It has come to the attention of Vrokthar the Skull-Feaster, Scourge of the Northern Wastes and Bane of the Help Desk Cult, that you wetlanders have grown anxious about thy impending doom. This at first pleased the might ears of Vrokthar, for he thought that the miserable wretches of those weak peoples had, at last, realized the futility of their existence and resigned themselves to glorious slaughter at the swords of Vrokthar’s mighty ravaging hordes.
But lo, Vrokthar was wrong! The outrage! The insult!
You limp-wristed fools fear the ravages of a horde of zombies? Zombies? What nonsense is this? Why should you pathetic weaklings be more menacing when infected with diseases and parasites? Vrokthar is no master of logic, but he does have considerable experience with parasites and infections and, take it from me, they do not make you stronger. Packs of diseased wetlanders would be as dangerous as an average pack of poxy swine – easily slain and a wondrous source of fine bacon. If you have not sampled man-bacon, I assure you it is delicious, and you puffy overweight un-men are a wondrous source of both plentiful bacon and the lard in which to fry it.
So, aside from providing Vrotkthar and his multitudinous progeny with unending supplies of bacon, of what consequence is your pitiful zombie apocalypse? Do you honestly think that you, fat lazy hog lounging on your plush divans and speculating upon the pelvic gyrations of your vid-trollops, are a mere infection away from dangerous weapon? I would gladly remove your zombie spine and wear it as a belt to prove your inferiority, whether dead or alive, but the spines of your people are notoriously difficult to find.
I can hear now your sniveling protestations: “But Vrokthar,” you whimper, snot dribbling from your rosy little noses, “there will be hordes of us! We will be too many?”
Think you that your numbers are of account? Bah! My blade has hungered for such an opportunity to test its edge. Your pathetic sense, so dulled by whatever infection hath corrupted your reason, will fall easy prey to me. I shall hack and slash my way through your miserable masses to utmost victory. You will have no organization, no leaders, no weapons, and no sense – thy doom will be assured.
So, speak not to me of the menaces of your ‘zombie apocalypse’. Such a worthless event, were it to come to pass, would not be frightening enough to make Vrokthar pass gas. He would simply bide his time in the bitter vastness of the north and then, when your pathetic culture had finally managed to laze itself into near collapse, I would blow my mighty horn, gather the hordes, and descend upon thee like the judgment of angry gods.
And then, the man-bacon would flow.
So it is again that I, Vrokthar the Skullfeaster, Scourge of the Northern Wastes, does again howl his curses into this magical word-slate, so that he might send word to his enemies that their miserable lives are to come to an end. Oh, yes, the puffy, limp-limbed wizards that rule this non-realm laugh at Vrokthar’s threats. “Ha!” sayeth the old-womanish cellar-dwelling gargoyles of the land of ‘Tech Support’, “you shall never find us, Vrokthar, for we are clever and hide behind our thick doors and send our mothers to the door when we knock.” “Also,” these pustulent web-toads cackle, “we are mostly located in the distant land of Asia, hiding among the many multitudes of our countrymen.”
These fools have no notion of Vrokthar’s wrath. Before his vengeance is sated, he shall bathe in a great cauldron of their steaming spinal fluid and use their knee-cartilage as chewing gum for many years to come.
But I get ahead of myself.
How hath these fetid, indolent mouse-goblins affronted the mighty Vrokthar? Listen then, and listen well to my grievances, so that your howls of rage might be added to mine own and so might the very stars tremble at our displeasure:
After many years of pillaging the pathetic wetlander nations, it occurred to the diseased and weakling brains of his enemies to provide the Northern Wastes with a spirit known as ‘Wifi’, so that the mighty and warlike peoples of Vrokthar’s tribe might use the magical word-tablets of the south to appease their rage. The fools even expected to sell these objects of wonder to my people. Of course we did not buy them, but took them by force after slaughtering many idiot merchants from both the tribes of Microsoft and Apple. Their wails as they awaited their deaths upon the mounds of the Inferno Ants was most pleasing as we toyed with our new spoils. For some short while we were amused by the panoply of absurd cats and busty females to be found in the deep folds of Wifi’s realm. That was, of course, until we stumbled upon the one known as ‘Beiber’, and then took it upon ourselves to stage a great crusade against the wetlanders that would produce such a foul, effeminate wretch and, still more, allow him to bombard their ears with his pointless, idiotic screeching.
