An Aquilonian Thanksgiving

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What would Thanksgiving be without Conan the Barbarian?

“By Mitra, this bird is as plump as a Zingaran concubine,” quoth Conan.

Conan slid his broadsword free of its shagreen wrapped hilt and skewered the turkey. He raised his sword one-handed, hoisting the bird from its silver platter without a tremor of strain displayed on the corded forearm projecting from the sleeve of his royal robe, despite the additional twenty pounds weighing down the three foot length of steel.

“Now, who shall carve this beast?” the king asked. “Certainly not thou, Valeria,” he said, addressing the she-pirate seated to his left. “Carving is man’s work.”

Valeria bristled. She rose, plucking a dirk from the top of her cuffed boot. “No man tells Valeria what work is fit for a woman, Conan. Be he king or no.”

Pallantides cleared his throat from Conan’s right. “That may well be, Lady Valeria. Yet perhaps a boot knife is not the ideal tool for the task. And perhaps not the most cleanly.”

“Do you question my hygiene, man?” asked Valeria.

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Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars – Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet, and to devour as many turkey dinners as he could seize with his mighty hands.

 

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