TITLE: Citizen Sam

SERIES: The Adventures of Lord Sam and Lady Brooke

AUTHOR: Jos Mous

Email: wotan_anubis@yahoo.com

DISCLAIMER: I own some of these characters, but most of them I don’t own and I’m certainly not making any kind of profit.


PAIRINGS: Sam/Brooke and several others that I’m too lazy to list here

NOTE: This may very well be the last Lord Sam story. Of course, there were numerous other stories that could have been the last Lord Sam story, but this one actually has the potential to be the Final Act in the Lord Sam series. Of course, before you get your hopes up too high, I *did* say “potential”.

The very short-lived war with the faraway Republic of Athan had had far-reaching consequences for the peaceful little kingdom of P’p’l’r. For one thing, the Athanians had learned that there was a country somewhere out there that wasn’t continuously at war with the rest of the world. Since then, large groups of Athanians had moved to P’p’l’r. Besides raising the P’p’l’rarian average IQ level, the former Republicans had also taken several new and strange ideas with them.

One of these strange new ideas was the Committee.

Lord Sam still wasn’t sure what a “Committee” was, exactly, but most of them seemed to be made up of people who had so much free time on their hands that they’d decided to become Experts in some field and then give Lord Sam all kinds of advice she didn’t ask for.

Currently standing in front of the thrones of Lord Sam and Lady Brooke was the Committee for the Proper Integration of the Wildcats and was, apparently, made up of experts on Wildcat culture. They were all humans, because just being a Wildcat obviously didn’t make you an Expert on being a Wildcat.

“Therefore, we, that is the Committee for the Proper Integration of the Wildcats, feel that clothes are of paramount importance,” said the head of the Committee.

“Really?” said Lord Sam. “How so?”

“Well. . . because they don’t wear any.”

“Wildcats don’t need clothes, they have fur,” said Lady Brooke.

“Exactly!” said the head of the Committee. “Their casual approach to nudity clashes most strongly with the values and traditions P’p’l’r is famous for.”

“What? Stupidity?”

“I meant that we do wear clothes,” said the head of the Committee.

“Come on, let’s be honest here, most Wildcat women have started wearing skirts,” said Lord Sam.

“Yes, but only when they’re among humans.”

Lord Sam nodded. That, at least, was true. Many a young, innocent and above all naked Wildcat woman had, on a visit to a city, found herself lured into a dark alleyway. And, for some reason that was completely unrelated (honest!), many a traditional P’p’l’rarian man had found himself suddenly castrated. In the end, Lord Sam had put her foot down and insisted that the female Wildcats at least wear skirts when visiting human villages and cities and the sudden rash of spontaneous castrations had disappeared once again.

“We suggest that all Wildcats should be ordered to wear habits and cloaks forthwith,” said the head of the Committee. “In order to fully integrate into our fine human society we, the Committee for the Proper Integration of the Wildcats, feel it is essential that their non-humanness is as invisible as possible in order to mingle better with us humans.”

“Right,” said Lord Sam slowly. “Well, I shall certainly consider your advice. You’re dismissed.”

The Committee for the Proper Integration of the Wildcats disbanded, every single member looking smug. Lord Sam suddenly felt compelled to institute a law making it mandatory for every citizen to be naked on days ending with “-sday”.

“OK, next,” said Lord Sam.

A small man stepped towards the throne. Lord Sam recognised him instantly.

“Greetings, my Lord. I am Reginald Binxby, representative of the Guild -”

“- of Psychiatrists,” Lord Sam finished for him. “And no, I won’t order Julian to go attack lonely farmsteads again like she did back in the good old days. Next!”

A tall, balding man stepped forward. He had a distinguished air about him, but didn’t look like he had a Committee with him.

“Yes?” said Lord Sam.

“My Lord. My name is Tibrand of Galloy. I arrived here from Athan some weeks ago and I would like to ask you a question.”

“A question? Sure, go ahead.”

“Might I ask when the next elections will be?”

Lord Sam blinked. “Sorry, elections? What are those?”

“Your country doesn’t have elections?”

“Sorry, never heard of them.”

Now it was Tibrand’s turn to look surprised. “Well, an election is an. . . event during which every resident of the country may cast a vote to determine who the next ruler of the country is going to be.”

“Oh, this is one of those Republican ideas, is it?”

“I suppose so.”

“Well, sorry, but I’m the current ruler. And since we’re kind of a monarchy, my daughter will be the next ruler.”

