Pathfinder Kingmaker

The Queen Speaks

“The Caretaker is…not the evil you think it is,” Tessara said in a near-whisper, in response to Pik’s question.

“He, or she – I’m not sure – has been in this region for some time, predating this realm,” she continued, “and always a force for balance, I think.”

The kings and others present listened intently as she spoke.

“These woods, and these steppes…these lands…are ancient, and have seen many rulers, wars, and peoples come and go, and yet there has always been nature, and through its normal course, balance.

“The Caretaker, I believe is a force of or a being aligned with the natural world, unfettered by civilization and artificial laws, rules, and structures. I don’t think the Caretaker is at war with what has been built here, and what the realm represents; however, I do think the Caretaker seeks to act as a balance against what the Mistmarches seeks to impose on these lands.

“This may bring the Caretaker into some forms of conflict with the realm, and sometimes to its aide – or, rather, to the aide of the people. I believe that we have put too much emphasis on the Caretaker as both an individual and as an opponent, when we should be looking at these criminal activities and gangs as the real source of destructive power. And whether the Caretaker is a man, woman, or something else matters not…the Caretaker is a force of the natural world, seeking to promote and maintain balance.”

Tessara droned on in a low voice, almost dead-pan, as the others watched and listened.

“As for the Caretaker’s actual identity in the conventional sense, I…do not know it.”

Comments

So, in a way, the Caretaker wrought chaos to bring balance to the order the Mistmarches brought?

The Queen Speaks
 

“Something like that. Perhaps the Caretaker sees the order and power of these kings to be…destabilizing to the natural order,” she answers, gazing toward the banners hung from the chamber’s ceiling, battle streamers and house standards for the realm.

The Queen Speaks
 

Akiros watches and listens as the kings and queen talk among themselves.

‘Either she’s lying or she’s a loon, gods help us,’ he thinks to himself, maintaining his practiced look of serious indifference. His place was to execute orders and ensure that they were carried out properly if had to delegate, not to decide policy. Still, he couldn’t help but think that the old adage of it being ill-advised to see sausage being made before eating some applied to politics, as well.

The Queen Speaks
 

So, how do we setup a meeting with Caretaker?

The Queen Speaks
 

In the quiet of the hall following the queen’s remarks, Anton stands in front of his throne, his hands resting upon his sheathed sword held point down in front of him and speaks into the silence:

“Ah, so to be lukewarm is the way of all things? These ‘Pendulum Philosophies’ are contrary to good when they seek to detract from the order and justice which comes of Law. The viewpoint that offers the theory that the world is nothing more than shades of gray is terribly flawed and is proven out in many ways. One such standard is that even in chaos there is always law.

The slippery slope of a blurred landscape is the very slope that would eventually cause all to slide into a degenerated state, an impetus to propel mankind backward into its base or animal state.

I have pondered and researched that I might come to an understanding of these beliefs of which you speak, that I might tolerate and live in harmony with people who espouse such tenets, but tolerance does not require abandoning one’s standards or a tossing of the moral compass.

Therefore, I reject the theory that because something doesn’t always fight against you, its not an enemy. I will not knowingly ally with a detracting force simply because it does not currently struggle against us. Anything and anyone who works against the Kingdom of the Mistmarches is an enemy to the very foundations of all we have established and worked so hard to achieve."

The Queen Speaks
 

META
I hope that carried what Anton would have said. As well as conveying his alignment and rolling in his religious and philisophical quest which ultimately ended with his decision to follow Iomedae. And combined that with his love for the kingdom.
(I made a diplomacy roll of 15 + 22 = 37, just in case it matters)

The Queen Speaks
 

I was not implying alliance.

The Queen Speaks
 

“Nor did I think you were, my friend. I merely speak for myself and not for the Council until this Council has reached a decision.” Anton’s face seems more grave of late, but the fondness in which he holds his fellow royals is visible when he smiles down upon his gnomish peer.
He then retakes his seat and sends a page to request Akiros come speak with him when his soonest occasion permits.

The Queen Speaks
 

Note: Akiros is already in the room.

The Queen Speaks
 

..so the page walks about 8 feet, tells Akiros that King Anton would like to speak with him, to which the Marshal replies, “yes, m’lord?”

The Queen Speaks
 

Tessara ponders Pik’s question.

“I have no way of directly contacting the Caretaker, let alone arrange for a meeting. I know what I know because of my connection with the land, the people, and the natural world around us. I have been here for years, you know…years before you arrived,” she states, nodding to all present as she does. A small hint of irony is heard in her words.

The Queen Speaks
 

You… or the Caretaker?

The Queen Speaks
 

Tessara’s face darkens slightly at Pik’s question, her eyes narrowing.

