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 March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art

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Tymber

Tymber


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PostSubject: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyWed Mar 03, 2021 3:57 am

Stories, poetry, artwork, whatever your talent to share - must be ElfQuest themed - and may contain canon ElfQuest characters (Cutter, Leetah, Skywise, etc) or custom characters of your own (as long as it's in the "ElfQuest" universe).

Your submissions should include at least one of these things (for art), and at least 3 of the 5 for stories (but let's see you use all five!)

Stories can be as long as you want them to be.

Elements:

A skull
dead
A gem of some kind (diamond, ruby, whatever you want)
a duckling

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March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art Ba_tym10
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Tymber

Tymber


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyMon Mar 15, 2021 5:38 pm

A skull
dead
A gem of some kind (diamond, ruby, whatever you want)
a duckling

The moons shimmered in the still waters of the lake, their twin shine like diamonds trapped just beneath the surface of the water. A figure kneeled down and saw the elfin skull at the edge of the water and picked it up. His starfilled eyes now full of mourning.

A hand rested gently on his shoulder as a familiar voice whispered, “I know you miss them.”

Skywise set the skull down and stood and faced his chief – his brother in all but blood. “It just feels so…” He looked around as a duckling shivered in the water sending ripples, “quiet. So …”

“Dead,” Cutter whispered.

“Yes. Dead,” Skywise replied, looking at his friend whose image shimmered. “And the irony isn’t lost on me,” Skywise muttered.

“The song has been sung,” Cutter said. “If they don’t come, they may not be able to anymore.”

“I miss them,” Skywise wept.

“We all do,” Cutter said. “We all do.”

=========

Just a state of these grab bags. It's been posted for two weeks and no entries. I remember way back when when these were flooded with people telling stories. So I thought it'd be fun to write an analogy to it through Cutter and Skywise. They're talking about the land around them being dead = these threads, the song = the grab bag topics.

I do miss when so many people used to write in here.

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyTue Mar 16, 2021 2:37 pm

I did start this month's snippet, but Ive been chasing RL crap and have had a hard time even logging in as often as Id like, much less sit down and write... Still have one more fire to put out and then I can ser fire to my story... I mean... Im... Going to light myself on fire until I get it written... No, thats not right either... The writing is going to light a fire under me until I get it done? Hmmm... Should stop playing with gasoline and sparks....

We aint dead yet, bud, just sleepin.... Fire an arrow at me if it gets too much later....

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Virgo Tiger
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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyTue Mar 16, 2021 4:55 pm

"We aint dead yet, bud, just sleepin"

yes indeed,
I still have so much to catch up on, I'm currently at the comic grabbags from August and November, so I fear I won't be able to do anything this month.

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyTue Mar 16, 2021 5:58 pm

Dont sweat it, they arent going anywhere, go where your muse takes you... And take us along for the ride!

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Virgo Tiger
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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyTue Mar 16, 2021 6:01 pm

Always Smile

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Tymber

Tymber


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyThu Mar 18, 2021 4:17 am

Elements:

A skull
dead
A gem of some kind (diamond, ruby, whatever you want)
a duckling

Rini and Wini were human twins, whose sole purpose in life seemed to simply be disagree with one another, even when they were saying the same thing. Though they were twins, there were stark differences between the two. Rini was thicker and had a mane of black hair, while Wini, his sister, was wiry and thin, with blond hair. Rini had a dead duckling slung over his shoulder, the only thing they’d managed to catch tonight during their hunt by the river. They were near the ocean now and could hear the waves crashing. Standing at the edge, where the dirt only just begun to turn to sand, both looked towards the ocean.

“Don’t even think about it,” Wini warned, placing her young hands firmly on her hips. “You know what mother says.”

“She says the demon fish live in the tide and pull unwary children into the waters to drown them,” Rini cited his mother’s warning with a roll of his eyes. “How true do you think that really is?”

“Very,” Wini growled. “That’s how we lost father.”

“That’s what mother says,” Rini retorted. “What if the truth is, father just… left us.”

“Father would not have left us!” Wini pouted. “He loved us!”

Rini looked at the waves as they crashed, and he could have sworn, through the tide, with the eyes of the twin moons full that shone like twin diamonds, shining their light – he thought he could see figures in the waves.

In the crashing tides, Bloodwave, Chief of the Shiver, snarled. “Let the foolish children come forward – step into the waters so we might pull you in and drown you – kill you – like your adult kind have killed our children.”

