THE FANTASTILISTIC TWISTICATED ADVENTURES OF LORD GABERLUNZIE BINDLESTIFF THE EARL OF PANTAGRUELIOPOLIS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
This particular tale is complete but the Adventures in Erf are never ending

Submitted: January 06, 2019

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Submitted: January 06, 2019

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THE FANTASTILISTIC TWISTICATED ADVENTURES

OF

LORD GABERLUNZIE BINDLESTIFF

THE EARL OF PANTAGRUELIOPOLIS

BY

DONALD HARRY ROBERTS

INTRODUCTION

Before I actually address the fantastilistic twisticated tales of his enigmaticouthynestic Lordship I must reveal a bit of him, though such is not easily accomplished since a bit would be about as helpful as a slotted spoon worked to empty the ocean. In a word or few I shall depict the nature of his Earlship. Radicalatiously Harlequinated Jesterfied Pathologicanated.

For the record I am Argle Bargle, his Earldoms personal Chronicler and reputationalst.

PASSAGE ONE

1

Pantagrueliopolis is a humongous city in the infinite Kingdom of  Erf, a place you may well have heard of before in other writings by this author but in which his previous protagonist has never visited, at least yet, but one never knows what awaits around any corner turned.

It is a Metropolomeganous place that would require a separate tome just to offer a clear picture in words to describe it. One could say however that it is a multicultural and multi-era place that rambles from everywhere to everywhere to nowhere and slightly beyond and seems to have no borders. It falls under the rule of the  King of Erf, in the Princedom of Telluria which is then subdivided into Earldoms a place in society in which Lord Gaberlunzie Bindlestiff resides and administers the whats and wherefore of Pantagrueliopolis or should it be said he oversees those who do the actual work of administrating while he himself ventures out on some very Fantastilistic Twisticated Adventures throughout the Kingdom of Erf where nothing is the least bit based on any accepted realistified world concepts.

2

It was the finest day the month of May in the far-most northern climes of Erf could afford. And that means the sun was shining and it was neither cold nor warm, raining or snowing and no outer clothing save a nice wool sweater was required and of course trousers and shoes and socks and other garments to make one publicly presentable. But then presentable is relative and Lord Gaberlunzie Bindlestiff could be construed as relative to the norm even in Erf. One might recognize him as more of a Jester or Harlequin than a lordly earl.

Lord Bindlestiff was having his morning tea, rose hip tea in the garden patio where certain early blooming flowers were just waking with the morning sun and the bees were buzzing pleasantly. It was the first-day tea out of doors was comfortable and his Earlship was soaking it all up like a thirsty dandelion readying to sprout its golden bloom. And there was creamy egg-salad spread thickly over a rice cake to stave off the morning “tummy growls”, as his lordship called it.

Now, before I go on I must remind you this is Erf not here in Mundanieland so normal things are considerably different and that is best because this story would not be so wonderful as it is if everything and every place in the dimensional kaleidoscope were the same.

Lord Binslestiff was just finishing off a nice round egg-salad rice cake when a crow, a blue jay and a robin landed on his table next to bowls of seeds and worms specially picked out for their enjoyment. In fact, it was meant as payment for the news that they would report, and not just the everyday type of news which Gaberlunzie was not in the least bit interested in. His idea of news was some fantastilistic event that would require his intervention, whether asked for or not. And on this very nice spring morning, the trio of Ornothalarians had just such wonderful news to deliver. But it did not come easily since birds as you know always want the first, last and middle chirrup, squawk or caw and all do so at once in their loudest voices.

3

Lord Bindlestiff quietly and patiently listened to their vocal ruckus until they finally realized his lordship was not paying them much attention. Then they all quieted and Gaberlunzie said. “ Now Mr. Robin Redbreast, tell me your version of the news.

And while the other two birds nibble at their food the robin chirruped out his story. Then Gaberlunzie invited the Blue Jay to speak and finally the crow until he had all three versions of the news and sorted them all into a clear understanding of the occurring event.

