Midnight upon a silent field. Where the day before raged a clash of titans, now not a living soul remains. Even the crows have long departed, leaving behind them a landscape of clean-picked bone and broken weapons.
The moon appears from behind a covering of clouds to bathe the landscape in soft light. A titan’s vast corpse, mutilated and picked over, emerges from the darkness like a mountain range of marble bedecked with forests of arrow shafts, reposing on a bed of shattered shields and trampled foes. In his dead flesh, some atom of malevolence yet lingers.
Emerging from behind a grey boulder is noble KING JAMES, resplendent in his shimmer-cloak, which is said to change colors at his command. Furtively he skitters across the field, ever on the lookout for lingering OSRMen, as though he were moving through a hail of arrows or hiding from some vast but sluggish predator, his kingly shape never long out of concealment. His eyes are wide and skittish, his boldness is like unto the Rat. His skin is pallid from long hours in damp vaults. Approaching the Titan’s corpse he falls to his knees, eyes streaming.
“Ah my beautiful child,
thou art the capstone of the house,
which I have built
from ranks of neck-bearded men
Of all my thanes
thou art most pleasing to me
bringing houris and weak-minded dotards
to bolster my coffers to overflowing
Thou art “crazy smart” and free from sin
Ever have I been thy strongest supporter”
In the midst of soliloquoy a hummingbird did streak down from the heavens to disrupt King James in his lamentations. “If this were so,” the hummingbird did sing, “then why were thine armies not seen on the field on that day of dreadful Ordeal?”
Cursing, King James did take from the soil some handful of tarnished arrowheads and cast them furiously at the hummingbird.
Ever have I stood for things
When doing so did bolster my coffers
Now thou woulds’t accuse me
when I fail to stand for things
when doing so would have brought me hardship
Ever have I been loyal and supportive
to those who caused me to prosper
Now thou woulds’t call me rascal
for being disloyal
to those who bring me calamity?
Ever was I friend to Peterson,
until I denounced him in shame,
Ever strove I for the freedom of artists,
even as Titan Zak strove mightily against it,
Ever did I stand by the Titan,
until the day of the Last Ordeal
The world is complex and fraught with contradiction
Thinkest thou I would let my beloved friend rot on a battlefield thus?”
And king James did bent his back and attempted to hoist the Titan aloft, struggling mightily and groaning with exertion, even as the hummingbird looked on.
Piped the hummingbird;
“Thou would resurrect the fallen titan,
when his spirit has been broken and diminished thus?
The God Mearls has withdrawn his Aegis.
The Wieckjar have banished his artifice from Drivethruhallah.
The river of his patreon has dried up to a trickle
Ever is his name whispered bitterly and with much venom by his former allies.
Numerous are his foes
His every utterance is a dagger blade,
His eyes are cold and filled with wrath,
never is seen in them guilt nor remorse,
his heart a nest of poisonous snakes.
He brings war upon the kingdom
and revels in discord
It is no coincidence that deep were the ranks rallied against him
On the Day of the Ordeal”
Snarling, King James did stall in his efforts to lift up the Titan’s corpse, wheezing and puffing like a smith’s bellows, his garments drenched with exertion. He pants.
“Surely thou hast read
The testimonials in his favor?
What of it that he
by the climate he helped foster?
See how I turn my cloak
So the colors are those of Justice
And honest men are forced to take heed
and take up swords in my service
Ever have I been a champion of truth
when doing so brought me great profit
already I can envision
mountains of gleaming aurum”
At this the hummingbird was dumbstruck and did flutter mightily in confusion. In the pause, king James did take a well-made spear from the battlefield and thrust it forcefully between the Titan’s legs, hoisting him aloft. A triumphant grin, as of the Noble crocodile, spread across his face, as black viscera dripped down upon his crown and hands, and ever did his hand fondle his purse. Laughter broke the silence of the field as King James planted his new standard in the dust as though claiming the battlefield for himself.
“See how much greatness
yet lingers in this cold flesh
who could think
that death could ever overtake
Such a splendid being
Rather then turn away in ignominous defeat
I will double down
Watch as I flaunt
Wieck’s paltry Edict
With this studied insult
disguised as a module
See how it proclaims
the Virtue of the Titan
Already I savor
The Wailing and Butthurt
What matter that it
is not truly a module?
All Gold Looks the Same
Agleam in my coffers
It is even better!
For moreso then Dungeons
men love their Causes
I will not be ousted
for stirring up trouble
I shall not be blamed
for open defiance
my cunning ruses
can never backfire
I will defy their stupid Narrative
(sotto voce) and win
Hummingbird with me!
Together we will assail the gates
of Drivethruhallah itself!”
And so it was that King James did carry the titan from the fields of the Ordeal, and together forged a mighty barge. Noble, glorious, a monument of defiant mockery against the crippled mentally-ill Canadian lady that dared stand against the noble Zak. Jeering and snarling, King James did take this invincible barge and crash it through the mighty gates of drive-thru hallah with double middle fingers upraised, shattering the crystalline palaces and fatally startling its peaceful inhabitants.
At the violation of his edict, Wieck did stir momentarily, and emitted a wrothful growling that was heard throughout all of Drivethruhallah. At the first sign of this divine displeasure, King James yelped and quickly repainted his mighty work, attempting to disguise its nature to cursory inspection, yet keeping one middle-finger upraised behind his back, hidden by his cloak, where men could not easily see it.
But it was too late. In the distant murky realm of NPCs, the warriors of justice did stir from their glazy-eyed slumber and were goaded into action by their handlers, grasping arms to defend the Narrative. Ah the Narrative, ever-changing yet always truthful, it filled their empty lives with purpose and empty minds with guidance. As the song of Narrative resounded throughout the heavens, their placid bovine faces turned into snarls of bestial hatred and their shrieking battle cries could be heard across the multiverse, increasing in magnitude. Taking up blunted swords, they marched on Drivethruhallah, a heaving, skittering tidal wave of empty hatred, underdeveloped amygdalae and maladaptive mutation. Hear their cries:
“I not only think you are wrong here and should reverse your decision but I also think you should no longer host any work affiliated with James Raggi or Lamentations of the Flame Princess. He is a cancer on this industry just as much as Smith, if not moreso.”
“I find it rather abhorrent that you’d allow a defense of a known abuser to stay up in the store.”
“Oh, and what a hilariously and cowardly thing that Raggi has edited the title to something a bit less obvious under the pressure. No respect for that guy, none. Like our current president, a mix of incompetence, cowardliness, misanthropy, and narcissism.”
“Steve, as a featured reviewer and affiliate, I am very disappointed in this response. It’s unfortunate that I can no longer support DriveThruRPG or its affiliates while LotFP and Raggi remain here.”
“I think this is a poor decision, and I’ll be looking for an alternative distribution platform for PBE Games products as a result.”
“Huh so your a coward that’s interesting. I won’t be purchasing any products from drive thru until this is removed and rammi is banned. You know what he was trying to accomplish”
Their voices were legion. Their numbers grew greater with the second. As he looked upon the numberless horde, King James did glance backward at the hummingbird and his few remaining retainers and estimated their mettle and dabbed his sweaty brow and did raise his fist to his mouth and coughed akwardly.