Friday, September 30, 2011


Yeah, I burned down the forest.

Now I’m stuck up the last tree left standing, most of my stuff’s down on the ground, and there’s a big group of zombies sitting at the bottom. Watching me. You’re my only company, diary.

Well. You and the squeaking. I forgot my earplugs. And Philip, I suppose, but he's messing about with the zombies. Very helpful.

I think this is the end of my trip, diary. Sorry, Castle Whatever Your Name Is Right Now. I didn't even get close to success.

Day Forty-Five: Sanctuary

The journey continues, diary, and gods is it taking forever. I still have no idea how long it’ll take me to get to Goblinoster. I can’t even see the stupid city in the distance anywhere. I just keep spotting little zombie settlements, and, er, they have me scared. There are a lot.

I don’t get it. I know I’m following the goblins. I know I’m going the right way. There’s only one Goblinoster, and all of the goblins live there. I think. Why would these wagon tracks lead anywhere else? I’ve checked the map The Baron gave me about a billion times, but the stupid thing probably isn’t to scale... Goblinoster looks so close on paper. Bah. Geographers are STUPID, I say.

Or are they called something else? I can't remember. Mappers? Map-makers? Artists with too much time on their hands? BAH

The weather’s pretty hot, diary, even though we’re getting into fall. The heat doesn’t change much until the months move into winter. Then the snows come down like nobody’s business. I really hope this whole stupid trip is done well before then. Though I could use some cooler air.


Okay, so, there's not a whole lot to say, diary. I'll admit that. I'm boring.

Best thing I've found so far today was tonight's shelter: a little forest. Trees have been kinda sparse since I left the castle, and water even more so. There’s a tiny spring in the forest that will fill my canteen, and the animals here should keep Philip happy. Best part is, I can start a little fire here without alerting the zombies on the plains around me. I've been itching to melt some of this cheese into the rat stew Robert sent along.

Just hope I don’t burn down the forest. That, ah, would be really bad. But, ha ha, I'd have to be REALLY STUPID to do that, right? Right. And I'm not.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day Forty-Four: New duds

Ugh. I’m exhausted, diary. I got almost no sleep last night, and I never did find out what was squeaking. Maybe it was my armour...? I doubt it, ‘cause I wasn’t moving around, but... well, okay. Yeah. It was my armour. That’s the ticket, diary, that’s the rub.



Today was a little more eventful than the last few days of journeying, diary. First off, not long after I left, I found the wreck of one of the goblins’ wagons. It was stripped clean of weapons, which is fine since, y’know, I can’t use the damn things. I did find some leftover supplies, however, including food.

Problem is, the food was made of insects. Guess I was right. I was getting kinda sick of the yak tarts Robert gave me, so I tried some of their grub paste. I’ve had diarrhea ever since. Don’t eat strange bugs, diary, that’s an order.

On the plus side, I did find something I hadn’t expected: royal guard armour! I’d heard that one of the big boys from the Omega Corps was killed during the fighting, so I guess the goblins managed to steal his armour without the king knowing. Apparently they also left it behind. I don’t get the logic, diary, but I don’t question goblins anymore. They’re bug-eaters. So I put on the armour, which is much better than my own, and covered it up good with a cloak so nobody would see the difference. Kept my old spiked cap, though, ‘cause I’m partial to the Viking look.

Maybe I should learn to punch stuff. This armour has some nice gauntlets. Hmm. Punching doesn't involve a weapon, so... but do these gauntlets count as...? Shit, there they go. Slipped right off. So much for punching stuff.

But yeah. Today was much more active. I got attacked by a pair of mongooses, but Philip came to my rescue by tying their tails together. They rushed off in this hilarious spinning run thing. I couldn’t help but laugh. They still managed to scratch up my new armour pretty good, which is too bad – I’d wanted to bring it back to the king looking nice and clean. Maybe that would make up for the whole infecting-the-castle thing?

Maybe not? Sigh.

Only other thing to mention was a colony of zombies off in the distance. They had ragged tents set up, and their fires were blazing away. Could see them from quite a distance, which is fine with me. I don’t wanna get near zombies. Rumour is they’re frightening beasts.

I’m off, diary. I’ve got my ears plugged with bits of leather so I don’t have to hear that squeaking again... or Philip’s armpit farts. I didn’t know ghosts could make armpit farts, but he somehow manages.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I heard some squeaking, diary, so I’ve been up all night. If Philip saw what I heard, he isn’t telling me. Lucky bastard ghost, not having to be scared.

I’m too tired to write much, so I’m gonna doodle instead.

That's Libby.

I suck at drawing.

Day Forty-Three: My past is haunting me... literally

Something came in the night, diary, but not what I’d expected. I wasn’t eaten. I guess that’s obvious since I’m writing in you and not sitting in something’s belly... though I guess I COULD still be writing in you, in something's belly, which would be like a three-way activity and containment thing

Off track. Wasn't making sense anyway. Back to the story.

I was lying on the ground, trying to sleep, when one of my big toes wiggled in my boot. I wiggled it a bit myself, wondering if I’d flinched, when the other one wiggled. Then all of my little toes wiggled, and my whole foot lifted, and before I knew it I was spinning around like one of the blade traps on the Neck!

I managed to drag myself out of my sleeping bag and grab onto a rock, holding it while I screamed like crazy. Then I dropped... and my sleeping bag came flying at me and slid over my head! I was all "What the hell, this isn’t funny!" Like some trick my brother would play when we were kids and out camping or something!

Eventually I got the sleeping bag off my head, and once I did I noticed a bunch of little indentations in the dirt in front of me, just like I always saw at home:


And that was accompanied by a dirty picture of two dogs and a parakeet. In other words, Philip the Ghost followed me from the castle.

I, uh, tried to greet him, but it’s hard to talk to someone you can’t see. I guess Philip’s learned how to disappear when he wants, ‘cause I don’t see the broody looking ghost following me around all the time.

