Friday, June 15, 2012

Day Two-Thirty: Aftermath

Hi. This is Libby.

Dragomir's not writing in his diary today. He's too upset. Something very bad happened. But he wants somebody to write every day, and I could use the practice.

I'm not that good at being emotional in writing, like Dragomir. I'm still getting used to writing. Robert the Librarian is a great teacher, but… I need work. So, um, don't expect me to get too crazy. I'll just tell it as it happened.

Don't worry, husband, I won't read the rest of your diary. Your hissy fits are annoying.

I'm sure Dragomir wrote yesterday that Driscol was caught. Once he got caught, all the bad guys left. I heard they were mercenaries. I guess they don't care anymore if they aren't getting paid. I can relate to that.

King Jeffrey came out of his tower today. He talked as though he led his troops the whole time. I can't say I saw him even once during the siege, but I'm used to King Jeffrey taking credit for everything. Besides, everybody knew it was Dragomir and The Baron who found Driscol and got him locked up. Especially when they were called into the throne room to celebrate.

Yesterday, the throne room was a mess, covered in tables and books and dead people and stuff. Today, it was back to normal. Better than normal, because there were giant banners hanging from the walls that read 'Victory', and the king had ordered a big buffet to be set up for his troops. He was proud of his subjects, for once, rather than getting mad at everybody.

Dragomir and The Baron were the stars of the show. Everyone wanted to talk to them, and everyone was slapping them on the backs and telling them what a great job they'd done. Every noble that went up to The Baron told him that they'd figured Driscol was bad all along. They were glad he was gone. I think they were lying weasels, but that's just my opinion.

The nobles even touched Dragomir. I think that disturbed my husband. He kept flushing in the face, the same expression he gets whenever he wants to have sex. Except, you know, I could tell he didn't actually want to do it with them. Old men aren't really his style… I hope.

(If he'd stop calling it 'cuddling' I might actually do it with him.


No, probably not.)

I stood around watching for a long time, and I got a lot of attention from peasants congratulations me and thanking me for helping them out. We managed to repair a lot of walls and cannons and stuff over the last couple days. I think our work kept the mercenaries from breaking through, in the end. That makes me proud enough without being thanked.

Plus, I don't like people touching me that much. I'm pretty sure I punched a few guys. I'm not sorry I did, they should know better.

The chatting didn’t last too long. King Jeffrey likes being the centre of attention, and he managed it this time by calling Dragomir and The Baron up to his throne. He shook hands with both of them, gave them (small) bags of gold, and officially changed the name of the castle to 'WeWillWeWillRockYou'. I think it's a dumb name, but just about everything Jeffrey does is dumb.

That's right. I called him dumb. Want to fight about it? Trust me, you don't.

(Why am I talking to a diary like this? No wonder Dragomir's crazy.)

Jeffrey wasn't done with just congratulating them. Once he had everyone's attention he signalled somebody at the doors of the throne room, and they burst open -

- and everybody stepped back to make way as Prince Logan led in Driscol the Prisoner.

Driscol was a sad sight. He was completely stripped of his clothing, as naked as the day he'd been born, and covered in chains. Handcuffs bound his wrists, and two heavy balls forced him to drag his feet along the ground. His skin was caked in dry and drying blood. The jester, that penguin with the mustache, hopped around behind Driscol and poked him in the butt with a trident whenever Driscol fell too far behind the prince.

Everybody was laughing at him. I almost felt sorry for the guy. Then I remembered how, once, he'd threatened to have me whipped because one of my assistants was a day late delivering a chair. So I laughed too. Jackass.

Logan led Driscol to the steps up to the throne. The penguin forced Driscol onto his knees, laughing and swearing as he danced around Driscol. Each time he got close, the penguin would peck Driscol, or stab him lightly, or slap him, or do something mean. The count was already covered in wounds from his time in prison, so he must have been hurting bad.

Never cried out, though. Never begged for mercy. Have to give him that much, he was a tough son of a bitch. For a noble.

Jeffrey waved the penguin away, looking like he was going to personally continue the torture. He seemed to decide against it, though, and instead he asked Driscol a question from his throne: "Why?"

