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The Dream of Alexander Glantri

by Giovanni Porpora

"The Dream of Alexander Glantri (788-835 AC)"

by Lydya Darkrave.

with footnotes by Johann Madhorsen, Keeper of Flaemish Lore at the Flaemish Library in Kopstar.

Last Chapter [1]

It was dark outside, but soon the sun would have struggled to penetrate the mist stretching out on the Highlands. He had just finished wearing his chain mail, the one he had worn during the final battle. He was considering once more if it would have been better to wear something more formal, when he realised that the mail was neat and polished: Mattia had been working all night, already knowing his decision. The young man looked tired, but happy, he himself should have looked the same way. His squire smiled once again watching him as he left.

He had waken up early because he wanted to have news from the front, where his troops were still battling. He would have preferred to remain with his men, but it was much more important to meet other leaders, so he had arranged to have a messenger come early to inform him of the latest events. [2]

[1] The careful reader will surely notice this is but a literary version of the historical events which took place soon after Halzunthram's defeat by the leaders of the rebels. As historian, wishing to remain as objective as possible, I'll try to correct Lady Darkrave any time that her work misleads the reader.

[2] I strongly doubt Alexander Glantri and other leaders opened the discussion about the future of the Highlands soon after the battle in which Halzunthram was defeated and imprisoned. Historical documents suggest us that there had already been some agreements between some leaders during the days that followed the battle, but the leaders of the Army, Alexander Glantri and his second in command, Wilhelm von Drachenfels, remained with their man until the last dwarf physically left the Glantrian soil.

*  *  *

He hastily walked through the corridors of the Palace, his steps echoed. The sound touched the high ceiling, the walls and the floor still marked by sign of the battle: the corpses had been removed but red stains hinted at what happened.[3]

As he approached the door of the Hall he noticed the guards and realised the place wasn't empty, indeed it was silent as if it was. As outside the sun was peering after the mist, so inside peace was making its first steps after forty long years of war. An eternity.

He hoped he wouldn't have been the last one to arrive but as he opened the door he saw them all there waiting for him.

Lord Alexander Glantri entered the Hall.

Others stood up in sign of respect for the man who freed the Highlands [4], while Wilhelm von Drachenfels moved to embrace him: Alexander was quite moved to tears, so much he valued this gesture. The leader of Hattians was forty years old, he was Alexander's second in command and he had been fighting since he came at age, to him, as well as to Alexander, peace had been a whole life's goal.

Then Lord Glantri approached the round table and sat, staring at the other leaders attending. Wilhelm von Drachenfels, the unquestioned leader of the Hattians, was at his right while at his left the imposing figure of Frederick Vlaardoen stood over him: he felt embarrassed such a man showed him so much respect.

Birkai Virayana, the Ethengarian leader, was staring at him with his narrow black pupils who showed up against his yellow iris. Despite his eyes suggested lizard's features they glittered of a superior intelligence, making him more prone to a comparison to a dragon instead.

Then Matteo di Sfonti, the man who raised Alexander with his own sons, de facto Alexander's father. [5]

Lord Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany sat in front of him on the other side of the round table, far away from Alexander but the only one who directly stared in his eyes. The leader of the Traladarans was the one who bore less the sign of years of war, young and charming as always, dressed as a nobleman.

Moving left, there was Vortram, the leader of the Alphatians who betrayed Halzuntram and joined the rebels. Then came Percival McDougall, leader of the Kaelic people. [6]

Alexander Glantri felt a small man amidst those important persons, he couldn't suspect that when he spoke others felt the same towards him, hypnotised by his words, driven into his project, a project that had become part of their lives.

[3] Lady Darkrave cunningly avoids any description of this Palace, leaving to the reader the choice. Obviously such a building served her as the stage of some moral and picturesque descriptions she gives us hereafter.

[4] Sometimes you'll find Lady Darkrave lets her heart to get the better over her mind: Lord Glantri's deeds were very important in freeing the Highlands, but without other leaders he wouldn't have had the final victory.

