The Artist’s Muse

The Muse. One of a group of goddesses linked to the arts. Our museums are named after them because of the history and artefacts contained therein.

One of the muses is Kleio (or Clio). Kleio is the muse for history. For recollection. For memory and looking back if you like.

And Kleio is my muse for today’s post.

First of all, a couple of images of her posing elegantly, looking over a scroll or two:

And then a quick sploshing about of digital oil paints. Yes, I know it’s no oil painting, but it’s the colours that I wanted to use, spread liberally based upon my muse.

Kleio

I’m not normally very good with faces, so hopefully, when inspiration strikes and another muse comes along, these may help me to improve. Well, one must act upon inspiration!

I wonder who my next muse will be?

Reverence Ep.8: Loaded Breakfast Part Two

“There’s nairt as sorborin’ as a clompin’ grairt paw smashin’ through a wall!” Gemevere managed to shout whilst dodging a couple of flying stones.

“That’s more than a paw, my cousin!” Hempsty disagreed. “Verily that is a hefty claw!”

“Claw paw! Sairm thing!” Gemevere said as she ducked behind the table again. The dragon’s face reappeared through the hole and spewed forth another burst of bright yellow flame. “Ooh ‘eck! That’s gerrin’ ‘otter!”

“You don’t need to tell me, Gemevere. I think my left eyebrow’s singed.” Hempsty smoothed down his left eyebrow as he sat with his back to the table. “Cousin, if ever there’s a time when we need the assistance of Lady Reverence, I would hazard a guess at now being one of those times.”

“I can’t, ‘Empsty. Me crown’s back in the carriage.”

“Surely you do not need the crown to access thine abilities?” Hempsty looked at Gemevere’s forehead. “Surely they come from within?”

“Surely they do, ‘Empst, but me disguise dunt.” Another bright flame burst over their heads.

“Gemevere, there’s only you and I here. Those two are asleep, and how anyone can sleep through all this racket is beyond me.” He looked over toward Æthelstan and Katherine who were in exactly the same positions as they were before all hell broke loose. “And as for that Ursulondix, heavens knows where she’s disappeared to.”

“Yeah…” Gemevere pondered. “Funny that.”

As if on cue, Ursulondix appeared once again from the room in the back. “Oh, me days!” she declared as she saw the carnage. “I thought one of you’d fallen from your chair when I heard the bang out back.”

“‘Ow ‘eavy do you think we are?” Gemevere wasn’t impressed. “There’s naw ware we’d mairk that kind o’ noise, even if all of us fell off the chairs at th’same tarm. Does this karnda thing ‘appen often around ‘ere?” she thumbed towards the hole in the wall behind her.

“No, deary. Not very often. Here, have some wine.” Ursulondix brought over the carafe.

“Wahrn? At a tarm like this? Are you fer real???” Gemevere couldn’t believe what was happening.

“Now cousin,” Hempsty said, “Remain calm.”

“Calm?! We ‘ave a dragon tryin’ to cook us fer its breakfast, and she appears from nowhere offerin’ wahrn. No, that’s it. I’ve ‘ad enough.”

Gemevere stood up tall, and tore off her gown, revealing her tight-fitting bodysuit and body armour. She loosened the sash that draped more freely over her right shoulder. She turned to face the dragon.

“Lady Reverence!” Hempsty said, looking at the puzzled look on Ursulondix’s face. “Where did thee come from, and what have thy done with Gemevere, my cousin?”

“Eh?” Gemevere realised what she’d done. “I’ve tarken ‘er outside, villager. In the blink of an eye.”

“No you haven’t.” Ursulondix said sternly. “You’ve just taken off your skirt. I watched you do it.”

“Naw, barmaid, I ‘aven’t. It just looked that way due to all the commotion.”

“Nonsense. You look exactly the same as you did with the skirt on. Even down to the red rosy cheeks.” Ursulondix didn’t believe a word Gemevere said.

“Now look, barmaid. I ‘aven’t time to argue with you o’er what you think and what you think you may ‘ave seen. There’s a dragon outside what wants sortin’ out.” Gemevere noticed how red her cheeks were in a shard of glass that reflected her face as though she was looking in a mirror.

