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Anton Ales #2
The Nighted Adventures of a Sending & Alienist Duo: Portland 4/20/2023
Anton stood drinking his wine, hulking over this wizened, gutter gnome of a hobo, “Bitches spend too much money, right—they are all whores and were sent here to keep us chained to The Man, right!?”
“Amen, my friend,” agrees the hobo.
“Motherfucker,” says Anton, “so long as your are inclined to blow smoke up my ass, I will let you. But I think you are still hiding what you are about.”
A shrug of the emaciated shoulders concede detection.
“That’s right, motherfucker, you can’t hide from me. I think you could learn something from all these Southeast Portland skanks I’ve fucked—well, some of them, anyway. Many of these whores—and what woman is not a whore—put on airs. But I love me a bitch that says, ‘Hey, Sexxy A, lick my nasty pussy, lick this nasty slit right here.’ You see, that bitch is not hiding behind perfume or a bath—she’s real.”
The old runt winces in disgust.
“Motherfucker, when you laugh you signal that I am telling the truth. But how can I trust a motherfucker that disagrees and won’t say so? Say it. You think I’m a lowdown soul, don’t you?”
“Alternatively elevated,” side steps the gutter gnome.
The wine bottle is drained and tossed in the grass to recline under the porch light among weeping daffodils and budding purple flowers of alien aspect.
“Motherfucker, you owe me. Walk with me to the 7-11 and buy my drink. Unless you got some place to be?”
“I’m good for two hours, then have to go.”
“Shit, man, you don’t even work. I got to get up for work in the morning and I’m burnin’ the candle of my life and here you are, afraid to even light that wick.”
“Yes” admits the alienist as they walk on down the dark lane.
“Thanks for coming. You a fo’ real dude, got you with me while I patrol my hood!”
The narrowing shoulders shrug in non-committal inflection.
The hulking sending and the wizened little alienist cross the street at a cross walk, the Portland motorists politely waiting in both opposing lanes. The sending is not content with this civility, bristling at the stayed insincerity, and places open hands of command at the drivers, informing them that he owns the road and they have no choice but to obey.
I know now that my big friend is looking to pick a fight with someone. I dastardly determine that I will abandon him at the first demonstration of negro vitality.
The odd couple achieve the 7-11 parking lot as two black men, who seem to be directly from Africa, unload the 7-11 18-wheeler with dollies, wheeling down and back up the ramp.
The hobo says, “I could only do that dolly work for two years before my back blew. Those guys have my respect.”
Anton raises his voice towards the two toiling souls and says, “You drivers ain’t shit!”
I walked ahead of him and entered the 7-11, going to the beer cooler where I selected a 20 ounce Bud Light.
He appears next to me as a young athletic fellow reaches between us and excuses himself as he grabs a White Claw. Anton responds, ‘Motherfucker, that was my White Claw!”
The man chuckles uncomfortably and goes to the check out as Anton says, “Look at his thievin’ ass go!”
“Here, Mister James, buy me that $4.99 bottle of wine.”
“Sure,” I nod and head up front past a worn looking white woman of perhaps 40.
Anton looks at her and says, “I bet that bitch was hot thirty years ago.”
I cringe inside and get in line, my hulking friend standing behind me, the woman he picked on hovering away from us.
Anton starts pointing at the hand of the man in front of us, a left hand holding a smart phone as the man makes his purchase with his right hand, “Look at his finger, watch, watch that finger.”
I note four fingers and a thumb and shrug.
“Look, look at his finger!”
I shrug.
The man is on his way and we are up. As I get out two $5s to pay for our drinks Anton looks in my wallet and sees another $5 and points at the meatballs on a stick and says to the man behind the counter, “I’ll have an order of meatballs too.”
I pay and we leave, me glancing apologetically at the worn woman behind us. As we enter the outer night Anton chides, “What kind of man are you to pity that bitch? Just a dick sucking bitch is all.”
I shrugged in agreement as the big man spied one driver coming down the ramp with a load and could not resist prying into the hours and pay rate of his rival big negro. He seemed obviously to be picking a fight, although I knew that what he was really doing was pretending to pick a fight so that he could make a meaningful friend. Even so, I never stick around for Big Negro fights, anymore than the first mammal wanted to be underfoot when T-Rex and Triceratops were doing battle. My presence would make things worse as he tried to impress me with the proper trash talking of the real man of the street.
On into the night I walked without a backward glance, not forgetting that I had pledged the remaining portion of those two hours to the porch light.
There I waited when he emerged from the deeper dark and declared, “Motherfucker you ditched me!”
The wine bottle top is screwed off with the mouth and spat on the porch, “Motherfucker, you are yellow.”
“Your yellow ass missed it when I dipped into the tattoo shop and asked for a tattoo, and that motherfucker, that painted poser who does nothing but decorate, didn’t like me. He didn’t want my business.”
“You didn’t really want a tattoo. You were picking a fight.”
“And where were you, motherfucker, you yellow dog.”
“Yeah, you’re here, been here for me—but you’re still yellow.”
Shrug of guilt.
Some personal doubts about his patrimony are now discussed by Anton, finishing with, “I know, I’m pretty fucked up.”
“At least you know that the world hates you, bro.”
“It’s hates you too, Brother.”
“This we know.”
“Thanks for hangin’ out, James. Glad to be your friend—you’re a ramblin’ man and it makes me half jealous. Good night.”
Away from the porch light I went, from he who was counter sent.
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posted: December 3, 2023   reads: 119   © 2023 James LaFond
Toby & Benny Bear
American Dog #5
“You are the best, Benny Bear!” barked Toby.
“Come on, Tobes,” encouraged Benny, Time’s a wastin’ bacon’s gettin’ cold!”
Benny opened the driver’s side door and Toby leaped up into the seat, sat behind the wheel and barked, “Toby, King of Dogs, Buddy of Benny King of Apes—Dog of the Road!”
Benny laughed, “Come on Tobes, you gotz ta move over.”
Toby did so and sat on the passenger seat in the little pick up truck and barked, “Benny is taking me to town—all other humans suck! Benny Bear cares!”
“You know it, Tobes, now here, open this up, bacon is gettin’ cold.”
Benny had a three pack of Hurricane Malt Liquor, three big, ape brain-frying cans of chemical insanity what helped an ape that cleaned up bigger ape’s poo ditches all day, forget the nastiness of his plight.
Go on, Tobes, I’m in a hurry—bacon won’t wait all day, open it up.”
Toby got to work with his dew claw and canines and ripped that tight plastic wrap off of the three cans, two cans falling to the floor and the other held proudly between his teeth by the lip.
“Tobes!” drawled Benny, “You da bes’ bro—bes dog in da world!”
“You know it, Benny Bear!” barked Toby.
As Benny zoomed down the dark driveway, the headlights beaming off the hanging cedar boughs and moss-covered post fence, he cracked open that big beer can with one hand and began chugging it, suds dripping down his front, even as he turned right, cut off some other human that Toby could care less about, caused that human to veer off into the black berry bushes and Benny to apologize as he drank, “Mah bad, mistah—it’s all Tobes fault, gettin’ me drunk behine the wheel en all...”
Toby barked into the speeding shadows of night, “Dog of the Road—Truck Dog, friend of Benny—coming for your bacon and your cheese! Out, of, the, way!”
Instead of turning left to Burger King, Benny turned right, grinning into the savage night. There was something about Annie in the dark light of Benny’s blue eyes as he declared, “I know boy, we ain’t goin’ ta Burger King, burger king is comin’ ta us!”
Toby barked into the speeding night as some stupid human perched on a two wheeled wire rack that one rolled along by pushing on foot platforms, was driven into the black berry bushes by Benny, to which he drawled, as he drank his heavy gravity beer, “Mah bad, Mistah.”
Toby barked, “Humans on two wheels suck! You are sub standard! Enjoy the thorny ditch!”
In a few more speeding moments, Benny pulled over into a circular space for turning cars and trucks. There, in a nice truck like Mamma Bear’s SUV, sat two young, human bitches wearing Burger King uniforms.
Toby was concerned and whined, “Could this possibly interfere with my bacon feed?”
Benny patted him on the head and said, “Burger King came to see The King. Now you stay here and the nice lady will feed you.”
Two excited young bitches, one small with dark hair and the other plump with blond hair, bounced on their toes and hugged and kissed Benny. They then hugged each other as Benny pointed out Toby to the plump blond one and she came his way, with a Burger King bag!
“Food!” barked Toby.
“Yummy, greasy, human food!” barked Toby as he wagged his tail.
The blond woman, who he recalled as the one who gave him extra slices of bacon through the feed window, opened the truck door, sat in, sighed, “Just my luck, rock-paper-scissors gets me sloppy seconds again. Stacy is such a greedy little slut.”
“The heck with that bitch! Barked Toby… “Fooooodddd!!!”
This was possibly the beginning of Toby’s best ever night. Becky, the Burger King bitch, fawned all over Toby, averting her gaze from the fogged up windows of the rocking SUV, scratching his ears and his dry haunches while she went on about the woes of being a plump human bitch, about being second fiddle to the petite human bitches.
“I don’t care if you’re fat, bitch—feed me them fries!” whined Toby.
“Bitch, of course you're lonely, that makes you available to feed me more of those fries! What other purpose do you serve?”
“Yes, we all love Benny Bear, and since that little bitch is loving him a long time, you have the leisure available to you, to feed me the rest of those fries!”
“Those are oh so yummy good,” snarled Toby as she bemoaned her lonely nights.
She was getting irritating and was not paying enough attention to his feed, so he pawed the beer can that was not yet empty and looked at her knowingly and she moaned, “Oh, Toby, you care. Sure, I’ll have a drink and drown my sorrows while Benny services my pretty little friend! Life is not fair, Toby!”
“Bitch,” barked Toby, then he reached down with his right paw and rolled one of the two unopened cans on the floor, “then drink more of this dragon piss, its what sad humans do!”
“Awes, Toby, you’re the best dog!”
Becky then opened up the bacon container, packed with bacon, not just two slices, and left it by the gear box for Toby to thrust his greedy muzzle into while she cracked that big can and drained it like she was dying of thirst.
“Yummy, bitch brought bacon! Yum, yum, yum,” exalted Toby as Becky got drunk…
There was still some bacon grease, but he could come back to this. It was burger time.
There was a knock on the window and Toby looked up to see the little night-haired bitch, and noticed that there was a slant to her eyes. This brought suspicion to his canine mind. But, she was Benny’s bitch, so as long as she towed the line, they’d get on fine.
Becky hugged Toby and slid out of the truck and walked by her little friend without a word.
Becky shut herself into this bitch’s SUV—she smelled like an SUV, so it had to be hers. This bitch, whatever her name was, smelled a lot like Benny now and he noted that she seemed satisfied, sighed, and neglected scratching or petting Toby.
“Bitch, know your role. You were sent here by Benny Bear to get my feed on,” whined Toby as he pawed the paper bag which had yet to be unburdened of that yummy in Toby’s forever yearning tummy burger!
The bitch got the right idea, then took out the burger, looked at it, smelled it, looked at Toby, then looked down at the empty fries box and the empty bacon box. Unwrapping the burger, she looked at Toby and said, “This is too good for a dog. I’m hungry—Benny promised to take me out to eat and he’s over there rocking Becky’s world instead."
The bitch then bit into the burger and chewed, lustfully, “Never had one—this is surprisingly good.”
Toby, who would be diagnosed as having a high time preference by behavioral eugenicists, if he were human, flew into a towering inferno of rage, “Slanty-Eyed Devil Bitch!”
She squeaked and then peeped as Toby barked and slathered and snarled and gnashed his flesh-ripping teeth. Knowing better then to bite a human bitch, Toby “swacked” her across the face with his right paw and she dropped the burger, screamed, and opened the car door with such haste that she fell out on her face, Toby prancing upon her back and, hackles up snarling in her ear.
“Bitch,” barked Toby, hackles up, fangs clacking, and she broke and ran, Toby hot on her heels, not wanting to catch her, of course, but simply to make her into a slanty-eyed two legged rabbit.
As the little bitch ran daintily around the SUV occupied by Benny and her friend, she peeped and squeaked for help. But those humans in there, whatever they were doing, where making noise equal to the rocking of the vehicle, which creaked like Granny’s chair, as Toby coursed that greedy, slant-eyed, Benny-fun bitch around and around the SUV from Burger King…
The smell of the burger beckoned from her mouth as she whimpered and sat back against the rocking SUV, reminding Toby that something still yummy was alone on the floor of Benny’s truck.
“Later, got to get my feed on,” snarled Toby as he trotted off.
Eventually, the SUV stopped rocking and Toby repaired to his place of dignity. The woman said very little to Benny or her blond friend, who no longer seemed bitter.
Benny, for his part, was unshaken by the night’s events and asked, “Toby, you didn’t let those bitches drink all my beer, did ya?”
Toby looked down at the can on the floor and barked, “Guarded the last can with my life, Benny!”
“Good boy,” said Benny as he cracked the can and both trucks went their own way into the light streaked shadows of night.
-1. I have noted, as Toby’s hagiographer, that he does not like Asian people and demonstrates a deep antipathy for them.
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posted: December 2, 2023   reads: 142   © 2023 James LaFond
Anton Ales #1
The Sending of a Large, Litigious, Negro Soul: Portland 4/20/2023
“Oppressed by the weight of his own langor,” as Gibbon proclaims of the ancient Germans, and circumscribed to mere animal pursuits by the bounds of his own “sloth,” the barbaric soul is not untouched by civilization, but in a state of revolt against it. These learned discourses on human nature I listened to yesterday as I reclined in a consumptive stupor, trying to mend my health enough to afflict the world with my bad ideas for another year. As I woke and passed my host on the way out the door to go train with Portland Joe, he noted: “A minute ago you were truck driver tired. Now you look alive.”
Wishing him a good night’s rest before his next shift, I went out to train with Joe. We typically train at the park at 64th and Center in Southeast Portland. The locals have grown used to seeing us there.
I am certain that the rational reader, the man of Science, many of whom come to this site to ponder, is growing suspicious of my late blooming superstition. Are these words, these insistings that I am being stalked by Sendings, merely the fruit of Portland Joe, James Anderson and Beast O’Neal punching me in the head some half a thousand times over the past few months?
I hope so.
Let it be clear that I utterly reject “Science,” both the method and the religious cult. Physics are fake and devils and demons, gods and angels are real. I am an alienist, a rejected free radical cast out of the organs and into the civic blood of the Body Economic. As such, I am subject to sendings, people who see me, approach, befriend and unveil themselves to me in an attempt to expose and bind me.
The night before last, giant Daniel Speed, the survivor of a terrible hit and run in which he was sent flying in a welter of blood by a pickup truck and spent weeks in a coma, sat at The Dive Bar next to me and held my hand as he unburdened his soul, convinced that he should be dead and now feeling he is something of a meaty ghost.
Are these sendings come from God or Darkness?
Are these like the angels detailed to warn Lot?
Or, might these be minions of he who God assigned to test Job?
I do not know, but sit here under gray dripping skies in the only place that ever truly felt like home, my rucksack already packed and stacked in the corner. My pending abandonment of the only city to invite me to stay, I suspect, renders my fey form visible to those sent by the outer powers to oust this one from these inner shadows.
He who offends The World by contentment to observe and declination to serve—or even live—as part of society, affronts also Heaven and Hell.
Enter Anton Ales. He is a large old-school negro in middle years, a soul much more like the black men of my father’s generation than of mine or his. Sir Captain Richard Francis Burton would certainly name him “a litigious negro,” for Anton is a committed contrarian. He devotes every conversation to testing the social bounds that confine he and his partner in discourse. He then seeks discord and argument, always trying to lure out the real person within the branded civic facade before him.
The following typical African American traits define this big, sad-eyed man:
-Not just abandoned by his mother, but removed according to her lies, from friendly habitation, by the police, into the corrections system at the tender age of 15.
-Defines himself according to sexual conquests of the female species.
-Hates homosexuals.
-Regards every woman as a whore or slut.
-Regards every man as a chump or champ.
-Regards every human as a born liar who never tells the truth about anything unless they are drugged and/or duped into revealing an aspect of themselves.
-Marginally violent, ever wary of the true dangerous actor [the champ] and ever watchful for the chump who can be bullied.
