Fictional Character
Chicxulub Asteroid Missed
POD: 66 million years ago
Appearance(s): "The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy"
Type of Appearance: Direct narrator
Nationality: Unnamed
Species: Greenskin
Religion: World Egg
Occupation: Mossy hunter

Milvil (not his real name) was a greenskin who decided in his youth to go to Faraway Town and join a mossy ship. He had no experience hunting mossies and other creatures of the deep, and even by his own admission he couldn't have said why he did so, but he did it nonetheless.[1]

He began hunting for lodgings upon his arrival in Faraway Town, but was turned away at every location until he got to the Plessy's Flipper. The landlord offered to rent Milvil half a bed, and Milvil was desperate enough to accept. The landlord led him to the room, where original occupant lay sleeping. He awoke when Milvil entered. Mivil introduced himself and explained the landlord's deal. The occupant, a pale greenskin named Geekgeek, accepted this course of events without an argument. He confirmed that Mivil wanted to join a mossy ship. As Geekgeek was a harpoon man, he agreed to help Mivil find a ship.[2]

The next day, the two rose with the sun, had breakfast, and made their way to the harbor. Geekgeek decided to board the first ship they came across, the Queepahd, and Milvil followed. The first mate, Stabbak, hired Geekgeek at once, but when he learned this was Milvil's first mossy expedition, he consulted with Captain Baja.[3] Baja was missing his tail and wore a prosthetic made of mossy bone. He also looked very weathered in his hide and feather, and he had a nasty scar on the side of his face that just missed his left eye. After listening to Milvil and inspecting him for a bit, Baja decided Milvil's friendship with Geekgeek was enough to justify adding him to the crew.[4]

Milvil discovered quickly that Baja was a particularly driven captain, and that he was obsessed with the legendary Great Gray Mossy. He approached Geekgeek, correctly assuming that the longtime harpooner knew about Baja, even though they'd only recently joined the crew. Geekgeek explained that the Great Gray Mossy was a particularly smart and aggressive mossy. Many had tried to hunt him, but he survived, routinely taking harpoons in stride while charging and attacking his hunters. Baja was one such hunter, surviving the encounter, but loosing his tail in the process. When Milvil wondered whether Baja's obsession might be as dangerous as the Great Gray Mossy, Geekgeek conceded the possibility in an indirect manner.[5]

When the ship passed into the Southern Ocean, Captain Baja promised a gold piece to the first sailor who saw a mossy. Then he promised a large more valuable chunk of gold to whomever first saw the Great Gray Mossy. All of the sailors enthusiastically begin watching for the Mossy, Milvil included.[6] However, it was several days before anyone saw a mossy.[7] Once spotted, boats captained by Baja and Shtup, the second mate, went out after it. Milvil and Geekgeek were aboard Shtup's ship.[8]

Shtup drove his crew hard to catch it.[9] After it dove under the surface, Geekgeek convinced Shtup to head back to the Queepahd. Despite his initial misgivings, Shtup agreed. In short order, the mossy breached, and Geekgeek harpooned it. The mossy struggled, but soon Captain Baja's boat joined, and his harpooner Faidal also skewered the mossy, which soon succumbed to its injuries.[10]

The Queepahd continued its journey as Baja hunted the Great Gray Mossy. The crew soon grew dissatisfied. Milvil was able to eavesdrop on the harpooners. Geekgeek and the harpooner Tashteg both agreed that Baja was probably crazy. Another harpooner, Ootag was amused by their complaints, pointing out that the trip was already profitable, and so Baja could be crazy. When Geekgeek suggested that Baja's behavior might sink the Queepahd, Faidal angrily assured the others that the gods he worshipped had ordained that Baja could only be killed by a "hempen necklace."[11]

Two days later, the Queepahd encountered the Flowerbud under the command of Captain Kain. Kain informed Baja that the Great Gray Mossy had overturned a harpoon boat containing Kain's eldest hatchling. Kain asked for help in the search, but Baja simply asked where the encounter had taken place. Once Kain had done so, Baja ordered the Queepahd to the location. He informed an irate Kain that he was not going to help, but he did wish Kain luck.[12]

More days passed, though the search proved fruitless. When Stabbak once again tried to convince Baja to give up the hunt, but Baja refused.[13] And then one day, they finally found the Great Gray Mossy. Milvil and Geekgeek made their way to Shtup's boat. On his way, Milvil heard Stabbak informing Baja that he also wanted to go out.[14]

Shtup's boat arrived alongside the Great Gray Mossy. Geekgeek threw his harpoon and struck. While the Great Gray Mossy initially fled, it abruptly turned and ate both Geekgeek and a rower, narrowly missing Milvil. The boat capsized and the survivors fell into the ocean. Baja arrived, and personally threw his own harpoon into the Mossy. When the Mossy again fled, the hemp line wrapped around Baja's neck and pulled him into the ocean. The Mossy turned round again. Faidal cut the line that held Baja, and then began throwing harpoons himself, until the Great Gray Mossy ate him as well. Then the Great Gray Mossy came up under the boat commanded by Frask. Tashteg was also board. As Milvil watched, the Great Gray Mossy sent all aboard into the ocean, then used its tail to beat the water and flail the mariners, killing them all.[15]

Finally, the Great Gray Mossy charged the Queepahd itself, breaking a hole in the ship's side. Despite the sailors' efforts to pump the ship out, it sank in short order. Milvil was the only survivor; he was saved when the Flowerbud came back, fruitlessly searching for Kain's hatchling.[16]

Literary comment[]

Milvil is based on Ishmael, the narrator of Moby-Dick, though his name comes from author Herman Melville.


  1. Analog, Vol. CXXXX, Nos 1 & 2, January/February, 2020, pgs. 52-54.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 54.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid., pg. 55.
  5. Ibid., pgs. 56-57.
  6. Ibid., pgs. 58-59.
  7. Ibid., pgs. 60-61.
  8. Ibid., pg. 61.
  9. Ibid, pgs. 61.
  10. Ibid., pgs 62-63.
  11. Ibid, pgs. 66-67.
  12. Ibid., pgs. 67-68.
  13. Ibid., pgs. 68-69.
  14. Ibid., pg. 70.
  15. Ibid. pg. 70-71.
  16. Ibid., pg. 71.