On the Diplodocus

Pagan Dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period

The diplodocus has long been known as the most religious of all the dinosaur groups. While it was long known as an atheist, its scientific name means “to see,” and is derived from a Greek word meaning “to discern,” a reference to the way the fossilised bones in its skull appear to pick up light from a nearby star as it glides across the sky. It’s even speculated that this ability helped it survive the extinction event that wiped out many dinosaurs and ultimately ushered in the modern era of the dinosaur world. There are some, however, who argue that Diplodocus was an especially devout member of the religious group as it was the only dinosaur to be a complete member of the group from birth, rather than being merely a juvenile that was left to its own devices. This would explain why the animal had so many other “religious” characteristics, including the unique habit of sitting on a rock and holding its tongue out, which was also believed to be the means by which it communed with its divine creator, the Great Architect of the Universe.

The fierce atheism of the triceratops is not surprising, as the species’ thick skull and neck are covered with thick, bony plates. Some experts have speculated that the thick plate might have allowed the triceratops to hold its breath during deep dives, but this remains unproven. Another theory, based on a study by Dr. Jonathan Caulkins, suggests that the thick plates may have helped the animal with its ability to move its heavy body around by stretching the neck, which was so large that it could extend up to 30 feet during the breeding season. This could have allowed the triceratops to reach heights of up to 35 feet in flight.

Among other flying dinosaurs are the plesiosaur, the pterodactyl, the saber-tooth cat and, surprisingly, the ornithomimid, which was discovered in North America by a team of researchers led by paleontologist Michael S. Currie. Religious motivations, as one would expect, are not confined to this group either. In fact, the oldest of these ancient flying reptiles are known to have been some 300 million years older than the last dinosaur to be discovered.

The Vatican has been the site of considerable controversy over the age of the world’s first flying reptile, which some claim was an adult tyrannosaurus rex, which would have been about 160 feet long and 10 feet tall, and that is now thought to have been a member of the family of plesiosaurs, of which only one species remains.

The opinions of St Paul concerning ‘Thunder Lizards’ are also cited in the ‘Acts of Peter,’ a work of the ninth century by St. Ignatius, who quotes from the same writings of St. Paul (see below). The first dinosaur-like animal known to exist is known as ‘Pyrghisaurus lindermanensis’ and is described by St. Basil as being about 5 to 10 feet long and 2 feet wide, and weighing 100 to 120 pounds, with the skull being a bit like that of a horse. This species was described by St. Clement of Alexandria in his book ‘On the Genesis of the Creation’, written in the second century, when the first dinosaurs were thought to have lived.

Whatever the case, we can rest assured that religious dinosaurs like these are a thing of the past.

We Didn’t Start the Cryptids…

Sea monk, Dobhar-chú,
Globster, Loup Garou,
Goatman, Grassman,
Beast of Gévaudan,

Morag, Wampus Cat,
Nandi-Bear and Spring Heeled Jack,
Momo, Gambo,
Mantis-Headed Man,

Kongamato, Tatzelwurm,
Grootslang, Lambton Worm,
Mothman, Trunko,
Thylacine and Shōjō,

Hodag, Hoop snake,
Creatures in Tianchi Lake,
Lizard Man of Scape Ore Bog,
Jackalope and Loveland Frog,

Welcome to the Kastrup Fortet Museum

Now the Wyrmlog is up and running again I thought I’d post my contribution to last year’s Advent Calendar on the SSSS Fan Forum.

If you’re not familiar with Stand Still, Stay Silent it won’t make much sense, but on the plus side, you can go off now and read Stand Still, Stay Silent! I’ll see you when you get back…

Back? Good. Enjoy!

(Oh, and there are spoilers, naturally…)

Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 1
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 2
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 3
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 4
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 5
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 6
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 7
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 8
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 9
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 10
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 11
Kastrup Fortet Museum Guide Page 12

If you found all that enjoyable you might like these printable Kitty Cutouts. Put them on your fridge! Confuse your friends and neighbours!

