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SUPERDRAFT: Cast your Fantasy KINGDOM!


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Since I misread things and have fewer optional roles to fill than I at first thought, I will make three picks now after sitting idle for two days.


In our first post we noted that Slick von Slime (played by Jack Cassidy) is worried about rival Trp the Twrp invading and wiping him out.  Part of the reason for that concern is that Slick has no sons ... but he does have daughters.



(Jean Harlow, Consort)

Slick married well, in more senses that one; his consort, Princess Hilde von Bujah, played by Jean Harlow, is astute, devoted to Slick, and gorgeous.  And although she was unable to give Slick a son,  the gorgeous part did breed true. 



Jayne Mansfield, Heir

The Heir, Princess Brunnhilde, portrayed by Jayne Mansfield, is spectacular, and her younger sister Sieglinde, played by Mamie van Doren (this is our Optional Character), is in no way eclipsed by her sister.



Mamie Van Doren, 2nd daughter (extra character)


As pointed out by Slick's counsellor, the Wizard to be picked at a later date, the daughters are assets (ahem) that can be played in the high-stakes game of dynastic politics.

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Audrey Hepburn as Designated Heir Artis* Pendragon. 


Audrey is about the age from Roman Holiday (24-ish)


*Artis is a feminine name, Celtic for Bear, just as Arthur means bear. The feminine for Arthur is Arthurette is just sounds corny. Artis lives with her dad the barkeep Humphrey Bogart, and Artis is unaware who her mother is, ergo unaware she is a Pendragon. 



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Wizard pick: The Wise Woman will be played by Miriam Margolyes.


Unrelated to Margolyes, here is some inspiration for her role:


Blackadder: Tell me, young crone, is this Putney?

Young Crone: [cackling] That it be! That it be!

Blackadder: "Yes, it is," not "That it be". And you don't have to talk in that stupid voice to me, I'm not a tourist! I seek information about a Wise Woman.

Young Crone: The Wise Woman? The Wise Woman?!

Blackadder: Yes. The Wise Woman.

Young Crone: Two things, my Lord, must ye know of the Wise Woman. First... she is a woman! And second... she is...

Blackadder: Wise?

Young Crone: [normal] You do know her, then?

Blackadder: No, just a wild stab in the dark - which, incidentally, is what you'll be getting if you don't start being a bit more helpful! Do you know where she lives?


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            At the beginning of time, the powerful deity member of the Pantheon, Brother Chaos was easily bored, requiring some form of entertainment.  The deity brought forth a civilization, a world wherein he could play. He brought forth a land, filled with disorder and strife; as he was want to do, because it was his nature.


            He created a land of sin and greed, including a populace that thrived upon the baser instincts of the human condition as a bustling city-state known as Syn formed in his own image.  Gambling, fighting, struggle for gold… all took place within the borders of the city state.


            And as you knew would happen, the people of Syn looked to grab even more power, more control over their destinies than the ultimate manipulator, Brother Chaos desired.  Conflict was inevitable and, in the end, devastating for Syn. The city was destroyed; lost forever by the whim of Brother Chaos. 


            Millenniums passed and the calmness, the order of the world sent the master of disorder into hiding, nay hibernation.  There was little for him to do, to care about. It was as if he ceased to exist. What is the purpose of a deity of chaos if there is no chaos to wreck?


            Without the hand of god, the land reformed, regrew, regained.  Nature took over and the land became rich with more than sin. The beauty of the land raised itself to the world.  Creatures lived once again, and the rebirth of humanity crossed the globe. Was this a God’s hand? No one was sure.


            A kingdom formed and grew successful throughout the years, the stories of Syn nothing more than a distant myth, a legend to tell the children, to warn of the dangers of selfishness and cruelty.  The kingdom of Galadral spanned to the horizon, but there was a secret, something that could threaten the peace that had been so hard won.


            King Stanton strolled round the castle.  The decisions of a monarch always weighed heavily and Stanton took the job to heart.  Dressed in a flowing white robe, King Stanton’s pale complexion nearly shined out from beneath the hood.  It had been only a few months since the conflict inside the kingdom had ended and King Stanton was finally coming to grips with the results.  The betrayal had been painful, but the severing was necessary.


            “Your majesty,” said the palace guard, approaching the monarch, “the Prince is out on the keep again.”


            King Stanton knew what that meant.  The son, the heir to the thrown of Galadral was putting it all on the line once again.


            “Thank you, will you let Ariana know where I am,” said King Stanton.


            Ariana, the consort of the King, was a lovely woman, with flowing red hair and the kindness nature for which you could wish.  The guard knew the relationship between the king and the consort would strain the royal image, but he was completely loyal to his king. 


            “Right away, your majesty,” he said. 