The room went quiet. Driscol stared at the floor, weighed down by his heavy chains, probably not sure what to say. Then, after a minute of thinking, he straightened - buck naked, I repeat, buck naked - and addressed everyone. He wouldn't let his chains drag him back to the floor.

"I did it because you are an awful king," he said. "I did it because you don't deserve anything that you have. I did it because you are going to see this realm torched. I did it because I don't want that to happen. Most of all, though, I did it because of him."

Driscol pointed at The Baron. The Baron didn't flinch, though my husband, at his side, did. I worried for his bladder.

"He's protected your ineptitude, Jeffrey. He's kept you in power, even though common sense dictates that you're a madman. He's watched over you, like a father watches over a son, wilfully blind to the atrocities you've committed. Because of that, he's as bad as you."

The Baron stepped forward, ushering Logan back towards his father. "I am loyal to my king. You wouldn't understand that, traitor."

"No," Driscol agreed. He pulled the iron balls on his legs a little closer to the steps. "I wouldn't. I don't. I hope I never will. You think I'm a criminal? I tried to liberate this realm. Had I a fortress, steps from the gates, I could have forced bloodless capitulation. Had I a worker's strike, I could have killed Jeffrey's reign without firing a shot. Had I intelligent, bold friends in the aristocracy, I could have set this realm to rights, rather than letting it totter about as a murderous joke."

The Baron walked down the steps towards Driscol. Soon they were eye to eye, glaring, daring one another to make a move. Even King Jeffrey probably would have admitted that this was their moment, and no one else's.

"Pretty words," said The Baron. "But you've still lost. All your troops are gone. Your lover is hiding like a, heh, cockroach. You have no power. And do you know why?"

Driscol sneered.

"Because you don't understand loyalty to your home. Faulty or not, I love my kingdom," The Baron concluded with a little smile. He turned back to the king. "He is all yours, my lord. The Neck is broken, but I'm sure -"

"Ficus Eider I."

The Baron turned back to stare at Driscol. "Eh?"

The count was mumbling. He'd closed his eyes, and despite the handcuffs he was making strange motions with his fingers, lifting and lowering his hands. "Uric Ides Fie."

The Baron started to laugh. "Why, I do believe I've broken him."

I found that a really strange thing to say, because I'd said almost the exact same thing to Dragomir about our daughter the week before. I think Dragomir remembered it, too, because he was the only one other than me in the room who didn't join in the mocking, watching Driscol chant nonsense.

"Deice Fir I Us, Deuce If Iris, Uric Edifies, Dicier Fuse I, Cruised Fie I -"

The Baron slapped Driscol, laughing harder than ever. "Make sense, man! Go out with some dignity!"

Driscol opened his eyes. Every person who was watching his face stopped laughing immediately, and I found out later, from Dragomir, that there was something terrible in his expression. Something… orange. He said two words:

"Suicide Fire."

And his body was immediately covered in blue flames.

The fire stretched upward and outward from Driscol, a great, burning, blue symbol that flickered into the shape of a tree. It darkened the room, scorching the roof but touching no one… except a single, overweight, balding man.

As Driscol writhed and twitched, caught in the fire, The Baron flew backward. Blue flames licked at his robes, covering his entire body in seconds but harming none of the fabric. It must have been hurting him, though, because The Baron screamed and writhed, rocking back and forth on the floor. Nobody would help him, nobody would touch him, and that horrible moment of indecision lasted… it lasted for a lifetime.

I thought about the time my family house burnt down, when I was a little girl. It was the same horrible feeling.

When that lifetime ended and another began, the flames vanished. Driscol collapsed. He looked perfectly normal, totally unburnt - but stone dead. As one final insult, he landed on the balls shackled to his body, breaking his neck. I heard the crack from twenty feet away. Ugh.

Dozens of people, guards, nobles, soldiers, friends, all rushed in and stampeded over Driscol's body to get to The Baron. He was still wriggling, but much slower, his scream now a harsh whimper that I could barely hear over the shouts of everyone around him. The crowd swallowed him, injuries and attendants and all.

