Once upon a time, in the cold forests of the north, a little girl was born, the only child of the royal family of a small, troubled kingdom. She was named Princess Laurel. The trouble concerned the girl’s parents, the King, and the Queen. Theirs was a loveless marriage, arranged and imposed over their angry protests. Though dutiful, neither felt well used by their own families. Their marriage was demanded to secure a peace settlement unifying the eternally warring adjacent duchies of Laurel’s grandparents. Once a unified kingdom, these clans had ripped it in two. From their armored castle compounds at opposite edges of the kingdom, they battled each other viciously for control, bringing misery and chaos to the peaceful population. The history of their feud was a ragged scar dominating the history of the kingdom. Heartless power grabs, Murders, and revenge murders filled the pages of that history. One day something snapped and a peasant revolution exploded into action, capturing both families and demanding change or death. Facing insurrection and obliteration by the common people, the families bowed to the inevitable.
The arranged marriage was acclaimed as the first step toward true peace and unity for the Kingdom. The essential next step would be their child, who would grow up to rule the kingdom and being related to both clans, could resolve their conflicts with the power of blood and rank; A living human bridge to peace.
That was the shining hope in the hearts of the men and women of the kingdom but that outcome was the last thing either the King or the Queen wished to see happen. The optimistic premise of peacemaking wasn’t accepted by either aristocratic family, they merely sought their own advantage in any circumstances and would make the most of this that they could. They viewed the marriage as a duel for supremacy, with the king and queen as the tips of their respective blades. For now, though they must be patient. The peasants weren’t complete fools and held high ranking hostages for security.
I just up and wrote a tiny children’s book! Not a book for tiny children, though they are welcome to it, just a tiny book. Copyright me, this year.