Scenario:Aglovale - Path of Conquest

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Path of Conquest

One day while on assignment, (Captain), Percival, and the rest of the crew visit Percival's native land of Wales. There they find Aglovale has implemented policies that enliven the public square and bring joy to the people. Though Aglovale later tells the party this new statesmanship is only a means to fortify Wales, the crew can sense a hidden devotion to the populace in his words.

(Captain) and crew are delivering a shipment to Wales, the home of Percival.
The town surrounding the castle is lively, its streets positively bustling compared to before.
Vyrn: Whoa, what's going on here? Anywhere you look, it's packed with people.
Lyria: Do you think it could be a festival, Vyrn?
Vyrn: Huh, a festival...
Vyrn: Hey, (Captain)! Let's hurry up and deliver the load so we can look around town!
Vyrn: There might be some stalls selling tasty bites!
Lyria: Yummy... food stalls...
Lyria: (Captain), let's deliver our load quickly!
Vyrn and Lyria tug at (Captain)'s sleeve as playful encouragement to hurry the shipment to its destination.
At the sight of (Captain) and the others' interactions, Percival cracks a smile.
Percival: There's no need to rush, vassals. Today's no festival.
Vyrn: Huh, are you serious? Then why are there so many people here?
Percival: That is likely the fruit of my brother's statesmanship.
Percival: Take a close look at the town. Don't you think the marketplace has expanded?
Vyrn: Now that you mention it, I guess so!
Percival: The shops' stock now includes food and clothing that have never been seen before in Wales.
Percival: And merchants from lands near and far can be seen trading in every corner of the marketplace.
Percival: Shipping and supply businesses are thriving compared to days past.
Percival: The number of merchants has increased, and they're more active than before.
Percival: More travelers seem to be visiting the region as well. Hm... It's truly fascinating.
Percival: (Captain), deliver your shipment at once. I'd like to inquire about the region's policies with the merchants.
Vyrn: Hey!
Vyrn: And off he goes!
Wasn't he the one who said not to rush?
Lyria: Hehe, Percival seemed really happy.
Vyrn: Heh heh! Well, this is Sir Burnsalot's home!
Vyrn: All right then! Let's follow after him!
Their cart full of packages in tow, (Captain) and the others give chase.
Once the members catch up with Percival, they efficiently convey their shipment to its final destination.
Percival then asks a merchant why the marketplace is so lively.
Shoptender: Easy as pie! As a matter of fact...
Shoptender: Oh now? If it isn't Sir Percival himself! My, oh my!
Percival: I understand that you may not feel too comfortable speaking with me. But would you mind discussing my brother's policies?
Shoptender: No, I couldn't feel more comfortable!
Shoptender: I've got nothing but gratitude for the new policies that Sir Aglovale's established.
Percival: Hmm, they must be quite something...
Shoptender: Yes, as a matter of fact, he swept away all the old ware sellers who had monopoly rights and tax exemptions.
Shoptender: These days it's about your skills. A real meritocracy! You can't help but work hard!
Shoptender: And the tariffs are toast too. Wales is a free market if there ever was one.
Shoptender: Merchants are visiting from near and far, which is part of why the streets are humming. Sir Aglovale's done wonders!
Percival is moved at hearing about Aglovale's policies.
Percival: (Hm... So his attempt to enliven the economy succeeded.)
Percival: (And this strengthened the state... His decision-making skills are remarkable—never did brute force come into play.)
Percival: (My brother gave form to the country and paid respect to the public, the wellspring of its power.)
Percival: (The public is the foundation of the state after all... I'm of the opinion that this statecraft is succeeding.)
Lyria: Hehe, you really seem happy, Percival.
Percival: Yes, to make the public smile is one of the jobs of a statesman.
Percival: And I've seen my brother do just that. I couldn't be happier.
The party thanks the shopkeeper and passes through the vibrant streets to the castle town's central square.
It brims with music makers, buskers, and cheering passersby.
Percival: Well now...
Percival: (Those performers are wearing the traditional garb of other lands, and the timbre of their instruments is unheard in Wales.)
Percival: (They've likely come from the surrounding territories.)
Lyria: Wow, this looks so fun!
Vyrn: There's no festival going on, but it's still poppin'!
Percival: Yes, this is surely one of the boons from my brother's new policies.
Vyrn: Huh? What do you mean?
Percival: You're witnessing his effort to make for more cultural exchange between this and other lands.
Percival: It's dazzling, enthralling. It's brought the town to life.
Vyrn: Oh, I see! So that's why so many people are here!
Percival: (This contact with other cultures will make the populace more diverse and more flexible in thought.)
Percival: (No, but more than that, the smiles of the citizenry are the greatest bounty.)
Percival: Haha, this statesmanship is wonderful in all forms.
Percival gazes at the faces of the people in the square, marveling at the policies of Aglovale.
A swell of voices becomes audible in the direction of the city gate.
Vyrn: What's that?
Lyria: Maybe some sort of incredible show is about to begin!
Their curiosity piqued, (Captain) and company hurry toward the noise.
They rush down alleyways and through the gate. What they see on the other side leaves them awestruck.
The voices are not part of any show but rather a procession of returning soldiers.
Commoner 1: Welcome home!
Commoner 2: Wow, you're so cool... I'm gonna join an order of knights when I grow up.
Vyrn: Heh, they seem really popular!
Lyria: It's the whole Order of the White Dragons from Feendrache!
