Sunday, 28 March 2010

A chance meeting with a respectable wizard

Dear friends,
After my basic but filling lunch I set off to explore the delights of the large walled town of Derse, only to discover that there were none ~ delights I mean. It is a rough and hard place inhabited by men who are almost universally rude and blunt. Already the civilising influences of the south are wearing thin (this far north) and brutal self-interest emerges victorious here, as often as not.
I visited the main market of the town, in the hope of some afternoon refreshment, only to find an awful lot of grubby sheep and a number of coarse farmers and shepherds. However, in a little pub called the Full Jug I met a rather pleasant fellow. A wizard wearing clean green robes and carrying a long straight staff and a bundle of books, bound together with string. Such a character could hardly fail to attract my interest ~ with his obvious badges of academia along with the fact that he stood out from the general loutish crowd by being clean and well turned out!
We had a pleasant conversation over a jug of light and excellent sweet wine (imported from Gefiel in the south, locally they only make a heavy sort of beer.) We have arranged to meet again on the morrow. In the meantime I must set about finding some accomodation.
Fare you well,

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Kingdom of Barradon

Glad as I was to escape from the Faerie Realm of the Niggle tribe, the next morning I awoke very damp and very stiff from a night spent unprotected in the wild wood. With no breakfast to be had, I set off northwards as soon as it was light. Soon I found myself passing through open woodland in which a fair number of wild pigs were snuffling and snorting amongst the undergrowth alongside partridges and pheasants who pecked and scrabbled in the dirt enthusiastically. The sight of these animals put roast boar and game pie in mind and spurred me onwards with renewed vigour.
By mid morning I came across a large and well made road heading north east, this I assumed to be the Great North Road. I was delighted when this was confirmed by a toothless old tramp sitting by the roadside sucking and chewing on a fibrous root. I gave him a penny for his trouble but refrained from asking to share his food ~ I was not yet that starved!
Before long I could see large farms and villas set back from the road on either side. Well tended fields of barley and oats had now replaced open woodland. I strode past a long train of heavy wagons, piled high with goods and canvas covered, and driven by small fat dwarves with long whips. These dwarvish drivers were insolent and unhelpful when I tried to strike up conversation with them as I passed. Perhaps they were uncomfortable or nervous to be passing through lands of men.
At last the walls of Derse came into view, across a large river, spanned by a strong stone bridge. I strode across this with confidence but was halted at the open gates by a pair of surly guards; unshaven and in tatty and disreputable uniforms. It took a bribe of ten silver lions to gain entrance but I did not care. I rushed into the first vaguely respectable looking ale house and ordered a lunch of boiled mutton in onions with great slabs of rye bread ~ coarse fare certainly but it tasted heavenly to me!
Cornelius Clifford
At the sign of the Kings Purse, Shootfuller Street, Derse, in the Kingdom of Barradon.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Imprisoned in a Faerie Realm

Dear Friends

Today I was imprisoned in the settlement of a tribe of Niggles, deep within Gefas Wood. I had a good look at my captors when they hauled me, tightly wrapped in the net they had trapped me in (probably more usually used for capturing game, I thought) some distance through the forest. These people are clearly of fae descent; they are small, under three feet tall, thin and have pointed ears and features. Despite my protests, these little people did not talk or respond during my ordeal and simply threw me, net and all, into a thatched hut and secured the door.
After some time I managed to wriggle free of the net but there was no such easy escape from the hut. I had hoped to be brought before their chief but at nightfall the gang of ten or so Niggle hunters reappeared at the doorway.
Their leader demanded an outrageous sum for my release. It occured to me that they had captured me without recourse to their chief and were simply on the make, in a private kind of way. This gave me increased confidence in the haggling that followed and I managed to beat the little blighters down to 14 Anguinian crowns for my release and safe passage across the river.
They would not let me out of the hut without first receiving their bribe. Once they had it, however, they were true to their word and escorted me through Gefas Wood in the dark of the early evening.
By about midnight we reached the great river and I was curious as to how we would cross, for it must have been forty feet to the far bank. The first Niggle stepped carefully into the river and the others motioned for me to follow. By the dim light of their lanterns I could now just make out a line of hidden stepping stones, just below the surface of the water. I was impressed by this ingenious and permanent river crossing. These Forest Folk, for all their petty larceny, had risen in my estimation somewhat in consequence.
Once I was safely deposited on the other side of the great river the Niggles disappeared back across the river and into their forest. I was left to pass an uncomfortable night on the north bank.
Fare thee well,
(Eagerly anticipating a goodly supper and comfortable bed in the City of Derse!)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Gefas Wood

