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Duckton

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Currently I'm doing a deep dive into King of Sartar, and besides some very confusing terms I run into the location of Duckton in two places:

It is mentioned

  • as a location, where Jarolar Saronilsson place his fine work as a wall builder.
  • as the endpoint of the royal trade road established by Tarkalor Saronilsson.

These two mentionings are both on p.32 (of the latest edition). Otherwise I can find this location only as part of the term 'Duckton Road', which is mentioned in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and in the Guide to Glorantha.

Additional details available in the above texts:

  • Tarkolor stretched the royal trade to Duckton to greet the boats which came there.
  • Tarkalor build from Wilmskirk: the Duckton Road to Duck Point ...

No other information is available. Neither Duckton nor the term Duckton Road are visible on any of the available maps.

So what is Duckton? A town or city? An alternate name for Duck Point? Something else?

Inquiring mind needs to know ...

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25 minutes ago, Oracle said:

Currently I'm doing a deep dive into King of Sartar, and besides some very confusing terms I run into the location of Duckton in two places:

It is mentioned

  • as a location, where Jarolar Saronilsson place his fine work as a wall builder.
  • as the endpoint of the royal trade road established by Tarkalor Saronilsson.

These two mentionings are both on p.32 (of the latest edition). Otherwise I can find this location only as part of the term 'Duckton Road', which is mentioned in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes and in the Guide to Glorantha.

Additional details available in the above texts:

  • Tarkolor stretched the royal trade to Duckton to greet the boats which came there.
  • Tarkalor build from Wilmskirk: the Duckton Road to Duck Point ...

No other information is available. Neither Duckton nor the term Duckton Road are visible on any of the available maps.

So what is Duckton? A town or city? An alternate name for Duck Point? Something else?

Inquiring mind needs to know ...

Anything in connection to stone walls refers either to Duck Point where Duck Point refers to the city that Sartar built after having been rebuffed by the Colymar tribe, or to possibly Stone Nest (mentioned in Dragon Pass: Land of Thunder).

The map of DP:LoT shows less detail than maps of the Lismelder Lands which apparently were created by the Tales of the Reaching Moon team from the master maps that Jeff presented at Kraken this year. The Halberd Game maps has the secondary road from Stone Nest (the end point of the royal highway) to Duck Point (the river port at the easternmost outflow of the Upland Marsh) different from the master map, the course in the DP:LoT map is true to that master map. But then the master map has no road from Stone Nest to Duck Ferry, a place which logically would have an overland route to the royal highway - just not of the quality of a secondary road in Sartar (which probably is the quality of a primary road everywhere else on Glorantha).

The Duckton Road is the road from Quackford to Stone Nest. As it leads onward to Duck Point, it isn't clear which of the two settlements is meant with Duckton, or whether both are.

 

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Duck Point, Stone Nest and Duckton were all intended to be the same place.

It's fairly clear (as you note) that there is often a discrepancy between the published descriptions of roads and settlements in the Durulz Valley and their appearance on Greg's maps. How this developed is something I investigated a few years back and chatted with Greg about. The best way to show what happened—and why the discrepancies exist—is to go right back to the very beginning of published Glorantha and look at how the maps developed and why.

I've been meaning to do this for a while, and this thread seems as good a place as any. It'll take me a little while to put this together, but it should hopefully clear up why things are described and depicted like they are. I'll try to get it up by this evening.

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Once upon a time...

Many people will by now be familiar with the story of how Duck Point came to exist in Glorantha. Rick explains it very nicely here:

On 8/10/2019 at 4:07 AM, Rick Meints said:

Greg offered each of the playtesters of White Bear & Red Moon the chance to immortalize themselves by having a place on the game map named after them. That is why there are places with the names of Biggle Stone, Pimper's Block, and Swenstown. Duck Point was named by Greg's co-publisher of Wyrd magazine, Brian Crist. Brian was a huge fan of Carl Barks. He wanted Duckburg, from the comics, but since the Air Pirates had just been successfully sued by Disney Greg was worried about the same thing happening, and changed it to Duck Point for copyright reasons, which was OK with Brian.

