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Stew Stansfield

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About Stew Stansfield

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    Stew Stansfield, duck-fondler
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  1. No, but they did have their CHA boosted to 3D6 in the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary to 'remove' this conundrum. (It was always 2D6, including in the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary Preview – before the consequences were noted.)
  2. Better than one that didn't? (The idea of the smallest, basest creatures helping fight a great ill is a fairly common one in stories, and their agency is usually more a function of instinct and perceived morality than their capacity as rational actors.)
  3. Not that I can recall, no? I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, Scott? (Though that might be the lurgy.)
  4. Just a reminder that the mythology of ducks has always been intentionally ambiguous. This will have consequences when trying to discuss this. People can obviously favour whichever stories they wish, but there is a difference between doing that and presenting that as a single, objective Truth to all. It's worth rereading the passage in Borderlands, subsequently reprinted with minor alterations in River of Cradles: Compare that with the original description from the first editions of RuneQuest and reprinted (with minor alteration) in the third edition: The current description in the RuneQuest Glorantha Bestiary combines these, taking the above two elements and adding material from Elder Secrets of Glorantha (1988; Elder Races Book 2, pp. 81–82) for good measure: --------------- So, if people like the 'Borderlands paradigm' with regard to the Yelmic apostasy and curse, that's cool. But it's not the only story – and the consequences of other stories can be rather different. (Incidentally, the same ambiguity is also the case with keets, though their flightlessness monomyth in popular telling is probably even stronger.)
  5. Thank you, everyone! It's very much appreciated! It looks like cane canaille is the favourite in terms of alliteration* – thank you, @Manimati and everyone! The more rakish element is definitely something I can work with; in fact, I suspect it might work a little better for what I had planned. (And I do like the can-can line, Gianni!) * And I'm nothing if not someone who likes to abandon deeper meaning and resonance in favour of petty stylistic elements...
  6. Thank you! I appreciate the help, but I'd also be grateful if anyone could comment on the provided suggestions and their applicability.
  7. Wotcher! It is vitally (vitally) important that I find an appropriate expression in French. My French is OK on a grammatical level, but I have little to no idiomatic knowledge, so would really appreciate a little help. I'd like to find an equivalent expression to femme fatale for ducks. (I told you this was important!) It has to be alliterative, and will preferably have a broader or more abstract quality (as opposed to being strictly literal). It doesn't have to be a direct mimicry of 'fatale', but it should have an element of sultry exoticism and/or danger, and allude to all the brilliantly dodgy film-noir tropes. ("Oh, maybe just warble. You do know how to warble, don't you...?") My favourite attempt so far has been cane capiteuse, in the sense of heady or intoxicating. Would that work in the sense I mean? Other options include cane captivante (which I'm not as fond of) and cane cramoisie. The latter's potentially interesting, both being an abstract parallel to the 'scarlet woman' trope and in having a reference to Moony deviance (with all that entails). I'll likely also have a masculine variant of this (canard capiteux, canard cramoisi, etc.) aswell. Or does anyone have any better suggestions? Thanks in advance!
  8. And some people say ducks don't like necromancy... A peculiar little supplement for a peculiar little people, coming in a month or so! (When I finish a couple more pieces of art at my usual glacial pace.) It will focus on the DUCKS, the DUCKS AND and the MORE DUCKS counters of Dragon Pass (Chaosium, 1980). Included will be: the wyters and guardian spirits of the three duck counters, and their history, lore and mysteries detailed stats and descriptions of the duck warriors, their arms and armament, and insights into the secrets of duck warfare new Rune spells, spirit cults and magic items expanded character-creation options, including additional Family History tables and all-new occupations and skills
  9. This is very cool! I'm currently working on something that includes some updated Family History tables for ducks. I only mention this so Harald doesn't think I've stolen all his stuff! I mean, I will happily steal his stuff, but not as despicably as it might appear! I really like the human tables, too.
  10. She's tried to reinvent herself as a serious artist, but sadly no-one forgets her earlier Betty Ballista years...
  11. Stew Stansfield


    Funnily enough... Something I started, but abandoned years ago (probably because I couldn't seem to get the legs right). Incidentally, speaking of what duck cities look like, I'm currently doing a watercolour pencil map of Duck Point. This is an image from a while back. (It's more advanced than shown here, though I have ballsed some bits up and need to do some serious Photoshop surgery, which I seem to be trying to put off.) This gives a fairly good idea of what I'm going for, though.
  12. Stew Stansfield


    I think this description has done the rounds a couple of times, but this is from Sartar Companion (2012), p. 65: Duck Boats Most duck boats are tightly woven reed vessels that the little duck folk traditionally swam alongside. Cargo and supplies are placed in waterproof leather and reed containers and lashed to the boat. Larger cargos and human passengers are piled high onto reed rafts, with no apparent distinction made between cargo and passenger. The boatman poles the raft in sluggish water, or swims alongside it to navigate it. Ducks join and leave the raft seemingly at random. Duck boats are gaudily painted with strange names, like Slug Express, Bag O’ Worms, Pride of Quackford, and Gorpchaser. Some boats might have spirits or paltry guardians, with crude carvings and foci. The ducks expect their passengers to respect all the ritual observances that go along with travel. Funnily enough, though (and as is usually the way), Greg's initial ideas even a whiler backer whener were quite different. (We hadn't realised when the above was written.) Here's a snippet (again thanks to Scott) from some of Greg's early notes: So... yeah. For what it's worth, and splitting the difference a little, I always quite liked the slightly organic form of this image below, from the Han Dynasty. I imagine if it were a little reedier and muddier it'd make a quite nice floating nest-caravan for ducks plying their trade on the Creek-Stream River.
  13. Stew Stansfield


