An Open Letter to the Rulers of Erathon From Xagaz Widowbane, Eater-of-the-World, Arch-Hypnocrat, Despoiler Magnus, Empress of Weeping Skulls, Defender of Filth, Defenestrator General, and so forth
by Evan Dicken
I'm not a bad woman, I just come from a long line of them. It's not unusual. Scratch the gilding from any royal family and you're bound to find a seething mess of rapists, traitors, and mass murderers. Your ancestors were the same--difference is, mine were better at it.
But enough about me.
My viziers tell me the Imperial coffers are at a low ebb, and so, with the greatest respect and humility, it falls to me to inform you of the forthcoming annexation of your lands.
No doubt, my ignoble diplomats stand before you even now, proud in their jeweled silk, paunchy and sallow-skinned from long excess. Puffed like winter birds, they will strut and preen, demanding tributes for their terrible master and threatening dire retribution should you demur. It might interest you to know that, also like birds, it pleases me to fit the windows of their manses and high towers with golden bars--easily broken, and yet none shows so much as a scratch.
Better to be a slave in heaven. Isn't that what they always say?