It’s time to put the dank and the rank behind me and look for something more upbeat and festive. To that end Alley and I got an invitation to a party in the South Celestial Wetlands. It sounded quite nice complete with fishing and a pig picking. I mean, who can say no to these sorts of things? I had assumed Wetlands was the colloquial term for water park and was ready to dip my toes in the refreshing water and sit on the shore with a hearty meal and frosty beverage.

It seems I was deceived.

The Wetlands turned out to be a swamp, a rather good looking swamp as far as swamps go, but a swamp none the less. But as they say, when life you throws you lemons, you need to throw them back and hit the bastard that started the fight right in the eye.

I turned a blind eye to some of the early warning signs such as the floaters I found when visiting the refreshment stand. These two chaps were face down in the swamp, dead drunk. But mostly just dead. I’m not sure if the hooch is that toxic because of the swamp water, if they got into a brawl, if their game of horseshoes became full contact or what the cause was. But it let me no choice but to fleece their pockets and buy my ale elsewhere.

I went to the center pavilion which turned out to be some sort of shrine with interesting Celtic crosses. Clearly this is not where the ale is served. But hope was not lost as we spied where the food was being cooked. Our hosts had gone all out and were roasting a pig over an open fire. It looked and smelled delicious. But things took and ugly turn over the type of sauce to use on the beast. I had suggested a simple tomato based one using the fresh garlic right here in the wetlands. They insisted it would be vinegar based mixed with mandrake root and I had no business or sophistication by even suggesting a tomato based coating. Things escalated quickly and it came to blows. Or rather, it came to bows.

I had to draw down on the Ruffian and silence his foolishness. He was going to ruin the entire meal with his half-baked, half-cocked ideas and I simply couldn’t stand for it.

It should be pointed out that firing bows in the middle of a BBQ, especially at your hosts is considered bad etiquette, regardless of the reason. My social gaff turned the party into a hornets nest wherein Alley and I stole a good portion of the roasted pig and fought our way out.

Since I’m a master with the stiletto, I carved out a portion of the shank and we legged it through the swamp. The Ruffians didn’t give chase and we quickly realized why. Alley and I ran smack dab into a den of Crocodiles, Bears and Wolves.

Let it be known that firing a bow while holding a pork shank is no easy task. It’s a precarious balancing act that when done right looks like poetry in motion. When done incorrectly, you’ll lose your lunch.

With this minor inconvenience out of the way, we dashed over to a fishing cabin we came across in our flight. While the cabin itself was quite homey although Spartanly furnished, I have to question why there is a fishing cabin deep in the swamp. What the hell kind of fish are you trying to catch out here? I think the people of this realm has a misunderstanding of fishing.

While the roasted pig was actually quite good, despite the lack of sauce and basting from those miserable sods, I have to admit this was not the picnic we had been expecting. If you get an invitation to a BBQ in the Wetlands, you might want to reconsider.



Oh, this does not bode well for the quality of ale being served in this place. Another misguided drinking adventure that ends with people face down, drunk, in a swamp. It happens all to often these days. Got anything in your pockets I might be interested in?


Ah well, this is more like it! This looks quite delicious and as we all know, a bit of BBQ sauce on the outside will spice this rascal up nicely. If you keep insisting on this ridiculous notion of using vinegar based sauces, I will have no choice but to knock some sense into you. Clearly your man has already tried to ruin lunch and Alley had to use the Death Touch of Persuasion on him. Let this be a lesson my good man!


Oh, a lovely fishing cabin, out here in the swamp, where there’s no fish, just crocodiles. Hmm, I think something else is going on out here in the swamps. And where’s the boat? I can find a boat in a sewer, but it’s completely missing from a swamp? None of this makes sense!


Get your own pork sandwich you scaly devil!


Umm, why are the bones floating like that? Egad Alley, what did we eat?

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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