Wednesday, May 27, 2015

City of Curses: Icons: The Publisher (Fate Core)

The Publisher
Aspect: The Public Needs To Know!
Invoke When: Uncovering secrets or convincing others to tell you the truth.

Compel When: Presented with a chance to uncover secrets or when tempted to ask questions, even when it would be impolite to do so.
Quote: "The powerful have gotten away with their lies for too long.  Hear the truth, embrace the fervor and call for something new, something revolutionary."

The Publisher funds the three most prominent newspapers in Crux- he also helps to publish a variety of books and pamphlets as well.  Almost all of his efforts are directed to helping further one cause: stirring up revolution.

Common Knowledge 
The Church of the Machine brought the invention of the Printing Press to the continents of Ainesia and Necruxa.  The creation of newsprint led to the founding of various printing houses.  In cities like Crux, these papers became the backbone of conversation and news.  In Crux, the Publisher's three newspapers, especially the Daily Stargazer, set the tone for that conversation.

Sidebar: The Papers of Crux
The three biggest newspapers, Daily Stargazer, The Crux Herald, and the Skullmount Gazette, (in terms of logistical circulation) all are published by Davizi Printing.  The Publisher owns Davizi, and has spent the last five years growing it into the dominant newspaper publishing house.  But these are not the only newspapers in Crux.  There are many, but each of the other newspapers are considerably smaller, and they cater to very specific folk in the City of Curses.  The Publisher's papers are unique in that they aren't biased to favor any of the other Icons' views.  

Of course, they do espouse the Publisher's main views:  The spread and promotion of the Revolution, no matter the cost.

The Publisher's journalists and editorialists are known throughout Crux.  They are known to press all the powerful in Crux for stories, sometimes asking questions they don't want to answer.  Often anything they might regret having said gets published.

The Publisher is popular however.  He does listen to the people, and is seen as a needed part of the public discourse.  What gets published in his newspapers is the talk of the town.  Often this forms some sort floating part of what goes on in coffeehouses and other places in Crux.  The Publisher's use of selling space for advertisement space to small businesses over larger ones is also known, especially his refusal to ever use any ad that would promote the Bank of Crux in any way.

The advent of the printing press, invented and distributed by the Church of the Machine, led to the creation of the pamphlets and newspapers throughout Othebea, Ainesia and Ith.  In Crux, each neighborhood in the city of curses has always maintained their own private papers or newspapers, but the Daily Stargazer was the first daily newspaper in Crux.  It's printer, Davizi Printing, had been founded by Ainesian immigrants.

The Davizi family had left Ainesia before the Revolution Wars.  Even during the height of the violence in Ainesia, they remained staunchly in support of the Revolution.  They've kept that view, always augmenting their stories, editorials and published magazines with that view.  Those Ithic nationalists have always pointed this out- but the popularity of the Davizi has always borne them out.

They have always been critical of the Prince.  In turn, the Prince has... well, never acknowledged the Publisher or his journalists.  When the Prince's agents are pressed for comment, they give it, but even the most prominent of the Prince's agents will admit that the Prince has never given an order in regards to the Publisher or his journalists.  They seem outside of his concern.

Those who trade in secrets claim that the Publisher is actually a high priest of the Revolution, that his best journalists are also clerics of that faith, and that Davizi Printing's main headquarters in the Grand Bazaar hides a temple dedicated to the radical faith.  The Publisher does aim for destructive measures to garner reforms.  Even when it may cause more harm than good, he prints stories that might push folk to riot even if that might not be in the public's interest.

The Publisher pays for a good story.  Especially one that paints those in power in a bad light.  He also will help those wanting to cause trouble for the powerful... although this remains hard to prove.  He's helped many Revolutionary Clerics to meet with potential allies, and has acted as a catalyst for various attempts to catapult protests into full blown violent riots.  Those who want to fight the power, no matter the cost, they will find him to be a most helpful patron.

The Publisher's inevitable violent aims makes his list of potential allies fewer than other icons.  He works often with the Archwitch, to gain access to criminal means without involving the Prince.  The Archwitch often fixates on only her people, something that the Publisher sees as a form of leverage.  Both are desperate for change in Crux, both are eager to do what they can to achieve it.

The Tinkerer on the other hand, has been an ally of the Publisher since her leaving the University of Crux.  She isn't afraid to use the press to her advantage.  In turn, the Publisher has repeatedly commissioned the Tinkerer for various technologies to modify or enhance printing.  The Tinkerer knows little or nothing of the Publisher's political goals, using the garnered press for helping her workshop in Poorfellows grow.

The entrenched figures of power are the most vibrant, vocal opponents of the Publisher: the Archbishop and the Banker.  But their focus is on reformers of all kinds, and they don't distinguish the Publisher from other reformers like the Tinkerer or the Voice as well.   Acts of violence only confirm their belief that revolutionaries only want to see the city burn in chaos. 

The Voice presents a different sort of enemy for the Publisher.  Philosophically, the two seem similar.  Both are vocal in asking for reforms, and both do so in as public a fashion as possible.  But where the Voice refuses to associate with the Publisher- the history of violence associated with him is something she cannot tolerate.  The Voice wants change, but refuses to spill blood to get it.

Using The Publisher
The best method for employing the Publisher is through what one expects: yellow journalism.  His top reporters do what you see press do in TV shows and the movies, except their targets are the player characters.  They always are out for the best story- except they always tilt the story in favor of the Revolution.

Often having the actions of a previous session recapped with a short newspaper article, accusing the PCs of working for one of the prominent authorities in the city, committing atrocities- this sort of thing is the best use of the Publisher.  Having him react to the PCs' actions rewards them, in that their actions have some sort of echoing effect.