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Plink's Progress.

Printed From: Illyriad
Category: Miscellaneous
Forum Name: Fiction
Forum Description: Epics, Sagas, Unlikely Tales of Daring and Rip-roaring stories
Printed Date: 30 Oct 2020 at 17:34
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Topic: Plink's Progress.
Posted By: Granlik
Subject: Plink's Progress.
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2014 at 11:20

In Lord Granlik's Withdrawing Room.

Lord Granlik; Well, I don't know....

Plink: But you keep saying I should do something useful Uncle!

Granlik: Getting drowned or stuck like a pig by savages is not in the least useful, either to you or to me, my boy.

Plink: But Whitebeard the pirate will land me at a proper port and I won't be alone over there and I bet when you were younger you would have jumped at a chance to travel and explore new lands! And also I was a top reporter for the Illyriad Free Times, the Editor told you so!

Granlik: Yes I know he did and I wish he was still with us but I am still a bit doubtful about you wandering around foreign lands even though you have spent the last year in the Army Intelligence corps. What do you think Advisor Purpunk-Nosh?

Purpunk-Nosh: Well my Lord. I have seen your nephew Plink grow into an engaging young man who feels at home in all levels of society. He is well-known throughout your domain and there cannot be anyone who feels that he is not destined for great things in the fullness of time.

Granlik: Hummm... What do you think General Gasper?.

Gasper: I think he is ready Sire. With his recent promotion he now has a Command of his own and the ability to take decisions, plus a young man's drive to succeed. Also I understand he has selected a number of experts in various fields to accompany him. I also think that in agreeing to allow a close relative of yours to go forth on such a mission will enhance the reputation of yourself sire, in the eyes of the King and your equals throughout the land.

Granlik: Ohh, err, you do do you? Well. If I was younger... Ok young Plink you can go but I warn you, keep out of trouble, look where you are going and don't annoy anybody important. You have my Blessings.

Plink: Oh thank you uncle! I promise I shall send home reports of my journeys in the Broken Lands and not get into any troubles and look after all the people who are going with me. I'm so excited and can't wait to tell everyone. Gosh! Super! Oh, I'm so excited... oh, I've already said that haven't I? Thanks again Uncle Granlik!

Granlik: Right then, all agreed. You may all leave now as I have an early start tomorrow as a small herd of elephants has been sighted east of Nyflink and I haven't bagged one for several months. Tell the door guards on your way out that I am not to be disturbed until my bath is run in the morning.

The three visitors bow and make their way out. Once in the corridor Plink rushes off to tell his girlfriend Gladriall the good news while the Advisor and Army General stroll towards the hospitality chamber and a welcome drink.

Advisor Purpunk-Nosh: I must say that went well.

General Gasper: Yes, Lord Granlik bought it completely. Thank the Gods that that idiot Plink will be gone soon. He has been a walking disaster for the Corps! We lost a whole company marching off a cliff because he assumed they would stop when ordered to turn left instead of right.

Advisor Purpunk-Nosh: I shall sleep well tonight. I remember the Editor of the Times telling me he always made certain that Plink was sent to a remote location, with the minimum information about a story, and that he always hoped Plink would get lost as he has no sense of direction.

General Gasper: So he's off to Broken Lands! They don't know what's going to hit them! Ahh, here we are. Scotch?

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 24 Oct 2014 at 15:30

A Slight Misunderstanding.

Lord Granlik strides to the window again. The noise from the Nefflink courtyard below is deafening and it has been going since daybreak and it is now late afternoon. He looks down on a group of wagons surrounded by pheasants who are loading some of them with supplies while others are being unloaded at the same time. One wagon is being loaded on one side and unloaded on the other while a fight has broken out between some of the waggoner's and merchants near the horse lines upsetting the creatures and causing the guards difficulty in separating the contestants. Granlik frowns and then turns as the door to his viewing room suddenly opens and a number of people come in.

Granlik: What in the King's name is going on down there? Is anyone in charge? Master Woolgar, please explain why that caravan is still here when it should have gone three hours ago?

Yard Master Woolgar: I must apologise my Lord but there seems to have been a slight misunderstanding.

Granlik: Misunderstanding? It's a caravan going to the port of Hanlif for my nephews expedition to the Broken Lands. Caravans leave here every week on the dot with no misunderstandings. Why is this particular one different?

The three newcomers look at each other uncomfortably and shuffle around. Granlik looks at them all and waits for an answer. They still look at each other and avoid his gaze. Granlik points at his Minister of Supply, Figgy.

Granlik: Speak!

Figgy: Err, Sire, err, it appears your nephew Plink has caused some confusion with the supplies he requires for the expedition. I had been contacted by the Merchants Guild of space required for a caravan leaving today for the south and so freed the yard. A messenger arrived yesterday from Hanlif sent by your nephew Plink to his girlfriend Gladriall who lives in Nufflink. Luckily she told Councillor Hashnesses daughter of some of its contents this morning and she, the daughter, told Councillor Hashness over lunch which caused him ride quickly to see me in Nafflink as soon as possible and then we both rode swiftly over here to Nefflink to see the Yard Master.

Granlik: I might have known.... Plink!

Figgy remains silent but knows that Granlik will want to know what Plink has done.

Granlik: And?

Councillor Hashness: Well my Lord it seems that before he left last week for Hanlif he arranged for supplies to follow later and contacted various merchants and suppliers and wagon masters to undertake this. But his letter to Gladriall says that General Gasper, who you sent with him and give advice during his journeys has already arranged all the provisions for the voyage and everything is at the port already and they expect to sail in a few days.

Woolgar: So when the Minister and Councillor arrived here two hours ago I ordered the caravan to be disbanded but unfortunately I did not dare to give the specific reason for my order and there is now a bit of a problem as a number of suppliers are demanding payment and others have questioned my authority and claim your nephew ordered their involvement with your authority my Lord. There are other independent merchants who have paid to join the caravan and now want compensation for loss of trade and also a number of travellers who were going to follow it as far as south Arran now want to sue somebody.

Granlik: Gods! I told him that Gasper would arrange everything apart from him picking the few personal advisers that he wanted to accompany him to the new world. All he did was to look at the list of people he had picked to go with him and worry that they could change their minds and what clothes he should take along. He thought of nothing else. In the end I said he was responsible for his own arrangements and told him to get on with it. He must have forgotten what I said about Gasper!

Figgy: There is another problem Sire. One of King Siguard's survey teams that are collecting information throughout the land on Good Governance within a Feudal System and the Implementation of Civic Order have been seen passing N8fflink on the way here and are expected within a few hours.

The noise from the courtyard below suddenly increases in intensity and everyone rushes to the window. Below a column of Spear men has just formed up by the inner gate and the court guards are trying to grab merchants, suppliers and anyone who seems to be protesting while the peasants had by now all retreated behind the wagons of which a number had been turned over. They, and a number of merchants who had evaded the guards begin to throw potatoes at the troops. The officer in charge of the spear men is looking up at the window.

Yard Master Woolgar: I ordered for yard support just before we came up here Sire.

Granlik: Good man Woolgar... Stop it first and sort it later...

Granlik leans out of the window and the noise subsides and some 500 pairs of eyes look up at him.



He turns to the three men who stand perfectly still and look at him with expressionless faces.

Granlik: Woolgar, you will explain to the queue that a terrible mistake was made by a minor official who has since been transferred to the wolf pits.

Figgy, you will see the Court Treasurer and insure that all demands from the Yard Masters office are met promptly. You will then meet King Siguards team and insure they are given all hospitality.

