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Christopher J. Piatti

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In the Lands of Zandria
By Christopher J. Piatti
Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Sword and Sorcery.


               In the Lands of Zandria
 On the planet Hether, in the lands of Zandria, Queen
Patrina paced in the den of her castle drinking cup after
cup of blackberry coffee. Being the wife of such a power
hungry King was tiring work. All those old lies to defend
and new ones to perpetrate.
 The golden beads that adorned her lengthy black hair
chimed with the breeze as she passed by the den’s grandiose
window. She then looked down and began cursing her maid
servants when she came to the realization that there was
imperfections in her new silk evening gown.
 On the other side of their mountain top castle King
Bradup was in a meeting with his advisors discussing what
to do about the uprising of unsanctioned artists. While
standing in front of a full length mirror the King made
adjustments to his hair, oblivious to the fact his advisors
level of patience was wearing thin. No one had the
tenacity to suggest the meeting begin.
 Not that their opinions were really valued anyway. The
King’s nepotism was absolute. His son vendor was the
countries music autocrat, his son Gradic was the writing
autocrat and his daughter Tangria was the painting autocrat.
The result was music without quality lyrical content,
painting without substance and writing that lacked
intensity and beauty.
 Just as about everyone in the meeting was about to
succumb to their boredom and fall asleep the King
 “Noble sirs, as you know some of my royal subjects have
chosen to disapprove of my sons and daughter decisions in
their respective areas of artistic discipline. In fact some
of my spies have confirmed a plot to over through the
monarchy. If you cherish your positions and the lavish
wages that come with it I suggest you come up with a
foolproof plan to end this nuisance.”
 “I have a plan” said Fask, the Kings most revered advisor.
“There is word that the miscreants are going to have a
meeting tonight. I suggest we do a raid to scare them and
to obtain their respect, but not to kill any of them if it
can be helped. That would only be counter productive. We
want them to fear us but not to utterly despise us.”
 “Is everyone in agreement” demanded the King.
 All gave a show of hands.
 Not to be on the offensive would surely be a mistake”
said Venor, the Minister of Cultural Affairs.
 “So be it” said the King. “Have five hundred of my best
men at the ready.”
 With that the King went to his quarters for further
contemplation, not wanting to repeat failures of recent
history. But instead of contemplating the King drank goblet
after goblet of fine wine.
 His nemesis, Caldor the writer was also enjoying some
vino but unlike the King was able to maintain a focused
mind set. Being the leader of Imore; the underground group
of artists that demanded the monarchies stronghold on the
arts be abolished.  
 After many assassination attempts his ambition to break
the monarchies stronghold on the arts remained undiminished.
Caldor wasn’t a docile figurehead and assumed
responsibility for everything from acquiring new recruits
to making sure fine ale was in abundance for their meetings.
In a age when writers, painters and musicians were
appointed by the King and his council, men like Caldor were
a valuable commodity indeed.
 It was Caldor himself that developed the group credo.
             The Principles of Poetic Culture
  1. Never permit undue influence of a Kings official to an
  1. Artists art to be chosen by the people. Not the King
or Queen.
  1. Bring artists out of the hinterlands and back to
   the metropolitan culture core.
  1. All artists are obligated to make donations to the
 Artist’s Guild in cases where their wealth has become
 excessive. This helps to keep his or her artist
 integrity intact while helping out new talent.
  1. Use the tax money that use to be spent on the military
for the arts.  
 Once all the above principles are met we will change the
name of our fair country to Glandior.
 Caldor enjoyed the meetings with other artists but longed
for times past when the gatherings were about art only. He
felt playing with words was the ultimate in catharsis.
Caldor was becoming emotionally sickened by the way the
King’s nepotism was compromising the quality of the groups
writing. Still, through all this trial and tribulation they
were able to maintain an abundance of free flowing and a
grand multitude of warmly glowing candles that ensured good
spirits. It was in this atmosphere that Caldor began this
evening’s meeting.
               “Blind us not, Yea proclaimers
                of ignorance. For our needs are
                greater than yours and we will not
   A great cheer arose from the crowd.
 “We must refuse to let the monarchy chose for us what
they deem to be appropriate art. The King wouldn’t know
cultural enlightenment if it rose up and bit him on the
 This was met with a roar of laughter that took some time
to subside enough to let Caldor carry on.
 “So it is our responsibility to set things straight so
our children don’t have to grow up in a society where
freedom of speech is no longer a liberty and when great
paintings are replaced by painfully drab monarchy issued
etchings. We can no longer keep quiet about the monarchies
atrocities. Too much valuable time has been lost already,
and we thought the work a day world was our greatest robber
of time.”
 The crowd roared with laughter.
 “But in all seriousness too much time has been given up
so far fending for our rights. Precious time that could of
been spent on our respective crafts. I propose we initiate
an aggressive work to rule campaign until our rights are
instated. No fields are to be toiled and most certainly
none of the King’s horses are to be shoed.
 As Caldor waited for the cheers to subside a battering
ram broke through the meeting hall’s barricaded door and
the King’s soldiers raid began.
 Many of the groups elite artisans were arrested. Caldor 
escaped to his friends Izar’s mountain top retreat. While
drinking many glasses of wine by a fine fireplace Izar, the
writer suggested that Caldor use this time to replenish his
writing well but Caldor refuses until things are set right.
 Fortunately it didn’t take long for things to be on the
up and up again. It happened one fateful day when the King
went into the basement of his castle to see how his
apprentices were breaking out on the novel writing
apparatus he commissioned. As the King made his rounds he
tripped on a platform and fell directly into the grinding
gears of the writing apparatus. His death wasn’t quick as
the machine was in the early stages of development and not
functioning quickly. Oh the poetic justice.
 The Queen and her children were offered a chance to stay
in Zandria if they abided by certain conditions, but they
chose to flee.
 Caldor didn’t make haste setting up the headquarters for
his Imore movement in the King’s old castle. The
brilliantly designed and colorful new flag of the Imore
worked wonders to change the ambiance of the castle. Caldor
hoped it wouldn’t take much time to pass before the
monarchies atrocities were forgotten. Less we forget. One
of Caldor’s first orders of business was to commission a
statue so as not to forget.
 The statue was that of a warrior stepping on three  books
that represent the fallen monarchy. The first was entitled
greed, the second ignorance and the third was selfishness.
All three books were carved in the last stages of

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