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[LP CYOA] 傳

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    You don't farm for a week or two. If you are trying to farm, you are planning to be here for a long while.

    When a government finally decides to act, what would you do then? You can't take up your lands and your houses with you. Nomads can pull off raids against a superior force, settlers can't.

    Not to say that these people aren't behind the recent raids, but they certainly don't make their living this way. Either they are not responsible, or there is a mighty good reason they are doing this stuff despite all the risks it entails.
     
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  2. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Of course they don't make their living through farming, I've said all that it's a supplement to piracy or at least something for the folks left on the island to make themselves useful for while they're off raiding. If they're going to be on some land that they think is vaguely arable, then why not make use of it if it's at all possible for as long as the time they're on the island? Sure, it'd be gone if the government acted, but the government is paralyzed and either can't or won't act against them and they know it. They don't need to be moving around every other week because, barring some absurdly wealthy merchant getting mad and assembling a force against them or something, they're safe at their pirate base. Even then, they might still have it covered-- if they have more guys like the one here, those pugilists are going to be slaughtered even if they get past the traps.
     
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  3. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    A Ninja...

    A PIRATE NINJA... :yeah:

    Voting B, this is kinda suspicious.
     
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  4. Rex Feral Liturgist

    Rex Feral
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    Since the pirates are of Nippon(Japan) I am expecting to see some ninja/samurai guys here.
     
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  5. kazgar Arcane

    kazgar
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    treave uses "offer loredump".

    It's super effective!
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    It occurred to me that these guys may be aware of the orthodox assault going their way. treave, did the girl come to the island with us? There wasn't a mention of it in the update.
     
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  7. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The wording of the previous choice heavily implied so.
     
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  8. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    The Pirate Leader

    “I’ll speak to your leader. Take me to him,” you say.

    The man is silent. “Not a choice I would agree with,” he says, finally. “Very well. Try to keep up.” In a blur, he vanishes, the bushes seemingly untouched in his wake. You follow, making a bit more noise in comparison as you run through the forest. He leads you back to where you had seen the line of women and children earlier on, though you are headed in a slightly different direction to where they had went. Further in, you come across a small cave entrance, guarded by two spearmen of military bearing. The man speaks a few quick sentences to them in their foreign tongue, and the guards bow before standing aside to allow you entry.

    You are forced to duck to enter the cave; it is a narrow squeeze, but a few steps in the space widens out more comfortably. You stumble, your hands grasping the wet rock to steady your feet. “You cannot see?” asks the man, somewhere in the darkness ahead of you. You wonder how he can make his way around in such total absence of light. There is the sound of shifting cloth, then a quiet scratch, and a slow glow appears in front of you. The man passes you a small torch. “I am sorry,” he says. “Sometimes I forget. Come, now that you have light, move faster.”

    After a few more twists and turns through the narrow rock corridors, you finally see light in front of you, at the end of the tunnel. You follow the man out into a small, earthen room, well-lit by numerous torches. The air is damp; you can smell the sea. The room seems to have been decorated after the fashion of a war room of some sort – there are long, white and blue banners strung down from the ceiling, while a map of the coast is pinned up across a wooden board at the end of the room. Men in scaled cuirasses sit cross-legged in a neat line on both sides of the room, their posture straight and firm. At the center of the room stands a young man, similarly protected in that foreign armour. A curved sword hangs by his side; you recognize it as a wodao, commonly used by his people. His bearing marks him as one used to command. A map of the island is rolled out across the floor and he is placing small wooden checkers across it in a simulation of what you can only think to be the coming battle.

    The man escorting you goes to his knees in front of the youth, confirming your suspicions about his identity. They exchange words in their tongue; the pirate leader’s eyes flick towards you for a few seconds and back to his subordinate. Suddenly, one of his men begins shouting at you, getting up and gesticulating angrily. You do not understand a word, so unfortunately all you can do is look back at him and smile bemusedly. He takes a step forward, his manner threatening. His sword is halfway out from its sheath when your hand flashes forward and grips him by the throat. He chokes and sputters, his eyes shining with panic as he tries to breath. As one, the room reacts, men leaping to their feet and placing one hand on their swords. You note, however, that the man who had intercepted you in the forest, and the leader himself, remain rather unmoved.

