The Deptford Mice Almanack | March

 

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The place I had accidentally discovered was a pagan rat temple dedicated to the Raith Sidhe, and upon one of the three altars was the headless skeleton of a rat. 

Aufwader’s Thoughts: I’m going to nominate this as my second favourite almanack month painting after October (a heavy metal album cover) and December (a certain big-time Deptford villain looking sumptuously ugly in glorious technicolour). March is Raith Sidhe Month, with the moon smack dab in the House of Hobb as we enter the sign the Bloodybones, and what better compliment to that than the high priest of Hobb marauding across the page in his grisly disguise.

This month we see the return of Gervase from Holeborn, where he’d been visiting Arthur Brown, now Thane of the City, and his family. The 16th details the gruesome discovery he makes on his way back to Greenwich, and it’s all a bit hilariously Indiana Jones. Imagine, Gervase Brightkin: Archaeologist, exposing heinous rat cults and grappling with cackling high priests on precipitous cliff edges. (This needs to be a spin-off comic immediately.)

Just before, on the 15th, we have a brief record of the dark day that Morgan throttled Black Ratchet and clawed his way up to the lauded position of Jupiter’s right-hand henchrat. In less bloody history, the 25th details the legend of Wilfrid, the first mouse smith, to whom the Green taught the method of brass-making in the lost mists of the past. Wilfrid’s empty brass, also known as the Sign of the Maker, adorns the coat of arms I created for Robin a few years ago.

Matt’s Thoughts: A month which threw me mostly back to the world of Oaken Throne, reminding me that despite the thickness of that book, all the events in that story actually took place in a remarkably few short days. We’re also picking up on Gervase’s contempt for Thomas Triton, which is somewhat sad, given that the Almanack is (I believe) the tail end of the Deptford stories timeline. The idea that Thomas Triton, one of the great Jarvis heroes, disappears from the histories as an alcoholic is so tragic.

Highlight of this month for me, without a doubt, was the entry for the 30th, where we see an illustration of the famous Grill. This particularly sinister item of Victorian finery was mentioned many, many times in the original trilogy, but this is the first time I remember actually seeing it.

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One thought on “The Deptford Mice Almanack | March

  1. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff in March, and yes, with quite a Raith Sidhe theme. From the very first page we have a portrait of the exotic-looking Mabb, along with a warning that flowering broad bean induces dreams and could summon her. Also an interesting prophecy that the Ancient will one day emerge from his chamber below ground and battle Hobb himself. And I love the illustration of Gervase in the sewers, looking so warily about him! Poor guy!

    My most favorite illustration this month has to be the one of Morwenna. There’s so much packed into this one tiny little image; if you look closely you can see the trees of Greenreach ablaze behind her as Knights of the Moon fly through the area. And of course, Morwenna’s reaction to this carnage (wrought by herself) is one of sadistic indifference. Also… I have to mention, wow, what a long neck she has! Haha! 😛

    The day after the attack on Greenreach is, of course, the holiday once known as Aldertide. It’s so sad that this once joyous occasion was forever sullied by the destruction of the Hazel Realm by the bat army. This may have just happened on its own, as I’m sure most any squirrel who heard of what happened would not feel like celebrating on that day, but I imagine Ysabelle herself officially passing a decree that no festivities would ever occur on Alder Day again. What painful memories had to have come to mind every year on that day for her. 😥

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