Apocalypse The Lamb
Honorious assumed the role of Augustus at just eight years old, but the child-emperor of Western Rome was little more than a puppet of the church and the military. It was a time when petty ambitions eclipsed the very notions of duty and service which had once made Rome great. In this tale, we meet one such individual, through his letter to The Pope…
I trust this missive finds you in good health, and that your tour of the blessed vineyards proceeds without incident.
Matters in Ravenna proceed as we had planned, and Emperor Honorious has been as forthcoming with the bursary as you assured us before embarking. The cathedral renovations are finally complete, and it fills me with joy to report that they are most agreeable to the eye. The architect complained loudly that he was out-of-pocket for the great weight of gold-leaf he was obliged to acquire, and it pained us to hear of his trials. But even in these difficult times, it is heartening to know that a simple calculation of The Lord’s Judgement – not so very far off, perhaps – can still bend a man’s head to focus diligently and most attentively on His Work.
We have had further reports of quarrels in the northern provinces, but how can such crude affairs possibly touch us here, at the very heart of The Empire and the locus of The Holy Light? These soldiers and their ceaseless cries for more coin or fresh armaments… such clamour is bruising to the pious ear. Honestly, it is all perfectly barbarous. Indeed, most of them are barbarians, these Foederati, recruited from Germanic stock. Let them find local solutions to their local problems.
They cannot seem to conceive that The Empire’s continued greatness hinges not on their petty squabbles, but upon praising the eminence of The Lord in all the good works that we do! No, they must simply make do with the perfectly adequate stores and equipment they already have, and put down these little backwater uprisings. And if this or that outpost should briefly succumb to a gang of quarrelsome ruffians, why then, those responsible will only have themselves to blame. We will offer all appropriate prayer for them, of course; we shall not neglect our duties.
Anyhow, it is of little consequence, and I counsel you to pay it no mind. For there is an altogether graver matter at hand.
The communion wine has become reprehensible of late, and in your current endeavour, Your Holiness, I prostrate myself before you. Can you not bring your blessings (and of course the obligations of The Lord!) to the vintners’ very ears? The rumour goes that this colder weather makes for a meaner grape, but I divine a simple weakness of faith, and it must be rooted out. It simply must!
I trust that you will steer us through these difficult waters, as you always do, with The Lord as your guiding light.
I remain your humble servant and most trusted eunuch,
- Fodiendi Bufo