I’m not sure why he came along. I know Phlip still doesn’t like me much ‘cause I had a part in him getting killed. I just hope he doesn’t screw up this whole trip. He might not appreciate the seriousness of having a whole castle of sick people, being that he's already dead. I'm not dead so I can't necessarily judge, but ghosts probably place less importance on life.

I want Philip to play nice, so I spent some of today teaching him more letters. It’s nice to have something to do other than stare at the sky, I guess, though I wish he’d stop writing swear words in the dirt. Seems like profanities come naturally to him. I don't remember Philip being so vulgar when he was alive. Is that just part of becoming a ghost? You turn into a pig, as well?

I’m off. I walked a long way today, and I’m quite tired. Need to sleep. Still no vicious animals, thank the gods, and now something else can keep watch while I snooze.

Assuming Philip doesn't just let some big nasty eat me. I don't wanna spend eternity roaming the plains with him. That would suck.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day Forty-Two: My sweat is sweating

Day one of the adventure of a lifetime. Possibly because I don't expect my lifetime to last past this adventure.


Fortunately, my journey isn’t as aimless as I first thought. The king was just so angry at me yesterday that he kept cutting off The Baron before he could tell me where I’m going: Goblinoster.

As you can probably figure out on your own, Goblinoster is home of the goblin war bands that attacked our castle, ruled over by King Gok. There’s apparently a witch living there who can tell us what’s needed to get rid of foulfungus. The Baron didn’t want me infecting the goblins with this disease, though, so he made me bathe myself, and he got me some new armour. Nice guy, I guess.

He also tried to give me a spear. When I couldn’t grab the thing, he laughed at me. “Dragomir,” he said, “you really are the worst guard, just like they say, aren’t you? I’m sorry if you get killed.” Then he sneezed in my face. Sigh.

I don’t know anything about Goblinoster, other than it’s populated by goblins. It’s supposed to always rain in Goblinoster, as if rain clouds just follow goblins. I tried to ask Grylock the Ambassador about his home, but he refused to see me. Most people think he’s not gonna last long enough for me to get back, and he blames me for getting sick.

Poor Grylock. I must seem like the plague incarnated to him.

I dunno how to get to Goblinoster, but the convoys that brought King Gok and his troops to the castle left lots of tracks for me to follow. I wish they’d stuck around for another day, but as soon as the goblins heard about the foulfungus they all took off. Couldn't one single goblin have been lazy? Maybe leave behind a troll I could tail? Granted, they're dumber than yak poo and probably couldn't find their way home if the path was pointed out by hundreds of signs, but...

... actually, I guess if there were hundreds of signs I wouldn't NEED a troll. Man, my attempts to make other things look dumb always backfire.

Anyway. I kissed Libby goodbye, told her to give my best to Eve, received a weak, loving punch to the jaw, and set out. And I knew, five minutes after I started, that traveling would suck, even without man-eating beasts along the way.

I spent most of today walking with a giant backpack strapped to my armour. I was hot as hell, and my boots filled with sweat after an hour. All I could do to relieve my boredom was try to pick pictures out of the clouds in the sky. I saw a lot of middle fingers, which is a good summary of how life feels about me. There weren’t any mongooses or zombies to bother me, so at least I wasn’t in danger.

(Hope you don’t mind being stuck in my backpack, diary. You’re right next to the cheese I bought from a merchant before I left. You might smell funky. Sorry about that. The ratty part of you should enjoy the scent, at least.)

Now I’m sitting by a fire with a sleeping bag, hoping nothing shows up in the night. Spooky. It would be just my luck that an elephant came along or something. I don’t wanna end up like Philip! I like my head where it is, firmly stuck on my neck!

Scared witless,

Dragomir the Adventurer

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day Forty-One: A world not contained by four walls is terrifying

Hey, diary. Remember how I said that I was bad at this guarding thing? The job where I’m supposed to stand around all day with a weapon, ‘cept I can’t do the weapon thing since for some weird reason I’ve never, ever been able to hold or use anything pointy or blunt on another living creature?

Yeah. Well, I’ve decided that there’s one thing I’m worse at: adventuring. I can’t be an adventurer. What kind of an adventurer wanders around with no weapons and expects to survive?

Me, apparently. ‘cause that’s what I am now, more or less: an adventurer.

Let me explain. When I fucked up with the foulfungus powder, I was brought before the king. Jeffrey wasn’t happy about what I’d done. He actually wanted to crucify me on the spot. Captain Cedric was also there, and he looked ready and willing to do just that.

The Baron stopped both of 'em from gutting me, though. He told me why I was in the throne room rather than the dungeon: because I wasn’t sick. The doctors in Castle WhoopWhoop think that I’ve been exposed to foulfungus for so long that I’ve developed a weird immunity to it. That means I’m, like, one of the only not-sick people in the castle who can wear armour. Even my little baby is getting sick! Poor Eve!

I have to go looking for a cure. Which means I need to leave the castle for a while and adventure. Which means… adventurer. Adventurer without weapons or direction.


I’ve been outside the castle before, obviously. S'not like I was born here. The problem is, I’ve never gone alone. Not for any longer than a few minutes, and never further than the queen's tree. What will happen? I can’t defend myself! I’m gonna get my ass thwomped, diary! Especially here, on the plains, during mongoose season!

You know what season comes next? Zombie season! Hordes of the undead roaming from one place to another, looking for food! I’m so screwed.

I tried to whine about all this to Libby, but she turned over and went back to sleep. Didn't hit me or anything. She’s really sick. If the doctors are right, things will only get worse, and in a couple months everyone will be dead. Including my, uh, darling wife, and our bloodthirsty child.

No pressure.

I’m setting out tomorrow. Tonight I don’t think I’ll be sleeping much.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Friday, September 23, 2011

Awwwwwww shit

Yeah, I’m back. Something happened just before the weekend. I thought I was gonna get through the whole week without a disaster at the end. But no, this something that happened is very, very bad.

And I'm in deep shit. Gulp.

