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Crossroads Comics #163 – Clydes Tale

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for Crossroads Comics!

I apologize for the extended hiatus but we’re back with another great ask blog for you to look at! This time we’re taking a viewing at Clydes-Tale by TheNerdyBirdy. This blog, run by the same brilliant mind and artist behind Crewel Intentions, follows a young Mudbray named Clyde. An excitable and curious young Pokémon, Clyde seeks adventure, but the world beyond his pasture is a dangerous place, and what awaits him is something beyond even his own wildest dreams. This blog is a fairly new one but it’s one that I’m already enjoying very thoroughly so I wanted to give it some coverage as to why I like it and what I’m excited to see from it in the future.

Spoilers Ahead

Clydes-Tale takes place in Kilcloon, a peaceful meadow in the Kelroch region. A place of TheNerdyBirdy‘s own design, it takes inspiration from Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Celtic culture. Even in the blog’s early stages, you can really see those influences clear from the start in two major ways: how the characters speak and their attitudes towards dark and fairy types.

Many of the names of the locations and characters are dead ringers for the aforementioned cultures, with the only two named characters so far, Clyde and Cinead, both being Irish names. To reflect this, both characters also have rough Irish accents and use slang from Ireland, which is a nice attention to detail. TheNerdyBirdy also provides pronunciation guides on occasion to ensure the reader is mentally pronouncing the name in its true form. So from the onset, the Irish influence is pretty clear from the characters alone. I imagine as the cast expands we’ll see more of this, which I’m really looking forward to since it’s not often you see blogs take such effort and attention to detail like this.

Additionally though, where the Celtic influence really starts to shine is in the blog’s focus on dark and fairy types. While Clyde generally has a favorable view towards these Pokémon, Cinead makes it very clear that this is not the norm for inhabitants of the Kelroch region. Much like the fae of Celtic lore, it appears the fairies of this region are mischievous tricksters as well. Cinead explains that there are three types of fairies that inhabit the Kelroch region: Seelie, Unseelie, and Unaligned. This is a direct reference to classification of fairies, with the Seelie and Unseelie courts being derived from Scottish folklore. According to these classifications, while all fae were dangerous, the Seelie Court was more benevolent and often sought out humans for help with various problems, while the Unseelie Court often took great pleasure in tormenting travelers and the like. Cinead’s descriptions very much reflect that here, even referencing the fact that the Seelies are the ones you often hear about in fairy tales.

Most interesting, though, is the inclusion of the Unaligned. While this is likely meant to be a catch all for the Fairy-Type Pokémon that don’t exactly fit into one court or the other, it could also be an allusion to the few instances in fae folklore where there are creatures which are described as “not quite good but not quite evil”. While most fae were often classified into one of the aforementioned courts, some, like the Tylwyth Teg from Welsh folklore, were usually placed on some sort of middle ground, where they are not wholly good but they aren’t wholly evil either. Cinead’s description above gives us a few examples of what Pokémon fall into these specific alignments and one thing that I’m curious to see about is if entire species fall into these classifications or if it’s based on the individual.

Taking the Celtic influences a step further, the blog has also already referenced a major Celtic deity in its lore: Cernunnos. This archaic deity was traditionally seen as the “lord of wild things” and is often portrayed with a pair of large antlers, so making them a Xerneas for this blog’s setting is a perfect fit. Not only does Xerneas have an impressive set of antlers, but, as a Fairy-Type, they could still very much classified as the “lord of wild things” given the region’s attitude towards fairies. It’ll be interesting to see how the blog integrates Cernunnos into its lore and what role the Tree of Life has to play in it. Clyde has made mention that the tree is able to grant wishes, which sounds like fairy magic to me if I’ve ever heard it, so hopefully if he ever finds the tree, he’s careful about how he phrases his wish.