[5] It seems to me Matteo di Sfonti's presence at this meeting sounds like a way to thank him for having raised Alexander. Such a pity he had died six years before ...

[6] Historical documents prove that the leaders of Kaelics and Fenswicks didn't attend the meeting with other would be members of the council. The way Lord Percival McDougall is sometimes described sounds like a hoax to Kaelic people. But it helps the writer to describe some situations she wouldn't be able to.

* * *

"Dwarves are still fighting against our soldiers".

As usual Lord Glantri started speaking, and as usual he did so by going directly to the heart of the problem. Then he remained silent waiting for comments.

"I know how you're feeling, my friend" - Wilhelm voice was warmer than usual, yet his words were sharp - "You don't have to feel guilty for their stubbornness. I understand you would have liked everybody to join us in our project, but the way they act doesn't leave us other option than to immediately expel them from our Country".

Wilhelm's last words penetrated in Alexander's ears as if they were daggers of ice.

"There's no time to waste, our people's tired o' fighting. The hastier we drive 'em out o' the Highlands, the better'll be for everyone o' us"

Percival McDougall spoke as if his sentences were composed by a single long word; thus it was generally difficult to understand what he was saying. Anyway this time the meaning was clear to everyone. [7]

"My troops are pushing them Southwest, as Lord Glantri wished. If the elves continue helping us it'll be a matter of days when dwarves will be on the other side of the borders"

Vortram spoke trying to look at every one of them, as to reassure them, but as he had contributed in exhausting a subject so he had raised a different one. He turned to Lord Glantri and asked:

"So, elves won't join us, will they?"

"Twice they trusted humans and twice their trust was broken"

Lord Birkai Virayana intervened, he didn't love too many words and when he spoke others had to spend some time thinking of what was beyond his words. Alexander had already been thinking about such issue and his reply was faster than the thoughts of the others. [8]

"I'm confident they will. I can't tell you exactly when, but I do think our project is worth their trust".

Other members agreed. Alexander was trying to hide his disappointment for the Elves' decision, he really believed they would have joined the Republic from the start.

"Last time it took sixteen years to make them change their mind, how long shall we wait for them to join us?"

Lord Virayana's words weren't meant to contradict Alexander, instead he was urging them to change subject and talk about the present rather than the future.

"I agree." - Alexander hastily said.

"I guess Averoignans and Fenswickians [9] aren't going to join us, too" pointed out Percival McDougall. In truth he wasn't guessing at all, he strongly hoped so.

"Averoignans didn't help against Halzuntram, why should they come and enjoy your work?" Lord Morphail's words betrayed the fact he didn't feel part of the project other leaders had in mind. Still Alexander thought this wasn't the right moment to discuss such issue, Lord Morphail had never had any occasion to talk with them about the future of the Highlands, something other leaders had had since fifteen years before.

"Averoignans won't join us, but they'll send an ambassador to Braejr and they'll commerce with us. I do agree with Lord Gorevitch-Woszlany, they did remain on their own during the war, anyway their valleys are very rich and our far western borders would greatly enjoy should they decide to join us."[10]

"Concerning the Fenswick, they did help during the war, and their leader, Lord Batril, let me know they are willing to join us. He'll be their only representative at the House of Lord, since like Lord McDougall, he doesn't wish to sit at the Council".

As Alexander finished his sentence he watched the alarmed expression of the Kaelic leader: this convinced him he had done well to hide the truth to him.[11]

"Pardon me. Lord Glantri, but I'd like to talk about what to do with Halzuntram, is it true you don't want to execute him?" Frederick's words had a menacing tone, but that was due to his Flaemish accent, and Alexander knew it. Lord Vortram wholeheartedly supported the Flaem, the one who only few days before strongly opposed the joining of his Alphatians to the future Republic, and the one who accepted them thanks to Alexander diplomatic efforts only. [12]

Other leaders were inclined to think this time Alexander was wrong, so Alexander had been better to have a very good reason to force them change their minds.

