Post details: Chapter 55 - You must gather your party before venturing forth.Flip the order!
Chapter 55 - You must gather your party before venturing forth.
The next two years were a long and hard journey for the King’s Adventure friends. Within a month, they were starving for the love that the King’s presence brought. They bickered and fought with each other. Stuff that they used to think was cool didn’t seem cool any more. Timothy and Jacob, who’d levelled up so much during the fight with the undead that they’d both become powerful generals with cool stats, took the thousand-or-so remaining troops and marched them back towards Europe’s Capital City. Now that they had all these new levels, they thought that they were in charge or something. One day, five months into their journey to Portugal, Axe Axewound just took off into the forest and no one even bothered to look for him because he’d made a big scene at dinner the previous night. He was angry with Roxy Tripfoot for allowing the King to leave. This was irrational. Roxy Tripfoot had had nothing to do with it. Axe just turned into a werewolf and howled at her and everyone was unsettled and then he’d stomped off beyond the campfire for the night. In the morning, he’d said nothing until noon, then he ran off into the forest.
With Axe gone, everyone just took their sense of loss and aggression out on Colonel Glowfist. They made fun of him for being fat, and he couldn’t defend himself because he himself was ashamed of being so damn fat. After a while, he spoke only to David. Every day, he gave David magic lessons. Because David was his only friend on that long, troublesome journey, he taught him really well. He really wanted David to one day become a King who was also incredibly talented with magic. He taught David some things that only really high-level archmagi could pull off. He wasn’t really supposed to do stuff like that, but whatever.
They were going to Portugal because that’s where the King’s personal boat was stashed. The Portuguese were a short, furry, tree-dwelling people who made the best boats, and they’d given the King the greatest boat in the world when he had solved a murder mystery. He found out who had killed the Chief Portuguese. He had asked questions in bars and looked for clues. The murderer had been the Chief Portuguese’s Grand Vizier. This had been a while back, when the King was still a young man, and he hadn’t really used the boat, which was called Good Ship Oranje, very much during his lifetime. It was looked after by a close Portuguese childhood friend of the King’s called Louis. Louis was allowed to take the Good Ship Oranje out on missions and chick cruises as often as he liked, so long as he kept Good Ship Oranje fully crewed and maintained and ready for the King’s personal use at all times. It took the Adventure Friends nearly a year to reach Portugal, Louis and the Good Ship Oranje. There were adventures and setbacks along the way. They had run into some old reindeer friends of Gappy and they had to restore the old Alpha Reindeer as the head of the herd. There was a new, evil Alpha Reindeer who was messing everything up. Gappy challenged him to a Reindeer Fight and won and then handed power back over to the old Alpha Reindeer and so the Adventure Friends went on their way. Only Gappy could talk to other reindeer, so that particular sub-quest had been a real pain. The Adventure Friends travelled across the whole of Europe, finding lost sisters, avenging senseis, solving crimes, running errands, eliminating gang bosses, returning favours, helping ineffectual suitors win their lady loves, scaring off protection rackets, hunting ogres, and generally being cool people. They did all of this to fund their journey and to honour their memory of the King. The King would have jumped at any chance to help a child of Europe and they knew it with every fibre of their being. They even found a new companion, Bernardetta Leathervest, hanging around a pub. She was a girl fighter and a decent replacement for Axe Axewound. She didn’t do anything too fancy, but she could wear heavy armour and was good with a spear (for medium distance fighting) and with a mace (for fighting skeletons).
When they finally met up with Louis at the Lisboa docks, they were near exhausted. They’d been up all night chasing around after some Dracula who’d sold them a fake Dracula King Medallion for a ludicrous sum of gold. They’d hunted him down in his little rented hovel and then there’d been a big fight with his hired witches. They’d taken their gold back, but they hadn’t yet had the time to rest. They were still sore, bloody and bone-tired when Louis hugged them all at the gangplank of Good Ship Oranje.
“Glowfist, you old so-and-so! It’d take me three whole Portuyears to hug all of ya! What happened to your sleek and slender frame, lad?” said Louis while trying to hug Colonel Glowfist. “Who’re ya friends?”
“This is Roxy Tripfoot, the long-dead Priestess-Queen of the Gypsies,” said Colonel Glowfist, leading Louis to each Adventure Friend for a hug.
“How lucky ya’re to have such an exotic beauty cavorting round ya! But watch em gypsies, Glowfist, they’ll eat ya.” said Louis, in good humour. “And here’s Prince David, I see, they do grow up so, don’t they? Nice to have someone to hug who’s the same size’s me!”
“This is Ba’al,” said Colonel Glowfist, “He’s a Desert God from Jerusalem,”
“Now there’s a man ya can count on in a tussle, ay? Nothing like a big Desert God with a great blessed scythe ta back yis up. Pleased ta meet ya, Ba’al.” said Louis, mid-hug.
“This is Bernardetta Leathervest,” said Colonel Glowfist, “She’s new.”
“Aye, she looks like a lesbian. But it takes all kinds to make an Adventure Team, don’t it.” Louis hugged her just as kindly as he had the others. “And look at this beautiful creature!” he said, meaning Gappy, “Hey there Gappy, ma boy, ya got some grey whiskers now, but ya still as pretty as a young buck on a long voyage.”
“He turns into a person sometimes. We’ve been teaching him how to talk.” Said Colonel Glowfist. Louis looked around.
“Now, where’s the King at, ay? I expect he’ll be along shortly, and that Sally will be with him. She’s never far from his side.”
Colonel Glowfist cleared his throat and told him the reason for their chartering of the Good Ship Oranje. Then he told him about Sally. Louis was silent for some time, then said, “Aye. Those lightning traps can be very well concealed. And quick. Very quick.” He then led the Adventure Friends up the gangplank and onto the ship. “Well, if it’s to the New World ya be going, then there’s no other crate in all of Europe that’d make the voyage, seein’ as they don’t make proper Viking ships no more. Let’s go rescue us the King of Europe!”
They set sail that afternoon. It was a difficult voyage. Louis and his crew had never been to the New World before, so they had to pick up a new navigator in Madeira. The new navigator turned out to be an evil wizard, so once they’d killed him and the giant rats and the water dragon that he’d summoned from another dimension, they had to second-guess at his maps and figure out his strange instruments. There was one big adventure with a sea-hag, and a minor adventure came about when some pirates kidnapped David, but otherwise it was a boring year at sea. David spent almost all of his time solving mysteries, finding lost items and asking lots of questions, with the rest of his time spent studying magic with Colonel Glowfist. The Adventure Friends were still at odds with each other quite often, but it was less severe as it had been the previous year. The crew were friendly and all kinds of new friendships came about. Colonel Glowfist and Roxy Tripfoot never even so much as touched each other. Roxy Tripfoot would often tell him how the motion of the ship on the water made her feel ill, but really she was just disgusted at all his fat. By spending so much time with David, Colonel Glowfist’s weight didn’t abate at all. One day, the cry came out that land had been sighted and there was a big party that consumed the last of their food and drink. During the party, Colonel Glowfist discovered that Roxy Tripfoot had been bunking down with the ship’s cook (who was partially gypsy) for many weeks. He cried and cried, but was so drunk that he’d forgotten all about it in the morning.
They were just about to make landfall when their ship was eaten by an octopus.
End Of Chapter 55