Job interview: evil minion

A choose-your-own-adventure story

Table of Contents

Introduction

You

You're random citizen #427,256 living in the Sérannian capital. Life is hard as a commoner. You missed on apprenticeship opportunities and are not qualified for any profession. Instead, you run errands for a patron and receive scraps from their table in reward.
  Your only chance at bettering your life is to find a richer patron, but powerful ones all have established client families and don't want a nobody like you. However, rumours are one of them is recruiting. The most powerful of all. The Dark Lord.
  After reflection—and surmounting your initial horror and prejudices—you've come to the conclusion that the Dark Lord is super cool and his army mighty and awesome!
You want to participate in his fantastic adventure to conquer the throne—and get your share of the spoils.
  And it's not like what you'll have to do in order to get it will be that horrible, right?
The Dark Lord's army by Stefan Keller on Pixabay



Location

The Dark Lord is leading a civil war in the south. You make your way over there using all your miserable savings to pay for passage on a barge. And then you start your search. Somehow, learning where the Dark Lord's secret base is located is harder than expected... You even have to borrow some food from unattended fields along the way, but you'll be able to repay back those people once you'll be rich and powerful!
  After months of random wanderings, someone tells you agents of the Dark Lord have established a base in a nearby village. The royal army is so incompetent, they haven't found it yet. This is your chance!
  Your contact even make a recruitment appointment for you. Everything will be easy from now on.
  Except you lost your way while getting to the village, and now all those damn houses look exactly the same! Roll a die to see if you're late.
The house by Michal Matlon on Unsplash



Your interviewer

You burst inside a cottage, out of breath and not knowing if you're late. You worriedly look around. The wooden walls are barren and the floor dirt, although the room is large. Yet, it only contains one desk standing in front of a door, as if guarding it. And seating at it is a woman. She looks stern and completely out of place with her fancy dress. You bow instinctively.
  She rises slowly and come closer to examine you. You maintain your position, waiting for her judgement.   "I expect you are the new candidate."   You risk a glance upwards.
 
Lateness die 1-2
She's sneering at you, your dishevelled state and your dirty clothes. You wince, suddenly pretty sure you're, in fact, quite late.
  "Please forgive my lateness and appearance, Lady," you beg. "I had to run to avoid making you wait even more. I promise I can be fit to represent the Dark Lord!"   She doesn't look convinced.   -1 on all rolls
Lateness die 3-4
Better not comment on your lateness if she doesn't do it herself. Who knows, you might actually be on time! Still, she seems dubious of your candidacy.
Lateness die 5-6
"You were prompt. I like recruits showing their zeal."   +1 on all rolls.
  Before you rejoice too much, she adds, "However, good manners will not be enough to get hired by us." She sneers at your dirty clothes.
by AmélieIS with images from Grzegorz Rakowski and Malik Skydsgaard



 

Interview

 
She retakes her seat. You wait one more minute before she gestures impatiently, and you rise from your bow.   "For what job are you qualified?" she asks.  
Minion 1
That's pathetic. So pathetic in fact, that even the woman takes pity on you.
  +1 on all rolls.
Minion 2
She looks dubious. "Everyone always thinks they are good enough to immediately do the prestigious work. We will see if you are truly worthy."  
Senior Minion
She sends you a look of pure incredulity. "You are too young to justify the experience."   Too late now to take that back.
  -1 on all rolls.
Principal minion
Her expression closes, before she rings a bell and wait.   Interruption+D7 with -3 on all rolls.
  "What competences do you have?" she asks next.  
Truth—"Not a lot yet, but I'm very willing to learn!"
"... at least you are honest." She doesn't look impressed at all.
Lie—"I'm used to managing teams of people! I've done a lot of that for wealthy patrons."
Unfortunately, the woman looks sceptical. "If that is indeed the case, then you will not have any problem with me increasing the difficulties of the tests."
  -1 penalty all rolls.
  She continues, "Your speciality?"  
Brain
"I'm good at finding innovative solutions to problems!"
  B1
Brawn
You flex your arm. "I'm good at physical stuff!"
  C1
Evil minions by Chela B. on Unsplash
 

