Book Launch: Dynastic Renaissance (Profile of Peltarch's Royalty)


  • Narfell DM

    The Bard College has launched a new title today, in its history section. It is a profile of royal figures in Peltarch following the abolition of the Senate and the Coronation of King George.

    Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the new book is written by Nathan Wingates, an infamously republican Bard, former advisor to Senator Rath Ashald, and known Autonomist sympathizer.

    The book is distributed for free to all who attend the launch.

    ((OOC: Posted over a few posts, due to character limit.))



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    Dynastic Renaissance - Peltarch's Royal Profile

    by Nathan Wingates, Bard of the College


    Letter to the Reader

    [The book begins with a letter addressed to the reader, joined to its spine.]

    I intend for this account to be an introduction both to Peltarch’s recent history as well as its current monarchal regime. New Peltarchians unfamiliar with the city state’s history and politics will find their orientation here.

    The profile of royals is organized as such. First, it documents the end of Peltarch’s republic era, and the transition to monarchy. Second, it profiles the current royal family, beginning with King George and moving on to the rest of the royals. In the middle of this profiling you will find a detailed account of the physical Crown of Peltarch and its powers. Finally, the profile ends with my own humble conclusions about the transition and royalty.

    Notes are included at the bottom of certain sections.

    In this task I stand on the tall shoulders of my predecessors of the Bard College, who began the College's tradition of historical documentation many decades ago. In particular, I thank the Masters of the College during the Year of the Tiger: Zyphlin Re'cual, Eowiel Senella, Clandra Galpen, Meril, and Demi Arkadia Rei Kan'dii. May your busts never crumble.

    To my beautiful wife, Isolde: may your courage never wane.

    Nate

    --

    Current Date:
    Year of Uncertain Futures
    11th Post Coronation
    12th Post Senate Abolition


    End of the Peltarch Republic

    One decade and two years ago, one year prior to the second coronation, Peltarch’s Senate had withered to a shell of its former glory.  Senators were more often absent than present. Only a select few Senators remained: the admirable Talindra, and the brilliant Maria. The rest either left or suffered a more nefarious fate. Allegations of devillish influence, as well as cloning and simulacra replacing Senators are abound. In particular, Analisea Bravickus revealed that a number of the Senators were actually simulacra, controlled by Cyricists. None know what happened to the original Senators, though one can presume that the Cyricists murdered them. Of the two Senators who actually remained, Maria's status as Senator was revoked by Magistrate Ashald-Jorinsen after she set a man on fire in the commons. The Magistrate then sentenced her to assist with the gnoll wars. Talindra bought the southern lands for Thom Thiller, then a mere rebel during the war. Following that, she resigned as Peltarch’s last Senator.

    It is in this context of a vestigial, inoperative husk of a Senate that Peltarch Defender General Frederic Del'rosa found himself. He declared martial law some time prior to the allegations of simulacra (due to the 'other' deficiencies noted above). Months into martial law, his military had grown accustomed to making decisions, including civil decisions. While not uncomfortable making decisions concerning civilian matters, the General nevertheless came by a rumor of Peltarch's lost royal lineage. Intrigued by this rumor, the General pursued it during the final stages of the gnoll war. Adventurers contacted Adam Bromley's ghost in the crypts. Even in death, the famed and renowned loremaster Bromley's knowledge guided Peltarch's fate. Bromley revealed unto the adventures the current living descendant of the Fisher King: George Fisher, who lived in the Bottleneck Apartments.

    Initially, searching for Peltarch's royal lineage was a backup plan for what would follow the gnoll war.  However, following the war’s end, Del’rosa was faced with a dysfunctional Senate and rumors of Peltarch’s royal lineage being alive and well. Thus, General Del'rosa put the choice to Peltarch's citizenry: elect seven new Senators, or elect one King. Which to choose?

