I’ve approached two of the factions to try and secure their support, and now its time to try my luck with the others – the merchant class and the common people. Or, to use a 2011 analogy, the 99% and the 1%.
I visit Golspiel of the Silver Tongue, merchant. Let’s face it, with a name like that, he wasn’t going to be a peasant. Before I leave for this little chin-wag, the High Grandmaster, who continues to go by his title rather than his name, mentions that Golspiel receives visitors in a ‘spice emporium’ and that the merchants have a significant number of mercenaries in their employ.
Aside : On my first attempt at typing this, I wrote that the “merchants have a significant number of merchants in their employ”. Probably also true.
As the saying goes, an honest mercenary is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
And if it isn’t a saying, then it ought to be one.
Golspiel welcomes me into his lair (I’m sorry, I meant chamber. Chamber. My mistake.) I give him the brief http://www.ancestry.com summary of my family background and show him my thigh / birthmark (again!) along with my father’s seal. He exhibits the classic poker face while I ask for his support.
He asks (demands?) that for his support I not only must give an undertaking to lift all (!!!) taxes on merchants after I become Overlord but also confirm that all (!!!!) those seeking to become merchants in the city must apply to him for licence before being allowed to trade. I can either accept this ultimatum or state that I will give his request all due consideration. There is no ‘secret option 3’ of ‘say yes now and then tell him to take a running jump after I become ruler’.
In any event, there’s no way I can give that kind of undertaking, and I tell Mr Wall Street so.
This doesn’t go down well, and I decline the further option of offering Golspiel a bribe to smooth things over. I take my leave, although he gives me a jade lotus as a ‘token of his esteem’. I check it quietly to make sure that it isn’t ticking.
My final choice is to try and rouse the rabble.
I’m introduced to the Demagogue, a nervous man who asks me to justify my claim to rule. I try to be guarded in my choices, quietly confirming my intent to restore my father’s laws and customs, along with a pledge to be fair to all.
He agrees to introduce me at a gathering behind the River of Beasts bar.
The Demagogue, unsurprisingly given his title, proves to be a gifted orator, bringing the crowd under his spell and encouraging them to scream ‘Death to the Usurper!’. He then introduces me as the rightful ruler, and the son of the Loremaster.
For my speech, I can adopt one of two basic themes. I can say that the Usurper should be punished, and that with their help I will become the new Overlord. Alternatively, I can embrace socialism by stating that I can restore the crowd’s birthright and that they have nothing to lose but their chains.
I go for the obvious answer, and appeal to their love of FREEEEDDDDOOOOOM. Plus I’m much better looking than William Wallace.
My speech is a success, and as a token of my speechifying, the Demagogue gives me a token, being a coin bearing the head of my father.
I now make the ‘final preparations’ to try to assassinate the Usurper. The Grandmaster confirms his knowledge of a secret way into the dungeons beneath the palace. There is another (!) message from a soothsayer, which is that, in said dungeons, the mausoleum of a former Lord of Irsmuncast holds a circlet which commands great magic.
In a final attempt to inspire me, the High Grandmaster mentions that “Many before have tried to kill the Usurper….and failed”.
Before I enter this final assault, and in addition to mentioning my statistics, let’s just run through the (important) items Avenger has collected :
- Locket with the hair of a saint (thanks Grizell! Hopefully worth dying for!)
- 10 gold pieces.
- Silver Shuriken from Glaivas.
- Small statuette of Dama from Gwyneth.
- Jade lotus from Golspiel.
- Commemorative coin from the Demagogue.
What could possibly go wrong?
Stats : Endurance : 20, Punch Modifier : +2, Kick Modifier: +3, Throw Modifier : 0, Fate Modifier : +1, Inner Force : 5
Awesome names : The Demagogue is the best self-descriptive name since ‘Maverick’ in Top Gun.