Moments after slaying the dragon; a servant, not older than 15 approaches you quickly. Winded he explains that the high magistrate Alexis has summoned you to the town hall for an urgent affair. He cannot say more but will take you there now. As you walk through the Bazaar you notice an abundance of human military bearing the mark and banners of Fenwick II. As you walk into the room the magistrate greets you with:
“A hail for the deck bearers and the saviors of the Bazaar!” the others of the room follow and pay similar respects with nods and bows. Looking around the room you immediately recognize your friend, Arathor, the goliath chieftain. He is wearing full battle regalia, his thundering hammer slung on his back. You also notice a human with stubble and long golden locks, and a greatsword on his back. An elf is also present with a slender diamond inlaid breastplate, white hair, two blades on his hips and an ornate tiara. Aracelis quickly notices at least 3 daggers concealed about the elf. Each has a small entourage with them but the leaders are clearly identifiable. The magistrate introduces Lord Timothy, Commander of the Eastern armies, kingdom of Fenwick II and Delante (elvish commander rank) Telshor a commander and specialist within the Elven Empire.
“Gentlemen (and lady), now that we have completed the pleasantries I believe we should begin discussing the urgent matters at hand. I have a conference room that will be well suited, I would prefer if we just have the leaders present and the card bearers.”
With hesitant nods of agreement the leaders follow Alexis back to the conference room and take their seats. After a few moments the room erupts with accusations, anger, and claims. Attempting to slow things down, Alexis hands the leader of the humans a large book. The magistrate explains “This is the magical book of diplomacy, whoever holds it has the floor and the right to speak and be heard. All others should be silent, when questions arise a quiet hand shall suggest that you require the book and the floor.” While offended (especially Telshor, who rolls his eyes) the room quiets and the book passes to Lord Timothy.
“We have a claim here in the Bazaar. We came to lend our aid and to protect the innocent citizens. We would see the Bazaar fall under the rule of the mighty and great Fenwick II with the hope that the human empire here and abroad may prosper. This is a dangerous place and we are willing to dip into our military reserves and our gold vaults to ensure that the Bazaar has the highest tier of safety and protection. All we ask is that you submit to Fenwick’s rule.”
“And his taxes” Aracelis thought. “It was hard enough growing up when an honest day’s work meant 60% of the wages went to the king’s vaults.” This is partly why Aracelis turned to other ways to make “an honest day’s wage” in un-taxable, unreported income.
The book passed to Telshor and he began “Long have the elves been denizens of peace in the region, we have helped to hold off magical beasts and terrors that are thankfully only in your worst nightmares rather than at your doorsteps. We have had a united front and simply want peace in the region. We do not ask that you submit to our rule just that we be allowed to claim lands, resources, and trade to allow our empire some growth. We will inhabit these lands and be stewards of peace and prosperity. We are even willing to overlook the transgressions of the goliath.”
“What transgressions are those??!?!” Arathor roared.
“Why your conquering of the fort, the mines, and other non-peaceful transgressions, of course. Not to mention your dealings with the gnomes of the Blackwood Forrest! They are quite the troublesome lot indeed!” Telshor replied, visibly agitated.
“You lie! We know nothing of the gnomes and those other “transgressions” were in response to threats and were necessary. We are not the monstrous warmongers you make us out to be!”
“You can think what you’d like beast but you and your kind don’t exactly have a record of peace or diplomacy. You hide in your mountains and pillage as you see fit, you change leaders like you change underwear. One bad decision or illness and the next line of successors will line up and quarrel over the leadership claim. Face it, you are like a rabid coyote pack with no true organization. Your ability to organize is only matched by your ability to stay clean!” Telshor smirked as his voice escalated with the delivery of the insult.
“Enough!” Alexis shouted. “We are here to find a peaceful resolution to the three armies occupying my city, not elevate this feud further!” (note: In fact only the human army has occupied the city, the other two armies are on the outskirts) With that she passes the book to Arathor and says, “State your claim”
“The goliath have had one interest and claim alone, to take the borderlands as our own. We have been organizing and uniting the tribes. We want the chance to be a free nation and to enjoy the successes and failures that come with those nations.” He glared at Telshor as he snickered when he said failures but went on. “It is with this idea in mind that we want to establish the Bazaar as our capital city. The proximity to the mines will allow us to expand the borders of the town, the mines, our prosperity, and our trade. We will still be open to fair trade with the other factions as long as they do not cross us.”
The room erupted briefly before the magistrate calmed them and asked, “Silence! The room will hear the questions and opinions of those who bear the deck!”
With that she looks at you and passes the book your way.
ACTIVE ROLEPLAY Q&A time. Once you reach a decision there will be actions and consequences.
Greyyone steps out of the shadows and looks at High Reagent Alexis. “Seems that all of you are arguing at who gets this town but I don’t see anyone consulting you High Reagent. What says the town?” Greyyone also steps over to Aracelis and whispers in his ear “Didn’t the elves work with the Orcs when you took that fortress?”
