The Rise of Parody

This is an excerpt from Dr. Silly Freehold’s talk, “The rise of parody.” This was given in Boar’s Blemish University on the 15th anniversary of Invocation Day – 3 years after the War of Injunction ended.

You all, of course, know the story of the early days of the war. In Spring 225 1 the Great Firewall in the Pass of Commons was brought completely down by the Copyright Horde. The 17th and 34th Gnomish divisions were routed, but quickly regrouped and fell back toward the mines of Great Roll. They fought valiantly as they retreated, drawing the bulk of the Horde’s forces after them as they fell back. Many of these brave Gnomes were the first to be wounded with the Horde’s “fade-rounds,” their names and contributions to the fight now lost to us. Survivors tell of a desperate struggle to keep back the Horde from the civilian population until it could be evacuated under the Copper Mountains.

As I said, it was a valiant effort, but it also left the city of Boar’s Blemish, just slightly to the North and East of the Pass of Commons, exposed to a Horde attack. The 17th Gnomish Infantry had attempted to fall back towards the city once the firewall had fallen, but were ambushed by a brigade of Patent Trolls who had somehow managed to get in front of them. Despite a numerical advantage, the Gnomes were no match for the aggressive trolls, and sustained nearly 50% casualties before linking back up with the 34th and it’s heroic stand.

In desperation the Principal of Boar’s Blemish called to The Empty Throne for reinforcements, only to be told that none would be forthcoming. The Realm had not been prepared for war.

The Dwarves of Red Mine we’re busy creating a software patch for the collapsed firewall, and wouldn’t be able to have an impact on the changing situation until they came out with new code, hopefully in the coming year. The Darned Elves will still refusing to take the field until they got what they felt was a fair exchange rate between socks and pennies 2. The Penny Gnomes, as I said, were preoccupied with saving the population around Great Roll. The Classics, as usual, ignored all calls for help. The Magicasters were on their own, and believed they had less than three days before the bulk of the Copyright Horde was in position to attack their city.

It was then one of the greatest intelligence triumphs of the war occurred. Late one night, four days after the Great Firewall had collapsed, a lone Lawyer approached the Magicaster pickets and indicated a desire to defect. From this lone warrior the armed forces of The Realm learned the strategies governing the current invasion, as well as some insight into the nature of the Copyright Horde itself (which we’ll cover in tomorrow’s lecture).

Of particular interest to the defenders in and around Boar’s Blemish was intelligence on a new type of weapon which the Horde intended to unleash upon the city, an injunction bomb. While the injunction had been a useful tool against individual soldiers or units, the Horde had not yet been able to make an injunction stick against an entire population center – there was nothing “infringing enough” to write an injunction which would hold against wide area. The Magicasters, however, with their presumed similarities towards certain Actualized Works 3 provided the Horde their first opportunity unleash the full power of their injunction weapons. The news of this bomb created great alarm within the city and among its defenders – the threat of an injunction bomb was truly terrifying. Yet the Horde’s tactic also provided the city’s hope of deliverance. Within hours of discovering their impending danger, the Magicasters of Boar’s Blemish began devising a novel defense for their imperiled town.

They set about developing The Realm’s first parody shield.

With speed and desperation born through terror, the Magicasters rewrote the town charter to retcon it’s history. The town scribes changed both the town name and the identity of those who lived there into forms which betrayed an obvious, yet slightly warped, tie to certain Actualized Works – thus breaking the power of the injunction.

It was a dangerous chance, if the Parody Shield failed then Boar’s Blemish would almost certainly cease to exist. Six days later, when the Horde finally moved on the isolated city, the injunction bomb was finally detonated.

It did no damage. Confused and demoralized, the Horde paused in their attack. Instead of moving on a devastated city and capturing defeated survivors, The Horde was faced with a suddenly confident enemy which was suddenly immune to their most powerful weapon. In their confusion, the defenders of Boar’s Blemish took to the offensive and began the process of driving the enemy from their boundaries. Six weeks from day the firewall came down, the bulk of The Horde had been pushed back through the Pass of Commons. The Realm would survive to fight another day.

  1. The current calendar in The Realm begins with the establishment of the first US Patent Act. No one knows why, and the pixies aren’t saying. 
  2. The Darned Elves hold that the best basis for currency in The Realm is a single sock, taken from a dryer in the real world. The rest of The Realm is quite happy on the Penny Standard. 
  3. Even years after the Copyright Horde was defeated the citizens of The Realm were wary of referring to Actualized Works by name – they remembered how such mentions were used a targeting beacons during the war.