ASH: ASH #111 - A Suit of Sables Part 2: The Memory Be Green

Dave Van Domelen dvandom at
Wed Mar 9 08:22:35 PST 2011

     [The cover looks like something from a production of Wagner's Ring
Cycle, but with tendrils of shadow wrapping around the statuesque armored
women.  Justice watches helplessly, looking like he wants to warn them but is
unable to.]

 '|`  /|(`| |   A Suit of Sables Part 2 of 4: The Memory Be Green
     /-|.)|-|        copyright 2011 by Dave Van Domelen

                       ACADEMY OF SUPER-HEROES ROLL CALL

CODENAME       REAL NAME                POWERS                   ASSIGNMENT
--------       ---------                ------                   ----------
Solar Max      Jonathan Zachary         Spacetime Control        AMERICA
                 "JakZak" Taylor
Meteor         Sarah Grant-Taylor       Superspeed               AMERICA
Scorch         Scott Handleman          Pyrokinetic              CANADA
Centurion      Salvatore Napier         Strength, Regeneration   MEXICO
Fury           Arin Kelsey              Concussion Blasts        MEXICO
Contact        Aaron Zander             Psi, Mind-over-Body      DIPLOMATIC
Breaker        Christina Li             Telekinesis              DIPLOMATIC
Essay          Sara Ana Henderson       Gadgeteer                VENUS
Peregryn       Howard Henderson Jr.     Elemental Mage           VENUS
Beacon         George Sylvester         Living Light             VENUS
Geode          Unknown                  Living Crystal           VENUS
Lightfoot      Tom Dodson               Velocity Control         TRANSIT

[October 26, 2026 - Columbus, Ohio Sector]

     "Like, who could have done this?" the Irreverend Carlie asked, gesturing
at the trashed "Chyrch of Tym Meditation Center and Head Shop" around her.
Not only was it vandalized in the mundane sort of "hit things with baseball
bats" way, but there was definitely blood in a few places (a forensics guy
was checking that one out, but a field test had already determined it was
human blood), and every light source had been destroyed.
     Detective Anita Dale started to open her mouth, then shut it.  There
were so many obvious answers: religious fundamentalists, kids looking for
drugs, drug dealers worried about competition, the Tymmytes had done it
themselves while high and forgot they'd done it...and so forth.  But she saw
a warning glint in the Irreverend's eye.  The Tymmytes might have a
reputation for being goofballs and potheads, but they were also dedicated to
exploring the hidden recesses of the mind.  Their drugs were rather
disappointing as sources of a good time, and they tended to attract some very
smart cookies.  Carlie may have acted like a ditz, but Anita knew the woman
was about as smart as you could get without an active Magene, and scarily
"together".  The dopey act was just part of the ritual that had built up
around the secular religion.
     If they'd been interested in recreational pharmaceuticals, of course,
the Tymmytes would have been very hard to shut down legally: even without the
help of supernormals that were trickling into the Chyrch, modern biochemistry
let them easily stay ahead of any laws that banned specific chemicals.  The
legacy regulatory structure that most drug enforcement agencies were stuck
with simply had no ability to keep up with designer drugs.  But Tymmyte
"mindbombs" were generally outside even the halo of "that'll probably get
made illegal" simply because they didn't give much of a buzz.  They altered
mental states, sure, and a mindbombed Tymmyte wasn't going to be safe in
operation of a motor vehicle.  But the drugs didn't attract the same
clientele as synthetics like Jaz or Squiz or the new meth variant being
called Kansas Koke.  They didn't make you feel good, and they only
entertained you if your idea of a good time was deep thinking.  The Tymmytes
had even discontinued manufacture of one chemical because it could be mixed
with heroin and intensified the opiate's effect.  So the drug runners had no
real incentive to go after them as competitors.
     Naturally, since their work bordered on the pagan, the Chyrch of Tym was
also targeted by a lot of the more extreme religious fundamentalists.  Dell
could think of at least three cases in the past year where a Head Shop had
been attacked in some way by that sort.  But this was the main Head Shop of
the faith, their equivalent of the Vatican, and the security system here was
pretty damned good for precisely that reason.  And it was good enough to keep
out the kind of idiot kids who didn't believe that mindbombs weren't a party
     Dealers wouldn't bother.  Kids wouldn't succeed.  And what kind of
Christian or Moslem fundamentalist would decorate the place with human blood?
Irreverend Carlie had clearly already thought along those lines, and it
wasn't a pleasant path to go down....