She made a move to fly out through the hole in the wall and stopped. There was no hole. The wall was intact. Hempsty was slumped forward over the table, in a similar pose to Æthelstan at the opposite side of the table. Katherine mumbled something across her chairs, but settled down again.

“I knew there was something about you.” Ursulondix said, looking intently into Gemevere’s eyes. “It took longer to get the truth out of you, but I did in the end. You cannot keep secrets from Ursula Sundown.”

“Ursula Sundown? Mother Skipton from Skipton Forest!” Gemevere was confused to notice she was still wearing her robe. “Eh?”

“I sensed you in the Forest, deary, so I followed you. We with power must stick together you know.”

“Sorry, love.” Gemevere stretched. “I doorn’t know what you think you saw, but I’ve jus’ ‘ad a really crazy dream.”

“A dream?” Ursula scoffed. “Nonsense. You cannot fool Mother Skipton. When next we meet, you will need to use your power well and wisely. Now I know you and have found you, I will do so again. Sleep now, child. For when your journey resumes you will need all of your strength.”

“Give me strength!” Gemevere sighed as she watched Ursula turn herself into a raven and fly toward the tavern door, which opened by itself as she approached. Gemevere then promptly slumped forward onto the table and joined her three travelling companions in their deep sleep.

***

This is the eighth part in the Reverence storyline. The previous seven parts can be found in my Storylines menu.

Reverence Ep.7: Loaded Breakfast

Æthelstan burped loudly.

He’d been seated in the largest throne-like chair Ursulondix could find in the tavern, and at the head of the table. Hempsty had been seated at the opposite end of the table, and Gemevere and Katherine in the middle, opposite each other. On the table empty plates were scattered, with only a few scraps of food left on a couple of them.

“This waarn’s gorgeous!” Gemevere said after finishing her third glass, her lips turning almost as red as the fluid she’d swallowed. Her cheeks weren’t far behind, colour-wise.

“I heartily agree!” Hempsty agreed.

Æthelstan finished his tankard of ale in one gulp, burped once again, and slumped headfirst onto a plate on the table in front of him. He snored loudly. Katherine rolled her eyes and looked at Gemevere. “So noble.” She smirked, noticing Gemevere do the same.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king’s had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Katherine put her glass into the middle of the table to be refilled without saying anything. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

After the fourth glass, the three travellers who had remained awake started to feel considerably woozy.

“I say, we cannot travel to Nottingham just yet.” Hempsty said, trying to stand.

“Naw. Best sit ‘ere an’ wairt fer us to sorber up.” Gemevere flicked a grape she’d found on the table over towards Katherine. Katherine didn’t notice as she was sat back in her chair, looking up to the ceiling.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king’s had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Katherine put her glass into the middle of the table to be refilled without saying anything. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

After the fifth glass, the three travellers who had remained awake started to feel overpoweringly woozy.

“I say, we cannot travel to Nottingham just yet.” Hempsty said, trying to stand.

“Naw. Best sit ‘ere an’ wairt fer us to sorber up.” Gemevere flicked a raisin she’d found on the table over towards Katherine. The raisin bounced off her left shoulder, but Katherine didn’t notice.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king’s had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door, whilst at the same time biting her lip.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Katherine put her glass into the middle of the table to be refilled without saying anything. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

After the sixth glass, the three travellers who had remained awake started to feel queasy. Katherine pulled a couple of chairs closer to her and lay across the three of them. She was asleep in seconds.

“I say, we cannot travel to Nottingham just yet.” Hempsty said, trying to stand.

“Naw. Best sit ‘ere an’ wairt fer us to sorber up.” Gemevere flicked another grape she found toward Hempsty, which splattered on his chest.

“What in…?” Hempsty tried to stand again, wiping down his chest whilst looking at Gemevere.

“Sommat’s goin’ on.” Gemevere whispered. She thumbed to the room at the back. She mouthed the word ‘poisoned’ to Hempsty, and then grabbed herself by the throat with her left hand. She stuck out her tongue, widened her eyes and quickly nodded her head back and forth.

