The end of the unification war is generally recognized as the ascendance of Jeker Mahdol to the throne, resulting in the founding of the Mahdol dynasty. This line of fourteen kings ruled Tilasus for precisely two hundred thirteen years, six months, and two days. Such statements are often followed by the assertion that the dynasty ruled over times of peace and prosperity.
Such an assertion would be fatuous. The Mahdol were not terrible kings, but neither were they particularly inspired. As a whole, the dynasty is perhaps best known for the Great Crusade that began…
The line ended with Lopul Mahdol III, discovered dead after a night of debauchery on his sixty-third nameday. As best as can be determined, the king toppled over the balustrade of Castle Tilasus’s balcony walk and broke his neck when coming to an abrupt halt at the base of the grand stair. This left the monarchy of Tilasus in somewhat of an odd position, given that…
~Alexander Shiveran, A Discourse on Lesser Kingdoms, volume six
Welcome to Tilasus, a kingdom of… opportunity.
You see, Tilasus is a land without a monarch. It had one, until just this morning, when His Majesty Lopul Mahdol III was found dead of an unfortunate case of universal gravitation. The Queen has been dead nigh on six years, and the King’s son, Querot Mahdol, is half a world away, fighting a holy war in the Isle of Marigolds.
Being a person of influence and ambition, this places you in a rather interesting position. With the King dead, and the heir apparent out of the picture… perhaps the time has come for a change of management in Tilasus. After all, the kingdom needs a new monarch.
Why should it not be you?
To that end, I need of you an aspiring leader. Nobles, courtiers, merchants, high clerics, all have their place in the game. When the prize is a throne, the knives have a way of coming out. So tell me who you are, and I’ll tell you how to take your kingdom.
Who are you?
What I require is a biography. This should include pertinent details including name, age, social standing, occupation, perhaps a bit of personal background and history as well.
It should also contain your stats.
You will have ten points to allocate into three categories, which represent three potential approaches on your road to power. Those categories are:
Prowess - Prowess is a measure of straightforward power. It can be seen as strength, be that physical or martial. A high prowess score can indicate imposing physicality, a person who dominates any room that they walk into, or it could indicate a high degree of skill honed to a lethal point. A lower prowess score can indicate less stature, natural clumsiness, or a lack of training.
Economy - Economy is a measure of wealth. That wealth might be expressed as land, trade resources, or simply the ever popular inherited wealth. A high economy score indicates a large amount of amassed capital. Gold opens doors, secures favors, and can buy friends and allies, or more importantly still, discretion. A lower economy score can indicate a lack of available resources, debts, or favors owed.
Gravitas - Gravitas is a measure of social clout. It could be called charisma, or social graces. A high gravitas score indicates the ability to navigate the often murky waters of the political arena with poise and savvy. Information is another form of currency, one recognized by deal brokers, influence peddlers, and spymasters. A lower gravitas score can indicate a poor grasp of politics, a tendency to put one’s foot in one’s mouth, or being on the receiving end of another party’s blackmail.
Edit: A note regarding stats and ranges: You should have at least one point in each stat. A zero in any given stat represents a crippling debility, such that your character would no longer be considered fit to hold the throne. At start then, no character should have a stat higher than eight in any given category. Stats will adjust over the course of the RP at my discretion as a reflection of the results of the efforts of your character.
Final details then: Each of the NPCs who follow have their own scores for the aforementioned stats. As such, they will be more or less receptive to your overtures, depending on the approach taken. Due to your position or history in the political arena in Tilasus, you start out with three advantages.
First - Your character knows the weakness of one of the NPCs who follow. That is to say, you know what methods will best bend that NPC to your cause, should you have the means to properly exploit it. Your knowledge of this weakness is secret; no one else knows that you know it, or how you acquired said knowledge (As such, once your character is approved, please PM me your choice).
Second - Your character is owed a favor by one of the NPCs who follow. This is a small favor, a matter of some little remark. Perhaps you once delivered some minor item they desired, or covered a minor debt. This will stand you in good favor with them. Perhaps it will open a door in the future.
Third - Your character is known to be allied to one of the NPCs who follow. This alliance is of a casual nature. It is by no means a formal written document or marriage contract. Simply put, your paths have crossed several times in the past, and more often than not you have found yourselves on the same side of the grand game of politics.
