"Where did you get that!?" Pietro had not seen so much money in... well in longer than he could comfortably remember.
Alon's grin widened.
"Why Pietro my dear little dove, I took it! Myself and some of our fine fellows were having a wander in the lovely new park as you do, and it is very lovely indeed if you have not seen it already. The menagerie in particular is well worth the trip. So exotic! But imagine our surprise when we came across some of Leona's crew also enjoying the lovely new park. So we greeted each other politely, and had a lovely chat, and the chat turned into a discussion most forceful, and bless me if they didn't give us their purses. And some jewellery."
Alon turned his head slightly so Pietro could see a thick golden ring piercing his earlobe. It was still bleeding slightly from the new piercing.
"Leona is very unhappy, apparently. She's going to be even more unhappy when we turn up at the Ribald Goose to explain the new order of things to her." Alon stopped smiling. "You're coming with us of course?"
"I'm not sure Alon," Pietro started, disgusted by the whine in his voice but unable to stop it. "I... I had a bad pie last night and I'm feeling rough and..."
"Oh my poor, sweet lad! You don't want to let that stop you! You just need a little pick-me-up! I've got just the thing!"
The rangy bravo pulled a glass vial out of another of his pockets, and upended about half of it on the back of his hand. He tossed the vial over to Pietro, and with a great snorting snotty breath inhaled all the little blue crystals. His eyes rolled back, and so did his head, and he howled like a dog at the roof."Oh but that is good, that is good." he said as he lowered his head. His grin if anything was even wider. His eyes were like shards of blue glass, and both nostrils marked with blue powder. "It's good for what ails you, matey boy. Get it down you. And then... then we'll go and have a nice quiet pint at the Ribald Goose!"
Over the last season, three grand construction projects in the League have been completed. The Blood Red Roads, in all their glory, now stretch practically from one side of the Empire to the other. The Grand Park of Holberg has finally been completed. A series of red stone monoliths - magical monuments to the virtue of Lorenzo Macelliao von Temeschwar - now focus and enhance the flows of mana through each of the four League territories.
It is, indeed, a wonderful time to be a citizen of the League - splendors and wonders abound and the cities grow larger, more prosperous and more inspiring by the month,
In Holberg, work has finally been finished on the Holmauer Park. During the Druj occupation, the suburbs of Holmauer were reduced to rubble choked with vermin - both the four-legged and two-legged kind. In Spring 380YE Katarzyna Von Carstein - a Jarmish immigrant now a citizen of the League - presented a bold proposal to reclaim the ruins. The Imperial Senate agreed with her ambitious plan, although the construction took at least twice as long as first estimated. Over time the shattered wasteland was cleared and the region laid out as broad parkland.
In contrast to the cramped, bustling, brick-and-stone aesthetic of the city proper, Holmauer is now a serene, restful area of open parks and well-maintained orchards dotted with buildings of white granite and fine marble. The extensive landscaping of the park has led to pleasant paths snaking through flower gardens, grassy banks and natural forest areas. The park includes a beautiful open-air venue for concerts and plays, a public bathhouse built by the finest Highborn artisans, and the wonderful Imperial Menagerie. All in all, the park is a great work that utterly transforms Holmauer into one of the richest, most beautiful, and most desirable areas to live in in the entire League.
Opportunity : The Garden City
The Druj are gone and show no signs of coming back - their attention seems focused on Dawn and Urizen. Indeed, there is every indication that the Dawnish have severely bloodied their noses in Semmerholm - almost as badly as the Imperial armies bloodied their noses the last time they came near Holberg! With Holmauer Park complete, there is a lot of talk about the scars of war that are still visible in the city proper - in Holfried.
An ambitious plan has been put forward by some of the Merchant-Princes of Holberg; what if the same principles that turned Holmauer into a park were turned on Holfried? Obviously, the walls would be maintained, and the various civic buildings would be preserved, but there is a lot of empty, crumbling real-estate in the city left vacant by the dead or those who quit the city and never returned. With enough investment, the main streets could be lined with trees and flowering plants; windows could be adorned with window boxes; flat roofs converted into gardens; wells and cisterns expanded to service fountains. The ugliness of the war with the Druj could be swept away entirely and the city would, categorically, become the most beautiful city in the League, and by extension the Empire, and most likely the most wondrous on the continent.
Estimates suggest the transformation of the city into a garden would take a year, and would require an investment of 60 wains of weirwood, 40 wains of white granite, and 25 Thrones. Once work was complete, it would represent a monumental great work that in conjunction with the Grand Park of Holmauer and the Blood Red Roads would see an appreciable boost to the amount of money received by League-owned businesses in the city.
Another alternative has been suggested by several professors at the University. Instead of focusing solely on beautiful flowers and fountains, the burghers could be convinced to set aside portions of their window-boxes and roof-gardens to produce medicinal plants. Rather than fountains, the cisterns and wells could be used to support the growth of healing herbs. In this case, the city would be no less green and wholesome, but the great work would provide healing herbs rather than additional money. Such herbs would still provide an opportunity to increase prosperity by selling them to professional dealers, but would also prove invaluable should the city ever come under siege again.
Opportunity : Imperial Menagerie
The Imperial Menagerie was the first part of Holmauer Park completed. It is very pleasant to visit, and the rakshasa is a great draw, but in all honesty the rest of the exhibits are significantly less impressive than they might be. But with the completion of the Blood Red Roads, there is a direct link between the city so isolated from the rest of the Empire for so long, and the southern coast. Combined with the expertise of Holberg's engineers, there is a definite opportunity to expand the menagerie collection dramatically.
