Mayor of Alhafra
The Mayor of Alhafra is an NPC that figures heavily into the Briggs subplot in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. As the mayor of the town of Alhafra, he is involved in the story of Golden Sun: The Lost Age on the two primary occasions Felix's quest takes his traveling party to the town.
The corpulent mayor of Alhafra is a particularly abhorrent character. Scarcely a positive thing is said about him as a person and as a governor, both by people within his town and people outside it. Among the many less-than-flattering things he has been secretly described as are "greedy", "self-centered", "that bloated gasbag", "that oaf of a mayor", and "an awful person". His arrogant personality shows whenever he refuses to believe anything anybody says if it sounds the least bit fetched, unless he can see it with his own eyes, and he is always thinking of ways to increase his own money pile and hates seeing anyone else make money. And everyone knows this about him in spite of his putting on a generous and kindred mayoral guise on the outside. Perhaps the only silver linings to his character are that he does not actually steal from his own people, and he begrudgingly distributes food to the denizens during tough times for the town.
He also keeps a hoard of his most prized treasures - chief among them the enchanted armor called the Ixion Mail - in the cavernous tunnels within the hill underneath his large manor, the Alhafran Cave. And he has one of Alhafra's residents work the full-time job of guarding the entrance to the treacherous caves from possible intruders thinking of stealing his treasure.
Not many details about his life history are known, but the mayor of Alhafra has been governing the town for at least twenty years, during which he and his town had achieved a prosperous trading relationship with the town of Madra at the bottom portion of the continent of Indra that is near Alhafra's home continent of Osenia. He had personally known the Elder and Mayor of Madra and had last seen them twenty years ago, when the future Mayor of Madra was merely a child. By the present day, the town had become wealthy and powerful enough that the Mayor had the townspeople begin working on a new design of ship that could allow the town to initiate large-scale trading with towns across the Great Eastern Sea (establishing this industry would net him more money). All sea vessels at the time were smaller ships powered by the rowing of oars, and the sails on their masts were merely meant for steering; this larger design of ship is propelled entirely by catching the wind within its sail. By the time Golden Sun: The Lost Age begins, the sailing ship is complete and has quickly become the prized possession of Alhafra and its opportunistic mayor.
In Golden Sun: The Lost Age
The tidal wave that originates from the center of the Great Eastern Sea by the return of Poseidon cataclysmically affects much of Weyard's eastern portion; towns are damaged, and the entire continent of Indra is physically shifted southwest, crashing into a position that rubs the two continents against each other so that one can now walk between Madra and Alhafra. Alhafra is no exception to the damage: all the houses that were up against the coastline are leveled by the flood, and much business is decimated. To the Alhafran Mayor, the fact he must now routinely provide limited quantities of food to the people himself is not the worst aspect of the disaster; it damaged his ship, breaking its mast and pinning it underneath a giant rock that can't be removed by normal human hands. The ship cannot be fixed in this state, so it is now effectively useless sitting broken in Alhafra's wharf.
This is why the Alhafran Mayor deals with Briggs, who soon afterwards comes to the town in search of a ship himself and pays the Mayor a vast fortune of gold to buy the disabled vessel. The mayor perceives Briggs as quite the competent businessman but is unaware that he has actually played the role of a dread pirate who pillaged and plundered other weaker towns, and that Briggs specifically avoided doing the same to this town because it would have been too risky to his pirate crew. And fortunately for the Mayor, Briggs and his family and crew aren't able to remove that giant boulder pinning down the broken mast and preventing them from fixing the ship themselves, thus preventing them from actually taking away the ship from Alhafra and its materialistic mayor from under his nose.
Soon after that, however, the Alhafran Mayor's old acquaintance, the Elder of Madra and his young son the Mayor of Madra, arrive at Alhafra with a group from Madra, intent on confronting and capturing Briggs who they believe may have fled to the town. They meet with the Alhafran Mayor in his manor to ask about Briggs' whereabouts, but the Alhafran Mayor is taken aback to hear them accusing his recent paying customer of large-scale piracy, and their discussion lasts long enough that when the Madran mayors finally convince him to come to the broken ship with them to confront and apprehend Briggs, they find that a group of others have already wiped the floor with Briggs and his crew - the Adepts Felix, Jenna, and Sheba, and the scholar Kraden. The mayors of Madra and Alhafra agree to take the pirates into custody and put them in the jail near the mayor's manor, but not before Briggs clarifies that the gold he paid the Alhafran Mayor to buy the broken ship from him was pillaged for Madra's coffers; hence, technically it belongs to the Madrans now.
