As written in the personal journal of the royal historian of Faneria:

It always galls me to hear the king’s full introduction at court. The historical inaccuracies grate on me day after day. Time and again I have spoken to His Majesty or the other nobles to attempt to correct the heralders, but I am always told that it is not important. Not important! Why should we even study history if we allow such casual falsehoods to be perpetuated? Am I nothing but a mere scribe if I cannot correct the misinformation spread by our own royalty every day?

Had I but the status of a lord, perhaps His Majesty would heed my words. In absence of that, I can only refine what I would say if my words would reach the king’s ear:

“All rise for His Majesty, the King of Faneria, lord of the twelve kingdoms, the Great Plains, and the western march, chosen by the true gods and voice of Justice and Wisdom in this world.”

“Twelve kingdoms,” to begin with, is a gross oversimplification, never mind factually inaccurate. Its intention is sound; Faneria was created upon unification following the gods’ war of antiquity, and may it be that we never forget that, even as little remains of these ancient divisions but regional disparities in dialect, lifestyles, and cultural traditions.

However, though we may never know precisely which peoples once claimed this land, modern scholars generally agree that between twenty-six and twenty-nine different nations allied to create Faneria. Further, very few of these, some say less than five, were ruled by monarchies. The rest formed a collection of city-states, minor empires, and even some more primitive tribal cultures with ruling hierarchies that remain a mystery to us. To lump these diverse peoples into “twelve kingdoms” is not only erroneous but diminishes the standing of our ancestors.

“Great Plains,” at least, is accurate. The immense tract of land in south central Faneria, ten leagues or less north of the coastline, bordered to east and west by the Ivory and Marble Rivers, respectively, and reaching as far north as Windermere, remains mostly wilderness. Those people who do reside in the great plains, a total of fewer than two hundred by the last census overseen by my predecessor, live far apart and rarely interact with each other or, indeed, with any official business of the kingdom. We may have the region suitably mapped, but great herds of roaming beasts still dwell within there, and what else might inhabit the lonely plains? We can only guess.

Finally, to refer to the Duchy of Hesperia as the “western march” in this day is inappropriate. I understand that Hesperia holds a special standing in the kingdom, and indeed, it was historically a contentious span of land, at times belonging to Edan or even briefly an independent state. But Hesperia has been a vassal of the King for generations now. It is folly to continue to refer to this land as a “march,” as though not the true domain of the King of Faneria.

As to the King’s title of “chosen by the true gods and voice of Justice and Wisdom in this world,” I leave that interpretation to the Seers. I am but a scholar. But may I remind His Majesty that Edan, as the birthplace of the Gods of Light, has at least as much claim to closeness with the gods as we do in Faneria. Our relations with our western neighbour have been strained for as long as Faneria has been united, and any cause to anger them further might be best removed from use.

Well, perhaps that would be speaking out of turn. But the fact remains that Faneria is a great and diverse land, and we should be embracing that, rather than marginalizing it. If only the King would listen to me.

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