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Comments: 11
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Rating: 4.3125
Condition: Normal
ID: 3399


April 4, 2007, 7:57 pm

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Parrick Woolcozen


Few men in the Free Cities have as much power as this ambitious man, and fewer abuse their power so badly.

The dusty cabinetmaker wrung his hat in his hands as he stood before the elegant desk of the Privy Clerk of the High Court.  “Yer Worship, me wife is a good woman, who wouldn’t ha’ done the things they say.  Me mates and me, we was all there, yer Worship.  The guardsmen struck her down when she wouldn’t pay ‘em their bite, then tell that they was attacked to reckon why it were so.”

The bureaucrat’s voice practically dripped with scorn.  “I cannot see what conceivable interest this has to me.  I hear dozens of cases every day, and they all bear a depressing similarity.  Perhaps, if you were willing to reimburse the expense involved, I could appoint an investigator to review the case.”

“But, Yer Worship, we be humble working folk.  We can’t even spare the coin for to pay the bite for the guard to give us peace when we be workin’, much less to pay for a man from the Court,” the workman pleaded desperately.

“Then I will not be able to further assist you.  Good day, then,”  the heartless man stated flatly.  This was where the pathetic man would break, he thought with the experience of a decade of cruel manipulation.  The man would offer anything that Woolcozen wanted, promise anything to gain his wife’s freedom.  

As he reviewed the paperwork on his desk with obvious lack of concern, he silently considered how the man could best be used.  Parrick was far too cautious to let himself smile.

The Privy Clerk
After the business of the city’s High Court of Justice is done for the day, a pallid and soft-looking man can often be seen making his way through the streets to his upper-class residence.  This man is Parrick Woolcozen, Privy Clerk of the High Court, the High Lawspeaker’s right hand.  At first, he seems a pleasant enough sort, but the look in his grey eyes tells another story.  Calculating and cold, they speak volumes about the heartless and cynical clerk.

Parrick Woolcozen is an intelligent man, resourceful and well regarded by his supervisor; he is clearly a capable officer of the High Court.  Unfortunately, he is also a treacherous manipulator, eager to advance himself and ruthlessly willing to use anyone that can further his ends.

Son of a Noble Lineage
Like many officials of the Free Cities, Parrick Woolcozen is one of the younger sons of a nobleman.  The children of these noble families are generally fostered out to other families, there to serve as a page and learn the skills of noble life.  Unfortunately, fate placed young Parrick into the household of a particularly cold and calculating nobleman, Scander, the Count of Ashforth. 

The lessons his ruthless mentor taught Parrick had little to do with nobility and much to do with power.  Within the Count’s mansion, he learned to lie and to manipulate those around him.  Rapidly becoming the Count’s favored protégé, the boy learned that it is better to be the predator than the prey, learned to trust only what he could control.  In the cynical atmosphere surrounding his Machiavellian mentor, Parrick grew cynical himself, coming to see those around him only as tools for his use.  The youth’s empathy and compassion atrophied, leaving him a heartless, unlikable man.

Despite making efforts to cultivate friends, the noblemen and lawyers of Woolcozen’s acquaintance have learned to see through his schemes.   His manipulations and lies have earned the distrust of his peers, who regard him as if he were some sort of reptile.  Nowhere has this shown more than in his frustrated attempts at courting a wife.  Although arranged marriages are commonplace among the land’s nobles, Parrick lacks the wealth or charm needed to overcome the hostility caused by his frequent lies and manipulations.  Those he has tried to court have consistently refused the corrupt man’s advances. 

Woolcozen has drawn the wrong conclusion from this cold reception.  He thinks that if he just had enough power and wealth, people would be drawn to him.  He has seen how women flock to men with power and influence, so he expects that he just has to be patient for a few more years and all he wants will be his.  In many ways, he is his own worst enemy, making enemies of those who would have been friends if he had shown an ounce of compassion, honor, or integrity. 

In Over His Head:  Corruption’s Price
“Master Woolcozen, of course I speak for my guild, when I say that we would be glad to help you resolve that little difficulty,” the Guildmaster of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Millers and Simnelers hissed, oozing false sympathy as he dropped a gold-filled purse onto the desk.  “Investments don’t always pay off the way that you expect.  Of course, my brothers of the guild and I, we’re making an investment here, and I expect that they’ll be… unhappy if it doesn’t turn out so good.  Very unhappy indeed.”

Impatient to make himself wealthy, Woolcozen foolishly invested in a number of dubious schemes, plunging himself into a morass of debts.  Desperate to avoid bankruptcy and imprisonment, Woolcozen soon began taking bribes from the powerful and corrupt; it didn’t take long for these payoffs to become a regular, expected thing.  While this patronage has allowed him to stave off bankrupcy, he now finds himself closely involved with some of the city’s most corrupt and evil men.  Woolcozen has been careful, covering his tracks as best he can, but it is only a matter of time before his criminal ‘friends’ turn on him.  The only ones that could easily prove what he has been doing are employees of his, totally dependent on his patronage for their livelihoods, but the powerful criminals that have him in their pocket constantly increase what they demand of him.  As they pressure him to tamper with cases of increasing prominence, he has realized that it doesn’t matter how careful and intelligent he is, sooner or later his luck will run out.

