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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.

31: “I’m not going back.”

Jacyntha planted her fists on her hips, trying to project the image of a determined footy player. Such pretences were become easier and easier to pull off. Indeed, they were feeling less and less like pretences at all. “Don’t be daft, daughter. Of course you are.” Her mother’s cabin on board her…

30: “Æthelstan the Angry!”

As the echoes of the stadium crier’s voice died down, half of the already rancorous crowd erupted in fury. Some lunged at the wooden palisades separating them from their rival fans, others pulled up the benches and flung them onto the pitch, yet others threw missiles consisting mostly of worm-eaten…

29: “Out loud!”

Karsgaard Neuvil extended a quivering hand to Jacyntha, a hand that gripped a league broadsheet. She was to read out the Sommer Sea Football League standings to her teammates so that everyone might understand their situation. She unfolded the document and laid it on the table of the groundskeeper’s…

28: “Out of my way!”

Pierce Rosethorn despite carrying a grand bouquet of flowers, dodged out of the way of the hand Jacyntha thrust at him to push him away. “I keep telling you,” he said, “the moment you lay a finger on me is the moment I retire.” She turned on him. “Gimme those!” She snatched the bouquet of flowers,…

27: “Foul play most vile!”

Cassandra Thordwall rolled her eyes. Duc Tancred de Baston blustered on. “I doth concede the abduction and ransom are meet given the nature of the campaign and my personal defeat.” He certainly hadn’t thought his abduction was fair play in the aftermath of its occurrence. He’d squealed like a stuck…

26: “You fear me, weak woe-men!”

The bellowing came from an Orc blocker lumbering forward, punching the palm of his hand, searching for a foe and finding them in abundance. Well, yeah! Jacyntha hauled Qispi out of the path of the Orc and pushed her towards the right flank. She herself had to dodge and roll away from the blocker,…

25: “You want how many tickets?”

Neuvil couldn’t help but snarl at the obtuse Dark Elf, “By the thirteen sweet hells, man, how did you come to run the Matadoras? Is it really so rare for a visiting team to buy tickets for their fans?” The stadium direktorus grew angry. “Ah, the notorious politeness of foreigners. Perhaps now you…

24: “Agony’s got the ball!”

Ellpay was right. The Mongrel’s striker, Mik Mangenain, who had scooped up the ball after the kick-off, had shovel-passed it to the thrower Jacyntha had been watching toss sixty-pace long bombs during warm-up, Agony Muerevarg. The star striker then covered the flank, ready to pounce should an…

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…