And now the nature of the war begins to unfold. Let’s unpack.
The Abbreviated Narrator
The Narrator cuts off his conversation with Will once Bug becomes aware of it. In my other Novel, Welcome to the Valleys, the lead character is able to speak with a spirit-type being in his head. Will cannot do this with the Narrator, he’s got to speak out loud.
We’ll see these two chatting in the near future, don’t worry.
The War Effect
While Will’s been in the relatively safe confines of the Fifty Peaks mountains during his initial stint in The Realm, outside the mountains it’s a whole other story. There are no major natural barriers between the Boundary Mountain Pass and the Copper River, just relatively flat plains and some small streams. When the Horde first broke through into The Realm, the plains were quickly over-run by advance parties of raiding Lawyers. Had the Horde not mis-calculated and decided to not detonate their weapon of mass injunction they likely would have conquered all but the most secure bastions of Realmian society.
The dwindling population of the plains has taken on a siege mentality, and not without cause. There are many roving bands of Lawyers in the countryside, having either escaped the initial deployment of the firewall or who have somehow managed to bypass its security. These raiders are constantly sabotaging the rail line and attacking all vehicular traffic North and East of the Copper River. Life has become very difficult on the plains.
Fading, It’s Not Just For People Anymore
Fading can, indeed, be applied to both non-sentient living creature and artificial constructs. This is what happened to the North, and is why people live in so much terror of random strikes from Hoard armaments. Buildings are actually easier to treat for fading than people, but the treatment has to be applied quickly or the process becomes irreversible.
While not strictly satire, talking pigs like Wilbur and Napoleon do inhabit literature. What makes the pigs under the influence of the Professors’ shield satirical is how they want to be turned into bacon. This is an obvious homage to Restaurant At The End of the Universe. If you haven’t read it, you need to do so yesterday 1.
Weapon Of Mass Injunction
The pun sounds amusing, the reality was not. Bug was not nonchalant when he mentioned the WMI, it’s detonation deeply traumatized him. He’d been sent by the Professor to observe some new munitions in action during a counter-offensive in the North. En route to the unit in which he’d be embedded, the WMI was set off. Bug was just out of the blast radius.
He and several companions all travelled into the blast zone to see if there were survivors, and what he saw scarred him. Any gnomes, wizards, elves, and dwarves they found were in various states of fading. They wandered the plains, horrified expressions on their faces as they knew what was happening but were unable to stop it. Bug and his friends tried to lend aid and catalog the effects the WMI had on the affected region. Several weeks later everyone who’d been on that mission, everyone except for Bug, also began to fade. No one but Bug survived.
This might sound utterly twisted for a lighthearted satire, and certainly the product of a disturbed mind. But it isn’t. The story of Bug and the WMI is actually based off the tale of Mitsuo Fuchida at the end of WWII. He’d been the lead pilot of the Pearl Harbor attack, and survived many engagements until finally being stationed in the Japanese Islands. After nuclear weapons had been deployed at the end of the war, Fuchida had been sent with several others to examine the damage. All but him died of radiation poisoning 2.
Well I couldn’t very well name him “Dan Rather,” could I? That name’s taken!
The satire shield was Nobody’s theoretical invention, but it was brought to reality by the wizards of Boarsblemish. Satire offers incredible protection against even the worst weapons the Horde has to throw at The Realm. Injunctions and take down notices simply bounce off it.
This is why the Lawyers of the Horde are attacking the shield at it’s core. If they can shift enough of the shield-code to produce unauthorized fan fiction the shield will collapse and Boarsblemish will be easily conquered. Nobody better hurry.