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[LP CYOA] Epic

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

  1. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    A - we're gonna marry a princess, FFS. It's only natural we'll cooperate with her brother closely, instead of slaving at the Foreign Office.

    Edit: Also, Diogenes is much, much more cold-hearted than I suspected. Gambling on Thia commiting suicide? Wow. Just wow. If things continue this way, this LP will fill the void left by grotsnik, as far as being a complete monster is concerned :salute:
     
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  2. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Isn't it a possibility that the Watcher who's contacting us now is the Option A Rogue Watcher that we might have chosen?
     
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  3. Possibilities that I see:
    1. The watcher is someone capable of granting humans powers similar to the immortals/gieloth - could be Shulgi, Sek or someone else (the real Ean even - or part of him) and is manipulating Dio and possibly others (ie, the Ean cults).
    2. We actually are Ean - in part or in whole...

    2 poses several interesting questions:
    Why is our personality so different from the original Ean? Why did Ean revert to being a child? (As it said we were found at the age of 10...) Are we fully Ean, or does Dio just have a part of Ean - mind and/or body...? How did the Watcher know we were Ean? Why aren't we hungry? (Did the masters fix our hunger before sending us back?)
     
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  4. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    The return trip to sphere-land better not have destroyed Ean as a singular entity, splitting parts of his memories, powers and personalities into different individuals, one of whom may rise above to become the primary spawn in whom he may return to our universe-

    Oh. I see.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    This I like!
     
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  6. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    :bounce:
     
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  7. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Two questions:

    1. How are the Gutians? Have they been assimilated or something?

    2. Treave, you said that the Persians were eventually going to be an issue, yet there's obviously nothing resembling a Persia on the map. Is that yet to come, or did they already start some nonsense that got put down jillions of years ago?
     
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  8. Helly Translating for brofists Patron

    Helly
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    Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    So our new Ean avatar is actually THAT Dio ?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    :incline:
     
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  9. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I hope you don't mean to trade Ean in for Dio.
    Swapping the very rare person in the dimensions that actually gives a shit for the lives of lesser beings, human or otherwise, for a power-hungry, amoral prick is a dedicate :decline:, no matter how intricate the plots we can weave are.
     
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  10. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Gutians identify themselves as Assyro-Babylonian now. Pretty much assimilated into the culture and settled down.

    What was left of the Persian royal family fled and formed the Kingdom of Tamur, a bit to the north from where they were. So yes, nonsense ended for now.

    Looks like no one's going to even think about B, so no point withholding the update. Hope you guys considered that by virtue of being the Prince and heir, Runikylos would have people that have an interest in him watching and vetting his staff in secret, even if he doesn't know about it himself. I mean, Dio isn't exactly squeaky-clean here...
     
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  11. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Codex 2012
    Welcome to the 100th chapter update.

    ***

    Chapter 7.5: Murderous Rat, Cunning Snake

    “This is a mess.” Prince Runikylos tapped the papers in front of him. The Empire had been unfortunate over the past few months.

    First there had been that uprising in Anatolia. Some crazy man, convinced that he was the second coming of Ean, had somehow managed to also convince hundreds of peasant-folk of his divinity. He had launched a series of attacks on numerous Hittite barracks, each time managing to defeat the garrison and melt away after raiding the barracks for weapons and supplies. No one could still track down him and his rabble. They refused to stand and fight, only engaging when it was favourable to them. Rumour had it that his cult engaged in depraved sex with animals, particularly cephalopods. You were sure that the Imperial Army would mobilize soon to attempt to flush out the insurgent, as his region of activity was not all that far from Ankida.

    Then, there had been the explosion at the Great Wall of Korinthos. It had been unbreached for more than a thousand years, but just three weeks ago, someone blew a big hole in it. Initial investigations suggested they had used a new mixture of firepowder. The culprit was captured by a young recruit that had the luck to survive the explosion. It turns out that the culprit was a member of the Cult of the Returned Emperor, another cult that thought the Emperor Ean was back.

