cavernous

Daily Monster 364: The Green Children of Woolpit

Region of origin: Woolpit, Suffolk, England

In the mid-Twelfth Century, two green-skinned children appeared in the wilderness outside the village of Woolpit, wearing strange clothes and speaking an unknown language. They were brought to the village where, initially, they refused to eat anything brought to them besides beans. The brother languished, becoming depressed and sickly, and after a few months passed away. The sister, however, survived; she began eating different foods, the green skin-tone faded and she learned enough English to communicate. She and her brother, she said, had come from “the land of Saint Martin,” a country of perpetual twilight and green-skinned people that many have taken to be a subterranean civilization possibly part of the Hollow Earth. While watching a herd of their father’s livestock, they had entered a cavern following the sound of loud bells, gotten lost and emerged into the forests in which they were found. The girl, now named Agnes, would reportedly grow up and marry an ambassador of the King but never was able to fit in with the society around her.

http://geekandsundry.com/tabletop-dd-without-the-hours-of-prep/

RPGs are awesome. I’ve spent many a night delving into a dungeon and discovering the mysteries in long forgotten caverns. But the one down side is that D&D takes substantial prep time. The DM has to come up with a story, flesh it out enough to hook the characters, and then be prepared to t…

|| Photo from @boycesy || Devil’s Punchbowl is easily viewed from above from Devil’s Punchbowl State Park. A more interesting view is available at low tide, by hiking directly in to the cavern. The Punchbowl was formed when the crashing surf began eroding two sea caves from the soft rock. After several centuries, the two caves combined and then the ceiling collapsed, creating an open topped area (text from oregonhikers.org) || Image selected by @ericmuhr || Join us in exploring Oregon, wherever you are, and tag your finds to #Oregonexplored || #DevilsPunchbowlStatePark #DevilsPunchbowl #OregonCoast #Oregon || via Instagram http://ift.tt/2bubs6L

Annie’s tears

as a beautiful soul
that glimmers tear drops of rain .
she remains in the caverns
of her poetic mind.
Sipping and sipping
the solitudes of time.
Her essence elegant.
In rhythm it rhymes. 
Her blood is ink .
Wounded she bleeds .
watering beneath her feet
the seeds of her words .
like swords in flight
deadly her despair.
None can compare
to her glamorous darkness .
As her soul resonates
it coordinates my soul
towards her perpetuating existence
so beautifully designed it shines .
no one can see her tears .
but her tears are mine.
Like the intricate gears
Of a complexed clock
And the minerals
of a magnetized rock.
She electrifies the skies
on both sides of eternity

JLC #poetry #inspiration

@anniestears
—  Jean Lawrence Colas
Sarah and the Troll, Part III

Sarah and the Troll

Part III

Sarah dropped to the floor and covered her ears.  Well, that didn’t work, but at least he’d left the room. After his laughter had died down, she heard him leave the cave.  She looked around, desperately seeking for some way to escape.  She recognized that she’d been placed in some sort of…fence?  Pen? There were enough holes she could wriggle through, but she also knew he’d left her high up.  One wrong move and she’d be a stain on the cavern’s stone floor.

She clambered up what she recognized as part of a roof.  She looked down and shuddered, then wondered why she could see anything at all.  She looked up at the few softly glowing orbs that seem to float around without rhyme or reason.  They seemed to be made out of pure energy.  She had no idea what the fey lights were, but she was sure glad they were there.  Otherwise, the whole cavern would be pitch black and that would drive her insane. She’d heard of Light magic, of course, but she’d never seen anything like this.  

Sarah’s ears pricked, waiting for the booming footsteps that indicated the troll’s return. She glanced down once more before losing her nerve.  She scrambled off of the roof and surveyed the area.  She realized that he must have placed her on a high stone shelf of some sort, because she could see similar shelves nearby.  She looked at the pile of dried grass and snorted.  

What am I, an animal? she thought.  Indeed, he did seem to be treating her as some sort of pet.  The grass and twigs smelled strongly of bear.  She remembered hearing the familiar snuffles and whuffing sounds earlier.  Did the troll keep bears as pets, too?

Sarah walked the length of her “pen,” but saw no way to get down or out. The shelf beneath her was too far and the stone was damp with moisture. It would be suicide to attempt anything at this point.  The reality of her situation crept up on her, and she began to cry.  She was the pet of a giant mountain troll; a creature they had said was a mere myth, a story to frighten children into being good.  She felt all of her bravado and adrenaline leave her body.  As the dried grass was the only soft spot available, she stumbled onto it before collapsing.  She brought her hands to her face and sobbed, utterly verklempt. Her tiny cries echoed in the expansive chamber.

Her injured hand, now partly washed with her tears, throbbed to new life.  She looked it over.  It was red, swollen, and hot to the touch.  

Oh, shamrocks! she thought. It’s infected!  I have to get it clean right away!  

