Part 22: Everyone involved in this plot sucksPart XXII: Everyone involved in this plot sucks
The Commercium is flexing on Gaelius now. No doubt Gaius Goonius will play a role.
Strabos, who looks like a cross between John Goodman and Joe Ligotti, is the guildmaster of Maadoran, making him the de facto leader of the Commercium. He's more or less a mafia boss.
: Why do you need a fresh face?
Ah, the "replace competent ruler with useless relative" gambit. I hope you don't end up with a Joffrey Baratheon, Strabos.
We have three people to talk to: Lady Lorenza, Lord Senna, and Legatus Pavola. We've met Senna and Pavola before.
: I have a few questions.
: What can you tell me about Maadoran?
: What does master Linos think of your plan?
Strabos isn't very helpful.
Here's the guy with the badge in the Palace District. What if we try to buy it from him?
: Can you sell me your badge?
: You used it, didn't you? I'm not paying for you. My share comes to 125. Take it or leave it.
tfw you have a high Trade skill
Let's try the badge.
What, you thought that would work? You idiot. You utter simp. It's never that easy.
: I want to talk to Lord Gaelius.
Showing the map does nothing. We're not seeing Gaelius, period.
Anyway, our first stop is Lord Senna.
As you can see, our dialogue skills are getting a workout. Don't try this unless you have a 6 in Persuade/Etiquette/Streetwise.
I'm... not sure what the differences are between the two options. The outcome is the same, regardless.
: I'm only looking for what's best for the city, my lord. A man destined to rule this great city should posses a lot of qualities, but I believe that it is the willingness to listen to well-meant counsel that will set him apart from all others.
Next is Lady Lorenza, who lives across from Senna.
She sounds charming.
: Thank you for receiving me on such short notice, my lady.
: I'm well versed in history, my lady. House Calani ruled Maadoran for centuries until House Aurelian took it by force shortly after the Great War. I hope that one day your city will be restored to you.
: I represent the guild, so I don't stand alone.
: I wasn't given much choice in the matter.
Christ, it's always "me me me" with you people.
: Do you really expect me to?
: To make a name for myself and see where it takes me.
Impatience of youth? You look to be 25.
Passing the etiquette and lore checks earlier makes this one easier.
: You have two options here. Make a deal with Strabos and share the power or refuse to come to an agreement and watch Gaelius tightening up his grip over your city. I know that I'm just a lowborn and could never grasp the full extent of your concerns, but where I come from, something is always better than nothing.
Success! Before we leave, we can ask Lorenza a question.
It's a bold conversation opener.
: They say you killed your five husbands.
: Are you saying you didn't?
Yeesh, I can't believe men are still trying to marry her.
: What happened to husband number five?
Last on the list is Pavola.
I admire his bluntness.
: I thought it was customary to think of the enemy of your enemy as your friend.
Pavola may secretly be the wisest character in the game.
: We want what you want -- a Lord who isn't a a fanatic, but a reasonable man, a man with an open mind, a man we all can deal with.
Aaaand done! Huh, that was easy.
: About the conspirators...
: Legatus Pavola, Lady Lorenza Calani, and Lord Senna.
Oh god, there's a catch.
Of course you did, you asshole.
: Who's Darista?
: Does it mean that Gaelius knows?
Maybe da Boatmen should have dere kneecaps broken in da back of a chariot. lets go Blues baby love da blues
: What stops me from selling you to the Boatmen?
: Unless he thinks he's saving it.
We're not going to Pavola, since getting the guards triggers a fight when Hamza shows up.
Not much to do in the villa except talk to the servant.
: You want a name? Strabos. It's his plot. I have nothing to do with it.
Oh come ON.
: So, Gaelius will let him get away with it?
Well, he did broker an alliance between two Noble Houses, a Legatus and the most powerful guild in Maadoran, so I'd say he's somewhat of a threat. True, I played a significant role , but c'mon...
At this point we can:
1. Fight, which is stupid.
2. Convince Hamza to kill Darista.
3. Convince Hamza to kill Lord Massalus.
Option 3 seems the safest.
: I want a better deal.
I'm tempted to sell out these dickheads.
: Lord Massalus.
: Have you ever laid eyes upon a noble who didn't want more power?
Wait, really? Wow.
: You don't seem to be worried.
: I'm still surprised that it's so easy to kill a man like Gaelius.
: Why are you doing it?
He's doing it in the name of equality
: No lord would ever accept such beliefs.
"By the gods, I WILL recieve an invitation to the annual fish fry!"
: How did you become a guildmaster? You don't seem like most merchants I've seen.
Like I said: mafia boss.
: I want to talk to Lord Serenas. Master Strabos sent me.
Talent really does skip a generation.
Settle down, Lord Fauntleroy.
: I beg forgiveness, my lord. My master is nothing but the humblest of your servants. His service was indeed his duty and does not require a payment, but I was so certain that your first official act would correct your uncle's mistakes that I assumed that you'd reward his loyalty and dedication.
: It seems like neither of them is suitable for the task. You need someone who will do what needs to be done, without bothering you with insignificant details or "bickering" with the others. Someone like my master.
: And that's precisely what makes him a perfect candidate. Running the city is a job. You know the noble-born better than I do. Where would you find one who's willing to work day and night, going over the balance sheets?
When am I gonna be magistratus?
: I talked to Serenas...
: Congratulations, you're the new magistratus. While Lorenza and Senna were fighting and putting more pressure on Serenas than he could handle, I convinced them to give the position to you.
: What does the report say?
: And what do you think?
Lordships for everyone!
: What can you tell me about Athanasius?
: If he's such a problem, why not just kill him?
Yeah, I don't think I want to work for Strabos anymore.
Next Time: Things get bloody