Queen Yocasta was until recently, the very capable if autocratic ruler of Valermoore, but recently, she has changed. She is allways seen with a young woman, always wearing a heavy veil and gloves, who never speaks or moves. She claims that she is her daughter,Princess Chrysta, but a faint noxious smell comes from the veiled woman...
The Crown of Vallermoore (which will be added to the items section later.)
Queen Yocasta, even in her later years, has a trace of beauty about her. She wears her royal robes of scarlet & ermine and a light silver crown set with diamonds. Her eyes and hair are a dark brown.
She also has a veiled girl beside her that does not speak or move, stinks, and is in fact Princess Chrysta's dead body. She carries her sceptre and wears her royal sword. She is imperious,bossy, and expects to be obeyed, and those who spend any amount of time with her will know how paranoid she has become.
Queen Yocasta did not grow up expecting to rule over the city state of Valermoore. When she was only seventeen her father, King Charles, was assassinated by an ambitious general at his court, who invited the king to speak with him alone, telling him that he knew of a plot against him, and then stabbed him to death with one quick blow. On a signal from him, the troops loyal to him stormed the Palace. The Queen was cut down as were several leading nobles, but the young and beautiful Princess Yocasta was only flung into the Royal Dungeon, as the general had plans to force her to marry him in a week when the dust from the coup had settled, so he could start a new Royal Dynasty.
Yocasta had other ideas. She used her beauty and what was then her sweet nature to start a secret romance with the young officer who was sent to watch her, and quickly seduced him. She stroked his ego, wondering why such a clever officer as him was only an army major, kissing and cuddling him, until his ego grew to massive proportions and he launched a counter-coup, freed her and killed the general. Her response was to poison him that very night with a potion that made it seem like he was dead. When he woke he found himself buried six feet under in a coffin. With nobody to hear his cries, he quickly choked to death from lack of oxygen.
Yocasta publicly mourned him,telling everyone he had died from a heart attack, and then ascended the throne as Queen of Valermoore. She quickly had a unit of guards assembled who were paid well and swore an oath of loyalty to her. In her early days she was quite a popular queen. Taxes were lowered and many political prisoners were set free. The army was kept busy to keep it out of politics.
First it annexed the city of Pier Point. There was very little bloodshed as many citizens were happy to become citizens of Valermoore. Then it and the army of Leith Noll marched on Karnivahl after serious problems involving taxes on river trade routes. The problem was settled without bloodshed. When it tried to annex Barrowtown things went badly wrong when a few soldiers tried to loot a royal barrow. The spirits of the kings and queens, the wights, rose up and slaughtered many in the army. Yocasta was able to put the blame on a few thieves.
She married a trusted courtier and had a child, Princess Chrysta. When the girl was seventeen she was caught having an affair with the court jester. Yocasta had the jester tortured to death and Chrysta committed suicide. This broke Yocasta who became a twisted image of what she had been. She refused to admit that Chrysta was dead, and her advisors tried to get other girls to take on the role of Chrysta. Those who failed in the role were quietly murdered.
As people began fleeing the capital en masse, Yocasta had her daughter's dead body brought to her, and treated it as if it was alive. The people returned to the capital, but amongst her court Yocasta has begun to order executions and jailings for very tiny reasons. Almost all her court hate her, but her loyal guards, who are known as "Yocasta's Eyes" make it very hard to assassinate her.
Yocasta can be played as three different types depending on the time period. The young Yocasta is beautiful and seductive and might try and seduce a PC for some reason of her own. She is also cold and calculating and very ambitious.
As Queen when her daughter lived, she was a firm & no-nonsense type. Everybody knew what was allowed and what would get them into very serious and possibly fatal trouble. Because of this, only rarely did she have to order an execution. Think of her as a female Henry the Eighth type, but in the days when Henry was handsome and thin instead of bloated and fat. She is best as a secondary character getting the PC's to carry out some top-secret task for her.
After her daughter died Yocasta became a half crazy, paranoid and evil tyrant. The PC's could be trying to assassinate her (not an easy task) or it could be that a diplomat's daughter has vanished and is being groomed as Princess Chrysta.
The PC's will have to infiltrate the place. If they are all male then one will have to be dressed up as a girl to get into the secret Princess Training school, which could be interesting.
Only after her daughter died did Yocasta become totally evil. Before that, she is not exactly good, but she is good at her job of ruling well.
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? Responses (7)
It is a good character. It didn't capture my heart, but it offers many options.
(Oh, and don't forget link the various plots you have attached to her... I think there are several.)
Ok, creepy. The thing that sticks into my mind the most is her dead daughters body. I really can not fathom that it is on display where everyone can see and smell, but.... its just odd. Adds to the creepy 'Im and evil ruler.' face but wow.. .definately over the top.
Over all its pretty good.
I'm in agreement with Mourngrymn on this one- the dead daughter thing is freaky. Just imagine this when you go to an event: "Well hey, who's this?" "Oh, this is my son, Bobby." "Hiyah, Bobby, how're you- Oh... Oh God.... His head... I-it's fallen off..." *another dad pulls him aside* "Yeah, that's Hank. His kid died playing with their lawnmower, and he's never gotten over it. We don't talk about it that much. Weird thing is, his son's name was actually Billy..."
I am starting on the whole Valermore thread (you should really link these subs via hypertext). This is excellent start, the queen is described simply in terms of her motivations and her actions. There some roughly written parts, such as the teaser...who is in the veil? It is princess, but you start the teaser by discussing the Queen's appearance and then you go to pronouns in the last sentence. The obvious choice for antecedent is the Queen and not the princess.
I also really like that you gave the NPC as a whole character arch, distinguishing between her nature at different points in her life.
She's a strange one indeed. I could see an entreprising necromancer 'reviving' her daughter for her and gaining her favour, but will eventually have the undead daughter murder the queen...
The necromancer who did that would gain massive rewards and a lot of influence at her court.
This post has a lot of promise, but I think it's a little too straight to the point.
Take, for example, her dead daughter. There is no mystery to the way Princess Chrysta is presented; just a missed opportunity to lead up to the reveal. You could try first establishing her presence, then delving more deeply into the relationship between the two, then revealing towards the end of the post that Chrysta is in fact dead. Instead however, the whole thing is revealed immediately, and Chrysta consequently seems almost like an afterthought. The narrative in general has a sort of 'just the facts, ma'am,' kind of style.
Ultimately this is a solid, clever post, it just suffers in its presentation. I'm giving it a 3.5, but I honestly think this post could be a solid 5 if you polished it enough and expanded just a little.