Girl triplets enter a page's life and are befriended by offspring of Tortall's heros.
Padraig of haMínch sat contemplating the letter he had received from Blue Island only that morning. Bard of Blue Island has stated firmly in the message that there was no reason why his triplets should not train to become knights. He was wrong, there was one reason only. There was already one girl as a page. Padraig had accepted her into training last year, with four girls to pick on all the time, Padraig felt the boy's studies might decline. He had given himself several mental slaps for that. But it was true. Boy's simply didn't like girls training as knights. Oh to go to court and marry them was perfectly fine, but to have them on the same level as boy's? Oh no, that would never do. This was nearly every page and squires thoughts in the castle. And no matter how hard Padraig mentally slapped himself, that wasn't going to change.
He might as well keep his concerns to himself.
Caylinn of Blue Island whooped as she crossed the finishing line of the obstacle course she had set up first. She looked back, Moranna was picketing her horse quickly to Post 7, Anaelise was right behind Moranna, slashing at a dummy with a block of wood supposed to resemble a sword. Moranna sprinted round the corner, hurdling the blocks of wood laid out and dived underneath the old smelly fishing net they had found by the sea. Anaelise picketed her horse in seconds before sprinting at the speed of light round the bend. She stumbled over the first one, but soon picked up the pace and dived under the net. Moranna meanwhile had caught a button on the net's string. She violently pulled as Anaelise crawled past her. Anae broke free of the net and jogged across the finishing line grinning largely. Moranna grumbling slightly, broke the net with her pocket knife and came to join the others.
“Ah Moranna,” Caylinn laughed, “You looked a real sight when you got stuck in that net!” She bent double, having hysterics. Anaelise was slightly pink with tears running down her cheeks from laughter.
“I told you that net was too low. We should of propped it up on sticks.”
The other two were laughing to hard to reply.
“We'll do it again, and this time we're propping it up on sticks.”
That shut the other two up. They were out of breath and weren't to keen on doing it again.
Five minutes later, they were at the start line again.
“Ready, set, go!” Shrieked the gardener, who found it quite amusing.
The triplets ran off to the first post and swung the bows off their shoulders. Anae was quickest to load her bow, she fired it at the target and hit it square on. Archery was her strength. Moranna was a few seconds slower and Caylinn a whole third of a minute. She couldn't shoot for the life of her. Anae was already saddling her horse, checking stirrups and tack. She didn't want to fall off at all. Moranna was quicker, saddling her horse like lightning. She grabbed a lance and mounted up. She took a few slow seconds to check her grip, before trotting down the fields to the target. Caylinn had reached the post and saddled her horse. Anae set her horse off at a slow trot. Caylinn grabbed the reins and swung herself up. Desperate for an extra advantage she galloped. Soon Moranna and Caylinn were head-to-head. Caylinn reached the line of dummies first, she hit the first one with her lance, dropped it and drew her block of wood to run the second one through. Moranna had done the same. Anae then reached the dummies and speared the first one with her lance. Caylinn punched the third one in the face. Moranna was slightly more tactful, beheading the dummy and Anae speared the second two with an upwards strike. Caylinn trotted quickly over the next task, horse hurdles, with Moranna and Anae close behind. Caylinn jumped off her horse, picketed it and raced towards the hurdles, Moranna and Anae dismounted in a quick, ladylike fashion and picketed their horses next to Caylinn's. The rest was much like the previous time, except that this time, Moranna did not get stuck under the net.
Their father, Bard, watched from the Double Arch of Blue Island (Blue Island's most famous monument.) They will make good pages, he thought, I'll swear to Mithros on that.
By the time the triplets and their father reached the Palace in Corus, it was late afternoon. The sun was just
about to touch the horizon. The triplets were exhausted, after all, they had been riding all day. The
gates were soon opened by a young man.
“Julian, stable hand,” He said shaking Bard's hand, “You probably knew my father, Stefan .”
“Yes, he was a good laugh,” chuckled Bard quietly. The triplets smiled. Bard often reminisced about
his time as a page and squire.
“I expect you know the drill sir, take them up to the training master, Lord Padraig.” Julian took
Follower, Caylinn's chubby pony with which she had refused to part.
“Wait here Braitherm, I will be back in a moment.” Their father spoke to the head of their escort, he
had taught the girls all they knew about skinning small animals.
Bard led the girls and the servants that would be serving them in the next eight years through a series
of passage ways, by the time they had reached the second corner, they were lost.
This would take some getting used to. At last, they reached a small room, which could almost pass for an office of sorts. Here their father led them in, and shut the door quietly behind them.
A man looked up from his desk. His hair was a light brown and was made up purely
of bristles, his eyes were a light brown cloudy colour. His whole appearance reeked of command.
Nevertheless, he looked like someone who could get used to just about anything, which was a good
thing considering the circumstances. When he spoke it came out lightly, but his tone was anything
but free and happy. It had a sharp edge to it.
“Bard of Blue Island, how good to see you again. And these must be your daughters.”
They all bowed. Bard left after hugging his daughters goodbye.
