Alright I’ll admit that I’ve been avoiding this. Why? Because a large chunk of this chapter is completely pointless info-dumping. It throws a lot of names and terms that are not relevant to the Plot, along with the actual story that is. My original plan was to fact-check everything in this book, but this contains a ton of nitty-gritty details of a battle and its players in Irish legends, and… I don’t care? I mean I care about the stuff, but I don’t care enough about this book to back-check everything Atticus says about the Battle of [checks Kindle] Magh Lena. Unlike with every other reference in this book, Hearne writes most of this section assuming the reader knows what he’s talking about.

The one time I want him to explain what he’s talking about and he barely does it.

Even disregarding that, this chapter doesn’t fill me with confidence in the way it starts:

Pillow talk in the modern era often involves the sharing of childhood stories or perhaps an exchange of dream vacations. One of my recent partners, a lovely lass named Jesse with a tattoo of a Tinker Bell on her right shoulder blade (about as far from a real faery as one can get), had wanted to discuss a science-fiction television program, Battlestar Galactica, as a political allegory for the Bush years. When I confessed I had no knowledge of the show nor any interest in getting to know it or anything about American politics, she called me a “frakkin’ Cylon” and stormed out of the house, leaving me confused yet somewhat relieved.

What am I supposed to do with this, Hearne? He’s using this as a segue into what Flidais talks about instead of usual pillow talk, but this is just… bizarre? It sounds like he’s making fun of nerds, but let’s be real here, science-fiction and fantasy nerds are exactly the sorts of people who are going to be reading this book in the first place. Heck, one of the books in the series stops everything so that Atticus can gush about how awesome Neil Gaiman is. How is this any different?

This also isn’t really how people are? I get that yeah, I’m sure there’s someone out there who would talk about Battlestar Galactica after sex to someone who has expressed no interest in it at all, but I don’t think it’s common. Most people I know who are that into niche nerd culture don’t open up about it to others until they know for a fact that the other person has at least a passing acquaintance with it.

This is a bit like the college stoners. He’s not writing what an actual person might sound like, he’s writing what a stock nerd sounds like.

Anyhow instead of usual pillow talk Flidais asks about “the ancient sword of Manannan Mac Lir, called Fragarach, the Answerer.” It annoys Atticus because “It kind of killed the afterglow.” She asks him if he still has the sword, and Atticus, for once showing some survival instinct, thinks it’s best not to say one way or the other. He says that Aenghus Og thinks he has it, and that’s what matters. Which is still a dumb answer, because, well, if he was really paranoid (as he says he is to Flidais when she calls him on this), he’d just say ‘No’ and that’d be safer. His answer just sounds like he does have it and just doesn’t want to say so.

Flidais tries to stare at him to make him uncomfortable enough to spill the beans, but Atticus claims resisting awkward silences is a Druid skill he was taught way back when, which is an oddly specific thing to be in the Druid curriculum, but okay.

She then asks how he got Fragarach in the first place. Atticus in his narration calls it “an appeal to my vanity” because he thinks that she thinks he’ll get carried away in the story and tell her where the sword is now. But he does it anyway, and he goes on a lengthy digression instead of the simple answer of “Someone dropped it and I picked it up.”

Yeah, that’s the story.

[sigh]

But in-detail, the answer is: during the Battle of Magh Lena, Conn of the Hundred Battles was trying to kill some dude named Mogh Nuadhat and Atticus was helping him do that. Conn didn’t have enough people on his side so he attacks in the middle of the night. Except the Fianna didn’t join the fight because they thought it was dishonorable or something, and Atticus compares this to the British being defeated by keeping strict regimented formations in the American Revolution and Flidais asks if this was before Finn Mac Cumhaill led the Fianna and Atticus says yes. And Atticus goes to help fight Mogh Nuadhat whose army includes seventeen thousand Gaels and two thousand Spaniards and—

I don’t know what’s going on.

See, the previous four chapters had the problem that everything was stopped while facts were being explained instead of woven into the story in a way that made the transition to this fantasy world easier. This is the opposite. Hearne is throwing a ton of terms from ancient Irish culture at us, and not telling us what any of it means. Being someone who isn’t familiar with Irish legends, history or mythology outside of a few details, this nigh-unintelligible. As a result, I have tons of questions. Why does Conn of the Hundred Battles want to kill Mogh Nuadhat? Why did Atticus join the battle on Conn’s side? Why does he join battles at all? Aren’t Druids essentially priests? It’s not unheard of for priests to join battles in many cultures, but it’s not exactly commonplace either. Who are the Fianna? Who is Finn Mac Cumhaill? Why does he matter? Why is Atticus so eager to “join the slaughter” as he puts it? Are we supposed to think he’s a sociopath? And why are there Spaniards here? Aren’t all the interested parties Irish? Why does anyone Spanish care?

And it’s not like this is plot-relevant and comes up later and becomes clearer. Other than him getting the sword and earning Aenghus’s enmity, none of this matters in the grand scheme of the Plot. It’s like if I started my spork by saying the reason I was late in sporking this chapter was because I was busy in Aguada fighting off evil hupias sent by Guabancex with the ghosts of Roberto Cofresi and Miguel Enriquez because I owed Maquetaurie Guayaba a favor. These words mean nothing to you. If Conn or the Fianna were name-dropped in casual comments, I’d let it slide, but the protagonist is telling a story that I’m supposed to care about. I shouldn’t have to use Google to get a clue about the backstory.

Basically what happened is that during this battle, Connie of the Hundred Battles had his hands slick with blood, and Fragarach, the Answerer, the sword that can cut through anything, slipped out of his hands and just so happened to fall at Atticus’s feet, so he picked it up, ran, and has had it ever since.

No really.

He has the sword by Crazy Coinkydink!

Flidais points out that it’s hardly likely that everyone was okay with him peacing out with the magic sword, and Atticus agrees. He admits he skipped a lot of details. Flidais tells him that in Tir na nOg, the story is that Atticus jacked the sword from Conn by drugging him or using magic illusions or something. She says the stories generally paint him as nothing more than a thieving thief, so Atticus gives more details. He’s running a New Age shop that sells stuff he admits is nonsense, but he cares about his reputation I guess.

Atticus rambles about “the pale glow of a crescent moon, the stars, and a few distant campfires” (WHY DO I CARE?!?) and that he “may have accidentally killed a man or two on my own side” (what a charmer, am I right?). But eventually he cuts to the chase and says Connie got Fragarach from Lugh, one of the Tuatha De Danann, and with the magic sword Connie of the Hundred Battles was able to conquerify most of Ireland, and that if he didn’t have it he’d be too scared to challenge Mogh Nuadhat. Basically, he paints Connie as a kind of megalomaniacal dickbag who let the power of his magic sword get to his head and let himself be manipulated by Lugh and Aenghus into taking over Ireland.

Or something.

You would think this would mean that Atticus thought the sword was too much of a temptation and led men into doing evil, so he’d destroy the sword or hide it away forever or something like that instead of running off with it. But that’s what a good protagonist would do, and we’re not exactly rolling with a good protagonist.

There’s a bit where Atticus was apparently bothered by the Irish gods trying to goad the kings of Ireland into conquering the island or something, because he says “they were supposed to have been removed from [human events],” but that’s a weird position for a Druid to take, isn’t it? A priest of the Irish gods insisting that the gods keep out of human business? It’s a bit opposite to your job, isn’t it?

But Atticus didn’t just pick up the sword for funzies, no. See, the Morrigan was there, and she told him to pick it up and bail. Connie of the Hundred Battles got surrounded and had to fight for himself. Atticus didn’t care much though, even though he started this battle on Conn’s side. Aenghus and Lugh started talking in Atticus’s head, demanding that he give the sword back, and the Morrigan demanding that he keep the sword. So he decides to keep it, earning the ire of both Aenghus and Lugh.

And then Conn’s lieutenants see that Atticus is running off with Fragarach and—

…tried to slay me and quickly discovered that, while Fragarach was a great sword in Conn’s hand, it was a terrible sword in mine.

That’s right. Atticus is so awesome that Conn of the Hundred Battles was nothing compared to him. He was so much better than Conn ever was with Fragarach.

[Also he’s killing the men whose side he was on at the beginning of the battle but that’s not really important, right?]

Anyhow the Morrigan tells him to bail, so Atticus swung the sword around in circles as he ran, dropping bodies like potatoes in a potato storm and got out of there. He even makes a ‘parting the Red Sea’ joke only for Flidais to reveal she doesn’t know who Moses is. And then Atticus stops and explains to Flidais who Moses is and the story of how Moses parted the Red Sea because now Hearne decides he needs to explain everything again.

While he was running, Aenghus Og appears in front of Atticus and demands the sword. The Morrigan as a crow lands on Atticus’s shoulder, tells him to buzz off, and Flidais thinks it’s hilarious that the Morrigan threatened Aenghus and says “Oh I bet he nearly shat kine!”

Oh and this:

I refrained from telling her that the modern expression would be “he had a cow,” because I liked the original better.

Take a shot!

There’s this whole argument conveyed between Aenghus and the Morrigan, which is settled because the Morrigan says that the battlefield is her jurisdiction, so what she says goes. Aenghus leaves in a huff but threatens Atticus. He tells Flidais what the threat was but he ends it with ‘blah blah blah’ in case you weren’t sure how seriously he takes this. So he gets away with it because the Morrigan favors him.

Apparently it’s not okay with the gods interfering in mortal affairs, unless it’s Atticus, huh? I get that he’s a Druid, and it was an argument between gods anyway, so maybe different rules apply, but it doesn’t even come up. Besides, we see that the Morrigan goes around helping Atticus and involving herself in mortal conflicts up to the modern day, and Atticus doesn’t mind.

And then Atticus explains that he decided to leave Ireland. The Romans were in power (he lists Antoninus Pius as emperor of the time), so it was hard as the Romans didn’t exactly like Druids (that at least is true, yeah), so he went to the Germanic tribes. He “fathered a child, picked up a language or two, and waited a couple of generations for people in Ireland to forget about me” and then—WAIT what he has a kid?!

What happened to Atticus’s kid? Did he have more over the centuries? And he just… let them stay mortal while he skipped happily throughout history? That’s a massive bomb to drop in the middle of exposition and then not follow up on.

Flidais asks how long he’s had Fragarach since, and Atticus refuses to answer instead of denying he has it like a smart person would. He insists that he’s kept up his sword skillz though, and she asks who his practice partner is, and he tells her it’s Leif Helgarson, an Icelandic Viking. Not a descendant, like Flidais first asks; an actual Viking. How? Why, he’s a vampire of course.

Yup, that’s right! Not only are mythological deities, Druids and faeries all in this setting, but vampires are too! Why? [shrugs] I dunno. I guess Hearne thought you couldn’t have urban fantasy without vampires.

Flidais is disgusted by vampires, and actually jumps out of the bed, saying “You dare consort with the undead?” Atticus objects to the word ‘consort’ because it makes it sound like he’s banging his vampire friend. And because it reminds him of a line from Romeo and Juliet, Atticus says “Zounds, consort? Wouldst thou make me a minstrel?” Which of course Flidais doesn’t get so Atticus stops and explains the reference to Shakespeare.

I might make “Atticus stops and explains references” another drinking game.

I don’t get this. Flidais seems to view vampires as unclean abominations. Why? [shrugs] I dunno. It just seems as if in every fantasy book Hearne read, the gods view vampires as disgusting evil things, a sort of perversion of the natural or supernatural order they stand for. Like in a few RPGs there’s this whole thing between clerics and undead, and divine power has an effect on undead. But here? There’s no indication as to there being any sort of negative relationship between deities and undead. It’s just there, and it’s never explained.

Right so Leif Helgarson is Atticus’s lawyer. No really. And he’s in a law firm with a pack of Icelandic werewolves. No really. Helgarson is his attorney at night, and the werewolf Hauk is his attorney during the day. No really.

Flidais is again astonished the the werewolves didn’t kill Helgarson because werewolves and vampires hate each other. Why? [shrugs] I dunno. Again, I think Hearne just read in every urban fantasy or horror book that werewolves and vampires hate each other and decided that they do in his book too. There’s not a reason, they just do. Atticus explains that these get along though, because they’re not in the Old World anymore. That’s right, the main reason that this vampire and those werewolves get along is because they’re

But Atticus also points out that they also have a common enemy: Thor. If you remember, in this universe, Thor is such a raging chuckmuffin that people will stop and mention how much they hate him in completely unrelated conversations. What he did to Leif, the vampire, isn’t clear, but he’s ticked off enough he kills carpenters just because they use hammers. Yup—the vampire kills innocent bystanders because he hates hammers, and he’s friends with the protagonist. Great guys Atticus hangs out with, huh?

