The Grand Plot

Please be warned that this document does contain spoilers, i.e., information of which you (the PC) should not be aware at the beginning of the game. Some of the information may not be discovered at all in the course of the game unless you play as a certain character or take certain actions.

The back story (in summary) runs like this:

The bulk of the game consists of trying to gain more influence than your siblings, so that when Zosimus dies, you will be head of the family. This goal, acquiring influence, continues to remain core to the game, however, the ends towards which you are doing so change. There are two major plot points for most of the characters, and they are necessary, i.e., although the timing of them is still up in the air, they will happen no matter what the character does (short of some drastic actions which would just be too difficult to work around, such as the assassination of all your siblings).

The first is the discovery that your father is not really dying, and has been employing powerful healing magic. In fact, it seems that with this magic, he could easily live another sixty years. The siblings split into two camps: some (led by Harold, of course, unless he's a PC, in which case led by who-knows-who) seek to kill him, or at least prevent his magic from functioning. The others try to prevent this.

The second is the discovery of the deal between Astarte and Zosimus, and Zosimus' breaking of this deal (which is why the PCs have been targetted by occasional assassination attempts, something which has doubtless been getting on their nerves). The children again split into two camps, some try to force Zosimus to accede to Astarte's will, the others help Zosimus resist Astarte.

The end of the game will likely be a confrontation with either Zosimus or Astarte, depending on the actions he has taken so far.

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