               *              *              *              *

[October 26, 2026 - Monaco, Eurasian Union]

     The mood was jittery around the negotiations, but it had been pretty
quiet all day, so Justice was glad to see Contact returning from his psi
debriefing session.  Someone to talk to, and he had something to talk about.
     "So, I put some of my new schooling to use and dug up a few sealed
records my clearance was good enough for," Justice muttered under his breath.
No normal person could have heard him at more than a few centimeters away,
but Contact was either using "super hearing" or cueing on the surface
thoughts that speech generated, using his telepathy.  "I got confirmation
that the original Rechtigkeit was half-Jotun, or believed he was, and the axe
almost definitely predates him.  A few rumors of a 'Valkyr' active early in
World War Two, with the axe, but that's about it."  Then, at a normal
conversational tone, "Still no idea what the axe was going on about the other
     "You tried asking it?" Contact replied with a shrug.
     Justice shook his head.  "I tried.  Got nada.  Asked aloud, thought it
really hard at the axe...I gotta admit I felt kinda stupid doing that, I
dunno how you telepaths keep a straight face sometimes...but nothing.  If
it's the kind of mystic datacube you think it is, I don't have the access
     "I've been asking around MetaPsych on that count, actually.  Just as a
general thing, I didn't bring up your specific case.  But apparently a lot of
ancient mages kept mystic diaries that worked like I think your axe does,
other than the shooting lightning thing, of course.  And MetaPsych has done
some work cracking those.  My contact suggested a few techniques, I could
probably 'download' the information into your mind once we're off duty.  No
guarantee it'd be at all coherent, though.  It might take a while to unspool
into memory that you can access.  And it'll probably give you several nights
of very weird dreams, but I can teach you some basic techniques to help keep
those from being too whacked out.  Interested?" Contact glanced at the mystic
weapon, then back at Colin's face.

               *              *              *              *

[October 27, 2026 - Marysville, Ohio Sector]

     "Thanks for coming out to the sticks, Anita," Lieutenant Joe Harris
escorted the Columbus police officer past the cordon.  
     "Well, I was stumped on my own case, I could use the break.  And it's
not like this is the edge of human civilization, Joe," she shrugged.
Compared to the area around Youngstown where she'd grown up, Marysville was
still pretty urban, even out by the Magnum plant.
     "Huh, well, maybe you don't get that break.  I asked you to come by
because I think we might have a connection here."
     "Since when does Magnum Motors have a connection to the Tymmytes?" Dale
raised an eyebrow.
     "As far as I know, it doesn't.  But we have another 'locked room'
mystery here, like the Head Shop vandalism.  Only, in this case, we're not
just talking someone getting past some of the best security systems that
civilian money can buy.  Magnum has some serious pull somewhere, and their
security is scary good.  I get the distinct feeling that the security chief
just wants to crawl in a hole right now and pull it in after himself, rather
than face his bosses back in, you know, up north."
     Anita nodded, briefly wondering what was up about Detroit, but her mind
just sort of slid off the topic and back onto the matter at hand.  "What was
the crime?"
     "Theft.  Pretty high stakes...a prototype of the 2028 Spartan, the
street bike they were planning to use to unseat the Ihi's market dominance.
But they've already ruled out industrial espionage, or so they say," Joe
     "Yeah, I can't see them notifying the police if they still thought it
was Ihi behind it.  They'd just keep it inside the walls and retaliate
through other channels," Anita took in the details of the areas Joe was
leading her through.  "This is definitely a cleaner job than the Head Shop,
though.  No smashed lights, for one thing."
     "Yes and no.  The lighting system was disabled for about ten minutes,
although they only knew about it because a toy on one employee's desk reacted
and its onboard memory told them the lights went out.  The secsystems
themselves were totally blind and amnesiac to the missing time.  Needless to
say, Magnum doesn't really want that part getting out."
     "Okay, definitely seeing the parallels here.  Was the motorcycle the
only thing missing or damaged?"
     Joe pulled out his handcomp.  "No...just a second, lemme double check
this.  They found an office chair from deep storage was missing.  Everything
was RFID'ed, and they checked all the tags once they realized there'd been a
break-in.  It's a nice enough chair, but over thirty years old.  Not sure why
they were even keeping it...."