Oh and some point Thor killed some of the werewolf pack, so they fled to Arizona and regrouped there. So Atticus explains that aside from silver, lightning bolts also kill werewolves, because again Atticus wants to explain obvious details to us like we’re all idiots.

[Nevermind that silver killing werewolves is a modern invention by Hollywood and not actual mythology but moving on…]

Flidais observes that there’s a lot of random stuff in this Arizona town, and Atticus says that over here they’re out of the way of most faeries and gods and stuff, aside from Coyote, which also prompted Atticus to explaining to Flidais that he’s a Native American trickster god that hangs around.

Flidais then asks what I’ve been wondering which is (I paraphrase) “Hey, since there’s a bunch of Christians in this country, doesn’t the Christian God have any jurisdiction here?” And Atticus basically says that since there are so many denominations that can’t agree on what Jesus looks like, he can only really manifest as Himself crucified and that’s painful so He doesn’t do it.

Um.

What?

Look, when you tell people around the country, “What does Jesus look like to you?” most of them aren’t going to think of Him crucified. Yes, different people are going to disagree on things like race and skin tone, but for the most part American culture has a pretty agreed-upon image of what Jesus looks like, for better or for worse. There’s not that much variation.

I wasn’t too fond of the take on Jesus that the American Gods show did, because it raised a bunch of questions about worldbuilding and wasn’t consistent in-context when you thought about it, but it makes much more sense than “Jesus in America can only appear as a crucified man.” In that show, there are hundreds of different incarnations of Jesus representing the views of every single denomination of Christianity, all of whom are slightly different. People, religious or otherwise, tend to talk about Jesus as a guy who you talk to or talks to you, which isn’t generally imagined as a man nailed to wood.

Atticus goes on to say that Mary appears more often, but that she mostly just looks serene and makes people feel more chill, and calls him “child” even though he’s older than her. Which… uh, like, my man, that’s not how Marian apparitions tend to go? Just Google Marian apparitions. They tend to involve Mary telling people to do stuff, like building a church (Guadalupe) or to give important messages (Fatima). Even the ones where she doesn’t say anything generally get people to convert or have miraculous cures (Zeitoun). Not quite sitting “around and looking beatific and full of grace.” I get that those examples aren’t in the US, so in a world where religious figures are shaped by belief the US version might be different than others, but it wouldn’t make sense for her manifestation in the US to be wildly different than everywhere else in the world.

Also—of course Mary calls Atticus a child. Because he is a child. He doesn’t take responsibility, he does whatever he feels like without thinking of the consequences, uses magic to make his life easier at every turn, and he’s still ready to jump in bed with every attractive woman who passes by. That’s a child’s view of how one should act.

That and Mary is kind of a mother figure in the Christian religion. Jesus straight-up tells His disciple while he’s dying, “Behold your mother” (John 19:27).

Flidais asks just how old Atticus is anyway, which is a weird way to get this information to the reader, but he answers and says he was born in the reign of King Conaire Mor and that he was 200 or so when he stole Fragarach. Without details this still tells me nothing.

Oh and Flidais got back on the bed with him and starts straddling him, “vampires forgotten.” Despite being repulsed by the idea of touching someone who has been anywhere near undead, she crawls back into bed with him shortly afterward, and she “threw a leg across my body and then sat up so that she knelt astride me.” She then starts feeling up his chest, and Atticus puts his hands on hers, in a seemingly affectionate way, but really because he thinks she might try a binding on him. He says it’s not that he has reason to think she would, “it was merely [his] customary paranoia.” But if you’re a guy who is paranoid and convinced that anyone might start doing magical bindings on you when they get the chance, maybe you wouldn’t be having sex with people you don’t absolutely trust?

Consistent writing? What’s that?

Over and over again Atticus tells us he’s paranoid, but there’s not much to back up that claim. If he was paranoid, would he stay put when he finds out Aenghus is coming? Would he run his own store instead of staying even more from people’s view with some minimum-wage job like a janitor? Would he have his own house and help his neighbor with her yard instead of having an off-the-grid hideout or a small apartment? Would he have multiple sex partners instead of avoiding any intimate contact because Aenghus has tried to have a lover kill him in bed before? Would he be involved in the local supernatural community at all or keep to himself? All of Atticus’s actions are those of a man who is completely confident that no one’s out to get him. If he was trying to hide from his ex-high school classmate, then yeah, good job, but he hasn’t done any extreme measures that suggest he’s as paranoid as he claims he is.

Flidais tells Atticus that Aenghus sees Fragarach as rightfully his. Why? What claim does Aenghus have on it? He didn’t make it. His name’s not on it. Nobody gave it to him. In fact in the story we were just told, he didn’t even want it for himself. Aenghus Og was okay with the sword belonging to Connie of the Hundred Battles as long as Connie did what he and Lugh wanted. What use does the god of love have with a magic sword anyhow? Flidais says Aenghus thinks it’s his “birthright” but there’s no information given as to why he thinks that.

Again, it becomes obvious that Aenghus Og is a really weird choice for a villain. The guy’s not given any character development to show us why he’s evil. There are ways to make it work, I guess; there’s a scene in the Hellboy comics where Aenghus shows up, for instance, and he’s implied to be a coward too scared to fight for the good of the world, which makes sense for the god of love (I say, once again, with only passing knowledge of Irish mythology), and that could be developed into outright villainy, but for him to be a megalomaniac? Why? It’s like Hearne decided he wanted a character not typically seen as a villain to be his antagonist, but he didn’t bother to do the work for it to make any sense.

“The people here,” I said, “have a saying: Possession is nine-tenths of the law. And I have possessed it for far longer than any other being, including Manannan Mac Lir.”

Take a shot for another “The kids these days say this!”

Look why does this matter? It’s a modern expression that he knows doesn’t have any value with the Irish pantheon. It’s just another worthless, “The humans say this now!” thing.

Flidais encourages Atticus to actually stay and fight Aenghus. If Aenghus doesn’t show up, the Irish gods can all declare him a coward. That would force him to get off his butt and chase down Atticus.

“I will stay still then,” I said, and smiled up at her. “But you can move if you like. May I suggest a gentle rocking motion?”

Oh right, she’s straddling him. [sigh] Look last chapter ended with Atticus going to have sex with a goddess, and this chapter ends with the implication that they’re going to have more sex. Why even write a book if your protagonist isn’t going to have sex with goddesses, am I right?

This book isn’t anywhere near as bad as Angelopolis but that’s a low bar. That’s the lowest of bars. I’m baffled as to why this series comes up as a recommendation for urban fantasy fans. We’re five chapters in, and Atticus has fended off an attack with no effort, gained invincibility, smooched one goddess, had sex with another (twice!), and refused to care about the Plot. Atticus is as Mary Sue-y as it gets, guys!

So join us next time, as Flidais, Atticus and Oberon go hunting bighorn sheep, and our pwotagonist almost cares about someone else.

Almost.

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Comment

  1. Aikaterini on 28 September 2018, 10:25 said:

    the Morrigan demanding that he keep the sword. So he decides to keep it

    So, it’s not because he actively wanted the sword or because he was trying to keep it from someone or because he had any personal motive. It’s just because someone told him to.

    WAIT what he has a kid?!

    I love the casual way he brings it up too, right alongside ‘picking up a language.’ “Oh, yeah, I knocked up this chick, I guess.” Let’s see, either this kid will come up in later books or will never be mentioned again because of just being a prop to show off how ‘virile’ Atticus is.

    I might make “Atticus stops and explains references” another drinking game.

    I wonder if Hearne is friends with Cassandra Clare.

    Again, I think Hearne just read in every urban fantasy or horror book that werewolves and vampires hate each other and decided that they do in his book too.

    I wouldn’t be surprised either. Look, I know that this is a common trope, but authors could at least explain why they hate each other, rather than just saying ‘because I said so.’ At least the “Underworld” movies gave a reason for the vampire-werewolf feud: vampires in that series tend to be rich aristocrats who use werewolves as servants and look down on them as animals, so the werewolves eventually rose up against them.

    Atticus explains that these get along though, because they’re not in the Old World anymore.

    Wait, if they don’t hate each other because they’re in a new location…then what was the reason for them to hate each other in the old location? What was the original reason that led to the tradition of them hating each other?

    Yup—the vampire kills innocent bystanders because he hates hammers, and he’s friends with the protagonist. Great guys Atticus hangs out with, huh?

    But don’t worry, this is different from the Cullens hanging out with vampires who kill people and not being called out on their hypocrisy and callousness towards human lives.

    Because he is a child. He doesn’t take responsibility, he does whatever he feels like without thinking of the consequences, uses magic to make his life easier at every turn, and he’s still ready to jump in bed with every attractive woman who passes by.

    And he’s our protagonist.

    But if you’re a guy who is paranoid and convinced that anyone might start doing magical bindings on you when they get the chance, maybe you wouldn’t be having sex with people you don’t absolutely trust?

    It’s the whole ‘femme fatale’ trope. “She might kill me, I don’t trust her…oh, but she’s so hot, though! I can’t let her in, I have to put on my stoic front of manliness…but, hey, she’s a beautiful woman throwing herself at me, how can I resist?”

    I’m baffled as to why this series comes up as a recommendation for urban fantasy fans. We’re five chapters in, and Atticus has fended off an attack with no effort, gained invincibility, smooched one goddess, had sex with another (twice!), and refused to care about the Plot.

    And if he were a woman who did all of this, he’d be grouped in with Bella Swan.

  2. The Smith of Lie on 28 September 2018, 15:27 said:

    Alright I’ll admit that I’ve been avoiding this. Why? Because a large chunk of this chapter is completely pointless info-dumping. It throws a lot of names and terms that are not relevant to the Plot, along with the actual story that is. My original plan was to fact-check everything in this book, but this contains a ton of nitty-gritty details of a battle and its players in Irish legends, and… I don’t care?

    Your impressions make it seem as if Hearne added it all to establish his Irish Mythology street cred. A sort of “Look at the obscure stuff I know about, I did my research so I’ll show my work!”

    Which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve read books, mostly ones in historical settings, which pretty much shouted that author spent a lot of time reading up on the period or relevant science. But it needs to be woven into narrative and at least vaguely relevant.

    Pillow talk in the modern era often involves the sharing of childhood stories or perhaps an exchange of dream vacations. […]

    This whole paragraph seems awkward and forced. It seems more like an observation given by a shapeshifting reptile trying to pass as a human than something a human would say.

    Anyhow instead of usual pillow talk Flidais asks about “the ancient sword of Manannan Mac Lir, called Fragarach, the Answerer.” It annoys Atticus because “It kind of killed the afterglow.”

    I’d be more annoyed that she obviously has some ulterior motives and only slept with me to try and get some information out of me. But I am not a paranoid, immortal druid who has been on a run for about two millenia, so I guess I don’t have the well honed instincts required in this situation.

    Are we supposed to think he’s a sociopath?

    No. But neither are we supposed to think that Jayce is a sociopath. I guess Atticus at least has an excuse of being raised in a much more martial society. If only he adapted as well as he thinks he has…

    It’s like if I started my spork by saying the reason I was late in sporking this chapter was because I was busy in Aguada fighting off evil hupias sent by Guabancex with the ghosts of Roberto Cofresi and Miguel Enriquez because I owed Maquetaurie Guayaba a favor.

    Wait, hupias thrown in with Guabancex? But I thought they hated him after he and Urgerventrix took Lexicon and tried to destroy menguh itya in Amnen Gappa.

    You would think this would mean that Atticus thought the sword was too much of a temptation and led men into doing evil, so he’d destroy the sword or hide it away forever or something like that instead of running off with it. But that’s what a good protagonist would do, and we’re not exactly rolling with a good protagonist.

    But Juracan, that would require Atticus to have some sort of driving motivation and agency. And that’d be detracting from him being Hearne’s proxy for fucking hot goddesses and being a general badass.

    But Atticus didn’t just pick up the sword for funzies, no. See, the Morrigan was there, and she told him to pick it up and bail.

    Yup. Like I said, no agency.

    I am starting to suspect he’ll be one of those protagonists, who I hate with power of ten thousand suns, to whom plot just happens as they are moved from place to place by the circumstances, never showing a whit of own initiative.

    He insists that he’s kept up his sword skillz though, and she asks who his practice partner is, and he tells her it’s Leif Helgarson, an Icelandic Viking. Not a descendant, like Flidais first asks; an actual Viking. How? Why, he’s a vampire of course.

    And not a Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot? Disappointing.

    Flidais is disgusted by vampires, and actually jumps out of the bed, saying “You dare consort with the undead?” Atticus objects to the word ‘consort’ because it makes it sound like he’s banging his vampire friend.

