Talk:Reg Margin

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Reg captures Vlad

Reg Margin was a Mohlok peasant who lived the salted fields between the ancient city of Salomoné — more or less on the site of the modern Lehmangrad — and the Royal Woodss of Bretton, backing onto the Ferrous Mountains. Being marshy badlands fed by the stinking runoffs from those darkened, misted hills, nothing much grows there and, like many of the local peasantry, Reg supplemented his meagre scratchings by poaching game from the royal hunting grounds in Bretton Woods.

One day, when furtively checking his traps, he stumbled upon a strange intruder feasting on some stocks he had stolen from Reg’s own shorting cage — his long “longbox”.

Reg snatched the youth by the scruff of his filthy neck, drew him up to eye level and stared into his dark, glittering eyes.

The boy babbled in a foreign tongue. Reg held up a giant finger and the intruder quietened.

“Now,” said Reg, “I might be possessed of no great capacity for knowin’ things, nor figurin’ things, but I’m a dab old hand at believin’ things, and surmisin’ about things, and I believe an’ I surmise that, what with them dark eyes and that tousled hair, in that foreign-looking garb and, added to all of that, that strange way you have of sayin’ things, that you ain’t from these parts?”

The captive’s eyes widened and he said, in flawless, if archaic, high Lanchmani:

“But, good sir, you speak in the tongue of the Lanchmani! You must, a noble merchant be, one of the Royal City of Salomoné! I am so very greatly honoured! As is your Lanchmani protocol, I give myself up to thee! I humbly novate myself to your service sir!”

Reg furrowed his colossal ginger brow. “Who, or what, little man, are you?”

“The name’s Paripasu. Vlad Paripasu,” he squeaked. “I am but a humble scholar from Carpathia. I have journeyed many arduous months from my mountain home in search of the wisdom of the great Lanchmani, and to learn their ways.”

Now Reg wasn’t of the Lanchmani at all, but was an indentured peasant engaged on a pittance to keep the city’s engine running and royal sewerage system clean, but he figured there was no call to disabuse his captive of his sense of grandiosity.

“Well that's as may be, see, but, humble scholar or no, you still be pinching my stuff. And we can’t be having that.” And with that, taking a thick hemp rope from his sack, he bound the Carpathian trickster to a tree.

Vlad persuades Reg he is in fact only borrowing the game

“Ah no, no, no,” muttered the little fellow, as Reg bound him hand and foot, “I fear I am most misunderstood.”

“I say you ain’t.”

Reg had it in his mind that the odd little fellow was scheming or plotting something. “Seeing as you seem a cunning lil’ fellow, pinchin’ my stuff and all —”

“Pinching, sir? Oh, no, no, no Sir! But I can see why you might be confused —”

“I ain’t confused — not so as no more than normal, least anyways — so how’s about you tells me why you be stealing my stocks?”

Borrowing them, sire, Borrowing them; I swear upon my father’s life I am no thief.”


Yes! Yes! Borrowing! ’Tis my business! I shall return them, with interest, sir at your command.”

“Business? Who has business is stealing another fellow’s stocks?”

Borrowing sire!”

“Have it your way: who has business borrowin’ another fellow’s stocks?”

“To lend them to those who most need them.”

Vlad proposes a business relationship

Lend them? And who be needin’ em?”

“Indeed: they who need them most pay handsomely and strong, sire. They can return them when their circumstances permit. In the mean time, they will pay a good commission we can share betwixt us. We can, my friend, be Partners!”

“Partners!” with that Reg roared with laughter. “Who are these “borrowers” of your stocks, little man?”

“Well, now — for example, you look hungry, right now, sire —”

“Oh, that I am. Hungry. Very hungry.”

“So aren’t you pleased that myself, Vlad Paripasu, at your, ah, service sir, your friendly lender, is here to make a market for you!”

Reg took it and eagerly took a long draught. “Oh, Vlad, it is very good.”

“The finest royal stocks! And my prices are fair.”


Vlad held out his hand. “One gold ducat”

“A gold ducat? For my own catches?”

“Business is business! How else will we have something to share?”

