Chapter 2.

The Council Chambers

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Note: This section depicted in the above video

We return to our hero Tim Cognito. The knight is stood on the slippery metal of a giant fork, fit for the Dreaded One. Tim is flanked by their guides; the town butcher Eric, and Matilda the snarky maiden.

Through the clouds, they ascended the cutlery’s handle at the tip of which is perched a marble civic building, home to the democratic body that governs the land.

They approach. Before them a heavy, ornate door. Tim reached out to grab the knocker, looped through the nose of a roaring brass lion.

“Ouch!” a muffled voice made itself known.

Tim pulled their hand back.

“Use the doorbell, you jerk!” roared the lion.

Matilda pressed the button of the doorbell. They hear the locks unbolt. The doors swung open with a sustained creak. No one was there, only darkness.


Chapter 2: The Council Chambers

If you want to know more about something mentioned in the story (e.g. a creature, place or person) go to the Lore of the Land:

LORE OF THE LAND

If you want information about our hero’s characteristics and inventory at the start of this chapter go here and scroll to the relevant chapter:

STATISTICS AND INVENTORY


Eric hesitated. Matilda shoved him in. Tim entered without pause. There was no time to lose.

Through the door, the trio entered the large chamber. At the centre of the room, a long table divided those who entered from the panel of Councillors. Large stacks of paperwork and books bound in leather obscured Tim’s view of the elected body.

From over the mountain of yellowed pages and ledgers peered the distorted eye of a Councillor, made large through a magnifying glass. On the Councillor’s head sat a conical hat. Perched atop the hat, a bulb of garlic.

After taking in the sight of the animate suit of armour, the Garlic Councillor gulped. She immediately returned to scrawling over a ledger with her quill, pretending she hadn’t seen the Knight.

“Ahem…’ Eric timidly cleared his throat. The small sound ineffectual, the Councillors continued their tasks. They murmured amongst themselves at times in disagreement, in compromise and in rubber stamping.

“W-wise councillors…” Eric tried again with trepidation. “This is Tim Cognito… th-they’d like to talk to you.”

A Councillor with a carrot, greens and all, on his hat glanced in their direction. He wiped his face with inky hands, smearing black across his brow.

Tim raised their finger, about to speak. Carrott buried his face back into the recipe book before him.

Matilda put her hand on Eric’s shoulder. With the confidence Eric couldn’t muster, she began, “oh Wise Councillors, please hear us. This brave visitor is Tim-”

Before she could finish, Tim launched their harpoon across the room. The harpoon pierced through the paper held by the meatball-hatted Councillor, removing it from his grasp and lodging it firmly into the wall.

“-Cognito.” Matilda finished.

“Well, they’re certainly not Tim Discret-o” the Prawn Councillor scoffed, never looking up from her papers.

“I am Tim Cognito and I have come here for one reason and one reason only-”

The Meatball Councillor raised a hand to interject.

“Tim, was it? Truly sorry to poop your party, but you see rules and procedures must be followed,” his hand still raised.

“I know it’s no fun, but you simply can’t come in here without an appointment. Don’t you realise today is Formulation Friday? We have so much work to do.”

The Councillor with a wedge of cheese balanced on their hat nodded in agreement, “if it were a Scheduling Sunday then we may be able to accommodate you then.”

“Perhaps,” agreed, Meatball, before continuing ”but you see, we have no use for conversation. We need to concoct new recipes for the Dreaded One.”

Exasperated, Tim launched over the table, their armour clanging as it made contact with the wood. Mushroom Councillor yelped and scooped up an armful of scrolls.

Tim straightened up and grasped the end of their harpoon, “your town has been preparing pasta dishes as an offering on a massive scale for thousands of years, how do you even know if this so-called giant is ever coming back?”

Tim deftly pulled the harpoon from the wall in one swift manoeuvre.