A few things to note…

  1. The Museum has a certain viewpoint about the expedition. Attempting to correct this would probably not go very well.
  2. Mikkel is almost certainly to blame for much of said viewpoint.
  3. Mikkel and Reynir’s accounts of the expedition differ on a number of important points, occasionally wildly…
  4. But since Mikkel’s version is the popular mass market one, and Reynir’s is the more academic and historical one very few people have read both and actually noticed.
  5. The museum director is Ida Södersrtöm. Why does that name seem familiar?
  6. Sigrun (now 68 years old) knows that the Museum is kinda inaccurate, but as long as they pay her she’s happy to come and tell stories about how awesome she is!
  7. Reynir did indeed name his (second) daughter after Tuuri.
  8. The author of the brochure definitely has a crush on Tuuri.
  9. That is not the Eiffel Tower.
  10. Bikupan Press eh? I wonder what that’s about?

If you want more of this kind of thing, check out my page on Archive of Our Own.

Oh, and the idea of a museum at the Kastrup fort with Kitty as a mascot and children’s guide had already been brewing in my head for a while before I stumbled over this in a museum in Italy. Sometimes life is just as strange as fiction…

Your museum guide is an orange kitten… hmmm….

With apologies to Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan…

On dense and rich worlds near the galaxy’s core,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

Dwelt short, bearded bikers forever at war,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

And though all these bikers were terribly small,
A tyranid hive fleet devoured them all,
So if you want some Squats, then you’ll get bugger all,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

The tale of the Bloodtide is one you should know,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

The brave Battle Sisters held out ‘gainst the foe,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

The Grey Knights raced up as fast as they could run,
But they wanted some blood, so they slaughtered the nuns,
And Khorne thought the whole thing was terribly fun,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

The Ultramarines you could never besiege,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

Their brave Chapter Master’s your spiritual liege,
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

He’s Marneus Calgar, and he’ll never rest,
Of all Chapter Masters he’s clearly the best,
But why does the dude have a dinosaur desk?
Warhammer, Warhammer, Warhammer,

Important Advice for Humans

What has the world forgotten?

James Ensor, Belgium’s famous painter.

What’s worse than a cockroach landing on your face?

Awaking one morning from uneasy dreams to find yourself transformed in your bed into a gigantic insect.

What song haunts you?

“Love Will Conquer All” by Lionel Richie has been lurking in my basement rattling a length of chain and making strange moaning sounds since spring of 1997.

Who is the real life ‘Frank Underwood’ in your country?

No politician in my country is even half as intelligent as Frank Underwood.

There are three rabbits in a cage. Three girls ask to be given a rabbit and each recieve one. Yet there is still one rabbit in the cage. How?

Rabbits breed really fast.

What happened to Quiznos?

They sold their souls to the Spong Monkeys and never recovered.

What’s the correct way to pronounce “Benedict Cumberbatch”?

“Peng-wing”

You are in charge of lodging and boarding in the afterlife. Who would you bunk together in the same room?

Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Osama Bin Laden, Kim il Sung and Chairman Mao would have to share one small room with three sets of bunk beds. It would also have the afterlife equivalent of webcams so everyone can enjoy the ensuing hi-jinks.

Which is the best planned crime in history?

The one no one knows about.

Flat earthers and Alien conspiracy theorists get into a fist fight at the bar. Who wins?

The rest of us.

If you had a giraffe that you needed to hide, where would you hide it?

Among many other giraffes

What makes a salad a salad?

Their relationship with Ssendam and Ygorl.

What do you think about Dubai city?

The modern Babylon. An unsustainable fever dream floating on a sea of oil. When the oil runs dry, Dubai will fall back into the desert, becoming a haunt of jackals and an abode of owls.

How much would it cost to go to the moon and smoke up?

Depends whether you want to come back or not.

How do you eat a creme egg?

Not at all. They are gross.

Aspiring Cult leaders, what is your sales pitch to get me to drink your Flavor-aid?

