Ariel Baaldorf in Unicorn of Death (1_151)

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Birthday Greetings

Anna M.C.
Vector's Monocle


From: Anna M.C.
Subject: Birthday greetings for Ristil

We really do need to get a proper post office in Aperans. I sell ale, not stamps. Anyway, Ristil, here's a letter for you below.

And happy birthday!

Anna M.C.


Dagger Ebonypond, CEO
Ebonypond Productions
1313 Dracnil Way


Firstly, may I extend my humblest apologies for this intrusion upon your privacy. I have obtained your name from the "birthday review" files of your insurance agent, a Mr. Xavier Pendable of First Tadmon Life. Under normal circumstances, I would, of course, request that Mr. Pendable make the initial contact with you himself. However, he has been disposed of -- No, no, *indisposed,* I mean. He has been *indisposed* of late. You might even say the cat has his tongue.

And his liver . . .

The reason I am contacting you, Ristil, is that I believe that with your professional credentials, we may be of mutual assistance to one another. Please allow me to explain.

As the CEO of a small production company, I try, of course, to keep a keen eye out for emerging trends. Beginning with "The Brady Bunch Movie" and leading up to "Wild Wild West," I have gradually been led to an inevitable conclusion: resurrecting old television is the wave of the future in modern cinema. As a result, I have turned my attention to an old television property in my collection, a series with which I believe you are familiar: "Wizards and Warriors."

Now, I am convinced that the eight episodes of this series, properly edited together, have the potential to become an enormous success on the silver screen. It has a multitude of assets in its favor: exciting storylines, witty dialogue, wonderful leatherworking, a dashing hero, and comic relief -- the latter two in the persons of Prince Dirk Blackpool and Prince Erik Greystone, respectively. However, although the near-palpable personal charisma of the aforementioned Prince Blackpool can almost carry the show on its own, I have been forced to admit that the series, as it stands, remains deficient in one vital area: special effects. In an age where George Lucas has created entire planetscapes, I sincerely doubt that monsters consisting of a lone extra wearing an assortment of rubber masks will overly impress the jaded masses.

Here, my dear Ristil, is where your considerable talents come in. Ebonypond Productions would like to hire you as our own personal "wizard," if you will, to enhance the special effects in certain crucial scenes. After much thought, and following repeated viewings of said series, I believe that the points most in need of your special brand of F/X wizardry are incidents such as the following:

The Kidnap: The bonecrack demon should be at least twice as large, possibly slavering, definitely with enormous claws. Considering the big build-up of the name "bonecrack demon," the scene plays out as a bit anticlimactic, with everyone escaping unscathed. The creature should pulverize at least one of Greystone's arms before being destroyed, so as not to make the audience feel that it has been cheated. If we promise bone cracking, we should deliver bone cracking. Actually, I think breaking *both* arms might be an even bigger crowd-pleaser.

The Rescue: The lightning hawks aren't terribly intimidating if they never actually *hit* anyone. The hawk should get in at least one good shot at Greystone. I hear you're quite marvelous with scorched flesh, and his hairspray alone would be sure to go up like a Roman candle. Also, given the enormous success of "Jaws," it would be prudent to have the slime monster gouge at least one sizable chunk out of Greystone before his annoying little vassal comes to his rescue. Finally, the invisible dragon is an obvious ploy to avoid expending money on the special effects required to show a realistic dragon. We must compensate with extra, more impressive displays of flame. This would be another excellent opportunity for you to showcase your talent with scorched flesh.

The Unicorn of Death: The interior of the giant cave-beast which swallows Greystone, the Brinker, is a shameful let-down. Perhaps you can change the floor of the cave to bubbling acid? And as for the Klacton . . . given that it already has glowing eyes, wouldn't it be feasible to have it shoot laser beams? Then, of course, there are the fiery walls near the Pit of Death, with yet another . . . magnificent . . . exquisite . . . extravaganza . . . of scorched . . . Greystone . . .flesh . . .

All right, deep breaths. Deep breaths.

Pardon me, but I'm becoming rather choked up with emotion; this is something of a pet project of mine, you see. We can discuss the rest of the episodes in detail at a later time, but the above examples should supply you with a general idea of what I have in mind. You can't possibly fail to see the incredible potential of this series. And you, Ristil, are the key to unlocking that potential! Just think of the new generations of fans. Think of the prestige. Think of the kolnas. Think of your continued health and well-being.

After all, as Mr. Pendable could attest (when he had his tongue, that is), birthdays can be a *very* dangerous time of life.

I look forward to receiving your response.


Dagger Ebonypond
CEO of Ebonypond Productions

From: Ristil
Subject: Birthday greetings for Ristil

Wow. Thanks Anna and everyone! A very nice birthday surprise...enclosed is my response if you could please forward it to the "appropriate" parties:


Dear Mr. Ebonypond,

I thank you for your interest, and must commend you on your ability to spot what is indeed a growing and popular trend in Hollywood. Unfortunately, I am already engaged in a project of a similar nature, which, although I'm sure does not have anywhere near the potential for success as your project, is one to which I have already committed my loyalties.

And I'm sure you, Mr. Ebonypond, would not be so unwise as to wish to engage the services of someone whose loyalties could be bought and sold on a whim.

However, perhaps we can work something out. I cannot legally reveal the name of the "Mission" I am currently working on, but I am beginning to feel that the nature of the work is far too difficult for the fee I am receiving, in fact, it's quite "Impossible." I have become convinced that a certain Mr. Tom Cruise is in fact The Devil, and his stunt doubles are his fiendish minions of doom. "2". (I couldn't figure out how to work that last one in.)

Were something tragic to happen to any of the principles of this project, I would be ecstatic -- I mean, I would find myself with no work, and perhaps then we could discuss YOUR project. Not that I would WANT anything bad to happen, of course.

I look forward to future correspondence with you, to our mutual benefit.

Beast Wishes,

Countess Ristil of Icehaven


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