Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day Eighty-Eight: They grow up so fast

Ho. Ly. Crap. I was speechless today, diary. Absolutely floored.

I… I met my little baby. Eve. It's been a while since I last saw her. Didn't even get a chance to say goodbye before I left the castle. And now… today… the prince brought her to see me.

She's not a baby anymore. She's a little girl, standing on her own, with lots of messy blonde hair, kinda like mine, and fierce green eyes, just like her mom. Almost as tall as the prince.

… what the hell? Did I miss something? Since when do kids grow up so fast? I seem to recall taking, oh, THREE OR FOUR YEARS to get to this point. WHY DOESN'T ANYONE ELSE FIND THIS WEIRD?!

… after I picked my jaw up off the turrets, Prince Logan hummed and skipped away, leaving me with my daughter. She watched me the way she used to, calm, quiet, unsmiling. I couldn't even tell if she recognized me.

Eventually, deciding to take the first step, I ran forward and hugged her. I was crying.

She flipped me on my back.

I tried again. She nearly tossed me over the edge of the castle. Again, and she heaved me down into the bailey. (The pointy bits on her armour HURT, by the way. Got an edge right in my freaking forehead.)

By the time I came back up she was leaving, and I called to her. "Eve!" I cried, stretching out my battered arms, "Don't you know me? It's your papa! Dragomir!"

She turned, and fixed me with that cold glare, and she said, in a high-pitched, girl-of-her-age voice, "I am the killer of gods."

I didn't know what to say to that. I know I get dumbstruck a lot, and I'm usually at a loss for words, but that, that was a real zinger.

She turned away again, leaped down into the bailey and ran out of sight. On all fours, no less. Last I heard, she was killing a cow outside the castle walls and supping on its guts. Still voracious, I guess.

So… that was… depressing.


Dragomir the Guard

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day Eighty-Seven: Ow, my undies

Back by the latrines again today, diary, so went for a walk. A long walk. I haven't seen the castle in ages, so why would I miss this chance to meet everyone again when they're NOT emptying their bowels? It's tough to carry a conversation when the air smells of a butt!

Castle Longjohns doesn't look much different from when I left, though the magical tornado cure thing wrecked it up a bunch. (Sorry to everyone. I thought I was doing good!) The merchants, smiths and craftsmen are still workin' away in the bailies, the guards and the royal guards are still patrollin' their guts out, the Neck is still chewing up people dumb enough to walk on it, and the prince is still causing trouble.

Yeah. The prince. He, uh, snuck up on me today and gave me a wedgie. Haven't seen him in weeks and the first thing he does is give me a wedgie! His mom said he was nicer than he seemed, but I think when he's away from his retainers he's just a brat. Better not say that about the prince of the realm, I could get my head chopped off. Anyway!

I did, after getting wedgied, have a little conversation with Prince Logan:

"You were gone a long time," he said, balancing on the outer wall with one leg. "Still can't pick up weapons?"


"You're weird. Wanna see me do a backflip?" And then he did one without waiting for an answer. Showoff.

"You should, uh, be more careful on the wall. Your majesty."

"The Baron tells me what to do, not you." He nudged me with his foot while standing on his hands.


One finger. Gods, how does he do it? I've never seen anyone as acrobatic as the prince. Not even acrobats!

Eventually he got bored and left (flipped over the side of the wall), but he told me to come back to that spot - overlooking the western plains, 'cause it's emu season and he likes watching the birds running - tomorrow. He's the prince. What choice do I have?


Dragomir the Guard

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day Eighty-Six: Just another day

I'm back. Everything's back to normal.

No, no! Don't say otherwise, diary! It's all normal. Perfectly normal. Yes.

And I have proof! I'm back on duty! Duty's great. Boring as hell, but great. They've got me watching the toilets in the residential buildings today. Captain Cedric has already given me plenty of painful lumps, bless his soul, and the latrines smell as foul as ever. (I wish they had something more efficient for getting rid of poo. Really. Like that tent irrigationg-esque thing back in Goblinoster.

... though I guess that means feces would be tumbling along the tops of tarps. Gross. Especially if a tent pole collaps 

I'll just end that bracket right there. Home!

Very little happened on my shift today. I stood. I loafed a bit, wandering around 'n talking to people. Most everyone's happy to see me again, 'cause I'm everybody's favourite guard… even if I am bad at my job. A lot of people have thanked me for goin' out to find a cure for foulfungus, even if it wasn't needed. They're happy I came back alive.

(I guess it's not common knowledge that I, uh, caused that whole thing in the first place? Wonder if that's The Baron at work again. Such a nice guy, if it's true. Bloody well saved my life, after all.)

Once work was done - had to do a double shift - I went home and found Libby waiting. It's weird seeing her skinny again, 'cause all her fat from the pregnancy is gone. I can put my arm around her waist! Not that I would, 'cause she'd smack me, but y'know. The option's there.

Though I'm not sure if she WOULD smack me. Libby's been really nice since I got back, bringing me stuff in jail and hardly ever swearing at me, and she smiles a lot. Tons of hugs. She even said I can keep you in our cupboard, diary! That's great. It'll be so nice not having to hide you in the rat farms. Don't wanna repeat of that trip, no sir. No more ledger hiding for me.

… though I still have to be a guard. She says she'll beat me if I loaf too much. It's nice to see that some things don't change. It'd be weird if she DIDN'T hit me now and then.

Ahhh. Stretching out in bed, my wife next to me, resting… life is simple.


Wonder how my baby's doing.


Dragomir the Guard

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day Eighty-Five: An exchange

Dragomir. Wake up.

Ow! Why'd you snap on my nose like that, diary! And… are you…?

Look. Outside the bars. And don't talk. Write in the diary. We will hear you.

Oh. A rat. How do you keep messing with my diary? It's mine! Stop it! Making me think it's alive or something. You should be ashamed.

… we do what we must, Dragomir. Just as you do what you must.

