View Full Version : A cradle of thorns

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2002, 16:24:21
Stories I've been writing. Been putting them on the Poly "Civ 3 stories" forum, but I think they're a bit out of place there.


This is the sick land. This is madness.

We sixty are the outcasts- the dispossessed, the lame and the crazed. For years we have wandered through lands ever more hostile, at the mercy of the elements and the barbarians that hunted us across the strange lands. Last autumn we numbered nearly one hundred, but that winter was cruel and the spring scarcely kinder. There is barely one among us who is more than a tattered bundle of rags, skin and bone.

My own story? I joined this ragged band four years ago along with eight others who had survived when our village was razed by the raiders from the south. We were the ones who fled- those who fought are the ones who now lie crow-picked clean in the ashes of their huts. For a time I thought myself one of the fortunate ones, but no more. When the chill of night decends and the cold seeps into my bones I envy those who fell.

We joined up with one of the nomadic groups of outcasts that occasionally passed through our lands- the lowest of the low. In better days I had thrown stones at them to drive them away from our crops, but now I value the safety of their numbers. There are savage tribes who hunt down people such as we, but their raiding parties are small enough to make them think twice before attacking us. Our band is bigger than any other that I've seen, even in our depleted state. When sole outcasts meet us, they tend to stay with us, for we have one thing that sets us apart from other pathetic wanderers. It's him.

He is the oldest of us, and older than he has any right to be. I did not expect him to survive last winter, when we all froze and starved in the foothills, but he refuses to die. He has been wandering for years, longer than any of us, and there is a purpose to him for he hears voices that others don't. Once he was a warrior, a strong and deadly man, but his joints are now reddened and swollen with age and he walks only with difficulty and pain. His eyes are as clear as ever, though.

It's his eyes that always struck me. There is a sense that, even when he looks you straight in the eye, he is staring clean through you and beyond the horizon. Our wanderings are guided by him, and he has lead us consistently with the rising sun to our right for all these years as we headed to the land of cold and mists.

I can see him now- he's warming his hands by the fire outside his tent. Silhouetted against it's light his long white hair glows like a setting sun, but he can't bring light and warmth to this evil land. Some of us grew restless as he lead us relentlessly into this region of cold and misty swamps though none left. Then, two days ago, he brought us here and declared that we had reached his promised land- a slight and rocky promontory forming a near-island in the gloomy low trees of the marshlands.

It will support life, after a fashion. There is just enough good ground to graze a few sheep or goats, and there is bare foraging around, but this is not a welcoming country. The stink of rotting vegetation hangs sweet and heavy in the air, and clouds of biting flies swarm in the evenings. Already two of our children have fevers, and one may die tonight. This will be another hard winter, for we will face it with no stored crops and poor hunting around.

We are here because he saw this place many years before, and he knows that even if we will struggle to claw a living from this poor soil, and even if fevers may strike some of us down, the barbarian tribes will not come here. Though it is a poor home, it is at the very least a secure one and our few spears will hold it safe.

Two rings of hide tents streaked and stained with mildew. A low and smoking campfire at the centre of each ring, adding it's small mist to the late evening fog creeping in from the surrounding marshes. Inside the tents, tired and sick travellers huddled together for warmth. Outside- just the lame and hobbling seer, and the warrior who ran rather than fight. Beyond- the cold and creeping marshes stretch towards the ice-dappled seas.

We hang by a thread finer than the spider's.


(Extract from the Primary School's history textbook "A very long time ago".

Six thousand years ago our ancestors first settled on what is now our capital city. It was very different then, because all around was forests and swamps. It must have seemed a very frightening place. Perhaps they went there thinking that enemies would be too scared to follow them.

The remains of tents have been found when the subway was made. Why not imagine you are one of those first settlers and draw a picture of yourself and your tent in your workbook?


Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2002, 16:25:05
Part 2

Strip back history. Clear away the clamour of the modern age and turn to the dawn of our humanity. The northern hemisphere blanketed under dense forest for thousands of years, before the controlled use of fire and agriculture drove back the trees, pushing back the heart of the woods and what could be found there. In the steaming woodlands, shadows danced and whispered.

