Today is a day of public sadness and remembrance for the victims of the tyrannous reign of King Horatio The Last, or The Traitor King, who was crowned on this day, 1890. Whilst some of the more terrible events of the Traitor King’s reign are commemorated in their own festivals, today is a day for Buentoillitants to look back in anger at the period in general; to learn from the past and never let a tyrant come to power in Buentoille again.
Shortly after his Coronation, King Horatio suspended Parliament using legal loopholes to recall the arbitrary powers of the old absolute monarchy. The Parliament of the time seemed increasingly illegitimate due to low voter turnouts, and their apparent inability to provide a solution to the Great Grain Crisis; Buentoille had become dependant on the Seven Cities Trading Company for the bulk of it’s food supplies, and now that the Company had a monopoly it was charging outrageous prices for them.
Horatio capitalised on this crisis, posing as a ‘strongman’ who would single-handedly solve the problems the City faced. He had gained the support of the Buentoilliçan newspapers during his time as Trade Ambassador, and they provided him with excessive positive coverage. He also had the support of many industrialists from the City and abroad, so met little substantial resistance on his rise to power. It was not known at the time, but he was secretly being funded by the Seven Cities Trading Company, who also provided military support further into his reign.
Dissidents were ruthlessly suppressed in the following years, as the unions and revolutionary groups began to organise resistance. The old king’s death (later found to have been murdered by his brother, Horatio) was unexpected, so few had prepared for the nightmarish eventuality that now faced them. 15,238 Buentoillitants are known to have disappeared or been killed throughout the Traitor King’s fifteen years of rule, and today the same number of small, black stones will be placed in the Fountain of the Revolution, in an act of remembrance that echoes how their bodies were often disposed of in the marshes or sea near the City.
A large march will also take place, where people carry pictures of their dead relatives and ancestors, and sing songs; both mournful ballads and angry protest songs. The march will snake through the City, finally arriving at the Traitor’s Square (formerly the Monarch’s Tower, before its destruction in 1905), where many effigies of the King are burned on an enormous bonfire, and more songs are sung.
Counter-demonstations are expected to be staged by monarchist extremists in support of Regent June in nearby streets, but they usually do not dare to cross the path of the march; confrontations in previous years have left many monarchists dead or wounded.
Other festivals happening today:
Learn Your History: a Hidden Library Special Collection
The League of Anti-Monarchist’s Intercity Day of Solidarity
Regent June’s Celebratory Feast