In my cult you get genuine Kool-aid!

What is the happiest thing you’ve ever seen at a wedding?

I went to a wedding at a Llama farm. The Llamas seemed pretty content.

Every day a former United States President starting with George Washington tries to kill you. What is your survival strategy?

Resurrect John Wilkes Booth!

Why is the earth a circle?

It’s an oblate spheroid you cretin!

When does 1 + 1 not equal 2?

For sufficiently small values of 1.

You win two metric tons of shrimp. What do you do?

SHRIMP!
HEAVEN!
NOW!

Would you accept the whole world going metric if the whole world drove on the right side of the road in return?

But if we have to drive on the right, how am I to strike oncoming motorists with my cane?

What’s the most evil thing you’ve done for a laugh?

I shot a man in Reno just to laugh at him while he died.

If you were to be an insect, what insect would you want to be?

A Lord Howe Island Land Lobster.

Why is Donkey Kong called Donkey Kong?

Because “Ass Kong” wouldn’t be acceptable in the American market.

Have you been to the Dark Web? What did you see?

It’s wild man! There’s this dog which does circus tricks, and a trained gorilla, and all of Donald Trump’s emails and you can sit and read them all you want and there’s this guy who comes around with a drinks cart and he’ll make you the best Long Island Ice Tea you’ve ever had! I’m going back on Thursday!

Why is the murder of people aged 10 ten to 35 that believe walking sticks are an acceptable fashion accessory illegal?

Because roughly one in five cane wielders are secretly experts in the martial art of Bartitsu, and the death toll among those trying to (however justifiably) murder them was completely unsustainable.

What’s the weirdest food you’ve seen someone bring to work or school?

This guy bought in a slice of meat placed between two slices of bread, smeared with some kind of grease, which he called a “Sand-Witch”. He’s clearly insane!

If you and your crush go to different schools but text a lot, what does it mean?

It means that they are an avatar of the dreaded snake god Yig and are planning to sacrifice you to their million children at the next equinox!

You are granted the right to make a single rule change to ONE sport of your choosing. Which sport do you choose, what rule do you implement?

Baseball. When a batter strikes out they must bow (from the waist) to the catcher and loudly exclaim “THANK YOU FOR MY LESSON NOBLE GRANDFATHER!”

If you were given one thousand acres of land that you didn’t need to pay taxes on but couldn’t sell, what would you do with it?

Build a worm store.

If you were stuck in the world of Candyland with Kim Jong Un and Rihanna, and the objective to ascend is to slurp, how would?

I don’t understand a word you just said.

People in the UK, anyone know what that big ball of light outside is?

It’s just the Orfordness Lighthouse!

What’s the worst name for a baby?

Osama von Hitlerstalin

People who have spent time in a psych ward, what was your experience?

It’s all you can eat prescription drugs like Thorazine, and Lithium, and electroshock treatments with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and life is beautiful all the time, and you’re happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats!

Aliens are just a cover story – what’s the real horrifying truth about Area 51?

It’s where they keep the things recovered from the vaults under Wewelsburg castle at the end of World War II.

What annoying habbits do you have that drive people crazy ?

Well, Frodo keeps pulling these really stupid practical jokes on everyone and… oh, sorry, I misread…

Who is actually unironically excited for the live action Sonic movie?

Nobody?

If Shrek was real, where on Earth would he live?

The Pinsk Marshes of Eastern Europe. The talking donkey is obviously down to contamination from Chernobyl.

What Teletubby are you?

Gulp-Gulp, the one who was exiled from Teletubbyland for continually screening hardcore vore.

How do you pronounce scone?

“Doge”

The Devil has come to town, and will give you everything you dream of if you defeat three mythological creatures – a dragon, Medusa and the Minotaur – using only one object. Failure means death. What object do you choose?

I’d choose a copy of Das Kapital, convert them to Communism and make them rise up against the bourgeoisie.

What’s the best type of cheese?

