Duke Willow's Plan

This is an in-character game thread from Changeling: In Love and War. (This page is not Creative Commons licenced.)


The Ubertuber's highly specialised conveyance left its subterranean
mode, emerging at last into cool morning sunlight. Folding the
vehicle up and placing it in its pocket, the potato took stock of its
surroundings. It stood on the banks of a wide and slow-flowing
river, into which drooped weeping willows and all manner of other
waterside plants. Tiny fish rippled and flashed below the surface
as the last wisps of the morning mist slowly disappeared above.

The river snaked off through open fields and copses in either
direction. Besides the natural beauty, there was only a path that
stuck next to the river through all its twists, turns and ox-bow lakes.

Oh, and a signpost. To the West, the sign was inscribed "Castle
Willow, 5 miles". To the East, where the sun was slowly rising,
"The Sun. ??? miles".


Quietly the super secret potato spy surveyed the land about him, 'it
was good to be back on the trail once more' with the feel of the sun,
??? miles away, and a mission resting about his shoulders. Now it
was time to take on his first disguise. Slowly Das Ubertuber
walked into the surrounding undergrowth and did not re-emerge...

... A short time later and further down stream towards Castle Willow a
slightly dirty servant emerged from a small gully its apron held out in
front of it filled with bulbs of wild garlic. With care in
proceeded back towards the castle where he left the track, circled
around to the back of the castle and entered the servants entrance;
waving at the guards in a friendly confident fashion before walking
towards the kitchens.


Before long, Hugh's trek took him from open plain to forest.
Still the attendant followed on behind, occasionally stopping to ask a
question or whinge, both of which Hugh largely ignored.

An hour passed, with the woods getting progressively thicker and then
thinner again. When at last he thought he saw the end of them,
though... Something else caught his finely-trained nose.
Wild garlic - yet not only garlic, but hidden underneath the pungent
aroma was another. The smell of potato, but more than that!
Potato the like of which Hugh had never smelt before. A pure
symphony of deliciousness, contained within the scent of but one

Ahead of him, leaves rustled at the edge of the forest and a faerie man
emerged, bearing a basket of garlic, but yet no noticeable
potatoes. Nor, as Hugh stepped slowly through what remained of
the woods and emerged onto a well-worn path, were there any potatoes to
be seen.

It was him! The man smelt of that divine potato scent!

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

"At last. What ho there!"

Hugh treated the potato-y man to a gigantic smile (the attendant nodded
and went back to glaring sulkily at Hugh) and offered a hand.

"Listen, I don't mean to be a bother, but I'm a bit turned around... Well, look, do you have any idea where we are?"

And all the while his mind raced. Why? Why could this man smell so
delicious? Sure, he'd whiled away the odd afternoon at the castle
rolling around in the potato store, but he'd mostly just smelt muddy

Maybe Eau d'potato was the latest fashion - he inhaled deeply - No. No that definitely wasn't it.

Maybe ... Oh. Maybe it was this again.

"And whilst we're at it, was your father by any chance a potato? Because... well..."

He waggled his five-fingered hands at the man.


Carefully Das Ubertuber tugged his forelock in respect. He’d
crossed paths with Hugh on several occasions in the past, and on a few
of those occasions it hadn’t been the pleasantest of times.
Still, he thought, it’s a good thing he is on the same side as Das
Creator else he’d be a real menace. In a sluring country burr he
said, “G’day Gv’ner. Why you be a few mile from Castle
Willow. Keep on down track and you be there in no time. As
for my Fa’ter sir, he be a fairy through and through. Though now
you come to mention it I once did hear a roomer in Village that he had
this odd thing for vegetables. Spent many a lonesome night out in
the fields, talking to his plants. Why’d you ask?”

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Well, that made sense enough. Hugh had heard all kinds of strange
things about what went on in the sticks and there weren't a shortage of
comely potatos in the world...

He grinned at the man.

"Tell me sir, have you ever considered a career in waitering? I do
think you'd be more than passing good at it. Castle Willow you say,
well it's been a while, what do you think Mr Attendant?"

The attendant still seemed to be spluttering rubbish, really the man
was getting quite tiresome. Hugh returned his attention to the potato

"Unless I miss my mark, your destination with that garlic will be the
kitchen, I'd consider it a singular honour if you wouldn't object to
our following you there, for turning up at the front doors always
involves a certain amount of tedium, but there's always something good
happening in a kitchen. And I've just had an idea for a potato and
garlic soup that needs a little fleshing out...

Leeks are so passe, obviously an onion or two ... Cheese! Perhaps, if it was mild and ..."

And so muttering to himself, lost in a world of tubery speculation, Hugh ambled happily down the road.


