reviewed by Lumpy Kustud

31 October 2018

It was Hallowe’en and all manner of unearthly creatures emerged into the half-light to take part in a grim annual conflict that will continue for half the year.

Yes, it was the first round of the gruesome ‘Individuals’ torments tournaments  – the Ellis and Appleby competitions.

As these are not club competitions the participants have to pay for the delight of being held over a slow fire till their eyeballs melt.  In the past this has been on a pay-as-you-grill basis but this year the Lords of the Otherworld have hit on the devilish idea of demanding the whole lot in advance.  This seemed to take some players by surprise – many of the Undead deign to carry cash around with them – and the Lord of the Money was heard patiently explaining, between sips of freshly-pressed blood, that he didn’t do PayPal,  Visa, Nectar cards, Air Miles, bitcoins or Bank Transfusion.

As to the battle-order, all of your Appleby hopefuls fell into the lower half of the grading list.  Which meant, under Swiss rolls rules, having to fight the fearsome apparitions from the upper half of the list.

They refused to be spooked.

Two of them proved decisively that they were no re-spectres of the mighty.  Philip May (grade 97) put a bloody stake through the  whited manifestation by the name of Ian Strickland (125) – you can relive the deadly duel here – while John Light (87) cut down the dreaded presence known as Peter Brennan (126).

The next round of Individual bloodletting will be on 23 January, the commemoration day of the well-named Saint Maimbod who was butchered very messily by the Unholy. Coincidence or what?

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