Sunday, 26 October 2008

Once upon a time...

As Mongoose's Ducks: Guide to the Durulz will be with us soon, I've started pondering Second Age ducks. I've never given them that much thought before now. This is largely a function of Gloranthadom's debate on the origin of the Dragon Pass ducks (do they date back to the Dawn or are they one of Delecti's creations?), a question I've never really felt the need to know the answer to. And even if I do lean against the Delectiite hypothesis when pushed, I think it's great fun and would never wish to purposefully contradict it.

I still don't know what answer Mongoose will provide, but started doodling anyway. This is my impression of a Second Age wereduck warrior (sepia-tinted, naturally!). Many of the usual motifs I like to use are all there, but I tried to make him look a little more noble(!) and edified(!). The stylised mollusc-helm, leaf-shaped shield and armoured mantle are present. This time I went for a coat of laminar armour, which I think works quite well.

I ummed and ahhed over incorporating any EWF symbology, but ultimately decided against. Don't be surprised, however, if the next time you see this image it is flipped on its vertical axis...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

King Thunderthroat

It's been a while since I posted some new stuff, but I've just finished off some art for Newt's next issue of Hearts in Glorantha. This here picture is of King Thunderthroat (being the fourth of that ilk), who died bravely at Grizzly Peak. Maybe. He wears a snailhelm, marked with his royal cartouche (egg-shaped, naturally).

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Finally finished off that last piccy for Newt's Hearts in Glorantha, today, which I've been keeping him waiting for for too long. I even brought my scanner to California for that purpose. (It's not as if they don't have technology in CA, obviously--rather more that I didn't feel comfortable asking the staff at the rather genteel Huntington if I could use a scanner to copy an image of an anthropomorphic duck charioteer with her doobies hanging out.)

I notice that I've forgotten a few details, but I can't prevaricate any longer... 'tis done! I'm looking forward to seeing the 'zine, and hope it's the first of many. I also hope it can add a little of the, dare I say it, cultured insouciance that I like in Gloranthan fan publications.

With the opening up of the 'official' writing process in particular, I worry that there is too great a pretension to worth and acceptability in the community. Write what you enjoy--if folks like it, great; if they don't like it, that's great too. It's a make-believe world wherein you pretend to be tapirs and ducks, after all.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Did you know (II)...

... that in the mid-1600s S.T. many durulz started wearing wigs?

At least a couple of the various individuals denoted 'Argrath' spent some time to the east of Dragon Pass, in and around Pavis and the Wastelands of Prax. When they went west to fight in the Hero Wars and reclaim Sartar, they brought some of their Praxian friends and allies with them.

A quick recollection of the most famous birds of Prax will suggest one common characteristic: they're all bald. Condors, vultures, the ostriches rode by their pygmy masters--all distinctly lacking in hair on the head and neck. Even if they do possess some hair, it's at most a very faint layer of down, or a basal neck frill.

There are varying suggestions as to why this might be the case, ranging from mundane practicality to legends of vindictive spirits. Perhaps the latter has some truth to it, for there are tales that some of the wereducks that fled to Prax (in the aftermath of the fall of Boldhome in 1602 S.T., or Starbrow's Revolt in 1613 S.T.) started going bald, too.

This correspondence appears to have been transferred to Dragon Pass in the later 1620s S.T. Many ducks serving alongside ostrich-rider mercenaries started to moult. No-one's entirely sure why, but moult they did. The effect was largely limited to the head and neck feathers, though in some wereducks spread to the shoulder feathers (scapulars), too.

Now, durulz are quite proud of their plumage--especially your average mallard--and this came as a horrible shock. As the moulting spread, many sought ways to hide this displumagement. The answer? The feathered periwig.

Created from moulted feathers and down, these quite elaborate constructions soon became articles de rigueur for any self-respecting durulz, balding or not. Most tended to reach down to the scapulars, but some went even further. A few 'stylish' individuals sought feathers other than their own, from wondrous birds in far-off lands. The aesthetics of such are open to interpretation.

The moulting eventually stopped, but for a few decades this strange little people became a little stranger.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Introducing... Runk Squallheart!

An early sketch of Runk Squallheart, the Basmoli duck.

I've no idea where this came from, and still less where it's going. No place of any great salubrity or merit, likely.

