The Lost Memorials of Giodarnus Bruno

‘The only thing ever officially condemned or banned during the benificent reign of the great leader Themystocles of Decron was a portrait of himself painted by his ex wife, Desdezine, who he knew was plotting to kill him, and who he hated with such venom that after her sudden, fortuitous death from anthrax at the age of eighteen, he declared a whole year of national holiday, during which time no taxes were paid.
As a civic warning, he mounted her rotting body in lead hoops above the gates of the city for all to see, and made of her brains a delicate stew. This he forced her twelve private advisors and co-conspirators to eat at a great public banquet. After they all subsequently died of the anthrax, their corpses were cremated and the ashes baked into the lining bricks for the new public latrines in the city square. The perverse result of these acts of spite was the idolisation of Desdezine in the public memory as the cause of both the year without taxes, and the eradication of cholera from the city, which had been a regular visitor until Themystocles’ sanitary works were completed.
Within two generations the adoration of Desdezine had grown beyond that of the ancient gods of Decron, and its priests held all power in the land. Worshippers held a meniscial sacrifice of pigs, whose blood was poured into the latrines in a ritual cleansing. Thereafter, the pig became generically associated with Themystocles, until eventually the original Gallian ‘dsem’ (pig) became corrupted to ‘them’, which remained the word in usage until swine were cleansed from the land by the Moorish covenant.
Other than this indignity, the king’s name and works were utterly forgotten. This was the immortality granted to Themystocles by his grateful subjects for his benign rule.
Of the painting nothing more is known.’

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