The Emperor’s Star: A Chrononauts Role-Playing Occurrence
Designed and written by Andrew Plotkin
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For those not familiar with Chrononauts, here’s the plan: each day consists of 32 events. An event can be a Linchpin (cause) or Ripplepoint (effect). Each Linchpin has two possible outcomes (colored yellow and pink); they all start out yellow, but players can flip them back and forth on their turns.

Each Linchpin affects one or more Ripplepoints. Ripplepoints have three possible outcomes, and sometimes more. A Ripplepoint starts out with the blue side up, but when its Linchpin flips, the Ripplepoint is “paradoxed” and flips to the grey side. This is an unstable state with no historical import. A player can then resolve the paradox, by playing the purple Patch card that fits in that time slot. If the original Linchpin flips back to yellow, the Ripplepoint goes back to its original blue side (removing the Patch, if necessary).

On this page, I have the Ripplepoints and Patches notated like “Flip if –8:00” (meaning, turn this over if the 8:00 Linchpin is turned to the pink (negative) side). Yellow is the positive side, pink is the negative side. (Because those are the highlighter pen colors I chose to color the cards with.)

Some Ripplepoints depend on multiple Linchpins — one might say “Flip if –8:00 and –9:25”; another “Flip if –9:25 or –15:30”. There are some three-part conditions, too. Resolve these according to the rules of logic. A few Ripplepoints (called Nexus Points) have several possible Patches, with different preconditions.

Day 1

Apprentice Astrologe Morixa predicts danger to Empire (“Wow, what lousy stars” she says.) Noulin concurs with analysis
Astrologe Pyramid deals with further budget cuts (“Vital dream research is going unattended”, says Magister of Moons)
Ripples 8:45 10:00 12:50
Flip if (–8:00)
Astrologe Pyramid gathers to divine signs of the future
(Empire lacks direction)
Flip if (+8:00)
Zendibar calls for strategic analysis of future governance — “archaic rituals can no longer rule us”
Emperor killed in surprise attack (Mysterious figure in black disappears into crowd) (“Acrid smell”, reports horrified onlooker on Palace grounds)
Emperor stabbed, in critical condition (Mysterious figure in black disappears into crowd) (“Unlikely to live another day” say doctors)
Ripples 10:00 11:15 12:05 12:50 16:00
Voxim misses Emperor’s procession, stays home to wash the cat (“Someone got hurt?” he asks)
Voxim injured struggling with figure in black — dedicates his family’s honor to catching assailant
Ripples 11:15 13:30
Flip if (–8:00 and –9:25)
Canal security chief denies ill-preparedness (“Nothing can perfectly guarantee the peace. No, not the astrologes either.”)
(Canal security chief has no comment)
Flip if (+8:00 or +9:25)
Canal security chief interviewing witnesses (“We are hopeful that information will, um, arise.”)
Search for assassination weapon goes on
Bloody knife found at attack scene
Ripples 22:40
Flip if (–9:25 and –9:30)
Noble families bicker over precedence at funeral arrangements
(Extra fudge ordered for funeral arrangement)
Flip if (+9:25 or +9:30)
Emperor whispers Voxim’s name on deathbed
Farlen Mait is "BankVault’s Man of the Year" — now fourth richest man on Mars (“Figure I’ll buy more jelly beans”)
Farlen Mait keynote speaker at economic conference; says every hand counts (“The boats must roll — er, float”)
Ripples 14:10 19:00
Flip if (–9:25)
Emperor buried (Tons of Turkish Delight sent by grieving populace)
(The Emperor is definitely dead)
Flip if (+9:25)
Emperor passes on — funeral set for tomorrow
Mourners turn violent as Phobos partisans blamed for attack (Olympus Square trashed)
Koyen gives spontaneous speech, leads mass demonstration of grief at Olympus Square
Ripples 13:30 21:45
Flip if (–9:25 or –8:00)
Morixa tapped for funeral oration (“I know I said something awful would happen, but I had no idea.”)
