FOR MORE ON PHILIP XAVIER
"The Clay Dog"
THE FORBIDDEN BOOK #1 (Renaissance Press, July 2001)
Written by Lofficier; Art by Philip Xavier
A 12-page story introducing TEMU, a new
hero who is a mysterious itinerant Hogoun
(a combination of judge and wizard), whose adventures take place in a fantasy universe loosely inspired by the
West African Dogon mythology.
Most heroic fantasy has traditionally been western-based in its influences; J.R.R. Tolkien, R.E. Howard, Lord Dunsany,
and their imitators, have borrowed from Norse and Celtic myths. Occasionally, there have been a few incursions
into Asian myths and legends.
The World of the Dogon, by contrast, is a mythical version of Africa - Western Africa, in fact - as it never was.
While it bears as much or as little relation to the true Western Africa as Conan's Hyboria does to Rome or Ireland,
its gods, legends, mythology, customs and visuals will be drawn from authentic Western African sources.
The historical land of the Dogon is located where Mali is today. It was once the seat of a great empire. The Dogon
developed an elaborate code of laws and customs, which is still being studied today. Interestingly, the Dogon mythology
claimed that, in a very ancient past, they were visited by aliens from Sirius, described as a planet with two suns
- since then, modern science has proved that Sirius is indeed a binary star? This is why our mythical Land of the
Dogon features two suns in the sky, many animals not of this Earth, as well as magic and demons.
Our hero, Temu, is a Hogoun, a combination of a Wizard, a Wise Man, and a Judge. In the Dogon tongue, his name
means "to find something where it should be", and by extension, the right kind of knowledge or tradition.
Normally, a Hogoun doesn't leave his village, but our hero, is a wandering Wise Man / Exorcist / Detective - not
unlike an African Judge Ti (a popular series of mysteries by Robert Van Gulick featuring an ancient Chinese judge),
except with real magic and real demons.