I must point out that birds are prone to being a little wordy and his lordship was pressed to edit it to a practical length which was, “My Lord. It is told by heralds across the land that the Opolis of Meganor some distance north of here has been invaded by a band of bandits of a Trollish nature who ride on the backs of Snowsnakes and attack  in the dark of night mostly but since it is said they are half Yeti they can with-stand the light of day if that is more convenient for them.

Meganoropolis has of course raised the red flag and its defenders have gathered but the leader of the band is a Skyfaller of a most hideous heart and thinks nothing of doing great harm and damage to the folks and the Opolis.”

“Then I shall set out immediately to travel there and lend what help I am able to rid Meganoropolis of this plague.” Announced his Lordship with enthusiasm extraordinaire as he rose purposefully from his chair, “ Prepare my coach and my sledge and my dogs for the journey to the land of eternal winter and night, Gelida. I shall depart by the noon hour and press on til dark to get a good head start on the five-day journey to Meganoropolis.” He ordered.

And so in a flurry and a flash and a boisterous, “To Battle We Go”, from his lordship against the tolling of the great city clock chimes Gaberlunzie, his drivers and Valet and of course myself, his personal chronicler and reputationist set off on a mission of rescue. And even as we set out his Lordship said to me, Argle Bargle, make certain you get all this down in length. It shall be read for endless generations and I want the event clearly depicted so it becomes legend and not myth.”

4

A journey of five days may seem a distance but you must take into account that our company was travelling by horse and coach and unlike some Mundanie movie films horses cannot pull a coach from dusk til dawn. In fact, they begin to weary after a few hours at 5 miles an hour and at best one could travel but 20 miles. However we changed horses once each day and rested overnight which allowed us the grand total of 40 miles a day, and the further north we went the less spring there was in the air and by the middle of the fourth day there was no spring and it was unlikely we would enjoy the warm climes it offers until we turned south when we vanquished the foe of Maganoropolis.

The snow came in the night just before the hour began the fifth day. Skis were applied to the wheels and the wheels locked in a stationary position. The horses pulled hard but could not go far before tiring and so in the last hours of our journey we took to travelling on foot in snowshoes, leading the horses until as the last light faded from the sky we arrived on the outskirts of Meganoropolis where we halted and took lodging at an Inn. Even in the dead of winter 200 miles south never had there been such cold nor wind to turn ones lungs to ice in a breath.

We learned quickly from our host that the ice and snow never melted away and that warmth outdoors was not freezing after a few moments abroad without layers upon layers of coating. To these northern it was springtime.  I wondered how it was going to be possible for us to stand against beasts that were adapted to such climes forgetting for a moment that his lordship was always prepared for any and all contingencies.

Something occurred to me as we entered the city. In all the long journey we had seen neither Troll, Yeti or any combination of such abominations. I took it upon myself to mention this to Lord Bindlestiff but he just smiled and said. “Those who are weakly bullies tend to hide from the likes of us”.

 

 

5

“The likes of us” resounded in my mind and I snickered. Here we were, four coachmen dressed up like circus clowns, his lordship gleaming and beaming like a kaleidoscope harlequin decaled with gold and silver and ruby and sapphire speckles. And then there is myself, a portly fellow with tufts of hair sticking out from under a top hat and no hair whatsoever on top and lips twisted into a permanent smile a tux coat with tails of many colours. His lordship was obsessed with colours. Even the coach was painted with so many colours it was eye bedazzling.

We settled into our rooms, one for the coachmen and one for his Lordship and one for his valet and myself, all at the expense of the city which of course expected to be compensated in kind.

Before retiring I asked his Lordship what we should do next. “Since we have no idea where to search for this band of thugs it would do no good to go out in search of them so we will wait for them to come to us. I will go out and make sure the city has watches set everywhere and trumpeters to sound a warning.” He replied but just then those very trumpets blared loud and clear just outside our lodge and seconds later someone was hammering madly on his Lordship’s door and bellowing in terror.

