mercoledì, novembre 17, 2004

The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 3; Part II

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The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 3; Part II
By Eddie G.

As much as he hated it, the King of Teffaru decided to hold an important meeting. Well, the subjects to be discussed were pretty trivial, but the meeting was important nonetheless, mostly because the King had decided to hold it.

“Right! Everybody present?” he asked, almost pointlessly since anyone who arrived after he did would have been beheaded, which meant that they would cease to be present.

Unless the King saw their heads as suitable gifts.

“Very well, then” he continued, “first on today’s agenda – we’re looking for a treasurer.”

The Royal Advisor raised his hand.

“Pardon Majesty,” he said, “but didn’t we just appoint a treasurer last week?”

“Of course we did,” the King replied, “that’s the treasurer we’re looking for.”

The Captain of The Guard, whose name was not worth mentioning, spoke up.

“I have dispatched my men to the town square, Sire. They are interrogating the townsfolk as we speak.”

“Bah!” cried the King, banging his fists on the table, “those idiot peasants know nothing!”

The King, of course, had a point. Tired of their mundane, day-to-day activities, the commonfolk of Teffaru sought eagerly for signs and wonders to break the monotony of their pathetic existence. Their stark lack of intelligence didn’t help either, as it made them see every little thing as a sign from Heaven, and something worth worshipping.

Take for instance, two weeks ago when a man bearing a torch walked into the Teffaru Town Square. It didn’t take long for the simple-minded peasants to hail him as “the man who holds fire” and fall to their knees in reverent awe.

Five minutes later, the man tripped over a bush, sending the torch into a carry-bucket of toilet water, extinguishing it. The result was a division in ideologies that saw half of Teffaru hailing the bucket as “the Carry-Bucket that extinguishes fire” – something worship-worthy.

The other half of Teffaru thought that was completely retarded, since it was “the Bush that tripped man with fire arms” that was supposed to be honoured and not some stupid john carry-bucket.

So they did what every confused community did, and held elections.

Elections where the bush had won marginally.

“What about my son?” bellowed the King as he continued to pound the table, teaching the wine goblets how to dance, “what news of him?”

“None, I’m afraid,” squeaked the Captain timidly, “the search party has failed to report back on their current whereabouts. They should reply soon via the homing pigeon I sent them.”

“Bah!” cried the King again, “looks like our search party has failed us!”

“If you wish, Sire, we could have another party search for them,” offered the Captain.

“NO!” yelled the King, causing the surrounding Courtiers to wet their loins, “we will NOT search for them.”

Everyone in the bored room could see how pleased the King was with the riddance of his two bumbling guards and jester who told bad jokes, and merely nodded in agreement.

“But!” declared the King, “we shall still have a party!”

And it was a party that lasted the entire night, at the end of which everyone got home totally wasted and completely oblivious of the meeting that preceded it.

The cavernous passages seemed to stretch on forever; each extensive network of underground tunnels was connected to another equally as confusing, and those, in turn, were further connected to even more confusing tunnels connected to other tunnels.

So elaborate was the design of these tunnels that it made the Labyrinth of Crete look like a maze found at the back of cereal boxes (and it is noted that many appreciate breakfast for being a generally mindless activity).

It was a maze designed by a highly sophisticated race, with the sole purpose of confusing those bold enough to venture it.

This race was so highly sophisticated that their labyrinth was even liable of confusing the very race that constructed it. It was a paradoxical situation which was not dissimilar to God creating a cheeseburger so huge that even He couldn’t finish it, only with much less irony.

And fewer pickles.

If you thought that didn’t make sense, wait till you hear about this highly sophisticated race – giant man-eating squirrels.

And currently in these tunnels, two such squirrels were engaged in a highly intelligent debate over an exceedingly controversial issue:-



“No, left!”

“I said, right!”

“But it’s left!” yelled Mink the Squirrel.

“I’ve told you, right!” hollered Furcoat the other Squirrel.

“It’s to my left!” said Mink pointing to his left.

“I know it is! And I said you’re right!” said Furcoat pointing to his right.

“That’s my left!” Mink was turning a lovely shade of violet.

“That’s right!” Furcoat said, equally lavender.

A wise man once formulated that a species’ intelligence is usually inversely proportionate to the duration of their arguments.

This argument lasted for three days.

Of course, this wise man’s theory had is share of loopholes, for he failed to take into consideration two very incompetent castle guards who didn’t argue for very long before coming to the consensus that one plus one equals “dib-dib spwigeldy ra-poop”.

Right now, the two guards sat behind the arguing squirrels, reflecting on the past few days’ events.

“I’ve been thinking, Bosch,” said Kalmbie.

“Yea?” Bosch was vaguely uninterested.

“You know that bird the boss sent us?”


“Well, call me silly if you want,” said Kalmbie reflectively, “but I don’t think it was meant to be our lunch.”

“Yea! I think you’re right there!” said Bosch sitting up,” it was about 5 pm when we got it. Too late for lunch, really.”

