Thursday 28 January 2021


Ok I have reached a pause point with Goose-Gold & Goblins. I have spent.. well its coronatime so I have no idea how long I have actually spent doing this but it feels like I have spent quite a while filling out the bestiary with concepts for fifty non (or less) violent 'monsters'.

I have been doing that for so long that I feel like I lost my grip on the larger project somewhat. There is a lot to do, I intend this ultimately to be a pretty big book, or more like three books, D&D style.

Future topics to include building a 'household', magic, treasures, food and cooking, describing circles of familiarity and making friends, stuff about Strange Dangers like sickness, poison, curses, weather and seasons, magical events and poverty, a whole section on building dungeons/mazes, treasures. There is a lot to do.

But a key concept for the project is to have the best possible advice and ideas about running games for families, between generations, with children of different ages and with parents and children. 

I also need to know about child psychology, education and development to work out how to arrange rules and concepts in the book.

I know nothing about any of this so I am opening the Dread Portal, and asking for book reccomendations, and priority analysis of the books I have already listed to buy.

Does the background intellectual capacity still exist in the OSR diaspora to even address this? And if it does is anyone still reading this blog who gives a damn? We shall see.

 If anyone in my audience knows much about the subjects in question then I am asking for advice about where to start, so I need advice on;

- Books or articles on Child Psychology, especially decent (sane) overviews of the topic.

- In particular, stuff about family games and playing games across generations and age groups, how children and adults of different ages play with each other.

- Games and entertainments which work well for children of different ages.

- Games which work with parents and children.

- Analysis about what children are like at different stages of development.

- What motivates them.

- What they can handle intellectually and emotionally.

- General howling at me about families, children, how I should or shouldn't be doing this, culture war stuff, yeah lets culture war it we may as well and its going to happen anyway.

Monday 25 January 2021

Sky-Child and Monster Count

Ok the previous post got us close to fifty non (or less) vilent monster ideas for Goose-Gold & Goblins.

I told myself that  when I got to fifty I could stop making monsters and move on...

Comments from the last post had some pretty good ideas. Shall we see if, with their help, I can approach the finish line?


The Gibbon Grandmaster is the governor of this gang. That mysterious madman sits upon a turquoise throne, half drowned in azure gloom, and whispers commands through his mirrored mask.

His weapon and his aim is the Gibbon-Simulation, a twisted mockery of the GooseWorld with all of its actors and actions replaced by long-limbed apes! 

The Mirror-Gibbons move through mirrors abducting and replacing people like a sci fi communism-monsters.

They act human by doing a crayon drawing of your face and sticking it to the front of their Gibbon face, and also wearing human clothes on their Gibbon bodies. They stand on each others shoulders and wear long coats, trying to act human. Or steal paper and write letters trying to lure people out to the trees; "PLS COM KWIK 2 TH GIBON TRES I UR MOFER NED U I AM NAWT A GIBON RITING TIS"

Then you wander out there and BANG, you are in a Gibbon-Sack and some Gibbon is in your house pretending to be you.

"there's something off about the mayor..."

What does the Gibbon Grandmaster actually want? What is their end-goal? Are they seeking some central kernel of humanity itself, so they may comprehend it? s their obsession with humanity driven by desire, resentment, or sheer perversity? How deep will their gibbon-simulation go? How engorged will their illusion become? What madness lies behind the gibbon-masters eye?

The Gibbon-Master, a dark echo to the Goosemaster. But while the Goosemaster tries to provide challenge, interest and fairness, the Gibbon Grandmaster tries to annihilate these things. They are a person against the principals of the game itself and they will not rest until they accomplish the Gibbonification of all that is and reality is but a shadow on the wall of time...


The Monks Main Deal = looking spooky, being sinister, chanting mournfully, ringing spooky bells, walking in rows and dooms generally. They wear long cassocks and always keep the hoods up so their face is in shadow. They just have normal faces underneath but like looking cool and sinister.

Also huge leathern tomes of doom. The Monks keep scribal records of whatever dooms occur. You can go and look, to read the Dooms. Usually one is blind, cackling, possibly homicidal and mad, and has poisoned the pages and hidden the book in a labyrinth, but that’s pretty normal for the monks of doom you know?

The Monks of Doom are both sinister and scary, and tbh just seem like they are largely up to villainy. They bring doom to things. Or maybe they just know that doom *will* be brought to all things.


If they point at you and go DOOM then your doom is on its way.

Yes the monks are often scheming up some doom or other. Often just going through the motions if they don't have anything else on, like performing a ritual in a stone circle at night with blazing torches
not any particular ritual, just a general sort of one. 

They are very gothic monks, good at keeping terrible soul-shattering secrets, or just normal ones...

And by keep I mean gesture mysteriously and pointedly towards the secret, because they really want people to *know* that they have soul-shattering secrets which can BLAST THE MIND. TERRIBLE TRUTHS I TELL YOUUUU.