(No word from Astrologe Pyramid)
Flip if (+9:25 and +8:00)
Astrologes quizzed about their knowledge of attack (“what did you know and when did you know it, eh?”)
Smuggling in North Canals at all-time high
Magister of Canals announces canal tax reform plan ("in Emperor’s memory")
Ripples 13:30 14:10 17:30
Flip if (–12:30 or –9:30 or –13:00)
Confluent, bitterly divided, debates Regency — no conclusion
(Confluent meets in closed session)
Flip if (+9:30 or –12:30)
Voxim (Emperor’s oldest living relative) named Regent
Flip if (+13:00 or –9:30)
Seranst (Magister of Canals) named Regent
Flip if (+12:30 or –13:00)
Koyen (the Hero of Phobos) named Regent
Flip if (–13:00 and –11:30)
Union of Drayers calls strike (“caught between canal union and Imperial taxes”, complains merchant)
(Canal union still debating)
Flip if (+13:00 or +11:30)
Canal Drayers get profit-sharing plan; praise Seranst (“Bribe? This peanut brittle is simply a grateful memento...”)
Barges collide; wreckage blocks Fundar Canal
Candy barge arrives in Xi City
Ripples 15:15 18:00 20:35
Flip if (–14:40)
Gaming parlor still most popular spot in Olympus Square
(Olympus Square shops doing okay)
Flip if (+14:40)
Candy shop opens on Olympus Square. (“A girl needs a hobby”, winks part-owner Morixa.)
Unacceptable pollution levels detected in canal water (“traces of radioactivity”)
Biggest canal eel ever netted!
Ripples 16:00 17:10 20:05
Flip if (–9:25 or –15:30)
Tourist season ruined — low turnout expected for Festival ("nothing’s safe!" shouts visitor)
(Festival of Stars to begin on schedule tomorrow)
Flip if (+9:25 and +15:30)
Army prepares for Festival parade
Archeological divination succeeds — ancient aqueducts found under polar plateau (“Not bad”, says Noulin)
Archeological divination succeeds — prehistorical cookbooks found in Marineris (“Noulin very smug”)
Ripples 17:10 18:00
Flip if (–16:45 and –15:30)
Imperial Constructors to study ancient water purification inscriptions
(Cookbooks being studied)
Flip if (+16:45 or +15:30)
Morixa tries ancient eel-tail candy recipe (“What the heck, it could be good!”)
Flip if (–13:00)
Trouble at Planitia mines: graft, missing plutonium. (Zendibar worries about military capability)
(Plutonium mines produce more plutonium)
Flip if (+13:00)
Planitia mines sold: new plutonium co-op soars on Mons exchange
Flip if (–14:40 and –16:45)
Mons exchange shaky during political turmoil (“Is this any way to pick a leader?”)
(Mons exchange closes early)
Flip if (+14:40 or +16:45)
Candy market booms; Mons hits two-century record
Zendibar concedes Fleuchre overtime match (“The old generation of the Imperial military is finally passing,” says anonymous observer)
Great Gamer Zendibar wins Fleuchre tournament — crowded gaming parlor goes wild
Ripples 19:00 21:45
Flip if (–11:30 or –18:40)
Empire Historian writes article: “The Tilting Tripod of Mars”: (Mercantile rising; military, aristocracy losing relevance)
(Legacy of the Emperor late Illuminated uncertain)
Flip if (+11:30 and +18:40)
Gossip from Old Town: merchants learning their proper place, nods Lord Orxino
Cloaked figure spotted piloting dinghy (Xi canal worker: “It smelled acrid, all right”)
Xi City canals all prepared for Festival of Stars tomorrow (canal workers knock off early)
Ripples 20:05 20:35 23:00
Flip if (–19:40 or –15:30)
Seranst triples canal security patrols, investigatory boats
(Boats sail on canal)
Flip if (+19:40 and +15:30)
Right Anglers of Xi swarm canals — plenty of starfish for festival
Flip if (–19:40 or –14:40)
Barge captain found dead by docks — had fled investigation of collision
(Barge captain unavailable for interview)
Flip if (+19:40 and +14:40)
