Superior Roles: Andrealphus

By William J. Keith (


Since time immemorial, there has always been a certain type of nobility: the kind with wealth to spare, who can indulge their every whim -- and whose whims are better left undescribed before the innocent of heart...

Andrealphus has been just this kind of noble, in any number of different rank structures. Always he is minor nobility, sometimes (these days) even when it doesn't matter all that much in terms of actual social rank. His lands or other holdings are prosperous, and he manages them well enough to make a tidy income. During the day, he is largely respectable, known at Court or in the social centers of the locale as a socialite. Devastatingly handsome (or gorgeous) in his younger years, he ages extremely well for a long time, and even when a bit of age starts to show, he or she is still quite beautiful for at least a decade. After that, they slip out of public life; after all, there's always another beautiful young thing just coming of a particular age in any court's collection of minor nobles. Their lands are passed to an heir (yes, an heir) and they themselves are generally quickly forgotten, having contributed to society little more than an engaging presence...

...and the nights. Oh, the nights. Spoken of in hushed tones in the darker corners of the Court, by male and female alike: invitations proferred by discreet messengers on silver-embossed cards; thrillingly sensous words presuading a chaste young lass to attend; gorgeous eyes pulling in any target they desired, rumoring even the sovereign themself. And once there, your choice of ecstasies. Wine and drugs and masks lubricating revels of unspeakable delights, pain and orgasm mixing in new and frightening ways, all morals abandoned -- the host's ideas always seemed so excitingly erotic, every one....

And in even quieter whispers, what happened after. The unmarried noble always choosing one of his bastard children as his heir, which a friend could have sworn was his. The cheating wife and husband who find each other in the same room, and the murder soon after. The high-ranking young woman who must wear long sleeves and dresses to hide the always-fresh scars of a particularly rough inclination. The father who recognizes the mask in his daughter's wardrobe....

But somehow, the next generation of society's hedonists never was told, or cared, or listened to the stories from the previous circle of attendees, and so the cycle goes on.


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