Lord Lucien Gachet did not have the most glamorous job in Fanolania. In fact, it was hardly the most notable task anywhere. As a Keeper of Irises he was one of the higher-ranking knights of the Order of the Iris. For this he had been rewarded with the job of the Lord Warden of the strongest and most feared prison in the entire kingdom, The Bastion. Here were kept the most treacherous criminals and dangerous fiends that had been captured and sentenced to either serve sentences in confinement or to await execution.
Gachet’s job was to run the entire prison, but he had been given a special job beyond those mundane duties. A few months ago Gachet had been entrusted with a special prisoner, the former Archbishop of Avondace. Stripped of his titles and ranks he was now known merely as Robert Richelier. Instead of a palatial home and estate he was locked in a stone cell that was roughly a cube five feet to a side and five feet high. The door was solid steel, and had a small door at the bottom which allowed food to be slid in to the cell. There were always five guards here. The cell itself was in the innermost ring of the prison and had no windows, or even a drain in the floor. There was no bed for the prisoner, and whoever was incarcerated inside this cell was chained to the walls. It was easy to keep track of this prisoner because of the constant obscenities he would scream at his captors and the rattling of his chains.
Today things had been different. When the first meal had been slid in, there was some noise from the chains and the customary cursing. For the afternoon meal, though, things had been silent. This had been enough to have Gachet summoned. It was an annoying thing indeed to have to come all the way down here for this. When he reached the guards Gachet asked, “Has he made any racket yet?”
“No, my lord.” replied one of the guards. “Silent as a tomb.”
“We aren’t so lucky that this bastard died.” muttered Gachet as he fumbled through his keys. Finally he found the one he wanted, an enchanted key that would only work for the Lord Warden of The Bastion. Inserting it into the lock, he turned it and heard the familiar clickety-clunk of the mechanism releasing. The cell door swung open and Gachet and the guards peered inside.
The chains were in place, still attached to the walls and locked securely around nothing else. The prisoner wasn’t here. Nor was there any indication where he could have gone. The dish of food sat against the pile of chains on the floor. Next to that was a small piece of mirror mostly covered in filth.
“Sound the alarm and alert the King and Archbishop.” said Gachet grimly. “Robert Richelier has escaped.”