“The marks on your fingers start to burn.”
— Board with Life (@ImBoardWithLife) October 19, 2017
The bullywug shopkeep from XP Academy!
If you like D&D, laughing, drawing, or winning books get on it! http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/imboardwithlife/id/5693660
The wonderful Board With Life are running a fanart contest for their new D&D campaign, XP Academy (seen here), specifically for the first arc, Bullies, which finished this week.
First and foremost, this podcast is just funny. Laugh out loud funny. And I get a shit-ton of ideas for adventures from it (I’m currently running a group through my take on XP Academy).
Here’s my entry (well, first entry, I hope to knock out a few silly little ones too):
It took me forever to colour (I have a lot to learn about this drawing lark!) but I’m pretty happy with the result.
Let’s be honest, this is the one everyone’s interested in. Just where is Fuckley? And why is it called Fuckley?
A lea/ley/leigh is a clearing or glade. It’s not uncommon to see it paired with a tree (see Oakley, Ashley, Elmlea) but to my knowedge the Fuck Tree has yet to be discovered.
It could literally be ‘the glade frequented by fucks’ (maybe the people there are just utter, utter shits) or it could be ‘the glade people visit to fuck’, like a medieval forest version of Makeout Point.
For a more plausible option we could place Fuckley in Cornwall, a county already home to Feock, the town named for St Feoca (I’ll be honest. while I know Feock I couldn’t find a whole lot about St Feoca other than the church in Feock is dedicated to him/her and she/he gives her name to the town). This would make Fuckley the Glade of St Feoca.
A quick scan of the list for other filthy names finds us:
Cum on Street: Cum means with (e.g. summa cum laude) on Street is fairly self explanatory. It’s nonsense, but either way I wouldn’t want to go for a walk here.
Titter’s End: Great name. Significantly less rude than the very real Titty Ho from my home town. Titter is likely a person, and Titter’s end would be his or her end of town.
Handick: Dick is either ditch (Old English dic) or beach/bay (see the arguably ruder Brodick up on the Isle of Arran). As for Han(d), this could be from the Old English for dog (see German hund), or could be someone called Hanna. So Hanna’s Bay, or Dog’s Ditch. There’s also the chance that this was once Handwick (a real place) and the w was dropped (it’s often not pronounced, see Stanwick, Warwick), if so then it’s referring to a farmstead rather than a beach/bay/ditch.
Eassfister: Thank gods for the E. I’d hazard this is East something but wouldn’t want to comment on the rest.
Twatford: This one’s pretty solid. Twat crops up more commonly as Thwaite (unless you’re in the Orkneys or Shetlands). A thwaite is another word for a clearing (so Fuckley could actually have been Fucktwat) so this is ‘the clearing by the ford’ or ‘the ford by the clearing’.
I’m doodling heraldry again…
(Also it’s for D&D again.)
Board with Life‘s Adventures in the New World campaign is coming to a close and the next campaign is XP Academy. A Harry Potter-esque school for heroes.
Of course, I couldn’t resist thinking about school arms, crest, and motto.
Update: I’ve put together a cleaner version (not including the supporters yet):
And the original sketch:
The arms were obvious. Four quarters (like our four Hogwarts houses) but for the four core classes: Fighter, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue. Sword, wand, hand and daggers to represent each.
For the motto I wanted something a bit clever. After dancing around a riff on hic sunt dracones for a while (and a brief dalliance with an XP/expecto patronum something or other) I got it: Solve for XP.
It riffs on ‘solve for x’ as a common maths question, has a sense of school patriotism (‘solve puzzles and challenges for XP Academy’), and literally describes what the characters will do. (Then Google translated into Latin cos, you know.)
For our crest we have a Dragon emerging from a Dungeon (for hopefully obvious reasons).
And for our supporters we have a Beaver and an Owl. The Owl represents knowledge, learning, wisdom. The Beaver represents hard-work, and reflects the story from medieval bestiaries where beavers would bite off their own testes to escape hunters (heroes: know when to run!). It was also an excuse to draw a heraldic beaver. They’re pretty weird.
Who knows if this is anywhere near what Donald had in mind! Luckily I won’t have to wait long to find out.
In the meantime I’ll maybe work this up from idle doodle to something a bit cleaner (that mantling needs work for sure). Update: I did!
(In which I investigate the etymology of place names generated by a neural net. Pt 1 here.)
Let’s talk bodies of water.
In British place names this can refer to lakes (Windermere), or the sea (Weston-super-mare) though not exclusively, a mere can also be a boundary as in Mersey or Marple (as a kid I could never work out why the 4 mile run around my town was know as the Mere when there wasn’t a lake for miles). Note: I’m going be a bit interchangeable about which one I use, if these were on a map it would probably be clearer which one it meant. Let’s see what we’ve got.
Mare-unby, this could work. -by is a fairly common ending meaning farm or settlement. Un is a bit trickier, it doesn’t crop up a huge amount in British place names as far as I know. The best I can find is Unsworth near Manchester which comes from a personal name (Hunds became Uns). Or it could be ‘un’ as in to oppose. So this could be the Lake by Un’s Farm, or maybe the Settlement opposite the Lake.
Mareby Cole. It’s our friend -by again, so Mareby could be the farm or settlement by the lake, sea or boundary. Cole could mean a lot of things but before we get into them I like that the net has generated this name extension. Settlement by the sea is so generic that the town would need a qualifier to distinguish it from the other towns by the sea. Back to Cole:
Mareland is fairly clean (and no doubt famous for it’s quality kitchenware). Marenton could’ve once been Marine-town, or Ocean Town. Mares End, I like as an island or coast town: Sea’s End. Or it could be a farm at the top of a lake. Maresfoot on the other hand would be at the bottom of the lake (again, not in a Lancelot du Lac way).
Marcomb introduces another generic form in -comb. This is equivalent to Welsh cwm and means valley so Marcomb is Lake-Valley. Marcott is Sea Cottage.
Mar Hemby St Andentharo. Now we’re talking. We know what Mar is, what about Hemby. The Hem could be equivalent to -ham (a beast we’ll tackle in full another day) which means settlement, or homestead, so Hemby could be Home Farm. So we have Home Farm by the Lake, St Andentharo. Who is St Andentharo? What language do we even start in? I think the best I can do is a South American saint I just invented named after a lighthouse atop an agricultural terrace (Anden-faro? Apologies to everyone who speaks Spanish), no doubt the patron saint of pre-Colombian soil aeration and flotsam.
Buttfield Marthor *chuckles*. Buttfield is actually a perfectly valid place name, a butt can be a strip of arable land that’s not quite a furlong, a plot of land that abuts another, or could refer to archery butts so Buttfield would be a little field or maybe archery field. As for Marthor, aside from being Thor’s mum’s name, this could be a contraction of Marthorp which refers to a secondary town, so this would be the Lake Town with or by the Small Field.
Boy howdy there are a lot of place names! Next up we might look at moors and marshes.