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[LP CYOA] Epic

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

  1. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
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    C.
     
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  2. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Baltika9, that's a good point. Assassinating him via the same plan we had before we met with Zhang may not exactly be viable now that Inge is more firmly entrenched in Skane. However, I have come around to A a little bit:

    I definitely think that this presents a ton of opportunity that we can exploit. The biggest problem with A is that we would be working outside of the system (i.e. Free Skania and the Cult of the Returned Emperor) to remove a target that is very cautious and operates from the shadows. Nevertheless, we might still be able to use Dio's political acumen to subvert any potential Inge sympathizers surrounding the royal family. The King's own son was kidnapped, and I am fairly certain that there was someone working from the inside that made that possible. Dio's telepathy would allow him to find any potential sympathizers and conspirators quite easily and start plotting against them.

    My biggest misgiving with C is that I'm not sure how our telepathy would do us any favours with the Cultists. It might tell us if they're on to us, but it wouldn't really aid us in getting close to Inge or in killing him. We still need to find a way to kill the dude.

    Yes, that's actually exactly what I was considering. It wasn't listed as an option, so that's why I didn't consider it. Anyways, this update is strangely absent voters for some reason. Let's fix that. Smashing Axe Bloodshifter ScubaV newcomer, I summon you forth!
     
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  3. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Yes! Be roused from the dark corners in which you lurk and come forth! Come, servants of Andhaira, this is thine task: A, B or C: which is better and why? DISCUSS!

    Esquilax: indeed, A is attractive in that it puts Dio on his preffered field of politics and social interaction. However, the deal-breaker here is that
    a) we'll be entangled with other, no less savvy, Eldrads, costing us precious time;
    b) it will apparently lead to a forceful suppression of the cult, via exterminatus, which is likely to make unaffiliated citizens flock to Inge, if only for retibution, FUBARing the situation. Hearts and minds is his game;
    and c) it may take a while, increasing the risk that something bad happens in other corners of the Empire (Aodh/Ban failing, for starters) and us not being able to respond.
    In essence,we're risking the Empire for the eventual benefit of personal standing.

    C, on the other hand, lets us cut through the bullshit, at great personal risk, to get this over quickly, if we act right. No personal rewards, true, besides the one to be handed out by RK-47 (and even then, it will probably be jarpu LP with no screenshots or Sek, so fuck him), but it placex Dio in a better position to both control/minimize the damage and expose the cuot's key members to assassination by our watchers and the Imperium ay once.

    Lastly, our psychic powers can very easily aid us in the following: sensing who is about to betray/rat on us, who found us out, who is suspicious, who trustworthy and how to approach these people. And, most importantly, to how to read and influence the massess.
    Remember Ean in Sargon's service?
    This will allow Dio to work his voodoo on the cult and anyone it comes in contact with, especially mobs.

    Flop to C, bros. Don't let Aodh one-up Dio, he's probably chilling with D'Arc like Bond with his girls right now, thinking he's all cool and an 31337 superspy. Which is obviously a lie, he can't speak half as well as Dio.
     
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  4. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Also, anoyne else noticed that Ban is one letter away from being Ean?
    And treave, if I could bother you with this completely unfounded question: is the hunger that Ean and the Gieloth have in any way, shape or form connected to black holes?
     
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  5. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

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    Voting B for the moment.
     
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  6. treave Arcane Patron

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    C will now be, by default, masquerading as another nobleman with the help of your Watchers. If that's not okay, you guys let me know.
     
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  7. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    So if I counted right, it's a 3-3-3 deadlock. Who has balls big enough to flop?
     
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  8. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    C it is, then.

    ***

    Chapter 7.12: Initiation Rites

    “Sir Rammu? Sir Ashur Rammu?”

    You toy a bit with your hair, now darkened with dye, as you acknowledge the call of the waitress bringing you your beer. There were many drinking halls scattered around Skane, and the Cult of the Returned Emperor tended to gather in those. With a bit of help from your Watchers, you had darkened your hair and complexion. Here they knew you as Ashur Rammu, who you knew as an extraordinary prick with plenty of pedigree but no talent. Rammu had been standing in your way with regards to several legislations that the Prince had tasked you with rallying support for, and miraculously he had managed to stonewall you successfully so far. It was sheer luck, of course, given that you had to embark on missions beyond Ankida so often, but it still nagged at you. As you down your mug, you wish that you had gotten someone to shoot him with the guns you got from the Concordiat.

    “Mr. Rammu.”

    It was not the waitress this time. The deep baritone was a dead giveaway. You turn to look at the voice and are forced to raise your head quite a bit upward to see the speaker.

    “I have heard,” he began slowly, his Shinar heavily accented with a twang that more than showed off his Skane heritage, “…That you have expressed the desire… to be one of us.”

    “Yes,” you nod. “I have. I’ve always been a big believer in the Emperor’s return, and given the wonderful things your… organization has done so far, I believe in your goals too.”

