March Premium Post: An Arabian-Style Feast for Grendel
A deleted scene from BATTLE FOR THE WASTELANDS, inspired by my research on the Persian Gulf War
Years ago, I started writing a novel entitled The Gates of Vasharia set in a world populated by peoples who’d vanished from Earth (and possibly alternate Earths) and established a new civilization. An emperor descended from a Roman legion long believed lost in Scotland rules from the city of Cados on the eastern continent of Trydonia, while the western continent of Mahonistan is dominated in the south and center by a hybrid culture of ancient Celts and Nestorian Christian Syrians and Turks and in the north Anglo-Saxons from before the Norman Conquest. The world is roughly in the 1990s in terms of technology.
Since this was a war novel — it focuses on an invasion by an extradimensional conqueror and later battles between rival native political factions — I extensively researched the Persian Gulf War, in which my uncle served when I was in kindergarten. Vasharia in its current form is probably dead (although anti-hero Patrick Rassam might show up elsewhere), but I used the Gulf War militaria in my Transformers “fix fic” The Revenge of the Fallen Reboot.
(Tank veterans might appreciate “GUNNER! SABOT! DECEPTICON!”)
And some of what I learned about Saudi culture originally appeared in Battle For the Wastelands, when Grendel visits the city of Hamari and is hosted by Colonel Ibrahim Mifshud, who governs the city on behalf of Grendel’s lieutenant Alexander Matthews. Jasper Clark, overlord of the Flesh-Eating Legion, has accused Mifshud of causing trouble for him, and everybody feasts before Grendel sits in judgement. For the record, Alrekr is Grendel’s pet pterosaur.
It didn’t end up in the novel, but you can read it below:
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