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Election 1896: A Winner Announced! Messages in this topic - RSS

Jolanda Swan
Jolanda Swan
Posts: 1823

7/3/2018
Feducci was exposed as a slaver, a fraud and someone who had absolutely no respect for human life very early on in the elections.

His lack of a platform was also shown clearly. We are not talking about hidden or secret lore here.


For the remainder of his term, he was selling useless titles and simply making a ruckus. Finally, in the 'Marriage of Feducci' he directly plans to plunge London into a war with his country, a war that will claim countless lives. The city and everyone in it is a sacrifice he is eager to make.

He is a very realistic character, and his veneer of civility and charm was very thin.

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Anne Auclair
Anne Auclair
Posts: 2221

7/4/2018
Jolanda Swan wrote:
But I am still looking forward for Lady Anne to snap out of it, lest we suspect she has been brainwashed in one of the many innovative ways FL has to offer. Come on, Anne. Come with us and let us be judgemental of everything the Contrarian does.

The Contrarian hasn't been sworn in yet, so let me mourn my chosen candidate.

When I say the Princess was too classically feminine for mob appeal, I mean she wasn't collectively given the "cool" factor that Feducci was given. Feducci was just as much a villain (actually, when you consider his foreign loyalties and awful plans, he was really much, much worse). But Feducci met this very physical, hyper-masculine image of charismatic leadership: he took things, he invited his followers to take things, he killed people, he shot objects out of the air with his pistol, he moved into the Mayoral manor before he was actually elected! Some people even consider his blowing up of the Mayoral residence to be kinda awesome. His very obviously malicious, petty personality was thus considered "cool."

The Princess had a much different style of villainy. She's captivating, she entrances her victims; it's all very fey. She convinces people to let her do things to them, to willingly become her creatures and victims (until it's too late). When you attend a ball with her, she leads you around, ties a blind fold around your eyes, and whispers in your ear! You're totally in her power! It's just so subtle and magnificent, I love it. You want her to pet you on the head and tell you you've been good. And when she doesn't, you're so anguished that you failed to please her. Omigawd, you're so boring, you should die!

It's just that this type of villainous character isn't popularly coded as a "cool leader" type. They're just a little too girly. Not active enough, not physical enough, not mature enough. She's as much a murdering, torturing monster as Feducci, but because Feducci is a warrior he gets something of a pass, while the Princess, because she is a princess, is perceived as a spoiled degenerate. But you know, at the end of the day Feducci needed her, because she was the one who held the love of the armies that Feducci would need to storm the Elder Continent for him. And Feducci, of all people, appreciates this: "I have seen monsters of the Zee devour triremes whole; I have seen the fires of Hell consume its own; but I have never found a wonder like her."

But there's also far more to the Princess then a figure of monstrous femme fatale beauty and appetite (just as there's a little more to Feducci then the murdering, slaving, gambling con artist). When you peel back the Princess's captivating persona, what you find is an emotionally neglected young woman who feels herself stifled by her role and yearning for a way to break out of it.

Captivating Princess wrote:
"Honestly? I'm entirely bored. I am either fawned on or feared, or – worst of all – pawed at by the infatuated. Everyone believes they know me, because of my family."

She smiles brightly. "Art is the purest form of self-expression, I'm told. I'll show everybody who I really am. Everyone will take part! London will never be the same, once it has seen its true self."

And she works very hard to express herself. Grandiose plans for urban renewal, a public arts festival inviting all the great artists of the Neath, and a 24 hour long speech (!) laying the whole thing out in exacting detail. She wants Londoners to see her ideas and appreciate her for them, rather then simply appreciating her for just her beauty and her title. Underlying it all is her husband/ex-boyfriend, who she looks at and thinks "If he could do that, then I could do better." And she organizes the whole thing herself, no campaign manager. Her first real attempt to be anything other then monstrously enchanting.

And it doesn't work and...I just think that's a little sad.

And as for the Captivating Princess's hidden love of art as "the purest form of self-expression" - she got that from watching and spending time with her sister, the Recalcitrant Sculptress.
.
edited by Anne Auclair on 7/4/2018

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Snowskeeper
Snowskeeper
Posts: 575

7/4/2018
I'll show everybody who I really am.


