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Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
Plink and the Parrot.
The building adaptations were proceeding satisfactory and with Gasper tied up with further negotiations with the town council Plink had persuaded Whitebeard the pirate to take him along on his weekly visit to the Blue Parrot Inn where the captain conducted the growing shipping trade of the new TCTCC. He had promised to be good and not upset any of the clientÃ¨le but just before they entered the premises Whitebeard decided to reminded him.
Whitebeard:â€ Arr, now listen me laddo, you be a'going in a Parrot an tis a wild an windy place for a land lubber to take a swig an best mind how you steer as I told you, Arr, Jonah Whitebeard be taking you in and wants to take you out, Arr!â€
Plink: â€œ Oh super, great. I will be
careful and make sure I don't spill my drink Captain Whitebread.â€
Whitebeard:â€ Mermaids Tits! Arr, I keep telling you laddo tis Whitebeard!â€
They push through the heavy door into the Blue Parrot. The room is large and dim and smoky and smells of tobacco and spilt beer and sweet rum and rotten fruit and sweat and bad breath and cheap perfume. It is filled with wooden tables and benches on which scores of sea dogs are sitting and drinking and smoking and spitting and eating and talking in loud voices. There are a number of others lying on the floor apparently fast asleep. At the back of the room is a bar crowded with more sea dogs to which Whitebread steers a steady course, pushes several loungers aside and orders.
Whitebeard: â€œAhoy an damn ye scuppers! Two kegs o'dark lubbys to me ye twisted maggot!â€
One eyed Pugg (landlord): â€œDamn me good one! Tis Whitebeard again an lookin to be drunk by noon.â€
Whitebeard: â€œArr, will take me hours supping the brew here, Arr!â€
Plink: â€œ Ohh, it tastes quite nice and I do like it hereâ€
One eyed Pugg: â€œ Arr! Tis a travelling companion ye be bringing here today then captain?â€
Whitebeard: Arr, this be Master Plink, a gentleman as you see an is keen on learning the Trade an also supping good ale which calls for another keg.â€
One eyed Pugg: â€œArr, I take it you be looking for Capt. No Nose or Noddy Jim for business?â€
Whitebeard: â€œ Arr, that I be... but I see them not.â€
One eyed Pugg: â€œ An you won't awhile, tis the war, an they both be a'hauling troops an making better cash then lumping cargo around. Is lots o'people wanting ships for battles these days, Arr!â€
Whitebeard: â€œArr! Is bad news that you gives me, me old Pugg. I'll rest me sea legs thenâ€
He moves away from the bar and slowly mooches over to an empty table followed by Plink. Several eyes follow them and heads nod to each other and fingers are pointed. Once seated (with his back to the wall) Whitebeard scans the room looking for familer faces, faces he knows, faces he could approch and faces to aviod. Plink, who is facing the wall, swings round to see the room and gazes with open interest at everyone else. This causes scowls and mutterings and dark looks and promps Whitebeard to give more advice.
Whitebeard: â€œArr me laddo! Tis best not lookin at the scubbers in a Parrot Inn. Tis not nice an could mean ye leave missing things that don't grow back! Jus drink away an stay here an always keep the keg filled up.â€
Plink: â€œ This is great, super! Blue Parrot! Are there any more blue parrots for us to visit?â€
Whitebeard: â€œ Arr me little rascal, do ye not know that all pirate inns are parrots? Bless ye sodden soul laddo. But this here is the only blue one. There be a yellow parrot an a red parrot an a dark green parrot an a dirty parrot an there be a stuffed parrot on the coast of Larn. There are parrots all over the land an seas an pirates everywhere can find a welcoming keg and a snug bed an soft company, Arr!â€
Plink: â€œ Super!â€
Whitebeard: â€œ Now me laddo... I've seen a shipmate an is going to talk to him so you just sit here an I'll be back once I've sorted out a cargo to be taken to your uncle, Lord Granlik back in the old country. Remember, keep ye nose clean and drink ye drink.â€
Suddenly Plink finds himself alone looking at a wall. There are various comments written on the wall, mainly concerning the establishment, various clientÃ¨le, both male and female, pirate ships and locations, Port officials and suggestions as to what can be done to them, exotic drawings carved with loving care and some very suggestive poems that look quite interesting. Plink leans forward to read an extremely informative piece of prose when someone slaps him on the shoulder and sits down next to him.
