Part 12: Spiritual Frontier Commuters

Chapter Thirty-Eight – The Veil

Count Argo Navis is speechless as he watches Joey destroy the fortress. So, like most people who are speechless, he starts asking questions. Maya and Joey explain that they’re not from this world. Navis then talks about how when he was a boy, he heard stories about Veils, also known as Spiritual Curtains, that would separate the supernatural world from the natural world. Why, precisely, they do that is not explained. However, Navis has heard that occasionally human beings slip through the Veils and get into the legendary world. Also, once you go supernatural you can never go back.

Maya and Joey are intrigued by this, so Navis exposits that only ghosts and spirits of the dead (aren’t those…ghosts?) are able to go through the veils. Of course. It all makes sense now! Maya and Joey drowned at the Pebble Beach in the first book and have just been hallucinating everything since then. That’s why they have just ridiculous godlike powers!

Joey, however, says that they’re aren’t ghosts.

“If it is the deity’s will… then it is the deity’s bill to take care of you.” (page 336)

That doesn’t make any sense.

Navis rambles about how Speshul and Awesome and Amazing they both are, how they are creatures of the legendary, how the deity has blessed them, how they obviously are people of great faith as well as being totally unique and the greatest thing since sliced fucking bread.

“You are commuters…as I said, Spiritual Frontier Commuters.” (page 337)

Sometimes, I wonder how Tesch can write something like that and not realize how patently ridiculous it sounds.

Apparently, there was recently a convention of magicians and sorcerers, and they closed the gates to at least three Veils. And what that means is that as more Veils close, people might not be able to get from one world to the next.

Eventually, the conversation ends and they get down to business: Krimmy is being taken to the Glacier Palace, and the only way there is across an open plateau, which will be perfect to detect them. Joey sends a group of dragons back home, and takes a small group with him and Maya to rescue Krimmy.

Maya notices Count Navis eyeing Joey’s backpack and figures he’s trying to steal the Key. However, Joey has finally pulled his head out of his ass and Defender is strapped to his leg. So they wander off and circle around and watch as Navis grabs Joey’s backpack and roots through it but can’t find it. Joey comes back, but pretends he didn’t notice it, and launches into a two-page retelling of the story of the last guy who tried to steal Defender and Joey torched him and his compatriots and their eyes and tongues melted.

Apparently Navis isn’t impressed by this story, but he understands it. Which makes sense. But it seems Joey has learned to actually keep his supernatural weapons on him at all times, so I guess the past few chapters weren’t completely pointless. Tesch throws in a ‘And so it was…’ and off they go to try and rescue Krimmy.

Chapter Thirty-Nine – Dust Road to Notali

Krimmy and her captors are riding along and they hear some noises. So they all hide in the woods. It turns out to be a bunch of werewolves. Which, in Teschland, means men with wolf heads.

The group of werewolves stop and open up a wooden box, which has a couple beautiful black boys inside. They haul the boys out and tie them to a tree. Then they start building a big fire, and it’s pretty obvious they’re going to roast the boys and eat them.

I have to question the logic of taking the boys out of a box and then tying them to a tree. What’s the point, to let them air out a little? Doesn’t it make a little more sense to just leave them inside the box until you’re actually ready to cook them?

Anyway. Krimmy decides to rescue them. So she pulls the dagger from her belt – oh yeah, she has a dagger on her belt. Sure, she’s a prisoner being held by the minions of King Apollyon, but they don’t actually tie her up and they let her keep her weapons. Totally makes sense.

Krimmy crawls over to the boys tied to the tree which of course is off in the dark and nobody is even bothering to watch the prisoners, and she cuts them free and they all sneak off. Hooray!

The whole pack of werewolves were dizzy with despair as they looked paralyzed at the empty oak tree (page 346).

Dizzy with despair? They just lost their lunch. It might be annoying but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Also, they’re fucking werewolves. Why don’t they just follow the scent and track them all down?

Suddenly, they hear ravens croaking overhead. For unexplained reasons, this terrifies them, so they all take off.

We cut back to Maya and Joey, who are encountering difficulties in finding Krimmy.

We cut back to Krimmy, who is chilling out with the two boys, Jafar and Jahy. After a bit, they arrive at the city of Notali, which is where the Demon Apostle Krassus lives. Krassus asks them why they came here, and the group explains they didn’t want to cross the Plateau of Death because they’d be easily spotted by the dragons chasing after them. Which…astonishingly, makes a lot of sense. It’s almost like we have halfway competent villains for once.

Larivier and Krimmy chat. Larivier laughs like a hyena. They talk about whether death is sometimes better than life – Krimmy thinks it is, Larivier thinks it isn’t. Eventually, Larivier offers Krimmy a drink, which he spiked with roofies. She drinks it and falls into a delirium.

The false monk Larivier had drugged Krimhilda. He now used his manhood and took advantage of her as darkness fell over Notali, the city of evil (page 349).

Oh dear sweet merciful Jesus, I just read a Gloria Tesch rape scene.

Chapter Forty – The Convention

I am now drinking heavily to get that thought out of my head. I apologize if the rest of this sporking does not make any sense.

The first paragraph of this chapter is comedy gold, though:

Krassus, the Demon Apostle and the Duet of Evil, Gertrude and Larivier, as well as two dozen other sorcerers, magicians and witches from the Black Tower of Notali arrived with Princess Krimhilda at the Glacier Palace for the upcoming event, known as the CCC. The Chaos & Curse Convention of black magic (page 350).

