The AXO Chronicles


All of these accounts are true, even when allegorical ,

"All persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental."

~New Axo anthropology~

A brief summary of w45 Post-War Time evolutions,
(followed by a brief look at some adventures of Axo folk , and lost tales/ info, from both before and after the world-war era)

The Axo culture that remained autonomous within the Omeon Empire had eventually offered a rich culture of the Arts, and ancient traditions that led people in a healthy mystical relationship with nature in all its aspects and captured the hearts of vast swathes of the empire , for the old ways were yet preserved in Axo culture, and people who missed their ancient ways in their becoming subjects of the empire, found were drawn to the 'Axo spirituality' or ritual traditions & distinct Warrior-way training's that converted the people into Axo culturalists within the Omen empire.

Axo culture passively became the culture of the empire within 12 years of the Wars End , and after the natural disasters that purged and reshaped the world.

Some politics of the duo culture allowed Axobongo and the Noble Omeon Royals to use the Axo warriors to defeat the malevolent and cruel lords who dishonored the empire, but could not be deposed in any legal way by members of the Omen royal courts. The side effect of these 'Liberation Battles' the Axo won against the Royal families in the oppressed sections of the Omen Empire , is that it created a fusion of Omen/Axo Lands , and populations in adoration of their Axo liberators , and Axobongo became widely considered the 3rd emperor of the world, and 3rd seat in High Court along with Mitche and Pampoomio was reserved for him, And it was said the three high Lords enjoyed each others company, and never found reason to argue.

Those fusion lands became fabled as 'reclaimed' ancient Axo realms , and the Empire realized masses of immigrants to all autonomous Axolands ,and converts to Axoism within the empires borders meant only one logical course remained, the High Kings and world Lords unanimously decided to make it official, and declare the Ax0meon Empire was the final passage of fruition to the virtuous meaning of the world conquest . And they developed a society that merged the rustic beauty of the earthy pagan Axo with the elegance and scientific culture of the Empire elite , the Age of the Axomeon Empire began.

Axomeon architecture combined the best of the advanced structure and light tech of the empire with the swirling weaving patterns of trad. Axo magical designs that all would insist did generate prosperity.

World knowledge synthesized easily within Axo framework, there remained nowhere in the world where rebel fanatic cults offered contrast to the love of knowledge and ritual respect for the deep ancestral relationships to nature and its magical mystery . The people became content and happy , an age of prosperity seemed to weed out much of chronic human greed. The land was exploited wisely and care was taken to ensure the bounty spread and harmed not the nature that gave it,

Axobongo was said to have made 7 voyages at sea after this new empire realized itself. The very first was meant to guide him to the new lands Axopeople and Mazulite people had established near the end of the great w45 wars, and yet it stranded him on w50 on your universal map , now called Odaland , ( w45 became known as Axom) , for his ship wrecked there and in the most oddest of coincidence , it was right on the shores of a patch of land where Vordan, the Green Knight of the Axo , had discovered years before and guided displaced Axopeople when the north was overridden .

By now , he was lord of a Banana republic of Banana Barons whos main deity was the big Banana of the Axo cult , a generation had passed since Vordan first landed there, and returned to Axom to fight by Axobongos side in the final wars of the southwest, and then returned here to aid the people in a futile struggle where Odaians, the amazonic Dystopians, and Hermitians were massive and squeezing the life out of the tough remaining smaller tribes , and the world was at unrest with war.

So Axobongo stayed for a time at the behest of his good friend , and nearly assembled a viable rebellion, linking together several tribes, yet faced kings of untrusting weak spines who shied away from the union they saw forming well, had treacherous lords and no faith in the role they could have played had the mighty union succeeded, but three important tribes that opted out , caused two other tribes to lose faith in the final option, and they all perished.

( let it be noted that Axobongo stayed for a few spans, but followed his destiny to the lands in the mist where his people awaited him, and yet some of his notable speeches in the forum of world gathering inspired a challenge that lad to just such a union of tribes under one banner to face the final empire wars, but by this time it was too late, it was long after his Omegan project fell shortly after he left for the misted lands, and by now the Dystopians had joined into the Odaians , the Hermitians were vanquished)

Here is a story from those times in Odaland , Authenticated Axolore, for these were Bananan descendants of Axoian colonizers, who's texts were discovered in the latter half of the previous to last century in a cave on the cliffs of the Odaian northwest, the people were said to be called Baxona , and where, incidentally the stress relieving herb B'naxo is cultivated by the indigenous people of that region and is sacred to them.
But this account has nothing to do with nice herbs, in fact, there was alot of stress at the time:

~-------------------------Shipwreck sagas and The Tower Tale-------------------------------~
---------by the Bards Ploppy son of Ploppy , and Tholis Bunt, The Mucker of Corralis---------------

Mezinger was thin yet wiry & Brakk was Large and strong with a long red braided beard.

Mezinger and Brakk sat at their station up in the high guard tower playing the stone game on the little grooved wooden board Brakk had made the previous summer.
The watchtower overlooked the southeastern hills and guarded the keep on the Cragmirghast road to Bananaland.
The breeze that whistled past the posts of their crudely constructed canopy of thatched banana leaves blew a lock of Mezingers long hair into his opened mouth, to which he let it rest there for a moment.

" mm, " said he , '' i can still taste this morns mutton tail soup "

"No doubt" said Brakk " Since you tend to wear more of your food than you eat"

" move your stone" said Mezinger, who was 5 games behind at this point.

After a bit, Brakk said,
"Y'know, that was the last of the mutton, supplies are low and we are down to turnips and wheat grass.. whoever wins this stone tourney should get to go to town for the market buys. "

Mezinger scowled "Aye well , if our gold allotment doesn't arrive soon, we may both have to leave our post and try our hand at gambling with the townsfolk to win something to buy some food with."

" Well, we need some news of the world anyhow, its been awhile since a messenger has come around,, i wonder if The Melding has taken place yet?" said Brakk.

They had heard rumors that many High Lords and Chieftains from around the world were riding from afar and meeting in a forum house they built in the highland crevasse of Mount Omega .
They were said to be talking of coming together and linking swords to face the emerging empires encroaching upon them.

The black clad Mibs , and the warriors of Ares , and the Nordic empirical vikings of the east , were all holding talks there on Mount Omega along with the Banana bunch .
Mezinger and Brakk recalled when the great Chiefs Axobongo and eFCee hunt-red , who was called the Moose , came riding through the Cragmirghast Canyon and stayed at this very Keep , and took council here with their Lord of these lands , Baron Jumbo .

Brakk had eavesdropped on the Chieftains , and learned that trouble was stirring with the Dystopans. And their Lord Jumbo would be going on a long journey, on some sort of a quest.

And he heard Axobongo speak of his investigations that had him certain there was no time to waste, that it was time to face facts and act. It all sounded a bit grim to Brakk, who had come to know the language of the wind and bird signs as he sat placidly alone for many hours of the day high atop the watchtower surveying the expanse of the hilly green and distant valleys , rippling treetops , and the surrounding craggy slopes of the canyon pass the Keep guarded.

He was a soldier, but this area had known peace for so long, all this talk of great wars and people of the eastern rim , sounded like romantic battle fables of the Bards, soldiers in the millions and dense clouds of flying arrows, cavalries in the hundreds of thousands, Eastern vikings and southern giants..Men in black cloaks and armor .. Brakk had known battle, he grew with it from early youth, but he could never imagine the scale of the empire wars , there was nothing he could compare it to.

His duties kept him separated most of the time from the Keeps small population, except for the kitchen staff, and spending long hours with Mezinger as their shifts crossed . Mezinger was the night watchman of the tower , Brakk was the day shift.
And Mezinger wanted to be a Bard. But in the service of lord Jumbo he was not free to travel and learn the lore of the land, for he was stationed here for 2 years as a disciplinary act imposed on him by the officer of the guard ,
whose 6 teeth Mezinger removed in a drunken brawl, for him, with a blunt object.

A half year before, Mezinger was in the big town of Skullduggery Pleasant , also known as Skullp among the vulgar peasantry , and he came back filled with news and beaming as sallow moonlight with stories to tell.

They spoke of Axobongos armor, as they played their stone game, as it was of a foreign make,. But more marvelous was that of Vordans, a swirly green that glistened as if embedded with green light.

"ahh" Mezinger said " You did not know those two are nobles of the Axoian clans? The heritage of the Bananalands? , But its said they came from over the water. lord Vordan decades before, and chief Axobongo only recently."

"i think you did mention it once or twice,," said Brakk dryly , although he could not remember the details.

.Mezinger continued,
" Indeed, Vordan had led old world Axonians here generations ago , ancestral connections to this world so its said, from a land far over the wet ocean . Axobongo was said to have shipwrecked here, and discovered the Gods had delivered him to Vordans shores of Bananaland . Twas a strange twisted fate beheld that day Axobongo sat frying Bananas on the beach beside his shambles of a ship , and the Green Knight came strolling out of the forested bush to greet him.
He had asked his old Chief if he might stay and advise their Banana lords, for the future was looking grim.

They made him a Banana Baron and Chief Bard and he has served our people faithfully since then, although its said he longs for the other shores beyond. "

"Aye, there has been a fire put back in the hearts of all our Lords and Nobles since he's ben seen riding the lands to and fro..." added Brakk, whose brow then went into a quizzical shape ,, a sort of furrow , and he asked ;

" Didn't Axobongo and Lord Marty have some giant brawl once?"

Mezinger winked "Ah, twas nuthin' , to be sure , our pompous lord Martinius was often red faced and jealous of the Axo High Chief. its said he lost his temper at Axobongo and slapped him with a bundle of flowers , which he was known to collect in the mornings for his flower arranging hobby,, and met Axobongos right fist that day, knocking Marty out cold with a single blow..

i have learned some of a Bardic canto of The Shipwreck Sagas i'll recount for you, if you dont mind.."

"oh go on then, i know your dying to..." Brakk said , rolling his eyes to the side , but secretly grateful for the diversion.

Watching Mezinger summon his Bardic stories was always a strange sight, he would roll his eyes upward into his head 5 or 6 times and bob back and forth for several heartbeats,, and he seemingly hummed a mu-mu-mu-mu mu mu mo mo mo,, set of utterances quietly ... then suddenly stop cold, frozen and in a sort of trance, his eyes open wide but seeing into some other world , and his voice pitched in a bold and enunciated tone;

"... And so, Axobongo found himself separated from his fleet of ships.... mu-mu-mu-mu-mo-mo-mo..

...and landed on these shores. .....Discovered Vordan had earlier founded a tribe here. a tribe whose wealth came from the Banana trade.

This world was different then where he had come from, so many inept and inexperienced Dukes and Barons , too many powerful children of feeble minds but massive armies, it was such a wealthy and richly giving land, it gave many the illusion that they were great leaders , when evidence showed time and again they had little clue about forging loyalty and growing power through wisdom and honor and honest battle.

Most of the kings and dukees he met were dull witted and overly proud , those who cared more for their crown than their people. Opiated with wealth and slow to govern. Even the duke he was honor bound to serve displayed these inglorious qualities. More than once , Martinius was angry at Axobongo for his honesty and strong approach, Axobongo lamented that marty had little faculty to even half understand the complexities of Ruling and leadership. That he would be chastised by this inferior duke for hurting his feelings while working so hard for the well being and growth of the banana people, had troubled him. Although Axobongo respected Martinius as a person, he could not respect him as a leader.

Patience flared one day and martinius slapped Axobongos face with a roll of pansies wrapped in leather. To which Axobongo replied with a swift uppercut that sent martinius out the threshold of the door and down the stone stairway to the council forum.

When he was roused to consciousness an hour later, he claimed he had tripped, to save his pride, but inwardly was furious with this friend of Vordan for his impudence.

" i dont answer to you , Axobongo, i am a Duke and you are a Baron" he exclaimed when next they met.
"And i dont bow to you, marty, for you are a lesser duke in a small pond, and i am the high Chief of a mighty and ancient people"
then added " Look, i am honor bound to serve the Banana people, and not betray you , thus i have worked to my utmost , even though i see you as undeserving of the precious crown you flaunt. You seldom do more for your people than occasionally rolling out of bed to say, "i agree" or "i disagree" ,, when you neglect 50 fold the true duties of leadership your people deserve,, it is no wonder the Bards composed a song of your lack"

This argument was put down by the wise Vordan, whose soft words calmed the flustered pride bruised Marty , and before long, Axobongo was riding the long roads trying to secure alliances for the Banana people.

Where he would face again , as he would say, fine little tribes whose leaders diplomacy skills were haughty and dimwitted .

But there were solutions for the Bananas , unless they continued on their present course.
Axobongo knew that only if they adhered to his methods, and found some luck, there was no hope, not if Axobongo were not with them, or if duke martinius opposed his strategy and hard work.

This is the popular song sung in taverns and pubs of Bananaland ,

Martinius the minimal Duke,
once had a tribe upon a fluke,
in emptiness he floats unseen,
a consciousness in the crack between
a butterfly on a Banana skin seam

All Hail, Martinius the Minimal !
unpresent in the thick of it all
unbaker of unleavened bread,
A Banana somewhere shakes its
big Banana head

to be wise, but not smart, or smart but not wise
to wear a crown with unopened eyes
sweet at heart, and blissfully blank
must be like gas leaking from a tank

Martinius was not amused, Though it was customary for all leaders to fall victim to the scathing wit of the drunken minstrels of the common folk, it wound him up into a steaming lather of fuming indignation . Whilst walking alone he happened upon Axobongo in the charred remains of the old pub leaning in repose against the last barrel of fine Dark Stout which he had pulled from the burnt rubble , smiling and drinking from his horn . He invited Martinius to share a cup or 3 and the two men sat together talking.

Axobongo said, " You are a man i respect for a good heart and a positive spirit, and i regret any insults i have caused you.
no matter how much i stress there is far too much more a Duke must do for his people than i see you do, i know
your heart and respect for others is in the right place, and i respect you as a person for that. and i like the pretty flowers you arrange..
Let me show you how to move to higher levels , and raise your people to something greater.
Martinius had much to contemplate.. but contemplation was said to challenge the Duke and cause him a pain between the ears. Marty returned to his Palace playground and was often seen spending long hours swinging on the swing set built for the fat little noble children for recreation , in a similitude of deep thought, but never scratching the surface of basic understanding , so vital for basic thought..

But for Vordan, the choice would be easy... He would give up his Dukely crown and and follow his old Chief to war with a gusto of moxian pride, for they had fought side by side in the old days, and he knew what the ancient secrets of the Axo could provide for our faltering people... "

Brakk made his move in the stone game , "aha! " he exclaimed,, " its your turn,, heheh , lets see you get out of that.."
his smile faded in blankness as he looked up and saw Mezinger still in his trance..

" mu-mu-muu,, Meyari !,, "
"Hmm? ,, Meyari ? " Brakk had not heard this name before.. Mezinger continued..

"Meyari , young and beautiful and really builtiful , haunting dark eyes and long dark hair of the exotic strain, its said she captured Axobongos heart and he was ready for the end of war, ..

He had fought most of his life, won his wars, and fought some more,, now he was gaining a following among the wise ones of this world, but it was a world he was not bound to settle in. He was on the verge of unifying great forces and effect a strong rebellion against the oppressive empires terrorizing the land. He gave much of his wisdom and tools to these good people of the Banana tribe and others . It would be up to them to seize his offerings or ignore them, but the time had come for them to go at it on their own.

Before leaving the land, several good Chieftains of various clans bid him to stay a little longer, to help set up a new tribe , a tribe with a fighting chance, for it was now evident to many that Martinius was not leading his people to victory, and some were in tribes that were bound for extinction.

Axobongo agreed to this humbling request. FC A'Huntred,The Moose and the worthiest of Banana Thanes, also saw the value of creating an entity able to challenge the enemies , this would be their legacy.

Vordan was often on long journeys, seeing to wandering AxoTribe people he had once guided to these lands, His deeper responsibilities meant he was away overland, and also oversea. and with Martinus as the tribe head,, the little tribe of Bananas were facing grim outcomes if they didn't find a way to overcome their dukes lack of rulership.

Knowing he would see his old friend Vordan on another shore , he plotted with the captains of the seamen the way to the new lands of the Axo. Seaman Stains was the hardiest captain and wisest, he agreed to guide the Axo high Chief to his people.

In all, 17 Longships would set sail one day, thousands of fit warriors, and two famous lovers were bound for a new reality.

But first, Axobongo would ready a new force , led by mighty chieftains. A tribe bound for glory.

the Banana and Ba people of Ba , would need to learn to fight together, and not alone . several tribes wanted to merge with Bananas, but want that all the people vote for a new high king from the Royal Chieftains. So Axobongo agreed to help them come together, for the good of everybody, ''there is safety in numbers.'' he would say, ''providing those numbers counted'-..

He would set the groundwork for a great tribe, prophecies said a grand Warlord would emerge and rule wisely these collection of fine lords and noble Chieftains of the many clans , Omegaens to the worlds end . "

A bit of drool plunked out of Mezingers now frozen stare as he sat there in silence for a moment.

"Are you done yet?" inquired Brakk, " its your move, matey,,"

"what?,, oh yes, of course, " Mezinger replied refocusing his attention " how'd i do ?"

" Better this time" said Brakk, " i was all captivated and all that,, now make your move with the stones, i can smell your purse approaching my pocket where it belongs.."

" Thanks" said Mezinger " its not like i get alot of Bardic practice stuck up here on this tower day after day "

For hours they had focused their attention on stories and the little game, sitting on the floor looking down , they had neglected to see the retinue of archers assembling at the nearest ridge to the Tower Keep, nor the cavalry charging in
from the long road headed to their Pass. nor the battalion of foot soldiers a furlong behind them.

Delaying his move with the stones, Mezinger stood to piss from the tower , and was sent twisting back as an arrow went thump into his shoulder.

"shit!" exclaimed Brakk "what the hell..?!?"
Mezinger stumbled back and fell , as a hail of arrows came streaming towards the tower.

He poked his head over the grey block of their little wall and saw the cavalry approaching at full gallop. and the hail of arrows continued, the canopy caught flame as some were loaded arrows, and the alarm bell remained out of reach as he huddled over the bleeding Mezinger .

"Bloody hell.." He saw in dismay, the enemy archers had crawled their way through craggy mountain rock to gain a vantage point that the Keeps own archers were want to use via a small path that led them to that ridge on the right flank of an approaching army.

its position meant skilled longbowmen could rain down their deadly sticks into the yard of the castle Keep itself.
And now the enemy held it.

" we have to go down!" Brakk yelled out, he could see down into the yard some few of their men emerging from barracks and scrambling on their armor , tho no alarm bell had yet rung.

Mezinger scowled , and stood reaching for the alarm bell , and managed some 8 or10 loud rings from it before another arrow hit him in the jawbone and lodged there.

Brakk raised his Bow for action and took aim, but the flaming canopy twisted in the breeze and partially fell upon him , and he frantically brushed his body clear of burning ash.

" we are going down!! , Brakk called out, "can you walk? " Mezinger grunted and gurgled out something incomprehensible, and spat blood from his wounded mouth.

As Brakk lifted him under his shoulder, an arrow landed in his back, not too deep to kill him, but enough that it sent him stumbling forward, Mezinger had 2 more arrows land in his chest , and his feet stepped him backwards where he tumbled in an agonizing backflip over the small stone wall around the turret , and fell the long distance down , flipping round two or three times before ripping and cracking his spine on the edge of the Keeps outer wall , and bouncing like a rag doll outward and falling long downward several stories more to land heavily before the gate as the enemy riders arrived. sprawled there in his blood and guts popped free from his midsection and shattered skull .

Brakk managed to tear the arrow from his back , and make his descent down the spiraling tower.

He held his sword in hand and would emerge at the half lowered gate and wide open portcullis that never got the alarm to drop in time. enemy cavalry had charged into the castle yard , and the small garrison of men were being slaughtered in droves.

Their own archers on the ramparts were frantically trying to shoot moving targets on both sides of the wall, and failing to dent much of the invaders force.

Brakk was in the middle of a melee. he fought hard as footmen began piling in , felling 10 men in a near berserkers fury,
These were Winkee men , thralls to the dystopian empire. who worked for a surly rogue lord of no honor.

They were falling bloodied and torn from Brakks tireless swings and thrusts of his longsword. He picked up an axe from a dead Winkee mercenary , and unleashed all his death dance , destroying the lives of another 20 men.

There was smoke and fire burning everywhere, the smell of blood and vomit, excrement and piss mixed sickly with it and gave the air the loom of doom.

He knew no survivors would be given quarter from this lot. and determined to mount a free horse and ride hard to warn the town of an approaching army. near the gate , he spotted a black steed and ran for it, his knees threatening to buckle below him. He tripped over a body, and hit the ground.. and upon looking over his shoulder, saw that he was noticed by two enemy cavalry men, who snapped to charge him.

He rose and ran for all his worth , but their approach was rapid. he felt as if he could feel the hot breath of the steed on the back of his neck, and chose an impossible move,, he turned and body slammed himself just over the top joints of the charging horses front legs.

He was a big man, his full weight into it, it actually managed to crack the front leg of the beast, and cause it to topple forward, crushing its rider underneath as they tumbled over Brakk in such a way that the creatures bulk flew over Brakk and barely grazed him, while simultaneously flinging him to one side, he felt as he was hit by a tree nonetheless.

He was able to stand , and his sword was soon in his grasp as the other rider held for a moment, astonished at what he had just seen.

Brakk charged to the riders side and leapt a he swung forth his blade, the mace in the riders right arm,, and right arm itself both flung out, separated from their master, who fell from his mount with a long stream of red blood spouting out the opposite direction..

enemy men were all around him, they had witnessed this marvel, and hesitated to charge.
He mounted that brown and bloodied steed and turned for the gate.

An arrow struck his thigh , but he felt it not, so focused was he on his bolt towards and out the fractured gate before him.
As he charged out the burning cesspool of death and smoke into the fresh air of day and open sky, his heart sank, it looked as if thousands of armored men stood between him and the green lush world beyond. No where to turn,, he would have to bold straight through the middle of them and hope for the best.

He kicked his steed into action and leapt it over 10 men coming up the slope to the gate. there was a small patch of open ground before him, and he headed there. One axman came running to his left, and managed a falling stroke that seemed to rip through Braks shin , a terrible crack was heard and for an instant, Brakk wondered if his foot remained attached to his leg, he dared not look, nor could he, for his head was locked in its goal of leading his body to safety, his eyes were fixed in a desperate peripheral scan of the swimming chaos before him.

He rode forward, men were closing ranks about him , and he tried to turn his mount to the right,,
it was lanced .
Then lanced again , a horses scream can be a horrific sound, it filled his ears as the shadows surrounded his spinning view , shadows and blurs of helmeted man shapes and shining glints reflecting from their raised weapons. The spinning turns of his mount slowed and it seemed not to move ,,
for it was no longer standing,,

Brakk was stabbed and chopped. and crumpled and pulled from his dying beast . Horse death bellows piercing the clatter of feet and metal in a macabre requiem morbidly previewed by the soul it was made for.

He was not murdered outright, through all the abuse his body suffered.
He lay writhing in the dirt and trampled grass as they gazed upon him.
He noted the sweet smell of that grass, and it seemed like the most beautiful smell he had ever smelt .

~ -------------- ~ ------------- ~

Guinness and Hellfire history notes,, Muldy joins ,, and brings wisdom of irrigating techniques , and knowledge of advanced weaponry from the Raki empire..

later, Guinness and Axobong and muldie are riding to inspect irrigation work in a remote area, attacked by Johhny2farts of the meliscious worm tribe,
muldy pulled off an excellent victory for the Axo and he and the chief became fast friends.

~ ------------- ~ --------------- ~

~-------Lore of Early Axo Inceptions-----~

~-----by Og Blattwort of Featherplate Muffinhouse ----~~~Translated by Agzar the Glum

It was not long after Guinness and Helfire officially Joined under The Axo banner that Guinness introduced Axobongo to lord Muldie , who had his family and roots in this far north Axoland, but due to its impoverishment, followed a typical path by young men of fighting in the ranks of far away Kings carving empires throughout the known worlds. In this way Muldie grew into a famed warrior among his Raki Empirical Lords, became a veteran of many a war, spent long years on the rugged field but also the opulent life of conquest and wealth, he joined with old friends and a mighty lord and returned with them where they established in the mid-south, after mighty conquests in distant mysterious worlds , he returned alone to the north rim and his roots and long missed family.
The Raki empire had rapidly grown in W45 and dominated the mid-south and worlds heart , Apex and Omen and the Ones were on the rise and wars on this mighty scale were yet unknown in the northern rim where Axobongo began unifying minor Axo lords and training peasants and recruiting warriors to free his resourceful lands of foreign exploitation and waste, and the slow demise of such a rich & ancient Axoian culture.

The tribes and knights of the feudal north were now seeing the rise of Axo and the fall of their own castles. Axobongo taking out the larger Lord Oz, in defiance of the far grander Hunter tribes bid for expansion to the north, had the peoples of the northlands taking notice . Foreign lords bolstered their castles , and native Axofolk began composing popular songs praying to the old gods that Axobongos band would show up to their villages and clear out either the barbarians or the knights of despot kings , it was said the crops would boon in all the villages the Axomen liberated.

