(it's actually 17)
Announcer dude: Thanks for joining us on yet another installment of Let’s Interview a Fictional Character! Well, we had such a great response from our first interview with Phantom that we’re here again, caving to your demands! Today we’re speaking with someone who’s had a huge impact on our previous guest, Phantom’s, life – nope, not his partner Pacifica, but his all-but-in-name archenemy and long-time rival, King-Usurper Dieny!
Dieny: Ah, yes yes, because none of you are opportunists either, I’m sure.
AD: Now now, let’s not get this show off on a bad start, sir king. Instead, let’s learn a little bit about you. Tell us a little bit about what it’s like to be king of Sept Cites.
D: Well, it’s not all glamour, but I’d be damned if it isn’t a good time now and then. I have to deal with all the bureaucratic minutae to keep my kingdom running, you know, the public ordinances, the keeping of the peace, the upholding of the law, the flogging of criminals, things of that nature. That’s the 9-to-5, anyway. I require a few hours of time during the day for my exercises, must keep these muscles of mine primed and limber after all. After that, I’m game for anything. Especially if hetarae are involved.
AD: Hetarae—the consorts?
D: Oh, yes yes yes yes, they’d like to call themselves that wouldn’t they, the little whores. That’s really all they are. There I am on my throne, or my couch, or the bed, and I’m trying to have a little fun, and they’re all prancing around the room, trying to entertain me with their singing or their dancing or that loathsome lute playing. Just pour me wine, prepare the nargileh, and come here. Then we’re in business. I mean, they really think I’m turned on by any of that nonsense, as if it’s going to enhance the erotic experience watching them jiggling half-naked around each other, all five of them maybe, or strumming the delicate strings of a wooden instrument with their little fingers…what was I saying?
AD: It sounds like you live a life of decadence.
D: Well, I am a king, you turd.
AD: I realize that… rather, you haven’t been king of Sept Cites for very long, just a little under a year, and yet you seem to have quickly acclimated. Why is that?
D: Are you really telling me that if you were offered unlimited booze and whores you wouldn’t take full advantage? Surely not.
AD: Right, of course. Well, moving on, let’s talk about your past. I understand you were a high achiever growing up.
D: You might say that. My childhood was rather non-descript, my parents were both bankers, and they sent me to receive my schooling as all Sept Citian children do. I just happened to be a brilliant little thing and did spectacularly well in class as well as in combat training. I was so fortunate in that so many kiddies had to work twice as hard to get half as good as me. Not that I was an isolated case, and not that I didn’t work hard, but I just happen to be good at what I do. I’m like a vacuum, you know.
AD: Completely void of substance?
D: No… I take everything in. Or rather, a sponge. Or something. Some simile like that. I don’t like leaving things incomplete, either. I’m all about seeing things through from start to finish. Don’t rest until it’s done, that’s my motto. That’s why the people love me.
AD: Speaking of your kingship, how exactly did you become king anyway? I mean, no one from your home world is going to read this, so why don’t you come clean once and for all about how you managed it? Because, well, as I understand it, someone else was in line to become king, not you
D: Hm, I suppose, though I suspect the utter brilliance of how I executed my plan will be lost on your rather simple readers. Basically, you’re right, someone else was supposed to be king after our previous one retired, it’s true. Do realize in our lands that kings are much like prime ministers, we are elected to the position for as long as we are supported by the Council, and changed at their whim. So for me, it was a matter of positioning myself and waiting patiently. I set the wheels in motion, dropping hints here and there to the Councillors that I knew that I might just be a good fit for the role, especially as many of them owed me some pretty big favors. As they say, it’s all about who you know.
AD: Why exactly did they owe you anything?
D: They’d passed me over for a pretty big position at the time. When I was younger, the opportunity to become the coveted Angel of our lands came up, and before I could even ask for the damn thing they gave it to some simple little twerp instead of me. The hilarity is now that I know what actually might have happened to me had I taken on that role, there’s no way in heaven or earth that I’d want it. But of course, that’s just between you and me. I lorded this over the Council day and night until I got it into their mushy brains they were obligated to repay me for this affront.
AD: But why didn’t they just ignore you? It doesn’t seem to me that passing you over for a position entitles you to anything.
D: Little one, did I not mention I come from a family of bankers? Do you think I don’t know into which sordid little pockets their money is going? My discretion about the matter is, simply, at my discretion! In the end, the Council revealed that the reason they didn’t want me for the Angel is because I am not as pliable as the one they decided on, and that I’d be too headstrong with the power given and not follow orders given, or somesuch babble. As if I’d never been through school!
AD: So in the end they gave it to your rival, Phantom.
D: Yes, that’s what you call him, though he’s known here as Urimel. Urimel, the scrawy twerp, or as I prefer to call him: Urimel, the incompetent, moronically prideful, scornfully arrogant and inexcusably self-important vestal virgin of Sept Cites. The third.
AD: The third?
D: That part’s a joke.
AD: So I gather you don’t like Phantom, or rather, Urimel, very much.
D: That’s putting it a bit simply don’t you think? I mean, who can actually stand that guy? It’s like he’s not a real human being. He’s just a human-sized balloon overinflated with his misplaced sense of importance, and with just a tiny prick—hah—he would just burst. No backbone, that guy. No idea when to let things go and just roll with it—no, everything’s an affront to him or his honor in some way.
AD: You’re awfully fixated on him, don’t you think?
D: Oh, please. I’m being nice here. I mean, we give him an assignment in Greyfall to protect this girl who could probably fight off an entire army blindfolded, one arm behind her back, drunk and naked, and he still can’t manage to just make sure she stays out of trouble. It was a plush job! And yet the girl somehow manages to get herself kidnapped and molested, and Urimel? Nowhere to be found. Claims he was “following orders,” as if his duty as a Guardian is secondary to anything else. He just takes his job to some new plane of incompetence that I , honestly, never knew existed.
AD: So when you became king, you punished him for it.
D: Of course! He had to be reined in. We can’t have our supposed national emblem mucking things up left and right.
AD: Did he really deserve the death penalty for it though?
D: I wouldn’t have given it to him had he not deserved it. Duh.
AD: But some might argue that you went overboard because of a personal vendetta. He was your main rival growing up after all.
D: I’m not sure I agree with that characterization. I never took our competition that seriously – we were neck and neck so many times that there’s no way he could claim to be better than me. I made sure to remind him that I was always at his level, if not above it.
AD: So that hexed knife with a lock of Phantom’s hair, drenched in his blood, that Pacifica found in your bedroom was just a simple keepsake?
D: How the hell do you know about that?
DUN DUN DUNNNN.