Tests

Brain

B1
She raises a dubious eyebrow. "Someone has publicly insulted the Dark Lord and is organising a rebellion against our occupation. How would you deal with the situation?"  
  • Infiltrate the house thanks to your great lockpicking skills, take hostage the enemy's family—and bring them to the Dark Lord so that he can rough them up a bit to relax his nerves after all those insults!
    B2
  • Capture the enemy during their next public appearance and make an example out of them with some creative maiming and scarring!
    B3
  • B2
    The woman pivotes sideway in her chair and gestures grandly at the door behind her. "Demonstrate."   You luckily have some lockpicking tools—totally unrelated to anything you've done since you've left the capital, of course!
      Roll a die 1d6
    1-3 B5
    4-6 B4
    B3
    The woman rings a bell, and two men carrying a goat and a big knife enter the cottage. She gestures grandly at them. "Demonstrate."   You take the knife and steps towards the goat.   Roll a die 1d6
    1-3 B6
    4-6 B7
    Goat by AmélieIS
    B4
    Despite the stress of having a witness and the lock being more sophisticated than expected for a mere peasants' cottage, you manage to fumble your way through opening it.
      You reach for the door handle to prove your success, but the woman surges to her feet to put a hand firmly against the door, startling you. What's on the other side of that door?
      B8
    B5
    Somehow, this lock doesn't look as unsophisticated as a normal peasants'. With a heavy heart, you understand you were set up to fail.
    Though you can't complain, your real target would have a similar lock.   J9
    B6
    As soon as you hit its face, it bleats loudly and rams into you.
    The men lose their hold, and the stupid animal rams you again in the stomach but impales itself on your knife.   It's dead before you can do anything. The woman is thoroughly unimpressed.  
      Interruption+D1
    B7
    Before starting, you're careful to take hold of a horn to prevent it from ramming into you.   Still, you all struggle, as it somehow refuses to stay still while you're maiming it.
    Blood splashes everywhere, then brain and guts.   When you step back, the corpse has become an amazing art piece. You smile proudly.
      However, the woman's looking at the mess derisively. "You would be more suited to be a brainless goon."  
  • Accept to interview for brawn.
    C1
  • Defend your creative attempt and insist on continuing the brain tests.
    B8
  • B8
    The woman continues, "Competent servants of the Dark Lord need to know basic arithmetic to calculate the tributes people under our control have to pay. Let us have a test!   "In this region, we want 1,500,000 regional coins from a population of 20,000 made of 5% nobles, 18% merchants, and 27% craftsmen. Nobles pay 50 times more than farmers, merchants six times more than craftsmen, and craftsmen four times more than farmers. How much does a farmer have to pay?"   She obviously expects a quick answer. Hurry!  
     
  • This is ridiculous. You're in the evil team! Inflate the price, nobody can say anything about it, and surely the Dark Lord will appreciate your creative thinking and the abundance of resources!—he might even hand out a portions to minions like you to keep moral high!
    B9

  • 8.9 coins. Impossible, so they'll pay 9 coins, and you can earn some good will from the nobles by reducing their tributes.
    B10

  • 0.9 coins. Impossible, so they'll pay 1 coin, and you can earn some good will from the nobles by reducing their tributes.
    B11
  • Piles of coins by Angie J on Unsplash
    Equations by Roman Mager on Unsplash
    B9
    The woman gives you a look of pure scorn. You're a misunderstood genius!
      Interruption+D1
    B10
    The woman pouts. "Do not get too cocky, a child should be able to answer this!"  
      Interruption+D2
    B11
    The woman looks flatly at you. "You are spectacularly bad at maths."  
      Interruption+D1
     

    Brawn

    C1
    The woman rings a bell, and a moment later someone enters the cottage. A very burly someone. Uh oh.
      The woman sees your dismay and smiles sweetly. “This is our latest recruit. If you pretend to become one too, you should have no problem holding on in a fight against him.”   Wait a minute!
    You don’t have to be able to hold off a mountain to call yourself strong! … but it’s not like you can complain to the Dark Lord that his recruitment methods are not fair.
      What do you do?  
  • No need for clever tactic, just go all in to show off your strength! You're interviewing for brawn after all!
    The mountain will underestimate you based on your appearance.
    C2

  • Cheat. This is an evil organisation after all!
    You have a hidden dagger. You can’t very well kill your future colleague, but maiming should be good enough. And it’s not like the Dark Lord doesn’t have healers at his beck and call. The mountain might not heal completely, but that will only clear the way up the hierarchy for you.
    C3
  • C2
    The mountain gives you a nasty smile, but you don’t let yourself be intimidated!   Roll a die 1d6  
  • 1-3 you fail lamentably. The mountain grabs you as soon as you come within range and punch you. You fall. It takes a full minute to manage to get up. Pathetic
    Interruption+D1.

