Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XV

Pt XV… ‘If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well. It were done jollily’ 

Whinsome was hoping things could not get anymore complicated and sardonically was not surprised to find a maid at the apartment door bobbing and saying

‘M’m, Your Highness. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, The High Diplomat and some bishops are here to see you on matters of urgency,’

Aureyborealice looked up from weeping into Whinsome’s morning dress. There was a rather serious expression on her face.

‘Ah. Then this is it. They have come to discuss with you my very credible demise through some convenient malady I didst catch while footling about in the snows of the north,’ she tilted her head up in a noble fashion and sighed ‘What must be, must be. Though Whinsome I do not really bear you any ill-will-‘

‘Oh sush twiddle-head!’ Whinsome said hugging the girl ‘There will be no demises credible or otherwise!’ she grasped one hand, it was slightly slippery because Aureyborealice had been wiping her nose on it but Whinsome was in,  as some of the peasants of Trundlealong would say a  ‘Don’t make no nevermind,’ mood ‘Come let us together face this crisis, as a couple,’

‘Oh Whinsome,’ Aureyborealice said lovingly, pausing to blow her nose on her sleeve (you’d be somewhat relieved to read…. hers that is, not Whinsome’s)

‘No more honking of the shnozer,’ Whinsome commanded and with the maid assisting had Aureyborealice to look presentable  of hair, eyes, face and of course nose.

 

Whinsome frowned, Aureyborealice flinched. Aside from Chancellor and High Diplomat there were bishops Hylorididoda (also known as Old Baldy Pate), Humfelsteffstong (Ol’ Sour Fizzog ) and of course Quirrblelong. Quirrblelong did have his benign expression though. Whinsome noticed the other two did not look particularly censorious, she supposed that was something to do with her releasing them from that tower.

‘My lords temporal and spiritual,’ she said using a general catch-all term, Aureyborealice, slightly behind her squeaking the same greeting, one word late, and then called out.

‘It was not Whinsome’s fault! ‘Twas my vanities, mischiefs, dreams, schemes, plots and silly things!’

‘Please good sirs,’ interposed Whinsome, treading on her companion’s toe ‘Princess Aureyborealice is to be excused. She fell out of bed this morning and knocked her head. I am quite aware the extraordinary actions by Doctrindoss have shown him to be unsuitable to be The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, thus calling into questioning our,’ squeeze of hand of Aureyborealice ‘Union and since I argued at some length in support of his judgement my right to the throne of Dingledong is also at fault. We must summon the council and-‘

Humfelsteffstong cleared his throat.

‘Your highness,’ and he bowed somewhat ‘Firstly by your actions of releasing both myself and Bishop Hylorididoda and the very sober way you have conducted the,’ lesser clearing of throat ‘Command of the throne and administration of this confused realm you have shown yourself a worthy ruler,’

‘Might we sit down and discuss this over cakes and light wines?’ asked Hylorididoda hopefully.

Whinsome glanced to The Chancellor and the High Diplomat whose individual impassive faces suggested there was, as usual more to this than met the eye. Quirrblelong winked.

‘Not a word,’ Whinsome told Aureyborealice. 

 

‘You see, ‘ explained Humfelsteffstong ‘Doctrindoss in recent years, possibly twenty, had become prey to vanities of the most tedious sort and could talk at great length wearing down anyone of normal sensibilities. As many of us had other duties to attend to, it was, to our chagrin and mortification easier to agree with him rather than spend pointless hours, even days and nights going about in circles, sometimes literal ones as he was want to walk when talking. When the, ahem, event of the wedding took place we hoped this would be the opportunity we needed to have him removed, but then you, your majesty was so stalwart and dignified,’

‘And could thwack opportunistic, greedy cousins with a staff,’ Aureyborealice said with enthusiasm ‘Thus saving the realm from snotty deadbeats,’

‘Quite so,’ said Hylorididoda through a mouthful of cake. ‘And caused Doctrindoss to overstep the mark with trying to marry Strebvest (The Plain) and Clodgrop (The Mundane),’

‘We have just managed to get the joint armies to raise their siege of Turgidan,’ The High Diplomat said ‘Never have the nations of Hasselduff and Moochenmuch demonstrated so much ire. We had to ask your brother Hanselfrendlesten the new king of Grunzelpratz to intervene with a military demonstration. He was very co-operative and by stealth had from under the noses of Strebvest (The Plain) and Clodgrop (The Mundane),’ detained Doctrindoss for his own safety, apparently in a very tall and remote tower in Grunzelpratz. He was allowed to take his tin whistle,’

‘He has always believed himself to be a master of the instrument,’ Hylorididoda said wearily but expunging the many memories of recitals by  taking another cake.

Whinsome held up one hand in a regal gesture best translated as ‘Just wait a turnip choppin’ minute’   

‘This turn of events is one of those types, my dear sirs I am becoming no longer surprised by. So there is to be a new The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One. Now how do we conjuncture this with my abdication and the elevation of,’ tender squeeze of the hand ‘Princess Aureyborealice to the position of Queen. Have a cake dear,’ Whinsome concluded by shoving a piece of confectionary into Aureyborealice’s mouth before she could say anything. 

‘Oh we don’t want that at all,’ said Humfelsteffstong ‘No. You as a couple are not the issue. Woman married unto woman hath led to the end of forced jolliness, gifted us with a sensible regent, then queen, put an end to the insufferable Twoodoodle and my colleagues in Grunzelpratz say rid them of the most singularly useless royal house and a clutch of opportunistic conniving bishops and nobles. As far as we can discern ’tis as good a sign of the Will of The Supreme Being as any,’

‘Ooooh’ squealed Aureyborealice in delight, spraying cake crumbs all over the place and before Whinsome could stop here ‘See Whins, you shall have to grow man bits now!’

Whinsome solved the embarrassment by a slight smile and a brief mime indicating a knock on the noggin’. She rose, everyone else did, brushing off cake crumbs with Whinsome shoving Aureyborealice back to her apartments saying.

‘Interesting news then my good sirs. We shall have to get the council in as well and discuss how to iron out the bumps, tidy the corners and put forward our own candidate for Arch-Priest,’ she concluded by looking very knowingly at Humfelsteffstong.

 

Later that day after Whinsome had managed to get Aureyborealice to calm down and remember just how composed, thoughtful and generally astute she had been back in the early spring. There came another visit from The Chancellor of the Exchequer and The High Diplomat.

‘There are two pretenders to the throne,’ said the latter ‘They may or not be ……ahem….natural…ahem….. children of your father Princess Aureyborealice, they are garnering opportunistic and disaffected folk and a few who claim Doctrindoss’ removal was a conspiracy,’

Aureyborealice frowned and tapped her fingers on one knee, Whinsome was so relieved to see the calculating look back in her eyes.

‘Much money and nobility behind them Chancellor?’ Aureyborealice asked. She did so want Whinsome to see she could be very cool and composed, again. What had happened? Maybe there were indeed naughty elves and mischievous pixies who had influenced her…(Oh MY!)

He handed Aureyborealice a list, The High Diplomat handed her one of outside trouble makers, she examined them.

‘Hmm. I see. Well Chancellor of The Exchequer. Cry Havoc and Release Headless Chickens of The Market,’ she turned to Whinsome ‘It is a code Whins. Something Chancellor was working on as soon as he found out about your parents Lychee venture, when I discovered what he was about I thought it the cleverest thing ever,’

‘As said I would have preferred if you had asked directly Princess Aureyborealice, but never mind. Your Highness?’

‘Will this harm the stupid speculating in Lychees?’

‘Very much so,’ Aureyborealice and the Chancellor said together.

‘Good!’

It did not take long. The first set of rumours were released which suggested the return on the growing of Lychees was a lot less than anyone had believed. Then the Chancellor ordered the sudden selling at a loss of the few stocks his offices still held to another office he had set up, having sold most holdings at the height of the market speculation. Ten already placed agents masquerading  as Lychee merchants made much of panicking in places of trading. The next set of rumours were about a possible fly which caused havoc in the crop. This was the signal for five more agents to set out a panic. By the end of the week the whole Lychee market had collapsed and lots of nobles, including the supporters of two pretenders to the throne of Dingledong were facing financial ruination. The Chancellor and his networks having turned their vast early profits into gold just planned for the next part.

Meanwhile The High Diplomat through his own networks ensured certain chosen and dependable nobles, kings, bishops etc were not affected, too much (the latter bit, just a reminder for them as to who was who and wot wuz wot)

‘So the ordinary folk won’t suffer?’ Whinsome asked for the severaleth time of Aureyborealice.

‘Oh no silly,’ feeling confident enough these taps to tap Whinsome’s nose ‘We have taken away any threatening power bases left since they are now all very poor and are being chased by their soldiers for unpaid wages. We filter capital into the economy, hire up the angry unpaid soldiers and lend them to your brother so he can convince your parents to descend from the throne and he can then set up a whole new kingdom made up of Trundlealong and Grunzelpratz. Your parents will receive a gift of gold to enable them to go far away and retire,’

‘Ah? Why was I not told about this?’

‘Because Wins. The Chancellor and the High Diplomat wanted to see how well you could handle things on your own,’ she sighed ‘And you were so clever, brave, bold and ruthless in a nice sort of way,’ she sighed again ‘Are you sure you wouldn’t like to…..Errr….well…y’know?’

‘Rorie. I have explained to you, severaleth times, I don’t want to….Errr….well…y’know. And it’s no use you leaving that copy of ‘The Adventures of The Bold Princesses Themelene and Louentha’ under my pillow all the time. Why that pair did not hurt their backs or catch chills from their frequent cavortings in woods and fields I knoweth not,’

‘Ah you did read it then!’

‘I flipped through the pages. And every flip revealed the same sort of….ahem…activities. There was a certain element of unimaginative repetition,’

‘Ah. Yeah. I’ll give you that! Now in  ‘The Lustful Revenge of the Scorn(ed) Princess Nyshel’ia of Old Meldanovrava’….. ‘

‘No. Now we have another day’s statecraft ahead of us. Put your busy mind to that,’

‘It’s going to be about legislation to allow women marry women and men marry men. You’ll let every one else go twiddle-wheedle-didlly-doo! But not us. Why?’

‘Rorie,’ Whinsome pleaded getting heated about the collar ‘You say you like…err..men’s….well y’knows. I have to say having seen some of your books I am sure I would too,’

‘I know a place where they make….’

‘I am sure you do! Honestly I do not want to know about your years of nights of sneaking out over garden walls! Look! Did we not admit to each that night of porlonged wine tasting we both wanted to have babies?…And before you ask again, your aunt has told me to tell you to stop being a noodle-hutch about the matter,’ Whinsome began to make expansive gestures with her hands and in exasperation her fingers ‘We cannot make each other pregnant!!’

‘Awwwww……….Pbbbbffffth!’

 

After that particular conversation Aureyborealice did settle down, somewhat, but did not actually stop making enquiries of Whinsome if she had changed her mind, though she did throw herself into the role of being consort, and generally productive in the administration, she and the High Diplomat having frequent conversations concerning certain matters, Aureyborealice reckoning it was the only way she could work off her frustrations. Aside from certain unpleasant characters meeting unpleasant ends, she also was instrumental in having some thought being given to having the land renamed, though no one could agree on what. She also aided her brother in sneaky ways in stopping incursions over his eastern borders from the previously disinterested smallish empire of Zrenzbragh whose emperor Hullibi (The XXth) had decided that the present ruckus to his west was a good opportunity; it was not working out well for him, in fact Frendlehanz was extending his domain, which since his liege lord was Vilfahengo ( The Back To Being Iron, In An Affable Way) made the said king content. She also ensured gold was passed to Prince Hulstorm of Rahsemindia to construct a navy to deal with pesky pirates raiding his coasts, of course he had no difficulty in massacring them on lands, but wanted to get them sorted out for good.

Whinsome felt these activities kept her spouse occupied, most of the time, while she dealt with the daily grindly business, thus giving her excuses to keep out of the way of Aureyborealice, who although would be such a good friend and companion was….well would not let the other business rest.

Meanwhile she was given even more praise by a relieved council, and a bemused public that she had cured Aureyborealice of her fit of noodle-hutchness.

 

To mark her first year as queen Whinsome let her council have its way and arrange a celebration, a modest one she told them! Aureyborealice’s brother Frendlehanz (now Wolf of The North), Prince Hulstorm (The Sternly, Just, Wise, Protective of The People….and that was quite enough he had said) of Rahsemindia, and her own brother King Hanselfrendlesten of Varadin (an old name for the region, and a snootle (a quite vulgar word) to the other names) all attended. There was much celebration and joy and Aureyborealice sneaked some aphrodisiac out of the supply her brother had brought down for ‘a friend’ (customer).

Whinsome to the joy of the crowds of ordinary folk walked amongst them chatting and giggling with children, gave a few folk awards and titles (paid for– Chancellor’s insistence ) and attended a few weddings betwixt men and men and women and women. She also sent a public message of congratulations to the new Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, Humfelsteffstong.

And was walking along a corridor to change in comfortable clothing, when out leapt a soggy ragged fellow with a knife:

‘Har-har! I Bishop Twoodoodle will cleanse this realm’

And stabbed her and she fell.

He was apprehended, thumped and kicked. Hulstorm said he would take the wretch back with him, he would be towed through a long and muddy river to The Tower where he would be placed with ten other wretches, for soever as long as they might live ( like who cared?)

There was mourning through the realms. Dingledong was renamed Whinslea. Both Queen-in-Being Aureyborealice of Whinslea and King Hanselfrendlesten of Varadin were wretched in their grief thus nudged together by the High Diplomat and the more subtle of his agents. Thus finding comfort with each other by the winter they were married and negotiations were started for a merging of the nations.

Oh he does so look like Whinsome, and he does have very nice man bits’, Aureyborealice reflected one day as she laid flowers on the grave. At the men’s insistence Whinsome had been buried with military honours and her wooden staff )

 

The next spring The High Diplomat on a journey to discuss things with King Hanselfrendlesten‘s council stopped by a small, modest farm to ask if he could have a drink, it being a warmish day. The young lady farmer invited him in, along with three men dressed in black. She poured them all a light wine.

‘How are you then Whinsome?’

‘Quite at peace High Diplomat. Known here as Somiwhen, proficient in farming, arguing jovially with the local cleric and use of a staff with any passing fellow who thinks he has some sort of right over my body. How are Aureyborealice and Hanselfrendlesten?’

‘They rule in a sedate, reflective and measured way. Not quite the frenetic folk of yore,’

‘I am pleased to hear it. Hanselfrendlesten was going to get himself killed one day looking for wars, and as for Aureyborealice, her fixation with us…err….well…y’know was making the dynamic somewhat difficult, the things she left under my pillow! Thus my argument not to execute Twoodoodle when he was washed up at a sewer outlet was useful was it not,’

‘It was a good plan, letting him think he had escaped, having an agent masking as a supporter and giving him the silly bending knife laced with the soporific drug. Getting the balance correct so the scratch would suffice was a trial,’

‘So was lying in state for a day then having to hold my breath during visits by mourners and being smuggled out in a burlap sack of broad beans. Still it was worth it. Please tell the Chancellor of the Exchequer I am being most careful with my gold retirement fund,’

‘I will, but he is a little distracted these days. His office caught out an adventurous widow who had cleverly embezzled a Lychee trust before the collapse. It was love at first sight,’

The pair laughed. The agents were trained not to do so when on duty. The High Diplomat bade Whinsome good fortune and went on his way.

