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Scarab Sages

Not a GM, but a player, so I can let you know how things have played out for us so far regarding the Night Swan. It's not clear how much of this is from the AP and how much of this has been our GM's invention.

We were able to foil the Night Swan's attack at the Gala when our assassin took the bolt for Count Lotheed. After tea with Madame Crabbe, The NS snuck into the Betony Estate to send us a message - namely, by stealing the stuffed head of Iron Lash, which we had mounted over the mantle as a trophy. In the process, the Night Swan encountered one of our hirelings, who she subdued (nonlethally but violently) and left traumatized. Two of our other party members were in Lotheedar, so the assassin and my PC went to the meet with her the next morning. My CG warpriest of Chaldira had heard of her whole 'rob from the rich and give to the poor' schtick, but wasn't too happy about all the murders. The LE Red Mantis in training was there to end a threat and get revenge for our hireling.

Our plan was for me to be the bait standing out in the open clearing, while the assassin tried hiding in wait. However, NS rolled a really good Perc, so the assassin's cover was blown. NS asked what our intentions were for Betony, and we told the semi-truth that we were here to better the lives of its people (My warpriest is all about community support and improvement, while the assassin only cares about the town paying enough taxes to fund the Loyalist cause). We asked what her intentions were, and she stated she intended to kill all of the nobility, starting with those in Meratt. My warpriest reiterated that he was mandated by his goddess to build community ties and improve the lot of common folk, and he had no intention of turning Betony into a tyranny. He proposed a pact of non-agression: we don't move against the Night Swan, and she doesn't move against us. She was at least willing to forgo further violence until she could meet the rest of the party in person (a LG cleric of Abadar and a CN wizard). She did apologize for attacking our hireling, and even returned the trophy the next morning.

Current party opinions:

My warpriest again likes the Robin Hood angle, but isn't ready to go full Galt on a bunch of minor nobles, some of which he has good relations with (like Crabbe and Okerra).

The Red Mantis still wants to end her as a threat, but is willing to stay their blade for now.

The Abadarian is probably not going to get along too well with the murder or thievery, but is also witholding violence until the next meet.

The wizard pretty much doesn't care either way as long as they can continue their studies.

Scarab Sages

1.01 update: Adjusted the "Loyalty Points Gained" field for the Statue from a static value to an IF() statement. Now Loyalty will only be incremented if the "Locals" option is selected under Purchased. Increases to overall town value and base price for the PCs option remain the same.

Scarab Sages

Playing Marzkar was a real challenge - first I had to define his ethos, then actually depict it in a believable manner in word and actions. Ultimately, though, Golarion wasn't ready for his ideas, and he simply could not compromise himself and his beliefs by supporting a monarchist cause. Seeing as how he wasn't slain, though, he does still exist in the setting, and is the party's go-to source for alchemical equipment. His replacement, a warpriest of Chaldira Zuzaristan, fits much better into the crew and has beef with the clergy of Thamir Gixx, which leads to interesting roleplay opportunity.

Scarab Sages

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Name: Marzkar Siderite
Race: Dwarf
Classes/levels: LN Empiricist Investigator 4
Adventure: Crownfall
Location: The Silent Horse
Catalyst: A crisis of conscience
The Gory Details: Marzkar was considered quite unusual amongst the dwarven populace in Oppara for his written works of philosophy - having read much of the works of Jubannich and Hosetter, he penned many of his own broadsheets and articles on proper rulership, the concept of the Mandate of Heaven (and its legitimacy), and the fundamentals of living an honest life in compliance with the precepts of Common Rule. Unlike others who read Imperial Betrayal, On Government, or The Alchymical Wedding, he had no taste for the bloodshed of the Red Revolution or the subsequent tyranny of the People's Council. Proper living was as much a personal dedication to ethics and morals as it was to well-structured government, as he made clear in his frequent columns and debates in Oppara's coffee houses. It was those rhetorical flourishes, alongside his skill with the mixing flask, that encouraged Martella Lotheed to recruit him for her plots among the Exultation Day festivities.

After rescuing Martella from the Brotherhood of Silence, he was invited alongside the other survivors of the Exultation Massacre to meet before Eutropia and offered a knighthood and a leadership role amongst the Loyalist faction. He had many questions for the Princess, but most key amongst them was this: "If, by some circumstance beyond your control, the nation of Taldor was to gain greater benefit from you relinquishing your throne and title, would you do so without hesitation or bloodshed?" Essentially asking the princess which was more important to her: the nation's wellbeing, or her personal power and glory? Eutropia responded that she had no intention of yielding her right to rule to anyone else, and that by pursing the best for her and the rest of the Stavian line, she was providing the best for the nation of Taldor as a whole.

As much as he may have sought the authority afforded by an official knighting (even if Eutropia's claims to the throne were still shaky), Marzkar could not compromise the ethics that he had penned and the beliefs he'd espoused. To act as Eutropia's hand would require him to go against the precepts of common rule, to deprive others of the value their labor created against their will. Even if it was in the name of a sovreign whom he agreed with for the most part (and certainly more than the war hawk Pyratheus), he could not willingly serve someone who would ask him to betray his own morals for their own or his own gain. Instead, he wished the princess the best in her struggles, promised to support the other Loyalists as he could with his alchemical creations, and swore to oppose Pyratheus in any capacity he could. But if he was to swear fealty to anyone, it would have to be someone who would held themselves to the same level of accountability as he held himself, and would act first in the best interests of the nation, then the common folk, then their family line, then themselves. If they could not be trusted with his obedience, then they could not be trusted with rulership. So Marzkar retired to his alchemist's shop, continuing to craft his wares in compliance with his ethical constraints and publish his works on the divine rights of kings and man alike, so that perhaps Eutropia's inheritor may be more enlightened than she.

Scarab Sages

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Our GM was kind enough to give us a write-up of the improvements to Stachys in Songbird, Scion, Saboteur, which I turned into an autosheet. The first sheet covers the default settlement statblock for Stachys, plus a reminder table of the distances to other towns for overland travel. The second sheet has the list of available improvements, alongside trackers for total GP spent and current Loyalty Points.

Changing the value in the "purchased" column from No to Yes (or a specific value) will increment the total GP and Loyalty counters, modify the town's stats as appropriate on the statblock sheet, and mark the row as green to show it has been met. The fields labeled "Misc. Loyalty Gains" and "Misc. Town Opinion Mods" can be edited freely to increase/decrease their values based on encounters, decisions the PCs make, and certain events. The field labeled "Onora Piscum's Opinion of PCs" is a simple tracker, and as long as the value stays above 0, it will modify the Town Opinion field as well.

Investments with a black background are unavailable until other improvements are built. Once those conditions are met, the formatting is removed. Note that you can mark improvements as bought without actually meeting the prerequisites at this time; this allows you to preview its effects on the settlement, but you're on your honor in-game.

Feel free to take a look around and copy a version to your personal Drive. From there, you can mark some of the rows as "Yes" to see their effects on the other values. You can also tell me what you think, whether there are any errors you see, potential improvements, or just general feedback. I hope GMs find it useful!

Link to Google Docs Sheet "Stachys Settlement Stats + Improvements (Template)"