Split Heirs

By Lawrence Watt-Evans and Esther M. Friesner

"What's even funnier than an Esther Friesner novel? Answer: a collaboration between Esther Friesner and Lawrence Watt-Evans." --Mike Resnick

War and wizardry, dark deeds and derring-do, matters of state and matters of the heart, and a dragon who thinks she's a sheep named Bernice ...Split Heirs is nonstop action and nonstop laughs from the king and queen of humorous fantasy, the funniest high fantasy epic since Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

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Protocols for Military Personnel in the Service of the Ancient & Honorable Kingdom of the Hydrangeans

1. A soldier Is a gentleman, and will comport himself, or In those special cases where female personnel may be employed In the armed forces, herself, as a gentleman-or, as the case may be, a lady. While a certain degree of aggressive physical activity may be required in the performance of a Hydrangean soldier's duties, this In no way implies that he or she shall at any time behave In a rude, thoughtless, or impious manner. (See Volume 1, Articles 15 through 224, for further commentary on appropriate behavior.)

2. The Hydrangean soldier will at all times, while on duty, be properly attired. While a certain degree of personal modification of the standard uniform Is permissible, this must not be taken to excess. The tunic shall be of fine wool, and shall extend below the waist sufficiently to ensure proper modesty, but shall not under any circumstances cover the knee. The tunic shall be dyed to a hue matching, as closely as possible, the official color of the lower dexter quadrant of the company's banner. Gold embroidery may cover no more than a hand's breadth of material at the hem and shoulder, and shall not Incorporate any slogans, mottos, or political commentary, nor shall any names of off icers or personal acquaintances be dis-

Code of the Gorgorian Warrior

First Rule: Do what your war leader tells you.

Second Rule: Don't ask questions.

Third Rule: When in doubt, kill it.

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Home of elegance and culture, the Ancient and Honorable Kingdom of the Hydrangeans traces its history back through thousands of generations of refined and noble (if slightly ineffectual) blood. Most recently, the Ancient and Honorable Kingdom of Hydrangeans has been conquered-by the mighty and fearsome (if slightly moronic) Gorgorians, led by the barbarian warrior Gudge.

Now a tiny rump of bold Hydrangean exiles prowls the forests under the command of the mysterious and conspiratorial (if slightly indecisive) Black Weasel, determined to retake the capital and expel the invaders. Any day now.

Now King Gudge the First reigns at the Palace of Divinely Tranquil (if slightly conFused) Thoughts. Now Queen Artemisia, beautiful (if ;lightly unwilling) Hydrangean bride to Gudge I, hides in the most isolated room in the Palace, eager to give birth to his long-awaited male heir...

Now the very stones of the castle ring with Artemisia's terrible shriek: "Three?"

Now Queen Artemisia contemplates the charming Gorgorian belief that triplets are a sure sign of the mother's adultery-and the charming Gorgorian punishment for adultery: death.

Now Queen Artemisia sends her faithful servant Ludmilla on a secret, desperate mission to her outlaw cousin the Black Weasel, bearing with her the infant girl and the younger boy. Now it's a pity Ludmilla's eyesight is so bad, she takes both boys instead...

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