Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day Five-Hundred-Seven: The most delightful of men

Harold returns, and he comes bearing good news! Much better news than Evangelina! (Take that, Evangelina! I can have good days too!)

Is it the return of Dragomir? No!

Is it the revelation of his plans? No!

Is it the discovery that the Non have all mysteriously died? No!

Is it the realization that this was all a dream, and I just woke up? I've never owned a diary before, so no!

What is it then, you ask? I'll tell you: the missing half of Pubton has returned!

The wall surrounding Pubton is our most precious commodity at the moment, and most of our energy in the last few weeks has gone towards getting it repaired and improved. Working in conjunction with Queen Daena, who has a surprising knowledge of technology thanks to her time in the Matriarch, I've been planning new ways to Non-proof it. That includes new traps which will stop things that can climb, jump, or fly over the wall. The point is, I've been on the wall an awful lot.

… which isn't a big change from normal. But anyway.

Yet again, I was up on the ramparts with Fred, this time testing a new system of spring traps that should make it much more difficult to scale the wall. I'm not as keen on being the victim of traps anymore, so I was trying to convince Fred to take my place as a testee.

"You'd make extra gold. Hazard pay."

"No thanks, boss. Can't spend gold if'n ya be dead."

"You'd be on the fast track for a promotion. Imagine being second-in-command to Captain Oswald."

"No thanks, boss. I like bein' a grunt. Fresh air suits m'complexion."

"You'd have the gratitude of one of the co-mayors of Pubton. I'd say that's worth a lot."

"Not as much as if you were the ONLY co-mayor o' town, boss. Think that's called 'diminishin' returns.'"

"… I thought I told you to call me 'my lord'."

"Yes, your lord."

"No, no, MY lord. Say my, please, Fred."

"There's a goblin over there."

"Please don't change the subject, Fred…"

"But look, boss, it's a goblin. Got a shock 'o white on 'is head, he does. Like a skunk."

That was enough to change the subject. I peered over the wall, and what do I see emerging from the trees but the familiar sight of a bespectacled little goblin with a pronounced hunch, a blade at his side, and a cranky sneer on his face.

"Grylock!" I cried, motioning for the guards below to open the doors. "Good gods, Grylock, it's a fine day to see your face!"

He gave me the finger. I knew it wasn't a trick at that point.

Grylock wasn't alone. Staggering behind him was almost the entire population of Pubtwon, the lot of them bedraggled and confused, as if recently released from a dream. Grylock later explained, once he was a bit perkier (as perkier as he ever gets), that they'd all woken up in the tunnels of Pubtwon almost a week earlier, the lot of them weak and sickly. None of them remembered what had happened in the last two months, oblivious to the state of bondage they'd been placed under by June the Witch.

(Most were also upset and annoyed that nobody had bothered to come out and check on them. I suspect there's a lingering fear of the mountain amongst those who opted not to go - first a sloth, then a witch, then an army of Non. Not a good reputation.)

Nevertheless, it's an absolute marvel that we have all these people back. Pubton is suddenly much more crowded, and if June's actually gone… maybe we can put the resources of the mines of Pubtwon to real, practical use.

Now we just need Dragomir back.


Harold the Co-Mayor

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