Noughts & Crosses – S1 E1

Noughts + Crosses (2020)

If you belong to a circle of drinking buddies who consider themselves men and women of thinking, you would have some point debated the alternate course of history that Africa would have taken had it not been colonised. You may have even considered the prospect of a reverse colonisation, where it was the Europeans who lived under African rule. Noughts and Crosses explores this theme, turning racial dynamics on their head, and only one episode in, it’s very intriguing.

First of all, we see that colonisation may have made the British Isles much sunnier, as the weather has been impeccable in Albion (Great Britain and Ireland). Secondly, we see how African, or rather Aprican rule, may have influenced the language of its empire. Rather than foremen or drill sergeants shouting ‘Come on!” or “Move it!” to ginger their crew, they would shout, in Yoruba, “Oya!” or “Kia-Kia”. Mummy and Daddy would be Mama and Baba. “African” (Dutch Wax, really) prints are also the leading motif for dressing in high society.

Rather than niggers, there are blankers. It doesn’t quite pack the punch of having actual history behind it but the oppressed are just as frustrated with their oppression as African Americans and black South Africans at the peak of overt racism. Police brutality means, by episode 5, there will probably be a ‘Nought’ (White) rap group called Blankers With Attitude doing their version of “Fuck the Police”.

There are rumblings of an uprising, as well as the promise of forbidden love for the protagonist. It’s all very nicely set up, the way good pilots can be and  the remainder of the series (available on BBC iPlayer) seems very promising.

It was a little unsettling though, perhaps because it provokes thinking the way satire should. The preview to episode 2 shows the Home Secretary urging Crosses not to embrace integration/dilution so readily, basically adopting today’s rightwing rhetoric but shooting it out of a Black speaker. Will that merely turn a mirror on society or, in a post-coronavirus world, possibly impel a fragmenting of society?

A final thought on the casting. In a woke, colorist-aware, cultural appropriation protesting world, one of the things that first strikes you is the obviously intentional curation of the Black members of the cast. Every single person is unmistakably West-African Sepia, a la Soyinka’s ‘Telephone Conversation”. Perhaps that’s also to turn Aryanism on its head.

What happens next? I’ll be staying tuned.

 

 

 

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: Interregnum in Car-Knoe

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Yea, in that day, a great pestilence befell the kingdoms of the earth and a whirlwind of unchill tossed the seas. Some people called it colonialvirus because it struck at the imperial heartlands of Old Europiana. Other people called it cycloneavirus, as it blew unchill all the way from the Woo-Hand Province in Jinpingopia to the boroughs of Jandinia to the lagoons of Ekonnos in Jirriah, where King Shangolulu was pointedly on top of the matter.

It was not known if the cycloneavirus was the cause but Mar-Goo of the Everly Failing at Convictions (until recently) Commission was certainly afflicted with something. For the people beheld in wonderment as he declared in vainglorious self-assuredness, surrounded by griots sipping the sweet nectar of sycofancia from their gourds, that cycloneavirus was created in the dungeons of corruption.

“This soundeth like something only someone with moronavirus couldst say,” the people protested. Behold, this caused the clerks of the Everlies to come unto the people in Social Mediana to say, “Y Jirrians are thoroughly deaf! For if ye were not deaf, when Mar-Goo the Righteous declared that the pestilence was forged in the dungeons of corruption, ye would instead have heard him actually say corruption is a bad thing. Is this disputable.”

But Mar-Goo was not to be corrected, insisting, “I said that which I said.” Wherefore the Clerks of the Everlies shut their gaddem mouths and said nought further.

And the pestilence did not abate. It went out unto all the global stock fish markets, causing the stock to go sour all over the world. Yea, it even affected the price of Jirria’s priceless petrolatum, cause it to plummet to only one score and ten Trumpetstani shekels. The people looked unto Gambrach, but he unlooked them all. For he was sore at the prospect of his enforced stay on Jirrian shores as a result of the viral pestilence and the dimunition of his receipt of the Code of Esther at .

The cyclone also blew unto Shomolek, warden of the Apicureans. His battle with King Deus-Vici, of his home kingdom in Edom, had assumed such epic proportions that the Magistratum had ruled him no longer warden. “Only the godscan determine my Wardeny!” declared Shomolek, as he found a judge from another division of the magistracy to void the prior order. But, lo, was he greatly shocked when he went unto the Apicurean headquarters and mere mortals restrained his ingress into the premises.

“Do you not recognise me? Behold your Warden!” protested Shomolek. Lo, the guards gently replied, “Like a great warden once said – he who hath not the intestinal fortitude for rigging is best served being a political spectator.” And it was a big wawu for Shomolek.

In Car-Knoe, fresh off his victory at the disputio gubernatosis, King Macashma Gandi decided it was time to deal with his own private pestilence. “Darth Wheezus,” he called to his scribe for Social Mediana.

“Yes, O great king of the monied robes?” answered Darth Wheezus.

“Remind me – Noo Si, the Caliph of Car-Knoe, did he attend the wishing well commissioning ceremony we sent him to last week?”

“Nay, my King. He prefereth to pontificate about poverty and education and the failure of the Northern Kings to advance their peoples. Such great disrespect, my King.”

“What? Even after I hung, drew and quartered his caliphate?”

“Even more so, my King. It is as if the Caliph deemeth himself above you, Your Majesty.”

“How dare he?” riled Macashma Gandi. “His robes are only embroidered with silk. Mine are embroidered with far the more valuable threads of benjamene.”

“So what does Your Majesty now wish to do?” asked Darth Wheezus.

“Summon my council. He shall be deposed and he shall be banished! What a barn-zar!”

Thus it was that the news went out unto the people in Social Mediana, Twillistia and all of Jirriah that Noo Si was no longer Caliph in Car-Knoe. And there was no gaddem chill in the land.

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: Armoured Tekuns & Angry Yetis

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In the ninth month of the second quadrannium of Gambrach, the spirit of rubberstampia descended with great heaviness upon the wardens of senatii and junior senatii – Sers Nar Wal and Jar-Jar Beer Miller – and in unison they proclaimed, “We are nothing but inkpads in the hands of rubberstampia. Our constituents did not send us into Boo Jar to contend with Gambrach. No! We were sent to keep him unchecked and balanced. Anybody who doesn’t like it, that’s their gaddem business!”

