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In Progress The Fall of Tamriel (Court CYOA)

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by MercantileInterest, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Usury Arcane

    Usury
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Messages:
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    [​IMG]

    Glory To Great Cyrodiil

    In the name of his august majesty, Titus Mede II, vicar of great Akhatosh, ruler of the Imperial Province, Skyrim and High Rock, defeater of Elves and Emperor in Tamriel, we do salute and extend our regard unto King Robert Baratheon, lord of the Seven Kingdoms. We have heard tell of the conquests of your youth, viz. the overthrow of the false king Aerys. We have heard of the sack of Braavos and how your grace himself smote the gates of the doomed city, so all the Seven Kingdoms now laud you as conqueror. Howbeit, whispers have also reached us (doubtless of untrustworthy and dastardly nature) that your grace now readies a fleet of a thousand ships to best our own serene and peaceful domains. Therefore, we do seek your reassurance that such mutterings are but fables and vanity. We do also remind your grace of the might of the invincible Imperial Legion and its renowned triumph over the warhost of the Aldmeri Dominion. In the same way will all our enemies fall, so you may be glad we count you a friend.

    With the seal of the Empire,
    - Titus Mede II

    Scale Maps (open)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I. Introduction
    This CYOA will focus around diplomacy, finances, supply lines and strategy. You will serve as Emperor Titus Mede II's most trusted advisor as he attempts to repel King Robert's invasion from the Seven Kingdoms. In this setting, Tamriel has always lain west of Westeros. (The Skyrim/Cyrodiil border lies at the same latitude as the neck and the distance between Morrowind and Westeros is roughly double the narrow sea.) There has been no magical event bringing them together. As such, you may notice a number of changes to lore, mostly focused on scaling the Elder Scrolls setting down from high fantasy to low. They are as follows:

    Lore Changes (open)

    (1) Both continents suffer from unpredictably lengthy seasons.

    (2) There is only one moon but the stars match those found in the Elder Scrolls.

    (3) Tamriel is not overflowing with magic. The peasants think so only because they are unlettered and ignorant.

    (4) The order of Maesters originated in Westeros but now has a strong presence in Tamriel.

    (5) The time frame matches both the beginning of TESV and the start of a Game of Thrones.
    (a) It has been twenty-six years since the Empire's great war with the Aldmeri Dominion. They suffered a humiliating peace and now face a rebellion in Skyrim led by Ulfric Stormcloak.
    (b) King Robert renounced his debt to the Iron Bank, which loaned a large sum to the Prince of Dorne, who secretly promised to depose the king. Instead, the prince bought several thousand Unsullied in Astopor and spent months marching them across Essos. He besieged Braavos for a month before the king's fleet arrived. They plundered the city and sailed home. The shock of the Iron Bank's downfall rattled two continents.

    (6) Scholars correlate the Faith of the Seven with the Eight Divines but the people of Tamriel consider their deities separate gods rather than aspects of a single deity. While Akhatosh corresponds to the Father, Mara to the Mother, Stendarr to the Warrior, etc, Dibella has no counterpart in Westeros. Nevertheless, she has grown increasingly popular there. The Empire has forbidden worship of the old gods (or daedra) since the Oblivion Crisis.

    (7) At the start of the Great War, the Aldmeri Dominion demanded the Empire abandon the Divines altogether and embrace the worship of the creator, whom they name Auri-el. By the end of the conflict, they reduced this demand to the abolition of Talos worship, the deified founder of the Empire.

    (8) These are not the pointy eared, arrogant, long lived humans which D&D calls Elves. They much more closely resemble the swift, immortal, ethereally beautiful beings found in Tolkien's writings. Considering the setting, they show much hostility to men. The Dunmer of Morrowind are a different breed altogether, only referred to as Dark Elves by ancient error solidified into custom.

    (9) The Empire requires all items of magical nature to be stored in the vaults of White-Gold tower. The return of various Elven treasures was one of the demands leading to the Great War. After all, for the entire second age, the Elves were subjected to the Empire's rule.

    (10) I am not overly familiar with the lore for either setting. If I make what you feel to be an intolerable mistake, make a note of it (excepting the above nine points).



    Race summary (open)


    Men: The dominant race on every known landmass.

    Giants: Believed extinct on Westeros but still known on Tamriel.

