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anonymous4401 said:
Gah, I'm panicking here!
Relax! Take care of your heart! :p It's just a game, after all. If submissions take longer than expected to come in, then we'll just have to start this round later... It's not like it was still fitting the beginning and end of the month. :rolleyes:
Okay. While there's no panicking (who am I trying to convince anyway? :p ), are the authors still onboard, Anonymous, or do you need to recruit another team of "four musketeers"?
I'm sorry, we do have four authors. It's just that the fourth will be running a little late...
:confused: (Yes, I know that I should not post a smiley-only post, but I guess that it's very meaningful, given the context :D )
Well, as fj44 suggested, we might better run with three authors. It's not like it would be the first time anyway... :eek:o
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Aye... Three authors better than none. :D

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. How long can one wait for a fourth author, who'll write any moment now, sure enough? I've waited to read this for a week and by the look of it, some of you have waited much longer. :)

To spare the arranger a further wait, I bring here a fourth entry to the "Death of a King" category, thus closing the circle, that I... errr, found on the street. Yes, sir, completely anonymous author not known to me, and when I have published it, feel free to post the other three without any further wait. :)

Death of a King - by A Complete Stranger (unofficial entry #4)

It was a quite normal day in the mad wizards's lab, just like all other days except that come to think of it, it being a Sunday, it was actually only like 1/7th of all other days which just goes to show that even the oldest saw goes stale if you abuse it in the woods - or something like that.

Scene: Mad wizard conversing with his hunchbacked servant Igor in front of the weirdest collection of junk you could imagine. No, strike that, even weirder than that!

Yes, master?
Is the diabolical chain well and truly oiled?
It is well and truly oiled, master.
Is the pendulum of fate swinging?
Swinging low, master, coming for to carry me home.
Sorry, master.
I don't know what it is with the hired help these days...
Sorry, master.
Are the orbs of Mars aligned properly with the zodiac and the instrument prepared?
Yes, the balls are on a roll and the Very Big Gun is loaded, master!
I swear, one day I'll slit your nose...
Yes, master.
Is the King of Northerndel, Hammer of the Infidel, Slayer of the People Beyond The Mountains, Master of Animal Husbandry (whatever THAT means), Chief of Chiefs, Great Survivor of His Wife, Lord of the Land, Duke of That Small Island Beyond The Sea That Will Surely Be Named One Day, Great Bloody Bastard Who Evicted Me From Court Over A Slight Misunderstanding in the sights?
Yees, Master..
Are the small wobbly dice properly twitchy?
Aye, aye, real twitchy indeed, Master!
Are the signs and portents in favour?
They bloody well are, Master, I wrote them myself this morning!
Are the seventeen hamsters, two comets, nineteen swallows, and no less than three-hundred and twenty-seven pogo sticks in orbit?
All done last week, master, with nary a whimp.
Are the... Do I detect some small measure of criticism, Igor?
No, master.
Not even a tiny little bit?
Most certainly not, Master.
Yes, Master.
Master, I'm just a lowly Igor, while you are the Master...
Continue... Igor
...but wouldn't it be rather quicker just to, oh, I don't know, wave your hand and make him go, you know, "FWOOOM - WHOOSH!", instead of creating a piece of devilish machinery so complicated that, and let us be quite frank here, neither of us really remembers what half of it does, and the other half we added "because it would look good".
Are you INSANE, Igor!?
No, Master, that's your job.
Hmm. Right you are, continue.
I mean, there's surely no logical reason for the four female olympic swimming gold medalists constantly mixing jam in a hot-dog stand attached to the laser-device guiding a robotic carrier pigeon to Jupiter - I mean, they aren't even connected to the cannon!
The Instrument!
Yes, Master, as I was saying, the instrument. Do YOU know what their purpose are?
It seemed like a good idea at the time, Igor.
Yes, Master. Just like powering your trash compactor with a black hole did, and we both remember how THAT worked out, don't we?
Surely, Igor, you don't think one can just dispose of a king by waving a hand and going "FWOOOM - WHOOSH!"
No, Master.
First, it entirely spoils the entire idea of taking a poetic, vile, and thoroughly justified revenge if it is done without extensive preparations that a dauntless hero might attempt to prevent.
Indeed, Master.
I mean, my Guardian Beasts need to be fed, and heroes are few and far between. I'm considerate of my beasties, you know.
Yes, Master.
Second, it takes way more than just waving a hand and going "FWOOOM - WHOOSH!", to actually make somebody go, as it were, whoosh. Not to mention fwoom. Fwoom, now, fwoom is what we in the trade call tricky.
Oh, master?
Yes, you'd have to at least invoke the ninth circle of hell using the devious handshake of the seventh as your entry key, like this, and then go

You appear to have incinerated the king, Master.
You horrible little blighter! You spoilt my revenge! You made me do that on purpose!
Yes, Master.
...All right, time to pack up the Instrument, the Pendulum, the Orbs, the Chain, the Olympic Swimmers, the Hotdog Stand, the Seven Words of Power, the Zodiac, and all the rest of it. It might come in useful some other time.
Yes, Master.
And perhaps, yes, perhaps some rest is in order? I'm feeling just a tiny bit overwrought? Long day at work and so on, Igor, know what I mean?
Yes, Master, you've been awake for eighty-seven days now. While your dedication is truly unmatched, you deserve sleep.
Right you are. Time for some rest and relaxation.
Yes, Master
No, wait, I cannot have been outwitted by my servant. He is stupid. I am a genius. They said I was mad, MAD, do you hear me? MAAAD! But I'm not. Merely clinically insane. I have the papers to prove it. PROVE IT, DO YOU HEAR ME! It must have been my subconscious guiding me towards a more fitting revenge on the entire kingdom. A TRULY evil plan. A plan to dwarf all plans. The MOTHER OF ALL EVIL PLANS!. IGOR! LET MY GENIUS SHINE FORTH! IN THE SWEAT AND TOIL OF MY BRAIN AND YOUR HANDS WE SHALL CREATE A DIABOLICAL MACHINE TO BEAT ALL OTHER DIABOLICAL MACHINES! I NEED A GIRAFFE, TWO PIECES OF THE TRUE CROSS (CATHOLIC VARIANT), FOURTEEN SIZE G BRAINS (you never go wrong with brains - stick to the basics, I say), and a cucumber, not to mention....
*sigh* Yeees, Master.
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Thank you, Peter! Keep the ball moving forward.

