By announcement of the Herald, the newly crowned King Casca was to appear Saturday evening at the gates of Castle Blackthorn. This marked not only the first time the citizens of the realm would get to press the flesh with the new sovereign of the realm, but also perhaps ask some pressing questions. As the hour struck, the new monarch of Britannia appeared punctually and with relatively little fanfare. Droves of citizens had gathered for his arrival but he was without royal escort or retinue beyond the Royal Guards already stationed there earlier this week. Initially pulling a composed speech from his pocket, he quickly set it alight and watched the parchment burn and then crumble. Turning his attention back to the crowd, he began his address. Although an eloquent speaker by past trade, the former prosecuter turned king spoke plainly so that all could understand and grasp his meaning. He first sought to assure the assembled people that his ascension to the crown was no light matter but that the current situation in the realm was dire with the ongoing war and that a new king would help unite the people and presage victory. He also mentioned that his rule as king would only last until the end of the war. Next he spoke of the corruption of the realm through the employment of the mysterious blackrock substance and how it had quickly led, even contributed, to the appearance of the evil Shadowlords and their minions intent on not just subjugating the realm but it's very destruction. He promised difficult times ahead and that only by the people uniting to confront the common foes could there be hope to overcome such a menace. He emphasized the need to defeat the Crimson Dragons and defending Yew and Vesper. King Casca then sought for questions from the people there. Despite the enormity of the crowd and the expected babbling heckler or three, few new questions were posed on topics which he had not already addressed. Standing shoulder to shoulder with other concerned citizens and even some leaders of other towns from across the realm, it was at this point that I ventured to speak. I had previously harbored stark skepticism, even severe misgivings, about his recent ascension to the throne and some of the perhaps questionable circumstances surrounding it. Of course, many of the troubling thoughts would melt away if what King Casca spoke of was true, especially his pledge that his rule was temporary and only contingent upon the current war. And so I asked... Which was followed by his reply: (pic courtesy of BamBam!) And so, before the vast body of assembled fellow citizens of the realm, the new king had indicated, no, sworn that it was to be as such. While talk is cheap and blood is not, and I will always take the steel over the kneel, one cannot deny the word of a sitting monarch. And so it has come to pass that I will hold our new king to his sworn word and shall concur as such until he gives reason for otherwise. King Casca answered a few other questions before soon departing with some business to attend to. As I began to depart myself, Winfield quietly suggested we have a word across the causeway in the mage shop. No sooner had we begun to stroll in that direction than word reached us that Sherry the Mouse, missing some many months now, had suddenly scurried out into sight and was speaking. Unfortunately, her words were brief and I did not get a chance to make it back across the causeway to hear her words before she scurried back off into hiding. From what I was told, she insisted all was not well, that Casca was not to be trusted and may very well lead the realm to ruin. Perhaps her keen mouse nose will soon lead her to find some extra tasty, recently imported cheese to tickle her palate.