"The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know."
-Napoleon Bonaparte I
Nobles, aristocrats, servants, oh the entire citadel was in a calm panic. Servants rushed to their positions, the commoners worked harder than usual, and the retainer put together their reports.
Her Grace Madeline Decorum was near the end of her commute and returned with perfect timing. The rain was harsh on the crops and flooded the fields, insurrectionists destroyed a major bridge, and the schools were unable to keep up with all the students.
Despite all of this Her Grace had her guard stop the convoy half way to her manor in the citadel, her captain of the guard dismounted from his horse along with his right hand man. With great care they helped Madeline and her lady out of her carriage.
Madeline was young with long blonde hair and blue eyes. During her time at the Imperial Court the nobles whispered amongst themselves about how beautiful she was and how much more she would be in the years to come. Some even dared to compared her to the Imperial Princesses who set the bar high.
Many were also shocked that her father would give her an entire duchy at such an age, but that isn't where it ends. Madeline was still able to make top marks in her academics despite having to move back and forth on a bi-weekly basis from her duchy to an academy.
Naturally Madeline walked in front of her guard who were armed with rifles and outfitted with uniforms they wore so proudly. Her captain of the guard was by her side to ensure her safety, on her other side was her dear friend and servant.
As she walked down the road her guards allowed her a moderate amount of space so that the people could see their Duchess and rejoice. Madeline waved to the people and smiled to show her gratitude. It was times like this when people needed a leader more than ever. It was a long walk to her house but it didn't bother Madeline, in fact she took full advantage of it.
"Your Grace, it is good to have you back." her Butler said then bowed. Her servants were all lined up at the door to welcome her home and they all bowed or curtsied. Her butler in contrast to most of the other servants was aged but highly experienced and was very much a polymath which was the reason Madeline's father appointed him to this position.
"Do you have all of the reports Benoit?" Madeline asked her butler.
"Yes Your Grace, everything that we've received I have organized and left at your work room." Madeline then motioned with her left hand for her servants to be dismissed, with the exception of her butler that is.
"Thank you Benoit, walk with me please, oh, and where is Lady Aelia?" she asked as she started to walk towards the stairs with Benoit close beside her and the servants continued with their tasks.
"Lady Aelia is walking around the citadel to assure the people that our difficulties are short term."
"I see, as usual she is one step ahead."
"May I ask where Lady Livia is?"
"She is talking to aristocrats on my behalf to calm them down."
"Wise decision Your Grace."
"Thank you Benoit. Do you know how the larger business franchises are reacting to our situation?"
"The managers are uneasy and are asking for more patrols to come around their streets."
"This makes things more difficult. How are the farmers?"
"The farmers have seen worse days. Among them is there is disappointment than anything elses."
"No radical voices then? Aelia has done well."
"Indeed she has." as they reached the Madeline's work place she stopped right at her door and turned to her butler.
"I would like to be left alone to work."
"Of course Your Grace."
She entered the workplace and found that it neat and tidy, a consistent theme thanks to her servants. On top of her desk were the reports and other documents left by her butler who organized them by most to least important.
She sat down at her desk in the center of the room. Behind her a window and shelves complete of books on all topics aside from fantasy. She took in a deep breath then picked up the first paper.
"Now what do we have here..." she looked down at the document and immediately recognized the seal on the top right corner, without a doubt it was the Imperial Seal. Below the seal was another one that represented the Ministry of Justice and Civil Obedience, Seats of Judgment. She continued read the rest of the document and was not fond of it in any way. It was much worse than anticipated.