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HDK 96 † Hog Maiden


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The Bogle Knight of Lumphanan
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The Bogle Knight of Lumphanan Reppion is a talented writer of short-form horror. If you've checked out the "Tales from the Library of the Occult" series, then you know what I'm talking about. What really stands out about this release is how well the music fits the story. It feels like a genuine score: cinematic, orchestral, and thematic. There is a sense of development and progression that is in close contact with the story. The choice of instrumentation has a folkloric magic that fits the setting. Just a superb album. Favorite track: Bog hag.
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devil666 wow! Amazing release and amazing atmosphere, what a surprise to discover these artists Favorite track: Hog bag.
She journeyed through the cursed Black Woods, where milk-eyed things lived midnighted lives. Bone-fingered branches caught her braided hair, gnarled roots tripped her age-worn boots, thorn claws tore at skin and cloth. Her path along the over-grown ancient track lit dimly by the eerie glow of death-skull toadstools. On and on through the shunned wood, for hours which seemed like days. Until, at last, the twisted canopy unknotted to admit the sun's light, and to reveal the sky above. The grey-blue twilight mirrored in the still, stagnant waters of the vast Glunkken Mire.
The path through the mire is a treacherous one. Beneath its still waters the fallen lie, as if in sleep. Their flesh turned to leather, their hair a rich copper. Those who came before, and who failed. A hand the colour of wet clay grips our heroine's leg, another clutches at her thigh. She staggers. Struggles to unsheath the sword at her hip. From beneath the sphagnum moss they rise, too close and too many to fight. Hands all over catching her, but none yet dragging her down. "Back," they hiss into her ear, bog-water bubbling from their mouths. She struggles. More hands hold her fast. The bog-folk plead more urgently yet. She must turn back and leave this place, lest their fate become hers. Another voice, louder and more clear breaks through their sibilant chorus. "Zora!" Her name. Releasing her, they part, revealing a figure tall, stout and strong. "Father!"
Hog bag 05:14
They embrace. Zora's arms wrapped tight around her father's great barrel of a body, his mighty hands upon her shoulders. In that moment he is alive and warm and safe. She has rescued him. They will return home together and forget all about the Glunkken Mire. The illusion bursts like a slime bubble upon the bog's surface. The acrid stench of the mire fills Zora's nose. Her father is wet and cold. She stumbles back, turns away. Eyes stinging with tears, and a sob rising in her throat. "I am sorry," she hears him say, softly. When she raises her head again, knuckling tears from the corners of her eyes, her father is holding out the Hog Bag. A boar leather pouch the size of a quince, its neck tied tight with cord. He smiles down at her sadly, yet kindly. "Take it," he says. And take it she does.
The ruin known as Blackmire Keep has sat at the heart of the Glunkken Mire for time out of mind. For whom it was originally built, and by what name it was then known, none can say. A causeway of immense flat boulders once wound through the evil bogland to the foot of the tower's two-hundred stone steps. Some say a sorcerer raised the slabs out of the swamp by his magic, but he and whomever he served are long, long dead. Though sunken and fractured, enough of the ancient pathway yet remains, hidden where only the bog-folk know it. They guide Zora now, gathering chest-deep along the causeway's broken borders. Every misstep is corrected, every fall caught before it happens. Zora half sprints and is half carried along. Her boots barely skimming the water as she is passed from hand to hand to hand.
Bog hag 06:04
Forgotten dungeons deep beneath the keep overflow with the mire's foul waters. The rotten remains of a torture rack float alongside still shackled skeletons of long-dead prisoners. Here, in the darkness, she has made her lair. The Bog Hag. Self-proclaimed goddess of the mire. Her naked body slick and green as a frogs, her once black hair copper bleached by the bog. She awakes. Huge yellow eyes with goatish slitted pupils spring open, gleaming through the gloom. She senses the coming of another. Another who comes to challenge her. Another who will soon join those who sleep in the mire, and guard her solitude. She kicks her powerful legs. Up and up, like an arrow through the water, she rises along a spiral staircase flooded for centuries. The great and slippery goddess, almost too large for the keep's puny human proportions. She eels her way up and through and out.
Zora has barely set foot on the tenth of the keep's stone steps when a mire-brown geyser explodes over the crumbling walls above her. A huge creature, tall as a tree, drops from the sky amid the downpour. The Bog Hag lands, slick and rubbery, two dozen steps above Zora. Her crouch as much like that of a cat ready to pounce as that of the great, green frog she resembles. Zora's hand moves instinctively toward the sword at her hip and the hag's eyes follow. The powerful thighs of the goddess tense, preparing to spring. Zora stops and forces herself to speak. "Wait," she says, her voice shaking and small, "I have something for you". The Hog Bag. Slowly and carefully Zora undoes the cord, opening up the boar skin pouch. The hag watches cautiously, but with interest, as Zora tips its contents into her open palm.
Pig bone 02:22
The thing Zora holds is carved from bone. The object seems familiar to the Bog Hag, and yet... "For your hair," our heroine tells her, holding out a trembling hand. Tentatively, the hag reaches down with oversized finger and thumb. A clasp engraved with amateur knotwork. A pin of bone to hold it in place. She remembers the face of the swineherd boy who carved it for her. This is hers. Or it was. Long, long ago. "Here," says Zora, taking a step toward her, "let me". The hag nods slowly and turns her back. She tilts her face skyward, still holding the clasp before her eyes. A tangle of dripping copper curls tumbles to carpet the steps. Zora gathers them up, divides them into three. Climbing slowly, she braids the hair into a rope-like plait; a gigantic version of her own. As the girl works, the goddess of the bog remembers. The time before. When she was a girl, like Zora.
Hog maiden 05:52
"I loved her once," Zora's father had told her "A childish love. Bright and pure". He carved the clasp and pin, he tanned the leather for the bag. She cried when he showed it to her, but she would not accept his gift. She was too afraid of what might happen if she, a Lady's daughter, were found with pig bones in her hair, given by the swineherd's son. She kissed his forehead, closed his hand around the Hog Bag. "Keep it for me," she whispered sweetly. And keep it he did. Zora takes the clasp from the Bog Hag's hand. She pushes in the bone pin to hold it in place. Night has fallen, and they are alone on the stone steps of Blackmire Keep. Zora unsheathes the sword at her hip, but hesitates. The Bog Hag sighs and nods her head, a tear rolling from her yellow eye. "You have done your father's kindness, Hog Maiden. Now you must take your revenge." Zora raises her sword for the blow which will take the Bog Hag's head. "All hail," the hag whispers, closing her eyes for the final time, "the new goddess of the Glunkken Mire".


