BOOTLICKER

Appropriate Consequences

2008-04-16

Dear Charlie,

I hope you and your brother are keeping well. I know both of you don’t think much of The Club’s society but I’m certain that you’ll at least warm to the charms of it’s estate. Both of you know that you can travel wherever you wish around the countryside in your carriage, please enjoy yourselves.

I shan’t bother with idle pleasantries any more Charles; such pretence I find dangerous now. I left you and your brother because it was necessitated by your welfare. If I was to be with you now, both of you would find yourselves in the most perilous danger of indescribable proportions. What I am about to reveal to you is for your eyes only, and for Roy’s ears in turn. I expect that how and whenever you inform Roy of this secret should not matter, as the nature of this tale ironically resembles the stories you and your brother are notorious for inventing late at night when you should be sleeping.

That aside, I must begin, for I haven’t much time, and I have so much to say.

Charlie, we are at war. We find ourselves opposed by a great and fearsome army, mobilised by hate and with intentions none less than wanton destruction. This is no joke, my poor nephew - and neither is this an unknown foe. We find ourselves the arch-enemy of the Great Republic of Gremano.

You must already be curious why; for many many years now the People of the South have been our sworn allies and cousins in prosperity, and for many, this is all they have ever known. It is with great anxiety that I must now attempt to explain to you this is no longer the case. For many years I have hid from you and your dear sweet brother many secrets - and indeed my very own nation - it is now time to explain everything to you.

You are most certainly aware of the origin of the world and of it’s three peoples, but of all your knowledge of the fierce natural barriers that separated the three civilisations of Jardenia for so long, you, like the rest of your people, know very little of the lives that our neighbours in the East and South live.

Effectively all of the servants we Nelen employ to run our manors and estates hail from the great Commune of the Jou in the east - you and your brother know this. What you two have very little knowledge of is the Gremano. The Gremanese do not so actively involve themselves in the affairs of the Nelen because they are an entirely different race of people in comparison to the Jousen or the Nelen.

For thousands of years the Gremano have lived in poverty and repression in one form or another. They are a deeply religious people, and every Gremanese Matriarch since time can recall has become corrupt with power, to the detriment of his subjects. Contrary to the Nelen, the Gremanese were aware of other Jardenian civilisations for many centuries. Explorers who defected from Nelen society to adventure the ferocious forests to our south eventually stumbled upon the fringes of ancient Gremanese societies and were taken in by curious peasants. The exorbitant dress and fascinating trinkets given to the peasants by these eccentric Nelen men signalled the Dukes and Lords of the land to act; the notion of another, more prosperous and grand country challenged the authority of their state, and so their peoples were repressed, so that such thoughts would be stamped out.

The paranoia of Gremanese Lords and Ladies about the existence of a better civilisation than theirs led to giant cities being constructed underground, where eventually all the peasants and serfs were hidden - for the landed aristocracy feared so vehemently that if but a single peasant became aware of a better land, they would face an uprising and all die a grizzly death.

For many years the Gremanese Dukes and Barons lived in luxury while the vast majority of their subjects toiled underground for ore and jewels, but our explorers persisted. To make a long story short my boy, the peasants learned of the secret kept from them, and because of the crimes committed against them, indeed overthrew their oppressors! However, this rewarded the poor no form of liberation whatsoever, as an oppressive leadership was reformed and forced millions of poor, sorry people into hiding and hardship once more. And so for many years, the Gremano remained hidden from the rest of Jardenia, and it was long after the Nelen and Jousen were confederated that the Gremanese revealed themselves. They did so because their Republic was crumbling from the destruction that they self-inflicted through seemingly perpetual uprisings and rebellions.

We of course welcomed them with open arms, offering every kind of assistance we could imagine, transporting diplomats and doctors and engineers to their stricken land. We repaired their broken nation, but the Gremano remained somewhat recluse - they hesitated to embrace the friendship of the Nelen and the Jousen - but they did take great interest in the business of the Jousen. They were absolutely fascinated by the efficient and sustainable production and movement of goods the Jou pursued, and their system they derived Houses. Not Houses in the form that govern our beloved nation, Charlie.

Gremanese Houses are like our prosperous business magnates. Gremanese Houses concerned themselves with supplying the Jousen with resources and services, boosting their already mighty ability to produce and transport - and secured an agreement with the Jousen to recieve whatever surplus their services achieved. These surpluses grew and grew, until the vast majority of the Gremanese population was fed and mobilised to work by the Jousen.

This continued for many years, and for a time it seemed all of Jardenia might live in complete peace and prosperity. However, it was not to be. The Executive Nelenry of our parliament had been coordinating research into the manipulation of nature’s fundamental mechanics - more specifically into the cause for life - through intensive studies on plants and certain flora. The fruits of this endeavour were not totally rewarding, but this did not mean Malasrionese science was not forwarded. The scientists emerged from their studies with the ability to create invisibly small animals that multiplied at astonishing rates when exposed to the light of a sun.

My poor Charlie, this is the cause for our war with the Gremanese. Last year, these small animals escaped from our laboratories and began to consume the grain crops of the Jousen. At the time, the cause for the slow infection and irreparable destruction of our world’s bread-bowl was completely unknown by anyone. To the Gremanese, the cause appeared only too clear. To Southern High Command, the Jousen were organising an elaborate genocide, deliberately culling the the grain on which Gremanese diets subsisted.