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November 25, 2014 12:55 pm  #1

Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 1 - Sunday

Last night, there was a party to celebrate the first year anniversary of the re-opening of the antique store. It was quite the occasion. All the buildings in Beechwood Cove had been customized in a Ye Olde English motif and all the store owners had dressed up in medieval garb.

I don’t know what Charlie put in the punch, or wassail, or whatever it was supposed to be, but it had made me light headed and giddy. I was feeling quite dizzy when I returned to the shop, and the last thing I remember is looking at the bird perch with the stuffed purple owl sitting on it. That’s probably what triggered the absurd dream I had.

In my dream, a purple owl was peering at my necklace and saying to a young woman who had long brown hair, blue eyes and appeared to be about my age, "I think we’ve found her, milady." Then the young woman and I were sitting on a white unicorn and flying up to the sky, toward a circle of light that was getting smaller and smaller. The owl kept saying "Hurry! Hurry!" The unicorn barely made it through the circle before it snapped shut.

I open my eyes to see blue sky above me and an owl, this time a pink one, looking intently at me. The owl introduces herself as Linea and presents me with a letter. The letter said: Steward, I'm on a journey to make sure Dreadmyre's threat has ended once and for all. I leave the kingdom in your care. Our People will need your guidance and I give my full trust to you. Please look after them. Queen Sophia.

Who is Queen Sophia, who is Dreadmyre, why am I reading a letter addressed to some steward, and where the heck am I?

Queen Sophia had instructed Linea to give me the Castle Key, but Linea lost it. She thinks she dropped it in Forgotten Glen and wants me to help find it. Why not? I can’t spend the rest of the day lying in a field wondering where I am.

We quickly find the key in the Forgotten Glen, and I also find a squabbit that takes a fancy to me. Next stop is the Castle. On the way there, we meet up with a young man aged about twenty-five. He has reddish-brown hair and hazel eyes, and like me, is dressed in clothing suitable for attending a Renaissance fair. He introduces himself as Captain Greg and requests that I come with him to ward off a curse that lingers on the castle.

The Castle is covered with thick vines. Captain Greg believes that restoring the Queen’s Crest will ward of the curse. He looks at me expectantly. I look back, puzzled. What exactly does he expect me to do?

What he expects is for me to give him 500 bolgins. I had been gathering coins in the Forgotten Glen and I offer them to him. He takes some, and voila! the vines disappear. Captain Greg looks pleased and praises me for what I have done.

Okay, what is this place? Some sort of a theme park? Maybe I’ve stumbled onto the set of a reality tv show? I have to admit, they do have good special effects, talking owls, vines that suddenly disappear.

Captain Greg informs me we’ll need to check how badly the curse has affected the Castle interiors. He tells me not to worry because he’ll be right beside me and puts his arm around my shoulders. He’s a fast operator! I inform him I’m not worried at all and remove his arm.

There are less vines on the left side of the Entrance Hall. The Captain believes the curse can be cleared from there by light crystals. He’s heard rumors that some can be found in the Forgotten Glen and suggests we go there and "try our luck." If he thinks he’s going to get "lucky" with me, he’s in for a big disappointment.

At the Forgotten Glen we find the light crystals. As Captain Greg predicted, the crystal removes the curse from the wall. He remarks that luck was on our side, and then asks what the squabbit’s name is. With a mischievous grin, I reply "Lucky". He laughs.

Outside the Castle, Linea is waiting to escort me to Landsong Village. The Mayor of the village wants to speak to me. I am informed that Queen Sophia had plans to restore the kingdom and in her absence that job now falls to me. Resources are needed and the Mayor will accompany me to Mystic Copse and Forgotten Glen (what again?) to look for Golden Oak and Obsidian.

But first, I must supply information for my citizenship papers. Whatever this place is - RenFair, theme park, reality show - they’ve thought of every detail to enhance the experience. I tell the clerk my name: Berengaria Stewart. I’m handed back a document that reads: Berengaria, Queen’s Steward.

At Mystic Copse and Forgotten Glen enough Golden Oak and Obsidian is found to start rebuilding Town Hall. They Mayor gives me 3 blue crystals. Using these crystals will make construction work finish quickly. I ask the crew foreman how long it will take to rebuild Town Hall. Twenty-three hours or, if I pay one crystal, it will be done immediately. I hand over the crystal. The building is done!

Next the Mayor shows me the Landsong Village Pedestal. I need to find the relics which belong in the pedestal to restore the village’s magical nature. He thinks there’s a relic in Mystic Copse. The Mayor also thinks the people need some encouragement and that posters announcing my plans for the Kingdom will do the trick. Poster glue can be found at Forgotten Glen.

This time I head out to those two places on my own. After all, by now I could find my way there blindfolded. I return triumphantly with both glue and relic. When I insert the relic into the pedestal, the grass changes from brown to green and water fills the river and cascades down a waterfall.

Just as I’m about to begin working on the posters the Mayor needs, Linea appears. Seems she lost something again. This time it’s a letter and she’s dropped it up at the Castle. Of course, I’m the one who has to find it. And of course, once I get to the Castle, the letter is in plain sight. I thought owls had good eyesight. Whatever.

The letter is from Queen Sophia. Linea had flown off and told her what a great job I’m doing. Queen Sophia is pleased and pats herself on the back for choosing me. Linea also has a gift for me from the Queen: 3 crystals and 500 bolgins to help defray costs.

I meet another strange inhabitant of the kingdom, a goblin whose job is guarding a door at the back of the Castle. The door is missing some tiles and apparently finding them is task I’m supposed to complete.

Outside the castle lurks a man who introduces himself as a ‘humble peddler’. He’s heard that I’m going to restore the kingdom which pleases him but he warms me to be careful because "there are still some dark forces lurking in the shadows." Right.

I head back to Town Hall to work on those posters. The writing on them looks likes a cross between Cuneiform and the Phoenician Alphabet. It gives me a headache just looking at it. But it must be encouraging because two more residents of the kingdom appear, Blessilda and Quinn.

Quinn is a young boy. He has a pet squabbit named Mr Vanderkins and thinks his squabbit and my squabbit will become friends. Lucky doesn’t look too happy at the prospect. Quinn would like me to give him some golden oak and some obsidian for his ‘secret project’ which is building a home for animals. He wants to include a fence.

Blessilda is a decidedly odd-looking woman, but then again, except for Quinn and Captain Greg, all I’ve met is odd-looking people. She tells me she used to run the General Store in Gobholme but would like to rebuild here instead. She also wants building material and also wants me to accompany her to Mystic Copse and help her search for some ingredients she needs.

I give Quinn and Blessilda the building supplies they asked for. Quinn leaves and Blessilda and I go to Mystic Copse. I have no idea what she was looking for, but she must have found it because we soon head back to Town Hall. I’m really getting tired and I want to go home, home to Beechwood Cove and chew out the prankster who thought it was funny to dump me here while I was asleep.

Captain Greg is waiting at Town Hall. He wants to discuss the crumbling castle walls. Before I can tell him the joke’s over and I’m leaving, somebody named Gobie arrives babbling about a missing forester who was last seen heading to Forgotten Glen and Blessilda is back clamoring for some moonflowers.

Blessilda, Gobie and I go to Forgotten Glen and find moonflowers and the forester’s basket. Gobie claims the thorns in the basket aren’t from the Forgotten Glen and leaves to investigate further. Blessilda and I continue on to the Rose Garden to look for more moonflowers. She asks me what I think about Captain Greg. I tell her I haven’t had much time to think about him or anybody else. I’ve been much too busy.

When we return to Town Hall, the Captain is still there. He’s been joined by Quinn, who is in hysterics because Mr Vanderkins has gone missing and it must be all my fault because Mr Vanderkins followed me to Mystic Copse.

Back I go to Mystic Copse, this time with Quinn. I’m seething. Why couldn’t Captain Greg handle this emergency? Just what does he do all day? Mr Vanderkins has gotten trapped in the hollow of a tree named Mossbeard. We need Blessilda to make us a potion to wake up Mossbeard, Quinn tells me.

Blessilda gives us the ingredients necessary to make the potion, but tells me I need to mix them on the spot for them to work effectively. Quinn and I rescue Mr Vanderkins.

The Mayor thinks plastering Town Hall with posters will encourage residents to come forward with information regarding the missing forester. When this day is finally over, I intend to get plastered.

