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Name: Marzkar Siderite
Classes/levels: LN Empiricist Investigator 4
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.