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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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File 138942585525.png - (60.21KB , 800x600 , title.png )
556495 No. 556495 ID: df41f8

This is what we call it when laws written for the paragons of virtue are saddled to a horde of inbred sociopaths:

We call it royalty.
Expand all images
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No. 556496 ID: df41f8
File 138942588009.png - (364.95KB , 800x600 , 1.png )
556496

:Vardem: Do you see the fires?

:Vardem: It's starting. All over the city, I think.
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No. 556499 ID: df41f8
File 138942606658.png - (201.06KB , 800x600 , 2.png )
556499

:Vardem: They're killing the Sylabites, milord.

>Your Response:
a) The people are frightened. They've been frightened of the Sylabites for years. They need to be led.

b) The people are angry. What happens when you find out the laws you've been lashed to and the threats of brimstone on your head are all dogmatic lies? They need to be governed.

c) The people are animals. Coward, idiot animals. If the bitch-queen hadn't taken the throne they'd still be hiding in their holes. They need to be controlled.
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No. 556503 ID: 53ba34

b
>>
No. 556506 ID: 431163

C. Whatever those sheeple bastards have done, they need to be kept in line, I'm sure.
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No. 556509 ID: 9ddf68

A

not only does it keep everything divided but the people need a leader more then anything.
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No. 556512 ID: 256d52

B. The whole city might go up in flames if someone doesn't take a hold of the tiller.
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No. 556523 ID: df41f8
File 138943133535.png - (21.59KB , 800x600 , 3a.png )
556523

The people are angry. What happens when you find out the laws you've been lashed to and the threats of brimstone on your head are all dogmatic lies? They need to be governed, Vardem.

:Vardem: They do, milord. And as of this moment, I'm looking at their governor.

:Vardem: Markgraf Larion has called his Stadtgrafs to a meeting in Lyfberg. Tonight.

:Vardem: Your half-brother is fled. Your father's in the madhouse. Your claim to Stadtgraf over Luffbridge is unassailable. Your time is now.

:Vardem: I'm getting Nikkos. Get presentable, milord. You must make haste to Lyfberg.

>You look to your mirror. Who looks back?
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No. 556524 ID: df41f8
File 138943134281.png - (22.03KB , 800x600 , 3.png )
556524

A] A broad-shouldered giant of a man. Of all the young courtiers of House Ergheis, you are the strongest. Your arms are powerful and your hands are made for hilts and helves. One taps rhythmically on your fencing steel. Your size conceals a deceptive wit, and although people are cowed by your stature, they may underestimate or devalue your mind. The average first response to you is a mixture of admiration and extreme caution. When dueling, sporting, or testing your strength against another's, you are at a natural advantage.

B] An incredibly handsome courtier, with the kind of grace poets write ballads about and the kind of jaw women melt for. Coming from the traditionally sharp and rough men of House Ergheis, you stand out like a rose in a field of thorns. Your adonesian good looks have fed into a preternatural charm. You know that although a sensible brain and a smart tongue can get you far, being a knockout stunner doesn't hurt at all. The average first response to you is an eagerness to make your acquaintance, strike up a conversation, or hop into bed with you. When charming, seducing, or manipulating, you are at a natural advantage.

C] A slender, sharp-eyed man. Growing up as an anonymous face in the crowed of your many siblings and half-siblings, you have steered yourself into the position of inheritance through cunning and cleverness. You've learned long ago that it's through the closed backrooms, the shadowy corners, and the occasional gleam of a knife in the dark that power is won and practiced. You have a tendency to fade into the background. It suits you just fine. The average first response to you is nonexistent. People are frequently unaware of your existence until they are reminded. When going somewhere you should not go, taking something you should not take, or learning something you should not know, you are at a natural advantage.
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No. 556525 ID: c50eae

>>556499
B

Law and order, this is a question of law and order. Right now we need order, as without order what is law but some worthless words on paper. And with order, law can be changed.
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No. 556526 ID: 256d52

A. No-one will ever suspect.
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No. 556527 ID: c50eae

>>556524
A. Brains and brawn, I like. And besides, we can fake being our bodyguard.
>>
No. 556528 ID: 53ba34