O… kay… do we have to talk like this? Can't I just

No! You must not open your mouth. Your guards can't think you're insane. You can't remain locked up here. This is important.

But it's weird! Who the hell carries on a conversation by writing down messages, one after the other? (How are you even doing this without a quill?)

We fear that you might try to escape your destiny, Dragomir, as we have watched you pacing in your cell today. You must not leave this castle.

I didn't want to, you bloody rat! And what's with all this 'we' stuff?

We are we.

What's that mean?


Don't you use an ellipsis on me!

Anyway. You must stay here, and resume your post. And in doing so, you must watch, and learn. You must not be blind to what is happening.

Well if somebody could TELL me what's happening without being so damn AMBIGUOUS, I mean I just wanna be a normal guy with a

We know! We know! And perhaps, one day, your life will be as you wish. For a while, it will quiet. You will enjoy things as they once were. But trouble is coming. Your king is getting in over his head, and there's nothing you can do to stop him.

Then why am I supposed to watch? What am I supposed to do?

Watch. Wait. Look for the one who stands ready to betray you all. Then run.

Guh? What's that mean?

Wait, where are you going? Come back! You gods-be-damned rat! Talk to me!

… I need a longer vacation.

The fuck,

Dragomir the Prisoner

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sorry to interrupt, but...

It's too late for that, Dragomir. You have a destiny. We spoke through a face you knew, with a voice you knew, and told you that which is meant to happen. You can't take it back.

We will tell you more in the days to come. You were sent on your journey for a reason beyond curing your castle.


The Rats

Aww, shit, man, don't tell me that. Don't tell me that!

Day Eighty-Four: Let's review

Not much to talk about today, diary, aside from a few visits from Libby and Robert between their shifts, so I think it's time I addressed all the shit that happened in, what, the last week? It's bloody confusing when I stop to consider it all!

To sum up:

- Somebody cured the castle before me - weeks before me! - and got paid a fortune for it

- The Baron never mentioned to the king that I started the foulfungus thing in the first place, which probably would've gotten me executed - does this mean I have a friend?

- There's some mysterious project going on in the castle

- That may involve my daughter!

- And she's now a Lord Knight! (How long was I gone?)

- The king has a dragon, and he wants to ride it, I think - or ride SOMETHING, which I guess is kinda kingly

- Rats are apparently intelligent, and they may or may not be on my side - the one that went with me has run off somewhere

- Philip is missing, or he hasn't come to visit me

- I'm destined, or something, to stop things that are 'not meant to exist' with some weapon that I… don't know what it is

- I'm 'not meant to exist', which is a mean thing to say

- And all this was told to me by some clawed-hand-ghost-thing in some ruins, far from here, which apparently stays awake (?) on the weekend and speaks with my dad's voice

Did I miss anything? Probably. My life has gotten really complicated. And my solution? I'm gonna ignore it ALL!

My time as an adventurer has taught me that it's not a good idea to get caught up in crazy shit. You know what I mean, diary? There's so much going on that I just can't keep track, and I don't WANT to keep track. I want a normal life again, even if that normal life is boring ol' guarding stuff. That's why I'm not that upset that I'm not a hero of the realm, 'cause I can, now, go back to Dragomir the Guard. Yep, that's me.

Ah. Normal. That will be so nice. Maybe I can stand around and do nothing for the rest of my life. Boring, yes, but sane! SANE, DIARY!

Could use some more hay,

Dragomir the Prisoner

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day Eighty-Three: Comfortable injustice

Right. I've had a long nap, a not-terribly-hot meal from the Beefiary (the Omega Corps guards are pissed that I 'stole' their armour, and I'm pretty sure they're sabotaging meal deliveries) and another visit from Libby. She brought me some hay, so I can hide you in my cell, diary. She's not a douche like that. Hell, she's a lot nicer to me now!

On with the story. After Captain Cedric knocked me over the head, I had a painful rest until somebody woke me up with a bucket of water. When I opened my dewy eyes I was here, in the dungeon. Kneeling in front of the king, a royal guard on either side of me, holding me up. The king didn't look happy - but he usually doesn't look happy, so…I wet myself, just to be certain.

"Is this the man who wrecked Castle FlipFlop with his idiotic shenanigans?!" King Jeffrey bellowed. A big vein stuck out on his forehead, and when I looked at it he slapped me.

"Yes, sire," said The Baron, stepping out from beside us. "Dragomir, was it?"

I nodded.

The king slapped me again. (Didn't hurt, though. He's got some limp wrists. Captain Cedric puts him to shame.) "You scared my children! My court! My dragon! You'd better have a damn good explanation, villain!"

I tried to ask how the king had a dragon, of all things, but he hit me again, so I just sagged.

The Baron came to my rescue. "As I recall, your majesty, Dragomir here was sent out to fetch a cure for the foulfungus outbreak. Weren't you, young man?"

I nodded. Another slap. Part of me wanted to bite the king's fingers, but I knew I'd get skewered on the spot. What the hell kind of hero's greeting was this?!

"That was over weeks ago!" the king yelled. Slap, slap, slap. "I barely even remember what happened!"

"We bought a bottle of cure from a passing merchant. Shady fellow. Cost us a fortune, but it fixed everyone up in an instant. Sent the castle into disarray, though."

"Yes! That damned green tornado thing! What good is something like that if I can't ride it? I can't one-up Gok without an exotic mount! If I can't use one, then I CERTAINLY didn't need a second from THIS fool." Scowling, the king turned away. "Anyway, kill him or something. I'm bored."

Before I could scream that that wasn't at ALL fair, which was truer than anything I've ever known, The Baron ushered the king off to one side. They whispered back and forth for a minute, and though I couldn't hear everything they said, I distinctly heard the words "project", "Lord Knight Eve" and "better things to do."

