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The Dark Woman I
In the olden days there lived a king that was unlike any other king amongst humankind before and after him, except for the divine Banor himself. His light shone upon his subjects and gave them enlightenment. The dark gods looked at him in malice and hatred, but he was blessed and protected by the gods, and nobody could harm him. The dark gods were furious. They held council and discussed how the good king could be undone. Finally, they came up with a diabolical plan. They took a thousand mortal slaves as well as the most vile and cunning of their succubus demons and went to create an entirely new being. They created a woman and sent her into the realm of the great king. She was human by all appearance, but she was evil to the core. Her exquisite body and her soft voice were of unsurpassed beauty. She was met with rapture and admiration wherever she went, and many a man lost his heart merely by looking into her gentle eyes that seemed oh so innocent. Soon the king himself had heard of her breathtaking beauty. Intrigued, he summoned her to his court. Nobody was surprised when he fell for the graceful girl the minute he cast his eyes on her. Within a day he proposed to her, against his counsellors' better advice, and within a week the kind king had made the pale, dark-haired beauty his queen. The king was madly in love. He soon accepted his newly-wed wife as his confidante, preferring her opinions over those of his former counsellors. At first it seemed that her advice was thoughtful and prudent, and so it came the good king relied more and more on his beautiful wife's opinion. He closed his eyes and ears to other people's good advice and blindly followed her evil counsel. Little did he realise that she purposefully taint his views of the world with darkness. Using honeyed words, she sowed the seed of distrust in his ear, until he started seeing enemies everywhere. He grew suspicious of his advisers, who dared to challenge his beloved wife's wisdom, and turned away from his former friends, who tried in vain to warn him of her wicked influence. In the end, he even started questioning the authority of the true gods themselves, blinded by his wife's promises of power and glory. She made him believe that the country needed a firm hand and a more determined, efficient rule, flattering his vanity by envisioning the immortal fame he could win as such a glorious king and warrior. The enthralled king followed her advice, not realising that he was about to lead his country into tyranny. He became greedy and ambitious, extending his privileges wherever he felt it necessary. He grew more removed from subjects every day, indulging in feasts and orgies while his people suffered. While his armies struggled in futile, pointless wars he chose to stay behind, claiming that he owed it to his people remain alive rather than to risk his skin on the battlefield. In fact, he very much preferred to indulge in debauchery, surrounding himself with flatterers and sycophants, and there was no greater joy for him to impress emissaries from other countries with the splendour of his palace and, above all, the breathtaking beauty of his wife. However, the good life was not to last. The tides of war turned against his leaderless armies, which had never failed to win the day when he had lead them himself. After a series of disastrous defeats, a decisive battle became more and more inevitable, and the king finally realised the danger that he and his whole country faced. Remembering the man he used to be, he finally decided to lead his forces. The queen protested. She wailed and threatened and begged him on his knees, but for once he would not listen to her. For a last fleeting moment it looked like all was not lost for the good king and his realm.

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