But work in development became part of the Chiefs duties, there was often a need to set down his sword and gather inventive minds to discover new technology in producing the practical needs of growing armies . He had to introduce new techniques to the farming communities, gather druid smiths and alchemists and house them in academies of study in the search for effective armor & weapon production . He was constantly on the search for knowledge as well as soldiery.

Muldie and Guinness had met in foreign lands fighting as professionals in mighty wars beyond the scale of Axobongos imaginings when at that time he was still a young traveller learning the art of war as a mercenary and learning of the world in the beds of exotic lovers and talks with historians , whom he sought out in every new place he found himself. Guinness had brought his wealth gained from distant campaigns and fortified his Axo rooted Stompians in their mountain strongholds, and there he oversaw the brewing of the ancient Axo elixer continued .
It was just after the ceremonies welcoming Guinnes and Helfire into the new court of Axo lords that Guinness requested of Axobongo to accept a Raki lord under Axo protection , Muldie , who was an Axo clansman , but was honor bound and promised to his Raki king , to accept him would be under the understanding that he would one day return to Raki service, and Axobongo had to consider this and inevitable conflict with the Raki eventually.

But he accepted, suspiciously at first, but the wise Muldie soon won the chiefs love with his graceful and light hearted manner, and deep knowledge on a variety of subjects that inevitably boosted the education and advancement of all the Axo people. Muldie had supervised irrigation development in remote areas, and brought his education under advanced empires into the fold and soon his lands were flourishing.

Following some victorious shared battle against the Black Knight and securing Guinness another castle, Axobongo and Guinness rode a half day to inspect the new irrigation project Muldie was overseeing near Wormland , still in their armor and with but a small escort of seven men, they joined Muldie near the site of a mountain split Muldie was building a duct in it, and where he had men making reenforced canals and digging feed ditches.

They met at Muldies tent, he was wearing spined leather light-armor of Raki make,it was tan with brown swirling patterns now fading from the elements and heavy use, that coupled with subtle green edging trim,, and Axobongo could see the camouflage quality in it which differed but wasnot unlike the tartan cloaks of many Axo clans . His hair was long and light brown, and he wore no beard as most northmen did, in contrast to the blond mutton chops Axobongo was cultivating, or the rich black trimmed mustache and chin-beard of Guinness. Yet his foreign look and refinement did not diminish the Axo heart in his core , these three conversed easily as old friends would.

And then there was noise, the duct work crashed behind the ridge and a dust cloud rose,,and the sound of mens screams and battle became audible,, from both the ridge and the dig site down below.

Melicious Worm men were sabotaging the effort , workers were slaughtered and they spotted the band of Wormer knights leaving the site of the duct and escaping into the mouth of a small canyon towards the right, Axobongo an Guinness gave chase with their 7 men and 10 of Muldies guard, while Muldie turned and charged at the digger and canal site battle, with his forty remaining guardsmen he'd rallied with a horn blast .

the 20 enemy knights slaughtering diggers wore the tunics of Johnny2farts , and broke when they saw the charge coming down the hill, Muldie knew they would be routed and chased down in short order,, but some intuition was striking him like a gong and the thought of those other men breaking to the canyon suddenly made him envision a trap. He halted his men, bidding 2 scouts to track the fleeing Wormers , then he doubled back with 30 men to ride uphill to the canyons edge , as he followed it, he realized his fears as he came upon Wormermen engaged in ambush of the Chief and Guinness down below .

By dropping large stones and boulders, this group were cutting off Axobongos retreat , which pinned them in between falling rock attacks of another group further along the canyons ridge , and the fleeing soldiers Guinness and the chief were chasing were joined by others and had turned and began sending arrows , only with skillful use of shield did Guinness and the Chief Axo survive that first assault, along with nine others who had watched their fellows get skull crashed and broken half to bits under the stones , or riddled with arrows .

Axobongo and Guinness were now eleven men facing 35 within the canyon. And above, the ten boulder flingers which Muldie first met were quickly dispatched, he sent 20 men to go back down to the canyons mouth and make haste to try and join with the Chiefs band. Then continued up the path with his remaining 10 men to engage the other boulder flingers , who had broke their ariel assault as their brothers down below had sounded the horn to charge the Axomen bogged down on the sandy riverbed.

The Axo's formed shields into a half-box pattern with two spearmen in its center set to strike over the shoulders of the line. The enemy came crashing in on foot as their horsemen held back , The Axo's had perhaps three horses still lingering near, their other horses also felled by stone and arrow, or fled .
...So they had no choice, and met the charge with great spirit. Enemy Wormermen fell four at a time as they ran into the deadly Axo wall when the 16th Wormer man fell , six Axomen remained and they were backed into the canyon wall,, ten mounted knights of the enemy were forming to charge when two were toppled by a falling boulder the size of a fat teenaged debutant , ! hurray!!, Muldie has successfully wipedout the upper ridge ambushers and had now turned the stone arsenal on the very men who had those stones arrayed for murder.

The enemy men were disorientated, they lost another horseman,, then another and found themselves forced to move towards the the six Axomen, not to attack as much as to free themselves from being in range of the falling rocks. Guinness had thrown a spear into an approaching Worm knight cavelryman, and Axobongo managed do de-horse another with a spear jammed up his belly, even as another rider chopped through the skull of his Captain of the Greywatch guard , but was felled by one of Guinesses best knights, Angust Mir-vito , a wiry giant of a man who broke halfway through the enemies spine and torso with his mighty long necked axe.

Through the scrambling noise and chaos of battle, Axobongo heard a sound , it was a new tone for his ears and he knew not it was a Raki Swan-horn, on the ground before him a man from muldies guard was floundering with a sword pierced right through his thigh , he perceived an axman and rider raising their weapons to end this mans life, and no sooner had his brain acknowledged that , than blurs of movement from behind those enemies emerged and toppled them in their tracks, 20 riders in unbloodied tan tunics of Muldies men were miraculously pounding by them, toppling footmen and riders of the enemy and sending the four remaining Axomen , (Axobongo/Guinness/Angust/& Hamish Ung of Axobongos clan) scrambling against the canyon wall to avoid the hoofs,, the Muldie guardsman with the sword lodged in this thigh was not so fortunate, he was trampled under hooves of his own brothers , as they galloped by and into the remaining enemy knights,, and within minutes, all those enemy knights were sprawled bloody on the sandy riverbed of the canyon.

The Muldie Guardsman, both thigh pierced and trampled , did not die , tough and lucky, he ended up with a limp and a lame hand, half blind in one eye, and yet reached a ripe old age as a notable swordsman despite his challenged body.

They gathered horses and weapons and met Muldie at the canyons mouth, Axobongo was livid, and wanted to give chase to the other saboteurs , he wanted to ride the half day back to where his and Guinness left armies sacking their newest castle , but the calm logic of Muldie eased his Chief back to earth, Muldie said he and his leather clad light cavalry could make better speed, and he had a castle near enough to to gather his men and assault Johnny2Farts castle, suggesting the Chief and Guinness could gather their forces and meet him at the siege in two days time.

At that agreement , Muldie rode off , Axobongo said to Guinness '' this Raki friend of yours shows wisdom and worth, if he manages to pull this off, i will be well impressed, for this Johnny2farts is known to have much a larger force than muldie , and high walls at his castle, he will need all the men in riding distance we can muster.''

Three days later , Axobongo and Guinness were arriving at johnny2farts castle, They had rams, catapults, axmen and knights polished and ready to fight, their cavalry was massive, and their banners flew in the wind long over the heads of this impressive army.

,,, And all for naught, for beyond belief, Muldie had managed to take the castle alone, with a lesser force and much skill, he punched a hole, got men into the castle and dropped the gates, his men stormed in and Johnny2farts very soon ended up with his head nailed to the door of the front gate to welcome Axobongo & Guinness's arrival.

The young Chief was mightily impressed , Guinness found this amusing, for he never doubted his friends skill, Muldie was the brother of one of his mentors , and the empire wars they had all fought prepared them to easily face any 'poorly educated northern rim Lord'.
Muldie was enjoying some fine wine and dangling a leg over the armrest of Johnny2farts throne, a feast table had been spread out before him and ready to feed Axobongo and Guinness and their hungry generals and officers.
Grinning he said '' i recommend the mutton,, its todays chefs special , said to be fortified with 8 essential ingredients ''

Now this part of the tale some scholars doubt , nonetheless it is within the narrative, but some scholars complain that other versions dont include this part, so it was likely added later,, while others argue, that this must be the older version, and this part later omitted.

Johnny2farts had in his dungeon a giant, said to be 10 feet tall and built like a mutated pair of conjoined oxen. and its said the feast & drink had Guinness bragging that a mans size on any scale is no issue to a highly skilled swordsman. Drinking and one thing leading to another, meant soon this giant (who was shackled and imprisoned by Johnny2farts himself , for the giant had a nasty psychotic nature ever since taking the concoction of a disreputable barbarian witch , a hemorrhoid potion that went terribly wrong when applied incorrectly) was brought forth to face Guinness in battle to fight for his freedom, and for the entertainment and wagers of the men.

Axobongo liked this not, putting his friend and top general in needless jeopardy like this was senseless, but he knew that once the wagers were made, and Guinness so readily in agreement, to exercise his authority and call off the gladiatorial match would not only dangerously anger the men, but its said the gods who covet the blood wagers of man would get their revenge if the sacred offerings of mortal combat wager were denied them once promised.

The two would fight naked of armor and clothing, except for the loin .
So a circle was made, and this behemoth made unchained and armed, the longsword he held looked small in his hand, he held a riding mace in the other.
Guinness held sword and shield. and tilted his head casually and relaxed as this giant stalked carefully closer to him.
The giant swung first, and second,, and third,, he swung his mace and choped with his sword,, the ground shook with each slam of his weapons into it as Guinness managed to sidestep and dodge every blow, using his shield at deflecting angles that never took a direct hit, but glanced the giants blade off its trajectory.
The giant man got a devastating death blow with his mace that finally hit square and crushed a deep dent in Guinness's shield, this brought Guinness down to knees on the ground, before he oriented his footing, another mace blow totally distorted his shield, tore it slightly, and made Guinness unsure if his forearm was bone broke or not. The shield fell from his grasp, bent broken and useless.

Guinness then dived between the stance of the sweating giant man and jumped up with a wild looking backswing over and behind his head, splitting a gaping wound in the left forearm of the giants mace hand, he dropped the mace immediately, but turned with the longsword flying at Guinness, who managed in a split second to press his own sword against his chest lengthwise and precisely counter the giants blade landing on his flesh, but the blow sent him flying back about 18 feet , he rolled into a crouched position, locked eyes with his foe, and struggled for breath while trying to appear unfazed.

The giant and Guinness ran towards one another, the giant swung low and guinness leapt far over the sword streaking by, and in midair, was able to pull down his sword and cut through the giants leg as he fell to ground. the Giant roared in pain, and awkwardly raised his weapon , but this exposed his armpit, which Guinness was able to stab in another leap strike, however it did not enter deep enough for a death blow.

First, the giant would stagger back and fall to one knee , before the magnificent death blow of Guinness would land gashing the giants neck to spill his head blood and pull out a bouquet of marbled meat , his head tilted a little too far, and he wobbled in place, then Guinness mercifully gave him another lick of the sword , splitting the forehead of the giant man right down to the nose, the bulky man fell to his back, his legs folded under him, and the blood flowed out of him as urine flows from an elephant.

The men cheered and Guinness stood triumphant and called for his bitter Ale to quench his thirst, and the men hoisted him overhead and brought him to the table, there they piled for him the best of the sacked wealth of the castle, and wrapped him in the kings cloaks, even Muldie goodheartedly placed Johhny2farts crown on the head of his friend, who was roaring in laughter and good humor , and raising a toast to the high chief and all the Axo people and their clans, Guinness had a manner that generated great cheer among his people, they would follow him to hell and back smiling and laughing all the way .

'These Norwestern Axo people were hardy folk,' Axobongo observed, in time he would realize three other notable warriors from this far northwestern rim, Hellfire , Tobynmoka, and Fatmanrunnin,, it would be years before he would meet Fatmanrunnin ,who would emerge as one of the last survivors of this world . And Helfire would also survive, as a Ranger he led Axo people to safer lands in other worlds, but not after many adventures and pulling off the prevention of two stupid wars that so easily could have ensued between Axo and two tribes, *NR* and notably, KTA~ the Temple Knights .
Helfire and Axobongo secretly saved the tribe more than once , yet for so long, the tribe new it not, for his castles were farthest from the heart of Axoland. And so this is why they carved a great statue of Helfire which you will see at the entrance to westlands from the pass of ArrghNop-over-the-Brine. Tobynmoka was also wandering these northwest lands, destined one day for Axo glory.

Axobongo found it a pity that Muldies castle lands were so far from the new heart of Axoland , but he felt confident he now had wise generals to stabilize Axo-westlands, and in the eastlands, he had Thor , and Thor was sturdy enough a lord to hold those lands until the Axo were ready for expansion.

This was the first adventure, but not the last, these three would know together.

~ ------------------ ~ ---------------------- ~
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Lost Tales, remix, ----Axo/Cho Wars--- ''The Oglaartian Manuscripts' excerpt 5---------

-------by Bingo Strawman of Jargon House ------

Both hands on the hilt, heavy breathing, He faced a 'heavy sword' , very strong opponents were known as 'heavy swords', as their hits were heavy, and to clash with them could remind even the most hardened fighters of their early days in training, when the clank of a sword block sent vibrating pain through their body, and could buckle their knees as if they were hit by a boulder flung by a giant.

The mind sped, the sweat flowed, the eyes remained fixed, there would be another charge within a heartbeat, in his mind he saw the posture he would take , its an instant when a warrior composes his moves as a second nature , his stroke, his foot placement, his minds eye makes an image he reflects a split second after.

The toes of his right foot dug in the earth for the push , as muscle memory began moving him without thought, his sword rose skyward as he watched the midsection of his opponent and could almost feel the angle the enemies sword would fly at him,, his stroke was already in motion as he lunged forward knowing their weapons would meet,. and they did, above their heads the clang rang out and the terrible jolt buzzed through to his shoulders,, his two hands held their grip, tho they were numb, for they were meaty grips of muscle and sinew that had held sword hilts since he was a boy, they would hold firm even if he were killed on his feet.

Even before the clash of steel , some part of his consciousness had his head leaning and his body fading into position for the rebounding move , his instinct knew his opponent was larger and his momentum would be pushed back from the hit, his elbow dropped a fraction, and as the blow reeled his sword back,, he was already in motion letting the blow spur the circle of the motion of his response, the big enemy knights now faltered blow would be leveling out at the hips and pointed right at his throat ,, this was the dice throw,, would his slice beat the stab of his enemy..?

He was suddenly spinning, a stab feels like a thump, there is nothing else but a pang of a blunt hit, , the thing you notice first is everything you see is suddenly moved to the side , in a streaking blur, the world jiggles , , the one thing he was aware of was that his throat was unimpeded, and his collar bone was tugging him downward.

And,, he was aware that his sword was also being pulled down, as if a weight on its tip had laden it , he knew he was falling,, he knew he could feel the grime and grit in the sweat below his armpits, and where his flesh rubbed against itself, there were red splatters floating in the air obscuring portions of his sight, yet he saw his sword embedded deep under the helm of the big man , it was pinched between helm and breastplate, both men were falling together.

He never felt himself hit the ground, it was just there pressing against one side of his body, and the cold steel blade was flat against his face, a kind of morbid pillow , the enemies legs were kicking out and twitching in the erratic way the legs of a dead man move before the nerves accept the fact.
They kicked dust into his mouth,, snot and blood and dirt blocked his breath for a moment,,

He spat and gag coughed as he turned to raise himself,, the sword was five or six inches deep into the muscle above his collar bone. he pulled it out as he rose to a kneeling position,, the blood flowed out,, but there was no pain,, his back and elbows had a dull ache,, his right leg was sore,, but his wound was only numb. He picked up a clump of bloody mud and packed it into the wound,, feeling the warmth of his blood under his shirt flow itself down to the hip

'' I'm getting too old for this'' he thought to himself as he looked around him , he must have killed 50 men this day, and the battle still raged all around him,,
His name was Oglaart Axomusht , a warrior of the Grey Watch under Lord Hellfires command, and he knew he should fade back to the healing wagon and get this wound tended to, but his heart pounded and gave a cadence to the scene around him.

He saw young Faerbolg a few yards to the left engaged with an axman many years his elder, but swarthy and spry with the look of a thousand battles baked into him. His spins and war crying was visibly gaining on the young and able Faerbolg who stumbled back deflecting the blows awkwardly, until the axe swooped and hooked his leg under the knee, bringing him down,,
'By the Gods' he knew he was about to see the chest of his young friend opened and he suddenly felt a mile away, but compelled himself forward giving no thought to arming himself,, he heard his own voice , rasped with dust, ring out at the axman, who seemed not to notice.

The axe was raised up and the motion began as Oglaart lunged , there would be no time to stand up fully nor grapple the axman, he lunged for the body of his friend , arms outreached to either catch or deflect the axe , or fall under it and take the blow on his back in place of Faerb,,
His hands landed on the backblade of the double axe , and he fell onto it as its front hit its target , but an indirect blow,, Faerbolg cried out as it partly sliced through his left side and glanced off the hip,, chipping it a little, and Oglaart toppled on top of him, pulling the axe from the enemies hands.

One of his fingers dangled on a shred of flesh before his eyes as he held tight the axeblade and lumberingly rolled to his back,, Faerbolg was kicking out frantically , and he had yet not got a fix on the enemy axman but felt his shadow, Faerbolg screamed and it was a high pitched,, annoying boy sound,,

But as Oglaart got his eyes focused, he saw that Faerb had stabbed deeply into the leg of the axman, who was falling back, but pulling out a small mace from his belt. Oglaarts hands were bloody and slippery, as he reached for the axe hilt, his grip slipped from some damaged fingers , bone cut and the red flowing ingloriously .

Faerbolg was not gaining his legs near fast enough. Oglaart could see this and he could tell the axman was gaining his footing and form, and the mace would be crashing down on one of them in the next instant. His right hand made the axe shaft and felt firm of grip, readying to meet the mace as a shields edge to parry it . the upper half of his view was still blackened by his brow as his head was not yet lifted in full, but the legs of the axman were telling the story and showed the swing of mace had begun and something inside was yelling at him to react ,,

He thrust it up,, an educated guess,, and a slight miss, his shoulder exploded in pain as the mace landed there, it'd glanced off the axe but felt as it landed square,, the crack he heard was a tinge too loud,, something inside him smiled as if to say '' oh then,, this is it eh? after all these years and battles, my arm is killed and i have but moments in this world'' there was time to experience the pride of dying in battle.

But death had not come yet, and for some reason, the axman jumped forward on top of him , arms out spread , and Oglaarts face was smashed into the animal skin over the wide chest of the axman , light and air was momentarily blotted from him,, but he could smell horse droppings , it struck him this axman was a foul and filthy bastard,,

Then he heard hooves of beast beside him, and brought himself from under the dead axman who was still gurgling with a sputtering wheeze.. and saw a horseman with a long chain and mace silhouetted for an instant with the bright sun behind his back, looking back to the axman, he could see the whole back half of his head was caved in,, inverted and had pushed the eyes and tongue of the swarthy man out in an impossible bulge as if they were on the verge of dropping out.

The horseman was none other than his lord,, Hellfire! The great man himself, smiling his winning smile and in good nature amid the gagging stench and agonized cries of the battlefield , leaning forward he inquired,
''Oglaart,, is that you ?, by the Gods man, i haven't seen you in ages,, looks like you're losing some fingers there my man'' and he nodded in concern.

Oglaart sat up , looked at his hand, then back at Lord Hellfire and said '' its just a flesh and bone wound, the druids at the healing wagon will have me back in field before supper''

Hellfire dismounted, '' No need good sir, this battle is nearly won,, we were routing their cavalry when i spotted you trying to eat that axe''
He knelt to help Oglaart to his feet,

It was indeed good fortune, Hellfire was running his horse at top speed when he saw his men floundering at the feet of an enemy axman with a shafted mace , He diverted his horse and swung his own chained mace which deeply caved in the back skull of the enemy and flung him atop old Oglaart.

'' i hope you accept a ride to the healing wagon , my good man, as i am your Lord and wont accept 'no' for an answer'' Hellfire said , ''lets see if we can't save that finger''

''Look to young Faerbolg, my Lord,, put him before me'' Oglaart said, the weakness in his voice betraying the pain now searing through every part of his body

'' go on you old buzzard'' said Faerbolg, '' i'll be fine,, off with ye now! ''

''Well, my steed is fit enough for you both , lets get you both mounted and i'll lead you to the wagon myself'' insisted Hellfire. ''let us make haste''

The battle was not yet completely over, some enemy horns were heard off to the right , and a band of spearmen were emerging from the dust 80 yards from them , 30 or 50 Axo warriors were still engaged between Hellfire and the incoming spearmen, he raised his horn and blasted a coded blast that compelled men from the left flank to turn and run for the right side and join the 30 to 50 ,, not knowing how many spearmen were headed for them , he could only hope enough would arrive in time to join their fellows, the left flank was littered in enemy gore, so he was confident , but turned to escort his two fallen men to the healing wagons.

There were men running by them towards the new battle he'd ordered, Hellfire on foot led the horse bearing his men back the other way, , and could just barely make out the distant glints of the wagon tents and flag posts, trudging through muck and mush and miles of dead and writhing bodies,, he then saw an odd sight , way off to where the left flank had beaten down and routed the enemies.. an enemy horseman stood alone on the field,, looking abandoned, not only by his own,, but by his enemies , they seemed to ignore him as they ran off at the horn commands of their Lord.

These Axomen knew their Lord Hellfires personal horn , to think they would, for him, break away from killing the last standing warrior in mid battle to support their chieftain was both flattering and annoying,, it must have perplexed this last horseman,, who must be a mighty fighter to hold his own so long after his fellow horsemen were routed off and the footmen of his side had fallen to Axo axmen all around him.

The enemy horseman and Hellfire's gazes met. Oglaart and Faerbolg noticed why Hellfire had stopped,, '' Lord Helf,,'' Oglaart said,, '' We can take him!''

Hellfire grimaced,, '' i haven't got time for this crap'' , he looked around at the fallen '' stay on the horse, dammit,, it was hard enough getting you up there the first time'' and he walked a few paces and scanned around him, seemingly ignoring the enemy horseman who began a trotting advance towards them.

Oglaart told Faerbolg to get off the horse and ready his sword , as Hellfire seemed to wander around the site, as if he were looking for something.
Faerbolg hesitated , noticing the rider had kicked his horse into a run and was charging to them.
''Do it ! '' Oglaart said,,
Faerbolg began to speak '' But , lord Helf said,,,''
''i am still your superior! do as i say,, Helf was talking to me anyways'' Oglaart said impatiently

The rider was approaching rapidly,, they could feel the hoof beats and the horse they were on snorted and jittered a little , Faerbolg dismounted , His side bleeding profusely , then Hellfir let out an '' AhaA!'' and trotted towards a fallen spearman, '' i KNEW i saw enemy spearmen stupidly advancing on our axmen,,

The rider was nearly upon them , Hellfire picked up a spear and checked its balance,,

'' Lord,,!'' Faerbolg said,, the galloping hooves thundering before them

Hellfire took aim and threw the spear , ,it flew,, 1 second,, 2,,
,,and then ,, -slups- it went over the horses head and slammed into the charging mans chest. flinging him back with legs and arms spread out as he flew horizontal above the ground for maybe 10 feet before landing and skidding on the back of his neck and upper shoulders.
When he came to a stop he laid flat on his back, but for it being extremely arched due to a 9 inch spear head sticking out from it, and the spear shaft pointing straight up out his body .

Hellfire looked upon the kill somberly, this man had a nobility about him,, and the nobility of the old ways, when the nobles were also the greatest fighters among their men, not the spineless nobles the world was producing nowadays who rode behind their men and claimed villages that never saw their drawn or bloodied noble swords.
So killing him with a flung spear was less than what a great warrior deserved,, 'meh', he frowned,, '' Done is done'' ,, and he murmured some ancient prayer words of homage to fallen warriors, made a motion,, then looked over to Faerbolg standing beside the horse,, holding his side..

'' What the hell did i say young pup?! , Get back on that horse!,, Did you think i needed the help of a half gutted stable boy?'' then he laughed a rich 'ho ho',, then said '' i'll be speaking to your mother about your lack of discipline ,, She works in my flax yard does she not?"
Faerbolg nodded an 'Aye' , then turned and glared at Oglaart ,
Oglaart winked , and grinned a bloody grin. Faerbolg was about to protest,,
'' Mount up, and dont talk back '' Hellfire said, and he led them on while mounted on the magnificent noble black steed of the fallen enemy warrior whose life he'd claimed.
Oglaart chuckled tho it hurt him ,, and caused him to cough and spit snotty blood from his mouth, or try , for it did not dis-attach and streamed out then blew left and stuck to the side of his beard and face, ,, Faerbolg held him from falling off the mount.,,, They laughed some more.

