"Caustic Comestibles and Spurious Spices"
A Flintloque Short Story
Castrado del los Spheres despaired. His beloved Unicorn had been missing for nigh on a week now, and there was still no sign of it returning. It wasn‟t so much that he'd grown fond of the creature. It just meant that he had to plod along like the rest of the mob, just another degenerate in a long line of rambling rabble. It wasn‟t fair. There was one consolation however; at themoment, Obidiah had got it into his head that he was King of the ruined building that served as their temporary shelter, and refused to leave his new “castle” until forced out of it by a monarch from afar. This meant that there was no need for them to break camp until Obidiah had a change of mind. Perhaps, mused Castrado, he‟d swap it for one that worked.
Castrado felt a slight rumble in his stomach, reminding him that his guard duties were nearly over and that it was time for more of the manky slop that Dotti had been dishing out for the last few days. There were times he could have sworn that the gloop was still alive, and occasionally Ulf had dropped a bowl of the goo to the floor and defeated it with his cleaver before daring to take another mouthful. Still, they had been short of food for a while now, with Obidiah insisting that they remain at the “castle” gates to guard his “Imperial Majestiness” and forbidding them to go and forage outside the walls of his “domain”.
As he wandered over to the “kitchen”, he passed his relief guard, Pog Mahone, being violently sick in a technicolour nightmare that soon decorated the hapless Bog Orc‟s trouser legs.
"I see it's still “stew” tonight, my friend" offered Castrado.
He was answered by a gargling noise as Pog opened his intestinal floodgates yet again. The Bog Orc gathered himself up from the vomit soaked sand and cleared the remnants of the explosive meal from his blistered lips.
"Aye. I think it needs more salt."
Castrado joined some of the others around the makeshift table. He could vaguely hear Obidiah declaring himself to be Lord of all he surveyed somewhere in the distance when something dreadful overwhelmed his senses. It was the stench of the fetid stew assaulting his nostrils. The Moriati brothers were prodding their platefuls of this unknown substance towards him, in a desperate attempt to fool Dotti into thinking they‟d eaten their share. He sat up quickly, and walked over to the foul bubbling broth that constituted Dotti's “heart warming” meal.
“You eaten yet?” she asked.
“Er, no.” stammered Castrado.
“Well lad,” Dotti smiled “as you've been on duty all day, I'll give you extra, as a reward.”
“Oh thanks!” lied the Dark Elf.
The ladle, miraculously surviving the caustic culinary catastrophe it was plunged into, pulled out a large helping of the dubious matter. Slopping it onto the plate, Dotti looked surprised as a long slender piece of ivory slowly appeared as the slop drained into the further recesses of Castrado's bowl.
“What's that?” asked Castrado, thinking he may have seen it somewhere before.
“Erm, that's the special ingredient.”
“Oh.” replied Castrado, bravely lifting the foot-long object from the steaming sewerage. “It looks very familiar to me."
“Well, I, er, that is, urm...”
Just as the Halfling stumbled over her sentence, she was relieved to see Carlos Los De Marbelos marching over to claim his share of the cauldron's calamity. Perhaps he would be able to explain to Castrado what this “spice” was.
“This is my Unicorn's horn, isn't it?” said the disbelieving Castrado, with a look of stern anger on his face.
“Er, no. It's a sea-shell. It adds flavour.” offered Carlos.
“A sea-shell. Over a hundred miles from the sea?”
“Is it really that far? Well, that's interesting. There must have been a flood, and we didn't notice.” countered Carlos.
“I see. So while all of us have been on guard in this “heroically captured castle”, there has been a huge flood covering more than one hundred miles and none of us spotted it. And all that remains as evidence is this “sea-shell” which looks just like the horn that my Uni-corn had, my Unicorn which has coincidentally been missing ever since this stew was made. Is that what you're trying to tell me!”
“Oh. I wonder what happened to my Unicorn then?” asked Castrado. “It must have been washed away by the water.”
“That'll be it, my friend. Look, I‟m really sorry about your Unicorn and everything, but there‟s stew to be eaten, and I‟m starving. Pile it on, Dotti!” said Carlos, leaving Castrado Del Los Spheres to ponder the fate of his poor little pony. Some day, some where, they would meet again.
Obidiah's Army Character Booklet
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An Orcs in the Webbe Exclusive!
The above article is from the Obidiah's Army Character Booklet. It was first published in digital format here on OITW as part of the Countdown to Christmas Advent Calendar 2010.
It has been edited and updated for use with the Third Edition of Alternative Armies' blackpowder ruleset, Flintloque.
The complete booklet is also available as a fully formatted PDF for your reading pleasure. You can download it from the main page here ~#~.