Fungal Treasures

If you visit ToadChapel from time to time you know I’m fond of mushrooms. I love their personalities, opportunism, and gentle tenacity. They inform my artwork, but more than that they speak deeply to my imagination and spirit.

I traveled to Northeast Pennsylvania for Will’s wedding this weekend and got a chance to explore the forest outside the farmhouse we rented. I was rewarded with many wondrous discoveries at my feet. Continue reading “Fungal Treasures”

Against Burnout

I’ve been off the blog for a little while as I visited my parents and spent some time in the woods. I’ve got some nice pictures from my little adventure for you to enjoy.

I chose not to bring any hobby projects with me, though it’s a good place to paint & concentrate. Pushing myself hard this Summer both in my painting and in my efforts to create a more exciting website left me a little lacking in direction as I finished up the painting phase of Yarry. Many people believe that you simply have to paint all the time in order to improve, but I’m not certain that’s true.

Sometimes it’s best for me just to recapture the desire to paint and the desire to better yourself as an artist before you get creatively burnt out.

Continue reading “Against Burnout”

Another Dance with Drukhari

Those pesky Dark Eldar were at it again last night, up to something deviant, no doubt. Well, they bit off a little more than they could chew when they tangled with the Eremoi!

We used the Bay Area Open rules & one of the objective-based missions provided with them. We found the tweaks to the basic ruleset led to a more balanced game that quickly forced tough decisions on the players.

Continue reading “Another Dance with Drukhari”

On Dwarven Names

– From Notes Regarding the of the Foundation of ToadChapel by the Dwarves of the Big Mountain 2.19 (Ysidor, dwarven chronicler)

~

Naming conventions in ToadChapel and similar dwarven satellite communities display a consistent patronymic format.

When a dwarf is born, he receives a name of his own by which he will be almost universally known. It is quite rare that a dwarf shares more than his given name with those outside his own community.

When using his full name, however, as on important ceremonial occasions, his personal name is written and spoken second, while the patronymic comes first. Thus, the name of the infamous Tù-bïdi Herling can be understood as ‘Herling, son of Tù.’ His brother, or perhaps half-brother, the hero Tù-bïdi Tùrmundd, shares a father with Herling, and thus shares his patronymic first name.

It is possible by recitation of a string of patronymic names for a dwarf to trace his lineage back as far as memory will allow, and many dwarven families place great importance on the oral memorialization of the generations of their ancestors.

A True Discourse Upon the Character of Tù-bïdi Herling of ToadChapel

Fragment (spurious) 1.1.II.19

– from the Annus Mirabilis 1 of Nuddle, ToadScribe novice

[this apocryphal fragment appears to have been written much later than Nuddle’s account. It may originate from a marginal note or accompanying commentary to A.M. 1 which has crept into the text.]

~

The following is an Accurate Record of what what two merry and sober men said when old Nuddle gave his first speech to the people of ToadChapel. I swear its truth upon the Great Oath I have sworn within the Outer Door of the Order of ToadScribes:

Friar Barpholemeu*: Herling’s full of himself, ain’t ‘ee? Puffed up full of hot air. I wouldn’t spare him the fleas in my bed.

Iterin: Nor I, friend. And who be he?

Friar Barpholemeu: That’s Herling, cock-o-the-walk and a climber, to boot.

Iterin: Don’t like the look to him. Not very merry for a dwarf. I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m Iterin, ex-vizier to the satrap of Mynos.

Friar Barpholemeu: Greetings, friend! I am called Barpholemeu, friar of the Bufonian Order of Peripateia.

He’s spoilt. Mother gave him everything he ever needed and much else beside. The tackle on that bow’s solid silver**!

Iterin: Hot dog pie on a plate! A silver bow out here, shooting roe deer for the dinner table? That’s a weapon fit for a king! A great merchant, at least.

Friar Barpholemeu: You may have a point there. Damn thing’s near useless in a hunt.

Iterin: Well, I don’t like the look to him, nor the sound of him from your tale, good sir monk. Now, I see you carry around your waist a keg of some godly brew. Say but I have a fearsome thirst…

* Friar Barpholemeu is known to have arrived in ToadChapel only after Herling’s unsuccessful attempt to strike a devil’s bargain with the goblin shaman. The author has presumably chosen Barpholemeu and Iterin for the legendary virtue of each.