The king sat silent for a minute. Then, eventually, he nodded, signaled to his guards and left. They dropped me and followed. Before he went with them, The Baron leaned in close and said "You're sentenced to the remainder of the week in this cell. After that, you can resume your old post. Thank you for your diligence, Dragomir the Guard."

So now I'm in jail for a couple days. My body's so sore, even after my rest at June's, that I don't mind. I get lotsa visitors - not all of 'em happy, but still - and I don't have to guard anything! And there's no gobliny nurse tryin' to get all up in that! Yay!

A little miffed that I'm not getting credit for saving the castle but happy to be home anyway,

Dragomir the Prisoner

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day Eighty-Two: The tale continues

Gotta be careful 'bout writing in you, diary. You'll find out why in a minute.

Before I address anything else, I'll finish the thought from yesterday. When I was putting on my clothes, not only did I find my little rat sleeping in my armour, it was laying beside a bottle of pale green, shimmering dust. On it was a note that I'll copy out:


Once you're inside the castle, open the bottle and stand back. Way back. The cure will do the rest.


P.S. I'll see you in a couple months."

Considering she wasn't THERE, I dunno how June got the cure. Since I never picked any. Or went back to her house. I'm surprised she would help me in the first place! And what the hell is that bit about seeing me in a few months?! I don't wanna run across that foul hag again, she was rude.

But yeah. That's that. So I had the bottle, and I had clothes - the Omega Corps armour, which was an added bonus - and I was sitting with the rhino, who guards the merchant entrance to the castle. (The regulars don't go over the Neck. Only the newbies. They remain newbies for the rest of their very short lives, sad to say.) I gave the rhino a bit of grass, scratched behind his ears - he's really quite tame, if you know him - and went down and through the tunnel to the castle. The rhino's the only guard this entrance needs, so I didn't see anyone.

And, by gods, diary, was I excited! I was so damn ready to save the day! I'd been gone for months, and I imagined that the castle would be full of sick people, and then I'd swoop in with my magic medicine and save the lot! I'd be a hero, and get a new job, and not have to guard ANYTHING! EVER! AGAIN! I couldn't wait!

… so, naturally, as soon as I got away from the rough stone and back into the castle PROPER, as soon as I saw the first guard - little Bernard, Philip's replacement, as it happens - I tripped! The bottle went flying, and it smashed, and the powder scattered everywhere.

My heart just about died. I started the debacle with powder, and it would end with powder, too. End badly. I was so distraught in that split second that I didn't even pause to wonder why Bernard didn't look sick.

Then it happened. The dust, rather than hitting the ground, took to the air. It expanded, turning into a small tornado that stormed in the middle of the passageway! Bernard dove for cover as it tore past him, little tendrils of the storm reaching out and touching him, and before I knew it the emerald tornado was sweeping through the entire castle! Curing people!

I thought!

I ran after it, Bernard on my heels, and watched it sweeping in and out of windows, chasing people around, until it finally rose into the sky and dissipated. I was cheering so much, because, by the gods, it had worked. Clearly.

Then I heard somebody saying "Not that thing again!", and I got all confused. Then Captain Cedric, bless his soul, sneaked up on me and clubbed me over the head. Down I went.

That's not the end of the story yet, diary, but I'm locked in a cell right now. I've got a wicked headache. Libby sneaked you down - I, uh, guess she knows about you after all - and I should stop writing before we both get in trouble.

I should probably be upset, diary, but it's nice to be home. The dungeon's not so bad. I have a good view of the treasury, just across the hall (kind of a tease for all the bandits down here), and the guards've kept me fed. I missed yak tarts.


Dragomir the Prisoner

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day Eighty-One: The big reveal?

So I woke up this morning with no clothes on - everything was heaped beside me - with a rhino in my face. The rhino is an acquaintance, so he just licked my face, but it was a surprise.

I'm home. After weeks and weeks, I'm home. How? No clue.


That's not totally true. I have a smidge of a clue. But I only know the how, not the HOW. You know?

I guess I'd better explain. Trust me, this is as confusing to me as it is to you, diary. Probably disturbs me a great deal more, as well. You're an inanimate object. You don't worry 'bout stuff like this.

After that last entry - I need to have a chat with a certain rat who's been holding out on me, I think! - the clean area I was in got really, really cold. It expanded, pulling me towards the centre like some sorta weird vortex. The pedestal shrieked louder and louder, hurting my ears, and the gems popped out of the eye sockets, blazing like crazy, so bright that I had to shield myself -

- and then it all stopped. The crazy wind died, the temperature went back to normal in an instant, and when I dared to open my eyes I found myself in a huge star field. With no floor. No floor! I'd been sucked into the night sky! Really weird shit, diary, I kid you not.

Philip was there. He'd floated in before the vortex started, just staring at me. He was still there, and so were the rats, and everybody was watching me, all flustered and confused… and then everything but Philip - even you, diary - faded. Faded and disappeared. That scared the crap outta me. I thought I was lost in limbo forever or something! What would I do to pass the time?!

But that wasn't the end. Something came out of the stars, a big, twisting, shining claw that slid past me… and touched Philip. His ghost body went all rigid, and then, amazingly, it went back to normal! Completely normal! Well, yeah, he was still all deathly white, but I could see him as though he were just a normal guy again!

Philip opened his mouth, his arms out, the claw touching his back, and I knew it wasn't a man talking. I can't remember exactly what it said, but I'll try and write it all down. I'll at least always remember that it had my dad's voice, amplified so much that my teeth rattled every time it spoke:


That was hard to believe, since I'm always blacked out on the weekends, which sucks 'cause I never get any free time. So I said, timidly, "Is that right?"


He didn't say anything for a minute. Guess he was expecting me to ask about the task. I scratched my armpit instead. When I get nervous, my pits get itchy. It's probably a real medical condition.


"K… k… kowde?"


That made more sense, and I was instantly concerned for Eve, 'cause I got the reference even if I didn't understand what it meant. The thing never mentioned her, though, and I was too petrified to ask anything. (What the hell is 'kowde'?


