Joyce L. Messier, Senior Labour Negotiator for the Wild Pines Group, has a very big problem: no one wants to negotiate with her. She came to Martinaise hoping to work out a compromise with the Dockworkers’ Union and end to the strike that has been going on for months, resulting in major losses for the Wild Pines. But Evrart Claire, foreman of the Dockworkers’ Union, has been unwilling to make any concessions, and, having kicked out the previous negotiator, isn’t even letting Joyce into the harbour. Worse yet, the Union stopped all communication with her following the murder you’re investigating. And so you find Joyce docked by the pier in her sloop, sipping tea, exasperated by the entire situation.
This must be something of a new experience for her. Not only is she a professional negotiator, she represents a major logistics conglomerate with a 250-year history — The Wild Pines Group owns the harbour! What’s more: it was the Wild Pines Group that built the district of Martinaise, or at least invested the money for it to be built. Trouble is, Evrart Claire and his twin brother Edgar now unofficially run Martinaise, as we discussed in our blog post on Evrart. In this standoff between the Wild Pines Group and the Dockworkers’ Union, who will prevail?
Early concept art — my, how she’s changed.
As befits a representative of the Wild Pines, Joyce has the air of very old money — generations upon generations of politesse and finger sandwiches. She will be more than courteous with you and even helpful — if you can successfully negotiate with her. Beyond information that may aid you in your investigation, however, she has something to offer that came down to her with that very old money: a broad education of the sort one doesn’t usually comes across in impoverished Martinaise. Joyce is a treasure trove of knowledge for an amnesiac detective who doesn’t really understand what planet he’s on and how it came to be the way it is. You just might find yourself whiling away some hours with her by the water, listening to the waves lapping against the hull of her sloop, entranced by her erudition and lulling eloquence.