This is an abrupt new predicament for the Alhafran Mayor; in accepting the Madran money from Briggs so that Briggs could temporarily "own" his prized but broken ship, the Alhafran Mayor effectively sold it to the Madrans, and therefore they'd be the ones profiting from all of Alhafra's recent misfortunes if they could take the ship back to Madra right then. The one thing preventing this from happening at the moment, however, is the fact that the mast is broken and can't be fixed, even when Felix's Psynergy-capable group tries their hand at removing the giant boulder and fail. Were it not for this factor, the Alhafran Mayor could simply pay for the ship's repair using the Madran gold he amassed, but he believes that since he was the one who came up with the idea of a sailing ship in the first place, it need only be him who profits from it. So, he decides instead to use the gold to repair his own town, and he says to the Madran mayors that they should pay him again to actually get repairs done on the ship itself, since the Madran gold used to buy the ship before was formerly under the possession of Briggs at the time, so it's not like the Madrans really bought the broken ship from him. Of course the Alhafran townspeople much appreciate the money for the town's reconstruction, and obviously this works to the Madran mayors' extreme displeasure.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that while the ship remains broken in Alhafra's pier it's not going anywhere, and that the Alhafran Mayor won't fix it so as to prevent the Madrans from "stealing" it. So the town remains essentially "as usual" even as the Alhafran Mayor secures Felix's "vow" that in the future, when he has a whole fleet of sailing ships at his beck and call to do lots of trading overseas and net him lots of money, he can count on Felix's service in fighting off "other pirates that may be out there" willing to sabotage his future economic ventures. The Adepts soon leave Alhafra to continue their own quest and the Elder and Mayor of Madra must leave Alhafra to return to Madra when it becomes clear to them the Alhafran mayor won't comply with what they would wish for.
At a later date, Felix's traveling party has amassed enough Psynergy capabilities that they decide to return to the town and help things out by destroying the boulder pinning down the mast for good. The Alhafran Mayor is notified and comes along, and is dumbfounded to see that the person who gave him the news about how the boulder is no longer there was actually telling the truth. Ecstatic, he orders the now-eager Alhafrans to fix the ship up and he very politely invites Felix's group to his manor to discuss rewards. As Jenna and Sheba know by now, the Mayor never shows gratitude like that unless he has an ulterior motive; indeed, he plans to keep the ship away from the Madrans by whatever means necessary. It also seems that he has a crush on Jenna, as shown by a speech bubble filled with a heart (followed by a comical angry face by Sheba and Felix to start hopping angrily).
When the ship is finished, the Mayor and Felix are informed that Briggs just broke out of the jail; the Mayor's method of taking care of this trifling detail is to tell Felix to find and capture Briggs for him because he treated them like honored guests in his manor, right before he leaves the manor himself to inspect the ship himself (singing and skipping along the way, with two things in particular obviously on his mind: money, and lots of it). When he and several Alhafrans reach the wharf, suddenly they are ambushed and attacked by Briggs and his crew, who take the ship away for themselves and sail out of Alhafra. Briggs declares that they paid for the boat "fair and square", so he's not the thief here; it's the mayor who's the thief for trying to keep the sailing ship for himself after he was paid so much money for it (one might question the validity of Briggs' statement that he paid fair and square, since his money was pilfered from Madra, but this detail doesn't occur to the Mayor as the ship sails out of sight). Felix's group shows up too late to prevent this from happening, only arriving soon enough to be greeted by Briggs' taunt to Felix and the Mayor: "Hey, Felix! You guys take care! And keep Alhafra safe from thieves and pirates! And politicians, too!"
The Mayor's most affronting demonstration of character ensues shortly afterwards, when in a rage he yells at everyone for allowing the pirate to take away HIS ship, and for the "fact" that "he was the only one to stand up to Briggs while everyone else cowered". He physically kicks around the Alhafrans lying nearby on the ground, already wounded by Briggs' group just a moment ago, to show his displeasure, and to Felix he declares that he's not one of his favorites anymore, and that there will be no reward for him; he's lucky the Mayor doesn't lock him up in Briggs' stead. Finally, saying how there's no reason for anybody to be at the wharf now that they don't have a ship, he returns to his manor and has the guards block the front door, while the rest of the town returns to a somewhat demoralized state of being. The only silver lining for the guards working at the manor at this point: now they won't have to deal with the Mayor raving about how great Felix is anymore. The Mayor's involvement in Golden Sun: The Lost Age ends on this borderline amusing note.
