This is a writing exercise I do with my MtG commander decks. I shuffle the deck, draw a card, write something based on it, then draw another card until I’m bored.
The king relishes, for the feeling of being in control is more satisfying than the kind of control it gets. Blind to his own power, he makes his own enemies within his subjects.
Sitting up high atop the Opal Palace, he oversees the realms bathed in dusk. It is his majesty seeping through every strands of clouds, channeling into each droplet of tomorrow’s rain. He is the king, the law of the land.
The preparations are close to complete. All according to plan. Once more, the king rejoices, for he has many reasons to be satisfied in himself. The power he seeks for is within his reach. It is the perverse kind of desire, powered by corruption and tainted dream…but a dream nonetheless.
Spies, lies, and deception. Among them one could find a path to the grandeur he holds.
(There are always whispers in the shadows, eyes on the walls).
To take away and fortify, so is his guiding principle.
For every riches the king claims as his own, blood is shed. For every command the king passes as his divine judgment, tears are dried.
Thus the tale of his reign makes ways across the plains, in all its unadulterated glory.
Laymen know what the walls are for. At a glance, it seems like a charitable act on their king’s part to keep them safe, but it too is one of his tool to siphon everyone’s life force to augment his own. They see the dead reflected in their tired eyes, that they too will soon be one of the scrambling ghosts, attached to the memories of the only place they know in the entirety of their lives.
Some of them remember an old tale about the world outside the walls. Storybooks of yore, still circulating in black markets and handed down from one generation to another, feature bodies of water as vibrant as the sky. It is part of the fabled freedom. Part of the myth. How would it feel to be surrounded by an endless expanse of misery? There is no way out. If you can get through the wall, the sea will stop you. The wind, however, is forever taunting.
The kingdom is not the only one in the plains.
Although it has crushed upon everything on the path of his king’s cruel edict, one manages to remain. It is there in that sole survivor everyone’s hope blooms.
So very unlike the king’s realm, all precise and controlled, the designated adversary is an embodiment of disorganized impulses and chaotic thoughts. Its movement is unpredictable, a trait capable to elude the king’s plan for many many years.
It won’t be for much longer. The king builds the best prison. Prolonged war eventually means custody enough to fill rooms and buildings. Not holding back from detaining some of the most powerful people in the puny little country that dares to defy him, the king culls information out of them, one piece at a time. He himself holds the key to the cells.
The king grows impatient. He knows what the other country is up to, and he is confident. Nothing escapes him in the tower. This time, his kingdom will truly be the only one in the plains.