Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 11

Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 11

Now his stomach growled as if to punctuate his thoughts, and his face tightened as he thought about all the other people — the thousands upon thousands in his own archbishopric — whose stomachs were far emptier than his. Even as he sat here sipping tea — as Clyntahn was undoubtedly gorging himself once more upon the finest delicacies and wines — somewhere in Glacierheart, a child was slipping away into the stillness of death because her parents simply couldn’t feed her. He closed his eyes, clasping the teacup in both hands, whispering a prayer for that child he would never meet, never know, and wondered how many others would join her before this bitter winter ended.

“You’re doing what you can, Your Eminence,” a voice said very quietly from behind him, and he opened his eyes and turned his head to meet Thomys’ gaze. The valet’s smile was lopsided, and he shook his own head. “We’ve been together a while now, Your Eminence. I can usually tell what you’re thinking.”

“I know you can. They say the shepherd and his dog grow alike, so why shouldn’t my keeper be able to read my mind?” Cahnyr smiled. “And I know we’re doing what we can. It isn’t making me feel any better about what we can’t do, though, Fraid.”

“‘Course ’tisn’t,” Thomys agreed. “Could hardly be any other way, now could it? It’s true enough, though. And you’d best be concentrating on what it is we can do, not brooding over what we can’t. There’s a mortal lot of folk in Tairys — aye, and in a lot of other places in Glacierheart — as are waiting for you, and they’ll be looking to you once we’re there, too. You’re not so very wrong calling yourself a shepherd, Your Eminence, and there’s sheep depending on you. So just you see to it you’ve the strength and the health to be there when they need you, because if you don’t, you’ll fail them. In all the years I’ve known you, I’ve not seen you do that a single time, and Father Gharth, and Mistress Sahmantha and I — we’re not about to let you do it this time, either.”

Cahnyr’s eyes burned, and he nodded silently, then turned back the fire. He heard Thomys puttering about behind him for a few more moments. Then —

“You bide by the fire, Your Eminence. I’ll fetch you when it’s suppertime.”

The door closed behind the valet, and Cahnyr gazed deep into the fire, watching the slow, steady spill of coals, feeling the heat, thinking about the journey which still lay before him. At the moment, he and his companions were near the town of Sevryn, crossing through the northernmost rim of Shiloh, one of the provinces where neither the Republic nor Clyntahn’s Temple Loyalists held clear-cut control. The Loyalists had seized its southwestern portions in a grip of iron, but the northern — and especially northeastern portions — were just as firmly under the Republic’s control. The middle was a wasteland, dotted with the ruins of what had once been towns and farms where hating, embittered men hunted one another with savage intent and a cruelty no slash lizard could have equaled. This particular portion of Shiloh had missed — so far, at least — the wave of bloodshed sweeping through so much of the rest of the province, but the destruction of foodstuffs (and the interruption in their delivery) had made itself felt even here. As many Shilohans as could, especially women and children, had fled down the Siddar to Old Province and New Province, where the Army still promised security and there was at least some hope food would somehow make it up the river to them from the coast. They’d fled by barge, by boat, by canoe and even raft before the river froze; now, with the river ice four inches thick, they pulled sleds loaded with pitiful handfuls of household goods and their silent, wide-eyed children down its broad, steel-gray ribbon, trudging with gaunt, starvation-thinned faces towards what they hoped — prayed — might be salvation.

Cahnyr was using that same icy road, but in the opposite direction, into the very heart of the savagery Zhasphar Clyntahn had loosed. The ice was thick enough already to support cavalry, even light wagons, far less dog sleds and snow lizard sleighs. They’d come as far west by barge as they could before the ice forced them to put ashore and shift to the sleds, with the loads carefully dispersed to spread the weight, and the river ice had allowed them to make far better time than they would have made by road, at least until they’d broken a runner. Unfortunately, they were still almost five hundred miles from Mountain Lake, and that assumed Glacierborn Lake had frozen over as well. It might well not have, but there would certainly be enough ice about to prevent them from crossing the lake by boat. That would increase the distance by a hundred and forty more miles by forcing them to circle around the lake’s north end, and it was another four hundred and thirty miles from Mountain Lake to Tairys. Nine hundred miles — possibly over a thousand — before he could reach his destination, and Langhorne only knew what he’d find when he finally got there.

