King Clonan: Clown of Iron is a parody of Milius’ first script for King Conan: Crown of Iron, which was ultimately rejected by the Warschawski brothers, for obvious reasons. In this parody I satirize Milius’ pitiful version of Conan, whom I have renamed Clonan, by plunking down my version of the real Conan right into the story, for purposes of contrast and comparison.

KING CLONAN: CLOWN OF IRON
A parody by Steve Block

SCENE I.

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN NORTHERN CIMMERIA — DAY.
FADE IN:
In the midst of a snow-covered pine forest, a fierce, bitter wind is whistling through a snow-covered clearing. In the middle of the clearing, a big, muscular, fur-clad man is tending a small fire. He is shivering, his teeth are chattering, and his eyes are red and tearing because the wind is blowing smoke from the fire directly in his face.

CLONAN
(through chattering teeth as he shivers and blinks)
Crom warm my bones, it’s cold! I’m soooo cold, in fact, I’m extremely uncomfortable! Oh
Mighty Crom, if you can hear me, please o please warm my bones for me!

VOICEOVER
(deep, resonant, echoing)
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU MIGHT GET IT!

Suddenly a silvery feminine laugh is heard. Clonan looks around for the source of the laugh. The camera pans as he scans the surroundings, and focuses on, at the same time that Clonan spots, a beautiful, slimly voluptuous girl clad in nothing but a single diaphanous veil. She seems unaware of the cold, although the veil and her long red-gold hair are blowing in the wind.

CUT TO:
Close-up of the girl’s face and upper bosom.

GIRL
(mocking)
Who is the brave warrior who crouches shivering over a ridiculously tiny fire, and doesn’t even have sense enough to move out of the smoke?

CUT TO:
Full shot of the two.

CLONAN
I am Clonan of Sumeria, and I’m freezing to death!

GIRL
Do you need a warm-up, Clonan of the brown hair? Then catch me if you can!

With a roar, Clonan lurches to his feet, but the girl runs from him, shrieking with laughter. Clonan gives chase, plowing through the snow, but the girl, dancing on the surface of the snow like an elf, eludes him.
The girl leads him past what appear to be two snow-covered trees, but the “trees” suddenly shake themselves, and are revealed to be two giants, about nine feet tall. Their hair and beards are spiky with ice, and their armor is covered with frost.

GIRL
(exulting)
Look my brothers! I have brought you a man to slay, so we can lay his heart smoking on the table of our Father, Ymir the Frost Giant!

Clonan skids to a halt, draws his sword, executes a complicated sword kata while making swooshing and humming noises with his mouth, then strikes a defensive pose. The giants start laughing at this ridiculous display; their laughter becomes uncontrollable; they fall into each other’s arms, and sink to their knees, gasping for breath.

CLONAN
Come on, I’ll take you one at a time!

Both giants stand up, draw their axes and also take defensive poses. Then they advance on Clonan, moving apart to flank him.

CLONAN
Hey! I said one at a time!

Clonan backpedals as the giants flank him. Suddenly, a bloody swordpoint emerges from the breast of one of the giants, then retracts back into his chest. As the giant sinks to his knees, and his brother whirls to see what danger threatens them, a second human warrior is revealed, standing behind the dying giant. As the second giant advances on him, the broad-shouldered warrior, moving with fluid, energetic grace, puts his foot on the back of the dying giant and forcibly kicks him off the bloody blade; he continues the motion in a moulinet which ends with his sword biting into the second giant’s neck.

GIRL
(Horrified)
Conan! Not again!

CONAN
Atali! I didn’t think to meet you here! Don’t you ever run out of brothers? I remember, we were just about to get it on, all those years ago, when your spoilsport of a father interfered. But not this time; we’re in Cimmeria now, beyond his power, and he can’t stop me this time!

He reaches her with a single stride, seizes her, crushes her to his broad chest, and engulfs her mouth with a passionate kiss. Steam comes out of her ears, and she goes limp in his grasp.

CLONAN
Hey! Just a minute! I was here first – she was with me!