“Are you saying you’re a totalitarian dictator?” Tibrand said, appalled.

“Yeah, I guess,” said Lord Sam.

“But that’s inhuman.”

“Is it?”

“Why yes. A single man in control of an entire country. Before long he’d go mad with power and then look what happens. No, I suggest elections every four of five years to ensure the power-hungry are kept in check.”

“Now look here,” said Lord Sam. “I am not mad with power, OK? So far this job has given me nothing but headaches. If anyone else would want it I’d be happy to. . .”

Lord Sam trailed off. She looked at Lady Brooke, who looked back. A Thought got exchanged between them. They’d never had a honeymoon had they? Not even a real vacation. Maybe. . . maybe this was a chance to get some time off. Let someone else rule the country for once. It’s not like it needs much ruling anyway. For one time in our lives, let’s just be selfish.

“Yes, elections,” said Lord Sam. “Capital idea. I’ll arrange some at once.”


Lord Sam sauntered through the streets of P’p’l’r’s capital city. Up until the Athanian arrivals, the seat of power had simply been the Palace, but now the entire city that lay not far from its gates had somehow become the “capital city” and was therefore a lot better than all those other cities who hadn’t been so lucky in terms of geography.

From the amounts of complaints Lord Sam received daily she’d got the impression that, deep down, every P’p’l’rarian felt like he or she had what it takes to be ruler. The vast amounts of posters plastered over every single building appeared to prove her right. Slogans and catch-phrases screamed at her in loud colours. No more skirts for Wildcats. More economy-boosting dragon attacks. One faith to rule them all. Less talk, more war. No more skirts for anyone.

Lord Sam smiled. Looked like this “election” thing had certainly captured the imagination of the people. And the good thing was that whoever got elected would actually be wanted by the P’p’l’rarian people.

A small voice in the back of her head said that the average P’p’l’rarian was stupid and that they could be counted on wanting the wrong thing.

Lord Sam ignored it.


Election day came and went. Lord Sam didn’t even know who won, but handed over her throne to him anyway. Before the day was up, she, her wife and daughter and most of her friends and personal staff were standing outside the Palace gates.

“So that’s it then?” said Messenger Carmen. “We’re done?”

“Yep,” said the former Lord Sam.

“So what should I do next?”

“That’s up to you,” said the former Lady Brooke.

“Say, I heard that the inn near here has pretty soft beds,” said the former Prince Jessica. “Maybe you and that red-headed nymphomaniac of yours could check it out.”

“Beds?” said Messenger Carmen. “Wow, kinky. Let’s do it.”

After saying a hasty goodbye, Messenger Carmen and Misty ran off.

“We should be off too,” said Shield-bearer Lily. “Julian and I have decided to go back to her old lair in the Kennedy Mountains and. . . reminisce.”

“That sounds nice,” said Brooke.

“Oh yes,” said the great white dragon Julian. “Very nice.”

Shield-bearer Lily clambered onto Julian back. “Cassandra, are you coming?”

“Sorry mom, but if it’s all right, I’d like to stay with Jessica for a while longer.”

Julian grinned. “Of course sweetie. Have fun.”

Shield-bearer Lily pointed. “All right then, love. Up, up and away!”

Julian rolled her eyes, but smiled as she did so. With a few flaps of her mighty wings she was airborne and soon was nothing more than a little dot in the distant sky.

Sam became aware of sobbing. Turning around, she noticed Court mage Cherry in tears.

“Oh mah Lord,” Court mage Cherry wailed. “Ah’m so sorry.”

“For what Cherry?” asked Sam.

“Ah should’ve paid more attention! Ah’m sure Ah could’ve rigged the election in Your Grace’s favah.”

“Don’t worry about it Cherry. For what it’s worth, you’ve served me. . .” Sam paused. “Well, your services to me were. . . unforgettable. Definitely unforgettable.”

“Oh mah Lord!”

Court mage Cherry flung her arms around Sam and very nearly crushed her in a hug, tears streaming down her face.

“There, there, Cherry,” said Sam.

Court mage Cherry let go and smiled, her face devoid of tears. “Well, later y’all. Ah’ll keep in touch.”

With one wave of her wand, Court mage Cherry summoned a golden chariot drawn by six winged horses. She boarded the chariot, gave a final, cheerful wave goodbye and set off into sky.

“Oh sure, now she turns out to be a competent magician,” said Sam.

“Hey, what about me?”

