Gallery showing all our illustrations by Ellis, Edwin John
Horses dating outside their species.
For an example of a mountebank think of Donald Trump
I’m working on the Mythus Vocations—there are lots—when it occurs to me that the Mythus Gnolls need some explanation.
First thing; Gnolls are nuts. What you’d expect when Gnomes and Trolls interbreed? Now I’m well aware there is a sizable disparity in size, but keep in mind that the Skandian troll is a shape shifter and more than capable of changing his size. Need I mention that along with the shape shifting Trolls can also change their appearance? So you take a nice Gnomish maid, a rakish Trollish lad, and a pleasant spring day, and about 6 months later—a normal gnome gestation—you have a baby Gnoll.
Normally you wouldn’t really have that great a number of Gnolls, for girl Gnomes are crafty and quick to spot deceit, but the Gnolls of Ærth can breed, and they breed true. Though in later generations you do get those who are more Gnomish and Trollish, and more Trollish than Gnomish. But the most important thing to remember about Gnolls is, they’re nuts.
They are merrily nuts, gleefully nuts, outrageously nuts. But that don’t mean they’re stupid. When their thoughts are organized they are among the wiliest folks around. And even when their thoughts are scattered they are still among the smartest folk around.
Gnolls love to amuse themselves, and they especially love to rile up Orcs, Dwarfs, and Humans. Since the Orcs see Gnollish antics with a sardonic eye, Gnolls don’t really bother them as much as they do Dwarfs and Humans, though they do look a challenge.
Most often Gnolls are Entertainers and Mountebanks. They do like to pretend to be of another Vocation, and those who can shape-change—not all but a few—will take on the appearance of another species and impersonate a particular individual. It is a rare Gnoll that does not have the Mimicry Quirk, and they studiously practice that. Assuming that you could say that Gnolls do anything studiously.
Gnolls are usually Gnome size, though some be larger, and a few smaller. And those who can shape change can often be found in a larger or smaller form. For the most part they appear to be a blend of Gnome and Troll, though those of a later generation than the first more often appear to be something that remind one of a Gnome and a Troll, but more a unique appearance of its own.
There’s more to be said about Gnolls, but that’s what I have at the moment. A tip of the hat to Lord Dunsany who created the creature somewhat over a century ago now.
Be reassured that I am still with you and still working on Mythus. I’m learning how to use Scrivener and when the manuscript is ready I’ll be converting it to Libre Office in order to format it so I can put it up—bit by bit—on the blog, then get it “printed” as a PDF.
In other news, I remain as hostile to medical insurance as I’ve ever been. But how to address it.
My recommendation is, raise wages. Start paying people what they’re worth and stop this ungodly fussing and fretting over how much money you have salted away. Invest in your workers, not your portfolio.
On Oct. 5 I have a dentist appointment. Oct. 10 I see my doctor, on Oct 14 I see my shrink. Not every dentist, doctor, or shrink takes Medicaid. Hell, there are dentists, doctors, and shrinks that won’t take private insurance because insurance costs them too much. Too much paper work and too much time tied up in waiting for some cleric in an office somewhere to make a medical judgement.
That’s what they’re doing, practicing medicine without a license, when they haven’t any real part in the matter.
So raise pay and outlaw comprehensive medical insurance. Reserve the insurance to catastrophic care, which would include continual care. You pay cash the medico only needs your approval, and he can get that with you in his office. Keep the matter to the interested party, not some third party concerned only with his company’s profits.
Though private and public bureaucrats would have to find real work, but I suspect they will.
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It has occured to me that the African Pygmy is a distinct species of Human, and I’m thinkng of making the Pygmy of Ærth such. I expect a lot of you will complain, saying that I’m saying that the Pygmy is sub-human.
On the contrary, given that the Pygmy is descended from Humans, that makes them the superior beings and us sub-pygmy
Or am I rationalizing?
