Monday, September 28, 2015

100 More Lyonesse Things

100 more persons, places, creatures and objects you might run into from Suldrun's Garden (1983) and The Green Pearl (1985) taken from the Lyonesse series of books, all these quotes copyright Jack Vance.

1, a troll, with a narrow forehead and a great red nose from which sprouted a mustache of nose-hairs. He carried a net and a wooden pitchfork.

2, a furious troll, wearing purple fustian. He was even more ugly than the previous troll, with warts and wens protruding from his forehead, which hung like a crag over a little red nose with the nostrils turned forward.

3, a troll who seemed to combine all the repulsive aspects of the first two. He wore snuff-brown garments, black boots with iron buckles and an odd conical hat tilted to one side.

4, an ogre, rocking from side to side on heavy bowed legs. He stood fifteen feet tall; his arms and torso, like his legs, were knotted with wads of muscle! His belly thrust forward in a paunch. A great crush hat sheltered a gray face of surpassing ugliness. On his back he carried a wicker basket containing a pair of children.

5, the carcass of a child, stuffed with onions, trussed and spitted, roasted over the fire. Nerulf turned the spit and from time to time basted the meat with oil and drippings

6, He went to the table and drank the contents of the purple cup. At once he dwindled in stature to become a squat powerful troll,

7,  the missing head. Pode and Daffin discovered it halfway across the meadow, pulling itself forward by snapping at the ground with its teeth.

8,  a witch trapped me under her hat and sold me

9, the ghosts of dead children running along the' roof.

10, One of the dryads splashed water toward Dhrun. He saw the drops rise into the air and sparkle in the sunlight, whereupon they became small golden bees, which darted into Dhrun's eyes and buzzed in circles, blotting out his sight.

11, Dame Melissa, as she calls herself, is a dire witch. When I was fifteen years old, she gave me drugged milk to drink, then transferred herself into my body—that which she wears today. I, a fifteen-year-old girl, was housed in the body Melissa had been using:

12, a set of dolmens, arranged to form the In-and-Out Maze, whose origin is unknown

13, In Wookin reside a vampire, a poison-eater, and a woman who converses with snakes.

14, Rhodion, king of all fairies, who wears a green hat with a red feather. Take his hat and he must do your bidding

15, On yonder hill I plan a great moon-trap, and when the moon comes walking and spying and peeping for to find my window, I'll pull the latch and then there'll be no more of my milk curdled on moony nights

16, I wait under gallows until the corpse drops, whereupon I assume possession of the clothes and valuables...

17, Pilbane the Dancer, who robbed along the highway for thirteen years

18, This gallows is known as Six-at-a-Gulp. Both law and custom forbid the hanging of five or four or three or two or one from the ancient beam

19, He wore a long black cloak, a black cloth over all his face, save his eyes, and a flat-crowned black hat, with an extremely broad brim. In his left hand he brandished a dagger on high.

20,  the great Janton Throatcut himself. Only last week I hanged high his six henchmen. He was in the act of taking their shoes for his collection; he does not care a fig for clothes."

21, the Thief-Taker

22, The festival had not yet commenced, but already booths, pavilions, platforms and other furniture of the fair were in the process of construction.


24, Grand gnostic, seer, magician.


26, ... Mysteries analyzed and resolved: incantations uttered in known and unknown languages. ... Dealer in analgesics, salves, roborants and despumatics.... Tinctures to relieve nausea, itch, ache, gripe, scurf, buboes, canker.

27, At Sinkings Gap you must pass under a boulder balanced on a pin. You must kill the guardian raven, or he will drop a feather to topple the boulder on your head.

28, At the River Siss an old woman with a fox's head and a chicken's legs will ask you to carry her across the river. You must act on the instant: cut her in half with your sword and carry each piece over separately

29, a pair of bearded gryphs. Give each a comb of honey coming and going, which you have brought for the purpose.

30, a number of manikins carved from blackthorn roots. "Name these little homologues with names, and place them on the map, and they will scuttle to position. Watch!" He took up one of the manikins and spat in its face. "I name you Casmir. Go to Casmir's place!" He put the manikin on the map; it seemed to scamper across the map to Lyonesse Town

31, Fafhadiste and his three-legged blue goat

32, acrobats, contortionists, mimes and jugglers

33, took a black box from the shelf, poured inside a gill of water, added drops of a glowing yellow liquid which caused the water to show films of light at various levels. In a leather-bound libram Tamurello located the name "Shimrod." Using the appended formula he prepared a dark liquid which he added to the contents of the box, then poured the mixture into an iron cylinder six inches tall and two inches in diameter. He sealed the top with a glass cap, then held the cylinder to his eye. After a moment he gave the cylinder to Carfilhiot. "What do you see?"