Cultural influences aside, Clyde and Cinead as characters are also very fascinating. While Cinead might seem overly rough on Clyde at first, as you delve further into the blog, it becomes more and more evident why that is. Clyde’s attitude towards fairies and darks is due to his mother’s influence, by his own admission, where he believes they should be talked to and treated with respect as normal people. On the surface, this doesn’t sound like a bad proposition at all, especially since Clyde implies that his mother used to frequently do this all the time. However, Cinead’s hesitations towards this are not entirely unwarranted either, with the Rapidash referencing that many of his kin have been cursed or killed by trying to talk to fairies, possibly including Clyde’s own mother. While we don’t know the full story yet obviously, hearing both sides, it’s easy to see that Clyde is fairly naive towards the world and Cinead is just doing his best to protect him from that naivety. The presence of the Unseelie court alone indicates that there are bad actors out there who would take advantage of Clyde in an instant, and whether or not that comes to fruition remains to be seen. That said, I don’t think Cinead is entirely correct with his preconceived notions about fairies and darks either, and I’m hopeful he’ll be proven wrong in some capacity in the future.

Spoilers End

All in all, Clydes-Tale is a love letter to Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Celtic folklore. Even in its early stages, this blog’s dedication towards depicting that is plain to see. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of spin TheNerdyBirdy puts on the lore as we delve into it more, but I can already tell the Kelroch region is going to be a fascinating place to learn more about. Whether it’s learning more about the region’s relationship with fairies and darks, or simply seeing more of the characters as a whole, I’m excited for the future of this blog and hope you are too.

Additionally, if you like Clydes-Tale or Crewel Intentions, please consider supporting TheNerdyBirdy on Ko-Fi. They’ve had to leave their job recently for medical reasons and are offering doodles in exchange for Ko-Fis, so any support you could give them, I know they’d appreciate.

And without further ado, let’s check out the rest of this week’s lineup!

Crossroads Comics
Eldritchfell The story begins anew.
Land-Shaymin Sluuuuurp!
PMD: Chanterelle Ethan can speak!?
PMD: Explorers of Life Now what could she mean by that?
PMD: Rangers of Sky She’s so CUTE!!
Pokémon Rising Shadows Chimney cakes!
Pokémon X Adventures Rally the troops!
Renegade’s Redemption Seems they didn’t forget.
Shinka: The Last Eevee Give Reece all the pets!
The Shaymin Café Another beholder? How interesting.
The Spaced Out Rangers It’s crunch time!

ComicFury Comics
Autumn in Sinnoh What a sad smile.
Champion’s Mercy It’s that Pikachu!
Lost to Evolution A direct assault!
Pokémon Abridgestery Dungeon Poor Kip… this is hard to watch.
PMD: Another Perspective Who knew literacy could be such a stumbling block.
PMD: Hanging in the Balance Oooh hello there!
PMD: Legend Seekers Onward to town!
PMD: Powers of Night A cookie sounds delicious.
PMD: The Human Connection Poor Tepig is just being beaten up today.
Pokémon Shine Plop that snake in a basket.
Sunlocke So many emotions…

Deviantart Comics
Basti’s Black 2 Nuzlocke The origin of a villain!
Burn Away Busted!
French’s FireRed Nuzlocke What an interesting fate for the Rocket Bros.
PMD: On Borrowed Time It’s a long shot but maybe Dielle will be able to recognize Rune’s writing.
Rabbit Hole And what an impact he had.
Relic Radiation She was smiling.
Severance It seems Roark has some latent trauma.
Soul Brothers A much needed dance break indeed.
What the Water Gave Me Seems Gold wasn’t as receptive to the idea as they’d hoped.
When Little Emma Ran Away Oh yeah the police exist.
Wringlocke Tensions are high.

Off-Site Comics
Ask Druddigon Ladybird doesn’t deserve this kind of treatment!
Ask Savel Sounds like quite the frightening move!
Ask the Isle It’s time for some lore!!
Ask the Traveller Attack!!
Ask Tide the Gastrodon Seems Tide’s got some beef with another teacher.
Ask Wasteland Labs Drew just gets worse and worse the more I hear about him.
Occasional Lucario Now who might this be?
Pokémon Explorers Comic I wonder what this other Weavile wants.
PMD: Paths to Requiem Let the journey begin!
Team Next-Gen Excited Eugene is best Eugene.
The Red Vaporeon What an adorable scene.

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