There was a world, and in this world there was a kingdom. It was a large, prosperous country with a loving king and queen. The King cared greatly for his children, however less so for his people. So the queen took it upon herself to give to the poor, and raise their spirits. They worked as a unit, one placated the court, and the other soothed the people.
But one night, the queen went into labor. The king was told to wait in the hall as the nursemaids came bustling in, along with the royal physician. He paced for hours up and down the red carpet laid out before the queens chambers. And he continued to wait well into the morning as his wife’s cries echoed through the castle walls. The sound was said to spook even the horses down in the stables, so loud where her screams.
And finally, finally, the echoes subsided. Giving way to a newborn baby’s wail.
A maid exited the room and bowed to His Majesty, shaking.
“They’re ready for you to see them, Your Majesty.” She said. “H-However-”
The maid’s words went unheard as the king stormed past and into the queens chambers.
The queen herself was pale and sweating profusely as she cradled a bundle of wailing cloth. She smiled faintly as her husband entered the room, and handed him the baby. She leaned back after being relieved of the squirming child.
For a brief moment, there was a world where the royal family could’ve been happy. Content, with this odd looking child. A path that could’ve been chosen where the newborn girl would’ve lived a luxurious life, though hidden from her true identity. But that split moment passed quickly, and the alternate path was chosen. The one that this story takes place in.
The king's face turned quickly from wonder and joy into hurt and confusion. Which solidified into rage. He saw the whiter-than-snow hair, and the golden eyes. This wasn’t his child, he thought. In His Majesty’s mind he convinced himself that the queen, his beloved wife had betrayed him. If not for Deaths Mark on the baby girls cheeks, he would’ve killed it himself.
He turned to his queen.
“What is this?”
“What is what?” She looked confused. “It’s our baby girl. I was thinking of naming her-”
“Silence,” He rumbled. He shoved the child into a nursemaid's arms, then proceeded to rage at the queen for her “disloyalty”.
Never had the servants or Her Majesty seen such anger and hate from this man. Though he had been a rude king, he wasn’t malicious. Not until now.
He swept papers and vases off of desks, upturned tables, threw books off the shelves, even tossed a chair out of a window. All the while, the servants cowered in a corner, and the queen sobbed, holding the bloody sheets up over her chest like a shield.
“I don’t un-understand,” she began. “I would never. I have never-”
The king glared in her direction, and she stopped speaking.
“All these years, all I’ve ever asked for is loyalty from you.” He said softly. Though the rage was still evident. “And this...this?” The king stopped speaking. He looked out the broken window, jaw working. He was too angry to even speak. Too furious to even listen. Turning to the maid with the baby, he said steadily:
“Take it to the headsman where it belongs. I don’t want any of you to speak of this. Not. A. Peep.”
The King turned back to his wife with a disappointed look. Like a young boy would look at an old toy that had broken and was no longer fun. He turned away again, and called in the guards.
“Throw her in a cell.”
A week after the previous queen was executed, the king was already remarried. The incident was never spoken about outside of the rumor mill, and was soon forgotten.
But the new queen was young, and lackadaisical. She turned her nose up to the people who once depended on the old queen. And the king was no help, though he did try to be giving and kind, he always snapped eventually. Rageful fits became more common in the days after the execution. And he soon became known as the Mad King of Tarean. If the previous Majesty was the one who bound the kingdom together, then the new one was the poison that finally made it fall apart.