Friday, December 7, 2012

Day Three-Forty-Five: It's on

Yep. Full-on rebellion. I didn't know livestock could rebel, but they have. Gods, if it's not a bunch of knight-owned slaves, it's dragon-led animals. 

After yesterday's slaughter-gone-bad, I called an immediate town meeting. Normally we would meet near the golden tree, but a) there's too much snow and b) the animals must've been waiting there a long time, 'cause there's a TON of animal poop where we found them yesterday morning. Thank the gods I've never seen Barrel's poop. It must be enormous. Though I guess it changes with his size…?

Ugh. Move up in the world, talk about poop. If you'd asked me last year what I figured I'd be doing a year LATER, it would not be this, diary. 'course, it was 'round this time last year that I MET Barrel, soooo… guess I shoulda figured the introduction of a freaking dragon to my life would stir things up a bit.

Anyway. Yeah. Meeting. Everyone was legitimately flummoxed as to what we should be doing about the animals. I wouldn't call them missing, per se - there's a LOT of obvious activity in the woods, even if you only watch for a minute or two - but they're removed from our reach. Add Barrel to the equation and a simple hunt-and-capture mission instantly becomes much more complicated, because he's a FREAKING DRAGON.

Opinions as to our next move are varied, as are protests against those same opinions:

"Burn down the forest!"

"No, no! Smoke out the forest!"

"You have to burn it down to do that!"

"Cut off their food supply! We'll starve 'em out!"

"They're animals, you idiot! They can survive on forest stuff!"

"Wait 'em out! It's winter! They'll get cold! Especially the chickens!"

"They can huddle together for warmth! That won't work!"

"Then burn down the forest!"

Enlightened, truly enlightened. The only sensible suggestion I got came from Libby, of all people, who offered what I'd already had in mind.

"Go looking for the witch!" she yelled, playing with Grayson. "She can help. Hell, she hasn't helped us much in a while. When's the last time anyone saw her?"

Collective shrug. Truth be told I haven't seen June, nor spoken to her, in at least a month. That made me mighty suspicious during the animal attacks on our buildings, though what Pagan said made me think it wasn't her responsible for it all. And why WOULD she be responsible? I thought she wanted Pubton to thrive, not die slowly while she hides in her stupid forest hut.

Unless that's part of the plan. Unless the something that's here, which she probably wants, RELIES on Pubton going down the drain. Hrm…

These quandaries have no answer at the moment, because getting in touch with June carries with it the same problem as solving the animal rebellion: Barrel. The dragon is guarding the forest, and without his good graces we can't get anywhere near the place. The bastard has gone from surly to out-and-out vicious.

Here's an example. Earlier today one of the villagers, a former bannerman of Jeffrey's who holds a decidedly-vocal dislike of the king, decided to try and sneak into the forest to grab some mushrooms. There are a few left despite the snow, and they sell well to merchants passing through. Good for stews and brews and the like. Well, this fella took his bugle and sneaky-sneaked his way to the far end of the forest, trying to keep a healthy distance from where people have spotted Barrel with the greatest regularity.

Didn't work. He didn't SEE Barrel, true, but he obviously came close, as a jet of fire rocketed out of the forest and set the poor fella's breeches on fire. He was cursing and swearing and yelping even after he'd dunked his behind into the snow to douse the flames. He ran into the pub and hasn't gone outside since. Now nobody'll go near the forest, 'cause they fear Barrel's fire breath as much as his scaly body and army of animals.

Tired of his nonsense, and hoping to appeal to Barrel's former good nature, I strode out of the pub this evening and trekked through the snow to the edge of town. I knew the animals wouldn't disappoint me in showing themselves, and, sure enough, a group of boars emerged from the trees as I approached. When I reached a comfortable distance from the trees, they stepped back to let Barrel through.

Full-sized Barrel. I don't know how he fits in that forest, diary, I truly do not.

Barrel kept a distance from me, smoke rising out of his nostrils in a silent threat. I took off my hat, a respectful sign, but I refused to bow or scrape in front of him. I was pissed.

"Look, Barrel," I started, eyeing the boars around his feet, "we need these animals. This is, like, what they're for. We gotta survive the winter, and we can't do it without the meat! I know you feel, um, kinship with 'em, 'cause you're also an animal -"

Barrel's right eye twitched, flashing an unmistakable orange. My mouth went horribly dry.

" - but that’s just the way things are in a settlement. It's not like we hate the animals or nuthin'! If I could I'd give them all, uh, jobs! Or something! But they're not really smart, and you gotta be KIND of smart to hold a job, so -"

That was enough preaching for Barrel. He brought his head down at me so quickly that I didn't have a chance of skittering out of the way. Hefting me on his nose he lifted and tossed me almost twenty feet away, where I landed in a deep snow bank. Thank the gods for the changed weather or I might have broken an arm or a leg or something.

Barrel unleashed a line of flame into the sky, roared once, and went back into the forest. His furry entourage followed. I don't suspect they'll grant me another audience, and even if they did, I don't know what to say to encourage 'em to see my point of view. How do you convince somebody that getting eaten is the way to go? 

I have to take a different route, obviously. I have to find out what's wrong here, and why Barrel has orange eyes. Because I suspect that somebody might be influencing him, maybe even without him knowing… and despite the evidence, I don't think it's June. So… who?

I miss my dragon buddy,

Dragomir the Mayor


  1. ...I'm starting to hate Dragons...almost as much as still hate Jeffery more

    1. Poor guy hasn't been in the story for almost five months and he still gets flak.

  2. J...Zzzzzzzz *snort* Wha? I'm up!... zzzDecember 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Animal people.

  3. Here's what ya do: get a group of people with decent throwing and running ability, get them to distract barrel by throwing rocks and running, then run about in the forest until you find June.

    1. Agh! Double name error! You know what, fine! From now on, I am BAORN, The EXPERT CANDLE CRAFTER! Fear my candle of doom, FOR IT BURNS MUCH TOO BRIGHT!

  4. okay, now I'm just completely forgetful. Hello Matt! I've read this story from start to end, and I've quite thouroughly enjoyed it. I can't think of anything else tos, so i'll just patiently sleep until monday. Bye! Zzz

    1. Greetings! Glad you like it. Stick 'round and contribute to the chattings, there is still much story left to be told.