I rise in the morning and don the cloth-of-gold robe (!) that is worn by every Overlord of Irsmuncast. I wonder how it is possible that Astaroth, the Duke of Hell, and I take the same size robe, but decide to let this issue pass.
In any event, now is the time to give further consideration to the problem of Golspiel, who remains in the dungeons, awaiting trial.
I am informed that a messenger from Golspiel has arrived, seeking audience with me. I can either refuse to see him / her (on the basis that Golspiel is scheduled to stand trial at noon), allow the messenger to see me in private or, most originally, insist that the messenger shout their communication from the far end of the Banqueting Hall.
There’s nothing wrong with a little discretion, so I allow the messenger to enter the royal presence of Avenger I.
Asider : I love using the full ‘title’ of Avenger I, because of the awesome implication that there is going to be a long line of ‘Avengers’ who follow me, all Avenging…..well, something I guess.
Antocidas the One-Eyed makes his appearance and bluntly offers to have his master Golspiel donate ten ‘talents’ of gold to the treasury as a payment which would secure his master’s release. A talent, on Orb, is the weight of a man in gold.
Let’s pause for a minute to consider that the average weight of a man is 195 pounds (yes, its a USA measurement). This would mean, on current prices, that 10 talents of gold would be worth $36.1 million (US) dollars. Obviously, Golspiel is not a man who is wanting for cold, hard cash. My treasury, by comparison, is empty.
This is actually quite an interesting moral decision, because there is no suggestion in the book that I will (or should) use this money for my own personal gain. Rather, it is assumed that the money will flow to the treasury for use for expenses of Avenger’s government. It actually is a better described as a fine, rather than a bribe.
As someone (me, and therefore Avenger) who is implacably imposed to capital punishment, I would much rather receive money for use on the common good rather than insist upon the empty spectacle of a corrupt merchant being beheaded in the town square.
On that basis, I accept the proposal from Golspiel’s henchman.
Mule-loads of gold arrive at the palace, but word spreads (unfairly, I consider) throughout the city that I have been ‘bought off’ like others before me. Again, I emphasise that none of the gold received will be used on a personal, all-expenses paid trip to Monte Carlo, but will rather be added to the general treasury.
Its hard work being this honourable, I tell you.
In any event, 1 is subtracted from my Popularity rating.
As business commences for the day in the Star Chamber, I am asked to choose my personal bodyguard. I can choose from :
- The (local) monks of Kwon, although they do not have the martial art skills of the Island of Tranquil Dreams.
- The shieldmaidens of Dama.
- The samurai who, having come from the Island of Plenty, are presumably still hanging around, flirting with the local girls and winning contests at the local fair.
Although I think everyone expects me to go with the monks of Kwon, I think that the demonstrated ass-kicking ability of the Dama followers leads me to ask for two hot warrior women to guard my body at all times.
And we pause, while every fourteen-year-old boy reading this gives me a small cheer.
This decision ‘raises a few eyebrows’, which are presumably on different people, but causes no further comment.
The next item is the fate of the army. The Usurper’s army of 4,000 orcs, halvorcs and men remains in the barracks, their fate yet to be determined. They are loyal to the evil god of Nemesis, but also to the city. It is an interesting choice. On the one hand, they have lived here (in Irsmuncast) long enough to have a vested interest in defending the city against the foul demons who come from time to time from the rift. On the other hand, having their captains defeated and / or executed when my rebellion took the city doesn’t exactly incline them towards love for me.
This is the advice I get :
- The Demagogue suggests that that I form a ‘people’s militia’ from the 20,000 able-bodied men in the city.
- Force-Lady Gwyneth (Jedi-lady!) proposes that her own force of 2,000 trained shield-maidens serve as the army.
- Solstice proposes that the shieldmaidens serve as soldiers in addition to the Usurper’s army.
Although I have some concern about the Usurper’s army roaming the city, unemployed, I think that is preferable to arming them and keeping them in the barracks, ready to lead a counter-revolultion at any time.
I go with Gwyneth’s proposal, and replace the Usurper’s army with the shieldmaidens of Dama. This is popular with ‘all save the followers of Nemesis’, and gives me +1 to Popularity. Of course, given that 30% of the city follow Nemesis, that is a fairly significant chunk of the city to have disliking me. Just call me the Garth Brooks of Overlords.
Having the Usurper’s army roam the streets causes some unrest, but the city Watch (comprised of the shieldmaidens) manages to keep the peace. Presumably the Usurper’s former army all attend trade schools, and work on the houses and bathrooms of the city.
There is a pause in my government, with the book soberly checking that my Popularity rating is above zero.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5, Popularity Rating : 4
Awesome names : Antocidas the One-Eyed, although he really needs to be on a pirate ship.