               *              *              *              *

[The mythic past - Jotunheim]

     Colin had decided to take Contact up on the offer.  The unleashed data
had been a confused muddle, as he'd been warned.  But now he found himself in
what he knew had to be a dream, but it also felt like a memory.
     He stood off in the corner of an oversized single room house, full of
Scandinavian design motifs.  It looked like something out of a historical
drama of Vikings, but either he was a small child or the scale of the thing
was suited to giants.
     Or jotuns, come to think.
     Two imposingly tall women stood at the hearth, looking like mother and
daughter.  The mother held a weapon that looked like a hatchet patterned
after Colin's axe, which answered his earlier question.  Everything around
here WAS bigger.  That WAS his axe.  And these were Jotuns.
     "Glidja, you are old enough to seek your fortune, as Menja and I did
long before you were born."  He doubted she was speaking German, but he felt
the meaning of the words more than hearing them.  "I know you wish to do the
same kind of great things your aunt and I did...break shields, flatten
mountains, fight monsters.  But my sister and I could not bear to see you
wear the iron collar of slavery as we once did.  Frodi may be long dead, but
the sort of human mage that enslaved us then still walks the halls of
Midgard's kings.  We have sworn to never leave Jotunheim, but that oath does
not bind you, and we want you armed against the evils outside our mountain
     At this point, the mother handed Glidja the axe.  "This is the axe
Slaversbane.  Just as Menja and I crafted the Grotti, the magical mill that
ground out Frodi's peace, we have made this weapon for you.  It can cleave
flesh and iron, but also cleaves spells and potions.  If aught would enslave
you, in mind, body or soul, Slaversbane will free you."

               *              *              *              *

[October 28, 2026 - Kingdom of Q'Nos]

     During his years of wandering Europe, Simon Smith had set up a number of
mail drops so that people who he wanted to stay in touch with had a way to
contact him.  They became less necessary as the infrastructure built back up
and internet connections once again were possible from just about anywhere on
the continent, but something had kept Simon from dismantling the network.
Looking back with knowledge of who he really was, the former Bennett Rush
suspected he had maintained the mail drops because he was intimately familiar
with the vulnerabilities of electronic communications.
     Thanks to his recently acquired mystic skills, though, Simon was able to
turn the old mail drops into a system that was nearly as instantaneous as
email, at least in one direction.  And it provided him with a cut-out to stay
in touch with aspects of his old life that he didn't want involved with the
court of Q'Nos.
     The various governments of the locations where his now-teleporting mail
drops were installed probably wouldn't appreciate knowing that there were
spots where you could place a letter or small object and it would instantly
go to Mount Olympus, but they need never know.
     Simon's receiving box chimed, indicating that something had arrived and
that it had not triggered any of the warding spells.  Just a letter.  In this
case, from Giovanni, owner of the estate on which Simon had found the ruins
of Iago Montessi's laboratory.
     "My friend Simon, I hope this finds you well.  Unfortunately, I bear ill
news.  Grigori, the man you helped me find to take your place as caretaker of
the estate, has been murdered.  He kept to himself much of the time, so the
police are not entirely sure when it happened, but they think it happened
three weeks ago.  They also found the old ruins despoiled, but since Grigori
was found in the house and not at the site of the ruins, they do not think he
interrupted a looter.  I worry that you or I may have been the intended
target, and have hired on additional security.  Should your mysterious new
job afford you the opportunity, I suggest you do so as well."
     Simon glanced at the closed office door, outside of which stood two of
the most highly trained security men he could hire away from other
potentates.  He doubted he was in physical danger at the moment, at least not
the sort of danger that men with guns could stop.  But he had a rather
different assessment of the nature of the primary target.  Grigori had simply
been killed to keep him from reporting anything amiss, most likely.
     No, the primary target was someone long dead.  Perhaps you could say he
was VERY long dead, depending on whether you counted back to his first
death or merely his most recent....