Barge captain vanishes (“just packed up and left town”, say neighbors)
Black dinghy found moored near army HQ
Army guards report break-in near HQ (“nothing seems to be missing”)
Ripples 21:45 22:10 22:40 23:00
Flip if (–21:00 or (–12:30 and –18:40))
Confluent debates military budget in late session (“the people cry out for new leadership”)
(Confluent debates something tedious)
Flip if (+21:00 and (+12:30 or +18:40))
Koyen speaks before Confluent; says military prowess made Empire what it is today
Flip if (–21:00)
Zendibar “very alert” to possibility of Army link to assassination
(No comment from military spokesfolks)
Flip if (+21:00)
Farlen Mait to supply imported guardgnarls for Army (contract hastily signed)
Flip if (–10:45 or –21:00)
Knife found when dredging canal near army HQ — traced to Koyen (“no solid evidence links this blade with the attack on the Emperor late Illuminated”)
(Knife lost, found in administrative muddle)
Flip if (+10:45 and +21:00)
Koyen’s sigil found on assassin’s blade (“It was stolen!” insists Hero of Phobos)
Flip if (–19:40 or –21:00)
Dinghy taken to Magistry of Justice — Voxim vows full investigation (“definitely linked to the assassin”)
(It’s late. Go to sleep)
Flip if (+19:40 and +21:00)
Noise complaints up (“Nobody can sleep”, says Justice)

Day 2

Noble families meet in Old Town moothalls ("We are shocked at the Confluent’s indecisiveness")
Anonymous informant reports dark figure visiting mansions in Old Town (Justice officers unable to confirm; private guards refuse to comment)
Ripples 8:30 12:10 13:40
Flip if (–8:10)
Murmurs of discontent among lesser nobility — weaker bloodlines tired of falling into step with older families
(Stone heads are new lawn fad at noble houses)
Flip if (+8:10)
Secret genealogies of the nobility are shifting — precedences rise eagerly, fall bitterly in Old Town (“A trove of family histories recently discovered?”, blood-fanciers speculate)
Private letters stolen from Palace — guards detected no intrusion (“Is this how the assassin got in and out?”)
Secret canal stairway leads to Palace grounds! (Canal Security has left it deliberately unwatched for years, records show)
Ripples 9:40 12:10 15:45
Flip if (–9:05)
Dinghy from merchant freighter found concealed on canal near Palace ("It seems to have been undisturbed for months; nobody can say it’s related to the assassination", says Seranst on behalf of Canal Security)
(Clues found by canal near Palace)
Flip if (+9:05)
Deckmaster of canal freighter claims to have rowed barge’s officer-owner to canal stairway (“He swore me to secrecy, but I helped him several times, a couple of years ago.”) — mystery merchant sold his share and retired last year
Laboratory tests on knife prove valueless — Emperor’s blood definitely present, but no other human DNA.
Laboratory tests show plutonium in canal freighter bilge water
Ripples 10:40 11:10 12:10 21:10
Flip if (–10:15)
Update: Contaminant detected in knife tests ("It’s some weak organic acid, a complex of acetic or formic")
(Strange odor noticed around city)
Flip if (+10:15)
Analysis proceeds on acrid traces found on black dinghy, some freighter barges, and many other locations around Palace and Xi City
Koyen promoted to Captain-Finial (Homesands Party sends gift box of cayenne truffles)
Koyen applies to join Imperial Military Strategy Council
Ripples 11:10 14:30
Flip if (–10:15 or –11:00)
Phobos partisans arrested at promotion ceremony — disruptive chanting, shouting
(Phobos partisans hold meeting)
Flip if (+10:15 and +11:00)
Phobos partisans demand outside investigation into military loss of nuclear material (“They deliberately engineered the crisis that razed our home. Is this yet another plot?”)