The two wounded men,, one a hardened warrior , the other tall for his age with but a short beard , had both survived their wounds that day, the Druids had managed wonders and Oglaart was able to use his right arm after they returned the bone to its socket, He would live minus one ring finger on his left hand , and they said it was a blessing he did not lose others.

Faerbolg survived that day, his wound would take a long time to fully heal, and he was careless so that twice he managed to reopen it and gain infection, Twice the druids fought for his life in feverish struggle,,the second time, months later , the Gods had their way and chose not to return his spirit to his body.

Hellfire returned to the battle after leaving them , back on his own light steed, and led his men to winning the day, beating down the advancing Zindra of the Chocho tribe of the empirical high king Mitsche , which was the beginning of the end of the great Zindras long career on this world, Zindra was a mighty conqueror trained in Raki and merged into the ruthless Chocho's who were trying their best to colonize the north, but between five Axo Lords,, being Hellfire, Guinness, (Sir)Lilian, Fatmanrunnin , and Zulu , ,,Zindra lost all northern towns conquered from lesser tribes in that k ,,and then became dead under Axo blades.
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The Axo Chronicles , Page 1. of this forum thread , is an abstract learning tool ( among other things) .
In the olden days before instruction booklets, stories and songs were made to teach by word of mouth.
So in the spirit of gameplay embodiment as a form of TW education , and crossing into imagination as a supplement , the storyteller hopes to walk with you between worlds of your own Universe and the mysterious side of the TW world that links us all.
The story telling way of teaching , in the tradition of our ancestors.

What will follow soon is a kind of summary ,, ie~ Notes

it will be some additional notes on Each passage of the Axo Chronicles ~page 1 , of this forum, (Which were excerpted from the living gameplay Axo forum)

There are minor details that need rectifying, and i hope insights into Tribal Wars gameplay beyond basic technical aspects.

Although to the observant scanner, the Axo Chronicles are subtly littered with lessons to be learned about the Tribal Wars , i have taken upon myself, for reasons of my own, to reexamine the passages of the first page and so am creating Notes.
Partly for accuracy, partly for fun and also to offer some comments to clarify where i found info muddled, lacking, omitted in some details or demanding as yet unmentioned thoughts,
i Hope i will put some things more in perspective , both in the true history and the parallel history and history as given us by the victors and the survivors alike


What follows will be Notes,,,

But first ! a quick short story! just a little ditty for old times sake,,,

Just a little 3-part story ( 3 parts, 7 chapters , and 5 deeper levels),, then in time, the Notes,,,,,


--------------------The Woolite--of Ulz-------------------- (Translated by Thisswan Zaduzy and Epa Eppical of Shaveryblunt Lodge ) from the rambling prolix of Sponty Genepool the Bard

Chapter 1 ~ The Plot Brothing

''Everything starts as a speck'' He mused to himself as he rode,

Axobongo was headed for the beach of the worlds north western shore , surveying his lands occidental realm and gathering with some of the newer chieftains newly merged,, for in his mind, it was vital a High Chief make his rounds to each lord member of his tribe and a duty to personally know each of them.

Plus the beach had salt water taffy crab cakes and delicacies of a well known beach bar & grill of an infamous game park famed for high stake sports, Ulzberrypark , Axobongo knew it was a dubious place, attracted the gamblers and crime guilds , but he so loved competing in the Hammer Hurling contests, which he often won, that he overlooked the low life element and ordered a sharp eye kept on the cities guards by 'shadow' guards of impeccable integrity.

Guinness and Lillian would be arriving in this town in a few days, it was within Hellfires territory , and yet was never a conquered town, the most powerful lord that had rights to the region was taken under Hellfires wing and into the Axo fold, his name was Fearsf Unny ( He was of the Berserker cult and given fearisfunny as a berserker name) .
He was once a gang leader and an ex druid apprentice before takiing the crown of office and fortress from his brutal older brother. He did not have much interest in taxing the people and left them to their own devices , for he would hire out as a berserker for small fortunes at a time, his reputation as such was good , and he was loyal to his commanders ,this high pay would cover debts to his band of guards and work his resources, of which the family fortress produced plenty .
He was a bit peculiar and intense in the eyes of most, given to strange long rants of a poetic yet manic delivery , and given also to the occasional sudden killing of carneys , the people of the region very rarely approached him for help in building infrastructure, ( for there were many carneys among them ) so no roads or town planning, and thus the people became resourceful, and criminal , and a sort of oligarchy managed to grow a beachfront gambling industry and develop a small city that managed itself in a half violent and gang warfare manner, and half joyous and festive abandon.

The city of Dark Delights, as the barbarians called it, also known as LozTyndall by Southroon folk, and Rheasilvjyawolfden by those of north Thorsland, but by most of Axoland it was simply called Ulzbertuath , and most commonly called Ulz , and every once in awhile, seafarers would arrive from far away calling it by a new exotic name altogether , but sea travel was yet a very rare thing .

The Axotribe held sway there now for the sake of tradition as it was old Axoian ancestors that founded and peopled it,, and Fearisf's heredity, and Hellfires growing battalions , and the fact that Axo warriors became the largest body of punters and populace keeping the main sections and boardwalk alive, mainly as a continuous party in the most festive and debauched manner . And meant Axo folk became gang leaders, gang leaders became regents of the Axo Chief , and Axo-guard soldiers became stationed there to maintain the protection racket , which in Ulzbertuath was the deal, for it remained independent of standard Axo colonizing procedures .

Armflem rode with Axobongo, and a small escort including a very dark swarthy man from the Noobian lands, he was dressed in red, his name was Ensintodie , he remained stoic and grim as Armflem sang his travel songs , and joked joyously with the Chief as these two so loved travel and it lifted their moods despite the troubles of invading tribes in the east of their lands.

They arrived in Ulz and were escorted from the north gate to the mayors palace surrounded by noise and revelry, busy streets of music and debauchery, venders and gambling, minstrels, street theater troupes , jugglers and prostitutes, troubadours , odd costumes and dancing in the streets, Axobongo and Armflem could not help grinning at the spectacle.

They passed through an ovoid shaped town square and noticed a small gathering near the fountain of the Goddess Superlativia Wabbit of the most Holy Egg Whisk, it smelled of a rabble rousing crowd to the Axochief, for at its core appeared to be a rabble rouser rousing rabble, and the smell was justified when the crowd began throwing their snacks and cheeses at the Regal procession of riders and High Chief Axobongo's escort.
There was shouting, too,
They yelled profanities and wagged exceedingly waggerish fingers,. The city guard escorting the Chief turned to stampede the protesters , Axobongo ordered them to halt! and inquired who the hell these people were?

'' Anti-war liberal baggists '' the captain scoffed , ''They dont believe there really is an Chocho or Raki empire , and say we invented the idea to create fear in the masses , to justify our colonialism and gain the common mans support to commit war crimes''

''Preposterous!'' shouted Armflem, and he spat on the cobblestones.
''Ridiculous'' murmured Axobongo, and he let out a B flat fart, '' Bring me their leader, i would have words,,''
City Captain Flangermic did so in short order.

His name was Estrogeniac , and he had that look of perpetual anger on his face. He challenged Axobongo with a haughty hubris,

"You claim there is some ''empire'' out there with a religion of fanatics obsessed with conquest of the north and what YOU call 'Axolands',, and WE know its all a lie! And the Fecal religion of the southlands is a religion of peace! Its an ancient culture that only wants to be left alone and be free to practice what they believe. Apart from that you are also Chocho-phobic! be there Fecallians among them or not , and you perpetuate fear that will polarize our world and destroy the diversity that makes us strong!''

Axobongo had never heard such a thing,, he was aghast.

"'By the gods , man, are ye possessed? Theirs is a culture based on conquest and vanquishing all other cultures! They worship their sorcerer king as the one true god, and would denounce and destroy diversity,, can't you see in order to preserve diverse cultures we must form a sense of a national identity? That tribes must unite under one banner? ,,and draw certain lines and demand no foreign empire cross it?,, if they are followers of a fanatic belief to remake us in their image , by force or demographics, why then its our sacred duty to preserve ourselves and our soil in honor of our ancestors and the gods who provided us this life and the deeper secrets and arts'' And added '' To maintain our natural respect for diverse cultural beliefs within our identity''

Armflem added ''Look around you man, we are a fine mix , those type of colonizing empires and those type of 'religions' are bad enough alone, and worse if they merge together''

Estrogeniac spat at this, ''faw!'' said he '' its wolves of war like YOU who want only to fill your coffers,, and rob the worker peasants of their meager resources!
,,And why? i'll tell you why,, because you are fanatical pagans ! We native ongoingist people of Ulz are not religious , we denounce your pathetically pox-ridden beliefs of gods , what scummy absurd moronic dupes you are!! and how dare you insult people for what they believe!! and their fecal god , its their right to spread and wipe it in these lands ! ''

Armflem smirked, '' Did he really just say that?'' hahaa ,,

Axobongo was frowning ,, '' He has no clue how disgusting that Fecallistl cult is , the things they do with poop as a sacrement is beyond belief,, but not only that, they oppress their own people , especially wimmin and children , and warlords who cant make a quota of extortion to their holy leaders are internally swallowed up, its a shame based culture , ,punishes its people with torture ,, its more a political thing than a spiri,,*' ''

He was interrupted by Estrogeniac,
''How dare you! you bloody Fecalphobe!! you are insulting good people ! for that i insult you, for all you believe is against all they believe, and not the other way around,,''

''Nonsense!'' Axobongo roared '' its exactly the other way around!! ' he glared for a moment, then leaned back and added, ' For one, Axo druids are scholars of the gods,, not a blasted 'religion' , we call the fecal cult a religion as it is designed for controlling the people by brainwashing and guilt and shame and rigid rules that reduce them to no better than slaves, it turns from everything natural to the human, for to achieve its conquest of the persons will power , soul, heart ,and heredity , and makes them deny their own mind of knowledge, , ,, ''

'' er, wrong imbecile fecalphobe!'' snarked Estrogeniac , ''you know nothing about it but for what your druid fear mongers teach you with their 'hatespeech' , its just fear fear fear ! ,,
Armflem harshly put the flat soul of his boot against the face of Estrogeniac in what can only be called an outward kick , that sent Estrogeniac flying back several feet and landing hard on his back,, gasped for air then broke into a screeching laughter ,, '' Typical feudal Royalty bastards! , always kicking down the commoners and robbing our voice!"

"Your voice?!" Armflem '' Use it without such insolence when addressing my Chief ! or by the Bristles of the Breeze i will gut you like an auger-quest lemming!''

Axobongo spoke '' Listen you blathering fool, that fecal cult is NOT the base of our wars! They are but a small yet growing faction within the Alchemist lord Mitsches marauding empire ,, and others , a new lord of theirs is also a Fecallian leader,! But its THEM such as Apex-Chocho and Raki and little tribes and despot kings who bow to those southern empires that have troubled our land for so long now,, you people of Ulz have a free zone where empire folk and people of all the world , including Fecalists come to in neutrality , like a watering hole of pleasure and delights, war free zone, and so you have never known the horrors they impose when their population dominates ,, ''

Axobongo paused , the horrors he had seen , the waste and rape of people and land, the torture and slavery and burning of libraries and temples and art and sculptures of the ancients, , he saw miles of slaughter from a megalomanic root,,

He continued '' i have never believed in hanging a man solely for his speech, but you are tempting me with your hostile to Axoland shameless promotion of a clear enemy,, yet,, , you are a headjacked walnut job ,,i doubt outside this free zone of Ulz any Axo people would permit you such incendiary bull pucky , they'd tear you limb from trunk,, and furthermore ,,i believe it is YOU who are the fearful and spineless one! for you know how violent and angry these Fecal cult and north middlewest Cho people get when anyone criticizes their core beliefs and mandates,, you are afraid of their angst and fanatic reproach ,,you fear the beheading and gutting , it is irrational to join your enemies for fear of them, many we see every year make the same mistake in these tribal wars , then their cultures get devoured.''

Armflem added ''its that their ideology is uniquely contrary to everything the Axo tradition bears ,, and natural humanity also ''

''indeed'' said Axobongo '' And remember ,sir Foolish Estrogeniac, Ulz is Axo by right and majority, it is only that fact which is why it remains a free zone ! ''

''Shall i hang him Lord?'' inquired Capt. Flangermic ''

'Axobongo spoke in a hightened volume 'He has incited an attack on innocent royals, disturbed the peace and party with hostility , and wastes cheese and,, '' he leaned over to Armflem and asked '' eh, whats that on your horse?''

Armflem replied '' Fruit salad ''

Axobongo continued '' ..cheese and fruit salad , and other snacks! , this is punishable behavior ,, and he will be charged , in minimum for recompense of horse swabbing livery charges and the dry cleaning !.. not to mention for rousing attack on city protectors , which means the stocks''
The crowd fidgeted quietly,
he added '' For now, this man is to be put in custody , until i decide an appropriate fine ''

He turned and sneered ''Take me away from this snack befouled place, the Mayor awaits'',,

They rode up and down some narrow cobbled streets, that soon opened up in a wider stretch buzzing with shoppers en rout between shopping markets,
It was Barrel street, and where the old town once stored goods hauled up from the docks , but now fallen to underuse when a new rout had opened up four blocks to the left.
Now it was still used for some storage of some dubious nature or other and barrels came in and went out at night from the warehouses which would probably be smuggler dens if anything were illegal, but in these days,, nothing was ,, except for Andalusian Doilys , due to some ancient doily feud between north and south doily cartels now long extinct. Here in the daytime barrels lined the walls of the wide alley,, so that people began to stand on those barrels to make announcements to passers by , and that led to what Axobongo and Armflem and Ensintodie (the stoic dark skinned guardsman dressed in red ) saw as they rode through , a spectacle every few yards, someone was on a barrel making speeches , nearly all spiritual prophets , or those new 'religionists' , most all from some distant place .

Axobongo commented,
'' that word , Re-ligion, i once learned from a wandering academician back in my youth and stint as a traveller for hire,, when i first encountered the invention of strange cults that insisted on 'conversions', ,, He taught the root of the word , that it means a ''Kings Legion'' , a ''Rex- or 'Rey' Legion , ( Rexlegion is of course, the old word ) thus its meaning a thing hidden within the way they worship being a conquest mandate , it is odd to me, until you realize its mostly just another form of war.. . . the way people worship is otherwise of no concern,,but the drive to convert has produced a cloak for conquest kings , and THAT is something we all must not permit''
Looking around and smiling, he noted ''There seems to be an influx of world customs here,,this is the strangest city in our Northlands , by the gods, i love it"

Armflem observed ''They make alot of noise it seems , all about their little worth to me'' , and he scowled in memory of his first chief , Skeet of The Cult , TC.

As they passed the 'Prophets' alley, they were subjected to a variety of rants;

~There was a crochet bearded prophet in black , bellowing : '' . . ...and yea tho the belly of earth reclaims its surface world, First the standing stones will maketh of a sound like that of a hum , but without melody or rhythm ...''

the crowd bustled around them

~ There was a prophetess in white with tattooed writing covering her face and entire flesh , thrusting her voice from her diaphragm ( which she held her right hand): " .. . . in the age when the woman becomes the man ,,and men become old maids and spinsters , barren and with the creeping malaise of cuttlefish with amygdala disorders ,,obesity will render the land of the twins vulnerable to the manbearpig of the deep,,and,,Sisteria will rise from the sea of anger bubbling up from the mother,, ''

~There was, of course, a barbarous blood & thunder prophet, eyes rolling & yelling : " ... and the Blarg shall indeed be wicked humongous and blackened of hue, Hooo ! with eyes in its head, red eyes reddened thereof by the blood of living creatures !,EEeyaarr and the whore of HEAT-land will bellow and ride forth on a scaled beast made of woven serpents,,! mostly asps but some coral and garden snakes too,,but not a python , and yeaa the rubbing of parts will grip the land!, then she will ride fifth after first riding forth and yeeeah,!,,''

Axobongo tilted his head at Armflem saying,, ''Seems i've heard that one somewhere,,?,''
Armflem wondered '' Was it that limbless black knight of Knee? The one they call the Prophet of Knee,, although he has no 'knees',, he had seemed more like a beggar to me anyway,,''
'' Knee was a place , i believe somewhere near Braska, had a bridge i think,, '' said Axobongo
Armflem smirked '' i knew that, ,,tho i thought it was by the Shrubbery Forests of Capp-on-the-Wainscotting..? anyway, The Chocho now own those distant lands ,, Knee & Braska"

~There was a prophet who had a sign by his feet that said / Prophet Mahrek \ who uttered musically : '' ... in the 50th land far over the sea, where amazoon queens spread their arrows , a Lake Wind will cover that world and whisper ''Oda ,,oda oda,,'' , and the people will succumb in perplexion of distortment,, and a demonika will,,,"

shuffling street, shoppers , workers , toters and dogs

~There was a grumpy prophet dressed in hay : " You are all wastin' yer lives ! ,, your technology will turn people into jellyfish clinging to the roots of a mighty invention,, nature is the only refuge!,, and quit littering!.."

People bustling by,, carrying goods and hauling animals , sometimes stopping as if window shopping the prophets,

~There was a naked prophet with the name of the god 'ego' painted in red on his chest , chanting out: " ...and i will see the sunset , and a darkness will spread over the land, and within a pre existing non constructed structure, i will release bodily fluids, to be followed by mundane tasks,, and yea, in time i will age and wither, ,,''

~There was a false prophet , waxing lyrically : " ,, and the horned giant will wield a sword shaped like the number 9 !, not a 2,, nor a six,, but if you put the two and the six together and add another one,, a nine!, nearly eight, but not 8, for it is written 9,, and not ten ,, and he will have a herpes on his head, , with a hairpiece on his head upon it between horns of a beetle,,"

~There was a narrow looking sinister prophet that kept himself tilting to the right ; " ,,hamdiba banamapaddadda whoo, i feel his presence , Rick!? is anyone named Rick? i know you have a pain in your back,, you sir, how about you? you feel that back pain ?''
A man in the crowd pushing a wheelbarrow laden in adobe bricks stopped and said ''Why Yes, it is a bit sore now that you mention it,,"
''of course it is , sir'' the tilting prophet said '' And there is only one way to cure it, give sir, give to the temple, the gift will cleanse your sinews , the sacrifice through me is the only way to be rewarded,,,''

The captain of the escort , Flangermic , turned his horse through the pedestrians gathered there and confronted this prophet, with a baton he carried he hit hard the mans midriff , who doubled over in an 'oof' sound.
" i Told you to shove off from here last week, bobby! your griftentions and scammations are no longer welcome!, you have flaxed these good folk enough,, ! Now be gone with ye!"
He used his stick and pushed the doubly false prophet off the barrel ,, who fell with a thud, spilled his gold coins then scrambled off in frustration and fear of the captains stick, to the delight of the crowd who dove for the coins.

Axobongo nodded,, '' You do well, Captain,, it is a most unusual job you have here, unlike any city in Axoland, or the world for that matter, it collects the oddest of humanities offspring,, in the way corners of things collect dust''

As they neared the market and the end of the prophet alley, they passed a soft spoken prophet who had not captivated many,

A soft yet monotone boring and tedious voice had he: " . . . the nephew or ,, the donkey,, and there shall, in that time,, be rumors of things astray, making people hear those very rumors, and repeat them ,, and also,,t'will be confusion as to ,, where things are,, or have been, and they will be unsure of paths, possibly with the discontent of having lost a thing, for in this time nobody will really know , where lieth those little things, especially with attachments with a sort of raffia work base, and probably unscented, ,, then a nephews friend shall lose his friends hammer , and the children will bear books that, in that time , shall each third be ,,,,"
He stopped short when he met the eyes of the high chief, and came off the barrel to kiss the royal foot , which most certainly was not an Axo custom,.

" Blessings Sire, Your story will live longest, all you lose will be regained, in the form of an entire world below your feet, .

''You seem familiar to me, sir '' said Axobongo '' Have we met?"

''Its not that, sire,, its that we will meet again which you foresee'' said the prophet ,, then paused, and added '',, i mean, well, i have been around the world in just 1500 and 80 days ,,also,perhaps you've seen the pamphlet ?erm,, or,, have you been to the world of Squat m'lord? or Purimmea ? southeast of the mountains of this world? ,,erm , uh, ?

''i have'' said Axobongo
''i knew it!!'' said the prophet
'' Are you from there?'' asked Axobongo
''Never been there'' said the prophet , adding '',, but my half-brothers cousin has a shop there , at least near Squat,, i think,,''

Axobongo gave him coin from his pursed sack , a grin and a wink , then a nod , and turned his horse to depart '' until we meet again then, sir,,''

~ A squeaky yet manic little prophet in a lime green toga caught their eye, he was waving his hands frantically and shouting : " ...You are all not REAL!, your fingers and eyes are plugged into a thing and its brain controls you from a distant place ! , All this is like a painted image but it is not the real world!,, the real you is somewhere else and your bodies are glued to seating devices !,,,your consciousness is being extracted to folly in this world of make believe! ,, ones and twos and pixies ,, you're all trapped in a flat painted picture ! numbers,, words,,! "

Armflem looked at Axobongo, and twirled his finger near his own ear, rolling eyes to indicate one who is too far gone to warrant a comment.
''i've heard that one before, the million Pixy theory, says we and the earth and sky are made up of millions of mini pixy's ''
''Pixies ? '' Axobongo raised a brow, ''mischievous little imps made us in their image too, i suppose,, heh ha''

~And finally, a very smelly prophet stumbled forward ,shaggy and haggard , clad in rumpled cloth stained with his urine , wine, and the streets he slept in, he seemed a novice at propheting nonetheless, in a raspy wasted voice he was saying : " ,,, and perkled armadillos, so i said,, if you got a headache in your belly , whats you gotta do is drink some shampoo , mix in some castor oil and some glue, mix it around, then put a carrot on the end of a stick, i tried to tell him,, doc, i said ' come a cage, come on over fill up yer stomach with a billing seven, a bill a sale , and my uncles brides curdy and some chile in from the circus bal-loon cuz me an MarLa, we gon' ta put on a show, and i know a hobo, he's got a rusty pully, an he'll trade me for it, for my dads favorite fishin pole, then im gonna get some cotton candy ,, some with a yella shplangy tied around it,,an,,,an',, ''

The small escort and Chiefs rounded the corner rather than proceed through the crowded market, 14 horses clacked up stone stairs of a town square, and towards the mayors palace.

It was more a rectangle than a square, and it led to a wide gate, then a cypress tree lined mall to the steps of the mansion, they left their horses to be tended to and found it odd the Mayor was not waiting them there.

The foyer was quite opulent with a white marbled floor and black marbled pillars , at one end there were the bungalow style doors behind which was the mayors office ..
Mayor Woolite emerged from the back , an overweight man in a pinstriped tunic and wing-tipped boots, and oiled shiny hair , he gave a quick bow to the Chief and bid them to sit , Axobongo notices some blood on his left hand and leg,

"" Are you cut , sir? ''" he asked , with an indicating gaze , ,,
Woolite grimaced a moment and said ''its nothing,,its not mine ,, i have a sick cat,, its a bleeder"

Then from the back room now emerged two men lumberingly carrying out a long tubular , apparently blood stained , rolled up tapestry , and headed out the door.

''A bit of spring redecorating ,, '' Woolite offered , showing his teeth in an unconvincing grin

Then quickly he began to orate a welcome speech , and ceased wiping his hands with a handkerchief to clap them twice, which summoned gift bearers , , laying down before the High Chief , bags of gold, some linen , special jugs of wines and spirits brewed only in Ulz for all his chiefs , and for the High Chief specifically , a golden hurling hammer as used in the games of Ulzberry Park , but pure gold, ,Axobongo's like of the game was well known, though Woolite was not the Mayor when last the Chief was in town , the previous Mayor disappeared one day while out fishing. These gifts to visiting Lords and their generals secretly annoyed Woolite to no end, it made the profit of his job especially challenging in the convention seasons.

The spirits and liqueurs of the region were famed , and a booming export business was budding , which caused a price spike and shortage of the towns traditional liqueur , called 'Latkagravis' , but inventive townsfolk found ways to reinvent their favorite libation , and clever types found ways to skim the shipments , and a black market & underground drinking dens called 'Latka joints' , or 'Leakeasy's' began to inundate the towns culture.

Alchemists of disrepute began coming out of the woodwork , some unaccredited , some from strange exotic cultures, some merely hobbyists , and began to quickly raise in stature and purse once they invented a likely similitude of the Latkagravis, and as well the local beer called ' Biri' and so , a slew of new potent beverages of an illegal nature began to circulate the city.

A Page ( named Eric) came in the Mayors office with a message ; Guinness and Lord Lillian would be delayed , something about a damsel in distress and a detour to disband and decimate some degenerate trolls ( 'trolls' were a strange breed of human , often with underdeveloped genitalia and overdeveloped ego's of perpetual infantile sadistic desires and tended to band together in caves on the fringe of decent societies,, they were oddly resilient , often bulky and overgrown and with very pasty and blight ridden flesh from chronic evasion of the sunny days) . Had Guinness and Lillian discovered a cache of these monsters it was a worthy distraction from the business at hand, as a perpetual order in all Axoland to undo these types was the top edict , the crime of 'being a wanker' was the top offense and all Axo Tribesfolk had a duty to rid the world of them at all costs, this is how Zerza and Gwydon got themselves done in, for they were of the Trollish breed.

