Literature: Hitherby Dragons
In the old days, they didn't know very much about the world. But they made maps anyway. If they had to map something they couldn't, they just drew whatever they felt like and wrote, "Here there be dragons."... Hitherby Dragons
We still don't know very much about the world; and there are things to map of it besides its surface.
Can broken things be remade?
Can destinies change?
Is it worth the risk of hope?
Important questions, but one can only shrug, you see:
Here, there be dragons.
is a series of online short stories written by Jenna K. Moran (formerly known as Rebecca S. Borgstrom), who also created the Tabletop RPG Nobilis
. (Hitherby was also the name of one of Jenna's In Nomine
PCs, a Kyriotate of Animals. There are no direct
links... we think.)
A girl called Jane, her brother (sort of) Martin, and a cast of others tell stories in the Gibbelins' Tower to make sense of their own existence, to amuse, and to understand the nature of the world around them.
Hitherby has a set of story canon
, set in a strange variant of our world, telling of the current characters, as well as variants on the stories of Tantalus, Buddha, Belshazzar, Confucius
, Lot and Persephone. The mythologies it creates concern the powers of suffering, the imprisonment of personal uncertainty, and the relationship between oppressor and servant.
However, many of the stories are individual legends, and can generally be read without any further context. A large number of the legends are warped combinations of pop culture with philosophical, political or religious motifs. Some are reflections of the mythology of the world, and some are whatever complete nonsense blasted out of the author's mind that morning before coffee. Stories where Jesus pilots a Humongous Mecha
, the wars of gods are fought with Sailor Moon
attacks or the Buddha can be summoned
from a Pokeball
are by no means atypical.
From a troper's point of view, there are several legends that work by playing the tropes either completely out of context, much straighter than even the original or even tropes that function as rules of the universe
Hitherby Dragons had a long hiatus, but started again in 2011. The story starts here
, or you may read a compact version of the first storyline
The first Hitherby Dragons book, Jack o'Lantern Girl
, collecting both new and previously written material, is available to buy as a download.
Hitherby Dragons provides examples of:
Various Hitherby stories have dealt with:
- A Boy And His Siggort: The Sid and Max storyline, beginning here and continued in scattered posts.
- As the Good Book Says: There are quite a few scenes based on Biblical scenes and a few characters have Biblical names. One even quotes the verse with his own name on it.
- Back from the Dead: Jack o'Lantern Girl is, in part, the story of how Jane came back to life after a slight accident with the fire a lifetime before when she was a girl called Jenna.
- Blue and Orange Morality: King Cole
- Cuteness Proximity
Demeter: She has toes!
Midwife: Yes, she does.
- Dissimile: Seen here:
Cho takes the viper step. It’s the kung fu step a viper would take, if a viper knew kung fu
and had legs
- Fighting from the Inside
Tom: It’s the human personality imprint. The Maria we knew—the Maria who sang to us about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens— She’s fighting for control.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress
Octopus: But what about Mr. Schiff?
Meredith: It’s okay, Mr. Schiff can fly!
- Hell Seeker: Ink Catherly is a preteen adventurer determined to reach hell "because I'm an explorer". In this case, hell is located at the top of a tower inside her closet.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: In a high school!
- I Love Nuclear Power
And Shelley nodded.
Sid: But we will make a tiny candy man, and then nuclear radiation will bring him to life, and give him unnatural human size.
Destroy All Christmas
- Literal Genie
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Parodied in Angus' Bad Day — the store cupboard is still out of commission from a previous heroic scientist's escape plan, and so is the chemistry lab.
Mr. Boss looks Angus up and down. “We could just throw him in a large empty room,” he says. “And lock the door. In a way, it’s probably safer.”
- Logic Bomb: In Ink And Illogic and also Forbidden A in The Angels
- Martial Arts and Crafts: Ninja weather forecasters! Pickle Ninjas! Ninja Buddha with enlightenment shurikens!
- Scooby-Dooby Doors & Scooby-Doo Hoax in Daphne and her dog
- Sugar Apocalypse: Hoo, boy. Many, many, many kid's shows and concepts are subjected to unearthly horrors in legend.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: In-universe - well, in-legend - usage:
- Torture Always Works: Played with in An Oracle For NP.
- Vision Quest: The Bridge
- Wax On, Wax Off: