The first was no man’s hero. Clearly.
“Clarity is the ability to discern between light and darkness despite the patch-worked sights of a crumbling and gray reality.”
His name was Gurth-El, and he was the son of Jahelwulph, which made him also the bloodthrall of Cedric, who himself was titled Regent of the Ramah Woodistry, and all but the latter was easy to see, if you knew where to look, for around the fellow’s otherwise unappealing neck hung a golden gorglet, forged as a clean collar, so pure a circle as to make removal impossible save by a jeweler’s tools, and inscribed with the name and title you just heard.
The rest of him, the sensitive modern reader will understand, is more difficult, as no honest description given can avoid the clothes of more fashionable orthodoxies. But let us suffice it to say that he wore a single denim overall which, while buckled over both breasts to keep its wide and floppy circumference from falling to the ankles, did little to prevent the generally-offensive pigment-heavy rolls of flesh from spilling out on both sides, shirtless as he otherwise was, in total defiance of what all but his tribe might label “standard niceties”.
But to the deep contrary, this outfit and even manner was, to him, the mark of his highest birthright, far more meaningful than the faux-glory banded about his gruesome neck, and this a persistent faith not despite many centuries of effort at reform via social-algorithm management. So also was the laboring castes’ birthright a life-long diabetes, along with its tightly controlled, life-saving dosages of sulinesia, or what the the terrestrial humans would have called “insulin.”
The man beside him was a fool. Or a bard, if you prefer. A much maligned class in every venue, mind you, save that one at which you demand them sing for supper to solve your errant plagues of boredom with remastered narratives of dungeons fast and furious dragons. But always a man of both intense curiosity and keen perception! (That is, if he is any credit to the trade.)
This bard, in particular, was not yet a discredit. But he was still a youth, in his infant-twenties at most, quite the spectacle beside the gray-bearded uncouth with whom he discoursed. Likewise, the younger man was fitted with the hereditary denim overalls of the soilers. But the distinction between these made their prejudicial ages a mere pittance. Where Gurth-El’s jumper sagged with misfit use, and even abuse, the fool’s half-cunning gaze presided over a most slickened tailoring of pompous, bedazzled denim jean one might feign imagine. Above its many smug buckles and audaciously speckle-colored pop-utilities, themselves now hidden, now seen beneath the wavy flourishes of a thigh-low purple-green-yellow cloak, the eyes of the man showed no posture of long repose, but rather the fidgety impatience of a soul too long suckled on the adrenaline of a near run thing.
His name was V’mba, Son of Vittel, and he too was the bloodthrall of Cedric of Ramah. He too, thusly, wore the very same golden banded choker.
There are many more details which the astute reader would also notice to further distinguish these two men of the jubileer caste. For Gurth-El carried upon his wide hip a likewise wide crescent hammer, the most common tool of trade for the everyman among the soilers, part plumber’s wrench, part personal PLA-net usb, all machete.
V’mba had instead no such thing. Far less interesting at first glance, he carried a funny-looking stick, the type one might craft for a king to brandish at court. Only, this one, while steam-punky enough to tickle your manga memories, appeared to be made of much humbler stuff than gold and diamond plate. It was not attached to the endless menagerie of jingling clips and carbiner-festooned pocketry upon him, but it matched their quirky contours well as V’mba waved it about whenever and where’ere he spoke, for it were the very living familiar of the magic he found when voicing his own thoughts.
Likewise to the previous paragraph which we might have subtitled, On the Unique Perplexities of an Offworld Experience so Far into the Future that the Dirt Poor have iPhones that are also both Deadly Weapons and Multi-Purpose Customizable Hyper-Utility Toolbelts, I might also temper your capacity to read on any longer with the following soliloquy in six paragraphs, On the Linguistical Dilemma of Overcoming the Systemic Confusion of Tongues in Tension with Realism in Storytelling.
(Here, the uneducated and only slightly dull reader will enjoy skipping ahead to where its more like TV at the start of the next chapter.)
Most facts of history are, truly, tedious and boring. This is especially true when they are by themselves. History is not a thing, but a past. It is not a moment, but a memory. It is not a dot matrix, but a network, in which every fact matters in an infinite display of divinely provided intersections, buttresses, and, thank God, curb-checks.
One such fact that alone is unsubstantial, but within our story is quite essential to its meaning, is the cumulative history of language devolution which rendered the talking of these two essential men, to the untrained ear, the most atrocious barking of guttural coughs and bursts, much like the fit one might imagine having on the third day of a terrible flu. This jubileer’s dialect was not as far removed from the well-documented and officially mandated Solarium Hebraic as it is from your own tongue of favor, but still the same sufficiently so to keep all but the most important words or phrases from overlapping in significance.
As both languages and their history of animosity and oppression will play a dynamic role in the universal enlightening which the tale regales, it tempts the novel bard to endeavor an Homeric feat in pun’t’ua’tin’ and and hyph-en-fus’onin’ that would with certainty make your eyes bleed under the duress of your own Herculean efforts to understand anything of it at all.
This would, I agree, allow us both to feel quite swell about our own hoighty-toightyness should we succeed together, you and I, author and reader. But if we should fail at but one iota, we should also feel quite ill for all our laudable pondering of completely made-up, scribbled-odd locutionalphilia.
So instead, I will lecture boldly this once, crying Havoc! and unleashing the dogs of poetic license against the scoundrel intrusions of the cynic’s melting whine for more realism. Be it thus remembered: the converse of all jubileers sounds rude and uncouth, not only in audacity but more so in vulgar descriptives, and this fully despite the fact that I toil at your pleasure to deliver its import to our tale on your everlasting illumination’s behalf in the finest of the King’s English.