Burning down Spite would do that.

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The Curious Watcher
The Curious Watcher
Posts: 340

7/4/2018
I wish Mr Slowcake would have won...it would have made for an interesting year at least. Now we have the typical Anarchist vs. Master conflict that multiple stories have covered at length to death. I can't even see the Jovial Contrarian making lasting change since his mission statement is clearly at odds with the Masters', but I digress. If there's any city that would elect literally Hell to the position of mayor, then it would be Fallen London.

Enjoy your victory while it lasts, Contrarians, as it is fleeting. I would be impressed if a Contrarian of all people managed to affect more change than the other two.

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Gul al-Ahlaam
Gul al-Ahlaam
Posts: 238

7/4/2018
Anne Auclair wrote:
The Contrarian hasn't been sworn in yet, so let me mourn my chosen candidate.


  • While I'd argue that Feducci has some substantial depth to him as well, I agree fully with your assessment of the Princess. She's a fantastically compelling character, easily one of my favorites in the game, and certainly one of Gul's favorite people in-universe. ^_~
    Also, your observation about her learning from her sister was totally <3! I love learning about how the royal children get along! The snippets we got of her relationship with Beatrice in The Marriage of Feducci were very cute, and the revelations about her and her eldest sister in The Empress' Shadow were so heartbreaking!

  • EDIT: Deleted lines about Vriska. There's too much Discourse™ in this thread already without exponentially multiplying it.

  • edited by Gul al-Ahlaam on 7/4/2018

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    Dudebro Pyro
    Dudebro Pyro
    Posts: 765

    7/4/2018
    I think the thing about Feducci is that his demeanour and his villainy are rather separate. He's not evil because he runs a fighting ring society, shoots things out of the air, moves into the mayoral residence before being elected, etc. Yes, that makes him needlessly bombastic and a bit (or a lot) of a jerk, but not downright evil. No, he's evil because he competes in his own fighting society without disclosing that he's actually immortal, and because he's a foreign agent that worked as a slaver for hell. These things don't actually have any direct relation with his personality - a Great Game-ish spy could easily have the same accomplishments as him without having the same anything-goes-in-the-name-of-fun bombastic attitude. The latter is precisely why I opposed him vehemently during the election, not the former.

    And now that all's said and done? I can't say I minded him too much. Yes, having a PResbyterate spy as Mayor of London leaves a sour taste, but he didn't actually do anything of substance - from what I gather, even letting the marriage happen isn't something that will have tangible consequences for London any time soon.

    What I'm trying to say is that if you imagine Feducci as a native Londoner with no foreign connections or history of being a slaver or any of that baggage, but otherwise behaving exactly the same, then he's not "very obviously malicious" anymore. Some have accused the Contrarian this year of running a caricature of a political campaign, but if anything this applies to Feducci more. Meanwhile the Princess, if you take away all her strictly evil history and hobbies, is left as a bored aristocrat femme fatale, who's completely out of touch with the common folk and wants to organise an arts festival because it pleases her.

    I can honestly understand why people liked a political caricature running for fun and mayhem more than a snobby spoiled princess. I guess this is basically your point, but what I'm saying is that it's not necessarily got anything to do with their "brand of evil" or "masculine evil being more acceptable/likeable" - it's to do with their core personalities, where Feducci is very interesting if you take away all his evil background, while the Princess is only really interesting if you really consider her as a whole. People were willing to overlook Feducci's dubious past, but overlooking the Princess's less savoury aspects left a rather boring candidate, so only people who were wholly on board with everything she was and did actually voted for her.

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    Zack Oak
    Zack Oak
    Posts: 205

    7/4/2018
    I'm going to also have to agree with Anne and Snowskeeper. Handwaving Feducci while moralizing about the Princess rings pretty hollow, and the point about classically feminine characters' reception by fandom is worth looking at.

