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    The Great Kingdom - Baron Malkonian
    Posted on Thu, August 28, 2003 by Trickster
    MerricB writes "This article gives the text of a letter from a travelling scholar that has somehow come down to our own age from the Age of Magic on Oerth. It is dated some time towards the end of the Great Kingdom's reigh, and details some of the intrigues and politics of the eastern realm.

    The Great Kingdom - Baron Malkonian
    By: MerricB
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    My dear M_,
    I hope you have been keeping well. What terrible things I have heard coming from your part of the world of late! Gem of the Flanaess? That title would cause great hilarity in my current companions if they were to hear it. Thankfully, they remain, as always, unaware of happenings in the greater world around them.

    I sometimes think that the first Overking did the world a great favour by declaring the Kingdom of the Aerdy to be the "Great" Kingdom, as it stopped up his subjects ears. "You are part of the greatest kingdom ever to exist, and that will ever exist," said one of his successors. "All things begin and end here, and nothing else matters!" The folk of the Great Kingdom have taken it to heart ever since.

    It does make it harder for a wandering scholar such as myself, however. The one-sided view most of the folk here makes it most difficult to ascertain the true facts behind any particular event. Would you believe that I recently came upon a professor in the Great University of Rauxes who was not aware that Furyondy had broken away from the Kingdom? He had concocted some elaborate diagram and explanation of trade in the Great Kingdom; all very useful, I suppose, if you happened to live three-hundred years ago.

    Alas, this is not the case. I admit I was weak and did not explain the flawed reasoning. I hear that his opus was greatly praised for three months amongst the intelligentsia of that great city.

    I've spent the past two months wandering through a few of the baronies on the eastern edge of the realm. What a backward lot they are! Hardly a one of them thinks of anything past hunting, persecuting elves, and performing a great deed of bravery that will endear them to the Overking and perhaps earn them a dukedom.

    Two of the eastern barons, Malkonian and Saru, have an ongoing feud which was the main topic of conversation in Duke Galdanir's halls, G being the duke whom both have sworn fealty to. Duke G and his friends all find M and S's feud to be terribly entertaining, and have not lifted a finger to mediate or otherwise end the feud. I suppose it will end in a pitched battle - there have been several this last century, and the next one is about due.

    I made the mistake of venturing into Malkonian's lands. The Baron favours the worship of Hextor, of course, and is the more warlike of the two - Saru favours Zilchus and is slightly more obscure in his tactics. Neither has yet declared open war, and have been keeping their forces away from each other - thank Delleb! - but have been acting through proxies.

    Malkonian seems to have hired a bunch of ill-favoured mercenaries who had been banished from the lands of Baron Seward. Saru has engaged a court mage and was sending foul creations into Malkonian's lands - a diabolic wolf slew several of Malkonian's serfs before being hunted down by Malkonian's mercenaries.

    One note of interest before I finish: a young woman by the name of Cassandra d'Felis caught my attention whilst I was in Baron Malkonian's lands. She was a single mother, but her child had been killed by the wolf. It seems that the stress has brought out a latent arcane, nay sorcerous ability, and she joined with the mercenaries to take revenge. She is extremely attractive, though linked to no man - although the Baron's manservant takes an especial interest in her.

    I know how interested you are in tales of that rare phenonomen called "sorcery" and the method by which it manifests - it is quite different to our own art of wizardry, I admit! I will attempt to study her more and write back with tales of what I have learnt.

    Your devoted servant,
    Cauldas of Furyondy "
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