“Ah yes. Priest/teacher/drill instructor Glass,” said Brooke. “How could we ever forgot you.”

“You know, Lord, you weren’t exactly the best of rulers,” said Glass. “I mean, no other ruler in P’p’l’rarian history has managed to scare away so many brides on so many wedding nights, but, then again, I guess you weren’t entirely incompetent either.”

“Gee, thanks,” said Sam.

“Well, I’m going. There’s a whole world out there that needs a bit of shaking up.”

“All right then children, I suppose we’d best be off as well,” Brooke said.

“Yeah, about that,” said Jessica. “See, the thing is me and Cassandra would like to go visit Deborah. You know, see how’s she doing with the Wildcats.”

“You know, the two of you still haven’t told me how you suddenly got a ten year old daughter,” said Sam.

“And that’ll remain a mystery for some time longer,” said Jessica.

“Well, when you’re done, your mother and me will be staying in our little seaside mansion, OK?” said Sam.

“OK mom,” said Jessica. “See you later.”

And with that, Sam and Brooke were alone in front of the Palace.

“Well, now I guess we’d really best be off,” said Sam.

“Right,” said Brooke. “Say, since when do we have a little mansion near the sea?”

“Actually, I had it built as a gift for our wedding anniversary, but I never got round to giving it to you.”

Brooke patted her hand affectionately. “Better late than never, eh?”


The sun was shining merrily and Sam took the opportunity to go sit in a beach and do nothing except staring at the gently rolling waves. Actually, the waves weren’t rolling very gently. They were wild, irregular, splashing up into the air and crashing back down hard. Suddenly from the waves there arose a terrible figure, all scales and teeth, with a pair of huge black eyes at the top, staring intently at Sam.

“Hey mom,” said Sam.

“Hello dear,” said Jane the leviathan. “Taking a holiday?”

“Actually, I quit,” said Sam.

“Quit? How can you quit?”

“By abolishing the monarchy, technically.”

“So who’s in charge of the country then?”

“The guy who got the most votes in the elections,” said Sam.

Jane frowned, which was an impressive feat for a creature with no eyebrows. “Are you saying the people got to decide who’s in charge?”


“But the people are incredibly stupid,” said Jane.

“Well, it’s what they wanted. And a good ruler listens to what the people want, right?”

“I’m not quite sure this was such a good decision,” said Jane.

“Sam we need more bread. Oh, hello Jane.”

“Hello Brooke.”

“Why do we need more bread?” said Sam.

“Well, maybe because someone ate all of it,” said Brooke quite pointedly.

“Oh yeah. Right.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” said Jane. “I always said you should eat enough.”

“Err. . . right,” said Sam.

“Yeah, your daughter sure loves strawberry jam on bread, doesn’t she.”

“Shutupshutupshutup,” Sam hissed.

“Strawberry jam?” said Jane. “Since when do you like that?”

“Since. . . err. . . well, since there’s an extra stage between getting the jam out of the jar and getting it onto the bread,” said Sam.

Jane blinked. “This is one of those things I’d rather not hear about, is it?”

“Could be,” said Sam. “So while I’m gone, the two of you’d better not be talking about strawberry jam, all right.”

“Of course not,” said Brooke. “We’ll talk about it when you get back. In private. And quite extensively if I have anything to say about it.”

Jane rolled her eyes. “Oh dear. Girls will be girls.”


Pian was a small little village that didn’t have much going for it apart from its location near the Novak Sea. For one thing, it had only one madman standing on a soapbox and rambling incoherently.

“The end is nigh!” he shouted to the world at large, or possibly the voices inside his own head. “Six eclipses a day! Sometimes even seven or eight! Ten, even! All signs of the impending doom that will befall us! And still these so-called rulers ignore our pleas!”

Sam would’ve happily ignored him if he hadn’t been standing directly opposite of the grocery store she needed to visit. As it was she got a few more vivid descriptions of the coming apocalypse before hearing the happy ringing of the shop bell.

“Ah madam, how may I help you?”

Sam looked around. Apart from her and the shopkeeper, Mr Davis, the shop was empty.

“I’m sorry, are you talking to me?” said Sam.

“Why yes. Who else should I be talking to, madam?” said Mr Davis.

“Right, right. Yes, of course. Madam, that’s me,” said Sam. “On account of me being a woman and not a man at all in any way. Yes. Right.”

“So. Can I help you?”

“Oh right. I’ll have a loaf of bread. Better make that two.”

