When Brian gets a visit from the King and sets out to rescue the Prince, events unfold that make him, and the reader, cringe and laugh.
The Black Cloud of Kandar
Long ago, in a place where wizards and castles and kings were found, Brian was just a simple cobbler, making gloves and boots and shoes for his neighbors.
In our story, and in his own words, Brian tells of the adventure that started with an unexpected visit from the king.
The king needed Brian to help rescue his son, Prince Randrim, from the wizard, Saukon. Brian, accompanied by a very small wizard, set out to find the prince. Along their way they met a cave full of skeletons, a cursed princess, an evil tyrant, and saved a nation and the prince.
Read his words to learn how he accomplished all this with a smile on his face (well, sometimes) and a song in his heart when he met the Black Cloud of Kandar.
The sun that morning was warm, and the birds singing in the tree outside the door made music that brightened my whole shop. I whistled a happy little tune, joining the birds' song and started another day.
"This is the day," I thought to myself, "to start work on my gift for the prince on his twelfth birthday." Carefully, I unrolled the fine, soft calfskin and laid it out on my worktable. I took up my tools and carefully cut the leather. Surely this would be the finest pair of riding boots ever worn by any prince of Peludria. The sleek, soft skins seemed to be made just for him.
Just as I began cutting the final piece, a loud banging sounded at my back door.
Now, this surprised me, for the front door stood wide open, and was much easier to get to than the one in the rear. Why would anyone bother to go all the way around the building to bang so noisily on my kitchen door?
Carefully setting down my tools and covering the fresh cut skins with a clean cloth, I made my way through the storeroom, the bedroom, and the kitchen to the door, covering my ears with my hands to hold back the awful noise.
I unbolted the door, pulled it open, quickly took a look - and just as quickly slammed it shut again.
"Just a dirty beggar, " I muttered, and started back toward my work.
But the incredible banging started again and continued.
"I'll teach you to bother an honest craftsman this way, looking for a handout," I shouted, and once more I unbolted and opened the door.
I took a good look at the battered and filthy creature standing there, all ragged and dirty, looking nearly as old as the hills above the lake.
The beggar walked right into my kitchen without so much as a "Please, may I?" and quickly re-bolted my door behind him.
As if I was not even there, he checked at the windows, closed the curtains, and still without a word, took a seat at the kitchen table - my favorite seat, at that.
"Now listen here, you. I don't know who you think you are, or where you think you might be, but this is my home, my shop, and I don't care to have total strangers come crashing in here like they are the king, himself; taking my chair at my table. I don't get a word of explanation or even introduction, and you just sit there with your filthy cloak dropping dust all over my floor, and your boots, if those are indeed boots under all that mud, tracking big dirty footprints wherever you step. Who are you, dirty old man?"
Even as I yelled at him, he just sat there, and I grew more and more upset. "What do you want from me?
"Why do you choose my shop to just move in?
"Are you Brian?"
"He speaks! What wonders I meet today!"
"Yes, I am Brian, also called the cobbler, since that is what I do, what I am. But who are you, who makes such an unexpected - and, l might say, unwelcome mess in my kitchen?"
Even while I spoke, new cascades of dust and dirt drifted to my floor from the grimy folds of his cloak.