-Slothful, proud of not washing his hands, not bathing, not cleaning his consequently rude habitation, as a rejection of slavery. To have poor hygiene increases the dominance of him over the woman who submits to his lusty desires as she wrinkles her nose in disgust yet receives his unsavory attention. His habitation, which smells badly so that we prefer to visit on his front porch under the light by night, is kept in a state of filth as a test of womankind. The woman who is conquered by his prodigious sexuality in her bed, when visiting his to relive her initial ravishing, is invited to insist he clean the place she is to be disrespected in. This grants Anton the opportunity to slap her and say, “Clean my house, bitch, or get the fuck out!” He dines upon dirty dishes plucked from an un-run dishwasher, dresses out of a drier, litters his own front yard with cigarette butts and even wine bottles, not out of laziness, but as an affront to the world that hates him in its very white civic bones.
Anton finds me fascinating in my cleanliness and my slave like self discipline. He believes that every writer writes mostly lies and that I lie two-fold in that I insist that I am truthful when in fact I hide my nature from him and others. [0] He is a classic Sending, sent to test my alienistic discipline. Befriending me, Anton Ales will bestow gifts out of the blue, handing me a roll of bills and insisting I take them. On some other occasion Anton, will say, as he did last night as we drank under his porch light [1] and his wine ran dry, “Motherfucker, you owe me. We walkin’ ta the 7-11 en you buying my drink!”
He had me of a surety, for he gifted me unearned and unasked cash out of the blue last week, a debt I must repay, I having been properly measured as a chump. Anton is one of the few denizens of Portland that knows me as a writer. To the extent he reads my work, it is only a means of finding grounds for disagreement so that he can further his driven quest to root me out of the gray cellar of my fey soul’s hideyhole.
Last sundown, Anton saw Portland Joe and I training and was kind enough to encourage Joe, video some rounds, and even don the boxing gloves and talk trash to Joe while mugging as the bully for boxing self defense drills. The big man charmed us and invited us to drink, luring us into his circle of nihilistic investigation, and then began, in classic American fashion, to insult us, insist our women were whores who yearned for his seed and were plotting our downfall. A good time was had by all as Anton tested, lured, interrogated, invalidated, summoned doubts out of our mutual shadows and alternately complimented us and demeaned himself. This was all part of a sophisticated conversational opera which suits this man of wounded soul so well to the role of Sending from Beyond. He is the perfect foil for the self-invented and over-disciplined man.
As Portland Joe recused himself from actual drunkenness, having the discipline of one social drink as an anchor, I agreed to a two hour revel under the porch light of Whore America’s sordid night.
-0. My written lies are limited to protecting the subjects of such biographies as this, by artfully misrepresenting their government name, yet preserving their true personality.
-1. Anton Ales has been asked to leave and not to return to, most of the area bars.
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posted: December 1, 2023   reads: 376   © 2023 James LaFond
Part 4 of 7: The Fate of Western Civilization: 3/19/2023
“...a more domestic claim to our regard… In the rude institutions of those barbarians, we may still distinguish the original principals of our present laws and manners.”
-Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 9
Grain provides more people, more toil and more social order than does herding. However, the farmer lacks the freedom and liberty of the herder and, in advanced circumstances, is stuck on a plot of ground. If weather reduced the fruitfulness and famine and disease reduced the population and destabilized the social order, and the remaining folk were in possession of domestic herds, why not revert to a herding lifeway? [0]
The chief military advantage to herding over farming are three to one:
against the numbers of the farmer,
the herder enjoys
-Practice driving dangerous creatures to places they do not want to go, and their killing or capturing them, expressing itself in aggressive stratagems of war.
-Animal allies in battle.
So even civilized folk who would like to remain farmers, might be forced by circumstances to revert to herding and hunting.
It is viewed by this reader as no accident that Fate or Fortune, in Аrуаn religions—like fertility—was a feminine power. Unlike the modern ideological mind imprisoned by Science in a realm of rationalized magic, might the farmer—who actually touches her—have had a closer understanding of Earth, Our Physical Mother?
Might the Fates have been imagined weaving like Maid, Matron and Crone upon the Loom of Ages [1] as feminine, due to all men, especially kings and heroes, being but harried sailors upon Her Fateful Waters?
Especially, under pre petroleum agriculture, a minor global temperature shift, as well as drought and flood, can turn waving fields of grain into a desert, a swamp or even a permafrost zone.
The Modern Mind, our collective majority mind, under Science, believes in a rationalized myth, The Rape of Europa, the maiming attack of we upon our gargantuan mother, which has brought her to her knees like the statue of Rome holding ravished Britannia by the hair.
Why wouldn’t we think ourselves, titans, we who turn mountains into craters, rivers into lakes and deserts into gardens?
But we possess the very powers in our industrial and information capacity that the ancients once attributed to the gods. Our entire society might be imagined by an ancient, should he see it, as a paradise constructed by Apollo, God of the Arts, with the caveat that the Fates and Furies have decreed that Morpheus, Discord, Panic and Rout will be able to stalk Apollo’s Utopia dispensing drugged dreams and summoning War when his thirst is adequate to satiate their malice.
In short, the ancient farmer who might have been tilling the good black Earth when the same deluge that beat down his crops brought snows in the hinterland that drove the Sarmatians and Scythians down upon them like wolves among a fold of sheep, would see not his collective hand, but Fate’s remote hand at work. Even a Sumerian farmer who by collective action has destroyed the soil, would likely see desertification, not as his fault, but the punishment of some higher power...and perhaps it was.
Then, there is also the temptation of civilization, especially a distressed one, to the barbarian. Tacitus points out that the Germans gambled heavily, and that they would only consent to being sold into slavery as an ode to the Fates over a game of chance! He describes the form of the games played as being learned from Romans or Greeks.
Likewise, they made a rude beer for intoxication, but thirsted for Roman wine. Gibbon chides them for not starting a winery. But, as the Dark Ages fell, wine cultivation regions were reduced on the northern margins. Indeed, table wine came as bowls of ice on The Rhine. Likewise, in the time of Xenophon, 400 B.C., another time of climate change and mass, even forced migrations [2] wine in Thrace tended to freeze. For you people who are not drinkers, that is cold. Might a failure to export wine to the barbarians due to poor grape harvests, even as grain harvest in the far north reduced beer supplies, provided a temptation risen to the level of addiction?
As cold snaps drove the barbarians across frozen rivers into the teeth of a ferocious Roman war machine, their impetus for giving up their little patches of grain for mass murder might have been an additional threat. That same cold drove steppes nomads into the forests, these being even more savage than the Germans, eventually bringing the Huns, the nastiest of the barbarian bunch.
Is there a closer historical example of a mass movement of people for drug use?
Portland Analogue
We have an army of some tens of thousands homeless drug addicts in Portland. Most Portlanders I know declare that it has “ruined our city.” It is interesting that these tweakers were invited into Portland by the State and City governments, who took down their drug laws, defanged their police, made camping legal in the city limits and even handed out tents and medical aid to arriving addicts.
At a certain point, Roman officials would invite German and other barbarians into the empire to provide various services not related to farming. I wonder how the Roman farmer felt about that? Might he have been tempted to take his horse and livestock elsewhere once the barbarians took his grain to make beer while they raped his wife and daughter?
Do note, that many of the people currently being driven from cities and suburbs by the forces of modernizing civilization, are choosing to live a more primitive life, many going rural and attempting to grow their own food.
A farming people under such pressure, why would they not leave their grain and drive their cattle to a new place. I think of this as the hail beats down on me today, walking in mid April, as homeowners discuss how they are three weeks behind planting their garden due to the cold.
As a practicing hobo, my solution to the invasion of Baltimore by Africans differed from my family. My family all relocated and continued the same life as before in greener fields. I decided on movement as a life way, the life of a nomad, who adopts the very same survival method as military organizations and warriors: when confronted with overwhelming force, break contact, move to a more advantageous position and keep moving until you find it.
The story of Exodus, in outline, is perhaps one of the most common and untold stories at the root of many a people: escaping a [3] civilization [or simply an enemy, like the Crows fleeing the Sioux] by the same means that elk, deer and bison use to survive cruel seasons and hunters, migration.
-0. Note that Norse myth begins with a cow as a specific basis for creation.
-1. Which Zeus Almighty declares himself powerless to command.
-2. See Manager: Part 6, for a treatment of the Greco Persian Wars.
-3. Based on the Plagues of Egypt, it might be inferred that Moses was not just conducting his people out of Egypt, but out of an Egypt beset by numerous climate related issues that could be better survived by herders in the highlands than farmers in the lowlands.
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posted: November 30, 2023   reads: 461   © 2023 James LaFond
Part 3 of 7: The Fate of Western Civilization: 4/19/2023
“James LaFond, what about human nature? It seems to me from reading Aristotle that human nature has not changed a lot over the ages.”
-Big T.
My very favorite historian, Edward Gibbon, concedes when tasked with inferring events in poorly documented periods, that “knowledge of human nature,” is a key tool of the inquirer, which is what a historian is supposed to be. This is repeated throughout his masterful narrative and has jarred my damaged brain into the obvious conclusion as to why our current academic historians write uninteresting books occupied by no interesting personalities and that what conclusions that are tendered are most often wrong. The modern academic must accept—and this includes the few conservatives like Victor Davis Hansen—that all humans behave in the same way, according to the same motivations, and that there are no ethnically distinct behaviors. [0]
In considering the remaining five human contexts of declining civilization, I shall lean heavily on my two current influences: listening to Gibbon [1] while lifting weights, shadow boxing, coughing up lung puss and packing my ruck in my host’s garage as I return to nomadism, and my social life and errand going in the one American City to have the most percipitous decline in recent years: Portland, Oregon.
In discussing the origins of the Nordic peoples, Gibbon cites Tacitus’ observations that there were no German cities, mines, farms [2] and these ancestors of today’s most civilized nations were not civilized like the Dacians and Celts. The idea that the Germans were “indigenous” to the “Hersinian Forest,” literally generated out of the land, Gibbon assures us can be set aside by men of faith and reason, that peoples are either created or relocated, or both. In discussing the thousand year old antiquity of the Cult of Odin, noting that the three primal Nordic gods were War, Thunder and Fertility, he considers an historical supposition made by one of his “learned” peers.
The case, which Gibbon rejects, despite its appeal, was of two Odins: the god and the prophet. [3] The case made by Gibbon’s unnamed peer, was that the tyrant Mithradates of the time of Caesar, roughly from 60 to 10 B.C., oppressed a certain Germanic folk in or near Crimea and Ukraine, and that a prophet rose among these people and took them on a pilgrimage from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, forming a Nordic Culture founded on the precept of a rejection of Civilization. Gibbon calls this suppositional figure a “Mohamed of the North.” Eventually, having delivered his people in the way of Moses from the clutches of a civilization, driving herds of beef through the forest, to a remote land, this prophet, despairing of old age, inflicts mortal wounds upon himself before his followers and announces that he is departing from life of his own will and will be preparing heaven for their reception. [4]
It is interesting that the Germans did not mine their copious iron sources, despite its value in war, nor did they mine gold, despite its value in everything. These Germans were nomadic. Only three such tribes were settled in towns and enjoying civilized comforts under Roman influence. Tacitus declares that two of these tribes were debased and weak, one slaves and the other worse, for they were slaves to a woman, a queen. The third tribe was forced by other tribes to forsake their living in towns like Romans and return to the warrior path. There most valued activity was war, yet they would not set their hand to iron working or gold mining, which are the prime muscles and food of war.
This sounds, not like a primitive people reluctant to embrace technology and comfort, but like a people who have rejected it as decadent and slothful. Tacitus points out that German woman were infinitely more virtuous than Roman women, that they killed themselves and their children rather than be enslaved. These women were severely faithful to their husbands and their husbands repaid this by relying on their women to run the economy and provide advice even in matters of war [along with old men]. The high regard of the German for his wife was the point of origin for the Cult of Chivalry that replaced Rome in Europe. Like tiny Sparta [who used chattel], the Nordic Nations seem to have used cattle, as the mobile portion of agriculture, to turn their backs on civilization and go back to a hunting life way. Gibbon is aghast that an entire people would, instead of clearing a forest [a “wasteland” as he describes it] that could support millions by grain cultivation, would drive herds of beef through it and maintain the terrible woods as a hunting preserve.
Gibbon is further aghast that over population was dealt with, not by intensive labor, but export of the population into enemy lands as invaders. Then comes the indignity, that the Germans, with their poverty and “half armed” warriors managed to defeat the “Roman arms.”
Were all herding people evolving upward from hunting?
Or did some devolve backward from broad-based agriculture, perhaps even civilization, to herding?
I suspect that the Hittites did the like, abandoning their cities for pastures.
Has this happened in the historical record?
America was built into the greatest power on earth due to the abandonment of farming by frontiersmen, who lived like savages, which led to their pushing west as cattle herders and shepherds. This was in part due to drier western climate. Might a change in climate have caused some portion of civilized Аrуаn society to revert to a hunter warrior lifeway using mobile herds?
Beef in the forest?
Yes, beef were native to the European forest and are grazed in forests all over the American West. I have seen them, stepped around their manure under willows and soaring evergreens.
A possible origin of the Аrуаns might be a rejection of an earlier settled life that might have fallen of its own corrupt weight, but was in part of whole impelled by climate change. Gibbon mentions that the frozen rivers of Europe were crossed in winter by the German invaders. Might this crossing have been done under duress from the cold?
The later Viking Age would quickly close at the dawning of the Medieval Warm Period, roughly A.D. 1000 to 1300, with the temple of Odin being closed around 1070.
Herding, will impact civilization at the farmer and managerial level, more than it impacted the hunter. Where hunting tribes have often coexisted in war and peace with farming societies [5], herding societies tend to prey upon farming societies at a much more intense and acquisitive level.
Currently in Portland, where the men tend to be a head taller, broader, more pale, and much more polite than back east, numerous big working men have confided in how upset they and their women are over the homeless invasion. These people are moving, some even to Appalachia. These homeless are not the analogues of the barbarian tribes, but of the Roman mob. These are creature of The State, addicted to factory made drugs, invited by the government and NGOs to live on the street, supplied with tents, and used to drive working people from their hometown. We will return to this Portland analogue at the end of each chapter.
-0. Gibbon, writing during The Enlightenment, is already started down this path when he gasps at how rude any people must be to decline to live in a luxury/toil setting, that the Germans must have been mistaken or lazy rather than pious in their lifeway.
-1. Chapters 9 and 10 concerning the character of the German peoples and initial hostilities with Rome, which relies heavily on Tacitus and Dio.
-2. Merely enough grain grown for beer.
-3. In Iroquois myth Hiawatha seems to be a like case of multiple beings, some or all mortal, accreted over time into a deity. This was also in a northern woodland.
-4. This does seem in part inspired by the parallel’s between Jesus Christ and Odin of the hanged self sacrifice.
-5. 1500 years of Cro Magnon and Anatolean co-existance in Europe prior to the Аrуаn invasion, and for many centuries in North and South America, Apaches and Navaho, for example.
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posted: November 29, 2023   reads: 494   © 2023 James LaFond
Part 2 of 7: The Fate of Western Civilization: 3/7/2023
“Makes me wonder how the birds an insects were able to feel this winter coming?”
-Buffalo Bob, 3/7/23
The above text from Bob referenced the extreme snow he is experiencing in the Rockies to rival any in his 65 years of life. In this text he was referencing my reports from last September to him of foraging for berries and running into entire flocks of birds ravenously denuding entire elderberry and choke cherry trees in a few minutes. Likewise, insects were very aggressive among fungi and apples in late August. If you did not get to a mushroom as soon as it popped up it would be riddled with worms.
He surmised then that the critters were predicting a bad winter and they did. There are stories from ancient times of animals panicking before earthquakes. I have spent the end of summer and early autumn with Bob for five years now. When this article posts, I will have been in Northwestern Utah—Fate willing—for a month, and, I think it likely, will be seeing more signs of a deepening winter. Bob has talked to me at great length about observations of wild animals and domestic livestock. To think of the term livestock, that it is one word that indicates a stock of food still living but pre-caught, brings to mind the roots of Аrуаn culture, which is to say aggressive migration at the head of herds of livestock.
My answer to Bob is that the wild animals are still aware of Creation, still part of The Creator’s design, a state from which we have been utterly divorced for many generations and in some cases many ages. From Odin’s ravens, to Zeus’s eagles, Apollo’s poetical birds, to the Thunderbirds of Amerindian lore, avian kind have long been appreciated as providing a link between denatured civilized man and Creation.
