Tournament of Thorns, Path of the Puppetmaster
You've chosen the path of the Puppetmaster, employing your ability to manipulate, to empathize, to use those finer arts of diplomacy and etiquette to further your rise to the Crown.
RULES - https://bit.ly/2ZVzwTI
June 29, 2019, 8:30 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Lyceum Way
Comments and Log
Renault, the fluffiest Velenosan cat, Athenais, a dreamy apprentice Whisper arrive, following Selene.
Primus, First of Monique's Assistants arrives, delivering a message to Selene before departing.
Selene is overheard praising Monique.
Just off the Judgement Green, into the Lyceum way is where the group under the tender cares of Alarissa and Michal move to. Here, rope is set up for the waves of people who will be attempting to vy for the final spot in the room that will advance them to the final. Thorns in their palm, nestled in their hair, some even have pendants signifying that they managed to gather -all- the thorns. Alarissa moves from the group that followed and makes her way to the table and the two chairs where she and Michael will sit and oversee. Not that she sits. Instead she takes Pellinor's hand and carefully comes to stand on a chair to better project her voice, the Aeterna gleaming in the light.
"Some dance are born to dance like puppets on a strong. Then there are those who pull the strings. If you are here, You've chosen the path of puppetmaster." Alarissa lifts her hands, fingers pointing down and moving as if manipulating strings of a marionette. "You have chosen to employ your ability to adjust things to your desires, to empathize when it is needed, to use those finer arts of diplomacy and etiquette to further your rise to take hold of the Crown. To manipulate to your advantage." Her palms turn face up, one arm going to the left, the other to the right, weighed like scales. "But which path will you tread?" She looks around. "Do you win the support of the people? Or do you seek instead the support of your peers, the courtiers of the realm?" Her left hand presses now to her middle and her right covers the side of her mouth as she whispers loudly in an aside. "Or, do you take a darker path, coercing the support of those with great power from the shadows?" Shoulders lift and hands fall to her waist, palm in palm. "You may only choose one path. Choose wisely."
Tatienne checked perception + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
Bonnie checked wits + legerdemain at difficulty 50, rolling 23 higher.
Athaur checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 40, rolling 22 higher. Athaur rolled a critical!
Quintin checked wits + investigation at difficulty 50, rolling 4 higher.
Selene checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 40, rolling 16 higher.
Being a commoner merchant, Tatienne believes she is best suited to seeing the needs of the people, being a merchant she believes she is better suited to making realistic promises to them than to the nobility. And being a genuinely upstanding citizen, she'd never stoop to secrecy, as such she heads to seek the support of the people.
Athaur knows how important it is to have support from other courtiers. He will move among his fellow nobles, charming them and seeking out their approval.
Harlen arrives, following Duarte.
Bonnie follows along and, so far of course, nice and quietly. Of course that changes when given at least what seems to be part of the competition instead of just the mingling; low-key insinuations of her character in mind, there's a brief snickering noise - a little louder and it'd be a cackle but she's putting on a proper, manipulative mindset of which cackling has no place. Not now at least. Then she's certainly headed the sneaky way, albeit in the unsneakiest way possible, with a big, broad grin that really hits the back molars and even a little wrist-flick of the hand that'd be quite the genteel, 'from the balcony of the ball' wave in other circumstances. "Well, a little underhandedness goes a long way, right?" In this context it can't help but be a little sarcastic.
Quintin takes the low road, surprisingly enough. Maybe it's just that he's good at digging up information about things and people? But he gathers intelligence and seeks support from the shadier characters, difficult as it is. He shoots Bonnie a sidelong smile when he realizes she's gone the same route as him.
The Radiant Emeritus might find the tournament events somewhat more realistic to a former path through life, an arrow striking a bit closer to the bull's eye on the social target. With Alarissa describing the details, her lambent indigo gaze narrows but a fraction. The celebrated arc of her smile becomes a close-lipped testament to restraint, and she laces her fingers flat against her waist. Pearls dancing with hints of coagulated moonlight wreath the veil laid lightly across her head, and they glint when she walks among the strings plucked among the courtiers. Her natural kind are an easy way to take, and she moves among their like. Murmured words fall to them, arrangements to stir their favor by speaking to the concerns of the realm she might address and other, less clear matters. An insinuation without seduction, so much as the brokering; it's a far difference from the market, after all.