               *              *              *              *

[December 21, 1937 - Bavaria]

     Once again, Colin found himself in a dream that was a memory, observing
but not observed.  Given the setting, he was glad none of the robed figures
could see him...these were the Knights of the Thule before him.  The real
ones, too, not the Vogue Ghoul gang he'd known from his days on the other
side of the law.  These were the reality that the Ghouls had been mere
shadows of, and even in someone else's dream they stabbed a dagger into the
part of his mind that knew fear.
     They were chanting, but it wasn't in any modern language.  Colin wasn't
sure it was a *human* language.  Darkness coiled around the room like a nest
of serpents, occasionally sending tendrils of power into a runic display
carved into the blood-darkened granite of the altar that dominated the
relic-filled chamber.
     He knew this was history, a memory, but he ached to do something about
it, to stop whatever this foul ceremony might be.  But he was trapped as an
observer, watching as if present in body, but unable to do anything else.
     A form had been coalescing atop the altar as the dream-memory started,
and now shadow filaments raced to wrap themselves around it, forming fetters
on what were becoming arms and legs, knitting chains as insubstantial as
smoke and as inescapable as death.
     The vague humanoid became a woman, and then became one who Colin
recognized.  She had matured, in more ways than one, but it was still clearly
the Jotuness of his previous dream, Glidja.
     The chanting stopped, and Glidja looked around her at the circle of Nazi
sorcerors.  "Thank you," she said, in slightly accented modern German.  "The
Aesir have forbidden us from entering Midgard or causing mortals to summon us
here, but your little ritual was no doing of me nor mine.  So I am free to
stay as long as I like, and there seems to be a delicious little war about to
     "You will stay, and you will participate in the 'delicious war,'" the
ritualist with the fanciest robe sneered.  "But you are not free.  We had
hoped to summon a warrior to fight the mongrel races, but a brood mare for a
race of demigods will serve the Reich just as well in the long run."
     Glidja laughed, a sound like the tinkling of crystal just before a shard
of it pierces your heart.  "These?" she held up her hands, shackled in
darkness.  "And here I thought mother was being overprotective," she pulled a
familiar axe from her belt and with contemptuous ease sundered the bindings
of shadow.  The axe seemed to glow with an anger all its own, deadly serious
for all that Glidja herself made light of the situation.
     The Knights of the Thule had been prepared for such a turn of events, or
had thought they were.  They moved to cast additional spells of binding and
subdual, but Glidja gave them no time to complete the motions.  She was among
them like a wolf among sheep, tearing and gutting, with more than one Knight
split cleanly in two by a sweep of Slaversbane.  The axe itself seemed rather
pleased to be slaughtering the cultists, which might explain its animosity
towards the darkness even in the waking world.
     Colin shuddered.  The official histories said that the Knights had been
killed in a ceremony gone awry, but even the deep files liberated after WWII
had no more information than that.  Some claimed that the Knights had
succeeded in their ritual and had predicted the failure of the Third Reich,
using their magics to flee into another reality that they found more
     Clearly, the only reality they'd fled to was whatever afterlife awaited
their blackened souls.
     "Now, let's see what kind of adventure I can find before Thor notices
someone has let a Jotun loose in Midgard...!" Glidja chuckled, wiping the
gore from Slaversbane and replacing it on her belt.