    You grin under your mask, saying, “Unfortunately I am not well-educated enough to speak the language of Nippon. Could anyone versed in Han convey this message? Find a better way to test me.” The leader that barks out a command. They heed it instantly, returning to their positions on the floor. You release the man you are holding by the throat, allowing him to cough as he retreats.

    “It was a misunderstanding,” says the pirate leader in Han. Then, he speaks another sentence in his language, gesturing at his men to leave. Though the man in black does not move from his liege’s side, all of the other pirates bow to their leader and file out of the room through a different entrance from the one you used.

    “Now that we are alone here, will you take off your mask and give me your name, warrior?” asks the leader. “I find it disconcerting to have to talk to that… visage.”

    You laugh, pulling off the pig’s mask. “I suppose I could allow you that courtesy. You may call me Xu Jing.”

    The young man repeats your name, attempting to get the pronunciation right.

    “Ah, so he was masked, my lord? I thought there was something wrong about his head,” muses the man in black as he unravels his own mask, revealing an older man of about fifty. “Was I correct about his age, however?”

    “Indeed, uncle Yoriwaka, on both accounts. It surprises me, that the pugilists would send someone so young as a scout.”

    You had not figured it out in the dark, but out here in the light, you realize that the man in black, Yoriwaka, is blind. He makes a good show of disguising it; he blinks and shifts his eyes around just like a seeing person would, but if anyone paid enough attention they could notice the subtle differences.

    “Ah, you know about the pugilists? You are rather well-informed for a pirate leader.”

    “Your people were not hiding their advertisements for fighters to join a pirate hunt. I would be no leader if I did not keep an eye on the movements of those we have wronged and seek to do wrong upon us in return,” sighs the young man. “I am Yorimitsu of the Minamoto clan. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Xu Jing.” You think you have heard of that clan before – they were supposed to be some big shots in Japan, equivalent to nobility. If only the scholar were here right now; he’d probably remember more than you do.

    “What is a member of a famed clan doing all the way out here as a pirate? Is it at the behest of your government?” you ask.

    Yorimitsu laughs. “If you think Nippon is attempting to invade, you have thought wrong. We are exiles, cast away from the court due to brotherly strife. I, and fifty of my loyal retainers, as well as their family, were sent away from our homeland, never to return. We sought refuge at the Tang court, but all they granted us was this island, Tetsuhashi.”

    “We had not heard of that,” you say. “At least, everyone is certain that you are nothing more than low-born pirates.”

    “The prefect of Yangzhou, at least, knows of us, and he exacts tribute in return for the navy turning a blind eye to our deeds. Furthermore, your eunuchs and ministers did not want to be seen as interfering with the internal affairs of other nations. It was not widely announced, and this island was of no value to anyone. A perfect place to dump some political exiles and forget about them. But we had to take what we could get. We were in no position to negotiate.”

    “And so you resorted to piracy.”

    “Not by choice, but necessity. I will apologize for the harm we have caused to your people, and I do not claim my actions are righteous or just, but I do not regret taking those measures. We have tried and failed to farm here time after time. My duty is to my retainers and their families. If that means I have to take from your people to feed my own, I will do so.”

    “Why not just settle on the mainland? If you managed to found a village on this island, it should not be too difficult to eke out a living on more fertile ground.”

    “I have considered that option, but there are two problems standing in the way. Firstly, after so many months we have yet to identify a suitable location nearby on the mainland. None of the villages will take us in – we have tried, and failed, to even trade with them, before resorting to raids. I am afraid foreigners are not very welcomed here. The city’s market is different, but no less useless to us – there are powerful merchants linked to the prefect that have barred us from trading. Understandable, as some of them do business in my home country and they would not want to incur the displeasure of the Taira. Secondly, if we were to venture further inland, we would not have the supplies necessary to make the long march. I hear that bandits are rife upon the roads, and the total number of women, children and elderly I have to protect number nearly two hundred. Why would I risk the lives of my people when we have begun getting comfortable here?” declares Yorimitsu.

    You scratch your head, sighing. “Then why did you express a desire to meet me? What do you think I can do for you?"

