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Meromorph Games is a game company, creators of the card games The Shipwreck Arcana and Norsaga.

Meromorph Games Blog

Art and gameplay design diary as well as current news and updates.

Art from the archive: Part 8

Meromorph Games

These blog posts will feature art from various projects Matthew has done over the years.

The story: Another early drawing project, illustrating a poem that Kevin wrote called Bowden Moor. I'm still fond of the poem.

Drawn: 2011

Full poem:

A poor man came to Bowden Moor

To the edge of the ghastly heath,

And looked at the mist on the road before

Him that shrouded the land beneath.

A fakir who crouched by the way-side there

Leapt up at the poor man's tread,

"Master," said he, "if you will dare,

I will show you the path ahead."

"No," said the peasant, "I shall turn back,"

--but the fakir wrung his hand--

"Master," said he, "upon the track

Is a treasure both vast and grand."

"You know the way through the misty moor?"

"Master, I know it well."

"Why have you not fetched the treasure before?"

"Master, I may not tell."

But the poor man looked past the fakir's hood

To the edge of the lonely bog

And what he saw made him shake where he stood:

"Dear God! there's bones in the fog!"

Then at once within the haunted mist

The poor man's eyes conceived

Of a host of phantoms that writhed and hissed;

For in such things the poor man believed,

And though he was soothed by the fakir's voice

And was bid not to mind the dead,

The poor man had already made his choice

And would not go on ahead.

Soon a rich man came to Bowden Moor

To the edge of the ghastly pond,

And looked at the fog on the road before

Him that threatened the path beyond.

The fakir who crouched by the way-side there

Sprang up as the lord drew near,

"Master," said he, "if you will dare,

I will guide you across the mere."

"Why," said the lord, "should I follow you?"

--the fakir bowed quite low--

"Master," said he, "because if you do,

Wealth beyond even yours shall you know."

The lord looked out and beheld the remains

At the edge of the misty fen,

"Those who have tried to earn these gains

Have never succeeded, then?"

"Master, it's true", the fakir began--

"Then show me this untainted prize!"

So the fakir obeyed, and lead the rich man

Into the cold land without skies.

Only the ground underfoot shone bright,

And the fakir's lantern before

As the rich man crossed the endless night

That stretched over Bowden Moor.

Then his tread fell upon a brooch of gold,

And the rich man looked around

And saw that treasures, bright and cold

Were scattered upon the ground.

"Hold!" he cried to the fakir's shade,

Where it bobbed ahead in the murk,

"The treasure is here!" --but the fakir stayed--

"Master, we must not lurk."

"I wager there's more!" the rich man cried out

As he reached to seize all he beheld

But he soon went too far, and the brilliance died out

From the lantern the fakir had held.

Then shone the gold, no longer bright,

For all that the rich man found

Was polished glass that caught the light

Where it lay on the treacherous ground.

And the rich man swore, and cursed his prize

For he had been deceived

And willed that the glass have a richer guise:

That was what the rich man perceived.

Now a blind man came to Bowden Moor

At the edge of the ghastly peat,

Using a staff to feel before

Him and dragging his weary feet.

The fakir who crouched by the way-side there

Came forward, and "Master" said he,

"A fen lies before you, but should you dare,

I can take you across with me."

The blind man said, "That would be well."

So the fakir took his arm

While the blind man used his staff to tell

If aught should raise alarm.

At once he heard the clack of bone

Against his staff and said,

"So men have come this way alone--

Their folly left them dead."

The fakir said no word, but drew

The blind man ever on,

Until glass breaking echoed through

The silence, and was gone.

"That was not yours, the flask I stepped

Upon just now?" he asked.

"Master, not mine," the fakir wept,

"But one whom I was tasked

To guide across these lands of night

Toward fortune and esteem,

Yet foolish, left my guiding light

To seek a bitter dream."

Then came the pair out of the mist

And "Halt," said the fakir.

"Master, the supper you have missed

Would glad be served you here.

This is my home." The blind man sighed,

And said, "That would be well.

I wander all the seasons wide

And of no home can tell.

A meal, a rest, would to me bring

More life than gold could give.

But" --and he stopped-- "tell me one thing.

Why would you help me live?"

"Master", the fakir said, "I care

To ease your way because

You did not see what was not there

And so saw all that was."