Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day Two Hundred-Seventeen: Betcha forgot about her

Hey, guess what! I made a new friend today, in the not-so-friend-but-more-duty sense! And she's ROUGHLY the size of Eve, so… it kinda counts as a family bonding experience, even if it's not the same family. But my daughter will be marrying INTO the family, so I'll be, like… a step… father… uncle… brothersomething… I dunno.

I'll get to her in a second.

First, the caravan! The caravan's great. I may have made it sound like it's just the Matriarch and a couple wagons, but it's a lot bigger than that. Just peering out one of the windows now, I count over a dozen wagons, a couple soldiers on horses, some carts… it's a big party of people. Really beats walking on your own, lemme tell you.

And there're tons of people! Can't have tons of vehicles without tons of people. Though this started out as an ambassadorial thinger on Evangelina's part, it's expanded to an official visit from all walks of life. A bunch of small-time merchants came along to look for new products in Bottomless, as well as to set up shop, and at least a few peasants tagged along to look for work. I wonder if they'll stay behind…? Wouldn't blame 'em, our castle's not exactly well-adjusted.

(Read: It has King Jeffrey. Bottomless does not. Why WOULDN'T they wanna stay behind?)

Also: Grylock! Yep, like I mentioned yesterday, my gobliny-not-so-buddy hitched a ride. As soon as he heard that Lady Evagelina was engaging in diplomatic nonsense, he wanted in. Guess he figured he could carve out an alliance for the goblins. Or maybe he's spying for 'em. I dunno. He's always been a little sketchy. Gives me someone else to chat with, though, and we're on friendlier terms than we used to be.

We also play cards whenever the caravan stops for a break. He always wins. I think he cheats. I don't know the rules to the games we play, though, so it could just be suckiness on my part. Though if he's not teaching me how to play properly, then isn't he still cheating…?

Bah. Grylock peed on my boots. And used me as a pawn in his scheme to shave King Jeffrey's head. He's a pint-sized jerk. Even if he isn't ACTUALLY cheating, I'll always accuse 'im of it.

Despite the awesomeness of the caravan, I've been more wrapped up in exploring the Matriarch today. My wife has made THE COOLEST DAMN THING EVER. The outside is neat enough, but the guts are amazing! There are a bunch of tiny rooms ringing the edges of the Matriarch where guards (or families) can sleep, and there are scaffolds lining the inner dome that you can climb and walk on! I managed to walk to the tip-top of the Matriarch and peer out the sunroof, I did. Great place.

It's up there that I met my little friend, somebody who I think I've mentioned ONCE in you, diary: Princess Celine.

There's a reason Princess Celine is so oft-neglected: She's really secretive. She only comes out to dance for people, then disappears again. I don't think she's shy - if she were, I never woulda seen her - but she doesn't present herself often. I haven't seen her in months, so there wasn't much point mentioning her 'til today.

Thankfully, she didn't sneak up on me and scare me into falling into the top of the queen's tree. She just appeared on an opposite catwalk, watching me, and came over to talk when she caught my eye.

I bowed, and nearly fell off the catwalk anyway. "Princess Celine! I didn't know you would be here! It's an honour!"

She took off her tiny tiara, mussed with her long, dark hair, and put it back. "Rise, guardsman. Can I call you Dragomir?"

I had trouble hearing Celine's slight voice over the constant rumble of the Matriarch's great wheels, so I moved in closer, dangling my legs over the edge of the catwalk and holding on tight. "Yes, your majesty. You can call me mud, if ya want."

Celine joined me, precariously balancing her shoes on the tips of her toes. "Okay. Mud it is."

I squirmed. "Er, I was… just… joking, your majesty… should you be sitting like this? Your mother - "

"My mother's why I'm here, Mud," Celine cut in. "She wanted me to speak with you in private. She'd do it herself, but it's not possible with your wife's constant socializing."

Had to agree with that. Libby 'n Daena have been chattering away like a pair o' schoolgirls since we left Castle Bonvoyage. I swear, Libby ONLY REALLY SMILES when she's with Queen Daena, and it's still as creepy now as the first time I saw it happen. Maybe they should get married instead.