Seastar, who was Bloodwave’s Recognized mate – but the two could not be further apart. Bloodwave was born with the ‘redfin’ gene which made his skin tanner, his teeth sharper, his eyes different – and with the redfin gene an aggression that was nearly uncontrollable. Seastar, though she had fought the Recognition for as long as she could had surrendered to it, after becoming violently sick. While she despised her mate and her chief, she was thankful for the child they’d had together – the young Starfish who was sixteen seasons in age.

Their young child had been swimming next to them, also observing the young human children. “Father,” she said, “we have legs like humans – why do we not rush out and pull them into the water?”

Seastar was distraught when Starfish tried to please her father; Starfish wasn’t born with the redfin gene, but she often did things that put the shiver in danger, because she’d often done things that were entirely too risky, in hopes of gaining her father attention and affection – but those with the redfin gene rarely had room for anything other than aggression.

“No,” Bloodwave growled. “This is a trap by humans – to put children out there, to lure us into rushing out to grab them to have our revenge and catch us on the land where we’re not as familiar fighting.”

Rini and Wini eventually left the shores, unaware of how close they’d come to meeting their end that night.

====
Attaching my original Crimson Reef notes – most of it stayed the same, but some of it I fleshed out more in the story above:

Crimson Reef Sea Elves

IDEAS:
- They come from High Ones who took the form of Sharks, and over time forgot their true form; so much so that they changed themselves on a genetic level. As the years waned by and the magic grew weaker, despite remaining in Shark form, they began to birth elves. Centuries have passed, and over all, most of the Crimson Reef look like normal elves who can simply breathe underwater (similar to Aquaman, for example). However, every once in awhile, a genetic “hiccup” happens and the “shark genes” get introduced, giving birth to tanner elves, who tend to be far more aggressive.
- Of the current elves, those with this genetic trait are: Barrier, Bloodwave, and Stormtide
- Recognition only happens to those with the “shark gene” – such as Barrier, Bloodwave, Kelpweaver and Stormtide
- - Seastar, despite her dislike of Bloodwave’s ways, unfortunately Recognized her Chief, but she is the most vocal oppose of his ways
- Their group is called a Shiver (similar to what a group of Sharks is called)
- Similar to sharks, the Crimson Reef members age slowly (also perhaps due to the High Ones blood in there), thus making their numbers lower
- The Crimson Reef elves are very sensitive to movement, and those with the “shark gene” can smell blood in the water from miles away
- Some of the Crimson Reef elves are born with blue hair (or blue tinted hair) which comes from the “Sea Shark” (similar to the Blue Shark) bloodline; they do not have the violent tendencies of others born of “shark genes.”


Bloodwave (Chief, Mate to Seastar)
Male chief, extremely violent. No tolerance towards humans. He believes the humans hunt for sport, as well as for food. The idea of hunting for sport and joy has driven him to a seething hatred for humans.  Has the ability to command certain marine life (dolphins, sharks, whales) and he will make every attempt to command the whales (humans call them “sea giants”) to slam into human ships, while the members of his Shiver (Crimson Reef) attempt to spear the humans and pull them from their ships, so that the razor-fins (sharks) can feed off the humans. His first (unnamed?) life mate, love mate, soul mate – was killed by humans who had harpooned her, mistaking her for a dolphin (which the humans hunted to eat). Bloodwave comes from a very long line of members in his family, all of whom are consumed with an indescribable hatred for humans due to the “shark gene”
Seastar (Mate to Bloodwave)
The smart, wiser, elf of the tribe; she is not prone to follow Bloodwave, whom she does not get along with.
Starfish (Daughter of Bloodwave and Seastar)
She is a young elf; eager to prove herself to the others (almost to a fault, where she often puts herself, and others in needless danger) Sixteen seasons old

Stormtide (Mate of Morningsun)
Water Shaper (able to control elements of the ocean, cause tides, waves, currents to do his bidding) (Male)
Essentially Stormtide is able to create spouts of water (which are used to overturn ships, small boats, rafts, etc.) – he can also shape the tide, by causing riptides, change the current, etc.)
Morningsun (Mate of Stormtide)
Born with sea blue eyes, and golden blond hair, like Seastar, she does not agree with Bloodwave’s method and hatred against the humans, and has spoken up against him. She is a strong, independent female, but does not possess the intelligence of Seastar.

Sunfish (son of Stormtide and Morningsun) – Young male Elf, also does not like Bloodwave’s violent tendencies. Year older than Starfish
Riverlance (daughter of Stormtide and Morningsun) - Disappeared

Kelpweaver (Mother  of Redfin)
Standard plant shaper of the tribe. Shapes kept and other plants, that the Sea Elves use for food (as well as shelter to hide their coral reef home).

