The Lord of the Scrolls
Lord of the Rings parody of the Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Scrolls
By Mercedes Dannenberg and Derek Tree
The Lord of the Scrolls
The Lord of the Scrolls
The Lord of the Scrolls
The Lord of the Scrolls

A shocking tale of literary plagiarism, ruthless ambition, revenge and underdone mushrooms...

The Lord of the Scrolls
The Lord of the Scrolls

The Wizard leaned back in his chair, carefully filled his pipe with the best Rondorian weed, lit up, and sent a stream of multi-coloured smoke rings up Fido's nose. "Sorry about that, my dear Robbit, I was aiming for the chimney. To tell the truth, I am rather out of sorts this morning, and my mind is filled with thoughts of grim forebodings.. And, of course, I fear the mushrooms were not entirely cooked.."
With that Randolph, (for it was he), shifted his position and broke wind rather noisily. "I am sorry to hear that," said the Robbit with a blush.

"It can't be helped," replied the Wizard, "Underdone mushrooms will out. We will all have to face more unsavoury things before the year is out. Dark days are ahead, my lad."
"What do you mean? Last night you began to tell me strange things about my magic scroll, and then you stopped because you said that you had run out of pipeweed. Don't you think you had better finish the tale now? You said the scroll was perilous."

"It is far more perilous than a very perilous thing that has 'PERILOUS' written all over it in red letters, and is covered in dangerous, poisoned spines - and that's saying a lot, I can tell you! So very perilous, that it would completely corrupt anyone of mortal race who possessed it. It would utterly warp them beyond all hope of healing. Long ago many scripts, or 'magic scrolls' as you would call them, were written by an ancient Professor of Oxfod, which existed in the far West that is now hidden beneath the rolling billows of the sea. They were of many kinds: some were more readable than others. The lesser scripts were only rough drafts before the Professor's art was fully grown, and to the Academic scribes they were often trifles - indeed some were recipes for trifle, though in those times they had not yet learned to add the sherry to the biscuit base. Yet even these raw essays, unhewn and coarse as they were, and filled with grammatical errors and split infinitives, were not without their power, and dangerous in the hands of cinematographers. But the GREAT SCROLLS, the SCROLLS of POWER, which were plain and unadorned, and without writing of any visible kind , were and are, exceedingly perilous.

A film director, my dear Robbit, who possesses one of the Great Scrolls does not suffer writer's block, but neither does he improve, or obtain more renown, he merely continues producing incomprehensible drivel, until every waking moment is a weariness to him, and a torment to his befuddled viewers. And if he should be so foolhardy as to use the Scroll to make himself famous, he will be assailed on all sides by his literary critics, until, in the end, he becomes a nonentity, walking permanently in the shadow of the Dark Power that rules the Scrolls. Yes, sooner or later - later if he was only interested in improving a few of his mother's cake recipes, sooner if he is a money-grubbing script-writer from the Holly Wood without an ounce of decency in his mercenary soul, the Dark Power will eat him up entirely."

"How horrible!" said Fido. "Did Bingo know all this when he gave me the scroll?"
"Bingo?" queried the Wizard. "Bingo knew half the tale half as well as he might, and understood less than half of it, half as well as he should. Had he been wiser, or had I not been called away on urgent business by my Publishers, things might not have come to this sorry pass."
"Eh?" Said Fido, trying desperately hard to work out whether the wizard's words added up to an explanation, or were merely the effects of the Rondorian pipeweed..
After a long and pregnant silence Fido repeated his question.

"Bingo never connected the possession of the scroll - or Great Scroll as you now know it to be - with his literary endeavours. He thought the scroll was 'cool ', and very useful to break the ice at dinner parties when he wished to bore unwelcome guests like the Deville-Fagginses into leaving. But he said it was 'doing my head in', and he was always worrying someone would steal it. But he never stopped to consider that the scroll itself was to blame. He quickly found out that it needed careful watching; it was not always of the same length; it shrank and expanded in strange ways, and might suddenly manifest many paragraphs of the most florid and verbose prose, where a moment before it had been as bereft of content as a Rondorian eunuch's trousers.

"How long have you known this?" asked Fido
"Known?" retorted Randolf testily. "I know a very great deal that only really clever buggers know, Fido Faggins! But if you mean 'when did I learn about this scroll' - well I guessed a good deal, but there is only ONE test that will confirm my suspicions."
"And what did you guess?" asked Fido again.
"That Bingo's story about 'finding the scroll' was nonsense", replied the wizard. He settled deeper into his chair, knocked the dottle from his pipe onto Fido's best Shag-pile hearthrug, and fixed the Robbit with his steely gaze.
Fido leapt off the old leather pouffe and feverishly tried to extinguish the small fire that sprang up with a copy of 'Mushroom Growing Monthly'.
"Sit, Fido!" commanded the wizard.
"B-but the f-fire - f-fire..." expostulated the flustered Robbit, flailing ineffectually at the flames which were now half as high as himself, and threatening to singe the wizard's magnificent beard.