'Them' is pretty damn vague. For all I knew he coulda meant my wife's family, and they CAN control me. They're all as violent as her. But enough jokes.


This gave me my first chance to speak up, even if I did sound like I was going through puberty again. "But I can't! I can't… I've tried so many times! There's no weapon-"


The hand withdrew, slowly. Philip sagged, and his body began to waver, turning back to its old, ghostly self. Is it weird that I find him LESS freaky that way?

"But where?" I asked, trying to catch Philip's hazy, dead eyes as they faded back to normal. "And who? And why? What the hell are you talking about? Please, tell me!"


And then I was BLASTED, diary, as though I'd been punched in the stomach by the collective force of the universe, BLASTED through the night sky, smashing back down towards the planet… I could see the continents, the expanses of the Imperium, the cluster of settlements where I used to live, the forests, the plains, all of it rushing up to meet me, moving at a billion miles an hour -

- and then I sat up, and a rhino was staring at me, and I was naked.

I guess we're back to where we started.

My first thought after realizing where I was, was, "God dammit, I left the cure behind. I have to walk all the way back to Goblinoster." But I'll talk about that tomorrow. I'm really, really confused, and I wanna go home.


Dragomir the… Guard?

Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm sorry, diary, but you are to be parted from Dragomir again. Just for a little while. He has an appointment over the weekend, and then he will be going home.


The Rat



Well I sure as hell didn't write that! Gah!

When I touched the pedestal the figures started to moan, and all these firefly things whipped out of nowhere and swirled around the now-writhing bodies, and by gods I WASN'T STAYING NEAR THAT so I told the rats to move the fuck out of my way, and now I'm on my butt and watching… uh, what


Stop writing in my book!


Shit, is that Philip?! Now I know how this place opened


Day Eighty: The bodies on the floor

I'm going to keep writing in you as I go, diary, because what's happening is just too weird not to document. And since I don't have a weapon, why the hell not? Can't carry anything else.

I followed the rat through the city for a while, watching it weave in and out of buildings as though it was looking for something. Pretty damn hard to keep up since it's so tiny, but every time I fell behind it'd come flying out of one building or another and chitter at me. I have a weird travelling companion, diary.

Eventually it led me so far away from the entrance to the city that, well, yeah, I don't know where I am anymore, 'cause the buildings are all tall enough to block off where I came from. I was hopelessly lost -

- and then the rat led me to the very back wall, after almost an hour of trailing its wiggly little tail, where I've found… a clean spot. Remember how I said everything else was covered in grime? Well, this spot ain't, and there's this odd light above it that seems to be keeping it completely dirt-free.

That's not the weird part. It's what's ON the spot that I find weird: a pedestal. Made out of bodies.

I didn't wanna go near it at first. Who would? Who in their right minds wants to approach POSSIBLY human corpses, probably hundreds of years old, all bent out of shape and forming a weird little table? With gems for eyes? I know I didn't. But, uh, the rat… the rat insisted.

Or. Um. The... rats... insisted. Big plural. A horde of 'em had built up behind me, and when I tried to step away from the pedestal they rushed forward and… pushed me… like a big, furry hand… at the table. It's so humiliating to be pushed around by rats, and really creepy when they sit back afterwards and stare at you…

Well, yeah. Now I'm in the light. It's warm, which is a nice change from the damp cave, but way closer to the pedestal than I care to admit.

I… I guess I have to touch it? But that's so gross. Will I get all diseased?

Wish me luck, diary. Seriously. I have NO idea what's gonna happen.


Dragomir the Uncertain

Thursday, November 17, 2011


… I just have to stop for a second and say… what the hell is THIS?


Okay, it's biting my toes, I'd better OW

Oh, come on

Huh? Where's my rat going? It keeps stopping and looking at me… like it wants me to follow… gah, I'm so tired, I don't wanna walk anywhere…

Day Seventy-Nine: He's seen the light




Sorry. Should calm down. BUT I FOUND IT!


I was searching the giant/little model city thing for hours. I'm not sure if it IS a model, because everything looks really well lived-in and the place is absolutely huge, but most of the buildings are too dang small for me to explore. The doors are, like, up to my thigh at the highest. I feel like a giant. So I had to crawl around the streets and peer into houses, looking for what I wanted.

This place is great, I should probably add. Really neat. Though everything's covered in dust and dirt and I can't read or even look at any of the little inscriptions on the buildings, not that I'd be able to read whatever they said. Maybe I should ask Robert the Librarian to teach me some ancient languages and give me a brush to clean all this gunk off. That way, if I ever come back, I can find out more about this ancient civilization. Eee, I sound like a scholar.

… wait. Come back? Fuck that! I'm not coming back. Not unless somebody builds a huge tunnel between here and the castle. And that WOULD be pretty neat, diary, but I gotta say that

SORRY, sorry. I'm getting totally off track. Concentrate, Dragomir!

I was wandering through the streets, and eventually I came across this one huuuuuuge building with a hole in the top, and a beam of sunlight shining down on it. I guess it shoulda been more obvious considering the sun doesn't come down ANYWHERE ELSE in this place, but given the weird ghostly glow every corner of the city gives off, you can forgive me for not noticing earlier.

I noticed, when I got closer, that the building looked a little… greener than everything else. So I crawled on top of the big dome thing, careful not to collapse the top (which was easy - these buildings are surprisingly sturdy) and peeked inside. I found a huge overgrown mass of glowing green plants! They look like clovers, only, y'know, glowing and stuff.

And I thought to myself, "Dragomir, is this the stuff you've been sent to find?" And, well, duh, it must be. It must! Nothing else is green in there, diary! I did it! I found the cure to foulfungus!

… only I don't know how much of the plant I NEED. Damn that June for not telling me. But still! It won't be hard for me to take a bunch up to the surface. Piece of cake! Ain't no trap gonna stop THIS fearless adventurer!

