April 9, 2015

Crochet Borders

By Paul Baldowski

Today’s random pull from the Storey Publishing Backlist deck of cards – “Around the Corner Crochet Borders“, a collection of 150 colourful crochet frames, each with detailed instructions for working around a corner. While an absolute must for intermediate crotchet enthusiasts in its own right, also the creative nudge for today’s random table of disputed and protected territorial lines.

The scattered kingdoms, principalities and provinces of the world have very different views on maintaining border controls.

Roll d6, twice:

1: A twisted borderland of monstrous briar, tended by (1-2: anxiously attentive animists; 3-4: societally dysfunctional druids; 5-6: begrudgingly belligerent briar elementals)

2: A shredded landscape of lines and cables, (1-2: a witch’s effort to hold off ten thousand years of geological movement and scant frayed threads away from a cataclysmic release; 3-4: a diplomatic minefield of fragmented zones under contractual discussion through long distance magical protocol demanding delicate negotiations to traverse by way of phantasmal civil servants; 5-6: an alchemist’s government-funded experiment, which extracts essences from those crossing the border and carries them back, underground, to his not too distant lab for cataloguing)

3: An imposing range of mountainous (1-2: golem, quested to remain here by a forgotten emperor for an act of war, record of which only exists on the scraps of vellum secured in their cranium ; 3-4: dragon scales, extending from the back of a hibernating behemoth known to nestle upon an ancient hoard said to contain some of the most legendary, near mythical, riches; 5-6: waste dumped here through a magical portal – itself now quite soundly buried under nauseating layers of semi-fossilised garbage)

4: A dancing wall of (1-2: will-o-wisps constantly leading travellers off the safe path across a miles wide swamp of bubbling, decayed mulch; 3-4: metallic dust, the enchanted waste product of an ancient army of flying swords, now wasted away to almost nothing, but far more deadly than the worst possible sandstorm; 5-6: fur clad, bear-riding warriors, protesting for several generations about poor working conditions for a leader long dead, a conflict long forgotten, but a principle worthy of persistence)

5: A wilderness of (1-2: sentient trees standing guard over the carefully tended lines and patches of rare and beautiful blooms – and woe betide any who put a petal out of place; 3-4: shanty dwelling, twisted like a maze and layered like a quarry, filled with the poor, the desperate, the wanted, the forgotten, and the down-at-heal – but perhaps also home to someone known to those passing; 5-6: hills and gullies, haunted by hungry trolls, wily bandit gangs, and the ghosts of unlucky travellers)

6: A mist-wreathed wasteland of crooked tombstones, (1-2: occupied by the restless and jobs-worthy carcasses of one-time border guards laid off during a previous administration; 3-4: the surface manifestation of a upturned granite-skinned monstrous caterpillar, frustrated by immobility and hungry; 5-6: surveillance zone of an other dimensional security firm, providing round-the-clock services to the inconceivably wealthy)