Writing Every Day in August: Day 17

Hither came Krimson Katja, for to chop up Sea-Fiends into little pieces.

Calling this one a “sequel” to yesterday‘s is maybe a bit of an overstatement, but the idea is that playing as Krimson Katja has gotten Amara hooked on the Krimson Katja character.

It’s probably obvious that Krimson Katja is Realmgard’s homage to and/or parody of (I’m leaning more towards the former) Red Sonja, and what Amara calls “wrought iron undergarments” is a refernce to the fact that Red Sonja is (in)famously depicted all but invariably in a chainmail bikini (more on that in yesterday’s post).

Now, Amara is essentially reading Conan-esque Pulp stories which is an anachronism given at Realmgard is supposed to be at the early-mid 17th century. Pulp is very much a 20th century phenomenon, and even its precursor, the penny dreadful (incidentally, that would be my ring name if I were a female Pro Wrestler is solidly Victorian-era.

Cheap, often salacious stories were in print in (and even before) the 17th century in various forms, and there was apparently a well-established tradition of, shall we say, ahem, adult literature during the Restoration era in England — which I’m not going to post links to…

Fundamentally, I try to keep Realmgard generally grounded in the 17th century and maintain a veneer of authenticity, but I’ve always been willing to add certain anachronisms to further either the story or the humour.

And, man, I just wrote an introduction that’s longer than the actual story…

Mea culpa.

“You know, Katherine,” Amara says, setting down her book and reaching for her teacup. “I’m actually quite enjoying this Krimson Katja character. I mean, it’s patently ridiculous that she’s galavanting around wearing nothing but wrought iron undergarments, but the stories themselves are quite compelling.”

She nods thoughtfully.

“I really should thank Dunstana for introducing me to that little board game of hers,” she says. “And we really should schedule another session. I really would enjoy seeing what other adventures we may end up having on the sacred ground of the tabletop.”

Amara picks the book back up and shows it off for Kat.

“This one for example, ‘Krimson Katja and the Sea-Fiends of Lake Limni’,” Amara says. “It’s only been eight paragraphs, but she’s already single-handedly defeated an entire gang of lake pirates.

“If they live in a lake, how are they Sea-Fiends?” Kat asks.

Amara rolls her eyes.

“Oh, Katherine, that’s precisely the sort of thing you can’t worry about when you’re reading Krimson Katja. It doesn’t matter why the Sea-Fiends live in a lake. All that matters is that they’re trying to eat people so Krimson Katja can set to her grim and deadly work chopping them up into little pieces to win the day!”

“This isn’t the sort of thing I’d expect you to be reading,” Kat notes.

Amara shrugs. “Well, we’re between Bridgewalltonshire Priory-s, and I must needs to find something to read to keep myself occupied,” she explains. “And, as it happens, the writer, this Howard R. Morton fellow happens to be quite prolific. Why, he’s written twenty-three new Krimson Katja stories this year alone!”

Amara thoughtfully touches her finger to her chin.

“And, well — bizarre, scandalous fashion choices aside, Krimson Katja is rather a remarkable woman, strong and fierce and independent and never in need of a man to rescue her,” Amara explains.

And good at chopping Sea-Fiends into little pieces?” Kat offers.

“Well, yes,” Amara says with a nod. “It’s all quite thrilling. Such lavish language and striking turns of phrase!”

Amara gets that look in her eye. That bright light in her green eyes that lies somewhere between determination and mad obsession. Kat knows that look well. Clearly, Amara has decided that her current mission in life is to read her way through the entire Krimson Katja series.

She suddenly feels very, very sorry for the poor people working at the Porthaven Central Library. Especially, Powers forbid, the next Krimson Katja book is out on loan when Amara comes calling.

“I’m fine, by the way,” Kat mutters. “My leg’s all healed up now, thanks for asking.”

“And I am glad for that, Katherine,” Amara says. “But I can see for myself that you’re up and about and perfectly hale and hearty again. But it is always a delight to spend time with my oldest and dearest friend, regardless of her current health. Shall I read Krimson Katja for you, Katherine?”

“Will do you the voices?” Kat asks.

“Yes, Katherine. I’ll do the voices.”

Incidentally, despite being known as basically Female Conan, Red Sonja is not, in fact, an original Robert E. Howard character. She was created in 1973 for the Marvel Conan comic book (for reference, that makes her a year older than Wolverine) and has subsequently appeared in the various other Conan comic series and has also starred in any number of her own series over the years.

Incidentally, the comics rights to Conan and Red Sonja seem like a bit of a mess and the two characters have jumped back and forth between publishers.

Howard did write a character called Red Sonya (with a y) for a historical (i.e. real world historical) story set during the 1529 siege of Vienna called “The Shadow of the Vulture“, but the two characters don’t really have that much in common beyond superficial similarities.

Also, I’m having trouble hammering out my mental image of the Krimson Katja character, given the whole “wrought iron undergarments” thing, since I try to keep Realmgard at about the level of a Disney movie in terms of violence and suggestive material…

Also also, when I get around to incorporating the character into a real Realmgard story, I’m considering reworking her name. I like alliteration, but I’m not sold on how “Krimson Katja” actually looks written out.

Stayed tuned.

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