Words of Freedom: A HandbillEdit
Printed on handbills distributed by Arathian merchantmen under the employ of Mr. Ranves Darn to gentry, artisans, shopkeepers, tavern masters and the middle-class folks in the towns of Hearthglen, Tyr’s Hand, Light’s Hope, Dawnhaven, and other resettled areas of Lordaeron within Blackmarsh and the North, as well as within the great trade halls of Ironforge, the Trade Quarter of Stormwind, and the streets of Stromgarde so that these educated men might speak and preach to the peasantry and common people.
Downtrodden people of the masses, heed these words of truth and honesty, rise up from your labors and pay your attention to the messengers of freedom, pay heed to the itinerant preachers of this doctrine of economic prosperity and social freedom!
For far too long have your leaders, your Queens, your Kings, your Councils, your Thanes; your slave masters, nourished within you a fear of their great power and might. They come to you, at the head of their armies of sycophants, their legions of corrupt priests, and their cadres of armored Knights of Infamy, and promise that they will protect you; that they will do all in their means to safeguard you from harm if only you will give to them your labors, your souls, and your loyalty. So, beneath their steels you cower and simper, content to bow your heads to false majesties, impious popery, and tyrannical force, all in return for wicked lies of protection.
Then come others to you, the educated men of the universities, the gentry of the lands, the merchants of faraway places who know the comforts of freedom. They tell you that there exists a land, a land in Stromgarde, a land ruled by a just and benevolent Regent, a land where all people, be they serf or noble, have the right to an education, to fair taxation, and the equality to live as free persons alongside even the highest of nobles. They promise you all these things, should you just open your hearts, your minds, and your souls to these words, should you rise up and tell your oppressors that you demand what should be rightfully yours!
You listen to these things and you say, ‘Yes, they are true, but they have always been this way.’ Or you say, ‘Maybe all that these dreams promised us will come true, but not in our time, they will not help us.’ And so you return to farms, your mills, your workshops; your daily rounds of grizzly toil, you go back to be minced up for the prosperity of those nobles above you in the slaughterhouse of social and economic slavery! You go on to toil long hours only for another’s advantage; to live in lean and squalid hovels, to work in dangerous and unhealthful places; to wrestle with the grim specters of hunger and deprivation, to take your chances of accident, disease and death as those who would call themselves noble dine away upon foreign fruits and delicacies; content in their comfort as they watch over their great herds of bonded men. You do all these things and receive so little in return. Why?
I ask you now, dear comrades in squalor, does not each day the struggle become fiercer, the pace more cruel; each day you have to toil a little harder, and feel the iron hand of circumstance and tyranny close upon you a little tighter, a little harder, a little more painfully? Days come and go, weeks move by, months pass, years cross us, and yet you return to your labors again and again; working to your deaths for the meager scraps of those who were simply born to different parents than yourselves. Why do you do so?
So here we are, the heralds of Regent-Lady Brisby’s enlightened reformation; here to plead with you, to know if want and misery have yet done their work with you, if injustice and oppression have yet opened your eyes to the cruel tyranny that forces you down into the mud; that has you all shackled and bound in the service of organized and predatory despotism! Therefore we cannot rest, we cannot be quieted or be made silent. We are not to be muzzled by poverty and sickness, not by ignorance and ill-education, not by hatred and obloquy, by threats and ridicule, not by the dungeons and persecution, if they should come, not by any power that is within these Eastern Kingdoms or that may claim to be holy, not by what was, or is, or ever can be created on this earth.
If these words fail you, then the heralds of freedom can only try tomorrow; knowing that the fault must be upon the messenger and not the hearer of these words; that if once the vision of this grand and equal world were spoken truly upon the earth of Azeroth, if once the anguish of its defeat were uttered in human speech, it would break the most resolute of barriers of prejudice, it would shake the most sluggish soul to action! It would abash the most cynical, it would terrify the most selfish and sycophantic; and the voice of mockery would be cast out forever in silence, those who peddle in fraud and falsehood would slink back to their dark dens, and the truth would stand alone! For we speak with the voice of the millions who are voiceless! Of them that are oppressed and have no comforter! Of the disinherited of life, for whom there is no respite and no deliverance, to whom the world is a prison, a dungeon of torture, a tomb!
This vision speaks with the voice of the little child who toils tonight in a flour-mill in Blackmarsh, staggering with exhaustion, numb with agony, and knowing no hope but the grave! This vision speaks with the voice of the mother who sews by candle-light in her tenement shack within mighty Stormwind, weary and weeping, smitten with the mortal hunger of her tender young babes! This vision speaks with the voice of the man who lies upon a bed of rags in Pyrewood, convulsing in his last sickness and leaving his loved ones to perish! This vision speaks with the voice of the young girl who, somewhere at this moment, is walking the tunnels of the fetid dormitories in Ironforge, beaten and starving, and making her choice between the whore house and the lake! This vision speaks with the voice of those, whoever and wherever they may be, who are caught beneath the wheels of the juggernaut of aristocratic tyranny! With the voice of humanity, calling for deliverance, of the everlasting soul of the people, rising from the dust; breaking its way out of its gulag and rending the chains of oppression and ignorance.
These words speak with these voices, these desperate cries for a chance for freedom. I tell you now that this united voice, this clarion call shall be no meager bleat of weak sheep, but shall be a roar mighty enough to topple the most impenetrable fortresses, to shatter the looking glasses of the most vain Queens, and rattle the steel of the most blood thirsty of ‘knights;’ a roar that shall tear the very foundation of the old orders asunder!
Rise up, good people of this world! Rise up and let your voices be heard in the local Magistracies, before the manors of the local Lords, at the foot of the castles of your so called sovereigns! Rise up and tell these rulers that their fog of ignorance shall no longer cover your eyes, that there are rulers that know of freedom, that the Regent-Lady Brisby shall lead us by example into a future so bright and so good, that the darkness of the past shall be abolished from living memory!
By the Grace of her Revolution
Mr. Ranves Darn