We Hold the Power in Golarion... Let Us Make a Change

Sovereign Court

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Sovereign Court

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A halfling dressed in the finest Taldan silks crosses his legs, looking about the round table. He brings a cigar to his mouth and snaps his fingers, magically lighting it before inhaling.

"My my, the Chels certainly know how to roll a good bit of tobacco. I am Ozymandias, a Marquis of Taldan descent, but that is of no matter. Onto business! The Sovereign Court is made up of what many would call the 'lesser nobility'. Many, if not all of us have titles, land, or wealth in some capacity or another. The one thing we are missing is political power." The halfling puts the cigar off to the side.

"Are you not frustrated with your lack of control over world events? As individuals, we are nothing! We have no sway, no influence, nothing of note besides an empty title... but together we can change this! Together we hold influence!

I propose that we begin taking our power by discussing what laws and policies we wish to alter, dismantle, or propose to our respective governments. Once we have agreed on those, then we can focus our attentions and divert our full strength to enacting those decisions. So... I leave the floor open."

EDIT: Ozy's eyes brighten as he adds, "How could I forget? Perhaps our first order of business to craft a constitution of sorts, that binds us together, and holds the rules and structure for the Sovereign Court?"

As far as I know, there is no such document yet, other than Lady Morilla's word. It would be nice for us player's to come up with something on our own.

Sovereign Court

Oh certainly, its a rough draft of course feel free to amend as needed.

Preamble: We the privileged, in order to from a more civilized Golarion. Establish justice by affirmign indentured slavery. Provide for our own defense, promote the nobility's welfare and hence demand prosperity to ourselves and our posterity, and thereby establish this constitution of the Sovereign Court of Golarion.

Article 1 - The commons, those nobles wretches who fill our purses with coin, shall have the right to serve their betters. Anyone not smiling and cheering during a noble procession is subject to the lash.

Article 2 - The nobility, gifted by the divine and affirmed by the gods with certain unalienable rights notably property, servants, good wine, and fine horses. It is the right and duty of the local nobility to protect the populace when convenient, and sort out any banditry unapproved by themselves.

Article 3 - The merchants, the riff raff that they are shall pay taxes to their local lieges, based on a formula constructed by same.

Article 4 - The sovereign court does not abide lawlessness, piracy, or poor fashion sense. Unless a writ is granted prior.

Article 5 - The sovereign court hereby deems all powers not covered by this document to be held in trust to the local nobles, who may by their affirmation grant limited powers upon others. That trust is of course temporary (see article 6)

Article 6 - To guarantee the role of interstate trade, any power deemed necessary by a simple majority of the nobility will be rendered to the sovereign court.

Article 7 - The sovereign court does not openly endorse any religion, although it perfectly within the realms of Articles 5 and 6 to do so at leisure.

Article 8 - To ensure the fairness and truthfulness of the commons when in court, all commoners giving testimony will do so under duress and torture.

Article 9 - The right to yield in combat is available solely to those nobles on either sides. It must be adhered to strictly, unless an accident happens.

Article 10 - The right to a trial by combat is given only to those landed nobles accused of a crime. The realm shall choose a champion, the noble may choose a champion if the field is muddy.

Cheerfully Yours,
Francisco de La Scaramanga
Current Lord and Baron of the Fangwood Keep (tm) all rights reserved

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias takes the draft under consideration, nodding appreciatively at the Baron.

"Yes, this could serve as an outline, but could definitely use additions and changes, though of course, you did mention it is a rough draft. We should not forget that this Sovereign Court was created when Lady Morilla splintered off from Taldor, as the overwhelming majority of the aristocracy there we content to sit and do nothing in world events, rather than lead comfortable and cushy lives. We do not want to fall into the same miserable state, and our constitution should reflect that; perhaps not only a bill of rights for ourselves, but a list of duties we must undertake as members of the privileged class?"

I will continue the tradition Paizo has set forth in their rulebooks, and solely use feminine pronouns from hereon.

Proposed Preamble:
In recognition of those of the privileged class; be she an Empress, Queen, Princess, Duchess, Marchioness, Countess, Viscountess, Baroness, or a Lady of any similar rank or title, we have gathered here today to form a coalition of these members of the aristocracy hereby known as the Sovereign Court. We of this privileged class have recognized our duties as the protectors of those who claim servitude to us, as they have recognized the benefits of our rule. We shall not lay down the heavy burden of leadership so long as our goal remains to form a better and more civilized Golarion.

Ozymandias reads aloud the proposed revised Preamble, and once finished looks up. "What say you all to this? Once we have completed an introduction that is to our liking, we can work on revising the Bill of Rights that Baron Francisco de La Scaramanga has set out, as well as setting out a... Register of Duties that we are all accountable for undertaking. Perhaps once that section is complete, we may set about a section dedicated to laying out our responsibilities in interacting with one another?"

EDIT in response to Randulf:
"While I agree we should not leave a paper trail Oz is a Lion Blade after all I believe that a single document should be left in the care of Lady Morilla. That way, once our organization gains momentum and is discovered -as all secret societies in the history of Golarion inevitably were- we have a structure that binds us even then!"

Sovereign Court

Creating a paper trail seems to be in bad conduct for a secret society. Perhaps we should start with a secret handshake, code words, some special gestures.

Sovereign Court

Regarding secrecy - I like to be out in the open, ala mode. I guess you could pick each other's noses (who'd believe it was the secret greeting even if they were told) speak only in Ancient Thassalonian and brand each other with cattle prods for fun, but I'd rather put the Phoenix on my banner and let any false knight come find me to duel. I think the Phoenix would look handsome rising from a glass of burning rum....Yeah that's my new heraldry - Montjoy burn your clothes and order up new suits for the staff.

