Friday, September 18, 2009


Cerebus hits the campaign trail. He has gathered an entourage. Astoria is of course his campaign manager and advisor, Bran Mac Mufin is another strategy advisor, his security is looked after by the Moon Roach, who still clings to the fantasy that Astoria is his ‘chick’, and curiously enough the McGrew brothers, who probably accepted the job because it legally allowed them to beat people up.

Between Blakely and Astoria they have thirty two seats, but need another twenty five to guarantee Cerebus the Prime Ministership. While Astoria heavies one of the lower city powerbrokers, Bran talks military strategy with Cerebus, convincing him that if everything goes to plan he could be the emperor of most of the known world before very long. That night Cerebus dreams of his empire. I found it telling that the two major cities in the Aardvark empire were called Jaka and Astoria. Jaka was not unexpected, Astoria, to me, was. I’d always thought Cerebus’ tolerated Astoria because of what she could do for him and that their ‘relationship’ was public only and for the sake of convenience. Naming one of the major cities in his dream empire after her hints at something approaching genuine affection. I’m not sure Astoria felt the same way. By this stage I don’t think Astoria did anything with, or for anybody, unless she could see some sort of angle that advanced her own ambitions.

Fifteen seats that Cerebus needs are held in the province of Grace, which is controlled by the Cirinists. Cerebus goes to see the Mother Abbess to see if he can get her support. Astoria’s presence guarantees him an audience. Astoria was at some point a highly respected and influential Cirinist, she may have fallen from favour by this point. The Abbess tells him that she will give him her support if he loses Astoria. As that’s not likely this may be fifteen seats they’ll have to find another way. It does bring up the question of exactly why the Cirinists are abandoning Astoria. It’s another illustration of just how powerful the Cirinists are becoming and interesting how no one, except Suenteus Po, and he’s not particularly reliable; being thought of as a myth, seems to see it.

The rest of the campaign goes swimmingly, with Cerebus speaking to packed houses and rapturous applause. It is amusing seeing him give speeches and having to remember to refer to himself in first person instead of his customary third person. Cerebus begins to have delusions of grandeur, believing himself already Prime Minister, after all his stiffest competition is Lord Julius’ goat (yes, you read it right. Lord Julius did actually intend to run an actual goat as his candidate for Prime Minister. Caligula put a horse in the Senate, so why not?). Cerebus is brought back to earth, somewhat literally, by a chance encounter with an ill mannered gutter rat in the lower city.

A lot of talking, but not much action. The first appearance of the typical mannish Cirinist in the abbess. The race for Prime Minister is on. I’m not sure what political system Dave was using in Iest. The talk of seats has echoes of both the Commonwealth System, but no mention of the upper and lower houses and the American system, but they don’t have a Prime Minister. Being a Canadian Dave would have been familiar with the two systems and may have borrowed from both, creating his own in the process.

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