Posters are duly hung, and Gobie returns. His analysis of the thorns leads him to conclude that the forester went to the Rose Garden. Gobie and I rescue the forester and back at Town Hall, the Forester tells the Mayor, Captain Greg, Gobie and I what happened to him, how he was attacked by a cloaked man casting spells in the forest. Both the Mayor and Captain Greg express concern.

The Mayor, the Forester and Gobie depart. Captain Greg starts talking about the castle walls again. Please, I tell him, just help yourself to whatever you need and point me in the direction of home. I’m tired and I don’t want to play this game any more. He’s clearly perplexed and insists I have to accompany him to the Castle.

Fine. Whatever. Up at the Castle, I hand over the necessary bolgins and building supplies and once again, like magic, the walls are repaired. Captain Greg pronounces the walls an improvement, they’re sturdy, but we can do better in the future.

We don’t have a future, I inform him. I am going home just as soon as I drop off this junk I’ve been carting around all day. The Captain offers to carry some of it back to Town Hall. It’s getting dark and the ground is not level. This time I don’t protest when he puts his arm around me to prevent me from falling.

At Town Hall, we enter the world’s tiniest office. Two desks are crammed in and there’s a storage cupboard equipped with rickety shelves. We dump the junk on the desks. I say goodby, and he offers to walk me home, which is good because I have no idea which way home is.

To my surprise, he heads for Blessilda’s General Store. I insist that I want to go home. He tells me this is my home. As a young unmarried woman, I can’t live on my own and there’s no other place suitable. I’m way too tired to argue. Fine, I tell him. I’ll go home tomorrow.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

November 25, 2014 1:19 pm  #2

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 2 - Monday

Blessilda hadn’t seemed a bit annoyed at having me foisted upon her. Actually, she clucked over me like a mother hen, giving me a nightgown to wear, fixing me a hot meal, and telling me not to worry about my dress, it would be clean and ready to wear by morning. Most surprising of all, she didn’t question me about Captain Greg.

And that gave me plenty of time to think about him. He seemed the most likely candidate to be in cahoots with whoever in Beechwood Cove thought up this incredible prank. And that made me sad, because if I had met him under different circumstances, I think I would like him. A lot. And, so far, in Beechwood Cove I hadn’t met anybody with whom I would care to pursue a relationship.

Blessilda is as good as her word, and my clothes are returned to me freshly laundered. She asks me if I would like to purchase anything from the store, perhaps an energy drink? It seems rude to say no. She urges me to drink it all up. It looks, smells, and tastes vile. Lucky wants no part of it. Smart squabbit. I’ll try to find you a carrot somewhere, I promise.

Next Blessilda drags me off to a place where people can bring various collections of things and exchange them for other resources. Seems I can get ten pieces of obsidian for one set of moonflowers. What the heck, I make the exchange.

Then it’s back to Town Hall for a lecture about the value of friends from the Mayor, followed by an explanation of the postal system by Linea. Maybe if I send a letter to somebody back in Beechwood Cove, they would come get me. It’s worth a try.

In the tiny office at Town Hall, all the junk I found yesterday is now on one desk. That desk bears a name plate reading ‘Queen’s Steward’. It also hold a stack of papers, a fountain pen, a pot of ink, and an ink blotter. The other desk is completely empty except for a name plate reading ‘Captain of the Queen’s Guard’. I can’t think when I’m surrounded by clutter, so I transfer the junk to the storage cupboard and hope that the rickety shelves don’t collapse. I then sit down and look through the papers.

Most of the papers appear to be ‘work orders’ describing the tasks I was asked to perform yesterday. The pile of papers also include the three letters from Queen Sophia and my ‘citizenship’ papers. Captain Greg arrives and tells me I need to write ‘approved’ on the ones that I completed yesterday and to sign my name. I meekly do as I am told and scrawl B Stewart in the appropriate place.

While I do so, he is busy gluing what looks like a map to the wall opposite his desk. Once he’s gone, I intend to have a good look at that map and try to figure out just where I am. For now, I’ll just go with the flow and continue this silly charade. What do you want me to do next, I inquire.

Captain Greg asks why I chose to approve those projects and not his request for trees. Because, I explain as if to a child, your trees are a luxury and the buildings are a necessity. The General Store will bring in revenue, Town Hall houses the government of the kingdom, and the Squabbit Den will keep the pathways free of abandoned animals and hopefully keep Quinn occupied and out of trouble. All your trees will do is shed leaves.

Instead of getting angry, he looks surprised. Oh, I get it, you don’t think I can do this job. Captain Greg admits he thought, rather, he still thinks I’m too young for so much responsibility. And besides, it’s no job for a woman.

Well, you’re wrong, I snap. Back in Beechwood Cove, I was instrumental in rebuilding the entire community. I single-handedly raised over $100,000,000 buying and selling collectibles at auction in less than 9 months. He just shrugs and leaves.

Lucky looks at me dubiously. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little. Then again, maybe not. There was over $10,000,000 in the store’s bank account and I had inventory worth more than quadruple that. Add the things I had bought to fix up the antique shop, the money I contributed to fix up other people’s stores, and the money I contributed to fixing up the town’s infrastructures, and maybe I didn’t toot my own horn loud enough.

Workmen are arriving, so I grab the papers from the desk and get ready to make myself scarce. But first, I need to check that map. Most of the locations on it are labeled ‘off limits’. None of the locations are of places that I had ever heard off before yesterday.

Looking through the papers, I see that I’ll need pet food and poster glue, meaning visits to Mystic Copse and Forgotten Glen. And a visit to the Rose Garden to look for another relic. Who knows what sort of hocus pocus, presto chango will happen when I place it in the pedestal?

The answer to that question is none. What I find is a relic fragment. The Mayor informs me that the relics got destroyed during the wars with Dreadmyre and the pieces scattered around the kingdom. So is everything else, I mutter under my breath, as I head off to see the Squabbit Den and feed the animals.

Quinn thinks I should buy my squabbit something to wear. I choose a brown fedora. Lucky doesn’t look too pleased about wearing a hat so I tell him he looks distinguished and the hat sets him apart from all the other ordinary squabbits like Mr Vanderkins. Lucky perks up.

The work on Town Hall is finished. The office is larger but the storage cupboard still has the same rickety shelves. I cautiously place the things I’ve found today on the shelves, pick up some poster glue and work on another poster for the Mayor. He is pleased with the result.

The Mayor introduces me to Chumblepot who used to be a souvenir merchant but now he has ideas about opening a glassworks shop. Inspired by the posters, no doubt. He’d be even more inspired if I would only find him a Pocket Dragon Egg.

The Mayor also tells me that there are gems hidden in Forgotten Glen which will open the armory at the Fairy Dragon Nest. Is that a fact? How convenient that everybody knows where things landed when the wars scattered them. Might I go look for them? Not until I receive the necessary paperwork is my imperious reply. If these people want to play silly games, they can follow the rules they put in place.

Paperwork is soon received and I set out, with Quinn and Mr Vanderkins, who for some reason want to come along, to look for the gems. Lucky and Mr Vanderkins don’t appear to like each other very much. I admonish Lucky to play nice and stop making things more difficult than they already are.

Gems are found and handed over to the Mayor. Gems and paperwork are handed back to me. It’s my job to open the armory. While I’m there, I can find that egg for Chumblepot. Once again, Quinn and Mr Vanderkins want to come along.

At the Fairy Dragon Nest, the armory is unlocked, I find the Pocket Dragon Egg, and Quinn finds the dragon scales he wanted. Now he wants to go to the Rose Garden to see where the cloaked stranger attacked the Forester. Tomorrow, I promise.

Back at Town Hall, I find ledger books on my desk and a note telling me that they are up to date as of the work orders completed yesterday. All items in the cupboard have been logged as well. The note is signed Captain Greg.

The entries are all neat and written in a clear legible hand. Obviously ‘Captain Greg’ is an accountant in real life, I inform Lucky. This will be a tough act for me to follow without the use of a computer or calculator. Better get started.

I’m still at it, counting on my fingers at times, when the Captain arrives. He looks very tired. It’s time for him to walk me ‘home’. Not necessary, I tell him. It can’t be more than ten steps away. Besides, I’m not finished with the books.

I’m told it is necessary. The last thing he needs to deal with is the cloaked stranger abducting me. I can finish the books tomorrow, I am informed. It’s dark, it’s late, he’s tired, so would I please stop arguing. The sooner we get home, the sooner we can go to bed. I nearly choke, and Captain Greg’s face has turned scarlet as he realizes what he’s just said.