They also hang around in or near graveyards, ring bells during storms, loom dangerously from doorways, thrust scraps of paper into your hands with obscure sigils scratched on them before scurrying away.

They recruit kind of like its a cult. 

"We are not a cult!" (they are).

Talk about "ebon mysteries" and "sanguine chalices". They are basically like the Masons for weird secrets. Have meetings where you can dress up and wear masks, and they have a funny handshake too. Like many ridiculous conspiracies, things can go a bit wrong, someone always going a bit crazy and taking things "too far". Like, if they ran into an actual eldritch horror, what would they even do?

They have a hideout, (its not really hidden), the Monastery of DOOM, which has hidden passages, a crypt, a labyrinth in the tower, statues where you open secret doors by pressing the eyes in, eldritch tomes, an observatory, etc etc. Oh and a hunchback, and definitely lots of traps.

What do they want?


And either to prevent, or ensure some TERRIBLE THING OR OTHER. They are constantly insisting that things either not be done, or that they MUST be done, and usually with a time limit based on the moon or something.


They are knights. They ride huge snails - which don't really go that slowly when you think about it. About the speed of an ambling horse, and they keep at it. 

They all have quests, which as it happens gets them right up in your fucking business, and of course they are all excellent hand to hand combatants, (unless you run away), not that there is much call for that in this game. 

And they are very honourable, all into helping the weak and what have you, but they can be dangerously inflexible about that. If they make an oath or whatever that either gets all up in your face, or in your way, they will damn well stick to it, through hell or high water.

So they can be handy to have around, or a big problem. Possibly both.

Not to mention the kicker - they are all quite mad. Some think themselves made of glass. Some are in love with the moon. Some think their thoughts are birds which fly away at shocking sounds. Some narrate their own lives. Some cannot speak normally but only in rhyme.

So now you have a possibly-mad knight with a very specific quest following you very slowly about, you will have to run to avoid them. They are too slow to actually do anything useful but keep turning the fuck up everywhere you are at the worse possible time.

PICKLE LICH/PICKLE WITCH - from Benjamin Cusack

Pickle Lich or Pickle Witch. Really they are almost exactly the same thing, with roughly the same powers. Gender makes very little difference if you are dead in a number of jars. But they like the name to rhyme, even if there is only one of them present.

A lich, (or a witch), in a jar. Or possibly in several jars.

Don't place them in sunlight and please keep them in a cool room. 

They really want to get all their jars back together, and to avoid them being used as jam or whatever, and tbh those jars could be anywhere.

A main deal is that their limbs can roll this shit around like a hamster in a hamster wheel. They are horrifically vulnerable to breakages, failing seals, having a towel thrown over them or being violently shaken, so they will usually get their creepy minions to carry them about and hide them in specific places. Or anywhere there are shelves! MUHAHAHAHAH!

If you think about it the Pickle Lich, (or witch)'s main desire to get all of their limbs back, or at least on the same shelf, is pretty reasonable. Though if they do they will almost certainly set about evil doings in response. The more bits of themselves they can get back, the more kinds of super-magic they can do and the more trouble they can cause.

Their main foes are the Roadkill Pharaohs - taxidermized mummy lords, who will hopefully keep them busy.

SKY CHILD - from Montefeltro

The sky-giants, the Titans, who live up in the clouds and among the stars, and who almost never touch the ground, (and when they do it can be disastrous)..  Sometimes they just drop a child.

It falls like a meteor, crashing to earth in a giant crater and starts crying. (When they cry, it rains, and storms gather). The sky titans are maybe not great parents, or they are forgetful, or perhaps the earth is the last place they look when they lose a child.

But whoever finds the Sky-Child has to look after it.

A Titanic Toddler, from two to four years old. When up and walking about its maybe twelve feet tall, maybe taller. Say two stories? Twenty feet? 

And those proportions - whoo boy this thing looks messed UP.

At some point the sky titans will miss it, and work out where it is, and come and pick it up, and if it has been badly cared for... Well, I wouldn't like to be in that position, would you?

The Sky-Child has magical powers which come from the sky. Its moods affect the weather, which is unfortunate as it is a toddler and its moods are incredibly variable. So the place is sunny when it is happy, rain when it is sad and storms when it is upset, lightning when it has a tantrum.

Obviously, Goblins and other regrettable parenting influences might have their own ideas about what to do with the Sky-Child - they might seek to cart it off and teach it Goblinish ways. Can you even imagine! They may also want its teeth for secret reasons, (giant coins from the tooth fairy?), or to sing it goblinish songs so it dreams goblinish dreams.

Whoever finds them has to feed them, keep them safe, clean them, teach them, clear up when they get into trouble. The kid will follow them around.

Instead of giving it a milk bottle you have to give it whole cows to suckle, (the cows are pretty confused by the whole thing). The Sky-Child picks them up in one hand or two and drains them dry pretty quick, hopefully depositing them gently when it is done.