But Vrokthar digresses…
Vrokthar of course secured for himself the mightiest of the ‘computers’ that they seized, and told it a great many of his mightiest secrets, so that they might be held safe from the prying magicks of enemy witchcraft. So it was that Vrokthar came to value this prize. He sacrificed many wetlander infants for its long health, and ordered his bannermen to leave for it the finest parts of the caribou for it to feast upon. What mattered that it deigned not to eat? It was Vrokthar’s most trusted advisor, and any fool who sought to disobey it’s ‘Tweets’ was justly slain by mine own hand.
Then, one cursed morning, Vrokthar was about to consult his computer upon a matter of great import (and in no way related to that despicably buxom wetlander woman Christina Hendricks – this I swear!), his computer ceased to function. Great was Vrokthar’s wrath, but greater still his resolve to restore his lost secrets. He recalled the whimperings of a dying merchant, blubbering for his life as Vrokthar’s battle hounds tore out his entrails, that there were sages hidden deep within the ‘inter-net’ that could resurrect his advisor. So, Vrokthar quested for these men, and found them, and demanded of them their obedience. They promised to help, but their promises were the foulest of lies. They could not rescue Vrokthar’s data! They send Vrokthar not one, but two new ‘hard drives’, only for them both to not function! They asked Vrokthar stupid questions, such as whether or not his computer was switched on (OBVIOUSLY NOT, YOU INSUFFERABLE BOOB, ELSE I WOULD HAVE CUT OFF YOUR MANHOOD AND LEFT YOU TO PERISH HOURS AGO!) or whether his hard drive was hooked up to the computer (YOU SHALL WADE KNEE DEEP IN THE BLOOD OF YOUR OFFSPRING, YOU CONDESCENDING JACKAL!).
They gave Vrokthar incorrect instructions. They transferred Vrokthar to alternate sages who knew nothing. They gifted him with software that would not function. All this and more!
So it is that I swear to hunt down these fools in person, so that they might know the depth of my displeasure. They think they can hide? Know this, Sunjay of Tech Support: There is no population so large that could cushion you from the doom of Vrokthar the Skullfeaster. He will slay every Sunjay in India and fashion a shrine from their collected skulls only so he might desecrate it regularly with his mighty bowel movements. Your screams will sunder heaven and cause your gods to weep. Your family and your friends and your acquaintances and neighbors shall all be branded with Vrokthar’s mark and taken as slaves, there to sand the dead flesh of his bunions and shall be permitted to eat nothing but the sanded remnants of his mighty bunions until they waste away and die. Such is my oath. Even now, my hounds seek the scent of you and all your ilk.
Tell all who will listen: Vrokthar comes for you, and he is as pitiless as the dead clicking of a broken 360 gigabyte hard drive.
Vrokthar the Skullfeaster, Scourge of the Northern Wastes, is greatly angered this holiday season. So angered that he has subdued the soft wetlander that commands this magical, glowing word-slate and has taken the time to tap out his complaints, letter by letter, so that the gods of Inter-net may hear them and tremble.
So, hear me, feeble word-gods of this future world! Vrokthar commands tribute from you, for you hath offended him deeply. Listen well:
Bring me the head of the man who created modern packaging, and you and your lands may exist un-pillaged and un-razed.
Surely this is among the most reasonable of requests, as Vrokthar cannot imagine that you would protect such a miserable and aggravating weakling as he who decided to encase all of Vrokthar’s new memory cards in plastic so impenetrable that Mook’ta, the God of Mindless Hatred, would have difficulty opening them. Vrokthar had need to smite these thin, clear plastic boxes with his greatest axe to free them, and this has damaged the treasures within. It has also, Vrokthar is informed, voided his ‘Warranty’, which sounds bad. If the purposeless meddling of this fat, mewling inventor has exposed Vrokthar to evil curses, long shall his screams echo across the tundra.