34, Looking through the glass, Carfilhiot observed four men riding at a gallop through the forest. One of the men was Shimrod.

35, six poles fifty feet tall, supporting as many impaled corpses.

36, a kind of aviary thirty feet high and fifteen feet in diameter, equipped with perches, nests, feeders and swings. The human denizens of the aviary exemplified Carfilhiot's whimsy at its most pungent; he had amputated the limbs of several captives, both male and female and had substituted iron claws and hooks, with which they clung to the perches. Each was adorned with plumage of one sort or another; all twittered, whistled and sang bird-songs

37, a team of two-headed black horses, of great size and strength

38,  a round chamber decorated in blue, pink and gold, and with a pale blue rug on the marble floor

39, a gantry twenty feet high from which hung four men with heavy stones dangling from their feet. Beside each stood a marker, measured off in inches…Let markers be placed; then when these miscreants have stretched to double their length, let them be released,

40, Up the cliff they rode, back and forth, and at every stage discovered instruments of defense: embrasures, traps, stone-tumbles, timbers pivoted to sweep the intruder into space, sally-ports and trip-holes.

41, I am a magician of the eleventh level," said Shimrod

42, A band of fifteen ragged mendicants straggled south

43, a circular frame something less than a foot in diameter, surrounding a gray membrane. Carfilhiot plucked at the center of the membrane, to draw out a button of substance which grew rapidly under his hand to become a nose of first vulgar, then extremely large size: a great red hooked member with flaring hairy nostrils.

44, Carfilhiot gave a hiss of exasperation; tonight the sandestin was restless and frolicsome. He seized the great red nose, twisted and kneaded it to the form of a crude and lumpy ear, which squirmed under his fingers to become a lank green foot. Carfilhiot used both hands to cope with the object and again produced an ear, into which he uttered a sharp command:

45, bluffs extend into the valley, with little more than an arrow-flight between. They are riddled with tunnels; were you to march past a hail of arrows would strike down and in one minute you would lose a thousand men

46, the Wastes of Falax

47, the Flesh Cape of Miscus

48, the Totness Squalings

49, The line from Murgen's spool, so fine as almost to float in the air, could not be broken by the strength of human arms.

50, A great gibbet was erected, with the arm sixty feet from the ground

51, Princess Madouc, half-fairy, is a long-legged urchin with dark curls and a face of fascinating mobility.

52,  the trolls of Komin Beg to war, in which they are led by a ferocious imp named Dardelloy.

53, three one-legged witches: Cuch, Gadish and Fehor

54, A boy or girl innocently trespassing upon a fairy meadow might be cruelly whipped with hazel twigs

55, VISBHUME, apprentice to the recently dead Hippolito, applied to the sorcerer Tamurello for a similar post, but was denied.

56, a spell of ennui upon Desmei: an influence so quiet, gradual and unobtrusive that she never noticed its coming

57, a spell of stasis upon you, and you will never move again.

58, a young witch named Zanice, accused of drying the udders of her neighbor's cow.

59, brain-stone of a demon

60, goblin's egg

61, basilisk's eye

62, each year the Esq magicians alter a hundred human fetuses, hoping that one may be born with thirteen eyes in a circlet around its forehead…So far, nine eyes is their limit of capability, and these become priests of the cult

63, he rubbed the soles of his sandals with water-spite, that he might be enabled to walk on water.

64, a spell of temporary meekness

65, a glossic to make Sir Hune's weapons shrivel and droop and all his arrows fly awry

66, a plague of stag-beetles for my bed

67, Scurch: untranslatable into contemporary terms; gernerally: ‘susurration along the nerves', ‘psychic abrasion', ‘half-unnoticed or sublimated uneasiness in a mind already wary.' ‘Scurch' is the stuff of hunches and unreasoning fear

68, the activating spell is of three resonances and a quaver

69, a Circassian witch who began to corrode Tamurello with Blue Ruin

70, Sandestin: a class of halfling which wizards employ to work their purposes. Many magical spells are effected through the force of a sandestin.

71, he cursed the witch with footlong toenails, so that now and forever she must wear special boots."

