The Crack Lock World
The CRACKLOCK WORLD
There's a lot to Faery and its residents, so here's a little guide to some of the folk and things you will meet.
A rare photo of Elsie, taken by David when she was feeling magnanimous. It's a little blurry, and he did ask for another when he'd had this one developed.
He was told, "If you want to photograph pretty girls dear, go hang around in town. Try not to get arrested though." Dorcas later told him that she'd thrown away an empty wine bottle that morning, which probably explains Elsie's less than amicable attitude.
In Hungarian mythology, when a forest becomes big enough and preserves enough inner energy, it gets its own consciousness and will. These materialize in the form of the Lisovyk.
The more vital and more significant the forest, the more powerful the Lisovyk is, particularly if they have been fed a diet of Faery grackles! It can appear in various forms, such as a man, a giant of mud or wood, or even an animal.
Generally, the Lisovyk is neutral to man, but it takes great pains to protect its home from interlopers and will destroy anyone who defiles its domain. These things are tough.
The Redcap is a type of evil, murderous goblin found in Anglo-Scottish folklore. Tribal in nature, they live in small groups, constantly squabbling over whatever treasure they have managed to steal.
Redcaps love gold and are easily bribed, which is a shame, as Jack, like most teenagers, is always skint! These little monsters have the unsavoury habit of soaking their hats in the blood of their victims, and those with the best colour gain much rank within the tribe themselves.
The dapper owner-manager of Twillington House. Something is definitely off about this chap…Is he crazy, or is there something else that makes him act like he does?
Brownies and Dorcas
A Brownie is a household fairy popular in folklore around Scotland and England. The oldest folktales depict brownies as ugly creatures with wrinkled skin, smaller than adults, often even smaller than children. A typical brownie has the role of a helper around the house and is usually male, which is why our Dorcas is so unique.
Friend, helper and nanny to the Cracklock children for generations, Dorcas is, well...Dorcas. Large as life, gentle and loving to her family but a right tough nut to anyone who dares threaten somebody under her care. A mean cook and even meaner shot with old grannies rolling pin, compliment her food, and she'll move mountains for you. But try any bullying, and you'll find out why tales of her are legendary in the taverns of Faery!
The Feeorin are a type of diminutive fairy in the folklore of England and Ireland. They are depicted as small creatures wearing red hats. They love music, singing and dancing, and sometimes they warn humans of impending danger.
Our Feeorin is something special; nobody knows too much about his past, but it left him with some serious skills...
Fast and convenient travel, without the public! Unique glyphs are needed, one to open the door, the other to unlock it at your intended destination. And if you forget the 'unlock' one, you're stuck, with little chance of rescue. These are portals between the realms, and no two are the same.
As Fermy tells Jack – "Please DO NOT play with this until you are confident that you know both an 'open' and 'unlock' pairing off by heart."
Faery magic; the glamour is used in all manner of ways. Being part Fae, the Cracklocks can also use this special magic...and not always to the good!
Glamours can be offensive (deep rich colours, such as red), defensive (lighter colours like orange) or all kinds of other valuable things, such as lights, disguises. There is no limit to what a glamour can do; it is up to the individual as to how these are used.
Hagstones are rocks that have naturally occurring holes in them and are known for their magical powers which are many. However, it has been said these stones are the key to the fairy realm. Certainly they let you see the hidden world of Faery, as you will find out. I've got some if you need one; just ask when you sign up!
Hobyahs are bipedal cannibalistic monsters that inhabit dense forests. They're shown as highly malicious and have an appetite for humans but aren't entirely fearless as they are terrified of larger carnivores. Difficult to control, they are an unnatural choice to send to capture anyone. But then, the Cracklocks have some very strange ideas...
Gnomes are said to be the nocturnal protectors of the Earth. In past times they were considered to be “earth elementals,” meaning that they could travel through earth and rock as easily as lifers can walk through air. To this day, they are believed to enrich garden soil, making vegetables and flowers flourish. Originally miners, nowadays they take on an overseer role in their forest or garden where they have settled, protecting it and helping out when possible.
