The Kingmaker

Once Upon A Time, there was a Bard who went from tavern to tavern telling tales and singing songs. However this Bard also gained a reputation for telling fortunes and foretelling greatness. The mystery surrounding the bard grew so large that no matter where he traveled, men would pile into the pub to buy him a pint and ask to be told their fortune. Always the bard would accept the drink and tell the men that they would live full and happy lives. He would speak to the single folk and tell them they were moments away from finding true love and he would tell the married folk that they were to have healthy children and a big family. The patrons would cheer and the beer would flow. With the customers full and drunk, the bard would tip his hat and go on his merry way.

One day he entered a pub in the capital city and again the crowds came in, buying drinks and asking for good fortune. The bard drank merily as he told the patrons they were to find fortune, love, or whatever their heart desired. The news of the bard being in town reached the castle where the old, cruel king got word. The king gathered up his guards and marched to the pub to meet with the bard.

“I seek your knowledge,” The King Said. “Tell me that my young son, my heir, will be a mighty king that will bring glory and prosperity to the kingdom.”

The bard thought for a moment as he lifted his drink to his lips.

“I think any man in this bar has a better shot of becoming a righteous king than your son,” The bard said to the King’s dismay.

The bar patrons cheered and laughed but the King was not happy. He left in a huff leaving the rest to drink and be merry.

The night progressed as normal as the patrons became drunker and drunker. They were so wrapped up in their drinkings and fortune tellings that they did not hear the group of men approach outside. A sizeable force of the King’s men had come back with swords and torches.

“Burn the pub down. Don’t let a single person escape,” The King had demanded, fearing the bard’s words to be true.

So they did just that. They lit the outside of the pub on fire and the flames quickly spread across the alcohol soaked wood. Many burned alive inside the bar and the ones who did escape were quickly cut down the King’s men. No patron made it out of that bar that night. Not even the bard himself.

That is but for one person. Earlier in the evening a young man who cooked food and washed the dishes heard the Bard call out the King and claim the Prince would never be King. He laughed alongside the crowd, before returning to his duties.

The bar was so busy and the coin was flowing which made the pub owner so happy that he let the boy go home earlier with a sack of coin larger than the boy had ever seen. He had gotten home before the King’s men had burned down the bar.

That boy used that little money to get out of town and he ended up becoming a squire for a night in the next city over. He trained to become a knight himself and became one of the greatest, stronges, most brilliant knights in all the kingdom.

It was then that he took his opportunity to lead an army to overthrow the King, kill the royal heir, and sit upon the throne himself. He had remembered the cruel and wicked King who had burned the bar to the ground and had all those people killed.

And as he sat upon and ruled as a righteous and caring King, he never forgot what the Bard had said. The bard had been a kingmaker and his fortune tellings had become true.

The end.

Header Image Credit to Pexels

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