Conan lets go of Atali. She slides down his body to her knees, then clasps his muscular thigh to keep from falling any farther.

CONAN
(Growling)
You whining, sniveling milksop, I don’t know why I bother. If I hadn’t promised Aunt Clothilde I’d look after you… And to think, I could be swilling mulled ale right now in a Brythunian brothel…

He advances on Clonan, dragging Atali, still attached to his thigh. With a sudden surge of his shoulder, he connects to Clonan’s chin with a lighting-fast right hook.

FADE TO BLACK.

SCENE III.

FADE IN.
EXT. THE CIMMERIAN FOREST — LATER IN THE DAY.
Clonan comes to, lying in the snow. He sits up, rubbing his jaw. Nearby, sitting in the snow, is Atali, looking disgruntled.

CLONAN
Wha- what happened? Where’s my cousin?

ATALI
(angry)
He left, the bastard! After he knocked you out. He just left! Then you woke up, made hot, passionate love to me, and passed out again.

CLONAN
What? I did? But, but, I don’t remember any of it!

ATALI
(Shrugging, unconcerned)
Maybe you had a concussion.

CLONAN
That’s ok, let’s do it again!

ATALI
NO! No… I can’t.

CLONAN
(Petulant)
Why not?

ATALI
Because, because… I’m pregnant. That’s right – I’m carrying your baby!

CLONAN
So what?

ATALI
It’s a woman thing.

Clonan mutters to himself, pouting. Most of it is inaudible, but the word “tomorrow” can be heard.

ATALI
You have to go now.

CLONAN
Why?

ATALI
The Ice Worm will get you.

CLONAN
I’m not afraid of any Ice Worm!

ATALI
You should be! You must leave immediately!

Clonan gets up and gathers his meager stash of gear. Just as he is about to start plodding south, Atali calls to him.

ATALI
Come back to me when you have the jewels of an empire, and I will give you your son.

FADE OUT.

INTERLUDE.

Clonan “heads west to the sea, where he becomes a pirate, pillaging and raping his way to the Eastern border of civilization, [Don’t ask me, that’s what it says in Milius’ script!] where he and his men join a massive gathering of barbarians to meet GAIUS METALLUS, the Aquilonian Tribune, a cultured warrior in golden armor. He speaks on behalf of Emperor Tisus, offering the barbarians gold, glory, and citizenship if they will fight for the Aquilonian army. Clonan is the first to volunteer, and Metallus becomes a mentor to him, training the barbarians to work not as individuals in a fight, but as part of a massive chain, unbreakable and strong as long as it is united.”

SCENE X.
EXT. SOMEWHERE ON THE EASTERN BORDERS OF CIVILIZATION — DAY.
Gaius Metallus stands atop a small hill. He is just finishing a speech to the assembled barbarian warriors.

GAIUS METALLUS
… and if you fight for the Emperor of Aquilonia, gold and glory will be yours! But best of all, you will become citizens of Aquilonia, the mightiest nation in the world!

Clonan rushes forward from among the barbarians. He staggers up the hill, overcome with great emotion. Tears running down his face, he kneels before G.M.

CLONAN
Me! Take me! I want to become rich and famous and civilized!

GAIUS METALLUS
(Patting Clonan on the head)
There, there; hush now my little barbarian, if you fight well for our Emperor, your wish shall be granted.

CUT TO:
EXT. CLOSE-UP OF CONAN, STANDING AMONG THE OTHER BARBARIANS.
As the rest of the barbarians rush forward, bellowing their enthusiasm, Conan stands stock still, a picture of stunned amazement. As the barbarians rush forward around him, Conan pulls a spoon out of his gear, stares at it for a moment, then sticks it in his mouth. He gags and retches all over the ground.

DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CLONAN’S TENT — NIGHT.
Clonan is asleep in his darkened tent. The camera zooms in on his face, then zooms out again, revealing that there is now a knife held against Clonan’s throat. Clonan opens his eyes, as the camera zooms farther out, revealing that the hand holding the knife belongs to Conan.

