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. 4

Dirkennion calmly walks up the road approaching the town gate to Dillingham. The gate is manned by twin brothers from a simple watch tower and walkway over the road. Upon seeing him, one lifts his crossbow while the other holds up a hand.

“Halt, Ehara.”

Dirkennion displays empty hands. “My name is Dirkennion Singh. I was requested by your constable, Marvella.”

The two brothers whisper to each other. One descends a ladder to get Marvella. The other says, “Would you kindly wait there?”

“Fine. Would you kindly put down your crossbow?”

Soon, Marvella approaches and a twin opens the gate for her. “Greetings,” she says, sizing him up. “You…you are…Dirkennion?”

“I am. Your letter spoke of an urgent matter.”

“You got here quickly.”

He looks back down the road he’s traveled. “I am accustomed to fast travel.”

She comes closer, tentatively.

“I do not bite,” he says.

She clears her throat. “I, uh, my apologies. I have never encountered your…kind before.”

“Ehara often have that effect. The urgent matter?”

“Yes, um, sorry. I have bad news.”

Human skull (fake) sitting among greenery



Dirkennion and Marvella are carefully walking down the old dock toward the body. The fog has thinned out. Dirkennion steps slowly with his boots on the most-supported parts. Marvella notes this. The dock creaks beneath them.

“How, may I ask, is your kin involved here?”

“Unknown,” Dirkennion says, coming to the corpse. “Behrattia.” He kneels and examines the body with care, but shows little emotion.

“He said, ‘They took the Prince of Endless.’ Do you know what…?”

Dirkennion stands up, focused. “Endless. Endruskenlessinia? The prince is but a boy, perhaps ten years of age.”

“A little boy?”

Dirkennion approaches the boat, looking it over. “This is a merchant vessel. It came from the east. The nearest port to here is Morondava.”

“Between here and Endless, right?”

“Correct.” Dirkennion glances at her. “Ehara do not meddle in small affairs. If you will permit a few moments of privacy, I will then be underway.”

“To find your cousin’s killers?”

“His path has ended. I go to rescue the prince.”

Marvella grows intrigued and excited by this. “Do–do you need help?”


She glances back toward the town. “Would you accept help?”

He looks at her. “You are a town constable.”

She shrugs. “Ibix will be upset, but he can handle local pickpockets for a few days.”

“If you are are offering, then you will need a horse. And supplies.”


to be continued…





The Prince of Endless, pt. 3

In Dillingham, a walled village a mile uphill from the boat dock, Marvella and Ibix enter the constable shack. A messenger is waiting for them, holding two sheets of parchment. Ibix, the boss, takes the parchment from the messenger, who calmly ducks out.

Ibix reads the first message while removing his sword belt. “Miss Tammy’s half-blind cat is stuck up the oak tree. Again.”

“Prepare the trumpets,” Marvella says.

Ibix hangs his sword belt with other weapons behind the simple desk. “And we have a pickpocket operating near the Black Dragon pub.”

“Probably the Simmons kid,” Marvella says. “I’ll go.”

At the door, she pauses. “What of this Prince of Endless business?”

“Endless is a hundred miles away. It’s not our affair.”

“Do you think they know?”

“If what that dying Ehara said is true, that must’ve happened last night. They certainly know.”

“And what of this Dirkennion fellow?”

Ibix, feeling tested, says, “Marvella, we can’t get involved. Later today, I’ll take some pubbies down to bury the Ehara. Okay? Now, go save that goddamned cat before Miss Tammy’s heart gives out!”

Marvella lifts her hands, conceding defeat.

Outside, she pauses, looking at pink flowers near the footpath. With a wry grin, she moves on.

A lone pink azalea bloom in October


Later, far uphill, Marvella comes to a stand set in a clearing. The wooden stand has a large, peculiar horn set on one post. Two brothers are playing catch near the stand. With a bare finger, Marvella’s touching a fresh claw mark on her cheek. In her hand, she holds muffins wrapped in a large, clean leaf.

A boy says, “Constable.” They both come over.

“Young squires,” she says. “I am in need of a griffin. Do you know of anyone brave enough to call for a loyal messenger, perhaps to be rewarded with a treat?”

The boys eye the muffins in her hand. “Aye, Ma’am. We can do it.”

“Very well.”



High above, soaring calmly below the Aviarinelle river, is a griffin. The creature turns its head at a shrill whistle, which is coming from Dillingham. It sounds a second time, and the griffin turns into a swooping descent.



In Greenhump, Dirkennion is helping to mend a fence. The workers pause when a griffin announces itself with a bark. It calmly lands in the field beside them. Dirkennion looks at it and says, “Misha, would you please see if the butcher has anything for our visitor?”