But I wonder if Runk might yet have a few tales to tell...

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Dungeons & Ducks: the Durulz Penal System

(I'd have liked to do this in-character, but have far too much on at the mo' to do it justice. Hopefully some day I can revise this into a little story.)

Male wereducks can possess somewhat peculiar notions in regard to attentiveness to duty. Combine this with their natural affinity for all things wet and muddy, and conjured mental images of their gaols look distinctly unappealing. Sadly, that's about as good as it gets.

For those durulz living along the shores of the Upland Marsh, a typical gaol takes something of the following pattern. Bound wooden cages, made from a variety of (often poorly) treated local woods and usually about four- to six-foot square, are sunk into the dank, swampy waters. The degree to which the cages are submerged varies: anything from six inches to two feet of 'air room' might be allowed, and is usually dependent on such factors as local subsidence, sedimentation and the strange ebbs and flows of that unholy mire.

The end result looks much like those part-submerged prisons in Flash Gordon (1980) and The Deer Hunter (1978). [I never thought I'd mention those two in the same sentence...]. A single hatch in the top allows access, and cages are usually fixed by ropes or stilts (though not a few come adrift). A dungeon may consist of but one cage, or up to half a dozen, spread over an area fifty to a hundred feet in diameter. As wereducks can swim, there is usually no easy land route to the gaols.

As many as a dozen or more individuals can be thrown into these foetid prisons, and they can be quite cramped. Combined with the filthy, freezing water and the Marsh's menagerie of slithering, biting and buzzing pests, this all adds up to a pretty miserable experience. Or so one would think.

Wereducks, however, seem to be able to survive these gaols for long stretches. Their natural affinity with the Water rune, smallish size, buoyancy and the smelly natural oils excreted through days of incarceration, make them better able to weather the conditions. Furthermore, for durulz, there's food aplenty. From grubs and eels to pondweed and subaqueous fungi, there's always plenty to stave of starvation, and usually enough to support a rather adequate diet.

Indeed, this is a problem for incarcerated non-ducks, particularly humans, as the wereducks don't feed their prisoners. At all. As wereducks can subsist (un)happily, they really don't consider anyone else. Of course, in a full cage trolls can dine quite contentedly for a while! The squawks of angry fear as a troll is prodded along to the gaol are deafening, as each cage shouts that it's full and protests that the troll would be much better housed elsewhere. Drinking water is usually provided by the rain, caught by some bowl or bucket given to each cage.

Considering that the inhabitants of these dungeons are banged up in isolated cages, set amid various natural and unnatural dangers, and surrounded by swamp on all sides, they have a remarkable tendency to retain and/or acquire various items of contraband. From a sodden, half-smoked cigar (to be cut into eighths, elevenths or whatever denomination, naturally) to an old bottle of rotgut Lunar gin, it's remarkable what can be found.

The gaolers are rarely seen, except when bringing a new prisoner or (less frequently) dragging one out... dead or alive. The most frequent visitors are zombies, carnivorous giant toads and crocodiles. When the gaolers do come, it's usually to joke at the prisoners' expense and prod them with spears to make sure everyone's requisitely miserable. Or to negotiate various bribes, usually on behalf of the prisoners' acquaintences and nestfolk, who are substantially more liquid than their gaoled friends are.

You've never known hell until you've been stuck in a cold, wet, cramped cage submerged in a swamp, with naught but a posse of murderous, stinking, filth-ridden wereducks--squabbling over grubs, beaking your clothes for lice and fantasizing over naked Dancers of Darkness--for company.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Old King Stoutgild...

An early sketch of King Hoarfoot, being the second of that ilk (aka Old King Stoutgild, r. 1402-1429), for Newt's Hearts in Glorantha. He wears the united crowns of the Durulz Valley, and leaning by his 'throne' is the magical shield Thunderwell.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Keepers and Gabbungs: durulz politics

Those that are fortunate to spend a little time at the court of the durulz kings and queens will hear frequent use made of a couple of strange words in the quarrelsome, warbling argot that constitutes the tongue of that place. (The durulz speak a dialect of Theyalan that is very similar to Heortling, even if at times their enunciation might indicate otherwise.)

