several millenia have passed since the events which are recorded in the Lord of the Rings. Men rule most of Middle Earth. Hobbits and Dwarves are rarely seen, other, stranger creatures such as Ents are gone. Kingdoms rise and fall, but this great one, one that didn’t exhist in the time of the Lord of the Rings, still flourished. It was called Anianere. Anianere was full of art and music and beauty. Its towers rose up to three times as high as any others, twisting into spirals or even more elegant shapes. Anyone who had a dream could fulfill it there, easily. All were treasured.
This is the story of the fall of Anianere. It wasn’t destroyed in an epic battle, or whiped out by disease, or anything one would expect. No one wanted to fight them because they were a great source of resources. They refused trade to no one. No, Anianere collapsed from the inside out.
A new king came to power. No one cared, or in fact, really noticed. Kings weren’t that important anymore. There was rarely any crime in Anianere, and no war, so why worry about your king? New laws were seldom passed. The last five kings had done practically nothing. But they weren’t blamed for this idlness, because nothing was required.
This new king saw a small group of people who called themselves the Balrogs. No one thought much of the name, because hardly anyone could remember what a balrog was. This group was notorious for coming very close to breaking the law, like driving just a tenth of a mile below a mile per hour over the speed limit, which was the punishable amount. Yes, they had cars by now. So the king, in an attempt to squash out these Balrogs who flirted with the wrath of the law, passed new rules saying you couldn’t go ANY faster than the speed limit. No one noticed, so people got in trouble for driving the way they normally did. But humans are adaptable, and soon they all got used to driving a little more slowly.
Then the Balrogs started critizizing music. Just one type of music, the kind using harps. A few of the musicians began to complain about the Balrogs. So the king, who wanted to keep the peace as well as possible, passed a law saying it was illegal to say anything negative about music.
The result of this was happy musicians. They noticed that they could get payed just as well now if they didn’t bother to correct a few bad chords in a song, because no one dared be accused of breaking the law. The degration of music took a lot of time, but eventually musicians had so much confidence about the quality of their work that they would play long and loud into the night, and not very well, either. People started to grumble, and a few left.
The king saw the people grumbing and leaving, but he couldn’t recall his laws after they were passed, and the musicians were happy. After a while people stopped paying musicians, and all the remaining good musicians left for other kingdoms where they would be better appreciated. The king accretided it to the grumblings of the people, and the people were silenced, by heavy laws and punishments.
Members of other arts: clothe makers, blacksmiths, painters, writers, carpenters, poets, and so on, saw the special treatment the musicians were getting and begged the king to give it to them as well. They didn’t see the downside to the priveleges, and they wanted equality. So the king, because he was just and caring, granted them their wish.
And so it was that the kingdom fell. Talents deminished until neighboring kingdoms pulled out their pecuniary support, and Anianere became a place of rags and ruin. Everyone left, eventually, leaving the poor king who’d tried so hard sitting there wondering what had gone wrong.