Before I write up the section on Birth Rank and Age in Mythus I thought we’d have a look at the matter of families in RPGs
The Importance of Family
When playing an RPG there are times when a player would much rather not have to bother with complications such as family. Here he’s trying to play a rough tough loner type who doesn’t need to be saddled with kinfolk and the like. Likely he’s thinking of a lone-wolf type character, such as Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name from the old spaghetti westerns or some like character. There’s a problem with that.
First, lone wolves are not really all that common. We all have relatives somewhere, and we may just run across them from time to time. And even if we are currently a lone wolf, our parents and siblings at the least had an impact on us.
Our personality, our skills, our nature come largely from our relatives, and not always our parents. Our birth rank also plays a part, for the first born is often quite different from the second born.
But most importantly, the big advantage having a family gives the player is, enemies and allies. His brother could be assistance against the big bad. His sister could be the big bad. And Dad could be backing his sister because she is his daughter. To make matters even worse there could be times when the player’s character could be required to take his sister’s side in a matter; sometimes when she’s in the right, sometimes because his sociey demands it of him, and sometimes because he really has no choice.
And a family—when you’re on good terms with them—can be a resource. You could borrow Dad’s horse, use Uncle Ned’s heirloom magical wand, most anything. Keeping in mind that they could ask favors of you. For that is what patrons are for, to provide assistance while at the same time getting you into trouble.
And having kin gives you a certain reputation, for most folks are going to know about your family and by rather reluctant to get on your bad side. Or, they may decide that they could use you against your relatives. Having a family can get complicated.
For players and GMs it’s, take advantage of a character’s family. Have fun with it. Aunt Sally could get her nephew out of trouble, just so she can enlist the young man’s help in stealing the local duke’s Wand of the Latter Three, which is rumored to weld together living flesh at a touch. Or he and his friends could be given the task of leading Dad and his friends from his brother’s escape route and they had for a land where the two boys can live happily and peacefully as husband and wife.
And should the character’s be burdened by lots of gold and treasure, there’s nothing like a family for disposing of it in one manner or another.
So give them families, give them trouble and strive, for roses have thorns and a bed of roses aren’t exactly comfortable to sleep on.
Changes are coming. First I’m going back to the Weaver Extreme theme because first it handles matters better than most any other WP theme, and second because the theme’s author actually explains things—you just need to read it. Though maybe I first need to do some practicing with WX on my demonstration site.
In Mythus news I am making progress. At the moment the Physical Quirks sub-section of the Quirks section of the Persona chapter just needs to be alphabetized. Then comes the Spiritual Quirks sub-section, then it all gets consolidated into one section which will be posted up here.
I’m also thinking of adding fonts here to give me more choices. Though I do need to know one thing; do you know a simple way of finding the font files on Windows10? Something like, “You’ll find them here.” Remember that you’re dealing with a civilian in cybernetics
And remember, the first sign of a mature technology is streamlining.
By the grey green greasy banks of the grey green greasy Lumpopo River grow the grey green greasy Lumpopo Trees of the grey green greasy lumpopo Forest where live the grey green greasy Lumpopo Apes. Who spend their days on-line sending orders through the Grey Green Greasy Lumpopo ISP to the Grey Green Greasy Lumpopo Shampoo Company of Harrisburg Pennsylvania where they order tanker loads of Grey Green Greasy Lumpopo Shampoo, which company is glad to send the product to their distant customers at a discount, because this way they can use the vats the shampoo is brewed in to make a unique moonshine that requires that first the vats be used to make Grey Green Greasy Lumpopo shampoo before the booze can be fermented.
The apes of course greet the arrival of the tankers of shampoo with loud whoops of joy, which they then gleefully dive into and splash about in as if they were sporting about much as the Grey Green Greasy Lumpopo Dolphins would, were they not—officially—extinct and living under assumed names in an abandoned aquatic park in Tupelo MI.
Based now on what you know of the Grey Green Greasy Lumpopo Apes, how would you describe them?