Sunday, 8 April 2007
10: The Hidden People, part A--the Middlers
There's several different races of people in the Hidden World, and they live in all kinds of different environments. I just thought you might like to know a bit about each of them, the things they're famous for, and so on.
I'll start with the Middlers, as they're the first sort Thomas meets when he goes into the Hidden World. Both Owlchurch and Aspire are Middler villages, for instance.
Middlers live on the surface of the earth, usually in villages or small towns. There aren't any big towns in Middler country. But there are also some Middlers who live on their own, especially in forests or by streams and so on. Those kinds of Middlers are called 'solitaries'. Some solitaries are good, like Old Gal. Others, like Peg Powler, the dangerous solitary with sharp teeth who haunts one of the pools near Owlchurch, are bad. (In fact, all Middlers can either be good, bad, or in-between)
Middlers can be of all shapes and sizes and appearances, though usually they're not as tall as Ariels or as small as Montaynards. They are well-organised with village councils and Mayors and so on. Villages can often be very different from each other, like Owlchurch, which is cosy, comfortable and old-fashioned, and Aspire, which is glamorous and modern.
Every couple of years, the Middlers run the huge Magicians' and Enchanters' Convention, which allows human witches, wizards, enchanters and so on to mingle with people from all over the Hidden World and buy their pishogue.
The pishogue of Middlers is of all sorts, but generally it's recognised that they have the best Dream-makers and the best Tricksters of all the Hidden World. They also have great bookshops, and the best healers and ointment-makers. One of the oldest of the Middler realms, the realm of King Pan, deep in the forest, is recognised to have the best pishogue of all, and its award of the Horns of Pan is highly sought-after by everyone.
Middler country is usually very green, with nice streams and rivers, rolling hills and woods, and lovely little villages. The photo above (which is actually of the Wye River valley) gives you a bit of an idea of what a Middler landscape might look like.