Mascara Billy: â€œHallo sailor!â€
Plink: â€œ Ohh hallo, I'm not a sailorâ€
Mascara Billy: â€œDon't worry, neither am I (he nudges Plink in the ribs) Haven't seen you before in here.â€
Plink: â€œNo, it's my first time.â€
Mascara Billy: â€œOoh, fancy that. I'm so pleased I found you then and will really try and make you comfortable. (he grabs Plinks hand and begins to shake it) My names Billy and I can show you around.â€
Plink: â€œ Thats so nice of you but I can't move from here at the moment. (he trys to get his hand free but Billy won't let go) are you feeling ok?â€
Mascara Billy: â€œ I'm feeling fine baby (putting his other hand on Plinks leg) you just stay sitting there and leave the rest to me!â€
Before anything else can transpire Billy is rapidly yanked from the chair and feels Whitebeards cutlass scraping his neck. Plink jumps up and sees Billy properly for the first time. He is wearing a purple dress covered by a dark cloak and pink slippers. A long black tatty wig frames a chalk white face with both eyes plastered with runny mascara and a broken hairy nose completes the vision. Most of the room is now filled with grinning faces and raucous laughter rings out. Shouts of â€œBilly strikes againâ€ and â€œWhitebeard saves his jolly rodgererâ€ â€œAll hands on dick!â€ follow Whitebeard and Plink as they exit the inn, leaving Billy sobbing at the bar. Outside, a furious Whitebeard berates Plink for putting his reputation into jeopardy and ruining a nights drinking,
Whitebeard: â€œArr! Ye be a cussed landlubber an a hole in the bilge tank master Plink! Tis a good thing I managed to grab Fighting Sheila, she of the Pirates co-Conspiracy Association and agree terms to sail the cargo as soon as she gathers her crewâ€
Plink: â€œ I just thought he was from the local Tourist board. They have been coming to the house recently and General Gasper thinks they cound be helpfulâ€
Whitebeard: â€œ Arr! Tis no worry laddo an maybe better Billy saw ye before Black Jack M'tavish and his lads took an interest.â€
And so they made their way back to the growing Trade House. Gasper was pleased that another cargo back to Tor Carrock was fixed and Whitebeard resolved never to take Plink with him to a Parrot Inn again. That evening over a superb meal of squid hash and chips prepared by Kroc Bosha, Plink startled the whole company by suddenly declaring that you should never shake hands with a pirate. Whitebeard said nothing and ignored several questioning looks,
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
Ardvic and Plink rushed up the steps and glanced upwards where a large new sign had been erected since they had left the building some hours age. It read Tor Carrock Trading Company.
They continued through the half completed entrance hall into the half completed office complex, jumping over stacks of timber and causing the local workers to shout at them and into the only completed office although one wall was still not in place and the dust from the assembly yard blew in bringing with it the sweet smell of rotting fruit.
The others were all sitting round the main table and General Gasper was looking very annoyed. The two young men sat down, both out of breath. The noise of banging, sawing, hammering and shouting from scores of builders around them and in some cases, above the room made for short tempers.
Gasper: â€œYou are both late... again.â€
Ardvic: â€œSorry sir, we were delayed by a column of orc spearmen who had been given the wrong direction to the west docks.â€
Plink (speaking at the same time): â€œ Ohh, we were chased by a roauge elephant that came out of the woods.â€
Kalnut: â€œ You've both been in the Ale House again and forgot about the meetingâ€
Gasper: ( glaring at Plink) â€œYour uncle Lord Granlik has asked if you are learning the principles of management and administration in our new venture and would not be pleased if I inform him that you spend a considerable amount of time in the local Ale House in dubious company.â€
Ardvic: â€œ I'm not at all dubious. I'm a talented songwriter and poet in the best glade elf tradition and you have all said my sketches of this new trading centre have helped construction.â€
Plink: â€œ I think they are Great! Super!â€
Mage Banpop:â€ (looking at Ardvic) You still haven't included my magical workshop in the design and it must have good ventilation at all timesâ€
Kalnut: â€œI bet those twins who like dancing on the table were in the Ale. Now their what I call talent!â€
Ardvic: â€œ Red hair always brings out the expressive side of me.â€
Kalnut: â€œ What does it bring out in you Plink? Ha Ha!â€
Gasper: â€œ Gentlemen! We must get on! Now, Capt. Whitebeard has obtained the services of another ship for the movement of goods between Elgea and us here in the Pirate Isles, Capt Whitebeard?â€
Whitebeard:â€ Arr me beauties.. Tis me old shipmate Noddy Jim, he who always nods his head even when he be saying no to some scupper. Arr, that has got him in many a scrap, Arr, but he's a good man an can swing a marlin spike when you needs him, Arr!â€
Gasper: â€œThank you capt. That means we now have four ships available and so I think we can now purchase more redwood for shipment, Sargent Griffin, you will go to the logger merchant and buy sufficent.â€
Griffin: â€œ SIR!â€
Gasper: â€œ I can aslo inform you that Lord Granlik has now provided us with sufficientt funds to purchase the old fish dock and our first cargo of fruit and timber has arrived at our elgea port and been transported onwards to Nafflink.â€
Companions: â€œ Here here! Super! Wow. Arr! Gnassh Poh!
Gasper: â€œ Yes, we are making progress but now we must really concentrate on getting a reliable source of income which brings us to Mr Bosha's Restaurant. We need to get it up and running as soon as possible. Everything must be put on hold until it is finished. The main dining room is almost done and the proper ovens are being delivered next week.â€
Kroc: â€œ It's a pity the first ones were no good but I couldn't work with themâ€
Plink: â€œ Someone should have told the forge that you were an orc and needed BIG ovensâ€
Banpop: (tapping the table) â€œMy workshop needs to be the next one after the restaurant as I NEED a workshop to start my trainee magician training. Us dwarfs NEED to be doing something.â€
Kalnut: ( glaring at Banpop) â€œ You will annoy the local Tower starting up magic training. And if you start waving your arms about to much it could affect my experiments. Ardvic, when you work out where his workshop is going to be I want you to put it as far away from my laboratory as possible. â€œ
Banpop: (raising his eyebrows at Kalnut) â€œ It's funny but you have really never told us what you are going to do in this â€œlaboratoryâ€ have you Kalnut? If anyone is going to cause the local Mage Tower to come snooping around it will be you and playing about with all this â€œscienceâ€ nonsense.â€
Kalnut: (raising his voice) â€œ Scientific research is a new and exciting field so I don't know what I shall be doing unlike magic which is old and stuffy and everyone just trains to do what people have been doing for ages, so there!â€
Gasper:(getting a bit exasperated) â€œ Whatever you do it will have to earn its keep, at least waving your arms about will bring in the punters!â€
Ardvic.: â€œ The Ale House wants me to sing weekends in the main bar and I do some patron sketching at The Kings Keg as well, Plink comes along sometimes.â€
Plink: â€œ Its Super! Great!â€
Gasper: â€œ As part of my duties I have been studying the political situation here in the Broken Lands ( he nods to a large pile of The Illyriad Times on the table) and also the general economic level ( nods to another pile of local papers) and think we can do a bit of general advertising of our talents and get some interest going in the company.â€
Whitebeard: â€œ Arr, me beauties, tis a fine crew we has here with lots of expertise on board. I spy magics an cooking an army skills an sailing an arty stuff an brainy shipmates, Arr! We can all be pulling on the ropes to keep a true line.â€
Banpop: (looking round the table) â€œ What will Plink be doing? He was in charge of our expedition but we aren't doing any experditioning any more and I know his uncle is still keeping us here with the new company and is still paying for a lot, but what will he be doing?â€
There is a short embarrassed silence, broken by General Gasper, speaking in his best clipped diplomatic military style.