C
you will be in charge, and no one will even realize it.
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No. 556529 ID: 9ddf68

A

times are tough, and we need someone who can stand strong in these tough times, and having a brain even if other are to foolish to see it themselves never hurts either.
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No. 556531 ID: f461c5

>>556527
A: An excellent choice, and the ability to fake being our own guard puts us in less danger. we just need someone to be us.
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No. 556536 ID: 379075

Mm, the ability to physically command a room should not be underestimated: A.
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No. 556584 ID: 834ce6

A.
POWER PROTAGONIST GO!
>>
No. 556692 ID: 7e4b54

B. The ends justify the means when Higaa- I mean the city is burning. We need to find allies, strengthen our position and gird ourselves to the task at hand with the best possible ways and means.
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No. 556755 ID: 988e10
File 138950250174.png - (29.62KB , 800x600 , 4.png )
556755

Your name is Gerhold Ergheis.

You look fine enough, to your eyes. You find your sword and buckle it to your side.

Well, perhaps you could use a shave. But there's no time.

Vardem bursts into the room, with Nikkos clanking after him.


:vardem: Can't you find some dress robes?

:hero: They have lace on them, Vardem. I sent them back.

:vardem: Lace is in vogue, milord.

:hero: Swords are always in vogue.

:nikkos: Milord! Wachemarschall Nikkos, reporting for duty, milord! It's good to see ye safe and whole!

:hero: Hello, Nikkos. Don't wave that around in there or you'll decapitate my assistant.

:nikkos: And at a time like this, when the rabble is- oh, yes. Right you are, milord!

:vardem: We have to go. The city's not safe for the son of a Sylabite, even if he's a convert and a Stadtgraf.

:nikkos: You're a red-painted fusspot, Vardem. Lord Ergheis can take care of himself. If half of my guard were in half as good shape as half of him--

:vardem: And he has a meeting to catch. Nikkos and I will prepare an escort.

A] Very well. Lead the way.
B] An escort? I don't need an escort. Just you, my Wachemarschall, a sword, and a good horse to get me to Lyfberg.
C] You want to throw a parade down the streets of a riot? I'm going alone. Get me a cloak.
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No. 556757 ID: 7bbaae

>>556755
An escort implies weakness. WE ARE NOT WEAK.

B.
>>
No. 556762 ID: b4f557

B
>>
No. 556771 ID: 74c4ad

B. Show the people you aren't afraid. That you have no reason to be afraid.
>>
No. 556786 ID: 988e10
File 138950914845.png - (26.00KB , 800x600 , 5a.png )
556786

:hero: An escort? I don't need an escort. Just you, my Wachemarschall, a sword, and a good horse to get me to Lyfberg.

:vardem: But the guards-

A] -will be needed to protect the house from looters. Don't worry, Vardem. Nikkos and I will keep you safe.
B] Did I misspeak, scribe Vardem? My orders are clear. We're going alone.
C] Vardem, old friend. You should know by now that I'm too pigheaded to listen to reason.
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No. 556787 ID: 7bbaae

A!
>>
No. 556789 ID: 53ba34

c
>>
No. 556790 ID: 74c4ad

Modified A-

Will be needed to protect what order and do what good they can. Nikkos and I will be enough to see us safely to our destination.
>>
No. 556794 ID: b2c9e1

C
>>
No. 556799 ID: 87e6c2

A+C
>>
No. 556810 ID: 988e10
File 138951133213.png - (339.02KB , 1000x600 , 5.png )
556810

:hero: -will be needed to protect the house and the city from looters. Vardem, old friend, you should know how pigheaded I am by now.

:vardem: God's Gears, Gerhold. The things I do at your beck and call. I don't know.

:nikkos: Just stay behind me, Little Red! I'll keep your muffins in order.

:vardem: Fantastic.

You descend quickly to street level, dismissing your guards into the city to help as they can.

The streets are hazy with smoke and littered with debris. Nikkos takes you down roads as quiet and orderly as he can manage, but you can hear the crackling of flames and the occasional scream from far away.