At dusk the local cleric came calling. A fellow of her age who had fled his hopeless royal family of Grunzelpratz. Very sobered by the event he had taken on this new identity. As they grew to know each other he confessed this to her and begged her keep his secret.

There was tenderness. Quite often.

‘Oh Somiwhen, if only we could be married. Yet clerics must not,’

‘I think, dear Kurntool,’ she replied, while brewed an idea involving waylaying the High Diplomat on his return journey and asking one last big favour ‘In view of recent events things might change in our favour,’

And they all lived as well as anyone could reasonably expect. 

 

THE END

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt X

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIV

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Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIV

Pt XIV… ‘To be jolly. Or not to be jolly. That is the question

Meanwhile….

Prince Hulstorm had journeyed far and wide, albeit it in a smallish way, along the North West of Dingledong. He had slew(ed) some who would not see sense; some guilty wretches found skulking were hauled out of their skulking places while others, pitiful folk threw themselves down on their knees and after say ‘Ouch! My knees!’ confessed and beg(ed) forgiveness for their transgressions. With everyone now calling him ‘Great and Dread Sovereign Within Whose Shadow We Seek Sanctuary and Wisdom In Thy Justice and Mercy’.  He hoped that would be the end of the titles, he kept forgetting what he was about to say.

Because there was Lady Rahsemynd always accompanying him there was a lot less slewing. She being ever ready to convince him to show Justice, Mercy and for good measure Clemency. He was a bit conflicted; slaying or slewing was the Chilbinian Way, while showing Justice, Mercy etc, meant there was a danger of him being granted even more titles, these not being suited to his austere and uncomplicated ways (ie slaying). HOWEVER  whenever Faye Lady Rahsemynd spoke in those gentle, kind, yet firm ways how could he argue with her? For did she not ride her horse in a dignified manner? Was she not always uncomplaining over the rigours and discomforts of constant travel? For she was not wont to scratch under her armpits, did not clean out her nose and ears with a finger, nor make noises ill-becoming to a lady after eating. Were not the peasantry constantly praising her with weepingful joys and blessings? And was she not most pleasantly sensible, down-to-earth and practical company, not being liable to suddenly  to dance barefooted or sing to rabbits like one little nut-hutch he could mention? Yes, it was only right and proper he should accede to her pleas, to let her sternly, but fairly lecture those transgressors on the errors of their ways and have them take most solemn oaths to devote themselves to good works for the community at only basic wages and accommodation. Also weeping they did agree.  (and those few mean spirits who did this just for show were aware there was a very grim Chilbinian with a sword standing behind her, so they had best get on board with the new ways).

Thus did the North West plead(eth) for Hulstorm to stay and be their prince and rule them sternly but wisely. He was of an unusual dither over this and pondered in the night; thence did appear, softly Faye Lady Rahsemynd.

‘Prince Hulstorm,’ she said for she was not one for titles and anyway did not want to embarrass the dear boy who was so obviously flustered by them ‘I would ask, for the good of these people that you should accept this offer and help them to repair(eth) the damage wrought over these years past(ed)’

At this instant the moonlight did fall upon her eyes and sparkle most delightfully therein while a gentle breeze did raise strands of her auburn hair into an entrancing dance, some stroking the small mouth, currently bearing the hint of a smile.

Hulstorm thence fell to his knees, but being of soldier upbringing had trousers sufficient to take the impact so suffered upon them no injury. Gently he did take her hand and with unusually soft voice did ask.

‘Only dear lady, if thou wouldst be my wife. For I cannot hope to take on such a task without you beside for me. This I must confess unto thee, within this turbulent heart has grown a love for thee,’

Faye Lady Rahsemynd put one hand to her heart and flustered.

‘Oh my. Dear Hulstorm, though my heart doeth soar and sing to hear these words, what is to be done about this,’ for once she was stuck for words ‘That strange wedding early this spring?’

‘Oh that hoo-hah!’ in other company he would have used more earthy language ‘ Dear gentle Faye Lady Rahsemynd, know ye that since the demise of the unworthy Twoodoodle, the priests of Chilbin have secretly journeyed here to speak with their brothers-in-faith who for years have kept secret loyalty to the northern ways of faith unto the Supreme Being and careth not for any Arch High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One ?’

‘Well, yes my dearest Hulstorm but I thought(eth)…’

Emboldened by the wonderfully persisting moonlight on her eyes, he placed one finger to her lips.

‘Then worryeth not any more Fayre Lady Rahsemynd, for we shall take solemn and biding oaths to follow northern ways of belief, I shall personal and independent make renouncement of that Stupid Wedding (oh the relief to say that!) and we shall be married in plain and simple ceremony,’

Of course the young woman gave out with a small cry of joy, naturally did he kiss her hand and since the moon would not leave those eyes alone did he hold her close and they conducted a small swirl of a dance.

Nearby two rough and common soldiers watched on. One wiped his eyes and blew his nose into his sleeve.

‘I likes a nice romantic interlude,’ he confessed.

‘Yer,’ agreed his comrade, sniffling ‘Makes a pleasant change from all them betrayals, slewings and loud trysting in woods, what keeps you awake at night,’

 

‘Humph,’ commented King Vilfahengo from a bed located in a smallish recently conquered castle on the border betwixt Dingledong and Chilbin ‘This despatch is from my usually worthless son Hulstorm. It appears he has annexed the north-west of Dingledong and by popular acclaim been made prince. Also he is to marry The Fayre and Much Adored By The People Lady Rahsemynd and in her honour by popular acclaim name the land Rahsemindia. Humph,’ he turned the page of the despatch ‘He also says he acknowledges me as Lord Sovereign and renounces anything that Arch High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One said about any wedding as heresy, blasphemy and so forth. Hmmm? I wonder what the Throne of Dingledong thinks of this? I forget who actually sits there,’

‘I can answer that my ever attentive lord,’ said Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng from the depths of the luxurious bedding ‘I have a letter here from Queen Whinsome of Dingledong.  You may recall we have been in correspondence for some time over the question of Princess Aureyborealice who was far too clever, scheming, eforvescent and  know-all for my peace of mind. Queen Whinsome has also received correspondence from your son. She agrees to his wishes and apparently has told any nobles who have complained to go and count their Lychee holdings. It would seem the north-west now known as Rahsemindia and the rest of Dingledong parted cultural ways years ago, most folk, she says do not give a,’ she paused ‘ Snooddlewip…. I assume that must be some vulgarity in common usage in Trundlealong,’

‘Hmmm,’ Vilfahengo (currently The Nearly Affable) said, being steward over lots of barbarians he was not used to having things go along in such an easy manner. ‘Mind you, I wonder how with the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin; daughter of Gurt Broadsword feels about the business?’

‘I have been notified by this despatch,’ said Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng  (and quite content with matters as they were going) as she waved a rather grubby piece of parchment ‘She has been so busy intent on holding hostage Prince Frendlehanz and despoiling him, that within the next few months there will be evidence of her efforts.He was ceremonially kicked by Vargahona, the girl’s mother, in the ‘Ol’ Synggs’, the traditionally expected response by the parent when they find their unmarried daughter has been put ‘Up The Duff’ by a lad, and then the pair were married with much celebration and slapping on his back. On hearing the news Gurt Broadsword called for a true with Prince Hanselfrendlesten of Trundlealong who has been currently marching up and down Grunzelpratz. The Prince agreed since who was he to stop a fellow celebrating his daughter’s wedding, especially to Good Friend Frendlehanz? And anyway since King Jerbloom, his association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and his three singularly useless sons are reported to have been slain here and there along with their generally not-very bright loyal  supporters someone had to run the land didn’t they? So there he was staying and would  not pursue any barbarians who were going back home. How very nice and tidy. Think you not my ever present lord?’

‘Hmmmmm? So neither boy is paying attention to that old fool of an Arch-Idiot?’

‘It would seem not. The event was been taken as a most useful occurrence which led to constructive thinking,’

‘Hmmmmmmm. That still leaves the problem of Princess Aureyborealice. Hmmmm. Dear Lady,’ he said putting down the papers and taking her hand ‘Let us be married. It will make things much, as you say nice and,’ and rare laugh ‘tidy’

‘My lord. I thought you would never ask,’

Vilfahengo was getting quite used to this jolliness business. In measured doses of course. And he had to admit he and Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng had worked out just the right doses.

 

Even more Meanwhile….

At the abode of Queen Whinsome, in particular the apartments of Princess Aureyborealice 

‘Pbbbbffffth!’

‘Good morning to you too Aureyborealice. Did you sleep well?’

‘As if you cared Whinsome….. The Sneaky! I hope you get fleas in your undergarments at the next ceremony when everyone is watching you and you have to sit still,’

‘My maids, my ladies and I regularly check my undergarments Aureyborealice. Three attempts of your we have foiled. You really should accept how things are. Your father was a hopeless bed-hopper. Your brother is glad to be out of the business and cheerfully progenying. While you,’ Whinsome sighed ‘When everyone found out how adept you were at getting their secrets and manipulating behind the scenes but making the class mistake of boasting once,’ she knelt beside the girl currently in a magnificent sulk on her bed ‘Well no one trusted you to do things properly. You can’t treat the whole thing as a lark Rorie,’

‘Not supposed to call me that anymore,’ snuffled Aureyborealice ‘We’re not best friends. An’ you’re so mean. You let them shoot arrows into my bottom!’

‘That was only once and with a drugged dart when you first tried to escape by climbing over the garden wall. I told the royal guard they would have to find other ways to stop you as that practice would make you too sore and woozily in the head,’

‘Then they dropped a smelly ol’ net on me. And how did you train big sloppy dogs to chase me, catch me and lick my face senseless?’

‘You must stop trying to escape. Accept things as they are until everything settles down and then we can decide what is best. You won’t have to wait long. Vilfahengo has gone back over the border, well I know the border has edged a bit north but like the new nation of Rahsemindia, no one here really wanted those bits and amongst those native there the feeling was mutual,’

‘And my aunt has married Vilfahengo…… The Grumpy! My stupid brother has gone barbarian-‘

‘He merely defended his pregnant wife by correctly slaying usurpers and his Father-in-Law Gurt Broadsword is very pleased with him. He has been given a wedding present of his own tribe, the survivors of the attempted usurpation. They are now engaging in productive agriculture albeit in a trade of aphrodisiacs which the locals have been using for centuries. Very popular in the six kingdoms,’

Aureyborealice considered her slippers, she hated stupid curled up toes, she was sure Whinsome had made it mandatory she could only wear fluffy slippers with bells and curled up toes, you couldn’t sneak in those and there were limits to barefooting. She snuffled again and pouted. Sneaky Whinsome being nice to her.

‘Ohhhhhh Whinsome you are so clever and adapt. An’ folk pay you respect for that and because you can thwack with the staff anyone who attacks you,’ Aureyborealice pout turned to an a skewed hopeful smile ‘I know! I have a plan. You consume lots of those aphrodisiac plants your brother is growing, and I’ll ask my Aunt Frastreiayal if she can use her special powers, which you are bound to know about, to help you grow man bits and then,’ she sighed ‘I could have your babies,’

Whinsome had thought when Frastreiayal had written to her outlining just this very thing Aureyborealice might suggest, Whinsome had assumed the lady was indulging in some sardonic northern living-too-long-in-a-remote-castle-jest. As she massaged her nose between her thumb and finger she mentally apologised.

‘Rorie,’ she began with a sympathetic smile, which was taken the wrong way

‘Ooooh you agree!’

‘You see,’ Whinsome forged on ‘This is why I am queen and you are not. You have all these colourful ideas, some of which work but others are simply wacky-doodle,’

‘But I like man bits,’ protested Aureyborealice.

‘I will not ask for details of how you reached that judgement. Apart from the fact it is a load of goozlestrutzen of an idea, I do not wish to have man bits. I am perfectly content with my body as it is,’

‘But we are married!’ wailed Aureyborealice

Whinsome was beginning to wonder whether the dose of the something in the wine all those weeks ago had been a measure too strong and had lasting effects. There again there could be ‘something in the family’ after all. One had to consider just exactly what was in the crossbow bolt. Or mayhap the strain of keeping all of her plans in that busy head and having some go down the privy had unsettled Aureyborealice’s balance of judgement. And there was the chance it was a combination of the whole lot, for she had been so very astute at the onset, in a breezy ebullient sort of way.

Whinsome sat on the bed taking both of Aureyborealice’s hands in hers.

‘Now. On that subject. I wish you to listen very carefully and be very clever and grown-up as I know you can be,’ Aureyborealice sniffled again and nodded ‘You see there has been this issue between the nations of Hasselduff and Moochenmuch as to which one should ensure the safety and security of Turgidan estate of  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One and they have been marching back and forth without actually fighting.  Thus The Arch-High Elect Doctrindoss did request them to gather for a solemn discourse. Since neither king, respectively being Strebvest (The Plain) and Clodgrop (The Mundane)  were not really enthusiastic about fighting only about financial gain they did with their nobles, captains, bishops and so forth to see what he had to say. On the field did Doctrindoss appear and,’ she took in a deep breath ‘Declared their current marriages null and void, say they should marry each other and unite the nations, he then declared this to be thus and walked back to his abode,’ she cleared her throat ‘Playing a jaunty tune on a tin whistle,’

‘Does that mean he has been declared not suitable to discern the word of The Supreme Being?’ trembled Aureyborealice, Whinsome nodded ‘And thus the marriages are null, void and never happened,’

‘Uh-huh,’ (must have been wacky-doodle for years- now there’s a lesson for us all- Whinsome thought unto herself)

At which juncture Aureyborealice burst into tears and Whinsome was obliged to hold her, patting her shoulder.

Thus not only was her foundation to rule in question because she had been recorded as supporting Removed Doctrindoss, at great theological length when others would claim he was certainly wacky-whooo-hoo-a-doodle, but she had a tearful and unhinged besotted princess possibly-contender-to-the-throne on her hands.

Whinsome definitely felt she was personally possessed of an uneasy head.

With a stupid crown that did not fit properly.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

 

 

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIII

Pt XIII… The Arrival of Storm Clouds (No, Jolliness…all gone)

‘Hello there Aureyborealice,’ Whinsome, said flatly and not moving from her reclining position.

Aureyborealice on returning to Whinsome detected a certain coolness and a distinctly casual slouch, like she owned the place. The princess told herself the strain of being left as the representative  of the throne had obviously caused a strain on the poor little dear. She would make it well and danced across to the couch, placing slightly grubby hands on Whinsome’s shoulders.