“As you must have realised at your age, things like this have rules. And the more likely to break the
rules, suffer under the weight of more rules. But in this case, simply because you are different,
different rules must apply. Therefore I am going to apply to you one rule Lord Wyldon applied to
Keladry of Mindelan. When you are in a room with a boy, the door must remain open. Now however embarrassing you find this to be, you must stick to it. Right normal rules now, if you are late, you get
labour to do. If you are less than satisfactory in your work, you will get extra work. If you break any
rules, you will have punishment. If we find any problems at all, for instance, no homework,
unfinished classwork. You will get more. No fighting, if there is any fighting off the practice courts,
there is punishment. It's a hard life, but you will get used to it. Breakfast is at 8am. Lunch is at 1pm
and dinner at 7pm. If you enter three minutes after the bell has gone for meals, you will have extra
work. It is 6pm now, if you hurry, you can unpack before dinner. I will show you your quarters,”
Padraig recited. He stood up along with the girls.
“It's a big place, so we will elect your sponsors, your mentors really I suppose, quickly now.”
They stood outside four long corridors of rooms. Padraig yelled out, soon, boys came running.
The corridor was a little crowded, but Padraig soon sorted that out.
“New boys against the right wall. Others against the left!” For a voice so light, he could easily carry
it across distances.
The girls lined up on the right with a string of about 12 boys.
“Mithros, this is a large year.” One of the boys on the left muttered. Padraig silenced him with a
glare. Slowly he moved down the line picking a sponsor for each boy. Finally he reached Caylinn.
“Caylinn of Blue Island,” He announced. There was muttering, then finally the only other girl in the
corridor put her hand up, smiling at Caylinn.
“Afrion of Queenscove, Caylinn of Blue Island.”
“Ari,” she said smiling at Caylinn.
“Anaelise of Blue Island,” Said Padraig.
A shy-looking boy behind Padraig raised his hand.
“Patric of Nond, Anaelise of Blue Island.”
“And lastly, Moranna of Blue Island.”
A biggish boy with a large grin put his hand up.
“Torfin of Trebond and Olau, Moranna of Blue Island.”
“Tor,” He whispered in Moranna's ear. She smiled.
“Well people, you have ten minutes 'till dinner. Dress!”
Padraig began to sort out the newcomers rooms. He eventually placed the triplets next to Afrion. As
they passed Ari she whispered in their ears, “Keladry of Mindelan wore a gown to dinner every night
and so do I!”
The triplets looked at each other and nodded before departing to their different rooms. When they
met up in the corridor they were all wearing dresses. Caylinn was sporting a buttercup-yellow dress,
Moranna blood-red and Anaelise dark-green. They all had on matching flats and the silver necklaces
they always wore and were given at birth.
Ari soon turned up wearing a lilac gown and low-heeled boots..
“Very nice,” She approved. Patric and Tor turned up a few moments later. They were in standard
tunic and breeches.
“Oh look, our new girls have learnt the dress trend,” Tor said sarcastically. Patric snorted and Ari
“He takes after Alanna...” She said by way of explanation.
The triplets smiled.
The sponsors hooked arms with each of the triplets respectively and bought them down to dinner.
There was much muttering when they entered, but the sponsors frog-marched them to a table that
already seated two.
“Russell of Whitethorn and Lemuel of Meag,” Introduced Tor.
Russell had a tall stocky build, a black hair that framed his face and covered his forehead. His grey
eyes were mysterious, yet filled with warmth. Anyone who knew him knew that much, but others
found him to be cold and hard, before they even met him. Lemuel was different, with short and spiky
blond hair. His eyes were brown and full of warmth, unlike Russell, his eyes alone made you feel at
home with him.
“And here's the rest of the gang!” Patric told the triplets.
3 others turned up and the triplets were introduced to Stuart of Irismere, Clement of Stacine and
Evan of Danshame. Stuart had messy black hair, strewn all over his face, his eyes were dark blue
and made you shiver when you dared to look into them. Clement had blond hair that was perfectly
styled, down to every last strand of hair. It framed his face almost perfectly. His eyes were a brightly
toned green. Evan had hair that fuzzed when you touched it. It was clipped down to about 3
millimetres from his scalp. His eyes were a perfect shade of brown. They met the only first year with
them (Lemuel's choice of first year), Trichon of Coas Wood.
The triplets greeted them. Caylinn immediately sat down and began a lively conversation with
Clement, Moranna started a slightly more subdued comparison of interests with Stuart and Anaelise
conversed with her sponsor, Patric. When the very last boy had entered, Padraig said a prayer, and
after chorusing 'So mote it be', they were allowed to eat. After their first meal the sponsors showed the
triplets firmly to their beds, saying that they would need all the sleep they could. Their eight year run
of sleepless nights began in two days. The triplets fell into bed without complaint. Their fitting and
preparation began the next day.
Caylinn was awoken the next morning by a servant who was moving around the room, boiling water
for a bath. She stretched out and opened her eyes...
Where was she!?
Slowly it all came back to her, dinner, arrival, leaving Blue Island and her home behind.
“Miss? Your sister told me to get you outside in the corridor for precisely seven forty-five. You have
twenty minutes Miss,” Her servant said shyly before going back to heating the bath.
Caylinn stretched out, she was a page in the royal palace. Time to get up.
Caylinn stepped out into the corridor. She was wearing a beige long-sleeved tunic and breeches that
her mother had made for rough play. This was the fourth edition of it. She was also wearing her
silver birth necklace. She never took it off.
Anae was standing opposite her room, back on the wall chatting lightly with Stuart. Sadly, Lemuel,
Russell and Clement were on the opposite side of the pages wing so it was impossible to meet up
with them for breakfast. And speaking of breakfast... “We have ten minutes to breakfast!” Caylinn
shouted! Anae jumped and took off after Stuart who had suddenly raced towards the hall. The two
girls ran after him and they were joined on each side by Moranna, Ari and a few others. They skidded
into the hall just in time for prayers.