Of a certain interest is one of the final clashes between Western Civilization and an opposing primitive force, was the case of Tecumseh [Panther-passing-across] named after a cosmic event that occurred at his birth. Tecumseh, seems to have been racially half European, of the Аrуаn kind, specifically Anglo. He predicted an earthquake and a comet and it is unknown how he was able to do so.
The Shawnee, his folk, had enjoyed a 200 year relationship of alliance with the English aristocracy with whom they intermarried. The British Empire in North America maintained alliances with only the most warlike tribes, such as the Shawnee and Mohawk. These tribes were employed as slave catchers of runaway English subjects and against the many allied tribes of the French and Spanish.
Shawnee culture was based on hunting and raiding and limited farming at the gardening scale. The culture became increasingly dependent on war and captive taking for European trade goods. As well, Shawnee warrior culture was exemplified at the highest level by mixed race warriors, many of whom seem to have been adopted as runaway youths. Adopted Shawnee warriors included Blue Jacket, Daniel Boone, Captain Will Emery, Simon Kenton, Simon Girty, and it seems Puckinswa father of Tecumseh and or Chicksiska, Tecumseh’s older brother. The racial threads are disputed and not possible to unravel in the current political climate. Suffice it to say that race did not matter to the tribes, only the willingness of a man to follow a hunter-warrior lifeway. The Shawnee would go on to serve the American Government as scalp takers of runaway American soldiers in the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1780s and the Mexican Government in the 1840s.
The above trend at the end of the cycle of tribal eradication of hunting cultures under industrial nation state management systems brings the tribal hunter-warrior into civilized service more often than as the foe of civilization. Most tribesmen sided with the United States Government against their own folk, and most tribes allied with the U.S. against other tribes. [0]
Indeed, man-hunting is now exclusively reserved for government agencies and contractors. The investigative police officer, the “detective” is as much of a man-hunter as a SWAT officer is a warrior. Indeed, the importance of man’s oldest occupation, hunting, to the survival of the Postmodern State, is profound.
Every capacity for which the Nation State has reserved for itself preeminence was pioneered and indeed perfected not by civilization, and not just in the west, but by primitive hunters across the ages and the continents:
-Weapon creation and use
-Man hunting
-War making
-Slavery and forced labor
-Alcohol production
-Food growing
-Drug cultivation
-Maritime technology from the canoe to the boat and ship, were developed by fishermen and whalers, which is to say hunters, some 20,000 years ago at least, probably 40,000 years ago at the time of the peopling of Australia.
-Cars, including chariots and automobiles, the first being reserved for chiefs and the latter jealously regulated by government agencies have always been objects of government concern.
Not only was every portion of the globe first discovered and peopled by hunters, but all of those concerns most crucial to The State, being the regulation or monopoly of force, food production, drug and alcohol use [1].
A clear minded study of Аrуаn culture must divorce it from Western Civilization. The latter is a mere parasitic process that has used the wanderlust and risk taking intrinsic to the War Band culture [2] as a means of spreading money and management systems around the globe. When U.S. Navy SEALs drop into a small nation and murder its military leaders in order to maintain the Petro-dollar [Iraq, Lybia] we are witness to the most ancient Аrуаn activity functioning in captivity to money management.
In the remaining portions of this narrative I shall attempt to draw hunting, herding and farming threads through the processes of military conquest and civic management that have defined Western Civilization down through the known ages, to the current creative process of transhuman creationism which might consign this legacy to the boneyard of forgotten ages.
-0. Metacomet [1670s], Tecumseh [1810s], Black Hawk [1820s], and Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and Geronimo in the late 1800s, were hunted and betrayed by their own people and enemy tribesmen in service to the civilized invader.
-1. What is a more supra-tribal organization than the ATF, a group of government thugs dedicated to insuring a government monopoly on guns and the world’s two most popular drugs? The Romans did know about Antarctica, see Ovid. Indeed, such agencies have tribal antecedents, such as the Dog Soldiers of the Cheyenne, the Leopard Men of Africa, as well as cross-cultural academic covens such as the Rosicrucian and hybrids such as the Knights Templar.
-2. Аrуаn seems to have been a term that meant “of the war bands,” which our academics have corrupted into “Noble,” which now indicates a degenerate, hereditary class of parasites, rather than the nomadic bands of hunting herders that emerged from the region north and east of the Black Sea in early antiquity.
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posted: November 28, 2023   reads: 570   © 2023 James LaFond
Western Civilization?
Part 1 of 7: The Fate of Western Civilization: 3/6/2023
A prompt from Lynn Lockhart and Clark Savage.
“James, Clark Savage has remarked that he’s taken the final LaFond pill, basically the idea that there is no political solution to societal decline. He tweeted that Western Civ had stage four cancer and needed to get its affairs in order, Someone else joked that Western Civ had been in Mexico buying meds and had squandered the time necessary to get its affairs in order. Where are we, Western Civilization, do you think, on the decline spectrum and how cyclic is this. You have commented before on how the Romans and other empires rebooted.
“Also, how does this relate to the origin and fate of the Аrуаns and to the nomadic impulse implicit in their conquest of the world, and now the very conscious idea that the civilizing of the world was an imperial crime of white supremacy over various martyr races.”
-Lynn, in an editorial call
Lynn, this is most certainly above my pay grade. This is the question I have been asking of the historical record since I think 2016, when I began A Dread Grace, which was an extension of The Broken Dance ancient boxing project and became The Aryas Project. The first volume, Sons of Aryas was finished three years ago and is as many years from publication. This year I intend to take time to edit myself, as we have lost all three series readers for the project and I hope that the intervening years have given some vantage that will make it possible for me to check my own work.
I think that the last few months of 2023 should be dedicated to editing and publishing Sons [1], Beasts [2] and Shrouds [4] with Songs [3] ironically the first in print. This is a hopeless project, in that it entails my listening to hundreds of ancient books multiple times and time is running out. Shrouds, the 4th volume, is the place to consider the trajectory of the Аrуаn thread. Note that Blue-Eyed Daughter of Zeus [in print] and Might [in draft] as well as He: Gilgamesh into the Face of Time [in print] are associated works that bear on this question, as well, as do The First Boxers, The Gods of Boxing and All Power Fighting [all in print], The Boxer Dread [in draft] and by the Wine-Dark Sea [in print] and Of Lions and Men [in print].
This is a good place to try and juggle these parcels of tattered record. I feel as if I must here fail, but will try by making the inquiry as basic as possible. Perhaps, starting with the question what is Western Civilization, is the best place to begin.
Currently three things have been greatly disturbing the people of the nation that have inherited Western Civilization, which is America, the subjects of USG:
-The Eastern European War, which is being reported as having taken the opposite course that last year all news oracles assured USG subjects it would take.
-Global Cooling, due to cosmic cycles, which has taken the opposite course that all science oracles for 40 years have guaranteed would be rampant global warming due to Western Civilization’s rampant sins.
-Trains have not been able to stay on the rails, with 2 wrecking every week, bringing into question the most basic promise of Western Civilization, that industrial supply infrastructure was in place forever and so obsolete that it can be maintained without any work ethic or technological know how.
Of course, these three rock solid truths were lies from the beginning. The beauty of Western Civ, is that since it is based on negation of tradition and truth [1] in return for economic plenty, that the subjects of Western Civ, are willing to exchange their beliefs—even in regard to what is good or bad and true and false—in an instant, provided that they are fed and drugged and relieved of the burden to fight or face foes. So long as Western Civilization maintains the domesticated subject of its plenty in satiated security, that creature will believe anything.
The Shamdemic was a clear test of this fact.
It is my sense, on re examining ancient sources, that Western Civilization is not intrinsically Аrуаn, but Asiatic, and that it has been propelled ever westward, literally into the sunset, leaving physical deserts [2] and moral wastelands [3] Europe behind it as a parasitic entity that has harnessed the Аrуаn instinct to seek virgin pastures and forests in an escape from Asiatic civilization. Once, those Asiatic civilizations were conquered by Аrуаns and their moral toxins poisoned the race. Then that race was used to spread the contagion of economic morality, by which people exchange their religious, racial and cultural identities, even their gender identities, in return for the infinite boon of perpetual sloth.
Is it an accident, that Western Civilization always moved west into uncivilized areas and dies first in those areas civilized the longest?
I see that the mythological record, the historical record, and the physical record once the lies of archaeology have been removed, agree that the civilizations of Egypt and Sumer, which we are told were the first, were not. I do speculate that the Аrуаns of the Caucasus and steppes that conquered the civilizations from India to Egypt and as well the farmers and hunters of Europe, were survivors and/or enemies of an earlier civilization, an age that predated the Younger-Dryas Event of some 11,000 years ago. Specifics of this count have been, and will be discussed as they rise in sources.
One example is Prometheus Bound, in which the god known as Forethought is punished by The Almighty for the crime of giving arts and technology, most significantly “fire” [4]. While enchained and fettered by Strength and Force and the craftsman of Heaven, Prometheus predicts the downfall of the Almighty, who besides representing more than 51% of cosmic power, is primarily known as Time-holder, declaring that Zeus Almighty Time-Holder has but 10,000 years to reign.
Is terrestrial technological civilization something that waxes and wanes between cosmic cycles?
Is it any accident that the ancients placed their long lost civilization in the west, as an Atlantic Civilization?
Is it mere chance that Western Civilization is currently an Atlantic civilization, around which all of the greatest financial centers are placed?
I sit in the Pacific Northwest, as I wonder on these things, acutely aware of the fact that I am at a further outpost of this Western Civilization.
Additionally, as trains fail, climate fails to be our abused slave, and our distant foes decline to follow their script, we are fettered by foes in our midst. Despite, or because of, the general American inability to digest words of more than to syllables, the political left currently rants about “reparations” to redress ancient ills and the premier politician of the right, the Orange Man, now speaks of himself ass an agent of “Retribution.”
These civic actors are reciting from a script narrated by a deeper power, a power that needs no throne. Before returning to where Western Civilization is going, I will attempt a rough attempt at defining what it was, what it is and where it came from, by way of defining elemental human components.
-2. Hunter
-3. Herder
-4. Farmer
-5. Conqueror
-6. Manager
-7. Creator
-1. Religion is the very first casualty of modernity and its overthrow tends to result in articles of the previous faith being portrayed as lies and the precepts of even the most hasty science being raised a perpetual truths.
-2. The Middle East was turned from a lush forest and grassland into a sand scoured desert by no action other than civilization.
-3. Europe has become the seat of post modern hedonism and an invitation center for Islam, which was the foe faith of that entire continent for over 1,000 years.
-4. Think of the applications of fire in modern civilization, from sperm whale oil lamps, to trains, plains and automobiles.
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posted: November 27, 2023   reads: 652   © 2023 James LaFond
Toby & Smooka Bear
American Dog #4
Smooka Bear was the baby of the four Chosen Sons. The two eldest lived afar off doing human things and returned for Snow Time Gifting and snow board sliding once a year. These elder sons of James frightened Toby, eyeing him critically, judging his weight and fitness as if he were some working dog.
Not Toby, who was proud when a son would accuse The Geese of “making Tobes fat.” The Geeze would protest, noting Toby’s status as a refugee from Slanty-Eyed oppression—an economic, political and even dietary refugee—and declare, “Daddy Loves his Bobo, worthless animal that he may be. Toby is African Royalty living off the kindness of his humans!”
Nutsy, the second eldest son would declare, “If I get that fat, just get the vet and have done with it. A country dog should not be fat!”
“Show some respect for the Dark Wing Dog. Mark my words, Tobias is bound for great things!” and James Chosen hugged him.
But none of Toby’s humans hugged him like Smooka Bear. Granted, it was frightening, to have this tall, blond ape who went barefoot in the snow as if he had paws of his own, come up behind him while he was seated waiting patiently for improved food, and carry him off. Smooka Bear would slide his two long, ghostly, ape arms under the shoulders of Toby’s front legs and lift him.
‘This is terrifying,’ Toby thought the first time this happened and Bisquick counseled from her cushioned chair, “Work it Dark Dog. This insane human holds true unbounded affection for you, as well as sympathy for your pathetic plight as a beggar of food and sleeper by the door.”
‘This is frightening!’ Toby panicked inside, his amber eyes misty and his pointy ears askance. In this instance he realized that cats could read thoughts, for Bisquick said to Annie, “Our slave is afraid. When the Smooka cuddles up with the Dark Dog on the floor, show approval.”
“He’s done this to other dogs—"
"There were other dogs?” whined Toby.
“Yaaz,” purred Tuxedo Annie as she slunk towards the carpet by the wood stove where Toby was to be spooned by this towering human. Annie showed approval by the sinuous caress of her black tail and circled behind Smooka and then before Toby, “Work it, slave—this one is still growing and will be improving much food in the place that gives!”
Her claws gleamed slightly and Toby whined, “Okay, but, but, these things are stronger then they look. He could hurt me.”
Granny rocked in the chair and smiled and Mamma Bear sat in the corner chair and approved, as she knitted lace place mats for the special address of gift season food, “Toby loves Smooka Bear—my baby boy is so gentle with the little guy. What do you think he weighs, Smooka?”
“He’s up to sixty pounds Madre. The Geeze has really been putting the feed to him.”
Toby panicked, “Are they fattening me up to eat?”
“No,” assured Bisquick, “I have been here some time, five winters now, and when Benny accidentally kills a dog, they bury him with dignity.”
Annie hissed, “They should raise fat little dogs for me to hunt and eat, dogs with soft ears that whimper under the claw and gush yummy under the fang.”
“Wicked Child of Mine—”
“Lookout” warned Annie and leaped aside, as Benny, having gotten drunk drinking Steel Reserve on the way home from turd herding work, walked past The Geeze, who said, “Welcome home, Son, how was the turd herding day.”
Benny ignored his father and dumped Bisquick off her wooden chair with that plush little cushion that was supposed to be reserved for Granny and tossed aside a silvery can and drawled, “Smooka, what is you doin’ with my runnin’ dog? It is bad enough that The Geeze is making him fat and now you makin’ a lap dog of ‘im?”
“Go away, Benny, Your drunk. You don’t want me to put you in a grapevine and cradle you up until you tap out, do you?”
Annie hissed, “Dark Dog, you truly are the messiah of improved food—these humans have never fought over a dog before!”
“Whatever, Annie, this is scary!”
“Whoa,” started Toby as he was thrown over on the couch by Smooka Bear and the two towering blond apes clinched up before their knitting mother and Granny nibbling on her round, yummy, yellow crackers toasted a deep delicious brown…
As his reverie on Ritz crackers dazed him and Toby began to hope that he would forever be permitted to recline on this couch, Mamma Bear looked at him with such a ‘You are out of place’ gaze, that he slunk down, tail between his legs and found himself beneath his two human buddies, Smooka Bear and Benny Bear as they wrestled on their feet.
Mamma Bear shouted, sitting as she was nearly underneath the towering apes, “James, do something!”
James had been shuffling cards at the table, a look of sorrow on his face, and he yelled, “Sons!”
The two young apes stopped seeking to grab a hold of each other in some way more wicked then the rest and their father declared, “No closed fists in the house. Have some respect for Mamma Bear. Tobias is the referee.”
‘What is a referee?’ wondered Toby.
Annie hissed, “You encourage the combat and declare the victor.”
The boys were looking at their father and James was looking at Toby, and then he understood and barked, “Fight, fight, fight!”
Slaps were heard by Toby as he pranced around, hackles up, and barked when the apes got too near Granny in the Chair. Then, Benny Bear scooped up Smooka like Annie would a sparrow, lifted him over head, and slammed him down on the wooden floor with a crash right in front of Mamma Bear who peeped and cringed.
Annie declared, “That was definitive. I’d have his throat out already. Declare the victor before a food improving paw is damaged.”
Toby was on the case. Smooka Bear, though Toby loved him, was under his bigger brother and being served up the loser’s portion. There was really nothing else to do but pile on and lay the enamel on that Smooka Bear!
Benny was cradling Smooka who was on his back and was sneaky like trying to reverse his misfortune by placing a hand out to the side that could be used for leveraging up and rolling his brother over, and that hand—the wrist portion that is—tasted good as Toby lunged in with a vicious snarl and grabbed that Smooka paw and shook so convincing that the fight stopped as Smooka looked at Toby with disbelief and Benny stood and raised his hands, “The HNC referee has declared the winner!”