    “I thought the First Emperor liked the wall?” you mutter, looking at the reports. They were a cult that was centered mainly in the north, believing that the Emperor had reincarnated in their leader, a man named Jannik Inge. Sources had it that they were funded by Free Scania, who sought to use the cult to undermine the Empire and regain control of Skane. “You did send someone to investigate them, right?”

    “Yes, I did. You met Aodh when he returned last week; he was my representative on that investigation. Unfortunately, the sabotage of the wall hadn’t taken place when he was sent out, so we didn’t put too much priority on attempting to capture the cultists.”

    You remember Aodh alright. He was two years younger than both you and the prince, and was also a scholar that had recently graduated from the Academy with very mediocre scores. You did not think much of the man – certainly he had an unmemorable face – but something about him rubbed you the wrong way. When you had shook hands with him during your first meeting, he suddenly stared at you piercingly. You fought the compulsion to wrench your hand away and managed to maintain your winning smile, but since then Aodh had been slightly nervous about you whenever he saw you, despite your best attempts to befriend him. He also appeared to be very close to the Prince; at least, he commands more of Runikylos’s confidence than you. You have no idea why; he was an unremarkable commoner that had gotten into the Academy and hadn’t had the talent to become adopted by a noble family. You would have to figure out a way to put him out of favour, or away from Runikylos.

    “I suppose you should send Aodh back up north to figure things out, then?”

    “Not right now, I need him here to help me with some unfinished business with Anittas and his gang of fat toads. Are you getting along well with him, by the way?” asked the prince. You shake your head. “He seems to be a bit skittish around me, unfortunately. Maybe he had some traumatic encounters with blond-haired northerners.” you quip. The prince frowned and drummed his desk with his fingers, a sure sign that he was thinking hard about some matter. “I’ve known him since he was my junior in the academy. He wasn’t this way before… you might be onto something. He’s seemed a bit off since he returned from the north. Well, anyway, it seems like things are going to be very busy around here. You won’t be getting any rest, Dio. Say goodbye to your private life,” smiled the prince.

    “The princess isn’t going to be happy.” You chuckle, but thinking of Princess Kyriesca, you lament Thania’s loss a little. Being around Kyriesca had made you miss Thania’s company, though you are loathe to admit it even to yourself. The princess was extremely restrained – thanks to her upbringing dictating that a lady should be modest – when it came to physical contact, refusing to allow you to even touch her, and she had a vacant mind of a child. Still, she looked pretty enough, you suppose, and that vacant mind had led you easily to her heart. Her only use to you was her status.

    Runikylos laughs. “I know my sister is a bit of a handful, but it looks like you two are getting along very well. Lately you’re all she talks about. I suppose we could -” You give him a slightly sad smile, and he stops. “Right. Pardon me, it’s not even been half a year.”

    It was still too soon. Your position was still insecure. Thankfully, there was a big opportunity for you to secure it in the coming weeks – your contact in the Ankidan Merchant’s Guild has confirmed an incoming shipment of opiates from the Concordiat to Hatti. These had been tightly regulated by the Empire for nearly about a hundred years. Naturally, the particular shipment that you knew about was not supposed to be on the records. You had managed to tie it to Lord Anittas, a particularly nasty old Hittite fox that was frustrating Runikylos’s efforts in the Council of Nobles, and was the leader of a faction that opposed his attempted reforms at every turn.

    In other times you might have been on House Morgant’s side, but as the luck of the die would have it, you were here, with the Prince. All the more pity for Sir Morgant. He had been too hasty and greedy to fall for the setup, though. Now you had multiple options to consider. Should you blackmail him? Expose him? Allow it to happen so that you could give him more rope to hang himself with? Certainly, if you bring him down in public, Runikylos and his faction would shower you with accolades, and more importantly, their trust.

    You took your leave from Runikylos’s office, mulling over these questions. As you did so, you took a coin from your pocket and rolled it over your hand. It looked natural enough, but a practiced eye would’ve noticed that it appeared to shift in impossible ways, following a track that no coin should be able to. In addition to the damnable flashbacks, which irritated you whenever they surfaced, you had found that you could will objects to move just by thinking about it.