Cheese made from the milk of the mates of the goats that pull Thor’s chariot!

What are some stereotypes of the people who live in Wisconsin?

They’re all named Jon Jonson and work at a lumber mill.

If you could visit any one person through out history, in the future or past, who would you choose?

Martin Luther. I’d paint my face red and jump out of a bush at him, sounding an air horn and yelling “BLALALALALALALA!!!! I AM THE DEVIL!!!!”

You have the power to change colour of anything in the universe. What change would you make?

All cows are now offensively fluorescent pink!

When a website says it uses cookies, what exactly does that mean?

It means a girl scout is watching everything you do on it.

What’s a really funny Spoonerism?

A toast to the queer old Dean!

What comes to mind when you hear “Singapore”?

Humidity and a government that borders on Fascism.

How hasn’t AOL gone out of business?

They continue to reap huge profits by recycling the plastic from their warehouses full of free trial CDs. Current estimates say the supply will run dry in mid June 2064, so sell your AOL shares before then!

What culture is the best?

Subba Culture!

You have to escape the FBI, where will you hide?

The J. Edgar Hoover building. They’d never expect to find me right under their noses!

How will you get inside?

I’ll pretend to be a pizza delivery guy, then I’d hide out in the drywall.

What do you think Alien feces would look like?

What do you think they’ve been putting in McDonalds apple pies for years?

What are some important developments a civilisation must achieve to be considered advanced ?

The Fruit Corner Yogurt Packet.

What does fart power do?

Propel Chinese philosophers across lakes.

What’s the best way to get white teeth after years of neglecting them ?

Follow someone with nice teeth into an alley and repeatedly punch them in the mouth.

What do you usually carry in your glovebox?

The Jade Monkey

Time travel becomes common: what new sports are now possible?

Dinosaur rodeo!

What is the least appropriate time to do finger quotes?

I swear to tell “the truth” and nothing but “the truth”, so help me “god”…

Based on conversations you’ve had or overheard, what are some major plot points of a TV show you’ve never watched?

There is a nerd, and possibly some other nerds, and the first nerd likes to say “bazinga” for presumably nerdy reasons.

A human with integrated prosthetic limbs or organs is called a cyborg. What is a human called that has no natural organic matter left and is fully converted from the top of the head to bottom of toes?

A Senior Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

When someone goes to bed, doesn’t that mean that they, like, die for a couple of hours?

I think you might be doing sleeping wrong…

What happens to dead grizzly bears?

A team of black bear funeral directors take care of all the details to spare their relatives.

What’s the perfect fast food order?

Extra Surly Chicken with a side of Lung Puppies.

If by killing others you increased your health and lifespan, what changes do you think there would be to the world as we know it?

There would be no need for orphanages.

Who would get to kill the orphans?

Why, the rich of course!

What is the most likely diagnosis for the Sheldon Cooper character on The Big Bang Theory?

Terrible writing.

You can remove up to a total of one minute of footage from any movie in order to make it as confusing as possible, what do you remove from which movie?

Star Wars: A New Hope. I’d remove Luke making the shot and blowing up the Death Star, so there’s just an inconclusive space battle, then everyone goes home and gets medals.

What’s your least favorite state in the US?

Idaho. It knows what it did!

The Nazis are back, how does the public react?

Vote for them, apparently.

What’s the weirdest rumour that you have heard?

That there’s a temple in Pakistan where they crush the pituitary gland of orphaned babies so they grow up as mentally impaired ‘rat children’ who can raise money for the temple by begging.

How can someone watch The Big Bang theory online?

I’m still wondering how anyone can watch the Big Bang Theory full stop.

To where do the doves flock?

To the Hobby Shop where they do buy flock.

What do you think of Momo?

Back in my day Momo was the Missouri Monster and that’s the way we liked it!

What do you think of The Process Church of the Final Judgment?

The Church Universal and Triumphant have better tunes.

What is the proper etiquette when you have diarrhea and you go into a stall but someone is already in the stall next to you?