"There's no need to kill him now, moreover it will be bad for us. I'm planning to have Alphatia plainly recognising our Republic and the best way to achieve such goal is to give Halzuntram a fair trial. If we kill him now, we'll give them a motive to come here once more".

Alexander's logic was agreed but Vortram shared some doubts about Alphatian's logic, being Alphatian himself.

"I wonder if they'll react the way you say, Lord Glantri. I won't be surprised if they'll refuse to recognise us".

"We'll keep Halzuntram in the Tower of Sights until they'll have agreed with our request".

Lord von Drachenfels' words struck the right chords, Alexander reluctantly agreed on what he thoughts to be a menace.

[7] See previous footnote.

[8] Of course Alexander Glantri was a genius while other leaders were jerks. Let's go on.

[9] This term is often used as a derogatory of Fenswick, the correct term. This time Lady Darkrave proves to be unexpectedly correct in this statement.

[10] The same words can be found at the end of the "Report on Averoignan territories" presented to the Parliament in 845 AC, during the discussions for the annexation of Nouvelle Averoigne to the Republic. Needless to say the author wasn't Alexander Glantri.

[11] The joining of the Fenswick and the Kaelic wasn't done so easily as Lady Darkrave wants us to believe. Lord McDougall and Lord Batril had to be part of the Council, but they both believed the other oughtn't. The only agreement that could be found was that none of them would have been part of the Council: other members didn't want two members concerned only of putting the blame of everything on each other.

[12] The fact the Alphatian blasted Alexander Glantri to death some seven years after shows us who was right at the time.

* * *

Lord Glantri took a deep breath as if he'd have needed to talk for a whole day. So much he had been waiting for this moment that he had long forgotten how he first imagined it to be. But once more reality overcame the dreams.

"Our Country shall be a Republic, as it ought have been forty years ago. The Republic of the Highlands". Alexander paused as he enjoyed the smiles of the others.

"Everybody shall have the right to make his thoughts known, we shall rule all together, without any differences.... The past doesn't count anymore; we ought to think to our future and to the future of our sons.... I can't promise you there won't be any quarrels, but I trust we'll do our best to get past over them, all together, because there's no need to fight anymore, no need to die anymore"

The last sentence was said quite in a low voice, as if it brought up all the nightmares that came true over those forty years of war.

While talking Alexander used to look at everyone, trying to interpret their feelings on what he was saying. This time he knew everybody agreed with him. So he went on.

"We shall rule through a Parliament composed of two bodies: the Council and the House of Lords. They'll both be in charge of voting upon new laws to be recommended to the other body and of reviewing the votes originating with the other body."

"A rather complicated mechanism, won't this slow down the Parliament?" asked Lord Gorevitch-Woszlany.

"I do believe it's better to have enough time for everyone to express his opinions than to have things hastily done"

"Haste rhymes with waste" Percival McDougall said, pleased with his display of wisdom. Lord Virayana smiled as if he had supposed the Kaelic's sentence was an attempt to imitate him.[13]

"The Council will be composed by one member for every ethnic group ... "

Percival McDougall interrupted Lord Glantri.

"I'd like to say we Kaelics think it's fair we don't take part of the Council, what we've done for the Country can't be compared of what you all had done during these years of war. Therefore we content ourselves of taking part of the House of Lords" [14]

This time Lord McDougall spoke slowly for his standard, being careful his words were understood. Such a display of humility surprised other members and shook them greatly. Lord McDougall had already told this to Alexander and Lord Glantri knew when a Kaelic spoke in such a way there was no mean to make he change his mind, thus he agreed making sure the Kaelic knew how much he and other leaders appreciated his words. Then Alexander went on.

"Every group shall decide how to elect its member. One member for Kerendans and Thyatian" he looked at Lord di Sfonti who nodded.

"One for Flaems, one for Hattians, one for Alphatians, one for Ethengarians and one for Traladarans, if Lord Gorevitch-Woszlany will agree in joining us". The Traladaran Lord didn't say anything; Alexander took this as a sign Morphail wanted to listen to the whole project first.

