This was something I started earlier this year, while I was trying to get my writing mojo going again. I was using Rory's Story Cubes after doing day 1 and 2, I thought; hang a tick why don't I try and get a really short 5-day story out of this. So with no more said, here is day 3, and obviously, just maybe I'll do 4 & 5 before the end of this month.
Dice Days 3
Garjoh wandered through the garden, the light from his lantern reflecting the silver of the olive branches, the shine of the agapanthus leaves and the sparkle of the fireflies. The shadows cast by his lamp stretching and contracting in all directions as he wandered by.
It was his pride and joy; Prince Lukchr and Criluk had entrusted him with its upkeep. He knew he would be ever thankful for their generosity, giving a claustrophobic mountain dwarf a chance. A chance to do something he had dreamt about his whole life underground.
Everything was in order, his celery and carrots safe from the rabbits, the orchid flowers closed for the evening, the cucumbers noisily growing; so noisily he would have to pick them in the next few days and then there was the glowing Trident, it looked beautiful.
Wait a minute? Glowing Trident! That wasn't something he had seen before, yet here it was sticking out of his prize watermelon. This surely could not be good, the only Trident he knew of belonged to an old fisherman who was over on the Bourbon Coast.
He turned and made his way out from the flower beds and ran up the garden path, following the stark white rocks towards the castle gate. Getting to the gate, he quietly explained the situation to his friend Stegle who immediately let him in the small bolt hole the guards used to the side of the portcullis.
Leaving his lantern inside the gate, Garjoh continued on towards the castle. It still amazed him how grand this place looked, even though he had been working at the castle for a good 20 years, every time he came in here, he was amazed at how pristine the palace was. It was as if it had been lifted from the fairytales his mother had told him.
Remembering what he was here for he quickly crossed the fore-court and entered the main hall, only to be greeted by the Sergeant at arms Samgle. 'Garjoh what are you doing here this time of night?'
'Samgle I need to see the Princes, there is something weird in the garden, and I need them to see it.'
'What sort of weird?'
Garjoh paused for a moment, he knew the Sergeant could be trusted, the only problem was that Samgle tended to overreact in these situations and would probably alert the whole household guard, and then keep the princes away entirely. 'Something I must tell the princes in person.'
'Righto' then, let's get going.'
Garjoh dropped in behind the Sergeant, happy that he was going to get to tell, even show the princes his discovery. As the two of them approached the door to the prince's private chambers, the two guards standing outside stood to attention with a brisk salute for the Sergeant.
'Rivers, go tell their Lordships that Garjoh the Gardner is here with an important message, something that can not wait.'
The soldier to the right of the door clicked his heels together, turned passed his halberd to the other soldier, pulled the door ajar and disappeared inside. Not a word said.
Garjoh, Samgle and the lone guard stood in silence waiting. Garjoh worried that the Trident would disappear, he was anxious that he would be dragging the princess out in the middle of the night to see nothing. Yet there was nothing he could do except wait.
After several minutes the first guard returned, took his halberd back, and resumed standing at attention, not a word said. Garjoh understood the protocol, the prince's butler Stecri would come and get them when the princes were ready. Still, this knowledge did not really help his anxiety or concern.
Just as Garjoh started pacing back and forth Stecri popped his head out the door, 'All good gentlemen, please do come in.' Opening the door wide to admit Garjoh and then Samgle.
Garjoh had never been into the prince's private chambers. The room was huge; 30ft square, with 15 ft high ceilings. The top 5 foot of which held a mural that spanned two of the four walls, telling the history of the realm to date; starting with the Prince's grandfather, the founding lord of Ausspa, then their father, the birth of the two brothers and subsequently the death of their mother and father.
Sitting in the middle of the room on two very comfortable looking chairs sat the two Princes. Both informally dressed, having just pulled on some stockings and a loose-fitting cotton top with drawstrings at the collar. Lukchr had pulled on some soft leather travelling boots while Criluk sat barefoot.
'Ho Garjoh, how can we help you at this fine and very late time?' Opened Lukchr. As per usual he started the conversation. It did not necessarily mean he was to lead the discussion, this is something both the Princes where both confident and capable of doing.
