"To Segorian Anderson, women were an open book. The problem was - he'd never learned to read."
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Allow me to introduce myself. I’m an Idiot.
This wouldn’t be news to anyone who knows me, apart from my mother. She believes me to be an incredible idiot and would be amazed I’d been able to improve to just 'idiot.’ Her view is probably more accurate. She’s known me even longer than I have.
If I'm going to be totally honest (a bad habit I’m trying to break), Idiot is only one of my names. To the Elves, I’m 'Oh-god-it-eez-eem-aygayn'. To the dwarves I’m 'Bugger-lock-the-door-and-keep-quiet-he-might-go-away'. To the Halflings—actually, I don't know what the Halflings call me. I can't ask. They have a restraining order, and really good lawyers. With writs - writs with nails in.
But still, I’m an Idiot. And not unhappy with that. It's a well-paying job with no heavy lifting.
Job? Sorry. I can see you're confused. As you can tell, I'm not very good at this. Let me start again.
Segorian Anderson, Royal Idiot at your service. Well. Not at your service at the Queen's service. And gods above, every ruler needs an Idiot. Queen Sonea? She has me.
That’s Queen Sonea of Peladon. Or Sonea, Queen of Peladon. I can never remember the proper form. I’ll get exiled for it one day.
No. I'm not the Jester. Not the Fool. I don't wear motley (whatever motley may be) and I don’t tell complicated jokes nobody understands, giving me an excuse to bash them on the head with a pig's bladder. Besides, that's a different union.
I'm an Idiot.
Whenever something goes wrong, there has to be somebody to blame. When a visiting dignitary has wine spilled down their tunic—some idiot spilt it. When the generals lose a battle—some idiot read their plans wrong. When the Royal Pageant starts out on a bright sunny day, and the bright sun turns to dark clouds, and the dark clouds to hissing pourin...oh. I forgot. Nobody cares about the weather report. Anyway. Some idiot wrote down the wrong day in the Royal Calendar.
I'm the Idiot.
When the call comes, the Queen's people pull out something relevant - servant's tabard, perhaps a Colonel's uniform—and I go to my duty. I stand where I must stand. Some people shout at me for a while, and I'm banished from the Kingdom forever for my grievous sins. The offended parties feel vindicated, and nobody important has to suffer unduly. I accept my exile, at least as far as the back door to the castle, and then I slip back inside. To wait for the next time. Because everybody needs an Idiot.
Like I said, it's a well-paying job. And no heavy lifting. Or it was. Until the dragon...