- Use Teckla outrage at the Tirma Massacre to pressure the Empress into making concessions. (It's not known if the massacre itself was planned to set this off, or was just opportune.)
- Start rumours that the Massacre was due to narcotics use among the Phoenix Guard, and whip up fear of narcotics.
- Combine the two pressures to force the Empire to outlaw many narcotics, driving them into the black market. (An idea borrowed from Garland's conspiracy )
- Divide the newly created market among the Jhereg (trafficking), Orca (shipping), and Left Hand (protection and spells), who would all benefit financially.
The Empress's plan in reaction was to replace the current Warlord Aliera e'Kieron, arresting her for Elder Sorcery and replacing her with Dragon Heir Norathar e'Lanya. Since Aliera was friends with both of them, they planned to divert outrage at the Massacre onto Aliera until it died down, then allow her to escape. Vlad Taltos heard of Aliera's arrest and came to try to help, and immediately spotted the flaw in the Empress' plan: Aliera would never be persuaded to escape, since it implied guilt on her part. This left the Empress in the awkward position of being forced to execute her friend Aliera, or to properly investigate the massacre, which would draw the ire of the conspirators, and likely lead to massive loss of life in the rioting that would inevitably erupt in the aftermath of such an investigation.
Vlad, and his Justicer, Perisil, pointed out why the Empress' plan couldn't work, and nudged the Empress into beginning a genuine investigation into Tirma. The conspirators got wind of this and realized that such an investigation would remove their leverage and lose them the lucrative narcotics market.
In response the conspirators devised a further plot to shelve the investigation: they would assassinate the investigator's assistant when he came to answer questions to the Teckla activists, pinning the murder on the activists themselves and throwing the investigation into confusion. This confusion would leave enough time for the conspirators to have the new narcotics laws enacted and complete their plan.
The conspiracy was uncovered and foiled by a team led by Vlad. In gratitude, the Empress, realizing that Vlad had no use for another Imperial Title, offered him some wine and cheese.
Not all conspirators are known, but some were likely:
- Vlad Taltos
- Norathar e'Lanya (not allowed to know some things)
- Perisil (not allowed to know some things)
Aliera's role in the massacre was investigated and she was convincingly cleared, so the Empress was also able to drop the Sorcery charges and free her. Further investigation showed no culpability at the higher levels of the Guard, which angered the Teckla and Easterners. Riots broke out and were brutally suppressed in South Adrilankha but the Empire survived the crisis. The scheme to ban narcotics was squashed again (for now). The Empress considered abdicating but Vlad talked her out of it.
Role of the CycleEdit
- The Orca and Jhereg houses are both low in the cycle and therefore in need of more strength and willing to band together to common advantage.
- The Iorich house is also very low on the cycle, leading to miscarriages and distortions of justice which allow things like political arrests and bogus lawmaking
- The Dragon house is next in the cycle, making it a poor time to appoint the Dragon Heir as Warlord, since it invites a coup d'état.