Tano arrives in thatch-roofed Naleshni just as he usually does, aboard a gaudily-painted wagon along with his troupe of the moment. They set up in the public square, haul the scenery and costumes into the city hall, where they'll put on performances while they're staying here. A crowd gathers; Tano takes his turn entertaining them, juggling first knives and then anything they toss him, doing impersonations of various public figures. The short stout comedian of the group belts out their show times meanwhile.
As the most diplomatic of the troupe, Tano gets the dubious privilege of negotiating with the local officials. Mayor Timisav wants an exorbitant cut of the profits, in return for room and board and the use of the city hall (and, implicitly, not denouncing them as a menace to folk of good character and thrashing them out of town). Tano very gently disabuses him of this notion, negotiates a much more reasonable rate, and throws in a little flirting for good measure. (The mayor is repulsive, but Tano is a professional.)
Tano settles in, for whatever little while they're here. He writes his sister. He foments unrest. He catches up on the local gossip.
-- Okay, according to that last, the mayor is significantly more repulsive than he thought.
Tano is going to do something about this. Doing something about these things is Tano's specialty.
Finding a much better candidate isn't hard; Satira puts him in contact with someone local she knows second-hand, and it only takes the usual amount of coyness to ascertain that he's entirely sympathetic to Tano's cause. Everyone wants to talk with the exciting visitors, and Tano is especially charismatic; he has plenty of social mobility to buff up the man's reputation a bit. Yes, what a good, honest, loyal citizen.
Removing Timisav from his post is more of a challenge, but it's a fun one.
Tano keeps up the seduction; Timisav Meizalor is exactly the sort of grubby self-important little man to be immensely vulnerable to that, not even really out of pleasure but because he finds it flattering.
Tano dresses in a different persona and finds some generic ruffians and malcontents, incites them to put on masks and get up to trouble -- broken shop windows, riots, scrawled graffiti -- arranged so that other people will inevitably interpret it as rumblings of civic discontent. That done, Tano arranges liaisons with Meizalor -- secretive, hidden, "so his wife won't find out," but clumsily so, people will notice the mayor sneaking around -- and, more than that, they'll notice the mayor's unexplained absence and how it just so happens to coincide with masked men knocking down the bust of the emperor. And then the next time, with masked men beating up a tax collector, leaving him bruised and unconscious in an alley with an ink mustache scrawled cartoonishly across his face. And then with masked men stealing from the city granaries; and again the mayor is mysteriously ... absent.
(The bread distributed to the poor the next day is unconnected, of course. -- No, it actually is; Tano's hoodlums aren't motivated by altruism, he had to arrange the bread separately.)
Conducting an affair with Meizalor is a tedious, repulsive business. Tano restrains the urge to stab him in his sleep and have done with it; making the man a martyr won't help anything. He has to make Meizalor a villain, a revolutionary, and let his chosen hero overthrow him in the interests of law and order.
At least it means that sneaking in and out of the mayor's house is easy; Tano just has to fuck him, and wait till he passes out, and then he has free rein of the house. He can plant revolutionary pamphlets at his leisure. (Of course he has those, off a secret press hidden in a tiny farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, cheap and flimsy and unevenly inked. OVERTHROW THE EMPEROR, they read, and then FREEDOM FROM TYRANNY, and there's an enumeration of the emperor's evildoings, and then the actually useful part, where he explains EVERYDAY ACTS OF RESISTANCE FOR THE COMMON MAN.)
This is all going swimmingly right up until the man's damn wife walks in on Tano stuffing the stupid things into Meizalor's nightstand, Meizalor himself passed out and naked and snoring flabbily on the bed.
Tano entirely fails to talk his way out of this.