What Makes a Villain? - Chapter 1

2021.09.20 03:51 Bale626 What Makes a Villain? - Chapter 1

Prologue
After the very positive reaction I got from posting a writing prompt short story, I thought I would take a stab at actually writing something more from it. Here we go...
“Milord?”
The newly crowned nobleman resisted the urge to sigh, his gaze set upon the sight of the city around his castle. From his position in his tower, he could see hundreds of his people moving to and fro, going about their daily tasks with hardly any worries at all. He did not have to think too hard to remember how little time it had been, when many of those same people had lived in constant fear.
Turning, the newly appointed monarch regarded his steward. Though the man before him was clearly a warrior, he was also a man of intellect. He could also not remove the image of the lanky, knobby-kneed boy, helping his father move trays of baked goods around the shop. With a smile, he responded to the man.
“Sinclair, how many times do I have to tell you to call me James? You used to call me Uncle when I would carry you around the village.”
Only his eyes betrayed the mirth Sinclair was hiding away from his expression. “That may be, milord; but you were not a king when I was a child. Besides, what would be the point of your ascension to the throne without the proper respect given?”
James merely shook his head, stepping forward and clasping the other man’s shoulder. “I am no more or less today, than I was yesterday, save for this trinket upon my head; and we both know what occurred to make this happen, do we not?”
The humor fled from them both at the reminder. “Yes, milord. My father would be proud of what you have done with your life. Even after you purchased your own land, you left a mark of joy upon our family’s home.”
He knew that this was likely not what a noble would be expected to do, but he wrapped the younger man in his arms. “Sinclair, if I could go back in time to stop those bastards from ending your father’s life, you know I would happily do so in the time it would take me to blink!”
James could feel the shudder run through his body. After a pause, Sinclair finally responded, “I know, James. It was not your fault those damned Heroes were there.” The sneer in his tone was quite evident. He stepped back, out of the noble’s grasp, visibly gathering his wits. “But now we are finally in a position to fix things.”
A smirk graced James’ face at the reminder. “Speaking of such, I am sure my other advisors would prefer that I reword my first edict.”
“They did mention as much to me. ‘Death to the Heroes,’ while clearly stated, does leave a bit too much open for interpretation.”
James stepped through the room to his desk, sliding a few pieces of parchment out of the way to grasp the correct document. “I had anticipated as much. Here is a more official edict for them to work with, along with an outline for what we should do for officially drafting guards for the Hold.”
Sinclair took the document from him, pacing the room slowly as he read aloud. “Wherefore, let it be known that in the realm of The Kingdom of Acadia, all vigilante actions performed by any individual or unsanctioned group are forthwith considered an illegal action. Any individual or unsanctioned group will be tried in a court of law, and if found guilty, will be punished according to the severity of their offense or offenses, up to and including execution.” He paused, before turning back towards the monarch. “Straight forward, and to the point. I like it.”
Taking the document back, James sat down at his desk, signing the bottom of the parchment with a flourish. “Good. Make sure the scribes get this written down exactly, word for word. I do not want a mistake in writing to allow for any possible chance of one of these vigilantes to not get their just rewards.”
His steward took the document, and with a bow, moved for the door. “I will do so immediately.”
As soon as he heard the click of the door handle, James let out a sigh, sinking down into his chair. It had been a long fifteen years; a snort escaped his lips as he considered the time. He had no recollection of being shunted through time and space; all he knew was that one moment, he had been in his home on Earth. Then he had somehow ended up in the world of El’tan.
It was a strange world, to be sure. A magical, medieval world, filled with elves and dwarves, orcs and demons. Many of whom went about their daily lives with few problems. The biggest problem, however, were the intrepid vigilantes that would roam the lands, calling themselves Heroes. Whether they travelled alone, or moved in groups, they all sought similar things: to carve out their names upon the canvas of the history of the world. If that were all they did, James was sure many would actually celebrate these intrepid adventurers.
Many of them, however, had much greater opinions of their own self-worth than was deserved. They would intimidate shopkeepers to lower their prices, kill “evil-doers” at the slightest provocation to steal their valuables; they would even force their way into the homes of the innocent, stealing their food, their gold, their precious heirlooms, and leaving not even a single copper coin for recompense.
With a shake of his head, James moved back to the window. “Heroes. They sully the title with their filth.”
His own fortunes, somewhat ironically, were intertwined with the Heroes he often referred to as ‘vigilantes.’ While Sinclair’s father had taken him in upon his arrival to El’tan, James had quickly managed to work his way to owning his own land. Knowing what many of the Heroes were frequently guilty of, James had prepared for them. The first few Heroes that forced their way into his home had met their end at his hand, and their wealth became his wealth. The Heroes that followed ended up meeting the same fate.
In a mere three years, James had accrued enough wealth to begin building the structure that would become his fortress. He had not originally planned on a castle, but the continued flood of Heroes that saw his actions as “villainous” forced him to build bigger and better. The horde of villagers and other innocent victims that swarmed to him, seeking protection, had also warranted the repeated expansion of his plans.
The handful of magic wielding Drow that had come were certainly a boon, shifting the construction time of the castle walls from years, to weeks. That they had fled the massacre of their underground home at the hands of Heroes had helped their acceptance by the others within the fledgling community. They were also, ironically, the ones who understood his modern improvements the fastest; particularly when it came to plumbing and pipes.
While a full census had not yet been taken, James knew that he had somewhere between twenty and thirty thousand people that had come seeking protection and aid. His fortress-turned-Capital was housing about eight thousand, with the rest scattered through eight new settlements within a day’s march. Each settlement was built with wooden palisades to keep out any invaders.
The newly crowned monarch could not help but marvel at the city beneath him. The people had gladly listened to his suggestions when building, and the many buildings appeared to be a mix of medieval structures, with hints of more modern architecture shining through. The sight of rain gutters on the medieval style rooflines always made him smile.
James had to find any reason to smile, these days. He had had no aspirations to being a king. It was stressful to him, having to worry about the safety of his people. The fact that so many were even willing to be called “his people” was enough to make him want to run screaming in terror. But then he would remember why he did the things he did; those damned Heroes.
Even before the city-state of Wintervale had begun to take shape, before they had begun training villagers to become guards and soldiers, the Heroes had been on the warpath. After all, the “evil” ruler James Harding was clearly a threat to the stability of the region. Which is to say, his efforts to bring stability to the region would hamper their efforts to do the same thing and become rich and famous, so they had collectively decided he needed to be disposed of. Just as all “evil-doers” needed dealt with, in their minds.
Pushing those morbid thoughts from his mind, James began the arduous task before him, in the building of a new kingdom. Paperwork.
Next
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2021.09.20 03:51 Economy-Dimension162 Recommendations for games like a kiss from death

