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[LP CYOA] Epic

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by treave, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Now that I sat down and thought about it some, the choices are less about "lol banquet" vs "nah brah, tits or Gtfo", but more about how we will approach Dio's rise and career: do we build power in Etruria, by option A and the timely death of our father to usurp House Camna and recommend ourselves by impressing the Emperor at The banquet/assassinating him at the request of the watchers and working our way up as a public figure, OR we choose B: decline and go to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and work our way up as a diplomat/servant of the Emperor.
    In essence, it is a choice between which of the two skillsets we use.

    Now, treave, my bro, I would really appreciate if you answered these questions. Inquiring minds must know.
    1. Can we get a character skillet for Dio? I get politics and foreign affairs, but what else? I am especially interested in his dueling skills. Also, will we be able to teach him new skills?
    2. If I correctly understand our situation, we basically have 8.0 gold, zero prestige points and a Barony?
    3. What kind of lands does Camna own? City, castle or just a large mansion in the countryside with a couple peasants and servants?
    4. Am I correct in assuming that the characters we didn't pick will carry on with their lives of fame and glory and that we will (hopefully) be playing a regular mortal man for this chapter?
    5. Has Dio exhibited any strange powers throughout his life (THE POWER OF METAL)?
     
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  2. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    1. No.
    2. Pretty much.
    3. Manor is within the city limits, but you own some farms out in the countryside.
    4. You'll see.
    5. Not yet.
     
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  3. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Now for our goals. We must, absolutely must, establish a flexible framework for this chapter to succeed, otherwise I'll decide to fuck it and go back to full retard, because this will be a rerun of chapter six. So, let's DISCUSS!, bros.

    Dio comes across as a man that will do everything in his power to win, only he will do so smartly, keeping his...hands...clea- wait a minute, where have I seen this before:

    Hmm... Ruthless, talented, cunning, tenacious, ambitious with a kind, but weak father. And he's blonde.

    ...Dear Emperor, could it be?
    It is him!
    [​IMG]

    treave, I demand that this be the banner of House Camna:
    [​IMG]

    I think the good Emperor doth protest too much. But, tell me, will Ean and Sekhenun ever meet again? I must know! Please!
     
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  4. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    The problem in Chapter 6 wasn't a lack of goals (we had plenty of goals in the beginning), it was going full-retard at the end because we stopped thinking. The framework is pretty simple for now, really: every move that we make should be predicated on advancing our position in the world. Dio is very different from Ean, so we we should play him appropriately. Anyways, here's the preview treave gave us:

    Right now, Dio's power base is very weak. A would bring Dio a lot of scorn and jealousy from the other nobles now that we're seen as favoured by the Emperor. Regardless of what choice we make, Dio is going to be leaving for his new job in Ankida soon, and I am sure that once word gets around that he's had a meeting with the Emperor, he's bound to catch a ton of resentment, especially given House Camna's low status. It will put a bullseye on us.

    The differences between A and B are the amount of risk we're willing to take. B would mean less negative attention from our peers and is certainly safer, and would likely involve a slower, steadier rise to power where we can build our strength from a position of relative anonymity. We'd also be able to guide events from the shadows with greater ease, which is why I'm flopping to it. We'll also be heading into the capital without anyone that we can trust - Tullus and Crassio will not be coming with us, apparently. Regarding our masked friend, I'm fairly convinced that whatever interests our masked assailant represents aren't there to frame us or assassinate the Emperor:

    Right now, I'm working under the theory that a certain set of interests wants to facilitate Diogenes' rise to power for as-of-yet unknown reasons. The people who are doing this are more interested in observing and setting certain events into motion that are favourable to them.

    I believe that the Emperor and our masked contact are very close, hence his signet ring. This person doesn't have assassination in mind; If he wanted to kill the Emperor, the masked man could probably have done so already given that he's in a trusted position. Whatever game is going on, there's more to it than a petty assassination plot.
     
