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Slave
A Novel of Elder Earth
© 2023 James LaFond
DEC/31/23
Copyright 2023 James LaFond
A Crackpot Book
Lynn Lockhart Publisher
Young Peter, son of the Half-Dast Lord Peter Grim, warden of Czarist Russia’s furthest march, in what the English refer to as Far Dastardy, accompanies his father down to the Sea from the Misty Mountains of Southeastern Alaska. There, at Prince Ivan’s Sound, across the narrow waters from the Sea Urals, upon Christmas Eve, an English ship put in and announced that ship and crew have sailed in service to a Lord of Lombardy bearing a wonder and a slave to attend said alchemical device, to be gifted both in unconditional good will to the most daring man of the land. A treasure, too, is borne upon the English ship, a treasure housed in an ominous chest…
Young Peter, a boy with uncommon honest sense, is the youngest and last of his father’s many sons—for wicked creatures have been rising among the Misty Mountains and the Grim Warden of these wild ranges has paid the price no father wishes paid. For this reason, has Peter Grim brought his last son down to the sea, to engage a tutor, a learned man, to educate his son in ways different from those that have robbed him of every heir but his last.
There, together at the docks, they encounter a wonder, a mystery… and a Slave of a singular sort from the sea.
Conceived on location in the Cedar River Watershed in February 2023 as the snow came quietly down and written in exile across a godless nation.
Dedicated to James Anderson, a latter day Robert E. Howard—a Steve Costigan with a brain.
“We gathered enough cones, boughs and branches to burn this brush-pile for five days! And there is more, we could do it again. Just three acres clear enough for the sun to grow grass—and this forest wants it back. This wants to be a cedar forest and it don’t quit.”
-James P., the author’s host for the writing of this novel
The Yarn in Three Coils
Placement in Narrative Time.
Slave takes place in the same year as the novels Sorcerer!, Ranger? And Wife—, which conclude, in the waning days of the Year of Our Lord 2031. The second portion of Wife—, a couplet novel titled Knight., and not yet written, covers the same time frame as Slave: Slave concerning the events of December 2031 and January 2032 in Far Dastardy and Knight. the events of the Hell Box Crusade in Awes West from September thru December, on Christ’s Eve. Both are to be concluded in Deacon… set in Awes West at the Monstrous Siege of Whitefish Priory January thru March 2032.
-James, Colonia, New Jersey, Tuesday May 30, 2023
Coil 1
-1. Men of the Sea
-2. The Daringest Hand of Far Dastardy
-3. Eights Parts a Man, Up from the Sea
-4. The Wonders of Alchemy
-5. A Writ from The Holy See
Coil 2
-6. Howling Beeves
-7. Singing Giants
-8. Fallen Majesty
-9. Dogged Works of Men
-10. Sullen Savagery
Coil 3
-11. Feathered Contrary
-12. Drums of Sasquatchery
-13. Coffin of Shews
-14. Stoneman of Crows
-15. Throne of Throes
-16. After, The Word: Upon the Loom of The Weaver
Geographical Notes
To orient the reader upon the axis of Elder Earth, the author has taken note that the inaccurate names of Dreaming Earth, where mankind drools slack-jawed in his assigned stall, confuse the mythological dimension with something materialistically unreal.
On Christmas, 2030 and the eve of 2031, wintry Alaska remains Alaska, under Russian rule.
Canada, in its western portions, is generally referred to as French Heathenry.
Montana and the Rocky Mountain Littoral constitute Awes West, the furthest New England priory, administered by the Knights Trace.
California remains a region of New Spain, which includes all of the American Southwest.
Missouri and portions of Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma constitute Awes South, a New England Priory, administered by The Knights of Saint George of the Cross.
The Great Lakes Region, not held by the heretical French Counter Pope, is the Priory of The Knights Sepulcher, being the reconstituted order of the Knights Templar.
The Pacific Northwest as far east as the Cascade range is Far Dastardy, an English term for Czarist domains proudly adopted by the mixed-race Russian agents of the distant Czar.
