Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tea over Delmarii

It seems a simple thing, just a cup of tea on a balcony, the morning sun just beginning to creep up over the edge of the wall that I have overlooked nearly every morning for the last twenty years.  It's a lovely view, the landing just high enough to peer over the stark white walls of the palace grounds and look down over the sprawl that is the City of Delmarii Bastion.  It's a crisp morning, the summer season desperately, clinging to the last of the warm summer days, has begun to lose its overnight warmth, and so there is a layer of mist over the rooftops of the city below as the sun finds them.  Already a few of the chimneys have begun to chug out smoke as fires are built within the homes below, and the day gets under way.

My tea cup finds the delicate saucer that awaits it, and I pluck my quill from the ink bottle that is without fail, waiting for me each and every morning.  My fingers drag the tip over the parchment with a practiced scrolling speed, and line after line of of my story finds the pages.  I must keep a record.  To not do so would be fool hardy, to leave it to those who mean to undo me to tell the tale.  No, I can not allow that to happen, and so I keep tabs on what is important, and make sure the truth of things are kept for the record.

The quill stops its dance over the page, and I find myself daydreaming as I gaze out over the city I love so much, and recall the day I first wore the crown that still rests upon my head.   I swore to myself and to each and every individual in this city, and to Vitus herself, that I would do everything in my power to see this Kingdom free.  And, thanks in part to the cooperation of the Trinitiarian Congregation we have managed to find peace within our lands.  Nearly fifteen years of it in fact, but the last few years, there has been a dissension brewing amongst the peasant class, something I can not quite put my finger on. 

Certainly there has always been the naysayers and the dusty old male ideals that still lurk like serpents beneath stones, waiting to poison things.  It has been that way since the beginning.  I was only twenty two when the crown found my head for the first time, and since that time I have made plenty of enemies, of that there is little doubt.  I have not only strayed across a few lines of  tradition,  I have down right fractured some of them.  I have shaken up the natural order of this kingdom, and pulled women out of the servitude that they have had inflicted upon them since the inception of these lands.  Women now work, side by side with men, bearing arms, being taught how to fight.  Oh how this frustrates and insults the 'mens club' that lingers along the edges of polite society.  Of course, they all play along in public, smiling and perfectly accepting of unwed noble females owning land and wielding power, but secretly, I know...we all know, how they plot to undo us all.

I sigh, drawn out of my sombre thoughts as the chambermaid comes for my empty tea cup.  She scurries around and makes a fuss, and I shoo her away so I might focus.  I stare at the page a moment, utterly forgetting the path I was taking my thought on paper, and finally, deposit the quill into the ink bottle in defeat.  I stare back out over the city as it begins to stir, and I wonder how many of them are out there right now trying to find ways to undo the good that has been done.  The Rebels...the so called, True Sons of Delmarii, have started setting wildfires in the slums.  Attacking the weakest of us, stirring up panic and anger, and once again inciting good people into doing desperate things.

I am worried, these rebels are poking and prodding at the people, working almost in perfect unison with the goblin attacks.  The goblins raid the city, or hit a supplies caravan, and the rebels just happen to show up and the right time and throw a bit of panic and mayhem into the mix.  I simply must find a way to counter these rebel forces, and stop them in their tracks, before I lose control of Delmar itself.   I shudder to think of what would happen to my beloved realm should I fail to find a solution.  What I need now, is a few loyal friends.  A shame that somone in my position, is never, ever, permitted to believe in such fairy tales.