A Tale in Which a Master Tailor Learns of the Importance of the Proper Attire for Royalty
World of Storm and Fury:
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A Tale in Which a Master Tailor Learns of the Importance of the Proper Attire for Royalty
The Daughter of a Duke listened to the humble opinion of the Propietor (which seemed to the noblewoman rather exuberantly expressed for geniune humility, but then, the fellow was a commoner, untrained in the arts of rhetoric and literature), then in the silence which followed, averted her gaze from his face (though this most certainly not out of a sense of humility!) to look intently upon the fingernails of her left hand, as well as the ducal ring she wore on her middle finger there. When she looked up again, she was smiling, but now her smile would seem as cold as a Winter's gale in Skylding Vorhooven, "That be thine opinion on the matter of the shoes His Majesty should wear to dance with me? That any shoes might suffice?" the highborn and bred nineteen year old blonde now pronounced every word precisely and clearly, almost a staccatto pattern to her noble speech. "Tell me, Master Tailor, hast thou ever heard the Tragedy of the Emperor's New Clothes?
"I rather thought not," Lady Marcella continued with an almost icy calm now as she sat back in her chair, her frigid visage becoming more placid as she went on. "'Tis an elfish legend, told amidst the scholarly surrounds of academies and universities. Not the sort of tale a commoner like thee should have come across in whatever education thou mayst have been able to obtain," this time her dainty giggle most definitely sounded forced.
"One day in Arundel," the university-educated noblewoman began to lecture, folding her pale hands daintily in the lap of her dark blue satin dress, "the Elfish Emperor, this near god amongst elfs, did decide he did need some new clothes, possibly for some event of state, I have always thought," here she editorialized. "And so, His Imperial Majesty," the Lady of a Royal House and future Majesty explained, "did order his most trusted minister, to bring to the Imperial Palace the finest tailor in the Elfish Empire." Here she looked up at the Master Tailor through lidded eyes, wondering if the fellow could see the parallel betwixt her tale and their current situation in this shop...
Returning her gaze straight ahead, in the manner of a fine orator giving a lecture, Her Ladyship then resumed her telling, "And so the reputed finest tailor in all the Elfish Empire was brought before his Emperor. And this Elfish Master Tailor did wave away all the ideas the Elfish Emperor did have for his costume, as well dismissing all the splendid cloths and materials brought forth as suggestions for the finest Tailor in all the Great Elfish Empire at its zenith. 'Nay,' said the elfish tailor, 'naught of these shall suffice for my Emperor, who doth walk like a god amidst the noble and we common elfs,' for in elfish lore, this particular Emperor seems to have truly been much revered by his subjects. 'Instead,' said the tailor, presumably after much more conversation and consideration, to be sure, 'I shall have brought the finest cloths and leathers in all the Empire, which doth mean in all the world,' and at that time period, this tailor would have not been inaccurate in such assessment," the human blueblood assented.
"'Of course,' he demurred, this finest tailor in all the Empire, and therefore in all the world in his time, 'the cost shall be immense. But what price might be put on the clothing of our Emperor?' he reputedly asked. And naturally, the answer was any price, and so whatever astronomical sum was asked for was paid, and the Elfish Master Tailor then sent away for the materials with which to create the finest clothes in all the world, clothes fit only for an Elfish Emperor, in the glory days of the elfs.
"Presumably, the elfish tailor did then wine and dine and revel as a guest of the Imperial Household, until such time as the materials did arrive, from far away, so far no one amongst the elfs, save perhaps the Master Tailor, did know whence such came. Yet, there was much concern and anguish on what should have been that wondrous day, on which the materials with which to make the finest clothes in the worlde did arrive at the Imperial Palace in Arundel! For when the elfish servants did look within the wagon train, the wagons did appear to be quite empty. And in disbelief at these reports, higher ranking servants came and had a look, and in turn, some minor nobles, until at the last some ranking noble came, then had summoned the tailor. 'Look thou thither,' this Elf Lord likely said something to that effect at any rate, 'Master Tailor, there be naught of cloths, nor leathers, nor aught else within these wagons. What knavery now be played here?'
"'Ye do see naught within these wagons, m'Lord?' the Elf Master Tailor replied sanguinely, 'Look then again more carefully, all, for these materials be so fine, so highly cultured, of such celestial quality, that only the intelligent and true amongst the High Elfs, can see such finery.' I do, of course, give my best guess as to what superlatives this Elf Master Tailor did use," the Flower of Society indicated with a slightly less cold smile. She then went on, "And he continued with, 'For an idiot amongst the elfs, let alone such as a dwarf or even a human, these materials, and hence the fine clothes I shall make for Our Most Revered Emperor, shall be invisible. Be ye certain then ye do see nothing there, m'Lord?' he asked the Elf Lord once again. 'For perhaps this finery, mayhap it should be even overly fine for our Emperor. I shudder to contemplate this could be so, but mayhap 'tis?'
