Here it is:
Choose ten of your characters, then answer the questions. For best results, put names in a hat and number them at random.
My characters all existed and will be in the Despenser novel, however, this is a very, very, very alternative history.
- 1. Lady Baret (see this post)
- 2. Piers Gaveston
- 3. Isabella, Queen of England
- 4. Alice de Lacy (unwilling wife of Thomas, earl of Lancaster)
- 5. Roger Mortimer of Wigmore
- 6. Eleanor de Clare
- 7. Edward II
- 8. Hugh Despenser (the younger)
- 9. Hugh Despenser the Elder
- 10. William de Braose, baron of Gower
4 invites 3 and 8 to dinner at their house. What happens?
Alice de Lacy, bored of her own company at Pickering Castle decides to have a bit of fun and so decides to invite Hugh and Isabella to dinner, knowing that they cannot stand the sight of each other. True to form, Hugh steals Isabella’s bread roll and takes away her icecream sundae. Whereupon, Isabella, feeling her dignity insulted, runs out of the room and refuses to come back until Despenser is removed.
9 tries to get 5 to go to a strip club. What happens?
At first the ever virtuous (and manly) Mortimer refuses as it is an unheard of thing for a Mortimer to go out partying with a Despenser without an undertaker being involved. But no, in the interests of love, peace and harmony, he agrees – reluctantly of course.
And so started Roger Mortimer’s hereto unknown addiction to strippers and dancing girls – much to his wife Joan’s dismay (as he bought her pole-dancing lessons for her birthday).
You need to stay at a friend’s house for a night. Who do you choose: 1 or 6?
Oh definitely 6! There is a rumour that Lady Baret may receive a ‘visit’ from some mysterious black-clad evil henchmen who want to break her arms and legs and drive her mad. That could get a bit noisy when you are trying to get some sleep. No, Eleanor’s is a much better bet – and besides, Hugh might be there too ☺
2 and 7 are making out. 10 walks in. What is their reaction?
Oh my! The Lord of Gower catches Ed and Piers ‘at it’? Actually it doesn’t matter because William was probably drunk anyway and won’t even remember it.
3 falls in love with 6. 8 is jealous. What happens?
Obviously this was the catalyst for Hugh making a play for Ed. It was really a revenge move, designed to get Eleanor jealous and annoy the hell out of Isabella! Nothing to do with a power play on his part at all.
4 jumps you in a dark alleyway. Who comes to your rescue: 10, 2, or 7?
Oh dear, the scary Alice de Lacy (although it could have been worse – her husband Thomas earl of Lancaster for instance)! But, oh my, can’t I have both 2 and 7? Piers and Ed? Haven’t you heard of two for the price of one?
1 decides to start a cooking show. Fifteen minutes later, what is happening?
Black-clad evil henchmen burst in on the set, burn her cakes (wait a minute, wasn’t that Alfred the Great?), put too much salt in the vegetables and set fire to her steak au poivre. Then she goes mad. Hugh is blamed of course.
3 has to marry either 8, 4, or 9. Whom do they choose?
None of them. Isabella, the Great Victim, is already married to a misogynist, cruel, tightwad husband and so she runs away to France, refusing to return until Hugh is removed (both of them).
7 kidnaps 2 and demands something from 5 for 2’s release. What is it?
Absolutely nothing. If Ed has Piers tied up in a dungeon somewhere then you can be sure that everyone is a consenting party. However, this question could make sense if for some strange reason Roger was there too and held the key to Piers’ fluffy handcuffs. God, this sounds like a bad dream!
Everyone gangs up on 3. Does 3 have a chance in hell?
The Great Victim will, of course, be rescued by the manly Mortimer and they become the Great Romance of the time. Because God (and love) is on their side, they invade England, kill both of the evil Despensers (and various black-clad evil henchmen), imprison, depose and later (possibly) kill her unmanly, cruel husband before living happily ever after. Well, for at least another three years. Oh yes, and strip clubs get a tax break.
Everyone is invited to 2 and 10’s wedding except for 8. How do they react?
Easy. Hugh invades Gower. Any excuse.
Why is 6 afraid of 7?
I can’t really see that Eleanor would be afraid of her uncle – unless she really hates being given money, sweets and birds in cages as presents. There again, this could be referring to when she was 10 and uncle Ed jumped out on her at Halloween wearing a ‘scream’ mask.
1 arrives late for 2 and 10’s wedding. What happens, and why were they late?
This really is an alternative universe, isn’t it? Lady Baret was half an hour late because there was a huge queue in ER before she was seen, and then there were all those X-rays for broken limbs… Anyway, she finally got there in her brand new wedding outfit and then the evil henchmen dressed in black turned up again and stole her hat and threw red wine over her dress. Which made her mad. Of course, Hugh must have been to blame.
5 and 9 get roaring drunk and end up at your house. What happens?
They raid the fridge, hog the TV and keep slurring that they love each other before launching into football songs. Hugh the Elder then falls asleep on the sofa while Mortimer tries his luck and I end up throwing him out. He goes off to find another strip club.
9 murders 2’s best friend. What does 2 do to get back at them?
Well, first of all, Ed’s rather put out that he wasn’t Piers’ best friend and so goes off to the fens to dig a few ditches in spite. Meanwhile, it turns out that the best friend actually wasn’t at all – just a hanger on that Piers had got tired of. So Hugh the elder had done him a favour. They both go out to a strip club, meet up with Mortimer and then all arrive at my house roaring drunk. However, this time I throw Hugh the elder and Mortimer out almost immediately thereby having Piers all to myself! Lucky me!
6 and 1 are in mortal peril and only one of them can survive. Does 6 save themself or 1?
The mortal peril can only be the black-clad evil henchmen that seem to be stalking Lady Baret – therefore she is beyond saving anyway. So Eleanor wasn’t the target, and even if she was, she’d have still left Lady Baret in the lurch – matter of rank 😉
8 and 3 go camping. For some reason they forgot to bring along any food. What do they do?
Hugh orders in a five meat pizza but refuses to give any to Isabella who blames him for the lack of food. He takes away her tent, thereby forcing her to camp in ‘straightened’ circumstances. She runs away and refuses to return until Hugh is removed, a 5 star hotel is built and a top French chef brought in to cook for her.
5 is in a chariot crash and is critically injured. What does 9 do?
Chariot? May have to alter that to ‘fell off his horse’. Despenser the elder, ever the generous courtier, smuggles in a case of wine to the hospital and arranges for a bevy of lap dancers to entertain Mortimer, one of whom looks strangely like Isabella in a sequinned thong! Mortimer makes a speedy recovery and starts to see the queen in a different light. The rest, as they say, is history.