Not long after I left the library and stuck you back in the rat farms, diary, I was summoned by Grylock. When I entered his chamber I found him lying in bed, sicker than most people have a right to be. I figured it was the wine I’d brought him, but no, he was too purple for it to be wine.

He took one look at me, pointed at my armour and screeched. Then I got sent out again. The summoner, a pimply-faced boy, also told me to get lost. I wasn’t sure what had happened...

... until I got back to my quarters. One of the castle’s doctors was waiting for me, and he had a heavy-duty breath mask on his face. He checked out my armour and found a thin lining of yellow dust on it, that crap that’s always floating off the ledgers in the rat farms. He told me that it’s called foulfungus... and that I’ve been spreading it around the castle.

Me. It's my fault. That’s why everyone’s been so sick. He says goblins get especially sick around foulfungus, so lord knows what’s gonna happen to Grylock. Judging by his face earlier, he's probably gonna turn into a grape.

Wonder if that would make him taste good. Hrm. Probably have better things to worry about right now than the taste of a sick goblin.

The day’s almost out, so the king’s apparently gonna talk to me - just me - on Monday. First thing. That’s scary as hell, diary.

Why am I not sick, though?

Confused and possibly about to get fired or killed or imprisoned for life,

Dragomir the Doomed

Day Forty: Unwanted - fine with me

Grylock got pretty mad at me today, diary, when I told him that I wouldn’t be able to get him into the east wing of the castle. He called me useless, told me to bring him some booze and kicked me out of his quarters.

(I wish we could switch rooms - his place is a lot bigger than mine, and he’s, like, a third my size. I bet goblins ENJOY tiny closets.)

Life’s not fair to the hard workers, diary. I tried my best! I tried to convince the royal guards to let me pass! Or I would have, if they hadn’t, thrown me out of the east wing as soon as I entered the passage to the workshops. There was a squad of ‘em waiting for me. I don’t think I’ll be going down there any time soon. Hell, I don’t think anybody’s going down there any time soon, though I did pass The Baron on the way out. He just smiled at me and kept going. Wonder if Prince Logan sneaked in after all.

Grylock was feeling ill and told me to bug off when I came back with his alcohol, so I’ve been in the library for the rest of my shift. Captain Cedric and the other guards won’t bother comin’ in here. I think I’m safe. Robert the Librarian always enjoys company, and he’s happy to get a chance to see you at last, diary. (He’s promised not to read you. Only person in the castle who’s done that much, I think.)

Robert's also the only one who isn't sick. The librarian, not the brother. The brother is looking rough, which is bad for the guy who prepares everyone's meals. What the hell’s going around this place lately? Last I saw, Libby was coughing up a storm as well... but I feel fine...

Anyway. Robert’s gonna show me some new books he got, so I’m off early. I’ll take you back to the rat farms later.


Dragomir the Guard

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day Thirty-Nine: Restricted access

I’m disappointed, diary. And a bit annoyed. I thought that I would get to take Grylock on a full tour of the castle. That’s not what he wanted, though - he just wants me to take him to one part of the castle. And it’s not even a part I can enter!

I tried. Really, I tried. I went to the captain and asked. When I told him Grylock wanted to see the east wing of the keep, though, he got all shifty-eyed and said no. Then when I said that Grylock was ambassador and could do whatever he wanted, the captain called me stupid and still said no. Asking why earned me a bucket of cow poo on my head.

You'd think Cedric doesn't like me.

After I washed up I told Grylock that we couldn’t go. He told me that we were going anyway. Said he should have known by now what’s in the east wing, but that King Jeffrey decided to delay some announcement he should have made. And since he should have made it, everyone in the castle should know. And since Grylock’s now living in the castle, he should know. And because I was Grylock’s tour guide, it was my job to get him into the east wing.

Confusing, I know. I dunno why he wants to see inside anyway - there’s nothing in the east wing but workshops. Then again, the king was gonna make some announcement before the goblins attacked, so maybe there's something more? And why wouldn’t Captain Cedric let me go in?

I did some snooping and I found out that that part of the castle is constantly guarded by the royal guards. I don’t have authority over them, so I didn’t even bother trying to go in. The Omega Corps don't answer to 'lil old me. I gotta admit, though, I’m pretty curious... why can’t we go into the east wing? Is the king hiding something?

I don’t understand, diary. Knowing King Jeffrey, it's probably some massive trap or secret weapon that'll get a lot of people killed. For his amusement. Jeffrey's a jerk like that.

I dunno. Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow. I’m gonna see if I can find Prince Logan wandering around. I bet he can get me in, he’s good at that sneaky stuff. Just have to look for the confused Baron searching the castle; Logan won’t be too far behind.

Also: Grylock needs to stop calling me the name of some fungus. So sorry if I smell bad, goblin! You’re not much better, ya alcoholic busybody!


Dragomir the Guard

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day Thirty-Eight: A bad attitude with pointy ears

“This place smells like foulfungus.”

That was the first thing the goblin ambassador said when he reached the barbican today, diary. Not the best start.

His name is Grylock. He’s surly, demanding, and likes to drink a lot. He also forced me to carry him around on my shoulders all day, which I didn’t appreciate. But what could I do? He’s the ambassador. I’m his tour guide. I have to make him happy, or the captain will stick his foot up my butt. I’d rather than not happen.

Grylock wasn’t interested in touring today, so I showed him to Robert’s Beefiary to get him some grub. Unfortunately he wasn’t that impressed with my brother’s cooking, and he kept pinging yak tarts off my armour. He got really upset when my brother told him that they didn’t cook anything that’s not on the menu, as well. I guess living here is gonna be tough for the little guy.

What do goblins eat, anyway? Bugs? Snails? Dog poo? Great mysteries of life.

But he can drink! Lord help me, can Grylock the Ambassador ever drink. He says our booze is swill, but that didn’t stop him from downing three bottles of wine and several pints of ale. I don’t know where he puts it all. He must pee often.

(I think he actually did pee a few times when I was taking him to his quarters. Kept yanking his pants down and aiming at passers-by. I didn’t ask and nobody complained, though, ‘cause he’s got diplomatic immunity or something. And what do you say to a drunk goblin that’s peeing on your head? I really don’t know.)