Hashness, you will make certain not a word of this gets out under threat of death as I don't want this on the front page of the Herald and be made a laughing stock due to my nephews forgetfulness. Right, get on with it please!

The trio file out shutting the door quietly. Granlik sits down in a chair and gazes at a picture on the wall showing him in pursuit of a herd of elephants. He sighs and takes a long gulp from the flask of mulled wine on the side table and then gets up and leans out of the window again. The only people in the courtyard are guards and an orderly queue of people by the Yard Masters office, a large number of whom are looking nervously up at him. He sighs again and returns to his chair and mulled wine.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 04 Nov 2014 at 14:26

Final Thoughts.

The chat gradually died and they sat in silence around the table in the shanty house. He was late again but that was normal. They all waited and while they did so they all thought about the journey ahead and what they would find. Each had a different reason why they were there and each had a different internal voice whispering thoughts to them.

General Gasper of the Intelligence Corps still had a vague hope that something would happen to halt the expedition. Ordered by Lord Granlik to watch over his favourite nephew he would do his duty, but always hoped. On the way to the port of Hanlif he had prayed that another vast continental war had broken out and that they would be recalled back to Nefflick but peace still reigned everywhere in the land. He had kept a keen watch on the sea weather reports but no incoming ships had had any problems crossing the Bitter Sea, in fact the consensus was that it had never been so calm. Gasper was despondent.

Next to him Sargent Griffin just looked straight ahead. Griffin was a professional solder and had served his time in the town militia, infantry, cavalry, siege division, palace guard and now was in charge of the six scouts assigned to the expedition. He was a hard man and everybody knew it.

Kroc Bosha was a chef. He had been the food correspondent for the Illyriad Free Times and since its unfortunate demise had struggled to find a job in Tor Carrock. But luckily for him he had sometimes cooked breakfast in the Times office and young Plink quite liked his egg and crushed meat bits so he had asked him to join the expedition as cook. Kroc had said yes straight away. He was also an Orc so took up two places on the bench. He was wondering if there were eggs in the Broken Lands.

Whitebeard the Pirate was worried. The last time he had had any dealings with people from Granlik's towns his ship had been lost along with all the passengers and crew apart from his cabin boy Moggly, who was now somewhere in the Broken Lands. The passengers had been something to do with a popular paper but he hadn't really got to know them as he had been struck down with a bout of crotchy mites just before sailing so his second-in-command, Dreadlocks Joe had been in charge of his pirate ship and had sunk it. Whitebeard had just managed to to buy another ship named Shrimp (second-hand) but needed some ready cash to pay his new crew and so had reluctantly accepted this contract. Once he gets them to RoyalPort he will hoist the Jolly Roger and be off pirating again.

Ardvic Grunderfutt was another of the Times correspondents and had ran the arts and poetry section. He should have gone with the Editor on the ill fated voyage but thinking he had enough time to board he had drawn a superb sketch of a ship leaving harbour only to find out that he had in fact sketched the Floating Keg as it left for the Broken Lands. Ardvic, being a sensitive Glade elf suffered a terrible mental breakdown and has lost his sensitive touch since then and dreams of finding his soul again in the unknown lands.

Mage Banpop until recently was working in the Mage Tower in Nifflink. He is a dwarf of Clan Bealagh of Tor Carrock. Banpop is an avid proponent of Interactive Magic and thus is extremely excited in studying different forms of magic in the new land. He is hoping to visit as many Hubs as possible. He has volunteered for the trip and can't wait to sail.

Kalnut Tonk is a man with a mission. He thinks of himself as a revolutionary or a visionary and then occasionally as an idiot. He was a childhood friend of Plink and had asked him if he could come along. Plink had said “Super!” and that was that. Kalnut had lead a normal life until he read edition 7 of the Illyriad Free Times and promptly joined the Society of Scientific Investigators. He is now a committed“Sosie” dedicated to destroying the Magical beliefs that rules the world and hopes to help create a new civilisation where “Science” brings advancement, peace and love to everyone.

And so they sit in silence. The orc and dwarf begin to drift into a deep sleep. Kroc begins to lean forward onto the table and a snuddering snore is heard. Sargent Griffin looks at General Gasper who gives a slight nod.

Griffins arm shoots out and he pinches Krocs nose hard and withdraws it in a flash. Kroc wakes with a yelp and jumps up, banging the table. This causes everyone to stand up. At the same time the door swings open and Plink enters the room with a broad smile on his face.

Plink: Hallo everyone, sorry I'm late and you shouldn't all have been standing around waiting for me, you could have all sat down. Super! Well we can go now as the boat that was blocking our one has moved so they just have to find Captain Whitebread and we're off!

Whitebeard: Arr me beauty, It's Whitebeard, not Whitebread and I be here as you told me to be.

Plink: Oh, I thought I told you to go to the boat and I would join the others after you were told we can go once the other boat moves.

Whitebeard: Oh no me beauty! No! You said to join the others.... Arr, and they don't be called boats I keep telling you laddy, they be ships. Arr, let me out of here...

Whitebeard rushes out of the room.

Plink: Ok, Great, Right, Whitebread has now gone to the ship so we can follow him and go now so everyone follow me, Great!

General Gasper: Captain Plink! We have been waiting here for over two hours and now you just stroll in and tell us that we can go now. Where have you been?

Plink: I've been writing a letter to Gladriall my girlfriend saying that we are going now and then went to find a messenger at the messenger office to take it but they were all out on missions so I didn't know what to do but then I found one of our scouts just about to board the ship with his horse and so I sent him.

Sargent Griffin: Sir! You have sent one of my six scouts back to Nefflink Sir?

Plink: Yes, I promised her I would send a letter just before we go. Isn't it exciting!

Griffin: SIR! Do you realis...

Gasper: That will be all Sargent...

Griffin: Sir!

Banpop: Oh, I'm far too excited. I must do a quick spell of self depression. (he waves his arms around. Ardvic gets a splitting headache)

Kroc: Does anyone want something to eat before we go?

Plink: Super! That's a great idea Krocy. Have you got any eggs to do a quick fry?

Gasper: I think we should go NOW. Captain Whitebeard does NOT wait around for anybody!

So they all rush out of the shanty house and see the Shrimp with all sails set beginning to draw away from the jetty. Whitebeard can be see shouting orders and waving his arms about. The remaining five scouts can also be seen looking anxiously for the rest of their party.

Lead by Gasper they all manage to board the ship apart from Ardvic who goes back to the shanty for his sketchbook which he had left on the table. General Gasper and Sargent Griffin manage to persuade captain Whitebeard to send the jolly boat back to pick him up. Plink shouts “ Super!” as the little elf is pulled on board and the Shrimp turns southwards and to distant Puchuallpa.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 21 Nov 2014 at 00:02

Sea Legs.

Captain Whitebeard scanned the southern horizon searching for a break in the dark banks of clouds. There were none. The swell was rising and the driving rain that always fell along the jump line was only a few miles away. The Shrimp was approaching the Maelstroms, the band of violent circular winds that divided the bitter sea into its north and south sections. Whitebeard was an old hand at “jumping the line” the crucial dropping and raising of the sails while swinging the rapidly moving ship 180 degrees round to face the opposite direction, He glanced back at the line of passengers leaning over the side emptying their empty stomachs again. It was odd he thought how young Plink, Kroc the orc and Sargent Griffin were unaffected by the sea and all the others were spending the whole voyage being sick.

It was time to start giving orders to prepare the ship, his new crew and the passengers for the ordeal ahead.

Whitebeard: Arr me beauties, drop the jib an raise the tops, Arr! Rope the horses tight an secure the deck lines.