I'm gonna get some sleep now, diary, and I'll pick the plant in the morning. Don't know how long it's good for after it's been plucked, and I don't wanna take any chances. A return trip because I screwed up is not high on my to-do list.

Crammed in the middle of a tiny intersection,

Dragomir the Adventurer

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day Seventy-Eight: Ooo, purdy

I shouldn't have bothered stopping yesterday, diary. I was RIGHT on the edge of finding some good stuff. RIGHT there.

The caves - which, I must say, had been really boring up 'til this point, aside from the traps - have all been lit by light sources I can't see. I didn't figure that there would be something shining around the corner from the pit trap thing. So big surprise, this morning, when I rounded one more bend in the cave and found a giant glowing ball!

My first thought was, of course, to turn and run. My little rat blocked the way, though, and it looked at me as though I was retarded for turning back now. The rat has served me well in the past, really glad it came along for the ride, so I timidly turned around and went to the glowing ball.

I got told by a rat. That's something I never expected to write in my diary.

It's tough to describe what I say, but I'll try. The sphere - which floats, did I mention that? - looks kinda like a big, blue fireball, with two rings rotating around the outside. It's not fire, though, and when I came near its pedestal I was surprised to find that it wasn't even warm. The rat ran past me, jumped onto the pedestal and touched the thing, so I figured it was safe. I… touched it.

Nothing happened. My fingers tingled a bit, but that was all. What a boring ethereal fireball. I don't know what that was meant to do, diary, but I'm sure the rat had a good reason. I'll be content with that.

The rat nodded, then jumped off the pedestal and ran out of the chamber. I followed its little feet and found a huge hallway that had obviously been carved by artisans. There are lots of huge columns and reliefs covered in pictures, though everything's so worn that I can't make this from that. Maybe somebody with tools could restore this stuff?

Not my place to think about it. The hallway leads into what looks like a giant indoor space filled with little buildings, kinda like models. Guess I'd better start exploring. I'm actually excited, for once!


Dragomir the Adventurer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day Seventy-Seven: The trap rap

I've hit a snag, diary. Something I didn't expected but probably shoulda, considering where I live: this place has traps. Enough traps that it took me almost two days to find something other than rock tunnels.

Shortly after I wrote in you yesterday, diary, I descended into the tunnel, and I came to a massive chasm with a bridge crossing it. I'm naturally wary of bridges, and I hope you know why by now, but this one looked pretty normal. So I tapped the first board of it with my foot.

The board fell right through the bottom of the bridge. Wasn't rotten, either - it just wasn't nailed down. And when I tossed a rock into the middle, most of the bridge just collapsed. Eep.

Fortunately, my rat had the answer: the rock railings. One on either side, and the strip of stone all the boards had been laid on WAS solid. The rat, being a tiny little bastard, just started walking across one, as though it were a city street. I, uh, didn't have much choice, so I followed its lead, shimmying across, not looking down, thinking of little Eve back home. I probably sweat away most of my body weight in fear and urine.

After that I came to another passage that continued downward, and I followed that for a while - only to, eventually, notice some weird, unnatural holes in the walls. A lot of 'em. I grabbed another rock - rocks are GREAT in these ruins, diary - and when I chucked it past, a crapload of arrows soared out of the holes! Every one of 'em! Eesh.

There was no space at all for getting BY the arrows, and if I'd tried I woulda been skewered in an instant, so I just kept fetching rocks and tossing 'em until the trap stopped going off. Musta been a thousand arrows laying in that little hallway. What a waste. No good to me, though, just like every bloody weapon.

Kept going. Next I ran into a swinging boulder trap, and it took me an hour of pondering to figure out that there were switches in the wall. Then after that there was a poison gas trap, and I ran BACKWARD to get away from it… and then, after… well, I think you're starting to get the point, diary…

By the time I got to the puzzle trap I was pretty tired. And hungry. I ate some of the bread I filched from June's hut, and drank some of the water - I didn't mention it before 'cause I didn't know if she was reading you, diary, and I didn't want her to fry me with her witchy powers or something - and investigated the pizzle: a bunch of rounded stones set in the floor. Looked like any floor in the castle. No OTHER floor in here had been paved, though, so I was suspicious.

Once I was done eating I figured out the trap pretty easy by tapping one of the stones. It fell through almost immediately, plunging into a pit with no bottom I could see. Tried it again with another right in the middle of this section, though, and it was nice and sturdy. So I had to walk a pattern across this stone thing, and not screw up.

So what'd I do? I chucked rocks at the stones, of course. What else?

Eventually I managed to pick out a safe route across the floor, and I veeeeeery carefully crawled my way across. And once I was on the other side, I was so proud of myself that I stomped one of the stones I wasn't sure about… and, uh, all the unsafe ones just fell out of their spots. Whoops. Guess I coulda done that in the first place.

Doing that DID help me out, though, 'cause it revealed a pattern in the floor: two circles, meeting at a central cone thing and stretching to a bulkier half-circle. It looked like something Philip would draw, so it must have been dirty. Why must even ancients be perverse?

I'm tired. Gonna sleep right here, on the other end of the stones. Seems safe. Enough traps for one day.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Monday, November 14, 2011



Calm! Calm down, Dragomir. It's not that bad. You've been in worse situations. Being stuck in a mysterious cave - even if you don't know HOW you got there! - isn't so bad as, say, that time with the bandit.

'cept the bandit was alive, and not some weird spirit thing, and he wasn't going to peel your EYELIDS BACK AND STEAL YOUR BRAIN THROUGH THE SOCKETS

No! Stop, Dragomir. Talk to your diary. Diary will listen. Diary calms you.

I love you, diary. You're my only friend. You and the rat, who is just sitting here on my shoulder as I write, looking around. He doesn't seem afraid. It's hard to tell with something that doesn't have a facial expression, but still. It exudes ratty confidence.

