Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Gawkip Pucewattle, Durulz Snailherd

J. Gawkip Pucewattle, durulz snailherd (c. 1612). The ducks' love of snails, slugs and molluscs in general is well known, and many of the larger species have been domesticated. The wetlands bordering The Stream and the Upland Marsh are ideal territory for snails, and there are some right big 'uns! The durulz herd them into routs, protect them, and lead them to good eating away from their own arable centres. Snail-herding can be a dangerous job, and most snailherds are alert and armed. The largest snails (and their valuable shells) command a high price, and snail raids are not uncommon--though quick getaways can be a problem.

Snailherds also drive their charges to market when required, ready for the spit, oven or pot. These droves can render even the most pacific traveller irate, for the painfully slow-moving snails clog the roads, crossings and pathways for what seems an eternity; a single rout can take as long as two days to cross a road!

Pucewattle is dressed in a similar style to many of his fellows. His leather kilt, marsh-gaiters and hood provide shelter and protection, along with his long, oiled raincape. His thick leather belt is marked with the rune of 'Old Gusty Wusty', as the Storm God is commonly called; his curved, durulz-style slashing sword (a little like a kukri) is tucked into it. Gawkip also carries a sling, and has a pouch holding his sling-pebbles.

To his snailherd's crook is attached a curious lantern, of a manufacture that is peculiar to the durulz. They prize empty glass gin bottles, discarded from Lunar soldiers (or, indeed, their own use--durulz have a weakness for gin, particularly on the long, long, long mollusc-droves), and place in the bottom a little bit of a certain fungus. This fungus attracts the various species of luminous marshflies common to the Upland Marsh; once they are collected, the bottle is stopped with a porous bung, and forms a useful little lamp.

(Originally posted on ImmoderateGloranthaQuest, 14 December 2007.)