And Gambrach beheld them and was well pleased with them.

It was in that day as well that the High Magistracy, now under the headship of Branko (who had been installed by Gambrach when Nono Gengen was ignominiously removed), ruled on the various Disuputio Gubernatoses that followed Electoralis across the land.

In the Kingdom of Imossopotamia, previously ruled by Roe Chazz the Statuesque, King Heady Hoha had been delcared winner of electoralis by the Necomongers but Disputio Gubernatosis followed with his contenders (including Inlaw Luther Roach – son in law to Roe Chazz) dissatisfied with the outcome. Of all the contenders, Ser Whose Ordimm had recorded the lowest number of votes. At the High Magistracy, Whose Ordimm protested the cancellation of polls from several hamlets in Imosspotamia, alleging that this was the reason he ‘carried last’ (in Jirrian parlance). The High Magistracy panel of 7 agreed and thus was Whose Ordimm declared King in Heady Hoha’s stead.

The High Magistracy, on the other hand, upheld the victories of King Macashma Gandi the Great Sold, in Car-Knoe, and King Tambouriner of Ko Tow.

Yea, there was unchill in the land – but not because of the news from the High Magistracy (this was a time of in Excelsis after all) but because new news reached the people that Gambrach’s daughter, Hernnana Oohnana, had flown on the Royal winged chariot to Bah Ouchie (na na na) to indulge in some private inner bahyour. You see, unlike what some in her family had not quite managed to do, Hernnana Oohnana had obtained a High Papyrus Certificato in Moboriousity and the King of Bah Ouchie had staged a cantata (na na na) for her to flex her newly minted skills.

“The winged chariot is not Gambrach’s personal property. Yes, we know it ferries him on private appointments to the Jandinian meisters – but at least he is King. Wither cometh the audacity of Hernnana Oohnana?”

Wherefore, Lady Yeeshah, Hernnana’s mother came unto the people, singing the words of the ancient bard Slarr Tann, “Pepper. Dem. Ooooo!!!!

Meanwhile, in North Easteros, the Haramites of Boko had recovered from their technical incapacitation and were resuming their plague of pillage, kidnappery and murder. In South Westeros, farmlands continued to suffer attacks from swarms of locusty cattle, herded without regard for civilisation by herders, under the auspices of the Yetis of Gawd. The people wailed and gnashed their teeth in anguish until, one day, the South Westerosi kings decided that it was time to act.

Thus did they go into conclave to ponder the matter and when they arose, in billowing white smoke, with their arms folded in a letter X across their chests, they proclaimed unto the people –

Behold, we have heard thy cries. The lord of the harvest that has been destroyed has also heard thy cries. Ye shall cry no more – for we have consalted theh spirits of the ancestahs and they hevv told us, to invoke theh spirit of the Tekun. But yea, as these are modern times, it is no mere Tekun that shall protect thee and thy farms. Nay! It is an army of Armoured Tekuns!!!”

“AT LAST!!!” the people cried in glee.

Yes, we have summoned men from all the corners of  South Westeros. And when they drink this potion, theh pawehs of the Tekun shall be upon them and thy sorrows shall be stripped ehwhey!!! WAKANDA FOREVER!!!!”

Bar-Kar, Gambrach’s chief lawman saw it and declared unto them that it was solely within the preserve of the King (that is, King Gambrach) and his Nassholes to constitute an enforcement unit akin to police.

But the people answered, “We did not hear you declare it illegal for roaming herders to destroy our farmlands. Neither did we hear you proclaim Macashma Gandi’s Hizballah constables illegal. Is it because Macashma of the dollared robes is the chief magician of electoralis?”

Lo, the Yetis of Gawd themselves heard it and said unto the South Westerosi – “Ye are the most un soapysticated Marlians of the Jirrian peoples, with this Armoured Tekun machinations. Be ye not deceived.”

“Our leader Shiwajun will unleash wahala morghulis upon thee for this insolence!” the people declared, and looked towards the palace of Body Lawn. But there was only silence.

And then news came from Trumpstantinople that Jirrians would soon no longer be welcome into the Kingdom, for reasons as yet unclear. It was this that finally broke the dams of unchill for, as it is said, nobody cometh between a Jirrian and his/her dream to love Jirria from Trumpstantinople!”

Lo, yea and behold – there was no gaddem chill in all the land!

 

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: The Soldiers of Shiwajun

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Thus it was, in the kingdom of Kogitaria, that electoralis minora came and went. King Jar-Jar Bellows was announced by the Necomongers as triumphant and he returned for a second quadrannium. The Nassholes had approved a Gambrachian bequeathment of 10 billion shekels to King Bellows on the eve of electoralise but King Gambrach’s eau de spartanesse obscured the putridity of the gift. Ser Smarty Panties also defeated Dinobetes Mellitus in the re-run of their contest. Wherefore Dinobetes again broke into song, singing, “skay lay woo, skay lay woo, skay lay woo, skay lay lay lay lay lay lay.”

It was a most busy time for the Magistracy in the kingdom. The Nassholes wouldst have also been busy but they scrutinised nothing and debated nothing, as their Warden Nar-Wal had repeatedly declared, “We shall pass unseen laws by faith. And yea, shall we grant whatever King Gambrach most holy requests of us, for his thoughts towards us are for good and not for evil. Rubberstampia….?” “IN EXCELSIS!!!” responded the Nassholes.

The Nassholes were also contemplating building a wall around Social Mediana, including Digital Perusia, Twillistia and the Book of Faces. Yea, it caused the people much unchill, for the senateens most vocal about the wall were Bomi Nayshun the Erotica Pugilista and Haba Mo-rawn the enscandalled former Warden of the Border Force.

But back to the Magistracy, for it was confronted with the trial of Worh Reh of the Kalahari Newsbearers. He had been arrested by the Despotic Squad Squadron (lo, they had been rechristened), for tagging a hash of revolution against the glorious name of King Gambrach most upright. Many times, the Magistratum had ordered his release into surety but again and again the Despotic Squadron disrespectfully declined, saying “How shall we release him? What if he is swarmed by locusts from the planet of jupiter? Or kidnapped by Amazons and turned into a sex slave? Or worse, a gaddem ostrich flying in the sky takes a dump that lands on his head? We must keep him safe in our custody, for we love him!”

