Throne of Death

Graphic by Shubhank

As was the custom, being the firstborn he inherited the throne after his father’s death. His father was a good leader, not the best but at least he cared about the people and did his best to help them. The realm was divided by the love for their king and hate for him ever since he inherited the throne because ever since Daman came into power, things had been different. Half the realm believed in his image and his promise for a better future, the rest saw beyond his words. The rampant hatred that was flooding between the people of the realm was obvious to some while the rest chose to not see it.

For six years, people had been fighting against each other without realising that the real problem lay in the leadership. Violence had been normalised in the realm, and death was an old friend. No one realised that the king never spoke up or said anything to stop the violence and instead took advantage of it and strengthened his position. He kept promising a better future without actually doing anything for it. His promises seemed to go hand in hand with a rise in prices and taxes. But there was no development to be seen, just their money disappearing. His coffers were overflowing with money, but it was still not enough. It would never be enough for him or his most trusted advisor, Tilak. Every move they planned was to better their lives for years and that resulted in turmoil for the people. They created a distrust among people about education and refused to listen to experts of respective fields, the experts were ignored so many times that they decided to leave the realm and settle where their education and expertise could be used for good and not for the greed of a few.
The doctors that stayed behind to help the people realised that a dangerous disease was about to overwhelm the realm with sickness. The king simply ignored these warnings, and convinced the people that the doctors were lying and trying to scare them. People believed in their leader and chose to ignore the warnings of the doctors. It didn’t take long for them to see how wrong they were to put their trust in someone who was selfish and greedy.
The spread of the virus escalated because no one followed the doctors’ preventative measures. The doctors saw that it wasn’t a common cold and there was something very deadly about it but found it practically impossible to convince the people of the dangers of the virus. It started out as a simple cold but led to a complete blockage of lungs which resulted in multi organ failure in a lot of the cases. Most of the initial cases they observed led to death and realised that this disease was spreading from person to person as they started tracking the people that were infected. Slowly, the king realised that the threat to the realm was as real as it can get. Instead of spending the money from his overflowing coffers towards a cure or towards helping the families of the people who had died, he used the money to fortify his castle and increase security; because he knew that the moment people realised that he was simply protecting himself from the virus and not helping them, they’d revolt. He was right about that, once people started realising that no help was going to come from the man, slowly but surely, dissent started to grow among the people. They were angry, and for once they were not angry with each other but their king. There were threats of them storming the castle and taking the king down but they knew that this revolt had to come after they had dealt with the disease that was killing them. No one would be left to fight for if they did not tackle the disease first.
So, they pooled whatever resources they had left and helped the doctors. They finally listened to every precaution that the doctors suggested to follow and the number of sick people slowly started to dwindle. By the time the virus was under any semblance of control, they had already lost one-eighth of the population and families who lost their loved ones due to Daman and Tilak’s greed and cowardice were more than just angry. They knew that they would be better off if they had just listened to the doctors. They detested the king for fortifying his castle instead of the entire realm, and eventually, they realised that Daman had earned their support under the guise of development and false promises of a bigger and brighter future.

They knew they had to revolt. They started talking to those who were risking their lives to protect Daman, and most of them had family members who died due to the disease and switched sides without thinking twice. Daman was losing his protection; his fortified castle was useless without the men and women who were supposed to protect him. The fear of losing his throne and life was growing stronger, and he knew that he didn’t have long. He tried to appease people by giving them money as a form of compensation; but little did he know that this angered them more. The people realised that he was stocking up money by practically starving them and now that he was in danger, he was trying to appease them; but they would not be fooled this time. They went ahead with their plan to storm the castle and took back the throne from him. They were much less ruthless than he gave them credit for. They did not take his life, but they did take the death throne from him and brought back all the advisors and set up a council of leaders who would work together for a better future by putting the needs of the people first.

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