Flip if (–9:05 or –8:10 or –10:15)
Investigation of mystery knife suspended as further evidence sought
(Knife investigation continues)
Flip if (+9:05 or –8:10)
Orxino invokes hereditary right of privilege — names Voxim to oversee Magistry of Justice (Canal security under subpoena; Seranst barred from hearings)
Flip if (+8:10 or –10:15)
Magistry of Canals demands role in knife investigation (“Justice have gone far beyond incompetence,” says Seranst)
Flip if (+10:15 or –9:05)
Knife investigation mired in politics — Justice and Canals both file right-of-hands petitions with Confluent
Heir’s medical records stolen ("Why would anyone want Renxi’s natal chart?" asks Regent)
Unsigned letter questions Heir’s parentage (“Renxi is not the Heir of the Imperium”) — Regent refuses to countenance genetic test
Ripples 15:45 17:20 23:55
Unrecorded barge movements being traced in Planitia canal zones
Barge quartermaster confesses helping military to smuggle unregistered radioactives from Planitia mines to Xi City (“The officers said that our help was required as a matter of Imperial security!”)
Ripples 13:40 16:15 21:10
Flip if (–8:10 or –13:15)
Six freighter officer-owners go before Justice officers — swear to corruption at highlest levels of the mercantile
(Freight lines under suspicion)
Flip if (+8:10 and +13:15)
Farlen Mait fires dozens from barge crews, roots out corruption links — alleges connection between military, smugglers, Old Town spies, and even assassins (“Overzealousless, scapegoating, or just pure deniability?” asks ex-captain)
Confluent hearings on tax reform: will commend plan (tax burden will shift away from bulk goods, towards high-margin luxury trade) (Union of Drayers “conditionally pleased”)
Confluent hearings on fiscal reform: recommends unreprecedented cuts in military budget
Ripples 18:50 19:30
Flip if (–11:00)
Army debates expanding Strategy Council, on Captain-Finial Koyen’s suggestion (Unnecessary, says Zendibar: “Our balance of minds has been tuned for a generation”)
(Strategy Council delays Koyen’s application)
Flip if (+11:00)
Koyen named Bearer of the Imperial Sigil (Hero of Phobos agrees to largely symbolic office after his application to Strategy Council rejected)
Canal Drayers driven off docks by private guardgnarls (“Trespassing”, say merchant spokesfolks)
Canal Drayers picket at docks (sand and stones hurled at freight-handlers)
Ripples 16:15 18:05
Flip if (–12:35 and –9:05)
Morixa claims proof that Renxi was of the mercantile caste from both sides (“Genetic and written evidence”)
(Uncertainty about Renxi’s ancestry)
Flip if (+12:35 or +9:05)
Lord Orxino demands further investigation into Renxi’s parentage
Flip if (–13:15 and –15:10)
Merchant families go to Confluent, claim systematic harassment by Magistry of Justice — lawsuits fly
(Judicial offices very busy)
Flip if (+13:15 or +15:10)
Magistry of Justice attempts to seize mercantile shipping records — officer-owners refuse entry (“Alleged connections to the Planitia plutonium are baseless”)
Anarchist rally outside Confluent — protesters scream, dance, burn piles of Festival starfish (“We stand for — oi! Give those pants back!”)
Democratist rally outside Confluent — small but vocal group demands elected head of state ("Perhaps the fraying of the Illuminated blood-thread is a sign")
Ripples 17:20 23:55
Flip if (–12:35 or –16:40)
Anarchists attempt to burgle Palace — arrested by Imperial guards ("Maybe we shouldn’t have tried it in broad daylight")
(Polls show political dissent rising)
Flip if (+12:35 and +16:40)
Hero of Phobos alludes to democratist ideas in Festival parade speech (“Koyen does not speak for the military; we are loyal to the Sunlit Throne” say Army leaders)
Fracture in Imperial Army of the Skies — younger faction in dispute with senior cadre (“Our leaders have lost sight of their purpose”; “This breach in discipline is intolerable”; situation tense but no blood sparked yet)
Imperial Army refuses Confluent oversight (rejects budget proposals, denies allegations of link to Emperor’s murder)
Ripples 18:50 20:15 22:50 23:55
Flip if (–15:10)
Farlen Mait blames unions for theft, petty sabotage
(Unrest in shipping district)
Flip if (+15:10)
Fire near docks — mercantile warehouses burn (Magistry of Canals questions union members)
Flip if (–14:00 or –17:50)
Mercantile houses hiring disaffected and deserted soldiers as guards (“For damn sure the Army is no place to stay; we might as well make what good we can.”)