Our gnome does none of that. He's more interested in wooing a certain someone and drinking beer. Still, he's a nice enough sort; brave and fiercely protective of his new friends.
Resident of the Realm of the Lost, Roly is the first of his kind to meet our friends. Wooden and hollow, like the toilet roll he is named after, the tubes are responsible for archiving items that are lost. Or those taken by force, regardless of if you wanted to or not. And when your entire race is enslaved, how is one individual supposed to save them all?
Matriarch of the Cracklocks and downright nasty! She hates the Fae. Hates them! And has inspired all of her children and their offspring to think the same. The reason? Well, there are several, none of them good although you may find them to be surprisingly rational. Pity the Faery that meets this evil witch. And pity Jack…
The Department of Otherworldly Affairs, or D.O.A are a US Governmental Agency acting in the shadows. Originally tasked with defending our planet from alien invaders following the Roswell incident, this organisation has turned its attention to seeking out and removing anything and anyone that shouldn’t be here. In their eyes, anyway. Acting with impunity, these “Men in Black” pose a real danger to the Fae with their technology. And yes, they can see them without the reveal!
Doomed to roam the ages seeking his lost love, the Boatman is a figure from Vietnam mythology. Formed from the curse of one of the daughters of Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ, this jade behemoth has strange and fearsome powers. It really isn’t to be tangled with! So why does David Cracklock desperately need to steal its flute? And how on earth can David plead with Nate during the Vietnam war for help with the beast, when he wasn’t even born then? It’s a good job that Popple is there to help…
Professor Harry Fredericks is a nasty piece of work. Folk around the D.O.A just call him the ‘Prof’, although Dr Death may be more appropriate. The Prof is responsible for the Fae countermeasure technology, and he takes a lot of pride in his work. He hates the Fae almost as much as the Cracklocks do, if you can believe that. Quote:
“You know, I really dislike you creatures. All the legends, all the stories and the admiration from my fellow, erm, lifers as you call us. And look at you. Pathetic. A little applied science and all your magic and mystery go straight out of the window.”
Many Fae have underestimated this man, and, well, they are no longer with us.
A typical US high school girl, Alice gets dragged into the pursuit of her grandfather, Nate, by the D.O.A through no fault of her own. Brave and hard headed. Fate has its own plans for Alice, including becoming the Cracklock she was always meant to be. Oh, and somebody has a crush on her...
One of the last few from the US side of the family, they have nothing to do with the Fae at all (apart from Popple of course!). Why? All will be revealed.
So, why are the D.O.A so keen to get their hands on him and Alice, so much so that they pursue them over half of the US? David Cracklock, that's why. This old gentleman is going to get the foundations of his beliefs rocked. Thank goodness for family, even those that you never knew.
Chronos is more affectionately known in the literature as Old Father Time. The personification of time itself, pictured endlessly as an old man, carrying a sickle and hourglass. His old body a physical reminder that time devours all things. Like Chronos himself, who had supposedly devoured his own children! So why is he dying? And why has he chosen an unlikely champion to help him?
Meet Popple. He's a Nirumbee, one of the little people that are rife in the folklore of the Crow Nation, a Native American tribe. The Nirumbee are said to come from the Pryor Mountains in Montana, where they are described as short (no taller than 18 inches), hairy and incredibly strong warriors, with sharp fangs.
It has to be said that our little Popple does have some of these characteristics, but sadly not all. He's the only Fae that the US Cracklocks will have around. Why that's so, you'll find out about in "The Tale of Nathaniel Cracklock". But Popple's story I will tell eventually. I think that he is worthy of his own tale; one of the American Frontier and how there is a place for everyone, no matter what foibles you may have.
The Dökkálfar, or Dark Elves, hate the way of the light as well as their opposites, the Ljósálfar, or Light Elves, who were created to balance them. Their story is one of terrible pity; the way that they are is not all their own fault. But that does not excuse them for what they have done. If you'd like to know more, it's all in "The Tale of Nathaniel Cracklock".