"The grabby-monster," said the wizard, ponderously, "is a product of dark magic. It was first conjured into our world from the outer reaches of Nightmare, by a young man named Orbil Mithrump. According to the records, young Mithrump had grown tired of leaving frogs and snakes in his sister's bed, and wanted something that would really scare her. Nowadays, of course, they can be found in marshes and swamps. A few foolhardy souls even raise them as pets.
"Grabby-monsters do not breed as natural animals do, neither laying eggs nor giving birth to their young. Instead, once every six years, all their tentacles fall off and grow heads, becoming young grabby-monsters themselves." He paused. "What else...? They're predators, naturally. They tickle their prey until it can no longer breathe; their victims usually suffocate. Then, of course..." He trailed off, looking at Caijar. "Well, their eating habits are a nasty business."
Caijar nodded. "Could someone conjure one? Here, inside the castle?"
"Of course not!" The wizard's hand curled through his long, white beard. "Every stone in this place is woven through with protections. And a rift like that would not go unnoticed. Nor, for that matter, would a grabby-monster come here on its own: the beasts prefer isolated hunting grounds, where they can strike from hiding." He shook his head, sending waves through his fluffy mane of white hair. "Fear not, my prince. You're quite safe here."
Caijar nodded, though he wasn't really surprised. It was a plot. Of course it was a plot. Some days it seemed that everything that happened here was either part of a plot, or the result of one. His father had once remarked that if it weren't for plotting, the court would never accomplish anything at all.
He thought of the grabby-monster, still locked in the chest in his room. He hadn't told anyone about it; though he'd drawn the breath to do so, Caijar hadn't yelled for help. He was thirteen years old now, and that (as his father liked to remind him) was more than old enough to start solving his own problems.
Right now, though, he had more urgent concerns: he was late for his studies, and Master Barigil would not be pleased.