1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Greetings Guest, Having Login Issues? Check this thread!
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Hail Guest!,
    Please take a moment to read this post reminding you all of the importance of Account Security.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Author Wes Locher has teamed up with Stratics for a giveaway of his new book Braving Britannia. This book explores the history and impact of Ultima Online and includes interviews from current and past dev team members as well as many UO and Stratics community members. Click here for more details!
    Dismiss Notice

(RP) Beacon Interview with a V... King

Discussion in 'UO Europa' started by The Trinsic Beacon, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. The Trinsic Beacon

    The Trinsic Beacon Adventurer
    Stratics Veteran

    Jan 26, 2009
    Likes Received:
    First and foremost, we would like to thank Your Majesty for granting us this interview. We were admittedly somewhat surprised, since You frequently and publicly expressed Your disdain for our paper.

    And thank you to The Trinsic Beacon for finally coming and speaking to me directly; I can already see that no punches shall be pulled in this interview either! And that is fine; do not believe for a moment that I cannot maintain respect for, or even a friendship with those who disagree with me. It is simply that after a lifetime as a well respected Mage, and now today being graced with the title of your rightful King, I am somewhat ill at ease with the scuttling and scurrilous nature of much of what passes for our press these days…

    More communication with the citizens and the press might raise your popularity though. This brings us to the first topic, which is the state of the Kingdom. So far, Your Majesty cannot claim to be the most popular monarch. There is much open criticism concerning Your decisions and most especially concerning Your inactivity. What would You like to tell our readers about that?

    Well, the man at the top is never too appealing to the people who look at him from the below… or as Heckles keeps insisting, up at his bottom! This doesn’t worry me too much, I did not seek the Kingship in order to be popular or too pompous about it; being seen as a bum is just part of the position! I seek instead to be essential rather than lovable, yet I would still dearly like to do well by my people however, and my accomplishments on their behalf to be recognised.

    Thus, it does grieve me somewhat that this is not the case, especially considering that doing nothing is the hardest skill a true King must learn. Believe me, I could march out and devastate thy printing press with arcane fire should I so choose, and with some of thy articles it has been a sore temptation indeed to do so! But that is not ruling, but rather dictatorship, and I am certainly no dictator. I truly do believe in the idea that from the chaos of our complicated and competing people comes a greater meaning… it’s like in Chess, the King may be the most important piece, but without the wildly different skills of his supporting pieces, the greater victory is impossible. I simply prefer, where possible, to not throw away my pieces without good cause. Some of you may consider this inactivity, I consider it good Kingship.

    The problem with some of my people however is that they are all too willing to see their fellow pawns and Knights slaughtered for some quite terrible causes… I don’t pay much attention to such criticism of my decisions from that direction. Those of purer heart however, yes it matters to me greatly whether they approve or not. I am in particular proud to count Sir Dupre as a close friend, whose decisions and loyalty none can surely question, and whose criticism carries much more impact in my thinking.

    Traditionally, the City States of the realm are a heterogeneous lot. They follow different traditions and aim for diverse goals. One could say that in order to maintain a Kingdom, one requires a strong shepherd to guide this flock and to avoid quarrels. Is this not contrary to your political laissez-faire?

    “Heterogenous” is one way to put it, yes! * laughs * And in moderation that’s certainly a good thing. Fanaticism however, turning people into causes to kill for and killed over is not. So far I have not had to insist too much upon shepherding, our people seem to have resisted the siren calls of extremism, and for that I am grateful. Our little experiment in creative chaos seems to be ticking over nicely by itself; fortunately too, as I was never one for too much Order in the Kingdom!

    But should the need arise, especially for one with such considerable powers as my own, this may change. I hope that I am never again called upon thus.

    What are the respective responsibilities of Governors and King? At times some Governors were told ‘law enforcement’ on the city streets was their duty – yet they seem not to be allowed to recruit forces to do that, or have courts to handle the breaches of the peace that sometimes occur – whilst the royal forces seem sadly absent all too often when villains like the ludicrous Bladderstick actively attack the people.