Obviously the Sky-Child likes picking things up and putting them in its mouth, which can be dangerous in many ways. You don't want it getting a taste for human flesh. 

Looking after a Sky-Child for a sustained period of time can be a massive drain on resources but in most cases a community will come together to help out, and you can even appeal to the Emperor for tax credits

The Monsters So Far.....

  1. Amber Golem
  2. Bomblenowl
  3. Creature from the Unknown
  4. Conspicuous Squirrels
  5. Copy-Monsters
  6. Crime Bird
  7. Dracula
  8. Dragon
  9. Gelly Cube
  10. Ghost (standard)
  11. Ghost, of a Sinister Pig
  12. Ghost Queen
  13. Goblins, Cheese
  14. Goblins, Corn
  15. Goblins, Egg
  16. Goblins, Gas
  17. Goblins, Ghost
  18. Goblins, Glass
  19. Goblins, Gloom
  20. Goblins, Grain
  21. Goblins, Grass
  22. Goblins, Gourd
  23. Goblins, Long
  24. Goblins, Mole
  25. Goblins, Moon
  26. Goblins, Trash
  27. Ingot Beast
  28. King Slime
  29. Loan Troll
  30. Men-Of-Bones
  31. Mirror-Gibbons
  32. Moblins
  33. Moon Mage
  34. Ogre
  35. Pickle Lich/Witch
  36. Pumpkin-Headed Böggelmen
  37. Ratmaster
  38. Rude Orcs
  39. Secret-Eaters
  40. Sinister Pigs
  41. Sky Child
  42. Sky Witch
  43. Snail Knight
  44. The Danger-Snake
  45. The Master-Thief
  46. The Monks of Doom
  47. The Worlds Most Evil Dog
  48. Thieflings
  49. Trap Dogs
  50. Xanthic Men




Monday 18 January 2021

The Danger-Snake! (and others)


The Danger-Snake the Danger-Snake,
The terrible cake-striped Danger-Snake.
Its form doth flow and its eyes doth glow,
With a regular pulsing, long and low.
With high-visibility Battenburg stripes,
And eyes that flash like ambulance lights,
Hope it don't see you, hope it ain't there,
Over your head or under your chair,
For if you DO see it, if you see it at all..
There's harm and catastrophe soon to befall!
Crashing and bashing and splintering bones,
Burning and breaking and falling-down homes,
Sneezing and piercing and pins in your eye,
Stumbling and fumbling and glass in the pie!
Be it the herald or be it the cause,
The snake is orthogonal, separate to laws.
Singular, secret, yet vibrant and wild,
The snake is the seed of catastrophes’ child,
For if you DO see it, if you SEE IT AT ALL..
Deaths at the doorstep and doom is on-call.
So hope you don't and say you won't and pray its just a hose,
That curls out in the garden in the shadow of wet clothes,
And not the snake, the Danger-Snake,
The terrible cake-striped danger snake,
For its form doth flow and its eyes doth glow,
With a regular pulsing, long and low.

The high visibility snake signals danger, but also seems to summon or create danger. Striped like an ambulance or a police car, with eyes that flash like ambulance lights, but an ambulance that arrives somehow ahead of time.


Creatures who are not goblins, but who form gangs which act like goblins, or try to.

They claim to be the 'mob goblins' and will offer 'protection' to extort shopkeepers and homeowners, but in fact they are mere Moblins, a smaller, smoother, pinker and less dangerous form of goblin.

Yes they are like small pink cowardly people with dull brown eyes that weep when they are upset, which is OFTEN because they are nervous and angst-ridden beings!

They lack cunning and invention except for the scheme of feigning goblins, which gives them confidence. They paint themselves green and add finger extenders and pointy false ears and dentures to give them small sharp teeth, and they practice capering from books;

"ah hee hee hoo hoo ha!"


"(I say Chives, let us try that again, one more time)"

"(Ahem)... AH. HEE. HEE. HOO. HOO. HA!

"Very good Chesterfield, very good Chives. Very Goblinish indeed."

They speak in 1950s received pronunciation and are anxious about their schemes. They write these down on scraps of paper (the schemes are all veery carefully and exhaustively planned), and when not observed, they pull out the scraps and peer closely at them to make sure they haven't got anything wrong. But the false spiky fingers they wear get in the way, so they have to pull the fingertops off with their teeth. Then they get sweat on the instructions and smear the details.

Oh no, now their green facepaint is sweating off.

And their false pointy teeth cannot hold their long fingers. Both are falling out...

Oh no oh dear, oh dearie-me no.

The Gob Moblins are not that much of a threat to be honest. Their schemes almost always fall apart in desperate fashion, plus you can usually spot them by their shoes, they are excellent cobblers and hate wearing unshined footwear, plus they are bullied by every type of actual goblin, who they look up to as celebrities but also fear, and do not understand at all.

