Introduction: I am Demosthenes of Cez, rightful Imperator of the Empire, and the man who will one day free them from tyranny.
Story he tells: The Citizens of the Empire are a free people, and not slaves to any hereditary monarch. The Imperator is chosen from amongst the leading noble families of our land, by a council drawn by lot from the patricians of the cities of Ethos, Cez and Janos. The council meets on a field before Janos, and no man is allowed to appear bearing arms during their deliberations, on pain of death.
During the last selection, there were but two candidates, Lord Marius and me. While the council deliberated, Marius appeared, sword in hand, telling them that a D'Shar raiding party was about to descend on the field of deliberation -- which was quite true, by the way, since he had hired them -- and if he were not elected king, he would leave them to their fates.
Marius defeated the D'Shar, betraying those he had hired. As a Citizen of the Empire, I am grateful for all dead D'Shar, whether they are killed by valor or treachery. Once I am Imperator, I will myself place a laurel wreath upon his head, just before I remove it from his shoulders. He has proven himself a traitor, both to the Empire and our sacred traditions.
Marius response after player meets claimant: No doubt Demosthenes told you that I defied hallowed Empire custom by interfering with the patricians' election of their Imperator. Let me tell you something: The patricians make longwinded speeches about our ancient liberties, and pretend to deliberate. They then choose as Imperator whichever noble last sat in their villa, sipping a fine wine, while promising to overlook their leanings towards the Snake Cult.
The only liberty that concerns the Empire citizens is the liberty to grow fat. To protect them, my men sleep in the open, eating dry bread and salt fish, scanning the horizon for burning villages. They shed their blood to keep the caravan routes open. Whenever I meet a merchant who limps from a Jatu lance, a D'Shar arrow-wound or a Fierdsvain sword-stroke, then I say, 'Here's a man whose counsel is worth taking.'