That's when he appeared.
Their liege, Aglovale, arrives with his attendants to commend the returning troops.
Aglovale: ...
Percival: Brother!
Aglovale: Congratulations on your safe return, soldiers.
Aglovale: It is no exaggeration to say that your efforts are the reason that the public of Wales lives in peace.
Aglovale: I look forward to the next display of bravery you will surely make for the country.
Knights: Yes sir!
Aglovale: But for the remainder of the day, you need not attend to your positions.
Knight Captain: Huh? B-but...
Knights: ...
Aglovale: Why do you seem so bewildered?
Aglovale: Bahahaha, you must rest and recover at your family's side!
Commoners: Wow!
Knights: Yes sir! Please allow us to express our thanks, King Aglovale!
Commoner 1: Leave it to King Aglovale!
Commoner 3: The goodly king!
Commoner 2: He's so cool!
Percival: ...
Vyrn: Hehe, even our chests are swelling with pride!
Together with the common people, (Captain) and the crew sing Aglovale's praises.
It's then that the crew catches the royal's eye.
Aglovale: When I noticed a group of people standing out, I didn't think it would be Percival and his vassals.
Percival: Too long has passed since we last met, Brother.
Lyria: I was happy that you care about your retainers so much, Aglovale!
Aglovale: Bahahaha! That's a pleasure to hear.
Aglovale: Hm... We're in public view. Let us return to the castle and speak there.
Aglovale: Follow me, all.
Percival: Yes, Brother.
(Captain) and the party move to the throne room of Wales Castle for an audience with Aglovale.
Percival and the others touch on what they heard and saw in town, mentioning how it surprised and moved them.
Percival: These policies that prioritize the public's needs... They're all wonderful.
Vyrn: We couldn't believe our eyes—this didn't seem like the same country we saw before.
Aglovale: I'm satisfied to see that the reforms have had such effects.
Aglovale: However...
Aglovale's expression shifts from gentle to stern as he turns toward the party.
Aglovale: Percival, mention of the public is never far from your lips. That sentimentality seems to be a constant with you.
Aglovale: But my policies are no more than a means of strengthening Wales.
Percival: Brother, if I may speak frankly, I find such speech unpleasant.
Percival: Do you still believe it—that human nature is evil?
Aglovale: Haha, and if I do, what of it?
Aglovale casts an icy eye on (Captain) and laughs dryly.
Aglovale: A powerful state can't be created with affection for the public alone.
Aglovale: The heart of statesmanship lies in securing the public's obedience to the ruler's ideals.
Aglovale: Understand? Vested commercial interests do nothing but weaken the state.
Aglovale: Their abolition is of the essence.
Aglovale: I've given all merchants opportunities that competition might arise.
Aglovale: This has invigorated the market, boosting my dear Wales's exports and thereby my tax revenue.
Aglovale: The new arts and cultural forms have the capacity to relieve the public's frustration.
Aglovale: And if those expand our knowledge, there's an exponentially greater chance that useful information will reach me.
Aglovale: Then there are the orders of knights who wish to display their benevolence.
Aglovale: If their hearts and minds are healthy, they can act bravely to ensure order.
Aglovale: The young people who see them will aim to emulate them and learn chivalry.
Aglovale: Chivalry, of course, demands an oath of loyalty to one's lord.
Aglovale: This allegiance will encourage them to grow, and in the future, they'll serve as knights.
Aglovale: All will serve my ends and Wales's ends.
Percival: ...
Lyria: ...
Vyrn: Huh?
Aglovale's speech seems to have gone over the heads of (Captain) and company.
They allow what he's said to settle for a second.
Vyrn: But isn't it really all for the people of Wales in the end?
Lyria: That's what it feels like to me.
Aglovale: What are you talking about? You're entirely wrong.
Lyria: Is that true?
Aglovale: Naturally.
Vyrn: But still...
Aglovale: That's enough!
Aglovale: You are free to believe as you wish. It may be true that there's room for interpretation.
Percival: (The public of Wales is sure to know how sincere he is despite his posturing.)
Aglovale: Percival... What's so amusing?
Percival: It's that you seem to be the perfect fit as the ruler of Wales, Brother.
Aglovale: Humph, you will not mock your brother.
The atmosphere between the pair grows tense.
A soldier rushes up to Aglovale.
Knight: I beg your pardon! Your Grace, this is an urgent matter.
Aglovale: What is it?
Knight: Sir! Moments ago we received information that flames were sighted on a ridge near the borderlands.
Knight: What would you have us do?
Aglovale: In the wrong weather, the damage from mountain fires could expand.
Aglovale: Form a group and head out to extinguish the flames. I'll have meteorological specialists accompany you.
Knight: Yes! As you wish, sir!
Percival: Does Wales have such specialists in it?
Aglovale: Yes.
Aglovale: Wales is overflowing with people skilled in a wide range of vocations.
Aglovale: There are now many experts unaffiliated with the state.
Aglovale: What choice is there but to make use of their power?
Aglovale: In these latter days, a state's destiny is determined by more than military force and subterfuge.
Aglovale: One who would act for the future must turn his eyes to internal affairs.
Aglovale: All that I do, I do to ensure my reign.
Vyrn: He might say a lot of mean-sounding stuff, but he's a good king in the end!
Lyria: Yes, I think so too.
Percival: It seems that I have to learn from my brother's statesmanship and continue on my fact-finding mission.
Aglovale has instituted a host of reforms intended to strengthen Wales.
He vaunts that those are not for the public of Wales but rather for its ruler, Aglovale, himself.
But the members of (Captain)'s party smile gently as they sense the true intentions beneath the steely exterior.