This is the first official episode of the Chronicles of Chadwick. You can view the character post link up here. Every week a different blog will be carrying the story, but don't worry, we'll all link up so you can find it. Also look out for the hashtags #hotpotatostory and #chroniclesofchadwick on Twitter!
Episode One: In which Bea Brightbolt meets Chadwick and Sends him on a "Mission."
|Image By AshesDust|
Bea Brightbolt stroked the russet fur of her pet fox, Ginger, then stood on her tiptoes so they could rub noses. The fox licked Bea's broad forehead between her wide green eyes. Bea giggled.
“I'll be back again before you know it, Ginge. I can't go dragging you into town with me. Too many chickens mean too much temptation.”
Bea carefully secured the doors to her gypsy wagon and watched as Ginger took up watch on the seat. Her goats were tethered nearby, stripping a small tree of its branches. All was right. Just a quick walk into town to find her latest patsy . . . er . . . employee.
The sun was already low in the sky as she strode into town. She adjusted her knapsack across her shoulders and searched out the local tavern, a bustling place that she could smell from across the street.
“Sweat and ale.” She wrinkled her turned up nose. “I'll definitely want a bath after this.”
Crossing the street at a run, she put one foot over the threshold only to feel a strong hand hold her back.
“Where do you think you're going, little one? Does your mother know you're out so late?” a deep voice asked.
Bea turned to him with a glare she hoped would make his head hurt.
His fingers fell from her shoulder. “Beg your pardon, miss. I didn't realize . . . we don't get many gnomes in these parts.”
“How sad for you.” She looked the man up and down. “Perhaps you could help me. I'm looking for a very particular sort of man, someone down on his luck. Does that make you think of anyone?”
“There's old Sam the beggar. He never has a penny to his name.”
“No, no, I mean someone who has recently broken a magic mirror? Crossed too many black cats? That sort of thing. Who do people laugh at when stories are told around the fire?”
The man's eyes widened. “Well . . .there is Sir Chadwick.”
Bea's large ears wiggled. “Sir? A knight? Even better.”
“Well, he was a knight, of sorts, but early last year, he got suckered into a game of knuckle bones with the town gremlin.”
Bea snorted. “Never wise. What did he lose? His first born son?”
“Nothing that tragic. Just his voice. They local knights' guild had to let him go, since he's mute and can no longer taunt his enemies or sing of his victories. There is a condition to his muteness, though. The Gremlin sends his voice back for an hour or so at sunset. He lives out behind the castle now, in a shack between the stables and the kennels. If you hurry you might catch him while he can talk to you.”
Bea bolted through the streets, down a dark alley, and around the great stone wall of the local castle.
There, sitting on a stump, humming a wordless tune, sat a handsome young man of around twenty. His sad blue eyes concentrated downward.
“Well, hello there, Chaddie my Laddie!” Bea grinned, climbing onto his lap. “Do I have a deal for you!”
Chadwick recoiled. His mouth quirked, and he cleared his throat. “What . . . who . . .?” his voice was husky from disuse.
“Look here, I heard about your difficulty, losing your voice to a Gremlin, that's rotten luck, simply rotten.” Bea patted his golden locks. “Ooh, you're fluffy. I like it. A nice fluffy knight like you, you shouldn't be stuck moping around a dull dead end town like this. How about a noble quest?”
“You do know I can only talk for an hour a day, don't you?” Chadwick frowned.
“I like my men quiet. You see, I have a problem. There's a princess who has gotten herself captured by dragons. Isn't that sad?”
“I suppose . . .”
“And if you rescued her, I'm sure there will be a handsome reward. After all princesses usually have fairy godmothers or something. With the help of a fairy, your voice will pop right back so you can make all sorts of pretty promises you don't intend to keep.”
Chadwick turned red. “A princess? Held by dragons? That is terrible, but why are you sending me after her? Shouldn't her parents, I don't know, send a prince or something?”
Bea stuck out her bottom lip and force it to shake. “That's the sad part. She has no family.” She sniffled. “All alone, poor dear, stuck with a bunch of cold blooded monsters, no one to rescue her . . . or the beautiful golden necklace she wears . . . I'd do it myself, but you see, the dragons have sentries and sort of know what I look like. We . . . got into it a couple of years ago, over a misunderstanding about some borrowed items. They'll see me coming a mile a way and get all flustered. A clever man like you should be able to sneak right on by!" She glanced at the sky. The last rays of sunlight were already dying. Not much time left to chat. "What do you say?"
Chadwick scratched the back of his neck. "I suppose I can't very well let a princess remain in the clutches of dragons. How do I proceed?"
Bea slipped off her knapsack and began to rummage. She leaned all the way into it until only her legs were sticking out, kicked a few times, felt about in the darkest corners, and emerged with a sword big enough for a full sized knight. Chadwick's jaw dropped.
"Magic bag, bottomless. I once lost a goat in there for a week, but he came out of it all right." Bea shrugged. "That should handle equipment." She took a roll of parchment out of her back pocket. "This map will guide you all along the way, and I won't be far behind, if you really need me. Though it is best if we aren't seen together in daylight, you know. I have . . . protective lovers. Yes, might make all sorts of folk jealous. Think you can handle it?"
Chadwick's Adam's apple bobbed. "I think so."
"Oh, and one more thing, the poor princess, she may be a touch enchanted, might not know what's best for her, might object to being rescued, poor confused thing." Bea sighed sadly. "Don't let that bother you. You know what's right. You're a knight after all. Knight makes right! Or was that might . . . I get so confused about rhymes sometimes. . ."
Chadwick opened his mouth but nothing came out.
"Ah." Bea patted his cheek. "Gremlin got your voice again? No matter. You can get started first thing in the morning, and remember, Chaddie, I'll be watching you."