Gasper: â€œCaptain Plink is an officer of the Intelligence Corps and has been charged by his uncle, Lord Granlik to observe the workings of this enterprise and report back to him from time to time, while also providing assistance, as he thinks fit, to members of the company as necessary. He also acts in an advisory manner to myself, who has been appointed by Lord Granlik as the General Manager.â€
There is another short silence and then they carry on discussing and debating how the company would manage to earn sufficient income to keep them all safely housed. Gasper informed them that Sargent Griffin would be training the town guard every Friday afternoon and he (Gasper) was now advising the local pirate King who was thinking of having plate armour as standard infantry equipment. The workmen carry on working about them and the fruity smell from the yard gets stronger.
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
In Lord Granlik's Trade Office.
Lord Granlik stood leaning over the table and studying a large map of the north eastern section of the Broken Lands. There were several other maps scattered over the table along with pencils, rulers, protractors, rolls of coloured tape, bottles of white paste, empty beer jugs, three piles of documents and a half eaten cheese sandwich. Standing round the the table with him were Count Figgy (Minister of Supply) and Baron Alban (Treasury) both of which were watching Advisor Purpunk-Nosh (Diplomatic Corps) leaning over the map with Granlik.
Lord Granlik: â€œWhich city are we supposed to be looking at?â€
Advisor Purplunk-Nosh: â€œHere Sire, by this swampy river. The problem is that its on the wrong side of the awamps from our trading centre so there is a ferry charge and while the convoy waited a couple of days to be transported across the stuff disappeared overnight.â€
Granlik: â€œ6000 heavy armour pieces vanished overnight but the rest of the cargo was not touched at all?â€
Purplunk-Nosh: â€œ Yes Sire.â€
Granlik: â€œAnd General Gasper says we are bound by contract and thus must send another lot of armour?â€
Purplunk-Nosh: â€œYes Sire. Lord Stilton is a leading member of the local alliance and General Gasper says their support is vital in maintaining good relations with the Pirate Hubs. Captain Whitebeard agrees with him and also thinks his alliance will soon join the current Land Claim war that is going on near there.â€
Granlik: â€œ I know whats coming... We cannot aford to be seen to renage on a contract as it will distroy all faith in the Company thoughout the Broken Lands. Am I correct?â€
Purplunk-Nosh: â€œ Yes Sire.â€
Granlik: â€œElf's Ears! More costs... Alban, why did I think up this scheme?â€
Alban: â€œIt was to mitigate the downturn in the global economy and also ensure we grasped a superior position in supplying war exports in the Broken Lands my Lord.â€
Granlik snorted and stood up straight. He looked round his new Office and wondered if it was worth the cost. His new desk, covered with half written letters and back copies of the Illyriad Times was near the swing door to the new balcony which overlooked the courtyard, while in the east wall was a door leading to his old withdrawing room. On the west wall was another door which was ajar and from which could be heard whispers. Lastly a large double door in the north wall opened out into the central corridor and at which two spear men stood at ease.
Granlik: â€œ Figgy! When is the next shipment due to sail? And has Nifflink produced its target of siege blocks this month?
