The introduction sets out numerous new rules about this book, which include statistics like a ‘Popularity Rating’, the need to keep track of my ‘Privy Councillors’, names of bodyguards and so forth. I am told that the meaning of these new rules will be set out as my adventure continues.
I must say, I admire that optimism.
There is an atmospheric description of the city as viewed from my Palace window, which also serves as a recap of the various factions as set out in Book 3.
I consider the black temple to Nemesis, the Supreme Principle of Evil, Lord of the Cleansing Flame. Awesome name check, welcome back! The Temples of Dama (shieldmaiden of the gods) and Avatar, Supreme Principle of Good are also noted. My eye roves over the park (which contains the temple of Kwon), the poorer sections of town, the merchant’s quarters and the temple of Time. As if I need to be reminded, I recall that the priests of Time did nothing (on either side) during the recent rebellion.
Most importantly, it is mentioned that the full name of this city is ‘Irsmuncast nigh Edge‘, and that it is so named because it is the nearest human habitation to the ‘Rift’, from which various beasts and ghouls stream forth occasionally to attack the inhabitants of Orb. Why, on that basis, anyone would voluntarily live here, is an open question.
My Endurance and Inner Force are also restored to 20 and 5 respectively.
Moving to the book proper I get a lurid description of the decorations in the royal bedroom, which are hung with paintings of ‘souls in torment’. I have no idea why my predecessor wanted paintings of people being forced to watch a Two and a Half Men marathon, but there you go.
I awake ‘refreshed’ and note the compliments of the ‘dark and graceful’ Palace handmaidens, who assist me to bathe and dress (!). Well, this became a Downton Abbey episode real quick.
I can’t tell if their admiration is genuine or mere toadying, but I’ll presumably still allow them to bathe and dress me tomorrow.
If I’m still here, that is.
The High Grandmaster of Kwon, Parsifal (he has a name! Yay!) informs me that my father had four close advisors, known as Privy Councillors. All people seeking to be employed as Councillors are to present themselves in glorified job interviews, after which I’ll pick the four finalists.
Heck with Downton Abbey, this just became The Voice!
The eight hopeful applicants are :
- The Lord High Steward of the Temple of Nemesis.
- Gwyneth, the High Priestess of Dama (who I met and whose assistance I secured last book).
- Golspiel, the well-known merchant (Ooh, I remember you, sunshine).
- The Demagogue, the popular leader (who also helped me last book).
- Greystaff, the High Priest of Avatar (no comment as to whether he is also involved with James Cameron’s upcoming sequels)
- Foxglove, a femme fatale in charge of the Usurper’s secret police (the Order of the Yellow Lotus)
- Solstice, the High Priest of the Temple of Time;
- Parsifal, the (now named!) High Priest of the Temple to Kwon.
There’s a Star Wars quote about a ‘wretched hive of scum and villainy’ that comes to mind.
I’ll start reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates on the morrow.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5
Awesome names : Lord of the Cleansing Flame almost makes me want to sign up for the forces of evil!