Log in

No account? Create an account
07 March 2013 @ 12:25 pm
LJ Idol Exhibit A: "Empires Of Parched Earth And Air"  
Empires Of Parched Earth And Air
LJ Idol Exhibit A | week 7 | 714 words
Honey Badger Don't Care


Day 1
Amassed armies and provisions for first conquest this morning. Subdued three tribes between our base and the whispering lake. Ranks now larger by ten strong men, holdings by more than ninety goats.

Wife says goats not suitable souvenirs. Flowers? Lizards? Well-shaped stones? Choices are scant.

Day 57
Attacked new villages and tribes. Ruler now of all Mongolia. I am Khan!

Day 224
Ruling Mongolia now seems small thinking. The vastness of the world awaits me. Must plot next military campaign.

Day 258
Begin journey to Xi Xia. This dynasty will be mine!

Year 3, Day 14
Defeated Xi Xia. Slow process, but there was much to learn. Tonight, we feast!

Year 3, Day 20
Feasting and celebrations grow tiresome. Victory no longer sweet.

Year 3, Day 72
Dynasty to the south appears poorly protected. Now oddly attractive. Ordered Cavalry to resume training.

Year 5, Day 3
Spies report Jin Dynasty still sleeping. Fools—glorious fools! Gathering army to begin next assault. This mere parcel of earth cannot contain me.

Year 5, Day 43
Crossed through Xi Xia on approach to Jin and reminded them that I am KHAN, ruler of them all! Also collected additional supplies.

Year 7, Day 189
Battle thunders on.

Year 8, Day 16
And on. Warriors now dreaming in Horse.

Year 9, Day 31
Crushed the raging hordes! Bloody campaign, worthy result. Many riches, and multitudes of new, loyal subjects.

Year 10, Day 142
Have conquered no new lands in over a year. Feeling restless. Old enemies in Kara-Khitan an affront to my authority. Must destroy! Send general Jebe and large troops.

Year 11, Day 22
Still affronted.

Year 12, Day 246
Kara-Khitan has fallen! Did the dance of the furry boots and sacrificed twenty antelope to honor empire's expansion.

Year 12, Day 313
Ambitions grow with each passing day wasted in this meager terrain. Advisors say the Silk Road offers valuable trading opportunities—very valuable indeed. Sent ambassadors off to propose treaty.

Year 12, Day 350
Offer rudely rejected. Sent new ambassadors.

Year 13, Day 36
Ambassadors returned in damaged condition. One dead. Launched full-scale attack.

Year 13, Day 117
War continues, troops wage slaughter. Captives useful as shields against advancing armies, pyramids of skulls discourage attack from the rear. The fierceness of my armies shall yet prevail!

Year 13, Day 259
Encountered village with many beautiful women. Selected prize maiden, but father demanded bridal dowry. Slew him and stowed maiden in supply caravan. Rampaged onward.

Year 14, Day 9
Finally breached most formidable mountain yet! My troops move forward like a deadly scourge of fire.

Year 14, Day 32
Crushed the raging hordes! Also murdered or enslaved where convenient. Mighty Khwarizm is mine.

Year 14, Day 119
Utterly bored. Invaded a watering hole six hours hence. Added a grizzled shepherd and his flock to my spoils. My spirit starves in the absence of new adventure.

Year 15, Day 6
Yurts developing holes, men increasingly ill-tempered. Divided army, sent half to conquer Caucasus. Led other half toward Mongolia, tracking north to plunder new kingdoms on the way.

Year 16, Day 257
Crushed the raging hordes! Have acquired the wealth of Persia. Or a pestilence of the skin.

Year 17, Day 11
Menaced Kara-Khitan on return to land of birth, for they are still mine—mine! Let this warning serve them well.

Year 19, Day 103
Arrive in Mongolia, begin new era of peace. Wife says yurt not befitting of stature. Soldiers create new.

Bed down for the night with horse. Wife sleeps in yurt alone.