72, the wizard Baibalides, who lived in a house of black rock on Lamneth Isle, a hundred yards off the coast of Wysrod

73, I know the tube well: it is Gantwin's Millenial Spectator; it depicts events of the last thousand years anywhere within its purview

74, a mask representing Baibalides. Next he brought out a skull on a pedestal and arranged the mask in place over the skull. Instantly the mask seemed to come alive. The eyes blinked; the mouth opened to allow a tongue to moisten the lips. Shimrod called: "Baibalides, can you hear me?

75, optical wisps

76, falloy: a variety of halfling. much like a fairy, but larger and far more gentle of disposition.

77, listening shells

78, The mirror is of magic. You see reflected the person you think yourself to be. Or you may say: ‘Mirror, show me as I appear to Shimrod!' or, ‘Mirror, show me as I appear to Tamurello!' and you will see these versions of yourself.

79,  a druid appeared in a brown robe with a sprig of mistletoe pinned to his hood. He uttered a single word; all fell silent, then slunk away and hid in the shadows.

80,  a dour old castle of fourteen towers overlooking the harbor

81, green vapor, which, caught by the wind, blew out over the sea. Swirling low and mingling with spume from the waves, the fume condensed to become a green pearl

82, "You refer to the Temple of Atlante?…The priests claim that the number of steps above the surface is dwindling: either the land is sinking or the sea is rising: such is their reasoning

83, Hoonch the dog-god

84, iron-legged goat

85, I can put toad-heads on your enemies!

86, I can change the stone of their castles to suet pudding.

87, I can enchant the surf, to bring sea-warriors with mother-of-pearl eyes charging ashore out of each breaking wave!

88, a stuffed blackbird mounted on a stand. A sheet of parchment, folded and tucked between the bird's legs, read: To hold converse with. Tamurelo, pluck a feather from the belly of the Bird and place in the flame of a candle.

89, The base was a circular ebony platter, marked around the rim with signs of the zodiac. The golden ball at the center, so Casmir had been told, represented the sun. Nine silver balls of various size rolled in circular troughs around the center, but for what purpose was a secret known only to the ancients. The third ball from the center was accompanied by a smaller ball and made its circuit in exactly one year

90, Trilda had been designed by Hilario, a minor magician of many quaint notions, and built overnight by a band of goblin carpenters who took their pay in cheeses.

91,  a wonderful structure of jet and milk-glass. Slender columns supported domes and tall arcades and higher domes, and still more, ranked one above the other, along with a hundred terraces and balconies and, higher yet, a cluster of towers flying pennons and banderoles. In the shadowed halls hung chandeliers encrusted with diamonds and moonstones, which gave off glints of red, blue, green and purple light.

92, Stangle: the stuff of dead fairies, with implications of horror, calamity and putrefaction

93, I will transform all your teeth into barnacles."

94, crayfish in the shallow pools and a noble trout lazing in the shadows

95, Threlka is a witch of the seventh degree, and is wise beyond most others.

96, Threika cut away the splint and threw it into the fire. "Burn, wood, burn! Pain, in smoke fly up the chimney; disturb Tatzel no longer!" From a black jar she poured a syrup upon Tatzel's leg, then sprinkled on crushed dry leaves. She wound the shin with a loose bandage and tied it with a coarse red string. "And so it goes! In the morning you shall know no more weakness

97, the Cam Brakes. This is a series of ledges or terraces arranged like steps, which, according to myth, the giant Cam laid out to ease his way from Lake Quyvem up to the moors.

98, ancient tombs; give them all due respect. This place was sacred to the ancient Rhe-daspians, who inhabited the land three thousand years ago. Ghosts are common, and it is said that sometimes old friendships are renewed and old antagonisms find vent. If you by chance see such ghosts, make no sound and give no interference, and above all, never agree to act as arbiter at one

99, a ghoul who has the power to change his guise. It will meet you in sweet friendship, and offer wine and food and kindly shelter. Accept nothing—not so much as a sup of cold water—and cross down over this brake, no matter what the cost, while the sun is in the sky; at sunset the ghoul assumes its true shape and your life is in the balance. If you take its gift you are lost.

100, When you come to Lake Quyvern, you will discover Kernuun's Antler, which is the inn of Dildahl the Druid. He is, so it seems, a kindly man, and offers a hospitality of moderate cost. This is hardly true and you must eat none of his fish! He will serve it in many guises: as roe, and croquettes, and pickles, and pudding, and in soup. Eat only the items whose cost is specified

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Vance! An endless bag of tricks.