As Hugh seemed to have gone off on one of his long self dialogs about
cooking Das Uber Tuber decided it was best to to reply and after a
pause in which he looked totally dumb founded and bemused by everything
he turned and started heading towards Castle Willow. He was
almost certain the talkative chef would follow him to the castle.
Hopefully I'll be able to lose him at the gate or in the kitchens the
starchy spy thought to himself.

As he reached the castle he proceeded with care. Leaving track, circled
around to the back of the castle and entered the servants entrance;
waving at the guards in a friendly confident fashion before walking
towards the kitchens.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

And Hugh absently followed along behind, still in a gastronomic world
of his own. The attendant, after eying up the guards and deciding
they'd have even less of an ear for his complaints than Hugh followed
him in turn, still complaining in what he hoped was a forthright and
strident fashion.


The kitchen was full of people rushing here and there, steam rising
from many bubbling pots and smoke from the cook fires mingling with
all. Carefully the Starchy super spy wended his way through the chaos,
deftly slipping between the fairies diligently preparing the days
food. Just as he passed one of the cook fires a log
'accidentally' fell from the grate scattering smoke, ash and partially
cooked food everywhere. In the kerfuffle no one seemed to notice
the newly acquired basket of garlic sitting quietly on the side, nor
the domestic who was working his way down the hall broom and pan in
hand, and an array of polishes and dusters at his belt...

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Certainly not Hugh, who had taken a good look around and established
that there was indeed something going on. And it was a bit of a

Slipping around the frantic staff, who seemed a little too interested
in running around like headless chickens, he swept up the basket of
garlic, some potatoes and a variety of other sundries.

And as he ambled his way around the kitchen, fetching chopping boards,
knives, finding a large pot and an empty stove... He slipped in a
little word here, a small soupcon of advice there.

Soon, he'd forgotten all about the strangely potatoy man and had all
but taken over the kitchen. Even the funfair assistant had found a
chef's hat from somewhere and was - inexpertly but surprisingly
succesfully - whip up a small batch of souffles.


Time passed, as time is wont to do, and it drew inexorably closer to
lunchtime. The Ubertuber, as a domestic servant, worked his way
into the large serving staff of the castle whilst Hugh set about
refining the menu of the kitchens.

Whilst the rota was already set for the lunchtime servants, and thus
the Ubertuber did not manage to infiltrate the hall quite so easily as
all that, the time soon came for both of he and Hugh. So
impressed was Duke Willow with his meal that he sent for the head chef,
and the order to fetch him was passed from senior to junior amongst the
staff until eventually the Ubertuber - who, since nobody recognised
him, must be very junior indeed - was given the task.

Down in the kitchens Hugh had all but taken over, and had the Willow
chefs following his orders. So it was that Hugh was led away from
the kitchens by a servant who - coincidences abounding - smelt just
like butter melting into mashed potato. Hugh had very little time
to contemplate this, however, nor the tuber to escape Hugh's suspicion,
because soon enough they stood before the high table. Amongst a
line of unfamiliar faces stood Duke Willow, loudly applauding Hugh's
culinary mastery, and next to him, looking very suspiciously at them
both, was none other than Elaine of the Black Rose Committee.

"Bravo, Bravo!" cried Duke Willow, still clapping. "Sir," he said
to Hugh loud enough that the whole room could hear, "do please tell us
your name!"

House Willow are, as far as you know, definitely on the Red side. The Duke was at the Poppies' homecoming party.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh waved politely to the woman he half remembered from some party
recently - he was sure there was something going on with her, but he'd
been so distracted by all the goings on with the poison ...

"Call me Hugh!" he beamed up at the Duke. "And I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Even more so the inspiration for the soup - wasn't it marvellous? - is
here too, I'd never have thought of it if it hadn't been for this stout
starchy fellow here.

Have you smelt him highness? It's a real treat!"


"Smelt him? Whatever do you mean? It sounds rather... uncouth to me. Is it a cook's thing, perhaps?"

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall


Hugh blinked.

"I suppose it could be. I'm sure he doesn't mind though! And besides,
if he didn't want people smelling him, he wouldn't smell so!"


"Well, er," said Duke Willow, quite taken aback. "I suppose so, then..."

He shot a confused glance at the vegetable spy, then made his way
around the table to where they were standing. He hovered over the
Ubertuber and inhaled deeply.

The Duke smiled. "You have a point, sir! Tell me, what is his name?"

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

"Oh introductions! How shockingly rude of me.

Your grace! I have the singular honour of presenting ... "

The tiniest moment of confusion at the realisation Hugh had no idea was blown past quickly.

"The man that smelt of potato. Of the famous Tuber family. And may I say, he's delighted to make your graces acquantaince!"

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