    Eh, given it’s Atticus we’re talking about I wouldn’t be entirely surprised.

    There’s not a reason, they just do. Atticus explains that these get along though, because they’re not in the Old World anymore. That’s right, the main reason that this vampire and those werewolves get along is because they’re

    Now, ignoring for the sake of argument that they shouldn’t have any reason for conflict back in the Old World – at least none that we know of, this is sort of funny and interesting. They might be creatures of the night, supernatural predators and so on, but first and foremost they are US Citizens! I’d actually like to see some supernatural creatures showing some sort of civic pride or something.

    Thor. If you remember, in this universe, Thor is such a raging chuckmuffin that people will stop and mention how much they hate him in completely unrelated conversations.

    And I still don’t understand Hearne’s hate for the dude. From what I remember of Norse mythology the worse that could be said about Thor is that he was rowdy and sort of inconsiderate. Which by the godly standards makes him pretty much a saint.

    And Atticus basically says that since there are so many denominations that can’t agree on what Jesus looks like, he can only really manifest as Himself crucified and that’s painful so He doesn’t do it.

    This seems to me like Hearne suddenly realizing “Shit, in my universe Jesus should be showing up to… How do I handwave him out of the picture?!”

    I’d say there are better reasons for not having Jesus manifest. Like say the whole “Second Coming” thing and how it is supposed to be pretty ground shattering, end times event. It stands to reason that Jesus wouldn’t show up untill he judgese time is right for it.

    If hearne felt particularly ballsy he could even throw in speculation about how Jesus got disillusione by his followers using Bible to justify all kinds of unpleasant, hateful stuff and just doesn’t show up because of that. Though it’d be pretty heavy stuff for an urban fantasy action romp.

    Oh and Flidais got back on the bed with him and starts straddling him, “vampires forgotten.”

    Nothing is forgotten. She just isn’t done with her interrogation.

    But if you’re a guy who is paranoid and convinced that anyone might start doing magical bindings on you when they get the chance, maybe you wouldn’t be having sex with people you don’t absolutely trust?

    Now if I was paranoid and had a fraction of manly charm that Atticus claims to have I’d try to reverse the interrogation and pump Flidais for some information in turn. Or at the very least dropped some fake hints regarding what happened with the sword, so that I could see who’d try to follow them and thus learn what’s her alliegance.

    Flidais encourages Atticus to actually stay and fight Aenghus. If Aenghus doesn’t show up, the Irish gods can all declare him a coward. That would force him to get off his butt and chase down Atticus.

    Now if Morrigan coming to warn me wasn’t enough to send me running for the hills this would do just that. An attractive female shows up just the same day I’m attacked and warned about incoming follow-up strike, jumps into my bed without any effort on my part to convince her to do so, tries to get me to spill the beans about super important MacGuffin and then tells me to stay and wait for the attack? This isn’t so much red flag as a company of bannermen weaving a sea of giant, crimson flags while alarms are blaring at full volume.

    [Aikaterini] And if he were a woman who did all of this, he’d be grouped in with Bella Swan.

    Eh, for my money this is exactly what he deserves. As I said before, I hate this kind of protagonist with a power of ten thousand suns…

    And to top it off a very, very short mini-spite-fic.

    The sword? It’s sweet, I know. Doesn’t look like much but the thing is absurdally sharp. No, I do mean absurdally. Once I cut through and APC with it. Where did I got it? Well, you won’t believe, it’s a silly story.

    Sigh. Ok, I’ll tell you. But I warn you, if I didn’t have the sword to show for it I wouldn’t believe a word of it myself… So there was this guy whom I was friends with benefits back before joing the army. A barely legal me though he was pretty cool, but he was actually sort of an ass. He liked to tell the most unbelievable stories, talking about shit way in the past as if he was part of it. I mean way back. Medieval stuff, dark ages and so on. And once he told me about a battle during which he swiped that magic sword because a goddess told him… I told you that you wouldn’t believe… Anyways, once after the sex he actualle blabbed where he hid the blade, you can guess the rest.

  3. The Smith of Lie on 29 September 2018, 12:42 said:

    Sorry for double posting, but I got bored and an utter abomination somehow happend on its own. And I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t expose you guys to it.

    It was a pretty slow day at the shop. Even the alleged strike by Aenghus failed to materialize. So when the door opened and bell rang I was caught by surprise. Even more surprised was the sight of the customers. I get mostly the average hippy, new age types. You know them, t-shirts with various pseudo spiritual slogans or maybe band names, lots of flax in the clothes, overabundance of handmade accessories. Some goths, all in black with enough silver jewellery to drag them straight to the bottom if they ever fell into the water. But the two who entered looked… well, they looked like government spooks. Black suits, white shirts, identical black ties. And of course black sunglasses.

    They walked slowly towards the counter, completely disinterested with the merchandise, looking straight at me the whole time. The man was about 6’5, sort of portly. He had black hair cut short and a wild, curly beard. But I mostly paid attention to his companion. She was quite a looker. Rather petite, but nicely shaped. With red hair and face that’d be to die for if not for the unamused, even hostile expression.

    As they finally reached the counter my first impression got confirmed. They whipped out badges, which I didn’t recognize. They had a complex seal and didn’t show their names, just initials – the man was S. L. and the woman was T. M. “Mr. Atticus O’Sullivan?” She addressed me. I nodded. “Good. You will come with us. You are under arrest.” “Now wait a second. I have no idea who you are, but you certainly aren’t Police. And I have no idea what the charges even are!” I got an impression of a faint shine from behind the S. L.’s sunglasses and he spoke in a grave tone. “You are charged with a theft of a class II magical artefact, illegal creation of unregistered class III magical artefact, illegal interference with endangered magical creature, aiding and abetting a serial killer, illegal conspiracy with unregistered type P undead and failure to act to save lives endangered by a Divine class supernatural power.”

    I blinked at them. I understood that he was probably referring to some of my deeds and acquaintances within supernatural community, but filtered through the legalese I had no solid idea what he actually meant. “I don’t recall any laws like that.” He shrugged. “Ignorantia iuris nocet. The real question is, are you going to come peacefully or do we have resort to force?” He barely managed to finish his sentence when I swung my fist at his face.

    It failed to connect, he was faster then I expected for someone of his size. And before I could continue I felt sharp sting in my sternum and fell to the floor. There was steel dart sticking out of my chest. T. M. jumped over the counter, she had a weird looking gun in her hand. She pointed it at me and pulled the trigger four times. Four more darts pierced my flesh, one for each limb.

    I didn’t panic, the wounds were not deep enough to be truly dangerous. I decided that I could lie pretending that I’ve been incapacitated until I could find an opening. That notion died when the places where darts hit started radiating unimaginable, pulsating pain. I tried to scream, but managed only a pained whimper.

    S. L. dragged me out and started putting shackles on me. He actually used three separate pairs for my hands and arms – one at the wrists, one at the forearms and one at elbows. And to make the matters worse those weren’t even the classic chain cuffs, they used stiff, steel bar, locking my arms into position that’d be unbearably uncomfortable if not for blinding pain in all of my extremities.

    My legs got similar treatment. I wouldn’t be even able to waddle. Which tuned out not to be a problem, since the spooks apparently brought utility cart with them. They carted me outside and there was a black helicopter there, right outside of my shop. Through the pain, just before finally and mercifully losing consciousness I managed to wonder, how the hell haven’t I heard it landing on my doorstep.

    When I regained consciousness I was being moved through a long corridor. On both sides I saw what had to be holding cells. Instead of a front wall each had a transparent wall. I idly noticed that it looked as if the wall was made of some sort of crystal. Presumably super durable one.

    In one of the cells I noticed a pretty blond boy. He looked sixteen, maybe seventeen at most. And I guess one could describe his face as angelic if not the look in his eyes. He was obviously itching for violence. It was in his eyes and in his body language, sitting on a bunk, tense and seemingly ready to jump at the first soul unfortunate enough to get close to him. Before I got carted out of sight I noticed he had some weird tattoos on his forearms.

    In the next cell was an incredibly pale youth. At least he was looking emotionless instead of outright homicidal. As we were passing him I noticed that the part of his skin exposed to sunlight was sparkling. I guess they do provide prisoners with glitter here, mighty considerate if not very useful.

    Next cell would have made me cry about human rights violation, but I was too parched and my tongue too stiff to speak. For there, in the very same block as the two guys was a girl. She sat at the very back of her cell, sullen, with knees dragged to her chin. The only thing I managed to notice was a tattoo of a half moon on her forehead.

    We moved from the cell block into a hall that looked a little like a courtroom. In the centre on the raised dais there was a single chair and a desk. T. M. and S. L. rolled me to the front of it and left. I stood there waiting, happy that at least the pain subsided during the flight.

    Finally a man stepped in and took the place behind the desk. I couldn’t actually see much details, since the lamps in the room were aimed at my face, leaving my supposed judge in the shadows. “Well Mr O’Sullivan, I’m afraid we’ll need to add resisting arrest to the list of your charges.” He sounded rueful. I managed a response. “Great. But don’t I get to be judged by the jury of my peers?” The man chuckled. “I’m afraid we can’t afford to assemble a jury of thoughtless, irresponsible scoundrels. Luckily for us the sentence was already summarily cast.” That didn’t seem fair to me, but it seemed like my opinion wasn’t really important here. “You are a danger to society. Maybe not entirely a villain, but the amount of power you amassed over centuries and your careless abuse of said power make you a destructive force on a whole. Therefore it has been determined that you are to remain in confinement for an indefinite period until such a time that your release is considered acceptable or until a suitably isolated location is found, where your presence wouldn’t be an unacceptable risk. Have a nice rest of your life.”

    I cried in protest, but I was ignored. Few minutes later two jailers showed up and carted me towards a cell. “You’ll like it here. Your neighbour is a real dragon, I think his name is Dennagon.”

  4. Juracan on 5 October 2018, 10:26 said:

    So, it’s not because he actively wanted the sword or because he was trying to keep it from someone or because he had any personal motive. It’s just because someone told him to.

    And it’s not that the someone in question (the Morrigan) had a special purpose in mind for him when she told him to do it. Atticus didn’t have a special destiny or anything. She tells him to take it because he’s the one it happens to land in front of and he picks it up. And her reasoning was she wanted to piss off Lugh and Aenghus.

    Like I said, it’s Contrived Coincidence that he got the sword in the first place, and the reason the Morrigan told him to run off with it is pure spite.

    Let’s see, either this kid will come up in later books or will never be mentioned again because of just being a prop to show off how ‘virile’ Atticus is.

    My knowledge extends mostly to the first three books, so I don’t know after that, but from what I understand this kid never comes up? So yeah, it’s just another way to brag that Atticus had sex and is all manly.

    Also note from the above discussion: Atticus is apparently feeding his dog the same things that keep him young. But he didn’t do that for his kid. That’s right: Atticus loves his dog more than his own kid.

    Wait, if they don’t hate each other because they’re in a new location…then what was the reason for them to hate each other in the old location? What was the original reason that led to the tradition of them hating each other?

    Because… Reasons? It’s not explained either, at least not in this book.

    This whole paragraph seems awkward and forced. It seems more like an observation given by a shapeshifting reptile trying to pass as a human than something a human would say.

    A friend on Tumblr told me that Atticus sounds “quirky, but in a bad way,” which seems about right to me.

    They might be creatures of the night, supernatural predators and so on, but first and foremost they are US Citizens! I’d actually like to see some supernatural creatures showing some sort of civic pride or something.

    Yeah but that’d actually be fun to read, so not in this book!

    An attractive female shows up just the same day I’m attacked and warned about incoming follow-up strike, jumps into my bed without any effort on my part to convince her to do so, tries to get me to spill the beans about super important MacGuffin and then tells me to stay and wait for the attack? This isn’t so much red flag as a company of bannermen weaving a sea of giant, crimson flags while alarms are blaring at full volume.

    I mean… yeah. But Atticus isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, so it isn’t until much later that he works out that maybe Flidais wasn’t there just to have smoothies and sleep with him. He tells us that he’s paranoid, and that he doesn’t want to tell her he has the sword, but he might as well have told her he has it and he still has sex with her, so his claims that he’s being careful don’t hold water at all.

    Spitefic game is on point, Smith! I especially like that he’s neighbors with past sporking targets; seeing Jace and Edward locked up alongside him warms my heart.

  5. The Smith of Lie on 5 October 2018, 11:52 said:

    Let’s see, either this kid will come up in later books or will never be mentioned again because of just being a prop to show off how ‘virile’ Atticus is.

