Monthly Archives: June 2008
By E. N. Wilson
Read by Jodi Krangle
As Bar Dan emerged at the top of the castle tower for the two hundred and forty-second time, pigeons bombarded him for the two hundred and forty-second time with their droppings, and then a shadow blotted out the sun.
Bar Dan looked up, prudently shielding his eyes with one hand, to discover that the shadow did not belong to a pigeon of unusual size as he had supposed. Instead, it was produced by a dragon of rather normal size–not that Bar Dan had ever seen a dragon, but when people kept describing something as “large as a house” or “looming like a mountain,” an impression formed that the something was pretty darn big. The small boy struggling in the dragon’s claws and screaming at the top of his lungs helped to add perspective.
“That looks like the Archmage’s son,” thought Bar Dan. “Too bad it isn’t a princess. A princess would have been perfect.”
The village elders had said “If you can’t rescue a princess, see if you can kill a man-eating giant with your bare hands. That should be worth something.” Bar Dan hadn’t seen a princess or a giant, even a vegetarian one, in the four weeks since he had graduated from barbarian finishing school with the top honor of Most Likely to Survive. The village had taken up a collection and raised enough furs to send him over the Dark Karpulth mountains into the civilized East in the hope that the East had a shortage of well-muscled young men able to wrestle a boar to the ground while looking good in a fur Speedo. His instructions were to travel to the capitol city of Kang-Res Dar, and then find a king or queen to hire him as champion. After that, he merely had to rescue a princess, collect an enormous reward, and then come straight home–doing a little pillaging if time permitted. […]