- At Alhafra:
- Jiya: (Thinking) "The mayor hates seeing anyone else make money, so I'm sure he'll make this tough on Madra. Heh heh heh... The mayor doesn't play fair."
- Alhafran Mayor: "Briggs tells me there are huge towns on a continent that lies across the Eastern Sea. He tells me that, by trading with one another, all these towns will prosper and grow... I've made a decision... If Alhafra is to prosper, then we must trade, too! Trade and grow! I'm going to build an entire trade fleet and make lots of money! Still...there must be other pirates and freebooters still roaming the high seas. Felix, Briggs told me you and your friends fought with great strength. If you could lend me that strength, we would not fear any pirates. So if you'd just be willing to help us out, our town could begin trading...and prospering... What do you say? Do we have a deal?" (If Felix says yes) "Great! Why don't you just stay here in Alhafra until we're ready for our first trade run?"
- Alhafran Mayor: (Thinking) "This is such a fantastic idea, and I'm the one who thought of it... So, naturally, it need only be me alone who profits from it."
- Alhafran Mayor: "Regardless, I'm going to inspect my boat... Oh, and Felix and his crew were there too, weren't they? I treated you like an honored guest in my home... Usually, one feels a certain obligation to those who do them such a kind service, am I right? So, don't just stand there! Return the favor and find me Briggs!"
- Jiya: "Come on! Hurry up! Let's go! Move it!"
- Alhafran Mayor: "Let's go see the boat." (Leaves the manor with Jiya)
- Piers: "The mayor of Alhafra certainly does know how to look out for his own interest, doesn't he?"
- Sheba: "That's one way of putting it!"
- Alhafran resident: (Thinking) "I hate to tell Felix, but even though our mayor seems nice, he's really a selfish jerk."
- Alhafran resident: (Thinking) "Who cares if the boat is fixed? It's not like we'll be allowed on board. The mayor's too selfish."
- Alhafran resident: (Thinking) "I'm certain the only person to prosper from the boat will be that oaf of a mayor."
- Alhafran resident: (Thinking) "The mayor only had one thing on his mind on his way to the dock... Money, and lots of it."
- Alhafran Mayor: "What!!! You let Briggs get away! You and your friends talk a good game, but when trouble happens, where are you!? Well, isn't this a fine mess! My prize ship, stolen by a bunch of filthy pirate scum!" (Kicks a wounded Alhafran on the ground) "Get up!" (Kicks the wounded, elderly Jiya also nearby on the ground) "They're gone, and you let them escape! You guys have royally botched this one. This ruins everything! You all ought to be ashamed! All of you were cowering, while I was the only one to stand up to them! All of you! I'm going back to my manor!" (Walks down to where Felix and Kraden are) "And you, Felix. I am extremely disappointed in you. There will be no reward for you, Felix! You let that Briggs steal MY ship! You're lucky I don't lock you up in his stead!" (Walks to where the other three wounded Alhafrans are lying on the ground) "Bah! I've had enough of this! Don't just stand there with your mouths gaping! Get out of here! We don't have a boat, so there's no reason for anyone to be here at the port. Return to town." (Leaves for the manor with the other five Alhafrans following him in a line)
- Kraden: "What an awful person. Do you suppose he's always this self-centered?" (If Felix says yes) "Yes, he's terribly irritating. You're quite right, Felix."
- Armor shopkeeper: (Thinking) "I don't know... I never really thought the mayor would give that boat to Madra anyway. Our mayor's far too greedy to pass up an opportunity like this."
- Inn keeper's wife: (Thinking) "The mayor may have pulled through the tidal wave just fine, but his town didn't! How could he even consider punishing me for trying to feed all these unfortunate souls?"
- At Champa:
- Piers: "We should tell you, we're not here to take Briggs back to Alhafra.
- Kraden: "So you've decided you don't want to run errands for the mayor of Alhafra?"
- Sheba: (If Felix says no) "Felix, I know you can't mean that. We didn't come to Champa for that bloated gasbag."