Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Book Two Letter Twenty

My dear Smok,
         It has come to my attention that the phrase “it has come to my attention that” has come to my attention to be tiring to write. In my next letter, I will employ the use of a different opening line. For old times’ sake, though:
         It has come to my attention that you were recently concussed in the Great Bombardment of the year 1938563837927475. I assure you, the newspaper writer was a little out of it when he mistakenly printed that date. I believe he was also concussed, similarly to you. Oh wait! He was and is you! Congratulations, Smok! You have a temporary position at the West Draconian Gazette. Why did you not inform me of this sooner? Your boss, Stagrius of the Flaming Pen, is quite a legend, and happens to be an old friend of mine. When he figured out that my nephew was applying for a job at the Gazette, he informed me.
         But seriously, Smok. Why did you not inform any of your uncles? And yes, I may have intercepted your other uncles’ mail to find out if you had told them. But it turned out (if I had hypothetically intercepted mail) that you had not even told Semithino! Why the secrecy? And don’t tell me you got the job because of the female in Management. She’s a bit snooty and way out of your league. I do not say this because I used to admire her mother but was promptly, both literally and metaphorically, dumped I wish to impede your social life, but rather I say this as a veteran in affairs of the heart.
         The heart, which is, by the way, a relatively simple thing, as I figured out when improvising CPR procedures on a fallen dragon at the scene of the Great Bombardment of 1938563837927475. Speaking of the Great Bombardment, if you are pursuing a political career, write an article condemning the governments of the known world for not preventing the chaos at the T.E.N.N.I.S. rally. If you are pursuing an author’s life, write an emotional, melodramatic, autobiographical novel about your experience. If not, oh well. I tried to make you famous.
         I was there; in fact, I founded the Society for Sprinklers and came up with the idea for Sprinkler Appreciation Day. We had just turned on the sprinklers across the street from the flammable rally, and I was just about to cut a great big ribbon with a pair of huge golden scissors to mark the opening of the Sprinkler Musuem, when chaos ensued. The projectiles being hurled at the rally suddenly began to explode under the influence of the water, and in the resulting panic sixteen dragons were injured; luckily none died.
         I have filed a report about the incident and have launched an official investigation as to why T.E.N.N.I.S. was clearly violating international regulations by using the highly dangerous chemical “flammablotamine” on their playing materials, a chemical which is clearly banned from all civilian use by Muddgar’s Treaty of Treddgast. This chemical caused the barren plains of Treddgast to become barren. It destroyed a whole paradise of draconian civilization in a single small skirmish, and here is the T.E.N.N.I.S. organization using it for a sporting event?!
         The chief executives of the organization will be prosecuted for this gross violation, and will be fined up to ten thousand gold pieces. They will be lucky not to end up locked in the Prison Isles. And if your uncle Trubodox is not careful, rabid supporter of this sport as he is, he as well will have to pay a major fine and may be sentenced to serve up to six months.
         Of course I will not let that happen; as daft as he is, Trubodox is my brother. But he must answer for what he has encouraged. Ratakis has suffered severe injuries. I will not expose Trubodox for planting the dynamite that incapacitated this athlete, nor for bombarding me on my way back to my cave, but if he pulls another stunt like this, I will have harsh words with him; I will remind him both what responsibilities I, as his older brother, hold for his conduct, and what I will do to put him back into line.
         -Your gravely disappointed uncle,

