Redcaps and violence

On Monday, as part of the #DungeonDrawingDudes challenge, I drew a redcap, which looks kind of like a warped garden gnome.

redcap

I came across this video from Nerdarchy, about redcaps, and I think they make a good observation about redcaps’ relationship with violence. Redcaps appear at the location of a murder, if the murder occurs in a place where the regular world and the Feywild overlap. (A bit like the concept of thin space in Celtic spirituality.) Someone who knows what they’re doing might be able to summon redcaps as minions, but the risk is that they will just kill the summoner. They might follow the person who summons them. But if they do it will only be as long as their master provides more opportunities to kill. If their master doesn’t give them more opportunities to kill, they will kill their master. It seems to me that this monster speaks to us about the tendency of violence to keep generating more violence. Just recently one of our government ministers has been suggesting that our country should become a major arms manufacturer, but that we would only sell weapons to appropriate countries. It seems unrealisitc to think that in the chaos of war, we would be able to control who ends up with our weapons or how they are used.

Plesiosaurs and milk demons

On Sundays I nromally post an illustration I’ve made for the Dungeons & Dragons games I run. Today’s is a plesiosuarus, which I made for the short adventure I ran on Monday’s public holiday.


Most of the adventure involved lizardfolk, and I realised that a lizardfolk shaman could summon a plesiosaur, which would pose a pretty serious challenge. At the end of the encounter, one of the players said, ‘We killed Nessie!’

I had a look into the history of Loch Ness Monster sightings, which have in modern times been described as similar to plesiosaurus. The earliest report, recorded in the Sixth Century CE, tells of St Columba visiting encountering a ‘water beast’ and rebuking with the sign of the cross it when it threatened one of his followers. The same text, volume two of Vitae Columbae, describes the Irish monk exorcising a demon from a bucket of milk. Could this be an idea for a new D&D monster?