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Showing results for tags 'bread and circumstances'.
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Previously... <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><> Raven Fernwood was a bigger man than I had thought. I had expected a meeting with one of the heads of the Trading conglomerates, or perhaps their representative. Instead, tucked in an alley in the town of Gromm, the Governor of the Wastelands was staring past me. We were standing outside of a monastery of some kind, or at least I assumed a monastery. This was it. This was my chance. Refusing to look at me, the Governor cleared his throat. "I understand you know Raven Fernwood." "Perhaps I do." He opened his mouth, then closed it. Struggling, he managed, "So you are the survivor of the civil war inside the Marauders we have to deal with." A fire welled up inside me. All forethought left me. I slammed my helmet on the cobblestone street. "I'm no Marauder. I am Aarinstahrr of the Black Lodge, Raxus Orsen Waythe, warrior of the wastelands. You didn't get a new band of Marauders. The Marauders are dead and gone, in the ash heap of history as far as I'm concerned. And I was the one that broke them." Where disgust had once been, intrigue replaced it. "Why?" And then my speech came to me. "Perhaps you haven't realized, Governor, but a Queen sits on the throne of Historica. For many a year, we have had freedom in our affairs, with no one to rule these lands. And we have flourished. Gromm was once a hut and a well, and now it sits as the crystal in the rocks of the wasteland. But the Queen has acted, taking from one mouth to give to another." "For the good of those starving," he replied, slowly. I smiled. A wolfish smile. I could see it unnerved him. "Sure, of course. For the good of the people. And then, Governor, for the good of the people she will move our troops to borders more important to her. And then for the good of the people, she will take our wealth, which we bleed for, and give it to those who can't pull themselves out of a bottle. She will create charters, without which it will be illegal to trade as we have. And we will be powerless to stop her." "She is a good woman." "So were many, before they felt the power in their hands. I know not her heart, but I have seen the lust of Kings, and I assure you she is not immune from it. None are." "Then we are once again under a..." The Governor looked at me. "Unless we act now. I am no refined gentleman, but I am not a barbarian. Where the Marauders brought chaos, I can bring order. Order necessary to maintain a free Varlyrio. Order necessary to see our fruits continue to mature. You and I, we will check each other. As long as we stand united, Varlyrio shall bow to no grant Queen. But if I am to be an agent of order, I need a seal." "What do you need?" And here came the money part. I was gambling, gambling more than I ever had. What I was asking was not just a risk to myself, but to Varlyrio. But I needed it. "I need to appointed Judge." "The Wastelands haven't had a Judge since Revolwold," The Governor murmured. "Nonetheless it is what I require. Think, Governor. The return of the Judge would mean trade routes would be even safer than they were, more open to commerce. And more to the point, Queen's edicts would be under my purview to enforce. But as the Judge's code states, my duty is to enforce just laws, and just laws only." "I am taking an awful risk, Orsen Waythe. If I am to do this, I must have one question answered. Why did you leave your leader, at a moment your aid would have been indispensable." Unexpected, but bitter all the same. In the end, it was a small price to pay, but I still hated paying it. "I was his son, not his 'adopted son'. He wished me to marry my half-sister, and she wished the same. He told me I would do it, or die. So I left." "Oh that our secrets will remain better hidden," The governor said, with genuine weariness. "You shall have your warrant. I will bring back the position of Judge of the Wastelands."