    “Brother Lamplock here testifies to your honest soul.” The tall man gestured to his side, at an unremarkable peasant grinning at you. ‘Brother Lamplock’ was of course one of your Watchers. “That much is true, Brother Skarfeld, Master Rammu here is as righteous a noble as any have ever seen.”

    Skarfeld gives a short, barking laugh and spits at your feet. “Shinari nobles are righteous? Bah!” A sharp feeling of hostility suddenly emanates from the man and he leans forward, grabbing you by the front of your tunic.

    “We know who your friend Lamplock really is, Shinari. Do you know?” Out of the corner of your eye you spot the grin wiped from Lamplock’s face.

    You put on a frightened smile and shake your head. “He’s… a brother of a servant of mine. What else can he be?”

    “He’s a spy. A Shinari spy. You sent him didn’t you?”

    “I have no idea what you are talking about! Mr. Skarfeld, I must say you are being very rude. Is this how servants of the true Emperor conduct themselves? Is Jannik not known to be welcoming to all those who believe?”

    As Skarfeld grins, his mouth splits wide enough for you to see that he had plenty of missing teeth.

    “You speak pretty words, Shinari. Prove that you truly believe them.”

    “How do you want it proven?”

    “Emperor Jannik desires a tribute of flesh from each of his initiates.”

    You gulp. You were not ready to go that far, despite the brave front you put up.

    Skarfeld laughs. “Oh no, do not fear. For you, we will not demand a tribute from your own body. We prefer you unmarked. No, your tribute can be exacted from Lamplock over there, who has testified to the honest soul that you bear. His eyes would do fine, though if you would want any part of his limbs I could get a cleaver from the kitchen.”

    This was your initiation, it seemed. You looked around you. Of course, you didn’t need to see it to know it, but the drinking hall was now devoid of anyone but cultists. It just so happened that nearly everyone in the hall just now were cultists. Their mood had shifted as fast as the northern wind, turning from friendly and amiable to cold and suspicious in an instant. You estimated there were at least three dozen of them, staring at you and Lamplock. You look at Lamplock, who stares back with a stony face.

    ***

    A. You attempt Skarfeld diplomacy. Surely you can talk your way out of this? You have no desire to blind a loyal servant and deprive yourself of his further use.

    B. You take Lamplock’s eyes. He led you into this situation, he can lead you out of it; even if it means blinding him.

    C. In a sudden fit of courage and nobility, you offer your own eye, which is surely worth more than two of Lamplock’s. One good eye is all you need anyway.

    D. You fight your way out. You can take them by surprise with your telekinesis and flee the drinking hall before they can pile up on you. This cult is rubbing you the wrong way, and violence suddenly seems very tempting to you.
     
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  9. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    A test of character, perhaps?
    Something tells me C is the correct option. Just a gut feeling, honestly. Besides, I doubt our Watchers will take kindly to us sacrificing yet another man.

    This is exactly the kind of change in character I was talking of: being influenced by Ean's memories, real or fake. Edit: who knows, this just might start to bring him out.

    Also, this is a good opportunity to test wether or not we have regenerative powers.

    Edit 2: look at me, first I was saying Dio has the requisite bastardry to succeed and now I'm flopping to "hurr durr Ean." Undecided for now.
     
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  10. TOME Cuckmaster General

    TOME
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    I too do feel that C might be the "correct" option here. But I have nothing else to base that but the nagging feeling that Ean got split up by the spheres and everyone we sacrifice is going to take a toll someday.

    But that isn't good enough reason to vote C. A and D are out too if we are going to achieve in the infiltration. So that leaves B, but what happens if Lamplock gets too scared or some shit and starts talking? Killing him might be the only option but then again I don't want to vote for that.
     
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  11. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    I think C will make the Cult accept us more cordially, as we'd be seen as selfless, instead of ruthless. However I'd like Dio to propose C without really meaning it. Gambling on the Cult's perception of him improving, if you will :smug:

    In other words:

    E - feign offering our own eye, but if push REALLY comes to shove revert to fighting our way out with telekinesis.


    B
     
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  12. Esquilax Arcane

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    Storyfag, that's pretty much the same thing as D. Either you give them some sort of offering to prove your loyalty, or you fight them. The Cult's perception of Dio won't actually improve until his eye is plucked out. Also, we should rule A out completely:

    This man demands a display of devotion to his god, something substantial. B will work, but the problem is that it gains us no trust with the cult, and hurts us in the long-term by making our Watchers distrust us even further. We've betrayed them once already, and using them as a pawn in our schemes the second time will simply not do. This time, I think we're going to have to take one for the team.

    Look at our situation - we're a Shin'ari noble and a foreigner to Skane, which gives the cultists two very good reasons to be suspicious of us. Every initiate has provided an offering of flesh, and taking part in this would make us one of them and eliminate their suspicions. I understand that people have reservations about acting "honourably" but this is one of those times when being honourable also happens to be the smartest thing to do. This sort of reminds me of Ean at the Gutian village in that sense.

