We got some details on what the “civil servants” of the Empire were up to between the seasons with the last two Winds of Fortune that dropped. These were both appraisals which is where members of the senate ask the civil service (aka the plot writers) to look at this particular thing, please.

Both of these appraisals asked for the work of Naomi of Virtue’s Rest to work on them but she was only available to work on the first, with Eleri Sweetwater taking up the slack in the second appraisal.

Time and Time Again

Recently the roads and bridges of Kahraman were destroyed by Steven of Sarcombe and his Yegarra army. The empire used one of their appraisals to see how to get them fixed up.

Of course, there is the problem that these roads are acting as an additional obstacle to the new invading armies of Jotun, them hanging around really puts a crimp in the empire’s ability to rebuild.

Currently, the mithril and white granite mines in the area are having their production reduced, if the goal was purely to get this back up to normal then the empire could pay mercenaries to guard the caravans of resources. This would cost 10 thrones a season, but would return the production back to normal. It would also provide the players with a military unit with a downtime option to do that guarding.

To fix the roads themselves would cost 70 wains of white granite, 50 wains of weirwood, and 240 crowns, and take nine months to complete. It would only be possible to do this once the area is fully under imperial control and this wouldn’t protect the people living in the nearby mountains from attack from Jotun or bandits.

If these basic repairs are started then further opportunities also become available. 

– One option would be to work with Faradan merchants and build a series of sentry and defence towers along the roads, these are called Kamkrag. This would require a commission, but could be combined with the basic road repair commission for maximum efficiency.  The base cost for these Kamkrags would be 60 wains of white granite, and 120 crowns in labour costs. It would take six months to complete.

However, if the senate ensures that there is a premise to reimburse the families if the empire and Faraden go to war, then the Faraden merchants are willing to foot half of the bill, bringing the cost down to 30 wains and 60 crowns. 

One side effect would be to give Freeborn characters the option to move to this area and open up mines, without having to pay the usual fee, AND every mine operated by a member of the Brass Coast would gain 2 more resources.

– Another option would be to work with members of the Commonwealth. Two architects visiting their spouse who works at the commonwealth embassy are military architects and have recommendations for how to go about rebuilding these roads. An imperial army would need to be ordered to the area, told to work with the commonwealth architects, and by doing so, the labour costs would be completely removed. If the army in question has the Siege ability then the Weirwood cost would be reduced by 20 wains, if the Towerjacks were sent and told to use their Dig In ability then the amount of white granite needed would also be reduced by 20 wains. ONLY an army with the siege or engineer ability or the Towerjacks would be able to bring any of these benefits; otherwise, the army would just be hanging around getting attacked by the Jotuns. These boosts are also only available for the next two seasons as the commonwealth visitors are going back to their home country by Autumn. So there’s a deadline for you.

selective focus photography cement
Photo by Rodolfo Quirós on Pexels.com

Blood Will Thicken

This appraisal is all about how to get pilgrims to come to the empire to celebrate it as the birth place of the Way.

Essentially the way to do this is to spend a lot of money making something big and flashy to attract them.

To pick the design, potential architects should send their descriptions to the Assembly of Nine during the Summer Solstice (e3) then a statement of principle can be used to vote on which wins. The winner will get a Wayfarer’s Guide ,which was supposed to belong to Emperor James, from a group of Highborn.

To truly take this inspiration and rebuild the city of Bastion as a massive monument to the Way that will coax pilgrims from every corner of the world will cost 1000 white granite wains and 250 thrones.

There is an option to have the Highborn assembly pass a statement, if it is passed then the Highborn will not support any other commissions until this one is finished. Every season the massed resources of the nation will provide 25 wains and 50 crowns every season until the city is complete.

Other nations could also help, if they pass a similar mandate then each territory effected would donate 4 wains of white granite and 8 crowns. They would similarly be unable to fund other projects and any attempts to do so through the synod would fail. 

This opportunity is open ended and there is no deadline for it.

young woman with bust sculpture
Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Pexels.com

A Long December

OK, first of all, is this the first time I have seen evidence that the Empire uses real-world months? I think so? Maybe? It’s not important, but I thought it was interesting.

This Wind is a really good one to read if you want to know about the Whisper Gallery and their history with the Empire. I will try to summarise.

The Whisper Gallery are Winter eternals that deal with secrets, they are very against anyone making secrets known to the wider public. As such they are very against the various governmental bodies that deal with uncovering secrets, eg, the Department of Historical Research. Several years ago they killed a bunch of them and ever since the researchers left have been living under constant bodyguard. Things have come to a head recently as various researchers are retiring and parts of the Department are getting reshuffled, and people want something done about the Whisper Gallery!

Currently the Department of Historical Research cannot give their usual 2 research slots a season, they are stretched so thin they can only do one. Given that the Department is also supposed to be helping to research the vallorn as part of a project with the Great Library of Hacynian this Autumn after the building work is finished that is stretching them even thinner. However, things have been moved about a bit and they will still be able to help the Library, but not to the same speed as previously expected. So their project (on the final method to defeat the vallorn) will be delayed a further 3 months, meaning it will be ready at the Summer event next year rather than Spring.

There are currently three titles which can ask for a research from the department, going forwards this will have to be reduced to one. The senate must choose one of these titles to keep, or to keep none of them returning to power to a purely Senatorial choice. This will be debated over during Senate, with the final vote coming up on Saturday.

There is also the option to remove the option from the senate as well, making it an auctionable item that people could buy to get their choice of subject researched. It would still become public knowledge, but the choice would also be up to the public, or at least the parts of the public with the kind of money needed to out bid everyone else.

There are three new researchers you can request to handle the research you want done, Snowstorm Henk, Octavia of Stream’s Source Spire, and Marko Siwarsbarn.

A major fund has been established to pay for bodyguards and what are essentially private investigators to go after the Winter Gallery’s minions, as such the previous funding from the Imperial Senate will not be needed so the 22 thrones per season will not be needed anymore.

The text also says that from now on they will be recruiting more from the player base for Whisper Gallery minions and people to hunt down those minions. I think, it might actually just mean that they just want people to be minions, but I assume both.

There will be a new downtime option for Military Units, called Shadow War, where players can send their military units to hunt down Whisper Gallery agents. Rituals which help spying will be used for this action. The military units will bring in 120 rings and 2 mana crystals as payment.

Any of the people who have been favourite targets of the Whisper Gallery before now (or who think they should be) can pretend that they have been attacked by the Whisper Gallery and can even write in to Profound Decisions and ask to be cursed with a powerful curse that removed someone’s ability to read or write. If you think you might be a target of the Whisper Gallery check the wind of fortune to see if you are on the list.

And that’s it for this evening.