Chapter 2: Synthel - Part Fifteen
“Your city shows signs of destruction, and subsequent rebuilding,” said Sevenser. “Is this part of the downfall you speak of?”
“Yes,” sighed the Duke. “If our books be right, we had a much grander city at one time. You see our government building? We had structures like that all throughout the city, and in other cities elsewhere. Those were all torn down.”
“Not at first?” asked Jendi.
“No, not at first. The books say the zealots gradually took over our government functions, ever ceasing one activity after another that came under their review. Eventually only the king stood in their way, and once he died the zealots influenced the government to prevent the king’s son to become his heir. A zealot was named king instead, and even then, at first it was not expected that much would change, but change it eventually did. Then the buildings came down, except for their cathedrals, which always had to be the tallest structure within eyesight.
“People objected, but those were taken to prison and never heard from again. Trade with other worlds stopped, and the ships we had to travel to them fell into disrepair. When you never use a tool, you eventually forget how to use that tool. The books say that over time our arts were taken away, and that was especially cruel to Synthelians, for we love our arts. Each time it was something objectionable that was pointed to, and the people were told it was best to not let such ideas come up in discussion. Since some tools were in disuse, there was little objection to destroying the books that explained how to use those tools. Book followed book, and in the end that was the zealot’s undoing on Synthel."