Friday, November 8, 2013

Day Five-Hundred-Seventy: Oms by moonlight


Seriously! I mean that! EEEEEEEEE!

Perhaps I should explain the use of that letter. Doubtless the myriad readers of this diary - and I'm sure there's at least one right now, there's always one - are curious. Best I satiate that curiosity.

... oh, what the heck. One more time. 


We spent the remainder of yesterday puzzling over the impending capture of the beast. Specifically, we wondered how we could peaceably lure a wild animal with a love of socks to a giant transport some three kilometers away. Grylock suggested a cage; Libby pondered rolling the Dauphine in and having everybody join the fun, exhausted though they are; Fynn gurgled and pooped himself. My suggestion ultimately won...

... and by nightfall we were stalking through darkened rows of argyle trees, each of us carrying a basket full of semi-ripe socks. They smell of lemons when they're semi-ripe; I guess monsters like 'em best that way.

The plan was fairly simple. Once we'd found the creature, Libby, Grylock and I would quietly surround it, preventing escape. Then, before it could freak out, we would present gifts, no less than the thing's favourite food. We would then lay down a trail of socks leading to the Dauphine, hopefully earning the monster's trust in the meantime.

You, dear reader, may now be asking yourself a somewhat vital question: Why would three intelligent adults think that a monster could be tamed by the offering of socks? Well, for starters, we didn't believe it was a monster. Monsters don't eat socks. We figured it was some dumb animal, and, hey, we were right. We also reasoned that, should it prove violent, we could easily get out of its way by ducking through the argyle trees. Not as risky as it sounds...

... and the moment we identified the great hulk, I knew we wouldn't have any troubles bringing it on board.

For once Grylock wasn't the first to spot our target, probably because his nose was too full of lemon freshness to scent it out. Libby did the deed this time, peering down a long row of trees and noticing a pronounced black shape shambling about. It paused, seemed to sniff at a tree, and tilted its massive head to chew at the socks dangling overhead.

Maintaining strict silence we spread out, each of us taking up a safe position some distance from the creature. As we stalked closer, still unseen, I began to notice very specific details, revealed by the moonlight: great, stumpy legs, pebbled grey-and-white skin, small, twitchy ears, a sloping face decorated by curved horns, a metal collar -

When the shock of the discovery hit me I dropped the subterfuge, as well as my basket of socks. No doubt to Libby's horror, I rushed toward's the beast, a big, stupid smile on my face.

That was a dumb idea, of course. Surprised, it wheeled around and knocked me off my feet, roaring. I WOOFED and hit the grass -

- it leered over me, its small, beady eyes scanning -

- Libby screamed a battle cry in the distance, and I heard Grylock's poisonheart leave its sheath - 

- huge nostrils flattened against my chest -

- and, before I could stop it, a big, lumpy tongue rolled out of the rhino's mouth and licked me. I've been trying to get the ropey strands of drool out of my hat ever since.

Libby and Grylock's attack ended immediately when they heard me laughing, and as soon as they realized that this was our rhino, they joined me in surprised delight. Our rhino, the guard of the 'secret' entrance to Castle WhoGivesAShitAnymore, which disappeared over a year ago and hadn't been seen by anyone in all that time. I'd long assumed it was dead, swallowed up by the Non advance or killed by Driscol's mercenary army, but, nope. We figure it's been wandering the world at random like any other rhino, eating people's socks.

It recognized all three of us at once, and, with a little coaxing from our sock baskets, the rhino trotted back to the Dauphine as happily as a puppy. The whole crew was waiting outside to help with the capture (as well as Fynn, no, we didn't take our son monster hunting, thank you), and everybody had a joyous reunion as we appeared with the rhino on our heels. Even Jeffrey, who had the poor thing chained up beneath his castle in the first place, seemed extremely pleased at the rhino's return.

So that's that, really. The mechanism is still busted, but Libby's reinforced the Hamster Wheel to accommodate the rhino's bulk, and it seems perfectly happy to chase a sock on a string all day long. We've planted the sock tree seeds from the owner of the orchard, and they should help us feed the rhino in perpetuity. The Dauphine is back on the road, and we all suspect that it's a teensy bit faster than it used to be, thanks to the rhino's extra girth. We'll have to stop more often when it gets tired of trotting, but I think we can live with that.

Man. The rhino. I love that rhino. Friendliest beast in the world, it is. Bringing it back into the fold, in the Imperium of all places, really made my day. It also gives me hope that we'll eventually come across more survivors from the ol' castle, 'cause lord knows we can use all the help we can get.

In summary:



Dragomir the Elated


  1. Anon called it. Brava. I've been looking for an excuse to bring the rhino back for a long time.