Published by Hank Quense at Smashwords
Copyright 2011 Hank Quense
All Rights Reserved.
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First Publication 2011
Other books by Hank Quense:
Build a Better Story
Tales From Gundarland
Humorous Yarns and Other Stuff
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part 1: Gundarland
Part 2: Dun Hythe
Part 3: Zaftan 31B
Part 4: Other Stuff
During the course of writing many short stories, novellas and novels, I've created two different worlds. One of them, Gundarland, is populated by humans, dwarfs, elves, trolls and other fantasy races. In Gundarland, many of the stories take place in whole or in part in the city of Dun Hythe, the country's biggest city and the largest port, hence it has its own section in the book. The second world is a race of aliens named after their home world of Zaftan 31B.
This book is designed to acquaint readers with the intricacies of both worlds.
Part 1: GUNDARLAND
Gundarland is the largest land mass on the planet called Gundar. Populated by diverse races such as dwarfs, humans, elves, half-pints, yuks and a few lesser races, these disparate races live cheek-by-jowl in many cases and get along with no more than the usual interracial hostility.
At one time, the yuks roamed over all of the island subjecting everyone to their boorish behavior and crude manners. The other races mostly put up with them, but it was a brave hostess who invited a yuk to a dinner party. They ate with their fingers because they always pilfered the cutlery as soon as they sat down at the table. Eventually, the yuks were driven into the southwest corner of the island, a land of marshes and mountains deemed worthless by land developers.
By ancient tradition, warriors always took a double major when they studied the arts of war. The double major came in handy during the rare outbreaks of peace. Thus, in medieval times, knight-accountants, warrior-cooks and soldier-lawyers roamed the countryside seeking combat and/or clients.
Historically, the country was divided into a number of independent provinces ruled by dukes, warlords and an occasional madman. The principal occupation of these province leaders was making war on the neighbors. These constant wars provided employment for many dwarf warriors since the dukes prided themselves on the quality of their ax-dwarfs. Many dwarf families were proud of the generations of warriors who fought exclusively for Duke X or Warlord Y. These families ignored the fact that most of the warriors died at an unnaturally young age.
Whenever the country suffers from an outbreak of peace, it results in devastating disruptions to the economy. Weapons and armor manufacturers, many of them one-anvil blacksmith shops, go bankrupt from the lack of orders. The Camp Followers Guild, which furnishes the armies with food, drink and entertainment while in the field, sees its primary markets vanish. Dens of inequity lose many of their profitable, inequitious customers. Ripple effects trouble other economic sectors. Ale brewers lay off workers in response to the hordes of penniless ex-warriors. The garment industry suffers from a glut of skimpy, rip-away costumes favored by the Camp Followers Guild. The surviving blacksmiths offer reduced rates to sharpen kitchen knives and scissors. This always leads to an alarming increase in marital homicides.
While elves, half-pints and humans all felt the effects of non-war, dwarfdom suffered the most. Dwarf warrior unemployment shot up to historic highs causing hardship, worries and a frightening rise in highway brigandage. Both freight wagons and train traffic suffered equally showing that the dwarf ex-warriors are up to technological adaptation since train robberies require new and different techniques than wagon robberies. The disruption of traffic brought on more unemployment and an increase in economic hardships.