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Make Eorzea Great Again


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Make Eorzea Great Again. Otto Vann.




The crowd is small. At most, maybe, 150 people decided to show up for this. For weeks flyers have hinted that he was going to make a return to politics in Ul’Dah. Not content with retirement and simply running his empire of business, he was fed up with poor leadership they hinted. His name alone drew the tiny crowd, packed into Platinum Mirrage with a plain stage holding a simple white sign in red-pink letters “O.V.” on the front of it.


Then, the room quieted and the crush of murmurs that filled the room with a buzzing white-noise stopped. Otto Vann took the stage with a host of women leading him. His two wives, Phayte the strikingly blue skinned and white haired Keeper woman and Laille the tall pale Elezen goddess with dark red and black hair, walked up to the stage linked in arms. After them, Ridley, a short hyur midlands woman with blonde hair and fair features, then finally the man himself. He stood there, in his pastel pink suit and red socks, shoes, gloves, tie - and folded his hands to rest in front of his abdomen while looking over the crowd with the occasional nod but mostly just looking forward. His beard, impeccably trimmed, his bald-head, impressively bald.


This lingered for a few moments until Ridley turned to Otto and gave him a brief smile before walking up to the podium and cleared her throat. She pulled a small sheet of roughly handled paper from her pocket, and laid it flat against the podium.


“Good evening everyone. Esteemed friends of the Vann family, curious onlookers, press, and others. Today, this marks a new day. My dad, my employer, my friend Otto, is fed up. Trust me we all hear about it back at our estate. Too much maybe.


“He’s fed up with Ul’Dah. To him, the City is a joke now. Like how he adopted me, this City, this great City adopted Otto when he sold everything of his past life and came here. He came here to build, to create, to live and prosper. He came here to succeed, and he has hasn’t he? Half of you are here today because you cling to his coattails to feel important since his name carries so much weight. That seems like success to me.”


Ridley shifted on stage, switching the balance on her legs and leaning to the other side now, taking in a deep breath and she righted her nerves and pressed onward.


“He’s here, his family is here, to support him in this moment. We need someone who is far far more than just talk. Has anyone ever heard of this man backing down from a challenge of any kind, for any reason? I sit here, speaking now, to support him because of how gracious and kind he has been to me personally. I was indeed an orphan as I alluded to earlier, and employers constantly tossed me aside because I was a bit odd. But not him. He took me in without hesitating, and put me to work. He never once tried to touch me improperly, never once even thought of exploiting me, he just gave me a chance and helped me grow.”


“I’ve known him for almost three years now. I’ve grown into womanhood and he’s been there every step of the way as a friend, mentor, and more. He offered to adopt me as his legal child even though I was a 19 year old orphan as the ultimate way to help me achieve more, to ensure I had a bright future and inheritance to help me along should fate be cruel to him. He did this without me asking, he did this out of love, he did it out of being caring. He wanted to lift me up and make me great, and he has.”


“Ul’Dah needs men like him, leaders and not talkers. To lift this awful City into something great again. Thank you for listening, I won’t take more of his stage time. Twelve knows he loves it.”

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It was met with a tepid cheer and clapping, people weren’t really sure what to make of it still. Didn’t matter, not to Otto. He smiled and placed the smallest kiss on Ridley’s cheek as she walked back to stand at the rear of the small and plain stage while he moved up to stand at the podium. He inhaled deeply, placing both hands on the sides of it as he looked over the crowds and pulled from his suit’s inner pocket, one sheet of notes as he laid it out on the lectern, ready to deliver his sermon.


“She’s great isn’t she? I love my Ridley. Let’s hear it for her.” Otto turned to her and clapped sincerely for a moment, and a few people in the crowd joined. How could they not, what a moving story. After the moment passed he cleared his throat and moved on, turning back to the crowd and re-grasping his podium.


“Good evening folks. Some of you know why we’re here, some of you don’t and that’s fine. The thing you all share in common is you likely know me. Maybe not personally, but you do. You know friends and family that wear my clothing and jewelry, you shop in my stores, you enjoy your time in buildings with my name on it. You know my name, it’s impossible not to, and you know that name because I’m a good person. You all know me, somehow, because I have gone above and beyond to cement myself in Ul’Dah.”


“I say this not in a braggadocious way, but I am a successful businessman by any score you can dream of. I have made hundreds and hundreds of millions of gil. I have grossed over a billion gil in revenue in my short tenure thus far in this City. I am real, the real deal folks. It’s hard to find someone who has earned their success in our City, but I’m here before you now. I didn’t inherit this, any of it. However I am more than a number of gil that most here can’t comprehend either. I’m a father, family man.”


“More importantly of all though, I’m an outsider to you. Most of you have begrudgingly seen me rise. Some have tried to stump me, but that didn’t work out so well for them did it? This outsider, came here, played by the rules to the extreme letter, and succeeded. This outsider employs amazing people, pays people far better than anyone who tries to compete with me, and wins. I win big, always. Even when I lose I learn and go on to succeed later, and believe me I have lost a fair enough share of battles in Ul’Dah.”


“That’s why I’m here though, standing before all of you. Maybe it’s foolish for an Ala Mhigan refugee to tell you this but I’m sorry it needs to be said. Ul’Dah doesn’t enjoy victories anymore folks. We don’t win, at anything. We can’t even win at losing, Ishgard holds that champions title. No, no we don’t do anything great anymore. This City is sick, it’s ran by total fools on every aisle and filled with dilettantes who play games.”


