Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Don Ricardo de la Mancha. The War Wizard of the Sad Countenance

(An adaptation from an English translation)

The story so far: Don Terry a Castillian small nobleman has lost his senses reading so much fantasy books and has convinced himself that he is a war wizard. His family and friends are worried and decide to take stern measures with the culprit: Don Terry's well stocked library.



They all went in, the housekeeper with them, and found more than a hundred volumes of big books very well bound and some other small ones. The Curate directed the barber to give him the books one by one to see what they were about, as there might be some to be found among them that did not deserve the penalty of fire.

"No," said the niece, "there is no reason for showing mercy to any of them; don Terry always told us to expect no mercy, they have every one of them done mischief; better fling them out of the window into the court and make a pile of them and set fire to them." The housekeeper said the same, so eager were they both for the slaughter of those innocents that they truly acted as if they were hippy peace protestors but the curate would not agree to it without first reading at any rate the titles.

The first that Master Nicholas put into his hand was "The Lord of the Rings." "This seems a mysterious thing," said the curate, "for, as I have heard say, this was the first book of High Fantasy ever printed and from this all the others derive their birth and origin; so it seems to me that we ought inexorably to condemn it to the flames as the founder of so vile a sect."

"Nay, sir," said the barber, "I too, have heard say that this is the best of all the books of this kind that have been written, and so, as something singular in its line, it ought to be pardoned."

"True," said the curate; "and for that reason let its life be spared for the present. Let us see that other which is next to it."

"It is," said the barber, "the books of Shannara,' the unlawful sons of The Lord of the Rings."

"Then verily," said the curate, "the merit of the father must not be put down to the account of the sons. Take it, mistress housekeeper; open the window and fling it into the yard and lay the foundation of the pile for the bonfire we are to make."

"These that comes next," said the barber, "are 'the Dragonlance Saga' and, indeed, I believe all those on this side are of the same Fantasy lineage."

"Then to the yard with the whole of them," said the curate; "for to have the burning of Tanis the half elf, and the magician Raistlin, not to mention that horrid kender, and the bedevilled and roleplaying style discourses of his authors, I would burn with them the father who begot me if he were going about in the guise of a knight of Solamnia."

"I am of the same mind," said the barber.

"And so am I," added the niece.

"In that case," said the housekeeper, "here, into the yard with them!"

They were handed to her, and as there were many of them, she spared herself the staircase, and flung them down out of the window.

"Who is that tub there?" said the curate.

"This," said the barber, "is The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb."

"The author of that book," said the curate, "was the same that wrote 'The Liveships Trilogy and not happy with it keep writing,' and truly there is no deciding which of the books is the more truthful, or, to put it better, the less lying; all I can say is, send this one into the yard for a swaggering Fool."

"These that follows are, Malazan Books of the Fallen'" said the barber.

"Señor Erikson here?" said the curate; "then by my faith he must take up his quarters in the yard, in spite of his worldbuilding and visionary adventures, for the powergaming silly named characters deserve nothing else; into the yard with him and the other, mistress housekeeper."

"With all my heart, senor," said she, and executed the order with great delight.

"This," said the barber, "is The Wheel of Time.'"

"A long series," said the curate, "but I could only find reason for clemency for the first volumes but as things stand; send it after the others without appeal;" which was done and so the niece continued her duty with so many paperbacks and valuable hardcovers.

In carrying so many together she let one fall at the feet of the barber, who took it up, curious to know whose it was, and found it said, "A Song of Ice and Fire"

"God bless me!" said the curate with a shout, "A Song of Ice and Fire here' here! Hand it over, gossip, for in it I reckon I have found a treasury of enjoyment and a mine of recreation. Here is Don Jaime Lannister, a valiant knight, and his brother Tyrion, and the knight
Loras a much religious man who like to pray, with the battle the bold ser Bronn fought with ser Vardis, and the witticisms of the Queen Cersei, and the loves and wiles of the widow Queen of Thorns, and the Sansa in love with the Hound—in truth, gossip, by right of its style it is the best book in the world. Here knights eat and sleep, and kill and rape innocents, and die in their beds or in battle, and make their wills before dying, and a great deal more of which there is nothing in all the other books. Nevertheless, I say he who wrote it, for deliberately composing such fooleries, deserves to be sent to reading galleys for life. Take it home with you and read it, and you will see that what I have said is true."

"As you will," said the barber; "but what are we to do with these little books that are left?"

"Burn them all!" said a powerful voice. They all turned to see don Terry who gazed them raptor like. Don Terry was dressed in a ragged monk mendicant black outfit and carried a rusty broadsword across his back. He was flanked by Kahlanea, the whore from El Toboso, and his loyal Zencho, the village fool.

“But we thought that you liked them,” said the niece.

“Yes, Don Terry, we wanted to cure you of your delusion of being a fantasy writer.” The Curate explained.

“I don’t write fantasy and I’m not Don Terry any more, my war wizard name is Don Ricardo de la Mancha, Zencho just explained me my misterious origins and told me that I’m fated to be a war wizard”. Now Don Ricardo was eyeing them dangerously and the Barber, the Housekeeper, the niece and the Curate slowly backed.

“I would have burned all of them anyway, well not all of them, those Wheel of Time books are signed first editions and I planned to sell them to Lord Stego. But the rest I wanted to burn, I’ve discovered Ayn Rand now and I don’t need any other book”. Don Ricardo unsheathed his rusty sword.

“Then we were just doing what was correct, right?” Said the Barber.

“No, I wanted to burn them myself. It’s not the same thing. I can burn them and it will be a right thing but if you do it will be wrong because you lack moral clarity”. And then he whispered. “Blade be true this day”.

And the rusted blade broke.

The Curate laughted, the Housekeeper laughted, the niece slapped the Barber’s back and laughted and all, including the whore and the village’s fool, laughted. All but don Ricardo de la Mancha who crying charged.

“Do not flee cowards, it’s just one war wizard the one that attacks you!” But so great was his fury that it blinded his already dazed senses and he tripped with the two volume Subterranean Press edition of A Storm of Swords that was carelessly lying on the floor. Don Ricardo fell with such bad fortune that he was completely knocked out.

(In the following chapters the Barber, the Curate, the Housekeeper and the niece dress themselves as Mord Sith and, using sexual tortures, manage to convince Don Ricardo de la Mancha to repend his ways and in the future live his fantasies as a writer.)

- Agulla


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