Persuade Cornelius, the Bandaged Prehistoricist

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From: Debating Matters of Business with the Board

Once he worked alongside Furnace, but he has his own views now.

Game Instructions: He is affected by Respectability. Other branches in this story may help to reassure him.

Unlocked with Board Member: Cornelius

Locked with Cornelius' Vote

Challenge information

Broad, Persuasive 100

  • 69 - very chancy (41%)
  • 85 - chancy (51%)
  • 102 - modest (61%)
  • 119 - very modest (71%)
  • 135 - low-risk (81%)
  • 152 - straightforward (91%)
  • 167 - straightforward (100%)

Base difficulty is 100, increased by 40 per point of Board against Preservation, and 20 per point of Board against Labour, Board against the University, Board against Criminals, Board Against Infernal Interests and Board for the Fingerkings.
Each point of Respectability Factor decreases the difficulty by 40.
For a listing of observed difficulties for specific votes, expand the table below.

QuestionBase Difficulty
9 - Recommending a Route through Wasteland100
10 - Proposing the Removal of His Amused Lordship100
11 - Proposing the Removal of the Efficient Commissioner100
12 - Proposing the Removal of the Jovial Contrarian100
13 - Proposing the Removal of Sinning Jenny200
14 - Proposing the Removal of Feducci200
15 - Proposing the Removal of Virginia300
16 - Proposing the Removal of Furnace Ancona300
17 - Proposing the Removal of the Dean of Xenotheology240
18 - Proposing the Removal of the Bishop of Saint Fiacre's100
19 - Proposing the Removal of the Bishop of Southwark100
20 - Proposing the Removal of the Tentacled Entrepreneur100
21 - Proposing the Removal of the Gracious Widow200
22 - Proposing the Removal of April100
23 - Proposing the Removal of the Wandering Gondolier300
24 - Proposing the Removal of September200
26 - Proposing the Removal of the Viscountess of the Viric Jungle200
27 - Proposing the Removal of the Rubbery Yes-Man100
28 - Proposing the Removal of the Hell-Scarred Gondolier200
30 - Proposing the Removal of January200
31 - Proposing the Removal of the Wry Functionary100
32 - Proposing the Removal of the Delightful Reverend100
33 - Proposing the Removal of the Drummer300
35 - Proposing the Removal of the Dauntless Temperance Campaigner100
37 - Proposing the Removal of the Implacable Detective100
100 - Proposing a Station Plan100
105 - Proposing a Station Plan more like a Fortress520
115 - Proposing a Station Plan styled in the Manner of Hell100
120 - Proposing a Station Plan that Honours the Bazaar100
130 - Proposing a Station Plan that Speaks to the Glory of London and the Empress240
140 - Proposing a Station Plan Suited to Wasteland100
150 - Proposing a Station Plan Suited to a Surface Summer100
160 - Proposing an ice-resistant route and a well-insulated station100
170 - Proposing the connection to the final station at Marigold100
181 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Ealing Gardens100
183 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Balmoral100
184 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Station VIII300
185 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Burrow-infra-Mump240
186 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City somewhere between Moulin and Hurlers, as no one sensible wants that land at all100
187 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Marigold Station, under the walls of Hell100
200 - Recommending Better Defences for Each Train300
205 - Recommending More Baggage Accommodations for Each Train100
210 - Recommending More Luxurious Fittings for Each Train200
340 - Proposing a Charter engaging in the Work of the Church340
400 - Proposing to Pay Dividends to Shareholders300
520 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell100
521 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following Feducci's Guidance100
522 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following April's Guidance100
523 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following Virginia's Guidance100
525 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following the Bishop of Southwark's Guidance240
526 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following His Amused Lordship's Guidance100
527 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following the Wandering Gondolier's Guidance100
529 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following the Viscountess' Guidance240
700 - Proposing that the Unyielding Highlander become Castellan of Balmoral200
710 - Proposing that September become Castellan of Balmoral100
720 - Proposing that the Fervent Widow become Castellan of Balmoral100
905 - Proposing the Dean of Xenotheology as Patron of the Burrow Church300
910 - Proposing the Bishop of St Fiacre's as Patron of the Burrow Church300
931 - Resuming Normal Operations with Furnace in Charge100
933 - Supporting a Brightly-Lit Building Approach100
934 - Proposing a Package of Measures to Resume Normal Operations300
940 - Proposing special consideration to certain charitable groups100
941 - Proposing a dividend be paid out to the poor of the Hinterlands100
1000 - Proposing an expensive tribute to the Hillchanger Tower100
1010 - Proposing an inhuman tribute to the Hillchanger Tower100
1020 - Proposing a calendrical tribute to the Hillchanger Tower100
1030 - Proposing a legalistic tribute to the Hillchanger Tower100
1100 - Proposing to send your train to war in Parabola
(Cats, FKs, Gent, Visc., Other)
100 (Cats, Visc.)
240 (FKs, Gent)
140 (Other)
1110 - Proposing to build a spur line into Parabola so that you can send in a war-train100


He is convinced!

