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.