  • 4-6 your tactic is successful; you use the mountain's strength against him to throw him to the ground in just a few seconds.
    Interruption+D2.
  • by AmélieIS
    C3
    Turns out it's a very clever idea.
    The mountain can do nothing as you throw yourself to the ground and slash at his tendon. Blood gushes out everywhere.
      You hide your smirk and cautiously look at the woman.   She merely hums in interest. "You are far from a mindless goon."  
     
  • Agree to apply to brain. B1
  • Refuse. Interruption+D2
  • by AmélieIS with images from Pixabay and Vecteezy
     

    Interruption

     
    You suddenly notice the door behind the desk is opened—since when? A whiff of magic assault your senses. That power—Even with the cloak masking the figuring coming out, their identity is clear. The Dark Lord in person!
    You humbly fall to your knees and bow.   "Well," the lord says, his voice, low and smooth, sending a shiver down your spine.

    The Dark Lord by AmélieIS with an image from Javier Peñas on Unsplash

     
    D1
    "This was certainly an exceptional display of incompetence. And this one presumes to join our ranks?"   "Indeed, my lord", the lady answers in a respectful tone.   "What use will you be to us?" the lord asks with disinterest, all ready to dismiss you.  
  • "Your lordship, the only way I'd have really useful skills is if I were a spy, not a civilian. I'm sure most of your servants didn't come already trained but that you taught them many nefarious secrets. I assure you I'm an apt pupil!"
    D3

  • "I doubt I could be immediately very useful, your lordship. I only have my eagerness to offer you, and my promise to put all my efforts in the tasks assigned to me and in learning everything you're willing to teach."
    D4
  • by AmélieIS
    D2
    "This was interesting enough for someone of you level. Why do you wish to join us?"  
  • "I'd be incredibly honoured to stand by your side and assist you in conquering the country, your lordship, and I can only hope some of your glory will be reflected on me!"
    D5

  • "I'd be incredibly honoured to serve you in any way, your lordship, and to have the honour to participate in such a honourable—err, magnificent—purpose as you've chosen!"
    D6
  • by AmélieIS
    D3
    Judging by the loud silence, he didn't really appreciate your tone...   J1
    D4
    The lord hums in an unconvinced way.   Magic+M1
    D5
    Judging by the loud silence, he didn't really appreciate your focus on your own benefits...
      Magic+M2
    D6
    The lord hums pleasantly. Excellent. Humility is always the way to go with the powerful.
    So long as you don't downplay your usefulness too much of course...   Magic+M3
    D7
    "This was certainly an exceptional display of arrogance. What use will you be to us?" His incredulity is palpable.  
     
  • "I've tons of useful skills, your lordship, and I'm ready to learn a lot more! I'm sure most of your servants didn't come already trained but that you taught them many nefarious secrets. I assure you I'm an apt pupil!"
    D3

  • "I've tons of useful skills, your lordship, like my experience in bossing around people—I mean leading teams!—and supervising projects!"
    D4
  • by AmélieIS
     

    Magic

     
    His magic suddenly rises in the room, and you raise your head in alarm.   "Let us see how you handle that, shall we?" the Dark Lord says nonchalantly as if this was only a minor recruitment test and not a death sentence.
      Your magical skills are almost entirely nonexistant! You know a protective runic diagrams, of course—everyone does, it's carved in the façade of many buildings!—but being able to use it is something else entirely. You desperately focus your mind on it, but it's enormous and the details slip away from you.
     
    Roll a die 1d6
     
    M1
    1-2 J2
    3-4 J3
    5-6 J4
    M2
    1-2 J3
    3-4 J4
    5-6 J5
    M3
    1-2 J4
    3-4 J5
    5-6 J6
     

    Judgement

     
    J1
    The Dark Lord's magic suddenly rises in the room.
    Alarmed, you risk raising your head, only to see him cradling a fireball and throwing it right at you.   You cannot even scream as it consumes you.   The last thing you hear is the woman's exasperated sigh. "Was that really necessary, my lord? You know how ashes get everywhere!"
     