Axobongo had vowed early to never allow these types flourish in his tribe, even if they were so powerful it would be diplomatic and potentially strengthening to do so, in the long run, it would not be worth it.

Other tribal leaders and Axo Lords from the ex-KTA were arriving and housed in the Bath's quarter , a luxurious section of town made for the pleasure of all things in bathing and grooming, one could find baths of steam, mud , vinegar , milk and wine, plus other experimental baths of whatever substance the clients would request, from nibbling fish to baths of spaghetti or enchiladas , to leeches and slugs and earthworms , always under the skilled care of happy-endage masseuse technicians .

Axobongo and his company would be staying in the mayors guesthouse , yet desirous to meet some of his new chieftain lords and experience the guts and underbelly of this unique city, he bid to be taken there and enjoy a relaxed meeting with these minor lords in the lounges and wine bars that each bath house sported.

Captain of the city, Flangermic ,was only too pleased at this escort duty.

Chapter II , The Plot Thickens

Fafsmear, Hagglebeard , and Sammy were accompanying generals of the visiting Axo Lords, and have almost nothing to do with this tale, except for plot and to say that they were an entertaining company , along with their chiefs Lord Zulu and Burik and Met Unalan , all were brought there in the illicit Green Manticore Lounge and they enjoyed with Axobongo and Armflem bawdy songs and jokes of their homelands , managing as they could to keep their rowdy dignity while being crawled upon, swam upon and smoochy kissed by an international array of lovely lounge ladies neatly nearly nude and expertly euphoric.

Chapter III , And Thickens Some More

He heard his heart beating faster than it should be, as he slowly came awake, he realized the thumping in his chest was really hammering on the other side of his apartment wall. His neighbor was always renovating.
Detective Sergeant Fraydaeg lay upon his cot sweating , pipe ash strewn across his chest and an empty jug of Latkgravis on the floor beside him, his head pounding. His investigations into a syndicate war furtively brewing between brewers and distributer guilds was spinning him in circles, and got him ruffed up two nights before in an ally behind the barrel makers workshops on the dockside promenade of the industrial quarter. What was the connection? it was still eluding him, he was certain he was not jumped and beaten for reasons of a 'mugging'.. but by barrel makers?!?

From the window he could hear the traffic, the squeaking axles and creaks of wooden carts, the hawkers and vendors ,the screaming children , the drunken revelers and various clangs and pounds of mallets at their various jobs, always somewhere in the city mallet work could be heard , there was clicky tapping hammers of engravers and shoemakers, wooden hammer sounds of chiselers and carvers, blacksmith hammers , someone building a palapa thatch patio roof on their roof , , every day the sound of people and pounding,, and dogs and chicken sounds, the occasional oxen or horse snort or flappy exhalations , the yodeling of donkeys, and the variety of day birds ,,, he knew it was well past noon, as he came out of the blur of his self medicating Latka' binge ,, he heard the various pounding sounds and wondered why he ever rented a dump in this part of town,,

The varied hammer pounding outside throbbed in time with his head , it was not only outside the window, it was also within him, and between him, and also seemingly at his bolted door,,
-knock knock knock-
That'd be Constable Oberon, he detected this from the sound of the mans voice saying '' It's Oberon!, get up! , Sambo? , Are you there,? ,,But of course you are, i heard you snoring'' , -knock knock knock, tap tappitty tap- ''c'mon sir, its important''

Fraydaeg was still picking the crust from his eyes , and grumbling under his breath as he had to re-button his overtunic a third time, he still felt wobbly and drained of hope for mankind as he was briefed on the newest case, it was murder.

'',,And not just regular run of the mill murder, either , but a Diplomat of visiting Chiefs newly entered into the court of Axobongo himself !,," Oberon warbled ,
as he fluttered ,
then he half sputtered '' ,,this is dark business , this is,,''

Shadow Headquarters .
Superintendent Glotalstop sounded furiously angry , it seemed to Oberon as he sat at his desk outside the Superintendents office, and overhearing the berating Sgt. Fraydaeg was enduring under Glotalstop's authoritarian admonitions , ,apparently Sergeant Fraydaegs self medicating Latka' binge after the beating he'd received by the barrel makers had led to the department picking up the tab of the Sergeant's blackout wrecking of two local establishments , an all night diner and a children's museum ,, Fraydaeg was known to have a particular antipathetic contempt of children's museums , and the Superintendent explicitly ordered him to never enter one in the city of Ulz again , Fraydaeg nodded sleepily, vaguely recalling some vague image of little pink unicorns and rainbow maned dragon cartoon shapes exploding into splinters and floating buoyantly around his head .

When Fraydaeg arrived on the scene of the crime, the chalk lines were already drawn by the Metamancy department , the chalk hexagram around the body , the melted wax and scattered chicken parts indicated that they had already attempted to summon the corpse's spirit for information on the killing, which occasionally did lead to leads , their track record was respectable, although their ritual incantations and technique seemed a tad old fashioned to Fraydaeg.
Oberon excitedly reported the Metamancers seance was a success , they had made contact
and Fraydaeg was informed the spirit revealed their vital conclusion as ' death by poisoning' .

''Brilliant'' he replied

The Detective looked over the corpse, no visible wounds, the face and body twisted in a cringing rictus of pain , the tongue bulging out and tinted orange , and no evidence of food or drink ,, these were guest quarters in a semi decent gated neighborhood , his belongings were still intact , nothing seemed out of place, except for the body and vomit, and remnants of the Metamancy Deptartment's conjuring . .. and he was not wearing his kilted cloth, he was naked from the waist down,, Fraydaeg was still hungover, and struggled to remember if last night was a cold or hot one.

He looked out the back balcony window and noticed how anyone who gained access to the roof could easily drop down onto these balconies , and leave the same way..
''What do we know about him?" He asked

Oberon answered '' He was Hagglebeard , a General in the guard of Met Unalan , a former Knight of the Temple - KTA tribesman, now of the Axo court , and a guest of the High Chiefs party, he was last seen alive at The Green Manticore lounge where its said he left the party early and retired wenchless and alone, citing a throbbing ear-ache following a wrestling match in the alley which the Axo warriors organized for wager making , ,,''

''So ! '' Fraydaeg interrupted '' He was,, uh,, '' he paused,, '' hm'' he pursed his lips, and stood there for a moment scratching his chin., , ''what was i saying?" ,,

* * *

Capt. Flangermic tried to remember what happened that night , it was a struggle, the Axo Lords drank him under the table, the very table where he awoke in the morning,, this was an embarrassing realization , for the illicit drinks and classic liqueurs of Ulz were famed and a pride to any true Ulzman to outdrink outsiders.
The Green Manticore was not a place for official guards to be on duty officially, as it was technically illegal in its serving 'affordable' Latka and Biri *** and all five of his special detail guardsmen succumbed to the lure of the drink, except the one lingering outside , his uniform cloaked ,undercover to thwart the seedy eyes of the walls , this guardsman, Roggawilko , reported he had seen no one follow Hagglbeard when he left , had assumed he safely arrived at his palace quarters which were but a block away.

***( Mayor Woolite had made it illegal to sell unregistered Latka' and Biri , and registered brands had a minimum price control of higher than the average peasants monthly income , in fact, one jug would go for about what they could scratch together in 3 months , establishments such as The Green Manticore lounge offered cheap versions, and 'skimmed' registered latka as well cheaply , and had to pay hefty bribes to function, for the people of Ulz demanded daily contact with the fluid of their ancient regional culture of which Latka and birim were part of , and Woolite got the bulk of those bribes,, and the bulk of the fines when establishments and illegal brewers were raided . )

Note: Axobongo and all the arriving Axo chieftains were lodged in palace apartments ( notably the Palace Arms Luxury Hotel) yet these were not in the Palace itself, more of an annex , for there was no castle at Ulzbertuath , just a palace headquarters that was currently building its wall , slowly , and the few guest quarters were used as storage for Mayor Woolites private collection of Latka awaiting exportation ,and the nearest castle was Fearisf Unny's down the road a few hours , yet the Lords preferred to luxuriate in the delights of Ulz rather than stay in castle Unny while Fear'sf Unny was away , which he was . And besides , Axobongo was hoping to enter the Hammer Hurling contest in Ulz proper .

Met Unalan was lividly pissed , Hagglebeard was a friend from the old days, an excellent general and a very able bodyguard , and good at math , The Axo lords were gathered in the Palace gardens discussing the matter

''Its obvious whoever did this was afraid to face old Hagglebeard and Axo warrior battle skill, going for poisoning !,, like a spineless rat !'' Met Unalan suggested in a bitter rant,
''It could be an assassin from our southern enemies, ? Choo people perhaps? '' Zulu put forth
''It could have been one of the citizens Hagglebeard put down in the wrestling match in the alley?" Armflem mused

Biruk sat sternly , saying little as usual, but frowning some, and nearly glowering,

Axobongo then spoke '' Well, unless one of the wenches whose 'services' he refused is a spiteful killer , i can see no way Hagglebeard could have insulted anyone in the two days he was here,, but who knows..? Did he do any gambling ? Because otherwise if it weren't a personal attack, then we all can assume its an attack on the Axo court.''
He cleared his throat,, dislodged phlegm, then spat it up into a tree. '' but too, it could also be an isolated incident and something general Haglebeard ate earlier or had with him,,''
And continued, '' If you all so choose, we can move the delegation to Fearsf's castle , spend some days in his mud baths, or stay in Ulz and get to the bottom of this ourselves, lets do a vote.. white stay, black go,,''

Each lord put a black or white bean in a sack, and the vote result determined they would stay , Axobongo was relieved, he would get a chance to enter the contests afterall, He informed the group,
'' So we stay then, and let us be extra vigilant and guarded, yet undeterred from enjoying the fruits of a town such as this''

They all nodded in agreement and murmured such like, '' why yes,, of course,, to be sure, ,definitely'' ,,.

* * *

Inspector Fraydaeg interviewed Capt. Flangermic and decided to retrace the steps of his escorting both arriving Axo parties through the city. Biruk, Met Unalan and Zulu had arrived the day before Axobongo and Armflem had, and were not met with the same reception by the activists against war, no food flinging in the square, but had indeed got some cat shouts and jeers by what seemed like the same group to Flangermic,,
''..Other than that,,'' said he '',,escort business as usual,, uneventful .''

So Fraydaeg went to interview the leader of the anti-war extremists , Estrogeniac , who Flangermic believed was still in the stocks , or perhaps just the gaol cage , depending on the jailers wife, and the mood she put the jailer in each day , whether he would be brutal or not.

But Estrogeniac was not there, Crowshagg the jailer said he had been freed. That his name was on the list of those whose fines had been paid. That it was Eric the Page himself who took him in custody,,, and then he grumbled at the rudeness of Eric for not sharing the fine 'Woolite (SuperExtraSpecial) Label' Latka' which Crowshagg spotted in his carry bag, which was only the top of the line best Latka out there .

'' Not friendly at all , was that '' Crowshagg lamented, '' 'e normally's a right good drink mate ,, no call i could see for the penurious mingy greed, ,,depriven' a thirsty man a bit o moist like that?,, not proper Ulzmanlike at all,,((tsk)),, not't'all'' Crowshagg shook his head '' Seems the worlds changin' ''

Fraydaeg was a proper Ulzman himself , and gleaned the oddity of the Eric the page moment experienced by Crowshagg, and so decided to question him.

Eric had claimed to have merely escorted the freed prisoners to the front gate of the Jail estate , but there was something in his eyes that Fraydaeg detected which smacked of insincerity, a glint of falseness, the smell of fish in the form of an aura , , something that gave him a hunched feeling in his pancreas, ,,

He made inquiries and discovered where the anti-war activists ,, or the 'Loonieres' , kept their club house , in the barbarian ghettos of the upper mid southwestern section of the near northside, so he prudently disguised himself in a longshoremans burlap cap and cloak, which was what many urban barbarians wore as traditional fashion , and those sympathetic to minority classes , who secretly found it sheik , he added an eyepatch for effect .

It wasn't too hard to join the Looniere cult , he just went to the pub nearest their clubhouse and got drunk, until he got sloshed enough to randomly shout out grouchy slogan phrases that included terms like 'Land-grabbing megalomanic regimes ' & 'bourgeois elitist xenophobe weapon lovers' and 'Axo Axceptionalism ' , or 'Anti zealot zealotry' ,, and ' War mongering cruxaders' ,,and 'Cho-cho-phobes' ,, in no time it worked, the bitter drunk act, authenticated by his being both drunk and generally bitter , was irresistible manna to the Loonieres within earshot, and they approached him to consider a noobian for indoctrination to their cult.

They gave him a cot , and he slept the night in their clubhouse, awaiting the opportunity to finally interview Estrogeniac , who oddly , had not yet arrived back from jail. The Loonieres had scraped together the bribes and fine money, had heard of his release, and remained baffled as to why he had not arrived.

The next day, as the Loonieres sat clatching coffee and discussing a plot to alter the way people think by feminizing the men, and masculating the wimmin ( they wanted to create crisis and confusion and cause an entropy and pave the way for crumbling the power structure ),,,, that Fraydaeg decided he could wait no more, Estrogeniac was only at best a slim line of inquiry to bother with over persistently, a slight hunched pancreas and other 'gut' feelings tended to lead him, but the wise detective knew when to allow himself distraction,
so he returned to the palace, which is where he recieved the news,, there was another murder.

A double homicide, Fafsmear and Sammy this time, found in Fafsmears room, poisoned in the same way as Hagglebeard ,, and this time with vandalism as a clue.
'So,' he considered ' Now 3 generals who were Axolord bodyguard / sub delegates, killed by assassination , points to someone out there aiming to kill the High Chief and his Chieftains next' , ,
He looked at the back balcony window, and noticed it also had the design flaw that anyone who accessed the roof could easily drop onto the balcony and proceed into the room with acts of no good.

The room itself was partially splashed & splattered in pink paint, their belongings had also been partially painted, and ''Death to Ty'' was written on the wall in big dripping pink paint,,

hmmm, ''Ty'' ? sgt. Fraydaeg mulled over this ,, who was Ty? Certainly not Ty Tyndall the famous high speed horse racer ,,? , Could it have been a partial word? an unfinished phrase?,, Tyra blinkx the famous courtesan ? , or was this perhaps a sign of a new gang war against the Typesetters of E street? could it mean 'death to the T. Y. ? the Thespian Youth? They were a known gang afterall ,, but Fraydaeg could see no connection to them and the visiting Axo Lords.. however, this seemed the most likely , he planned on scouting out the Thespian Youth gangs turf to see if anyone has heard if Axolords had anything going on with them.. he considered also checking with the T.Y. rival gang, the Jock-Itches! of mulberry street , ,,or possibly the Browsery Boys just south of the Thesbian turf,,

~ Axobongo lit his pipe , and grimaced ''i dont like this Woolite fellow, i smell him behind this bad business somehow, only can't say why..'' he stated,
Armflem stood gazing out the window , trying to pick a stubborn sliver of mutton from his teeth with a small sharpened twig, the view overlooking the square with the western ocean as a backdrop was stunning.
'' i know what you mean,, his teethy monkey smile fools no one'' he said
They awaited Woolite in his residential sitting room, which they had barged their way into in demanding an explanation from this dodgy Mayor, who had to be summoned by the buttleryman from his slumber chambers .

Axobongo berated a sleepy Woolite , still in his sleeping gown, with questions and admonishments, his mismanagement and sorry excuse for royal guest quarters was inexcusable. He had 3 days to provide Axobongo with some information or his station in life would be seriously demoted, and this city would become ennobled by Axobongos clan himself ! '' Regardless of the great distance! ''
Woolite agreed to everything, saying he would set even more people on the investigation , and raise the reward, and give boon-bonus to the one who found the culprit.

Chapter next~ Extra Thickening Thicky Thick

Fraydaeg knew the language of the street, and street gang 'rhyming slang' , and he knew how to get gang boys talking, buy them libations and out drink them, it was a skill he cultivated just for this reason, he saw it as his duty 'for the shadow detective force!' ,
He had nudged through the TY turf without smelling a rat, which was the tell tale smell indicating an underground Latka bar in 'the digs' was crowded , cooked rat in mustard and chia sauce being the popular snack in this neighborhood,, He went south and entered 'The Browsery" , the street was a bit more animated with seedy thugs, oddly painted wimmin, some snake handlers being harassed by a child gang , scattered folk laying around who slept in the alleys and not in homes, a cat gang fighting over dumped fish heads,,

He found the spot, below the Browsery Milk Bar, the Bazoomney , and in the dusty hall cracks of sunlight beamed lines trough shabby roofing of rotting wood , striping the dark dusty hall itself, an underground patio, with a couple of pairs of thirsty looking Browsery Boys , Scyther Bud and Letter Opener Kelly , and 2-shoes Babbocapo , and Pugbite Sam, and an odd little changeling creature.
Fraydaeg got the grog and the talk flowing, and eased into the shift in subject,

'' ,, and what about Axo lords ? i heard they were planning on using the T.Y. boys for something,,''
''ha!, Not bloody likely '' exclaimed Scyther Bud , '' Smells like a bag o ties* , their brainer 'did the spear' anyway , not 2 hands back* ''

* Fraydaeg knew that what 'Scyther Bud just said was : '' sounds like lies *(bag o ties = lies), their leader ' did the spear' ( disappeared) , less than 10 days ago (2 hands = 10 days)

'' Nary High Dogs scum the Dig, ever, ... not counting their page boys butchering for Hop & Mix's of the Ghost ''

Which Fraydaeg knew meant : '' No royal types (high dogs) ever come (scum) down here (the Dig = gang turf), ever,.. no more than the page boys looking*(*butchering) for grog( hop & frog= grog, they said 'Hop' for short) and tinctures (mix's) of Hamlick Bane , AKA the Ghost (the rogue alchemist suspected of a long list of murderous crimes) ***(origin of ''butchering'' ~ butchers book=Look)
the detective got it,, but, ''page boys"?

''What ''Page boys?" Fraydaeg asked Scyther

''Yea's right, those nadmenny high dogs fancy-like the street goods, just like the *gilligan of us, that Haversham Page of Lady Dartslurp i just chicken fried at TW mart ''
Fraydaeg understood easily *nadmenny= arrogant royals *fancy-like = desire low class, street vices (goods) , just like *the gilligan =and the rest ),of us), and he had ( ''chicken fried'' = spied ), Haversham the Page in the TW Mart, which was the Thespian Youths turf market, haven of underground delights .

"Dashers everywhere'' Pugbite his sidekick chimed in '' and that Eric the Page, i tied and knotted* him taking a Grannies Kiss* over Arrow Switch Bridge only last week
Fraydaeg quickly interpreted in his head : * dashers' were 'errand runners' , Pugbite had*tied and knotted = spotted, Eric the Page, having a , , grannies kiss = piss , over the bridge last week.

'' If your'd be wanting royal scandal privy, youll not be disappointed by him,, heehhee ,, the look of the Ghost on his chain , that black's* a fiend of the 4th dark delight"
*Fraydaeg could read a mans ''chain'' (short for; chain and mace = face), Pugbite was meaning Eric the Page frequently was seen intoxicated by the brews of the alchemist Hamlick Bane AKA the Ghost
,He also knew that * a '' black'' meant a ''man'' ,ie.''Black & Tan''= man , (historical note: the term ''black'' in time became ''bloke'' )

Sgt. Fraydaeg managed to slip out once the gang boys were occupied in being passed out or transfixed on the dance of the lap by a pair of obese twin sisters, which Fraydaeg provided.
He suddenly had more of a gumpshin to revisit this Eric the Page.

He walked into the Station House headed for the Cantine craving a nice cup of hot cabbage tea ,and a quiet moment to think,, but he was stopped by constable Oberon " Didnt you say you were going to talk to Estrogeniac?" he asked .
''Yes, what of it?'' Fraydaeg said shortly , Oberon continued '' We found him ,he just came in, sir, feet sticking out of a barrel , they found him down in the murder district, why anyone goes there is beyond me ,,''
Fraydaeg winced , Oberons breath was atrocious, '' where's the body? what happened?''. The murder district was popular for death match entertainment.
The dark windowless narrow ways and alleys and various body disposal agencies of the neighborhood seemed to affect that spectators got killed there more often than gladiators, yet it remained a place where businessmen and gang leaders struck deals brokered during power lunches and blood sport dinners.

Estrogeniac was stabbed in the back. Whoever did it was an amateur assassin , clumsy at trying to hide the body in a barrel , perhaps frightened away before completing the grizzly task?,, fortunately he was brought in by a legitimate body disposal company regulated by the city , and of good repute. Otherwise it would have been sold off in the black market for whatever gruesome task one shudders to imagine .
His carry bag was still with him, tightly tied, Fraydaeg examined its contents,, a stinkbomb,,and,,and a candle light twitched in his head , his back momentarily made a hunch, Estrogeniac was carrying paint brushes,,, and pink paint!

He looked at Oberon and smiled,, ''Pink paint''

* * *

The Axo Lords were enjoying the Pre Games Orgy at Ulzberry park, partying dancing and feasting on the most amazing and exotic dishes and fine food concoctions in the known world, for the Games would begin the next day, from Jousting to Hurling of hammers , Bull-jumping to Archery, and more , it was 5 days of warrior fun.

Meanwhile , Mayor Woolite was lividly furious , He had the Axo High Chief on his back, and a dark secret, and a big deal about to go bust. He angrily sent his Brewer thugs to scour the Digs of the Loonieres , in barbarian ghettos of the upper mid southwestern section of the near northside , to "Find Estrogeniac and purge the others!" , why he wanted this done, inspector detective sergeant Sambo Fraydaeg would soon discover.

It was a massacre, the Brewery Thugs killed all the Loonieres and a hundred bystanders, Yet, Estrogeniac was not found , for Woolite had not yet known Estrogeniac was at the Shadow station , reposed in a barrel with the rictus of death on his face .

* * *

''You can't fault a man for a few vices,,'' said Eric the page to Fraydaeg , who had cornered the Page in a corner of the Palace rectangle Square , where an erotic puppet show had drawn a crowd. He pulled the Page to a corner and quizzed him , '' Now why would an upstanding citizen like yerself take company with The Ghost alchemist, hm?"
''The Ghost. ive met him, but i couldnt lead you to him , you know that, he is only found when he wants to be found, constantly changing his locations'' said Eric '' i had a back pain to medicate,,''
'' Did Estrogeniac introduce you? That day you took him from jail?" Fraydaeg knew this was not so , that Eric was seen in The Digs looking for The Ghost weeks before Estrogeniac ran in with the visiting Axo Lords, but he was judging Erics reactions..

'' Of course not, i only escorted him from jail to the Palace square, its normal practice to escort freed prisoners off the grounds, we dont want them hanging about'' Eric insisted
''Yes'' Fraydaeg glinted his eyes somehow, saying '' Yet its not such normal practice for the Mayors personal Page to be doing that escorting,.is it?''
Eric stared for a second or two, before saying ''Yes, thats true, i normally deliver the list of names to the escort department , but they were closed for lunch, ,,and i felt like enjoying some salutations with old Crowshagg the jailer, the poor fellow gets a bit isolated and bogged down in a dank dungeon with no one but half mad prisoners for company, and his professionalism forbids him from interacting with them but for his feeding and torture duties, so we enjoy a small chat now and again,, ''

Fraydaeg didn't want to intimidate him just yet, he held his card ''Yes, altruism at its best, how thoughtful, those such as Crowshagg are oft forgotten , Well sir Eric, i bid you be careful in the mean streets of The Dig's, Those jackels will be your best friend one day and stab you in the alley the next, i advise you to find an urchin to employ to dash for your 'goods' , and avoid those sides of the city''

''i shall take it on advisement, sir'' Eric replied formally , and they bid one another good day.

Fraydaeg sensed the lies. Eric had said he escorted Estrogeniac to the Palace rectangle Square , when before he had said he escorted him to the front gate,,so they probably had a long talk somewhere,, and if he wanted to visit Crowshagg, and toting a bit of Latka , he would have shared a nip of the good stuff with his friend, any Ulzmen would. And a Page lowering himself to jailer escort is highly improbable ,, and he felt certain Eric had more interest in the Ghost's offerings than some 'vice' fulfillment..
He decided to tail Eric, who was carrying his page bag

When Fraydaeg spotted Eric headed to the Palace Arms Hotellery , He knew he had it! This Eric the Page was certainly the culprit, he'd bet his bottom ha'penny !!
Eric did indeed head for the rooms of the Axolords , knowing full well they were still at the pre-games orgy festivities ,, But where the hell was the room guard?!
The detective creeped up the stairway and flatened himself against the lading wall, and peered around the corner ever so cautiously,, He saw Eric enter the room with a key, he believed it was lord Armflems room,, and he knew exactly why,,

"He will plant the poisoned bottle of latka! i have caught him red handed! '' he thought to himself, ''This is it!!"

When Eric slipped out of the room of Armflem, he was conked in the face with a wooden stool , and then again while he was down , breaking the stool to pieces,,
'' I arrest you!! Fraydaeg said, adding '' Looks like you are nicked there ,,in the face ,from a big splinter, sonny, , we'll have a nurse look at that''

Eric sprawled on his back ,raised his head with rolling glazing eyes , then his world went spinning and he was suddenly knocked out cold by another whack of the stool.