“They have come. They have come to rob us blind again.”

At that Lord Gaberlunzie Bindlestiff donned his hat and buckle his sword and went out to examine the situation. He climbed to the top of a perimeter watch tower and looked out over the ice-scape and sure enough there came a dozen Troll/Yeti abominations riding on snow snakes but as his eyes settled on the advancing menace he began to laugh and when we, his entourage followed his gaze to understand his chortling we too began to laugh.

“My Lord. Why would a city this size be sore afraid of beasts no larger than an infant? As fierce as they appear….”

“Because my good Valet someone does not know their trolls and yetis from Gremlins and Ogres. But don’t let their size fool you. These creatures, despite their size, can be very nasty if you don’t know how to deal with them.”

“Do you know My Lord?” I asked.

“I have some ideas I picked up in another time and place.” Lord Bindlestiff answered wistfully.

6

It was not long before the Lord of Meganoropolis arrived to inquire what, if anything Lord Bindlestiff was going to do about the band of bandits. My Lord replied in the most polite of Lordly fashions. “I will do whatever is necessary to do but at the moment I only see a dozen Gremlin Ogre crossed creatures with no leader of a Skyfaller nature. I suspect this is but a small band to discover who has arrived in your city.

“This few would be easily dispatched now rather than waiting for the larger numbers to come bash us.” Replied Lord Fembozzer Novish in a tone that was neither polite or remotely amiable. “And maybe it would warn off the others.” He added haughtily.

“Or more likely it would anger the others and their leader and they would make worse damage than ever. No My Lord Novish. We must strike at the heart of the beast, not the limb. Patience is our ally.” Lord Bindlestiff argued intelligently.

“I think the reputation and the legend are bigger than the man. I will send my own soldiers out to deal with this band of hooligans now.” Announced Lord Novish.

“You will bring disaster on them. Look to the East My Lord.” I instructed for on a hill there was raise a small army of not only Gremlin/Orges on foot but large mustering of Trollish Yeti’s slithering forward on their Snowsnakes.

“You see Lord Novish. This is not the time to send out your men but time to man you walls with archers and spearmen.” Lord Bindlestiff advised.

“Of which I have only a few I am afraid. Such is the condition of my treasury that I cannot afford more defenders. Fifty spearmen and 25 archers is my limit.” Novish admitted sourly.

“Then we cannot endure a battle but we can stave them off for a time until a plan of defence can be arranged. You do retain an illusionist?” Bindlestiff replied.

“Alas. He is owed a tidy bit and refuses to do more until he is paid.” Warned Lord Novish.

“Send him to me and I will convince him of his foolishness.” Lord Bindlestiff instructed and at that Novish scurried off like a worried chipmunk to do my Lords bidding.

7

“My Lord. You are yourself an Illusionist. Is there nothing you can do?” I inquired.

“Of course there is Argle Bargle, but I needed Lord Novish gone so he would not see that I have tricks up my sleeve. It would not do to have the world know all my secrets.”

I laughed. Lord Bindlestiff always seemed to have answers as well as tricks up his sleeve and a few oddities that came out now and then that one must wait to see…or would that be witness. I was always amazed when he goes off on a verbal tangent speaking gibberish which he calls speaking in tongues. Then one day whilst meandering in a place in the out-reaches of Erf called Yukersnok he began speaking Gibberish and everyone but me understood every word. I learned that day not to question him on his oddities because I would most certainly end up eating my words which is a very real possibility according to Lord Bindlestiff if one is in the right place.

“So what exactly do you plan for these bandits?” I asked.

Lord Bindlestiff bent a huge smile on his face and said, “Something most extraordinary but I will need my counterpart illusionist here to make it work. Please go off and make sure Lord Novish has sent him along. I believe his name is Blatherskite. Be sure to tell him it is I who requests his presence. He will give no argument, but he will be a tad shy.”