Least intimidating name ever.

Plouton welcomes Krimmy and says she gets to live in the water park. Krimmy goes and sits by the waterfall and angsts for a bit. She sees some captive birds and this saddens her so she decides that she needs to rescue the birds.

Krimmy talks to the two black boys. Apparently, during their extremely long journey where they were traveling ON FOOT FOR MILES AND MILES they never had time to talk, so she wants to know what their story is. Jafar explains that Apollyon’s soldiers kidnapped all the young children in their village and took them to Notali and they were all given IQ tests and Jafar (my god, I just keep thinking of Aladdin) realized they were all going to be used to be in sorcerer schools and be like the rest of the children, who were all pale and walked around like zombies. Because kids from Maradonia know what zombies are.

Anyway, they both answered a lot of questions wrong on their IQ tests so they were sent to the kitchens and then they escaped and then they were caught by werewolves.

“You saved us by cutting us loose from that oak tree and now we are here. Thank you…our situation has improved.” (page 356)

Improved? They’re captives of King Apollyon, the embodiment of all that is evil! Sure, they’re not in the immediate danger of being eaten by werewolves, but compared to what Apollyon might do to them, being a werewolf lunch might seem like a blessing.

Krimmy angsts for a bit. The next day there’s a ceremony and suddenly…the Mehadim of Melissa shows up! He’s the Mehadim, from the city of Melissa. And he’s a fucking awesome sorcerer.

They all do some magic and it’s very impressive and Apollyon wants the Mehadim to work for him but the Mehadim is taking his magic show on tour in Ophir (aren’t they enemies?) first. But maybe later he’ll work for Apollyon. Finally the subject turns to Krimmy and Plouton explains that they can use Krimmy to trade for the Key. And…Apollyon doesn’t really give a fuck. He’s more interested in what’s for dinner.

This doesn’t really make sense. This is THE KEY TO THE UNDERWORLD. It has already been very clearly established how much Apollyon wants this back. Why doesn’t he care anymore?

Drinks: 47


  10 Responses to “Part 12: Spiritual Frontier Commuters”

  1. It turns out to be a bunch of werewolves. Which, in Teschland, means men with wolf heads.


    The whole pack of werewolves were dizzy with despair as they looked paralyzed at the empty oak tree

    Why does everyone always neglect werewolves?!

    Least intimidating name ever.

    I’ve been thinking that, given Tesch’s conservative-vibey Christian background, she’s just telling us that all of these villains are evil sorcerous Gothic Movement hex-flinging witches who hug trees and sing Mother Earth Songs, and she assumes that everyone has gotten the memo that this sort of people are very evil indeed. Of course, everyone who have actually met goths or pagans or environmentalists, or even seen one in television, will probably find this hilarious.

  2. And no mention of the probable rape is made. None. Not even nervously not-talked-about…just…gone. This is troubling.

  3. Seriously, with what Krimmy’s been through–especially considering that she actually IS a pampered princess–shouldn’t her psyche be totally shattered by now?

    But then, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in amateur fiction–original and fan–regarding rape. It happens, and that’s it. No lasting effects. No emotional backlash. Hell, most victims even end up enjoying it.

    Most of such scenes are indeed written by teenagers, usually girls, who have never experienced rape, nor have they bothered to research it. As with Tesch, it’s used simply to illustrate how Eebil the Bad Guy is, or how helpless the victim is, or both. Some such authors, though, actually do harbor some twisted fantasies that, seeing as they’ve never actually played them out before, they don’t completely comprehend. In this last case, the victim in the story ends up enjoying it (though they struggle valiantly not to) and sometimes even falls in love with their rapist. It’s used again as a way to illustrate a Bad Guy’s naughtiness, but since the victim falls in love with them, they are obviously redeemable.

    If they dared to read even ONE victim’s recount of such a thing, they would run crying to their mommies and daddies. It ISN’T romantic. It ISN’T something you can just get over the next day. You can recover and move on, yes, but it takes time, and that scar will always be on your heart.


  4. If there was one thing Narnia needed, it was a rape scene. Man, that was ballsy of Tesch… but also sickening, considering the target audience.

    Also, doesn’t an IQ seem a little too modern for the setting?

  5. Well, since Krimmy was konked out, it’s possible she simply didn’t remember. Your points still stand, of course.

  6. As a Christian myself, I too find that ridiculous. Especially the fact that the bully was a fat Goth, when really, a fat Goth would more likely be a victim of bullying instead. Not saying one being a bully can’t happen, but still…

  7. I don’t consider it “ballsy” seeing as how it only gets a one-sentence mention, with no followup. A recurring problem in amateur fiction is using rape to show how evil a villain is, or using it as a cheap source of drama. Tesch is probably doing the former.

  8. However, Navis has heard that occasionally human beings slip through the
    Veils and get into the legendary world. Also, once you go supernatural
    you can never go back.

  9. I doubt he only would’ve done it one time

  10. Although on its face, the phrase “used his manhood and took advantage of her” seems like a reference to rape, given the subtleties and nuances of the German language, it’s possible that she was trying (very awkwardly) to say something like “exerted his superior strength and carried her off.” Given that there’s no follow-up whatsoever, it’s hard to tell.