Part 14: Escarpa - In The Court Of The Escarpan King14. Escarpa - In The Court Of The Escarpan King
Heading down the stairway we come across an Escarpan woman washing--dishes? Clothes? She accidentally gives Boogle a rinse when he gets too close to the vat.
(Someone left this clothespin just hanging here.)
Actually, Torin, I'm not sure that's--
--or just take it. Yup, why not? It was clearly abandoned on that clothesline. It's all yours, Torin! Why don't you just start yelling at strangers like the crazy person you are?
Wait, I wasn't serious--
Hello! *echoes throughout canyon*
I think he's trying to give Torin the middle finger. Probably a good time to leave.
Oh hey, look at that. We're in the throne room of the Escarpan royal family. That was easy. No guards or anything. Torin has an easier time getting audiences with foreign leaders, than some people have getting into their own apartments.
Well, well, what have we here? It's nice to see humility in somebody around here.
Good day, sir!
Yes, it is, isn't it? But then every day here is a good day in paradise.
A land as lovely as this should be called Paradise.
Maybe we should. But we call it Escarpa. But the real question is, what do we call you?
Oh, forgive me sir. My name is Torin of the Lands Above.
I am Rupert, king of Escarpa, and this is my lovely queen Di.
Oh, how do you do, maam?
Alarmed, I'm sure.
Eh, what's that?
I said, "charmed I'm sure!"
Eh, that's nice.
King Rupert, Queen Di, I am here seeking Lycentia, an evil sorceress who may be in this area. Have you heard of her?
I haven't heard of any Lycentia.
He hasn't heard of anything he can remember.
What's that, my queen?
I said, "if you'd heard a thing, you'd have her dismembered!"
Yes, that's true--she's not here in Escarpa young man. Perhaps she is in some world below us? But you are welcome to stay here as my guest for as long as you wish.
Thank you, your majesty. Do you know how to get to the worlds below Escarpa?
It seems I recall a connection back when I was a young boy but lately we've seen no one at all from the other worlds--I don't know why, I suppose we've just lost touch.
You can say that again.
Eh? I missed that, Di.
I said, "I say, that's a sin!"
Well, yes, I suppose--ahem, I didn't realize you felt so strongly about foreign affairs.
If you only know.
I cannot stay long in Escarpa, I must find Lycentia.
Yes, I understand. But in your travels if you happen upon a young lady named Leenah, would you give her a message?
Of course, but how will I know her? What will she look like?
Hmm, well, Leenah is uhm--very tall--um--yes, nearly as tall as you.
And nearly as unsightly.
I said, "she should call home nightly!"
Is Leenah from Escarpa?
Of course! She is my daughter.
Oh really! A princess? Has she been gone long?
Only a few days. But parents worry nonetheless.
I understand, I know what it's like to miss a loved one.
Di, my dear, why don't you give this boy a piece of your jewellry that way Leenah will know he represents us!
Oh brother, are you right in his pocket!
What was that?
I said, "tell her mother sent her this locket."
Oh, yes, good idea!
Here Torin, take this one. See? It has a picture of Rupert and me on the inside.
I promise to keep it safe until I find her.
You mentioned a message for Leenah, your majesty.
Why yes, tell her to come home. We all miss her greatly.
At least one of us.
Eh? What's that you say, Di?
I said, "every last one of us."
Oh, well--yes, that's right. So tell her that, my boy, if you happen upon her that is.
I love the artwork over your throne, your majesty.
Why, thank you. But somehow I've always felt my shard collection was incomplete.
As incomplete as your memory, you specious fool.
What's that you say, darling?
I said, "no art can compete with our memories, my precious jewel."
Oh yes, quite so, quite so. What do you think boy? Isn't she something?
Yes, that she is.
Your majesty, I can see you're a lover of crystals.
Yes, that's the only kind he is.
What did you say?
I said, "yes, and how kind he is."
Why thank you dear, but continue boy.
I humbly offer you this gift from the Lands Above. I think it will balance your set of crystal shards. May I?
Yes, of course.
There. Ahem, and as this one simple shard completes the connection between the formerly distinct spectra above us, so to may our two worlds be connected by, uh, the, uh, peace, and the, the, uh, understanding, that, uh, comes from, uh, you know it, um, like that there... oh...
I say, what the devil was the boy talking about, Di?
Di, what did you say?
I said, "beats me."
Well, I'll consider it!
Why thank you Torin, it's perfect! And in return, I'd like to present you with invitation to next weeks royal ball.
Nice swap! Shard for free tickets, you cheapskate!
What? What did you say, Di?
I said, "I hope he's still free at this late date.
Oh--yes boy, do attend!
Thank you, your majesty.
Your majesty, this tile seems similar to others I've seen around Escarpa.
Oh yes, I suppose it is. It was a most popular style a few years ago.
May I have it for my collection?
But what for?
Oh nothing I guess, I just kinda liked it.
No! Not without a very good reason, young man!
(Drat. Well, maybe I can at least score some free food before I go).
I can't wait to meet Leenah, I've never met a princess before.
Yes, she was such a wonderful child, so sweet-natured. Oh I miss her dearly.
I can believe that.
What was that?
I said, "I can believe that--you miss her."
Godspeed Torin. We wish you luck on your journey.
That was unpleasant. Not as awful as spending time with the Bitternuts, but unpleasant nonetheless. Let's retrace our steps and continue down the cliff side to see if there's anything we can do to cleanse our palate.
(How strange, that ramp juts out even farther than the vulture's nest below it. But let's see what's in this cave first.)
Great, an unclaimed tile!
Ive got it! Peee-you! What a stench! I wonder what's inside there.
Boogle, can you be a worm? Check back inside there. I bet it's a way outta this land.
Yeah... I bet it's dark in there. What do we do? Boogle, turn into a lantern so we can see what's back there.
Wow Boogle, it looks brown and soft and smells terrible. We've just gotta have some of that!
Uh, say Boogle, would you mind being a shovel?
Okay Boogle, turn back into a worm again and get outta there! But don't forget our... sample...
Torin is far too pleased with himself. Fortunately, this experience has been far more wonderful than those spent with the Bitternuts or Rupert and Di!