‘You have been so brave to have kept my royal presence,’ trilled Aureyborealice in Whinsome’s left ear ‘ole, the pitched being somewhat discomforting ‘But not to worry for I have returned swiftly by secret ways to make things right,’

‘No kiddin” replied Whinsome, in a long drawn out drawl ‘Gladsome day and happy thoughts indeed,’

Aureyborealice stood up, a trifle perplexed. There was more than a hint of the sardonic there, nothing like the Whinsome she had taken under her wing.

‘Dear Whinsome. What ails you, my sweet spouse? Have the courtiers, Chancellor of the Exchequer, High Diplomat and near relatives of mine been bothering you with questions of state and no doubt in the latter case some sly scheme to gain ill-deserved appointments? I will speak with them all crossly,’

‘No need,’ Whinsome said with a dismissive gesture ‘I made examples. Your  sword waving cousin Sipulsnoot I did thwack with a staff and his parents being swift on the uptake have now locked him in a tower. My agents brought me details of a plot by Murddlethyn to have me stabbed. That was very rude and since he was paying to have it done, somewhat cowardly. I rode over to his manse and thwacked him too. He has now been de-nobled of titles and in addition is tithed, with the aid of a chain to his left ankle, to the owner of a location wherein very dirty socks and underwear are washed . Your other cousin Wyrthlethum fled the country, for no good reason we can discern of,’ there was a pause ‘Yet.  Anyway I sold off all of his possessions for charitable purposes,’

Aureyborealice‘s head spun. She did not care for the sensation in this sort of circumstance. Cousins thwacked, personally by Whinsome? One fleeing the country? What had been going on? In one planned situation she would be rescuing Whinsome from being besieged by rebellious cousins. And yet finding them cowed? What the frib? And agents???? (Truth be known they were the High Diplomat’s agents but he had advised Whinsome to say they were hers as it sounded more authoritarian-a style they had bother agreed was required for the present)

In the meantime Whinsome was still lounging and speaking in that rather flat, but somewhat commanding way she appeared to have adopted.

‘Anyway Spouse. All is under control. So you can go and get bathed, changed into clean clothes and rest in your private apartments thus recover from your long journey. Tomorrow we can discuss your duties,’

‘Uhhp?’ was Aureyborealice‘s first reaction, however being a quick wits soon recovered ‘Duties? My duties? My dear spouse,’ there was no affection in the term ‘dear’ and since Whinsome was not using first names…Well! It was looming over and hands on hips time!!! ‘Has the strain of being my representative fatigued you beyond reason. Have I to remind you who is the next in line to the throne of this realm?’

There was a brittle smile, Aureyborealice found Whinsome’s brittle smile rather unsettling and for the first time observed she had her russet hair all tied back tight.

‘Slightly inaccurate. It should be your brother Frendlehanz. But you arranged for him to be captured by Fiery and Proudful Magnificalorin, the flame-haired daughter of Gurt Broadsword a northern barbarian of some renown; she being incensed that her trysting with Hulstorm was now being curtailed,’ Whinsome produced from a pocket in her long, dark heavy clothed skirt a long piece of rather dirty and ragged parchment ‘Although from additional intelligence he supplied in this long letter, written in a rather hasty hand he reports he and Magnificalorin have reached a certain accord (that is a polite way of putting it). He has renounced the Official Teachings of Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One as, to quote ‘Since I am up here in the north he can go and, as they say here, hurpsvendeldorr. I am marrying Magnificalorin, renouncing my title to the throne of Dingledong and you can tell my scheming little sister my last official act is the pass the rulership of Dingledong to you dear Whinsome and the best of luck! So Spouse, that is that,’

And brittle smile still intact Whinsome neatly folded to parchment and placed it back into her pocket.

At this stage Princess Aureyborealice’s incomparable beauty was marred by rather nasty twist of the mouth,  in exasperation she raked one less than clean hand through her long currently tangled blonde hair; some tiny twigs fell out. She was currently disinclined to be generous and kindly to anyone, be they person, bird or small furry creature and the only dance in her mind was a rather boisterous and jovially vulgar rural one known as ‘I’ll kick thee arrrsss’ (Only this version was to be without any joviality)

Before she could tirade in busied Bishop Quirrblelong carrying that crown Whinsome was not so keen on.

‘Ah Queen Regent Whinsome, Lorina, Maydearlene, Theseeleee, Ingomin, Flaridia, Rhyledelli, Porrido of Dingledong,’ bowed ‘Please placeth on thy crown, for do cometh thy council,’ and he plonked the thing of Whinsome’s head. She swiftly sat up and adjusted it.

”Tis mine!’ squawked Aureyborealice, making an undignified lunge, which Whinsome, neatly swerved to avoid so the princess collided with cushions, as Whinsome adjusted the crown to a proper angle.

Just in time for the arrival of the same bunch of fellows who had first acclaimed her in the garden. They bowed in unison, having finally worked out how to do this without knocking each other over.

‘Oh your Majesty Queen Regent Whinsome of The Stave,’ the one with the grey and black beard said, sonorously ‘Fifty Days of your reign hath passed. We bring you greetings and statements of thanks from many communities,’ and they all produced boxes crammed with rolls of parchment and tied with colourful strings, some with bells attached.

‘Eh?’ Aureyborealice said surfacing from the cushions and to her horror witnessing Whinsome walking with admirable grace towards the clutch of, as Aureyborealice saw them, noodles. The girl stood before them and with small yet elegant hand gestures bade them rise.

‘Good lords. I am truly blessed this day. So much affection and encouragement from so many. I thank the Supreme Being for guiding me thusly and to be rewarded so. Good Bishop Quirrblelong, please go and arrange a prayerful ceremony of thanks unto The Supreme Being,’ this said and the bishop exiting Whinsome turned lightly on one ankle and gestured to the dishevelled figure on the couch ‘And look,’ pause for everyone to stare ‘Princess Aureyborealice hath return(ed),’ pause ‘finally. To explain where she has been and why,’

The council stared. The sight, coupled with the leave of absence when compared with the way in which Whinsome had stayed and conducted herself, dutifully did not engender much enthusiasm for the return of the princess. There was a faint air of the sort of unease which arises at a party when a drunk or the unpleasantly eccentric one everyone had hoped wouldn’t, arrives. Each man seemed quite lost for words, well suitably tasteful and mundane ones.

‘How very nice,’ one fellow managed, cleared his throat and managed to stammer on ‘Was the journey…ah…particularly trying?’

‘Indeed, ’twas,’ Aureyborealice said, standing up and shuffling closer to Whinsome so she could inadvertently tread on her toes ‘I journeyed north to seek out,’ she managed a forlorn tearful sniff ‘To seek out the body of my poor, slain father and-‘

‘Such a tragedy!’ announced Whinsome stepping in front of Aureyborealice and grasping her hands tightly, so she could not move ‘When the body was already found by a group of peasants who wrapped it cabbage leaves and sailing down the River Murf arrived here some ten days ago. Worry(eth) not dear Aureyborealice for they were rewarded and your poor father was buried with all due ceremony,’

 (The ceremony had actually been a rather short and perfunctory one. The day had been cold and heavy with rain and despite the low temperature and the efforts of the peasants his large fleshy body was a bit ‘off’)

‘I appreciate this is very distressing for you,’ Whinsome said artfully slipping one arm around one of Aureyborealice‘s in something of a lock  ‘Come let my retinue of ladies assist you in refreshing you with a bath and clean clothes, food and drink too. In fact you must be so thirsty, for your eyes are squinting, a sure sign,’ Whinsome made a soft clicking sound with the fingers of her free hand. A chosen servant reacted.

As Aureyborealice opened her mouth to protest a cup of wine with an extra little something was handed to Whinsome who tipped the contents in her spouse’s mouth. Aureyborealice spluttered a little.

‘I fribble-burble,’ she announced, puzzled paused, tried again ‘Smoozle, gongi, ding-dong,’ she said as her eyes crossed and uncrossed. She took a deep breath and then with a very unhinged smile but an air of deep sincerity said ‘There are pixies at the bottomly of my garden, I do dance with them under the moonlight,’ No, that was not right, she had only meant for folk to think she thought that, while she had plotted and planned. Why weren’t her tongue and brain working together? And where had pixie come from, peeking behind the couch ? ‘I-‘ she began, then giggled ‘You gotta a big blue bubbly ting on your noggin’ Whimbly,’ she leaned against Whinsome free arm flopped about the regent queen’s shoulder ‘She’s so sweet,’ she told the very bemused assembly ‘And I wonder if one day she will….Hah-actually try an’ take my underwear off….. ‘cas she hasn’t yet….but she can….’cas we’s married an’ all…. an’ so can con-kon-sooommm-ble..No. S’not right…con-sooommm-muph!’

And thus did Princess Aureyborealice, daughter of the late King Genially of Dingledong leaning against Regent Queen Whinsome slither down to the floor to end up in a bit of a heap.

‘Oh dear,’ said Whinsome crouching down and making to cradle Aureyborealice’s snoring head in her lap ‘The poor girl. I fear the events of the past few months have proven to be very weighty upon her,’ she gestured elegantly to the small clutch of ladies-in waiting all selected from families who had historical issues with the diminishing royal family ‘My ladies please aid The Princess Aureyborealice to her apartments, she is to be attended to with all due care and civility, but make sure she is not allowed to wander,’

The council members thought for slips of things the assembly of ladies-in-waiting were very impressive in the ease with which they picked up and exited with the incapacitated, drooling and alternately giggling or snoring princess.   

‘Such a shame,’ Whinsome said to the council ‘My lords. Is there something untoward in the family blood?’

Whereas they were generally not the most impressive of fellows to be intrusted with very high office, they were possessed of enough wit, foresight and general acumen to get the drift of a very pointed question from a very promising and capable young woman.

‘It has been suggested,’ one said in an opportunistic tone

‘All that dancing in the garden barefooted,’ another said with an air of sadness which would have done justice in a modest professional theatre company.

‘What is to be done?’ asked another, rather pointedly, as would have been expected of one of them.

‘Now that Frendlehanz has indeed foresworn the title and The Princess Aureyborealice is obviously….’

As he stumbled for the acceptable word Whinsome resisted the urge to roll her eyes rotate one finger next to the side of her head and say ‘Gone whoople-wheeble-who-hoo’

‘Sadly incapacitated by ill-humours of the mind,’ another said, managing to sniff while wiping one, presently not tearful, eye.

Another murmured (loudly enough to be heard) a prayer to The Supreme Being for the safety of Princess Aureyborealice‘s mind and soul.

‘Your Majesty,’ they all said and bowed ‘You must be formally crowned Queen of this unhappy realm,’

‘For as long as The Supreme Being sees fit,’ she added, humbly.

They all ‘quite so’d’

Whereas Whinsome in other circumstances could see an end to the business, the end being firmly ensconced on the throne. There were two slight problems

King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin and his army still in the north.

And well, to be honest Aureyborealice was still around with a potential to still be sneaky.

 

From a very discreet place where folk could be unseen to make observations.

‘She handled that very well,’ The Chancellor  of the Exchequer said ‘And with only the barest of guidelines,’

‘She has great potential for serious, dutiful rule,’ said The High Diplomat ‘See how she is already thinking on the next problems. We should not underestimate her,’

‘A narrow squeak, thus far. Aureyborealice had played a sly and long game. Good fortune for us she could not contain her vanity. Displaying to you she knew of secret passages while not having a secure power base to rely on; that was sloppy,’

‘Aye,’ replied the High Diplomat ‘Still there were sufficient agents in place to uncover the work. And now more of the necessary waiting,’

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XII

Pt XII… The Conflicts of Jolliness

Princess Aureyborealice slipped back behind the tree, softly tittering.

Aureyborealice,’ chided her aunt Lady Frastreiayal  of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng ‘I am sure throwing a soggy snowball at King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin is not a move conducive to our enterprise,’

‘Dearest Aunt, he is a sour ol’ fizzog and deserves it. See how he glares about in all directions puzzled by an act of random frivolity. An arrow he would expect, it befits his rank. He will be more unsettled by a soggy snowball. For grim kings are not normally the targets of such missiles. It is when he is unsettled when he will be at his most vulnerable,’

Frastreiayal had to admit when you accepted the unconventional approach, her niece did have a certain point. And since as part of their revised and now joint plan Frastreiayal had caused the wet snow to fall thus delaying the advance of the army out of Chilbin she could not really complain if her niece chose to take an opportunity to spread her own form of planned mischief. What was equally unsettling was her niece’s earlier discernment of and resulting wheedling out an admission of Frastreiayal’s guilty little secret.

Frastreiayal had an attraction for Vilfahengo (Iron, King, Grim), in spite of his sour ol’ fizzog, although she preferred to think of his features as serious, reflective and a little careworn. She, having observed most of the male nobility of the six kingdoms from the vantage of her castle, had grown over the years attracted to his lack of frivolity, strength of purpose, reasonable amount of intelligence and his willingness to bathe his taut, muscular, scarred body regularly and thoroughly. Frastreiayal had had absolutely nothing to do with the death of his wife who used to go out bear hunting to calm down and thus work off the urge to murder her, (as she saw him), infuriating husband (their’s as you will recall was a lively marriage). On one jaunt in her exasperation to get away from the man she had not checked her favourite hunting snack of Chilbinian hard cheese for mould and this had been the cause of her demise.

Thus Frastreiayal‘s true plan had begun to work. With the resulting chaos at the wedding Vilfahengo had indeed marched south, as had the barbarians. The next stage would have been in the guise of Frizgrunstar Wylde Wyfe, Spouse of  Thugnnorran The God of a Thousand Peaks she would have encouraged the barbarians to rebel (in a smallish way) against Vilfahengo, which since he was committed to the south would have left him extended, a bit. She would have then appeared before him (in a revealing dress) in her true identity as The Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng offering to use her influence to stop the revolt, flip back and forth between identities, win the barbarians back to him while always wearing her revealing dress in his presence. Her niece, the annoyingly astute Aureyborealice, having deduced by the way her aunt went slightly  breathless when ever the subject of Vilfahengo turned up soon found out the plan.

She had said.

‘It has a good strategy dear aunt, but to be frank its execution lacks a certain dignity. You should know by now how the folk of Chilbin are notoriously sniffy and serious; their king being the most sniffiest ever. Flaunting yourself will serve to annoy him and make you look slightly trollopish. You must be your true self of dignity and poise at which you are magnificent. We shall meld our plans together, playing on the distain he has for Dingledong’s historic predilection for being jolly,’

Thus she had explained her ideas

Which was why they lurked on the edge of  snow heavy forest. And Aureyborealice with whispered glee said.

‘Now dear aunt, stalketh forth,’ nudging Frastreiayal out.

So stumbling a little, but recovering, turning to the forest and magnificently raising her cloak about her arms gesturing she cried out.

‘Away thee, fey creatures of mischief, shadow and confusion! Away thee I say!’

‘Ppbbbth!’ said Aureyborealice peeking from behind a tree, then as her aunt feigned a glare did her own feigning of fear and skipped away, squeaking.