(Guard wages up)
Flip if (+14:00 and +17:50)
Old Town families hiring more private guards by the squadload (“The Army of the Skies may not be able to entirely fulfil the responsibilities of Empire”, says Voxim)
Festival: Morixa reads stars for Empire, sees “disaster” springing from military unrest
Festival: Morixa does traditional reading, then refuses to reveal results: “The stars delimit us, but we are never bound. Even men of war can choose peace.”
Ripples 19:30 22:50
Flip if (–14:00 and –19:10)
Financial leaders protest new tax policies (“The economic disaster sparked here will be worse than any war,” says Farlen Mait)
(Economic analysts baffled)
Flip if (+14:00 or +19:10)
Mons exchange wobbles, plummets on news of uncertain future
Flip if (–17:50)
Imperial Army split threatens nuclear terrorism — junior faction has gotten plutonium weapons from unknown source
(Background radiation level up)
Flip if (+17:50)
Fisherman discovers cache of nuclear weapons (“Their provenance is unknown; entirely outside the Imperial Army construction network” say military spokesfolks)
Turkish Delight from the Emperor’s table found to be poisoned (“The assassin seems to have miscalculated, as the dose would merely have made the Emperor late Illuminated ill.”)
Traces of toxin discovered in candy preparation equipment — millions of confections recalled
Ripples 22:05 23:10
Flip if (–10:15 and –13:15)
Zendibar says he will try to divert military forces to tracking down illicit plutonium (“This is our responsibility. Our... turbulence of the moment... is minor in comparison.”)
(Zendibar connected to illicit nukes)
Flip if (+10:15 or +13:15)
Zendibar charged with treason and private use of nuclear weapons — court-martial to convene tomorrow
Mercantile declare they will police their own vessels — shred agreements with Magistries of Justice and Canals both (“We will not be pawns in their political war” say captains)
Protest march at Festival of Stars — citizens losing faith in both governmental and mercantile interests (“Nukes everywhere, anarchy in the Army, what next?”)
Ripples 22:05 22:50
Flip if (–20:45 or –21:35)
Festival of Stars spills into streets with vandalism, looting (“Business district a mess”, says Magister of Spectacle)
(Festival goes as planned)
Flip if (+20:45 and +21:35)
Festival of Stars closed early (“Your basic total disaster”, says Magister of Spectacle; “only a few protestors turned out at all.”)
Flip if (–21:35 or –17:50 or –19:10)
Chief Astrologe Noulin dies in sleep — heart failure during psionometric dream ritual (“He was clutching the cards symbolizing War and Death”)
(Noulin found dead)
Flip if (+21:35 or –19:10)
Astrologes march forth, declare Age of Peace — anti-nuclear protest ends in tragedy as Astrologe Noulin killed (“He charged armed officers; they reacted without thinking”)
Flip if (+17:50 or –21:35)
Freighter captain uncovers plutonium-smuggling ring on his shipping line (“We have, of course, returned all the hazardous material to the proper authorities”, says Farlen Mait)
Flip if (+19:10 or –17:50)
Junior officers smuggle nuke into military HQ — Koyen smashes detonator moments before disaster (Shocked factions vow to end struggle immediately)
Flip if (–20:45)
Poisoned candy traced to Morixa’s nascent candy business — Astrologe confesses treason but not murder (“We just wanted more respect.”) — faked warning of danger will stain Astrologe Pyramid’s honor for a millennium
(Candy sales up)
Flip if (+20:45)
Contaminated candy equipment traced to a confectionery primarily used by Voxim’s family ("This is the first I’ve heard of it, honest" says Voxim)
Flip if (–12:35 and (–16:40 or –17:50))
Conflicting reports from Confluent: Accede to military demands? Name legislative head of government? Call for democratist elections?