               *              *              *              *

[October 28, 2026 - Berlin, Germany]

     "Sorry to interrupt your rest," Captain Loring said as he saw the bleary
features of Justice on his video screen.  "but the darkness cultist that you
did manage to capture back in July finally gave something useful up."  He was
professional enough to avoid smirking at the wince that Justice failed to
conceal.  The bust had been a royal cock-up, enough to get Justice sent off
to ASIE for training.  And Loring was still annoyed enough about the two
Vogue Ghouls that got away that he felt no guilt about twisting the knife a
     Justice suppressed a yawn.  "I haven't been sleeping well lately, so you
didn't interrupt anything valuable.  What did you get out of him?"
     "We let him start mixing with the general population, but keeping a
close eye on him with spycams.  He started trying to evangelize, so we've
tossed him back in solitary, but we've got some descriptions of his 'Dark
Lady' goddess.  Gray skin, red lips, bald head, legs to kill for...sounding
familiar to you?"
     "The sable lady from the sonnet.  Scheisse," Justice spat.

               *              *              *              *

[February 2, 1943 - Somewhere in Sweden]

     "Mother Fenja, please grant me your blessing," Glidja spoke into a
bowl.  The fluids in the bowl swirled in an unnatural way, almost as if
alive.  Colin couldn't make out the surroundings, but he had the feeling he
was in a small cabin with the Jotuness.  Her insouciance of the previous
dream had been replaced by a desperate pleading, and a sort of weariness of
the soul.  Physically she looked no different than when she'd been summoned
by the Thule, but she felt much older now.
     "Warfare has lost its allure, daughter?" the voice of the mother
Jotuness from the first night's dream issued forth from the bowl.  Again,
Colin felt the meaning of her words, though he suspected he wouldn't have
understood the language itself.  "I would have thought it would take more
than a few turns of the seasons to sate your youthful bloodlust."
     Glidja shook her head, the weariness even more apparent.  "The humans
have found such horrible means of waging war, making butchery of it and
turning soldiers into so many spitted pigs.  There is no honor in it and less
joy.  I could no longer fight for those who still worship our folk, nor could
I bring myself to help in their inevitable downfall.  But in the middle of
the horrors, I found a mortal who I love, and we have fled to a small part of
Midgard not touched by the ashen hands of this war.  My Oberst is a good man
caught up in an evil matter, and if Slaversbane can't free the world from its
madness, I could at least free my Oberst from it."
     "You understand, as great as the magics of Jotunkind are, we are not the
Aesir.  We cannot elevate mortals to godhood," Fenja warned.  "And the poets
warn of the tragedies that befall mortals who love the immortal, as well as
the eternal sorrow of the immortal who mourns a lost love for eternity.  Will
you sacrifice for your mortal soldier?  Will you surrender your divinity?  We
may be as nothing to the Aesir, but it is still much you would give up."
     Glidja nodded.  "I understand. love like this for even a
single mortal lifetime would be worth it.  This modern warfare has destroyed
my love for battle, and if I cannot have another love to replace it, what
good is eternal life?"

