Saturday, 16 February 2013

Cornelius has finished his latest book which is called; Forest Folk of the wild Wood. In this guide book to the wild people of the deep woods, he describes and illustrates many tribes and races in detail. From elves to goblins to faeries; giants, trolls, dwarves and fae folk. You can find out more or buy the book by clicking here and following the link;

Forest Folk of the Wild Wood

Published by Dreamworlds, this book of imaginative children's fiction is for children and adults aged 9-12.

Enjoy!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Escape from Sak-Luaan

Dear Friends,

Apologies for taking so long to write again. After my escape from the slave traders, I spent some weeks begging on the streets of Sak-Luaan, before I found humble employment in a tannery curing hides and animal skins. It was filthy, smelly work but eventually I saved up enough silver to pay for a passage out of that pit of iniquity. I found a 'berth' on an Anguinian trader sailing to Gorglis. This berth was not a cabin, or even a bunk, just deck space for my poor old bones.

We made good time to Gorglis and there were no more unpleasant maritime adventures, thank the Good Witch!. I am now ensconsed in the Guild of Clerks and Scroll Makers' guest lodgings. The masters of the Guildhouse took pity on me and accepted my word concerning my credentials. I await the transfer of funds from Imradd before I can move to more commodious accomodation and begin to think of recommencing my journey North.

It is good to be alive!


Cornelius Clifford

At the Guild of Clerks, Scibes and Scrollmakers, Gorglis

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sold as a slave in that cess-pit of rogues and harlots, Sak-Luaan

Dear fellow Fae academics,
Apologies for the disturbing delay in my missives. The Captain of our trading vessel fulfilled every potential of his shifty looks when we arrived in Sak-Luaan. It quickly became clear that he was really an evil slaver and fully intended to sell his passengers as slaves before heading south with the loot gained from this despicable enterprise.
A band of thugs, with a distinctly Trollish look about them and armed with large clubs and nets, boarded the ship as soon as we pulled in against a grim dock some distance from the main harbour of the town. They proceeded to club the innocent merchants and traders, netting any that tried to escape. The only passengers who immediately avoided this unpleasant fate were the Elves. They lept and swung from the rigging and onto the roof of a nearby ruined warehouse, to disappear into the bustling port in seconds. How I envied them their youth and dexterity! I could see the Captain's frustration at their timely escape, just before I myself was snared in a net and knocked unconscious.
Later, I awoke with a dreadful ache in the head. All of my belongings had been taken, even my cloak! I was in a foul cave. It was dark and noisome and I could hear the sounds of other people all around, breathing and moving in their sleep. But I could see nothing. It seems several days had passed, for I was ravenously hungry and thirsty. Eventually a guard came with a lantern and thrust some crusts of dried bread and a bowl of water through the metal bars that were now apparent.
In the cave were all of the other passengers, as well as several other men I did not recognise, maybe twenty of us in all in a room barely large enough for us to lie down at once without brushing against one another. This was a real low point for me, so much so that I could not bring myself to take part in the scramble for the crusts. I did manage to get a sip of the tepid water, though, and this raised my spirits a little. What seemd like an eternity later, although it was probably only a few days, most of the prisoners were taken away by the Trollish thugs. They took only strong and able younger men, I was left with half a dozen other old men, feeling worse than useless. We learned that the fit and strong amongst us had been sold as galley slaves! Suddenly we blessed our age and infirmity.
After another couple of days, in which two of my fellow inmates became quite ill. We were taken before the cursed Captain, one by one. He offered to have us ransomed, if any would pay the exorbitant prices demanded. Several managed to escape this way and the poor fellows who were ill disappeared as well, one hopes they were merely dumped in the streets of Sak-Luaan rather than something worse!
Now there were only two of us left, neither had anyone we could think of in the region who could pay a ransome for our release. We spent many hours discussing how to make good an escape.
In the end I came up with a cunning plan. I told the guard that there was an item in my cloak that would be of interest to the Captain. I also said that it was magically concealed and that only I would be able to recover it. If they brought my cloak to me, then I would get the 'item' and present it to the Captain in return for my release.
At first they were reluctant to consider this plan. But since they had no other way of getting more value from my person that they could think of, they agreed. My cloak was duly produced and, although it was slashed and torn where some fool had searched for valuables (and thus spoiling a very valuable cloak,) my secret pockets had not been discovered. I mumbled a spell of revealing and pulled out a small vial of fluid.
"This is a magic potion, your honour." I said obsequeously to the Captain. "It will make the drinker rich beyond his wildest dreams. But only one person can drink it, and it will only work once."
I was gambling that the Captain's greed would fool him into drinking the potion there and then. He grabbed it, and not without some fearful looks at his colleagues who seemed pretty keen on trying it themselves. So he sent them from the room, they reluctantly followed his orders.
He looked at me, as if trying to weigh up whether I was telling the truth or not and then pulled the stopper and poored the potion down his throat. At first nothing happened and he began to look angry. I gestured his for patience. Then, the magic began to work. His face looked pained and then concerned. He was shrinking fast. I stepped back to avoid his flailing arms.
What I had fed the stupid and greedy rogue was a potion of shrinking! He had obviously very little knowledge of such things. If he had, he would have known how easy it would be for me to deceive his as to the nature of the potion and the impossibility of checking my story without actually drinking it.
I felt no pity for the nasty fellow and when he had shrunk to about six inches tall (he had swallowed the lot and so was likely to end up very tiny indeed) I stamped on him without hesitation. He made a satisfying squelching noise which was almost certainly terminal for him. I did not stay to find out but jumped straight out of the open window, without a further thought. I hung onto my ruined cloak.
I fell some feet, hit a sloped roof hard, rolled down that and then fell again, this time about eight feet to the hard ground. Nothing seemed to be broken, although I was terribly bruised. I rolled over and crawled away before my escape was discovered.
More soon,
Your friend
Cornelius Clifford
Somewhere in the warehouse district of Sak-Luaan

