FOXWOOD--Bed & Breakfast

_¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯by Van © 2008

Chapter 1

To see the actresses I would cast in HHH:THE MOTION PICTURE,
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HannahHannah had just about convinced herself she'd made a mistake.  Her prospective employer's instructions seemed straightforward enough: take 101 up the coast from Arcata, turn east onto Westhaven Drive North (after "downtown" Westhaven, but before Trinidad), and look for the sign on the right.  She'd followed each step with precision, which left only one problem—she was in the middle of nowhere!

Granted, it was all pretty enough, with redwoods and cedars, rhodies, ferns, etc.; but how could you make a go of a B&B this far from... anything?  Maybe it could work as a base for day trips, or if there were hiking trails that led to the back end of Redwood National Park or further up into the Coastal Range.  Still—a place this hard to find?

And talk about isolated.

Of course, Hannah knew the Foxwood B&B wasn't your normal B&B.  She still wasn't sure exactly what a "Creatively Anachronistic B&B" was all about
something like people dressing in costumes and pretending to be guests in a medieval inn, with non-historically correct indoor plumbing and central heating, of course.  And... if what she'd been told was true (and she already knew it was), a lot more went on at Foxwood than swanning around in medieval drag.  Well, she'd learn the full details soon enough, and decide if it was a place where she wanted to work.

It was a hot day... as hot as it got this close to the coast, anyway.  She had the windows of "Tigger", her 2001 F10 pickup, rolled all the way down.  The breeze was tossing her long, blond hair around, but it felt good.
  Just then, she saw the sign, "FOXWOOD BED & BREAKFAST", with its woodcut logo image of a fox under a setting sun.  An arrow pointed up a narrow, improved road.  The distance was superimposed: "4¾ MILES".

FOXWOOD--Bed & BreakfastWell, at least I'm not lost, Hannah acknowledged, and dropped the driving instructions on the passenger's seat.  She turned onto the road and started up the side of a thickly wooded hill.  After a gentle switchback, the road continued to climb for some distance, then leveled out and entered a deep valley.  Mature conifers loomed on all sides and the sky all but disappeared.  Finally, as the trip-meter ticked past the promised four-point-seven miles, the road broadened into a generous turn-around.  A twelve-foot chain-link fence stretched across the far end and on into the forest on either side, and at regular intervals there were "NO TRESPASSING" signs bearing the Foxwood logo.

Centered on the fence was a large, motorized gate, and beyond the gate was a large, three-story building... a timber frame structure clad with siding of weathered cedar and with a roof of dark, reddish-brown tiles.  A series of doors along the ground floor made it less a barn and more the carriage house of a rustic estate.  It was elegant in proportions but simple in form, and no element of its design pigeonholed it into any particular national or historical style.  The structure might have been at home anywhere from Japan to Russia to Ireland, and from any period within the last several centuries.  The only truly unusual feature was the rectangular skylight that ran most of the length and breadth of the south-facing roof—then she realized she was looking at a photo-voltaic array.  In any case, to Hannah's trained eye, the building was in excellent repair, as far as she could tell from a distance

There was a call box mounted on an elegantly carved post, near the gate.  The post also had a sign reading "GUESTS ARE BY RESERVATION ONLY".  Hannah wasn't worried, though, as she was expected, and shouldn't have long to wait.  Confirming her optimism, the chain link gate rattled, its chain drive gave a shake, and the gate began to open.  At the same time, one of the "carriage doors" opened and a woman appeared.

She was a redhead, in her fifties (perhaps), and was very beautiful
slender and athletic, with a fair, freckled complexion, and green eyes.  She was dressed in an emerald-green gown with long, drooping sleeves and a laced bodice.  Rust-brown leather boots were on her feet.

"Hannah Blair?" she inquired, smiling and extending her hand as Hannah climbed down from the cab.  "Jillian Foxwood."

Hannah closed the truck's door and shook the proffered hand.  "Pleased to meet you," she replied, smiling back.  Jillian Foxwood was stunning, and her long, copper-red hair reminded Hannah of her last boss.

Jillian was giving Hannah the once over, as well.  "Hmm, you'll do quite nicely," she purred.

Hannah cocked an eyebrow.  "Excuse me?"