The awkward silence is broken by the arrival of Blessilda. She was worried about me and... Her voice trails off as she looks at me, then Captain Greg, then back at me. I quickly scoop up Lucky, say goodnight and leave, quickly followed by Blessilda. Don’t ask, I tell her, just don’t ask.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 1:39 pm  #3

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 3 - Tuesday

There’s no sign of Captain Greg at Town Hall. Good! Guess he couldn’t face me after what he said last night. Now to finish those account ledgers. No need. The Captain must have stayed late and finished them himself. I revise my guess as to his real job. He’s not just an accountant, I tell Lucky, he’s a government accountant. Probably off somewhere auditing my tax returns.

Now to deal with these work orders. I approve the building of the Glassworks. I’m not sure how selling souvenirs qualifies a person to make stained glass objects, but maybe glasswork was Chumblepot’s hobby. If it doesn’t work out, I can always blame the Mayor.

Speaking of the Mayor, where’s his work order for Town Hall improvements to make things sturdier? Maybe the golden oak and bolgite will be used to make the cupboard shelves sturdier. This one also gets my approval.

I really need to mark these things with the time and date they arrived, so they can be worked in order. I’m used to receiving my orders for collectibles by e-mail which already comes time-stamped, making it so easy to process them first in, first out, provided I have what’s needed on hand.

I know the request from Captain Greg for trees to - how did he put it - provide a ‘little bit of nature to remove the gloomy feel in the castle’ was on my desk yesterday morning. Probably should approve this one, if only to see what trickery is used to make trees suddenly appear - holograms perhaps? I write approved and sign my name with a flourish, leaving the paper on his desk along with 500 bolgins. He can get the golden oak out of the cupboard himself.

Quinn arrives and reminds me I promised to take him to the Rose Garden so he could find Cockatrice Eggs and see where the Forester was attacked. I tell him to leave Mr Vanderkins in the Squabbit Den. We wouldn’t want him to get lost again. Lucky snorts.

Quinn finds an egg. He wants to search for more, but I inform him I already have some back at Town Hall that he can have. When we get back there, I notice that the bolgins and work order I left on Captain Greg’s desk are no longer there. On my desk is a note requesting that I please come to the castle to check out the trees.

Quinn remembers that he has a tile to give me. It looks similar to the tiles on the door at the back of the castle. Good! Now I have another reason to go to the castle. Wouldn’t want Captain Greg to think I was obeying his orders.

This place seems to have run out of special effects. A group of men, stripped to the waist, are working hard digging holes with shovels to plant some very unimpressive trees. Captain Greg is among them.

I grudgingly give him points for working along side of the men he appears to command instead of just standing around and supervising. And more points for being so fit. He’s certainly attracting more than his fair share of admiring glances from the village girls who have come to watch the men work.

He quickly loses those points for failing to notice my arrival. Not that I care, I tell Lucky. He’s a male chauvinist pig. Besides, I’m not staying here. I’m leaving as soon as I can. That kid Quinn mentioned something about his grandfather and a transport system. Maybe that’s my ticket home.

Captain Greg may not have noticed me, but the man who appears to be second in command certainly has. I don’t like the way he’s looking at me and licking his lips. I hurry past the working men and into the castle to check the tile against those already in the door. It matches! I still need to find eleven more before I can open the door and see where it leads.

Outside the castle there seems to be a bit of a commotion. I’m not sure, but I think I hear the Mayor’s voice. Better go check it out.

There’s quite a crowd gathered around the empty pond. Lucky and I squeeze past the gawkers to see exactly what the problem is. There’s a purple orb in the center of the pond emitting a purplish haze. The Mayor is too afraid to check it out and wants me to do so.

I look around trying to find Captain Greg. As Captain of the Guard, checking out suspicious orbs is surely his job. Guess not. Like the rest of the onlookers, he’s staring at me waiting to see what I’ll do.

I cautiously approach the orb and suddenly a cloaked figure rises from it. So this is where the special effects budget went. The Mayor is babbling incoherently about the malevolent orb having cursed the whole pond. Captain Greg looks shaken. The pond is now filled with thick purple vines emitting the same purple haze the orb had emitted. Now what?

The peddler offers his services for free. All I have to do is find the necessary magic items and he’ll dispel the curse. I have some of the things back at Town Hall, but not all of them. So I’ll need to search the Rose Garden, Fairy Dragon Nest, and Ancient Pond.

Quinn thinks he’s seen a light crystal at Ancient Pond, so I take him with me. The crystal Quinn finds turns out to be an ordinary crystal, useless for dispelling curses. I hope the things the Peddler wants work better.

I return to the pond with the requested items, the Peddler performs some kind of conjuring trick and the vines and haze disappear. The Peddler announces that ‘someone’ is not pleased that I am restoring the Kingdom and that I need to keep my guard up. I look in Captain Greg’s direction. The Captain, who has found time to put his shirt back on, is looking intently at the pond.

The Mayor wants me to again search the Rose Garden. Quinn wants me to look for more crystals at Forgotten Glen and Mystic Copse. I need a break from small children so I head for the Rose Garden and find a fragment of cloth that probably was torn from the cloak worn by the man who abducted the Forester.

For some reason I can’t quite fathom, the torn piece of cloth remind the Mayor that there’s a Pearl of Purity hidden at Ancient Pond and it can be used to clear the Mystic Pool at the Fairy Dragon Nest. And guess who he wants to find the pearl and clear the pool?

I’m rather annoyed at the Mayor. That extra golden oak and bolgite he requested was not used to strengthen the shelves in my cupboard. They’re as rickety as before. However, I’m not ready to spend more time with Quinn, so...

Pearl is found, pool is cleared. I also found some glass shards. I seem to recall Chumblepot wanted glass shards. Maybe I’ll visit him before returning to Town Hall.

At the Glassworks, Chumblepot gives me the honor of inserting the final pieces into two stained glass windows. The windows depict various events in the life of Queen Sophia, whose legacy Chumblepot hopes to spread.

Chumblepot is full of enthusiasm for his new career and wants to repair the glasswork panel in the castle, but...he needs help in the form of materials and an expansion to his building. The building is small. Write up a work order and I’ll see what can be done, I tell him.

Back at Town Hall, I check the unfinished work orders to see if there’s anything else I can do, anything, that is, that doesn’t involve Quinn.

The Mayor wants the relics found, but he himself said that would involve keeping my ears open for any clues the residents might drop. Blessilda wants to try her hand at a root-removing potion and needs me to find ingredients. Chumblepot wants to expand the Glassworks and needs glass shards and poster glue to repair the castle’s stained glass panel.

But the oldest work orders are from Quinn and Captain Greg. Quinn wants to find light crystals and to visit the Faire of Lights. He also wants to expand the Squabbit Den. Captain Greg wants to fill the pond and plant flowers.

I approve the expansion of the Glassworks and the Squabbit Den. I then resign myself to looking for light crystals with Quinn. I need to go to Forgotten Glen and Mystic Copse anyway, to get poster glue and pet foot.

The blue crystals at Forgotten Glen and at Mystic Copse also turn out to be ordinary crystals. The trip wasn’t a waste of time, however. I found enough poster glue for Chumblepots and two bags of pet food. Tomorrow, I promise Quinn, we will go to the Faire of Light and you can show me the Wingferry.

And maybe tomorrow I can kiss this place goodby. After visiting the Wingferry, the only work orders left will be the Mayor’s request that the relics be found; Captain Greg’s request to fill in the pond and plant flowers; Quinn’s request for pet food; Chumblepot’s request for glass shards, and Blessilda’s request for moonflowers.

Other than finding the relics, I should be able to finish up everything else before I leave. Not bad for a mere woman, eh, Captain Greg.

Thinking of the Captain reminds me I need to update the ledgers and put the objects found today away in the cupboard. The shelves look ready to fall down so I do a Rube Goldberg with some of the spare golden oak. I then tackle the ledger books.

Captain Greg arrives and goes straight to the storage cupboard, opens it, and bursts out laughing. I’m a financial wizard, not a carpenter, I loftily proclaim. Even more laughter, caused no doubt, by the sight of me once again counting on my fingers.

He opens his desk drawer and hands me a small abacus. I hand it back. Don’t need it, I tell him. Meanwhile, I’m using my tongue and counting my teeth trying to make the numbers add up.

