May 7, 2010

Bekka of Thorns

Many years ago a few characters from a fantasy world appeared in my head. I wrote story after story, populating the world with strange creatures doing odd things. My first narrator called himself Harpo. My second called herself Lace. The two of them wrote a total of 19 stories about fiddleebod (rhymes with toad) or fiddleeebod (still rhymes with toad). After Lace’s final story, one thousand years with no story at all drifted by on my fantasy world. Then Bekka introduced herself to me. Bekka of Thorns, a bramble dwarf, ‘bendo dreen’, took up the quill and continued the stories of fiddleeebod, now known as the Boad, All Fidd and Leee Combined. That’s a sketch I made of Bekka up there. It’s rough, but I captured her kind spirit. Her first story describes how she dared to travel with her best friend, Karro of Thorns, into the Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland. And that story, Bekka of Thorns, will be available from Wild Child Publishing as of June 1, 2010.

Karro of Thorns

And here is Karro of Thorns, Bekka’s lifelong closest friend. She is known throughout the bramble bower hedge as a ‘jark dweg’, cracked melon. She loves being the first to do anything. She makes up silly things to try, and does them. She hops backward down hedge tunnels. Why? No one ever did it before. She’s the first. When lured to venture outside the hedge by Bekka, she makes a wonderful magical discovery about herself.


For no particular reason, I decided to make at least one theme of each story begin with the letter ‘r’. The Chronicles of Harpo feature themes of rescue, repair, romance, regret, and so on. The Chronicles of Lace include stories of rumors, roads, random rain riddles, and more. Below is a list of the 9 Chronicles of Bekka and their ‘r’ themes.

  1. Bekka of Thorns – a tale of revelation
  2. The Carven Flute – a tale of rhyme and rhythm
  3. Rakara – a tale of realms
  4. The Woodlock – a tale of rashomon
  5. The Blue Hills – a tale of retrieval
  6. The Wand – a tale of rests
  7. Quen Nim – a tale of the ridiculous
  8. The Snows of the Charborr Forest – a test of reliability
  9. Down the Well – a tale of removal

A Few Characters from Bekka of Thorns

Bek and Kar encounter this creature, Med of the East, on their journey. She may be described as either ‘greenwing’ or ‘dragonwing’.

Later, they run into this upside down creature, a ‘jrabe’.

It would take all day for me to draw an entire ‘racketous garl’. I offer one of its tentacles instead.

Here’s my sketch of the Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland, where much of the action in Bekka of Thorns takes place.

Chonka is the bendo dreen word for tambourine. When Bekka of Thorns opens, Bek and Kar are apprentices working in the chonka repair shop. Chonkas are important to all bendo dreen. Each of them carries one attached to his or her belt. The color of the ribbons flowing from the chonka indicates the clan of the owner.

Gwer drollek

In the bendo dreen language, Gwer drollek means ‘Once upon a time’. Gwer drollek stories are the most important of the bendo dreen tales. Bek and Kar spend lots of time acting them out, playing the many parts. Early on in Bekka of Thorns, when Zinna, their supervisor in the chonka shop, asks them to identify Crouching Mame, Kar has no trouble at all.

“Ojums! It’s too easy!” piped up Kar. “Old Princess to the Dragon. She’s in the Gwer drollek tale about Lorelei Lo and the Dulcimer and the sprite, and there’s the witch, too, and Harold the Tooth when he was youngling Prince Hal. Such!”

Crouching Mame

Bekka begins her adventure by rummaging in ruins and finding the books of Harpo, above, the first chronicler from long ago.

The Good Witch

The tiny witch figure you see flying toward the Blue Hills in the banner of this site is the most important character in all of the Chronicles, whether written by Harpo, by Lace, or by Bekka. The Blue Hills is one of Bekka’s later stories, but I thought an explanation of the banner would be of interest here. The immortal lavender witch was called Babbling Jam Hatrack by Harpo in his stories. Lace, not as drawn to nonsense as was her mentor, called the witch by her true name, Babba Ja Harick. Bekka, earnest and thoughtful, would never dare to play with the name of Babba Ja Harick. Bekka’s second chronicle, The Carven Flute, features quite a long story told by the lavender witch herself.

The Well of Shells

Not far from the Villcom Wood, the Well of Shells sits in a meadow located next to the bramble bower home of Bekka. It looks quite innocent, doesn’t it? Looks are often deceiving. In fact, the well is a portal between Bekka’s world and ours. Though not featured at all in Bekka of Thorns, it plays a central role in many other Chronicles of the Boad, All Fidd and Leee Combined.


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