Senatorial Auditor Synedrus stands at the podium, studying his audience and collecting his thoughts. He takes a deep breath and begins. “My fellow Patraeians, I stand before you today bearing grave news. Pertentus, Senator of the Republic, beloved Governor of this colony, and my personal friend, has died unexpectedly of a sudden illness. While we have no reason to suspect foul pl—” A cry from one of the onlookers interrupts him. “Illness? He was poisoned!” The ensuing commotion drowns out Synedrus’s attempts to regain control of the crowd, and he stops speaking. Once the chorus of yelling dies down, he resumes his speech. “While we have no reason as of yet to suspect foul play,” he enunciates, glaring pointedly at the original troublemaker, “I can assure you that I will do everything in my power to determine the true nature of the Governor’s lamentable demise. In fact, I shall be overseeing the investigation personally before my departure for the mainland. It was indeed fortunate that, by a happy coincidence, I was in town at the time of his passing. I have known Senator Pertentus, for most of my life, and I do not intend for his death to go unpunished, if indeed there is reason for such punishment.” Here the Auditor pauses to look searchingly at each member of the audience, as if daring them to have had any involvement in the Governor’s passing. “May his soul travel with ease to the realm of the gods. Furthermore,” he continues, “I have been named executor of the deceased’s will. It would seem that the Senator desired a complete restructuring of the colonial government in the event of his death. This is a rather unorthodox move on his part,” Synedrus says, frowning, “but Pertentus was no ordinary man, and I shall see it done.” “R-restructuring?” inquires a frail tribune standing nearby, an indignant expression upon his face. “The council would never—” Synedrus sighs as the crowd once more dissolves into chaos. Perhaps it is best to end this speech before a mob forms. At least his primary duty has been fulfilled, and there is much work to do before he can return to civilization. The Auditor departs the podium amidst a cacophony of shouting and hurries off before anyone can grab his attention.