Finally, the Magistrate had had enough and declared, “Tell the gaddem Warden of the gaddem Despotic Squadron the if he does not release gaddem Worh Reh as I have gaddem ordered, he will have to dislodge my magistratic foot from his gaddem rectum!” Behold, Worh Reh was released pronto but the very next fricking day, in the chambers of the Magistracy, the Despotic Squadron sought again to accost the Kalari Newsbearer. And the people of Twillistia and Social Mediana couldst bear it not and there was great unchill in the land. Even Sagacious, Gambrach’s Counsellor for the Stoppage of Graft – a reKanter and frequent advocate for subsumption of the law – couldst not stomach it.

Wherefore, Gar Bar, scribe of Gambrach came unto the Social Medianites saying, “The Despotic Squadron were exercising their mandate. This is a kingdom of law and order. No one threatens a contention against the King and goes scot free!” And the people cried in response, “But Gambrach invoked the gods of Doggandbaboonia against King Gejoshaphat! Not a finger was lifted against him.” Gar Bar replied, “Tis true, but remember ye not that he only threatened dogs and baboons and not the king himself!?!? Let us speak with common sense, please!”

Behold, the unchill grew.

Fortunately for King Gambrach and his men, a bard of international renown came unto the Jirrians and got them turnt. Her name was Ekadibi and maigheeeeeurd (!) everything about her visit was lit and Jirrians were distracted momentarily. Ekadibi also went to the neighbouring Coast of Gold, where the Goldcoastian Twillistia Nobles lined up to see her as children would Saint Nicholas. Alas, she did not come unto them for she was chewing upon kebabs, provoking their fury. And thus did Jirrians win the battle of the Ekadibesian visitation.

Upon the Ekadibesian departure, news came to the Social Medianites that Lord Chickener, Warden of the Poll Tax, of whom Bakky Arie had previously queried his unGambrachian collection, had reached the end of his tenure. It was a renewable tenure, but Bakky Arie had slipped Gambrach some non-alcoholic mead in his Mystical Gourd of Nerr Potty, and thus was a new Warden for the Poll Tax appointed. His name was Muna Mee, a man of the Ananite Abacus.

Lord Chickener was one of Shiwajun’s men and so Shiwajun sent a frantic raven to Gambrach, saying, “Yo, my gee. What it do? I’m just going to keep it real with you right now, this was not the plan, yo! How you gon’do my man Chickener like that? How you gon’do *me* like that? And an Ananite? An Ananite??? When you know Icandescents are the shizznit? Fix up, bro. Fix up, stat! Forget not my Wahala Morghulis. One love.”

As he sent off the raven to Bedrock, Shiwajun assured his men he had sorted it. Lo, as day broke, news came from Bedrock to the camp of Shiwajun. “Has Gambrach fixed it?” Shiwajun asked of the emissary, who remained silent. Bandi Ruiz, who was serving as Warden of the Premium Onigbese Bank (PogBa), quickly grabbed the parchment and his face immediately fell. “My Lord, I have been replaced as Warden of PogBa with immediate effect – this letter is from the King.”

“WHAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT????!!!!” cried Shiwajun and all the nobles of South-Westeros in Jirria with him.. “Bandi Ruiz has lost to Adam Joshua? Well, my man Osinoshin is still the King’s Hand. All is not yet lost.”

But before the people could add to the unchill in the cosmos, Lady Yeeshah, wife of Gambrach, came unto them again in a fit of Ni-Banaso, protesting, “Gar Bar testeth me! He testeth me, swearraghad and I’m just letting you all know that I am vexed. I wouldst have told my husband Gambrach in the other room to deal with it but Gar Bar and his real masters Caballee and Caballum have changed the bed to a single bed! And in case, he’s never around, but that’s not the point! I can’t even have a private moment with the King anymore and so I air our dirty laundry, so you all can join your voices to mine. Worh Reh is not the only victim of Caballee and Caballum. Save me too! But let Gar Bar be warned, gaddemmitt!!!”

And in that day, the spirit of Mbaku fell upon the Wallop news gatherers, of Papyrus Mediana, and they declared, “We have watched and listened from the mountains! We have watched with disgust as our state-securital advancements have been overseen by a man-child! Who scoffs at democratic traditions! And you have handed this nation over to a King who rules and allows his agencies to administer as if there is no law. We will not have it! I said, we will not have it! And thus we proclaim, until this King reverts to his democratic face – the one he had when he realised how the Union Sovietika fell without a single canon being fired – until freedom and justice are again the beacons upon which our kingdom stands, we shall revert to the Centurion name and rank he bore as a usurper, when he first ruled as a Man of Gunn, and we shall refer to his Kingdom as a regime. Selah.”

The Wallopian Declaration, as it came to be called, was well-received across the land and the publishers of the Wallop News were hailed for calling King Gambrach to account. Not that he could hear them for he had again boarded his winged Chariot to the Land of the Pharaohs. But his griot FemCallamitus heard it loud and clear. Behold, did he respond, “Ye gaddem cocka-roaches! If ye call him a general, tis his rank and it changeth nothing. Savour ye for now the freedom ye enjoy to talk smack. Tis sweet, no?”

Lo, the people heard it and in all the land there was nary a gaddem speck of chill to be found.

 

 

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: The Manhandling of the King’s Hand

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Thus it was the news reached Lady Yeeshah that a wedding was afoot to rectify her absence from Gambrach’s other room in Bedrock and furiously, she sent ravens from Jandinia to Jirria to enquire from her Lord. But they did not fly quickly enough and she hastily readied her winged chariot and returned to Boo Jar.

 

As she set her foot on the Gambranich Hills of Boo Jar, the Social Medianites were greeted with visions of Lady Yeeshah’s anger, for it appeared unto them that a section of the castle had been cordoned off to her – for security, her handmaiden said. And in the visions, shaky as they were in their recordal, Lady Yeeshah proclaimed in a fit of Ni-Banaso, “There is only one Queen in this castle. Tis I! And did the ancient bards Couche not sing it – if ye see the soldiers by my side, on the left and on the right, my garrison around me – how canst a mere chamber constitute an insecurity to me?”

 

The noise was too much for Gambrach and sorely inflamed his Many Year’s Disease. “Damn this noise”, he said, “I shall go to the Kingdoms of Sah-Oud and Jandinia for a quick minute. I cannot bear this any further.” So he mounted his winged chariot and was off.

