In those dark days of the absolute Monarchy, when the Traitor King came to the throne, Buentoille became an altogether different place; a place of fear and obedience, of violence for those who stepped out of line. The, now defunct, Royal Buentoilliçan Police Force (RBPF), which had always exhibited prejudices against certain groups, was encouraged by the King and his inner circle to be extremely heavy-handed in its approach to protests, both peaceful and non-peaceful. A separate, unaccountable secret police force known as the King’s Finest was also let loose on Buentoillitants, performing horrifying abductions and murders of those deemed ‘undesirable’. A lot more would have died were it not for Edith Trouvier.
Trouvier had long been a physically gifted woman, due to the many years she had spent working as a lumberjack in the wood surrounding the Municipal Paper Mill (then known as the Uztrin Mill, after its erstwhile owner). She could fell over thirty trees a day, if given a pint of beer at midday, and was known to keep the peace at the pub in Logger’s Rest with her considerable strength and intimidating profile.
Just before the Traitor King’s coup Trouvier witnessed the death of a colleague beneath a falling tree, and she gave up her job and walked to the City proper. Her logging job paid per tree and she had done well, well enough to buy her own pub in the Warrens. After the coup, the area was a hotspot for police brutality and abductions as the strong community spirit and solidarity was seen as a threat to the supremacy of the Traitor King, and Trouvier witnessed many brutal beatings in and around her pub (called the Greene Woman). One day, for no particular reason other than waking up and feeling a little different (perhaps it was the positive effects of the Gale of the Dead on her mood?), Trouvier decided she’d had enough. It was time to fight back.
Trouvier began teaching self defence classes in the basement of her pub, the basics at first; how to breathe whilst in a choke hold, how to understand your aggressor’s intent by their stance and movement, how to avoid getting cuffed, how to throw a punch without hurting your hand. Folk spared together, gathered weapons that they hid in an air gap behind the brickwork of the basement, they practised de-arresting and disarming. More people turned up and word got out, but this was the Warrens, a place that knows how to keep a secret from the authorities; the RBPF and King’s Finest never found out about the meetings. Before long there was a small cadre of well-trained troops in that basement, ready and waiting for when the Revolution came, and police, not civilians, started disappearing in the Warrens. Eventually this rag-tag group of militants became the defence force for the district, making the Warrens a no-go area for the RBPF and other Monarchist forces, and event that was instrumental in the sparking of the Revolution.
Tragically, Trouvier was murdered on this day, in 1902, by a RBPF captain; she was shot whilst visiting her sister, back out between the pines of Logger’s Rest. Acting on a tip-off that communist rebels hiding in the woods were being supplied and aided by the settlement, a raid had been ordered on the Trouvier homestead. Edith, who was usually good at keeping her cool in situations like this, flew into a rage when they began to take her sister away for ‘questioning’. In the ensuing fight, Edith killed three RBPF officers, and knocked out five others. The captain, who had been waiting outside, shot her through the window, and then ordered the home burned to the ground.
Today, in the City proper, a huge self-defence class will be held in Revolution Square in the memory of Edith Trouvier. Sadly she didn’t live to see the City free from oppression, but the great work she began continued without her, and her actions proved instrumental in providing that eventual freedom. Even if the Revolution had not happened, Trouvier would have saved many hundreds of lives by teaching folk how to survive the systemic oppression levelled at them by the Monarchy. After the class, many will travel to the Greene Woman where they will drink to her memory and lay crocuses in the basement (apparently Trouvier loved crocuses, always ensuring that she missed clumps of them when she felled trees). A few who owe their existence to Trouvier, the children or grandchildren of those who were taught by the former lumberjack, will travel to the site of the Trouvier household, now a burial mound covered in wild flowers.
Other festivals happening today
- The Treaty of Gumstraw Commemoration Day
- The Festival of Sharpening All the Pencils in the Box
- A Festival of Questionable Legality