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A Dragon sighted off the coast

My Dear fellow Faerie scholars
Today we sighted an enormous Dragon; a blue scaled Great Wyrm from north of the Great Rift Valley, I firmly believe. I could barely contain my excitement as it flew by our rolling barrell of a galleon. Most of the other passengers, merchants and traders, rushed to take cover below decks, thinking, erroneously, that the dragon might attack at any moment.
It was quite clear to me, however (with my knowledge of dragons and dragon lore) that the creature was simply heading south ~ mayhaps it was a female who, having hatched her brood over the winter, was simply heading south for the sun.
She was a truly magnificent beast, blue scales sparkling in the sunlight and her large wings flapping slowly ~ her very mode of flight indicated that she was no threat. If the dragon had been diving towards us out of the sun or sneeked up astern to rip off the ships masts (something she was evidently large enough to be capable of doing with ease) then I would have been concerned. In fact she showed little interest in us tiny mortals, scurrying about on the deck of our cog. All too quickly she was gone. The crew relaxed somewhat and the captain, a shifty fellow at the best of times, gave me a peculiar look. Clearly he was impressed or maybe perplexed, at my lack of trepidation.
Later, when the Captain announced we were stopping off at Sak-Luaan, my heart really sank. A reknowned cess-pit of rogues and pirates, to me the town of Sak-Luaan was a far more dangerous and unpredictable danger than the Blue Scaled Dragon flying calmly by!
All good wind to your sails, me hearties!
Cornelius

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Aboard a ship and sailing North for Gorglis

Dear Friends and fellow Faerie scholars,
I have taken passage upon a great cog (a large, round-bellied, cargo ship owned by merchants of Linkholm) to the city of Gorglis. That great metropolis of the north was not originally on my intended route but I have become vexed with the labour of walking on stony, unmade roads. The fare was expensive (twelve silver lions!) but will have the added advantage of carrying me past the rough and bandit-infested hills of Norbria where I have been waylaid by thieves before. Once in Gorglis I can head inland and then turn North again, perhaps via Carmin. My plan is to take up with a caravan of traders in Gorglis. Several such caravans of heavily laden ponies and carts apparently leave Gorglis in that direction each month and being with one would afford me much needed protection in the wilds of the North.
The wind is set fair and the ship, being large and commodious, comfortable. My sleeping pallet is atop the cargo; which consists of many bales of woolen cloth and is thus a soft and cozy berth. The other passengers are mostly merchants and traders or their agents. They make pleasant enough travelling companions, their conversation, however, is rather limited. Being concerned as it is with such things as the price of corn in Anguin or whether it is worth exporting fur pelts south to Redune this year and so forth.
There are a group of shady looking elves onboard (which is unusual) they sleep up in the rigging (being treehouse dwellers) and keep themselves to themselves. I have tried to enter into conversation with them but they just wrinkle up their pointy noses and give me dark looks without even the courtesy of a reply.
Time for salt beef and ships biscuit on the poop deck now, so I shall sign off.
Yours affectionately,
Cornelius Clifford
Aboard the Blue Swan, somewhere in the Lucpin Sea.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Thief in the Night