The Path to Power
No man, or woman, is an island. The kings and queens of Tilasus may hold more power than any other person in the kingdom, but that power is by no means absolute. The Artificers’ Guild, the Golden Bursars, the Grand Library, the High Convocation, the Arbitrators, the Royal Army: these organizations are extensions of the monarch, the levers by which its powers are made manifest.
Yet, as monolithic as they may seem, each is made up of men and women with their own hopes, dreams, and aspirations. You would do well to remember this, even if they will be your pawns - witting or otherwise - in the game to come.
The Artificers’ Guild
The Artificers’ Guild is responsible for the wonders and marvels of modern life in Tilasus. From clockwork exoskeletons to razorwing packs, passenger dirigibles to horseless carriages, all manner of new and exciting developments are being turned out of the Ironworks on a daily basis.
Kaello Tousapon, Grand Artificer - His Clockwork Eminence, Kaello Tousapon has headed the Artificers’ Guild for decades and is credited with creating, or perfecting the designs, for the majority of the inventions churned out by the Ironworks. Kaello is an old man, but he has a mind like a steel trap. He is only rarely seen in his resplendent robes of office, preferring instead to spend his days tinkering in his workshop, up to his elbows in gears and grease.
Letta Sitheri, High Artificer - Lady of the Cog, Letta Sitheri is the Grand Artificer’s right-hand woman. Ostensibly that means she fills in for Kaello at state events or on the Council when Kaello is otherwise engaged. In reality, that means Letta is truly responsible for the day to day operations of the Artificers’ Guild, keeping things running while the Grand Artificer tinkers and invents. By all accounts this is much as Sitheri would prefer. Kaello is helpless when it comes to organization, and she regards the Grand Artificer much like a wayward aunt might an easily distracted nephew.
Asteral Kintesh, Esteemed Artificer - Lord of Brass, Asteral Kintesh is an old rival of Kaello. Many years ago, upon the death of then Grand Artificer Taen, Kaello and Asteral both put forth their names to serve as his replacement. But Asteral lost the vote, and then had to suffer the added indignity of being relegated to third in command when Kaello made Leeta Lady of the Cog.
The Golden Bursars
Charged with oversight of matters economic, the Golden Bursars are responsible for advising the monarchs of Tilasus on markets, trade, and commodities. They are also responsible for the maintenance of both the Royal Treasury, and the Grand Mint.
Kulka Alee, Goldspinner - Mistress of the Mint, Kulka Alee oversees assay offices and coining operations that turn out Tilasus’ golden stars, silver moons, and other lesser coinage. A stickler for the details, Kulka is the elder “golden sister”, siblings who jointly oversee the Mint and the Treasury.
Hepa Alee, Silver Lady - Mistress of the Exchequer, Hepa Alee is charged with the care of the Royal Treasury. This includes oversight of the treasury itself, as well as the army of assessors, accountants, and tax collectors who keep the gold flowing. Hepa is the younger of the “golden sisters”, generally seen as bookish and withdrawn.
Kavio Smies, Earthbreaker - Master of the Mines, Kavio Smies is a rough-and-tumble commoner living in a noble’s refined world. His charge is oversight of the mining operations that prise the ores, metals, and gems responsible for driving Tilasus’ economy from the rugged landscape. Kavio is a savant when it comes to his trade, though rumor has it he has enjoyed much less success in managing the fruits of his labors.
The Grand Library
“Never forget the wizards,” the commoners whisper in the dark of the night. Cast from royal favor by the rise of the Artificers’ Guild, the Grand Library may hold less power than it once did, but its astrologers and alchemists still speak in the halls of power, and the magi have both wisdom and secrets in plenty.
Phesto Van, Master Alchemist - Lord of Wisdom, Phesto Van has served the crown for many, many years. The wizened master of the Grand Library is an alchemist of incomparable talent, though like so many before him, one feat has always eluded him: The alchemist’s eternal failure at finding a means to transmute lead into gold.
Orena Ken, High Sorceress - Mistress of Magic, Orena Ken is charged with the keeping of the magical laboratories and testing grounds of the Grand Library. A font of knowledge about all matters magical, Orena makes few courtly appearances, but plays the game with consummate skill.
Liots Arn, Master Astrologer - Watcher of the Spheres, Liots Arn spends most of his time closeted in the high recesses of the Grand Library. But that does not mean his influence is not felt. A wise astrologer, Liots has forgotten more about the heavens and their movement than most will ever learn. His predictions of their movements, and what those interactions mean for life in Tilasus, were once the talk of the kingdom. More than any other member of the Library, Liots’ has been wounded by the Artificers’ rise to prominence.
