Archive for March, 2014

Saul’s Gimpy Inversion

Note for next time- If I ever need to invert the alpha and black on 40+ layer images, this script-fu will do the trick in gimp.

(define (get-all-real-layers image)
  (define (get-children group)
    (let loop ((children (vector->list (cadr (gimp-item-get-children group))))
               (sub-layers '()) )
      (if (null? children)
        (reverse sub-layers)
        (loop (cdr children)
              (if (zero? (car (gimp-item-is-group (car children))))
                (cons (car children) sub-layers)
                (append sub-layers (get-children (car children))) )))))
  (let loop ((top-layers (vector->list (cadr (gimp-image-get-layers image))))
             (all-layers '()) )
    (if (null? top-layers)
      (loop (cdr top-layers)
            (if (zero? (car (gimp-item-is-group (car top-layers))))
              (append all-layers (list (car top-layers)))
              (append all-layers (get-children (car top-layers)))) ))))

  (lambda (layer)
    (gimp-image-select-item image CHANNEL-OP-REPLACE layer)
    (gimp-drawable-fill layer FOREGROUND-FILL)
    (gimp-edit-clear layer) )
  (get-all-real-layers image) )

Big thanks to saul on for this snippet.

Who is Hock?

I think a lot about previous characters I’ve created. One of the older chracters that I recall is Hock, a foul anti-hero who under other circumstances, would be a villain. While the description “Carnivorous castrated albino minotaur with hygiene issues and a wrestling fetish,” is a fairly accurate depiction of him, I feel the need to flesh him out and explain his tragedy.

Hock should be dead. Not because of the countless people he has murdered over the years; nor for fighting as a gladiator for many years for sport; nor even for murdering his owner, a rich and powerful merchant with many friends.

Hock should be dead because he’s white- albino, specifically. In minotaur tradition, any deformity or variation is seen as impure; when he was born with soft pink skin, red eyes and white hair, it was a death sentence. His father, feeling a twinge of pity, left the newborn hock on the side of the road near a pasture.

Within hours, a nearby farmer heard his cries and brought him in. The farmer was not a rich man, but he knew his luck had changed. Within days, he’d arranged to sell Hock to a travelling circus, where he was raised as any other animal.

Despite his ability to speak, he was never listened to. He was bombarded by rotten food, kept in a cage, and generally neglected. After a particularly nasty guest stabbed him in the thigh through the bars, Hock shot forward and gored another patron. Hock was beaten for the incident, and repeatedly told he was just a dumb monster. The owner of the circus decided to treat him like any other overly aggressive bull- he was held down and castrated.

The castration did have an effect on Hock, but not the desired one. Resentment and hatred began to grow in his heart, and he began plotting his revenge.

He stashed a scrap of metal that had been thrown at him and fashioned a key for his cage. Once he was able to get the lock open, he waited. Finally he was alone with the owner of the circus.  Leaping from the cage and pinning the owner, Hock muffled the screams.

“So, I’m just a monster? A stupid, violent monster? You haven’t seen violence- you haven’t felt violence,” and with that Hock grabbed the owners arm with his free hand and wretched the owner’s arm loose at the shoulder. Blood stained hock’s filthy white coat.

Hock sat on the owner’s chest, staring him in the face as the life drained out through his axillary artery. When the Struggle stopped, Hock looked up. A small group had surrounded him.

“Years I’ve been tormented by him- by you,” he said, casting an incriminating finger. “You say I’m a monster? Let’s see how much of a monster I can be.”

The massacre was over quickly. No one survived beyond Hock. When the local authorities captured him, he was filthy, unkempt, and covered in blood. His trial was short, and he was sentenced to death. It was only through the intervention of a duke that Hock survived.

“They say that you murdered a circus. Is that true?” a man asked Hock as he sat in his cage, awaiting the executioner’s axe. Hock shrugged. “They say you ate them,” he asked. Hock just stared ahead, ignoring the man. “Why did you kill them?” he asked finally.

“For fun,” Hock answered, attempting to rattle the man. Instead, the man smiled. “Want to do it again?”

From there, was taken to the Duke’s lands and trained as a gladiator, quickly rising through the ranks and gaining a reputation as a vile demon in the arena. While he favored a battle axe and heavy crossbow, it was his appetite that earned him a reputation. Rather than killing opponents, he’d bite their fingers off so they could no longer hold a weapon. His foul smell and bloodstained visage reinforced the image that he broadcast, which he furthered through his arena persona.

His reputation for “breaking the arena wall” earned his performances the attention of dignitaries. At one point, he left the arena to take a visiting prince’s personal folding chair (the prince was too good to sit on soiled commoner seating), and bludgeon his opponent with it. The prince was so amused to be part of the show, he let Hock keep the chair.

As with all good things, Hock’s reign in the arena came to an end. No one knows for sure what happened, but the Duke was left dead with Hock nowhere to be found.  He was last seen boarding a ship, trying to leave his monstrous reputation behind him…

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