Jillian laughed.  "No, excuse me.  I didn't mean to be rude, but I like all resident employees to... shall we say... complement the Foxwood ambiance."  She eyed Hannah's form, from her work boots, to her jeans, to her chambray work shirt.  "That gorgeous blond
hair and pretty blue eyes, tan skin, and trim, athletic figure... The very picture of a Saxon or Danish maiden. Once we find you the appropriate costumes, you'll not just blend in, you'll enhance our little family."

Hannah smiled at the compliment.  Had the remarks come from almost any other stranger, she might have bristled at the personal observations, but Jillian's friendly, open manner was quite disarming.  "Uh, okay, but... costumes?" Hannah ventured, indicating her prospective boss' magnificent gown.  "I can hardly get any real work done dressed in something like that."

Jillian nodded in agreement.  "I was thinking more along the lines of boots, leather breeches or kilt, and a tunic or jerkin," she suggested.  "We'll find you something, and once you settle into a role, we'll order several custom-made outfits, for all occasions and seasons."  She gestured towards the building.  "Pull your truck into one of the parking bays and we can talk.  Coffee or tea?"

"Uh... coffee," Hannah responded, "thanks."
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 1 ---
Hannah pulled into the building and parked Tigger beside what appeared to be three sedans, all shrouded by cloth covers.  Jillian thumbed a switch that closed the chain-link gate, then led Hannah up a set of wooden stairs to a loft above the garage.  Beyond a solid door was a comfortably appointed lounge and dining area, with a bank of windows offering a magnificent view of the forest.  Jillian began brewing a pot of coffee at a modern kitchenette.  "Have a seat," she suggested, indicating a table and chairs near the windows.

Hannah pulled out a chair and sat.  "Nice place," she said, with full sincerity.  There was an Arts & Crafts, Green & Green feel to the interior.  Everything looked hand-built, with an emphasis on the practical.   Even the modern appliances were understated and chosen to complement the use of natural materials.

"Thank you,"  Jillian responded, "but wait 'til you see the main buildings.  I've been blessed with many talented family and friends, and they've all poured their hearts into Foxwood."  She carried a stoneware coffee service on a hardwood tray to the table, and sat.  "Cream and sugar?"

"Black."  Hannah accepted a cup and saucer (more a mug and saucer, actually, with a delicate olive and brown glaze), and took a sip.  "Delicious."

"Thank you."

Hannah nodded towards the kitchenette.  "I can tell a lot of careful effort went into the finish work.  The way the switch plates are recessed and trimmed is very clever.  All custom, right?"

"Almost everything is custom," Jillian confirmed, "or modified stock items.  In the main buildings, as well.  Most of the work was done right here, in the shop below."  She sipped her coffee.  "You can see why I need a resident artisan."

Hannah smiled.  "Resident artisan...  I like that."

 Jillian smiled back.  "Yes, 'Artisan' has an appropriately anachronistic ring.  How is Lady Lydia?"

Lady Lydia
            McLaneHannah blushed (much to her chagrin).  "Uh... she's fine."  What am I embarrassed about? she scolded herself.

"She e-mailed me photos of the work you did in her dungeon," Jillian continued.  "A little... modern, for my tastes, but very elegant.  The best 'finished basement' I've ever seen; and you carried it off under budget and on schedule.  I especially like the secret panels.  I look forward to an actual tour the next time I'm up that way."

Hannah's blush deepened.  "Uh... thanks."

Jillian's smile turned rather coy.  "You realize Foxwood entertains guests with similar interests?"

Hannah nodded.  "With a medieval twist.  Lydia explained... without going into specifics."

"Not all our guests come here for 'special role-playing', of course," Jillian continued.  "In fact, they're a decided minority.  Most of our visitors come to enjoy the Medieval/Fantasy ambiance, and for the hiking, scenery, fine food, and music.  Our 'Yule Festival' is booked months in advance."

Hannah frowned.  "How do you keep things... uh... discreet?"

Jillian's smile broadened.  "We manage.  Which brings us to... the rules."
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 1 ---
Jillian refilled their cups.  "First and foremost, I'm in charge.  I value everyone's opinion, and you'll find we often hold discussions before making important decisions, but my vote is the tie-breaker, and I reserve the right of veto."

"Understood," Hannah responded.  Jillian had a strong personality (and loads of charisma), but she didn't come across as a tyrant.  A ship has one captain, and a job-site has one boss.
  Jillian was in charge.  Fair enough.