“Certainly madam. That’ll be forty crowns please.”

Sam blinked. “Forty crowns for two loaves of bread? Isn’t that a bit much?”

“Yes, well, because of the terrible shortage of grain the price of bread has risen slightly.”

Slightly?” said Sam. “And what shortage are you talking about? The harvest was completely bountiful this year.”

“Well, I’m sure you know that Lord Ryan has decided to export a bit of grain to Dunc in order to fill the treasury.”

“But the treasury doesn’t need filling. Last time I checked anyway.”

“Yes, well, Lord Ryan was elected by the majority so I’m sure that means he knows what’s best.”

“Right,” said Sam. “Sure. Well I’ll just have one loaf of bread please.”

“Certainly. Anything else?”

“A bottle of milk, please.”

“Of course. That’ll be a further sixty crowns.”



By the time Sam got back to the little seaside mansion she was feeling a tad distressed. After putting away the groceries, she clambered up the roof and looked up at the sun, which in turn looked down upon the Palace and there the Sun Goddess witnessed the unfolding scene.

“My Lord, the people are complaining about the recent food shortage,” said a clerk.

Lord Ryan, sitting haughtily on his throne, glared at the clerk. “Complaining? They can’t complain. I won’t get re-elected if people are complaining about me.”

“Well then might I suggest stopping the mass export of foodstuffs to Dunc?” said the clerk.

“I can’t do that, I need the money. I mean, the country needs the money,” said Lord Ryan. “No, I must find some other means to get people to stop complaining. Yes, I know, I’ll make it illegal.”

“My Lord?”

“Yes, complaining is an insult to me and the country and that’s treason. I hereby order anyone who complains to be beheaded.”

“Isn’t that a bit drastic, my Lord?” said the clerk.

“Are you questioning my decision?”

“No my Lord,” said the clerk hurriedly.

“Yes, yes, that’ll stop people complaining. And if people aren’t complaining, that means everything is going well with the country. Otherwise people would complain, wouldn’t they?”

“Err. . . yes. Of course my Lord,” said the clerk. “But is a simple cessation of complaints enough to make you popular enough to get re-elected six years from now?”

“Hmm. . . good point. Yes, I know, I’ll stop collecting taxes. That’ll make me popular right?”

“Possibly, my Lord,” said the clerk. “Unfortunately, the roads through the Kennedy Mountains, which connect P’p’l’r to that part of P’p’l’r that once wasn’t P’p’l’r are in need of maintenance.”

“That Lord Sam. He should’ve paid more attention to it,” said Lord Ryan.

“He did, my Lord. It’s just that the climate and overall terrain requires the roads to be checked and repaired yearly,” said the clerk. “Furthermore, the increase of Athanian refugees means that the major population centres are growing rapidly and are in need of more schools, hospitals, fire stations and so on and so forth.”

“Yes?” said Lord Ryan. “What of it?”

“Well, without taxes, how are you going to pay for all that?”

“If the people want those things so badly why don’t they pay for them?” said Lord Ryan.

“Well, traditionally, the P’p’l’rarian government provided those services.”

“Bah, the traditional P’p’l’rarian government didn’t have the elections to worry about,” said Lord Ryan. “Fine, fine, if it means more votes in the coming elections I guess I’ll just have to increase the exports to Dunc. That’ll give me enough money.”

The clerk looked dismayed. “But the people are already complaining about the shortage of food.”

“No they’re not!” Lord Ryan snapped. “I’ll behead them all if they do.”

“Oh yes. So you said.”

“No, wait, I have a better idea.”

“Yes, my Lord?” said the clerk, his voice filled with quiet dread.

“Hospitals, schools, they’re just humdrum things. They don’t inspire the population. No, in order to ensure my popularity I’ll build a grand arena and theatre instead just outside the Palace. I’ll make sure it provides the people with so much entertainment they’ll just have to vote for me.”

“So the people will be sick, illiterate, unable to go anywhere, but they’ll al be entertained?”

“Yes, don’t you see? It’s brilliant.”

“It’s certainly something, my Lord,” said the clerk. “But if everybody is sitting around just being entertained, who will plough the fields or make the clothes or uphold the law and such?”

“You’re just thinking about little pictures again,” Lord Ryan snapped. “You need to see the big picture.”

“The big picture being. . .?”

“Me getting re-elected!”

The clerk sighed. “Yes, my Lord. Of course.”


