Let it be decreed: I am strong, I am powerful, I am beautiful. I don’t need anyone to tell me that. I have a full-length mirror that the Emir of Constantinople sent me as a gift, and I like what I see in it.

But I am strong enough to admit that it hurt when I heard that the blacksmith, Mr. Smith, said he thought my makeup was a little “caked on.” It hurt real bad. Not as bad as it hurt when I had him beheaded for it, but bad. Not even the blacksmith can make armor that stops the poisoned barbs of gossip. Because he’s dead now.

I’m the jewel of the kingdom. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. Brain, beauty—what’s not to love? Well, according to the baker’s wife, Mrs. Baker, a few gray hairs. Hey, I’m not ashamed of gray hair—I’m almost 20 years old, after all. It just shows the wisdom that I’ve earned from years of dignified toil. Hey, Mrs. Baker! Do you have a better view of my grey hairs from up on that pike? Oh no, must be pretty hard to see anyone’s flaws when those crows ate your eyeballs. I think you’re beautiful anyway!

Sorry-not-sorry I wear dresses that only go down to my ankles instead of out the door and down the hallway.

Let that be a lesson to you all.

All women are beautiful. All my fierce ladies need to support each other. That’s why it’s so disappointing when the queen of a neighboring country feels the need to put her fellow queen down. You know who loses in that kind of situation? All women. And men, and children. Every living thing in her realm.

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The days of a “proper lady” who did what was expected of her are over. Sorry-not-sorry I’m not afraid of my body. Sorry-not-sorry I wear dresses that only go down to my ankles instead of out the door and down the hallway. Sorry-not-sorry it upset the clergy. I’m looking at you, Friar Brown. Well, I’m looking at half of you. I’m so sorry to hear that The Great Schism happened to occur right across your torso.

When the King commissions an enormous fresco of my likeness to be painted on the southern wall of the keep, it’s a nice gesture, but I don’t need a man to keep me happy. What I do need is to not be fresco-shamed by the villagers. Really, people. Unless the whispered judgment dies down at the next royal parade, Royal Parade Mondays are going to be followed up with Headless Tuesdays.

Women have the power to change important things. Is it better to drive possessed children into the forest or the marshes? Who should we bet on during the next Crusade? Does slaying dragons spread freedom or destabilize the surrounding region into anarchy? The King is a silly puppet, and the affairs of this kingdom are decided not from the throne, but from the words I whisper across his pillow.

Yet despite the power a Badass Kween may have, the gossip of a village still stings. Stop being such backstabbing dicks, you guys.

Let it be decreed.

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