"So this means Alphatians prisoner will be outlawed" Vortram pointed out.

"I'd like to have them joining my people," said sharply Lord von Drachenfels

"What?" Vortram and Frederick were clearly upset; the Flaem Lord's face was red as his hair. [15] He had protested against the joining of Vortram's Alphatians, only Lord Glantri and Lord von Drachenfels' perseverance managed to make him change his mind.

"They fought against us till the very end of the battle, they are different from us who switched to YOUR side BEFORE the war was over. I can't bear they will be considered like my people, they have been our enemies until yesterday, why are they our friends now?"

Vortram was enraged but still he managed to keep his rage under control. Lord Vlaardoen seemed a volcano few moments before the eruption, he had doubted of Lord Vortram, too, since they joined the rebels, and his doubts were long to be forgotten.

Moreover even Lord di Sfonti seemed surprised by Wilhelm request. The reason for their behaviour was Wilhelm's previous friendship with Halzuntram; he had married Charlena, the niece of the imprisoned leader of Alphatians troops. Yet Wilhelm switched side fifteen years before....

This was the first time the member of the future Council faced a difficult decision. [16]

"Everyone of us changed his mind during last years, if we judge our intentions pure, why shouldn't we judge those of others the same?"

Lord Birkai's wise words were of no help in easing the rage of Vortram and Frederick.

"I myself guarantee for my people's intentions, and everyone of you guarantees for your people's. Who will do this for them?"

Lord Vlaardoen was quite shouting, he himself was enraged of being compared to mere Alphatians.

"I will" Wilhelm von Drachenfels spoke and the tone of his voice didn't admit any further replies: how could other members doubt the word of another future Council member?

Lord Glantri briefly considered the motives behind Wilhelm's will: Hattians had been suffering a great loss of men during the war, with Halzuntram asking more and more men to Wilhelm's father and with Wilhelm's father giving them. There might have been a demographical reason; this explanation seemed logical to Alexander so he hastily said.

"To me, Lord von Drachenfels' word counts more than hundreds of suspicions"

Other members agreed: from now on they'd have had a way to weaken the Hattian Lord.

Now Alexander thought all those hindrances and discussions and verbal fighting would have prevented Lord GW from joining the Republic. So he was amazed when the Traladaran Lord announced his people would have gladly joined the Republic. Alexander's joy hid his astonishment.[17]

[13] Due to the tense relations between Ethengarians and Kaelics at the time, I'd have used "ape" rather than "imitate", and I don't think the two leaders were in such a good mood when dealing with their enemy.

[14] See footnote 11.

[15] Such a metaphor really shows us how Lady Darkrave is poorly informed of Flaemish behaviour. This is just another typical sentence describing the typical hatred other inferior races have towards Flaems. Lady Darkrave should consider herself lucky if the good old times of the Purifying Fire are over.

[16] And not the last...

[17] The joining of the Traladarans is something that had been puzzling historians and politicians since then.

* * *

"The House of Lords will be composed by all the nobles. Every one of us shall propose his list in a week time. Then all together we'll proceed in approving." [18]

[18] I myself would have liked to know something more about this.

* * *

"Our Country is in need of rebuilding after this long war. The members of the Council will divide important charges among themselves: the Chamberlain, the Treasurer, the Chancellor and the Supreme Judge. The Council will elect the holders of the Charges.

The Chamberlain will be in charge of the rebuilding of logistic structures, such as roads, bridges, and buildings, as well as of the reopening of the mines. He will travel the land to see if there's something to be done. He'll be in charge of assuring our people feels comfortable in our lands.

The Treasurer will be in charge of choose a taxation system that will allow our Country to cover all the expenses, he will provide the collection of taxes and will provide a balance for other charges.

The Chancellor will be in charge of holding diplomatic relations with other Countries and with the ethnic groups who haven't joined the Republic, namely Averoignans and elves. He'll also be in charge of the discussions to be held at the Council, he shall speak for other members when they're absent.

