Chapter Seventy-Eight – Schwarz-Pulver

Yes – that is really the chapter title. And wait until you find out what it means!

We open the chapter with a speech from King Genarius:

“After all these celebrations we should not forget that we are in the middle of a war and that there are nearly two million warriors in front of our city who want to destroy our walls and our defense system with a brand new technique.” (page 650)

It’s pretty clear that Gloria Tesch doesn’t have any real idea of the effort it would take to sustain that many men in a single army in a single location. So let’s break this down. Even today, with all of our advanced technology, food preservation techniques, and the ability to bring in fresh supplies by train on a regular basis, having an army of two million men in a single location would be a logistical nightmare, if not flatly impossible. That many men would consume about 6,000,000 pounds of food every day. They would drink 1 million gallons of water every single day – and more if they were fighting. Just to add to the insanity, this is not even two million men gathering in one location to fight a decisive battle – this is a siege. Where are all these people, not to put too fine a point on it, shitting and pissing, day after day after day? In conditions like that, disease will break out very quickly and wipe out a large portion of your army.

Without modern technology, it’s going to be really hard just to maintain an army of even 100,000 men. Having twenty times that number? Flatly impossible.

Also, there is really no excuse for Tesch not knowing this. Medieval logistics are not really my strong suit, but I found out all of this with about twenty minutes of Googling and some basic math.

Anyway, Genarius has visited the enemy’s camp and discovered their new weapons system. And he wants to attack.

“Now is the best time to attack and destroy their new ‘Schwarz Pulver Centers’!”

“What do you mean by ‘Schwarz Pulver Centers’?” Joey asked.

“The troops of the ‘Empire’ have developed a new powder which they call ‘Schwarz Pulver’. They fill this powder with funnels into canisters and if they would place these canisters directly under our walls and ignite them or launch them with a fire arrow, they would blow all of our walls away!” (page 651).

So basically, they’re these:

I mean, if we’re being honest.

I do wonder how these things were suddenly ‘developed’. Abbadon had to know that they were under development, at least. I’m not sure why he would risk his life sneaking into the city to kill AstroJesus when he knew that any day they’d develop little Helm’s Deep bombs to blow holes in the city.

And no, I have no fucking idea why anyone would call bombs ‘Schwarz Pulver Centers’. But to be honest, nothing that Tesch does would surprise me at this point.

Genarius wants to sneak into the enemy’s camp and set their…not a chance in hell I’m going to keep typing this out…their SPC’s on fire. There’s two locations, and they need to destroy them at the same time, for some reason. Well, for no reason. But anyway, Maya has a Tarnkappe now. Oh yeah, that present AstroJesus gave her? It was his Deus Ex Machina hat. This is how we find out what that was. Tesch just didn’t bother actually telling us at the time.

Anyway. Genarius will visit one area and Maya and Joey will visit the other. Genarius gives them a couple bottles of oil and explains to spray [?] the oil all over the SPC and then set it on fire and then run. But since they can leap tall buildings in a single bound and are basically indestructible I don’t think getting away is really going to be a problem.

Tesch throws in a ‘And so it was…’ and we cut forward to the gate. They open the gate a crack and the three of them slip out. For some reason, the siege that is running completely around the walls don’t notice them.

Invisible, they slip through enemy lines until they get to where the SPC’s are kept.

But there was one thing that King Genarius had not mentioned; there were wild dogs on long leashes at each corner.

These animals, somehow sensed Maya and Joey, even in their invisibility and began growling when they arrived at the place (page 655).

Um…no. These Tarnkappes made Maya and Joey able to pet wild bear cubs. Remember that? I do, Tesch, even if you don’t.

But don’t worry! Just in case you thought that Maya and Joey would have to apply some creativity to a difficult situation…they don’t. The guards think the dogs are barking at a rodent and Maya and Joey just stroll right inside without any problems. They spray oil over the bombs, set them on fire, and run like hell. As they run, there’s an explosion from Genarius’ section. Maya and Joey start to worry and talk about if their SPC’s didn’t explode. There’s some trepidation for half a page and then it explodes. Whew, that was a close one. Could you feel the tension? I could.

They get inside the city and Genarius congratulations them, calling them the Princess and Prince of Maradonia, which is a little odd when you consider that Maradonia is the name of the entire continent. It’s like someone being named King of France and then introduced as King of Europe. But at least it’s not as weird as this next bit.

