- Excerpt from an interview by Gloria McAlley with Ligeia, a sluagh who owns a spooky lodge known as the Mansion, in Baltimore.
More tea, my dear? You're a polite one. Refreshing. Well, as I was saying, a gift can be a curse, can it not? Very well, here is a gift for you.
In the early weeks of January, 1970, a number of commoner leaders gathered in secret to discuss their situation. They realized the sidhe problem would not go away, you see, and unless they acted soon, one side or the other would be provoked into wide scale violence. One among them, Rikard Grifgare, looked to the past and suggested that a Manifesto, a Declaration which set forth the beliefs and resolve of the commoners, would unite them all under one cause, and that such a document, backed by the Dreaming, could not be ignored. The others seized upon this idea.
Unfortunately, agreeing to the principle and agreeing on the wording were two entirely different things. Though used on the principles laid out by the American Declaration of Independence, it was by necessity tailored to a different political and magical reality. Some members complained that the document wasn't detailed enough, that it didn't guarantee the right of the commoners to keep their freeholds as well as their freedom. Others replied that the Declaration was only an announcement of basic principles, not a framework for a peace treaty or governmental instrument. Muhtadi the Scribe sighed and picked up his pen again.
After much debate, the second draft was drawn up, but few liked it more than the first version.
Some of the greatest Kithain alive were in that hall, arguing, haranguing, and cajoling. It would have been magnificent to hear William Tenbar trying to convince Izazkun Nikar of, well, of anything; or Rikard trying to make Talibin be silent for one minute.
Just when Muhtadi was ready to begin the third draft, word reached the assemblage that the sidhe wished to make an accord. Rikard begged them to finish the work at hand, but most seemed to think it unnecessary... had the sidhe not come to their senses? A few felt that the Declaration would only antagonize the sidhe who had just held out an olive branch.
Of course, we all know what happened. What nobody seems to know is what happened to the drafted manuscripts, which disappeared after the meeting. They simply vanished.
Antiroyalists would dearly love to get their hands on the darts, in hopes of using them as their authors intended. Nobles, likewise, would love to have them, to see them burned. If this were common knowledge, can you imagine the desperate hunt that would take place? I suppose it's fortunate that so very few know of their existence. Of course, you know now, don't you? A gift and a curse.