These two terms are Keeper and Gabbung, and refer to what we might crudely label political parties at the durulz court. Both appear to date back to the later 1300s S.T., around the time of the so-called Duck Wars, when the Heortling migrations led to conflict between the Durulz Tribe on the one hand, and the Colymar and Lismelder on the other.

The word Keeper is a corruption of the older Theyalan form ciepa, or 'merchant'. There is much speculation that the durulz only succeeded in defeating the invading Heortlings through the aid of Delecti, that foul necromancer of the Marsh. In durulz legend, this treaty or 'trade' is pejoratively titled 'Giltwit's Bargain', though many wereducks flat-out refuse to believe that King Giltwit ever made such an enterprise, the idea being abhorrent to them.

Be those charges real or imagined, it is known that Giltwit made and received an embassy with Delecti in 1382 S.T. Those who supported Giltwit's parlay with the Necromancer were called ciepas by their detractors, accused of 'selling out' the durulz to their often-times enemy. It is ironic that the modern form, Keeper, indicates retention, whereas the original intent had been to indicate deprivation.

The opponents of the Keepers were known as the Gabbungs. Gabbung (and the cognate gaffetung, in older dialects) was a contemporary word that meant 'scoffing' or 'mocking'. As durulz then, as now, tended to voice their opposition vocally in very loud, fractious terms, those who opposed Giltwit's counsels gave good return for their moniker.

These two terms have persisted through to the current day, but the events, characters and persuasions they have described over the last two centuries have often been quite different to those that marked the original Keepers and Gabbungs all those years ago. Indeed, the very nomenclature itself can be more problematic than helpful.

In addition to the specific reasoning vis-a-vis Giltwit's Bargain--the association of the Gabbungs with a more rabidly anti-Delectiite stance, relative to the Keepers--Keeper came to mean an associate of the 'court party' of the time, close to the king's confidence and patronage; while Gabbung came to mean a general 'opposition party', typically constituted by those thanes opposed to the king and/or his court, and usually out of favour.

Thus, if a new king came to the throne, those that were once called Gabbungs by some could soon be reconstituted as Keepers, and vice versa. Indeed, after the death of Giltwit, the new king, Hardshins the Leperbeak, was brought in on a tide of Gabbung support. Those Gabbungs that had decried Giltwit and his Keepers now formed the core of the court, and gave the king his counsel.

As might be expected, the terms Keeper and Gabbung enjoyed a renaissance at the time of Sartar's Promise, and more recently with the Lunar invasion and pogroms. In the former case, the term Keeper was used to define those most favourable to Sartar; whilst in the latter, the Gabbungs have constituted that most violent and implacable font of durulz opposition to the Moonmen.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Did you know...

... that we owe several Western and Theyalan words to the wereducks?

Take sordid, for example. There are some that claim this word has a Western etymology, coming via the Seshnegi sordide from some ancient perfect tongue in the Land of Logic, or whatever those weirdos believe. Boulderdash!

As any good Grey Sage will tell you, the wereducks (and their cousins, the keets) tend to describe groupings of themselves using rather colourful collective nouns. Unfortunately, this is particularly true in the case of those given to criminality.

Many of the durulz of Dragon Pass and Maniria are of such bloodlines that they favour the collective noun sord. Originally, the adjective sordid--actually coined by God Learners in Slontan, that meeting ground of Western and Theyalan--just referred to anything connected with such a group and lacked any pejorative sense; sordid and sordide were used simply to mean (of a group of) fowl.

Only later did the the sord became so associated with thievery, brigandage and general purulence, that it took on its current meaning. In some Theyalan dialects this reflected upon the character of the durulz themselves, such that in certain useages fowl degenerated into the present spelling and meaning, foul, likewise embraced in the West.

Another example is the Theyalan noun sluggard, typically used to describe someone or thing that is habitually sluggish--slow, lazy and disinclined to work. There are fanciful ideas that, in Old Heortling, it derived from slug, meaning slow and heavy, and slothfulness personified--and that only later was slug used to define those poor molluscs. This is, unfortunately, incorrect.

