The Gemstone Tour is famous for the money it has made but not necessarily for the skill of its players. The original undead outfit branched out with a Norse warm-up club before adding 'comedy team' the Warp Thirteens. The Thirteens went on to become the travelling caravan's main event.
Elzebar had been a moderately happy member of Stonefist's team. However, a large number of violent episodes led Elzebar the Magnificent to begin searching for another job.
The final straw for the little wizard came after he and Assistant Coach Johar were permitted by Head Coach Stonefist to set up their own Norse outfit for a Royal Rookie Rumble competition. Unbelievably, the Jaarvic Lightning stormed through the opening rounds of the tournament. However, infuriatingly for Elzebar, Stonefist then elected to take charge of the Lightning for the final. Surprisingly, Stonefist won it, but in the chaos after the match Elzebar went missing. For weeks.
He returned from being AWOL without much of an explanation. In fact, at the Khemri Premier League draft in Nehekara and the draft signing of Ball & Chain mummy Cruncher, Elzebar had only been back with the Gemstone Tour administration for a few days. Following that, he handed a sealed envelope to Chief Treasurer Thori Grimbeard and high-tailed it out of there on the back of a gigantic, black dog.
In the envelope, written in tightly-knotted and spidery handwriting, was Elzebar's resignation from the Gemstone Tour. Stonefist's cold blood might boil over with rage, but by the time he found out the gnome was setting sail for Tilea. Nobody would find him because nobody of consequence ever goes there.
The plan? Use the money he has saved to make it big in the Tilean regional league. To make a fortune in the Grind. His success will prove that he was the brains behind the Gemstone Tour; his failure is simply not worth contemplating.
You can catch the gnome in a fisherman's tavern in downtown Caragio, drinking with the many Dwarfs that frequent the city. Across the table he sits at are bundles of scrolls and books. He is learning Tilean: 'quat-tor-a broc-chi da barr-i, sup-pa fav-ir' he says to the barkeep. Under his arms are scout reports. He is assembling a team from the locals. He wants only the best.
Sartosa is a craggy, rocky rise of land formed long ago by a now (mostly) dormant volcano. It is around ninety minutes sail from Tilea and buffeted constantly by trade winds that sweep in from the west, creating the swift currents prized by pirates that call the place home. Giant limestone cliffs make up much of the island's perimeter and these walls are riddled with untold numbers of caves. Such places are home to myriad pirate holds and their hordes. Sartosa and its salty sea dogs are world famous.
Not quite so famous is the city of Caragio, nestling roughly in the centre of the island. Sartosa is to the north of this place. To the west lies Caprio and Senelite. Travel east and find yourself Ragil, Beffardo, Vecuso and the Dragon Tooth Castle. To the south, along the river Cargi, are slayer Dwarfs and their home. Strictly speaking, the hold is a penal colony for the costal stronghold of Barak Vorn. These Dwarfs be mean and they be fierce.
The human city of Caragio is closely tied with the Dwarven Hold to the south. The slayer-spirit of that penal colony has rubbed off on the Caragio citizens over the years. Many of the people here are fearless whalers and leviathan hunters of merit. Sartosan Pirates target the weak and defenceless merchant vessels; Caragian Whalers go after the mighty creatures that fight back. The port city is filled with rendering plants for processing hides, teeth and blubber of slain large monsters. On most days you can see gigantic corpses coming in from the sea on large galleons.
The few farms that exist here are fertile. Primarily, they grow grapes, olives and wheat which keep the insatiable appetites of Sartosans moderately satisfied. Obviously, the Caragio taverns cater for Dwarf Slayers. Their rum is extra strong. It's infamous throughout the isle and spoken of in hushed tones all over Tilea. The waters outside Caragio, and around Sartosa generally, overflow with seafood of all kinds - fish, squid, oysters and clams are all pulled from the water with little effort.
Visitors to Caragio will want to spend time in one of its many Chowder Houses. Try the wide variety of fishy spiced teas. Try the famous Fighting Clam Chowder or Mixed Fish Broth. Crab Claws and Prawns in a beery sauce is another local delicacy you'll want to try. After a bite to eat you can head down the River Road and stop off at one of the many Grog Halls on your way to the newly constructed Blood Bowl stadium. Trust us, by the time you get to your seat you won't care if the game is good or bad. You'll be so wasted it won't matter. As the Caragians say: 'L'pesci! L'alcol! Lia donni!'
Elzebar the Magnificent, known warmly to most Caragians as Il Gnomo, recruited the inaugral band of Fighting Clams from the local Chowder Houses and Grog Halls. They are big fishermen types known for their bawdy stories, hardiness and grit. Elzebar is quick to get out his purse (he made a small fortune with the Gemstone Tour) and as a result cracking skulls on the Blood Bowl pitch is better paid than chasing creatures of the deep. Few of these players realise that they are paid less than a tenth of what Elzebar is used to paying Blood Bowl players across the Old World.
Most of the lads have had a kick around with a pigskin on the fields outside the city, but few of them have been west to watch a game play out in a stadium at Sartosa. Elzebar will have to hope they learn as they go along. Il Gnomo knows this: in Blood Bowl, you learn quickly or get stomped.
The Caragio Fighting Clams joined the Tilean Regional League, known as GRIND or L'manari, in the midst of its first season. Most teams already have four or five games to their name. Il Gnomo doesn't mind. If the first few games don't go so well, he can blame the team's troubles on this. In Caragio: sempiri colpu l'ragazi algo della chia!