June 23, 2021, Wednesday, 173


From Dune: Sands of Time

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The beginning of a reign is a fragile time. Alliances shift, and people circle like carrion birds, hunting for the new leader's weaknesses. Sycophants tell leaders what they wish to hear, not what they need to hear. The beginning is a time for clarity and hard decisions because those decisions set the tone for the entire reign.


Dune, Planet of sand, a desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. The planet Arrakis, also known as Dune, is the third planet in the Canopus star system. Dune is the only source of the Spice Melange in the entire known universe. The Spice is very precious because it makes interstellar travel possible; it extends the human lifespan, and it enhances mental powers. The Spice is also precious because computers, cyborgs, and all forms of thinking machines are outlawed in the Dune universe. Ten thousand years before the Dream, a terrible war between humanity and machines, the Butlerian Jihad, nearly ended the human race. Humans won that war, but now, "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind." Earth was destroyed in that same war, but humanity has since spread out across the stars. The Spice extends life, the spice extends consciousness, the spice is vital to space travel. The Spacing Guild and its navigators, who the spice has mutated over 4,000 years, use the orange spice gas, which gives them the ability to fold space. That is, travel to any part of the universe without moving.

Political power in the Dune galaxy is shared in three ways. The Emperor rules the Empire of a million worlds from the planet Kaitain. The Spacing Guild, with its Navigators, has a total monopoly on space travel. The Great Houses of the Landsraad control the CHOAM corporation which distributes the profits from Spice production. On Arrakis, House Richese has ruled and mined the Spice for almost eight decades. The Fremen, who are the people living among the rocks of the desert covering almost all of Arrakis, where it never rains. Without the Spice, Arrakis would have no value to the galaxy. It is a barely-habitable world without surface water or oceans, where the sun beats down continuously except during the horrific sandstorms which can rip the flesh off the bone. The Spice, found on the desert floor, is collected using large harvester machines. The machines, however, attract the giant Worms, which attack all rhythmic movement and vibration.

To fully appreciate the inevitable unfolding of events one must begin by placing the events in time. Know then that it is the year 10193. The ruler of the known universe, Padishah Emperor Blaigvor Corrino who ruled the known universe for many years has died under suspicious circumstances he is succeeded by his eldest (living) son Aramsham Corrino only twenty-one years of age who now became Emperor under the name Emperor Aramsham I. Under Emperor Blaigvor Corrino and before that under his father Staivan Corrino there was relevant peace one of those reasons was because Staivan Corrino had married off his two sisters to the Duke of House Atreides and the Baron Harkonnen. This equilibrium between the two feuding houses even after the emperor and his sisters were deceased and onwards during the time of Emperor Blaigvor II.

House Richese was awarded Dune as a semi fiefdom by Emperor Blaigvor Corrino who was married to the eldest Richese daughter but spice productions faltered over the years much to the chagrin of the new emperor who when he succeeded his father rescinded the fiefdom. CHOAM contracts for spice mining were giving to two houses, House Atreides and House Harkonnen to spice as much spice as possible and the house who harvested the most spice would be awarded by the emperor by given Dune as their fiefdom. The forms must be obeyed and to ensure this was happening Eleanor Fenring (néé Corrino), a distaff cousin of the emperor was named Siridar Governor of Arrakis while her husband Eluzai Fenring, the second son of a house minor noble who had weaseled his way up where send to Arrakis to ensure that the forms where obeyed. With House Harkonnen and House Atreides competing on Arrakis, the feud between the two houses has sparked up again.

The spice must flow!