In the Kingdom of Anderus, There Are No Doors

In the kingdom of Anderus, the business of naming a family came about in the old times, before the language had developed into what it is now. Back then, only the houses of the most prestigious noblemen had names, as they needed something to differentiate themselves from the less important people who shared their names. The first to do this, Laerd Jason (Laerd being the old word for ‘Lord’) became Laerd Jason Wellowshaere, in order to prove that he was indeed “the” Jason, and not just some ordinary Jason. The name Wellowshaere was lent from a piece of land that Laerd Jason owned, which is now called Willowshire.

The trend caught on among the king and his highest nobles, and soon it was law that all noblemen were to have these special names to prove that they weren’t peasantry. Many ages later, when the language had changed, peasants and commoners were allowed to have names too. These were usually based off of their professions, appearances, or dwelling places. Their names were of the new version of the language, however, and the nobles still retained their names of the olden tongue.

In the time of King Alaric Rouylaer II, and during the reign of his son and grandson, many people of common status were allowed to become nobility after performing certain tasks. Thus there was a burst of new noble houses, new noble blood, and names of the new tongue. As nobles are ever-concerned with image, many of the new houses, realizing that the names of the old houses were embellished with extra letters and sounds all over, decided that they too would add extra letters to their names – indeed, in many cases, wherever possible – to make themselves seem more prestigious.

One such new house was the family Blackthorn, who were among the King’s most loyal and learned peasants before ascending to nobility. Lord Darius Blackthorn decided that to make his house more prominent, he needed to match his name to those of the olden lords. Thus, he became Lord Darius Blaeckethourne. As previously stated, nobles are ever-concerned with image. This means that they were less concerned with other things that they would do well to be concerned with, including intelligence. Darius Blaeckethourne was able to successfully persuade many of the old houses that he was indeed one of them. Not only that, but he also convinced them that his house was the second-oldest (everyone knew Welloshaer was the oldest, after all – especially the nobles), and the most vitally important to the kingdom’s politics.

So, after not so many years, the influence of House Rouylaer waned, and Darius’ House Blaeckethourne took the throne in the form of Antony, Darius’ son. This was a remarkable feat not only because Darius’ house had gone from a peasant family to a noble family to the royal family in two generations, but also because it was the first time anyone had been on the throne of Anderus who was not a member of House Rouylaer.

At first, many of the nobles panicked at the brazen and extreme lack of tradition happening in their kingdom. Then, they realized that politics was fun and now that they had a taste of its blood, they wanted more. The nobles created a special council just for them, where they could attempt to regulate what the king did and give more power to themselves. Why nobody had thought of that before was anyone’s guess.

Instead of being useless for everything but being prettier and better than you, as they had been, nobles became trickier and much more clever. Machinations brewed in the minds of many, and a great struggle for power began. Of course, nobles also created ranks within their special noble council, and holding a certain rank over another meant holding certain privileges and prestige. Soon they were entrenched in a labyrinth of names, titles, pulchritude and wealth, whereas it used to be just pulchritude.

Still, the highest rank in the kingdom of Anderus remained that of the king, and many nobles would have killed (and many nobles did kill) to become king. As killing was illegal in Anderus (as were many other things the nobles did to gain power), the nobles of Anderus made a game of it all, and it was something they were always playing and could never escape barring transferring their power to someone else. But who would do that? Politics was way too fun.

King Antony Blaeckethourne did not last long on the throne. He ran into a little ‘accident’ while traveling alone through the wilderness (nobody had told him that kings normally traveled with escorts), and his 7-year-old brother Hadrian succeeded him. Conveniently, Hadrian was 7, and was very stupid when it came to ruling a kingdom, and also very stupid when it came to saving himself from being raped or murdered, the latter of which naturally happened a week after his crowning. Sad, truly, but the nobles had to be honest: ‘it was probably for the best,’ they told one another.

Of course, the ‘culprit’ was caught – some random idiot who thought murder was legal and was paid lots of money to do it – but Lord Reginald Reverraen conveniently took the throne. This sort of thing happened eight more times over the next decade, and by that time, Anderus was quite used to nobles dying willy-nilly.

It wasn’t until Lord Logan Blaeckethourne, scion of Antony, took the throne for his house again (some umpteen monarchs later), that there was a steady kingship that lasted for more than five years. King Logan wrote into law that all nobles who were not the king were to be considered precisely equal to all other nobles. This seemed to work to quell many of the power-games for a time, and the nobles went back about their business as they had in ages past, where the people with the prettiest faces and obscenely hard to pronounce names were the most important families.

They decided that the person with the best beauty points and hard-to-pronounce points combined would be the current reigning monarch. Thankfully for the Blaeckethournes, nobody stepped forward for a long time, and Logan was sexy as hell. Logan’s son and grandson shared in his fortunate looks, but unfortunately, Logan’s great-grandson, Gordon, had a disappointingly large banana-shaped nose.

This was when Lord Marius Xvcklxzhgkxslas became king. He was only slightly better than average with regards to looks, but there was absolutely no dispute that his name was really hard to pronounce. In fact, nobody even knew how on earth he got that name. Nobody questioned it though, and Marius became king, and the Xvcklxzhgkxslas line reigned for five generations, until the most beautiful woman in all of history was born.

Her name was Mildred Cardboard, which was unfortunate, because that name was kind of ugly, but her physically beauty was unspeakably good, and definitely trumped the hard-to-pronounce-ness of the Xvcklxzhgkxslas, which was really saying a lot, huh? Well, the nobles put her on the throne and changed her name, and she was the first female king ever. Her new name was Antoinette Alorienne, which was unarguably much prettier than Mildred Cardboard, and considerably harder to pronounce.

King Antoinette’s line ruled for many generations, as they all married people who were considerably beautiful (beautiful people tend to marry beautiful people). The line reigns still today, and King Jon ‘Fancypants’ Alorienne sits on the throne with his supermodel wife Jess, and they are considered the most beautiful people in all of Anderus.

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