    Also, let's be clear, prior to the election, Feducci didn't *have* a core personality. He was a mysterious guy who couldn't die and watched fighting with terse approval or disapproval, and enslaved the regretful soldier for Reasons. Let's not get ahead of ourselves and pretend his core personality was well established before this.
    edited by ZackOak on 7/4/2018

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    Jolanda Swan
    Jolanda Swan
    Posts: 1823

    7/4/2018
    Anne, your description is wonderful and spot-on. Of course Feducci's bluster is perceived more favorably the the Princess' wiles.

    On the other hand, Zack Oak is also right: Feducci's misdeeds were in ther core human greed and selfishness,and thus in the course of a story they could be forgiven - though it felt painful that such a demeanor was chosen over the essentially more liberal DTC. But the Princess was beyond Feducci's evil. She is inhuman, monstrous, tyrannical, a torturer; her campaign promise was to level a district where the most unfortunate take shelter, so she can make art to glorify her person.

    So while there is an element of hypermasciline vs hyperfeminine, you cannot say that it was the decisive factor. To measure that, you would have both Feducci and the Princess be torturers and monsters, and see what the people chose if they were forced to. In that case, I suspect most people would gravitate towards the fey Princess (at least they would suffer in beauty) than the ogrish behavior demonstrated by the duelist.

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    MaxCaulfield
    MaxCaulfield
    Posts: 17

    7/4/2018
    From what I gathered on princess I found her bland kind of villain (although less boring than Slowcake), She had spoiled aristocrat vibe to her (I hate such type of character), where Fedduci comes off to me more like unhinged independent badass that makes a lot of ruckus (sort of like joker). Note that i base that on information I have about them so I my judgement may not be accurate. I loved that Fedduci blew up mansion, didn't see that coming.
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    Aniline
    Aniline
    Posts: 144

    7/4/2018
    I really don't want to turn this thread into a Feducci thread, but:


    Regarding the Black Ribbon:

    Everyone who joined did so willingly and was presumably excited about killing people for the lulz. There's no indication that Feducci ever forces anyone to join or catches borderline suicidal people in their moment of weakness or arranges for defectors to die to causes other than the duels they d__n well agreed to. Considering the long history the Society and its current decline, I find it very likely that everyone currently in possession of a black ribbon has taken one from someone they killed. That was the deal. Allowing a member to get out of being a target is an injustice toward everyone said member killed. If you "changed your mind", you're welcome to stop challenging people and develop a reputation so that no one bothers you either.


    "Objective" axiomatic fairness does not exist. Talking about society, I consider fairness to be, roughly speaking, the greatest good for the greatest number. Independent competitions like cycling marathons, competitive eating and dueling to the death are entirely ruled by internal compact. There's nothing that makes competitions that favor genetic advantage (like running) more fair than competitions that favor affluence (like tennis) or vice versa, and nothing that makes either more or less fair than a coin flip (shouldn't the "better" gentleperson win?).



    Regarding slavery:

    Real-life human rights aren't arbitrary or axiomatic, they're best practices borne out of centuries of suffering. When a douchebag combinator decides a certain right is negotiable, it is extremely unlikely he (douchebag combinators are usually "he") is correct and extremely likely he's just ignoring mountains of evidence for personal profit. And these real-life best practices are rooted in reality: that people are sapient, independent, unique, countable, and free; that they are biologically very similar and share similar interests; that mental impairment is an exception rather than the rule; that the supernatural doesn't exist. Out of these facts arise the "principles" of statecraft and democratic decision-making.

    Fallen London is nothing like the above (hur hur). Humanity faces a dozen existential threats. Freedom is not the default; a friend you speak to can be a Snuffer who stole your friend's face or a Fingerking who stole your friend's everything or just have their kids held hostage and thus be compelled to express any opinion or support any stance. Information can kill you and the people you share it with. The supernatural deprioritizes industry in favor of artifice, there's no strength in numbers, and the powerful are not beholden to the powerless in any way.


    In these circumstances the benefit of doubt extends much farther than in reality. In FL, it is possible that enslaving a bunch of people is an acceptable sacrifice that ultimately serves humanity's interests, and Londoners can't really hold a referendum on the matter (not that real-life referenda always end well, heh). "Hey, Feducci plans to trick the devils into an alliance and betray them so we win the next war and free ALL THE SOULS, can he whip a bunch of POWs for show?" Yeah, that'll work.