The ancients feared and worshipped, clinging to their paths and clearings and steering clear of the darkwoods. For one hundred millennia they made peace offerings to their spirits. The names they fearfully accorded them may have changed, but the faces remained the same. One was the Mother, from whose mountainous loins and vast breasts all life flowed. Her face was in every corner of life, and the terrible mothering embrace was escaped only through death.

Her consort was a lesser power, but an elemental force nonetheless. The horned god, named Cernunnos by some. To others, he was Bo. Their later ancestors called him Baal, and even when temples of carved stone had supplanted the sacred glades the priests spilled the blood of infants to appease him. Their altars were stained black from the flow of opened throats, the blood of the babies. By then he was already dormant, having shrunk back into the woods into hibernation, abandoning his people to their fate. If, indeed, he had ever cared for, or even noticed them.

The temples of the horned God were torn down over hundreds of years of conflict, until his worshippers were crushed. Their conquerors corrupted his name again, and called him "Beelzebub". In time they came to regard him as an integral part of their own faith, as a by-product of it rather than the wild force of the darkwoods he had been. The priests of the new faith named him "Liar" and "Fallen angel". They denigrated the Mother too. Confronted by her raw fecundity they recoiled in horror, and called her "Whore of Babylon", whilst turning to their altar-boys for comfort.

Yet in the woods, some remember. In the oldest carvings, the vaguest dreams, and most pagan of traditions, the Mother still pours life from between her splayed thighs, and the horned God still howls at the harvest moon, and heads the Wild Hunt, as it rages through the forest in a bacchanalian fury. The farmers still touch wood or iron, and threw salt to ward off the goblin minions of the Wild Hunt.

But back in that time, in the darkest heart of the woods our oldest gods, Baal and the Mother, were sleeping. At times, the horned God's great boar's head, crowed with the razor tines of a red deer, twitched fitfully.

Almost as if he was waking.


The temperature hovered slightly over freezing, and the thick mists swirled lazily around the ancient elms, which dripped condensed dew into the still black water of the creeks. A shriek in a hidden copse betrayed the presence of a fox, but other than that all was still.

Under the poor shelter of a fallen tree, the mad youth shivered. Another spasm struck him and he retched, but spat only bile. There was nothing left in him to come up. He pulled his tattered and stinking otter-skins around him and curled into a tighter ball. He moaned and sweated in his fever.

A pale and skinny boy with a fresh scar across his brow from where one of the stones had struck. They had driven him from the village because of the bad spirit screaming in his head, making him howl like a dog and foam at the mouth. He bit them, when they were unwary. For five years he had been the lowest of the low, the groveller after scraps. His mother was long gone- five years back she had given birth to twins that were joined at chest and hip, so her neighbours took mother and babies out to the creek and drowned all three. Now their patience with her older, feral son was exhasted and they drove the snarling youth away into the woods.

He knew enough to steer clear of the red fungus that grew by the creekside, for it woke the ancestors and made them curse the diner with terrible dreams and sickness. But four days of hunger proved more cruel than the fear, so he had crammed handfuls into his mouth. Now he moaned and whimpered as the toxins ate into him.

The sun was almost at it's highest point when the crisis struck. A terrible spasm ripped through his body and he screamed and thrashed in the dirt. His heels drummed on the ground and a bloody froth exploded from his mouth as he chewed his tongue into a pulp. Every muscle and sinew creaked as his body arched back like a bow. He screamed, choked, screamed again. Then he fell limp.

A weak sunlight was streaming through the bare trees, but he saw only red mist and a rising darkness through his tears. The cursing and howling in his head had died away, for the first time in his life. In it's place was a steady and terrible whispering. For the first time, he understood.

He saw a burning tree in the dead of night.

He saw the blood spurting from the throat of a slaughtered hog.

He saw a gale ripping through the darkwoods.

He saw a thousand shrines sprayed with the blood of babies.

