The Countess had lived in her home for many years. A tower built by the royal architect of Ysvain, it was a technological marvel. None could breach the walls, by climb or by siege. There was only one problem.
The Countess had taken ill. Her tremors had first ruined her sewing, and before she had time to worry, they had made it impossible to walk. Her knees buckled whenever she tried. She was losing control of her body. Her servants and courtiers tried, occasionally, to bring the tower down, in hopes of reaching her. The Countess waited for days, until finally, outside her door, came a knock.
Someone had entered the building, ascended the stairs, and raised the door knocker? She tried to let her savior in, but of course she only trembled helplessly. What kind of fainting maiden was she? She was the Countess!
“I see it protected you well,” said her savior. It was the architect, hands lovelingly caressing the door knocker.
“You had a way to enter,” she realized.
“Something even I did not know.”
He smiled wanly.
“Yes, and aren’t you grateful? Architects must have their secrets.”
“What happened to the servants who came for me?”
“Most of them will be waiting for you, my dear, though I’m afraid the tower may have required a bit of a snack to protect you this long.”
The horned beast glinted oddly in the afternoon light. She ignored it. She wasn’t an architect.