Mogmush surveyed the assembled cuthroats and marauders. Their faces were lit by a single candle which was guttering in the foetid air of the pub.
He looked at the candle.
Someone had tried. They really had. The candle had been carved down until it was about as thin and dainty as could be. The reduced candle had been placed with as much care as possible, onto a thick slice of Probably-Pork Pie.
As far as the effect went, it wasn't too bad. Mind you, the six inch nail doesn't do the whole thing any favours.
Mogmush looked at their faces again.
Thats Caracog the Murderer, Thosov the Butcher of Vaaaaagh, One eared Willie, Three eyed Mike, Bogdan the Overly Affectionate... He did a double take in disbelief. Murderous-Three-eyed-Legless-Fire-Starter-Chopper Bob! I thought he was dead!
The most villainous men for a thousand miles in any direction were all smiling at him with idiot grins and genuine sparkle in their eyes.
A birthday was a big thing in their world. Especially once you had a name.
Mogmush looked around and sniffed as he felt a lump in his throat.
So, as you can see from from the snazzy title this week will be a slightly delayed blog about, yes birthdays.
What have Birthdays got to do with fantasy?
Well, quite a lot actually. Don't forget that LOTR begins, eventually, with a Birthday and the associated party.
Birthdays originated as a way for slopmongers to pass the time before they died. Obviously as slopmongers started living longer and longer Birthdays became something else. In our society they are a nice way to surround your self with friends, family and well wishers whilst getting what you want (most of the time) and having an excuse to do/say what you like.
Thank you for explaining that. I did not know any of that. I thought they were a way to celebrate being alive.
Well, yes, yes they are.
And that is what they are/can be in Fantasonia as well!
Not following you there...
- You live in an area which is routinely plagued by a) A Dragon, b) Goblins/orc/ks from the moutnains, c) zombies from the earth, 4) atrocious, crop flattening weather from the skies and ~) distant relations of Cthulhu.
- By the age of 5, you will have survived (statistically speaking) One razing by Dragon. One major famine, Three Goblin/orc/k raids from the nearby mountains. Six attacks by budget Shoggoths which look and move like a Ray Harryhousen Creature but which attack like a rabid Bargain Hunter on Black Friday.
- By the age of 10 at least one of your parents will probably be dead or missing.
- by the age of 12 you will be condsidered a young adult.
- by 13 you will probably be married.
- by 18 you should have at least one or two kids.
- by 19 your homeland will have been invaded at least twice.
- by 22 the Goblin/orc/ks have given up on raiding your shoddy hamlet and are now actually leaving gifts of food because they feel sorry for you.
- by 25 at least half of your kids are either adults, dead, married, wandering adventurers, apprentices or master sorcerers.
- by 29 you are getting seriously worried as you are now the oldest slopmonger in the village and everyone is coming to you for the answers to their problems, most of which you have never heard of before.
- by 29 and one month you switch to a diet consisting entirely of soup, thick strong ale and porridge as your teeth will have all fallen out by now.
- by 30 you switch from ale to spirits because you're fed up of spending half the night almost asleep but not quite because your bladder is keeping you awake.
- by 33 the slopmongers from neighbouring villages are travelling to you to hear your wise words and to point and stare at the oldest person for miles.
- by 34 your eldest son is dead, killed in a Dragon razing and his son has taken to playing with a knife whenever he sees you as your's is the biggest house in the town (what with the older building styles being so much more expansive, being from back in the days when there were only ten people here)
- by 35 you give up, walk up the nearest mountain until you find a cave and a) get eaten by a bear/dragon/bunch of goblins/orc/ks/troll/harpy/mountain lion/vampire or b)learn to survive on a diet of snails and moss as you become a hermit oracle, able to predict the future only because it's all re-runs these days and you know the scheduling like the back of your beard.