Negbiarth Pheidoras (Etrandish: Negbiarth Pheidoras; IPA: [nɛgbɪəɹθ‿feɪ̯dɔɾɑs]) was an Etrandish celebrity, orator and writer. He was considered by most either a philosopher or a stand-up comedian or both, even though he always insisted that he was a scientist. He was a critic of magic, religion, feudalism and self-rule, for which he often clashed with authorities during the reign of King Calder I of Etrand, until King Bryant I of Etrand. Although he was considered little more than a joke during his life, after his suicide, his "fan-club" exploded until it was suppressed during the infamous Cairbrean Censorship.
Early Life Edit
Not much is known about the early life of Pheidoras, as he kept the names of his parents a secret - if he even had parents to begin with, as some claim that he was an orphan. Next to nothing is known about his childhood, with the exception of his birth date - 680 AEKE, 19th of Anarkalina - which may or may not be fake (for the sake of consistency, we will assume it is true, rather than fake).
Around 695-697, there are records about a man named Féduras, Fédaras or Fédars begging for money on the streets, stealing bread, being good at lying and making speeches about the injustices of the government, however it is difficult to determine if that man was actually Negbiarth Pheidoras or not.
In 699, the name of Negbiarth Pheidoras was recorded in its real form for the first time - he was described as a lazy man who was blessed with luck to have found a good deal of diamonds, and used them to buy admission into the Royal Academy of Etrand, dropping out in 705. It is said that he failed all the classes and ran out of money to support himself. Additionally, when he was still studying, he provoked the wrath of the conservative professors by his anti-state and anti-Church writings.
First performances Edit
The first time Pheidoras was said to have held a speech out in the open was in 705, criticizing King Calder, religion and magic.
|“|| What is faith? What is religion? What is the Church? Most people would say that it's an institution that feeds the spiritually emaciated citizens of Etrand and Froturn with spiritual bread. What do I say?|
Bollocks. It's all humbug. Religion is little more than a relic of the past, a yoke used by the oppressive church to make us dependent on them - either we follow their outdated ideology, or we will receive no cure to our wounds and diseases, we receive no place in the graveyard, we receive no rings for our sweethearts, we receive nothing for our children.
And the King? He's the same as the church - a relic of the past the that the oppressors have latched onto, a figurehead of the oppressors, the symbol of their age-old conspiracy to keep us little men down.
Nobles? Bah... the nobility and the King are nothing but puppets of the Church.
Can't you people see? Citizen of Grandfolk, you are all being ruled into a cruel scheme that deprives you of everything! Rise up against the oppressive Lords of Feces! Rise up against the overprivileged Lords of Feces! Only then can Etrand progress into a more just future.
| — Negbiarth Pheidoras, first recordeed speech|
Needless to say, after this speech, the law began going after Pheidoras, who had to disappear for two weeks before re-appearing and making more speeches, although in more discrete environments, such as taverns and pubs. It is said that he got away from the law by claiming that his speech was one big joke and he was a comedian making a parody of anti-state agitators - nevertheless, after he re-appeared on the stages, he always insisted he was scientist. After he would be introduced to the stage as a stand-up comedian, he would always "correct" the man or woman introducing him by saying that he was a scientist, not a comedian.
In his speeches, he continued to criticize the Church of Titanius, King Calder, and most institutions of the Kingdom of Etrand. He accused the Mages Guild of being the same as the church - "keeping power to themselves and sharing it only with those who have money - the overprivileged Lords of Feces". He also talked about the plight of the sodomites (homosexuals), saying that they should not only be given equal rights, but also allowed to marry people of the same gender. While he was claiming to be championing for women's rights, many said that he treated females like dirt, expecting them to sleep with him just for opening the door for them.
In 708, he released his first book, Silenced Calls for Justice - a mixture of autobiography (following his enrollment into the royal academy), philosophy and harsh criticism of whom he deemed "oppressors" - he called for the dispossession of the nobility and putting all land into communal hands, he called for the destruction of the Church of Titanius, legalization of sodomy, equal rights for women and disbanding of the Mages Guild. Quite obviously, the book got banned immediately, and was only copied and passed around illegally in secret circles, mostly by "fans" who considered it largely a joke rather than a serious thing.