He thought about what was on those sleds, about the food he’d begged, pleaded for, even stolen in some cases. It wasn’t that Lord Protector Greyghor hadn’t wanted to give him all he could have asked for; it was simply that there’d been so little to give, especially with so many refugees pouring into the capital. The lord protector hadn’t been able to provide him with an army escort, either, because every soldier remaining to the Republic was desperately needed elsewhere, like in the Sylmahn Gap, with its direct threat to Old Province’s frontiers. Yet Stohnar also recognized the vital importance of succoring the people of Glacierheart who’d risen against their own archbishop, the man the Group of Four had named to replace Cahnyr, and beaten back the “Sword of Schueler.” It wasn’t just a matter of the province’s critical strategic location, although that would have been more than enough reason to support its citizens, either. Any people who’d paid the price Glacierheart’s had, in defiance not simply of rebels but of the Grand Inquisitor himself, had earned the support they desperately needed. And so Stohnar had given Cahnyr everything he possibly could, and Aivah Pahrsahn had collected still more in voluntary contributions from the capital’s Charisian Quarter and refugees who themselves couldn’t be certain where their next five-day’s meals were coming from. Aivah had provided medicines, bandages, and healer’s supplies of every description, as well.

And, Cahnyr thought harshly, she’d provided the escort Stohnar couldn’t: two hundred trained riflemen, under the command of a grim, determined young man named Byrk Raimahn. There were another three hundred rifles distributed between the caravan’s sleds, and Stohnar — whose armories at the moment held more weapons than he had soldiers to wield — had offered a thousand pikes, as well. There were bullets and powder in plenty, and bullet molds, as well. Zhasyn Cahnyr was a man of peace, but men of peace were in scant demand just now, and those weapons might well — probably would — prove just as vital to Glacierheart’s survival as the food coming with them. But even more important was what they — and Cahnyr’s return — would represent to the men and women of his archbishopric.

They had kept the faith. Now it was up to him to keep faith with them. To join them, be with them — to be their unifying force and, if necessary, to die with them. He owed them that, and he would see to it that they had it.


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33 Responses to Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 11

  1. bradford says:

    IT looks like we will be either seeing some up close land battles very soon or a seen change probably the seen change. Personaly i would like to get a closer look at the fighting on the mainland first but that is not what will probably happen. I wish the book would be published by bain and come out in a electronic edition. sigh 6 months 15 days to go. please keep the snipets coming.

  2. Elim Garak says:

    Interesting – it sounds like this is all building up to an analog of Stalingrad and the War of the Rats. The Republic appears to be an analogy of USSR during WWII – although the “Germans” in this case don’t have tanks or airplanes.

    However, this segment also underlines the biggest problem (for me) in these books. They have a cast of dozens, and I care about maybe one or two. What’s left is engineering and weapon history, of which there is precious little. The character of Hiro in the show Heroes was not enough to keep my interest even during the first season – because he was barely there most of the time (while I bothered to watch). The rest I was completely indifferent to – or actively disliked. The same sort of thing is happening here for me. Although I am several books in by now, I still like to bitch. :-)

  3. Nimitz13 says:

    BLEEEEEEEK! Hah! Every now and then it feels REALLY nice to be right! Ok, I’ll concede that Cahnyr actually knows about the escort Madam Pahrsahn sent along, but just as I expected, she sent it! Bwahahahaha! With no less than Byrk Raimahn, expatriate Charisian and former self-styled minstrel to the beautiful Madam at their head.

    Byrk’s grandfather moved the family to Siddarmark because he was a fanatical TL, but clearly his grandson has embraced the schism, as he’s leading the “Pahrsahn Militia” into Glacierheart. Amazing how being targeted by the thugs of the SoS will focus a man’s faith – and clearly for him it isn’t in Zion with the Go4.

