Book 2 - Text Updates 016

Book 2 - Text Updates 016

The court of Transylvito wasn't much of a court, since there were no courtiers.

Don had never trusted them. When he took the throne, he had inherited a few advisers and officiants, of course. But after his son's mistake, he'd ordered them off on various diplomatic outings until they'd all been croaked or turned. Slimy bunch.

He had never popped any replacements. It was a risky extravagance to use only warlords for city management, but it was part of his system. You pop a lot of warlords and you encourage them to demonstrate their Duty. You offer them advancement based on merit. Eventually, if they live long enough and get lucky enough, they might find themselves in a semi-permanent retirement, managing a nice Level 2 on the coast. The prospect made everybody try a little harder, think a little more.

That would have been his plan for Caesar, when the heir eventually popped. But Caesar had made it clear he would not exactly view such an assignation as a just reward. Caesar had made a lot of things clear, including why a Royal heir was necessary. Caesar had Duty and Loyalty in abundance, but he lacked the subtlety and finesse that sitting upon the throne called for. Shame, but what could you do? At least having a blind spot for subtlety made him easy to deal with most of the time.

Unfortunately at this moment in his reign, having only casters and warlords for advisers was a problem. For one thing, most of Transylvito's cities were going unmanaged, because the warlords were now in shorter supply. That was not such a big deal, but it did waste Shmuckers. Benjamin was on his case about it.

The bigger deal was Caesar. He was more popular among Transylvito's commanders than Don himself was. Moving him aside once the heir popped would not be easy. A Ruler does not simply disband his top warlord in a time of crisis, or ever. And if a Ruler did disband a popular warlord, it could affect the Duty and Loyalty of all other units on the side. So he would have to work with Caesar, even once the new Prince or Princess was here.

But Caesar had just made that even more difficult.

Don King looked at his Chief Warlord across the map table and shook his head.

When Bunny had delivered the news that the Chief Warlord of Jetstone was captured and converted, Caesar had opened his yap and said more than he probably ought to have about his differences with Don on grand strategy. A large number of the other warlords nodded along.

At that point, Don had sent the nodders out of the room. He'd have a word with each of them individually in due time. For now, it would be best to keep the number of warlords in the room manageable, and deprive Caesar of an audience.

For his part, Caesar shut up fast. The remaining staff speculated about the parley, which Don looked in on via Bat 3. But Caesar stayed sour and silent.

Caesar hated Jillian, of course. He argued all the time that Transylvito should break alliance, croak the Queen, and absorb Faq's cities. He expected Jillian to fail here, and all of Transylvito's investment in the little Queendom to go to waste. He wanted it, Don knew.

But Don could feel, watching her there through bat's eyes, that the investment in Faq was about to pay its first real dividend. She had returned to the tower now, he could see. There was some kind of spell being cast, what was all that...?

With his own eyes, the King glanced at Caesar, who was sullenly gazing at the miniatures on the battle map. He was shaking his head at the hopelessness of the numbers there.

Then he straightened.

He looked up, eyes wide.

"It's our turn," he said. "Ain't it. They ended turn!"

It was as much a surprise to the King as to the Chief Warlord. But Kings don't admit things like that if they don't have to. So he smiled, and nodded with serene confidence, as if he had known this would happen all along.

"Perhaps now, Caesar," said Don, "you will allow my party to continue without further outbursts. Get everyone back in here."

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gazes_also wrote:
It's not that he doesn't want to hear Caesar's position, he's heard it all too often. There's a difference between disagreeing with the Boss in private - that's offering a different point of view - and disagreeing with him in public - that's a challenge, especially if you are restating you position which is already known. Don did what any good manager would do, defuse the situation. He saved Caesar from doing or saying something he couldn't back down from, saved the warlords from the embarrassment of choosing Don or Caesar, and he saved himself from exercising the power everyone there knows he has. It's good management of an unruly but capable subordinate.

As for the outcome, a leader always has to look as if he knows what he's doing, especially when he doesn't.


That is pretty much my reading of it too. And I agree, there is a time and place for such things and during the middle of monitoring a critical battle probably isn't the time for a king and supreme general to have a spat in front of the other commanders, especially when the king is already well aware of the generals views on the particular course of action.

More so since it doesn't achieve or change anything either other then giving Caesar the chance to knock Don's strategy in front of the warlords. TV isn't in a position to get rid of Jillian at the moment or take her cities, what with Jillian at Spacerock and both Faq and TV being in the RCCII. What's done is done and for the time being they are committed to their support of her.

