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...

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