You manage ten minutes of moving before a wrinkle. From a door hanging open on one hinge, a hooded man paces into the street and plants himself in front of you. You can see movement in the doorway. He has friends.


:bandit: Bad night for a man as flash as you're dressed to walk the streets, friend.

A] Bad night for a tin can in a teacozy to pick fights he can't win.
B] I am Stadtgraf Gerhold Ergheis, your governor and ruler, and you are getting out of my way right now.
C] Easy, now. I have no quarrel with you. Let me by.
D] I'm going to give you a moment to look at our weapons, and at how tiny and stabbable you are, and reconsider what you just said.
E] If you don't get out of my way, I'm going to kill you where you stand.
>>
No. 556812 ID: 7bbaae

>>556810
I like D.
>>
No. 556813 ID: 53ba34

yes D.

if he makes an aggressive move, show him that it is not just for show.
>>
No. 556815 ID: f44ca3

D.

Then ask him how the looting is going. Comment on the painting he has there and compliment him on his taste in art.
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No. 556816 ID: d2995c

D, though he seems to be a rather close, so I half-expect him to try and stab us mid-sentence.
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No. 556821 ID: 988e10
File 138951314920.png - (489.80KB , 800x600 , 6.png )
556821

:hero: I'm going to give you a moment to look at our weapons, and at how tiny and stabbable you are, and reconsider what you just said.

The man's eyes widen, then narrow, and he starts to raise his dagger.

The point of your sword is pressed against his throat before it clears his waistline.


:hero: Oops.

:bandit: Aaaaughgh. Oh my God.

A] Kill him.
B] Give me three very compelling reasons not to kill you.
C] Put the nice painting and the dagger on the ground, then put your hands on your head. You're under arrest.
E] Put the nice painting and the dagger on the ground, then put your hands on your head. We're leaving now.
F] Lower the sword. Ha! Just my little joke. Now I think we understand one another, yes?
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No. 556822 ID: 53ba34

B, but they don't actually need to be good. let him think he managed to argue his way out of death "lucky for you, i am in a hurry"
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No. 556824 ID: 74c4ad

One of the not killing options. The people need to be led, not controlled or conquered.

Joking in the tone of F seems too playful for this guy. I think the tiny an stabbable comment is about as friendly as his sense of humor should get. (And weapon lowering is dumb).

E. We don't have time to drag an arrested prisoner anywhere, and hopefully he's learned his lesson. (If he hasn't, or he tries anything again, no more chances).
>>
No. 556837 ID: 9ddf68

c
If WE don't enforce the laws who will
>>
No. 556844 ID: 3b3043

>>556821
C
You need to make an example of him. Don't kill him as that punishment does not fit the crime. Arrest him instead.
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No. 556860 ID: 379075

What is the punishment for looting in these circumstances? I'm guessing it isn't capital punishment so the right thing to do is arrest him.
I hope we can pass him off to our guards since taking an arrested looter with us is questionable at best.
Blah: C.
>>
No. 556865 ID: e8483f

E

We don't have time for this chump.
>>
No. 556874 ID: 256d52

B. Such a snappy line, it's impossible to resist.
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No. 557294 ID: 988e10
File 138969059110.png - (323.15KB , 1000x600 , 7.png )
557294

:hero: Put the nice painting and the dagger on the ground, then put your hands on your head. You're under arrest.

:bandit: Awww, friend. It was just my joke. Just my idea of a prank, yeah?

:hero: Nikkos?

:nikkos: On your knees, you dirty, loathsome, looting, puking scum! You make me weep bitter tears of bile for the sorry state of our nation!

:vardem: Don't get too excited, Nikkos.

:vardem: A commendable gesture, milord.

:hero: What the hell are we going to do with him, Vardem?

:vardem: We're nearly to the stables, and we have to make speed. I'd think you have time for one or at most two stops, perhaps, on our way to Lyfberg.