With a polite nod hello Garjoh began 'M'Lords, I've made a discovery in my garden that I thought warranted your attention.'
'What?' Criluk, in a deadpan flat voice ', Could be so interesting as it warrants our Gardner visiting us in the middle of the night, with our Sergeant at Arms in tow no less.'
' Well M'Lord, when I was doing my usual midnight review of the garden, you know checking the traps, making sure the rodents had not stolen more carrots and such I came across a large golden glowing trident in my watermelon. I thought you should know, as it may be of interest to you.'
'A glowing trident you say? Where did you say?' Lukchr had a look of worry flicker momentarily across his face 'So a trident, like the one shown on the picture just here?'
'Yes, exactly M'Lord how did you know?'
'Are you sure exactly the same?' Enquired Criluk.
'Come, brother, ol' Garjoh's word is good, I think we need to see this Trident for ourselves.' Not waiting for an answer Lukchr jumped up, brushing past Samgle and Garjoh as he retrieved his cloak from the left of the door and exited the same way Garjoh had entered only moments before. Criluk not even bothering to put on his boots or cloak to follow his brother.
'C' mon then Garjoh, no use standing around, get too and show the prince's what you are talking about.' Samgle bellowed as he too ran after the two princes, bellowing to the two house guards as he exited 'Onwards Men; Onwards.'
Turning Garjoh ran after the fast-growing retinue of princes and soldiers. As he exited palace he was just in time to see a small group of five bolstered by another three guards, Samgle excitedly rousing more as they made their way to the garden.
Word was quickly passed back instructing everyone to clear the way for Garjoh he was to be with the princes, at their side, as the garden was his domain, and he had been the bearer of the news.
As he ran to catch up and then keep up to the long-legged Princes he was amazed to see that Samgle fell in behind them while all of his guards formed a protective phalanx around the princes, they were not going to risk their Lords lives.
'Garjoh, lead the way.' Criluk pausing momentarily to let Garjoh pass.
'This way m' lords, we just need to cut into the garden.' jogging quickly scanning for the right entrance, he knew the garden like the back of his hands, the flower beds laid in a manner to appear ornate, yet confusing enough that any assassin trying to sneak up on the prince's castle would get lost.
'Here t'is m'lords' yelled Garjoh plunging into the garden the way he had left only 10 minutes earlier. Once inside passing down between two beds with high standing crops, one corn, the other sunflowers, pausing only momentarily to make sure the princes were following.
'Faster Garjoh, faster.' Lukchr had caught up, excitedly wanting to see the Trident for himself. In his rush and urging for Garjoh on his short dwarven legs to go faster the lanky prince suddenly found himself and his Gardner tangled together and the two of them tumbled out of the garden row into the vegetable garden.
Lukchr sprawled on his back, arms and legs akimbo slowly gathered himself and sat-up right, there in between his splayed legs was the watermelon with the blue Trident all within arm's length.
Garjoh having first been trampled by the excited princess and then rolled over as they both fell pushed himself into a kneeling position and looked towards the site before him.
'Are you two ok?' Criluk called as he came into the field barely missing Garjoh recovering from the tumble. 'No Lukchr, don't touch it!'
There was a blinding flash followed by a concussion of air that knocked Criluk and Garjoh to the ground. Then an instant oppressive silence, broken only by the Sergeant at arms as he burst into the field.
Pausing momentarily to take in the scene before him. 'Right. Rivers! You and three others take your post, guard the prince. Everyone else out and search for Prince Lukchr.' Turning he knelt to check on Criluk, he was unconscious as was the Gardner.
'Get up to the castle, wake the prince's lieutenant and personal guard, get them down here. Also, let the Sisters know to come down here, they've a prince to tend to.'
Samgle sat back, he'd seen nothing but the flash as he was still back in between the corn and sunflowers. Now he had an unconscious prince and Gardner, smashed watermelon and nothing else.
'I need you to go find Andrut the AleMage he'll know what to do.'
Who is Andrut, well go here Dice - Day 2 - The Ale Mage