I lost track of the moment after that. There were too many people in the way. I asked Dragomir later on, though, and after a lot of crying, he filled me in. He was one of the first people to reach The Baron, after all…

But not the first. The first was Prince Logan. The Baron had been his tutor for a long time, and I think the old man was the closest thing Logan had to a real father. Logan was real pale, and looked ready to pass out.

The Baron, sobbing and shuddering, managed to put his hand on Logan's cheek. He smiled at his student and said one last thing: "T… there is… no civility… in politics… heh…"

Then he died.

Dragomir broke down after he told me that last part, so I'm not sure what happened next. (He had his face buried in my boobs for almost an hour. My overalls are soaked. Ugh.) From what I've heard since Dragomir went to bed, though, the royal guards came and bore The Baron and Driscol away on their shoulders. One will get a regal funeral, the other… well, I bet Driscol's corpse will be dumped in the moat or something. It's all he deserves.

I didn't know The Baron like Dragomir. I didn't know him at all. Judging by my husband's reaction, he was a good man. Dragomir might be an idiot, but he knows good people.




  1. And now the saddest Dragomir day ever. :(

    I like Libby's writing.

  2. I knew the crap would hit the fan today...Obviously a cur like Driscol wouldn't go down just like that, especially not by himself.

    Also...RIP Baron...:(

  3. So modest, yet she writes better then dragomir does :P

  4. Driscol had a point. If not a rather terrible plan for doing something about it. Siege? Really? You're INSIDE the castle, a respected noble, and everyone around you is an idiot. And you go for a siege. Great plan.

    On the bright side of this, I no longer have to be absurdly suspicious of the Baron! Because he's dead!

    1. I chuckled morosely when reading those comments a couple days ago.

      Alas, poor Baron, you never had a first name.

    2. mean to tell me that wasn't his name? The plot thickens! I knew he was up to something! The kangaroo told me so!

    3. Technically 'The' is his first name. The player hit Enter too quickly. All he got was a blank space where a name shoulda been. And that kangaroo don't know nuthin'.

  5. Driscol had a point up to a point.
    The king is terrible and a moron and needs replacing. But driscol himself is an abusive (of the lower classes) a-hole. He wouldn't be as incompetent but he wouldn't be a better king.

  6. Fully agreed with Mr. T. Tao. Driscol 'could' have been better, but had no loyalty to anyone or anything except himself. Which makes his suicide... at best, odd. Who else is pulling the strings? Are the cockroaches the counterparts to the rats, or are they simply under the control of the rather magical and potentially a ghost now Driscol?

    And what will King Jeff do without someone to mitigate his damages? Will he treat The Baron's death with some degree of honor, will he consider his options, or will he launch a foot first war on every cockroach in a mile of the castle?

    Cliffhangers, many.

  7. Personally I think his suicide made sense. Because:
    1. He had no chance of escape anyways so he was doomed to die.
    2. He preserved his dignity and honor with such a death.
    3. He killed a hated enemy with such a death.
    4. He spared himself a lot of torture with such a death.

    I will agree with your other questions. Especially about roaches.

  8. First: I missed the last three updates due to being busy with my graduation ceremony and final exams.

    Second: These last few updates have been some of the greatest in Dragomir'ian (wonder if that's a word?) history.

    Third: A random idea popped into my head...what if...King Jeffery is the 'Player' *BUH BUH BUHHHHHH!*. Because in my own mind, it'd help explain why the King is such a random douche/always re-naming the castle. (Also, if for some SICK AND TWISTED reason I am correct...PLEASE don't tell me).

    1. Yeah, his Cast page entry mentions he's basically the players Avatar.

      In this way, Dragoland suffers a similar fate to every single nation in Nationstates.

  9. ...I JUST noticed something odd. When Driscol is babbling, every sentance he says is an anagram of Suicide Fire. Probably means nothing now, though.

    1. Mainly a red herring to make Driscol look like the force behind Eve's weird messages. As you said, doesn't mean much now - though I'll probably use similar babbling for the casting of other incantations down the road. Video game spells often have silly names, but that don't mean I necessarily have to make the casting sound silly.