Finally the books balance and I can leave. No need to escort me back to the General Store, I inform the Captain. If the cloaked stranger wanted to abduct me, he would have earlier today when none of the men were willing to examine that orb. Good night!


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 2:32 pm  #4

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 4 - Wednesday

Quinn is waiting at Town Hall, ready for me to go with him to Faire of Light and meet his grandfather, Old Man Seth, who wants to show me the Wingferry. Mr Vanderkins is with him. Lucky squeaks his disapproval. We all have crosses to bear, I tell Lucky. You have Mr Vanderkins; I have Captain Greg.

Alas, the Wingferry is broken. Seth gives me a list of what is needed to stabilize it and repair it.

Glumly, I head back to Town Hall to see whether I have the necessary items. I open the supply cupboard and stare in disbelief. The rickety shelves are gone, and in their place are sturdy new shelves made of smooth golden oak.

Captain Greg’s work, I assume. I don’t know whether to be grateful that I’m no longer in danger from the shelves collapsing on top of me or to be annoyed that once again, Captain Greg has asserted his superiority in being able to do something I couldn’t. Since it’s now unlikely that I will be leaving this place today, I decide to show a little gratitude and approve his request for decorating the pond.

The Mayor stops by to inquire about my visit to the Faire of Light. I explain about the broken Wingferry. The Mayor suggests that I also consider supplying Troglid with the necessary resources to rebuild his carpentry shop and hands me the work order to be approved. I sign it.

While I’m waiting for the Wingferry to be repaired, I might as well take care of Blessilda’s request and find those moonflowers for her. I need a jade one, a scarlet one, and a blue one, meaning trips to the Fairy Dragon Nest, the Rose Garden, and Forgotten Glen.

The potion is a dud and Blessilda now wants Pocket Dragon Eggs, yellow moonflowers and another batch of scarlet moonflowers for her second attempt at creating a root removing potion. This time nothing needs to be freshly found and I can use items from the supply cupboard.

The second potion is not quite there. I need to fetch something, anything, from Mystic Copse. Really, it would be much simpler if somebody would just tell me how to get back to Beechwood Cove. I could stop off at Home Depot on the way and have them deliver gallons of Round Up.

Finally, the potion is finished. I’m to use it on the roots that have overgrown the royal carriage in Forgotten Glen. Blessilda is sure I’ll find something valuable inside. She’s right! I’ve found another fragment of Landsong’s Serenity Relic.

Time to return to Faire of Light and see how the new construction is coming along. I meet Troglid, the carpenter the Mayor told me about, who thanks me for helping him rebuild. Troglid wants to build flying machines. Hmm. Another possible way for me to make my escape.

He needs blueprints, which I can find for him in Apricus Plaza. Only catch is I need a ticket to visit Apricus Plaza and he neglects to tell me where I can get one. Well, there’s another catch. Apricus Plaza is still marked as forbidden territory on Captain Greg’s map. At least it was this morning. Maybe he’s updated the map since then.

The Wingferry is now up and running, somewhat, but it doesn’t go to anywhere I want to go. Well, it does go to Apricus Plaza, but I need a ticket, etc. Old Man Seth has a ticket, which he no longer wants. I can have it...if I can find it. He thinks he may have dropped it somewhere in Landsong Village. He also would like help sorting the gears and machine bits used by the Wingferry. So I sort some widgets.

News of the repairs has spread fast and Seth is already dropping hints that the Wingferry will need to be further upgraded to handle the increased traffic. I utter some vague remarks about looking into the matter and start to head back to Landsong Village. As I leave, I notice that there a purple haze where the orchard should be. I wonder if Captain Greg is aware of this. Oops, forgot. Purple haze doesn’t seem to fall under his jurisdiction.

So what’s left to do? I have the glass shards and poster glue Chumblepot needs to repair the castle’s glasswork panel. He also requested various eggs, which I also have on hand. Might as well deliver them and get two more pieces of paper in the completed pile. And I can ask him if he’s seen Seth’s ticket for Apricus Plaza.

Seth did visit the Glassworks, but he didn’t drop the ticket there. Chumblepot gives me two more order forms requesting more glue, glass shards, and eggs. So yet more trips to Forgotten Glen, Fairy Dragon Nest, Mystic Copse and the Rose Garden.

I ‘ll go to Mystic Copse. If nothing else, I’ll probably find enough pet food to complete one of Quinn’s requests. Correction, when added to the pet food on hand back at Town Hall, I’ve found enough to complete both of Quinn’s requests. So two more work orders filled.

I really should go up to the castle and see if the pond has been filled. And if Captain Greg is there, maybe tell him about the purple haze.

Not that I want to see Captain Greg, I hasten to tell Lucky. But, as Steward, I have an obligation to see that the work orders I approve are carried out. Lucky gives me a ‘yeah, right, pull the other one’ look.

Okay, so I want to see him. I need to thank him for the shelves and...Lucky is still giving me ‘the look’. Fine, you win. I like him. Happy? Not that it matters whether I like him. He obviously thinks I’m an idiot and besides, I’m not likely to see him after I leave here.

But before we go up to the castle, we’ll visit the Squabbit Den. You can play with Mr Vanderkins while I feed the other animals. Lucky is not at all pleased with this turn of events.

The baby animals are really cute and I’m amazed how well they all get along together, especially considering all the different species that Quinn has given a home to. So why can’t Lucky and Mr Vanderkins play nice together?

When I arrive at the castle, there’s no sign of Captain Greg. The pond, however, has been filled in and there’s tiny white flowers growing in the grass surrounding it. Short green shrubbery has also been planted along the pathways. A definite improvement, I tell Lucky.

A voice behind me announces that there’s still so much that needs to be done. Captain Greg has emerged from the castle, and in his hand is what appears to be yet another work order. I sigh and hold out my hand. It’s a request for lamps and repairs to the pathways, which are needed if we want the citizens visiting us.

I’m not sure we want the citizens visiting us, not as long as there’s a cloaked stranger abducting people and a purple haze over the orchard, I point out. We can work on that problem tomorrow, Captain Greg replies. Right now, we’re going to enjoy the sunset.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 2:48 pm  #5

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 5 - Thursday

I’m so glad that I approved the expansion of the General Store. It meant that I had my own small room on the second floor and had a place to hide so that Blessilda couldn’t ply me with questions. And last night, judging by the looks she gave Captain Greg and me when I finally arrived home, she wanted to ask a lot of questions.

Having my own room also means that I don’t have to worry about my glance falling on some unidentifiable object pickling in a mason jar. I, too, could ask a lot of questions, questions I’m probably happier not knowing the answers to.

I had hoped to make an early start this morning. I still had yesterday’s paper work to deal with. I wanted to work on it last night, but Captain Greg needed to return to the barracks and he convinced me to leave it until morning when he’d be able to help me.

However, Blessilda wants to show me the auction. It’s just like the auction at Beechwood Cove except people are buying and selling objects I’ve never seen before. It’s difficult to know how much to pay for things when you don’t know what they are or what they can be used for. But I place a few low bids on eggs and moonflowers and put a puppet up for sale. Whatever happens, happens. I’m in no danger of losing a fortune, but I’m not going to make a fortune either.

When I finally show up at Town Hall, Captain Greg is already there working on the account ledgers. He is not a happy camper and wants to know why I am late. I start to explain about the auction, but he interrupts me and sarcastically asks if I’ve made a million bolgins yet.

I am stunned. I though he liked me. Guess I’m just another name he’d like to add to his list of conquests. In your dreams, Captain! Then I blush, because last night in my dreams...

I inform him that anybody who wants to make a fortune as a commodities trader realizes the importance of studying the market economy carefully before investing large sums of money buying and selling at auction. He gives me a ‘Yeah, right!’ look. Well, I thought it sounded impressive.

Quinn arrives and reminds me that I promised to go looking for light crystals with him. He’s got Mr Vanderkins with him. Play nice, I tell Lucky. Before I go, I make a big show of finding the work order for upgrading the Wingferry and approve it. Maybe an upgraded Wingferry will be able to travel to different place, such as Beechwood Cove. I also make a point of finding Captain Greg’s request for pathways and lamps and leave it at the top of the pile of papers on my desk, unapproved.

Quinn and I find some light crystals at the Fairy Dragon Nest, but they’re cracked. A man named Triffledore offers to repair them but he needs various runes which can be found at the Rose Garden and Fairy Dragon Nest. I’m hoping they can also be found in the storage cupboard back at Town Hall.