    “Sir Camna.”

    It was Aodh, standing by the parapet.

    “Mister Aodh, it is a pleasure to see you here! Does Runikylos have some important mission for his trusted right hand?”

    Aodh laughs embarrassedly and shakes his head. “I’m not the Prince’s right hand man. I’m just a simple clerk.”

    “Don’t be too modest now. He trusts you with a lot.”

    Aodh grins nervously as his eyes dart all over the place. “That’s right. He trusts too much. Runikylos has a keen mind and a good heart, but sometimes he is too careless with his trust.”

    “I agree,” you nod, stepping closer to him. “How should we get our dear Prince to wise up to the ways of the world?”

    “Sir Camna,” says Aodh quietly. “Do you mean the Prince any harm?”

    “I… what question is that, all of a sudden?” You widen your eyes. “He is my benefactor! I’d never… why would you think that!”

    Of course, you certainly didn’t mean him any harm now, but you wouldn’t guarantee you wouldn’t need to, in the future. Aodh stammered and began turning red. “I-I-I think you are lying, Sir Camna. I cannot… I can’t trust you to be around him, especially since he already trusts you to watch his back. You should never have approached the Prince.”

    This man… what was he thinking? You are sure you haven’t let any bit of your true desires slip. No one could’ve picked up on it.

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Runikylos was the one who approached me with this job. Why don’t you trust me?”

    You keep the smile. Pretend to be amused, but slightly perplexed. You are innocent of anything. Keep the smile on your face.

    After a moment of silence, Aodh speaks in a hushed tone. “I know what happened to Velius Camna.”

    How could he have known? Did the masked man sell you out? How much does he know? This was an utterly unexpected turn of events for you, and you begin to wonder if there was a way out. If he was going to blackmail you, perhaps you could just leave Runikylos’s service and find another post in the capital. He just wanted you away from the Prince, right?

    Aodh’s next words put paid to your idea.

    “Sir Camna, I strongly suggest you leave the Empire’s territories. A man of your talents can find power anywhere. I will keep your name clean should you do so.”

    “The snake shows its fangs.” Your friendly smile dies, only to be replaced by a slight sneer. “You are blackmailing me to leave so that you can get more power for yourself? You use my father’s death against me? How dare you insult my memory of him!” You summon mock anger, supplemented with real anger that you could’ve been found out. He backs away in fear, raising his hands as if to ward you off. His next words came out in a rush.

    “I-I-I spent some time looking into things after we met. After that, I can probably piece together everything that happened if I need to. The medicine itself would already be damning of your intentions!”

    Ah, he knows. He really knows. You don’t know how, but he knows, despite your best attempts to cover your tracks. It looks like you would be chased out, on the eve of securing your position in Runikylos’s eyes and finally being able to marry into the Imperial family. You curse ever meeting Aodh. Luck is such a fickle thing.

    Your expression dissolves into one of crest-fallen resignation. “Who else knows of this?”

    A slightly amused smile creeps across Aodh’s lips, incongruous with his nervous tic. It looks like he wasn’t as nice as Runikylos, despite his appearance, though he may be nearly as naïve. He was too confident that he had the upper hand, and it showed. “I won’t lie to you. I’m the only one who knows. Are you thinking that you can dispose of me and keep your secret safe? D-d-do you really want to kill someone again?”

    ***

    A. There’s nothing else to do but to kill him. If he exposes you, you are doomed anyway.
    1. What have you been doing so far? You’re such an asshole! You see the light now, and REPENT wholeheartedly, prostrating on the floor before Aodh! You beg him to take you in, the guilt of killing your father and brother and lover weighing heavily upon you. Then you will stab him as he comes close. You are stronger than you have ever been, he won’t stand a chance.
    2. Even if Aodh may know about all these things, he wouldn’t know of your newfound ability. His confidence will be his downfall. He may be prepared for a physical attack, but definitely not if you use your power. You push him over the rail with your mind. It’s a five storey drop. There is no one else around. You can do this.

