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‘Of the King’s Fear’
The Screaming Skull of Silence by Robert E. Howard
First published as The Skull of Silence in 1967, reading from pages 119-25 of Kull, Del-Rey, 2006
“He was no wizard…no chanting, mumbling conjurer, divining from snakes’ livers. There was naught of mummery about Raama. He had grasped the First Principles, he knew the elements and he understood the natural forces…"
-Kuthulos, the Philosopher-Slave
With his Lovecraftian name, Kuthulos serves as a counter-narrator in The Screaming Skull of Silence, a myopic of blind heroism, of one man’s will against the Universe, in which Kull and his cast of followers—a much more realistically portrayed King than Conan, his more salable literary descendent—indulges the passion of kings. For Howard the King is the King because he is a Hero and the Hero is the King because he demonstrates true agency, the only person in the land who may do what he wills.
“Kull, impatient of restraint, waved him aside. He was in the grip of a wayward perverseness, a common fault of kings, and though usually reasonable he had now made up his mind and was not to be swerved from his course.”
Howard’s kings are all possessed of an Alexandrian pathos, but Kull is so on an elemental level. Where Mak Morn is racially motivated and Conan lives life as an errant agent of the Fate that holds even the gods in its grip, Kull would stand maniacally against the very laws of the Universe. Following his crazed course to test his will against the elemental underpinnings of the world, Kull is accompanied by his key men, in an episode that prefigures the band of adventurers entering a dungeon that is the mainstay of fantasy role playing.
When Kull finally faced the elemental force that had been penned up for ages at the hand of a great wizard he shows the metal of the hero, the thing that defines the heroic, that aspect of human action that makes a ripple in the cosmos:
“The whole Universe should have halted to watch a man justifying the existence of mankind, scaling sublime heights of glory in his supreme atonement.”
Confirming again, that unlike modern heroes of fearless robotic type, that heroism is enabled at its base by fear, Howard closes the Screaming Skull of Silence in the only way heroically possible, by sketching a man facing that fear.
A Well of Heroes
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guestJuly 17, 2017 7:50 PM UTC

Off topic: "First Somali-American police officer"

(i highly recommend this guys channel, great videos)

"A source confirmed to the Star Tribune that Noor (Mohamed) fatally shot Australia native Justine Damond on Saturday night after she called 911 to report a possible assault near her home in Fulton."

It's beyond satire.

James would think he is in a nightmare, if he called the cops and a Somali native showed up.