Voice from the back office: â€œ It's Nafflink producing siege blocks Sire. Nifflink does swords and chain mail Sire.â€
Granlik: (taking note of the voice) â€œ Have they?â€
Figgy: â€œ Have what Sire?â€
Granlik: â€œHave Nifflink, no, Nefflink produced the siege blocks?â€
Voice from the back office: â€œNafflink Sire, Nefflink does leathers Sire.â€
Figgy: (taking note of the voice) â€œ Everyone is on schedule apart from Nofflink which is running low in iron but they are expecting supplies from Hub 2 in a few days Sire.â€
Alban: â€œ Pardon my Lord but may I ask where you obtained the two clerks in the back office?â€
Granlik: â€œAhh, of course you are new here. It's a long story.. there used to be a paper published here called The Illyriad Free Times but the Editor unfortunately got drowned sailing to the Broken Lands so I had to close it down. Then recently,when I decided to start this Trade scheme going I realised I would need some office staff and I remembered those two scallywags, Found them running a pie and mash shop in Nufflink. When we began trading I tried to keep their office door shut but it always seems to be open...â€
Alban: â€œ They seem to be very efficient my Lord.â€
Granlik: â€œHmm, I think they sleep in there as well. Figgy! Ships!â€
Figgy: â€œWhat Sire? Ships?â€
Granlik: â€œ Yes Ships! When is the next shipment leaving our dock on the southern coast?â€
Figgy: â€œErr, I'm still waiting news that the two ships sailing under under Capt Qou's flag have arrived from the Pirate Isles, Sire.â€
Voice from the back office: â€œDocked yesterday Sire, all nuts and berries unloaded and on route to Hub 3. Should sail with cargo to the Pirate Isles by Thursday.â€
Figgy: â€œ Err, I think they are correct my Lord.â€
Granlik: (looking sharply at him) â€œFiggy! Take care!â€
Purplunk-Nosh: â€œ Well, things seem to be in order my Lord and I must remind you that its your nephew Plink's birthday next month and also several young ladies of the Royal court have sent self-portraits with requests that they be sent to him for for his perusal.â€
Granlik: â€œ Hmm.. I never got any portraits when I was young and raring to go. Royal court! All I got were scribbled sketches done in the local tavern. I bet the young fool will use them to swat the buzz flies away. Anyway send them along with my present to him. The large elephants footstool.â€
Purplunk-Nosh: â€œ Yes Sire.â€
Granlik: â€œ I was reading the Illyriad Times yesterday and see that there's another of these land claim wars broken out down there. Sigmund wets his pants every time that happens in case there is a claim here in Elgea so he keeps sending out suggestions that all troublemakers are given half price migration passage to the southern continent. Of course all established alliances already put pressure on their young upstarts to move there anyway.â€
Alban: â€œ I understand that unofficially a number of our senior alliances are encouraging ferment between certain southern groups so as to impress upon the common people that land claims should not spread to Elgea and threaten our stable existence..â€
Figgy: â€œ Anything for a quite life.â€
Granlik: â€œ Hmm, it can get too quite. As you know I like to catch elephants but recently it has become a bit boring. And of couse we are running out of places to store all those elephant foot stools. Prehaps I should join a small war somewhere if only to give the army some real experience . A large number of our troops have never had any since the LWO- BSH war back in 2012.â€
Alban: â€œ Your old alliance lost badly I understand My Lord? â€œ
Granlik: â€œ Yes, we did. I remember 20,000 orcs banging on the door and waving poles with heads stuck on the top at meâ€
Figgy: â€œ I was only a field officer then Sire and remember the relief we all felt when they got the recall orders and thay all marched back to Mal Motsha.â€
Granlik: â€œRight! I think we are concluded here and I am now going to see the Minister for War who is still trying to get me to agree a navy when we are situated several hundred miles from the nearest coast!. We now have a dozen of very well paid pirate captains taking care of our shipping trade so I know his game. He just wants a larger staff so that he will get a larger salary. Isn't that right Advisor Purplunk- Nosh?â€
Purplunk-Nosh: (who dislikes the Minister for War) â€œ Quite correct Sire!â€
And so Lord Granlik and his ministers leave the Trade Office and go their separate ways. The double doors are closed by the guards and the room is empty. From the back office the glug of liquid and the clink of glasses can be heard.
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
The Chosen One.
Kalnut: Not bad, could be a bit more rounded if you know what I mean.
Ardvic: Much to short and I don't like full frontals as you can't see the ears properly.
Kalnut: Ears? What have ears got to do with anything? Ears don't do anything for me.
Ardvic: Well, your not an elf. Ears are very important to Elves.
Kalnut: Plinks not an elf so he doesn't look at ears much. He checks lower down first, ehh Plink?
Plink: I think she looks super..... put her on the ok pile.
Kalnut: If you put any more on the ok pile it will fall over, how about a few on the rubbish pile?
Plink: But they all look great. I don't want to discard any of them.
Ardvic: Well you will have to. What's the point of deciding to pick out the best ones if you won't discard any of them?
Plink had received from his uncle Lord Granlik twelve self portraits of eligible young women who attended the Royal Court of King Sigurd and who wished Plink to be aware of their charms. It was widely known throughout Elgea that Plink was Granliks favourite nephew and that the traditional way of the ruling Ploberman family was for the current Lord to chose his successor to rule once he was either killed, died or stepped down from office.
Also the fact that Granlik had for many years avoided aligning his domain with any Alliance had attracted the interest of many Lords to a possible marriage of one of their daughters to Plink.
So Plink had invited his close childhood friend Kalnut and his drinking companion, the wood elf Ardvic to help him choose a couple of likely candidates for him to write to.
Ardvic: Perhaps if you give them points out of ten instead of just saying Great or Super?
Plink: That's a super idea!
Kanut: Ok. This one is a blond, her letter says she is a good cook, dress maker, likes dancing.
Plink: Great! Put her on the ok pile.
Ardvic: NO! Points out of ten!
Plink: Err, ten!
Kalnut: Ok, Hears another blond and I like the way she fills out that dress. Another good cook and dress maker but likes long walks in the park.
Plink: Defiantly ten!
Ardvic: Tell me Plink, I've seen your uncles profile and wondered why he is called Lord Granlik because that's his first name. He really should be called Lord Ploberman as that is his surname. Why is he called Lord Granlik?
Plink: Ahh, it's traditional. The first Lord Ploberman used our surname like every other House but after he died his son got fed up with everybody blaming him for the mess the first Lord Ploberman caused while learning how to be a Lord and run things. So he called himself Lord Ploberman the Second. Then later on he realised that both his sons were idiots and couldn't run a raffle so he decided to choose his successor from the men within the family and after thinking about it he picked his cousin Albert to succeed him and the family liked the idea.
Ardvic: So Albert became the next Lord Ploberman?
Plink: Yes he did, but then he didn't. When Albert became Lord he didn't want to be known as Lord Ploberman the Third so he decided to use his first name so he called himself Lord Albert and that's how its been ever since. I know its confusing but that's the way we Plobermans like it.
Ardvic: I see. So if your uncle picks you to succeed him you will be Lord Plink?