The office is empty. Captain Greg has gone off somewhere. No doubt he’s very busy doing whatever it is he does when he’s not yanking my chain.

I’ve got some, but not all, of the runes needed by Triffledore. Before I go search for the rest of the, I’ll talk to the Mayor and see if I can find Seth’s ticket. The Mayor asks me to assemble a poster and tells me that Seth did visit Town Hall, but he didn’t leave any ticket behind.

I speak to Seth, who claims he visited Mystic Copse, the Rose Garden and Ancient Pond recently. It’s possible he dropped the ticket at one of those places. I don’t mind searching those places for the ticket. Various other people have asked me for various other things found in those locations and I really want that ticket.

The ticket wasn’t dropped in any of those places, but checking my stock reveals that I now have everything Triffledore requested so that he could repair the broken light crystals.

With the repaired crystals, I follow Triffledore up to the castle. Captain Greg and some other soldiers are busy removing rubble from in front of the castle’s windows. We avoid making eye contact. Once again, his burly second in command makes me feel uncomfortable with the way he looks at me.

Inside the castle, the light crystals do their magic and the curse is lifted from the remaining wall of the Entrance Hall. Underneath all those vines are a tattered tapestry and a ripped painting. So now I need the skills of an artist and a weaver as well as a stained glass expert.

Quinn had mentioned that his grandfather has been getting forgetful and absentminded. Maybe the ticket is with all those widgets and doodads that need to be repaired. I’ll go to the Rose Garden and get some toolboxes and then visit the Wingferry. Construction should be finished by now and maybe the departure timetable has been updated and new destinations added.

No new destinations, and there’s no sign of a ticket among the widgets. Where to look next? Troglid mentions that he saw Seth stashing some items at a stone wall at the Ancient Pond not too long ago. I’ll need a key to open the wall and perhaps Seth dropped it in the Rose Garden.

I feel like I’m going in circles but I need that ticket, so I make another trip to the Rose Garden, where I find the key, and another trip to Ancient Pond where I finally find the ticket.

Now all I need is for Captain Greg to declare that Apricus Plaza is no longer on the forbidden to visit list. Perhaps it’s time to approve the request to repair the lamps and pathways. Maybe I do want more visitors to the castle, Lucky. The more people I meet, the more likely I am to meet somebody who will be able to tell me how to get out of this place. So it’s back to Town Hall. I put the approved work order on Captain Greg’s desk and check the map. Nothing new has been added.

I don’t have many things left to work on. Nobody has mentioned seeing any relics, and I can’t get to Apricus Plaza yet because Seth won’t dare run the Wingferry there without Captain Greg’s approval. I can either work on the account ledger or try to find the rest of the eggs Chumblepot wants. I already have the glass shards and poster glue. I’ll search for eggs. I can always work on the accounts tonight after Captain Crabby has left for the day.

I should have stayed at Town Hall and worked on the ledger books. My thanks for supplying those Jewel and Songbird Eggs was a request for more glass shards, fifty-eight of them! And when I handed over the poster glue and five glass shards previously requested, Chumblepot remembered that he had heard there was a relic fragment at Mystic Copse. I’ve lost track of how many times I visited there today. If I had known about the relic fragment, I could have looked for and maybe even found it already.

Back at Town Hall, I tackle the ledger books. Unless I’ve made a math error, I have almost 19,000 bolgins on hand and nobody is asking me to upgrade their building. Not too shabby! Even Captain Greg will have to admit I’ve done well.

Then again, perhaps not. Captain Greg has returned and is frowning at the approved work order. I ask him if there's a problem. He replies that he was under the impression we were going to discuss it first. I point out that if we both agree on something there is nothing to discuss. However, he's not listening, he's looking out the window at something.

Time to walk me home, he announces. I don't need an escort, I retort. I've been wandering around all by myself all day with just a squabbit to protect me and I'm still here. If the cloaked stranger...

Captain Greg tells me it’s not the cloaked stranger he’s worried about. I join him at the window. Loitering outside is the soldier whose gaze gives me the creeps. He asks me if I’m ready to leave. I pick up Lucky and hold him tightly against me, then nod my head yes. Captain Greg then puts his arm firmly around my shoulders and walks me to Blessilda’s door.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 3:08 pm  #6

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 6 - Friday

This is my sixth day here. If I don’t get to Apricus Plaza today and find those blueprints for Troglid, I might not make it back to Beechwood Cove in time to save my job. I’m running out of vacation days, not that I even submitted a request for time off. But surely James and Grace must know that none of this was my idea.

And I have so much to do before I can go to Apricus Plaza. I need to finish up yesterday’s paperwork. It would be wrong to expect Captain Greg to do it. And I really should find that relic in Mystic Copse.

For a change, I manage to get to the office before the Captain. I’m getting better at doing math in my head and it doesn’t take as long as I thought to update the ledgers. In fact, I even mange to put away all of the various items I found yesterday. Now my desk looks as tidy as Captain Greg’s does!

Speaking of the man...Captain Greg arrives and goes straight to the maps on the wall. Apricus Plaza and Dawnshadow Lake are no longer off limits. He’s on his way up to the castle to work on those lamps and pathways. Maybe I’d like to meet him there later this afternoon to see the finished result. I’d like to, and not just to see the latest improvements.

Quinn arrives with Mr Vanderkins. He wants to go to Apricus Plaza with me to look for fairy dust. I tell him that first I have to go to Mystic Copse to look for a relic fragment. He wants to go there with me as well to look for a different kind of fairy dust. Captain Greg smiles and tells me to enjoy my day.

Quinn finds his dust and I find a yet another fragment of Landsong’s Serenity Relic. We then hurry to catch the wingferry. During the journey, I sort through my paperwork and think about Captain Greg.

At Apricus Plaza, Quinn quickly finds his fairy dust and starts pestering me for puppet toys for the animals in the Squabbit Den. But he doesn't want the puppets I have on hand. Those are girl puppets, and he insists the animals only want boy puppets.

I’ve only found one blueprint and still need four more, but I’m at my wit’s end trying to deal with Quinn’s constant "When are we going to leave?" and two alpha-male squabbits. Not to mention that there’s a tiger in the plaza.

So I decide to leave Apricus Plaza and go search for those stupid puppets. I make a note to remind myself to ask Captain Greg if the Castle has a dungeon suitable for holding a small child and a not very well behaved squabbit.

Back at Faire of Light, Quinn and I part ways. Maybe I can save some time and buy the puppets at the auction. If it gets Quinn off my back, no price is too high to pay. Alas, nothing I need will come up for bid any time soon.

So I search the usual places, find the puppets, and dash back to the Squabbit Den to give them to Quinn. Quinn tells me the Mayor wishes to see me. So it’s back to Town Hall.

The Mayor informs me that the Forester "had a sudden memory of his vine attack and was struck ill by magic!" Seriously, they - whoever ‘they’ are - need a better scriptwriter. I’m to see Blessilda, who will give me a list of things she needs to cure the Forester. And none of the items are hidden at Apricus Plaza. I see my chances of going home in the next couple of days fading away.

I find what Blessilda needs but, of course, it’s not enough. I need to find a blue shard crystal from the Ancient Pond. According to Blessilda "It has healing properties and repels harmful magic". If you say so.

Off I go, muttering under my breath. It's getting late, and I really need to get back to Apricus Plaza and find more blueprints. I return shortly, shove the blue shard crystal at Blessilda and start to leave, but the Mayor asks me to wait and see if the Forester is cured.

Quelle surprise! The Forester is cured. He remembers the cloaked stranger mentioning the Dreamless Castle and thinks I should look there for a lead. Do I look like Sherlock Holmes? The Mayor must think so because he’s gung ho to play John Watson and accompany me.

The lead turns out to be a bunch of rocks which, after I assemble them in the shape of a man, shatter and reveal Prince Edric, a long-haired blond with a vacant look in his blue eyes. He says he’s from a far away kingdom and doesn’t remember what happened to him. Petrification can do that, I suppose.

The Mayor is alarmed because the cloaked figure used petrify magic and thinks he could be Dreadmyre. I’m alarmed because it’s getting late and I need more blueprints.