Toby released Smooka’s paw unharmed—just a little red—and stood on his hind feet aprance to bask in the adoration of Benny Bear. Benny grabbed him and placed Toby on his shoulders and danced a gig about the living room as James laughed and Smooka brushed himself off as Benny declared, “Tobes and The champ are goin’ ta Burger King for a bacon cheeseburger—how ‘bout that Tobes!”
“Hells yeah!” barked Toby from that broad set of shoulders. Driving in Benny’s truck to the window for a burger was Toby’s favorite event. He had become something of a celebrity to the human bitches that dispensed the food. These creatures would fawn on Toby and reserve him two special pieces, of yummy, delicious, greasy, scrumptious, salty, double delicious bacon!
Mamma Bear cautioned, “James, he’s been drinking?”
“Son?” warned James.
Benny smiled a smile of purest innocence as the cats looked on with a keen interest in Benny, “Awe, don’t worry Geese, I finished off the Steel Reserve on the way home—none left ta drink.”
Then did dawn one of Toby’s greatest adventures…
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posted: November 26, 2023   reads: 367   © 2023 James LaFond
Toby & Mamma Bear
American Dog #3
Mamma Bear wakes to the world and smells flowers, hears bid songs and babbling brooks, sees butterflies and green fields, and thinks of the good that will be brought each day.
Toby wakes to that same world and smells food too good for him to sample more of a taste, wild animals that want of him to taste, hears dread songs singing down the Mountain and monstrous hooves muddying still waters, sees coyote and giant cat tracks hunting him by night, and tries to put off the fears that yawn abysmal with each dawning day.
Thus, Mamma Bear is Toby’s hope, his comfort, the ray of sunlight that might possibly overcome the world’s wicked blight.
Toby has been told by his master, his human benefactor, James Chosen, that his chief responsibility is the protection of Mamma Bear, and, secondarily, Granny in the Chair, Mamma Bear’s own mother.
In actuality, Toby delegates these responsibilities to Smooka Bear, who is usually home, is tall and fearless as an ape can be, is handy with the food and the door and does not have the dread sense that informs Toby that bad things are forever creeping upon them.
James and Benny Bear spend most of every day away, toiling for crueler and more important humans just as Toby toils on behalf of cats.
There is something about the rising tone of Mamma Bear’s voice, when she sings at the organ to wake Granny in the Chair, when she calls for Toby, “Come, Toby, come on, boy!” that ignites anew a passion for doing good and winning approval within Toby’s haunted soul.
None of the many chapters of Toby’s adventuresome life can be told complete without understanding his complete emotional dependence upon the wife of James Chosen, who rescued him and brought Toby home to her.
Toby has ear issues, stemming, he has been told, from those Slanty-Eyed Devils basting him in the meat shop with some proprietary dog marinade. When Toby’s ears hurt, Mamma Bear brings Toby cotton swabs, a cottony cloth, ear cleaner and ear-feel-better ointment. Three times a week the Slanty-Eyed Devil marination disease is kept at bay by Mamma Bear’s kind ministration. Unfortunately, this permits Toby to hear better the many dreadful sounds of the world.
One of the cues that Toby’s creator lacks kindness is that he was born with chronic dry skin, most chronically on his rear haunches, and that he was not provided with a third set of paws for scratching this terrible itch. Mamma Bear gives Toby a bath every week with a skin soothing shampoo, not dunking him in the pond or the creek, but washing him in the family bath tub.
Additionally. Mamma Bear must realize that some terrible breeds of monster stalks Toby, some by day and others by night. For she sweeps up his coarse black hairs from inside the house in order that the slathering fiends that hunt for black dogs in this country will not easily locate his bed, or come up from the bowels of the earth with great digging claws to drag Toby into the abyss from his spot by the wood stove. Here, Toby rests his chin on the warm flint flags under the house warming oven.
All such places he frequents and leaves hair trace, Mamma Bear sweeps clean to conceal his hiding places.
His favorite hiding place is under the dining room table at James’ feet. He feels safe here. Then there is the foot of Smooka Bear’s bed.
When Annie bullies Toby out of his bed and reclines there in feline majesty, Mamma Bear will occasionally grab the cat and toss it outside so that Toby might have his place back.
Then there are Toby’s paws. Toby has big black paws with glassy black nails and a very strong dew claw. He worries about his distinctive paws, that they might give him away to those who hunt him, either by sound or trace. Toby forever nibbles at his nails to keep them short and licks his paws in hopes disguising his tracks.
When he does so, the sign that Mamma Bear loves him, the red heart tag jingling upon his soft leather collar inscribed with his American name, makes a soft metal song and helps dampen the slathering thirst that the very mountain harbors for Toby’s black hide.
Mamma Bear gives Toby the occasional leather bone and summons him to walk about the homestead with her, both of them lacking confidence in their ability to combat the horrors of the forest alone, but feeling stronger together.
There is only one thing that Mamma Bear get angry about—peeing on her things, to include her flowers, vegetable garden, fire wood, stairs, porch and other exterior portions of the house. On this count Mamma Bear will even rise up against her husband, James.
It is good, James has declared, to pee on mole holes, and to pee on snow piles. When James starts drinking beer after dinner, he and Toby step into the yard and police the moles in this way.
A few beers later, James will stop at the driveway edge and pee on the pavement, Toby doing likewise, lifting his leg on the least offensive blade of grass or leaf that might have found purchase on the pavement, but generally peeing on Annie’s kill of the day, whatever little creature it might have been, tossed on the driveway.
A few beers later, when night had come shroud like down, James would go to the edge of the porch and pee out onto the driveway, which would bring a cry of protest from Mamma Bear. Toby did not take such chances. For one, he feared being abandoned by Mamma bear and for another, he did not want the monsters to know he was in the house by marking the outside of it. Rather, he peed as far away from the house as he could summons the courage to.
Mamma Bear was forceful when necessary. Once, when the Stray Human [subject of future chapters] was drinking a great many glasses of beer with his master, James just opened the door to the porch and began to pee out on the porch, to which Mamma Bear responded by shoving her husband out the door and off the porch.
Lesson learned, no matter how fearful Toby was of the monsters stalking him, he would never pee on any exterior portion of Mamma Bear’s house—ever.
Toby loves Mamma Bear and whines deeply whenever he hears her musical voice.
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posted: November 25, 2023   reads: 393   © 2023 James LaFond
‘Truth to Power’
A Musing on Might and Right: 4/11/2023
A side bar on the Fate Western Civilization.
Nothing has seen more doomed and at once trivial to me then the stock phrase “truth to power,” as if power is somehow allergic to the facts of life, when it is the central fact of life. I understand the impulse resulting from the realization that power in the modern world is projected upon a screen of lies, to point out Oz behind his curtain—if it were a kindly old cook behind that curtain. But that curtain conceals those most ruthless of men. For any who point out these actors, one must trust to their anonymity and their knowledge that the vast majority of our fellows will believe whatever is cast upon the screen, or end up as the next mass killer.
Truth to power is nothing more than the rabbit saying “I see you” to the hawk in the tree, the cat in the grass, or the fox in the woods. I only pursue the study of social power as a means of providing context for the two history investigations I am conducting: Аrуаn Legacy and Plantation America, the former as a means of understanding our foundational mythic poetics, and the latter an accident of fiction research.
Based on the Dancing White Monkey podcast, Vaxx Zombie DeGaulle called me and had some additional questions about power that he hoped I could address without using fiction or referring myth, as he finds these genres clutter his analytic search for the truth about power. This is a symptom of mass mind conditioning that about 2 3rds of my readers suffer from. You see, every human used to be able to grasp the world and how power works through mythic poetics, through fiction. For, the greedy king that caused a war in antiquity will be dead by the time the poem has passed its hundredth set of lips. But a mythic king, represents all kings down through history. But in Modernity, the use of fiction in its many forms to steer the mind into believing in one or the other lies of our false polarity, has had the effect of casting out from narrative and story, the most skeptical minds incapable of swallowing the lie, baring them from accessing most of the messages prepared by old timers and ancients for us.
Having a message in a bottle jammed into our mail box every day [newspapers] and now every time we turn on the TV or log on, has rendered us largely uninterested in the bottle that washes up on the sewer-stained shore that was once pristine—and we leave it there.
A half hour later, Lynn called me with a prompt about the tendency to fixate on the Anglo aspect of Plantation America. This was congruent in that Vaxx Zombie had wondered about “the Anglo, white thing,” in that the men who developed the world straddling system we now live under created a thing that now demands the removal of their very type, their descendants.
I see this in part as a transhuman evolution, whereby Doctor Frankenstein creates his monster and then the monster naturally turns on him, developing more empathy in the hearts of others than we can summon for the Doctor.
On the other hand, it is simple economy of scale pushing down through Time and eventually wrecking the platform.
It is a fact that the Anglo thing is not really Anglo, but hybrid. England was conquered by French speaking Northmen from Normandy, in 1066, who did not even bother speaking English for the first 200 years of their rule. By 1216 the Norman King had even abdicated his responsibility to defend his own knight’s wives and children from being sold into slavery to alien creditors. What we call the Anglo Sphere, was anti-Christian and anti-ethnic from 1216. By 1776 we have the following quote, in English, by mixed-race, mixed-faith American Civic Nationalists:
“We, the representatives of the freemen of Pennsylvania, in general convention met, for the express purpose of framing such a government, confessing the goodness of the great Governor of the universe (who alone knows to what degree of earthly happiness mankind may attain, by perfecting the arts of government) in permitting the people of this State, by common consent, and without violence, deliberately to form for themselves such just rules as they shall think best...
“V. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; and not for the particular emolument or advantage of any single man, family, or sort of men, who are a part only of that community…”
-Constitution of Pennsylvania - September 28, 1776 
Do note that this government is not for any “sort of men,” and that government itself is regarded as holding utopian promise “by perfecting the arts of government”.
This is the animating stroke of lightning, the ignition of Leviathan’s heart, the awakening of the self aware civic cyclops.
Between the 1540s and 1830s, the British had been displacing Irish from Ireland, bringing in Protestant English, Germans and Scotch while the Irish, roughly 70% of the population were exterminated. These replacements named them selves Irish! This was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, some science fiction horror. By the 1830s, as the Brits were set to once again wipe out most of the genetic Irish, the breakaway American Anglo rulers, wanted some Irish. [See Asbury, Gangs of New York.] Irish were brought in for decades, out of the land that they were being replaced in, to replace and battle “English American “nativists,” “copperheads” “johnny rebs” and “planters” all in the name of economy of scale against their own English race.
Once a sate is in place, even a state founded under ethnic auspices, those in power will reach outside of their internal ethnic matrix to bring in alien police:
-Sudanese police over Egyptians
-Scythian police over Athenians
-German guards over Romans
-Nigerian, Turkish and Chinese nationals policing NYC
-Baltimore City, Maryland has a police force of which 71% are not Baltimore residents! Many of these cops live in Pennsylvania!
It is power 101, choices that any person at the helm of the Ship of State will make once placed in steerage.
In terms of explaining pure power, with a modern context, for the reader who has not read primary sources, particularly any one who has had their brains scrambled reading post WWII history and economics, my favorite sources are:
-1. Herodotus, this is indecipherable to the schooled modern mind, so while it is the best, skip it for last, as the entire academy has structured itself to attack Herodotus for the crime of being the Father of Inquiry. In terms of ancient History, Herodotus is the messenger who has been targeted for character assassination for the crime of truth.
-2. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon is a master work by the most brilliant mind of the Plantation Age, a man who believes in raising and feeding and worshiping Leviathan. This is a study of the failed Roman Leviathan by a member of the Anglo Leviathan Academy, a study of the past’s greatest empire intended as an education in governance for his peers, who administered and advised those who administered the greatest empire the world had ever seen, upon which the sun famously failed to set.
-3. The Prince, by Nicoli Machivelli, for those who lack the time or attention span necessary for Gibbon.
-4. Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War as a study on revolutionary politics.
-5. Xenophon’s Hellenica and Anabasis as a study on military politics.
I hope this reading list helps. Do not read any modern forward on these works or any abridged edition. Such overtures are written to obstruct and direct your reading away from your purpose.
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posted: November 24, 2023   reads: 899   © 2023 James LaFond
Silver Gate of Wormz
Crag Mouth #10: Interlude
Old White ranges the Silver Gate of Wormz, which is the winding canyon track pass wending ever upward among the crags towards The Keens of the Scarlet Kells. Most of his time is spent collecting fire wood from the surrounding mountains, to include evergreen boughs for his bedding and tea. He hunts in the taigia north of the Scarlet Mountains, and 2 in 6 portions of his time is spent away there, leaving only Eesh, his son by Bess Long, behind.
Old White keeps this path as his toll road, demanding gifts. He prefers food, beer and trinkets, the latter which he hopes to form into a great collection to woo Bess Long. A day’s trek up into the towering peaks where the air thins, Old White has made a wooden gate of pole pine lashed with rawhide wedged between the narrowest portion of the trail, being three paces, or a good spear length, one pace for Old White, who is as large as Big Crag but less agile and lame in one arm.
He stands behind the gate while his grog, Eesh, crouched above on a rocky platform with a boulder to squash offenders on the west side of the gate. From the east side, Old White speaks, haltingly, slurring, with a perpetual mumble, not as articulate as Red or Big Crag. The latter has maimed Old White, his jaw broken and imperfectly healed and his left shoulder half lame, that arm barely as strong as that of a strong man. He keeps a large stone that he throws under-handed with his left and a great club that he wields one-handed with his right.
Eesh is the oldest grog in the mountains, the son of a nomad woman from the north, who was the woman who transformed his sire and who died in childbirth. He is gray, nearly as hairy as a skunk ape, has a wide square head and sings beautifully but never speaks, only communicating in song in the nomad language of the north, which he learned form one of their shaman, who fostered him for Old White.
Old White is lonely for human company and remains in love of Bess Long, who he released, [1] but hopes to draw back into his lair with his great collection of trinkets, feathers and art [being chalk and dye portraits of Bess on the cave walls]. Any who agree to view the back portion of his cave where he has made a chamber for Bess, and decorated it to the best of his ability, even attempting a rude cabin within the recess, [2] will be escorted past the Silver Worm by Old White, who knows the incantation to stay the keen of the steely beast. Old White had been a shaman of his kind, a Feathered Contrary, once, before transforming. Old White will ask those who take his leave to speak with Bess on his behalf. Not only is Old White afraid of Ranger Jon, he has promised Bess that he would not harm her human husband.
Orl Phane, malformed monstrous son of Bess and Old White, will aid his father against any evil acts by the adventurers. If Big Crag is still active behind them, Orl Phane will enlist his sire to aid the party.
In order to access The Keens of the Scarlet Kells, wayfarers must take the canyon, situated at about 9,000 feet, up through a tunnel. If it is snowing they may require Eesh and Old White to push the snow for them, which is accomplished with short timbers once cut for a mine and evenly planed. At the highest point, Silver Wormz Pass, where the lower mountains and, the Red Hills, the Willows, the rolling plains beyond to the west, the greater cedar forest to the east and the bog to the south may all be seen in the lower distance, is a tunnel.
This tunnel descends and appears to have been made by man, with timbers still bracing the entrance. A point of light may be seen at the lower distance, down a 15% grade of perhaps sixty paces.
The tunnel is three paces wide. Halfway in, is a silver-chased, steel dragon head embedded in the right hand wall, looking like, the head of a battering ram, which it was. There is a cone like ear on the left hand wall just before this menacing device. Old White and Eesh know than incantation and will speak it for gift bringers and others who have proven friends of them, rescuers of Orl Phane [who also knows the incantation].
The incantation is whispered in a language unknown to humanity, it being the hoots of the Skunk Ape, and prevents the head of the ram from keening. The keening of the dragon head causes a save versus charisma or will. Failure results in abject panic and flight back to Willow Hamlet. Success results in The Keening of the Scarlet Kells described in the next and final encounter, cursing the survivor and reversing the boons granted by the Kells. The latter should be done to effect a quest for a further adventure, placing them in the position of redemption, not ruin the character.
Characters that flee to Willow Hamlet will not be molested by any creatures as they will be regarded as cursed. The people of the hamlet will be kind and understanding and seek to induct the shaken adventurer to join their community. A consultation with Lisa Dream Catcher can purge the fear and panic and enable a return to the Tunnel of Silver Wormz.
