The story I tell you now is false. It is pure fiction. An invented bit of fluff to entertain you for a moment while you pause in your viewing of the destruction of other things, unsure if said destruction is entertainment or threats. I cannot say if the destruction is either. It is not my place to do so. Nor would I wish to, for I am but the teller of simple tales. I lay before you the tale of a kingdom once known for peace but now is bedlam. No, no. This kingdom is not an analog for Nova Roma. Do not think such a thing. Nova Roma is a Republic, hale and strong. This kingdom is but the fruit of an idle mind, as all such stories would be. And it is proper, I suppose, for only idle minds would dare such a thing, yes?
Once, in a land most distant in geography and time, there lived a king. This king had a great voice that could be heard in all the halls of his land. He would speak and his servants went among the populace to spread his wisdom. Liveried in or, tenné, and argent, they were a people who were feared. They bore with them white wands tipped with gules, the ensign of the king borne upon a device of a noble cockrel, that bird of great courage in battle. What, you ask, is the ensign of the king that the gules cockrel bears? This, my dear friend, is one that indicated great humility in this king of a thousand tongues. The humble ass in argent lays lodged sinister upon the tenné field. a band of or chief upon it. The arms of this king, this famed king known in many lands, spoke of one who was humble and slow to anger. The tenné field bespoke of his storied travels through out the known world, for the color of the field was exotic to his lands where only the colors of gules, argent, and azure were known. The band of or denoted his noble head, where upon the crown of rulership rested on his glossy, brazen colored locks.
The king was a man of great wealth. As all men of great wealth, he feared that enemies would come to steal it away. Daily, he sent his servants among the people. Part of the reason for this was to make known that this king cared for his populace and part of the reason was to quell any speech that spoke against this king. Thus did the early days of his reign pass. His grand proclamations that were designed to quiet the troubled hearts of the people were spoken daily. Each day, the proclamation was greater than that of the day before. He set many to work upon ventures that he insisted would strengthen the coffers of the kingdom, that would bring prosperity to the land. He called for a great wall to be built upon the kingdom's southern border, where the lands he decried as lawless lay. He spoke of raising up the clergy to higher stature, so that they might guide the people into greater wisdom.
At the same time, however, the king raged when his servants spoke of the people who mocked him. He flew into blind wrath when he learned of troubadours who sang popular songs that disdained him. His rage was terrific to see and his servants feared him greatly. All but for one. Behind the king, there stood a man with a long, sharp knife. A blade that cut in more ways than through flesh. Even as the king sent this man hither and yon to quiet the dissent, the man plotted in the shadows. He laid quiet seeds to drive the king into greater frenzy, to push him into madness. As this man, the king's closest counselor, waged his quiet political war to undermine his benefactor only enough to allow him to keep the king as a puppet, the servants of the king feared him and did not speak against him. They hurried to do as the counselor commanded, thinking it was the word of the king himself.
The king's situation, however, was not one plagued by but one man's evil. For, the king had stolen the throne from the one who was chosen by the high council. The petty kings of the land came together to choose their overlord. This king, who held but small lands despite his vast wealth and cadre of loyal servants, fought bitterly with the petty kings. They who labored beneath the other petty kings found themselves deceived by the honeyed words of the servants. Thus, they began to rise up in protest when the other kings tried to put forth a queen to reign above them. In some of the petty kingdoms, there were those who were devoted to the queen whose arms were azure and had an argent tear upon the field. There were also those who had put their hearts behind a grey bearded king of a small land who was known for his devotion to his people. The queen, however, pointed to the wizened old king of the north and stated how his experience was only with his small kingdom, where as she had stood shield-side to the overlord who had brought great prosperity into the land.
The king that sits upon the throne contemplated banishing the azure queen. Instead, he called upon the age old mistrust that was held against women of some power. Thus, the petty kings, save the grey bearded one of the north, turned their faces towards him. The seeds of discontent, however, were sown and as the king in tenné and or tried to root out his opposition, for each one removed ten more arose. The azure queen spoke to her kinsmen and the moderate voices of the council. The grey bearded king spoke to his kinsmen and they who supported him. The king in or became progressively angrier as it became clear that his hold over the high council was not absolute.
Thus, as his chief adviser suggested increasingly outlandish things to him, the king in or followed along those paths of madness. The people of the entire land suffered. The troubadours' voices were silenced, many of the famed ones having had their tongues cut out. The small folk of the kingdoms all found themselves in greater states of distraught as the king in or's servants went about to divest them of their goods, claiming it was needed for the service of the land. As mothers cried out for their children's suffering, fathers were conscripted into his army as the king in or set to engaging they who had been staunch allies, insisting that they were enemies.
Fearful whispers suggested that the king was mad. The only thing known was that the king with his richly embroidered clothes and jeweled hands had convinced himself that all sought his ruin, thus he set out to destroy any who disagreed with him. So did it begin that the kingdom of Pax Columbia fell into ruin so great that its name was forgotten.
Something that was just rattling around in my head. Posting it early, because why not.