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Two Letter Nineteen

Concerning events of late, I will first offer my condolences upon the fact of your concussion resultant of the diabolical debacle that took place at the T.E.N.N.I.S. grand rally. From what your hospital diagnoses told, your concussion has caused short term memory loss, completely obliterating the rally’s events. I myself count this as a blessing, as you would have likely gone straight from the hospital to rigorous counseling if the full day’s events were in any way apparent to you. But the doctor: one Dr. Rig. R. Mortis, said recounting the events forgotten to you would be a sure way to accelerate your memory recovery and fortify it from any later similar injuries. And so with a heart injected with several quarts of lead (that is to say, heavy) I shall divulge the day’s events in all its magnificent insanity.
            Being a contemporary sport, and having being only lately established in the Western Provinces; T.E.N.N.I.S.’s organizers-having had almost no experience in event organization-set the date of the rally on the same day as Sprinkler Appreciation Day.
            The T.E.N.N.I.S. rally began with barely a hitch, save for an unfortunate event where Ratakis the World Famous Athlete found a stick of dynamite in his locker, for which I take no responsibility. But three matches into the pro-combustive event, the spectators were witnessed to one of the worst sporting disasters since when Bolikk the Buoyant squirted ketchup into the quarterback’s eye in the F.O.O.T.B.A.L.L. (Fun Order of Organizational Teams Booting Around a Large Lard-ball) playoffs.
            First the Ceremonial Sprinkler Guard set of an automated spray of hydration, missing the pre-prepared landing spot, and landing flat upon the T.E.N.N.I.S. players and fans. It was an unfortunate coincidence that the liquid used to flambé the T.E.N.N.I.S. balls, was an unstable compound used to prolong the fire’s burn time, but also incorporated a chemical that reacts strongly to alien substances, such as water.
            The resultant explosion of the balls of Bong’Bing the Whacker, Lestrad the Loaded and you; were enough to instigate the retirement of three minors, nearly atomize the facilities and acquaint three game pros with the stratosphere. Honestly I’ve never seen the Heimlich maneuver used to regurgitate a T.E.N.N.I.S. ball.
            From my vantage point in the stands I managed to escape the major damage, but unfortunately the subsequent shock wave sent the world famous Flab Sisters in the row in front flying straight into my delicate anatomy. The crater caused by the impact, several Dragons thought to be caused by a force 10 meteor. I later corrected them. It was force 11.
            Anyway, apart from being somewhat flatter than previous, I was perfectly unhurt by the incident. I heard that Scaligar had been present at the disaster; though somehow he escaped without a scratch. The anonymous explosion that marred his homeward journey I believe to be most fitting; although I wholly deny his accusation against me, involving me in the crime, along with several crates of dynamite.
            Hopefully this has jogged your memory into activeness once again, but my advice is to not remember too much of the incident, the counseling bureau has plenty of attendees as it is.
            Concerning other matters it appears that I was included at length in the article concerning the T.E.N.N.I.S. rally disaster. What can I say? I’m just that noticeable, though possibly it was because of the crater the Flab Sisters and I created, supposedly the largest one since Porkius the Porky jumped off a diving board.
            Anyway, a few days after the article’s publication someone knocked upon my cave door. Wait, I don’t have a cave door. Do I? Anyway, a few days after the article’s publication someone proverbially knocked on my proverbial cave door. I proverbially answered the door and found a miniature replica of myself sitting on the ledge preceding my cave-mouth.
            “Oh my goth! I’m your Biggetht fan!” he squealed, spraying me with spittle.
            I told him to lay off the narcotics and was about to close the cave door retreat into the cave when he explained that he was indeed my biggest fan, and had found my address on the article concerning my meteoric attributes. He went on to tell me that his title was Geekadox the Red, and he had wanted to meet me for several decades of his youth.
            He thed that he looked allot like me, and tho he wanted to meet me to talk and thtuff. A devious plan is now forming in my head, concerning my want for temporary retirement, Geekadox’s resemblance to me, and the supernatural ability of Scaligar’s to intercept my mail. Hmmmmm…Bwahahaaaa….I might let him stay the night…..
            On another exciting note, I have received the exact date for the next secret Westerner secret meeting, concerning the imminent invasion through the Western Wiles. I shall happily attend, as the letter enclosed the information that our immediate and physical action would be required if we agreed to congregate. I haven’t used my left hook in quite a spell, and I’ll be happy to try it on several unsuspecting invaders.
            Concerning your mentoring; I have come up with several more exercises for your fire breathing. I shall not list them, but have enclosed precise schematics of the exact movements needed to obtain results.
            An effective exercise to strengthen your claws is to set your talons into the Suction Stones native to Aeolia. Once you have done this attempt to pull your claws from the compressing rock. Once you succeed at this; do it over and over until you are able to easily free your claws from the stones. This may take weeks or even months but with a mastery of this you will be able to use your claws to their greatest extent, and be enabled to easily pull free if your claws are forcefully smashed into trees or thick mud in battle, giving you an advantage in a close quarters fight.
            I would council you more but it is late I am tired, and I am hoping to get to sleep at a decent hour, just like the saying. ‘Early to bed and early to rise, makes a Dragon cranky and blind in the eyes’. I might sleep in too.
            You lethargic uncle,
Trubodox the Scarlet AND GEEKADOX THE REDD!
Dang kids!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Exclusive Fantasy Interview: Vick Vurtle

