Sunday, October 12, 2008

NBA Dramatique, Prelude 12

On the outskirts of the Western Banner was the Barony. The accolades, the victories, the love from the commoners, and, most importantly, the money – nearly all of it went to the Banner, leaving nothing but scraps for the Barony. Most of the time, the Barony took what it could get and complained only in a quiet, obligatory manner. Baron Brand had surrendered his title, though, fleeing the west to join a group of revolutionaries in a distant region, and a new Baron had risen in his place. Baron Boom was not content with being a quiet compliment to the Banner and was already beginning to plot an uprising.

Boom had come from the ranks of the Warriors. He abandoned that guerrilla force to pursue wealth, learning during one of their pillaging runs through the Barony that the wealth of the Banner could be siphoned into this treasury. His initial plan was to join Baron Brand and utilize their combined talents to fleece the Banner, and eventually overthrow it. He schemed in advance to usurp the Barony seat from Brand when the time was most advantageous, only to have Brand abdicate and flee before the first stage could be put into action.

So the Barony was his, which was simply not enough. He wanted the seat of power, which meant he had to reverse the relationship between the Banner and the Barony. Rather than be in the shadow of that gold and purple flag, Boom wanted the kingdom to look up to the red, blue, and white. Then, of course, the rest of the warring nations would fall, one by one, until he ruled supreme.

He was drawing those to the Barony that would fight ruthlessly beside him. He had found a man from the Prison with a chip on his shoulder, and two straight from Hell with their own axes to grind. There were young men and old living in his realm that were ready to fight again, and eager to capture for themselves the pride that had been the domain of the Banner’s knights so often. He had even retained the grizzled old general, in the hopes that the man’s tactics and his own on-the-field leadership could compliment each other. If they couldn’t work together, that could be resolved later. It wouldn’t be the first time that he had to make his own decisions in the midst of war.

The Baron looked out across his land to the trees, and far past the forest he could see the towers with the purple and gold flags flying at their peaks. He imagined the future, in which he was casting those flags into the fire and raising his own. The trees reminded him of his past, and the Warriors, and lurking in shadows or running through nights, fighting for fun. In that moment, he wasn’t sure if the past or the future was more appealing.

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