    So... Greg named a city 'Duck Point' in (modified) honour of a friend (and in so doing, helped usher ducks into Glorantha). At times it was labelled as 'Duck Point', but also took the duckish endonym of 'Stone Nest'. While this city was at various times noted to be a 'river port' [e.g. King of Sartar (1992), p. 139], at others it was drawn inland. Greg corrected this on one map, but seemingly misremembered or mistook the nature his earlier decisions and corrections later. [I don't think I'm being unkind to Greg to quote his exact answer here: "carelessness, probably... or too much pot that day to remember what the fu I had done before." (pers. comm., April 2012) Worth remembering for those of us who sometimes take Glorantha too seriously! ] And what was originally a single city, with two (or three, if we add 'Duckton') names, occasionally drawn in different places... became two separate cities with two different names drawn in two different locations.
  14. Stew Stansfield


    Spoiler, but the next map basically explains everything. It's from Greg's campaign notes for his house RuneQuest Sartar campaign, from the late '70s. This material was scanned and published as a reward for the highest-tier backers in the RuneQuest Classic kickstarter. (I don't own the material myself, but Scott was very kind in letting me see it.) Straight away, you'll see the three elements behind the subsequent confusion: (i) The use of 'Duck Point' here to refer to the doab or 'tongue' of land framed by The Stream and the Upland Marsh, as well as a city on other maps. References to Duck Point, be they on maps or in a text, might not refer to what we immediately think. (ii) The use of 'Stone Nest' to describe the main walled settlement in the area, with no appearance of a city named 'Duck Point' at all. (iii) The initial siting of that sole city ('Stone Nest') inland, quite far to the east of the Marsh. This city has then been crossed out—the pencil correction is scanned—and redrawn further to the west, by the confluence of The Stream and the Upland Marsh. The road has been extended likewise. So what's going on? 'Duck Point' was named as a fun thank-you to a friend on the White Bear & Red Moon map. But as Glorantha began to be explored in stories and play, things changed. Unsurprisingly, there were quite a few ducks in those early RuneQuest games, often played by Charlie Krank (who played both Alexander Yellowbelly and Joseph Greenface at times). Did those ducks call the city 'Duck Point'? Or something else? 'Stone Nest' is first mentioned in the 'Sartar High Council' freeform write-up in Wyrms Footnotes #7 (1979), which is reprinted in Wyrms Footprints (1995), pp. 96–103. Specifically, it is mentioned in the private knowledge (i.e. the duck perspective) known only to Joseph Greenface, the duck shaman and spokesbeak. Joseph knows that the ducks keep "... a third of their warriors on alert and mustered at Stone Nest... unknown [he thinks] to the Empire, who do not occupy that little city." There is no mention of Duck Point in Joseph's information. There is no mention of Stone Nest—only Duck Point—elsewhere in the write-up. Stone Nest does not appear on any published maps of that period and receives no further mention until the 1990s. Greg told me that Duck Point and Stone Nest were supposed to be the same place; one name the exonym, the other the endonym: "One [Duck Point] is the human name, the other [Stone Nest] is the duck name." (pers. comm., April 2012) 'Stone Nest' is a fitting duck name for a settlement curiously ringed, as Sartar's walls did, in stone. So why do subsequent maps show two different settlements? This next fragment is from one of Greg's larger handrawn maps of the main features of Dragon Pass (and many thanks to Jeff for letting me see this): Here we see a single major settlement that is named both 'Duck Point' and 'Stone Nest'. (And while it is at the terminus of the way to Wilmskirk, the final stretch is shown in a different fashion.) But we also see what is apparently a little settlement—marked with a dot as other settlements are—named solely 'Duck Point'. The latter is in the place of the redrawn city in Greg's campaign map; the former in its original, uncorrected state. In another handrawn map, with thanks again to Jeff, we see a further resolution: what was 'Duck Point'/'Stone Nest' above is now just 'Stone Nest Ruins': This map provided the basis of most future maps, such as Phil Anderson's map on pp. 34–35 of Tales of the Reaching Moon #19 (2000), which is reprinted in Wyrms Footnotes #15 (2012), pp. 16–17, and Wesley Quadros' insert from Dragon Pass: Land of Thunder (2003): These maps tend to be notable for one thing: the Wilmskirk–Duck Point road, shown on the earliest maps for WB&RM, Dragon Pass and RuneQuest, and mentioned in King of Sartar (1992) and other sources [notably Barbarian Adventures (2001; p. 5), Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes (2009; p. 248) and The Guide to Glorantha, vol. I (2014; p. 188)]... ... doesn't actually go to Duck Point. (I'll tidy this up with some conclusions in one final post.)
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