He saw the cold, dead eyes of a striking adder.

He saw the weak and maddened spirits of a hundred thousand ancestor-spirits shaping themselves into a handful of silent and terrifying shapes.

And finally, he saw the great, scarred and antlered form rise and blot out the sun. The horned God threw back his ancient and new-born head and howled at the sky, while the immensity of the mother poured out life and sucked in death. Dragging hinself to his feet, the boy spat the blood from his mouth and screamed in reply.


It was the next day that he entered the village. They had picked up stones when they first sighted him, but froze when he draw nearer. No longer was he the scampering and grovelling mad boy- he stalked into the enclosure with an eerie calm. His eyes stared clean through them as if fixed on some distant and terrible horizon. When they looked into those eyes, they feared him. Even more than the ancestors, they feared him, and a cold and empty wave lapped up their bowels. Yet they stood back, and let him enter among them.

Almost as if they had always been waiting."


(Extract from the Primary School's history textbook "A very long time ago".)

Here is a small statue of a what looks like a man with horns. The early settlers didn't go to church like we do. Instead they made up gods to worship like this horned man. They also worshipped the earth, who they imagined to look like a big woman.

Why not imagine you are an early settler, and want to make sure that your crops will grow? Try drawing a picture of a god you might pray to in your workbook.

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2002, 16:25:34
Part 3

The water splashed upwards and sparkled in the light as Magd sprinted through the ford. His bare feet scrabbled up the damp mud of the far bank, and then he was charging through the low scrubland again. It was near dawn and he was racing towards the smoke he had seen rising in the distance. If it was a barbarian encampment, he wanted to reach it while they were still yawning and scratching their crotches. While they were unprepared.

Not a big man, but a scarred little coil of sinew, lean as a whip. Sometimes it seemed like he'd spent his whole life running- even as a child he'd run rings around his mother. As a hunter, he'd chased the elk herds across the endless miles of the moors, until one sicker or slower than the rest would finally fall to his spear. He rarely returned to the village empty-handed. That was why the elders had chosen him.

"You are fast, and resourceful. You will survive and return to us. See what lies far beyond our frontiers, and bring your news back with you."

That was two years earlier. He'd seen two winters pass without sleeping within walls, hearing his own language or lying in a woman. The trophies of this hunt were frostbite scars and a heavy heat in his loins, and he wanted to go home. Much of last winter he'd spent in a hollow tree near a game-trail where the hunting had been fair; now he intended to spend the coming winter back in his village, drinking cider and whoring the cold months away. The elders owed him no less for these endless months spent under the open sky.

First- some unattended business.....

For hundreds of years the barbarian tribes had harassed them. The precarious early years were long gone, and the Five Villages were securely fortified with walls of hardwood twice a man's height. There was little to fear inside the villages, but outside was a different matter. Raids on the paths between the villages were not uncommon- now Magd was settling a few scores.

He'd supplemented his supplies by lightning raids on the barbarian hunting parties that ranged far and wide as they attended their fish-traps. Magd's goal was the leather sacks of salt, stuffed full of trout fillets- he'd acquired quite a taste for salted trout over the last two years and he pursued it ruthlessly. Always a dedicated hunter, he had applied his skills to the hunting of men with considerable success. His tactics had been honed to perfection.

In early morning's light, while the fishermen were still addled from sleep, he would rip through their encampment like an adder's strike. A blur of motion and panic, and he would vanish clean out of the far side of the campsite at a sprint leaving one of the barbarians cupping a spear-wound. Then the hunt would begin in earnest- that wound might not be a killing one, but Magd's fire-hardened spear-tips were coated in the sticky sap of the Ancestor Tree, that brought a slow paralysis. The shocked barbarians would find themselves dragging an ailing and wounded brother as they struggled back to their homes. Sometimes, overburdened by their casualty, they would leave a sack of fish behind and Magd would eat well. If they did not, he would stalk them and pick them off one by one until their haul was his.

