Wednesday, April 14, 2021

#atozchallenge L is for Ludo ~ Guest post by Jemima Pett

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter L

L is for Ludo

Ludo is a board game derived from the ancient game Pachisi. Most of us have probably played at some time! 2 to 4 players roll a die in turn and move their piece around the board accordingly. You have to get all your pieces home first to win.
I also played it as Kappit - probably a version of the German Coppit.
ludo board
Picture by Micha L Reiser (via Wikipedia)

Ludo as a character

Ludo is the name I gave to the Pirate King in the second of my series The Princelings of the East. He was eventually exiled in that book. I interviewed him in 2012, and realised he would return to cause trouble, which he did, from book eight, The Princelings of the North, to the final one, Princelings Revolution, which came out last October.

This is part of that interview: you can see why I wanted to write more about him… now who asked if I had more spin-offs to write?

Jemima meets Ludo, the Pirate King

I’m sitting with Ludo at a beach table under a cloth awning, drinking the local wine. I ask how the pirating business is going. He glares at me a lot.
“I was the legitimate crown prince of Castle Marsh, going about my business according to the rules laid down by others. They were happy for me to take their produce across the water and bring them the profit, with a little charge for the service. They accused me of smuggling. Then they closed off my source of business and I formed a plan to survive in spite of them. And they called that piracy.”
There was nothing about this that came out in the trial.
“Pah, trial. One step away from a lynching to save certain people’s skins.”
I ask him to name names. He is a big chap, an imposing presence. His tan is an even deeper red than it was when I last saw him, at the trial. His black eyepatch is just as rakish. I’m not sure he actually needs it. He has a very stylish hat with a wide brim, which currently lies on the bench next to him. 
He declines, after consideration, so I ask him how he came to take up sailing. 
“Got in with a sporty crowd who raced small boats, then got onto one of the big ships and loved it. Told grandfather I was going to take a year to sail on these big ships, then come back and be crown prince properly, and he wasn’t bothered, so I did.  Took me six months to get my own ship and crew together, get the business going nicely, earning lots of gold, then someone turned everyone against me.”
“So you think you should still be king of Castle Marsh?”
“Of course I should. Although I’d rather have the ships. Free to roam, no responsibility except to your crew, and they obey you anyway. I’m doing well now, thank you!”
So while he doesn’t want any responsibility for Marsh, he still wants the recognition and the title.  
He doesn’t have any contacts in the realms he wishes to keep up, “although Uncle Vlad is a good sport.” He surprises me by recounting an embarrassing moment; I had expected him to be one of those that didn’t have them.
He’d most like to change the power play in the realms so he can be king again. He does not explain what he means by ‘power play’. The Kings’ Council, which unites the various castles, deems that he could not live in harmony with them. So is he an outsider who sees authority working against him, or is there actually someone in the Council working to undermine the peace? I am unsettled by Ludo’s accusations—or are they merely insinuations? 
I feel increasingly uncomfortable in his presence. The ferry is docking at the quay, so I have an excuse to finish.
We exchange formal thanks for the interview, and I get up, relieved. He has a casual manner that could lull you into thinking he’s a playboy, an anachronism, playing at being a pirate. But he’s not. He’s the real thing, and he’s dangerous.

About Jemima Pett

Jemima writes fantasy and science fiction, and is writing the third in her scifi series during the April AtoZ. Check on her progress at her blog She also has several books of her flash fiction coming out in time for summer. Get Critters and Crises at Amazon now, and pre-order Greed and Retribution, out 6th May.

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Pooja Priyamvada said...

Interesting new dimension added to LUDo, here I am from atoz

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

Hi Ludo ;))
Quilting Patchwork & Appliqué

nashvillecats2 said...

How well I recall playing ludo as a child, happy memories indeed.
Your other things about Ludo was so interesting to read. It's good to learn something new. Thank you.

Take care.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Thanks for making this L post! You're a gem, Jemima!

Susan Sanderson said...

I remember playing Ludo, but in our family Sorry was more popular. It is similar, but a little more complex. I remember Coppit too. The counters were pointed hats.

Frewin55 said...

I love these guest posts Jemima and I will be over to yours to check it out - especially as I am also trying to complete a scifi novel during the challenge...

Jamie said...

My mom HATES Parcheesi.
She actually flipped the board once, sending peices flying. 🤣

My ya short story set in the 90s is really heating up yesterday and today.

Srivalli Rekha said...

We have a complex version of ludo called Ashta Chemma, an ancient Indian board game. It's super fun. :)

Nilanjana Bose said...