    My knowledge extends mostly to the first three books, so I don’t know after that, but from what I understand this kid never comes up? So yeah, it’s just another way to brag that Atticus had sex and is all manly.

    To be honest I don’t really share your outrage guys. But that is, because I am mostly surprised that Atticus mentioned having a kid. Given what we’ve learned about him in our short, five chapters long aquaintance, I’d just assume that he left a legion of bastards around the world. (By the way The Legion of Bastards sounds like a great title for a book and/or name for heavy metal band.)

    So getting worked up about a particular kid of his seems counterproductive.

    I mean… yeah. But Atticus isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, so it isn’t until much later that he works out that maybe Flidais wasn’t there just to have smoothies and sleep with him. He tells us that he’s paranoid, and that he doesn’t want to tell her he has the sword, but he might as well have told her he has it and he still has sex with her, so his claims that he’s being careful don’t hold water at all.

    And I bet that nothing will come of it, Flidais will turn out to be a stalwart ally and his lack of survival instinct, elementary caution and anything even resembling a proper paranoia will get passed off as him being terribly clever.

    Because we can’t have an actualy mistakes come and bite Atticus in the posterior…

    Spitefic game is on point, Smith! I especially like that he’s neighbors with past sporking targets; seeing Jace and Edward locked up alongside him warms my heart.

    Glad you liked that. Here’s a game – can you identify the third prisoner? She’s sort of nostalgic for me, since she was the victim of the first spite-fic I actually commited.

  6. Juracan on 5 October 2018, 13:51 said:

    Third prisoner I don’t know by name, but she’s the protagonist of Marked right?

    But that is, because I am mostly surprised that Atticus mentioned having a kid. Given what we’ve learned about him in our short, five chapters long aquaintance, I’d just assume that he left a legion of bastards around the world.

    I agree—I definitely think he’s had more than one kid. But that absolutely none of them come up is egregious.

    (By the way The Legion of Bastards sounds like a great title for a book and/or name for heavy metal band.)

    Agreed!

    And I bet that nothing will come of it, Flidais will turn out to be a stalwart ally and his lack of survival instinct, elementary caution and anything even resembling a proper paranoia will get passed off as him being terribly clever.

    No, actually, I think that he does realize that she was playing him.

    Surprising, I know.

  7. The Smith of Lie on 5 October 2018, 13:57 said:

    Double post, but to hell with that.

    And I bet that nothing will come of it, Flidais will turn out to be a stalwart ally and his lack of survival instinct, elementary caution and anything even resembling a proper paranoia will get passed off as him being terribly clever.

    I made an ass of myself by not reading what you said carefully enough. I missed this much later that he works out that maybe Flidais wasn’t there just to have smoothies and sleep with him..

    Serves me right for not paying attention…

  8. TMary on 12 October 2018, 06:08 said:

    I’m always just one sporking behind, but what the heck, I enjoy them XD

    My original plan was to fact-check everything in this book, but this contains a ton of nitty-gritty details of a battle and its players in Irish legends, and… I don’t care?

    I feel ya, man. I would help if I could, but even if I was an expert on Irish mythology (which I most emphatically am not), nitty-gritty details of battles, real, fictional, or mythological, are one of those things that always make my eyes glaze over when someone starts explaining them to me. This is personal taste, and I know a lot of people do find that kind of thing very interesting, so I can’t really count it as a mark against Hearne, but for me it’s just one more thing that convinces me I do not want to read this book.

    Besides, if he doesn’t explain what or who he’s talking about, just name-drops various famous figures and expects us to follow it, it’s not going to be very interesting even to war buffs, because they won’t understand a word of it.

    Pillow talk in the modern era often involves the sharing of childhood stories or perhaps an exchange of dream vacations.

    I mean I figured it consisted mainly of whatever was in the two people’s minds to talk about…but I’m hardly an expert. Just saying that this sounds a little, um, limited.

    One of my recent partners, a lovely lass

    OK, like…this has been pretty cursory research, I’ll admit, but as far as I can make out, though the Irish have and some still do use the word “lass”, like “lad” it’s kinda dated, and more Scottish/Northern English than Irish. “Colleen” is the really Irish term, though I’m not sure how dated that one is. Then again, Atticus is thousands of years old, if I were him I really wouldn’t care which decade the words I was using came from as long as everyone understood me.

    named Jesse

    OH FOR CRYING OUT

    THAT’S A MAN’S NAME!!

    Sorry, just…I see this all the time (especially since I’m in the Pokémon fandom), people using “Jesse” when they mean “Jessie”, and it gets right under my skin. “Jesse” is a man’s name. “Jessie” is a woman’s name, and is either the feminine form of “Jesse” or a diminutive of “Jessica”.

    And if the book does say “Jessie” and that was just a typo, then I apologize to both you, Juracan, and Hearne for freaking out. But I never pass up an opportunity for a PSA, in any case.

    with a tattoo of a Tinker Bell on her right shoulder blade (about as far from a real faery as one can get),

    You know…I know Disney’s kinda dressed her up like a harmless pretty sparkle pixie nowadays, but Tinker Bell was actually originally pretty close to older stories of fairies. She could be helpful, and kind, and was very attached to Peter…but she could also be spiteful, malicious, and so bitterly jealous that she tried to outright murder Wendy. She was the same in the original Disney film, too!

    Just saying; aside from the whole “Fairies aren’t like that” remark kind of annoying me in general (YMMV), Tink really isn’t the right target for it.

    When I confessed I had no knowledge of the show nor any interest in getting to know it or anything about American politics,

    Not trying to start a debate, but…if you live in a place, shouldn’t you know something about its politics? I can see Atticus maybe being disillusioned with everything to do with human politics in general since he’s lived so long and seen so many rulers and systems of government and civilizations come and go and be torn down and rebuilt and reshaped and so on and so forth. But he’s not really written like that, and even so, even if you’d reached a point of “I really don’t care any more who’s in charge and what these people set up, it’s all the same thing anyway and humans just can’t get it together long enough to make things work”, I still think you’d want to know basic stuff, like who the two main factions are and who the lesser factions are and what each stands for, if nothing else, so that you can blend in and maybe avoid getting hurt, if worst comes to worst. I mean, Atticus has seen more than his fair share of civil wars and uprisings and such; surely he wants to keep track of what people’s grievances with each other are, in case things go that route again?

    It sounds like he’s making fun of nerds, but let’s be real here, science-fiction and fantasy nerds are exactly the sorts of people who are going to be reading this book in the first place. Heck, one of the books in the series stops everything so that Atticus can gush about how awesome Neil Gaiman is. How is this any different?

    This is another thing that really gets under my skin: Geeky/nerdy works of fiction that poke fun at geeks and nerds. Like, say, Power Rangers or Kim Possible. They’re all about superheroes and evil masterminds and mutated science creations et cetera (not to mention Power Rangers has allll the minutiae to dig into and get obsessed with). Your fanbase is geeks. Just embrace who you are already!

    Anyhow instead of usual pillow talk Flidais asks about “the ancient sword of Manannan Mac Lir, called Fragarach, the Answerer.”

    Reasonably inconsequential question, but I was wondering: Are you quoting the narration, or Flidais herself? Because if that’s Flidais, that’s some extremely expository dialogue right there. Surely asking about “the sword of Manannan” or “Fragarach” or “The Answerer” would do just fine.

    It annoys Atticus because “It kind of killed the afterglow.”

    I could make a joke about talking about swords and how that seems entirely appropriate, but I’m grossing myself out so I won’t.

    His answer just sounds like he does have it and just doesn’t want to say so.

    Funny, ‘cause to me it sounded more like he didn’t have it and didn’t want to say XD But in either case, just saying “No” would be better. If Flidais wasn’t in league with Aenghus, everything would be fine, and if she was, either it’d put Aenghus off the scent and onto hunting for the sword elsewhere (if he’s more obsessed with that), or it’d make him think Atticus was weak and maybe let his guard down when trying to kill him (if he’s more obsessed with that).

    Flidais tries to stare at him to make him uncomfortable enough to spill the beans,

    Is Flidais twelve years old?

    but Atticus claims resisting awkward silences is a Druid skill he was taught way back when, which is an oddly specific thing to be in the Druid curriculum, but okay.

    I snorted XD

    Atticus in his narration calls it “an appeal to my vanity” because he thinks that she thinks he’ll get carried away in the story and tell her where the sword is now. But he does it anyway, and he goes on a lengthy digression instead of the simple answer of “Someone dropped it and I picked it up.”

    Having – bad – Moana flashbacks…must – not – rant – about – the crab…

    Flidais asks if this was before Finn Mac Cumhaill led the Fianna and Atticus says yes.

    Minor nitpick, but shouldn’t Flidais know about this? I feel like this was probably pretty big news in prehistoric Ireland, yes? At the very least, she should have been aware of something going on.

    I don’t know what’s going on.

    Neither do I, but I’m ninety-five percent sure I know how everything’s pronounced, if that helps.

    Who are the Fianna? Who is Finn Mac Cumhaill?

    Well, Fionn Mac Cumhaill is a legendary Irish warrior who also features heavily as a folk hero. And sometimes he’s a giant? But sometimes also he’s just a very large man, and it depends on which story and who’s telling it. He also pops up in Scottish and Manx folklore. You might know him as Finn MacCool?

    Wikipedia also tells me that he was the last leader of the Fianna, and the Fianna I knew as fierce warriors living in the time of the Tuatha de Danann and…not much else. Apparently they were landless warrior-bands who were charged with the protection of Ireland.

    I don’t know how all these details mesh in with the battle of Magh Lena, or what either party was doing there, but I thought it was interesting, anyway.

    Why is Atticus so eager to “join the slaughter” as he puts it? Are we supposed to think he’s a sociopath?

    Probably not, but I kind of do. He’s a little bloodthirsty, is all I’m saying.

    Why does anyone Spanish care?

    All I’ve got is that once upon a veeery long time ago, the Irish and Spaniards were vaguely related? I got nothing besides that.

    It’s like if I started my spork by saying the reason I was late in sporking this chapter was because I was busy in Aguada fighting off evil hupias sent by Guabancex with the ghosts of Roberto Cofresi and Miguel Enriquez because I owed Maquetaurie Guayaba a favor. These words mean nothing to you.

    They mean nothing to me, but I wish them to mean something XD I do see your point, though, and agree with it.

    No really.

    He has the sword by Crazy Coinkydink!

    Are you freaking kidding—

    Atticus has no agency as a protagonist! He doesn’t do things, he doesn’t make choices, things just happen to him and he reacts enough to keep himself alive! And to be honest, I don’t even understand why! This is actually something that’s bothered me for a while since I started reading this spork: Atticus doesn’t seem to have any goals, any motivations, other than “stay alive and hang on to my magic stuff and keep myself immortal and sleep with hot chicks”. And, sure, there’s probably people out there who have similar motivations, but they don’t make for interesting protagonists!

    Really now, did I miss something, did you leave something out, or does this man not have any driving motivations at all? Anything to give the book conflict and a real plot instead of “Lemme avoid Aengus Óg again, and again, and again”? Because if so…characters need motivations, Hearne! They need something to drive their actions! And protagonists need interesting ones! It’s okay if they change over the course of the book, great even; that’s called character development, and it’s generally encouraged. And obviously this isn’t a hard and fast rule, and there’s room for leeway if you know what you’re doing, but in general, a character needs to want something at the beginning of a book, something concrete that we can point to so we can follow the story and see if they get that want fulfilled.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Bella Swan, Bella freakin’ gosh-darned Swan, at least gave us something that she wanted. She wanted to be a vampire and she wanted to live forevermore in a mutually unhealthy relationship with Edward. Admittedly, she didn’t want much besides that, and she still had no agency, and those were stupid things to want, and we knew perfectly well she was going to get them because Twilight was Stephenie Meyer’s wish-fulfillment fantasy. But at least I knew what she wanted. Atticus? I don’t know! He didn’t even want this sword so much; the Morrigan just told him to take it, so he did! He’s made himself immortal and invincible, but I don’t know why, except that Aengus is trying to kill him because he took the sword and doesn’t want to give it back! Except that I don’t know why he took the sword! I’m just so confused! What does he want?!

    OK.

    OK, I think I’m all right now.

    that he “may have accidentally killed a man or two on my own side” (what a charmer, am I right?).

    Can we all, as a society, agree that characters who don’t care that they might have accidentally killed their own allies are villains?

    Basically, he paints Connie as a kind of megalomaniacal dickbag who let the power of his magic sword get to his head and let himself be manipulated by Lugh and Aenghus into taking over Ireland.

