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Anonymous writes...

Hello! 1. Demona makes references to gargoyles living on the cliffs at
Castle Wyvern before humans arrived. (And before the castle was built, I
suppose). Would you say a few words about the culture of the Scottish
gargoyles before the arrival of humans?(You have my permission to ramble)
A "yes" or "no" is fine for these next questions, but any extra info would
be much appreciated. :) 2a. Are there any gargoyle writers or poets?
2b. " " " "composers/musicians? 2c. " " " "visual artists? 2d. " " "
"scientists? 3. Were there ever any gargoyle vs. gargoyle wars? 4. Does
the Manhattan clan (or individuals from that clan) worship the
Judeo-Christian God? A gargoyle God? No God? (I understand that you might
not want to answer that question. It's fine by me.) Thank you for your

Greg responds...

1. This sounds like a job for...
"Once upon a time there were three brothers..." PART FOUR
"Duff is still with us, will always be with us," says Kenneth. Malcolm
nods. The young former prince has been thinking a lot about birth and
death, since the family came to England four years ago. Since his mother
died. Malcolm misses her. Misses his eldest brother Duff too. And yet life
goes on. Down in the courtyard, Malcolm's nephews play at battle with wooden
swords and much gusto.
The year is 971. Lieutenant Robert has crossed enemy lines once again,
bringing news from home. And the news isn't good. King Culen finally has an
heir. Until now there had been hope. Culen was 49 and had had no sons.
That had left Scotland unsettled. That had left open the possibility that
Kenneth and the others would be called upon to secure the throne. But
Culen's queen had just given birth to Prince Constantine. The succession
was now secure. The unrest would soon fade. Unless...
Kenneth has a decision to make.
He and Malcolm have climbed the battlements of Northumberland Keep. But
neither has spoken since Kenneth raised the spectre of their late brother.
Still, Malcolm knows what Kenneth is thinking. Duff was the king. Kenneth
was always just the strong right arm. Now Kenneth is 39 years old. Is he
prepared to start a war over a crown he never truly wanted?
Malcolm waits in silence for a long time, but Kenneth doesn't elaborate.
Finally, Malcolm speaks: "I'm seventeen now, Kenneth. I'm not a child that
needs protecting. If you will take up Duff's crown, I will take up your
sword. And together we can secure our land for those boys down there."
Kenneth's head turns slowly. He looks at his brother, and then down at the
wee warriors below. His own son Maol Chalvim is a nine year old tyrant
lording his size over Duff's orphaned four year old boy. Not that little
Kenneth's complaining, mind you. Both are clearly having a grand time
playing at war here in England. But a real war in Scotland would be an
entirely different matter.
"Look at them, Kenneth," Malcolm continued, "If we raise them to be good
Thanes, then someday their honor will demand they recover what their
fathers and uncles have lost. It doesn't end with you and me. So your
choice is clear. Do we leave this struggle for Maol and Kenny and this
new Constantine to fight? Or do you and I take the battle to Culen now?"
Kenneth turns back to his brother. "Duff will always be with us," he
repeats, "Leading us to victory." And the brothers grasped each
others arms -- firmly and with newfound resolve.
Preparations are begun. Allies are secured. But Kenneth had been through
this sort of thing before. Three times before. He knows the Thanes are
fickle. They like to pick a winner, even if that means changing horses mid-
stream. Kenneth needs allies he can count on. Powerful allies.
And so it comes to pass that Robbie is once again slipping past the Scots
border guard and riding north by northwest. This time, however, Malcolm's
come along for the ride... and the mission.
Malcolm and Robbie approach Wyvern Hill alone. The sun is still out, and
they know they could walk among the frozen sentinels unmolested. Be among
the creatures already when they awaken. But that's no way to begin an
alliance. They wait a good mile from the cliffside. The sun sinks. Even at
this distance they can hear the cracking of stone and the roars. Malcolm
shivers involuntarily. He's seen gargoyles before. But at a distance. And
he's never had to ask one for a favor before. They leave their horses and
climb up the steep grade, taking pains to keep their hands in plain
Suddenly, a sentry swoops down upon them. A huge winged demon with
shock-white hair and two great devil horns rising from his brow. The
creature speaks -- and Malcolm's terror fades: the voice is a low
earth-shaking rumble, but the cadence betrays excitement and inexperience.
This gargoyle is young, perhaps no older than Malcolm himself.
Robbie responds quickly. "We've come to see your leader. He and I have met
"I remember you." The monster's tone makes it clear that he remembers
Robbie and only Robbie. Malcolm is still a stranger.
"He's my friend," Robbie states. "My greatest friend. I would lay down my
life for him."
The gargoyle seems impressed. Frankly, so is Malcolm. Not that Robbie's
statement was a revelation. But to hear it out loud like that. Malcolm
suddenly feels awed by his companion's loyalty.
The gargoyle crouches and says, "Follow me." And then races off like a beast
on all fours. After but a moment's hesitation, Robbie and Malcolm take off
after him. Passing through a gauntlet of Gargoyles 'til they've climbed
their way up... to the Rookery!

Sorry, Sam. I know I've stopped right at the point where I might just be
starting to address your question. Frankly, even using this abbreviated,
time-telescoping style which I established with chapter one, it took me a
little longer to set up Malcolm and Hudson's first encounter than I thought
it would. So let me answer the rest of your questions now, and hope
you'll stay tuned (so to speak) for Part Five, which should at least touch on
life at the Rookery before the Castle was built.
2a. I'm certain there were and are gargoyle poets -- in the oral tradition.
The written word is a largely human invention. But gargoyles adapt. Maybe
the Ishimura or London clan have a writer or two in their ranks.
2b. Probably.
2c. Maybe.
2d. Probably. (Does Lex qualify?) A lot depends on how formal you want to
be about defining a composer or a scientist, etc. Does someone who dabbles
qualify? Or do they have to have made a career of it? And what qualifies as
a career to a gargoyle. Generally gargoyle philosophy works in terms of
"being." Popeye's famous "I yam what I yam" proves that Popeye would have
made a good gargoyle. If a gargoyle enjoys music -- or science or poetry or
whatever -- he or she simply engages this interest, without attempting to
let the activity define the individual.
3. Wars? I don't know. I doubt it. Battles? Sure. Fights? Plenty.
4. Currently, none of the Manhattan gargoyles worship the Judeo-Christian
God specifically, though they wouldn't recognize that God as being
inconsistent with their faith. And they do have a faith. Though I don't
think they've practiced it much since arriving in the twentieth century. I
don't think the particular group who survived the massacre included anyone
who was particularly priestly (except maybe Desdemona). (As with science or
music, a gargoyle might have pursued a spiritual interest, without letting
that interest define him or her as a priest or priestess.) This faith is
both monotheistic and pantheistic, though a gargoyle would not see any
paradox in that. "All things are part of the whole." Their most important
credo has to do with how they perceive their part of that whole: "A Gargoyle
can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air." Gargoyles
don't simply exist. They protect their community. It was a primitive belief
when our gang lived in the tenth century. Goliath found a modern application
by the end of our first season. But I think the credo will continue to have
validity even as our characters continue to redefine and evolve its
parameters. (GDW/12-10-97)

Response recorded on December 10, 1997