Plink: I say, this is Super! I do like sailing!

Whitebeard: Arr! Grab hold them cables you slimy dogs... I said secure those lines now!

Plink: It seems to be getting windier, Great! Are you enjoying this Krocy?

Kroc: I'm getting a bit peckish. I may go and make a sandwich.

Whitebeard: Arr! All passengers below! All hands stand to ready! Stand firm me beauties, Arr!

Plink: Wow! We are going fast now! And why is the ship being blown that way?

Whitebeard: It be the winds along the line me young sir. The sea currents go opposite ways on the line. You best get below now. Arr! Here comes the rain! READY TO DROP SAILS ME BEAUTIES!!!!

Crew: ARR CAP'N!

Whitebeard: DROP!!


Plink: Oh my!.


Crew: ARR!!

Kroc: I've done some cheese and pickle.

Whitebeard: UP SAILS!!


Plink: Great! Cheese and pickle. Oh, were going in the other directions now. How odd.

Whitebeard: Arr, that be a goodly jump me lads.. STEER ON THE SOUTHERN LINE, WHEEL! Arr!. Open a keg of grog an all hands grab his cup.

And so the “jump” is done and the Shrimp sets south again towards the Broken Lands. On checking the ship over Whitebeard finds that he has lost three crew and the jolly boat. Sargent Griffin who had in fact carried the line of sick passengers down from the side rail to the cabins starting with General Gasper, had been furious when on going back for his fifth remaining scout had found that he had been blown overboard and so he swore long and loud, causing some nearby crew to blush. Later, down in the cabin they talked about the experience.

Ardvic: I don't remember anything and I still feel sick.

Banpop: I need the bucket again.

Plink: It was great and the wind was super. Sailing is fab and fun and its a pity that -

Tonk: Oh please shut up Plinky, I don;t feel well and give me that bucket....

General Gasper: Sargent Griffin! You should have brought scout Hassish down before the others. You knew he was the best one we had and could speak some of those BL native tongues.

Griffin: Sir! They were all in a row and leaning over the side and I couldn't tell one from the other and the rain was coming down like kippers and I had to work fast, Sir!

Gasper: We haven't even got there yet and we've lost two scouts already....

Plink: I could do a bit of scouting General. I was a top reporter once and had to find my way around lots of places.

Kroc: Anyone want some cold jelly fish soup with runny fried eggs?

Many Voices: Yeegh.................

Plink: Oh goody, I'll have a bowl thank you.

Whitebeard: (poking his head down the hatch) Arr me beauties, another strong blow be on the way so I'll send another bucket down.

And so the Shrimp continues on its way to the Puchuallpa coast and RoyalPort, one of the largest entry points into the eastern parts of the Brocken Lands. What adventures await the companions? Will Plink find excitement in the new land and Ardvic his soul again? Will Banpop discover new forms of magic from the strange Hubs that lie within their path? And will Sargent Griffin manage to keep his remaining four scouts? What of Lord Granliks secret orders to General Gasper? And will Kroc find a sufficent supply of eggs to keep the party happy? All these questions will be answered (or in some cases may remain a mystery) as the months unfold.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 05 Dec 2014 at 20:52

Plink 5.  Decisions.

RoyalPort was one of the major ports for the majority of Elgea settlers heading for the eastern side of the new continent and as such and it took some time to find an inn prepared to take in all the party but eventually one was found alongside one of the large open sewers that served the seeder side of town. Captain Whitebeard had wished the party farewell they disembarked from the Shrimp.

Whitebeard: Arr me beauties tis time for parting an the sea calls me back like a large lady in a tiny tub for a rub! May the Gods be with ye as you stumble in the jungle!

Plink: Oh its so exciting now were here. Three cheers for captain Whitebread and his crew!

Whitebeard: Arr, it be Whitebeard ye young scamper an I keeps telling ye.

General Gasper: Right, we best be off to find lodgings and we bid you well captain in your chosen profession. Stay clear of navy ships and violent storms.

Whitebeard: Arr General, I'll do that and if ye ever get home my compliments to Lord Granlik.

General Gasper spent the first few days getting supplies while Sargent Griffin, the scouts, Kroc, Tonk and Ardvic spent the same time getting drunk. Banpop shot of to visit a number of local Mage Towers. and the area Hub while Plink on the other hand wandered around the town drinking in the sights. He also began to take notes as he felt that he was still a reporter although his old paper was long dead.

He was fascinated by the ramshackle buildings of various styles and also the many differing races all mixed together trying to make a decent living. A substantial proportion made an indecent living as well but more of that later. Also he toured the extraordinary variety of shops that had sprung up to cater for the constant flow of immigrants passing through the ever growing city.

Every week large caravans were assembled and headed north into the interior, some of these were purely made up of new settlers from the major Elgea alliances like Asier, Invitus and Infamy and these were protected by their alliance troops. Others were a jumble of settlers from a mixture of smaller alliances with just minimal protection against the many native tribes whose area they would pass through.

After a week Gasper decided that it was time to gather the party together and inform them of their next step. He was the de facto Leader of the party and in fact had an agreed set of orders given to him by Lord Granlik back in Nefflink. He had to meet some people at different locations and also find out what some other specific alliances were up to. He also had to gather information about the political complexities that existed between the east and west and north and south nations that lived in Broken Lands and at the same time investigate the comparative strengths of the internal factions.

As an afterthought Granlik had mentioned that the distribution of elephants (if any) was of interest to him and could the General keep an eye out for them? Gasper sometimes wished he had never joined the army.

Gasper: Attention! Right, It's time to start out on our explorations. As you know settlers from our lands back home have established many new towns so I think it best that we do not stray to far away from such locations. I have obtained a number of local maps which will allow us to update such information that our Diplomatic Service back home has provided us with. Furthermore I can inf.....

Plink: I think it would be great if we could go to the Pirate Isles. Its a pity that captain Whitebread isn't with us any more, he would be a great help there.

Gasper: Yes captain Plink, Your uncle has plans for... I mean Lord Granlik knows of your wish to go there so we will do so after we visit a number of other places first. Furthermore I can...

Banpop: What do you mean by plans? I thought Mr Plink was in charge and that we go where he wants to go. I thought you and the soldiers were just to protect him. I think we should concentrate on the Hubs to increase our knowledge of how magic is used over here. I think...

Gasper: I'm in charge of this party so as to make certain that nothing happens to captain Plink who is quite happy that I plan ahead and also Lord Granlik wishes that captain Plink should be able broaden his experiences with no problems of command and to be able to do as he wishes.

Tonk: I joined to help Plinky cos I thought he was in charge and we could discover new things here and I want to collect any strange stuff that I find and I'm going to. I'm not in anybody's army!

Gasper: I'm afraid you are all under my command and if I order you to do anything you will do it. Is that understood?

Sargent Griffin and the four remaining scouts: SIR! YES SIR!

Kroc: I've got some flatfish on the fire if anybody wants some.

Plink: Oh Super! I am a bit peckish and I'm quite happy the General is in charge, Great!

Gasper: Right then, as I was saying we will leave tomorrow morning and move south-east into mainly unsettled Puchuallpa territory until we reach this point (taps map on the table very quickly so that no one sees where he has tapped) and then turn north towards Pawanalla and the area dominated by the Asier. After that we will head for the High Hills region and...

Ardvic: High Hills. Such a romantic name... It gives me shivers to say it, what mystery await us there...

Kroc: The sauce is crushed pig eyeballs and pulped crow livers.