            With a quick step, King Stanton motored toward the castle keep, worried that this time, the Prince would not be as lucky as he has been before.  The teen boy was walking the edge of the wall, hopping from one foot to another as the light air blowing his wavy, dark brown hair around his head. Hearing the approach of King Stanton, the boy dropped from the edge into the expanse of the air, plummeting down.


            “Jessup!” screamed the king, rushing to the side, fear gripping at the king’s heart.  But before King Stanton could reach the side, the young prince sprung back over the king’s head, athletically spiraling into a perfect pose upon one knee.  Releasing the elastic rope that had been his lifeline for this stunt, Prince Jessup raised to his feet, the sparkle of the devil in his eye.


            “Your majesty,” he said, as if nothing had happened.


            “Jessup, my dear child, one day your callous disregard for your personal safety will be the death of you…and then me.”


            “Please do not worry, I know what I am doing,” the boy said, an arrogance washing across him.  It was true that Prince Jessup had been a daredevil since the day he could walk, fearless and brave.  It had frightened every caretaker who was assigned to the boy. They all loved him. He was as wonderful of a boy as could be imagined, but he was cursed with a destructive streak. 


            “Luck runs out, my beloved son,” said King Stanton.  “You cannot keep taking these risks.”


            “This is who I am.  I am not willing to hide behind a façade,” he said, his tone turning darker.  “Life is too short to worry about such trivialities. Don’t you agree…. Mother?”  


            King Stanton grimaced at the comment.  She knew that her masquerade as the male leader “King Stanton” had been difficult for her son to accept, but it was done for a reason, something that he could not know. 


            “Please, Jessup, do not call me that,” she said, knowing her words were a trigger, but not knowing what else to say. 


            “Of course… your majesty,” he said, grabbing the elastic rope and flinging himself once more through the air, but this time, without the return flair.  King Stanton dropped her head, a tear rolling down her sculpted cheekbone.


            “You could tell him.”


            King Stanton was not surprised by the voice or the comment.  Ariana was one of the most honest people she had ever met and she knew that the secret was difficult for her to keep.  Yet she did it because she loved her. King Stanton thanked the stars every night that she had such a kind-hearted companion as Ariana.


            “He struggles enough with the lie of my gender, Ariana.  How would he react to this?”


            “You should trust him to react as he would,” said Ariana.  It was not the first time they had engaged in this discussion, but it always ended the same.  King Stanton could not bring herself to reveal the truth to her beloved son. She could not risk it.


            “I cannot lose him, my love,” King Stanton said.  “That would be unbearable.”


            Ariana embraced King Stanton in her loving grasp.   





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Darkness surrounded the moment as the slight light from the dwindling fire illuminated a small section of the cavern.  Sebastian DeClerqc was anything but patient. The wizard paced around the dying embers fully engulfed in his flowing, blood red cloak.  Every few minutes, he would glance toward the cavern opening with the intensity of a burning sun, and yet no one was arriving.


The thin beard wrapped around his chin and he stroked it silently, fervently remembering the events of the recent past.  He served at the right hand of King Stanton and had for many years. Where did his loyalty get him? Absolutely nowhere so when an opportunity arose, he took it.  Some may define it as a betrayal, but it is one person’s POV. He was the ultimate opportunist and chances as this did not arrive often.


His actions resulted in his banishment from the kingdom, but he had gained an important piece of intel that he knew gave him the edge.  A second opportunity that he would not fumble this time. However, he could not make his next move on his own, hence the waiting.


The sudden appearance from out of nowhere of a sword pointed directly at his throat was not completely unexpected, but certainly disturbing to the wizard.

“Why should I not remove thy head from thy shoulders, traitor?”


The golden helmet was not as bright as the last time DeClercq had seen him, but it did not detract from his presence, nor did the finely trimmed white beard.  The locals called him The Elder. He had been the greatest warrior the kingdom of Galadral had ever seen. He had been retired from active duty for many years, but the deep seeded loyalty he had for King Stanton was legendary.  He had served King Stanton’s father for years prior as well.  


“Please,” said DeClercq, with the slyest of grins across his visage, “I mean you no harm and I only wish to speak. Ogden.”


Pushing the blade a hair closer to its desired target, The Elder said, “You do not have the right nor the respect to call me by my given name.  You call me Elder, understand?”


“Of course,” DeClercq said, spreading out the syllables in the words.  He slowly pushed the sword down away from his neck and moved a step into the darkness.  “You will want to hear what I have to say.”


“I cannot think of anything spewing forth from your lying tongue that would interest me, wizard.  I should be ridding the kingdom of your stench right now.”


“Ah, but you know that my life had been spared by your king… my life allowed to continue by royal decree,” said DeClercq.  “Though banished, I am meant to survive and you will not go against your king’s wishes.”