“Outrageous!” Whispered Hempsty, realising what was happening.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king and the lassie have had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

Gemevere smelled the wine. There was a metallic odour which she hadn’t noticed before, and a strong smell of sulphur. Hempsty noticed the same. Gemevere looked around the room for somewhere she could pour the wine. She noticed a potted plant on the ledge behind Æthelstan’s chair, but as she stood to walk over to it the wall at the front on the tavern tore open. Wooden beams and bricks were pulled outwards by powerful claws. A bright yellow flame burst in through the hole, followed by the head of a red dragon.

“Ooh ‘eck!” Gemevere shouted as she and Hempsty both dived for cover behind the table.

***

This is the seventh part in the Reverence storyline. The previous six parts can be found in my Storylines menu.

A Long Long Time Ago Just Before A History Making Decision

“Husband, what are you working on at such a late hour?” Ellimayee pointed to the scroll filled with hieroglyphs.

“I’m going over the plans for the Great Spheres, my wife.” King Rabletop III explained. “As magnificent and grand as the prototype is, it took far too long to build, and we simply don’t have that time to build as many as are needed to make our mark in these lands.”

“I told you the globe was not such a great idea when you began. Please tell me, why have you changed your mind so suddenly now?” Ellimayee bit her lip so as not to smile.

“I had a vision. This afternoon.” Rabletop tapped the scroll before him. “Well, it was more of a shadow than a vision.” He looked up and pointed in front of him with both hands. He then opened his hands, and palms facing outwards spread them wide before him. “The Sun was setting beyond the Great Sphere.” Ellimayee and Rabletop both bowed their heads for a moment. “And as the Sun set” They bowed again. “The shadow didn’t impress me. It wasn’t angular enough. It needs to be more edgy.”

“Why not go for the pyramid, my husband? They are very angular, and would look very impressive before the setting Sun.” They both bowed.

“I’m not sure, my wife. I recently met Alan from a far land who was lost, and he mentioned pyramids. It would seem as copying if we had them also.”

“Nonsense, husband.” Ellimayee said sternly. “You are king. You have the final say.”

“He was king also,” Rabletop said with a sigh. “And also Son of the Sun.” They bowed again.

“But he isn’t from our lands. His pyramids will be different from ours.” Ellimayee was almost pleading with her husband.

“I’m thinking more of this shape,” Rabletop pointed to a glyph on the scroll. “A cube.”

“A cube?!” Ellimayee said in exasperation. “A CUBE??? That’s almost as flat sided as a sphere. A cube will certainly not look impressive on our land.”

“Maybe not one or two,” Rabletop smiled, “But many will. Some stacked on top of others. Placed in lines, pointing toward the Sun.” They both bowed again, and Rabletop gestured before him once more. “Ah yes. I’m now having a vision. These cubes will be our way forward.”

“Your milk’s getting warm.” Ellimayee tutted as she left Rabletop with his plans.

Reverence Ep.6: Ghost Town

The tree and bush-lined path led onto a large opening, beyond which stood a group of buildings.

“Oooh… Skundersthorpe’s lovely!” declared Gemevere as she and Hempsty walked into the Village Square. “Such quairnt buildin’s, a well! Ah’ve alwes larked wells!” She pointed toward the well she’d spotted. “An’ look, an arch!” She pointed to an archway that led from the square into what looked like another square. “A fair few squares together.”

“That leads to the marketplace, cousin.” Hempsty offered helpfully.

“Oooh… a market. Ah’ve alwes luvved markets! Let’s go!” Gemevere danced a jig in excitement.

“‘Tis only open at weekends, dearest Gemevere!” Hempsty frowned and shook his head toward Gemevere, who immediately stopped dancing.

“Do you not think we should now go back to the horse, my good fellow?” Æthelstan asked, his eyes scouring the village.

“Back to the ‘orse?!” Gemevere glared at her former travelling companion. “Naw. We’re leavin’ you and ‘er ‘ere!” She thumbed toward Katherine who had walked over to look into the well. “We’re only spendin’ tarm ‘ere with you to let the ‘orse rest. One of these folk’ll give you a lift into Nottin’ham.” Gemevere looked around the empty square. “Where are the folk?” She asked.