The Keens of the Scarlet Kells are all that remain of this adventure unpublished. The complete work may be had from the author at by emailing him at ϳаmeslа at gmа
Crag Mouth was re-plotted in memory of Randy Boyer, and play tested by Felix, age 14 and Dominic age 12, in Portland, Oregon in March of 2023.
-1. Bess Long actually cares for Old White, is terrified that she might abandon her ranger husband for a return to the mountains and feels an abiding guilt for leaving her malformed son, Orl Phane, half-orphaned. If she knew that Orl Phane was being held by Big Crag, she would assist the party in gaining the help of Old White, via a mountain goat track that only She, Eesh and Old White know of. This track traces due north from the point where the Red Hills and Hide Forest meet and comes down to Silver Wormz Pass at the point where Eesh camps on clear nights above the gate.
-2. Old White is making a sincere and ham-fisted attempt at appointing a living space that could be tolerated by a woman. The main portion of his cave is drafty and hung with bison and mammoth hides, with a great pile of various hides where he and Eesh sleep, between the fire pit and the back recess where he hopes Bess will return. Old White moans by night and sniffles by day.
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posted: November 23, 2023   reads: 833   © 2023 James LaFond
Stonnish Dens
Crag Mouth #9
This is the lair of Big Crag, the Stonnish Giant, inhabited by nine of his grogs, who but visit to bring food and wives, tend his armor, comb his hide [part of the same task] and polish his great sword of ivory. Big Crag addresses each grog, first as “grog” followed by “Son” when pleased, “son of a wench,” when in need or haste and in matter of fact command, and when angry or displeased, “son of a witch.”
Like other Stonnish Giants, he may also communicate in hoots to Skunk Apes and Feathered Contrary. Big Crag is the most powerful of his kind, is surly and uncompromising, reacts in rage to fear of strength and contempt of weakness in the same measure, and should be stat blocked in such a way as to be equal in combat ability to the adventuring party. Fighting grogs and their sire will be a terrible mistake. The grogs should be befriended, outwitted, seduced, charmed or bribed. [0]
Weaker parties might be captured and cast into the lower cavern, [see below] giving them a wit’s chance after Big Crag celebrates drinking contrary berry juice and arguing with his pet grisly. An individual could be given an advantage by Big Crag having just feasted, gotten drunk, or mated with his unfortunate bride, one of which is ever in stock, his grogs devoted to keeping him supplied on threats that he would demote them to wife!
The first chamber is lit by a brazier set in the floor, with the walls literally lined with fire wood. A stair rises into a higher cave, improved with the mason’s art, and winds up to the east.
The eastern wind of stair rises southward, to the right, and empties into an abandoned armory, lit by 2 cressets next to the entrance way. The chamber is vaulted from a natural cavern and is 40 feet wide and 200 feet deep. The north and south walls are each lined with 6 round shields with brass bosses. The west wall has a rack of 12 spears. The east wall is hung with 12 battle axes. The grogs do not use these weapons as they are their sire’s trophies, what formerly armed the ancient garrison. Aim, however, lusts after being armed like a man, and will take a chance for or against his sire to so arm himself and do battle like a man.
A set of double doors top a short stair to the south.
These doors pull open and reveal a widening flight of ten foot high stairs opening into a vaulted cavern. At the top a 20 foot wide open doorway is flanked by two cressets.
The cavern is Big Crag’s throne room, 40 foot deep 20 foot wide vaulted chamber, again an improved cavern.
Two great stacked stone pillars are ten feet in on either side of the doorway.
Big Crag, possessed of acute Skunk Ape hearing, will always make his way to his throne to great a visitor, even one he regards as an invader. The Stonnish Giant reeks terribly, regarding it as humiliating to bathe off blood, gore or the fluids of love. He is a rapacious sex fiend and will seek to capture and rape any female.
His great Mammoth Tusk saber and shield are on either side of his throne. However, if dealing with a single male opponent he will opt to throw these weapons and then close to rend and bite. His greatest joy is to bite the head off of a man and eat it raw while the eyes yet see into his maw!
To his left is chained his pet grisly bear, who he will attempt to throw secondary foes to while he seeks to bite the head from the primary foe.
To the right is his great hanging of mutton, elk and bison, smoking over the hearth attended by one of his grogs constantly. Big Crag has no idea why he coughs so much. Fire wood lines the wall, wood of various kinds for smoking meat.
In the center of the west wall is a carven tunnel of 8 feet in height and 4 feet in width, which is difficult for Big Crag to get through.
At the end of the hall on the left is a fir plank door that opens into a lantern lit chamber only 12 feet high, vented in the ceiling to a natural fissure. This chamber will be occupied by a slave girl, who is not chained, as escape from the mountain is impossible for a barefoot woman. She occupies a bed heaped with hides and blankets, which has been broken by Big Crag’s rude attention to his captives. The conditions are as follows:
-1. fresh caught and raped runaway slave girl
-2. fresh caught and raped slave girl, newly pregnant
-3. 3 months pregnant
-4. 6 months pregnant
-5. giving birth to monstrous child, all sterile males, save 1 in 16 fertile demon apes
-6. broken in and rocking her little monster ape baby in a cradle made of broken chairs lashed together by Toot Grog, who is the midwife in these parts.
The attractiveness of this woman, to a human man should be made on a 2d6 roll, with 11 and 12 re-rolled, for a rating of 2 thru 10. Slave girls who are 1s have their head bitten off by Big Crag after the first date, so they do not exist.
These women will be eager for rescue, except on a roll of 6, in which case they actually love the cruel giant. Various junk, coins and trinkets, treasured as prizes by Big Crag, are heaped in the corner behind the door, before the cradle, the bed taking up most of the small room.
Five paces further down the dead end hall, on the north, or right wall, is a tunnel, not carven, but an extension of the natural cavern complex, which winds down. This debouches into a small cavern with a spring in it, where the bones of various dead wives and unfortunate infants, largely the result of disastrous births, are curated in a touching shrine by one Orl Phane. [1]
Orl Phane is the youngest of Bess Long’s two sons with Old White, the elder, Bee’s Wax, having been killed by Big Crag. He is half brother to and on fair terms with Aim and Spy, he being smarter than either and able to play them off against each other. He has a very wide head, with knobs on his temples suggestive of horns that did not properly grow. His ears are over large and apish and used by his captor as handles while he makes empty threats towards Bess Long and Ranger Jon and lies about Old White not loving him. Orl Phane has atrophied legs which he must drag along, only able to sit on them. His arms are so strong and long he can move as quickly as a human swinging his dead legs along.
Big Crag has trained his pet grisly, artfully named Big Grizz, to hate Orl Phane, and promises to unchain Big Grizz to track him if he should run, not trusting his grogs not to be outwitted by the sly Orl Phane, who is more intelligent than most humans and has a kind voice. He has made a stone knife, which he may use in his right hand as he swings in a circle off of his big, hairy left hand. He has also fashioned a loin cloth and shirt, unlike the naked hairy grogs of “the general herd,” as he calls them, where he hide three stone darts that he fletched with eagle feather. He is the “Royal Tailor” as he says, making hide garments for the wives of his captor.
Orl Phane would like to visit Bess Long and would like to live with Old White. He might assist a party on the verge of defeat, or assist a defeated captive tossed into the cavern, where Big Crag does not enter for fear of being stuck. Orl Phane is fed scraps of food in return for cleaning up after Big Grizz while Big Crag takes the bear for a daily walk on his chain. This would be the worst time for a party to happen by the fort, between dawn and the second hour of the day, when they would have to deal with the giant and his pet bear. They walk up the rock slide just to the north of the crag and look down over the world they resent, afraid of the bullshit magic arrows of Ranger Jon.
This information could be gleaned from a sympathetic interaction with a disgruntled grog or with Red.
-0. Bess Long will know about the poor treatment of Big Crag’s grogs and of course, of the captivity of Orl Phane and be eager to impart this information to the party, though modest about her parentage of Orl Phane, Spy and Aim. Ranger Jon will suggest parlaying with grogs to gain an audience with Big Crag, which would only be attended by one grog, as they are only permitted entrance to his room one at a time.
-1. In the original dungeon, Orl Phane was a gnome played by Randy Boyer.
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posted: November 22, 2023   reads: 889   © 2023 James LaFond
Crag Mouth Heap
Crag Mouth #8
Crag Mouth is an old toll fort built to control the silver mines in the mountains above in Olden Times. Once The Keening of The Scarlet Kells began, the mine and fort were abandoned. Both became the center of monstrous births, where Skunk Apes, who became possessed by The Keening of The Kells, absconded with their human brides, sired grogs upon them, and thereby suffered a monstrous transformation which increased their size, granted limited human articulation, and increased their intelligence. [1]
The mountain side trail, literally cut into the stone along the path of a goat trace, is between one and three paces wide the entire way, with red and black stone soaring 500 to 1000 feet to the right and east. To the left and west, is a red cliff, gorge, impassible except by Skunk Apes, Stonnish Giant, Grogs and the most nimble rogues. The sheer cliffs plunge from 100 to 2,000 feet down to the left, and in most places are too steep even for the above mention primates to scale.
Three rockslides break the this carven track and make a chute of tumbled boulders and rocks that are hazardous for humans and horses to cross, but are like a highway from high to low elevation for cats, bears, goats and apekind. These are the likely places for ambush and a place to access the mountain tops.
The fort itself is a stone-walled camp built on a natural ledge with a cold spring, under a natural wind-carved stone arch of black rock. From a distance, the black arch, with the jagged red stone wall broken by the sharpened log gate, appears as something of a stony mouth, and hence its name.
The south wall is 20 paces from cliff to cliff. The 12 foot high wall is easily scaled and is of stacked sand stone with iron cressets on either side of the gate. There is a stone stair and 8-pace-long stone ledge cat walk behind the wall, on either side of the 4-pace-wide gate. The gate is barred with a timber beam. One grog is on watch here:
-1. Very alert, afraid of his sire and eager to prove himself
-2. Awake and wondering about his next meal
-3, 4, 5. Sleeping, dreaming about his next meal
-6. Sulking over being beaten by his sire, despairing of his next meal, and inclined to abandon his post.
This is the mountain side camp of The Sons of Big Crag, nine grogs, all half brothers, two being full brother, Aim and Spy, the monstrous sons of Bess Long, [1] who command the rest, the younger brothers. Aim is the eldest and his conception was the occasion for Big Crag’s transformation into a Stonnish being. The seven other Grogs include, Toot, the nephew of Big Crag, and 6 various grogs, called by their brutal sire, only ‘Grog.’ These grogs were all sired on runaway slave girls that Big Crag mistreated until they died of injuries, abuse, terror or suicide. Big Crag rules through fear, whereas his rivals, Old White who loves his last remaining sons, and Red, who has a clannish affinity with his sons, lead different lives outside of the storied fort of Crag Mouth.
The camp is 20 paces by 20 paces to the stone arch.
To the right is a hide roofed wood shed.
To the left, next to the cliff, is a log cabin bunk house, three paces wide by 9 paces long, occupied by 1-3 grogs.
1-3 grogs are on patrol on the mountain and down in the Red Hills.
1 grog is attending his sire within the dungeon.
The ground is bare stone.
To the left of the bunk house is a set of crap holes above the sheer droop to the river 500 feet below.
Under the black stone arch, harder than the red stone around it, a fountain bubbles out of the mountain and carves a small stony channel 2 feet deep which plunges over the cliff in a water fall. The arch is 30 feet high where it attaches to the mountain.
On the north side of the arch, ten more paces bring the wayfarer to a shorter wall, built in the same fashion with a like gate, guarded by no one.
To the left is a 12 by 12 foot log cabin where Spy and Aim live. One of these are supposed to be away leading a patrol. They are fortunately as lazy as their sire, who never leaves his lair when he has a woman to ravish or a kill to eat.
-1. Spy is home, wondering about the possibilities of life among humans and with his mother.
-2. Aim is home, wondering if he would be accepted by Skunk Apes.
-3. Cabin is empty
-4. Both are home, arguing.
-5. Both are home dicing and drinking.
-6. Both are home sleeping.
To the right, a stone staircase, lit by two cressets, rises up into a drafty cave mouth that has been improved with masonry tools by beings far more inclined to work than the lazy grogs. The cave mouth is worked in the shape of a harp frame, a final attempt by the ancients to appease the Keening of the Kells that rose in anger over the silver mine above and drove the garrison to one by one cast themselves over the cliff side. The language is carved into the mountain side:
“Oh Madams Three, Have Mercy on We Graceless Wee.”
It is very possible, if the grogs can be bi-passed, to simply steal by the fort and head upward towards the Kells, those higher, snow-clad mountain peaks from whence an awful howling keen can be heard wafting down, even, and especially when, there is no wind to make a sound.
The north gate does creak terrible not when opened, but when closed behind.
On a die roll of 1d6:
-1, 2. No pursuits
-3, 4. delayed pursuit, the grogs consulting with their sire.
-5. Immediate trackers, one above and one behind.
-6. Flat out pursuit. On a second roll of 5 or 6, Big Crag will participate.
-1. In my original teenage version these were ogres producing half ogre scions who officered orks under their ogre master. For a traditional campaign I suggest that the Kells cause ogres that mate with women to become superior examples of their kind, approaching a Stone Giant in intelligence but as tal as and more slightly built than a hill giant.
-2. Bess Long was taken to wife by Old White, the Stonnish Giant displaced in battle and exiled to guard The Keens of the Scarlet Kells. When Big Crag defeated Old White he took Bess, a runaway from Barrier Town, and sired two sons on her. Old White sent his grog by Bess, Orl Phane, to beg for her release, and Big Crag imprisoned Orl Phane, inspiring Bess to flee. Big Crag sentenced Bess to death and sent his and sent his younger brother, Little Crag, to hunt her down and bring back her head. Bess escaped with the help of was rescued Aim and Spy, who remained loyal enough to their sire not to escort her. She was rescued by Ranger Jon, who slew Little Crag and still holds his ear as a trophy. Ranger Jon holds all Stonnish as enemies. Ranger Arn has parleyed with all three giants on behalf of Bess and has woven such a legend of death dealing about Ranger Jon, that all three of the giants live in terror of the man who can loose arrows that loop around entire mountains to find their target. This is, of course, bullshit. But Jon did put an arrow through Little Crag’s throat and send his head up the mountain with Toot Grog, Little Crag’s only son.
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posted: November 21, 2023   reads: 982   © 2023 James LaFond
The North Track
Crag Mouth #7
The Willows
Ranger Arn and Eda Berry hold lore on The Willows.
The Willows are pleasant to the eye and seductive to the ear, the rush of the Scarlet River below filtering up through the weeping branches of the willows and the hanging boughs of Weeping Spruce. There is little ground cover other than moss, fern and black berry. The margins of the Forest and the willows are dominated by vine maple, which Jailer Joe favors for whipping rods, being light and hard.
Numerous small seeps and brooks drain the higher forest and hills to east and north. The bull moose that bed down in The Willows tend to be very violent due to their berry intake and will attack wayfarers on a 3 in 6. Moose cows and their young avoid The Willows.
The problem with the Willows is also its allure, The Contrary Berry. These appear like black berry, with thick, thorny stalks, fronted by two creeping vines that wend along the ground and tend to trip passers bye. The Contrary Berry has a deeper purple to black fruit that fruits all year round. Its thorns are red and its creeper vines aggressive and ever seeking the track. These vines are vampiric, able to dart like snakes and bite with leech-like, white mouths at the end of each vine.
The bite of the vine does no damage. The bitten must save verses poison or spend a number of hours, equal to the margin of failure in constant disagreement with their fellows. Eating the berry has the same effect. Eda gathers these berries for sale to Border Town, where the Sheriff sells them through agents in Overwatch. These are valued by sorcerers, hangmen, inquisitors, alchemists and wytchfinders in their various pursuits. Durst purchases these berries for making Debate Night Wine, during which tavern goers, two chosen by lot, will be compelled to drink a thimble full and then argue upon the subject posited by the crowd.
The Red Hills
Ranger Bob and Hiedi Eggs hold lore on the Red Hills.
The low range of sand stone and clay hills, shelved in ochre colored slate is inhabited by wild and feral goats, gray lions and patrolled by rangers and their enemies, the Grogs and Stonish Giants. The hills are covered with scrub oak, big tooth maple and lone, towering, black bark pines.
