An Abridged History of the Elrichen Cloud Laws

Clouds are lies; filthy lies that should not be uttered when someone may have the disgrace of being in earshot.

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Every Elrichian boy and girl with half a brain knows about the taboo that is clouds, and one would be hard-pressed to find an individual willing to elaborate on why we do not speak of them .Likely because the individual is already dead.. One must quickly learn not to ask questions by watching those who get dragged away by the Gaddermen faster than they could comment on the drow weather. After all, one must not break the law, and talking about things you ought not to is an excellent way to get you broken in turn .Or whatever the Gaddermen do. Frankly, I don’t want to be the one to find out..

The history behind this law is old, and one may trace it to the kings of yore on a day as any other .Unless one holds a particular love for Thursdays, in which case it was very special day indeed., save for the fact that the royal gold stacker came with dire news; the king's treasury was filled to the brim with priceless relics and gold coins enough to make the ground quake when the pile shifted in center mass. The remaining space was hardly capable of fitting another coin .That’s not even hyperbole. You would be shocked at the size of the coins at the time..

Something had to be done. The royal bake sale .A holiday we still revere today, though at the time cinnamon buns had not been invented, so frankly I don’t understand the appeal. was nigh approaching, and bakers from across the land already toiled over their goods. When the influx of new gold could not find its way into the coffers, the ground may split under its terrific weight or, worse, spill about and be an utter nuisance for the gold stackers on the holiday as celebrated as bake sale day. Building a new treasury would take too long, as one must first drain a lake to get the space and then stack walls grand enough to fit the royal standard of what a good treasury ought to possess . it was quite a lengthy process that could take several generations..

The king and his court were racked in thought, trying to find a way out of the conundrum they found themselves in, such it was that not a soul spoke for many an hour until the royal pamphlet printer stepped forward.
"If we were to make a thing more precious than gold and as flat as the earth . At the time people legitimately believed that the Earth was flat, but now we know the truth. The earth is in fact, hyperbolic, and gravity is just a concept of uneducated human perception., then the coffers could hold much more," he reckoned in a matter-of-fact tone, glancing about the room as people stood in outrage and shock, guards readying halberds to slay the man for speaking out of turn.. And also for sounding like an absolute know-it-all. The king raised a finger. The crowd went silent, and the king motioned the pamphlet printer to continue.

"We have paper enough and ink for a small army of promissory notes that every man, woman, and child will want and need. This would surely make the kingdom rich as sweetcakes . I just don’t understand how people existed without cinnamon rolls. Doesn’t “rich as cinnamon rolls” just roll off the tongue better?," the shy man elaborated before being interrupted by the fastidious royal conspiracy creator, in a rare moment of clarity .Most of the time he just wandered about, and muttered absolute nonsense..

"What could a note promise that gold does not?" he queried before glancing towards a window, and after spying a fat meandering cloud, he spat a curse.

The royal conspiracy creator was a stout man who was firm about his beliefs on clouds. Many of the royal conspiracies he devised revolved around the fact that clouds were all eaten by giant fluffy birds .Of which he dubbed “Gaddergeese”, thus the name bestowed to the Gaddermen., and what we think are clouds today are simply a byproduct of careful mimicry on the birds' part. They now hang in the sky, insidious lies listening and watching to report to unseen masters. He hated the clouds, and his hatred was shared.

Even the king thought that the so-called "clouds" were taking a swipe at the throne, and each time anyone mentioned them, he was filled with a deep dread for those hateful creatures that float complacently and watch us all in the cowled visage of a once wholesome phenomenon. He saw this plight as an opportunity and imposed his kingly will.

"Each man, woman, and vegetable must abide by this royal decree. A new note shall be passed, and each note promises no retribution for mentioning the colossal, wicked creatures that plague our otherwise fair skies. All who speak of these .He shuddered before uttering the blasted word. clouds without providing such a note to the proper authority will be drawn and piked upon the castle walls."

And so it was so that the Gaddermen were spawned, and spies were planted everywhere a spy (or plant, in the case of some) could be planted. Any man, woman, or child could very well be listening, and even the corn stocks had an ear out for unlawful talk of clouds. After many deaths to this new law, these new notes allowed one to inform another not to speak of clouds, so every note was worth one's weight in gold. The king's treasury was swapped in favor of the paper counterparts, and the king was more affluent than ever.

This new norm persisted long through the wealthy king's reign, and the people felt enough was enough. A revolution swept through the kingdom and the king, and every last one of his cloud notes where burned. A new king was instated, but there was a new problem afoot. The new king could not revoke the cloud law without retribution from the Gaddermen for talking about the topic without a valid pass.Well, I suppose he could, but then they would need a new king and it’s quite a lot of paperwork..

As such, the cloud laws persist to this very day. Even now, I will likely be killed at any moment for the writing of this brief history, though the cloud laws will live on as an essential component of Elrichian culture.

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