Tuesday 19 July 2016

The Tripehound Triumph

Things have been happening very quickly since Tressy the Mayfly assumed the shoes of her illustrious predecessor, Dagwald Someone-or-Other, whose name eludes me at the moment.

Since her ascension into the dizzying heights of Northumbrian politics at the head of the Tree Faction, she's presided over an impressive victory in a Witangemot vote concerning the future of an important secret weapon in the arsenal of the Northumbrian Kingdom: it's called Tripehound, and is doubtless named after certain species of dog (ugh) that bares its teeth, bites randomly, feeds on the stomachs and other offal of cattle and is characterised by breath that is equally as distasteful as its most refined tendencies.

Tripehound is the codename for a catapult that is mounted on longboats; it is specially designed to propel fireballs at high speed into the territories of the potential enemies of the realm in times of warfare. It has a bewildering mechanism of ropes, cogs, gears and pulleys whose end purpose is to deliver the infernal gift to its desired destination. It has never been used for its intended purpose, as the very thought of its use strikes dread, fear and loathing in those who might otherwise be inclined to invade these islands. (Except certain Vikings who would willingly dispatch themselves to the imaginary portals of Valhalla while taking Franks and Anglo Saxons with them.)

The weapon has existed for over five hundred years, and owing to its advanced age its bones, ligaments and joints are beginning to creak, crack and fracture. This has necessitated a requirement by the senior military leaders to replace it with a new set of catapults, built to more innovative designs and capable of more accuracy. This has been a source of Great Concern among certain Redistributionists, who believe in violently beating swords into ploughshares and allowing the Kingdom to perish at the hand of its foes without weapons in hand, but at least with its pacifist principles intact. However, there are other Redistributionists who welcome the idea of a weapons upgrade, since it will deliver much needed employment and prosperity to their electors. With such a tension between the members of the magic mushroom-chewing faction - coupled with an intense period of civil war, bloodshed and biscuit - the Redistributionist Faction was easily defeated in the vote by its Tree adversaries.

So Tripehound will emerge in about seventy thousand years in its new incarnation. Perhaps Tripepup would be an appropriate name. Of course, the whole exercise will be paid for by the purses of the long suffering Northumbrian taxpayers. Again...

Sunday 17 July 2016

Same New Same New

As I do the rounds of my kingdom and collect a few mice along the way, I can't help observing how much the lovely Kingdom Of Northumbria has changed in this last five minutes.

Caedmeron has retreated to the ash heap of history, Oswine has been cast into outer obscurity following a glittering career in pretending that he was working for the interests of Northumbrians, and Tressy the Mayfly has assumed the mantle of the prophet Elijah. Strange days.

And I nearly forgot to mention that the Redistributionist Faction are waging a protracted warfare amongst themselves as well as their usual pitched battles against the evils of logic and common sense. Crowbane the Druid Wizard has maintained his hallucinogenic hold upon the faction, despite the slightly inconvenient fact that nearly all his enthusiastic supporters have deserted him and have been plotting intrigues against him. Oh - and the Kingdom of Northumbria has chosen to leave the loving stranglehold of the Holy Roman Empire (which is as holy as the devil's backside, as Roman as a Bedouin and is only an Empire in the deranged imagination of its admirers). The decision to leave the Empire was overwhelmingly carried by about fifteen votes, causing catastrophic grief amongst the majority of the minority of those who voted to remain in the Evil Galactic Federation. There have been tantrums, tears and ferocious curses pronounced on those who dated to trample on their blissful illusions. Such a shame. If your Cat could cry tears,  I would. Honest. But I've had a quiet chuckle to myself, as it's been so blissfully entertaining.

Had anything changed? Nahh. A bit of furniture shuffling, that's all. But if they impose a tax on the consumption of mice, believe me - there'll be hell to pay...