Amusing a lord

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					 ð Regal in his gorgeous apparel, the high lord makes you feel very
humble. "Word has reached my ear," says the lord, "That you possess
abilities surpassing those of normal men and women. Kindly show me
those abilities. Now."
 Conferring amongst yourselves, you decide to ...
   ... turn lead into gold.
  ... call on a saint for inspiration.
  ... demonstrate your erudite scholarship.
  ... show off your skill with melee and missile weapons.
  ... tell the tale of your fabulous adventures.
  ... admit you're no better than ordinary folk.

 ð A shovelful of lead is brought to you. $ChosenOneName pours $his
Transformation potion over it and fans it for a minute. Then $he lifts
up a lump of metal in triumph. Throughout the dull gray lead you can
now see streaks of yellow gold. The lord is very impressed. "The land
could use more men and women who know how to perform such feats."

 ð The heavens are silent. No reply comes to your pleas.

 ð Grumpily, the high lord watches $ChosenOneName fall to $his knees
and ask $NamedOneName for assistance. At first, the lord appears
unimpressed, but just as he turns to his bailiff to order you out, he
stops, thunderstruck. "Did you hear that?" he asks, urgently, but no
one else in the room heard or saw anything.
 The lord is quiet, but looks at you with respect, tinged with a little
superstitious fear. You wonder what $NamedOneName said to the lord to
elicit such a response.

 ð Expounding for many minutes, $ChosenOneName speaks about the
classics, philosophy, ancient lore, the nature of religion, and
science. The lord is impressed in spite of himself. His own advisors
debate with $ChosenOneName, who is the clear-cut victor.
 The lord at last states, "You are wise folk, indeed."

 ð Drawing on all $his knowledge of quaint and forgotten lore,
$ChosenOneName tries valiantly to impress the lord. But to no avail.
The lord's own philosophers out-argue $him on many points, and
$ChosenOneName is unable to bring forth any interesting facts that
strike the lord's fancy.

 ð Ordering weapons to be brought forth, the lord eagerly organizes the
upcoming demonstration. $ChosenOneName is brought a good-quality
$NamedOneName, and $ChosenTwoName is brought a $NamedTwoName.
 Whistling the $NamedOneName around $his head, $ChosenOneName
demonstrates great skill and expertise with this weapon. In practice
combat, $he readily defeats two of the lord's guards.
 No slouch, $ChosenTwoName wields the $NamedTwoName with speed,
versatility, and accuracy, striking the chosen target repeatedly.
 The lord finally says, "Such skill is worthy indeed. I am impressed."

 ð Preparing for the exhibition, the lord has a $NamedOneName brought
to $ChosenOneName and a $NamedTwoName brought to $ChosenTwoName.
 $ChosenOneName does $his best in showing off $his ability with the
$NamedOneName. But $he fumbles once and drops $his weapon. In practice
combat, one of the lord's guards handily defeats $him.
 Unfortunately, $ChosenTwoName fails to wield the $NamedTwoName with
$his normal skill, and misses the chosen target twice.
 The lord finally says, "Clearly your fame is not due to your skill
with weapons."

 ð First speaking softly and slowly, then warming to $his subject,
$ChosenOneName regales the lord and his courtiers with the tales of
your adventures. If at times $he needs to verbally sanitize your deeds,
it does not seem to bother the enthralled audience.
 When $he finishes, the lord is duly impressed. He applauds the tale
and praises you all.

 ð Despite $ChosenOneName's best efforts at rhetoric and pompous
disclaiming of your little band's valor, the lord yawns openly. "If
this is the sum total of these fellows' adventures," he says, "then I
was wrong to interview them at all."

 ð Frowning, the lord says, "Then send these back whence they came.
They have no place here!" Guards drag you away.

				
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posted:9/7/2012
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