He was henpecked.
Once upon a time he had hated the fact, it burnt with a silent all encompassing white hot flame deep inside him. So intense was it, it was the reason he had gone to war with his neighbouring kingdoms, his desire to prove himself first as a man and then ultimate ruler was insatiable. Yet, deeper down within himself, it was the need to escape the bossy clutches of his wife that drove him out of his castle home.
These days, and after twenty something years of marriage, it no longer bothered him, as he had sometime ago figured that the best method of coping with his henpecked state was to agree with absolutely everything his wife said or did. Nodding, smiling, and replying “yes dear” to all the Queen threw at him, and then going off to do whatever he wanted anyway. After six months of this, Her Royal Highness the Queen saw through his not so cunning ploy. Utterly terrified by the fact that she had been outwitted by her pawn, His Royal Highness the King, she took the immediate step of upgrading from ‘bickering and bossy wife’ to ‘the silent treatment’ in her dealings with him. Sadly for her, but to his immense pleasure, her period of silence proved to be among the happiest times of their marriage from his point of view. He went specifically out of his way to make conversation and ask advice of her. As was to be imagined, she found his attention to her infuriating, as such, and once more, her stance on the matter needed further upgrading, ‘show an interest, and join in everything he does’, was that step. Seeing this straight away for what it was, the King was utterly delighted in the fact, hence, he invited her to join him in doing everything he did. He took her dragon hunting. A peasant shoot was held in her honour, and he had her placed among the beaters. Naval warfare and whoring, jousting and tax collecting, wicked witch and mother-in-law burning, religious enforcement and board games were adventures shared between them. Although whoring was an activity better suited to other people, and was something that bored him intensely, but he still delighted in the memory of his wife explaining to a drunken sailor that she was ‘The’ Queen, not ‘A’ Queen, and the chap still hadn’t believed her.
After many weeks, the Queen finally gave up, and came to the conclusion that his ‘yes dear’ method of defiance wasn’t so bad at all when compared to the exhausting alternatives. The final upgrade she made was ‘leave him to it, the bastard!’, and returned to her role of ‘utter bitch’ with a certain amount of relief.
At around the same time as ‘leave him to it’ had been implemented, his son and heir had subsequently married a splendid lass, who in turn had murdered her new husband, the Prince. With that, the Queen turned venomously upon him, demanding that the newly minted Princesses head be returned to her on a stick.
Prior to his murder, the King had viewed his son as a sort of necessary evil, and someone to watch as a conspiring maniac, as is the norm among the younger generations of royalty. The King secretly suspected that the boy had probably got what was coming to him. With that, the King sent riders throughout his lands, alerting his subjects and neighbours of the incident, offering false rewards for the return of his daughter in-law, to be delivered directly into the psychopathic clutches of his wife. Once the messengers had ridden, he, the King, went deer hunting and revelling for a week with friends at one of his highland estates.
On return to his castle, and chronically hungover, he found that there was absolutely no report, let alone capture, of Princess Annis. What he did find was tales of gruesome murder, apparently most foul. Man and beast alike had been slaughtered, all with the common theme of having been drained of every drop of blood the unfortunates had possessed. Said reports also mentioned a highly attractive blonde lass wearing a grotesque, blood red and coated cloak. Angered at the idea of the loss of tax payers, and the monetary effect this would have on the Royal coffers should she keep up with her handy work in the killing department, spurred him into action.
With weak chins, horses with covered in bed sheets, and an overall display of the effects of the lack of chlorine within the gene pool being the order of the day, a gaggle of Royals and Nobles was hastily formed, and the hunt began. It was the greatest social gathering the Kingdom had out in over a century, and Gentle Annis was set upon with utter glee.
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