Dear Friends
Whilst staying the Drifting Miner Inn some snivelling thieving toe rag slipped into my room whilst I lay snoring (dreaming of a high summer tea of pilchards on toast followed by scones and jam and clotted cream as it happens) and stole all my money! I knew the thief had to be a Dwarf, for he clearly broke in through the window, which is small and low to the ground. My room is on the ground floor and the window, carefully locked the night before, was ajar and the latch broken in the morning. The landlord was, at first, unsympathetic, in fact he almost laughed in my face! This made me so mad that I stomped off to the watchhouse and shouted my plight at them with such anger and frustration that half a dozen of them instantly marched round to the Drifting Miner Inn, armour clanking and looking very serious.
The authorities in Linkholm seem to take crimes like thieving very seriously and do their best to stamp it out, unlike the guards in Gorglis, for example, who would not give a fig in such a situation. The Burgers of Linkholm apparently want traders and merchants visiting their city to feel safe - hence the strong and instant reaction to my complaints. I also suspect they imagined me more more important than I, in fact, am. So of course I let them believe me to be a prominent and respected scholar from the Imperial City.
The upshot of all of this drama was the Innkeeper refunded all of my missing silver from his own pocket and gave a reluctant apology, grumbled into his beard like a naughty child. I moved my belongings to a more reputable Inn forthwith, for I was now convinced the Innkeeper was in on the theft, why else would he cave in so easily? I have repaired to the Durkesh baths for a steam and a welcome relax after my ordeal.
Yours in affection,
Cornelius Clifford

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Some pleasant Dwarf hospitaliy in Linkholm

Greetings Friends!
After a speedy but bumpy ride across North Redune in a wagon full of barrels of Westle beer, I arrived safely (if a little shaken up) in the capital of that kingdom. Linkholm is a fair sized city, encircled by high stone walls and with a large river running throught the middle. This leads down to the docks where a great deal of trade is transacted.
As well as being a large mannish city and port, Linkholm has the advantage of being the nearest harbour to the Dwarvish (or Kindred) kingdom of Puggor. The three great holds; Fuggin, Bleddin and Tharhold of that powerful dwarven state produce large quanitities of metal, particularily iron from the deep mines of Fuggin. This iron is manufactured into tools and weapons by the Dwarves of Bleddin, and much of thier work passes through Linkholm. The King of North Redune collects handsome revenues from this trade as well as from the produce of his own mannish people; wheat, sheep and from them, wool.
There is a large trading fleet of great cogs based in the city and these barrel-shaped ships tranport the dwarvish and home grown goods as far north as Gorglis and south to Imradd and beyond. Many ships from the Archipelago (Anguin, Pernor and so forth) also come here to trade, so it is a bustling and busy place.
After my bumpy ride I decided to stay in a Dwarvish tavern - having never experienced such a thing before. It was called the 'Drifting Miner' and is frequented by many dwarves who come and go in the course of their trade. Although the headroom in the bar room was decidedly limited, the beer was excellent and the food good solid fare. They make a robust mutton and parsnip pie (with a thick savoury gravy) which I enjoyed immensly, followed by sweet oat and cinnamon cakes drizzled in cream and honey.
I must say the dwarf hospitality far exceeded my expectations and the evening was topped off by a long round of deep droning epic songs (accompanied by a heavy dwarf drum) that the whole company seemed to know by heart. Most efficacious.
Yours truly
Cornelius