Destinies 7

By FlyingMonkey

[The following story is a passage copied from an ancient text entitled "Destinies", being stored in a library in the Republic of Iridine. The original text is scrawled on many papyrus scrolls, and is said to date back long before the founding of Iridine. The notes of scholar-monk, Caiaphas Zanche, can be found below the story.]

When Vica had reached manhood, the avaricious tyrant, Theramaele, had just come into power of Sundra. His station, Theramaele had gained by convincing his older brother to pass down the throne. He thanked his brother swiftly by arranging his murder. The king gave a similair courtesy to many relatives in fear that they would conspire against him.

The people felt Theramaele's reign as harshly as a snowstorm that never went away. Unbearable taxation funneled all the realm's wealth into his hand. Neglect had allowed crime and pestilence to grow wild in every town and village. The only ones who prospered were the King and a handful of his henchmen. The most notable of them were Beld and Syries.

Beld was a beast with the likeness of a lion, but could walk on two legs like any man. The king had discovered him living like a bandit in a cave and made him his champion. Anyone who spoke out against the king was devoured by Beld. Syries was a sly man born with a snake's visage, but could change his form to appear as any stock of person. Syries would walk in disguise among nobles or peasants, sowing the seeds of insurrection. Whenever he found one willing to fight back against the monarch, Syries would expose him to Theramaele, who would execute the disident on public display.

Vica was nothing more than a man born of farmers. His brothers had been conscripted to fight for the king, and his sisters had been chosen by nobles to marry them. He would weep for his family, but also he would weep for his neighbours who also endured hardship.

Vica believed his life would be coloured with suffering, until one night when the whole of the red moon was shining down on the hillside he wandered, a holy being arrived to comfort him. Vica knew the man before him was divine, for the light of his heart shone brightly enough to illuminate everything around them. When he introduced himself as Aera, Vica knelt down, for his family had praised this god for generations.

Aera asked his follower, "Why do you cry?" And he replied, "Because a tyrant has forced suffering upon myself and my family." The god suggested simply, "Why not defeat the tyrant?" Vica answered, "I am just a peasant. Theramaele is a thousand times more powerful than me. My case is hopeless."

The god responded, "The kingdom is made out of peasants. Look beyond your own fields and you will see that you are not alone in your misery. It does not matter if a man is a thousand times more powerful than you if you have ten thousand allies."

Then Aera left the mortal on the hill. Vica wept no more that night, but went home to sleep and to visit his neighbours the following day.

He no longer hid his opinions, but related them to his neighbours along with the tale of his divine encounter. Aera had lent to Vica an enchanting charisma that would make others listen intently when otherwise they might turn away. He found also that most of the people shared his desire to replace the monarch. At long last, hope appeared again in the hearts of the people as they gained their unity.

Of course, it was not long before Syries appeared at one of Vica's speaches inside of an inn common room. Syries, who was wearing the appearance of an artisan, approached Vica and addressed him, "Your message is inspirational, ally. I am a member of a guild of goldsmiths who hide their works to avoid taxation. I would be very grateful if you would deliver the same speach to an assembly tomorrow behind the brewery." But for Vica's powerful empathy developed from relating to scores of the king's subjects, he would not have sensed the danger. Instead, he saw the artisan's face for the snake's it really was. "I will not go, for you are an agent of our gluttonous king!" At Vica's command, the inn patrons seized the betrayer and hung him from a tree before the royal palace.

Theramaele was outraged when he saw his valuable henchman dead outside the gates of his house. This audacious display of rebellion filled the villan with fear. He dispatched Beld with orders to kill everyone in the village where Syries had stayed the night before. Fifty men attacking at once could not have slain the ferocious Beld; but over a thousand men greeted him with clubs and stones when he arrived. Many brave fighters went to the grave alongside Beld, but the townsfolk were victorious. The monster's body was creamated that same day next to the tree where Syries was hung.

When the king viewed this spectacle from the castle tower, he called upon his army to wipe out all the folk north of the castle and thus wipe out all those who had the taste of revolution on their tongues. However, King Theramaele seemed weaker to those around him now. His own guards would grin to eachother whenever he stormed by. With the deaths of his agent of intelligence and his agent of force, had come the death of his power. The king's general slew his bodyguards with his own soldiers and personally killed the king with a stroke of his sword, thus taking control. The general was in turn stabbed in the back by one of his officers who killed several other officers to prevent them from taking control, but was then killed by another officer who feared he would be killed next.

By the time Vica approached the palace with his followers, its residents were in anarchy. The sight of the son of farmers leading such a huge conglomeration of people who all loved and trusted him impressed both soldiers and nobles. Because they could not trust one of their own kind, they said to Vica, "Won't you be our king?"

But Vica shook his head and replied, "No. I do not want to become what I hate. I suggest that there be no king. Neither shall there be noble , peasant, soldier, or merchant. Wealth shall not be shuffled towards any group or individual, but shall be distributed among all the people of this kingdom equally."

Vica's proposal was put into action, and soon the land entered an age of prosperity never before known. Without any social chain to climb, all people were truly equal; consequently, all people treated eachother with the companionship and respect that had once only been given to family.

[Notes: The validity of this document cannot be confirmed, however it is recorded in several ancient history books that a kingdom named Sundra existed for a few centuries in the north eastern region of what is now the Republic of Iridine. Vica is a reoccuring hero in many of the chapters of "Destinies", but his end fate is vague. The relating story seems to suggest that he was promoted to the status of demi-god. As for the kingdom of Sundra, it is unlikely that this fantasy of a government existed; however, if it did, it would have been conquered soon after by the invading Cinerans.]

Go Back