    Del'rosa himself says he is surprised that people voted for a King. Not only that, but Peltarch's people voted overwhelmingly in favour of restoring the monarchy and abolishing the Peltarch Senate. Any voices of dissent were a negligible minority, and George Fisher became the King of Peltarch and the first of his name in this, the second era of royalty. Though how surprised can one truly be considering the deterioration of Peltarch's Senate, both amongst its people and in the Senate itself. In the absence of a strong republican culture, a republic's institutions are bound to fail. And fail they did.

    In short, Peltarch's monarchy owes its revival to the unique position of General Del’rosa, the inoperative state of the Senate, and the revelation of Peltarch's lost royal lineage.

    Friendly Note: One must be careful not to mistake this last image of the Senate as a typical example of past Senates or indeed the history of Peltarch's Senate as a whole. Peltarch's Senate was for the greater part of its history a proud institution. For a more detailed account of the Senate, I recommend reading 'Lifeblood of the Jewel - The Senators of Peltarch', by my colleague and Master Bardess Eowiel Senella.


    King George Fisher the First

    Prior to the second coronation, King George was a humble man with modest beginnings. He lived in the Bottleneck Appartments of the Peltarch Docks. Specifically, in a small unit of three rooms, as well as a small farm and residence to the West near the coast of the Icelace, which he shared with his brother, Damian Fisher. He was married to Martha Fisher, his wife and later the Queen, at the time of his discovery. The trio paid their way through life on George's fishing, Damian's position as Herald, and Martha's knitting. The King was Crowned following Del'rosa's referendum (described above) in the Year of Burning Forests, immediately following the conclusion of the gnoll wars.

    What to say about the King personally?

    Charm and magnetism are King George's most commonly known traits. I shall refrain from speaking of my own conversations with the man, and focus on more objective truths. The man has charmed hardened northern barbarians as easily as he has charmed fanciful noblewomen. Indeed, his first concubine, Aino, and his second, Lady Maurina, can only be described as such. A little known fact about him is that he is a member of the Siamorphan Clergy. While not especially well learned, he is high enough in the church hierarchy that he can legitimize his own children. Perhaps more importantly, the man has come to be seen as a sort of political last resort, from many angles: debates amongst the royal council, amongst moneyed interests, amongst military figures and indeed, even amongst his own family, have often found their way to him after prolonged and heated discussions, only to be masterfully defused by the man.

    Aside from his charm, King George is undeniably a kind, generous, and benevolent King. Even his most vocal critics concede that he cares for his people and wishes to do right by them, and earn their trust as a King. King George has had an extremely generous dole of charity, by any standard. One need only examine most city states and the extent of their official, tax-provided welfare to how much King George cares for the downtrodden of Peltarch. The King's kindness is arguably his greatest feature, and indeed, the King has done more for the city's poor than the great majority of other monarchs. The King has lifted the poor of Peltarch higher than they've been in decades. Suffice to say that the well-being of the poor and the destitute have been at the top of the King's agenda since his coronation.

    As accessible as he is generous, the King has welcomed input from Peltarch's citizenry. He created the position of Voice of the People, an elected post for a representative of the people to sit on the Royal Council. Perhaps more importantly than the Voice, the King holds weekly petition, to hear the pleas and discover the needs of his subjects. All are welcome and all receive their due in the King's judgment, from the wealthiest guild leaders to the lowliest gutterdwellers. In petitions, petitioners speak directly to the King, in front of a public audience. Peltarch's commoners have begged for relief against economic turmoil. Whereas some might have argued that the King should follow a "sink or swim" mentality, the King values his people more than he values abstractions and proverbs. I note that these petitions are perhaps the most accessible Peltarch's ruling class has ever been to the nitty-gritty decision making. They are an invaluable resource, and King George has never once missed a week's petition throughout his tenure as King.

