The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Eleven: Law and Order
Early in Baron Brange Aathenaar’s reign, he made one of those decisions that can truly define greatness.
He knew that it was impossible for a community to develop and grow while in a state of constant fear. But Aathenaar was, at the time of his ascension, dangerously close to that situation. The cause of this fear, however, was not an external threat, as the Bard’s Guild was then, as it is now, fulfilling its duty of spreading peace admirably.
No, the threat to the people of Aathenaar came from within: Crime. These heinous acts of brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor, we are forced to admit, existed at that time.
Brange witnessed this sad state of affairs, but he also recognized that, as baron, it was his duty to fight crime with every fiber of his being. So he directed his men to discretely discover the names of some of the most heartless criminals in town in preparation for a memorable event.
That event happened on a flawless summer day. The baron’s men utilized the intelligence they had been gathering to make raids and capture all thirteen of those identified as the worst of the bunch. That they did so in the course of a single morning without alerting any criminal who might have used such alert as a cue to flee is testament to their skill and the baron’s training schemes.
The baron’s men paraded these shameful criminals through the streets of Aathenaar, which naturally drew the attention of the townspeople, and soon the entire town was following this parade, wondering where it might lead.
They did not have to wait long to satisfy their curiosity. The parade terminated in Aathenaar’s main square, where a guillotine had been erected.
One by one, each of the criminals were strapped into the guillotine. Baron Brange personally read their crimes to the assembled crowd. On the roll were murderers, and thieves, and adulterers, and debtors. But worst of all were the agitators: Those who produced the leaflets, placards, broadsheets and banners whose sole purpose was to diminish the spirit of the people of Aathenaar by portraying its baron as a tyrant, or suggesting that he might have had a role in Bindek’s death, or showing him squatting over a chamber pot, and missing.
After announcing the offense committed by each criminal, the Baron gave a signal to the executioner, who pulled the lever that would release the blade and end his pathetic life, much to the delight of the masses who had gathered and who celebrated their impending freedom from fear.
As a result of this show of justice, the existence of crime in Aathenaar ceased overnight. This naturally led to great joy among Aathenaar’s residents. It was, in fact, so effective in boosting the people’s spirits that productivity soared, and Brange was able to reduce the annual ration of flour and meal distributed to each resident by a full five percent.