The King is Dead

A rotting corpse sits on the throne of Malleus.  We have allowed the dictates of King Wilhelm to dominate the lives of living men and women for centuries.  We have allowed him to declare what laws and taxes he will with no recourse to fair representation in the Diet of Hammerstadt.  We have allowed him to feed on the lifeblood of our sons and daughters for far too long…

…In signing this declaration, we commit ourselves to the fight against injustice and tyranny.  We commit ourselves to the overthrow of the vampire King Wilhelm and all his brood.  We commit ourselves to raising a new government by the living, for the living.
from The Declaration of the Illuminated,
May 1st, 1776
The island nation of Malleus is in the throes of revolution.  An artistic revolution flowers as the people embrace periwigs and hoop skirts, symphonies and comic operas.  An economic revolution looms as the steam engine changes industry and the wealth from the colonies invigorates the middle class.  An intellectual revolution boils as scholars study science and philosophy, galvanism and the social contract.  And a political revolution threatens as the people of Malleus conspire to take their nation back from the bloodsucking ruling class that treats them like cattle.

On the coasts of Malleus, smugglers evade the Royal Navy to bring embargoed garlic and ash wood stakes to the rebels.  On mountain heights, scientists harness the lightning to create weapons capable of incinerating the dead.  In the dark forests that line the king’s roads, highwaymen in masks and greatcoats ambush nobles’ coaches and plunder their wealth.  In the streets of Hammerstadt, radicals risk their lives to spread the call to rebellion amongst the people.  In secret rooms, conspirators gather to destroy the old government and forge a new one.  And in the palaces of the vampires, libertines in lace and silk become assassins and strike the first blows for freedom.

The King is Dead is a setting of Gothic revolution in an 18th century that never was. 


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