Slug (usually pronounced 'szhlugg') is a durulz word and has always been used to define said molluscs. The slow characterisation derived from such, and not vice versa. Sluggard is actually a contraction of 'slug-herd(er)', i.e. that durulz that makes his slow, patient living herding the monstrous slugs that thrive by the Marsh. In durulz, there is the cognate snallard, which naturally derives from 'snail-herd(er)'. Used together, in sluggardly and snallardly, they form a phrase commonly used to indicate considerable slowness of thought or action.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Known durulz bloodlines (c. 1613)

As part of the background for my projects, I was pottering about with a few durulz family names--which I could draw upon as needs be. There are six-dozen names here, which will ultimately be pared down and refined a little (probably to sixty or so, of which only about two-dozen will probably show up in my background).

Amberdrake, Bittersord, Blackscap, Blinkmottle, Bluebeak, Bogwatcher, Boldbladder, Brackblood, Brightfeather, Clearwhistle, Deftwaddle, Drydottle, Duskwort, Fairflanks, Fatleaf, Fierceplume, Fozzlebeak, Giltwit, Glowstalk, Goodshrooms, Greenbeak, Greenface, Grubcatcher, Hardshins, Hoarfoot, Honeyrump, Keenwarble, Longneck, Midgeflower, Mildgizzard, Mistcall, Mizzledown, Mosswig, Mudcrown, Nettlebeak, Palespeck, Pinfeather, Plumshank, Pucewattle, Quagbanter, Quickpaddle, Redcrest, Redmurk, Reedsong, Ringeye, Ruddy Shoveler, Rudepebble, Rushwallow, Rustmantle, Screwpipe, Shagflax, Shrewdbill, Silverhead, Slopbank, Smaltstaff, Spintail, Spleengurgle, Sprypole, Starmolt, Stoutknob, Surefoot, Swiftlore, Tarscaup, Thricepeal, Thunderthroat, Truedive, Wetnape, Whitetail, Wildwheat, Wisemustard, Woadcheek, Yellowbelly.

[Many of these draw upon exisiting Gloranthan sources, particularly Tales of the Reaching Moon.]

A word (or several) on duck names

The following was written up as background for the King List Project--the copy might be a little tangential for Hearts in Glorantha, so I'll put it up here for now.

The wereducks are an expressive folk, and this is especially true in their choice of names. Much like ourselves, they tend to have at two main parts to their name: what some call a hatching name, which is similar to a Western European first or ‘Christian’ name; and a bloodline, family or nest name, which is akin to our own surname. (Of course we’ll pass for now on the frequent suffices like ‘the Big’, ‘the Hard’, ‘the Great’ the ‘Broo-Butcherer’ that tend to attach themselves on a frequent and often scarcely justified basis.)

Hatching names are chosen by the parents, and are typically used by close relations, to distinguish between individuals of the same family—or, indeed, to refer to hatchlings and fledglings before they take a family name (of which curious process, see below). There is a bewildering variety in hatching names, which often vary from clan to clan, and family to family. Popular names include Geoffri, Godfrey, Joseph, Penelope and Walt (all transliterated into the Sartarite dialect of Theyalan, naturally). Such choices are often quite strange and, in great contrast to their surnames, tend to show little connection with suggested etymologies.

Family names, however, tend to be quite apposite. Indeed, once, they were the only names that durulz went by. In ancient times, there weren’t many ducks at all, but those that lived displayed a considerable variety in physical and personal characteristics. Surnames functioned much like Roman cognomina—descriptive nicknames that later became fixed and handed down to subsequent generations. Relative to our own surnames, those of durulz tend to favour personal, physical origins over those derived from their occupation or the landscape. Unlike the Heortlings, the durulz rarely use patro-(and indeed matro-)nymics, except perhaps in Sartarite company.

The peculiar thing with ducks is that they don’t actually possess a family name until they are a couple of years old. A duckwife doesn’t take her drake husband’s family name, nor vice versa. After all, a grey-bellied Blackscap suddenly going by the name Yellowbelly would just be silly. Instead, juvenile durulz tend to take their name after that part of the inheritance that is strongest–which usually becomes quite apparent during fledging.

Now, ducks inherit characterstics from both parents, but it’s usually quite clear if a juvenile duck is a Honeyrump or a Bluebeak, irrespective of where they live, and which parent was of which family—though with family names like Fatleaf and Shagflax, there’s often a little room for interpretation.