Sadly, I don't own a copy of White Bear & Red Moon in any of its variations, so this is the best map I could find.

DuckPoint1.jpg.3f7de0a176ee8c789d0c1e9117e918ee.jpg

 

For comparison, below is a fragment of the updated map for the 1983 Avalon Hill printing of Dragon Pass:

DuckPoint1b.jpg.a5f68ff8ae7bbc09c16fc14d2b562012.jpg

 

And going back to the earlier, timeline, here are fragments of maps taken from the first and second editions of RuneQuest, respectively:

DuckPoint1x.jpg.f41860a95123d1c4d75bfaa31550db63.jpg

DuckPoint1c.jpg.82fff1bfd2fc82af092de78abcfb50d2.jpg

 

Each of these maps shows the same thing: a settlement named 'Duck Point'/'Duckpoint' sited close to the Upland Marsh and The Stream, and which lies at the terminus of the road running from Wilm's Church/Wilmskirk. One thing you may also notice is how the position of Duck Point can vary slightly. The Dragon Pass map shows it slightly further to the west than the White Bear & Red Moon, RuneQuest 1 and RuneQuest 2 maps.

There is also some potential confusion as to whether Duck Point is actually situated on The Stream (or even Upland Marsh) or not. Part of this is due to the constraints of hex maps and derivations from them. As a watercourse runs through the centre of a hex, and Greg "did not know how to make [Duck Point] a river port on the board game map" (pers. comm., April 2012), the city can potentially appear inland and be depicted as such on subsequent maps. You can see this, for example, on Yuri Chodek's map from the article 'Dragons Past' 1 from Different Worlds 28 (April, 1983), which is also reprinted in Wyrms Footprints 15 (Summer, 2012):

DuckPoint1d.jpg.2d01a28a46d371040007153a9cc527ef.jpg

 

Looking at this map, Duck Point is clearly inland. And is also basically in the place where Stone Nest is situated on many later maps. So what's going on? I'll try to show the answer to that in the next post, to split the images up a bit. (I appreciate this is all very boring so far, but the interesting stuff is to come. Promise!)

 

 

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44 minutes ago, Stew Stansfield said:

Each of these maps shows the same thing: a settlement named 'Duck Point'/'Duckpoint' sited close to the Upland Marsh and The Stream, and which lies at the terminus of the road running from Wilm's Church/Wilmskirk. One thing you may also notice is how the position of Duck Point can vary slightly. The Dragon Pass map shows it slightly further to the west than the White Bear & Red Moon, RuneQuest 1 and RuneQuest 2 maps.

There is the effect of generalization of the settlements to the hex map which plays into this, though. The boardgame rules forbid the coincidence of cities with river hexes, hence even a river port is always displayed on a hex adjacent to at least one river hex. Check Furthest, Bagnot, Dunstop, or Dangerford for reference.

 

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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.)

DuckPointScott.jpg.e8555f99ff476588ec9256c1b38ffab8.jpg

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):

DuckPoint2a.jpg.a951e69a320df5cfc5c7ea9920960353.jpg

 

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':

DuckPoint2b.jpg.5734584a34946327047cfa90ba24135a.jpg

 

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):

DuckPoint2c.jpg.14699463321641a5ecc64a7444f3c77f.jpg

DuckPoint2d.jpg.fb89c960a95a3f6c0caf3182b17b2e7a.jpg

 

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.)

 

 

Edited by Stew Stansfield
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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.

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Thanks a lot! This answers several questions.

But it also raises some more:

  • Stone Nest is now in ruins? Why? When?
  • And now, that we know, that there are two separate cities, which is Duckton, Duck Point or Stone Nest?

And what is the canonically correct answer? (But this question goes more into the direction of @Jeff ... 😉)

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1 hour ago, Oracle said:
  • And now, that we know, that there are two separate cities, which is Duckton, Duck Point or Stone Nest?

 

I know nothing about this, but common sense would at least imply that whichever settlement currently inhabited by ducks would be called Duckton by their human neighbors, so Duck Point?

