A store front has appeared in Acryn, drawing those with strong desires to gather there. Those wishing to enter must agree to a powerful oath not to cause harm to the realm, its patron or their fellow guests. Those who enter will find themselves in a bazaar upon the edge of reality.
Adventurers find themselves in the domain of the Arcane Arbiter, who reveals he has gathered them to discuss threats to humanity, in particular Frederick Dines. Charles Santos, one of the architects of the Upheaval, has turned up with his sister Carla, and begins to put in place a plan to trap Dines (plot hook for a future LARP). He also determines that he can not trust either Jimmy Hoskins or Ragnar Thane with the fate of the world.
Meanwhile several people express opposing views on the Cargan-Graves-Everrett Bill of Rights. Under the effects of Marian’s “Cease Your Deceptions” the god is forced to admit to his husband that he too has been trying to undermine the bill.
The shop entrance begins to fade after seven hours as was warned. By the morning that particular entrance to the Arcane Arbiter’s domain no longer exists.
Jimmy Hoskins puts forward the motion that the Cargan council seats should be reduced to one, as per the other great houses, and the newly freed seats be assigned to be elected by the populace of Acryn's protectorate regions. Whilst there is support for the motion particularly amongst the guilds, this angers the nobility. Even some of those that are opposed to the excess influence of the Cargans on the council, do not care for the idea of increasing the number of elected seats. Furthermore it is viewed by many as a veiled attack on Armand Cargan- that Jimmy is trying to remove a rival from the council. The motion is therefore defeated. Even so there are those who mutter that Jimmy had a point and that the Cargans are behaving like tyrants.
Alexander Everret starts investigating what Jocelyn and Alistair Cargan are plotting. He discovers that Jocelyn was a nobody as far as the family was concerned, until she started carrying the sword she now wears. At that point her personality drastically changed, she became more assertive and ambitious. He has a servant sneak into her quarters and discovers that she has numerous journals that belonged to the Duchess's late brother in her possession, along with some books on Salic history. Some further digging reveals that after Vincenzo Cargan’s death, Jocelyn was tasked with clearing away many of his personal effects- something Vicionia could not bear to do herself- and it was just after that that her mysterious personality shift occurred. He also discovers that they seem to believe Hugh Marsh had promised them something but never delivered.
Meanwhile Alistair Cargan returns to his home, frustrated that his and his sisters schemes seem to have hit a dead end. That night, however, he dreams of an Ouroboros, that tells him that he must destroy all that he is to be born anew. He realises that the dream contained some divine inspiration and it will lead him to what he seeks. In a lonely corner of the city, in the shadow of the Church of the Tender, a woman tends to her infant son.
Some weeks later Alistair and Jocelyn confront Vicionia Cargan to demand she steps down as Duchess. They claim that she is not the true heir to the Duchy but rather that should have gone to her elder twin, and after he died to his son. Vicionia, unsurprisingly, refuses. This quickly descends into a power struggle within the house, with many important members backing the Duchess but others supporting the claim of Logan Fitzcargan. The infighting becomes increasingly acrimonious- Vicionia’s supporters claiming that they would never acknowledge a bastard and Jocelyn and Alistair claiming that according to the bill of rights Vicionia can’t be head of the house- she isn’t even human anymore.
Armand uses his House Cargan connections to organise a private theatrical performance for the nobility featuring Rodrigo Starling at the Cargan Estate. Many suspect that this is an attempt to curry favour with the playwright’s lover, Julius Ravensfall.
Armand uses this party as an opportunity to stir up pride in the city amongst the audience - and, most importantly, pride in the central role that the nobility must take in civic matters. Using this momentum, he floats the idea of voluntary contributions to the funding required for implementing his Bill of Rights - basically, trying to appeal to their sense of duty.
The performance itself takes the form of an experimental mystery play, each scene covering a different period the history of House Cargan and as such the audience moves around the mansion as the scenes are performed in different rooms. As part of this Starling has recruited from what he terms Acryn’s pool of “emerging talent”. The highlight of the performance is in Act 3, which showcases the relationship between Arthur Cargan and Richard Salic, a famously beloved King of Acryn. Several of the audience remark on the strange coincidence that the actor Starling has chosen to play Richard Salic happens to resemble Armand- and when you think about it seems to have modelled the King’s mannerisms on Councillor Cargan-Graves as well.
Hugh Marsh hands over evidence pertaining to illegal activities carried out by house Darrish during the trade war to Lucian Graves. He also ceases attacks on the Cargan-Graves ships and ships owned by Lucian Graves (but not other Cargan and Graves vessels). The effect of this is that the tide has turned in the Cargan/Darrish trade war and the winds now favour House Cargan..