Suddenly her stomach gurgled.  She hugged her tummy and nestled deeper into the grass.  At least the troll had given her enough to stay warm. She looked herself over.  Her father’s overalls, badly darted and shortened by her own self, were shredded, barely hanging on at the knees. Mud and grass painted her clothes and body up and down. Her knees and shins were pretty sore; no doubt scraped by the many falls she took during the earthquake and storm.

Her stomach gurgled again.  How in the world can I possibly be hungry? she thought.  

Seeing all of her own minor injuries made her wonder about the troll.  He was quite badly injured himself, but it was because he saved her.  Was he the cause of the earthquake?  Sarah though it was possible but unlikely.  The quake’s epicenter began in the mountain range behind her house; she was sure of it.  Besides, the only thing the troll seemed to care about was saving her.  He wasn’t there to attack.  He neither attacked nor saved the village.  His only focus was her.

This thing knows my name, the thought came to her unbidden.  Why? How?!

She heard his thundering feet before his rumbling voice.  He was talking to somebody, but she couldn’t understand what.  She heard the cries of bear cubs, and realized that she’d guessed right earlier.

Sarah knew exactly when the troll decided to enter the room. She rolled over and stood, watching him peek before stepping in.  At this vantage point, she could see all of him at once, and it was quite a sight. He was big everywhere, and his hairy frame wasn’t all that long, but quite stout.  He was barrel-chested, with massive neck, shoulders and forearms equally thick and powerful. His arms were quite long for his body, but his legs were shorter.  She realized this made him move more easily as a quadruped, rather than a biped. His hands and feet were more like paws, although his feet far moreso than his hands.

Reminds me of Bob, she thought wryly, recalling her last meeting with the local blacksmith.  From here she noticed two thick horns curved along the top of the troll’s head.  She hadn’t been able to see them before. His entire…naked, she noted, body was covered with the same, dusky, cinnamon red hair.  He was more hairy than furry, although quite shaggy in most places.

The troll grunted, and Sarah realized she’d been staring at him for several minutes. More, he had let her. He approached her slowly, so as not to spook her. Being this high on a shelf meant that they were near eye level. When he got closer, he paused and just looked at her, his emerald eyes dancing as a sort of wistfulness crept across his face.

Sarah wanted to scream at him, to fight him somehow, but it was no use.  Still trembling at the size of him, she crossed her arms and turned her back on him. She jerked when he snorted, the sound still unbearably loud.  She heard him sigh, then in her peripheral vision saw his arm come around from the side. Instinctively, she flattened herself against the stone wall, but he merely dropped something next to her. She gasped when she realized what it was.

“My cart!” she cried, unable to help herself. Indeed, it was her cart; or rather the rickety remains of it, and along with it, much of the vegetables it had once carried. The eggplants were pulp, but most of the carrots, one of which she began munching on, survived, along with some cucumbers and other vegetables. Seeing it all relieved her somewhat, but then she remembered.

“Crème,” she breathed, and turned to the troll.

“My mule?” she tried, dropping her food and imploring up at him with outstretched hands. “Did you see my…” her voice died when she saw him close his eyes and shake his head.  He knew. Fresh tears spilled on her cheeks.

“Oh, Crème…” she whispered, and cried, turning away from him again.  He sighed, then made that strange cooing noise again.  She turned and ducked when a giant finger tried touching her.

“Stop that!” she shouted.  “I’m not a pet, dammit!  No, understand?!  NO!”

The troll paused, his hand retreating.

SARAH,” was all he could say. His face crumpled.

“And why do you know my name?!” she continued. “I want to go home!  This is not my home!  I want you to take me home!  My home, you…you hairy beast!”

She turned away and grabbed a cucumber. She fished out her pocketknife, carved off a piece and chewed on it, the juices relieving her parched throat hoarse from all of the yelling and screaming.

N…NO HOME, SARAH,” the troll said softly. Sarah groaned in response.

Go home, stupid,” she snapped.  “I said I want to go home.”  The troll growled in frustration. Sarah’s head shot up, alert to the change in his tone.

NO…” he said, suddenly much more succinct. “SARAH’S HOME…GONE.

Sarah nearly dropped her pocketknife. She turned and marched as close as she could get without craning her neck.

“What do you mean, ‘gone?’” she demanded.  “What…what in Hades did you do?”

The troll growled again, angry at the accusation. Sarah stepped back on reflex.

STORM.” His answer was like a short cannon blast.

Sarah automatically shook her head.

“It…you’re lying. It can’t be gone!”

The troll shook his head, his expression serious and unwavering.

I…LOOK,” he said as softly and as carefully as he could. “STORM VERY BAD. MAGIC BAD. NO HOME. NO BARN. ALL GONE.

Sarah covered her mouth with her hands as a scream welled its way up. By the Holy Three…

“My…she stuttered, “m-my anim-m-mals? Th-the henhouse?  The toolshed?”

The troll shook his head.

SORRY.

Sarah wanted to scream and cry again, but she had nothing left in her. She sat back down in the pile of grass.