The High Convocation
In the end, everyone answers to the gods. The High Convocation cares for Tilasus on all matters spiritual. One could be forgiven for dismissing its clerics and speakers as unimportant to the high drama of the court, but one should never forget that the wrath of the gods is a terrible thing to behold.
Oneas Whitespar, Godspeaker - The Voice of Baan, Oneas Whitespar is a former sailor, undisputed leader of the faithful. Stories say that Oneas’ ship was struck by lightning, blasting apart the mainmast. A spar from the rigging, shattered by the break, fell and transfixed the sailor to the deck. Whitespar called out to Baan and the god answered; when the fragment was drawn from Oneas there was not a speck of blood on it. He joined the clergy as soon as the damaged vessel made it back to Tilasus.
Anataa Tuli, Warcaller - The Voice of Vos, Anataa Tuli is, perhaps more than any other, responsible for the current political situation in Tilasus. Anataa is, after all, the foremost speaker of Vos, god of War. It was she who fanned the flames of war, who sparked the Great Crusade against the Roshon and the Isle of Marigolds. Her drive, perhaps obsession, is to see the Crusade through to its admittedly genocidal conclusion.
Armo Raata, Soft Speaker - The Voice of Illyra, Armo Raata is the youngest Voice to sit on the High Convocation in centuries. A reformer and a man of the people, Armo has done his utmost to oppose the policies of Anataa. Devoted to service to the poor and downtrodden, it is no secret he desires to end the Great Crusade and bring about a new dawn for Tilasus.
The king may make the law, but he cannot be bothered with interpreting every little jot and tittle. For that purpose, cases are brought before the Arbitrators. Formally charged with cataloging and tracking the laws of Tilasus, these representatives of order hand down both rulings and punishments.
Tuo Maari, High Justice - The Final Arbitrator, Tuo Maari is the final word in all rulings and interpretations when it comes to the law in Tilasus. Only the monarch him or herself might overturn Maari’s pronouncements. As such, Maari is rightly feared, and his favor is curried by those searching for a way to put their thumb on the scales of justice.
Tuo Velov, Justice’s Hand - The King’s Justice, Tuo Velov’s grim visage and executioner’s sword, have been the last sight seen by many a criminal. Rarely seen in public without the featureless black mask of his station, Velov is a hard man. He existence is necessary, but the King’s Justice is understandably unloved by the populace. Not that he seems to mind all that much.
Tuo Aika, Lawkeeper - The Record Keeper, Tuo Aika is a librarian of sorts. Aika’s charge is the keeping of records related to the countless rulings and interpretations of the law. That makes her the source for many searching for precedent and guidance from past cases that have come before the Arbitrators. Aika has a sterling reputation, both for fairness, and for always finding what she is looking for among the archives.
The Royal Army
It takes more than swords to keep a kingdom safe - it takes men to wield them, and others to train them, and others to direct them. The Royal Army protects Tilasus, but it also serves as its strong arm, reaching out to bring faraway lands and resources under the monarchy’s sway.
Komen Tajo, Majordomo - The Grand Marshal, Komen Tajo is, nominally, the man in charge of the Royal Army. One could be forgiven for wondering at that, given the majority of that force is still in the Isle of Marigolds on the Great Crusade. Komen is an old man, cagey still, but retired from the field. His man work these days is overseeing the training of the army’s generals and officers.
Jannes Nel, Supplier - The Quartermaster, Jannes Nel is often mocked as the grand pencil-pusher. Responsible for overseeing the procurement and distribution of supplies for the Royal Army, Jannes can get you anything you need to wage war, outfit an army, or train men for battle. Of course, she’ll be the first to tell you that everything has a price.
Koho Tahi, Rising Star - The Sixth Commander, Koho Tahi is new minted from the Royal Army’s training program for field commanders. Koho is young, promising, and of nigh limitless ambition. He has not yet seen the crucible of battle firsthand, but he has strong instincts and high marks from his instructors. It only remains to be seen if he can put theory into practice.
Victory, of course, will mean taking that most vaunted of seats, the throne of Tilasus. In order to do so you will need to secure the support of the various factions who support the monarchy. Not to mention the fact you’ll have to eliminate or co-opt your rivals. But should you feel confident enough in the prospects of your victory, you need merely make a post to that effect here saying, “The King is dead. Long live the King (or Queen).”
< Message edited by Kellehendros -- 2/10/2019 16:00:21 >