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Power Play: St. Louis

Auberon Xerices; September 24, 2007

PERSONAL ACTION:

Alright, here we go:

1) Lean on the prince of St. Louis with the collective might of the four lending Harpies, Lilith Andrews and Joe's PC. Five Harpies and a 'Maestro' of Clan Toreador all giving their word that the Prince is making an ill decision. Do this quietly and privately without calling the man out. Advise him to remove his support from Richardson to spare himself the scandal that will follow this backstab. If he is agreeable to this backroom resolution, ask the Prince for his support regarding the boons that AX will have to owe as per below. Drop the knowledge that the pair of them are rumored to be lovers and that AX would be willing to keep this secret for agreement.

2) Prepare to offer a Minor Boon to each of the offended cities (to the Prince in particular) for the amount of time it took to address their concerns and for any issues that may have come up. Further issue a Minor Boon to any Keepers of Elysium or Sheriffs that had to undertake actions to keep these offending Malkavians from breaching the Masquerade. Do this only if they accept.

3) Verbally CRUSH EJR for his faltering in the situation. Bring each point up and reference how his incapability and unprofessional behavior only underscores how this is not an act as Harpy but as a disgraced Camarilla member and excommunicate of New York. Set up to declare Scandal by starting appropriate rumors and making it seem like the sword is waiting to drop but hasn't done so. Make him squirm a little.

Influence Response:

It is clear within a few days that you are winning through a combination of the following factors:

  1. After an initially well-organized push to gather status and momentum, EJR inexplicably faltered several times. During these times, he would do things like repeatedly call the same people or call people back to discuss things he had already talked over with them an hour before. There is speculation that his memory is going, or that he is simply entirely too disorganized to handle his position.

  2. New York's response. Most cities honestly considered the whole mess another act of God manifesting itself via the Malkavians. Their complaints hinged more on the perception that New York was not effectively responding to the situation than on actual damages. The orderly response that has emerged from New York counteracted this. It is clear that most domains did initially realize how wide-spread the problem was. Once they began to realize just how many people were trying to contact New York, they backed off the whole 'New York is disorganized and rude' thing.

  3. The offers of compensation. Once it became clear how wide-scale this was, demands slacked off a bit. Also, as the scandal tips in Auberon's favor, people are less willing to make large demands. In most cases, when you contact cities and ask what they want in compensation, many do not request a minor boon. The main exceptions are those that had initially supported Richardson. Mostly, domains request monetary compensation to fix damages, sempreverde samples or future loans of status. You also get several requests for, well, stuff. Not every Domain has a lot of influence capacity in every area and in some cases Harpies request items that they feel would be well-accepted by other members of the domain. In these cases, you find that offering to fulfill these bizarre requests is easier than the alternative boon request. The list of what is owed is at the end of the influence.

  4. EJR's violation of the contract. This got four high-status, well-respected Harpies involved and immensely bolstered New York's case.

  5. EJR began to encounter political problems at home as the scandal progressed...

You finally get in touch with the Prince Maxwell the night after game. At this point, things had started to drift in your favor. The Prince indicates that he is willing to dicker in order to prevent the situation from blowing back on the city and that so long as you don't directly drag in his name, he will not aggressively back the scandal, and that he expects to further negotiate this as the situation progresses. It sounds to you like he's stalling for time to see how things are going.

By the next night, the Prince of St. Louis is clearly getting angry at EJR himself. It seems that EJR has repeatedly made a fool of himself in dealing with other Domains and in the entire scandal. Given the pressure, he agrees to pull back from supporting the scandal entirely. Later that night, the former Harpy of St. Louis contacts you and calls in the Trivial Boon and offers you a Minor Boon to get a copy of any dirt you have on EJR. The scandal drags on from here for a couple of days without resolution, but Domains have started defecting from Richardson to you Friday after game, the Tremere Primogen of St. Louis drops support for EJR and eats the scandalous loss of a status to do so (he had accepted a major boon to support EJR). You are on the phone with the Prince 15 minutes later, and by the end of the night the old Harpy has regained his old position and the Tremere Primogen is up a status from where he started. This stops the scandal cold, with New York clearly standing victorious.

The Prince of St. Louis acknowledges that you are in a position to levy a heavy scandal against either his Domain or against EJR personally. EJR is down to 3 status and you get the impression from Prince Maxwell that he has been detained. Harpies in several other Domains that supported Richardson to the end are flocking to you, offering to support you in an effort to get something in a counter-scandal.

You have a lot of options right now. So long as they are within reason, you can basically issue demands to St. Louis/EJR. You do, however, have a long list of debts, many of which are due in a nebulous "sometime in the next month or so" time frame.

Just to make matters more interesting, Wednesday before game you receive a notice calling you to an immigration hearing. You are facing deportation on obviously fabricated grounds (hearing to be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, October 4).

Thursday, you get a terse note from Jones informing you that over half a million dollars has vanished from his account, that he is much too busy sorting out Nicolai's bullshit for the Lord to have time with the problem, and that since Elaine and Ian know nothing about this sort of nonsense that he would like you, Olan, or McCoy to get a lawyer to pursue getting the money back. And that Jones has meticulous notes of his account activity. And that he wants a piece of Richardson's hide over the theft.

What is owed:

  1. A total of 513 doses of sempreverde spread over 80 domains.

  2. A total of $125,279.50, spread over dozens of domains.

  3. 40 box seats for various Broadway plays (Mostly to Harpies is smaller domains) and permission to visit New York to use the tickets.

  4. One bottle of a particularly rare vintage of wine.

  5. A stop sign autographed by Bojan Petrov to the Domain of Carbondale, Ill. (Domain consisting of about a dozen Brujah, half that many Malkavians, a 'pet' Toreador, one Tremere researching the Malkavian ability to induce madness, and a 11-status Gangrel Harpy named Joe (no last name))

  6. A dozen straightjackets, and two dozen doses of a vitae (it does not matter whose) dosed with a strong sedative, preserved in individual sanguineous phials (for the Tremere in Carbondale, who was in a group 'research' session with the Malkavians when the incident occurred and was one of the few non-Malkavians seriously injured in the course of events. He does not want to talk about it. From Harpy Joe, you get the impression he learned much more than he wanted to about his research topic).

  7. Agreements to loan status for one night each to the harpies of 8 relatively large domains.

  8. Minor boons to 4 domains.

  9. Trivial boons to 13 domains.

  10. A report on the Lucasta phenomenon

  11. A genuine New York Taxi cab (To a small domain in Wisconsin. You got status from the Sheriff, Harpy and Prince for it. You don't know why they want it, but they seemed very excited about the possibility of getting one)

  12. An as yet undefined but large favor owed to the Harpy of Dayton

  13. A very large piƱata filled with noisemakers, skittles and juice boxes (Small domain in upper peninsular Michigan. Status from Malkavian Harpy and Toreador Prince for it).

  14. 20 gallons of cherry-flavored KY jelly and set of blood-transfusion equipment (to a small domain near Detroit)

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