Foulwell the Jester

Ultima has a good collection of jesters in its history, but few are as sinister as Foulwell from Ultima V. On Great Lakes, he met a very bad end. Here is his last performance. — Malachi


*Foulwell walks on stage clearly drunk*

Because of the concerns and opinions of noble persons whom I can’t mock openly, my show will no longer have dog fighting, livestock juggling, or obscene vegetable… demonstrations. There were some other concerns, but I really stopped listening after the parsnips…

So the name’s Foulwell. Blame my parents. Virtue knows I did.

*makes a stabbing motion*

I grew up ‘ere in Britain. Good ole lemon-sucking bard-loving Britain. Born on the east side of the Gung Farmer’s Bridge, so I’m nearly respectable.

That reminds me of a joke! How do you tell the difference between folks from Britain an’ Paws? Scream “Free” and drop a baker’s loaf on the ground. Bloke from Britain will pick the dirt off ‘is free bread. Bastard from Paws will pick the bread off ‘is free dirt.

*wheezing laugh*

I realized at a young age I had a gift for drinking bad ale an’ not getting paid. That left me with two career choices: guardsman or jester. I chose jester so people’d respect me. You in the armor in the back! How ’bout that one, like it?

Problem is, Britain was bursting with jokesters, madcaps, an’ buffoons. Still is. When there’s one of us, you call us jesters. When there’s a city full, you call us clowns. When you think jesters, you think of the great names: Chuckles, Heckles, Gwino, me. When you think clowns, you think of fireworks and children’s parties. I hate children. Grubby, sticky little things that won’t shut up. So I decided to leave Britain to clowns and governors.

*throws a rotten tomato at a heckler in the audience*

I’ve seen most of Britannia. I’ve been in one-jester towns and no-jester towns. So might as well start at the bottom and work my way up.

*spits in a bucket*

Are there any paladins in the audience? Yes? Well I can’t tell that story then… Paladins and Trinsic deserve each other. Fancy walls or armor on a soggy surface. I think the walls of Trinsic are more to keep the inmates in! I have never met a more humorless city. I guess it’s something in the water. Trinsic has some big rats, and honestly, they were my best audience in the city.

*throws a dead rat against the wall*

Moving around the bottom, we’ve got Jhelom on the Valorian Isles. What’s the difference between someone from Jhelom and an onion? Someone cries when you slice up an onion. I would have killed to have some onions while I was there, to get rid of the fishy taste. I never knew there were so many types of smoked fish. Know what? I still don’t care. What nice things do I have to say about Jhelom? Sales of hardtack would plummet if Jhelom sank into the sea.

*slaps a member of the audience with a fish and has a coughing fit*

Moving up the continental backside, we get to Skara Brae. What’s the difference between a crow and a bloke from Skara Brae? One is loud and obnoxious, the other is a bird. I hear Skara Brae and Jhelom may go to war, as if we’d notice? Twin bumps on the arse of the world. Still, I do hope for peace, for three more weeks anyway. That’s what I bet on in the pool. May the fires of war not burn down pubs where I drank and cried!

*raises a drunken toast to the crowd*

Moving north to nowhere, I had a whole bunch of manure jokes about Yew, but apparently, this audience has standards… Yew’s a sober town with more elves than ale houses. I don’t have anything against elves. I appreciated Casca’s public executions as much as the next guy, and I stopped calling elves “dandelion eaters” years ago. But still, the elves n’ monks couldn’t get together to build one decent public house?

Yew’s simple folk didn’t recognize great jestering, callin’ it “drunken disorderly conduct.” My pranks earned me a room at the guest house there. Not much privacy, but an ocean view and an open-door policy. Pity I didn’t kill anyone. Could have gotten a better room.

*wheezing laugh*

Minoc’s the town of Sacrifice. Sacrifice means self-inflicted poverty. I prefer inflicting poverty on others.

*cracks a blackjack against a melon*

Minoc life is days in a mine n’ nights in a straw hovel. Damp straw too! None of them could afford my show, but all of them came anyway. The produce they threw at me was worth more than the coins I stole from ’em. I’m surprised they don’t starve more.

At least none of them threw rocks like those wretches from Minoc’s bitter twin. What’s the difference between a catfish and a Vesper merchant? One is a bottom dwelling scum sucker, and the other is a fish.

Vesper is contagious like leprosy. Yet I’d hug a leper. Full of thieves and scoundrels, yet none’s actually Vesper-born. The folk that say so are either too ashamed to admit they come from Minoc or they’re pirates! Speaking of which, I’d advise no one to woo pirates. Pirate wenches may be passionate lovers, but they will rob you blind!

*turns out empty pockets*

I had a touch of scurvy when the boat finally dropped me on Moonglow. Bleeding gums are my happiest memory of the place. I will say the mages there can’t handle a bit of honesty. Needing a giant monstrosity to see the stars. They’re right up there, morons! They also cheat at cards. Dice. Chess. Checkers. And anything else where I lost money to them mages.

I don’t know what to say about New Magincia. Didn’t stay there long. I heard they had a spot of redecorating a few years back. I have nothing against sheep. Had some of my happiest nights with them. Now shepherds I hate. Dreadful in the sack. What’s the difference between a million gold coins and a shepherd?? I don’t have a million gold coins buried behind my house. Ho, ho, ha, ha, he, he…

I’ve run out of places to gripe about. I imagine the rest of the world is just as bad. I’m going to take a few drinks before the next show, so go away!

*rude gesture*