And the tapestries themselves—five in all, not counting the partition—tell a story within the story. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 20, Winter’s Tapestry:
“In the quiet of her room, Anna gazed at the tapestries covering the thick stone walls of her chamber. She began pacing in front of one. It was the third of five in her chamber, and together they told a story of love and courtship. She’d always hated them.
The first tapestry showed a lady traveling with her escorts at the exact moment at which her party was beset. The second depicted a lord coming to the rescue and assailing the enemy. The lady sat her horse with her hand over her heart, gazing at the man who battled to save her. Next in line was the largest; it depicted the courtship of the lord and lady.
Upon the fourth tapestry was woven the story of a hunt. It was one of two flanking the fireplace. A great stag had been stitched upon it, head alert, body poised to bound away from impending danger. The lord had his bow at the ready, but his lady’s hand rested on his arm. Anna had always found this tapestry most intriguing. Did the lord spare the stag or did he loose his arrow?
The final tapestry, in front of which she now stood, showed a great wedding feast. In the center was a bonfire. The lord and lady presided over the gathering, their hands clasped. It was the most romantic of the tapestries, she thought ruefully. It annoyed her completely.”
What Anna doesn’t realize is that stitched into each tapestry are hints and secrets left by the architects of Stolweg Keep. I left the details of the courtship tapestry vague because, as the heroine will discover later, it is not the scene that is important, but the details in the surrounding border. A small clue to give Anna hope when she believes there no is escape from the nightmare in which she is embroiled.