So the Mask called Argenteus came down from the Red Moon in 1607, seven weeks after the previous incarnation was killed by the White Bear in a Dart War. Argenteus took no vengeance against those who slew his previous incarnation. Argenteus is known to spend much time in his stately pleasure palace in the City of Dreams, and allows the Seven Tharkalists (seven women, born to Militiaris from seven different mothers, all born within the same hour in 1585, and identical but for one feature each) to serve collectively as his chief minister so that lesser advisors do not upset his enjoyments.
Lunar apologists claim this is proof of Argenteus’ spiritual development and illumination. And it is true that Argenteus is popular with the urban masses and the rural peasantry, while maintaining a glittering and hedonist court – cheery, heartless, and amoral. However, his popularity has been declining since the White Moon Movement was violently suppressed in 1623, and there are peasant uprisings throughout the Heartlands, while Oraya has been overwhelmed by the Pentan invasion. In 1625, Argenteus used much of his personal magic to force a True Dragon to turn away from Glamour. After ruling for 18 years, people whisper if Moonson is preparing for a new incarnation.
Lunar historians and scribes gloss over things like it took seven weeks for a new incarnation of Moonson to be recognised and the conflicting proclamations of the various proxies who still wielded fragments of Moonson’s power, just as they gloss over the Dart Wars that are waged behind the serene masks of the satraps and Imperial Household.”Such things,” explains an official Irrippi Ontor guiding document, “are simply not worthy of record and only cause confusion and occlusion.” Woe to the poor scribe who does record such things!
One can argue that an emperor who spends his time in peaceful enjoyment (instead of war, trying to change his people into something else, building giant monuments, etc.) is ruling “wisely and well.” And for the first dozen years, that was pretty much what Argenteus did (Starbrow’s Rebellion and the Prax invasion were both pinpricks).
Then he launched a major invasion of the Holy Country, tried to kill a greater god, and tried to extend the Glowline over all of Dragon Pass, Prax, and the Holy Country. Maybe that wasn’t so wise or well!
Or maybe that wasn’t even his plan…..