    Children of the Forest: Pygmy species of Westeros now believed extinct.

    Dwarves: Extinct subterranean race. Their ruins may be found on both Tamriel and northern Westeros (mostly beyond the wall). It is unknown from which continent the species originates. Their accessible sites have long since been stripped down to bare stone.

    Goblins: Believed extinct for a thousand years, although reports of small tribes hiding in Cyrodilli caves persisted until two hundred years ago.

    Reiklings: Believed to have gone extinct on mainland Tamriel before the arrival of man. Interestingly, Nordic tombs on Solstheim contain Reikling skeletons and weapons displayed as trophies.

    Khajiit: The strength of this cat-like people flows from craftiness and agility and their weakness from treachery and fits of passion. As aboriginal beast folk, the khajiit have always dwelt in the old lands of Elsweyr. Their cubs mature faster than men and they age more quickly later in life but few survive so long.

    Argonians: WIP

    Orcs: A dull but hefty people, who fight with savage disdain for their own safety. Dunmer legends claim their alchemist-ancestors bred the orcs as slaves. Their astonishing stupidity and strength make them unsuited for little beyond forced labor and battle. The Imperial Legion has for hundreds of years recruited platoons of orcs under human officers. Some of the cleverer ones learned smithing and reintroduced it to their strongholds, thus advancing them beyond the stone age.

    Dunmer: Originally confused with other inhabitants of Tamriel, the dunmer still go by the misleading name of "Dark Elves". Their antiquity is uncertain, since their ancient form of writing used knotted strings rather than letters, but there is no reason to believe they originated anywhere other than Morrowind. This ash-skinned race possesses much skill but their influence is hindered both by constant infighting and an unusual gift for making enemies of all their neighbors. Until the Oblivion Crisis, the Great Houses worshiped the Tribunal, three individuals believed to reincarnate, but, since that fateful event, even the more civilized Dunmer have switched to the daedra worship of the ashlander tribes. They can interbreed with men but any offspring will (almost) always be sterile. Some Dunmer have lived a century and a half.

    Elves: The myths of the elves claim they originate in a lost land called Aldmeris. Before man arrived, their kingdoms ruled supreme over Tamriel. Their records once extended back many thousands of years to an age when four seasons fit into a year but the Empire ordered all such writings destroyed during its long lordship over them.



    II. The Game Map
    Click for Skyrim. Click for Cyrodiil. The initial Westerosi invasion has already landed at Solstheim (an island to the northwest of Skyrim). Thus, we'll be starting off with this useful map of Skyrim province. Take special note of the 'Show Cell Grid' button at the top center of the page. At our scale, the side of each cell is equivalent to 4.5 miles. On average, an army can march 20 miles a day. For example, the distance from Whiterun to Fort Greymoor is about 40 miles or two days march.

    III. Character Creation

    As the Emperor's much beloved confidante, a number of scurrilous rumors have sprung up concerning your closeness. There are but a handful whom Titus Mede II can trust and you are honored to number among them. You have sprung up from Cyrodiilian stock.

    You are: (open)

    (A) Male
    (B) Female

    1 - Grizzled Grey-hair. You already held high rank during Great War and your competency impressed even the Elder Council. Choosing this option will increase the esteem in which old generals and sages regard you.

    2 - Aging Functionary. Although no bards sing your honor, you have, by the middle years of your life, built for yourself an important position in the Imperial Bureaucracy. Choosing this option will allow more ready access to supplies and resources.

    3 - Aspiring Mastermind. Your youthful genius has drawn any number of eyes. Many powerful figures wish to win power over you. Choosing this option frees you from various debts and favors you would otherwise owe but also reduces your own influence.

    Reputation:

    Q - Praised throughout Cyrodiil.

    R - A mysterious and feared figure.

    S - Largely unknown outside of the palace.


    You hail from:

    X - The Army. {Not available to females.} You served your time in the Legion and Legionaries always watch out for each other.

    Y - Nobility. Courtesy and education have served you well. The protection of your family name may keep you alive despite court intrigues.

    Z - Ignominy. Your background is unknown but your talent apparent. Others will have a hard time getting a handle on you but the lack of connections also makes you more disposable.

