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"We did not ask if there had been men, for men were not news. There is never any shortage of human beings, to snatch away each other's food, or breed whole populations, but examples of horrid beasts, lonely and mythological, are not so easy to find."
—Quote attributed to Hythlodaeus (of Thomas More's Utopia )

This Miasma item contains an account of the mysterious beasts of Loss . The Eremite claims that he has not seen such a catalogue of new creatures since visiting the Mint in Ring-In-Opal.

Creatures of LossEdit

The ScatterbirdEdit

Nicknamed: "The Amoeba on the Windowsill"

Described as an "obese little thing...about the size of an eagle, but black and scruffy, and its belly hung past its basal phalanx." It leaps into the air and, "[w]ith a horrific clap of flesh rending," scatters into dozens of smaller birds, "each a keepsake version of itself." At night, the birds return to their departure point and reassemble into the larger beast.

They are pests, ruining the beetroot crops and creating the paths the Lossians so detest. They are killed as such, but the farmers will not eat them.


The Pageant WeevilEdit

Nicknamed: "The Harlecain"

The Eremite classifies this insect as the Lossians' "Grendel." There is not much written here regarding the weevil, as it had already been discussed extensively in The Weevil Hunt. The Eremite believes that the Lossians will eventually realize how harmless the insects are, and will thank him for "freeing them from generations of rubic ritual."


The Turkey DragonEdit

Nicknamed: "The Poet's Disappointment"

An all-female species of bird that "lives in the caves under the village, moving in a jejune flock of one, its brobdingnagian skull stippled with cancer." At night, the birds steal the town's cutlery and make nests of it. Its neck is hairless, resembling that of a turkey.

The Eremite expresses disappointment at the Lossians' unwillingness to talk about, or sing songs of, or invent myths surrounding the Turkey Dragon. He coins the phrase Lossian

adj. The quality of disappointing reality stemming from great reputation or expectation.


The Bog PonyEdit

Nicknamed: "La Sella Della Verita" (The Seat of Truth)

In a meadow spotted with "long pools of thick mud, each about the shape of an hourglass lain on its side," dwell the Bog Ponies. The Eremite had believed the pits to be toilets, and used one to relieve himself. He later discovers the ritual behind these holes, and the fabled creatures that dwell within:

"Once the children have chosen a hole they lower themselves into them, up to their midriffs...They imagine swift legs under them, as all children do, feign galloping, shout 'hyaa' and 'whoa' and every command the steed of a heroine or hero would recognis[sic]"

Only young children ride the Bog Ponies, Friend having long finished with the juvenile practice. The Eremite does not believe the creatures to be real, and reveals that he came to investigate the pits one night, finding nothing but "a little nub of something, surrounded by a concatenate jelly."

Additional NotesEdit

The Eremite mentions the loss of a large quantity of his dunnage, lamenting that he could not offer more gifts to Friend. He also notes her father's (Mr. Lights') attempts at keeping the two apart, though she constantly defies him. The Eremite notices the saddle-like bruises (the Black Crown) on the backs of those who have come close to him, and believes them to have been beaten by the jealous father. On the day of his account, he remarks, "there has been another funeral today."

Trottering NotesEdit

Chester-Stokes praises Wayle's "heroism, skill and excellent taxonomy" in his excavation of this Work. This is one of the few instances where the two are not taking shots at each other.

TriviaEdit

The word "Omelas" is written in red across the first page of this Work. It could possibly be seen as a reference to Ursula K. LeGuin's short story, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas."

The first page also bears several purple fingerprints, most likely stained by beetroot.

The Eremtie recounts a meeting with Whale-Bane, where the latter told him about a visitor who spent time amongst the Ringfolc. The Eremite assumes this visitor to be Olaf Jansen, protagonist of The Smoky God.

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