As Hadley is fond of saying about Wullie, “You are just totally amazing!”  We know more about Wullie than about any other gome by the time the Blackhope Scar story is finished, but we don’t know how much of his amazing talents and powers are unique to him and how many other gomes can do similar things.  In his petrified state Uncle Hugh refers to him as being like a “very special Scottish paperweight” although very few paperweights smell as bad and feel as damp as Wullie does.  He is about eight inches tall, with a reddish-brown pointy end, a damp plump mossy middle and a flat solid gray flat bottom end.  Here is a picture of Maggie Crabtree meeting Wullie for the first time in her dad’s study in Edinburgh.  She is not at all sure what to make of him:

When he comes to life the pointy end is a dirty red-brown wooly hat that covers his very sharp-tipped titanium skull.  The green middle becomes a jacket and the gray flat end becomes scruffy trousers and black tackety boots (which are working boots with small metal studs pounded into the soles a bit like studded winter snow tires). 

Wullie has lived for thousands of years and has met many amazing people along the way.  He is very intelligent because he has spent years being used as a paperweight in libraries and studies around the world.  He considers his home to be the southwest part of Scotland near Mahaar in Wigtownshire and at Lady Bay on the coast nearby.  Unlike most gomes who eat rocks Wullie likes to eat metal.  He eats a big variety of types of metal and uses their properties to help him.  He has some flint in the palm of his hand so that he can create sparks just by snapping his fingers.  He uses this to light his pipe.

Wullie has several disgusting bad habits.  He smokes dried cow dung (or “cowdie”) in his pipe.  Wullie will tell you that the different varieties of cowdie smell of the different kinds of plants and flowers that the cow was eating at the time (like fresh spring clover or heather bells) but Finn and Hadley think that all cowdie just smells like poop.  Wullie especially likes to smoke cowdie if he needs to think things through very carefully.  He says that cowdie helps him to concentrate, but that may just be an excuse that Wullie gives so that Finn lets him smoke more often.  Another bad habit that Wullie has is that he likes to drink Scotch whisky.  He can even absorb it through his mossy green jacket so that if he lies in a puddle of whisky he can get drunk.  When he is drunk he will sing, out of tune, awful Scottish songs with dozens of verses.  The next day he often has a hangover and feels terrible.  He takes this out on anyone around him by being even grumpier and more bad-tempered than usual, which is hard to imagine, I know.

Wullie can also absorb other scents inside his body.  He can give off a wide variety of smells when he wants to, to confuse his enemies.

Wullie is incredibly strong and has a lot of stamina to work hard for hours at a time.  However, if he has exerted himself too much he becomes thinner in the middle and loses strength.  He then needs to petrify to conserve his energy.  A good feed of iron-filings-oatmeal or a little aluminum-foil-and-ball-bearing-burrito will restore his strength.  

Wullie carries a little lizard skin backpack with him at all times.  He keeps an amazing array of cool and helpful things in his backpack.  

In Blackhope Scar we see him use powders and potions that create stinky purple smoke bombs, multi-colored fire crackers, and a yellow sticky goo.  He stores all of these powders and potions in tiny leather pouches or glass bottles.  He uses magic dust that he got centuries ago from the King of Persia to create a cloud of mist that makes whatever is behind it become invisible.  The Persian King dust also smells of peppermint and vanilla and helps keep people stay calm when they are in danger.  Wullie also has an amazing gossamer thin cloak that he can throw over humans when the air around them is poisonous.  This protects them against fire and allows them to breathe.  We don’t know where he got the gossamer cloak from.  Wullie’s back pack also contains coils of strong thin wire with hooks on the end to allow him to climb onto things.

In addition to conserving his energy Wullie uses his petrified state to ignore humans if Wullie is “taking the huff” with them.  He can still hear and see when he is petrified and he says he can concentrate better to be able to figure out puzzles if he is petrified.  He can also be thrown when he is petrified and is incredibly tough and hard when he crashes into things.  He can function well under water, even in his un-petrified state.

Wullie has lots of powers.  I am not going to share all of them with you yet, because I want you to be amazed, surprised, and delighted to discover more as the adventures continue, but here are the ones that we learned about in the Blackhope Scar story.  He is incredibly strong and can bite through metal as if it were liquorice.  He can use his titanium-tipped pointy head as a weapon.  If someone grabs him by surprise, whether he is in his living state or petrified, he can sting them through lots of places on his surface.  Sometimes these are like nettle stings but he can also squirt a green-goo into his stings that spreads a green color into the skin of the person who grabbed him. Another thing he can do when he petrifies is to clamp his flat base solidly onto any surface he is standing on so that he can’t be budged.  And then he can unpetrify the top half of his body so that he can speak and use his strong arms and hands.  It’s a sight to see, so it is, and can come in very handy.

Wullie is very well-educated and well-read.  He has an incredible memory and can speak many different languages.  So far we know that he speaks English, Scottish, and Latin but there may be more.  When he gets angry, grumpy, and frustrated he uses more and more Scottish slang words and so Finn needs to consult his copy of Munro’s Scottish-English Dictionary: A compendium of old Scots words and slang phrases.  

Wullie has a great sense of smell and hearing.  He can also impersonate the voice of anyone he has heard speaking.  Wullie can use this to confuse his enemies.

Wullie has very few weaknesses but he does hate too much heat.  If things get really hot he needs to petrify to survive it and has to stay petrified until his surroundings cool down.  There are a lot of other amazing things that you will learn about Wullie in future stories.

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