    Ahh, this leads me onto the main issue I am having to keep an eye on for the moment. The question of local bands troops is a thorny one. As far as I am aware, only two cities have requested the right to raise their own militia, rather than relying upon the generosity of those of good heart and strong arm. Britain now, I would trust troops there, grumpy as their Governor Aurelius often is. He simply wishes to keep his people safe from marauding bands of Orcs and maintain local law and order.

    Vesper however, and I hope they are listening to this, wish to raise troops to conquer Cove and rename it “West Vesper”. What is worse, they claim they do it in loyalty to my name, and the principle of Chaos. This is not the case, and I cannot allow people to turn legitimate self defence into aggressive conquest and the violation of democratically expressed individualism.
    Unfortunately the Governors don’t see paying tax as part of their responsibilities, and a standing army is seen as potentially oppressive, so my own limited forces are over stretched. Thus Skaros and Dupre, amongst my agents, will hire loyalists for individual actions on behalf of the Crown. Including against Vesper, if they persist in violating the freedom of Cove. Some I may need to lead myself directly; Bladderstick will be dragged from Nujel’m to Yew and to Justice, with my own hand upon his collar, rest assured of that!

    The wider responsibilities of the Governor I see as being a focal point for local issues; clarifying and leading the issues of their individual polity, and a line of communication of these from the people up to the Crown. If each city can be seen as a story, for the time that they hold the position, the Governors can seen as the official narrator of that story. But I want to emphasis every citizen remains an autonomous actor! Neither the Council Du Roi nor King nor the Kingdom itself is only for the Governors! They just hold a very fortunate position, but not an exclusive one. Like with this interview, if matters of state allow it, I will always attempt to respond to any of my people too.

    As King then, my responsibility is to try and allow as many stories to be told as possible without artificially silencing any others. It proves… challenging, let us say. Especially when some of the voices who speak insist upon taking the opposing side, and the path of outright Villainy. I regretfully had to agree with Skaros and outlaw a number of my citizens for supporting Bladderstick in his attack upon Nujel’m, for instance.

    What are Your Majesty’s goals for the near future? What visions and projects will guide Your next steps in the office?

    As you may have heard, my good friend Cantabrigian British has miraculously returned to our lands! I doubt he intends to stay, but I plan to make him as welcome as possible whilst here! And I hope ye will all attend to pay tribute to our former King.

    Beyond that, whilst my time is currently taken up with turbulent Governors, I would like to deal with the alarming tendency of some of our people to be unkind to sentient races that don’t have the traditional human form. I’d love to see more conversation with the Gargoyles for instance, and as a minor whim, I’d like to see some way to persuade my people to take those oft mis-understood birds, the Raven into their homes somehow. People often speak of me as evil too, so I am most sympathetic to the Raven’s plight: whilst I was most saddened that for some anti-social reason, the tower I set aside for the Raven King had all it’s decoration stolen.

    I’ve long been considering some sort of community project whereby the result is based upon they exertions; a stone circle for our druids perhaps, or some other land mark. I often spend time contemplating in Hannah’s Garden, and would like to see some more places like that, that you the people design.

    Finally, I do not wish to prejudice the trial of Bladderstick too much, but after it is finished I expect there will be some new villainy to attend too. There always is!

    One of the more heated topics is the role of your spymaster Skaros. Innocent and upstanding citizens of the realm find themselves spied upon by a seemingly random and extensive network of informants. On the other hand, vital information concerning actual threats to the realm is not recognized, or only once it is too late. Should there not be a reform on the system of spies and information that You employ?

    Skaros and the spymaster system was empowered under the reign of Queen Dawn; as of yet I have seen no reason to take that piece off the board, although I am aware it is a contentious one however. He has indeed shown me many scandalous songs sung in his name and his supposed style, which I must admit to finding most amusing; Skaros’ ways are… not my own, shall we say? As you know, I am not comfortable with hiding my light behind a bush, where as Skaros enjoys nothing more than disguising himself as a shrubbery and hiding in people’s gardens!

