After several weeks of dithering, I have decided to release it one chapter at a time as a blog serial. I have a good ten chapters spanning one whole story line about the troll and another storyline I'm tentatively calling "The Legend of The Oakman." Once I have all of the Troll and the white Hanky of Anti-doom up on the blog, I'll release it in one volume and work my way on through whatever adventures Lisa and Watt decide to have from there. This will also give me time to figure out what to do about a cover.
Here's how I'll do it. I'll post each new chapter on Wednesdays, starting today, as a regular blog post and label it both as a Lisa and Watt adventure and I'll also mark each story bit as belonging to what story. I'm also going to make a page that will link directly to the chapters so you can read them in chronological order. How does that sound? Good? Excellent. Here's the prolog:
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The White Hankie of Anti-Doom
A word or two from the author:
I will solemnly admit to playing loosy-goosey with my Norman-Britton history in this story. For those who are bothered by such things, I am sorry. It’s my story and if I want the Welsh and Scotts beat Longshanks, I can do that. This, by the way, is set in Cornwall towards the end of the 13th century. Some of the names and places are not accurate because I changed them to suit my own needs. I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Sir Cuthbert de Grey was sitting in for Baron Amesbury during the regularly scheduled Wednesday public audience, which would be how he found himself listening to a great, fat, red-faced merchant babble about unpassable bridges and spoiled food stuffs. His lord was currently in the capitol, answering an equally insistent summons from Robert Plantagenet, Prince of Cornwall, who happened to be the baron’s overlord and also half-great nephew once removed to the late Edward Longshanks.
The last five years had not been overly comfortable for the remaining Normans after William Wallace beat Longshanks at Falkirk and Llywelyn ap Gruffudd successfully ambushed and killed the hated king during his hasty retreat from the Scotland. Whereas most Normans had been killed or run off their lands, Robert of Cornwall had hung on to most of his through sheer tenacity and meanness. Baron Amesbury and his men were in Cornwall by invitation of Robert to replace one of the nobles killed defending his territory. Thanks to Robert, they still had a place to belong rather than being driven into the sea like most of their brethren had been. So when Robert of Cornwall summoned his lords, they responded with haste.
This of course left Sir Cuthbert listening to merchants’ demands that he rebuild flooded out roads and bridges at once so they could get their goods to market before they all rotted.
“Correct me if I am wrong,” Sir Cuthbert said, interrupting a particularly vivid description of the smell of rotting rutabagas, “but Troll’s Gate Bridge is still passable, yes?”
“It’s still standing, yes,” the merchant muttered begrudgingly. “But it’s not passable. The trolls’ woke up and no one can get across it. All the other bridges are flooded out or completely washed away, and so are most of the river roads.”
“Then it would seem to me that the way to remedy this situation would be to take care of the troll, yes? That would open at least one route into the Lower Peninsula and allow trade to resume whilst we wait for the spring run off to abate.”
“Aye, that would work, Sir Cuthbert. But the Kampton City Guard has been trying to do something about the troll this past fortnight. We seen them running attacks against the beast from the safety of the northern bank, but every sally failed.”
“I shall see what I can do about this monster, then,” Cuthbert said, dismissing the merchant with a wave of his hand. At last, something to do other than listen to idle men whine about their idle problems, he thought to himself as the merchant waddled off. Trolls were by far more palatable, if somewhat more difficult.