Duchess Megan writes:
I have returned from my travels to Oertha. It was as always a wonderful time and I would encourage anyone who can do so to travel north and enjoy the hospitality of Oertha. While in Oertha, there began a tale of adventure that I would share with you now...
Once upon a time in the Kingdom of the West, there was a clever and brave king. While traveling throughout his realm, His Majesty had journeyed to the far northern lands of Oertha to visit with his loyal subjects and to invest the new Baron and Baroness of Eskalya. There was to be a great celebration with fighting and laughter and singing and feasting. His Majesty looked upon his populace and was pleased.
Now in the lands of Oertha there lived a faithful and enthusiastic subject, Viscountess Rosalyn d'Hiver who wished to show the abundance of the king's northernmost lands. She bragged that the lands of Oertha had treasures so numerous that if listed they would surely go from A to Z.
His Majesty, the clever and brave King Rolf challenged her Excellency to prove her words by her skill and wit alone. Thus it was settled that she should demonstrate Oertha's bounty. Her Excellency being a humble and dutiful servant of the Crown cast her eyes about and spied a bowl of apples. She immediately plucked an apple from the bowl and stated loudly, "A is for apple" and presented it to her liege. His Majesty, the clever and brave King Rolf, with a gleam in his eye, agreed with her Excellency that "A is indeed for apple", however he smiled "A is also for aardvark." Her Excellency conceded that indeed aardvark also began with an A, but surely his Majesty would rather have an apple and attempted once more to present the fruit to Him. But his Majesty was not to be denied. He agreed to accept her apple, but only after being brought an aardvark and thus began her search for an aardvark.
Now aardvarks are not native to Oertha but by chance the gracious and kind Mistress Margaret Anne, heir to the baronial seat of Eskalya had in her personal menagerie an aardvark that had been captured for the education of her children. She agreed that her Excellency Rosalyn might borrow the aardvark to show to the clever and brave King Rolf and thus fulfill his request for an aardvark and allow Rosalyn to present the apple for as we know "A is for apple but also for aardvark."
That evening, Her Excellency Rosalyn was called into court to present the borrowed aardvark unto His Majesty; but her easy success was also to be her downfall. With a momentary lapse of humility, she loudly proclaimed, "Be careful what you ask of a Viscountess of Oertha, for she will follow through." She then presented the aardvark and the apple to His Majesty.
Her Majesty, the beautiful and wise Aurora was also impressed by the bounty of Oertha when she witnessed the gift and queried her loyal subject Rosalyn, "But what about an ocelot?" Rosalyn admitted that she had never heard of an ocelot in Oertha but she did not wish to disappoint her Majesty. Therefore Viscountess Rosalyn loudly declared that she would take up this quest to seek out and bring back the elusive and rare ocelot. For surely a queen as beautiful and wise as Aurora deserved such a creature in her own personal menagerie.
Thus began Rosalyn's quest for an Ocelot.