The Ward & the Bone: 12

“Grr Barker, you’re up early.”

Trotting aimlessly through the hedge maze outside of Cage Spamalot, Master Squirrelin spots the new King on a morning stroll.

“Aye, Master. I found it difficult to slumber this morning. I am used to my princely duties, but now that I have inherited the Bone, I find that the responsibilities weight heavy on my conscience.”

“This is understandable, my Liege.” Squirrelin says as he pats Grr Barker on the back. “Your newfound tasks must cast an unimaginable burden.”

“They do, old friend. They do.” Barker sighs.

“My King, there is something I must share with you. I have spent much time digging through the archives. There is something I believe that must be addressed.”

Intrigued, the young King raises an eyebrow.

“Go on,” he barks.

“Barker, I have known you since you were just a pup. You know that I have always had your best interests at heart. May I speak freely?” Squirrelin asks.

“Of course,” Barker nods.

Stopping their pace, Squirrelin places a hand at the King’s chest. Looking up in surprise at the gesture, Barker turns to the mage to give him his full attention.

“There is much peril brewing in the East.” The old Squirrel says.

“Peril?” Barker asks, caught off guard dog.

“Yes, my liege. Peril. Much of it.”

Squinting his eyes and slowly casting his gaze toward the rolling hills to the East, Grr Barker suddenly wafts his hair back.

“These lands are as secure as ever!” He barks with confidence.

“My liege! You must listen.” Squirrelin pleads. “There is one who remains. One who was not felled during the War of the Realm. She is a Phelyon known as Corgin La Fey. She is mustering a massive army to reclaim what was once theirs!”

Recognizing the sincerity in Master Squirrelin’s plea, Grr Barker’s arrogant smirk fades into a look of concern.

“Are you certain of this, Master?” He asks.

“I am.”

“Hmm.” Barker hums, stroking his beard. “I shall consult my Bites about this. We must purge the Realm of any evil if it does, in fact, remain.”

“It remains, my liege. It assuredly remains. There is more…”

“Oh?” The King Barks.

“Yes.” Squirrelin asserts. “The prophecies have foretold there is but one way to defeat this scourge. You must recover Excalibone! The sword your father wielded during the War of the Realm. It is the only way that this Corgin will be defeated.”

“A quest, you say?” Barker barks.

“A quest!” Master Squirrelin repeats.

“Then it is so!” Barker shouts, head held high. “Myself and my Bites will take on this quest with honor and return balance to the Realm!”

“Excellent!” The magic-wielding rodent exclaims. “Excalibone!”

“It shall be mine!”

 


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