With a profound debt to the world-building language of Dungeons & Dragons and the fantasy and science fiction genres, Jeffrey Beebe has been obsessively drawing and writing out his world of Refractoria – a comprehensive imagino-ordinary world that is equal parts autobiography and pure fantasy – for the last decades.
During this latest adventure in Refractoria, Beebe explores a brutal campaign of conflict that took place between the culturally ‘sophisticated’ Red Soil Boys and the Horned Rovers clans, an ancient nomadic culture located in an area of vast prairies known as the Coarselands. For decades, it was routine for a small party of the ‘Boys to send a hunting party into the Coarselands with the goal of bringing down an Uncle. (These Uncles, man-beast hybrids, were the long-lived spiritual and cultural authorities of the Rover clans, and each clan had its own Uncle.) Often, little came of the expeditions as the Rovers and their Uncles were frequently too clever to be easily caught by the gin-swilling huntsmen. However in November 1126, Horace Whimpie—the son of a prominent Red Soil Boy – was killed in an ambush by a clan of Rovers. This event brought the assembled might of the Boys to the Coarselands the following spring, and the Tyranny of Manifest Fairnesses was unleashed – a wholesale campaign of warfare and slaughter against the Uncles and Rovers. Though many battles were bravely fought, the Rovers were brought to the precipice of extinction.