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.


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…’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!!’



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. 



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


Aureyborealice. A Fable in Several Parts…Pt XIV

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


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 


‘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