For melodrama and stagecraft as an art it lacked a great deal, to a king whose army was held up by damp snow, some of which was dripping down his neck it had the desired effect. He strode over to Frastreiayal.

‘Lady! Art thee of these frivolous lands? What comes to pass(eth) here?’

‘Sir,’ she said, with all due poise and dignity ‘King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin. Know ye thus, I am The Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng, come here to aid thee in thy enterprise and free these benighted lands of fey enchantments and mischiefs,’

Although Vilfahengo’s sole intention had been to march in a no-nonsense manner and knock some sense into these foolish folk then take the throne it had not even occurred to him there were fey enchantments and mischiefs; he did not want to seem unaware as it were, for he was a king of purpose and not a night-pot head like Genially.  Thus with a clearing of the throat and  slight bow, he said.

‘Lady. Thy reputation as scholar and sober possessor of knwoledge precedes thee and I do give thee some small thanks for thy aid. Let me escort thee to my encampment while thee explain unto me the fel grip within this land,’

From the cover of the trees Aureyborealice with hand to mouth stifled a little triumphant giggle and skipped away lightly o’er the snow. She would spread a few more tricks and bits of mischief and then in silly high voices say The Dread Lady Frastreiayal of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng had arrived and everyone had better scatter ‘cas she was mighty and would be fearful cross at them.

The rest would be up to Aunt Frastreiayal

Meanwhile she could get back home. With mother turning her back on the nation; her brother Frendlehanz captured by the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin- thanks to intelligence of his location delivered from Aureyborealice by one of her messenger hawks; the miserable ol’ northwest now likely falling under Hulstorm’ s stern but dull and fayre rule, again thanks to several hawks to several folk and Whinsome ensconced as a reminder of who of the royal family was was still around she could journey back and take the throne; woe betide any cousins etc who tried to sneak in as she had several plans in those directions!

Though she didn’t quite have a plan for her titular brother-in-law Hanselfrendlesten. But she supposed he was having tremendous fun fighting those barbarians cluttering up the north of his own homelands and also making such a mess in Grunzelpratz so he would not be her problem, not for a while anyway.

It was a bit of a shame about Father, he hadn’t been such a bad old duffer. He should have fled to Trundlealong to garner support as she had intended. Let that be a lesson to all men who get into a severe huff when things do not go their way.

Those ‘natural’ children though, they would have to be told What was What and where to go, gold would help. There was a lot of gold, thanks to The Chancellor of The Exchequer’s activities over the years and of late with the burgeoning Lychee market. He might think she didn’t know just how much gold there was and that was because for all those years everyone had thought when she was not around she was just skipping and dancing in gardens and small woods, as opposed to moving deftly from Here to  There and teaching her many pets how to do her bidding. It had indeed been a very busy childhood, adolescence and of late exceptionally productive couple of years.

And it would be nice to see Whinsome again.

 

Whinsome was pacing. When you had to survey a map which was four times as long as you were tall and three times as wide, pacing was something of a necessity when making decisions which would have an impact on the ordinary folk living within the six kingdoms and if one was fayre also a lot of barbarians whose energies she was sure could be directed in more productive ways.

Upon the were a large number of flag stuck onto little bits of wood, each flag was part of a complex arrangement of kings, nobles, armies, areas of various types of production, religious affiliations, groups of common folk who thought they ought to be heard, and whether she liked it or not specifically Lychee potential.

‘It still looks a complete tangled mess,’ she said to the High Diplomat. ‘ Of course this is a bit old by weeks. Later news may change it. Yet waiting for the replies to sundered despatches is heavy burden,’

‘I fear it is Your Majesty,’ she could not remember when folk had started to call her ‘Your Majesty’, she had been so busy dealing with local matters. Those were on another map on another table. A map which was but twice her height in both length and width; there were less flags. This was because she had made it so. She had required a reputation, by degrees and not so much by planning or conniving but more by circumstance.

The first potentially  great challenge had been the arrival of one of Aureyborealice’s cousin without invite or request. This was Sipulsnoot, a fellow with an expression as if he had nettles up his nose he was followed by a small retinue of fashionable dressed young men all appearing to suffer from similar nasal encumbrances.

‘I am the male heir to the throne. ‘Tis mine,’ he said waving a fashionable sword in her direction. His timing was unfortunate, Whinsome had had little sleep the previous night, having read a box full of urgent papers, then while trying to catch up on other work had eaten her breakfast too quickly, thus had terrible indigestion and a headache.

‘Do you parents know you are here?’ she snapped looking up from a report on the Lychee trade which some clerk had carelessly slipped in. Whinsome had previously made it clear she didn’t care a snootle (a quite vulgar word) about the stupid trade and thus was even more annoyed.

‘Ha!’ he had said, not being one for intelligent replies ‘My presence here is enough,’

At this point she alighted from her throne picking up the clerical staff she had acquired a while back, rapped it on his hand, making him drop his sword, swiftly brought it up betwixt his legs, severely thwacked his knees and when he fell over addressed his hindquarters with several other thwacks which she personally felt should have been administered by his parent long ago.

‘Now go an’ take this wibbler here n’  swithezzle off… The ghunzstat lot of you!’ she told his smallish retinue who were currently picking him up and shocked to hear such language from a young woman of whom they had been told was shy, retiring and of modest speech.

What they did not know and those of her close and trusted were getting used to was that her brother and his friends when she was still of child years had allowed her to join in their boisterous games and taught her how to use stave, sword and knobbly club. She had also picked up the language they had picked up from the soldiers and lads of the stables. Her parents not being the most attentive after two years or so had eventually found out and  had had her partitioned off to be taught by religious folk, which she had accepted, if only to pass the time. She had not forgotten those more rough and tumble lessons though. To stop going insane at being droned at she had also learned how to sew, but having selected matronly types of ladies had missed out on the interesting things which passed between men and women, or men and men or women and women.

After the disposal of Sipulsnoot‘s attempted coup she had found when walking about the place when the staff over her shoulder folk who did  not have much contact with her treated her with respect, and when she smiled at them, they displayed much relief.

Apparently Sipulsnoots parents, the Duke Fusselbritches and Duchess Lacedoylee who had invested heavily in Lychees were so horrified by his actioned they had him placed in a tower to be lectured by the very dullest clerics and lawyers they could find. His retinue’s parents equally concerned over their profits from Lychee investments boxed ears, kicked bottoms and stopped allowances. Some of the lads were placed in smaller towers since their parents could  not afford tall ones and had old wise men from villages to come and ‘talk sense unto ee’. Others were put sent to the army, which didn’t want them and gave them unhappy tasks.

Whinsome was not told of the fate of these lads; she had told her court she couldn’t have cared a bovine hindquarter’s natural digestive produces, although she didn’t quite phrase it that way.

One day after a busy day of listening to and thence discussing with various meetings of common folk the best way to address social matters. and then duelling with the Chancellor of the Exchequer about funding she had just flumped down in a very comfy chair, to congratulate herself she had managed to wheedle three-quarters of what she wanted.

Then there came a cheerful ruckus and in breezed, sunny, smiling and somewhat travel stained Aureyborealice.

‘Hi dearest spouse!’ she trilled ‘I’m home!’

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XI

Pt XI… How Princess Whinsome stopped with the jolliness and started being constructive 

Princess Whinsome (Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor to Princess Aureyborealice)  had seen fit to drop all of the complimentary words which proceeded the phrase ‘Princess Aureyborealice’. Whereas she had been feeling for some time, in varying degrees rather cool to the rest of the family for sundered reasons such as frivolity, hysteria, ill-judgement and general lack of maturity, Aureyborealice had always seemed in addition to being sweet and loveable;  also dependable, resourceful and intelligent. However of late she had breezed off without much of an explanation for an extended interlude.

The result had been to leave Whinsome to discuss or debate with numbers of clerics all of whom wanted her to listen them to repeat the arguments she had already heard, several times, as if they alone had thought of them. She had also been obliged to diplomatically deal with various young women of rank who had wanted to know if she and Aureyborealice had been obliged, because they were married to ‘err…umm…well…you know….’. As regards this delicate subject Whinsome had started off quite well with discreet variations on the theme of ‘Oh no’ and changing the subject. Of late she had found she had been grinding her teeth and supressing the urge to empty to contents of flower vases over some of the more vapid giggly types. Also a couple of lesser merchants had managed to sneak in and ask her if she could put a good word in with her father for their marketing scheme for Lychees. Mischief had taken over there and she had said if they travelled to see him personally he would no doubt listen (As far as she knew he might well…and both parties deserved each other.)

Thusly….One morning Whinsome sat in the garden, firstly giving quiet thanks for the gift of warming sunshine and no one being around, thence the sweet bounties of nature with no Lychees in sight and finally praying quite heavily for all the fighting to stop. This peaceful interlude was broken when in scampered, strode, bustled or blundered as befitted their characters and physiques a group of courtiers; the ones who had managed to have caste-iron excuses not to be dragged along with Genially (now short on jolliness) on his march north to confront King Vilfahengo (The Iron and very cross) of Chilbin. She could not imagine why they were heading to her in such a purposeful manner, unless for some, possibly understandable reason they no longer had much faith in the local bishops and clerics and wanted to organise an impromptu gathering for prayers of deliverance.

‘Oh Princess Whinsome,’ one fellow cried out ‘Great calamities are abounding,’

At the first instance, for The Life of her she could not imagine why a bunch of middle aged men of some rank were coming to tell her about it. Reasons soon tumbled out as would a large collection of unfavoured clothes once shoved hastily into a wardrobe whose doors had been slammed shut and locked, only to be idly opened by someone else.

‘King Genially rode north to do battle with Vilfahengo of Chilbin. He and his lords got into a loud dispute as whether to parley, charge or manoeuvre to refuse a flank. Regrettably everyone came away with a different idea. Thus the army moved or didn’t move before dawn, in differing directions. The king’s retinue seeing the foe charged, dragging the king along with them, he fell off his horse and expired on a thorny bush. By the Supreme Being’s Grace….’

‘Wisdom,’ she interjected ‘I am sure Wisdom, your tone suggests some small comfort, so it must be Wisdom,’

There was a hasty mumbling resulting in agreement, the fellow proceeded.

‘As seen fit by The Supreme Being there came a great unseasonable snow storm which has stopped any further progress by the invaders. Apparently Chilbin armies respect such weather, they have a saying which translates as ‘Travelling Idiot’s Weather’. Thus they halteth,’

‘The demise of Genially. How very sad for Dingledong,’ Said Whinsome no longer a little guilty at not feeling sad at all  ‘What is Prince Frendlehanz doing in reaction?’ as soon as she asked the question she had a feeling there would be an ‘Err’. There was. Followed by…

‘A message was passed by some vulgar barbarian, using an arrow as means of transport. Apparently the prince has been captured and transported into some barbaric clime by the notoriously fearsome harridan named Magnificalorin, the flame haired and fiery daughter of Gurt Broadsword. A barbarian of some standing,’

Whinsome wondered on the circumstances of the capture.

‘How very unfortunate  a coincidence. Then is Queen Domesticia acting as regent?’

The group looked as unhappy as any group of men could when having to admit their leader had been found wanting in more ways than one.

‘Apparently the Lady has become aware of the king’s infidelities, thus in shock and distain she hast quit the realm by means secret,’

As that came across to Whinsome as Domesticia being the last to find out, Whinsome found she was drumming her fingers on her book of Prayers for a Goodly Thoughts, only she found she could not summon Goodly Thoughts  for the present.

‘Ah then by royalness does not Princess Aureyborealice become Regent Queen by Ascent?’ (and thus get her frivolous bottom back here)

There was a shuffling. A red faced fellow of girth was by combined effort of the rest shoved to the fore.

‘She is not to be found your lady,’

Whinsome did not feel comfortable at the sound of the reverence in ‘your lady’, nor the slight bow. Overall she felt very uncomfortable. Especially when one gaunt fellow of beard and hair of black and iron grey, elbowed the other one out of the way, then somewhat marring his initial impression of being grave and serious by nearly dropping the red leather box he carried, the act causing the lid to slop open and reveal out Whinsome a crown of gold, a few minor jewels  and all topped with a fluffy blue leather cap of (she felt) undignified design.

‘Your lady,’ he said a deep voice shaking ‘ Princess Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor. Acceptheth this the Regent’s Crown of Dingledong for as long as the Supreme Being see fits,’

‘Sees fit,’ the rest intoned in the sort lot musical discord which would give even the most casual and forgiving of choir masters a bout of dyspepsia .

At this juncture, previously unseen, appeared Bishop Quirrblelong who seizing the crown from the box, advanced on poor Whinsome.

He commenced to sing. Those birds of previously stronger spirit not already unsettled by the preceding chorus decided enough was enough and took flight.

‘Oh Supreme Being. By thy infinite wisdom and beneficence. We crown Whinsome, Lorina, Maydearlene, Theseeleee, Ingomin, Flaridia, Rhyledelli, Porrido.  Fayre Maiden Princess of Trundlealong by thy Grace Regent Queen until thy see(est) necessary of Dingledong,’

And with his strength spent plonked the crown ,at a slight angle, on Whinsome’s head.

While she was remembering how she really disliked that last silly name Porrido, (and how her brother up until quite recently had still been inanely  fond of calling her ‘Porrido-Porridon’t ‘) some other fellow pressed into her grasp a staff with the image of a very surprised bovine, seeing as how it was on two legs. This presumably meant something to do with office. Meanwhile everyone was down on one knee (each that is, not one particular knee) and mumbling very quickly some sort of oath. She hadn’t even had the time to say ‘But….But’

She was gathering her breath to say ‘But….But’ when into the garden march six very over-dressed fellows, the business accentuated floppy hats; they all bore silver trumpets, which they commenced to deafen everyone with, happily in tune. This seemed to be some sort of signal for at once the garden became very crowded with folk, who judging by the goodly state of their clothing were at least ‘quite affluent’. As one they chanted.

Hail to the Regent Queen Whinsome

                                            Hail. Hail. Hail

Loudly,three times, worrying Whinsome that the effort might well induce that sort of weather.

It was then from the crowd, moving in a deferential manner but nonetheless with confidence and purpose came The Chancellor of The Exchequer and The High Diplomat, who knelt very briefly , then rose, turning to the clutch of men The Chancellor of The Exchequer saying.

‘My Good Lords. Would you please excuse us if we took a slight interlude of Regent Queen Whinsome’s time. ‘Tis The Matter of Policy regarding The State of The Lychee markets,’

Since everyone there had recently made investments in the said commodity there was no argument, although several serious guards of both men, politely kept the host at bay while Whinsome was shuffled off.

As her nerves were getting somewhat frayed by the whole business and the crown a slight size too large was weighing heavily on her ears Whinsome felt cross, thus she could not help herself, when out of earshot of the mob, to blurt out to the pair, irrespective of their rank.

‘I do not care a spiffle about the stupid Lychee market!’