    J2
    To your astonishment, a shield starts forming, immobilising the fireball in the air! How awesome are you that you managed that on your first try?
      As you congratulate yourself, your focus slips.
      Your shield crashes down. Flames immediately engulf you. You cannot even scream.   The woman clears her throat and the Dark Lord sighs. The flames disappear. "I suppose managing to cast a shield on the first try is a good enough potential... Send for a healer. Afterwards, put them to use cleaning the outhouse."   Congratulations! You got what you wanted and are now one of the Dark Lord's evil minions! The burn scars will certainly make you look the part!
    J3
    To your astonishment, a shield starts forming, immobilising the fireball in the air! You don't lose time questioning your luck before jumping out of the way.   And not a second too soon, for your shield immediately crashes down and the flames surge forwards!
      The woman exclaims with dripping scorn: "What a useless coward! You should have had the grace to bear the consequences of your incompetence rather than run away! We have no use for your kind here!"   J10
    J4
    To your astonishment, a shield starts forming, immobilising the fireball in the air!
    Reinvigorated, you focus harder!   This pays off, for a perfect shield appears, and the fireball dissolves harmlessly. You smile smugly, but it's certainly well warranted!
      A snort startles you.   The Dark Lord smiles disdainfully. "Congratulations, you have got yourself a job as minion 1."  
  • Humbly accept. J11
  • Argue. J7
  • J5
    To your astonishment, a shield starts forming—it immobilises the fireball in the air!
    Reinvigorated, you focus harder!   This pays off, for a perfect shield appears, and the fireball dissolves harmlessly. You're careful to hide your smugness and act as if you do this kind of things every day.
      The Dark Lord looks at you with consideration. "Congratulations. You were somewhat competent. You have got yourself a job as minion 2.   "Now comes the practical test! We are in this village in the middle of nowhere because the leader of the nearby city has been defying us. Go kill her husband and kidnap her child to prove yourself! She is a weak countryside noble. That should be the perfect job for you!"  
      You better get used to your new life as an evil minion terrorising the weak and defenceless!
     
    The Dark Lord's army by Stefan Keller on Pixabay

     
    J6
    You focus so much on the shield that you ignore your surroundings until a great gong sound startles you. You're encircled by a dome of light brimming with magic!   No sign of a fireball anywhere.   You let your shield dissolve.   J12
    J7
    You absolutely cannot let this stand!
    You're worth better than this. You know it. You only have to show it to the Dark Lord.   "Your lordship! I beg you to reconsider!"   As soon as you start, you realise this might be a mistake.
    Too late to go back now.   Roll a die 1d6   1-3 J1
    4-5 J2
    6 J8
    J8
    You find your silver tongue: "Your lordship. I'm indeed unworthy of your consideration, however I still beg your lordship to give me the chance to prove I could become more. Life has been unkind to me so far, but I'm determined to better myself in your service."
      J12
    J9
    When you step back in defeat, the woman sneers. "What a useless idiot. We have no use for your kind here!"   J10
    J10
    Your whole face burns with shame. Before you can protest, someone grabs you by the arm and drag you outside before unceremoniously dropping you in the dirt.   Well. Looks like you fail your interview. But at least you're still alive?
    J11
    "Now go start cleaning the outhouse. That is all you are good for with the competence you have shown today."  
      You better get used to your new exciting life as a lowly minion!
     
    J12
    The Dark Lord looks at you with surprised approval. After some considerations, he declares grandly, "You shall be my apprentice."
      Wow! This is a dream become reality!
      At his signal, you scramble to your feet and hurry to follow him outside, ready to go terrorise and torture the population at his command—they've earned it anyway, what with being so stupid as to not follow such a magnificent leader!
     
    Battlefield by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash


    Comments

    Author's Notes

    Please share your interview experience for the good of the Sérannian community! We need to learn how to better please the Dark Lord, or soon there will be no one in left in the kingdom to rule over...   Thanks to Annie Stein for illustrating an important part of the interview process!


    Please Login in order to comment!
    17 Apr, 2022 15:54

    This is the first oneshot I've ever read, and I was seriously invested. Amazing work as always!

    Check out my competition entry!
    Sage RandoScorpio
    RandoScorpio
    17 Apr, 2022 16:01

    I didn't get the job...but that won't stop me from trying again!!

    If you have the time, stop by The Ravmor River, my entry for May's waterways and river challenge. I love to hear feedback and see what others love or hate about what I've written. What do you want more of? Less of?
    The Ravmor cuts through the dense Aristosa forest. Hiding terrifying monsters beneath its deep, fast currents, and ignoring forgotten legends could end the world around it.
    17 Apr, 2022 16:22

    I failed at every single choice/roll, got kicked out and insulted, but it was so much fun! Didn't expect this kind of format on WA, very well done!

