Eversink’s unofficial motto is “…for Honor and Profit! But mostly Profit!” Wherever the Swan of Eversink flies, armies of merchants stand behind it armed with their accounting books and contracts. The shining city on the salty lagoon is a city of business people. The jingle of coin motivates the people of Eversink, not wars for God or Country.
The business of the businesses of Eversink flows through the Hermitage, the soaring marble Government building flanked by Court and Guild Houses on Effigy Square in Ironcross. While it is best known for housing the Triskedane, Denari’s hand-picked thirteen mysterious rulers of Eversink, the Hermitage is more commonly the home of the city’s day-to-day business. As merchants know better than to trust the word of other merchants, that business is meticulously hand-written and conducted on paper. Treaties, contracts, licenses, deeds, petitions, charters, indentures, and office memos circulate through the Hermitage. Entire forests die to fulfill Eversink’s paper trail needs.
Eversink’s business paper flows through one centralized location. In the second sub-basement, two floors down, is the mail sorting room. It’s a maelstrom of insanity-laden, paper-based chaos. Flurries of letters are sorted, stored, shoved, and squished into buckets, bins and cubbies as the paperwork makes its way through the city’s arteries from point A to point B. They say the fate of entire nations has died down in the mailroom. Wars broke out, cities were sacked, countries scourged, and the fortunes of men rose and fell because a crucial peace treaty was sorted accidentally into bin B instead of bin A.
(However, despite being in a second sub-basement and lacking windows, the enormous room is quite pleasant: cool in the Eversink hot summers, easy to heat in the frozen winters, and surprisingly dry.)
The sorting room’s master is a tall, thin, balding, dour, spectacle-wearing man who sits on a stool at the mail and package acceptance window. His name is Gaspar Bruni — not of any particular family or famous line. He just is, like he arose out of the dark blackness of the lagoon one day and ensconced himself in the mailroom to make everyone’s life miserable.
See, Gaspar Bruni is, like everyone else in Eversink, a businessman. His business is the delivery of paperwork from one side of the Hermitage’s office to the other. And Gaspar Bruni is openly corrupt. He’ll speed up some mail or slow down others on a whim. Gaspar has no politics except coinage. He accepts small, medium, large, or extra-large bribes, and he prefers hard cash in small leather bags. Gaspar will accept the bribe right at the window. He even has a pricing menu. Want 10x speed delivery of your paperwork? That will be 5 cygnets, please. Want to 10x slow down the delivery of a rival’s paperwork? Also, 5 cygnets, please.
Since Gaspar Bruni also rebuilt the entire mail sorting system when he joined the bureaucracy decades ago, he’s impossible to dislodge. No one knows how to route the mail around to the correct Hermitage rooms anymore. Only he can orchestrate the odd dance of Eversink inter-office business mail. Kill him and the entire business of Eversink halts.
Gaspar Bruni’s iron grip over the mailroom is very annoying to everyone who does business in Eversink. Villainous — maybe?
Gaspar Bruni was born and raised in Sag Harbor in Eversink. His parents hoped he’d become clergy and sent him to the Church to be educated. But, Gaspar was mediocre in school and had little interest in the Church or ecclesiastical life. After he graduated, he wandered from job to job. He eventually picked up a low-level administrative position in the Hermitage penning and delivering inter-office mail.
Over time, Gaspar saved enough money to pay the bribe to get the promotion to the mailroom itself. One of Gaspar’s first assignments was to organize the mailroom to make it more efficient. So, Gaspar “organized the mailroom” to “make it more efficient.”
That was Gaspar’s a-ha moment. Now that he knew how the mail was routed, he could control it. A combination of bribes and carefully engineered promotions to much better roles removed his rivals. Bribes kept the other mail room clerks on his side. Over time, he became “that guy” who runs the mail office.
Gaspar found himself controlling the vital flow of Eversink’s paperwork in an iron fist. As no one really… cares… about the vital flow of Eversink’s paperwork, until they absolutely do. He set up shop and no one stopped him.
Gaspar’s biggest challenge is to never get promoted because if he gets promoted, he’ll lose his entire mail-based empire. So the mailroom under Gaspar always runs just well enough that he’ll keep his job and just poorly enough that no one wants to see Gaspar with more responsibility.
Corrupt, Bureaucratic, Weasley
Defense — Health: Health Threshold 3, Health 1
Defense — Morale: Morale Threshold 4, Morale 15
Offense — Sway: +2; Damage Modifier +1 (bureaucratic babble)
Abilities: Malus 10
Special Abilities: Allies (cost 3 – clerks)
Misc: Use Malus on Servility, Laws & Traditions, and City’s Secrets
Refresh Tokens: 1
Description: Gaspar Bruni is a tall, thin, balding, dour, bespeckled middle-aged man who can be taken out with a punch or a stiff breeze, and he has an incredibly punchable face. He’s annoyed by anyone (especially PCs) and doesn’t care about anyone else’s opinions or feelings. He’s sleazy, annoying, and will absolutely make things hard for PCs unless he’s paid. Then, suddenly, he’s all smiles and friendliness. He has a few clerks in the mail room who do his bidding.
Killing him is “bad” for varying definitions of “bad.”
Gaspar lives with his mum in a townhouse in Sag Harbor. He was never married, and does not have children. Gaspar likes to eat his lunch outside in the square, and he’s adamant about always going home on time.
Villainous Plot Seeds
- Gaspar’s Murder! Gaspar Bruni’s body was found in an Ironcross park. Strangled! Who did it? Was it Ancient Nobility Gaspar pissed off when he ‘lost” the deed to their Spire? A Mercanti who missed the fall sailing season because he couldn’t get his license to build a new fleet on time? Angry Outlanders who blamed Gaspar for the fall of their city due to a mislaid treaty? Or was it his loyal Lieutenant and fellow Mail Clerk, Tina Avino, who eyed the mail sorting bribe business for herself! And now, the city is in chaos and business is grinding to a halt, since no one knows where anything is at! CHAOS!
- Gaspar Gets Promoted: The worst has happened. Gaspar finally got promoted. Someone up high in the Hermitage noticed Gaspar hit his 25 years with the Government and the promotion automatically triggered! He’s been promoted to oversee the Courts! Now Gaspar is fighting to get demoted and return to his mailroom! He’s ordering the courts to refuse to see any cases unless they pay Gaspar a direct bribe. The inter-office mail system in the Hermitage is in chaos and the Courts have stopped hearing cases. Will Eversink screetch to a complete halt before Gaspar Bruni is demoted? And what about that pirate army waiting to invade? Wait, what?
- The Rival Mailroom: Frustrated with the slow mail and the expensive bribes, Aniello Diano, Mercanti in Harbor Approach, sets up a rival mail office. For a nominal printed and fixed fee, Aniello Diano’s mail service lets anyone in Eversink send messages and inter-office business mail. It’s fast! It’s reliable! The rival mail service is instantly an Eversink sensation. Gaspar Bruni will not let this business rivalry stand. Gaspar, alone, controls the flow of office memos in Eversink! He arms his Mail Clerks and sends them into the streets to clash with Aniello Diano’s army of well-armed thugs. Rival gangs of mail clerks break out into violence in the Hermitage! It’s all out mail-based gang war! Who will control the fate of Eversink’s inter office mail? Will the office memo about expensing lunch ever be delivered?
Disclaimer: These posts are unaffiliated with official canonical posts or printed materials about Sword of the Serpentine. “Swords of the Serpentine” is (TM) Pelgrane Press. For more information on Eversink, visit the Pelgrane website.