    The man's charity and accessibility have been rivalled only by his desire to secure diplomatic peace between Peltarch and its intercity peers. Arguably, King George has been very successful on this front. Since his coronation, there has not been a single armed conflict let alone an outright war between Peltarch and its southern friend Norwick for some time.  And this, in spite of lingering resentment between the two cities. Indeed, King George's hand in this continued peace is clear and no accident, given that most Norwickan commoners still scoff at what they perceive as Peltarch's air of superiority, elitism, and soft procedural court justice, and the fact that most Peltarchians in turn scoff at what they perceive to be Norwick's hard, barbarian roots, dwarven heritage, and torch- and- pitchfork lynch mobs.

    King George's diplomacy carries with it a certain cosmopolitan universalism -- a sort of tolerance for all creeds and races capable of reason. For example, King George signed a treaty of trade with the orcs of Many-Arrows Keep, after an expedition led to that city by Kingsguard Erurk Hurgenpox. Likewise, the King has allowed elvish refugees into Peltarch, as well as halfling refugees following the destruction of Jiyyd. Additionally, King George signed a treaty to make amends with the dwarves of Aura Runedar. Tensions between Peltarch and the dwarven community were high prior to George's intervention. The dwarves held a "grudge" against Peltarch because the northern City did not come to their aide when Aura Runedar fell to the Duergar who tunneled in and attacked it from below. These allegations are not fair; Peltarch was dealing with its own wars at the time, against Garagossans and against demons. All the same, King George signed the treaty, for he values peace more than he values pride.

    Nefarious interests attempted to sabotage Peltarch's food supplies immediately following the treaty. Some say that King George's agreement to ship grains and foods to the dwarves is an example of the King's soft-heart getting into the way of his sound mind, but this claim too is unfair. In fact, the City of Peltarch had more than enough grain to ship to the dwarves and feed its own people; any shortage was created after the agreement, not before, due to the afore-mentioned sabotage. The city's more vile actors (namely renegade Far Scouts) maliciously intended to do harm by burning and poisoning wheat stock. Thankfully, no citizen starved and the royal family, with the help of the military, the Kingsguard, and local adventurers, put an end to this sabotage swiftly. In the end, one should not be so swift to criticize the King's kindness for it has secured a lasting peace with the dwarves, who will rebuild and remember. Dwarves never forget a favour.

    Of course, King George also faced his fair share of other challenges, due primarily to Peltarch's unfortunate situation in the Narfellan region, above lands some might call cursed. Roaming undead, lurking planar fiends dreaming of blood war, cults of nightmare and more plagued the first ten years of his reign. Military unrest was a major obstacle for the King to overcome. Demagogic military officials, particularly in the Defender and Far Scout branches, staged two coups, one major and one minor. A particular unit of the Cerulean branch became a hotbed for republican thinking, and a revitalization of democratic ideals under the banner of “Autonomy.” These coups were, however, put down, and indeed while the ideas of republic remain matters of discussion, support wanes and the citizenry seems to stand behind its King in no small part due to his enduring kindness and charity. These times of trouble were followed by times of peace as Peltarch moved into the Year of Uncertain Futures up until this, the twelfth month.

    As the first monarch under the second era of his royal family's lineage, King George has solidified his family's dynasty while also elevating the poorest and lowest Peltarchians and securing the most peaceful system of alliances that the city has seen in decades.


    The Crown of Peltarch

    The Crown of Peltarch is a young yet potent artefact, commissioned by the King and the General Del'rosa and created by a group of spellcasters that have been affectionately called the Guardians of the Crown. The initial Guardians are Four, and they are: Maria, former Senator and Headmistress of Spellweaver; Lycka Zomasdottir, leader of the Knights of the Cerulean Star; Martouscha Leafall, the druid and former Senator, also known as Mad Marty; and finally, Rith Phoenixfeather, priestess of Lathander and member of the Order of the Phoenix. They were chosen not only because they represented all three schools of magic: arcane, divine, and druidic, but also because they represented well respected and prestigious guilds.

