Alright, this is getting serious. I’ve arrived at Irsmuncast, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to be made Overlord by mere popular acclaim.
I suppose this ain’t American Idol.
Then again, thank goodness, because I can’t hold a tune.
In a gesture of humility, I enter the city humbly, barefoot. All that’s missing is the surfboard.
I walk through the gates, and notice (with apparent disapproval) that many of the inhabitants and soldiers are orcs and halvorcs. There’s a bit of obvious racial implication to my observations, but I let that slide. More importantly, the guards at the entrance gate are commanded by a priest wearing the symbols of Nemesis, the Supreme Principal of Evil (ominous organ chord!).
I nevertheless slip into the city unnoticed at the changing of the guard.
Naturally enough, I decide to look for the Temple to Kwon, but I don’t have a signal on my IPhone, meaning I can’t rely on GPS. I reach what appears to be a park, with paths to the north and east, while noticing booths of fortune-tellers and other hustlers.
I walk along the east road, because this part (at least) I remember from my previous attempts at the book. I stroll into another park, where the various slides, swings and roundabouts are marred by torture wheels, which bear bodies of worshippers of Dama (the goddess opposite to Honoric’s Vasch-Ro) and Kwon. A sign describing them as ‘Traitors’ sits above them.
Avenger notes that it ‘seems’ that they have died for opposing the Usurper.
Gee, you think?!!
I walk past these bodies and find the monastery dedicated to Kwon. I show my birthmark (on my thigh, remember!) to the monk at the entrance and am ushered in to see the Grandmaster.
Oh, I’m sorry, “High Grandmaster”.
I guess someone’s a little insecure.
I show the High Grandmaster my birthmark and my father’s seal. He acknowledges that I may be able to deliver him and the other people from the rule of the Usurper, and gives me the local gossip on the city of Irsmuncast. In summary :
- The cruel Usurper (who apparently doesn’t have an actual, you know, name) has terrorised the people since my father’s death.
- Half of everything earned / grown by farmers is taken as taxes to feed the army of orcs and halvorcs. I guess we’re about to experience a debate regarding progressive taxation, along with budgetary considerations concerning national defence.
- For anyone to get married, they must get a permit, with worshippers of the ‘good’ gods, frequently rejected. This is a big deal, because ‘bastards’ cannot inherit their parents’ property.
- Crippling taxes are imposed on all save those who worship Nemesis. How this is enforced is open to question. Does attending temple on Sundays give you a ‘tax free’ token, or is there another identifying sign I should know about?
In summary, he pledges me the temple’s support but, as the temple doesn’t have a ninja tradition, I’ll need to seek out support elsewhere for my uprising. Apparently merely promising a more equitable tax policy won’t be enough.
Essentially I will need to win over several of the non-aligned power bases in the city. They are :
- The Temple dedicated to the god Time, which is exempt from tax and maintains a neutral approach to everything.
- The merchants, being the equivalent to Wall Street merchant bankers. They are led by ‘Golspiel of the Silver Tongue’ and have many mercenaries at their beck and call.
- The Temple to Dama, the ‘shield-maiden of the Gods’. who present as a bunch of Amazons, if Amazons wore full plate armour and kicked ass with swords.
- Finally there are the blue-collar working class, described in the book as the ‘rabble’ and dispossessed. It is mentioned that they comprise ‘over half’ of the city, so I guess it would be mathematically incorrect to call them the 99%.
The monks of the temple heal my wounds, which would be awesome if Dore hadn’t already done that on the way to the city. But thanks for trying.
I pray at the temple to Kwon, and regain Inner Force (although I am already on maximum – again, thanks for nothing, book).
I have the option of visiting various taverns / pubs to obtain information, but I think I’ll sip my scotch and consider my options before leaving tomorrow.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5
Awesome names : Golspiel of the Silver Tongue tells you everything you need to know.