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The bane of the selfish king

Long ago there was a king whose name has been lost to time. He was very selfish He had hoards of gold, woman, jewelry, and all manor of things. Though the one thing he did not have was an eternal life. How could a man enjoy everything if he could not live forever. This dawned upon him very late in life as his hair turned gray and his body began to fail him. So he sought out scholars, mages, and the like to hopefully to extend his life. In the end he spent so much he lost all of his treasure hoards in the search for an extension to his life. He was overthrown in a coup cause the people could not stand it anymore. So in the end he lost everything he ever owned. As everything seemed to be crashing in around him and mysterious man in a hood appeared before him. In a raspy voice that seemed otherworldly he said "I know of a way to give you eternal life though of course there is a price." The dethroned king who had nothing said to the man " I have nothing to give to you. All I can muster would be the the clothes on my back." The mysterious man looked at him with gleaming red eyes underneath his hood. "The price is not something that can be so easily understood, no no all I need is the life of what was your kingdom, yes that should be good." The king who had no other options thought he had to agree to this deal for his people betrayed him and this would be a steal. The lives of 100,000 people to grant him an eternal soul. He looked at the hooded figure and to outreached hand. He moved his own hand and they shook to seal the contract. All the sudden there were sounds of panic. The screams of thousands of citizens rang out through the country. A man ran out in the street on fire and the king immediately knew it was like a sacrificial pyre. The mans body burned to ash and though the soul was left in the pile. The man in the hood hurried over and lifted up an ethereal fire and began to stuff it in his bag on his side. The man in the hood looked over at the king and gave him a smile. Go collect your half though you may find it hard to laugh. So the king did as he was instructed and picked up a soul which entered his body. He continued this throughout the next week or so with the man in the hood next to him the entire time. When they were finished the man in the hood looked at him and grinned. "Thank you this was beneficial to the both of us. Now the 50,000 souls you have will begin to act up, I hope your'e ready for that. The man in the hood vanished in a vortex of fire. All the sudden the souls the king had collected all began to ring out. He was now an eternal king but with no subjects and was driven mad. It is now said that he lives in the tower of the demon king constantly fighting the souls he stole. It is said that you can actually visit him and the one who finally kills him will receive everything he owns.

Historical Basis

It is said to be a tall tale based off a man who lived in a tower. Who also seemed to fighting off multiple personalities and requested to be killed whenever it was the main personalty. Though he even if he was impaled, lit on fire, frozen to death it seemed he wouldn't die. When he was asked why he couldn't die this was the story that was told. So he was given the name of the Selfish king. Also around three hundred- four hundred years ago there is history that is missing there.

Variations & Mutation

For the major story itself there is very little variation. However the age of the king when he began to look is disputed. As well as the mysterious figure that made the deal with him is different. Some of these depict him as a god of death who got bored, a Lich who simply needed a snack, or a demon who looking to make a deal. The god of death instead of putting them in a bag releases the soul in a small pouch that would float upwards after, The demon is the one who collected the souls in a bag, while the lich was said to consume to some of the souls and store some away for later.

Cultural Reception

The country that this originated in is the major one that uses it (Uswana). Beyond that it gets traded between traveling merchants, sailors and the like. In those settings its treated as more of just a scary story than a legend.

In Literature

As stated before the only place that this story really took hold was in Uswana. Though there it was put in a children's fable book and became an extremely acclaimed story.

In Art

The are some paintings that are said to survive the history blot out about the three hundred years ago. As of know there is only one painting of the story that has ever been made. It hangs above the kings chair in Uswana to remind him of the terrible power he has.
Date of First Recording
450
Date of Setting
400

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