Fear. Fear is the mind killer. (Did I just quote someone?)

So, uh, yeah. I'm in the ruins. Last week I closed my eyes, then when I opened 'em I was staring at a rock wall… not much light, 'cept some coming through the ceiling from… something…? … and then I saw the back of the once-open door of the ruins. Now closed. And there were some fireflies, circling around me… and they zipped down the tunnel and vanished. I could still see their light around a corner.

Haven't followed 'em yet. Legs won't move. Don't wanna go anywhere. Wanna go home.

Don't wanna be an adventurer no more. I just wanna eat some yak tarts and get hit by the captain for slacking and have Libby yell at me. I want the way things used to be, you know? I may be a big whiner these days, but I just want to go back to the way things were!

… which...

Which means I have to find the plants that can cure foulfungus. Which means… exploring these ruins, if June was right.

I just shuddered.

Uh, anyway. I'm only just getting up my courage, so I suppose I'll be exploring shortly. I hope this weird light keeps up so I can write in you, diary. Airing my fears really helped.

My pants are still super damp and probably will be every time I come across something new,

Dragomir the Adventurer

Friday, November 11, 2011


Oh shit, diary.

I woke up inside the ruins.


I peed myself.

I'm going back to sleep. This has to be a dream.

Day Seventy-Five: Ruinous ruination

I was right. I'm not dead. And I found the ruins! I think! Pretty sure. They look all ruinous, so it's a good bet.

The fireflies, or whatever the hell they were, guided me through the dark for… some time, last night. I dunno how long. It seemed like a dream: everything was hazy, and wherever I stepped - and each step was illuminated by the fireflies, which was pretty cool and weird - I landed on firm ground. Not soggy at all. My rat seemed to approve, sitting on my shoulder the whole time (it usually rides in my armour), so I kept on going.

The fireflies brought me into a clearing. The rain stopped overheard, and the fireflies all whipped off to the far side, shining on, well, a ruin. A massive building that's crumbling all over the place, and covered in vines, and about as ominous as a piece of ancient-ass architecture can look. I'd say this is the spot, and the map more or less confirms it.

There's, ah, just one thing I'd been expecting: a closed door. June told me before that only a dead man can open the way to the ruins. She stressed that fact. So I was expecting, like, giant door knockers I'd have to pull on, or a big stone tablet with a puzzle I'd have to solve, or burning torches that I'd have to rearrange into the pattern of a skull, or… or… y'know, something stupid like that.

But, nope. There were doors, but they were wide open. And when I got close, crossing over a crumbling stone road, I realized that they'd been opened recently. The area around 'em was swept clean. Which, ah, means somebody's already inside.

And they're dead.

Or maybe it's another puzzle? How should I know? I'm not smart! I'm just Dragomir, the lazy guard! I don't know this crap!

All the fireflies whipped inside after a few minutes and vanished, so I lost my light source… but the doorway kinda glows. I can always find my way in, no matter where I go in the clearing. But I can't see what's inside.


I'm gonna find somewhere to bed down for the night, diary. I'm not going in until morning. What day is it today, anyway?


Dragomir the Adventurer

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Well that's spooky

I don't think those are fireflies anymore, diary. I got woken up a few hours after that last entry when I heard some, ah, er, moaning sounds.

I peeked outside the log, and I saw a cloud of fireflies hovering nearby, all… pointing… in one direction. The kept swishing back and forth towards this one trail, like they wanted me to follow 'em. They're still doing it, and there's enough of 'em that I have light for this entry. Go figure.

So, uh, I guess… if I don't get to write in you again, diary, uh… if this goes bad… oh hell, who am I kidding, I'll probably survive. I'm not lucky enough to die. That would be too easy.

Day Seventy-Four: Bog slog

Man. I'm all wet again, diary. I'm spending the night in a freaking log, sleeping in my armour, 'cause I don't have anything else to sleep in. I've lost everything I brought. Everything! And June wouldn't give me any replacements, 'cept for some new wading boots! I'm gonna get sick again at this rate!

This swamp sucks. The boardwalks are all rotted out this far in, so I have to either wade through the muck or do little jumps from tree to tree. The jumps, 'specially in ARMOUR, usually don't work out so well. Even my little rat friend is wet, 'cause I keep falling in the muck. (I've got you wrapped up in a big sack I filched from the witch, so you'll be safe, diary. I hope. Don't need you smelling any more like my socks.)

The map June gave me doesn't have a sense of scale, and I suck at directions, so I'm not sure how much further I have to go. I barely even know WHERE I'm going, diary. June didn't describe the entrance to these stupid ruins, and the map isn't very detailed. Just shows a few landmarks to look for. Weird-shaped trees, big rocks, gaps in the swamp, that sorta thing. Not helpful.

Maybe I shoulda stayed in Goblinoster after all. Being a circus attraction and the play-toy of a nurse isn't so bad. At least I got fed. Out here all I've had is a mushroom, and I spent the next three hours throwing up. No more doing mushrooms for me.

Anyway. After many long hours of wet, wet walking, I found this log, and I curled up in it. I'm hoping nothing comes to eat me in the night. There's surprisingly little life in the swamp that I can see during the day. I don't know why. It's kinda creepy. I expected mosquitoes to be bugging the hell out of me, but the most I've seen are little fireflies in the dark.

Sigh. Wandering in the middle of nowhere with only a vague sense of direction? Sounds pretty familiar. I miss guarding stuff. I never needed a map. Cartography is balls, I say!


Dragomir the Adventurer

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day Seventy-Three: The b-word isn't 'bobby pin'

Ahh! All better now, diary. I'm dry, clean, my mood's a lot better, and I'm ready to hit the road. Time to solve this damned crisis that I… started! Yay.

