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

Post by GuyWithSword » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:08 pm

Aurelia was hopeful throughout the entire affair, even though she knew that defeat was always possible. In the arena of politics, dirty tricks is the name of the game, and it would not have surprised the enchantress to see the vote go the other way despite all the work the group had done. Still, an outside observer likely could not tell the nervousness going through her mind, as she projects outward absolute confidence, sitting there legs crossed and smiling.

Now, with the vote over and the recount underway, Aurelia feels she can finally relax just a little bit. Just then, the message from her patron arrives, and she abandons her plans of further flirting for fun to join the debriefing. her long legs stride towards the library.

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

Post by ManWithDoor » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:42 pm

The Library is empty except for a few scribes going about their everyday business. Just because the Nobility have their Galas and Votes, it doesn't mean one still has to do their daily 9 to 5. Those working give you a wide berth, not wanting to get involved with whatever shenanigans the higher-ups are hatching. The commonfolk just want to survive the day and get home to their families.

Lady Martella is grinning from ear to ear as she hastily convenes the group. "Come, come, there is little time. After the recount, the King is going to give a speech to the whole assembly. And given how close the vote was, I'm not sure how the wider world will react as Grand Prince Stavian acknowledges the status of his Heir." She looks around, double-checking you are not being observed. She pulls several small pouches from under her garments, and distributes them to the group. "Here, for services well done. I had planned on paying you sometime later, but given the good news you should be rewarded now, and have plenty of spending money to party with. You deserve it. Especially after the spectacles of dismay and embarrassment you spread." Her smile is incorrigible, her good mood infectious.

"Come, let us make for the Courtyard. We want to have a good view for the Speech. And make sure over the next few days to stay in contact with those you talked up today. Maximize those good impressions. Many of them will likely spread some good will trinkets into your pockets as well, cultivating up and comers to help their interests. I advise taking the gifts, even if you decide not to throw your support behind their little projects. Never wise to burn bridges."
Reward was supposed to be 500 gp each for accomplishing a Mission. Since every Mission was completed (and you all also made excellent use of yourselves during the Gala), the reward is doubled. Everyone gets 1000 gp!
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 Sep 12, 2019 2:36 pm

"Can party a long time for this, real party anyway, stuffy seventy-seven course feasts with singers and mummers and all that comes with requires deep pockets" Mercutio observes, wondering if Martella knows how to do real party. Does her reaction betray anything towards that end? The Speech should be interesting anyhow. "So, what are we expecting, knives on the senate floor?"

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

Post by Vardaen » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:39 pm

Yeah for more money!
Theodrix takes the money, he's not sure what he'll do with it right now. Perhaps a little enjoyment is in order, but he also might use it to loosen some lips on a few personal matters he hasn't resolved yet. "Thank you Lady Martella." He joins her to see the speech.
"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 Grimbold » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:05 pm

Betram silently follows along, observing everything that happens.

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

Post by ManWithDoor » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:40 am

Lady Martella leads everyone back to the Courtyard, where servants have seemingly out of nowhere placed row upon row of chairs. The Grand Prince is expected to make his speech at the edge of the Balcony, where the dramatic lighting of the moon will make this an even grander moment. As you make your way to your seats, she flourishes a little letter, neatly folded and sealed with a wax heart. She looks at you impishly, then shoves it into Mercutio's hands. "Oh, I can't keep the glory to myself after how well you all did. I managed to arrange to be the one to hand a letter from Kalbio's parents to him on this momentous day. They wanted it to be given after the ceremony elevating him to the Nobility. You can be the one getting the glory and recognition. You've earned it." She does not know the exact contents of the letter, but knows that it is 'of a personal and emotional nature', sure to be a treasured moment for the grown man.

Hundreds of dignitaries, Senators, and visitors cram into the open Courtyard, the resplendent columns and high walls adding to the grandeur of the moment. A dozen hulking members of the Ulfen Guard, personal bodyguards of the Grand Prince, stand arrayed around the balcony overhead. As not the most important personages there, the group is placed closer to an outer wall, well over 80 feet from the lip of the balcony. Martella Lotheed is assigned closer, while the cream of the crop such as Princess Eutropia and her closest allies sit front and center.

Grand Prince Stavian III makes a stately entrance above, raising a single hand to calm the murmurs of the assembled crowd. A member of the prince's Ulfen Guard escorts a thrilled-looking man in noble attire - the soon-to-be-elevated commoner, Kalbio - to stand several paces behind the prince.

"Quite the assembly we have here today," the Grand Prince says. "I don't think I've ever seen the Senate Building packed so full' especially not for any of my previous speeches. Even my lovely daughter, now a woman, sits among the players of Oppara's greatest game. Of course, none of you are here for me. No, today is about something else entirely. Today is about elevation. It is no secret that today is about exalting others to a new status in life."

The monarch attempts a friendly wave over to the man of the hour, gesturing for the man to stand beside him. "I'm sure many of you have had the opportunity to meet Kalbio here. He is a man of the people, elevated at the urging of all the ladies, lords, Senators, and aides present in this chamber. I think we should all give him a rousing applause, to commemorate this momentous change in his life." The room erupts in cheers as Stavian pauses in his proclamation. The Grand Prince of Taldor smiles widely as he takes in the adulation of the crowd. Kalbio himself looks nervous, managing a small wave before quickly putting his hands awkwardly back at his side.
Image
Image
Even with the cheering, the resplendently-dressed Ulfen Guard and other soldiers stay at their stations, keeping an eye out for any troublemakers or undesired interruptions. Their bright armor and exact spacing make the moment feel like a parade. Bertram, who was less invested in thinking about the upcoming partying, makes notice of subtle repositioning within the building of armed, mutely-garbed personnel. They appear to be staying well away from the bright spectacle, but they appear to be moving towards the exits as the speech continues.
Mercutio - you've been given the Letter for Kalbio from his parents.
Bertram - your keen eyes noticed possible shenanigans afoot.
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 GuyWithSword » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:51 am

"Well, I'm happy to say that I made a...good impression on Landgrave Jarlbjorn. He may be simple and direct, but having a friend like that is crucial for when the subtle fails. Thank you, lady Martella. I will put these funds to good use, and I hope we can work together more. This has been most profitable."