    It appears the humble people of Glacierheart may well have executed “their” new archbishop if he was in Glacierheart when the SoS hit. I’d guess there certainly aren’t any inquisitors openly wandering the streets of Tairys, but the graveyards are full of them. Wait – that would be consecrated ground, so ideally they tossed their worthless corpses into a worked-out mineshaft somewhere. There may be very little for the militia accompanying Cahnyr to do in order to seize his archbishopric back.

    I certainly didn’t expect Cahnyr to return to Glacierheart loaded for bear! Not only is he going to be the focus for people of Glacierheart to rally around, he’s also going to arm them to stand against the AoG. I’m betting we’ll see how well they fight…

    On a sad note, things are actually worse throughout Siddarmark than I feared. I thought that of all places, Siddar City was the most likely to have sufficient food supplies. Fortunately the EoC should arrive at the coastal cities soon with relief convoys of food and medical supplies. For Siddarmark as a whole, this is close to the low point for food, which isn’t going to help the countless thousands starving to death, either in their homes or as refugees fleeing eastward.

    This has got to be absolutely killing Merlin…

  4. Kris says:

    I’m not sure why this snippet made me think of this, but Merlin made a comment to himself in book 4 that hasn’t been addressed. “He no longer doubted that very soon after getting her charges to
    Old Charis, Ahnzhelyk Phonda was going to find herself admitted to
    another circle.” This obviously didn’t happen, and wow, but if it had what a difference. Do we think our Arch bishop will eventually learn “the secret?” Somehow I see a marter coming; possibly one who will cause the open split in the temple itself.

    Mr. Weber, you have a twisted mind, my complements!

  5. I wonder if some of those refugees will start settling in the Empire of Charis.

  6. Nimitz13 says:

    @4 All those Charisian galleons are headed home empty, and there’s a flood of refugees which I’m sure Charis would be glad to add to their workforce

    Although the NATION of Siddarmark is unlikely to embrace the CoC, I’d expect reformist-minded refugees certainly might, especially if Charis is their new home.

    When Samyl Wylsynn told Cahnyr to leave Zion before Clytahn could catch him, he explained that the CoGA was likely to splinter into more than two churches. “The example of Charis from without will force reform from within. What that ultimately means for the universality of Mother Church is more than I can say, yet I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s more important she be God’s Church, be she broken into however many pieces, than that she remain one unbroken entity enslaved to the power of the Dark.”

    It’s a good bet we’ll see the CoGA and the CoC joined by the “Church of Siddarmark” in the near future.

  7. JN says:

    @2 Wrong war I think. Germany and Russia, but in a different century. They certainly have enough history of conflict to give examples.


  8. @7 Perhaps France and Russia or Sweden and Russia, though the distances and armies here are larger.

  9. PeterZ says:

    @5 I doubt more than a tithe will continue on to Charis. I do suspect that there will be more than a few Charisian expats returning to their native land. Many will stick it out in Siddermark, but many will return.

    @6 I doubt that there will be a church of Siddermark. I think that Siddermark will fight for the complete reform of the CoGA. They live next door to the Temple Lands. They cannot sustain a schism is the CoGA continues to fight for unification. Its all or nothing for Siddermark. That’s why I think Clyntahn was so worried about them. One side will win or lose it all now Clyntahn has put it to the touch.

  10. DKCWong says:

    I don’t recall how the Siddenmarkian Army is structured, but I believe they maintain a standing professional army that is backed-up by a large well-trained reserve (akin to the US National Guard). So, if Cahnyr can rally the non-Temple Loyalist of Glacierheart and Byrk Raimahn can organize everyone willing and able to fight, those 1,000 pikes will easily be absorbed. It’ll take a little more time to train riflemen, but with almost 1,500 rifle and pike armed men Cahnyr should be able to re-establish Republic control in Glacierheart. Whether he can effectively defend against a land invasion from forces of the Go4 is another story. But, he has a long way to travel yet and I think we’ll get the book first before the snippets reach that far.