"Rule two," Jillian continued.  "No one passes the inner gate out of costume.  You'll see what I mean when I take you up to the main compound
.  But don't worrythere's a changing room below with some generic costumes.  The only exceptions allowed are outside deliveries of bulky items, building materials, etc.  Mail is delivered to this building.  We call it the 'Outer Mews', by the way.  It's our outpost in 21st Century America.  Your apartment and the main workshop are here.  This is part of your apartment, in fact," she explained, indicating their immediate surroundings.  "I'll show you the rest, next."

Hannah nodded.

"Rule three:  In the presence of guests, your role is part of your costume."  Jillian sipped her coffee.  "You're expected to do your best to stay in character.  You'll find it gets easier, with time; and don't worry, we're careful, but not fanatical
except in the presence of guests."

Hannah nodded, again.

Jillian's smile turned slightly coy.  "Rule four:  Everyone is expected to participate in the entertainment of our 'special guests'.  Lydia tells me you have no problem with that sort of thing."

Hannah's blush returned, but only slightly.  "Uh, what exactly... I mean..."

"Top and bottom-type roles,"  Jillian explained.  "You won't be expected to take a lead in anything, at least until you feel comfortable
and, more importantly—until I feel comfortable with you.  Foxwood's reputation and the welfare and continued patronage of our guests are my greatest concerns."

"I understand."

"And speaking of comfort... Rule four explicitly implies that everyone will experience everything in our 'special' repertoire.  You can't truly appreciate the guests' perspective without direct experience."

Hannah nodded (a little nervously).  She'd had a little "bottom time" at the hands of Lady Lydia, while "testing" her new basement dungeon; but she knew that nothing the red-haired dom did to her was near as wild as the things she did to her real clients.  Lydia had assured her she'd fit in "just fine" at Foxwood... but that didn't mean she couldn't be just a little (deliciously) apprehensive.

Jillian smiled and set down her cup.  "Ready to see more?" she asked.

Hannah took a final sip, then nodded again.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 1 ---
The apartment's bedroom and bath were as elegant and well-appointed as the lounge/kitchenette area, and the shop was large, airy, well-laid out, and fully equipped.  Most of the power tool stations were a little antiquated, but all were top-of-the-line and in excellent condition (as far as Hannah could tell without actually putting everything to use).

"We can move your things into the apartment later," Jillian said, as she led Hannah through a door off the garage.  "This is the changing room."  It was more or less a large walk-in closet, with a line of curtained alcoves and a bank of tall lockers.  "You'll keep your regular costumes up in your apartment, of course," Jillian explained as she opened a locker, "but for now..."

Hannah accepted what appeared to be a modest stack of neatly folded burlap, with a pair of leather sandals and a coil of hemp rope on top.

"That's a loincloth, tunic, sandals, and belt," Jillian explained.


Jillian smiled.  "A thrall's costume.  It should be sufficient for your first tour of the compound.  Don't worry, the fabric's conditioned.  It looks rough, but you'll find it to be comfortable."

Hannah frowned.  "Thrall...  Oh, you mean slave!  I'm to be a slave?"

Jillian smiled.  "Consider it rule five:  Everyone starts at the bottom."  She placed a hand on Hannah's arm.  "You aren't frightened... are you?"  There was nothing teasing or even remotely sinister about her manner; but rather, her raised brows and green eyes signaled sincere, somewhat maternal concern.

Hannah's smile returned.  It was easy to trust this woman.  Well... what can happen?  Lydia knows I'm here.  Hannah's smile faded, as she remembered the hour she'd spent in the secret, sound-proof "isolation cell" she'd built for Lady Lydia.  Naked, a ball-gag strapped and padlocked in her mouth, her wrists chained to the wall with padded leather cuffs... it had been a very long hour.  Yeah, what can happen?

Jillian sensed her apprehension.  "I won't force you to do anything," she said, "but you will have to experience being a thrall at some point... if you're going to take the job."

Hannah mustered her courage.  "Okay.  No time like the present."

Jillian's smile broadened, and she leaned forward and kissed Hannah's cheek.  "Brave girl!"

(A thrill rippled up Hannah's spine).  Yes, Jillian Foxwood was easy to trust; and her charisma and charm were... enthralling.  Hannah turned her face away, suppressing a laugh.  'Enthralling', she thought, shaking her head.  I'm such a comedian.  "I'll be quick," she promised, and headed for the nearest changing alcove.

"I'll be waiting to help you with the rest of your costume," Jillian announced, as Hannah closed the alcove's curtain.

