It was exactly where Poutachi said it would be and the Horse recognized it immediately. The bridge was made of giant alabaster blocks that had been mined in the Whitestone quarries and carted more than sixty miles to the northern bank of the Anglia River. Twelve thick pillars sank deep into the water and supported the bridge's heavy iron framework. The bridge was divided into twelve equal sections. Each section was ten meters long and featured an exquisite bust of one of the Twelve Kings of Whitestone atop the adjoining pillar. The silhouette of the bridge cut a high arc over the river that ran 120 meters long. It was wide enough for two large wagons with six horses a piece to pass each other with room to spare.
No guards were stationed at the bridge and horse and foot traffic flowed regularly. As the party approached the western entrance, a carving on the right entrance pillar caught their eye. It said:
If your heart is light and your tale is true,
This way to Whitestone is right for you,
If your heart is dark and your tale a lie,
In a fiery hole your soul will die.
"You know, suddenly Whitestone just doesn't have the appeal it used to," said the Cow. "What if we went back to my house and laughed this whole thing off over bowls of daisymist soup?"
"You're free to go, Cow," said the Horse. "You said you'd get us through the forest, and you did that, though in the most god awful roundabout way one could imagine. But you have fulfilled your duties and, well you can skeedaddle now if you want."
"Wait a minute!" said Tom. "Cow, there's no reason to be afraid of a warning on a bridge. They just put that there to scare those spooky creatures in The Twisted Forest so they'd stay on their side of the river. There's nothing to worry about at all. Right, Horse?" said Tom, looking at the Horse for support.
"That's true," said the Horse calmly. "There's really nothing to concern your pretty little head about. Unless of course, you consider the Gateguard."
"The Gateguard!" said Tom. "What guard? I don't see anyone."
"Nevertheless, she guards the west gate to Whitestone," said the Horse.
"What is she a ghost?" said the Cow. "Is she, is she going to jump out from behind a pillar and say "Boo!" and hope we drop our Halloween candy and run away?"
"She's not a ghost and she doesn't give two hoots about sweets. The only thing she cares about is stopping anyone with bad intentions from crossing that bridge," said the Horse.
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Greg is a web comic artist. He enjoys creating funny web comics for the Internet. It makes him happy to do humorous comics about fish. Webcomics are great, fun, and some of the best comics out there!
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