As Krocs cooking was better then the Inns fare they all tuck in. Where he obtained it from was a mystery but no one ever asked him. After the meal Gasper says that they had all better get a good nights rest as he wants to start loading the pack horses and wagons at dawn. Everyone agrees and they all rise from the table to go to their straw bunks when the door opens and a familiar voice breaks the silence.

Captain Whitebeard: Arr me goodly mates tis me yer old friendly sea dog! I'll be asking a favour of ye all, me beauties.

Plink: Oh, its captain Whitebread! Super!

Gasper: And to what do we owe the pleasure of this unexpected appearance?

Whitbeard: Arr, Well me hearties I have had me ship impounded by some dastardly official who maintains I owe monies to various ports all over the place an me scummy crew has gone over the side seeing the marines come aboard an also cos I was a bit short on the coins to give them. Arr, tis a poor old sea dog that has nowhere to go in a foreign land an knows no body but his trusted companions of a recent voyage. Arr!

Gasper: So?

Whitebeard: An I be thinking you could use an experienced man of the world on yer travels as you will needing to bargain an to know how to fight an to tied proper knots an to sail on water sometimes an to stow stuff properly an if you run out of food how to pick a crew member to...

Gasper: That's enough captain as we are leaving first thing in the morning.

Griffin: We do have two spare horses Sir as we are down two scouts already.

Kroc: And we could run out of food...

Plink: I think its super captain Whitebread can join us. I'm sure my uncle Granlik would say yes if he was here.

Ardvic: The more the merrier I say!

Gasper: Gods help me... Very well, you are accepted into the party, captain. Welcome aboard...

And so in the morning the Plink Expedition departs into The Broken Lands. Later that day a file of marines call at the Inn looking for Whitebeard. Even later the recent crew of his impounded ship make polite enquiries as to where the captain may have gone?

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 30 Dec 2014 at 18:41


The party travelled eastwards and soon the clamour of RoyalPort was far behind them and the Puchuallpa jungle swallowed them up. The General was somewhat surprised by the amount of baggage that accompanied them. He had made certain that they had sufficient supplies for several weeks as he was uncertain of what lay ahead before they reached the buildings that Lord Granlik had marked on the rough map that he had given him. How Granlik had obtained such knowledge he had no idea but during his years of service all sorts of odd people had been recruited as Special Advisers by the Lord so he had stopped bothering about Granliks motives. Gasper just followed orders.

It seemed everyone was collecting stuff and they had only just started. Plink agreed with anyone who wanted their own transport and Whitebeard had somehow managed to obtain two large wagons both of which were covered and no one was allowed to see what was in them. Plink had got a local cart for any souvenirs he might collect along the way and both the Mage and Tonk had already collected stuff stored in some large boxes and sacks and Plink had insisted that they get a cart to carry them. Kroc, as cook, had found a old Tuck Wagon which got the full support of Sargent Griffin and his scouts. It was very large and bulky and resembled a mobile fort with a team of four oxen pulling it. In the end a further wagon was needed to carry fodder for all the horses and pack animals.

They journeyed through monsoon jungle and wet jungle and dense jungle all filled with animal noise and hungry insects but no people or towns The scouts scouted as best they could but after two of them got lost and took five days to find the party again Gasper forbid anyone wandering off. Gasper had the only compass and refused to give it to anyone in case they disappeared. Kroc wanted fresh supplies but had to use what they had brought with them all the time and they began to run down. Then, after three weeks they hit a partly formed road and followed it only to discover an abandoned town of the ABSA alliance. It was called Moustaki and here they were found by a patrol from Sundre, owned by Gregorokin, head of the alliance. In Sundre they were welcomed, fed and

informed that plaque had broken out in the port Landingstown and given advice about avoiding the warlike tribes further to the east near the hub Yuraquncha. Gasper checked his map and found the hidden temple he was heading for was only 13 squares from it. Was this unlucky he thought?

They eventually arrived during a deluge to find a company of Orcs waiting for them. Gasper ordered that they pitch camp and while the tents and wagons were made fast he, Griffin and Plink approached the orcs waving a Nefflink flag. A large orc stepped forward waving a stick with what looked like a shrunken head fixed to the top.

General Gasper: Granlik!

Large Orc: GRRNISS!

Plink: What did he say?

Gasper: Please be quite while I talk to him...


Gasper: Granlik! Granlik!

Plink: Ohh, he's saying uncle's name. This is so exciting...


The orc company take a step forward and start to sway side to side,

Gasper: Sargent Griffin, please escort Captain Plink back to the camp, now!

Sargent Griffin: SIR!

Plink is dragged back to the camp by Griffin watched by everyone except General Griffin who keeps a firm eye to eye contact with the large orc,

Gasper: Granlik! Granlik! Grraanlik!


Gasper: Thank Gods! Passing, (he produces a bottle from his bag and gives it to the large orc)

Large Orc: PARSHGINN. (he produces a small bag from behind his back and gives it to Gasper)

The orcs disappear into the jungle and Gasper returns to the camp. No one says anything about the meeting. Gasper had already explained that there were going to be unexpected meetings with funny people at various times during the expedition and no one is to question what is going on. Plink recovers his normal cheerfulness during dinner (boiled coral snake with fried tarantulas) Kroc has by now established a working relationship with the scouts who bring back anything they can kill.

The next day Gasper announces that they will now head towards the Pirate Isles passing through Pawanappla and the area controlled by the Aesir alliance and then into High Hills. Banpop who had quickly visited the nearby Zaqcha hub did not welcome the news of passing through Aesir territory.  During his apprenticeship he had inadvertently caused all the saddle grips of a column of horse to dissolve by scratching his nose while watching a parade in front of one of the top brass, Delicious Josh.

And so the Plink experdition again set off into the pouring rain. Three days later a bunch of ragged, dirty, foulsmelling but determined seadogs found the campsite and a large orc asleep in a nearby hidden temple.

to be continued....

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 18 Jan 2015 at 19:18

Moving South.

They spent weeks hacking a path through the damp, sticky, insect ridden jungles and forests of Puchuallpa. Towns were few and far between and the local villages were sometimes hostile and many detours had to be made. It was difficult catching anything and many a time Kroc the cook had to rely on leaf mash and insect stew to fill stomachs.

Attempts by BanPop the Mage to either capture or produce something edible were banned as the results of him casting a spell caused headaches, back pains and loss of balance to some of his companions. Banpop blamed the influence of the regional Hubs nullifying his Elgea based magic.

They were relieved when a range of mountains came into view. However the scouts who had gone ahead returned with troubling news.

Scout One: Err, there's a problem Sir. We can't find a path through and they all seem to be volcanic and there's a funny smell everywhere and it gets in your throat.

General Gasper: What? Volcanic? Can't find a path? Rubbish.

Scout Two: He's right Sir, We fer fer followed three valleys but they ended in cur cur cliffs and there wer wer wer was smoke and rocks falling dur down on us so so we cur cur came back.

Gasper: What? Nonsense. Sargent Griffin, take another patrol and go and find a path for us.

Griffin: SIR!

Plink: No, their right. All the mountains are volcanoes and it's very dangerous and there are earthquakes and poisonous gasses and burning rocks and rivers of fire all over the place.

Ardvik: Yes, we were told about it.

Gasper: WHAT? Told about it? When were you told about it, who told you?

Plink: Ohh, it was at that last village we stayed at. We were talking to the priest and he said they never went near the mountains and you needed a guide if you wanted to go through them.

Ardvik: Yes, that's what he said.

Gasper: Elf's Ears! Why didn't you say something?

