Had an interesting idea this morning while walking Sam for one (or maybe more than one) of my fantasy/mythological novels. Probably first and foremost for The Other World.
It is called the Throne of Wisdom and it is based upon my own experiences with my office chair (which I intend to replace today with a new and far better engineered chair).
The Throne of Wisdom is a chair/throne employed by one of the Kingdoms in my novels. The throne is beautiful and seems luxurious to all appearances and whoever sits in/on it (after being properly appointed or elected or having won the chair by right – different methods apply but the throne is never hereditary) will be King.
However by law the new king must sit in the chair for four hours each day, no exceptions, seven days a week. For two hours he must pass judgments and for two hours he must conduct other business. He is not allowed to move from the chair, stand, or go elsewhere. For any reason – of any kind. He cannot go to the bathroom or receive food or drink. He must “Work Upon the Throne of Wisdom without rest or complaint or cease.”
At first the chair seems comfortable but over time, because the throne is enchanted, it becomes slowly ever more excruciating to sit in it. (Like my office chair.) Eventually the throne will physically and mentally cripple and finally kill the one who sits upon the throne. The Wise Man realizes early on that the chair is not what it appears to be and that the throne, while seemingly beautiful and comfortable, is actually a high and heavy burden.
The Wise Man therefore eventually “steps down” when the throne becomes too painful to endure (usually after three to seven years) and gives it over to another, whoever his successor might be. All the wiser for the experience.
The fool and he who grasps at power tries to continue to sit the throne indefinitely until it either cripples him, drives him mad, or kills him.
The Throne will be as much a story about the surrounding population and People of the Kingdom, and about those who attend and serve the king, as it will be about the “king.”
For whenever the People and officers of the court and soldiers and the king’s guardsmen are cowards and fools in their own rights they allow the king to sit indefinitely without overthrowing him, and they follow whatever orders he gives no matter how tyrannical, foolish, reckless, self-destructive (to the Kingdom), and unlawful. Their own foolishness and cowardice makes them craven and witless accomplices in the tyranny of the “Fool King and the Fool’s Throne.”
But whenever the People and officers of the court are Wise they refuse the orders of the Fool King and revolt against and overthrow whoever would sit madly or recklessly forever upon the Throne.
For a Wise People give birth to Wise Rulers and a Wise Ruler knows both his own limitations and his True Duties to his People.
But a cowardly and foolish and self-absorbed people give birth to selfish and foolish rulers and a ruler who is a fool both dictatorially oppresses his people and gives birth to more just like himself.
Reblogged this on Tome and Tomb.