If the Imperial Senate wished, they could pass a Senate motion instructing the civil service to locate wonderful new exhibits for the menagerie. The immediate impact would be obvious - where now the menagerie contains a few forlorn dire penguins and the like, hunters and trappers would bring great bears, lions, gazelle, and even more exotic beasts. Suitable environments would need to be built - 20 wains of weirwood and 5 Thrones would be sufficient to expand the menagerie in this way. Not only would the menagerie continue to be self-sufficient, but it would also generate a healthy income for the Keeper of the Imperial Menagerie. In addition to their existing powers, providing them with 16 crowns each season.
More importantly however, over the next few seasons the civil service would track down opportunities to add truly unique creatures to the menagerie. It is doubtful anything as wonderful as Flocki would turn up, but the world is wide and full of the most astonishing beasts. It is doubtful the civil service would just be able to acquire such creatures - but they would certainly be able to create opportunities for the Keeper of the Imperial Menagerie to do so on behalf of the Empire.
|Total Money Spent||Production|
|77 Crowns||50 mana crystals|
|93 Crowns||58 mana crystals|
|110 Crowns||67 mana crystals|
|128 Crowns||75 mana crystals|
Lorenzo's Legacy of virtue
Each of the four League territories is now home to a great work that enhances the production of every League-owned mana site in that territory by a significant margin. The amount of mana available on the open market is set to increase, and this increase may end up reaching as far as Anvil.
Opportunity : Tassato Mana Exchange
The incipient increase in the amount of mana in the League presents two straightforward opportunities. The Tassato Mana Exchange is already well served both by Imperial merchants trading crystal mana and by traders from abroad - especially the representatives of the Jarmish princes.
With a senate motion, ten wains of mithril, and 20 crowns the Tassato exchange could be expanded even more, dramatically increasing the amount of mana available for purchase by the Keeper by not only a significantly enlarging the vaults, but by establishing agencies in the other three cities to take advantage of the bounty of mana there. (The additional levels of purchase that would be available are shown in the table right).
Alternatively, an opportunity exists to construct a branch of the Mana Exchange in each of the other three cities. With an investment of 12 mithril and 24 crowns for each exchange, senate motions could be used to commission new exchanges in each League city, each the equivalent of a standard 16 wain ministry. Bookies on the street of cards are already taking bets on the names of the new exchanges - you can get good odds on anything named after the Imperatrix, but nothing better than 5:4 for anything in red with cleavers.
Only one of these two opportunities may be taken - it is not possible to enlarge the existing exchange and construct new exchanges elsewhere. However there is nothing to stop a senator raising a motion to improve the Tassato Mana Exchange, or to build an exchange in a single League city, using the standard costs for a ministry.
At the same time the rich are becoming richer, there are a few minor disturbances among those at the other end of the economic scale. For the most part they deal with themselves; occasionally the militia or the magistrates get involved. The most recent kerfuffle is caused by the appearance of a new narcotic on the streets of the League cities. Originating in Holberg, the bravos call it Bite. Nobody is sure when it first appeared, but it has definitely become more prevalent since the Autumn Equinox. With the completion of the Blood Red Roads, the drug is also starting to show up in Tassato, Sarvos, and Temeschwar.
Reliable sources are hard to secure - almost everyone seems to be getting it from a friend of a friend - and the price varies widely depending on who is selling it. A coarse granular blue powder, it is snorted raw or occasionally used in an infusion. It is reported to heighten both confidence and aggression. There is some concern among a few magistrates, but the general consensus at the moment is that the drug is probably no worse than alcohol in terms of its influence on serious crimes.
There has been an increase in brawls between brands of bravos in Holberg and Tassato, and to a lesser degree in Sarvos and Temeschwar, but brawls are nothing new and as they rarely involve bystanders the authorities are not minded to get involved at the moment.
If you are the player of a League character who has either the bravo or mountebank archetype listed on the system, then you may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and request a dose of bite be included in your character pack. How you acquired it is up to you - no money will be deducted from your account - but in general it should have been acquired from a distant acquaintance who will have themselves purchased it from someone else. You will need to secure an appropriate phys-rep - a pouch or phial of blue sand, dust, or crystals would be ideal. Please do not e-mail in unless you meet these criteria - the drug is not available to any character who is not a League character with the appropriate archetype.
The deadline for requesting a dose of bite is midnight 20/04/2018.
The opportunity to commission the garden city is available only during the current summit - it is very much dependant on the enthusiastic support of the people of Holberg following the opening of the Grand Park. Likewise, the opportunity to expand the Tassato Mana Exchange, or to build new exchanges, is dependant on the excitement of Lorenzo's Legacies of virtue being completed and expires at the end of the summit if it has not been commissioned.
The opportunity to expand the Imperial Menagerie is not time dependent however - as long as the mausoleum is still popular and "Flocki " is still alive, the expansion may be commissioned at any time.
The opportunity to secure a dose of "bite" exists only during the weeks running up to the event; further doses can only be acquired in play.
The Imperial Senate declined to commission the transformation of Holberg into a garden city, and this opportunity is no longer available. They did choose to commission the Temeschwar Mana Exchange and the Sarvos Mana Exchange, but not the one in Holberg; this opportunity has likewise expired although there is nothing to stop the commission of a traditional ministry at the standard costs.
The opportunity to expand the Imperial Menagerie remains, however, unless the situation changes.