Grogs [1] are the bastard monstrous births resulting from the rape of human women by Stonish Giants [2] or Skunk Apes [3]. Some suggest, that a Skunk Ape transforms into a Stonish Giant upon impregnating a woman. These ape men are confirmed bachelors. Once they have abducted and impregnated a woman, and she gives birth, that woman will be found a year later where the track down out of the Red Hills debouches into the vine maple between the Hide Forest and The Willows.
Grogs know who their mother is by scent and will not harm her. Both Hiedi and Eda have been abducted as have one of Durst’s slave girls. Bess has three grog sons but will not admit it. They are normal height men, extremely broad, with strength and toughness at the top 10% of the human range. They have a penalty to hit for throwing missiles, which are rocks and clubs, but do excessive damage. Their weapons are simple rocks and clubs. They dress in goat hides and fleece, with mutton their favorite meat.
Grogs have an ability to bite and rend for half a die of damage and are excellent climbers and cannot be outrun by a man. They do not seem as intelligent as their human parent, nor as wise and cunning as their Stonish parent. They are sterile 15 out of 16 cases. If this odd 16th Grog manages to mate with a woman he will transform into a Stonish giant and challenge his father. These creatures are called Grogs for their perpetual bloodshot eyes and their thirst for alcohol, which makes them more violent but impedes their mobility and already dim wits. Grogs are encountered like so as determined on a 1d6:
-1, 2, or 3: 1 grog, scouting
-4 or 5: 2 grogs, hunting
-6. 3 grogs, raiding for women for their lusty Sire
Stonish giants encountered in the Red Hills will withdraw into the Scarlet Mountains. [There are only two of these, Red and Big Crag. All three are known on sight to the Rangers and by name to Arn.]
The Scarlet Mountains
Ranger Jon ranges the Scarlet Mountains, while Arn and Bob avoid the depths of the range, skirting the lower shoulders of the mountains. The red rock and iron stone striations of these mountains are crowned with evergreen: pitch pine, black pine, pole pine and fir. Aspen and larch clothe the lower saddles of these rugged mountains.
Ordinary wildlife include, grisly bear, bison, black tail deer, gray lion, a pack of wolves, mountain goats, elk and bison. The wolf pack have a truce with the grogs and Stonish Giants.
The Great Stote ranges the Scarlet Mountains and has no natural predator. These will not attack a Stonish Giant but will attempt to feed on lone Grogs. Grogs are loyal to those who render aid, and if saved from a Great Stote would make a reliable ally, though they will not raise a hand against their Sire in less mated with a woman and tarnsformed.
The Great Stote is 6 to 9 feet tall, a giant flightless starling, a solitary animal that uses its beak to stab and then suck out the lungs and brains and other innards of mammals. It is the apex predator of these bleak mountains and the reason why grizzly bears behave more like mountain lions, sometimes pouncing on these wicked birds from cover. 2 of 3 of these birds have pouches, where they keep their single egg, and then their chick, which will be released as a Minor Stote in the Cedar Forest, someday to range the mountains above.
A Stonish Giant is a transformed Skunk Ape, more gray and white than brown and black and red of hair. He has had intercourse with a human woman and has had his mind expanded in the encounter. He has a hatred for men that replaces the fear of men of a Skunk Ape. He is as intelligent as an average man and apes mankind in his arts, making swords and axes of wood and bone, knives of stone and even fashioning armor.
Armor is made by taking bones, inscribed with symbols by the owner or a Feathered Contrary. These bone plates are then woven into the thick fur coat of the giant making of his own hide a kind of scale coat. It is one of the chief occupations of the Grog at rest to make, add to, repair and dress his Sire’s coat of bone. The skulls of slain enemies, to include bull bison and grisly bear, are treasured for armor scales. Bison heads are preferred for fashioning great, shaggy horned helmets.
There are three Stonish Giants in the Scarlet Mountains.
Red, is the smallest and has red hair, and only has three grogs. He lives west of the Scarlet River in a bleak cave. He prefers to throw a brace of clubs and fight with a stone knife and bone ax.
Big Crag is the prime and largest Stonish Giant and resides at Crag Mouth, having 9 grogs under his service. He is an awesome, towering specimen with deep gray hair. His weapon is a great curved sword fashioned of a mammoth tusk. [4] It has been worked and ground, and filed and polished until it is actually sharp. He also hefts a shield made from mammoth hide that a normal man may not even lift. It is 7 feet tall and three feet wide and shaped like a figure of 8 bowl. Big Crag is 12 feet tall and five feet wide at the shoulder.
He does not throw stones. But does have one of his grogs stationed above the mountain pass behind a boulder to roll down on intruders.
Old White, is a white and silver backed giant who has been ousted by Big Crag. He has but one grog, the rest killed by his bitter rival. He wields a massive club and throws large stones underhanded. He is a potential ally and lurks to the north and east of Crag Mouth, cut off from access to women by his bitter rival.
In my original teen age draft of Crag Mouth, these creatures were as follows, out of convention, with this version leaning on my Elder Earth novels Sorcerer!, Ranger?, and Wife—, in preparation for the writing of Slave. This did development work for my fiction and grants the reader of this something unique for his campaign.
-1. These were orks.
-2. These were ogres.
-3. These were Robert E. Howard’s Ape man of Valyet, as depicted in Rogues in the House [the ape man Thak] and Iron Shadows in the Moon.
-4. The mammoth herds live to the north of the Scarlet Mountains.
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posted: November 20, 2023   reads: 1041   © 2023 James LaFond
Toby & James Chosen
American Dog #2
Toby lie curled up just inside the see through glass door that slides. The metal giants high up on Cedar Mountain howled without and the memory of the slanty-eyed fiend moaned within Toby’s troubled soul.
‘What if that is the sound of giant slanty-eyed devils sharpening their knives up on the mountain?’ worried Toby within as the shadows of the morning shallows danced about him and he shivered, exposed as he was more near the terrifying and clinging night than any of the big humans or the mean little cats.
One such shadow danced nearer, rose above his snout where it rested on his black paws, and that shadow spoke, “Black Dog, the humans let the fire go out. My body is not warmed to the optimal degree. Make room.”
“But it is my bed…” Toby began to complain.
His objection was silenced by five gleaming needle claws that popped out of Tuxedo Annie’s right paw and touched his snout just so as she mused, “Such a soft, tender, moist snout, you have Dark Dog. Now uncurl a little so that I might warm my haunches for the dawn hunt.”
Toby sat up some and Annie purred as she curled within the warm arch of his four legs, “Your slave instincts are deep, Dark Dog.”
Toby shivered and laid his head against the cold wall as Annie stole his heat. Eventually the natural laziness of his kind overcame his terror of Annie and he dozed, his sad, worried, amber eyes shutting…
“Tobbes, my Bobo Animal!” sounded the voice of the towering James Chosen. “Mamma Bear, look—Toby and Annie are friends!”
As the first light of dawn bathed the room in its soft glow Mamma Bear sighed, “That s so sweet! If cats and dogs can get along so well then there is hope for humanity, for peace on earth.”
James snorted in disgust, “Whatever, Woman, that evil puddie cat probably told that dark wing dog to move over!”
With that the man lit up a mechanical torch that roared, piled wood in the stove, and started a crackling fire.
“It is about time!” hissed Annie as she rose and slunk over towards the wood stove and Bisquick reminded them of their pact, “Food—Annie over to the standard kibble can while I reserve moist food.”
With that Annie led Mamma Bear over to the cat food locker and Bisquick rubbed in and out of James’ ankles and the ape recalled his purpose for living, “Oh Mamma Cat, I have some extra special good food for you—triple meat: fish, chicken and liver!”
“What about my food?” asked Toby. My bowl is empty and I can’t get the lid off of my food can, and I can’t get out the sliding door to get to the food can?”
“Your food is terrible, Toby,” informed Annie. “You should seek improved human food—and do not even think about touching our kibble!”
“Seek it for us all,” purred Bisquick as the cats ate from the bowl into which James scooped yummy smelling wet food.
Toby stood and pawed the back of James’s baer leg, for he was wearing his at home clothes, the bathrobe. The man shuffled comically and turned, looking down into Toby’s teary eyes, “Oh, Bobo Animal, I’m sorry. Let me get you some yummy food!”
With that the man took one hand and slid the door aside, using his thumb—his oh so useful human version of a dew claw—and Toby was stricken with a life altering epiphany, the music of the everlasting spheres ringing in his head, ‘When I get a little bigger, I can use my dew claw like that!’
James came back inside with the metal scoop of brown kibble filled and poured it into Toby’s bowl with much fanfare, “Tobias, breakfast is served! Toby is dark and furry and one day to be big and burly!”
Toby rushed over, thrust his muzzle into the bowl, filled it with kibble and began to crunch, and it did not taste half as good as it smelled, and it did not smeel have as good as what the cats mucnched.
Annie sneered as she ate her soft food, “You feel that, Dark Dog? Get used to that feeling! A dog should know its place.”
Saddened, Toby crunched away upon the unsavory fare as the evil cats purred and dined upon their canned delicacies and more refined kibble.
“What is My Wonderful Man up to in my kitchen?” asked Mamma Bear.
“Oh, some eggs, and bacon, sausage and cheese, with a side of buttered corn bread,” declared James as he smashed pots and pans and slammed cabinets. Now, the cats did not speak or understand human speech, but they divined with precise accuracy, the pending actions of humans based on their current actions, their specific case history and their apish proclivities.
Annie sneered between dainty bites of her dagger teeth, “If only they were smaller we might dispense with the charade and eat them—brains first, I should think.”
“Wicked Child of Mine, to your post—human food is being improved!”
With that warning both cats leaped to one of the three wooden stools, upon which humans sat and spun as they ate and talked and consulted the great human god that resided in their phones.
‘My food is sub standard,’ thought Toby, as he bolted down a mouthful without chewing and looked longingly over his shoulder at James, chopping and mixing food from the cold box in the kitchen. An empty stool yawned empty between the two cats who sat upon the two end stools and looked over the counter at the sublime ritual that was the improvement of human food into nourishment of stupendous quality.
Toby ran, just like the cats, only being about twice their size, and leaped onto the middle stool and it spun under him like it did under a rapturing human, only his paws did not stick like a human’s haunch and he spun off the stool to fall in a pain wracked heap below at the base of the stools and counter.
“Tobbes!” came James to the rescue, “Bro, you are not a cat. Evil puddies! They tricked my Tobias, Mamma Bear—come here Bobo!”
With those words James picked Toby up, cradled him, kissed him, carried him into the kitchen where cats were not welcome, being consigned due to former ventures upon the counter tops to peering in from the far side of the counter near the door and Toby’s bed.
James set Toby down and petted him, declaring, “Toby, you stay in here while I cook and you get anything that falls. In addition, how would you like some bacon grease and melted cheese on your nasty kibble?”
“Oh, hell yes!” whined Toby as he pranced and spun, holding his paws out so that the ape might hold his hands as they danced before the stove, where food was deliciously improved.
Annie purred to Bisquick, “Our slave is in!”
Bisquick counseled her evil daughter, “By kind to long as he leaves some for us in that big silvery bowl!”
Cheese was so good—even better melted.
Bacon was even better!
It did pain Toby not to finish his special dish as he backed away and sat at attention while the cats stalked in to take their cut of the improved food. However, it did raise his reputation in the eyes of the humans, as Mamma Bear cooed, “Toby is inviting his friends to dinner—what a good boy!”
Every day that James improved food in the kitchen, Toby was there, loyally underfoot.
And, when James started up Big Red, the monster diesel truck to go get gas at the gas and food getting place where so many Slanty-Eyed Devils did the same, Toby was glad to go along. For James would roll down Toby’s window when one of the dog eaters was nearly within biting distance. James would issue such words of encouragement as, “Reparations time, Dark One—lay the enamel on those slanty-eyed devils!”
And Toby was good for a show of canine splendor, hackles up, tail arrogantly curled, serrated teeth bared under quivering red lips and a great “Grrrr!” sending more than a few of those Asiatic malefactors away from the gas pumps and incidentally out of James Chosen’s hurried way.
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posted: November 19, 2023   reads: 621   © 2023 James LaFond
Toby & The Slanty-Eyed Devils
American Dog #1
Toby could not always understand human speech, and could never fathom any speech other than English. It is surmised that his ability to understand English is due to the circumstances of his coming to Cedar Mountain…
Toby holds a vague puppyish recollection of being taken from his mother and siblings, yanked right off the tit, by a jabbering little man with a distinct slant to his eyes. Toby’s paranormal case officer thinks that this is a transposed memory adopted in Toby’s mind based on the story told to him and before him, at a family dinner table, by his self-proclaimed rescuer, James Chosen. Whether or not the story of Toby’s salvation is true, it is fact that he first developed the ability to understand English seated upon the lap, covered in carpenter pants, of James, at the dinning room table as his benefactor regaled his wife and sons with the story of Toby’s adoption…
There Toby sat, sitting upright and paws out, his back to his benefactor’s belly, his haunches on the ape’s lap, his pointy black ears perked up as the wind howled down off the mountain and sang a ghostly song as it whistled through the great metal stanchions that marched down the cut in the cedar forest pulsing with electrical energy. [1] In the shadowed nears the cedar trees of the Chosen Family House sawed and sighed in the grips of the wicked wind. Yet in the background, up on higher ground, the steely stanchions moaned a horrific song.
So the puppy did shiver on James Chosen’s lap.
At the table sat, beautiful, blond Mamma Bear, deeply thinking blond Smooka Bear and his older brother, the impulsive Benny Bear, blond as well. These youths referred to Mamma Bear as Madre and to James as The Geeze or Geeze. There were two other chairs occupied by those who judged the newly arrived puppy less kindly: the cats, Mamma Bisquick and Tuxedo Annie.
Annie hissed, “I think I shall claw his ears in his sleep and then dig out his eyes and bat them across the floor.”
The puppy cringed.
Bisquick purred, “Vicious child of mine—this dog may be put to better use. He is already beloved by The Cooker of Food. Recall always, that humans, being stupid, identify with dogs, as fellow stupid creatures and feed them more readily than we. Let this dog gain us food—improved food!”
“Will you then, Pup!?” hissed Tuxedo Annie, as she showed off her gleaming claws and tapped them on the wooden chair.
The puppy was terrified, “You can count on me!”
Then, all of a sudden, the puppy could understand the human speech…
James Chosen spoke with a comic candor, “So, Mamma Bear, since Benny here saw fit to drink all of my best bourbon and then run over my beautiful bird dog with my truck, in my yard, which had to be dispatched vet in hand, I’ve been on the lookout for a dog.”
Mamma Bear glowed rosy cheeked, “He is so beautiful, all black and such a curly tail! Where did you find him?”
James hugged the puppy and said, “I was down in Seattle at the Asian market and decided to take a short cut back to the parking lot. There were so many of those jabbering, slanty-eyed devils fighting for a place in line that I decided on a change of menu. Then, as I walked out through the butcher shop I see this slanty-eyed devil hanging this little black dog—can’t be but twenty pounds—up to butcher him and I say, ‘Oh no you don’t Poo Man Chew, this is America and this is an American Dog,’ and I saved this little guy from the noose.”
“Mah Man!’ glowed Mamma Bear.
Smooka bear shook his head in disbelief and smirked, “So you stool a Chinese person’s dog?”
“Oh, no, Smooka Bear, it was a rescue!”
Benny Bear asked, “So Geeze, what’s his name?”
James petted the black puppy roughly on the back of the head and said, “Nig,” short for “Nigg—”
“No you don’t!” objected Mamma Bear.
Benny chuckled, “Leave it to The Geeze!”
James then recovered, “Okay, Toby then, Toby is his name!”
Mamma Bear was aghast, “Really, that’s the best you can do?”
Toby looked at James and Benny said, “See Madre, he likes Toby!”
Smooka Bear chimed in, “I think I’ll call him Tobes.”
“There you go,” grinned James, “Tobias is a great name, his full name in fact.”
“Go ahead, Toby,” hissed Tuxedo Annie, “suck up to that crazy ape and develop trust—get us some food that bleeds, that steams like blood gushing from a freshly rent throat at dawn!”
Toby found sudden motivation, if not in his name, in his purpose, of getting food for his cruel fellow four-legs and flipped around in James arms, put his paws on those apish shoulders and licked that bristly ape snout.
