Friday, September 14, 2012

Day Two-Eighty-Five: Flight of the Legislator

Balls. BALLS. They caught me. I have to be mayor.

After the suggestion that I lead a community of nobles and… Libby and Edmund… from a few days ago, I went into seclusion. You might remember that from the previous day, diary. What I DIDN'T mention is that seclusion was… uh… a closet. A big closet, but a closet nonetheless. I've slept in rain barrels, so I didn't give a toss about the enclosed space, but I had to be careful not to set any clothes on fire with my magical match. (Yep, still got it. Thanks, Robert, this thing is handy.)

I think better when I'm alone. I'm not much of one for quick thought on the spot. The last time I did anything like that, I led two guards to what I assume was a terrible fate, not to mention died myself. Traumatic, that, y'know? Everything might've worked out better if I'd NOT gone down there.

Or maybe it would've been worse. SHUT UP, diary, I know you're thinking that.

Point is, I wanted silence, and because Libby, Edmund and the nob-mob (that's what I'm calling them now, I think it's a clever name) were all still awake when I began to ruminate, I escaped to the closet. I sat, and pondered, and doodled, and wondered what the hell I would do about the mayor thing.

As I considered my situation, I began to think about what it would mean to create a settlement. Even just a small one! Imagine all the things you'd need!

- Homes, and the materials to build those homes
- A source of food, meaning farmer's fields, meaning farmers, meaning farmers with seeds or animals or whatever
- An irrigation system for the crops or animals or whatever… do you irrigate animals? That's what my dad called it whenever he was watering the bulls
- Roads, even if they are just carved into the ground by wagons
- WAGONS, for carrying things
- Workers - these nobles sure as hell ain't gonna be doing physical labour any time soon
- A little monastery for the obligatory Weekendist sect, which the resident refugee Weekendist has been hinting towards non-fucking-stop - why should I do anything for you when you performed a fake marriage ceremony between Logan and my daughter?! You BASTARD
- Some kinda town hall for meetings, and ceremonies, and parties, and… hm, maybe I could just combine it with the Weekendist shrine… WAIT, WHAT AM I SAYING
- And a billion zillion jillion other things, which may or may not include made-up numbers

That's a lot of stuff, diary, and by the time I hit the workers, and the prospect of going out and trying to HIRE workers with all my… no money… I panicked. I flat freaked out. There was only one option, one course of action that would solve this whole debacle:


I waited over an hour for Edmund and Libby to stop playing her latest board game, and another hour after that for both of them to settle down in their beds and go to sleep. They both bade me good night through the door, and Libby told me not to make too much noise when I came to bed.

Easily done, baby, I thought. Not comin' to bed.

Which, in retrospect, was a scummy thing to think. My wife's pregnant. I assume I'm the father. (Still don't know how this stuff works.) I was planning to abandon her in a city of goblins. It was a horrible plan, yes, but you don't understaaaaaand, diary. I was DESPERATE. Morality had NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, don't you see? I DIDN'T WANNA WEAR THE FLOPPY HAT. NO RELATIONSHIP IS WORTH A FLOPPY HAT.

Once Libby was snoring, I slid open the closet, waited to make sure Libby and Edmund were asleep, and tiptoed over to the door. It was locked, but Edmund showed me how to unlock it whenever I wanna poke around the halls, and I managed to do so without much fuss. Nobody in the corridors when I went out.

That's when caution gave way. I was free. I could go anywhere. The world was my mayorless oyster, and the angular, too-short corridor before me my passage to FREEDOM. So happy was I that I SLAMMED the door behind me and stood, triumphant, with my arms on my waist.

That woke up Libby. And Edmund. And a dozen nobles in the next apartment over. And… a lot of goblins.

Libby yelled from behind me. Nobles entered our bedroom unbidden, curious about the commotion. Goblins poured out of nearby rooms by the hundreds. Or… it might've only been one or two. It LOOKED like hundreds. I panicked, and when I panic, I do dumb things.

… like RUN down the hallway in a random direction. I was uncertain where I could find the stairs. Gok's royal tower is a hell of a lot wider than the king's tower back home, more like a vertical castle in its own right, and I haven't had much of a chance to explore. I only remembered how to go up, to Gok's throne room, and that wouldn't help me a freaking bit.

People followed. Not Libby, 'cause her belly's turned her into a lumbering mass of cravings and muscles, but damn near everybody else. Their footsteps echoed in my wake, undaunted by my skilful attempts to flee down confusing corridors, shepherded by goblin overseers who were clearly glad to have a bit of early-evening fun. Come one, come all! Chase the spooked human! Little pricks.

I was so confused, so lost and so tired that I barely noticed an abrupt change in the scenery as I rounded a corner… a change from black stone to flowing wooden walls… and when I reached the door at the end of this hall, a piece of twisted oak that I should have recognized immediately, I didn't think twice about plunging through. It seemed like a great idea at the time.

I rescinded that estimation of the situation when I stumbled into June's hut, back in the swamp.