    Knowing how Atticus portrayed Aengus, I was naturally a little skeptical of this, so I ran over to Wikipedia, and actually, assuming the article is accurate, it looks to me more like Mogh Nuadhat was the megalomaniac, who went around expelling kings, breaking treaties, forcing Conn to divide Ireland with him, and generally making a nuisance of himself. Conn went up against him as self-defense, basically.

    Also, Conn was chosen as rightful king and bearer of Freagarach, but why let facts get in the way?

    A priest of the Irish gods insisting that the gods keep out of human business? It’s a bit opposite to your job, isn’t it?

    I mean…why have priests, if the gods are supposed to stay out of human affairs, for goodness’s sakes?

    Also, maybe there’s an argument to be made that both Mogh Nuadhat and Conn were in the wrong, and so the gods shouldn’t have been taking sides, but it doesn’t seem like it?

    Atticus didn’t care much though, even though he started this battle on Conn’s side.

    OK, question that just occurred to me: If Conn was such a megalomaniac and no good for Ireland and corrupted by the power of his magic sword and all, why did Atticus want to fight on his side in the first place? Could he not tell where this was going, or did he just not care because there was something to be gained for himself in it?

    So he decides to keep it, earning the ire of both Aenghus and Lugh.

    The well-deserved ire, if you ask me. THAT WASN’T YOUR SWORD, ATTICUS. YOU’RE NOT KING. GIVE IT BACK.

    That’s right. Atticus is so awesome that Conn of the Hundred Battles was nothing compared to him. He was so much better than Conn ever was with Fragarach.

    Oh, get in the sea, Atticus.

    [Also he’s killing the men whose side he was on at the beginning of the battle but that’s not really important, right?]

    Lending more credence to my “he didn’t care, he thought there was something in it for him” theory…

    dropping bodies like potatoes in a potato storm

    And I snorted again XD

    He even makes a ‘parting the Red Sea’ joke only for Flidais to reveal she doesn’t know who Moses is.

    She – she doesn’t know who – how does she – not even the faintest idea – how—

    And then Atticus stops and explains to Flidais who Moses is and the story of how Moses parted the Red Sea because now Hearne decides he needs to explain everything again.

    So Hearne feels like he has to explain a Biblical story that the vast majority of Americans are at least vaguely familiar with…but not the details of a battle in Irish mythology, which probably a lot of people in Ireland wouldn’t know anything about?

    That makes sense.

    I refrained from telling her that the modern expression would be “he had a cow,” because I liked the original better.

    OK, I looked it up, and it looks as though “don’t have a cow” and, erm, Hearne’s expression are not at all related, and I couldn’t find any references to Hearne’s expression besides references to Hounded.

    Which makes it a bit funny that he’s calling this expression the “original”.

    He tells Flidais what the threat was but he ends it with ‘blah blah blah’ in case you weren’t sure how seriously he takes this.

    I repeat my earlier desire for Atticus to get in the sea.

    So he gets away with it because the Morrigan favors him.

    Have you run Atticus through the Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test? I think the results might be…interesting.

    What happened to Atticus’s kid? Did he have more over the centuries? And he just… let them stay mortal while he skipped happily throughout history? That’s a massive bomb to drop in the middle of exposition and then not follow up on.

    You know, if this was a better story, the heroes would be Atticus’s wronged children, granted immortality by the gods so that they could hunt down their stealing, deadbeat dad, take their revenge, and get back the sword.

    Flidais asks how long he’s had Fragarach since, and Atticus refuses to answer instead of denying he has it like a smart person would.

    OK, that, there’s no coming back from that. There’s no plausible deniability with that one. It’s obvious he has the sword.

    Question I never thought I’d ask: Why is confused cartoon Death asking “What”?

    Not a descendant, like Flidais first asks; an actual Viking.

    Did he find him in Minnesota?

    Yup, that’s right! Not only are mythological deities, Druids and faeries all in this setting, but vampires are too!

    I mean, back in the first chapter weren’t vampires mentioned? Not that that answers the questions of why they exist in this setting. Or makes “vampire Viking sparring partner” sound any less silly.

    Flidais is disgusted by vampires, and actually jumps out of the bed, saying “You dare consort with the undead?”

    You know, it occurs to me: If Flidais is disgusted by the undead, and Atticus technically now cannot pass on even if he was killed…does that mean Atticus is one of the undead? I wonder how she’d react to that little bit of news.

    Oh, what the heck.

    “You dare consort with the undead?” Flidais demanded, springing from the bed, a disgusted snarl on her lips.

    “I wouldn’t be so high-and-mighty about it if I was you,” Siodhachan said, sounding miffed. “After all, you were just consorting with me.”

    Flidais froze and frowned at him. “I…with you? What has that to do with anything?”

    “I’m hardly an ordinary mortal man, m’lady,” he said, and something kindled within her – she would not be patronized by this whelp. “I’ve been keeping myself alive through magic means for centuries now. And just this morning I struck a bargain to keep my soul inside my body in case anything…goes wrong. So now, I, technically, can’t be killed. I can understand the vampires’ situation.”

    Flidais stared at him in absolute horror. “You – you cannot be killed? Even if you were struck a mortal blow, you would not die?”

    “That’s right.” Siodhachan had the gall to grin at her. “Don’t look like that. After all, I didn’t hear you complaining about it earlier.”

    Flidais said nothing.

    “So how do you feel about consorting with the undead now?”

    For answer, Flidais shouted, “Begone, abomination!” and banished him. To Alaska. Without his clothes. It wouldn’t kill him, but he’d be satisfyingly uncomfortable, and it would take him some time to make his way back to Arizona. A fitting punishment, she thought. Meanwhile, she was off to Tir na nÓg to take a few dozen cleansing spring baths and research ways of warding off…whatever it was O Suileabhain had made himself. She was not going to be taken in twice.

    Much better.

    I might make “Atticus stops and explains references” another drinking game.

    Seeing how annoying this is makes me rethink one of my stories where the heroes are constantly quoting everything that comes to mind. Though usually I don’t have them explain the reference, just let them quote the lines that fit the situation, maybe make a slight note about where it comes from, and keep going.

    But here? There’s no indication as to there being any sort of negative relationship between deities and undead. It’s just there, and it’s never explained.

    I mean…I guess, if souls in druidic beliefs were supposed to be reborn, I could understand why the gods think a creature that won’t die and continue the proper cycle is disgusting. But you have to do this novel thing called world-building in order to convey that to your readers.

    Right so Leif Helgarson is Atticus’s lawyer. No really. And he’s in a law firm with a pack of Icelandic werewolves. No really. Helgarson is his attorney at night, and the werewolf Hauk is his attorney during the day. No really.

    Really?

    Really truly?

    You know, in a goofier parody story, “vampire Viking lawyer/sparring partner in a law firm with a lot of Icelandic werewolves” could actually be pretty funny to me, but this story’s a little more serious than that so I’m just kind of confused at this wackiness.

    That’s right, the main reason that this vampire and those werewolves get along is because they’re

    After all…they may be vicious, bloodthirsty monsters with a sworn blood feud, but they’re American vicious, bloodthirsty monsters with a sworn blood feud!

    What he did to Leif, the vampire, isn’t clear, but he’s ticked off enough he kills carpenters just because they use hammers.

    And…Thor’s the bad guy here?

    Great guys Atticus hangs out with, huh?

    Let me guess: He thinks it’s kinda iffy, but eh, Leif comes from a different era, plus he’s a vampire and they’ve got innate killing instincts, so whatchagonnadoo.

    lightning bolts also kill werewolves,

    Lightning bolts do tend to have that effect on a surprisingly large percentage of living creatures, yes, Atty.

    Um.

    What?

    Not going to add to your excellent analysis of Hearne’s depiction of Jesus and Mary, but just going to ask: What about God, Himself? The Father? Does He not manifest as anything? That’s what Flidais was asking, really.

    Atticus goes on to say that Mary […] calls him “child” even though he’s older than her.

    I’m sorry, did you just snark about being older than the Virgin Mary, so what right has she to call you a child?

    How ‘bout you don’t do that.

    Also—of course Mary calls Atticus a child. Because he is a child. He doesn’t take responsibility, he does whatever he feels like without thinking of the consequences, uses magic to make his life easier at every turn, and he’s still ready to jump in bed with every attractive woman who passes by. That’s a child’s view of how one should act.

    I heartily agree.

    he answers and says he […] was 200 or so when he stole Fragarach.

    So…he was already taking the immortalizing stuff before he stole the sword? Why? For what purpose? Or did druids just live a hecka-long time?

    She then starts feeling up his chest, and Atticus puts his hands on hers, in a seemingly affectionate way, but really because he thinks she might try a binding on him.

    I interpreted that as Atticus putting his hands on Flidais’s chest, and was trying to work out how that would stop her putting a binding on him. XD

    But if you’re a guy who is paranoid and convinced that anyone might start doing magical bindings on you when they get the chance, maybe you wouldn’t be having sex with people you don’t absolutely trust?

    There’s a character I have who’d dearly love to take a spite-fic-y whack at Atticus and tell him what real paranoia is…but real paranoia is preventing me from sharing her with the world at large till she’s safely copyrighted, so I will, instead, simply applaud your excellent list of what real paranoia (or even just a healthily-developed self-preservation instinct!) looks like.

    Also:

    If he was trying to hide from his ex-high school classmate, then yeah, good job, but he hasn’t done any extreme measures that suggest he’s as paranoid as he claims he is.

    I snorted again XD

    Flidais says Aenghus thinks it’s his “birthright” but there’s no information given as to why he thinks that.

    So I let this bit trick me into forgetting to double-check things and figured that Lugh was Aengus’s dad, even though it was the Dagda…and now my spitefic is a little spoiled.

    And yeah, there doesn’t seem to be any reason why Aengus would think the sword was his birthright. He and Lugh were buddies, it seems, and it was Lugh’s sword, but that doesn’t make it his.

    Still, though, he’s got more right to it than Atticus has. Or at least as much right.

    “The people here,” I said, “have a saying: Possession is nine-tenths of the law. And I have possessed it for far longer than any other being, including Manannan Mac Lir.”

    …Question: We aren’t supposed to think Atticus is the villain, right? I ask because that line is exactly what a smug, self-serving, arrogant thief would say to justify keeping something that wasn’t his, and smug, self-serving, arrogant thieves who come up with lousy justifications for their actions are generally regarded as villains.

    At least I thought they were.

    If Aenghus doesn’t show up, the Irish gods can all declare him a coward. That would force him to get off his butt and chase down Atticus.

    You know, if I was Atticus, my next question to this would be: “And why, exactly, do you think I want Aengus Óg to start chasing me down in earnest?”

    “But you can move if you like. May I suggest a gentle rocking motion?”

    Oh my gosh, I cannot stand this, I’ve got to find a happy place before I start eating pens again, quick, quick—

    “May I suggest a gentle rocking motion?”

    “You may not,” said Flidais, and struck him dead.

    The end. Boy, that is satisfying.

    Almost.

    Progress? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Aikaterini: At least the “Underworld” movies gave a reason for the vampire-werewolf feud: vampires in that series tend to be rich aristocrats who use werewolves as servants and look down on them as animals, so the werewolves eventually rose up against them.

    That…sounds pretty awesome, to be honest.

    Wait, if they don’t hate each other because they’re in a new location…then what was the reason for them to hate each other in the old location? What was the original reason that led to the tradition of them hating each other?

    The air in Europe is bad. nodnod

    “She might kill me, I don’t trust her…oh, but she’s so hot, though! I can’t let her in, I have to put on my stoic front of manliness…but, hey, she’s a beautiful woman throwing herself at me, how can I resist?”

    Do you suppose authors ever realize that this doesn’t make the femme fatale look irresistible and alluring, it makes their hero look really, really stupid? Come on, nobody’s that attractive!

    The Smith of Lie: I’ve read books, mostly ones in historical settings, which pretty much shouted that author spent a lot of time reading up on the period or relevant science. But it needs to be woven into narrative and at least vaguely relevant.

    Exactly! I love reading stories where it’s obvious the author did their research – I tend to look at it as an author’s job to get things right – but only if their research is given to you in an entertaining way. If it’s just info-dumped, like here (or like in the book I’m sporking with my siblings, where the author goes on for paragraphs about the interior decorating of Biltmore Estate like I give a hoot), then it actually loses my interest and I end up learning less than I would have.

    This whole paragraph seems awkward and forced. It seems more like an observation given by a shapeshifting reptile trying to pass as a human than something a human would say.

    You know, that explains so much about Atticus.

    I am starting to suspect he’ll be one of those protagonists, who I hate with power of ten thousand suns, to whom plot just happens as they are moved from place to place by the circumstances, never showing a whit of own initiative.

    …Pen?