Plink: Yes. Oh look, a redhead! Put her on the ok pile Kalnut.
Kalnut: Righto, there she goes. Has he picked you already Plink? Everybody knows you are his favourite.
Plink: He's picked someone but the name is in sealed envelope hanging over the fireplace in his Withdrawing Room so its a secret. Now that's a really nice picture and you can see her ankles as well.
Kalnut: And that must be a bit of knee showing there. On the ok pile?
Plink: Yes please, Super!
Ardvic: I think the best thing is to write to then all and ask if they would like crossing the Bitter Sea to pay you a visit here and also ask if they mind bugs everywhere. That will sort them out.
Kalnut: What will your girlfriend Gladriall think if she finds out that you are looking at all these girls from the royal court? I bet she will not be all that pleased, with her being in Nefflik an you here in the Pirate Isles.
Plink: Ohh, I've got a funny feeling that she is the one who told these girls to send their portraits. Gladriall is at the royal court now since her dad, Count Muffty sent her there last year. Uncle says she is thinking of sending me a letter explaining why things can change when you are in a new place and that I will understand as I'm also in a new place here. I'm really looking forward to getting it. She's Super!
Kalnut (looking sideways at Ardvic): Ahh...
Ardvic (returning the look): Mmm...
Plink: Oh, have I missed something?
Kalnut (rapidly changing the subject) What have you done with that elephants foot stool that your uncle sent you for your birthday? I haven't seen it around recently.
Plink: I gave it to Banpop. He uses it for target practise when he tries his â€œZapitâ€ spell. It's a bit of a mess now.
The conversation dies and the friends continue to look at the portraits and after much discussion and debate and many ribald remarks which young men often engage in when in only their own company and talking about young women finally manage to reject two of the twelve by dinner time. After dinner they quickly depart to the local Ale House before General Gasper thinks of something for them to do.
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
The New Year Wishing.
General Gasper decided that another inspection was needed. His military training compelled him to do just once more even though he had done one only the previous day. So he summoned Sargent Griffin to join him and also called Plink who was chatting to one of the local girls who had been hired to clean the main lobby of the building.
They marched through the lobby and turned right past the offices and into the main assembly hall. It had been transformed. A week previous the hall had been full of plain tables and benches and various stacks of equipment, boxes, cartons, ropes, waterproof covers and a number of small carts and hand wagons. The hall was now filled with three long white cloth covered tables with benches ether side that extended up to another red topped top table at the end of the hall. From the roof hung bundles of evergreens and winter red berries.
Along the walls were smaller tables on which were stacks of food bowls and tankards. On the walls there were small hanging garlands of fragrant herbs. A number of local women (elf and human) were checking and dusting while Kroc the cook was supervising three table servers who were practising walking up and down the rows without banging into each other.
Ardvic could be seen waving his arms about at the top of the third row as the four scouts of the party pulled the tables apart and re-arranged the benches further from the wall. Gasper hurried over to him.
Gasper: What is going on? What are you doing?
Ardvic: We have to move this end of this row away from the wall.
Gasper: Why? It was fine yesterday, why are you moving it now?
Ardvic: Its Ulharadd, the local Pirate King. He now wants his personal orc bodyguard in the room with him and each one is eight foot plus and they will also be wearing their full body armour, they need at lot of room. His valet says it was agreed when he asked earlier.
Gasper: What!` Who agreed that?
Plink: Err, I did. He just asked if it was a big hall and if eight guards could come in out of the cold.
Gasper: Great Gods...
Kroc (shouting over) They will be useful if those Elves and Dwarves from the local chamber of commerce start arguing again.
Gasper (shouting back): What! Are they at it again?
Kroc (shouting): Yez, the last meeting had to be abandoned.
Gasper: We don't need this but Lord Granlik wants the traditional Elgea New Year Wishing celebration to be held here and be a success. The Broken Lands don't seem to have anything like it. He thinks it will help our trade mission to hold one and he told me to invite anybody of importance and it seems the word has got out and everyone who thinks they are important has asked to come.
Ardvic: I've always liked the Wishing Party!
Gasper: Its a pain in the ass and I'm fed up with the whole thing. I wish I knew who told Granlik that they don't have New Year Wishing down here.
Ardvic (glancing at Plink) Didn't you tell me....
Plink (interrupting): I think the hall looks super. You've done a great job organising this, General. Don't you think so Sargent Griffin?
Griffin: SIR! Yes Sir!
Ardvic: At least the weather looks ok.
Two days later in a howling blizzard the guests arrive at the Trade Centre and climb the steps into the Lobby where General Gasper in full dress uniform and Plink, resplendent in his House of Ploberman livery greet them. Captain Whitebeard dressed in his best pirate gear and with the traditional patch over his left eye siphons off the main guests into the Board Room for a quick drink and Kalnut hands everyone else a brief summery of the advantages of using the Trade Centre and directs them towards the Main Hall.
In the hall a frantic Ardvic tries unsuccessfully to hand out the menu and indicate where everyone should sit. At the top table Banpop the Mage entertains the crowd with some simple magic spells of coloured clouds interspersed with a few â€œheat waftsâ€ to keep the temperature up. The town health and safety committee had decreed that the many free standing fire boxes in the hall could not be lit until everyone had been seated. A number of mages from the local town tower assist him with the result that parts of the hall become extremely hot and two of the overhead vegetation bundles catch fire. A quick â€œDampDownâ€ zap puts them out.
Sargent Griffin and his scouts have been given the job of showing guests to their seats and smiling at everyone which they do apart from Griffin who never smiles and just points where they should go. Unfortunately most people under his direction think he is also going to serve them there so they quickly sit down somewhere else.
