Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Inktober Day 16: Snail Joust!

Snail Joust!

One fine Saturday afternoon, Bartholomew and Cor stumbled upon a festive scene. The Annual Evergreenshire Snail Jousts had begun! It was an exciting time for all the spectators who had turned out in their finest and were enjoying the fine weather and the excellent faire food and drink. Cor and Bartholomew decided to stop a while and watch. The two contestants, Sir Herbert and Sir Ichabod and their brave steeds lined up at the start. And they were off! The two travelers were enthralled with the goings-on. They polished off several meat pies and ales, but after a couple of hours, they decided that they should be off. By Cor's estimation, it would be another hour or so before the contestants ever reached or unseated each other.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Inktober Day 15: Mole the Prospector

Mole the Prospector

When Bartholomew and Cor reached the Low Hills, they were surprised to find many empty shacks and old lifts and quarries. They quickly discovered that the Low Hills had been a mining colony for many years, and had been searched high and low for gold and precious metals. As they rounded the bend, they heard a high-pitched voice singing a song:
"Gold and gems are hard to find,
when eyes are weak and almost blind,

but dig we will, and find we must!
If pickaxe breaks and shovels rust,

Then paw and claw I'll dig and there
In dirt 'twill be wealth past compare!

The Travelers learned that Mr. Mole the Prospector had been searching for gold most all his life, but hadn't found any quite yet. But he didn't mind, because he also found other useful things in the ground, like worms, beetles, and root vegetables that made tasty stews. He invited them to stay for some, but the two friends politely declined!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Inktober Day 14: The Old Hermit

The Old Hermit

The Old Hermit is a fellow who lives in the Forest, it is rumored to be Easterwood. Occasionally he will appear in a village or two, but disappears quickly into the wood. No one knows much about his life, except some strange rumors about his former life as a wizard in the service of a long-forgotten prince. While at court, his powers and abilities were sought after by disreputable nobles who wanted to destroy the kingdom. After a series of terrible events, the old man forsook his life of deception and greed and fled to other lands.
Now he seeks to live a life of peace and solitude in the forest, but he fears that one day his past will come back to find him and he will have to reckon with the forces that nearly destroyed him...

Inktober Day 13: The Scholarly Mouse

The Scholarly Mouse

One of the many fantastical creatures and folk that the Pilgrim and his canine companion encountered upon the road was a Mouse. He was a Scholarly Mouse, and he was in a Dreadful Hurry. He paused only briefly to say good day to the Travelers and they asked him where he was going and why he was moving so quickly. He explained in a hasty voice that he was on his way to a convention of the College of Mice who were about to have an extensive week of lectures on Astronomy and its Uses for More Productive Grain Harvest. Although this puzzled Cor and Bartholomew, they didn't have time to discuss it because with that, the Scholarly Mouse disappeared around the bend.

Inktober Day 12: The Salamander Drake

The Salamander Drake

Cor and Bartholomew soon encountered some stranger parts of the Road, which led them into the Undergrowth Forest, an ancient wood whose ground was covered in fallen timbers from ages past. Growing from these ancient giants were luminous fungi of all types and strange plants which looked dangerous to even touch. Amongst these odd surroundings crept giant Salamander Drakes, great fire-breathing creatures who generally shied away from the travelers as they passed them. But the two friends knew that it was in their best interest to move on to healthier parts of the Wood before danger overtook them...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inktober Day 11: Howard the Discouraged Bear

Howard, the Discouraged Bear
 
After bidding farewell to the gracious Lumberjack and his Wife, Cor and Bartholomew traveled for several miles down the road. One afternoon, they met a Bear, who wore a suit of mail and a little dented helmet. By the way his sword drooped and the dejected look on his bear face, the Travelers decided that they should see what was the matter with this poor fellow.

Upon talking with the bear, they learned that his name was Sir Howard, and he was a Very Discouraged Bear. He told Bartholomew and Cor that he had been seeking adventure for some time after the Lady of Beetlewood proclaimed him a Knight of the Forest. But it seemed that just when he would hear of some exciting quest he would feel a great yawn coming on, and drowse off to sleep! Or when a damsel was in distress, his stomach would growl loudly, and he would notice some tempting berries in the hedgerow. 

And so Howard, the Discouraged Bear admitted that he didn't feel very Knightly after all, and more like a plain old hungry, sleepy Bear. Bartholomew promptly told him that he needn't be discouraged, and that lots of knights got hungry and sleepy, but they usually ate and slept well before going on adventures. And that he should not give up being a Knight, but keep on doing good deeds for folk in the forest who were in need. Howard seemed to take heart at this good word of advice, and invited Cor and Bartholomew to come to the hedgerow for a late-morning snack of blackberries.