Vrokthar, however, is as generous as he is mighty. Though he cursed the heavens with many bloody oaths after smashing his memory card, it occurred to him, in calmer moments, that perhaps this impenetrable force-field of plastic was needed to protect valuable objects from raiders. This is a weakling thing – Vrokthar fears no thieves, and keeps his things in sacks, preferably carried by his harem of female slaves – but Vrokthar must remember that you wetlanders are entirely populated by puffy weaklings. Very well then, reed-thin un-men, protect your valuable electronics with your womanish technological arts. This makes sense for you, sons of lambs that you are.
But packages of Macaroni and Cheese? What the flying fuck?!
Why must Vrokthar track down a pair of scissors to open up his cheesy powder-flavoring to enjoy a box of pillaged food products? Such sustenance is less than worthless – there is no market to sell such objects and one must travel about with a great pallet of such sub-foods in order to be traded for a simple slave-wench. Yet, here am I, Vrokthar, Mighty of the Mighty, straining his cable-like muscles to open a simple plastic bag full of noodles. Then, when the foolish bag is sundered by my great power, the fucking noodles fly everywhere! ARRRGHHHH!
Vrokthar demands satisfaction. Bring me the foolish engineer’s head. BRING HIM TO ME! Let me feast on his blood! Let him be dipped in a boiling cauldron of his own fiendish plastic and have his screams be encased forever, so that his seared corpse may be left standing as a monument on the Wastes to all who would annoy the Skullfeaster.
So it shall be!
Disturbing news reaches the ears of Vrokthar the Skullfeaster, Scourge of the Northern Wastes. As I brood upon my throne of desiccated entrails, I am told of a soft wetlander praising the virtues of strapping armor across one’s body.
This angers me. How typical of soft, womanly wetlanders to cower behind their technologically sophisticated weapons technology. Here, in the Wastes, true men face death with their chest bare and their great axe held high, to show their contempt for the weakness of their opponent. When Vrokthar goes to battle, he wears nothing but the blood of a holy bull, slaughtered as a sacrifice to Mook’ta, the God of Mindless Hatred. Never has Vrokthar died in battle, and this is proof of the effectiveness of his holy protection. The warriors that die when thusly blessed were not true believers, and so it is that the tribe of the Meaty Fists is the most pious of all the great tribes.
Only those who wet themselves with fear would cover themselves with articulated, battle-tested protection harness. Those who fear are not men, but women. So it is that Vrokthar makes a point to plant his seed in all armored wetlanders he captures, as they are clearly women. That they have failed to bear Vrokthar sons is little surprise – the soft, wetlander womb is poor soil for his harsh northern seed. Indeed, Vrokthar is so virile that he has yet to discover even a Northern woman capable of bearing him a son. All he has is useless daughters, whom he sells to buy mead for his tribesmen, for he is a great and noble man.
If the well-disciplined, well-equipped armies of the weakling civilizations of the south come to battle and it does not please Vrokthar to offer them battle, this must not be interpreted as cowardice. Vrokthar has no need to prove his naked flesh and mighty battle-cries against the womanly ranks of an organized army. What would such battle prove? There is no honor in killing limp-dicked men who have made themselves into a walking wall of steel. How could Vrokthar even determine which of their skinny, fruit-slurping number is the chief and challenge him to single combat? If Vrokthar cannot engage his enemy in single combat, then Vrokthar has better things to do. He will pack up his entire tribe and vanish into the steppe, making the so-called invicible legions of the south appear foolish as they occupy our worthless territory and find nothing but goats and scrub-grass. My, the laughs we have at their wretched expense.