Usually the family name is confirmed by a gaggle of relations, friends and elders, not shy of giving their opinions. It’s much like the, “Ooh, he’s got his mother’s eyes!” that we feel the need to indulge in. Well, if that mother is a Ringeye, that settles it! If there is some room for argument, its usually resolved by the interested parties squawking loudly at each other until one side gives in. Double-barrelled names are rare, but occasionally resorted to in situations where it really is difficult to decide. Dominant family traits are remarkably robust, persisting through the centuries. Sure, a few Yellowbellies have underfeathers the colour of dull straw, and some Reedsongs sing a touch flat, but it would be churlish to deny the link.

In addition to using hatching names to refer to ducks of like family, quite a few further descriptive nicknames spring up, much like they did in the earliest times. These bear many similarities to Roman agnomina and just as commonly reference deeds and occupations as physical characteristics. Indeed, such an agnomen can take root and replace an existing bloodline name, often to distinguish between two branches of an existing family, or in response to some feud or social mobility. Most of the ‘less physiological’ family names—such as the Grubcatchers, Sprypoles and Slopbanks—represent cadet branches of older bloodlines.

Durulz usually consider a hatching name to be an informal, family affair—and if used by strangers it can be considered presumptive and rude. Contrastingly, they really don’t mind being called by their family name alone, irrespective of their schooling practices.

Durulz kings and queens are always referred to by their family names, as it is a matter of great import and reflection upon the bloodline. To distinguish between different monarchs of the same bloodline, the suffix being the X of that ilk is usually added, e.g. King Thunderthroat, being the fourth of that ilk. In this scheme, there is no distinction by way of gender: kings and queens alike are accounted on the same roll.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

The Kings and Queens of the Durulz

There's been a slight change of plan on the durulz King List Project. As you might know, Newt Newport is starting up a new fanzine: Hearts in Glorantha. So rather than just slap the material on here, I thought it'd be best to try and help support Newt's endeavour as well. I'll still post abbreviated mathoms and snippets on this blog, but--all being well--the meat will appear in Hearts in Glorantha.

My hope is to tell the tales of between one and three (in)famous kings and queens in each issue, with assorted accompanying nonsense. Three such monarchs have been lined up for the debut. In a large part, the series draws upon the work of a famous durulz skald, with each monarch's life told in verse. Two examples are appended below:

O hoaried feet did cast thy princely tread,
On star-dew'd ground knit tight with sorrows sewn,
Over a kinship lost and kingdom fled.
Away, away, thou errant drake hast flown,
In a bratchet's basket thou made'st thy throne;
Of its sweet suckled milk we poets write,
For thy gold's grave lay in that cup of night.

By iv'ry path thou didst thy passage mark,
Through mizzle's masque afore a rotweav'd wake,
Thy bows the reaping gale of Grambletark.
No twice-lost sight could fail to catch thy drake
His thrusting blade thy scabbard's own to take;
From loy'lty's pearl the sword-sons three did spring,
Each doom'd to die alone and ne'er be king.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Keep it tight, Geoff...

Over the coming weeks, I'll be 'tightening up' a few of the past entries, mostly those that accompany the sketches done in late 2007. These were written in a very small space of time, and I'd only just started to explore some of my thoughts on the durulz of Dragon Pass and northern Maniria. New ideas come; old ones are restyled in the light of them and further explorations. Nothing major, and certainly nothing to change the imagery [forward the artistic proletariat of Glorantha; the words of bourgeois hackery have been defining things for too long], but some of the finer points might differ.

'Research' proceeds on my little King List Project. Which, truth be told, isn't a list, isn't always about kings and is not much of a project. The aim is to produce perhaps up to a dozen character-picture studies of past durulz kings and queens--who do and did exist in Glorantha, but we hear little of. Some are heroic, some... not. I've been carefully rereading the later Tales of the Reaching Moon, especially.

The aim, as you might have noticed with more recent contributions, is to attempt a slightly more deft, careful and applicable investigation of some aspects of ducks than I have attempted in the past. Which is not to say such are without humour or whimsy, but that they are hopefully a little more nuanced than the intentionally focused farce, pastiche and comedy (sub judice) that has preceded. I'd just like to try something a tiny bit different. Being a pole can be tiresome. Apparently.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Esrolian axehen (c. 1605)

M. Esrolian axehen (c. 1605). In addition to the ten thousand or so ducks living in Dragon Pass, the Pharaoh's agents once estimated that there were anywhere up to 40,000 dwelling in the southern reaches of Maniria. Though less is known of these largely tranquil folk than their, dare one say, rather more pugnacious brethren to the north, they occasionally venture into the pages of history. Lacking the particular influence of the Upland Marsh, elements of their culture and creed can seem somewhat different.