Between 709 and 715, Pheidoras lived mainly off donations given to him by people who claimed to like listening to his speeches. In order to avoid scrutiny by the government and the Inquisition, he published writings under various pseudonyms, such as Sitsáj Leushous, Yús Yrubám, Arodeph Nepthan, and various others. Turns out, it was all futile, as the Inquisition put all of these names under the list of names "suspected of being Negbiarth Pheidoras's pseudonyms".
Arrest and imprisonment Edit
In 715, Pheidoras was arrested by the Inquisition, and was put into prison. No lawyer wanted to sign up to protect him. It was at the time that the so-called "Pheidoras-legend" was born - self-proclaimed "free-thinkers" lobbied for his release only to be brutally driven away. The various speeches Pheidoras has made between 705 and 715 were compiled by fans into a large collection, illegally distributed among secret circles. It is said that Pheidoras himself was informed that his "fans" used his speeches as night-time entertainment, not really taking it seriously. Even among the church's leadership, his release was being considered, reasoning that he was no threat, just a joke.
Release back to the public Edit
In 718, King Bryant I of Etrand came to throne, who almost immediately ordered for the release of Pheidoras - he was officially pardoned for his "crimes", given royal stipend and a house to live in, although he was still not allowed to have his first book published uncensored - Pheidoras chose not to publish his first book legally at all.
Instead, he returned to making speeches - now being de-facto legal, under the protection of King Bryant - and started writing his second book, Free Taling, in which he criticized what he deemed "too much autonomy" and advocated absolute monarchy as a better alternative to the current state of affairs. He also advocated stripping the Church of all of its secular power and disfranchising the nobility, so that "a just king" can act as absolute ruler, "ruling with justice, for the better of the underprivileged masses". The book was eventually released in 720.
In 721, he rewrote Silenced Calls for Justice, calling it Calls for Justice We Never Heard, toning down criticism of the Etrandish monarchy, instead focusing on his advocation of stripping the Church of its power in the name of empowering previously oppressed sodomites, heretics and disbelievers, as well as encouraging "free-thinking" and increasing the King's power at the expense of the Church. He returned to calling the Church a "relic of the past", and also criticized magic for "being too exclusive" - for that, he was called out by clerics and magicians alike, who said that he was just too lazy to learn how to cast spells.
His works aroused a large amount of controversy. Despite the protection he received from the King, he was still constantly harassed by clergymen, Inquisitors and religious citizens alike, who demanded that he recant his beliefs. Noblemen would often visit his performances with eggs and tomatoes, throwing them at Pheidoras. It got so bad, that he royal guard had to be called in whenever Pheidoras held a performance.
In 723, Pheidoras ended all performances and retired, citing health as the reason. On 726 AEKE, 27th of Ujeregula, was found dead in his house, having hanged himself - his suicide note was found, indicating that he did in fact commit suicide.
After the death of Pheidoras, his popularity rose. University students would wear similar clothing, sport similar hair and bear styles that Pheidoras had in respect for him. He became an icon for "free-thinking" - his speeches would be read out in "club meetings".
During the end of the Bryant-era, the Pheidoras-cult was slowly dying. The mercy kill to the Pheidoras-cult was given by King Cairbré I of Etrand, who banned every single one of Pheidoras's books, and had open advocates of his teachings arrested on grounds of blasphemy, support for sodomy, support for conspiracy against the royal family, nobility and the Church. By 750, the Pheidoras-cult was virtually gone from Etrand, however, found itself revived in the 770's - in Froturn.
In 809, the new government of Froturn officially condemned Pheidoras's teachings as "dangerous" - despite the mutual desire to strip the Church of Titanius of their secular power - and took steps to discourage students from being sucked in. By the 820's, the Pheidoras-cult died in Froturn.