Redoubtable Downtown Space Abbey - Turn 8 - The Pleasure of Company

“One cannot have too large a party.”

– Jane Clawsten, Ella

[Quick Link: Table of Contents]
Turn Deadline: Sun Apr 21 @ 5pm EDT

Courtships continue to be pursued as all lines converge toward matrimony among the striving classes of Weatherby. In the latter half of the spring of 2419 you decide to hold a dinner at your estate for your beloved, your beloved’s family, and a few excellent peers in order to demonstrate your fitness as a possible in-law.

Whispers and rumors continue to be exchanged regarding the maneuverings of New Prussia, the reign of Queen Catherine, and the recent badminton craze. As if that weren’t enough, conversations regarding potential changes in local legislation, the endless rumors regarding the horrifying murthers plaguing the city, and the increase in night patrols by the local constabulary all merit endless discussion. Why, there’s barely a moment left to discuss the appearance of a mysterious investigator, the untimely death of Walleye Crusher, or the taxonomy of sandfish!

Turn-specific events

Meanwhile, one might expect the following:

Turn 8 plague progress: Great chance for any existing condition to improve, Lousy chance for it to worsen instead.
Turn 8 risks: Average chance for any ‘sketchy’ tract to be contested in court by Weatherby’s Barristers. Contested deeds have an Good chance of being resolved in favor of the current owner, otherwise prior claims are discovered by the courts and ownership of the tract will be transferred to a random household.
Turn 8 special risk: Average chance of acquiring the attention of a mysterious adversary.

A Demonstration of Means

[Required] You’ll be inviting several guests to dinner at your estate, specifically the Citizen Pretender that you most hope to pair bond with and their immediate family. To liven the exchange, you will also invite two True Citizens that will liven the discussion around the table and make the event a joy for all involved. You will have to plan the courses as well as see to it that the arrangements are made and the invitations sent out.

The meal plan should be declared thusly: declare the Citizen Pretender that is to be the object of your attention, the cost of each course in the meal plan, and the peers that you hope will join you at the table.

NOTE: Player creativity drives the odds of success/failure in this round. You are each encouraged to plan a memorable event that will assure your intentions are honest, that you are a worthy suitor, and that will impress both your beloved and your invited guests.

An example of a minimal set of orders:

Declare Lizzy Heliotrope
Course 1 10
Course 2 30
Course 3 100
Invite @Nightflyer
Invite @Hadley 

An example of a well-embellished set of orders:

Declare Richard Forester
Course 1 10 "A selection of fine sherries"
Course 2 30 "Blazeberry and cream soup, served cold"
Course 3 40 "Plasma-braised sandfish"
Course 4 100 "Lagoderm ribs seasoned with mint, rhubarb, and coriander"
Course 5 20 "A selection of light drinking vinegars"
Course 6 75 "Dressed whipweed salad"
Course 7 15 "Akashic Delight"
Invite @MrMonkey
Invite @Wisconsin_Platt 

Degree of success will be determined by a combination of: current living quarters, overall cost of the feast and supporting details, as well as the liveliness and wit of the invited guests. Hosts will receive 20 points worth of stat bonuses based on their choices. Invitees in particular demand are likely to receive PLUCK. As always, the Public Ledger is open to record your intentions and @Bartlebot is on hand should you require a degree of privacy.

NB: Although the options may seem particularly vague compared to previous turns, this moment is intended to be an opportunity to embellish character and personality as well as inviting dialogue among peers. In the event that the same Citizen Pretender is declared by two or more characters, the invitation from the most favored True Citizen will be accepted. Player-driven Citizen Pretenders will make their own choices, while NPCs will choose based on the dinner plan, letter results, waltz results, as well as likes and dislikes.

