I now have to choose which of the factions in Irsmuncast to lobby first for support in my upcoming revolution.
Essentially, my plan is to creep into the palace, kill the Usurper (and, presumably, bodyguards and hangers-on) and subsequently have my followers defeat the Usurper’s forces in battle on the city streets.
I can say from my youthful experience with this book that Avenger gets to visit all of them, as long as he’s not stupid enough to get himself killed.
Whether I will clear that bar is yet to be determined.
Simply because they are listed first, I go to visit the temple of Time. Leaving aside dad jokes as to whether I get there ‘in time’, I walk down the ‘Avenue of Seasons’ and arrive at a temple shaped in an interesting fashion. I refer you to the above illustration without further editorial comment.
At the entrance, there is displayed an interesting motto :
“Time – the Snowfather – Eldest Father – Youngest Son – from whose touch none is immune, without whom we would neither be nor die”.
As a former philosophy major, I can tell you that this sort of statement is the normal sort of David Lynch-esque gibberish that can mean everything or nothing. Hopefully I don’t have a to write a 3,500 word essay interpreting it later on.
Acting a little recklessly, I show the priests my birthmark and seal, and they mention that my father was a wise man who did much to help the poor. I ask how they could possibly help me, and they demonstrate their power by turning back time (copyright Cher) to a point two hours ago.
They then give me a guarantee that they will assist me, and I confirm that the lowering of the Usurper’s flag (on the roof of the palace) will be a signal for them to bring their magic to bear in aid of the revolution. I do take the fairly bold (!) move of assuring them that the temple will lose no privileges under my (future) rule.
Feeling a touch overconfident, I return to the Kwon temple and make a follow-up expedition to the temple of Dama, the ‘shieldmaiden of the Gods’.
In a bit of advance warning, the Kwon Grandmaster mentions that the Dama followers are strong believers in Law and Order (obviously repeatedly watching the show on DVD) and the Dama followers consider that only through discipline can their forces triumph. Those who are not shieldmaidens, are obviously principals of private girls’ schools.
I visit the temple to Dama and meet Force-Lady Gwyneth a forceful woman with ‘spiky, short iron-grey hair’.
Aside : I can tell you that Gwyneth is a major character in these books going forward, and, to be honest, she outshines Avenger is terms of overall awesomeness.
I show her my father’s seal and my birthmark, making the number of people who have seen my thigh on this adventure to a disturbingly high level. More importantly, I have a choice as to the ‘pitch’ I can use to persuade her to join the rebellion. I can either mention that the end rule of the Usurper’s rule will be chaos, or alternatively offer her the leadership of the army after the victorious revolution.
Given the pretty clear hint given by the Kwon High Grandmaster, I use the first inducement, appealing to her sense of order.
Keeping a poker face, Gwyneth asks about the fate of the temple of Dama under my (hypothetical) rule. I can attempt to bribe her, or simply confirm that my father’s laws will be restored. Although the majority of sons don’t want to be bound by their father’s rules, I restrain myself from offering a bribe, and confirm my willingness to follow in my father’s footsteps.
Gwyneth promises me the support of 2,000 Dama followers. Hopefully, this won’t be like the times other pretty older ladies made promises to Avenger (I’m sure those ended badly).
She gives me a small statue of the goddess Dama as a token of her support, and I return to the temple.
On the morrow, I shall lobby for support with the other factions. Whether I will have to promise capital gains tax cuts is yet to be determined.
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5