The World of Men
The world of men have long since existed only for themselves. Content in that selfishness, they have lived happily, ruled under a monarchy since they have chosen to remember. The world is not that unlike a medieval one with serfs tilling the land and aristocrats sipping their wine merrily. The people, for the most part, are content with their status, taking pride in their work. There has been only one evil king since the race of men have governed themselves. King Heron, a power-hungry ruler with a dark heart, enjoyed the feel of blood on his hands. He was quickly overthrown by the people and publicly executed. Currently, King Garreth III resides on the throne. His wife, Queen Armythe, was a kind, gentle, and beautiful queen. She was much loved by the people of the kingdom. For years the King and Queen tried for a child, an heir to the throne. Years passed and no child was born. Finally, the news was shouted throughout the kingdom that the King and Queen were expecting a child to be born in the spring. Spring came and so did the birth of a prince. But, as often happens, both the mother and child perished due to complications of child birth. The kingdom mourned the death of the young prince, but they grieved the most for the death of the beloved Queen Armythe. King Garreth fell into a state of depression and sadness. For days, he refused to leave the side of his wife and baby, convinced it was all a dream. His wails could be heard outside the castle and seemed to echo among the world. It seemed as if the whole of Byrthian was mourning for the death of the Queen and Prince. The sky grew darker and it rained. The earth soaked in the rain and the tears, allowing the world to grieve into it all the sorrows and sadness it possessed. Finally, sadly, the Great Queen and the Young Prince were put to rest. The kingdom moved on, but the King did not.
After a year, the Great Council advised King Garreth to marry again. He promptly refused, knowing nothing but the despair and sadness he felt in his heart. They tried to persuade him. Finally, the good king looked within himself. He looked out onto the city from his tower and his heart melted. Once again, and perhaps for the last time, he grieved. Some time later, he told the Great Council that he would not love again, but for the sake of the kingdom he would marry and for them to choose his bride as he could not. The Council reluctantly agreed, grieved to see the king still so unhappy. And so a cry went out among the world that King Garreth III was to remarry. The council would have a test and the woman who passed the test would be the next queen. What this test was is whispered in rumors in the street. For this new queen would not have to be of noble blood, she simply needed to pass whatever test the Council put before her. Many a woman came and many a woman left. None of them spoke of the test or what happened. And so the women continued to come and a queen has yet to be found. And Garreth, holding onto his heart, sat and waited.