“There's a point, you know, where treachery is so complete and unashamed that it becomes statesmanship.”
– George MacDonald Fraser
The following document is the transcript of an audio tape held by Dewey Dumas' lawyer, to be released upon his death.
I decided to record these memoirs. Um, notes really. For you, Brayden and little Madison-Eliza, so you can remember me when I'm gone. So you can know the great legacy of Dumas that you're both heirs to. Not that I'm planning to go anywhere anytime soon. If there's one thing your Pop is good for, it's surviving. But I do eat a lot of red meat, so you never know.
That's my first lesson for you. Rule one: Eat all the red meat you can. Sure, life is short and your diet can make it a lot shorter, but boy, let me tell you, it's worth it. Life's only worth the trouble if you enjoy it. I did try to enjoy my life, kids. No thanks to your fucking mother.
Now, my own pops, Dick Sr., he lived life to the fullest, too. Shipped to Vietnam, shipped right back for misconduct. Hard war to get kicked out of, Vietnam, and I couldn't be prouder. That's survival, Dumas style. Don't let anybody fool you otherwise: there's nothing worth dying for. Now that I think about it, I may have been wrong about rule one. Aw god, I need to start eating better. Rule one: eat sensibly, and for god's sake, take care of yourself!
Anyway, you don't have to be smarter than everybody else to win, kids, you just have to do what they won't. I mean, you can't be a complete moron. Madison-Eliza, I wonder sometimes.
So, I was born in the Spring of 1972, second in line to the feeding trough. Your uncle, Dick Jr., had been born a couple years ahead of me, apparently conceived just a few short hours before Pops had shipped out in some desperate, fearful coupling outside the army base. Well, under nine months later, Pops was back home and he and Moms decide to get hitched and make Dick Jr. less of a bastard. Didn't work, naturally.
I excelled at school, as you might guess. Oh, I might not have had good grades or many friends, but there's some things you just can't measure with numbers or kind words. Sure, the bullies lay into me at first. Jealousy, naturally. Just like you went through, Brayden, with those athletic boys. But you know what I learned? The bullies just wanted my money! All that running for nothing. Bribes properly paid, I continued my schooling in style. Rule two: Money is power, but so are muscles. You should stop the latter with the former.
I went to college right here in town, like a proper son of Fallcoast. Turns out they'll accept just about anybody if they're local. Maybe keep that in mind, Madison-Eliza. I started out as an eager student of philosophy. Well, turns out it's all bullshit, so I transferred to pre-law. Law is still bullshit, but, like the Chairman said, it's all shitting out the barrel of a gun.
And turns out, it's also hard. Rule three: if it's hard, do something else. This one's for you, Brayden. I always see you trying things, and I have to tell you boy, it's just not worth it. So, I never made it to law school. Instead, I waded out into the deep water of life, steely eyes on the horizon, chin squared against the wind. I became an intern.
It was at ol' Congressman Wilber Lowry's office (the ladies around the office called him "Big Willie Little Nuts" on account of the walnut tree) where I finally ran aground of my hateful fate and met your harpy of a mother, Tammy Tompkins. I mean, without Tammy, I'd never have had you Madison-Eliza, so that's almost even money. Oh, and Brayden, I'm sure you're listening. But your mother was alright back then, I thought. Rule four: If you don't have hindsight, you don't see shit.
Gosh! It was a whirlwind time, though. She was so full of energy, and of course she loved me. I've always cut a nice silhouette. And, while so many women were afraid to talk to me in those days because of my raw, masculine musk, you could see how they took it all in. Oh, looking was free, alright. Brayden, this is what I've been saying to you. You've just got to go out there and exude. I really don't think you're getting it. The girls just seem to laugh at you, and not girlishly, either. Mockingly, very mockingly! Well, needless to say, that was never a problem for me. I know how to exude.
But your mother fell head over heels for me, right at first sight. And, just eight short years later, she agreed to go on our first date.
I was working in the mayor's office by then, a real up-and-commer, a fresh-faced thirty-something, and you know what I needed to make my jump to elected office? A fresh, bouncing bride for the publicity shots. Or is it babies who bounce? Well, regardless, I bounced your mother, alright, sometimes several times a night, and then we had a baby to bounce. That was you, Brayden. That's right, the math adds up.
Well, I got my council seat. Same one I have now. Rule, uh, five: Don't follow your ambition, hunker down in mediocrity. Turtle in there, make it your own, make it so nobody can take it away from you. Pretty soon, you'll be the best that ever was at your job, because the people who were better moved on. Well, can't fire you then, can they? You know what you've got then? Safety. This was covered pretty well already by rule three, I guess.
