"You useless, spiteful, idiotic little worm! How dare you ignore me? Come here you little monster, I'll rip you apart limb from limb and hang what's left of you from the ceiling by your own entrails!"
Hermin's alarmingly high-pitched yells rang in my ears as I took cover behind a large pouffe. I could feel the very stone of the castle shaking as the purple-faced wizard bawled at me, threatening me with all sorts of grizzly ends when he got his hands on me.
Knowing he probably wasn't bluffing, I kept my distance. This was a fairly normal practice for me, whenever I didn't answer an order quick enough or complete a task at a certain (certainly unnatainable I mean) speed I would be subjugated to another earful from Bog-Toad.
I was even beginning to run out of insults for him.
"I told you!" he roared, eyes popping out of his skull like grotesque, bloodshot olives, "I told you to be here by eleven o'clock! What time to do you call this you horrible little wretch!"
"Two minutes past eleven." I replied, dodging a heavy goblet that had just been thrown in my direction.
"Two minutes past eleven, master! Don't you give me lip, djinn, I could incinerate you here and now if I chose it. Show me respect you foul little monster!"
Yeah, like that's ever really going to happen, I thought nastily as I dived under an armchair to avoid a skewering with a set of tweezers.
This game of kill-the-djinn continued for several more minutes, Troll-Face's bellowing growing more and more hoarse the more he yelled and me starting to tire of being chased over, under and around every piece of furniture in the room.
Then, just as Hermin was about to flatten me with an ornately carved dinner plate, someone knocked on the door. Five knocks in rapid succession, the sort of way people knock when they have something important to discuss and dont' want to waste time on formalities. Hermin, suddenly distracted from his rage, dropped the dinnerplate and made his way over to the door to see who it was. I scrambled up to sit on top of a low table (one of the few articles of furniture that hadn't been overturned or smashed to pieces) and watched from a safe distance.
I expected it must be one of the servants come to deliver Hermin's breakfast, or else some message sprite with an invitation to a courtly dinner. Uglier-Than-A-Horse's-Butt Hermin never got visitors of any sort, other than the occasional reluctant lord requesting his presence on a hunt or maybe an unfortunate lady needing a partner for a ball. Thankfully (for the lords and ladies I mean) these visits were few and far between and Leeches-For-Brains barely ever left his chambers except to go and grumble at the kitchen servants for their bad cooking or beligerrate the serving boys for negligence of some kind.
With this in mind, imagine my surprise when none other than Lord Aravon himself comes striding into the room. Aravon is the lord of the castle (as well as many others up and down this side of the forest) and he's definately an impressive figure. Tall, broad-shouldered, with handsome features, dark hair and eyes and a neatly trimmed black beard. He strode over the threshold, looking slightly perplexed when he saw the state of the room. I stayed on the table, looking innocently up at him as if I'd had nothing to do with it. Hermin shot me a look and I immediately scampered off the table and up the side of a semi-overturned cabinet. From there, I watched as Hermin came back into the room, occasionally pausing to straighten a portrait here or plump a cushion there. Aravon tapped his foot impatiently and Hermin obediently scuttled up to his side, looking utterly pathetic beside Aravon's imperious figure.
From my perch atop the cabinet, I snickered quietly.
This was going to be fun.