ArgentLupe Head Shot

Allister Castlerotto

While it's true that most England didn't step onto the treacherous shores of New South Wales until the 18th century, there are stories of the Mad Whore of Kakadu, who walked the land hundreds of years earlier. The tale begins in the early 1500's, when a small colony of trappers, hoping to make their fortune in shipping exotic beasts to the nobility, came to Australia, fabled for creatures of legend . They were of the first to cross the great expanse, and brought with them the necessities for life: rum, salted meats, and prostitutes.

Their dreams of quick fortune were dashed quickly, for they did not know of the rocks and spires that threatened under the blue waters, and their ship ran headlong into the reef. The waters contained snakes, stinging octopus, and sharks, and many of the men found the trip ashore to be deadly. Those who made it safely, found that they were ill-prepared for the wilds of the land - the animals, the insects, and the aboriginals who feared their pale skins. After the span of only days, they were filled with hatred for the nature that sprawled and crawled into their makeshift homes They walled up their little commune and went out only in daylight to hunt, and collect water. The gate would be locked tight after dark, and they would cower within, hoping that the calls of the wild dogs would get no closer.

After weeks caged up like animals, one of the women could take no more, and she ventured out one afternoon to find berries, or eggs, or anything to give some variety to the meager plain meat that she had endured every meal. The land was wild but beautiful, and she wandered too far, for dark was pressing. She was somewhat lost, and by the time she saw the smoke from the fires of the compound, the dogs were already howling near. "Let me in, you fools," she screamed, but the men did not answer. "By God,'s Alys! Please open the gates!" But thinking of their own skins, they feared the animals, and would not crack the doors. The dingoes drew closer, and their frenzied yelps and calls soon surrounded the compound. Alys wailed and pounded on the gates, but as the howls and yips reached crescendo, she took to a dead run. The animals disappeared with her, and her screams echoed long into the night. Days later, the men found Alys much alive, and wandering naked with a vacant stare. Remorseful, they brought her back, but she was only physically there. She would only rock and stare in the day, and at nightfall she would run around the compound, scratching at the walls. Many times, they tied her down, for fear that she would knock the doors down with her gleeful pounding. Soon enough it grew clear that Alys was with child, and the men accused each other as the father - none wanted claim on the baby of a crazy whore. Life was to grow much more desperate in the coming months, when sickness struck the colony. They were too ill to keep Alys at bay, and finally she broke out of the compound to run with the wild dogs. "Witchcraft," they said. She didn't return.

Months later, on opening the gates at morning, they found an infant, blond and pale, swaddled in the remains of Alys's torn gown. They never saw Mad Alys again, but took the child in, and named him Alystar, after his poor crazy mother.

Later rescued by a group of missionary monks, offcourse of their travels, Alystar was taken into an orphanage, and adopted by a vintner's family. Now called Allister, he is a grown man, and remembers nothing of his bewitched beginnings. He learned the trade of his adopted father, and served time in the military, eventually serving under the ArgentLupe banner. Though they haven't seen Allister in years, the old survivors of the failed colony still tell stories of the Child Dingo, half-man, half-beast, and the crazed mother left behind. Who knows what truth lies in the tale.

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