56 – Signs

There wasn’t really much left for him to examine. This was going to be a difficult one to report.

From what he saw, it had been a direct hit. It had burned right thru the four-inch steel plates the fools had tried to use as armor.

He walked around the charred and twisted husk of had once been a battle wagon. From its size and general configuration it must have carried a crew of four, five if there had been a turret.

He knew he’d hardly find any remains inside, the heat had just been too intense.

He traced the track marks back to the place where they had rammed the perimeter fence. Running over the warning signs.

He shook his head, what the hell were they thinking? His eyes kept following the track marks up the nearest hill until he found what he was looking for.

A gold and red flag with a silver boar fluttered lazily in the breeze. The house of Ulrich. At least he knew who to notify.

This fad was getting out of hand. He was beginning to get tired of having to clean up the mess left by stupid young knights trying to gain entry to some lady’s heart –or more likely her bedroom– by impressing her with “an act of valor”.

Pampered little brats, so confident their daddy’s treasure would suffice to cover any legal ramifications of their stupid drunken bravado. Guess what, junior… even the best of wizards need at least some bit of your body to bring you back.

He summoned the maintenance imps and left them to restore the fence.

His familiar would take care of sending back the flag, along with the customary note explaining how the brave (prince/knight/heir) from the noble house of whatever had gallantly met his death while courageously fighting against a powerful enemy.

It was pure troll shit, of course. But it sounded way better than telling them the truth.

Lost in thought, he suddenly noticed he was stepping on the sign. With a gesture he returned it to its place atop the fence. He read it again, wondering what part of it was not clear enough to understand.

“Beware all ye who fear death, as all who pass beyond this point shall surely find her, for here there be dragons.”

He sighed. Perhaps a simple “No trespassing” would have been easier to understand by their stupid little heads?

The homunculus inside the golden cage on his belt awoke, there was a breach alarm on the eastern fence, right by the Leviathan pit.

“Stupid kids.” He thought. “You’d think by now they would have learned to stay clear off my lawn.”

He sighed again, and spread his wings.

• • •

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