The Eye of Argon Chapter 6

“Take hold of this rope,” said the first soldier, “and climb out from your pit, slut.”

This is actually the best line in the entire book so far. Except for the “slut” part – how often do you hear one man addressing another (especially if they’re not sexually involved) as a slut?

I mean, I’m not saying there AREN’T men who should he called sluts. Because there are.

But unfortunately you don’t hear it often applied to men.

 
“Your presence is requested in another far deeper hell hole.”

“We call it… the Real Housewives of Bad Fantasy, a new reality show that follows annoying fantasy women as they feud, spend money, act like bitches, shop, and fawn over their creepy men. Among them: Bella Swan, Kahlan, Rhapsody and that bitch from Wheel of Time who’s always pulling her braid. You get to spend the whole season as the boyfriend of Anita Blake MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….”

 
Grignr slipped his right hand to his thigh,

NO! OH HELL, NO! NO DICKS! I refuse to read about Greg’s dick!

 
concealing a small opaque object

Well, at least his penis isn’t see-through. Why does he m

 
beneath the folds of the g-string wrapped about his waist.

  1. … a g-string? Really? Not a loincloth or anything but a… g-string? What is he, a stripper?
  2. If you’re wearing a g-string around your waist, you’re probably wearing it wrong.
  3. G-strings don’t tend to have “folds.” Or much of anything at all.
  4. And where the hell do you HIDE things in a g-string?

And this was the most modest, all-covering one I could find. Some of them are basically just little bits of net partly covering the wiener. Some don’t cover the wiener at all. That up there is the burqa of male g-strings.

 
Brine wells swelled in Grignr’s cold, jade squinting eyes

Because nothing says cold eyes like squinting jade and tiny little salty WELLS. And nothing says a cold, brutal hero like… crying.

 
which grown accustomed to the gloom of the stygian pools of ebony engulfing him

… I thought he was in a prison cell. Now he’s in hellish pools of black?

 
were bedazzled and blinded by flickerering radiance cast forth by the second soldiers’s resin torch.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just have a torch made out of… wood?

 
Tightly gripped in the second soldier’s right hand, opposite the intermittent torch,was a large double edged axe

So… he’s got a torch that only works sometimes in one hand and a HUUUUUUUUUUGE axe in the other. Yeah, that’s really effective. I bet someone could knock that out of his hand with one blow, just because it’s so overbalanced.

 
a long leather wound oaken handled transfixing the center of the weapon’s iron head.

A leather wound oaken handled… transfixing? Ohhhh, the two verbs and the changing tenses make my brain hurt.

And even assuming that he means “a leather-wound oaken handle,” it STILL doesn’t make any sense because handles don’t go into the CENTER of the head, they go in the MIDDLE of it. There IS a difference.

 
Adorning the torso’s of both of the sentries were thin yet sturdy hauberks

NO PLEASE! NOT MORE CLOTHES! I can’t take another Anita-Blakesque filler chapter filled with nothing but descriptions of clothes and furniture! If you cut the weird descriptions and filler from this book, it would be a page long!

 
the breatplates of which were woven of tightly hemmed twines of reinforced silver braiding.

Yes, that sounds like it will DEFINITELY keep someone from stabbing you. Silver braiding is known for doing that.

 
Cupping the soldiers’ feet were thick leather sandals, wound about their shins to two inches below their knees.

…. then those are some WEIRD-shaped sandals. Aren’t they usually shaped to be more… feetlike and less cuplike?

 
Wrapped about their waists were wide satin girdles,

Which were just SO flattering, especially when worn with evening gowns and stockings.

with slender bladed poniards dangling loosely from them,

Yes, when dealing with dangerous criminals you should have teeny little daggers hanging from a GIRDLE.

 
the hilts of which featured scarlet encrusted gems.

So they have gems… which are ENCRUSTED with red something-or-other?

 
Resting upon the manes of their heads,

Yes, the guards are lions. Whatever. Makes as much sense as anything else.

 
and reaching midway to their brows were smooth copper morions.

Ah, so it’s the 300 helmets.

Spiraling the lower portion of the helmet were short, up-curved silver spikes, while a golden hump spired from the top of each basinet.

  1. So both of them have only one helmet.
  2. Short upcurved silver spikes which randomly “spiral”…. sounds VERY utilitarian.
  3. How does a hump “spire”?
  4.  Dammit, a basinet is NOT the same thing as a morion! It’s like saying a rapier is interchangeable with a broadsword! MAKE UP YOUR MIND!
  5. This helmet is starting to sound less and less like the 300 helmets and more like… more like…

Beneath their chins, wound around their necks, and draping their clad shoulders dangled regal purple satin cloaks, which flowed midway to the soldiers feet.

  1. That’s usually where cloaks go, you know.
  2. Purple satin? For PRISON GUARDS in gross dungeons? I know they work for a prince but he’s really flushing money down the toilet.
  3. Midway to… their feet. Their cloaks are butt-length?
  4. Again, I’m getting a strong Spartan vibe here:

… except these guys were actually AWESOME.

 
hand over hand, feet braced against the dank walls of the enclosure, huge Grignr ascended from the moldering dephs of the forlorn abyss.

Then he fell down, because he’s huge, he’s not moving his feet and the walls are apparently disintegrating.

moldering
present participle of mold·er Verb: 
Slowly decay or disintegrate, esp. because of neglect: “the smell of moldering books”.

 
His swelled limbs, stiff due to the boredom of a timeless inactivity,

  1. A couple chapters ago, he claimed he was in tip-top form.
  2. Since when does inactivity make your limbs SWELL? Shrivel, yes, but not SWELL.
  3. 3And since when does boredom make you stiff? I mean, I’ve heard of being bored stiff, but not LITERALLY.

 
compounded by the musty atmosture and jagged granite protuberan against his body, craved for action.

… and apparently boredom-induced stiffness can be made worse by musty air and protuberans…. which I guess are aliens from the planet Protuber. Also, if his limbs are stiff and swollen, why would they be craving action?

 
The opportunity now presenting itself served the purpose of oiling his rusty joints, and honing his dulled senses.

Apparently Greg is now an android. Or the Tin Man.

He braced himself, facing the second soldier.

… is he out of the pit yet? Because when last we checked, he was still climbing.

Speaking of a pit, since when was he in a pit?! A few chapters ago, he was in a cell with a food-slot and locking mechanisms, which implies that it was a typical cell with a corridor and door. It was also referred to as a “cell” or “crypt.” Now suddenly he was in a PIT, which requires neither a food-slot nor locking mechanisms.

 
The sentry’s stature was was wildly exaggerated

Something wildly exaggerated in The Eye of Argon? NEVER! It’s all been SO low-key and realistic!

 
in the glare of the flickering cresset cuppex in his right fist.

WOW. “Cuppex” isn’t even a word.

And for the record, a cresset isn’t the same as a typical torch, and since it’s a metal cup with burning substances inside, you wouldn’t want it in your hand.

 
His eyes were wide open in a slightly slanted owlish glaze,

“Dude, I am SO stoned right now.”

enhanced in their sinister intensity by the hawk-bill curve of his nose andpale yellow pique of his cheeks.

If that guy’s skin is pale yellow, he should probably head for the nearest hospital to get that jaundice treated.

Also, doesn’t pique mean “irritation”?

 
“Place your hands behind your back,” said the second soldier as he raised his ax over his right shoulder blade and cast it a wavering glance.