Redfin (Daughter of Kepweaver)
Young, female elf, named as such, because she was born with a red Mohawk for hair, which she still has (natural birth effect). So they named her redfin, since her hair resembles that of a shark.


Barrier (Best friend of Shellseeker – shapes shells for Shellseeker)
Barrier is the one who shaped the home for the Sea Elves (or perhaps someone from his line of generation of stone shapers). In any case, he is the one that now maintains the shape of the large coral reef tunnels that they now live in.

Shellseeker (Best friend to Barrier) Makes the armor for the tribe; using shells, and help with Barrier, who helps shape things that Shellseeker comes up with. He also is primarily responsible for the weapons.


Driftwood (Lover of Amberjack)
Got the name, was thought dead, found in the wreckage of a ship at some time. Formerly known as Tidebreaker.

Amberjack (Lover of Driftwood)
Amberjack is a very free, loving, spirit. She’s in a relationship with Driftwood, but it’s a very open relationship.

Blowfish (Expert weapons)
Expert with a spear (similar to how one might consider Strongbow the expert with a bow). She’s quite playful. She’s beautiful, but refuses to acknowledge it.


Urchin (Loner)
Flesh shaper who has control to make his hair and finger nails razor sharp, a unique form of “flesh shaping.”

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyThu Mar 18, 2021 2:22 pm

Rini and Wini... lol... Good thing they weren't eaten by land sharks, or no one would have been around to tell the story later...

More Shark-folk... Awesome! I was hoping to see more of this tribe. I have to wonder if they are going to let the elder-types lead them into open conflict with the humans or if the more logical group will let reason carry them? I can see this being a very 'sparky' tribe, lots of opinions and reaction possibilities... and thorough groundwork to make them well rooted prior to the story happening.

Speaking of sparks, I wonder how fire-shaping or energy-shaping would manifest in marine folk? something like an electric eel? I could also see a 'snipe hunting' gag going bad at some point in the past before a natural taboo developed against baiting the unseen terrors of the deep... It might be just as interesting to continue seeing how the humans have developed their culture around the nearby shark elves as much as the elves form around the presence of humans...

This writing feels more like you, Tymber, and I'm glad to see it. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyThu Mar 18, 2021 2:26 pm

Elements:

-A skull
-dead
-A gem of some kind (diamond, ruby, whatever you want)
-a duckling

Digging had become Grubfinder's joy in life. Living on the surface as long as he had, the constant toil of mining was almost forgotten, and getting dirt in his fingers without threat of harm was almost pleasant. Whether it was planting in the spring or collecting tubers in the harvest, or just taking some time away and admiring all the colors of the rocks in the stream as he was now, it felt good to use his hands for himself.

After the mess he'd left behind him, he'd been alone, and some would say, he'd grown peculiar. He carried a satchel of odd things that he found during times like this: mostly pebbles, bits of twisted bark with interesting grains, a few fluffy feathers gathered from a nest after the young ducks left... completely worthless things in troll culture, but to Grubfinder, they were little pieces of wonder he could keep with him.

He missed his friends dearly, but he did not miss the constant threats, abuse, orders, and whatnot that he'd been subjected to among the trolls. It was funny to think that, while he himself was a troll, he no longer considered himself as a troll, at least as far as kinship was concerned. While his exile left hiim alone and lonesome for those he would have considered kin, this was freedom. In this warm section of rolling hills and meandering creeks, food was plentiful, the climate was tolerable year around, and Grubfinder found time to be himself, such as this moment: watching the underwater snip-bugs dance underwater around his legs as he sat in clear, nearly still water. He was so much at peace, he didn't even consider how much he'd have been chided by... well, anyone he had known would probably have though him the fool, but this was bliss.

Alone and in exile, dead to all those he'd known, yet still content with what he had. This was Grubfinder in his element. He would have preferred to have someone to share this freedom with, and now that he had known actual friends that cared about him and that he had cared about, it was as though an injury had reopened that he hadn't known he'd had, at least when he thought about it. But today it was just he and these little creatures tickling his legs, frolicking under a nearly smooth stretch of the creek.

The sun glinted off of the water, here and there, where some fish or current disturbed the surface. By troll standards, Grubfinder was less than poor, without a sliver of gold, gem, or bright-metal to call his own. These sparkles around him were his own treasure trove, surrounding him with endless diamond-like sparkles. For the last a handful of eight-eights of moons, this was his home, and he'd never felt as at home as he had here.