Vrokthar wishes to speak no more of such foolishness as ‘armor’ and ‘discipline’. It is time to drink mead and take pleasure among the sheep. We will do this naked, as the God of Mindless Hatred intends. He smiles upon us, and laughs at your foolish wetlander ways in your soft, warm, prosperous cities. We are mightier than you, and will die a glorious death in battle long before any of your own soldiers.
That or dysentery. Very many of us die of dysentery.
I wrote this a few years ago, after reading an awful lot of Howard’s stuff. Given that a new movie’s being released about the big Cimmerian, I figure it’s appropriate to bring this one back:
ME: So, you are an evil wizard thinking of going toe-to-toe with Conan the Cimmerian, eh? Well, first off, let me say that I don’t recommend it.
WIZ: I care not for your paltry warnings, mortal! Tell me more of this ‘Conan.’
ME: Okay, if you are thinking of taking on the big C, there are three basic rules you must remember.
WIZ: Yes! Tell me these secrets!
ME: Rule the First: CONAN HAS A SWORD! If you are dealing with Conan, you have to remember that he is going to cut you apart with a sword. It is pretty much guaranteed.
WIZ: Bah! I shall simply deprive him of his foolish weapon, and…
ME: You misunderstood. Let me repeat the rule: CONAN HAS A SWORD! That’s it. He has a sword. He has one now, he’ll have one later, etc.. If you break his sword, he will kill you with the blunt end. If you steal his sword, he will get another one. Conan has a sword—accept it.
WIZ: Hmph! I fear no piece of steel. I have lived these thousands of years in slumber, only now to awake and rain my vengeance upon the world. This Conan may strike off my head, if it please him, and I shall not die.
ME: And just how effective a wizard will you be after Conan punts your head down the gullet of the nearest crocodile?
WIZ: Errrrr…touché. The next rule?
ME: Ah, yes—a very important one: CONAN HAS CAT-LIKE REFLEXES! He stalks like a panther, he moves like a tiger, he runs like a cheetah, he fights like a lion, etc.
WIZ: I am unimpressed, but for now let us continue to the third rule.
ME: Rule the third: CONAN IS IMMUNE TO SNAKES!
WIZ: What the hell is that supposed to mean?
ME: It’s pretty self-explanatory. If you think you will kill Conan with a snake, it won’t work. The guy has out-wrestled pythons, struck faster than cobras, hell, he can even rattle better than a sidewinder.
WIZ: But I have no mere snake! This cursed beast hath spawned in my black dungeons for lo these…
ME: CONAN IS IMMUNE TO SNAKES! I don’t care if you’ve got a snake the size of the Acella Train with the cunning of Irwin Rommel and venom that could kill the population of India in an afternoon, Conan will kill it. Remember: CONAN HAS A SWORD and will, therefore, cut it in half.
WIZ: What if I take away his swor…
ME: CONAN HAS A SWORD!
WIZ: Right, right—forgot. Well, what if he fell into a pit…
ME: CONAN HAS CAT-LIKE REFLEXES!
WIZ: Dammit. Well, say I teleported him into a room filled with asps and…
ME: CONAN IS IMMUNE TO SNAKES!
WIZ: Fine, fine! I will simply cast bolts of unearthly destruction at him and…
ME: CAT-LIKE REFLEXES!
WIZ: He can’t dodge them all day, your know. Sooner or later he will…
ME: HAS A SWORD!
WIZ: Don’t follow.
ME: He’ll stab you.
WIZ: Right. But you forget that I have several swordsmen of my own.
ME: How many?
WIZ: Ten of the mightiest warriors ever to walk…
ME: Are their names Conan?
ME: Congratulations, you have earned yourself a whole ten seconds before Conan kills you.
WIZ: But these men are strong…
ME: CONAN HAS A SWORD!
WIZ: There are ten of them, though, so…
ME: CAT-LIKE REFLEXES!
WIZ: And then I make it rain poison snakes.
ME: IMMUNE TO SNAKES!
WIZ: Then I dash away with the princess.
ME: CAT-LIKE REFLEXES
WIZ: Motherfucker! Well, what would you do?
ME: Obvious, really—don’t fuck with Conan.