Saturday, August 5, 2017

Let's Play Kingdom: Eshbal - C1S4



Crossroads: Will The Kingdom Stamp Out Bribery?
Player's Turn:  Celia
Characters in Scene: Trebva (Perspective), Gaithek (Power)
Set: Early Afternoon / The Temple of Eternal Light
Scene Goals: Celia hopes that Trebva can convince Gaithek that the problems facing Eshbal are not merely mundane policy issues.
Randomizer: Adventuresmith - "Bridge Wash Out" + Weaken, Elusive, Food


Scene #4

The Minister had been respectful enough to send a message the day prior to alert the Temple that he would be paying a visit in his official capacity. To ensure that the meeting would be both comfortable and fairly private a room was prepared for the purpose and plans laid for a light afternoon meal.

Trebva [V] and Gaithek [G] are seated at a small, well laid table in a second story room of the Temple's main tower.

T: *having just finished the formalities of greeting an Imperial official* How has the crusade fared since our last meeting? Your strong response to the Guild's rebuttal was certainly decisive, however little news has risen since then...

G: *with a deep sigh*  What I have learned in my short stay within Eshbal is that the "status quo" is the Temple's primary challenger for the hearts and souls of our citizens.  Whether it be a failure of my ability to explain adequately or a testament to the stuborness of greed, I have yet to find an ally within this city's leadership that can see the damage that bribery will do to the long term stability...the damage it already has done. [Weaken]

T: Sir, I feel then that you have misunderstood the Temple's overt support of your efforts and the Emperor's reform efforts.

G: No, I have certainly been appreciative of that fact. Indeed, it is the cornerstone that I must build upon for now. *Gaithek studies Trebva's face for a moment, deciding how candidly to proceed*  Yet, it is my instinct that you do not put forth that support in the fullness of your capacity to do so. The Temple, yes even your Holiness, seem to have reservations as well.  [Elusive]

T: Minister, you are both observant and perceptive. You are also right, in this matter. The Temple has been instructed to be supportive, but not effusive. You, in honor of the Emperor, are tackling an important pillar of corruption in this great city, but you appear to dismiss it's roots. With that kind of approach, the Temple sees failure as inevitable when you have restrained you efforts through well intended ignorance. [Weaken]

G: *with a touch of bite in his tone* Your Holiness, I must admit that your reputation for zeal is not unfounded. May I be so worthy as have my "well intended ignorance" illuminated, that it might be overcome?

T: I will be blunt. Your work is merely beginning, the path ahead is long and arduous. I can say this with certainty because it is the path I too have walked since being raised to Holy Seer in Eshbal. What you possess is a dedication to the causes of the Emperor that many of your predecessor's either lacked or lost upon running into the stubbornness that this city has built as surely as the curtain wall that surrounds it. Yet you look not at the core, the spiritual decay that is both cause and symptom of the corruption you would root out.  It is self perpetuating. The Temple of Eternal Light was once a powerful tool the Empire could wield to ward off and exorcise that decay. The ignorance I spoke of can be overcome if you accept that the the will of the divine requires our undivided faith in return for the moral certainly necessary to defeat the selfishness inherent in our spirits.

G: What you are proposing is not in keeping with the Emperor's wishes or views on the matter. The Temple was reduced from it's former power many years ago, and not without reason. They had began to challenge the Emperor not for the souls of men, but for the rule of the Empire. That you exist at all is a testament to the Emperor's faithfulness to the Light. More so, we have entered an age of enlightenment. The alchemists and astrologers of the empire discover the mundane causes for many of the Light claimed miracles every day. The Emperor has instructed me to rejuvenate this city's respect and adherence to the code of law, the hallmark of the Empire's greatness distilled for wealthy and commoner alike. I will accept any offer of assistance you propose, but I can not restore the Temple to what it once was. To put it bluntly I have neither the will nor the political capital.

Reactions

Gaithek (Oscar): That was not how Gaithek expected the meeting to go. At the welcoming ball he had thought he had a strong ally in his corner. Now he sees that he is being handled by a religious hardliner who seems to have missed out on the glory days of the Temple's influence.  He may still have an ally hear, but he must be careful.

Tamriel (Eva): At her family's townhome Tamriel is hosting a dinner party that evening. She goes out of her way to invite a cross section of Eshbal's society to her gatherings. Tonight it pays off, as it often does. The Temple initiates she invited have been beside themselves with gratitude at being included into the heights of society.  In return they have been all to happy to discuss exhaustively the Minister's visit to the temple today. While they aren't privy to the details, it was an ill kept secret (if there had been any attempt to keep it at all) that the call had not gone as either party wished. Tamriel can't help but feel that this to her benefit, assuming she can gain the alliance with the new Minister that the Temple is failing to achieve.

Zufar (James): The rumblings have reached the Palace of the Guilds. Since the Gate closures there has been an uneasy armistice between the reform Minister and the city's money interests. However if word of a rift between the Minister and his sole ally, the Holy Seer, are true then perhaps they had brushed him aside already. This though has had Zufar grinning and whistling all afternoon.