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  5. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Exactly, we had a lot of goals. And that is exactly why most of us went full retard: we put too much shit on our plate and couldn't pick which one to finish first, so we ended up half-assing it by trying to please Athena, close the rift, unravel Skane and save China, all at once. I said it before, but the reason I said decided to fuck everything was because we were rather unfocused.
    What is optimal is a small set of loose and flexible goals that do not railroad us, but give us a point of reference for our actions, such as: better the Empire by advancing competent people into positions of power and disposing of inefficiency, and also advancing our own standing within it, optimally becoming the Emperor, or his right hand man. However, for no reason should we put our character above the wellbeing of the Empire, as that would be incredibly shortsighted, as Ean is going to return, in one form or the other.

    As for hosting the Emperor, it is a question of high risk for high reward. If we impress him, I am quite sure he will reward Dio suitably and advance him rather quickly, and definately put him into a public position (I'm hoping for a governor position, eventually). However, it will indeed attract haters, forcing us to be much more careful. So, this boils down to either being the cunning serpent, or the roaring lion, politically speaking of course.
    And I really want to play as a Tywin Lannister figure, so I'm sticking to A.
     
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  6. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    I don't want to keep beating a dead horse, but that's just not true. We started off the chapter by picking a goal and sticking with it - we chose to deal with the rift, so I don't see how we were half-assing it by doing too many things at once. We put our efforts toward the Terasphagos threat nearly every single time we had the opportunity to, so I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that we were unfocused.

    Saving China and pleasing Athena had nothing to do with the stupid decisions we made at the end of the Chapter. What happened was that people were desperate to close the rift and unwilling to gamble on Vajra, then once we were inside the portal, the voters got all "oh shit what do I do?" and voted for sphere diplomacy, which sealed Ean's fate. Blaming it on not paying attention to China or Athena or something equally irrelevant is pure rationalization. The mistakes we made occurred once we encountered the rift, not before.

    Anyways, enough about that. We've spent way too much time on that topic.

    Play the character the way he's written as. He's an ambitious, cunning and ruthless noble who wants to gain power and influence to reverse the decline of his House. Fortunately, the better the Empire does, the better it is for our House. We can use that as our guide. Ean might return, but right now we're Diogenes, so what Ean is going to do isn't relevant at the moment. Put that out of your mind.

    Anyways, A is a lock regardless, so I'm not going to argue for B even though I think it's the smarter decision in the long-run.
     
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  7. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I'm back on telegraph.@Esquilax: when I said to keep the Empire first, I meant us, not him. Let Dio go his things and us worry about the bigger picture, as in not compromising the Empire and optimizing it, if possible. About risks(continued in next post)
     
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  8. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Didn't you just finish talking about being gunshy? But, more importantly, while all you said is true, the SS would not recruit a promising asset to just abandon it completely. They mustn't be our crutch, but they are another tool for survival and sucess.
     
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  9. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    A - We wanted to be a scheming politician. Might as well go all in...
     
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  10. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    Maybe sticking with it was the mistake. We had two time sensitive tasks, and we decided to stick with one, even when we had to sit and wait for years. When we finally were given an option to shift our focus to China, we didn't take it. We had wasted years on the rift and had not made progress other than finding the rift. That should have been our cue to turn towards China.

    I think we should use the meta we have and steer Dio that in mind. Ean is coming back. What is Ean going to do with a ruthless noble who poison other nobles to speed up his own rise to power? I don't see the protector of the humanity keeping around such a person as Dio.
     
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  11. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    Oh, I wouldn't be so sure about it. I think it's high time we send our "for the betterment of Mankind" agenda into overdrive. Becoming ruthless will be essential at one point. Rewarding Dio, as long as the service he'll provide will have actual value, will be a good start.
     
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  12. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Chapter 7.3: Death, Banquets and the Idea of Love

    It was the first time you had actually killed a man personally, though you felt nothing as your father’s lifesblood washed over your hands, his eyes open in uncomprehending terror. He remains staring as the light fades from his eyes, a fool to the end. You were thankful that he had adopted you into House Camna, but his usefulness had ended once Arte died and you were heir. The Camna name was near worthless to you as long as he still lived, and now that he is dead, you will be able to leverage his old connections personally, as the new head of a House of one. If things didn’t work out… well, you could always make the most of your recently acquired inheritance to get yourself adopted again by an even more prestigious House, surrendering the name of Camna.

