• Nick Richards

Chapter 2: Synthel - Part Sixteen

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

“We love our books too much to give them up entirely. And that is what the king eventually demanded of us. They could take away our technology, for we had a bounteous land even if tilled by hand, and if we did not trade with other worlds, we had enough for ourselves. But when they insisted that all books be destroyed, other than the ones that described the zealot’s teachings, they sowed the seeds of their downfall. It took generations, for by the time our people fought back, they were too small in number to do much at first. But a few books of knowledge were preserved by those who would rather die than give them up. Father passed them on to child who passed them on to their child. Some were found and killed. Others kept on silently preserving what they could.

“They began to write, eventually, papers that talked about Synthel’s history, and our proud heritage of information and trade that was now lost. Those papers led to the arrest of many, but it also led to a fire being lit. Old men and women remembered their youthful days, for the first time in many years, prompted by these papers. They remembered their parent’s parents telling of a free city, with arts and books and trade. They were reminded of Synthel as it was — as it should be — and their numbers grew. Papers begat books begat followers begat movements begat armies. In the end, it was the book that caused the downfall of the zealots here. And that is why no one wishes to see a king here.”

Jendi stared at him thoughtfully. “Your history is not unlike ours, Duke. I’m glad you have no king here.”

“You said you had riots?” asked the Duke.

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