King Harandraff the Great
Quoted from one Sean B. Palmer at 02:27, 23 Nov 2004 (EST):
"Imagine a great hall. Really fucking huge. You're walking down it, and there's a table at the end. At the end of the table is a person seated. You walk up to that person, slowly--tap tap tap go your feet on the marbly kinda floor (careful you don't slip). Lalala, you sing, to try to relieve some of the tension. Hey, he's got a crown on his head, so probably a King of some kind. You get to the King, and he throws a flaggon of wine all over you with a yo ho ho and a bottle of rum thrown into the bargain. You are in the presence of KING HARANDRAFF, you lubberly ass-scum!
"King Harandraff was a bit of a git, really. The ruler of all Ghyll around -400 EC, he suppressed all other histories but his own, and was opposed to any form of scholarly activity. If you even wanted to read his History you had to apply for a special permit, which was usually given in the form of a sword in the gut.
"Contrariwise, as Alarius notes, Harandraff pretty much mellowed the fuck out when he got older, mainly because of his castle changing around him from day to day. He didn't found Bute as is sometimes thought, but he was fairly amenable to not stabbing its faculty at random by the end of his reign.
"But well, he lived around -400 EC, so obviously we don't know splak about the dude, and all of this is probably just hearsay. Some reports say that he was most likely a beautiful woman forced to drag up at the behest of the courtiers, and that all this nonsense about him being a assholistic bastard was invented way later on.
"At the end of his reign, as Ghyll's only united king, he was pronounced to be the greatest ghyllian that ever did walk on this fair and pheasanted land. His gallstones are now on display in the great foyer of the Odlucian Library."
The previous few paragraphs, which encompass one scholar's summation of King Harandraff, and which were taken from an early revision of this very encyclopedia, are now generally considered to be completely false and untrue and many feel that to print something such as that in a proper encyclopedia is a travesty and does modern history a great disservice. But hey, he didn't know. Blame it on the Absolute Erasure.
His Early Years
The King was begotten at any point in time between the beginning of existence and -482 EC, depending on who you ask. In any case, his early years were somewhat of a quiet time for the young monarch-to-be, and undocumented by history. That, or all mention of the King having had a childhood, and having been born at all, and not simply having existed since the beginning of measurable time, was lost in the Erasure. But, more on that later.
Anyway, it was around -440 EC when the King finally got it in his head that he wanted to be King. So he assassinated the current King. His name and length of reign escape even our best scholars and encyclopedants to this day. This also is attributed to the Erasure. We do know that he was killed by Harandraff, however, because that was one thing King H. chose not to erase from history. In fact, the blade Harandraff used to carry out the deed, a forerunner of the "modern" Horreld blade, is still prominently on display in the Harandraff House, still coated with the former king's dried blood.
Harandraff's supporters would have you know that the man did many glorious things for Ghyll during his reign. Things like lowering taxes, putting more money into schools, balancing the budget and cutting the deficit. Truthfully, the King really didn't accomplish one good thing at all.
Unbeknownst to many, during the King's reign the whole of Ghyll proper was becoming polluted with propaganda proclaiming the perpetuality of the Harandraff lineage. The infamous quote goes, "Always were here, Always will be here." It is said that this slogan could be seen up on the side of every building, and broadcasted on bulletin boards from Folktown to the early Iganeftan Settlements. Harandraff's influence was legendary, and the power he wielded over our world was tangible, coming to a head at the turn of the century.
It was at this time, however, that somebody, or some bodies, decided to stand up to Harandraff's recklessness. That somebody... erm... those some bodies... were Bute University, founded by a group of individuals who were, quite succinctly, fed up with the King and his version of history. Having been established in -400 EC, there was only so much that they could do. So they spent three years devising a plan to make the King look bad to all Ghyll. Then, in -397 EC, their plan was set in motion. A book was published, credited to the university, entitled King H. is a Ninny and So's His Family Too. The book basically slandered the King and his entire lineage. So, he raised an army and had them march on Bute, where they found the gates were closed, and then some things happened involving intoxicating drinks and jumping off of walls... it's all in the best-selling book, A Guide to Boxing Day by Nicholas Happanstance. Anyway, then the whole kingdom was thrown into Civil War, and the King tried to get out of his mistakes by erasing them from history; thusly, the Absolute Erasure was underway. It ended with every member of the Harandraff lineage dead, including the King himself. So there's that.
A bit of knowledge that many scholars tend to over look is that Harandraff actually began his plans for erasing history in the early years of his rule over Ghyll. It wasn't until the Civil War began, and Harandraff's castle was seized, that news of his plans for the history (and rehistory) of Ghyll were unearthed. And when everyone learned of how he killed his own family tree so that he could have them rewritten as martyrs, well then, the shit hitteth the fan. At that point, the only thing the King could do was set out to kill everyone in Ghyll. And in the process, he was impaled on an unknown soldier's blade.
When he was found dead, by a member of the army of Bute, it is rumoured that they, and the rest of Ghyll perhaps, conspired to have him erased from Ghyll history, along with any evidence of the Civil War and the Absolute Erasure. But this is simply nonsense, for how now do we even know about the Harandraff lineage, but from official records marked with the seal of Bute University? Of course, the University would have every reason, along with immeasurable power, to recreate Harandraff in the image that they see fit. But alas, it is not of me to speculate.
Not surprisingly, considering the amount of actual knowledge that was lost during his reign, plenty of rumours abound about the life of the late King of All Ghyll. Some of the more interesting ones are listed here, for you to point and stare.
- Rumoured to have founded Bute University. This rumour has been disregarded by most Ghyllian scholars as a falsification of history in conjunction with the Erasure.
- Apparently created a wine from half-rotten Zhur Fruit.
- Rumoured to have had insidious connections to Harrabloon Bank, to the extent that, when he was found dead, his pockets contained about 15,000 ooos and an official note, signed by Olaff Devork. The fact that the bank did not exist until two hundred years after Harandraff's death does nothing to dispel this rumour.
- One popular tale involves Harandraff having a Lightning Gun crafted from obsidian and the purest silver, because he liked shiny things.
- During his reign, it is widely believed that the Aminfarances Institute of Science and Technomancy went underground in order to avoid angering the King.
- By his fiercest followers, he is believed to have been the Third Force in the Battle of Barnum Stones. Why the King would take an interest in the battle is anyone's guess; perhaps another facet of the Erasure? And what of the fact that Harandraff may very well have either been dead, or predisposed with his attack on Bute University at the time of the Battle? Alas, it is not of me to speculate; I simply report the facts as I am told.
Famous (or Infamous) Quotes
On Speedish Chefs:
"Intellectual men who consume whatever nourishment is necessary for their bodies with a kind of disdain, may be very rational and have a noble intelligence, but they are not men of taste."
On Zhur Fruit:
"Of sound mind, and sound carapace, I must profess that this is the most amazing fucking thing I've ever tasted (sic). Where can I get more?"
To the inhabitants of Bute, in an attempt to coerce them to open the gate to the city:
"We are agreed that my army will not hurt you too badly, but merely give you a stern talking-to and numerous slaps on your wrists. Please let us in? Pretty please?"
- Bute University's infamous publication King H. is a Ninny and So's His Family Too.
- The best-selling book, A Guide to Boxing Day by Nicholas Happanstance.
- The famous anonymous work of fiction, What Would Have Happened If Someone Had Just Killed Him Sooner?
- Certain issues of Aliens Everywhere have featured a column by "King Harandraff's Dead Ghost and the Ghost of your Mother's Mother's Mother."
--Snood Trunion 10:42, 25 November 2005 (EST)