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Excerpt from Chapter One: The Gargoyle Council
The Gargoyle Council had not met for hundreds of years. In fact, Melitus, the leader of the gargoyles, had sat still for so long on top of his cathedral that he had to think for a long while before he could remember how to move. When he finally remembered how to walk, he set off on a three-day journey to the place where the gargoyles were to meet. He traveled mainly at night, so as not to alarm human beings, who might think it odd to see a man of stone wandering around.
Melitus was a gargoyle with a human face and form, rather than an animal. The gargoyles he would be meeting with were all human-form gargoyles, since the animal gargoyles had their own Council.
As far as any gargoyle knew, Melitus was the oldest gargoyle. He was made of pale gray granite, so pale that he was almost white with just a hint of a smoky gray tinge. Melitus was tall and thin, and his long face was etched with deep lines on his forehead and crevices below his cheekbones. Many cracks and chips covered his ancient body. Long ago, he had lost one of his narrow, pointed ears during a renovation to the cathedral. He also had a large chunk of stone missing from his chin.
Melitus grumbled as he walked. This was highly irregular-gargoyles walking around at night. He preferred to do normal gargoyle things like sitting, watching, and waiting.
Of course, these were not the only things gargoyles did. They sometimes warded off evil spirits or other foul creatures seeking to enter churches, cathedrals, and other buildings under the protection of gargoyles. But the gargoyles never had to move to do this because they had their own brand of special gargoyle magic. One look of recognition from a gargoyle was usually enough to send most evil creatures and spirits running. It was never wise to challenge a man of stone and magic.
A sparrow had brought the message to Melitus that Cuthbert, one of Melitus' magistrates, was calling the Gargoyle Council. This was so unexpected that the sparrow had to repeat the message to Melitus five times. Finally, the weary sparrow got his point across to the gargoyle leader, and gladly departed, vowing to carry messages only for the brownies and fairies from now on, because Gargoyle messages were just too much work.
The Gargoyle Council took place at the foot of a granite mountain. Inside a circle of pale white boulders, the gargoyles were gathering. There were many different types of gargoyles. Some were smooth, others rough. And some were fat, while others were thin.
Cuthbert, the gargoyle who had called the Council, was squat, fat, and pale pink in color. His head was round with flabby jowls, big lips, and bulging eyes. He had the appearance of someone whose head was much too large for his body, which was saying something, considering that Cuthbert was probably the largest gargoyle ever seen, widthwise.
Most of the gargoyles were about three to four feet in height, with the exception of Melitus who was almost five feet tall. The assembled gargoyles all sat near the edge of the circle of boulders, waiting anxiously for the meeting to begin.
After Melitus arrived, and determined that all of the gargoyles who needed to be there were present, he called the meeting to order. "Magistrate Cuthbert has called this Council to discuss the issue of Burchard."