‘At present,’ confided The High Diplomat with a brief nod from The Chancellor of the Exchequer ‘Nor do we,’

 

It was in a small drawing room where light wine and cakes were served that Whinsome was introduced to the present geo-political situation. Hulstorm was securing the north west but was being acclaimed  which she judged was not something the centre should be content with, even had been generously funded, this however had been for the express purpose of securing, acclaiming had not been part of the arrangement.  The north in general was of course being invaded by snow and The Chilbin, the former delaying the latter, so two of the reason why she was Regent Queen did not have to be laboured over. Part of North Trundlealong and most of north Grunzelpratz was being overrun by barbarians (it was a commonly held belief of the times that barbarians did not have the astuteness to invade they just ran about the place, overrunning). Taking advantage of everyone else’s preoccupations Hasselduff and Moochenmuch’s smallish armies were marching back and forth in front of each other to prove they had the right to protect Turgidan (the very small chunk belonging to  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, located where the borders of  Dingledong’s four neighbours met) , in exchange for a modest tax donation (modest being equivalent to the gross-nation product of either of the nations)

‘You have not mentioned my own fayre’ (Whinsome said the word with slight sarcasm) ‘Trundlealong. Pray let me guess my good lords. There are riots by farmers objecting to having their lands turned over to Lychee production. Thus while mobs march this way and that, no one cares a stale cake about to whom I am married, or who else is invading whom?’

‘Succinctly and accurately put your Highness,’ said The High Diplomat.

‘Have we any idea where my,’ clearing of the throat in a cold manner ‘ Aureyborealice,  Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor has noodled off to?’

The men exchanged brief glances whereas the words were not up to the standard of a artisan’s tavern at closing time, there was a noticeable edge to the tone and usage of words expressing dissatisfaction creeping into in the manner of the Regent Queen’s mode of speech.

‘No your Highness,’ they both said. She noted their tones were devoid of alarm.

‘Oh spiffly-diddles!’ Whinsome exclaimed and eyebrows were raised ‘I will give her nose such a tug when she comes back!’ and this in a state of agitation which nevertheless suggested purpose Whinsome rolled up her sleeves (her reasonably beautiful features somewhat screwed up in concentration and her russet hair dishevelled by the crown-currently considered by her as ‘stupid’) ‘Good lords and gentlemen! Bring me forth a map of the whole mess of the six kingdoms and another solely of this realm which has been for far too long benighted by jolliness!’

They were impressed.

‘And by the way,’ she added ‘Get someone to release that pair of old stodgies (stodgies???…both men thought), bishops Hylorididoda and Humfelsteffstong from whatever tower they are in so I can formally pardon them and tell them to do something useful with their fat heads. I cannot abide having martyrs around the place, even if they are turnip heads and deserve being dunked in a goldfish pond! They attract even bigger gazumbos (a word not for polite company) who start a following!’

‘Gazumbos eh?’ murmured The Chancellor to the High Diplomat as they took leave to find maps and issue orders. ‘I am beginning to like this girl,’

‘And!’ came the voice, quite strong from the room ‘Have a despatch sent to my brother Prince Hanselfrendlesten who no doubt is having a splendid time fighting barbarians across the north Trundlealong and Grunzelpratz telling him I now rule in Dingledong and I want to know just what sort of progress he is making,’

The High Diplomat swiftly returned.

‘Of course Your Highness. Should we inform your parents?’

Whinsome’s eyebrows arched and her nostrils almost flared. Her tone dripped sarcasm.

‘Please do. And bid them to send me a crate of Lychees as a gift!’

‘I beg your pardon your Highness,’ said The High Diplomat sucking in a grin ‘Is that in the literal and not a secret family code?’

‘Hah! If they tried they would only forget it!’ she smirked ‘Actually tell them I demand a dozen crates of Lychees as is my recently proclaimed, that is NOW,  right as their daughter. And all the lands which are mine in Trundlealong I will donate to farmers cast off of their land because of those Lychees!’ she paused for breath ‘Oh yes. And the despatch to my brother. Be so good as to add in whatever code he uses, what lands does he intend to snaffle for his own, and not to think I don’t know he intends too!’

The High Diplomat had a feeling he might start to enjoy his job again.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt X

 

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt X

Pt X… A lot of jolly fun if you don’t mind the risqué, the rough sort of poetic justice, and a touch of jolly plagiarism. 

Whereas Prince Frendlehanz in his youthfulness had had some boisterous interludes with his friends which involved drinking much ale, hurling desserts in a careless manner and throwing each other in ponds, this experience was devoid of the attendant jolliness.

The ride, he having been equated to a sack of vegetables, had been exceptionally uncomfortable, the dismounting a very unsympathetic exercise and hurling down into the straw of a highly unsanitary barn somewhat painful, for the straw had been very dry and had delighted in pricking him in delicate places. Being face down and still tied only served to contribute to the unhappiness of his situation.

As to the capturing, he being a prince and these being barbarians there was a sense to it. However for the accusations, he wondered if something was lost in translation. While applying this reflection as a means to take his mind off the straw making misery with his nose and ears, he was aware of the barn door being flung open and someone striding in; a pair of gauntlets struck the back of his head with distressing accuracy. There was a distinctly feminine snort as he was grabbed and turned over with a roughness which brought back the sack of vegetables analogy.

‘Now trollop!’ it was indeed that ill-tempered somewhat overly dramatic woman again ‘Thy time has come to pay for thy scheming albeit unfathomable. See what Hulstorm thinks of thee after thee hast been lustfully,’ the last word did attract his attention, particularly as she was undressing herself in a most swift and determined manner ‘and vigorously used, therefore shown to be the base wanton thou art!’

Once quite unclothed and contiuning to heap all manner of insults and accusations upon him, she proceeded to tug off all of his clothing, getting around the matter of the ropes by slicing off bits of his shirt and trousers. Occasionally she  sat on his stomach and squeezed his face all the better for him to hear a particularly colourful and ominous invective. Now Frendlehanz knew full well there were men of his father’s age and company who paid good coin for such treatment, however they employed women who were versed in the business and its limitations, this girl was displaying a rather personal air and the day might end ill for him.

‘Ha! Wretched, decadent, trollop. Thy prove thy status! Even now when thy life is in peril thou art alert, ready to receive my vengeance. Let me assure thee, thou wilt be wearied, sore and humiliated er the day goes long! Ha-ha! Then see how Hulstorm views you…Ha-ha!!’

What Hulstorm might have said, if by some highly unlikely chance, he had arrived can only be a matter of speculation, for he was employed elsewhere.

 

Hulstorm’ s progress through the west (and northish land) had been quite successful as far as he and the ordinary folk were concerned. It was hard going on those who had been in Bishop Twoodoodle’s employe and favour. There were some who thought their bombast would see them through, these to their horror were offered trial by combat with him, but the proceedings were predictably swift and brought an end to their protests; the majority were either slew(ed) or beaten with sticks, of which there were no short supply. All the while the bulk of the folk cheered him, wept at their release and begged he stay.

‘This land has been treated very badly for no good reason I can tell,’ he said to a fellow of Dingledong who had been loyal to him since he had likened King Genially to a not particularly gifted turnip ‘Where is their noble, be they Duke or whatever? Why did not the king see fit to deal with Twoodoodle earlier?’

‘With the rise of Twoodoodle,’ said the man grimly of course ‘The noble family, who were not that noble took heels and fled to Taxhaven. The king preferred to ignore the business since most of the folk in these lands by traditions are serious and hard-working and not prone to pleas to be jolly. He for many years had been affronted at their failure to send him lavish gifts on his birthday, only but crates of basic vegetables,’

Hulstorm ‘humph’d at the explanation and continued on his reaving of the previous regime.

One day he came upon a very tall tower, in the middle of a sparsely populated area. On examination at the very top of which he espied the face of a young woman, she seemed very forlorn. He gathered local folk for an explanation.

‘Oh dread, fair, generous and wonderous lord,’ they said, as was their wont by then; secretly he wished they wouldn’t, they might decide to add more titles and he would never find out what they intended to say. ‘There resides Fayre Rahsemynd, the daughter and only worthy member of the family of Lord Grymple who with his two useless sons, haughty wife and a few others fled leaving Fayre Rahsemynd about her vocation of caring for the poor. As the only member of the family Twoodoodle could lay his hands on he placed her in this tower. The doors were bolted, barred and structural arrangements made that should they be forced open the tower would fall down. Sparse foods were sent up to her by basket to maintain her, for Twoodoodle had set a cruel ordinance that any man who could climb the tower and bring her down could have her for his wife,’

‘Base villain,’ he said ‘How long has the poor maid been there? And have any fellows tried?’

‘Oh dread, fair, generous and wonderous lord,’ said some old peasant who seemed to be in charge now ”Twas three years last Grimday’s Eve. And aye, fortified by ales and spirits eight and ten have tried, seven getting halfway up and  not surviving the consequences, five now limp and curse a lot, the other six have interesting marks on their faces,’

Having given orders to seek out these eleven fellows, who he guessed were not hard to find with a view to explaining themselves Hulstrum considered the tower. Now Chilbin aside from being a harsh and cold land, home to snows, ices and fierce winds was also possessed of many a challenge mountain. Hulstrum for several years, in order to get away from his father had set out on quests to climb these by the most difficult paths and proclaim when he got to the top. Of the proclaiming he was never much enthusiastic or of spare breath, but one had to do these things. Studying the tower he believed with care, fortitude, respect for its stones and careful of slippery cunning mosses it was climbable. Thus with a strong and very long rope about his shoulder and chest, for the descent, two good stout axes to aid in the hauling up and the making of footholds he set about the task.

As he progressed to within a distance where polite conversation could be conducted with a view to being heard by the other he introduced himself, gave a brief account of why he was here and his opinions on the previous regime, all in three succinct sentences. He then enquired after the maid’s general state of health and gave her assurances of her rescue. She in turn confirmed who she was, informed him, her health in body, mind and spirit were as well as could be expected. Most of her conversation, though, was directed to expressing concern for his general safety and to take care.

She was light of voice, yet with sincerity, her look of concern all for him and not herself. He felt her worth all the effort. More dignified and stable of her gender than the moon-dancing Aureyborealice who most likely would have manufactured her own rope from bedding and clothes and at night clambered down in an immodest fashion to thence scamper off  in the woods from where the little goonlet (a term of those days calling into question a person’s state of mind)  would have been an insufferable pest and monumental bother to the locality.

As these thoughts annoyed and distracted him, he slipped, which might have been to his doom, had not a small, hand snatched out and grasped at his. Held there in the brave determined grip of stalwart Fayre Rahsemynd they both gasped, eyes did lock and fired on thus did Hulstorm (not quite as grumpy as he had been thus far) clamber into the chamber. For there being a fellow of business and not wishing to compromise the girl’s reputation by staying too long did he bid her hold onto him tightly. Thus with rope much secured did he make the descent, admiring her calm repose even at this comparatively  tall and windy place

‘I thank you sir for my rescue. ‘Tis a wonderous matter. For one event kept me of good spirits. Every month a hawk would fly here, bearing a message which would say ‘Be of  faith maiden. Rescue will come,’ Then of late the messages changed to  ‘ Make ready maiden. An end to your trials is at hand’ . Did you send those messages good sir?’

‘No,’ he said, most puzzled and concentrated on the descent.

Upon reaching the ground the couple were greeted with much joy and celebration, this being added to by the arrival of a fast travelling heavily armed group of riders led by a fellow although not of military garb was a serious clothing and business air.

‘Prince Hulstorm and Lady Rahsemynd. I am The Chancellor of the Exchequer unto King Genially, and bring sufficient gold to pay this small but efficient army of yours prince and also to give some aid to the local economy. More will follow,’

‘The King cares for us then?’ asked the elderly peasantish person, in a manner less than respectful. The Chancellor’s response was one couched in certain tones.

‘His majesty’s attentions are elsewhere. I act on his behalf. He places trust in my judgements,’

‘Hmm,’ Hulstorm said ‘Are you aware he marches to war against my father?’

‘I am sure good princes it is but a slight misunderstanding which can soon be sorted out. You will of course be making secure this previous unhappy portion of the kingdom,’

The locals made loud and sincere their pleas for Hulstorm to do so.

There was also the matter of the deeply sincere expression and wide brown eyes of the autumnal haired Fayre Rahsemynd, accompanied by her softly spoken request.

‘Please stay and help my poor people Prince Hulstorm,’

He told himself it would have been quite boorish to do otherwise, particularly as since he had been here no one had made any mention about that ridiculous circumstance with Frendlehanz. In point of fact looking at Fayre Rahsemynd he could quite forget the whole business.

 

To return to an unsanitary barn with a carpet of dry straw.

‘Ow! Will you desist from punching me young lady!’

‘Thou wretch! Thou trollop! Thou jade! Thou are not supposed to be enjoying this!’

‘That is hardly my fault is it?’

‘What is that supposed to mean?’

‘Oh really! For all your administrations here, you truly have little idea about men do you? Now can you please untie me so we can discuss matters in a civilised manner?’

After some huffing the flame haired, fiery and to Frendlehanz’s frame of mind wonderfully dishevelled Magnificalorin, did so.

‘Owww! Why did you punch me then!’

‘Just to remind thee who is in charge…Oww! Thou didst pull my nose most severely!’

‘Well, whereas one should never punch a lady, some response was necessary. I confess, it is true I do not mind the being used vigorously, but the punching was getting wearisome. It would be for the best if we were to restrain ourselves and give me the chance to explain things. Also, so this can be done without distraction let us get dressed,’

The flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin once more did huffed but agreed. He offered her his gilded comb which she accepted with a surly sort of thanks and while she was engaged in untangling her flame haired locks and freeing them of straw he launched into his explanation.

About the planned wedding and also how there was to be an effort to keep Hulstorm away from Frendlehanz’s sister, before he could mention her name Magnificalorin interrupted tersely to say she had heard of the blonde haired dancing simpleton adding Hulstorm did not care for the annoying little twit but was only doing as he father ordered. Frendlehanz kept his own recently revised opinions of his sister to himself so as to allow him to explain the mischief and trickery visited upon the ceremony and how the Old Fool of an Arch-High-Wotsit had insisted everything had to stay as it was. This caused Magnificalorin to drop the comb and begin to sniffle, tears falling.

‘Oh hystkuk (a quite rude word, even by barbarian standards)!’ she said ‘I have made a fool of myself by falling into this silly circumstance! What will Hulstorm think of me. Ravaging out of pure revenge is quite acceptable, but now he will think of me as naught by a naughty-legged trollop. Oh boofflee! (a not so rude barbarian word…quite genteel in fact,). And everyone will laugh at me behind my back! Oh boofflee yet again!!’

Frendlehanz ,as a few young ladies(of an acquisitive nature for valuables) were aware, could not resist their tears and so produced a handkerchief from another pocket ( ‘A fellow could never have too many pockets’, he was wont of saying). Without the aid of his fellow princes he was none to keen on meeting the Army of Chilbin  and was fayre certain his father and retinue felt the same way, when it came to the sharp end of metal. Thus did a plan begin to form.