    I second the suspicion. And I dread its being proven true. The book my siblings and I are sporking (Serafina and the Black Cloak) is awful. It is terrible. It should never have been published, and it should never have spent any time on the bestseller list. But at least the protagonist does have motivations, and goals, and does attempt to solve the problems of the plot instead of sitting around like a lump waiting for things to happen to her.

    And not a Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot? Disappointing.

    Lawyer Vampire Viking Swordsmen are just such cheap knock-offs.

    Eh, given it’s Atticus we’re talking about I wouldn’t be entirely surprised.

    To be honest…yeah, neither would I.

    From what I remember of Norse mythology the worse that could be said about Thor is that he was rowdy and sort of inconsiderate. Which by the godly standards makes him pretty much a saint.

    I like the Order of the Stick portrayal of Thor much better. There, yes, he is a rowdy, somewhat inconsiderate show-off who likes his beer and his women and can be a little bit of a frat boy. But he’s also shown to genuinely care about the survival of the world at large, the well-being of the creatures living in it, and the feelings of individual people. He’s not a complete jerk, the way Hearne’s portraying him here.

    This isn’t so much red flag as a company of bannermen weaving a sea of giant, crimson flags while alarms are blaring at full volume.

    Excellent metaphor.

    And to top it off a very, very short mini-spite-fic.

    I love it :D That is exactly what this dingbat deserves.

    Sorry for double posting, but I got bored and an utter abomination somehow happend on its own. And I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t expose you guys to it.

    I think you sell yourself short, Smith. That was glorious. Especially these bits:

    In one of the cells I noticed a pretty blond boy. He looked sixteen, maybe seventeen at most. And I guess one could describe his face as angelic if not the look in his eyes. He was obviously itching for violence. It was in his eyes and in his body language, sitting on a bunk, tense and seemingly ready to jump at the first soul unfortunate enough to get close to him. Before I got carted out of sight I noticed he had some weird tattoos on his forearms.

    In the next cell was an incredibly pale youth. At least he was looking emotionless instead of outright homicidal. As we were passing him I noticed that the part of his skin exposed to sunlight was sparkling. I guess they do provide prisoners with glitter here, mighty considerate if not very useful.

    Next cell would have made me cry about human rights violation, but I was too parched and my tongue too stiff to speak. For there, in the very same block as the two guys was a girl. She sat at the very back of her cell, sullen, with knees dragged to her chin. The only thing I managed to notice was a tattoo of a half moon on her forehead.

    chef kiss Beautiful. Jace, and Edward, and Zoey. Now if only Patch had been in the next cell, my life would be complete. Oh well. My headcanon is that he’s next on the list.

    And you completely made up for it with the mention of Dennagon. I am so happy.

    Also, this line:

    “I’m afraid we can’t afford to assemble a jury of thoughtless, irresponsible scoundrels.

    Will your druid powers heal that burn, Atticus?

    Also, out of curiosity: Do the initials S.L. and T.M. stand for anything in particular? Are these references to something I’m not getting?

    Juracan: That’s right: Atticus loves his dog more than his own kid.

    Look, I know there are people out there who treat their dogs like their kids, but that’s taking it a step too far, ‘f you ask me.

    The Smith of Lie: (By the way The Legion of Bastards sounds like a great title for a book and/or name for heavy metal band.)

    Sorely tempted to ask you to co-author a multi-chapter spitefic entitled The Legion of Bastards that follows the premise I set up somewhere way, way back there, about Atticus’s kids coming to kill him.

    OK. I’m done. And I may or may not comment on Chapter Six before Chapter Seven is up. At any rate, I’m still very much enjoying this sporking! :)

  9. The Smith of Lie on 12 October 2018, 09:53 said:

    Besides, if he doesn’t explain what or who he’s talking about, just name-drops various famous figures and expects us to follow it, it’s not going to be very interesting even to war buffs, because they won’t understand a word of it.

    Having thought about it for a minute, Hearne written himself into the corner here. On one hand the whole thing is the main reason behind the plot, thin as it is, on the other if he wanted to it justice he’d have even longer and more cumbersome info-dump.

    This is wildly speculative, but I think the whole thing might have worked much better if either A) the battle and the whole story were mentioned in a pretty off-hand manner, as a wink to Irish mythology enthusiasts but non-intrusive for the narrative or B) go full hog and have the book as interlacing narratives – one current and one in the past but “in real time”, explaining the context for the events in the modern one.

    I mean I figured it consisted mainly of whatever was in the two people’s minds to talk about…but I’m hardly an expert. Just saying that this sounds a little, um, limited.

    Apparently we are missing out on the whole pillow talk etiquette.

    named Jesse

    OH FOR CRYING OUT
    THAT’S A MAN’S NAME!!

    Ok, so now this is what Atticus’s lay looked like according to my head canon:

    This is another thing that really gets under my skin: Geeky/nerdy works of fiction that poke fun at geeks and nerds. Like, say, Power Rangers or Kim Possible. They’re all about superheroes and evil masterminds and mutated science creations et cetera (not to mention Power Rangers has allll the minutiae to dig into and get obsessed with). Your fanbase is geeks. Just embrace who you are already!

    Exactly. We had this same debate under Mortal Instruments spork. On one hand CC was name dropping geeky stuff, on the other hand narrative implied disdain for nerds and geeks.

    I don’t get this.

    I could make a joke about talking about swords and how that seems entirely appropriate, but I’m grossing myself out so I won’t.

    Well, you have sent my mind to places, that were I not a hardened degenerate, would have caused severe sanity loss. On more than one level. I enjoyed that.

    Are you freaking kidding— […]

    That whole rant was a thing of beauty and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said.

    I mean…why have priests, if the gods are supposed to stay out of human affairs, for goodness’s sakes?

    Well, do you want a cynical answer or extremely cynical answer?

    I’ll stay with just cynical – how about having priests to ensure that gods stay away from human affairs and don’t fuck the things up even worse than we do on our own? I mean, just look at that whole Troyan War fiasco and how the gods just kept adding fuel to the fire…

    OK, question that just occurred to me: If Conn was such a megalomaniac and no good for Ireland and corrupted by the power of his magic sword and all, why did Atticus want to fight on his side in the first place? Could he not tell where this was going, or did he just not care because there was something to be gained for himself in it?

    Oh please. Atticus just wanted to join the slaughter. I thought it was obvious.

    Oh, what the heck.

    I see I infected someone with a spontaneous spite-fic creation bug. Now I can die content in the knowledge I made the world a better place.

    “I’m hardly an ordinary mortal man, m’lady,”

    Oh good, this is just what I needed to like Atticus more – a vision of him tipping his fedora to Flidais. Because he wasn’t unlikeable enough already.

    Meanwhile, she was off to Tir na nÓg to take a few dozen cleansing spring baths

    Now this is why Tuatha being behind on technology is such a problem. She should have an access to a good decontamination chamber for exactly such emergencies.

    Seeing how annoying this is makes me rethink one of my stories where the heroes are constantly quoting everything that comes to mind. Though usually I don’t have them explain the reference, just let them quote the lines that fit the situation, maybe make a slight note about where it comes from, and keep going.

    This is sort of me in real life. I keep dropping quotes and references to books or songs and I am always disappointed by no one ever catching them. If I ever go off the bend and become a super villain this will probably be my Freudian excuse.

    So…he was already taking the immortalizing stuff before he stole the sword? Why? For what purpose? Or did druids just live a hecka-long time?

    He wasn’t made immortal for the purpose of keeping him on earth, he was made immortal for the purpose of keeping him out of the underworld. Be honest, would you want Atticus hanging around your place forever and ever?

    I interpreted that as Atticus putting his hands on Flidais’s chest, and was trying to work out how that would stop her putting a binding on him. XD

    It is my fault for having a dirty mind, but the obvious answers seems to be, by bringing her to a distraction.

    “May I suggest a gentle rocking motion?”
    “You may not,” said Flidais, and struck him dead.

    Not the subtlest of your work, but I guess given the circumstances it can be excused.

    I second the suspicion. And I dread its being proven true. The book my siblings and I are sporking (Serafina and the Black Cloak) is awful. It is terrible. It should never have been published, and it should never have spent any time on the bestseller list. But at least the protagonist does have motivations, and goals, and does attempt to solve the problems of the plot instead of sitting around like a lump waiting for things to happen to her.

    Oh you tease you. How about just linking the sporking/posting it somewhere instead of just dropping hints here?

    Also, out of curiosity: Do the initials S.L. and T.M. stand for anything in particular? Are these references to something I’m not getting?

    Now, I could just give you a straight up answer. But I am a coy and self-indulgent beast, so I’m gonna drop some hints and see if you can add 2 and 2.

    For one, yes it is a sort of reference and you know the persons I’m alluding to even if you don’t realize it.

    S.L., T.M. and J. are all agents of Society for Paranormal Oversight, Restriction and Keeping (which I by mistake rendered as Society for Paranormal Supervision, Restriction and Keeping in the spite-fic under chapter 6. The canon is that J. had a slip of the tongue.). I wonder what the acronym of such an organization would look like.

    The description of S. L. is more or less based on reality, the one for T. M. is licentia poetica.

    Sorely tempted to ask you to co-author a multi-chapter spitefic entitled The Legion of Bastards that follows the premise I set up somewhere way, way back there, about Atticus’s kids coming to kill him.

    And I’m sorely tempted to write something along this lines. No promises though.

  10. Juracan on 12 October 2018, 16:49 said:

    THAT’S A MAN’S NAME!!

    From this comment I decided to check and make sure I didn’t mess up and type the name wrong. But nope! In the book, the “lovely lass” in question is, in fact, named ‘Jesse’ with no ‘i’.

    Not trying to start a debate, but…if you live in a place, shouldn’t you know something about its politics? I can see Atticus maybe being disillusioned with everything to do with human politics in general since he’s lived so long and seen so many rulers and systems of government and civilizations come and go and be torn down and rebuilt and reshaped and so on and so forth. But he’s not really written like that, and even so, even if you’d reached a point of “I really don’t care any more who’s in charge and what these people set up, it’s all the same thing anyway and humans just can’t get it together long enough to make things work”, I still think you’d want to know basic stuff, like who the two main factions are and who the lesser factions are and what each stands for, if nothing else, so that you can blend in and maybe avoid getting hurt, if worst comes to worst. I mean, Atticus has seen more than his fair share of civil wars and uprisings and such; surely he wants to keep track of what people’s grievances with each other are, in case things go that route again?

    Yes, he should be aware of the politics.

    The thing is, that this is another case of Hearne trying to write him in two different ways. He tries to have it so that Atticus is supposedly always keeping his head down and out of trouble, but in the first chapter he namedrops famous people he’s met. Not all of them are politicians, true, but they do have some involvement with politics in one way or another. So he’s involved with a bunch of famous people throughout history, but nowadays he doesn’t even keep track of the government administrations of the country he lives in?

    Yeah, that don’t make sense.

    Also for the reasons you said.

    Reasonably inconsequential question, but I was wondering: Are you quoting the narration, or Flidais herself? Because if that’s Flidais, that’s some extremely expository dialogue right there. Surely asking about “the sword of Manannan” or “Fragarach” or “The Answerer” would do just fine.

    It’s the narration. The full sentence in the text, page 37 of the Kindle edition, is “Flidais, on the other hand, wanted to talk about the ancient sword of Manannan Mac Lir, called Fragarach, the Answerer.”

    Having – bad – Moana flashbacks…must – not – rant – about – the crab…

    …I’m going to remember this if something shiny comes up in the sporking.

    Minor nitpick, but shouldn’t Flidais know about this? I feel like this was probably pretty big news in prehistoric Ireland, yes? At the very least, she should have been aware of something going on.

    I mean… yeah. There’s a bit I left out of the sporking because I didn’t think it relevant, but Flidais does explain that she wasn’t around for that, and “never had much interest in human affairs outside the forest.” Which is the explanation for why she doesn’t know about it.

    All I’ve got is that once upon a veeery long time ago, the Irish and Spaniards were vaguely related? I got nothing besides that.

    It’s a reference to the Milesians,) I think, but this isn’t made clear at all. The way Hearne writes it makes it sound like the Spanish just decided to fight some Irish people one weekend.

    They mean nothing to me, but I wish them to mean something XD I do see your point, though, and agree with it.

    It’s a load of references to Taino mythology and Puerto Rican pirates, it that helps.

    Atticus doesn’t seem to have any goals, any motivations, other than “stay alive and hang on to my magic stuff and keep myself immortal and sleep with hot chicks”. And, sure, there’s probably people out there who have similar motivations, but they don’t make for interesting protagonists!

    Now you see why I’m baffled that this book is brought up with good urban fantasy books. Atticus is just a crap protagonist.

