Friday, May 4, 2012

Day Two Hundred: It's about time

Yesterday I asked 'when' Robert's plan, whatever it was, might happen.

Now I know:


Guy doesn't waste any time when he thinks he's got a good idea, I guess. Though given how much it's gonna impact me, I question the 'good' part.

I got called off cockroach duty (the cup didn't refill last night, in case you were wondering - it's the CUPBOARD) to help build stable paths for the Matriarch inside the castle walls. Queen Daena's still kind of new to steering a giant machine of death, and yesterday she accidentally ran over a house. Nobody died, but she's still really, really sorry.

Normally I woulda figured that there would be peasants getting in our way constantly while we guards tried to work, but that wasn't the case. Overall traffic in the castle thoroughfare was down a hell of a lot. By the time we go to making a parking spot in the centre of the castle grounds, the square was practically empty. Very, very strange.

It didn't stay that way, however. We were laying down a bunch of logs to mark out the parking spot when Morris pointed towards the front gates. "Hey, fellas, whassat?"

Captain Cedric was about to tell Morris to get back to work when he, too, noticed what was over there. So did we all. And, lemme tell ya, the sight gave me the heebie-jeebies: it was a mob of peasants, with Robert in the lead.

I've seen many mobs in my day. They're common in this castle. Thing is, MOST mobs are loud, unruly, and self-destructive. They're just as likely to beat up themselves as their actual targets. But this mob was really quiet, really organized, and really, really directed - right at us. No in-fighting at all.

Did I mention they were armed? With pitchforks and torches and shovels and stuff? I thought that only happened when there was a misunderstood monster on the loose.

Burly Captain Cedric remained undaunted. Puffing up his chest, he charged right at Robert, spear ready, and bellowed in his toughest voice: "What's all this, then, eh? What's all this? Explain yerself, y'damned chef!"

Over a dozen peasants tried to swarm in front of Robert, but he held them back. Instead, showing a ballsiness I've never seen in him, he stepped up to Captain Cedric and poked the captain's armour. Then, in a controlled voice, he said:

"Summon the king, please."

That put Cedric out. His frown deepened into a stunned grimace. "'Summon' the king? Who the hell do ya think you are? Get back to the fuckin' Beefiary where ya belong!"

Robert smiled. "No. I want to speak to King Jeffrey. WE want to speak to King Jeffrey. Bring 'im out here."

Cedric protested again, lifting his spear. Peasants swarmed out of Robert's mob towards him, lifting their makeshift weapons against the captain. For once in his life, Cedric looked put out by a combat situation, and though there wasn't a twinkle of fear in his face, he DID seem less-than-certain about his chances. He backed off.

The crowd began to chant. It started as a low murmur, a gentle whisper of various voices in the crowd, then built. Grew. Echoed throughout the castle, shaking the stone halls and dirt roads in every direction. And all of them, now led by Robert, thrusting his fist into the air, said one word, over and over and over again: 'Jeffrey'.

The guards circled in around the mob, per Cedric's instructions, but so long as none of us got too close it was just a standoff. We watched, helpless, as they summoned their king - and he eventually did show up, riding alongside his wife in the Matriarch. It rolled to a stop in the half-finished parking spot and popped open, the top of the clamshell casting a long shadow on everyone.

When Jeffrey came out, he did so with a massive grin, hands in the air. He must have thought they were there to celebrate his glory, 'cause he yelled "That's right! We now proclaim it Castle Jeffrey! You demanded it, loyal citizens! We are genero -"


King Jeffrey rocked backward. He collapsed on the grass. Drips of red streamed down his face, and a pool of crimson tainted the greenery. Daena shrieked.

Yes, somebody had hit King Jeffrey with a rotten tomato.

It wasn't alone. More came. Dozens more. Even rotten fruit, smelly and explosive on contact. In moments Jeffrey was coated with seed-bearing goo, and every person in the mob was laughing at him.

We guards were too stunned to stop them. Even Captain Cedric just stood and gawked.

The king's royal guards rushed forward, joining the regular guards. They pushed the crowd back as much as they could, and three of them shielded the king from further fruity assaults. Lucky thing they did, too, 'cause I saw a couple peasants pulling pieces of watermelon out of their bags. That rind would sting like a bitch.

The top of the Matriarch closed, and the assault ended. I guess everyone likes Queen Daena and didn't want to wreck her ride. But that wasn't the end of the trouble, diary, 'cause when The Baron showed up, huffing and red in the face from sprinting to the square, Robert told him something incredible:

"We're on strike."


That one word… so full of dreadful purpose. So dreadful In its own right!

After speaking, Robert sat and crossed his arms. EVERY SINGLE ONE of his followers did the same. It was creeeeeeeepy.

So… that's… that. For now. The Matriarch retreated, the mob settled down in the castle thoroughfare, and we guards have to keep watch over 'em. We're watching in shifts… 'cause everyone else… has to help out around the castle.

Everything's grinded to a halt. No food, no metalwork, no nothing. Even Libby's stopped working, though that's just because her assistants are all part of the strike. As far as I know, she's in bed right now - and probably not too upset about it, either.

I'm on the east wall, writing by candlelight. I've been given moat monster-feeding duty. Sorry if you smell funky after this, diary.

A strike. Gods above. This could doom us for good.


Dragomir the Guard


  1. Replies
    1. Random nugget of trivia: when I was in my pre-teens I used to read a lot of Marvel comics, and 'Nuff said' came up in dialogue way too often. I had no context for deciphering what it meant, so for at LEAST three years I thought 'Nuff' was an actual person. And he kept saying things.

      True story.

    2. Wow, that's pretty funny. It reminds me of how when my little sister was first learing to speak as a baby, and we were watching 'Cops' on TV. So anyways, my sister hears the 'Bad Boys' song comes on and my baby sister starts trying to sing the song...which she sings as "Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Fwhut Chicken Doo when they come from you".

      It was possibly the funniest thing she ever did as a kid.

  2. What do we want?
    Chicken nuggets!
    When do we want them?

    Aw man, Strikes are awesome. Except for the part where your landlord still expects you to pay your bills. Screw that guy. He's one of them. He 's trying to keep us down.