Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Saga of Lord King

Lord King stood in the tallest tower of the great citadel in the thriving city of Fyogrostadt. He stared over the landscape, clouds of smoke from the city's industry drifting over fertile farms beyond, and contemplated.

 "I want some really big guns," he said.

 "Pardon, my Lord?" his advisors asked as one.

 "Like, really big ones," Lord King said, miming their shape and size in the air. "Three-hundred millimetre things. With barrels that telescope when they fire, like this. Whoom! Whoom!"

 "My Lord, we don't have recoiling barrels yet," his Technology Advisor said cautiously. "Our military tech is early-medieval level. The best we can build in the way of artillery is bombards, firing stone balls."

 Lord King's face fell. Then his eyebrows narrowed, in cunning. "Well, can you build me a really big bombard, then?" he asked his Technology Advisor. "Like, really big."

 "Would a cannon that can fire five-hundred pound shot content Your Lordship?" the Technology Advisor asked.

 Lord King threw his arms wide. "I want one that can fire thousand-pound balls!" he said. "Boom! Squash!"

 The Technology Advisor thought. "I suppose we can do that," she said. "I'll start the scholars to work designing the prototype."

 "Wait," Lord King said, suddenly suspicious. "Is this some kind of trick? Is this the sort of thing that will only fire one shot ever?"

 "I promise Your Lordship it will be able to fire at least half a dozen shots," the Technology Advisor promised, her fingers crossed behind her back.

 "What about rate of fire?" Lord King asked, not yet mollified. "Is this the sort of thing that takes a week to reload after each shot?"

 "Oh, come now, my Lord," the Technology Advisor said. "I thought that for you, only size mattered?"

 Lord King considered this. He shrugged. "Fair enough. Start production immediately!"

 "Ah - my Lord," the Military Advisor interjected. "I must ask - on whom will we be using these guns? We have been at peace for the last fifty years, and there is no sign of hostility abroad." He turned to the Diplomatic Advisor to confirm this; she nodded in agreement.

 "We have a border with Pontus, right?" Lord King asked, waving a hand dismissively. "In the southeast?"

 "In the mountains, yes, Your Lordship," the Diplomatic Advisor agreed, "but we have no cause for war with Pontus. In fact, we've been in a lucrative trading arrangement with them for the last century and a half - "

 "Junk it," Lord King ordered. "I want a declaration of war on its way to Amaesia by noon tomorrow. No use having these big guns if we can't use them, eh?" He smirked.

"Will you be commanding the invasion of Pontus yourself, my Lord?" the Military Advisor asked.

 "Of course!" Lord King exclaimed.

 Eight turns later, Lord King arrived on the field, straddling his brand new bombard.

 "Isn't it beautiful?" he shouted, taunting the King of Pontus from across the valley separating their armies. "One-ton rocks, baby! It'll pound you into goo!"

 "Wow, when you overcompensate, you don't do it by half measures!" the King of Pontus shouted back. "Kinda makes me wonder!"

 "What?" Lord King asked, his face turning red. "What are you talking about?"

 "I'm saying with a gun that big, your other gun must be so tiny that its position cannot be accurately determined!" the King of Pontus clarified helpfully. "Owing to quantum effects, Schroedinger etc!"

 Lord King looked confused. Then he figured it out.

 "You - you - you - " he sputtered, his face beginning to strongly resemble a fresh-plucked beet. "Gun crew! Fire!"

 The gun's crew fired. There was an earth-shattering roar; the ground shook. Several dozen of Pontus's cavalrymen perished.

 "Give it up!" the King of Pontus cried. "Your position is hopeless! Even with your ridiculous gun, you're still outnumbered two-to-one - and my forces are actually experienced, having fought a war in the last half a century! You have no chance to survive! Don't just make your time - surrender before it's too late!"

 "Never!" Lord King cried defiantly. "I'll never surrender to the likes of you! I'll fight to the death to defend my big gun!"

 Then he did!


  1. i was inspired to soar among the stars in the night sky and ingest substances into my body