Aurelia follows along as well, and this time will sit with her fellow teammates.

------------------------------

The enchantress watches he ceremony with interest, loving the pomp of the great game. This distracts her from noticing anything afoot currently, however.

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

Post by Vardaen » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:41 pm

Theodrix is not enjoying himself, not now. He knows this is all a sham. The elevation of one random commoner to nobility is nothing but a farce. "Exercise in placation..." he mutters to himself. This poor fool is better off staying where he was, these sharks will eat him alive the moment he's made a noble.

He glances over at his companions, they seem a bit more interested, except for Bertram, "Now what's he looking at?"
"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 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:30 am

"What impression did you expect to make?" Mercutio asks Aurelia in a casual slightly teasing manner accompanied with a look into her eyes that seems very much like an invitation to treat it like flirting, though perhaps more of a hint as to what might be explored once the job is well and truly done, but no commitments or expectations to it.

------------------------------
"Well, my lady is quite full of surprises" Mercutio just happens to have his fingers brush against Martella while receiving the letter, and looking into her eyes, because, she likes her, she's good looking and it seems as good a moment as any to try and test her appetite for a little flirtation. Besides, it's fun, does he actually need an excuse? Most likely, the worst that can happen is that she puts up amused resistance. The best that can happen? Well, that would be a lot of fun.
Throw in some more charm (diplomacy I guess) to see about piling on the earlier success maybe?
------------------------------
The speech was the regular fare, heard it all before, blah, blah, blah, as always, it was how people reacted to it that was the interesting part. Mercutio sometimes wondered if anyone would notice if The Prince might recite prayers to Asmodeus, probably, most people were sheep. White boring, bleating sheep, lapping up all the lines fed to them as if they mattered. Even Mercutio would probably notice since that would be unexpected. Now he had an acquaintance to make, a letter to deliver and glory to be had, and what is the use of glory if you can't prance around in it as if it is a cloak made of the colorful plumage of the most vain of birds, or a Couatl, those were the most splendid according to legend, Mercutio hasn't seen any, and the only one he knows having made that claim was dead drunk at the time, and very much unreliable.

He gets back to work after allowing himself to idly plot how to woo his way into Lady Martella's bedchambers, by her invitation, assuming this might be possible in the first place, but he knows by now that if there is a 1 in 10 chance to succeed, he just need to expect having to try his charm on 10 ladies, the same mental arithmetic that gets you ahead at the gambling den works with the ladies also, how funny is that?

Then he puts his mind to find a suitable moment, at an early opportunity, maybe not the earliest as he would very much like to interrupt some Vernisant stiffened from nether regions to the neck and beyond by the stick having been pushed there, even better if it is his own father, that would be great. "My congratulations." He offers with a bow. "Mercutio of The House Vernisant, at your service, quite literally in this case, as I have the honor of delivering a letter, a quite enjoyable read I am lead to assume."
Not sure what (if anything) should be rolled to see if he can annoy any family by his antics, but let's throw in a diplomacy to charm the newly uplifted man of the people

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

Post by ManWithDoor » Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:39 am

Empire's End

Kalbio of Breezy Creek wilts at all the public attention, backing off a few paces. As the applause abates, a hulking Ulfen Guard pushes Kalbio forward, almost knocking the commoner down as he awkwardly regains his balance beside Grand Prince Stavian. The leader of Taldor maintains his calm, placing a hand on Kalbio's shoulder without ever taking his eyes off the crowd. "I understand your parents sacrificed everything to help you reach this day, my boy. Saving up for your apprenticeship and the tools you needed to achieve greatness. And today you are a grateful son, no doubt making them proud. I too understand what it is to sacrifice; I have given so much for the people of this nation: a brother, sons, a lifetime of service. Even my own daughter's loyalty."

He pauses, licking his lips and pulling the awkward Kalbio closer to his side. "But unlike you, Lord Kalbio, these Taldans - my children, truly - are not grateful. They scheme and plot, dream of hanging their dutiful father and place a woman - a woman, sir! - on the Lion Throne! And they have seen fit this very day to induct you into their conspiratorial ranks. And that is why here, now, you, Lord Kalbio, will be the first among them to die." And with that, the Emperor of Taldor plunges a jeweled dagger between the ribs of the astonished man in his clutches.
Image
While Stavian's accusations stun the crowd, Kalbio's blood spurts across the front row of the assembled rowd. Kalbio mouths "Ma...ma...pa..." before he collapses to the stage in a heap. A red-stained Princess Eutropia defiantly stands among the nobility, staring up at her father in disbelief. Casting aside cloaks to reveal armor and blades, the unidentified soldiers in the chamber begin moving to cut down the attending masses in a wholesales slaughter. More than two score of them surround the room.

After a moment's confusion from most of the Ulfen Guard, the viking warriors attempt to close ranks around their Emperor, cutting down anyone - black-clad warrior and panicked Senator alike - who approaches. Masked soldiers guard the doors and make wide-arc slashes with their swords to keep the crowds at bay. Within mere seconds, the Senate floor becomes a killing field, as Stavian III looks around in deranged wonder at the butchery he has ordered.
You are all clearly in danger, and Combat is on.
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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