Once the main guests are assembled in the Board Room Gasper and Plink join them and Whitbeard for some small talk and drinks. In the Hall once everyone has been seated Griffin and his men preform some spear drills accompanied by Ardvic playing his Elven Squash Pipes. These have never before been heard in the Broken Lands and cause the Pirate Kings guard to jump up with weapons drawn. Luckily the other guests think it is part of the entertainment and give a rousing cheer so they sit down again.
General Gasper and Plink leads the main guests into the Hall. The procession includes the Pirate King Ulharrad and his Hub Master, Chief Mage Raggrth, Bummbok the Town Mayor, Lord Snille of the County, the Chair of the Docks and Free Traders Association, the First Worker of the local Transport, Sailors and General Workers Movement and representatives of several Alliances who keep eyeing each other and keep trying to be the first in their group and are all determined to sit next to the Pirate King at the top table.
Everybody stands and applauds them up to the Top table. The noise is overwhelming as the humans and elves clap and cheer, the dwarves hallow and bang the tables and the orcs rawrr and stamp their feet. Outside horses rear and whinny and every dog in the town barks and howls. This is also the signal for every local burglar to start their own new year celebrations.
Gasper gives the welcome speech and introduces the top table while the fires are lit and the food cauldrons are brought in. He then invites all to eat and drink and be merry which is what everyone has been waiting for. Food bowls and tankards are distributed and filled. Slowly the talking dies and all that can be heard is grunting, munching, slurping, gulping, belching, laughing, shouting and general jabbering. This continues for three hours in which several fires are knocked over, many fights break out and bowls and tankards are thrown between tables.
Then the hall is silenced by a spectacular flash and bang as Banpop conjurers up his â€œNumber three FlashBangâ€ and Gasper again stands up to begin the New Year Wishing. He tells of the good times and the bad times of the old year and what went right and what went wrong. Whitebeard keeps interjecting with an â€œArr!â€ to agree with him and the Pirate King who is sitting next to Whitebeard begins to â€œArrâ€ as well and soon the whole gathering is joining in, which to a certain extent makes Gaspers speech somewhat inaudible.
He finishes and with a majestic flourish summons the Old Year to appear before all those who have lived through his term. Kalnut, dressed in rags is brought in by Sargent Griffin and his scouts to receive judgement. Gasper sternly berates the Old Year for not doing enough and not pleasing everybody. He then banishes Old Year, never to return and Kalnut is dragged away by his guard to boos and jeers. There is a slight interruption as the Kings Orc Guard attempt to kill Kalnut but Banpop quickly throws a â€œFreezeâ€ spell on them.
Then the New Year enters to rapturous applause. It is Ardvic dressed in white and scattering seeds everywhere and introducing himself by singing the AloAloAlo song . Gasper demands that he will do better then his predecessor or face dire judgement at the end of his term. Ardvic states that he will be the best year yet and that he cannot hang around gossiping as he must start work immediately. He therefore dances once round the hall, again singing AloAloAlo this time accompanied by everyone and then leaves the hall.
Gaspers last job is to introduce Kroc the chef who gets a wild around of applause The General sits down once more and the dining and drinking restart and carry on until the morning hours and everything is gone and most guests have to be dragged out and dumped in the street.
Ulharadd, the Pirate King thinks the New Year Wishing is a â€œSuperâ€ idea and a â€œGreatâ€ way to celebrate new year and is much better then just getting drunk in a tavern. He had been talking to Plink during the feast and the words super and great seemed appropriate to use and promises to tell the three other Pirate Kings who rule the pirate isles about it.
Later in the week Ardvic calculates the total cost of the Wishing and Gasper spends the next day concocting a letter to Lord Granlik explaining why the provisional budget for the event had been so badly exceeded.
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
It was raining again and he didn't want to get up but he knew Sargent Griffin would send Knack the scout to get him or worse, Griffin would come himself and bellow â€œON PARADE IN FIVE MINUTES, SIR!â€ and stand there until he got up, so Plink crawled out of bed, splashed some water over his head, got dressed in his uniform and stepped out of his tent.
They were in Fellandire and Griffin was training recruits for one of the newer SIN alliance members. This army was still small but the local Lord wanted to make his mark quickly and so had jumped at an offer hr had read in the local paper fromThe Tor Carrock Trading Company to supply â€œ Excellent Military Training Personnel for basic troop provision at reasonable pricesâ€.
General Gasper was surprised this offer had been snapped up but quickly decided to supply Griffin and two of the four scouts and then realised it would be much better to throw in an officer as well and double the cost. The officer would have to be Plink who was a captain in the Intelligence Corps so he had had a word with him about his duties.
Gasper â€œNow remember, your job is to just stand there and return salutes. Look alert at all times and let Sargent Griffin work out what is to be done. If you are asked by anyone important what is happening just say the program is on time and the recruits are doing fine, Is that clear?â€
Plink â€œ Oh yes General. I like being saluted, Super! Great!â€
Gasper â€œ Good, And don't forget to always wear your uniform, scout Nungarlapnung will act as your batman when he is not helping Sargent Griffin on duty. Is that clear Sargent?â€
Griffin â€œ SIR!â€
And so they set off to Fellandire. On the way they passed many columns of troops marching in various directions as the various local wars started and stopped as various local Lords took offence at various statements in various local papers. The Broken Lands was indeed pulsating with life.