Kroc: I was told there were rock lizards in the mountains and they make a very good stew

Captain Whitebeard: Arr! I could do with a good stew now matey!

Banpop: The smell is sulphur and comes from hot rocks which we use in the Mage towers.

Plink: Ohh, I thought you knew about the mountains from your map General,

Gasper: Stop! Stop! Stop talking! Gods.... We must get a guide somehow. Sargent Griffin! Go back to the village and get a local guide that knows a path through the volcanoes. Blast, Granlik never mentioned volcanoes and this map dousn't show them.

Scout Two: The sargents ger ger gone Sir to fer fer find a per path, as you said.

Gasper: NOOOOO! This is not happening.... I must think,,, Ok, (pointing to scout one) you get after the Sargent now and bring him back. You! (pointing to scout two) go back to the village and get a guide. (he then remembers this scouts stammer) NO! You stay here! , err...

Whitebeard: Arr! Tis a job for an old sea dog I be thinking, ye be leaving it to me captain, Arr!

Gasper: The rank is General, Captain but thank you. Please be quick.

Plink: Isn't this exciting, we're going to see volcanoes. Great! Super!

There was a weeks delay but Plink saw his volcanoes and Ardvik filled several pages of his sketchbook as a local guide led them through the range into Pawanappla. They now could move quickly over the desert plains and made good time as they moved southwards. At night they tended to camp near a mausoleum, monastery, pyramid or on occasions a sphinx of which the region seemed to have an excessive number. Unlike the jungle here they were also able to see a wide variety of animals many of which were new to the party. Rinosurus, pumas, fire salamanders, giant snakes, lions and to Plinks delight herds of elephants.

Plink had often gone hunting elephants with his uncle, Lord Granlik back in Tot Carrot and kept asking if he could catch one but Gasper forbid any such attempt. Gasper did however include the presence of elephants in his journal as Granlik had asked him to do so.

Later the expedition entereda more populated part of the region which had bbeen colonisedf the senior and warlike alliances from elgea, the Aesir. They were soon spotted and a column of Calvary intercepted them. Gasper was surprised to find out that they had been expected. It soon became evident that there was not much that went on in the northern part of Broken Lands that the Aesir did not know about.

They were well treated and stayed in a number of towns and accepted as a bunch of weirdos lead by an idiot (Plink) and financed by a well known unaffiliated Lord, Lord Granlik of Tor Carrock. In contrast General Griffin being a respected professional soldier was viewed with sympathy.

They journeyed onwards with new horses, better wagons, supplies and maps. Whitebeard and Kroc however refused to change their unusual wagons. There was a gradual change in the terrain as they passed into the High Hills region where the Crows Nest alliance was establishing a strong presence. They continued without mishap further into High Hills until they approached another colonisation area. This time it was that of the Invictus alliance and here Lord Granlik had arranged another meet for the General to obtain something.

To be continued....

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2015 at 13:06
A Slight Delay.

It was late April and Plink and Ardvik returned to the camp site after another visit to the nearby town of Newkirk, where they had once more sampled the delights of wine, women and song. In fact they had made quite a reputation of their new found ability to harmonize together and were always welcome in the many drinking houses there and later in many a damsels room. Plink always returned miserable and feeling guilty, thinking of his distant girlfriend back home in Nefflink while Ardvik was always still full of beans and ready for anything. As they arrived Banpop the Mage was waiting to give them some good news.

Banpop: The General says we should start packing and get on our way now as Kroc and the fat scout can move around ok now.

Plink: How about Sargent Griffin?

Banpop: He's been ok for a couple of days now. Last time he fell over was Sunday afternoon.

Ardvik: Ok, I'll get my stuff together. It will be nice to get going again, we've been stuck here for over a month or more. Are the healers sure no one will get it again?

Banpop: They have said you either get it or not and once you've had it you don't get it again.

Plink: Funny how me and Ardvic were the only one's not to get it.

Banpop: Yup, I still don't see how I got it and it was not very nice having it.

Plink: Funny how long it lasted. Funny how the General got it first

Ardvic: I remember us all laughing at him the first time. in fact I still think it was funny.

Plink: And then they all got it apart from you and me Ardvic!

Ardvic: Yes! Funny!

Plink: Great! Super!

General Gasper: (coming out of his tent) There you both are! Everyone is no fit enough for us to continue. Why are you both laughing? The situation is not funny! We are weeks behind schedule and I think we must move slowly for several days in case someone gets dizzy again and falls of his horse. The healers have given us some pills to help final recovery and have to be taken with meals.

Kroc: (coming from behind the Generals tent) Before or after? This could upset my meal preparation and timing.

Banpop: What are you going to cook tonight then?

Kroc: Soup.

Plink: Great!

Sargent Griffin approached them walking slowly. Shortly after they had left the Overland Traders Hub of the Brothers Haven where Gasper had met one of Lord Granliks contacts in the broken lands most of the party had been affected by one of the rarest afflictions known to the peoples of Illyriad, the strange and deadly giddywobbleitus. Those affected lost their sense of balance and sometimes also developed rapid blinking which did not help focusing on anything. The first to be struck was General Gasper who suddenly fell off his horse, got up and then walked into the horse. He then fell down, got up again and then sat down on a fire ants nest. He was put into a wagon but within five minutes fell out of it. Within a few hours three scouts and Kalnut were hit. The whole party except Plink and Ardvic and one of the scouts were struck and the expedition hadto halt near the Invicus town of NewKirk for almost two months while those affected slowly regained their control over movement.

Griffin: SIR! All supplies loaded and wagons in line. Two scouts sent forward towards the Newlands boarder.

Gasper: Right gentlemen, we will proceed onward. Newlands awaits us and beyond that the Pirate Isles. We have spent to much time here.

Plink: Ohh, the Pirate Isles, Great! Super!

Captain Whitebeard: (who had crept up without anyone seeing him): Arrr me beauties, tis a fair land I hear an full of likely lads with many a jolly yarn to tell, Arrr.

To be continued.....

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2015 at 15:56

In Lord Granlik's Withdrawing room.

Lord Granlik threw the letter back on his table and leaned back in the chair, He looked at the three men standing before him and scowled. He was not in the best mood and they knew it. The latest dispatch from the Broken Lands had revealed the expedition was way behind schedule and also that the network contact on the Pirate Isles was no longer there. Also he had just returned from King Sigurds palace where the latest situation in the Broken Lands had been discussed in length and decisions taken. Granlik scowled again and waved his hand at his top advisers.

Granlik: “You best sit down gentlemen, the King is no longer worried about the Southern Threat, it will never happen now. The network is redundant and all key Lords are being advised that information collecting is no longer required.”

The three advisors sit down. Slacky takes the armchair and Purpunk-Nosh and Alvin squash down into the sofa.

Granlik: “Well? Someone say something...”

Count Slacky (Head of Security and Records): “It's what we all expected Sire, the new Times has only brought things forward. My people have already recorded an increase in outward movement. The instant information from the south is available to every citizen. It's unstoppable.”

Granlik: I know, Sigurd is getting reports from every region and pleas from various alliances to do something but in reality nothing can be done. Thousands are unofficially moving South, draining cities and towns of workers and the official[ exodus of communities continues to rise every month. There are no pirates left on the south coast, they are now all ferrymen making a fortune every week!”

Slacky: “And to think only a few years ago we were all worried that the Rulers of the Southern Lands would invade Elgea once the crossing was opened to general use!”