Gasps spread across the room, conical hats shook side to side to display their owner’s dismay. Eric and Matilda began to distance themselves and inch toward the door. Meatball’s already red face deepened to a deeper crimson.


VOTING CLOSED


“How dare you!” Prawn Councillor folded her arms.

Carrott nodded in agreement, his inky face furious.

Meatball stepped forward, “You come here, criticise our customs, our history?”

“You claim we toil away in vain?” Cheese shook her head, the wedge of Swiss wobbling precariously.

“When is the beast expected to return then?” Tim asked, a little surprised at how close to the skin the vein he’d tapped was.

Mushroom let out a sob. The room turned to face him. He pointed to a goblet placed before him. The liquid within reverberated with increasing fervour.

The room began to shake, at first just a tremor and then with increasing force.

“They’re footsteps!” cried Tim.

The quaking earth pushed the members of the chamber off their stable chairs, first to the east and then to the west, in time with each slow but rhythmic pulse that shook the foundations.

“What day is it?” a flustered Garlic asked.

BOOM. They slid to the west. Garlic’s arms waved in panic.

BOOM. They slid to the east.

Cheese pushed around papers to reveal a calendar on the wall. Thereupon was today’s date, circled in red ink. Below the circle was a set of crossed-bones.

BOOM. They slid again to the west.

“It’s Sacrifice Day!” squealed Garlic, her teeth beginning to chatter.

They all turned to look at Carrott in unison.

“Well, I’ve been very busy!” cried Carrott who raised his arms defensively.

The room shook once more. East.


Interactive Break

We have no idea what this beast is (the one depicted in the last chapter was just one example from the many legends of yore) so we look forward to seeing some suggestions in the Species and Creatures comment section. One of you, our fair readers, could be inventing the beast of legend.

Times Up


Cutting through the panic was Meatball’s solidly confident voice.

“Luckily, we’ve prepared for this eventuality, and we have met all of our key performance indicators for this month.”

BOOM. They slid west.

“Several of our Spaghettians even outperformed their previous personal best, and so we will no doubt prevail!”

He pointed skyward, as though victorious before looking from side to side, drawing in sharply through his nose. His eyes bugged from his head.

“What is that fishy smell?”

“Oh come on, it’s not that bad!” exclaimed Tim.

BOOM. As they slid again to the east, the Councillors joined with Meatball in sniffing.

“PEW-EY!” yelled Prawn, pinching her nose.

“Ugh!” agreed Mushroom, fanning his face.

“Oh no!” exclaimed Meatball. “If the Dreaded One doesn’t find anything appetising to eat-”

He couldn’t finish his sentence, and instead placed his face in his hands in despair. Loosening scrolls rolled past him.

BOOM. To the west.

“If he doesn’t find anything appetising, he’ll what?” asked Tim, whose metallic hands found nothing to grip.

“He’ll eat US, you idiot!” yelled Cheese.

“What is causing that smell?” Meatball sniffed once more, before recoiling.

Eric and Matilda were on the floor, a pile of limbs behind Tim and out of their view. You could barely tell whose arms were raised to point toward the Knight, identifying them as the culprit of the stench.

BOOM. East.

“I haven’t a clue, who you are Tim Cognito,” the head Councillor waggled his finger as he tumbled across the floor, “but you have brought certain doom to our village.”

“Umm… municipal township…” corrected Cheese, as she rolled past them.

Little did the Councillors know, Tim had been formulating a plan.


VOTING CLOSED


WOW it looks like we’ll be seeing some ACTION next chapter but that’s the end of the second chapter. Make sure you’ve voted for your choices above as they will influence the next chapter of the story. In FACT, basically all of the next episode will be community made. New characters from the Lore of the Land, new motivations, new items and new skills. Remember you can continue to add new areas, creatures, characters and items/spells in the existing threads and see them get added to the Lore of the Land encyclopaedia.

Voting closes on the 30th of March, 2022. Check back in on Monday the 28th of March for another Lore of the Land session.


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