JTZ: So, Vick Vurtle, when you called and scheduled this appointment I thought you were a turtle!
Vick: WHAT???!!!! I AM NOT A TURTLE!!!!! Would everyone please stop assuming that? I am a perfectly normal, calm, composed (and single, by the way) VULTURE!!!!!
JTZ: Well, uh, well, uh, well, uh, well, uh.... [clears throat] Well, uh, well, uh, well, uh, well, uh....
Vick: What? Cat gotcher tongues? I’m a vulture, now get on with it! Got any interview questions? Huh? Hurry up, I’m a busy bird!
JTZ: Oh, um, okay...what made you join up with the International Vulture Society?
JTZ: Okay, Mr. Vurtle, we’re going to revoke your caps license.
Vick: Huh?
JTZ: We’re banning you from speaking in capital letters, Mr. Vurtle. You’re too boisterous.
Vick: Why, thank you. I pride myself on that.
JTZ: Okay, Mr. Vurtle...what is your favorite type of carrion, and why do you like it so much?
Vick: Well, I’ve always been a sucker for llama meat. When it’s gone nice and sour, with a reek like nothing you’ve ever smelt splitting the air... [sighs] Heavenly.
JTZ: Well, that’ question! Would you consider yourself a statesman?
Vick: Of course! I love political thinking and take pride in the fact that I’ve voted for Head Vulture every election in the last thirty-six years! In fact, I’m going to be running in this next one. Vote for Vurtle; he’s no turtle! That’s my motto, see. Anyway, I am campaigning for Head Vulture this year. Unfortunately, you base ingrates cannot vote in the election, because you are so inferior you could not possibly be vultures, and anyway, you have to type the transcripts of your interviews and post them, so you’d have to have fingers to do that. I pity you. The life of a vulture is the greatest thing attainable.
JTZ: While llama? And sit on rocks being baked under the sun? And preen our disgusting feathers?
Vick: WHAT’D YOU SAY???!!!!
JTZ: Eh-hem, no caps, Vick. Now you have to speak in smaller font!
Vick: No fair! How dare you! I’m getting out of here while I still caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Two Letter Eighteen

My Dearest Nephew,

            Not to sound ungrateful to your uncle Scaligar for his rescue of me from my relatives, but they are now threatening legal battle against me on account of his hot-diggity-dog attack. However, I do not harbor many fears on this account as Gaertho is their family lawyer.

            Anyways, on to other matters.

            I shall not go into much detail on the subject of the fight your two uncles had outside my cave the other day but shall limit my commentary on the whole sorry affair to saying that my cave is currently undergoing remodeling thanks to it.

            Now, I hear that your uncle Scaligar is advising you on paintings and such to interiorize your cave with. Don’t listen to him. While your uncle Scaligar may not be all that bad at battle strategies, he is woefully lacking in art and interior-decorating knowledge.