So, then came the paradise years: only seeing you, Brayden, and your mother when I came home late from the office; spending the days raking in the dough (rule six: if it's money, you can make it legal); eating red meat every day. God, I'm starting to worry now. Maybe it's all this writing out my will business, making me morbid. I mean, I jog sometimes. Anyway, back then, I had the life. Pretty wife, pretty secretary, a kid who hadn't fucked up his future yet. Zoning was a goldmine.
And then your mother had to set the house on fire. Not literally, Madison-Eliza, no, this is what's called a metaphor. Well, she got pregnant with you and it's like she went crazy. Wanted me to spend more time at home, wanted to talk about the future (see rule four for my thoughts on that). Well, then she started fucking Ron, alright. While pregnant with you, how disgusting is that?
And that's why you're a bastard, Madison-Eliza. Just like your uncle, only he got under the wire. Is it called a bastard with girls? Regardless, we had the divorce and then we had you. And I've bought you more toys than she ever will! You just count them up and see who loves you. Rule seven: Daddy loves you more than mommy!
Well, that just about brings us up to now. I'm still wildly successful and have never been happier. You should see how much I laugh when I'm all alone in that big house. Your mother is a failure and a witch and has given away all the money she took from me to pay for Ron's little business. If that's an investment, I'm a hedge fund. And her talk about running for office is just going to get you two embarrassed. But you can always come and live with me.
That's it. I'm done with this. See you next weekend. Oh, wait, I'm supposed to be dead. Rule eight: Make the family proud now that daddy's a corpse. I need to get a fucking salad or so-
Never trust a man in a suit, especially if it's a cheap suit. A man in a cheap suit needs your money to buy an expensive suit. This particular suit is black and a little tight, like the man inside might have gained a few pounds since buying it. An American flag is pinned to the lapel. Not the conservative, metallic pin of senators, just a plastic copy that looks to have been picked up from a nearby Dollar Store. His shirt is white and his tie is a solid cornflower blue. The thick black glasses on his face are probably the worst choice possible for his features. His watch is quality, though. It appears to be a bid for status. And, while his shoes are expensive, they have been worn down from a schedule heavy in Sorkinesque walk-and-talks.
As for the man, he's really not as important as the suit. People wear suits, after all, to make it harder to notice the man inside- just a powerful person, here, like all the other powerful people. Nevermind the fear in their eyes. But, if you can get past the clothes, this man is extraordinarily unextraordinary. A little overweight, but just a little. Average height. Not attractive, but not really ugly. Balding. Weak chin. Beady eyes, but that's probably just the glasses. His voice, though, his voice. His voice is also ordinary. Well, it is a smidge on the whiny side.
- ABC: Always Be Campaigning for the next election. What does second place get you? Set of steak knives, oddly enough.
- Corrupt: There aren't many bribes that Dewey won't take. Um, donations. There aren't many donations... What? Oh, spelled D-u-m-a-s, that's right. Actually, you can just make that one to cash. It's easier for the accountants.
- Family: Dewey's family life is a mess of bad feelings and petty revenges. They're often recruiting others into the drama, just to make up for battlefield attrition. If you'd like to play a member of his extended brood (especially on Tammy's side), please jump in.
- Home: Dewey has a house near Hyacinth Ridge. Maybe you're a neighbor? Maybe you're that asshole whose tree is dropping leaves on his lawn? Look, pal, the neighborhood association has a very strict policy about leaves!
- Local: Dewey has lived in Fallcoast his whole life and he tries to meet every eligible voter he can. You may even remember him from when he was an unlikable child, back before he became an unlikable adult.
- Politics: Maybe you'd like your city representative to listen to his constituents for once. If there's an issue you want a voice on, his door is sometimes open. Dewey Dumas works for change! Just look for the office with the coin slot in the handle.
- Society: Dewey is always trying to ascend to fancier circles, but it rarely works out and it usually involves slapstick.
- Volunteers: Bright young workers are ever-welcome at the Dewey Dumas Does More! Campaign Headquarters. Well, exploitable young workers, anyway. If they're too bright, they might shine some light where it shouldn't be.
- Zoning: Dewey is often taking kickbacks for shady construction policies. He's exactly the sort of villain that your 80s B-movie plot deserves. Why, if it wasn't for him, the Bikini Carwash would never have been foreclosed on!
- Pawn: As all upwardly-mobile horrors know, the first thing you got to do in your journey into darkness is buy yourself a pawn on the city council. Affordable rates! Layaway available! We do not discriminate against mages!
|NPCs He Won't Shut Up About|
Family (Dewey has the kids on alternate weekends):
- Tammy Tompkins-Dumas: Dewey's ex-wife and bitter enemy. Apparently, she's considering running for her own council seat, the shrew.