“Oh giant axe that I can’t possibly use effectively, you are the only one who understands me! Our forbidden love is so tragic!”

 
“We must bind your wrists to parry any attempts at escape.”

Parrying means evading or warding off something. It’s not the same as “thwarting.”

 
“Be sure to make the knot a stout one, Broig, we wouldn’t want our guest to take leave of our guidance.”

And he’s going to escape and kill them in 3… 2… 1…

 
Broig grasped Grignr’s left wrist and reached for the barbarians’s right wrist.

“See, you put your left wrist in, and you put your left wrist out, then you put your RIGHT wrist in…. come on, dance! You’re not getting in the spirit of things.”

 
Grignr wrenched his right arm free and swilveled to face Broig, reach- beneath his loin cloth with his right hand.

“Fear me, little man! I am going to kill you with my barbarian penis! Or my G-string, whichever is more horrifying.”

The sentry grappled at his girdle for the sheathed dagger,

Yes, while the dude with the giant axe just… stands there. Why does nobody in this book ever attack together? Oh wait, it’s because this book SUCKS.

 
but recoiled short of his intentions as Grignr’s right arm swept to his gorge.

Funny. My gorge has been rising for awhile.

 
The soldier went limp, his bobbing eyes rolling beneath fluttering eyelids, a deep welt across his spouting gullet.

Wait, what… what…. WHAAAAAATTTT? What the hell is going on here?

 
Without lingering to observe the result of his efforts, Grignr dropped to his knees.

“It’s time for a farewell blowjob!”

 
The second soldier’s axe cleft over Grignr’s head in a blze of silvered ferocity, severing several scarlet locks from his scalp.

  1. Um, you can’t “cleft” anything. You can CLEAVE things, but not cleft them.
  2. Also, it went OVER his head. So it didn’t cleave anything.
  3. “You have given me an impromptu haircut! I shall rip you to shreds with my teeth!”

 
Coming to rest in his fellow’s stomach, the iron head crashed through mail and flesh with splintering force, spilling a pool of crimsoned entrails over the granite paving.

Wow. Seriously bad aim. Wouldn’t it have sucked if the guy wasn’t dead? Oh wait, he wasn’t. Evil Prince needs to devote fewer resources to 300 costumes and more to training them how to use their damn weapons.

 
Before the sentry could wrench his axe free from his comrade’s carcass, he found Grignr’s massive hands clasped about his throat, choking the life from his clamped lungs.

Why are there all these characters with clamps on their lungs? Is it some sort of strange fetish?

 
With a zealous grunt, the Ecordian flexed his tightly corded biceps, forcing the grim faced soldier to one knee.

A minute ago, he was swollen and stiff from inactivity, but now suddenly his biceps are “tightly corded”? And when I think “choking,” I don’t usually think of a “grim face.”

The sentry plunged his right fist into Grignr’s face, digging his grimy nails into the barbarians flesh.

Is Grignr’s face made out of rubber? How can you plunge a FIST into a FACE? And how can you dig your nails into someone’s flesh when those nails should be right against your palm… because it’s a FIST! Are we talking about two different hands here?

 
Ejaculating a curse through rasping teeth, grignr surged the bulk of his weight foreard, bowling the beseiged soldier over upon his back.

Apparently the fact that there’s a FIST in his face doesn’t bother him at all. He just keeps going ahead… I guess his face IS made out of rubber.

 
The sentry’s arms collapsed to his thigh, shuddering convulsively; his bulging eyes staring blindly from a bloated ,cherry red face.

I have no idea what just happened. Did Greg knock the guy senseless? Is he still choking him? What is going on?!

 
Rising to his feet, Grignr shook the bllod from his eyes, ruffling his surly red mane as a brush fire swaying to the nightime breeze.

Whoa….

  1. So suddenly there’s a brush fire in a DUNGEON. I know that’s meant to be a simile, but it’s not entirely phrased like one. So no biscuit!
  2. How does a fire SWAY? Does the fire want to dance?
  3. And how does the nighttime breeze get into a dungeon?
  4. As for BLLOD…

Stooping over the spr sprawled corpse of the first soldier, Grignr retrieved a small white object from a pool of congealing gore.

Dude, it’s been about five seconds. Blood takes a LITTLE longer to congeal than that.

 
Snorting a gusty billow of mirth,

I hate people who snort when they laugh. I hate people who snort when they gust billows of mirth even more.

 
he once more concealed th e tiny object beneath his loin cloth; the tediously honed pelvis bone of the broken rodent.

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

So let me get this straight. This big stupid hulk who wasn’t even smart enough to avoid being put in the dungeon in the first place manages to take a RAT PELVIS… and sharpen it… with no tools… into a weapon that can kill an armed man with one stroke? This is the CRACKIEST thing this guy has written yet! I mean, I know I’ve been comparing this to other crap fantasy stories, but I have NEVER seen anything as insanely stupid as THIS. It’s so ridiculously dumb that it’s almost GENIUS. It’s… I have no words for it!

 
Returning his attention toward the second soldier, Grignr turned to the task of attiring his limbs.

“You’ll look SO fetching in this ball gown!”

Oh wait, is Greg supposed to be dressing HIMSELF in the soldier’s clothes? Because it sounds like he’s dressing the soldier up like a doll.

 
To move about freely through the dim recesses of the castle would require the grotesque garb of its soldiery.

What’s so grotesque about it? It’s a cape and a helmet. I’ve seen more grotesque three-piece suits.

 
Utilizing the silence and stealth aquired in the untamed climbs of his childhood,

Yes, that childhood we’ve never heard about, and the silence and stealth we’ve seen no evidence of.

Grignr slink through twisting corridors,

See Grignr slink. Slink Grignr slink. Slink slink slink.

 
and winding stairways, lighting his way with the confisticated torch of his dispatched guardian.

Which conveniently didn’t go out while he KILLED THEM.

 
Knowing where his steps were leading to, Grignr meandered aimlessly in search of an exit from the chateau’s dim confines.

Why is he meandering aimlessly if he KNOWS where he’s going?

 
The wild blood coarsing through his veins yearned for the undefiled freedom of the livid wilderness lands.

  1. … which aren’t outside the nearest exit, because when I last checked he was in a CITY.
  2. Do the “wilderness lands” HAVE to be red, or can they be any color?
  3. “Coursing,” not “coarsing.” Although he certainly is coarse.

 
Coming upon a fork in the passage he treaked, voices accompanied by clinking footfalls discerned to his sensitive ears from the left corridor.

According to urbandictionary.com, “treak” is defined as “Somebody who has illusions according to their coolness, but is still good person.”

Also, apparently Prison Guards Of Evil wear chain-mail socks so they can be easily heard. How convenient.

 
Wishing to avoid contact, Grignr veered to the right passageway.

… and discovered that he was actually in the women’s restroom. Cursing his ill luck as a shower of tampons assaulted his livid noggin, he swore that henceforth he would pay attention to those little signs with the stick figures on them.

 
If aquested as to the purpose of his presence, his barbarous accent would reveal his identity, being that his attire was not that of the castle’s mercenary troops.

  1. Aquest = I don’t even know what this word is SUPPOSED to be.
  2. So apparently prison guards are only hired locally. I guess we should credit the Evil Prince for bringing business to the locals instead of outsourcing.
  3. What accent? Seriously, what fricking accent? We haven’t seen any evidence that he speaks any differently from anyone else!
  4. And what does a barbarous accent sound like anyway? I mean, how does one accent sound more barbarous than another? Does his accent automatically include double negatives?