I wonder -- if Anonymous doesn't show up with the three earlier stories, perhaps the authors could send their scenes to Peter for him to post...

I feel I must admit that I am the cause of the delay- I was going to write one but that week I was going back to college and it turned out I didn't find the time to write anything. I told anonymous I had to pull out. After that, I don't know what is happening.
Sorry, will have to pass the coming turns since I just have become a father and the little one takes almost all my available time. Cheers :)
I'm just thinking that somewhere out there are 3 authors whose stories were sent to Anonymous but haven't been posted. If anyone wants to send them to Peter, perhaps he could post them.

You could try sending to me, but my PM box is nearly full. If you check the website in my profile, my e-mail is in there.

Heh. I'm not sure Peter was volunteering to run it, Renss. ;)

For this thing to work, the leader will need to establish deadlines and stick to them. That's what I found. Some months may be harder to fill than others, but a more established schedule certainly helps. Just some advice from someone who has headed this up before. :)
coz1 said:
Heh. I'm not sure Peter was volunteering to run it, Renss. ;)
That's an awfully qualified guess. :) I just wanted to read the nice stories; I'm most definitely not asking to be the guy to run this show. My fortunate accidental find of the story painstakingly copied above as unoffical entry #4 by an unknown author just allowed me to try to hurry up the process, since it appeared that Anonymous was waiting for a fourth entry.
Peter, that was truly a inspiring entry from you, err the anonymous writer I mean....Stuck to the premise and made it a fun and amusing story to while away a short portion of a gloomy afternoon here....
An authAAR on these forums forwarded a story to me for posting.

Enrique growled at Joachim. Never mind that Joachim could not hear him at all over the clash the battle. Come to think of it, even had a battle not been raging, Joachim would not have heard. Half a mile of rough terrain broke up shouts fairly well.

He motioned to Velasquez, the Spaniard. “I want you to ride down to the Evora Regiment. Move them up to reinforce your countrymen down in that valley there.” Enrique’s finger pointed down to the dip in the ridge where the Castilians seemed to be having a rough time with the Arabs.

“Yes, General.”

He had warned Sebastian about this. The Rif was treacherous, even when at peace. Outnumbered by the natives who knew the ground, too…it was madness to trespass. But when a king decided on a course of action, one had to follow, whether general or peasant.

Another company of Castilians, in hot battle with the Arabs, broke suddenly. Much as a broken dam, the infidel flooded through the gap into the rear of the Iberian army. Muttering curses, he summoned a courier.

The sound of horses approached behind him. It was not his courier. King Sebastian sat on the saddle imperiously, with six hundred elite Royal Guardsmen in tow.

“General Enrique, ready the reserves. Here we make our stand.”

The thunder of hooves, both Iberian and Saharan, approached each other like two great thunderheads. The Portuguese armor glinted in the sunlight. The Arab horse archers’ did not. At three hundred paces, arrows began to fall amongst the charging horsemen. At first there was little effect, but as the range closed, the arrows had greater force, their masters had greater accuracy, and greater numbers of Christian knights fell to the hard-packed sand, mortally wounded.

Enrique was the seventieth casualty of the charge, though no one would ever bring that up. Not enough Iberians survived, and not enough Moors cared. The arrow was a lucky one, by chance passing between the helmet and visor, which had, carelessly, not been lowered.

By the time the knights struck the opposing line of battle, fewer than two hundred were left. Twenty minutes later, all that remained of the attackers was a small circle of eight swordsmen, horseless, fighting back-to back.

Sebastian realized his error now. Enrique was right, and now all was lost. Filled with that crusading spirit which had motivated his forefathers to retake Spain from the Moor, he charged towards the infidel. Reaching the first, with a scatter of arrows bouncing off plate mail, his heavy broadsword nearly severed the Arab’s head from his body. An arrow struck him in the armpit, which was left vulnerable during the swing.

The fall of Sebastian I, King of Portugal was all he could wish for. Death in battle against the infidel was glorious and honorable for him. He became a national hero, even after the fall of the monarchy.

His body was never officially found, however Philip II, whose non-support of Sebastian’s effort was often held by the Portuguese to be the reason for the defeat, claimed he buried the body at a monastery outside of Lisbon after taking the crown.
Well, if the original authAARs want to PM me the stories I'll post them. I have a little too much on my plate to do this project any justice, but I think I can spare two minutes hitting cut/paste. :)

On the other hand, I think it's great that Peter and fj found these stories lying around! :D I wonder what other stories are out there looking for a home.
If you could handle the rest of the submissions on this round, CatKnight, I would be willing to start a fresh round in October. It's probably time to get this thing running again on a normal schedule and back to the original purpose - critique of anonymous submissions. ;)

And while we wait for the 1st of the month, feel free to offer some ideas for topics as I exhausted most of those I could think of the last time I ran this.
Some ideas for submissions:

A Stranger in a Strange Land
A Historical Battle
The Average Guy in _______ Setting
An Important Visitor