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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
 
interjected.
 
 “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
 
   artist.
 
  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
 
                relent.”
   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
 
keister.”
 
 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
 
deterioration. 


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