A Green Duke Mystery Solved: An Investigative Series on the Final 4 Games of Duqueswood University’s NCBB Season 43
The controversy surrounding the Duqueswood University Green Dukes second season in the NCBB (season 43) is no secret. Numerous deaths, coach firings, and a formal attempt to disband the program were well known across campus as the team played in its final four games.
However, what has been secret up until now has been a full account of what actually took place in those last games. As rumors swirled of a potential conspiracy among the university Board of Elders and Vice President of Student Safety Baerys Pondripple to ban the sport of blood bowl on campus, the university’s Office of Marketing and Communications stopped publishing their regular coverage of Green Dukes games. Additionally, staff members of this student newspaper were barred from interviewing Coach Smithson and all members of the team.
Our motto at The Duqueswoodian
has always been “the trees have ears,” so naturally, we would not let these secrets remain hidden. Thanks to some intrepid reporting, we can now present to you those missing game reports as well as a full accounting of the university’s efforts to disband the program. Over the coming days we will present each missing game report in this four-part series, which will address all of your burning Green Duke questions, such as:
-Was Coach Gerric Smithson fired?
-What really happened to Mirlin Spinleaf?
-Will Duqueswood play another NCBB season?
-Whose blood and sap courses through that newly planted sapling in the Duqueswood Forest?
-Did the Green Dukes ever manage to win a game?
For the answers to these and more, read on, dear reader.
--Miryl Spichtyr, Your Humble Student Scribe
Green Dukes Fight to Hard-Earned Tie vs. Chemtrails
Led once again by an aggressive ball-hawking defense, the Duqueswood University Green Dukes
fought their way to the third tie of NCBB season 43
against the Chemeketa Chemtrails
. Sophomore transfer catcher Mardlyn Gittily (glyph painting) scored the first TD of her career in the first half to give Duqueswood a 1-0 lead. Chemtrails freshman khorngor Edgar Salazar got the equalizer in the closing seconds of the second half, which saw Chemeketa clear 7 Green Dukes from the pitch in an assortment of KOs, casualties, and crowd-surfs.
Mardlyn Gittily scoops up the ball while performing a one-handed cartwheel to dodge away from Chemtrails defenders for the opening score
The scoring opened after Duqueswood forced an early turnover when Salazar mishandled the opening kickoff. Sprinting and leaping in a blur up field immediately after the kick, Green Dukes junior wardancer Mirlin Spinleaf (tree bark studies) scooped up the loose ball deep in Chemeketa territory with a cadre of trailing elf blockers forming a cage behind him. However, when Chemtrails khorngor Diodone Killmega charged toward Spinleaf in a desperate blitz, rather than allow nearby sophomore catcher Gladryl Stormfoot (undec;ared) to block for him, Spinleaf stepped toward Killmega, taking the brunt of the hit and losing the ball in the process.
“I have already seen too many of my teammates fall because of my actions,” said a dejected Spinleaf after the match, apparently still haunted by the death of walk-on lineman Harold Goldbrook
, who played in Spinleaf’s place last week, and also admitting for the first time that he’s been struggling with what many believe was warpstone dust dependency
. “I’d rather not comment in detail, but in recent weeks I’ve been wrestling with some addiction challenges, and they have cost my team dearly. Today, I’m taking the steps needed to get healthy and rectify the wrongs I’ve wrought. From here on out, I will guard my teammates with my life. My death means little to me—especially since Coach has made it pretty clear that Windfoot and I are the only ones he would let our apothecary attempt to resurrect.”
With the ball on the ground just a few yards from the endzone, Gittily quickly scooped it up while performing a one-handed cartwheel. Moments later she danced into the end zone to put the Green Dukes up 1-0 with the team’s fifth defensive score of the season.
“If we could figure out a way to always kick off, I think we’d be unstoppable,” said Green Dukes Coach Smithson in the postgame press conference. “Perhaps when we receive the kick off we should just kick it right back.”
The Green Dukes almost scored another defensive touchdown late in the first half when Killmega fumbled an attempted handoff on the Green Dukes 20-yard line. The ball bounced into Gittily’s hands, and she raced up field, making a desperate pass to sophomore lineman Greeny Bullwind (history of dirt) in the hopes of taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the closing seconds of the first half. Her pass, however, fell just short of Bullwind, and the first half ended with the Green Dukes up 1-0.
“I suppose there’s a reason I’m a catcher and not a thrower,” said Gittily of her errant throw. “ ’Twas a time, I’m told, when all elven kind could throw the ball with grace and skill, when wardancers could leap into any cage as easily as making a dodge. The elders speak of such times, and I doubt they truly ever existed, but I long for them all the same.”
After receiving the second half kickoff, the Green Dukes were still well-positioned for the win, and adopted an unconventional strategy not just of stalling, or attempting to Dakka, but instead declining to even attempt to pick up the ball, a play Coach Smithson has dubbed the Dukka. The kick landed deep in the Green Dukes end zone, and Spinleaf and fellow wardancer Angorn Windfoot (undeclared) crowded the ball, apparently standing guard over it, while the rest of the team set up a series of elf-screens to keep their Khorne opponents from getting near the ball.
Spinleaf and Windfoot crouch over the ball in an attempt to stall until the end of the game, as Chemtrails players approach from the distance
“Look, until we figure out a way to kick the ball back at the other team, maybe this is our best strategy,” said Smithson, who has increasingly come under fire this season for unconventional coaching decisions, mounting losses, and a spiraling death toll. “I understand there was little risk of losing the ball out of the back of the end zone. The elves are quite skilled at picking the ball up. The problem is they’re also quite skill at dropping the ball when they take a shoulder spike in the jugular and die on the field. So I’m looking to call the plays that put my players in the best position to win the game, and sometimes that means telling them not to even touch the damn ball, OK?”
However, as Chemeketa gradually broke through the elf screens and surrounded Windfoot, Spinleaf, and the ball in the closing minute of the game. Windfoot ignored his coach, scooped up the ball, and charged up the northern sideline. Chemtrails players quickly closed in on him, and Coach Smithson shouted for Windfoot to throw the ball away up field in the hopes that time would expire before the Chemtrails could pick the ball up. But Windfoot tried to hold his ground as senior khorngor Jasmine Jelgo blitzed him.
“To throw the ball away to avoid being blocked is a craven’s ploy,” said Windfoot after the match. “It would shame my family and all of the elven folk of the Lorenwood. I would not dare such a tactic, skilled as I am in the art of dodging and blocking.”
Unfortunately, Jelgo was skilled in the art of tackling and also has a nice pair of horns. As those horns struck Windfoot in the ribs, the wardancer was gored, leaving the game covered in blood after dropping the ball. Salazar then picked up the ball and crossed the goal line for the equalizing touchdown in the closing seconds.
Salazar ties the game with a touchdown run in the closing seconds
“Yeah, I had a talk with Windfoot about that one after the game,” said Coach Smithson, “and apparently his command of the human language has suffered a setback in recent weeks. He says he didn’t understand my instructions. But hey, at least he didn’t shame his kinfolk and all of Lorenwood elf kind. Unless … it’s maybe shameful to get skewered by your opponent, fumble the ball to lose a game in the closing seconds, and let down your entire team. But what do I know? I’m not up on all the latest elven traditions of pride and shame.”