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[LP CYOA] 傳

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

  1. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Sure, I'll tell you who's around. Want to know what the son's thinking and what the mother and everyone else in the compound is doing at the moment while I'm at it?

    edit: Anyway there's a listening technique for that. Heightens perception. You'll probably want to track it down to prevent a repeat of this particular worry.
     
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  2. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I did. And, well, I discarded the idea - it is highly implausible. The reputation of the Killing Physician is too well-known for her to make such a gambit. She could not have planned for your mercy - for all she knew, you would heal the head of the school, and you would take her life. There is nothing she stands to gain by involving herself in the nefarious plot and then letting you in.

    The only shady thing I can think of is that she knows of poisoning and wants to keep her son's involvement a secret, but even then her priotity seems to be her husband's health.

    If this is what you meant by 'saving face', then this is another reason he can't afford to gut us in the open - if the future master attempts such a feat, the school of honorable swordsmen is done for.

    I really doubt there is much more to what is going on. There might be deeper motives, but the bulk of the situation should be clear.
     
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  3. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    This is correct. Most of the important information has already been presented and discussed.
     
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  4. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Or, you know, actual perception points.
     
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  5. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    You need near superhuman perception to be able to pick out clearly the movements of people skulking around you outside the room, unless they're really clumsy. We're talking on the level of hearing the quiet, controlled breathing of someone from a good distance away.

    6 or 7 PER won't give you that. Anyway, I close the polls in one hour.
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Which precautions he took, exactly?

    You need to have one more session with the patient in the morning. He'll back off and try to dispose of you during the night. If the boy plans to take over the school, he can't afford to attacks us publicly.

    We are discussing the possibility of offing the head in his own school, when most people are around (it's evening), and the walls are made of paper. Surely nothing will go wrong!

    B is downright suicidal. If you are afraid of the internal plotting, going in secretly does not solve anything. Even if you could heal the man (which I doubt, the Cao'er is stated to be the healer you could never be, and even she could not heal him in one go - seems that the poison was too potent), what would you do once his life is no longer in danger? Dash out in the night and leave things to sort themselves out? Trying to pin the poisoning on someone is much harder when you have no business being there in the first place. Sneaking around does not help you one bit.

    I guess it is much better to rely on scheming and intrigue, where we rule supreme. This always ends well.
     
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  7. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire

    Can't live in fear. Voting C.
     
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  8. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Oh, and one last thing.

    Her primary concern is her family's lives. We don't want to play the mother against the son, but if we go away, her husband is dead. We must put emphasis on healing him first. If we play it from this angle, she will cooperate.

    And then we'll see if the old man wants to preserve the illusion of his family's integrity over his own life.
     
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  9. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Hm, I'll describe the paper 'walls' in a bit more detail since it's brought up. They're more like very big, ornate carved window frames set into wood or brick - the structure is more frame than 'wall', and these are facing the inside of the house. Not every house or every room is built like this, but it is more common amongst the richer folk.

    Think something similar (but not quite) this pattern:

    [​IMG]

    Except that it can't be opened, not being an actual window. The spaces in the frame's design are papered over. Less scrupulous people tend to poke little straws through the paper and start letting in sleeping gas or poison gas. :lol:
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

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    Hey, I know what these are. :) And they are not exactly soundproof.
     
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  11. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Yeah, they aren't. It doesn't affect the choice or the arguments any. Just wanted to prevent anyone from imagining 'paper walls' as actual walls made entirely out of paper and nothing else, or I might be hearing suggestions about letting Jing just bust through the walls and onwards to freedom. :)
     
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  12. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    We'll just have to LOWER OUR VOICE, won't we? :rpgcodex:
     
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  13. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    And I'm sure he has entire canisters full of poison and knockout gas laying around the dojo. Probably grows all the plants in the nearby forest and sells the product on the local market, too. :lol: Let's hope our standing up to Junior and shit luck will save Cao'er from being poisoned then, eh? At least she can heal us, I'm not sure we can heal her.
    Did Yao and Cao'er catch on to our shit luck yet?
     