Name                              Likes                        Dislikes
@Tom_Ratchetcrank                 ???                          ???
@liversnaps-grayson               ???                          ???
@Qaaxtzl                          ???                          ???
@Rockford_Julius                  ???                          ???
@Chewseen                         ???                          ???
@Ssskidwish                       ???                          ???
@Eighth                           ???                          ???
Mary Flowers (Space Moose)        FSH, Income                  MIL
Johann Wentworth (Space Human)    PER, BUS                     FSH
Oblate Spheroid (Geometer)        MIL, BUS                     EDU
Harriet Codsworth (Space Piscean) Income, PER                  FSH
Henry Argyle (Space Human)        Rank, EDU                    BUS
Jasper Milkthistle (Space Human)  PER, FSH                     Rank
Melisande Copse (Space Moose)     Rank, FSH                    Income
James Riptide (Space Lobster)     MIL, Rank                    PER
Lizzy Heliotrope (Holographic)    EDU, Income                  MIL
Madeline Penumbra (Space Human)   FSH, PER                     BUS
Cassie Oceana (Space Lobster)     Income, Rank                 EDU
Richard Forester (Space Moose)    BUS, EDU                     PER
Jasper Rawhide (Space Canine)     EDU, Income                  FSH
Margaret Rockingham (Space Human) EDU, PER                     BUS
Zoë Thistleheart (Space Lizard)   Income, Rank                 EDU
Charlotte Branchwit (Space Moose) FSH, MIL                     PER

Military Service

[Optional] Additional ranks continue to be available for purchase with the funds flowing directly into the kingdom’s coffers. Each rank is incremental instead of cumulative, that is to say: moving from the rank of Ensign to the rank of Lieutenant in the Space Hussars will cost an additional 250£ and yield an additional bonus of MIL+3 an Rank+15. This option will remain available for at least the next 12 months (i.e. at least through Turn 9). For example:

Commission Ensign Space Dragoons
Commission Space Hussars MIL bonus RANK bonus Space Dragoons MIL bonus RANK bonus
Ensign 450£ 4 20 840£ 8 80
Lieutenant 700£ 7 35 1190£ 12 120
Captain 1800£ 18 90 3225£ 32 320
Major 3200£ 32 160 4575£ 44 440
Lt. Colonel 4500£ 45 225 6175£ 60 600


Optional: One may procure personal quarters within the city at the current market rate. Any change of quarters comes with an additional 25£ fee for moving services. Each improvement represents a move to a better neighborhood with a more impressive address. Example:

Rent Spartan apartment

The following neighborhoods are available for rent.

Nature of Quarters          Upkeep                Effect     Neighborhood       
--------------------        --------------       ---------- --------------
Spartan apartment            75£ per turn         +50 rank  Ten Path
Modest apartment            200£ per turn         +75 rank  Paddingdown
Proper apartment            400£ per turn        +150 rank  St. Marrowbone
Fashionable apartment       700£ per turn        +300 rank  Dragoon Mews
Luxurious apartment        1200£ per turn        +500 rank  Whipweed Place

With the plague all but eliminated, several useful restoratives continue to be available for purchase as trusted brands among the public:

 5£ Dr. Arbuckle's Whipweed Tonic Wine
10£ Ms. Merrimoose's Soothing Syrup
15£ Franklin Gooseberry's Remarkable Colloidal Seryl

And a brief heads up to our players as we resume play, part the first:


And part the second:



Someone needs to have a conversation with @messana’s chef. That tasting menu is in almost exact reverse order.





Prepare menus with exquisite care, but please have your orders ready for your staff to execute!


Weatherby butchers and shops are open late tonight, so the deadline has been extended an additional four hours. Orders are due in the Public Ledger by 9pm EDT tonight!



Liv claps his hands to draw the newsroom’s attention. "Okay, folks, I know I promised a party, but the sad thing about a reporter’s life is that they’re never really off duty.

“So, eat, drink, and be merry, but also keep your eyes and ears open. You never know what someone’s going to let slip after a couple of brandies. And if anyone tries to make trouble, especially this young man,” he gestures at the presentation screen and a headshot of @Tom_Ratchetcrank appears, “or this lizard,” the photo changes to one of @Ssskidwish, "document everything, but don’t get into a fight or get yourself hurt. These people may not be citizens themselves, but they have powerful protectors, so I’ll say again: document but do not engage. We’ll take copies of the evidence to the authorities. If they investigate honestly, good for them. If we get another Crusherian cover-up – well, we know what our front page is going to look like.

"If the Duchess Gummibuns (@gwwar) gets rowdy… well, nothing we can really do about that. She’s a TC, and you know how that goes. Anything short of treason, and nobody cares much. But if it gets too out of hand, I will ask her to leave.