“Hmm…” said Joey. “I had already forgotten that they had made me ‘Prince of Maradonia’.”

“I didn’t.” Maya said. “Not even a single minute. Today I had my tiara in my backpack waiting for me but tonight I will put the tiara on my head and I will sleep with it!”

“Tonight?”

“Yeah dude…and I will sleep with it.” (page 659).

Words (almost) fail me. I’m not sure which is more surprising – that Joey has forgotten that he was made a Prince, when he’s been carrying his crown around [?] in his backpack [???], or that Maya has been gloating about it for every single minute and plans to sleep in her crown.

Joey pulls his crown out of his backpack and wonders how much he could pawn it for. Maya lectures him, saying that ‘a prince’ would never do something like that. As if she knows what a prince would do.

Word spreads quickly throughout the city that Maya and Joey were responsible for destroying the SPC’s, but Maya and Joey are already in bed, sleeping.

Probably wearing their crowns.

Drinks: 32

Chapter Seventy-Nine – The Fire Funeral

It’s King AstroJesus’ funeral. Blah blah, he’s carried along in a stage coach drawn by six white horses. Genarius gets up and gives a rather boring speech until the end.

“Let us bow down before this great king once more and let’s shout out, ‘we love you King Astrodoulos, we love you forever!’” The echo of hundreds of thousands of voices shouted throughout the city of Selinka. ‘We love you King Astrodoulos, we love you forever!’ (page 663).

Yeah.

Genarius hauls Maya and Joey up onstage and talks about how awesome and amazing they are for a couple pages and then it’s time. Joey looks at AstroJesus and starts bawling. They’ve know this guy for what? A couple days? They’ve spent maybe a few hours talking to him? And Joey is really this torn up?

They burn AstroJesus’ corpse and scatter the ashes over the Lake Lagoon.

Despite the fact that there are soldiers surrounding the castle that would prevent them from reaching the Lake Lagoon.

Yeah.

Drinks: 13

Chapter Eighty – Back From the Dead

Apollyon shows up and learns that his SPC’s have been destroyed. Understandably, he is not happy. He screams for a bit. But eventually he calms down and figures out what he needs to do.

It was a very lonely and difficult decision for King Apollyon (page 670).

Poor Apollyon. Maybe he needs to sing the Mother Earth Song to cheer himself up.

He writes Genarius a note asking to come collect his son’s body and dispatches it via raven. Genarius agrees. So Apollyon and his son Plouton and a lot of soldiers come to collect Abbadon’s corpse from the bottom of the wall where it landed. Naturally, Maya, Joey, Genarius, and plenty of soldiers are watching.

Plouton conjures up a bunch of worms that eat Florie and the dead soldiers, which makes some people throw up.

Apollyon pulls the spear out of Abbadon’s body. He then recites a long poem and touches the wounds on Abbadon, bends over, and breathes the spirit of darkness into his son. Then we cut forward, although Tesch doesn’t make it clear we’re cutting forward. If you read the scene three or four times you can figure out, but Tesch makes it rather confusing. Probably because she’s a shitty writer.

At the end of the three and half days Abbadon wakes up and everyone freaks out. Except his brother Plouton, who knows that his father likes Abbadon more and is not pleased. Plouton immediately starts scheming.

Apollyon bitches Abbadon out and says he expected to receive the Key to the Underworld, but he found Abbadon dead and the sword of the Titans lost. Surprisingly, Abbadon doesn’t even try to point out that while that’s true, he did kill AstroJesus. Apollyon orders Abbadon up and says they’re going to retreat, but in a spectacular fashion.

He lifted up his eyes and his arms doing the storm and at the same time a great earthquake occurred.

The central tower was heavily demolished and the tenth of the city of Selinka fell.

In that earthquake seven thousand men of the army of King Genarius were killed but the City Hall was not touched by the quake (page 674).

Okay. Let me get this straight.

You have spent PAGES explaining in no uncertain terms that the one thing that the Powers of Evil CANNOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, do, is use their magical powers against the good guys, because if they do, King Roach, FUCKING GOD ALMIGHTY, will intervene.

And yet…Apollyon conjures up an earthquake that destroys a tenth of the city and kills seven thousand men …and nothing happens?

And then…after that…after you have dealt your enemy a crushing blow…you retreat?

I am truly stunned by how little thought went into this book.