Advisor Purpunk-Nosh (Diplomatic Corps): I remember you calling us together to tell us the King had asked you and some other Lords to send agents into the new lands to gather information”

Granlik: “Yes, Sigurd chose six of us from around the land, none of us were to join an alliance and also keep a low profile at court. We all got secret funding from the royal Treasury to train spies and bribe pirates to transport agents to the Broken Lands.”

Baron Alban (Treasury): I wasn't with you then Sire, didn't you have a problem with an editor of a local paper who nearly spilled the beans on everything?”

Granlik: “Aggh, that bloody editor and his Free Times! Yes, somehow he found out and convinced one of my bribed pirates to take a reporter over there and then was going to publish the whole thing in his paper! Sigurd had a fit! I had to throw him in jail for months but there was petitions, marches and general uproar as he had previously announced the Free Times was going to disclose something about the new lands. So I let him out with a promise not to mention the possible invasion as it would have caused panic everywhere, don't forget the land was still recovering from the Coalition war. But then he decided to sail south before publishing to see things for himself and got drowned for his troubles so I closed the paper down.”

Advisor Purpunk-Nosh: “Then the first settlers began to go south and found out that the warlike locals weren't as warlike as we had thought they were.”

Alban: “ Ahh, I was an major alliance settlement co-ordinator then at Sigurds court so know about how the southerners welcomed our goods and traders and ignored their weak rulers.”

Granlik: “Which brings us to why I've called you here. Sigurd is now worried about a new problem. Land Claims! The extraordinary population growth on the southern continent has lead to many new young Lords going there and the growth of new militant alliances who now are claiming vast areas for themselves. Many see themselves as independent from Elgea and our traditional freedom of movement here. In fact, as you all know, the result of the Coalition war caused the contraction of alliances here. As an example H? was once everywhere, WoT is now west based and EE now exists mainly in the north. Skeleton Boar has withdrawn into a tight cluster, The younger generation are growing up to see many alliances no longer spanning the whole land. A single Land Claim here will cause chaos and must be prevented. And to cap it all the new Times, with it's new magic technology is publishingly daily and is instantly available to every citizen. The King is alarmed, as is others.”

Slacky: “ I agree my Lord but what can we do? Progress is progress as night follows day.”

Granlik: “Hah! Tell that to Sigurd! He has sent a private letter to all Lords throughout Elega asking them to oppose any attempt to form a Land Claim and to make certain all schools teach the principals of freedom of movement as a priority. He has also stopped all funding to us key Lords for the southern spy network. I am disbanding my section as of this minute and you Slacky will inform our agents that they are fired immediately.”

Slacky: “ Sire.”

Advisor Purpunk-Nosh: “ What about your nephew Plink's expedition Sire? General Gasper I understand is collecting information as it proceeds and it is deep into the Broken Lands and the upkeep will now fall on the Treasury”

Alban: “ Elfs Ears, Yes it will!”

Granlik: “ Ahh, Plink, my favourite nephew! What to do? In fact that is the main reason I called you all here. I need advice. If I leave him there to continue he could cause an intercontinental war but if I recall him back here he will eventually destroy everything I have built here in Elgea, So gentlemen, think carefully on this subject and don't make a mistake! What shall I do?”

A deep, long silence falls in the room and they all stare into space.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 29 Aug 2015 at 11:30

A Change of Direction.

General Gasper stood up and looked round the drinking table at his travelling companions who were all watching him and clutching their beer tankards. He remembered the first time he had addressed them almost a year ago back in Elgea just before they had boarded the ship at the start of the expedition to the southern continent. He remembered the excitement and enthusiasm of journeying to a new land that was apparent then and wondered how they were going to react to what he was about to tell them. Lord Granliks recent message from Tor Carrock had been a bombshell and he took a sip of ale before he spoke.

The companions all were aware that something important was going to be revealed and each in his own way prepared himself for the news, good or bad.

Kroc Bosha, the orc cook stirred the pot of fish stew he had prepared for dinner, he was pleased with the fresh slime snakes he had bought at the market and how he had minced them up to add to his normal mush of dried jellyfish and fish bones with some hot weed seasoning. He was worried if his ration cash allowance was going to be cut again.

Mage Banpop the magician was hoping that they were finally going to move on. They had been here in this place for weeks now and he had not managed to learn any new spells or incantations from the nearby local temples or Mage towers. In fact the local priests and magicians were all avoiding him as he had been trained to always wave his arms when performing spells whereas the local custom was to freeze movement, shut the eyes and concentrate the mind.

Sargent Griffin just wanted to refile his tankard as did his four scouts standing behind him. They were professional soldiers as as such did not worry about good or bad. They just did as the General ordered and then waited for the next one.

Kalnut Tonk whose mission in life was to discover new knowledge and powers that would make Banpop and all magic redundant had drunk to much as usual and so was feeling sleepy and wanted to go to bed and lie down. He was annoyed about being called to a meeting in the middle of the day. The smell of fish stew was not helping either.

Whitebeard the pirate had heard rumours as all good pirates should and so had a good idea of what was coming. He winked at the General and muttered under his breath “Arr me lads, hold onto the rigging there be a storm coming”

Ardvic Grunderfutt who was sitting between Whitebeard and Plink took note of this and thought there had been further complaints about his singing and bawdy behaviour a few nights previous in a local tavern when he had joined the scouts in a birthday celebration.

Plink tried to sit still and waited for the General to start. He already knew what was coming as his uncle Granlik has sent him a letter as well. It was very frustrating just sitting there and he also needed a pee as he was on his third tankard.

General Gasper: “Ok, please pay attention. I have received a message from Lord Granlik about our expedition to gather information and knowledge about these southern lands. As you know when we began exploration knowledge of the Broken Lands was sparse, and with each mile we obtained vital information for which he is eternally grateful. He is especially pleased with our help to his nephew Captain Plink who has lead us thus far and has gained leadership and command experience that will ensure a great future for him when he returns to Tor Carrock.

There was a general murmurs of agreement from the companions.

Plink: “ Great! Super! I've really learnt a lot and I also got a letter from uncle and he says we are...”

Gasper: “Thank you Captain Plink but if I could continue? Yes? Thank you. However things have moved on apace since our departure and unfortunately there has been an economic downturn in Elgea and the land is now in the gripes of a deep recession. Thus there must be drastic cuts in expenditure in all departments. Also an unforeseen aspect of the rapid colonisation of the Broken Lands has been an immense increase in information flowing back home which in effect has now made our wanderings here somewhat superfluous. “

He paused for breath, took a swig of his ale while everyone waited for him to continue. Some looked at each other while some took swigs themselves and the remainder wished they had some ale left

Gasper: “ As a result I must inform you that with immediate effect this expedition is no longer considered to be official and thus will no longer be supported or financed by Lord Granlik. You are all free of any obligation to Lord Granlik and he thanks you for your service to him and his nephew, Captain Plink. Any questions?”

There was a stunned silence. Those who had some ale left finished it

Kroc: “ The stew is ready now but I'll have to dish it up in the tankards cos I couldn't find any bowls anywhere. I think one of the local beggerboys has had them away”

Plink: “Super! That's ok and we won't need any spoons either”

Kroc: “ The spoons have all gone as well, I think its that ginger kid who is always hanging around”

Banpop: “SOD THE STEW! Dragons breath what does this mean? Are we all stranded here in the middle of nowhere? What are we expected to do? How can Granlik do this?”

Whitebeard “Arr me beauties, tis a bad wind a'blowing an the mainsails gone overboard”

Banpop: “ Is that all he told you General? Ta very much and mind how you go? What about you? What about Plink? What about us?”

Tonk:(suddenly very sober) “What? What did he say? What is going on? What have I done? What? What are we going to do? What?”

