A Bright Empire

The Untold Craft of a World at War

From the Historical Records of the High Court of Avalon:

The struggle between our two nations began, as all things often do, over the tiniest of improprieties. Our two lieges, King Chaucer and King Leprovinsk, in private struggles seeking the emperor’s favor, would do battle over any idea, any frontier, from military mastery to dining etiquette; these two showed a mastery of knowledge, both practical and esoteric.

Yet, they never quarreled publicly in a way that would have you believe both were not the souls of propriety. Perfectly attired, never a hair out of place, never a voiced raised. Their weapons were the sardonic arrows of quick wit and an even more laconic retort.

Such were the affairs of the court of the Sun Emperor, though never a voice was out of place, the scent of war would waft around the table, a rich odor, heady with the anticipation of something new, perfumed in the art of intrigue, of new questions, of new and possibly better alliances.

That fateful day came when King Chaucer sat with his leg crossed subtly exposed from beneath the Great Table, pointed ever in the direction of the subject of his latest ire. The room became charged as each of the land’s rulers became aware of the decision unspoken though it was. They saw, as Leprovinsk, only the most subtle flicker in his eye and the placement of his mail shod hand upon the table’s expertly folded napkins as the utterly defiant response.

Then the business of conduction a war would commence. No one sued for peace. There was no point. Everyone knew it was inevitable. And though millions would die, no one at this table would shed a tear. Immortal as they were, for them, those lives were as Noli pieces, moved about the Great Table, to be spent as needed.

It had been too long. The restlessness had built up too long, the boundaries of the world needed expanding, only thorough struggle would the Land release its hidden bounty. Only through conflict could the World grow. Through the shedding of blood would the Fell Shadow remove the Fog at the edge of every shore where dragons dwelt on our maps.

Our captors only let us see further when we are willing to wage war with each other. And we will. We are confident this time we will find the boundaries to the World and bring our struggle to those who imprison us. The real struggle these immortal god-kings sought was not with each other but with those who imprisoned them.

War was coming. It would be glorious.”

Kenny left the arcade, quarters depleted. He just needed to master one more strategy with King Chaucer. He now knew how to get Leprovinsk to declare war. He was sure tomorrow he would become the High King of Avalon.

A Bright Empire © Thaddeus Howze, 2017, All Rights Reserved

DAY 5 of my STORY-A-DAY MAY 2017. Part of a writing prompt challenge after reading an article on old French court etiquette.

Thaddeus Howze is the Answer-Man. He is also a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding.

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