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21 minutes ago, Oracle said:

Thanks a lot! This answers several questions.

But it also raises some more:

  • Stone Nest is now in ruins? Why? When?

1613 Fazzur decided to blame a big part of the Rebellion on the Ducks (and Joseph Greenface in particular) and offered a year's worth of tax rebate for each duck bill delivered to the Lunar authorities (a live duck attached to it extremely optional, and removable by the authorities). The resulting pogrome - or the fear of one - created a mass flight down the River, either all the way down to Nochet, or across the Lead Hills down the Marzeel. And possibly along the coast into the lower Zola Fel valley, assuming that there wasn't a duck presence there already following Dorasar's colonisation of the valley.

21 minutes ago, Oracle said:
  • And now, that we know, that there are two separate cities, which is Duckton, Duck Point or Stone Nest?

I expect Sartar's city to sit more or less directly on the river, which the boardgame map showed as closely as it could while avoiding a weird halving of the defensive value of units in that city due to the river characteristic of the hex.

Having a ruin and an inhabited city close to one another is always a good thing to have (see for instance MOB's re-purposing of the temple layout in Sun County for a dungeon with the "Old Sun Dome Temple" in Sun County). Karse even has two ruins nearby, Old Karse and Lylket. Corflu has Feroda.

DP:LoT used this, and offers a stone-walled native fortress next to the trade city of Sartar.

I would reserve "Stone Nest" for the native fortification, and use "Duck Point" for the river port. The river port mainly sees duck boats carrying in the cargo, but has few if any ducks inhabiting the city.

 

I don't expect there to be much toll evasion for cargo carried for human merchants - by delivering the cargo to the docks and warehouses of Sartar's city, the duck community will receive a portion of the royal tariffs for transshipping. Independent duck merchant boaters will be able to evade these tariffs easily, but their volume of trade isn't as large as the commissioned river traffic.

The duck boaters enjoy the privilege of unchallenged passage through Beast Valley. Humans without duck boaters (or Engizi worshipers) are likely to be stopped, and possibly taken away as sacrifices to the Wild Temple. The centaurs may collect a river toll from wooden boats (constructed by humans - the ducks appear to use reed boats/floats).

 

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So, what do duck boats look like, anyway. Hell for that matter what would a duck berg lookalike: a Dell or Goldkey comic image of a 60s cities superimposed on a bronze age veneer?. Not too likely (but I like the idea of many little bags full of coins with an L on them a la beagle brothers). Any one have some good pics or ideas?

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21 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

So, what do duck boats look like, anyway. Hell for that matter what would a duck berg lookalike: a Dell or Goldkey comic image of a 60s cities superimposed on a bronze age veneer?. Not too likely (but I like the idea of many little bags full of coins with an L on them a la beagle brothers). Any one have some good pics or ideas?

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:

DuckBoat.jpg.0761f77d8c003c50b61cd850b6c3a73f.jpg

 

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.

Eastern_Han_pottery_boat.JPG.128a6dcb7d9836c602b70d78ae6ca880.JPG

 

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6 minutes ago, Stew Stansfield said:

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.

 

Looks a bit like the African Queen. I would assume the demeanor would be similar. Right down the ceegar hangin’ from the Captain’s bill and the ratty seaman’s cap. Broad optional (it was a different time).

Thanks.

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22 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Looks a bit like the African Queen. I would assume the demeanor would be similar. Right down the ceegar hangin’ from the Captain’s bill and the ratty seaman’s cap. Broad optional (it was a different time).

Funnily enough...

AfricanQueen.thumb.jpg.febd015b1c8dc153a93f7596b73ceb62.jpg

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.

DuckPointInProgress.thumb.jpg.2b0b65ca72f73f3ce67e494224dece51.jpg

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Stew Stansfield said:

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.

