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.

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