‘I see a way out of this for both of us,’ he told Magnificalorin who was surprising him by using his handkerchief in quite a civilised manner. ‘You can claim me as hostage and take me northwards. It will raise your reputation as a bold and fearless reaver. Send a messenger to my army of the news. Then we shall ride swiftly. Of course for purposes of image and presentation you have shall have to use me vigorously, frequently. It will be expected,’

A faint smile creased her face and she punched him, lightly on the arm.

‘Thou shouldst try not to sound so hopeful’  she said.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IX

Pt IX… An episode with lots of eventfully jolly and unjolly stuff. So read jolly carefully

Thus spake(eth)  Lady Frastreiayal  (sister, aunt, proficient in both magiks and magics; presently domiciled on the side of a chilly mountain).

‘It was, even by Mount Urnnnng’s harsh standards a dark cold night of howling winds and ice-storms. I was passing a pleasant hour reviewing and arranging the tributes gifted to me by barbarians passing by, on their way to invade Grunzelpratz. They believe me to be the goddess Frizgrunstar Wylde Wyfe, Spouse of  Thugnnorran The God of a Thousand Peaks,’

‘You encouraged them so dear Aunt,’ Aureyborealice pointed on.

‘No more than you did dear niece with your messenger hawks despatching inflammatory messages to the rather majestically hot tempered Vilfahengo (The Iron)  and that ridiculous bishop last seen bobbing about the Wavassup Confluence where the rivers Islewhenddle and Bonghump meet. But we meander. Anyway dear sister. Here appears my bright and talented niece Aureyborealice asking for audience with a view to a peaceful frank chat and a nice big mug of hot herbal brew, please. We had much to discuss. And, resultant it was thought best I come to you dear sister and explain things,’

‘Oh sister,’ lamented Domesticia, ‘Though joyous we can meet again, I am saddened. Did you use  those powers, because you were not invited to the wedding (curse the day we thought of it)?’

‘Oh dearest sister no!’ said Lady Frastreiayal throwing back her head a giving out a brief brittle laugh ‘I would not have cared for an official invite. Having to meet with stultifying bores, men who stared down my dress and women whose frosty snootiness would compare to the chills of Mount Urnnnng. The very idea! No dear sister. I wished to save you, my niece Aureyborealice (although this proved hardly necessary) and that dear sweet creature (‘not a creature’, pointed out Aureyborealice, ‘she’s a lovely girl’. ‘Whatever’ replied her Aunt) Whinsome from pains and humiliations,’

‘How so?’ asked Queen Domesticia, although having a certain feeling about matters; in her current state of distress preferred to have someone explain it to her.

‘By now you are aware of the feckless behaviour of your husband. You should know your son Frendlehanz, despite his friendly demeanour or maybe because of it has a reputation, (Frendle ‘No complaints there,’ hanz,’ interjected his sister, in rare bout of sourness), and since he has not only the blood of your husband but that of our wretched father Snork running through his loins, there would be, eventually scandal and humiliations. Also by careful observation of Dear and, you should know very cleaver and talented, Aureyborealice I have discerned there were no less than six and ten possible suitors being considered by her father, each one as unworthy as the next, having naught but passing interests for her body and venal aspirations upon those lands she owns and will inherit. Thus did I plan to sew (an old classic way of saying ‘sow’) all this confusion and embarrassing circumstance to give great discomfort to the false Genially and show what a silly humffle-dump (a term of great mockery) he is. Thus would you leave him to sort out his own trials and take residence with our dearest Mother,’

‘Dearest Mother lives?’ gasped Domesticia, who was in quite the mood to  Go Home To Mother. 

‘Yes, a place far to the east, a warm and pleasant land where folk mind their own businesses, and where many a previously forlorn and cheated wife journeys to there to seek each other’s company and solace,’

‘These happy digressions aside dearest sister. But these bizarre arrangements between Frendlehanz and the abrupt Hulstorm and dearest Aureyborealice and the rather pleasant Whinsome. They cannot be so?’

‘Oh they would have be annulled in a couple of years. I planned to arrange for Doctrindoss ( The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One) to suffer a mild but nevertheless incapacitating affliction thus allowing a council of time-serving bishops who knew what was what in the world to declare the marriage void, then I would have left them to squabble over who would become the next Arch-High-yadda-yadda-blah-blah. By then the four young folk would have met with others who would have accepted them no matter what strange past and enter into true worthy marriages based on if not love at least a mature relationship. It was all quite sophisticated. The trouble was I underestimated the crass stupidity of folk in general and their propensity to create ill-informed loud-mouthed groups, in this case at last count four and fifty. Also,’ she looked to her nice Aureyborealice, who at the time was seated, idly swaying her legs back and forth and considering her toes ‘The astute, clever perceptions and ambitions of your very talented daughter who was very quick on the uptake and management of the situation. Although,’ her voice took on a heavier tone ‘It would have been advantageous had we both been aware of the others activities and interests in Chilbin,

‘Better late than never,’ suggested Aureyborealice, which settled the business, and the three women got to work on organising Domesticia’s secret flight from Dingledong, which in view of the chaotic situation brewing across the six kingdoms was not difficult. For now that stratagems by both aunt and niece were in place, events would play out. Neither were sure of the exact details but thought the results would be…. interesting.

 

At the camp of the now Two Princes, heading to link up with King Genially’s not quite as good army, messengers were oft to arrive, all exhausted from galloping (in one extreme and enthusiastic case without horse) and with news for all places within five of the six kingdoms. The latest one came with news for Prince Hanselfrendlesten (heir to the throne of Trundlealong, likes wars, now friends with Hulstorm) , it was transpiring that not only had barbarians swarmed over the borders of Grunzelpratz but being barbarians and not too focused were also causing troubles in Trundlealong’s northern parts.

‘I must away good friend Frendlehanz ( heir to Dingledong’s throne, handsome, interested in gardens and girls, while still being spousified to Hulstorm ) for my father has as little idea of warfare and seems only concerned in protecting the lands earmarked for Lychee farming. Folk are beset by barbraians and capering shamen who rattle bones and gibber all hours of the day and night, I must save the poor honest folk and a few dishonest ones who are not so bad. A flanking attack westwards should force the westerly host over the border into Grunzelpratz, where I might link up with whatever forces King Jerbloom  and his three singularly useless sons have gathered, rally them to slaughter barbarians and their capering shamen. I can then threaten the flanks of Chilbin and cause Vilfahengo (The Iron) to withdraw,’

Young Hanselfrendlesten was indeed good at that war thing (he didn’t mention to Frendlehanz that while thereabouts he might well seize the throne of Grunzelpratz as the king and heirs might meet with unfortunate fates on the battlefield- he felt it might spoil the friendship). Anyway thus with much manly leaving taking and wishing of the best to both did the Trundlealong host (smallish) with a  clutch of mercenaries who were up for bonus pay make all due speed to the northern climes of  wherever Hanselfrendlesten reckoned he could start slaughtering.

 

Frendlehanz did feel a measure unsettled now that his two comrades, more versed in war than he had journey west (and northish) or east (and even more northish) he would have to face the rather impressive army (versed in fighting- barbarians) of Chilbin. Bullying, loud-mouth, half-witted, knuckle-dragging rebellious peasants were one thing, hardened professionals quite another.  True he was due to link up with an army his father was bringing, however somehow the notion of his father at the head of an army used to simply parading in a jolly fashion did not fill him with anything like confidence. He had toyed with the idea of sending an urgent despatch to The High Diplomat asking if there was anything he could do about the situation, but there again since Frendlehanz  was Heir to the Throne he would have to be seen being loyal (well for the time being anyway). Thus it was something of  a heavy heart, but confident face (for the troops) he did ride to his tryst with destiny.

 

Prince Hulstorm had gathered about him the more stern and business-like soldiers. His chilnbian retinue, had sternly taken an oath to be loyal to him, as by some curious means of travelling gossip they had learned just what King Vilfahengo had accused them of (quite unfairly actually, they had a point). The rest were loyal troops who had taken offence to a bunch of peasants being rebellious, and even if they had massacred the offenders they reckoned there were others lurking which meant to have it out with them. Anyway they were jolly fed up of being under orders to be jolly all the time and liked the way Hulstorm carried out stuff.

When they crossed into the once domain of Bishop Twoodoodle they found many unhappy folk who once they leaned who was here and why, cheered up a little. This was an unusual experience for Hulstorm, he could never recall causing happiness to appear at his arrival, but once it was explained to him how horrid the bishop had been to the locals his sense of justice and ire were fired up. Officials in the pay of the removed bishop were pointed out, along with those who enforced his writ. These folk depending on the amount of unjust behaviour, bullying and venal activity they had indulged in were either massacred or beaten with sticks, in the latter case they were then left to the locals to decide if further punishment was necessary, and that was only on the first day. Hulstorm decided this unhappy realm, which currently had no name needed to be cleansed of the influence of bishops, their clerics and time-serving retinues, then the place put into order. It would be good, honest work and kept him from the awkwardness of bumping into his father and folk he had known since childhood.

 

Elsewhere.

It was a bright and sunny morn when Prince Frendlehanz sought out some time for reflection of the solitary sort as he reckoned he would soon being in the thick manure of it and might not get a chance for a long while, hopefully again.

In his wandering he came upon a gently sloping ground afore him and thought how he could make quite an interesting garden out of it. The wood to his left would have to be managed a bit, however there was potential though to make it quite an artistic arrangement.

He was pondering on this, when out from the aforementioned wood, burst a group of riders, of speed, ability and savage clothing. Their leader, a flame haired and particularly  fiery  looking ruffian was upon him just as he drew his sword. With a club they knocked his sword from his hand, then punched him in the face, causing him to lose his equineal poise somewhat. They grabbed him roughly by the collars of his coat and snarled into his face. Although the accent was very thick and barbaric he thought, in the detached way one does in a crisis, they must have some education for he could make out the words.

‘So thou art the trollop who stole (ed) away Hulstorm, mine by right of trysting beneath the star-blessed sky and full moon at wintertide! I shall teach ye a lesson fey trollop, thee!’

It was at this stage, even though his senses were somewhat fuddled though punching, it dawned on Frendlehanz that the flame haired and fiery ruffian was a girl. He had no time to endeavour to discuss the business in a more civil manner, for she punched him again. Then before he fell off his mount her fellow barbarians caught him, hauled him off his horse, to dump him on and tie him to the front of the saddle of her fearsome mount. Once this act was completed with all speed and efficiency she gave out with a sharp barbaric cry that he could not make head nor tail of and away the group galloped, at the expected fearsome pace.

Whereas the word ‘Abducted’ did swim up to what was left of his consciousness, somewhere in the very unsettled recesses of his mind, he could not help but feel this was not quite the traditional way these tales were woven.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VIII

Pt VIII… A Jolly (if you like that sort of thing, and are on the winning side ) Battle and a possibly not so Jolly Family Circumstance (unless you like chuckling at other folks’ problems)

Historians of later ages were to have tremendous fun arguing over whether ‘The Wars of The Six Nations’, ‘The Summer Wars’ ‘The War of the Twin Weddings’ or ‘The Wars of the Schismatic Succession’ was the correctly apt title. A minority inclined to the more basic and acerbic  approach wanting it to be known as ‘The Thirtieth Avoidable Dust-Up’ were ignored as taking all the fun out of the argument.

Whatever

Firstly Bishop Twoodoodle and his self styled Righteous Host marched west, which since the princesses were in the south was an indication firstly this force had lost its way, and secondly a general illustration of the average intelligence therein. This being no surprise to the now very stern alliance of The Three Princes, for alphabetical purposes being Frendlehanz (gardens on hold and not as friendly to the peasants as he used to be), Hanselfrendlesten (it was a war, what more did he need to be told?) and Hulstrum (don’t mention the wedding unless you were tired of living)  who set their small but no-nonsense professional army in very swift pursuit and met the foe along the River Islewhenddle. The night before the battle Bishop Twoodoodle and what he deluded himself and them into being his captains were discussing a map, which since it was of a location two hundred miles east was of little use, but of this they were not aware. There was a ruckus in the camp, reports of some fair headed lad sitting in trees and warning the troops (or so titled) they would be massacred. The men had hurled coarse insults called him as weak as a snowflake, which was damn silly since it was spring and as anyone knows lots of snowflakes cause trouble. They tried to catch him but he skipped away.

Later that night The Three Princes were given the latest dispositions and numbers of the foe. No one was sure which bold scout it was, only by his voice he was reckoned to be a young ‘un and had fair hair.

That morning Twoodoodle’s Righteous Host gathered on the same side of the river as The Three Princes‘ forces ‘cas it wuz muddy on the other side’ and ‘wanted those snowflake princes to hear the insults’. The principal of the obvious tactical advanatge of being on the opposite side if the river not ocurring to them. Thus The Righteous Host was promptly massacred by sword, spear, lance, arrow, mace and being shoved in the river. Twooodoodle was found hiding in a cornfield dressed as a milkmaid in the what may have been the worst disguise in many a long year. Despite his pleas, both craven and loud he had large pieces of wood tied to his arms and legs and was launched down the muddy bank and into the River Islewhenddle, from whence peasants could hurl insults and objects him. Hulstrum had thought it a bit short for a battle, and had to make do with prisoners who had been identified as ones using the stupid ‘snowflake’ insult.  He, coming from a place of severe winter storms did lecture them, during their last day on Earth ,with the aid of a small sharp knife on the folly of using such a word as an insult, in particular to a prince versed in blades.

It was after the last screams had died down and the pleas from Twooodoodle grew fainter that a messenger, quite weary and hot from galloping (with the aid of a horse) brought news of the invasion from Chilbin. Everyone within hearing range looked to Hulstorm.

Who struck a very serious and straight backed pose:

‘Vilfahengo (The Iron), my father. He comes to humiliate, harangue and conquer. From whence I was a child, and in painful passage from thence unto callow youth and on into bleak manhood did I serve under the lash of his tongue and sneer of his lips. There was no pleasing him. In my short sojourn here have I experienced a land more flexible, albeit it in a whimsical way. Yea, there be trials, tribulations,  two very stubborn young women and a fellow who should not be in charge of religion. Yet here, this is now my home. And I wilt fight against the chill of my father. For I am for these warm, green places!’

The cheering started from his own retinue several of whom had recently formed attachments (quite frequently) to some of the bridesmaids, and liked the beer, which was not brewed with thistles. Both Frendlehanz and Hanselfrendlesten shook Hulstorm‘s hand (the former not for too long, or warmly…lest folk read too much into it; the latter with an ironic smile and a jovial ironic insult, which of course could only be seen as a statement of praise,).

‘Then together then!’ called out Frendlehanz, who was not much on battlefield eloquence but did sound quite strong of voice and could raise a very noteworthy mailed fist.

It was briefly decided for purposes of geo-political strategy, at which Hanselfrendlesten was quite good, Hulstorm should ride west with a view to completely supressing the rebellion in the west, as they had it coming, while Frendlehanz and Hanselfrendlesten would march northish and thus Hulstorm avoiding fighting his own folk (even if he did say he wouldn’t mind attacking his father, personally). The strategy explained by Hanselfrendlesten (experienced in international war)  being that Vilfahengo (Chilbin-king of and ill-tempered Iron) would be so furious that he couldn’t find his son straight away he would lose his concentration and go galloping all over the place.

