Percival Shellard
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While most of the mayors of the various boroughs of Dartmouth are elected by their citizens, and these mayors in turn elect the Lord Mayor from among their number, somehow the office almost always ends up in the hands of a member of the First Families, which have a stranglehold over most political and economic concerns in the city and which always make sure that one of their own is elevated to high office - though the process of determining which scion from which family gets which position is generally a trigger for vicious political intrigues, though ones generally hidden from the public at large.

Percival Shellard is certainly no exception. He managed to become the mayor of Horngate Hill and the First Families appreciated his ability to emphasize with "the common people" as he stayed popular even with the lower classes while making sure that the true powers that be got what they felt was owed to them. After intense lobbying and schmoozing he eventually gained enough support to be elected Lord Mayer - but then, somehow, he slipped out of the control of those who put him there. Step by step he first exploited the rivalries between the First Families to remove their pawns from public offices and other positions of power, then later replacing them with hand-picked candidates who were beholden to him and him alone. Eventually, his elders realized that he was slipping through their grasp, but by then he had cemented his hold and many public offices and institutions had been purged - though holdovers remain which conspire to make his life difficult.

Speculation runs rife in the gilded mansions of Hensington on why Shellard would choose to bite the hands that fed him. Many suspect him a secret revolutionary with sympathies for the Secondaries and fear he will incite a revolt against the patricians of the city. The truth is much simpler - from his early youth on he despised being manipulated by his elders and being told what to do, and though he hid it for a long time he always worked towards the day when no one would have any power over him. This day seems close at hand now, and while he has contemplated revenge against his former peers in the past, he feels like this is beneath him now. Instead, he contemplates what he can do with all his new power, and he is vain enough to want to build a lasting legacy for himself, so that the city will always remember his reign fondly.

In the meantime, the First Family seethe and plot against him. Outright assassination is ineffective as always in these matters, as Shellard (like most Lord Mayors before him) has taken precautions for his resurrection in case of an untimely death. Thus, they attempt to nibble at his power base - starting with the borough mayors who could depose him just as they have elevated him.

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