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Ranger? Draft
The Acts of the Knights Trace in Awes South: A Novel of Elder Earth
© 2022 James LaFond
SEP/10/22
Ranger? Draft
The Acts of the Knights Trace in Awes South: A Novel of Elder Earth
Copyright 2022 James LaFond
A Crackpot Book
Publisher: Lynn Lockhart
Dust Cover
On Elder Earth, the time of dire portents named In the Year of Our Lord 2031has brought hell to Redrock Station and sent Brawn Pillory, a pony boy in service to the Knights Trace, into manhood as the saddle tender to the most savage scout of Awes West. As dread whispers of Stonish Giants and Wendigos returning out of heathen legend to menace Awes North hiss from narrow Indian lips, the Don’s of New Spain off southward send a request for aid to their traditional Christian foes—the “Nether Arm” of His Distant Britannic Majesty in this furthest Wester New England, what has never known a clear and present King.
Conceit
Elder Earth is an alchemical alternative earth where Christendom was not breached by Islam in Eastern Europe, where Martin Luther became Pope, Henry the Eighth had sons, and whence Issac Newton was hailed a theologian rather than a scientist—a world that knew no Industrial Revolution and in which Modernity has not reared its baffled head. [0]
Awes West and Awes South and the men who guard those reaches belong to a world of brutal continuity in which the best and worst of them trace their traditions directly to King Arthur and bold Count Roland over a thousand years gone, an aged medieval world that yet values raw men of unapologetic brawn. [1]
For broad Paul Bingham and His care-filled Woman
Thematic
“Sergeant Saddler,
owned the hardest ass!
Meaner dan a rattler—
afroath with ‘eathen sass.
No Ranger were abler,
Den dat Trace adder what seconded Good Knight Brass.”
-Grog rhyme sung at grog time, in the gatehouse of Tower Brass, Red Rock Station, first heard by “Broad” Brawn Pillory in The Year of Our “Roman Done For” Lord 2029, composed by the half breed scout, Praying Trigger Tim, after the Battle of Comanche Pan on the Flat Iron below Lookout Pass, above Denver Station, in A. D. 2019
Composition
Ranger? is a work of fiction faithful to on old and odd tradition sung in The Song of Roland, the anthem, or “bitter bread” of the rangers, scouts and pony boys of Awes West and South, who, more often then not, could count on “‘deir knightly betters leavin’ ‘em Injun-hunted red en scrawn fo’ dead.”
None of the characters in this work are strictly fictional, with most plain rip-offs of the world-trodden souls of the poor goddamned men I worked with in Baltimore, one of a less fortunate New England’s most “tarable” shitholes.
This novel is not plotted, not planned and not composed by a western man. It is though, inspired by a dozen and more men, who call this high land home and have welcomed this eastern runt to rest his soul. I hope they find something in it to entertain as true.
-James LaFond, Denver, Colorado, Wednesday, April 6, 2022
“Broad” Brawn Pillory’s Yarn
Ranger?, is a yarn spun in Three Coils
First Coil
The Knights Trace in Awes West: Seven Acts
-Act 1. Pillory O’ the Yard
-Act 2. Sergeant Saddler’s Second
-Act 3. Sharp Shoe Brown
-Act 4. Three Coon Clown
-Act 5. Red Rock Red
-Act 6. Denver Station
-Act 7. Lookout Mountain
Second Coil
The Knights Trace in New Spain: Five Acts
-Act 1. Winter Station
-Act 2. Acursed Nation
-Act 3. Don Silver and The Knight Brass
-Act 4. Hinter Station
-Act 5. Hither Tarnation
Third Coil
The Knights Trace in Awes South: Nine Acts
-Act 1. Comanche Station
-Act 2. Kiowa Station
-Act 3. Elkhorn Station
-Act 4. The Knight Hoar
-Act 5. Voodoo Horde
-Act 6. His Righteous Gore
-Act 7. Black Conjure Chord
-Act 8. Hackles O’ Yore
-Act 9. Shackles or Sword
Back Matter
-A Letter to Counter-Pope Ignatius Three, at Montreal
-Diary Entries of His Righteousness of Gore
The entirety of the yarn shall be spun according to the scheme above, and no more, according to the recollections of one harrowed soul. Some of the acts will take longer to tell and be broken into two or three parts, depending on the depth of recollection.
Geopolitical Notes
-0. Sorcerer!, the yarn of Noose Gun, expresses the alternative chronology of Elder Earth from an infinitely more learned perspective than does this yarn, its rude sequel conceived as it is in bastardy.
-1. The Knights Trace guard the reaches of Awes West, the Knights Sepulcher Awes North and the Knights Saint George Awes South. All answer to the Archbishop of New England at King Henry’s Cathedral, at Saint Mary’s Town, on The Bay of the Mother of God. [2]
-2. The great bay once called by the heathens, Chesapeake, or “Shell-fish-water.”
-3. The settlement and naming of Easter New England in Elder Earth, would baffle the person transported from Modern Earth, with such cities as Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. non existent.
-The chief provinces and cities of the east are The Principality of New York, in the north, ruled from New Castle on Manhattan Island, The Archbishopric of New Wales in the Mid-Atlantic ruled from King Henry’s Cathedral at Saint Mary’s Town [containing those modern states of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania and the Ohio Country to the Mississippi] the Plantation of New Ireland in the south [conforming to Virginia and the Carolinas] bordered on the south by Spanish Florida [including what became in Modern Earth Georgia], extending westward to include the Lower Ohio Watershed to Modern Memphis. The Hither Provincial Seat of Easter New Ireland is at New Dublin, where Norfolk would be in Modern Earth. The Hinter Seat of Wester New Ireland [which is cut off from Easter New Ireland Province during the winter] is Iron Plantation, a center for water wheel-powered foundries at the site of Modern Memphis.
-4. To the southwest the Easter and Wester portions of New Ireland are bordered by voodoo-infested New France, comprising the Lower Mississippi Basin, and what would be the states of Modern Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas, excepting the Ozark Mountains. With the exception of coastal Louisiana, the Viceroy of New France, based on Guadalupe, controls only that island and the city and environs of New Orleans. Haiti and the hinterlands have devolved into a West African abyss dominated by the Pappa Docs or Prophets and their subordinate Mamma Loi and Pappa Loi priests. In the central interior of the forested Appalachians [where the states of West Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky would be in Modernity], culturally mixed Indian tribes remain in conflict with tribal African Maroons and clannish Gaelic Hillbillies, descended from runaway Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and Irish slaves.
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