"Congratulations. For those of you who made it this far, you've secured your support in your bid for the throne where you turned to." There's a congratulatory smile for the people still in the running which seems to be all as no one failed. "But what will you do with it? Perhaps you'll establish a charity or other philanthropic endeavor to prove your worth. Or maybe it would be easier and more beneficial to discredit the other claimants to the throne. Which road will you walk?" Alarissa raises a brow and gestures to everyone.
Athaur checked charm + performance at difficulty 50, rolling 3 higher.
Bonnie checked charm + propaganda at difficulty 50, rolling 21 lower.
Tatienne checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 50, rolling 13 higher.
Quintin checked perception + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
Selene checked wits + etiquette at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Athaur knows that just kind words will not be all that goes into establishing power. He uses the support he acquired from the courtiers previously to spread rumors, innuendo, and various unkind words about his other compeititors to ensure his own good standing.
Duarte gasps and puts his finger tips to his chest! His mouth hangs agape. Did he JUST hear those things?! How scandalpus....
Tatienne sees all the other contestants go straight for appeasing the courts or go for shady tactics, and so her strategy is simple. She goes to the common folk once more, "Do you see? They don't care about your plight, your needs. They seek only to curry favor with those who already have all they need, and I hear say some of them are even seeking to commit to foul paths so they may oppress you."
Bonnie's rapport for low places only goes so far; because a little sauciness and sarcasm is a great opener. Unfortunately, Quintin has to hear her idea of what undermining and discrediting rivals is like, "So, did you know that there're those so powerful they just throw away their gold even after they spend so much time, effort, and no little bloodshed to retrieve it?" Nodding sagely, there's a broad wave of both hands, stretching out as she waits. One beat, and then two.. and then the dangerous three and four and five, totally ruining the moment. "You can see for yourself; just check underneath the edge of their chair where it all gets wiped off." Even then her typical grin seems somewhat pained; like there were better thoughts at work but she'd already comitted herself.
Duarte loudly boos at the other contestants when he hears Tatienne's moving words. The man is won over by her impassioned words.
Quintin tries to drum up support for his fictional character, which is something involving reading to children that he just can't make sound interesting no matter how hard he tries. ("The children each get to own a book of their very own, which encourages literacy...") Athaur and Bonnie's slanderous comments make him look askance, but he took the low road that first round, so... he can't really point any fingers.
The challenges properly applied are no easy feat, even for Selene. The rapport she establishes with the courtier she extends, rubbing shoulders among the highest peers represented in the crowd down the ranks to the commonfolk. What can a winning smile attain that others might not? The lingering murmurs here and there build forth the flowering concepts of growth: "And there might we offer them an opportunity to enhance their skills. As I did in the north, and have continuously proclaimed, education is the foundation to the stability of the realm. Let every worthy child find their place, their trade. You will see the results in the coffers as much as the cities, and the Faith smiles upon those who help others." Those gentle words come with the sketchings of a plan, but given that actual palace of her kind in the north, is this any surprise she negotiates the route with some ease? Here and there, the 'princess' has to halt and offer an encouraging word, a wink to Bonnie. A nod to Quintin, hearing of his tales.
Duarte has joined the Cassian's Couch.
Alarissa watches and listens, raiding eyebrows just a little. But the pleadings and dealings are done and some people found themselves quite unsuccessful. Others, get approving nod. Till it's done and Alarissa rise again. "Stand tall. Those of you have emerged victorious thus far. For you have gained a great deal of support for your claim to the throne. They call your names in the street, they clamour to be at your side when you show up here or there. You are lauded and whispers in your ear of support. But who does support you? Were you successful in skillfully tuning them to your side, to your back and getting the crown? Are the courtiers, the Queen, even the people actually pleased? Who do they actually feel is the best candidate to put forth for the Throne of Aildorich?" Alarissa gestures to each person who's made it this far. "Plead your case, make us believe."
Tatienne checked perception + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 14 higher.
Bonnie checked wits + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Athaur checked wits + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 40 higher. Athaur rolled a critical!
Monique arrives on the scene as Michael leaves, almost as if it's been somehow orchestrated that way! The Minx of the Marches slips over to the Tournament grounds, all smiles and excitement as she approaches the games. "How are my Princes and Princesses fairing?" she asks, as Queenly as she can manage.
Quintin checked perception + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.
Selene checked composure + propaganda at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.
Athaur has gathered his support. He has eroded the support of his competitors. Now it is his time to finally push forward to secure his position. He moves through the people, through the courtiers, and to the queen herself to push himself to the top of the the leaderboard!
Duarte finds himself really coming around to Athaur's side, you know?