 
In grim silence Grignr treaded down the dingily lit corridor;

Dungeons! Even the light is dirty.

 
a stalking panther creeping warily along on padded feet.

… yes, what about it? Why is a panther down there?

Theis really sucked at these lovely little similes and metaphors. Either he didn’t fill out the similes enough to make it clear that they WERE similes, or he used punctuation that split off the metaphors and similes so they couldn’t logically BE metaphors and similes.

 
After an interminable period of wandering through the dull

… novella by Jim Theis.

corridors; no gaps to break the monotony of the cold gray walls, Grignr espied a small winding stairway.

Please let the words “the end” be at the top of it.

 
Descending the flight of arced granite slabs to their posterior,

… so he’s going down the stairs… which have curving steps for no apparent reason… to the BACK SIDE of the stairs. My brain is bleeding. SEND HELP!

 
Grignr was confronted by a short haalway leading to a tall arched wooden doorway.

Seriously, just reading this is making me feel stupider. I think my brain cells are dying. You know how they tell you that drinking too much fries your brain? This is having the same effect!

There’s only one cure…. drinking. So my brain will fry faster, and death will come for me sooner.

Halting before the teeming portal portal, Grignr restes his shaggy head sideways against the barrier.

“Feeling a little sleepy after all this crappy filler. I shall take a nap here.”

Also, what is a portal portal, Captain Captain Redundant Redundancy? How is it teeming? And what barrier?

 
Detecting no sounds from within, he grasped the looped metel handle of the door; his arms surging with a tremendous effort of bulging muscles, yet the door would not budge.

Uh, Greg, it’s a PUSH door, not a pull door.

 
Retrieving his ax from where he had sheathed it beneath his girdle,

… ouch. So he stuck a GIANT AXE inside his belt? The “girdle” of a g-string? How do you even DO that?!

 
he hefted it in his mighty hands with an apiesed grunt, and wedging one of its blackened edges into the crack between the portal and its iron rimed sill.

A pie seed? Also I’m not an expert on axes, but couldn’t you BREAK one by putting that much stress on it?

And I’m pretty sure that “portal” and “door” are no synonymous. “DoorWAY,” yes. But not “door.” That refers to the thing IN the portal that keeps random crazy men from coming in and interrupting your evil rituals.

 
Bracing his sandaled right foot against the rougjly hewn wall, teeth tightly clenched, Grignr appilevered the oaken haft, employing it as a lever whereby to pry open the barrier.

“If I had a lever large enough, I would open the door of random rooms which are probably not exits because people don’t tend to lock exits.”

Also, what does “appilever” mean? I googled it, and got exactly two pages… both in French. So I kinda suspect that it’s not a word.

 
The leather wound hilt bending to its utmost limits of endurance, the massive portal swung open with a grating of snapped latch and rusty iron hinges.

“Great! I broke the door and almost destroyed my axe! I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a storeroom.”

 
Glancing about the dust swirled room in the gloomily dancing glare of his flickering cresset, Grignr eyed evidences of the enclosure being nothing more than a forgotten storeroom.

“Damn! I broke my weapon over a storeroom!”

One of the big downsides of being a fictional barbarian hero: You’re incredibly stupid and end up almost wrecking your only weapon other than a RAT PELVIS, so you can break into a giant junk drawer.

 
Miscellaneous articles required for the maintainance of a castle were piled in disorganized heaps at infrequent intervals toward the wall opposite the barbarian’s piercing stare.

“Hmmm… clown makeup….floor wax… pumpkin pie mix… four dozen purple satin capes…. an old VHS copy of Conan the Barbarian…”

 
Utilizing long, bounding strides, Grignr paced his way over to the mounds of supplies to discover if any articles of value were contained within their midst.

Bound! Bound into the giant junk drawer… and immediately trip over something. Also, is this the best time to be checking through crates of caulking just in the off chance that somebody left some jewels or cocaine in the same room? There’s that whole “escaped from prison” detail. They might just go looking for you… and if they have the brains of a sea monkey, they MIGHT just think that maybe the escaped prisoner is in the STOREROOM THAT SOMEONE BROKE OPEN.

 
Detecting a faint clinking sound, Grignr sprawed to his left side with the speed of a striking cobra, landing harshly upon his back;

So he throws himself sideways really fast, but also somehow twists in mid-air so he can land on his back? How the hell does that happen?!

torch and axe loudly clattering to the floor in a morass of sparks and flame.

Yes, I’m sure the guards won’t notice that at ALL. “Hey, a giant burn mark… nah, that’s not important.”

 
A elmwoven board leaped from collapsed flooring, clashing against the jagged flooring and spewing a shower of orange and yellow sparks over Grignr’s startled face.

Wow, so Greg crashed himself to the floor, dropped his enormous axe and FLAMING TORCH, and now he’s even broken the floor. I’m sure nobody is going to notice this!

Also, what is an elmwoven board?

 
Rising uneasily to his feet, the half stunned Ecordian glared down at the grusome arm of death he had unwittingly sprung.

So apparently this is a very important junk-drawer, or they wouldn’t have bothered to put “arms of death” in it. And apparently being “half-stunned” means you’re still grounded enough to glare. At things. Around you.

 
“Mrifk!”

Bless you.

 
If not for his keen auditory organs and lighting steeled reflexes,

  1. Are auditory organs anything like ears?
  2. So his reflexes are like electrocution.
  3. And… “lightning steeled.” Fun fact: Those things are not connected.

 
Grignr would have been groping through the shadowed hell-pits of the Grim Reaper.

Now that is just a mean thing to say! The Grim Reaper tries very hard to make his hell-pits well-lit, and he definitely doesn’t put protruding busts on the walls!

 
He had unknowingly stumbled upon an ancient, long forgotton booby trap; a mistake which would have stunted the perusal of longevity of one less agile.

  1. … then why the hell didn’t it go off when the people who LIVE in the castle put their junk in this room? Was it waiting for an actual intruder? Is this trap smarter than everyone else in the whole damn book?
  2. I mean, apparently Greg has decided that it’s “ancient” and “long-forgotten”… which means that dozens of people have tramped through here and placed all this crap in this room… without once triggering the trap. Only our meathead of a “hero” possibly could.
  3. So it would have stopped the development… of scrutinizing… the life expectancy… oh forget it.

 
A mechanism, similar in type to that of a minature catapult was concealed beneath two collapsable sections of granite flooring.

There’s a MINI-CATAPULT in the floor, and yet NOBODY ever noticed this or triggered it before? This is not an abandoned ruin or anything – it’s a FREAKING STOREROOM where they keep maintenance items!

“Hey Joe, put the floor wax tins in that corner?”
“You mean over heeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!” thud
“Damn, I hate it when tiny catapults appear and kill people. Sir, Joe is dead!”

 
The arm of the device was four feet long, boasting razor like cleats at regular intervals along its face with which it was to skewer the luckless body of its would be victim.

… so it’s NOT like a catapult, but some sort of automated mace.

MEDIEVAL WEAPONRY FAIL!

 
Grignr had stepped upon a concealed catch which relaesed a small metal latch beneath the two granite sections, causing them to fall inward, and thereby loose the spiked arm of death they precariously held in.

