The Deptford Mice Almanack | February

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As I questioned the present Starwife about Piccadilly, her eyes became filled with sorrow, and when she saw the drawings of him which I had drafted from the various descriptions I had heard, she could not speak and rushed quickly away.

Aufwader’s Thoughts: For this little forktail, February is all about Scalian New Year, which I decided at age ten falls upon the 4th. Do not ask me what the significance of that date is because I’ve honestly no idea, but since then, ever year, I have done something to honour Sarpedon the Mighty.

It always seemed to me a bit of a swizz that every other god in the Deptford universe  should have so many festivals and holy days, while the Scale were left standing gloomily on the sidelines. Even Jupiter has the repurposed Hobber rights of First Blood and Goregut to look forward to. Blame it on biased squirrel scribes or ancient records now lost to mould in the Starwife’s archives, but the Scale have been short-changed for high days and revels, and over the years I have done what I can to rectify that sad state of affairs.

Speaking of First Blood, that falls this month, as well as the moon entering the House of Hobb in what should be the start of a new calendar year for all Children of the Raith Sidhe. It may also be noted that these events coincide with one another in a manner that I imagine was quite difficult for Jupiter’s lieutenants to gloss over in the past. Of final note is the birthday of Wendel Maculatum, right in the Peeler – well, that explains his gift for turning sacrifices into ‘art’!

Matt’s Thoughts: I love the illustration for this month – both because it’s possibly one of the single best illustrations of Thomas Triton you’re likely to see, and also because its corresponding entry for the 10th refers to the tossing of the coin to propitiate the Lords of the Deep. Those three can certainly do with plenty of propitiation, that’s for sure!

I loved the mix of the humorous (Madame Akkikuyu’s sniffles remedy) and the tragic (the burial mound of Mr Woodruffe and the entry for Piccadilly’s birthday). Also, given that 18th marks the beginning of the Ash Month, I was actually wondering to what degree the Wyrd Museum was taking shape when this was written?

The idea that ash trees are somewhat distasteful to squirrels because of some dim dark connection to the World Ash Tree, while being completely my own reading into the passage, is an idea that I find quite appealing. You could see somebody like the old Starwife (or even the current one) knowing the whole tale of Yggdrasil and thinking it a rather pathetic example of squabbling divinities engaging in power struggles.

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2 thoughts on “The Deptford Mice Almanack | February

  1. You know, Aufy, you’re right about the Scale not being given much attention as far as lore goes! I never noticed that before. It’s surprising that Robin wouldn’t explore them in more detail as he loves his villains. At least you’ve filled in the blanks and given them the recognition they deserve!

    I particularly like the entry this month about the Snowdrops, and how the squirrels of Greenwich see them as being a sign that the old Starwife is still watching over them. Such a nice thought, and I’ve no doubt she is. 🙂 You could even go for a sort of Lion King-esque thing there, with Starwives of the past looking down from – yes – the STARS! Perfect!

    And of course the Starwife’s reaction to seeing the sketches of Piccadilly is just so heartbreaking. To suddenly be confronted with his face again after all that time… no wonder she couldn’t handle it. Poor, poor Audrey!

    Also interesting are the two drawings of characters who both coincidentally met grisly fates at the paws of Morgan; Bib, the unlucky Landings mouse and Black Ratchet, former lieutenant of Jupiter. These are characters so obscure I wouldn’t have expected to see them illustrated (Bib moreso than Black Ratchet), but it’s so cool that they were.

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    • I love the idea of Starwives past looking down from the heavens. I have to wonder about the relationship between Orion and the other constellations – since many of them must be ruled by Sarpedon, I’m imagining great celestial conflicts at the dawn of time and all that good stuff. And what about the Rat Zodiac too? It’s a melee up there!

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