    “It was obvious that they would send a scout beforehand - it is only prudent to do so on the eve of an attack. If I were lucky, the scout that came would be a reasonable person. Given uncle Yoriwaka’s account of your skills, you must be a highly respected pugilist despite your age, probably a warrior of some renown, if you were entrusted with the mission to scout the battleground by yourself. I hope that you will warn your fellows to leave the island. We are fully prepared for their attack; any battle will exact grievous casualties on both sides.”

    If he thinks you are a highly respected pugilist, he must not have done enough research. He might be regretting that very soon. You laugh again. “You sound like a bright leader. At least, you seem to have given all this more thought than I have,” you say. “Why, it almost sounds like if you are gone, your people will fall apart in very short order.”

    “That is a correct assessment,” he says calmly in response to your veiled threat. “If taking my head could solve this conflict, I would offer it gladly. However, I do not see any alternative that strikes me with enough confidence to leave my people to their own means. My task is not yet done. That is why I ask for your aid. You will be well compensated – we have kept some treasures from the pirates that were here before us. I only require that you convince the pugilists to turn around and leave.”

    Even if you do so, there would still be the problem of their piracy to handle - as long as they were raiding, they would face the risk of reprisal. Chasing the pugilists away is not a long term solution. Of course, you could think about that after you talk to the pugilists for him... or you could settle the problem once and for all right now.

    ***

    A. You will side with the Minamoto and attempt to negotiate a deal for the pugilists to leave. Of course, given that your reputation is hardly that of ‘highly respected’ in their eyes, as Yorimitsu seems to think it is... this will not be easy. In fact, you think your chances of negotiating are so low that you would probably fare better attempting to beat them all down by yourself, but if that is what Lord Yorimitsu wants...

    1. You ask about Miss Zhou’s friend – you will send her away with Miss Zhou and the boat. They will not cross paths with the pugilist fleet, but at least this way they will not be here if fighting does break out.

    2. You ask to bring Miss Zhou here – she will definitely be of use in ‘negotiations’. You do not think she will be able to convince her father by herself, but you have the added option of making a more persuasive argument of your own if you have her 'hostage'.

    ***

    B. Taking his head will solve matters; at least, it will solve matters for you. You may have been at a disadvantage in the dark, but in the light you are confident things will be different. You attack Yorimitsu. Once he is dead, his people should be scattered and unable to muster any reasonable resistance, leaving them easy pickings for the pugilists when they arrive.

    ***

    C. You decide not to take sides for now. You ask for Miss Zhou’s friend – judging from his personality, Yorimitsu has no real reason to keep her here in an impending attack, and take her back to the ship. Then, you will wait and see how the battle plays out before deciding how you should act.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2013
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  9. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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  10. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I'm not against a peaceful resolution, but maybe we could attempt to employ them against bandits in return for letting them off and such. It'll be hard as fuck right now though, I'm not certain that we're in a position to negotiate successfully, considering our actions thus far.
     
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  11. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    B>C - We were foolish enough to commit to an action without knowing all the information. This is the price of our folly. Let's stick to our word and be some LN imperial dick.

    I will reiterate that he has broken the law and killed innocent people in order to maintain his position, despite what he may say about looking after the best interests of his people. He is outlander pirate scum and a veneer of noble bearing won't change that.
     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    treave, in A2 will Miss Zhou come with us willingly, if we promise her that the successful negotiations will assure her friend's safety, as well as the safety of her husband?
     
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  13. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    treave Is there any way we can cook up a pirates-kidnapped-your-daughter scheme, so that the pugilists would be more inclined to hear the pirates out? That way we can possibly pass our presence off as though we followed the girl here, instead of having brought her here, assuming we can do something about whoever brought her on the boat.
     
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  14. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    She'll be willing to cooperate in A2. Blaming the pirates for kidnapping would likely reduce the chances for a peaceful resolution between Zhou and the pirates, unless you're planning to stage a show where you single handedly storm the island to beat the pirates, save the girl, and show everyone you're now the master of the pirates and they'll listen your orders.
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Then nothing else needs to be said, if the 'hostage' is willing. A2. Will elaborate later.

    treave, did we manage to learn how bad were the raids? All we gathered from the update is that the rumors about them were greatly embellished. Were they of a 'kick your men, kill your women and rape your dogs' sort, or were they more like cattle raids?
     