    B. You pretend to agree, but beg for some time to pack your belongings and say goodbye to Princess Kyriesca.
    1. After coming to Ankida, you have managed to make some contacts amongst certain less reputable members of society, by proxy of course. Let him think you would leave for now. Tonight you would arrange for Aodh to meet with an accident; a very permanent accident.
    2. You had impressed the masked man enough for him to give you a means to get in contact with him. Tonight you will use it, and ask for his help. Surely he will be more reliable than thugs or killers, and he does have a vested interest in your survival, doesn’t he?

    C. You give in. You have lost, and you don’t even know how it happened. Maybe in the future you can take your vengeance on this lowborn scum, but for now you have no other path to take but to go into exile.

    D. You REPENT! For real! Maybe you really have been too much of an asshole. You really do feel guilty for all your misdeeds. You throw yourself on his mercy, because you are too much of a wimp to continue being a total scumbag if it turns out you aren’t the king of the world and that karma is about to catch up.
     
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  12. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Welll.... I think there's an obvious trap in trying to trick him. It seems like he can read minds, which puts us as a natural schemer into a very delicate position. I think each of the "Eans" has all of his abilities, but a natural affinity for each one. We're telekinesis (Shulgi), he's telepathy. I think he'll see through any attempt at duplicity against him, which leaves to us brute force or genuine repentance.

    I choose brute force.

    A2
     
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  13. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    It's a fair assumption, but I wouldn't have written out two choices for option B if both of them are going to lead to the same "NO YOU LIE" scenario right then and there. Take this meta-knowledge as you will.
     
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  14. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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  15. oscar Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    oscar
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    A2

    Lets solve this directly and before anyone else can find out.
     
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  16. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Well played. We went completely LaCroix here and lusted for power too quickly without being aware of the pitfalls. It seems that Dio's greed and ruthlessness can be just as much of a drawback as Ean's honor. Anyways, on to the choice:

    I think that B and D are out. This guy had us figured out the very moment that we shook hands, he will sense that there's something off about our intentions if we lie to him now. B2 might work, but it would leave us in the debt of the incredibly powerful and mysterious masked man, which is something that I would definitely like to avoid; nothing comes for free. A1 is also bad because being in close proximity to Aodh will mean he will figure us out in short order.

    I don't like D from a character perspective - it is far too soon for our character to start repenting for his sins. I just don't believe that someone like Dio would be truly sorry in a situation like this; he'd only be sorry that he got caught. If he ever goes through a complete 180 personality-wise, it'll be after a long period of suffering.

    A2 also presents a ton of problems on its own too:

    The Prince is more fond of Aodh than he is of Dio. He also knows that Aodh doesn't like Dio very much and that Dio is also very new, being hired only after the tragic deaths of his brother, father and betrothed. He trusts us now, but when Aodh mysteriously disappears, even a naive individual like Runikylos will begin to notice that our story isn't adding up. We've racked up quite a body count, and I think that even if we're successful in killing Aodh, it'll raise a lot of questions and Runikylos will definitely start getting suspicious. Four people die under unusual circumstances right around the time we're hired to work alongside the Prince? What do you think, he's just going to look at all that and say "My, this is indeed a curious set of coincidences! Ah well, I'm sure it's nothing."

    Guys, we've been beat. I see two ways of going through this successfully:

    B2 - This, I don't like. The masked men probably has interests here that are far more powerful than we can deal with. This might have a price that I'm not willing to pay.
    C - This is politics. You guys are thinking way too much with your egos here - sometimes you get beat, and you have to be willing to accept that. My recommendation here is to admit defeat, then perhaps use our knowledge of Scanian society (remember, we did write that very long treatise) to learn more about the cults there and perhaps work our way back to the top. We'll learn more about the cults there, put a stop to them, then use that as leverage to get back on top.

    C
    B2
     
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  17. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    The problem is that if we kill him, what then? Does he regenerate eventually? Can we perhaps somehow absorb or eat him? Or will he remain permanently dead? It's meta info, but I think we need to know the answers to these questions.