Brent Boehnke Miggins eyebrows rose at the clear insult of his breartherin and glares at the elf wondering to himself what he would look like if someone nipped his ear points and knocked the tierra off his head. “I agree with greyone what are the feelings of the people. As much as these offers are all decent (hands in air making the air quote) offers. Shouldn’t the people get to have a say?”
Joshua Daniel @Shane: Aracelis would respond with an affirmative, there were some commando style elves at the fortress so there may be some deception coming from Telshor. Or perhaps he felt he had a claim there? It was near the Blackwood Forrest afterall. The hig…See More
Joshua Daniel @Brent she looks to Miggins, “The people will survive as I am sure we can reach a diplomatic outcome with any of these offers. However, life as we know it will change. We have diversity in this city so some will adapt better than others. The ones who are unable to adapt, I fear will be forced to leave”
“Well” Greyyone muses. “All interested parties have had some interesting say. One question we might ask is how each faction is going to rule? King Fenwick says he will supply military and gold but how will that military and gold be used? The elves say they will keep a hands off approach but want to expand? The giants wants to use this as a capital city. How will each faction handle the people already in town? Will they have a say in how the town is run? How will you Lord Timothy govern? As far as the elves you have been in league with Orcs which captured a giant against his wishes and used him for your own ends, hence a rescue mission was dispatched to deal with that. The mines were peacefully given over to the giants by the town which has been mutually beneficial to all of us. As far as the gnomes my cousins most likely are looking out for themselves and protecting themselves from the troublesome inhabitants of the woods. So far our dealings with the goliath have been nothing but honorable but I would like to hear more of each factions plans for The Bazaar. I would like to think of this town as my home now and I will make sure that the town is well represented even if that means letting no faction rule here.” With that Greyyone hands the book to Lord Timothy “Now Lord tell us of your plans and shall we say you be honest, we will know if you are not. When you are done you may hand the book to the Telshor and he may tell us more of the elven plans and so on.”
Lord Timothy Begins “We offer protection to the Bazaar and are willing to allow the magistrate to continue running your town. She will have the standard laws of Fenwick to submit to as well as the taxing and drafting requirements. Most of the drafted citizens will serve here rather than abroad and we can make some concessions to accommodate your, UNIQUE, situation. Just know that we will work around the clock to turn the bazaar into a stronghold that even Orcus himself would fear to lay siege against. And you, master Greyy, would also receive many of the benefits as well. I have been authorized by the treasury to advance your party 200,000 gold to bring your equipment up to date or meet any of your needs. Note that is just an advance, we would of course continue funding you to ensure prosperity within the borderlands and the empire of Fenwick!”
Telshor takes the book and begins. “While the humans would take the Bazaar they and the Goliath seek to take the entire borderlands! I am not familiar with the incident with the orcs, specifically, but I do know that we have dispatched aid to the wood elves residing in the Blackwood Forrest. (your insight roll beat his bluff, you detect that he may be withholding truth about this incident). I also know that they have been victims of multiple attacks and harassments from the gnomes of the area. I question whether you were involved with those attacks gnome!” He steps back from the accusation and reclaims a more polite demeanor. “Knowing who you are and of your feats I am guessing that had you been involved the wood elves would have been forced to flee. Nevertheless, we seek a peaceful alliance with the Bazaar, many things will stay intact here but we would need to expand out lands in the borderlands without opposition. There are key resources and treasures here that we seek. We are willing to allow you access to our prestigious marketplace which includes many hard to find and wondrous magical items.” (you sense no deception in the rest of his speech).
Arathor takes the book and addresses you. “Friends, allies, we have been through much. In all that time have I not been to my word? Have we not had cordial affairs? Maybe not by human standards but I believe my honor abounds. I will not paint a nice and pleasant picture for you. The goliath will move into the Bazaar and begin changing it into a capital that can unite the other clans and giants everywhere. We will seek to expand and create settlements within the borderlands. We will allow the denizens, merchants, and traders safe passage but will treat criminals harshly (you know their laws and harshly is an understatement). We will treat the lawful citizens fairly and respectfully but as you know our culture is not something everyone embraces. We will allow the magistrate to hold a governmental position and have influence in the decisions of the town, however, I as chief will have the final say (they operate under a council+chief style government). You, dear friends, will also have a say on the council just as you have a say here today. I feel I should not have to bribe you as these others have but I am willing to set aside some of my finest warriors to train you and strengthen your bodies for the upcoming trials that you may face. I will do this of course for a fair wage for their time as I believe it is fair and also not a bribe. And of course, the Greathammer guild will continue to be at your disposal. We seek to establish a united kingdom and cease the nomadic tribal setup of the giant kind. As previously mentioned we will start by expanding the Bazaar’s borders and expanding the mines to make them even more lucrative. (side note: your stake in the mines was paid shortly after your return. You gain 5,000 gold each for the time in the under dark. With expanded mines this amount may triple or quadruple bi-annually). Once established we will continue to stake claims throughout the borderlands and will do so as peacefully as possible. Those opposed will be treated as criminals.”