The Completely Fantastical Tale of...
The Princess and the (Fraud) Squad
Featuring: Anyone Who Wants to Join In!
The AGM of the Bakaria branch of The Generica Adventurers Guild had begun and had already bored everyone present at it. It was one of those rituals, much like a funeral or an exorcism that everyone put up with purely to get to the cake and alcohol afterwards. Even the Guild-master was beginning to doze off as the Guild's accountant gave a run down of the current state of the Guild's finances.
"Well, to cut a long story short," he said above the snores "We're broke,"
At this everyone woke up and took notice - no money meant meant no new equipment, no interest-free loans, no more Free-Mead-Mondays.
"How did this happen?" demanded the Guild-master, slamming his mighty fist down on the table.
"Well Sir," said the accountant adjusting his pince-nez "Our insurance premiums have gone through the roof for one, the compensation cost to the families of dead adventurers has risen ahead of inflation and then there was the... dragon incident." He looked pointedly at Percy the Barbarian.
"Look, how many times do I have to explain myself - the guy said he was having problems with a real dragon!" exclaimed Percy.
"Well, how was I supposed to know he was talking metaphorically?"
"Yes, well," continued the accountant "The civil-action brought against the Guild for the murder of the gentleman's mother-in-law has effectively bankrupted us. If we don't find money and soon then we're not going to be able to pay our fee to head office, let alone our taxes."
"Something must be done!" said the Guild-master, slamming his fist down on the table again. "Ah, got the bugger," he said, peeling the squashed fly off the bottom of his fist.
"Funny you should mention that, Sir," said the General Secretary "But we received a letter this morning that I think will alleviate all our financial problems,"
"Well, read it out then man!"
The General Secretary cleared his throat and began.
"From the desk of Her Royal Highness Princess Spondoolix
Dear Great Sirs,
This might seem very deplorable for a person that you do not know but as the title implies I am Princess Spondoolix, daughter of the late King Wonga of the Kingdom of Moolah. I am contacting you due to the present situation as regards the special committee set up by the present ruler of our great Kingdom, the evil usurper President Skinflint, which was set up to recover what they consider to be my father's ill gotten gains.
This committee is yet another smear campaign aimed to frustrate, humiliate, dismember and widen the scope of hatred to family. A personal vendetta by President Skinflint who was jailed by my father’s decree for plotting a coup d’etat against his administration. The rampaging situation in our accounts in the kingdom and abroad has yielded to the barbaric pressure and just last month we were squished out of another twenty thousand pieces of gold.
My brother Kerching, the heir apparent, currently resides in a gaol cell, left to rot by the current administration. I myself hold no hope of seeing him again but I do hope to one day see what is left of our family fortune. For this reason I am soliciting for general assistance in recovering what money remains, locked in a vault. Though the President has guards on it day and night, no man may enter as no man possess the unique, jewel encrusted key required to open the vault. No man that is expect my father; but he was fed to a basilisk so I think we can rule him out. I alone possess the unique design documents which would allow the creation of another key. Alas, I lack the money and jewels to create such a key.
I ask, nay, beg of you to attend forthwith with one thousand gold pieces, which will cover the cost of the jewels and the creation of the key by skilled key-makers. In return for your assistance I promise that you shall receive 30% of the contents of the vault, estimated to contain the equivalent of half a million gold coins. Attend forthwith! In the event of you not being interested in this proposal, endeavour to keep this highly confidential! Thanks and God bless!
"Our prayers have been answered!" cried the Guild-master. "We must help this Princess out at once!"
In the Assassins Lahyer, Ma'Skd and the other assorted ne'er-do-wells finished listening to the exact same letter being read out to them whilst they lounged on a series of comfortable couches, chairs and chez-lounges (it had long since been realised by the Assassins that just because they were evil did not meant that after a hard days killing and mutilating they should not enjoy some creature comforts (and the creatures the furniture was made out of were very comfortable indeed.))
Ma'Skd stood up. "We must kill this Princess and steal her money at once!"