Overall the three lads what with marching, massacring and being very far away from those two annoying girls were having quite a splendid time.

Meanwhile King Genially, hot of temper and beset with much flusterings and ill-humours said he would obviously have to sort things out himself! Firstly he locked bishops Humfelsteffstong and Hylorididoda in a tower for being fools and would not listen to pleas as to why hadn’t he done the same to the other bishops? Thus obviously not even close to be jolly he stormed over to his daughter’s manse. There was much alarm for he was very brusque to the servants, told the dear old gardener he could not care less about the roses, threatened to push  The Clerk of the Princesses’ Household’s head into the ornamental goldfish pond and demanded, loudly to speak with his daughter.

Whinsome appeared, dressed modestly and holding a very holy book to her breast.

‘My Lord Father by Law and the Supreme Being,’ she began, he spluttered, she therefore continued, quickly and coherently of course ‘Aureyborealice my spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor is not here. My Lord Father by Law and the Supreme Being. She would not say where she has gone, but it was of great importance to the realm,’ Whinsome smiled fondly ‘I am sure this is so, for one whose beauty is beyond compare; possessed of long flowing blonde hair, yet is not vain and is kind to everyone, sings with birds, talks to small furry creatures, dances barefoot in gardens, has such a gentle yet incisive wit, knows much about finance, taxation and economics as well as the underlying themes of the geo-political and-‘

‘Now look here young lady!’ Genially interrupted, he did not care for this fulsome praise of his daughter from another young woman certainly not one to whom she was arguably spoused(ed) and, therefore did not most definately, certainly not want Whinsome to go on beyond the word ‘and’  lest he hear ‘things’  parents didn ‘t even like to hear of passing between child and spouse of the traditional sorts. He continued ‘This has gone beyond even a Bother. There is a rebellion in the west, the Tax Union and Trade Agreements are under threat from dispute and an unforeseen trade in Lychees  ‘

‘Leaches!’ cried a servant

‘No,’ sighed Whinsome ‘Lychees which flourish in the unusually subtropical climate and mild winters in the region where lieth the castle and estates of my parents. There I agree with you, My Lord Father by Law and the Supreme Being….The Lychees question…’tis a bothersome thing,’

‘Yes!’ grumbled Genially, confused at agreeing with Whinsome ‘And now we are invaded from the north by Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin!’

‘Don’t forget that an army out of Grunzelpratz led by an association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and one of King Jerbloom’s three singularly useless sons, in this case Kurntool  marches upon Turgidan to unseat  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One. Although this host now has to turn around and march back because Grunzelpratz is being invaded at the behest of Vilfahengo (The Iron)  by a host of barbarians from the far north,’ said Whinsome, trying to be helpful

‘How do you know that? Seated here in this small isolated manse!’ he demanded.

‘Ah My Lord King,’ came a quavering voice as out doddered Bishop Quirrblelong ‘These two young women, blessed by the Wisdom of the Supreme Being know(eth) much in length on breadth of perceptions. Would you like a current cake?’

‘I careth not for currants!’ blustered Genially who was losing the thread of the conversation.

‘No, no my good king,’ persisted Bishop Quirrblelong ‘These are Current Cakes. Current  as in the state of existence and thus alluding to their persistence in freshness so avoiding the hardness and staleness one does so encounter these days. I fear it is because we do not have the art of cupboard making and small wooden chest making that was praised by many in days of yore. Now my great uncle-‘

‘Oh spiffle on your great uncle!’ roared Genially and stormed off, pausing to grab the hapless The Clerk of the Princesses’ Household and immerse him in the aforementioned ornamental goldfish pond.

Once the king’s retinue had rescued the poor clerk from possible drowning or choking on a goldfish they led the king back to his palace wherein he had a furious row with his Queen Domestica, who was only just recovering from a number of shocks. He blamed her for both children being wayward….Who needed all those gardens anyway? Also she should have sent Aureyborealice off to a remote religious retreat run by remote religious women, long ago. And it was she who was to blame for encouraging that Old Fool Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One by being so kind and amenable to him. He was way past his senses and it was about time they elected a fellow for a set term and not let any old goat ramble on. He( Genially that is) blamed the women of the kingdoms for being far too kind to the old idiot, just because he reminded them of some favourite great-uncle who used to tell them funny stories and pretend to be farm animals, and what was the good of that anyway? Who needed farm animal impression when a nation was being invaded and Tax Unions with Trade Agreements were falling apart. And why did folk think Lychees were so important ?When this was over he would have every Lychee tree, or bush, or whatever they were burnt down. See what Doodle would think then? He ( Genially that is) knew his  (Doodle- that is) game! Ha! He thought he could be emperor of all the nations by growing Lychees. Who ever heard of an empire built on growing vegetables or fruits or such stuff?. It was the sword and Tax Unions and Trade Agreements that counted. And why had she (Domesticia) suggested Whinsome in the first place? Ohhh that girl pretending to be religious was artful! She’d ensnared Bishop Quirrblelong into cooking currant cakes! Whereas everyone knew he (Genially that is) hated currants. Currants caused more indigestion, consequential dyspepsia and thus rebellions and schisms more than anything else. And she (Domesticia) should have seen to that, since women listened to her. Why hadn’t she stopped the currant trade in the first place?

Domesticia had listened with forbearance, while waiting for one of her serving maids to bring her the large jug filled with iced water which of late she had used to dab on her forehead to stem the headaches. Once the jug was handed to her, she walked up to her husband, tugged forth the top of his trousers and emptied the entire contents ice and all down said garment, then thwacked him on the head with the jar. While he crouched in a most undignified manner, his eyes rolling and odd gurgles coming from his mouth, she stood over him.

‘Aside from your unjust tirade husband, for the past thirty and two days whence folk have tired of your petulance, ill-governance and poor humour to dear Aureyborealice I have been met by two and ten women who will keep still their tongues no longer announcing you are the father three and ten children of ‘natural’ status. May those chunks of ice serve to spare any further women from your smooth and jolly blandishments!’

And thus did she repair to her own apartments to understandably weep.

But soon there came a soft knock at her door and a lady-in-waiting appeared with a solicitous announcement.

‘My Queen. The Princess Aureyborealice hath arrived by surprise and brings another,’

Domesticia bade them enter.

In walked dear Aureyborealice, holding firmly by the hand, her aunt.

Lady Frastreiayal, of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng (practitioner of magiks,  nurser of grudges, and currently of a curiously humorous yet penitent air). Sister of Domesticia ( once gracefully aging, now distraught queen of Dingledong and of many years marriage to King Genially…the status currently questionable).

‘My dear daughter. And my dear sister. How glad I am to see you both! This is a trying time!’

Although Aureyborealice did smile most generously, there was a certain knowing turn to the curve in her lips, along with a faintly sardonic glint to her eyes. Her mother (as mothers do) noticing these things, looked to her daughter, puzzled.

‘Mother,’ said Aureyborealice ‘Aunt Frastreiayal has something of a confession to give unto you,’

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

 

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VII

Pt VII. A rather jolly long ‘Pt’

The High Diplomat had never really had time for being Jolly. His job had been to make sure most folk were at least content, with a view to being happy. He accepted there were some folk who would never be so, and those who only pretended to be so because it was good for their social standing or careers. Now in view of The Peculiar & Singular Incident (he was keeping his options open) all manner of fractures were coming to various surfaces. Truth be known he could not resist a certain smugness, at least a lot of fool folk in Dingledong would now have insight into how he felt. He gazed at the pile of reports from within Dingledong, along with what was going on in Trundlealong, Hasselduff, Moochenmuch,Grunzelpratz and Turgidan (the very small chunk belonging to  The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One, located where the borders of  Dingledong’s four neighbours met). His plan to play one off against each other was quite redundant, since The Peculiar & Singular Incident, across the five kingdoms six and thirty major groups had arisen all with something (generally incomprehensible) to say about the event, resulting in about six and fifty different opinions. He did not bother with Chilbin, he knew what they thought without asking.  His comrade The Chancellor of the Exchequer had confirmed there was queasiness in the trading markets and lack of confidence in the currencies, as a security folk were placing investments in The Lychee trade, even to the hysterical extent of trading in their gold and silver. While he shuffled markers about on his map he just hoped no one was stupid enough to…

A messenger came in, hot-foot and dishevelled from a hard ride of days and night and several horses.

‘King Jerbloom of Grunzelpratz has given way to an association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and one of his three singularly useless sons, in this case Kurntool and has allowed a True Holy Army to march upon Turgidan with a view to unseating the current The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One on the grounds of Blasphemy, Idolatry, Stupidity and Senility. Apparently Kurntool wanted to add some rather baser insults but was told to shut up, by the opportunistic dukes,’

march upon Turgidan with a view to unseating the current The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One on the grounds of Blasphemy, Idolatry, Stupidity and Senility….The High Diplomat sighed.

At that juncture in breezed Princess Aureyborealice.

‘I am sorry to bother you High Diplomat, good sir. Is it true that an army out of Grunzelpratz led by an association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and one of King Jerbloom’s three singularly useless sons, in this case Kurntool  marches upon Turgidan with a view to unseating the current The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One?’

‘My lady?’ he asked, trying not to stare hard at her and sound as if he were about to have her handed over to his interrogators. ‘How came you by this information?’

Aureyborealice gave out with a slight shrug and her famous cheery smile, she stepped about his chamber in such a light and flowing manner The High Diplomat wondered if she was going to explain by means of dance and a light song.

‘I hear things here and there,’ she replied and with a light laugh ‘As you do. Such as the massing of those very northern barbarians at the behest of King Vilfahengo  with the intention of invading the aforementioned Grunzelpratz, which should ensure that if there were an army despatched by King Jerbloom and led by an association of doctrinal bishops, three opportunistic dukes and one of his three singularly useless sons, in this case Kurntool, it will have to stop invading Turgidan and march right back to defend its own lands,’ the next light laugh was downright disturbing ‘ It would be all rather amusing, save there will be blood shed in Grunzelpratz, in addition to that amongst the ranks of those following  Bishop Twoodoodle. My brother and his spouse,’ The High Diplomat winced, bloodshed was never a problem, someone calling one prince another prince’s spouse was. Princess Aureyborealice seemed to care not ‘And I expect my brother-in-law Hanselfrendlesten will be swift in the despatch. They all seem so cross.  Hanselfrendlesten wasn’t to begin with though he is now. I expect it is because he can’t take advantage of all the ruckuses and invade Hasselduff, Moochenmuch and Grunzelpratz and thus set up his own  kingdom ahead of inheriting Trundlealong, with a view to gaining suzerainty over Dingledong as there would appear to be no heirs forthcoming. Hmmm?’

The High Diplomat was versed in the many forms ‘Hmmm’ could take.  The girl was fascinating him in a troubling way. Finance and now diplomacy? He let the poor messenger ( hot-foot and dishevelled from a hard ride of days and night and several horses.) go and collapse somewhere, then gain refreshment. The High Diplomat bade the door be closed and guarded, along with the windows, the chimney and the basement beneath.

‘And why would these barbarians act at Vilfahengo’s behest, princess?’  he asked in his most coldly polite and with an undercurrent of grim humoured sort of way

Aureyborealice countered with one cheery smile most fearful in its disarmingness, backed by an undercurrent of what some lesser folk might think was as the result of an inventive imagination.

‘I suppose despite the best efforts of your agents to spread rumours of bad weather and chasing bridesmaids, King Vilfahengo (The Iron) of Chilbin has uncovered the true nature of the circumstance his son Hulstorm has found himself in. Thus is now very cross and intends to impose his will on all five nations to the south putting an end to this and several other situations he does not care for. He could, possibly, also be expecting a lot of support from the more grumpier or opportunistic folk within all five nations,’

She cocked her head, of course shrugged AND simpered.

‘Just a thought. But I must away now to be of support to my dearest Whinsome; Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor,’ she said, quickly and coherently, twirling. 

‘Your are walking into a cupboard door Princess,’ The High Diplomat warned, maybe, just maybe she was simply a giddy child with occasional intuitive insights and quick at picking up on the slightest of gossip. In response she twirled even more and grinned, opened the door stepping in, continuing talking, her voice beginning to echo and fade.

‘Gosh High Diplomat. Did you not know there was a triple access series of secret panels here allowing route between your offices and the various royal apartments? ‘Twas set up by your predecessor’s predecessor during the days of my Great Grandfather Ferrous (The Grim). Apparently the reason was….’

He did not hear the rest.  

He’d thought there was only a dual access series of secret panels and now she’d not only trampled over but probably had snaffled some of his most secret papers.

Spiffle!

 

Princess Whinsome could not help but feel very jittery about this meeting. The first two had not been so bad because thanks to dearest Aureyborealice (Spouse By The Will and Wisdom of The Supreme Being, As Declared and Witnessed By The Arch-High Elect Supervisor)’s character references and her experiences of Trundelalong’s own bishops she had been quite prepared, even if, on these occasions, she had not really had much chance to display her theological knowledge .

First had come the three of the sort who wanted to keep on the right side of The Arch-High Elect Supervisors for The Supreme One with a view of advancement and like many others also The Chancellor of the Exchequer. She had barely got her first statement out before they had said ‘Quite so. Quite so. You had no option child. Be on good(e) faith and all shall be well’ They didn’t elaborate, although did consume respectable amount of the cakes and wine prepared for the meeting, while making well-meaning but patronising remarks wherein the term ‘child’ was oft inserted. Whinsome had not felt particularly juvenile at the time but as advised by dearest Aureyborealice smiled inanely nonetheless.

Secondly along came two very grave men of sombre clothing and headgear, carrying  tomes large enough to ensure the whole world knew how serious and studious they were. They listened intently to her, nodded a lot, then when she was out of breath, discussed the whole business to each other in opaque and verbose ways paying her no further attention until when they had got through all the wine and cakes on offer. Then they bade her farewell and ‘To be of good(e) faith and all shall well. ‘Tis complex,’. They had not passed comment on her perceived age. To pass the time she had sewn herself a small lace shawl.

Now came, as sweet Aureyborealice had termed them, The Grumpies. On Aureyborealice’s advice with a view to bringing them down to size Whinsome termed the trio as Ol’ Sour Fizzog, Baldy Pate, and Ancient Sniffy Nose. Baldy Pate a well fleshed man of dyspeptic continuance gruffly and in an inexcusable display of ill-manners refused both cake and wine.

‘This foolishness must cease princess,’ he asserted, being of the sort who feels sharpness takes precedence over fact or weight of argument. Encouraged by the sight of delightful Aureyborealice outside at a window to the rear of the three men and pulling the most inventive faces Whinsome took the rhetorical field.

‘I fear you have the advantage of me bishop. To what are we referring? If you are here to discuss the Marriage then I feel somewhat concerned for your soul sir. Are you inferring this foolishness you refer to relates to actions of Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One? If so you should address this directly to His Supervisory. The more I dwell on your statement the more alarm I feel. For is not His Supervisory blessed(ed) with the Voice of the Supreme One? I would urge caution bishop for there are those in these febrile times who would interpret your statement as blasphemy, which of course cannot be correct? Are you sure you wouldn’t like a cake?’

