PC049: Return of the Warrior

By Laird Long.
Read by Alasdair Stuart (of Pseudopod).

In the Province of Sull, in the Kingdom of Ronn, all seemed right with the world – the potters potted, the sculptors sculpted, the painters painted, and the scriveners did whatever their name implies. For Sull was home to the kingdom’s artisans, a colorful colony of creative cranks who used well their artistic endowments, for satisfaction of the soul, and sale. And they toiled truly and profitably.

But beneath the placid, pleasant exterior of the province and the people, lay a seething resentment bubbled to near-surface boil by the erratic, practicality-impaired nature of the creative personality, and the indolence of a King who listened not to ill-formed complaints some two hundred leagues removed. A prickly current of unrest sparked and shocked the citizenry, for many held the opinion that the provincial governor, the Wizard Kadil, was in no uncertain terms fudging the books, collecting taxes beyond what the law allowed. And though the people of Sull claimed to be moved primarily by muse, so, too, were they moved by a love of the good, old, gold stuff.

Rated PG. Contains the inevitability that all we Americans had to deal with scant days ago.

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13 Responses so far

  1. 1

    CaroCogitatus said,

    April 21, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

    Wow. A valiant, heroic attempt to make accounting exciting. That takes guts.

    And it largely worked for me. Not a story that I will want to revisit in 6 months, but enjoyable for what it is.

    It was a little distracting that I kept hearing our intrepid hero’s name as “Eeyore”. I don’t know how badly I was mishearing that, but the mental image of a chronically depressed donkey combined with Alasdair’s frenetic delivery was amusing nonetheless.

  2. 2

    David said,

    April 24, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

    As someone currently working on a Masters of Accountancy, I found this story very interesting. Though I wonder how I’ll feel after a few years of working in the industry. 🙂

  3. 3

    phignewton said,

    April 25, 2009 @ 2:26 am

    one cant help but be curious about the name of this kingdom.. ronn.. of what history speaks this ronn?

  4. 4

    Gia said,

    April 25, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

    I’m a student majoring in accounting and I love the idea of an accountant as a hero.

  5. 5

    scatterbrain said,

    April 26, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

    I enjoyed this week’s story and I’m happy that Alasdair Stuart has finally started to sound better. As for the question of taxes and government, I shall let H.L. Mencken just say: “Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” Thankfully I am decent!

  6. 6

    Gary H said,

    April 26, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

    I found myself straining to understand the narration. It sounded like a good story and I probably could have picked up the major plot points, but I didn’t want to have to work to understand it. The audio quality was better than some recent stories, which I appreciate. I’ll have to find the printed version of this one though, I couldn’t finish this audio version.

  7. 7

    carrie said,

    April 27, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

    The brisk and breathy reading totally ruined this story. I was really disappointed because the bits I could understand sounded really good.

  8. 8

    Benjamin said,

    April 28, 2009 @ 4:43 am

    This was a great story – a really creative take on accounting and magic, but it sounded like the narrator was in a tremendous hurry to finish the reading and just barreled through it. It really sucked a lot of the enjoyment out of the story.

    I’ve heard the narrator read other stories and he usually is quite good, but this time the reading was quite lousy.

    I started to wonder if the editors of Podcastle had picked up on this problem, but decided because of time constraints or something, to go ahead with it anyway. If this is the case, I’d much rather wait an extra week for a good story with good narration than a good story ruined by haste and sloppiness.

  9. 9

    Zorknot said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 6:42 pm

    This was slow for me until I realized it was actually funny. Had quite a few laughs. I loved the part where they reveal the “signs of accountancy”

    I love Alisdair Stewart’s intros and outros on pseudopod, but I’m not as keen on his readings. I felt like I was translating the words into text and then reading them in my head to get the humor rather than just enjoying the story.

  10. 10

    devora from Ukiah, CA said,

    April 29, 2009 @ 9:54 pm

    Ditto on Gary H. It was read too fast and the sound quality was not up to par. If a fantasy work has names we might not know (Kingdom of Ronn) I think it helps if the piece is read slowly and carefully. Alisdair’s intros/outros on Pseudopod are good, as stated. He’s a cool guy! I just wish he would slow down a tad and get a better recording set up.

  11. 11

    PaulthePotter said,

    April 30, 2009 @ 9:25 pm

    I liked this story quite a lot, entertaining and funny. The narrator, while I’ve gotten used to his accent (I’m sure he thinks I have an accent), he does read a bit too vigorously.
    Great story though!!

  12. 12

    servante said,

    May 5, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

    I have to agree with former posts: Although I love Stewart’s witty and interesting intro’s/outro’s on psuedopod, I couldn’t catch most of what he said. I gave up less than halfway through… I got sick of having to relisten to the same parts over and over just to understand. I usually don’t have a problem with accents, but it was read too fast for me to understand.

    Plus, the fact that it was about an accountant, didn’t make me really want to work for it. (at least I think it was : / )

  13. 13

    Eck said,

    May 13, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

    I’m pretty surprised by the previous comments. I actually came on this page to express how friggin awesome I found Alasdair Stuart’s reading.
    I had never heard him before and I was gonna search for anything else he’s read. He’s not just reading, he’s acting the text, on top of having a great texture to his voice and a funny accent.
    Another surprising thing, about not being able to understand what he says… I’m french, and pretty much only practicing english for internet purposes, and I don’t recall having any trouble understanding this story. Maybe it’s just because I’m used to missing a few words here and there x)
    In any case, it’s definitely one of my favorite episode ever.

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