Friday, November 2, 2012

Day Three-Hundred-Twenty: Beginning, Friendship, Beautiful, etc.

I have sent the letter that will surely be my demise. I have suggested - nay, requested - that my parents come live in Pubton. I've little doubt that they will come, mother because her little boy is in trouble, father because he wants to prove he's better than his son.

Shoot me now. Crossbow bolt right to the hole in my armour. Before Libby gets to me. She will hate me until the end of time when she finds out what I've done, so soon after she denounced my parents for their sexist idiocy. 

Ugh. I had a hell of a time handing the letter to Robert when I finished writing. It was a more difficult decision to make than whether or not I should descend into the hole and thereby save all my friends, because, just like that, it was a choice that was really no choice at all - except this one involved my father. At least The Baron's a fathomable sort of evil. 

Ultimately I gave the letter to Robert, and he gave it to a person heading out of town, and somehow it will reach my parents in a freakishly short span of time. And then they will come, and my happy life will wither and die.


Yet today was not just a day of doom and gloom. It was surprisingly upbeat by the evening, because, despite my dread, I received a pleasant surprise in the mail, and it was NOT a letter from my parents.

Knowing I couldn't put aside the dread of receiving a response, I decided to sit at the counter in the pub, watching the residents of my town drink and eat and laugh and fight while I waited for the inevitable. And the inevitable did come, but it was not the inevitable I'd expected.

"Howdy," a man said, sliding through the crowd. He wore a wide-brimmed straw hat on his head, the edges tattered and water-damaged, and he carried a large sack over his shoulder. "Dragomir, right? Got some correspondence for ya."

I blinked, set down my glass of water, and stared at the man. I couldn't gauge him properly; his eyes were hidden under his hat no matter which way I tried to look at him. He was watching me, but… not, at the same time. Very creepy sense of disconnect, there.

He held out a clean, crisp envelope, stamped shut with a waxy red seal consisting of two circles, set side-by-side. I turned it over several times, noted it had no name on the front, and looked up to ask the man whom it was from. But I was too late, as his bag was already disappearing into the crowd.

I continued to stare at the letter, not sure if I should open it. I knew it wasn't from my parents. Their envelopes would not be so clean, and my dad used chewing tobacco as his seal. (Seriously. It often doesn't harden enough to work properly. So gross.) I took so long opening the thing that somebody tapped me on the back.

"Ya seem to be caught on a brain fart," Bora asked, leaning over the counter. "Whassat?"

"Letter," I grunted back. "I think. You, uh, know that guy, by any chance? Wears a straw hat, carries a big sack? Didn't recognize 'im. Barely had time for two words 'fore he left."

Bora's face lit up with recognition. "Hat? Straw? Lemme guess, y'can't see his eyes?"

"Yeah. That's him. Who…?"

She brushed back her hair and smiled. "That's Tobo. He's been bringin' the mail for some folks lately. Think he's a merchant, though he never lingers long. Dunno how he makes a profit."

"Oh. Any idea where he comes from?"

Shrug. No clue. Bora went back to serving drinks and dissuading exploratory hands. Eventually, knowing my curiosity wouldn't let me idle for long, I cracked the seal and opened the letter. The following message was written on a piece of parchment in neat, flowing letters.


I know this is a bit strange, so please bear with me. I've been under a lot of stress of late, and drastic times call for drastic measures, as they say. My brother might argue that writing a letter is hardly drastic, but I've always felt that the strongest words are those printed on a page.

I'm not certain how to begin, so I'll jump right into it. I've heard through the grapefruit vine that you, Dragomir the Guard, are undertaking the construction of a town on the Indy Plains. News travels quickly in this world, and your exploits have piqued my curiosity. From what I've heard, you've been through a lot! 

Yet this is not fan mail, nor the idle ramblings of a sage looking for a foolhardy soul to join him on an epic adventure. No, this is, instead, an invitation to continued correspondence, because I, like you, am currently embroiled in the vicious act of birthing a community. I've been thrust into a leadership role that I may not have anticipated or wanted, and I'm not certain how to proceed. Surely you understand the position I'm in!

I do not want advice; I do not want money, or goods, or favours; I do not want an alliance, at least not at this juncture. I am simply an old man, head of a band of confused people, who wants to connect with someone enduring the same troubles. Put more succinctly, I want a weekly pen pal. Someone with whom I can discretely discuss my troubles, swap notes, share grievances, etc. You are the only man in the same position as myself. Fully at your convenience! Send me notes any time, I love to write!

Please, please consider. I know I am a stranger, and I know this is a bizarre request, but I think it will benefit both of us. If you wish to continue corresponding, please give your reply to Tobo the next time he comes along. He's an associate of mine, and can transmit your message to me promptly. Even if you would prefer not to swap letters, please reply - I'd hate to think my gambit got lost in the mail. 

I look forward to your speedy acceptance!

Begging your good graces,

Lord B.T.'

My first letter's waiting for Tobo under Bora's counter.


Dragomir the Pen Pal


  1. Uh oh...the second I saw the picture, dramatic music started playing in my head.

    Though I have to admit, Tobo's eyes/appearance and the mention of the writer's brother did make me suspect it was the Baron writing....but what does the T stand for?

    1. I won't lie. It's nothing more than the worst attempt at subterfuge ever. He reversed the initials of his name.

    2. ...How did I not figure that out? Pretty clever though...I guess.

  2. I KNEW it was him even before the picture. Sneaky bastard!

  3. *Welcome boys and girls, to another episode of: "Crazy Ramblings with SteewpidZombie"*

    Okay, I have a theory...

    DAMMIT ST.ELRED! DON'T FIGURE OUT AND ANSWER MY THEORY BEFORE I DO!... my theory may sound insane, but hear me out! (Or just scroll down the comments to the part where St.Elred or Mr.Bird himself shoots down my idea XD)

    I THINK! That Dragomir WON'T end up doing Mortal Kombat against the Baron, and might actually side WITH him. DUN DUN DUHHHHHHH!

    Crazy...maybe...lacks sense...absolutely...BUT! I can say for certain that Dragomir will, maybe, possibly, definitely, could, somehow, or not, end up supporting the 'Imbalance' vs the 'Balance' the Rats propose.

    1. Seeing as how Dragomir never seems to learn his lessons and often is too trusting with complete strangers, this is MY prediction...Bora could very well be a spy for (lol) Lord B.T. (derp), considering her past experiences with traveler. The Baron, uh, Lord B.T. may simply be asking for correspondence to make Dragomir unwittingly ally with him. Even more so when Bora starts leading him along, talking him into the alliance. I can even bet he'll agree to it because "she hasn't been wrong yet". Then the shit hits the fan and I suspect Robert (maybe even his mom and dad too) will be forced between choosing Drags or Bora...this is only for one part for one arc of the story. WTF Libby, Grayson and June are doing during this shitstorm is anyone's guess...but I suppose in Matt we trust...



    3. I may be a "spiritual leader", but my religion is applied logic (though often grasping for BS and most likely wrong anyway). And on that note...Yes, turn to the logical will accept the plot or die! (we got Deathstar, yeah, we got Deathstar)