DP Gregoire Fiction - An Adventure Lost - Chapter 2: A Wizard of Wares
Friday October 23rd 2020
The morning came swift. The sun was yet again on Denderin's face.
'Why was his tent flap open?' he wondered from a half-asleep, half-awake state.
The troll was face down in the dirt, snoring away. Denderin walked over, kicking it awake, “C'mon, wake up!”
“Uuuuuuugh, snooooooork!” the troll woke up startled.
“Get breakfast ready,” Denderin ordered.
Shaking its head clear the troll quickly went off to rummage through the contents of one of the bags they carried with them. Troll pulled out a few hunks of meat and cautiously walked over to the fire.
“No, no, not that for breakfast,” Denderin said while shaking his head.
Quickly the troll went through the sack again, this time pulling out a bag of flour, a few eggs, and a bottle of milk.
A smile spreads across Denderin's face, “There we go. That should do it. I'll get the fire started, I know how you are around it.”
The troll sluggishly got the ingredients together. Though it's no surprise, it has been carrying a bulk of the gear.
Grabbing some nearby berries, Denderin adds them to the mixture. The troll shies away from the idea. But as breakfast is served, it reluctantly has a portion.
“Thiiisssss food tassssstessss bland, aaand sssssour! Thiiissssss food is alssssso ssssweet. I don't like thiiiiisssss food!” complains the troll.
Denderin gives the troll a stern eye, “Well, this is all we have for breakfast. So, eat it, or go hungry waiting for your next meal, or go catch your own food.”
Defeated the troll continues its bland meal. It prefers lunch, and especially dinner, because during those meals, the troll gets to enjoy meat. Breakfast was the troll's least favorite meal, it rarely had meat it enjoyed, but instead was dominated by pastries or bread product.
Moments later camp was disassembled, things packed, with Denderin and troll ready to continue their journey. He only had a vague idea of where he was headed. Nothing set-in-stone, but he was sure where he wanted to end up. His next stop was going to be Tatuague, a small village with a rich culture rooted to the native people of this land.
The summer's air was rife with the sound of a million cicadas, all performing in harmonious unison. This day is as hot, humid, and sticky just like the previous day. Sweat welled all over Denderin, and troll was not immune to the temperature either.
Oh what Denderin would give to be relaxing in a nice, cool lake, sipping lemonade, made from imported, exotic lemons. Swimming and fishing with friends, enjoying the day's outing. But alas, he made a rash decision for himself, and for his troll companion. Which, with that in mind, Denderin is hoping this adventure would change his life forever. Hopefully for the better, and not the worse, of course...
Just as the walk was becoming too far, just as the heat was becoming too hot, just as the thirst was becoming too much, it felt as if Denderin were about to collapse under the weight of his own two feet. But he knew he couldn't do that, no. 'Troll would be upon his fading corpse in a moment, not having a second thought about draining Denderin of his remaining life force,' he thought to himself as he eyed troll suspiciously.
Troll unaware of Denderin's suspicions chased a toad around on the beaten path in which they traveled. The toad was fast, random, and kept troll on its toes. Troll could easily catch the toad if it wanted to, but it decided to have some fun, a bit of practice if you would.
'What is that in the distance?' something catches Denderin's eye.
Troll currently has its hands wrapped around the lumpy brown creature, its mouth wide open, inching the squirming creature closer to its gaping maw. Yum, yum!
“Troll, put that down! It has a life to live, besides you can get better quality food elsewhere,” Denderin commanded.
Much to the troll's dismay, it put the toad down to live another day. Looking back in utter shock, the toad quickly hopped away not giving the troll a second chance to scoop it up again and potentially eat it.
A rickety old caravan wobbled in the distance, heading toward them. It was being pulled by what appeared to be two yak, their hair braided in fine fashion, and decorated with something colorful. The distance was too great to discern any great detail, but the horns definitely gave it away that they were yak.
Who was driving the cart? What manner of person, or persons was commandeering such a craft? Yak weren't native to this continent, so it must be a person of exotic nature.
“Get behind me,” Denderin commanded the troll as they both watched the caravan coming down the road, “We don't want the inhabitants of the craft to make any assumptions.”