    Also, a deviless is FL's mascot, which leads me to think devils are reasonably popular and are considered to be people by a sizable percentage of the voters. These voters could view a campaign of extermination against the devils as attempted genocide and see subsequent enslavement of the combatants as just punishment.



    The Princess has no benefit of doubt. She became a monster by torturing and eating people (more precisely, foods that contain people products) for fun and she had a makeover by eating people. Two cannibalisms do not make a vegetarian. And not to put too fine a point upon it, but "eyesore" slums burning down have a recent-ish real-life parallel.

    Now, it's obvious to me, especially after The Marriage of Feducci, that he isn't really much better. They're both monsters, and when the reckoning comes they both should be hanged on a (dimmed) street light. But it wasn't obvious to many of the voters at the time of the election. In the electoral announcements the DTC promised temperance (her being a Society lady, this basically read as the aristocracy enjoying their '68 and honey behind closed doors and getting an extra reason to blame the poor for poverty) and the Detective overpolicing; Feducci hinted at no less than a Chain to climb.


    But sure, let's pretend there's no difference between "you can be gods" and "you can be a steak at a royal dinner, choose rare or well-done" and that the playerbase who overwhelmingly voted Jenny didn't want a guuuuuurl in office.

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    Gul al-Ahlaam
    Gul al-Ahlaam
    Posts: 238

    7/4/2018
    Aniline wrote:
    But sure, let's pretend there's no difference between "you can be gods" and "you can be a steak at a royal dinner, choose rare or well-done" and that the playerbase who overwhelmingly voted Jenny didn't want a guuuuuurl in office.

  • She's not saying that you didn't want a woman in office, she's saying that female villains and female-coded villainy is judged far more harshly than male villains and male-coded villainy, which is true. Both members of the royal couple get plenty of hate, but only Feducci tends to get the kind of elaborate and nonsensical justifications for his behavior that you provided throughout your post.

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    Gillsing
    Gillsing
    Posts: 1207

    7/4/2018
    Gul al-Ahlaam wrote:
    Both members of the royal couple get plenty of hate, but only Feducci tends to get the kind of elaborate and nonsensical justifications for his behavior that you provided throughout your post.

    Your wording seems to imply that they both get roughly equal amounts of hate, and that the main difference lies in the defence that one of them receives from his supporters. If that is true, then isn't that on the Princess' supporters? Wouldn't it be their job to make up elaborate and nonsensical justifications for her behavior, so that she isn't 'judged far more harshly'? I suppose that they must now feel anguished that they failed to defend her. 'Omigawd, they're so ineffectual, they should die!'

    I suppose one reason the Princess didn't win the election could be that she seemed to have a knack for making people feel bad. And people who feel bad might not be very good support, or might choose to support someone else. I don't think Feducci made his supporters feel bad. His platform seemed quite inclusive, while the Princess' platform seemed more exclusive. Exclusivity is a desired trait in many cases, but not when it comes to democratic elections.
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    Rhode Wardwado
    Rhode Wardwado
    Posts: 27

    7/4/2018
    A few people reported being able to access Feducci's "Mayor of London" card for a short period of time after going through the Election storylet where he blew up Blythenhale. I like to believe that immediately after the explosion, Feducci hosted one quick, final round of duels on the still-burning ruins of the building with whoever happened to be there before he bailed.

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    D'Angelique
    D'Angelique
    Posts: 2

    7/4/2018
    If the Captivating Princess and Feducci are monsters, then so are we all, and yet they are better for it than the rest of us, for they at least are True. They are creatures of Appetites and they neither shy nor shrink from it, nor do they seek to hide it, least of all from themselves, unlike those who would claim to be good and moral and upstanding, who pride themselves on adhering to the rules laid down by a dead god that they themselves never believed in, who would vehemently deny that these Appetites, desires, and urges are anything to do with them. 'Not me,' they protest, 'others perhaps, but not me. The base, the beastly, and the monstruous perhaps, but not me, for I am a child of the Light, and my virtue is as much a part of me as the very cells in my body.'

