@Copyright E. Charles Tucker, all rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of the author.

This was written during my stint with the online RPG, Illusia. I'd played a number of characters, but one in particular became near and dear to me: a Felzur thief.

Some background: the game world centered around two alliances, light and dark, one led by the "goodly" humans and the other led by the "evil" V'lalek, or Vampire race. The Felzur were aligned with the V'lalek race, and were master spies, thieves and assassins.

My character, however, thought himself more skilled than he was capable of. I chose to play the character as a condescending, sarcastic, self-serving thief who was always searching for his next big opportunity. Unlike the Minotaur Chronicles I'd written, Mhauztales were meant to be humorous with obvious nods to Terry Pratchett's style.

A friend of mine played a ridiculously popular Ogre named Wyde. I say it was ridiculous because he was loved more by Human aligned characters than V'lalek ones, and spent entirely too much time chatting up the enemy. For a goof we launched a popularity campaign to get him elected as the new King of Evermist...the main Human city, and headquarters of the HAR alliance. I, as Mhauz, was his campaign manager...

Interview with a Felzur

(an excerpt from the "King of Evermist: Wyde 2000" campaign thread)

Reporter: "Good day, Illusia. We're here on today's show with a newly appointed member of the shocking 'Wyde For King' campaign, Secretary of the Treasury candidate Mhauz Greymouser. Hello, Mhauz."

Mhauz: [*sniff*] "You LOVE me, you realy LOVE me!"

Reporter: "Err, yes, although that's yet to be determined. You have to admit, the idea of an Ogre as King of Evermist, the Human city, is a little, well...insane."

Mhauz: "Oh fie. It's innovative; daring! It's a dawn of a new millenium, and Wyde is the Ogre to see this new era come to pass!"

R: "[*chuckle*] There is certainly no questioning your enthusiasm, although we're far from a new millenium. It's only 1756."

M: "17...oh. Right. Err, well..see, now that's the kind of narrow insight that's dug Evermist into such a hole. This city needs forward thinkers, not naysayers!"

R: "Interesting. But, as the potential Treasurer of the city (you seem to be drooling a bit), what plans do you have to ease the monetary burdens of the citizens of Evermist?"

M: "I am so glad you've asked me that. For starters, we're promising No New Taxes! That's right, 100% guaranteed that no new taxes will be instituted. Instead, we're going to take another look at the existing laws, and see how we can squeeze the peop...err, make the most out of what the people are already paying."

R: "For example?"

M: "One of the Wyde 200...umm, Wyde 1756 Campaign's issues deals with ownership of farm animals. Evermist places a levy on every farm animal, putting an undue burden on many farmers."

R: "And Wyde plans to abolish this tax?"

M: "What're you, nuts?!?! Can't you see the potential in this? Think about it: what is a Centaur, but half-man, half-horse. HORSE! Get it? These people have been getting away for years without paying their due taxes. Why, the interest rates on back taxes alone on these deadbeat slackers would sustain a small fiefdom for decades!"

R: "Umm..."

M: "And Gnomes! What's with these deductions for children? How would they know? It's not like there's a SIZE difference there; how are WE to know that they really HAVE kids? For all we know, they all could be writing each OTHER off as deductions!"

R: "I don't think..."

M: "The Dwarves haven't exactly been pulling their weight either, you know. All that ale and dwarven spirits...there IS a liquor tax, you know. It's kind of hard to tax a barrel of ale when it NEVER LEAVES THE BREWERY! Gods-damned lushes! I know how it goes: 'One for the belly, one for the barrel. Two for the barrel, One-Two for the belly.' HAH! Let's stick a Minotaur or two on the assembly line to watch those drunks, I bet ale production triples next month!"

R: "Mhauz, if you please..."

M: "Quiet, slacker!" -- stands and faces the camer...err, scribe -- "And you Elves! 'The Forests are Ours'. Hah! You want land, you got it! Ever heard of PROPERTY TAX?! It's on the books, loafers! You been gettin' away with bloody murder for waaaay too long! Give up the gold! I know you've been hoarding it!"

R: "...guards? Would you please?"

M: [being dragged away] "No! It's mine! Mine! I'm gonna be rich! Riiiiiiich......!"

R: "Well, there you have it, Evermist. That was Mhauz Greymouser, for the Wyde 1756 Campaign."