Jul 242013

After two weeks of negotiations, Kiel and Gnashblade have been granted an audience with the Master of Aspects. To secure a trade agreement with the Zephyr Sanctum and gain favor with the Captain’s Council, they need to impress those in charge here. We have not seen how the Zephyrites run their organization, but this Master of Aspects holds enough authority to sway his people.

cutthroat politics-master of peace

Following a short discussion, the Master of Aspects decided to favor whoever garnered the most support. Meaning Kiel and Gnashblade have to convince people to vote for them in an election. Thinking on the decision, I went over their strengths, weaknesses, and spoke to them about why they were the better candidate or what they would do that would benefit me.

Ellen Kiel is popular among the Lionguard, has rescued refugees of Southsun Cove, and is admired for her tough and keen investigation of the Consortium and Aetherblade pirates. It doesn’t seem like she would have any expertise dealing with Zephyrite traders, but I would trust her to serve as an honest member of the council. (Well, as fair and honest as a pirate could be!)

Speaking with her, she made a list of promises to voters: “I’ll discount waypoint travel for four weeks. I’ll work with the Fractal team on researching the Thaumanova Reactor explosion. We’ll launch and investigation into the Molten Alliance and Aetherblade pirates. Finally, I’ll establish a weekly rotation of Southsun Survival, Sanctum Sprint, Keg Brawl, and Crab Toss. I get results!”

Evon Gnashblade is well known across Tyria for his essential service: the Black Lion Trading Company. Those that trade often and “flip” items for profit, have a vested interest in Evon winning. He also seems more likely to turn a blind eye, so long as it brings profit. Evon has been made to look like an untrustworthy member of the Captain’s Council, but he’s also the best person to handle trading with the Zephyrites.

Speaking with him, he made a list of promises to voters: “I’ll discount Black Lion Chest Keys for four weeks, research the fall of Abaddon for the Fractals, and dig into the secrets behind the Molten Alliance and the Aetherblade pirates! And lastly, I’ll sponsor weekly rotation of Southsun Survival, Sanctum Sprint, Keg Brawl, and Crab Toss games to keep things exciting!”

cutthroat-politics-kiel evon master of peace

After their meeting, I was encouraged to cast my support token at baskets placed on the Zephyr Sanctum. You can vote as many times as you’d like, provided you have a support token to toss.

cutthroat politics-basket

You can also literally buy votes from Shady Quill, who stands right by the support baskets. Spending 14 silver for each token sounds pricey, but I am sure both Kiel and Evon have benefactors with deep pockets.

cutthroat politics-buying votes

One of the many ways to support a candidate and gain support tokens is to participate in their new games.

Kiel has funded a tournament that uses the aspects, and is calling it the Aspect Arena. Two teams face off against each other, fighting to collect the most crystals and achieve the highest score. Using a tornado to knock opponents off the map, stunning them with the aspect of lightning, or blasting an unstable nova is all part of the fun.

cutthroat politics-aspect arena

Gnashblade has sponsored an extreme game called Southsun Survival. Everyone is your enemy. You all slowly lose health unless you find something to eat, and the supplies needed to kill must be found. If this didn’t already sound like an impossible game to win, as people die they can come back as a spirit to haunt you. And in this form they can also place traps which call a karka to your location! It’s a brutal game, but that just makes each win feel all the more satisfying.

cutthroat politics-southsun survival

Finally, both Kiel and Gnashblade have sponsored the retrieval of goods stolen by the Aetherblades on a Labyrinthine Cliffs island. Kiel returns the goods, and Gnashblade collects them to fund his campaign.

cutthroat politics-candidate trials

My first attempt at this was quite easy. Aetherblades tried to take some of the goods, but I was able to kill most of them before more support arrived. However subsequent tries to defend the mound of treasure really increased in difficulty. I had to team up with a few guild members to endure the waves of Aetherblades that showed up to stop us.

cutthroat politics-candidate trials2

Back in Lion’s Arch, you’d have to be blind to miss how heavily they are pushing the election. Banners and flags proudly sport an image of the candidate and citizens wear buttons depicting their favorite contender. And of course, the Black Lion Trading Company station has Gnashblade’s mug all over it.

cutthroat politics-lions arch banners

I know this seems a bit off topic, but there’s also been some interesting developments in Divinity’s Reach. The site of the Great Collapse has been covered by a big tent. It seems their construction crew had enough funds to finally see through some redevelopment. The collapse covers a large section of Divinity’s Reach, so whatever is being built here should be exciting.

cutthroat politics-DR big tent