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  14. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Well, your luck isn't that horrible. :lol:

    As for Yao, he's remarked that things have gotten remarkably more hectic since you joined them. More running from the local authorities, more stingy merchants refusing to pay, more inexplicable violence. The both of you blame each other for this, of course.
     
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  15. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    m4davis - C
    Azira - B
    LWC1996 - A
    Zero Credibility - E
    XenomorphII - C
    Ifeex - C
    TBS - C
    Smashing Axe - E
    ERYFKRAD - E
    Kipeci - C
    Kashmir Slippers - C
    Jester - E
    Storyfag - E
    Baltika9 - E
    Bloodshifter - C
    Nevill - C
    Stygian Lurker - C
    Tigranes - E
    Cassidy - E
    Grimgravy - C

    A - 1
    B - 1
    C - 10
    D - 0
    E - 8

    C wins.
     
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  16. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    :rpgcodex:
    Seriously bros.
     
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  17. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Yeah, you should've voted B instead. :roll:
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    So,
    Scholar or Doctor?
    :troll:
    Edit: can't wait to see how we fucked this one up.
     
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Oh, ye of little faith! Our Tigerbro shalt not waver before the unrighteous!

    And I want my drabbit.
     
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  20. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Turmoil in Songfeng

    You rack your mind for a while, thinking of the best way to reject him, and decide that you should at least be talking like you are addressing a senior eunuch even if you are telling him no. After all, you are the same person who, at the age of seven, had once pissed in the rice bowl of Grand Eunuch Li upon your prince’s suggestion; you will not back down from this bully. You will stand your ground. With etiquette.

    “I am really afraid I cannot do that, Young Master Rong,” you answer directly, taking such a polite tone that you feel like punching yourself in the head. “My senior is exhausted and requires immediate rest. I am sure the hospitability of your school rivals that of any inn, young master; I hope you will not begrudge us partaking of it?”

    Rong Zhiyu does not move, nor does he say a word. He doesn’t know how to answer you. A perfect gentleman with nothing to hide would acquiesce to such flattery, and that is how he wanted to present himself. “No,” he finally says unconvincingly. “I must insist.” Not the smartest man around.

    You already have an answer ready. “I have no say in the matter if you insist, young master. However, I do insist that my senior and I be allowed to bid your respected mother goodbye before we go, to thank her for her hospitability. We will need to inform her that we will be coming back the next morning for the follow-up session. Although your father is already recovering, we do need to perform a check-up to ensure he will enjoy fullness of health. I am sure you have no objections to that, young master? I’m sure no one can accuse you of being an unfilial son.” Perhaps you shouldn’t have said that last sentence, but then again, it was too hard to resist such a good-natured, innocuous line.

    “You are really something, aren’t you...” The young Rong grimaces angrily, staring at you. “Let’s see how long you can keep flapping that glib tongue of yours! I will not let you mock me!” His hand reaches towards the sword at his side - whether to threaten or to attack you, you don’t know, but you will not let him draw that sword.

    Rong Zhiyu may have more skill and experience under his belt, but you are faster.

    Whipping your foot up, you kick his hand away before he can close his fingers around the sword’s hilt.

    His eyes widen in surprise as he takes a step back, cradling his sore hand. You take a step forward, covering Cao’er entirely with your own body. Rong looks at you with suspicion and fear, realizing that you are not a simple apprentice who knows only herbs and medicines.

    “Young Master Rong,” you begin with a genial smile, “I am sure this is all a misunderstanding-”

    “THIEVES!” shouts Rong without warning, as he turns and bolts through the door. “Help! Thieves! The apprentices are thieves!”

