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Up and Under

A gripping tale from recognized writer of fiction, Ian H. McKinley, and award-winning artist, Meunier, in which elves, orcs, humans, dwarves, rodentiens and exotherms play football. Explore Guayamartí, the great city of the Hierarchs and home to the famous Eztadio Sanger, a stadium that has seen the greatest exploits in the history of sport. Follow the fortunes of an owner, a coach, and a player as they navigate the perilous world of “footy”.

Cassandra Thordwall, a pirate who wishes to leave her old life behind her and start a footy team, tracks down the infamous former coach Karsgaard Neuvil and proposes forming a new team, the Mytilan Militantes. What happens next will leave you longing for the next episode of Up and Under.

23: “Hand him over or die!”

Shocked, Neuvil instinctively stepped back, away from the caped and hooded person who had just dropped from the stars and landed on the cobblestones in front of him. Umberto grabbed his arm and pulled him back, stepping between Neuvil and the assassin. “Coach,” Jacyntha said. “Behind us.” Her voice…

22: Time to grow up

Thordwall had ordered him early on - after the first pre-season match - never to yell at the women. Unlike the thick male brutes drawn to footy, she had said, women were smart enough to have other options in life and thus could easily walk away from the team if they didn’t like how they were being…

21: The All Was War

“Xonyx the Strong rose to become a fine general and an inspiring leader. She outwitted her enemies and provided succour to those who sought her protection. From the ancient fires she forged the sword that could fall trees with a single stroke: the Edge of Hope. She led her folk to victory after…

20: “He’s got a knife!”

Jacyntha, trotting over to celebrate Ellpay’s touchdown with the catcher in the end-zone, turned around in shock upon hearing Qispi’s shout. Their back-up linewoman stormed past Coach Karsgaard, who lunged in futility to prevent her from invading the pitch. Qispi ran onto the field and leapt onto…

19: Fangs on a smile

Karsgaard Neuvil studied the buildings forming the outer burghs of the Dark Elf city of Halos as they slide past the Menace’s starboard rail. Outwardly foreboding and starkly forbidding, the architecture was a clutter of abutting fortresses with low towers, some capped with terraces that featured…

18: “I Can’t Protect You From Stupid”

Cassandra Thordwall’s eyes narrowed and pivoted to take in Umberto’s face. He was watching the darkened doorway and obviously didn’t catch the warning in her glance because he added, “Boss, you pay me to protect you, and I have done, but this ... I can’t protect you if I’m locked in the Almenara and…

17: “You Whore”

Pierce Rosethorn glanced up at Jacyntha but if he was surprised she had crashed his liaison with her best friend Ocllo he certainly didn’t look it. “Pardon me?” “You heard me, you scum!” Jacyntha snarled an instant before slapping his smarmy face. Except the palm of her hand only met air. The damned…

16: Too Good

Cassandra Thordwall watched her team go through their warm-up. The Sangers was filling up and the Militantes’ fans were cheering every practice pass. “Got an ‘up-and-under’ or something else ready for thwarting the Dwarves?” she asked, referring to the day’s opponents, the Stonecarvers. Beside her,…

15: “Our woods are perilous”

Pierce Rosethorn cut a thin slice of his food and inspected it closely, eying it on the end of his fork as though it might suddenly leap away. “I avoid eating flesh as a rule, but these eels … well, I sometimes allow myself the opportunity to discover the taste of things.” He popped the slice of…

14: “Slather it on.”

“I thought we were supposed to drink it?” Jacyntha said, looking at the flagon Coach Karsgaard had passed around. “Yes, take a deep draught as well. But Rosethorn said if drool gets on you, Dew of Dreamvine will prevent the skin absorbing anything nasty.” “Would that we could spit toxins onto them,”…