The chronicles of Ophelia Fudgeit, direct descendant of the famous explorer Amelia Manylentils and time traveller extraordinaire, clearly state that, after the End Of The World (which happened as a result of the Third Deluge) all the ‘Saints’ went marching off to heaven with The All-Father.
The All-Mother, on the other hand (who had, after all, actually created The World, under her husband’s instruction and in accordance with his impeccably flawed and impossibly complicated and rational masculine taste and design), decided to stay.
The divine family split – He moved into his utopian bachelor pad (complete with luxury furnishings, all-day-buffet-bar and classical music CDs) and She got the house and the Holy Child. The whole place was a mess – she decided to spring clean.
All the souls who hadn’t got their VIP invitations to the 24/7 party in the heavenly realm, lined up to inhabit new bodies on this New Earth.
However, as often happens when a woman has spent several millennia planning what she will do “When The Old Man is out of the way and I have the place to myself” … the end result didn’t quite live up to the imagined fantasy.
In fairness, The All-Mother did have a number of very simple and admirable goals in mind when she set about her little ‘feng shui’ experiment with the planetary abode.
She made a list.
And pinned it to the kitchen refrigerator with one of the Holy Child’s alphabet magnets. Fortunately, we are able to replicate this list because (as any parent reading this will have already predicted) it fell from said refrigerator door and fluttered into The Void, never to be seen by The All-Mother again. An ancient sect of Siberian Soup Seers, peering into The Void at the time, copied it down at once – carving it onto ice tablets which were then carefully preserved in a lead-lined Soupophogus (along with everything else pertaining to the Sacred Art Of Soup Seeing).
Not to be daunted by the loss of a list (which, her intuition insisted, didn’t quite encompass the magnificence of her plans anyway) she set about the business of creation again from scratch.
Like an enormous jigsaw puzzle which has been dropped by a toddler into a bath of foamy water, she raised the soggy landmasses to the surface of the ocean once more, freezing small portions of the sea at the top and bottom of the world to make regions similar to the old Arctic and Antarctic, only much smaller and filled with a magical race of snow pixies. She joined these two regions with an enormous bridge of ice which arced across the New Sky like a frozen rainbow (so that polar bears and penguins could visit each other sometimes – once they had evolved, of course.)
Then she set about ‘rearranging the furniture’.
When she had finished, the world looked a little something like this:
So the history of the New World unfolded, chapter by chapter, and, thanks to the residual memory of the collective consciousness, it unfolded much along the same lines as it had in the Old World, with a few notable exceptions. No large empire ever rose up to conquer multiple continents. Magic and magical beings became commonplace. The repositioning of the landmasses meant that every country now had the means to grow tea, sugar and wheat, and to keep a few chickens and a cow, and throughout the New World prosperity and peace reigned as small indigenous tribes grew to become small indigenous nations, quietly sipping tea and eating cake whilst fluttering fairies and silver unicorns danced happily around them under the sun.
I’m sorry to say
One day, there came a Man.
He was the sort of Man who, as a child, would trap fairies in jam jars and pull their wings off if they wouldn’t grant his wishes.
A Man who dreamed of bigger slices.
A Man who wanted two bags in his pot instead of one.
A Man who wanted to have his pound cake and eat his neighbour’s fancies.
A Man who saw that if he controlled Tea, Cake and Magic – the three substances that whole New World depended on – he would control the New World itself.
His name was Wiz.
The All Mother and her spiritual helpers tried to stop him, but he overpowered them in The First And Only War the New World had ever seen, banishing all divine beings to The Spiritual Plain and locking the door.
Wiz now proclaimed himself All High Emperor Of The New World and brought all Tea, Cake and Magic under his control.
The years rolled by.
In the Scattered Isles Of Ire, Queen Victoria now rules over the Seven Counties with a fair and competent hand.
At least, she does when she’s at home. Most of the time, however, she is enjoying herself with an assortment of other New World Leaders at the Perpetual Tea Party in Boss Town, Gaul; leaving the Good Folk of Ire to hold their own against Land Pirates, Skywaymen, Tea Trampers and various Ideological Militant Sects.
But out of this confusion of cake smuggling and loose leaf ration books, sugar tax and vigilante mechanical angels, two heroes are about to emerge who could hold in their hands (not only larger than regulation slices of angel cake and non-standard issue teacups) but the fate of the New World itself.
Will they rise up to defeat the usurping Wiz and re-open the gateway to the Spiritual Realm, freeing the All-Mother and restoring Tea, Cake and Magic to the New World?
Will they rise up to play a small but nevertheless vital role in world events?
Will they even get out of bed?
However, here they are; Messrs. Smith and Skarry.
And this is their story…