The Eye of Argon Chapter 1

WARNING: For legal reasons I am required to warn people about The Eye of Argon and its possible effects. This book and its resulting snark has been determined to be hazardous to the health of its readers. Side effects include dry mouth, brain damage, constipation, agonizing worming, stringy orchid hair, projectile vomiting, diarrhea, line dancing, an appreciation for the works of Uwe Boll, random itchy spots, blackened toes, ringing ears, polka music, poverty, anemia, nosebleeds, and hallucinations of tiny dancing nuns playing the bagpipes.


The weather beaten trail wound ahead into the dust racked climes of the barren land which dominates large portions of the Norgolian empire.

  1. … wow, that would shame Christopher Paolini for sheer awkwardness.
  2. Seriously, TRY TO DIAGRAM THAT.
  3. And I question how an empire that is mostly “barren land” with “dust racked climes” could even exist in the first place.

 
Age worn hoof prints smothered by the sifting sands of time shone dully against the dust splattered crust of earth.

  1. I’m confused. Are the hoofs age-worn or are the PRINTS age-worn?
  2. And if they’re smothered by the shifting sands of time, how can they shine dully?
  3. If they’re smothered by the shifting sands of time, how can they even be seen, period? That implies they have been there for a long time. Usually hoofprints don’t last that long, especially in hot desert areas.
  4. And when was the last time anyone saw dust splattering? Usually when dust splatters, it’s… mud.
  5. And WHOSE HOOFPRINTS ARE THESE? I mean, it sounds like they were made a long time ago, so clearly it can’t be anyone of importance.

 
The tireless sun cast its parching rays of incandescense from overhead,

… but then they switched out to some eco-friendly bulbs, except in the women’s bathroom. The parching rays of fluorescence are just too unflattering there!

 
half way through its daily revolution.

Those tireless suns! Every single day they run around with their guns and guillotines and they chop the heads off French nobility.

 
Small rodents scampered about, occupying themselves in the daily accomplishments of their dismal lives.

Pooping and stuffing things in their cheeks? Actually, that’s not too different from what most humans do.


“My life is dismal, but it’s still better than yours!”

Dust sprayed over three heaving mounts

Whoa. So we went from a description of this hellishly miserable landscape, which is implied to not have had any people in it for a long time… and suddenly we’re in the middle of a FIGHT.

Also, I’m pretty sure dust never “sprays” unless some guy with a pressure hose is sitting off to the side.

 
in blinding clouds, while they bore the burdonsome cargoes of their struggling overseers.

That’s “burdensome.” One thing Eye of Argon isn’t lacking is typos.

 
“Prepare to embrace your creators in the stygian haunts of hell, barbarian”, gasped the first soldier.

Wow. I just… I shed a single crystal tear at how beautiful that was.

I mean, LOOK AT IT. Nothing about that sentence worked! NOTHING! I mean, Stephenie Meyer DREAMS of producing a sentence as overwrought and silly as that! Marvel at the supremely redundant “stygian haunts of hell” (since “stygian” basically means “hellish,” so what he means is the “hellish haunts of hell”). That ridiculously long “gasp”! The misplaced comma! IT’S BEAUTIFUL!

Really, just how long can he gasp for? That’s like seven gasps.

 
“Only after you have kissed the fleeting stead of death, wretch!” returned Grignr.

… Grignr? Yech. What an awful name.

Not only is it a really UGLY-sounding name (“grig”) but I’m not even sure how to say it, because there seems to be a vowel or two missing. Is it pronounced “Grig-nur”?

And… according to the American Heritage dictionary, “stead” means “The place, position, or function properly or customarily occupied by another.” So you’re supposed to kiss death’s personal position/function? I think he means “steed,” but that doesn’t make much more sense – why would you kiss death’s horse?

 
A sweeping blade of flashing steel riveted from the massive barbarians hide enameled shield as his rippling right arm thrust forth,

I just… I… I…

That sound you heard was me getting an aneurysm. I’m having trouble just deciphering this crap.

  1. What else would a pseudomedieval sword be made out of if not steel?
  2. Riveted. According to every dictionary I’ve checked “riveted” means to be fastened to something. So his flashing sweeping sword is physically stuck to his shield!
  3. And wait half a fucking second… “enameled”? Enamel has nothing to do with leather or animal hides!
  4. So his sword is stuck to his shield… and now his arm is thrusting forth from the shield? I just… I… I can’t…
  5. LEARN WHAT WORDS MEAN.

sending a steel shod blade to the hilt into the soldiers vital organs.

Whoa! You mean his sword has a steel shoe on it and it STILL cuts through people? Wow!

