Friday, September 21, 2012

Day Two-Ninety: Bitter farewells

The rain has just stopped smacking the top of the wagon, and the sun's come out. Looking back to the east I see nothing but dark skies and the tip-top of King Gok's stupid tower.

Ahead of us? To the west? The sun. The fading sun, sure, but the sun. It's nice to see it again, after weeks of rain. I must be as pale as a dead man by now. Same goes for the other travellers in the caravan, though, to be fair, the nobles were never that tanned to begin with.

In short, we're underway. Goblinoster is behind us, and our path is plotted towards the borderlands of the Indy Plains. I'm headed home.

True to his word, King Gok had everything prepared when our goblin guards took us out of our chambers and into the muddy streets of Goblinoster. TEN covered wagons sat waiting for us, not the eight I'd requested, and each was laden down with supplies. They were guided by oxen rather than frogs, because as Grylock correctly pointed out, giant frogs don't do so well outside Goblinoster. They need lots of rain to keep going for long periods of time. Hydrates their skin, y'know.

Meh. Oxen for pulling carts. True, they'll be handy for tilling fields in the near future, but… who ever heard of oxen as transportation? Wacky kingdom they've got here… gimme an ostrich or a rhino over an ox any day.

Wonder what happened to the castle's rhino. Poor guy. Hope he's okay. Another potential casualty of… all… that…

There were a few goblin officials waiting to see us off, among 'em King Gok. His attendants carried him around on a sheltered chair, and with good reason - the second he stepped down to address us, a letter fell on his head. June assured him that her spell would wear off within the day, but Gok retained his irritated expression.

"Here ye be," he said, waving towards the waiting caravan. "Everythin' ye asked for. 'n a little more. A few things that'll keep the nobles 'mongst ya happy. Mirrors 'n makeup 'n pretty shit like that. Content?"

I nodded. "Yep. Uh, thanks, your majesty. I, um, I know I… might've… bugged you yesterday - "

"That's a wee understatement, ye puke."

" - but I do appreciate your help. We all do. And, um, once we're all set up, if there's any way we can help ya out, just… let us know, okay?"

King Gok grunted. "Peh. Like as not, you're gonna fail. I'm expectin' as much, no offense. Most settlements get three months off the ground 'fore they crash. Mixture of beasties 'n bad weather crush the spirits outta the dwellers… 'n you don't exactly have a hardy bunch, here."

I looked over my shoulder at the nobles. They'd fled the entrance of King Gok's tower and jumped into the wagons, fearful of the rain. You'd think after several weeks of roughing it they'd be a LITTLE better, but nooooo.

Gok eyed June. She was standing under an umbrella that appeared to be made out of bat wings, her tarantula on her shoulder. "Where, ah, ye plannin' te settle? Just gonna walk 'til ye find a nice spot?"

Knowing the question was asked to her more than anyone, June grinned and shrugged. "I'll just know when we arrive. Don't worry about that. You gonna miss me, O wise and benevolent Gok?"

The king snorted. "Oh, aye, June. Surely I'll miss yer veiled threats 'n mystery potions that only SOMETIMES worked. However will we cope without yer lunatic insights? Dark day indeed." 

"It's always a dark day in this dump," June replied, cackling. "I look forward to drier climates. I'll make sure we find 'em."

"Good for ye." Gok rolled his eyes and turned back to me, whispering. "Watch that one. Don't trust 'er a bit, do I, 'n ye'd do well te follow m'lead."

As if he had to tell me that. I winced and nodded. 

"Well then!" Gok stepped back into his mobile shelter, and a letter bounced off the roof. "Ye'd best be off. It'll take ye a few hours te reach the edge of the rains, 'n I'd advise ye  to get at least that far before night falls. Ye won't enjoy a weekend 'o dark time in the wet. Watch out fer the property o' landed gentry while ye're lookin' for a new home, they won't take kindly to yer encroachin', even if ye only stop for a night or two."

I nodded. Stepped forward to shake Gok's hand (unsuccessfully, he wouldn't touch me). Donned my mayor's cap. Took it off when Gok laughed at me. Libby at my side, I walked towards my caravan, listening to Grylock and Gok exchange goodbyes in their gnarled tongue.


