Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

As the political scene in Taldor explodes into chaos, heroes take on the mantle of agents, advocates, and saboteurs working for Princess Eutropia to help secure her claim to the Imperial throne and prevent the Empire from collapsing in on itself in civil war. Will they grow from relative nobodies to powerful politicians and spymasters in the deadliest political arena in the Inner Sea?

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by ManWithDoor » Thu Jul 25, 2019 7:48 am

The Oracle of Irori is dressed in flowing robes, with a thick veil covering her face. She bows to Crichton, then pulls out her holy symbol and a small length of blue cloth. She ties the cloth around Crichton's right wrist, and makes a show of blessing him in the name of the Enlightened One. A feeling of clarity and certainty fills the young gentleman, leaving him better than he had arrived. Theodrix walks up as the blessing is finished, and sees that Crichton is right as rain.

Following the Grand Prince's arrival, servants begin to bring out a light supper, placing various expensive cheeses, fruits, pastries, and wines out on tables, or carrying platters to offer momentary repast. The food placates the masses left confused by Stavian's abrupt arrival and disappearance, and soon conversations return to normal. Socializing is becoming easier, as interested parties jockey for positions in food liens to speak with important dignitaries.

Mercutio approaches Marquess Charlotte Deschamps, an odd duck in the middle of swans. Despite her title she wears bland attire, dressing in entirely dark clothing. She wears minimal jewelry and keeps her hair long and unadorned. If Mercutio had been less perceptive, he may have mistaken her for a page or a high-placed servant. The fallen Vernissant quickly falls in to a comfortable conversation with Charlotte. While her background is not identical at all, being treated like a black sheep and having to work for every gain is not something everyone here can boast. As the conversation progresses she talks more and more about her adventures with the Pathfinder Society, and the good they do in the world.
Image
The Landgrave takes immediate advantage of the arriving food platters, shoving some hors d'oeuvres into his face. He takes advantage of the mess he just created to withdraw his arm from Aurelia's, ostensibly to manage the excess food. When she summons the vague illusion he jumps again, this time looking genuinely concerned. "My people know little about the powers of magic. Few have the time for mastery, caught up in fighting bugbears and frost giants. Besides the demon magic of Witchcraft, of course. That has cursed us many times over the generations." He makes a peasant sign against evil. "But any powerful ally is welcome to the lands of the Fog Peaks. Everyone here ignores our hamlets."
Crichton - Cure Critical Wounds - 42 HP cured. ...yeah, that's some solid overkill. You're full.

Mercutio - Diplomacy check, 23, Success. 1 Influence with the Marquess.

Aurelia - Diplomacy check, 31, Critical Success. 2 Influence with Ogvai.

Bertram finishes up his Mission, and can do whatever he wants now.

I'm going to move on to Dinner, and afterwards go straight into the Vote (and conclusion of Act 1). Seems we all got done what we were interested in in Court. Time to get to more Action! :)
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by Zorbeltuss » Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:52 pm

The Pathfinder Society does have it's certain appeal to Mercutio, or at least the stories it's members have to tell, so the marquess does not speak to deaf ears. But he does have an agenda aside from discussing those, but any good tale must need a framing, and The Mercutio clan had little regard for The Pathfinders, or so he claims, he isn't quite sure, but at least his father had thrown one issue of the chronicles on the flames because those weren't proper reading for a noble scion, so he sticks with that tale as his selling point for what he hopes will set her on the path to bloody their collective noses. While serving the princess, of course.

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by Vardaen » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:37 pm

Theodrix has grown board of the party, he had hoped he would locate Narsius here, but so far that has not happened. He has had a bit of fun with the wine bottle, met a potential ally, and of course flirted with the Royal Princess, but now he's board again.

He eats, using the meal lines to move about, looking for his target, or anyone he might assume is associated with him. Its a big place, and there are many people, making the task difficult. After a light bit of fare he makes for a balcony or someplace outside where he can get some air. He finds a dark quiet corner and broods there for a time watching the crowds, looking for Narsius but also watching those that pass this way and that anyone or any thing he might exploit later.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by GuyWithSword » Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:31 am

The enchantress allows Ogvai to back off a bit with the food. "I will be happy to become your ally then. Is there anything you'd like us to do to cement our friendship and cooperation? I can helpful in a variety of ways, and you can drop off messages to me at this message box at this address..." She writes down a mailbox that she is using in town.
Continue using diplomacy to cement the alliance.

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by Grimbold » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:27 am

Brother Bertram is quiet, list curiously listening in on the conversations around him and casually observering everyone.

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by ManWithDoor » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:40 pm

The Marquess' eyes narrow at the tale of Mercutio's father tossing a tome of the Chronicles into the fire. Pride in herself and the Pathfinders seems to be a powerful chord that Mercutio has struck, and a kinship is quickly developed, at least from Lady Deschamps' end. She seems decidedly interested in helping take down the Vernisant family a peg or two.

Some fortune towards that end is already showing itself. Earl Calhadion Vernisant looks to be hurrying around in a panic trailing a handful of guards. Not just a few items, but the entire collection on display has been stolen by thoroughly disreputable rapscallions. What was to be a moment of triumph, unveiling the artifacts before the official Vote, has turned to ashes in his mouth.

Aurelia finds similar luck with the poor Landgrave. Between a combination of terrifying the daylights out of him with her forwardness and her legitimate offer of alliance, he is agreeing to just about anything she says. He takes the Card and promises to stay in contact. He has little political acumen or power so has few hangers-on, but he rates an office as a member of the Senate, so he can be contacted through there. If he isn't in the Capitol they can forward on any messages to his home out in the hinterlands.