Drinks: 16

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Comment

  1. Licht on 9 March 2011, 04:57 said:

    Scharzpulver. It’s Schwarzpulver, not Schwarz-Pulver and not Schwarz Pulver. <.<

    Also, just my two pence, but I wouldn’t make someone like Maya and Joey King/Prince and Queen/Princess in a kingdom I or someone I like have to live in. Would you?

  2. Licht on 9 March 2011, 04:58 said:

    Damn it.
    SchWWWWarzpulver. W.

  3. TakuGifian on 9 March 2011, 08:56 said:

    So, the Evil Army wanted to use the bombs to blow a hole in the city to kill everyone inside, right?

    …But what about poison?

    Seriously, it would be much more efficient to poison their water supply or something. They have the city practically surrounded, with no way the get more supplies. One competent spy could get in and poison the drinks, and that’s the problem solved.

    Or just toss diseased/infected corpses over their walls.

  4. dragonarya on 9 March 2011, 10:46 said:

    This book has made me entirely uncertain when and where to use single quotes. Every time I do it starts looking weird.

    Apollyon pulls the spear out of Abbadon’s body. He then recites a long poem

    Poem? Tesch can’t write prose, her poetry must be even worse.

  5. LoneWolf on 9 March 2011, 10:57 said:

    So, Genarius didn’t suspect that Apollyon might revive Abaddon? Genarius is quite stupid, isn’t he?

  6. Rorschach on 9 March 2011, 13:07 said:

    Poem? Tesch can’t write prose, her poetry must be even worse.

    Thankfully, she did not actually write out the poem.

  7. Deborah on 9 March 2011, 16:47 said:

    What on earth was the point of Abbadon dying if he’s only going to come back to life a few chapters later?

  8. Juniper on 9 March 2011, 17:13 said:

    Abbadon rises on the third day. Really? REALLY?

  9. Leafbreeze on 9 March 2011, 18:02 said:

    So . . . if Appolyon just blasted a tenth of the city to rubble, what’s to stop him, with his TWO MILLION SOLDIERS, from just marching in, killing Generius, Maya and Joey, and taking over?

  10. Danielle on 9 March 2011, 22:02 said:

    Poor Apollyon. Maybe he needs to sing the Mother Earth Song to cheer himself up.

    I think he needs to listen to Face of Evil Grimace. Excellent album, IMO. :D

  11. The Cat on 9 March 2011, 22:05 said:

    Yeah. While he’s at it, he could’ve just collapsed a WALL, not a tower, and waltzed in, forced a surrender/killed everyone, and…win.

    This was hilarious; both your writing, and, although not at all in the same way, Tesch’s.

  12. Trevor the Echidna on 10 March 2011, 04:34 said:

    This story fills me with a large amount of ‘Anger Called Rage.’ That hurt to type. Watch this clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6oa9ifwLmU and… wow, I can’t even find words to describe it. Needless to say, the fact that people apparently spent two hours in line to buy this book was one of the funniest things I have ever heard. WARNING: Not for the faint hearted.

  13. Trevor the Echidna on 10 March 2011, 04:53 said:

    By the way, how are those T-shirts coming along? Can we get one with SCHWARZ-PULVER and the explosion thingy on the back? I’d so buy that.

  14. Licht on 10 March 2011, 06:52 said:

    If I were her, I’d still pretend I did it all on purpose.
    You know, Bible references so young readers get in contact with them, sloppy logic so children start to question things and hilariously bad writing so young readers (one day leaders) go to school and learn so that they’ll never end that way…

    I wonder if she wrote out the poem and just didn’t put it in the book.

  15. Klutor the Ninth on 10 March 2011, 10:11 said:

    …But what about poison?

    Nice…

    Or just toss diseased/infected corpses over their walls.

    Black Death much? That would’ve been awesome – ripping off history instead of ripping of LotR/the Bible/whatever else.

    Genarius is quite stupid, isn’t he?

    For a side character in a Suefic, he’s actually possessed of pretty average intelligence. Maybe even above average.

    Abbadon rises on the third day. Really? REALLY?

    Subtle as a Saturn rocket.

    So . . . if Appolyon just blasted a tenth of the city to rubble, what’s to stop him, with his TWO MILLION SOLDIERS, from just marching in, killing Generius, Maya and Joey, and taking over?

    The Idiot Plot. That’s what’s stopping him.

    I think he needs to listen to Face of Evil Grimace. Excellent album, IMO. :D

    I just have to ask – is that for real?