There is one good thing about Grylock, though: he’s been stationed with the nobles, and that means I have an excuse to wander the nobles' wing and see Eve. She may be some kinda monster, but she’s still my baby, right? So it’s only fair that I get to visit her now and then. It’s only fair. Didn’t catch her today, ‘cause I think she was being fitted for armour, but maybe tomorrow.

Grylock was snoring by the time I got him back to his quarters, so I tossed him in bed and came to the rat farms. You wouldn’t believe how many sneezing and coughing and vomiting people I saw on the way here! There’s a real health problem in this castle, I’m telling you. Probably a lack of nutrition. Maybe Robert should sneak vitamins into his tarts.

Enough writing for one day. I'm tired, and my shoulders smell like urine. Never thought I'd write THAT down. Eugh.


Dragomir the Guard

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day Thirty-Seven: Goblinygook

Diary. You won’t believe what happened. I mean, I know I bring a lot of unbelievable stuff to you, but this is really unbelievable. Like, GOOD unbelievable.

I know! I thought it was crazy too! Something good happens to me? Dragomir the Forever Cursed Non-Daddy? What an idea. But it's true!

Okay, so maybe you won’t think it’s that great. But you need to understand my position. Without this posting I’d be stuck in one spot all day, probably near Eve’s stupid banner, staring up at my baby and wishing I could be a father. I was just starting to get the hang of it, so really it isn’t fair that they should turn her into some psycho knight thing

Sorry. Um. I guess I’m still hung up on this. King Jeffrey had a parade for Eve today. I’m a bit touchy. Can you blame me? It’s really annoying that they’d steal my damn baby away from me, and for no good

Sorry! Gah. I’m ranting. The good thing! Focus on the good thing. I get to lead a tour!

I already did a bit of touring last week, I guess, with Eve. Showing her around the bailies and such. Now, though, I get to take an actual goblin ambassador with me on a tour! Several tours! He wants to see the whole damn castle! I’m excited, diary, you have no idea.

Me getting the position was actually rather touching. Y’see, Captain Cedric got handed the duty of pickin’ one of his guards to take the little goblin around and show him how things work in the castle. Cedric said that there’s nobody better suited to the job than me! I know more about everything than anyone else, because I spend so much time slacking! I’m better off as a tour guide than an actual guard! Isn’t that great!

Yes, I know it was an insult. I'm not that dense. And Cedric did hit me while he was telling me the good news. I think he figured it was a punishment. I don’t see it that way, though - I'm pretty sure this is awesome.

Off I go, diary. I’m meeting the goblin later today, when he arrives. He think he’s gonna be the official goblin liaison to the castle, so it’s really important that I give him a good first impression. Hopefully the fact that my daughter killed scores of his people in one of the bloodiest battles this castle’s ever seen won’t turn him all biased against me.


Dragomir the Guard

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day Thirty-Six: The king is nuts

Another week, another dollar.

I wish I made more money, diary. It’s a good thing Libby covers most of my bills, ‘cause I’d probably have to survive off kitchen scraps filched from Robert without her wages.

This week started off pretty strange. Eve is still being celebrated as the hero of the realm, so the next two days are dedicated to honouring her. Honouring... my one-month-old child.

For killing an army of goblins. By herself.

Eve has already accomplished more in this kingdom than me. I’ve even heard that the king wants to get her started on training other up-and-coming knights. I personally think that’s a bad idea since she’ll probably rip them to pieces, but that’s just me. Either way, this is a situation I doubt most fathers ever have to face.

I haven’t seen Eve since last week, so I guess all my daddy stuff won’t be happening any time soon. I think she has a nurse or a nanny or something taking care of her now, when she's not brutalizing foreign powers. She doesn't need me anymore.

That’s life, diary. Crappy, stinky life.


It turns out that the king had planned the goblin raids. Kind of. He announced this morning that he’s friends with their king, and in order to keep both sides’ troops on their toes they arranged a little war. King Jeffrey just didn’t know when King Gok would come calling. I guess that makes sense... more or less... though it did mean that a bunch of our soldiers and a bunch more of their soldiers got killed... bizarre training, I say.

Now that everything's been smoothed over there’s a small entourage of goblins in the castle, touring the place. I guess King Jeffrey was keeping us secret from them so they wouldn’t know the layout during the attack, but now he wants everybody to be extra nice to the envoys. A bit of a switch since we usually stamp out any goblins we find. How can I tell whether one is an envoy or a thief? Is there a difference when it comes to goblins?

Who knows. I guess I’ll find out in the next few days. Right now, I have to guard the banner in the main hall. It’s got a picture of Eve sewn on it. She’s riding an ostrich. It looks dumb. Lord knows how they managed to sew the thing so fast.


Dragomir the Guard

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day Thirty-Five: It's kinda like teething with weaponry

Well, diary, the war I thought was a war but actually wasn’t a war is over. Which is good. War sucks, and I can’t fight for shit. And my baby’s back! In, uh, the most unexpected way possible!

Remember how I said that maybe having Eve around the castle to kill goblins might be a good idea? Turns out it actually was. Eve was the turning point. She stopped the goblins cold. Brutally.

I was running around in the nobles’ wing so I didn’t see most of this, but Philip - who’s actually been working on his letters with Robert the Librarian, it turns out, so now he can write a bit - saw it all. The goblins were pushin’ through the barbican for hours, getting’ sliced up on the Neck, tryin’ to jam the mechanism so they could go through. They’d almost gotten across (the cogs got so filled with guts that the trap couldn’t go off) when King Jeffrey ordered his ground troops to go out and face ‘em head on.

That didn’t endear the king to his troops none, but they did as they were asked anyway. That’s the life of a soldier. So they opened up the gates and were about to go fight on the Neck when, well, Eve got in the way. She jumped down from the walls and ran straight at the goblins. Philip says she has a bastard sword clenched in her teeth, but I find that hard to believe.