            While I must agree with your uncle Scaligar’s choice of paintings (the Wanderwyrm series is quite amazing and you should try to collect them) don’t listen to the rest of his ideas. Décor should be influenced by water and stone, natural elements (don’t forget feng shuei)

            A fountain and a pool of water in the main cave is very nice, along with a few lamps (sometimes floating on the water, extra bonus for effect) and pots of incense in the corners.

            On the subject of your upcoming T.E.n.n.i.s rally, watch out for flying elbows, especially flaming ones, not uncommon in the t.e.n.n.i.s tournament. Also be careful of sinkholes, baseball bats to the knees and flaming fishing nets. If you have a problem with any of these weapons, stay out of the T.e.n.n.i.s tournament altogether.

            Aside from these few matters, I do not think that there is anything else to discuss and I therefore bid you goodbye until my next letter.

            -Your Humble Servant, mentor and uncle,


            P.s. I almost forgot, Do you remember that goat mentioned in your uncle scaligar’s latest letter? the Ukrainian one? I have decided to adopt him. I originally tried to airlift him back to his home, but this Ukraine place is not on any map that I have ever seen or possessed and I therefore have been led to believe that it is either some faraway country, or a different world.

            I find the goat most intelligent and artistically talented. I am at the moment in the process of watching him paint the possible sixth painting in the waderwyrm series. It is a masterpiece!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Eleventh Riddling Derby Results

To embue a more festive mood to the time of tornado damage, I welcome you all to the latest in a short line of Riddling Derby puzzler results!

I have consulted the Derby's comment box and accumulated all the correct answers to see who answered enough of the challenges to be honored with the invisible, and now slightly pixelated, wreath of accomplishment.

And the winner, is.....Hyperlinkzer! Congratulations! Adulations! Hyperventilations! Thank you Hyperlinkzer, for taking part in our XI Riddling Derby! And now if you'll pat your head you might just feel nothing, as are the traits of an invisible wreath of honor. How lucky are you!

Apologies to all who solved the riddles but not in time and quantity to beat Hyper. And before we go I will install a cursory list of the solvers and the riddles solved thereof.

Riddle No.1: I have palms but not on hands, I offer food from distant lands, when at my peak you'll see me smoke, I'm famous for my friendly folk, my flowers grow and yet they lay, there's fire where a man may play, I'm sure you know we're family, you're welcome to come stay with me.
What am I? Hawaii (First answered by Hyperlinkzer, then Angrod Carnesir)

Riddle No.2: I belong to you, but am used more by others.
What am I? A name (First solved by Hyperlinkzer, then Tasia Tinuviel)

Riddle No.3: When I take off my clothes, it puts on it clothes, when I put on my clothes it takes off it clothes. What is it? (First reveled by Hyperlinkzer, then by Tasia Tinuviel)

Riddle No.4: I lack much reason, but often rhyme, and require logic to pass the time, to gets the words to tell your kin, look for clues that lie within, though all are different they act the same, the answer is practically in the name.
What is it? A Riddle (First deduced by Angrod Carnesir, and then Tasia Tinuviel)

Riddle No.5: What has wheels and flies but is not an aircraft? A garbage truck (First figured by Hyperlinkzer, and then near answered by Angrod Carnesir, and finally conceptually solved by Tasia Tinuviel)

Thank you all for your cooperation in this latest Riddling Derby. And I hope to see you next week with the Twelfth Riddling Derby.....................................................................

But wait! Whats this?! Another riddle?! Yes, it is! A bonus riddle for kicks for all of you who have your thinking caps firmly grafted to your scalps.