CONAN
Don’t move. Don’t even twitch.

CLONAN
You won’t kill me. I’m your cousin.

CONAN
How could you do it? Why did you do it? How could you give up your birthright as a free barbarian?

CLONAN
It’s the only way I can get enough treasure to claim my son!

CONAN
What son? What are you talking about?

CLONAN
After you left, I made love to the Frost Giant’s Daughter and got a son on her. Then I passed out. I don’t even remember it, but the Frost Giant’s Daughter said I got her pregnant, and she would give me my son if I brought her the jewels of an empire.
(The camera gradually zooms in on Clonan’s face as he makes this speech.)
You’ve got to help me Conan. You promised my aunt you would look after me…Conan?

The camera zooms out, revealing that Conan has left the tent.


INTERLUDE
“They go into battle and are indeed indefeatable. Clonan rises quickly, a hero, a perfect
soldier, and when Metallus returns to Aquilonia, his own rank increased now as a result of his success with the Legion, he leaves Clonan in charge.

Clonan wins even more victories as general of the Legion, and when he and Metallus meet again in a battle, they win a great, bloody victory.”

SCENE XVIII
FADE TO:
EXT. A SMALL HILL OVERLOOKING A BATTLEFIELD — DAY.
Clonan and Metallus, both clad in fine armor, stand atop a small hill. Clonan’s barbarians are drawn up in perfect ranks of military array on the near side of the battlefield. The enemy army is drawn up on the far side of the field.

CLONAN
I wanted you to see this. I know you’ll be proud of me – of us.

METALLUS
I’ve been waiting for this day. What are you going to do?

CLONAN
Watch.
(He takes a deep breath and calls out an order to his barbarians at the top of his lungs.)
ICHI!

The assembled barbarians immediately begin executing a sword kata in perfect unison, at the same time making synchronized humming and swooshing noises with their mouths.

CUT TO:
CLOSE-UP OF METALLUS’ FACE.
He is dumbfounded – doesn’t understand, or even believe what he is seeing. Slowly, his amazement is replaced by anger.

METALLUS
What is this? What are you doing?

CLONAN
(Proudly)
Just watch.

CUT TO:
LONG SHOT, SHOWING BOTH ARMIES — CONTINUOUS.
The enemy army begins laughing at Clonan’s barbarians. As the display continues, the enemy soldiers begins laughing uncontrollably, pounding their thighs, and each others’ shoulders. Gasping for breath, they sink to their knees.

CUT TO:
CLOSE-UP OF CLONAN — CONTINUOUS.

CLONAN
(Yelling the second command)
NI!

Clonan’s barbarians begin to march forward, still executing their synchronized katas and emitting sound FX in unison.
The enemy soldiers, laughing even harder, fall prone on the ground, kicking spasmodically and pounding the ground with their fists.

Metallus is both furious and horrified.

METALLLUS
You – you – you IDIOT! If we survive this, I’ll kill you myself!

Clonan just stands with his arms folded, looking smug.

As his barbarians are about to reach the enemy soldiers, Clonan yells another order.

CLONAN
SAN!

CUT TO:
LONG SHOT OF THE BATTLEFIELD – CONTINUOUS.
Clonan’s barbarians rush forward and begin slaughtering their helpless opponents.

There is blood everywhere. Finished at last, the barbarians stand proudly amongst their dead foemen.

CUT TO:
THE HILLTOP, WITH CLONAN AND METALLUS — CONTINOUS.
Metallus is standing there, his jaw is hanging open and his eyes are bugging out. His mind is totally boggled.

METALLUS
(Gathering his wits)
Uh…uh… that was – uh – magnificent, Clonan – a great victory. The empire is grateful. You will be rewarded.

