- Alternative Names: The Voices of the City, The Beacons Among Barbarians
Informal Names: Attaché/e, Liaisons, Natives (derogatory), Cuckoos (derogatory)
Attached to Order: Ghost Owl
Hello. I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help you.
The Jewel of the Kingdom, Alhambra, is always open to allow those from the barbaric Provinces to learn from its majesty, and Alhambran agents perform this duty as much as their obligations allow. The Protectorate of Pyrite was founded out of this desire to revolutionize the outside world - what better way to teach, it's been said, than to lead and show them?
The Voices of the City are its professional diplomats and negotiators, with the mission of persuading those living outside the city to serve the Last Empress' needs. The tasks of purchasing or renting the site of a new Enclave, of arranging for local food (and for power, in recent centuries) and of soothing any alarm the locals feel as the Enclave takes their hope away, almost always fall on a Liaison. The Liaisons are also by tradition responsible for finding those in the Provinces who are willing to abandon rebellion, and either come to Alhambra or support its Enclaves' work. The Protectorate is popular with “immigrant” Alhambrans, who have parents or grandparents born outside the city: by the very nature of their work members of the Pyrite have to spend lots of time away from their beloved city, entering places and organisations that lack the touch of Her Everflowing Majesty.
Alas, joining the Protectorate of Pyrite carries something of a stigma in Alhambra. To the ordinary citizens, why, its services are necessary as the connections they make greatly service the needs of the hope-gatherers, but no Pyrite is to be seen as too eager to perform their duties lest they appear as fancying those outsider barbarian ways. And while the Fools of the Summit watch the Liaisons carefully, and can usually be confident of the loyalties of them all, they know that this Protectorate, like all others, draws its powers from something outside humanity. Yet when asked, the Regents of Pyrite can give no other names for this thing than “unity” and “obligation” - and what is inhuman about those?
Marks And RequirementsEdit
The Liaisons are effectively what Alhambra allows the world to see of its public face; as such, they must act with grace and dignity in their duty for they are the representative of the Kingdom's majesty. They are expected to deal with many different people in the Provinces, regardless of their feelings on the matter, and always appear at their best in their presence. The required attribute is Manipulation, and the required skill is Socialize.
Attachée Regalia show their nature as links between Alhambra and the Provinces. It always looks dignified and refined - or as close as what the Princess thinks qualifies - with multiple crests with stylized symbols appearing on it: one to show their belonging to Alhambra, one for their Order, and one for the the place they are connected to.
Seek and You Shall FindEdit
Etiquette is a second nature to a Liaison, to be followed so as not allow any shame to befall Alhambra. And as everybody will tell you, asking for information is simply polite.
On becoming a Secretary, an Attaché gains a floating dot of Contacts, usable in either mundane or transformed state. Once per story, she may assign this dot to a field, as broad as what a dot in Contacts normally offers; people in that field will answer questions for her as if they were normal contacts, using the rules for the Merit. When the Secretary changes her floating Contact, anyone she asked questions of in the prior field becomes slightly confused, taking a -1 penalty to remember who they were speaking to.
The Light of the Kingdom may be waning in the wretched Provinces, but the authority of the Last Empress still holds sway on this world. You need only present yourself in uniform, and all will defer to you.
The Secretary’s transformed state gains an aura of inscrutable, yet unquestioned authority. Anyone within the field of her floating Contact from Seek and You Shall Find perceives her as one with influence in the field, who offers opportunity if pleased, and ill consequences if offended. In social maneuvering with these people, the Secretary determines her starting impression normally, then improves it by one step; in other social encounters, the Secretary gains a +2 bonus on the first Social roll to influence them in a scene.
Moreover, the Secretary’s aura makes her anonymous. While people covered by the floating Contact recognize her in person if they have met her before, and will remember anything they agreed to do for her, if she spends a Wisp just after leaving them any attempt they make to describe her to others or identify her from photographs takes a penalty equal to her Socialize dots. (Their descriptions tend to sound like what they imagine the ideal person in the field to be.) This effect persists after the Secretary changes her floating Contact, and can be removed only by supernatural powers which enhance memory.
Come, Follow MeEdit
A Liaison seldom works alone, so she may extend a part of her authority to her staff. If the Secretary touches a person and spends a Wisp, as long as the target visibly acts under her direction attempts to describe or identify him take a penalty equal to the Secretary's Socialize. The protection works only against people who know that the target works for the Liaison - if she has told them so, or told him to do something while they watched, they cannot describe or identify him except as one of her people, but those who see him only when separated from her have no difficulty remembering his appearance. The illusion fades at the end of the current session, but as with Nowhere Unwelcome its effects on memories last indefinitely.
Knock and It is OpenedEdit
When a Liaison rises to Governor, her authority becomes weightier, and her requests are difficult to refuse. While the aura of Nowhere Unwelcome is active, the Governor may spend 2 Wisps for certain success in her negotiations when those suspectible to it. In social maneuvering with people covered by her floating Contact, this Privilege opens one Door without a roll, and may be used once during a maneuver after the Governor has opened at least one Door by other means. In other contexts, the Privilege converts a Social roll meant to persuade a person covered by her floating Contact to do something into a single success, and may be used once a scene.
Go Forth in My NameEdit
The Governor's command of etiquette is such that she may confer it to those who take direction from her. If she touches a person and spends a Wisp, the target has the benefits of Seek and You Shall Find with respect to her floating Contact for the rest of the session. The Privilege has no further effect on anyone who has benefitted from it in the current session (so one person cannot gather information from the floating Contact more often than the Merit would allow by having the Privilege used on him twice.) The Governor may use Come, Follow Me and Go Forth in My Name simultaneously on a single target.
Ask And You Shall ReceiveEdit
The Regent of the Protectorate of Pyrite carries so much authority that the benighted living in the Rebellious Provinces will do whatever she requests ... within reason. When a Regent wants something done that someone covered by her floating Contact can supply, she approaches her chosen target, spends 3 Wisps and 1 Willpower, and rolls Manipulation + Socialize - the target's Composure + Supernatural Tolerance. Each success on this roll becomes a phantom Allies Merit dot, applying to the target. For the rest of the session, the Regent may call on the target for favors using the rules for the Allies Merit.
Drawback: Drawing too much on her magically created credit might push the target to repudiate the Regent forever. If the Regent must roll to get a favor from her new ally, and fails on the roll, the Privilege expires immediately, and she can never use any Privilege of the Protectorate on the target again. Furthermore, in social maneuvering the Regent’s impression with the target now begins at hostile, and in other contexts she takes a -2 penalty on all Social rolls dealing with the target, for at least the rest of the current story.