As I’ve mentioned, I’ve run out of steam and am a bit burnt out on the A-Z Challenge. Although, I must say I’ve enjoyed the whole experience. It was a lot of work, not only coming up with my own posts, but trying to read and comment on some of the other OSR A-Z challenges. Which was something I wanted to do because a) a lot of good stuff was being written and deserved comments, and b) lots of folks took the time to read and post on my A-Z comments.
Anyway, I won’t be finishing, but I will skip to end and top off the challenge with what was always going to be my Z post.
Zinth is one of the projects on my list of stuff I want to do when Redwald is finished. The full title is The Twelfth Book of Zinth: Fantasy Roleplaying in a World Gone Wrong. Here’s the imaginary back cover blurb . . .
On January the 7th, 1977 epic fantasy author Albert J.R. Sandal published the first book in what would become his magnum opus: The Twelve Books of Zinth. His story would span Twelve massive tomes telling the epic tale of the plucky farm boy Garic, raised by the wizard G’nark, and Garic’s part in the Prophecy of G’nadranax, his journey with a band of heroic companions as he quests for the Sword of Density, and his fight against the Evil Overlord Tu’Darc the Slayful, and his Legions of Awks, all set in Zinth; Sandal’s ‘unique’ fantasy world.
The majority of critics, and fantasy fans the world over, had decided that the Twelve Books of Zinth series were the worst, most derivative, and all round badly written Fantasy novels in the history of derivative badly written fantasy novels. Sales of books 1-3 were lower than hoped, sales of books 4-7 terrible, and sales of books 8-11 had dwindled so much and that by January the 7th, 1987 book 12 was cancelled by the publishers.
Even if reprints of book 11 fixed the typo that turned the Sword of Destiny in to the Sword of Density, and made all conversations about Garic’s ultimate Destiny laugh out loud funny, it was agreed that no amount of editing could save the Books of Zinth from their ultimate destiny: being pulped.
Albert J.R. Sandal was devastated.
He needn’t have worried.
On January 27th 1987 the world as we knew it ended . . .
. . . It is the 76th Year of Zinth, 76 Years since our small community found the first of the great tomes of knowledge written by blessed father Sandal. The wisdom and heroic deeds found within the pages of the Holy Books of Zinth have brought hope and strength to us and for now at least we are safe from the ravages of Awks, and we thrive. But alas none of our Garics' have ever returned with the Sword of Density. I and the council have agreed that a new quest is needed; our knowledge must be complete so next years’ chosen one and his companions will set out in search of the Twelfth Book of Zinth . . .
. . . The 77th Year of Zinth. It goes well. This years’ crop of Garics have been kept isolated on the farm, and know nothing beyond the digging of dung and the herding of cattle. Perfect preparation for the quest. We have already picked our G’Nark Gorefire. Of all this years’ wizards he showed the greatest mastery of the magical artefacts: the M61 Ball of Boom and the M1 Stick of Pointing Death. We have also selected our Garth Grimjack the warrior. His tongue has been severed to greater aid his strong and silent demeanour and I only hope the mighty blade of letter opening and his armour of bakeofoil will serve him well in his duty protecting the life of our chosen Garic. There are but a few more selections to be made: Gifford the Greedy the Roguish Thief, Gorfin Greatbeard the Dwarf, Glalgerrion the Goode the Elfin Archer, Geoffrey Greyrobe the Cleric of Gark, and Sheila the Warrior Princess.
When the final choices have been made Dale and his heroic companions will leave the city of Zinth and embark upon the ultimate quest: the Quest for the Twelfth Book of Zinth!