(based on MC.1993's breathtaking illustration, The Blind King)
Long ago, before the close embrace of history and myth had been pried apart, there was a Great King. A former general who had proven himself a worthy leader, his name carried weight throughout the land. He ruled with wisdom for many years, and was dearly loved by his people. His military prowess was unmatched, and his wealth towered above all others. His great citadel was the epicenter of culture and art, and all who entered gaped in awe of its magnificence. His accomplishments were so great that rumors began to spread, connecting his ancestry to the gods themselves.
And while the Great King cared dearly for his land and people, they were overshadowed by a deeper love: his love of family. He had only one son, a youthful adolescent, whose bright, naive eyes and brazen curiosity reminded the king of his late wife. The son, while sweet, was unremarkable; he was neither foolish nor gifted, neither meek nor strong. The Great King, far from disappointed, saw this as an opportunity; the boy was a blank slate unto which a king would be fashioned. This vision of the son inheriting the empire remained engraved in the mind of the Great King, influencing his every decision. His aspirations for his son remained steadfast until the very moment the Great King suddenly, inexplicably died.
The Great King’s son was immediately crowned the new sovereign and was placed upon the golden throne. The radiant crown was too large and heavy for him, and it often sank below his forehead. Frustrated and embarrassed, he flipped the golden...