Their greatest threat may be to your emotions, as it can be anguishing to watch them try so hard and fail so pathetically, and then breakdown crying, their tears leaving green smears everywhere.


They are fermented goblin milk, solidified in warm conditions over time. 
Where from? 

The goblin milkers - by the Good Goose-God don't ask how or why they do it or who they are. It is one of the worst things that ever was. The horror of the Cheese Goblins.

If goblin parts get into milk, it ferments; they emerge. The milk curdling and turning greenish-white. 

They are full of holes, but they can be soft too, and riddled with a bluish mould, they can have a sheeny rind which peels off to reveal the milky Cheese Goblin beneath, they can be like mozzarella, or like brie.

They are of no especial quality or skill compared to other goblins, and to be honest, quite a bit less robust. But... think about their cheesy fingers reaching out for you, or cheesy eyes turning in their cheesy heads, transmitting cheesy thoughts to cheesy brains. Curdling and churning and thickening things. Churning themselves up, spreading themselves on crackers and posting each other through the letterbox.

Nothing is enough for the Cheese Goblins. What wild thoughts might they not think, and what cheese dreams might they not dream? For the Cheese Goblins have cheese dreams each night, dreams of the wildest invention, and darkest consequence.

They fear cheese graters, cheese knives, cheese cutters and cheese boards, and seek revenge upon all cheese-eaters.


They are especially long and wiggly, like ropes or hosepipes, with smirking little round faces like the ends of sticks of rock. Their length is not reassuringly noodly, like a snakes or worms, (both of which they HATE), they are clearly still a person shape, just stretched horribly, with the pointed vertebrae poking out of their flexible backs

Their very longness is their weakness and their strength because that is how they get into places, but there is no way they could pass as a person. Instead they gather together in long places, like drainpipes and have long conversations. They take a long time to decide what to do, which is fortunate for us, but once they do decide they will stick at it for an equally long time.

There is nothing about the long goblins which is not long, their attention spans, their vision, their stories and their names. 

All long.

Their dinner engagements are exhausting. Never ask one to give a speech, even their pauses are long, and their horrible long fingers as they creep out of a pipe. 

What do they wear? Long johns of course, and they are ruled by the Longest Goblin, who is as thick as a python and twice as squeezy.

They prefer long food, like spaghetti, noodles, hot dogs, eels and string-beans. Offering them such items, or cooking them a feast of such, might persuade them to leave.

The List So Far

Amber Golems
Creature from the Unknown
Conspicuous Squirrels
Crime Bird
Gelly Cube
Ghost (standard)
Ghost, of a Sinister Pig
Ghost Queen
Goblins, Cheese
Goblins, Corn
Goblins, Egg
Goblins, Gas
Goblins, Ghost
Goblins, Glass
Goblins, Gloom
Goblins, Grain
Goblins, Grass
Goblins, Gourd
Goblins, Long
Goblins, Mole
Goblins, Trash
Gob Moblins
Ingot Beast
King Slime
Loan Troll
Moon Mage
Pumpkin-Headed Böggelmen
Rude Orcs
Sinister Pig
Sky Witch
Snail Knight
The Danger-Snake
The Master-Thief
The Worlds Most Evil Dog
Trap Dogs
Xanthic Men

That's 46 in total. I want 50 for the book. I know what one more is; The Monks of Dooom. But what should the remaining three Dangerous Strangers be?

Tuesday 12 January 2021

Song of the Ash-Sea Pirates

Many say the Great Ash Sea which spreads westwards from the furthest shore is impassable and empty, barren as a frozen heart, yet consider this song sung by the Pirates of that Sea, raiders of Blackwaters coast who ply the endless ash-ocean in sledge-ships with tattered sails, memoryless and waste-mad;

Its farewell to night and farewell to day,
Goodbye to Blackwater, into the Grey!
Its over the edge and into the ash,
Where the ghost-gulls wheel and the wyrm-winds lash.
Out beyond Sintel and Scaedwealds black storm,
Where the wind steals the memory and monsters are born,
It's there we'll go roving, long for to search,
For the rocks and the ruins where the ash-birds perch.
Aye its there we'll go searching, long for to rove,
'Neath burning black coal-trees in petrified groves,
Through Courts of Pale Princes who live without flesh,
It's there we'll go seeking to search for old Esh.
The old land is calling, the old land is there,
Where the sky becomes stone and the ash becomes air.
Yes the old land is looking, the old land is ours,
She holds still the memories of mankinds lost hours.
For this be our treasure, these be the gold,
The truth and the wisdom that man had of old.
So its farewell to night and farewell to day,
Goodbye to Blackwater, into the Grey!"


Have I done any other songs on here I've forgotten about?

Thursday 7 January 2021

Update and Monsters


The STORE is now open again with all the postage costs updated. E.U. postage has had customs charges added on my side.