The Sun Goddess returned to just being Sam again and clambered down the roof. Walking down the stairs and into the living room, she got yet another surprise.

“Shawl, what are you doing here?”

The Wildcat leader stood up and hit her chest with her fist in greeting. “My Lord,” she said.

“Come on, no need to be so formal. I’m not Lord anymore and I was never your Lord in the first place.”

“Yes,” said Shawl. “We realise that now. I just came to say goodbye, really.”

“You did?” said Sam. “Where are you going?”

“The tribes have decided to go back to Dunc.”

“What? Why would you want to go back to that blackened wasteland?”

“Because it’s only a  physical wasteland,” said Shawl. “The new Lord Ryan wants Wildcats to integrate properly, whatever that means, and has ordered all Wildcats to shave off their fur, cut off their tails and snip their ears.”


“Of course, we’d ignore that order it wasn’t for the punishment involved in not complying,” said Shawl. “Which would the chopping off of our heads.”

Sam groaned.

“Yes,” said Shawl. “I’m sorry to leave. P’p’l’r has become our home. But we can’t stay. Of course, if you want our warriors and mages will storm the Palace and put you back in power.”

“No Shawl, I don’t think I can agree to that. That’d be. . . tyrannical.”

“Ordering people to chop our heads off is tyrannical,” said Shawl. “But if that’s your decision. . . then I wish you well. Goodbye my Lord.”

“Farewell Shawl.”

The Wildcat nodded and left. Sam looked at Brooke who looked just as worried as she did.

“We still did the right thing, right?” said Sam. “This whole democracy thing is better for the people, right?”

“Some people, maybe,” said Brooke. “But not ours I think.”

“Do you think I should storm the Palace?” said Sam.

“I don’t know,” said Brooke.

Sam sighed. “Some holiday, huh?”


Sam went back to Pian’s only grocery store the next day to see if there was any news.

“Hello again madam,” said a smiling Mr Davis. “How can I help you?”

“Oh I just came by for a chat,” said Sam. “How are things?”

“Oh fine, fine. Mustn’t grumble, mustn’t grumble,” said Mr Davis, still smiling.

“Everything all right with the food supply?” Sam asked.

“Can’t complain, can’t complain,” said Mr Davis loudly. Sam noticed that his smile was a bit cramped, that his eyes were flicking left to right and back again and that sweat beaded his forehead.

“Say, what happened to the village idiot, anyway? I didn’t see him coming in here.”

“He was being unpatriotic,” said Mr Davis. “So he got what was coming to him.”

“Oh,” said Sam. “I see.”

“Still, can’t complain, eh? Lord Ryan makes sure of that.”

“Right,” said Sam. “Are you scared, Mr Davis?”

“What is there to be afraid of?” said Mr Davis.

“Getting your head chopped off maybe?”

“I hope you’re not being unpatriotic.”

“Oh no,” said Sam, in a distant voice. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”


Somewhere late at night, Brooke woke up. She wasn’t sure if it was women’s intuition or Goddess’s intuition or just random coincidence, but she felt compelled to look up at the moon so the Moon Goddess looked down on the Palace.

And saw, in his bed, Lord Ryan. He was mumbling incoherently in his sleep. Mostly, he mumbled “elections”. The door to the bedroom opened and a shadow stepped inside. There was a brief glimmer as moonlight reflected of a shiny surface. The glimmer went up and then quickly went down.

When it came up again, it didn’t glimmer any more because it was covered in blood.


Because Sam felt there that Mr Davis was a pretty good indicator of what the average P’p’l’rarian thought, she decided to visit his shop again after news got around of the swift end of Lord Ryan’s administration.

“Hello madam, how are you today?”

“I’m fine,” said Sam. “You’re doing well too I see.”

“Sure am. The dark times have ended and all that,” said Mr Davis. He was smiling again, but this time it was genuine.

“I sure hope so,” said Sam. “So, do you know who you’ll be voting for in the upcoming elections?”

“Do I ever. I’ll be voting for this guy,” said Mr Davis, showing Sam a campaign poster. “He’ll make P’p’l’r great again.”

“No,” said Sam. “He says he’ll make P’p’l’r bigger.”

“Yes, great, that’s what I said.”

Sam took a closer look at the poster. “That guy is planning to invade Dunc!” she said.

“Of course not,” said Mr Davis. “That’d be quite silly what with all those Evil Overlords out there.”

