Tuesday, January 10, 2006

If Dolphins were Monkeys...

Sometimes folk accuse us of putting silly things into Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Rumster’s pies, Wurstfest, Greased Goats and so on.

Well, let us assure you, most of the time- truth is stranger than any fiction we could come up with.

You’ve only got to look at history to find all manner of bizarre, absurd and nonsensical happenings.

All the recent talk about King Kong (boy, has that film had some money spent on marketing- from burgers to bog roll, the big Gorilla is everywhere at the moment) has put us in mind of a charming incident in Hartlepool, England.

One dark and stormy night during the Napoleonic wars, the fisher folk of costal Hartlepool spotted lights out to sea. Sure enough a vessel was in trouble- sinking in fact. The following day many people went down to the beach to scavenge anything washed up from the wreck.

Many and varied were the things that were found- including a curious fellow. Got up in a suspicious uniform and jabbering a strange language, the townsfolk decided this man might be trouble. They locked him up and sent for the local magistrate at once. The official being away in London- and local curiosity being what it was, the odd foreigner was exhibited to the people of Hartlepool.

It didn’t take long for people to work out what was going on. The man was clearly one of the hated French- for he was ugly to look upon, weirdly clad and scratched himself with no care for the ladies present in the room. Yes, he gibbered a foolish language, was covered in hair and had a primitive, savage look to him. He was a spy- a French spy who had attempted to land under the cover of darkness to pry into English business!

No time could be wasted. The Frenchman had to be tried.

A court was convened, but the trial quickly descended into farce. No one could speak French and no amount of torture could induce him to write or sign his dastardly intentions. Tired of the trial- and unwilling to wait for the magistrate- the people gathered together and hung the French Spy.

Two days later the magistrate arrived and had the terrible affair explained to him. The principles of the trial took him to see the corpse and the magistrate finally discovered what had happened.

Hanging outside the Town Hall was a dead chimp.

The hairiness, the strange face, the uniform- it was no Frenchman- rather, a mascot-the ship’s ape- at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Neighbouring towns, of course, didn't find this funny at all. In fact, even to this day, shouts of 'Monkey 'anger' follow Hartlepoolites where ever they go.

Given that, Sigmar's Sizzling sausage seems positively normal...

-The BI Dev Team


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