Lucian Graves hosts a lavish party,carefully coordinated to influence opinion on the Bill of Rights, by ensuring that any conversation has a majority of those in favour of the Bill (in the manner of this scene in Night Watch: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7DXx-7zdmFoC&pg=PT217&lpg=PT217&dq=discworld+red+dots+white+dots&source=bl&ots=GY3ZKyGzZj&sig=FB_JBAE45vs4wruK78b8M0O0uvY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA9J60pJTQAhUGtBoKHWNvAd0Q6AEIJzAC#v=onepage&q&f=false ). Theresa Terrec receives an invite, and is accorded honour as if she were head of house, whilst Angelo's invite is mysteriously mislaid. When Angelo raises the issue of this snub, Lucian’s staff insists that it was sent and that he ought to enquire with his own staff with regard to the mishap. Invites are go to various major and minor noble houses (including the heads of house, although only Corlo shows up), to the congregation of the Arcane Arbiter, to the Wayfinders' Guild and the Merchants' Guilds.
With a miracle of the Arcane Arbiter, Lucian finds striking deals far easier in the coming months and House Graves has profited from this.
House Graves throws its support firmly behind Theresa Terrec as head of house. Using evidence that the Terrecs supported the Darrishes in their trade war, Lucian mounts a legal case against the house, placing the blame squarely on Angelo and making every attempt to portray him as incompetent. Armand lends the support of House Cargan more subtly, although he does use his superior legal knowledge to humiliate Angelo in the Council on a couple of occassions. Marian Terrec, meanwhile, viewing Theresa as far too liberal, works her way in to Angelo’s inner circle and becomes known as his trusted confidant. Whilst Angelo is not well liked outside his family, particularly for his outbursts in Serradis, he remains firmly in control of the house for now.
Both Jimmy Hoskins and Marian Terrec set to work establishing a secular intelligence agency accountable to a select committee run by the Council. The Man of Many Means and Evan seek to position themselves to take a role in the new organisation and Jimmy puts forward Saffron as a potential senior member. Jimmy uses his connections to increase investment in the East Empire Company as part of a deal with Astrix, the priest of the Blood of the Empire, to help set up the agency. Within a relatively short period of time the new organisation has received approval and is subtly recruiting new members, adding a number of operatives from the True Council to its ranks. The civil service appears to be unhappy with this state of affairs.
The Hughs return to the Crimson Mother and hire a crew (including rehiring some of the “less obviously evil” crew Hugh Marsh kicked off the ship). He re-establishes dominance in the seas nearby Acryn by vigilante pirate hunting. Both Karl (*not* Glassinger) and Evan seem to be hanging around his ship for the time being.
It declares that all citizens of Acryn are entitled to
The Man of Many Means sets to work stirring up the populace against the bill of rights using his printing press. He takes the line that this is a ploy by the Graves and the Cargans to remove citizenship from ordinary people by exploiting the vagueness of the bill’s wording on the subject. Meanwhile Ragnar Thane speaks out against the parts of the bill that grant the populace free education and welfare, preaching self determination. His charismatic oratory style wins over the more conservative members of the working classes, who resent the idea of giving up their hard-earned wages to look after those who don’t work. Marian Terrec persuades the church of the Leader to withdraw its support from the bill.
Meanwhile Alexander Everret uses his own printing press to spread the message in favour of the bill. One night he returns home to find his printing press has been vandalised. The watch manage to apprehend one of the culprits fleeing the scene, who claims when questioned to have been hired by Angelo Terrec. However there is no evidence to link Duke Terrec to the crime and the watch are unable to pursue the matter any further. Armand Cargan and Lucian Graves use their connections to garner support.
The upshot of this is that public opinion is firmly split.
Both Armand Cargan and Jimmy Hoskins do their own calculations on how much the bill would cost to implement. Armand suggests progressive taxation, with the costs spread across different sectors of society with the richest bearing the brunt, combined with voluntary contributions. Jimmy meanwhile puts his calculations to some of the more conservative members of the council, who have already been hit by the increased contributions to the Serradic Empire, and points out that it will require a rise in taxes.
An investigation is carried out into allegations that a number of members of the Council were bribed into supporting the Bill. Under fear of being prosecuted for corruption a number of members withdraw their support. Rumours abound that someone on the other side of the debate has been counter-bribing members of the Council. Armand Cargan is called upon to testify but is very swiftly cleared of any wrong-doing, as he appears to know nothing of the bribery.
With opinion in the council split, Jimmy Hoskins proposes a reduced version of the bill.
With opinion very heavilly divided, it is agreed that rather than adopting or rejecting the bill whole-heartedly the Council should discuss each item to decide what should be included in the final bill.