               *              *              *              *

[October 29, 2026 - Dogo Island, Shimane Prefecture, Japan]

     A wretched figure huddled in the corner of the grand cavern.  Once the
cavern had teemed with activity, as demon Mongols went about the business of
their master and fashioned ever more deadly implements of war.  Now the
demons were dispersed or destroyed, and their master humbled with
contemptuous ease by a man who claimed to be from days yet to come.  
     It was a claim Akuryu had no trouble accepting, as he himself had been
pulled into such unknown future days in the wake of the great casting he had
undertaken during the failed invasion.  He had saved the remnants of the
Mongol fleet at the cost of his soul, a soul traded for darkness in much the
same way he'd traded his manhood for sorcerous skills in the secret courts
beneath the palace of the Khans.  And now he had neither soul nor dark
powers.  When the mundane authorities of Japan visited the cavern, as they
did on occasion, it took all the power Akuryu could muster to hide himself.
     He wasn't sure why he even bothered.  No prison they could put him in
would be less foul than the one he had made for himself, in his remote
cavern.  And while he had made numerous attempts to conquer Japan, as he
understood things he had never quite transgressed a law that would have meant
his death.  The modern age was soft, it was so very hard to stir them to
execute a dangerous man.
     "Do you wish to be dangerous once more?" a voice purred out of the
shadows.  She spoke flawless Mandarin, although Akuryu was certain that this
was the effect of a translation spell.  He'd used them often enough himself
to recognize the signs.
     "I have nothing with which to bargain," Akuryu spat.  "And I do not
trust power offered is never free."
     "You have skill, which would make you a useful underling," she
countered, stepping into view.  
     Despite a number of offputtingly immodest aspects of her appearance, or
perhaps because of them, Akuryu felt that had he anything left that could
stir at the sight of this woman, he would be quite moved by her allure.  As
it was, he kept his wits about him, and could note how her eyes were too
European, her gray skin an unhealthy pallor, her feet oafishly large.  No,
while she could inspire lust in those who could still feel it, he did not
think her to be a paragon of beauty, even by the debased standards of this
future age.
     "You are either naive to think I would remain under your thumb, or you
think I am fool enough to swear an unbreakable oath to one I have only just
met," Akuryu snarled as defiantly as he could.
     "But we have met before," her voice had dropped into a soft sussuration,
a sound whose whispers invaded Akuryu's dreams, a sound he had heard over his
own screams for the eternity he had spent in hell before he and the remnants
of the Mongol fleet had emerged in this age.  "You have served me before, and
you will do so again.  The one who usurped your place proved to be...a
disappointment.  And now I offer you a second chance to be what Chiaroscuro
could not be.  One of my high priests...."

               *              *              *              *

[November 17, 1959 - Bonn, Germany]

     Colin could see that surrendering her immortality had also cost her some
of her inhuman stature, as the surroundings suggested Glidja stood at not
much more than two meters now...still statuesque, but now she held
Slaversbane more like a true axe than the hatchet it had seemed in her hands
in the previous dream-memories.  Or perhaps she had simply shrunk in order to
fit in...Jotuns were known for their shapeshifting magic, even diminished by
the loss of her immortality the Jotuness could have managed something as
simple as losing a meter or so in height.
     A man with receding blond hair looked on approvingly from the
background, likely the Colonel she had become mortal for.  But the center of
the room, the center of the dream, was dominated by a young man with a face
that every schoolchild in Germany learned.  He may have worn a mask his
entire career, but after his death at the hands of his own son his face had
been revealed to the world.
     Richard Konigswald, the original Rechtigkeit.
     He was still a teenager, he had yet to blossom into his full height and
heft, but he was already taller and more muscular than almost any normal
human.  How he'd managed to maintain a secret identity was one of the great
mysteries of 20th Century history, as he'd stood over two hundred and fifteen
centimeters tall when he reached full growth.  Maybe he inherited some of his
mother's Jotunish shape-magic, or his clever grandmother crafted him
something to help disguise his true nature.
     "Richard, my mother gave Slaversbane to me when I left home to seek my
fortune, and I pass it on to you," Glidja held out the axe.  "Your father and
I have tried to teach you the futility of war, but we also taught you the
importance of justice...and we can both see you ache to go out into the world
and use your strength to make things better."
     Richard grasped the axe tentatively at first, then firmly, taking it
into both hands as his mother reluctantly let go.  There was a flare of
power, an echo of what Colin himself remembered from that moonless night in
the Black Forest.
     "Slaversbane...agrees with me," Richard said after a long pause.  "He
was made to break the shackles of the enslaved, but is not mankind itself
enslaved wherever there is evil?  Wherever there is injustice?  I know you
hate the war I was born during, mother, but it was not all mechanized
inhumanity.  There were men and women who took up arms and became symbols for
what is right.  Mysterymen whose masks made them something more than mortal,
if less than gods.  I would follow their example, for Germany and for
mankind..." he lifted Slaversbane, which crackled with mystic energy as if
roaring its approval, "...for JUSTICE!"