Now for some GooseWorld monsters, or as I have taken to calling them; Dangerous Strangers


Xanthic Men are a seasonal danger, appearing in Spring and remaining until around Autumn.

They grow near hedgerows, up in distant copses, on the borders of things, always hidden away. If a farmer sees Xanthic Men growing they will tear them up by the root of course, not that it does much permanent good, they just re-grow next year. The Xanthic men grow in comforting spots, sheltered places where one might rest or hide away.

They come it two sorts, the Herbaceous Man and the Ambling Man.

The first sort are Herbacious and thankfully they rarely walk, and if they do, they do not get far, having no bones and little remaining memory of the act.

Imagine them as huge woven-together piles of Dandelions, growing and crawling around each other like vines till they form the shape of a man, with flowers at his fingers and roots at his toes. There the Herbaceous Xanthic men murmur quietly to each other, slowly releasing seeds and pollen into the wind, beckoning to anyone who passes by.

The pollen of the Herbacious men is soporific, it makes one woozy and sleepy. As well as this, the Xanthic men gesture and murmur half-words and reassuring noises. 

Here lies the greatest danger, that a lonely or desperate traveller, or one ignorant of their ways, accepts their gestures and beds down with the Xanthic men, lying in their comfortable bower, surrounded by their nodding heads. When this happens, in the night the seeds of the Xanthic men drift down down down into the sleeping mouth and open nose.

Thence is born and Ambling Xanthic Man. 

Such a person starts out largely normal. Their veins are replaced by dandelion stems and they grow flowers at their fingertips and roots at their toes, but otherwise they can get about well enough. They also no longer need to eat, drinking sustenance from the earth.

The first horror of the Ambling Xanthic Man is not in what they do, but in what they will not do, which is; anything.

A Xanthic man will slowly but steadily seek to do nothing at all. They will just hang around, maybe on street corners, or at the bottom of the garden, or behind a wall. Sleepy, slow, deeply resentful of anyone the find doing more than them, which is everyone, and eager for recruits.

All Ambling Xanthic Men think everyone would be better off if they just become Xanthic Men, its more natural or whatever, and why work and torture yourself, and the earth, if you can just become a peaceful, enlightened Xanthic Man? 

If anyone foolish or weak-minded agrees with them, they can convert them to their cause by feeding them seeds, creating another Ambling Xanthic man who will hang around doing nothing, staring at people passing by and reluctantly, slowly, moving on if someone throws sticks at them.

They don't directly harm people, or force them to do anything, they just lie around staining the grass and resenting everyone. They talk to each other, but as they come to share a kind of loose hive mind, all they are doing is passing back and forth the same repetitive thoughts they had yesterday, repeating old arguments or dull stories. Xanthic men can't really come up with anything new, or think any new thoughts, though they believe that they are pretty wise and deep beings.

They just want you to relax, but if you do, you won't be able to stop relaxing, ever.

They do sometimes cause accidents, getting jammed in large machines or going under the wheels of carriages, their caustic sappy interiors crushed like wet dandelions, spraying trickly alkali-tasting sap everywhere. 

The Ambling Xanthic men seem to take this in their stride, not really accepting responsibility for anything, but not really being angry, or even shocked if one of them dies. Even deeply wounded ones will simply say that  "this sucks" and stagger off with the rest. They can't really feel deep hate, or desire, or anything to any strong degree. It is like they are half-asleep, but still wandering around.

When the end of summer comes and the winds of Autumn touch the air, all the Xanthic men begin to moan and clutch their heads. By this point their skulls are just as slender as leaves which open out revealing dandelion-seed brains while their toe-roots stick them to the earth.

As the wind comes the mind of the moaning Xanthic man is blown away on the breeze, whirling away to a thousand different places. The body left behind turns dry, collapses and rots into the ground like mulch. 

You would hardly know it had been there.

A few seeds will reach the safe and sleepy places where the Xanthic men prefer to grow, and next spring a new crop of Herbaceous Men will grow forth, muttering to each other in half-familiar voices of half-forgotten memories of the men they used to be, waving their flower-tipped fingers and releasing soporific pollen on the wind.


(Thanks to K Yani who invented this phrase in the comments)

Squirrel-People about three-feet high, Conspicuous Squirrels always look as if they are up to something.

They are.

Not many people know this but the favourite food of the Conspicuous Squirrel is human babies, they steal them in the night, carry them off to the tops of large trees and eat them alive.

They are always carrying out EXTREMELY SUSPICIOUS actions, like leaping out upon you from behind a bush, Carrying expensive goods out of a shop in the night while wearing striped shirts, digging holes near the bank

eyeing you through the window, climbing walls. Their hands are always moving and their black eyes always shifting and darting, through you never really know where they are looking. Their bushy tails, almost the size of their bodies, twitching and shifting in a fractured mirror to their movement.