Because he’s the main character, and EVERYTHING happens to him. It couldn’t happen to Joe Smith the delivery guy, because that wouldn’t be cool enough. And for some reason, not only did nobody accidentally trigger this “concealed catch,” but nobody ever thought to disable or remove it. WHAT THE HELL?

 
Partially out of curiosity and partially out of an inordinate fear of becoming a pincushion for a possible second trap,

It doesn’t show a lot of confidence in your traps-of-death to put a second one right next to Mace Of Death.

 
Grignr plunged his torch into the exposed gap in the floor.

  1. Yes, I bet he does that to ALL the sexy floor gaps.
  2. Set the floor on fire. Why not?
  3. And that’s the best way to avoid being horribly killed: jump into the hole that the booby trap came out of, and might retract into at ANY MOMENT.

 
The floor of a second chamber stood out seven feet below the glare.

…. WHY IS IT THERE? I could see a small space being there to, you know, hold the Mace Of Death. But who in their right mind builds a WHOLE ROOM with an EIGHT FOOT CEILING just to store a tiny Mace of Death?

 
Tossing his torch through the aperature, Grignr grasped the side of an adjoining tile, dropping down.

“I certainly hope there isn’t a bed of nails right below me… but then, a crazy person who puts a giant room under the floor for a totally random booby-trap couldn’t POSSIBLY put a SECOND trap down there.”

Glancing about the room, Grignr discovered that he had decended into the palace’s mausoleum.

…. isn’t the whole point of a mausoleum that you can go see the tombs there? Why the hell would you put the tombs of death people RIGHT BEHIND A BOOBY-TRAP under a STOREROOM?!

 
Rectangular stone crypts cluttered the floor at evenly placed intervals.

Greg was sure about this, because he carefully measured the distance between each crypt. He’s an OCD barbarian.

 
The tops of the enclosures were plated with thick layers of virgin gold,

… and the bottoms were plated with thick layers of slut gold. Honestly, how can you tell if gold is virgin just by looking? Is it watermarked?

 
while the sides were plated with white ivory; at one time sparkling, but now grown dingy through the passage of the rays of allencompassing mother time.

Ohhhhhhhh, my head.

  1. You cannot plate ivory, dammit! You can plate metal, but not ivory! Not wood! Not stuff that ISN’T METAL.
  2. Ivory doesn’t sparkle even at the best of times, unless you harvest it from Twilight vampires.
  3. … MOTHER time? I’ve heard of Father Time and Mother Earth, but MOTHER TIME?
  4. Also, does time have rays? It’s like Theis had one sentence in mind when he started, but he changed his mind and didn’t bother to I like racoons.

Featured at the head of each sarcophagus in tarnished silver was an expugnisively carved likeness of its rotting inhabitant.

…. and what the fuck does “expugnisively” mean? Expansively? Expensively? Expungingly? This is like trying to listen to Jean-Claude Van Damme mimicking Sylvester Stallone as quoted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a mouth full of Novocaine!

 
A dingy atmosphere pervaded the air of the chamber; which sealed in the enclosure for an unknown period had grown thick and stale.

But a Glade candle will freshen the whole thing up in no time! And what has grown thick and stale, the atmosphere, the enclosure or the air? That semicolon makes it a teeny bit hard to tell.

 
Intermingling with the curdled currents was the repugnant stench of slowly moldering flesh, creeping ever slowly but surely through minute cracks in the numerous vaults.

  1. Curdled currents? That sounds really disgusting. How do you curdle small fruits anyway?
  2. Amazingly, he used the term “moldering” correctly here.
  3. Uhhhhhhh… this place is supposed to have been abandoned for a very, very, very long time. So long that the people who owned it apparently are no longer around to disarm their random booby-traps. Yet apparently the bodies haven’t finished decaying in ALL THAT TIME?
  4. Oh, and just hang on. It will make LESS sense later!

 
Due to the embalming of the bodies, their flesh decayed at a much slower rate than is normal, yet the nauseous oder was none the less repellant.

It still doesn’t make sense, dammit. Embalming as a form of preservation has two possible outcomes:

  • The body decays a little later than it naturally would, but not DECADES or CENTURIES later.
  • The body ends up not really decaying at all (like Egyptian mummies), and doesn’t tend to stink or rot in the traditional way.

Additionally, the whole point of having a stone tomb in a mausoleum is so you can keep the bodies safely and hygienically hidden away so you can’t see or smell the dearly departed, but can still come around into the same general area without vomiting because of the stench. If you can smell the bodies, then SOMETHING IS WRONG with the tombs. Did they forget to put the tops on before they left?! Did they buy cut-rate tombs?

 
Towering over Grignr’s head was the trap he released.

Please snap back, please snap back, please snap back…

 
The mechanism of the miniaturized catapolt was cluttered with mildew and cobwebs.

Not unlike my brain after reading this crap.

Plus, the item in question IS NOT A CATAPULT (not catapolt). A catapult by definition flings something away from itself. This just smashes any poor schmuck who triggers it! THIS is a catapult:

If you’ll notice, the entire structure is ALL ABOUT flinging something into the air. It is NOT intended to smash whatever is directly in front of it, and it couldn’t structurally do that anyway! IT’S TRYING TO THROW THE BALL! Let it throw the ball! Let the catapult be AWESOME!

 
Notwithstanding these relics of antiquity, its efficiency remained unimpinged.

Yes, thanks, we’ve noticed that. And dust and cobwebs are not “relics.”

 
To the right of the trap wound a short stairway through a recess in the ceiling; a concealed entrance leading to the mausoleum for which the catapult had obviously been erected as a silent, relentless guardian.

… so let me get this straight. This stupid trap was set up as a way of KILLING anyone who went into the mausoleum in the basement of a FREAKING PALACE, and presumably you have to go THROUGH the luxurious palace to be able to loot the graves. And if you happen to approach the stairway and NOT step on a tiny little catch, it doesn’t go off. And all this is for a stairway that apparently is impossible to find anyway, because NOBODY has noticed it in all this time!

Climbing up the side of the device, Grignr set to the task of resetting its mechanism.

Yes, fiddle around with the death machine. Maybe it’ll snap back and hit your tiny head.

 
In the e event

Did he stutter?

 
that a search was organized, it would prove well to leave no evidence of his presence open to wandering eyes.

Yes, genius. Make sure that the booby-trap that nobody knows about is reset so it’ll kill somebody, and their companions will notice the crypt that nobody knows about THAT YOU JUST WENT INTO. I’m sure nobody will glance down here. DAMN, you are stupid.

Additionally, has Greg forgotten that this thing BROKE THE FLOORBOARDS? That’s gonna be a little hard to hide.

 
Besides, it might even serve to dwindle the size of an opposing force.

Yes, one less henchman will make a huge difference and will totally not draw attention to where it came from.

 
Descending from his perch, Grignr was startled by a faintly muffled scream of horrified desperation.

It turned out to be anyone reading this shitty book.

His hair prickled yawkishly in disorganized clumps along his scalp.

Man, that guy really cut off quite an amount of hair, didn’t he? Also…. yawkishly? I keep googling these words, and nothing ever comes from it!

 
As a cold danced along the length of his spinal cord.

… and then what? What? What happened while a cold was dancing down… no, wait, what does a COLD have to do with your spinal cord?

WHY DOES THIS BOOK SUCK SO MUCH?!?!?!?!?!

