Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Game of Cards-- but this is no GAME!
Many years ago at a time when nations were beginning to form, there was a region of a distant planet that was suffering from the weird, totally confusing ‘game’ played by the inhabitants. The ‘game’ had its origins, many say before the advent of the written ‘word.’ Like the tide on other planets, the ebbs and flows of which King or Queen, which despot or group, often rose and fell, according to the strange alliances visited upon the region. Various groups linked up, only to become the victims of infighting as one group claimed legitimacy at the expense of the other. Royal marriages were agreed upon in order to unite the factions but even they were not enough to prevent what was essentially a permanent state pf ‘civil war.’ Then the great faiths for which the planet was famous for, began to exert their influences, further complicating an already dangerous situation. More shifts in the alliances were contemplated, acted on and failed. Old score were settled and new rulers resulted. From afar, new empires eyed the region for its unique position, in that planetary trade need to use the ancient trade routes. The rulers and business interests in these empires began jostling to garner influence in the regions and they chose their favourites, only to change focus when the empires began fighting amongst themselves. Sometimes the war was planet wide and after each upheaval, the alliances changed yet again. In the meantime the region that we shall the Middle Region, fell into an even more precarious situation. The status quo was at best transitory. Anything close to peace was interrupted on a regular basis. The Empires chose their favourites in the Middle region and often backed rulers who then turned on them. One, a newly emerging empire, repeated the same mistakes that it had learned from its former master, when it too was under the yoke of tyrants. War became a permanent feature of the region and many turned to new interpretations of their faith, effectively turning the clock back to times when resisting the invader became a ‘holy war.’ The new empires sought answers in august bodies, but the answers never helped to quell the suffering of the people. Gradually even the vassal states, or those ‘friendly’ to the empires, began to be drawn in to the conflict as it rolled put across the region. Those who gained most from this conflict were the manufacturers of the weapons, some of which threatened the very existence of ALL nations. Lessons were not learned from history and the empires squabbled amongst themselves, none wishing to compromise their positions. Smaller nations were pressured to become involved in the conflict; some at the very ends of the planet. Their populace wished for peace but the links they had with the empires meant that they could not ignore the events, so far away. The y were shocked on a daily basis as stories began to circulate of cruel and evil murders, inflicted on ‘innocent people, who had travelled to the Middle Region, to ‘help.’ Finally a ‘great conference’ was called and participants from the Middle Region and the empires came together, but they banned several of the groups whom they blamed for the excesses that had been the subject of the ‘stories.’ They conveniently forgot about the death and destruction ‘their’ weapons had visited upon the people of the Middle region. The conference began, by a beautiful city, by a lake with towering mountain in the background. (To be continued---well---maybe!)