Persuade the Gracious Widow

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From: Debating Matters of Business with the Board

She is concerned with the success of her own business interests, above all.

Game Instructions: She is ripe for bribery. Other branches in this storylet may help to persuade her.

Unlocked with Board Member: the Gracious Widow

Locked with The Gracious Widow's 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 points per Board against Criminals, and 20 points per Board against Own Financial Interests, Board against Urchin Interests and Board for the Fingerkings. Every point of Corruption of the Board reduces the base difficulty by 40 points, also each point of Board against the Bazaar reduces it by 20 points.

QuestionBase Difficulty
1 - Recommending a Route through Occupied Buildings240
2 - Proposing the Demolition of Unused Houses240
3 - Recommending a Route over Marshland100
4 - Recommending a Route through Plainsland100
7 - Recommending a Route across a Ravine120
9 - Recommending a Route through Wasteland100
10 - Proposing the Removal of His Amused Lordship100
11 - Proposing the Removal of the Efficient Commissioner0
12 - Proposing the Removal of the Jovial Contrarian100
13 - Proposing the Removal of Sinning Jenny200
14 - Proposing the Removal of Feducci100
15 - Proposing the Removal of Virginia100
16 - Proposing the Removal of Furnace Ancona100
17 - Proposing the Removal of the Dean of Xenotheology100
18 - Proposing the Removal of the Bishop of Saint Fiacre's0
19 - Proposing the Removal of the Bishop of Southwark100
20 - Proposing the Removal of the Tentacled Entrepreneur100
22 - Proposing the Removal of April100
23 - Proposing the Removal of the Wandering Gondolier100
24 - Proposing the Removal of September100
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 Gondolier100
29 - Proposing the Removal of Cornelius, the Bandaged Prehistoricist100
30 - Proposing the Removal of January100
31 - Proposing the Removal of the Wry Functionary100
32 - Proposing the Removal of the Delightful Reverend100
33 - Proposing the Removal of the Drummer100
35 - Proposing the Removal of the Dauntless Temperance Campaigner140
37 - Proposing the Removal of the Implacable Detective100
100 - Proposing a Station Plan100
105 - Proposing a Station Plan more like a Fortress100
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 Empress380
140 - Proposing a Station Plan Suited to Wasteland100
150 - Proposing a Station Plan Suited to a Surface Summer0
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
182 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near the Magistracy of the Evenlode380
183 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Balmoral100
184 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Station VIII100
185 - Proposing a Tracklayers' City near Burrow-infra-Mump100
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 + (60 × Train Defences)
210 - Recommending More Luxurious Fittings for Each Train200 + (60 × Train Luxuries)
220 - Recommending More Worker Compensation100
230 - Recommending Worker Co-ownership0
240 - Recommending the Strike be Broken100
250 - Requesting Funds to Excavate the Remains of a Prehistoric Creature160 or 220
260 - Suggesting the Union Pave Over a Prehistoric Creature100
270 - Requesting Funds to Route Around an Anomalous Section of London200
280 - Proposing to Drive the Track through the Zone100
340 - Proposing a Charter engaging in the Work of the Church120
400 - Proposing to Pay Dividends to Shareholders100 + (20 × In Corporate Debt)
500 - Proposing a Bypass through Parabola100
510 - Proposing the Rental of Hellworms200
520 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell100
521 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following Feducci's Guidance0
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 Guidance0
525 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following the Bishop of Southwark's Guidance100
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
528 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following Cornelius' Guidance240
529 - Proposing to Venture into the Former Battlefields Around Hell, following the Viscountess' Guidance520
700 - Proposing that the Unyielding Highlander become Castellan of Balmoral100
710 - Proposing that September become Castellan of Balmoral0
720 - Proposing that the Fervent Widow become Castellan of Balmoral100
800 - Proposing a tracklayer aligned with Mr Fires100
850 - Proposing Cornelius to lead0
905 - Proposing the Dean of Xenotheology as Patron of the Burrow Church100
910 - Proposing the Bishop of St Fiacre's as Patron of the Burrow Church300
931 - Resuming Normal Operations with Furnace in Charge100
932 - Supporting Cornelius' Prehistoricist Building Approach260
933 - Supporting a Brightly-Lit Building Approach220
934 - Proposing a Package of Measures to Resume Normal Operations180
941 - Proposing a dividend be paid out to the poor of the Hinterlands120 or 160
1000 - Proposing an expensive tribute to the Hillchanger Tower20
1010 - Proposing an inhuman tribute to the Hillchanger Tower0
1020 - Proposing a calendrical tribute to the Hillchanger Tower0
1100 - Proposing to send your train to war in Parabola
(Cats, FKs, Gent, Visc., Other)
40 (FKs, Gent)
0 (Other)
1110 - Proposing to build a spur line into Parabola so that you can send in a war-train0


She is persuaded

"This is to our advantage," she allows. "I will permit."

