Monday, December 10, 2007

The origin of a word

I received an email query recently from a certain Beverley McKay:

"I have just finished reading Monster Blood Tattoo and have a question I was hoping you could answer for me… Could you tell me from where you derived the name you gave to the Imperial language?"
I can certainly answer that question for you. It was a few years ago now but the word was derived from two things: firstly, that I like the sound - the "vibe" if you like - of the word Latin and wanted to keep this intact some how; secondly the people who speak this language (a conglomeration of the Patris and Dido's faithful followers) style themselves the Tutelarchs (loosely the "teacher-rulers"). Consequently, I simply joined the "tut" (said 'tyoot') of Tutelarch and the "in" of Latin and so was formed Tutin. (This was my emailed reply, actually)

So, now both she and you know.

Also, regarding giantfan's inquiry into those who study the weather in the Half-Continent. Well, they are not particular folks like we have meteorologists in our own world, though certainly some natural philosophers have more than a passing interest in the movements of winds and rains. Barometers exist too, of course, for telling whether conditions are remaining fair or turning foul.

I will get to Lawrence's question about the auto-biographical nature of MBT soon.

Speaking of Lawrence, you should head on over to Lil' Chief Records and have a listen to the tunes on his jukebox. After that you need to go check out Coz's tunes, Rabbit Weather.

And while you listening to the sweet music, please please try your hand at answering these questions. I tell you truly, my sense of the H-c is so expanding just knowing and thinking of these independent lives moving about it, characters of other people's imagination dwelling therein - it is almost like these inventions of yours have become autonomous entities in my imaginings.

Totally unexpected and so very very "cool"!


Lawrence said...

DM. Thanks for the props. And ... wow ... Coz's stuff is wonderful. I'm off to listen again. Isn't the internet wonderful. (And I shall look forward to your comments concerning biogaphy. Hurrah!)

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm normally pretty good at things like this, but I have few good ideas for my HC doppelganger, I'm afraid.

* What would be your name?
Um... Dreb... Filotti?

* What part of the Half-Continent would you live in?

Most of the time I would live in the fenceland surrounding a large coastal town or a smaller city.

* What would be your social station?

Probably pretty low. I think by DAY I'd be a humble recluse. Occasionally farming here and there, apparently not emerging for days or even weeks at a time.

* What profession might you choose?

But by NIGHT I'd be a vigilante/gentleman thief. A little from column 'a', a little from column 'b'.

* Would you be a sedorner (monster-lover) or invidist (monster-hater) or somewhere in between?

Closer to sedorner, but not really either. Had many good and bad experiences with monsters in younger days as a Turkemen apprentice beast handler. Still unsure whether monsters are good or bad or a bit of both.

* What would you look like?

Olive-type skin, (that would mean I have northerner background, right?) with long, shaggy black hair. Major 5 o'clock shadow. Wears a scarf over lower part of face by night, and a billowing black cloak. Would probably wear a reinforced hat of some sort as part of my 'battle gear'. Oooh, could I have metal legs? Like prosthetics, but mentally operable. I mean- if surgeons can make people shoot lightning and give them telepathy, surely that wouldn't be such a stretch! Pretty scarred/bruised. Would be lithe, skinny. Tall.

* Would you have spoors or cruorpunxis?

Maybe four or five. I'd be more into fighting people than monsters.

* What else would be interesting about you?

I'd hang out with a lot of lahzars, probably. I'd live around the HC equivalent of 1890's-1940's on Earth. Would wield a stave, twin revolvers, and would know one or two forms of unarmed combat (maybe like what the sagaars do?).

D.M. Cornish said...

Ahh, Mooseguy, here we find a nefarious fellow descended from those covetous Turkemen to the north - though one of pure heritage would have white-blonde hair.

I am digging the notion of a future HC - indeed, it was actually a future version of it that I first starting inventing way back in '93. It was my reading of history that got all fixated with the type of setting it is currently in now (if that makes sense?)

Props a pleasure, Lawrence, I reckon Coz's tunes a very sweet indeed - does Li'l Chief do electronica?

Greg Mitchell said...

Hey, I just saw the invite to create a HC character! What a fun idea and an incredible privilege! I'd thought of a similar idea to employ for my "The Coming Evil" series once the other books start coming out and the mythology gets more fleshed-out and better known. Here's my shot at a character. While I tried to read up on as much as I could of the HC, there's bound to be some errors so, if you DO decide to "publish" these in the sidebar, feel free to make any edits to keep it straight with your continuity. This was a lot of fun and thanks again!

--What would be your name?

Theodus Masterfield

--What part of the Half-Continent would you live in?

Theodus hails from Witzingerod, but now owns a small cottage in the threwidsh land of Wörms where he stays when he’s not on the road performing his services.

--What would be your social status?

A Peon.

--What profession might you choose?