    You possess:

    (^) An Argonian oath ring. Argonia is an independent kingdom but Clan Shiverscale owes you much.
    (&) A small library of proscribed tomes. These contain much arcane knowledge. They're also illegal, although the Emperor's influence would probably protect you from punishment.
    (*) An enchanted bowl in which things far away may be seen. It requires a great deal of human blood, preferably fresh. Highly illegal.
    (%) The horn of Wulfharth, revered by Nords. No special power but a lot of symbolism.
    ($) Incriminating materials. This will allow you to blackmail a Count of Cyrodiil. Of course, you can expect him to resent this.

    Your family: (Please make this consistent with your age. You may pick from as many of these as you wish.)

    (T/a) Spouse. (+) If still alive (-) if deceased. This option will legitimize any children.
    (T/b) Children. (+) Daughter of marriageable age and younger son. (-) Older son and younger daughter. (*) Two married sons. (&) Two infant daughters.
    (T/c) Father and Mother still alive. (+) If well regarded. (-) If despised but wealthy.


    IV. The Muster of Men

    This section will track the commanders, strength, position and last known location of all forces.

    The Empire (open)

    Imperial Legions consist of five thousand men.

    Cyrodiil
    Ist Legion - Elite, heavily armored cavalry formations. Stationed near the Imperial City.

    Vth Legion - Full Strength. Stationed at Kvatch.

    VIth Legion - Remnant, only numbering 500 men. Stationed in the Great Forest.

    XVIIIth Legion - Full Strength. Veterans of the Colovian uprising. Stationed at Skingrad.

    High Rock
    VIIth Legion - Reduced, numbering 4,000 men.

    IXth Legion - Full strength.

    Skyrim
    General Tullius

    IInd Legion - Full Strength. Cavalry. Stationed at Fort Greymoor.
    Legate Constantius Tituleius

    IIIrd Legion - Full Strength. Cavalry. Stationed at Fort Greymoor.
    Legate Emmanuel Admand

    IVth Legion - Reduced to 2,000. Stationed at Solitude.
    Legate Fasendil

    VIIIth Legion - Full strength. Split between Fort Neugrad and Helgen.
    Legate Hrollod

    Xth Legion - Reduced to 4,000. Spread across the Reach in an attempt to suppress the Forsworn rebellion.
    Legate Justianus Quintius

    XIIth Legion - Full strength. Camped out at Pinewatch.
    Legate Quentin Cipius

    XIIIth Legion - Full strength. Winter combat specialists. Stationed at Pale Imperial Camp.
    Legate Skulnar

    XVth Legion - Full strength. Stationed at Hjaalmarch Imperial Camp.
    Legate Taurinis Duilis

    XVIth Legion - Full strength. Marching by Pinefrost Tower.
    Legate Sevan Talendas

    XVIIth Legion - Strength unknown. Reports suggest this Legion is trapped at Eastmarch Imperial Camp.
    Legate Adventus Caessenius



    Stormcloaks (open)

    Under the banner of Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, half of Skyrim has risen up in rebellion. They can muster an estimated strength of thirty-two thousand. They have recruited up to several thousand women as rangers and archers.

    Known Formations:
    The Battle-Sung - 4,000 men. Quartered at Riften.
    Gonnar Oath-giver



    Westerosi (open)

    Under King Robert Baratheon a sizable invasion fleet approaches, perhaps numbering 10,000. The same amount of warriors has been camped out on Solstheim for several months. Rumor suggests a sizable force has landed on the eastern edge of Morrowind, an independent kingdom with which the Westerosi are said to have an alliance.

    EDIT: Rumor confirmed. Mixed force of knights, unsullied and dunmer mercenaries have entered the Rift from Morrowind.

     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
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  2. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    Show Spoiler

    :bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:


    A - Male

    3 - Aspiring Mastermind

    S - Largely unknown outside of the palace

    Y - Hail from Nobility

    $ - Incriminating Materials


    Let's face it: an underdog in the court that everyone underestimates, but whose sheer talent allows him to outplay everyone and have access to Emperor's ear - ala Petyr Baelish/Littlefinger, Reinhard von Lohengramm, etc - is one of the sexiest archetypes in political drama.

    Not to mention the even sexier potential of getting sodomized by the Emperor himself.
     