    OK, question that just occurred to me: If Conn was such a megalomaniac and no good for Ireland and corrupted by the power of his magic sword and all, why did Atticus want to fight on his side in the first place? Could he not tell where this was going, or did he just not care because there was something to be gained for himself in it?

    Don’t confuse us with the facts!

    OK, I looked it up, and it looks as though “don’t have a cow” and, erm, Hearne’s expression are not at all related, and I couldn’t find any references to Hearne’s expression besides references to Hounded.

    I’ve heard the expression “have a cow” but it’s certainly not a common one, especially among adults? I don’t know, with all the swearing and sex, it just feels really out of place.

    Question I never thought I’d ask: Why is confused cartoon Death asking “What”?

    [shrugs] I dunno. I found the reaction image on Tumblr.

    And…Thor’s the bad guy here?

    Oh yes. Atticus and friends go and kill him and his family eventually. That’s the plot of book three.

    So…he was already taking the immortalizing stuff before he stole the sword? Why? For what purpose? Or did druids just live a hecka-long time?

    Druids in this universe can live forever as long as they take their special Druid Juice. This isn’t explained until near the end of the book, I think.

    Also, out of curiosity: Do the initials S.L. and T.M. stand for anything in particular? Are these references to something I’m not getting?

    It you.

  11. TMary on 12 October 2018, 20:24 said:

    This is wildly speculative, but I think the whole thing might have worked much better if either A) the battle and the whole story were mentioned in a pretty off-hand manner, as a wink to Irish mythology enthusiasts but non-intrusive for the narrative or B) go full hog and have the book as interlacing narratives – one current and one in the past but “in real time”, explaining the context for the events in the modern one.

    I really, really like that second idea. It would have been really cool to read, the two interweaving narratives both slowly revealing things a little at the time until it all comes together in one glorious conclusion somewhere around the climax. I love stories like that.

    But that would have taken effort and work and research and that won’t do at all.

    Ok, so now this is what Atticus’s lay looked like according to my head canon:

    sporfle

    I hate to say it, but he…kinda looks like the Atticus from the book cover. Hm.

    Exactly. We had this same debate under Mortal Instruments spork. On one hand CC was name dropping geeky stuff, on the other hand narrative implied disdain for nerds and geeks.

    I don’t get this.

    I don’t get it either. It’s like books where the protagonist doesn’t like to read and thinks books are boring and people who read a lot are losers. You’re alienating the very people who are going to be interested in what you’re doing.

    Well, you have sent my mind to places, that were I not a hardened degenerate, would have caused severe sanity loss. On more than one level. I enjoyed that.

    Whoops. Well, as long as you enjoyed it, I suppose…

    That whole rant was a thing of beauty and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said.

    Even the part about Bella Swan? Dang XD

    But thank you :)

    I’ll stay with just cynical – how about having priests to ensure that gods stay away from human affairs and don’t fuck the things up even worse than we do on our own? I mean, just look at that whole Troyan War fiasco and how the gods just kept adding fuel to the fire…

    …What was the extremely cynical answer?

    Oh please. Atticus just wanted to join the slaughter. I thought it was obvious.

    Eh, fair enough. But then he can’t come off high-and-mighty about anybody else.

    I see I infected someone with a spontaneous spite-fic creation bug. Now I can die content in the knowledge I made the world a better place.

    Oh good, this is just what I needed to like Atticus more – a vision of him tipping his fedora to Flidais. Because he wasn’t unlikeable enough already.

    I live to serve. :)

    Now this is why Tuatha being behind on technology is such a problem. She should have an access to a good decontamination chamber for exactly such emergencies.

    It’s a magic decontamination chamber ;D

    Actually, this reminds of a topic I like to explore: How much technology would people want to create, if they had access to magic?

    This is sort of me in real life. I keep dropping quotes and references to books or songs and I am always disappointed by no one ever catching them. If I ever go off the bend and become a super villain this will probably be my Freudian excuse.

    Oh me too!

    …The quotes and references thing, not the supervillain one. Although that could work too.

    He wasn’t made immortal for the purpose of keeping him on earth, he was made immortal for the purpose of keeping him out of the underworld. Be honest, would you want Atticus hanging around your place forever and ever?

    He is hanging around my place forever and ever!

    It is my fault for having a dirty mind, but the obvious answers seems to be, by bringing her to a distraction.

    I uh, I had thought of that.

    Not the subtlest of your work, but I guess given the circumstances it can be excused.

    In my defense, it was quite late XD

    Oh you tease you. How about just linking the sporking/posting it somewhere instead of just dropping hints here?

    Well, it’s not online yet, so no chance of a link :P I would love to post it here (and that is the eventual game plan), but it’s not finished yet, and when I suggested posting the chapters we had already and continuing to post-as-we-spork, the suggestion met with a lukewarm reception from my siblings. I’ll broach the subject with them again and see what happens. :)

    And I’m sorely tempted to write something along this lines. No promises though.

    Hakuna matata :)

    From this comment I decided to check and make sure I didn’t mess up and type the name wrong. But nope! In the book, the “lovely lass” in question is, in fact, named ‘Jesse’ with no ‘i’.

    This book was professionally edited, yes?

    I mean, maybe I could be charitable and say “People do crazy things with their names all the time nowadays, maybe she goes by ‘Jesse’ anyway”, but I don’t feel like being charitable.

    The thing is, that this is another case of Hearne trying to write him in two different ways. He tries to have it so that Atticus is supposedly always keeping his head down and out of trouble, but in the first chapter he namedrops famous people he’s met. Not all of them are politicians, true, but they do have some involvement with politics in one way or another. So he’s involved with a bunch of famous people throughout history, but nowadays he doesn’t even keep track of the government administrations of the country he lives in?

    There’s this too, but I forgot it in the middle of everything else XD

    It’s the narration. The full sentence in the text, page 37 of the Kindle edition, is “Flidais, on the other hand, wanted to talk about the ancient sword of Manannan Mac Lir, called Fragarach, the Answerer.”

    OK, that’s a little better. Still sounds oddly expository, considering that he already told us about Fragarach in the first chapter, right?

    …I’m going to remember this if something shiny comes up in the sporking.

    Do give me a warning first XD

    I mean… yeah. There’s a bit I left out of the sporking because I didn’t think it relevant, but Flidais does explain that she wasn’t around for that, and “never had much interest in human affairs outside the forest.” Which is the explanation for why she doesn’t know about it.

    Oh, OK. That’s fair.

    It’s a load of references to Taino mythology and Puerto Rican pirates, it that helps.

    You know my weaknesses ;P

    I’ve heard the expression “have a cow” but it’s certainly not a common one, especially among adults? I don’t know, with all the swearing and sex, it just feels really out of place.

    Oh yeah, I’ve heard “have a cow” before (and I agree that it does seem out of place with how adult this book is). “Shat kine” I had not, though.

    [shrugs] I dunno. I found the reaction image on Tumblr.

    Oh. Well, rats XD

    Oh yes. Atticus and friends go and kill him and his family eventually. That’s the plot of book three.

    Him…and HIS FAMILY?!

    And we’re not supposed to see this an extreme overreaction and highly unheroic behavior?

    Druids in this universe can live forever as long as they take their special Druid Juice. This isn’t explained until near the end of the book, I think.

    The “immortalizing stuff” is henceforth dubbed Druid Juice because that’s a much better name for it. XD

    And whyyyy do the druids have special Druid Jui – oh, who am I kidding, there’s no explanation, is there.

    And last but not least…

    Now, I could just give you a straight up answer. But I am a coy and self-indulgent beast, so I’m gonna drop some hints and see if you can add 2 and 2.

    For one, yes it is a sort of reference and you know the persons I’m alluding to even if you don’t realize it.

    S.L., T.M. and J. are all agents of Society for Paranormal Oversight, Restriction and Keeping (which I by mistake rendered as Society for Paranormal Supervision, Restriction and Keeping in the spite-fic under chapter 6. The canon is that J. had a slip of the tongue.). I wonder what the acronym of such an organization would look like.

    The description of S. L. is more or less based on reality, the one for T. M. is licentia poetica.

    It you.

    turns red to the roots of her hair and slides under the desk

    So I’m a little slow on the uptake at times…it took at least three rereads for the possibility that you might have been referring to me to occur to me, but I found that unlikely. I’m so flattered now, thanks bunches :3

    And I’m never coming out from under my desk any more.

  12. Juracan on 12 October 2018, 22:02 said:

    Exactly. We had this same debate under Mortal Instruments spork. On one hand CC was name dropping geeky stuff, on the other hand narrative implied disdain for nerds and geeks.

    Because Smith! Cassandra Clare might be a fanfic writer, but she’s not one of those LOSER GEEKS. And neither are her protagonists! They’re too hawt!

    If I ever go off the bend and become a super villain this will probably be my Freudian excuse.

    Please don’t. I think you’d be unstoppable.

    This book was professionally edited, yes?

    It was! I was going to make a comment like, “Hey at least it’s better than Angelopolis” but I’m realizing that’s the lowest of bars. So, uh, yeah.

    Him…and HIS FAMILY?!

    And we’re not supposed to see this an extreme overreaction and highly unheroic behavior?

    …we’ll get there. Eventually.

    It’s not great.

    And whyyyy do the druids have special Druid Jui – oh, who am I kidding, there’s no explanation, is there.

    It’s so Druids can be immortal, silly! Why? REASONS.

    And I’m never coming out from under my desk any more.

    You’ve got to! You have to comment on further chapters too!

  13. TMary on 12 October 2018, 22:33 said:

    It was!

    I…am starting to have less faith in professional editors. I have read that actually they don’t have any control over whether the author edits the book or not, and all they can do is propose changes and hope things get changed before the publishing deadline, and that explains some things that get through, like poor characterization, plot holes, and disturbing themes. But when it’s stuff like “Hey, Jesse without an i is a man’s name” or “Hey, it’s ‘different from him’, not ‘different than him’”, and that doesn’t get changed, then the editor is still to blame for not catching those mistakes. I guess, just like authors, some editors are good, some mediocre, and some terrible, but there’s an awful lot of bad ones running around.

    I was going to make a comment like, “Hey at least it’s better than Angelopolis” but I’m realizing that’s the lowest of bars. So, uh, yeah.

    It’s like when I say Manos: The Hands of Fate is a better movie than The Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies?!? That doesn’t make Manos a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.

    …we’ll get there. Eventually.

    It’s not great.

    It doesn’t sound great.

    It’s so Druids can be immortal, silly! Why? REASONS.

    So are there any more immortal druids running around or…?

    You’ve got to! You have to comment on further chapters too!

    I can comment from under here! I just brought my laptop down with me!

  14. The Smith of Lie on 13 October 2018, 01:32 said:

    Question I never thought I’d ask: Why is confused cartoon Death asking “What”?

    [shrugs] I dunno. I found the reaction image on Tumblr.

    Oh. Well, rats XD

    The Smith of Lie to the rescue.

    I hate to say it, but he…kinda looks like the Atticus from the book cover. Hm.

    I guess it’d be within Atticus’s vain character to go for a look-alike. But the character is Jesse Custer from the Preacher comics by Garth Ennis.

    Those are some sick and twisted comics, but they’ve got my favourite reaction of all times. Character that just got nuked walking out of the fireball unperturbed and commenting Not enough gun.

    I don’t get it either. It’s like books where the protagonist doesn’t like to read and thinks books are boring and people who read a lot are losers. You’re alienating the very people who are going to be interested in what you’re doing.

    Because Smith! Cassandra Clare might be a fanfic writer, but she’s not one of those LOSER GEEKS. And neither are her protagonists! They’re too hawt!

    Yeah. I can just assume this is some sort of very unhealthy Boomerang Bigotry. I have no relevant education to offer expertise, but if I were to make a wild guess it’d be that, the popular media (at least those made in US) have this stereotype of popular kids in school. And those are often shown in more positive light than nerds, and thus are something aspirational. Therefore instead of embracing their geeky side (like Jim Butcher does for example, or Joss Whedon) some authors are “class traitors” – creating geeky stuff while pretending to not be ones.

    But that’s just a theory. A bullshit theory.

    …What was the extremely cynical answer?

    An extremely cynical answer is an anti-theist rant, that paints priests as power seeking manipulators using the faith in gods as a tool to manipulate masses.

    Actually, this reminds of a topic I like to explore: How much technology would people want to create, if they had access to magic?

    If I anticipate thighs properly based on the blurbs, the series I have in mind for near future (possibly after the re-freshing of Witcher I planned for after Flashman) might be little like this. Operation Chaos and Operation Luna by Poul Anderson are an alternative history, where technology progressed to early combustion engines and from there the magic took its place.