Prince Ivan’s Sound would be Puget Sound in a surreal none-world.
Likewise, the Olympics have been named equally without imagination as the Sea Urals.
Again, the natural beauty of the Misty Mountains in an old earth and the Cascade Mountains in a sold earth, have inspired the monotonous minds of European repetition to forgo their normal naming by label transfer for an actual description of the natural order.
To The Reader
I have been writing history according to ancient books listened to on audio and at the same time writing journals of activity engaged in between writing on a 5 acre homestead in the Cedar River Watershed. I have also been writing a time travel novel based on death nightmares I have been having in this location. Lately the need to research some historical events while taking on the responsibility of caring for a one acre homestead further up the mountain, has impeded the narrative flow of Timejacker.
This morning, having to rise and care for critters and warm a house before daybreak, when I would normally be writing, was vexing me. As the muses within alternately gurgled and clamored, I realized, that the latent novel of Elder Earth that I had been keeping on the back burner while I wrote Timejacker, fit, and it was indeed calling.
The house I am in is rustic from the outside. But the interior is 360 degrees chick flick, Halmark channel domesticity, complete with a cat that thinks it is a dog. The only masculine device in the building is the small woodstove, for which the lady of the house is too delicate to haul wood. The writing is very difficult here as a dozen light sources threaten my good light-sensitive eye from below eye level—pure female comfort lighting. This place is perhaps the only one I stay in where my mother, sister, and Miss Ezz would feel at home and love it—it’s a girl cave that threatens the writer’s outer sight but cues the inner sight.
There is death stalking around on four legs, a killer in the woods besieging the chickens, who are guarded by two dogs, one of which kills runaway chickens out of hand. As the dogs whined for me to lead them against the threat in the woods and I readied the coffee, looking out the window at the chicken house door I had just opened under a light before dawn, I heard the winds howl back down the mountain. Actually, the winds do not howl so much as do their slaves, the cedar trees, some of whom will be felled by the great winds while the others rustle, moan and howl. These are the frightening winds that roared for a week, casting us into darkness between Christmas and New Years, placing us back into the candlelit age.
Just now, as the cedars roar, a steel stanchon sings like a banshee up the mountain. It is a good time to write in and of this place. I shall continue the tale as soon as I escape this lady den and it’s landscape of lateral lights. This informs as to how the human mind is crushed in by the dark forest and how the dainty mind of woman cannot tolerate the months long night without her little angel lights.
Two additional things, brought on windy devil wings, occurred to me this morning as I heated cold meat and butter in a cast iron skillet on the wood stove and perked a pot of coffee; that this simple item would be a wonder in Awes West and Far Dastardy, in a candlelit world still warmed by hearths and fireplaces.
Additionally, the chores necessary to maintain a homestead when understaffed, just the care of animals, makes the homesteader incredibly vulnerable. As I had coffee on the porch I noted how easily the neighbor could be killed, spending the same exposed 20 minutes in a vulnerable position every morning. Rural people, those very folk who once lived upon the wild frontier, from the predatory perspective, are far more vulnerable than urban people and as easy picking as suburban people, hopelessly chained to myopic chores.
The plot of Slave explores the importance of a time servant arriving with a wonderful device, as a gift from a distant benefactor for the education and protection of the scion of a frontier’s most forward candle in the dark.
-James, Thursday, February 9 2023
Narrative Note
Having spent four winters under Cedar Mountain, I can now write of it from anywhere and have permitted its story to flicker on the back burner of this addled mind while completing tales that are more sensitive to the recorder’s progress through time and space.
Further, I must not neglect that as I huddle afraid of the light in this darkened guest room, that Teddy an old dog, as afflicted by years as this old ape, huddles against the door reminding me that we are, both of us bearded white, afterthoughts in this world of underthings.
-Colonia, New Jersey, Tuesday May 30, 2023
slave: a novel of elder earth
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