Mon, 31 Dec 2012

Weight of Things

— SjG @ 4:26 pm

It was bad luck that Ponderus, Fifth Imperial Lord of Varia, was born on a day with exceptionally light gravity. The Royal Minister of Standards duly weighed out the calibration stones, and a clockwork chain of events began: the Royal Metallurgist selected materials from her mineral store-room, and crafted the Standard Unit; from there, countless copies were cast at the Imperial Forge, endless couriers and emissaries spread out across the land, bringing the new metric to cities, towns, and villages alike.

Merchants groaned at the new metric, for, as luck would have it, the Fourth Imperial Lord had been born on a day of extremely high gravity, thus the old metrics had been small and easily carried. Now with Ponderus, the Fifth Imperial Lord, this convenience was gone. If someone purchased a simple quarter King of flour, it required seven large stones on the balance.

It was a mere four months later when Simon Waggoner, a potato farmer, had had enough. Over the course of the morning, he’d had to weigh out a thirty-king of potatoes twelve times, and something inside him snapped. In the middle of the market, he threw down his metrics onto the floor, shattering two of them. The entire throng of merchants, farmers, restauranteurs, household shoppers, and all fell silent and drew back. Inevitably, the word would get out, and soon armored legions of the Royal Knights would march in.

“Friends,” implored Simon. “I am nothing if not a loyal subject of his Supreme Majesty. But, if he loved his subjects, would he not give us a convenient weight, regardless of the day’s gravity?”

And thus the War of The Metric began…