“Tobes, that’s gross!” shouted Benny as the others smiled, James approved, “My Bobo Animal,” and Bisquick purred, “Thank Night for the shameless indignity of dogs—work it Toby, he thinks you care!”
“Yes, Night has let down her shroud!” hissed Annie, as she walked crookedly towards the sliding glass door, “Toby, I need to kill—get a human on the door, post-haste.”
Toby, no hero, don’t you know, jumped down off of James and went to the door, where Annie head rubbed him, which caused Mamma Bear to say, “Awe, Annie and Toby are friends already!”
James slid open the door and smiled, “A man needs a dog in this world—now check the perimeter Dark Wing Dog.”
Toby put on a big show of raising the hackles on his back and curling his tail arrogantly as he paraded back and forth on the patio. Then he saw a small house, like a tiny human would live in, and was stunned, that a human might fit in there. Annie purred, “Oh, that is a dog house, where you will sleep, cold and alone into the shallows of night.”
A natural, imperious instinct rose in Toby’s soul and he pranced over to that wretched little dog hut and lifted his leg on it, [2] to which James laughed loudly, “Mamma Bear, we need a dog bed for Toby to put inside the door—I think he is Nigerian royalty!”
Annie hissed as she stalked out into the darkening shadows, “Apes have such easily adjusted minds—well-done, black dog.”
Metalithic Note
-1. It is this author’s contention that it was the stanchion song, an awesome thing to hear, that brings Toby nervously shivering with twitchy ears, that gifted him with an understanding of human speech rare among four-legged kind.
-2. As I turn off the light in the exterior pump room at bedtime and Toby makes his final circuit of the house and nears the chicken coop, triggering the motion sensor light, he habitually turns and looks through the window at me as he lifts his leg on his old and never slept in dog house, as if reminding me that he sleeps inside and I do not. Toby lifts his leg more than any dog I have known… and I have known many a few.
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posted: November 18, 2023   reads: 701   © 2023 James LaFond
Weeper Bog and Cedar Forest
Crag Mouth #6
The lore below is held by Joel, as the clearing house of local lore, and by the parties named as having this knowledge.
The Cedar Forest, as named by the rangers and their women, is also known as Hide Forest to the rest of the Willow Hamlet folk. The story goes, according to Captain Crane and Jailer Joe, that it is where fools run and hide, and are then caught, if lucky, and brought back to have a tan applied to their runnagate hide.
The typical girth of the cedar trees at the base exceeds the combined reach of three tall men, it taking four tall men to join hands around the base. These cedar trees have palm like fronds that hang rather than bristling with needles like other evergreens and flare dramatically at the base. Thus they are cut 7 feet from the ground for the straight timber that can be rolled as sawed rounds to be split for firewood, and or sawed into planks we they are felled.
The chief undergrowth is moss and fern and mushroom. The moss climbs the trees and coats the lower branches, which, in the shade lose their palms as their tops reach for the sun. The trees on the forest edge have lower branches by far, especially on the east and south side. Rangers use spiked seaman’s hatchets and steel dew claws buckled to the inside of their boots to climb the cedars for a vantage on the mountains and countryside.
Ordinary wildlife are:
-Grey Wolf, with one pack running between the southern bogs and northern mountains. These avoid parties of men but will attack individuals, especially in the cold months to come.
-Black bear who den in the mountains above and prowl through the cedar forest, grazing on mushrooms to access the berries in the bog and the willows. These bear avoid groups of men but have dined on runaway boys and girls often enough to develop a taste for female flesh.
-Panthers prowl the cedar forest. Their typical prey is black tail deer. They will attempt to poach lone dogs from camps by night. The chief danger of a panther is the possibility of it being possessed by a feathered contrary and used as a sending.
-Great owls and red hawks dominate the tree tops by night and day respectively and serve as the familiars of feathered contraries.
-Grouse, or blue forest chickens abound here.
-Moose do transit the forest and will attack groups or individuals on site in 1 of 6 meetings.
-Great Bristle Boars are by far the most dangerous and aggressive being of the Hide Forest and tend to attack men on sight.
Strange Creatures and Things
Hiedi Eggs is the chief expert on Minor Stotes.
The Minor Stote is a three foot tall flightless starling, a ravenous bird that attacks individuals of any type, not to kill, but to drink, each bird darting in to peck deeply and slurp blood from thighs [usually] and then run off. 3 to 12 Minor Stotes run in three rival flocks. These vicious birds chatter and screech and regard testicles and eyes as delicacies. Their beaks are classed as small dirks. They are extremely agile, do not stand and fight, but run and bound over and along deadfalls to hunt and evade. Their flesh tastes like pork and is valued by Stonish Giants but detested by humans, who know where the pork taste comes from—human blood. Stote eggs are found in clutches within hollow deadfalls and are similar to goose eggs. Black bears and wolverines seek these eggs. Every Minor Stote that has pecked at Hiedi has been hunted and killed by Bob, so that both are left alone.
Bob is the expert on Skunk Apes, avoids and respects them, and claims they are harmless if left alone.
Skunk Apes, are 6 to 8 foot tall apes which hoot and do not have the power of speech. They climb and wade well but do not swim and avoid deep water. They have long hair and thick matted fur, stink terribly of a musk, avoid human contact and are formidable combatants, whose only enemies are found in the Mountains, with no bear, wolf or panther risking a fight with these intelligent loners who never seem to be encountered in a group. No young or family groups have been encountered.
Bob, Hiedi and Arn share knowledge of this amazing creature below:
A Feathered Contrary is a being of apish stature, seeming at a distance and in dim light to be a Skunk Ape. Seen closer it is similar in gait and stature to the Skunk Ape, but gaunt legged and bony armed, its lower limbs having a downy fur and its upper limbs, torso and head being clothed in emerald green feathers. This creature is molested by none of the ordinary animals and has been seen in conclave by Bob, Jon and Arn, indeed seeming like a teacher or advisor, to Skunk Apes and Stonish Giants.
Bob thinks that there are only two feathered contraries, one with a red feather behind the arm pit and the other with a black feather. Hiedi has heard them sing by night as Skunks Apes hoot. They sing like owls, she claims, and suggests they are the result of a mating between an owl and a Skunk Ape, which Bob sneers at. Arn believes that these are the two gods of the Skunk Apes and Stonish Giants. Jon posits that they may be elder Stonish Giant priests.
The feathers of the Feathered Contrary are greatly valued by Lisa for making her dream catchers and are said to hold memories, dreams and even visual scenes of sorrows that have been witnessed by these beings. Feathered Contraries will not fight under any circumstances, are very difficult to catch and trap, but, when chased sometimes shed valuable feathers.
Any human who shoots at a Contrary will be stalked by a panther sending and face clawed, but not killed. If the Contrary is injured the panther will seek to kill.
If touched by a human or a handheld weapon one of seven effects may occur against which the violating human must save according to the governing ability score listed. The Contrary will sense the most vulnerable characteristic and act through that means, for instance, afflicting the stupid with dream:
-1. Sleep for a number or hours equal to the die roll difference, against constitution.
-2. Affliction of doubt, against level, with failure causing the character to return to the nearest settlement.
-3. Stunned, against charisma, by a day terror or night terror into reversing his course of action. The terror will hold valuable information about Crag Mouth, a glimpse of a location within it.
-4. Dream, against intelligence, permitting the character to receive an informative vision that may assist him. The character will then be unable to make eye contact with or harm this creature. This is called by Arn, “a contrary parley.”
-5. Tangled, against dexterity, causing the character to trip or slip or get caught on some aspect of the forest.
-6. Curse, against wisdom, causing the character who fails to obsess over a possible failure such as falling, losing a combat or miscasting a spell, triggering a disadvantage roll in that category of action until which time the character is blessed by this or another Contrary of by a holy figure, talisman [1] or shrine.
-7. Waking Dropsy, against strength, with the character failing, falling to dosing for a moment and then waking with a feather in his hand. So long as the feather is on his person, this person gains strength in the measure he failed his roll. When without this feather, he re rolls strength actions at a disadvantage, but gains an informative, though riddlesome dream at each new moon.
These creatures are not evil, are not aligned with the Kells and do work for the benefit of Skunk Apes and Stonish Giants. It is they who have carved the Mountain Organ described in The North Track. They feed on mushrooms and contrary berries and are sighted often in The Willows and Weeper Bog feeding.
Weeper Bog
All of the rangers avoid this place and will advise others to do likewise.
Weeper Bog is infested with Stotes, whose chief prey is moose, whose backs they jump upon to drink their blood. These bounding birds are 5 feet tall and attack alone, from ambush, by jumping on the back or shoulders and thrusting their blood sucking beaks into chest or back. They are incredibly strong and used to feasting on moose, bear and boar blood. Being stabbed with their beak is like a rapier sword thrust for maximum damage. There will only be one stab, these beasts being notable conservationists among vampire kind.
There is nothing worthwhile in this hellish bog, draped as it is in bearded black willow, and infested with contrary berry, which is described in the North Track.
There is a sinkhole that bubbles an acrid stench and is said to be a vent of Hell, filled with water and impassable.
-1. Lisa’s dream catchers are valuable for this.
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posted: November 17, 2023   reads: 1273   © 2023 James LaFond
Willow Hamlet: Camp Continued
Society and Personalities: Crag Mouth #5.1
West Ranger Cabin
The rangers appear almost like brothers, all being long haired and heavily bearded and larger than normal.
Ranger Bob and Hiedi Eggs
Bob is the tallest and strongest longbowman in camp and brings in the most meat. With beef and swine not grown in Willow Hamlet, moose, elk and bison are highly valued. Bob avoids contact with Stonnish Giants and thinks Arn is insane for having parlayed these creatures. His wife, Hiedi collects the eggs of wild animals, most importantly the eggs of the Stote, Great Stote and feathered contrary. Bob does not use dogs on the hunt, but prefers a pack horse.
Central Ranger Cabin
Ranger Arn and Eda Berry
Arn, a stocky powerful man, specializes in hunting boar, using a spear and four great mastiffs, and keeping his longbow mostly as a ward against the Stonish Giants, upon whom he is an expert. His wife, Eda, studies the feathered Contrary and their relationship with the creeping Contrary Berry. Her best friend is Lisa Dream Catcher, to whom she provides contrary feathers.
Eastern Ranger Cabin
Ranger Jon and Bess Long
Jon is the senior, lead ranger, is the closest to normal size and is by far the most skilled tracker, shrewdest hunter and most feared man in Willow Hamlet. Jon has three mute scent hounds with whom he whispers. Jon has taken 6 runaway ears, which he wears on a rawhide chord about his neck. His hat is decorated with Great Stote plums and an ear of a Stonnish Giant he once slew. He cannot out do Bob in archery, but is such a good huntsmen that he has taken kills with his knife alone. Jon specializes in hunting: men, giants, wolves, lions and panthers.
Bess Long, Jon’s wife occupies herself curing meat and mushroom picking. She lives under an assumed name and is in fact the escaped bride of a merchant of Deep Sound. When she was recovered by Jon, she seduced him, naming his uncollected bounty as her bride price. Bess is the smartest woman in camp, by far and not easily outwitted.
Brewer Bent is a far too scrawny to be a brewer, yet he is, silver bearded and bald, wearing a high bear fur hat. He is a cuss and operates a still, which he reserves mostly for his own use and for the members of the council and select visitors. He is a cuss who plays knucklebones, which he makes from Ranger Bob’s kills. The Breweress Megs, is the chief beer maker, her husband mostly concerned with distilling from her efforts, “the real drink.” Megs is a tall, fat woman with long black hair who is lusty in laughter and grows her own hops in her garden, as well as night ferns, which she gives to Lisa Dream catcher for her creations, in return for advice.
Maid Cabin
Lisa was a Sent Wife from Deep Sound whose husband died while she was in route. The husband was a taxidermist and scalp hoop dresser. She, along with her Lady Confessor, Nunny Glens moved into the taxidermy den where they do something similar, using the hair of Stonnish Giant, the feathers of Contraries and other such elements as night ferns, contrary vines and Raven feathers to construct dream catchers. A dream catcher must be made for a specific person, over the course of three nights, while Lisa consults her tarot cards and the catcher in the dream sleeps upon the couch maintained for that purpose. The effects of these dream catchers range from the storage of terrors in a blame well and the revelation of mysteries, to include especially the Crag Mouth Heap, the Silver Gate and the Well of Kells.
Moderator note: use the information in these destinations and place them in a dream through some anxiety to which the dreamer might be prone.
Nunny Glens, is a young petite bride of Faith. As a Lady Confessor she assists, listening to the mumbles of the dreamer and playing appropriate tunes on her mouth organ, an array of seven flute pipes, each as thick as the ring finger of: a lass, a lad, a lady, a factor, a monk, a knight, and a stone deacon or mason. Nunny Glens was conceived out of wedlock by the Elder Lord Bund, upon a hand maiden to his Lady Wife, and was given over to a nunnery. She was detailed to guide wives as penance for her crime of conception. In Lisa she found a more agreebal purpose.
Matron Cabin
Mamma Herb is a short round drum of a woman with a mob of thick white hair, who serves as the hamlet healer and herbalist.
Apple Spinster is a less robust and more reserved apprentice to her station, who was freed by Durst on completion of her service of 14 years served for picking apples off the ground in the Lord Bund’s orchard.
Black Bront is a big, broad, sooty handed iron maker who dreams of forging swords, if only war would be kind enough to come to the Scarlet Mountains.
Slag Boy, a youthful and somehow fat slave, is his apprentice.
Bellows Boy, a thin, blond fellow of wasted face and sunken eyes, looking older than his 20 years by double, hauls wood, works the bellows, banks coals and rakes ash. Black Bront is proud that he beats his own boys, despises Joe the Jailer, and often challenges him to arm wrestle. His boys are well behaved, with bellows bow secretly wishing to escape and be adopted by Stonnish Giants or Dreamed off by a Feathered contrary.
Teigler Finder is the cousin of Joel the silver smith and makes a modest living fashioning devices for Lisa’s creations from his cousin’s silver wire. He is quiet and tight lipped and does know the secret of Silver Gate, overheard from his cousin’s conclave with a pair of doomed prospectors.
Willow Inn
Innkeeper Durst is a tall, shaven headed larch of a man with proper trimmed and oiled chin beard and sweeping mustache. He dresses in silk shirts and pressed wool pants and adores broad belts with a silver buckle. He was a noted duelist and gambler in Deep Sound who took his winnings and his well-earned leave from that port town, just ahead of an angry Captains Five and married good wife Durst, even taking her name, her deceased husbands name. He is a shrewd judge of character and capacity in people, is a cold blooded killer, and maintains a cold business relationship with his wife.
Goodwife Durst, cook to the Plantation, is a lusty woman, with long red hair, broad features and well fed figure. She looks away as her husband of record beds her serving wenches, even as he pretends not to notice his wife’s adore for Captain Crane, who stays one night a week at the inn, in a room reserved for him. Goodwife Durst, the famous cook of the frontier, is in love with the captain, who is utterly controlled by her contracted husband, who she rightfully fears, not even knowing his given name, he was so eager to take hers.
Durst’s House Slaves
Within the Inn, no one is called a slave, not under Goodwife Durst’s roof. They are all honored servants, glad to be toiling in the fine house rather than in the forest or gardens.
Big Thump, doorman, is near seven feet, active, coordinated in the normal way and having huge hands. He carries a leather paddle to discipline unruly visitors and servants.
Toothless May, baker, is a wrinkled old wench.
Grist Gray, butcher, is a leathery old man with one glassed over eye, who adores toothless May.
Piss, crap house tender and garbage hauler is eprpetually discontented with his lot. He has a very bad case of pox scars and his curly brown hair does not want to grow below his cropped ears, where the hangman at Low Bund burned him with the thief brand.
Toothy May, barmaid, has a fair figure, a loud cackling laugh, big bucked teeth, plump lips, a plush head of curly red hair and dresses in a low cut blouse and short skirt, going barefoot on the boards. May is the property of the Dursts. As he mother a slut from low Bund, died in child birth under their roof, in their service.
Busty Britches, laundress of middle years, long hair still blond though streaked with gray, smiles little as she is missing some teeth. She is buxom and short and was expelled from Low Bund for sluttery, though she claims she was merely a slattern that refused to pleasure the mayor and was disposed of as a laundress to this “gloomy front tier, what drives from a girl many a lonely tear.” Busty keeps the entire Inn cleaned and is ever seeking a man who might buy her from the Dursts and take her away.
