And Why is 5 November a Holiday throughout the Sidhe Empire?
In 1605, a small group of radicals attempted to destroy the Houses of Parliament, kill HRH Alexandrina Victoria, our most beloved Queen, and bring the age of the Sidhe Empire to its close. Guy (alias Guido) Fawkes was a member of this cabal, which came to be known as The Gunpowder Rebels. Being the one chosen to light the fuse, and having the misfortune to be captured first, the Press focused most of their attention on him, until he became the personification of the movement.
Since the fall of the Aesir and the ascendancy of the Sidhe, there have been pockets of dissension within the Empire. While most humans and supernaturals lived together in harmony, enjoying the prosperity and stability the Empire affords its citizens, a few heretics embraced a very different vision.
They rejected the idea supernaturals and humans could live and work together, instead they championed the belief the time of magic should have ended with the Aesir and that it was being artificially maintained by the Sidhe state.
They proposed if the ruling Sidhe were destroyed, then the rest of the supernaturals would fade and the human race would ascend to its rightful place as the sole rulers of Midgard.
Guy was born in the capital city of the Strand worlds in 1570, into a family of well-heeled shape-shifters. The Strand worlds had a long history of rebellion and often produced heretical ideologists. As a young man, Guy spent several decades fighting for the Empire in the conquest of the planets NeoSpain and the Nether Lands. Years of service earned him a reputation for bravery and skill, especially with munitions. It was through these reputations that he came to the attention of Thomas Wintour, a human industrialist born in the capital on Old Earth. It was Wintour who invited Fawkes into the Gunpowder Rebels.
The cabal first met in 1604 and began to plan how they might deal a crippling blow to the Empire. By March 1605, they had managed to rent a cellar under Parliament and began stockpiling barrels of gunpowder and various enchantments there. Guy was charged with maintaining the munitions until Parliament’s next session.
In October, word of the conspiracy was leaked to the Ministry of Immortui Dicione Populi; though the details remained unknown, the celestials in the Order of Interficientis were now on the case.
Unaware they had been compromised, Fawkes and his conspirators continued with their plans. Parliament was set to meet on 5 November and, as was the tradition of the time, this first meeting was a glorious celebration sponsored by the Crown. It was that day the celestials discovered the stockpile hidden in the cellar of the great hall and Guy Fawkes, standing guard. Unable to engage the enchantments that would light the fuses, he attempted escape.
Being a shape-shifter, the ensuing chase proved most challenging, as he sought to elude the celestials by wearing a variety of guises.
He was captured before he was able to leave the grounds, interrogated, and tortured; after five days he confessed the details of the plot and the identities of his co-conspirators. They were all tried on 27 January 1606 and most were executed and put to the fire on 30 January. But Fawkes, being now seen as the leader of the cabal, was sentenced to the Hall of Cups, where he remains imprisoned to this day.
After the plot was foiled, Queen Victoria decreed the anniversary of the plot’s failure should be remembered, so 5 November became an official government holiday. More than five-hundred years later, that celebration is known as Bonfire Night, where bonfires and fireworks are lit, and effigies of Guy Fawkes (known, appropriately, as “guys”) are burned in celebration. Because Fawkes was a shape-shifter and used those skills so effectively during his attempted escape, masquerades using skill and magic are popular celebrations, with the unmasking coming just before the effigy of the old rebel is burned.
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