Two years of hunting had put the scalps of 15 barbarians drying on his belt. He would be granted the honours due to a great warrior on his eventual homecoming, but first he intended to add to his tally. Now he was close enough to hear the soft popping and cracking of the wood on the campfire, and the breathing of the man who slowly moved around it. He reached inside his shirt to where his talismans hung and, passing by the lumpy depiction of the Mother, clutched at the spikier pendant of the Horned God. Later today he would give worship to the nurturing of the Mother, but now he needed the wild speed and primal savagery that the Horned God brought. Whispering a short prayer, he felt the presence of the god in the adrenaline that surged into his veins. He took a firm grip on his spear and coiled up like a spring....

The spring snapped back. Magd burst out of the trees and charged the stranger, but even as his momentum carried him towards his opponent he realised that this man was very different. Before he was halfway across the clearing, the stranger had sprung up in a blur of motion with spear in hand. Magd's every muscle tensed hard as bone as his feet bit into the earth, braking his headlong charge. Everything stopped.

He had halted not ten feet away from the stranger; his spear held overhead poised for the downward stab. The stranger had braced his spear-butt hard into the earth and faced Magd in a defensive crouch. Not a movement. Not a sound. Not even breathing.

It was the smell that struck Magd hardest. The stranger didn't smell like a barbarian with a comfortable settlement nearby- all woodsmoke and the sweet taint of horse-dung. He smelled of damp earth and leaf-litter; of old, stale sweat and rotting, untanned pelts. The smell of one who had spent months far from home, and the smell Magd carried himself. This man was like Magd, though his skin was chestnut-red and his spear-tip was a strange, dull yellow that caught the morning sun. Not one of the barbarians, but one strange and alone.

Neither had moved. Two spearpoints faced each other like night and day. Two pairs of eyes locked unblinking. No movement.

No movement.

No movement.

Then (astonishing!) the stranger's spearpoint moved. Slowly, so slowly, it moved downwards and outwards, until it pointed just away from Magd's body. Then paused. No movement.

No movement.

No movement.

Then, in a move no less astonishing, Magd took a slow step backwards and lowered his spear from the attacking poise, still holding the stranger's gaze.

No movement.

Then, almost beyond his will, Magd raised his right hand with his palm open and facing the stranger. In a move just as shocking, the stranger raised his hand in reply.


(Extract from the Secondary School textbook "Introduction to Macro-Economics")

The biggest breakthrough in our primitive economy came when we first encountered other civilisations peacefully. Trade was soon established, and our ancient ancestors started trading their furs, horses and charcoal for bronze and ivory.

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2002, 16:26:04
Part 4

Ralka the Chanter shuddered and twitched as he lay face-down on the bare earth floor of his hut. He had been talking with the gods all night, and was now exhausted and half-poisoned by the trance-drugs he had ingested. Kess sat in the doorway without demonstrating the merest hint of emotion. From dusk until dawn the blind prophet had sat there, listening to the gasps and the gurgling of the trancing Chanter as the fits had torn at him.

It is amazing how complete a picture can be built up through just sound, taste, scent and feeling, and that strange other sense of "knowing" that was a gift from the Gods. In the presence of that final sense, sight was just a frippery- a frippery that Kess had not experienced since he was eleven years old. He had put out his own eyes with a splinter of bone in order to sharpen his other senses- the mark of a true prophet. Since that day he had been respected, feared. He experienced visions of strange new futures that others did not, and even the Chanters were wary in his presence.

The Chanters had featured strongly in his latest series of visions. They were the keepers of the old knowledge of the Gods through their immense memories of stories and songs. They chanted the sun up every morning, ensuring that the power of the Gods lifted the sun above the horizon and warmed the earth. Yet Kess had seen powerful new sights in which the full array of the Gods- The Mother, The Horned God, The Teaser, The Screamer-By-Night, The Shadow of Hooks and the many others- were all revealed as just facets of one vast and all-knowing power. The braiding and clashing pathways of belief and faith were blown away by one shattering truth.

