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lemuel's universe

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The populace keeps knowledge of the long war at arm's length, where it hums quietly in the distance. Their little nation is rife with the wondrous magic of runes, blessed with material excess, and near-utopian with regards to the standard of living, even for the human servants.   It is easier that way, when the humans are framed as lesser animals. They deserve respect, as the ancestors of modern vampires, but they are not afforded autonomy. This is the accepted truth, as it has been for millennia, and because the majority of the population only lives for a thousand years or so, it is the only system in their memory.   The exceptions, of course, are the true immortals. One sits on the emperor's throne, as he has for most of his life. The love of the people and the necessity of winning the long war promise to keep him on the throne for quite some time. The humans must be subdued, their architecture replaced, the natural world saved from their destructive influence.   But these are heavy and complicated maxims, best memorized and not considered. The vampires do not think of politics often, preferring to spend their time at comfortable jobs or enjoying the work of the state-sponsored artists, and the humans are too well conditioned to even wonder about rebellion. This is all true in general, but there are always the rare individual exceptions.   Like the emperor's dying stepson Lemuel, and his boyfriend's servant Jean-Claude Vincent.