The stagnant waters of the Glunkken mire are inhabited by mysterious creatures. They hide stories whose roots go back to ancient and forgotten times. A heroine drags herself along the swamp, armed only with her sword. She holds a bag, which contains a precious relic from the past. She is headed for the black fortress, where she will meet a strange and cruel deity. And she will discover something moving and unpredictable.


HDK team is very proud to introduce you this little gem, a condensation of the two-handed work of fantastic artists. On the one side we have the English writer John Reppion (Moore & Reppion) who conceived this short tale entitled "Hog Maiden", a story full of dark and archaic atmospheres, in the best "sword & sorcery" tradition. On the other we have the Serbian musician GLOG who composed the soundtrack with great skill, giving life to an album of very original dungeon synth with ethnic influences, characterized by great lyricism. The HDK team calls excellent designers to pack this precious work in a shining cassette and exhume it from the deep swamps of Glunkken mire to bring it to safety in our civilized lands. Hurray!


released February 1, 2022

The tale called "Hog Maiden" is written by John Reppion
The music is composed by GLOG
The cover drawing is created by Goran Glicović
The drawing inside the booklet is made by Justin Russell




Heimat Der Katastrophe Milan, Italy

DIY label focused on ambient punk, minimal-synth, dungeon-drone, wartime music and post-nuclear wave. Managed by a creative punx collective from Milano city.

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