Plink walked quickly to the training ground and on the way was met by scout Nungarlapnung who had been sent by Griffin to get him. They exchanged salutes. As he arrived at the ground the rain stopped and he saw Griffin standing in front of the two hundred odd recruits who were drawn up in six ranks. Most of them held wooden spears but a number had what looked like very long poles.
Knack, the senior scout was standing at the end of the first rank and Nungarlapnung peeled off to stand at the other end of the rank. Plink approached Griffin.
Griffin â€œ COMPANY ATTENTION!â€
The Company wakes up and stands straight.
Griffin â€œ OFFICER ON PARADE! COMPANY SALUTE, SALUTE!â€
The company, now at attention. swing their spears forward pointing upwards to hold in both hands. Several drop theirs and those with the poles have difficulty getting theirs up. Plink, now standing by Griffin salutes the company.
Griffin â€œ KEEP THOSE SPEARS STRAIGHT! STAND STILL! GET THOSE PIKES UP! NO! DON'T TRY AND HOLD THEM OFF THE GROUND YOU HORRABLE LUMPS OF DUNG, REST THEM ON THE GROUND, DO YOU HEAR ME?â€
Company â€œYes!, sir!, master!, what?, SIR!, Vishpar dung?, Oks!, pardon?â€
Griffin â€œ AT EASE! STAND STILL! REST YOUR WEAPONS! NO!!! PUT THEM DOWN.â€
Plink â€œ There seem to be more of them today.â€
Griffin â€œ Another fifty turned up Sir and the storeman had run out of training spears so tasked the quartermaster to supply some more but for some reason just supplied those long poles.â€
Plink â€œ Super.â€
Griffin â€œ I will proceed Sir!
Plink â€œ Great, carry on Sargent. â€œ
Griffin â€œ COMPANY WILL TURN LEFT, LEFT TURN! FORWARD MARCH, MARCH!â€
Griffin marches the company off towards the storehouse screaming insults and is joined by the two scouts shouting instructions about keeping straight lines, marching in step, no talking in the ranks and other military pleasantries. Plink watches them march away and decides to go back to his tent and come back in one hour so turns round and is surprised to see three figures coming towards him.
They look as if they want to talk to him so he salutes them which causes some confusion. The one with a sight limp returns the salute, another takes his hat off and the third one who is dressed entirly in black and carrying a black case stops and looks round to see who he is saluting. They finally reach Plink.
The one with the Hat â€œ Ahh, General Gasper! So nice to meet you. I'm sorry we have only just managed to come down here but as you know we have been with the army on the border. How are the recruits doing?â€
Plink â€œErr, they are doing fine, Great!â€
Hat â€œ That must be your Sargent over there. He seems to be getting them all into shape.â€
Limp â€œ How are things shaping up in general General?â€
Plink â€œ Err, everything is on time, yes, the program is really on time and everything is super.â€
They here Griffin bellowing orders from the end of the training ground â€œCompany will wheel to the right. Right wheel!â€ and watch as the column wheels in front of the storehouse. As it wheels some of the trainees trip over the long poles and fall. Others stop and the following ranks collide with them. The scouts rush in and begin to flog those on the floor with their short discipline whips and also those men carrying the long poles who are trying to pick them up.
Griffin screams â€œ Company HALT! Company will form line at markers! You are a shambles! Markers stand firm!â€ The scouts now rush to stand thirty yards apart and the shambles reforms into six ranks but they are too near the storehouse and so ranks five and six are crammed together at the back. Griffin bellows â€œCompany two steps forward, MARCH!â€ and order is once more restored.
Limp â€œ Very good! You have a good man there General.â€
Plink (deciding to tell the truth and explain that he is not General Gasper) â€œ Ahh, I think I had better expl...â€
Hat (interupting him) â€œ Hallo! What's this?â€
They watch again as a large number of men come round the side of the storehouse and collect in a group looking at the company and begin shouting. Knack is dispatched by Griffin to talk to them.
The crowd gets very aminated and wave their arms at Knack. He returns to Griffin who seems to expand in size, points an arm at the crowd and sends Knack back to them.
The storeman emerges from his store, waves his arms at the croud and pushes through the company to talk to Griffin.
The shouting gets louder and Knack is punched on the nose and so returns to join Griffin and the storeman. The Company is now shouting back at the crowd who responds by moving forward and start to push into the ranks and there is some scuffling.
Plink and the three strangers look on as bedlam and general fighting breaks out and then they hear Griffin scream â€œSPEARS TO THE FRONT! FORM LINE! ON GUARD! ADVANCE IN LINE! ADVANCEâ€ The crowd falls back away from the line of spears and then Griffin yells â€œ CHARGE!!!â€ The crowd flees round the storehouse followed by the front rank and Knack. After a few minutes Knack marches the front rank back round the corner, all with large grins on their faces and lines up wityhe Company.
Limpâ€ Excellent! Riot control as well, very handy!â€
Dressed in Black (addressing the Hat) â€œ Sire, I must remind you we are behind time for the ceremony and it looks like rain again.â€
Hat â€œ Right, well General Gasper, I can see that our trainees are in good hands and it is money well spent. Thank you sir and now we must be on our way. Come along Field Marshal!â€
And with that Hat doffs his hat once more and the three strangers turn and walk away leaving Plink with troubled thoughts. Whoever they were they had thought he was General Gasper. But how? Had Gasper said he would come himself? Or had the strangers just been told Gasper would be here? Should he have told them he was not Gasper? Should he have wore a hat today? Why did the old one have a limp? What had happened over at the storehouse? Why didn't Knack punch the man who hit him on the nose back?