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 1 - 2, 4, 7, 9, 100 - 200, 220 - 280, 300 - 320, 340, 800, 850, 931, 933 - 934
QuestionSuccess Description
3"I have been there," says the Widow. "When much younger. Not a pleasant territory. The ground preserves the flesh of the dead."
5"It would be interesting to meet the inhabitants of those hills," she says, with a little smile.
10, 12 - 20, 22 - 24, 26 - 33"We do best to remove people who don't know their own mind or who have joined the board as an entertainment," she says. "Those of us who remain should be clear in our purpose."
11"The supervision of the Efficient Commissioner is restrictive," says the Widow. "In her absence, we would in time have more freedom to explore new sources of income."
35"She meddles," says the Gracious Widow. "Preserve us from those who think they know what is best for everyone else."
37The Gracious Widow enthusiastically encourages getting rid of the Implacable Detective. This may have something to do with the members of the Widow's gang who have been locked up through the Detective's intervention, over the years.
210The Widow gives the train design a curious glance, and appears puzzled by a few of the decorative choices, but she does not oppose the plan.
400The Widow nods Yea. She did buy a very large number of shares when she became a director.
500The Widow nods stiffly. "The other route would be preferable," she says. "But either will do."
510The Widow votes in favour. There is a particular quirk to her smile. Is she planning for a few of the Hellworms to 'escape' the Tracklayers and end in her own possession?
520 - 523, 525 - 529"It will be a profitable venture," says the Widow. "And one hears of very unusual goods available in that region."
620She shrugs eloquently. The person who fills the office of Lord Mayor interests her very little; she does not acknowledge their power or care for their influence.
700The Gracious Widow indicates that she does not mind who holds Balmoral, as long as it is open again.
710"Why not?" says the Gracious Widow, with a small shrug.
720The Gracious Widow smiles and nods approvingly. A solidarity amongst the widows of the Neath, perhaps?
905"She is competent at least," the Widow allows.
910"Yes. He is better when occupied," the Widow says.
932She agrees, on the strict condition that the resulting animal be taller than the legendary beast ridden by the Clay Highwayman. Not that it will be her animal afterwards. Not precisely. But rivalries like this have subtle rules.
941"Perhaps it will make the stations safer," she allows.
1000 - 1020"It would be to our advantage to have friends as strong as the Bazaar," says the Widow. "Or stronger, perhaps."
1100 - 1110"It would be good to extend the reach of our arm," the Widow says. "And to gather intelligence on our operational capacities in the future."
1200"We will need to oversee the connection closely," the Widow remarks. "But I will permit it."

Redirects to: Debating Matters of Business with the Board



[See table below]
QuestionFailure Description
1 - 3The Gracious Widow doubts your maps. She frowns at them and makes several pencilled annotations.
4, 7, 9"Perhaps another way would be better," she remarks. She does not bother to propose an alternate route; she does not consider this her responsibility.
10, 12 - 17, 19, 20, 22 - 24, 26, 28 - 33, 35, 37The Widow's phrasing is impossible to reproduce, but the gist is that once you've finally got the horses in place, you might as well drive your coach-and-six rather than make any more changes.
100, 105, 115, 120, 140, 160, 170, 181 - 187The Gracious Widow does not admire the style of your proposed station. It is inelegant. She suspects that the taste of Devils has affected its design.
130The Gracious Widow regards the proposal with profound distaste. "Buildings were beautiful once," she says. "And then London came down and crushed them all."
200"We do not require guns. We require respect." The Gracious Widow looks around, and no one has the nerve to speak. "If our enemies have respect for us, they will not steal from us."
210Is it necessary to spend all that money on train fittings that will quickly wear out […]? The Gracious Widow suggests several alternate approaches that would simply render the passengers not in a fit mind to experience (or remember) any discomfort.
220, 240 - 280"A contemptible proposal," says the Widow. She is too disgusted with the idea to explain why, apparently.
300"This statement is paste in the mouth," says the Widow.
310 - 320, 340, 932The Gracious Widow does not approve, and says so.
400"Yes, dividends are possible," the Widow admits, but her frown means that she disagrees. Perhaps she would be more comfortable removing money from the business in a quieter and less regulated way.
500"Not a method to game with," says the Widow, as though you'd proposed an unsound gambling practice.
510"Likely to be overcharged," she says. "The Devils never write a fair contract."
520, 522, 525 - 529The Widow pauses for a long time. "We are passing beyond where the merchants of the Fourth City were allowed to go under any circumstance," she says. "We should be certain that the rewards will compensate for the risk."
700, 720"Better a different ally," says the Gracious Widow, a little unexpectedly. "One who can open up lines of Surface trade." Indeed?
800, 905, 910"Not that one," says the Gracious Widow, without elaborating.
931, 933 - 934, 941"No." The Widow leaves it at that.
1100"No," says the Widow. "This is an unnecessary risk of shared resources. It does not do, in business, to tangle different interests."
1200"No," says the Widow. "It will flourish better in darkness and out of sight of the constables."
Other VotesSecond paragraph of Failure Description
The portrait on the wall is snoring. Someone gets up to hang a veil over it. The furnishing of this place should really be replaced, but it's difficult to arrange when Devils are your landlords.
Furnace[…] the […] Widow always looks out for her own, and for everyone else not at all. The Widow makes an obscure but almost certainly insulting remark about ancient standards of integrity […] The left side of Furnace's helmet hisses like a kettle. […]

Redirects to: Debating Matters of Business with the Board