Bruce Kirkness Gorie - The Mester Stoor Worm

This original of this bookplate was created on illustrators board using Indian ink and then digitised into electronic form so that the colours can be changed at will.

The story of the ‘Mester Stoor Worm comes from Orkney folklore. Mr Gorie who is Orcadian asked me to interprete this story into a bookplate for him.

In summary, the Mester Stoor Worm was a gigantic and evil sea serpent capable of destroying animals and contaminating the land and its plants. It was only satisfied by an offering of 7 virgins a week to consume. Eventually, it demanded the sacrifice of the King’s daughter.
The King was heartbroken.

The hero of the story is Assipattle the youngest son of a local farmer. He defeated the creature by rowing a small boat loaded with smouldering peat from the hearth into its stomach.
Assipattle stuffed the peat into the monster’s liver. In its final death throes it hooked its forked tongue round one of the horns of the moon. It also spat its teeth out and they became the Orkney and Shetland Islands as well as the Faroe Isles and its body Iceland.