A] We need to get this one to the guards. We could turn him it at Lyfberg, but making a journey with him in tow is too dangerous.
B] I suppose I should swallow my enmity for my father and check in on him in the asylum before I leave to take his job. It's the least I could do. Maybe he'll have some advice for me. Or drool.
C] I need to bring something for the Markgraf and the other nobles. We have to pick up some gesture along the way to ingratiate myself of the first day. Some wine, maybe.
D] We'll take a break on the road. We'll be riding hard and I don't want to walk in bowlegged and needing to piss, do I?
E] Two stops? We don't need that many. I want to be early.
>>
No. 557295 ID: 53ba34

A and C
>>
No. 557330 ID: cc212d

A, obviously. We don't want to hang onto this idiot any longer than we have to.

C seems out of style for this guy. Why bother with gifts? I'd be more tempted to go with B and check on old man crazy (a lesson on what to avoid, if nothing else) or just cut to E and leave.
>>
No. 557351 ID: b2c9e1

A and E seems like the best choice,
>>
No. 557395 ID: 9ddf68

A works fine
>>
No. 557422 ID: 87e6c2

A and B
>>
No. 558727 ID: 5e9f8f

>>557294
Get him to one of the guards, as quickly as possible.
>>
No. 558795 ID: 728984

A.

seriously, the city is burning, the throne is empty, and the shit is about as real as it gets. I say luxuries like fine wine and gestures of goodwill are not exactly a priority right now.
>>
No. 558868 ID: 7f1231

C
>>
No. 559824 ID: a8b169
File 139089672601.png - (269.23KB , 800x600 , 8.png )
559824

:hero: I don't need two stops. We turn this man in to the guard and then we speed to Lyfberg like the devil was on our tail.

:vardem: All this fire and smoke? You could be forgiven to think he is.

:nikkos: It's clogging my plasm intakes! Let's get on. Move, laggabout!

:bandit: Ow.

:nikkos: You heard the young lord. Trot.

After a hasty handoff to your harried guardsmen, Nikkos commandeers transportation. An ornate hovering carriage, the most handsome in the fleet, albeit with its left rear gyroscope a bit temperamental.

The way is long and odiously winding, but you can't help but feel some relief as the smoke-haze of Luffbridge fades in the distance. You sit with Vardem, as the hovering carriage whirs and tilts across country Lyfberg.

>>
No. 559825 ID: a8b169
File 139089674003.png - (12.62KB , 800x600 , 9.png )
559825

The moment the carriage pulls up before the gold-leaf gates of the Lyfberg Grafhouse, you swing yourself out of the door, and, with a hasty farewell to your comrades, stride into the foyer.

You are aware you're disheveled, and that you smell of axel grease and of the road, but you're quite early. The only occupants of the foyer are a few underfoot servitors, apologetically dusting, and a slight, greenclad Stadtgraf, overlooking their efforts.

Last time he saw you, you were very small, and he won't recognize you, but you know of him. His name is Fustus.


:fustus: Godruf. Make sure you get the fringes, boy. That carpet is worth twenty times your scrap metal.

:fustus: And what's that smell?

He turns around.

:fustus: Oh, dear. I wasn't aware the Markgraf allows his stableboys to tramp around his main hall. Unless you're going to tell me you're a lord.

A] No, milord. You're right, milord. Sorry, milord. The Stadtgraf of Luffbridge will be here soon, milord.
B] Careful, Fustus.
C] My apologies, Stadtgraf Fustus. You were mistaken. I'm Stadtgraf Gerhold Ergheis, of Luffbridge. Pleased to make your acquaintance.
D] I have neither the time nor the patience to suffer the Markgraf's bootlicks. Which way to the Meeting Hall?
>>
No. 559834 ID: 53ba34

C
we will be the bigger man in this. and we do smell a little. but we will not cow tow to him.
>>
No. 559836 ID: 256d52

B.

No sense in getting him off-side, but you should reprimand him a little. Remind him what's going on outside. You're here nice and early, so get him to point you somewhere you can clean up.
>>
No. 559843 ID: 4a75fa

B.