Lygeia, a calligrapher and alchemist arrives, delivering a message to Monique before departing.
A merry sentiment follows through, for all the lovely words that Selene might offer are overshadowed thus by Athaur's keen support. She may be left laughing at the impressive actions, and her applause is offered with bright enthusiasm. "Well done!"
Quintin looks at a bit of a loss, here. He blinks, and tries to think of the best route to take. There... isn't one. That he can think of. He's actually quiet so long that he ends up just wincing and shaking his head with a laugh. He also raises his hands to applaud Athaur.
Tatienne pleads her case competently, but like a merchant selling wares more so than royalty selling themselves, and thus fails to get the best version of her case in. She cheers, though, for Athaur and seems to be in good spirits. "A Rivenshari candidate, I'll take that."
Bonnie has a lot of gesticulations to go with this, making her point mostly with lines of motion and dynamism on the whole. But at least she has a nice sounding voice with just a bit of tilt to it while recovering from her misaimed attempt at slander. Really need to work on that skullduggery there, Bonnie. "So, while I think there're others probably a bit more typical, who wouldn't want an adventurous scoundrel at the helm and under the iron, right?" Big, winning smile to finish it, hands raised a bit higher.. though when the expected applause fails to arrive, they drop, with a glance over her shoulder and a late clap of her own towards Athaur. And a much more enthusiastic grin to be back amidst the audience rather than participants.
"Your Majesty" Likely the -only- time that Alarissa will actually be the one bowing to Monique and not the other way around. "It would seem, there is a contender for your throne. A gentleman, a Prince who has proved himself very cunning." Alarissa looks to the contestants, sympathetic looks for those who didn't succeed. An especially sympathetic one for Quintin who came in with nothing and leaves with... well, nothing. "Prince Athaur of Aildorich, step forward. You will join the other Princes and Princess who seek to take what our Majesty gives." Alarissa offers her hand to Athaur so she can escort him to Monique. "The rest of you, now is the time to drink, be merry, drown your sorrows before they learn how to swim."
Athaur bows to Alarissa and Monique, before turning to his competitors and bows to them as well. "Thank you for your challenges. I can assure you that I shall lead our people to the best of my ability." He takes Alarissa's hand and smiles at her.
Duarte tosses a rose at Arthaur's feet and claps. "So very convincing."
Quintin offers a bow to the other competitors, and to Alarissa and Monique as well. "Quite the challenge," he says. "I'm glad I'm not the courtier in the family."
Monique inclines her flame-bright head regally, very clearly lapping this all up, Minx that she is. "We commend you, Prince of Aildorich, and look forward to seeing the plan you present Us for the Throne. High-Princess of Aildorich," she addresses Alarissa respectfully, reverentially, "you may present him with his Crown Prince crown."
And then the 'Queen' is slipping away, perhaps to perform more Queen-ly duties.
Athaur is overheard praising Selene.
Athaur is overheard praising Bonnie.
Athaur is overheard praising Tatienne.
Athaur is overheard praising Quintin.
Athaur is overheard praising Alarissa.
Renault, the fluffiest Velenosan cat, Athenais, a dreamy apprentice Whisper leave, following Selene.
Here a servant moves forward, an iridescite crown laid gently on a pillow of red velvet. Alarissa turns and takes it gently and gestures for Athaur to actually lean down so she can place it on his head. "A change is it not. I played a game one of stories and you gifted me a ring for winning, and here, I gift to you an iridescite crown. Wear it in good health, as I once wore the ring Athaur." There's a wink from the diminutive blonde then gestures back toward the Judgement Green.
Duarte has left the Cassian's Couch.
Bonnie brushes back her bandana, giving it a little flip before pocketing it away. The unbound curls are a lot more 'audience' than 'competitor' for sure, though still quite bouncy. In passing by Athaur at least, there is a brief clap to the shoulder, "Good work. Now do us underhanded puppety people proud, right?" THe grin is back in full evidence of course, as she goes to rejoin the festivities. Or at least the drinks table.
Athaur smiles to Bonnie before looking towards Alarissa. "It is a change Your Grace, yes." He leans down towards the Princess to let her place the crown on his head. "You do me a great honor."
Quintin stays to watch Athaur be crowned, applauding cheerfully. "Well done!" he calls out again, before heading toward the Judgment Green once more.
Maxene, the steadfast ladies maid, Tatienne, Athaur leave, following Alarissa.
1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting arrive, following Reese.
1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting leave, following Reese.
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