Sunday, December 2, 2012

Clowns from the Clouds

There is, they say, a wandering, cloud island, that is home to clowns. These are no mere performers but the thing the mummers ape, fey and changeable beings not of this world.

Where the cloud island passes in it's maundering way, the clowns come down among normal folk, dropping from the sky under motley umbrellas, or sliding down shafts of light. They put on carnivals, perform farces, and throw out candies. After they have gone, people are sometimes found missing, particularly children.

Sometimes when the island passes, the clowns don't come down but instead drop candies of preternatural flavors and small items imbued with magic: a hand mirror, a short sword, a jar of skin cream, a pack of gum. There are rumors that these come in trade--or are perhaps stolen--from the Moon. There are tales spun of daring thieves sneaking on to the cloud island to rob the clowns' treasure stores, but as far as is known, these are just stories.

Other tales purport to come from people who have visited the cloud island and returned. These seldom mention  treasure stores, but do describe colorful tents scattered among cyclopean stone ruins (that may predate the clowns) and the rare tree, strewn with mists and carnival lights. The anarchic clowns careen between merriment and slumber. No clown ever seems to die, no matter what sort of violence is done to them. 

Sometimes, for reasons unknown, a clown falls from the island. These strange,sad creatures become wandering tramps, losing much of their magic and too often turning drink.


[Note: The Clown Island belongs to a world other than the world of Weird Adventures--unless of course, you want it there.]

13 comments:

Jack said...

Have you read Chabon's "The God of Dark Laughter"?

Trey said...

I haven't. Do you recommend it?

Tim Shorts said...

Boris remembers such clowns from his homeland. But, no wear smiles, wear large jagged mouths to eat children and babies. Clowns make good targets. One shot does not take them to dead. They move as serpent does and make surprising noises.

knobgobbler said...

When I was a kid my uncle took me to the circus and when I asked about the clowns he explained that, 'those aren't real clowns... just men dressed as clowns. Real clowns are too dangerous, they live on islands in the Pacific and file their teeth into points... they can leap high into the air, bite your face off and use your blood to paint their faces. They're waaaaay too dangerous even for a circus.'

Trey said...

@Tim - No wonder Boris immigrated!

@Knobgobbler - Whoa. You're uncle didn't pull any punches, did he?

Alexander Osias said...

@Trey: I like this idea, especially the Fey angle. I'd like to think that there's a war between the evil clowns and the good clowns -- and that not all disappearances of these children are due to malevolence.

Zzarchov said...

They are all evil clowns Alexander. Some are patient in their feeding and others are immediate, that is the only difference.

Trey said...

@Alexander - Good thoughts!

@Zzarchov - Heh.

Pat said...

"No clown ever seems to die, no matter what sort of violence is done to them."

This makes this the scariest clown island in the entire universe of clown islands.

Alex Schroeder said...

knobgobbler's uncle wins this thread!

A player of mine once published some clown spells in Fight On! magazine.

Trey said...

@Pat - Yep. :)

@Alex - Cool. Thanks for the link.

Needles said...

Very Nasty Trey! The also come from outer space as well. Been to the circus much lately. I'll bet you have in your dreams!

garrisonjames said...

Clowns are creepy. This is awesome. Just the thought of an advenure set on that cloud island makes my skin crawl...