    Still, it was such a simple trick that you could hit yourself for not thinking it up sooner. Drunk, sorrowful, ailing and alone, he receives a prank letter from a mysterious source taunting him about his eldest son’s death and he takes his own life in grief. The mysterious masked man had sent it, as part of his service. Whatever was inside you did not know – Velius had thrown it into the fireplace – but it had ended up with the old man crying, while clinging to you, right up until you drove his own dagger into his heart.

    You look down at the rapidly cooling corpse with some distaste. You have always heard that people would panic and go crazy trying to wash the blood off their hands, but it appears those are just stories after all. It looks like it was time to call the servants in, as witnesses to their master’s unfortunate death. You prepare yourself to grieve – it is a good thing that everyone knows you were such a loyal son to the very end.

    ***

    After you had fulfilled the masked man’s sole condition, everything went perfectly. The Emperor himself had asked for you as a host, apparently desiring to meet with the new head of a distantly related household. King Orgiano of Etruria had little choice but to agree. He was not too happy, but his staff gave a sigh of relief – in secret, of course – that they would not have to host the large entourage that Emperors always lugged around with them.

    That heavy task fell to you. It would have been impossible to organize it without your betrothed’s help. Thania Unata was the sole daughter of House Unata, and looking at her parents you can't help but be intrigued at how they had managed to spawn a marvel such as her. She had brains, and to add to it, good looks. Even back when you were children, she was the one who had led you in schemes outsmarting Arte. She had a keen mind and a sharp eye for details, and Arte, the buffoon, had never appreciated it sufficiently. Sure, he loved her – as if that meant anything to you as you stole her heart and body from right under his nose – but he wouldn’t have known how to use her. Even with all her good traits, though, Thania was still an Unata. You did not really mind marrying her, but sometimes you wondered if you would not be more prudent to hold out for a chance to marry upwards.

    “Dio?”

    You are startled from your thoughts, and turn to look at Thania. She looked even more stunning than usual today, her brown hair cropped short after the Gallian fashion that was currently all the rage amongst the noblewomen of the Empire. The more discerning ladies would have been able to tell that it was a cheap cut, but she wore it well enough to outshine lesser women groomed by the best stylists. A rich-looking dark green dress, lined with blue satin trimmings, accentuated her assets. She notices you looking at the dress, and beams.

    “Why, don’t tell me you are stunned by the dress? I must say… it fits me well.”

    “Why would I be? I bought it. It’s just that… no, it doesn’t fit you well. It fits you perfectly.”

    “Is that a compliment for me, or a compliment for your own taste, Diogenes Camna?”

    “It is a compliment for my taste in women, Thania Unata.”

    The both of you laugh, looking at the guests that were milling about in the reception hall of your manor. As she stops laughing, Thania sighs, a wistful look suddenly on her face.

    “I wish Sir Velius would’ve been here to see this. He would’ve been so proud of you.”

    You nod your head in agreement. “Father would’ve been overjoyed to see so many guests. House Camna hasn’t received so many people in years.”

    She stretches her arms with a sigh of agreement, her dress slipping slightly to reveal part of her shoulder. You resist the urge to wince – her rural upbringing sometimes expressed itself distastefully. “I’m sure this won’t be the last time. There’ll be at least one more, won’t it?” Thania smiles. You know she’s talking about the impending marriage. “I feel that together, we can do anything. We always have, haven’t we, Dio?”

    She was right, in a way – she had been extremely helpful to you over the years. Certainly, you knew that she thought of you as her best friend and lover, not some noble sop that she was to marry for upward mobility in the social strata. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot the Emperor at last. It looks like Thania would be helpful to you again tonight.

    ***

    Emperor Rennephilio XIV was a dark-haired, stocky man of maybe 40 years of age. He had been on the throne for 15 years, and everyone agreed that he was the best Emperor they had ever had. Of course, everyone says that right up until the new Emperor takes his throne, so you had never bought into what people said, but instead observed what they did.

