Thursday, December 26, 2013

Day Six-Hundred-Four: The ways of poison

Jeffrey finally stumbled out of bed today. His appearance changed everything.

Up 'til now, as I've mentioned, Queen Daena has guarded her husband like a hawk. No one gets in, no one gets out. Consequently, we've heard nothing from Jeffrey himself, gurgles and vomity sounds aside. Those horrid noises finally ceased 'round 6 pm today, and much relieved was Daena for it.

I heard through the grape vine (it's a small, highly-informative grape vine on the Dauphine) that Jeffrey was up and about again, so I abandoned a frisky wrestling match with Fynn. A good thing, too, as the old man was gettin' his ass handed to him by his much-stronger son. I'm pretty sure wrestling with him in the first place was a bad idea, but, hey. I'm not a wise man.

Jeffrey was sitting against Daena's tree, still looking rather weary and ashen, but otherwise mobile. They were chatting about something, and Daena looked much, much relieved. I greeted them both and sat cross-legged in front of Jeffrey.

"Hey, man. How you feeling? Last I heard you weren't doing so well."

"That's an understatement." Jeffrey burped out a cough. "Ugh. Pleasant. Why isn't Grylock sick like this? He had as much of that wine as me."

"Built up an immunity." I shook my head. "S'one of the few things I've managed to tease out of him. Apparently he's been licking a tiny drop of poison off of his poisonheart each night for months. Makes him very mildly ill, but it's improved his resistance to poisons dramatically. Not sure if he was building up to this stunt or if he just thought it was a wise precaution, but..."

"My lord." Jeffrey swallowed. "Wise. Insane, but wise. Now I'm really wishing I hadn't bared his ass to the western world. Really paying for that one."

"You did what?" Daena asked, peering suspiciously 'round the side of her tree.

"It's a long story. I'll tell you eventually." Jeffrey waved her off, grimacing, and turned back to me. "Where is he? His cabin?"

"Yep. House arrest. Best we can do 'round here, really. Can't get at you. Though -"

"I'd like to talk to him, if I might."

I froze. Hadn't expected that. "You... wanna talk to him? Really? I figured you'd wanna avoid him completely. Thought I'd have to coax you into communicatin'."

"No, I'd like to chat." Jeffrey cleared his throat. (Literally. Phlegm on the ground. No manners. So gross.) "I've put off sitting down with Grylock for a long time. I... owe him. And I'd like to see what this has to do with my son."

That key point which had me curious all week. "Fair enough. What're you gonna say to him, though? Might take a lot to stop him from going after you again. Might not've noticed, but Grylock holds a hell of a grudge."

"We noticed," Daena murmured. I could hear the disapproving frown.

"There's only one thing I can say to him." Jeffrey shook his head. "I'm going to apologize. I'll beg his forgiveness."

Jeffrey was a monarch. He built, led, and brought down a nation. Nor was he a benevolent ruler. I once watched him pitch a guard off of the ramparts for sneezing on Jeffrey's mantle. For someone so tyrannical to fall so far as to beg forgiveness of a would-be assassin... yikes.

The apology comes tomorrow. Jeffrey's asked me to 'adjudicate' the meeting, because he fears what Grylock might do if they're alone together. Hopefully this will set all this shit behind us so we can move on to something more productive.


Dragomir the Wanderer


  1. I'm not feeling bright enough to say anything intelligent, but I really like Jeffery, especially now.

    Also the sides of that poison bottle image do interesting things as I scroll. It looks good, was it intentional?

    1. When I did my first few character popularity contests, Jeffrey got no votes at all. I decided then and there to turn things around and make him a likable character. Been a long, long road.

      The bottle I patterned after a picture of wine I found on Google. If it does funky things while scrolling, the effect is merely an unintentional bonus.

    2. It has indeed. I was always curious about him, if only to hear why he was like that.