Plink: “Oh, the General and troops stay with me and I can carry on if I wish but if we do we will have to do some jobs to pay our way. This stew is really good Kroc and I'll have some more”

Gasper: “Lord Granlik does have some suggestions for you all to consider and which I am going to tell you if you will allow me”

Plink:”Yes, he thinks it would be a good idea if....”

Gasper: “CAPTAIN PLINK! Please! If I could continue? Thank you. Lord Granlik is deeply concerned about the unfortunate position we have been left in. However he feels this could be an opportunity for us all as we are are in a very favourable position within the Broken Lands. We are here in the Pirate Isles which allows speedy movement by water to most of the continent and the local Pirate Kings who control these isles allow free movement and and also free trade and enterprise. Thus he has seen an opportunity that will benefit both himself and, taking into account your individual expertise and unique experiences obtained during our journey thus far, to operate a successful commercial and trading enterprise from here should we so wish”

Banpop: “What are you talking about? Trading? Here? Individual expertise? How?”

Grunderfutt: “I'll have you know I've sold a fair number of sketches while we've been here and Plink and I get coins thrown at us when we sing in the Pigs Head”

Gasper: ” Lord Granlik has sent me enough money to buy this very large and spacious building, which although somewhat dilapidated can be a base for us to remain here and start a collective enterprise which will also act as an unofficial Trade Centre for goods sent direct from Tor Carrock to increase the home export trade. Captain Whitebeard would head up that part of the business. Kroc has mentioned he would love to run a successful restaurant and some of the local smaller Lords just starting up and indeed some of the larger new alliances would welcome experienced solders to give military training to their men, ehh Sargent Griffin?”


Plink: “Great! Uncle said he though we were the best expedition that had ever gone expediting and he also said that General Gasper could be a kind of Ambassador here and hire people and get lots of information that could help....”

Gasper:”Captain Plink!”

Plink:”Ohh sorry. I shouldn't have said that. I think its a super idea of us all staying here as a base but I could still go and do a bit of exploring sometimes and some of you can come with me, it would be great!. Uncle will still send me some money but he can't carry on with paying for us all going along together”

Tonk: “Can I have a room where I could do some experiments and build things?”

Gasper: “build things?”

Tonk: “Yes, make interesting things for people to come and see them and pay to see them. I might sell some of the things as well to bring in some more cash”

Gasper: “ What sort of...”

Banpop: “I could start a course for trainee magicians, I don't think much of the profession round here and the way they do things is just wrong”

Tonk:”I don't want you coming in my room”

Banpop: “Why should I want to go in your room?”

Tonk:” And your room will have to be some way away from my room”

Plink: “ I'd like to come in both your rooms and help you do things”

Gasper: “GENTLEMEN!!!”

Whitebreard: ”Arr, seems a fair scheme to me me hearties an there be a number of old shipmates willing to be jumping aboard, Arr!”

Kroc: “there's still some stew left if anyone wants it”

Gasper: “May the Gods help me, can we have some order and concentrate on the suggestion from Lord Granlik?”

And so Lord Granliks proposition was eventually agreed and the Tor Carrock Trading Centre Company (TCTCC) was established to operate from the old warehouse and jetty. (General Gasper had in fact already purchased it some days before)

This was the easy part but then the arguments began as to who did what and where in the building were people to go and which bit was finished first and why some companions did the thinking and others did the work and when were the supplies coming from Granlik and how to run the place once it was finished.

Plink was very excited, His expedition had now developed in a way that he had not dreamed of when he had first thought it up while soaking in the bath back home in his uncles castle. He had been watching his rubber duck bob aimlessly round the groups of bubbles when it has come to him.

There were going to be good times ahead.....

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2015 at 10:34

 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 clientèle but just before they entered the premises Whitebeard decided to reminded him.

Whitebeard:” 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!”

Plink: “ Oh super, great. I will be careful and make sure I don't spill my drink Captain Whitebread.”

Whitebeard:” Mermaids Tits! Arr, I keep telling you laddo tis Whitebeard!”

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: “Ahoy an damn ye scuppers! Two kegs o'dark lubbys to me ye twisted maggot!”

One eyed Pugg (landlord): “Damn me good one! Tis Whitebeard again an lookin to be drunk by noon.”

Whitebeard: “Arr, will take me hours supping the brew here, Arr!”

Plink: “ Ohh, it tastes quite nice and I do like it here”

One eyed Pugg: “ Arr! Tis a travelling companion ye be bringing here today then captain?”

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.”

One eyed Pugg: “Arr, I take it you be looking for Capt. No Nose or Noddy Jim for business?”

Whitebeard: “ Arr, that I be... but I see them not.”

One eyed Pugg: “ 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!”

Whitebeard: “Arr! Is bad news that you gives me, me old Pugg. I'll rest me sea legs then”

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: “Arr 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.”

Plink: “ This is great, super! Blue Parrot! Are there any more blue parrots for us to visit?”

Whitebeard: “ 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!”

Plink: “ Super!”

Whitebeard: “ 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.”

Suddenly Plink finds himself alone looking at a wall. There are various comments written on the wall, mainly concerning the establishment, various clientèle, 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: “Hallo sailor!”

Plink: “ Ohh hallo, I'm not a sailor”

Mascara Billy: “Don't worry, neither am I (he nudges Plink in the ribs) Haven't seen you before in here.”

Plink: “No, it's my first time.”

Mascara Billy: “Ooh, 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.”

Plink: “ 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?”

Mascara Billy: “ I'm feeling fine baby (putting his other hand on Plinks leg) you just stay sitting there and leave the rest to me!”

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 “Billy strikes again” and “Whitebeard saves his jolly rodgerer” “All hands on dick!” 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: “Arr! 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 crew”

Plink: “ 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 helpful”

Whitebeard: “ Arr! Tis no worry laddo an maybe better Billy saw ye before Black Jack M'tavish and his lads took an interest.”

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,

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2015 at 12:24

 Growing Pains

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: “You are both late... again.”

Ardvic: “Sorry sir, we were delayed by a column of orc spearmen who had been given the wrong direction to the west docks.”

Plink (speaking at the same time): “ Ohh, we were chased by a roauge elephant that came out of the woods.”

Kalnut: “ You've both been in the Ale House again and forgot about the meeting”

Gasper: ( glaring at Plink) “Your 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.”

Ardvic: “ 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.”

Plink: “ I think they are Great! Super!”

Mage Banpop:” (looking at Ardvic) You still haven't included my magical workshop in the design and it must have good ventilation at all times”

Kalnut: “I bet those twins who like dancing on the table were in the Ale. Now their what I call talent!”

Ardvic: “ Red hair always brings out the expressive side of me.”

Kalnut: “ What does it bring out in you Plink? Ha Ha!”

Gasper: “ 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?”

Whitebeard:” 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!”

Gasper: “Thank 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.”

Griffin: “ SIR!”

Gasper: “ 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.”

Companions: “ Here here! Super! Wow. Arr! Gnassh Poh!

Gasper: “ 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.”

Kroc: “ It's a pity the first ones were no good but I couldn't work with them”

Plink: “ Someone should have told the forge that you were an orc and needed BIG ovens”

Banpop: (tapping the table) “My 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.”

Kalnut: ( glaring at Banpop) “ 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. “

Banpop: (raising his eyebrows at Kalnut) “ It's funny but you have really never told us what you are going to do in this “laboratory” 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 “science” nonsense.”

Kalnut: (raising his voice) “ 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!”

Gasper:(getting a bit exasperated) “ Whatever you do it will have to earn its keep, at least waving your arms about will bring in the punters!”