 

And the Twillistines believed the vision not, until the prophetess who brought it unto them declared herself the progeny of Myman Dee, Gambrach’s very close confidant. She said, “the vision  was an old vision. Gambrach broke all protocols for the sake of my father Myman Dee and allocated quarters to us to which we were by no means entitled. If thou desirest similar favour, declare ye then also, that all protocols will broken for your sake! Proclaim it that ye too shall be beneficiaries of anyhowitty!” Lo, did unchill rumble in the land.

 

In the Kingdom of Kogitaria, elecotralis minor was at hand, and the inglorious quadrannium of King Jar-Jar Bellows was coming to an end. The term of Dinobetes Mellitus as a senateen had also been halted by the Magistratum, who ordered a do-over for Dinobetes and his perennial rival, Smarty Panties. The Magistratum decision hit Dinobetes so hard, that he hired a video-documentist to capture him, clad in sackcloth housecoat, in cacophonous lament to his deity.

 

Refreshed by his time in the presence of his deity and imbued with a renewed sense of piety, Dinobetes went out unto the Kogitarians to warn them of the perils of a further quadrennium of Jar-Jar Bellows. He cried out in a loud voice to them, saying “Fellow Kogitarians, thus saith my personal Lord gawd unto thee! Though I contend not in this electoralis, ye must reject Jar-Jar because I, Dinobetes am better to behold, I Dinobetes am more suavely enlightened, I Dinobetes Mellitus have dropped monster hits back to back to back and most of all, dear Kogitarians, you must reject Jar-Jar Bellows because my coital kung-fu is by far superior to his. And you know what they say – a king that cannot sling his thing like wing cannot sting with zing!” Yea, the unchill continued to rumble.

 

At senatii, the era of Rubberstampia in Exclesis was well underway, as Ser Naw Wal the new warden sought to bring down the veil of Chexanbalenciaga, which had hitherto ensured that the King acted always within the confines of the law of the land. “We have a King most divine, most holy – why shall we curb his powers? We trust him. We shall pass his laws without seeing them, because with faith in King Gambrach, we shall remove mountains! Rubberstampia…”

 

“…IN EXCELSIS!!!” the Nassholes responded giddily.

 

Behold, there was nary a Kingsman without some giddiness in his heart. None more so than Al-Meed, the Warden of the Impost. Ever since the borders with the countries neighbouring Jirria were shut, he had felt the spiritual monetary coefficient of the kingdom rising steadily in the barometer of his heart. In the presence of the Social Medianites and the Digital Perusites, he convened a meeting of his Impostors, easy to do as they were all now jobless, and charged them to believe even more in the Gambrachian Blockade. “Cast your eyes to the Far East and consider the Kingdom of Maochinista, who embarked upon this journey many years before we did. For four decades, the people wallowed in disease, poverty and starvation and their king even died. But once he died, the seed of the blockade came into maturity. And the whole world came to see and agree that a few million deaths is a small price to pay Big Border Glory. Jirria will be greater than Maochinista, never mind the noise of the attention-seekers pretending to be unduly suffering.”

 

Lo, there was even more unchill upon the land.

 

And it was in that day that word came unto the Twillistines that Bakky Arie had voyaged to Jandinia with parchmento legislatum for Gambrach to sign and turn into law. Wherefore the people asked, “Why hast Osinoshin, the Hand of the King, not appended the royal insignia to the parchment?” in response to which the Lovengers responded, “The King can be king from any gaddem kingdom in the world!” The people were unsatisfied and the unchill rumbled louder.

 

Further word then came that all the aides of the King’s Hand had been stripped eh-whey. Yea, before the Twillistines could protest, Lor-Lu Kon-Dey, the Hand’s Squire said to the people in a loud voice, “Believe ye not these machinations of febrile and noxious minds. The aides of the King’s Hand remain in situ. We may all be subject to the Deux Cabales in reality but come on, damnit, can we not even pretend to be orderly?”

 

If the people were confused, it did not last very long because Gar Bar, Gambrach’s scribe dusted off his megaphone and spake unto the people saying, “If wishes were horses, the aides of the King’s Hand would ride. Lo, they rode and now they ride no more, for Gambrach taketh their horses to ye olde town road and dismisseth them with royal flourish. And take heed, FFS, that ‘tis Gambrach, not any fricking Deux Cabales, who sacketh them. For even though they be principalities, there remaineth a name above all names!”

 

The people heard it and there was no gaddem chill in the entire Kingdom. The Deux Cabales chuckled and in Jandinia, Myman Dee commerated the anniversary of his three-score and two decades of existence.

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: Nuptialem Ofege

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Thus it was that Gambrach appointed his full council in Fecundia and was in conclave with them for three days and three nights, wherein they indulged in intense pontification. He charged them to be resolute and steadfast in their devotion to the way of next levelliana. And at the end of the Conclave, Gambrach blessed his Councillors, saying –

“Fellow Fecundians, we are now into my second and possibly final quadrannium – though, who knows? No one can see that far into the future. Anyway, this needs to be a quadrannium of great impact, catering to the body, soul and spirit of our Jirrian people. Behold, I have seen their sufferings and the disasters that befall them daily. And that is why I have appointed a brand new Councilor for Calamities – Lady Maroukh. I have known her since our pre-Apicurean days, when we were in the wilderness of CornuPoCia. She will avert all calamities in our land.”

“Oh, and by the way. You are all now Fecundians. Don’t come and talk to me about any gaddem thing unless you have first discussed it with Bakky Arrie. Is that clear?”

It was at this time that Lady Yeeshah, wife of Gambrach, took leave of Bedrock and traveled in the winged chariot to Jandinia to witness the Jandinian-Europiana jousting of Breggzit firsthand. Rumour-mongers also said she was taking time away from Caballee and Caballum – the mysterious deux cabales teleguiding Gambrach – but this is not what the Tword hath revealed to the Chronicler.

One day in Bedrock, two of Gambrach’s closest confidants, Myman Dee and Bakky Arrie, were in deep, silent, telepathic dialogue about the state of Jirriah when Mefilius – Warden of the Iron Bank of Boo Jar – stopped by to perform obeisance to Gambrach.

