This Broken World of Ours

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This Broken World of Ours

Post by Derickkeyman » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:41 pm

This Broken World of Ours
A Pamphlet By G.G.G.

Based on the Real Life Occurrences of 17th day of Lhanys, 1351

Addesnford: Lhanys 16, 1351 AC

“Yae know Bethany, I hear some o’ the Flatcaps’re comin’ to town soon. Maybe even Their Leader ‘imself.” Albrecht was a tall, burly Hillsman with flaming red hair and the muscular body that only repeated, prolonged hard labor can bring. He was a farmer, the dirt under his nails a near permanent fixture, the scars along his arms and hands only surpassed in sheer number by the callouses that covered his skin.

It was shaping up to be a hard year. A normal war, a war that didn’t come a mere five years after the last conflict that tore Shalzaar, and then the whole of Imarel, apart, would have normally cost them a good portion of their crops, more than was comfortable. Troops had to be fed, cleaned, maintained, armed, transported– It was expensive and every mouth along the way needed feeding. But this war, this Benefactor’s War, it was so soon after the Second Godswar and the Peasant’s Rebellion, if it weren’t for the Flatcap’s restoration immediately after those two conflicts, Albrecht and Bethany would hardly have enough to eat. Even as it was… Times were bad.

Bethany was an matronly woman, having carried many of Albrecht’s children to term. She had four sons and three daughters, which in these times were hard to feed. Their eldest, Oeleh, had died in the war five years ago fighting against Tolliver Grimshaw. They sorely missed his help on the farm, and perhaps were he still alive, things would be better. “I heard that, aye. I’m not sure, Albrecht. What they say is so different from what we already know. The country has been ruled by a monarchy for so long, it seems strange to want to change that. What really would we gain?”
“Well, I’ll go and see, Bethany. You just cook up what you can for the kids, an’ I’ll handle tryin’ an’ seein’ exactly what this lad and his men want. Bu’ these guys rebuilt our cities, defend’d Defiance, gave us engineerin’ to help grow crops, m’thinkin’ they deserve at leas’ a moment of our time an’ some respect.” Albrecht nodded and Bethany agreed, and they resolved to go and see the Flatcaps and Their Leader the following night.

Addensford: Lhanys 17, 1351

The Man came all the way from Vyss, where he had been studying and watching the world, to speak to Addensford. The Flatcaps, six of them, were waiting for him in the barn on the outskirts of town where some fifty farmers and their wives, along with plenty of factory workers and poorer folk, waited for him to make his speech.

At exactly ten o’clock, when the moon was high and covered by cold Divahsi clouds, the leader of the Flatcaps appeared. He wasn’t an impressive man, but many who had seen him before remarked on how he had changed: he looked older, wiser, more full and less sick, there even appeared to be growing muscle on his arms and legs and chest. He spoke cleanly and plainly, so even those that were not native to Shalzaar could understand him.

He spoke in a voice that filled the room with its quality and passion, starting up after standing on a crate so that all could see him equally, “The questions of the day are not to be answered by oligarchies and ministrations; they are to be answered by protest and change. We stand, brothers and sisters, on the edge of the world, on the edge of time itself, and our precious governments ask us if we have given enough, if we can give even more.”

There was a general murmur of consent throughout the crowd, and the leader continued, “And what more have we to give, brothers and sisters? We barely have enough food to feed ourselves. We barely have enough men to work the farms. The whole world goes to war against something created by the politicking of magicians and priests throughout the last twenty years! Will they ask for our children next? Will they ask for our fathers? Will they send the homeless and crippled to the front lines? Will they want to send the women and the children to the factories that barely have breathable air to make weapons that are fueled by the resources we produce?”

The crowd fell into silence and all eyes were upon the leader now. The general tension that each man and woman had been feeling, the anxiety these years of war had produced, was nearly physical in the room. Everyone listened to the Leader of the Flatcaps for answers, a solution, anything to relieve their stress.

“I say no more to the rampant corruption that the Lords and Ladies of this great land feel entitled to, and I say no more to a Queen that was put in place by our bloodshed and our sweat and our tears. I say no more to the Churches that would hold dominion over us, taking our money to fund themselves when they work none. And I say no to the Benefactor and his scourge. He is a terror, a menace, and represents everything I stand here and deny.

“I call for a new nation, a Commonwealth of Shalzaar, where we produce what we can and share what we can. We will take care of the sick by our own hands, have priests and elders and grown men working the fields to produce their share alongside men and women like you and me. In the cities, we’ll create unions of factory workers that will manage resources together. In the farming towns, popularly elected officials that are accountable to a public vote will distribute resources. A man will be beholden to every other man.

“I call for the equality of classes, the education of children, the suffrage of women, the caring of the elderly and the sick. I call for the finishing of the cultivation of our fields, the introduction of engineering to make it more productive, the betterment of factory conditions, business regulation, public property, and private wealth.

“This Broken World of Ours needs to be put back together, my brothers and sisters. And it cannot be done by the old rule, the rule that broke it to begin with. It is time for the old to be put out and the new to be put in. It is time for wealth to be shared, it is time for each man to be his own, it is time for healing so that a better future can be made.”

The crowd went wild, clapping and hollering, and much drinking was had that night. The next day, the women wore leather caps on their heads, and so did the men. The children were kept home from the factories in protest and the men worked the fields together, pooling resources so that they would have greater effect. The factory workers began trying to form their unions, holding votes on what they were to represent, and the beggars and the homeless were cared for by passing citizens, given food and coin from the goodness of their hearts in exchange for simple work that they could manage.

It was the start of a new age.
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