(Government falls; transfer of power unclear)
Flip if (+12:35 or (+16:40 and +17:50))
Confluent dissolves Regency, withdraws to consider problem of succession (“With no legitimate Heir, a seven thousand year chain of governance is broken”)

Day 3

Homesands radicals gather in Olympus Square — chanting for Hero of Phobos to take up struggle once more
Impromptu celebrants continue Festival of Stars for second day — Olympus Square packed with astrologes, mystics (“Worldly leadership has failed us. We must look upwards!”)
Ripples 8:40 9:45 10:50 19:20
Flip if (–8:15)
Seranst orders Xi City canals closed to passenger traffic (“We advise people to stay in their homes”) — gondola runners protest
(Xi City canals strangely empty)
Flip if (+8:15)
Canal gondola lines raise passenger fares
Koyen steals Emperor’s Star “for safekeeping” — squadron raids Imperial residence, seizes the jewel of Empire (“A military officer or a mere gangster?”, asks retainer)
Morixa proclaims in the streets that the Empire is eclipsed in its signs ("The King is in trine to the Mother-and-Child; clearly the age of tyranny is at an end!")
Ripples 9:45 10:50 11:45 20:40
Flip if (–9:10 and –8:15)
Koyen refers to himself as “Special Appointee to Imperial Strategy Council” — no comment from military spokesfolks (“What an ass”, says Zendibar, off record)
(Farlen Mait buys extra jelly beans)
Flip if (+9:10 or +8:15)
Morixa invests herself Magister of Moons, without opposition (other astrologes supportive or diffident) — supporters take to streets, begging for guidance of stars
Zendibar pleads to preserve Empire in impassioned speech to military leaders ("The homeworld, the moons, the mountains and canyons and Xi City itself are all one blood. Renxi may not be the Emperor’s son, but he is the Empress’s, and he must be our symbol of unity...")
Seranst sends Canal Security to arrest heads of four mercantile families (“Smuggling, harrassment of the canal unions, murder; abetting adultery and fraud of descent of the Imperial line; now sedition...”)
Ripples 19:20 22:00
Flip if (–9:10 or –8:15)
Koyen walks out of Army HQ (disgusted with dishonor and disloyalty, says popular hero) — supporters take to streets, demanding revenge against Phobos
(Koyen in lousy mood)
Flip if (+9:10 and +8:15)
Koyen in bitter public argument with military superiors — criticizes inability to keep a unified face on Imperial Army
Voxim seeks Seranst for conference on security concerns — proposes joint operation between Justice and Canal Security
Seranst seeks Voxim for talks on security concerns — proposes joint operation between Canal Security and Magistry of Justice
Ripples 11:45 17:25 17:35 22:00
Flip if (–11:05 and –9:10)
Magistry of Justice demands to take over police responsibilities on military property — Imperial Strategy Council refuses
(Criminal activity increases)
Flip if (+11:05 or +9:10)
Seranst expands investigation of poison and Morixa’s candy business (“She oversteps her limits, trying to press a successful prosecution”, replies Astrologe)
Mercantile families assert the fall of Old Families, rise of dynamic new trading aristocracy (“We cannot allow the failure of traditional rule to destroy our planet”, says Farlen Mait)
Military factions warily reunite, denounce civilian government — promote Great Gamer Zendibar as once and future leader (“He has understood the nature of this crisis all along”)
Ripples 13:35 14:50 15:55 21:40
Farlen Mait claims to have retained one nuclear weapon (“A chance to redress the unfair weight of ancestry and tradition in the balance of power”)
Junior military leaders declare they still retain one nuclear weapon — insist they will use it rather than allow the Empire to fall into civil war
Ripples 13:10 13:35 15:55 20:10
Flip if (–12:55)
Astrologes speak out against armed mercantile (“We have seen a future in which corporations are more powerful than governments...”)
(Poll indicates much plutonium fear)
Flip if (+12:55)
Old Town moothalls speak out against repeated military threats (Lord Orxino: "Army officers make excellent servants but bad masters; they must be held between the hands of a true-blooded ruler.")