“Great and mighty Gambrach, it is a thing most joyous to be in your presence today and I greet you in the name of St. Prohibitas, our patron saint. Does His Majesty have anything he would like to ban from importation today?”

Caballee grunted and mumbled, “The land is brimming with prosperity at the moment and word is that neighbouring kingdoms are sending spies and working with saboteurs to cart away some of this prosperity.”

“Yes!” said Caballum. “We need to create a prosperity paradox and lock it all in, so that it can multiply. But how shall we do this?”

Just at that moment, FemCallamitus walked past, earnestly singing a song about a spirit leading him where his trust was without borders and where he could walk upon the water.

“What is this song you’re singing?” asked Caballee. “Spirit should lead you where trust is without, what?”

“Borders.” answered FemCallamitus.

“Without Borders. Sans frontiers.” said Caballum.

“Wonderful!” exclaimed Mefilius.

“Without borders and then you’ll walk where?”

“On the water.”

“Maigheeeeurd!” said Mefilius, giddy.

“What does this all mean?” asked Gambrach. “I don’t get it.”

Caballum answered, “FemCallamitus has brought us a prophecy from the gods. We will make our land without borders -apart from the coast.”

“We will ban the border? We can actually do that?” asked Gambrach incredulously.

“No, Sire. Not exactly. We shall get Al-Meed, the Warden of the Impost, to declare a closure. It will be glorious. Our prosperity will now have a chance to cook and multiply. And anyone that wishes to partake of it must come through the waters. FemCallamitus is a genius!”

And lo, all the land borders of the kingdom were closed in the peripheralio imbroglio. Yea, did any goods that could perish, perish in putrefaction at the Kingdom’s edges. And as as the stench rose to the heavens, the lovengers proclaimed, “this is the best peripheralio imbroglio in the global history of border closures. We are blessed to be ruled by such a king.”

But even as the praise reached the ears of Gambrach notwithstanding his Many Years Disease, his courtiers could see that the King was not happy. “What is wrong, Sire? Shall we also ban the ocean borders? Wouldst this please thee?”

Gambrach sighed.

“Pray, tell us, O great King. Your happiness is our spiritual food!”

Gambrach sighed again and said, “There is a calamity in my other room.”

“WHAT!?!?!?” Caballee bristled. “And I did not know about this? Neither did I see any sign?Guards!!!”

“Calm down, Caballee,” said the King. “You could not know. For the calamity that is wrought upon the room is its emptiness. Lady Yeeshah tarrieth.”

“That is indeed a calamity, Your Majesty. But guess what? In your great and unmatched wisdom, you appointed a Councillor for Calamities – let her do her job! And you are King! If you give the word, we shall find a new occupant for your other room! What nonsense.” agreed Caballum.

Now, there was a guest of a guest of a courtier who heard what Caballum had said, but only the tail end of it. Very quickly, he sent a pigeon into Whatsappia, the Book of Faces, Twilistia and all of Social Mediana that a royal wedding was afoot. And, maaaaaiiigheeeeeuuuuurd, when the people heard it, there was not a single gaddem chill in the land!

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: Big Trouble in Bigbumbumistan

BigTroublePlagIn the fifth month of the first year of the second quadrannium of Gambrach, Shiwajun had a dream. When he awoke, he could not remember the dream, yet it troubled him greatly. So, he sent for Shangolulu, King of Ekonnos, his current only begotten son in whom he was well pleased.

“Lulu, my boy-king. I had a dream that troubled me so but I remember it not. How can this be?” asked Shiwajun

“It must have been a dream about King Ambsalom, my predecessor. Remember ye not, O great Shiwajun, that he had the bodacity to challenge your parochial vision for Ekonnos? Or that he accused you of anointing a rehabilitee or the throne? Casting aspersions and bring opprobrium to your most sanctified name? I know, without doubt, that this is the cause of your consternation.”

“Surely, you must be right , my little one. I must bring a Wahala Morghulis upon Ambsalom for this Great Iniquity.”

Thus it was that Ambsalom found himself the subject of an investigation by the Everly Failing at Convictions Commission, who suddenly found all manner of unexplainable coin in his repository at the houses of usury. And Ambsalom was greatly troubled, forgetting even for many days to put on his waist trainer when departing his home.

And Shiwajun delighted in the troubles of Ambsalom, the castaway. So focused was he on the suffering of Ambsalom that he did not realise that another of his proteges, Lord Chickener, First Chancellor of the Royal Poll Tax, received a letter from Bakky Arri, Gambrach’s head honcho. It read –

Dear Lord Chickener,

Greetings in the name of our King, Master and Guiding Light, His Most Excellency King Gambrach. I write to you to demand, in the name of the King Most Holy, what the hell is going on with the Poll Tax collections mate!?!? This is the glorious era of the next level, man. You know this! So why, pray tell, are the collections moving in the reverse??? Gambrach can’t get jiggy with your delinquent collections. Fix up. You have the esteem of my assured regards, always. Your Boy, Bakky.

And the scroll of the letter was published unto the people in Social Mediana, yea into Twillistia, the Book of Faces and the Instagraph. And there was no gaddem chill because, for many years, the Spinning Quills of Gambrach had sung the praises of the several folded increase in poll tax collections under Gambrach.

And then there was more unchill, as news reached the people that the Magistracy of Electoralis (MoE) had overturned the election of Dinobetes Mellitus into the senatii and had ordered a fresh contest with his perennial adversary, Smarty Panties. Wherefore, as was customary with him, Dinobetes Mellitus broke out into chart-busting song from the ancient bard, Lady Diana of Rose, singing “I’m coming back! I want the world to know Smarty’s got no show!”

It was at or around this time that Gambrach decided that he had to do something he had never done before in his life – hold and chair a strategy session and engage in a semblance of deep intellectuality; he would go into conclave with the new members of Fecundia, so that he could steep them in the Fecundity he expected of them.

And the Lovengers greeted this with their customary shouts of praise. Nobody like Gambrach! Gambrach is unpresidented! Gambrach the all-seeing eye! Praise be!

But then, it came to the attention of the Social Medianites, that Gambrach had nominated fellow man of Gunn, Gashi Maga, indicted of pilfery since the time of Bar Charr the Appleonious, into his council in Fecundia. Yea, the people were completely incensed that such a black sheep could find its way into the sanctified Fecundia council of Gambrach.

