aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Ars gratia militaris

So, some people are apparently complaining that this military medal awarded to those participating in the campaign against ISIS shows a mailed fist, which in their view is a visual reference to Crusader knights, which plays into ISIS's narrative about the West, yada yada, yackety schmackety.


But look closely at the scorpion being impaled by the sword. To my mind, it recalls the crab, dynastic symbol of King Gorice XII of Witchland, in E.R. Eddison's 1922 fantasy, The Worm Ouroboros, which I read in my teens in the Ballantine paperback edition.


So, we're not recalling Richard III and the Crusaders. Someone at the Pentagon is channeling Lord Brandoch Daha and the genteel warriors of Demonland. Brandoch Daha was the greatest swordsman of his generation, who killed King Gorice X in personal combat. As it said over the doors of his castle at Krothering,
Ye braggarts and a'
Be feared and awa'
Frae Brandoch Daha.
I can live with that.

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