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  3. Obsequious Approbation Savant

    Obsequious Approbation
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    288
    B
    3
    R
    Z
    *

    Let us be the female Eto Demerzel behind the throne, sacrificing people in our machinations. Maybe we should have some disposable children for that scrying bowl.
     
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  4. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,630
    Location:
    I'm on an actual spaceship. No joke.
    whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat
    Show Spoiler
    wat
     
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  5. Usury Arcane

    Usury
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,865,202
    It's not really. Please see the Lore Changes section. You won't find ghosts, enchantment tables, dragon breaks, potions which somehow cure you of losing half your blood, wizards blowing up ships, people thinking the arrows in their foreheads were "probably just the wind", soldiers in heavy armor swimming through rivers, horses charging up mountains or village shops selling magic books. I've heavily modified the Elder Scrolls setting to make it fit with Game of Thrones. A Skyrim fan would probably be really upset but, of course, we don't have any of those on the Codex.

    Take the Oblivion Crisis. According to peasant legends, daedra stalked the land until a god in the form of a dragon devoured them. In reality, some cultists murdered the last Septim Emperor and the realm fell apart. Which version sounds more like something which would happen in the world of Westeros?

    Lithium Flower Clan Shiverscale's assets are unclear. They number several thousand but their influence is unclear. Few men live in Black-marsh. Fables about traveling in the belly of worms and talking trees persist. The clan wouldn't feel that you own them, merely that they have to pay you (or your family) back for an old debt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  6. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,630
    Location:
    I'm on an actual spaceship. No joke.
    Huh. Another day, another septon.

    A
    3
    S
    Y
    ^

    T/a-
    T/c-
     
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  7. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    Question that might make me consider flopping from $ to ^: does Clan Shiverscale have assets we can use? Obviously controlling the Count will give us more politicool power, but what about the Argonians?

    EDIT: After reading GM's edit, I stick to $. We need every bit of leverage we can get. Support of a faction within an independent nation that is not even close to the conflict zone doesn't seem to be all that useful. Cyrodiil, on the other hand, is the Imperial province.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  8. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,153
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    A3RX% Ta- Tc-
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  9. Storyfag Arcane

    Storyfag
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    6,082
    Location:
    A Dark Place
    A - Male

    3 - Aspiring Mastermind

    S - Largely unknown outside of the palace

    Y - Hail from Nobility

    $ - Incriminating Materials
     
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  10. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,807
    Location:
    Vicksburg
    A2SY^ Ta- Tb& Tc+

    I like the idea of being some unknown courtly functionary with tremendous resources available, think of the opportunities for corruption! Or, maybe not that (getting executed isn't too fun generally), but there's still the chance to really screw over or benefit folks through careful administration of the logistics.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    10,656
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    So as a person who neither played Skyrim, nor read GRRM or watched GoT, should I try to make sense of any of it?

    A - Male
    3 - Aspiring Mastermind
    S - Largely unknown outside of the palace
    Y - Hail from Nobility

    I'll leave the rest for others to decide. I'll also note that we would have a far easier time voting/counting if the options were enumerated and denoted as letters (1A 2D 3B), rather than resemble freshly generated passwords.
     
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  12. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    I second this. If you check my earlier post, I fucked up the symbol for incriminating documents twice (though it doesn't help that I am kind of retarded). I think duplicate letters are fine, too, as long as they follow a reasonable sequence.
     
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  13. Gauldur's Bait Learned

    Gauldur's Bait
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    235
    A
    2
    R
    Y
    &
    T/a+

    By the way;
    Show Spoiler
    :dance::incline::bounce:
     
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  14. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,660
    Divinity: Original Sin
    Going to make as close to Flashman as I can

    A (Male is more suited for this type of game)
    3
    Q (War hero!)
    X (The Hero of the Argonian Pass!)

    ^ (Still friendly with some Argonian tribes)

    (T/a) +
    (T/b) - &
    (T/c) (Any option for dead, but despised and wealthy)? -
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
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  15. Usury Arcane

    Usury
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,865,202
    Your name is Decius Coriolanus.​

    You are a Bruman nobleman whose youthful genius has drawn any number of eyes in the Imperial Palace. No one is really sure how you managed to worm your way into the court and even catch the emperor's ear but all the palace factions are determined to make use of you. Despite your efforts to conceal your past, your connection to the lizardmen of Argonia has not gone unnoticed. Your first wife died without producing children. Your father and mother live in a manor near the ruins of Moranda. Burdensome taxation has made them unpopular.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Notes (open)

    Section II. The Game Map now links to both Skyrim and Cyrodiil.