"'Nay, nay indeed, tis not so!' the Elf Lord presumably replied along this manner, 'For now I do look harder, I do see how fine these materials be...suitable only for Our Most Hallowed Emperor, who, as thou dost say, must needs have only the very finest materials in all the world...See ye now of what yon Master Tailor doth speak, m'Lords?' he asked then of the lesser lords assembled, who must then have given their concurrance...And so on with the senior servants, and then to the more junior, until all presented had assented he had indeed seen and marveled at just how fine these materials were. And all most surely agreed as well just how fine a tailor they must have before them now, to have been able to bring such quality to the Palace.
"Now naturally, his good advisors did likely appraise His Imperial Majesty, the Elf Emperor, of their findings, so likely he was not taken unawares," the Lys Aristocrat briefly summarized the likely course of events at the Elfish Imperial Household of those long ago days. "And so, one would think the measurings and fittings and whatever it be thee tailors do in the making of a costume," here she waved a small hand daintily, and her giggle was not forced this time. "Surely the clothing must have been completed on schedule for whatever event 'twas destined to be worn for. And so, on that day, of that grand elfish state affair, this story says the Elfish Emperor did don his fine new set of clothes, and all about him, from Lord High Chamberlain to scullery maid, did agree these new clothes were so fine, they made the grandeur and majesty of His Imperial Majesty all the more grand, all the more majestic.
"And when the Elfish Emperor did proceed outside his Palace in state, the local elf population was naturally gathered along the route, naturally enough as always to catch a glimpse of one so august amongst their kind as their Emperor, but also of course on this day, to see this new set of clothes, the finest in the world, for so fine were these new clothes reputed to be, all elfkind did surely want to look upon such. As well, the fact that only the intelligent and true High Elf could see these wondrous clothes their Emperor would be wearing had been spread beyond the Palace, as well, to anyone lesser, 'twas rumoured the clothing the Emperor wore should appear invisible, that is to say, 'twould not appear to be any clothing present at all to such a wretch amongst elfs.
"And yet, the legend relates there was one youngster amongst the elfs gathered along the route of the Imperial Procession, who, for whatever reason, and though a myriad of reasons for this do come to mind, suffice to say this particular youngster amongst the elfs had not heard of the rumour that only the intelligent and true would see the clothes, that to the lesser beings, the unintelligent, the clothing of his Emperor would appear invisible. And this young elf appears to have also posessed strong confidence of convictions, and so I would opine he was himself a young noble elf, though this story, this legend, does not specify his rank," Lady Marcella admitted to her no doubt enraptured audience in the shop.
"At any rate," Her Ladyship continued, "I have told thee of the confidence in his convictions this young elf did posess for a reason. Which be, he did shout out, as the Emperor approached, 'Why be our Emperor naked? Why hath the Emperor no clothes on?'
"Surely, all about him, all those elfs privileged enough to live near the Imperial Palace, these must have reacted in surprise and dismay. Surely, one or two remonstrated with this impetuous youth of an elf, along the lines of, 'Be ye certain of what ye say now? For 'tis said only the intelligent and true amongst the High Elfs may see his clothing, to another, the Emperor's clothing shall appear invisible.'
'But as ye do say such to me,' the elf lad likely replied along such lines, particularly so were he young noble elf," Lady Marcella informed, "''Tis therefore apparenent to me, none of ye do see his clothing either. So it doth seem to me, we cannot all be stupid, and hence the alternative must be, the Emperor hath no clothes on,' he could well have pointed out in this way, quite logically. And then, the hue and cry would have arisen, 'The Emperor hath no clothes! The Emperor hath no clothes!'
"And amidst such chaos, why, no man, no elf, surely even no god, could maintain any image of majesty and awe. For how could any, even the most loyal, have now looked upon his Emperor with anything but laughter. And from this tragic incident, began the fall of the last Great Elfish Empire," Lady Marcella summed up primly.
Then her high-pitched, court-trained voice again became quite cold and staccatto as she stated, "I must needs leave it to thine imagination what did happen to the Elf Master Tailor, Master Tailor. For this legend be silent on this point. But rest assured, thou dost now stake far more than thine own reputation on these shoes. And in case thou art somehow unawares, House Griphon be known for Justice, but not for Mercy," the Eldest Daughter of that Great House again smiled coldly. "Need I make my meaning plainer?"
--as recorded by a shop assistant in the days before the Eldest of the Daughters of House Griphon became Queen of Lys