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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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    There is a third outcome. 'Ambush' him too early, and without any evidence to implicate him he will have no problems claiming his innocence, and people on your team will have no choice but to believe him. Then you get all the perks of having him on the loose without an ability to easily catch him red-handed due to warning him beforehand.

    Crying 'wolf' is different from playing it safe.
     
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  2. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    That made zero fucking sense. First off, if we grab him, we might actually find some evidence doing this. Second off, even if we don't have evidence of guilt, we can still keep him locked up because around here that's just the way shit goes (unless he can prove his innocence, we can keep him locked up on suspicion). Lady Suien isn't so tenderhearted as to let him go (she suggested interrogating him, remember?), and the rest of the team answers to us.
     
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  3. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Perfect. Now, if only I could draw people's attention to the fact that telling Yunzi about our Firelordship does not change her plans and how she intends to go about them in the slightest:
    I am a bit concerned with our interpersonal dynamics if we get to travel together. I'd rather keep things between us as they were. But I guess there is not much chance of that.

    On the bright side, at least we get to molest Armaiti without risking our life.
     
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  4. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    And I'll re-draw your attention to this:
    I'm down with being as open and honest with her as possible, to build a strong relationship. Honesty is kinda a big deal in that, and it will serve practical purposes as well. So...yeah.
     
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  5. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    That's my point. There are no decisions so far that need to account for Ahura's well-being.

    I don't get why this sudden change of attitude is happening now of all times.
     
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  6. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Uh...because Ahura is obviously a factor in how she will carry her shit out and a concern for her:
    That's what this whole phrase is about. She obviously isn't going to go around China shouting about the Ashina's rebirth because:
    But Ahura is definitely a thorn in her side so long as she thinks he lives. This will untie her hands completely and give her and us free reign and action. Openly working together between us to strengthen the Cult is also a great idea.

    I know the desire to trololol her when she shows up at the Temple is strong, but I just think that telling her about it will be better from a functional standpoint.
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    treave, if one combines Shangguan's sword qi techniques and the Cult's fire qi, would they be able to set their weapons on fire?
     
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  8. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    You don't need the Sword Saint's techniques for that. Just coat the weapon in oil and put a torch to it.
     
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  9. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Thoros of Myr style, from his drunken revelry days. :yeah:
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Day of the Trial

    “What?” Yunzi shoots up, slamming her palms on the table in surprise and attracting some looks from the nearby tables. Her fake beard almost drops off, and as she frantically readjusts it, you gesture at her to be more quiet and to sit down. Her expression continually changes as she tries to get to grips with the situation. “I… is he really… You’re lying, aren’t you?”

    “We need proof, Holy Maiden. Let me contact Vahista at the Temple,” whispers Armaiti.

    Without saying another word, you show Yunzi and Armaiti the ember – the small spark that the Flame had left within you. That finally convinces them.

    Yunzi takes a deep breath, a vacant look in her eyes. “If that is the case, then… but… what if…” mumbles the girl unintelligibly, “…that means you are… and I have to… with you…” Life returns to her gaze, and together with it a very obvious blush as blood rushes to her head, the realization of her current circumstances striking home. “Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.” Letting out an awkward laugh, Yunzi stands up rigidly, knocking over a few dishes as she does so. “T-t-t-this is a bad joke, isn’t it?”

    “Wait-“ Armaiti reaches out, but Yunzi has already run out of the restaurant, screaming. Turning to you, she gives you a quick, apologetic bow before going after her mistress.

    You guess she won’t be helping you out after all; it looks like that revelation was too shocking and important for her to focus on any investigations at the moment.

    ***

    Later that night, you find yourself bowing to a little girl, forehead plastered to the floor.

    “You really have no pride or dignity, do you?” she sniffs admonishingly, though you can hear the pleasure in her voice.

    “Strangely, it is less shameful to me to kneel before a little girl than I am a burly man,” you say without looking up. “Would you like your food now? I am afraid you took the last duck in the city… I hope you enjoyed it.”

    “A-ah, well, it was nice. Of course I enjoyed it. You have the makings of a good servant, boy. You may be at ease.”