Shout “AT HIS INFERNAL MAJESTY’S REQUEST!!” then let fly.

What’s a Pokémon design that hasn’t been made yet that you would love to see in a new game?

It starts as Glenn Beck, evolves into Alan Jones, then explodes.

How old should you be to drink Kombucha?

Sixty-five. At that point you’ve lived a decently long life so it won’t matter if the local Hippy’s festering clump of fermenting bacteria has been contaminated with salmonella.

How many times should you say “Chugga” before you finish it off with  “Choo Choo?”

Ten times. No more, no less!

People who have eyes looking two directions, can they actually see two angels or do they have normal vision?

Yes, but only Nathaniel and Azoriel and they’re pretty crappy Angels.

You were just elected President of the United States. What’s the first policy you’re going to enact?

Puerto Rico is now a state, but to save on flag money Mississippi is now part of Cuba.

You can dispense any two liquids from each of your two index fingers for the rest of your life with no limitation. What two do you choose, and why?

That vodka with gold flakes in it – so I can filter out the gold and be rich – and squid ink – so I can Zoidberg out of any awkward situations.

Why not just liquid gold?

Sometimes a man likes to get drunk.

What’s the worst thing to see in the woods alone?

Every bear that ever there was.

What do you imagine life on the International Space Station would be like if they all had a pet cat?

Messy and short.

If you were to insult someone, but couldn’t use any cuss words, what would you say?

“You, sir, are a pathetic excuse for a Hotel Manager!”

If you could have one extra body part (that fully functions), what would it be and why?

An extra heart would be great not just as a backup, but also for Dr Who cosplay!

If you were the Roman Emperor and the Empire was at the brink of collapse, what would you do?

Poison my mother, sleep with my sister and marry my horse!

Who killed Gambino boss Frank Cali?

Personally I suspect that a Gambado killed the Gambino.

Where did the pineapple come from?

When a pine tree and a bromeliad love each other very much…

Who is tracking the FBI?

The Coast Guard?

Why is propane stored above ground, while petrol and diesel are stored underground?

Storing propane underground just attracts molemen.

What did we build this city on?

Proletarian Toy-oy-oy-oilll!

What would happen if you hid in Disneyland overnight?

You would not survive. At night the staff retreat into the tunnels, seal the doors and  let the real Mickey Mouse out.

What are your thoughts on A.I. ?

Abominable Intelligence is an affront to the Omnissiah! I declare you a Heretek! Report for servitor conversion at once!

Who discovered gene cascades?

Doctor Gene Cascade. They named them after him.

What are your morals and alignment?

Chaotic-Depressed

Teef is a showerthought. Try figure it out but no sense bent made. Explain it to me dear?

Put down the bong and go to bed. You’ll feel better in the morning.

What would be nearly impossible to accomplish with no light at all?

Painting a picture of a lovely horse

What do you wish for when you see a shooting star?

To get with child a mandrake root

What’s something your opposing political party doesn’t understand about you?

I will vote for policies based on science and basic human decency.

What would you be doing right now if you had the power to go invisible?

Running around inside the Whitehouse with an air horn.

What does playing basketball have to do with being tall?

Thomas Jefferson had it written into the Bill of Rights that “only those of six feete tall or more” would be allowed to “partake of the game of Ball-in-the-Baskete at the professional levell”. The rest of the founding fathers had had a big night and by the time they sobered up and actually read Jefferson’s submission it was too late to remove it.

What would you do if you were a vampire?

Invest in term deposits.

Where’s Lola when you need her?

In a club down in North Soho.

What do you call people who hate the imperial system but prefer expressing their height in feet and inches?

Australian

Cats are assholes, what’s yours done?

My cat, or my asshole?

It’s 3am, what are you crying over this time?

The existence of Matchbox Twenty

Do you have any advice for someone going on the dark web for the first time?

Don’t take any wooden bitcoins

What is the worst part about having a penis?

I’d say it’s awfully nice to have a penis!