A bird chirped. The realization that the animals had been quiet up to this point was a shock, and a shudder jolted him as he remembered the horrors he'd had to face. Even after all this time, it got the better of him from time to time. His movement stirred up the silt in the creek bed and scattered the creatures near him. As he'd spent the better part of the morning sitting in ankle deep water, it might be best to move on to something else anyway, he figured. The creek would be here tomorrow.

He shook himself off, wringing the water from his shorts. He noticed a small orange pebble that was bright enough to be seen through the haze of silt in the water, and he picked it up. He considered it for a bit, noting the lines and specks in it before dropping it back into the creek. After his pants stopped dripping he turned and headed into the trees. His trail had gotten fairly beaten into the ground, and he could move down the path without so much as a stem of grass snapping. He paused for a bit at the old white-bark tree, which reminded him of the piece of dried white-bark tree root he'd been sucking on. It had long lost its flavor, so he padded his various pockets searching for another piece while he spit out the old one. It was the wrong season for it, but as he was coming up short for snacks at the moment, he considered trying to cut into the tree and see if he could get some sap from it, if only a little. He'd left his stone knife at home, though, so aside from mashing the tree with a rock, there wouldn't be much way to get much out of it. If only it were one of the other seasons, when seeds might be found sweet and plentiful, or when the leaves were soft and freshly green... but there was nothing here today.

He continued down his trail, his sensitive feet noting some slight irregularity in the surface. He looked down and saw branch-horn tracks running along it. He mused that it would be about time for them to drop their horns, perhaps he'd find one this season? four turns of the seasons he'd come up empty when looking for them.

As it was, one was laying in the trail, a small amount of blood still wet where it had broken off of the animal's skull. It had fallen off recently, perhaps only a hand of moments ago. He stopped to listen, to tell if the branch-horn was still nearby, as his eyes searched for the other horn. Why they grew each year and fell off, just to be replaced again and again was beyond him, it seemed like a useless bone for the animal to grow. If the horn stayed put, or fell out only after it had been replaced or damage, it would make more sense as a self defense feature, but for them to go missing for part of a season, then be nearly useless as they grew back... That seemed pointless. Still, it was a wonderment, and as such the wonder was not lost on Grubfinder.

He wandered back to his hut, with a stone fence and a wooden door, half a moon's walk from any thing Grubfinder might carry a conversation with. Perhaps he'd grab a fish line and try his luck. He looked over at the basket he'd been weaving to try to net the creek fish, and detoured over to work on it some more. He didn't need the net, more than it was something to do. Fish were easy to catch, even without a line, and where it didn't get very cold here, there was no reason to go preserving food for the white-cold. Still, it seemed therapeutic.

As the sun tracked across the sky, Grubfinder realized he hadn't thought how he would finish the net, how much it could hold, and so on. It was about to that point, so he set it aside while he thought about it. Not having work to do really seemed to make naps appealing, and today was no exception. As Grubfinder drifted off, snug and safe in his hut, he thought about the sun, the weather, and how bright the stars should be tonight. For an exiled, worthless troll with only a stone knife to his name, he was indeed surrounded by a wealth of sparkling gems day and night.

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Tymber

Tymber


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyFri Mar 19, 2021 2:07 pm

@TrollHammer wrote:

Rini and Wini... lol... Good thing they weren't eaten by land sharks, or no one would have been around to tell the story later...

I was trying to think of human names... and ended on that. Figured the reference to them as twins was a reference to Wendy & Richard (formerly?) being married.

@TrollHammer wrote:

More Shark-folk... Awesome!  I was hoping to see more of this tribe.  I have to wonder if they are going to let the elder-types lead them into open conflict with the humans or if the more logical group will let reason carry them?  I can see this being a very 'sparky' tribe, lots of opinions and reaction possibilities... and thorough groundwork to make them well rooted prior to the story happening.

Speaking of sparks, I wonder how fire-shaping or energy-shaping would manifest in marine folk? something like an electric eel?  I could also see a 'snipe hunting' gag going bad at some point in the past before a natural taboo developed against baiting the unseen terrors of the deep... It might be just as interesting to continue seeing how the humans have developed their culture around the nearby shark elves as much as the elves form around the presence of humans...

This writing feels more like you, Tymber, and I'm glad to see it. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Yeah. I think I am going to do these shark people stories. It feels different than Stonehowl. So it's nice to do something different. New characters, new stories. I thought it'd be interesting to tell a story of a tribe, where their leader is pretty much unlikable - and how the rest of the tribe revolves around that.

And I like the electric eel idea. May need to explore that as a power that one of them discovers within themselves.