>out of character
...that guy's face kind of looks like a butt.
>>
No. 559919 ID: 379075

C)
"Please forgive my lack of decorum but my city is currently burning. Perhaps I might make use of your facilities to restore my presentability before the others arrive?"
>>
No. 559945 ID: 280aef

whatever the choice, make sure you call him a dickcheese.
>>
No. 559981 ID: a87e3a

C. Let's not pick a fight as soon as we walk through the door.
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No. 560085 ID: 2af121
File 139107285367.png - (15.29KB , 800x600 , 10.png )
560085

:hero: My apologies, Stadtgraf Fustus. You were mistaken. I'm Stadtgraf Gerhold Ergheis, of Luffbridge. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

:fustus: Hmmm. And I yours, young Gerhold, although you smell like you rode in under your carriage, rather than inside it.

:hero: Please forgive my lack of decorum, Stadtgraf, but my city is currently burning. Perhaps I might make use of your facilities to freshen up a little before the others arrive?

A maid coughs quietly near your elbow. She's a slight, skittish thing.

:maid: Pardon your lordships, but the platters are polished. May the kitchen staff eat now?

:fustus: If I see one tiny patch of plate that doesn't reflect my face perfectly, I'll have you on the streets. Am I understood?

:maid: Yes, your lordship.

:fustus: Then go. Be quick.

She scurries away.

:fustus: Interruptions are the olives in the salad that is my life.

:fustus: Because I hate them.

:hero: The facilities, Lord Fustus?

:fustus: Up the staircase, three doors to the left on the balcony. Now if you please, I have a reception to prepare and abysmal help to prepare it.

A] Thank you. I'll just go freshen up.
B] I think I'd like to speak to the Markgraf before all the other lords arrive. He'll be too busy at the meeting to see me face-to-face.
C] Actually, Stadtgraf Fustus, why don't you tell me about yourself in the time we have before everyone arrives? I could help you with preparations.
D] Thank you. I'll just go freshen up. Go upstairs, then snoop around the castle to find any useful or clandestine information. The Markgraf's office must be somewhere, and he has almost certainly has eyes and ears in every Stadtgraf's manor.
E] __________
>>
No. 560086 ID: 256d52

A then C.

Fustus seems quite fussy, so he'll probably insist on A, but if he handles receptions a lot, then he probably knows a lot about the other lords.
>>
No. 560087 ID: 53ba34

A: we do need to clean up, a smell would leave a poor impression.
then let's try for B
>>
No. 560100 ID: 4a75fa

A, then B.
>>
No. 560126 ID: 2af121
File 139110607327.png - (230.40KB , 800x600 , 11.png )
560126

You find the bathroom, and hurriedly relieve yourself. There's no time to bathe, but you find several bottles of perfumed oils that will have to do. You sprinkle yourself with some, stopping just short of overpowering to mask the smell.

You look into the mirror and take a deep breath.


:hero: Control, Gerhold. Control. Conceal. You're a courtier now.

:hero: You've been trained for this. Keep your poise. Keep your watch.

:hero: Never say a word without the knowledge of exactly who will hear and what they'll think. Know who's listening. Someone is always listening.

:hero: Give nothing. Betray nothing. Be vigilant. For God's sake.
>>
No. 560127 ID: 2af121
File 139110608681.png - (13.94KB , 800x600 , 12.png )
560127

You leave the bathroom to see if you can find Markgraf Volker before the crowds arrive.

It doesn't prove difficult.

He apprehends you in a secluded


:volker: Is that the man I think it is? Is that Gerhold Ergheis?

:volker: By Cruthadair's balls, you've grown! What did your loony old father feed you? Come here, dear boy!

A] Be professional. Greet him courteously and formally.
B] Be polite, but aloof and taciturn. Show him you aren't a boy anymore. You're a Stadtgraf.
C] Offer a warm embrace. This is old Volker, after all.
D] Get right to business. Your city's burning and you don't have much time.
>>
No. 560128 ID: 4a75fa

Hmm. Judging by the smile we're wearing, b wouldn't be appropriate.