    @1 Bradford, you must live outside the continental USA if you have to wait 6 months and 15 days for the book (Sept 18th release = 4 months and 1 day) unless that date got pushed back. Worst, if you are outside of the states, I fear Drak will stop the snippets shortly after the book is released.

  11. BobG says:

    I’m wondering about the logistics of this food and troop movement to Glacerheart. We’ve got a lot of supplies and 200 men that are going via snow lizard and dog sled – but how much food do they need to transport for the snow lizards? Assuming 100 miles per day, based on snow lizards being better than anything here on Earth, they are still looking at two more 5-days to get there, and how much food does a snow lizard need to carry for it’s own fodder during that time period? How much is left for cargo? And are snow lizards good with ketchup after they deliver the cargo?

    This looks like a good opportunity for a cargo ice boat (or a fleet of them), but I’m guessing they don’t have any. A little surprising, given a long winter with frozen-over rivers, and the example from the CoGA. The imagery of cannon and rifle armed ice boats against an infantry or cavalry formation on the ice would be interesting.

    As for historical analogies, I think of Napoleonic France’s invasion of Russia, but there are a number of problems with that, the biggest being that they don’t have Typhus to kill off most of their forces on the way. Maybe we’ll see a scene reminiscent of the Battle of Lake Peipus.

    — Bob G

  12. Bewildered says:

    @3 Wonder how Byrk’s grandfather feels about his grandson being a leader for the ‘heretics’? I’m assuming he’s alive of course – need to reread!

    Given the escort it seems unlikely that Cahnyr will be martyred anytime soon, which I’m pleased about.

    @10 There’s always The Book Depository or Amazon. Unfortunately that only work if you know you’ll be at home in September. If I’m back here, well I don’t think the bookstores stock DW :-(

  13. Alan says:

    I cannot see the Russia analogy except that there is a lot of ice and snow going on. To me this feels a whole lot more like the English civil war or even the Thirty Years war. There is no grand army advancing rapidly on the capital, winning victory after victory along the way. There is no defending army falling back along a single line of retreat. There is no national insurrection against the invader. In fact the reverse of a general insurrection against the invader is happening. The principal forces on both sides are Siddarmarkan at this stage.

    The grande armée and the Wehrmacht would probably both be entitled to complain if the they were compared with the Temple Guard as fighting forces.

  14. KenJ says:

    I suspect that Byrk’s grandfather had a little bit of an eye-opener when Clynthan unleashed SoS and it about killed him and his family. He may not be happy about the Schism but I know if it were me, I’d be more than a little peeved and be re-evaluating my loyalties when “my” side tries to kill me and the “bad” guys save my life and that of my family.

  15. Nimitz13 says:

    @4 Regarding Madam Pahrsahn joining the inner-circle. They’ve never admitted someone on the mainland that we know of, probably because they simply don’t have the means to vet someone at that distance. (Unless that person spent some time at Saint Zherneau’s I’d guess, but we have no textev of that.) They have access to Owl and the SNARCs of course, and I’m sure Madam Pahrsahn has lots of tiny observers riding on her shoulder and placed strategically around her home, so EVENTUALLY the old geezers might decide she’s worth approaching. Merlin has already made that decision.

    The biggest impediment to admitting her to the inner-circle is that she’s so darn effective just as she is! Granted she’d be an absolute terror for the Go4 with access to SNARCs, as she could coordinate with the EoC in their operations, give them intel from her network, get ideas from the history of the Terran Federation to help her subversive activities, etc.