And speaking of doing something different...

I see we pay a visit to Grubfinder again. Not sure why but I definitely connect more with Grubfinder! Maybe the troll side of'em reminds me of myself. Very Happy

@TrollHammer wrote:

Digging had become Grubfinder's joy in life.  Living on the surface as long as he had, the constant toil of mining was almost forgotten, and getting dirt in his fingers without threat of harm was almost pleasant. Whether it was planting in the spring or collecting tubers in the harvest, or just taking some time away and admiring all the colors of the rocks in the stream as he was now, it felt good to use his hands for himself.

Such a good opening.

@TrollHammer wrote:

He missed his friends dearly, but he did not miss the constant threats, abuse, orders, and whatnot that he'd been subjected to among the trolls.  It was funny to think that, while he himself was a troll, he no longer considered himself as a troll, at least as far as kinship was concerned.

And I think this is where I connect.
Aren't we all in exile right now these days?

@TrollHammer wrote:

The sun glinted off of the water, here and there, where some fish or current disturbed the surface. By troll standards, Grubfinder was less than poor, without a sliver of gold, gem, or bright-metal to call his own. These sparkles around him were his own treasure trove, surrounding him with endless diamond-like sparkles.  For the last a handful of eight-eights of moons, this was his home, and he'd never felt as at home as he had here.

I love that he appreciates the simple things in life.
Another lesson we could all learn.

@TrollHammer wrote:

As Grubfinder drifted off, snug and safe in his hut, he thought about the sun, the weather, and how bright the stars should be tonight. For an exiled, worthless troll with only a stone knife to his name, he was indeed surrounded by a wealth of sparkling gems day and night.

Such a great end to this segment. <3

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Virgo Tiger
Posts : 1774
Join date : 2019-08-10
Age : 47
Location : the wild high seas

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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyFri Mar 19, 2021 5:01 pm

Yay! another Sea people story. Like

"I wonder how fire-shaping or energy-shaping would manifest in marine folk? "
I think, as long as they have legs, they can "go" on land and start fire the same as all other land elves, e.g. my Blackfin does so. Of course, it makes a difference whether you are constantly on land or not. This is why poor Blackfin is often depressed because he sees his talent as being ridiculous underwater. But you can also do some great things with it at sea, e.g. ignite human ships (the gunpowder reacts quite strongly to it) and so on.
Eel Power sounds really great!

Had no time to read Trollhammers story yet, comes later...



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TrollHammer

TrollHammer


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PostSubject: Re: March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art   March 2021 Grab Bag - stories | poetry | art EmptyFri Mar 19, 2021 10:14 pm

@Tymber wrote:
Yeah. I think I am going to do these shark people stories. It feels different than Stonehowl. So it's nice to do something different. New characters, new stories. I thought it'd be interesting to tell a story of a tribe, where their leader is pretty much unlikable - and how the rest of the tribe revolves around that.

And I like the electric eel idea. May need to explore that as a power that one of them discovers within themselves.

And speaking of doing something different...

I see we pay a visit to Grubfinder again. Not sure why but I definitely connect more with Grubfinder! Maybe the troll side of'em reminds me of myself. Very Happy

I'm glad, IRL I have a hard time figuring people out sometimes, so I usually just put myself in the situation of the story and just do what I would do if I were the character. It's fun, lol. Another little secret: I'm kind of a fan of the 'honorable young Picknose' and despise the Kings Greymung and Guttlekraw.  Picknose always seems to be just verging on being an outcast, until he finally does. He's smarter than many of his peer group, and cares about doing what is right even if it costs him, which is not what the general Troll population does.

So many of my characters are either outcasts as well, or end up tagging along with outcasts in admiration.

Anyway, I'm rushed for time more than I thought, but Grubfinder might decide to go to the beach for vacation some day... I wonder what the sea-folk might think about seeing a troll?

@Tymber wrote:
@TrollHammer wrote:

He missed his friends dearly, but he did not miss the constant threats, abuse, orders, and whatnot that he'd been subjected to among the trolls.  It was funny to think that, while he himself was a troll, he no longer considered himself as a troll, at least as far as kinship was concerned.

And I think this is where I connect.
Aren't we all in exile right now these days?
Yeah, as I was writing it I wondered if I was subconsiously projecting things... still don't know. lol.  Mostly, though I just wish I could return to my childhood when I could just sit and watch water-striders for hours, gaze at pebbles underwater and wonder at how they didn't look the same when I pulled them out, underwater boatmen paddling around here and there...  never seems like enough time these days...
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