The Ward & the Bone: 6

The evening following their arrival to Cage Spamalot, The Lady of the Shake and her honorable Bites have settled into their guest quarters, much appreciating the fluffy, soft floor beds Grr Barker and his troupe has made available. As is customary, a Grand Feast is held in honor of the regal guests, with minstrels and jesters providing song and entertainment while the nobility discuss matters of state.

“He is Brave Grr Slobin, Brave Grr Slobin!”

Dancing atop an empty table, a small crew of minstrels begins singing the same song they sung as they approached the Cage earlier in the day.

Slightly under the influence, Grr Barker stands and hoists his silver goblet-bowl to request something else.

“Minstrels!” He barks loudly. “Play a song honoring the Kaynine’s who conquered the Kingdom!”

This request catches the attention of the entire court, as the events that led to the Kaynines’ triumph have been long debated amongst the land. Opting to please their host, the minstrels pick a tune that honors Grr Barker’s father, the current King of the Realm.

“Yes! We shall play the tale of Toother Mansbestfriendragon!”

Taking their positions, the minstrels begin singing the ballad that honors Grr Barker’s father and his campaign to liberate the Realm from the Phelyons oppressive rule.

“They came from nowhere, these Kaynines, and when they saw the harsh Phelyons, they drew their bones, and threw their stones, and now the Realm has grown and grown! With treats they came and fed the land, upon the Phelyons sad last stand, the Bites of Round Bowl, then unknown, gave peace by wielding EXCALIBONE!!”

As the melody booms throughout the Hall, Grr Barker leans back, proudly watching the court revel in the victorious song. Noticing a subtle poke in his side, he turns to see what has approached him as the rest focus on the continuing ballad.

“What’s this?” He asks, looking down at the rat-servant who has poked him.

“Please, my liege, The Lady of the Shake beckons you.” The servant says, bowing her head in respect.

Intrigued, Grr Barker leans over to a still-enamored Grr Pantsalot.

“Grr Pants, keep an eye out on the festivities. I must answer this most cryptic of dispatches. I leave you in charge of the festivities.”

“Of course, my Liege.” Grr Pantsalot barks. “I shall oversee the feast with honor.”

Satsified that he’s placed the Feast in a good boy’s hands, Grr Barker exits the chambers as he follows the rat-servant. Making their way through a winding tunnel of underground catabones, they arrive at a secret chamber previously unknown. Waiting patiently is the Lady of the Shake, whom Grr Barker watched walking through his Cage doors just hours before.

“Greetings, Grr Barker.” The Lady says, her soothing voice echoing through the underground halls. “I have learned much about you over the past several months.”

Not knowing what kind of encounter this will be, Grr Barker responds with a neutral tone.

“Is that so, Lady? Pray tell, how have you come upon such knowledge? Our Kingdoms are united, yet separated. How has my liking been passed along to your lands?”

Casually strutting forward, the magnificently beautiful Lady of the Shake walks down from the elevated stone she is standing on.

“Such knowledge has not been obtained conventionally, my dear Prince. It has come to me in a vision, one which overwhelmed me when I shook off the bathwater the other day after I bathed.”

”Tell me of this vision, m’Lady.” Grr Barker says, kneeling.

“I exited the tub, Prince, whereupon a towel was placed upon me. As I dashed into the nearest blanket and comforter to maniacally shed the moisture that plagued my fur, I saw you. I saw you holding the fabled Excalibone, standing tall amidst a ferocious battle. You were fighting the last of the Phelyons who had so desperately launched an assault on your Kingdom!”

Hearing of the Lady’s vision, Grr Barker gasps.

GASP!

“This…this cannot be so!” He barks, taking a step back. “My father ousted the last of the Phelyons! It is known!”

“No, Grr Barker.” The Lady says. “Evil still remains in the Realm, and it is your destiny to destroy it. You must dispatch yourselves and find the fabled Excalibone! There is no other way.”

Knowing The Lady of the Shake never speaks untruth, Grr Barker pauses a moment, and takes a deep breath.

“Yes. I shall find it, m’Lady!” Turning to the rat-servant who led him, he instructs her to scribe a dispatch. I call upon all the Good Boys and Bites of the Round Bowl! Gather! We have a quest!!”

To be continued…


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