"Okay, thanks."  Hannah sat on the alcove's built-in bench and started unlacing her boots.  The rest of my costume? she wondered.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 1 ---
Hannah stripped to the skin, then began sorting out her thrall's costume.  The "loincloth" was like a ragged bikini bottom.  She tied its ribbon-like strings above her hips, and was relieved to find what Jillian had said about the fabric was true.  The burlap, if it was burlap, was as comfortable as cashmere.  She slipped the long "tunic" over her head and smoothed it down her body.  It was a sleeveless shift, with rather narrow shoulder straps, deep arm openings, and a slit down the front that plunged between her breasts and halfway to her navel.  The lower hem came to just below her knees, and while the bodice was a bit tight, the lower half was rather loose, thanks to generous slits on either side.  A thin lace of burlap ribbon criss-crossed her cleavage, holding the décolletage closedsort of—and a pair of similar laces served the same function for the top part of the slits over her hips and thighs.

The newly costumed "thrall" admired herself in the alcove's full-length mirror.  The tunic was well-made.  Close inspection of the inside seams revealed machine work reinforced and camouflaged by rough, slightly uneven hand stitchery, done with burlap thread.  The overall appearance was slightly ragged, but without the garment being a rag.  It was clean, but patches of repaired "damage" and faded stains told a story of hard wear.  Its "rough", homespun and hand sewn appearance fit the role of "thrall"... perfectly.  Hannah tightened the laces over her hips and tied neat bows, then frowned.  The front
was a bit of a problem.  If she tightened the lace until the sides of the slit met, the arm openings pinched in to reveal nearly as much boob as if she had left it completely slack.  She found a compromise level of tautness.  She was showing significant cleavage, but when she rolled her shoulders and twisted at the waist, the arrangement preserved her modesty... more or less.

Hannah tied the sandals on her feet.  Their thong laces criss-crossed her ankles, shins, and calves, nearly to her knees.  She wrapped the rope around her waist, twice, and tied a loose square knot in the front.  The free ends of the "belt" dangled nearly to the tunic's hem.  She faced the mirror, again, and did a slow pirouette.  Apparently, Foxwood thralls were expected to present a rather sexy appearance.  She had to admit (with the proper humility, of course) that she filled out the costume quite nicely.  She smiled, folded and arranged her former costume in a neat stack, placed her boots on top, with her socks stuffed in the tops, then pulled back the curtain.

Jillian was waiting, as promised.  Her smile broadened, and she gasped in appreciation.  "Oh, Hannah!  You look perfect!" she gushed.  "The very picture of a captured Saxon maiden!"

Hannah smiled back, then she noticed what Jillian was carrying in her left hand, and her eyes popped wide.

Jillian noticed Hannah's expression, and handed her burden to Hannah, for her examination.

It was an iron collar, with a dark, nickel finish.  It looked heavy, but weighed significantly less than a pound.  An iron ring about an inch-and-a-half in diameter dangled from a twisted, knot-like arrangement in the front that also acted as a hinge.  The collar closed on a similar snarl of iron loops in the back.   Hannah opened the torus of metal and realized the hinge and clasp "knots" interlocked with very close tolerances..  She nodded in appreciation.  Closed, they looked authentically hand-forged, but she could tell the device had actually been machined, using modern tools.  The interior was smooth and polished, including the edges.  "Nice work," Hannah said.

Jillian smiled and showed her a second, much smaller piece of ironwork.  It was a "U"-shaped shackle, roughly the size of the ring on the front of the collar.  A cylinder joined the two top ends, and a pin with a crescent-shaped cap pierced the cylinder.  "This is the locking mechanism," Jillian explained.  "The top pin slides through the collar's back clasp and is inserted in the shackle.  Then, a spring-loaded tool is screwed in the hole in the end of the cylinder, and it locks."

"Oh, like one of those antique screw-key padlocks," Hannah said.

"Exactly," Jillian confirmed.  "You certainly know your hardware, Hannah.  Anyway, most of our 'thrall accessories' are like this.  Having things open with one key is much more convenient than lugging around a key ring.  We reserve the use of those wonderful, elaborate skeleton keys for our dungeons and cages."

Hannah swallowed.  'Thrall accessories'?  'Dungeons and cages'?

Jillian took the collar from Hannah's hands.  "Hold up your hair for me, would you please?"

Hannah swallowed, again.  "Uh...  the collar's for me?"  She blinked, and realized she was staring at Jillian with what had to be an expression of stark surprise.  Get a grip, Hannah! she chided herself, and lowered her gaze.  "Sorry," she said, quietly.  "I knew that... honestly."  She gathered her blond locks, gave them a twist, and held them atop her head.

