1866-09-19: Clean Brackets
Clean Brackets
Summary: The Vice Chancellor puts his foot down.
Date: 1866-09-19
Related: Pacitta Tourney: Joust Preliminaries
Players:
Bartolo  Marcel  

"We're skipping the usual bluster," Marcel Toulan says icily as he lets himself into Bartolo Mancini's office. "I've come all the way across the city to talk to you, and that is as much consideration as I'm going to give you today, Bartolo."

The High Chancellor scowls and rises from his chair, puffing smoke from his cigar. "W-w-what are you doing just barging— baring into my office?" he snaps.

The Vice-Chancellor sighs and gives Mancini a cold look. "I said we're skipping the bluster. Sit. And you're going to tell me which of the little Circuit officials you paid to change up the jousting order."

Mancini balks. "I did no such thing!" he lies.

The problem with him lying is that Toulan has seen the man do it so often, he knows his tells. Marcel simply stares at Mancini until the man caves.

"You have to understand, the two nations are far too friendly with each other—" he begins. "This treaty will cost Pacitta hundreds of thousands, if not more, crowns a year! Delaying it is a reasonable course of action!" Mancini insists, though he fumbles his way into his seat.

Marcel Toulan watches the other man with a look of disdain for several long, long moments.

Then he sighs. "You're right, and you're wrong. Yes, it will cost us money, but the last thing we want is to be in the middle of another Thirty Years War. Which official, so he may be dismissed?" He frowns. "And I suggest we post the seeds for the brackets tomorrow forthwith."

"Post them?!" Mancini stubs out his cigar. "Why would we do that?"

Toulan leans forward. "So there's no more tampering. The seeds should be based as they've always been: on the showing in the previous Circuit tournament." He pulls out a roll of parchment. "Here. As a matter of fact, using those figures, I've gone ahead and taken the liberty of drawing up the seeds."

Mancini blusters, opening the parchment. After he reads it, he frowns, confused. "There are still mostly Rivanan going against Couveri," he stammers. "I thought you wanted—"

"I wanted it to be fair and the seeds set as they should be. If it so happens that they fall out the way that works best for Pacitta, then they do." Marcel Toulan smiles, though it's a cold one. "Copies of this have already been made and have been posted at the tourney grounds and many of the taphouses and finer better establishments." He chuckles. "Councillor Marchette was all too pleased to assist in getting them where they would be most seen this morning."

Mancini blanches. "You got MARCHETTE involved?"

"You're damned right. I try to ignore the petty squabbles of the council, Bartolo, but in this you've left me no choice. There were brawls— damned near riots— over last night's event. At least if that happens again, we'll be prepared for it, and we will not be the crooks causing it." He scowls darkly. "So give up your corrupt organizer, sacrifice that pawn, and let us get on with our tournament."

Bartolo's mouth opens and shuts several times. Then finally he slumps in his chair. "I'll report him to the Circuit myself this afternoon."

"Good." Toulan turns to move towards the door. Then he stops, turning back for a moment. "One more thing— next time you do something like this, try not making it so obvious even I can see it."

Then he leaves, leaving Bartolo to his own misery.

Challonge Brackets for the Bracketed Joust

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