    You chase out after the screaming young master and realize too late that the old sword he had given you is still in your hand. At least a dozen Songfeng disciples are heading towards you down the corridor, with Rong Zhiyu awaiting them. You don’t know if they were summoned by his shouts, or if they had been waiting there all this while, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are trapped. He points an accusing finger at you. “This boy attempted to steal a sword from us!”

    The disciples glare at you menacingly, some of them drawing their own swords. Should you fight? Should you flee? You doubt you can talk them down.

    Before you can decide, a loud voice interrupts the din. “What is going on here?” Madam Rong pushes her way past the disciples, looking around her in bewilderment. She turns to her son and asks, “Zhiyu, what is going on?”

    “Mother,” beseeches Rong, “we must dismiss these burgling misfits! I warned you that the apprentices were bound to steal from us, and they have. That boy there went and stole the old family sword!”

    Madam Rong spins around quickly, staring at you. There is a severe look of disappointment in her eyes as she catches sight of the sword. “Oh, Xu Jing, you should not have done that!” she exclaims loudly. “My husband would have given it to you if you asked for it tomorrow. It’s just an old sword after all. This is most unseemly! I knew the Killer Physician and his apprentices were the sort to do as they wish, but this...”

    It looks like despite her friendly nature and the services Cao’er has rendered, the eccentric reputation of Master Yao - helped along by you - is not a wall that can be surmounted all that easily. You resist the urge to scream your innocence, or to shout anything sarcastic that they could misinterpret. Taking a deep breath, you calm yourself. Protesting your innocence or suddenly accusing Rong Zhiyu of poisoning will only make you look worse at this point. Expecting anyone in this school to believe your word over that of their young master, without any shred of evidence, when you are in a pinch yourself and could be expected to lie to save your own skin - that is an exercise in futility.

    “I am very sorry, Madam Rong, Young Master!” You take the very best apologetic behaviour that you have learnt from your years in the palace, and bend your body in a deep bow, offering the sword back obsequiously with outstretched arms as if they were the Dickless Five themselves.

    “I have always been interested in swords from when I was a child!” That is the truth.

    “This sword felt interesting in my hand,” That is also the truth.

    “ I am not sure how the sword came to be in my room in the first place, but I couldn’t resist taking a closer look at it,” you begin to lie. “Unfortunately the young master must have misunderstood the situation when he entered the room without knocking.”

    “That’s… right,” muses Madam Rong. “I could have sworn you did not leave the room with Cao’er…” She catches herself and makes an embarrassed cough. “I mean, I thought the sword was in the armory. Did we misplace it?”

    “He… he must have snuck out and taken it!” protests Rong Zhiyu angrily. “You are a common thief and it was a mistake ever letting the two of you step into this house!”

    “I am truly very sorry for offending with my actions, young master, but my actions are my own. Do not lump Cao’er in together with me. My senior is in every way better as a person, a rare flower blooming on a heap of dung. She would never condone what I did - she came only to heal your esteemed father.”

    You take a surreptitious glance at Madam Rong as you remind her of what Cao’er has done for the school’s master. Your heart is pounding very quickly - you are throwing out words as you think of them, hoping to find a way out of this little pickle and praying not to make a misstep. You had underestimated Rong Zhiyu’s cunning. Well, not by much, but still…

    “Mother, do not listen to this sneak,” snarls Rong desperately.

    “Oh, dear son, perhaps we overreacted a little?” says Madam Rong finally. You feel the joy of relief rushing through your body. Rong Zhiyu would not cut me to pieces without reason in front of his mother. If he was that sort of man, he would have cut his father’s throat while the old man was still weak from poison; you do doubt the son can best the father in a straight fight.

    “Please, young master, you may retrieve the sword. I meant no offense by it,” you say, continuing to keep your body bent. You could keep this up all night. Your best record for such a position was issued by the Emperor via Grand Eunuch Li’s counsel after the rice bowl incident - ten hours. Your back hurt for days afterwards.