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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Murometz
December 5, 2006, 23:37
what wonderful verisimilitude!

This may be a "minor NPC", but there is nothing minor about the vibe he presents. I particularly enjoyed the names. They all fit this story quite nicely.
December 5, 2006, 23:45
I was tired of all the slick manipulative villains. Instead, I wanted to present the more common obvious sleaze, the guy that's hardly fooling anyone with his attempts to take advantage of them.
December 5, 2006, 23:50
Bravissimo! (i know a Parrick)
Voted manfred
December 6, 2006, 5:45
I don't know one... and I don't want to know. A suitably corrupt opposer to hinder the heroes of a story - just what you would expect (and hate) in his office. Good work.
Voted valadaar
December 6, 2006, 10:06
A good solid and useful NPC. He could be a good foil, or even have the chance of being redeemed somehow, not being _totally_ evil.

If he were to become more generally infamous, he would coin a new insult ("You bloody Parrick!")
Voted Cheka Man
December 6, 2006, 10:38
5/5 for this sleazy fellow.
Voted MoonHunter
December 6, 2006, 12:09
A touch of polishing the writing and it will excell. This minor little man could become a major obsticle. Nice motivation and good dramatic hooks are possible.
Voted Scrasamax
December 6, 2006, 15:21
I'm guessing you've been to the DMV recently...

A nice piece, and a view into the hell of middle management.
Voted CaptainPenguin
December 6, 2006, 20:02
Only voted
Voted the Wanderer
December 6, 2006, 22:58
I like the concept, he'll work well as background color in my current game...
December 8, 2006, 23:20
Update: Parrick has been revised and, hopefully, improved.

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Hooper McFin's Two Shot Portal

       By: dudeington

Now, this ol' ramblin fellow tends to walk his talk a bit too far down the train sometimes.. So I'll be brief in my recantin' of how it was my Tavern "came to bein'" on the multiverse as a weave of it's own spell.. And how I'm even alive to tell the story!

You see it's simple really, trust me.. that's my specialty, keepin it elementary. And you can trust this old Bard.

Anyway, this one night these wizards get a ramblin' on about the temporal exististance of space and time and how it could be manifested in a weave of super dimensional space. whereupon the folded space would give rise to an infinite number of entrances and exits to one or many spaces. Now, seein' how my talkin' sometimes get's locked into the way us folks used to talk back in the ol' west. These wizards didn't know I was a master of the word. and I had heard everything they said. They were also a bit over the wagon, while I was steerin' the show.

So that's how it came to pass, I struck a bargain with the wizards. They come to me in the morning and conjure up their idea into reality and I'd pledge them my life, my existance.. in essence my soul. but in a much nicer sense of the word. So they came by in the morning a half remembering our talks the prior evenin'. And I recanted their words verbatum, and that's how it came to be. The spell was complete that afternoon. My tavern would be the super dimensional cube that would exist in this weave of space and time, folks could come and go as they please, knowin in mind some of the rules and limitations set forth.

A few of 'em as follows.

No feller can be causin a ruckus inside any of my fine establishments, as always rule number one god damnit.

n' second the portal works kinda tricky. When ya outside ya cast the spell and lend your will to luck a bit and regardless the doors to the bar will appear, the windows a luminescent amber.. you can hear the chattee but ya can't see in. And the catch is the door might be locked, in which case you chalk it up to lady luck and go walk off and try again in an hour. Now most times the door pops right open and from the outside you always come in the front door, immediately greeted by myself or one of our many fine patrons of Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.

Now when ya cast the spell from inside the Tavern, another catch comes up. The back door is mainly a secret for the non-initiated staff and the regulars but for sake of the prose let's assume we all know there's a secret door in the back with a portal there. Now when you go on through this one, you got two scenario's you oughta be aware of. One is ya pop outside relative to the same spot you came out. The other is, you walk back on into this one or another of our many Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse.

so it's a clever quantum railroad I got my tavern and my people's caught on. But, Hey the show's sure as always goin. ohhh' rutin tootin skidoodle -

** And that's it.. that's the only notes I found on the spell, apparently out there somewhere is a Tavern caught on the mighty ebb and flow of the multiverse. Well. at least I can put to rest my torment as to the condition now referred to as "Hooper McFin's Teleportation Paranoia".

Dr. Clarke T. Mulligan - Professional researcher of Time & Space.

Hooper McFin's Ale & Steakhouse

Ideas  ( System ) | June 21, 2015 | View | UpVote 4xp

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