Most people in the Overlord world do not attach quite the same significance to "good" and "evil" as an inhabitant of Earth might. There are, in fact, two separate concepts depending on whether the word is capitalized or not. If it is not, you should understand it to have all the usual moral implications. If, however, it is capitalized, you should take it to mean something closer to a political leaning or a category of job.
The basic definition of an Evil country is not necessarily that its people are being oppressed, but rather that it is lead by someone ascribing to the Council of Evil, who calls their employees minions, who has a lair, and who uses a title more synonymous with overlord than “benevolent wise leader chosen by God and the people.
Identifying Where You Are
One can identify if one is in an evil country by the following means.
- Citizens’ wardrobes tend toward darker colors, the inclusion of pointy objects in daily wear, and the liberal use of traditionally styled black cloaks.
- Architecture that seems designed for functionality rather than beauty. Use of concrete and metal is common, also stone in the more traditional areas.
- The concept of the decorative laser turret seems to be a primarily evil idea, although I have never been able to fathom why as it is more a choice of practicality than style.
- Unusual weather patterns are a staple of evil countries as a side effect of the kind of experiments that are run. Also because large electrical storms lower electricity bills on immense lairs, and sky outside of the normal color adds interest to what could otherwise be a somewhat desolate landscape.
- Makes use of natural phenomenon such as volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, tsunamis, waterfalls, swamps and deserts. Can be used as power sources, means of execution, or locations for homes. The more drastic and terrifying the better.
In case the above list gave any clues, practicality of design is highly valued in evil countries. Efficiency of use and comfort all come ahead of style, at least in the countries that have done well for themselves. At the very least, massive edifices devoted solely to one purpose are a fixture, whether that purpose is for an experiment or as a giant statue of a famous leader or just a very large square stone block someone left in the middle of nowhere to mess with future historians.
Who to Talk To
Once you have identified that you are in an Evil country, there are important classifications as to which individuals you should engage with. I have divided the list into four basic parts (and this is by no means a comprehensive list and if your gut tells you something is rotten it probably is, my advice be damned).
People who will help
: The local police force is always an excellent place to go when unsure of one’s surroundings. If, however, you are uncomfortable going to them and believe horrible things might happen to you, people who sell fruit are usually nice. Since the produce business is rather competitive, they have to be. Only ask for basic directions, though, and not for food or shelter because these are business people and they will probably give you a bill of some kind after a few days that you will have no way of paying for. For the most part, the people who will help you are the ones who look competent and friendly. As long as you are willing to tell them the truth about why you are there, they’ll be perfectly willing to help.
If you don’t want to tell them the truth or are the kind of person for whom manipulation comes as second nature, feel free to try and con your way to help. You have a fifty-fifty chance of it working. Twenty-five percent chance they fall for it, twenty-five percent chance they see through it and help anyway, twenty-five percent they see through your ruse and ignore you, and twenty-five percent they have you arrested.
People who will try to help but will make things worse
: Friendly people in standard black-and-white business suits will help pass the time, and they will no doubt make you a good friend once you have settled in, but when first arriving they are not a good choice. Those with actual power and the clout needed to give you a place in this world will be wearing more stylish outfits in styles that will seem somewhat odd to any newcomer. If the clothing is familiar, it is because Earth clothing is cheap and thus the person is a low-level analyst or bureaucrat of some kind.
Also, children are a bad choice. By this I mostly mean the truly young, that have not yet reached double digits in age. They have grown up in this world and may not even understand any questions you ask them as it may seem like common sense to them. But there are also those children who will deliberately mislead you for mischief. It is always better to look around for an adult, just to be on the safe side.
Never ask an elf for help. Ninety percent of them are crazy, and there are no distinguishing visible characteristics that will enable you to tell the difference. It is better safe than sorry. And by sorry I can mean a wide range of things from dosed with tranquilizers to held captive by the admittedly rare cannibalistic sects.
People who will ignore you
: if someone is running, they will not stop for you. Attempting to get their attention will either get you run over or draw the attention of the local constabulary, neither of which I assume is a preferred outcome. Librarians are not a good choice either. The average gate guard is trained to appear to ignore everything. They will only respond to a threat, and it is not wise to make oneself appear a threat.
Those responsible for either small children or menageries of animals will ignore you in favor of their charges. You should let them. If you somehow possess training that may help them, employ it and gain a friend, but do not expect immediate help from this person. Demanding their attention may inadvertently cause an accident for which you can be held liable.
People who will do terrible things to you
: Do not go in the tavern. Taverns are for the drinking away of sorrows, the gambling of one’s worldly possessions, the starting of drunken brawls, and the hiring of assassins. These people will not want to talk to you, and may possibly want to kill you. Also, getting drunk is a surefire way of landing oneself in deeper trouble than may already be indicated by waking up in a place where the sky is bright purple (which does happen in Jovirenia
). Also, this should go without saying, but someone looking diseased or frothing at the mouth will not likely make a good ally.
Unfortunately, the criminal class is difficult to distinguish from the average citizen in an evil country because of the clothing styles that are popularized by Overlord rule. A standard rule is not to accept drinks from strangers and to trust one’s gut. Even if one’s gut is wrong, it’s better to have offended an accountant with an eye-patch than to have gotten in the vehicle of the clean-shaven sociopath. This is simply common sense.