Montjoy - in that order sir?

Righty - use your good judgement, I can't be bothered with details.

Sovereign Court

A handsome young man in livery of a Chelaxian house enters,

Knowledge (nobility) DC 15:
the livery is of House Henderthane of Cheliax

"I present to you Marquise d'Railford Lady Jasmine Henderthane, Favored of House Thrune, Respected by the Nail, Hellknight of the Order of the Chain, Lion Blade of Taldor, Leidang of the Ulfen Gaurd, Honored by the Twilight Talons, Eagle Knight of Andoran, Student of Scrolls, Savior of the Master of Blades, Scholar of the Gates Ajar, The Evenhanded Investigator, Captor of Tancred Desmire and The Spider, Bearer of a Mendevian Commendation, Hero of the Five Kings, Exemplar of Falcon's Hallow, Hero of the Fey, Commander of Fangwood Keep, Honorable Member of the Order of the Cocktrice, and the Pathfinder Society."

A beautiful Chelaxian woman with fiery red hair and striking emerald green eyes enters behind the young man. She is wearing deep red Hellknight armor when she enters. Her bronze shield is stylized with a magnificent lion's head. With a wave of her hand her armor changes into a lovely red ball gown that matches her plentiful jewelry. The young man that introduced her leaves as it is obvious that that wave of her hand also dismissed him.

"I believe that Ozymandias makes several good points, and his preamble seems to be well written. A strong contract is the foundation of all civilization, when they are broken only chaos ensues. I support this idea of creating a constitution for our organization, but we should not endeavor to place ourselves beyond the laws that govern the nations of the Inner Seas, respect for law and authority will help us gather allies.
I don't think our organization has any reason to hide itself my friends. We can strength our own power and standing as well as supporting rulers of various nations. The true heart of my nobility lies with Cheliax, and until recently I worked with the Paracountess Zarta Dralneen, but my influence extends throughout the Inner Sea. I hope to use this organization to gather influential friends to help increase my families standing with House Thrune. I do not see why others might not do the same in their home nations and together we will have the ears of all of the powerful rules in Golarion. Take heart friends that we can accomplish much together, while I am thankful for some of the opportunities that the Paracountess placed before me, I believe that this organization has much more to offer than any of the other factions within the Pathfinder Society.

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias nods once more in approval, noticing the shield Glorymane and giving it a salute before picking up his cigar and taking one more puff. "It's good to see that he was able to find a companion with a noble and not some mere common rabble.

"I do agree that we should not put ourselves past the law, and so believe that our constitution should reflect that, allowing the intent of the wording to be clear, yet allowing for alternative interpretations to allow for differences in our respective ideologies, cultures, and religions. For example, instead of "indentured slavery" we can state "indentured servitude". That way, those morally opposed to the institution may have their own interpretation of the wording, while those of us who are indeed slave owners would feel no obligation to free theirs or even pay them wages." He gives a slight bow towards Henderthane "I noticed you are a member of the Order of the Chain. Know, that though I am a halfling -one of the most commonly enslaved races- I am in no way an abolitionist. No, no, that would simply be terrible for the world economy and cause a whole slew of related problems... which is why I think each member should be able to choose between slaves and hired servants.

"As for the matter of being secretive, that was not my decision, but that of Lady Morilla, this organization's founder. Perhaps once we gain the support of more members, we can safely enter the public eye."

Finally finishing his cigar, he hands the remains to one of his servants. "Be a dear and throw that away, won't you? Alright, back to the state of affairs. If we believe that the Preamble is sufficient for now, we should get onto the Bill of Rights amongst us nobleman, unless we wish to focus on our Register of Duties first?"

I'm thinking that we should model some of this after the Magna Carta. What say the rest of you?

Sovereign Court

While accepting that the trappings of nobility are neccesary to be taken seriously, we should recognize that such a lifestyle comes with a commensurate level of responsibility to lead by example.

Sovereign Court

Jasmine nods to Ozymandias. "Ah yes, Glorymane is quite the companion, it is a shame he cannot speak in this form. My good Marquis, I would like to point out that my order not only seeks out escaped slaves, it is our duty to make sure slave owners treat their property fairly and obey the laws regarding the institution. For instance, I would not think to take any slaves with me while traveling in Andoran. It is in punishing illegal slavery that I won my honoring by the Twilight Talons and earned the rank of Eagle Knight."

Jasmine turns toward the new comer. "Mr Reynard, I completely agree with you that being a noble gives one responsibility to ensure the safety and prosperity of the people we govern and should be reflected in our charter or constitution. Ozymandias makes very good points about allowing for alternative interpretations of various use of text to help a diverse group like ours come together under a single banner. I think that we can proceed with either the Bill of Rights or the Register of Duties, though it does seem like some here may wish to start with the Register of Duties."

I think using a model of the Magna Carta would work fine.

Sovereign Court

Sorry dear your phrase is viable but mine rhymes better. (Try singing it to the old pbs song) Ill likely have my version scribed and see how many signatures I get to affirm it. :)

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias scribbles down notes furiously on a piece of parchment. "Yes, yes, okay, I think we may be getting somewhere. Tell me, what do you all think of this? Please feel free to point out anything that needs changing or could be omitted."

Proposed Register of Duties WIP:
In the undertaking of the burdens of leadership, the Sovereign Court recognizes that the members of the aristocracy have certain duties which must be performed in order to maintain legitimate leadership. Each member shall hereby swear that she shall attempt to perform these duties to the best of her ability.

