The Garden of Dissuasion

When Princess Lersha von Slothjem first arrived in Maelonbourg she did so in such a way as to make a measurable impact on the psyches of the natives. Her first formal appearance in the land she was going to call home was as the commander of a small luftkreuzer squadron that had just knocked the hell out of the orcish city of Bozageest. The flagship of this squadron lowered down into the market square of the town of Resurrection and out stepped Lersha in her full military regalia. After literally passing the baton to her second-in-command and sending the squadron home to Slothjemia Lersha set about getting herself settled into the county’s premiere inn, the River Quean.

She immediately won over the people by swiftly taking over custody of the orphans living in the temporary care of the Sisterhood of Delilah. Using her own unique blend of Slothjemian military training and an oddball approach to parenting that can only be described as “Addamsesque” she soon had the children engaged in all types of useful and helpful activities. One of the most labor intensive was in the establishment of what Lersha called “the Garden of Dissuasion” just outside of Resurrection’s western gate. The children dug five deep holes about ten feet apart that formed a semicircle facing the town. They then lined the holes with stone leaving a two-inch wide hole in the exact center of each one. The smaller children set about planting flowers all around these stone-lined holes to make it even more visually pleasant.

Lersha meanwhile had the local weaponsmith make five “Slothjemian Pikes” with a slight alteration to the design. About three feet down from the points of each pike a foot-long crossbar was placed through the shaft of the pike and the entire upper portion of the pike was reinforced accordingly. These pikes were then placed in the holes prepared by the children with the pointy ends up to the sky. As they labored at this project Lersha made sure to remind the children that rules exist for a reason, and even if that reason isn’t clearly understood the penalties for breaking it must certainly be clear. “The will of the King is absolute, my darlings. Going against the will of the King is never an option. That is why this garden is so important. Everyone must see that there are punishments ready and waiting.”

The proprietor of  the Howler House, Gustav Grosserhund, was the first to appreciate the Garden of Dissuasion. His comment to some of the other townsfolk that were puzzling over the project was “People had tried to convince us that Khloe was a witch.” Motioning towards Lersha Gus continued, “But that, my friends, is a proper witch!” To this he laughed as if it were the finest jest he had ever come up with.

While Gus realized quickly the functionality of the Garden of Dissuasion he could not understand the exact purpose of it. It took the Count of Maelonbourg, Martial Bonchellier, a few days to connect those dots himself. But when he did he couldn’t help but smile every time he walked past the pikes outside of town or saw them from the walls surrounding Resurrection. It might just be that a savage land such as Slothjemia could more easily comprehend the kinds of evil that existed in the Wenigzustand than could the more civilized elves and humans of Fanolania. It may well prove that only one accomplished enough in making a visible threat of extreme violence could avoid the kinds of trouble that wicked hearts might create.

There are changes coming to Maelonbourg, be sure of that. And isn’t it nice to know that impalement is now a viable option?