Fomorians In Their Own Words: Ms S.

I will not tell where I was born – let the fact that it was a surface village of the League be enough. As a citizen of the League, I sat through the endless classes on being a good citizen. We were taught that everyone must pull their weight in the League for the common good. To Leave No Feartollán Behind. I went to Mass like everyone else. I attended the Civil Defence training sessions, even as my parents struggled to pay the levies and tithes to support the militias. I planned to become a nurse.

None of it made the slightest difference. One of Connacht Trading’s security guardsmen accused me of being a thief and a Fomorian sympathiser, and everybody I knew turned a blind eye as he removed me from my home without a trial. Just like that.

Continue reading “Fomorians In Their Own Words: Ms S.”

Short story compilations

I have about 30 stories in the Connacht Disaster Zone series, and a lot of them share common themes or an overarching narrative. So, I’ve decided that I might as well combine them with some appropriate artwork. All of these will be available via a new page, and here’s the first one.

An unsanctioned laboratory underneath Cruagh Island attempts to discover the origins of the Fomorians.

She couldn’t move. 
Her heart pounded in time with the squeak of the trolley wheels as she struggled futilely against the straps that dug into her limbs and chest. The sharp smell of antiseptic assaulted her nostrils, growing ever stronger, and stronger, and-
“Feisty bitch, ain’t she?” somebody remarked. Her head twisted upwards and to the right, eyes locking onto the dwarf who leered at her, exposing teeth that were stained from smoking tea. Emblazoned on his right chest was that logo – that rounded vertical rectangle around those three letters.
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Fomorians in their own words: Mstr D

I wasn’t born an orc, not that it’d make much difference. I didn’t become one until after some ne’er-do-well sold me to an utter scut from Connacht Trading named “Dr Burke”. I don’t know exactly how, but I ended up on an island I can’t name.

Two or three months later, I still have nightmares every other night about being exposed. I’m tied to a stretcher, and have been for maybe three days since they cut open my arms. They feed me twice a day with a tube through a mask, and dunk me in cold seawater in the morning to clean away the bodily fluids from yesterday. They put this other mask over my mouth and nose, connected to some metal canister. There’s some kind of fan circling above me, pulling the air out of the room, and they leave and seal the room. I know Shiva [Ms S] is in the next room, having them same thing done to her.

The air starts smelling dry and stale. I start trying to pull my arms and legs – anything I can move – but it does nothing. I scream, but none of them care. They just watch me from the other side of a glass window about two inches thick. Four feet, maybe an inch more, and I’d be outside the room. But I can’t move!

I don’t remember the details of how we got out. Maybe I don’t want to. What I do know is that I – that we ended up being handed over to the bulldogs by some orcs. And they were angry about it. Not handing us over, but that we’d been turned. Seems they hate the “Fomorian Brotherhood” as much as anyone in Galway would. Who’d have thought it? Certainly nobody I knew, or at least none had the guts to say so.

The only change I’ve noticed is that I have thicker muscles. That’s the only thing that is definitely down to me being, well, turned into an orc. I don’t sleep great, I jump if anything goes off behind me and my temper’s shorter than it was…but I’m told these aren’t related. I wouldn’t know. All I know is that I wouldn’t have put myself forward for it, that I’m stuck with it, and that I had absolutely no say in it.

Mstr D


This is in fact Diarmuid. In some of my other stories, I’ve portrayed him as cynical and bitter about being forcibly turned into an orc, though he doesn’t mind the extra muscles.

Fomorians in their own words: The Nurse

I was not born a Fomorian, nor did I willingly become one. I was in fact born near Headford and, at the tender age of seventeen, was snatched by those bandits known as the Fomorian Brotherhood. How they got past the vaunted Wall of Connacht has never been explained, aside from their poitín-fuelled boasts that nobody beats the Brotherhood, but the result is that I spent over two years as an apprentice nurse among them.

I had a good chance to see the Brotherhood up close, and I can confirm that there are indeed bandits among them, people for whom it was merely an excuse for raiding and throwing around their weight. I have no sympathy for these, and in truth, I got the impression that the Brotherhood’s leadership considered them to be merely useful cannon fodder. The more senior healers rarely deigned to focus on these types, leaving them to me.

Others were involved merely because it was what their family did, and many of those struck me as conflicted by it. Still others were zealots who genuinely believed that they were the first line of defence against the banshees, and that being turned into a Fomorian is a blessing. Both of these groups had little love for the League; a frequent accusation I heard is that the dwarves left them to die out there when the League pulled out of the region.

After I escaped, I wound up at a detention centre where I currently work, still as a nurse. The Fomorian children I work around are, in many ways, very similar to human children. They have different likes and dislikes. Some are possessed of choleric temperaments. Some are melancholic and withdrawn. Others are pleasant, outgoing and helpful. One point in common is that they are all possessed of denser musculature and are physically stronger than what is normal for a child of their age. Indeed, some do not even have the fangs or skin fungus that everybody knows they should have.