 
The disemboweled mercenary crumpled from his saddle

He’s not disemboweled, moron! He’s been STABBED. Disemboweled is if you pull the intestines/bowels out! See? Dis-em-boweled. De-boweled. Got it? Oh wait – maybe it’s a special property of the sword with a shoe on it;.you stab someone and it pulls out the guts.

 
and sank to the clouded sward,

  1. I’m… I’m just so confused.
  2. We’re supposed to be in a dusty desert filled with dust and rodents and nothing else. Dust. Desert. Got it?
  3. And now we’re on a sward… which is an expanse of soil with grass on it. Which should not exist in a barren desert.
  4. Also, it has a cloud on it. Maybe he means a cloud of dust… but that shouldn’t be on a “sward.”

 
sprinkling the parched dust with crimson droplets of escaping life fluid.

Is that anything like blood? Or is this some other red bodily fluid?

 
The enthused barbarian swilveled about,

… on his little rolling computer chair.

 
his shock of fiery red hair tossing robustly in the humid air currents

… so first we had a barren dry dusty deserty place, and now it suddenly has humidity? Where’s this humidity coming from, since barren dry dusty deserty places aren’t known for their damp air?

as he faced the attack of the defeated soldier’s fellow in arms.

This might be more impressive if I had the faintest idea who these people were or why they were fighting.

 
“Damn you, barbarian” Shrieked the soldier as he observed his comrade in death.

  1. “It appears that my comrade is in death, having had a giant steel shoe shoved into his stomach. How very perplexing.”
  2. Sadly, that is the best dialogue we’ve seen so far.
  3. And apparently when your comrade is in death, you forget how to use exclamation points and proper capitalization.

 
A gleaming scimitar smote a heavy blow against the renegade’s spiked helmet, bringing a heavy cloud over the Ecordian’s misting brain.

  1. A minute ago his hair was tossing in the humid air, and now he’s wearing a helmet? Either that’s a tiny helmet or he’s whipping that sucker on and off like a pair of itchy socks.
  2. So… his brain is covered in droplets? Or is it generating mist?
  3. Writing Tip #3,591: Never call your fantasy race after a musical instrument. Especially a really comical one.

Shaking off the effects of the pounding blow to his head,

“Haha, joke’s on you! My brain is too tiny to have any damage!”

 
Grignr brought down his scarlet streaked edge

Scarlet streaked edge of what, his helmet? Or maybe the “edge” is some obscure barbarian weapon that Mr. Theis failed to tell us about.

And does that scarlet edge have anything to do with crimson droplets of life fluid?

 
against the soldier’s crudely forged hauberk, clanging harmlessly to the left side of his opponent.

I don’t know why a professional SOLDIER would have a hauberk that’s “crudely forged” while a random barbarian has a spiky helmet and a flashing sweeping sword with a steel bootie.

 
The soldier’s stead whinnied as he directed the horse back from the driving blade of the barbarian.

What’s a stead? And why is a stead directing the horse back, instead of the soldier who is presumably riding it? WHY IS THIS SENTENCE SO CONFUSING.

Grignr leashed his mount forward as the hoarsely piercing battle cry of his wilderness bred race resounded from his grinding lungs.

I’m pretty sure that horrible noise will go away if you quit smoking, because you definitely don’t want your lungs grinding anything when you’re fighting.

 
A twirling blade bounced harmlessly from the mighty thief’s buckler as his rolling right arm cleft upward,

It’s official: Theis fails as much at swordplay as he does at English.

  1. Who can defeat anybody by TWIRLING a sword? Twirling’s just a showy little trick that probably couldn’t cut cheese, and which can cause you to lose your grip.
  2. So which one is the thief, the soldier or the barbarian?
  3. A buckler is a very specific type of shield, just so you know.
  4. I’m having trouble envisioning what a “rolling” arm looks like.
  5. The word is “CLOVE,” as in the past tense of “cleave.” The “cleft” is the opening made by “cleaving.” Comes from the old English “geclyft” and “clēofan.”

 
sending a foot of blinding steel ripping

So his mighty phallic sword is only a foot long?

Or is this the foot that goes inside the steel bootie?

 
through the Simarian’s exposed gullet.

Really? You’re gonna use the name “Simarian”? Come on, the obvious naked ripoffs of Conan the Barbarian are painful enough, but you need to actually use the phonetic pronunciation of “Cimmerian”?

 
A gasping gurgle from the soldier’s writhing mouth

  1. How can you gasp and gurgle at the same time? It’s like inhaling and exhaling at the same time.
  2. I don’t know how mouths could writhe. Or why.
  3. “And as the mighty throbbing sword pierced its soft yielding gullet, the mouth writhed and screamed in ecstasy….”
  4. Where’s the verb in this sentence? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad we aren’t being subjected to a random verb like “frolicked.” But it doesn’t really seem to be an actual sentence.

as he tumbled to the golden sand at his feet,

As opposed to tumbling on the golden sand at someone else’s feet, or even the golden sand… behind him or in front of him, instead of directly under him. I guess collapsing into the grass of the SWARD would be less poetic, so someone nicely placed some golden sand nearby for him to tumble into.