Trebva (Celia):  Tebva could not be more disappointed in that meeting. They had been moving towards a strong working relationship, the Emperor's reform minister and the holy temple...she pushed to hard, was to blunt. She had intended to guide him along to the point where he could "discover" those truths for himself. Instead she had assaulted him, and his senses. But for him to think that this was sings that the Temple was repeating it's sins of the past, the audacity of the man was beginning to reveal itself.

Scene Outcome 
Advance Crossroad by 1

Time Advances 
☑ ☐ ☐ 

Crisis
☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ 

Crossroad 
 ☑ ☑ ☐ 
  • Predictions
    • Yes
      • None
    • No
      • The Wrath of the Light will lead to drought (Celia)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Let's Play Kingdom: Eshbal -C1S3


Crossroads: Will The Kingdom Stamp Out Bribery?
Player's Turn:  James
Characters in Scene: Narrated by Zufar (Touchstone)
Set: Morning / The Palace of the Guilds
Scene Goals: James wants Zufar to decide how to respond to Gaithek's actions.

Randomizer: Adventuresmith - "Someone Proposes" + Wish, Psychological, Structure




Scene #3

in a meeting with the other heads of the trade guilds, Zufar is killing off rumors, relaying the conversation from the day before with Minister Gaithek, and working over options with the other masters. [Proposal]

The guild master's are in agreement, the status quo has been a solid earner for many years. The cost is a fraction of the guilds' earnings,  so it is no hardship. As the saying goes, coin greases the wheel axel.
In the end, by a majority vote, the guilds' agree that ignoring the new Minister's thoughts until he takes it up as settled policy, is the way to go. the standard bribes will be increased to over come reluctance to offend the Ministry and to ensure that their shipments make it in and out of the city in a timely matter. {Structure] [Touchstone]

Reactions

Gaithek (Oscar): I am flabbergasted. I didn't expect Zufar to get on board, but I certainly didn't anticipate outright dismissal. I know I need to move carefully to avoid upsetting the careful balance in Eshbal, but I have to retaliate to avoid being made irrelevant...I shut the Lions Gate for 24 hours to all trade wagons, caravans, couriers, etc. and I enlist the Garrison commander to help police the gates and markets, arresting anyone paying or taking a bribe. [Power]

Zafur (James):  [CHALLENGE]  Even assuming the Minister has that kind of authority, that's a lot of people to bring on board your crusade. Both Touchstones,  Zufar and Tamriel, have made it pretty clear that the people are not upset about the current set up and some even like it. So once I get word of the steps Gaithek is taking I make my way up to the Garrison and meet with the commander. My guild handles a lot of the fort's supplies, so I have a fair bit of influence. I convince him that he had more to lose than gain by assisting your crusade.

Gaithek (Oscar): Without direct orders from the Emperor, apart from the oath I swore to root out the corruption in Eshbal, I have to rely on protocol and good will. Zufar has the latter in much higher supply, so the Guard does not patrol the gate and markets. but the Lions Gate restrictions do hold, I am a Minister with imperial backing so I should be able to manage that.

Zafur (James): Sounds fair to me.

Tamriel (Eva):  I am in The Baths the following morning when the gossip reaches me. One of my would be suitors, and occasional companion, came looking for me to share in hopes of gaining favor.
All I can do is shake my head. Gaithek could have gone about his response to Zufar in a smarter way and attempted to bring some of the more influential sectors into the fold, but instead he has lashed out and played into his opponents hands. The people might be open to reformers, but they won't sit for long when you mess with the ebb and flow of goods and people, Eshbal's life blood. you can feel it, the seeds of anger ready to be sewn on fertile soil. [Touchstone]

Tebva (Celia):  [CHALLENGE] I am in my Temple office when a message is passed along, updating me on the situation. I approve of the goals, the zeal, but am uncertain of the effectiveness of the tactics. As bad as the bribery and graft institutions in Eshbal are for her people, they need to have their eyes opened.

I challenge Tamriel. I leave the Temple in my ritual robes, to stand out and project stature. I am well known and respected. I make my way to the Lions Gate where angry crowds are beginning to form on the city side, and begin to preach. Reminding all the faithful of the Eternal Flame which bring the purifying fires that may hurt us, but also rejuvenate the fields. I urge them to give the Minister's endeavors time to rejuvenate and to not let the pains put out their Flame.

Tamriel (Eva): That wouldn't be enough. if you would be willing to leverage your holy seat, proclaiming either prophesy or Eternal assurance that the rejuvenation will be quick to hand.

Tebva (Celia): I can't do that. As a true believer, deceiving on the back of the holy gift of prophesy would not be an option.

Tamriel (Eva): Ok. I'll throw you a bone, you take the edge off the crowds, but should the restrictions last beyond the day it will come right back.

Tebva (Celia): I like it!

