I was eleven years old, but it's one of the clearest memories I've got. I guess something that ends up changing the world will stick with you. But really, it's because of my father.
My father was a great man. If he'd been born a noble, or even the son of a merchant or smith, he'd be known for his inventions, or maybe his philosophies. But he was born a peasant, and was a farmer. Even as a farmer he was brilliant, but that's why if someone knows his name, they know it from the fall of the Blessed Dominion.
We lived near a small village in the Dominion - I don't even recall the name any more. It was a good life for a while, I think - we worked the land, I had time to play and time to learn, and my parents seemed happy. Dad was especially happy when he was coming up with things. Those horse collars everyone uses - one of his innovations. Bet you didn't know that, did ya? It's a Dominion Collar, and most don't even know about the Blessed Dominion enough to know why it's a Dominion Collar.
Anyway, over the years, my Dad had done a lot of things like that. He helped the neighbors with his ley farming method, which let us all start to keep some livestock. He worked closely with another farmer on that, and they were getting some results from a breeding program. But every time they'd come up with something, the Blessed Dominion would increase what they took from us. Every year, they took that much more, and so we were always at their mercy, always one bad year away from ruin. They'd tell us how they were doing the work of the Gods, helping out the less fortunate, and that we would be blessed for our efforts. But it got so we didn't feel blessed, and we didn't believe that we were the fortunate ones.
That's when the priestess of Kolero came to the village. We'd heard of the Anarchs before, even if Kolero specifically was new to us. We knew that they served themselves, rather than the common good of all. And right about then, we were certainly open to the idea. She talked to everyone, learning about how we'd become the most productive village in the County, and who was responsible. She talked about the Academy, and the schools that Kolero funded. She never preached much - she simply understood us, and sympathized with how we felt.
The came the harvest of 769. Our quota for the year was a big one, but we had outdone ourselves. Bountiful harvests, plenty of wool and cloth, prize cattle - we were prepared to pay our tribute, and have a joyous winter. But when they came, they told us how there was a drought, and so the towns to the west had almost nothing. We'd have to give up most of what we had. It would be a lean winter with what they demanded.
We grumbled, but what could we do? Well, the priestess told us what we could do. She told us that Kolero would aid us if we stood up and fought for what was ours. If we claimed the fruit of our labors. And we did. Did we ever.
A cleric of Kolero came to the Blessed Dominion, seeking to undermine it. She investigated the lands, looking for the place that was the biggest outlier in production. When she found it, she proceeded to help the people to further increase their output through her magic, as well as to cause a drought to hit the surrounding areas. She sent others of her order to do the same in other regions of the Dominion.
When the harvest came, most of the County she had chosen had a horrible yield, while her chosen town had their best. The Count ordered that their food be shared, which allowed the cleric to incite the people to riot.
Most of the village was present when the collectors made their demands, because the cleric had seen to it. They filled the village green, bunched up in an arc around the collectors and their men at arms. The demands angered them, but they were preparing to give their crops over, until the cleric mounted a crate that she set up behind the collectors. She spoke on how Kolero would save them and value them more than the Gods ever had. This was the spark that was needed.
The village green was the initial battlefield, although they marched to the County Seat, where the battle played out throughout the town.
The fight began when a rock was thrown from someone in the crowd. It hit a collector in the forehead, and the men at arms drew their swords. A moment passed, and a farmer shouted, "Kolero!" With that, rocks began to fly, pelting the soldiers. They tried to protect themselves, but soon the farmers charged and began to beat the collectors and soldiers alike with anything they could find. Some members of the town, notably the priests of Adalci, attempted to turn back the crowd, but they were trampled underfoot. These were the only casualties on the towns side - none of the collectors survived.
Riding their anger, the people of the town began to march to the County seat. They met other people that joined them on the way, but they also encountered other soldiers. Without surprise, they did not fare as well, although the weapons and armor that were taken from the first battle helped. The surge in new manpower made up for their losses, and they made it to the County seat.
In the end, most of the original villagers were killed, but in turn they hung the Count from his own gibbet, and burned most of his city to the ground. The Harvest riots were over, but the fall of the Blessed Dominion had just begun.
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