There is a saying in Tremonia: “You can’t tell how rich a fart is” Of course many other nearby cultures also understood that how hard or well a person works and how much “noble” blood flows through their veins rarely affects the smell of their farts. However, Tremonians were the only people to choose a leader, or brapiyum, based solely upon this quality. Persuasive or powerful men could scare or flatter the masses too easily to allow a popular vote. But a person with pleasant smelling farts was clearly a mandate from the gods. The tradition predated recorded history. The truth behind accounts of the ancient Brapiyums like Dotalus II or Feculina the Great have long since diffused into fable and legend. Parents still tell the tales to their wide-eyed children before they sleep. And the sons and daughters of Tremonia dream of palace halls teeming with the scent of Nutmeg and Cinnamon. The first detailed report of a Brapiyum’s rule come from the great historian Tattalus, who lived during and wrote about the life of Unstencia, the fair-winded. About her Pedopum(the week-long festival and series of trials leading up to the coronation of a new Brapiyum) he wrote: The tables measured 30 fessa(about 20 meters) and were laden with piles of roasted goat and quail. Smaller samplings of exotic meats such as ostrich wings, giraffe haunches, peacock tails and camel humps roamed the mighty oak tables as well. Copper urns teemed with lentils, beans and the seeds of every imaginable hue from gold to indigo. Dishes full of spice and peppers that would turn a mouth to fire were brought from distant lands. Every village in Tremonia donated a wheel of cheese which was stacked into towers so high they nearly reached the vaulted ceiling… …Ustencia ate from every plate and not a morsal fouled her perfect stomach. When her robes rustled in the great hall the only smell that issued forth was a gentle hint of jasmine. But passing the trials of a Pedopum did not guarantee the Brapiyum a rule without controversy. Like the smell of pipe tobacco, the crepitations of one Brapiyum’s farts were comforting more than pleasing. Hechert, later known as Hechart the accuser, held the position for 5 uneventful years. Suddenly, he began refusing to be seen in public except for the most important public ceremonies. And even then, he surrounded himself with ministers. 23 of these had the uncanny tendency to disgrace him with their “misleadingly inflammatory” odor and were summarily dismissed. Rumors began to circulate that Hechart’s farts had turned from an overstuffed leather couch to a dead cow. In the streets, Tremonian children chanted: Smelty Dealty dealt a smell one night within his tiny cell “It wasn’t me” he crossed his heart and blamed a moonbeam for the fart But Hechart, or Smelty Dealty as he was increasingly called, refused to abdicate. After his death, reforms were proposed and implemented that called for a ceremony similar to the Pedopum called the Pedopad. It was to be held every 5 years. This gave the council of village elders that supervised such ceremonies a chance to remind themselves of the proceedings. Formerly, some Brapiyums lived so long that by the time of their deaths, few of the elders had ever seen a Pedopum or were little more than children at the time. More reforms came after the Vinder scandal 2 centuries later. Vinder was a charismatic young Brapiyum with a more canny political sense than most of his predecessors. He also appeared to have the rare gift of a large odor palatte. Some days he would smell like a blend of pine and cedar. Some days he would smell of orange peel and gingerbread. Many elders predicted that he would lead Tremonia to an age of unprecedented glory. Shortly after his Pedopum, a palace guard heard the sound of shattered glass while on duty one night. When he went to investigate, he saw a cloaked figure slipping through the East gate. He was already too far away to pursue the intruder, so he searched the grounds for clues. Eventually he found some small shards of glass which still had traces of essential oil on them, Lemongrass according to most sources. When the morning watch came to relieve him, his replacement excitedly told him of meeting the Brapiyum the day before and mentioned a distinctive “citrusy” odor. Suspicious about such coincidence, the guard reported his story to the elders. They confronted Vinder, who fortunately had not had time to consolidate his power, and discovered a large supply of incense and essential oils in his quarters. Vinder was banished from Tremonia and a new law made it illegal to trade in essential oils within 1000 fessa of the palace. Vinder still had some supporters who tried to stir up sympathy for him in some of the smaller villages. But they were unsuccessful in convincing the Tremonian people that Vinder’s persecution came as a result of conspiracy and planted evidence. The only Brapiyum that ever threatened to split Tremonian loyalties was Fersinia. Her farts were distinctively floral. The council of elders all agreed that the smell was irregular. But half of them thought it was irregularly great, the other half thought it was irregularly foul. In fact, the only thing that seemed regular about the whole affair was how regularly people loved or hated them. The council approved her by a slim majority. But after 3 months of controversy and ever intensifying conflict dividing families and friendships, she stepped down in the best interests of Tremonia. Her sacrifice, which was the first and as of yet the only of its kind, was finally recognized by the Brapiyum that succeeded her, Cloacles. By that time, a 70-year old Fersinia was scraping out an existence tying gribbets, the traditional clover wreaths left on Tremonian graves. He awarded her a pension that allowed her to live the rest of her days peacefully. When she died, witnesses claim her final breath was accompanied by a final burst of flatulence. Half the people present said it was the most heavenly smell they ever encountered. The other half left the room to avoid the hellish scent. She was buried in a place of honor among the other Brapiyums. To this day, fresh gribbets can always be found upon her capstone. In fact the gribbet on Fersinia’s grave at this moment, was placed there by Fessander, the current Brapiyum. Last evening, the memorial’s caretaker noticed the residual smell of cloves and honey and felt himself singularly blessed.
He will be the last Tremonian to smell wind broken by the Brapiyum.