If you complain about these things the Conspicuous Squirrels always reveal that they had a PERFECTLY INNOCENT reason for going into the bank with a mask, a sack and a gun, or meeting that unmarked truck in the middle of the night or whatever it was and they are shocked, SHOCKED that you would think there was anything SUSPICIOUS about it! Such prejudice we deal with!

Then they go back to their plans to steal and eat babies.

Furtive, creeping, juddering leaping creatures, dashing for the door then coming back, neither doing one thing or the other, but back and forth always, in and out, up and down. Glancing side-on (though to be fair with them they look at everything side on), eating secretly things held cupped in their hands... hiding what it is.


Invaders from the Trash Dimension, the Trash Goblins are the disembodied spirits of mischief, banished from the GooseWorld by the GooseGod for their rubbish schemes. But, if the signs be right, they can emerge, formless, into our reality and take form from Trash, if enough trash is left available.

They come forth from out of the bin, bodies made of cans and newspaper with eggshells for eyes, dripping bin juice everywhere. Yes, they are held together by mould and dirty napkins, their guts are uneaten leftovers, their main enemy is hungry dogs. They cough dust, some are made of old rug with tongues of congealed porridge and string-bean toes "bleeghhhh". Birds may live in them, are twigs trash? sure, why not?. They have deep rasping voices and try to cook breakfast in the night. They get into the hard liqor and soak themselves in it, becoming drunk and aggressive, stinking of booze, stumbling into lanterns and fires, screaming and dying, racing around, "I'M BURNING! I'M BUUUUUURRRRRNNNNINNGGG AAAAAAAA", setting everything they touch on fire. This does kill, or banish them though, so that's a plus.

The first thing Trash Goblins will do is make more trash so more Goblins can come through from the Trash dimension, so YOU BETTER NOT HAVE LEFT A LOT OF TRASH LYING ABOUT. The more of a mess there is, the more goblins you will get.

What do the Trash Goblins really want?

To open a portal to the Bin Dimension, and make everything trash, emptying the GooseWorld into a universe of crap. 

The seas will be of plastic bags, the mountains of out of date ready meals, the rivers will be of broken bottles. For when all is trash, nothing shall be!!!

Monday 4 January 2021

Weebery Two - Into the Maelstrom of Thighs

 My descent into Weebery continues and I am here to tell all of you about anime series that most of you have either seen already or will never see.

(I know many of you gave good recommendations on the last weeb post but unless something is readily available on Amazon Prime, the one steaming service I will submit to using, I am probably not going to see it in the foreseeable future. Even if its Made in Abyss which, yes, does look exactly to my tastes).


GANKUTSUO: The Count of Monte Cristo 

I found this through a Gigguk video

It’s the future, the moon is a skull and France rules the Galaxy.

I weep two tears, one of sorrow, one of wrath.


This is going to wrap its aesthetic around your neck and choke you out. You can like back and enjoy it, or fight, but you are going down either way. It feels like a Klimt painting as an anime, an opera in huge swathes of light, shade and colour and especially patterns. Each characters clothes and aesthetic are a cut-out into their own still realm of pattern and these flow and interact across the screen together becoming hyper-opulent pools of pattern moving against patterned settings with wild hyper-tech art project stuff happening in the background.

Its what looks like a post-scarcity future so the core of Paris is a carefully maintained (or re-built?) version of 19th century Paris but with an insane art project/performance interlaced over it. The place is  walled and outside are arcologies of what looks like mega-city one, were I imagine a Neal Stephenson situation with the illiterate poor being blasted by holographic super-media and kept quiescent by shitty cybernetic soma systems while the rich live inside a huge clean art project, ride to their space ships in horse drawn carriages and read messages written with ink on real paper.

It has the strange graininess of late 90's cgi, which I like both on its own but also when integrated with the other visual elements. The backgrounds and buildings are made up of this built opulence created by what looks like matte image files packed with 19thc century hyper-decorations. I imagine this as a diegetic real-world element, a Paris re-created from image files has an interesting tenor to it.

The sci-fi setting is used to massively expand some of the spaces and places to create these mad sub-realms of deranged aesthetic, in particular, the Counts crazed golden underground kingdom/room where he has a private ocean and tarot-style orrerys moving against an imaginary sky over a golden sea is pretty wild.

The moon is a skull and I'm not sure why, it shows up as a skull face enough times that I feel like its part of the diegetic universe and not just a symbolism thing?  Is it a reference to the book that I've forgotten? One of those things blindingly obvious to Japanese people???? 


It’s really a very good adaptation of the core of the story. Instead of becoming a Neitzshean superman through the power of an accessible horde of gold and ULTIMATE VENGANCE, the Count is sent to an isolated space prison where he merges with a weird crystal symbiotic space alien drawn to him via the power of ULTIMATE VENGANCE, the alien also has lots of cash. Despite sounding dodgy as fuck the literalisation of the metaphor works very well.

