1998-03-05: Please Don't Feed the Archers
I was inspired recently to visit our Royal zoo in Moonglow. I went with high expectations hoping to see many fine examples of the animals that share the land with us. Perhaps I would even see some of the fierce monsters that terrorize our lives and make our trips into the wild fraught with peril. Thus was my frame of mind as I departed Vesper, looking forward to my stay in Moonglow, and boarded a ship for a brisk trip to the island.
Now, you probably do not know this, but I am not a good sailor. Oh, I always look forward to sailing the wide ocean, to smelling the salty air, to watching dolphins frolic amongst the waves, but once actually out upon the water... Well, I loose mineself in a fine bottle of wine, or ale, or whatever, and pray for the ship to remain still for at least a few seconds.
When the ship finally put into the docks at Moonglow, I vaulted to shore with more energy than I had shown in days. Solid ground at last! I swore fervently that never again would mine feet touch the wood of a ship’s deck!
But the trip didn’t improve from that point as I had assumed it would. While looking into accommodations at one of the inns, the Scholar’s Inn, I spied an old acquaintance I had not seen for some time. During our exuberant exchange, I mentioned my intention to spend time at the zoo. My friend grew strangely quiet upon hearing this, and then handed me a small bound manuscript. He explained that a colleague who knew one of the zookeepers from the Royal Zoo had passed it to him. This zookeeper had received it from someone who had walked up to her at the zoo and just handed it to her. It was disheartening reading, to say the least.
It was addressed to Lord British and titled, “British READ THIS,”
- British, the state of thy state is atrocious!
- As a long time resident of Moonglow, I am absolutely disgusted by the state of the nearby zoo. Each and everytime I hath visited it in the past month, it hath been full of arrows and crosbow bolts, and no animals.
- Thy guards allow common brigands to slay the trapped animals inside.
- This situation is deplorable.
- If thou wisheth to even appear a competent ruler, thou must remedy this situation!
It is signed with a signet seal in wax that reads, “Madras of Moonglow, Adept Wizard, Heckler of British.”
Needless to say, I made my apologies and hurried to the zoo to see for mineself. Sadly, all was true. The few creatures I did find were corpses. Every single one. Other than mineself, the only living things I found were the plants, though many a trees wore arrows as fake, feathered branches. The ground in each cage was truly littered with spent arrows and crossbow bolts that had eluded the reach of the unscrupulous archers who shot them.
Something must definitely be done. The Royal Zoo should be a source of wonderment and education. It should be a place to visit in order to learn more about our realm by seeing the creatures that share it, not a shooting range for unvirtuous rangers. I am saddened deeply by this heartless slaughter. A joyful jaunt to the zoo had gone wrong at every turn. Perhaps next time I will just journey to Jhelom and visit the arena there. Such a place is where one expects to see violence, not the zoo.
Hmm... Jhelom? I haven’t been there in quite some time. Perhaps an excursion is in order. I could hire a ship and make a leisurely voyage across the sea, soaking up the sun and basking in the blusterous sea air. Yes, I think I will. See you there...