    Section IV. The Muster of Men will keep track of forces, as best the Imperial Palace knows.

    Before next posting, will throw up Section V. as a reference section for important characters.

    Smashing Axe No such option but your vote did tilt wealth into the hands of your parents. I'm sure they're proud.

    Nevill Basically, we're dealing with a fake medieval kingdom invading our fake Roman empire which is currently fighting an uprising of fake vikings.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    As you recline on your bed, your eyes track the buzzing of a fly. It drones on out of reach, frequently landing on your leg or forehead. An assassin could pin it to the wall with a knife but you cannot even swat it. As a child, you dreamed of possessing such skill but time wore the dream away.

    Someone knocks on the door.

    "Come in." You sit up.

    A maid enters with her flaxen hair bound up in a scarf. The last bloom of beauty is fading from her face. She sets down a basket and moves to leave but you motion for her to stop. You draw glue out from the basket and spread it thin over a scrap of leather. The maid twitches.

    "My lord, I've duties to attend."

    "Wait." You raise your voice.

    The fly swoops over the glue. You tap it with your finger and pull loose with a little effort. Then you take a blob of fat from the basket and coat in glue. After a while, the fly spirals down and alights on the pungent mess.

    "Look at it." You say. "Paralyzed. It will starve, of course. Doesn't it make you marvel? This insect understands nothing but filth and refuse and yet, I, who would prefer having nothing to do with such things, understood better. Cassia, I very clearly instructed you not to enter these chambers unasked."

    "Oh, I'm sure I didn't, my lord."

    "You did three hours ago, between sweeping the hall and speaking to the manservant on the stairs, whom you feel is improperly attracted to you." A flicker crosses her face. "Although you've never spoken of the impropriety to anyone. Now, let's see... who would induce you to creep around my desk and cabinets?" The eyes are key. "A man? No, a woman. Yes and one older than yourself. Who is she?"

    "My lord, I don't know what you're talking about. Please, I've work to do."

    You whisper in her ear. "You've been a very virtuous woman. Tidying up here since halfway through last winter but never snatching even a handkerchief, until today, when you stole my book on Westerosi customs and hid it in your dresser."

    The maid looks about. "No! You've got me mistaken. I swear you won't find none of those books in the dresser."

    "I swear we will. I put it there myself. Now let's go along to the Oculati and report a theft. You can't read, of course, but all that gold-leaf on the cover must look fairly valuable. Oh, don't cry now. I'm not upset at you. It wasn't my book. Borrowed it from the emperor, you know."

    "What do you want from me?" She mumbles through her tears.

    You smile.

    "A name."

    ***​

    Continental Map (open)

    [​IMG]

    The Elder Council only convenes in the official chamber when at full strength, as for ceremonial ratifications and agreements. At present, a mere full hand rules the realm in the emperor's name. None has supremacy. Septimus Gracchus earned much gold trading. His loans buttressed the empire in the dark days after the Great War. By canceling these debts, he won both popular appeal and a high position in the government. The Keeper of Keys, Vitellius, has been a functionary since his early years. His reputation suggests loyalty and efficiency. Those two mistrust each other.

    You stride through the doors. Two guards from the Penitus Oculatus, the emperor's protectors, barely glance at you. So he is not present. The others have already begun. Without letting your irritation show, you sit. Heaven's Hall is all bright yellow and gold but not very large.

    "His majesty's... special friend... has arrived." Esja Comnena keeps her expression empty. The Nordic woman supposedly represents the high queen of Skyrim, though all knew Elisif to be a useless decoration rather than a true leader. Her temples have more grey than brown and her wiry hands grip the armrests like claws.

    "Splendid." Domitian says. "Now you're here to get in the way too." The Marshal of the Imperial Legion shakes his wrinkled head. "Do you remember the old man's speech? How he said the youth will be our future? I thought of you. Made me want to drink."

    The eunuch speaks. "His majesty appreciates that everyone has a use. If we are to repulse this invasion, we must make use of every resource." He does not hail from Tamriel but from the distant land east even of Westeros. He once served the mad king but fled when Robert usurped the throne. You smile at the thought.

