Behind the Lore, Part II

The Lore of Yore section is a collection of articles written about varied aspects of the Honest Tommy universe, from ships and groups to beliefs held, diseases contracted, and festivities celebrated across the Fifteen Galaxies. Behind the Lore looks at some of the inspirations and references that have gone into these articles.

Tinker’s Game

Released: 19th June, 2016

The first Lore of Yore entry to focus on a particular character, Tinker’s Game introduces the infamous board games magnate Annabell Tinker and her infuriating creation. The text of this entry comes almost wholesale from character notes written in 2015 by Tom Hutchings, who described Tinker as an “adventurer, ne’er do well, and author of controversial board games.” Indeed her board game proves so controversial it is banned on most civilised worlds of the Realm and Star Territories, although pirates continue to trade in it; this is set-up for backstory to be explored in Space Pirates of Neptune, an upcoming Honest Tommy adventure.

The precise details of what constitutes the punishment of “one finkle swathing” remain mercifully unknown.

The Cosmic Tea Trade

Released: 26th June, 2016

This entry delves into one of the primary background facets of the Honest Tommy omniverse; that of the tea trade that keeps the British Empire running. The opening line is based on one that has found its way onto mugs and teapots, and is derived from a quote from the most unlikely of sources, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels:

“The entire British Empire was built on cups of tea, and if you think I’m going to war without one, mate, you’re mistaken.”

The line also refers to another quotation about tea, from writer Mark Gatiss:

“Without tea, I am unreconstituted dust.”

The article expands on some of the ideas introduced in Britain’s Space Empire, such as the notion of expansion itself as the British Empire uses boundary buoys to mark its char trails. The Braganza Trade Route refers to Catherine of Braganza, credited for popularising tea-drinking in Britain, and the Shennong Ribbon references the Chinese deity Shennong, said to have first discovered tea in Chinese legend. The Shennong system is later referred to in “Captain Thundergroin“, which finds Dashworth working as a Tea Ambassador for the Mother’s Brown Tea Conglomerate first mentioned here. The Roji Route refers to the Japanese term roji, for the garden utilised during a tea ceremony.

As in the previous Tinker’s Game, the Vulture Hawks are established here as set-up for Space Pirates of Neptune. The names of the Mother’s Brown tea blends appear in other works, particularly “Captain Thundergroin”, which also features one of its Prefects and reference to the rumours of underhanded dealings mentioned here. The Painswick Association, one of the Conglomerate’s competitors, references the birthplace of Thomas Twining of Twinings tea.

New Brighton

Released: 4th July, 2017

Another Lore of Yore entry based on notes written by Tom Hutchings, New Brighton introduces the Carnival and Lunar Sideshow of the same name, built over the site of the Moon landing. In this universe, the First Pioneers (first referenced in Britain’s Space Empire) got to the Moon centuries before Apollo 11, due to the achievement of space flight during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

Fort Lancaster, also known as New Lancaster Fort, comes directly from Hutchings’ writing, introduced in a story featuring the dastardly Moon-Men, with the working title Moon Men on the March, which is referenced here. The lunar mares, used as analogues for Earth donkey rides, are a gag referencing the lunar maria visible on the Moon’s surface.

Exactly what and who caused the Great Plasma Fire that destroyed the Old Brighton pier and resort, necessitating the creation of New Brighton, remains a mystery… for now.

Check back soon for further explorations and insights, and read back through previous Lore of Yore articles on our website.

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