1. We shall attempt to preserve peace for as long as it remains viably possible, especially in instances in which conflict is unnecessary or easily avoided. Violence breeds unrest, and unrest breeds instability and chaos, which is counterproductive to the ultimate goal of the Court.

2. We shall not tolerate lawlessness or crime within our purview. To do so would be to invite anarchy and rebellion into our domains of influence. That being said, we will remains fair and unbiased in all matters of the courts as to retain justice and order in our holds.

3. Just as our servants are bound to the laws and regulations we place upon them, we too are bound to the laws and regulations placed upon us by those of higher social standing. As members of the ruling class we must always remember the hierarchy that binds us to our positions.

4. We shall not seize or imprison, or strip of her rights or possessions, or outlaw or exile, or deprive of her standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against her, or send others to do so, any woman, except by the lawful judgement of her equals, betters, or by the law of the land. In that respect, to no one shall we deny or delay right or justice.

5. We shall NOT deny our servants the basic rights guaranteed to all living creatures, be they servile or free. To do so would be an encroachment of our power. This is to say, we will not deny them of life (without just cause or legal precedent) or religion (as long as this does not hinder their ability to work). We shall also provide the basic necessities for our servants as to ensure their survival: access to food, water, and shelter.

Oz frowns. "Surely more could be added. Suggestions for new duties or changes for the ones listed are welcome."

Dark Archive

"Rights guaranteed to all living creatures?" snorts a half drunk young man. "What rights are those and who's providing this guarantee?"

"Servants have the rights their master chooses to extend as well as the "right" to try to dominate their master, nothing more." the armored figure declaims. "Want more rights? Get better at killing people." he mutters into his whiskey.

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias looks around, confused. "Who in the seven hells let... I thought this was a secret meeting, and now we have people just walking in? Whoever is in charge of security ought to be hung.

"Now does someone of actual import have anything to add?"

Dark Archive

"Case in point." snarks the Chelaxian. "I let myself in. I've heard you have a right to a private meeting but if it tried to stop me I can't say as I noticed."

"Paracountess Dralneen has lost her way, I came hoping you lot would be able to insert some law and order into the Society (and you do seem as though you could use security staff)." he continues "The Society needs a faction that represents the law, Lady Morilla's court could be that faction, but only if it recognizes that the nobility have the authority to make whatever laws they see fit. If you don't think nobles are better than, and hence have the right to impose their will upon, lesser creatures then what separates you from the anarchist Andorans?"

Sovereign Court

"Constantine, dear. Laws are binding in all directions, not just downward. As are chains, perhaps you should come learn about the Order of the Chain. Every person plays an important and distinct role for preserving the fabric of society. Society will only be as strong as the weakest link. Your message of using strength only to determine authority would likely lead to chaos, having well defined laws are necessary for society to function. Servants must be treated fairly enough or they will not be able to continue serving their function for society, anyone who thinks otherwise will have my order to face."

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias lays down his papers, writing a brief note that only his servant could see. If this man proves to be nothing more than a spy, you are to wipe is memory of this meeting. "You see, the problem that you are noting is of particular interest. Though we nobles do indeed have the right to pass laws that fit our needs, we are also in the unusual position of being bound to the ultimate law of the land: Chelaxians must obey the laws set foward by Queen Abrogail, Taldans must obey those made by Grand Prince Stavian, and so on. The fact of the matter is that as we come from a variety of different countries, the treatment of our servants and retainers will naturally be different due to the differences in customs.

"We here in the Sovereign Court are mid to low level nobles in the grand scheme of things and as such, we cannot pass laws that are contrary to the laws of the land; to do so would be an act of rebellion and invite chaos... which is exactly why this document must be specific enough to be understood, yet broad enough to allow for differences."

"I would also like to concur with what Henderthane's point. The chain does indeed bind both ways. You see, we are like the brain or the heart of society while our servants are the hand or the foot. Both need to be taken care of, else we cannot perform to our highest standards. If the mind is week, poor decisions will follow, but if the physical body is weak, then the entire operation is useless. That is why we treat our servants with a degree of fairness. To avoid the body from weakening."

Dark Archive

I am a sworn vassal of Her Infernal Majesty, I have obligations to her and she to me. The law, as the knight of the Chain correctly notes, binds everyone. My objection is to a document that claims there are basic rights guaranteed to all. Again I ask, what rights, and guaranteed by whom?

If Her Majesty commanded the worship of Asmodeus who guarantees this right of freedom of religion the charter proposes exists? If Her Majesty commanded the extermination of a town riddled with plague who guarantees a peasant's right to life or that of the noble born governor of the town?

Certainly no man does. No one has announced he has the power and will to countermand Her Majesty if she made such laws. No god provides such a guarantee, the clergy of the Inheritor may decry such actions but Iomedea hasn't the power to contest Asmodeus' authority in Cheliax. At the end of the day the heretic is in chains and the infected burnt, "rights" being nothing more than air.

I gladly accept a promise to treat servants and vassals as the law commands, but no more generously. If the laws of Taldor forbid beating a disobedient servant unto death, so be it. If the laws of Cheliax do not, so be it. Our sovereigns make the laws, the notion that people have *inherent* natural rights independent of a nation's law and which the law may not infringe is anarchic madness."