These durulz lived in peace in the Holy Country, possessing a reverence for their pharaonic protector that matched their fellows' for Sartar. Sadly the Pharaoh's death (the ducks prefer 'disappearance') has robbed them of much of their happiness and security. Now the cruel Wolf Pirates' longships set the shores ablaze, and barbaric vagabonds pillage their nests. The Holy Country durulz, who had proved a safe harbour for their nothern kin in the aftermath of Starbrow's Revolt, are raided and hunted by foes of their own.

Some have fled farther afield; others, particularly of a villainous persuasion, have even sought to join the pirates! But some have taken up arms to defend their nests and people, and spoken oaths to ancient and violent gods; oaths that had not been uttered in many a year.

This axehen is one such defender of the Manirian durulz. Living on the fringes of Esrolia, her clan had always followed the ways of the Earth closely. In peace this brought wisdom and bounty, but in war it has unleashed all the most savage, chthonic demons of myth. These durulz warrioresses are fearless, shrieking harridans, matching the Wolf Pirates' savagery with their own. They seek nothing more than to thrust their beaks into a still living man's guts, and drink his blood and bile. Though such fighters are more common now, there are tales of forebears fighting for the Pharaoh at the Battle of Building Wall (1605 S.T.).

She worships that deity the humans call Erantha Gor, the war-goddess who watches over the washing of the axes. Her patron's rune is marked upon her necklace, below that of a quieter time. She is largely unarmoured, dressed in an Esrolian kilt and ceremonial neck-rings, and carries a square shield, plated in copper and painted with the runes of Maran Gor, Babeester Gor and the Many-Mawed Mother. Her copper skull-and-beak-cap is peculiar to the durulz, providing some measure of protection to the forehead, eyes and bill.

Durulz religion: two perspectives

L. Durulz acolyte of The Stream, and hen crone (c. 1600). The mysteries of durulz religion are somewhat ... mysterious. Few outsiders have witnessed their greatest rites and ceremonies, and in the aftermath of the '13 this relative ignorance has been exacerbated, as the duckish diaspora went to ground. At the very simplest of levels, most travellers speak as though the durulz worship gods akin to the Storm and Earth pantheons, albeit with their own peculiar differences. Their preference for the Death God is much avowed, but more importantly a variety of clan and tribe godlings and nature entities, such as the Swan Mother, serve to differentiate the durulz from their neighbours.

The figure on the left is an acolyte of the local 'river god', The Stream. This ancient essence is the most powerful of the landscape entities in the Durulz Valley, and very important to the riverine ducks. That said, it is cloaked in an aura of mystery for many, for its ways and wants tend to be guarded by a strange sect of durulz priests. Though many nests occasionally teach the most basic of clumsy spells and rites to their fisherducks and boaters, these are paltry magics, usually learnt in legend from the denizens of the waterway, and not The Stream itself.

It is the acolytes, usually itinerants, who learn the greater powers and often guard them from their kin: to be able gaze into its depths, to sense the currents and, most important of all, to summon the undines that are its children. These acolytes form a curious lot; lacking truly beneficent magics, they are often viewed as trouble-makers. Indeed the undines they summon are very powerful and difficult to control; mostly they are summoned by small groups of chanting acolytes, who strain themselves to retain power of the magical waters. These adherents often make pilgrimages into the mountains, to visit the sacred pools and birthplace of their 'god'.

On the right is a venerable wiseduck, a crone priestess of the Earth Mother. She is a great repository of lore and learning, and crouches upon her seat of honour: a giant stone egg. Her great age is shown by the four copper medallions that hang from her neck, each one representing in runic form a great stage in her life. Among female durulz, these necklaces are easy gauges of socio-religious power and prestige. They do not always conform to Heortling notions of generations in the Earth Tribe, but momentous stages in one's life. The four runes on this crone are, in sequence, those of the goddesses the Heortlings call Voria, Maran Gor, Ernalda the Queen and Asrelia.