A Missive from Lord Mondragon 1
A Missive from Lord Mondragon
Not but a day has passed since I found myself standing amongst hundreds of the populace of Kintargo, gathered at the Opera House once more. Yet this time, we did not gather for the latest aria of Sonarra Vodun, nor were we gathered to watch the pure and noble Heroine Cassida continue to stymie the oafish and pigheaded nobility of the city of Stavo in one of my own plays. I have long known Kintargo as a city of celebrations and parties, willing to celebrate even the most mundane of activities, and yet this confused me – we were all gathered in front of an opera house to hear the braying of a Common Ass. In this case, it was called Barzillai Thrune. I stood in front of the guards, pleading with the good people of this city to demand answers. And when Aldo Mondragon demands that he be spoken to, he is! The upper doors flew open and out came Thrune. A man of unpleasant demeanor to match his scowling face, he spoke with the eloquence of a stray dog as he announced his intent to punish ships captains for the criminal offense of entering the city. What a wondrous idea! Now Kintargo may become great again, freed from the evils of ship captains, nighttime tea, and that dreaded scourge known only as Mint! This brave and fearless declaration aside, some hero from the crowd – likely a farmer – realized that the easiest way to silence him would be by throwing his own words back at him. Barring that, they threw a handful of manure, which seemed close to the same.
In the ensuing chaos, the Queensmen saw fit to take to beating civilians with truncheons, several even taking swings at this old man. They acted as common ruffians and thugs, scoundrels without a care, and it has made me wonder – What happened to Kintargo?
Kintargo, the jewel of freedom – Kintargo, land of the creators – Kintargo, home of the artistic revolution. It is now Kintargo the oppressed, Kintargo the kneeling, Kintargo the weak and silent. This is not the city that we have loved. Where are the voices in the dark? The cries for hope? If no other soul dares to call out in the dark and refuse to kneel quietly, then let it be Lord Aldo Mondragon. Long have I railed against the nobility of this city, and long will I do so. But today, I ask each of you – what are you? What is Kintargo?
Are you the silent weeping handmaiden, or are you the listening ear? Are you the beggar for scrap, or are you the urban tracker? Are you the common whore, or the spymaster in the most private of areas? Are you the oppressed, or are you the free? Kintargo was built by the free and for the free. I would rather die in tragedy on my feet for what I believe instead of kneel for what I do not. No soul starts to fight for freedoms because they believe that they can do it on their own – but no soul winds up fighting for freedoms alone. I am not encouraging rebellion, I am only encouraging thought and motivation. There are always debates that you can attend, Alabaster Academy students that may argue for you, papers that you may file – but none of these will ever speak as loudly as your own words. Stand true to thyselves, Kintargo. Many years ago, your city produced free thinkers and rebels and hell-raisers and scholars that shaped the world – do not let that light go out.
The world is dark and cold, but not without the chance to ignite. All that is needed is a spark – a civil disobedience, a spoken opinion, a helped neighbor, a watchful eye, a listening ear. We will either stand together or kneel forever.
I intend to stand for as long as my body allows me. If I am struck down by the guards for my writings, if they try to buy my silence, know that it is not for sale. Lord Aldo Mondragon is not for sale.
But is Kintargo?
~Lord Aldo Mondragon