“I have lived on these lands for over 300 years, making the Narlmarches my home. I was forced out of my home by ravenous fey, a century before your grandparents were born. I have seen lords come and go, and many attempts at subduing this place. The Kingdom of the Mistmarches is the most successful, to be sure – but it is only the most recent in a long line of the work of men to civilize these woods…these steppes…my home”

Tessara looks tired, drawn, and somewhat sad, as if she had just shared a burden she’d carried for many years, alone, and even now spoken, is still on her shoulders, the elf among the shorter-lived races.

“The Caretaker could be seen as a threat to this realm, I agree. The cults and gangs within this very city, however…those are the real and immediate threats to our realm, our people, and our lives.”

The Queen Speaks
 

Pik’s inner monologue: 300 years, our understanding was closer to 130 years. Questions and more questions
Tessara, we realize this has been your home for a long time, and we also appreciate how you have chosen to be part of the Mistmarches. But, this is our home now too, and while we have not had the years to grow to love this land, that does not diminish that we do love it. We have fought, and bled for this land, just as you have. Regarding the cults and gangs, what more can you share about that?

The Queen Speaks
 

The cults and gangs within this very city are the symptom to a greater disease. Once we get a handle on these symptoms, then a new crop will spring up. The care taker must leave.
As for you Tessara, around for 300 years before our grand parents were born, but powerless to do anything about it. That must gall you that such children have the chops to do what you could not. And you let this infestation grow! Our people! Your subjects, you let be corrupted, and or die. Do you look up to this care taker? Support it? Dammit!!! We have a church to Erastil! One of our kings is a devout follower! It is the premier religion!!! There is an ORDER to our home. Apart of the natural order.
I challenge you, find this care taker, and prove your loyalty to this kingdom.
If you do not, I say you have no home here.

The Queen Speaks
 

Meta
300 or 130 – I don’t remember. That’s on the GM.

The Queen Speaks
 

“Lelylala gyncolelana wyrnlanana meeleewallagwendolala…” the queen sneers in Elven.

“This bickering is pointless. Are we going to find and deal with these cults and gangs, or spend our time sniping at each other?” she deadpans in Common.

Reg grimaces and nods. “She’s got a point, boys.”

The Queen Speaks
 

You probably do, and Lip could take me in one bite. I am not interested in comparing lengths, obviously would come up short. So, cults and gangs…

The Queen Speaks
 

“To you both I say, choose your words wisely – else they are perceived as threat and challenge. A civil war we do not need. Some or all of us could die, but our people would suffer the most. Please, of all people, I must be the one to beseech you to be calm and rational?”

To distract and refocus the discussion, Anton quickly readdresses the room and the Marshal.

“How best to eliminate the cults and gangs? Sir Akiros, have you a proposal for solution to this dilemma? If not, what advice would you offer as one who could very well know more of this city than any of us?”

The Queen Speaks
 

I grow so very wary of this. Tessara… Caretaker… There is an infestation in our home. This caretaker is at fault. It is a very narrow viewpoint it has. I’ll hold my tongue for any further debate, lest it run away and I end up having to leave this place to the ‘caretaker’.
The Kings no longer speak in one voice. We bicker amongst ourselves, and it seems actively works against the kingdom. You tell me. Do we clean up the docks for the caretaker to infect with a new curse?
Akiros, I believe, can clean up the mess in our city. I believe we need find who, or what this caretaker is. If they can be reasoned with to let us govern our people, or die.
That is my last words on this matter until a vote is made.

The Queen Speaks
 

“Oh, and Tessara… Iech yela’aantaserat.” Exclaims Zion. Then he spits on the floor in front of her. (Translation- upstart outcast! In elven)

The Queen Speaks
 

Meta
“Iech yela’aantaserat” actually translates as “upstart rhubarb” – the inflection at the end of the second syllable should call for a rising, not flat tone. It makes a big difference.

The Queen Speaks
 

Anton turns to Akiros standing next to him. “It would be a very entertaining battle if not for the devastation it would cause. The more this goes on, the more inevitable it seems. Where’s your wager, sir knight?”

The Queen Speaks
 

“I don’t gamble, m’lord – it’s against my orders,” Akiros says with a slight grin.

“I have information – bits and pieces up until now – that I think form a more cohesive picture. It’s unfortunate, but sometimes it takes a bold move like the attempt on the king, and difficult discoveries like all this talk of the Caretaker, to knit together what otherwise seem like disparate fragments. My adjutant is bringing our records and maps presently. I’ll have a formal report within an hour, m’lords,” the Marshal states, to the king’s satisfation.

Meta
An hour of game time is not a real hour. Be patient.

The Queen Speaks
 

Anton smiles acknowledging the diplomatic dodge. Outside earshot of Queen Tessara, he asks Akiros, “your honest opinion of Billings Ahtur, both for skill and ability to possibly dig up more information on what’s going on. I believe there is more to the man than he lets on. Might you know of others capable of such a task? I also believe something greater than this ‘caretaker’ is pulling the strings.”
With Akiros, Anton knows he doesn’t have to insult the man by saying, ‘by the way, this is confidential.’

The Queen Speaks
Lyle

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