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Author Topic: Blood and Grain (1910)  (Read 651 times)

Offline Prydania

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Blood and Grain (1910)
« on: August 11, 2014, 09:10:27 AM »
1910, the end of the Great War

It is a time of celebration in Prydainia. The nation, along with its partners in the Northern Alliance, Myroria and Eluvatar, have driven the Haradrim Empire back to their own borders, seized the Ozian coast, and stand triumphant. The victorious allies discuss what will come next as Haradrim burns and Ozia fights amongst itself to decide its own future. Prydainia ultimately decides to withdraw forces now that the hatred Haradrim Empire collapses, declaring the war over. Crowds in Beaconsfield and across the country celebrate the victory, but it is a passing distraction. The war, long and costly, has strained the economies of even the victors. Prydainia's food shortage threatens to destabilize the nation during what is arguably its greatest hour.

To call Sir Samuel Travis typical regarding his attitudes toward Eire would be an understatement. The island's Governor General was known as an opponent of popular sovereignty and a staunch Tory. Eire's limited democratic institutions were suitable enough to keep the police funded and the post office working. If the native Eirians couldn't vote? What did that matter. What would they do with it anyway? Besides disrupt what was working perfectly well anyway. Travis had been Governor General for eight years, and he proudly stood by his near spotless record. A few minor uprisings had been quelled early on, but the past six years had seen a quiet sort of stability wash over the island. Maybe the war had something to do with it. Travis didn't care. The last half decade plus was proof positive to him many within Prydainia's ruling elite that Eire was best off when the damn Eirians stopped causing problems where none existed.

That same record was a sign to the General Staff that this plan would meet with little opposition. Yet all he could do was stare, adjusting his glasses slightly as General Thomas Warren handed him the order.
"Is there a problem Governor?" he asked matter of factly.
"I..." Travis began before going silent for a moment. "I don't think I can sign this."
"Pardon?" General Warren asked, slightly shocked at the answer.
"This would authorize the army to seize grain, livestock, and vegetables from across the country. It's a licence to rob them blind."
"There's a food shortage at hand Governor. And we expect it to get worse before it gets better."
"You'll create one here" Travis pleaded.
"The issue has been discussed at the highest levels of government Governor. It's felt the gains far outweigh the potential setbacks."
"The Confederates. Our colonies. There seems to be ways to alleviate the situation without needing to plunder these people."
"I haven't come to you to discuss policy Governor. The time for that has passed. This is the decision that's been arrived at. We just need your signature."
"You can't have it" Travis replied firmly.
"Governor. This is a matter of procedure. If you won't sign this His Majesty can. And I have it on good authority he will. It would be a shame if that happened, and you were denied that ten year milestone."

It was at that point that Sir Samuel Travis realized that this was a decision that had already been made. Nothing he could say or do would change that. So he picked up the pen, clutching it tightly as if to fight against an unseen force holding his hand back, and scribbled his name at the bottom of the document.
Sir Samuel Travis had, in the name of King Rolland II of Pyrdainia, authorized the Royal Prydainian Army to seize whatever grains, furits, vegetables, or livestock it deemed necessary in staving off a national emergency. 

He dropped the pen and sat back in his chair, his face white.
"Governor" General Warren began, "these decisions are the fire the forge great men. You'll go down in history as the man that saved a nation. Your King and your country are indebted to you."
Travis nodded, offering a quiet "thank you General. Is there anything else?"
"No Sir. Have a pleasant afternoon." With that he left. Leaving Sir Samuel Travis to contemplate what he'd just signed. Would history judge him to be a hero? If so he wasn't sure he wanted to know what the future held.