By Packie Williams
The Seaside Castle wasn’t the only thing left over from Vrog’s brief barbarian empire. Residents in Dukes are now finding barbarian artifacts in parks, alleys, and even their basements.
“I was just doing some cleaning in my basement when I came across a bow and arrow,” said Shantae Williams. “It was behind some boxes, and I’ve never taken up archery, let alone held a bow and arrow. For a minute, I thought maybe one of my kids left it here, but they didn’t know nothing about it, and it’s real old looking, too. Like, ancient looking.”
“I was walking my dog through Lincoln Park,” said Keith Ho, “and my dog ran off after something. I thought he was going after a squirrel again, but he runs back with something in his mouth. It was a scabbard. An old one made of leather. I’d never seen anything like it before.”
“I was talking out the trash to the alley,” said Joey Fontina, “and up on the fire escape, there was a helmet. It wasn’t a bike helmet or football helmet, but like a really cool Viking helmet. So of course, I got it down and put it on. If you saw a sweet looking helmet, you telling me you wouldn’t put it on immediately and never take it off? Of course you would. I can take it off anytime I want, but why would I? This is friggin’ awesome!”
Authorities have heard at least a dozen more instances of barbarian artifacts, and they all carry the same magical signature as the Seaside Castle. They assumed these were props that somehow got misplaced, but that could not be confirmed. It’s also possible that these artifacts were left behind from Vrog’s brief barbarian empire, like the castle.
The authorities have asked for the items to be turned over to them for study, but some have refused. Fontina has fought everyone who tried to take his helmet and won, despite having a bad knee and no fighting experience. Others who have given up their items have found a new hobby. Ho has taken up fencing, and Williams has enrolled in archery lessons and has purchased four bows.
“I don’t know what it was about finding that bow and arrow in my basement,” she said. “But it’s like it opened up something in me, something deep down. And primal.”