Dear fellow faerie academics,

After a comfortable couple of days rest in Illen (and a number of tasty, although unadventurous, meals) I set out due north from that dull but otherwise pleasant city.
After cutting across some tame open countryside, mostly farmland and so forth, I came to the southern edge of Gefas wood. I confess that I had held a strong, if perhaps marginally irrational, desire to see the place for some years. A gnome of fairly limited acquaintance to me had said that Gefas Wood was one of the Faerie Realms and as such I thought it worth investigating.
At first the woodland was fairly open and pleasant, with a mixture of decidious trees and shrubs, I saw some healthy fallow deer and rabbits, as well as a fox and a goodly number of squirrels and common birds. This happy idyll, sadly, did not last.
After several hours of marching north through this wide forest I had an ominous feeling of being watched. Then I spotted some excellent tree houses, high in a grove of ash and beech trees. Just as I was getting my breath and enjoying the sight of these obviously Fae structures, a net fell upon my head. I was quickly captured, trussed and carted off by a gang of Lesser elves, a tribe of Niggles they were and mighty irritating little people they turned out to be!
I will send more news as soon as the little blighters release me!

Cornelius Clifford,
Trussed up in Gefas Wood

Friday, 5 March 2010

In the City Of Illen

Last night I spent a most pleasant evening in the city of Illen. Although it took a long time to get in yesterday, it was worth it. The city is built to a very regular plan within impressive six sided (or hexagonal) walls. These fortifications are tall and strong and very well maintained. The men of Illen are clean, respectable and, for my silver, a little on the dull side. But the food at the Golden Fawn Inn was delicious (I had a cheesy pie and sauteed potato slices - most efficacious) and this was followed by a rousing evening in the company of a party of rumbustious dwarves from Fuggin who were in town to sell spear heads and other weaponry of their own manufacture to the Duke's armourer.
Today I must choose between three roads; the main road west, to rejoin the Great North road at Noillen, a lesser road east, to cross the estuary at Galdos (a rough and bandit infested area) by way of the troll ferry, or the shortest route; through Gefas Wood. This is an area known to be infested with Lesser Elves, Sprites and Forest Goblins. I think the latter will suite my purposes best. Hopefully I will reach the town of Derse within a day or two and pick up the Great North road there without any serious mishaps!


Thursday, 4 March 2010

Into Illenshire

Dear Friends

This morning I crossed the border into the Shire of Illen. The border guards (proud lancers in blue hose, fancy braid encrusted red jackets and tall yellow shakos) were most polite, recognising my academic robes and according me with the appropriate respect. However, once out of sight of the border post (conveniently housed next to a large and commodious inn) I was set upon by a large gang of irritating sprites. Although well dressed and clearly not beggars, these mischievous creatures threw stones and taunted me relentlessly for several miles. A mere irritation, it is true ~ and causing no more than a few bruises ~ if that is the worst attack I am to endure on my long journey north I shall be much relieved.
I am writing this parchment whilst waiting in a long que to enter the large city of Illen, it seems that the smart troopers here are very particular about who enters their fair and strongly walled city, so I may be here for some time!
Fare you well

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Leaving Imradd for the North

I have, at last, left the comfort of the chambers which had been loaned to me by academic colleagues at the University of Imradd. This morning I left the protective walls of that great city and began my journey north through the homelands of Redune.
Tonight I plan to rest here, at the Frolicking Dragon Inn, on the Great North Road, some miles south of Illen. I have entrusted this message to a distinctly unreliable looking dwarf called Figgle, who was just a little bit too eager to take my Anguin gold crown! Hopefully it will reach you safely.
Yours whilst waiting in eager anticipation of some roast boar and parsnips for supper,

News from the Faeire realms

Greetings, esteemed friends,
This is my first post on the strange thing you folks in the mundane world call a 'blog' - sounds like some kind of troll to me but apparently it is a sophisticated magical message sharing club!

I am about to o set out on a much anticipated tour of the Great Rift Valley to carry out essential research into the breeding habits of the Great Blue fire drake and will post my news and observations here.

Best wishes

Professor Cornelius Clifford

At the sign of the Hanged Goose