One God. One Faith. One Truth. One Chant. A heresy and a genesis that would change all. The Chanters had heard of it, and feared it. Ralka- oldest and greatest of the Chanters was going very deep to try to speak with the faint whispers of the Gods in order to find the truth of this. Kess, however, had gone deeper still.

He turned his empty eye-sockets on Ralka. Throughout the night he had never shown the slightest hint of an emotion. The prophet had gone so far into the starless night where the spirits of the long-dead margin ancestors wandered and howled that very little of the living man was left. Each time he talked with the dead, he became more like them. Kess would die young (it was the curse of prophecy) but while he lived he had power. The Chanters knew it.

Eventually Ralka raised his face from the ground and crawled towards the fire. He looked haggard and very old. He lay there and let some warmth seep back into his bones.

Kess spoke for the first time. "They were silent again, weren't they?"

Ralka did not reply, but no reply was needed. The slump of his shoulders and the eyes screwed shut in exhausted despair spoke with an eloquence that few chants could match.

"It's there in front of your face, Ralka. You are throwing your chants onto delusions and dreams". The prophet stood up, and felt his way out of the hut's doorway. With his back to the Chanter, he continued.

"You Chanters have the power, but you took a wrong turning generations ago. Now you're too lost in the woods to ever come out by your own power. Are you too proud to take my directions?"

Ralka slowly rose to his feet and looked out towards the morning sun. He had not chanted the sun up for days. It had still risen. It always had risen.

Kess spoke again. "Why can't you see it? You tied yourselves up in so many charms and taboos that you lost sight of the core. The truth at the heart of it all. Don't you see? In every one of our Gods, there was a common vision and shared aims. They were shared because they are all just faces of one God, Ralka. It was always there. Who are the blind?"

The prophet turned his sightless eyes to the sun and spread his arms. He felt the power of the God start to swell in him, like a flash-flood building up behind a beaver's dam. He paused, savouring this new sensation, before letting the first syllables of the chant start to slip effortlessly across his lips.

The rays of the warming sun sparkled as they illuminated the rough grey edges of Ralka's flint hand-axe. He grabbed the prophet around the throat with his left hand, and with all the sinewy strength left in his right arm he smashed his hand-axe down onto Kess's head. There was a sharp "KRAKK!" and blood splattered across the shaman's face. Kess made a croaking gasp, and clawed upwards, reaching towards his attacker. Ralka forced Kess's head down, and slammed the rough block of stone into his left temple, exposing the white bone of the skull and partially ripping off the ear. Again the hand-axe was raised and slammed down, onto the prophet's brow.

Kess slipped to the ground heavily. Ralka still held him, and smashed the hand-axe down again, and again, to the accompaniment of dull thuds and the sharper reports of splintering bone over the song of the local birds greeting the day. Arcs of blood flew through the air, looking almost black in the bright sun.

Finally Ralka stepped back, covered in blood and breathing hard. Kess's hands and feet twitched spastically, and thick blood was running from his mouth, nose and ears. The Chanter watched until all last traces of movement and life were gone, and the pool of blood around the body had stopped expanding.

Then he spat at it, and spoke for the first time.


...and turned away to where his coracle was moored. He silently paddled away from the bank and vanished into mist and shadow.

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2002, 16:26:32
Part 5

At the very bottom were the barnacles- the hard little cases of the common barnacles and the long and graceful fleshy stems of the goose barnacles, their delicate tendrils sifting the waters. They clung to the underside of the hull, a dark wall of oak that crawled with life.

That oak had been cut from their homeland ten years earlier. Once a hard and unyielding barrier to the ocean, it was now infested with Toredo worms who were slowly transforming it into a spongey and leaking wreck. Above the hull, the slimey and stinking mass of the gravel ballast, and past another few inches of oak was the open deck where men and cargo took what shelter they could against the elements.

This was "The Cormorant", the greatest work to emerge from the Five Ports. Over fifty feet in length and nearly ten feet across, it dwarfed any other fishing boat on the waters and could carry enough stores to take it's six man crew far out to sea to chase the offshore shoals, and return carrying twenty cartloads of herring. It had made Oswulf prosperous, and he took as much pride in it as he did in his family. Sadly, it was now ailing and in great danger.