“Well he’s going to start a war somewhere. I mean, he calls himself General Igwa and we haven’t had an army in years. And this poster is covered with soldiers.”

“Nonsense,” said Mr Davis. “He’ll just make P’p’l’r the great old nation it once was.”

Sam looked at Mr Davis with shock and amazement. “Right,” she said. “That’s it.”


There was a Shrine, hovering high above the Rim Mountains. It was said that this was the birthplace of the head Goddess of most of P’p’l’r’s religions, so it had always puzzled Sam a bit that it wasn’t actually anywhere near P’p’l’r.

But it wasn’t puzzling Sam now, because the Sun Goddess had more important things to think about.

“OK, why are We here exactly?” said Cassandra, Highest Goddess of All.

“Things aren’t going too well with P’p’l’r right now. I fear it’ll be ruined before long,” said the Sun Goddess.

“And what do you propose We do,” said the voice of the Universe Dragon. She wasn’t small enough to fit into the Shrine, but that never stopped Her butting in on anyone’s conversation.

“Shawl offered to take the Palace in My name,” said the Sun Goddess. “I think I should take her up on that offer.”

“The Wildcats are all returning to Dunc,” said Jessica, Official Girlfriend of the Highest Goddess of All.

“They’ll come back,” said the Moon Goddess. “P’p’l’r is their home. You’ll just have to ask nicely.”

“If that doesn’t work We could always ask the Crystal Queen,” said the Universe Dragon.

“No, We don’t want a bunch of dragons itching for a fight,” said the Sun Goddess. “I don’t want a repeat of what nearly happened in the war.”

“Suit yourself,” said the Universe Dragon.

“Permission to speak?” said Mort, God of Death.

“Of course,” said the Moon Goddess.

“I have been. . . busy lately. Mostly because of all those beheadings, but I fear a famine is imminent. I’d really appreciate it if Someone could take away most of My work.”

“Well. . . I suppose I could buy back most of Our food from Dunc,” said the Sun Goddess.

“Unfortunately, Dunc needs that food,” said Cassandra. “I don’t think they’ll be willing to sell.”

“If I may,” said the Black Fairy. “I know I’m just here as the token heterosexual, but perhaps I could help. Perhaps I could make the grain grow again out of season.”

“Do You think You could do that?”

“Well, My darling husband is the God of Death. It’d only be fitting if I became a Goddess of Life.”

“It’s worth a shot,” said the Sun Goddess. “All right then, Cassandra, Jessica, You go ask the Wildcats. I’ll meet Your forces at the Palace.”

“What? Why do I have to go?”

“Cassandra, do as Your girlfriend’s mother tells You,” said the Universe Dragon.

The Immortal Cassandra sighed. “Yes mom.”


It wasn’t much of a fight. In fact, it wasn’t a fight at all. The Palace guard were mostly just ceremonial and quite unwilling to face a horde of really pissed off Wildcats. Before long, Sam stood in her throne room once again.

“Well, I suppose that was a glorious victory,” said Shawl.

“We were just victorious enough,” said Sam. “That’s all.”

“If you say so. Still I for one am happy to see you back. . . my Lord.”

“Yeah, I guess I’ll have to take up that title again, don’t I?” said Sam.

“Not to worry. You’ll get used to it again.”

“Unfortunately,” said Sam.

“Well I must be going. I’m dying to see our forests again.”

“Before you go, can I ask you a favour?”

“Another one?” said Shawl, laughing.

“Yes, another one,” said Sam. “There’s an inn near here where I think you’ll find Messenger Carmen. Tell her that she has her job back and that she is to go tell Court mage Cherry and Glass that they can have their jobs back too if they want.”

“All right,” said Shawl. “Do you know where to find this Court mage Cherry and Glass?”

“No,” said Sam. “But Carmen does. She may not be the brightest candle in the box but if there’s one thing she’s better at than continuously having large amounts of sex it’s finding the people she has to deliver messages to.”

Shawl nodded. “Consider it done my Lord.”

Shawl happily strutted off.

“So, back in power again,” said Brooke.

“Yep,” said Sam.

“People will start complaining again,” said Brooke.

“Once the bread price drops, at least,” said Sam.

“They’ll call you a ruthless dictator.”

“I have no doubt,” said Sam.

Brooke smiled. “It’s good to be back, isn’t it.”

Sam sat down on her throne.

“Yeah, it’s good to be back,” said Lord Sam. “The people may not want me, but that’s OK. They need me.”

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