Sword of the Saints: Sinner Chapter Two

The irregular plod of bored seamen, their eyes virtually blind against the unmitigated glare of a lackadaisical sea absent a cloud in the sky, came suddenly and screeching to a halt with the unmistakable clink of the armor in the hold below struggling in vain against the iron yokes of the sturdy bonds.  A windowed door creaked open succeeded by the heavy plodding of an overweight sailor pounding his hard wooden soles in some facsimile of eager glee across the main deck while the clinking of the struggling man cloistered in the hold below grew ever louder in apparent growing panic and developing terror only coming to a faux-friendship cessation when the footfalls began to reverberate down and down the half-rotted staircase whither hailed the stinking and feces polluted hold perverted with the broken dreams of countless stolen men.

“Arius!  Arius!  So good to sea you again, my old friend!  How has life treated you these last ten years?”

Against the wobbling of his vision and the throbbing of his skull, the cavalier in struggle met the gaze of the mustachioed wassailer, visible only in silhouette in the virtual darkness of the hull punctuated with the day-star’s glory just rounding the corner of the posterior stairs.

“Macheda?  Macheda?  Is that you?”  He wasn’t sure he was losing his wits.  “On god’s green earth what are you doing here?  What have you done with me?  Release me at once!  Are you out of your mind?  Have you lost your wits?  When my father hears of this, when the Perihelion learns of my abduction there will be nowhere on earth, nowhere under heaven, that you might hide and avoid their ceaseless wrath!”

“God’s green earth you say, Arius?” he quizzed, slowly supping the fantastic irony.  “Look around you.  Do you think it’s the soil that warbles around you?  Do you think your comrades yet know you gone?  Do you think you hail for familiar shores?  You’re mine, you scruffy little shit!”

“How dare you!  I’ll have you hanged, quartered, pickled, and then fucked three times from Saturday!”

“I see you haven’t lost any of that legendary wit, my friend.”

“Where are you taking me?”

“The others will have undoubtedly already told you.  The southern shore.  Do you know how much a knight is worth to the right people?  I’m going to fancy myself a proper commodore, new clean ships and dirty rotten women!  Just be sure you look proper knightly!”

“I’m not sure that I’m hearing you right.  Are you really this stupid?  Doesn’t matter whithersoever.  They’ll come for me, and they’ll find you.  I’ll find you.”

“Nonsense.  Nonsense.  They’d have to turn over every pebble on earth.  My flesh will remain unfortunately untarnished with all the bells and whistles of mankind’s discipline, my friend.  Meanwhile, you’ll be lucky there’s enough left of you in four years time to feed to the crocodiles, and I’ll be left to lament the mean disappearance of my own gambling buddy lost and shanghaied to serve out the rest of his miserable existence pulling cable and pushing the oar.”

In all that darkness, the blindness of arriving from under the glory of mighty Brassos, nothing clear could be further from the truth; expanding the fullness of his lungs, tightening in mighty cords every last millimeter of muscle, he silently undid the clasps of his bonds, which slipped away with a chattering tintinnabulation as his form again came to rest.  Smiling the weird toothy grin of a man with nothing to lose, he rose to his feet, meeting his captor eye-to-eye.

Sword of the Saints: Sinner Chapter One

It was the sickly rollicking back and forth amidst a medium sea that sent men, land-lovers all, bound hand and foot hither and thither to expel the contents of their tenuous viscera upon the blood-stained planks laid below quivering feet.  Blood, vomit, and shit—it was everywhere, crossed every boundary, and found port-of-call between unsuspecting knees and unwilling digits.  His head, throbbing, pulsating, was braided with more than the mere consequence of a night’s heavy drinking, gift to those that can’t stand the light of day.

“Wha-wha-wha,” he began, a creature damaged, but he couldn’t finish, as the poison’s garden delights had only begun to ebb from their magnificent apex.  “Who who who?” he rejoined, blearily looking out from between the pin-points of his bascinet into a wandering basement realm of meandering skylight.

“It smells like shit in here,” he muttered to which a hoarse repeating cough was his only rejoinder.  “Who the hell?  What the hell?”

His vision, with the painful lack of urgency given to living flesh, connected upon a singular focus, and he looked this way and that amidst his new close compatriots, slavishly garbed sun-scarred  men altogether unified in chorus of miserable groaning punctuated with the throaty recollection of yesterday’s gruel.

With an undulation he flicked open his visor and surveyed his newly-graced comrades, suffering with heat-stroke mere notes away from the gentle pall of shadowed death bearing away holy souls into a different dawn under a different auspice.  Those that could, those that hadn’t collapsed utterly upon the sparing space of the floor, those huddled together thickly in this mid-space maritime deck with him eyed with the severity of a thousand angry mothers, the responsibility his to raise them from misery countless.