    There are two common (and somewhat misplaced) views of the Crown in the eyes of Peltarch commentators. The first is this: that it guarantees Peltarch a good ruler.  The second correlates to the first: that the Crown has been and is used as a sort of short-cut and heuristic "test" of sorts. The current unspoken standard is this: if the King should fail to wear his Crown, or if his successor should ever fail to wear it, then that is clear evidence of the incapacity of that person to rule and a clear black mark on the legitimacy whoever cannot wear it.

    In fact, these views are not entirely accurate. When, then, is this Crown and its famous powers?

    The Crown does protect its wearer against corruption and magical or otherworldly interference. What's more, the crown simply cannot be worn by an individual whose heart and soul is tainted with malice. Pure-hearted individuals and, indeed, those whose hearts are neither pure nor malicious can wear the Crown. If a monarch wears the Crown, and then 'becomes' malicious over the course of his rule, the Crown is likely to cause physical discomfort and pain until its wearer removes it. The discomfort will increase in severity until removed. Once removed, it cannot be put back on. Furthermore, it cannot be worn by the inept or the mentally incapable. It is unclear, however, whether the Crown's ability to sense the wearer's malice or aptitude can be duped by rogues and scoundrels versed in the use of magical devices, in the same way other magical artefacts can be.

    In short, the Crown is akin to crowns worn by Elvish monarchs, including the crown worn by the beloved Queen Amlaruil Moonflower of Evermeet. The exact potency of the Crown is likely not as powerful as those Elvish crowns, given that Peltarchians do not wield Elvish circle magic in the same way that the Elves of Evermeet do. The primary limitation of the Crown of Peltarch is that it only exhibits its powers within the de jure realm of Peltarch, that is, within Peltarch's jurisdiction. This jurisdiction could, in theory, expand, should Peltarch legally acquire new land and dominion.

    The following should be well noted. One would be mistaken to blindly put his or her trust in the powers of a Crown to guarantee a good ruler. King George is kind and generous and “good” because he is, in fact, a good person -- it is not thanks to the Crown, but thanks to the man himself. To his own integrity, spirit, and will to be better and do better today than yesterday by his fellow Peltarchians. Besides this, it is unclear whether the King or his successors legally “must” wear the Crown in order to act as ruling monarch. For these reasons it is best for people to judge their King (or Queen) on his or her own merit as a person, not by whether he or she can or cannot wear the crown.


    Herald Damian Fisher

    Brother to King George and father to Elizabeth Fisher, Damian Fisher is, to the outside observer, difficult to read. He is head of Peltarch's civil service. He holds the titles of Herald to the King as well as Master of Diplomacy on the Royal Council. Accounts of the Royal Council meetings show that he also records the minutes of the meetings and recants the agenda items that his brother set out for the day to day.

    Damian Fisher is the only Herald in Peltarch to have served both the Senate and the monarchy. He is rumored to be skilled at raising funds for the Crown, and his diplomatic skills may be to thank for the enduring peace between Peltarch and Norwick. He and Norwick's Herald D'Cameron are both members of the Heralds of Faerûn, a quasi-independent group of historians and heraldists that take responsibility for recording, preserving, and policing the usual regalia and banners associated with nobility and royals on Toril. Both Heralds' presence in this group has surely facilitated diplomatic ties between Peltarch and Norwick.

    Unlike his brother, Damian is an inaccessible and secretive man. For example, he is known to refuse those who come to see him without a "fee" with matters pertaining to civil service. It is unsurprising that he is not as renowned, beloved, or indeed as effective at bringing a community together as his brother George. Damian Fisher's secrecy and inaccessibility are perhaps his worst features, and indeed, the features his critics most decry. Thankfully, George makes up for his brother Damian's shortcomings through petitions and demeanor.