    Until, of course, it is too late, and then it's: 'I don't know what happened! I swear that wasn't me! Ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you that's not me at all! It must have been Feducci, or the Princess, or some other outside influence. Let us fight him, or her, or that other one, and the evil will end. Appetite will be held in check, Desire will be brought to heel, these urges will be channeled into positive endeavours, and I shall regain my innocence and be pure as driven snow.' But alas, it is too late. There is only the kaleidoscopic echo of a thousand fractured voices. 'Haha! To whom do you think you are talking? For whom do you think you plead?' After all, when you step through the mirror and come face to face with a shadow, there is only one person whose shadow that could be.
    edited by D'Angelique on 7/4/2018
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    Snowskeeper
    Snowskeeper
    Posts: 575

    7/5/2018
    There are any number of things on the other side of the mirror; which of them are you referring to?

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    Zack Oak
    Zack Oak
    Posts: 205

    7/5/2018
    Masculine vs. Feminine perception with regards to the princess aren't THE deciding factor, which is not what people are suggesting. The point is that the role it played in how people perceive and understand both characters from inception to election is there, and worth examining in conjunction with WHY the two of them have such a disparate reception, on top of their other traits. I can't pack a 101 on feminist media analysis into a post about fictional characters in a game, that's a long discussion in and of itself. Actually getting into the perception of characters who perform feminine traits "wrong" in fandom (see: perception of Jenny vs. Princess) is a really fascinating topic, and one I'd be happy to have in its own thread, but it'd derail the topic pretty hard.

    It IS good to talk about how it plays a factor, alongside other traits. It's certainly not the DECIDING factor, and I feel like it's incorrect at best, or disingenuous at worst to assume that's what people are saying when they talk about it. It's also not worth it to be outright defensive over it either, this isn't a point brought up to shame or to condemn. 99 times out of 100, it's 'cause we like to look at why something happened and see if we can understand ourselves and others better as a result, or prompt that good good character discussion in a way that makes people think about the lore.
    edited by ZackOak on 7/5/2018

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    astranox
    astranox
    Posts: 120

    7/5/2018
    DAMMIT I really wanted to learn more about slowcake!

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    Snowskeeper
    Snowskeeper
    Posts: 575

    7/5/2018
    Gillsing wrote:
    Gul al-Ahlaam wrote:
    Both members of the royal couple get plenty of hate, but only Feducci tends to get the kind of elaborate and nonsensical justifications for his behavior that you provided throughout your post.

    Your wording seems to imply that they both get roughly equal amounts of hate, and that the main difference lies in the defence that one of them receives from his supporters. If that is true, then isn't that on the Princess' supporters? Wouldn't it be their job to make up elaborate and nonsensical justifications for her behavior, so that she isn't 'judged far more harshly'?



    You're missing a key step, here. For supporters to make up elaborate and potentially nonsensical justifications for her behaviour, they first have to support her. If male villains are judged less harshly than female villains, then people are less likely to support her, which makes them considerably less likely to come up with elaborate and potentially nonsensical justifications.

    (Which is not to say that nobody did that. I'm kind of surprised to see the Hierophant claiming otherwise; I thought I'd seen them posting in Anne Auclair's threads.)

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    Diptych
    Diptych
    Administrator
    Posts: 3882

    7/5/2018
    I must say, this is a fascinating discussion. Certainly, both the Princess and Feducci indulged in what might be described as the typical excesses of their rank - extravagant parties, drink and drugs, hunting, dueling, dancing, mounting inadvisable campaigns at tremendous public expense, and getting countless people killed. The precise details might differ, but I can't think of any evil one has done that the other can't match. And yet Feducci's braggartry and bluster seems more popular than the Princess's. Perhaps by virtue of it being visibly, violently masculine - perhaps not.