“What the fuck is going on?” he spat from between bloodied teeth.

“I didn’t believe it when I saw it,” muttered one from beneath the pall of dense shadows.

“I mean, who would imagine it?”

“One of our own.”

“The best of us.”

“Taken like this.”

“Taken.”

“Food for the scaled slavers of the south.”

And the world returned to him with a swoon—the troop, the mission, the missive, the gambling den he’d foolishly visited for the vain purposes of possible enrichment and an evening’s entertainment.  The women had been less than attractive.

“Me?!”  He struggled against the iron links of his bonds.  “The southern shore?”  The panic became tangible as the clinking of his armor rose above the general sickly din.

“It won’t help you.”

“Won’t help.”

“Not at all.”

“Not like they run these cruises at a deficit.”

Reacting against the growing terror of his wrists’ suffocation he cried out, “Have you no pride as men?”

“Men!  Hah!”

“That attitude won’t help you.”

“They’ll have you learn to lick the floor.”

“And like it.”

Supposed to be Writing

I’ve got a list, miles long, of things I need to be writing.  Of course I’m fucking ill.  Anyways, I’m told I need to communicate more often.  So now you all know how miserable I am.  Lovely.  I’m just going to rattle off a few thoughts, things bouncing around in my head I’d rather just forget.

A few years ago, I had a thought that there’s something wrong with performance artists: actors.  I always knew they had a tendency to be extremely self-indulgent, and this translates often disastrously upon the stage.  Unless there’s a director with a strong whipping hand in reign the stupid little shit in, he’ll indulge himself in whatever performance he pleases, even if the audience can’t relate.  What I don’t understand is where actors get off thinking we give a shit about their political opinions, regardless of the content.  I suppose I can see that people who are so visible believe they have some genuine importance; the problem is that they’re actors.  They don’t know anything.  They haven’t spent eight years studying the philosophy of politics.  They’re just dancing apes with too much money and an inflated sense of self importance.  This is worsened by the fact that they’re a very visible representation of the establishment which has fattened itself upon the starvation and suffering of the American and international vulgus.  They won’t be making any friends.  Hollywood’s on the way out anyways. Read More …

Sword of the Saints: Sinner Introduction

“Arius the Vagrant, Arius the Despoiler, Arius the Terrible, even Arius the Rake,” a villainous man certain to deserve such a variety of condemnation hurled from high and low, a pirate of no small notoriety with a fleet massive enough to more than worry coastal settlements both great and small.  On the other hand, elsewhere, in other climes chattering from the tongues of distant throngs he’s whispered heroic “Arius the Great, Arius the Magnificent, even Arius the Conqueror,” a long-time veteran, bitter exponent, and even savior of the Perihelion.  A complicated man, no doubt, and a man enveloped in a quagmire of myth and wild mistestimony, absent as he is an honest biographer.  To that end I will stick to the facts and dispel wild rumor, whether through the testimony of my own eyes or from the words of the man himself or his many lieutenants and companions.  What happened and what didn’t, these are objective experiences, facts blindingly clear under the great auspices of everlasting Brassos, high in the sky.  What follows is the accidental saga of Arius, the feller of the seven cities, the pirate lord of the Vorago Intervention, the endless seas that separate the sacred space of Middle Kingdom, Manfall, from the warring states of the West and the East and bestial kingdoms of the North and South; what succeeds are the tales of the man who ruled the far flung minor kingdoms, the disparate pirate cavalcades, a monstrous fleet beyond contempt.  I was honored as stripling to be taken into his fold as a midshipman, and I’m honored in my developing age to chronicle for posterity his countless deeds—much against his dying wishes I might add.  What follows here is the true reckoning of the man as he was and the honest recitation of his performances as they were genuinely.

Faithfully,

Major Cantor Thrasymedes

This is the End Part Two

Standoff at Checkpoint Charlie

Standoff at Checkpoint Charlie

Perhaps one World War could have been tolerable to the European piggy-bank, but two was pushing it too far.  Entire economies and wholesale infrastructures devastated and nations completely impoverished in a set of engagements from which Europe still has genuinely to recover, god knows the cost to American foreign policy.  Unable to maintain their extended empires, the Western sphere of influence winnowed and shrank dramatically, its only remain exponent of any influence being the United States which was already gearing up for a third and titanic conflict–this time with the Soviet Union–that thankfully never came to fruition.  But nature despises a vacuum.  All the pomp and national spirit that had characterized western nations at the outset of World War One had been totally drained.  Within this came something born of the egalitarianism of the West but something I’m forced to characterize altogether differently; Marxism, already germinating within the national character of all western nations grew infectious and lugubrious, the constant threat of red revolution now a problem of international scale.  This gave rise to post-modernism, the obscene doctrine of Derrida and other filthy counter-culture gurus which would ultimately erase any last semblance of national pride in several generations time, a problem now endemic.

