After ten days where, apparently, not much happens (the dream of any ruler) Foxglove once more attends at the palace and seeks an audience with me.
Considering that I can judge what weight to give any information this courtesan / spy / secret policewoman may provide me with, I ensure that my warrior women bodyguards are close (how close?? teenagers want to know) and summon Foxglove into my private office.
She is wearing a ‘short jacket and breeches’ and there is further more-than-ample description of her hair and make-up which is redundant for the purposes of this recap.
Make with the exposition!
- Half a king’s ransom is seemingly still available to the person who assassinates my royal person.
- Mandrake (ooh, I remember him) is on the look-out to collect this bounty.
- Certain agitators have been stirring up discontent against me, but they have been ‘dealt with’.
With regard to that last, I’m sure that Foxglove bought them a couple of drinks and engaged in a Socratic debate, pointing out the numerous utilitarian benefits of my rule..
Or something similiar.
Prior to the next Star Chamber meeting, several anonymous notes are thrown over the Palace wall stating that my days on the throne are numbered. Well, I firstly consider that 9,000 days is a number. I then assume they are just print-outs of message board threads on the Internet, mixed in with Game of Thrones theories and allegations that 9/11 was an inside job.
In any event, the book makes a downright insane suggestion that I imprison 50 random people a day until the culprits are brought to me (!!) or just let the incident slide.
I turn down the opportunity of being a stupid, ludicrous tyrant and move on.
My government’s expenses are :
- Cost of army (shieldmaidens) – 2 talents of gold
- Order of Yellow Lotus – 1 talent
- Palace servants and messengers – 1 talent
- Cost of living in state in the Palace – 1 talent
- Cost of returning wrongly confiscated land to its owners – 1 talent.
While I appreciate the attempts of the book, I am bewildered that my living expenses are approximately $3.6 million US dollars. Those fair handmaidens must be working triple overtime on a sweet union deal.
In any event, for those latecomers who may have forgotten, I have 10 talents in the treasury thanks to the funds paid by Golspiel in order to avoid his trial.
Therefore I can meet the 6 talents in government expenses, and don’t need to tax anyone!! Most popular Overlord ever!
The book then proceeds to give me no credit whatsoever for meeting the entirety of the government expenses without taxes.
Yeah, just let that sink in.
I’m thinking that if the Australian Prime Minister announced that, due to a massive fine levied on a corporate raider (such as James Packer), all taxes would be suspended until further notice, he’s get a slight uptick in popularity – you know what I’m saying?
In any event, before debates on the Strategos in charge of the army, I get a (+1) boost to my Popularity rating by abolishing the oppressive laws regarding marriage licences and otherwise restoring the laws and customs of my father.
There are another ten days when it seems that yet again very little happens. I go on a hunt because it is supposedly expected, and kill a hare with a single Shuriken. I love this – I’m basically an absolute dictator, but still go on a hunt, merely because it is expected. More importantly, a ‘stray’ arrow passes close to my head when I chase a stag.
The next day, my councillors meet to decide the fate of the Order of the Yellow Lotus. While I am being dressed (yes, you read that right. Not ‘getting dressed’. ‘Being dressed’.) I receive a message from Foxglove. In a trick that gets serious secret agent points, it is written in puffs of rouge on the back of a silver hairbrush. Lucky it wasn’t a brass hairbrush, or there’s no way I would have taken it seriously.
Anyway, the message says ‘Ware Parsifal’. At the age of 12 I had absolutely no idea what that meant. Parsifal was selling ‘wares’ like a market? What?
The next sentence confirms the message’s meaning that I should be ‘wary’ of Parsifal and the meeting commences. I get advice from the following (remembering that Foxglove is not one of my counsellors) :
- Parsifal and Force-Lady Gwyneth speak together and confirm that they consider that my rule has no place for a secret network of informers. Also, they particularly empasise that Foxglove is not to be trusted and should not be allowed near my royal person. They obviously weren’t watching during my teenage years. I allowed gorgeous women that I didn’t trust near my person all the time.
- The Demagogue also calls for the abolition of the Order.
My decision to abolish the Order of the Yellow Lotus is popular, but the approach of a raiding party from the Rift negates any benefit which may accrue to my Popularity rating.
Suddenly the whole chamber begins to fill with smoke. I flee the room before I can be effected, but the remainder of my Councillors collapse. That’s not the Gwyneth I know!
In any event, Parsifal emerges, holding a handkerchief to his face, while one of my bodyguards kills the other (?!)
Given the warning about Parsifal, I ignore my Kwon teachings and sweep ‘Parsifal’s’ legs out from under him, and watch as he hits the floor. Worryingly, my remaining bodyguard seems poised to use her sword against me.
I can either finish off ‘Parsifal’ or turn to the remaining shieldmaiden. In memory of those private moments my bodyguard and I have spent together, I kill ‘Parsifal’ with a blow to the neck, now seeing that it was in fact Mandrake, the assassin, in disguise.
Take that, skippy!
My remaining bodyguard takes her own life in dishonour (sob!) and there is a great feast to commemorate my survival. The book glosses over the means used by the forces of darkness to compel my bodyguards to turn against me and each other. Travel packages to Vegas weren’t that valuable, surely?
And why didn’t Foxglove just say : ‘Parsifal has been murdered and his place taken by an imposter’? Sloppy, Foxglove, very sloppy.
After an inquest, it is discovered that Mandrake had murdered Parsifal two days ago (!) and then imitated him flawlessly, so that both Gwyneth and I had been fooled.
I lead the prayers of thanksgiving for Parsifal myself, while presumably ordering up two new gorgeous warrior women to do a better job of protecting me.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5, Popularity Rating : 5