- Ron Cherry: Tammy's charismatic boyfriend and defacto step-dad to Dewey's kids. If Ron spent less time working out, maybe his successful chain of sporting good stores wouldn't be so terrible to shop at. Nobody goes there, they're much too crowded.
- Brayden Tompkins-Dumas: Dewey and Tammy's depressed son, age 12. Jeeze, when Dewey was his age, he wasn't such a fuckup. It's just this generation, you know?
- Madison-Eliza Tompkins-Dumas: Dewey and Tammy's spoiled daughter and pretty little princess, that's right, age 5.
- Dick Dumas, Jr.: Dewey's overbearing older brother. If Dick can just mock his little brother hard enough, Dewey might end up making something of himself.
- Donna Dumas: Dewey's younger sister. Poor Donna can't seem to catch a break, or stop complaining about not being able to catch a break.
- Pete Dumas: Apparently, Dewey has a cousin up in Aleswich. It... probably won't come up.
- Lenny Janicki: Dewey's campaign manager and public relations wonk, proof that low morality isn't just about violence.
- Shelby Gutermuth: Dewey's assistant. Kids can be so cruel when it comes to names. So can ancestors.
Political Figures (Future Retcons):
- Wilber Lowry: Dewey's introduction to politics. Congressman for Maine, died in office in 2007.
- The Mayor: Unnamed, though has been referred to as a "he". The Mayor is not a fan of Councilman Dumas, though they have worked together on some issues in the past.
- Charley Seine: The former mayor, who Dewey used to staff for.
- Al Everson: Councilman of the first district, 16-year incumbent (only councilor there longer than Dewey). Bitterly opposed to development in historic districts, major supporter of the mayor, and political enemy of Dewey.
- Preston Wimberley: The candidate running (losing) against Everson for the 1st, with a campaign manager named Haskens.
- The Districts: Major platform issues for the districts include: District 1- preserving historic districts, limiting growth, and promoting tourism. District 2- promoting tourism, increasing industrial jobs, supporting unions. District 3 (Dewey)- increasing growth, supporting businesses, increasing residential property value and NIMBY issues. District 4- Supporting businesses, increasing growth, decreasing crime. District 5- Decreasing crime, increasing industrial jobs, increasing entitlements.
- Bureaucratic Navigator: Red tape is for crime scenes. Or, wait, that's yellow tape?
- Contacts and Allies: City Hall, Land Developers, Lawyers, Law Enforcement, Reporters, you name it.
- Fame 1: He's a local politician: the loftiest height of celebrity.
- Flaw -1 (Coward): There is no situation too benign to retreat from.
- Manipulation 4: This may sound like a lot, but Dewey has no idea when to use it.
- Morality 5: On a scale of one to five, that's pretty moral. To ten you say?
- Persuasion 3 (Debating): He's debating raising this one.
- Politics 4 (Campaigning) (Corruption) (Kickbacks): Every handshake is a vote, especially if you shake it in the shape of a check-mark in the polling booth.
- Professional Training 5 (Politician): If Dewey actually used his skills for good, maybe this town wouldn't be so full of unregulated magical monsters.
- Resources 3: Money is just the potential form of power. And power is just, well, look, sometimes you can go too far with metaphors.
- Retainer 3: It takes a loyal, stupid man to stick with Dewey this long.
- Staff (Assistants/Interns)(Campaign Workers): And most of them work for free.
- Subterfuge 3 (Lying): Would you believe that?
- Suspicion (Mild): Everyone is against Dewey, including you.
- Ariadne: If your distant cousin happens to be rich, they're immediate family.
- Courtney: It's always useful to have a movie star in the family, but in the meantime, there's Courtney!
- Francis: A real undying interest in statecraft, this guy.
- Matteo: The Scaccias have always taken a civic-minded interest in local politics.
- Danielle: She may or may not be a Scaccia spy, but she is also the daughter of Donald King, one of Dewey's biggest contributors back in the day (before Donald's scandal, of course).
- Jade: Sometimes you need something delivered with no questions asked. Sometimes they really should be asking questions, only you pay them enough not to. Sometimes those people can secretly fly.
- Lance: The detective made a run at Dewey on a corruption case a few terms back. Obviously, he couldn't make it stick- no dirt under Dewey's rock.
- Sean: Rumors are that Tammy's rich cousin is financially responsible for her newest political aspirations.
- Truman: A character someone should make for Dewey v. Truman.