Theodus is a con-man, who travels with his ettin companion and partner in deceit, Brickle. Together they plot to swindle a town, then Brickle enters a day or two before, terrorizing the folk and causing quite a stir. At the right moment of the village’s desperation, Theodus enters as the heroic teratologist, ready to defend them from the beast. He “slays” the monster and even offers to dispose of the body. After services rendered, he is paid a healthy sum, which he splits evenly with his old buddy Brickle.
They have been at this rouse for quite some time.

--Would you be a sedorner or invidist or somewhere in between?

Theodus doesn’t mind monsters any more than he does people. He recognizes that there are some good and some bad of all kinds. Generally, Theodus thinks he’s smarter than humans and monsters, equally. Brickle is his oldest and closest friend, and Theodus has nothing but respect and admiration for the ole “lunk head”.

--What would you look like?

Theodus is a handsome young man, though hidden beneath years’ worth of dirt and grime from his many travels. He’s often known by his unwashed stench when he enters a room, for, though he has thought to bathe regularly on more than one occasion, he has come to discover that the more disheveled he appears to potential clients, the more they are willing to believe in his monster hunting prowess. He dresses in fine, though filthy, royal blue clothes, shrouded in a black traveling coat, and makes a point to buy a new hat in every town he visits, as a further sign of good faith to the people. He’s amassed quite a collection of hats over the ten years he’s been running his scheme. As for weapons, when facing Brickle in their staged combat, he utilizes many potives and powders, which result in little more than a bad stink and some dazzling lights. For the sometimes-too-often times when his big mouth and lying ways get him into real jams, he has a trusty firelock left to him by his grandfather, a real skold who, if alive, would be utterly ashamed of the life Theodus has made for himself.

--Would you have any spoors or cruorpunxis?

Theodus has only one monster-blood tattoo, across his chest, thanks to a little ichor offering on Brickle’s behalf. The ettin felt it would help seal Theodus’ reputation as a fearsome hunter and donated a small amount of his blood as a business investment. As said, Theodus bears this mark on his upper chest and makes a point of keeping the top two buttons of his shirt unfastened in order to make a “good first impression” with potential customers. Unfortunately, this blatant brag has attracted more than its share of unwanted attention from un-friendly monsters and men looking to prove their worth against a skold.

--What else is interesting about you?

Theodus, for all of his loud talk and raucous laughter, began life as a fearful child. He was tasked as Lamplighter for the Empire, but was terrified of the dark. When his occupation took him through a threwdish stretch of woods one night, Theodus’s fellow lamplighters came under attack by a horde of bogles. Theodus was the only one to survive, leaving his belongings behind and tearing into the woods seeking protection. He found protection from the gentle giant Brickle. Brickle defended the young lad and their friendship began that day. Brickle, a wonderfully kind and genteel monster, only wanted to interact with the growing race of man but, as a monster, was unable to do so. Theodus returned to his family but continued to visit Brickle, and their bond grew over the years. When Theodus left home again to strike out on his own, he rejoined with Brickle and formed a new plan to earn a living for the two of them, partly inspired by the harrowing adventures Theodus’ grandfather told around campfire. They entered the conning business as partners. For the most part, they have a fairly routine life, but Theodus’ big mouth, a way to overcompensate for his inner fears, has from time to time garnered the duo the wrong kind of attention. They’ve had to defend themselves against other monsters, and on occasion, other hunters who are looking to collect Brickle’s head for real.

Anonymous said...

White-blonde hair, eh? The name pointed towards a Middle Eastern appearance, but that would be more of a Scandinavian trait. Hmm...

So is the empire in the northern hemisphere of Alltgird?

D.M. Cornish said...

Actually, Mr Mooseguy, my notions for the Turkemen are most closely influenced by the Ottomans, yet I thought to give them the unusual trait of white-blond or mikly coloured hair - just to mix things about a bit. No genuis leap or anything, just messing with expectations. So you were spot on (or near enough) with your sense of who the Turkemen are; I have as yet to really mention anything about their pale tresses. It is when they mix with other peoples that their hair takes on other hues.

As to hemispheres, the Haacobin Empire is very much southern and the Turkeman central - heat, dust, desert-dweling monsters and all that.

A most excellent character indeed, Greg Mitchell, what a treat to read, a saucy fellow from Witzingerod! BTW, when is The Coming Evil hitting shelves? Will it be available down here in Oz?

Greg Mitchell said...

Hey, thanks for the compliment on the character. Looking back over it, I was a bit embarrassed by how long it turned out to be, but somehow I didn't think you, of all people, would be upset by detail :)

The first book of The Coming Evil is out, but mainly online. I've had friends in Canada and England order it (and one from Oz, I believe) from Amazon so it is AVAILABLE, but not necessarily in stores. I'm working on getting picked up by a better publisher (still small-time, though) that will hopefully remedy that.

Thanks again and I can't wait for MBT2!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering the question. I'm actually quite fascinated by Islamic history, including the Ottomans.

So will the Turkemen be in Lamplighter or Book 3 or not until some later work?