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2021.09.20 03:50 dylpkls Unlock entire tree hack

Y’all I just stumbled onto an easy way to unlock access to any topic at any time! I’m part of a Duolingo classroom, you will need to create a classroom and add your account as a student for this work work. I am only on unit 2 in Italian, so I assigned myself the final topic from unit 4, and once I completed the unit it force unlocked every topic leading up to the topic I assigned myself. I now have freedom to hop around to any topic in any unit without having to complete them in order. Depending on the way you learn, this may be helpful to some people.
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2021.09.20 03:50 ElephantExplosion I don't tip

My friends and I do not tip
We refuse to take part in tipping culture
Which means we just never go out to eat or order anything
I've got at least 12 friends that refuse to order food or go out to eat because they think that tipping culture is horrible
What do y'all think?
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2021.09.20 03:50 lusciifi After over 10 years of lurking in the furry community, I finally had ref sheets commissioned for me and my girlfriend. Art by Junebuq.

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2021.09.20 03:50 Lionheart2096 Good news & Great joy

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2021.09.20 03:50 First_Technology3106 HELP HELP HELP getting chat requests from strangers saying "you're 100% hacked or hello" AM I BEING HACKED? could these people hack me remotely only by looking at the chat request? i have heard stories they can hack you by doing nothing like pegasus spyware type of thing?

Also after i recieved on of the messages my reddit said no connection even though i had wifi so i reloaded and it just logged me out, thankfully i could log in again but WHAT IS GOING ON???
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2021.09.20 03:50 papagoosae143 Tomorrow is my 30 days

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2021.09.20 03:50 thatmakescence2 Opinions on Arranged (not forced) Marriages?

I grew up in America and always thought I’d never want one but after doing the American dating thing and seeing my relatives have successful arranged marriages it seems like a good option when it’s time to settle down. It also wasn’t as robotic as I initially thought.
View Poll
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2021.09.20 03:50 kribz666 Opportunities in Options Around Earnings This Week

Hey everyone,
This is a follow up on posts about earnings trades with the help of a machine learning model. Last week, it predicted opportunities. for $DSGX and $FCEL (this post) that ended up moving as expected.
Here is my analysis and my positions for this week:
$COST release on September 23rd:
Average historic movement 4% and low std dev of 2% with stock rising +30% since last earnings
Model predict a higher move than the average 4% based on the following identified pattern: - dynamics of historic earnings movements: -60% between the last 4 - price variation since last earning straddle pricing 3% move and IV is low at 30%
=> my play: sep24 460p / 460c breaks even at +/-3% and returns +100% profit at +/-6% move

$CBRL release on September 21st:
Average historic movement 6% and low std dev of 2%, with market reaction that lasts for days after release historically
Model predicts a movement that will beat the average 6% based on the following identified pattern: - company sector / retail. interest in stock - price variations since last earnings
However, the straddle is pricing an 8% move, making this a very risky play, even if IV is quite low at 30%
=> my play: oct15 135p / 145c breaks evens at -7% / +9% and returns +100% profit at +/-10% move

$NKE release on September 23rd
Average historic movement 7% with high std 4%, last move around 15%
Model not very confident about market beat even (48% probability assigned ) making this a risky play, but: - options pricing show opportunities in the break evens, straddle expecting 6% move - very high social metric / google trends sentiment
=> my play: sep24 155p / 155c break evens at +/-6% and returns +100% profit at +/-10% move
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
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2021.09.20 03:50 Ok-Adhesiveness-4447 Funniest pet video

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2021.09.20 03:50 SweetPockets51 Titan Fans at the Seattle Game

Thank you for showing up for the boys! I’m sure the emotional roller coaster was much more enhanced live. How were the Seahawk fans? When did the vibe change in the stadium? Drop your stories below and share the experience! Titan up!
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2021.09.20 03:50 c0p At least it flares out at the bottom

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2021.09.20 03:50 AstroMilo How much robux does a 20$ giftcard give you?

Anyone know? :,)
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2021.09.20 03:50 Spiritual-Emu-2180 2 week difference!!! 😯 added a BHA exfoliant, vitamin C, and Cicalfate + to my routine. I’m shocked with the difference. Info in comments. :)

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2021.09.20 03:50 pengenough Hi benny, its my first time joining your monthly photoshop contest, hope you like this edit and i can't wait to see you react to this.

Hi benny, its my first time joining your monthly photoshop contest, hope you like this edit and i can't wait to see you react to this.
https://preview.redd.it/vqtl5pqldko71.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=40649bd21eee7c6e5f66999e81e6b28de6bf964b
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2021.09.20 03:50 napoleonfanboy PS3 store

I want to buy Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast 2 digitally but I don’t have an option to do so. Is there a reason why?
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