Baldy Pate’s face went an odd colour, he spluttered and turned about, Aureyborealice had ducked out of site, but the fellow was still distracted by view from the window, he felt he had seen for a briefest instant a single middle finger raised.

Meanwhile Ol’ Sour Fizzog advanced up Whinsome, his mouth turned down so far as she wondered his he could make it into a circle. His gaze harsh. When he spoke it was in the most lacklustre monotone she had ever heard, and through the attentions of Trundlealong’s bishopric and cleric society she had heard some wonderous cures for insomnia.

‘Dear Child,’ he began in a manner which suggested no discernible signs of charity or warmth ‘Art though blinded by thy natural vanity and weakness of flesh and will? Canst thou not understand this unnatural binding of man unto man and woman unto woman,’ Whinsome was sure he’d briefly licked his lips ‘Is repellent in the sight of Our Supreme One. For it is written ‘Marriage is a state holy and blessed. A wall against sinful acts, woeful lusts and base appetites. A sanctuary in which procreation shall taketh place,’ his mouth returned to its more than half circle and his eyes remained full of bale.

Over his bony shoulder Whinsome could discern Baldy Pate goggling at the brief appearance of one bare foot, the toes of which wiggled. He rushed to the window, by his confusion she guessed Aureyborealice had scooted off. Whinsome thus fortified spake(th).

‘Good Bishop,’ which she felt Ol’ Sour Fizzog wasn’t ‘ Indeed Marriage is a state holy and blessed(ed) and once entered into doth and shouldest act against base, sinful acts and so forth. Now when we come to procreation, the translation hath been open to debate for some time. For should a man and woman married in all due faith and love not produce children, art they in sin? If they are goodly by all other acts and benevolences, yet produce no children are they in sin? By their union and joy of love spread forth goodness into their community art they not procreating goodness? Hence I see nothing which I nor Princess Aureyborealice art doing differently. For under her guidance I understand charity and goodness unto those less fortunate. I see joy in The Supreme Being’s creation, and am happy moreso than ever, thus offer up prayers of gratitude and devotion unto The Supreme Being for His Devine Guidance and Henceforth am Safeforth in His Keeping,’

At this she offered him a cake. By his reaction of disgust she wondered (irreverently) if he belonged to a line of theological thought which felt cake was a frivolity which led unto sin. She did not pursue the matter. He was about to retort when up doddered Ancient Sniffy Nose who in his urge to say something nudged aside Ol’ Sour Fizzog.

‘Umm, child,’ he began in a quavering voice ‘If it were so. Which if it were, thence would there not be many folk both men and women, all in unions of men and men and women and women, and there wouldst be fewer children,’ he paused to sniff ‘And thus wouldst there be shortage of generations to worship and praise the Supreme Being, y’see?’

‘My Good Bishop,’ Whinsome began, generously and with a warm smile, because he reminded her of her great uncle Duke Runleson who she had always found amusing and kindly if somewhat vague ‘Surely the general disposition of men and women being what it is-‘

At that stage the bishop turned away looking to his associate (known to Whinsome) as Baldy Pate

‘Bishop Hylorididoda. Why dust thou gaze out of yonder window? Art there interesting butterflies?’ sniff ‘Or are the petunias in bloom not of normal shades?’ Cometh away from these whimsicalities and ,’ pause ‘Oh are those current cakes child? I have not seen such comely current cakes,’ he addressed Ol’ Sour Fizzog ‘What say you Bishop Humfelsteffstong? Have you seen such delightful offerings? Why thank you child. Yes I shall partake of one…Why yes two would be most gladsome….Now where were we?’ sniff ‘Yes to this business of butterflies. I feel you young women are too wont to adorn yourselves with images of them. They are all very good in the natural way, but to place lace versions in your hair,’

‘Quite so. Quite so,’ agreed Whinsome rapidly, seeing an opportunity to swerve the conversation right out of the playcourt, as it were  ‘For doth not the Supreme Being delight in seeing his creations live in simplicity of their natural gifts?’ and smiled warmly at the old fellow. She would have to speak to Aureyborealice about calling him Ancient Sniffy Nose, it was a bit harsh. Though it was difficult to be cross with someone who could pull such magnificently funny faces behind the backs of the other two bishops

King Genially was talking to his lords about matters military and bringing the peasants sternly to order which was a bit of a shock to his lords. Not like the king at all. These thoughts evaporated when in burst Bishops Humfelsteffstong and Hylorididoda, the latter brushing crumbs off of his robes.

‘My good bishops,’ Genially boomed, not sounding the least bit jolly ‘How went your conference with my daughter and….her…ahem..with Princess Whinsome. And where is Bishop Quirrblelong?’

‘My King,’ grimaced Humfelsteffstong ‘ Bishop Quirrblelong has declared for them as quite harmless and is staying in their Manse because your daughter,’ he cleared his throat as if gargling with small rocks ‘Has said and I quote ‘You and Bishop Hylorididoda will be mean and nasty to, Dear old Bishop Quirrblelong and anyway he deserves cakes’. She then prodded me with a bishopric staff,’

A silence singular fell on the room.

Far away on a particularly chill and stormy day, the servants of Lady Frastreiayal wondered why their Lady was suddenly sniggering.

So was she.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

 

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt VI

Pt VI. Interesting But Not Really Jolly Developments

Lady Frastreiayal  (The one up a Mountain) was feeling more at ease. By the end of the second week following the wedding (now known by some as The Peculiar Incident  and others who thought Doctrindoss The Arch-High etc, etc could say no wrong by the more circumspect title of The Singular Incident) joy, happiness and the infuriating carefreeness were in quite short supply around the place.

King Genially had told his son and ‘the other two’ their plan was quite the biggest fool idea anyone had come up with since someone had raised the question ‘Should the Common People Be Consulted’? . On that occasion in keeping with the times everyone (ie the nobles) had laughed cheerfully and said ‘What a fine jest’ and so forth. Now that King Genially was in deepest sluffs of despondency he threatened to have the three of them locked up and stern letters being sent to Hulstrum and Hanselfrendlesten’s fathers explaining why. The High Diplomat reckoned that was the quite the biggest fool idea he had encountered in his long and distinguished career and he had encountered some wonderous wacky-doodles (a term he kept to himself). He advised the king it was time to be statesman- like and then to continue with his strategies of playing off Hasselduff, Moochenmuch and Grunzelpratz against each other, by suggesting unruly folk from the other two had started it with a view to seizing bits of ‘them’ while Dingledong and Trundlealong were otherwise engaged. Trundlealong was not bothering due to a sudden increase in speculation in the Lychee Market which was pleasing King Doodle (Unofficially known as The Inconsequential) and his cartel of mildly rapacious nobility to no end. Trying to be statesman-like  King Genially told the boys he would give it due consideration (that is-never) then told them to bide their time by trying to get those silly girls out of The Manse.

King Genially was inadvertently aided by one fundamentalist Bishop Twoodoodle (was never invited to anywhere) who presided over a very backward and remote part of western Dingledong. Upon finding out by secret message from a ‘secret true believer’ as to what had taken place he roused a lot of his generally not very bright congregation and had bade them march upon Genially’s Estates to burn Princesses Aureyborealice and Whinsome at a stake as being young women it was obviously all their fault. Bad news of course travelled fast.

Whinsome was much alarmed. Aureyborealice sighed and told her not be so, for she’d seen that coming days off and knew just what was going to take place.

Her brother Frendlehanz (handsome, gardens), Whinsome’s brother Hanselfrendlesten (nearly as handsome, adventuring warrior)  and Hulstrum (unable to discern the appeal of his features due to scowl; also warrior of the grim sort) had been positive pests lurking about her manse and getting around not being allowed in by calling out long and loud such things as ‘Girls! Will you see sense?’, ‘This is not longer funny’ and to passing bishops etc ‘Will you try and talk them out of this!’. They had been harassing servants with mild threats, scaring off the song birds, worrying poor Whinsome and stopping the two girls walking in the garden.  But on hearing of a rebellious and possibly murderous mob threatening the Royal Peace…. Why? It was quite the gift to the lads. And of course the king had no objections to that sort of war!

‘There they go,’ she said to Whinsome ‘Off to supress the rebels. And I daresay anyone who makes suggestive remarks about the relationship between my brother and Hulstrum,’

‘Oh dear,’ said Whinsome ‘Blood will be shed, won’t it?’

‘Aye. ‘Fraid so,’ replied Aureyborealice idly stroking one of her messenger hawks while considering the lands to the far north-east ‘But, come dear spouse Whinsome we must prepare you for the next group of Bishops and attendant clerks. You did very well with the first two congresses,’

‘Yes, but my dear spouse Aureyborealice, they were generally well disposed because you are kind to everyone, sings with birds, talks to small furry creatures, dances barefoot in gardens and will not be in line for the throne,’

‘And you dear spouse Whinsome are intelligent, polite in your discourses and so very well read, they could not help but see your point of view,’ Aureyborealice took Whinsome’s hands and twirled her about in a slight dance ‘ I know you are worried about the next lot, them being the Old Grumpies, but I have the greatest faith in you. Come now that the young pests have gone to war let us take the chance and dance in the gardens,’

King Genially on seeing the back of the three young idiots intercepted this more solid congress of bishops and clerics and told them there would be Grave Displeasure if they did not sort of those two ridiculous girls. The said bishops assured him not to fear they would teach the wayward young women The Absolute Insight in The Will of The Supreme Being (while intimating it was time for a sorting out of several of the nation of Dingledong’s own bishops and, yea, a new Arch-High Elect Supervisor ). These men were inspired by The True Faith, The Natural Order of Things, and having disposed of all their incomes and wealth into Lychee ventures could not be taxed on anything, anyhow. (So spiffle- a mild rude word used by children and clergy- to the Chancellor of The Exchequer).

Thus although there was much debate loud and vigorous across four of the five kingdoms over who was married if any unto whom. Also more importantly (to some) who had hit who first. Things were in some sort of balance as everyone waited to see what was going to happen to this physical threat to the throne of Dingledong by a loopy bishop and his rustic bunch. Even Lady Frastreiayal( The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng) was content now to sit back and let everyone else make fools of themselves while surrounding herself in an air of detached innocence and apparent complete lack of interest in the whole thing. (While being secretly, in a slight way, jolly)

However in Chilbin King Vilfahengo (The Iron) had been waiting for his son along with that clutch of fellows who followed the lad around to return and tell him what was going on. Some locals had heard ‘something’ but no one dared tell Vilfahengo (King, Iron, not well disposed to bad news) lest they had got it wrong and suffered accordingly or worse got it right and suffered even more so.

Thus, as he was glowering over his breakfast of lumpy thistle porridge in flew a messenger hawk from his most secret of spies in Dingledong. Although very secret they were also usually very dull. Normally the news was along the lines of ‘Genially still jolly‘, ‘Frendlehanz constructs another garden‘ or ‘Aureyborealice danced barefoot in the snow‘. This time once Vilfahengo read the news he dropped his spoon in his porridge then threw the porridge around the room, then ran around the room throwing things at other things, then jumped up and down on the porridge bowl, then threw bits of the bowl and other things at the servants who poked their head around the door. Then he really got annoyed.

He cursed his son for being useless, he cursed his wife for being the mother of a useless fool, (had she been alive would have cursed him right backit had been a lively marriage) , he cursed all the retinue who had gone with his son for being even bigger fools (if that were possible-he added), he cursed their parents for birthing such useless fools, he cursed Genially for being a Jolly Careless King, he cursed Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One (obviously), he cursed Prince Frendlehanz(for possibly being responsible; him and his gardens!), he cursed King Doodle of Trundlealong for being Inconsequential (which might have been valid action), he cursed Doodle’s wife (although he couldn’t recall her name), he cursed those folk of Dingledong who came to mind and he felt were to blame (quite a few actually) and he cursed random portions of Dingledong (honestly he was getting a bit carried away by then).

For good measure he rended his garments.

And then summoned, very loudly for his lords, while storming around his palace, shouting and rending garments of any courtiers who gave the wrong answers, which since the questions were incomprehensible meant a busy time for tailors (who as a result by Chilbin standards became reasonably jolly).

Chilbin was actually quite smallish, but the folk made up for this in ill-tempers when roused. The racket Vilfahengo (The Iron, King, and Noisy) carried both physically as well as allegorically and thus it did  not take long for his lords to gather. Being very loyal to both king and country on hearing his dreadful news they too cursed.  This cursing included the royal families of Dingledong and Trundlealong, the two nations in general and some folk in particular, Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One and bishops in general (Chilbin having a non-conformist type of belief in The Supreme One). They did not curse Hulstrum, firstly not being sure whether they should, also because as a son, he was not a bad sort, just in the shadow of his father (a not uncommon occurrence amongst heirs to the throne- except in Trundlealong). Instead they offered sympathies. Being mostly short of spare cash they did not rend their garments, but did offer up fearful oaths of loyalty unto Vilfahengo and waved their swords to the ceiling (a quite acceptable custom in Chilbin).

With everyone fired up Vilfahengo had maps brought forth and he said (also with a fearful oath), it was time for the whole region to be sorted out and brought under sensible rule of one king. None of these sly Trade Agreements, Tax Unions and Understandings (he sneered at that point). In between his cursing, rending and throwing he had formulated a plan, he would gather the barbarians and set them loose upon Grunzelpratz, which bordered Chilbin to the east, this would distract everyone and he would then lead the whole Chilbin army into Dingledong and sort everything out. Everyone liked this idea; the folk of Grunzelpratz fancied themselves wits at the expense of Chilbinish folk with quite frankly not very good efforts at jokes such as:

‘How do you confuse a Chilbinish man? Put two shovels against a wall and tell him to take his pick!’  

Strangely enough the next day there came a delegation of barbarians. It was led by the fearsome Gurt Broadsword who was big and now did not care who saw him scratch his armpits. Eventually it was worked out he was saying the tribes had heard ‘much horrible news about Prince Hulstrum being trapped by those sly weaklings in the South to satisfy their lusts and  the tribes wuz willing to help,’

Whereas Gurt Broadsword was very big and did tend to be noticeable, some of the folk standing around the edges of him could not help but notice the impatient pacing figure of  his daughter, the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin, a girl of some learning, muttering ‘When I get hold of that fool Hulstrum !’ while without asking permission kicking chairs ‘And as for those damn’d southern trollops he’s trysting with,’ Someone had told her, at distance the ‘trollops’ might not be….girls….she had just snarled and said ‘A trollop is a trollop,’

In the south Aureyborealice (still being a princess and still liked by lots of folk) welcomed back a messenger hawk and while feeding it bits of meat conversed with the bird in their secret way.

‘Oh dear,’ she said ‘That is a bit excessive. I must converse with The High Diplomat and The Chancellor of The Exchequer,’

And gazed thoughtfully in the direction of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part III

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt IV

Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt V