From a chance word from Nat grew a gathering of Goonys and friends, for the Second Annual Invasion of London! Myrtil, the mastermind behind the first successful invasion, took the reins again, amply aided by Gemini’s encyclopaedic knowledge of this fair City and, of course, by his Goony Separatist knowledge of invasion tactics…
To avoid suspicion, we arrived at our meeting place under the clock at Waterloo Station, where the infamous spies Harry Houghton and Ethel Gee handed over secrets to the Russians, arriving from all points of the compass to avoid our gathering being detected. Some had travelled over dangerous seas, others from different parts of the country, but we were all intent on our Goony Gathering!
Finally, we were all together, except for Kevvy, who sent a note. Myrtil, our leader, Gemini, our guide, Nat, yti, Everest, Simson, Gadget, myself (Tepic) and temporary honorary for the day Deacon were ready! Before we set out Gemini relayed a message from Loki, the Goony Chief, blessing our mission (errrr…. To cause mischief and mayhem, I think…).
So off we set, to see if we could track down the mysterious and elusive Morris Men, as they performed their strange and dangerous rites on the banks of the Thames. We had a slight and unsuccessful detour trying to find some treasure to boost Everet’s fortunes, which had been depleted in some fashion, but soon we reached a great market, full of wondrous foods and drinks, mostly at prices far beyond our modest means. Thankfully, I had packed sufficient voles and vole juice to satisfy my needs, as had most of our party – always take supplies when adventuring, you never know what the local idea of food might be!
Then it was on to the Morris Men, and to our astonishment, some Morris Women as well. The men were fearsome indeed, with bells pealing from their leg adornments, and the clashing of their sticks as they ritualistically fought each other in pitched battles, but the women! Oh if the men were fearsome, the ladies were terrifying, as the danced with wrath as if possessed! It was a magnificent spectacle, though we though we could be in trouble when they spotted us. Luckily, one of the tribe was known by a friend of Loki, so we were greeted as friends, before leaving their territory to search for the Central London Hawks we had heard so much about.
After pausing by a huge ferris wheel, like a giant’s eye looking over the City, for refreshments and recuperation, it was along the banks of the ancient river, heading towards the landmark of Tower Bridge. We encountered living statues, standing still as… errr… statues, until their prey, seemingly the young of the local inhabitants, came closer, made brave by the seemingly harmless statues, only for them to pounce with sudden movement. Then the young, if they were quick enough, would run screaming back to their parents, a valuable lesson having been learnt!
There were bird charmers, offering to teach their skills, for a price, and Myrtil was sorely tempted. We passed artists creating strange and wonderful works, and found an arcane market, where Nat dallied until he found a text to help his research, which, after hard bargaining, he wrested from the trader!
Poor Nat was also enticed into trying one of the local delicacies, something called “ice-cream”, which he devoured with great gusto, eyes growing wide as the unfamiliar mixtures took their toll on his body. Thankfully, there were no lasting ill effects, and we were able to proceed, taking every opportunity to rest and take comfort breaks.
As time passed, there was no sight of the elusive birds, and Everest struck out on his own, hoping to find the gold or treasure he needed to fund his time in this fabulous City. Gadget also headed off, as an advanced scout to find us a place to rest and broadcast our findings back to the waiting throng at the Vortex Club. Eventually we found where the hawks we supposed to be found, only to discover they had fled, having heard of our approach! Never mind, the natives were friendly, and the walk along the riverbank invigorating.
Progressing, we discovered a huge and ancient hulk, of a ship called the Golden Hind, and nearby heard the tale of greed and disaster that ended with the building of a magnificent house of religion called Southwark Cathedral. Further on, there was another ship, of metal and steam, a monument to the ideals of Steampunk!
Near to the great Bridge, we stopped for a while to see local inhabitants perform a play in the open air, but time was pressing so it was onwards to the hostelry Gadget had found us. He had secured a private room for us to transmit our information back to the Vortex, and the refreshment was most welcome and of superior quality. Some of us chose to partake of the local victuals, and were not disappointed. I was lucky enough to try their local variations on vole, accompanied by exotic sauces and accoutrements, a tasty fare to finish the invasion with.
As the evening wore on, and our adventures were relayed to the waiting throng, our party gradually took their leave, heading on their long and arduous journeys back to their homelands.
It was a good invasion, well worth the hardships and difficulties we had encountered, and we all profited by meeting together!
Chronicler of the Invasion