1. We shall be a being of pure negation!
You decide sniffing negative-energy particles and intentionally accumulating rot are just a bridge too far for you. (Increased Caution.)
The fox-head pendant, attuned to vivomancy.
You buy the fox-head pendant. (Lost 100 Gold.) Slipping it on, you feel your attunement to vivomancy increase, as well as a certain admiration for the fox's cunning. (Gained Vivomancy.) (Increased Calculation.)
Having bought the pendant you wanted, and recalling the store owner's warning about wearing too many, you leave the pendant store.
I'm done shopping.
You decide you're done spending your hard-earned money.
As the first airships begin to roll off the assembly lines, one of the first pilots is Mayor Cos.
Cos comes in for a landing on the grassy Edra common on one of the new single-rider skiffs, a thin vehicle that the rider hunches over while holding handlebars. The landing skids tear two long ruts through the grass, and when he brakes a bit too hard, the skiff begins to spin out. He leaps from the vehicle as it uses up its momentum chewing a spiral through the grass.
Cos looks dismayed for a moment at the destroyed lawn, but then regains his ebullient manner. He lifts flight goggles and unwinds a scarf. "Zig! These airships are amazing! Such a rush to ride, and so quick! I can get to the capital from Akriton in half a day! Do you want a ride? See the sights of the kingdom?"
1."That sounds amazing! Let's go!"
2."I suppose it would be good to conduct more firsthand tests."
3."I…think I'll wait until the design is perfected."
"I suppose I haven't conducted enough in-person tests," you say. "Very well, let's go." (Increased Calculation.) (Increased Solemnity.)
Cos looks crestfallen at your attitude. He suggests going to some faraway sightseeing locations, but you don't want to waste time on long flights headed in one direction when you could be testing out the airship's capabilities through more extreme maneuvers.
Well! That perked up Cos again. You spend the afternoon performing sharp turns, steep dives, and barrel rolls above the capital, with Cos laughing and whooping all the while.
Meanwhile, you make careful mental notes about where to improve the airship's design. (Gained Kingdom Power.)
By the end of the day, Cos's enthusiasm has fully returned, and you enjoy discussing the technical aspects of airship design with him. (Increased Cos Relationship.)
He promises to return for more tests soon.
Your negation-powered factories begin operating around the kingdom, automatically creating weapons, armor, and tools that once would have been created by hand. Though they mostly produce goods directly for the crown, the queen grants permission to the factory bosses to sell some goods directly to the public as well, passing on a commission to the crown and a royalty to you. These manufactured goods are much cheaper than hand-crafted tools, but you still turn a tidy profit from the royalties. (Gained 500 Gold.) Though the quality of the goods produced is not as good as what human artisans would create, the human creators can't compete with the low prices of these manufactured goods.
As a result, many laborers around the kingdom find themselves out of work. The kingdom has never had a formal education system in place, and so these men and women have difficulty finding new jobs. Your factories only need one kind of supervision—namely, getting in contact with you if anything goes wrong—and so jobs at these factories are not as well paid as the skilled labor these smiths and coopers and cobblers had been doing before. There are riots in food markets, and your factories are often vandalized. (Increased Vilification.) Some are outright destroyed, ostensibly in the name of the Church, but more likely because you're disrupting many livelihoods. As it is, many accept them as a necessary evil.
Meanwhile, Magisterian airships have now been spotted by the general public. The smooth-hulled ships cruise by towns near the Negative Sea without making contact or even revealing any Magisterian crew. The aerodynamic metal ships equipped with huge wands of negation are enigmatic but certainly do not seem friendly. Were it not for this imminent threat, the people would be no doubt still more unhappy about the changes.
"We need to consider how to keep the people happy during this time of uncertainty," Queen Thecla says. You are once again meeting with the queen in your usual private dining room. "Things aren't as bad as they think. They're just panicking. If we can get them to focus on something besides their troubles…"
"This is not a problem that demands a magical solution," Blessed Advisor Sam objects before you can give an opinion. "The people simply need to have faith, in us and in Abraxas. When we are called on to change, we must do so with a glad heart and not cling to what once was."