I apologise for taking this a bit off topic, but that boat image has sparked something that has intrigued me for many years. I see Greg has used metric, as did the original rules. This is very unusual for an American. As a Brit I work happily in both, though I have my preferences depending on what’s being measured, what I’m doing or the context. For example, metric always seems slightly incongruous in a fantasy setting to me. Anyway, does anyone know why Greg used metric for Glorantha? Was it his general preference? Did it come from spending time in Europe? 

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Top thread of the season!!

Thinking about the "ruins" of Stone Nest I realize I don't actually know much about the durulz archaeological record before Delecti made the Marsh. The Mongoose book makes some interesting leaps in terms of a broader pre-Dragonkill duck diaspora that then gathered into Dragon Pass as a kind of central homeland. Sadly that's about as far as its imagination goes, but I wonder if that global duck community needed more extensive housing than the current population can or wants to maintain. Maybe they truly have come down in the world from much more lofty circumstances. (Born in an egg like the EWF, after all.)

Their boats (perfect for messing around in) would have been different when the current was stronger. And now that the topic is out in the open I don't have a lot of compelling evidence for the Wild Temple and Beast Valley before the Kill opened up the Zoo either.  

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21 minutes ago, Stew Stansfield said:

Something I started, but abandoned years ago (probably because I couldn't seem to get the legs right).

 

Oh my, oh, my, can I play there now, can I. huh, can I? (love the duck cap’n too!)

 

6 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

Top thread of the season!!

 

rocks my boat!

 

12 minutes ago, Cloud64 said:

I apologise for taking this a bit off topic, but that boat image has sparked something that has intrigued me for many years. I see Greg has used metric, as did the original rules. This is very unusual for an American. As a Brit I work happily in both, though I have my preferences depending on what’s being measured, what I’m doing or the context. For example, metric always seems slightly incongruous in a fantasy setting to me. Anyway, does anyone know why Greg used metric for Glorantha? Was it his general preference? Did it come from spending time in Europe? 

A lot of Table Top gaming came to Canada in the 80s from Europe or Australia. Perhaps the same to the states... I do not know if Australia had enacted metric laws by then but the games were in metres for all that I played (the Australian rules I used were for table top micro armour WW III (can’t recall the name). Seems to me most of the reenactments were set in Europe so the metric was in line....

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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2 hours ago, Stew Stansfield said:

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:

DuckBoat.jpg.0761f77d8c003c50b61cd850b6c3a73f.jpg

So... yeah.

 

Also IMHO worth doing is a Google image-search on "reed boat."  The technology is pretty ubiquitous, and ancient.

Note how common very-high prow-and-stern can be (unless tied off and trimmed short); some of these use the space for figureheads/totems.

IMG, these are often human figures, and often humorous or mocking of humans... occasionally even mocking a particular human.

One bright morning shortly after the Duckhunt began (when Durulz were seldom found at Duck Point; but many of their boats were still in use by humans), as a new Imperial Garrison was arriving with a fresh new commander, it was suddenly noticed that -- overnight -- all the figureheads had been replaced with figures of notable Lunars... particularly Fazzur and even Moonson himself!  All having some ridiculous or mocking aspect.  YGMV.

 

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1 hour ago, Cloud64 said:

I apologise for taking this a bit off topic, but that boat image has sparked something that has intrigued me for many years. I see Greg has used metric, as did the original rules. This is very unusual for an American. As a Brit I work happily in both, though I have my preferences depending on what’s being measured, what I’m doing or the context. For example, metric always seems slightly incongruous in a fantasy setting to me. Anyway, does anyone know why Greg used metric for Glorantha? Was it his general preference? Did it come from spending time in Europe? 

The USA was going through a phase of attempting to go metric at that time.

I presume Greg (or others @Chaosium at the time) were either trying to be forward-thinking, flipping the bird at regressive traditionalists who found metric to be unaMERikun, taking a stab at something that would feel "exotic" to the USAian buyer, or some mix thereof.

But I don't actually know.  

 

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32 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Lovely piece!

It's really, really good.  I hope you'll share the finished piece.

I'd be happy to see it -- and buy it! -- included in a Jonstown Compendium item...?

Together perhaps with more of your work, both art & text ... ?  <hint, hint>

 

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