    17 Apr, 2022 16:28

    I failed. Great ;)

    Check out the worlds of Veneficia, Magic Earth, Ithir and Vyraj
    17 Apr, 2022 16:41

    I ended up fireballed. Should have invested in that job interview prep school. That was fun!

    If you have some time, I would much appreciate your feedback on my entry for Adventure April: Carbon Copy Paradise
    17 Apr, 2022 16:54

    I am now a lowly minion and I really love the "Choose your own adventure" vibe of this. Really great work. :)

    You want to hear the voice of fire? I got you covered with my actual entry to the bard challenge: Amara Silverharp.
    17 Apr, 2022 16:55

    Nice one shot. I got minion 2.

    Want to check out more read my bard article
    17 Apr, 2022 17:55

    I'm minion2! This was fun, but my 2 minutes lunch break is over and have to go terrorizing the next village :P

    17 Apr, 2022 18:36

    Very create approach. Well done. I did get the minion 1 outhouse cleaning job.

    17 Apr, 2022 19:14

    This was fun and a very cool format! I'm going to need lessons in how to do this myself. Thanks for the job as Minion 2, I'll make you proud!

    Master frigid_lich_dnd
    Frigid_Lich_DnD
    17 Apr, 2022 19:35

    Got scorched and sent to clean toilets. 10/10 would risk my life to become a stupid henchman again.

    17 Apr, 2022 23:02

    I may have cheated slightly... but I got an apprentice job. Cool idea!

    Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Come check out my world, Jerde.
    silenaztoree
    Silena Jackson
    21 Apr, 2022 14:52

    Same Lilliana, same. It is a really cool idea though!

    17 Apr, 2022 23:24

    Amazing work AmélieIS ^_^   I thoroughly enjoyed this interview, even though I fail essentially at every step, got burnt, and am now cleaning toilets :D   Also, I think I spotted a small typo in "B6" as the green field tells one to go to B5, but I think it should be B7.

    Author of Cenorad ; a bleak-dark sandbox of creativity.
    17 Apr, 2022 23:42

    Really a great CYOA. I liked the idea itself, but the execution is also great. The throwing element is excellent. Sure, you could say that it introduces a random element that has little place here, but the fact that you can choose your modifiers at least gives you some influence. And it reflects that some things are unpredictable with this ruler ^^. And yes, the humour is really there. As well as my much loved pictures in this world. Really super anyway - even without knowing how much work was involved in shortening them.   Minion II btw.

    Welt: Yenort
    Master LanternLight
    Adebelle Anderson
    18 Apr, 2022 04:20

    I didn't get the job! They called me a coward! Our two kingdoms shall go to war! Jk, this was excellent! A wonderful concept! Well done and congrats!

    --ADBL tale tamer, lore crafter, and tea brewer extraordinaire.
    18 Apr, 2022 13:59

    This was such a great one-shot! Fun, and very detailed. I became the apprentice :D

    Check out my bard article:
    Sage PanAndPaper
    AS Lindsey (Pan)
    18 Apr, 2022 14:16

    This is such a cool idea, and really nicely executed. I managed to get recruited! Although I'm not sure if that's a good thing...

    Drake's Dozen | Magic and Tech and Identity, oh my.

    Oh, you want to see my Rivers and Waterways challenge entry? Well, if you insist!

    Hey, you! Log in to stay up to date with Drake's Dozen.

    18 Apr, 2022 15:12

    Very cool idea, so nicely executed! I made it through to minion 2 without getting crisped despite some poor die rolls. Just keep kowtowing !

    19 Apr, 2022 15:17

    I made Apprentice! Hooray!

    Visit my campaign world at the World of Wizard's Peak.

    21 Apr, 2022 22:19

    That was fun. And a bit scary. :) Plus, I got the job... That's scary too.

    21 Apr, 2022 23:08

    I'm a Minion 2, time to go do evil stuff!

    Check out my recent work: Lekagar, the Black River, and Colorless.
    23 Apr, 2022 00:11

    I'm dead and just a pile of ashed now. ;-;

    23 Apr, 2022 19:22

    The first time I got knocked out, the second I died, and only the third when I become worthy!   This is so fun and great. :D

    Check out my challenge's entry!
    Sage George Sanders
    George Sanders
    4 May, 2022 06:29

    I'm cleaning the out house! :)

    Lutra lived in the Unilynn until its end, then her son Ardelis brought her to Etonia. She knows the story behind their home, The One River.
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