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The Last Will and Testament of James Leopold, 1937


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The Viscountess of Valence knelt, eyes level with her son's. She brushed his shoulders as a smile pressed on her lips. 

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Konstantin quietly read his Majesties will "Long live Prince Edmund" he whispered before praying for the King to have a peaceful departure to the Seven Skies

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The Prince Edmund, Lord of Alba, felt the great weight of destiny upon his small shoulders. Though he did not know it. He scarcely knew his father was dead. 

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Sigismund Bartholomew Derfey, self-proclaimed Emperor of the Orenians, places an orchid beside an empty grave.

 

"Sometimes," the Emperor of Providence said. "I can still hear his voice. God willing, we might go drinking again in the Seven Skies, and condemn those damn Petran assassins to the High Hells!"

The alcoholic was long since destitute and without a meager fortune he had in his youth. Once, he claimed descent from a true scion of the House of Horen he was told. Alas, in a world where every human family had grey eyes, his claim had long been forgotten - and so he pined in secret for the throne of the Aaunites, and impressed upon James Leopold his insistence in being named the heir to all of Aaun. After all, Sigismund's father (or his father's father!?) had fought in the War of Two Emperors scant a century and a half or longer before.

 

Derfey's jaw dropped upon seeing that Alstion had named his grandson Edmund heir. After all, he claimed it would go to him, or so believed Sigismund upon having the vision come to him in a dream.

 

"Creator," Sigismund Bartholomew Derfey begged, "Take me quick."

 

And so he perished of a heart attack knowing that his work would go on forever unfinished. Not only was his supposed best friend dead, but he had lost the kingdom that had been promised to him - no, sworn to him!

 

Shawn Melbrooke Derfey found his father dead in the waning hours of the night, and then took him to the coroner's office for inspection. An autopsy would reveal that he had died from an illness of his arteries due to years of horrible eating, sustaining himself off of Minitz dairy and beef alone. Before burning his corpse, they had to strip Sigismund's body of all the lard-like substance so that the whole office would not catch fire.

 

Rest in Peace,

Sigismund Bartholomew Derfey,

 

Supposed Emperor of the Orenians, self-proclaimed Prince Heir of Aaun, and resolute Statesman (unelected) on Fourth Boulevard, Providence. He died at 104 years old.

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Robert 'Derfei' Alstion makes some modifications to the public missive: 

 

The Archbishop of Albarosa,

The Prince Merryweather Lord Commander,

The Viscountess Valence Governor of the King’s Person,

HRH Prince Robert Alstion Defender of the Faith

Sir Gawyn Tiber Knight Grandmaster of the Order of Paradisus,

Ms. Melina Dieuxmont,

And Sjt. Louis Haverlock.

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The High Curator, Cunimund, finishes his transcript of the Last Will & Testament; he sent it upstairs to the King's personal chambers with his page Gwydion.

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