(Half of me doesn't wanna go home 'cause I'll probably be in deep shit. Once he gets better - he wasn't sick when I left but no DOUBT that's changed - Captain Cedric is gonna murder me something good. Bet he'll make me march back and forth across the Neck until it goes off. Then string up my bits in the bailies for everyone to see. When did I become so morbid?)

I should tell you a bit about where I am, diary, since I doubt I'll ever come here again. June's place is pretty spacious, considering it's built into a little tree, and it's got more rooms than I think any noble back home has. She's got weird knickknacks spread all over the place, too: potion bottles, elixirs, TONS of books, staves, cages, tea sets, forms, spoons, knives… shrunken heads… I'll stop there. Point is, this woman has a bit of everything, and since she won't let me go into most of the rooms she probably has more than a bit of everything.

And now she's kicked me out.

Anyway. This is probably the conversation you've been waiting for, diary:

"Dragomir," June said, "you're looking for a cure to foulfungus. Correct?"

"Yep!" I mumbled around a strudel. (She may be a jerk, but June had some really good food.) "You have a tarantula in your hair."

"Don't change the subject." She has a lot of weird stuff in her hair. It's no wonder June lives alone. "The cure is not far from here. In fact, it's within this very swamp."

I hadn't seen much of the swamp yet, since I hadn't left June's home, so that brightened my spirits. "Oh yeah? That's great! Point the way!"

"Don't be so hasty." She rifled through her papers and pulled out an old scroll, spreading it across the table so I could look. "This swamp lies upon the bones of an ancient civilization, Dragomir. There are ruins everywhere beneath it."

"They must be pretty soggy, then!"

June smacked me. I guess I earned it. I think she had some kinda mild poison on her nails, 'cause the cuts won't heal. Weird old bat.

She tapped the scroll. It was a map, leading through the swamp, with a line drawn from her house to a big, red X, right in the middle.

"This," she said, tapping the map, "will take you where you need to go. The ancients who once dwelt here grew the plants necessary for curing foulfungus, and they still grow in abundance below the forest floor. "

But!" she cried, pointing at me and wiggling her finger, the air around her potato-shaped head going dark, "There is a catch! Only the dead may open those lands, and you, Dragomir, are not dead!"

This was true. I cringed, 'cause June is weird and creepy. Seemed appropriate to cringe. "So, uh, what am I supposed to do?"

The darkness disappeared. June tossed the scroll on my lap, got up and walked into her kitchen to make tea. "I dunno. That's your problem. If you get in and find what you need - the plants glow green in the dark, so it's hard to miss 'em - you can bring 'em back here, and I'll brew you up some cure."

Then she turned back. "Oh, you're better now, so get out."

I am now, indeed, out, wandering the swamp. And I'm confused. June wouldn't answer any of my questions! She's not a witch, she's a b-word!


Dragomir the Adventurer

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day Seventy-Two: The great escape

I'm feeling much better now, diary. I think I'm almost ready to go, and good timing, too, 'cause June wants me out of her house. She keeps saying that her 'Debt has been paid', and all that, so I guess I have to leave. I didn't know I'd met this woman before?

'course whenever she says that she says it to the rat, so…

Yeah. I dunno what's going on anymore. Life's so confusing, diary.

I'll tell you about that stuff tomorrow. Today, my escape! If I can… call it an escape, since I didn't really DO anything, myself!

By Friday of last week - hell, maybe it was Wednesday or Thursday, you can't tell how time passes in this bloody town, it's always dark and rainy! - the goblins were bored of me. I had less visitors than before. Only the nurse came regularly, and she started to look a bit more… um… 'wanting', I guess. And grabby. Kinda... butt-pinchy. Ew.

I cried until she left. Good defense mechanism, that, 'cause she got all awkward, 'n eventually she left me alone.

Then I thought about home, and my kingdom, and my family… my little Eve… even you, diary… and I cried for real. Not just a defense mechanism anymore. I was really sad. I didn't think I'd ever be getting out of there, and since nobody would speak English to me I figured I'd be alone forever. Very depressing stuff.

I was still crying when something knocked on my door, something very soft. I tried to peek out at it, 'cause it wouldn't stop knocking, but I couldn't see out the little window, and since nobody said anything I decided to keep quiet 'til it went away. It never did -

- and then, all of a sudden, the door blew open! I went flying 'cause it smacked me in the forehead, and the last thing I saw before I blacked out was a scraggly old woman with a rat on her shoulder, carrying a book.

Yep, you, diary. Dunno how she found you, but I'm glad she did.

And now, here I am, in June's hut, putting you down because the witch is telling me to stop scratching away in you, because she's trying to scratch away in her OWN book, and she says my scratching's a distraction. I think that's called tyranny, diary, but I can't complain. She's liable to turn me into a newt 'n use me in one of her brews. She's a witch, so she MUST have brews.

Sigh. More tomorrow, 'cause I have to leave tomorrow! Hopefully this old hag Better be careful in case she reads this, hopefully this lovely old woman will tell me what I'm supposed to do to cure my kingdom.

Yeesh. I've kinda lost track of what I'm doing out here.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day Seventy-One: Back in the saddle again

Gosh. I was away for a long time. And I messed up on my promise to write in you every day, diary! Now there are all these blank pages… that I… can't write on, for some reason… weird. It's like the page is rejecting my quill.

Still! I'm out. I'm out! I'm so damn glad I'm away from that stupid prison. You don't know how harsh it was in there, diary. So I… guess I'll tell you!

I'm still not entirely sure how I got put there in the first place. The last thing I remember from being a free man was, uh, going into the marketplace to get something to eat. Then I grabbed some random piece of food… and there was a lot of yelling, and…

Well. Next thing I know, I'm chained in this cramped little cell, watched over by three goblins. One of them's shining a torch in my eyes (I don't know why, it was kinda annoying) and asking me all these questions, half of which I couldn't understand because his accent was so thick. I think he just wanted to know why I was there, and he wouldn't accept that the whole castle was sick.

