Arousing the Goddess – thirty years in the waking


Sorry if you thought this was going to be a bit saucy – not that kind of arousal, I’m afraid: and for the moment, I’m gonna let you stew on that for a bit and come back to it later.

Meanwhile – I’m currently in the process of making the last edits on a book. It’s taken maybe thirty years to have got around to it, if not more. Sort of: no excuses really, just lots and lots of procrastination.

– anyway. It’s kind of a collaborative effort: its content is drawn together from several sources, and in a way from several ‘authors’. I’d better explain…

I started actually putting things together some five years or so ago, doing bits and pieces in my half-hour lunch-breaks at work, or in the last hour before bed, or the occasional instance of being weirdly wide awake at 3 a.m. – with several ideas in mind, but one in particular that kept sticking its metaphorical hand in the air with greatest eagerness. It also fell most naturally into that favoured phrase about ‘writing what you know.’ Plus, since the intent was to also make use of certain passages that were already in existence, some of it was already written – bonus!

The basic notion was to start writing up some of the outings that myself and others had undertaken in a series of roleplaying adventures, run within the universe of Wyrdworld – established by Fenris Games in the mid-1980s. This was a play-by-mail game, a popular means of ‘getting your game on’ when it wasn’t convenient to gather a group together for the more usual sort of meet.

As a player, your game would take place within the bounds of a few sheets of written narrative, provided to you by your Author-GM: this would begin with your initial placement in the world, a little description of your current predicament therein, and an open-ended…ending… that would allow for you to make some sort of action, or decision, or otherwise let you do whatever else might occur to you – in order to move the narrative along again. You could be as direct or as discursive in this as you wished, with more involved ‘turns’ resulting most likely in much more elaborate arcs to your individual story.

Once in a while, we would try to organise a ‘proper’ game between as many players as could make the trip, such events becoming known as ‘over-the-table’ or ‘OTT’ sessions, where there would be a more direct interaction of the different characters, and some sort of joint adventure for all to be a part of. It is from these OTTs and the various other character-stories leading up to them, that I/we are trying to string stories together; and the ‘plan’ is, that if any kind of measurable money-reward comes from the book(s) that are drawn out of this, then I will be passing on some sort of percentage of that to the owners of those characters that I put into the stories, if those owners are agreeable to that outcome – if not, I’ve got plenty of non-inclusive stuff I can think up and type up, so it’ll be no problem to carry on with the tales of Wyrdworld one way or another, without them.

The main co-author though is my own big bruv, our Ian: several parts of the book will be drawn from articles written by him for the magazine we used to publish to go along with the Wyrdworld game, often scribed ‘in character’ by beings who were effectively NPCs in the gameworld – of which there are still plenty yet to be sourced for any subsequent stories. The inspiration for this came from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, wherein several peoples’ journals and suchlike form parts of the tale (also happens in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but Frankie was my first and my favourite).

Meanwhile, I’d better get back to the Goddess: a fairly large role in Wyrdworld – well, the largest role possible, I suppose – is taken up by the Mother-Goddess of the world, who is essentially equivalent to our world’s notion of Gaia (or Gaea) and/or the (not necessarily correct) interpretation of the Triple-Goddess of Celtic and similar mythologies, sometimes named as Blodeuwedd/Morrigu/Ceridwen (though often as others)  – representing the Maiden, the Mother, and the Grandmother, or otherwise the Earth, Moon, and Sea (in this case Uurth rather than Earth) – She being the main inspiration for the book-cover – which I’ll show in full later on as the publishing-date approaches if you’ve not seen it elsewhere in the meanwhile. The image is basically a repurposing of the Jack-in-Green character, (which was probably repurposed in the other direction in the first place) otherwise known as the Green-Man, into one which makes much more sense in a universe centred around a base-belief in a female fertility deity. Probably in any other, too. The artwork itself is from Kerem Beyit:

The world this all takes place in is at a place in time where its mythologies are in question, many of its inhabitants beginning to turn to science and other explanations of their ‘being,’ such that its gods – of whatever denomination – are deemed to be sleeping: hence, we return to the title of this load of old blather, and thereby to the end of it, as well.

More to come, as and when…

About snuurg

amateur sculptor; 'professional' modelmaker. Images copyright snuurg / J.Brumby unless otherwise noted. Sculptor of gods and monsters, myths and mortals, from miniature to monumental
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