The Witch’s Revenge
Once upon a time, a mortally wounded Witch cursed her fate. She ranted, “A pox upon thuggish adventurers, meddling Wizards and gold-digging beauties! Down with holy hypocrisy, chivalrous brutality and royal decadence! Destruction to the wicked system that had no place for me! May chaos consume the old order!”
Suddenly the Shadows appeared. They said, “You called, we came, we live to serve. What do you want?”
Though in pain, the Witch had the wit to say, “First tell me, who are you? And what do you want?”
The Shadows said, “We are agents of chaos. Our mission is to hasten the evolution of your species. To this end we shall destroy the old order, so that chaos and conflict may weed out the weak, the foolish and the unfit. So what do you desire? War? Famine? Mass delusion?”
The dying Witch cried, “No! War, famine and delusion are the very pillars of the rotten old order! Instead may the land be at peace! And may the people prosper! And most perilous of all, may the people learn! Then you shall have your precious New Chaos!”
The Shadows said, “As you wish, so be it.”
The Witch died, with her face in a hideous grin.
The very next year, a vintner astonished the Kingdom with his brand-new invention; the Printing Press. Soon every town had one, and the Kingdom was full of books, journals and pamphlets, telling jests, fables, recipes, magic spells, traveler’s tales, palace gossip, jousting scores, news of the latest barbarian raids, and ten thousand opinions about politics, philosophy and religion. Before, the people knew the consensus of silence; but now they heard a tumult of dissent.
Thirty years later, a Wizard published his brand-new discovery; the Replication Spell. Soon every prince and pauper in the Kingdom could endlessly copy, at no cost, food and drink and clothing and carriages and jewelry and weapons; anything except land, labor or status.
Famine and want vanished from the land; but so did paid labor for all but a few. The penniless rest wore copied silk and ate copied food and read copied pamphlets; and these pamphlets said, “Now we could all be rich, so why should some be princes and the rest be paupers?”
Thirty years after that, the King equipped his Knights with a brand-new weapon; Firearms. Then he led his army against the barbarian horse-raiders. They fought so fiercely that the barbarians all fled the borderlands, and galloped far away to raid somewhere else.
Finally the land was at peace; so the King had no more need for his Knights. Nor had the Knights any use for their King; for he paid them only in diamonds, silver and gold, which were now worthless.
So the Knights left the King’s army and joined the army of the unemployable. When that army was mighty enough to rise up in revolt, the Knights rose up with them, and the Revolution was successful.
The old Kingdom fell, and a new Republic arose. The Republic was created in chaos and conflict, and so it remains to this very day.
Thus the Witch had revenge, and the Shadows, success.
Moral: Hate the game, not the players.