Back to the rickety caravan, it was made of wood, but not finely polished. It was a bit uneven, not even sanded, kind of rough, actually. It was a nice, dark, natural wood though.
It had a window on either side, with little green awnings, and little green shutters, also wooden. Geometric, floral pattern curtains on the inside, blocking light and providing privacy.
Various trinkets hang off the side of the ride, such as pots, pans, bottles, feathers, bones, etc. A flag on a long pole rises up from the back, it a velvet, rainbow pattern. As the flag flapped in the wind it appeared to show a little scene of a man casting a fireball at some monster on the other side, the explosion taking it out.
The yaks were an opposing pair, one with blonde fur, and the other with brown fur. Their fur long, braided, and filled with various color beads throughout the braids.
Their horns long and ornate, a silver plating with tips on the blonde yak, while gold plating with tips adorned the brown yak's horns. A golden sun hung off the tip off the brown yak's right plated horn, while a silver moon hung off the tip of the blonde yak's left plated horn. Each had a star on their opposite horn, many tiny, colorful gems decorated each star.
A blanket woven from the finest fabrics rests upon each yak, secured with straps also woven of the same fabrics. The design, a multicolored, cultural design, probably native to the area where the rider comes from. A black blanket with yellows, blues, and reds rests on the blonde yak. While a white blanket with greens, purples, and oranges rests upon the brown yak.
The rider, a middle-aged man sits at the reigns, adorned in a colorful robe. A long pointed hat upon his head, matching the color of the robe. A black pointed mustache, accompanied by a black pointed beard. A pair of black sunglasses where the frames flip up turning them into regular glasses rests on his face.
He smiles a crooked smile, laughing a bit as he draws closer to Denderin. A gold tooth flashes from his grin. “Ye, ha, ha, ha! Traveler?” the crazy guy cackled the question.
“Aye, a traveler I am,” Denderin replied, not sure how to judge this man.
“Where ye headed?” the man slowed his laugh so that he may talk more steadily.
“Well, I am heading North,” Denderin answers while being as vague as possible.
The man raises an eyebrow, “Is there a destination, or is North just a direction you're heading aimlessly?”
“I am hoping to make it to Tatuague. Experience the culture, enjoy what they have to offer,” he decides there is no harm in telling the man.
“Tatuague, you say?” he ask the question with a hint of interest.
“Yes, Tatuague. Have you heard of it?” Denderin drags the conversation out a bit.
“Aye, I have. Been there myself a few times,” the man answered with a smile.
“You've been to Tatuague?” Denderin seems surprised to the man's response.
“That's what I just said,” he responds sarcastically.
“Whoa! How was it?” the curiosity of Denderin's brain forces the question from his skull.
The man chuckles to himself, “I'm not going to spoil the surprise. You'll just have to find out for yourself.”
Disappointed at the man's response, “Aw, really? C'mon, tell me.”
Shaking his head he replies, “Nope, not going to happen. Hey, is that a troll behind your back?”
Denderin confused at first at the man's random question, but suddenly he remembers there is a troll behind his back! Troll, of course, how could he of forgotten troll? Troll is such a good slave, being obedient, never causing any commotion.
Denderin scratching the top of his head, laughing to himself, “That? Yeah, it's my servant. Troll here goes everywhere with me. Isn't that right, troll?”
Troll looks at Denderin surprised, confused, afraid, “I thought you sssssaid don't come out?”
Reassuring the troll, Denderin rests his hand upon its shoulder, “The man already spotted you, what point would lying or trying to hide you do for us?”
Flipping his shades the man gives them both an inquisitive look, “You know I can hear the both of you, right?”
Troll looking over Denderin's shoulder, “The weird man is looking at usssss. I think he knowsssss I'm here. I think he can hear ussss.”
Denderin gives the man a quick look with a wink, and turns his attention back to troll, “I know he can see you, that is why I'm over here talking to you. And of course he can hear us, he just said it.”
The man makes a sigh as he stars grabbing for his riding crop.
“Tell him to sssssstop loooooooking at me!” troll starts wiggling out of control.
“What's the matter, little guy? Afraid of the man in the caravan?” a big toothy smile as he addressed the troll.