    “I was born one,” you reply smoothly as you get up. Qilin is making a look at you that says ‘this girl is your responsibility’.

    “Good, very good! I like you. I think I’ll keep you!” laughs the girl.

    You think it a rather daring statement coming from someone who plans to be leeching off you for the forseeable future, but you hold your tongue. Before the conversation can progress any further, however, Qilin drags her off, saying, “The two of you can talk after you have your bath, girl. You’re really dirtying up our room.”

    They return minutes later, the girl scrubbed clean. Qilin looks exhausted from the effort. The girl’s hair is jet-black and long, almost reaching down to her knees. Her skin is as pale as snow and her eyes large and shining, granting her a doll-like beauty. You cannot resist poking at her fair cheek – it is soft. The girl reddens and swats your hand away angrily. “Such insolence!”

    “So, what brings you to Youxia City, mistress?” you ask.

    “Now, don’t be surprised when I tell you this,” grins the girl arrogantly, “but I am actually not a normal little girl. I am the Tianshan Child Elder, master of the Tianshan mountains who has been also been called the Thousand Year Snow Devil and the Eternal Ice Beauty, amongst many other names.” She looks at your face and frowns. “You do not seem very surprised.”

    “I… ah, I had my suspicions,” you say. “Why are you all the way down here… and so dirty, too?”

    “Oh, that is a long story,” she grumbles, her mood clearly taking a turn for the worse. “Some imbeciles in the Xueguizi thought I had the Xuanming Jiuyin Holy Art. Many of the Xueguizi’s techniques stem from that silly manual, but we have not held that book in centuries. My predecessors gave it away somewhere in the Central Plains.” She slams the table with her small fist, fuming. “In fact, only someone who knew the actual techniques in that book would be able to seal away my inner strength! Idiots! Fools!”

    “You mean…”

    “Yes, I am not a normal little girl, but currently I am only barely better than a normal little girl,” she sighs. “It was someone from the orthodox sects that visited Tianshan just recently, searching for the manual. My memories are hazy… I do not remember many of the circumstances that led up to the sealing thanks to those bastards, but I do recall my lieutenants turning on me in their greed for power.”

    “I see, Mistress Tianshan… you are here to track down the culprit?” you ask politely.

    “I barely escaped with my life! I came down here thinking that that brat, Wang Zhengchong, would be able to help, but it turns out that he somehow got himself killed two years back.”

    You suppose that is why she is here in Youxia City – she must have been heading to Wudang before she found out about the news.

    “Anyway, if I undo my seals normally it will take me fifty years to regain my former strength. I’ll have aged into an old hag by then,” scowls the Tianshan Child Elder. “I need to find the Xuanming Jiuyin manual and learn the techniques within to reverse what has been done to me. You have the Wuxiang Qiankun – that much I can tell, from my experience, and if that is the case it is your destiny to collide with the pracititioners of the other manuals.” She gives you a sweet, child-like smile. “So, all I have to do is to follow you around! Worry not, having me around has its… advantages, even if I might not be able to fight like I used to.”

    Having heard what she has to say, you sigh. “You better pull your weight, then.”

    “What is that? What is that attitude of yours? Show respect to your elders!” she shouts.

    “Elders? I only see someone barely better than a normal little girl in front of me,” you grin.

    “Y-y-you!” stutters the little girl angrily. Laughing, you pat her head gently as if she were some feral kitten to be tamed. “Don’t worry, I won’t abandon you. Even if you are useless.”

    She seems to accept that, and withdraws sullenly, glaring at you. “Fine, I’ll let you see how useful I can be. A-anyway, from now on, call me… yes, call me Xuezi. That will do. It would be best not to refer to me as the Child Elder in public.”

    ***

    In the end, you do not manage to gather any more evidence on your searches. Yunzi has not left the city yet, perhaps having other matters to see to, but she flees from you every time you attempt to approach her. Just as you are about to give up, you find Xiaofang just hours before the trial – or rather, Yifang and Lingshu do. Having built up some sort of strange, inexplicable caramaderie with the poorer of the city’s inhabitants on their forays, they managed to locate the young eunuch unconscious in a rundown sickhouse, feverish and half-dead.

