Things are heating up between the weapons masters of the two biggest rival cities in the World of Twelve! Oto Mustam has once again replied to his rival Amayiro, hitting him where it counts… You'll (re)discover that even when it comes to slaying enemies, Brakmarians have quite the sense of humor!

Dear Amayiro,

Oh, would you rather I called you gramps? Or maybe gran, based on what people say across your borders… You know… Where civilized society begins?

I read your last missive with great interest. That's what I especially like about the elderly. Geezers. Codgers. Old farts. In other words, those for whom the end is closer than the beginning. Yes, what I like about you most is the fervor and eloquence with which you manage to make key moments in Twelvian history come to life (omitting certain details, of course… but at your age, lapses in memory can so easily happen).

Your story about Ilyzaelle's appeal seems to stand out in your memory, as it does in mine, as a major episode of the minor squabbling our two cities have engaged in all these years (I certainly hope you don't take the whole thing too seriously, despite the many casualties on your side).

Not for the same reasons, though… True, the Prince of the Dark City was dead by the end of this battle, but you're forgetting a slight detail. It's funny how you dwell on certain events while avoiding others… The curse of the Bontarian monarch's crown. Leorictus, the blockhe… Oops, sorry! (Don't be mad, it's just something we call him when poking fun at you…)

You see, THAT story interests me quite a bit…

Hah, yes! We certainly got you with that one! Even now, near on a hundred years later, we still laugh about it! Yes, I may have been "hiding behind my mother's skirt", and with good reason, but I can tell you I heard that tale umpteen times. And that's because it is a bedtime story we love to tell little Brakmarians, so they'll have the sweetest nightmares… (That's right, pleasant dreams happen to make our blood run cold, and we sleep fitfully.)

But I think of it now. How about you? Are you curious to know how Erzal went about cursing the crown? I rather doubt you know the truth of how things transpired… Something tells me they wanted to protect you fragile little Croissantarians. And your pride as well.

Well, allow me to tell you the story… Go ahead and slip into your Vinnie the Bearbarian pajamas and hold on tight to your widdle banky. There… It's nice. Oh, and feel free to suck your thumb – regressive behaviors are normal when senility sets in. You won't be judged for it, I swear. It'll be… our little secret!

Once upon a time, there was a king. This king was pitifully small and especially nasty, much like the city he ruled over.

One day, by some unexplained miracle (most likely the result of a dishonest ruse), he and his people managed to gain the upper hand (for a very brief time, of course) over their perennial adversaries. But they had sorely misread their adversaries to think they would be so easily defeated. Some even say they let the enemy win on purpose, surely out of pity, having given up hope of seeing them win the most trifling battle…

But the city that had always emerged victorious wouldn't let their enemy go without offering something to remember them by. To get revenge, one of their archbishops, Erzal, decided to play a little joke – an innocent prank, really – on the leader of the White City, Leorictus. He settled on cursing the crown of the late Brakmarian prince, which had been stolen by the Bontarian king. Being a proper Brakmarian, the first idea that came to mind was devilishly funny…

They say that to discover the enchantment put on the crown in question, your hearing must be as sharp as a hystairkal's. Then, when you approach the precious diadem, you can hear a voice softly singing a tune familiar to both nations, although it sounds somewhat different…

It's the Bontarian anthem!

But wait, you may ask: How could an anthem praising the king's own city drive him mad? Could it be the tune was reworked in the style of a bawdy song? Why yes, it was, my friend! What drove your good king crazy was none other than your own beloved ditty – just a more… risqué version of it!

Enjoy this little snippet I chose for you:

Their quests have gone sofffft

Their wisdom candy's like moldy bread

Their quests have gone all soft

Bontarians can never get ahead!


I smell Beldarion, with his pungent funk

Fleeflees all the way down his trunk

On his shoulders, flecks of skin

Like a proper bump-a-kin!

You'll thank me for sparing you the passages that might upset your delicate sensibilities… So maybe it doesn't compare to your precious Jon Lemon (or maybe it does…), but you have to admit it has a lot going on!

You must be delighted to learn that your dear King Leorictus only jumped from the top of his palace because he could no longer bear to hear his anthem in such a tainted form! It's a secret of Bonta's history that its people have guarded well. Too bad… You gave us something to laugh at for once! (Apart from your phony parties and your stupid customs, of course.)

If you ever want more juicy stories about your city, do let me know! That's what I'm here for…



Weapons Master of the Brakmarian Militia