Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part II


Due to the increasingly complex interplay between characters and the national stances both socio- economic and political from henceforth italics will be used in the summaries of the various characters, national stuff, etc.

Part II: The Jolly Wedding-Based Economy, The Geo-political Situation,The Arrangements Stuff and the Socio-Cultural Impact.  

Now that the wedding of Prince Frendlehanz (handsome, noble and fayre to the lesser classes) of Dingledong to Princess Whinsome (The reasonably beautiful and possessed of russet hair; kindly and compassionate nature, wonderful at sewing and dutiful at prayer) of Trundlealong  had been verified by treaty, exchanges of  gifts, officially sanctioned plighting of troths (or trothes-depending on regional variations) and all the rest, a date had been set for the event. It was to take place on High Spring Observation Day. Dingledong and to a lesser extent Trundlealong’s economies geared up. This made The Chancellor of the Exchequer of Dingledong quite satisfied; he tried to avoid being happy as it marred his judgement. The High Diplomat was more sanguine as he had to keep an eye on the three smaller kingdoms of Hasselduff, Moochenmuch and Grunzelpratz for any sustained rumblings on account of  various daughters, nieces etc not having made the cut in the marriage scene.

There was thus much wedding-based industry in creations of  catering, memorabilia celebratory songs, poems, woodcuts, suitable clothing etc. All this resulted in an even more jolly atmosphere, giving rise to a a slew of pre-wedding celebrations, parties and harmlessly boisterous events. The combination naturally increased the working populations and placed coin of various types into the economic infrastructure. The Chancellor of The Exchequer aided by his own para-military tax officials worked long hours to ensure inflation was kept under control by arranging for the imprisonment or disappearance of profiteers; this served to make the population even happier (and amazingly jolly)

To ensure maintenance of the high levels of joy and merriments and thus economic activity, Princess Aureyborealice( beauty beyond compare, long flowing blonde hair, was kind to everyone, sang with birds, talked to small furry creatures and danced) had been allowed out of her garden and set free to sing and dance at carefully organised official events at which socially acceptable children were selected to join in with her. Most folk thought she was even more incredibly lovely than they had heard tell and also the daughter they wished they had; in the case of younger males they were advised to keep their thoughts to themselves, younger daughters set upon to trying to look and act like Aureyborealice which when carried on in numbers did cause some social disfunction, but most of this was covered up under the guise of Celebration.  Anybody found making misanthropic comments about her was arrested on some knocked together charge,  thrown in prison for an unspecified duration and told they would not be let out until they could prove to a local committee that they had become very jolly and happy for the royal family. Most being tiresomely self-aware preferred to espouse martyrdom- no one cared, except for those charged with jailing accommodation.

And so the day of the wedding grew closer. Where there was absolutely no merriment was in Chilbin. There King Vilfahengo (The Iron) had to deal with his brooding son Hulstrum (The Fierce ) who was not displaying any enthusiasm about trying to woo Princess Aureyborealice (beautiful, kind, dancing etc) while many of his lords and ordinary folk were asking why they couldn’t invade the insufferably smug place like used to happen in the Good Old Days. King Vilfahengo (The Iron) resolved to have more schools in which the principal lessons would be Politics and Economic Strategy and so save him the bother of having to repeat himself explaining to what he realised was a kingdom of lunkheads.  As a short term policy he sent some of his more bellicose lords north to deal with a sudden outbreak of shaman(capering, gibbering and waving sticks with bones on) inspired revolts by the barbarians who, truth be known, didn’t need much encouragement. This had the unfortunate side-effect of making Hulstrum even more surly as he wasn’t allowed to go north with the armies because of The Wedding and Princess Aureyborealice, so he could not sneak off to tryst with Magnificalorin (flame haired and fiery, daughter of Gurt a barbarian of some standing ).

