Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Tomorrow night’s the big dance. Tonight is even more exciting--Greyghost’s briefing!

There’s an old guardroom in a disused tower that the three of us are using to confer. I’ve been sleeping in it the last couple of nights; it’s both warmer and better-smelling than the stable. Tonight Perseid and I sat on a bench against one wall while he stood up and lectured us about the history and political system of the imaginary kingdom of Lortraiea. I swear he would have used a whiteboard if he’d had one.

"There are seven Great Families of Lortraiea. They will all be represented at tomorrow night’s event. They--"

I murmured to Perseid, "When I was playing D&D in high school, I always thought that what the game really needed was to be combined with Social Studies class."

She laughed, but kept her attention on Greyghost. Keener.

"Are you listening? This is important."

"No, it’s not," I told him. "Look, if you want to save these people from the giant and the dragon then that’s admirable. But since when do you go around propping up monarchies? I mean, this’s your basic autocratic regime, right? Is this your version of Truth, Justice and the American Way?"

"King Perethur is the lawful ruler of the kingdom and has the support of the people."

"So was Hitler."

"He makes a good point," Perseid said.

"Mm." (Pause.) "Granted. Yet Perethur is benevolent enough that to allow Spinbryony’s usurpation would be more generally harmful than to forestall it. It’s beyond us to reform their entire political system. May I continue?"

Hey, I won one. Sort of. Cool. That almost never happens.

"Perethur’s main goal at this ball is going to be enlisting the aid of Lord Airbright. He’s the head of the only Great Family who’s still neutral. Of course, Spinbryony will be doing the same thing. The other--"

"Sorry to interrupt again. Isn’t this awkward and indirect? All we really want from these people is a way home and maybe some information about Redburn. Why bother with all the court intrigue? Why don’t you two just go out, take down the giant and the dragon, everyone says thank you, and we’re on our way?"

"That’s inconsistent of you, Dennis. Usually you’re the one complaining about people in my line of work provoking fights."
Got me there.

Which is why, an hour later, I’ve got Perseid trying to teach me the subtle art of the gavotte.

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