Raza wrote:
The latter. Ordering people out of the room because they're supporting a position you don't want to hear about is pretty pathetic, especially when they actually have no physical choice but to obey. If they are also your friends and part of your objective is to avoid their disapproval, the corruption is intellectual, governmental and personal.

Previously he'd seemed the reasonable type, but I guess that's just because he was only ever on the offensive, point-making wise.


Maybe in some in environments but this isn't a parliamentary debate or Don and his warlords are sitting around chatting over drinks, where someone expresses an opinion he doesn't agree with so he sends everyone out so they can't hear it and so he can deal with the different thinker in private.

Despite the party theme this is a war room, they are monitoring a battle and at the first sign of trouble Caesar decided to let everyone in on what he thinks about his king's course of action. Even in real world democracies I'm not aware of a similar situation in a military, in the context of monitoring an operation/plan/action in the process of being carried out, where a subordinate would be free to just open up in front of everyone about their "differences with their superiors on grand strategy". There might be avenues, times, places, but you don't hear a bad report in the first few moments and instantly get up on a soapbox (which it sounds like Caesar was) and start going on about how this current course of action is bad and how from the very start you always thought those behind it had it wrong and now you're being proved right.
Interesting to is that we now have confirmation of what happened with Maggie. Not counting Wanda, who barely cared for stanley to begin with, Maggie clearly and even openly disagreed with taking Parson out of the Chief Warlord slot. Vurp, who didn't even know parson personally, felt the same way. They took Loyalty hits, Sizemore not so much, because he was less in awe of Parson then terrified of his genius. We've know idea how Jack felt, but that's at least 2 out of 5.

I wonder how it would have gone down if they still had an army leftover when it'd happened.
"There might be avenues, times, places, but you don't hear a bad report in the first few moments and instantly get up on a soapbox (which it sounds like Caesar was)"

From Caesar's perspective, he was promised Heir, he has make no mistake and suddenly Heir is taken away from him. He already fears Don might be trying to kill him. He is in a situation where at any time things may change and Faq rulership may be possible.

In his own way he is trying to look after himself, he plays a dangerous game. His alternatives are not so pretty either, if he is good warlord, he may still get killed "accidentally" in some border skirmish for being too popular, and his best hope is to retire head of a boring lvl 2 city which he doesn't want at all, and impossible to hide relationship with Bunny forever.

If he wins his game, he gets Jill's kingdom if Jill does too much stupid, or gets Don's kingdom if Don becomes too unpopular. If he got rulership of Faq, he can always hope to eventually pop some casters or other valuables and be in a position to trade for Bunny.

Game is far from over, Don has just taken responsibility for Jillian, and Jillian's next action may blow a sure win for the Royals. Or heir could turn into a failure like Don's original "children".

***

Don's perspective, agree he is doing good "employee management" in short term. But overall, he is making mistake of backing Caesar into a corner without hope, it would be better imo to tell Caesar privately "if you are more valuable my heir or if Jill really screws up, you may still get a kingdom. But causing disruptions reduces your value. But I also have to please the 'royals' right now, so we will keep up appearances and have a royal heir for me or have you promise to make him your heir should he behave"

Caesar is valuable, should be kept an asset rather than make a liability.
multilis wrote:

Don's perspective, agree he is doing good "employee management" in short term. But overall, he is making mistake of backing Caesar into a corner without hope, it would be better imo to tell Caesar privately "if you are more valuable my heir or if Jill really screws up, you may still get a kingdom. But causing disruptions reduces your value. But I also have to please the 'royals' right now, so we will keep up appearances and have a royal heir for me or have you promise to make him your heir should he behave"

Caesar is valuable, should be kept an asset rather than make a liability.


Good point. Don King seems pretty resourceful and the update mentions that he had planned for Caesar to take the level-2-by-the-coast way out but that Caesar wasn't interested. Maybe he will adjust and try an alternative.
You know, with Caesar being so invested in eventually inheriting the kingdom after the Don.....

When exactly did he EXPECT to inherit? We haven't heard anything about an old age or mandatory retirement mechanic yet. The Don never leaves the capital city, so he wasn't going to die from steel poisoning.

Did the Don promise to take up reckless adventures once he had an heir he trusted or something?

I would have thought that if Caesar were told simply that his inheritance, which wouldn't come due for a hundred+ years, still wouldn't come due for a hundred+ years, but now he also needed enter into honest competition with a Royal prince, as an experiment to see who was better...

