Monday, May 23, 2022

Interstellar Pigs

Silt pigs of Kwiell
15mm scale


The Ikwen of Kwiell were first assumed to be, like Terran hunter-gatherers, a stone-age society.  But the first scientists to discreetly observe them were shocked to discover they possessed a wide variety of metal tools and ornaments, without any apparent mining activity.  It turned out the answer to this riddle was their domestication of "silt pigs", a species of humble grazing creatures.

Silt pigs eat vegetation, but a major part of their diet is a constant earthworm-like processing of rich mud, ingested through their extensible snout.  Mud passes through their elaborate gut, emerging as silty casings.  But periodically, the pigs expel a dense, dark-colored stool the Ikwen call the "fire pellet".  This stool contains a high concentration of bio-accumulated metal oxides.  The Ikwen smelt these in small forges to produce substantial quantities of copper, tin, and iron.  

These silt pigs have been grazing on soil rich in copper, hence the greenish hue of their dorsal spines.  Their tender carries a bioluminescent staff, and waves a coloured cloth to signal back to their village.

The silt pigs and their tender are from Loud Ninja Games via Alternative Armies.

An Ikwen herder, with their signature bioluminescent staff, checks
on silt pigs grazing in an estuary near a large fungal dome.


  1. Lovely work - on the painting, the background text, and the photography.

    I think we've all had experience with the fire pellet at some point in our lives, but it takes a brave man to write about it.

    1. Lol. Glad you like these! I tried to come up with a really neat and alien idea, and use, for a domesticated animal.


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