The great Kingdom lies in the heart of a vibrant nation of wealthy and influential people. Indeed, it is the kind of kingdom that many strive to be associated with, known for its many rich resources, most especially those of the human nature. It is in fact, the pride of the nation.
Within this Kingdom, like in every other kingdom, is a king who ideally is there to control the affairs of the Kingdom. But this Kingdom has a special mode of kingship, in that the king himself is ruled by those who put him in place, not the citizens, no, but the kingmakers. The Chief Kingmaker is therefore, the true ruler of the kingdom. It is not as though the citizens enjoy being ruled by this Chief Kingmaker, but there is nothing they can do, as long as their King is chosen by him. Any attempt to create and enforce change, and they are exiled from the kingdom. At present, they do not even like their King. But who are they to speak against the declaration of the Chief Kingmaker?
Then the Kingdom is further divided into the Tribes and Clans, and this is how they are divided. Clan members are chosen based on skill, and area of working specialisation. The Clans are what we can call trade unions. They are the groupings based on skill, while the Tribes are the groupings based on gender, as well as geographical location. And within these Tribes and Clans, there are also kings. Two sets of kings, precisely. The Junior King does not act without the backing of the Senior King, but at the same time, the Junior king acts in the interest of the citizens, while the senior king is the representative of the aforementioned Chief Kingmaker and his band of Kingmakers.
The hierarchy goes on and on, because under every king is a set of Chiefs, who also see to the administration of their jurisdiction. But we shall not dwell too much on the hierarchy. We shall dwell on the happenings in this wonderful, highly-envied, and yet confused world that is the Great Kingdom.
Deep into the thickly vegetated forest that this Kingdom is characterised by, lies the Tribe of Struggles. It is a female tribe. One might wonder why females, who are considered to be the weaker sex, should be thrown into the heart of the forest, almost exiled from the civilisation of the kingdom, and thus subjected to a life of hardship, all against their very will. Some have suggested privacy, protection, many outrageous things, but the truth that stands is that the living standards of these women is as less-privileged as the environment which they are subjected to live in, as clearly denoted by their tribal name. The only seemingly good thing about the life in this Tribe is that anybody, and truly, anybody can be subjected to it, regardless of position. However, there are, of course, an over-privileged few, who ditch the moral high road and run down and out into the supposedly civilised parts of the Kingdom, taking with them, the sweet-mouthed influence of a few Chiefs, Kings, or the greatest of them, Kingmakers, as their alibi. But the norm still stands that anybody, and indeed, anybody, can be assigned to a hut in the Tribe of Struggles, with no room for change or complaint.
It is the duty of the Senior King of every tribe to assign huts to tribe members. Census is a yearly affair, and after each census is a reassignment of huts. Women die, women come, women go, women are exiled. And so there must be a reassignment, making post-census period the most critical time of the year, as the women anticipate the same life of struggle with a new set of people.
In the early days before the Kingdom became a great one, when it was still an expanse of land upon which men tried to create a purpose for living, the hut assignment was desirable. Two persons to a hut, no congestion, no disturbance. But as the Kingdom expanded and numbers increased, foresight did not, and so it remained the same old huts, to cater to the larger Kingdom. Two became four, and four finally became five. This year, the women are placed five to a hut, no choice involved. It is bad news when two bulls try to drink from the same trough. But what word, can ever measure up to describe the nature of catastrophe attached to a drinking trough that is forced, against its will, to cater to five large bulls, against their own will?
It is not that all the women are large and important, no. But there are definitely a number of large and important women. When coincidence plays a practical joke on the human, it is never funny to anyone, but her own self.
She is the daughter of the Kingdom Diviner, spirituality flows in her veins. If there is anybody to whom spiritual power has been bequeathed in perpetual abundance, it is she. Your first encounter with her is likely to be at the peak of the mountain, which is the centre of worship for the Kingdom. She is always there, connecting to the spirituality within her. Little wonder she is called the Razor, she cuts a path on the divination tray that is sharper than the point of a Hunter’s arrow. Ah, the Hunter. She will cross paths with the Hunter, but not yet. The king is a Hunter, and the Hunter is a king. But she who cuts sharper than his arrow, she whose current is triggered by supernatural power, also has her eyes on the throne. She has her eyes, not on the throne of the Junior King of her Tribe, no, but on the throne of the next-in-command to the King of the Kingdom. It might interest you to know that she is not the Kingmakers’ choice, and that she is a citizen of the Tribe of Struggles.
Of course, one who has had to undergo suffering and struggle, is automatically the ideal candidate for leadership, because it is expected that that person knows just where it hurts and bites. Expectations though, are only expectations, nothing more than that. And many-a-time, that which we expect is that which will place itself as far away from us as possible, and even create a chasm, such that, even if effort was made to bring Expectation closer, success would be an impossible feat, and futility would be inevitable.
The women of the Tribe of Struggles suffered it last season. One of them was wearing the shoes that this spiritual daughter now wears, and fortune worked in her favour. The expectation was that, having been in those tight shoes, and knowing just where they hurt, would make her the ideal woman for the job. Little did they know, that something worse than the opposite would occur, and change the entire state of things. Not only did this woman forget about her tight shoes, she went ahead to deal in such dishonour that she was forced on an exile from the council of High Chiefs: A prime situation of betrayal of trust, and a trigger for the worst type of scepticism. The cycle is starting again, with this Divining Daughter, but the real question lies in whether she will complete it, or break it to pieces. Or, more appropriately, shred it to pieces, and live up to her name and reputation as the Razor.