    "Varys, we should just hand you over to King Robert." You say. "Why shouldn't he go home after he's got what he wants?"

    The entire table stares at you. The marshal blinks as if it will make you vanish, then shakes his head again.

    "Let's see then. Ten thousand Westerosi are camped on Solstheim, with at least ten thousand more sailing to join them. More than half of these are knights who fought in the sack of Braavos. Meanwhile, our old man is too tired to hear his advisors and we've got a fool on the Elder Council. You should be wearing a cap with bells." Yes. Keep thinking that. During the Great War, Domitian had been risen to General of all Cyrodiil. The emperor had little choice but to approve his selection as Marshal.

    "Oh, it's worse than that." Varys said. "They also have a small army in the east of Morrowind, a few thousand warriors. This army likely intends to march overland."

    "How many more armies can they send?" Esja asks but no one answers. All know King Robert's strength reaches to more than two hundred thousand and that he has not yet sent all his ships. If he intends more than a grand raid, another force will join the first two. "Have the lords of Morrowind allied with them?"

    "Morrowind suffers from much poverty." Gracchus' words roll smoothly as oil. "I expect the Westerosi simply bought right of passage. I'm puzzled they dare to attack at all, so close to winter. Perhaps they haven't stocked enough supplies. They're sending more than twenty thousand men here. Quite a few less mouths to feed."

    "Well..." Amaund Motierre speaks for the first time. All eyes turn to the Breton. "...suppose they only mean to take a few northern cities. If they mean to feast on our stocks when the snows come, they could well turn out a hundred thousand of our own people. Think of that starving horde ravaging the countryside. Imagine our other enemies, in our weakness, striking out at us: the glittering warhosts of the elves, the prowling murder-mobs of the lizardmen."

    "We can't neglect the possibility of a naval landing in Cyrodiil either." Says the marshal. "Or another of these free passage agreements across Black Marsh, unlikely as it may be. The argonians are too strong to let a foreign power into their land."

    Martin steps into the room. As personal manservant to his majesty, he is well heeded around the palace. He taps your shoulder and you follow him through the halls to the emperor's study. There, close to seventy years of age but still broad shouldered and piercing eyed, emperor Titus Mede II leans forward on an oaken chair. Numerous papers and missives cover his desk. A glass of some blue liquid bubbles on the wine table. He sighs.

    "Ah, Coriolanus, do you believe in the divines?"

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    1A: "Yes, your majesty."
    1B: "I do not, your majesty."
    1C: "Why do you ask?" {Dissemble}
    1D: "I considered becoming a priest."
    1E: "They haven't revealed themselves to me."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    "Some days, I wonder whether we have sinned very greatly." Titus Mede takes a sip. "It's hard not to see our troubles as a judgement. The war with the Aldmeri Dominion, the Stormcloak rebellion, King Robert coming for my throne and, soon, the worst winter of our lives. At your age, I would never have admitted to being afraid and yet I was. Now that I have better cause to fear, I only feel weariness. Curious, isn't it? Now tell me of the council meeting."

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    2A: Emphasize the army in Morrowind. Try to get spies sent.
    2B: Emphasize the naval threat. Musn't let the enemy fleet sail at Cyrodiil from the south.
    2C: Emphasize the supply issue. The emperor must focus on the dangers of insufficient stores.
    2D: Emphasize the main enemy army on Solstheim. The imminent invasion of Skyrim is the greatest peril.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    You return to your own chambers. Cassia is waiting by the fireplace, shivering despite the heat. The maid gave you the name of the woman who sent her to sift through your belongings: Runa, one of the chief cooks. You wonder whom Runa serves. Cassia starts when you enter.

    "I came back at dusk, my lord, as you asked me."

    "Yes, and you've returned the book. How thoughtful. You must be very grateful I didn't expose your theft. You must be eager (I would almost say) to pay me back. Now, what could you do for me?"

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Ask Cassia to:
    3A: Keep an eye on Esja Comnena, the Nordic ambassador.
    3B: Keep an eye on Vitellius. Perhaps the Keeper of Keys has a useful secret.
    3C: Keep an eye on Amaund Motierre. The Breton commands the respect of the others.
    3D: Keep an eye on Varys. Risky, as the eunuch may very well detect the spying.