    “I think we should let the boy look at the sword more if he wants to, shouldn’t we? Zhiyu?” asks Madam Rong as she turns to her son. “He does like swords, like you do. I think he will respect the sword and its current owners enough not to run off with it, even if he was not educated as well as you are.”

    The young master just stares at me with undisguised hate. Things aren’t going the way he planned at all, but to be fair, things aren’t going the way you planned either. You straighten yourself without waiting for him to respond. With a somber face, you say, “Again, I must apologize for causing the disturbance tonight, madam and young master. I hope you can find it in yourselves to forgive me. You must not blame Young Master Rong for his misunderstanding, madam. I can see he is someone who will zealously fight for the school’s honour, and a man of upstanding character.”

    “Yes, my son is a good man,” smiles Madam Rong. “Being our only child we put everything we had into raising him as a gentleman, and I am happy to say that he has surpassed all of our expectations. He may be a bit… over-enthusiastic at times, and trusting in nature, but he always does the right thing.”

    Behind her, the son in question glowers at you.

    “I can see that he is exactly as you describe him,” you say. You had just one more thing to say. “Ah, Madam Rong, my senior had bid me say something about your husband’s condition.”

    She becomes nervous. “What is it? Is there something wrong?”

    “Oh, oh no. Not at all. She just said that until the dawn comes, your husband would do better with his spouse’s touch. The medicine she made promotes an energetic circulation of yang qi. She says it will aid his recovery in both his flow of qi and… ah, other matters if you stay by his side tonight.” You say the last line with a tone just suggestive enough that a mature woman would understand its meaning, though you take care to keep your manner remote.

    “Oh, oh my,” says Madam Rong, turning slightly flushed. “That… would be nice. Cao’er is a very knowledgeable girl for her age, isn’t she? Thank you.” Rong Zhiyu gives a slight choke of disbelief, a scandalized look creeping over his face at what you have just implied. He stomps off in a huff, the disciples following in his wake while casting suspicious glances over their shoulder at you. Madam Rong, on the other hand, gives you a quick nod of the head before walking off towards her husband’s room.

    You heave a sigh of relief. That was a close call. Had you been a bit slower with your words for any reason, Madam Rong would likely have ordered you to be locked up. Then, no doubt you would suffer a mysterious accident while in the cell. You don’t even want to think about what might happen to Cao’er.

    When you head back into your room, you find that she’s fallen asleep, grinding her teeth loudly and sprawled wide on the bed. You roll her onto her side, making room for yourself, and sit down as you rub your eyes. The one-page manual that Rong Zhiyu had tossed at you is still here. You open it, studying the instructions for that one step. You won't be able to execute it overnight, but you have nothing to do anyway. It’s going to be a long night.

    ***

    You are pleasantly surprised when you awake the next morning without finding your throat opened up by an angry heir of a sword school. However, there is a heavy weight pressing down on your legs, and they have turned uncomfortably numb. Sometime during the night, Cao’er had crawled into your lap. You shake her awake and begin preparing yourself. It’s time to wrap things up at Songfeng.

    When you arrive at Rong Muben’s room with Cao’er in tow, he still looks frail but in much better condition than when you saw him last. Madam Rong is still with him, her face shiny and her hair slightly disheveled from exertions that you will not mention on this fine autumn morning. Rong Zhiyu is already there, looking uncomfortable. When he sees you, however, he smiles gracefully and bows. His eyes, however, are full of venom. You have made an enemy here.

    Madam Rong introduces the two of you to the conscious master, who bows his head politely and thanks you for your help. “I am in your debt, Xu Jing and Cao’er,” smiles Master Rong. “I did not think I would survive this sickness.” You take note of those words. Most masters are able to know if they have been poisoned - that he did not realize it means that the poison was of a very insidious nature. You are definitely not the first physicians to have paid a visit; the others must have failed to diagnose the poison that was killing the master.

    Cao’er gives you a quick tug of the sleeve, noticing you lost in thought. “...will tell you the details of the illness when we do our studies later, Jing,” she whispers. You nod.

