Ok, Welcome all! =^^=
Thank you, Lurking Dragon for the assist on grilling, That helps enormously, the grill is over there...
* Fash, Sizzle * >O.o<
Ooook, I guess the Wal-Mart model, isn't up to dragon breath standard, just a sec....
* Scampers off to Warehouse H-17 *
* Beep, Beep, Beep, returns driving a forklift holding a titanic grill *
All right, this is the same ceramic they use to divert the exhaust plume of the Space Shuttle on lift off! It is very heat resistant, and non-stick to boot! =^^=
Shyal, Fusion, thanks for bringing some treats!
* With a squee and a clickety-clackety (English translation: Free the brethren!) a toothy living soap dish grabs the bag of living marshmallows and skitters back into the darkness *
A-heh heh, I was wondering where those guys had gotten too! =^^;; Unclemonty, we may need your services to chase down a couple other things later on!
it's a good thing I have a 2nd tub of marinade! Hee, hee! Just make sure someone doesn't try to bob for you in there!
Glad you could make it SW, please make yourself at home!
Astral! Hee, hee! How did you know that Darkwing Duck was one of my favorite cartoon characters? If you get that colored in, please tell me, I'd love to see it!
Now, without further ado, please allow me to present:
Trajan Beyond the Mistwall
Chapter One: A Bad Morning
Misty pale dawn broke on the outskirts of the Dire Swamp. Just inside, not deep enough to be completely isolated, but far enough to discourage casual visitors, sat a small, miserable hut. The shanty was not much to look at from the outside, merely four wooden walls and a slanted roof to shed rain away from the entrance.
Upon entering, one would find the interior equally unremarkable. The area opposite the entrance was filled by the bevy nest of its sole occupant. The pile of cushions and rags stirred as that resident came to life. A dirty grey muzzle poked its way out from under the sheets and snorted.
Trajan did not want to wake up this morning, not at all. He did not keep a calendar but this day forever haunted him as the day his beloved Lamilora died in his arms. He turned over in the nest a few times, but sleep refused to take him.
Generally speaking, Trajan was built big for a rac-conan. He “towered” a full three tall feet at the tips of his ears, putting him nearly a foot taller than his shorter brethren. Big boned wide and stocky fit Trajan’s description as well.
He crawled out of the nest this morning looking particularly disheveled and unwholesome. His matted facial fur looked like it hadn’t been groomed in days. Closer inspection revealed the ruin of his right eye, another souvenir of the day he lost Lamilora. His tail presented an even sorrier state, a few brambles still lurked inside the bushy fur that hadn’t been groomed out last night. Thus far Trajan avoided the mange, but if he continued to neglect himself, it would not be far off.
An unusual chill in the swamp air greeted Trajan this morning and the atmosphere seemed strangely subdued. But he was too wrapped up in his own funk to care. Mechanically, he donned his plain black eye patch, more out of habit than any sense of fashion or propriety.
Breakfast today consisted of pan fried mushrooms and crayfish. Occasionally, the scent of cooking food lifted Trajan’s spirits in the memory of better times, not so today. He ate his meal straight from the pan, not wishing to make any extra work for himself. Worse, he burned his paw on the hot utensil. He kept the presence of mind long enough to eat the meal, but once he finished, he angrily threw the pan away. The pan blasted through the side of his hut and sailed a good distance into the swamp. Trajan stared dumbfounded at the hole his temper made and heard the pan skip off the water three times before sinking into the murk. A moan emanated from the damaged structure and it fell outwards. The rest of the building paused for a moment, as if thinking what it should do next. A puff of breeze completed the decision and the remainder collapsed on Trajan’s head. Finally, a light rain added the final straw.
Years later, the legend of a mysterious monster and its long mournful cry would be told to kits as a warning against venturing alone too deeply into the swamp.
Trajan’s mood was black as his eye patch. He sorted through the wreckage of his hut for his hunting gear. The morning rain lasted just long enough to make everything wet. It stopped by the time Trajan found his hat. His headfur and face were well matted by then, and his shirt and upper torso were damp as well.
Years later, Trajan sometimes wondered just what he had hoped to accomplish by going out that morning. Regardless, he packed his gear on his back and struck out for the deep swamp.
Always tell the truth, that way you don't have to remember anything. -- Mark twain