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The sun glares down upon the thick cobblestone walls, leaving stark, vivid shadows contrasting with

the blinding bright reflections. The spiked shadows of the portcullis loom like the twisted teeth of some fell beast. A horse nickers in the stables, and the air suddenly acquires a musty, damp smell, the smell of sweat and heat. A grinding, gravelly road runs straight ahead through a market into a towering stone keep. Tantalising smells waft from the marketplace where colourful stalls sellling everything imaginable sit in a confused muddle, a group of baby birds within their nest, the walls of the castle. The noise from the market comes in a sea of sound, starting slowly and building up before crashing down. Enticing scents waft between the stalls, masking the unsavoury smell of sweat and spice. Rising above the bustle below like four eagles rising on an updraft, four towers stand stark against the sunlit sky giving a sense of power and control. Four flags fly high, their crimson contrasting with the blue sky. Through the heavy oak doors of the imposing keep there is a large chamber filled with rows of guards with armour and colours so flamboyant they almost distract your attention from the piles upon piles of glittering, golden treasure clustered around. The room smells of gold, the hard odour plating your tongue. The light from the teardrop shaped windows reflects off the treasure at all angles, filling the room with a warm warm, golden, glowing, glimmering light. Coins fall in waterfalls of gold, frozen in the moment. Necklaces swirl through the piles like gold plated snakes, gems like flowers add colour among golden hills. Ceremonial swords and armour poke out of the piles occasionally, protruding at odd angles. Finally at the end of the hall, upon a squared, padded, high-backed throne, robes glistening, rings glittering, crown gleaming, there sat a king.

Night falls heavy and black upon the thick, cracked cobblestone walls like a cold, damp, black blanket. The old portcullis, once imposing hangs now rusted and dull. The vestiges of a stables stand rotten and disused, tarnished leather saddles lie propped against the decayed fragments of a wall. The smell of the night air is clean and fresh. A thin grey-stoned path, formerly a grinding, gravelly road, runs straight ahead through an empty courtyard into a towering stone keep. All around there are spiderwebs of cracks in the walls, with chunky pieces missing here and there. Metallic gouges have been etched into the walls by the leaden-tipped bolts of ballistae, in a forgotten war, aeons past. Ancient arrowheads litter the courtyard like rust red flowers on a field of grey. Notched sword blades lie askew, their edges rent and torn, their might eroded by the passing of time. The courtyard smells of rust and decay, a fungus-like smell permeating the air and clogging the nose, its malodourous stench conjuring up images of rotten flesh. The stumps of four once tall towers lie low maimed and forlorn, the rotten remnants of four flags flutter like rags in the breeze, the senso of loss is subtle yet profound. Through the perished oak doors of the scarred, looming keep there is a large chamber scattered with a few relics of rusted armour and ceremonial swords, a smattering of tainted coins, several silver necklaces and some small, shiny gems. Finally at the end of the hall upon a squared, high-backed throne, robes rotten, rings dull, dismal crown lying low on his brow, sat the hallowed bones of an ancient king.