 

“Clonan is rewarded with jewels and riches to spare, and
Metallus notices how Clonan puts most of it away,
as he always does. He asks why, and Clonan
explains about his son, his desire to go get him.
Metallus gives him leave to go back to that Pict
wasteland, to get what’s his. When he finds the
Daughter of the Frost and gives her all the jewels
he has, she is impressed, but she wants something
that has meaning for Conan. She asks for the Eye
of the Serpent, the stone he wears around his own
neck. Fans of the first film will remember the gem,
and they’ll know the significance of his still having
it. Even this is worth nothing compared to his own
flesh and blood, though, and Clonan gives it to her.
As Conan goes to walk away with the boy, the
woman reveals something to him: ‘The boy is not
yours. He will never be. You may take him, but that
is the Ice Worm’s seed that grew in me. You only
served him that night as I wished. He is the son of
the Ice Worm.’”

SCENE XXX.

FADE TO:
EXT. THE NORTHERN CIMMERIAN FOREST — DAY.
As Clonan disappears into the trees, carrying the infant Kon, Conan steps out of a nearby cave to stand beside Atali.

CONAN
It’s just as well. Let him find wet nurses and diaper-changers. When the boy is old enough to understand, I will teach him The Way of The Barbarian.

“Clonan … takes the boy and returns to the Zingaran Legion.
Kon, as he is named, spends his childhood running with the
Legion, learning about life in the face of death.
Battlefields are his playgrounds, and by the time he
is seven, he is already a strong, somber child. He
and Clonan visit Tarantia, the capital of the world, a
giant city, beautiful, the cradle of civilization.
Sitting on a hill, looking down at this marvel of
man’s hand, Conan and his son talk…”

SCENE XXXIII.

FADE IN:
INT. AQUILONIA — TARANTIA — CLONAN’S APARTMENT — DINING ROOM — EVENING.
Clonan and Kon are eating a fine supper and talking, although we can’t hear what they are saying. Clonan pours wine into cups for himself and his son, and they sip wine like civilized people as they talk. Clonan begins weaving in his seat, then collapses forwards, face first into his dinner plate. Kon, bewildered, sniffs Clonan’s winecup, then his own, comparing. He drinks from Clonan’s cup, draining it dry. He shakes his head in perplexity, and pours himself another cup of wine. He drinks it absently while watching Clonan snore. Then, keeping a careful eye on Clonan, he pours himself another cup, returns the jug to the exact place it was before, and continues drinking.

***
“That exchange not only ties us into the first film, it
also expands upon it. Clonan trusted steel in the
first film, and it cost him. By the time he learned to
trust Valeria, she was gone. The only way he
learned to trust his friends was by dying and
having them fight to drag him back to life. The
Clonan in this movie has gone through those dark
moments, and he has survived, and this worldview
of his is informed by those things. When Metallus
informs Clonan that the Emperor has chosen to
make him the King of Zingara, it makes sense. This
Clonan is ready to be a leader of men. He is ready
to leave behind the blood of battle for the comforts
of a crown. He doesn’t realize that there is a price
attached until he goes to leave the city. Metallus
informs Clonan that Kon will stay behind and be
raised at the Academy of War with the finest sons
of Aquilonia. Clonan’s last glimpse of his son is as
he rides out the front gates of the city. Kon is held
at the wall, tears streaming down his cheeks, by an
Aquilonian officer. Clonan only has time to lock
eyes with his son for a moment before they ride
past, then on to Messantia.”

SCENE XXXV.

CUT TO:
EXT. AQUILONIA — TARANTIA — A SECTION OF THE TARANTIA CITY WALL — DAY.

Conan sits on a battlement of a distant section of the Tarantia city wall. In the unpolished chainmail of a mercenary he blends with the rugged stonework.

CONAN
(To himself)
Look at that! First he goes to all that trouble to reclaim the boy he thinks is his son, throwing away all that treasure, and then! He abandons him! Rides away, following orders like a good little soldier! Like a good little slave! Aunt Clothilde would die of shame! Ride away, you sniveling lapdog! Don’t worry – I won’t let these civilized dogs ruin him! Kon won’t be anyone’s dog!

FADE OUT.