"Oh, and one other thing. If anyone gives you too much stick over your status, or questions your right to be there – or if you see it happening to anyone else – let me know. I don’t care if it’s the bloody Queen, herself, I am not going to stand for it. The employees of the Ledger and my tenants are the primary guests – I’m just inviting others as a courtesy. I wouldn’t be where I am, without you.

“Other than that, have fun, and I’ve arranged for child-care, so if you feel obligated to stay home for that reason alone, please reconsider.”


Igor, did you forget to close the door to my laboratory, you cretinous… ah… cretin?

OH! IGOR! Sound the alarm. Seal all the castle doors!


a key rattles in a lock. a door creaks, then slams. a heavy set of luggage is set down on the parquet.

a long sigh is heaved.

footsteps enter the hall from the study.

“Carsssy. You’re… you’re home.”

“Is that so, Ssskidwish? Are you quite certain?”

“In fact, I can’t be. Certain, that is. It’s been so long, I scarcely recognize you.”

“It’s been but a season, Ssskiddy. One neither one of us seems to have prospered in.”

“I’ve kept up appearances. As far as anyone can tell, neither our assets nor our faces have aged for the worse.”

“I’d ask you to speak for yourself, but you obviously can’t, not with any honesty.”

an impatient sigh.

“What news of the summit, Madame Ambassador? I don’t suppose you’ve visited the governor yet, nor the Queen. Your presence here bodes ill.”

“I’ve been gone for months, Ssskiddy. Thirty minutes to catch my breath is not too steep a tariff on diplomacy.”

“Fair enough.”

“You’re wearing my apron. Are you…?”

“Cooking, your Excellency.”

“Indeed? When did you learn to cook?”

“Do you doubt my skill?”

“I doubt you even know how to spell the word ‘cooking.’ Never in your life have you swallowed meat that wasn’t bleeding and freshly carved from a feebly-protesting near-corpse.”

“I like a good seared…”

“Blaster char does not count, Ssskidwish.”

“Well, nevertheless. The occasion calls for culinary effort. I studied up.”

“What occasion?”

“Our… that is, your courtship feast.”

“My… my courtship feast?”

“That’s the occasion. You are to declare matrimonial intent.”

“Matri-- matrimony?! Who decided that I am to marry? You?”

“Hardly. 'Tis the season, and when in Weatherby, one must buzz with the Weatherbees whether the bees weather the weather or whatever weather is to be.”

“Set down the cooking sherry, Skiddy, you’ve had enough.”

“Hey, we’ve got guests coming and they’ll be hungry. Who else is gonna cook? You?”

“But this is absurd. I’m the Ambassador to New Prussia! I’ve been off-planet negotiating a peace treaty for months! Whom exactly have I had time to court?”

“Well, you did dash off a quick note to Commodore Piker’s young ward. That Ensign Crusher lad.”

“I did? Oh. Yes. Him. Well.”

“No. Not well, I’m afraid.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, he’s not well. He’s dead, in fact.”

“Dead? Oh dear. Such a promising young lad. What befell the poor dear?”

“Opinions vary.”

“Opinions? Why do opinions enter into it?”

“The official news reports stated an acute attack of dysentery as the cause. I myself had been inclined to blame… well, a form of heart failure.”

“Heart failure? He seemed so hale and hearty and young.”

“Not his heart. The failure of another heart. One that carelessly commented on… damp palms.”

a stricken pause.


“But then I learned something. You and I are… not the only lizards on this world who are not who and what we seem.”

“You’re going to have to clarify that somewhat, but first… if young Crusher is no more, than to whom am I to declare my…”

“That would be Melisande Copse. That fetching moose.”

“How… how did that happen?”

“You tell me. I don’t read your mail.”

“I haven’t gotten any mail! I’ve been off-planet and sequestered in top-secret and very sensitive negotiations!”

“I can’t help but feel obliged to remind you: I warned you not to go.”

“This is intolerable.”

“Speaking of intolerable, and speaking of negotiations…?”

a long, drawn-out, exhausted sigh.

“I sued for peace.”

“Well of course you did. But under what concessions?”


“Yes, concessions! We can’t take them on in a head-to-head fight, not without at least half a year to ramp up enlistment and industrial production, but they can’t know that as yet. If they did, they’d have attacked first and asked questions never. You wouldn’t have left the neutral zone alive, at the very least. They’d have mailed your skull to the Queen stitched into a smart New Prussian bonnet.”

