The Baron

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Welcome to the lesser-known country of The Kingdom of Moldavia, known for its overgrown jungles, giant pineapples, venomous bronze-fanged adders, and the finest butterfly silk in the world. It’s home to tigers so ferocious and so vain that the only way to survive an attack is to dangle your pocket mirror in front of their trembling fish-gut whiskers. It’s a place where firebugs will put on a pyrotechnic show for you and, while you are watching, the satin-smooth hands of vervet monkeys will swipe your wallet. There are mountains of silver here, and gold, and diamonds fall like rain (if you stand in the right place at the right time).

There is also blood. Old, black blood that has leaked into the soil for centuries, fertilising the land with the life it has recycled. There is thick brown blood that coats the pebbled roads, sticky enough to provide the traction needed for progress. And there is violet blood. New, gushing violet blood that is pumped by love and lust and excitement through the peoples’ veins by their purple piston hearts.