Year 19, Day 335
Oddly morose today. Ate half a yak. Sharpened battle-ax out of habit and recalled Khwarizm campaign. A fine, fine legacy. Will I know its equal again?

Year 20, Day 68
Enacted new laws and inventoried remaining plunder. Took out armor and inspected, tried it on. The immense magnificence of my empire seems woefully distant.

Year 20, Day 129
Spies bring notice of unrest in Xi Xia. My old enemy rises again!

Notify generals to form troops, order cavalry to gather horses. We will wipe the people of Xi Xia off the earth this time, leaving none to remember their names, for we are the most divine and powerful force reigning under the sun.

Let the glorious battle begin!

If you enjoyed this story, you can vote for it along with many other fine entries here.

lriG rorriM: eclipselrig_rorrim on March 7th, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
I love this. Love love love. The format is perfect - it's like what Genghis Khan would have written if he had a twitter account. It's hilarious, punchy, and is perfectly in the spirit of the prompt (which is a helluva feat this week, I tell you what). Awesome!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 7th, 2013 09:24 pm (UTC)
Yay! This prompt was the biggest challenge yet, and that's really saying something. o_O

When I thought about what really embodied the prompt, and who was the most relentless and driven badass ever, Genghis Khan even beat out Alexander the Great. He had an inherent need to conquer new land, and he was tenacious and incredibly successful at it. He took what he wanted, by god, and no sane person got in his way!

Thanks so much for reading, and I'm thrilled that you liked it!
whipchickwhipchick on March 7th, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
Love. Love. Love. This voice is hilarious, and I love how there's still a poignancy, that nothing will ever be enough. Fabulous as satire but still meaningful. So well done!!!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 7th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
that nothing will ever be enough.
I mentioned on the prior post that I wound up doing an ungodly amount of research for this, and it was amazing how driven the man was to possess what would mostly have been very resource-poor land in his time, and how clear it was that that it was the conquest and not the "having" that really spurred him on. He was just fearsome.

I'm glad this came off well-- the balance and pace of stories like this is more work that most people probably realize!
(no subject) - whipchick on March 7th, 2013 09:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on March 7th, 2013 09:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kathrynrose on March 8th, 2013 04:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - xo_kizzy_xo on March 7th, 2013 10:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on March 7th, 2013 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tatdatcmtatdatcm on March 7th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
Love the voice you gave him. Relentless in his pursuit but humorous as well. Great interpretation of the prompt.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 01:04 am (UTC)
Without the humor, this would be far too dry for the poor reader! But Khan is still Khan, so that neverending desire for expansion that rules his existence very much drives the rest of him.

So glad you liked it. Thanks for reading!
audreybuttercupaudreybuttercup on March 7th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
Did the dance of the furry boots

That made me laugh right out loud. This was really funny and interesting. I love it.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 01:06 am (UTC)
Haha! I was hoping that line would make someone chuckle. I had visions of Nepalese tribesmen and their footwear there. What a daunting terrain overall-- Khan conquered some of the hottest/dryest regions as well as the coldest. The fact that he so desperately wanted both of those really tells you how relentless he was!

Edited at 2013-03-08 01:07 am (UTC)
zephyrlyzephyrly on March 8th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)
You have no idea how much I love the Mongols. I love my history, and it's kind of a secret how much I enjoy military strategy.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)
I learned amazing amounts about this whole period of history while researching this, and really-- Khan and his armies were ruthless and incredibly skilled.

We tend to just think of him as brutal or an obsessed invader, but he was quite the military genius. One site summed it up very well: he conquered as much territory in 25 years as the Romans did in 4 centuries.

He also had some skill in promoting civilization, which tends to be overlooked as well.

He was made for this prompt. ;)
heeroluvaheeroluva on March 8th, 2013 03:37 am (UTC)
Interesting format and very amusing!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 04:09 am (UTC)
Genghis Khan did a lot of conquering, and he was in it for the long haul. Some of those battles were 3-5 years long!