* * *

Mayor Woolite was working on a major deal, a high stakes distant Latka exporting scheme that would simultaneously win him top foreign contracts and conquest of his rival

Woolite considered his stock of poisoned wine, he knew Libationary Gifts were , by Axo tradition, not opened and drank by the Royal classes until they returned to the homecoming feast and presented their gift to their Queens or ladies ,
So there was time,,. Hopefully just those lame brained Generals and no more will be the only casualties ,,,
'Woolite SuperextraSpecial Label Latkagravis' was only made during the 3 week period each year during the festival of Han Santatizer , the patron demi-god of the city, and a highly limited & exclusive product, only a few cases a year were made, and this was the gift he had given the High Chief of all the North lands . The only other crate was meant to go to a foreign rival who was not yet aware they were rivals, and would be feeding this prized elixir to his king. Which meant for Woolite a new territory as agreed to by his real foreign partner , the true rival of the first , for that crate was poisoned , meant for regicide , ,and the demise of a business rival.

That this was the source of the Poisoned Latka , Fraydaeg did not yet know, but he did however know Erics bag would reveal a ceramic bottle of very special Latka , and that Eric had planted a poison bottle in its place.

He had only to summon the Axolords from their revelries , that they can realize the end of this abominable mystery, and await Erics awakening ,,and confession of course.

He had retrieved the poison bottle from the room, and handed it to Oberon when they arrived at the station, saying ''Heres the evidence, i caught him planting it in the room of Chieftain Armflem ''
Eric was still passed out, his limbs dangling from the wheelbarrow that a Hotellery servant boy wheeled to the headquarters for Fraydaeg , '' This scurrilous villain we will bind and bring to the house of Woolite, and there gather with the Axo Chiefs where we will all come to know the truth of the matter'' He informed Oberon , and they proceeded to do just that.

Axobongo was not too pleased to be summoned away from the party, for he was yet unregistered in the Hammer Hurling events, .

While Fraydaeg waited their arrival , and that of Woolite himself , who was said to be soon returning from one of his breweries , and Eric dozed still in the wheelbarrow, He took the quiet moment to sort through what he knew , mentally surmising thusly:

-Eric had most certainly murdered Estrogeniac, the detective had realized that Eric made Estrogeniac a patsy. Certainly when he escorted the rabble rouser from jail, he offered him a job to vandalize the rooms of the Axo lords , something Estrogeniac would jump at,, and Eric , with key , could slip in and switch the bottles of Latkagravis before,,or after Estrogeniac came in via the balcony, to paint the the anti war slogans,,

Thus, Fraydaeg realized the graffiti in pink , at the murder scene, that read ''death to Ty'' was an unfinished word, ''death to TYRANTS'' was the intended taunt , but for some reason Estrogeniac was interrupted in his painting,,
it was evidence tampering to boot!
Eric the page must have slipped in to return the unopened good bottle and retrieve the poisoned evidence one too soon, while Estrogeniac was still there painting .and if Estrogeniac knew what was Erics true scheme , it would be reason enough to kill him and leave the pink paint with him as evidence, for Estrogeniac certainly saw the dead bodies .

Fraydaeg lit his pipe and chuffed as he puffed , quite pleased with himself,, this case was cracked, , He had nearly suspected Estrogeniac , found dead with the paint meant case solved,,
,,but the hunches in both his back and pancreas held him on this Eric the Psycho killer Page track.. puff,, puff,,and a good thing too, puff , mm, well done sir, to top it off, catching him red handed in the act !'' As he mused to himself,, the beautiful bottle of SuperextraSpecial Woolite Label caught his eye , even the label was finely handcrafted , the liquid was truly one of the worlds most loveliest concoctions .

The Axo chieftains arrived before Woolite , and impatiently prodded Fraydaeg to explain in advance of the Mayors arrival.

Which he did, explaining he had no idea of Erics motivation, a pathologic sociopathic tendency he had to try and express without those particular terms at his disposal, for those expressions had not yet been coined.

'' Eric was apparently slipping into the victims rooms with keys he was able to acquire, either through bribe or threat weighted by the authority rank of his station, he would switch the good Latka with poisoned bottles , and later return to switch the bottles again after the poisoning had been completed, , he roped in Estrogeniac straight from jail , providing him pink paint and probably promising fine compensation in coin if Estrogeniac would vandalize their rooms with anti war propaganda,,

'' This..'' Fraydaeg continued '' ..was to throw the scent into a new direction, making Estrogeniac a patsy, to take the blame for the murders. Naturally, with me on the job, it failed,, '' Fraydaeg chuckled softly to himself,,'' i sniffed out and followed Eric the Page, and i spotted him slipping into the room of Chieftain Armflem , switching this fine bottle of Ulz's finest beverage '' he gestured '' with a poisoned one ''

The Axos let out audible gasps and murmur sounds from their muscular warrior chests.

Fraydaeg lifted the bottle and deftly broke the seal and popped the cork free.. '' This, my lords, is the elixir of the gods, if you have never tried it,, may i now introduce you in a toast of celebration at the end of this contemptible murder business that sadly corrupted your visit to our fine city''

He poured himself a snifter of the luscious liquid , and all the Axo lords were being handed cups and Fraydaeg proudly held his cup in the air, poised to make a formal toast, while visibly drooling at the lips over the partaking of the most rare and coveted Liqueur in the world.. '' Observe , if you will, its aroma and texture when you swirl it,,,"

The door slammed open, Woolite burst in waddling , fuming ''Whats all this!?! Why is my Page bound and dozing in a wheelbarrow!, and why is a damned dirty wheelbarrow doing in my sitting room!?!"

As all attention turned to Woolite, Fraydaeg rolled his eyes, but seconds away from that heavenly slurp of fluid bliss was he, so close,, he could not justify ignoring the waiting drink further, as he had been waiting hours for this,,SuperextraSpecial Woolite-Label! the worlds best ,,

...He drank down his snifter glass, while the hubbub mounted towards Woolite, then sat down his glass, and poured himself another round ...

Axobongo was now storming at Woolite, who had a top man that was clearly a psycho killer, Woolite objected, and Eric the Page was heard coughing and stirred from his slumber..

Armflem lifted Eric up and flung him effortlessly on one of Woolites fine Rattan loveseats , Woolite was forcibly sat down in front of him , and Eric was ordered to confess..

''Gladly'' said Eric, after a couple of dry heaves and some spits from his blood covered face and an enormous head pain, due to the proper police arresting techniques employed in those days, he began,,'' well,,the Mayor had,,,

" You had better watch what you say, Eric!'' Woolite threatened with the menacing look on his face like a wadded tissue,, then Axobongo boomed ''Silence!!!"

They all had eyes on Eric, and as they listened, what they heard was a kind of gurgling, and a thump,,from behind them where Fraydaeg was,, Fraydaeg was on the floor twitching grotesquely , his mouth opened wide and his orange tinted tongue protruding from it in what looked like pure agony,,

As he lay gasping and convulsing, it became obvious to all he had drank poison, from the very same bottle they all nearly drank from..

Armflem looked up with a furled brow, and said solemnly ''Looks like there may be a flaw in the good detectives logic ,,''

''Thats the 5th murder victim on your hands Eric, by my count,, you sick bastard'' Axobongo said with a dumbfounded yet tepid and sort of bitter look on his face.

''Not me lord, i was only doing His bidding,,'' indicating Woolite, who jumped up yelling '' You Shut the hell up you babbo cafone! You're Oobatz ! Crazy friggin maniac! im lookin at a dead man! "

Axobongo glared at Eric while backhanding Woolite with his fist against Woolites bulby neck,, which sent the fat mayor falling back into his seat gasping for air. '' Speak like that again 'Mayor',, and i will display you in the stocks '' He said calmly, still keeping his eyes fixed on Eric,, ''Now say what you have, Eric, for interrogation is the next step for you, and i have heard its particularly unpleasant in this town, an that everything gets confessed in short order,,''

Met Unalan had pulled a sword and held it at Woolites throat, which was a fine suggestion to the Mayor that he had better not speak

''No need lord, i am happy to tell, for i am ashamed of my actions,,''

Woolite let out a sound like that of a choking mouse ,, Eric continued,,
" As you have just learned,, the bottle i retrieved from the room of Armflem,, was the poisoned one, i was merely trying to replace the poisoned bottles Woolite had given you all as gifts,, with good latka''

''Liar!'' Woolite screamed out , unable to contain it,, Met Unalan conked him on the head with his sword hilt.

Just then,, some noises of men shouting and scrambling was apparent outside the Mayors house , there was battle of some large scale happening, Axobongo and his men came outside to see hundreds of brutal looking barbarians , overly bulky and brutish looking in unreal exaggerated musculature .

''Now what?'' Axobongo grimaced.. there were smokey fires appearing on rooftops and an Axo captain of the Ulzian Guard reported to his visiting High Chief, ''They are storming the entire district of the Palace sire!"
The Mayors house was located behind the Palace head quarters ''We are trying to rally the city guard to the Palace Head-Quarters, it seems the bulk of them are trying to bring it down''

''Who the hell are they?" Axobongo demanded

''Looks like the Barbarian Manure Cartel ! We have no idea why they attack, but the Brewers of Woolite have been battling them up the block, it seems they have also raided and razed several of Woolites breweries,, he has lost much of his henchmen,, and henchwomen''

Axobongo gave some orders, and returned inside to confront Woolite,,

Meanwhile, city soldiery were fighting desperately and currently out numbered, Axobongo and his men gathered Woolite and Eric and they slipped in the palace via a secret entrance from the mayors house wing, to set up a defense from within. Woolite was bound in chains and locked in the kitchen pantry , Eric they had locked in the cloak room, and then they joined the battle.

At least 30-40 of these barbarians were mutated into a bulky inhuman strength , and it took alot to bring them down, for they were like berzerkers and seemed to not be much affected by cuts and wounds, The five Axo lords, Axobongo, Armflem, Met Unalan, Biruk and Zulu , were spectacular, when they entered the frey, the regular Axo soldiery gained heart, and the tide turned somewhat , for they began taking down the mutated Barbarian giants in skilled war hardened fashion, no matter their battle fury, once Axobongo got his axe in their skulls, or removed the intactness of their throats with his sword , they fell down just like anyone else.

Armflem and Biruk also took down a great share of these particular brutes, while barbarians fell around them, and others continued to arrive, on both the barbarian and city defender sides.

To see these Axolords fight was a marvel, they leapt and spun, their metal flashing in the sunlight, and streams of gushing blood circling them as barbarians fell, toppled , and/or flipped back with a departed limb or chunk of body part tumbling off in the other direction.

Axobongo got to see Zulu in action, he was fighting like a mythic warrior, sometimes appearing to fly in his bloodlust gusto, Axobongo was pleased to know his new chieftains were worthy, and of course,,'nothing bonds like battle'.

Hundreds of bodies lay scattered and splattered around the rectangle Square and Palace steps and courtyard . More town guard was rallied, and by sunset, the area was secured. But there were still incoming reports of of battles popping up spontaneously around the city,, Axobongo had the palace ringed with men standing shoulder to shoulder , and decided to take a break, he had absconded Woolites personal quarters, and its ostentatious bath and seductive servant bather girls , and found it was a good time to utilize these things.

145 minutes later, he was briefed by Oberon ;

" We have discovered the 'mad' alchemist , named Azig, is in league with the Barbarian Manure Cartel. He is a powerful gang leader who runs the upper mid southwestern section of the near northside, where the Estrogeniac Looniers were based, and the gang attack in his neighborhood by Woolites Brewers Union wiped out the Loonieres in what was called ''a blood bath'' . its why Azig gave this response, he sent in barbarian manure drivers to hit the brewers,'' continued Oberon
''-which led to Woolite sending in guardsmen and brewers to arrest the manure gangs,.. which led to this attack on Woolites palace by the mad alchemists barbarians and his brother , Dergg Barleycorn , who is head of a rival brewery to Woolites, so basically sir,, Woolite started it ''

''Do you happen to have this Azigs address?'' Axobongo inquired of Oberon ,,,

With the Palace secured, Axobongo led fifty mounted men that evening , on armored black heavy horses ,towards the upper mid southwestern section of the near northside , and diverted their rout occasionally to break up spontaneous riots and rumbles that were still breaking out intermittently around the town.
When he arrived at the Demesne of Azig, the small guard of 20 men there immediately yielded and offered no resistance.

* * *
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Chapter 5 ~ the Plot Simmers

Axobongo pounded on the highly reinforced basement door , an aged man with a long greying food stained and clotted beard answered, ''Come in'' he said and gestured. He was Azig Phineas Stone Van Homunculus of Ulz , Jr., also known as 'The Mad Alchemist' , who some called 'The Wizard of Ulz' , for he exceeded any alchemist in the region in libation concoction, and had come up with more very tolerable recipes for imitation Latka and Biri than any. His brews considered so palatable that his latest brand, Ulztaxa (for men) not only tasted more authentic than actual Latkagravis, but its color and viscosity and texture were hailed as 'The Ideal Liquid' . And His Biri'm was popularly termed ''The Ideal Fluid' , for both were markedly stronger than traditional Latka' and Biri, and the crust that formed on the vats of Biri was also useful as a grease removing soap and meat tenderizer when stone ground, as well as a tasty cough lozenge or tortilla substitute in Aztec soup , when chipped.
And he was able to undercut Woolites prices by a sizable amount, unregistered ingredients were considered a danger (and sometimes were) , selling it in underground channels was prohibited but flourishing
He was wearing the traditional alchemists long pointy hat, curly pointy shoes, and a silky plaid robe embroidered in astrologic and chemical symbolisms with fur edging of a tinted fuchshia , His pipe was quite long that it was a stretch to light it, it appeared to have 3 bubble shaped chambers for the smoke to pass through , containing mysterious substances that glowed in different colors as he puffed.
He winked at Axobongo and asked
''You come here to arrest me? or kill me? Lordy High Chief Master AxO'bo?'' and grinned a snaggly grin , and offered his pipe,

''Perhaps'' ,, said Axobongo '' You did attack my town's Mayorial Palace ,and tastelessly with barbarians none the less, , with half them mutated by whatever strange concoctions you feed them.. Does this not seem like good cause to you?" , He drew a puff on the pipe, it was quite scrumptious, it made smoking seem to make sense .

'' Well young Sire, as you know, things aren't always as they seem, The corruption in this town is flatulent , it is rampantly agog in rife spectrumity , There is no doubt a favor service hid deep in the bowels of the heart of the matter,,''

Axobongo looked at him with a wee grin that managed to say ; '' ? ''

Azig went on '' I am not ignominiously reminded of a story, for a story i am reminded of reminds me of the need for the twists of fate to purge the rut of mundane hum-drumidness of sublunary plain-vanilla scenarios that would only lead to the malaise of languid predictability ,, , ''

Axobongo sat in Azigs comfy chair ,leaned back , and said '' if its a story you've on your mind , go ahead and spill it, , time is short, but a story is always welcome during the impasse of between moments''

Azig rose his eyebrows , '' Not to worry, no lengthy story is befitting. The crux of the biscuits depend on alert consistency of the attention deficit challenged to absorb the subtlety before the message misses its point and streams to oblivion,,

,,,This was the lesson learned by the goode Knight Sir Rickles of the Kingdom of Goodgulf ,,'' Azig continued '' Who had the look of a man whose teeth were perpetually trying to escape his head, the slim frame of a fitness enthusiast wanna be, and the look in the eye of a panther hunting for his eyes . He was riding the land for prize to a conundrum presented him by the rogue court magician of his father ,The goode King JackieMason, and his court . This enigmatic wizard , who was named HennyYoungmen the Elder, had taken his father the king hostage in his own court, with a powerful magic web that paralyzed the people.

Sir Rickles must find a jewel, to restore the father and kingdom, a jewel that only registered princes were allowed to compete for , in the grand prince games held biannually at the old burning man site in the wastelands of south Umbar ,
These games Sir Rickles had once vowed to never join again,due to a humiliating experience he met on his first inception into the international league of princes (ilop) as a teen, some nasty initiation process that turned ugly when a few of the princelings who mocked his unique snaggleteeth, had conspired to cheat so that he lost the poodle throwing contest by replacing his poodle with a magistrates flea ridden white wig, and they sabotaged the Haggis eating contest by replacing his Haggis with spoiled steamed maggot pie, which to young Rickles was the foulest of southern cuisine anyways, and they doused him in pig blood at the sub-grand Ball , and later de-pantsed him when he was certain he was having a special moment with the princess maiden, Bladdis Pearl of the kingdom of Snobbyproper , which resulted in him having to run away, nude from the waist down, to the riotous laughter of all, even the princess of Snobbyproper chortled in an unusually loud manner for a chortle ,, so, to be made to return to that arena was a horrible prospect to the goode Knight Sir Rickles.

But, when ones parents and kingdom were being held hostage, one did what they had to do. The grand prize was a giant jewel with an odd tone of neon purple, with a khaki core holding a central facet shaped like a pair of pants (the khaki panter) , and the evil wizard HennyYoungman the elder could not obtain it until it was brought forth from its enchanted box and placed in a princes hands . He had insisted the jewel would help him in research and to win the wizards fashion show, which is important in wizard society, and could propel one to the upper echelon of the thaumaturgic hierarchy . . and that there was no need to worry it being used for destruction , et al .
So Sir Rickles was not overly concerned, except for that wizards with obsessions were not trustable and this one did inexplicably turn Queen PhylusDiller into a duck ,,so he deeply considered he may be aiding in the destruction of the world or something of the like.

And the competition would be rough , he doubted he could win even with the 'tool' the wizard HennyYoungman gave him, the 'good luck charm' , and in contemplating all this, he very much thought it may well be prudent to boogy off and simply leave the whole affair behind him and board a ship to a new world .

He came to the crossroads, which was a forked Y road, West led to the Princely Games,, East to the shore and new horizons. And tho' he loved his family and kingdom, he had to admit it annoyed him to no end,, and felt claustrophobic , and he so often loathed it that the fresh breeze and road dust inspired him to lean towards the seaward way.

But he simply sat on his horse and contemplated for awhile, then decided to dismount and eat a sandwich to mull over it some more.

From the eastern searoad way came a very old woman in ragged peasant clothes pulling a little red wagon piled high in exotic corrective shoe inserts fresh in from the far east , she recognized the princely armor and moved from greeting to begging a bit of sandwich with ease , ''headed for the princely games then are you young man?'' she asked pleasantly as they ate.

'' Indeed i have been, but now i consider finding a ship to take me to a new destiny'' he answered
" Well," said she " There is a ship waiting at the dock now,,called the 'Simolina',,and as it were loading local beets & potatoes , it stands to reason they will take them to some far away place that has them not''
'' interesting,,,'' replied Sir Rickles
'' But no matter your choice, you will be led to your destiny'' said she
'' Pure twaddle, Typical peasant superstition my dear, we of the royal class let the one true pantheon be our guide , and not some theory of 'destiny' ''
'' It could be arrogance young sire, which surely you realize is a potential of your station,,?,, hm?,, i will tell you a tale to prove my point, if it meets you well i bid ye be not shy to mark appreciation with a small coin''
Sir Rickles nodded , '' 'Tis fair, please proceed''

This then is the tale told by the old hag to the knight in shining armor:

[spoil] There was once a young man who had a difficult choice,

So, he decided to flip a coin, it would be heads do it, tails dont,, so he flipped it, , ''Heads'' , do it.

But what if the coin was lying? He bid the gods of the coin flip to answer if he should listen to the coin or not, so he flipped, Heads yes say 'listen to the coin' its true, ,tails no,dont listen, its false,,

,,it was tails,,

But,, if its false, and tails proves it, then the thing to do would be the opposite of what the coin said, thus, its true, he should listen to the coin..

But he could not know if it were a lying coin or a true coin answer, so he flipped to see if the answer was sincere today,, he got a yes

Which meant that the coin was saying its answers of false were true, and that proves that the false answer is still an answer, and false

But if it were actually false ,, then the truth of it being false would also be false,, he flipped the coin to see if that were the case, it said 'no',,

Which meant the truth of it being false was true , so again, all he had to do was the opposite,

He flipped to check if that were correct,, it said 'no'

''Of course'' he realized, for doing the opposite is as good as a true answer its simply using the opposite 'down' side of the coin rather than the 'up'..

So he decided to start over, this time starting with '' is this a 'true' coin toss answer of the flip today?''

He got a yes, but then wondered if that included the previous flips?? For maybe the coin did not know he started over, or had any ability to turn on and off at the will of the flipper,,

Which would still mean the coin was agreeing that its answers were false,

But that would mean that the falseness was also false , so he could be sure the flip was true,,

Viking Joe was watching this young man flipping the coin from his barstool and became curious, and so approached the lad

'' Top o the mornin to ya's, big decision is it lad?" he asked in a Norwegian accent
'' och, aye, '' said the lad in a Swedish accent, ''ya ken a wee problem i cannae gobble, aye ,nowt a bonny choice i find ''
The young man explained he had trouble waiting him if he returned home , but the only place he could think to go was the unknown , or else to a far distant fish monger uncle whom he hated ,but might employ yet him..

'' Not to worry, to be sure, laddy, let me tell you a story of my roving years , sure and how i came to learn how to choose the best roads, with no coin to flip...
[spoil] ''When i was a soldier for hire '' said Viking Joe ''i went to distant places, and began fighting for the nomadic Mohuabian people of the coast, their elite Axtocamp warriors were feared as the fiercest of fierce fighters , their colony went a-viking from over the ocean and came to these lands a few generations before , but for certain reasons , they had decided to return to their native lands , for the Mohuabian people were adventure travelers to many worlds ,yet something was rallying the distant clans.
And in this world , they were amassing a force to take the one port city that would provide them sufficient swag booty and bounty of a good sacking,, and several sailing ships, for the now their own population was greater than their ships. And this plan was more in tune with the Axtocampian sense of fun and the pragmatic, infinitely more so than building extra ships.

They hired mercenaries, thugs,highwaymen, professional soldiers ,and who ever would join, They made speeches to us about the historic justification of the war they were about to wage, and the nastiness and offensiveness of the enemy. We were motivated .

They defended in the city with spear and tin cup, with wagon wheels and pitchforks, cutlery and livestock , as we fought our way through its streets . Axtoca ships even assaulted the harbor , the castle was a different story , at first seeming hopeless, we were rained on by spear and vestiges , until i witnessed the glory of Axtocamp Axmen!. like the mythical tales from this worlds northern tribes , they fought with such a surge the enemy turned to ground beef before my eyes , and i recalled the legends of the hero-god Axu and how his children spread across the known universe with their mighty Axmen , and rooted into every world of the digital stars , and assumed these must be some descendants of theirs .

They won the town, we pillaged , and at some point, i just stopped, looked around, at the smoldering things, the body parts and ruin, heard the death screams and throes of children and wimmin,, the raping, the thievery, and for some reason, i felt a remorse. it was sickening, i was young, and knew i had to get used to it, it was what was done in those days, but it was awful , these weren't soldiers after all, more like family.. soldiers were fair game, but this?,,, i knew i couldn't stomach it.

i had the option of joining the Axtocamp regulars, and sail with the exodus and pursue riches abroad, and one of the Mohuabian clan maidens had caught my eye, which honestly tempted me more than the thought of vikingway slaughter . For them, it was not an obscene atrocity to annihilate innocents with pillaging brutality, but a concept of carving 'Luck' granted by their gods and the sacred rhythm of life.

There i was , faced with the prospect of love, riches, great training, and adventure,,(or possibly sinking in a ship), but all i had believed i had ever wanted. And any other road led to nowhere except the same old same old routines of this world, possibly the peasant life of menial struggle , but the idea of repeating a series of heartless slaughter over and over on innocents, simply sickened me to the core, i sat perplexed.

A wise Barbarian one would think would be impossible to find. These subhuman types who scramble in the world half clothed in smelly rags, unaware of the most basic hygiene skills, hardly a developed language at their disposal,, were truly vulgar and devoid of any concepts of social graces, , yet i had the fortune to meet one who had lived long, had adapted the ways of the world to his personal manner, he knew many things and secrets of magical nature.

He told me to find a coconut, or a beet, , a twig of Hazel or Ash, a handful of Yarrow, 3 snails and 3 grasshoppers, and some olive oil, or at least any vegetable oil , and to gather a few nice stones that fit comfortably in the hand.

And so i took the list and collected these items, unaware that the maiden of the Mohuabian clan had decided to have me. In their culture, a woman could choose a man and test if he was able to impregnate her, if so, then they could marry , much like the vikings of SvwattheHel.

Since both men and wimmin in their culture were each allowed to have several spouses , this normally presented no problem , but a refusal could sometimes result in the wrath of the spited one, and instead of a coupling, a battle match, to the death, could be sanctioned.

So i returned to the old barbarian, whose name was Blathelstick , and we found a clearing to perform the ritual, He said this was but a trick that the gods responded to, that the spirit of their life force was linked to the life force of all living nature , but no true prediction of unavoidable future could ever be predicted , thus, it was a guideline at best.
He said the more you do without thought in your head , the more got done in harmony with this life force and mostly led to the best roads for an individual,,

To make this point, he told me a story of a curious man who struggled as an Artesian crafter of toenail clipping Art. A lost wanderer who blew with the wind until falling to significance .

