From: Geoffrey Blackpool
Well, Vector swears that this message will reach you through this contraption he conjured up. I don't know, though. Sometimes I think he's just trying to make me look dumb. What did you just say, Vector? Damn right, trying to make me look dumb WOULD be wasted effort. Hey, wait a minute . . .
On the bright side, I do like the idea of -- what did you call it, Vector? -- oh, yeah, "typing." Whenever I use a quill I always manage to get ink up my nose. Don't ask. Hey, look, I can make a smiley face on this thing! : ) Pretty clever, huh?
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OUCH!! Hey, Vector, what do you think you're doing, hitting a prince? I could have you executed for that! Or at least I could tell Dirk on you! What do you mean, you were swatting a gitch and hit me by accident? I didn't see any gitch. It's not even gitch season yet. Besides, aren't they usually only found near Castle Karnaj? Sheesh, and you call ME stupid.
Anyways, back to my point. What was my point? Oh, that's right. Sweet Queen Kiri, I just wanted to wish you a happy, happy birthday. Besides being the best darn cheese-sandwich-maker a Prince could hope for, you're my favorite lady anywhere. Well, except for maybe Ariel. Not that she's prettier than you, or anything -- actually you're a lot better looking, you have the most stupendously magnificent pair of -- OUCH! All right, Vector what was that for??? Not another gitch? Can't you just conjure them away or something? Oh, come on, I know you don't have the monocle, but I'm NOT helping you get it back just for gitch extermination. How stupid do you think I am? What kind of a wizard are you, if you can't kill a few tiny insects without giving me brain damage? Oh, sure, "no one will notice a difference," very funny, Vector. You'll be laughing all the way to the dungeon. Well, as I was saying before I was so RUDELY interrupted, Kiri, you have the most stupendously magnificent pair of . . . eyes I've ever seen. What? What did you think I was going to say?
The thing about Ariel is, well, she makes me feel like no one else does. She makes me feel . . . it's hard to put it into words. Help me out, here, Vector. Yes!! That's it. She makes me feel smart. Plus, a normal hot-blooded guy just can't help but be attracted by those sexy hats she wears, right, Vector? Come to think of it, though, I guess I should probably direct that question to another normal hot-blooded guy rather than you, Vector. Hey, what are you talking about? Of course she wears hats. I may not be as the smartest guy in Aperans, but I know a hat when I see one. Like yours, for example. OUCH! Look, I'm sick of the gitches already, can't you just close the window or something?
On the other hand, Kiri, the days I've spent with you in the tavern hiding from Erik have been some of the happiest of my entire life. I couldn't believe how understanding you were about that whole Grandma Winslow/cheese sandwich delivery/crossbow accident incident. You treat me better than any woman ever has, even my own mother. Actually, mother used to encourage Dirk to play with me in the North Tower. She even kept him supplied with rope. Mom always did like Dirk best. Heck, she even liked Galen better than me. *sniff* And we all know it's not that easy to like Galen. Say, did you ever hear how he became "long-lost" in the first place? Now THERE's a story. Remind me to tell you the next time I drop by the tavern for baked macaroni and blue mountain goat cheese. Very well-baked, please. I'm still kinda sluggish.
Speaking of Galen, all this weird wedding business has started me thinking -- Don't EVEN say it, Vector. Anyways, this ceremony will be the first time in years we'll all be together in public, at least without trying to maim each other. Well, Galen will have Dawn, obviously, and Erik will have Ariel, and Dirk will have Bethel, and Marko will have Cassandra, and Mo will have Antoine, and Justin will have any available Winslow sisters he can get his hands on, and Xena will have Gabrielle (and the less said about that the better) and Vector -- well, never mind Vector. But what I'm trying to say is that I'd really like it if you'd go to the wedding with me. What do you say? It should be a really interesting time, at least. I just overheard Dirk telling Vector that Bethel is coming over in a little while to help him plan a special surprise wedding present that -- OUCH!!! Don't tell me, another gitch. A big one, huh? Wow. I feel like I've just spent the day testing the castle walls for weaknesses again.
Well, I'd better go. The gitch population is just getting too unseasonably high in here to concentrate. Besides, I always try to make it a point never to miss one of Bethel's visits. I just KNOW that one of these days that little outfit of hers is going to fall right off.
Prince Geoffrey Blackpool
Birthday wishes, an invitation to accompany him to the wedding, and a compliment on my looks and cooking. Then there's the matter of all of the Ariel rubbish .... *sigh*
"I see another gitch ... right there."
That's better. Now ... where was I? Oh, yes. Of course, I'd love to go to the wedding with you. One request ... mention Ariel at all ... and I'll forget how to cook. *grumbles to herself about Ariel this and Ariel that*
Just because I don't like hats doesn't mean Ariel is prettier. *pouts cutely*
I'm going to the kitchen now. I think I did to bake. "MARCO!!!!! What do you think the special tonight should be? Don't ask for lightning hawk or pigeon stew, we're out of ingredients as you let the last ones go when they told you about their families."