And yet, he just couldn't help himself...
(no subject) - heeroluva on March 8th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
fourzoasfourzoas on March 8th, 2013 04:06 am (UTC)
I think Year 11, Day 22 is my favorite, though I loved the humor and voice in this throughout!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 04:11 am (UTC)
Haha! I always wonder if anyone will notice the dryer little moments of humor in things like this.

So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for reading and commenting!
cindytsuki_no_bara on March 8th, 2013 05:55 am (UTC)
this is like the very secret diary of genghis khan. still not king affronted. heee. and goats don't make very good souvenirs. in a way, his needs are very simple - more land, more battles, more areas to conquer. but i like that it also has a very dry sense of humor. (the dance of the furry boots! and his ambassadors returned in damaged condition.)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 07:13 am (UTC)
It's kind of a series of high-level memoirs, and they all point toward the same ruthless purpose. Wow.

in a way, his needs are very simple - more land, more battles, more areas to conquer.
His needs were kind of hard on other people, but that's pretty much what they were! He was happy to be expanding and waging battle, fighting for years at a sretch. He was amazingly skilled as a military strategist, and would not give up on anything he'd started.

The damaged ambassadors-- ow. Two were beaten, but the third was Muslim and was beheaded, and that was the final straw. Khan actually promoted religious tolerance, and that particular result made him abandon his attempts at diplomacy. Boom!
(Deleted comment)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
I hadn't even thought of it that way, but I know what lrig_rorrim meant by that! His memoirs come in little snippets of life updates, much like Twitter.

Well, it's hard to be verbose when you're in the middle of a 3-5 year war, or planning your next takedown. ;)
beldarzfixonbeldarzfixon on March 8th, 2013 03:45 pm (UTC)
Laughed out loud at "Still affronted" =D

This was great -- like the mighty Khan!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
Somehow, I did not think that line would catch so many people's attention! I see many readers appreciate dry humor as much as I do. :D

Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading. :)
Myrnamyrna_bird on March 8th, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this so much! I love the history portraying his persistence to conquer. You really got the humor in there and I chuckled more than once. Amazing research involved with all those facts and places. A+++!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 8th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
Yay! The research was SO much more extensive than I'd planned, partly because there were some long gaps in Khan's timeline that I had to be sure were truly gaps, and also because of disagreement on dates and who/where between various sites.

He fit this prompt SO well, and wouldn't you hate to be on the other side of that persistence? 3-5 years per battle, and he still didn't give up-- and had almost always started it himself! Wow.
alien_writings: Kalen!alien_writings on March 9th, 2013 03:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, this was a lot of fun! I liked the format you used and the humor. Good job! :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 9th, 2013 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you! So much research, but worth it in the end. And I have new respect for Khan, knowing more about him. :O
Pika the Brazen Ninjaporn_this_way on March 9th, 2013 03:55 pm (UTC)
Oddly morose today. Ate half a yak.


This is probably my favorite entry of yours ever. Such a perfectly clever combination of history, snark, and just plain goofiness. The format was perfection as well - really worked well to enhance the voice.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 9th, 2013 07:37 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad someone besides my son noticed the comment about the yak. It's such a hopelessly human thing to do when you're despondent.

And thanks so much for the high praise-- wow!
theun4givablestheun4givables on March 9th, 2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
lol "Still affronted."

This was certainly amusing and you can definitely tell that you did your research. The man certainly did love to conquer the shit out of people, didn't he? lol
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 9th, 2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
Ha-- yes, the reseach was fairly epic. Holy cow!

He not only loved to conquer, he really loved waging war. It's as if he couldn't help himself-- he was a military genius, and exercising his skill was what he enjoyed most.
heather chick: bella_solkittenboo on March 9th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
This was a lot of fun to read!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on March 9th, 2013 07:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

I keep thinking how horrifying it would be to be one of Khan's neighbors, and to know that you probably wouldn't be left alone for very long! o_O