Drawful the Awful is the ongoing series/novel in progress following the pursuits of the dragon, Drawful, who is awful at being a dragon, and his “kidnapee” the Princess Brooke. The full series can be found here.
Plebo sat on his horse regarding the two warriors he had consigned to seeking out Prince Chauncey and joining him on the quest for the blade of the Unbidden. Now, at this point, it should be noted that the Blade of the Unbidden was not a real blade- was being the operative word.
The world in which our tale takes place is one of fairy tale imagination, which is to say: it is magical. However, it is a very specific kind of magical, one which only Plebo was truly aware of due to his status as a non-native.
The magic of the kingdom, was that of imagination. Most people mistakenly assumed the magic of the land was magic itself, but “magic” as a unique force that could, say, turn a man into a catfish after a conjurer mumbled a few words and waved a sprig of wood was a component of the bigger force at play. Imagination was what allowed those conjurers to come up with the spell that could turn a man into a catfish, the words to mumble and the swish and flick of the wood that would cause it to happen. The power of imagination made magic real. It also made dragons real. And ghosts. And fairies, sprites, gnomes, elves (of various sorts), orcs, werewolves, and many other things real.
Plebo thusly knew, it would also make the Blade of the Unbidden real. He had been very careful, then in imagining where it might be. Unlike the King Lando, Plebo thought it best for Lando to stay out of the Alabaster Kingdom’s affairs. For personal reasons, he rather liked the tone of the Kingdom of Anathema. The last thing he wanted was the Kingdom to be changed around by King Lando’s mid-life crisis being jump started by some go getter in laws by way of his son.
Plebo assured himself that Prince Chauncey would concur as well. So, Plebo hoped that his imagination had proven the quickest of anyone’s. He gave the information to the pair of soldiers. Both were upright and alert despite the evening hour. Plebo on the other hand lay laconically over his saddle against his steed’s mane.
“So yeah, look for the dragon who guards the blade,” Plebo assured them.
The swordsman, Claro looked professionally from his partner to Plebo in turn and spoke slowly and clearly. “To confirm, this a different dragon than the one who kidnapped the Princess?”
The archer, Lucinda, rolled her eyes up at the lavender cloud swathed night sky. “Christ Claro, he said that.”
Plebo rolled his eyes as well but didn’t sit up from against the back of his horse’s neck. “Yes, Drawful is the one who stole the Princess. It’s another one to the South of the Alabaster Kingdom that has the blade you need.”
“What’s his name?”
“Drawful,” Lucinda groaned in exasperation, itching to just get on the road as it was late enough already. She shifted her quiver anxiously on her back and shook her short bow in the side saddle to confirm it was still secure.
Claro looked stupidly at the woman’s restlessness, and incorrectly assumed it meant he should do an extra thorough job of re-confirming all the information Plebo had relayed to them earlier than afternoon. “So, Drawful has the Princess, and we are going to find Chauncey to find the dragon whose name is?”
“Drawful,” Plebo groaned laconically, looking ready to ooze off his horse into the ground where he seemed he might consider sleeping for the night.
“No, I mean the other dragon. The one with the blade? I don’t think you ever told us his name.”
Lucinda blinked in astonishment, realizing that in her rush she had indeed also forgotten to get a name for the dragon they needed to find first. Certainly, they knew he had the Blade of the Unbidden, but it would always be easier to find the Blade if they could find the dragon who owned it.
Lucinda looked seriously at Plebo who became slowly aware of the implied expectation that he provide the name. To their surprise Plebo suddenly sat upright and cleared his throat as he hummed in consideration. “I er, the dragon’s name is Fallon. Fallon of the er, Terrible Fire and er, Much, Meanness.”
There were a pair of stoic blinks and Claro maintained his professional air. Repeating, without a hint of dubiousness that Lucinda marveled at: “Fallon of the Terrible Fire and Much Meanness. Got it.”
“Any idea where Drawful might be once we have the blade?” Lucinda asked.
“According to word from a bard that just came from outside Alabaster, they’re on their way South of Alabaster. So, shouldn’t be far for you once you have the blade.” Plebo sat up even straighter and turned to see King Lando approaching on a gray mare. The King showed plainly how uncomfortable he was riding, even at a trot. The portly royal shifted and fidgeted in the seat with grimaces at the inability to find a position in the saddle he’d consider comfortable for any period on the road. Plebo felt his throat tighten that the King looked ready for something of a road trip judging by the cloak and loaded saddlebags.
Lucinda looked at Claro for some sort of help, but the dimwitted swordsman only saluted his King and promised that they would be on their way unless the King had other advice for them. Lando dismissed them and came up equal with Plebo who sat stock still in dread at what he was sure the King was about to suggest. “Well, Peas, certainly won’t do for everyone else to be off on some adventure and for us to be home waiting for the news?”
Plebo managed only to shake his head in mute concordance of the sentiment. Lando watched the two soldiers trot off to the Southwestern gate from the city, and motioned for Plebo to follow him to the Western. “Come on friend, we can reach the Alabaster Kingdom in time for breakfast if we set out.”
“Sir,” Plebo searched his mind for something to derail his liege, “I haven’t had time to prepare.”
Lando slapped the saddlebag, “got you right here.”
“But sir, to ride overnight?”
“Stable boy said we could just let the horses do the walking, turns out they’ll follow the road.”
“Surely we should send word to King Nicholas before we show up?”
They were at the gate and Lando stuck his tongue out and blew a raspberry at Plebo’s objections. “Please, we’ve been invited.”
“He’s always responded with contrition at being unable to make it to our parties and gatherings.”
“You said we’d been invited, though.”
“Well, yes. By implication. Peas, it’s a long road. Find something more interesting to discuss,” Lando chastised as they set off into moonlit night.