  16. gervasium on 10 March 2011, 12:29 said:

    Schwarzpulver: german for gunpowder. Named after a german man named Schwarz who discovered gunpowder.

    THERE’S NO LEGITIMATE REASON FOR THE EVIL EMPIRE TO HAVE THAT NAME!

    I mean, even if they had contact with germany and spoke german, which I would understand, in this case it’s just a preposterous lapse of sanity.

  17. Minoan Ferret on 10 March 2011, 16:41 said:

    “Yeah dude…and I will sleep with it.”

    Nice mental picture…

  18. Danielle on 10 March 2011, 17:01 said:

    I just have to ask—is that for real?

    No, but it should be. If you happen to know a decent singer, a couple good musicians and lyricists, and someone with recording equipment, we can produce it. It’ll go platinum, I just know it. :P

  19. Deborah on 10 March 2011, 17:38 said:

    Time for another album:
    Artist: Apollyon’s Club of Evil
    Title: Feeding Unicorns With Our Hands. Label: Waterpark Records
    Genre: Death Metal
    1)Feeding Unicorns with Our Hands.
    2)But What About Poison?
    3)The Man with the Unusual Beard.
    4) He Loved the Women.
    5) Schwarz Pulver.
    6) We Will Love You Forever.
    7) Yeah Dude. . . and I Will Sleep With It
    8)Key of Destruction.
    9) Ultra Violet Fire Line
    10) Made Out of Cream
    11) The Evil Empire
    12) Flying Saucers
    13) All Men Must Die
    14) The Door to Hell
    15) Emotionally Deeply Confused
    16) Fireplace of Eternal Flame

  20. Danielle on 10 March 2011, 19:19 said:

    Curse you, Deborah. Not only did I nearly spit my tea all over my monitor, now I’m coming up with lyrics for “He Loved the Women” and “Yeah Dude…and I Will Sleep With It.” I think the latter sounds like a modern rap/hip-hop ballad, don’t you?

  21. Erin on 10 March 2011, 22:09 said:

    Ahahahaha, that’s awesome Deborah! I’m totally going to buy a copy… and I will sleep with it.
    Also, wouldn’t sleeping with a crown on your head be rather uncomfortable?

  22. Licht on 11 March 2011, 06:46 said:

    Somehow the sleeping with a crown on your head part is the first thing I believe Gloria has made up herself. It’s something that fits my impression of her.

    “He Loved the Women” sounds like a very tragic requiem song. xD
    You’re awesome!

  23. Klutor the Ninth on 11 March 2011, 10:19 said:

    It’ll go platinum

    Of course it will.

    Ahahahaha, that’s awesome Deborah! I’m totally going to buy a copy… and I will sleep with it.

    Seconded. Brilliant, Deborah – simply brilliant. “Ultra Violet Fire Line” will make an insanely awesome metal riff.

    Also, wouldn’t sleeping with a crown on your head be rather uncomfortable?

    I’ve heard of little girls who, after playing a princess or whatever in a kindergarten play, slept with their plastic tiaras on – just to savor the moment. It happens.

    Somehow the sleeping with a crown on your head part is the first thing I believe Gloria has made up herself. It’s something that fits my impression of her.

    Truth. See above.

  24. Deborah on 11 March 2011, 18:35 said:

    Some Lyrics:

    I got a crown
    I got a crown
    I got a crown, yeah dude
    And I will sleep with it. . .

    He loved the women and the women loved him
    But he never thought his life would be so dim. . .

    ‘Cause I’m emotionally
    Deeply Confused
    I just don’t know
    What to do
    I’m just emotionally
    Deeply Confused. . .

    We got an
    Ultra Violet Fire Line!

  25. Zoot on 12 March 2011, 07:35 said:

    One thing I find hilarious about tesch’s drivel is that she seems to keep forgetting where her characters are, like where on earth is Hoppy? :| Also remember how she wrote something like ‘every animal in this world has a mind and a voice and a soul’ or something and then joey suddenly wants to use his key to the underworld on innocent and intelligent woodland animals and then to make matters even more stupid, all the wolves suddenly got bored with living and attacked the heavily armed camp en masse :P

  26. LoneWolf on 12 March 2011, 08:30 said:

    Where was Hoppy last mentioned, anyway?