Okay, truth be told I find most of this hard to believe. When did she grow teeth?

But yeah. She went into a crazed frenzy and tore through the goblins, cuttin’ heads off and severing arms and generally brutalizing every living creature on that bridge. She was too small and too fast for anyone to hit, ‘specially not hordes of goblins who are confused as hell. Can’t blame ‘em, 'cause a murderous infant with a sword four times her size sounds terrifying.

Eventually the goblins retreated, most of them dead, and by the time I got out there King Jeffrey was knighting little Eve while everyone watched from the walls.

All this before lunch.

Eve now has her own quarters in the nobles’ wing. We’re not allowed to visit, ‘cause we’re just peasants, and I think that suits Libby just fine. She’s a real douche like that... though I’m not sure how much I can blame her. Does Eve need raising anymore? She’s already got a better paying job than both of her parents combined.

What the hell happened to our little baby, diary? Am I okay with this?

The world is a weird place,

Dragomir the Guard

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day Thirty-Four: Come back, baby, come back

It happened again, diary. I don’t know why I even bothered, after what happened the first time, but now... again. Again! I’m going to die of a heart attack before I’m thirty, I swear to all the gods who watch over this stupid castle!

What happened? My freaking daughter went missing, that’s what happened!

I woke up this morning - turns out I’d fallen asleep in the rat farms, ;cause the sound of rain always makes me kinda sleepy - and I found Eve’s bassinet ripped to spreads. Burst outward, even, like she’d snapped it apart with her arms. That’s a scary thought, diary, very scary. But not as scary as losing your daughter twice in as many weeks of life!

I spent the whole day trying to find her. I looked everywhere, from the jail to the treasury (which was easy since they’re right across from each other) to the apartments to the Beefiary to the bailies to... well, everywhere. In one frantic moment I actually tried to sneak into the throne room when it wasn’t bein’ used, but the royal guards tossed me out. Right prigs, those Omega Corpsers, and don’t realize what it’s like to lose a baby.

I never did find poor Eve. I guess that’s no surprise: it's chaotic outside, ‘cause the goblins have made a crazy push towards the barbican. We’ve pretty much run out of wood and feathers to make into arrows. Some of the soldiers tried to shoot down seagulls circling overhead, but their captain beat them down ‘cause they kept missing the gulls and wasting more arrows.

I don’t know what’s what anymore, diary. My little girl’s missing, and gods know what she’ll do. Hell, her wandering around might be a good thing if the goblins get inside, ‘cause she can probably rip ‘em apart.

But what if she can’t? What if everything she’s done up to now has been, like, a fluke or something? I mean, it’s hard to think that the slaughter of livestock and the bending of metal is a big coincidence centered around a single baby, but... but...!

Ugh. Family life is too stressful for me. I need a vacation.

Gotta sleep now. Just for an hour. Then I’ll keep looking. I wish I could ask the rats to look for me. They’re probably great spies. But, ah, they’re just animals, and I’m getting all stir-crazy. Talking nonsense. So I’ll shut up.

I think the goblins are gonna kill us all and take our stuff,

Dragomir the Guard

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day Thirty-Three: Midnight on the firing line

The captain found me in the rat farms today, diary. He beat me up and told me to watch from the walls during lulls in the siege. It’s hard to watch with my eyes all puffy, but I’m trying my best.

The attack continues. The goblins are quiet right now. I think they ran outta rocks, but I’ve seen their trolls wandering the plains way in the distance, so it’s only a matter of time before they get more. I wish we lived in an area with less rocks. Like the arctic, or... something.

But then I guess they'd throw ice. And giant snowballs. The snowballs would be more fun than this, at least. Maybe wars would be less violent if they turned into snowball fights? Something to think about.

Everyone’s contributing to the defense of the castle. Robert's working double shifts at the mess hall - he’s calling it the Beefiary, now, since he doesn’t really have anything on hand but beef - and Libby’s been churning out arrows at lightning speed to replace the ones we lose over the wall. (I didn’t even know she was a fletcher, but there you go.) Even Philip the Ghost’s been helping out, wandering around the goblin camps and tossing globs of mud at ‘em. Good show, Philip.

Everyone but me. I haven’t been doing much of anything, other than watching over the walls. I yell ‘Heads up!’ whenever a boulder’s coming, which I guess is valuable, but now that everyone knows to look for the things there’s about a dozen other people doin’ the same job. Why bother?

So, yeah, I’ve been sneakin’ off. As usual. I’m no good at my job, so I might as well do something else - which, in my case, is taking care of Eve. With Libby busy someone needs to watch the baby. Eve hasn’t tried to get out of her special bassinet yet, so all I need to do is feed her and change her every now and then. Lucky me, she’s pretty calm about all this.

Just have to keep her away from weapons...

We’re in the rat farms right now, diary. Eve is watching the rats, they’re watching her back, and I’m writing in you, listening to the patter of rain in the entrance tunnel.

I wish I was back home, diary, back before I got this stupid guard job. Castle FiddleDeeDee isn’t nearly as nice as the farm. Even if the farm is where my folks live. I'd rather have dad screaming at me than goblins firing boulders at my face.

Yellow dust is gross,

Dragomir the Guard

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day Thirty-Two: Look at the size of those things!

Sometimes you get what you wish for, diary. Usually when what you wished for wasn’t really what you wanted. Then you get it anyway, and it’s bad.

Yeah. This is bad. Like, expired yogurt bad. Not that we get yogurt around here, ‘cause Robert doesn’t have the stuff in the mess hall for making it, but... well, anyway, I should get to the point:

The castle’s under siege.

It started on my shift, in the middle of the night. I was sleeping in a little nook along the walls when a rumble took hold of the ground. I thought it was another of those little quakes that we keep hearing in the early morning, but this one was different. It sounded closer.

Then a big rock flew over the wall. That kinda told me that something was up.

I rolled out of my nook, soaking wet, and had a quick look around. Another rock launched over the wall, and another, and another. One of the other guards, Timothy, get pasted. The rock flattened him. And then another rock flattened that rock, and the smear that was Timothy just, uh, spread. Everywhere. Ouch, you know?