    But do they want to run the chance of having to eliminate her if she can’t accept the truth? She absolutely HATES the vicars and the current CoGA power structure because her father was a vicar who disowned her, but is that enough to tide her through when the truth destroys the universe as she knows it? I doubt she believes in God – certainly not in the CoGA, as I don’t think she differentiates between its corrupt leadership and it supposedly being God’s servant to preserve the souls of all Safehold. She hates the Go4 AND the CoGA, which is why I don’t think she’s much of a risk to reject the truth. Who is she going to denounce them to? ;)

    She’ll be one of the easiest converts in the history of the inner-circle and one of the most effective. It WILL happen – Merlin as much as told us so. Many of us thought she’d head for Charis after escaping Zion, so she would have been admitted in HFaF. She has her own agenda though, and a very wide network of spies and agents. She wants to do as much damage to the CoGA as she can personally, and it’s quite clear that she can damage the CoGA a LOT! But with access to SNARCs? OUCH! :)

    Cahnyr is arriving in Glacierheart loaded for bear, specifically to rally his flock MILITARILY to resist the invading AoG. I can’t imagine he won’t reach out to the TLs in his See as well, although the best we can probably hope for is that he’ll initially be able to keep them neutral, which may change as they realize that the AoG is going to slaughter lots of Siddarmarkans without bothering to determine if they’re TLs or not. In a few months the Siddarmarkan resistance may feature reformists and TLs next to each other in foxholes, especially in Glacierheart – at least reformists and TLs for whom the hatred for the past few months doesn’t run deep. (But I’ll admit that’s a tough scenario to swallow.)

    Cahnyr is NOT a good candidate for the inner-circle. He has a deep, abiding faith in the CoGA as God’s church, but is horrified by the abuses and corruption of the vicarate, especially the Go4. He’ll be effective as a reformist archbishop in rallying Glacierheart. Sadly, that’s the biggest role he’s likely to be able to play and remain internally consistent.

    You might as well ask Thirsk to defect with the entire navy of the CoGA. ;) Bleek!

  16. hank says:

    Re: Inner circle admissions. Not as much has been made of it but there is another reason to deny prospective canidates entry. In short, will they be able to keep their mouth shut and not tell the whole world about Langhorn’s lies? This might be a reason NOT to admit Pharsahn/Phonda/Nynian. Wonder if her original last name started with “Ph” too? :)

  17. JeffM says:

    Did all of you pay attention to last snippet? Cahnyr is already pro CoC–not mere “Reformist. The current Archbishop of Siddarmark was chosen because he had already been working to nudge the Reformists towards CoC BEFORE the Sword. There will be no CoS…

    “Ninian would be able to keep her mouth shut quite well. And knowing the truth would only cause her to redouble her efforts–and give her additional avenues of opportunity. BTW–I’m pretty sure her original first name was “Zhayne”.

    @14, I’d agree with you about Byrk’s grandfather. Admittedly, of course, he might be one of those happily headed home to “his” Charis, when the time is right. Clyntahn continues to make enemies out of former staunch allies.

  18. Richard H says:

    @13 Alan: I have to agree with you, especially on the comparisons with the Thirty Years War. I’m not nearly as familiar with the English Civil War, but this definitely seems to be shaping up to have a bunch of foreign armies running around trashing the battleground’s countryside.

    Then again, I may be reacting that way because I feel like the Republic of Siddarmark is a rather more blatant ersatz Holy Roman Empire (or, at least, the various German-speaking areas of Europe, most of which were at one point under Hapsburg rule) than most of the other polities on Safehold.

  19. Doug Lampert says:

    @11, the traditional rule of thumb for land transport of food by animal traction is that you eat the entire cargo in roughly 300 miles and thus to transport food even 100 miles 2/3rds of it disappears (1/3 to move the food out, 1/3 delivered, 1/3 to return the empties; in theory you can do somewhat better by emptying some wagons early to feed the animals on other wagons and sending those empties back early, but if one of those wagons or sleds throws a wheel or breaks a runner it doesn’t have the caravan’s service team with it, which is bad).

    You can do quite a bit better if you don’t bother to return the empties, for one thing, if you’re not returning the empties you can eat the draft animals at the end of the trip, but that’s rather an expensive way to work.