“Well, the market isn’t open.” Hempsty pointed out the obvious.

“But fok’ll still be potterin’. Folk alwes potter!” Gemevere was seriously puzzled. She bit her bottom lip.

All four made their way to the centre of the square. The sun wasn’t high in the sky, so it was still early in the day, but not so early people would still be sleeping.

“Per’aps they’re a lazy lot!” Katherine commented, noticing movement in an alley behind Hempsty and Gemevere. She looked at Æthelstan, and smirked slightly. Æthelstan was still obliviously looking around the village. His attention had moved to the rooftops. “What time would you say it is, Stan?” Katherine asked the king with as much disrespect as she could muster. He glared at her for longer than was needed, causing her to look away from him.

Æthelstan lifted his left sleeve and looked at his wrist. “It’s 10:15!” He said. “In my town, people would have done a full day’s work by now. Perhaps they are all hard at work in the surrounding fields?”

“Even the blacksmith?” Hempsty pointed toward an abandoned forge he’d spotted.

“Ah.” Æthelstan couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Whaz that noise?” Gemevere could hear a strange snorting sound, but couldn’t exactly make out where it was coming from. She noticed Katherine smirking widely but it was too late. A large pig ran through her, knocking her off her legs and backwards over the pig. “What the ‘eck?!” She managed to bring her senses around and levitated gently to the ground, although her hovering had been noticed by both Katherine and Æthelstan.

“By Odin’s beard!” Declared Æthelstan, his mouth gaped open. Katherine, equally shocked said nothing.

“Cousin!” Hempsty dashed over and helped Gemevere back to her feet. Gemevere noticed the expressions on the other two faces, and started laughing.

“By the ‘eck! Did time stand still or what then? What ‘it me?” It was now her turn to glare at Katherine.

“A pig.” Katherine said, sheepishly. “I saw it running art of an alleyway over there,” she pointed to where she first saw the animal’s movements, “I then saw it runnin’ at you. I didn’t have time to tell you it was coming over though.”

“Rart.” Gemevere continued her stare. “No ‘arm done!”

Another noise from behind Gemevere made all four look to where it came from. A curly-haired woman hurried over to them. “Oh, me days!” she said. “Oh, me days. Are you alright, deary? Oh, me days!”

“Arm farn!” Gemevere answered, smiling at the fraught woman, who frowned when she heard her speak.

“Verily, she is!” Hempsty bowed his head toward the woman. Gemevere also bowed her head, but then turned it into a nod.

“Oh, me days. It’s the king!” The woman then curtsied toward Æthelstan, who bowed back. Katherine didn’t know whether to bow or curtsy, so did both.

The woman bowed at Hempsty, curtsied again at the king and Katherine, and bowed again at Gemevere.

Hempsty curtsied toward Æthelstan, and Katherine bowed toward Gemevere.

“Enough of all this bowin’ and scrapin’!” Gemevere declared. “Where’s the pig?”

“Oh, she’ll be around.” The woman said. “She always goes for a run at this time of the day. She’ll be back later. Are you sure you’re alright, dear?” Gemevere nodded once again with a smile. “Good. Ooh, where are me manners? I’m Urs… ulondix. I run the tavern over there. Come, let me make you all breakfast!”

“That’s truly kind and generous of you, my lady!” Hempsty gushed, noticing his stomach rumble.

“I agree totally!” Æthelstan forcefully patted Hempsty on his back. “Lead the way, kind lady!”

The woman, Hempsty and Æthelstan walked toward the tavern at the far side of the square. Katherine grabbed Gemevere’s right arm, and pulled her back. “That’s the woman from the carriage roof,” she whispered, “the one who turned into the bird.”

“Doorn’t think I ‘adn’t noticed,” Gemevere whispered back. “I also think she’s Mother Skipton. An’ she needs us fer somethin’, by the looks of it. Ah’ll ‘ave to keep a close eye on this Ursulondix.”

——–

This is the sixth part in the Reverence storyline. The previous five parts can be found in my Storylines menu.