Queen Kiri of Winslow
*very happy for the birthday wishes if ticked at her man's delivery of them*
"Think Dirk's interested in a cute Queen who can cook? At least he won't compare me to Ariel. No, scratch that. I don't want to tread on Bethel's "terror"tory. I heard what she did to the last woman. *shivers*
Come THRILL to the shocking TRUE story of Kiri's strangest adventure!
GASP in breathless awe as you learn of the TRUE events which took place!
SEE the startling IMAGES that tell the TRUE story!
All of this is TRUE! (Except for the made up parts.)
*tears rolling down my cheeks*
Good grief, all my lives banged head to head in that one. Thank you, thank you. Too sweet. Too funny. Too outrageous.
Love you all. This was so sweet.
From: Dirk Blackpool
Again I find I'm the bearer of birthday greetings. Just once in the near future I'd like to visit death or pestilence or howling demons on someone instead of these blasted scrolls. Bad news is so much more *fun* for me. And running errands for my idiot brother? *sighs and looks depressed*
However, I have a somewhat vested interest in this. At least I hope so. This *is* Geoffrey we're talking about. Well, go on, read it. I'll expect. umm. Geoffrey will expect a reply shortly. *drops the scroll on the table and exits the Wild Rose Tavern*
Prince Dirk Blackpool
(the scroll reads as follows)
My dearest Kiri -
Wow. It's your birthday again already? It seems like it was just, well, a year ago. Anyway, I've been thinking. *ouch* I hate it when that happens. Umm, where was I? Oh, yeah. You know, you have the Wild Rose Tavern and I have this idea. *ouch*
OK, let me put it this way. I'm proposing (not *that* kind of proposing, please don't swoon just yet) a sort of friendly business venture. You know how I love cheese and especially the Blue Mountain Goat Cheese you serve at the Wild Rose? Well, I kind of experimented in the kitchens at Castle Blackpool and came up with this nifty idea. *ouch* I mean, product. It's my own special cheese dip!
I had Vector work on the package design since he was pretty good at helping Dirk with the dungeon tour promotion stuff, so I'm including a sample of the label. I think. *ouch* we could make the dip, serve and sell it at the Wild Rose and you and I could make a bundle. And no, Dirk doesn't get any of the profits. *OUCH!* Well, after a convincing application of pressure to my shoulder, he'd let *us* have some of the profits. Jeeze. Older brothers are a pain. Well, more correctly, older brothers *cause* pain.
Although he did have some good ideas. *ouch* How can that hurt if it's not even my idea?. *ouch!* Anyway, there's no shortage of peasant labor here in Karteia, so we won't have to spend anything on that. And Vector managed to magically transport a whole bunch of bovines from Wisconsin, so we'll have no problem keeping up with Dirk's estimated production of the cheese dip. Best of all? I'm the product quality control manager. I think. *ouch* that means I get to taste all of it. Pretty impressive, huh?
Well, let me know what you think. *ouch* And happy birthday!
Prince Geoffrey Blackpool
My dearest Geoffrey & his ever-so... clever brother Dirk,
It is with great sorrow that I must refuse your offer. Grandmother Winslow absolutely refuses to carry any pre-packaged items. I'm surprised that you didn't remind that. Oh, well. Dirk has other things on his evil wee mind, like killing Erik, destroying Camarand, torturing Erik, taunting Vector, slaying Erik, speaking "privately" with Bethel, & of course his all time favorite... writing poetry about killing Erik. And, you... my sweet Geoffrey, well, you probably have other things on your mind... like dust... *coughs* I meant, the dust problem in your castle. Dust causes headaches, you know. One little whirlwind spell from Vector should... solve that problem. *snickers*
Dirk... (knowing that you are reading over Geoffrey's shoulder or perhaps reading TO Geoffrey)... don't send anymore Death Troopers to visit us at the tavern... You can't keep losing them to my sisters' talents... You remember Margaret & Lucille, don't you? *evil grin*
Ta-ta, like all of us hard-working Winslows, I have a shift in the tavern's kitchen today....
From: Dirk Blackpool
Well, this response is a bit on the late side due to my dear brother and his continued experiments in the castle kitchens. Unfortunately one of them exploded and we're still having to have the servants scrape the walls. Blue Mountain Goat Cheese is a bit tenacious once it gets a grip on rough-hewn stone. Needless to say we're out of production of cheese dip for some time and the castle is a mess.
Your refusal to carry my... umm... Geoffrey's cheese dip as it is pre-packaged comes as no surprise. Perhaps I'll just have to appropriate the Wild Rose and produce it there, hmm? Just a thought. I'm sure Margaret and Lucille would find working for the Blackpools much more *interesting* than for you. And yes, I do know I've lost more than a few Death Troopers to the treacherous pair. *sighs*
We'll have to re-visit this little business venture in the future after Geoffrey and I have had a chance to discuss his little mistake properly. Up on the North Tower I would think.
Prince Dirk Blackpool
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