'...Wants the recognition but not the responsibility'... now why does that sound familiar? :)

Dino said...

My L post:

Molly's Canopy said...

My L post

Gonz said...

Playing games and ludic activities are my jam!

Let's talk about the Lithoform Engine in D&D:

Crackerberries said...

Although I had never heard of Ludo when I saw the board I immediately knew what it was. Ludo and Parcheesi are two different board games that are quite similar in nature. Both have developed from an ancient Indian game called Pachisi. Today I wrote a Love Letter

Cathy Kennedy said...

It's nice meeting you, Jemima!

I have not played Ludo. We used to play a lot of board games when the kids were small. The two of us haven't played any in years. It's a great way to pass time.

Come join me today. I have another Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketch to share with you, check it out my illustration I named, Lunch. Happy A2Zing!

Anne M Bray said...

Ah, I know it as Parcheesi, and loved playing when young.
I like the graphic look of the Ludo game board.

L is for Lithography:

The L Shoe:

Jayashree (pagesfromjayashree) said...

We had a version of dice in South India called dhayakattai that was made of two rectangular brass blocks and we drew the game on the floor rather than having a ready made board. Last year online Ludo gained a lot of popularity during the lock down

Trudy said...

Now I want to get my Parcheesi set out and play!

My "L" post: Movies reflect human needs: Love

Trudy @ Reel Focus

Jemima Pett said...

I came in earlier when only Pooja was here! Thank you all so much for all your comments.

I'm glad I hit a chord with so many memories of playing Ludo or its variations. NashvilleCats, Susan - yes we had Sorry! too. Didnt that have little roundabouts an in your home square and you had to be able to get out, or something? I played Coppit at one of my aunts :)

Good luck with your scifi book Frewin - I must check yours out too. I'm wading in mud - or dense interplanetary dust - at the moment.

Jamie - oh, Mum's with tempers! I thought it was only brothers that flipped boards over!

Srivalli, there are a *lot* of variants listed on wikipedia - and of course they all stem form your ancient game

Nilanjana... well, ho hum. I seem to be getting a little political at times. I have to let it out somehow!

Dino - must check that out, looks like a Laugh!

Ooh, Gonz, that sounds intriguing!

Cathy - Loony Tunes Art - must see!

Anne Ludo is derived from Parcheesi, I think it depends on your rule variations. Wikipedia lists dozens of variations among the huge lists of alternative names.

Jayashree, that sounds sensible - there's always the problem of losing pieces in board games. And lockdown brought many games and puzzles out of cupboards!

Trudy - maybe we can work out how to play a virtual game like they do with chess?

And J, I was very happy to, thanks!

Sorry to everyone I haven't mentioned by name.

Jemima Pett

Arti said...

Had to read this post. Ludo was part of our summer vacations or any other time when all the cousins got together. Fond memories.
There's a Netflix series called Ludo, directed by Anurag Basu, which takes many turns and twists and is quite a gripping series.

Unknown said...

Here's to Day 14 napowrimo -

Pr@Gun said...

Ludo is out again when lockdown keeps kids insides and we have to keep them engaged in board games. I had played the old basic version in my childhood which we use to play with tamarind seeds as pieces were not used in my mom's childhood.

Here from AtoZ -

Jemima Pett said...

Arti and PraGun, glad to have hit so many memories. And also to know that the old Ludo comes in handy during lockdown!

DJ hope your NaPoWriMo is going well: I'm on NaNoFinMo (finishing my novel!)

Jemima Pett

kaykuala said...

L for Lots to Learn


Lady In Read said...

Ludo was definitely a favorite board game of my childhood!! Thanks for the memories..
The Lake Poets and Their “Lake Poems”

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I remember playing this!

Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge with an A-Z of Faerie: Ly Ergs

2 gators said...

I have played Ludo thanks again for the memories My post today is on the Leatherback Sea Turtle

Jemima Pett said...

Lady in Red, Ronel, 2 Gators, glad to awaken your memories :)

Patricia, I now understand everything about your characters - you had a severely deprived childhood! Must find an online game to play with you! Lol

Chapters From My Life said...

In our childhood, we have enjoyed, laughed, cried, fought and bled over this game. I still play it with my children but not too often.

Nice to read about this simple game in a different perscpective.

L is for

Jemima Pett said...

Chapters... I'm sorry you've bled over it! I don't think we ever came to blows over Ludo, although my brothers sometimes did resort to tickling me!