Flip if (–12:55 or –12:15)
Xi City once again threatened with nuclear destruction — coalition of mercantile families and canal workers (Farlen Mait: “We threaten only the ancient powers that have held Mars too long; we regret that innocents are endangered, and we pray that no one will force that danger to the brink.”)
(Freight lines lower expected earnings)
Flip if (+12:55 and +12:15)
Democratists boycott canal trade (“The mercantile families have too much influence already”)
Seranst calls out Canal Security for boat-by-boat search for plutonium, weapons
Voxim searches mercantile medical records for Renxi’s genes — confirms a merchant officer-owner was child’s true father ("The Illuminated’s direct blood-thread is lost. It is my duty, as closest consign, to take the Throne.")
Ripples 14:50 20:10 20:40 23:50
Flip if (–12:15 and –14:15)
Bargeload of candy discovered stashed in concealed canal siding (“What a relief,” says investor Morixa; "At least something’s gone right today.")
(Everyone takes time out to relax, eat lunch)
Flip if (+12:15 or +14:15)
Anarchist protestors beating drums, dancing serpentines around Xi City (“Ignore the bastard Renxi! Ignore the bozo Zendibar! Ignore them all!”)
Plutonium-smuggling testimony interrupted as Zendibar falls ill — gumdrops rushed away for analysis (“No doubt a final ploy to avoid taking responsibility for the military crisis that he created”)
Court-martial hears testimony on yesterday’s military split — Koyen charged with mutiny, incitement to mutiny, conspiracy (“The Imperial Army runs on soldiers, not heroes!”)
Ripples 18:45 21:40
Flip if (–12:55 and –12:15)
Military spokefolks speak out against “plutonium plague” (“Before you know it, everybody in the city will have one”) — critics point to Zendibar’s actions of recent days
(Army reviews nuclear weapons policies)
Flip if (+12:55 or +12:15)
Military once again holds possibility of nuclear devastation over Xi City (“This is the last resort, and the last thing I ever desired,” says Zendibar, “But no other move is as sure.”)
Morixa surprised while brewing yet more poison — arrested for provable dark intent (“Looks like she actually wanted to kill someone this time”)
Voxim suddenly ill — if he dies, Morixa will have the strongest legitimate claim to the Sunlit Throne
Ripples 16:30 17:25 17:35 18:45
Flip if (–16:10)
Citizens polarized — shouting, uncertainty in Olympus Square as Morixa’s crimes unveiled
(Olympus Square noisy)
Flip if (+16:10)
Rallies clash in Olympus Square — followers of Koyen shout down supporters of Astrologe Morixa in noisy confrontation
Flip if (–16:10 or –11:05)
Magistry of Justice takes over Canal Security in emergency action — Voxim forms Unified Magistry of Security
(Canal Security has no comment about Koyen’s knife)
Flip if (+16:10 and +11:05)
Canal Security releases report: assassination knife was not wielded by Koyen, but was stolen just hours before Emperor’s death
Flip if (–16:10 and –11:05)
Magistry of Justice releases report: Canal Security was bribed to overlook secret stairway; merchant officer-owner made secret trips to Palace ("We don’t have a clue about that black dinghy, though")
(Justice has no comment about black dinghy)
Flip if (+16:10 or +11:05)
Seranst makes deal with Justice — transfers judicial enforcement arm to Canal Security, forming Unified Magistry of Security
Citizens fleeing Xi City — people fear conflict between Imperial supporters and terrorists
Protestors fill streets and squares of Xi City — rioters rallying around popular leaders
Ripples 23:15 23:50
Flip if (–16:10 or –15:20)
Astrologe Morixa given emergency hearing — convicted and executed (“She plotted to sicken the Emperor for her own false prophecy; now she plots to kill.”) (Morixa dies)
(Morixa flees custody before hearing)
Flip if (+16:10 and +15:20)
Astrologe Morixa found not guilty in emergency hearing — exits to cheering crowd (“I am now beyond the reach of petty tyranny; only the people and the stars will judge me.”)