Blathelstick said he had met the curious middle aged man from a non desrcript location in a generic sweat lodge which he often enjoyed when visiting his southwestern kin, who were masters of the sauna arts, and sophisticated to a point of being noted as uber-barbarians , its said their band of nomads once swam through the mystical lake of wisdom , Sophistaccato , sprung from the Fountain of EvoLuthe , and now hidden in the misted vail and considered lost , or so is it writ by the master Herotoddus De Leon , that such things were now denied to the humans for their wicked ways once the gods discovered that wisdom and sophistication gifts still didn't stop the wicked ways ,.of course, what the gods consider wicked is a point of controversy,, it could be that what they consider wicked is such as 'self loathing', or 'anger' , or the killing of a gnat,, as has been suggested by Herotoddus , all these being in the realm of the evil dark lord diabolic god named Amygdala , the bingo bringer.

Regardless these sweat lodge visits were often beneficial in more than one way, lively philosophical discussions and the meeting of minds , many being travelers who knew of the generosity of the sauna people and their medicinal steam tents.

On this occasion, the curious middle aged man was telling Bathelstick his story , his was a fascinating journey;

[spoil] Blathelstick said '' The curious man started with a profound statement about the world,,,and this was it . . .''

'' The world is insane'' The curious middle aged man said,,
adding ''Look, once Upon a time , all i wanted to do was get through my day , and purposefully wasting time seemed the logical course . I am a man who had absolutely nothing,, and i threw it all away in one boneheaded miscalculation .

Oh,, once upon a time, life opened the lid , and carefully-very carefully- i had tried my hand at gaining riches, i was a pickled crumbcake vendor , a toe nail clipperist , a door sweep, ,, i had a nice temporary job at the Duckstrangle Manor house as a ramp , which i had to leave as it affected my gastrointestinal tract,, and i became prone to fits of farting.. which tainted my resumé.

..And then the tribal wars between clans came to the land , as if to smear butter all over the days of plenty and eat them up before i ever got my piece.
i was left destitute and homeless.
ah,, life, what flippant dunks you offer.
The day i finally conquered my inner fluffy-wuffy was a personal premium to me , but at a price.
My consciousness parachuted from the top of the utmost precipice of youthful hope into the green, slimy and tepid like reflection of middle aged cynicism.
i landed with a plunk, or possibly a splurt , in all likelyhood, a sploitch,,into my new state of mind, , as if my boots were stuck in a slow quicksand and my intestines now swam in my knees .

I took to wandering from town to town begging work for food among the villages good people ,
but had a tendency to get chased out before a fortnight would pass due to my unfortunate chronic flatulence .

There were laws against farting in public , people feared it was evil and could wither the mothers milk , turn candles limp and ruin the irrigation systems of the towns waste waters , and befoul the virtue of virgin sheep which made virgin wool, , and a hundred other superstitions.

The Master at the Temple of Muppet-Rash , near the waterfalls of Mount Poppet Valve, was a strange little man .
He was a sculptor of giant religious icons made of cheese . Above his temple door was written "Use Your Imagination" .

I 'd made my way there to see if i might become his apprentice. It had been so long since i tasted cheese,, i would do almost anything for a bite.

To my surprise , upon arrival i discovered that the Master had set a random prize draw for one of its most renowned cheese icons, the graven image of the Goddess Superlativia Wabbit of the most Holy Egg Whisk.

There would be 7 winners, and before they could claim their prize, they would each have to face a contest.

Those who won the draw were:

1. Scaggwiffle ,a tribe leader of the Wump people ,a tribe of dry noodle portrait forgers and a cutthroat shoelace cartel , his reputation was disreputable, and his mustache scandalously pointy.

2. A Milkman named Eric O'Not My Elephant, who insisted it was pronounced " O'Nomyliffent" in the North, and "PruneValid Twonk Sap" in the South, with a silent O'.

3. A muscular flax washer named Ingrid Von Sniped , who was quite large for a woman, and used a curious oatmeal based lipstick.

4. A roof thatcher of the dark arts named Mrs. Spilled Detergent, who had a penchant for strapping stray dogs to both armpits as a fashion statement.

5. A crochet bubble hat , mysteriously entered but valid nonetheless

6. A mind numbingly shallow little weasel of a man who was both a squire and Royal Chamber-Pot Bearer to the Regal house of Brummy-Git , whose glare was opaque and nullified but bafflingly snobbish and bulbous ..he was skinny, but with a bulbous glare,,and his laugh sounded like the squealing of pigs on a honeymoon,.
His name was Elberk Mac'Asked For Support Bra.

7. And myself, just an impoverished shmoe from a town smaller than a Hamlet,, a Spamlet, known only for folk art made from toenail clippings and not much else.

The contest was a cheese eating contest, in which i won, but accompanied it with a rather large fart, a victory fart! ..Unfortunately , it had sufficient decibels to be considered illegal, and Lord Elberk had me shackled.

they asked me my last words, to which i said '' i should never have entered the draw, now i am to be catapulted into the canyon, all because of the injustice of the world and its superstitious aversion to flatulence . Like dehydrated elderly man urine we are thrust about as dust in the menstruating wind of the Goddess and slammed against the balmy rocks of human enterprises , and left in its wake to wither or insert ourselves into plastic moral systems to live as dead people. Here i go, farewell, i am about to be frappe at the canyons floor, but i die proud to have lived as a liver of life! and fart freely ! ''

Blathelstick paused for dramatic effect , then made a quiet tone bending hissing sound for a few seconds,,, imitating the sound of a catapulted object whistling in the wind,,
paused again,,
and continued

''He then explained how it came to be that he remains in the world of the living , That he was flung by the catapulting contraption high into the sky over the steep cliff , yet lived to tell the tale;
He flew and felt that to experience a moment of knowing the experience of the bird, was perhaps worth dying for, this world had lost meaning to him anyways, and he was accustomed to having experiences with no one to tell his stories to, so he enjoyed it fully in the moment, with no lament that another human would not be able to admire him for it.

Perhaps it was this enlightened state of mind, or the result of his light diet, but the god of wind and farts, Njorizephy-shu blew a gust so potent that his falling was cushioned and slowed, as if he were but a leaf , he was diverted from the direct fall,, blown beyond any natural landing point, over treetops, to finally collide with a small earthbound lake , and in such a way that he entered it undamaged, and emerged no more than wet.

But reborn .

He fell to his knees on the shore of the lake , and opened his arms wide, and proclaimed his love and gratitude to the Universe ,
And then a tall and fat light appeared before him,
it became the Goddess Isist teria,
exceedingly beautiful and trim, exotic and darkish but bathed in light and diaphanous glazing that reflected on her long and toned legs and sleek luscious lipped face the glittery sparkles which emanated from the sparkler sticks attached to her generous bosom and one atop her silver crown , a gentle airy voice seemed to vibrate his body and in his head he heard her words;

"Happy Birthday'' she said ''You have won a boon, dear child'' she smiled lovingly
She shrunk down into a human form with a human voice and sat down on the grassy lakeside beside him

He asked why he had been so honored?
She said that he was the one millionth person to have achieved disattachment when falling, or being flung from, a mountain , ''As you flew , you had no fear or concern, but a perfect acceptance , there was no thought of others, no anger , no regret, you were fully in the moment, yet one of purity that in this case has changed you, tho you dont yet know it''

''As i sat there beside a Goddess'' he told me '' it was like being with my oldest friend, a version of myself with me, and among family as in being known completely ,
she told me my story would one day be told far far in the future, it will manifest in the form of a contest , called, a ''funny story contest'' and requiring the use of 18 distinct phrases or words,,
and a floating consciousness out there will find some random writers fingers to scribe it anew, and the world will once again slowly recall these times, long lost to them., YOUR NAME WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR ETERNITY,," She ended her sentence with a seductive sounding echo and frills of sound effects in her Goddess voice.
Then a butterfly and twinkle of sunlight flitted by over the glistening grass of the dell.
Isist continued "The story will be known as 'Cheesebane' , for Cheese was both your undoing and your salvation , but your name will live on and inspire a consciousness that steers the world back to the earth rhythms they will have lost , back to communing with us deities of things organic and infinite , which being conquered through the advancing history will take from them, our names barely remembered..''

''My story seems dumb and meaningless , at this time, i cant see how it could win a contest''

She patted his hand, '' oh, it wont win, not even runner up, though far exceeding the others in wit , but its that there lies in it other messages far deeper, that its impact will be subtle, and those who study it will attain an insight that they will build upon, and it will go virally like wildfire , verily .
Never underestimate the hidden, or the minutest pollen, the moments of silly to you are important to us Gods of the pantheon of the Universe ''

''How did all this come about ?" He asked her, his wonderment of life would not likely ever again have a Goddess to ask or a worthier respondent.

The Goddess Isist agreed to tell him of how it all started , from the speck of pollen,, and she said this was something she had copyrighted

[spoil]Chaos farted,
and not an everyday wisp of air fart, but a splattering juicy type,, and it expanded, creating the universe.
the universe flowed, and its molecules separated , creating 2 flowing substances, sky and sea.

The ocean and sky were once the entire universe,, mr. dark matter was born in the sky side, and Miss Turtle was born in the ocean side.
One day, mr dark matter was doing something nasty in a public restroom,, of which he left some residue that ,later when miss turtle used the facility, she came in contact with and became pregnant, for the residue contained a speck of magic pollen.

She gave birth to animals, the first was Coyote.
Coyote was lonely, and while swimming the ocean, eventually came across a Fox maiden , these two were so attracted to each other, they joined together as one, and coupled in such a way that they invented the Tango, which they danced and danced, as there was nothing else to do,, they danced and their spinning caused a ripple in the Universe,, and the Sky and Ocean separated .

Miss Turtle peeked her eyes out of the Sea for the first time, at the area between Ocean and Sky, intrigued, she emerged and became content between the two, and Sky could not rejoin with Sea, because Miss Turtles Humped shell held it aloft.

As Coyote and Fox continued their love dance, some of their molecules melded in the form of fur balls which they coughed up as they danced, these fur balls were magnetic, and bound together, and at the core a new being was made,, she grew suddenly and shed the acidic fur shell , she was the Goddess of Love.

She danced alone, but as happy and content as was her nature and essence,, this dance continued , its energy spinning and swirling did further separate the Sky and Sea, and Miss Turtle shuddered in glee.

As the Goddess danced on the shell of Miss Turtle, she created a friction on the surface of the shell , a friction that lingered and made her shell glow.

The glow became Fire , and made Miss Turtle decide to shake it off,,, she shuddered and vibrated until the Fire that surrounded her
floated up and became a round fireball , rising high until it crashed into the sky . When it did that, the impact made two things happen,

First: The fireball got lodged between sky and the space between sky and Turtle, who waded in the ocean.
Second: The crash dislodged the heart of the fireball which fell out and came falling down to Turtles surface , it was a God of Erotic-Lustiness, called mr. Vitality.

There was not much for mr Vitality to do, but urinate and poop, and on the center of the apex of Miss Turtles shell, was his favored spot to do this,, out of that mess a plant grew, it became an Ash tree, called Woold tree, and it grew so tall , it pierced the sky,, and its roots went down deep into Miss Turtle, who mr. Vitality named Terry, and the roots embraced her heart and was fed by it, while circulating back into it clean universe whit it filtered in from its leaves.

All manner of life and critters began emerging from the Tree, insects, animals and birds, and they ate the seeds and fruits and leaves and bark of Woold Tree, and where they left their droppings, new plants, flowers and reeds and weeds and herbs and new trees and grass's began to grow upon the surface of Miss Terry Turtle.

Mr Coyote and Miss Fox would enjoy postcoital rest after their dances, and Coyote learned how to roll up some of the weeds and grasses or smoke them in a pipe he fashioned from the Woold Tree. In this way, he sent puffs of smoke into the air that we still see as clouds.

One of these Puffs of cloud contained traces of his spittle and fur , and as they swirled within the cloud, they became a solid ball. This ball grew when it got nearer to the fireball light in the sky,, the fireball was now known as the Sun.
And tho its light fed the cloud ball, the heat repulsed it, and it was kept at a distance.

This solidified cloud ball they called Moon , and she would not stay still, her love of the Sunlight made her dance around Terry Turtle , who some now called ''Mama Turt '' , Moon danced and spun around Mama Turt hoping to find a cool breeze to bring her closer to the one that brightened her face in a sexy smile whenever she saw Him, her beloved Sun.

She sometimes flew through the air without looking where she was going, and so collided with Woold Tree.
She hit hard, and smack dab on the crook of a branch where brer Rabbit was snoozing in nap.
So hard she hit , that brer Rabbit got lodged half inside her , he was stuck and she bounced into a new orbit around Mama Turt , a dance pattern that insured she would never hit the Woold Tree again .

But this left brer Rabbit no way to grab a branch with his left arm in passing , and hope to pull himself free . So he had to waken his brain,,

''Wat dis, Sista' Moon? Why izzit you wanster fetter me dis ol' way? did you'se need embossing?''

To this miss Moon replied '' mmrf mhmmhnn, ermm mhrgnmbm,,,'' because he was lodged in her face and blocked her mouth, and indented it somewhat.
she would have to use telepathy, and so spoke to brer Rabbit this way, and he grew his ears longer to be able to hear her better, for this was quite a symbiotic relationship.

She apologized , but insisted since her favorite thing to do was to watch her Sun , she would not let herself crash into the Tree again , and she was now in the middle of her dance composition , with all the perfect momentum , and could not stop for to get him pried from her.

''This be pitifully bad fo me'' brer Rabbit lamented '' Cuz if'n i pop out frum wayy up here, i is sho' as nuthin gonna fall to my deff !''

Ravens were children of the sky , mr Dark Matter was their grandaddy , and when they saw brer Rabbit stuck in the Moon they called down to him,
''Hey, brer Rabbit , Watchu doin' thar in that hard cloud? Sister Moon trying to eat ya ?" and they cackled ,
''Not at all brer Crows , i is minin' fer cheese an honey, an,, da shiniest gold an' diamond you ebber did see'' brer Rabbit replied

if you ever heard the moon is made of cheese, dont believe it, this is a rumor spread by ravens and crows, for they believe it due to a trick by brer Rabbit who happened to have some cheese in his vest pocket when he was embedded in the Moon.

Ravens loved cheese, and honey and diamonds and shiny metal, and asked brer Rabbit if he would mine some for them.
He said he surely would, and if they pulled him free and set him down on the ground of Mama Turt , he would be happy to give half of what he ''gots'' .

The Ravens agreed, and a group broke from their flock and with speed and great strength they flew from their dark realm and into this one where they grabbed brer Rabbit and pulled him free of his trap, flying him down to the ground .

The odd thing is, Moon really does have shiny silver within her, and dislodging brer Rabbit released silver dust throughout the sky and universe.

But brer Rabbit had only a little cheese to split with the Ravens , yet his jacket was half covered in silver moon dust, so the angry Ravens stole it as compensation for there being no honey, gold, or diamonds.

'' You jus' folla sista' Moon,, like i says t'yas , one day she gonna go an' turn inside out, and all dat loverly honey and gems gonna rain down, and mos' get swallard by the wet Ocean if you dont geddit firs' ''

This is why the dark sky follows the moon , and hunts the stars , it is the family flock of the Ravens and Crows which got trapped out of their Night Flock domain, for after helping brer Rabbit they could not fly high enough to return , most likely due to the magnetic quality of the love gravity generated from the materials of Mama Turt , they can only talk long distance now.

So Ravens gave birth to all the birds, who re-mixed and created many types, even dinosaurs and dragons, for in those days, Ravens bred with lizards and snakes and other critters, like squirrels , experimenting with genetics to make a creature that could return them to their Night Flock. And now, they communicate to the Origin Flock only with telepathy, which was also released by the Moon and brer Rabbit when he was popped free of her face, in the form of a kind of gas.

Moons face expanded back into its rounded shape, but a bruise and indentations of brer Rabbits time stuck there can still be seen if you look carefully at her when she glows fully , when bathed in her Sunlight unimpeded .

Animals were much bigger in those days, as people grew in the world, the animals shrank , for it took molecular bits and traces of all living things and beings and elements to make the first people , and took most from animals , percentage wise,,per capita.. proportionally increments from more saturated ,, but no matter,,
,,i digress, as all story tellers inevitably must at some point, ,,

You may have heard of the story of Axoom and Exe and the Xerpent in the Garden of Axen , that these two were the first people who came from the Xerpent , a legless and wingless Dragon that lived in the wood of the Woold Tree ,, This is only partially true, the story has changed in time, ,
It states that from two ribs which the Xerpent vomited out , became the first man , Axoom, and first woman, Exe. well there really was a man before Axoom ,,

And his name was Elmer , and Elmer sat around alot smoking cigarettes and drunk and mumbling incoherently while drooling on himself, he was born old , with a wiry white beard and wrinkled flesh

And its said from the foam of the sea that was stranded on a windy shore was whipped up by the wind and landed on the side of the Woold Tree, just above a doorway which was the wormhole of the giant Xerpent , that travelled through a tunnel it made right to the heart of Mama Turt , and some of this foam dripped in and slid down the tube where it fell on the Heart of the World , and got zapped with a big bang of electric light.

Which shot this sea foam up through the tube and out into the open world, where if fell into a garden, and then dried out, what was left was Elmer.

And where he went is unknown nowadays , one day, he was just gone, but among the gods there is still debate, that he was really mr vitality disguised, or that he broke into many pieces and became the gnomes, leprechauns , faeries , ,, or that he was drunk and fell into the sea, where he became angel fish.

But Axoom And Exe were once ribs in the Xerpent , who had taken a fall,
Springing for food one day
The Xerpent slipped when high up the Woold Tree, and hit a branch
Broke two ribs that way

it fell into the Wild Wet Sea , and sucked in foam and salt water
it washed to shore feeling not as it oughter

And vomited out two ribs from its deep inside
Which grew into people by the next high tide

You may already know the verses , but there is more to the story, for all the living things and elements of the world willed into being these evolutions , these creations , it was a partially deep magic from the dark matter of mr Dark Matter that is within all things and yet cannot exist if not mingled with the Light & Matter in some way, for the narrow field between opposites created a magical fluid of an eternal presence , and the Goddess of Love and God of Vitality and Erotics were the reason Animals and all beings willed this new amalgamated form into essence and being.. for they were melding and practicing the art of dividing.

Like single cells do now, divide and multiply they created,, and so there became a God of Love as well as Goddess,, and a Goddess of Erotics and Vitality as well as God, and they began to mirror the other multi dimensionally, and these dimensions programmed the essence of all beings and elements to will multiplication,, carried on the waves of the field between energy and dark energy , and multi dimensionally.

And old Xerpent Dragon was a sensitive being, a very special and unique creature, For all this multidimensional energizing of Gods and animals and elements funneled into the Xerpent like a sponge or magnet.

This is why it was thrown off its mark whilst springing for food, and filled with the energy that made Human life when mixed with Ocean ,,

Although Axoom and Exe were not average Human people as we know them, if you can imagine two balls,, the size of castles, and imagine a queen bee or ant , its exceptional belly, then you would be getting a closer picture ,, These two produced hundreds of thousands of people before they one day turned into dust .

And yet their dust like all specks, serve a purpose and fill a function that keeps all this alive regardless of the form its in as dust or creature or plant.

and of this dust, some specks got together and realized they could communicate,
they were named ; Chalky, Murry ,Bernie ,hobo-Floyd ,Curly ,Rufus, Boxcar-Ned, Howie ,Stogie Bert ,Lester and Willa.
Murry had a story he wanted to tell the others,, and this is it :

[spoil] Once upon a time, i was floating aimlessly, and came across another speck that looked curiously like me, ''haloo'' i said '' haloo '' he said and he asked me where i was going ? so i sez ''just leaving it all behind me'' said i , to which he said '' me too '' sez he,, and he rolled aimlessly by , and i floated, then bumped into something,, which made me float in another direction,,

And then, i floated aimlessly some more, and ,, then,, i came across ANOTHer speck of dust! we floated around and around one another, and had a chat '' i think, we are the smallest things in all the Universe,,'' said i.
The other speck said '' yeah, but then,, what the heck are WE made of?" , Which was a good question,,
''Once i had come across a giant squid , well to me it was giant, really, it must be the smallest squid ever, since we are of the microscopic world,, but i could have easily become sucked into its mouth part,, and for awhile, not be free to float aimlessly, until it released me out its other side, said the other speck of dust

Another speck of dust floated down and joined us,, it said '' i have seen many many insects our size, and smaller'' ..
''no way,, really??" said we.
''oh, hell ya'' said it '' i was once on a bumpy ground, and saw a mite not much bigger than myself vacuuming it with its snout,, and, upon closer examination,, i noticed it had a tiny mite on it, with its head jabbed in it''
and THAT mite told me",,he continued,,'' that it was infested too, the mite of the mite had allergies and athletes foot, and blamed insects that even i could not see''
'' hmmm' Thought i,, ' i wonder how we see?,, i dont even have eyes,,,''

''in a way,, we are eyes'' said the older dust speck '' our common ancestor was the first dust speck who started the universe '' he added,,'' we see because we ARE the Universe''

''As the story goes,, it was from before the beginning , there was only pure emptiness in the old days , no light , no dark matter, no energy, nothin' , this dust speck was moving at high speed from another dimension of time , which means, we all could be that speck, if any of us find a way to pierce time dimensions ,, but this speck came from somewhere in time and shot into a dimension of non time, and it was not the only one to do so,, another speck did too, from the opposite direction,,, and there was a great god from sometime in time that farted alot, as a young go, he often tried to light them afire, its said he farted during a magical act, and some of this gas seeped out of the time dimension , and into the great nothingness, when the two dust specks finally collided, they made a spark , and this lit the gas , and a massive explosion happened that created chain reactions,,, this is what created the Universe,, then Sky and Ocean,,''

The other dust speck replied,, ''oh look, a flying insect thing! its our size!, amazing''

The older speck said, 'its a nice breeze today ''

i agreed .

The group of dust specks liked the story, but after a few seconds, had already found other things to marvel at .


And so the Goddess Isist had given the story of creation and bid him follow her cult, and she gave him a lusty snog then said goodbye.
He had been cured of his Flatulence problems, probably the crashing into the water realigned whatever it as the 'ramp' work distorted, certainly the will of the Goddess, so he followed her ways as a traveling man, and discovered a castle from ancient times high in the mountains of the Giganttum range , and made it his home and a small commune. but he came to the saunas once a year, and that where he taught me many things,, '' said Blathelstick


,He explained how all that made clear to him life was made of light, and being all light we are all one , the universe was light,,(except for the dark parts) , and so flowing with it attached to no past, or future ,one always steered themselves where they most were needed to be , safely and unharmable, the flow always guided, he said,''And till then, watch birds and cats, and they will point you in the right directions''

* * *
''And thats what we are going to do'', said Blathelstick , teach you how to use critters to guide your moves.. '' Viking Joe continued
''Then he took the 'ingredients i brought him,
~a coconut ~ a beet ~ a Hazel twig ~ a bundle of Yarrow ~ 3 snails ~ 3 grasshoppers ~ and 5 nice feeling stones ,

he bid me put some Yarrow in my nostrils,, and handed me a stem, then put some in the fire he had made, the rest in a pot, with coconut water, and some beet slivers, and regular water,
He was brewing a tea,, stirring it with the twig. giggling as he worked
he added the snails stones and grasshoppers, , after the color turned a rich tint, we drank the tea, and he handed me the stones

''Now, toss the Yarrow stem you have in your hand high, spin it, and where the flower tops point, when it lands, go that direction... the first animal you see, ask the question, and watch where it points its nose, or if birds, which where they fly, or which way the animal travels..
''the stones you use if there is no Yarrow, simply ask then throw a stone to make birds fly, then you know your direction .''

i had to ask , ''what about this Yarrow in my nose?"
''Nothing, it makes me laugh,, heheheee''
then he added ''but if your nose bleeds when you remove them, its a good omen'' and added some more '' Really, just the wind and the Yarrow toss works, or just the Animal way works, and if you do the Yarrow way, then want to do the animal way, its best you tell the Yarrow that is your intent,,''

i asked about the tea, He said '' its tasty, and good for the spirit, if you dont have it, just find a stone to throw in bushes to watch for the direction birds or critters go ,''

So, i have been following this path for many years, it has served me well '' Said Viking Joe to the lad, continuing his story,

Needless to say, the Yarrow and birds told me to go the opposite direction than follow the Mohuabian Axtocamp warriors to conquer a new world of their homeland.
and i trusted it, altho the Mohuabian maiden did beat me near senseless in a pub we frequented, smashed a jug on the back of my head as i tended the hearth,,
i had to kill her of course, she was a hell of a swordsman , but once the flash of steel was free of sheath at her initiation, i did all i could to survive that feisty vixen,, ''

He paused for a moment,, with a distant look in his eye

''Anyways, i followed my nose, so to speak, landed a job at a castle as a doorman, and before long, a security guard for a Baron, which oddly led to me being second to the king of the castle for 7 years, until being forced to leave by those Raki people you may have heard of,, mark my words, one day they will be a mighty force in the world, in a couple of generations, , so i travelled north and joined some viking boat builders who were cousins, they were only river boats, but we carved them ornately and intensely to resemble dragons , with great detail , i made a small fortune , tho i tend to lose it in gambling, i always find work in carving, and never feel confused about coice, for since i took the Yarrow way, i have learned to clear the mind, and let the winds guide me, always revealing a new treasure for my heart and soul.''
''And that should help you , sonnyboy, if but ye open yer heart and clear yer haid'' Viking Joe concluded.

