The King and Queen of Shera where benevolent leaders, praised and adored by all. Queen Iona was so beloved among her people, it was said, the day she had ascended to the throne the kingdom cheered in celebration for a fortnight. Despite the power and wealth which accompanied their reign, most did not envy the position, which was plagued by a grave history, a history they would spend most of their reign attempting to overcome.
Many years ago, the three kingdoms were one, all of which were ruled by a great king. He ruled with a fierce, yet firm hand, instilling love in the hearts of his people. They said he was able to read the minds of others, and therefore use their thoughts to ensure his own outcomes and enabling him to strike fear into his enemies. Despite this, he was fair and just, using his abilities to ensure peace and keep his country safe. He led the people with wisdom and strength and the kingdom and its people prospered. That is, until it came time to name his successor. You see, though he was a good king, he did have his … dalliances, and because of this, it was believed he had many sons.
When the day came that he was to leave this world, there was much confusion as to who would continue in his sted. He called forth the three sons he had of his wife, and one he recognized from his mistress. These four young men stood before their dying father and he asked them a simple question.
“Why do you want to be king?” He listened to them rant and rave of the peace they would sustain and the kindness with which they would lead, but when he listened to their hearts he heard the truth.
The first son had the ability to manifest his will into shadows, which he used to control others for his own selfish means. When the wise king asked him why he wanted to be king, he told him of his strength and how he had the power to stop any enemy, thereby protecting his people. What the king heard in his mind was that of arrogance and corruption. The son’s thoughts were that of a conqueror, not a king. He planned to overthrow rulers and claim lands in the name of his father.
The second son was able to manipulate the minds of others, he could implant thoughts and make them see and believe things that were not there. When the wise king asked him why he wished to rule the son responded with how adept he was at politics; how he would be able to keep the peace among the nobles and ensure future generations’ wealth. But, when the king listened to the thoughts of his son, he heard the young man's intentions. He had grown used to the wealth and privilege that came with being a prince, and though he spoke truthfully in his ability to woo the nobles, he could see his son would always place his own wants above the needs of others. The privilege he had been given was the one thing he valued above all else, and if the choice came, he would sacrifice any innocent for his own benefit.
The third son had the ability to see the future. He could look from moments to years ahead and not only predict outcomes, but see alternate futures, such a gift in the hands of a benevolent ruler could be a huge blessing to the kingdom. The only problem with the future was that it was always changing, and this young man was inches from insanity. He spent most of his time watching the future rather than living in the moment, which left him with a terrible social ineptitude, rarely speaking to others, even the most trusted advisors. When the king asked him why he wanted to rule, the young son responded simply, “ I have no such wish. Give it to my brothers. They are meant to rule, as for me, I have other callings.” This made the king smile.
The fourth son, the bastard, held the ability to look into a person's mind, view their past, feel their emotions, and even remove painful memories. He had always found this ability to be rather useless, that was, except in the case of the wooing a few maidens. Honestly, he was a bit envious of his brothers at times. He had not grown up in the castle walls, and no one had taught him how to harness his gift. Instead, he grew up without the knowledge of his true capability. When he was called forth by his father he was surprised, to say the least. He had met the man before, but he was in no way equal to the other three who stood beside him. When the king looked at him, he began to see the past through his father's eyes. He opened his mind, the king showed him a scene of beautiful fields and a young woman. He saw laughter and joy, and for just a moment the king relished the playful memory, closing his eyes and becoming lost in the purity of the past.
The king smiled and asked him, “Why do you want to be king?”
The young man thought for a moment. He had little ability in the way of politics, and his powers granted him nothing in the way of strength. He met his father's gaze and said. “If I were to be the king of this great country. I suppose I would wish to spend my life in the simple servitude of my people. I have seen how they suffer, and I want to make their pain go away.” The king watched him carefully, listening to the honesty in his words and mind.
Soon after, the king passed away and the announcement was to be made public; the bastard son had been chosen to succeed his father. The queen was assigned to announce the passing of the throne to her husband's love child, but instead, the woman was filled with disdain for the decision. She told her sons of the announcement. As expected, the first and second sons met their brother, late into the night, to ensure his decline of the honor, which was in their eyes rightfully theirs.
The bastard feigned agreement, but then in the light of day, and before the royal court, he accepted the position. However, when he accepted the crown he immediately enacted a drastic motion. His first act was to split the kingdom. He knew of his brothers envy and in an attempt to avoid the deaths of innocents he agreed to separate the country evenly.
The great kingdom was broken into three and from that day forth was to be known as Shera, Berning, and Persire. The first son became the King of Berning, the second King of Persire, and the bastard king retained his position as the King of Shera. The third son took his things and disappeared, claiming he wanted no part in his brothers’ feud, or the future it would bring.
For a few years it seemed the King’s plan was going to work, until a day came when Berning’s lands had been overtaken by a wildfire. Having lost most of their supplies, Berning's people would not have survived the winter. The kingdom of Shera had experienced a plentiful harvest and the king happily sent provisions to his brother. However, while en route the supplies were set upon by bandits and never made it to their destination. When the news reached the King of Berning he demanded his brother pay recompense for the loss.
The King of Shera argued that his people had nothing left to give. This angered Berning’s King. He protested the decision and asserted that his brother had no legitimate claim to the harvest, nor the land which bread it. The King of Berning attempted to overtake his brother's throne.
Over the years the king of Berning’s hatred increased. Slander and acts of aggression were not enough to tear his brother from his throne. His jealousy grew and eventually it plunged the two countries into turmoil. The first son believed the land should have been his to begin with and as such felt no guilt in attempting to overtake his brother. Men were sent by the thousands, attacking the outer lands, and killing many innocents.
War ensued, and for countless generations the two countries saw no end to the devastation. Tens of thousands of innocent lives were lost. As time went on and the years passed, the kingdoms had been at war so long few remembered how it had all begun.
With the new King and Queen came the birth of a new hope. The hope of everlasting peace.
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