|Grumblestump by David Pasco|
Grumblestump was born into the warrior caste. Named Grumblor by his mother, who died soon after giving birth, Grumblestump joined in the yearly bogren raids against the mountain city of Northendell. With Captain Sif leading the vanguard, the Knights of Northendell quickly routed the attackers, but Grumblor refused to flee. Believing he was destined for greatness, he fought his way to the outer wall, where he met Duncan Greyoak. The inexperienced bogren was no match for the man-at-arms, however, and Grumblor lost his hand at the wrist, which he crudely replaced with a single spike. He was called “Grumble-stump” ever since, and as a crippled warrior, was consigned to live in the mines among the digger caste, as a foreman.
Grumblestump would often speak of returning “top side” to regain his glory, despite the fact that foremen never become anything more than foremen. Fallen from the caste they are born into, foremen are bitter and cruel, and Grumblestump was no exception. With his spike hand, he tormented his workers at every opportunity. Slackers, particularly, were “tossed into the magma”—which, in bogren society, served as both a punishment and a sadistic form of comedy. Among those he liked to push around was a little digger named Ugh.
Even by digger standards, Ugh was physically lacking, but he more than made up for it in intelligence and compassion, traits which his kin did not recognize. One day, when Ugh was being called for digging, he met a new foreman named Meatface. “Where was Grumblestump?” Earlier that day, he had insulted Meatface’ mother, and Meatface responded the only way he knew how. The diggers were elated, using their former foreman’s decapitated head for a game of “kick-head.”
Thus, Grumblestump’s short and meaningless life came to an end. Ugh, however, used the opportunity, and his relative anonymity, to escape through a tunnel, where he discovered something truly magical, a place that would forever change his fate, and the fate of Aenya.
About the Artist: This is David Pasco’s first, 100% clay sculpt! Good job, David!