But behold, as that unchill pervaded the land, news reached the people from Bigbumbumistan that the spirit of Zen O’Phobe, patriot saint of hayturrs, had descended upon the Bigbumbumistanis and the Jirrians in the land were under attack from them. Bigbumbumistani men were renowned for their lack of Game and they begrudged the Jirrians in their midst of their swag and pheromonous magnetism and bludgeoned and cudgelled them for it.

Lo, the people looked unto Bedrock in Boo Jar, hopeful that their King wouldest rise in holy and righteous anger and demand that King Drama Xhosa of Bigbumbumistan wouldst call his people to order. But help did not come quickly from Boo Jar and when it came, it came most tepidly.

The people thought that Gambrach heard them not, but their cry didst reach him in Bedrock.

“O King,” began Gar Bar, his chief scribe, “shall I invoke a most holy Gambrachian thunderstrike on Bigbumbumistan? Shall we evict their most senior emissary? What grand gesture shall we make?”

“We shall send them a warning – we shall send several placatory envoys, with the Code of Esther, to tell them that we are dissatisfied. I myself shall go and partake of the Code of Esther and abroadian hospitality.”

“But sire, the people demand strong decisive leadership. A show of force, perhaps.”

“But their army is superior to ours, and very rested, not contending like we are with the Haramites of Boko. Exactly how forceful can I be?” enquired Gambrach. “Like the ancient prophet Mikhail Jacksonovich said to Paulius Bi-Courtney – I am a lover, not a fighter. I love my sedentary life.”

“But sire…”

“You know what? Where’s the King’s Hand, Osinoshin? Send him to engage in some grammatical Too-Wrenchy in my name. That should do.”

But it did not do. And like, for reals, there was no gaddem chill in the land!

 

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: Leguminae Sufficiento

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Thus it was that the list of Gambrach’s would-be councillors arrived at senatii for approval in rubberstampia. The citizens of Jirriah had waited with bated breath and acute apprehension for the list that Gambrach had held to his chest for so long. Or perhaps it was Caballee and Caballum, the legendary Deux Cabales, thorns in Lady Yeeshah’s flesh, that had withheld it. It was hard to tell.

But when the names were revealed, from the plains of Social Mediana to Whatsappia to the bars and taverns across the kingdom, the people saw that Gambrach’s council would once again be fuelled by the spirit of St. Mediocrates, patron saint of Jirrian politickers.

Captain Monoraillius Incompletus of Rivissinia was returned, as were former King Flasholas of Ekonnos, Ser Bongo Naya the erstwhile councillor for writing materials, Hadi Potter the councillor for winged chariots and conceptualiser of Hot Air – the official name of Jirriah’s royal fleet and Gigex of Keejah, the councillor for slavery, amongst others.

There were new councillors put forward as well. People like Kree Amour, who had served as Gambrach’s silken vuvuzela in electoralis and former King Ogbenyssius the Oponimous, of the kingdom of Oshunlonica.

The laws of the land required the senateens to push each nominee through the mystical Screen of Ratty Fye, the great architect. Ratty Fye had designed the Screen so that if the capacity in which the councillor would serve was known, the screen would glow green if the councillor was suited or red if they were not.

However, the Kings of Jirriah liked to keep things as secret as possible, so that detractors would not know their intentions. Thus, the senateens never had any idea of the role for which they were screening the nominees and very few were pushed through the Screen of Ratty Fye. More often than not, the senateens told them to simply bow to the Screen and go, so that all would still be done seemingly in the name of Ratty Fye.

The senateens were given to much vainglorious ceremony however and rather than line up all the councillors to bow to Ratty Fye in one go, they were summoned one after the other to either bow perfunctorily or to answer questions of absolutely no consequence.

Sometimes, a senateen would even stand up to say something of even less consequence. One senateen from Damawakanda, named Bomi Nayshun (also known to a smaller, more intimate circle as La Pugilista Erotica) declared his conviction that Ogbenyssius would be a wonderful councillor. La Pugilista Erotica was assured of this because Ogbenyssius had given him money in the past.

Eventually, senatii saw the final nominee and Ser Naw Wal the Warden announced, “This is a great assemblage of councillors King Gambrach has put together. If you agree with me, I shall send a raven to let his majesty know that we have come to the end of the masquerade. Rubberstampia in excelsis?”

“RUBBERSTAMPIA IN EXCELSIS!!!” the other senateens cried.

Meanwhile, word came unto the Social Medianites and the Digital Perusites that a super elite squad of the Royal Constabulary suffered casualties during a thwarting of their top secret mission by the Royal Legionnaires. Wherefore in unprecedented scenes, the Constabulary came into Twilistia demanding a tagging of hashes for its slain officers.

Before the Twillistians could respond, word reached them that the Detaketorial Securitisation Squadron had arrested Worh Reh, leader of the Kalahari Newsbearers and mushroom contender against Gambrach and Arty Cool in Electoralis. “Why has the Detaketorial Squadron taken Worh Reh away?” the people asked.

Gar Bar, Chief Scribe of Gambrach responded, “Worh Reh has been calling for a revolution of the people against Gambrach, even though they love their King so tremendously. We all know that revolution means a violent overthrow of the King and we cannot allow that.”

“But he is not with any co-arrested,” the people protested, “was he going to revolt on his own?”

“He was calling for mutiny, saying he was sick of the glorious reign of Gambrach,” replied Gar Bar, side-stepping the question.

“Okay, but what about the weapons you need for a revolution? Did you find any on him?”

“No, but, surely you do not expect a King of Gambrach’s haute sophistication to actually wait until he has co-conspirators and weapons before stopping him, do you? How smart would that be?”

“So he hasn’t really done anything wrong, then?”

“Not yet! BUT HE WAS GOING TO! This is next level preservation of law and order.”

“WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO TAG THE HASHES AGAINST THE LEGIONNAIRES FOR KILLING OUR GALANT CONSTABLES???” the Constabulary demanded, growing impatient with the exchange on Worh Reh.

The noise was heard in Bedrock Palace in Boo Jar and FemCallamitus asked the King what he was going to do about it.

“I am going to board my winged chariot…” began Gambrach.

“…yes, my sweet, fragrant King… Your Highness will fly to Wohbay to visit the site of the clash?”