Sovereign Court

Oz raises an eyebrow. "Asmodeus himself has allowed us to remain on this material plane with a certain degree of autonomy. After The Prince of Darkness murdered his brother Ihys for introducing the concept of freedom to mortals (remember that Ihys was the creator of the first mortals), Asmodeus allowed his fallen brother's vision to stand and created Hell as a reminder of the perfect vision of order. Asmodeus did not have to do so and instead could have enveloped our world in his iron fisted rule, but choose not to. Between the fact that his brother, the creator of mortal beings, decided to grant us free will and Asmodeus allowing the vision to stand, would you not say that we have an inherent right to certain things on this plane of existence? Certainly not in Hell, but here, on the Material Plane."

If thisin character debate on the nature of rights (which is hopefully resolved soon) goes on, I encourage everyone to continue proposing duties, or suggesting changes to those already proposed. I am actually totally serious about having. Complete constitution for the Sovereign Court by the time this thread comes to an end. Hell, I'll even write iit out on old parchment and sign each one of our characters' names. Failing that, there's always computer programs which could do the same...

Sovereign Court

Pay the Hellknight no heed brothers, for they are shackled to their ideas in this life and the next. Do not give him the chance to bind you you to his hell as well. The Varisian Baron turns to the group at hand.

Let us focus on our task at hand. Perhaps we should consider forming a list of potential nobles worthy of recruiting into the Sovereign's Court. Count Varian Jeggare comes to mind. I suspect my own liege Count Lucinean Galdana of Ustalav would be a good choice as well. Should we consider the option to marry some of our members into the Blakros family to increase our influence with them? I'm sure some of their sons and daughters would prefer a cultured spouse instead of some half frozen barbarian.

Sovereign Court

Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher gives her glasses a quick adjustment before speaking. "As with all things involving desire," the Lady comments, the gentle waves of her fan providing a hint of animation to her words. "The most effective method is to simply show the audience how well-off their choice will make them, and let their own minds give birth to the idea of joining. Active recruitment makes the cause look undesirable."

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias nods in accordance with Lady d'Apcher's statement. "I am inclined to agree with the esteemed d'Apcher. Actions do indeed speak louder than mere words... however I believe that words should pave the way towards actions, hence the necessity of this document. Do we have any more suggestions?"

Sovereign Court

As the conversation continues a young man, late in his seventeenth year enters the room. The youth is a tall man of Chelaxian complexion, however his skin appears to have recently caught the sun. His hair is dark brown in a modern style that frames his handsome face and slender jawline. The stranger is attired in the clothing typically befitting of lesser nobility, cut with purples and blacks. As he enters a viper appears to weaves absent-mindedly around his arms and shoulders.

Flanking the newcomer is another Chelaxian, however unlike his master this individual is attired in a much less ostentatious outfit. A sizable backpack encumbers the man and he carries several tomes and texts in his overloaded arms.

The leading youth offers a bow to the assembled individuals, before standing up and displaying his rehearsed smile.

"Apologises for the intrusion, I was recently advised to attend this event. My name is Lord Ardisen Greymore of Egorian, paragon of the Society and arcane enchanter. I recently joined your Court on the understanding that the good Lady Morilla saw that my noble heritage was appropriately recognised. Perhaps I can offer some assistance or an alternative viewpoint on matters of discussion?"

The enchanters voices carries with both ettiquette and dignity, words rolling off his silver tongue effortlessly.

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias nods to the Lord Greymore. "Please do share what you wish. The Court ought to have varied viewpoints amongst the Lords and Ladies present."

Sovereign Court

Ardisen nods, gratefully.

"Given my homeland, I'm greatly in favor of contracted rules and guidelines. However, this Court is an entirely new concept and at this early stage of realising Lady Morillas dream, I feel the focus should be on recruitment and a plan of action to do so, as several of the other honored individuals have indicated. We should first turn our attention to those within Absalom itself that can be converted to the benefit of the Court, whilst at the same time ensuring we avoid the Shadow War that plagues the City at the Center of the World. From there we should agree viable candidates to allow for expansion into and beyond the Inner Sea."

The enchanter quickly scribbles a few notes in a pocket journal, before continuing.

"By all means write your constitution, but could the time you spend doing so not be better spent planning the expansion of this esteemed faction. We share responsibility as both Pathfinders and the social elite. Any action we take should speak volumes and resonate across ages. Writing a constitution while those that would see us fail at this early stage seems unwise to me."

The youth bows and steps back, maintaining his smile as he does so.

Sovereign Court

A tall heavily built man strides in, bearing the heraldry of the Eagle Knights on his cape draping exquisitely over his ornate full plate in. "I trust that I am not too late?"

He bows deeply to the room. "I am Lord Deacon Williams, Knight Captain of the Eagle Knights. He smiles. "I have been permitted to retain my rank in the Knights, but have since left for this court to re-inherit an ancestral title.

He glances around and nods to all present. "I haven't heard all that was discussed, but the one suggestion I would make is that we have no one central personality guiding us. I originally joined Andoran, and the Eagle Knights from a desire to do good, but I left as I had no desire to be a pawn in the Majors machinations. We need to keep our egos in check, but not dominated. We all made it here through our force of will and the influence we have gathered through our nobility. Let us use this, but not have it ruin us.

Sovereign Court

"Deacon puts forth an important point. If there is to be camaraderie, it would be advisable to require the setting aside of political differences when in each others' company," the Lady suggests. "Political discussion can be quite entertaining. I can imagine a lively evening shared with Lady Jasmine or Lord Deacon. Oppositional arguing is much less desirable."

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias addresses each speaker in turn.

@Ardisen Greymore: "Indeed, we should spend time recruiting other nobles to our cause... but not actively, rather, indirectly. I recently impressed Lady Darchana, whom you know is the Archdean of the Arcanamirium. In this line of action, I found that best way to gain support is to impress with feats of skill and loyalty of our own. Therefore, I encourage all of us to complete our faction missions do our best to show our strength in every scenario we play in at every opportunity."

