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TRAD WARS: EPISODE I - The Bodhrán Menace
December 7, 2014
Controversy is engulfing the Trad Republic. What was a once peaceful empire is now fraught with tension between differing musicians, instruments and regional styles. The source of this tension: the evil Cult-Ass Empire headed by its mysterious leader, Darth Lau.
The music-less and merciless Lau, in an attempt to annex the quiet music heatland of Sliabh Luachra, has surrounded the region with a deadly blockade of bodhráns in order to gain a greater advantage of the new tune taxation laws. This has led to all sessions being stopped and other Cult-Ass branches threatened with dissolution.
"If anyone doesn't play by my rules, they'll have to answer to me and the Ard-Comhairle", announce Darth Lau, "I have dissolved branches before and I'll do it again! The only people to prosper from these new taxations should be us!"
However the Trad Republic is slow to react. Music academics decide that rather than try and solve the matter, they should debate the music, write up a thesis proposal and spend the next 3 years writing it up.
"Anybody in favour of the topic 'The Effects of Tune Taxation on Regional Styles in the Trad Republic' say 'I'."
"Anybody in favour of the topic 'The History of the Kazoo in Irish Music' say 'I'."
"I", reply the academics.
Despite this, the Supreme Tune-cellor Vallely decides to take matter into his own hands. He dispatches two Purist Knights, guardians of good drink and music in the galaxy: Cork Dry Jinn and his apprentice Obi One Jig-only. They try to negotiate with Darth Lau at the Cult-Ass Empire headquarters:
"You're not serious about this bloody tune taxation thing? Sure nobody will be able to polkas and slides outside of Sliabh Luachra, not that they'd want to but sure it'd be ncie to have the option!" pleads Cork Dry Jinn.
"I'm dead serious! I'm as serious as a spoons player at a good session!" replies Darth Lau.
Unknown to the Purists, Darth Lau has led them into a trap. Lau attempts to assassinate our heroes however they manage to escape thanks to the help of a drunken busker, Jarred-Jarred Binks.
"Me help you two funny misters! You have strange names but I like you! Give me euro and I sing for you!"
"NO! God no Jarred-Jarred. We've only just met you and you're the most annoying character ever", says Obi One Jig-only.
The trio flee to sliabh luachra where they try to rescue Queen Clifford but find themselves in the middle of an invasion of deadly bodhráns. Fortunately they manage to commandeer a spacecraft and escape the turmoil.
The ship's hyperdive fails however and they crashland on the planet of Connemara where they meet a small boy called Anakin Jigwalker playing uilleann pipes in a local bar. Upon hearing him play, Cork Dry Jinn senses a strong presence of 'the Nyah' within Anakin.
"Jaysus. Listen to that technique, the regulator work, the closed fingering. This boy is the chosen one, who will bring peace and balance to the Trad Republic."
Cork Dry wagers Anakin's freedom from the bar by having a 'tune race'; how many versions of the same tune can you play within a minute. Luckily, Anakin wins, further convincing Cork Dry of his potential.
As they leave on their repaired spacecraft, Cork Dry Jinn and Obi One Jig-only become embroiled in a duel with Darth Lau's apprentice, Darth Comhairle. With their flute-sabers drawn the two heroes fight tooth and nail to protect Queen Clifford and leave the rugged planet.
They head for the Trad Senate where Queen Clifford pleads her people's case with Supreme Tune-cellor Vallely. As these discussions go on, Cork Dry Jinn asks the Purist Council for permission to train Anakin Jigwalker as a Purist Knight. They refuse, saying that he might be too susceptible to 'The Trazz Side'.
"Listen to Flook and Beoga he will, hmmmm. Know about Coleman, McKenna and the greats he does not, yes?" says Grandmaster Yoda.
"Speak properly you weird green midget! I can never understand Cavan men...", says an exasperated Cork Dry Jinn.
Undaunted, he trains Anakin anyway. Meanwhile, Queen Clifford meets a brickwall at the senate. Darth Lau suddenly enters and pushes for a vote of no-confidence in Supreme Tune-cellor Vallely. Shocked, Queen Clifford slips out unnoticed so she can return to sliabh luachra with the Purists and Jarred-Jarred Binks.
There, Queen Clifford pleads with the local population of buskers to side with the sliabh luachra players to form an alliance against the invading Cult-Ass Empire. Jarred-Jarred manages to convince his fellow buskers with promises of loose change.
"The funny lookin' people have lots of loose change. If helpe them maybe we'll end up with a few quid more at the end of the day!"
Jarred-Jarred inspires the buskers and leads them into battle against the deadly bodhráns. The battle is bloody and the air is filled with the sounds of dribbly bodhrán and the same song sung over and over again. But the buskers gain an upper-hand, using their pen-knifes to play the bodhráns.
During the battle, Crok Dry Jinn and Obi One Jig-only come face to face again with Darth Comhairle. They battle each other but Darth mortally wounds Cork Dry. Before he dies he tells Obi One to train Anakin and teach him the ways of 'Nyah'. In blind rage, Obi One Jig-only bisects Darth Comhairle with a flurry of ornamentation with his flutesaber.
With the dust now settled after battle, Darth Lau accepts defeat and retreats to lick his wounds and come up with a new plan. Queen Clifford is elected the new Supreme Tune-cellor and the bodhrán blockade is lifted, allowing polkas and slides to flow freely from sliabh luachra. At a festive ceremony, Queen Clifford presents a gift of friendship and appreciation to the buskers of a half-eaten chicken fillet roll and cold cup of coffee. The buskers are forever grateful.
Peace has been restored to the Trad Republic but for how long?