Not a long time ago, in the State of Stavenja, the wind came off the sea and the barrenmountains were covered in snow. The people were happy though their lives werehard. The Lady, a widow ruled the people alone from her tall manor. The Lady’s heartwas broken, and although her people were happy, she felt she could not be as well.I must fill my heart to become like my people, she thought. She longed not to have a broken heart.One day a stranger arrived in the land. He went to the tall manor where the lady lived.He had heard of her broken heart, and he had an answer for her.But there is a price, he said.Anything, she said.He sang songs for her. They were dark and deep, and they made her heart stophurting. They flowed around her heart like a river of Stavenja water, cold and clean,and she forgot her pain. Now my price, he said.Your price, she said.You will be my wife.Your wife.And there will be a new law. No sin but blind faith, ignorance, and the willingness of the unprepared to blame others for the devastation left in the wake of change. For change is what we are, my child.The lady heard his words and they were like his songs. She would marry him. But his price was much, much higher. It would be rape and blood. To help the peopleunderstand, the Stranger started burning the places where the people used to pray, andit cost them their hope. Then he took the workers all from the fields and sent them tothe towns learn the new law, and it cost them their strength. Finally he gave all menthe right to pursue their own desires above all other considerations, which cost the people the most important thing of all.The people of Stavenja suffered much for the choice of their lady. But she knew nowthat change is what we are, and all her people would come to change as well.The men grew greedy and took more than their share. Like animals they ate and ateand were never filled. When the table was empty they went in search of other ways tofill their appetites. They took the women and made them also like animals. Thevillages of Stavenja grew even colder and the cottages run down. The caves becamefull of the men and their appetites. Though they spent more time filling their desiresthan they had ever done, the men were like their vessels, broken full of holes.