Time for your coronation as baron… your baronation! Talk to Oleg and set off for Restov, where you’ll shortly find yourself chatting with Jamandi Aldori. Your conversation is more a matter of business than pleasure, however, as the rather generous terms for granting a title to anybody who happened to drive the Stag Lord out of the Stolen Lands have been wanting for an explanation for a while now.
Question Jamandi to learn exactly the game she’s playing and she’ll give you a lengthy explanation of Brevoy’s history. While long-winded, it’s worth hearing out, as the politics of your much larger and more powerful neighbor will certainly impact your future. The short version? After the mysterious disappearance of the Royal House Rogarvia - who united the old warring nations of Rostland and Issia into what is modern day Brevoy - the old noble houses began intriguing against each other. the Issian noble house of Surtova currently rules Brevoy, but the Aldori family - rulers of Rostland - want their independence. Neither side wants war, but at the same time the Surtovas are unlikely to allow Rostland to secede peacefully, and the Aldori won’t remain yoked by an Issian monarchy unless bound by overwhelming might.
Your role, then, is to indirectly serve Aldori interests by being a political counter-balance to the Surtovas. While Brevoy couldn’t claim disputed territories without causing an international incident, an enterprising third-party could. More importantly, once ascended if this new state were to ally with (or at least remain neutral to) the Aldori when they moved to claim independence from the Surtovas, it might dissuade the Surtovas from prosecuting their claim of sovereignty. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from siding with the Surtovas, but Jamandi will make a rather casual threat about the future of your barony if you attempt such duplicity. Still, something to scheme about…
Banter at the Banquet
When you’re done chatting with Jamandi you’ll be free to attend the banquet being held in your honor, which gives you the ability to meet other movers and shakers in the political quagmire of Brevoy. These include Lander, Maegar Varn, Natala Surtova, Joseph Sellemius, Ezvanki Keeg and Hannis Drelev.
Talk to young Lander seated at the table and he’ll suggest you take him as your envoy, while disclosing as little as possible about his lineage and qualifications.
Maegar Varn is the ruler of Dunsward, your neighbor to the east - a fellow opportunist who claimed his crown by taking initiative in a disputed land, at the instigation of Jamandi Aldori. He’ll also warn you about another guest, Hannis Drelev, or rather, Baron Drelev, your neighbor to the west. Unlike you and Maegar Varn, he was born into the title, and views competent "homines novi" like you with more than a little disdain.
Ezvanki Keeg is the High Priest of Erastil in Restov, and if you pass a [Diplomacy 18] check while talking to him, he’ll offer to "help you build a shrine in your capital, free of charge". If you pass a [Lore (Religion) 18] check (the check is made as soon as you start talking to Ezvanki Keeg) and pick that dialogue option, you’ll earn an experience reward.
|Reward: For praising Ezvanki Keeg's power|
Talk to Joseph Sellemius - Lord Mayor of the quasi-independent city of Restov - and as you go to leave he’ll also offer you some building supplies. In this case, his offer is less generous than Ezvanki Keeg’s was, as the five hundred cartloads he sends you comes with the stipulation that you’ll "use the services of the Restov builders guild" until you’ve fully paid for the goods.
Note: All these cartloads of building supplies are a resource you’ll need for construction in your barony. Apparently the going rate is one cartload = one unit of Building Supplies (BP). You’ll learn more about this shortly.
Make whatever financial decisions you wish, then introduce yourself to Natala Surtova, who, aside from her "sugary-sweet smile" wastes little time on pleasantries before jumping into politics. She’s well aware of the game the Aldoris are playing, and is less reserved about giving you "warnings" about what fate awaits your barony should you side with her enemies. Regardless of who you support, it seems that the leaders of both factions are quite sure your lands will be exposed to the odd chevauchée, if not outright siege and conquest. Natala Surtova’s solution, of course, is the exact opposite of Jamandi’s, suggesting that if the Aldoris are faced with an inevitable two-front war, they’ll remain subservient.
In any event, the currency of your loyalty seems to be which envoy you allow to whisper in your ear - Kassil Aldori represents the Aldoris, while Natala Surtova will offer up the services of Shandra Mervey. Selecting Lander opens up the possibility of a more neutral approach. Finish this treacherous little banquet up by talking to Jamandi and be sure to pick which envoy you wish by picking the dialogue option "Before we begin, I’d like to talk about the envoy I’ll be taking with me.". This isn’t so much of a moral choice as it is a political one, so pick whichever faction you prefer by nominating their envoy, or attempt to remain neutral and pick Lander.
Once done, watch the scenes that follow, which heralds the end of Chapter 1.