No moral/mortal barrier, human or otherwise, was capable of arousing the numbing sensation of fear inside of Grignr’s smoldering soul.

  1. So… Greg is telling us that he’s not afraid of doors, hallways and rules? Am I reading that correctly? Because actually this comment doesn’t make any sense at all.
  2. Also, isn’t “numbing sensation” kind of oxymoronic?
  3. And who experiences “numbing fear” when they hear a scream?
  4. And how does a soul smolder?
  5. WHY IS THIS BOOK SO BAD?
  6. AND WHY IS THE RUM GONE?

 
However, he was overwrought by the forces of the barbarians’ instinctive fear of the supernatural.

Oh thanks, Theis. Always stereotyping the barbarians! Also, it’s pretty weird to go from calm to overwrought in a matter of seconds. Spooked yes, but overwrought no.

 
His mighty thews had always served to adequately conquer any tangible foe.,

  1. PUNCTUATION FAIL. It’s like they’re clustering together to conserve their strength.
  2. I’m pretty sure that tendons don’t conquer anything.
  3. I love how he “adequately” conquers his foes. Like he’s done a decent job, but not a great one.

 
but the intangible was something distant and terrible.

“Intangible” is not the same as “supernatural.” Wind is intangible, but it’s not supernatural. Is he scared of wind? “Oh no, an intangible breeze!”

Dim horrifying tales

… how can tales be “dim”?

 
passed by word of mouth over glimmering camp fires and skins of wine had more than once served the purpose of chilling the marrowed core of his sturdy limbed bones.

Most bones do have a marrowed core. And usually stories meant to scare people around campfires ARE by word of mouth, because dim horrifying tales conveyed by charades don’t tend to be as scary.

Also… study-limbed bones? Makes it sound like his “study limbed bones” look like this guy’s:

Yet, the scream contained a strangely human quality, unlike that which Grignr imagined would come from the lungs of a demon or spirit

Erm… do demons and spirits have lungs? And for that matter, if he’s never heard a demon or a spirit scream, how would he know if their screams had a “human quality” or not?

 
making Grignr take short nervous strides advancing to the sarcophagus from which the sound was issuing.

It turned out to be an elaborate gag involving a whoopie cushion, a bellows, a battery-powered motor, and a little gun that shoots out a “bang” flag.

 
Clenching his teeth in an attempt to steel his jangled nerves, Grignr slid the engraved slab from the vault with a sharp rasp of grinding stone.

“I wonder if this dead body is the one that’s screaming. And I also wonder why I’m not running away, since allegedly I’m terrified of the supernatural and it’s not like I can do anything if the dead body IS screaming.”

 
Another long drawn cry of terror infested anguish met the barbarian, scoring like the shrill piping of a demented banshee;

A banshee is a specific mythical creature, so… why is it this made-up fantasy land? And even if you suspend your disbelief to think that hey, maybe there are banshees in this fantasy world… banshees aren’t supposed to scream in terror. They scream in GRIEF.

 
piercing the inner fibres of his superstitious brain with primitive dread dread and awe.

Captain Redundant is redundantly redundant. Also, he has fiber in his brain.

 
Stooping over to espy the tomb’s contents, the glittering Ecordians nostrills

Twilight barbarian. Yeah, I went there.

were singed by the scorching aroma of a moldering corpse, long shut up and fermenting;

My experience with moldering corpses is pretty limited, but I’m fairly sure that they don’t burn your nose unless they’re being cremated. They also don’t ferment.

 
the same putrid scent which permeated the entire chamber, though multiplied to a much more concentrated dosage.

“Now sit down and take your daily dosage of putrid scent, Greg!”
“But MOOOOOOOOOMMMMM…”

 
The shriveled, leathery packet of crumbling bones and dried flacking flesh

flack Verb /flak/
Publicize or promote (something or someone)

It’s like he’s going through every single verb in this book, and deliberately choosing the WRONG ONES.

 
offered no resistance, but remained in a fixed position of perpetual vigilance, watching over its dim abode from hollow gaping sockets.

  1. It’s dead. Dead people tend to not offer resistance… or move. I mean, did you expect something a little more dramatic?
  2. Also, this corpse was inside a TOMB. How precisely is it “vigilant” or “watching over” if it was sealed inside a stone box?

 
The tortured crys were not coming from the tomb but from some hidden depth below!

They were coming from a Welsh rock band!

 
Pulling the reaking corpse from its resting place, Grignr tossed it to the floor in a broken, mangled heap.

Nice to see that respect for the dead is one of Greg’s many virtues, along with chastity, humility, pacifism and towering intellect.

Upon one side of the crypt’s bottom was attached a series of tiny hinges while running parallel along the opposite side of a convex railing like protruberance; laid so as to appear as a part of the interior surface of the sarcophagus.

  1. Yes, they look JUST like part of a sarcophagus… including the hinges and the RAILING. INSIDE the sarcophagus. This is all perfectly normal.
  2. Why does he have to mention that a “protruberance” (sp) is convex?
  3. Wait, so someone just randomly put a door INSIDE a crypt. A crypt actually used to store a dead body.
  4. … WHY WHY WHY WHY? What possible reason for this would exist?! Why would ANYONE do this? But you know what? WE NEVER GET TOLD WHY. This entire scene was POINTLESS.

 
Raising the slab upon its bronze hinges, long removed from the gaze of human eyes, Grignr percieved a scene which caused his blood to smolder not unlike bubbling, molten lava.

Since when does bubbling molten lava “smolder”? And for that matter, is Greg announcing that his blood is at least 1,300 °F?

 
Directly below him a whimpering female lay stretched upon a smooth surfaced marble altar.

Oh look, the door that he HAPPENED to find inside a tomb just HAPPENS to open directly above the wimpy unmoving girl from the previous chapter.

WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!?!?!

Who made this door? Why is the door even there? Why would you want a door that happens to be directly over a sacrificial altar? Why would you put that DOOR in a TOMB that is actually going to be USED?! Why has nobody who USED that sacrificial chamber ever noticed the door directly over the altar, or bothered to seal it up?!

But you know what? We’re not going to find out. Because that entire scene in the tombs and with the Mace of Death Which Is Not A Catapult is COMPLETELY POINTLESS. The entire scene contributed NOTHING.

 
A pack of grasy faced shamen clustered around her in a tight circular formation.

“Okay boys, we have only one more chance to win this game! Brody, you go sacrifice the girl while Jamison flanks the other team and fakes them out, and Michaels will toss the ball to Janowski who’ll make the goal. You all got that?”
“Right, coach!”
“GO EVIL SHAMANS!”

 
Crouched over the girl was a tall, potbellied priest;

Is this the guy whose crotch she kicked? Because if so, apparently getting kicked in the nads causes you to spontaneously develop a potbelly.

 
his face dominated by a disgusting, open mouthed grimace of sadistic glee.

… how do you grimace with your mouth open? It’s like an open-handed fist, or a glaring closed eye.

 
Suspended from the acolyte’s clenched right hand was a carven oval faced mallet,

So he’s… dangling a hammer from his fist? Not very menacing. In fact, this entire scene would be more menacing if he had… I dunno, a knife or something.

But what do I know? I guess the Beatles are more informed.

which he waved menacingly over the girl’s shadowed face; an incoherent gibberish flowing from his grinning, thick lipped mouth.