** This, at least, is true. As ToadChapel was a small and self-sufficient agrarian community, precious metals such as silver and gold, lacking utility, were comparatively scarce. The silver bow Herling received from his mother is well attested in the scholarly literature, though it has been lost for over 600 years.

A Surprise Visit to GaGa

In the half-light of the early morning Herling neared the tidy but slightly dilapidated home where GaGa dwelt with her two strange wards. He tried to place his footsteps as cleanly as he could. GaGa lived in the raddled outskirts of ToadChapel, where many of the buildings had deteriorated, decayed, or collapsed altogether. Herling had never visited GaGa at home, having only addressed her in the public square on market day or as he caught sight of her skirts passing the blacksmith’s shop where he often spent his days. Truthfully, he had not so much addressed her as admired her from a distance.

“Ha! I walk as quiet as the night itself! I’ll surprise GaGa as she’s setting the kettle to boil. Won’t she be pleased to see me!

Those younglings… I must be rid of them. GaGa has no business tending them, rearing them, showering them with her kisses. Better those kisses went only to I! Well, it won’t be long until they do.

Isn’t this a tidy trick, brave Herling? To bait the hook for those little humans and for the maid as well.”

Herling pressed his ear to the wooden door of GaGa’s house, listening with annoyance to soft voices within.

“What’s this? GaGa’s already got a guest. Dûae, by the sound of it. When GaGa is mine, I’ll not listen to that maundering nitwit ever again… and I’ll rid myself and ToadChapel of those troublesome children for once and all!”

Herling’s Speech to the People of ToadChapel

Fragment 22.I.19

– from the Annus Mirabilis 1 of Nuddle, ToadScribe novice

~

The following is an Accurate Record of what was said in the village square of ToadChapel on the morning after the theft of three of farmer Meddard’s chickens. I swear its accuracy upon the Great Oath I have sworn within the Outer Door of the Order of ToadScribes:

[A man]: I seen three strangers on the road yesterday!

[A man]: Ah, Whent, we ain’t had three strangers in a month of Sundays!

[A woman]: I saw a man slinking around in the evening, before that ol moon turned red. He was trying to avoid someone’s notice.

[A woman]: Must have been John Mus!

[A man]: It was that boy GaGa keeps along with his sister! They blew in rotten and they’re sure raisin’ Cain around here now!

[A man]: He’s right, I seen that boy Gramm chasing Med’s chickens half the afternoon. How do you argue with that?

[A drunken man]: I saw a pair of wicked little goblins did it! There was a two of em, skinny and ugly, with long noses, long arms, and short legs. And there was a big one behind em, past the treeline. Biggest goblin I ever heard of.

[A man]: Fuddle you’re drunk! Your grandfather never saw a goblin and neither did you.

<murmurs>

Herling: Good people of ToadChapel, will we sit here and debate these details of local history? This man’s chickens <gestures to Meddard> are missing. They’re very unlikely to be found alive. Think of your own chickens! Think how your children will cry when you bring home cold straw from an empty coop!

Now, it seems that multiple witnesses saw Gramm, ward of GaGa, attempting to abduct the very chickens which have gone missing. He’s a well-known roustabout. We barely know him or his sister, they just popped up one morning like mushrooms after that terrible storm.

The evidence is undeniable. But our inaction is worse. It’s time we start asking the hard questions. Who are these strange children? Where did they come from?

I’m going to pay Ga-Ga a visit and see what she knows. She’s knows more than she lets on. And the town of ToadChapel deserves to know who’s living among us!

[A man]: Do you need help? What if she runs?

Herling: No, we can’t just pound on GaGa’s door and accuse those children of chicken theft and worse. I’ve got to build my case against them. I’ll draw her secrets out with cunning and catch those two wild rabbits in my net of words.

Luckily for us all, GaGa can scarcely resist my charms and blandishments. Why, I’ll expose those young scamps and offer their lovely guardian a shoulder to cry on when their misdemeanors have been exposed!

You all see about locating those birds. Track them down! Something’s got to be done!

[A man]: Get the dogs!

[A man]: Don’t you think they roasted em by now?

[A man] Roasted the dogs? Barbaric!

[A man]: Or stewed em. Pot pie, mayhap.

<murmurs>