@Lord Deacon: "Again, I absolutely agree with this proposition. However, let us not forget to give respect to LAdy Morilla who is indeed the founder of this organization."

@Lady Gabrielle d'Apcher: "You are correct. Political discussion is indeed advisable and necessary when it comes to moving this organization forward, and we must be careful not to fall into the trap of asserting so much influence here that it overwhelms the rest of us, while still being able to have a civil discussion and express our opinions."

Sovereign Court

"Oh, I am sure that Lord Deacon and I could have quite a discussion, but this is not the place for it. Of course our first duty is to always impress influential folks at any opportunity, there is no reason that we cannot also pursue creating a document to guide this organization while not on active duty.

I propose the following additional duty toward the goals of increasing the influence of this organization:
6. We shall attempt to always impress any influential member of society whether their position of power comes from appointment, birth, election, or earned. By impressing those that we come across our own influence shall grow.

I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts about this."

Lady Jasmine turns toward Lord Deacon "I am quite interested in the title you wish to reclaim, I would be happy to help reestablish nobles in Andoran, and together we might wield considerable influence, as I am also an Eagle Knight and I hold a writ of appreciation from The People's Council. If you are interested in pursuing this discussion we might continue it elsewhere as it isn't pertinent to the discussion at hand"

Sense Motive DC 15:
Jasmine is not really interested in helping the interests of Andoran as it currently stands, nor is she really interested in hiding her thoughts on the matter.

Scarab Sages

An exquisitely appointed fellow, a bit bald, a bit heavy set strolls broadly into the conversation.

"You lot? Power? Surely you must be the new jester? No?"

A thin leer, born of disdain stains his face as he looks around.

"You couldn't find power if you sold your soul for it, or were born to it. You are low caste cast offs of a dead empire, and you speak of holding power? You do not know or care of the source of power, and seek to claim that you should make changes? You are but the parasites, bloated on the corpse of Taldor, and lacking of true vision or knoweldge. Come back when you have learned the ways of the world, and then we may talk."

And with that arrogant speech, he turns his finely appointed back and strolls casually out of the area. Near by a Herald can be heard decrying: "All Hail his Mightyness, Xaratos the Undying."

Sovereign Court

Ardisen shakes his head at the newcomers outburst.

"On that subject, I suggest we coorperate with the civilized members of other factions within the Society as much as possible, providing their goals do not directly conflict with our own."

The enchanter pauses for a moment to pass his viper to his assistant, before continuing.

"While certain members of the other factions within the Society are... unduly confrontational, I have found a great number of others helpful, to the point of sacrificing their lives. While their agenda may not directly support our own, their aid can prove essential in achieving our objectives."

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias scribbles down Henderthane's suggestion at first opportunity. "Yes, I am putting down your suggestion down with he others. Forgive me for not doing so sooner, I was just too disturbed by that awful man's presence. I do love how he was presumptuous enough to believe we were all Taldan, even though we have already proven to have members from Cheliax, Taldor, Andoran, Nirmathis, and a host the other nations I am sure we represent."

He then turns his attention to Greymore's suggestion thinking carefully about how to phrase it before writing this down:

7. When possible and when our goals align, we shall cooperate with those who the other factions which are scattered across Golarion. To do so is no shame, rather, it encompasses control and strategic planning on our part.

He looks back up to Greymore. "Is this how you would like it phrased, or were you thinking something a bit different?"

Sovereign Court

The young wizard nods at Ozymandias phrasing.

"It seems appropriate to me. If you are happy with that I have no issues."

Referring to 'His Mightyness, Xaratos the Unying'.

"Sadly, there are members of all groups that leave something to be desired. If falls to those of us so elevated and capable to set an example of how power and prestige should be excerised."

Sense Motive DC 36:
Bluff: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (19) + 17 = 36

You get the feeling that Ardisen is not as concerned with using his authority and power responsibly and setting an altruistic example as he postures. However, his honeyed words, charismatic smile and spotless ettiquette would convince all but the most empathic otherwise. In reality, the enchanter is far more interested in expanding his own power and elevating his position. Surprisingly, his belief that the Court should cooperate with others where possible is entirely genuine.

Sovereign Court

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So this is out of character, but guess who started working on putting the first draft together on one document? Link provided in the previous sentence and the original copy is being saved to my computer.

Sovereign Court

It's looking good. You might want to consider a slightly easier to read font mind, cause there are parts of that I cannot make out in that font. Maybe leave alittle more room at the bottom too, especially if you're wanting to put signatures in.

Sovereign Court

Ardisen Greymore wrote:
It's looking good. You might want to consider a slightly easier to read font mind, cause there are parts of that I cannot make out in that font. Maybe leave a little more room at the bottom too, especially if you're wanting to put signatures in.

Oh don't worry about there not being room, this is only page one of about... When we all agree on the final text, I am not going to use one imgur page; rather, I'll probably set up MULTIPLE imgur pages, and send the word document to anyone who wants it... unless there's an easier way to do this that I'm not thinking of. I'll see about the font though.

Ozymandias dips his quill in the ink once more before looking up at the rest of you. "Come on now, let's get more voices into this. I could write the entire document myself, but then that would harldy be a group effort, eh? if you have ideas for the Register of Duties, speak up! Or if you wish to speak of the Bill of Rights for us nobles, then I will make notes on the side to add once we have finished this section."

The Exchange

A smartly dressed woman pauses to converse as she passes by the constitution writers.

