Sacripant stared out at the crowd and realized suddenly that he was going to have to talk to all of them. He briefly considered declaring that a giant human-eating thing was right behind them all, but decided against it. Time to give it his all. "Right, I'm Sacripant Fenswater, of the Cthonique Guard. I haven't been in your city that long, but... long enough to come to love this place." He coughed. "I mean... it's not perfect, but... no place is. And you folks definitely try..." He glanced at the Metropolitan. "For the most part... to make it run as well as it can. And so I warn you all--there have been bad and wicked things done by your Council of Ancients, twisting your institutions to their own ends."
"Stuff and nonsense!" declared the Metropolitan.
"Then why are you here now, and not the man who proceeded you? The man who was murdered?" said Sacripant.
One of the Knife-Grinders stood up. "It is true! The late Grand Master sent men to kill Ancients who disagreed with freeing the Metropolitan! They used the ritual of the bean, but with fraud, to remove those they targetted!"
Sacripant had no idea what that meant, but decided to just nod in agreement. "Is this what you want for your city, people? Murder and lies in the places of power?"
"It is not murder to kill what needs to be killed," declared the Metropolitan loftily. "And it is no lie to shelter the populace from truths it needs not concern itself with."
Sacripant stared at him for a moment. "So... that's your answer to all this. That's it. That is... the best you can do."
The Metropolitan blinked. "What do you mean?"
"Well," answered the Erl with a shrug. "I was largely viewing you as a well-meaning asshole before this. But now I view you as just an asshole, who mistakenly thinks he is well-meaning. So, really, I have no sympathy for you in what's going to come next."
"What are you ta--" began the Metropolitan, only for a group of beggars to seize him and shove him into a sack.