What are the legal issues of setting up a small bear trap in your vehicle?

Depends on the local population of small bears.

Which book has the worst movie adaptation?

There was this TV movie called ‘A Wizard of Earthsea’. I presume they paid Ursula K. Le Guin to use the name for some random script a producer’s 12 year old scribbled up.

You’ve won the lottery to officially choose new names for all the planets, what are they now called?

Mercure Hotel
Weenus
Dirt
Vulcan
Big Boy
Ring Boy
Blue Boy
Blue Boy Two, Electric Boogaloo

What about Ceres, Eris, Makemake and Haumea?

Brunch
Breakfast
Dinner
Spiro

What is the scariest monster you can imagine?

An oversized, mentally challenged oompa-loompa with access to a nuclear arsenal.

What are your thoughts on magic and the occult?

They’re good for making a buck!

Why are you sooo uggly lool!?

I was born this way. And don’t call me Lool.

If you could go back in time and give blueprints to an invention before it was even thought of, What would it be and who do you give it to?

I’d give Hitler detailed blueprints for a Fitbit and tell him it’s a super weapon that will defeat the Soviets.

What year were you born?

The year of the great drought, the passing of the Bird Man, and the dawn of the blood plague

What would you recommend doing in Prague?

Golem hunt!

What job exists because we are idiots?

Homeopathist

For one day, all animals obey you and do your bidding- what do you do in those 24 hours to make the most of this power?

Every raven within 100 miles of Donald Trump flies to him and just sits there, silently staring.

How would our world be changed if all the religion of the world were removed and never existed?

We would be living in golden paradise cities floating above the land on clouds of pure reason, children would compete in organised team logic contests and Richard Dawkins would be king!

If Tuesday are for Tacos, then what are Wednesdays for?

Water closets

What exactly do stores do when the power goes out?

Depends on the store. At Walmart the floor managers organise the staff into hunting packs to catch the largest customer possible, who will then be sacrificed to the spirit of Sam Walton in an attempt to restore the power.

Would you tell anyone if you very clearly saw a UFO, and had zero doubt about what it was?

If I had zero doubt about what it was then it wouldn’t be an unidentified flying object

What is a video game that can’t be turned into a movie?

Uwe Boll has shown us that no such thing exists.

What do you like (or hate) about eating at Panda Express?

That they got rid of the tanks where you could choose what panda you want to eat 🙁

What is the end goal of the Republican Party in the United States?

For all Republican politicians to be rich as God

Who is the sexiest woman alive on this planet?

Professor Alice Roberts

Why do some larger buildings have stones/pebbles layering the top of their roof?

It’s intended to block the signals from the Government mind control satellites (and stop the roof from blowing away).

What is your favorite part of The Matrix?

The scene just after they get Neo out of the tank where he and Morpheus bond over their shared sadness that they have no hair to braid.

How do you raise children? Would you recommend a book?

Yes I would. Having a book is infinitely preferable to raising children.

How would you kill a giant bearlion that was resistant to bullets?

Challenge its masculinity until it falls into despair and can’t go on.

How did you realize you are not the normal person you thought you were?

I never considered myself to be normal.

Meanwhile on Vogsphere

Ah! Rugose, flaccid nose-hole of the ruffled temple zone,
Your googly funnel-bunny gnaws a constipating bone,
The flow of curdled fennel burbles freely ‘twixt my toes,
Like humming lemon lemmings plinking furgled fertile rows,
Give over to me all your wingèd tokens priss-pristine,
Lest I dislocate your gruntle sack you disgusting pervert,

