[Election ‘016 52] Rand’s Last Stand

[Election ‘016 52] Rand’s Last Stand


In the Grand Sanctum, the beating heart of the proud Kingdom of Libertaria, jewel of the mortal realm and last bastion of the Ones Before, the King Roenald of the Clan Paul did bequeath upon his son. “Lo, Prince Raendus, son of Roenald, son of Coaspar, sole heir to this holy kingdom beneath the light of the Gods’ eyes. You, young one whose untamed mane cries in defiance of heaven’s strongest winds, have been summoned to this Sanctum to complete a task. I and my subjects have long known this day, this most auspicious of days, would come, but we knew not that it would come so soon,” said the elder Paul, muscles limp and bones scarred from decades of battle and time’s weathering. “I have grown weak in my old age, Raendus, my son of sons, and I can no longer carry the weight of our people upon my shoulders. Yes, my son, it is your time. ‘tis the dawn of a new age. Tonight, as the three suns set behind the Spine of Aeyn, the throne shall be yours.”

“Oh father, lord king and hand of the gods, how can a lowly prince such as I be entrusted with such a task?” cried the Princeling Raendus. “You, king of kings, chosen by the gods, are as the heroes of myth! He who blinded the All Seeing Eye of Enassee! Who smote the golem Miitt! Who rained fire upon the Establishment, freeing our men and our women and our babes to prosper until the gods extinguish stars and beat the moons to dust!”

God King Roenald turned from his son and wept. “Oh boy, my boy unsullen and strong, upon whom I lay the burden of rule! Another burden you must bear, my child, is the burden of my deceit. Usurper of Lords! Aegis of Liberty! As these names shall be carved upon my grave so shall the names Teller of Tales and Death of the Realms!”

“What could my father mean by these queer ravings? You proclaim yourself a villain or monster, but the people proclaim you a savior! How could the one to whom we owe our fruitful harvests and beating hearts be our demise!”

“Gods forgive me!” Elder Paul weeped to the heavens above and hells below. “The Establishment lives and I, in my foolish hubris, believed them dead! I, who paraded through the streets with their heads upon a pike, gave no heed to the warnings of the seers! When one of the Establishment drops out from this mortal plane, two more take its place! Do you not see? The Establishment has risen once more and they demand the head of the king!”

“Treachery! And treason upon this land and her people! You, who we carved into the mountains and sung songs of praise, are nothing more than a charlatan! A skald whose tales rip through our flesh and pierce our hearts!” Raendus howled.

“No longer can I hide this from you!” King Paul descended from his throne. “This is my greatest shame, and a ceaseless pain that rends my very soul! I am one with this Kingdom! She is my body and her servants my lifeblood! Every one of my people lost is blade in my side!”

“Then let mine be the first.” Raendus, his mind flush with rage, did plunge his steel into the chest of his father. Old King Roenald fell, his crown sliding from his wrinkled skull and meeting the hallowed ground. Raendus grabbed the helm of the Old King and placed it upon his head.

Through the crystalline dome of the Sanctum did King Raendus see the most unholy of sights. Pillars of flame and arcs of magelight swept through the sky in a hellish maelstrom which slowly descended upon the Kingdom Libertalia. In the Kings ear, like a miscreant pixie did an inhuman voice whisper. “Ye Libertalian fools felt immortal, no? In your kingdom in the clouds? How wrong you were. None shall escape the Establishment. Your kingdom shall be inundated with the fury of our stormshapers until it returns to ash until the Usurper King Paul and his entire bloodline has paid.”

Good King Raendus, first and last of his name, knew then that it was over. All was for naught. He, nor his father before him, nor any Libertalian since the dawn of man, could defeat the Establishment. Raendus, last of the Clan Paul, placed his blade and crown beneath his feet and went to meet his fate with open arms.

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