The Supreme Judge will be in charge of building the judiciary system and of enforcing the laws. He'll also be the constable of the Capital.

The holder of a Charge will autonomously decide how to organise the structure, choose ministers and other subordinate"

" I think you'll be our best choice as Chancellor, Alexander" Lord Wilhelm words exposed their friendship, other members agreed there wasn't better choice. Alexander himself had thought about what to do first.

First he moved from Hightower to Westheath, because he wanted to be near to Braejr and to Nouvelle Averoigne. Joanna Hodlan would have substituted him in Hightower: since it was the southernmost fief and she was in very good relations with the elves. Then Alexander would have proceeded in having Darokin and Thyatis recognise the Republic, to enjoy the commerce with those important Countries.

Then Lord von Drachenfels and Lord Vlaardoen stared each other for a brief moment, and Lord Vlaardoen spoke

"I'll be honoured if you shall commit the Charge of Supreme Judge on myself"

Lord Vortram was astonished; he quickly looked at Lord Glantri searching for someone to tell him this was a joke. Lord Birkai Virayana was so surprised his expression lost composure.

"I beg to remember yourself, Lord Vlaardoen, your people isn't known for the acceptance of other ethnic groups ... your Code of Laws is the most racist amongst the Codes of our people... what makes you think we'll be convinced to grant you the Charge".

The situation was tense; Lord Virayana spoke the truth.

"I do intend to study the Code of Laws of everyone of you, then I'll proceed to create our own, respecting the freedom and the rights of every single man. Before the Code will be enforced, I'll provide to ask for your judgement"

The Flaem appeared strangely truthful to other leaders who reluctantly agreed.[19]

Since Lord Virayana and Lord Vortram were clearly upset that the Flaem got the most powerful charge, other leaders quickly made clear they were granted the two remaining charges. Lord Virayana's wisdom earned him the Charge of Treasurer, leaving the charge of Chamberlain to Lord Vortram. [20]

Alexander was seriously worried about Lord GW. He feared the Traladaran Lord felt underestimated, having been granted no charge.

"I'm going to built a Fort along the Wendarian Ranges, with the aim of improving our defences, maybe Lord GW could do the same along the Ethengarian borders"

Other leaders agreed with Lord von Drachenfels, since the people of the Steppes had been trying to invade Glantri in the past. But they all feared the leader of Traladarans felt this was a heavy toll to pay to enter the Republic. But once more Lord GW surprised them when he wholeheartedly agreed. [21]

[19] While Lady Darkrave has properly stressed Alexander's successes as Chancellor, She failed in describing the work of Duke Frederick Vlaardoen as Supreme Judge: suffice to say that "During the first years of the Republic he had to build judicial system from the scratches and unite the five different systems (Flaemish, Thyatian, Alphatian, Traladaran and Ethengarian) into one. Most of his innovations are still in use. " Source: "Of Laws and Magocracy" written by Bompiero Malifanti.

[20] Despite this wasn't exactly how things went, it can be considered as a good proxy.

[21] Lady Darkrave should have read the accounting books of the Treasury to realise how wise Lord Virayana really was and where the Traladaran Lord took the money.

* * *

Few weeks later, Braejr was unanimously renamed Glantri City, in honour of the leader of the Republic of the Highlands. Alexander Glantri was unanimously granted the title of Archduke, to mark his leadership over other nobles.

Yet the descendants of those who made Alexander Glantri the symbol of the Republic, betrayed his project only thirty years after.

By declaring some members were more rightful than others were, more equal than others, they named a magocracy after a fighter, an oligarchy after a republican.

I wrote this book to witness who Alexander Glantri really was, how pure his dreams, how great his projects really were.

So that his memory could be kept safe by the Poisons of the untruthful.

To my son, Julius Glantri, may he forever know who his grandfather really was.
Darokin City, 25 Flaurmont 897 AC.

Lydya Darkrave