“My… my thought was to appeal to their civilized nature, to remind them of the senseless cost of military engagement when we have so much to learn and benefit from in the spirit of peaceful cooperation…”

“You… you would appease them?”

“Heavens, no! Not as such. It’s not like I bowed and scraped and begged for mercy. I gave an… well, an optimistic account of our current military strength, hinted at deep reserves and flourishing industry with the potential for truly overwhelming might in the near future, and asked them if they really wouldn’t rather set all that foolishness aside and engage in some more mutually profitable interactions with Weatherby instead. Like, perhaps an intermural lagoderm racing league, for example…”

“You… you pillow-skulled fool!”

“What? They’re properly afraid of us now! They wouldn’t dare attack!”

“What makes you think for a second that they’d believe you? You’re an absolutely terrible liar. It’s why you’ve never risen past the rank of Lieutenant in five years aboard my ship.”

“Excuse me, sir, but I’m an Ambassador now…”

“That’s IT! This has gone much more than FAR ENOUGH!”

“What… what do you mean?”

“The Ambassador must make her report to the Governor, and thence to the Queen. There’s only one way this can play out now.”

“What are you doing Ssskidwish?!”

“I wish I could say I’m sorry, Lieutenant. But I can’t stand aside and watch you bring ruin down on an entire planet, let alone a young man’s affections, just because you can’t read a room.”

“Put that down, Ssskidwish! I mean it! Or I’ll ring for the constabulary!”

“You’ll ring for nothing, Ambassador Honeyvenom!”



heavy breathing

“You’re… too old for this… Ssskipper.”




“You don’t need a Weatherbean to know which way the wind blows.”



“Yes, Eighth?”

“We still haven’t had that talk about my role here. Surely there is more to my future than dinners and “courting.” Although, I must say, I am surprised at how much I am looking to dining on my less successful spawnmates.”

“You should have already figured this out on your own, Master Landau. What has always been the key to Rothschild-Landau success?”

“While we are reknowned for our ability to leverage new technology into commercial opportunity, going back to our originating Shaper Hans Landau himself, it’s really our relentless focus on acquiring superior information.”

“Exactly. What is the greatest uncertainty, and therefore greatest opportunity, currently before Weatherby?”

“The New Prussia conflict.”

“Eighth, do you feel well informed?”

“Kernels to McClintock, No! All we get are dribs from the Weatherby Times that read like palace press releases.”

“You, and everyone else. We need better information, Eighth. Where is that information most likely to come from?”

“The front. But how the blazes can information get out? that’s a military sector; a civilian like you can’t just traipse about .”

“A problem. But not an insurmountable problem. How did Hans Landau get to Mars, before he became the 'Lobster King.”

Eighth pauses. Looks at Jules, waves several attenules about, and looks vacant again.

“There is a packet ship heading to the front on the next Lunar Ebb.”

“Very good Eighth. You may live up to your surname yet. Just don’t be late for Dinner --a dinner at which I expect to be the best informed True Citizen present.”


[GM Note: As I’m crunching the numbers for turn 8, I’ve realized that the feast instructions were missing some critical details: the feast provides up to 20 points of stats depending on how much is spent on the meal, with 100% of net income yielding the full bonus. Spending 50% of net income yields a bonus of 10 stat points, and so on.

Naturally, one may wish to set aside a purse for next turn or make alternate purchases, but in the event that this rather critical detail may alter your meal plan, please PM me directly. Most folks intuited the intent and have spent lavishly on the meal, but for those that didn’t quite go whole hog - @pogo, @gwwar, @daneel, @wisconsin_platt, @fintastic, @donald_petersen, @David_Falkayn, and @mrmonkey- it would be remiss of me not to mention this.

If you’re comfortable with your orders for this turn, rest easy. If you wish to tweak a few numbers, please PM me ASAP. My apologies for not making that completely clear up front!]


Ah there you are my fine fellow. Down by the space docks. Drawn as if by instinct to the edge of the celestial deep. Come along gently then, and back to the castle where we can make you more comfortable.




Good God! Is that the sort of uniform I’m supposed to be sporting for active duty? No wonder young Ratchetspank was alarmed at what I’m wearing. Those fools down at Old Navy Supply have sold me the wrong thing entirely.

All right lets go get you some nice and tasty brains back at the laboratory, lad.


Errrrhng! BRAINS!