Once upon a time, when the world was a better and less cynical place, a small group of pilgrim explorers set out on a great voyage of discovery and adventure. Their journey was not to be without peril and many of their peers thought them foolish and crazy, even so, our intrepid explorers were undaunted in their task.
After many days at sea, sailing uncharted and unknown waters, exposed to the elements and the whims of chance and fortune, the explorers came upon a strange new country. Excitedly they grounded their ship and swam ashore to claim the new land in their own name.
Proudly, they stood upon the virgin shore, posing for photographs and smiling broadly in the knowledge that they had succeeded in achieving what many others said could not be done. And so, a fledgling nation – we’ll call it Lindonia – was born.
Life was good and the land flourished under the wise and and inspired leadership of the founding fathers – a true democracy, where the people had a voice and both government and people worked together in harmony with a shared vision and purpose.
The land flourished, the population increased and first towns, then cities sprang up. Trade and commerce thrived and, although there were inevitable difficulties and disagreements, by and large the harmonious partnership of government and people held sway… but even in paradise there were rumblings of trouble ahead.
As the empire grew, the government became careless for the citizen’s needs. New ministers were recruited to the cabinet who chose to pursue their own agendas and cared little for the needs of the people; the regular surgeries and meetings, that had once been been such a notable feature of democracy, were quietly shelved and consigned to history – the government became more and more reticent about sharing its policies and plans with the populace and newspapers became organs of propaganda and spin, with little of news or interest to publish – other than that which the government deemed strictly necessary.
Things continued to decline, despite the government’s radical new ‘improvement’ campaign… promises were made, and broken; meaningless incentives were offered to the people and age-old problems were glossed over and lost in bureaucratic red tape; not to mention the sky-high taxes. Before long the government had adopted a policy of indifference – no matter how much the people complained, the government maintained a stony, and complete, silence… the once idyllic land was in disarray and and the people thoroughly discontented.
Inevitably, people started to look to pastures new – other lands beckoned and slowly, but surely, the lifeblood of the nation began to drift away and find new homes, far from the despotic government and the tinpot dictatorship it had become. Still the government refused to engage with the people, dealing one final death knell, right out of the blue… ‘The Government’, the announcement came, ‘no longer wishes to hear your views on how the land is governed – from this day forth, we have no interest in what you may have to say and anything you do say we will shroud in secrecy and keep entirely to ourselves’.
Far worse was to come…
Seeing their nation fall into decline, the government hatched a plan to repopulate the land – they prostituted the land to barbarians from over the sea… promising riches and plunder to all who would come. And come they did, in great steam ships across the oceans – they brought fear and terror wherever they went, bringing wanton destruction and warfare to the land, driving out the peace-loving Lindonians and leaving the land scorched and grieving. However, the land was not to the barbarian’s taste – compared to their own lands there was little to commend it, the scenery and buildings were too rough and rustic, too whimsical, and the natives lacked the essential bloodthirstiness the barbarians craved – within no time at all, they left, leaving in their wake a broken and desolate land.
Could the land recover? It was unlikely. Some spoke of a saviour – a legend from the past – who would rise, phoenix-like, to restore the land and its people, whilst others spread tales of ultimate doom, living in fear of the day of darkness, when all life would cease and the land would be no more. The steady stream of disenchanted Lindonians continued to abandon their homes and livelihoods – risking all to start a new life in other lands, whilst the few – the stubborn remnant – clung grimly to their dreams, looking to an uncertain future that promised little, yet was all that they had.
But what, exactly, would the future bring?
“…There’s a land that I heard of
once in a lullaby…”
Hardstyle – Wake Up