Jillian laughed, then leaned forward and gave Jillian a quick, light kiss on the forehead.  "I promise, you have nothing to fear.  I know you're nervous... but it's that nice sort of nervousness, isn't it?"

Hannah's lips curled in a rather chagrined smile.  "You caught me."

Jillian laughed again, and stepped behind her new employee.  "That's the spirit!"

Hannah stared straight ahead, focusing on the row of wooden lockers.  The collar closed around her throat... there was a click... a second click... then a quick, ratcheting turn... and Jillian stepped back into her field of vision.

"How does it feel?" the smiling redhead asked.

Hannah let her hair fall, then gave her head a shake to settle her long, blond locks.  "A little heavy, but not too bad."  She swallowed, and took a deep breath.  "Tight, but not too tight.  It'll take some getting used to."

Jillian's smile broadened.  "You're taking this well.  Let's move on to the final step, then we can start the tour of Foxwood, itself."

Hannah's hands were examining her new accessory.  "Final step?"

Jillian opened a locker and withdrew a coil of leather strapping.  The brown, smooth, ribbon-like thong was wider than a boot lace, but narrower than a belt or saddle strap.  "Newly purchased thralls arrive at Foxwood under complete control," the grinning redhead explained.

"Oh!" Hannah explained, no longer able to conceal her nervousness ("nice" or otherwise).

--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 1 ---
"Do you have much experience with bondage?" Jillian inquired.

"Huh?"  Hannah gave herself a mental kick.  She was staring, again.  "Oh, I mean, no... other than the things Lydia showed me... and childhood games."

"Are you very good at wiggling out of restraints?"

Despite her nervousness, Hannah laughed.  "I'm terrible.  But then, Lydia's the best... or so I hear."

"Let's just say she's among the best," Jillian purred.  "Hands behind the back, please."

Hannah swallowed, again.  "Er..."

Jillian smiled.  "I'm sorry, Hannah.  Is this going too fast?  Lydia said you were the adventurous type, and from what I've seen so far..."  She gave Hannah's thrall-costumed form a teasing, lingering gaze, from her sandaled feet to her tousled blond hair.  " don't seem especially timid."

Hannah smiled.  "Fast can be good... and I trust you."  Hannah wasn't sure exactly why she said that, but it was true.  She did trust Jillian Foxwood, even though they'd just met.  Suddenly, her nervousness vanished (more or less).  She spun on her heel and crossed her wrists at the small of her back.

"Perfect," Jillian stepped forward and set to work.  With deft, practiced moves, she pulled loops of thong around Hannah's wrists, criss-crossing and cinching the subtle, soft leather as she bound her new employee.  "Now, the handling of captives won't be one of your primary duties," Jillian said, as she tied the final knots, "but you will need to learn how we do things around here—bondage-wise.  For example, with leather, it's important to make sure the thong lays flat against the skin, and it's best not to use a square knot or a half-hitch, but a Western or saddle-cinch.  Personally, I like a variation I call the Foxwood double-cinch.  I anchor the free end through a cross-binding and make the first cinch loose, take an additional turn around the crossed wrists, tie a second cinch, threading the free end through the first cinch, pull out the excess and tighten the first cinch, then tighten the second.  Done properly, it's nearly impossible to untie... especially for the one with the bound wrists... and, it's neat and pretty."

Hannah flexed her fingers and attempted to rotate her wrists.  She couldn't move them from the crossed position, at all... and only her little fingers could touch... just barely.  She knew she wouldn't have been able to free herself even if Jillian had tied off the thong with a loose bow.

There was still a remainder of about two feet of thong.  Jillian threaded it through the staple in the back of Hannah's collar, took in the slack, and tied a saddle-cinch, a simple one, this time.  "There," she said, took Hannah by the shoulders, and gently turned her around.  "All finished."  She smiled warmly, put her hands on Hannah's waist, leaned close, and kissed her lips.  "Such a brave girl," she whispered.  "I'm flattered beyond words that you trust me so."  She untied the lace of Hannah's décolletage, pulled out about an inch of slack, and retied the bow.  Hannah's breasts were now more or less unrestrained by the fabric of the tunic.  Her modesty was intact, but she was showing more skin.  "That's better," Jillian said, and made similar adjustments to the laces over Hannah's thighs.  Standing with her feet apart, the tunic's skirt now had a slightly narrower drape, exposing Hannah's thighs nearly to the hip.  Jillian took a step back and reached into an open locker.