Again, don't remember much. I had a fever. For all I remember, I told the bastard I was a mighty duke from the Imperium. Or a sloth in disguise. Or something else that's improbable and stupid. The possibilities are endless when you're struck with delirium.

Eventually they left me alone in the cell, but not for long, 'cause goblins kept showing up to look at me. I felt like some kinda circus animal. It was awful, diary. You don't know what it's like having people watch your every move! I kinda envy you, 'cause you don't move at all, so eventually people will ignore you and go back to what they were doing! These ones wouldn't bugger off even IF I stayed still!

When I wasn't being watched - even King Gok came to see me a few times, I recognized him from his visit to Castle… Whatever - there was a nurse coming in and out, giving me soup to make me better. They gave me a lot of hay for bedding, so I was quite warm, and I had plenty of food. I think I got the special treatment, though I dunno why.

(The nurse kept watching me, too, diary, but it was… er… a different kind of watching. The kind that zombie princess thing kept doing. I didn't like it. She didn't try anything, though, which is good. She was as attractive as an elephant's butt.

An elephant's butt with an apron. I almost wanna draw that.)

I never did quite kick my sickness, and I still AM a bit sick. Got the sniffles. June's giving me a lot of good herbal stuff, though, which she says'll perk me right up, and her hay is a lot more comfortable than the goblin's hay. I should be good to go in another day.

I'll tell you about the big escape tomorrow, diary. I'm tired. June's nagging me to put you away. I won't argue with her, she looks like a ragged old bush that talks. Hope everyone back home's doing alright - I've been gone a really long time, now.


Dragomir the Adventurer

Friday, November 4, 2011


How the devil did this diary get all the way out here? Does it have a mind of its own now? Perhaps I should wipe these entries from its pages… Dragomir has enough problems without knowing that his book is alive…

Hrm. This is most disturbing.

We have secured Dragomir. We're taking him back to June's home in the swamp. Now that I've rested I commanded more of my kin to come to the city and grab his armour, as well. Hopefully this will be the end of the problems.

Sigh. I pray this man can help us in the end.

tap tap tap


tap tap

I's so bored.

Drags? C'mon, Drags, stop crying. Write in me and you, you feel better! Yeah?

Day Seventy: DRAGS

IIIII foooooound Draaaaaaags IIIIIII foooooooound Draaaaaaaags

'cept he's in some door thinger with big bars, and I can't see him, but I know he's there 'cause he's crying and he smells like home. That's Drags, I know it's Drags.

I bet he would feel better if he saw me.

How do I get him out of there, Diary? I don't know. I guess I'll just sit here and wait for Drags to come to me.

Knock knock, Drags.



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day Sixty-Nine: The big'uns hurt

So some big thing got me. The same big thing I saw outside. Kay, maybe not same thing, but they looks the same. You know? Like me, I looks like other mes, but I'm not them. I'm me.


I walksed into this place, bein' all sneaky and that ninja thingy, and none of the shorties with the green skin saw me. I got under a table, and I said, 'Diary, you are so cool. I wish I could be so sneaky as you.' And Diary said, 'You are, 'cause I'm you, I think.' And I was all, 'You're so right, Diary!'

It was cold there. My face was all chilly, 'n somebody kicked me when they sat down. I fell, 'n I came close to this cage thing with one of the big guys. And he picked me up! Spun me around, he did, and I went all dizzy. Very dizzy.

Then he threw me. I hit the bars, and he picked me up again. And he woulda broke my spine, but I slapped my face on that thingy he uses to pick me up, and he jumped, and I fell, and I hit my face. Ow. Then he tried to stomp me, and the shorty who kicked me yelled at the big guy, and the big guy yelled back, and I ran.

And that was how I got out of that.


I'm in some hallway thinger right now. It goes far, and it's all dark. I keep seeing shorties, but they all doin' that thing Drags does when he doesn't wanna see Libby. One has a bubble comin' out of his nose. I wanna pop it but then it might pop me, and then Drags won't be able to write in me.


Walkin'. I like this hard stuff, it's not all squishy. Which means hard. Hard!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day Sixty-Eight: So many me

Hay! I in place with lots other mes. I try talk to them, but they say, 'Hi, I don't talk', and then don't talk. Won't even say where Drags is. So annoy!

Got found. Tried walk in, tripped. One of small green guys found. Took. Now I in place. What they call? Drags say. He take me to these places before. I saw, other books, not as cool as me.

Ah. Li-brar-ee. That it.

Always weird when a not-Drags picks me up. Not feel right. Even nice queen lady not feel right. And son? Son! He so rough. Gah. I snaps my face in his face next time. Maybe knock his nose froms his cover. That would be much fun.

Drags? Where you at, Drags?

No want get picked up again, so I try hide, like did with ratty. Is some fun, though I wish had company. Company nice, even if company make me feel weird. Like ratty. He writes 'n doesn't even open me. How do? I no no.

Drags is in a dark place. I go find dark place now. I tells you if I find Drags, kay diary? Kay.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day Sixty-Seven: Louts

Hi, diary. Is me, diary. You stills like me? Yah, I likes me too. And you! That's two. And too. Words!

Walked. Little feet are sores, but walked. Gots to find Drags. Almost fell in big goop, but didn't. It excite. Now am on wet soft stuffs again, like when ran with ratty, and it squishes feet. Again.

Don't like this place. Home was dry. Had lotsa friends. Many ratties. Now? Only catties. Don't like catties. Snap face in catty face. Take that, catty!


Keep getting looks. Like they never seen a me afore. Weird! You think, 'Hey, diary, there is many mes. Many many. Why they look so weird?' And I think, 'I no no.'

Hi. I'm diary.

Found big place with lots of horsies. Drags says they smell bad. Me? No nose. I just know. I heards him says horsies smell. I heards him.

Also, big, big, big louts with clubs. Chained to walls. Look so mean, they do. I stay far away.

Drags is here. Big building. I think I go inside now.