    Oh yes. Atticus and friends go and kill him and his family eventually. That’s the plot of book three.

    And to think I was actually considering reading those books… Dodged the bullet on that one.

    Druids in this universe can live forever as long as they take their special Druid Juice. This isn’t explained until near the end of the book, I think.

    The “immortalizing stuff” is henceforth dubbed Druid Juice because that’s a much better name for it. XD

    We here at Druid Juice™ headquarters care about quality of our product. Which is why we only use organic ingredients, hand picked and selected to ensure only the best and purest children souls go into our product.

    So I’m a little slow on the uptake at times…it took at least three rereads for the possibility that you might have been referring to me to occur to me, but I found that unlikely. I’m so flattered now, thanks bunches :3

    It’s like when I say Manos: The Hands of Fate is a better movie than The Incredibly Strange Creatures That Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies?!? That doesn’t make Manos a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.

    Ah but Manos has such an uplifting ending…

  15. Juracan on 13 October 2018, 09:35 said:

    I…am starting to have less faith in professional editors. I have read that actually they don’t have any control over whether the author edits the book or not, and all they can do is propose changes and hope things get changed before the publishing deadline, and that explains some things that get through, like poor characterization, plot holes, and disturbing themes. But when it’s stuff like “Hey, Jesse without an i is a man’s name” or “Hey, it’s ‘different from him’, not ‘different than him’”, and that doesn’t get changed, then the editor is still to blame for not catching those mistakes. I guess, just like authors, some editors are good, some mediocre, and some terrible, but there’s an awful lot of bad ones running around.

    The thing is the little bits are probably things the author should have been able to change with little to no effort. I’m not as bothered by the editing in this book as I was in something like, say, Angelopolis because the punctuation is mostly there and characters don’t contradict themselves within pages of each other.

    Like yes, there are errors, but it’s still a coherent story. It’s not a good one, but it’s coherent. I still think an editor should have looked at it and turned it back in with lots of red marks and said, “Hey, maybe give it another draft?”

    So are there any more immortal druids running around or…?

    Nope. Atticus is the last one.

    I can comment from under here! I just brought my laptop down with me!

    Oh good. Carry on, then.

    The Smith of Lie to the rescue.

    Good man, Smith!

    Yeah. I can just assume this is some sort of very unhealthy Boomerang Bigotry. I have no relevant education to offer expertise, but if I were to make a wild guess it’d be that, the popular media (at least those made in US) have this stereotype of popular kids in school. And those are often shown in more positive light than nerds, and thus are something aspirational. Therefore instead of embracing their geeky side (like Jim Butcher does for example, or Joss Whedon) some authors are “class traitors” – creating geeky stuff while pretending to not be ones.

    That’s the best I can come up with, really. In Clare’s case, back in the old HP fandom days of yore, she has a history of bullying people, so it’s not out of the question that the treatment of nerds in her books is a way of making herself (and her audience I guess) feel better. Because yeah, they might be reading YA fantasy books about Nephilim fighting demons and vampires, but at least they’re not playing DnD, like NERDS. But she could also play it off as a joke from what I’ve seen of how she’s written it, so if she’s called out on it she has an out.

    In Hearne’s case… I don’t know. Atticus comes across as the wizard fantasy equivalent of a jock. Maybe the later books get better, but the example in this chapter just screams ‘Sci-fi nerds are losers!’ to me.

  16. TMary on 13 October 2018, 16:56 said:

    The Smith of Lie to the rescue.

    Oh, thank you XD I…probably laughed harder at that than I should have.

    I guess it’d be within Atticus’s vain character to go for a look-alike.

    Yeah, that was my thinking too.

    Those are some sick and twisted comics, but they’ve got my favourite reaction of all times. Character that just got nuked walking out of the fireball unperturbed and commenting Not enough gun.

    That does sound pretty good.

    But that’s just a theory. A bullshit theory.

    I think it’s probably the likeliest possibility, actually. That portrayal of nerds is pretty insidious; I mean, I’m thoroughly nerdy and geeky myself, but it took me till I was in my mid-teens to really realize that was what I was, because I associated nerdiness and geekiness with, well, being a complete loser. And I never even went to school!

    I think it’s that, plus probably there’s a certain amount of corporate meddling (especially in big franchises like Power Rangers) to make it “more appealing” to the non-geeks out there.

    An extremely cynical answer is an anti-theist rant, that paints priests as power seeking manipulators using the faith in gods as a tool to manipulate masses.

    Oh. Well, I asked XD

    I probably should have been able to predict that, but I’m not very cynical, I suppose.

    If I anticipate thighs

    Sorry? XD

    If I anticipate thighs properly based on the blurbs, the series I have in mind for near future (possibly after the re-freshing of Witcher I planned for after Flashman) might be little like this. Operation Chaos and Operation Luna by Poul Anderson are an alternative history, where technology progressed to early combustion engines and from there the magic took its place.

    Ooh, so like fantasy steampunk? That sounds pretty cool in concept. Do let us know if they’re good.1 :D

    We here at Druid Juice™ headquarters care about quality of our product. Which is why we only use organic ingredients, hand picked and selected to ensure only the best and purest children souls go into our product.

    It was all fun and games until suddenly there were children’s souls in it o.O

    But I was hoping for a commercial for Druid Juice; wanted to make one myself, but I’m not good with making up corporate messages.

    Haha :3

    I found the description of me pretty flattering as well, but I’m curious, why a redhead?

    Ah but Manos has such an uplifting ending…

    Yeah, it ends ;P

    But yeah, I forgot about the child bride ending of Manos. Incredibly Strange Creatures never went that far. What annoyed me was the endless procession of mediocre cabaret acts in place of plot.

    The thing is the little bits are probably things the author should have been able to change with little to no effort.

    Yeah, that’s like basic proofreading stuff. I’d never even consider sending a book to an editor without having done all that myself (and then having handed it over to various family members so they could go down it with fresh eyes and catch anything I missed). That’s not even an editor’s job, really.

    But I think that this:

    I still think an editor should have looked at it and turned it back in with lots of red marks and said, “Hey, maybe give it another draft?”

    is absolutely right.

    Oh good. Carry on, then.

    I will. I’ve gotten my family to send me food parcels every week, so I’m solid.

    1 She said, as if she didn’t have a never-ending “To Read” list already.

  17. The Smith of Lie on 14 October 2018, 00:41 said:

    I think it’s that, plus probably there’s a certain amount of corporate meddling (especially in big franchises like Power Rangers) to make it “more appealing” to the non-geeks out there.

    This actually sounds pretty reasonable. It’s a subliminal message of “Hey, you are watching this geeky/nerdy shit but you are cool, you are nothing like this loser!”

    If I anticipate thighs

    Sorry? XD

    I wish I had a more amusing explanation, but that’s just a simple typo, it should have said “things”. I can’t even say it was Freudian slip, because thighs aren’t part of anatomy I am wont to pay much attention to.

    Ooh, so like fantasy steampunk? That sounds pretty cool in concept. Do let us know if they’re good.

    Sure. But it might take a while. I still have 2,5 Flashman books to read, then I am either refreshing Witcher or Codex Alera (or both). In the meanwhile, there’s the new Expanse book coming out in december… Yeah…

    It was all fun and games until suddenly there were children’s souls in it o.O
    But I was hoping for a commercial for Druid Juice; wanted to make one myself, but I’m not good with making up corporate messages.

    I actually was suboconsciously inspired by a song, that I’m pretty certain can be applied to Atticus’s youth. As in it describes something he did. Probably more than once.

    I found the description of me pretty flattering as well, but I’m curious, why a redhead?

    Well… Since I had no reference I just went with what I personally find attractive.

    In hindisght the possible inaccuracy might have blurred the intended shout out.

  18. TMary on 14 October 2018, 16:54 said:

    This actually sounds pretty reasonable. It’s a subliminal message of “Hey, you are watching this geeky/nerdy shit but you are cool, you are nothing like this loser!”

    Exactly. “You’re not a nerd; that’s a real nerd! He likes dorky stuff!”

    I wish I had a more amusing explanation, but that’s just a simple typo, it should have said “things”. I can’t even say it was Freudian slip, because thighs aren’t part of anatomy I am wont to pay much attention to.

    Oh, I thought it was a really extreme typo of “this”. Oh well. It amused me XD

    I still have 2,5 Flashman books to read, then I am either refreshing Witcher or Codex Alera (or both). In the meanwhile, there’s the new Expanse book coming out in december… Yeah…

    Well, you know. Whenever you get around to it. I’ve got a mound of library books that need reading, plus all the books my brother and I own that I haven’t read yet…

    I actually was suboconsciously inspired by a song, that I’m pretty certain can be applied to Atticus’s youth. As in it describes something he did. Probably more than once.

    Wow, no one told me Celtic metal was a thing.

    Although it is interesting about the Celts and human sacrifice…almost all we’ve got to go off of whether they did it at all, and how widespread it was, is the word of the Romans. Who often said people committed human sacrifice that didn’t, in order to justify persecuting and/or invading them.

    Also the Romans said that they usually sacrificed criminals, so there’s that too. Not that that’s much better, but…

    Basically, we’re not really sure how barbaric the ancient Celts were, and how much is just Roman propaganda to justify invading Ireland. I personally think it was probably a little bit of both.

    Well… Since I had no reference I just went with what I personally find attractive.

    In hindisght the possible inaccuracy might have blurred the intended shout out.

    Ah, well, it’s cool. I mean, neither of us had any idea what the other looked like. XD

    I just thought redhead was interesting because my hair is almost at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, so dark brown it’s almost black.

  19. The Smith of Lie on 15 October 2018, 00:37 said:

    Wow, no one told me Celtic metal was a thing.

    Oh, you’d be surprised what kinds of metal exist. Pirate metal? You bet! Goblin metal? Sure. Western metal? Of course! Slavic metal? Yes. Parrot metal? Wait, what?!

    Basically, we’re not really sure how barbaric the ancient Celts were, and how much is just Roman propaganda to justify invading Ireland. I personally think it was probably a little bit of both.

    Well, I was already taking the song with a grain of salt, but that’s cool to know. Still, given what we know about Atticus, I am willing to suspend my disbelief and assume that this is how the Druid Juice™ is made. Just out of sheer pettiness.

    I just thought redhead was interesting because my hair is almost at the completely opposite end of the spectrum, so dark brown it’s almost black.

    You know how it is with alternative realities – in one you are a badass, redhead agent and in another you are evil and have a goatee.

  20. TMary on 15 October 2018, 01:34 said:

    Oh, you’d be surprised what kinds of metal exist. Pirate metal? You bet! Goblin metal? Sure. Western metal? Of course! Slavic metal? Yes. Parrot metal? Wait, what?!

    I knew pirate metal already, but not the others. XD

    Pirate metal has kind of an interesting history, actually; the first guy who did it was actually more interested in the darker and more serious aspects of real piracy, which do suit a metal band…but then other people picked it up and went back to the “parrots’n‘peg-legs” sillier pop-culture version of pirates. Still fun though.

    And now “You Are a Pirate” will be stuck in my head forever more. If my idea about YouTube reviews of pirate fiction done by a crew of pirates ever actually materializes, that’ll be the theme song.

    Well, I was already taking the song with a grain of salt, but that’s cool to know.

    Yeah, just like most ancient history, this is…complicated, and it’s hard to know exactly what was going on. A similar thing happened in the Caribbean in the 1500s with the Spanish accusing the native tribes of cannibalism.

    And the Romans weren’t always bastions of civilized behavior themselves…

    Still, given what we know about Atticus, I am willing to suspend my disbelief and assume that this is how the Druid Juice™ is made. Just out of sheer pettiness.

    I am similarly petty, so same here. XD

    You know how it is with alternative realities – in one you are a badass, redhead agent and in another you are evil and have a goatee.

    True that.

    tries to figure out how she’d grow a goatee

  21. The Smith of Lie on 15 October 2018, 03:42 said:

    Pirate metal has kind of an interesting history, actually; the first guy who did it was actually more interested in the darker and more serious aspects of real piracy, which do suit a metal band…but then other people picked it up and went back to the “parrots’n‘peg-legs” sillier pop-culture version of pirates. Still fun though.

    Yeah, there’s no doubt that Alestorm’s stuff is much more light hearted than Running Wild’s.

    If my idea about YouTube reviews of pirate fiction done by a crew of pirates ever actually materializes, that’ll be the theme song.

    That’s a cool idea! I’d love to be in it, with my countenance I’d make a perfect pet ape!

    tries to figure out how she’d grow a goatee

    I am led to believe, that being evil is the key here. I guess it stimulates follicles or something.