As dinner starts coming to an end a presentation by the Lotheed family commences. They bring out a familiar bottle of wine to be presented to the most powerful Senators, done for the usual reasons of fame and renown. However, unknown to most a certain special someone spiced it up a bit more than usual. The century-old bottle of wine is opened and served, and almost immediately there are cries of disgust, with one Senator retching onto the floor. The embarrassment of the head of the Lotheed delegation is visibly horrified, a visual that is surely to bring a sharp joy to Lady Martella's heart.

---------

Finally, the Taldan Senate convenes to vote on various issues, with one of prime importance. The food is cleared away and the Senators file to their seats on the Floor. Guests and witnesses such as yourselves fill the Gallery above to overflowing. The Hall spends 30 minutes arguing and voting on formalities and spending bills before reaching the event all of Taldor has been waiting for: whether to abolish the long-standing and controversial standard of inheritance.

The political ruling body of Taldor spreads out twenty feet from the observation deck of the Gallery. Dozens of Senators and their immediate aides scurry below. The cacophony of voices if almost deafening, and it seems like the ceaseless chatter will continue endlessly. Suddenly, the magically amplified voice of the Senate Speaker interrupts the noise. "Thank you all. I would ask that our observers please be silent and seat themselves. We will now begin voting on addendum number twenty-two thousands eighty-seven: the repeal of the ancient law of agnatic primogeniture, the issuance of inheritance and aristocratic title solely through first-born male heirs."
Mercutio - Diplomacy check, 25 (bonuses from great background story idea), Success. Marquess is now Friendly. Useful contact going forward, and one that would be interested in a bit of Familial Mischief as well.
Aurelia - Diplomacy check, 22, Success. Ogvai is now Friendly (although moderately terrified). Took your Card. Shows interest.

Going into the Voting and End of Act 1!!! Taking your activities into account, it's basically going into a Cinematic. I'll take it step by step through the Vote and such, with pauses to allow you to RP or comment as desired. Well done everyone.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by Vardaen » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:08 pm

Theodrix is fairly interested in the vote outcome. If these laws had been changed when he was a boy his life would be dramatically different. Its too late for him or his childhood, but maybe not for others. He looks around at the company he keeps and wonders how much these things really matter to them, if its a big game, or something more.

He sits silently, like some gargoyle perched atop a church, watching and waiting.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by ManWithDoor » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:46 pm

Following this proclamation, the Speaker begins calling on individual Senators one at a time to support or oppose the repeal. Early declarations split evenly between the options, with many Senators abstaining entirely. Halfway through the process the voting gets to those most heavily influenced by yourselves. Little is mentioned when the frontier Senator Landgrave Ogvai Jarlbjorn votes for the Princess rather than his usual abstentions. Who knows how the barbarians think. Loud whispers erupt from the gallery when Baron Nicolaus Okerra, the famous tournament winner and nascent debater and philosopher, proudly puts his vote toward Eutropia as well. A small cascade forms, pulling in even opportunists such as Countess Abrielle Pace to follow where the tide goes.

By the end of the tabulations, the repeal passes with slightly below 60 percent of the Senate's backing. The Speaker takes a moment to compose himself, seemingly shocked by the results, before continuing to formally announce the initial results in a distant monotone.

"And so, the final tally for addendum twenty-two thousand eighty-seven, the repeal of agnatic primogeniture, with fifty-six abstentions, the final tally stands at one hundred and seven for, seventy-nine against. The addendum ... passes. Among other business tonight, the Senate recognizes Princess Eutropia Stavian I as the new heir to the Primogen Crown." The Speaker is drowned out by cheers and cries of anger from the gallery, although the Senate itself manages to keep its decorum. It takes several minutes for the officers of the court and the guards to enforce order. The cacophony of celebration and condemnation is difficult to contain. The Speaker declares that a closed Senate recount is to take place, an event signaled by the Speaker declaring a temporary recess of the Senate to outsiders. The Gallery is cleared swiftly, with the guests dispersing back into the rest of the Senate Building.

As you all are ushered out, you hear your Patron over the telepathic link calling you to the library of the Imperial Archives to speak.
Othniel has been kind enough to volunteer to be a new PC. That will happen at the beginning of Act II.
Rule Number 12: "A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head."

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by Vardaen » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:35 pm

Theodrix can't help but smile. As the group moves his initial joy is replaced by pragmatism. "This is going to spell trouble. Those in charged don't give up power easily. I would expect some riots, assassination attempts, and more arranged marriages happening this week then ever before so the men in power can keep power. We are at the point of the spear, with a long way to go before we have control of the handle."

The words come over the link, and he turns his stride to head right there.
"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." - Gandalf
J.R.R. Tolkien, Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Re: Book 1: Crownfall, Act 1: All The King's Men

Post by Zorbeltuss » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:28 pm

"Dreadful things, arranged marriages." Mercutio quips in response to Theodorix. "Once upon a time, that was my mother's favorite threat, it lost it's appeal when father declared that I was like to embarrass the house by dishonoring my wife. I one-upped him by suggesting that if I disliked the girl enough to dishonor her, I would embarrass the house by not showing up to the ceremony in the first place, can't dishonor your wife if you don't marry her in the first place." His exact words had been something to the effect of being discovered abed with the bride's younger sister, assuming that one was pretty of course.

He had spent the voting observing people's reactions, and idly plotting how to woo the princess. Because wooing the princess would be a worthy waste of time, unless he succeeded of course!

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