    The Herald's policies and political preferences are unclear. Unlike his brother, he has never given a speech to the public and indeed does not make his opinions known. He operates quietly, under the auspices of bureaucracy in City Hall. As Herald, he is head of Peltarch's civil service, and clerks and other day to day civil workers are said to report directly to him in one way or another. The crucial exception to this hierarchy is the military, as the military chain of command ends with Del'rosa, before finally reaching the King. It is perhaps for this reason that General Del'rosa and Herald Damian Fisher have been known to butt heads on matters of military and civil policy at the King's Royal Council (though the King tends to reconcile the two men).

    If charm and magnetism are King George's main traits, they are most certainly not Damian's. Many allege the man to be a shrewd counter of coins with a sense of sarcasm that doesn't lend him quite as many friends as his brother’s genuine smiles do him. Where George emanates an aura of warmth and accessibility, Damian's countenance is drier and some might say colder. The Herald does not have many fans in Peltarch, and indeed, this may be primarily due to the contrast that most place between him and his brother.

    Despite this contrast, Damian has faithfully served his brother and the two appear to share a bond of brotherly affection and loyalty. Damian's loyalty to his brother is perhaps his most redeeming quality.

    (Continued below)


  • Narfell DM


    Queen Martha Fisher

    Martha Fisher married George Fisher prior to his ascension to royalty. By right of marriage, she ascended with him to royal status, and is Peltarch's Queen. Little is known of Martha, both in terms of her personality as well as her objectives as Queen. The King was never able to produce child with the Queen. Thus she has, in the words of General Del'rosa, fulfilled her royal duty by staying out of the spotlight whilst the King entertained concubines to bear him children, discussed below. The Queen has made no public appearances nor speeches. She has spoken with few if no nobles, heralds, and guilds as at the time of this writing and she seems to have become a recluse. Rumors have it that she stays at Fisher Estate, the (now) grand manor by the riverside, far enough away from the city.

    One can't help but feel sympathy for the Queen who had to linger out of both sight and mind while her husband enjoyed the fruits of parenthood with other women. Time will tell whether she will return to the public eye soon, and indeed grace Peltarch with her presence.


    Princess and Defender
    Lt. Elizabeth Fisher

    Elizabeth Fisher, or better known by her adventurer alias Reyhenna Jorino, is perhaps the most controversial figure of the royal family.

    Where else to begin but the beginning? Elizabeth Fisher is daughter to Damian Fisher, and niece to King George. Approximately two decades prior to coronation, she was removed from her father's custody by Captain Korreth. Captain Korreth was a renegade military leader, traitor to Peltarch's Senate, and Peltarch's would-be "Lord Protector" (that is, military autocrat and arguable tyrant). Captain Korreth poisoned Reyhenna's mind with a phial of magical ichor, which erased her memories. He then sold her to a mercenary company, after exiling Damian Fisher as well as George Fisher to separate regions, far away from the Nars. The Fisher brothers reunited early enough following Captain Korreth's defeat, though it took them far, far longer to reunite with Elizabeth and that, only after a long and arduous demonic incursion.

    Let us discuss details.

    There are two possible reasons why Captain Korreth would separate and exile the Fisher family. The first lies with Damian and his role under the Senate, and the second lies with King George's blood in particular.

    Let's address the first. Before Damian Fisher served as his brother's Herald, he was Herald under the Peltarch Senate. At this point in time, neither Damian nor George knew of George's royal blood. Damian served as Peltarch Herald primarily due to his credentials as a member of the Heralds of Faerûn. In this regard, it is possible that Captain Korreth forcibly separated and exiled the Fisher Family out of fear that Damian Fisher might help fuel or provide resources to the Senate-based resistance against his coup. It did not matter in the end, for his military coup failed anyway. A Senate-based resistance succeeded without Damian, and he was welcomed back as the Senate's Herald shortly thereafter.