Old Man Seth shows up and tells me Gobie is waiting in Apricus Plaza and he has something to show me that can't wait. So back on the wingferry I go. Gobie has found (and lost) what he thinks is a relic fragment. It takes forever to find it, but it gives me a good excuse to keep looking for blueprints.

Even after I find the relic fragment I’d like to keep searching for even more blueprints, but Lucky reminds me about Captain Greg. I hurry to catch the wingferry back to the Faire of Lights. The fragment is part of the Faire Luminous Relic and finding it has lifted the curse from the Orchards.

The Forester thanks me and requests permission to rebuild the Orchards. I tell him my policy is to discuss such matters with Captain Greg before making any decisions. Lucky looks at me as if to say ‘Since when?’ I ignore him and start to make my way up to the castle.

The soldiers are all standing around looking annoyed. Upon my arrival, Captain Greg dismisses them. The Captain is not looking pleased and angrily asks where I’ve been. Everywhere, I snap back. More than once. I’ve found two relic fragments, cleared the curse from the Orchard, cured the Forester of magical flu, and unpetrified a prince. What have you been doing all day?

What he’s been doing is finding reasons to keep creepy soldier busy so that he wasn’t free to go looking for me, which meant keeping all the soldiers working past quitting time. He adds that it’s getting dark and we should return to Town Hall. I can see the lamps and pathways tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I inform him, I plan to on my way back to Beechwood Cove before I get fired from my job. I’ve been here six days so tell whoever is in charge that it’s ‘game over’ and let me go home.

Captain Greg no longer looks angry, he looks sad. He tells me that this is my home and he hopes in time I will be happy here. We walk back to Landsong Village in silence.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 3:50 pm  #7

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 7 - Saturday

I did a lot of thinking last night. As much as I’d like to believe that this is all one huge practical joke set up by one or more of the residents of Beechwood Cove, there are some things that don’t fit into that explanation. There’s Lucky and Mr Vanderkins, for example.

I try to keep up with what’s going on in the world, and I’m sure that I’ve never read anywhere about rabbits being crossbred with squirrels. Even the trashy publications sold at the supermarket checkouts haven’t invented squabbits.

So wherever I am, I can rule out renfairs, tv reality shows, and theme parks. Maybe I’m part of some secret government experiment, a psychological study. Maybe I’m in a biosphere. Or maybe I really did fly through a hole in the sky on a unicorn. I’m not sure which of these possible scenarios frightens me more.

Regardless of how I got here, and where ‘here’ is, I’m sure Captain Greg knows exactly what’s going on, so I better do what I can to stay on his good side. Maybe I should start by showing up for work. God may have rested on the seventh day, but in the Skyward Kingdom nobody gets a day off, it appears.

Once again, Captain Efficiency is already hard at work when I enter the office. He must sleep under the desk. The ledger books are all up to date, the stock neatly put away in the cupboard. He’s really starting to get on my nerves.

A quick glance at the maps shows nothing new. I think I’ll approve the Forester’s request to rebuild the Orchards, I tell Lucky. The kingdom will need more food since there’s been an increase in the number of people walking around the village. I should approve Blessilda’s request for expansion as well.

I sneak a sideways glance at Captain Greg. He hasn’t said anything since I arrived, but he’s also sneaking a sideways glance at me and smiling. Guess that means he thinks I’ve made the right decisions.

Next I’ll give Blessilda the things she needs to make whatever it is she thinks the frog at Dawnshadow Lake wants and then I’ll go back to Apricus Plaza and get the last four blueprints I need for Troglid. I decide to bring the blueprints I already have with me. It will save a trip back to Town Hall.

But first, I have to leave Town Hall. There’s a group of soldiers milling about just outside the door, waiting for Captain Greg. Creepy is among them. The captain tells me not to worry, he has a plan that will ensure that none of them pay me the slightest bit of attention from now on.

We leave Town Hall together and Captain Greg tells me to meet him up at the castle at the end of the day. And to be on time. I nod. Then he brushes back my hair and gives me a gentle kiss on the cheek. The soldiers hoot and whistle but fall silent when he glares at them. Then they all head up to the castle.

I feel like I’ve just had the words ‘Hands Off! Property of Captain Greg’ stamped on my forehead. I’m not sure if I approve of the Captain’s ‘plan’. I need to think about it. But right now, I need to see Blessilda.

Blessilda thanks me for approving the expansion and assures me everything will be finished before I return home that evening. She asks me to wait while she prepares a potion that will my cure the frog so that he will move and allow me to enter Sunshape Cave.

Next stop is Apricus Plaza where I’m virtually tripping over blueprints. Then back to Faire of Light to deliver them to Troglid. I help assemble models of what appear to be very primitive airplanes, the kind you see in cartoons. I’m not sure just how suitable they are for flying through holes in the sky.

 Leaving Troglid’s I meet a man named Fahleed. He, like everybody else here, wants to open a business and needs my help, meaning he needs bolgins, golden oak, obsidian and bolgite. He hands me his business card which reads: Fahleed’s Fine Attire Emporium. Hmm. My attire after seven days is looking anything but fine. If I grant his request, how soon can he make me something new to wear? Fahleed assures me he can have at least one new dress ready by this evening. Good, I tell him. I’ll take half a dozen. Builders will arrive shortly. He also needs an additional thousand bolgins to buy fabric and some thread and needles. You’ll get them, I promise.

I want new clothes more than I want to enter Sunshape Cave, so froggy will have to wait. I’m going to Fairy Dragon Nest to look for thread. I also need glass shards for Chumblepot and Life Fairy Runes for Triffledore, so it’s not as if I’m acting out of self-interest.

After much searching I had the runes needed by Triffledore, more than enough needles and thread for Fahleed, and eighteen of the fifty-eight glass shards wanted by Chumblepot. Before I deliver any of this stuff, I’ll stop back at Town Hall and see if there are any messages.

On my desk is a request for moonflowers from Blessilda, a request for moonflowers and runes from the Forester, and a note which reads "Try not to be late this time, Berengaria" signed Captain Greg. It’s the first time he, or anybody else, has used my name. I was beginning to forget I have a name.

Checking the cupboard reveals that I have everything Blessilda and the Forester asked for. First stop, the General Store, where construction is indeed completed. Next, the Orchard. Then on to Fahleed’s. Fahleed shows me how he designs patterns to weave or embroider. He has visited the castle and wonders if he might repair the tapestry. Could I possibly mind the store while he finds the proper material? I can.

Fahleed isn’t gone long. When he returns, he asks for some additional bolgins and six plushies as models. Another mad dash to Town Hall for the needed goods. I’m going to be late meeting Captain Greg and he’s going to angry. Again.

Lastly I see Triffledore, who has lost some musical candles. He wants me to help look for them, but unlike some other residents, he’s going to search some locations on his own and gives me a list of places that I should search.

My list is Dawnshadow Lake, Ancient Pond, and Fairy Dragon Nest. I need to visit two of those places already. First thing tomorrow, I promise. I have to meet Captain Greg. Triffledore gives me the same knowing look everybody else has been giving me since this morning. Captain Greg is not the only person who’s going to be angry.

When I arrive at the castle, Captain Greg isn’t angry. He’s positively jubilant. He grabs my hand and pulls me into the castle to show me the tapestry that somehow Fahleed has managed to repair and install while I was speaking to Triffledore. I have a sneaky suspicion that work was done on that tapestry long before I gave permission, maybe long before I was even asked for permission.

Somehow this doesn’t seem the right moment to express my displeasure with the Captain’s ‘plan’ for dealing with his creepy subordinate. Instead we walk back to Landsong Village, hand in hand.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 4:09 pm  #8

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 8 - Sunday

My new dress was waiting for me when I arrived back at the General Store last night. With the amount of walking and climbing I do each day, jeans and a tee shirt would make more sense. Then I remember creepy soldier. Maybe I should have ordered a burka.

I’m not sure what to do about Captain Greg. He’s been a lot friendlier since he came up with his ‘plan’. But suppose he decides that I ‘owe’ him and gets too friendly? I really need to stop letting him convince me that the day’s ending paperwork can wait until tomorrow. He ends up doing it and I end up further in his debt.

Just as I suspected, once again Captain Greg is already at Town Hall and the paperwork is already completed. He informs me he’ll be working up at the castle all day, removing more of the rubble, and wants to know what my plans are.

My plans including feeding that frog at Dawnshadow Lake and finding the missing musical candles. After that, if nothing else more urgent turns up, searching for glass shards at Fairy Dragon Nest. Captain Greg nods, starts to leave, and then returns to give me a goodby kiss on the cheek.

