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Chapter 1: In the carriage
I looked out the large tinted window of the carriage, taking in the sights and sounds of the plains, and the mines. I see a section of the lands...changed, from what it had been years ago. Rather than emerald grass, there was black ash and sulfur covering the ground. Instead of the happy faces of small children playing ignorantly in the fields, the faces of sickly men and women, covered in black coal stared back at me. Rather than the beautiful, joy-filled lands of old, I saw, dare I say it, a land dominated by sorrow.
“Is this what has happened to us? Is this the price of innovation?” I asked the man next to me. He was a plump fellow, with a cheery face and short white hair. An older man, a noble certainly. He was likely here to attempt the same thing as I, and was well-dressed, seemingly worlds apart from the sad faces of the plains.
“Hm? What’s the son?” He asked. I wasn’t young, certainly, but he was old enough that I may have seemed like a child to him.
“I was just thinking....if this is the price of advancement, is innovation and such truly worth it?” I did not look at him when I spoke, but rather, I looked out onto the plains. To the young men and women; probably twenty-five at the most. I watched with pity, and a sudden shame for being so well off. It was not my fault, of course, I’d started as lesser-noble myself...but still, that these people could be in such a fix as this...with no hope for betterment from the devices they were mining coal for...
The man looked at me with a sort of surprised face. Speaking like this...was not customary of nobles. “That’s an interesting viewpoint. On the other hand, without advancement we’re barbarians! Why, without our recent innovations, we’d be in trouble against the Dwarves if we were to get into a war with them! I think that, while it may be sad what the common man goes through, it’s necessary.” The man was...oddly tolerant for an older noble. “By the way, I am Sir Isaac Mandrake.” He continued, and I became shocked. Why? Because Isaac Mandrake was the Duke of Sildabury. He was far beyond I in power and rank, and now I felt rather...outmatched.
“Really now? It’s an honor to meet you, sir. I am Mr. Sean Quincy. If I dare say it, I believe that the good of the people...it’s more important than is often thought by the nobles. I think that...their suffering is a tragedy of the human peoples and race.” I say, stuttering and lacking confidence in my voice, now turned to this man rather than the people who were unfortunate enough to work in the plains; the people whom I wished to represent among the nobles in the coming gathering.
“Pleased to meet you, Mr.Quincy. And I agree entirely. The backwards views of most of the nobles sickens me, in an odd sort of way. Perhaps they aren’t born as high, or as important in their destiny’s as us nobles...but that does not mean that we can treat them as slaves. In fact, I am of the view that all workers should be paid, certainly an issue of the coming debate. And I am also glad that you share my viewpoint.” I was shocked. That this high a noble was to support me gave me immense confidence, and perhaps some arrogance.
“It pleases me that you and I share these viewpoints, sir. I daresay that this conference is a grand opportunity for us to secure the rights of the people. Do you not agree?” I asked, boldly. There was no point in going around the true issues at hand, which were the rights of the people. We could dilly-dally on things such as the philosophies of the Elves, the technological advancements of the Dwarves, the pending Orc invasion in the next few years...but him and I had a similar purpose here, the purpose of ridding the human race from the slavery of it’s own via the class system.
“I indeed do, Mr.Quincy. Why else would I be coming here?” he asked, chuckling slightly. “In fact, I do think we should work together on this. With my experience, and your sprit, why, we could make a hell of a team.” I was surprised at this...a duke, wishing to work with me? How odd.
“I would love that, sir. Shall we formulate strategem for the inevitable debate?” I asked eagerly, ready to show off my intellect. I was also eager to be working with such a brilliant man.
“Yes, we shall. Let us begin!” And with that, we went into a long, thoughtful conversation on what to say, how to say it, and other such things. The details are not important, but we talked of why the class system as it currently is...why it’s unfair, we talked of other such things, and spent the long ride doing just that.
Edited by Dacder on 1/9/2013 7:00 PM PST
The royal city was a large place, adorned with the riches of the empire brought at the expense of the common-man. In fact, it was here that roughly 20% of the population lived, yet about 70% of architecture-funds went here. All this, it was to be fought. It was going to be a hard fight, but an inevitable one regardless of my involvement, or lack thereof. Mandrake and myself sat in the black carriage which had been pulled for several miles, and admired the beauty of the place silently. A jewel-adorned structure sat menacingly atop the rest of the city, and it was there that we traveled to.
“It’s truly marvelous, is it not?” Asked Mandrake, curious as to what my answer would be. Perhaps it will be an answer of doubt and bashing of the system, perhaps a simple remark on how pretty it was, he assumed.
“Perhaps, but I do not think it makes up for the ugliness of the mines, sir.” I added the “sir” ceremoniously, but with respect all the same. We now entered a large marketplace, where women and men worked to sell what trinkets they could to survive. We passed a bar, and I saw the gloomy faces of those who were not of noble birth and yet within the city. We were in the poor district still, and beggars came forth from the shadows to ask this large carriage, the sign of nobility, for some money with which to buy food.
“No, no. I am sorry but I simply cannot.” Mandrake said to a beggar, before closing the window of the carriage so the outside could not penetrate the refuge of happiness, the carriage. “Petty beggars, that’s what the poor district houses. And to think, this is good compared to the mines! Oh how I do think that the poor man is burdened, and yet I cannot see these people making productive members of society! But regardless, we have business to attend to, and so cannot help them...” He said, trailing off, wondering if he’d said too much.
“Would you look at that bar.” I remarked, trying to change the subject and avoid embarrassment for Sir Mandrake, “It’s owners must have a fortune larger than mine!” I added, half-jokingly.
“Yes. Perhaps we should get some whiskey there later, to observe those whom we champion in their natural habitat.” Mandrake said. He knew that I’d agree, for I could not turn down one such as him.
“Yes we shall, a delightful idea that is, sir. Although I will admit that I did not expect you to be a drinking man.” I said. That was a lie, all the nobles drank. It was the only way that they could forget about the men and women whose lives they were ruining, forcing them to work in the mines and all that nasty business. The carriage passed through the marketplace without further incident, though I did note the prostitutes and more beggars on the sides of the road. Poor desperate creatures, just trying to survive in any way they could.
“There they are, the buildings of those in power. The military headquarters and the palace of the king.” Mandrake said, noting the two large buildings. They were near-exact opposites, the large gray military building standing like a guardian over the city. Or, rather more accurately, it was like a guard standing over it’s slaves. The gold, white, and blue building next to it was the eccentric palace, built over 200 years ago by an equally eccentric queen. In front of it stood several royal guards, who carried muskets and wore red uniforms. They were all men, and all nobles.
“I do feel that the military building is eerily imposing.” I remarked, and Mandrake nodded his head as we went towards the larger, brightly-colored palace. The carriage parked on the side of the road, and me, Mandrake, and two other nobles in the front car stepped out, heading up the large set of stairs to the awaiting meeting. And the guards simply stood in position, not moving an inch, as if they were robots rather than men.
No comma needed here. If you want to emphasize the pause you could use a semicolon... Eh... Maybe you couldnt...
Good segment. Keep 'er comin.
Edited by MarkusDaWise on 1/10/2013 11:50 PM PST
Chapter 3: The meeting
I entered the golden room, which was reserved for the council of nobles from all throughout the land. Me and Mandrake took seats right next to each other, and also next to me was Sir Jacob Rinehart, an old friend of mine.
“Good to see you again. I believe we’re close to starting.” He said, extending his hand in greeting. I shook it, and sat down. Up at the top of a platform, on their thrones, sat the King and Queen Mulberry. I noted them, the man in a suit, the lady in a dress; each of which probably cost more than a lifetime’s earnings for a common-man. Mandrake, Rinehart, and I all exchanged pleasentries as the remaining nobles shuffled in and took a seat, feeling important I’m sure. All told there were maybe 100 people here, and perhaps 90 of those men. The noble-ladies of this land generally didn’t concern themselves with politics such as these. Soon enough, the kind stood and started to address the rabble with riches.
“Welcome, welcome all! I do hope your trips here were pleasant enough, and that none were hurt...” He went on like this for some time, and then role was taken...not a single person missing; nobody would dare to miss a meeting such as this. “And that brings us to where we debate, I suppose.” The Queen stood up, she was around 30, same as the king, and looked splendid in her diamond-laced dress.
“I do think the news from the lands comes first, my dear king.” She said, and the king cleared his throat.
“Oh yes, the news! Well then,” He began, his face slightly red as his wife sat back down. “The economy is good, of course-”
“Largely due to the mines.” A nobleman behind me said, rudely but not loud enough to interrupt the king. I had a mind to turn and give the man a dirty look, but decided against it. The time would come to put him in his place.
“-And diplomacy is going well. The Elves remain isolationist, but have not made a move to extend their territory, and the Moon-Elves have even agreed to help us should the Orcs invade. The Dwarves continue to ponder about where the border is, but nothing major is going on with them either.” He paused for a moment, wondering if anyone was to interrupt him. “And now, of course, there’s the issue of the class system reforms that are being called for by some..” Instantly, the room burst into bickering and shouting. People attempted to put in their two cents, but I just sat there quietly, knowing nothing would be taken care of with this behavior.
“Quiet, quiet!” Shouted the queen, and as soon as it started, the bickering between the nobles in the expensive suits, stopped, no matter how important they thought themselves. The queen, she demanded that her subjects listen to her, which made up for the semi-incompetent king. “We can debate this like civilized people...” She added.
“I agree.” said the king, trying to duplicate her success. “Who wishes to speak on the matter?” All one-hundred hands were raised instantly and violently.
“Perhaps..” Started the queen once more, “We should simply have two high nobles, each with an assistant, come up to debate?” The whole assembly nodded in agreement, with several higher-nobles volunteering. In the end, Mandrake and another noble, Silvus, were selected to oppose each other in the coming debate.
“I choose Mr.Quincy to assist me.” Mandrake stated, and a disapproving murmur shot from the crowd. Such a young, unlikely choice...the other nobles must have thought.
“And I shall have the lady Vena assist me.” responded Silvus, and she came up next to him. She was young as well, and similar murmurs came from the crowd. I did not know it at the time, but there were rumors about those two being in an affair, and the nobles guessed that’s why she was chosen. Our opponents were dressed richly, but not so much as most of the nobles here. For whatever reason, they chose this over the diamonds and expensive suits that were so common.
“Let the debate begin, starting with the side of Mandrake.” The queen said, and I prepared to get into the argument of my life.
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