“Look, here’s the thing. Let’s just get this out of the way, I’m going to run a campaign to lead this damn City because I’m sick and tired of seeing the bad deals that these tiny imputent leaders give us. And believe me, I’m not just talking about the Sultana. Go ahead, walk out now if you don’t care, that’s okay. I’ll be coming for you when I’m through shaking things up and putting Ul’Dah on not just any path, but the right path. And yes, I can hear it now, people will indeed mock and criticise me, all of them likely with nothing to gain, and more importantly nothing to lose if Ul’Dah stays on the path it is. Losers to be frank, happy to enjoy a victory-less City.”


“People will ask, inevitably, why I’m doing this and putting my name on the line. Why I’m not content to stay quiet in my mansions, enjoy the pleasures my wives and extended consorts can offer me, and count my gil. But I can tell you why this matters to me. It matters because I have skin in the game here. I can quit tomorrow, and live happier and more prosperously than most people will ever understand, even those few who have more than me. But I have skin in the game all the same. I own land, buildings, I employ amazing people who, if they are good, become my friends and sometimes more as you heard from Ridley. Ul’Dah’s leaders, who are wholly dedicated to being losers and having us all lie in it, threaten that. I am Ul’Dah, it adopted me and in turn I give back to them at every opportunity. Why? Because when my people prosper, we grow together, and in more than just a ledger.”


“Why am I being so harsh on the Sultana and her political hacks that make up the Syndicate? It’s not jealousy, I can assure you of that folks, look what’s behind me on this very stage. No, I’m tired of them making us bad deals. Look at what’s happening North of us. Ishgard opens their walls, and begs us to lay it on the line for them, in a war they started, and for what? Peace of mind? Who here wants to see their daughters and sons die for their wars? It’s a disgrace folks. It’s more than that though, what can we even offer to help them? Look at the Brass Blades, look at the Flames, look at the Sultansworn and the Free Paladins. Jokes, all of them. And it’s not necessarily their fault either. It’s not like our leaders have given them the tools to succeed, instead we just ask them to die in horrible deals that don’t benefit us.”


“You think Ishgard is going to send these bizarre Dragoons to help us if the Garleans knock on our door? They say they might, we’ll see. Hard to take warmongers seriously. Hard to take those walled-in Ishgardians seriously when the last time they cared to talk to us, was to come and beg at our door to help a hundred years ago to repel Ala Mhigo after it had invaded and crushed the weak, pathetic forces of Gridania. They came, and begged like dogs from us and Limsa to put an end to Ala Mhigo because they were afraid. Terrible.”


“I can tell you, it’s more than bad deals in war that the Syndicate and those stupid , very stupid Monetarists have brokered. Ul’Dah needs to get back to winning. She needs her army and people strong again. We need to enjoy, or even know what it feels like to have a victory. Look at Carteneua. Look at that wasteland, and that waste of life. That’s what victory looks like to people who run this City. Sad.”


“So yes, I’m here to change that. Our people lack jobs, they can’t enjoy most of what Ul’Dah even has to offer. We have hordes of refugees sitting outside of our gates named after the Twelve, and do what with them? We certainly don’t put them to work. Those are Ala Mhigans folks, they want to work and feel good about themselves. Believe me, I’m one of them, I’d know. But then again, who are they going to work for when this City is struggling to win at anything. Let’s call this what this is, a depression. This goes far beyond a simple recession, and believe me the numbers the idiots we have leading this place - their false. More than twenty-percent of our people can't find work, can't feed their families, they can't be great.”


“Here’s what we’re going to do with the Vann brand helping to run things. We’re going to win. We’re going to tax the living hell out of anything near us that doesn’t play fair. Look, it’s easy for Gridania to send their product here, dump them on us, and they don’t suffer a tariff. Inversely, they haven’t outlawed outsiders going to their City and trying to sell things, but they make it impossible in every avenue on purpose. It’s not technically illegal, but it is in everything but name. I have great amazing friends, good people that produce and employ people, and they tell me ‘Otto, it’s impossible to work with Gridania. I send caravans of product to them, and they always send them back’. Horrible.”


“That’s fine, because I have a strong feeling once I’m in charge and returning them the favor, that will change. I am going to tariff the shit out of them, tax them back into the 5th Era if I need to. Let me be clear, I don’t hate Gridania. I love them, I love their women, and I respect their leaders. Their leaders are smarter than the dummies we have, it shows. Doesn’t mean I won’t take them to task and change these deals we have.”


“Look at Limsa. Great City, beautiful. But they send us, they send these people to our City. They bring drugs, crime. They’re rapists, jokes, and enjoy living a pirate’s life - and some I assume are good people. They are proud of being pirates, can you imagine? Proud. We don’t want, we don’t need, and we won’t tolerate those sorts of people coming here. We want good people, we want amazing people, we want winners. We want people who are more than glorified thieves and slavers who deal with trafficking women against their will, to be sold as sex slaves to the idiots we have running this City of ours.”


“So yes, I’m here, and I’m going to be running a campaign to change things around here. And let me say now, right now to this room, I don’t want your money. You know what separates former Monertarists like me compared to the jokes like Jameson Taeros? I don’t keep my hand out, palm up like a hack always looking for people to put money into my hands and own me. I’m going to self-fund this campaign, and I’m going to make this City great again.”


“We’re going to be bigger and better than ever. We’re going to look up North, to those Ishgardians behind their walls, always recycling their stale culture, and we’re going to do better than them. We’re going to look to the Shroud, and we’re going to set the tone for good deals, deals that benefit us folks. We’re going to make them play by our rules, not theirs. We’re going to look to La Noscea, we’re going to look to them and we’re going to severely filter who they send to us. We’re going to do these things and more, and we’re going to not only make our City great again, but we’re going to Make Eorzea Great Again.”

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