Oswulf stood at the stern and gripped the rudder as he savoured the night air. There is no stench like the stink of an old ship. Fish entrails, scales, and fins mixed with years of men's sweat, urine, faeces and vomit, and much eventually dripped down into the ballast to rot and fester for the rest of the ship's days. Only in the stern, upwind of the rest of the ship, was the air sweet and Oswulf guarded his captain's position there jealously.

It had been the stories that had brought them to it. The Phoenician trader with the milky cataracts had sipped at his ale and told his tale- "In the far west there are shoals of herring so rich that a man could walk across them and not get his feet wet. Sail two weeks out and you will find them". In the warm fug of the harbourside tavern it had seemed so tempting- the onshore fishing banks had been plundered for centuries and were now nearly fished out. The fishing boats now returned less than half-full, and carrying only poor fish dragged from the depths- all pop-eyes and teeth- so hideous that few would eat them.

The price of good, sleek herring had soared in the past decade and the prospect of a full load of air-dried herring made Oswulf's mouth water. One such trip would turn him from a prosperous man into a rich man, and would enable him to build a second ship. With a fleet of two ships capable of reaching these distant shoals he would be the richest man in the Five Ports within a few years.

It had taken him two years to pluck up the courage. No home vessel had ever sailed more than five days out into the open sea, yet he now planned to sail three times further. It would be dangerous- while the sun would guide them by day, at night they would be lost and helpless beneath the bewildering stars while the great sea-monsters loomed and moaned about them. Oswulf was prepared to gamble, however. His ship could carry enough supplies to take them far out and back again with a substantial safety margin.

Or so he had thought.

For ten days they had ploughed through the swells with no problems. They had all spent idle moments staring up at the extra riggings added to the square sail in order to take the expected huge haul of herring to dry in the air. Then the sky had turned a sickly grey and a terrible storm had swept in from the east, and their gods turned against them.

Oswulf was no fool. He knew the sea like a lover, and he knew better than to blunder into the heart of a storm so savage. Instead he had raised full sail and ran before it in the hope that it would blow out or swing away from the, but it had chased them like a pack of hounds. For four weeks they had raced ahead of it, barely able to sleep in their terror. Now the storm had finally died away, but "The Cormorant" was in desperate trouble. While the rainfall meant that they had plenty of drinking water, their food stocks were low enough to be worrying. Worse still, they had entirely run out of pitch and had no means of sealing leaks any more. Battered by sea and sun, the swelling and contracting timbers were now letting in water to the extent that one man on every watch spent all his time bailing. It could only grow worse. They were over five weeks from any known land, in a ship that might not make the journey home. The prospect made Oswulf's mouth dry with fear. He shuddered in the pre-dawn chill and pulled his cloak around him, listening the relentless scraping and splashing of Cerdic's bailing by the mast. The remaining crew- Penda, Ceol, Ceawlin and Uffa- slept fitfully under the canvas awning.

He picked at the splintering oak of the steering oar. Everything was hard and unforgiving at sea- all splintered timber, rough canvas and rusting iron. He craved softness- the velvet of his wife's breasts and belly against his skin. On that last night before he had sailed, she had clawed desperately at his back almost as if she had been drowning beneath him. Oswulf closed his eyes and savoured the memory of her legs wrapped around his hips while he sank into the heat of her hidden depths. Again the thoughts rose in him....would she now be pregnant again? Would the child ever know it's father?

As ever, the reverie passed leaving him a cold and frightened man nursing an erection born out of frustration and loneliness. He sighed and stared up at the sky which was turning dark blue as it heralded the coming dawn. Then he turned back to the empty seas before him.....

.....except they were no longer empty.

Between the sky and sea on the horizon, something was outlined against a wide bank of low cloud dead ahead. Oswulf sprang to his feet, hitting his head on the steering oar in the process. He swore, and yelled to his mate.