Vague Alternative History Ideas

Some vague ideas towards an alternate universe history (and map) of Australia…

1788: The First Fleet arrives at Botany Bay, establishing the the settlement of Port Botany and the Colony of New South Wales.
1825: The Colony of Van Diemen’s Land is separated from New South Wales.
1826: The settlement of Albany is established at King George Sound at the west of the continent.
1825: Founding of Brisbane.
1827: Fort Wellington founded at Raffles Bay on the north coast of the continent.
1829: The Swan River Colony is established.
1832: The Swan River Colony is abandoned.
1834: Albany is proclaimed the capital of the Colony of New Holland.
1835: John Batman founds Batmania on the Yarra river.
1836: The Colony of South Australia is proclaimed. Land east of the Murray River remains part of New South Wales. Settlement of Adelaide.
1840: Colony of New Zealand proclaimed.
1851: New South Wales south of the Murray River is proclaimed as the Colony of Victoria with the capital at Batmania.
1859: New South Wales north of the 29th parallel and east of 141 meridian east is proclaimed as the Colony of Queensland.
1861: The area of New South Wales west of South Australia is transferred to New Holland.
1863: The area of New South Wales north of South Australia is transferred to South Australia.
1901: New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Van Diemen’s Land, Victoria and New Zealand form the Commonwealth of Australia. New Holland refuses, but the eastern goldfields declare independence and join the Commonwealth as the state of Auralia with the Capital at Kalgoorlie.
1911: After a decade of acrimonious debate Batmania is declared national capital. The northern portion of South Australia is separated into the Northern Territory with the capital of Raffles Bay.
1927: The Northern Territory is divided along the 20th parallel, creating the Territory of Central Australia, with the capital of Alice Springs.
1933: New Holland votes to join the Commonwealth in a referendum.
1961: Queensland north of the 22nd parallel is separated as the State of Capricornia with the capital of Townsville.

Medieval Holy Land Pilgrimage Monopoly!

It is generally agreed that Monopoly is a terrible board game. It is incredibly long and incredibly dull while at the same time somehow being viciously predatory. It’s the kind of game where you spend hours shuffling bits of paper around while developing a deep and abiding hatred for all the other players, one of whom always wins because they’re so invested in the thing as to have studied the extremely simple yet extremely dull strategies required for a guaranteed win. Burn in boardgame hell Monopoly!

Despite this, my brain has wandered unstoppably down one of those strange little paths of busfuckery that plague me so, and designed a reskin of the game that’s bound to be far more popular than that “Millennial Edition” they’re currently hawking. I have invented Medieval Holy Land Pilgrimage Monopoly!

The streets are replaced with cities on the pilgrimage routes from northwest Europe to Jerusalem. Players collect gold by constructing Inns and Hospices. The railways are replaced with great medieval ports – let’s say London, Venice, Constantinople and Acre – while the utilities are holy relics – perhaps the Spear of Longinus and the True Cross. Players don’t go to Jail, they get captured for Ransom. “Community Chest” becomes “The Knights Hospitaller”, and “Chance” is retitled “Fate” for that true medieval flavour. The playing pieces are – of course – replicas of pilgrim badges.

It will be massive! I await my royalty check from Hasbro.

On Cnossath and its Knights

Name Cnossath Prime
Segmentum Segmentum Tempestus
Sector Chiros Sector
Subsector Skereig Subsector
System Cnossath System
Population 430,000,000
Cnossath

The Knight World of Cnossath Prime (or simply ‘Cnossath’) was discovered and settled by humanity at some point prior to M23. A temperate world with three major continents and several island chains it hosts three (originally four) Knight Houses that owe fealty to the Adeptus Mechanicus Forge World of Volund Two-Seven.

Crest of House Cashel
Crest of House Cashel

Traditions preserved on Cnossath maintain that the planet was settled by four separate colony ships, each claiming an area of the world to the exclusion of the others (the ancient technology at the heart of the three remaining House Strongholds would appear to bear this legend out). Each Colony developed into a nation state ruled by Knights – House Cashel on the western continent, House Ventris on the north of the eastern continent, House Mabb on the eastern continent’s southern peninsula and House Krater on the central islands. The frigid northern continent was claimed by House Ventris but unoccupied (apart from mining colonies) due to adverse environmental conditions.