He watched as Griffin marched the company back from the storehouse. Many were now limping and had black eyes and bloody noses but Griffin was unrelenting â€œ HOLD THOSE HEADS UP! KEEP IN FILE! NARGANLAPNUNG, TAKE THAT MANS NAME! LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT RIGHT!â€
Griffin â€œCompany Halt! At Ease!â€
Griffin (to Plink) â€œ I shall take them for combat training over in that swampy area now Sir and I suggest you quickly return to your tent in case the Minister of War and Field Marshal Sungerpoperlong come backâ€
Plink â€œ Great! Thank you Sargentâ€
Griffin (addressing the company again) â€œ ATTENTION! I am going to turn you flappers into MEN! You will learn to do things your mothers never dreamt of! You are going to be soldiers and proud of it! COMPANY, LEFT TURN IN LINE! AT THE DOUBLE QUICK TROT! â€œ
Later, after the evening meal and a sPlink relaxed with the scouts by the riverside he asked Knack what had happened at the storehouse.
Knack â€œ Ahh, the bargemen of the river trade came looking for their punt poles. The store man had asked the quartermaster for extra spears but there were none in stock so the quartermaster had gone and pinched all the bargemen's poles so they couldn't do any work and so were not going to be paid so they came to get them back and blamed the store man.â€
Plink â€œ What did Griffin say about it?â€
Knack â€œ He said he may go and try and recruit some of the bargemen later and claim the enlistment feeâ€
Plink â€œ Super.â€
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
Ardvic finally found him sitting by the old fish dock watching the seagulls swoop and glide and pick at a pile of rotting fruit, Plink sometimes threw a stone at them but his heart wasn't in it. It was obvious that something was wrong and he seemed upset. That morning at breakfast in the hall he had only eaten one duck leg and had stomped out even ignoring Kroc the cook bringing in hot egg and carrot mash, one of Kroc's better efforts.
Ardvic: â€œHollo there, a fine day and yet you sit here all moopy and grim.â€
Ardvic: â€œWhy the moopy? Gasper has closed the Centre for a week and rushed off to the Capital for some reason and all is well!â€
Plink: â€œ Nothing is well, everything is gone... I feel really rotten and I shall sit here all day as I don't want to do anything, super damn.â€
Ardvic: â€œThis is not like you. Something wrong, tell me what's up Plinkyâ€.
Plink doesn't answer but just waves some sheets of paper in his hand. Ardvic sits down next to Plink and sees that he is holding a letter. Ardvic remembers there had been some post from home on the latest cargo ship a few days ago.
Ardvic: â€œAahhh... bad news?â€
Plink: " It's terrible. My life has changed. I must go home at once. Poor uncle Granlik.â€
Ardvics heart gives a twitch. Lord Granlik is dead! No more money for the Trade Centre. Gasper will close everything down and return home with Plink, No more carefree days in this wonderful land. Oh, the unfairness of Life.
Plink: â€œHe had always wanted a big ceremony and now he won't even be able to be there.â€
Ardvic: â€œBy the Gods, There isn't a body? What happened?â€
Plink: â€œBody?, What body?â€
Ardvic: â€œLord Granlik's body, It's disappeared. And now your Lord Plink!â€
Plink: â€œJumping Maggots! Has there been another ship? My uncle has disappeared? Have you sent for Gasper to get back here at once? I must return to the Centre !â€
Ardvic: â€œWHOA! Hold on... settle down... Why are you moopy and what news have you got in that letter?â€
Plink: â€œOh, It's Gladriall my girlfriend. She has written to say she has found someone else and is sorry about it but I will get over it in time and uncle Granlik is upset as well as he thoght we might get married and he wanted a big ceremony and invite all of Elgea to come but she is sure I will find someone else one day and not to do anything stupidâ€
Ardvic: â€œ Now I understand.. you have had a Dear John letterâ€
Plink: â€œ His bloody name is Simon De Groot not John and he is a slimy ponce and no good royal court bastard who couldn't hit a elephant five yards away with a crossbow. I never liked him when I attended court and hope he develops bed wetting and itchy pimples all over.â€
Ardvic: â€œSo you don't like him?â€
Ardvic: â€œ Dear John letters are never welcome. I've had a few in my time. They are useful however to copy when you have to write one yourself so I always keep them.â€
Plink: â€œ Thats a super idea, I'll keep this. But I really liked Gladriall she was really great but of course I have not seen her for over a year now and Helvan said she is getting a bit fat in her last letter.â€
Plink: â€œOh, Helvan is also at the royal court and I've been writing to her for over a month now since she sent her portrait last year. You remember don't you, we looked at them and gave them points out of ten.â€
Ardvic: â€œYes I do. Didn't you say Gladriall had asked her friends to send their portraits to you?â€
Plink: â€œYes.. how funny! It does show how nice Gladriall is, I'm still upset.â€
Ardvic: â€œ Well never mind. As Gasper is away we could pay a visit to the Keg House and see the Waffy twins and invite them back to the Centre for the weekend. They are really hot and if you remember last time they suggested we swap around and we said yes and later they asked if we enjoyed it and we said it was great and then they said that they hadn't swapped at all and fell about laughing at us!â€
Plink: â€œSuper! What a great idea. It's a bit chilly sitting here.â€
And so the two friends got up and strolled through the town to the Keg House. Unfortunately the twins were not there but Ardvic noticed a young lady by the name of Florintin who he knew who was having a drink with her cousin who was visiting. The girls were happy to accept an invitation to be shown round the Trade Centre and so Plink soon forgot his Dear John letter.
Joined: 12 Apr 2012
Location: London UK
Testing forum posting. Unable to post next Plink.
Edited by Granlik - 28 Apr 2016 at 21:05
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