“Of course not, Callamitus. I am headed to Dah Ourah for the feast of ram, so that Nah Wal, Jaja-Beer Miller and the Apicurean horde can come and pay homage to me there. Peace out!” And yea, did Gambrach head to his country home in the idyllic hamlet of Dah Ourah.

Lo, upon his arrival, he was greeted by all the Apicurean kings of Jirriah, bearing all manner of fruit and livestock as a farming sacrifice unto Gambrach. Yea, the soul of Gambrach was well delighted by the obeisance of the Apicureans and he spake unto them.

“King and nobles of Apicuria, thanks for honouring me with this food from that the soils of Jirriah have provided. See as we have achieved sufficiency of food, notwithstanding the poverty of multiple dimensions in which our people are reported to wallow. Wherefore I have commanded Mefilius, the Warden of the Iron Bank of Boo Jar, to retreat once more into his room of independent thinking and independently conclude to deny the supply of our precious Trumpetistani shekels to they that would spend it on bringing food from other shores into this land, which is vastly inferior at any rate. Welcome to the new age of glorious leguminae sufficiento!”

And the people saw it and could not believe what they beheld. Just then, news reached the people that the Ipobusinians had ambushed Ser Equerry Mah-Doo in Umlautistan. They saw it and were incensed and there was no gaddem chill in all the land.

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: Legislatum Encaptivo

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Nothing is as constant in the Kingdom of Jirria as the realignment of stars in political and stratospheric firmaments in the months before electoralis. Indeed, it was known unto the seafarers of the global world that Jirrian waters were to be avoided in those months, as relying on what they thought to be True North, which in fact had been True North only a few months before, had run many sailors aground.

In the realignment prior to the electoralis that heralded the second quadrannium of King Gambrach, Abushola, the erstwhile Warden of Senatii had defecated with glorious stink from House Apicuria to House Padipalia. Gah Rah, the Warden of Lower Senatii had also thus defecated. In fact, the defecations numbered over 60 and included notables like senateen Dinobetes Mellitus of Kogitamia. In a public ceremony, they all emptied their bowels over the Apicurean flag, denounced Gambrach and pledged fealty to Arty Cool (himself a famous defecator in electorales past) of House Padipalia.

It was hardly a surprise that Abushola realigned for electoralis. When Gambrach triumphed over Gejoshaphat and ascended the Iron Throne of Boo Jar, both he (that is, Gambrach) and Shiwajun had candidates they favoured to lead the Nassholes. But Gah Rah and Abushola imbued with the spirits of the gods of kicksport – Meh See, Ko Tcha and Nal Do – dribbled and gazumped them most thoroughly. Lo, in the words of the ancient Jirrian philosopher Bah Heeahbon, it was a scurrilous subterfuge of a scandalous and mendacious kungaga.

Gambrach and Shiwajun did not take it lightly. They promptly deployed the Everly Failing at Convictions Council to find Abushola’s wrongdoings and they charged him to Conductivitis, that he might be found guilty and stripped of high office. Shiwajun’s confidence in Conductivitis astounded the people of the land, for even he was a veteran of Conductivitian jousting, where he had escaped unscathed.  Like Shiwajun before him, Abushola also triumphed at Conductivitis; but he paid the ultimate price and was vanquished at electoralis.

When the second quadrannium began, Gambrach, Shiwajun and Shomolek (Headboy of House Apicuria) were keen that there would not be another gaou – for in the words of the ancient travelling troupe Magical Systems, “while the first gaou is excusable, the second gaou means you are a dunce!”

So they summoned the longstanding senateen, Ser Nah Wal, told him to kneel down and baptised him with a gourd of syconfancia. “Arise, O Warden!” Shomolek commanded. But Nah Wal was hesitant.

“You call me Warden, great Headboy, and if you say it then it must be so. But surely you know that Dan Jango, a longstanding Apicurian nasshole as I, also desires the Wardeny.”

“Leave the matter of Dan Jango with me,” said Shiwajun. “I know where he is currently hurting the most. He has a pimple on his forehead that I can pop for him.”

Thus it was that Ser Dan Jango, a notable friend and veritable guy of the bard Icy Duke of the City of Chalk Lit, was summoned into the presence of Shiwajun and Shomolek. There he was informed that Nah Wal and not he had been chosen to lead senatii into the new glorious age of rubberstampia.

Dan Jango was unsettled by the news and protested, saying, “But my lords, I beg thee to reconsider. I am as qualified as Nah Wal to lead senatii in perfunctoriness and I can wield the scepter of rubberstampia more fancifully than any in the land. My entire existence in senatii has been iconic rubberstampism!!!”

“Aye, we know this but remember that Abushola dribbled all of us in the past quadrannium, when it was first promised to Nah Wal. If you do Apicuria this favour, we shall summon Mar Goo the Unconfirmed and cause the Everly Failing at Convictions Council to fail once again on your account” answered Shiwajun.

“Ye wouldst do this for me?” asked Dan Jango in disbelief.

“A small price of 5 billion shekels forgotten between friends – good deal would you not say? Now say yes quickly, so I can return home to my baby girl” said Shomolek. And thus was it settled. Nah Wal was formally elected by his peers as Warden.

With the junior senateens, the favoured was also another longstanding nasshole named  Jaja-Beer Miller. Jaja-Beer was a very loyal Apicurean from Ekonnos who eschewed all forms of comingling with Padipalians. He indulged in comingling of another sort but lo, that story is for a different chapter of the chronicles. The detractors tried to raise the banner of his professional misdemeanours in the land of Trumpetistan against him, but the Apicurean broom of Gambrach that maketh the iniquitous white and blocketh out all cries of protesting hate and sorrow availed much for him. Thus, did Jaja-Beer Miller become Junior Warden of the Nassholes.

With the principalities and powers of the Nassholes in place, King Gambrach was ready to wrestle the flesh and blood that made up the citizenry of the Kingdom with the nomination of the members of his council. According to the law of the land, Gambrach was required to appoint a councilor from each of the 36 Kingdoms, to serve him in Fecundia and preside over the mismanagement of the administratories of the kingdom – plebeian education, highway smoothening, image laundry, plundering the petrolatum that fueled the wealth of the kingdom, ensuring the infirmaries remained unfit to care for the ruling elite and the constabulary unfit to patrol a chicken coop – each one a task of herculean proportions.