"Penda! Take the rudder! I'm going up!"

Kicking the sleeping Ceawlin out of his way, he grabbed at the rigging and hauled himself up the mast hand over hand, not pausing until he had reached the top, thirty feet above the deck. Grabbing hold of the mast with one arm and shielding his eyes with his free hand he stared forward.

It was a sail. A strange, triangular sail attached to a small boat. The sort of boat that never strays more than a day out from shore. Then the improving light made him realise the full extent of the shocking sight before him. That was no cloud bank behind the strange boat.

It was a range of low hills, overlooking a harbour.

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2002, 16:28:14
I dropped the school textbook thing, because I thought it was a bit cheesy.

The drawback with writing stuff for Apolyton is that I keep wanting to work in incredibly explicit and pervy sex scenes that are crucial to the plot just to wind up the moderators.

31-12-2002, 06:23:27
:lol: Wind them up good, Laz!

Nice read. Thanks for sharing!

13-01-2003, 16:28:31
You know, I kind of liked the cheesy school book thing. Gave a small flash of insight into the lieing and white washing and revisionist that happens in history.

Your story doesn't lose anything for not having it, but I think it loses something in the sudden dropping of it.

13-01-2003, 17:55:52
Yeah, well done for posting laz, i really enjoyed it

btw, dare i read the influence of 2000ad's Slaine series? I remember all the horned god stuff...

14-01-2003, 11:04:37
All Praise Mlebb the Magot Lord!

I'll read this sharpish Laz.

16-01-2003, 14:07:09
Read this, and to be absolutely brutally honest Laz, I think it's Great!

You too deffinately write with style, and I liked the whole beginning-ish, middle-ish, end-ishness of the story, diving in and out of little moments in history from oblique points of view, I liked the way you portrayed the pagan outlook (red fungus eh, coool:clueless: ) Your attitude to man/woman interaction in this story is somewhat- er... frank, blunt, this is no criticism- just an observation I er... observed, but it did sound like the kind of approach yer so called 'primitives' might have to these things. I am interested to know, did you get your Horned God belief system from Slaines stories in 2000AD, or from your own knowledge of anthrapology? (I find anthropoloy kinda fascinating you see)

Your writing has real character, and I got thuroughly engrosed in this, I wanna know what happens next dude. There were some parts that confused me a little- shifts from 1st person to 3rd (why is there never 2nd or 4th person? :confused: ) and shifts from past to presant tense etc, but it didn't really detract from the story itself, nothin some editin wouldn't solve. I also missed the 'workbook' stuff, please resume it- yes it was cheesy, in that it was reminiscent of primary school cheesiness, and functioned as a good contrast with the pagan world you describe. It was Good cheese damnit!

I also liked the dawn-of-monoatheism part, well done, inspired philosophical dwelling so to speak.

anyway, good stuff.

Lazarus and the Gimp
17-01-2003, 19:36:44
I know of Slaine, but haven't read any (My 2000AD years predated him). It's drawn on the same archetypes, however- the horned God and the Mother were pre-Celtic pagan symbols. I've been interested in paganism for years.

Thanks for the comments. It wasn't deliberate to drop the textbook sections- I just forgot to do one in the first drafts of Part 4 and 5, then thought it didn't suffer without them..

Lazarus and the Gimp
26-01-2003, 20:36:53
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp

The drawback with writing stuff for Apolyton is that I keep wanting to work in incredibly explicit and pervy sex scenes that are crucial to the plot just to wind up the moderators.

....and after I wrote those lines, this tale emerges...


I'm proud of whoever this suspicious new arrival is.

15-02-2003, 17:56:59
I started to read it, but there was too much word repetition in Part I that I found extremely annoying. Take care of that and I'll try again. (You must have used "land(s)" at least four times in the first paragraph or so.

Goddamit, I've got an English degree and I'm not afraid to use it!

20-02-2003, 14:09:49
Yeah! do it again an I'll Whoop you Good! Y'damn word-repeatin baya-stid.