Inktober Day 10: A Well-Needed Rest


A Well-Needed Rest

The Kindly Lumberjack Thaddeus led Bartholomew and Cor to his homey cottage not far from the road. The windows were glowing with warm lamp light as it started to rain outside. The smell of delicious stew was overpowering! After they ate and graciously thanked the Lumberjack's wife Elouise for the hardy meal she had prepared, they lay next to the warm fire with packs for pillows, and the aroma of the Lumberjack's pipe and the crackle of the fire lulling them into a deep slumber. The Kindly Mr. and Mrs. Lumberjack of Evergreenshire were happy to once again share what they had with guests from the Road.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Inktober Day 9: The Kindly Lumberjack

The Kindly Lumberjack

After the incident with the Horrible Caterpillar, both Bartholomew and Cor were exhausted. They had already traveled many miles, and had faced even more unusual things than they had previously imagined. Their muscles ached from walking and carrying their heavy packs, and it was growing dark. Not to mention the fact that the sky was starting to spit rain at them.
Just as the travelers thought they might have to sleep in a hollow log for the night, a jovial voice called from the trees: "Hullo There!" And with that, a red-faced fellow with a bushy mustache and a sharp axe came into view. He introduced himself as Thaddeus the Lumberjack of Evergreenshire. The travelers were indeed thrilled to find a friend at last on this tiresome road, and he invited them to stay with him and his wife for the night. Bartholomew gladly accepted, but Cor was the first one to start for the cottage, because he could already smell the stew on the fire!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Inktober Day 8: The Horrible Caterpillar

The Horrible Caterpillar

After a few days of peaceful travel, Bartholomew and Cor began to think that perhaps the Forest Road wasn't as dangerous as they had once thought. The memory of the Fox Prince was beginning to fade in their minds.

But when a new terror came crashing through the trees, they had little time to think of the Fox or anything else for that matter. For suddenly a horrible Caterpillar with dreadful stinging spines came upon them ferociously. The travelers drew their trusty swords and did quick work of the soft-bellied creature, but his poison did both of them very little good. Shaken, the friends surveyed the soiled ground and realized that alone, their efforts would have all been in vain. In their future travels the incident of the Horrible Caterpillar was often good for a laugh, but only because the dread of the beast was far behind them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Inktober Day 7: The Fox Prince


The Fox Prince

As the forest grew thicker and darker, a chill spread through the shadows. Cor began sticking closer to Bartholomew, and growled a bit. He could smell trouble. Suddenly, in a break in the underbrush, they spied a strange, darkly cloaked figure. But strangest of all was his face - a Fox! And above his head an eerie golden apparition of a crown. 
Suddenly the Bard's strange song came back to Bartholomew: 

"Once a prince, now rules alone, 
Cursed to wander, road his home,

Human form now laid to rest,
The Fox Prince stalks, both croft and nest,

For greed his heart hath all-consumed
and greed will be his waking doom.

But raiding coop and stripping vine,
Is only his to bide the time

For on future day of vengeance near,
Will Prince reclaim all he holds dear"

The strange fox let out a strange cry upon spying the travelers, and dashed into the deep forest. Both Cor and Pilgrim were glad to say farewell to that horrible creature, but Cor's sharp mind had suspicion that they would see him again far too soon...

Inktober Day 6: The Lady of Beetlewood


The Lady of Beetlewood

Pilgrim and Cor bid farewell to the Bard the next morning, and went on their way. They came to a clear spot along the road mostly devoid of trees, and spied a great black mound coming toward them. As they got closer, they realized it was giant beetle! It moved at a moderate, jerky pace and towering above the travelers was a rider - an elegant lady of about twenty with a broad hat.

She halted a moment and hailed the travelers. Her name was Lady Eleanor of Beetlewood and she informed them that she was returning from Stumptown where she was clearing up some diplomatic disturbances between a clan of Black Bears and the Shepherdess of the Bees. Cor was none too pleased with the strangeness of the beetle before him, but refrained from doing anything rash to annoy the hulking horned beast. Before departing, the kind Lady admonished them to stay to the road, as there had been reports lately of a strange figure wandering the woods...

Inktober Day 5: The Friendly Bard

The Friendly Bard

Upon leaving the Mushroom village behind, Bartholomew & Cor encountered a friendly bard singing in a clearing in the woods. He had a cheery demeanor and an equally cheery campfire, and as it was growing late, the Bard invited the two to share the warmth of the blaze.
They quickly made friends with the musical fellow, who informed them that the road ahead through the forest was very long and not always as pleasant as the miles they had traveled so far. As the weary Pilgrim and his canine companion drifted away to sleep, the Bard struck up a strange song that blended into the orange flames of the fire as their tired eyes closed. The last bit that Pilgrim remembered was snatches of a verse about a strange prince... and an equally strange curse...