Queen Jacinda took her seat on the Iron Throne to deliver her latest Royal Decree on The Great Plague of the Isthmus.
"As I was saying," she began, "I am Lord of the Six Provinces, Protector of the Five Ports, and Queen of the 4pm Royal Decree. Bend the knee."
The knaves of the Press Gallery supplicated.
"Furthermore," she reminded them, "I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of all that is just and good!"
The knaves said, "Yeah but what's today's Decree?"
She said, "Tell the people that The Great Plague will hunt down every last one of them and kill every man, woman and child without mercy."
The knaves wrote her message in ink and secured the scrolls to their ravens.
"Wait, I should probably add something a bit more uplifting," she said.
The knaves reached for another scroll.
"Rejoice," she said, "for as of Tuesday at 11.59pm, the Isthmus can enjoy Government Decreed Picnics!"
The knaves stared at her.
"Just write it down, for God's sake," she said.
The knaves sighed, and the Queen then issued forth very many other baffling proclamations. When she finished, the ravens flew through the Hermit Kingdom and delivered the news.
"Whatever," said the Free Folk of the South.
"What?" said the Prisoners of the Isthmus.
Bejewelled Immortal Grand Panjandrum High Muckamuck Bishop Tamaki sat on his Gold Throne, and shrieked, "I will not bend the knee to her!"
And he stood, and threw back his magnificent head, and laughed with scorn. He was still laughing as he wandered over to the Crystal of Truth, known to others as a mirror.
He stared deep into the magic glass. He saw himself lead the Great Revolt on Saturday, when he defied the Queen's ruling for the Prisoners of the Isthmus to stay in their homes. He did not obey that woman! He wandered free! He answered to the One True God!
"Brian!" yelled Lady Hannah. "The sink's blocked. Make yourself useful."
"Coming," he said. He wandered over to the kitchen, rolled up his sleeves, and knelt.
The Prisoners of the Isthmus raised their faces to the Sun, and enjoyed many picnics. Things didn't seem so bad.
It rained, and the Prisoners of the Isthmus looked for ways to vent their frustrations.
The Queen heard a commotion. "What's going on now? Is it the Bejewelled Immortal Grand Panjandrum High Muckamuck Bishop Tamaki?"
"No, Your Grace," said Sir Grant, Master of the Coin. "Matthew Hooton has once again joined the Twisted Cult of Twitter, and its High Priests of Liberal Tolerance are insisting he take the Walk of Atonement."
They looked over the castle gates, and watched Hooton rather casually strolling the Walk of Atonement as the High Priests of Liberal Tolerance rang bells, and shouted at him.
A bell rang.
"Shame!" A bell rang.
"Not you again!"
A bell rang.
"National Party operative!"
"Dirty Politics! Shame!"
The Queen and the Master of the Coin went back inside the castle, and poured themselves a drink.
"Cheers," they said.