The Prince of Endless, pt. 6

In late afternoon, Marvella rides a laden chestnut horse across a stream, with the sea visible on the left. Hurrying to catch up, the horse plunges down the path and back into forest.

After a few moments, she rides across a wide wooden bridge and reaches up to Dirkennion in a glade.

“Again, what manner of creature are you that can outlast a horse?”

Dirkennion glances up from studying trampled bushes. “Some say we are cursed,” he replies. “Painted. And alone.” He chuckles, his gaze following signs of destruction and snapped tree branches.

Marvella dismounts with “Good girl,” and pets the horse. “Stories do not do the Ehara credit.”

“I suppose.” He spots something and goes to it.

“Those men on the boat weren’t carrying much money. A few coins. Standard weapons.”

“Hired thugs,” Dirkennion says, stepping carefully. “They keep their treasure elsewhere, if they had been paid yet at all.”

She follows him. “Gold paint, gouge marks,” she notes, pointing. “From a royal wagon?”

“You do your office credit, Marvella,” he says, following a trail. “If I am not mistaken…there is a boat dock about a mile in that direction.”

She follows him a few steps, an eye on her horse which is drinking from the stream. “That would explain how…your cousin arrived at my dock at Dillingham. But…if this is where the prince was taken, why not follow the prince?”

Dirkennion has stopped by the first of several noticeable depressions in the ground. There is a view of the distant water and dock, and a smooth wagon road bends nearby. He points at the smashed bushes and mud.

“This is from a giant.”

Marvella’s eyes widen and she reflexively reaches for her sword.

“It is nowhere nearby, now,” he says. “Ruts in the road. Two bodies,” he notes, pointing.

“The royal guards,” she says, peering at them.

“This is where it happened. My kin, I believe, knew he was outmatched by the giant. So he chose to pursue the hired men, down to the boat, and so forth.”

“How did your cousin come to be here at the right time? This was an ambush, from the looks of it.”

Dirkennion looks around. “Rather fanciful place for a meeting, would you not say?”

Marvella follows his look. “You believe the Prince of Endless was to meet someone here? Like a suitor?”

“If my kin was protecting the suitor…he would have sent her back upon hearing commotion. We should learn where this road leads. Later. That way is Endruskenlessinia.”


A dining hall gargoyle statue from the Harry Potter museum (UK).



Endruskenlessinia is a wealthy kingdom spread across several close hills. It surrounded by a high, well-guarded stone wall, with torches lighting up the twilight.

Dirkennion on foot and Marvella on horseback calmly approach through the town, heading for a stone bridge leading to the main gate. There is a guardhouse on the near side of the bridge.

Two guards step out and cross halberds while villagers pause to watch. “State your business, Ehara.”

“We are constables, sworn to protect,” Dirkennion says. “We have urgent business with the Royal Family.”


Marvella clears her throat. “Surely, good sir, there is an advisor who can make time for us.”


to be continued…

The Prince of Endless, pt. 1

The Prince of Endless, pt. 2

The Prince of Endless, pt. 3

The Prince of Endless, pt. 4

The Prince of Endless, pt. 5



The Prince of Endless, pt. 5

Elsewhere, on a forest path toward seaside ruins, MAHKYEL, the Prince’s scoundrel uncle rides with two guards and his weakling aspiring sorcerer cousin BOORYEL. Both are Eastern (Asian) and are dressed well from royal ties and ride with confidence. Booryel sneezes as they approach the ruins.

When they dismount, they are met by the chief kidnapper, HEDDAHNTON. He is a very fit man in warrior’s armor and has the look of a successful mercenary. Some of his thugs and captured women mill about the ruins, now a makeshift base.

Mahkyel approaches Heddahnton with caution. “Well done, Heddahnton. I trust the little rat is safe?”

“He is, Your Highness.”

Mahkyel wags a finger at him. “Not yet. There will be a time when others call me king, but I expect no such respect from a mercenary.”

Heddahnton leers. “Guilty. Like all men of deeds, I respect sword and coin.”

“Understood,” Mahkyel says, strolling through the camp. “A bonus. Booryel?”

The weakling cousin strolls up, pulling an amethyst necklace from a robe pocket. He holds it out for Heddahnton.

“Did you charm this?”

“Nay,” Booryel says, disappointed. “Simple stones from the queen’s closet. No magical potential.”

“Nonetheless,” Heddahnton says, snapping a finger. A thug comes up and looks at his boss. Warily, he takes the necklace in his gloved hand.

Mahkyel smiles. “I’m the kind of liar you can trust, Heddahnton. There’s more riches to come.”

“What about your giant?” Booryel asks.

“Charmu?” Heddahnton wears a satisfied expression. “Like me, he does his job. My men fulfill his craving for mares.” He looks at Booryel. “And what of your craving for magic? If I remove your hand, could you regrow a new one?”

Booryel swallows hard, taking a step back. “I…uh…”

Heddahnton laughs as Mahkyel intercedes, annoyed. “Save your charms for the ladies, High Warrior.” He takes Booryel by the sleeve and they head for their mounts.

Blurry hand holding knife over stone floor

Nearby, there are cliffs above the sea. Several individual jail cells have been built into the cliffs, 50 feet above a rocky beach. Most of the cells are occupied only by skeletons in rags.

In one, along with an ancient skeleton, sits THE PRINCE OF ENDLESS. He is an Eastern (Asian) boy of ten dressed in simple if regal pajamas. Sitting on the rock floor, he is adjusting a dirty wool blanket around him to keep warm. At the bars are two buckets. One is dirty (for bathroom use) and the other contains stale bread. Sea breeze ruffles his hair, and he’s trying not to cry.

The ground shakes, accompanied by heavy splashing sounds, and dust falls from the rock ceiling. Beyond his cell door, slowly and malevolently, appears CHARMU.

Charmu is a 60-foot giant in simple clothes and with a braided beard. He peers into the cell, sneering. The prince scoots back, fearful.

“Prince,” Charmu scoffs. “Mighty prince.” He turns to go.


to be continued…