This well-dressed noble carries herself with poise, and her eyes seem to catalog everything she observes.
Shifty Noble CR 2
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 17
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Alertness, Great Fortitude, Skill Focus (Bluff)
Skills Bluff +12, Diplomacy +8, Disable Device +7, Disguise +8, Escape Artist +7, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +9, Sense Motive +8, Sleight of Hand +8, Stealth +8
Languages Common, Infernal
SQ trapfinding +1
The shifty noble represents any one of the dozens of aristocrats vying for power and wealth. Some nobles may hail from families with a long lineage in the city, while others might trace their power to one of numerous merchant houses, and still others might have used inherited or hard-earned wealth to buy their way into the Council. Money often speaks louder than words, and those with the coin to spare inevitably rise to power either within the ranks of the council or through the city’s various other facets of political strength. While the council is primarily made up of long-lived families who have ruled for years, new money has managed to grasp some political power in recent times as importance in trade continues to increase throughout the region.
When the citizens established their formal government and instated the Council as a means of checking and balancing the power of the lord-mayor, they scarcely thought their seemingly simple political structure would become the convoluted mess it is today. What were originally 15 seats on the council belonging to the most influential and significant families have since ballooned into 117 seats filled by blasé nobles, scheming aristocrats, and avaricious merchants. Though there remain some honest members of the council who faithfully seek to represent the will citizenry, such honorable endeavors are more often than not stopped up in the city’s byzantine political machine.
While most of the city’s day-to-day business runs on the up and up, corruption and bribery find their way into numerous facets of the city-state’s governing body. Spies and aristocratic messengers from other cities often travel to here bearing ill will or financial threats against its councilors, swaying corrupt politicians to aid their cause as the rival city-state to the east attempts to absorb one or more holdings. Many of the representatives in the Council work toward improving holdings and status, though some seek instead to undermine progress and sabotage their counterparts’ efforts, putting personal goals and aspirations before the good of the citizens. Foreign agents spend a significant amount of coin in their attempts to subvert the council and sow seeds of destruction among the city, and these traitors are easily among the most prominent threats to the city.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Magnimar, City of Monuments, © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Adam Daigle and James Jacobs.