The Doom of King James

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.

“Accursed Wretch!
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
was sentenced
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.


7 thoughts on “The Doom of King James

  1. A+ would read agin.

    I wish all political news was delivered thusly. I would actually pay attention. It’s also immensely challenging and fun trying to interpret what has happened cause other than your blog I am rarely exposed to RPG scene drama.


  2. There’s a tear running down my cheek. Bravo!

    My take is very similar. I can’t read Raggi’s mind, but at first he seemed reluctant to believe the accusations against Zak in the manner of those whose interest lies against believing something, and later conceded belief when it became clear that this was where his actual interests lay. I have no idea what his actual opinion of the matter was, or if he’s even capable of having one.

    This latest “adventure,” the one originally titled “Zak Had Nothing To Do With This Book,” is a puerile joke. As usual, Raggi gets his rocks off by offending the easily-offended, and they are always willing to meet his particular fetish with their small-mindedness. If money wasn’t involved, he could indulge himself all day. No point is made by his trolling other than the fact that he is capable of identifying the innocuous things that will piss certain people off.

    But do you know what the real travesty was here? It’s that the “adventure” really sucks hard. It’s not actually an adventure; it’s much more of a vignette. By any standard, it’s overwritten at thirty-four pages in length. Even with my tendency to ramble, I could have cut it down to six pages without losing any gaming content.

    But even that is too much. It’s just a vignette. Most of those pages would be used to describe the bizarre curses and boons that the various NPCs are affected by. Nothing so elaborate is needed for such a small matter. It’s not just overwritten; it’s overthought. Why did James Raggi waste his dwindling reserves of creativity on this boring nonsense? Why did he actually hire artists to draw decent pieces for it? What a waste.


  3. This is hilarious; sad and all too likely to be true but still: hilarious. You’ve said it all, my liege, but God help me I cannot help myself but to say more:

    James Edward Raggi IV has said, I believe, he created the “Zak Has Nothing To Do With This Book” title as yet another exercise of his middle finger, this time toward those who were accusing him of things like hiring Stuart Pate to trick people into think he was publishing something else by Patrick Stuart; also to flip said bird to those who attacked him and his staff (of one, I believe) in February / March, and those who claimed he’d be publishing Zak again under a pen name.

    The almost mob sort of whipped up against DriveThruRPG seems possessed of some combination of these convictions:

    – Zak Smith was a serial abuser and rapist.
    – James Edward Raggi IV is guilty of the same (somehow? allegedly he admitted it in this very book?)
    – The book is a thinly veiled defense of Zak Smith and thus an attack on his victims.
    – The book is harmful, disrespectful, insensitive, and providing a platform for purchasing it demonstrates DriveThruRPG doesn’t care about survivors of abuse.
    – Zak secretly wrote the scenario in the book.
    – Raggi cunningly set a trap for DriveThruRPG… they cast out Zak Smith and (nearly) all his works, but now he or a defense of him is being sold on their site, and by their own rules… it cannot be removed! …bwa ha ha????
    – Something about marginalized creators, probably, and how this affects same (however you define them?).
    – Raggi put Zak’s name on this book to make money due to controversy!

    The last one I can believe; the rest, well, just don’t dare question them or you’re a cretin and you’ll get yours someday.

    To me the book seems like a poorly conceived stunt (or a grudge-born impulse Raggi just couldn’t let pass) but, LOTFP has lived by doing things I never would’ve imagined doing. They may well die by the same but I hope not. Much of the output is not to my taste but I think Raggi did raise the bar for outsider material like this and has put out some great weird books. I don’t think he did himself or his business any favors with this one, and hope he’s gotten whatever this was out of his system, but I’m having a hard time seeing the mob here as anything other than anxious to exercise power. Seems to me it would be pretty easy to just to call him some names and move on but, perhaps this is the hill some die on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The style of the piece is very nice.
    Reminds me of Alistair Rennie’s _Bleakwarrior_. Do give it a try. I have not been able to find anything like it and Rennie has moved on to music.



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