“Sort of like for an evening tea, then?”

“By Jove you’re right, Kalmbie! Evening tea it was for then!” beamed Bosch.

Sitting behind the guard, propped up against the wall, was the Jester, Sunny-Jebus, talking either to himself, or no one in particular.

“Yes, Scrubbie. I know he has wings. Big, beautiful wings, eh?”

“I beg your pardon?” asked a fourth captive, who was sitting not too far away from him. No doubt destined to be food, just like the two idiot guards, for the squirrels.



The Jester eyed the fourth man with harboured suspicion. Not many made conversation with Sunny-Jebus, unless they were terribly bored or terribly stupid.

Or perhaps, terribly both.

“Didn’t quite catch your last statement,” said the man casually, “what about wings?”

Again the Jester said nothing, but kept his gaze fixedly on the man.

“Scrubbie wants to be your friend,” he said finally, “I, on the other hand, wouldn’t give you a rat’s ass.”

Bosch wondered aloud why anybody would want a rat’s ass.



The Chronicler was warned not to digress anymore.

The man was startled by the Jester’s eccentric introduction, and needed about a couple of minutes for the two guards to fully explain who, or rather what, Scrubbie was.

“Ohh… I get the picture now,” he said, not quite getting the picture. “Well the name’s Cauldwick. Drego Cauldwick.”

The Jester merely nodded. “Scrubbie wants to know how you got caught,” he scowled, vaguely annoyed that his hat should show more attention to a stranger than himself.

Drego Cauldwick sighed, “rather unfortunate accident if you ask me. My reporters and I were roaming around Mad Squirrel Range when those two,” he hooked a thumb over his shoulder at the Left-I-Said-Right squirrels, “showed up. We all made a run for it, but since I was the slowest of the pack, my presence here is quite self-explanatory.”

The slowest of the pack also implied that he was probably the biggest and juiciest. That sat very well with his captors.

“Reporters?” was all Kalmbie could pick up.

“Aye,” Cauldwick said, “I shouldn’t be here in the first place, really. But my head reporter called in sick, so I had no choice but to fill in for him. I’m actually the editor of a newspaper that caters to a group of religious people in Teffaru who actually worship the wonders of manure.”

“Holy shit!” muttered Bosch.

The editor’s face lit up.

”Oh, are you a subscriber too?”

Prince Kyovane hacked and slashed his way through the dense undergrowth of Booya Wood. He had absolutely no idea where he was heading, and where he should go next. The Eddie G., in hiS benevolence, refused to tell him.

His demi-Mortal companion followed silently behind, hiS arms and wings folded. What the hell was taking Kerongcong Nostradamus so long?

The Prince stomach rumbled angrily as felled another tangle of lianas. The revelation that he hadn’t eaten for three days straight couldn’t have chosen a worse time to show up.

“Hey!” he called back, “What’s for lunch?”

The Eddie G. paused for awhile, and then said, “Funny you should ask. I spent the whole morning preparing it.”

“But you did absolutely nothing this morning!”

“I know,” The Eddie G. smiled, “and that’s what we’re having.”

The Prince was about to throw another tantrum by banging his fists against a nearby tree (which, incidentally, was how he acquired his last meal and a fistful of bruised knuckles) when something swooped down and nearly impaled him with its stony talons.

“Gargoyles!” yelled the Prince as he ducked another attacking wave.

The Eddie G., like every typical friend of a friend in need, was nowhere to be found.

“Oh great!” Prince Kyovane cursed as the gargoyles, about thirty of them, landed in front of him.

“Chi-uh! Check this dude out, man!” said the leader of the gargoyles.

Chorus of “sweet!’, “duuude!”, “woaah!” and other unintelligible utterances emitted from the stony crowd.

The Prince tried to slip away – not a very wise thing to do when thirty-odd pairs of eyes are looking at you.

“Woah dude!” said the leader, “one more step from you, dude, and you’re like, geography man!”

“You mean ‘history’?” offered the Prince.

“Don’t try to change the subject, dude!” snapped the leader. “So, man. What business brings you here?”

The Prince sought desperately for an answer. Think! he told himself, how would The Eddie G. respond? Of course! How could he forget?

He drew himself up. “Mind your own bloody business!” he bellowed.

Elsewhere, The Eddie G. slapped himselF on the forehead.

“Alright dudes,” shrugged the leader, “let’s tear him apart then.”

“W-w-wait!” Prince Kyovane protested as the pack of gargoyles advanced, “I’m here uh… to seek an… uh… what’s that word again… alliance! Yes, that’s right, an alliance. I’m here to seek an alliance with you.”

“You’re shitting me, dude?” coughed the leader, “all you humans do is hunt my dudes down to decorate your fountains!”

“That’s not true!” said the Prince, “our cathedrals too.”

Elsewhere, The Eddie G. slapped hiS forehead again.

