. He walked towards it, sword in hand.
An older man dressed in velvet robes appeared from inside one of the narrow doors, stopped just out of sword’s reach, and gazed at Sir Randall. Their breath seemed to freeze in midair as they stared at each other. A glimmer of recognition passed through Sir Randall’s mind as a distant memory began to surface.
“We were expecting you.
“Expecting me, why?”
“Every few millennia, we return to this dimension to claim our rightful king, the one who carries our bloodline. The time has come for you to take your rightful place as leader of the Upper Dimension.”
The man withdrew a scepter hidden under his cloak and handed it to Randall. The moment Sir Randall touched the golden wand, his body began to change. His muscles and bones started to hurt in a way he’d never experienced before. He was growing older, his beard growing white and lengthening. As he looked around, the courtyard came alive with people from the distant realm.
He was home. With that realization, the castle vanished.