    “Poisoned… again, never seen this type of poison before…” says Cao’er.

    “It’s not familiar to me too. Some components of it seem to be similar to our Wudu in origin, but I can say for sure that we do not have anything like this at the moment,” comments Qilin.

    “…actually, same poison with Du Yao…”

    “Are you sure, Cao’er?”

    She nods. “Different body, different reaction… very interesting…”

    Taking care of the eunuch, they also find that he has been struck by the Qishang Fist of the Jinkong Sect, similar to the slaughtered constables that had been the start of this entire case. His injuries were not as life-threatening as the poison, however, and Cao’er told you that it would take at least a week to stabilize his condition.

    “Out of the way, let me have a look.” Xuezi – the Tianshan Child Elder – pushes her way bossily to Xiaofang’s side.

    “H-hey, who let a kid into the room?” asks Fu Xia.

    “Shut up, you insolent pup!” shouts the Child Elder. “Now… this mark, yes. It is unmistakeable.” She points at the tiny holes on Xiaofang’s chest.

    “…same holes on Du Yao…” mutters Cao’er.

    “Hanbing Needles (寒冰針, Ice-Cold Needles). It is a Xueguizi technique, where we make sharp needles from icy qi, drawing water to freeze from the air itself.”

    “I see,” nods Lady Suien. “That would explain why the murder weapon could not be found. They melted. How long would a needle take to melt?”

    “It can vary,” replies Xuezi. “Expert practitioners can make it last for longer, while amateurs can hold the needle together for no more than scant seconds.”

    “Could they freeze poison in liquid form?” asks Lady Suien again. “Could they dip the ice needles in poison?”

    “That is all possible,” says Xuezi. Then, she turns to you, a proud, arrogant smirk on her face. “See?”

    You pat her on the head, causing her to explode in anger at your patronizing ways.

    ***

    Even if you had identified the murder weapon, however, you had not confirmed the murderer. There were no other leads that bore fruit; the Jinkong Sect members did have an alibi for the time Xiaofang was attacked. You would have liked to wait until Xiaofang woke up so that you could ask him some questions, but unfortunately it looks like the powers-that-be in Youxia City would not wait any longer; neither would the garrison commander and the bandits led by Pang Xiaohu. Unrest in the city was rising at the uncertainty of the current situation, and they had agreed to close this case of Du Yao’s murder so that they could move on to other issues… like how the city would be governed from now on.

    You presented all of the evidence you had to the presiding judges – all three of them, Du Yao’s lieutenant, the garrison commander, and Pang Xiaohu, who seems out of place sitting with the other two. It was not the usual way a court would be conducted, but Youxia City had some leeway to set its own legal practices due to its autonomy.

    “That is all you found?” asks the garrison commander. “It seems to point towards a foreign assassin being the murderer.”

    “They might have escaped the city long ago,” sighs the lieutenant. “Still, there is nothing that says Jiang Zheng isn’t the murderer. He might actually know this needle technique in secret.”

    Pang Xiaohu offers no insight, sharpening his axes in boredom.

    “Perhaps a confession is in order,” continues the lieutenant.

    “Perhaps the city simply is too insecure, allowing the assassin to escape,” says the garrison commander. “But I can see the appeal of obtaining a confession, in the absence of any other possible suspect.”

    It looks like they will order Jiang Zheng tortured in an attempt to make him confess.

    ***

    A. You keep quiet. Since the garrison commander and Du Yao’s lieutenant appear to be agreeing on this matter for some reason, it would be best not to upset the boat. The evidence you have managed to gather is there, and if it cannot convince them of his innocence, that is all you can do. The truth will out itself eventually, and perhaps the chief will be a necessary sacrifice to keep the peace.

    B. You speak up, attempting to persuade them that the true assassin has fled the city. It is in fact a very likely scenario, though you cannot be sure whether it is the truth. If it works, however, you at least spare Chief Jiang from any torture, though you are also unsure what future ramifications this conclusion would have for Youxia City.

