The throne is empty, and the kingdom of Norida has been ruled by KOBRI for the last twelve years. RICA, a young commoner, is practicing sword work [Is that what they called it in days of yore?] when SANO, a heavenly being, indicates that the MOST HIGH has chosen her as the next ruler. [Indicates? Like with sign language? Pantomime?]
[Abbot and Costelllo's classic Most High routine:
Sano: Yo, Rica. You've been chosen ruler of Norida.
Rica: Chosen by who?
Sano: The Most High.
Rica: He'd have to be the most high to choose me. What's his name?]
Sano: The Most High.
Sano: That's his name.
Sano: The Most High.
Rica: And his name is what?
Sano: No. It's the Most High.
Rica: The Most High what?
Sano: That's his name. And I'm going to recommend that he make another choice.]
[Why has the Most High waited 12 years to choose a new ruler?]
[Do all the gods have such descriptive names? Is there a Most Boring, Least Tall, Second-Most High, etc.? It would be better to give them numbers, like on The Prisoner.]
Kobri tells Rica that Lord KANTO may be abusing his power. [What is Kanto's power?] Rica commands him to investigate these rumors, but Kobri twists her words to prevent the investigation. When Rica attempts to investigate the rumors herself, two men try to kill her. Kobri urges Rica to arrest Lord Kanto for the attack, but she refuses.
The evidence actually suggests that her high officials and members of her army were behind the attack, and Rica worries that they might try again. [One gets the impression that when the Most High chooses a ruler, Most People couldn't care less. Doesn't the Most High have the power to kill those who refuse to accept the chosen ruler?] She escapes the palace in disguise and hires on as a cargo caravan guard in hopes of finding out what is really going on in her kingdom. During her travels, Rica hears rumors that Lord DARRIS, Kobri’s nephew, regularly breaks the law.
Rica leaves the caravan to investigate these rumors. She immediately discovers that Kobri illegally ordered Lord Kanto arrested for the assassination attempt, but that Kanto’s men rescued him. Then Darris’ soldiers attempt to arrest a nearby stranger, and Rica helps the stranger’s bodyguards get him to safety. The stranger explains that his son killed the previous king on Darris’ and Kobri’s orders. Kanto’s men are escorting him to the Queen to testify in the hope that she will arrest them. [I need a scorecard to keep up with this. Anyone who was still with you up to that paragraph has just abandoned you. Except EE, of course. Onward, through the fog.]
Since Rica no longer controls the royal army, she marches back to Darris’ palace determined take him down by herself. [Her and what army?] Some of Kanto's men follow Rica. [Ah. Kanto's army.] They think she may be a spy for Darris returning to report on them. When Rica instead rescues a woman from Darris' unwanted attentions, they decide to help her. The leader of an underground rebel movement against Darris also helps her escape. [Seriously. Consider attaching a scorecard to this synopsis when submitting it.]
Kanto and his forces join with Rica and the rebels to attack Darris' palace. But just hours after Darris is captured, the royal army appears outside the palace demanding that the rebels surrender. Rica goes out to confront them and shows proof that she is the queen. [The document of authenticity Sano gave her, signed by the High Guy.] The army is shocked to find her there--they thought they had been acting under her orders. Rica orders the army back to the capital to arrest Kobri and later sentences Kobri and Darris to death.
A heavenly messenger appears in the kingdom of Norida and declares that Rica, a young commoner, has been chosen as the next ruler. The kingdom has been ruled by Kobri for the last twelve years, ever since the previous king was assassinated.
Rica has heard rumors of widespread corruption among the leadership, and when she sets out to investigate, two men attempt to kill her. Kobri accuses his rival, Lord Kanto, of the assassination attempt, but evidence suggests that Rica's high officials and soldiers were responsible. Worried that they'll try again, she slips out of the palace in the night.
Disguised as a caravan guard, Rica travels about the kingdom seeking the truth. She discovers that Kobri has illegally arrested Lord Kanto for the assassination attempt. She also learns that Kobri and his nephew Darris were behind the assassination of the previous king.
As Rica marches to Darris’s palace, determined to take him down, she is joined by Lord Kanto's men and by members of an underground rebel movement. Darris is easily overpowered and captured . . . but the royal army appears outside the palace demanding that the rebels surrender. Rica confronts them; the soldiers are shocked to find they've been sent by Kobri to strike against their queen. Rica orders them back to the capital to arrest Kobri, and when she later sentences Kobri and Darris to death, Norida can close the books on a troubled period in her history.
If anything, this seemed more confusing than it did in Face-Lift 329.
Too many names, too many subplots.
I still don't get the point of the Most High appointing the ruler if the choice isn't respected. Surely the villains can't get the entire army to follow them instead of the chosen one.
If someone tells you they want a longer synopsis, tell them that's your plot and you're sticking to it.