    Do the Beacon’s readers have any idea of what sort of information collecting organisation they would prefer to see though? Whilst I do not like the idea of my people feeling controlled by a Government source, I would plead for the benefits of the system all the same; messages being late and incomplete is the nature of information I am afraid, but the randomness of what we know is minimized by the greater extensiveness of the harvesting system. And many families depend upon their chief bread winner being a Royal Investigator, and just cancelling the entire system would leave them destitute and without anything to wear.
    It may be possible to send Skaros on some sort of democratic sensitivity training, but his loyalty cannot be questioned, and so far we have not faced a problem our Royal Investigators have completely failed to predict. I remain unconvinced at this point then that major reform of the entire system is required.

    What about Your cellar, which holds a truly astonishing amount of critters, foes and even remnants of Exodus’ forces. Do You understand that this worries the citizens and what actions will you take?

    I do understand, and it’s most perplexing even to me how and even why they have appeared below my very own home. The presence of Exodus minions is particularly disturbing; since my escape from his foul bondage, I have not even been able to engage my prior love of mechanical tinkering… I would gladly lead expeditions into the cellars to strike them down, but they keep coming back, even as fast as I can kill them! As yet none of my Royal Scholars, Royal Archaeologists, and Royal Nose Prodders can detect what the source or meaning of this endless supply of evil is.

    But be assured the combined powers of the castle have kept them locked firmly within the cellars at least. And for now…

    Let us move on towards the next topic, which is Chaos. Many of our readers are still confused about this concept. Could You sum it up in a way that will enlighten them?

    Certainly and gladly I can!

    Chaos is life; it is the generative principle, that which plants, rises, ripens, and yes, falls and decays because the seeds of life are found in the ashes of the past as well as the planting of the future. Chaos is the Phoenix that lives all stages of it’s life simultaneously, because all are true and vital. Chaos is both arrow and circle. It’s the idea that before music you must have noise.

    Or to put it another way; Order assumes good living comes from asserting pre-set rules from above. Chaos assumes the good living comes from the bottom up; but what it is not is true Anarchy, that is the assumption that there cannot ever be control from above. Whilst such a state may be preferable, it never has and never will exist, because so very few have the personal nobility to live with, as the Beacon correctly called it, the required laissez-faire. It is Political Anarchy then; true Chaos does generate rules and require rulers, because those rules we mostly agree, even from our different starting points, are Good to have. Simple ones such as Do not Kill. Do not Steal… but we will still need rulers to enforce these because there will always be someone who thinks their freedom to swing their fists doesn’t need to pay attention to the position of your nose.
    And when they do not pay such attention, the variety of, or even the existence of life becomes compromised. Chaos without Nobility is the Phoenix that lives only once, because someone comes along and stamps on the new egg. As your King, and one born to nobility, it is my job then to protect the soul of Chaos by balancing all to leave as many options open to live and thrive.

    But I do not teach you. I do not decide for you. You have to decide to live yourself; under my protection but not at my command nor my censure. I leave that to those who believe in Order.

    What is the relation between Chaos and the other Virtues? Do you see Chaos as an additional Virtue, an opposing belief or as something entirely different and unconnected?

    As none of the Virtues seek to limit human individuality but rather guide it to a higher, more meaningful life, Chaos is complimentary to them rather than opposed. I personally would say Chaos is a virtue, indeed the greatest Virtue of all as it contains within it any possible way to lead the Good Life! But that’s a contentious view, I admit. The right one still, but contentious, yes! It is not anti-Chaotic to be Humble for instance, nor Just…

    But I must admit I struggle with humility, because if I’m truly honest I know my own brilliance can drown out people with lesser talents and positions; One person only can wear the Crown, and that person is currently Myself. Who can compete with the attention a King gets? And yet it’s a necessary evil however that the poor must also often have a champion to speak on their behalf; I’m reminded of a myth of a city once, that a righteous God demanded prove it contained enough decent people to be worth saving. And because the decent were also humble, none spoke up, so the God concerned didn’t hear them and destroyed the city, including all the humble. I would like to think that having been raised to power in Sosaria, it was only to be the Spokesman for the poor and humble that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. But Chaos doesn’t require me to be personally humble!