In her tall, sombre palace and tower which many a thoughtful observer had wondered how she’d managed to get built so quickly up the windiest side of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng  Lady Frastreiayal (sister of Domesticia, wife of King Genially of Dingledong and not invited to family events due to suspicions surrounding their father being made their Late Father years before his time  ) continued with her elaborate scheming . For most of the time, of late, she had studied long and hard on Weathers and The Metrological Implications of Doing Things With Weathers. When not involved in scientific research she reviewed the geo-political and socio-economic situation of the region. For mild amusement she had journeyed (on a flying horse called ThunderMane) to the barbaric north and  appeared in slightly hideous disguise amongst the previously pacified shamanic class (see Part I – King Vilfahengo-Iron & Son Hulstrum- The Fierce currently converting to The Brooding) in the guise of Frizgrunstar Wydle Wyfe, Spouse of  Thugnnorran The God of a Thousand Peaks)- (she in barbaric folklore and affiliated beliefs being the one who encouraged folk to get killed in battle, her old man being responsible for delegating out deity-oriented jobs to their children and the relatives). In the guise of flowing and ragged blood stained clothe-tastefully covering up most of her body she had chastised (verbally) the menfolk for being so supine and the womenfolk not shoving their idle men out to war.  With everything moving along at a goodly pace she just hoped her sister Domesticia (gracefully aging queen of Dingledong and of many happy years marriage to King Genially) would not suddenly spoil everything with a fit of sisterly reconciliation and invite her to the wedding. She need not have worried.

Queen Domesticia had had her own challenges. Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One; (The Church of the Supreme One being the region’s acceptable religion), had taken a specific interest in the wedding. Normally he left his bishops to get nobles married to each other but one involving Dingledong and Trundlealong’s most eligible youngsters obviously required The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One. Since he had been The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One for thirty and three years and could, without invitation or warning  recite whole chunks the Ten Holy Books while concerning footling points of theology argue anyone into stultifying insensibility, the two royal families could see no way out of the matter. Thus Domesticia was obliged to make sure the journey from his small but highly independent city state of Turgidan was free of any travel problems, unseemly heretics, herds of animals to market and pot holes. She then had to arrange the very best of accommodation for him and his travelling retinue while mollifying the injured egos of the five and ten bishops of both kingdoms. Her opposite number in Trundlealong, Queen Fashionelle (always well dressed and ever sociable)   ducked out of the whole business citing arranging her daughter Princess Whinsome (The reasonably beautiful and possessed of russet hair; kindly and compassionate nature, wonderful at sewing and dutiful at prayer) and the six and twenty bridesmaids into presentable order. Princess Whinsome was no problem, the six and twenty bridesmaids, their mothers and a few aunts who’d managed in stick their noses in were. By mutual consent of both Queens their husbands were deemed of no use whatsoever in either matter and the men were left to get entangled in the political, diplomatic and economic ramifications.

Thus came the Tenth Day before the wedding and four days following the settling in of Doctrindoss The Arch-High Elect Supervisor for The Supreme One and his indifferent but unavoidable retinue. At this stage both King and Queen of Dingledong and most of their governmental staff still had to shoe-horn all the guests and their own crowds into suitable lodgings, therefore they left the escorting of Princess Whinsome to the joint efforts of her brother Prince Hanselfrendlesten (an adventuresome warrior prince) and her betrothed Prince Frendlehanz ( handsome, noble and fayre to the lesser classes,). Despite his best efforts Hanselfrendlesten could not convince Frendlehanz to go on a post-honeymoon military campaign; it was possible his failure to literally map out an exact location for said campaign might have been a contributory factor. Likewise Frendlehanz had not made a strong case on the joys of garden landscaping. However those two small points aside the two young fellows got on quite well, could discuss hunting, horses and also share many a young manly jest on their respective experiences with women who under no circumstance could be considered as having wife-potential, the latter comments were best not overheard by folk of delicate sensibilities.

Amongst all the comings and few goings, celebrations, catering arrangements, scantily attended gatherings of local religious folk and parading of military units who had been lucky enough to be selected out of usual patrolling, cleaning barracks, tax collecting escorts, guarding in remote and unsanitary keeps and chasing evasive malcontents duties no one noticed the arrival of an unescorted middle-aged woman of unprepossessing dress and polite but little conversation. Most folk who bothered to witness her assumed her old man must be about somewhere and she’d been arriving late because of the securing of recalcitrant children with other relatives.

No one ever, ever thought, not even The Chancellor of the Exchequer that Lady Frastreiayal of The Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng was in their midst, her plans of mischief all in place.

Meanwhile Princess Aureyborealice ( beautiful etc… you should know the rest by now) despite the concerns of some of the fussier of her ladies in waiting and her two physicians in attendance as to her general physical state of health, she still maintained her eager good-hearted joy at the coming celebrations while her feet showed no signs of any injury or even abrasion or her voice wear and tear on the vocal chords. For so pure was her dear, honest heart, she was somewhat exempt from the depredations caused by the commonly shared less pleasant emotions and ill-humours of the usual human set-up.

Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I


Aureyborealice, A Fable in Several Parts…Part I

Part I: A Happy Kingdom and Plans for a Jolly Wedding

Preface: I like writing Fantasy and do try to keep it serious. I also have a generally censorious view of the events in the News but try never assume one side is all good and the other all bad (only certain groups and individuals). Sometimes the strain of keeping perspective on the latter has a tectonic shift into the former creating an urge to write something less than serious….. Hence the following.

Once upon a time there was the land of Dingledong ruled by King Genially (of late middle aged years) who was a jolly and generous fellow as long as things were uncomplicated

Everything in the kingdom was happy and the peasants didn’t have to pay much in taxes. This was because Chancellor of the Exchequer of Dingledong was a crook; who juggled the books while keeping everything looking fine, for he knew the dark magic secret that Economics was not based on facts but on what folk thought and so far no one had out-thought him. In this venture he was aided by King Genially’s High Diplomat to whom he channelled much gold to pass out to important folk in the neighbouring kingdoms. This made them so happy they did not stop to think they had been channelling gold to the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Dingledong in the first place. The whole process was known as Trade Agreements and Tax Unions.

As the jolly king (of late middle aged years) relied on his Chancellor of Exchequer and his High Diplomat he didn’t worry at all and remained very, very jolly. 

Now jolly king Genially (of late middle aged years) and his beloved Domesticia (gracefully aging queen  of many happy years marriage) had two children. The elder was Prince Frendlehanz who was handsome, noble and fayre to the lesser classes; he liked to ride, hunt and design gardens, the former two being requisites of his status, the latter a side-source of income to the royal household as everyone who was anyone in the kingdom wanted a garden designed by Prince Frendlehanz. The younger child was his sister Princess Aureyborealice, her beauty was the necessary beyond compare; she had long flowing blonde hair, was kind to everyone, sang with birds, talked to small furry creatures, danced barefoot in gardens and since she was the younger of the two no one worried about her possible mental state. Both children were very happy and dutiful to their parents who in return loved them both equally.

Whereas Everyone in the kingdom was so happy the said joy, unlike the trade agreements and tax unions, did not translate into everyone in neighbouring kingdoms. More than one royal (and dysfunctional to varying degrees) household found the whole thing rather grating on the nerves, if not downright insufferable but since the kingdom of Dingledong was seen to be so durn wealthy and necessary in the complex regional matrix of politics every other royal family had to put up with it and allow the kingdom to be the senior partner in all economic arrangements.

Of all who was most miffed was King Vilfahengo (The Iron) who ruled the most northern and wintery land of Chiblin. He, had spent long years subduing the barbaric tribes of the even farther north all of whom wore unsanitary furs and had lacked any social graces. The survivors now paid tribute to Vilfahengo (The Iron) and had been made to cease to scratch under their armpits at the dining table. Vilfahengo (The Iron) thought after all this effort the other kingdoms should look to him in the north even if Chilbin had no discernibly strong economic base other than tribute from those even more northern and also still socially awkward folk. He wished have his son Hulstrum (The Fierce ) to marry Princess Aureyborealice and thus gain politic transaction. Hulstrum (The Fierce)  although strong, brave but ruthless feared his father and supposed he would have to marry Aureyborealice, even if he was secretly unsettled by the thought of a wife who never mind if she was beautiful beyond compare and had long flowing blonde hair she was blasted well kind to everyone, sang with birds, talked to small fury creatures AND danced barefoot in gardens. After all how could he maintain societal standing amongst his friends and carry out his task of cowing those very northern barbarians with such a bride? He supposed he would have to  bend her to his husbandly will, which truth be known was a distraction from cowing barbarians. Actually, the true reason why he kept on going north was to tryst with the flame haired and fiery Magnificalorin; daughter of Gurt a barbarian of some standing (and scratching of armpits when with his own folk).