“Kon finds himself being schooled alongside Fortunas,
the Emperor’s son, and there’s immediate
animosity between the two. Fortunas has to be grown
into the role of a natural leader; Kon was born to it.
The only way Fortunas can handle Kon’s presence
is to break him, to constantly make him look bad.”

SCENE XXXVII.
EXT. AQUILONIA — TARANTIA — A PRACTICE FIELD — DAY.

Kon and Fortunas and some other boys are practicing swordplay with wooden swords. Fortunas’ Royal Bodyguards are standing in the background, out of the way. Kon and Fortunas pair off. They spar, displaying decent form, then Kon, getting into the spirit, speeds up and begins putting more force into his blows, until Fortunas can no longer defend himself. Kon smites Fortunas a couple of mighty thwacks in the chest and leg, and knocks him down. The Royal Bodyguards don’t interfere, this is all part of the game.

FORTUNAS
(Outraged that anyone would dare to outfight the royal heir)
(Climbing back to his feet)
No fair! General Clonan taught you that trick!

KON
No, I was just doing what the Master-at-Arms showed us.

FORTUNAS
(getting sly)
Didn’t your father show you anything?

KON
Well, I’ve watched him fight, but he never taught me.

FORTUNAS
Why don’t you show us what you learned from watching your father.

KON
All right.
(He strikes a pose, then begins executing an intricate kata, while making humming and swooshing noises with his mouth.)

Fortunas and the other boys begin laughing. Fortunas sinks helplessly to the ground, laughing uncontrollably. The Royal Bodyguards, trained to extraordinary discipline, merely snicker. Kon ceases his kata and turns red in the face as he tries to control his anger.

 

FORTUNAS
(On the ground)
Ha-ha … don’t stop … ha-ha … you’re so funny…ha-ha…I haven’t laughed so hard in ages… hee-hee-hee…

Kon loses it and advances on Fortunas, sword raised to hit him while he’s down. At this, the RB’s do intervene. A couple of them hurry forward, and cover Fortunas with crossed swords, defending him from Kon. Kon remembers himself and halts.
Fortunas doesn’t even notice this; he takes it for granted.

FORTUNAS.
Oh, that is so FUNNY! You’ll have to do that at supper tonight, and entertain the nobles!

Kon throws down his sword and runs off the field, his face clenched to keep from crying.

FADE OUT.

SCENE XXXVIII.

FADE IN.

INT. AQUILONIA — TARANTIA — THE ROYAL PALACE — CLONAN’S APARTMENT — KON’S BEDROOM — NIGHT.
Kon is sitting on his bed, snuffling and muttering to himself.

KON
I’ll show them! I ought to…

VOICE
You ought to stop whining, and act like a Cimmerian!

Kon sits bolt upright in shock, and looks to the window.

CUT TO:
THE WINDOW,
where we see Conan’s head and shouldes framed. His forearms are draped comfortably over the windowsill.

CUT TO:
KON, SITTING ON HIS BED.
He is not afraid, just very surprised.

KON
Who are you? How did you get past the guards? And how did you get up here? It’s three floors up!

CONAN
I’m Conan, and I’m a real Cimmerian! I got past the guards because they are half-asleep at the best of times.
(He does a sudden stiff-arm push-up and jackknife and vaults partly into the window. He ends up sitting on the window sill.)
And I got up here by climbing. It was easy – the stones of the castle wall are rough, and no trouble at all; any Cimmerian could do it.

KON
My father’s a Cimmerian, and he can’t climb like that.

CONAN
Clonan was taken from Cimmeria at a young age. He had no chance to learn the ways of his people.

KON
(wistfully)
I’m a Cimmerian, or at least so Fortunas and his friends keep reminding me, and I’ve had no chance to learn the ways of my people.

CONAN
I could teach you.
(He hops out of the window and approaches Kon.)
Come with me, Kon,
(with gathering intensity, holding out his hand to Kon)
and I will teach you The Way of the Barbarian, the dark secrets of forest and mountainside, of hunting and tracking, of fighting and killing! And the bright secrets of steel and blood and honor! And when you stand at the threshold of manhood, you will undergo the Ordeal of Manhood, as I did, and pass it, as I did! Then you will stand tall and strong, a true man of the North, a free barbarian, obedient to no one and nothing save your own will and your own honor!