I peeked over the ramparts, and immediately spotted a line up of catapults in the distance, surrounded by little green things. It was hard to see ‘cause of the rain and the dark, but I found out later that they were goblins. The war bands must have been preparing for this all along. Dozens of siege weapons, hundreds of soldiers, even a couple slave trolls.

And rocks. Once the rain let up a bit, fiery rocks.

It didn’t take long for the soldiers to get up on the ramparts, and one of them knocked me off the wall and into the west bailey. I knew I wasn’t much use since I couldn’t hold a sword or a bow or even an arrow, so I ran to the rat farms. I didn’t know where else to go.

So here I am, writing in you, watching the rats get all restless, listening to the thumps of falling stones above.

Not cool, diary.

Under attack,

Dragomir the Useless Slug

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day Thirty-One: Back to the grind

It’s gonna be a gloomy week, diary. I can tell.

Eve, my precious little daughter, is in her special bassinet. I picked it up this morning from the smithy. He didn’t charge me. Hell, after what happened he said he’d do whatever he could to help me keep Eve in line. He likes babies, and he can appreciate a girl who loves fine blades.

Didn’t even charge me for the half-finished sword she stole. Woo. Makes me wonder where it went, though... and whether it's stuck in some random corpse...

Eve doesn’t mind her bassinet. She just lies there and looks around. Not terribly interested. I don’t know how I missed it before, diary, but her eyes are so... cold. Icy. Like they belong to a hardened warrior. I didn’t tell Libby what happened, but she’s already calling Eve that. Eve the Warrior. It’s as good a name as any.

Just hope she doesn’t turn out to be ‘Eve the Horrible Castle-Killing Psychopath and Perhaps Father Mauler’.

Enough about my daughter. Mongoose season is still going strong, though it’s a bit harder to shoot them because of all the rain that’s coming down, so Captain Cedric is back to constant patrolling and riding my ass. He’s got me watching the plains, ‘cause our scouts have reported increased numbers of goblin war bands prowling the area. The king’s ordered the queen’s tree to be doubly guarded, even though she can clearly take care of herself.

She doesn’t want me guarding her anymore, though, so I’m stuck watching the plains from the walls. At least I don’t have to see people getting slaughtered on the barbican again, but I’m not happy having to wear a rain coat all the time. It keeps ripping when I move around, and doesn’t keep the rain out anyway. My armour’s gonna rust in no time.

That’s all from me. I have to pull a double shift tonight. Gonna be a long, lonely night in the dark. I kinda wish goblins would attack – at least then I’d have something to look at. Ugh, and I have to attend some big meeting called by the king tomorrow... balls. Everybody’s sick, so there should be a lot of coughing and sneezing and stuff. Maybe I’ll finally catch whatever’s going around the castle.


Dragomir the Guard

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day Thirty: Demon baby

Not someone else... multiple someone elses... doesn’t anybody in this stupid castle understand the concept of diaries? That only one person is supposed to write in them?! Gods help me.

Well, whoever you are that wrote in this - you’re not the queen and you’re not the prince - I guess you were right. Yesterday did not go well. Today didn’t either. The last thirty-something hours have been horrible.

Why? Oh, where to start, where to start.

It didn’t start out badly. Not badly at all. I took Eve into the bailey in her little apple basket, and as usual she was good about it. Didn’t complain, didn’t fuss, just sat and watched the workers doing their thing. I even took Eve to see her mom for a while, though we had to hide behind the smith’s forge. Wouldn't do to let Eve watch her mama pummel me. That's a bad example for a baby.

It was behind the forge that it all went wrong, ‘cause the smith started working on a sword. As soon as Eve realized what he was making, she burst out of her apple basket and crawled towards the anvil, cooing as though she’d just found a delightful new toy.

I tried to pick her up. She flipped me on my back and kept going. Yeah, that confused me as much as it probably confuses you, diary.

Once I managed to pull myself out of a heap of barrels I realized that she’d grabbed the smith’s still red-hot sword and scurried off with it, the hilt between her teeth. I didn’t even know Eve could crawl. Or scurry. She’s, what, five days old? Six? Good gods, diary. I tried to catch her, but she climbed one of the walls and slipped away.

Recall, if you will, the time I was ordered to find Prince Logan when he went missing. Then multiply my worry THEN by a billion times. That’s what it was like losing my daughter. I thought my heart was going to cave in, explode, implode and, eventually, get smashed to pieces by Libby's raging fists. She doesn’t like Eve that much, but I think she feels responsible for our daughter.

So I searched. I searched everywhere, for ages and ages, trying to track her down. And it’s not like people hadn’t seen her: on the contrary, I kept finding bewildered crowds of people talking about a baby they’d just watched crawl across the ramparts, or swing into a window from a rope, or even attack livestock. And she left a blood trail everywhere she went. Horrifying.

I found Eve near the treasury, about three hours ago. She’d fallen asleep in front of the jail cells, and she was covered in blood. All of the prisoners were crammed into the opposite ends of the cells, and they looked so scared. Of a baby!

I took Eve to the communal baths, got her washed up and took her home. Then I asked the smithy to make her a special bassinet with lockable, steel restraints. He says he’ll have it done by Monday.

Ugh. So much blood. So much carnage. She's only a few days old...

My baby isn’t actually a monster, is she, diary?

Beaming is for happy people,

Dragomir the Guard

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The all-knowing eye

We have watched. We have seen. Dragomir will not come again this night. His trip to the bailey did not go as planned.

He is a good man. His daughter is a monster.

Day Twenty-Nine: STEAK

The tour continues, diary! Today I’m taking Eve into the west bailey to see all the workshops. Libby’s outfitting the mess hall with new stools, so I won’t have to worry about getting caught by her, and Captain Cedric is still shooting mongoosi! Hooray!

I have to admit, though, diary, I’m… a little anxious about Eve. Enough that I’m writing in you BEFORE I do anything today, rather than after. She’s... well, she’s not the baby I expected.

