Abridged Guide to Evil Wikia
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Abridged Guide to Evil Wikia
"Oh, woe is me, you’ve destroyed my army… Hahaha, you fell for it again! I haven’t paid them in a year, they were about to depose me. Once more, Irritant triumphs against all odds!"
―Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[1]

Irritant the First, known as the Oddly Successful, was a former Dread Emperor of Praes. Rather than leaving a lasting legacy he’s known for being a “mad murderer who cared more for victory as an end instead of a method”.[2] Like Traitorous, he’s still well regarded in Praes.

Reign[]

The date of his rule is unknown though the shape of his reign can be deduced somewhat from the epigraphs. He fought (and likely lost) a war against Callow. It’s mentioned heroes were sacking a palace in Aksum and he had to surrender unconditionally to Ashur.[3][4] He abdicated three times and also embroiled the Praesi High Lords in a pyramid scheme.[5][6]

Irritant’s Law became part of the narrative laws, written down in ‘The Axiom Appendix’.[7][8] It’s unknown if he penned it or if it was named after him. His general method was to "rules-lawyer" the tropes of ruler-villain narratives so that confrontations with him always come at a time when he can't be defeated or at least can't be destroyed for good. He abdicates when a hero is about to slay the Dread Emperor, he arranges for multiple heroes with incompatible stories to come at him at once, he arranges "defeats" that harm an enemy more than him, etc. This method kept him alive and entertained, but monopolized his time and resources, forcing him to do nothing but make and steer enemies.

The details of his reign are described in the ninth volume of Imperial Chronicles. He died at the hands of a hero.[9]

Epigraphs[]

“And so Dread Emperor Irritant addressed the heroes thus: Lo and behold, I fear not your burning Light, for I am already on fire.”
– Extract from Volume IX of the official Imperial Chronicles[10]

“And so Dread Emperor Irritant did shout thus: ‘Leave him to me!’ And then he did ignore the Knight Errant, and brawled with a common soldier instead, and triumphed over him.”
– Extract from Volume IX of the official Imperial Chronicles[11]

“Oh no, please stop wrecking everything! Like that urn in the corner, with the djinn bound inside. No, the other one, with golden – oh, woeful day, this wanton destruction of priceless artefacts is so inconvenient to me personally and absolutely no one else.”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, ‘defending’ the palace of the High Lord of Aksum from heroes[3]

“Oh, woe is me, you’ve destroyed my army… Hahaha, you fell for it again! I haven’t paid them in a year, they were about to depose me. Once more, Irritant triumphs against all odds!”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[1]

“Irritant’s Law: inevitable doom is a finite resource, and becomes mere doom when split between multiple heroic bands. Nemeses should never simultaneously engage a single villain.”
– Extract from ‘The Axiom Appendix’, multiple contributors[8]

“Obviously you can’t kill me now: your enmity is with the Dread Emperor of Praes, and I’ve already abdicated. I am now but a humble shoemaker, and what kind of hero slays a shoemaker?”
– Dread Emperor Irritant, the Oddly Successful. Later noted to have made surprisingly nice shoes during his three abdications.[5]

“No, see, you’ll profit as well. All you need is to convince five others of contributing coin and when they do you’ll get a part of their own contribution. It’ll all work out, I promise.”
– Dread Emperor Irritant, the Oddly Successful, convincing High Lords to invest in the construction of ritual pyramid outside Ater[6]

“My dear High Lords, there is nothing to fear. We might be losing the war against Callow yet there is an obvious remedy to this: this morning, I declared war on Ashur. I will be surrendering unconditionally as soon as they acknowledge this, which ought to take care of our Callowan troubles.”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[4]

“Now, luck it always turns. Nothing you can do about that. But that’s the trick, you see – wait long enough, and it turns all the way around.”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[12]

“I can’t beat your band of heroes, true, but what if there were another eight bands also out for my blood? Ha! What are you going to do, form a line?”
– Dread Emperor Irritant, the Oddly Successful[13]

“Ah, but every palace you destroy has to be rebuilt! You’ve single-handedly pulled the Empire out of a slump, hahaha. Once again sweet victory is mine.”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[14]

“Oh, I get it. The real treasure was the people I had executed along the way!”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[15]

“Ah, but being defeated was always part of my plan! Yet another glorious victory for the Empire.”
– Dread Emperor Irritant, the Oddly Successful[16]

“Hahahahaha. Ha. You can’t beat me now, this is the first part of my plan!”
– Dread Emperor Irritant I, the Oddly Successful[17]

References[]

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