    IIRC Adam Smith claimed that Bombay to London by ship was SUBSTANTIALLY cheaper per ton of cargo then Edinburgh to London by wagon.

    The animals used may be better than horses or oxen and sleds are at least potentially better than wagons, but both of those advantages together won’t make shipping food overland particularly useful (the good news is the opposite end of this, noone not near water should actually be dependent on imported food in the first place, most of the population in inland areas has to be fed on local produce).

    Given the distance being traveled it’s implausible that they’ll be any substantial amount of food transported compared to what even a small city needs. Their supplies of food are presumably simply to feed the group itself (the archbishop and his staff, 200 men and their officers, the teamsters and craftsmen needed to keep a convoy this size moving, the animals).

  20. JeffM says:

    Oh yeah–one thing that I’d REALLY like to know…is whether Siddarmark had their own “St. Zhernau” Shan-Wei planted enclave. :)

  21. PeterZ says:

    @20 JeffM, I’ve said it elsewhere. Has anyone considered how unlikely Mdm Pahrsahns becoming the richest woman in Siddermark while developing a clandestine network to make nations drool over all in the span of half a lifetime? She started as the bastard daughter of an SOB Grand Vicar who did not acknowledge her and worked up to being a courtesan. She learned how to make her wealth AND how to manage clandestine operations well enough to be unsuspected in the very heart of cloak-and-dagger-ville, Zion.

    Yeah, her networ was much older than she is. Who knows where it started or has its headquarters. I suspect that’s why she does not meet with Cayleb, Sharley and Maikel. She does not want to let the seijin holy warriors of Charis find out about her “demonic” history.

  22. Cobbler says:

    @ 11, BobG; You raise a legitimate logistical question. If you are taking an army across the Sea of Grass or a caravan along the Silk Road, you must consider such things.

    Snippet 9 starts with Cahnyr staying at an inn. Waiting for a sled’s runner to be repaired at a stable. What kind of stable doesn’t sell forage? Why waste valuable sled space on high bulk stuff that you can buy as you travel?

  23. Peyotl says:

    @22, Cobbler; To answer your question: At the moment they are in a relatively quiet area so they probably can buy forage for draft animals and a bit for themselfs. Canhyr sais about a thousand miles remaining to travel – most of it will be in the war ravaged country without any supplies so they will need that bulk cargo.
    @13,18; In general this war reminds me of the last Balkan war – religious/ethnic background, one country divided into provinces, lots of atrocities and all with a chance of stopping due to external intervention (in this case by EoC).
    I also wonder – if archangels are going to be awake in ~20 year (Shueller ?) how they are going to react to corruption/collapse of the CoGA? Will they wake up under the assault rifles mentioned earlier? If yes – what is the required time to switch a mindset of a people who will hold these rifles? And finally – will this mean that war will end within around 2-3 years? I’m taking into account the fact that there was no mention about the targer of the fund Phonda was transfering INTO the TL in the last book. I think she is cooperating with Duchairn on some nasty surprise for Clyntahn.

  24. Nimitz13 says:

    @21 if Madam Pahrsahn is avoiding Caleb, Sharleyan, and Merlin because she’s afraid they’ll find out about her possible “demonic” history, she’s gonna have a heart attack when she finds out that she literally spent WEEKS with Merlin before and during her escape from Zion! Bleek!

    That would be a scene I dearly like to see – two “St. Zhernaus” finally meeting and realizing the other exists. I’ve felt for several books now that Siddarmark has some equivalent of “St. Zhernau.” The very fact that Siddarmark ended up as a republic when everyone else went the more natural “ruling despot” route hints that “something” quite different influenced its early formation.

    When the old geezers of the inner-circle find out about the 2nd “St. Zhernaus” they’ll all have heart attacks. 2nd Bleek!

  25. PeterZ says:

    @24 Very true about Siddermark. The question is where does that guiding organization reside? It could very well reside in Zion at the center of all things political. The machinations keeping Siddermark a republic may well come from outside. Think of it as the Mesan Alignment fanning the flames of liberty. This Safeholder Alingment resides in one or two fragmented networks of monestaries and underworld crime rings. Something like the combination of Shao-lin monks meet the yakuza or the Trapists meet the mafia. They even have their own inner circle. The CoGA knows about these organization but only a few within understand their true origins and purpose.