I’d always heard that babies were a pain in the ass. My father told me as much. “Dragomir,” he’d say, “you’re a pain in the ass. You were a pain in the ass as a baby, you’re a pain in the ass as a child and you’re gonna be a pain in the ass as an adult.” And that’s most of what he told me while I was young.

I don’t have many fond memories of my father. Reminds me a lot of the captain. I don’t think that’s a good thing.

Eve isn’t really a pain in the ass. I don’t have to worry about the usual stuff, like putting her down at night. As soon as I stick her in her nook between the bed and the cabinet (I need to get her a new bassinet, as she shredded the old one somehow) she goes right to sleep. And she never whines or complains about anything. She’s... orderly.

And strong. Gods help me is she ever strong. She grabbed onto my finger earlier and I thought she was gonna rip it off. I had to give her a steak to make her let go. Did I mention she’s voracious, as well?

But that’s all okay. It’s not a bad thing to have a ‘different’ baby, especially when ‘different’ is kinda convenient. I can carry her around in a little apple basket and she’s a perfect lady. Hopefully today’s trip to the bailey will go swimmingly. Hell, maybe Libby will catch me, see how calm Eve is and take back her stance on our daughter. That would be worth getting thwomped in the head.

Still. A little anxious.

Oh, and diary? I might start reading you to Eve each night. Y’know, take her out for an evening stroll and bring her down to the rat farms. Though, all the yellow dust... hrm. Time to search for a new hiding spot... again... either way. It’s good to get started on education early, especially since Eve hasn’t been given a job yet. Wonder what she'll be...?

I’ll be back later with good news!

Confusedly beaming,

Dragomir the Guard

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day Twenty-Eight: Weapon fetishes are adorable

There was a huge boom somewhere in the castle that woke me up this morning. I dunno what it was. Nobody does. Libby blamed it on me and punched me in the face before going back to sleep. How cruel, diary, how cruel.

Nothing’s happened since then, though, so the day has been otherwise normal. It was great, in fact, ‘cause I took Eve on a big tour of the castle! Well, okay, just the main thoroughfare, since I know Captain Cedric’s patrol route by heart. He won’t be near the commoner toilets for a week. He’s too busy watching the walls, what with mongoose season and all. He says he’s looking out for trouble, but I know he just likes sniping the things with his bow. Poor mongooses.

That doesn’t sound right. Mongoosi? Maybe that’s what I should say. I’m not sure. Better ask Robert the Librarian. I haven’t had much time to talk to him lately. He keeps asking to see you, diary. Nice guy, but I’m afraid he’ll accidentally file you away with the rest of his books or something. Too anal about his filing system, that one.

Anyway. The main thoroughfare! That’s the castle's marketplace. All the traders and merchants and so forth that know to come through the secret entrance rather than getting chopped up on the Neck go there, peddling their wares. It’s a great place to browse if you’re bored, and Eve seemed to enjoy all the sights and smells.

Well. Okay. Not all. Most.

... not even most. She had her usual neutral expression when we went by the food and general item vendors. You should have seen her light up as we passed by the weapon’s shop, though! It was amazing! As soon as her eyes clapped onto a dagger, she wriggled and cooed in her weird little baby language. It was fantastic.

And, uh, hard to manage. Very hard. She’s a tough baby! Healthy. That’s good. I’m quite happy. Even if I did have to, ah, hold her bassinet to my chest. And, yeah, it felt like she wanted to dig through my rib cage as we walked away, but that’s okay! It’s okay, diary. Baby stuff. No biggie.

Libby got home from work in the evening, so I left Eve with her for a while. They didn’t seem to get on too well. I’m worried that Libby hates our baby, though I’m too afraid to ask her why. She’ll probably just hit me and not give a straight answer. Eve must get her arms from her mother.

I’m off, diary. Long day. I’m beat.

A little concerned but mostly just beaming,

Dragomir the Guard

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day Twenty-Seven: Bathroom doodie

A lot of people around the castle seem to be getting sick, diary. I’m not sure why. I guess a bug sneaked in with the last shipment of yak meat or something. I’m fine, so what do I care?

And my baby is fine! Eve’s a gem. She’s so fun. And, like I said, quiet. She barely bothers anyone while she’s sitting in her little bassinet, and everybody passing by my post comments on how she’s a little angel. I wish I didn’t have to guard the toilets, of course, but Eve doesn’t seem to mind the smell.

(Libby insisted on going back to work right away, so I have to take the bassinet wherever I go. She doesn’t pay that much attention to Eve. Hell, she almost seems to resent her daughter. She’s REALLY a douche like that... though judging by how weird Libby was acting during the pregnancy, I guess Eve was a tough customer in the womb.)

Robert the Cook and the Brother keeps bringing bottles of milk to feed Eve while I’m stuck at my posts. He loves her, too. I have to admit, my brother can be a bit of a bastard, but he’s great with Eve - why, she doesn’t cry at all when he picks her up. She just stares at him, the same way she stares at everything.

“Weird kid,” he usually says, then laughs when he tries to put her down and she won’t let go. Clings right to his jacket. It’s really funny when he, ah, can’t pry her off. She just... clings.

And stares.

Okay, so it’s a little creepy. But that’s fine! I’m sure all newborns are like this. Bet if I asked my parents they'd say I was a frightening little bastard. Give her some time and she’ll settle in.

I know the toilets aren’t that important, even if people are constantly fighting over who gets to go in next (over a hundred people have to use a handful of toilets, y’know), so I’m gonna sneak off a lot this week and show Eve around the castle. She needs to get to know her new home, and I think she’s spent enough time in the residential quarters to know where she can go to the bathroom. Though in her case I guess the toilet is her diaper.

(Kinda makes me envious. She can go ANYWHERE. Babies are luckier than they know.)

Gotta go, diary. My baby’s calling. Ahh, I feel so much better now that she’s out of her mom and I’m taking care of her!