Seriously, I am so confused about this climate. I mean first we had deserty dust, then we got a sward, then we got parched earth, then we got humid air and now we have golden sand. It’s like they’re teleporting.

 
and wormed agonizingly in his death bed.

  1. I’m pretty sure “worm” is not a verb. EVER.
  2. And now there’s a bed. On the golden sand. Which is at his feet.
  3. I… just… don’t understand anything.
  4. My brain is bleeding. Just so you know.

 
Grignr’s emerald green orbs glared lustfully at the wallowing soldier struggling before his chestnut swirled mount.

“Damn, I should have noticed how HOT he was before I decided to thrust my phallic weapon into him. I am so pissed by that.”

 
His scowling voice reverberated over the dying form in a tone of mocking mirth.

  1. I wish to know how one’s voice can scowl.
  2. Given that scowling is something your face does, I’m pretty sure your voice can’t manage it.
  3. What, is he using a megaphone to talk to the dying guy? How is his voice reverberating in a massive open space with nothing to echo off of?

 
“You city bred dogs should learn not to antagonize your better.”

Their better what? Is the barbarian thief also is a rich aristocrat? Well, with a word like “antagonize”… what kind of barbarian says that?

Reining his weary mount ahead, grignr resumed his journey to the Noregolian city of Gorzam,

  1. Lord Gorzam, evil overlord of the Planet Zamrod, with a thousand green-skinned slaves and plans to conquer Earth!
  2. capitalization. it is ur friend.
  3. Why is his mount weary? He just spent a VERY long time fighting some random grunts on foot and exchanging witless repartee. And what’s the point of wearing the poor horse out since it’ll just drop dead if he does?
  4. Also, you don’t really rein ahead, you rein IN.

hoping to discover wine, women, and adventure to boil the wild blood coarsing through his savage veins.

I’m not even gonna address the “coarsing” misspell, so I’ll just settle for saying that this guy sounds like an asshole. A masochistic asshole, since apparently he wants to boil his own blood, which sounds painful and possibly fatal.

 
The trek to Gorzom was forced upon Grignr

I thought it was “GorZAM.” Not the first inconsistency, but definitely the most glaring.

 
when the soldiers of Crin

… oline.

 
were leashed upon him by a faithless concubine he had wooed.

What kind of idiot woos a concubine, since concubines were usually committed to a very rich person who probably has guards and connections and shit like that? Oh wait, the lusty barbarian is too Stuishly awesome to address that.

Also… “leashed”? I think he means “unleashed,” because otherwise he’s saying that the bad guys were physically tied to him. Image here: Greg Nur running on the beach with a bunch of barking soldiers tied to his arm.

 
His scandalous activities throughout the Simarian city

He kissed a girl he wasn’t married to and danced the cha-cha at a funeral.

 
had unleashed throngs of havoc and uproar among it’s refined patricians,

  1. And NOW he knows what “unleashed” means. Geh.
  2. … so the refined patricians got into a brawl?
  3. And I’m pretty sure a “throng” is a crowd of people, so they unleashed crowds of havoc and uproar?

 
leading them to tack a heavy reward over his head.

… and then it gave him brain damage when the heavy reward landed ON his head.

Hint: the term “put a reward on his head” makes more sense than any attempts to use synonyms.

 
He had barely managed to escape through the back entrance of the inn he had been guzzling in, as a squad of soldiers tounced upon him.

Yes, they TOUNCED like wild tats!

And  what was he guzzling? Was it something that causes spontaneous outbursts of purple prose? Inability to spell properly? Hats that vanish? Grass that fades in and out?

I chose to believe that someone spiked his drink, and this whole story is a slurred-together hallucination by someone tripping his balls off.

After spilling a spout of blood from the leader of the mercenaries

“Whoops! I bumped into the table and knocked over a whole spout! Sorry about that. Waiter, another spout of crimson life fluid!”

 
as he dismembered one of the officer’s arms,

Usually dismemberment involves ripping limbs off, so how do you rip the limbs off an arm?

 
he retreated to his mount to make his way towards Gorzom,

…. without paying his BAR BILL!

 
rumoured to contain hoards of plunder,

… and whose plunder is this? I mean, is he calling it plunder because he’s planning to steal it, or did the people of Gorzamzom steal it in the first place?

 
and many young wenches for any man who has the backbone to wrest them away.

Wrest them away from whom? Or what? Are the wrenches all tied to a wall or something, and they won’t let you have any unless you rip them OFF the wall?

2 thoughts on “The Eye of Argon Chapter 1”

  1. Anonymous said:

    I’m afraid Theis is right about the past tense of cleave; while it can be cleft, clove, or cleave, in modern use clove and perfect cloven are exclusively American; the forms cleaved and cleft are preferred in British English, which is not to say that they are exclusively British.

    Like

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