    Incidentally, I would also add that both the Principles of the Gargoyles are also worth further investigation, and can be held in equal regard to both the Virtues and Chaos. They may not look human but, if you have the wisdom to listen, they too have much to teach. And such is the way of Chaos again!

    The majority of people in the Kingdom still follow the Virtues as taught by Lord British and the Avatar. Because of this there is a danger of a continuous alienation between You and the people you would govern. What are your plans concerning the spiritual future of the realm? Will You try to incorporate all people or will You maintain a distance to the followers of Virtue?

    I have no plans at all for the spirits of the realm, because that violates the to-thyself-be-true nature of Chaos. I merely wish that the people had a little of the wisdom of Lord British himself, and saw it is merely a difference of opinion as to the basic building blocks of true Virtue! And if Virtue’s greatest champion and the defender of Chaos can remain close friends, I cannot see why the King and his people would not.

    I notice with regret now what was once Chaos vs Order has degenerated further into pure Virtue Vs Vice. And ye may ask where would I stand in such a situation? Whilst some vice, as long as it’s consensual, may be fun, both British and I are ultimately on the side of Virtue. We are just stood side by side and facing different directions…

    Do the people need some proof of my good intent towards their beliefs? Even were I willing to consider continuing the Kingdom’s prior financial support for the Virtues and their associated shrines, the lack of willing payment of taxes mean it’s unlikely. If ye are willing to harness thy selves up and humbly pull the materials for the Shrines into place, I may attend and regally watch… but ye ask to much of the King that he agrees with all of thy beliefs or that he pays for them!

    The next question concerning the Virtues is a complicated one, since it borders on the realm of magic. A larger number of trustworthy and stout royal investigators reported having entered the mind of Your majesty and encountering Your thoughts, in various shapes. They reported that You believe that the Virtues would lead to a reunification of the Gem of Immortality, thus ending the individual worlds that we live in. Following this, the invention of Chaos was designed to maintain the individual worlds. Is this true? What evidence do you base your theories on? Several readers, especially many from Britain, are worried that you might try to suppress or outlaw the Virtues.

    This question unfortunately has become tangled with so much myth and assumption about my character that I must obviously try and untangle it again.

    Firstly it is not true that I resisted the unification of the Shards; Lord British himself learned that attempting to re-merge the shattered gem would indeed unify the mirror worlds that existed in each shard piece, but that anyone who didn’t have a duplicate in all the resulting worlds would be destroyed. As there was no way to be sure how many people that meant, he wisely decided against doing so.

    From my own point of view, this was indeed the personification of Chaos too; so much variety! So I approved; but I did nothing to ensure this was not done; I have always respected the basic decency and intentions of Lord British, and on this I do not disagree, it was probably the best call to make.

    However the shards themselves contained both worlds, and power within worlds, so many evil people attempted to capture them. The Followers Of Armageddon wanted to force the reunification of worlds, whilst Minax attempted to avenge the death of her lover Mondain and wanted them for their sheer power, for instance. Realising the shards then were neither safe to use, nor to leave around not in use, Lord British locked those we knew of away in the Ethereal Void.

    More continue to turn up however; the Shadowlords had some it seems, and perhaps it’s now not actually possible to reunite them all, or ever be safe from them, as they have long since multiplied into infinity.

    The invention of the Chaos Guards was unconnected to the Shards, rather it was an attempt to give an opposing and practical answer to the debate that Lord British and I had often had over a late night game board; whether people were more motivated to be good by Order, or Chaos. But it defeats the point of the joke then to order it from on high to do anything, including trying to prevent something that my friend British insisted upon. Unfortunately both experiments rapidly deviated from their higher concepts, and out of control for both of us in a very short time, and things were done that blackened both our names forever.

    Now… whilst I understand the people may wish confirmation of their doubts about me, especially as Exodus so recently and for so long did it’s best to add to my infamy, I must admit the idea of people rummaging in my very thoughts was disconcerting. But for the good of the Kingdom I let it go; this is a Trinsic Beacon exclusive then, Lord Blackthorn Knows What You Did. And he forgives you, and only hopes what you found there was was worth it. I am told many of you did, and consider it one of the highlights of that year…

    Dupre certainly was convinced inside my dream realm, and we remain as I have said good friends to this day. If you do not believe the evidence of thy own eyes, nor my mind, trust Dupre at least. Will I outlaw the Virtues? Perish the thought! But do you think Dupre would stand for it if I did?

