Friday, October 03, 2003

Today’s Word: Nepotism

King Card, restored to his throne, practiced a peculiar form of nepotism. He executed every member of his formal court in three mass ceremonies, hanging them alongside the barbarians whom they had served. After the court was near empty, Card chose from among his brotherhood of servants, those men and even a handful of women, with whom he had labored as a common slave for over five years.

For his war general Card chose an old smith, named Biles. As Earl of Coin, the king tapped a prison guard who had oft beat him at games of Hungry Knight, and Topper King.

Many were the King's choices, and great were his rewards for those that had remained faithful even through the bitter years.

But one person, whose rank was never increased beyond his former station, was the castle cook. When asked why the loyal cook had not received a royal commission, Card was heard to answer, "Holart? He's the best cook in the five kingdoms, I'd be a dullard to remove him."

When news of this reached Holart it so pleased the cook that he threw out the poisoned tarts he'd prepared for Card's dinner, and roasted a fatted lamb.

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