Just starting? Be sure to check out The Legend of Slottsfjellet: Foreword and Disclaimer first, so you know what’s going on.
The station was crowded with mid-morning travellers as the train pulled in. Joe and Karl found it much easier getting off the train than it had been getting on, and they quickly made their way to the parking lot. Joe was surprised when Karl stopped next to a small, cheap-looking car splashed with mud. Karl pulled a set of keys from his pocket and opened the driver’s-side door. “It is not locked,” he told Joe. “Please get in.” Joe obediently climbed into the small car. Karl turned the ignition and drove away from the station.
Occasionally, Karl would point out something of interest along the way, but mostly they drove in silence. Joe tried his best to enjoy the scenery. Before long, they were beginning to get away from the paved streets and onto gravel roads. As the little car sped along, splashing through puddles left by newly-melted snow, Joe was surprised at how well-kept the quiet roadways were. He remarked on this to Karl.
“You will find that Norway has a very extensive road system,” Karl responded. “We take pride in the fact that nearly every Norwegian household owns an automobile. Therefore, we tend to care for our roads very well.” He paused and smiled at Joe. “I read that once in an American travel brochure,” he confessed. “But it is true. We have very good roads here, even those that are unpaved.” As he said this, Karl suddenly made a sharp turn to the right, onto a pair of faint dirt tire tracks that Joe hadn’t even seen from the gravel road. The small car, which was never intended for off-road travel, was bounced and tossed along the trail as it curved its way back into the hills. Joe held on to the door of the car with one hand and put the other over his head in an attempt to keep from hitting the roof with each bump and hole in the road.
After twenty grueling minutes, Joe spotted a group of about fifteen or twenty trailers up on a small hill. The area bustled with activity as the little car drove closer, and Joe wondered just how big this castle project was.
Karl stopped the car near one of the trailers and motioned for Joe to follow him as he climbed out of the car. Joe got out and walked behind Karl into the trailer. Inside, Karl pointed to a stack of sketches on a drafting table. “Those are the basic sketches for the plans you will create. The notes and directions are explicit and straightforward; you should have no trouble following them. You will find the necessary drafting instruments in that cabinet, there, next to the table, and anything else you need can be supplied.”
“Anything related to your task, Mr. Stadtler,” Karl continued. “Now, I expect that you are tired from the journey. You will find a fold-out cot against the wall to your left. Some food will be brought to you later. For now, review the sketches, then get some rest. You will be expected to start working tomorrow morning. I will see you then,” he said as he walked out the door.
“Hey, Karl, wait a minute—” Joe called. The only answer he got was the sound of a key turning. Joe tested the doorknob: it was solidly locked.