"I would not presume to tell you how to word your constitution, but I applaud your willingness to collaborate with those of other factions. In days past, it always disturbed me that my Qadiran brethren were so loathe to deal with the Taldans because of what Duke What's-his-name did to Pasha Long-since-dead at the Battle of Middle-of-nowhere. If you have an ally that can help you, don't hold it against them where they happen to be born."

"In any case, it is my experience that the right title and lineage can sometimes be invaluable in closing the deal. Of course there are also times when a fat purse in the right palm accomplishes more than all the noble decorum in the world. Pay no mind to the loud mouthed critics. I assure you that you will find friends throughout the Pathfinder Society even if they don't wear the badge of the Sovereign Court."

Silver Crusade

A tall, scar bearing dignified looking half orc raises his voice and projects from the back of the room.

"I am gladdened to see such co-operation and high ideals amongst my esteemed pathfinders. Good luck on all your endeavours."

Sovereign Court

"I see we have more guests," the Lady comments. "Shall we invite them to stay for tea?" she asks, looking to Katarina.

"With all the attention you have created, Ozymandias, I wonder if we could solve world affairs simply by having the right people in the same room."

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias feigns mock annoyance with the intrusion of the secret meeting, but it is easy to see through his ruse. "I suppose that's for the best... It's not like we were going to keep this organization a secret from our allies in the Pathfinder Society anyways. We interact with them on far too consistent basis to keep anything hidden from them for too long."

He turns to his servant once more. "Would you kindly get the Varisian tea that I bought yesterday? Thank you, you're such a dear." As his servant steps out the room, he turns to The Trade Princess. "Too much time is spent focusing on the past in my own opinion. As you suggested, things that happened many years ago should be of no concern, which is why so many of us in this Court are able to now get together peacefully. We recognize that we are the future and should reflect that, instead of lingering on days gone by."

He then turns back to Lady d'Apcher. "If only it were that simple, someone far more intelligent than I would have done so long ago. Unfortunately there are always enemies slinking in the shadows, looking to sabotage such ideals."

He then goes back to writing:

More Proposed Duties:

8. In case of an attack by an outside force, be they mortal, outsiders, or undead, each member of the Court has an obligation to protect those under her charge, if not by leading a force herself to fend off the attack and punish the perpetrators, at least by organizing a movement and leaving the task to a trusted advisory, warrior, or volunteer. Attacks on innocents will not be tolerated, and thus those heathens that would dare commit such a crime must be punished appropriately.

9. Should she be absent from her duties as a ruler, for whatever reason, a member of the Court will leave an appropriate temporary replacement in her stead, as to ensure order remains in her sphere of influence.

"Any other suggestions or proposed changed?"

Sovereign Court

"Yes, there are enemies in the shadows, but there are also friends."
A perfectly average man steps up and continues, "We are here should any member of the Sovereign Court require assistance that they can't otherwise find."
He steps back and disappears amidst the servants bringing in the tea.

Sovereign Court

Lady Jasmine looks quite annoyed to be interrupted, and obviously upset by one of the interlopers lack of respect. She does not object to the polite interruptions, nor to their being offered tea.
"Well I may have to have words with Xaratos later, after our work is concluded. He may not like the fact that my attention has been brought to him This statement while not directly threatening to him is very sinister in its delivery (take 10 on Intimidate for 41).

Jasmine then takes a cup of tea delicately from one of the servants.
"Well back to business then, the duties discussed are looking quite well done, so I propose going over Baron Francisco de La Scaramanga's work. Here are some proposed changes to his outline. I believe that while it is quite obvious that we are better than the common rabble, it should not be so rampant in our constitution as appearances must be maintained, and it is our duty to ensure their well being, after all unhealthy and abused commoners cannot provide the labor required to support us.

Article 1 - The nobility, gifted by the divine and affirmed by the gods with certain unalienable rights notably property, servants, good wine, and fine horses. It is the right and duty of the local nobility to protect the populace, and sort out any banditry, for further duties see the Register of Duties.
Article 2 - The sovereign court does not abide lawlessness, piracy, or poor fashion sense.
Article 3 - The sovereign court hereby deems all powers not covered by this document to be held in trust to the local nobles, who may by their affirmation grant limited powers upon others. That trust is of course temporary (see article 4).
Article 4 - To guarantee the role of interstate trade, any power deemed necessary by a simple majority of the nobility will be rendered to the sovereign court.
Article 5 - The sovereign court does not openly endorse any religion, although it perfectly within the realms of Articles 3 and 4 to do so at leisure.
Article 6 - The right to yield in combat must be adhered to strictly, unless an accident happens, especially in regards to nobles on either side of the conflict.
Article 7 - The right to a trial by combat is given only to those landed nobles accused of a crime. The realm shall choose a champion, the noble may choose a champion if the field is muddy.

These I think propose a good start to this list."

The document is looking good, and while I appreciate a font that looks hand written, it is hard to read in places.

The Exchange

Katarina accepts the tea offered to her. "Ozymandius, Lady d'Apcher, thank you for your hospitality. If you are trying to hold a private discussion, I assure you that you can trust my discretion. It's just bad business to tell the whole world everything that you know."

Since she was not immediately asked to leave, she pauses long enough to hear Lady Jasmine read the articles. She nods at several different points before finally voicing her opinion. "I'm pleased that interstate trade is a priority for you. If you seek the assistance of The Exchange in such matters, I'm sure you will find some like-minded individuals." She pauses before adding, "Though some of the old Sczarni might balk at the no piracy clause."

