Popular opinion was that it was time! That great things were afoot, and the a for change, that after the long waiting, it had finally come. For what or why… that nobody knew. But cares about that? They could all feel it. And they could see in the eyes of everybody else that they felt the same!
The secret key to it all was in that peculiar painting. The king had been persuaded by it’s extravagance to store it inside the palace at Sersaiici. And thus the seed was planted. Nobody noticed the slow transformation that was happening inside the painting, the blooming of the colors, the transformation in mood. It was too slow for mortals to notice as the changes were at each stage was so minuscule that only somebody with a fantastic memory seeing it but once a week might have a chance to notice something. But what everybody DID notice was the gradual change of the mood at the imperial court radiating even to the distant colonies. There had always been royal intrigues and assassination attempts, this was normal, but nobody could figure out why their frequency had been increasing… seemingly on a weekly basis. In the first year it was barely noticeable as the court spies would catch them before anybody could realize and eliminate all traces, but by the 3rd year it was becoming hard to hide rumors of all the failed attempts, and by the 5th it seemed just a matter of time until one would succeed. The punishments for intrigue were getting more and more severe, some even grotesque, which would normally reverse the tide at the cost of just some good prestige, but as it was currently not even that worked. The strangest thing was that the assailants were not the same, or even the same interest group, but rather of seemingly different backgrounds and motivations, and constantly new groups emerging… the strange painting was indeed working. He’d have to order more to gift to the other rulers across the continent!