I set off to find Blatherskite curious as to why he sent me instead of a page or a coachmen and for that matter why he sent me at all, but as I wound my way through the streets the answer came to me, an answer he had already given me. Lord Bindlestiff did not want me to write into these journals to particulars of his clever illusion to fend off the bandits. And I must say I was a little put aside over the matter and thus turned away from my mission and slipped back to witness whatever he was up to and it was a spectacular ordeal for I never knew it of My Lord, that he was much more than an illusionist, he was a magician and shape-shifter.

8

I got back just in time to see Lord Novish and Batherskite meet with Lord Bindlestiff. The three spoke for a moment then the two illusionists walked away from the Lord of Meganoropolis. Novish did not seem too put out. In fact, he hurried off to seek the sanctuary and safety of his palace. I decoded to stay out of sight but keep close. I think Lord Bindlestiff spied me out though because he had one of those knowing smiles on his lips when we spoke later of the events that I tried to play dumb about. The version of the events that occurred are my own. My Lord’s was a little scant and if-ish.

The vanguard of Gremorgres scurried off the road  as the snow-snakes carried their riders toward the gates of the city. But as the invaders drew closer the gates closed, but that did not stop the snakes from slithering over the wall and that could have been horrific but just then a great emerald and ruby dragon rose over the lip of the wall spewing out a flame of blue-white fire melting the vipers from beneath the riders. And then the gates opened and a herd of buffalo charged the falling Trollish Yeti who ran for their lives but few escaped the stampede.

And it seemed that all would be resolved but forgotten was the true leader of the brigand gang, a Skyfaller who dropped from the sky diving toward the dragon in a  fighter plane that spit out trails of firey lead, most of which fell harmlessly melted aside.

9

A moment later the dragon and the plane collided and both crashed to the ground in a ball of dust and roars. And when the dust settled two Skyfallers climbed to their feet and though both staggered faced each other with sabres in hand, ready it seemed to fight to the death. To my surprise, it was Blatherskite who had taken up arms against his own patron a fact that Lord Bindlestiff  seemed unsurprised over.

“Is this what you have come to old friend. Nothing but a brigand in a land neither of us should exist in.”

“I did not come here by choice. I don’t think any of do save the one that calls himself the King Of Erf. But I am here nonetheless and play the role his Majesty dictates or I suffer the consequences.”

“You were not brought here by him my friend but he has managed to blind you. Chance brought you here but there is one who can send you back if you chose. All you need do is seek him out.”

“Who?”

“The Skyfaller boy.” Said Lord Bindlestiff. “And if go now to seek him out I will sheath my sabre and let you go, but you must swear to return to Mundania as soon as circumstances allow.”

Blatherskite gave no reply. He simply vanished and if things can be guessed at that he kept the promise I should say he did since he has never been seen anywhere again in Erf. Then all Blatherskite’s minions vanished. I wondered if it was all an illusion as much of Erf tends to be except that stuff and those folks who are indigenous.

10

Lord Bindlestiff regarded me with a kindly nod as I joined him by the city gate. I asked, “Are all Skyfallers evil?” He laughed allowed and asked in reply. “Am I evil?”

It was my turn to laugh. Then I said, “It is a time of anti-heroes My Lord and evil has become a relative ideal.”

“You have wisdom in you Argle Bargle but your stories do prattle on sometimes.”

“So you do read them.” I replied excitedly.

“Of course I do since you make me out to be something of a hero…rather…anti- hero and I do appreciate it, but I am but a cog in the ethereal wheel, as you are, but you are an enigma my friend since you are an Erfarian by creation.”

“My Lord. It is worried about that Erf is nothing more than a figment of someone’s imagination which means…” I was proclaiming before Lord Bindlestiff interjected.

“As might be the whole of the universe. None will ever know I think because if such is the case when the figment rains away only the Imaginator will be left.”

“Then what?” I asked ponderously to which Gaberlunzie Bindlestiff responded to with his usual shrug of the shoulders.


© Copyright 2019 Donald Harry Roberts. All rights reserved.

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