Can’t imagine why he did that, Lucky, there’s nobody watching. And he didn’t seem to notice my new dress, not that I bought it to impress him. I needed new clothes. Not for the first time, Lucky gives me a look that says he doesn’t believe a word I’ve said.

Before heading to Dawnshadow Lake, I need to see Triffledore and tell him I’ve approved his plans to open a magical artifacts shop. He thanks me and asks for more materials to make the shop better. I don’t know why the people here don’t ask for everything up front.

At Dawnshadow Lake, I find one of the musical candles and feed the frog. Just as Blessilda predicted, the frog moves away and I can enter the cave. I find another candle at Ancient Pond, and a third at the Fairy Dragon Nest.

I return to Faire of Light to drop off the candles before heading back to Town Hall to see if anything new has been left on my desk. Triffledore’s Magical Artifacts is now open for business and I’m invited to be the first customer.

Triffledore has visited the castle and wants to repair the chandelier, but he’ll need a larger shop. And some more shelves. I nod my head yes. Also, Triffledore has also decided that I should hold on to the musical candles. Since I found them, I should have the honor of opening the Yura shrine. Why do I think that was the plan all along? I head back to the Forgotten Glen to unlock the shrine.

Before I go, Linea arrives with a letter from Queen Sophia, who wants me to do her a favor and cheer Linea up by finding a portrait of the Queen and a Sophia plushie. A little over a week ago I was buying and selling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of antiques. Now I’m finding stuffed animals for talking owls. What did I do to deserve this?

The shrine is unlocked and I’ve found a portrait for Linea. We’re going back to Town Hall and taking a long lunch hour, Lucky. We’ve earned it.

Looks like lunch will have to wait. Town Hall is engulfed by a purple haze. The Mayor claims to have seen a cloaked figure casting a spell in the Town Hall and to have heard the figure mumbling about something in the Yura Shrine. The Mayor says he feels some ominous presence there and wants me to check it out. I think we need to call an exorcist. Or ghostbusters. Or both.

Yet another trip to the Forgotten Glen. Inside the Yura shrine I find a vile object which I bring back to the Mayor. The Mayor examines it and announces that it reeks of the vile energy of Dreadmyre! With all the rushing around I’ve done today, I’m becoming a bit concerned that I might be starting to reek as well.

The Mayor rushes off to have the sages research the vile object. Before long, Town Hall is no longer cursed. Now the purple haze surrounds the Squabbit Den and the Glassworks. But not the General Store. Guess the energy drinks are vile and cursed enough.

When the Mayor returns, he proclaims the presence of yet more vile artifacts that must be found in order to remove the curse and decides that they can be found at Fairy Dragon Nest and Ancient Pond. I find the vile artifacts, the Sophia plushie, some more glass shards, and the final skycrystal earring that Triffledore needs to repair the castle’s chandelier.

Linea is thrilled with the portrait and plushie and decides that I’m really nice. I decide that I’m really tired. But the day’s not over yet. According to the mayor, the vile artifacts need to be sealed. He needs five containers of Glittering Dust (got them), five sky crystal earrings (he can have the one’s I was going to give Triffledore) and five Moon Cards.

I’m two cards short, so Lucky and I must search Dawnshadow Lake yet again. Somehow I find the cards, a fragment of the Landsong Serenity Relic, and the strength to make it back to Landsong Village where I hand over the requested items to the Mayor and continue on to Blessilda’s for a nice hot bath and a change of clothes before returning to Town Hall to deal with the paperwork.

The rest of my dresses have been delivered. All of the dresses that Fahleed made me are blue. The dress I was wearing when I arrived here is blue. Maybe Fahleed thought stewards are required to wear blue? Blessilda informs me that Captain Greg’s favorite color is blue. I fail to see what that has to do with anything.

Back at Town Hall, Lucky munches on some carrots and I have a very late lunch of cheese, fruit and nuts while I tackle the massive amount of paperwork generated by today’s events. The Mayor stops by to inform me the vile artifacts have been sealed and Landsong Village has been saved.

Captain Greg hasn’t returned to Town Hall and its already getting dark. I don’t remember being told to meet him up at the castle. Maybe he’s heard how I saved the village and decided I’m capable of walking from Town Hall to the General Store without a body guard.

He finally arrives. His day has been similar to mine. They Mayor has had him running here , there, and everywhere trying to catch the cloaked stranger. I ask him if it’s always like this here in the kingdom. He replies, no, during the wars with Dreadmyre it was worse.

Captain Greg sits down and starts to write up his reports. I persuade him to leave it until tomorrow morning. Just once, I beg, let mine be the desk that’s neat and tidy with everything up to date. He smiles and asks if he might walk me home.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 4:23 pm  #9

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 9 - Monday

For a change, Lucky and I arrive at Town Hall before Captain Greg. However, Linea has already been there and left a letter from Queen Sophia on my desk. Seems Linea has told her about the cloaked stranger. Queen Sophia is worried that the citizens of the kingdom are safe, but knows I’ll look after them. Time out, Queenie. Captain Greg is in charge of safety, I just handle the money. She also says there’s a place in the Rose Garden that might be useful to me. I should ask Linea for more information.

When Captain Greg arrives, I show him the letter. I ask him if, since I appear to be responsible for the safety of everyone, that means that I should be giving him orders rather than vice versa. He gives me a ‘don’t even try’ look and wants to know what Linea told me.

Linea hasn’t told me anything, I explain, I’ve only just read the letter a few minutes before he arrived. He wants to know what I’m waiting for. Isn’t it obvious, I ask him. I’m waiting for my daily dose of belittlement from you. Wouldn’t want to start the day without it. I leave the office and slam the door behind me.

Before I can find Linea, Triffledore finds me. He’s heard I’ve had a letter from Queen Sophia - news travels fast in this place - and for reasons I quite don’t understand, thinks I should search Mystic Copse and Dawnshadow Lake for Queen Sophia’s ring.

So I search and return with two rings. Triffledore examines them and says I’ve found imitations, but ‘You don’t always get to find items like that the first time anyway. There’s always next time.’ Oooooookay. Now what?

Now he wants me to help him unpack some of his magical artifacts. Then he wants me to accompany him to Dawnshadow Lake to look for some things he dropped. Hello! Didn’t he just send me there? I swear the kingdom’s residents conduct some sort of a lottery each day to see which one of them gets to try and drive me crazy.

So we go to Dawnshadow Lake and pick up his junk which I could swear wasn’t there when I was here earlier today. While there, Triffledore calls my attention to the magical tree bark and mentions that he know how to make a Sun Gem to open it. He needs a few items, however, and guess who gets to find them?

It’s not all bad. Two of the places I have to search are Ancient Pond and Fairy Dragon Nest. I still need glass shards for Chumblepot and skycrystal earrings so that Triffledore can repair the castle’s chandelier, a task that Triffledore seems to have forgotten about.

After finding everything Triffledore requested, I drop it off and head back to Town Hall for a lunch break. The office is empty. My desk is not. Linea has left a message. The waterfalls in the Rose Garden hold valuable items that might be useful and all I need is the power of a Moonfell staff to open it. I should speak to Triffledore and see if he has the staff.

Also on the desk is a note from Old Man Seth, who thinks he might be able to help me move the Walrus in Coral Cove. I wasn’t aware that I wanted to move the walrus, or even that there was a walrus. In fact, this is the first time I've heard about Coral Cove.

Lucky munches on some carrots and I have an apple and study the map on the wall and try to find Coral Cove. Captain Greg must have declared it open to residents some time today. It doesn’t sound like a place that will get me any closer to Beechwood Cove, however.

Time to head back to Faire of Light to have another talk with Triffledore. Before I reach his shop, Fahleed stops me. He wants to expand his store so that he can stock more exotic fabrics like the ones he used to make my dress. I agree to fund the expansion and ask for another six dresses, but in a different color. Fahleed agrees, and asks for some addition funds for fabric. Agreed.

I speak to Triffledore about the Moonfell staff. He’s busy putting the final touches on the Sum Emblem and chandelier and needs me to look through his artifacts to find the last few things he needs. He hands me the finished Sun Emblem and tells me with a little more bolgite and obsidian, the chandelier will be done. Good, I’ll be sure and visit the castle to check it out.

