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Mercury Has Asterion Banished

Charlotte Kempner: (15 Influence) There appear in the Ebony Bugle, a series of articles outlining the corruption prevalent in Ebony Castle. The exposé centers its attention on the recent Festival for the Queen.

Prince Center of Palace Corruption Scandal!

Ebony - Allegations have surfaced that funding for the recent “Festival for the Queen,” were in fact drawn from a fund set aside to assist widows and orphans of the ongoing fighting with y’Nobe. Sources inside the palace have confirmed that Prince Asterion was in charge of disbursement of those funds. Instead of using the funds for their stated purpose, the Prince apparently diverted them to pay for food and entertainment for the sycophantic festival honoring the Prince’s mother, Queen Titania.

Among the many victims of this diversion of funds is Lillian Cornwall, widow of Captain James Cornwall of the 5th Ebony Dragoons. James Cornwall died valiantly in a skirmish with y’Nobian insurgents last year. Lillian, who takes care of the couple’s three small children, has been forced out of their ancestral home due to the loss of a stipend from the Widows and Orphans Fund, controlled by Prince Asterion. Lillian stated “although I love Queen Titania and support the Ebon Royalty, using the funds allocated for widows and orphans of war heroes in order to throw a party for your mother is as heartless a thing as I can imagine.” The young woman broke into tears while recounting the hardships endured by herself and her young children since her stipend was slashed.

An investigation into the presence of such a large group of y’Nobians at the festival has turned up evidence that they were, in fact, bribed to attend. Documents show that large sums of money were paid to anti-Ebony insurgent leaders in order to get y’Nobians to attend the Prince’s self-serving festival. According to well-placed sources, the purpose was to give the impression that relations between Ebony any y’Nobe were cordial and that Asterion was able to muster a large amount of pro-Titania support within y’Nobe.

While the festival has been lauded as an economic boon for Ebon merchants, the facts paint a very different picture. Lochaber farmers contacted by the Bugle explained that the vast majority of food, entertainment, and labor were acquired in y’Nobe and from shadows in which Prince Asterion has a strong financial interest. In addition, Clan Ross and Fife merchants bemoaned the loss of their warehouses for several months leading up to the festival. Apparently, the Prince, by royal proclamation, usurped control of the warehouses in order to store foreign goods for his festival without even compensating the merchants. The result is that while the Prince lined his pockets and got to prance around at a party, the people on the street now face shortages due to the impact on trade.

Y’Nobian leaders have refused to comment on persistent rumors concerning the highly suspicious timing of the festival – which provided so much money to support y’Nobian rebels – and the mysterious assassination of Prince Asterion’s father, allegedly by Asterion’s older brother, Prince Grobian, who is currently imprisoned in y’Nobe. Many people in Ebony and y’Nobe are convinced that these events, which have paved the way for Asterion’s ascension to the throne of y’Nobe and restarted the senseless violence between Ebony and y’Nobe, could not be a simple coincidence.

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