Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Porcine Bastionland (or d12 Deep Country Pigs)

Somewhen between our industrial renaissance and this electrical epoch, the pig was banned from Bastion.

Although this was never properly repealed, it is now actively unenforced. Those that don't deal with bestial law have forgotten about it entirely.

But the pigs have always remembered.

Perhaps this is why the creature is so ubiquitous in the rural sprawl of Deep Country. Generations of exiled swines were welcomed into the lives of those that would do anything to contradict Bastion. But if there's one thing country folk like more than going against the city, it's going against each other, and soon every town was boasting of their specialist breeds. 

Rivalries were roused, blood was drawn, towns were smashed aruin. Nowadays it's mostly arguments bellowed across streams, or a rare midnight walloping-raid. But the legacy lives on in the Pigs of Deep Country. Not those raised for slaughter, but those kept for more specialist purposes. 

I spent an agonising two weeks riding the battered roads and rusted rails so that I could bring to you a mere fragment of this porcine phenomenon. 


1. THE DRAFTON NULLITCH VOID BARMER


The densest living mass I have ever witnessed. Small animals are drawn into its gravity well, and even humans feel a gentle attraction. Can cause catastrophic scenes upon moving suddenly, so all efforts are made to keep them calm. 


2. THE GREAT TRAVELLING POLE PIGGY, SNOFFERELLA




I first thought this to be a sort of Mock Pig, but this breed is indeed a truly living beast, bred with a glossy hide and an organ arrangement that can withstand gentle impalement in the construction of a living carousel. They appear to enjoy the ride, but must be carefully rotated a few times each day to maintain internal equilibrium.


3. THE PUDINTRY CHOPPER



I had heard this creature called the Scapepig but locals found such references disrespectful to the sacrifice of this breed. When a crime goes unsolved for a period of four years, the sentence is passed on to one of the town's beloved pigs. A timid, lightly furred breed, they resist their eventual arrest with only token squirms and squeals, locals assuring me that the pigs see their inevitable execution as some fulfilment of their destiny. 


4. THE BOSTOLETS OF HUSHER'S BUSHLEY


Supposedly all descended from the most intelligent pig to ever have lived, the wise Bosto. This small breed are kept in the town's library, where patient trainers attempt to educate the beasts, hoping they will live up to the myth of their ancestor. So far the town claims to have trained pigs with some expertise in gambling games, weather forecasting, and matchmaking, but still not a scratching on the legendary Bosto. 


5. THE BURRYSOD CLIPPER


Lean, predatory hogs that attack the poor people of Burrysod at sunset every day, chewing on any bare legs they can find. By night they sneak into properties to gnaw on furniture and leave their mess in hidden places. The stories say that any attempt to fight back against these pests would only incur a greater wrath, so the locals try to make a game of it. I get the sense that their patience is beginning to wear thin. 


6. THE ABYSATHER GORING-BOAR


This carnivorous breed lives in a symbiosis with the town's more intelligent birds. They drag carrion to the pigs, and are paid in silver from a hidden trove. It's not clear where the pigs are getting their riches from, but they have thwarted every attempt to locate it through a combination of wits and ruthless violence. 


7. THE CASTLEFEGG CATTLEHOG


A truly gigantic hog, carrying itself with the lazy disinterest of a common cow. It possesses none of the noble snuffling or muckery of a pig, and something about it filled me with pure hatred. I have never felt such sudden desire to broadcast my distaste of a harmless creature, which the locals assured me was normal for the first time seeing the beast. Once a few days had passed I could no longer remember the cause of my animosity


8. THE WORKING SWINE OF URMINGSWORTH


Only one member of the Churltapp family remains, carrying a heavy burden to the people of Urmingsworth. She alone can speak to the swine, who follow her instructions diligently if somewhat over-literally. They are the sole workers of this town, the folk having fallen into indolence and sloth after benefiting from generations of free swine-labour.


9. OLD GRUNTER REBORN IN ASHER BREACON



Pig Mayors are so common in Deep Country that it's hardly worth reporting as news. However, Old Grunter represents something more than that. The people of Asher Beacon believe that their town has been ruled by the same pig reborn hundreds of times. I was welcomed to sit in on a mayoral address, and the people did appear to understand the creature's snorts and belches. If they are all playing along with a ruse it appears to be to the town's benefit, as things are truly thriving. 


10. EARL BAPCACKER OF TATER-UNDER-SORE


The rank of Earl was granted to this entire breed for military service, serving as mounts in some anecdotal war involving a cavalry charge on Bastion itself! Must be nonsense, as I was never taught about that at school. Now, this robust breed's fighting days are over, serving as honourary companions to the faded nobility of the Sorelands. They have developed suitably aristocratic tastes, not only in their diet but in decor and etiquette. I myself was corrected by one of the beasts multiple times during our shared banquet, with a gentle groan and a sideways glance directing me to adjust my posture or use the correct fork. 


11. THE BLESSED OEELEE OF FARLIND ROOK


I could not make sense of these things. They ate no swill, left no shit, made no sound. They were smooth as water, soft as bedding, and utterly passive in their behaviour. All they would do is occasionally move to smell some of the flowers left in their pen, the aroma appearing to inflate them ever so slightly. While they are never slaughtered, they are eaten when they die of natural causes, and such meat is rumoured to be the stuff of dreams. Upon asking if I could taste the meat, I was assured that it would never happen in my lifetime and promptly routed from town by armed militiamen. The high stone walls would keep the most persistent poachers at bay, but I wonder why they would permit me to glimpse at the promise of such succulence before casting me out. 


12. THE GUTMEDE STYBIRD



All your worst fears about this beast are true and worse. For those seeking to recreate my journey, this is one to pass by. 


2 comments:

  1. Interesting stuff. I especially like the black hole pig idea. I am looking forward to your article on MTG 5 colors.

    ReplyDelete