What can I say?  We’re really good at killing each other and becoming poor doing it.  On top of that, our egalitarianism, once a monstrous strength, is made a weakness with the miserable doctrine of white guilt, itself so insidious and perverted a form of racism that the hairs of my knuckles bristle at its bare mention. Read More …

This is the End

Charge of the Light Brigade by William Simpson

Charge of the Light Brigade by William Simpson

We’ve come down to a subject I’ve been deliberately avoiding for weeks, something I perhaps find terrifying, something for which, if I elucidate it incorrectly, I will never ever be forgiven.  So we’ve described the conception of Western Civilization, its spread, its development, its survival through times of darkness, and we’ve come upon the precipice of the great conclusion: the modern period which saw the rise of powerful western states with modern legal systems, modern manufacturing, modern notions, and modern ways of making war.  Everything, quite naturally, changed.  This conclusion will necessarily be a multi-part document.  I want to talk about the ways in which the interaction of western states changed, starting with the Crimean War.  I also want to talk about the World Wars in context, and I finally want to discuss our contemporary, what’s often called the “Post Modern Period,” which in our general malaise is more a threat to our way of life than any regiment of bayonets or battery of artillery. Read More …

Vana Roma

Aeneas defeats Turnus

Aeneas defeats Turnus

I confess, this reads like the connecting link holding together the whole argument of this western civilization series, and it may in many ways seem completely obvious; nevertheless, it’s important to relate.

The Romans really are fascinating.  It’s easy to get lost, considering how much of our daily life is Roman: our beliefs in politics, our laws regarding property and inheritance, even some of our burial rights, the model of the standing army; I’ll be here all night if I try to list off all the ways.  It’s true that the Greeks may have invented Western Civilization, what was then what we would call “Hellenic Culture,” but in spite of the spread of many Greek colonies through much of the Mediterranean basin, it was really the Romans that, having adopted this culture and having modeled themselves after this culture, spread it wheresoever they feet or their rudders should take them, which was a fair bit further than the Greeks.

Doesn’t really seem funny though, does it?  Why should the Romans not make use of what they consider to be good ideas, ideas that would advance their cause and increase their standing among nations?  Have you ever read the Iliad?  Seems a strange interruption, but let me continue.  Have you ever read the Aeneid?  Maybe a long time ago back in high school or the vagaries of university?  Remember a figure named “Aeneas,” one of the Trojan survivors of the sack of Troy, who with a fleet of ships led the survivors across the Mediterranean, through many dangers, to conclude their journey upon the shores of Italy, where eventually would be founded the city of Rome by a pair of violent youths nursed by a she-wolf?  This triggering any memories? Read More …

See You Space Cowboy

All twenty-eight chapters of the Gregory Samuels series have been released.  There’s no more, but there will be sequels in the future.  For the time being, there will be about a week and a half of unreleased though essential content–that I just never got around to posting–to be followed with a forty-four part series about pirates and slavery–and what you might call “romance”–and spectacle violence.  It’s the incipient story of the chevalier Arius and how his life got “flipped turned upside down.”  Gritty fantasy with a dash of dark humor.  After writing mechanized violence for nearly two years, trying to make it sound visceral, it was refreshing to just be able to plug the other guy with a bit of pointed stick with the effusions of gore necessarily entailed.  Anyways, that’s all I’ve got for the moment.  Wish I had more to tell.

Does a Writer Ever Get Tired of Writing?

I admit it has lost a touch of its novelty the last few years.  I feel like I’m bidden to produce a status update, considering how quiet I’ve been aside from the release schedule.  In reality it’s just more of the same.  I’m currently mired with a nearly finished manuscript, something to pop off to the copyright office, but I’ve had penultimate misgivings, and I’m having the most recent draft looked over, before I inevitably have to rework the thing again.  Just doing my best to avoid last minute alterations observed through bated breath on what are supposed to be the final proofs.

Gregory Samuels is almost over.  There’s only one chapter left, and that’s it.  Seems like ages.  There will be a lull of a week or two while I release previously scheduled but unfortunately shelved content, and then we’re going to begin the release of a new project.  It’s about pirates, but it’s not what you’ll be expecting.  I wanted something rather more happy-go-lucky than my usual productions, but good lord what it ended up becoming.  I like it.  Interesting story.  Reads well.  Compelling characters.  Not child friendly.  Children probably shouldn’t be wandering about my website anyways. Read More …