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  16. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    They are more like armed robber-thieves, in that they try to keep things quiet and subdued, but if discovered and/or cornered they will resort to threats and violence to escape with their loot, so as not to get lynched - as mentioned in the update, xenophobia is a thing here, particularly in the rural areas. In that sense they are probably a lot less ruthless than the previous bands of marauders, more restrained, objectively they aren't remotely as brutal as the bandits on the mainland, and they certainly don't go about burning down women and molesting huts... but to say that they have never ever killed a single innocent in all of their raids might be too much to promise. Incidents do happen.

    Putting that aside, there will certainly be those who have died, but would have survived if not for the pirates taking things like their food and medicine, for example. Their hands aren't squeaky clean. Their raids will have cost lives, one way or another.
     
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  17. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    B>C - Let's get this done and over with. The moment this guy chose to resort to piracy and refuse to turn away from it, he lost any chance of this being a happy ending for him personally. Whether now or in the future, the pugilists will come with overwhelming force and the death toll will be high for his people. The main problem is his ninja uncle, but he himself may be a difficult opponent if skill runs in the family...

    With luck, after he's dead, we can convince the pugilists that the villagers were hostages the pirates took in a raid and maybe they will provide them shelter on the mainland.
     
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  18. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    The Southern Maniac's apprentice siding with ninja-pirates? :lol: Too funny not to try to make work.

    A2
     
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  19. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    A: Even if we manage to turn the pugilists away, the pirate problem would not be solved and they would come back at some point.
    B: Is isntant-loss i guess, since the ninja uncle will rape us if we try anything stupid (plus i dont like the option even if we would succeed).
    C: If negotiations take place, there might be a good solution for everyone without bloodshed.
     
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  20. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    A2 also sounds like it will piss off every pugilist, ruin to the UTTERMOST our rep with the majority of the orthodox community (a few of the sect heads may still like us, but they seem quite unwilling to tell their underlings that so far...), and probably get the girl killed. We will have completely confirmed any fears of us being a traitorous prick/kidnapper. It may seem noble from a story perspective, but everyone who hears of it and isn't one of the 300 or so pirates here, will think we're a major dick.
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    We exist for the sole reason to piss off the self-righteous.

    Why? Will the daughter tell we kidnapped her? Isn't she going to cooperate?

    How do you envision it, if the negotiations turn out to be successful?

    Even if we manage A2, though, we'll need to take care of this situation by making a petition to Shun. It cannot continue as it did for much longer.
     
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  22. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    If we succumb to the sob story of every bandit out in the world, we're never going to get far.
     
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  23. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Yeah, but these are pirates. NINJA PIRATES. Not bandits.
     
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  24. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I'm pretty sure it's Jing's cockiness speaking in B, the uncle is still one fast and strong dude backed up by swords and spears (which we don't know how to fight against yet) and while their leader seems more 'Bel'Adrahasis' than 'Bel'Adrasteia', I'm sure he's pretty capable in a straight-up. Part of his education.
    I'm perfectly willing to backstab the orthodoxes in exchange for techniques stealth training from the blind Master.
    I'm just not sure if it's worth it or if we should take the girl and go.
     
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  25. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Sign. This really didn't go the way it looked in the beginning. Voting A2 for now, though I'm really not sure how is that going to play out. Is she going to play a hostage for the pirates while we negotiate the task force away or something like that?

    Even if it works it won't solve anything, but maybe we could work something out later. Somehow. Anyway, we do have a willing hostage. It sounds like in A1 we would try to negotiate, fail, then beat up the entire task force? That actually sounds kind of fun, but I'm not sure it is doable. Might be, considering that they are short one master already. Don't like B because high moral ground is all well and good, but it is kind of hard to ignore when people you are responsible for are starving to death around you. It is one thing to place your honour before your life, but to place your honour before the lives of some 200 women and children is something else entirely. And it looks like they really did try all other options before resorting to piracy. C also leads to a lot of people getting killed on both sides, and perhaps that could be avoided. Anyway, our reputation is shit already, so might as well make it even worse. With the exception of those that know us personally, nobody will ever like us anyway - so fuck em.
     
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