Semicolons: Theis fails at them. Also, Evil Priests of Evil are more menacing when you can understand what they’re saying, and… wasn’t that guy both grimacing and open-mouthed a minute ago? When did he start grinning?

 
In the face of the amorphos, broad breated female,

Ah, you always notice those broad beats. Also… what’s amorphous about her? Is she a giant jelly blob?

 
stretched out aluringly before his gaping eyes;

How incredibly sensitive of Greg. She’s about to be battered to death, and he’s busy noticing how sexy she looks.

 
the universal whim of nature filing a plea of despair inside of his white hot soul; Grignr acted in the only manner he could perceive.

  1. He has a white-hot soul?
  2. He’s acting in the only manner he can… become aware of?
  3. “Thank you for calling. Universal Whim of Nature Inc. has made sure to file your plea of despair, and will get back to you shortly…”

 
Giving vent to a hoarse, throat rending battle cry, Grignr plunged into the midst of the startled shamen;

… and wouldn’t he land directly on top of the girl?

 
torch simmering in his left hand andax twirling in his right hand.

“Look out! He’s got a torch! Look out, he’s got andax…. whatever that is!”

A gaunt skull faced priest standing at the far side of the altar clutched desperately at his throat, coughing furiously in an attempt to catch his breath.

Great, he just gave an old man a heart attack. Because there’s no other reason he would be having trouble breathing. Maybe he got a glimpse of Greg’s naked butt?

Lurching helplessly to and fro, the acolyte pitched headlong against the gleaming base of a massive jade idol.

… and suffered a massive concussion, since he just smashed his head against a stone statue.

 
Writhing agonizedly against the hideous image, foam flecking his chalk white lips, the priest struggled helplessly – – – the victim of an epileptic siezure.

Well… that was… random. Does this happen every time somebody surprises him even a little?

“Surprise! Happy birthda… oh hell, he’s having another seizure.”
“Hey daddy, I bought all new clothes with your credit card. How come you’re having a seizure?”
“Evil Shaman, I’m in love with Gary and I want a divorce. No, having a seizure won’t change my mind.”

 
Startled by the barbarians stunning appearance, the chronic fit of their fellow, and the fear that Grignr might be the avantgarde of a conquering force

… an AVANTGARDE?! Is he on the cutting edge of conquering forces, edgy and unique in his tactics? Is he a pretentious hipsterdouche barbarian? The word is VANGUARD. I can’t even understand how you could mix them up!

 
dedicated to the cause of destroying their degenerated cult, the saman momentarily lost their composure.

  1. I don’t even know what their cult is or why it’s in the sub-sub-sub-basement of a palace. I certainly don’t know why anyone would be “dedicated” to wiping them out.
  2. What is a saman?
  3. I have to wonder if the prince knows about this. I mean, he was regarded as if he were the main villain, but there’s no indication that he knows anything about this. Has Theis just forgotten about him?!

 
Giving vent to heedless pandemonium, the priests fell easy prey to Grignr’s sweeping arc of crimsoned death and maiming distruction.

How precisely does rioting make them more susceptible to the giant axe-wielding dolt? I mean, if the unarmed Evil Priests stayed calm and orderly, would they not have been slaughtered? Oh right, they would have. Especially since our main character is a murderous dumbass.

 
The acolyte performing the sacrifice took a vicious blow to the stomach; hands clutching vitals and severed spinal cord as he sprawled over the altar.

He must have really, really big hands. Also, I’m sure the girl is just delighted by how Greg is handling all of this. “Gee, thanks for slashing this guy in half so he could fall on top of me with all his guts hanging out. I’m SO grateful.”

 
The disor anized priests lurched and staggered with split skulls, dismembered limbs, and spewing entrails before the enraged Ecordian’s relentless onslaught.

  1. Do entrails spew?
  2. How can you dismember limbs? Dismember means taking off limbs… so he’s removing limbs from limbs!
  3. Would it have helped if they HAD been organized?
  4. Has it occurred to Greg to just threaten them into releasing the pathetically passive girl, which they might have done because he’s a giant musclebound idiot with an axe? If they went apeshit, THEN he could go kill them. But no, he just goes GREG MAD GREG SMASH!

The howles of the maimed and dying reverberated against the walls of the tiny chamber;

How tiny is it if there’s a giant idol and about a dozen Evil Priests?

 
a chorus of hell frought despair; as the granite floor ran red with blood.

Frought = not a frigging word. And even if he’d written “fraught,” it still wouldn’t make sense – hell filled-with despair?

 
The entire chamber was encompassed in the heat of raw savage butchery as Grignr luxuriated in the grips of a primitive, beastly blood lust.

Our hero, ladies and gents – a crazy slaughtering asshole who enjoys killing.

 
Presently all went silenet save for the ebbing groans of the sinking shaman

… which one? Last time I checked, there were a whole bunch.

 
and Grignr’s heaving breath accompanied by several gusty curses.

None of which are pronounceable, I bet. His last one had so many consonants that it could have been Polish!

 
The well had run dry.

He simply COULDN’T get inspired for his second novel!

 
No more lambs remained for the slaughter.

You know, it doesn’t really make you seem like a good person when you compare your enemies to “lambs.”

 
The rampaging stead of death having taken of Grignr for the moment,

Yes, the rightful position of death had taken… of Greg. Figure that out if you can. I’m too drunk.

 
left the barbarian free to the exploitation of his other perusials.

Yes, now he’s free to the utilization of his other… acts of examining things. I swear, Theis must have gotten a thesaurus for his birthday and just spewed the contents all over the place without knowing that all those synonyms actually MEANT.

 
Towering over his head was the misshaped image of the cult’s hideous diety – – – Argon.

Yes, Argon, the Diety of Noble Gases! He is the brother of the mighty Xenon, the warlike Neon, and the amazingly lovely Helium! And I love the random triple-dashes.

Also, how does he know what the “diety’s” name is? It might have made sense in previous chapters that focused on Sacrificial Chickie and the priests, but it makes no sense here! He knows nothing about this cult!

 
The fantastic size of the idol in consideration of its being of pure jade was enough to cause the senses of any man to stagger and reel, yet thus was not the case for the behemoth.

I thought this room was TINY, but it still has a staggeringly huge statue standing right in it, plus the dozen-ish evil priests AND an altar AND a girl AND Greg, plus plenty of places for them to panic and rush around being slaughtered. That must be some “tiny” room.

Speaking of the girl, allegedly what was happening to her inspired Greg to leap down into the room and kill people. So how come he’s paying more attention to the idol than to her? Or maybe he was just using her as an excuse to horribly slaughter random people. “Look! A puppy in a cage! MUST KILL POUND PEOPLE!”

 
he had paid only casual notice to this incredible fact,

Of course. If he can’t fuck it or kill it, what good is it?

 
while riviting the whole of his attention upon the jewel protruding from the idol’s sole socket;

I’ll make a random guess and assume that the jewel is supposed to be… ohhhhhh, I get it. The Eye of Argon… that’s the title. So this is the Eye of Argon. Which has taken almost the entire book to get to. And which doesn’t seem to actually have any real significance except it’s… in the same room as the Evil Priests. And it’s in the title.

its masterfully cut faucets emitting blinding rays of hypnotising beauty.

Imagine that! I’ve only ever gotten water from faucets, not blinding rays of hypnotizing beauty!