    And no, I have no intention of making Virtue illegal! How could I do this and be true to Chaos, which gains it’s very strength from good people taking different paths? I simple follow a different one myself.

    The next question is one that Your Majesty might reject, but which is nevertheless necessary. Following the ‘invention’ of Chaos was a long and bloody struggle between the followers of Virtue and those of Chaos. Did you plan this aggression or did you allow it? Will you take responsibility for the suffering and will you try to make amends? A reader from Trinsic suggested that there should be a memorial, as a central place to remember this bloody chapter in the books of history.

    Whilst I approved of the creation of an opposing faction, neither Cantabrigian nor I foresaw the horrible decay that would quickly set in to both our followers; It was supposed to just be a fun philosophical test of the which people could live their values more inspirationally, not to encourage them to kill each other over them! So nay, neither of us ordered or approved of the slaughter that followed, and all blame lies in the hands who chose to partake in those crimes.

    And I deeply apologise that, at the time I should have been there to prevent this abuse of my ideal that I was held captive in the realm of Exodus and unable to do so, whilst a mechanical monstrosity made it look like I enjoyed seeing blood shed.

    A celebration of the end of those dark years may be something that could be set up, but from the sounds of your questions, and the mood of the people, more chaotic symbolism is probably not welcome at this point. Some sort of sober, neutral monument then…

    Let us move on towards a lighter topic. It was generally noted that your Majesty does not exactly favour a social lifestyle. This excessive castle is mostly empty, populated only by few necessary people, such as Skaros. Why are there never visitors or more members of staff visible? Does Your Majesty have trusted friends or advisors? Some readers asked if there will be social occasions at court?

    It’s true I’m not one for less important matters like balls and parties; I find my time adequately filled with arcane research and eduction. And to be honest, few people have minds stimulating enough to truly challenge me, although I always welcome new aspirants to have a go!

    Still, perhaps I could humble myself with the odd ball. Bear in mind though that powerful magic protects my Castle now from miscreants, including preventing unauthorised spell casting and keeping the cellar locked firmly in place. A certain amount of dullness is always going to be present; let us call it “Thee Kings Peace”!

    I might though be able to encourage the endless Royal Attendants to show their faces more often. I’ve often thought about a special library for Annabel Lee to live in permanently, and maybe the cooks and such can come out from behind their flour sacks more often. But we really are a working castle rather than a tourist attraction!

    One of our readers, the well-known Lord Sparrow, suggested that Your majesty should marry. That warrants the question on whether Your Majesty fancies someone special and dear to You?

    Is he asking me himself? I’m rather flattered, but I’m afraid the Kingdom and Chaos are my only loves now.

    There was once a woman, though; in another world, in another place. Quick of mind and delicate of limb, but so much greater of heart. Whilst I deeply admire other sentient races, her love extended even to the slimy slugs that she’d move off the paths, so they wouldn’t be trodden upon. Raven haired and light of eye, she was chaos incarnate, passionate and logical, unselfish and greedily sensual … but the magic, you could say, was not there. For when rambling across the hills and woods one day, we discovered the moongate that led to this world; and she did not want to live in a world of Magic. To her, it wasn’t as real as the smallest , slimy creature. And I saw so clearly the power and potential of riding a Dragon. So I sadly stepped into this world alone… and have given my self to the pursuit of the arcane arts since.

    So no, I do not intend to marry today either.

    Last but not least a question from a younger reader: what will You dress up as on all hallows eve? What is Your favourite candy?

    Perhaps a dark wisp; so much culture they have yet to discover!

    My favourite sweet is bonfire toffee. If we’re talking specifically candy, I suppose you could say rum coated truffles. Or maybe dark chocolate.

    Thank You for Your time, Your Majesty.

    And thank you; I look forward to seeing what readers letters you get, even the scandalous and outright confusing ones!

    Link to the EM page...
    Duncan Drake and Aurelius like this.