  27. Lord Bob Bree on 12 March 2011, 13:28 said:

    Who is this “Hoppy”? I am quite positive there has never been a character of that name is this story, nor will there ever be. Quite frankly, the notion strikes me as reckless and foolhardy.

  28. Rorschach on 12 March 2011, 15:43 said:

    For those concerned, we will see Hoppy again here in a few chapters, and Tesch even has an explanation for where he’s been. It’s a terribly, unbelievable explanation that assumes the reader is a few french fries short of a Happy Meal, but it is an explanation.

  29. Minoan Ferret on 12 March 2011, 17:19 said:

    Thank AstroJesus! I was beginning to get worried about the little guy.

    Deborah, do you think we can get Hoppy to perform on the album? Perhaps: “Everything what lives has eyes and ears and a (wonderful singing) voice!”

  30. Licht on 12 March 2011, 21:50 said:

    Hoppy <3

    May it be that Hoppy and Alana Terence from the Gothic Movement are the only characters in this series that actually have, you know,… fans?

  31. swenson on 12 March 2011, 23:26 said:

    …and now I want to go to a con cosplaying as Hoppy.

  32. TakuGifian on 13 March 2011, 22:05 said:

    I want to know what happened to Dennis while his brother and sister were off adventuring without him.

    (That was his name, right? Dennis? That once-mentioned-then-never-again littlest brother?)

  33. Danielle on 14 March 2011, 00:33 said:

    I think it was Benny, actually, but I’m not sure. (Dennis, for some reason, made me think of Dennis Creevey, and I thought the book might actually get awesome for a second.)

  34. LoneWolf on 14 March 2011, 00:59 said:

    Benji. Yeah, that’s a weird name.

  35. Licht on 14 March 2011, 12:58 said:

    Sounds like a dog’s name… I bet he turns out evil.
    Yep, he turns out evil because he envies Maya and Joey. – Or wait! He’s not still a baby, or is he? If he’s still too young to turn out evil, he’ll get kidnaped.

  36. Anonymous on 14 March 2011, 21:02 said:

    WHAT IS THIS SHIT????? Tara Gisbelie’s ‘My Immortal’ is better than this.

    And what the fuck kind of a name is ‘Joey’ for the hero of a fantasy story?!? Grah, please don’t tell me that this slop actually got published.

    And this ‘Tesch’ person is a moron beyond what I thought possible.

  37. Deborah on 15 March 2011, 08:07 said:

    This was self-published, don’t worry.
    And Joey is kind of a dumb name.

  38. Thea on 15 March 2011, 13:17 said:

    .bq “Hmm…” said Joey. “I had already forgotten that they had made me ‘Prince of Maradonia’.”
    .bq “I didn’t.” Maya said. “Not even a single minute. Today I had my tiara in my backpack waiting for me but tonight I will put the tiara on my head and I will sleep with it!”
    .bq “Tonight?”
    .bq “Yeah dude…and I will sleep with it.” (page 659).

    And I thought of the line “Do you sleep in it?” in a chirpy tone, and couldn’t think why. Well, it was in my play! (Well not my play, but the only play I’ve ever been in, The Curious Savage said by a lovable mental patient to one of the antagonists. But Tesch thinks it is a positive trait. And yay! I no longer was thinking about this, uh, “work”.

    Although these chapters are, imo, almost as hilariously awful as the first few with the “burning cushion of snowflakes” or whatever that was.

    (Oh, and I know I’m late, but thank you Deborah for the album. I wants it :D)

  39. The Drunk Fox on 18 March 2011, 23:36 said:

    bq.Sounds like a dog’s name…

    That’s because it is a dog’s name… <<;

  40. The Drunk Fox on 18 March 2011, 23:37 said:

    …And I’m horrible at Textile! Yay!

  41. Random Guy on 17 March 2014, 20:31 said:

    I found these a few years late, but I have to comment on this one.

    I admit to being highly confused about the schwarzpulver subplot. Why is the Evil Empire using ancient black powder technology? The Principalities of the Air (I’d swear that’s a reference to something in demonology.) have been established in this book to be behind all flying saucer sightings! Since the author never established any UFO sightings in Maradonia itself, that means Apollyon and his Club of Evil have access to modern-day Earth. It shouldn’t be hard for them to swipe or purchase caches of second-hand military goods from third-world countries.

    Ruach enforcing a moratorium on magical fireballs? Forget that nonsense! The Empire of Evil should be bombarding the place with RPGs and mowing down the enemy with uzis!