Still beaming,

Dragomir the Guard

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day Twenty-Six: Baby!

I bet you’re confused, diary, so I’d better explain.

I got word from the guard coming out to relieve me that Libby was in the middle of childbirth. She apparently told everyone in the castle not to tell me, ‘cause she figured my “lazy ass” wouldn’t be able to help her through it anyway. This was at a couple minutes to midnight, I guess.

I ran. Gods help me, I ran as fast as I could. I ran so wildly that I didn’t even think to climb the barbican to get back into the castle; I dashed across the Neck, even though it could have killed me in an instant.

And then I blacked out. For a split second I thought it HAD killed me. But then I woke up...

... and it was Monday! As usual, I'd missed the entire weekend. I’ve never had it happen to me like that before, though. Usually I pass out wherever I’m standing and don’t notice, but this time, I was very much awake. It was really, really weird.

Anyway. I got up, dusted myself off and ran to my apartment, and Libby was waiting for me. She’d had the baby. Her stomach was already gone, and she’d wedged a little cradle into the space between the cupboard and our bed. I didn’t hear anything about the birthing, but Libby didn’t seem to care one way or another, so...

Enough about troubles. Baby!

My daughter’s name is Eve. She’s the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. Really takes after her mom, except for the blonde hair. And she’s so quiet! I don’t know why I was worried. She’s an absolute treasure.

I have to go, though, diary. This is a pretty early entry for me. I, ah, had to stick you back in the rat farms for now, 'cause I couldn’t get back out to the queen’s tree. Sorry. It’s still probably the best hiding place. At least I don’t cough so much. I must be used to all that yellow dust.


Dragomir the Guard

Friday, September 2, 2011

oh hell

libbys in labur n im running n writing oh hell baby bayb baybb

Day Twenty-Five: Tomorrow never dies

Today’s my last day for guarding the queen’s tree. I’m feeling a little better today, diary. Not much, but a little.

The queen’s the reason for my improved mood. Daena may have given me the boot, but she doesn’t seem to hold my desertion against me. She’s just happy that I didn’t get hurt. She says I’m gonna need my whole body to keep up with a baby, what with diapers and nighttime tantrums and peeing and all.

I guess she’s right. And I guess I’m glad I won’t be guarding out here again. None of the other guards have children, as far as I know, so they’re expendable.

Yeah, that’s a terrible thing to say. But they can actually defend themselves, so I don’t feel too bad. They’re also jerks, Philip aside. And he’s, y’know, dead. And now a jerk of a ghost. So...

I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

It’s nice out now, at least. The rain stopped last night, so burning all the goblin corpses wasn’t that difficult. The queen told me stories about her kids, so I feel a bit better about Libby’s pregnancy. There are some good things to look forward to, assuming my baby isn’t a brat.

Libby’s constant complaints of pain and her assaults on the castle make me wonder if it will be, though... what’s going on in that belly of hers...?

Now I’m just waiting for my shift to end, which should be in two hours. It’s hard to keep track of time out here, especially when it’s cloudy. Somebody needs to invent a clock you can wear on your arm. Maybe I should look into inventing something like that. I’d always be looking at it to see when my shift’s up, so I guess I’d call it a look. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Hum. Baby soon. Baby, baby, baby.

I don’t have much else to say, diary, though I guess I can end on one piece of solid advice the queen gave me:

“Love your child. No matter what it is, how it looks or how it acts, love it. A loved child will love in return.”

It’s good advice. I wish my own parents had followed it when I was a baby. Or at least my dad. All he ever did was tell me how worthless I was. And then he'd hit me and tell me to feed the eels. What great parenting.

When did I become so emo, diary?


Dragomir the Guard

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day Twenty-Four: Die another day

I really am the worst guard in the world. You know that, diary?

The day started out miserable. The queen must have seen that I was upset or worried or something, 'cause she left me alone. Spent the day reading. She has big stacks of books near her tree, and every now and then she’d ask me for a new one. The rest of the time? Left me in peace. That’s good, ‘cause I really didn’t want to talk.

I’m freaked. I’m gonna have a kid soon. I may not mention it to you that much, diary, but it’s on my mind all the time. I didn’t ask for this pregnancy. Why’d the gods decide I should have a child now? I’m not ready to be a father! I can’t even do my job! What if I get tired of parenting like I do standing in one spot all day? You can't just drop a kid to go play Kick the Clam in the bailies, you just can't!

Sorry, diary. This is supposed to be an account of what happened, not a bitching ground for 'ol Dragomir. I’ll get back to my day. I’m the worst guard in the world. Right. Focus on self-shittiness.

Shortly after lunch a freak rainstorm hit the plains, and I had to rig up the queen’s leather parasol so she wouldn’t get wet. The wind was pretty wild, so the parasol kept flipping inside-out. I complained that the castle should make a permanent shelter, but the queen insisted that she liked the floral pattern on the inside of her parasol and refused to use anything else. I’ve seen her kick right through a warthog’s head with her beefy legs, so I doubt anybody would argue against her demands.

(Please don’t tell the queen I called her legs beefy.)

While I was getting the parasol set up, something very bad happened: goblins. One of the war bands we’d heard about came out of nowhere and attacked us. I don’t have a weapon, and I suck at fighting, so as soon as I heard the battle screams... the warbling whoops of those titchy green bastards... well... uh... I kinda hid.

At the top of the queen's tree.

You don’t know how embarrassing it is to be somebody’s guard, only to hide while the person you’re supposed to be guarding fights off a band of goblins. The queen has mighty legs, though, and since the goblins can only attack her from the front she killed them all rather easily. She even broke their weapons with her kicks. That’s scary, diary.

So, uh, now I’m busy burning the bodies. The queen’s agreed to keep quiet on the whole me-running-away thing, though she says she’s gonna ask for different guards from now on. I’m not cut out for life on the plains.

I’m so ashamed, diary. What will I do if something dangerous comes looking for my little baby? Will I shriek and flee? What kind of father does that?

I’m a goddamned coward,

Dragomir the Wuss