“Daaaaaaaagh! It'ssssss ssssssspeaking at me!” troll screams while running in circles.
Denderin half mortified, half amused addresses troll with concern, “Troll! Troll! Snap out of it! What has gotten into you?” He grabs it by its arms, shaking it back and forth.
Troll fights for a bit longer, its struggle eventually ending. It decides perhaps its master is right. Perhaps the caravan driver means no harm. Troll tries to relax the best it can.
“Well, things are finally calm”, Denderin says with a sense of relief.
The man chuckles to himself a bit, “That's alright, trolls are naturally scared of wizards.”
Denderin's eyes light up, “A wizard you say?”
Nodding with a slight smile, “Aye, a wizard. I've traveled many places, seen many things, experienced so much. A wizard's life is filled with the will to seek mystery, and the thirst of knowledge. That is how one grows in this field, yes?”
“Seek mystery?” Denderin asks excitedly.
The man nods yet again, “I'm heading a bit North myself. Come, hop on my caravan, I'll take you part way to Tatuague. It will shave days off your journey. What do you say?”
Denderin smiles, looking at troll for confirmation. Troll puts its head down while lowering its ears, looking up at its master with sad eyes.
“Yes, we'll join you for the ride,” Denderin answers in eager fashion.
“Excellent! It has been a while since I've last had company. It will be nice to have somebody join me for a change,” the man says with a sense of appreciation.
“Did you want any gold, or payment, or anything?” Denderin asked.
“Nonsense, the company you provide would be more than enough payment for passage,” he dismisses the question with the wave of a hand.
“C'mon, troll, let's board,” Denderin replies with a sense of haste.
Hesitant, troll follows Denderin into the caravan. Inside it's as eccentric looking as the outside. Herbs hang upon the wall, gourds sit on shelves. A cabinet with a glass door houses many bottles, and small, painted figurines. Small, tied leather sacks hang from the ceiling.
Looking around reveals a dozen painted gnome looking figures. They are all in various poses, different expressions on their faces, all expertly crafted, very realistic looking. One gnome seemed to stick out in particular. Half painted from the waist down, seemed to be reeling back in horror, its hands before it's face, its mouth opened wide. The top half gray of stone.
Troll extra timid, “I don't like theeesssse figuressss. They sssssscare me.”
Denderin chuckles to himself, “Oh, nonsense, troll! They're masterpieces, fine craftsmanship! I wonder how much he charges for one of these?”
“You want to buy one of thosssse?” troll squeaks as its knees chatter.
Denderin nods, “Yes, one of these would be a great memento of the beginning of our journey.”
Troll slowly scuttles under the nearest bed. Shying away from everything, from this caravan. Its ceiling painted like the morning skies above on one half, and the night skies on the other. The floor painted like a an ocean surrounding a grassy island. Its walls painted as forests that slowly meet a desert, wrapping around slowly meeting a forest again.
Denderin looked around the inside of the caravan in amazement. It seems to house many wonders. In fact, let's recount those wonders which Denderin sees:
- An Astral Globe – it shows the cosmic positioning of the stars and constellations in relation to the planet's alignment.
- A Book of Information – it flies, it holds key bits of information on lands, about kingdoms, royal families, etc. It can also answer one question asked of it with high accuracy to its answer.
- A Wand of Meals – it can summon one good meal a day, though it's not good for groups, and the wielder still has to find another two meals for the day.
- Powder of Igniting – this powder ignites once it hits air. In large doses it can cause an explosion.
- Inkwell of Illusory Ink – the ink in this inkwell is either invisible after transcribed, or appears in a language not understood by the reader. One must be able to Read Magic to decipher such texts.
- Hat of Imaginary Feelings – this hat makes it feel like you feel one way, when in fact you feel another way.
- Belt of Breathing – it allows you to breathe, even if you're dead, even if you're an inanimate object.
- Bones of Patrolling – when commanded these bones get up and patrol a designated area until commanded not to do so.
How do we know this? Well, you see, Denderin happened to ask the question while standing near the book, “What are all of these wondrous items?” And without hesitation, the Book of Information answered. But, unfortunately for Denderin, his question was spent, and he would never be able to ask it another one...