“So…” she asked, “you know where I live?” The troll nodded.  

“How-why did you go there?”

The troll chewed on his upper lip.  He pointed to Sarah’s cart.

SEE IF HOME SAFE,” he said softly.

Sarah gaped at him. “You checked to see if my home was safe?”  He grunted in response.

“And if it was, what then?”

TAKE SARAH HOME.

He’d have taken her home.  Sarah didn’t know why, but she began to believe him. “But now?”

NOW…” he tried, shrugging his massive shoulders. “NOW SARAH…SAFE. NEW HOME…HERE?

Sarah finally understood.  The big doof just wanted to protect her.  Still, she couldn’t stay here, penned in like one of her farm animals.  She shook her head.

“No, I can’t. I can’t stay here.”

SARAH SAFE.” The troll insisted, but Sarah was having none of it.

“It’s not safe here, you stupid beast!  You can’t keep me here! You should have let me go to town!”

TROLL.” His voice was a quiet boom, like a thunderstorm far away. She looked up at him.

NOT B-BEAST,” he said, with his head bowed. “TROLL.

Sarah almost said she didn’t give a rat’s ass, but she didn’t want to aggravate him.  After all, he did care, in his own misguided way.  He saved her from the storm, and now he not only brought her food, but the very food she herself had grown and lived off of.

She huffed.  

“Is that your name?” she asked, finishing up her cucumber chunk.  

The troll seemed startled.  His bushy eyebrows shot to the top of his head.  He thought for a moment, then shook his head.

“Well, what’s your name, then?” she asked. When he didn’t answer, she stood up and gestured to herself.

“You call me Sarah. Sarah, that’s me.” She pointed to herself, again.  “Sarah!” She then pointed to him. “You.  What’s your name?  Your name is…?”

The troll looked at her and smiled sadly, shaking his head.

“You don’t have a name?” she asked.  

He shook his head again.

“Oh.”

The troll grunted in bemusement.

“Well, I’ve got to call you something,” Sarah muttered.  He grunted again, and she realized he heard her.  Curious, she stood up and faced him.

“Can you hear me?” she asked in a regular tone.  He nodded vigorously.  

HEAR SARAH GOOD,” he rumbled, then wiggled his ears.

Sarah choked and spit out her bite of cucumber. She covered her mouth as she coughed and laughed at the same time. His answer was so unexpected she laughed in spite of herself.

The troll was pleased and grunted a laugh in response.  She realized he was holding back for her sake.

When Sarah calmed down, she asked him, “So you…f-found Crème?”

The troll looked sad and nodded slowly.

“Did…did he suffer?”

An emphatic shake of the head.

“Died instantly?”

Nod, nod.

“Well, that’s good, I guess.”

Nod, nod.  

Sarah sat and ate some more.  She looked up at him and swallowed hard.

“Did you…eat him?”

The troll frowned as though insulted. Then a flash of worry or fear crossed his features and he shook his head slowly.

Sarah shrugged her shoulders, feeling an odd sense that she should be apologizing.  

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t know, I just…I mean, it’s okay if you did, you know.  Since he was already dead.”

The troll kept frowning and shook his head slowly again.

NO MEAT,” he grumbled, thumping his chest.

Sarah was shocked. “You don’t…you’re a vegetarian?!”

The troll grinned broadly and shook his head.  He then gestured for her to wait.  He thumped out of the chamber.  After a moment, he thumped back. He held a large, sparkling rock in his hands. At Sarah’s confusion, he grinned again…and proceeded to bite into the rock, chewing with delight.

Tropikal Karting (Chinese_Viking)

Race around an island paradise to this energetic tune, but watch out for the crabs! Can you find the shortcut through the hidden cavern?

This was heavily inspired from my many hours playing Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing as a child. It’s just a MIDI right now, but maybe I’ll make a fancier version when I have the time and the tools.

P.S: If any of you old Homestuck folks wanna take a crack at making this super fancy (I’m looking at yoooou, @albatrossthesoup, @jitmakesstuff, @fwugradiation), shoot me a message and I’ll get you the original MIDI.

There’s power in the touch of another person’s hand. We acknowledge it in little ways, all the time. There’s a reason human beings shake hands, hold hands, slap hands, bump hands. It comes from our very earliest memories, when we all come into the world blinded by light and color, deafened by riotous sound, flailing in a suddenly cavernous space without any way of orienting ourselves, shuddering with cold, emptied with hunger, and justifiably frightened and confused. And what changes that first horror, that original state of terror? The touch of another person’s hands. Hands that wrap us in warmth, that hold us close. Hands that guide us to shelter, to comfort, to food. Hands that hold and touch and reassure us through our very first crisis, and guide us into our very first shelter from pain. The first thing we ever learn is that the touch of someone else’s hand can ease pain and make things better. That’s power. That’s power so fundamental that most people never even realize it exists.
—  Jim Butcher, Skin Game