Queen Thecla casts a skeptical look at Blessed Advisor Sam, as if she's a little tired of his being in the room.
"Any ideas?" the queen asks you.
1.Teach glamors to entertainers, and use divination to spread their influence.
2.Broadcast the culture of the capital, but without glamors.
3.Tell the people to heed the Church: all they need is faith and love.
"Your Majesty, in the time of the ancients, entertainers were infused with glamors as a way of augmenting their performances," you say. "Glamor magic is easy enough to teach, as you yourself are aware. Let me tour the capital and teach them glamor magic."
The queen hesitates. "What if they all die of rot? Where will the people be then?"
"The public is fickle, and there will always be more artists to take the place of the old ones," you say. (Increased Calculation.) "I can even tell the performers that this is the bargain they make. Shine briefly like a shooting star, or shine slow and steady like a lantern in the night. There will be plenty who choose either option."
"You will put artists on the same level as saints!" Blessed Advisor Sam objects. "This is sacrilege." (Decreased Sam Relationship.)
Queen Thecla ignores the man. "Do it," she tells you.
You go around the capital to taverns where bards are performing, and approach the musicians afterward with an offer to teach them glamor magic. Once you explain what it is, most of them accept despite the drawbacks. Glamor magic being relatively simple, you teach them the words and the process of drawing on their own energy in less than an hour apiece.
The first time you attend one of these glamor-enhanced performances, though, it really is electric. The crowd is riveted by the performer's mandolin playing, and after every song, a roar goes up the likes of which you've never heard. Soon, taverns with these performances get so crowded that it's difficult to move or breathe, and new amphitheaters begin construction to accommodate these hugely popular performers.
Remarkably, the whole kingdom begins to be obsessed with these performers, even those towns on the outskirts that have never heard the musicians play live, and they are grateful for the magic. (Increased Adoration.) Feeling sorry for these backward towns, you also teach the performers a little divination magic that helps them project their music and glamors to distant locations. Developing a spell easy enough for the performers to cast is something of a feat, but you manage it. (Gained Divination.)
None of the performers ever lets on about the pain of rot that they must feel after every performance. It is a well-kept performer's secret.
You receive a letter from your mother asking you to return to Akriton to sort through some of your things she found in the attic. She threatens to throw them away if you don't come soon.
Since you might be better able to understand some of those old artifacts you scavenged now that you know more magic, and since you were looking for an excuse to visit Mayor Cos anyway, you agree to come with all haste.
"Tell me all about life at court," your mother is saying as she pours you some tea. The smell of peppermint pervades her living room, which is full of quilts and lacy pillows she made herself. "Did you meet any of the noble families? Did you meet Queen Thecla herself?"
"I did," you say. "The queen is a fascinating woman. Strong. You would like her, I think." You proceed to relate some stories about life at court. Your father taps out and leaves the house after about two hours of such questioning, claiming that there is some pressing business at his construction site.
As you relate these stories, you're vaguely aware of a kitchen drawer opening and closing behind you. But you think little of it until you turn and see that your mother is holding a large butcher knife.
"What is that for?" you ask, imagining the answer is something like "cake."
Your mother lunges at you with the butcher knife. You quickly stand, and though she aimed for your neck, she stabs you in the chest instead. The pain is excruciating.
She lunges at you again, and you raise your other arm to block, only to have that arm sliced open. Quickly losing blood, you feel as though you may pass out.
You splash your steaming tea in your attacker's face. She shrieks, and you use the distraction to topple the tea table, sending the tea set crashing to the ground. You hide behind the wooden surface.
That's not my mother, you have the presence of mind to think.
You have moments to decide which spell to cast.
1.Use vivomancy to heal myself.
2.Use a glamor to demand she stop.
3.Kill her with a bolt of negative energy.