Or… not back in the swamp. MAYBE back in the swamp? I have no idea where her stupid hut is, now. Maybe it was never out there in the first place…

The sounds of footsteps behind me faded, and all I heard was the scratching of a quill. June, witch of Goblinoster, one of the most hideous old hags I ever did see, stared up at me from her desk with her squiggly eyes and smiled.

"There you are. I wondered when you'd show up. Have a seat." She motioned to a chair by a roaring fire, one I'd used months before to warm myself after a trek through the swamp.

You don't say no to June. You just don't. I sat.

"You've come a long way since that stupid journey to find aeromoss." She slid her quill into her robes and rolled up a piece of parchment, handing it to her tarantula assistant. "Give that to Robert, 'e'll find a good spot in the library."

I jolted forward. "Robert? He's here?! I've been -"

June fixed her whirling eyes on me. I sat.

"Yes, he's here." She pointed to the opposite wall. "Poor bugger was loopy when he got here. Figured my healing touch would bring him back to the real world. I gave him a whole new… library, to curate, and 'patrons' to keep 'im happy. He'll be fine until you set up an actual library in your new settlement. Thought up a name for it yet?"

My eye twitched. "F… fffffff… no, I'm… I'm not doing that. I'm not."

"Oh!" June cackled, reaching into her hair as if to straighten it. I doubt any living force could make that hair look straight. "I'm sorry. I didn't know. I figured, 'Hey, destiny waits, and calls on Dragomir. He must be ready to deliver.' I guess I was wrong. Fuck destiny, eh? Fuck it!"

I sneered, but I kept the expression to myself. June scares me. She's nuts. Don't wanna rile her up. "I'm not a mayor. I'm just… I'm just some dude. I can't lead nobody."

June clicked her tongue as she rose from her seat, hobbling across the room and over to a teapot covered in green goo. "You can lead. Anybody can lead. These people don't even need you to lead well. They'll handle the tricky stuff. You are simply the rallying point… and, if my suspicions are correct, you're gonna be the bannerman for the inevitable attack."

"Attack? What attack?"

June poured herself tea, offering me a cup. I declined, because hers appeared to be filled with roaches. I remember her tea being so good, back in the day…

"The attack," she said, sitting cross-legged on the floor, "to end all attacks. The attack that'll emulate an assault from a thousand years past. The attack that'll drive back the darkness, 'n restore… balance. Or some shit. Sounds prophetic enough t'be destiny, don'tcha think? Made all that on the spot, I did."

I clapped. She bowed.

"Attack against who, though? And what's that gotta do with building a village?"

"Everybody's gotta start somewhere on army-building." She shrugged, then, leaning close - unusually close, for somebody on the other side of the room - her eyes narrowed, and she smiled. "You know who you have to attack. You're stupid, but you're not that stupid."

No. No, I guess I'm not.

"Besides!" June's body ceased to violate normal physics, and she returned to her former spot, sipping her tea. "I'm coming along for this ride this time. I'll tell you where your dingy settlement has to be, whatcha need to get it running, and how to get the people to populate it. Once all that's set up, I'll be your healer. Gratis. Aren't I nice?"

"G… gratis?"

"Free, stupid. I'll do it for free." She bit her lip. "Aren't I nice?!"

She absolutely was, and I told her that several times to calm her down. I'm glad I only know one witch - two is one too many. Two is TWO too many. Which means ONE is ONE too many, so, y'know… zero witches… that'd be ideal.

"Yes, I thought so, too, myself. Also. Additionally." She cackled again, poured herself more tea, and pointed at the front door. "I have more visitors in the vicinity, but I don't feel like dealin' with 'em. You do it. Consider this your first act of leadership, Dragomir the Mayor."


That's all I managed. June waved her hand, and my chair lifted off the ground and hurtled towards the now-open front door, pitching me back into the hallways of Goblinoster… and right in front of a crowd of familiar humans.

They carried me back to my quarters. Goblins have been posted outside, so I can't escape again - not that Libby would give me the chance. She's tied me to the bed. I can still move around, but only up to five feet away. Auspicious start to my political career.

Balls. If June says it, I'm pretty much committed. I'm a mayor.


Dragomir the M-Word


  1. Doing some reading online, I think I may have stumbled onto something...

    Is Kierkegaard the penguin named after Søren Kierkegaard the philosopher?

    I only stumbled across this when looking up the definition of Absurdism.

    1. He is, in fact. He was originally a villainous foil for Plato, so it seemed appropriate that he get the name of another philosopher. Kierkegaard sounded dastardly.

    2. Well to be honest...Søren Kierkegaard is possibly the most badass/dastardly names on the planet. Heck, it would make Teddy Roosevelt roll in his grave to even hear such a badass name mentioned around his corpse. (Insane comparison, but life is a box of chocolates...or...other movie quotes...).

  2. The situation of building a town reminds me of a certain game called Dark Cloud... For different and in some ways similar reasons. Haha, might have to go play that now.

    1. I've got that game! Never beat it, but I remember enjoying the RPG/town building fusion. I'm sure some of its mechanics worked their way into the second season of Dragomir.