While Vilfahengo (The Iron)  brooded and plotted in the north, Genially the jolly king (of late middle aged years) with the aid of his High Diplomat did make overtures to King Doodle (Unofficially known as The Inconsequential)  of neighbouring  Trundlealong that Prince Frendlehanz ( handsome, noble and fayre to the lesser classes,) should marry Doodle’s daughter, Princess Whinsome (The reasonably beautiful and posssed of russet hair) who was of kindly and compassionate nature, wonderful at sewing and dutiful at prayer. Neither Frendlehanz nor Whinsome felt they ought to have any opinion in the matter and on meeting three formal times thought things could be worse and resolved to be obeyful to their parents. As did everyone else. Three other kings were disappointed one of their daughters or nieces had not made the cut but there again a new resultant trade treaty and formally mutually binding security pact would ensure the two largish kingdom of Dingledong and Trundlealong would be willing to assist the three smaller kingdoms to make sure everything continued in a conservative manner. Princess Whinsome’s slightly elder brother Prince Hanselfrendlesten (an adventuresome warrior prince) was giving the task of being her formal escort to the marriage ceremony so he could get a look at Princess Aureyborealice and hopefully take his mind off of small adventuresome wars in far away places. He was not very enthusiastic about local weddings as unlike in far away places they did not lead to wars,  but having run out of small adventuresome wars in far away places agreed because Dingledong bordered Chiblin and for some time he had been trying to find a reason to square off against Hulstrum (The Fierce)  who he had met once and didn’t like.

The feeling was mutual.

Both The Chancellor of the Exchequer of Dingledong and The High Diplomat knew Hulstrum (The Fierce)  was bound to turn up at the wedding as the official representative of Chiblin and there could be trouble with Prince Hanselfrendlesten (the adventuresome warrior prince)  or at least unwanted attentions to Aureyborealice (beauty beyond compare, long flowing blonde hair, kind to everyone, sang with birds, talked to small fury creatures, and danced barefoot in gardens) . So to various noble families who, previously, had been secretly financially embarrassed by Chancellor of the Exchequer of Dingledong, were sent smallish bags of gold on the understanding they ensured their daughters attended the wedding and heave their bosoms at Hulstrum (The Fierce) 

But everyone had forgotten about or just plain overlooked Lady Frastreiayal  of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng.

Lady Frastreiayal, practitioner of magiks and nurser of grudges.

And sister of Domesticia (gracefully aging queen of Dingledong and of many happy years marriage to King Genially).

Now they had been daughters to Grand Duke Snork  (nervous and mean spirited) and Granduchess Dutiful(placid and fatalistic) of the usefully independent Duchy of Taxhaven. Snork though was worried at not having a legally presentable son so divorced Dutiful on Taxhaven’s law of Grounds of Conduct Unbecoming (in this case, not having sons) and packed her off to a remote religious retreat for Noble Women Deemed Unsuitable (by their husbands, that is). He then married a fluffy curvy little schemer. Both daughters had loved their mother Dutiful and were very unhappy. To stop the elder one moping about the place Snork had  Domesticia quickly married off to Genially who in those days was very lively as well as jolly so she didn’t get a chance to mope.

Frastreiayal was the younger. Now because of her age it was assumed she would mope anyway so she was left to her own devices. She, however, had always been studious and intense which meant she’d been reading stuff everyone else, being more interested in tax laws, had forgotten about. Now these books of hers were the genuine books about hard magics and not just ones describing card tricks or how to get flags of all nations to appear out of the left ear. Thus without having to resort to reading crushingly dull tomes on Economics she learned of other dark powers which could twist realties.

One day while Grand Duke Snork ( at the time only- not so mean spirited) was taking his fluffy curvy little schemer of a bride for a walk in the ornamental garden he had had built for her and with a view to slipping into the summer house when along came a freak wind which deposited a large and understandably ill-tempered bull upon the couple, one of whom may have survived had not the bull ill-temperedly rolled all over them both before getting up and rushing off, adding to the tragedy by on the way demolishing the summer house.

As there were no legally and thus presentable male heirs the usefully independent Duchy of Taxhaven was absorbed into the benevolent suzerainty of Dingledong by virtue of Domesticia being there already, although its unique regional financial status (who pays taxes?) was maintained.

Several astute folk including Domesticia  (who had begun to feel a certain sisterly queasiness) had noticed the normally solemn face of Frastreiayal  was betraying the faintest of grins, thus she was told she now ruled the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng and please go there. Since the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng was devoid of any permanent population and those who passed by were wont not to stay long, she recognised she had been rumbled but fortunately for everyone involved decided she would take up the career of brooding and studying more magics. Thus taking up a with serving staff of specially selected malcontents and misanthropes she left for her new home, there to spy on everyone and nurse grudges against those who led happy lives.  

Upon hearing of the news of the wedding of her irritatingly affable nephew Prince Frendlehanz she decided it was time everyone south of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng sampled her magics. She had been practicing on those north of the Grim Northern Mountain of Urnnnng who being barbarians hadn’t counted much, unless you were one of them and she felt pretty confident she could finally bring the whole shebang into chaos.

End of Part I