VIII: The Garden

This is a new addition to a tale (the tale, really) that had lain dormant for several months. If you’d like to catch up, you can start here.

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By the time the children had scampered back to the cemetery gates they were short of breath and nearly frantic with fright. How close they had come to their persecutor Herling, how near to that murderous goblin with the skulls dangling from his staff! And to think John Mus had led them straight into such a pickle. Come to think of it, where was John Mus and why had he not come to the meeting?

Mills and Gramm crept out through the still open iron gate. “Here, let’s go slower back to the barn. There might be people on the main road, and I don’t want to attract any attention. We’ll go quietly as we can,” said Amelia. Gramm would have preferred to keep running, but he was too frightened to argue. When things are bad, you trust your big sister.

It was good that the children did cross the field stealthily. As they neared the far edge of the field, which bordered the road into ToadChapel, they heard harsh voices bickering. Keeping their heads low, Mills and Gramm sneaked up behind the low stone wall beside the road and peered into the barnyard across the way.

Near to the barn where they had spent the first part of the night stood three nasty goblins arguing with one another. Two carried long sharp spears with wicked pointed heads, while the third bore a stout little bow and a quiver full of arrows. Though their conversation was hard to follow, it seemed that the one with the bow was urging the others to search the barn. Continue reading “VIII: The Garden”

Make-Up’s Finished

I put the face on this guy and he’s all set but the Dullcote.

Like I said before, I wasn’t crazy about the scheme and I’m not 100% on the reivers in general, so I bashed him out quickly. Oddly, given my ambivalence, I’m pretty happy with him; I think it comes down to how quickly I finished him off. Now it’s time to test him in battle!

Holos (but not quite)

Holos has been coming along. His buddy Hyûm & he should be able to hold a decent conversation soon.

Though he’s only got a few ‘zones’ & nubbins to paint, access to the stuff inside the folds of the cloak is very tight, so he’s taken a fair amount of care… and retouching.

As you can see from the hairs on my hoodie, the Small God Cora has been helping me this morning as usual.

Tool Time

Here are a few of my favorite odd tools. These are mostly just stuff I grabbed of a moment, but have come to rely upon in my hobbying.

From the top we have:

1) Micron pen. I like pens as small as I can get them, and manga-style pens are the best I’ve found. .005 Sakura is my weapon of choice. I don’t really know what .005 refers to, as the nib is 0.2mm thick. Even if you only use them for (TOP TIP) dotting pupils, they’re solid gold.

2) Forceps. My brother and I are anglers (too rarely!), so I grabbed these one time when I needed a locking grip on a small object. Great tool when you need it.

3) Bend rule. Sits nice & steady for precise work.

4) Silicon tweezers. They both resist sticking and spring apart when you release tension. Extremely useful for many applications.

5) And this is my favorite tool of all. It’s a crappy old pair of needle-nosed pliers that somehow became extremely tight. So tight, in fact, that it can be used almost as a handheld vice. I can’t tell you how to make one, but, like many lucky accidents, when they failed, I found a use for them. I use these all the time!

Give me a comment below and let me know what weird tools you find yourself reaching for on your hobby bench!

On Dwarven Names

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

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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.]

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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!”