The gargoyles began to close in, discussing amongst themselves where the Prince would make a passable ornament.

Now in every epic story, Intervention always plays an integral role. Humans have invented many names for Intervention, some of which include “Luck”, “Fortune”, “Close Calls” and “Thank God It’s Friday Already”.

Intervention operates itself on three basic principles. Of course there are sub-principles to be observed, but for brevity’s sake we shall omit them.

The first principle is that the candidate must face overwhelming odds.

The gargoyles, all thirty-odd of them, lurched forward.

The second principle, which can be quite tricky to fathom, is that the candidate must have absolutely no route of escape. The tricky bit is that many people tend to overlook the fact that routes of escape that lead to death are routes of escape nonetheless. Take for instance, jumping out of a burning fifty-storey building.

The gargoyles now had the Prince completely enclosed.

The third principle is that the candidate must utter out his or her resignation that a miracle is duly needed. It may come in the form of “oh crap, I’m screwed!”, we’re all gonna die!” or “well Tonto, this is it surely!”.

The Prince looked to the Heavens dramatically.

“WHY ME?” he moaned, “WHY ALL THE BLOODY TIME ME?!?!”

“Leave him!” said a voice just as the gargoyles were about to dismember the Prince, “the kid belongs to me!”

The owner of the voice leaped off a nearby tree and landed beside the Prince in ungainly fashion, wearing a long black coat and a black leather hat. In his hands, he cradled a deadly looking crossbow.

“Thanks for the help,” the Prince cried in relief.

“Help?” laughed the one they call Ar-Shikun, “I’m here to kill you!”

A stone talon rested on the one they call Ar-Shikun’s shoulder.

“Woah, dude!” said the gargoyle leader, “take a queue number, man. We were like here first, dude!”

“Chi-uh!” chorused the gargoyles.

“I don’t take advice from junkies!” scoffed the Shady Character.

“Junkies? You’re like so wrong man,” said the leader, obviously hurt, “just because we’re always stoned doesn’t mean we need rehab or something.”

“Well, you are in my way all the same!” declared the one they called Ar-Shikun. “I shall relish the pleasure of destroying you all!”

“I don’t think so man,” the leader said grimly, “I shall relish the pleasure of mounting your corpse on my bedroom wall, dude.”

“Um… wouldn’t it smell, dude?” asked one of the gargoyles.

“No worries, man. I’ll just cut off its nose.”

In the midst of the battle, the Prince managed to slip away, running as if a hundred tigers were chasing him and constantly looking over his shoulder. It was just about the time he properly decided that there was nothing behind that would harm him when he crashed into a tree.

The soft thuds of dropping fruit echoed around him, followed by the yelling and resplendent CRASH of a demi-Mortal falling off the tree.

“NUMBNUTS! Of all the trees you decided to make friends with, it had to be this one!” The Eddie G. cursed.

Ignoring that, the Prince grabbed hiM by the collar, something he would never have done in the right frame of mind.

Not that he had one to begin with, that is.


“Aww. Give them another chance,” The Eddie G. grinned smugly.

“I thought you were helping me here?” panted the Prince.

“Oh but I did. I just taught you the Principles of Intervention.”

“The Principles of What?”

“Do you EVER pay attention to the narration?” The Eddie G. was quite exasperated by now.

“What narration?”

The Eddie G. patiently spent the next hour explaining to the Prince how the three Principles of Intervention worked, and felt hE did a good job.

“So basically it’s overwhelming route of escape, no utterance, odds of resignation,” repeated Prince Kyovane.

The Eddie G. tried again.

“Oh! I get it now! Overwhelming resignation, no odds, utterance route of escape.”

The Eddie G. thought he was going almost mad; hE had sworn hE heard something go *poof* behind hiM.

“No, you’re not going mad, Edwin,” said a voice.


At the sight of hiS old friend, every desire The Eddie G. had to flay the Prince and exchange his skin for a sackful of goat droppings miraculously faded away.

“How is re-construction of the Blue Ivory Tower going along?” hE ventured.

Nostradamus shook his head. “We won’t be rebuilding the Tower.”


“Recently two sphere-like buildings were built on either side of our proposed construction area.”


“The Academy’s sponsorship to fund this project comes with the stipulation that our new building cannot be tall and phallic-looking, or else they won’t pay to erect,” said Nostradamus.

“The Academy never did have a sense of humour did they?” The Eddie G. said grimly.

“Not unless [the Arch-Minister who loves to] leak one ewe dies,” shrugged the old wizard.

The Eddie G. smiled.

“I bring news of Eizenara, my friend!” declared Nostradamus, “our wizards have been working day and night to find the answers you seek.”


“And we have found them.”

“Tell me! TELL ME!”

Kerongcong Nostradamus merely grinned.

“I’ll tell you in the next episode,” he said.


In the blink of an eye:

  • The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 1

  • The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 2

  • The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 3

  • The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 4

  • The Chronicles of Teffaru: Episode 5