    Also:
    4A: Investigate the cook Runa.
    4B: Ignore the matter. It may be a ploy to distract you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017
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  16. Obsequious Approbation Savant

    Obsequious Approbation
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    288
    1A (can we not just dissemble? a politician should keep up appearences, yes?)
    2B
    3A
    4A
     
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  17. Lithium Flower Magister

    Lithium Flower
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,016
    Fuck, this protagonist is awesome.

    So the Emperor is a weary sort? Not good. Or perhaps he is just tired. Nothing a little pederasty can't fix.

    1C
    OP, is 1 the truthful answer that establishes our faith or can we lie here? For now I say 1C because it gives us information without giving anything away.

    2C
    A raid for purposes of destabilization seems the most likely, and the consequences of that will be grave. Dealing with anticipated issues should be done well in advance. We can always send spies to Morrowind later on, and hopefully our reputation with Clan Shiverscale will assist us in cutting off Westeros from Argonia, but redistribution of supplies takes a lot of time and should be dealt with now.

    3B
    The Keeper of Keys will be crucial for the logistical part of the war effort (including dealing with the aforementioned supply problems), we must investigate him to see that the man hasn't become corrupt in his old age. And if we happen to come across some juicy circumstantial information, we might end up gaining leverage over this person, which is just as important.
    OP, what do we know about Amaund Motierre? Is he just a representative of High Rock? I might flip my vote to him once I have a better understanding of who he is.

    4A
    As established, we are underestimated and ridiculed. I doubt anyone would come up with an elaborate ploy to distract us. Worst case scenario, it is Varys probing for our abilities.
     
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  18. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,153
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  19. Storyfag Arcane

    Storyfag
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    6,082
    Location:
    A Dark Place
    1E
    2C
    3B
    4A
     
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  20. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,660
    Divinity: Original Sin
    1E
    I read this as being openminded. ie. agnostic.

    2A
    We need information first and foremost. Once we get an inkling of the main strategy we can adjust.

    3B
    I agree that he's the most important factor at the moment

    4A
     
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  21. Gauldur's Bait Learned

    Gauldur's Bait
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2015
    Messages:
    235
  22. hello friend Arcane

    hello friend
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    5,630
    Location:
    I'm on an actual spaceship. No joke.
    1E
    2C
    3A
    4A
     
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  23. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    7,826
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    1E
    2C
    3B
    4A
     
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  24. Usury Arcane

    Usury
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,865,202
    You told the emperor the divines had not revealed themselves to you. {This answer relates to how I'll write the character, not necessarily his actual beliefs.} Then you urged him to resolve the supply issue. You ordered the maid Cassia to keep an eye on Vitellius, the Keeper of Keys and decided to yourself investigate the cook Runa.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------​

    Outside, the sun beats down like a scourge and the Imperial City lies as still as a great city can in the middle afternoon. No wind stirs. Inside the palace, marble flagstones cool the air. The old men sleep. The youth play at chess and the ladies fan themselves. Even the servants laze about out of sight which makes your task somewhat riskier.

    You pad near noiselessly through the staff halls. The roofs reach a normal height unlike the high ceilings found elsewhere in the building. It is warmer and darker than the other quarters. Even the kitchens should be empty, or tended by a few sculleries. You hear footsteps and pause at a corner until they recede.

    Only a mother's soft lullaby breaks the silence of the quarter-houses. Curious. I thought this place existed for loyal older servants. In any case, Runa is an older woman. The mother's song ceases.

    "He's full. Here, hold your grandson, please. I'll be glad when we get a bit of cool."

    "No one was ever glad of winter." It is an older voice with a touch of iron and a faint Nordic accent. And Runa is a Nord name. "These are the dog days of summer. When the heat has lasted so long the world begins to burn, the divines at last turn the seasons."

    "I haven't forgotten last time. You wouldn't let me marry until spring."

    You knock. A woman with sagging skin and grey threaded hair answers. You smile.

    "Your name is Runa, is it not? Allow me." You step into the room and shut the door. A hazel eyed maid in the palace livery sits on the bed with a babe in her lap. "I am Decius Coriolanus. You may have heard of me. People do like to whisper. Now, please explain. Why did you send Cassia to spy upon me?"