Flip if (–10:10 or –8:15)
Zendibar shot dead by Homesands radicals (murderer flees Army troops, brought down in hail of gunfire) “Phobos delenda est!” (Zendibar dies)
(Zendibar flees assault in alley)
Flip if (+10:10 and +8:15)
Zendibar assaulted by radicals — kills two while defending self (“The Homesands movement did not understand the shape of the Phobos crisis when it occurred; they do not understand now, and their blindness may lose everything.”)
Justice and Canal Security officers unable to control streets
Unified Magistry of Security takes measures to quell rioting
Ripples 23:15
Flip if (–12:55 or –14:15)
Magister of Canals found dead in office — garrotted with length of boatsman’s cable (Seranst dies)
(Unions dispute charges of conspiracy)
Flip if (+12:55 and +14:15)
Union leaders arrested in wide-ranging security operation (“We hold evidence of conspiracy to seize total control of canal resources”, says Seranst)
Flip if (–9:10 and –14:15)
Lord Orxino denounces Voxim as a disgrace to his blood (Voxim: “My ancestry is how I shall ascend the Throne; but I shall hold the Throne through my deeds.”)
(Duels called in Old Town — Voxim dies)
Flip if (+9:10 or +14:15)
Lord Orxino wild, challenges Voxim to duel (“You pretend a stain on thousand years of Imperial purity!”) — Voxim, unprepared, slips his guard (Voxim dies)
Workers defect from terrorist group, turn evidence to Magistry of Security (“Nuclear blackmail is going a bit too far”)
Nuclear blackmail chills capital (“Only the impending collapse of the Empire could force us to these measures”) “Recovery Council” will use plutonium weapons in city if instructions are not obeyed
Ripples 23:15
Flip if (–15:20 and –12:15)
Koyen leads horde of ecstatic followers in “victory parade” around Xi City (“Public opinion is still sharply divided, despite appearances”, say commentators)
(Army officers fight each other in streets — Koyen dies)
Flip if (+15:20 or +12:15)
Hero of Phobos convicted of mutiny in absentia — loyalist Army troops assault Koyen’s bunker (Koyen dies)
Flip if (–10:10 and –11:05)
Six canal workers dead as barge collides with dinghy in Fundar Canal
(Boating accident — Farlen Mait dies)
Flip if (+10:10 or +11:05)
“Emperor of Barges” drowned — Farlen Mait found in Fundar Canal, nailed to a bollard (“Guess the unions got to him. Oh well,” says Canal Security) (Farlen Mait dies)
Figure in black cloak surprised on Palace grounds, flees — drops strange document (“It seems to be a meditative protocol for travelling through time. But it was crumbling to dust — I was only able to save a partial copy.”)
Recipe for insect poison discovered, encrypted in ancient cookbooks (“Why would such a potent pesticide be preserved so?”)
Ripples 23:50
Flip if (–21:15 or –19:55 or –18:15)
Rioting in Xi City continues unchecked (“We have lost the Peace”)
(Empire in state of collapse)
Flip if (–18:15 or +21:15)
Government submits to nuclear threat — turns over power to Recovery Council
Flip if (–21:15 or +19:55)
Security police declare extended emergency — quiet returns as streets are cleared
Flip if (–19:55 or +18:15)
Popular uprising occupies government buildings (“Now is our day to be heard”, says democratist leader)
Flip if (–14:15 or –22:30 or –18:15)
Nuclear weapons armed (dark four-armed figure spotted in chaos) Unclear who is responsi— (civilization destroyed; all die)
(inexplicable nuclear explosions destroy civilization — all die)
Flip if (+14:15)
Giant cockroach-being found stabbed to death near military HQ (carapace pierced by Koyen’s knife)
Flip if (+22:30)
Giant cockroach-being found dead near Palace — apparently poisoned
Flip if (+18:15)
Four-armed figure fades away in Olympus Square (“I had just stepped on a cockroach,” says bewildered candy store owner)

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