    Rennephilio was a good Emperor for you; that was your conclusion. He cared not for intrigue, but more for the pleasure of his rank, exercising a libido that was said to be legendary. In his youth he had been a good warrior, but that had not translated to steel in the battlefield of politics. This effectively meant that actual governance was left to the Council of Kings, though it also meant that when Rennephilio insisted on something, the Council were more inclined to give it to him without any debates as he rarely demanded anything of them. His lack of interest in politics meant that the kings and nobles had more or less dismissed him – not to his face – during his time on the throne. You know better, of course; Rennephilio is still the Emperor of the Shinari, and he wielded great power if he should choose to use it.

    You would just have to find a way to entice him to.

    Besides Rennephilio stood his son and heir, Runikylos, the eldest son of the the Emperor’s Egyptian consort, and the most promising prince in the entire Imperial family. Given all the talk of the rumoured return of the First Emperor in the more religious corners of the Empire, some have even taken to calling him Ean reborn. You could believe that, as he cut a dashing figure in contrast to his father; tall, handsome and intelligent. He was your age, and you had attended the Academy together, though in different classes.

    As you approach them, the Emperor notices you and gives you a big grin of approval. He holds out his hand. You bow as you kiss it, and Thania repeats the same. Watching the Emperor closely, you note the gleam in his eye as he followed her curves as she bows. You had studied the Emperor’s interests, and the dress you bought for Thania had been tailored to it.

    “My Emperor,” you say, with one hand held over your chest. “I hope our hospitality is to your liking?”

    “Oh, yes, of course. The wine is superb, the food is excellent, and every beauty in Etruria seems to be present. So this is your fiancée, Camna?” As he says that, his gaze again wanders over Thania. You could sense that she was getting uncomfortable, but she kept her smile on her face and held her posture. You heave a sigh of relief inwardly that she was at least competent enough to do that. Thania bows again. “Yes, my Emperor, I have the great honour of being betrothed to Sir Camna.” The Emperor nods approvingly and slowly. “I’m sure the honour is his… You are a lucky man, Camna. A lucky man.”

    “Indeed, my Emperor.” You bow again, as an expression of gratefulness.

    “Ah, father, you must not monopolize their time to yourself. Sir Camna, a pleasure to meet you at last.” Prince Runikylos steps forward to change the topic, a smile on his face, and holds out his hand. It was not a gesture for you to kiss it, however, but to shake it. You do so.

    “The pleasure is all mine, my prince, but what do you mean, at last?”

    “We went to the Academy together, though we were in different classes. Your thesis on the benefits of the continued independence of Free Scania was extremely interesting.”

    You open your eyes in amazement. “Truly, the imperial family is possessed of divine patience. This is the first I’ve heard of anyone that actually read that damned tome.”
    The prince chuckles, knowing your mock surprise is in good humour. “Oh, it is a real damned thick tome indeed. My learning master said it was twice as thick as the usual submissions he received, so he gave it twice the marks.”

    You laugh. “I should thank him for allowing me to top the class then. But come, my Emperor, Prince Runikylos, the banquet is just getting started. Shall I call for more wine? I must’ve raided every cellar in Etruria just to find a drink befitting the Imperial family.”

    ***

    All the poison tasters in the world wouldn’t have been looking for a subtle aphrodisiac slipped into the wine. It had been hard to procure, but the effects could be easily passed off as a matter of the alcohol loosening inhibitions. As the night wore on, you called Thania over, in full view of the Emperor, and asked her to fetch something from your chambers. It didn’t take long before Rennephilio, slightly tipsy, excused himself too, and walked off after Thania. Soon after that, you notice a concerned Runikylos rise from his seat. This will not do – you walk over to him, putting on a slightly worried look on your face.

    “My prince, I am the host here, so please leave this to me.”

    He shakes his head. “I know my father’s vices, and as his son I will be better placed to deal with any problems that might occur.”

    “It is not for a son to see his father’s shame. I do not want any family arguments to occur under my roof, not when…” your voice trails off, choking slightly, and the prince’s face turns slightly red. He was a smart one, and caught your intent immediately.