 
After all, a man cannot slink from a heavily guarded palace while burdened down by the intense bulk of a squatting statue,

But if the statue is sitting or standing upright, it’s easy to slink out. Just one of those funny life facts.

 
providing of course that the idol can even be hefted, which in fact was beyond the reaches of Grignr’s coarsing stamina.

I’m shocked by this! I assumed he could lift a giant towering statue made out of solid stone easily, given how he turned a rat pelvis into a lethal weapon!

 
On the other hand, the jewel, gigantic as it was, would not present a hinderence of any mean concern.

  1. So it wouldn’t presence a HINDRANCE of… any small concern. Brain is hemorrhaging now.
  2. Also, this guy is wearing a cape and a g-string. Precisely where is he going to stash the stupid jewel?
  3. Don’t answer that.
  4. Whatever the answer is, I don’t want to know.

“Help me … please … I can make it well worth your while,” pleaded a soft, anguish strewn voice

“And since I’m a woman in a violent, sexist book where every female is a prostitute, I mean I’ll have sex with you. I might even let you caress my protruding busts.”

 
wafting over Grignr’s shoulders as he plucked the dull red emerald from its roots.

  1. Her voice is WAFTING?
  2. Over his shoulders? Not, say, into his ears?
  3. A minute ago, it had blinding rays of hypnotizing beauty, and now it’s…. dull red.
  4. Wait… emeralds have ROOTS? I never knew that! And all this time I’ve been trying to get my emeralds to go out on dates and make little baby emeralds, when in fact I should have been sticking them into pots and regularly watering them!

 
Turning, Grignr faced the female that had lured him into this blood bath, but whom had become all but forgotten in the heat of the battle.

What a chivalrous asshole. So, he was SO enraged by the fact that she was about to be sacrificed that he jumped down and… immediately forgot about her.

 
“You”; ejaculated the Ecordian in a pleased tone. “I though that I had seen the last of you at the tavern, but verilly I was mistaken.”

Are you FRIGGING KIDDING ME? So the random flowery-haired opaque/lithe-nosed whore that he had sex with JUST HAPPENS to be the one he rescued from the Evil Priests of Evil?!?!?!?! I mean, what are the chances of that?!

Grignr advanced into the grips of the female’s entrancing stare,

I wasn’t aware that stares had grips. Thanks for enlightening me.

 
severing the golden chains that held her captive upon the altars highly polished face of ornamental limestone.

  1. He claimed it was marble before! Believe it or not, there IS a slight difference.
  2. So they used GOLDEN chains? …. how dumb are these people?! Gold is not what you chain people with because it’s SOFT.

 
As Grignr lifted the girl from the altar, her arms wound dexterously about his neck; soft and smooth against his harsh exterior.

“Yes, a bunch of Evil Priests of Evil tied me to an altar and tried to bash my head in with Maxwell’s Ivory Hammer, and you just slaughtered all of them in the grossest, bloodiest, most gutspilling way possible. I am SO in the mood for sex right now!”

 
“Art thou pleased that we have chanced to meet once again?”

I don’t know who just said this, since Theis doesn’t tell us.

 
Grignr merely voiced an sighed grunt, returning the damsels embrace while he smothered her trim, delicate lips between the coarsing protrusions of his reeking maw.

  1. A sighed grunt? What does that even mean?
  2. Trim lips? Are her lips unusually toned and devoid of excess fat?
  3. What does “coarsing” even mean? Theis seems to use it for EVERYTHING.
  4. “Protrusions of his reeking maw”? So… things protruding from his smelly mouth… damn, he’s a sexy man. All guys should aspire to be like him.

 
“Let us take leave of this retched chamber.”

“Too many people have been puking in here.”

Stated Grignr as he placed the female upon her feet.

I’m getting a Twilight vibe from this couple.

 
She swooned a moment, causing Grignr to giver her support then regained her stance.

Yeah, that was really subtle, lady. Plus, you don’t really “swoon” for a moment unless you’ve got some kind of brain damage that makes you black out for only a minute or so.

 
“Art thou able to find your way through the accursed passages of this castle? Mrifk! Every one of the corridors of this damned place are identical.”

“It’s like being stuck in the world’s biggest airport, but with fewer Starbucks!”

And what does “Mrifk” mean? Is it a god’s name? An expletive? The name of his favorite pet flea? The sound of a sneeze?

 
“Aye; I was at one time a slave of prince Agaphim.”

…. who? I assume she means Evil Prince who stuck Greg down here, but I’m pretty sure we were never told his name. And if it’s a different prince, how about telling us who he is?!

 
“His clammy touch sent a sour swill through my belly, but my efforts reaped a harvest.”

“I now have my own vegetable garden!”

 
“I gained the pig’s liking whereby he allowed me the freedom of the palace.”

“He said he’d never met another girl with flowering hair, a flexible nose and snake arms! It really turned him on.”

“It was through this means that I eventually managed escape at the western gate.”

Because getting to use the luxury bathroom = escape from the palace. I wonder, did she use a rat pelvis to escape?

 
“His trust found him with a dagger thrust his ribs,” the wench stated whimsicoracally.

  1. His poor trust is still in therapy after the trauma of finding him dead.
  2. A dagger thrust his ribs? Not, say, between his ribs or under his ribs?
  3. … I don’t even know how to start trying to decipher that last word. I mean it starts out normally, but then suddenly it goes off into crackie land!

 
“What were you doing at the tavern whence I discovered you?” asked Grignr as he lifted the female through the opening into the mausoleum.

“I was having sex with random men who just wandered in. Couldn’t you tell?”

Also, it might be a good idea if he warned her that the room above them is FULL OF DEAD PEOPLE, some of whom he left lying on the floor.

 
“I had sought to lay low from the palace’s guards as they conducted their search for me.”

“That wasn’t easy, because there aren’t a lot of women around with flowering hair, snake arms, blue ovals, saggy yet firm busts and flexible noses. I kind of stand out in a crowd.”

 
“The tavern was seldom frequented by the palace guards and my identity was unknown to the common soldiers.”

“They had no idea that I’m secretly a man!”

 
“It was through the disturbance that you caused that the palace guards were attracted to the tavern.”

Actually, they’d been asking the tavern out for MONTHS, but she always said no!

Oh, and this is complete horseshit. We saw in the previous chapter that the guards were ALREADY THERE, and they were aware of her presence because one of them was pissed off that Greg caressed her protruding busts. So Senorita Saggytits Snakearms von Seethrunose-Orchidhair is full of it.

“I was dragged away shortly after you were escorted to the palace.”

“Yeah, because apparently I didn’t bother to try to ESCAPE after a huge ruckus that would get everyone’s attention. I’m kinda stupid that way.”

 
“What are you called by female?”

“I’m called You-Tell-Me-First-Cuz-I-Asked-You-In-Chapter-2 male!”

 
“Carthena, daughter of Minkardos, Duke of Barwego, whose lands border along the northwestern fringes of Gorzom.”

… yeah, see, this means nothing if you don’t have a map. I mean, we don’t even know how large Gorzom is, or if it’s even powerful. Hell, we really don’t know ANYTHING about it.

 
“I was paid as homage to Agaphim upon his thirty-eighth year,” husked the femme!

  1. “Daddy was sick and tired of me leaving my bras all over the house.”
  2. I don’t quite get why a DUKE from one country would give his daughter to a PRINCE (instead of a king) from ANOTHER country. Am I missing something here?
  3.  … husked? Is she an ear of corn now?
  4. I love how she just casually said all this stuff, but then we get husked the femme! I mean, that exclamation point just comes outta nowhere!