I turned back. Gok was staring at us through the rain - or, more specifically, he was staring at Libby.

"Lass! Might I have a word before ye depart?"

Libby winced, her lips forming into a crooked sneer. I attempted something similar, but I'm not so good at angry expressions. I probably looked constipated.

"Aye, I know, but please!" Gok pleaded, beckoning her forward. "It's my last chance, it is! I want te apologize!"

Libby hesitated. I told her not to fall for it, and she was quite inclined to agree with me.

Gok held up a purse and waved it back and forth. "If ye let me apologize, this purse is yours! It holds one hundred gold! Quite a bargain for observing a bit of contrition from a king, eh?"

I changed my mind on the spot. We need money for supplies. I subconsciously shoved Libby forward a few steps, and though she growled at me, she walked over to Gok's shelter and stood before him, hands on her hips, belly jutted proudly outward. She had no fear of the king, and fully expected a damned good apology. Perhaps with some grovelling included.

Shoulda known what would happen. Gok jumped her. Planted three sloppy kisses on her face, probing her ear with his tongue. Libby must've ALSO expected this, because she managed to snag Gok's tongue between her forefingers and whip it back into his mouth. Gok backflipped off her chest before she could catch him with a punch, threw the coin purse at her, cheekily winked and blew a kiss, and ran back into his tower.

Libby attempted to charge. Grylock, six guards and myself managed to persuade her to change her mind. She's still fuming, as much at her poor judgement and greed as Gok's antics. (Yeah, yeah, I'm no better.)

We left, Libby, Edmund, Grylock and myself in the lead wagon while the nobles wrestled with their wagons to follow. A goblin on a horse guided us through the twisting, spiky streets of Goblinoster, and soon we were free of a loose framework that will, one day, become a massive wall encircling the city. Our guide pointed us towards the Borderlands of the Indy Plains, and we set off in the rain.

And now? A few hours later? Clear skies. We'll keep travelling for a few more hours. It's boring, and Libby's testy after Gok's stunt, but we're on our way. Gods help me, I have so many questions to ask:

- How long will we have to travel before we find a home? Will June only keep us on the move for a few days? Or will she drive us to oblivion and back?
- Speaking of June, where the hell is she? She keeps disappearing. She has her own wagon, but… it appears that her tarantula is steering it… and surprisingly well, I might add…
- Is Robert the Librarian all right? June says she's using him in her own library… so… is he technically along for the ride, or did she leave him back near Goblinoster? I'm afraid to ask…
- Where's Barrel? He's been absent this whole time, and I know I can't turn back to look for him. Will he come find us when he's done doing… whatever he's doing?
- When will the baby arrive? Eve didn't take this long. Maybe Libby was just anxious to spit the little demon out the last time she was pregnant? It was a hell of a lot more raucous than this go…
- What happened to Eve? Is she alive? She fucking better be, or I swear to the gods…
- That The Baron will pay - but what's his angle? What's he up to? Is he planning to invade other kingdoms? He called Eve a general… hrm… is he going to 'persuade' her to do his bidding?
- What are the dark things that have brought my old home crashing down? Will they make life in our settlement a hell? Is the world on the brink of catastrophe?

Questions. Answers better be forthcoming.

Huh. It's been over a year since I started writing in you, diary. Remind me not to be dead the next time you have a birthday. We'll have to celebrate. Maybe we'll have a birthday party for you, once our new house is set up. Can you eat cake? Would you LIKE cake?

Heh. Stupid question. You're just a book. Books don’t eat cake.


Dragomir the Mayor


  1. Reading back to the season 1 finale...I FINALLY UNDERSTAND WHO THE GIANT SPIDER WAS! XD HAHAHA

    I can't believe it took me this long *Facepalm*. Wasn't even on purpose, I was just re-reading to see if I missed a line or two (forgot a few details of the events XD), and I can't believe I finally understand the whole "Libby vs Spider" moment XD

    1. Dunno how THIS entry connected you to that, but I will not complain. See, multitudes of others? This is why you should get the ebook, it explains some things!