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Hedge-Boggles

Hedgerow-boggles are the guardians of the Borderlands, otherwise known as the Hedge. They are loyal servants to Queen Trillium, the Green Lady of the Hedge, and are lead by her general of the militia, General Mace. Hedgerow-boggles, or simply hedge-boggles, vary greatly in shape, skin tone, dress and size- from no more than an inch high to just a little under one foot tall. Generally they dress in earthy colors, some wearing kilts with very distinct tartans (this gave rise to the question of weather or not the Scottish habit of wearing kilts came from interaction with the hedge-boggles, or vice versa). In as much as the typical skin color of the average hedge-boggle, they usually tend to be varieties of red to gray-brown in color to even a dark green. The greatest distinction amongst hedge-boggles, though, seems to be between two distinct sub-groups; those wearing the acorn cap helms and those wearing the prickly buckeye husk helms. However, what other distinctions between these two groups there might be, remains elusive to all but, one must assume, other hedge-boggles. *

Most creatures are fooled by the hedge-boggles’ apparent whimsical and diminutive appearance, and this is the biggest mistake any hostile intruders could make, and often is their last. For the hedge-boggles are fierce fighters when roused, and nearly impossible to catch. They also possess a certain degree of magic made even more powerful within the Hedgerow. And though they share the typical faeries’ aversion to iron, they do sometimes carry weapons, made either of various types of stones and gems, silver or wood, even copper or brass- all of which are either enchanted or poisoned. When not engaged in defending the realm, hedgerow-boggles often can be found engaged in celebratory feasts in honor of the many holidays that seem to exist only within boggle society. Or they can be found toasting each other over the last victorious battle against goblin invaders with mugs full of the famous Hedgerow Firethorn wine, a drink that every hedge-boggle is especially fond of. Such celebrations have been known to last for days, even weeks. However, the Firethorn wine seems not to hamper their fighting ability, but rather the opposite. Indeed, invading goblins that have managed to escape the hedge-boggles and the many traps within the Hedge and survive battle therewith have a saying; “The only thing worse than an army of hedge-rats (the goblin term for hedge-boggle) is a drunken army of hedge-rats”. Hedge-boggles do, though, have an industrious side, and engage in activities other than fighting and feasting. Often, they can be seen- by those who have been welcomed within the Hedge- gathering the various berries, nuts, roots, and flowers that make up the diet of the average Hedge dweller. Hedge-boggles are also responsible for the fermentation and safeguarding of the Firethorn wine, a task in which they take great pride.

Hedge-boggles seem to be exclusively male in gender, and when they take wives they choose from the Green Maids of the Hedge- though some occasionally take a Pillywiggen for a wife when one takes up residence within the Hedge. The end result is the birth of either a young Green Maid or a young hedge-boggle. These couplings happen rather infrequently, however (the actual creation of new hedge-boggles remains a mystery to this humble chronicler).

Individual hedge-boggles are as unique from one another as are any social creatures and engage in various activities other than those mentioned above, all according to their own individual interests and abilities.

*Footnote: It has recently come to this humble chronicler’s attention, via new information provided by his chief source (i.e. Hieronymus the Hedge mage) that there is, indeed, a very definite subdivision amongst the hedge-boggles. Those differences between them are embodied by certain tribal or clan affiliations, generally denoted by the varying ‘caps’. The Prickle-top clan as distinguished by the buckeye caps, the Burr-oak clan, the Red-oak clan, the White-oak clan, etc. I must humbly apologize for this omission. However, it should also be noted that any other distinctions there might be between the various tribes/clans, while seemingly obvious to denizens of the Hedge, are still quite elusive to this researcher!

On a more serious note: it is also extremely prudent to make mention of the greatest taboo among the Hedge-boggles, one that should never be committed. It should never be asked if one might remove, or even implied that it might even be possible for the removal of, a hedge-boggles helm/cap. Nor should one ever attempt the removal of any hedge-boggles’ cap- for any reason…ever!!!! For me to have even broached the subject once with Hieronymus while discussing customs of the Hedge was one of the most uncomfortable situations I have ever experienced with him in our long association. It seemed to make him hot with embarrassment and anger while at the same time seemed, somehow, to cause him great pain. He realized my own ignorance quickly, as quickly as I realized my own faux pas, and his rising anger and insult passed- as all these complex emotions could be seen quite clearly to pass across his face like clouds across the sun in an otherwise clear sky within the space of mere seconds, leaving him in a greatly weakened and distressed state. He seemed to forgive my question the way a father might forgive a child’s innocent and grossly ignorant indiscretions, but he still seemed quite grim. He said simply, in a whispered and breathy tone, “Never ask that question again within earshot of the Hedge. We may never speak of this- you and I- again. It is not done…”


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