    On then to the possible second reason. It is entirely possible that Captain Korreth, like the much more recent General Del'rosa, heard rumors of Peltarch's lost royal lineage. In this way, Captain Korreth might have learned that George Fisher was, in fact, a descendent of Peltarchian royalty. Korreth then kept this information secret (and indeed, brought it with him to his grave). He then separated and exiled the Fishers, in order to nip in the bud a different sort of resistance to his military coup -- that is, any potential talk of monarchy, royal blood, and Peltarch's true royalty.

    Either way, Captain Korreth separated the Fisher Family, and as part of this separation, poisoned Elizabeth Fisher's mind with ichor of amnesia before selling her to a mercenary company. Reyhenna Jorino's time as a travelling mercenary explains her current brash, crude persona as well as her brazen and (some might say) reckless decisions.

    Eventually, Reyhenna Jorino found her way back to Peltarch. She arrived shortly before the second demon-siege, specifically during the Nexus War. In this regard, first and foremost in the minds of her observers and her critics are her actions during the second demon-siege. This demonic siege of Peltarch was led by Orcus' Lieutenant, Glyphimhor, who possessed Reyhenna Jorino as a mortal vessel to launch his incursion into the prime.

    Why, then, would Reyhenna Jorino Fisher become a demon vessel? “Surely,” says the ill-informed observer, “she is a guilty woman who must have herself made a bargain with the demon?”

    This conclusion is inaccurate.

    In fact, Reyhenna Jorino's guilt is best borne by her mercenary companion, Abigail Blackwood. Abigail Blackwood, it was only later revealed, was secretly a Blackguard of Orcus. Not only that, but Abigail Blackwood attacked and then killed Reyhenna Jorino shortly after her arrival in Peltarch. Blackwood then used Reyhenna Jorino’s dead body to perform a demonic ritual. Reyhenna Jorino tried to fight back but, alas, Abigail Blackwood was at that point blessed with Orcus' might. After her unwilling sacrifice at the hands of Abigail Blackwood, Reyhenna Jorino became the property of Glyphimhor. Glyphimhor was then able to fill her head with relentless voices, imagery, and indeed, later able to control her body as a vessel, like one might a physical puppet. Any crimes Reyhenna Jorino committed during this state of demonic possession are not her own. They are attributable not to her but in fact to Glyphimhor and, more importantly, to the vile and contemptible blackguard Abigail Blackwood who orchestrated these events.

    Thankfully, both Abigail Blackwood and later Glyphimhor were defeated by a band of heroes. This marked the end of Reyhenna Jorino's possession, and indeed, was followed shortly thereafter by the restoration of her memories. It was at this time that Reyhenna Jorino learned of her true heritage as royalty, and her true name: Elizabeth Fisher.

    Elizabeth Fisher since joined the military in the Defender branch and is best known for her military career. She is perhaps one of Peltarch's most notorious and heavy-handed Defender Lieutenant, rivalled only by the likes of Renegade Captain Korreth and the much more recent Defender Captain and traitor Talbot Anderson. Unlike the latter two, however, Elizabeth Fisher's brute force has been arguably employed to preserve the current state of affairs and, indeed, to protect her family from very real threats. Amongst these threats are the cult of Velsharoon, the Cult of the Night Parade, fiendish incursions, as well as the string of military treasons that followed Talbot Anderson's, including the anarchy caused by the rogue Far Scout Commander Smoke.

    Where Elizabeth Fisher's care for her family, decisive action, and bold courage are her best features, her worst features are perhaps her obstinate stubbornness. Unlike her uncle, and more like her father, she is known to refuse advice and bullheadedly push her own ideals at the cost of consensus. For example, it is a well-known rumor that the Princess once threw a table at the Mermaid Inn during a heated meeting there with Seafarer official and daughter of its guild leader Jessica Whyte. In more recent times, however, the Princess appears to have softened her touch. At least, there are fewer (to no) recent rumors of her throwing tables.

    Daughter to mercenary, mercenary to demonic vessel, and demonic vessel to Princess, Elizabeth Fisher’s life has been anything but dull.