    The second session is almost similar to the first, though you glimpse Cao’er hitting different points this time around. When it is done, Master Rong exhales. “This is wondrous. I feel like a new man, better than I was before the illness. You must be as good as your master, little girl.”

    “...no… not yet,” she replies shyly.

    “I am not sure how I can repay you,” says Rong Muben. “My son says that you have been particularly taken with an old family sword of ours. It is yours if you wish it. I understand that the common price for the Killer Physician is the life of another, and I am very grateful that it has not been requested. We do not have a lot of taels at the moment, but we will give what we can spare. I may also find some other way to repay you for your kindness, perhaps a letter of recommendation for your conduct.”

    You glance at Rong Zhiyu. You know that he will not give up this easily and that he will make another attempt on his trusting father in the future. However, you are also certain that Rong Muben, oblivious to the danger, will not listen to your warnings. After all, you have not managed to find any evidence at all. If you bring it up, a man like him will only consider it an insult to him and his family. You could collect your payment and walk away. That means that should Rong Zhiyu become head of the school, you will have made an enemy of Songfeng.

    According to the Stratagems, to ensure your foe is defeated, you must be thorough. When the grass is cut the roots must be eradicated. Leaving Rong Zhiyu alive and in position to carry out his plans may come back to haunt you in the future regardless of how powerless he may seem right now - you have certainly earned his ire. How, then, can you eradicate him?

    There is a path ready for you to take - a path where you prey on Rong Muben's honour to protect him. The Killer Physician’s price. Though Cao'er had declined it, you know she will follow your lead in this matter, deferring to your judgment of the situation. You will claim it, and you will claim Rong Zhiyu’s life in a fair duel so that there can be no complaints. Rong Muben, being the honourable man that he is, will be forced to accede to your request. He will not seek revenge for this price, though you will not be favoured by the Songfeng school either. Who can be, after killing their young master and heir?

    If you do not, you would be leaving Master and Madam Rong to the whims of their son, and possibly their deaths. Is that how you should conclude this case? You feel that it leaves things unfinished, that you have only helped them insofar as it is convenient for you to do so, that you have no need to worry about anything besides the scope of your job and the magnitude of your rewards. But perhaps it is the wiser choice to take.

    You choose to…

    ***

    A. Accuse Rong Zhiyu in front of his father.

    B. Do not accuse Rong Zhiyu in front of his father.

    1. Claim the Killer Physician’s price, forfeiting all other rewards that you may get.

    2. Walk away with the rewards that Rong Muben will offer.
     
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  21. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    A. Goddammit bros. Goddammit.
    Also, can't we throw a hint or two at him, with some diagnosis analysis?
     
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  22. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    You'll combine this choice in the form of A1, A2, B1 and B2.

    A1 will be you accusing Rong, and then declaring that you will take his life in recompense for his father's.

    A2 means you accuse Rong but leave it up to them to do as they will, and you will walk away with whatever reward the father still sees fit to offer, if any.

    In B1 you do not accuse Rong, but you do claim the price, perhaps preferring not to try and spoil the son's image in front of the father.

    And in B2, you say nothing and walk away with whatever Papa Rong gives you.

    If he isn't likely to believe you even if you state it right to his face, why would throwing mere 'hints' work to change his mind?
     
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  23. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Ah, I thought 1 and 2 were tied with B. I guess I'll vote later.
     
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  24. LWC1996 Learned

    LWC1996
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    A1.

    We know what Papa Rong is gonna say, and we've already antagonized Young Rong here. We should finish the job we've undertaken. No half-ass shit here.

    1) Prevent any further attempts on Old Rong's life.

    2) Prevent Young Rong from coming after you with vengeance in his heart should he become the new Master of Songfeng.
     
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  25. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Walk away. No way we can salvage this satisfactorily. Good thing the Songfeng is only a small school of little repute. B2

    Also, we should so much have taken the beggars quest instead. :roll:
     
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