Kingdoms are not always destroyed by towering siege weapons, armies that shake the ground with their marching, or Kings with tactical prowess. Sometimes kingdoms crumble from within. It starts with an idea, a belief so small that it seems innocent in its conception. Slowly it grows to influence more of the decisions we make. It becomes the core of what the Kingdom’s people believe until one day, that belief is acted upon.

No need to be fearful dear reader, I don’t assume that all ideas or new beliefs can bring a Kingdom to it’s knees. I believe these ideas are few and far between. In fact there are often seeds of ideas that instead of crumbling a kingdom, bring it into a new age, and enlightenment. Change can be good, and if you find yourself on the “right” side of change you can become a very wealthy and powerful leader in the new order. Today I found two men who want to bring a vast change to our kingdoms, as for where this change will lead us, I leave to your wise mind.

I was slogging around in the slop that is created after a night of rain like we had yesterday. It is a bit frustrating to me to see the boots that King Evelake graciously gave me to disappear in the muck on the trail into town. Just like the King himself, these boots are not only of the highest quality but also withstand everything I have been able to throw their way so far. I suppose they can take this muddy mess. My morning walk into The Elyria Herald was still refreshing enough with the sweet smell of rain still floating in the air.

I arrived at the Herald and sat down to enjoy some morning tea and raided some biscuits from our new Editor, Victoria M. Xildithas. At the time I didn’t think she would notice a few missing, but she has proven to be more detailed in her observation than I anticipated. It seems that very few things slip by her keen eyes.

As I finished my morning tea, I was pleased to see the two men I had only heard whispers of arriving promptly on time. I welcomed them to the Herald and was eager to show them to my office. We exchanged pleasantries and I noticed a gleam of fervor in their eyes, telling me that what they were about to share was more than just a seed of an idea, this was a belief worth dying for.

Bradford J. Wilshire: “So tell me a bit about yourselves. How did you two meet?”

Primus Dedumo: “Our paths crossed during a social gathering, with our friend Azeron, in one of Elyria’s finest establishments, the Crown and Stag Tavern. In between our sips of whiskey, and the admirably large busts of the maidens, our conversation quickly spiraled into a discussion upon the state of Elyrian politics. Soon after we came to the realization that the cards were stacked against us on this matter. We saw the lack of imagination from the existing kingdoms, and we felt that fate had somehow crossed our paths to change Elyria. Weeks passed, plans were made and the result of this was the formation of the Crownlands as you see it today.”

BJW:  “Yes, the Crownlands. I have heard it mentioned as just a rumor from explorers. Tell me, what exactly is your vision for the Crownlands?”

Ircai Edouard: “Well the rumors were never started by us, they were mutterings across the land. We decided that we would make use of these and add whispers of our own. In turn, we decided to listen to what people were saying while noticing that the Kingdoms run based on wealth and not on influence. Persons who had great talents and abilities and felt their voices were not being heard, from this our vision emerged as a society focusing on organizations with their own identity and characteristics. Through this unification, people of each class would have the ability to wield their own influence in addition to having a say in their own fate.”

BJW: “Do you feel that most kingdoms oppress their people with systems imposing specific ‘classes’ on the individual?”

IE: “We do, the view on this is that the kingdoms tend to see the people as pawns in their political game of chess. I would say the other kingdoms tend to suppress their members, through fear tactics by convincing them that they would be safe.”

PD: “On the contrary to this, our view is that the people should be given the opportunity to take part in the matter pertaining to the kingdom.”

Victoria M. Xildithas: “Meritocracy, eh? And what will you do about the lazy folk who ride along others’ coattails?”

Victoria didn’t even pause for a reply as she passed through the back of my office. I chuckled as she caught the eye of Primus Dedumo who was caught off guard by this statement.

PD: “Even women have a chance of attaining glory in our society, rather than just scrubbing cooking posts and being chained to the kitchen.”

BJW:  “Quite interesting, however as you can see here, Victoria is a prime example of someone from a Kingdom mentality who isn’t just ‘chained to the kitchen’ in fact she is on the rise as one of our most prominent editors. Doesn’t that bode well for the status quo?”

IE: “I welcome this intrinsic spirit of independence. As for the status quo, it is our intention to shatter this outdated mentality at its core.”

BJW: “So how does the Crownlands operate?”

PD: “We strive to operate in an organized matter. At a glance, we believe that simplicity is needed at the first glance. The deeper you look into the structure, you can see the intricacies and the complexities of our organization. On the one hand, you have the Overseers, who are the citizens, who wield their influence in their fields of expertise, while on the other end you have our Senate who ensure that the voices of our citizens are heard as well. That being said, the needs of our members will always come first and foremost.”

BJW: “What do you have in place as a checks-and-balances system to make sure that no one party gains too much power?”

IE: “The system is designed in such a way that encourages members from other groups to take part in the different aspects of the organization. It also ensures and encourages citizens to keep each other in check. After all, it is in everyone’s best interest to ensure that the organization runs properly. Through our system we allow people to voice any concerns, and offer their own solutions to any potential problems that may arise. For this reason each division is moderated by administrators guarantee lobbying, conflicts, etc. are kept at bay. Our system is run by influence and not power.”

BJW:  “Couldn’t one argue that through influence those who have it wield power over those who don’t?”

IE: “I’m sure that there will always be those who feel that way, however, influence is garnered by ideas. Whereas power is not dictated by an individual but by the community.”

BJW: “Do you think you are going to be widely accepted by the kingdoms, or persecuted for your beliefs?”

PD: “That’s a great question! The guilds and people who we have spoken to so far have been very receptive as a whole. However, there has also been some who are more cynical about our organization and yet have felt the need to try to encourage us to join them. As that is the case, they might feel threatened by our different approach. The funny thing is that even though they might have their opinions, they have not shown us what any alternative may be.”

BJW: “Should nobility feel threatened by your organization?”

IE: “Why should they feel threatened? Whereas other kingdoms subjugate their members into vassals, we see them as equals and not as pawns.”
I glanced at the clock and noticed there wasn’t much time before I needed to visit an old friend across town. He was not one to wait past an agreed time, so I had to wrap up what was turning out to be a fascinating interview.

BJW: “I appreciate your time on this fine day, and before I must take my leave, do you want to share anything with our dear readers?”

IE: “Change doesn’t happen overnight, but starts as an idea….”

PD: “… and when a seed is planted, it must be nourished, and from there it will grow.”

 

It was if Ircai Edouard spoke what I had been pondering the entire time. This idea, while a fervent belief to these two, was still just a seed to be planted in the minds of everyone they met. With all the positive answers they were providing, I still felt a dark shadow was lurking over the movement of the Crownlands. Deep down I wondered if this was a cause that would cause more bloodshed than anticipated by its founders. Perhaps I am too suspicious, perhaps leading a kingdom from the view of the people is an innocent and honorable approach. Nevertheless I know there are some kingdoms where even though the people are valued, the beliefs of Ircai Edouard and Primus Dedumo would be met with an accusation of treason, and a swift death.  I leave you with this dear reader. Can we really water the seeds that will bring a great harvest and avoid watering the seeds that will grow into thorns?

Until next time,

Be Bold, Be Known.
Bradford J. Wilshire