The lady of the towers gazed down at her creation. She ran her fingers across the polished surfaces of gems and pebbles outlining her window, felt the cool cobblestones beneath her feet. She breathed the smoky perfumed air of herbs and roasting meats, wafting up from the kitchens far below. She looked out her castle window, down to marketplace, the village square, the farms and pastures.
Way beyond the farthest fields, a tall stone wall wrapped around her domain. Smaller walls kept the crops safe from beast, and marked where different seeds were sown. Barn and stable walls sheltered the livestock. Cottages with thatched roofs lined the road toward the citadel. Here more walls and a great iron gate kept invaders from the heart of her domain.
The castle walls were made of massive stones, and intricate tapestries hung on them for art and insulation. Roaring fires and soft, lush furs kept the castle warm, and interior walls defined the purpose of each space. The sweeping height of the throne room, the incredible length of the dining room, the towers and turrets dotting the roofline. The lady of the towers looked over her realm and saw that all was well.
A herald arrived from another realm, a “kingdom” he insisted. The herald’s master wrote that he enjoyed gazing upon her domain, but that her walls impeded his view. He asked that she remove her walls, so he might better love her domain. She had the herald and his horse fed and watered and sent away, thinking what a preposterous man this king must be.
A month passed and the king sent a wise man to the lady of the towers. He traveled with many scrolls and books, and he made sure she knew how learned he was. The wise man spoke of science and nature, and of her artificial, unnatural laws. “It’s not healthy I tell you!” he asserted. The lady listened to his thoughts and gave him quarters to rest in before sending him back to his master.
Another month passed and the king sent a priest to see her. The priest wore splendid robes that smelled of inscence and candle wax and he wore jeweled rings and a chain of office. He told the lady of the towers she was in sin, that closing her lands off was a slight to Holy God. Now thoroughly annoyed at the king’s presumption, the lady evicted the priest at once.