KON
But my father… And why would you do this for me?

CONAN
Because… Kon – I AM YOUR FATHER!

KON
(shocked)
No! That’s not possible!

CONAN
Tell me, Kon, what did Clonan tell you of your birth.

KON
He told me that my mother was the daughter of Ymir the Frost Giant. Not much else.

CONAN
Aye, Atali was your mother. And Clonan lay unconscious while I laid with Atali. I should know – I was the one who clipped him in the jaw.

Kon is wavering.

CONAN
Did you ever drink with Clonan?

KON
Yes. Sometimes we had wine with our dinner.

CONAN
Fetch me a bottle of wine.
Please.

Kon runs out of the room, and returns in a minute with a winebottle. He hands it to Conan.
Conan uncorks the bottle and chugs it to the last drop. He smacks his lips appreciatively, then closes his eyes, stands on one foot, and recites rapidly:

CONAN
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.
Pluvius Piper plucked a peck of pickled peppers.

Kon watches this demonstration with growing awe.

KON
(With awe and adoration)
You ARE my father!

CONAN
Come on. We’re getting out of here.
(He picks up Kon by the arms, and maneuvers him around behind him.)
Hold on tight.

He swings out the window and disappears from view.

FADE TO:
EXT. AQUILONIA — A WOODS OUTSIDE OF TARANTIA — NIGHT.
Conan and Kon are perched in a tree, as a squad of Aquilonian cavalry thunders past.

KON
Are they all looking for me?

CONAN
You can be sure of it. The son of one of their most important generals disappears? They’re desperate to find you before Clonan finds out you’re missing. Who knows what he might do if he discovers that they let his son disappear?

INTERLUDE
Conan takes Kon to Conajohara province, where he is employed as a scout in the skirmishes against the Picts. Kon is disguised as a Gunderland lad working for Conan as his apprentice. Meanwhile, Clonan continues to send letters to Kon; no one has told him that his son is missing. Clonan, confused by the fact that Zingara and Zamora both start with a “z”, accidentally conquers Zamora, then tries to figure out how to establish a corridor between the two kingdoms so he can combine them into the Double Kingdom of Zingara-Zamora. His efforts are only hindered by the fact that Milius can’t read maps.

Aquilonian barons, alarmed by Clonan’s attempt to establish a corridor right through their own lands, rebel against the Empire. Conan, operating from a power base in Conajohara, co-opts the rebellion and marches eastward to Tarantia. As he moves through Gunderland, he picks up additional support from Gundermen veterans, who join his growing army. Once in the Aquilonian heartland, he links up with the barons, and enters Tarantia in triumph at the head of a vast and irresistible army of Aquilonian chivalry and Gunderman heavy infantry.

SCENE XLV.

FADE IN:
INT. AQUILONIA — TARANTIA — ROYAL PALACE — THRONE ROOM — DAY.

Conan and the now teenage Kon stride into the throne room at the head of a group of Aquilonian nobles and Gundermen. The Gundermen fan out to guard all exits as Conan and Kon march toward the throne, where Clonan, Gaius Metallus, the now teenage Fortunas, and the Emperor huddle together. Clonan and Gaius move forward to defend the Emperor. Suddenly Fortunas breaks away and charges toward Kon.

FORTUNAS
So, Kon, this time for real. See if you can make me laugh now!

KON
Laugh at this, Fortunas!

Kon counterattacks furiously. He and Fortunas spar for a few seconds while Conan watches confidently. Fortunas is only able to defend for a few seconds against Kon’s whirlwind attack, then Kon beats the sword out of Fortunas’ hands. Fortunas stumbles and falls to the floor, where Kon holds him at swordpoint.