    “I’m sorry, Sir Camna, I spoke without regard… I am sorry. You must still be grieving over the death of your esteemed father… I understand.”

    “Please, let me handle the matter, my prince.”

    He nods, and pats you on the shoulder. You give him a grateful smile, and walk off to your chambers. Although it was a short walk, you took your time, and when you opened the door to your room, you were greeted with the sight of Thania’s tear-stained face, her torn dress, and the Emperor attempting to hold her down. They turn to look at you, on one face an expression of hope, and the other one of surprise.

    ***

    A. Your plan was proceeding smoothly. You allow the Emperor to continue his activities...

    B. Somehow, you find yourself unable to go through with this. You stop the Emperor.
     
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  13. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    A, I say. The Emperor, it would seem, is accustomed to getting what he wants. It would be extremely unwise to interrupt him.

    Random question treave: how is sea exploration going? Any chances our Empire will discover the New World? Or at least a sea route to Concordiat?
     
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  14. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    The Empire has explored Greenland, but as the weather is getting colder, attempts at colonization are frustrated. There has been a Greek colony on Iceland for about two hundred years now. Also, the Empire and the Concordiat already have a sea route to each other, but no ships that can actually make the journey without making multiple stops at ports along the coastline of the Indus Empire.
     
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  15. ScubaV Prophet

    ScubaV
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    Gotta go A to stay consistent with the previous choice.
     
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  16. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    God, we're such an evil manipulative snake, which is fine enough, but we're one without any true friends. We're a mask to all the world. Still, now would be exactly the wrong moment to have a change of heart (Although I suspect that if we do not choose B then the Emperor's son may take a disliking to us, which may come to bite us in the ass if his father dies). Suffice to say, I'm willing to choose B, but practicality demands A.

    A

    Also:
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Lambchop19 Arcane Zionist Agent Literally Hitler Batshit Crazy

    Lambchop19
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    A

    :practical incarnation:
     
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  18. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    B
     
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  19. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Hmm, not only a choice between loyalty and manipulation, but the long and short term. The banquet was excellent. This, however, is where it pays off. We bet on either Emps, for a reward now or Lil' E, for a reward later.
    Looking for input, leaning to B.
     
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  20. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    That, going by treave's "Late Renaissance" comment might actually be the current fashion :smug:
    In other words, you just introduced us to Dio :salute:
     
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  21. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    B. As has been pointed out it's a long/short term choice. We clearly have the silver tongue to make sure the Emperor isn't so offended to screw us over (after all, I doubt even he can just argue his case to have his way with his host's fiancee to the public), and this is our opportunity not only to get on the Very Good side of Lil' E, but also to show everyone in the world how noble and principled we are. That will pay its dividends.

    Although, the Emperor IS only 40, and they don't seem to go to war themselves, so maybe it's too long term...
     
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  22. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
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    B A

    This is pretty nice character after playing Ean.
     
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  23. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    We are being tested, but for whom and what?

    treave:B means DIOplomacy,correct?
     
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  24. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Dio might be insane enough to abandon his plan for gaining the Emperor's favor at the crucial moment, but not insane enough to actually remove the man by force. :lol:
     
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  25. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Why are so many people voting B? The Emperor is still relatively young, unskilled at politics, and easy to manipulate. Diogenes has proven himself to be a complete sociopath, so flip-flopping the plan we've set into motion thus far is plain crazy. Dio didn't hesitate at all to kill his adoptive father and brother, so he should have no problem with letting the Emperor rape Thania either.

    Beautiful. This guy is the perfect puppet - as long as we throw enough pussy his way to feed his vices, he can be easily swayed in our favour. The son might be a problem down the line, but so long as we manage to gain the Emperor's trust, we could turn him against his heir if the prince becomes a problem. The potential benefit of a better relationship with the prince in the distant future just doesn't seem to appealing to me. Building a power base takes time, and we need to create the foundation for it now.

    If the Emperor were an old man, I guess B would be a good idea, but given the situation as is, it just doesn't seem wise.

    A
     
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