"I vote yes," says Cornelius.

Description summary:
The text varies with the Question before the Board. The text above is the generic result[1]; questions with more specific results are listed below.

[Find the rest of the story at]

  1. Used for questions 9, 35, 37, 105, 115 - 150, 200 - 210, 400, 700 - 720, 931, 933 & 934
QuestionSuccess Description
10"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "Not everything he laughs at is a joke."
11[…] "An advisor fundamentally opposed to the business of the board is no use. It would be like inviting one of you to run the Union. […] […] I have an interest in seeing the railway built. But you have no interest in seeing the Union do its work."
12"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "What use is his advice? We might as well flip a coin. Or, I tell you what, build a weathervane that points in the opposite direction to the wind."
13Cornelius is in obvious distress. "But she has good stories. […] she has been the Mayor, and that reflects well on us." […] "Which is not to say we should keep around every Mayor […] I see I am losing the argument. […] let her know she'll be missed."
14"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "The lance doesn't fit in the boardroom." If you didn't know better, you'd think Cornelius felt awkward about his own lack of duelling expertise.
15"I have nothing against devilesses," says Cornelius carefully. "I've parted with my soul myself […] But. Virginia. One hears gossip about her betrayals and her changing sides. As Mayor of London, too, did she really deliver on what she claimed? […]"

"'Furnace,'" he says. "You all know, of course, that her name is Beatrice? She doesn't like it if you call her that. […]


"Yea," says Cornelius. "And there's three Echoes in it for you if you let me […] draft the notice to her that she's dismissed […]
17 -19, 22-24, 27 - 28, 30, 32"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "If my colleagues can dispense with the additional input, then so can I."
20"Aye, I suppose," says Cornelius. "Though I will miss him. The coloured cards are so cheery. Perhaps we can invite him back later."
21"Before I answer," [...] "do we know whether she's willing to be voted out? Because if there is anyone on this board who could have me killed for voting against... [...]" But once the rest of the board have duly reassured Cornelius, he casts his vote for removal.
26"I have been trying to discover whether something in the feline temperament renders her especially unfit for board work. I think there very probably is; and with that question answered, we can set her free to do something she will like better."
31"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "I find him dry, and I've just spent six months in the Tomb Colonies."
33"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "It isn't comfortable getting all its votes delivered by drumbeat. And it never proposes any resolutions of its own."
100"It looks like a good station to me," says Cornelius in a bored voice. He has not given much attention to the plan. "Although I did want to ask whether we've given any more thought to the idea of breeding an animal that lays stations like eggs."
160Cornelius is sketching some kind of extremely shaggy mammoth creature – on close inspection it seems to serve as a living train station. But he eventually sighs and gives his assent to your plans.
170"Yes, might as well," says Cornelius.
181, 183 - 187"Not my first choice, but a reasonable location," says Cornelius. "I vote aye."
200"We might as well," Cornelius agrees. "People don't like it when the train's held up. Interferes with other business."
205"We'll be shipping a number of skeletons that direction, in due time," says Cornelius. "Might as well be suitably prepared."
210"By all means," says Cornelius. "Trick the rich passengers with soft behinds into paying more, and use the profits to fund something that matters. But no one ever went broke betting on Society to spend like fools."
300"That is what we are doing, so I suppose you might as well say so," Cornelius remarks. "Though I'd much prefer it if some other possibilities were at least considered. Still, I'll vote yes if it'll give a true name to our actions."
310"If that's the only way the GHR will give some of its profits to those that aren't directors and landlords, then I vote yes." It's not the most ringing endorsement, but you'll accept it.
320[...] fund a laboratory investigating [...] Crimson Recombination." Several board members make the mistake of looking curious [...] prehistoricist-reconstructionist anatomy [...] half an hour is lost [...] hoping to proceed with the rest of the conversation before dinner time.
340"On the one hand," says Cornelius, "it's a bad idea. On the other hand, I doubt you'll do anything about it. So certainly, I will vote in favour, if it means we can go forward with more pressing matters."
400"I wonder," remarks Cornelius, "what would happen if I held out steadfastly for a no? Would you just remove me from the board, or would I find myself punished in a more dramatic manner? No, don't worry. You may all have your dividends."
520 - 523, 525 - 527, 529"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "Though I could have offered a number of improvements on this scheme."
905"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "Her theories give me headaches."
910"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "He keeps eating the candles. He thinks I don't see but I do." The Bishop looks chastened.
940 - 941"Yes, yes, why not," says Cornelius. "But such charity is merely a palliative."
1000"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "I lost a fight with a standing stone. I don't want to take on a whole landscape."
1010 - 1030"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "This does not sound to me like an argument we are going to win."
1100 - 1110"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "It is an entirely futile effort, even by the standards of this Board."
1200"I vote yes," says Cornelius. "There are materials the city will require, and it's better if they arrive by rail, at least until we've improved on the present supply of pack animals."