'', You see' said Viking Joe added '' dont think, just do'' ,, ''try that trick i told ye and see if it works''
The Young man used his flipping coin again,, to buy the old Viking a large frothy beverage (most likely ale, yet its unconfirmed )Thanked him, and went into the woods , looking for Yarrow.

The young man did as advised and he got his choice settled , with a hearty thanks he bid Viking Joe farewell,
The yarrow led him to a cat, the cat looked left , he found the left road and followed it until meeting a crossroads, he through a stone into a tree, and birds flew up and turned towards the right, mostly, so he veered right,,

He was now a young man with no immediate family,. An outcast, basically banished from loved ones and the home he knew. There he would be falsely slandered with no way to redeem himself
His was from a dysfunctional family, but in those days, people just called it angry mom flu (syndrome) . But the disapproval and demeaning manner in which angry mom families endured tended to get perpetuated, and an unusual stress and grumpiness ended up blocking the good life that in the old days most people enjoyed, even tho most were facing hard living,, backbreaking work , varied diseases and shadowed by death from simple mishaps, or raiding militaries , or nothing more than bad dental hygiene, they faced these trials with smiles and laughter in the face of pain ,, even the old ladies and children generally perpetuated these characteristics , but the world was not short of grumpy, loud, verbally depreciating dispositions barking out of random individuals or groups either , just vastly not as common as they are today.

So he was now free, with a small purse to set him up somewhere new.

Then some bandits robbed him of it on the highway,, and he exclaimed ''Lo and Alas!! i had chosen the wrong road!"

But some passing Gypsies took pity on him, and he was allowed to join them for a ride. in addition, there was an excitingly beautiful young gypsy girl, with the longest straightest black hair he had ever seen . They fell in love and were allowed to romp playfully and kiss penetratingly in the back of a wagon driven by a man with no family . He considered young kissing lovers a blessing on his sheets.

And he exclaimed '' Lo and behold! i had chosen the right road after all!"

He learned lacework over a period of several weeks, until his girlfriend became violently angry at a miscarriage she had experienced, this was considered a very bad omen, and the family panicked and said that he had a 'Jestin demon', or Bibir spirit possession, the 'Biborka'
And so after much ado, he was stripped naked and left only a blanket outside a castle town ,, and he exclaimed ''Lo, and alas!, i had chosen the wrong road!"

He was arrested by the castle guard upon entering the city naked but for a blanket, and not for indecent exposure , for that was not a crime at all, the body was not considered offensive, genitalia gave no one nightmares nor provoked panic and dread.

But not being able to bribe the city front gate guard for entrance when being a stranger and with no money or merchandize was a good way to gain attention from authorities.
He exclaimed ''lo and behold, and alas and woe! this wrong road has become worse!"

But he was soon registered in log books & released, and even given a tunic and boots from the guard station's 'lost and found' department, and a hunk of bread with a verbal warning to stay out of trouble .

Yet, he was soon hungry again, and sat for a day on the curb feeling utterly lost and dejected.
He found easy conversation with an owner of an exotic eatery , Who was a man from some far away place, he had begged to work for this man for daily food.
This kindly man was struggling, and had little work, but he did have a section of building where he wanted to expand his restaurant, an attic that needed cleaning of its thick layer of dust, things needed lugging out, parts restored,, so for a time, he was fed and working, and the kindly eatery owner got him some pantaloons and another tunic, and a cap, this was a happy time,
And he exclaimed // Lo, i had chosen the right road afterall''

One day, the kindly eatery owner looked distant, and carried an odd air, he spoke to the young man without looking directly into his eyes. He had said that there were three men who wanted to speak to him,, his countrymen.

''Who are they?" the young man asked '' Your friends?"

Without looking in his eyes, the eatery owner nodded in the affirmative.. but there was a feeling that this was something serious.

The three men surrounded him in the seats of a booth of the eatery, two of them hardly spoke but sat with grim serious faces, possibly a language barrier, but of the three , one of them was very open and friendly, lightly gregarious, a round balding man with an unkempt look and a whiskered round face and thinning hair,, he was suggesting the young man join the fecal cult .

''But, dont you wear dresses and ladies clothes and frills in the Fecal cult?'' he asked

''Oh,ho ho, sure, But only in formal occasions,, its not required,, people dont understand this cult, because they judge it by cultists who often stir trouble,, but the Fecal verses & scriptures are all good, dont judge it by Fecalians or rumor''

The young man was hesitant ,, he had heard that Art was shunned in the Fecal cult , and he was hopeful to one day return to making lacework and embroidery

But the gregarious man suggested Art was fine, as long as it followed Fecalian rules,, not to worry, he said ''We will take care of you, our brothers help one another''

Well, that was a great selling point,, . The young man finally agreed, and the next day, he set out with these three fine swarthy men. They on horses, and he was given a donkey.
Ahh, to be on the road! the wind in his hair,, the clear sky and bright trees moving by him filled him with inspiration.

He exclaimed '' Lo! life is good, i truly had chosen the right road! "

Yet initiation into the cult was repulsive, i wont mention here the vulgar things required by devotees involving their sacred scata of human droppings & dingleberries. But to say he endured it . And was quickly accepted, then moved with the same trio to a secret religious center far from the initiation temples.

For the sake of their deity Mestor Hankii , He learned they would perform a small assassination of some low level Prince of a small kingdom that Fecalian priests ordained their warlords to conquer , , for they had been initiating high level extremely wealthy warlords of the southern world, who soon conquered not only for their kings, but to spread the good word of this religion of excreta.

So, he was caught up in what was sure to be a suicide mission, and he quietly exclaimed to himself '' Lo, alas,, i had really chosen the wrong road!"

They approached the Prince's castle, on this day he would be in the town square, handing out bread and poppies to the crowd in a yearly ritual ordained from his cultures early times. the plan was to simply jump him and stab him to death, right there in public of an adoring crowd, while wearing the clothing of a rival kingdom with tenuous relations , in hopes to provoke a war, in which their imperial empowered kings enrolled in the fecal cult would use as pretense to devour both those minor kingdoms , and with minimal loss assured via the petty war stirred , and it was a suicide mission.

As they approached the young man considered a desperate plan when he noticed the castle had a moat. He figured he could lean forward and cover the eyes of his donkey,, and coax it somehow to panic, then charge it straight into the moat , possibly alongside the bridge where he noticed a gap in the guard railing.. an take his chances in the water,,

If they got on the bridge, there was one short section with no side railing , it would be his last chance, he faded his ride behind the other three , he tried to spur the donkey into a run towards the moat,, it only trotted out of line, causing his companions to angrily call him back into their file,,

They made the bridge, and he saw his chance fading as they got closer to the bridge gate entrance . He fumbled in his satchel and got his hands on a corncob pipe,, it would have to do,, he deftly jammed in in under the donkeys tail, as deep in the ass's ..ass , as , he could,, in buckled, brayed and kicked out, he covered its eyes and spurred it towards the bridge edge,, people gasped and shouted, , it worked, they fell 25 feet down into the mucky water , and then he got his bearing,, the donkey was floundering in the water, trying to swim, its head barely raising above the surface.

He swam, submerged as much as he could, and ignored the shouts, he swam and swam, headed to the back of the castle,, sure he would find somewhere to climb out.

He was lucky, there was a low natural embankment , and tho muddy and slippery and needed several attempts and some staking with a broken branch piece he found floating in the water, and with the help of some exposed roots of a nearby tree, he got himself out. his donkey was splashing away,,

Then he just ran as best he could into the surrounding forest.

He wandered for the entire day, and into the night among the thick woods and flora. it was getting cold and he didn't know if he should dig up a shelter or keep plodding on ,, He plodded, and smelled some smoke,, and circled and circled till he found a cottage .

The cottage was shaped like a shoe, in it an old woman lived, she welcomed him, but warned he could only stay a few days at most, for the children were away, and they were,, not normal,,quite insane, and there were alot of them,, they'd be back in a week.

They sat up drinking her special beer and chatting, h'd felt call to mention that he had heard the world began from two specks colliding ,, and that led to the formation of sky and sea..

''Boulderash! '' exclaimed the old woman, '' lots of people claim different beginnings, the Norsiac folk say it was Fire and Ice that was the universe, and when they met, they combined, and formed a giant Cow , and from the giant cow came a giant man, and he sweated out salt that became the people ''

''So, which one is true?" he asked

'' All of them'' She said with a wink and a smile, '' No matter how much they contradict, or fall from reason in your mind, they describe the indescribable, the undefinable, but certain true things that we have learned to work with and so prove the validity of in the stories of the ancients. As a scientist , the ancient stories and beliefs guided the sciences i have used to yield amazing results. i can call them boulderash, and totally true at the same time, learn the truth of the two sides of everything , young one, that path leads to wisdom, and remember opposing sides are of equal value''

He was relieved , feeling sure that he had indeed chosen the correct road,,

The next day, she wanted sweet loving down by the fire, but he hesitated,,the old woman was a chunky, warty, half toothed ragged witch woman, he was afraid to anger her,, he had sudenly lamented the choice of road,,
But luckily, in came a warrior woman to visit the old woman, looking for charms and magic spells to aid her in battle and healing.
They spent a day picnicking on the porch and telling tales. it was a happy reunion for the two wimmin, and a relaxing pleasant time punctuated by them singing some amazing and enchanting arias .
The warrior woman decided she liked this young man and invited him to join her on her journey home.

He did! 'oh joy! his road choice was the right one' thought he to himself, smiling a beam.

She was marvelous, muscular and toned, with wild long hair the color of golden brandy & streaked in light blond , her eyes a bluegreen and her nose a perfect sleek ridge that exhibited nostrils as if they were decorative things, the upper lip on her wide mouth as thick as her lower one, all in all, a perfect framed face for his sensibilities, and in her coin plated armor and winged helm , and two sturdy swords,, he felt safe and protected as he held her tightly, behind her as she rode.

For her, he was a play toy and company for the ride, he was slight enough in size to not eat much, and warm enough to make the nights in the wilds a pleasant passage.

They were attacked on a road by 5 highwaymen, she leapt from the horse being held by one of them, and sliced through the skull of the nearest, kicking out and pushing down the second man before she landed, giving her time to pull her sword and turn to face a third man,, his axe high and already swinging.
Somehow, she dodged it in a forward lunge stabbing deep through his stomach and toppling him backwards and she ran round the butt of the horse to get at the man who had attempted to stab the young man with his spear, which the young man was struggling to keep a hold onto by the grip he had managed to gain just under the spearhead.
She chopped har sword through more than half the mans back of thigh hamstring , and stabbed his gut with a long knife in her left hand.

The man holding the reigns had released them and cowered back , joined by the second man who was now standing. Yet she was not standing still, and charged them with a menacing female war cry .
They did not run but struck at her, she was stabbed deeply ,, right through her thigh , other blows deflected off her armor and helmet, all in a spinning blur to the young mans perspective , he held the spear at the ready, still mounted , but the clash was bewildering, she went down, then up ,, he saw blood splatter upwards and sideways, she spun, a hand flew out, she made a loud grunt and ''Hooo'' sound, one man fell backwards , never to rise, and one man stumbled forwards,, he had a knife lodged deep under his chin piercing into his brain.

He fell down in a flop,, there was some twitching. The young man was somewhat repulsed, but also elated,, what a woman!

But she was now bleeding profusely from the leg, they tended the wound, and now he would take the reigns, and guide the horse with her as passenger.
Eventually they arrived to her home village, and was welcomed heartily by the large family, she owned the second floor of their estate home, and it was made ready for them , its kitchen was restocked and the cousins freeloading there were shuffled to a side lodge off the back patio.

Coupling with his warrior woman was 'unorthodox' in that they did all they could imagine for the joy of it, but avoided the one method that could lead to pregnancy , for she was deathly afraid of pregnancy, and even informed him that if he made her with child, she would probably kill him.

The family taught him to crochet, and to knit, it reminded him of the lacework he did with the gypsies. This was of course long ago, when the world was about to explode in the Doily wars that ravaged a generation. It was the invention of speculative capitalism , the Doily boomed onto the market as the most coveted item of status and popularity.

But the invention of Doily gangs and cartels came along with it. The undisputed Doily King of the south, King Andalusia of Kush , eventually became disputed , and some terrible wars and disgusting covert sabotages began to plague the world. the Warrior womans family had become important producers of Doilies , And she led mighty armies raised by their royal patron of the midworld cartels.

The young man became an older young man , and eventually managed the business when her father became dead due to a minor plague that swept the lands.

And so it was indeed on the best course he had found , that led him to become a rich merchant of ornamental napkins , mostly the laced doily variety .And that which eventually led to him becoming a favored lord of the Tyrant king, Andalusia of Kush.

It was the final time he doubted the yarrow road he had first taken that led to him to become lord of a castle of the Andalusian's , which were the mortal enemies of the midworld Doily clans, of which the warrior woman belonged.

There was one precious morning when she returned exhausted from days of battle and no sleep and joined him in bed still wet from a warm bath. He had marveled at his woman, from her rippling muscular stomach muscles to her strongly curved glutei and thigh , with arms and legs that maintained graceful and elongated dimensions regardless of the tremendous strength housed in the plentiful muscles.
She was weary , and did not resist and seemed to appreciate that he held her in a domineering hug upon her back , he was not heavy, and the night ha a chill , she would be his mattress and he would be her blanket , a nice change from the kicking and hitting of the battlefields .

Yet, she discovered within a fortnight , while back on the field of battle ,that she was pregnant , and his whole world changed. For this glorious woman was now vowed to kill him as a mantis or black widow would ,, she wanted his head! He knew he had to leave before she returned, in all the years knowing her, he discovered she was a woman of her word, and serious about these matters.
The forewarning of the drovers eldest son had saved him.

He had to flee for his life. He diverted a massive doily delivery to the Midworld king , to the Kush king , and this had won him great favor with king Andalusia , and his skill at design and production was admirable. He now had a whole army to protect him from his beloved warrior woman and her forces

Its said in bearing her twins, a boy and a girl, She was not present for battles that got lost , and this enraged her further and kept her fire of vengeance lit , and some years later, she died on the battlefields attacking his very castle. But the children were raised in some northlands, some people of the Axoeen tribe worked for her family at their doily chateau , and spirited the children away to their northlands when her home and family were over run and slaughtered by allied doily barons of the Kushites. What became of them is unknown .

So he found his destiny, no matter what he did, this man became a man you have heard of, no doubt, for he became an old man, high in rank beside the king, and he became lord king of all the Kush after Andalusia was deposed in assassination regicide by his top merchant-generals. All which he crushed in a counter move that won him the crown and popularity of the kingdoms,, and peace finally came after terrible wars that ravaged all points of the world.

He was the one who converted doily trails into spice trails, Doilies became somewhat despised , but spices became craved, everybody eats,, and the spice roads we now enjoy we attribute to him , He whose songs are sung in every language, the Holliday of Sarnta cloz de kokakola is named after him, he became known as Sarnta the Cloz , Sinta Cloves, Father Boozenickel, Schmtzil Klos, Poppa Navi, and they say he brings one night of peace world wide once a year , Thats why the world celebrates the great Feastival at the new year , tho some say he started it as a commercial enterprise and smothered older holidays, which he sort of did, but also, he expanded and kept alive ancient tradition , and in his lifetime , he never saw it as widespread and popular as it is now.

,,and the Hag was done with her story


''So you see'' said she '' You cant avoid your destiny '' , then she cackled like a crone and released a rancid fart.

Sir Rickles gave her a coin , thanked her, and chose to prove her wrong by going to the shore and seeking the ship. and this is what happened;

- He got to the harbor town and asked some residents ''if there is a Simolina at the shore she by the sea shore did be?'' and the salty folk did show him the ship.
- He was allowed passage for a nominal fee and the next day the ship embarked to journey to the exotic east.
- A storm and hideous sea serpent made the ship turn from its course only a short time after leaving dock, and veered them into an archipelago of island inlets that confused the captain
- They discovered they were on an inward bound ocean salt river that could only lead to a salt lake depression below sea level,, where they could turn the ship about and return, for it narrowed into a thin waterway , and he didnt want to switch the sails ,for due to some tenuous stints in the widgets, and dodgy jimmy rigging following the storm damage, that would be a non optimum option.
- It was oddly long , and 12 hours later , it came to the lake, only the lake was a crater that this water entered via a small waterfall , the ship fell into the cascade and fell 15 feet and split in half
- They swam to shore of the salty lake and made their way to a road,, a merchents caravan passed by, and they hitched a ride to the city,, oddly , the very city that held the Princely Games
- Sir Rickles was mustered into the games after all , the 'tool' given him by wizard HennyYoungman the elder was a cracker and enchanted pate' spread , bound in alchemicaly charmed catgut lute string,,and half ruined by the salt water, but he managed to win enough of the competition to reach the final, just him and his nemesis in a dart throwing competition however, sir Rickles won by default when the other accidently stuck a dart in his own eye , which was yet again how Rickles won most of the games, an unusual amount of mishaps and accidents and clumsy self damage occurred, leaving 80% of the princes in the infirmary

- He got the jewel, and decided ''What the heck, might as well return to the kingdom and save it'' , So he returned to Goodgulf.
- No sooner had the wizard received the jewel then he released the king JackieMason and Queen PhyllisDiller , and then turned the kingdoms castle and houses into paper mache' with the jewel he had inserted into a cavity in his staff.
''oop, sorry, my bad, ,, give me a sec'' , the wizard adjusted the jewel..then the people of the kingdom were suddenly transformed into eggs. Not simple chicken eggs, however, but 3 feet of giant egg, with their eyes & ears, nose and mouths appearing on the shell and functioning as usual , and their legs and arms still attached, but obviously these people were now useless for chancing battle or anything very physical, for a simple fall could crack their shell, and their life would ooze out in a yolky albumin mess. Needless to say, they could figure no way to reproduce , trying to ''bump shells'' created horrible results.

These egg people, became known as Dumpties , and ,although they did not die of natural causes, unless a bit of a crack in their shell rotted them from the inside can be considered natural, they were prone to their own misfortunes , stumbling, falling, gettting bumped too hard,, and then the time of the invasion of barbarian ''egg hunters'' one Eostar nearly annihilated them all. Sir Rickles oddly survived for over 200 years, to be known as the last Humpty on earth, Humpty Rickles , which people often mispronounced as ''Humpty Dumpty'' based on poor phonetic eduction and a decline in good manners, its said he eventually got tired of being a one of a kind being, and jumped from a high wall one day to shatter on the cobble stones , declaring the world was scrambled, and his final words of wisdom were said to be '' Keep your sunny side up''

Azig finished with '' i hope you see the relativity, Lord chief,,''

""That was an absurdly, ridiculously long story! "' Axobongo stated and chuckled, ''What the hell , man?" He winked ''No, it was good,, really,, My thanks ''
"In fact,,'' Axobongo went on, '' i am illuminated, sir, i bid thee fear no ill treachery from me. Be it in the arena, in real life, or even in,, say,, a tribal wars simulated game ,,i have made it a point to guard my Honor and Honesty as a great ideal, for it is the only reputation worth cultivating ,,be one anonymous or known. it is what works best''

'And so , i bid thee arrive with me to the Palace, and lets put an end to these gang wars and riots, before this city is leveled, and know Ye, i am none too pleased with this Woolite of ours, myself ''

Azig nodded acquiescence with a wry smile cracking through his aged features and wild white hairs that curled pubic-like in odd places and enhanced the scrotumnal appeal of his long face.

''What has tribal wars taught you, young Chief?" he inquired of Axobongo,,
''Axobongo looked inwardly with forthrightness , and said '' That i have been fighting tribal wars all my life, that its usually what people think of as their noblest side, their job for something greater than themselves, Humans are as tribal and pack minded as dogs, when they lose their tribe, they remake one in the form of a 'cause', or a 'cult' , the pattern is bound to repeat throughout history, and it will be the source of jealousy and trouble for humankind for many many ages to come''

* * *
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Chapter VI ~ The Plot Boils Over

When they arrived at the Palace with Azig, they found it was under siege again, but this time, not by the barbarians, these were mainly gangs of lesser gang lords, like the Trucker guildsmen , who were often at odds with Woolite for being underpaid to cart his brews across the world .
in reality, the barbarians of the Mad Alchemist and brewers of Dergg , his brother , called in their cousins,, and also rival gangs rallied, for the fall of the HQ Palace of Woolite was rumored to be imminent , and the large stored stock of brewed merchandise and gold which Woolite had guarded there would soon be up for grabs, Now greed and frenzy was taking over.

Axobongo and his fifty men piled into the rioters, and had them routed before a half hour was done, , ''They'll likely return by the morrow'' Oberon suggested once Axobongo and the rest were secured inside.

in the morning, the Axolords within the Palace saw what looked to be a thousand men, standing in various formations, and ready , facing the palace. A burly man at their front was identified as Dergg, and with him 3 other leader types , one brawny, one stalwart and thewy, the other technically mesomorphic but punyish and nerdly .

Apparently, the gangs had unified for something, and that something was the cache of Latka and Biri which had a street value of a hundred thousands gold coin .

Axobongo and Azig met with the four gang leaders to discuss terms, and the High Chief offered to share the cache equally dividing 3/4 among 5 of the top gang leaders of Ulz, including Azig, and he would secure one 4th of the gross amount of the stash in order to pay for the rebuilding and new administration for the good of the city.

The gang leaders allowed the truce to stand while they went off to discuss it, Azig joined them

* * *

'' Whats our bearing mr. Zulu?" Axobongo asked,, Zulu looked up, ''eh huh? what?"

Armflem looked quizzically at his Chief,, uttering 'Fascinating'' as he did so.

The High Chief turned to the stoic dark man in red cloak and very shiny boots ''Ensintodie, report!'' , Ensintodie stood at attention, ''Sir'' he said '' none of our crew was lost, sire, all are accounted for , the other Axolords did lose some of their personal escorts, but most casualties are on the city guard sire,, Most of Woolites men are dead , we have 200 barricaded in the palace, we were joined by 1500 of the city watch,, ,, it is believed 500 of them yet live, and are waiting nearby and will answer to the horns if battle breaks anew ''

''We are outnumbered '' Zulu said.

''Switch to manual controls mr Zulu'' said Axobongo.. we will go warp 5 ,, (of them)'' ,,
''huh? '' Zulu was perplexed '' sorry, i dont speak your language so good, what is it?"

Armflem laughed and threw a towel at his friend Axobongo '' Stop it, sire, You'll confuse the lad,, its,, illogical'' heheh

Axobongo looked out the window, '' Zulu, this may call for a cloaking devise , engage thrusters, if these 5 dont agree, we will destroy all the Latka and Birim in the place, Prepare the destruct sequence ''

'',,uh,,Aye sir'' said Zulu,, and went off to do his Chiefs bidding. He understood enough to get the job done. (he had no idea by what the chief meant by cloaking devise, but thrusters were men standing ready to smash crates and burn the latka/birim stores,,that he knew from the earlier confrence )

Drums outside became heard , the warriors of the gangs of Ulz began thumping, Axobongo emerged to speak again with Dergg , Who had informed him that he and Azig were in agreement with the plan, but the other 3 were not,

''illogical'' Armflem said, and shook his head. ''Greedy bastards'' he added, in a matter of fact way

Dergg had split from the gang leaders council and came up to the front of the palace,after a chat, bid Axobongo to be patient, for he knew the card Axobongo held was a hefty one, destroying the Latka would be bad news for everyone,, But the other gang-lords could not accept that anyone would do such a thing, even this distant Chief who wouldn't have become Chief if he didn't understand the value of things,, they called it a bluff,, but Dergg and Azig knew this Axobongo was not concerned for that wealth the stock of libationary merchandise offered, for he was wealthy in his own right, and it was no bluff.

Axobongo wanted the gang leaders to relax, ''Bid Azig come hither when you return to them '' He bid Dergg ''i will have Met Unalan and my good guard Ensintodie go with you bearing some box's of Latkagravis , set up a table between us and we lords will make a deal over some drinks, the Parley Way''

And that is what they did, Azig came , and Dergg returned with Met Unalan and Ensintodie to the gang lords bearing wine. Axobongo and Azig spoke for several minutes and eventually noticed no one had yet setup a parley table between the factions ,,
But they continued chatting , the Axo High Chief seemed to have some words of importance on his mind, and as they spoke , the head of Dergg flew in and bounced off of a flower pot pedestal, then rolled to a stop at their feet.
The gang lords were scuffling , they had turned on Derggs men, half of whom fled or ran to join Azig behind the city guard lines,, but the coalition gangs still outsized the city guard who were mostly in, and surrounding the palace.

As the dust was settling, the gang chiefs called out to the Axo chief that his 2 men were being held captive,, and they dont need "no stinking parley table!''