A peculiarity of the Houses of Cnossath, traceable as far back as the planet’s histories reach, is that the Thrones Mechanicum of their Knight Suits lack the indoctrination protocols found on almost every other Knight World. It is unclear if this anomaly is by design or simply the result of some ancient accident, but it allows a far greater degree of individuality to the planet’s Knight pilots. It has also led to a bloody history of conflict and warfare between – and occasionally even within – the Houses.

Volund Two-Seven Maker's Plate
Volund Two-Seven Maker’s Plate

Cnossath first came to the attention of outsiders in M27 during the Age of Strife. An Adeptus Mechanicus colonisation fleet – dispatched during a lull in the galactic warp storms – settled the world of Volund Two-Seven on the far side of what would – millennia later – be absorbed into the Imperium as the Skereig Subsector. Explorators from Volund soon discovered Cnossath and the Knight Houses that ruled it. The Houses swore allegiance to Volund in return for the knowledge to repair and maintain their Knight Suits, however they retained much more autonomy than is standard in such relationships. An ancient legend claims the Houses traded “a treasure of great price” for this autonomy, a story that has been linked to both Volund Two-Seven’s mastery of unusually strong crystalline alloys and to the unusual nature of Cnossath’s Thrones.

It was the freedom allowed by the Thrones – and the lack of Adeptus Mechanicus control over the houses – that led to the greatest crisis in Cnossath’s history. In 218.M37 during one of the planet’s regular Knight Wars, the Stronghold of House Mabb and its surrounding hive city were destroyed by a titanic plasma breach triggered by a combined bombardment from forces of Houses Cashel and Ventris. The scale of this disaster – and the damage inflicted upon the survivors and their holdings – led to the three remaining Houses negotiating a set of laws governing their interactions and to standardise resolution of disputes – a document they named the Mabb Concordat.

The Concordat replaced warfare with ritual combat between champions and established a system of standard penalties for breaches of honour both between and within Houses. Designed from the outset to be flexible and to expand when necessary, the Concordat ended millennia of conflict, and under its rule both the Houses and common folk of Cnossath prospered.

It is therefore a great irony that while the Knights of Cnossath are free of the burden of conditioning by their Thrones, the ever expanding rules of the Mabb Concordat have created a society every bit as restrictive as on any other Knight World. Over two thirds of all calendar days require the nobles of the Houses to perform certain rituals or abstain from specific behaviours. The wearing (or non wearing) of specific clothing is common, as are restrictions on what foods may be eaten and at what times. Nobles of different ranks may be prohibited from communicating, or may only communicate in strange and roundabout fashions. Certain texts may have to be read out by specific Nobles, many of which are in archaic dialects extinct for centuries. The onerous nature of these requirements are believed to account for the comparatively high numbers of Freeblade Knights hailing from Cnossath.

Also contributing to the number of Cnossath Freeblades is the tradition of the Geas Penitens. A Knight that seriously violates the Concordat may find themselves penalised with the application of a penitent quest. They are ceremonially banished from their House, and assigned a task or series of tasks that must be completed before they may be re-accepted. These tasks usually take the Knight off-world and may take decades to complete. Many Knights so banished never complete their Geas and take up the mantle of a Freeblade rather than try to recover their lost honour.

Rarer than the Geas Penitens is the Geas Portorium. If a high noble of a House finds themselves in significant debt to an individual or organisation they may pay off that debt by assigning a subordinate Knight or Knights to their command. Such deals are a common way of dealing with disputes both within and between Houses, but a Geas Portorium refers specifically to Knights assigned outside of the Houses, and usually off-world. To be assigned to a Geas Portorium is viewed as a great honour, as no House would be so ignoble as to attempt to pay off a debt with anyone but their best.

A Knight undertaking a Geas Penitens defaces the crest on their tilting plate with a diagonal black stripe and repaints their Knight Suit to obscure all house colours and personal heraldry. A Knight assigned to a Geas Portorium maintains their House and personal heraldry, but repaints their Suit to match that of the individual or body they are assigned to.