Another short, mean, petty story translated from the scars of Johnny Pain.
The foundlings were always known by the villagers to be different. Swirling in the myths of their time next to witches and fairies and evil eyes and distant thunder sometimes mistaken for the roar of dragons, the twins struck the educated few as another of the peasantâ€™s myths. Nothing was made of them until one of the princes came across the craft that they had come crashing down into the village within, a burning ball of fire witnessed only the old man and woman who had eventually taken in the quite, wide blue eyed twins. Two boys with slightly odd features that people found difficult to pin down and describeâ€“ some said their eyes were too far apart, their lips too small. . Since their parentage was a source of mystery, all kinds of answers presented themselves to the village gossips â€“ ranging from Satan himself to traveling gypsies.
The foundlings themselves offered no explanation of where they had come from, or indeed they were. They rather quickly learned the English spoken in the middle ages, yet could offer no memories of before being found unconscious in the hot metal pod. The farmer had used the ship for a wagon, attaching wheels and pulling the glittering steel around with oxenâ€™s, until the strange sight attracted the attentions of an inquisitive prince from the palace, who upon hearing that the strange looking apparatus was some kind of weapon, a bomb of sorts to be catapulted over the castles dirt and wooden walls. The ship sat in the courtyard of the palace for a week before the kingâ€™s sorcerer took notice of the strange, shining object with markings seemingly in some form of writing unknown to himâ€¦ Horace was more of an herbalist than a believer in spells and magic, though his times made him a conduit for certain mystical beliefs in the healing powers of leeches and bloodletting.
He had the object brought into the barn that passed for his work area and set about trying to decipher the unexpected mystery of the object. When he heard the princeâ€™s tale about two foundlings coming to earth in the pod of steel in some sort of blast of fire and brimstone, he dismissed the story as more of the idiocy of the superstitious villagers. After a week of searching through old texts, he begged the king for the money to take the object to Rome, to a university where there were enough texts that he would surely find a way to read the writing on the object. The king was unimpressed by his wizardâ€™s curiosity.
He was a blunt man, a devil of a foe in battle who spent his times away from battle campaigns drinking and whoring away as much of the day as possible. He had indulged the wizardâ€™s passions in the past, but he valued his console too much to lose him to a two-year journey that held enough hazards to make his return altogether theoretical.
The wizard Horace, his other avenues of research stymied by the kingâ€™s lack of interest, finally called for the prince and asked him to get the foundlings and bring them to him.
As they grew from young boys, their height alone, among the short, malnourished peasants would have made them stand out even without their odd features. They never seemed to show emotion to humans, their faces always masks of contemplation when being spoken to, as if they had to listen intently to whatever was said because they were learning much more than the speaker was sayingâ€¦ the effect spooked most people, and would have provoked the bullies in the village if not for the last of their known strangenesses â€“ both could beat anyone who attacked them with a flurry of punches that came so fast that witnesses saw mostly just a blur and a then a bloody, falling victim. They were also said to bring their pets back to life, even a badly mangled cat.
The prince listened to all the rumors about the foundlings as he searched for them through the squalid, mud village on the edge of the Commons; as a student of the Wizard Horace and his fatherâ€™s intellectual arrogance, the prince smiled and listened and did not believe so much as a word of what he was hearingâ€¦ until he actually saw them, when his doubts began to caste their first shadows in his mind, and for the first time in his short life, he would begin to wonder if he could accept the wisdom of his teachers â€“ his arrogant father â€¦
As he rode up on his horse he saw them sitting in the dirt road in front of their shack, looking tall and thin and their features inexplicably other worldly. As soon as he turned the last corner in the labyrinth of mud shacks, he saw them already rising from their seats in the dirt at the doorstep of their shack. Peasants always moved out of the road when royalty road through the village, though this seemed different; the prince had the sense that they were rising to meet him, ready for him to arrive â€“ that some force he knew nothing of had alerted themâ€¦ he shook away the feeling, telling himself the peasants had temporarily infected him with their superstitions. He followed the intellectual arrogance of his father, who had once traveled the world bouncing from religion to religion, before coming back to his castle to declare himself a godless ruler, a man of scienceâ€¦ and hiring the princeâ€™s other teacher, the wizard Horace, who was fond of saying that no one should believe anything that cannot be measured with a ruler. The wizard was considered quite mad for his beliefs by the villagers, who occasionally blamed bouts of bad luck on the wizard, saying his godlessness was bringing down the wrath of god. Such talk was more than moderated though by his supporters, who while conceding he was mad, were very grateful for the small innovations the wizards mechanical tinkering had brought to the village in the way of a sewer that carried some of the garbage out of the slums, and the boiling of all drinking water â€“ which had seemed to miraculously cure people who did not even know they were sickâ€¦ dysentery, the main killer of their children, was almost gone from their villageâ€¦ The kingâ€™s beliefs on the other hand were the last thing a peasant would question -- literally. No dissent was allowed in the kingdom, and there were in fact a lot of benefactorâ€™s of the kingâ€™s rule, odd religions that had been driven from some of the other land that the king chose to ignore as a â€˜necessary madness,â€™ like wine soaked festivals and other peasant habits.
And then the foundlings went to the castle and killed all the royalty and then led a peasent army to free the whole world and created a paradise for all concernedâ€¦ Really.