Would I accept a cure for ‘Fomoritis’? At this stage, I don’t know. The extra physical strength may be useful, but I find myself burning through food at a faster rate than I should and I feel the cold more than I did before. I do not consider these major disadvantages, but I cannot fathom how it is a blessing – certainly not enough to be forcibly exposed to it.

Sarah Delaney


Slight change to the format (i.e. moving the author’s note to the end), and replacing the preformatted block with regular paragraphs. As for the narrator here, I figured that somebody with medical training would be the best person to explain the physical changes (or at least be seen as such in-universe).

Fomorians in their own words: The Clerk’s Daughter

This piece is from the perspective of recurring character Maebh. She was born inside the disaster zone, and so far has shown up as the viewpoint character of Maladaptive Vigilance. As far as she’s concerned, being on the lookout for reality going out to lunch is entirely normal.


I am a Fomorian, born and raised on the surface in the Maam valley. My father was once a clerk for the labour and livestock agents – slavers and cattle traders, to be frank. He did not particularly care for it, but trading livestock has been the basis of the entire economy of that valley for generations. I do not know what prompted him to finally take us and leave, but I know that it took him a few years to fully work up the courage.

Life in the Homeland Region is apparently more difficult than elsewhere. One has to be constantly on the lookout for the “glitches” – any such place where the very fabric of reality has been torn apart. There is no rhyme or reason to where or when they occur: I once experienced gravity reversing itself while I was asleep, and what I remember most about that was that I had rolled out of bed while it was happening and didn’t fully awaken until I landed on the ceiling. 

While it was alarming at the time, all I suffered was some bruises. There are other, less pleasant effects that I would not wish on anyone. I simply do not have the words to describe the results of an “inside-out” patch – an area where the victim is turned inside-out – but I can tell you it is gruesome.

I am told that these things simply do not occur outside the homeland. Even two years after we left, I find this hard to fully accept. At night, I find myself waking up because I think I’ve smelt or heard something – anything – that could be a glitch occurring. This is apparently not considered normal; in Connemara, it is a basic survival instinct. One simply doesn't live very long without it.

The Brotherhood are mainly present in the southern and eastern parts of the homeland, particularly around Corcóg and Mam Ean. They tend to avoid the western edge (around the mouth of Killary Harbour) because of an ongoing feud with the O’Rourke clan of Letterfrack, but I don’t know the full details of that. What I do know is that most people that I knew in Maam wished they would stop drawing attention from the British military and the League – or at the very least, not draw it towards us.

Maebh Ní Bhrodaí


Side note: Maam Valley is to the east of the Maumturks. In the real world, the main livestock mart of that area is actually a bit to the south, around Maam Cross. However, since in this universe the dwarves managed to build a network of tunnels through the quarztite rocks of the Twelve Bens and the Maumturks, I’ve decided that it makes more sense for Maam Valley, particularly around what’s now Keane’s Bar, to be the surface trading hub.

I’m going to skip over how they built the tunnels, given that quartzite is a very hard rock. Let’s just say that the Firtollán stonecrafters were highly regarded.

Fomorians in their own words: Preface

This is something I’ve had on my hard drive for a while: Formorians discussing what it means to be a Fomorian. I’ve decided that it makes sense to split these into different blog posts and add new ones as I go.

What I’m trying to do here is write from the perspective of people with different levels of education. Comments on that side are particularly welcome.


Preface

As anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of current affairs should know, the ongoing quarantine of the Dwarven Homeland Region in Ireland is in part motivated by the presence of the Fomorians. Fomorians, or “orcs”, are popularly known to be lumbering, mentally stunted minions of the bean sidhe with brainpower inversely proportionate to their muscle power, fit only for extermination or menial labour under heavy guard. The Firtollán Church of the Tunnels has been quite strident in simultaneously advocating their extermination and rehabilitation, and one need only peruse the popular press for exchanges where one individual has accused another of being a covert sympathiser.

In the course of my duties as an alienist attached to the War Office, I have made the acquaintance of numerous Fomorians that have been detained by the British Army and Royal Navy. Some are guardsmen, forcibly exposed to Fomoritis in the line of duty. Some are children raised beyond the Corrib. This personal experience has lead me to conclude that affairs are far more nuanced, as is the case with most things in life.

Connacht Trading’s recent public admission and denunciation of a rogue (albeit successful) experiment to determine the actual mechanism behind Fomoritis has sparked a high level of public interest in the Fomorians. To that end, I have attached several letters from some individuals with which I am acquainted. Among these are the two confirmatory subjects, Mstr D and Miss S. I trust that these may shed some light on the situation.

Dr Nicholas Magnusson, Department 11, War Office

Continue reading “Fomorians in their own words: Preface”