Clonan and Gaius try to flank Conan. Conan feints at Gaius, then with a quick move clubs Clonan in the head with the pommel of his sword. The pommel strikes Clonan on the dogcollarlike leather sweatband, which offers no protection, and Clonan goes down for the count. Conan instantly whirls on Gaius and attacks him ferociously. Gaius’ defense is ineffectual, and he doesn’t even last as long as Fortunas did; he sinks to the floor, badly wounded. The Emperor, screaming in desperation and despair, charges Conan, waving his sword over his head. Conan runs him through with contemptuous ease.

Conan stands over the Emperor’s body, looking at him. Then, after a few seconds, he bends over and yanks the crown off the Emperor’s head. He straightens up, holding the crown, and looks around at his men, who stare back silently. He strides towards the throne, then turns around, standing in front of the throne and facing his allies. They neither move nor speak. Slowly, Conan raises the crown over his own head.

CUT TO:
CLOSE-UP OF KON, STARING AWE-STRUCK.

CUT TO:
CONAN, STANDING MOTIONLESS BEFORE THE THRONE, CROWN RAISED IN THE AIR OVER HIS OWN HEAD.
(Music stretches excruciatingly on the verge of a climax.)
Conan lowers the crown and sets it on his head. His men break into enthusiastic cheers as the music crashes into a thundering climax.

INTERLUDE.
Conan, in control of both the army and the chivalry, has no trouble cementing his rule over the ensuing months. Royalist sycophants and corrupt officials are expelled from the capitol, and replaced with professionals from the provinces. The ranks of the bureaucracy are reinforced with trainees from among the populace. Meanwhile, Kon is sent on missions to Zingara and Zamora, to acquaint those vassal kingdoms with the new political realities. Conan bolsters his popularity by holding a series of feasts to which leaders from various walks of life are invited.

SCENE LVIII.

INT. AQUILONIA — TARANTIA — ROYAL PALACE — FEAST HALL — EVENING.

This evening’s feast is being held for wealthy merchants, identifiable for the gaudy tastelessness of their expensive garb and jewelry. Everyone is having a great time gorging and guzzling at their tables. Courtiers line the walls, standing alertly ready to serve. A second look at the courtiers reveals that underneath the fancy court garb, they look like thugs from the Thieves Quarter.

Conan, and Kon, just returned from Zamora, are seated at the Head Table, enjoying the fine food and wine.

CONAN
So, how are things in far Zamora?

KON
Well, that spider religion of theirs is pretty ugly, but you said not to interfere…

CONAN
Right. They’re entitled to their own religion, as long as they pay their taxes on time.

KON
By the way, whatever happened to Clonan?

CONAN
I haven’t forgotten my promise to Aunt Clothilde. I found a job for him.

He gestures at a herald, who hurries over and bends down so Conan can whisper in his ear. The herald straightens, and turns to face the room.

HERALD
BRING – FORTH – THE – CLOWN – OF – IRON!

The call echoes from the back of the room as other heralds repeat it.

SUBORDINATE HERALDS
Bring forth the Clown of Iron!

Clonan, wearing polished armor, enters the feast hall. He draws his sword and strikes a pose, then begins executing a complex kata, emitting humming and swooshing noises from his mouth. The guests begin laughing. Their laughter becomes uncontrollable; they fall off their chairs and roll around on the floor, helplessly pounding the floor as tears of laughter flow from their eyes.
Conan gestures to the “courtiers”, who hurry forward to help the guests back into their chairs. Attentive camera work reveals that the courtiers are surreptitiously picking the pockets and plucking the jewelry of the guests as they “help” them. Conan looks on approvingly.

The entertainment done, Clonan walks casually over to Conan’s table.

CLONAN
What’s my cut?

CONAN
(Looking thoughtful)
Hmm… tonight’s probable take… your usual five per cent cut… probably almost a thousand crowns.

Clonan walks off looking happy.

CONAN
There’s hope for that boy yet.

THE END.

“Conan” ©Copyright, Conan Properties, Inc. “Conan The Mighty” ©Copyright 1996, William Galen Gray.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email