Sovereign Court

I used a different scriptlike font that is far more readable. I'll post a new version for you all to look at tomorrow perhaps

Ozymandias scratches out certain things from his parchment and looks deep in thought. "Hm... Perhaps something like this?"

Proposed Bill of Rights WIP:
And indeed with these noble duties comes a certain list of freedoms that are given to those of the ruling class. A certain luxury of lifestyle is after all, expected in reward for competency in one's duties. This Bill of Rights states out the powers and liberties granted to the persons within the Court, and no woman who claims such a position shall be stripped of these liberties for as long as she lives.

1. The nobility, are gifted by the divine and affirmed by the gods with certain unalienable rights, most notably yet not limited to: property, servants, good wine, and fine horses. These rights are granted in return for the protection of the populace under her command.

2. As the Sovereign Court does not endorse nor condemn any religion, it is up to each individual member to responsibly worship any divine beings that she would like.

3. All matters of interstate trade amongst members of the Sovereign Court or even outside organizations shall be left to the purview of the parties involved within the dealings.

4. The right to yield in combat must be adhered to strictly, unless an accident happens, especially so in regards to nobles on either side of the conflict.

5. The right to a trial by combat is given only to those landed nobles accused of a crime. The realm shall choose a champion, the noble may choose a champion if the field is muddy.

6. A noble has the right to a trial by a jury of her peers or betters, as matters of crime and punishment should be left to those who understand the intricacies of such important affairs.

7. The Sovereign Court hereby deems all powers not covered by this document to be held in trust to the local nobles, who may by their affirmation grant limited powers upon others. That trust is of course temporary and the powers shall be returned when the noble returns to her position.

8. If any additional powers need be granted to the Sovereign Court as an organization, the specifics shall be discussed and decided by a simple majority vote.

Once done writing, he reaches into a small pouch and pulls out a small copper wire, crushing it in his hand before pointing at the Trade Princess.

Message Spell for Katarina, Perception DC 25 to listen in:
"You see, I do sympathize with the former Sczarni faction members... though perhaps with the aid of the more liberal minded members of the Court, such as myself, we may be able to turn a blind eye to piracy committed against... the less favorable elements of society. In fact, some of us might be willing to pay for such a service, calling it 'privateering' instead of piracy. Then, not only would the privateers have full legal status, and be able to keep whatever loot they obtain from said enterprise, but they could also get paid for the work. It may not appease all, but in my humble opinion, it is a good way for keeping things cordial."

Sovereign Court

Scaramanga, perception 26, roll 11

That's why my version had a writ for banditry. You just need a legal document to commit crimes, good ole Taldor...I mean Sovereign Court.

Everything I do is purely legal honest and truthful just like the wind driven paladin holding a babe in one arm and a longsword in the other.

Bluff 31, roll 12 - (and if you believe that one, I've got a beautiful bridge to sell you in Egorian.)

The Exchange

The figure has sat within the hall of the round table in silent contemplation of the discussion, his presence having gone with little notice or concern among the others sitting in. He is a slight man with a wiry build, wearing a carefully maintained monk's attire and simple rice hat. On the whole, he is quite unremarkable in appearance or force of presence, aside from his obvious but slight angelic heritage and the two-dozen ioun stones embedded into the flesh of his arms and chest in patterns of arcane or religious significance.

Knowledge (local) DC 15:
The relatively unique countenance of the humble man's person readily identifies him as a Venture-Captain and a Master of the former Lantern Lodge, Solail. After the Lantern Lodge's retirement from the Pathfinder Society, he joined with Qadira, largely as a sign of solidarity and favor to his brother. With the recent reformatting of the Society's factions, he is presently seeking his place among the proper choice once more.

Knowledge (local) DC 10:
Though he personally places little stock in accomplishments of violence, the most acclaimed of his recounted exploits is his direct involvement in the large party that defeated Runelord Karzoug within his demiplane The Eye of Avarice in the Spires of Xin-Shalast. (Fame score 112).

"Thank you for your hospitality, Lady d'Apcher. I would be pleased to share in your tea."

As the Lady provides the quiet monk with his portion, a warm smile crosses his face, and he regards her with a fond and impressed demeanor.

"Ahh, a karyukai tea set! This is a most pleasant development. Such heirlooms are rare in my home of Tian Xia, let alone so far west. You have been given two very precious gifts, my Lady - both in the tea set itself, but more so in the respect of the Tianer who instructed you in our old traditions."

Without great commotion, he rises to sit across from you respectfully, coming to rest upon his knees. With a bow in demonstration of his host's gratitude, he kindly receives your offered cup traditionally. Awaiting your first sip, he then sips his own, as a simple but warm smile adorns his face.

In a hushed tone to Lady d'Apcher in Tien:
Might I impose upon you to share with me some of what you know about Jasmine and Ozymandias, Lady? Both are known to me as respected Pathfinders, but I hope that you might be able to enlighten me more deeply as to the nature of their character.

Sovereign Court

You bring up an excellent point, Solail. What does Fame actually mean outside of item purchasing and a bonus to Diplomacy checks with members of your faction?

"Master Solail," she greets him. "I could easily state that your reputation has preceded you, but your mere appearance is sufficient to identify you."

Master Solail wrote:
"Ahh, a karyukai tea set! This is a most pleasant development. Such heirlooms are rare in my home of Tian Xia, let alone so far west. You have been given two very precious gifts, my Lady - both in the tea set itself, but more so in the respect of the Tianer who instructed you in our old traditions."

"It was a gift from the geisha of the Minkaian city of Sakakabe. They are perhaps the most skilled conversationalists in the known world, and the calming nature of their teas only serves to dissolve emotional barriers and aid in fostering warm friendships."