Next Issue:

     The pieces of Lady Sable's mysterious scavenger hunt start to come
together, heroes recognize the danger she presents and move to stop her, but
has she planned too well and to long to be stopped?  In ASH #112, the heroes
must ascend "The Steep And Thorny Way"!


Author's Notes:

     This issue's title comes from Hamlet Act I scene 2: "The memory be
green, and that it us befitted / To bear our hearts in grief and our whole
kingdom / To be contracted in one brow of woe" from Claudius's "time to get
on with the business of ruling" speech.

     Mindbombs are probably similar to the sort of performance enhancing
smartdrugs chess competitors are rumored to use, although with elements of
LSD or peyote incorporated.  The Tymmytes seek to recreate the experience
that turned "flatscan" Tim Bose into the powerful spacetime mage Tymythy
Twysytyd, but pretty quickly gave up on just using the same exact drugs Bose
had been taking...too many side effects, too hazardous.  Also, very illegal.
In the 1990s, there were likely a lot of cult followings around certain
supernormals, but most of them vanished in 1998 (either literally, or simply
breaking up once the object of their veneration went away).  The Tymmytes
had the advantage of a credo that said to look within for answers, rather
than following another, so they weren't hit very hard by the vanishings of
1998 and managed to hang together in the aftermath.

     While it's probably weakened lately, there's a "Somebody Else's Problem"
field around Detroit.  Magnum Motors is headquartered there, but Doctor
Developer (or his proxies, depending on when it happened within the timeline
of as-yet-unwritten issues of The Reverse Engineers) started moving the more
high-profile operations out of town to places like Marysville to keep the SEP
field from being too badly stressed.

     Fenja and Menja are giantesses in the Grottisongr, part of both the
Prose and Poetic Eddas.  During the Pax Romana, Scandinavia enjoyed something
called Frodi's Peace, and the Grottisongr claimed that Frodi brought peace
thanks to a magical grindstone that milled out peace and prosperity so long
as it was turned by the two giantesses who created it, and who were enslaved
by Frodi.  Similar to the legend of the Sampo, it eventually turned on the
one who would exploit it, and finally sank to the bottom of the ocean while
grinding out an unending stream of salt (you may have seen the Popeye cartoon
on that topic).  Glidja is a character of my own creation, her name
translates roughly to "bright" or "sparkling".  Same root as "glitter" I

     Slaversbane itself was created when I drew Herr Stark back in the early
90s.  The composition of his ghostly slain father in the background seemed to
need something, so I gave him an axe.  I later reused the axe on Rechtigkeit
(female version).  And I made it a magical talking axe when I wrote "Justice"
in 1994, although I mostly forgot about the talking part until recently.  It
was simple plot convenience to have it react to the shadows in ASH #101,
something I figured I'd figure out a reason for later.  Well, it's later, and
here it is.  :)

     I was tempted to make Glidja's true love be the colonel from the
time-displaced Panzer division, but decided against it for two reasons.  One,
too many connections can actually weaken a setting, by making it feel
smaller.  Two, leaving that guy alone gives Andrew Perron more freedom should
he decide to use the tank commander in the Edison Project.  :)


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