LIAB Epilogue 22
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|Here beginneth the reign of King Tramennis the Reluctant. If you are reading this, and you are not me, then I must have performed my office well enough that Jetstone persists as a side. Good for me. And for you, whoever you are, Your Highness.
I was unaware of the existence of this book until just this evening, when it was presented to me by the Earl of Olay. Quite the tome, is it not? I was fascinated to learn, as you've no doubt been apprised, that only a true King of Jetstone may write upon or read it. It is a Signamancy item created nearly eighty-thousand turns ago in the reign of Flintlock the Voluble, whose writings comprise the first three quarters of the volume. The other sixteen of us, and you, must needs be brief, I suppose.
Unless, perhaps, the few pages remaining for me to write upon in this book are a kind of Prediction. I do hope not. Regardless, I shall assume the existence of my posterity, and not my circumstances succinctly for you.Today, my father King Slately and brother Prince Ossomer croaked in battle. (Twice each, in fact, but that requires some telling.) I loved them both dearly. Gobwin Knob captured our capital city of Spacerock, and we are retreating to the new/old one at the City of Jetstone. We lost our Dollamancer, and five-hundred men. The heir who was to have been popped in Spacerock also has been lost. I am the last living son of Jetstone. (Well, more or less. There is a story there as well.) For the first time in memory, the side has no heir.
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|I must tell you, I am attempting to be brave. And I am failing quite miserably at it. Slately was our pillar. I fear that I lack enough of his steadfastness to support the weight of state. I am as unprepared to rule Jetstone as any who have written upon these pages. I was never meant to wear the crown. (It's a bit much, isn't it? Especially after what was done to it today.)
Jetstone stands on tradition. This book is proof enough of that; Jetstone does not change. When Prince Ansom fell, Ossomer's inclination was to pop infantry, a Jetstonian tradition which served us well against Haggar. But those troops we popped are the enemy's now, arrayed against us. In Gobwin Knob, we face a heterodox enemy. Heretical, my father argued constantly. That does not matter. They are winning. I must do something. Jetstone may not change, but we must adapt.
I believe that we need to fall back and consolidate around the old capital, preparing to face Gobwin Knob in some new manner. I have not yet settled on a Chief Warlord. To this point, every warlord I have spoken with has blanched at the notion of even minor adjustments to our grand strategy. I know I must command it. I must rule Jetstone as her King. I must be brave. But first I must find a Chief Warlord who will agree with me.And how can I do that, when I lack the bravery even to turn a few pages, and read what my father wrote of me?