In response to the Admiral Bombow's 4th Challenge, Tabitha the witch supplied this explanation of where the coat of arms in "Il Castellare" originated. She was judged to have written the most imaginative challenge entry by a panel of previous challenge winners.
I once heard that the coat of arms was granted to the owner of "Il Castellare" by a grateful arch-wizard.
It seems that long, long ago there was a dashing and handsome young arch-wizard, who loved the sea, and cared for all the creatures that lived within it. However, he fell under the spell of a beautiful but cruel maiden, who lured him away from his beloved sea, to her lonely tower in far north of the Land.
Without his guiding hand, the seas by the Land became full of fearsome creatures; giant octopuses and electric eels terrorised those brave enough to set sail, and finally it was decided to rescue the arch-wizard so that he could once more watch over the seas and drive out the dreadful creatures that now lurked there.
So one day a brave band of mortals set off in search of the maiden's tower. After many days journey they eventually reached the base of the tower, but the maiden had guarded the route to her chambers with many fierce beasts and deadly traps, and the mortals had to use all their skill and cunning to make it to the top of the tower alive. Only the maiden herself remained, but as they attacked her she called upon an army of evil crows to defend her, and a bloody battle raged until at last the maiden was vanquished. With the maiden dead, the spell upon the arch-wizard was broken, and he gratefully thanked his rescuers for their courageous actions.
Now, this arch-wizard was legendary for his mapping skills and his keen sense of direction, and so it was agreed that he would lead the party back to safety. However, strangely, they soon found themselves lost in a twisting maze of hedges. The adventurers were in despair, when they noticed that a friendly swarm of bees were buzzing around nearby. The arch-wizard spoke to the bees in their own language, and promised them that if they would show the path out of the maze, no mortal would ever steal their honey. The bees agreed, and led the band of heroes safely out of the maze.
The group were now nearly home, but as they made their way through some luscious woodland they were startled by a rustling in the undergrowth, and a half-glimpsed dark, bedraggled, shape. At once, the fearless arch-wizard jumped into the undergrowth after the unknown creature, returning moments later to announce that he had slain the mysterious beast. He never did tell what hideous fiend he had saved them from, but you can be sure it was most foul.
At last, they saw the welcoming lights of the "Admiral Bombow" inn in the distance, and they knew they had reached safety. That night they celebrated long into the small hours, and everyone wanted to buy the arch-wizard a drink, which delighted him. As a reward to the leader of the rescue party, the arch-wizard gave him the land on which "Il Castellare" is now built, and granted him a coat of arms, styled to reflect their adventures and courage at risking all to rescue him.
To this day, the seas near the Land are watched over, and you very rarely see a giant octopus or and electric eel - and only the most foolish of mortals would ever steal honey from the bees.
This Web page copyright © 1998 Viktor T. Toth