Tuesday, April 26, 2016

City of Curses: Maralda and Politics (Maralda's Notes)

A #Crux story/political background-y thing, from Maralda's POV.  This borrows heavily from Nat Turner, a critical slave rebellion in US history.  Crux, City of Curses, etc, are part of a fantasy setting I've been madness-ing with for about two years now... let me know if you enjoyed this.  Always glad for feedback!  :D

Ithic History: The Blue Rebellion (1780 AO)

"You continue to wear your hair up."  Father frowned.  "You still refuse to do your part in the City Watch?"

I resisted the urge to grit my teeth at that.  Always back to what he wanted me to be.

The mistreatment of the unsorcerous is more severe in Southern Ith.  I've visited those towns a few times.  Sorcerous neighborhoods glow.  The unsorcerous neighborhoods around them are these muck-filled places of gray and frowning faces.

People there never got the same choices as me.  They never could join the City Watch or some knighthood.  They were stuck at the bottom. My father always wanted to "protect" the Unsorcerous, he'd never thought they deserved more.  Never anything more than what they'd been born with.  Despite his good intentions, he remained the vampyre aristocrat he'd been sired to be.

"Father, you know I support Ochlocracy and nothing less than that."  I told him.  "Being a member of the same government that mistreats Unsorcerous, I can't do that.  That's giving an implicit approval of it.  The tyranny of it all."

"Tyranny.  Ach."  Father shook his head.  "Once every century, you young folk come around preaching about tyrannies or kings or freedom or whatnot.  You don't ever want to listen to your elders on it."

"You say that like change never can come."

"Change, yes..."  Father handed me a cup of wine.  "But never the kind you lot are looking for.  Chaos.  You always spawn such chaos."

"Father, you can't just point to the Blue Rebellion.  That was a tragedy from a mad prophet."  I sniffed at the wine.  Expensive as always.  I gave a tiny sip, even though it felt like I was giving my father a bit of approval.  He didn't deserve that.

"An Unsorcerous prophet riled up a cadre, no, wait, a mob that massacred an entire family of mages.  That bit of chaos speaks for their ability to govern doesn't?"

"Father... that's a unfair, biased view of them.  If you lack any power, or anyway to guide the power in your government, you fight."

Father ticked.  "So my daughter approves of violence then?"

"Violence... it isn't the right path either, Father.  But you can't just right it off as some temporary fancy."

Father waved a hand.  "I don't mind discussing politics with you dear, but to be honest... Ochlocrats or Magocrats or Whigs or whatever...  All that is just talk.  Democracy has its appeal in one age.  But always the echoing truth of all ages is that a few are to guide, to lead, to rule.  Today you elect them, but in another time, maybe blood will matter like it used to.  Things like the Blue Rebellion, they show the value of a strong hand. It keeps back the chaos that would damn us all."

I sipped at my wine.  Arguing would be useless with him.  The centuries-old fire-vampyre believed in a ancient code of honor.  One that ignored some plights in exchange for a self-righteousness.  He wasn't evil.  But on the other hand, he let some suffering happen he could help prevent.

Ochlocracy and Mundism are two sides of the same coin.  Neither of the two political parties of Ith are its proponent.  The Whigs do tend to side with the idea more often than the Party of Stonebridge does.  Ochlocracy is the idea that the Unsorcerous should have an equal say in government.  In Ith, they have no rights.  Ochlocracy is the fancy political term that says they should.

My father likes to point to Mundist riots as examples.  I can't... disagree with him in absolute terms on that.  In 1780, one of the most violent acts in Ithic history happened.  At the hands of a Unsorcerous and his raging mob.

It happened South of Athrid.  A small community of Unsorcerous who all worked on a Mage's plantation.  Blue had been one of those downtrodden folk enslaved by enchantments and illusions.  A plantation thrall.  Meant to work on the fields for half a wand a day.  The law didn't protect them, and too few people in the North of Ith are able to find it and stop it.

Maybe the decades of magic did it to him.  But I'd heard stories from those who passed through that area.  Blue had disappeared for over a month before coming back.  He came back preaching for freedom.  He came back with power he didn't have before.

I think it had to be the Revolution.  A new form of the Fervor that faith uses.  Blue's speeches and rants inspired crowds to follow him.  He took them to the Mage that own the plantation.  In the estate's grand home, Blue called down fire.  The mage burned.  But his young daughters and wife had fled.

Blue and his mob flayed them alive.

I'd like to think I could've talked him out of that.  That Rebellion scared many mages in Southern Ith.  They saw it as a problem that had to be contained.  Blue's Rebellion only gave them an example.   It gave them a raging beast.  Something that would confirm their stories of the Unsorcerous being animals could.

Eventually they caught Blue.  He had over fifty followers, including some Sorcerous folk he'd converted.  It took them less than two days to suppress it.  Blue eluded capture until a local farmer caught him.

Blue confessed his crimes.  They hung him.  Then, scared as they were, they had his body flayed, quartered and burned.  They called the local Necromancers.  They animated his corpse, to forever stand on the road to the capital.  A sign to the Unsorcerous that even dead they would refuse to respect you.

Even then, mobs of poor Sorcerous killed Unsorcerous.  Gripped by hysteria, they struck out against their neighbors.  They saw Blue in every Unsorcerous face, even when they had magic that could tell them otherwise.  Ever since, people wrote about the opposition to Ochlocracy as a "moral good."  Ochlocracy would only lead to chaos, or so they claimed.

People like my father.  They meant well, but they saw chaos as a bloody thing.  Something that would do more damage than good.

"It isn't chaos father."  I whispered to myself, more than him.  "It's freedom I think."