A moment later, she replies to Solail's Tien request.

"I sense that the two of them are quite ambitious. They see Lady Morilla's change of heart as a gateway to opportunities once closed to them, though there are many lessons they will have to learn along their path to higher standing. Watching them makes me feel rather motherly."

Sense Motive DC 59:
PM me.

The Exchange

Well, I am of the belief that there is multiple valid interpretations of what precisely it could mean. My personal view is that within your chosen faction, Fame represents how much esteem and influence you have within that faction. Outside of your faction, I feel it simply represents how well known the character and their exploits are to the general populace, but does not necessary carry with it the esteem and influence it does within your faction. I believe the absolute max for PFS is 116, which in my opinion would pretty much make a PC hugely prolific on their home continent, and at least known of outside of it. Just my two cents on the topic.

The planetouched monk acknowledges Lady d'Apcher's generous words with a kind smile.

"Many might say that such esteemed words were more suited for yourself, my Lady, and I would be inclined to agree. The Sovereign Court appears poised for reformation, and it is my hope that they shall heed example of the cautious diplomacy that your legacy has set."

Spoken in Tien:
He nods once, slowly, in acknowledgement of your words.

"In many places within Golarion, inequalities among our peers endures. I have hope that the Sovereign Court may see this as an opportunity to lead our cultures away from such a way of thinking and state of being. To lead one's peers is to be respected, but to love those whom one leads? Through such a path lay greatness. I pray that the Sovereign Court find such greatness, and should you continue as their shepherd, I have faith that such a destiny might be within our lifetimes to see."

Extremely slim chance he might succeed at that, so let's see what happens!

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 41 ⇒ (8) + 41 = 49

Not this time. :)

Sovereign Court

Ozymandias is at a loss of words right now, but is too polite to whip out a scroll of comprehend languages... And I am not even going to attempt that Sense Motive DC

Still waiting a response from the other members concerning his newest bit of writing, Ozymandias shifts uncomfortably as a conversation is stricken in a language other than one he speaks. "Master Solail?" he finally gets out, trying his best (yet failing to) hide a look of awe. "You... Do indeed have quite a reputation sir- I mean Master. Or is it Grandmaster now?"

Looking slightly flushed at a man whom he based much of his early training after, Oz finally manages to stutter out, "So what brings a man your your prestige and demigod levels of ability here?"

Sovereign Court

This seems like something that could be amusing in a real time chatzone of sorts. Does anybody have any suggestions?

Deacon happily sits back watching the proceedings.

I am a warrior, and a diplomat, but I am no politician. I will happily agree to the suggestions of others and go with the majority. My contribution will be enforcing and defending the ideals we live by, whether using my wit and guile, or my blade. I will however take a stance on wanting a cup of that tea! He graciously accepts a cup, but unlike Master Solail, he does not drink with such incredible reverence, but is otherwise very polite about it. Very much appreciate Lady Gabrielle!

He raises an eyebrow at the discussion going on in Tien, but pays no mind to it. No sense motive check is needed in that he greatly trusts everyone around him, despite not knowing anyone.

Sovereign Court

Lady Violetta, bare of foot and clad in an immodestly gossamer web of mithril threads along which gem-like gleams of eldritch light dance, leans forward, a concerned expression on her flawless face; as she is dripping in jeweled Varisian bangles, the movement is accompanied by a mild clatter.

The "constitutional" proposals I have heard thus far, for the most part, are simply a catalog of the very Taldan failures and excesses Lady Morilla has entreated us to abandon. The desperate attempt to maintain material privilege while dodging nobless oblige is enough to prompt a donation to the Galtan cause.

Perhaps it's time to apply some revolutionary thinking to the notion of "elites".

What we really want to do here is create a shadow aristocracy. We leverage actual aristocracies, but then we subvert their allegiances to create a kind of global power structure. What we need is less of a constitution and more of a culture, a guiding ethos for how this body is supposed to act.

And really, what is it for? It's easy and breezy to talk about "global stability", but what is that, exactly? Who decides it? A committee? Have you ever seen a committee of aristocrats try to agree on something? Even within the context of a national effort or need, it's so much cat herding... but a transnational committee? I'm skeptical.

Moreover, before you can bind this global cartel of wealthy elites with a body of law - which is what a constitution seeks to do - you need the leverage to get the signatories to sign. You need to offer something which not only makes it worth their while where it counts, on their native soil, but it needs to be valuable enough to render them beholden to whatever enforcement arm this constitution will create. I mean, we do realize that this organized body of elites needs to be policed, yes? Even to the point of lethal reprisal?

Offhand, here's how I see it. We need to offer membership in a global cartel of aristocratic elites which promises vertical improvement within their own national system, derived from the leverage afforded by their global connections - that has to be the deal. As these "minor" aristocrats become less minor, the Sovereign Court will shift from being a shadow government of small, local powers to a shadow government of major, increasingly dominant powers, until you have some theoretical exit point in which it's a committee of kings and emperors.

I just don't see aristocrats assuming the risk otherwise.

That has to be the purpose of whatever binding document there is: takeover. And the buy-in needs enforcement, so you have to set up a group for that. Assassins, slayers, means of compulsion, whatever.

Or... not. I mean, do we really want another wave of political conquest, albeit hidden? But any alternative requires some kind of radical culture shift, almost to the point of creating some kind of new religion or guiding philosophy focused on the betterment of the world, whatever that means. There's a whole lot of definition needed.

Frankly, while obviously the whole thing is intriguing - I mean, I'm in - I'm not sure Lady Morilla thought through all the implications.

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