For today, 25 Novaber, 1667
By Percival Wallington, Culture Editor of the Bagelcratican Sporadically
BAGELSTON, SO -- I am pleased to be here in the home of the unrivaled Natopian statesman, Christo Eucalyptos, Sororiya's native son. Master Eucalyptos has agreed to this interview as a reintroduction to him as he takes on new projects now that he has retired from public service. Mister Eucalyptos, thank you again for letting me into your home.
"My pleasure Mister Wallington. I am very excited for the next phase of my life, although it may be short due to my old age."
"You may live well into your hundreds, just as other famous Natopians, like Lord Erion or Nathan Waffel-Paine himself! I suspect Bous will not let you pass until He wills it."
"I am not a particularly religious man, Mister Wallington. But I do have great faith in Natopian science. If we can send people to other planets, we can surely extend our own lives well past 100."
"I hope you live well past then, Sir. Natopia would be devastated to lose you. You are perhaps the architect of modern Natopia, the kingmaker they call you, for your role in installing Nathaniel the Returned as Emperor. You were a life-long republican, a steadfast Sororiyan. You were Chancellor of Natopia amid the collapse of the Butter Bull's reign. You could have redirected Natopia to a republic, public opinion at the time would no doubt have supported you."
"It is true, we as a nation were distraught and directionless. I had realized that Natopia had grown beyond what it once was. A single hand was required to steer. And that hand needed to always be pointing Natopia in the right direction. The Waffel-Paine family has a preternatural affinity and devotion to this nation. And Nathan's son, Nathaniel, who had gone through untold horrors himself, was a strong person with great ambition. He could have been installed as a president or something, but the title of Emperor, despite my republican leanings, was the only thing with the weight and gravitas needed to both rally the nation behind this young man and ensure he and his family would remain in control for generations."
"And you say you are not a religious man, yet the title and role of Emperor first came exclusively from the Bovic Church, it had no formal role in the civic government of Natopia when it was first introduced. Why did you rely on the church?"
"Actions of the church required only one man to be persuaded, the Pentheros. I am fortunate that the Pentheros had a vision, claiming I was an agent of Bous. I allowed him to think that, for the purpose of getting His Holiness to declare and crown Nathaniel as Emperor. In time, Nathaniel acted in such a way that he became beloved by the people, and they simply assumed he was their Emperor, even if they weren't Bovics. We quickly codified the Emperor in the civic government and secured his role, but were careful to avoid explicit references to hereditary monarchy. The idea was that the Emperor was selected on merit, and to be suited for the times facing Natopia. In practice, we all knew it was intended to be hereditary."
"And the break in succession from Asara to Zakyyr?"
"Not a break, Zakyyr was a Waffel-Paine. But it was intentional. Zakyyr's time on the throne will be analyzed over and over by historians, and I predict that as time ebbs and flows, he will be remembered as both the greatest and worst leader in Natopian history."
"Fascinating. You are writing your memoirs, I hope. This information is invaluable."
"I am writing, you will remember I am a trained journalist. That brings me to the reason I asked for this interview. As you know, as you will be editor, I am excited to be working on staff on the Bagelcratican Sporadically as a columnist. There are countless stories to tell in this great, wide Empire. And I want to tell them, to meet these people who call themselves Natopians. From Arboria to Ziegeland, what do we have in common? As a monk sits and contemplates in Elijah's Rest, and a businessman in St Andre drinks his espresso, and a farmer in Sororiya plows his field... they all cannot be more different lives and experiences. I look forward to telling their stories."Editor's note: Be sure to read Christo Eucalyptos' new column, "This Natopian Life," as he interviews Natopians from across the nation from all walks of life and explores every niche of our wide culture.