    C. You still think Fu Xia is hiding something. You had refrained from interrogating him until you found more evidence that might point to him, but you have no choice now but to bring him into the spotlight for a public interrogation in a last-ditch attempt to fully solve the case even in the absence of that evidence... although you are not sure whether it will actually be fruitful at this point.

    ***

    Vote Tally (open)

    Final tally:

    Absinthe - C
    Baltika9 - B
    Lambchop19 - C
    Zero Credibility - B
    Esquilax - B
    ERYFKRAD - C>B
    Smashing Axe - C>B
    asxetos - C
    Nevill - B
    Kz3r0 - B
    Tribute - B>C
    Kashmir Slippers - B
    Elfberserker - B>C
    Jester - C
    Akkudakku - C>B
    Kipeci - B>C
    TOME - B
    XenomorphII - C
    profreshinal - B
    ScubaV - B
    The Brazilian Slaughter - C
    Azira - C
    skaraher - C
    Rex Feral - B
    archaen - C
    Grimgravy - B
    Fangshi - B
    LWC1996 - C
    GreyViper - C
    Tigranes - C>B
    root - C
    Sunnmøring - B>A

    ***

    A - 0
    B - 14
    C - 16

     
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  11. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    :lol: Oh god, I fucking called the Tianshan Child Elder. So hilarious. Say, treave, now that she is de-powered, she will age normally?
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
     
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Baltika9,
    :nocountryforshitposters:

    You've lost her. Again.

    It looks like Lambchop19 is the last bastion of defense against the homo threat. Forgive me, bro, for I knew not what you had to struggle against daily. I'll vote for Rance choices from now on.
     
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  14. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    C

    The other options are shit. We should've interrogated Fu Xia privately before but this is all we're left with now. He's much more likely to have done it than Jiang Zheng.

    If we vote A:
    • Pro: We're done. No fuss.
    • Con: Jiang Zheng dies despite being innocent. We basically fail.

    If we vote B:
    • Pro: We just might get Jiang Zheng free.
    • Con: If we fail to persuade them, Jiang Zheng dies despite being innocent.
    • Con: If we succeed at persuading them, Jiang Zheng quite possibly dies anyway for political expediency. They need a scapegoat to pin it on.
    • Con: Raises a ruckus.

    If we vote C:
    • Pro: If Fu Xia is guilty as we all suspect, then we have the right culprit and case solved.
    • Pro: Jiang Zheng does not die.
    • Pro: Even if Fu Xia somehow really is innocent, he is much more expendable than Jiang Zheng.
    • Con: Fu Xia might die as an innocent.

    I think we need Jiang Zheng to continue the manual investigation. Voting C, because not only is Fu Xia most likely to be guilty, he is also expendable even on the off chance that he somehow isn't guilty.
     
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  15. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Oh, relax and stop being such a drama queen. The girl is venting her frustrations. Better now than at the siege of the Fire Temple. She's still in the City. Give her time.
     
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  16. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    By the way, treave, can we see Xuezi's skills?
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I'd rather have the girl with us and let her vent the anger on the ortodontists later. You just wasted her super special frustration power up for nothing.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Oh please, let her stew in it for a night and her mental frustration will turn into something...different. We gon get raped.
    Anyway, voting for B. This "interrogation" in A and C reminds me of this old Russian joke:
    We have absolutely zero material on Fu Xia, no reason for him to admit anything even if he is the perp.
     
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  19. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    You realize B is guaranteed to not solve the case and even if we convince them, for reasons of expediency they will just force a confession out of Jiang Zheng anyway?

    These guys aren't interested in actually solving the case. They're interested in calling it solved so that a successor can be appointed and the unrest dies down.

    It's C or we sacrifice Jiang Zheng. Don't kid yourself.
     
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  20. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Not quite, B is specifically attempting to to convince them that the perp is out of the city, B doesn't equal A. Granted, it's not guaranteed success but we are also taking a completely wild stab with C as well, and a stab the results of which we absolutely cannot predict. Honestly, with 7 CHA and 6 Speech, I think that we can pull it off. Browbeating Fu Xia seems just empty to me right now: if he's innocent, then what the hell are we doing? If he's guilty then that means he studied the Jiuyin manual and what do we do then?
     
