Once upon a time in a kingdom not too dissimilar to the one that you and I might live in lived king Hellen Tudor. This was not any old king, nor was he one to be taken lightly. King Hellen was quite inspired and inspiring. Many tomes were written by the scribes of the time in order to tell tall tales of his supposed greatness. Hellen believed that these tales commissioned though they were and usually borrowed from a local hero’s life, would travel far and wide and stir up the passions and the fears of both women and men, young and old. Being king, Hellen could demand whatever he desired whenever he desired it, and as such the subordinates had to acquiesce, even though they generally did not have enough time to complete the task. Many of his scribes and minstrels pressed into service took their own lives due to the pressures and constraints of directly working for the king and being subjected to his baffling flights of fancy. As such, all scribes and minstrels worked exclusively freelance as far as King Hellen Tudor was concerned. This made tales that were less than flattering readily available among the black markets and the student magazines, whereas before they were not; for anyone writing about the king did so with his hand on their quill.
Hellen Tudor was something of an oppressor; his subjects hated him with a passion. Such was the behaviour at the time though that there was nothing that could be done. The people knew however, that it would only take one really stupid mistake by one of the really stupid whimsical notions and the king would be no more. There were many Machiavellian ruminations amongst the Rebel Party, for they sought to oust Hellen of his power and return it to the people, who would not only use it wisely, but fairly too.
The plans were discussed for many a cycle of the celestial bodies, and in that time Hellen was growing wilder and more and more uncontrollable. His ideas were insane, his applications disastrous; the application of straw had forced the camel to undergo traction. Finally, a plan was agreed upon. The only way to bring his downfall without a civil uprising was to let the king bring himself down, and to do this it was deemed to be decidedly more satisfying to watch the king fail at something he thought that only he was good enough to do.
One of Hellen’s advisors, Krios, had heard from one of the merchants at the docks about a land to the south where it was said that a totem of immense size would grant absolute power to the one who sat themselves atop it. The pedestal atop the gargantuan totem had claimed many lives and was hitherto unconquered. Many a brave, arrogant and usually foolish pretender would attempt to scale this monstrous monolith but all had succumbed to its ethereal power and perished, only to fall to the base in a crumpled heap. The locals had made themselves considerable profit in the tourism industry, and regularly sold compilation videos of unsuccessful climbing attempts to internet forums and television shows for substantial profit. What made this all the more impressive, is that all of these locals were actually monkeys who were further along the evolutionary chain than anyone had previously thought possible. They were skilled climbers and knew all the secrets of the totem, yet they could not climb the totem, for they were merely the guardians and the keepers, and as such were sworn against taking the powers for themselves. Besides, monkeys had no use for absolute power aside from all the bananas they could eat and sell and throw, and as they had that anyway they felt that the whole idea of absolute power absolutely corrupting.
Krios was a strapping, handsome and effervescent young lad with a polite demeanour, a heart of gold and a smile that could make flowers weep. However he above all others received the fury of the king when the mood so took him, therefore Krios was the first in line to end the misery and suffering that so many faced on a daily basis. It didn’t take long for Hellen to be convinced to travel to this far away land with such an enticing offer on the table, and being the glutton for power that he was, the insatiable fever had gripped him like rabies would a dog.
It was the morning that they were due to depart, and Hellen was taking his time getting ready:
“Krios, Krios my lad! Come look!” Hellen was in his chambers, gazing into a hand mirror. “See my hair! My big, beautiful, golden hair! I am the envy of every man in the land! You envy me do you not?”
No, Krios thought. You look like a lion.
“Ha! You envy me so; I can see your eyes burning with ferocious, jealous intensity! Do you wish to strike me, squire?” Hellen was waxing rhetoric now.
“You could not get close to me; I would drop you to the floor in two seconds. Two seconds!”
If the roof was falling in, then perhaps. And only then if I wasn’t using you to shield myself from the debris.
“My movement would be like a dream, a spectre; this way, that way, hark! Gone! Behind you, boom!” Hellen was dancing and prancing about the room and Krios as though he were a prize fighter. In reality only his lack of bells and motley separated his appearance from that of his favourite jester, Jibberlip. His hair certainly resembled the hat. He had the same size and stature as a meerkat, and the brains of one long deceased. Better to have a civil war than listen to one more word from this utter fool. Instead he did his duty, relishing the future pay off.
“Yes of course sir. You will have all the time and the strength to demolish anyone who stands in your way once you have seated yourself upon the totem of power.”
“I am not listening to you, Krios. I have more important matters to attend to. I have to go and find this totem of power I was telling you about. You remember the one, yes? The one I researched and researched and read about until I could take the longing no longer! We set sail post haste, and I will be the Almighty! No one will question me! No one will question anything I say! I will destroy them all! Crush! Crush!” and with a maniacal laugh and a swoop like a cartoon villain, Hellen was off down the stairs of his palace and into the waiting carriage. Krios was to take the baggage carriage and was expected to be there ahead of Hellen before he could wreak havoc and instil chaos all along the marina.