Redirects to: Debating Matters of Business with the Board



"I vote no," says Cornelius. "I could explain why, but I am not sure my honoured colleagues would follow the whole argument."

Description summary:
The text varies with the Question before the Board. The text above is the generic result[1]; questions with more specific results are listed below.

[Find the rest of the story at]

  1. Used for questions 10 - 12, 18 - 24, 26, 28, 30 - 33, 35, 37, 170, 200 - 210, 700 - 720, 905, 910, 931, 933, 934, 940 & 941
QuestionFailure Description
9"I vote no," says Cornelius. "I've been through that terrain once before, and it is not a pleasant direction."
13"No, you can't vote Jenny off the board!" says Cornelius. "She's – well, to be honest, I haven't got to know her very well. But I always have the feeling I'm about to get to know her very well indeed."
14"And part with a fellow Tomb Colonist?" demands Cornelius. "Surely not. Those of us who have experienced dust and bandages should make sure to stick together."
15"No, we need the connections to Hell," says Cornelius. "All the more so, the further the line goes."
16"Furnace? Furnace Ancona, the heroine of the Tracklayers? Surely you don't want to get rid of Furnace. Everyone loves Furnace." He leans back in his chair. His face is too fully bandaged at the moment to reveal his expression.
17"What? Get rid of the Dean?" asks Cornelius, evidently horrified. "But she's almost the only person here with a really broad understanding of different species, of the range of positions on the Chain. […] I see our work as entirely complementary. […]"
100"Looks over-engineered and like a bother to build," says Cornelius, without having paid terribly much notice to the content of the plans. "Nay from me."
105"If we are preparing for a war – and I don't say we should be – perhaps we should put a bit more attention into our soldiers and defenders?" says Cornelius. "A fortress with cannons but no gunners is going to be precious little use."
115"I remember when I thought Hell was all goats and roses," says Cornelius darkly. Then he gets up and paces around the room while everyone else tries to focus on the rest of the vote.
120Cornelius pauses. It's obvious that the plans do appeal to him […] the opulence and grandeur, perhaps? But then […] he says, "Waste of money on the materials. Save the lavish displays for London, where they might make a difference to someone."
130"Let the Empress put her stamp on things she's built herself," remarks Cornelius. "We needn't do it for her."
140"I know I should be used to such things, since I spent some time in the Tomb Colonies. But isn't it a bit... brownish-grey? Couldn't we liven it up a little?"
150"You must excuse me," says Cornelius. "I've never lived on the Surface and I have developed no nostalgia for it whatsoever."
160"Furnaces and coal are an inefficient and inadequate source of heating," Cornelius suggests. He stops short of proposing an alternative, though.
181, 183 - 187"No, this won't do at all. I have a much better proposal," says Cornelius, "which hasn't been given proper consideration."
300"There is no point in voting for a charter that simply says you are going to do what you were going to do anyway," says Cornelius. "Greed is not a principle, it is an instinct."
310"Charity, is it?" asks Cornelius darkly. "I've seen what goes under that name before. It's never enough and it's never at the proper time."
320"A fine idea [...] research program under proper direction. [...] How well developed is your understanding of the Crimson Recombination?" [...] a theoretical approach [...] which no one but Cornelius has ever heard of before, and which he most likely invented himself.
340"Is there a purpose to that?" asks Cornelius, in a spirit of genuine inquiry. "There's enough superstition and foolery already in the Neath. Makes it hard to tell what's really going on. I don't see the virtue in planting more."
400"No," says Cornelius. "Buy us all a good lunch at the board meetings instead."
520 - 523, 525, 527, 529"I had a much better idea," Cornelius said. "One that hasn't even been properly considered. So no."
1000 - 1030"I vote no," says Cornelius. "We should have asked the Tower many other questions about its position in the Great Chain and its role and intentions." He gives you a look, as though you personally betrayed him […] As though you should have known.
1100 - 1110"I vote no," says Cornelius. "There are more proper uses for a train than an engine of warfare and disaster. This is what comes of allowing private enterprise to manage things."
1200"Furnace meant the city to be somewhere London couldn't reach."
Other VotesSecond paragraph of Failure Description
Furnace"Of course," Furnace remarks. "I vote yes, so therefore Cornelius needs to vote no." "It does you good to hand off the opposition role to someone who isn't part of your own face," says Cornelius.

Redirects to: Debating Matters of Business with the Board