I'd say a or c, and then move on to d after we've allowed for pleasantries.
>>
No. 560136 ID: d2995c

I'd say somewhere between A and C. Maybe something mostly A, but with an added mention of how it is good to see an old friend in times like these.
>>
No. 560170 ID: eb10ea

Shake of the hand and pat on the shoulder kind of deal. I'm not sure if 'the city is burning' qualifies as betraying anything, but I still think we should be the one to break the news, sooner or later.
>>
No. 560196 ID: 8d4ff2

start off with C, but quickly fall back into D.
>>
No. 560199 ID: 5023bb

>>560196
sounds right, he's an old friend but our city is on fire right now.
>>
No. 560233 ID: 2af121
File 139116117043.png - (13.26KB , 800x600 , 13.png )
560233

:hero: Markgraf Volker. It's been far too long.

:volker: Uncle Kiro, Gerhold. Save Markgraf Stuffed-Shirt for the assembly.

:hero: It's for the assembly I've come. I'm Stadtgraf of Luffbridge, now.

:volker: You are? My boy! Come here!

He folds you in a copious embrace.

:volker: What happened to Grisvald?

:hero: He's fled the city. The sylabites are being ousted.

:volker: I've heard of that. Well! Found a religion treating your women like chattel and when a virgin queen takes the throne, who can be surprised what happens? No offense, my boy.

:hero: None taken. I left the faith when I was very young. Others weren't so lucky. Luffbridge is aflame.

:volker: Aflame! God's bodkins. I've heard reports already. Don't worry, my boy. We'll be dispatching peacekeepers before the hour is out.

:hero: Thank you, Uncle Kiro.

:volker: Walk with me, Gerhold. The assembly's due to begin soon.

He steers you down the hallway. The two of you talk at length. He asks of your father, your many half-siblings, and laughs his deep-barrel laugh.
You smile and keep pace with him.

You are proud of how little of your hatred shows on the surface.
Markgraf Kiro Volker must not know that your greatest wish is to ruin him completely and wrest his title from his fat, stubby fingers.

Why?

A] For his title. You've started moving your way up. You can't stop here, in a backwater like Lyfberg.
B] For what he did to your family. How he professed his love to your father and silently lined the pockets of the dissenters and the revolutionaries.
C] For no reason but to see if you can. You have a peculiar love of seeing the rich brought to their knees.
D] For Anya. For the sapphire blue eyes you looked into as his carriage took her away. He took her, he married her, he raped her, and he killed her. He will answer for it.
>>
No. 560234 ID: 53ba34

D and A.
you could try for anyone's title, but kiro has a personal interest to you.
>>
No. 560235 ID: a36601

C and A both leave a bad taste in my mouth. I vote not those two.
>>
No. 560243 ID: 3bb36a

D- What could have been was beautiful, but instead...Was pain and despair.
Vengeance shall be ours.
>>
No. 560246 ID: 5839b9

B

D is touching but the stolen love angle is pretty overdone imo.
>>
No. 560255 ID: e607cd

>>560246
Yeah, but B is kind worded like loyalty to that father we didn't want to stop and visit on the way out of town. It could still be shoe-horned in, but all these character motivations start getting complicated. Maybe that's not a bad thing. Didn't want to visit now-insane dad because it is too painful. Means Volker is probably also secretly ready to play political chess. I dunno. I am changing my mind as I type. B could be an okay option.
>>
No. 560257 ID: 4a75fa

B.

>>560255
No, it still works. We can not like our father for what or who he is- but that's our right. He's our family. It's not some outsider's place to come in and use him for their gain, and our city's suffering.

And we can sort of lump the hates together- we dislike both of them for the way they abused their positions, or sullied the name of our family (more loyalty to the line and what it stands for than our father in particular).
>>
No. 560314 ID: 4bdbe2

because he's obviously not a nice person if he supports violent revolutionaries and/or rapes people. and nice people like you should be in charge. and all these rich nobles are dicks, so a Markgraf who will put them all in their place is needed.

uh. I guess... all of the above?

seriously, I say we just go ahead and behead everyone who couldn't care enough about the little people to even be informed about the fact that an entire city is going down shit creek just a few days away.
>>
No. 560355 ID: d2995c

>>560257
I like this angle, with Volker and the father on opposing sides but only truly working for themselves.
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