Frodo edged back to the pouffe. The Pouffe squealed with delight as the Robbit's firm young bottom compressed it.
"Tara baraboom didlo di whoosh!" muttered the wizard, and the fire was extinguished in a puff of fragrant smoke.
"Yikes!" exclaimed Fido.
"It was nothing," said the wizard mildly. "I have a way with fires and lights that exceeds the silly party-tricks I used to play with your uncle Bingo when he was young."
Fido blushed deeply.

"No, not THOSE tricks, my boy. I gave those up some time ago. Now where was I?"
"Playing with Bingo?" suggested Fido.
"Ah - yes, let me see... It was about the time of the Annual General Meeting of the Writers Council that we drove the evil from the Holly Wood, just before the battle of the five moguls, that Bingo found his scroll. My heart forebode evil even then, for I wondered how that sad gangrel creature Hokum came by such a great scroll - for such it plainly was - that much was 'crystal' as we wizards say.

When at last I forced the truth out of Bingo by threatening to expose him as a plagiarist to the Writers Council, I saw that he had been trying to pass it off as his own work. Much the same as Hokum did with his laughable tale of having found it quite by chance while shopping for a present for his Grandmother. Both their lies were were too uncanny for comfort. The truth is that the great scroll develops an unhealthy hold upon it's keeper at once. That was my first intimation that things were decidedly dodgy. I immediately told Bingo that such scrolls are better kept out of sight of publishers readers, but he would not listen to me, and angrily retorted: 'You're jealous I'll outdo you in literary circles, you broken-down old hack'. There was nothing I could do short off exposing him to the Writers Council, or taking the scroll by force. Either course would have done greater harm, so I could only watch and wait. I didn't have long to wait. One particularly dark and filthy night I watched as he left Fag End poorly disguised as a script-editor, and followed him to a small Robbit hole on the other side of Bywater, where he said and did things that even I, with my wide experience of sexual peccadilloes, found intriguing."

"There wasn't any real harm done, was there?" asked Fido, "I mean, the operation DID remove the obstruction from his bottom, didn't it?"
"He regretted the incident almost as quickly as the sheep did, but not before he had added a whole new chapter to the annals of Robbit depravity. Fortunately Doctor Rogerghast, my fellow wizard and acknowledged expert on animal husbandry, was at hand to save the sheep. The Academics did the rest, ensuring that the memories of that evil day were wiped from his mind. I don't think we need worry about Bingo anymore. The scroll has passed on. It has passed to YOU, my lad! Ever since I have been very troubled and concerned about you, and about all you charming, rosy-cheeked, precocious, firm-thighed, healthy young Robbits and Robbitses - ahem! If the Dark Director overcomes you, the lot of you will become his abject, groveling sycophants!"

Fido gawped in horror: "But why should we be? Why would the Dark Director want us as his 'sycophants?" Fido was not altogether clear what a 'sycophant' was, but it was clearly very, very, bad. Worse even than becoming the dirty old Robbit his mother had warned him against, when first he discovered that what was in his pants was of considerable interest to many of the more precocious young Robbit lasses in the Shire.
"Not to put too fine a point on it my lad, He is a ruthless, unprincipled Kiwi, with an appallingly bad haircut, who will stop at nothing to get back what he considers you STOLE from him! Or, to be precise, what Hokum stole and Bingo acquired through deviousness and good fortune. Though it has not served him well. Then there is Professional Pride."
"Professional Pride?" repeated Fido, "Pride in what? I still don't see what all this has to do with Bingo and me and our magic scroll?"
"It has everything to do with it," said Randolf. "Give it to me!"
Fido took the scroll from its leathern pouch and handed it very reluctantly to the wizard.

Randolf held it up and slowly unrolled it. It appeared to make of some unknown paper. Light, transparent and extremely thin. "Can you see any writing on it?" he asked.
"No," said Fido. "But yesterday there was an unpublished novel by F Scott Fitzgerald on one side and a recipe for sauteed mushrooms in white wine sauce on the other. Last week the complete works of Marcel Proust appeared during teatime and -"
"Never mind that now!" snapped the wizard. "Watch and learn!" To Fido's consternation and distress the wizard threw the scroll into the sink where it landed amidst the washing-up. Fido lunged for the crockery brush, but Randolf held him back. "Wait!" he said, in ringing tones, giving Fido a very queer look from under his felt hat that made the young Robbit remember incidents from his childhood that he would rather have forgotten..


The Lord of the Scrolls
© 2003 Mercedes Dannenberg & Derek Tree. Design and layout © 2003 utterpants.co.uk
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