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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)"