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    millea
    millea
    Posts: 45

    7/5/2018
    ZackOak wrote:
    Masculine vs. Feminine perception with regards to the princess aren't THE deciding factor, which is not what people are suggesting. The point is that the role it played in how people perceive and understand both characters from inception to election is there, and worth examining in conjunction with WHY the two of them have such a disparate reception, on top of their other traits. I can't pack a 101 on feminist media analysis into a post about fictional characters in a game, that's a long discussion in and of itself. Actually getting into the perception of characters who perform feminine traits "wrong" in fandom (see: perception of Jenny vs. Princess) is a really fascinating topic, and one I'd be happy to have in its own thread, but it'd derail the topic pretty hard.

    I feel like you're making a very big and potentially controversial point but ultimately backing out from giving any sort of meat to back up what you're saying. Without including at least a link to feminist gender analysis theories, you're not providing a base from which to support your argument that gender is a factor.

    ZackOak wrote:
    Also, let's be clear, prior to the election, Feducci didn't *have* a core personality. He was a mysterious guy who couldn't die and watched fighting with terse approval or disapproval, and enslaved the regretful soldier for Reasons. Let's not get ahead of ourselves and pretend his core personality was well established before this.

    This is very untrue. Before the election, Feducci was already a pretty amusing character - the text focusing on his suspiciously rosy lips like a bad bodice-ripper novel or him bringing a horse and a lance to a duel have set the foundations for his personality.


    ---

    I feel like boiling the comparison between Feducci and the Princess' appeal to just their perceived gender traits is... ultimately missing the point, even if it isn't the crux of the argument. To add to that, the question of "why didn't Feducci supporters vote for the Princess" is hard to answer when we are seriously lacking any kind of data to work off.

    I agree with a lot of what Aniline said earlier and so I'll try not to repeat her arguments, adding some of my general thoughts instead. The level and type of villainy that the both of them represent is very different, and that plays a huge part in the reception of each of those characters.

    Painting the Princess as a femme fatale who got 'punished' for being so is completely ignoring the entire character of Sinning Jenny - she, too, wields power in a traditionally feminine way, having risen to power from a _brothel_. However, you can clearly see that Jenny has put in a noticeable amount of effort in addition to making use of her cunning to get to where she is now. The Princess - or at least, the new version of her, as she seems to have gotten a noticeable appearance/personality change - completely lacks that, which makes her femme fatale act very unconvincing. It appears that the reason why she draws people in is entirely supernatural, and her charm defies even in-universe logic.

    While both Feducci and the Princess are characters that act according to whimsy, the nature of that is once again, completely different. Unlike the Princess, Feducci is in many ways hindered by his antics - him being so bombastic, lively and excitable actively harms his persona as a withered tomb-colonist spy and he fails to achieve the goals he has set. The Princess, once again, is rarely allowed to fail and she never suffers the consequences of her actions.

    Feducci develops more of an actual relationship with the player character - he contacts us personally, talks to us, invites us to dinner; later on (although that's mayoral content) he meets up with us personally, gives us a silly friendship certificate. The Princess meanwhile never really gets close or personal with us and usually just takes and takes and takes, giving a clear feeling that everything she does is for an agenda. We get the chance to see a bit more of the Princess in the Gift - a story gated behind a fair amount of money, whereas you can experience Feducci in most without having to pay. That also colours the perspective of both candidates a lot.

    Another point is, many of Feducci's evils aren't really that impactful or visceral for players (the big outlier being slaving, and even then it's mentioned maybe twice and gated behind Fate) whereas the Princess's evils are both impactful and visceral for a lot of people: eat red honey and people scream at you to stop going through their heads. In fact, the Princess _actively_ harms the unsuspecting player without a word of warning, whereas Feducci will only agree to duelling you when you are ready.

    To continue on the topic of their main vices, the big 'thing' that people mention while discussing Feducci's evils is him running a slaving ship. The disdain is entirely warranted - but we also have to remember that those actions were taken during a time as tumultous as war, and at the time he wasn't a citizen of London. His reasons for doing so aren't stated, perhaps he did it for entertainment, perhaps for a different reason altogether. Meanwhile, the Princess' red honey habit has no purpose or value to anyone besides her - she does it purely for the enjoyment, even when a less actively harmful and much easier to obtain alternative exists in the form of regular Prisoner's Honey.

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