We see this story through the eyes of a slightly boring, pure hearted young man who everyone seems to be in love with despite the fact that he never does and exceptional thing. He meets the Count 'by chance' and bonds with him as a creepy father-figure. From there we are drawn slowly into a plan of SUPER VENGANCE which 90% of the audience will know is coming, but which most of the characters on screen do not. So there is a dual-view thing going on there with the audience noting lots of little details in an otherwise slowish first few episodes as we know that what’s actually happening is the slow assembly of a machine of ULTIMATE VENGANCE.


What if Sherlock Holmes was a Samurai?

Uninteresting, he's already weird and repressed with his own code of honour, and he already has a sword. Instead, what if _Jim Rockford_ was a Samurai?

This is an episodic crime show set in Edo Period japan centred on the figure of Onhei, the leader of the cities seemingly-badass 'Arson Theft Control' group. A former libertine who reformed into being the best copper ever while also being the most sympathetic man ever.

More than anything this show is about sympathy and ethics.

It seems like you are never just going to mug someone in Edo Japan. Instead you would be part of a clan of muggers working by ancient mugging rules and with a population that largely expects to be mugged in a particular way. But instead maybe you get into a fight with your mugging senpai because you are secretly their natural son but the more competent adoptee got promoted above you, so you decide you are going to mug in this hot new way which ignores the rules, but it al goes horribly wrong and Onhei comes and skullfucks you. Less because you are a mugger (though that would be enough), but because you were a mugger wrong.

The cops and robbers are mutually exclusive culture tribes with their own code of ethics.

The real division in the series is a clashing of codes, or more a grand clashing of those who have and follow codes with those who do not. If anyone is really 'evil' in Onhei its less the criminals, even the super-violent ones, (who usually go down in a blaze of glory fighting multiple arson cops as running away is for bitches), and more those of whatever station who 'cheat', not the law, but their moral and societal obligations.

'Corruption', or at least governmental corruption as we would understand it, doesn't exist, except for one episode, where it is dealt with and banished in 20 minutes.

The social dynamics of cop & crime gangs and the whole legal situation in Edo period japan seems fascinating. Everything seems so tightly ritualised that its hard to even think of 'crime' in the way its conceptualised by us. Everything is part of its own organisation and hierarchy, with its own rituals and anything that happens inside the family or the clan isn't really 'crime' until someone drops a body.

It did remind me a little of a 50s British film called 'The Blue Lamp' which had some scenes with what looked like the last post-war relics of a 19th century thieving culture, where there were thieving rules and thieving organisations and "ways we've always done things".

Its not really about that though, its about motivations, family, desire, belonging. 

Onhei himself is one of those WIS 18 character who occasionally show up. A man with a deep sympathy and almost preternatural awareness of the souls and motivations of others, no matter where they might lie across the criminal/copper divide. he has a deep love of, and interest in, humanity, and despite being the best copper ever, also often manages to let some criminals get away, partially, with some things, some of the time. (Which still technically never breaking the law, a feat only really possible in fiction).

Because Onhei himself is the closest thing we have to a PoV character, and as all the situations orbit around and interact with him and systems in which he is the lynchpin, it illuminates the world through his moral schema and moral and emotional awareness, if not precisely through his eyes. What matters is what drives people, what they feel, and how that motivates them, especially as refracted through the complex hierarchies and repression/expression systems of the society around them.

Almost a prototypical restoration-of-order show, largely about interpersonal relationships, value systems and personal honour and cravenness in unlikely places.


Really ridiculously fun and joyous, so archetypal that it seems almost like a parody of an anime; hotshot space bounty hunter with a tragic past and a boy-genius best friend team up with a femme cyborg, samurai girl bounty hunter and catgirl to fight evil daoist space pirates?

Making a list of the ridiculous or "extra" stuff in the show, while fun, evades the invisible core of the thing, which could easily be ignored or camouflaged by a simple description or listing of nerd-friendly semi-ironic ephemera; (spaceships with arms that wrestle and shoot super-revolvers), that would collapse the sense of motion and life into a decaying series of symbols
Like "its fun because it's silly" is a half-truth. Though it is silly, and it is fun. Then we get the crushingly inevitable counter-statement; "no this thing you thought was silly is AKSHUALLY deep!". Again, half-true; it has some depth, in the characters, the assembly of the world, the harmony and beauty of its aesthetic, but that’s not the kind of pseudo-literary high statues depth such statements typically seem to aspire to.

So what is it, this invisible thing? What is the spiderweb which has caught our silent glasslike fly? Here are a few strands;

/╲/\( •̀ ω •́ )/\╱\ --- Invention.

Playful, toyetic but bounding itself within a particular pseudosense so it doesn't decay into writers room invention or genre-dumb invention. There is Daoist magic, but there is *only* Daoist magic (that we see in action and effecting the imagined world), not Daoism plus alchemy plus dragons plus necromancy etc etc.