Somewhat baffled, Reg handed over a coin, and devoured the stock.

Capture by the King’s audit

He was rudely awakened not two hours later by the King’s Guard, conducting a routine audit patrol of the King’s hunting grounds.

“What have we here?” said the watch commander. “A pair of greasy poachers.”

Vlad, still bound to the tree, calls out in Reg’s defence, explaining to the King’s guard that far from Reg having stolen the game, he had in fact just dispossessed thieves of it and was returning to the King. When pressed, Vlad explains it was a nasty-looking Romanian thief.

“Well, who are you, then?”

“I am a victim too! The thief kidnapped me. Reg here rescued me. He is a hero.”

The King’s guard show clemency and appoint Reg and Vlad to guard the Woodss which they do in return for a generous stipend. Vlad becomes Reg’s consigliere, for the cost of a portion of the King’s Rent (paid first of course). Vlad squirrels away his share, selling it at a mark-up to the other villagers who in turn pay fealty to reg, who pays a slice to Vlad.

Vlad in time persuades the villagers to mind the Woods, persuading them for a small fee that they may enjoy the beauty and nature as long as they take nothing and keep an eye out for hunters and poachers.

Vlad in the meantime ingratiates himself to the king, with fantastic but delusional presentations about the forward wealth of the kingdom, entitling him to a yet greater share of its present wealth, and warning him of great dangers in Romania, and encouraging the king to send his army into the Carpathians, where they are beset by brigands and vandals. One day Reg stumbles across the Synthæse.

The children of the Woods, had been watching from the shadows, they saw everything. They used their dispersed magic to create a great storm that destroyed Vlad’s short positions , which diffused and evaporated into the chill night air, as a spirit might ascend to heaven. The castle walls were wrecked, the fields ruined and the peasants from the salted badlands — the Mohlok people — were left to pick up the pieces and start again. Among their number was Daniel Grade,

Vlad and the Synthæse

Reg is looking for stocks in the Woods, but stumbles upon Vlad who has unwittingly killed a Synthæse.

Oh, no. Oh no, oh no.

From the trees, thousands of paid elof timid, grey eyes. Reg immediately falls to his knees genuflecting and apologising to the Woods gods.


The Children of the Woods are the prehistoric ancestors of what we now know as “retail investors”. They are handsome, delicate but fundamentally stupid herd creatures, many of them elderly and infirm, having lived since well before recorded time began.

Think of them as a hybrid of the elves — for their delicate beauty and longevity — and hobbits, for sense sense of familial parochiality, and their love of home, hearth and family.

Being both delicate and stupid they are easily crushed in the gears of progress, but, when taken as a group and their herding instinct allowed to run they can display seemingly magical powers of intuition, panic and destruction (these powers known as the “emergentiæ”). These powers are not present in the hands of a single wood-child, but amongst groups of them, when concerted and concentrated it can have devastating and unexpected consequences, even in the face of powerful military forces. Thus, the Children of the Woods inspire a peculiar mixture of pity, reverence, fear and respect.

They eschew all financial weaponry, dealing only in individual stoki (small rabbit-like creatures they hunt in the Woods), but they have since become somewhat domesticated, supplementing and in many cases abandoning their traditional diet for a manufactured puree called “etievs” and “pensioni”, foodstuffs comprised of real woodland harvest made for them by the Mohloki.

In light of their delicate but dangerous nature, by regal proclamation the Children of the Woods are to be kept separated, confused, uneducated, and in a perpetual state of disarray and bafflement and conflict with each other such that they do not coordinate. By the same token they are to be protected by royal decree, above all other civil and military priorities and may not be hunted or exploited, except be special kid glove ministeria set up for the sole purpose.

In the castle the Mohloki are fed an articulated slop comprising commercially harvested stocks and bonds, bones, brains, testicles, hallucinogenic juice of mushrooms which are designed to be, or at least give the impression of being, super nutritious — but periodically are riven with toxins and bacteria causing sudden, widespread bouts of dissentry, meningitis or even death. The Lanchmani — the ruling class, do not eat this slop but extract a creamy essence off the first batch - before it had a chance to go off - and eat that. It is a much prized delicacy.