It was a dark and stormy night. It was not cold though, just the opposite. The wind blowing through the trees, though harsh, brought only more stifling air to the already humid night. It whirled inside the great circle walls of the kingdom, and moved in a rotation.
People looked out their windows, their dead eyes staring, cracked lips parted. Malumnia was a dead country. The people inside could not leave, and did not have enough left in them to try. The hot wind had come and blown all of the life, hope, youth, and beauty out of them. There were rumors though, about people with color in their cheeks, who remembered what laughter was and knew how to smile. But those were rumors, and in all of Malumnia there was only one confirmed person who still knew how to live.
Her name was Queen Keres, and it was her wind that came and destroyed everything. She lived in her palace, in the center of Malumnia, where no man had ever set foot. There were rumors of sunshine, flowers, and bright people and lives. But here were also rumors of a darkness so unimaginable, Death dared not go there. Rumors of a castle made of bone. Rumors of wine made of blood. And whispers, whispers, of meat made from human flesh.
But they were only whispers and rumors, and it seemed as if the entire country was comprised of hushed tones and fantastic stories. And while there was no hope, no love, no life left in Malunia, imagination lived. Because it is one thing to crush the spirit of a man, but it is much harder to crush the mind. And for all of Keres' scheming, for all of her plans and deeds, she could not crush their minds.
Malumnia wasn't always this way. There had been Keres' grandfather Peter the First, who had ruled justly and soundly. Then there had been Oliver the Noble, who had fought many battles and made Malumnia a great power. Finally there had been Justin the Greatest, who had been Keres' older brother. He was kind, just, and brave. Then he disappeared along with his lovely young bride and their baby Amelia, who was to be the first female ruler.
Keres was the only one left, and she seized the throne so quickly and harshly, it was as if she had planned it. and as time went on, people began to think that she had. They began to whisper about how she had killed her brother and forced his bride and their child into hiding. And that was when the wind came. It blew and blew and blew until no houses where left, and the only one's living where the ones who owned cellars. And then Keres shut herself up in her castle and was never seen again.
The people had to rebuild on their own. And the once powerful empire was now a bunch of farming huts and beat up pubs. Except for the Dark City where Keres lived and invited important people to eat. They ate her flesh food and drank her blood wine, and everyday the people grew a little bit greyer as she took everything from them.
Nobody had seen Keres in twenty years. She was still alive though, the people knew. Because every now and then, a wind would blow through. And the people would shut themselves up and pray. Because the wind meant she was angry. The wind meant somebody was about to die.