Sunday, March 17, 2013
The Crakie Bugge comes from two dialect words, Crake, which is an old Scots dialect word meaning crow and Bugge, from that family of cognates from England and Wales, Bwg, Bug, Bogey, Boggan, Bauchan, Puck, Pooka etc. and refers fairly generally to an unpleasant fey entity. SO Crakie Bugge is a Crow-Bogey, feathered malice and gleaming eye. When he sees you he turns his head to the side to regard first with one eye then the other. He carries a Doloire, a waggoner's axe. Crakie Bugge might be persuaded to let you go if he can chop off a limb to take off to his master. He is Naberius' Igor and errand boy.
Rampant Faunlings are unhinged priapic manifestations of a kind of inexorable primordial necessity of lust. They fuck and kill and kill and fuck. They are red, not bright red like stereotypical devils but the deep vital brick red of men in Minoan/Mycenaean art. They do not know how not to run. I have depicted this one with a wurfkreuz in each hand. A wurfkreuz is a throwing cross from renaissance Germany, like a Gothic version of the shuriken, far larger and heavier and more uncompromising. A very similar weapon is the hurlbat, though they are more axelike in form. Faunlings love them. When they come it is as running hooves in the dark and whirling, spinning steel and demented laughter before they are upon you, red and sinewy and stinking, trying to bear you down, trying to take you alive.
Glisterfraggen are the people of some far-off realm of soot and coal. Deep black and pulverescent, implacable and not-quite alive in the same sense as others are. Glisterfraggen see the fleshy quick as peculiar elemental anomalies, far too impure, too mixed and too compromised materially to be of any value themselves. It is a curiosity to them that humans and their ilk are so structurally unsound as to be disrupted substantially by the mere intrusion of a little steel into their bodies . They themselves are not so fragile and seem interested in demonstrating this curious anomaly in others. This one I have depicted with a sallet and earspoon and heavy gauntlets but the armour is a mere frippery bestowed by its master.
The Toad-Skald is a poet of the Upper-Hells. It occupies a realm somewhere between entity and instrument, sometimes appearing far more bagpipe that batrachian. It is the result of the unfortunate metempsychosis of some satirist that dared criticise the Tributary Messiah of Drecklenburg. Those who see it are treated to the recital of a paean of praise to the seven-hundred-thousand Queens of Hell. Its voice is like unto a myriad of merry pipers blowing as hard as they can and smites upon the ears like an enthusiastic truncheoning. The paean in its entirety would last a thousand years but no earthly listener has survived the first verse.
Once I was at a Celtic festival in some shitty-little rural Australian town with a vaguely Scottish name and an imitation henge. I was performing in a two-bit gladiatorial performance, much to the chagrin of my bleeding knuckles. What was the Celtic connection really? It was tenuous is what it was but those who love to play semi-violent dress-ups will do whatever they can to demonstrate their bellies and their skills, and people who organise festivals will jump at whatever opportunity they can get to draw people in. Sweaty nerds bleeding from the knuckles can be mildly diverting.
One of the defining characteristics of Celtic festivals is the pipe bands. At this fairly small festival there would have been about a dozen. They did not take turns. They merely positioned themselves at what they saw as a reasonable distance from one another and all played simultaneously. Up until this point I had been quite fond of the bagpipes, a good friend of mine played them when we were teenagers and he would courteously absent himself from the family home and walk the paddocky hills far away as he played. This was good, the pipes could then be heard as snatches borne on the wind and echoes against the mountainsides. It was precisely what can be described as beautiful, reminiscent of Tolkien's "fierce joy, beyond the walls of the world, as poignant as grief".
At the festival the pipes were all competing and there would be these zones as I walked through where two, three or four bands could be heard where the sound would cease to be sound but become an "eardrum shredding audial pain" (to quote an earlier death-metal lyricist version of myself). It was so bad. My aspie sensory sensitivity made me want to crawl away and do groaning. It made me feel hatred for all mankind and especially the Scottish. Since then I have not liked pipes much. It was this that inspired the Toad-Skald, this and Brueghel. Always Brueghel.