In the year 1328, King William IV, king of the English, died. Though he remained strong & energetic in spirit, his failing flesh would no longer permit him to ignore the summons of his Lord, & he was called to his reward at the age of 82. His people shall consecrate to him a perpetual memorial.

Though priveledged by his royal birth to be instructed to read & write, he was acknowledged to have a mediocre intellect. Furthermore, his reign seemed ill-fated when he became king in his 20s, as his earliest acts were to withdraw from the English territories of Greece. In so doing, however, he showed the hallmark of his reign. He preserved, nurtured, & shepherded the strength of the English rather than pour it out in ruinous conquests or futile defenses.

Taking advantage of the peace gained by seperation from his enemies. William first allowed the treasury to grow, using the reclaimed troops from Greece to protect the English border. He began to develop the land so that now at his passing, every province of the realm brings forth a bountious harvest from the finest tilth in the known world--to the great enrichment of the royal treasury. In addition to his magnificent stewardship, he was also a magnificent builder. At this point, castles are common in the realm, & mighty fortresses begin to dot the land. In every corner of his reign, he endowed monasteries to promote learning & salvation; reliquaries strewn across his domain attest to his desire for the good of his people. The English acheivements & technologies cause all the world to look on with wonder. But that greatness came with a heavy burden.

Though he did not seek empire, he became the greatest emperor in our time. The fear & jealousy of the neighboring realms caused them to reject his offers of alliance, choosing instead to ruin their strength in fruitless attempts at conquest of the now solidly founded realm of the English. When they found themselves on the brink of destruction, they persisted in their errors & refused Williams offers of peace. They often chose to ruin not only their realms, but their very souls; William sent inquisitors to bring them back, though they were not always willing to accept even this grace from him. Even the Holy See itself was not immune from the corruption of the current age. One by one they fell: Italy, Spain, The Holy Roman Empire, The Papacy, The Mongols, Sicily. When he died, the Almohad stood on the brink, leaning so far over the abyss that his heir, King Edward IV, was able to destroy them utterly the next year. He bequeathed an empire stretching from Scotland & Norway to Naples & Tunisia, & from Morocco & Cordoba to Pomerania & Livonia.

When, as seems likely, continued contact with the infidels of the east causes Europe to fall under the spell of antiquity, & when they foolishly imagine in vain that they have reclaimed that lost culture & disdain the acheivements of their forefathers, mankind will close in its mind the chapter of this age. Yet even then they will still acknowledge the greatness of our good King William. Now let us raise our goblets.

Gentlemen...

THE KING