Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SPQM c1s1: Locked politics

Winter 6
It's winter and politics. Most cities are surrounded by water and mud and it's raining most of the time, sometimes hard. This is a time of election of new officials like consuls. The elections are held in the beginning of the winter and then the the debating starts. The senate shall agree on a lot of matters before summer or the consuls and their staff can't work effectively when the weather gets better. This winter one big question is up:
Sapientia and their philosophers.
What should be Asylums and the Leagues official stand? Should Sapientia be asked to share more of their knowledge and inventions? Should an official demand to share be sent to them? Has the League had enough of their secretiveness and it's time for action like blocking their trade or having Navalia stop shipping stuff for them to get them to share? There are senators speaking for all alternatives. Roughly the senate is split into the optimates who generally speaks for the upper classes and the populists who speak on behalf of the people, the regular mice, the plebeians and proletarians. 
The populists are mostly on the line of sending an official polite request to Sapientia or even not doing anything at all since they haven't done anything wrong. The optimates are usally more hardcore and on the line of sending an official demand or even taking action against Sapientia.
The patrol consists of one poor nobiles, Lucius, from a family in need of some nice moves to regain power, popularity and wealth, a plebeian patrol leader, Gaius, and a decorated (principalis) guard member from Sapientia, Decia, (without right to vote but with certain other citizen privileges). They're not agreeing the matter...
Lucius thinks it's time to step forward and get somewhere, not necessarily taking action against Sapientia but at least making a demand. Gaius is more into sending a polite request to formalize and clarify the matter which seems to be a bit vauge, it's not obvious what has been said between the two cities. Decia thinks everything is fine but understands why a polite request might be sent.
They discuss the matter and after a while Lucius says that he can accept Gaius's and Decia's view on the matter if that's a view well established within the pretorian guard, as a guard member he of course accepts the guard's view (although the pretorian guard never would take any official stand in political matters). They therefore conduct an inofficial gallup among several patrol leaders and find that many, if not all, supports a more gentle approach. Lucius backs down and supports the majority's approach.  Now there's one more problem, there's a total stalemate in the politics between different views and agendas in the senate and if Asylum is lucky something might be decided somewhere around late summer.
The patrol decides to use what influence thay have to if possible tilt the deciding process in any direction, preferably sending a polite request. To get a final decision that the consuls should follow in their work the senate needs to hold a meeting, that could be vetoed by one of the people's tribunes, where they vote on which suggestion that should be passed to the people's assembly who then vote on approval of the suggestion. The process is now stuck on the senate discussing and not coming to deciding on a date for a meeting for voting on certain suggestions. Having a decorated, principales, nobiles guard member in the group they might actually have the possibility to influence a few nobiles in the senate. The plebeian patrol leader might for example be able to sway the people's tribunes to not veto a senate meeting for voting in the matter and also to influence some voters in the people's assembly. At first it seems like Decia from Sapientia has no saying in this but it shows that she knows some prosperous merchants who definitely can sway some plebeians and some nobiles who use their services (senate members are not allowed doing monetary businesses). She also have some influence by being from Sapientia and knowing things about Sapientia.
The task is quite hard though but they manage after weeks of work to get the ball rolling and the senate holds a meeting where they vote and they decide on sending a polite request (Passed Deceiver versus Ob4).
In the late winter they are called to a planning meeting together with a legate and three military tribunes. Apparently there's an upcoming mission and apparently their patrol is already assigned to it but the officials want to discuss some matters with the patrol or hear what they have to say about something related. At the meeting a assignment of escorting three later to be named philosophers and a thing from Sapientia to Asylum - discreetly. A lot of things are discussed as, how to treat the philosophers who probably are used to luxuary livings, how to be discreet, what risks should be taken to protect the philosophers/the thing/the patrol/different reputations and relationships. In the end the patrol takes a very low key stand and accept the mission in what ever form it is assigned (Persuader, Versus Test, Influence the specifications of the assignment, the patrol accepts the outcome whatever it might be and no test is taken). The patrol leaves the meeting knowing that they will get a a little suspect but probably ''exciting'' assignment when the summer comes in about two weeks (End of GM's Turn).
Now that the patrol has seen that they actually has a little, if only a little, political power they also want to influence the plebeians, the proletarians is mostly out of reach, to approve of the senate proposition when it's time to vote. Lucius puts some of his reputation on the line and starts to speak about the more hard core action lines in the hope of plebeians hearing this and by repulsion of nobiles doing the opposite. Decia strengthens this by doing bad talking of nobiles and Gaius says the opposite to what Lucius says and thereby giving plebeians legitimacy to go on his line and not Lucius/the nobiles line. They actually manage to do this that much that also the ambivalent people's assembly turns in direction of favoring the standing proposal from the senate (Check: Passed Persuader Ob4).
As the winter is drawing to it's end they and the assignment is closing in they realize that it might be much easier to keep the sapientia philosophers happy and cooperative if they at least sometimes each week, in every big town or so, could buy nice food and good wine for them. They don't have that kind of resources themselves and don't feel for spending their own money. There's someone else who has money though - The Pretorian Guard itself and the officials ought to be interested in the fulfillment of the assignment. They ask for a meeting and apply for some money. The tribune is a little suspicious at first but listen to them and promise that they will be able to get a pouch silver coins to bring on the journey for that purpose (Check: Passed Persuader versus Deceiver 2). 
Just as the tribune is going to close the meeting centurio Gaius, the leader of the patrol, says that there is one more thing they'd like to bring up. ''Ok, but make it snappy'' the tribune says. Decia starts to explain how she have heard that the weather is getting better very fast and that it's drier than expected in a lot of places, she also has heard that the physicists of Asylum is gonna declare early summer (corresponding to spring and the first part of summer) any day now. This way they manage to convince the tribunis that they can leave for this important mission as soon as the money's ready (Check: Passed Deceiver versus Deceiver 2 -1D for inverted Brave, the tribune is appealed by their braveness and eagerness). The tribune reluctantly agrees and says that by the second dawn from now they can't get the money and leave for the assignment. 
Happy the patrol leaves to prepare themselves for their first mission and probably the first mission for the whole guard this year (End of Player's Turn).
illern (a) illertass.se

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