  26. ET1swaw says:

    And Siddarmark is the only “Republic” on Safehold!! Even Charis was at best a parlimentary Monarchy as was Chisholm (where the Crown actually was able to curb the nobility with the power of the commons); but neither was ANYTHING like a republican form of government. Siddarmark reminds me somewhat of the Swiss Confederacy (especially now), while Harchong is ancient China, and the Temple Lands the Papal States in Italy.

    Whether a SAl or a SZ2, something aided Siddarmark in their unusual development!!!

    And the journal (of SZ) did say there was a second string to Shan Wei’s bow, what if our assumption (and we all know the thing about assuming) that it was Nimue was incorrect (and OWL found a good number of discrepancies between her assignment lists and Langhorne’s)!!!! Co-opting the underworld into an underground is very historically-based (and as far as that goes some/many underworld organizations began as underground anti-establishment groups) and Shan Wei (as was repeatedly pointed out in OAR) WAS A HISTORIAN as well as a Strategist and Terraformer. Though she and her husband did not foresee Langhorne’s Rakurai tactic, they were both Strategically minded enough to have multiple longterm GTH plans in place!!!!


  27. tootall says:

    So everyday I rush to this space to see if Nimitz has topped his Princess Leia quote..alas and alak, not to be. Then I happened upon a post(elsewhere)in which he pointed out that (during the Irys rescue) Merlin didn’t kill all the Inquisitors at Delferahk out of Pity. I quote Nimitz here (quoting Merlin) ” Pity I ran out of bullets.”

    Well done, my good sir!

  28. BobG says:

    @27 Is that a reference to “Bored of the Rings”?

    — Bob G

  29. JeffM says:

    @11. You guys are just silly. These sleighs are being drawn by snow lizards. They have plenty of forage–they eat SNOW!


  30. Nimitz13 says:

    @28 Yup, the GREATEST parody ever written! But after all these years I STILL haven’t found the teaser scene in the actual book itself! “Dost thou like what thou dost see…”

    I’m waiting for the ICA uniforms to be described as blending in with any background, be it green grass, green trees, or a green sky! Bleek!

  31. BobG says:

    @30 I believe the quote is: “He would have finished him off then and there, but pity stayed his hand. It’s a pity I’ve run out of bullets, he thought, as he went back up the tunnel…”

    And no, the blurb on the front page doesn’t occur anywhere in the book:

    … “The Ring,” she said. “I must have your Ring.”

    Frito’s whole body tensed. “Oh no,” he cried, “not that! Anything but…that.”

    “I must have it,” she said both tenderly and fiercely. “I must have the Ring!”

    Frito’s eyes blurred with tears and confusion. “I can’t,” he said. “I musn’t!”

    But he knew resolve was no longer strong in him. Slowly, the elf-maiden’s hand inched toward the chain in his vest pocket, closer and closer it came to the Ring Frito had guarded so faithfully…

    — Bob G

  32. Nimitz13 says:

    #32 But you omitted the best part of the blurb, which is the end of the sentence I didn’t complete for obvious reasons. (It refers to a rather – inadequately dressed elf- maiden of negotiable virtue.) But every adolescent male who reads “Bored of the Rings” does so with his tongue hanging out, hoping to find that scene with every page he turns . . . until he reaches the end of the book and bitter disappointment sets in. ;)

    As the Charisians say, “May you buy low and sell dear.”

    And as the vicars say to one another, “May your hemorrhoids shrink without surgery!”



  33. Nimitz13 says:

    @32 Oh dear, I just submitted a comment referring to myself! Bleek! Either I haven’t mastered the new Arabic numerals, or my level of narcissism must be unusually high today… I wonder if this is what Clyntahn feels like all the time? ;)

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