The womanizer’s guide to Axiom is the result of a one on one texted based game between myself and Mark Bell. It takes place on the fantasy world of Axiom and follows a spoiled merchants son as he gets in over his head!
Ignacio Titus Augoston Faustinus Petronius the Second did not hate his daughter. He instead respected her zeal and intelligence in all business matters, which was why she had risen through the Petronius Trading Company’s ranks to be his right hand.
That, nor a lack of faith, kept the aging merchant from retiring and giving her the company. It was something far less honorable.
It was because she was a woman.
He was sure that there would never be a time when the company did not need her in a high level position, but because she was the fairer sex and he had a capable son, he felt putting her in the head seat would be a show of weakness.
He would lose investors, his sailors worked on respect after all and many of them were misogynistic. He did not inherently recognize the irony of this line of thought.
He had always wanted a son to follow in his footsteps and maintain the line. When his wife had gotten pregnant the second time, the doctors, and even some spell casters he had hired, all thought he was going to have a second girl. Thankfully, mother nature proved them all wrong. Ruminating on this forced Ignacio to crack a smile.
“Father, this is a grave situation. I don’t understand why you are smiling.” His daughter Constance scowled across the breakfast table in the atrium of the Petronius estate, “Have you been listening?”
She had been prattling on about the business of the day and apparently the company sailors who worked the long haul to the northlands were threatening strike. Other than that he hadn’t picked anything up…
..he hadn’t really been listening, “No matter dear, any word of Titus?”
That soured her mood even more, “No… and I’m still not sure why you sent him.”
“He needs the practice,” he replied, giving her scowl back to her.
“He needs more than practice, father.” She didn’t quit, she never did. “I know the island of Satch is small, but working out an exclusive docking rights deal would bring in a tidy profit and shore up a valuable way station, not to mention barring it from the Zeed company’s grip. You know if we don’t get it, it will go to those dirty beggars.”
“Let’s give him a chance to fail, Constance,” Ignacio countered.
She frowned deeper and muttered, “All he gets are chances to fail…”
Her hand moved slowly across the bed, her milky skin reflected the afternoon sun and made Titus grin mischievously as it touched his cheek in the summer heat. He began to roll to her; he was tired, but there were certain things in life you just did not pass up…
Titus was nudged to alertness and brought heavily back to his current situation. There was no afternoon sun, and no beautiful woman. Instead he sat at a piece of driftwood someone had decided to put legs on and call a table. Across from him sat some scraggly sailor types in a dank tavern in a small port city on a smaller still island of Satch. He longed for a return to the daydream.
“Do I bore you, kid?” The gruff, dirty, overweight fellow who mouth breathed his words at Titus was the mayor of this city and basically the island, Gavin Detross.
“No, of course not!” Artemis Clyde, one of his fathers chief negotiators, tried to laugh off the faux pa. “You will have to excuse Titus, he was hard at work last night reviewing possible trade routes and financial windfalls of our potential deal.”
Titus grinned at the bar maid who had ‘assisted’ him with these studies, his daydream begging to find purchase again.
Gavin was skeptical. “So then, if you were reviewing it, what do you think of our counter offer? If you speak for your father, tell me, do you accept?”
Artemis awkwardly looked at Titus. Titus took a deep breath, but for the life of him could not remember what it was they were even there to negotiate.
Nevertheless, all eyes were now on him, and he felt himself longing for the mediocre barmaid from last night…
Titus tried to keep his grin intact as the yawn tried to crack through his teeth. He really didn’t get much sleep last night. Not that he minded, really, but it did make it hard to focus on important things, like the serving wench who had gone off to fetch more wine and hadn’t returned.
What was that?
Oh, right. Business. What an awful bore.
“Well, ah…” The man’s name slipped his mind entirely, but he moved on quickly, “…sir, the details of the plan, taken individually, don’t seem problematic in and of themselves. The problem comes in the aggregate, wherein the full allocation of funds and resources may become overly strained without proper oversight. I’m sure you noticed that yourself, upon your own review of your documents, but I’d be interested in hearing your ideas about remediation. Certainly, we’d be willing to discuss working to meet in the middle somewhere, but your own thoughts on the matter would be most welcome.”
There. That was about right, he thought.
Gavin looked seemingly impressed, and more than a little taken back. Artemis smiled looking surprised, which would have irritated Titus… if he had cared. Clyde then swept in for the finish muttering nonsense about trading tariffs and blah blah blah. By the end Gavin, still off guard, agreed to the deal which almost made Titus unhappy. Dad would be so pleased… Yeesh.
“Well, here on Satch there is only one thing to be done when we close a deal, celebrate!” Gavin’s mood had turned jovial, his men and the sailors who had brought Titus and Artemis cheered and the band kicked up in the tavern.
Artemis nodded to Titus, “Hell of a save that was.”
Titus waved noncommittally at his father’s toadie. He was pretty sure there were more important things to worry about. Words were cheap, unless they were getting you something. This was all for his father. Why couldn’t Constance have come instead? The maidens here weren’t exactly hard on the eyes, but the trip on the boat was boring and unproductive.
“I’m sure the old man will be most pleased. What were we after again?” Titus yawned. Damn, he really was tired.
Artemis frowned,”Dock rights. Satch is a waypoint island on the Tochi trip, with this agreement we will be exclusively allowed to dock here between trips. As far as the big companies go, it will put our competitors behind for blah blah blah blah mer mer mer…”
Titus lost interest again and Cylde’s pratel faded into the background noise. He spent more time looking at the serving girl than the food, or anything else, really.
The barmaids were par, at best, and Titus quickly realized this. Last night was fun, but just a warm up.
He needed a fine specimen.