/╲/\╭(ఠఠ益ఠఠ)╮/\╱\ -----  Youth and possibility. 

The core cast members largely feel like young people on the verge of doing something new and exceptional, several of the more memorable encounters between Gene (the main character) and others are between him and an older/wiser mentor figure. These people all have a meaningful possible future in front of them. They are affected more by what they might do than by what they have done.

/╲/\╭(ರರ⌓ರರ)╮/\╱\ -----  Freedom.

And opportunity. start with a closed horizon, open it with danger, then present a remarkable possibility of escape

/╲/\╭༼ ººل͟ºº ༽╮/\╱\ -----  A really cool, fast, red, strong and fighty space ship. 

The simple material design of it.

/╲/\╭( ͡°͡° ͜ʖ ͡°͡°)╮/\╱\ -----  Colour.

And a particular use of, engagement with and expression of vivid and powerful colour arrangements. Colour as communication? Colour as soul?

This video does a better job than I about it;

/╲/\╭[ ᴼᴼ ౪ ᴼᴼ]╮/\╱\ -----  Beauty.

The matte or background paintings, whatever they are, are exceptional and encompass the beauty and strangeness of a void which is more like a dream. Visual poetry. They give space this deep, rich texture reminiscent of stuff like flash gordon or 50's paperback flaming spheres interstellar space, glorious speckled rampages of light and form.

Not only space but the cityscapes also have this deep richness and almost ellagic quality. When people are going 'out' wherever that is, they are not just going out into this blank emptiness of possibility which is also a void, but into a rich, textured tapestry of beauty.

I really want a coffee table book of those background paintings.

I should also mention the vivid, distinct and lively character designs, as well as movement, stance, fighting and behaviour styles. Perhaps its nothing super amazing exceptional but considering how many things fuck this up its still worth mentioning.

/╲/\╭[☉﹏☉]╮/\╱\ ---- A counterpoint of sadness. 

While Cowboy Beebop had a FUCKING FUCKTONNE of sadness and alienation, Outlaw Star has some. Valued people die. Some people are left alone. Some people are alienated some of the time. But this is not a dominant theme.

┬┴┬┴┤ ͡°)/\╱\ ----- Work? 

This is an odd one but the whole middle of the series is basically an in-space workplace comedy with interruptions. The crew is living away from home in the big city and they have their super-ship but they are increasingly in debt and working small jobs to stay afloat. Its basically 'Friends'? That's odd. Beginning and end = sci-fi epic. Middle-bit = 'Friends in Space'? Opportunity plus resource poverty is a very OSR element.

!!!(╯°□°)╯ミ /╲/( ͜。 ͜。 ͡ʖ ͜。 ͜。)/\╱\ ------ Catgirls.

Overwhelmingly what stays with me from this is the outward going dangerous but hopeful emotional tone. There is plenty of darkness in this world, but fundamentally a sense that the adventure is worth having.


Super-robot sci-fi 90's techno thriller with secret-orgs duelling plus whacky high school romantic comedy? Super-serious robot riding borderline-Asperger’s honourable badass is assigned to covertly guard peppy extra high-achieving highschooler - hilarity ensues! 

An impossible mixture? Amazingly, no.

This feels like a really 90's series. There is some kind of overplot with bizarre hypertech being introduced to human culture "ahead of time" via psychic children who develop superknowledge, and there are psychic engines in this which can turn the mechanics of the action from near-future sci fi to super energy sphere hour.

The geoplitics is straight from a 90's action film. There are vague criminal/commercial conspiracies and 'rogue states' plus ungoverned areas policed and overwatched by the clashing sphwres of influence of nation states and their alliances, plus various NGO's, and of course the equally-vague non-state Mithril, basically a corporation/cult/mercenary outfit which can run hypertech and gets to float around the seas with giant submarines and have secret bases all over the world. A bond villains organisation if they were actually nice, like the Thunderbirds, or many of the secret orgs for justice of 80s cartoons.

None of this is really important compared to the unusual aspect of the show, which is high-school comedy + international espionage mecha drama which really really really absolutely should not work.


Ok I get that teenagers and robots is not a new mix.

But I still thought this was two things that shouldn’t work together, each individually unusually well done and through some strange alchemy brought into harness so that neither annihilates the other but instead they support each other.

It also has some fucking cool robot fights, especially in the last episode where two guys go at it in the hanger of a huge nuclear submarine which is also trying to evade torpedos - like an elevator fight but with robots.

Apparently this has more than one series and apparently the later ones aren't as good, Amazon only has series one

Sunday 3 January 2021

24 Hours till Custom Charges Go Up!

 Hello everyone. Just a last reminder that if you want to order something from the BigCartel Store, then you only have 24 hours (and a bit) before I shut it down for a few days in order to calculate post-brexit customs charges.

Ok peace out!