It is agreed that this should include any humans who were born in the city, pay taxes to Acryn (if eligible), or have lived in the city for over a year and wish to apply for citizenship. The process for applying for citizenship is non-trivial and it may be revoked after an extended period living outside Acryn. Armand makes special efforts to ensure this definition extends to all members of House Cargan and Lucian sees that wayfinders are also explicitly included. Foreign citizens living on Acryn soil are covered by a reduced bill of rights (including the right to a fair trial and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment) and those living in the protectorate regions are subject to the bill of rights, excluding the right to vote or stand for election. Explicitly excluded from the protections of the bill are artificial or pseudo-intelligences, including but not limited to Clockwork golems, anomalies and ensouled animals. Although some push for ensouled animals to be included, the Wayfinder's Guild seems apprehensive that this could lead to other “artificial” intelligences being eventually included. Undead humans and individuals who were previously human currently may fall into a legally grey area. Special measures are in place so that an individual can under extreme circumstances have their citizenship withdrawn (e.g. having been convicted of high treason).
There is some debate about how this will interfere with the ability of the Watch to do its job. On the issue of security there is general agreement that the City Watch does have a duty to protect citizens of Acryn whilst on Acryn soil. Armand puts forward a proposed protocol for waiving certain rights in the case of a national emergency but this will be strict, and will only apply in cases where the fate of Acryn is genuinely at stake.
Amended to: The right to security within the city Amended motion: PASSED
Most council members are in favour of the right to a fair trial. There is some discussion about what to do in emergency situations, such as war, where a swift decision is desirable. It is agreed to grant special powers for trials to be expediated in extreme circumstances.
There is some discussion about how this might conflict with the laws forbidding prosletysing against dangerous gods. The are also those within the established churches who are keen to see the special status of the faith of the Founders protected.
Amended to: Freedom of worship, with the exception of those deities judged in law to be dangerous, in which case this right shall be superseded by the law. The officially recognised religion of the City of Acryn is the faith of the four Founders.
Amended motion: PASSED
Several members of the council point out that it is not the place of the council to dictate how private individuals conduct business. Armand, at the behest of Julius Ravensfall, suggests that this be amended to discrimination in law with subsections on freedom from discrimination in employment, tenancy and providing service, and a duty not to incite violence. Most of the Council, however, are uneasy about adjudicating over discrimination cases brought before the courts and the precious time this might take from pursuing criminal cases. Eventually it is agreed that this freedom should only be applicable to those matters over which the law has jurisdiction (e.g. court cases).
Amended to: Freedom from discrimination in the court of law. Amended motion: PASSED .
There is some discussion about what exactly this should cover. The City Watch is keen to stress that freedom of speech should not be extended to anything that incites violence or criminal activity. Some note there is a certain amount of deliberate vagueness in the wording of this part of the bill, perhaps in the hope that it will give the relevant authorities some leeway in interpreting it.
Amended to: Freedom of speech, so long as this is does not incite violence or criminality. Amended motion: PASSED
The Council discusses what is meant by exploitation. Specifically whether this should be extended to prisoners and what defines exploitation.
Amended to: Freedom to form legal contracts. Amended motion: PASSED
The wayfinder’s guild is keen to press that certain organisations, such as those responsible for the security of the city, have a duty to regulate the industry. They press that although no wayfinder is forced to join the guild, it is important that there is a single organisation they are accountable to.
Amended to: Right to vote (for those positions of public office that are elected) for citizens within the city of Acryn. Motion: PASSED
The Council pours over both Hoskin’s and Cargan-Graves’s calculations, both of which seem carefully thought through but coming to different conclusions on how painful this will be. In the end this motion is blocked by the more conservative members of the Council but instead there is agreement that a charitable foundation will be set up to provide education to the most able, regardless of means, funded via voluntary contributions.
All citizens within the city of Acryn are represented by one of the four elected seats.
Again this item is plagued by the financial concerns of some members of the Council.
Citizens can stand for one of the elected seats on the council, according to where they are resident.
As such the final version is as follows. Jimmy is keen to see the issue now put to be but there remain those that want still to see the bill to go further and others that would see it rolled back.
All citizens of Acryn are entitled to
At Julius Ravensfall’s behest Armand begins to draft a bill of responsibilities to go alongside the bill of rights. This includes abiding by Acryn’s laws. Some on the council are pressing for it to extend to the responsibility to serve the city in a time of crisis, e.g. in a state of war.
A charitable foundation is set up to educate those of talent regardless of background. Although a far cry from the universal education Armand wanted, it does get a reasonable number of important backers. The most prominent of these is Duke Graves and the Corlo Graves hall forms the centrepiece of the first of the new schools.
The Council appoints a small number of individuals knowledgeable about the law to adjudicate high profile cases. Many fear they might not be as incorruptable as Armand hoped.
Armand suggests putting together advisory board of wayfinders to suggest ideas for dealing with criminal/out of control wayfinders. He intends that they will have a standing position as consultants, but ultimately their role will be advisory; the council will make the final call. He recommends Hugh Marsh and Xavier Sarmandastra for positions. The Council is currently considering whether to implement this.