I can't see Caesar getting that upset about it. Unless he was already planning to kill the king early, or steal bunny and found a new side or something.
Krennson wrote:
You know, with Caesar being so invested in eventually inheriting the kingdom after the Don.....

Thing is, Ceasar isn't all that invested in inheriting the kingdom
What Caeser wants is whatever is best for TV... If Don king is what's best for TV, then Don king can sit on that throne as long as he likes; Caesar's status as heir becomes nothing more than a safety net should the unlikely happens

What we are seeing now however is that Caeser is starting to feel like their kingdom is in danger and slipping... As far as he sees it, Don is making serious mistakes; such as investing so much time and energy into building up Faq... he also knows how the last heirs turned out and that there was a reason why Don chose to rely on selecting an heir from his warlords; he knows himself, he knows how TV will be under him, but he knows nothing about the new royal-heir...

he furthermore is starting to fear for himself as he feels like the Don is starting to push him off to the wayside; with a new heir on the way he's starting to think that Don will get rid of him like the way he got rid all his advisors
multilis wrote:

From Caesar's perspective ... he has make no mistake.


That, IMO, is Caesar's real problem. He has no idea that he has made any mistakes and can't understand what he has done to so jeopardize his own standing, As DK has noted, Caesar is totally lacking in finesse and, even worse, like most people who lack finesse, he seems oblivious to just how lacking in finesse he is or even the fact that finesse is a vital attribute in a political leader. Not to mention that his default response to being balked or challenged in any way seems to be a sullen tantrum. The reason his position in TV is threatened is because his behavior of late has demonstrated that, while he is obviously an able commander, he lacks the interpersonal skills to competently interact with potential allies, peers and/or rivals. And his response to seeing his position threatened is to intensify the very behavior that has endangered his position.

The only way I see forward for Caesar is with a coup, and frankly, from what we've seen, I don't think he's competent to execute a coup against DK. At a minimum, he would need the support of a significant number of named characters and I can't think of any TV unit who has actually been identified who could realistically help him overthrow DK. Heck, we have nothing other than Caesar's own subjective thoughts to make us believe that Bunny (who has not said a word so far in this book) is more loyal to him than to DK. Personally, I think he's doomed but his doom will come in some Shakespearean singing-dancing mafia vampire way. It will be awesome.
" As DK has noted, Caesar is totally lacking in finesse" in a kingdom that lacks courtiers, that may not be a bad thing. That can actually be a good position to negotiate from. (Known finesse carries much more paranoia about backstabs).

What he needs is Don making a deal with him is better for Don than Don killing him.

Caesar may actually *have* some well hidden finesse, he *may* have gotten away with hiding Bunny, and his "lack" may be partially an act which successfully got him #2 position in kingdom.
I can't really see Caesar being able to hide it that well, all I suppose that that would be the point.
multilis wrote:
"There might be avenues, times, places, but you don't hear a bad report in the first few moments and instantly get up on a soapbox (which it sounds like Caesar was)"

From Caesar's perspective, he was promised Heir, he has make no mistake and suddenly Heir is taken away from him. He already fears Don might be trying to kill him. He is in a situation where at any time things may change and Faq rulership may be possible.


I think that is Caesar's problem - his perspective. I like him, but he might be putting to much on being "promised" heir.

As we have seen, and Caesar should know, Don runs a side based on rewarding achievement and putting the best guy for the job in the position. Caesar became heir because he was the best option and Don's son and daughter weren't.

Now, in recent times, Caesar looks in danger of loosing the position of heir and he should be looking for reason why, such as whether it is something about himself that is making Don view him as unsuitable and what he can do to fix that. He isn't, as you say from his perspective he's done nothing wrong and Don is just taking it away from him.

Edit: atalex covered this already, heh, I probably should read more posts before responding myself.

Quote:
" As DK has noted, Caesar is totally lacking in finesse" in a kingdom that lacks courtiers, that may not be a bad thing. That can actually be a good position to negotiate from. (Known finesse carries much more paranoia about backstabs).


Well, it is a double edged sword. You might well want your subordinates to lack finesse when dealing with you so you don't have to wonder to much about sneaky stuff, but you probably want to feel the person you put on the throne will have enough of it to run the kingdom properly and deal with allies and enemies.

Don apparently feels Caesar hasn't displayed the qualities necessary for him to rule TV well (and to be fair he is right, since Caesar seems to concerned about small picture stuff while Wanda's decrypted army of doom is rolling across Erfworld) and Caesar isn't helping his position much.