The wall of sand surrounded the castle, nearly cutting off my view of the beach. Standing within the tower of the castle, my thoughts turned to those who were trapped beyond the wall, those who had  been enjoying a rare day of nice weather to take advantage of the beach just outside the castle.

How many hours had the castle been in isolation? What was going on beyond the wall? A presence coming up behind me broke me from my thoughts. I turned to see the King and his primary adviser ascending the stairs. Offering them a short bow, I returned my attention to the wall as the King moved to stand beside me.

For several minutes, we remained in silent contemplation. Finally, he reached out to touch my shoulder, motioning to his adviser with his other hand. The man held out a bundle of cloth towards me. He explained that it was the Elder Cloak, one of the relics of the Kingdom. I couldn’t quite hide the shock from my face and the King smirked at me.

As I wrapped the cloak around my shoulders, I could feel the magic taking hold. I was lighter on my feet almost immediately. However, there was one more piece of the magic that I was looking forward to testing. Turning to consider the King fully, I paused as he handed me a letter. He explained that it was for the Queen and her ladies, as well as the escorts that had already been assigned to her.

With a grin, I hopped onto the ledge of the tower. With a final bow, I turned away and leaped. The cloak billowed out behind me, grabbing onto the air and letting me glide through the air, easily clearing the sand wall and floating towards the beach beyond. Scanning the area around the base of the sand wall, I found no sign of who might have erected the wall. Magic on that scale required a substantial investment in terms of power, mages, and reagents. Yet no sign of those requirements showed in the areas I could see while floating through the air.

Soon enough, I landed on the beach. Almost immediately I was set upon by the guards, who, after verifying my identity, took me to the Queen. I handed over the letter from the King and waited patiently for the reply. While the Queen read the letter, I spoke with the guards and the rest of the ladies in waiting, discovering that everyone had been safe and unmolested. They’d seen the wall, but nothing else had been sent their way.

It all seemed a colossal waste of resources to me. That wall may have isolated the castle temporarily, but there was no followup. The castle had substantial supplies on hand at all times and could survive the wall for weeks, if not months.

A gasp behind me drew my attention. I turned around to see everyone pointing towards the waters. In the distance, a huge wall of water was slowly building up and making its way towards shore.

Huh. Guess that was the rest of the strategy.