    "You've mistaken me for someone else." Runa opens the door. Her face is almost perfect. She either speaks truly or lies masterfully. "May you find what you're looking for, my lord."

    You turn your eyes to the bed. "Your daughter is very pretty. Half Colovian, isn't she? Ah, I've an idea. You can tell me what I wish to know or I can have her reassigned to the far end of High Rock."

    "Good day, my lord." She pushes the door shut with barely a flicker across her face.

    Most disturbing. Her patron must wield a great deal of influence for her not to fear me.

    ***​

    "I owe you an apology." Domitian sips at his tea. "Sit down."

    For all the marshal's snowy hair, his strength has not left him. He still practices with the sword most days, not unreasonably, seeing as he fought hand to hand in the Great War. He was a legate when it began but ended as General of all Cyrodiil. Though the emperor's strategy brought the war to a truce, the terms of truce erased all his favor with the populace. Domitian by contrast, was bolstered by the retaking of the Imperial City without having his reputation tainted by a bad peace. It is not altogether clear whether the emperor could have refused him the position of Marshal. Still, fighting men often share a bond.

    "I can get a little short," he continues, "when not dealing with men under authority. It's an old military habit. You would do well in the legion. I could write you a commission."

    "Oh, no, no." You shake your head. "You flatter me. I wouldn't be any good at that."

    You are in the famous blue room, painted with scenes of sky and field. Mountains, trees and vines stand out from the walls in relief. The Aldmeri ambassador is often received in the blue room. In the Imperial City, the place has long been a by-word for opulence but the palace folk think much less of it since the sack of the city near three decades ago. The Elder Council refuses to allow diplomats from the Dominion into the much better preserved red or violet rooms. A functionary bearing a sealed note from Domitian brought you in and shut the door behind you. The two of you are alone.

    "Here, took this during the war." The marshal presents a knife in a gilded scabbard. "Bet you like that fancy elf work. Still very sharp but not much good. Aldmeri weapons tend to brittle in a deep freeze, or if you bring them too close to fire or even after aging a few years. This one will shatter if you put any pressure on it."

    "My thanks." The scabbard consists of what might be treated leather.

    "The legion paid for that, and a lot more like it, in blood." He stands and his voice rises. "Look, you're obviously very... clever. You've worried, just like the rest of us, that the Dominion may attack while we're fighting the Westerosi in the north. I don't say this lightly: the empire stands on the edge of collapse." He begins to pace. "We need more soldiers. You have to speak with the emperor. You have to make him understand." In a lower voice: "The old man doesn't trust me like he used to. Look, Corialanus, we need to strengthen the VIth Legion. It's nothing more than a black joke."

    "Splendid idea." You laugh. "We'll get Gracchus to fund it."

    "Don't laugh, you mountebank. We need new taxes, a tariff on Argonia, a general subscription, anything! We have five hundred men in the VIth Legion. It's a fiction, something I'm sure you understand well. I've been giving detachments from the other legions their heraldry and moving them around near the border. We have only three real legions left in Cyrodiil. Do you think three Legions can stop the Dominion, you fool?"

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (1A) Drop the act. Let the marshal see your keen wit.
    (1B) Keep acting. He doesn't need to know your true intelligence.

    (2A) Agree to speak to the emperor on his behalf.
    (2B) Say you can't/won't help him.

    If you do bring the idea to the Emperor:

    (3A) Support a tax on city dwellers but let it be known they can opt out of the tax by enlisting.
    (3B) Encourage a tax on farmers. It has been a long and bountiful summer. The Empire can afford to skim the surplus.
    (3C) Dip into the Imperial Reserve. A new tax would be a risky business at this time. Of course, it could be even worse in winter.
    (3D) Pretend to support the idea but arrange for matters so that it cannot possibly work.

    You'll also need another ally on the council. Ingratiate yourself with:

    (4A) Septimus Gracchus, the usurer.
    (4B) Vitellius, the veteran bureaucrat.
    (4C) Esja Comnena, the Nordic representative.
    (4D) Amaund Motierre, the Breton representative.
    (4E) Varys, the spymaster.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
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  25. Storyfag Arcane

    Storyfag
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    6,082
    Location:
    A Dark Place
    1A
    2A
    3C
    4B
     
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