Azig sent one of Derggs capo men on his horse that was tethered by them, to retrieve fighters. some arrows and spears came flying in and Armflem blew out on this horn, shields were raised and the front line of fighters engaged,, Azig was told to go into the palace, while Axobongo pulled his sword, but Azig quickly mounted a horse like a young man, and sped off followed by a handful of Derggs men , ordering the rest to stay and fight.

The Axo High Chief could see the enemy was holding back from storming the palace, but were forcing back the line of his front guard. thirty or forty men had fallen on both sides and Axobongo had run over to Armflem, and was about to order a wedge charge and call out a flanking signal from the guard on the northern side of the palace, wanting to get at the gang leaders , hopefully rescuing Met Unalan and Ensintodie before calling a retreat to the palace walls, for numbers were against them still , tho he felt dividing them would have depleted the gang men on the right side (north half) significantly when his flank riders rode in , but damned if it wouldn't be costly!,

The rectangular town square in front of the palace was roaring with battle shouts and echos off the surrounding buildings, limbs and head chunks were separating from their owners , clanks of steel and men being gutted , men standing on the fallen and swinging an array of weapons in a chaotic manner , , the Axos observed from their high ground advantage at the top of the steps that one of the gang factions were standing still and silent.

Then he heard some whistles, this is when she arrived, with an impressive 100 man bodyguard of soldiery, all in a polished light armor of a white metal hue , other whistles blared and the fighting stopped . The crowd parted as she strode in , she was met by the 3 gang leaders, after a brief word, she brushed them aside and walked to the steps , even the city guard and Axobongos front line parted for her, and she had her men stand in a palace defense formation turned towards the gangs.

All were silent as she did this, she had a commanding presence , Axobongo was intrigued. She was elegant , of a respectable age, if not a bit older than him, and she was exceedingly attractive of face despite that her features were fairly plain and indistinct, tho' her green eyes were hauntingly charismatic. And her fiery auburn hair perfectly styled in braided up-do with trickling lengths showed its long sensuality , He liked that.

Captain Flangermic stood beside Axobongo to brief him, this was the Lady Pygalgia of Redbush, known simply as Lady Redbush .

Lady Redbush was the wealthiest woman in town, widowed, but she had great power, and ran the Ulzberry park games and many respectable enterprises within the city infrastructure , and even the hard gang leaders feared crossing her, as her enemies tended to disappear quickly.

To cut a short story made long, even shorter,, but only just a tad,, and hardly noticeable, the author will continue to omit flourish and description and ambiance and stick to the basics;

Axobongo escorted her into the palace to speak with Woolite, and demonstrate how he had set up some men to quickly crack and burn the stored box's and barrels of Woolites stock if need be.
She and Woolite had partnered on several ventures over the years, and he nonetheless owed her money. Woolite was brought to join them in the administrators chambers of the palace.

Captain Fangermic had delivered the palace wine steward , of who Eric the Page suggested did the actual poisoning of the vessels , poison which Eric had confessed he'd bought from the Ghost via Woolites instructions . At this point, no one was really sure how the box's of poison Latka wine got separated and then appeared in Woolites personal chambers to be accidently given to the visiting Axolords ,, there was confusion as to which were the good or poisoned crates, as the Steward had switched bottles.

The wine steward dropped his pretense of ignorance when standing before Lady Redbush , he had admitted his love for her and wanted Woolite dead to win her favor, for he knew Woolite had shafted her in a business deal. he had confessed that Woolite had planned on murder of business rivals and their lords, So the steward shifted box's to go to Woolites private stock, unaware that Woolite had planned to offer it to the Axo Lords.

Just as the steward was explaining how to identify the good box's from the poisoned , Woolite snapped,, he broke a leg from a crumpet table and began bashing in the stewards head, yelling ''You moth a-freakin' Sonova Birch ! your dead! , fork face rat piss-turd !" and amid splatters and droolings '' Die you scum shirt eating little shirt ! Die! " he beat and pummeled the steward viciously. But before Axobongo or Flangermic could stop him, Lady Redbush deftly pulled out a wire cord and looped it over Woolites neck. She pulled him off the bloodied remains of the head bashed steward like a dog on a leash ,, Woolite knew all too well that she could pull the cord and disconnect his head if she so chose.

She spoke to his ear from behind, telling him to ''behold' his 'stupidity" and in gritted teeth she calmly explained the steward happened to be a childhood friend of hers, and she was aware of Woolites betrayal in business, and even this poisoning scheme would have cost her some serious backing money, which he was aware of, and potentially backfire and bring foreign soldiers determined to destroy her city! oohh. she was seething and vehement, he had '' stepped in it now,, '' she told him , as she pulled him by his leash towards the door.

Axobongo had to chuckle, this was the politics of these minor lords , and he stood aside, but mostly because this woman was so strong and fascinating,, graceful yet deadly as a viper.
She pulled Mayor Woolite outside to the steps and presented him to the onlooking masses of gang soldiery..

'' BEHOLD '' she called out in a commanding but sexy toned voice, as if two distinct sounds emanated from her in the same instant. a marbly feminine ring, but not too high pitched surrounded by a husky warm wind that had a far reaching boom. ( a madeleinestowe voice, it was called, but no one knew why ,,since the madeleinestowe was a mythical sea creature)

she said ''This is a betrayer of us all!, He RENOUNCES his Mayorship and stocks to ME,, for his DEBT TO ME! "

The crowd began to murmur in protest, the brawny ganglord heckled a roaring bark '' HE OWES US ALL!!" .
The thewy, stalwart one remained silent, while the mesomorphic nerdly gang leader screamed out a threatening sounding '' YEAH! All of US"

To this Lady Redbush raised her right arm high ,,drew a circle in the air,, and dropped it fast,, Mayor Woolite was suddenly riddled with arrows , bearing at least 50 sticks from 50 perforations , the crowd gasped, looking around, they saw she had perhaps a hundred archers lining the rooftops surrounding the square. He fell forward and his fat lard ridden body rippled as he slid face first down the steps , bloody blubber bouncing as he sledged .

She reached down to dislodge an arrow from her very expensive gown , then looked at the archers to her right with an eye rolling grimace, they could not see her eyes, but the gesture sent a chill down one of the spines of the archers, who knew he had missed his mark.

She called for the Parley to happen , and to bring forth the two Axomen who were being held hostage, She announced so all could hear that she has seen for herself that Axobongo could destroy and burn the entire storage in short order , and his word was no bluff! ,,, the gangleaders spoke quietly among themselves, and the brawny one spoke their mind to her, demanding they put SuperextraSpecial Label Woolite brand Latkagravis on the parley table, instead of this run of the mill Latka mouthwash they had received before , as if they were insulted by the earlier gesture.

Axobongo and Flangermic and Lady Redbush conferred for a moment, questioning each other if they thought the steward was clearly understood by them as to which were the non poisoned box's , they agreed on his words and Flangermic went to retrieve a box from where they surmised the steward indicated.

The table was set, the hostages brought forward but not released, the drinks were poured, the battle of wits was about to begin,, Axobongos offer was to divide the Latka and Biri stock fairly taking the lions share for the rebuilding of the damaged sections of the city , Lady Redbush was claiming it all was owed to her by Mayor Woolite, and she would repair the damaged sectors of town herself , the three gangleaders wanted a bigger cut for the lives of the two hostages, Met Unalan and Ensintodie , and they all had to work out a happy medium , for there was a 3 way standoff to overcome.

When they lifted their cups for the ritual , Axobongo made eye contact with the Lady , they had at that moment jumped into each others soul , for an instant knew eachother as if they were looking into a mirror , they both hesitated to sip their drink as they brought it close to their lips, they both realized this went unnoticed by the others . That they hesitated was instinctive prudence, maybe neither was 100% sure of the Latkas un-poisoned quality,, the stalwart thew-laden ganglord did notice however , and so he too did not sip from his cup, while the other two slugged down their drinks with a thirsty gusto.

The stalwart one spoke up '' i smell a rat , lads, '' , both the brawny and the mesomorphic ganglords quickly rose to their feet, spilling the table over and drawing their swords,, Lady Redbush and Axobongo stepped closer together , he pulled his sword and stepped in front of her . but did not point it at these men, instead stood wide with both hands resting on the hilt and the sword tip down upon the ground.. and spoke '' Dont be hastey , ya bastards , We're not alone here!''

She hesitated to signal her guard into action, tho they all took a step forward and readied,, this was still Parley,,

''You didn'a drink from yer cups, what gives high lord!?" the stalwart boomed back ,, he had his right hand holding the bound Ensintodie by the back of the neck, and a knife at his throat. Met Unalan was being held to the ground by four men .

''if i hesitated twas because i have had my fill of this Latka piss, but we shall fill the damned cups again and i will show you how a true Axoman drinks ! " the High Chief roared

The brawny and the mesomorphic gang bosses grabbed each others arms, and gurggled in tandem, one vomited and the other cried out ''treachery!" , they fell to their knees and their tongues bulged out orange , and coughing and writhing began, and constricting muscles were morbidly tweaking their body in painful spasms, an orangish foam sputtered between their teeth,,

Axobongo looked at the Stalwart one, and said '' i know you aren't gonna believe this but,, we didn't know , we ordered a good box be brought , but there was some confusion as to which were which,, ironic aint it?''

The stalwart one was having none of it, he was in a rage '' This is how you negotiate!? look then how i negotiate!" and he slit the throat of the noble Ensintodie , and then plunged the knife into his stomach and up through the heart,,
Ensintodies eyes rolled up and blood fell from his mouth as he was pushed out violently by the stalwart thewy one,
Axobongo yelled in horror ''Noooo(blending into an )Aaahhhrr! '' and he charged the thewy stalwart one with a double looped full body swing of his semi-longsword , it struck the left shoulder of the stalwart thewy one , and sliced that arm off while lodging into the skull of one of the men holding down Met Unalan ,

Whistles blew from the west, then a battle horn , and Azig came riding in with Derggs men from the south east behind the palace , along with a batch of rag tag fighters and several cityguardsmen he had rounded up from one of their stations where they waited for reinforcements to help them consider returning to battle at the palace , , any how, the stalwart one had signaled his men to attack, before Axobongos blade burst through his gullet and flung the larynx smack into the face of his henchman Neville Then Armflem had blown his horn, as did Flangermic, the city guard charged in.

Meanwhile the Lady Redbush had signaled for her archers to fire at the gangs , while she herself was instantly surrounded by ten of her personal guard of elite fighters , and Axobongo ripped through those holding down Met Unalan, a skull top and two right arms , some intestine, and a foot flew out between the three of them who held Met Unalan,, Axobongo then cut his binds while his own body guard held off the gang fighters nearest their chief. Met stood up armed with enemy sword and raging mad, he chopped down 4 men like a berserker and Axobongo lost sight of him as they barged through the enemy ,

Azigs men were valiant and mostly mounted , they plowed down masses of enemies while making their way towards the palace front. Archers were dropping the back lines of the gangs, causing mayhem and a frenzied charge, still the Axo forces were very outnumbered , Axobongo blew his horn in a dotted signal that told his captains to mount the flanking attack from those waiting on the northern wing side of the palace ,as they came riding in, the Axo forces fell back fighting, it was a planned signal that footmen and riders alike were prepared for.

The palace itself was holding a third of Axobongos force, in case of breech , and breech is what happened, from the southwest, hundreds of gang fighters were swarming in, , Azig rode up to Axobongo and told him he would hold the line, and Axobongo could signal a retreat to the palace to cut off the onslaught of enemies pouring in. Needless to say, on the edges of battle, city guardsmen and Azig barbarians were showing up to the battle, and the archers were going strong despite losing an entire rooftop to gang fighters who broke through to them.

Axobongo got those who went inside the palace cut off by following them , and Azigs holding the line behind him preventing more raiders from getting in, but many had gotten in, the palace was being bloodied and wrecked and yet Zulu had secured much of the north-left front section by the time Axobongo had reached him,, but from the back section, there were horrible sounds emanating,, explosions and putrid dusty and sour smells tinted the air,, there was so much wood and cloth and fuel in the palace the glows of fires were brightening halls before any flame was seen,,

Two horribly burnt men ran by Axobongo, half melted flesh falling like torn clothing from them as they ran screaming, be they enemy or ally mattered not, the smell of charred spoiled meat followed them,,
Another big explosion , then another and parts of the roof fell in, gang enemies and city guardsmen ran side by side to escape, running into the battle outside or trying to fall away to the sides and catch their breath from the now choking smoke bellowing out from all the chambers of the palace.

As Axobongo emerged, Lady Redbush was standing elegantly beside the wall at the foot of the steps, her ten guards still in a circle formation and still standing, it looked as if 40 enemies at least had tried their luck with them and failed,, He rose his hand in a modest admiring salute , with a twinkle, she made back the same gesture .

He had noticed there were several fires around the surrounding area, something blew loud in the palace and blasted flame and burning debris high, which sparked new fires where certain debris fell .
He was a little tired, the smoke was irritating his sinuses,, and three young gang fighters were charging him,, he sighed, hunched , and shot forward swinging low and through the kneecap of the front one, and letting the natural deflection of motion lead the point of his sword into the left side of the man to the right of the kneecapped one, pulling it out fast and in a high arc over his head in a backhand swing that landed in a chopping blow through the neck and collarbone of the third.

To the one on the ground with his knee and leg half cut through, Axobongo said '' You should live if you yield,, we'll patch you up ,,''

Axobongo hated this deeply, these young warriors were not his enemy, they were his own,, they were all Axo people in Axoland , their sword arms could be trained under Hellfire or the Fearisf unny berserkers , to fight the likes of Mitsches great forces , not this senseless squabbling in the streets for wine !

Alas, he saw that the battle was winding down,, there looked to be a big skirmish on the far edge of the rectangle square, but the palace stables were being emptied of horses and gathered on the far western section of the same square,, archers were leaping buildings from rooftop to rooftop to get a better shot.. but most of the gang army had retreated aware that the explosions scared the excrement out of them , and also that the Latkagravis was no more.

Azig came limping in out of the smoke ,, with a grin on his old cracked face '' Hale great world-beater! We win the rubble! hahaa " he greeted Axobongo with his usual flair, they embraced each others forarms.
''Sorry about your brother , Azig '' Axobongo offered as condolence ,, Azig shrugged and said '' Ahh, its alright, the man was an ass,,''

''They are routed , sire!" a city captain called out from behind Azig , Biruk and Armflem were mounted and returning from the final skirmish , Met Unalan was not yet found.

Axobongo did stumble across the body of Captain Flangermic, however, his front sliced through and some of his gut's gizzards flopped out in the stone steps of the square . Lady Redbush approached Axobongo as he kneeled down and sat by this good man lost. She was still radiant , a few blood splatters on her dress being the only evidence she just endured through the heart of a vicious bloody melee , her hair perfect, she still smelled of nightflower he detected as she sat on the steps beside him.

''Well young man'' she said ,,( to his amusement ) ''You did quite well against the odds ,, however, i fear this city is going to be far harder to regain order than it may seem, for there are many gang lords and cartels here yet,, and all will want to seize this opportunity , in their short sighted way ''

Axobongo nodded , after a silence he said ''We need reinforcements , already riders have been dispatched to inform the further castles, but until then we should all retreat to Fearisf Unny's castle , we will invade and take the town back as a proper force'' .. He went silent, this was a sad day for a proud High Chief.

She reached and patted his hand '' Well, i have an estate a short way from town , i will go there to defend it, it has high walls containing acreage enough to house 2,000 warriors, yet i doubt i remain with more than one hundred loyal guards, i lost half my men here today it looks like,, we shall see'' .
Biruk and Armflem were riding around the square to organize the survivors , her surviving men lined the northeast square in a non formation. Azigs men were gathering southwest side, and the city forces were gathering in the center,, everyone had to move further from the oppressive aura of the burning city headquarters , and Axobongo carried Flangermics body away from the steps now searingly heated by the enflamed palace, and laid him with the others for burial ritual .

''i think , M'lady , with your Permission, we should gather you more of a defense for your estate'' he said as he stood.
adding ''By the Gods, is there anyone in this town that is not in some gang?"
She fixed eyes with a wry look ,and said '' precious few, perhaps about zero''

Azig did council with Axobongo, he still had barbarians he could summon, and elixirs and concoctions to give his men double power ,, Axobongo suggested a full retreat to the estate of Lady Redbush , and for Azig to summon all those he could of his trusted factions and fighters, to send their families to the outer villages and have the fighters come there to Redbush estate . They all anticipated riots and factions fighting for days and people fleeing , until the city produces a winner ,,to be overthrown when Axo reinforcements arrive ,, and until then, all city forces will retreat to the estate, and let these ganglords try to manage without the city guard as a common foe.

Azig agreed, amused at the lateral thinking and mystic wisdom of doing by not doing , backing off enough to allow them to crush themselves, and hope they are not so stupid to utterly destroy the entire town.

So thats what they did, and sent word for merchants of basic supplies or special merchandise could load wagons and take refuge there if they chose,,, the night came and by morning many were evacuated there,, but also word came of a hoard of armed men gathered on the cities north, and another in the south,, and thus their worst fears realized,, the fit was about to hit the shan , the whole town was going to be shook down.

Met Unalan came strolling up,, dragging his sword, ''Hell of a day eh?'' he said, and winked.

* * *

Chapter 7 ~ The Plot Masticated

''Whats this?'' Axobongo was impressed, Lady Redbush had a large ornate bathhouse sauna room and with hot spring swimming pool, they relaxed spoke on many matters.
Her estate had survived three days with a few thousand refugees and warriors , plus the cities healing doctors tending to the wounded , and so far no attack.
At night He and the Lady would stand on the high tower and look upon the city ,, it was burning still,, as if a star had fallen to earth to die. burning, smoldering, being wasted
The idiot gangs were demolishing it all.
Apparently , a couple of the gang lords had a couple of catapults at their disposal,,

''What if they bring their catapults to here my lord? this could be trouble for my house.."
He chuckled,, '' Not to worry , my fair lady, they would never make it up the hill , for i have dealt with this sort of thing before, and have with me enough experienced catapult deconstructionists at hand, and the roads well watched,, ''

* * *

Lady Redbush and Axobongo in pillow talk discussed the events, ( he now called her by her name Pya )

She pondered for a bit , then spoke epilogueously

'' So, to sum up, Woolite had sent Eric the page to buy some special poison from the alchemist mr. Ghost,, Eric and the wine steward poisoned and marked the poison box's , at the orders of the mayor for his treacherous schemes. For the love of me,,, the wine steward switched a couple of boxs for Woolite to drink himself, but Woolite gave it to the Axo delegation, general Hagglebeard drank it in his room , no bottle evidence was found,, Later the other two generals decided to crack a bottle together , and they were both found dead , in this case, we know Eric slipped in with a good bottle to replace the opened poisoned one , and that Estrogeniac was busy doing graffiti when eric entered, and hid in the closet most likely, but witnessed Eric making the switch, which means Estrogeniac must have seen the two bodies on the floor,, the sick bastard didn't care.''

Axobongo interjected '' at one point, Eric mentioned that Estrogeniac started his graffiti in the room that was meant to be the last room, he was supposed to tag slogans in all the Axolords rooms, and when he finally entered the last one with our two dead Axo generals , Eric knew not if he would flee or tag the pink slogans , he expected he would flee,, but the ''idiot STARTED in the west,, not the east as i had planned, tho his roof access was to the east,,'' said Eric as we put him in the cloak room,, that Estrogeniac must have been exceedingly motivated and spiteful, yet it still bothers me not knowing how Eric the page knew in advance of anyone that my two good generals were dead , , and now the culprits are all dead under the charred rubble of the palace HQ. ''

She listened intently, then rolled to her back and continued,,
''Then Eric must have noticed Estrogeniac leaving the room, and hunted him down, or coaxed him to the murder quarter and then stabbed him in the back,, He had then the job of switching bad bottles for the good , among all the Axo lords who had gifts of the Latka, until he accounted for them all.
But trying to make the switch in lord Armflems room he was spotted by Sgt. Fraydaeg , who assumed Eric had done the opposite, and switched the good bottle for a bad one,,
and that mistake cost him his life''

Axobongo said that it still bugged him, that the first bottle Hagglebeard drank from had vanished, there was still a missing link,,

She thought for a moment, ,, '' Ha '' she exclaimed '' i've got it ! ''
Then she laughed,,
'' Eric the Page has a sister , Erica the Maid ! She works as a chambermaid at the Palace Arms Hotel!,, ''
''Dont you see, it fits perfectly,,Thats why he had the key , maybe even how he became aware of Estrogeniacs witnessing his bottle switch,, ooh,'' she stopped, then started again '' i bet that randy little tart was in the room that night ,trying to seduce that Hagglebeard , and ran to her brother when it went wrong and the poor man died before her! ''

''Well,'' Axobongo smiled at her prowess , and said '' ..He was indeed quite popular with the ladies , especially with that beard he'd sported,, in any case, i think you have hit it on the nose, m'lady ,, ''

She smiled a proud soft smile with a gleam ''i do have a degree in scrying and sixth sensed second sight , , '' said she '' from some very secret schools,,'' and winked

''Was it Axo accredited? '' He asked

''But of course!" answered she. '' One of the Axo Druids Xenomagimancy secret schools for gifted girls , i spent 3 summers there'' she grinned syruply .

''Ah,,'' said Axobongo '' The mistletoe league,,'' He sighed, ''fond memories,, Viney league too''

As it turned out, Erica the Page's sister, was in the estate of Lady Redbush as a refugee of the palace battle, and she was brought to Axobongo and Redbush. And she confirmed everything, down to the fact that she was with hagglebeard when he drank and fell poisoned, she feared she would get the blame , she took the bottle and ran to Eric her brother, and he surmised what had happened.
She also admitted about giving the key to him . She said Eric had told her that he spotted Estrogeniac coming out of the hotel himself, Estrogenic had indeed used the roof , accessing it from a closed eastern garden patio within the hotel itself, Eric had slipped him in with a key , for in that garden was an old limbless tree against the wall that worked like a step ladder to the roof, (it was so wide at the base and swirly grown it was thought too beautiful to chop down),, She also confirmed that it was she who discovered the other two generals dead in their room and told no one but her brother, Eric.

''Thats enough dear, thanks '' said Pya Redbush to Erica,, who was rambling and frantic. She had also admitted it was she who seduced the room guard of the Axolords so Eric could slip in and switch the wines for to prevent the poisoning,,

it was explained to her that what she did was actually unlawful in city codes, she was forgiven because instead of a community service reprimand, she was going to be working hard rebuilding the city with the rest of its survivors.

For the wonderful city of Ulz, would be razed ..

* * *

''i will ride to Fearisfs castle on the morrow'' Axobongo told the Lady, as she rested her head in his embrace , and they lay on her goose feather bed puffing on a waterpipe. They had spent most of their days and nights together in her private chambers.

She and he then spoke of Woolite , she was disgusted at his great scheme to destroy his rival and poisoning his rivals lords, she had a large stake in the deal , it was sleazy stupidity in her view,

The unwitting rival of Woolite was none other than the top vintner of the court of Mitsche, the poison shipment Axobongo prevented from being shipped, probably would have made it to Mitsche's table upon arrival,, the world is ironic.......

Axobongo never learned that. Had he done so it may have irritated him more than the fact that he had missed the hammer contest, after spending all year perfecting some new shots, practicing with Thor, he had some trick shots mastered ,, all for naught . And at this time he and king Mitsche were vital enemies , he was even planning on talking to a certain witch about using magic to dispatch this encroaching emperor.

But the beauty of fate would have its own way, and Axobongo would eventually find a friendship with Mitsche, and learn that his wise rule far outweighed any who would sit in his seat had he fallen before what would one day be called ''Worlds end'' , when the tribal wars finally ended and as we now know, the world swallowed up the old and spawned the new, and a hybrid Axo/omen culture would reign as caretakers of the earth nature and its people.

The next morn, he gave the Mayorship to Azig, the Lady didnt want the title, but she would play a big role in administrating with him . After having Hellfire reclaim the city by the forces gathered at Fearisf Unny's castle, the city would be under martial law for months, Azig ,Redbush and the four Axolords would ride to Fearisf's castle and meet with the 5,000 men gathered there awaiting orders.

They rode by the city, and saw it from the vantage of a hilly ridge ,, the place was devastated, a smoldering miserable wreck.. heartbreaking
They all made comments,
''its ruined'',,''it will return'',, '' never be the same'' ,, ''things change''

Arriving at Unny castle they received a message that Hector in the Shadow tribelands was calling for help, that Cho were causing problems in the east
Axobongo bid LadyRebush return with him to Axobongotown , spend a month . She declined , and promised to visit him before years end, she said her people needed her and she wouldnt let Azig design the new order alone, that crazy old man might dress the city guard in pointy hats and pom pom shoes for some magical significance or other,,

Hellfire would help manage the rebuilding, and the city would hopefully return to its glory of dark delights , but this time with well trained disciplined city guards Hellfire would maintain. And the Latka trade would be non-monopolized.

Guinness and sir Lillian had finally arrived at Unny castle, Guinness inquired '' Did we miss the Hammer throwing contest?'' and Lillian asked, ''ho, whats that smoke in the distance?''
''Seems the games were cancelled this year'' said Armflem,

And thats that, The Axolords rode back to the war.

The Fin.

* * *

Negative Chapter , -1. ~ the plot digested becomes a gas

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