Hannah's heart was pounding, but not with fear.  That thrill she'd felt earlier was back (but this time it seemed to be equally divided between her spine... and sex).  Hannah tugged on her bound wrists, and took a deep breath.  The funny thing was... Hannah knew she wasn't really what you would call submissive.  She'd let Lydia use her to test her new dungeon, but that had been part of the job... business... at least that was what she kept telling herself.  Okay, it had been fun, but nothing she'd like as a steady diet.

But... here I am, again, she mused.  This is crazy!  Allowing myself to be tied up?  What am I thinking?

But Hannah already knew what she was thinking.  This was going to be an adventure!  She wasn't in control, but she wasn't in danger, of that she was sure.  Even if she decided to not take the job (which seemed increasingly unlikely)... this was going to be the experience of a lifetime.

Meanwhile, Jillian had produced a coil of hemp rope.  She threaded one end through the ring in the front of Hannah's collar, and tied a neatly compacted knot.  "Ready?" she asked, with a smile.

"Uh, for the tour?"

Jillian's smile turned teasingly coy.  "What else did you think I meant?"

Hannah's lips curled in a sheepish grin, and a hint of a blush colored her cheeks.  "Oh, nothing.  I'm ready."

Jillian took in the slack on the rope, turned, and led Hannah towards the changing room door.
--- Tales of the Foxwood B&B: HHH Chapter 1 ---
They exited the "Outer Mews" through a side door and the Mistress of Foxwood led her new thrall onto a flagstone path.  "The gateway is just ahead," Jillian explained, "around the first bend."

Mature conifers loomed on all sides, and the ground was carpeted in loose litter punctuated by clumps of fern and other shade-loving plants.  It was dark, but not gloomy.  Moss and the pale green lichen called "Old Man's Beard" shrouded much of the trees' lower branches.

"There's a service road the other side of that draw," Jillian said, pointing to the right.  "That's how we handle the deliveries I mentioned earlier; but most of our guests arrive via the Forest Path."

They rounded a dense clump of rhododendrons and approached a waist-high, wooden gate set between two tall posts.  It punctuated a low wall of mossy boulders,
more-or-less perpendicular to the path.  After only a few yards, the walls became linear jumbles of loose rocks; and several yards further, they faded into the ground, altogether.  Hanging from a crossbeam between the posts, far overhead, was an antique lantern.  It was a beautiful design, blown glass in a hand-forged, iron cage.  It shone with an amber light, visible even in full daylight.

"We recently renovated that thing," Jillian said, indicating the lantern.  "I had it rewired with LED bulbs.  Amber means something 'special' is going on, and I mean special in the sense that Lydia's basement is special."

Hannah smiled.  "I get it."

"When it glows green, that means 'nothing special allowed'.  Regular guests are in residence."

"That keeping-things-discreet question I asked earlier," Hannah suggested.

Jillian nodded.  "We also have a flag that flies from the tower of the main building.  If it has a rust background, that means 'special'; and a green background means 'regular'."

The gate, itself, was a work of art, an excellent plan executed by a master carpenter.  A chain and counterweight kept it closed, and hand-forged iron straps and hinges, bent in decorative, leaf-and-vine patterns, reinforced the joints and encircled the hinge-side post.  Jillian grasped the handle and pulled.  The well-oiled hinges and the chain's pulley were nearly silent as the gate swung open.

Jillian paused, and gazed into Hannah's blue eyes.  "Not to be overly dramatic," she said, quietly, "although our guests expect some degree of drama
but beyond this gate is the Realm of Foxwood, a world where fairies play tag with the hummingbirdselves, dwarves, and witches drop by the common room for wine, mead, and a fine meal—and the cloaked stranger in the corner might be a sell-sword, an outlaw, a wizard, or even a dragon in human form."  Her smile broadened, and she winked.  "Are you ready to play?"

Hannah couldn't help but smile back.  Corny?  Yes, but this will be fun...  She flexed her bound wrists and swallowed, very much aware of the iron collar locked around her throat.  ...all kinds of fun.  Jillian stepped forward, gently pulling in the slack of Hannah's rope leash
and the newly-captured thrall followed her new mistress through the gate.
Tales of the Foxwood B&B:
Chapter 1

Chapter 2