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The Duel of the Ages

By Samuel Stoddard and David J. Parker

What you are about to read is the story of the battle between the two greatest warriors who have ever lived. It is written as a parody of two books you've never read. Behind it all is a power struggle between two as yet unpublished writers.

Our introductions will fill you in on this in more detail, but here's the gist of it. Dave Parker and I had each written fantasy novels and had each read each other's. We each had a warrior hero, and in the summer of 1994, we pitted them against each other in a twisted sort of parody that took place in both worlds. I would write a piece of the story, turning the course of events to favor my own hero, then email the new story segment to Dave, who would continue the story and turn the tables. It was a game. The object was to win the warrior battle for our respective champions, at the same time inventing a humorous story as internally consistent as possible.

There's a lot of inside jokes, of course, but there's a lot of universal humor as well, and the allusions have been sidenoted. The important thing to remember is that you were never intended to see this. Dave and I wrote this for ourselves -- it's not prepackaged entertainment meant for public consumption (nor, for that matter, is the writing quality up to our usual standard). It's essential to remember this as you read. And if the idea of a duel of writers and warriors intrigues you, you may well enjoy it.

Warning: This story is not for the faint of heart. Although it's all treated in a humorous fashion and therefore should not be taken at face value, there are some scenes of rather extreme violence. Be forewarned.


The Story

This story is unique. It has two introductions, two conclusions, one middle, and a beginning that isn't really part of it. As confusing as this may sound, if you read each part in the order it is given on this page, you should be all set. The text is annotated to keep things clear.

You've read the story. Now play the game! Visit The Game of the Ages over on our gaming feature:

Adventure Games Live

Want to read what The Duel of the Ages parodies? David J. Parker's epic novel The Cat's Meow is available for sale now, in a special annotated edition with mocking footnotes that make fun of itself!

The Cat's Meow


The Duel of the Ages is a RinkWorks production. We invite you to visit our other features.

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Legal Stuff

The Duel of the Ages is Copyright (c) 1994-8 by Samuel Stoddard and David J. Parker. All rights reserved. It is unlawful to copy or redistribute this text, in whole or in part, without prior written consent.