A knowing twinkle glimmered in the wizard’s eye and brought a pause to the anger of The Elder.  Sheathing his sword, the great warrior held out both hands.


“Fine, DeClercq, let’s hear what bile you intend to spread around your new, wonderful accommodations,” he said, glancing around the damp and foreboding cave.


The half smirk, eyes squinting at the heroic warrior told a dreadful story; what was coming would rock the warrior to his core.  DeClercq knew he had Ogden Wetherby aka The Elder right where he wanted him...right where he needed him.


“I know the truth, Ogden,” DeClercq said, deciding to push his advantage.  “I know what happened all those years ago. I know what you did.”


“What nonsensical blathering are you enouncing, wizard?”  The normal confidence was off kilter. It was as if The Elder had been caught off guard, not expecting what was being said.  Still, he played his role to the best of his ability.


“I always wondered why you retired, Ogden.  I mean, you are clearly still in fighting shape and your loyalty to the house of Stanton was never in doubt.  Was it just too difficult to maintain the lie?” The words slipped like oil from his lips. The Elder knew the reference, but he would not confirm the suspicions.


“You have now reached the end of the line, villain,” said The Elder, reaching again for his sword.


Seeing him reach for his weapon did not deter DeClercq from his words.  “Would that be the same sword that you used to murder the true King of Galadral?”


The shock of hearing this truth from the wizard’s mouth caused The Elder to pause his reach.  


“There is no need to deny the fact, Ogden.  You were never a very good actor and an even worse liar.  Men with such a deep moral compass as you have, are never skilled in the art of deception.  You leave such nastiness to men like me. But you never understood how the power of information was even more potent than your sword.”


Ogden Wetherby knew what DeClercq was saying to be true, but he felt the intense need to protect those he had sworn allegiance to and this detail would not stop that oath.


“You helped set the woman up in Stanton’s place.  You helped perpetuate a fraud upon the kingdom of Galadral, all the while promising to protect the land,” taunted DeClercq.  “Whose idea was it? Was it the woman or yours?”


Memories flooded back into the mind of the warrior of that tragic day.  He had served the Stanton family for decades, but it had been obvious that the king had been losing his senses for several months previous.  He was slipping into madness and there was nothing that could be done. The king did not confide in him any longer and the madness was a sickness consuming him.  When the king attempted to murder his own six month old son, Ogden had to act, an act of treason for sure, but he put his one-time friend down.  

He knew the enemies of King Stanton would seize this opportunity to topple the kingdom.  The baby could not rule as king so he planned a manipulation. The Queen would assume the mantle of leadership but as the king… only the strength of King Stanton, even one that would be only an illusion, could maintain the peace of the kingdom. The Queen, scared for the life of her only son, agreed to the charade and so became King Stanton. 


The two were the few who knew and they protected the secret for years.  Ogden did not think that the inclusion of Ariana into the secret was wise, but how could you fight the heart?  He had to step away from the kingdom when the pressure and the anguish of constantly lying had gotten too much even for his own broad shoulders.


“Did you ever know the reason that Stanton was going to kill the little brat?” DeClercq asked.  The question surprised Ogden. Where was he going with this, he thought.


“It was madness,” said Ogden, removing the sword from his sheath.  He knew what had to be done. He must protect the Stanton family under any threat.  


“Wrong,” said DeClercq.  “There was another reason.”


Letters appeared in the wizard’s hands.  Passing them to The Elder, he continued.


“If you believe I must be stopped, at least look at this before you stop me.  It may change your opinions,” the wizard said.


“Where did you get these?” the warrior asked, his eyes bulging from behind the golden helmet.  What he saw blew his mind and he immediately began questioning everything that he had done.


“It does not matter how I received these, but it is incontrovertible.  Because of an illness, King Stanton had been rendered sterile as a young boy and was unable to reproduce.  He knew he would be the final Stanton on the throne. Except…”


DeClercq paused to savor the exquisite irony here. 


“Little Prince Jessup is illegitimate.  He is not King Stanton’s son. He is a bastard and the Queen was having an affair behind his back.  He tried to ignore the insult for the good of the kingdom, but he could no longer stomach the lie. That was when you … prevented him from ending it.”


The letters dropped to the cave floor as The Elder stood, staring into the few remaining embers in the fire.  


“I assume you were unaware…” DeClercq said.


“Yes, I was,” The Elder said.  


“I am sorry she treated you as such a fool, Ogden,” said DeClercq.  “However, I know a way to right the wrong.”


It seemed like forever as The Elder stood there staring at the letters on the ground.  He was weighing options in his head. Finally, the decision was made.




Declercq smiled.

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