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  21. Absinthe Arcane

    Absinthe
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    Okay, here is what you fail to understand, Baltika9. It's not a question of "do we succeed at convincing them there was an outside culprit." Even if we do successfully convince them the assassin escaped, they still need a scapegoat to pin the blame on, so they will just do in Jiang Zheng anyway. For reasons of political expediency. Where the fuck do you think you are? This is Youxia City. Do you think they care about honest to goodness proper justice? They just care about the city running smoothly.

    "Completely wild stab" my fucking ass. How many fucking signs of his potential guilt have we found so far? He has no alibi for what he did when Du Yao was assassinated and no alibi or what happened to Xiaofang. Furthermore, we have confirmation that it was most likely the same person now that we see the same technique used on both people. We also know he has a weapon matching the crime scene. We know he's been two-faced, he delayed us from searching for Xiaofang (“Don’t worry,” says Fu. “He tends to operate on his own… he’s something like a loan from the eunuch department.”) and he's been trying to put us on the trial to Jinkong which still looks like a framejob. He's been unhelpful and suspicious every step of the way and now you're pretending he has all sorts of reasons to be innocent. We also know we have a mole who gave away the manual in the first place, remember?

    No, we can definitely predict the result. Fu Xia is found guilty. He has no alibi and even without any evidence they would probably declare him guilty anyway. They need a scapegoat, remember? But odds are the interrogation will actually turn up good information.

    Do you really think Fu Xia is a badass super martial artist in disguise? Also, the Hanbing Needles was a Xueguizi technique, not a Jiuyin technique. From what we've heard, he's probably at novice level for the technique. We can just cripple his internal energy during interrogations anyway.
     
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  22. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Yes, I do believe that we can be wrong about Fu Xia's guilt. Just because he's incompetent doesn't automatically make him guilty. If the dude is innocent and we cannot for the life of us produce solid evidence of his guilt, then what? And even if he is found guilty, it still makes the Empire look just as bad as Jiang Zheng's "guilt" and will provoke the Bandit Kingdom.
     
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  23. C - as in cock-up:

    Geez. I totally agree with Nevill that we just wasted Yunzi's blow up. We should have waited and had her stay with us. Then we could have revealed it just as we all entered the temple. It would have been EPIC. *sigh* You're supposed to keep a girl waiting. Give her some build up. But noooo, you jerks had to go and blow our wad earlier than a virgin at a hooker convention and now she's gone again.

    Oh, AND you didn't get any info out of Fu in spite of the multipage discussion we all had about how he was obviously up to something.
    :thumbsup: all around. :rpgcodex:
     
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  24. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    The lieutenants do. I am not sure about the garrison commander. In the end, he is the one we'll be appealing to.
    If he refuses to give an imperial servant in the hands of an executioner, what the hell would they do? He is the one who has 3000 men with him.

    B mentions some unknown future ramifications for Youxia City, and I guess that would be the likely result - if it works.

    I see the appeal of both B and C, and also the ways they can go horribly wrong for everyone involved. I am not too keen on pursuing Fu Xia without any leads (we counted on producing evidence in the course of an interrogation, which might as well translate to 'we have nothing'), but the guy has been pretty dodgy so far.

    I am on the fence about this, really. If there is anything I'd loathe to do, it is throwing accusations around before you have something solid.

    That, too. If we frame another constable instead of Zheng, it will not make us look any better.
     
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  25. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Going with B. It will probably not going to end well for this city, but fuck it. At least it might get the chief of the hook. The problem with torture (at least outside of fantasy) is that you can get the victim to confess to anything eventually, as long as you keep turning the thumbscrews. And without any clear way to confirm what they are saying it is completely worthless. I don't want to sacrifice the chief and I don't want to throw Fu Xia on the rack either since we don't actually have anything concrete on him. And weren't the tracks found too small for him (I remember reading something about that but can't find it now)?
     
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