…And that’s how the story ends…or begins, however you want to look at it.
What? What do you mean you just got here? Well, you’re a bit late.
Fine, okay, don’t fret about it; it’s still early in the evening. Buy me another pint of ale and I’ll start over for you if you’re so interested in the story. And not a pint of the cheap stuff either. I want some of the good whiskey!
…Ahhh, okay, I’m ready. Now, how shall I start this time? Stop giving me suggestions. I’m the one telling the story, not you! Alright, here we go.
This is the story of a special Halfling. No, I’m not the Halfling, I’m a—What do you mean you don’t know what a Halfling is? What the hell do they teach you in those fancy academies nowadays? Look, just shut up and you’ll get it as the story goes along.
At the time of this story, many of the Mage Academies were speeding up graduation, allowing mages that weren’t truly masters of their crafts to venture into the world due to the fact that a war was brewing over half of the continent. Now, this particular Halfling was young by his species’ standards, but was old enough for war by the humans’ laws. Despite the fact that wars happen all the time, not many people enjoy fighting in them unless they’re bloodthirsty morons. Most mages are recruited into various armies or mercenary guilds after graduation. Every guild wants a powerful mage on their side, of course.
The war that was brewing was the fault of King Richard. He had recently risen to Akyna’s throne after Queen Edith passed away mysteriously. If you ask me, she was murdered, but there was no evidence and—I know you didn’t ask me, but I’m telling the story, and I’m going to put in my opinion if I want!
King Richard was the second cousin to the queen. She did have a consort, but since they didn’t get married, he was not eligible for the throne after her death. They didn’t have any children, and the queen’s first cousin was too old for the position. King Richard was the only available candidate for the throne. He had been the Duke of Utor, and had always vied for more territory for the country as well as being known for opposing the tentative friendship that the queen had been trying to form with the beasts of the continent.
The humans and beasts had always been careful with the other. The beasts think a human’s magic is unnatural, with it being learned instead of humans being born with the abilities, while the humans believe the beasts are uncivilized, that they might snap and go wild. As such, humans and beasts tended to stay out of each other’s way, but were not unwelcome in each other’s countries.
King Richard hated the beasts. Many could not figure out a reason as to why. He started imposing laws to crack down on the amount of beasts in the country, like higher taxes for them, deeming them a threat to the society in the case that they do go wild. Many beasts fled the country, most back to Falson, but some weren’t so lucky. Some had jobs, families even, in Akyna and couldn’t afford to move. The laws and taxes came down harder on them, oppressing the beasts and, over time, some beasts were little more than slaves to humans.
Why did the people allow the king to do this? Queen Edith was the first Akyna monarch to attempt to build a friendship with the beasts. She was a wise person and did her research about the other countries. Falson didn’t have much of a problem with humans as long as they obeyed Falson’s laws; as a people, Falson doesn’t have much mercy for lawbreakers. Geist was the country with the longest-running record for peace. Instead of being run by a monarchy, a council made up of both humans and beasts creates and enforces the laws.
Did you just yawn? If you think this story is boring, then I’ll stop—Of course you need to know this background stuff, why else would I be—Okay, fine! I was just about to get back to the Halfling. Anyways, I suppose the true start of the story began around the time that the Halfling was getting ready to graduate from the Mage Academy of Akyna…