Bonus Riddle No.?: This is a place. The first letter is after A and before Z but nowhere in between. You can bring as many people as you want, as long as their all dead. Where is it?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Being a contemporary Oklahoman, I have never before experienced a tornado of any mass. But I was witness to the destruction met by the Tornado of May 20th, two days ago. In actuality I was not in the midst of the tornado, but I did see videos and the mounting death toll.
I had never fully comprehended or delved into the exact destructive quality of this harbinger of destruction. how it can literally send wheat through trees with its incredible winds, how it can carry entire houses untouched for hundreds of miles, and how it can snuff out the life of a budding soul without mercy.
I ask ask you to read the following poem and short story and think on the incredible power of this whirling dervish of death. Thank you.


Born from clouds of a sickly colour,
Like a ravenous snake falls to the earthen floor.
Living from wind, and feasting on land,
It ravages the hills, both earth and sand.

Cold and warm, wind and rain,
This bestial force truly is earth’s bane.

Falling to earth and tearing o’er the world,
Tis a fearsome sight, as it twisted and swirled.
Stopped by nothing, devouring all,
Catching up beast and man, to death it shall call.

Cold and warm, wind and rain,
This bestial force truly is earth’s bane.

Ever spinning like a death-born top,
It thunders across all, nothing to it stop.
Until time takes it toll, and the tapering beast,
Is lost to memory, no longer to feast.

Cold and warm, wind and rain,
This bestial force truly is earth’s bane.

But left behind is a barren remain,
From destruction nothing did the wind abstain.
Lives being lost, and tears having shed,
And to destruction untold this calamity led.

Cold and warm, wind and rain,
This bestial force truly is earth’s bane.


Dark clouds covered the sky, their foreboding shadow mimicked by their rumbling thunder and the flashing lightning. Hail and rain crashed down into the soft earth, pounding the ground remorselessly until pits and fissures of frothing rainwater pocketed the plain. A sudden jagged cord of lightning forked out of the black clouds, momentarily lighting up the dark shade like day, then sailing down and ensnaring a lone tree in fiery electricity. It snapped and fell, charred, to the sopping earth.
            The sound of the felled behemoth was lost to the storm’s fury, iridescent flashes of lightning lighting up the skies periodically as they leapt through the skies, followed moments later by the booming drum of thunder.
            Above in the clouds, the black blanket of rain wasn’t enough to hide the strange phenomenon forming in the heavens. Unnaturally colored clouds, swirled and undulated in a circular mass of writhing green and gray clouds. It quickly twisted into a tapering cone that sunk to the slaked earth. And as it touched down, a roar of rolling sound drowned out the drumming of hail and the constant noise of thunder as the thing began tearing across the earth, throwing up clouds of grass and sod as it ate through the ground across the valley.
            Trees that had survived lightning strikes were torn from their powerful rooting and flung into the maelstrom of whirling air currents as the writhing powerhouse of destruction came on, paving a path of ravaged soil that was quickly washed into a river of mud by the following storm.
            The polymath of disaster soon had its fill of the valley and tumbled up a hill, bending its monstrous body in an abstract form as it breasted the hill and tore through a rocky outcropping, throwing boulders the size of cars into its swirling maw.
            An unlucky dwelling stood in the path of the howling storm of death, just below the valley hill; and the tornado fell upon it like a living beast, ripping into it with an explosion of splinters, stone and dried mud fragments. The houses solid foundation was physically uprooted and the entire dwelling was lifted into the spinning wind, and was tossed in erratic circles, half its walls torn away.
            Farther on the whirling hammer of nature went, battering through copses, dipping and uprooting animal burrows as it carved a road through everything it came upon, quickly meeting and dealing out destruction to everything it  touched.
            Soon not just a house was found occupying the wind-born hound’s belly, but now whole herds of animals, sheep, cows and pigs were left spinning out of control in the harbinger of doom. Trees soon resided in its swirling body, along with leaves, soil, hail, and countless other objects, which soon turned the sickly, roaring creature a rainbow of a hundred colors, only adding to its foreboding air as it flung itself upon the land; extending rampant winds in its wake as it flew across the ground, ever onward toward its next victim, destroying everything in its reach until it itself was snuffed from existence.

-Z Baner