 
“And I am called a barbarian!” Grunted Grignr in a disgusted tone!

And when he’s disgusted, he’s so disgusted that he uses an extra exclamation mark too!

And seriously, Greg, nobody’s buying that you’re indignant about this. You screwed this woman in public, automatically regarded her as a whore, didn’t bother telling you her name, and yet we’re supposed to buy that you’re horrified that she was treated like a piece of meat.

“Aye! The ways of our civilization are in many ways warped and distorted, but what is your calling,” she queried, bustily?

The … what…. wha?

  1. Distorted from WHAT?
  2. “So our civilization sucks, but what do you do for a living?” Graceful segue there.
  3. … how does a person query “bustily”? Did she cram her enormous saggy-nippled tits into his face while she said it?

 
“Grignr of Ecordia.”

… wait, I thought she asked what his “calling” was. Like, his job. What she apparently meant was “What are you CALLED?”

 
“Ah, I have heard vaguely of Ecordia.”

“I hear they make accordions there.”

“It is the hill country to the far east of the Noregolean Empire.”

“I hear it’s entirely populated by violently psychotic douchebags.”
“And proud of it!”

 
“I have also heard Agaphim curse your land more than once when his troops were routed in the unaccustomed mountains and gorges.”

… cuz he’s a bad guy and bad guys always send their armies out across random OTHER countries to attack EVEN MORE random countries. LOGIC!

 
Sayeth she.

Technically a sentence, but pretty meaningless by itself. And since when was this in the present tense?

 
“Aye. My people are not tarnished by petty luxuries and baubles.”

“Which is why I just stole a jewel the size of my head. Because we don’t care about baubles.”

 
“They remain fierce and unconquerable in their native climes.”

“But if they leave home, they turn into a bunch of wusses.”

 
After reaching the hidden panel at the head of the stairway, Grignr was at a loss in regard to its operation.

“Duuuurrrrrr… which way does doorknob turn again? Right or… other right?”

And seriously, no reaction at all from going into a GIANT GROSS TOMB which allegedly smells like rotting flesh? Just a cheerful casual jaunt through the mausoleum while chatting about themselves.

His fiercest heaves were as pebbles against burnished armour!

I don’t think throwing up on it is going to help.

 
Carthena depressed a small symbol included within the elaborate design upon the panel whereopen it slowly slid into a cleft in the wall.

What the… what did… wha… wha… how the hell did she know to do that?! Does she just randomly push small symbols? Is she the Douglas Fargo of this fantasy world?

 
“How did you come to be the victim of those crazed shamen?”

SHAMANS, idiot, not SHAMEN.

 
Quested Grignr as he escorted Carthena through the piles of rummage on the left side of the trap.

Ohhhhhhh, my brain hurts. Look, “quest” is not any kind of synonym for “asked.” And is he claiming that he escorted her through piles of… untidy searching?

 
“By Agaphim’s orders I was thrust into a secluded cell to await his passing of sentence.”

… wait a minute, didn’t she claim that she stabbed him in the chest a few minutes ago?! Either Theis managed to forget about that detail,she really sucks with a knife, or she’s lying. All of these are equally possible.

“By some means, the Priests of Argon acquired a set of keys to the cell.”

So… instead of finding some random victim out in the streets or a whorehouse or a slave market… they went to all the trouble of infiltrating a palace, getting the keys, forcing their way past guards… all so they could abduct some random chick who’ll immediately be missed? Why HER? Why go to all the trouble of abducting some random girl who isn’t special in any way except for her flowering… okay, okay, I’ll stop joking about her weird physical characteristics.

 
“They slew the guard placed over me and abducted me to the chamber in which you chanced to come upon the scozsctic sacrifice.”

“I had about a dozen chances to run away, but I thought it would be way better to just lie there and whimper a lot.”

Also…. scozsctic = not in the frigging dictionary. I can’t even GUESS what it means.

 
“Their hell-spawned cult demands a sacrifice once every three moons upon its full journey through the heavens.”

Again, why HER? And if THEY are the cult, why do they keep demanding sacrifices from… themselves?

And I’m not too knowledgeable about astronomy, but…. how can every three “moons” (aka months) be synonymous with its “full journey through the heavens” (which is ONE month)?

“They were startled by your unannounced appearance through the fear that you had been sent by Agaphim.”

Yes, I’m sure a prince with whole armies would send JUST ONE prison guard to attack them. These guys were kinda dumb, weren’t they?

And if they’re so scared of Agaphim, WHY are they performing their sacrifices RIGHT UNDER HIS PALACE?!

 
“The prince would surely have submitted them to the most ghastly of tortures”

He would have made them watch The Care Bears Movie, over and over and over.

 
“if he had ever discovered their unfaithfulness to Sargon, his bastard diety.”

Now that is just a nasty thing to say about poor Sargon. It isn’t HIS fault his parents weren’t married.

Actually, wasn’t Sargon that glowy ball thing from Star Trek?

Yes, he is. He was also this guy:

So, interpret that the way you want. I’m tired of talking about this shit.

 
“Many of the partakers of the ritual were high nobles and high trustees of the inner palace; Agaphim’s pittiless wrath would have been unparalled.”

So… why didn’t they decide to do it ELSEWHERE? Aren’t there any vacant warehouses or giant caves where they could hold their Rituals Of Evil?

 
“They have no more to fear of Agaphim now!” Bellowed Grignr in a deep mirthful tome; a gleeful smirk upon his face.

Ha ha. Ha. Get it? Because they’re dead, so they don’t have to worry about being killed by him anymore. It’s funny. Ha. Ha. KILL ME PLEASE!

 
“I have seen that they were delivered from his vengence.”

Vengence (sp) against… what? Did they sacrifice his puppy?

 
Engrossed by Carthena’s graceful stride and conversation

“Wow, the way you move your right foot forward is so graceful! Almost as awesome as when you stepped over that rock with your LEFT foot! And those insteps, wow….”

 
Grignr failed to take note of the footfalls rapidly approaching behind him.

HEEEEEEEEEERE’S JOHNNY!

 
As he swung aside the arched portal linking the chamber with the corridors beyond,

Once again, a DOOR is not a portal. A doorWAY is a portal. You cannot swing aside a portal unless you rip it out of the wall and swing it around… and I’m quite sure that Greg would happily do that.

a maddened, blood lusting screech reverberated from his ear drums.

“Sorry, did I step on your foot?”

 
Seemingly utilizing the speed of thought,

So he’s using the speed of thought… to do what?

 
Grignr swiveled to face his unknown foe.

Oh, the suspense! Wanna bet that it’s one of the priests that he neglected to brutally slaughter?

 
With gaping eyes and widened jaws, Grignr raised his axe above his surly mein; but he was too late.

  1. 1. Did he mix “eyes” and “jaws” up? Because it’s pretty hard to widen your jaw without surgery, and as for gaping your eyes… ewwww.
  2. 2. His surly… mein? Chow mein? Lo mein? Yi mein? The Nigerian Mein? Mein Leben & Ich? Acacia: War with the Mein?
  3. Oh, he means “mien”… which doesn’t make sense either, because that means a person’s general manner and attitude, not their FACE.

Man, this was a long chapter.

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