Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day One-Sixty-Seven: Barrel the Distracto-Dragon

Welp, I'll give this plan one thing. It got me out of the damn tower. My new location is a liiiiittle warmer - and now I have company that can speak! So there's that.

After the meeting with the rats yesterday, I sent out Barrel in his tiny form to confirm something. And, fortunately, confirmed it he did: there was still one person in the castle… okay, outside the castle… who hadn't been turned into a werewolf. And we needed to get to her, because she MIGHT have known where the kangaroo was hiding.

(In case ya hadn't figured it out, diary, I'm talking about Queen Daena. Amazing how much important stuff revolves around that tiny tree of hers - and it's a really good thing she hasn't been moved inside the castle grounds.)

We had a big problem, though, diary, and I mean that in a literal sense. Barrel is really dang sneaky when he's an itsy-bitsy dragon, and the werewolves don't notice him flitting about at all. Problem is, they're not scared of him at full size anymore, and when we've gone out for flights over the castle the wolves have followed us around like otters chasing a butterfly. I doubt they could best Barrel in a fight, but if I'm stuck in the middle… what happens?

Well. We didn't take the chance, concocting a plan that would get me safely to the queen without jeopardizing her OR me: we used Barrel as bait.

With Barrel in micro-mode we snuck out to the castle ramparts during midday, careful to move only when the werewolves were at their sleepiest. Once we were at the guard's bridge to the barbican, above the Neck (not the Neck itself, I'm hardly THAT desperate), Barrel turned into a fly and buzzed his way over to the barbican to see if there were any werewolves. Came back, motioned that there were. Great.

There are lots of old casks lining the walls that're used for storing animal guts to feed the moat monsters during fair weather, and I hid in one of those to mask my smell. (Don't worry, it was empty.) Then I propped up the lid and watched…

… as Barrel, growing to full size, appeared over the east bailey and roared, hovering as best he could with those ragged wings of his. He breathed fire a couple times, too, which I thought was a nice touch… though I'm pretty sure he set a house on fire. Whoops. Hope no normal humans were in there.

That sight was more than enough to entice the werewolves. Every damn creature with fur woke up and ran for the east bailey, snarling and snapping, and after less than a minute three werewolves - all former guards - came leaping across the bridge to the barbican and down into the main thoroughfare. Within minutes the east bailey was teeming with wolves, climbing onto the houses and apartments to try and get at Barrel as he swooped overhead.

I'll admit, I chuckled. Animals do the craziest things.

ANYWAY. As soon as the barbican was deserted I raaaaaaan my ass across the bridge, heedless even of the icy patches, and onto the barbican. Luckily, it was, indeed, deserted, though there was a lot of wolf hair strewn about the snow. I guess they like sleeping in the cold.

… unfortunately, as I was drinking in these details, I neglected to remember that we guards seldom bother to CLEAN ice off the barbican, as it's fun to skate around when you're bored. So, running full speed, I… kinda… hit a big patch of ice, slid to the ramparts and collapsed over the side of the wall. Whomp! Right into a snowdrift.

(Sorry about getting' you soggy, diary. It was kinda fun, though, so I regret nothing!)

Once I'd extricated myself from the drift I bolted for the queen's tree, praying to the gods that nothing would intercept me on the way - and, for once, the gods listened. Straight line to the tree.

The queen, as I'd hoped, was fine. Chilly, bored, maybe a little grumpy from being attacked by werewolves, but fine. Apparently her own husband had come for her that morning, with a band of followers, and she'd been forced to kick him in the face. That was enough to drive the rest off and leave her in relative peace, though she told me that the occasional wolf comes out to test their luck.

Judging by the flecks of blood in the snow, I'd say their luck is bad.

"Has the kangaroo been out here?" I asked, getting to the point of my visit.

The queen nodded, though tentatively. "Yes… it has… and no, it hasn't. Should we still be calling it a kangaroo at this point? Clearly it was a werewolf all along. She told me as much."

So it was a she! "Well, call her whatever you like, I guess. Just, where is she? The ra… er, I read something in a book that, uh, might help us stop all this, but I really need to talk to her. She can understand English?"

"Yes, perfectly fine." The queen pointed to the castle. "She's in there, somewhere. When she discovered that the castle had been overrun by her former kind, she went charging back in to do… something. The gods only know what. She said she would be back, however, so you're free to stay here until she returns. What was that roar a few minutes ago, by the way?"

So we waited, and chatted, and I told the queen all about what had happened. I guess she didn't get all the details from the kangaroo. She seemed rather miffed that her son would arrange a boxing match, or that I would encourage him into doing it (which I didn't, but, you know - mothers), but all in all she took the potential destruction of her castle rather well.

It's night now, diary. The queen lit a candle, and I'm writing in you while she keeps watch. Kinda shameful that a guard lets his queen take point, but there you have it.

Gods. I hope this dumb kangaroo werewolf girl comes back soon. I wanna get this all over with so I can snuggle with Libby again. Though... if she's not a werewolf anymore… will she let me touch her at all…?


Dragomir the Guard


  1. Oh Queen Daena, how we've missed your thick legs.

    For the next boxing match, I propose Queen Daena vs Eve. Max level fighter or not, I don't know if she could take on those legs.

  2. Being honest, if I was Libby I would punch him even harder than normal for taking advantage of me in my wolfy state. That would of course mean no more snuggly time. :)

  3. It'd be funny if the Kang...former-Kangaroo had to Box her way out of the castle. Werewolves flopping around left and right. (Possibly the 3rd most dangerous woman in the castle afterall. First being Eve and Second the Queen).