: What Is AFP?

Jon Brierley

Amonge the Wossnames

Being an Extract from the Traveles of Sir Jon de Maddeville,
the famous traveller, explorer and liar

After leavynge the countrie of the Anthropophagi, and the men whofe heads do grow beneath their shoulders, we came upon another countrie, which is inhabited by a people, very numerous, who call themfelves Wossnames (though as is common among thefe folk, some difagree, and ufe other names). This People are divided into many tribes, and delight to difpute among themfelves, tribe by tribe or even within one tribe. They live in a fair lande, about a body of Water they calle 'The Ponde', and exceeding diverfe are their kinds.

The most numerous Tribe, in so far as I coulde tell, are the Swedebedeborgs, who live in a Mountainous countrie on the right-hande side of the Ponde. They are notable for swordfmanfhip, pine furniture, and meatballes. This People is greatly feared by all other Kindes of the Wossnames for their National Epic, the Talevalevala, the which is recited by relays of Bards (or Skalds), oft fortified by Spirits and other Liquors, and is said to have no Ende, whilft the beginnings are Loft in the Mifts of Legend. So obfcure are the meanings of this Saga that a whole Class or Clan of folke have grown up employed merely to explicate the abftrufe kennings employed. The Skalds refuse utterly to recite the Saga in any language other than their own, even though their skill with tongues is legendary.

Oft founde in the company of the Swedebedeborgs are the clan of the Cheannedeachedelhissi, who live by a Lake said by some to be haunted by a Fearfome Monfter, and by others to be a Righte Loade of Olde Ballochs. This people are notable for poesy and witte, but not, alas, for spelynge.

Another people I did not myfelf see, but have heard tell of, are the Grey Hames. I mifdoubt that much of what I was told concerning thefe was Fantastical, but it is certain that they dress from head to foot in Leather, and keep Serfs in Bondage. Other tribes value them for their leatherwork, which may be had for very reafonable Prices, I am told.

By the shores of the Ponde, in very low-lying and marfhy environs, live the Cloggenses. This moft interefting People have many strange Rites and Ceremonies. They are famed for riding about on small two-wheeled Cartes, and it is it seems a Rite of Passage for the young to hurl thefe into Canals to celebrate their comynge of Age. They are a Kindlie people, but their Cheefe is a national difgrace.

Concerning the Merkinantes, my lady Gloagtrotter saith that while their name is juftly feared in many quarters, thofe that inhabit the countrie of the Wossnames are for the moft part friendly folk, and well-loved by others of that Lande. Their strange cuftoms are many, but it is said that on high holidays great difplays of Ferrets are held, to the acclaim of alle. Among their kinde are swordfwomen of great puissance, and alfo thofe skilled in the art of playinge the Virginals. Trolls are often found in these regions, but are hunted down mercilessly and beheaded by the swordfwomen. The Canadadadians are in manie refpects similar to the Merkinantes, but wax moft diftressed if this is bruited about abroade.

Other Tribes of which I have heard include the Tolerable Frogges, who live on naught but Wine, and travel in Balloones, the Jammers, skilled at playing musical inftruments, who eat only Toasted Breade, the Convictienses who live at a great remove from all the other tribes, and know nothing of Real Beer, and many another I have but heard Rumour of such as the Geekes, the Sys-apes, the Wandering Singers, the Welche, and diverfe others.

Hedgehogges are held in great efteem throughout the countrie, and it is an offence to try and bother them at all. Alle peoples enjoy the eatinge of Chocolatl, and trie ceaselessly to think of new things to coat with it. (Hence the common phrase among the People, 'I wille get my Coate').

Of Governmente there appears to be none, although some say there is a Cabal that Rules Alle Peoples, moft denie this, and cry 'tinc' at thofe who would uphold it. The Assemblie of the Wossnames is called the Hub-bubb, and all greate matters are decided here. Eventuallie. It is a mark of alle Wossnames that they chiefly delight in Difpute and Debate, which they indulge in conftantly. Such Difputations are only ended when a reading is taken from the Booke of Gideon, againft which there can be no further arguement (except from thofe of the Cluelesse Newbies, also known as the Ayoell; thefe however have short lives, though some say they form Chrysalids, and then re-emerge as the Cluefulle. I can say no more of this matter).

As to Religion, it is said that the Wossnames have both Manie and None, and that this is becaufe of Quantum. Some Wossnames profess the worshippe of Ignorance, and others are just ignorant, but in truth I saw lytel that might with sooth be called Religion. There is general reluctance to speak the name of the Evil One, and instead they refer to him as 'Mr. Goddwynn'. Invocation of this dark spirit is generally taken as evidence of a loste arguement.

I have heard rumour that especial reverence is given to a person oft depicted wearing a Hatte, although his name might not be spoken from one month's ende to the nexte. It is common for Wossnames to be familiar with many bookes said to have beene written by this Hatte. Some have greater knowledge than others, and these are called Pedantes. For myfelf, I do not in truth know whether this Hatte be a Myth or no, but it is said to me that he at whiles visits the countrie himfelf, and difpenfes Sarcafm.

Having journied in this Countrie for some while, I at lengthe assured myfelf that they had neither the Philofopher's Stone nor the Fountain of Youth, so I sought passage thence, and travelled on to the Countrie of the Llamedese, which the Wossnames assured me was both welcoming and of a Pleafant Climate.

They were, of courfe, lyeing.

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