It's rough of course, (most everything I write is) but I hope you guys enjoy the beginning at least :)
My original goal of the story was to write a steampunk version of the Scarlet Pimpernel. I think it's safe to say I did not do that.
It all began when the Southern Faction decided enough was enough. After years of oppression, they retaliated and the results were bloody and ruthless. That's not to say that the Kingdom of Vern didn't deserve it, they did. For centuries they lived in luxury while the oppressed lower classes struggled to survive. The world was harsh and thankless, and the jobs they performed everyday were not recognized by the ones who ran it. Finally, enough was enough, and they brought it upon themselves to fight back.
It began in Hartford. A terrible and bloody massacre when the Royal guard destroyed a peaceful rally and shed innocent blood on the streets. For the first time, the under classes began to band together and rise up against the oppressors, and with whatever measly supplies they had on hand they fought back. It was useless, however, and the entire resistance was squashed within a matter of hours. Only a few managed to escape but word spread. Soon murmurs were spreading through the villages, and people were banding together to fight for the things they never possessed.
The king and queen had heard rumours of such grumbles from the lower classes but paid them no mind. Instead, they expounded upon their opulent ways and expanded into realms of extravagance that had never been before seen in the country. Instead, the king, a power hungry man who demanded attention and loyalty from his followers, was growing restless and began to plot his superiority from the inside out.
The first official meeting of the resistance happened at Cheryl's tavern. A small inconspicuous inn at the edge of one of the main cities; Temple. The bar was small, scarcely big enough to fit twenty of the queen's men, but that was where the rebellion began. After much plotting in secret, the first battle lines were drawn and twenty villagers overcame the Queen's men in a surprise attack. The poorer classes had got a taste for blood and were beginning to fight for the freedoms that they were denied. Soon, similar coups were breaking out all over the country. The lower classes were uniting at a rapid pace and the ones who knew what to watch out for were beginning to get worried...
“Where is she?” The king demanded. He marched his elaborate shoes up and down the marble tiled hall and scoffed as he clenched his small, gloved hands together in a mixture of boredom and anxiety. He hated being held up. Especially by his wife. She was the one person who could get away with it. “Why couldn't I be more like Henry?” He muttered to himself.
“Your majesty?” A servant smiled sweetly to him offering him a sample from a tray of sweets, but that didn't distract him from his terrible mood. He waved him away, and put one hand down to his sizeable middle with a frown.
“Fifteen minutes. The woman must think she is preparing to meet the bloody bishop.”
The large white doors flung open, but unfortunately it wasn't the queen standing in all her gilded beauty, but instead a man in a mask and black cape. He wore a thick leather belt around his strong frame, and a mask that covered most of his face. A pair of brass goggles sat on top of his head showing that he was not one of the upper class, and the king immediately raised an eyebrow.
“What is the meaning of this?” The strange man said nothing and simply stood in the doorway. Behind him was the sound of swords clattering and firearms exploding. A guard tried to run past him towards the fighting when the man blocked his path effortlessly by stepping to the side. With a swift chop of his hand, the man brought the guard to the floor. The king was shocked and toddled backwards, startled at the lack of respect the man was showing. “Wha... Who are you?” the king stammered. The man said nothing, but the sounds of the riots grew louder by the second. “Guards! Guards!” The king ran backwards and tried to crawl to a safer corner in his room. The guards sprang into action, but the man seemed to be effortlessly cutting them down with a grace and skill that was uncommon.
“Who are you?” The king stammered as the last of his soldiers hit the ground. “There's no way a peasant could do what you're capable of.”
“You have no idea what I am capable of.” The man said.
“What... What are you going to do to me?” The king asked feeling a deep sense of terror begin to eat away at his considerable stomach. He clung to his red velvet curtains, knowing that they could very well be the last thing he would ever see. The threatening man simply shrugged and walked towards him.
“I am a harbinger of justice. A man of the people.”
“You can't be. You fight like you were of noble birth. Are you a knight? An alchemist? What was your past?”
“My past is over.” The man said. “And now it is your turn.” With a calm stride, he turned his back on the king and exited the room, the bodies of the guards still strewn unconscious around him. The king shuddered slightly, but before long straightened up to his full height. He was not a tall man, but his chubby body had always made him feel more powerful than perhaps it warranted. Now he just felt weak and scared.
He crept towards the door as delicately as he could, afraid that the noise of his shoe on the floor would bring that strange and wrathful man back towards him. He stepped over the bodies of his men and slowly peered his way out of the room. He looked down his hallways adorned with art, sculptures and vases far to large to be practical and framed by a golden trim. The marble was bright and glistened to an almost incredible level, but as he watched the sounds grew louder.
The first sign of something being wrong was the way the chandeliers swayed back and forth as if a large gust of wind was rocking them wildly. The candles flickered as a solitary apple rolled into view. It looked fresh and crisp and appeared to have a mind of it's own, stopping just at the other end of the hallway. A second later, it was crushed by a boot made of leather and cloth, by a bushy bearded man with a frown set on his intimidating face. He held a weapon in his hand that looked to be some kind of firearm the King had never seen before.
As soon as the man had seen the fat face of the king, he called out to the others and the din of the battle began to rage closer and closer. The king shut his doors and tried to barricade himself in but his lack of strength left him open and vulnerable. Within moments they stormed the door, breaking through the kings pathetic excuse for a blockade and had him cornered in the room.
Reports are mixed as to what had happened next. Some say that the king escaped to live out his days as a farmer working the fields that he had once owned. The messengers from the underground spoke of a much harsher and more violent story. A story where the king was stripped of everything and paraded around the streets from the back of a horse drawn cart. Some say he was thrown from the balcony, others say he was killed... the only thing that the resistance had made sure of was that the word was released: The king is dead, and all who followed his corrupt and opulent rule would soon face the same fate as their leader. Dozens of aristocrats were gathered and dealt with by the local authorities. Those who were merciful made them live out their days as servants to the ones who had served them. Those who weren't faced the wrath of a scorned people, and faced the consequences.