Tuesday 20 May 2014

The Story So Far - Part 79

The lovely Kingdom of Northumbria is gripped by a confederation of evil robber barons from the Holy Roman Empire (which is neither holy, Roman nor an empire), who have steadily tightened their grip over the land through the three major political factions, who are all worshippers of the false goddess Redistributia. Although the three factions appear to publicly disagree among themselves with regard to the way in which King Alhfrith's realm is to be administered, they are all part of this deadly collusion.

On the horizon emerges the figure of Nickwald the Farrago, the blunt, straight-talking chieftain of the Northumbrian Independence Faction, who has gathered a motley model army of broomstick and pitchfork-waving yeomen, who have all become disaffected, disillusioned and disgusted with the increasing dominance of the Holy Roman Empire in the affairs of common-and-garden Northumbrians - and who are Deeply Concerned about the increasing numbers of exotic peoples entering the Realm from the Norse lands, the Levant, Barbary, Outer Bongolia and other distant shores to steal their produce, tell unlikely fortunes, to sell poor quality clothes pegs and to proselytise unsuspecting aboriginal Saxons to the bloodthirsty Viking religion.

In desperation, the 3 established political factions wage a warfare of rhetoric, rhubarb and biscuit in an attempt to dissuade the Northumbrian populace from supporting them. Part of their foul strategy is to attempt to entrap Nickwald the Farrago into making a fool of himself by admitting to some measure of xenophobia, and at times, the intrepid hero, shaken and brain-addled through tireless campaigning, has fallen into their snares. However, these setbacks have by no means dampened the enthusiasm of the new model army, who are consequently more resolved than ever to decisively defeat the sinister triumvirate in the forthcoming Battle of Ballotburn.

Will Dagwald the Caedmeron make more false promises to the Northumbrian people and restore his grip over the hearts and minds of the Realm? WIll Edweird the Milliner provide umbrellas when he orates the weather forecast? Do Nickwald the Blaek Clegge and the Liberationist Faction really exist? Will Nickwald the Farrago win the day?

This Cat can hardly contain his.....  ...err....

Wednesday 7 May 2014

At Large

Being an elderly feline, your Cat is sorry to have to interrupt his slumbers to inform you that a dangerous politico has absconded, thereby shortening his term of penal servitude in the Witangemot. If you happen to chance upon him, you must NOT by any means make any attempt to apprehend or even challenge him, as your efforts are likely to be rewarded by a swift blow to your cranium - or kneecaps. Mark this Cat's words well.

Magward the Gruff is a notorious politico blessed with a fearsome reputation; having been honoured amongst his fellow criminals of the Tree Faction as the Secretary for the Advancement of Kindergarten Learning, he's been granted the epithet of the "Schoolcrusher" for his less than delicate handling of the aforementioned educational establishments, not to mention their pedagogic attendants, who are devoted to the imaginary, magic mushroom-fuelled wisdom of their soothsayer Guardy-Ann and who are also faithful acolytes of the Blessed Cult of the Goddess Redistributia. These pagan worshippers have been treated by the Gruff with ill-disguised contempt, which in turn has provoked them to respond with characteristic venom, spite and biscuit. The children - innocent bystanders in such a conflict - have been dismayed, since their development into responsible and well-informed and rounded adult human beings has been subjected to significant setbacks as a consequence of several years' worth of teachers' strikes. Such a pity.

It had been largely hoped by the long-suffering Northumbrian public that the Schoolcrusher would be confined to an oubliette somewhere where he could serve out the rest of his days in solitary reflection over his misdeeds, but owing to the pernicious laxity of the contemporary justice system, Magward the Gruff has managed to escape his incarceration, and is currently wandering to and fro like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

I don't think he'll be recaptured anytime soon, though; I gather that most people would run a mile if they caught a glimpse of him...