Ardvic.: “ 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.”

Plink: “ Its Super! Great!”

Gasper: “ 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.”

Whitebeard: “ 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.”

Banpop: (looking round the table) “ 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?”

There is a short embarrassed silence, broken by General Gasper, speaking in his best clipped diplomatic military style.

Gasper: “Captain 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.”

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.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 17 Nov 2015 at 12:03

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: “Which city are we supposed to be looking at?”

Advisor Purplunk-Nosh: “Here 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.”

Granlik: “6000 heavy armour pieces vanished overnight but the rest of the cargo was not touched at all?”

Purplunk-Nosh: “ Yes Sire.”

Granlik: “And General Gasper says we are bound by contract and thus must send another lot of armour?”

Purplunk-Nosh: “Yes 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.”

Granlik: “ 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?”

Purplunk-Nosh: “ Yes Sire.”

Granlik: “Elf's Ears! More costs... Alban, why did I think up this scheme?”

Alban: “It 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.”

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: “ 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: “ It's Nafflink producing siege blocks Sire. Nifflink does swords and chain mail Sire.”

Granlik: (taking note of the voice) “ Have they?”

Figgy: “ Have what Sire?”

Granlik: “Have Nifflink, no, Nefflink produced the siege blocks?”

Voice from the back office: “Nafflink Sire, Nefflink does leathers Sire.”

Figgy: (taking note of the voice) “ 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.”

Granlik: “Hummp”

Alban: “ Pardon my Lord but may I ask where you obtained the two clerks in the back office?”

Granlik: “Ahh, 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...”

Alban: “ They seem to be very efficient my Lord.”

Granlik: “Hmm, I think they sleep in there as well. Figgy! Ships!”

Figgy: “What Sire? Ships?”

Granlik: “ Yes Ships! When is the next shipment leaving our dock on the southern coast?”

Figgy: “Err, I'm still waiting news that the two ships sailing under under Capt Qou's flag have arrived from the Pirate Isles, Sire.”

Voice from the back office: “Docked yesterday Sire, all nuts and berries unloaded and on route to Hub 3. Should sail with cargo to the Pirate Isles by Thursday.”

Figgy: “ Err, I think they are correct my Lord.”

Granlik: (looking sharply at him) “Figgy! Take care!”

Purplunk-Nosh: “ 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.”

Granlik: “ 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.”

Purplunk-Nosh: “ Yes Sire.”

Granlik: “ 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.”

Alban: “ 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..”

Figgy: “ Anything for a quite life.”

Granlik: “ 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.”

Alban: “ Your old alliance lost badly I understand My Lord? “

Granlik: “ Yes, we did. I remember 20,000 orcs banging on the door and waving poles with heads stuck on the top at me”

Figgy: “ 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.”

Granlik: “Right! 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?”

Purplunk-Nosh: (who dislikes the Minister for War) “ Quite correct Sire!”

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.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2015 at 11:23
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 “Zapit” 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.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 01 Jan 2016 at 17:47
  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 “heat wafts” 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 “DampDown” 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 “Number three FlashBang” 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 “Arr!” to agree with him and the Pirate King who is sitting next to Whitebeard begins to “Arr” 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 “Freeze” 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 “Super” idea and a “Great” 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.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 03 Feb 2016 at 21:12
   Griffins Way.

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 “ON PARADE IN FIVE MINUTES, SIR!” 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 “ Excellent Military Training Personnel for basic troop provision at reasonable prices”.

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 “Now 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?”

Plink “ Oh yes General. I like being saluted, Super! Great!”

Gasper “ 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?”

Griffin “ SIR!”

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.


The Company wakes up and stands straight.


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.


Company “Yes!, sir!, master!, what?, SIR!, Vishpar dung?, Oks!, pardon?”


Plink “ There seem to be more of them today.”

Griffin “ 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.”

Plink “ Super.”

Griffin “ I will proceed Sir!

Plink “ Great, carry on Sargent. “


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 “ 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?”

Plink “Err, they are doing fine, Great!”

Hat “ That must be your Sargent over there. He seems to be getting them all into shape.”

Limp “ How are things shaping up in general General?”

Plink “ Err, everything is on time, yes, the program is really on time and everything is super.”

They here Griffin bellowing orders from the end of the training ground “Company will wheel to the right. Right wheel!” 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 “ Company HALT! Company will form line at markers! You are a shambles! Markers stand firm!” 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 “Company two steps forward, MARCH!” and order is once more restored.

Limp “ Very good! You have a good man there General.”

Plink (deciding to tell the truth and explain that he is not General Gasper) “ Ahh, I think I had better expl...”

Hat (interupting him) “ Hallo! What's this?”

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 “SPEARS TO THE FRONT! FORM LINE! ON GUARD! ADVANCE IN LINE! ADVANCE” The crowd falls back away from the line of spears and then Griffin yells “ CHARGE!!!” 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.

Limp” Excellent! Riot control as well, very handy!”

Plink “Great!”

Dressed in Black (addressing the Hat) “ Sire, I must remind you we are behind time for the ceremony and it looks like rain again.”

Hat “ 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!”

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 “ HOLD THOSE HEADS UP! KEEP IN FILE! NARGANLAPNUNG, TAKE THAT MANS NAME! LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT RIGHT!”

Griffin “Company Halt! At Ease!”

Griffin (to Plink) “ 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 back”

Plink “ Great! Thank you Sargent”

Griffin (addressing the company again) “ 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! “

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 “ 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.”

Plink “ What did Griffin say about it?”

Knack “ He said he may go and try and recruit some of the bargemen later and claim the enlistment fee”

Plink “ Super.”

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 03 Mar 2016 at 21:25

Dear Plink.

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: “Hollo there, a fine day and yet you sit here all moopy and grim.”

Plink: “Hollo.”

Ardvic: “Why the moopy? Gasper has closed the Centre for a week and rushed off to the Capital for some reason and all is well!”

Plink: “ 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.”

Ardvic: “This is not like you. Something wrong, tell me what's up Plinky”.

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: “Aahhh... bad news?”

Plink: " It's terrible. My life has changed. I must go home at once. Poor uncle Granlik.”

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: “He had always wanted a big ceremony and now he won't even be able to be there.”

Ardvic: “By the Gods, There isn't a body? What happened?”

Plink: “Body?, What body?”

Ardvic: “Lord Granlik's body, It's disappeared. And now your Lord Plink!”

Plink: “Jumping 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 !”

Ardvic: “WHOA! Hold on... settle down... Why are you moopy and what news have you got in that letter?”

Plink: “Oh, 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 stupid”

Ardvic: “ Now I understand.. you have had a Dear John letter”

Plink: “ 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.”

Ardvic: “So you don't like him?”

Plink: “No.”

Ardvic: “ 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.”

Plink: “ 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.”

Ardvic: “Helvan?”

Plink: “Oh, 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.”

Ardvic: “Yes I do. Didn't you say Gladriall had asked her friends to send their portraits to you?”

Plink: “Yes.. how funny! It does show how nice Gladriall is, I'm still upset.”

Ardvic: “ 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!”

Plink: “Super! What a great idea. It's a bit chilly sitting here.”

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.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 28 Apr 2016 at 21:03
Testing forum posting.  Unable to post next Plink.

Posted By: Granlik
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2018 at 13:07
Back from a couple of years time out from Illyriad.

I may try and do another Plink Post to see if this forum can now take one.

Posted By: Dungshoveleux
Date Posted: 01 Mar 2018 at 21:53
2 Years? Time flies!

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