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The Melodeon are a feared group of galactic morris dancers, from the planet Melodia. They are feared throughout the galaxy for their raids, known as sessions, where they drink all the Real ale and steal virgin daughters. (Except for Essex, where there are no virgins).
The main Melodoen form of transport is the Ford Transit. Often purchased 600th hand from a builder, these slow and noisy heaps are the only vehicle that can carry all the Melodeon weaponry and spoils of war, as well as his beer gut. Quite how a structure that is 90% rust manages this is unclear. A popular modification is to point the exhaust pipe forwards, creating a smokescreen to hide their advance.
The melodeon armies have 3 distinct sections
The band are a form of long range artillery, who perform aural assaults deadly to anything within 3 miles. Their principle weapons are the fiddle, accordian, Tin whistle, and fuck off big bass drum. The latter is particularly devastating to urban areas, where shockwaves cause minor earthquakes.
These are the Melodeon infantry. Wearing battle armor of bells, hats, flowers and random straps, they can often be heard slurring battle chants at great volume. Melodeon Generals often wear rag coats or carry a ceremonial bladder on a stick. The latter has practical use as an emergency oxygen supply. Their weapons are traditionally large wooden poles or large metal swords. Unfortunately the swords effectiveness is often hampered by them being woven into stars as part of pre-battle rituals. A veteran dancer usually has a finger or two missing from such rituals
The support are vital to the operation of the Melodeon. They usually consist of wives, girlfriends, small children and stolen asians, all of varying degrees of willingness. It is these who clean up wounds from sticks, remember important things like money and keys, do the cooking and drive the transits when the melodeon soldier is drunk.
edit Melodeon warfare
The Melodeon are a very sporting bunch. They will generally post warnings at their target pubs several days before the attack. This allows the regulars to hide, giving them less competition for their beloved real ale.
Usually, several pubs are targeted in one raid. Those in the countryside or rural towns tend to be most at risk, but occasionally urban areas are targeted. The Melodeon will first swoop down in their transits, unpack and begin with a ritual War dance. Having beaten all around to death with sticks and swords, or deafened them by drum, they celebrate their victory by invading the bar and drinking heavily. When all the beer has gone, they move on to a new target and repeat.
Eventually, they become exhausted from dancing, or realize it is dark. They will then stay in a bar and have a session, where both the Melodeon and some hangers-on drink, sing, drink, play tunes and drink until closing time.
edit Simple Anti-Melodeon measures
There are many measures that can be taken to discourage Melodeon attacks. Below are some tips most landlords will take:
- Beer: The main resource the Melodeon target is real ale. A simple step is to replace all the hand pumps with lager taps, thus ensuring no self respecting Melodeon will ever enter. Unfortunately, this tends to drive away all other custom. A neat trick is to have a quick camouflage, which hides any trace of drinkable alcohol.