The man named Misha runs off. Dirkennion approaches the creature with calm movements. Attached to its front right leg is a leather thong with a rolled-up parchment. Dirkennion gently goes to the thong, unties the note and takes it. Misha returns with a chunk of meat, and sets it on the fence post while Dirkennion reads. The griffin barks and eats the meat.

“An urgent matter in Dillingham,” Dirkennion says.


to be continued…




The Prince of Endless, pt. 2

I’ve been writing this material as screenplays, assuming (foolishly) that the format would actually be valuable to a Hollywood agent and, further down the fantasy road, movie director. I also thought I’d put this all into novel form someday. That might happen. For the time being, the scene setting, actions and dialogue (all in present tense) will suffice.

This all takes place in Verisye, a fantasy world not unlike others seen many times. There’s no real technology above crossbows, catapults and large-gear mechanisms. The biggest distinction is the Aviarinelle, a multicolored river which runs through the sky. It’s high enough that it courses past snowy mountain peaks, and it is endless to the eye. Occasionally, characters hear it or think they hear it, so the river serves as a kind of constant in place of any widespread religion.

Tagline for this story: In a fantasy world, two unlikely heroes race to save a boy prince who’s been kidnapped.

(Opening credits with “Would?” by Alice In Chains)


In early morning in a fogged-in swamp, two constables (police) creep along a wet boat dock. They are MARVELLA, a blond woman (our heroine) and IBIX, a tough, older man. Both wear the light armor and swords of their job, which is to protect their small nearby town of Dillingham. They are both afraid, swords drawn. Visibility is only twenty feet in the fog.

“We must be close,” Ibix says.

“Why in Gerji [hell] would a boat come here? The dock has been rotting for years,” Marvella says.

“Unknown. Damn this fog.”

Soon, the grunts and moans of a dying “man” are heard. At the sound of clinking armor, Marvella pushes forward to help him.

Close to the boat, which rammed the splintering dock, they reach an Ehara who has been mortally wounded in vicious combat (he still has a sword run through him). A smeared trail of his blood leads back to a broken section of dock, where he fell from the boat.

[Ehara are my own invention, a race of wildly-colored humanoids from the tropical southeast regions. They are thin and tall, averaging seven feet in height, hairless, and come in different hues with markings like tiger stripes, etc. in a different color. Their structure looks similar to an NBA player, but gives them phenomenal strength and mass (they can’t ride horses) and speed. The trade-off is that they are forbidden from magic use, they don’t believe in possessions and are generally altruistic. They are also mistrusted in much of the realm, thanks to the Knight Wars.]

Marvella says, “Ehara.”

Ibix comes up, surprised.

The Ehara man, beige-toned with green markings, perks up at their arrival.

“The prince,” he says, fighting to breathe/stay conscious. “My cousin…Dirkennion…in Greenhump. Find…Dirkennion. They took the Prince of Endless.”

The Ehara man dies. Marvella and Ibix stand up.

Marvella asks, “The Prince of Endless?”

“He means Endruskenlessinia. Everyone just calls it ‘Endless.'”

The two of them look at the boat in the clearing fog. An axe is buried in a bloody railing.

“Endless,” Marvella repeats. “Is this prince the heir?”

“I imagine so.”


Wall cornerpiece in York, UK

Greenhump is a hillside farming village so named for a large grassy bulge on one side.

DIRKENNION, an Ehara man with maroon skin and copper-colored stripes, wearing light clothing, is standing under a walking bridge being constructed. Like all Ehara, he is fit and around seven feet tall. He is holding a large stone centerpiece in place while workers on ladders adjust other stones to complete it. The bridge crosses a steep-sided creek.

A worker grunts, “Sorry. Almost there.”

Dirkennion replies, “You are okay. Do not pinch your fingers.”

From the creekside, a VILLAGE ELDER watches with admiration. Others watch as well.

A worker says, “It’s in. Let go.”

Another worker says, “Careful. Slowly.”

Dirkennion ignores him and slowly lets go. The stones hold in place. People applaud. Workers clap happily and continue.

Soon, Dirkennion comes to the Village Elder.

“Well done, Master Dirkennion. What will we do without you?”

“I will be around.”

Village Elder gives him a pained expression. “Your time of service is almost complete. Where is the council sending you after this peaceful village? Greenhump is not very exciting, I know.”

“The peace has never bothered me.”

“You are Murrizza, an elite warrior. For two years, you have baled hay and plowed fields for us simple folk.”

Dirkennion smiles at him. “I go where I am needed, Master.”

Village Elder laughs, knowing Dirkennion is halfway joking with him.


to be continued…