In his first quadrannium, Gambrach did not name his councilors until Trentus Septembus and when he did, it was filled with such administrative luminaries as King Monoraillus Incompletus of Rivissinia – the Councillor for Travel, leading astrologer and philosopher Bull Shittu the Councillor for Telepathic and Futuristic Communication, Ah-Woodoo the Councillor for Local Rice and Hatred of Imported Food, Bongo Naya the Councillor for Writing Materials, King Flasholas of Ekonnos who served as Councillor for Semi-Illumination, King Gigex of Kee-Jah the Councilor for Slavery, and so many more.

When the list of nominees for councilorship in the second quadrannium passed from Caballee and Caballum – the Deux Cabales – to Shomolek and Shiwajun, Shomolek was so overwhelmed, he unclasped his girdle.

“Wow! This list is dynamite, Shiwajun. It is even more glorious than the previous quadrannium. Will this prospect of overachievement not deter senatii from approving them?” he asked.

Shiwajun answered, “Fear not, Ser Shomolek. This second quadrannium of Gambrach is the age of legislatum encaptivo.”

Thus was the list of councillors-in-waiting broadcast to the Social Medianites, the Papyrus Medianites and yea, unto the Digital Perusites. All across Jirriah, the people beheld it. And there was no gaddem chill, nary an atom of it, in all the land.

 

 

The Second Quadrannium of Gambrach: In the Beginning

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Once upon a time, in the ancient lands of Freeka Westte, there was a kingdom called Jirriah. Jirriah was stitched together at the seams of the rivers that split the kingdom into three with the mystical threads of Loogardine by a spooky one-eyed seamstress known as Flaw-Ra. The warlock who brought her the Loogardine threads asked her where she had learned to stitch multiple different fabrics together so deftly. “It was from the Empire School of Georgian Haute Couture”, she replied. And thus was the kingdom of Jirriah established.

 

These are the Chronicles of Jirriah, these Chronicles of Chill. They are the tales of the kingdom’s unending quest for Chill, because from the time of King Fearson to the time of King Bar Lay-Wah, to the first digital king of the kingdom (King eRunn-Si), to King Jack the Young Sparrow, to King Murd Tallah, to the first coming of King Shegolas of Owurutas, to King Shag Gar, to the first coming of King Gambrach the Austere, to King Gi Dah the Truncator, to King Nekan of the Single Buttock, to King Bar Char the Appletiser, to King Abdo Chorizo the Reformer, to the second coming of King Shegolas, to King Yaraz the Infirm, King Gejoshaphat the Lucky, right until the second coming of King Gambrach, the kingdom suffered severe unchill.

 

Behold, it was a multifaceted unchill, ranging from the decoupling from the Empire of George and Lizzy, to the 3-year battle of Frabiana, to the disappearance of the leguminous pyramids, to the rampaging of the Yetis of Gawd and the Haramites of Boko, there was no chill in the land. But the people yearned desperately for chill.

 

These chapters of the chronicles begin in the time of the second coming of King Gambrach, yea unto the first and second quadranniums of his reign. But to understand the reign of Gambrach, it is necessary to learn a little bit more about the Kingdom of Jirria. For, you see, Jirria comprised 36 kingdoms – or 37, if you counted the High Kingdom of Boo Jar wherefrom Gambrach reigned, occasionally in council with the 36 kings. The council of Gambrach and the 36 was known as Fecundia and it was in Fecundia that all the most important decisions of the greatest gravity in the Kingdom were taken – which carriageways and puddles to repair, which pseudo ironmonger would supply the kings’ winged chariots, which courtesans to bestow the favour of the King upon and other such grand matters. It was not known if or where the higher matters of State were discussed.

 

Fecundia was rich with the aroma of the Boo Jarian beverage, sycofancia. Sycofancia was brewed from barley, oats and the sweat and spittle of whoever was seated on the Iron Throne of Boo Jar. It was served in large measure at the meetings of Fecundia and caused the kings and councillors in attendance to burst into fits of inexplicable laughter whenever the King – in this tale, Gambrach – uttered any sentence longer than 7 words. Yea, did the people of Jirria always behold their leaders emerging from Fecundia in fits of intense cachinnation.

 

King Gambrach’s closest visible adviser was his Hand, Osinoshin, a lettered man of the laws and highly favoured of Shiwajun. Shiwajun was one of the most venerated kingmakers in Jirria and it was with his help that Gambrach had ended the reign of King Gejoshaphat in a manner hitherto unseen in Jirriah. Shiwajun himself had reigned in the kingdom of Ekonnos for two quadrannia and before that had sat amongst the senatii during the Age of Truncation under King Gi Dah.

 

The other advisers of Gambrach were his chief scribe  Gar Bar, his sub-scribe FemCallamitus the Griot, his Counsellor for Subjects Who Had Seen the Light and Fled the Kingdom – Lady Bee Ree; and Moborius, his Chief Engravist. Sometimes, Gambrach was also publicly advised, to his chagrin, by his wife, Lady Yeeshah of the province of Za Oza Rheumm. Lady Yeeshah was particularly, principally and properly perplexed by the pestilence of the Deux Cabales, two mysterious persons of unknown and mysterious identities who she insisted daily pulled the strings of King Gambrach the Pinocchio, her husband. King Gambrach was also advised by Ser Bakky Arii, his head honcho, and his main man, Ser MyMann Dee.

 

Over the coin and treasures of the Kingdom, stored in the Iron Bank of Boo Jar, Gambrach had appointed Mefilius bin-Exporta as Warden. Mefilius was famous for his independent thinking and dispensation, which was next only to the cast iron tether with which the chambers of his medulla were joined to the war rooms of Bedrock, the castle from which Gambrach reigned.

 

As for the 36 kingdoms, they included the realms of Ekitilopia of King Jekfa, Imossopotamia of King Roe Chazz the Statuesque, Rivissinia of King Wee Kay, Ben Way of King Autumn, Dunamis of King El-Farquaad, Ko Tow of King Tambourine, Oyokolova of Ajimovich the Constituted and many many more. 

 

Now you know them and now you will read [again] their chronicles. For in all of the kingdoms of Jirriah, yea unto the ends of the 37 kingdoms, there was nary a speculum of chill to be found! Behold, there was no gaddem chill in the land!