"Okay. What would her majesty like of me, your… majesty?"

Celine held up two fingers.

I nodded. "Okay…? Two things?"

She nodded. Lowered one finger. "A request. She wants you to watch Lady Evangelina and report any suspicious activity. My ninjas and I will be doing the same. Mother doesn't trust that woman."

"Huh? Ninjas? What's a ninja?"

Celine's finger jabbed upward. I followed it, and in the glint of the sun I noticed a flicker of movement on the top of the Matriarch's dome. Then, blocking out the sunlight above for the brief second, a hand. Waving.

Celine smiled quietly.

"Okay." I peeked up again, but the hand was gone. "I still dunno what a ninja is."

"That's good. It means they're doing their job." Celine's first finger went down, and the second went up. I quickly decided she wasn't cursing me. "A question. Mother needs to know something."

"I'm at her majesty's command 'n stuff," I muttered, rubbing the sunspots out of my eyes. I hate those things.

"Very good, Mud. Mother noticed you speaking with The Baron before we left. What did he say?"

"Huh? Oh. Um." I've had you at my side since we left, diary, so I lugged you out of my pack (don't trust anyone NOT to look in you) and opened you up to check. "Lesse… yesterday… oh, yeah. Pretty much just asked me t'do the same thing. Watch Evangelina, doesn't trust her, yadda yadda."

"Ah." Celine paused. She kicked upward, and one of her shoes sailed into the air. She waited a few seconds, then, without moving her foot, caught it again. Must be like her brother. "Okay. I'll tell mother that. Thank you, Mud."

She got up, straightened her shoes, and began to walk away. I stopped her before she got too far. "Er, your highness?"


"Y'think…" I fidgeted with my armour nervously. S'not the same as asking a favour from Logan, y'know. "Y'think you could call me Dragomir?"

Celine blinked. Then, slowly, she smiled. It wasn't a pleasant expression. "But you said your name was Mud."

Rising lightly on her toes, she danced behind a cannon. When I checked for a trace of her, she'd vanished. Weird kid, that one - though I suppose if she's like her brother, I'd best watch what I write in you, diary. She's liable to sneak a peek. Or seventy.

SO. That's that. I have been officially requested, from all angles, to keep watch on Evangelina. Except from Driscol, and he's not exactly in my good books. I will have nooooooo problem disobeying him, especially if my pals in the nobility are poised to bring him down.

Unfortunately, at least for now, it's kinda TOUGH to watch Evangelina. She's shoved in her own nook of the caravan, one of Driscol's personal carriages, and whenever the caravan stops she stays away from the rest of us. Sticks with Driscol's servants. I doubt she'd let me come snoopin' along under the guise of bein' hospitable, so I'll leave her be 'til we get to… Bottomless…


They've made me into a spy again… NOOOOOOO, MORALITY BREACH


Bah. This sucks. I don't WANNA spy. NO MORE LETTER OPENING

I'm gonna go chat with Libby, diary. Maybe get her to cosy up with Eve a little. They haven't exchanged two words this entire trip! Bugger!


Dragomir the Guard


  1. I bet you my 20 dollars in nickels I didn't!!

  2. Fifth paragragh(didn't count the single sentances as paragraphs), last word...you forgot to put a t in cheating.

    1. Nu uh. DRAGOMIR forgot. His fault. I am absolved. dur

      (Thanks. Sigh.)

    2. Heh, I forgot. Dragomir has a lot on his plate...so he is forgiven.

      (And I promise I am not one of those people who tries to humiliate people because of spelling mistakes, etc. I just figured I would point it out to be helpful... Call me the Spelling Ninja!)

  3. Psssh, how could Dragomir not have seen the Ninjas? They've been in like 27 different comics, you just gotta look carefully. For example, go check the entry "The Ratscovery" (#208) and you can PLAINLY see as clear as day, that there is a ninja standing in the background (He's standing in the dark and blurry spot and waving).

  4. N1nj4 r l337 :-D

    Haven't been able to spot one though.