Wafers And Peas
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King Numan the Fat was quite pleased with the feast laid out before him. Not veritable, but literal cornucopia of delight to the taste and the flesh. He tasted the fruits of his labor. It was sweetness like which he had never known. A soft sigh, and the silk faded away like the dying embers of a sunset. A heavy thickness to the air, as the fireplace was extinguished but the heat continued to rise.

Outside the thick wooden doors sequestering the King from the world he had created, men of steel were on the march. There had been wedding bells earlier, but none of that was present now. Only the black stink of powder, which bit the nose and dug beneath armor until one felt as though they were being devoured by 999,999 aggressively ticked-off ants.

They were marching into a war the likes of which they did not know. It was not a skirmish between genteel kings upon whom honor was a valued concept. Instead, bitter rivals, one heartbroken and the other’s heart sated. The object of their vicious treachery towards one another, as it has been for many men, was a woman.

Princess Lextin of the Emprian Union of the Four Empires. In the palace of the Emprian lords she was exemplary. The height of manners and dignity, she carried herself with an air of superiority none of her handmaidens could even attempt to follow. Instead they bathed in her wake, feeling their own high class raised through her mere presence. Daughter of the Holiest Regal Imperator, she knew herself destined for a wedding to one of the Four United Emperors. Yet, she had found them all to be lacking.

Theodeous Argyle, although handsomest of all the men in the Emprian realm, was a wicked man with a cruel heart. It was said that he branded his lovers with his personal seal, so that they may yet spread word of his prowess and conquest in flesh alone. When she had met him for the first and only time, her hand extended for shaking was yanked and dirty lips planted themselves in her busm. Such forwardness was not taken lightly in court, and the scandal was enough to end any attempt at courtship.

Grengar Todliss had his chance. As the King of the middle realms none had seen his face for almost a thousand fortnights. But when the court of the glittering princess gazed upon his visage they were repulsed. He should have stayed in for another thousand fortnights for the effort it took to travel, only to see rejection. This sowed more seeds of discord across the Empires, and soon the treacherous Argyle had begun correspondance to see this high-brow woman wed to one of them, or both.

Of course the imperial court had no knowledge of this, and the princess continued her journey to find a suitor of proper rank. Alas, even in the far-off Kamchaki Empire there was no relief. Instead of a suitor, the lord of this powerful realm could only stare and drool in her presence. Whether a weakness of the mind, or tongue she could not say. But it is to be said that she did not stay long in this realm.

Passing back through the lands she had rejected regals within, an ominous cloud gathered above the traveling wagons. None could say where it had come from. But it hung above their heads like a black and crackling mobile, infantilizing their regality through its mere presence. Of course this induced a quickening of their pace.

The last lord of the bunch was a pathetic spectre. Decadent from years of rule on the rich borderlands, Lord Kronwallis failed to even rise in greeting his would-be bride. Not even a fortnight was spent in his court, and the rejection left a stinging sensation beneath the layers of fat covering his heart.

Finally back in her court, the Princess despaired for her future. None of the available hands she had to pick from were even close to satisfactory. None of her advisors could convince her to overlook their many, many flaws. It was in this depression that she saw a grand green carriage proceeding towards her castle. A long-scheduled diplomatic meeting between the high King of Elrich and the only political figure willing to meet with him,

King Numan, although on the large side, was not the corpulent wheezing mess which had greeted Lex in her travels. It was a pleasant plumpness, formed over years of enjoying the finer things in life. In his palm he brought her seeds, and in his carriage came a mighty pitcher plant, much to her delight.

Gardening was a passion they both shared, and the seeds planted in the Elrichian traveling gardens soon blossomed into true love. But such a conundrum! Having now set the four leaders in this Emprian Union of the Four Empires, now her heart belonged to the most foreign of outsiders. An Elrichian King.

One night she could stand the dissonance no longer, and begged Numan to allow her to spirit him away in her carriage, back to the lands which her ruled. Only too happy to comply, the joy in their hearts was matched only by the loathing the news brought the the Four Emperors. Now, we return to their warlike passions.

As the passion was consummated in Elra Castle, the first drops of blood were spilled on the battlefields of Northern Elrich. Not since the Marsupial Wars had such carnage been wrought on the free plant’s soil. Emprian soldiers lifted and impaled by titanic leeks of infinite wisdom. Elrichian men and boys trampled beneath the stampeding hooves of the Sibus hordes.

Although their united strength was far beyond what Elrich could marshall, the seeds of discord planted by the newly-minted Queen of Elrich were also blooming. Through her green thumb, both love and hatred would see her fate to its conclusion. A lack of cohesion and unity made the Emprians as likely to battle one another as their supposed common enemy. Each desired Lex to make her their bride, and thus each despised the other’s motivations.

A year and two days into the fighting, the final battlefield was strutted to by the five vying armies. It was a great plain of the north, home of Elrich’s finest castle and much pride in the Kingdom. Years prior in the Marsupial Wars, a smashing victory had come to the Elrichian commanders who realized distracting their enemies with a trash pile could be a key to victory. Now a new lock confronted the masters of gardens.

Soon, sword met root, and axe fell into shields. The climactic battlefield of the conflict saw its ground soaked with enough blood to make it a red pool, reflecting the bodies of those whom had once lived in chilling perfection. It was unprecedented slaughter in front of all major rulers which shocked them into action. This could go on no longer.

Finally, despairing for her homeland and adopted people, Queen Lex herself rushed out into the killing field. Knee-deep in the blood, she begged her familiars to cease the madness of the warfighting. She had not meant to betray them, she cried, but merely found true love in an unlikely gut.

All was still. Then, Grengar Todliss began to weep through his hideous face. The genuine honesty of his act brought even the stone heart of Argyle to tears, and combined with the possessor of his heart urging him to peace, he felt the raw savagery of war abandon his heart.

So it was that the men laid down their arms, if they had been chopped off, as well as the weapons in their hands. Working together, side by side, they made bridges to cross over the lake of ghastly agony which they had spilled just moments ago. As they worked, the Elrichian warriors dispersed into the great forests and returned with a bounty of vegetables and fruits of all varieties and colors.

Queen and the Emperors meet at the center to hash out terms, and then followed by a ghastly banquet on the bloodside. Their polite disgust with their location slowly drained as the meal went on, and the negotiations produced a favorable outcome to all. Lex would stay as Queen of Elrich, much to her delight. The same foodstuffs they now consumed would be shipped to Empria in the greatest quantity and a more than fair price. The end of the meal sealed the deal.

They made desert, and called it peace.

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