Goatherd Camp
Dan, is a tall dark skinned boy, a runaway from Raven Watch, with brown hair and said brown eyes who loves his dogs.
Clem, is a tall, freckle-faced redhead, a runaway from Raven Watch, who loves his dogs but is obsessed with his slinging ability, fancying himself something of a warrior goatherd.
Essaw is an old, tired goatherd who has adopted Dan and Clem as his freed sons, after paying their capture price. He can no longer run but can walk all day bent upon his stave. His slinging days are also long gone. He is perhaps the oldest member of the camp, as the people of the Plantation Willow Hamlet collectively call themselves. Next to Joel the silver smith and Jon the ranger, he is possibly the most informed about the wild lands.
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posted: November 16, 2023   reads: 1360   © 2023 James LaFond
Willow Hamlet: Camp
Society and Personalities: Crag Mouth #5.0
The lore about the surrounding wilderness may be gleaned from certain persons of Willow Hamlet who possess this knowledge. Every occupant of the Plantation is detailed in brief below. The Lore itself and who possesses it is contained in:
Weeper Bog and Cedar Forest
Crag Mouth #6
The North Track
Crag Mouth #7
Jailer Joe is a brutal coward, a large shaven headed man who beats slaves regularly in the pen and is terrified of the forest, swamp and mountains. He regards the rangers with a superstitious dread. He is in fact a slave for life to Willow Hamlet, held jointly by the Plantation Council:
Captain Crane [Controlled by Durst]
Innkeeper Durst [effective governor of Willow Hamlet]
Joel Hedgesmith [Independent]
Black Bront [Controlled by Durst]
Brewer Brent [Controlled by Durst]
These five men vote on any article of concern and bar any persons engaged in external duty, like goatherding and hunting, from political influence. Joe is responsible for whipping, beating, torturing, boring, cropping, shaving and hanging malcontents, by order of their owner or the Plantation Council.
Slave Pen
name, employment, employer, past
Kink, Cook, Innkeeper Durst, vagabond orphan, a red headed freckle faced boy with kinky hair, bound for 5 years to Durst after running from seaman’s service in Deep Sound, where he was a cabin boy.
Slack, porter, Innkeeper Durst, vagabond orphan, a stocky blond boy with shaven head and wiry frame, held for 7 years by Durst after his laundress mother died, being beaten by Joe, for laughing at Prentice Neal’s lisp.
Slink, porter, Innkeeper Durst, orphan apprentice runaway held for life by Durst based on theft of eggs, the second son of the slain laundress, Ellen.
Chuck, wood cutter, Innkeeper Durst, a pauper who is going lame in early middle years and begs each harvest moon to be held bound for another year. He expects to be sent off this coming winter, as his shoulders are giving out, and would offer his service to a wayfarer who seems less cruel than Durst.
Gar, fisherman, Innkeeper Durst, idle pauper, black haired and gaunt in his middle years, held by Durst annually, who is jealous of his fishing and afraid to return to Bund where he will be put to harder use.
Slouch, porter, picker, fisher, Innkeeper Durst, encourageble rogue and rapist, beaten every Friday by Joe at the post and often caught humping that very post. He is slave for life to Durst, who spared him yet bars him from staying in the house due to his extreme lust.
Little Girl, chicken maid, skinny bed warmer half price in winter, full price in summer, held by Durst for life, she is a half orphan runaway who was quite cute before Slouch knocked her front teeth out for a bloody kiss.
Big Girl, wet nurse, bed warmer and laundress, held by Durst annually, a slut who has no marriage prospects and must prove her usefulness always to earn another year of jail life, preferable to her to being humped by ruffians in the alleys of Low Bund. She has stabbed Slouch twice with hair pins and glares at him regularly. Her baby, born of rape, was sold three years ago and she was sold for a year to Durst for the crime of sex out of wedlock. She would love to be sold to an adventurer and would extol her value as a camp follower to any likely man with money in his purse or sand in his soul.
Pretty Girl, bed warmer, Durst’s favorite slave, a black haired blue eyed hour glass of a wench, an orphan of a raped orphan girl from Deep Sound, who she sings songs about, idolizing her mother, who, she is told, died in child birth bringing her into the same cruel world that now used her. She does harbor romantic notions about almost everything, except for sex. Durst’s wife is cruel to her and refuses to let her live in the inn, even as propriety bars her from the maid or matron house. Both of these places she constantly seeks for advice and refuge whenever a chore can bring her there. The inmates of the maid and matron house care for her very much and have extracted a pledge from Captain Crane to prevent the worst.
Fink, held by Durst & Crane for five years, is a young orphan lad with broad shoulders and bouncing brown curls, who loves going barefoot even in winter and fancies himself a Ranger one day. He will seek to attach himself to an adventurer as an apprentice, bought from Durst & Crane. He is in love with Pretty Girl, who he has been warned off by Durst and Joe, being beaten twice for looking at her.
Block House
Captain Crane, is a tall silver haired man in late middle years, a middling swordsman armed with a broadsword and a good pistoleer armed with two wheellocks. He is loyal to Durst, not confident in his own judgment, but gritty and steadfast in a crisis. Crane is not a brute and cannot bring himself to whip or beat his men. He is not chivalrous in nature but is easily engaged by oath to people he respect. These include those men wiser and more intelligent than him, as well as women of high moral standing, such as matrons and nuns. For all of his faults, Crane knows that he is in the middle range of reasoning and sees his place largely as taking the wise counsels and commands of holy men and politicians and applying them to the bottom portion of humanity.
Footman Bust is a short, stocky, black-haired freedman with smashed in nose, who guards the foot bridge with a halbred, having a hammer hanging from his belt as a side arm. He dresses in a long gray cowl and tunic and is proudly fond of his bear hide shawl, made for him by Mamma after he slew that very bear that had gotten into her garden. “I am Captain Crane’s man,” is one of his favorite stock phrases. He is painfully stupid and loyal beyond all reasonable fault.
Musketgee Pete is a freedman of early middle years, a runaway from Deep Sound where he had jumped ship as an impressed seaman. Recovered by Crane, Pete was named Musketgee based on his excellent long gun handling and has been retained as a soldier for life to Crane, who has promised to adopt him on his deathbed and elevate him to the Captain’s rank. This has been publicly agreed to by The Council. Pete is brave, cool under pressure and a crack shot as he levels his long beaked nose along the stock of his prize weapon. Pete is charged with the care and use of both of the muskets held in the Blockhouse.
Wood Shed
Watchman Daniel, is a woodchuck bound for life to Willow Hamlet in return for care in his old age. He is afraid of dying cold and alone as his brothers did back in Low Bund. Daniel is intelligent, hard working, attentive and a coward.
Underwatchman Span is a fearless logger who is apprenticed to Daniel under Durst and Crane as second woodsman. He has been promised freedom in 5 years. His open, freckled face and glinting blue eyes betray a confidence in his ability to run the woodshed and eventually take a 6th council seat, an idea put into his head by Durst.
Woodschuck Brem is stupid, lazy, but not willful, sulking often from under his beetle brows and brown bangs of bowl cut hair, his brown eyes beady and worried. Brem lives in constant fear that he will starve and is a glutton. He is a slave for life due to food theft increases in his service time. He was an idle pauper in Low Bund, sold into service by order of The Mayor. “by order of the mayor,” is his must commonly uttered mumble of phrase, anytime he is called to account or asked for information.
Woodchuck Jon, is active, intelligent, competent, works only as hard as he must, never shirking. He idles away his spare time carving totems of Angels as gifts and seems ever lost in thought. He is a gray-eyed, blond-headed, athletic and a gifted fighter, who ran away from service at Raven Watch out of hatred for the Warden. His word is judged good and he has sworn to Crane, who holds him, to serve three honest years in return for not being sent back to the Warden. Jon is secretly an Alienist who has developed a great thirst for angelic lore and has theories backed by dreams as to the Silver Gate and the Well of Kells. He alone has not confided in Joel, who he does not trust and names “the Silver Monger.”
Silver Smithy
Joel Hedgesmith does excellent work transforming silver brought down out of the scarlet mountains by the rangers and occasional prospectors. He will engage wayfarers in silver finding and actually knows all of the lore that the individuals of Willow Hamlet know, except for that possessed by Woodchuck Jon. He will only impart such lore to those who he maintains as prospectors and silver finders.
Silver Chapel
Prentice Neal is a man of hazel eyes, wispy brown hair and malformed nose and lip. He wears a silver mask below his eyes and speaks with a strident lisp and is haunted by the killing of the laundress, who he will not name, for the crime of laughing at his lisp. He is the younger half-brother of Joel Hedgesmith. Neal is conflicted in his theology, secretly afraid that as his brother whispers to him, that there is no God and that only monsters stalk humanity. He has qualified for a deaconship, but lacked the confidence to attend the rank and clings to his brother. He would dearly welcome and cling to evidence of Godly and Angelic intervention to renew his faith. He will pray avidly to The Mother of God, to any named Angel, and also scold “the False God of Scarlet Mountain,” on behalf of any wayfarer kind enough to describe the Dawn Angel chapel, which he is afraid to visit, and bold enough to strike out into the wilds.
West Ranger Cabin
Ranger Bob and Hiedi Eggs
Central Ranger Cabin
Ranger Arn and Eda Berry
Eastern Ranger Cabin
Ranger Jon and Bess Long
Brewer Bent
Breweress Megs
Maid Cabin
Lisa Sent Wife
Nunny Glens
Matron Cabin
Mamma Herb
Apple Spinster
Black Bront
Slag Boy, slave
Bellows Boy, slave
Teigler Finder
Willow Inn
Innkeeper Durst
Goodwife Durst, cook
Durst’s House Slaves
Big Thump, doorman
Toothless May, baker
Grist Gray, butcher
Piss, crap house tender
Toothy May, barmaid
Busty Britches, laundress
Goatherd Camp
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posted: November 15, 2023   reads: 1446   © 2023 James LaFond
Willow Hamlet: Stockade
Physical Description: Crag Mouth #4
Willow Hamlet is a modest Plantation now 60 years old, that was originally planted to serve as a base for mining operations in the Scarlet Mountains, which are known to be rich in Iron and Silver. No significant prospecting or mining has been conducted in living memory, which is to say 30 years.
The hamlet is situated across the watered gorge known as The Scarlet River, from the foot of Old Knob, the lowest, baldest and most southern of the Scarlet Mountains. The west side of the river is not fordable north of the heavy rope bridge that sways across the River, 40 feet above the swift cold waters and the jagged slabs of red slate and sandstone. Neither is the way passable on foot north of Willow Hamlet on the west side of the gorge.
South of the Hamlet, 100 paces are The Falls, a thirty foot drop in the gash of a river bed, which takes it down into swampy meadows favored by Moose and less ordinary creatures. This expanse spreads out to the south, east and west, as the river threads its lower way to the sea through this maze of pools, sinkholes, seeps and gullies.
Opposite the hamlet, across the inconvenient and dangerous gorge, threads the Goatherd track among the low grassy hills that attend Old Knob at its feet. Old Knob itself is bald above 500 feet, towering as it does to 1500 feet, below this chalky pile of red striated walls and rusty black stone buttresses, the waist of the mountain is covered in stunted oaks and maple.
Away south and west the land opens up to even pasture dotted with low hills of a hundred feet of less, clothed in spreading oak and bunched maple about their feet and topped with pitch pine and fir.
To the east of Willow Hamlet, its soaring boughs looming far and above the mere 15 foot high stockade wall, is a great old cedar forest. This dark green expanse rises to east and northeast with the increase in elevation. These increasingly massive trees, some with trunks 20 feet thick, march like sentinels up into the Scarlet Mountain, red cuts of stony mountain face visible among the misty greenery in the rising distance. This is known as Hide Forest.
To the north of Willow Hamlet, as the rope bridge is crossed on wide cedar planks, the wayfarer can see whence the small Plantation got its name. For a league along the river, between the red stone mountains to the west and the soaring green cedars to the east, runs a half mile wide expanse of weeping willows, seemingly sheltered on one hand from the red rocks and on the other under their gigantic cousin trees. A narrow road wends its way between the wall of great cedar trunks and the willows up towards a curiously rounded set of ochre-tainted hills.
An easy musket shot, being 50 paces, above the bridge, in part overhanging the scarlet gorge is a block house with firing ports, a sturdy garrison house for refuge in battle and command of the bridge. A sentry with musket ever stands on the widow walk upon the roof, between a Silver leaf on Green banner either fluttering or hanging limp, and a bell, what actually appears to be a ship’s bell far from home.
Beneath the front porch of this important house, a small swift creek passes under a footman’s rounded bridge, narrow enough to admit only one broad man or horse and being made of a five foot ramp, a five foot top span and a five foot ramp, a bridge built to be defended by a single man if necessary. This bridge debouched onto a beaten track—the continuation of the North Road—north between the Block House and a great woodshed. The creek splashes out in a little horsetail fall beneath to south west corner of the block house.
On the south side of creek, known simply as The Creek, the road has been widened and improved with red slate flags that take the wayfarer past the jail and gated slave pen, to the Willow Inn.
The area encircled by the Scarlet Gorge to the west, the creek to the north, and the stockade wall to the east and south, is a mere two acres. The central building, being the inn, a great plank house with kitchen, great hall, cellar, and 14 rooms on the second story, is as large as the other buildings combined, which are described below, all of which are log cabins. Small cabins are 12 by 16, large 16 by 24, all with a red brick fire place and chimney and red slate hearth, firewood lining the outer walls.
From east to west, behind the Inn:
Brewery, were the Creek emerges from the forest around which the stockade wall has been built with an axle for the waterwheel placed there. The brewery is built up against the southeast corner of the inn.
Under the east wall behind the brewery is a maid’s cabin.
Directly behind the Inn is a matron’s cabin.
Between these two cabins laundry is done in casks and hung from poles.
Against the southern wall of the stockade are three cabins:
The largest is the iron smithy and forge, to the east next to the maid’s cabin.
Behind the matron’s cabin is a jeweler’s cabin and silver smith’s cabin.
To the southwest is The Crap Door, where a wooden gate to the crap house outside of the southwest corner is guarded by an unhappy soul.
Against the west wall of the stockade is the Silver Chapel, the shrine of Willow Hamlet Plantation, a cabin topped with a star of beaten silver, which is polished by a slave daily.
Between the west wall, the chapel, the inn and the jail and slave pen, which is the first building to front the bridge from the west track, is an extensive garden, positioned for the best sunlight.
Between the east wall of the inn, the brewery and the waterwheel is a shade garden, kept by the brewer.
North of the Creek, the wall extends 40 feet to the hen house, with the chicken coop preventing the birds from fouling the creek water.
Where the wall terminates one may draw a straight east to west line to the Block House and footman’s bridge along the open south face of the wood shed. The track north leaves between the block house and shed.
The woodshed is 18 feet high, built with cedar top beams between four massive trunks of trees that were cut 18 feet up. Hand holds are notched into these four 8 foot thick trunks, so that each of these stumps serve as lookout towers. The tops of each have been hollowed to chest high, so a man might stand and deliver musket fire or loose arrows.
The wood from the tops of these four woodshed pillars provided planks for the inn 60 years ago when it was the third building after the block house and the shed to be erected. The rest of the wood required to build the great inn was got from the main spans of the three cedar stump houses to the east, between the shed and the line of the stockade.
These structures are called the Ranger Cabins, but are not cabins at all. Rather these are watch towers rendered from standing trunks. These three massive cedar, 60 feet apart, each, one from the wood shed and the other two from each other, the second in line with the stockade and the third outside its geometry, have been hollowed out, floored for a second story and roofed for a watch platform.
While the Hide Forest looms thick and high over the stockade, an entire acre of clear ground is kept scythed down and used to graze the few milk cows and ranger horses, the former belonging to the Inn.
The goat herds bring their flocks across the rope bridge at dusk and make camp outside of the western stockade wall, between it and the Scarlet Gorge above The Falls. The space between the stockade and the gorge, also occupied by the ramshackle crap house, where the goatherds camp, constitutes nearly two acres, denuded of plant growth, overlooking the naked, roaring gorge.
A rocky slope to the south of this, covered in a thick tangle of thorny blackberry, extends below and to the south of the stockade wall, to the southeast corner, where the great cedars shade that end of the slope, choking out anything but moss and ferns.
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posted: November 14, 2023   reads: 1487   © 2023 James LaFond
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