Game Five/Six – Gunville Stonesmiths and Da Undercliff Boyz
Bumford is sitting, thinking. He is in a large worn red chair that creaks as he adjusts his weight.
“Please, one more time run it by me.” says the figure opposite the dwarf. An mysterious figure shrouded in darkness.
“Well, commish. A wager is what I’m sayin’. You ‘n’ me. Winner takes all. I win, I get the league. You win…” Bumford spits on the floor. “Well, whatever you want I guess.”
“Confident, you seem.”
Bumford thinks back to his last game…
Bumford is sitting in the stands. He watches his team set up against a rugged dwarf team. he doesn’t recognise these lads. Probably from the smaller mountains, the warmer ones closer to the greenlands. Pah.
His team are warming up. They seem in relatively good spirits.
It could be because Bumford told them they were playing a team of fresh-faced halfling-dwarf crossbreeds that have never even touched a blood bowl ball. They’d laughed at that.
Ah well, they’ll discover the truth soon enough!
Bumford looks to the backfield. Some other famous slann ‘star’ has offered him his services, one “Quetzal Leap”. He was a small, lithe frog, very fast and clearly knew his business. He was hopping from foot to foot, talking to the rest of the team. They seemed bolstered by his confidence.
The dwarf leaned over to the spectator next to him. “Three gold pieces says he’s down and out before the first half.”
The bearded human next to him eyes Bumford up and down, then agrees.
The whistle is blown, and the ball sails skyward!
It is halftime, and Bumford walks past the crumpled heap that vaguely resembled Quetzal Leap to spend his shiny-gotten gains on a McMurty’s Gut-Splitting Gumbo Combo Meal.
The slann are down 1-0, and are receiving. Quite a few of them are out of the game, and the ones that are left are wary.
Within a few moments, the score is 1-1, but more and more frogs are occupying the injured dugout…
By the time the whistle finally blows for full time, there are only three frogs left on the pitch. The score is 1-1…
Bumford start s.
“Pah! Just look at my team! Stupid frogs that they are. None of them ‘catchers’, none of these so-call ‘kroxigors’, whatever they are. Just a group of stupid frogs that have barely played a game between them, and we’re unbeaten!
“Unbeaten, say you? Yet top the table you do not.”
Bumford grunts. “I said unbeaten, didn’t I? Nothing but wins and draws. So yeah, I reckon I could take you on.”
The figure stands up and makes to leave.
Bumford spits again and does the same.
A voice follows him out…
Bumford is in the dressing rooms with his team.
“Right lads! Last game of the season then, change of plans, we’re playing the “Da UnderClif Boyz” boys. Odd name.”
His team are limbering up, which for a group of humanoid amphibians is enough to turn most stomachs.
“Important one today. Just go out there, beat them up a bit, do what you normally do and beat ‘em down. Orcs go down just as easily as anyone else. Well, sort of. Off you go!”
Da Undercliff Boyz are a burly group of orcs that are all almost as wide as they are tall. Each wore smooth, black-iron armour that must have weighed as much as two grown slann. Each shoulder pad and greave was pockmarked with grooves and circles.
Something seemed odd, thought Bumford.
Each team set up on the field.
The atmosphere was tense.
Bumford watched the orcs in their pre-match preparations. They lined up on the scrimmage point, and stood waiting.
The referee turned to look at the orc on-field captain, Harz. Harz turned to look back.
Bumford sat up. “Wait a minute…”
The Orc Team rushed forwards, simultaneously slapping and hitting hidden buttons on their armour. Enormous gleaming spikes appeared as if my magic from all manner of hidden alcoves from every inch of orc armour. The slann, waiting for the whistle, had not moved yet.
“Uh…” said Wasteyenot.
The orcs were then upon them, crushing, punching, impaling, and generally unleashing a wave of pain and injury on Yaverslann’d.
The Referee them reluctantly blew a whistle, and rolled the ball onto the pitch.
“What is he doing! This is insane!!” yelled Bumford.
Frogs were getting maimed and knocked senseless everywhere he looked. They were unable to lash out at their attackers for fear of getting stabbed, and were reluctant to leave their friends to their fates.
“Gah! That cheatin’… Right! Step it up lads, don’t worry about the team, they’ll be fine. Score! Do it!”
Stretchy Pete heard him and nodded, managing to grab the ball before it rolled gentle towards the orcish lines. Once he had it, he huffed it with all his might to Flicker Dee, who had just extricated himself from a scuffle with a troll, and was sprinting for the touchdown line. No sooner had Pete thrown the ball, he suffered quite a significant level of punches straight to the face. It paid off though, and Flicker, panting and wheezing, scored.
By half time, despite enourmous injury, the score was somehow 1-0 to Yaverslann’d…
It had been far longer than the legal allotted time for teams to refresh at half time. Yaverslann’d had been on the pitch for some time now, awaiting the return of Da Undercliff Boyz.
The door to their dressing room banged open, and the orcs begun filing back out. Their armour looked different… Where before had been black metal, they now looked white and powerdery.
Each orc left a small puff of the same white powder with every step.
“What is that stuff?” Thought Bumford.
The teams set up again, this time with most of the frogs setting up much further back than before. The three unlucky mercenaries that waited up front looked nervous.
The referee, before blowing his whistle, insisted each team shake hands before beginning the next half.
Bumford was confused. What was going on?
Each team, lined up again, and took it in turns to shake hands with every enormous orc. It was when he noticed his team were wincing when padding back to position that Bumford knew what had happened.
He stood up to yell as the whislte was blown. The ball flew overhead, coated in the same white powder that coated the orcs.
“It’s salt! Don’t touch it! Don’t touch them, ya stupid frogs!”
It was too loud. They couldn’t hear him.
Every time a frog came into contact with an orc, he fizzled, and croaked with pain. Punches, coupled with the acidic reaction suffered by his team, meant frogs truly were suffering. Slann were collapsing everywhere, frothing and writhing.
Bumford was furious. That cheater!
Each slann that picked up the ball had to force himself to hold it, despite great pain. It was simple for the orcs to knock them down and take the ball for themselves, then slowly walk it in for 1-1.
At least it was over while Bumford still had a team. There were only two frogs left on the pitch. Even when Bumford had coached the Nautical Imperatives, an elf team, he had not suffered as much punishment as this.
As his two remaining players limped towards him, the referee blew his whistle. The orcs began lining up again.
The ref gestured towards the frogs, pointing at the pitch.
Bumford was not pleased.
The slann lined up, all two of them, on the Scrimmage Zone. The entire Orc team lined up opposite them.
The ball was kicked into the slann half, and within seconds his team was on the ground again. The orcs were laughing as they scooped up the ball with no resistance and scored again. The whistle was blown again.
2-1 to Da Undercliff Boyz!
Bumford burst into the Commissioners office, but was met by an official looking goblin instead. He opened his mouth, but before he could get a word out, the goblin spoke.
“I have here a written affidavit from one ‘Trollington the Third’, listing each of the rules you have broken while competing in his league, from posing as a referee to betting against your own team and then losing, to outright murder. It is the commissioners wish that you turn around, head back to your team, and get ready to compete in the next season, and he says he would very much dislike to have to hand this note over to the King’s Guard.”
Bumford closed his mouth. He considered for a moment.
“Fair enough. See ya next season!” he said with a wave.