    I don't think that every option will lead to defeat in this instance Esquilax. And yes, although there has been a lot of death around us, it has been generally staggered. Thania genuinely hanged herself, and we killed our brother years ago. Father was old and failing anyway, and we're too loosely associated with Aodh for there to be an established motivation behind his death. Think about it, he was in the north on assignment, he was nowhere near us, nor was he assigned to investigate our activities. If he dies, there's nothing to connect us beyond a bit of dislike between the two of us. There might be a bit of suspicion, but nothing solid. As long as we refrain from killing heaps of people for a while, there shouldn't be an issue in that regard.
     
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  18. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    You won't know for now because it doesn't make sense for Dio to know. He's a noble that fares well with schemes for power, but not so much with deeper conspiracies that involve the non-human side of the world (primarily due to lack of experience and knowledge). Regarding regeneration, he's not in the habit of getting himself hurt so it's an unknown factor to him at the moment. You don't know if they will regenerate, and how strong the regeneration is if they do.
     
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  19. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Seriously, he knows everything about Dio... And he's gambling on this.
    ...
    [​IMG]

    The only person allowed to deliver the wake-up call is Ean. No alternatives. It should be a humorous situation, and I won't let him deprive me of it.

    A1 is unreliable. Whose to say he isn't as strong, or stronger than us, or that no one will walk in in the last second.
    A2 is risky, if anyone places us into the same room, or if he can read intent from a distance, and will be prepared.

    B1 is same as A1, only with the addition of unreliable mercs.
    B2 will, most likely, succeed. However, I do not trust the masked man one bit and owing him more than absolutely necessary is foolish. Then again, he may let something slip.

    C is the graceful bow-out, wait and plan option. Nah.

    A2, also because I wish to see what killing another apparent shard of Ean will do. It's like we're Kaela Mensha Khaine.
    Or this:
    [​IMG]
    :troll:
     
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  20. Bloodshifter Educated

    Bloodshifter
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    A2 he can't read us yea baby
     
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  21. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    A1? Seriously?

    At least with A2 there's deniability. A1 is going to raise all the warning flags. If you think A2 isn't an option because 'someone could be in the room' when nobody is around, what are you thinking will be the case when we have all that blood in our ruffles and this guy just happens to have spouted a dagger from his chest?
     
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  22. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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    Baltika, A1 is not outright attack. It relies on deception to draw him close, while at the same time lowering our own defenses. If he can actually read minds or intent, what do you think he'll do while we're prostrated on the floor? If you want outright attack, then A2 is the way
     
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  23. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Like I said, even without meta info, it's still a huge fucking problem. Here is the recent series of events, as Runikylos sees it:
    • Dio's father, Velius Camda commits suicide in grief after a cruel joke regarding the death of his son is played on him.
    • Dio's betrothed commits suicide shortly after being raped by the Emperor. Being aware of his father's culpability and our grief, we are offered a job close to him, which Dio, apparently reluctantly, takes.
    • Runikylos' closest advisor, Aodh, mysterious disappears shortly after Dio is hired. From what he knows, Aodh was skittish around Dio and apparently didn't like him very much.
    Doesn't this sound extremely suspicious to you? Three people die in quick succession and all of a sudden, we're the right hand of the Prince. Even a relatively naive person like Runikylos would begin to suspect that something was up. I know you like playing evil bastard types, but I think at this point we definitely ought to rein it in a little bit. We grasped for too much, too quickly, and I think that it's going to create a ton of problems in the long-run. Really, I think that trying to fight him here is voting based on ego rather than objectively looking at the situation.

    Offing him won't be as easy as you describe.
     
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  24. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I wish to see if being in close proximity to him at death will trigger anything. Our hunger, maybe?
     
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  25. Kipeci Magister

    Kipeci
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    Why not go for D if you're going for C? At least D has the slimmest of possibilities of him allowing us to stay. C just immediately torches all of the bridges. D will at worst be equivalent to C.
     
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