In order to create a Moonfell staff, Triffledore will need some golden oak, coruscating fairy dust, and a crystal orb that can be found at Dawnshadow Lake. It must be in the shadow lake that the Sun Emblem opens because I’ve searched every inch of that place today.

At any rate, I’m feeling too tired to search Dawnshadow Lake and Ancient Pond again today. That can wait until tomorrow. Instead, I visit Chumblepot and give him what glass shards I’ve already found. He asks me to stay and help him assemble some stained glass pieces.

Maybe I should work on the account ledgers before going up to the castle to look at the chandelier. Regardless of what I do, Captain Greg is going to find fault with it, but there’s no point in making it easy for him to criticize me.

And maybe I’ll make some charts to hang on the wall opposite my desk. A chart showing which businesses are awaiting upgrades, and how much resources are needed, would be useful. And maybe a chart listing each map location, with a place that I could note down what, if anything, I currently need to find there. That would help me plan each day more efficiently.

I’m almost finished when I’m disturbed by loud shouting. Wonder what’s going on, Lucky? Let’s go take a look. Outside Town Hall, a large crowd has gathered in a circle and is hooting and cheering at something. Where’s Captain Greg when I need him? Keeping the peace is part of his job description, not mine.

 I push my way through to the center of the crowd where I find Captain Greg pummeling the creepy soldier. Terrific. The crowd is suddenly silent, waiting to see what I’ll do. Luckily, I don’t have to do anything. The two men have stopped fighting. The Captain gives his subordinate one final shove and enters Town Hall. I follow him, and shortly after, Blessilda follows carrying various ointments and bandages. I take them from her and tell her to minister to the other guy. I’ll take care of Rocky myself.

Except for bruises on his hands, and a small bruise on his right cheek, Captain Greg appears to be all right. I suggest that maybe he should take his shirt off so I can inspect for any other damage. He suggests that I might want to draw the curtains first. An odd request, considering most of the kingdom has seen him without his shirt on.

The other guy doesn’t appear to have landed many punches. Captain Greg looks fine. I tell him to put his shirt back on and tell me why he was fighting. He says nothing. Okay, should I ask somebody else or should I just guess? Still no answer. I sigh.

Okay, spare me the details, just don’t do it again, I plead. It’s a pretty stupid thing to do, fighting with somebody because they said something about somebody you don’t even like. Captain Greg looks shocked and demands to know where I got the idea that he disliked me? From the way he treats me, I suggest? His constant criticism and showing me up by finishing my uncompleted work? By the way he talks down to me as if I were a not very bright child he’s been forced to babysit?

He gives me a rueful smile and apologizes. Good, because I really don’t need or want an older brother. He’s glad to hear that, because his feelings toward me are not what could be described as brotherly. In that case, I inform him, it’s time he stopped kissing me on the cheek and started giving me a proper kiss. And so he did.

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
     Thread Starter

November 25, 2014 5:39 pm  #10

Re: Awakening Kingdoms - A Steward's Diary

Day 10 - Tuesday

I’m not looking forward to seeing Captain Greg this morning. Last night’s first kiss was a ‘proper’ one, but the subsequent ones were progressing rather rapidly into ‘improper’ territory, too rapidly for my liking. I’ve only been here ten days. We hardly know each other! How do people get to know each other in this place, Lucky? When do they find the time?

For the second straight day, Lucky and I arrive at Town Hall before the Captain. Good, that will give me a chance to get my day organized. I need to review yesterday’s paperwork to jog my memory as to what still needs to be done.

I completely forgot about going to the castle to see the chandelier. I’ll just have to hope that Triffledore doesn’t ask me any questions about it when I see him about the Moonfell staff. And getting the necessary resources for that staff is at the top of my to-do list. So Dawnshadow Lake will be the first place I go.

Captain Greg still hasn’t arrived. He must be having his own doubts about last night’s events. Better leave him a note as to where I’m going, though. Once less thing for him to complain about, especially if he’s having regrets and looking for somebody to blame.

At Dawnshadow Lake, I use the Sun Emblem and unlock the shadow pool. I also find the crystal orb Triffledore needs to craft the Moonfell staff. Next stop, Ancient Pond for some coruscating fairy dust, then on to Triffledore’s.

While I wait for the Moonfell staff, I speak with Troglid. He offers to repair the castle’s interior pillars, joking that it’s only right since he’s a pillar of the community. Of course his shop is too small and will need to be expanded. He’ll also need some more blueprints. I agree to allocate funds for the upgrade of his shop and to find him more blueprints.

Triffledore needs more bolgite and obsidian to strengthen the staff. Finally it’s finished. Linea joins Lucky and me for the trip to the Rose Garden. The Moonfell staff dispels the waterfall’s magic, revealing Rosepetal Cellar. Linea finds a tile for the castle’s door, and I find a fragment of the Faire’s Vibrancy Relic.

Back at Faire of Light, I insert the relic fragment into the pedestal. I still have many more to find. Troglid want to talk to me again, this time about the castle’s tower. He thinks it’s time that it was repaired. I thank him for his expert opinion.

Now I have three reasons to visit the castle: the door tile, the chandelier, and the tower. Guess that’s where I should go next. It’s quite probable that Captain Greg and the other soldiers will be working up there, but at some point I’m going to have to meet the Captain in public and put up with the stares, sniggers, and whispers of the onlookers. Might as well get it over with.

The soldiers stop working as I approach. I ask Captain Greg when it would be convenient for us to discuss possible repairs to the castle’s tower. He says now is fine. I suggest he accompany me to check out the chandelier and drop off the door tile.

Troglid thinks it’s time to repair the castle’s tower, I inform him. We have the necessary resources, but...But what, he asks. I can’t figure out who is charge of what, I explain. All other requests for castle repairs have been made by him. I don’t even know who does the repairs. All I do is sign a piece of paper, release the funds and supplies, and next thing I know, the work is done.

Captain Greg tells me that’s all I have to worry about. He will discuss structural issues with Troglid and see that the repairs are done. If I can arrange to be back at the castle later in the afternoon, I can see the finished result. I think I can manage that, though it might mean working late finishing up the paper work.

Next thing I need to attend to is acquiring blueprints, lots of them. Rather than spend the rest of the day at Apricus Plaza, I decide to check out the auction. I manage to purchase enough Namia Conclave Fairy Crests and enough Veira Conclave Fairy Crests to complete three Fairy Crest Sets. I exchange three sets and receive forty-five blueprints. That should be enough for now.

I give ten of the blueprints to Troglid so that he can begin his stability tests. Quinn would also like five blueprints. He’s decided he wants to design flying machines, but he’s lost his sketchbook in Apricus Plaza. Could I take him there to find it?

Why not? Maybe I’ll find even more blueprints. After finding the sketchbook, Quinn wants to try assembling models. Troglid is swamped with orders and needs help. That works out nicely. I can help him and assist Quinn at the same time. Quinn gets bored after two models. They are a lot more difficult than he thought. I finish another three by myself.

Troglid returns with the results of his stability tests. He needs 30 obsidian and 10 bolgite to strengthen the pillars so that they never fall again. And I’ll be able to see them later this afternoon.

Quinn is back. He is all upset because he lost his belt, cap, and vest and needs me to help find them before his grandfather finds out. We find his belt in the Forgotten Glen, his hat at Mystic Copse and his vest at the Fairy Dragon Nest.

Being nice to Quinn today has paid off. He tells me about a tree in the Mystic Copse named Darkbark. If I can find a Crystal Lamp at Dawnshadow Lake, I can open up Darkbark's secret stash and maybe find a relic in there. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

Before returning to the castle, Lucky and I stop off at Town Hall to drop off everything we’ve collected. There’s some new work orders on my desk. I really need to update my wall chart. I’m no longer sure what I need from where.

When I arrive at the castle, I’m surprised that Captain Greg isn’t waiting for me. Maybe he’s waiting inside? The repairs to the tower accentuate the bad condition of the roof. There’s still so much that needs to be done.

The sun is beginning to set and inside the castle it’s dark and gloomy looking. Captain Greg is there talking to Troglid. Troglid obviously expects me to say something about the pillars so I thank him for his contribution toward restoring the castle to its former glory and pronounce the pillars very study. He’s pleased and makes his departure.

I tell Captain Greg that we’d better leave, too. It’s getting dark fast, and I still have work to do back at Town Hall. Neither of us says a word on the walk back to Landsong Village.


For every minute you are angry, you lose sixity seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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