Scene Outcome 
Advance Crossroad by 1

Time Advances 
☑ ☐ ☐ 

Crisis
☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ 

Crossroad 
 ☑ ☐ ☐ 
  • Predictions
    • Yes
      • None
    • No
      • The Wrath of the Light will lead to drought (Celia)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Let's Play Kingdom: Eshbal - C1S2

Crossroads: Will The Kingdom Stamp Out Bribery?
Player's Turn:  Eva
Characters in Scene: Tamriel (Touchstone) , Gaithek (Power), Trebva (Perspective)
Set: Evening / Palace of the Ministry
Scene Goals: Eva intends to have Tamriel get acquainted with the new Minister, Celia will have Trebva push him on his plans for Eshbal, and Oscar hopes that Gaithek can hold his own.
Randomizer: Adventuresmith - "Rising Fame" + Deny, Frightful, Prophecy

Scene #2

Tamriel called in a few favors and tracked down a number of acquaintances, but in the end she managed to get and invitation to the welcoming ball in honor of the newly arrived Imperial minister. [Rising Fame]

She caught sight of him across the hall's expanse, and he was handsome if a bit rigid in his formality. He was alone for the moment, a rare occurrence this evening. Like a hawk Tamriel swooped on the opportunity. To her great displeasure she stepped up to the Minister just as High Priestess Trebva did the same.

Though many considered her wild beyond redemption, Tamriel knew how to dance to a tune when it suited her. For the time it did, so she bowed low and knuckled her forehead before the priestess.

Tamriel [T], Gaithek [G] and Trebva [V] stand, speaking quietly amid the ballroom's many guests
T: Your Holiness, may the light shine on you eternal...

V: *surprised, but masking it well* And on you, daughter. May it light the path you travel that you never lose your way.


G: *nods respectfully to the High Priestess and the society lady before him* Your Holiness, Lady...

T: Tamriel, Minister.  

G: Lady Tamriel. How can I be of service?

V: *She jumps in to prevent Tamriel from filling his head with bubbly non-sense* The Temple wishes to commend you on making a strong first impression. Personally it soothes the sorrows of my soul having heard it is your intention to stamp out the moral decay that hangs over Eshbal. I fear it may spread to the rest of the kingdom, left unfettered.  [Frightful]

G: I accept your praise with as much humility and I am able, but I must correct your Holiness. it is the Emperor's agenda I seek to pursue, not my own. And despite what reports have reached the Temple ahead of my first formal visit, I have not yet laid out the specifics of that agenda. [Deny]

T: *with a smirk that is both endearing and challenging* True, but if we assume that the Priestess has heard a tale similar, if less colorful, to those that are adrift in the streets then you have certainly been busy. Chastising Lord Zufar at the Lions Gate is certain to have all eyes on you.

G: Indeed, I had a conversation with the man you've mentioned.  We certainly did not see things a kin, but the law is clear. Imperial servants are paid by the emperor alone, in pursuit of His orders. Having walked the city's streets today, this is a tenant quite overlooked and done so openly in Eshbal. It's ease makes it an important pillar of corruption that I intend to see dismantled.

V: As you say, and expressed with admirable commitment and passion, the greed of this city is not to be taken lightly. Should it go unchecked you are certain to see the wrath of the Light leveled against our people, bringing great hardship on the road to regaining out humility and piety. Already the rains have ceased for a time, but a drought looms on the horizon. [Prophecy] [Perspective]

T: While none can argue the necessity that the laws are enforced, surely your Holiness would not believe that the weather is effected by the natural impulses of the human condition?  Minister, greed unchecked is indeed a liability, I agree. Yet, harnessed properly it is the single most reliable engine for progress the empire has ever found. To destroy rather than apply that engine for the sake of the letter of the law will not win the Emperor's favor in the long run. Using people's impulses to your benefit, that is the very meaning of leadership. [Deny]

G: In due time I intend to make the scope and focus of my career in Eshbal clear. Then you can more accurately praise or admonish my office. I will say this, you have both left me with a good deal to consider, though I am also disinclined to attribute the movement of the heavens with the displeasure of Heaven.

Reactions

Gaithek (Oscar): While his commitment to the Emperor's mission is resolute, Tamriel made some valid points. Gaithek must now consider how to act for the greater good of the Empire in his obedience to the Emperor. 

Tamriel (Eva): Having held the attention of the new Minister, Tamriel feels energized knowing that she is on the path to rebuilding her reputation and influence. If he is willing or compromise when needs require, she could push him far.

Zufar (James): Refusing to attend after the slight at the Lions Gate, the following day delivered to him reports from a number of eyes and ears that did attend. He was most pleased to learn that not only had Tamriel pulled herself out of the wineries, but was both well behaved and well spoken enough to gain  the new Minister's attention.

Trebva (Celia): Trebva is quite irritated that the new Minister seems to focus solely material matters. The nature of the heart or soul are either beyond comprehension or lacking in merit to justify consideration. Whichever it is, the outlooks grows dim. Additionally, Tamriel took her by surprise. She is well known, one of the few true nobles on the frontier, but her reputation did not prepare Trebva for a respectable opponent in debate.
Perspective: If the kingdom does not stamp out bribery... The Wrath of the Light will lead to drought 


Scene Outcome 
Advance Time by 1

Time Advances 
☑ ☐ ☐ 

Crisis
☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ 

Crossroad 
 ☐ ☐ ☐ 
  • Predictions
    • Yes
      • None
    • No
      • [NEW!] The Wrath of the Light will lead to drought (Celia)