The Heartbeat of the Emperor

Twelve years and thousands of lives later, the war drums of the empire beat no more softly than they did when shifting face of the oligarchy was turned upon its own wounds.  It is the heartbeat of the emperor: vain, ceaseless, changeless, and unwilling to go gently into the night and allow men to be free.  The noble, gods unto themselves, play games with the lives of lesser men, with pride their only prize.  Honor and glory call the freemen to bind themselves and give their sword to those who would be kings.  The thrall tend the fields, fighting for…

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