    Friendly Note: For a more detailed and personal account of the challenges Peltarch faced, in particular against the Night Parade cultists, I invite you to read the eloquently written 'Mystery of the Eye' by famed (and beautiful) novelist Isolde Garibaldi.


    Prince Thalaman Fisher

    Prince Thalaman Fisher is eldest son, to the King and his concubine, Aino Harthgroth. He is heir apparent to Peltarch's throne. Thalaman is reputedly a cheerful, confident, boisterous young lad. He enjoys wooden swordplay and has spent time hunting with his mother, a barbarian chieftain hailing from the northern mountainlands. His love for his mother is matched only by his love of competition and victory. Athletic, physically strong, and fast, the boy is sure to be a skilled fighter. The King held a tourney in his name on the boy's fifth birthday, with Lady Jasmine winning and earning her own noble title. It is rumored that he tends to play (and win) many games with his brother, Kasimir. Elizabeth Fisher once remarked to this Prince, "you should let your brother win every now and again." Elizabeth Fisher further remarked, "You should read more books. That's why your brother is so smart."


    Prince Kasimir Fisher

    Prince Kasimir Fisher is the younger son, to the King and his second concubine, Lady Maurina. By the accounts I have gathered, Kasimir is more reclusive than his brother. He spends most of his time with the royal advisor and Priest of Siamorphe Isaac Thaddeus, who has the boy on a strict regiment of book-learning. This book-learning consists of the usual Siamorphan diet: history, politics, religion, military, as well as language. The boy reputedly already knows a second second language, though whether these rumors are true or not is unclear. Elizabeth Fisher once remarked to this Prince, "you shouldn't lecture your brother like an egg-head so much." She further remarked, "you should exercise more. That's why your brother always wins in swordfights."


    Conclusion

    General Del'rosa once told me that if he were to write a story of a wise, humble old King, he'd put George as the main character. It is a good choice. I would only add "caring" to those adjectives.

    We were lucky to have found a King as kind and generous as George Fisher. Because of the man himself, Peltarch's return to monarchy has been fortunate for the city. While it is Peltarch's fortune, it remains the King's Duty. There is nothing inherent to magical Crowns and there is nothing in the circumstances that made it easy for the man to be as benevolent as he is. The generosity and kindness of the current regime is due to the man, not the Crown, and not mere chance. It is due to Peltarch's people rightfully throwing up their hands at the poorly performing, defunct institutions of the past, and those brave, tumultuous souls who dared to choose.

    They chose George Fisher, the King who cares.

    After they made the choice, they did not forget. They petitioned their King, who welcomed their pleas as guidance. He listened, and continues to listen. He even created the elected post of Voice of the People on his Royal Council, so that he might better hear them. But that position has waned in importance, as fewer and fewer candidates presented themselves. As time passes, it becomes easier to forget. Today, the position sits vacant. No one expressed interest in it for the three years following the last Voice, Kathea Snydders, who departed Narfell. Once again Peltarch's political culture is at risk, as its citizenry risks falling into blasé indifference.

    Like republics, kingdoms face the risk of degradation. Every King -- at least, every good King -- rules for his people, and the best way to know his people is to hear them. But he cannot hear that which refuses to be heard. A people's complacency, laziness, and disregard for public affairs can do just as much harm to a kingdom as it can to a republic. Even now there are whispers of the Cult of Gargauth worming its way into noble houses to spread corruption, suspicion, and distrust.

    The Kingdom, its Royals, and its People must remain ever vigilant against all threats to their collective way forward. The Kingdom of Peltarch must avoid the Senate's fate. But such threats can only be resisted by a strong political culture, marked with a participant, attentive, and vigilant citizenry. It is necessary, if we want to keep our rulers as wise and humble -- and indeed, as caring -- as King George.

    --

    Nathan Wingates
    Bard of the College



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