    However, I admit that one thing makes me nervous:

    treave, does Dio get the sense that Skarfeld is sincere in his offer? Does he have any idea why he doesn't want Dio marked? I suppose you could chalk it up to the fact that they would want an intelligent up-and-coming noble to serve as the face of the organization to recruit more people, but I find it very suspicious that Dio seems to be exempt from this. Is this sort of deal common for nobles who join the cult (i.e. getting someone else to offer up a tribute of flesh in their stead?)

    C
     
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  13. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Give up the eye for wisdom, gain the powers of Runic Magic, just as Odin did to drink of Mimer's well... :obviously:

    We're in Skane. Let's play into their mythology. :troll:

    C
     
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  14. Arpad Educated

    Arpad
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    C
    flop-flop
     
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  15. E
     
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  16. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    The likely guess is that yes, they want somebody unmarked even anywhere under their clothes as a spy in government. You don't know for sure but right now it's still a grassroots cult in Skane, with little influence elsewhere, so you're not certain whether there are any other nobles in the cult. Also, regarding the offer, Skarfeld seems serious about it, though Dio gets the impression the cultist wouldn't mind if he chose to do the initiation the way everyone else does it.
     
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  17. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    I'm going for C.
    It's like Esquilax said: B screws us over in relation to our Watchers, they may even decide to fuck Dio and support Inge. Enough is enough. Also, this will win some rep witht them and hopefully reverse the damage we have done during the Prince's attempted assassiantion.
    A is right out, Garfield pretty much said so.
    D, while doable, defeats the puropse of being here and revelals Dio's presence as another superpowered individual to Inge's and reveals our status as a government agent. In otehr words: stupid.

    Where does this sudden burst of nobility come from, treave? From Dio's conscience, or the memories?
    If it's not too meta, that is.
     
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  18. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    Same burst of insanity that would have made you save Thania from your own plot.
     
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  19. Baltika9 Arcane

    Baltika9
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    Ean it is then. Count me on board.
     
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  20. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
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  21. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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    Okay, I feel like D/E (it's pretty much the same thing and the result is the same) is a very bad idea and we shouldn't vote for it. What do you think Skarfeld is going to do, say "LOL jk bro, you don't really have to give me your eye, that was just a test! I'll take you to see the Emperor right away!" As treave mentioned, Skarfeld is completely serious - these guys are religious fanatics who are devoted to their faith, so it seems pretty logical that they would demand displays of devotion to prove that any would-be members of their upper echelons are actually sincere in their beliefs. He means what he says, and he isn't going to back down unless we either give one of our eyes or both of Lamplock's. A won't work because this isn't a man who is going to be swayed by rhetoric, he's going to be swayed by action.

    Make no mistake, if we are wishy-washy, if Skarfeld senses that we're bullshitting him (which he has already done a superb job of thus far), he's just going to attack us before we even launch any telekinesis his way. D/E is flip-flopping bullshit and it completely defeats the purpose of infiltrating the cult in the first place. It's really trying to have your cake and eat it too, and it will end poorly. We chose a high-risk option here, so we can't back away in the middle of the action, especially given the odds against us:

    So there's Diogenes, a beginner immortal who is rather shit at direct combat and Lamplock, trapped in a room with around 40 Skanian cultists. How do you like our odds here? I'm going off on a tangent here, but I think that D/E is yet another example of an unwillingness to compromise or eat a little bit of shit in the short term to gain long-term advantages that has hurt us before. It's going to fuck us, I'm positive.

    :lol: So I guess castration is off the table then. Are the cultists well-known for mutilating/dismembering themselves as a sign of faith? Also, I assume that Lamplock is a member of the cult as well, so wouldn't he be mutilated in some way - has he given up a limb to them already?
     
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  22. treave Arcane Patron

    treave
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    No, they do this only at the higher levels. You're fast-tracked for promotion because of your status. Lamplock, being a low-level initiate, didn't need to sacrifice anything when he joined except his money and time. Of course, you can guess why the Watchers didn't tell you about this.
     
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  23. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    Esquilax, your reasoning is sound, I take back my E vote.

    Now *this* little gem convinced me of my new vote. B. Editing the original post accordingly.
     
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  24. Esquilax Arcane

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    Yes, this worries me as well. They are withholding from us, but B will pretty much alienate our Watchers completely.

    Did we catch a glimpse of anything from Lamplock through telepathy? Does he seem particularly surprised by this turn of events? Perhaps he didn't know. It seems crazy, but maybe Lamplock intentionally put himself in the position to get his eyes gouged out to see if we were still worthy of following as the Emperor. Watchers seem to have few qualms with laying their lives on the line thanks to their indoctrination and education, so that might be it. Perhaps this whole initiation is just as much a test from our Watchers to see if we're worthy of their loyalty as it is from Skarfeld to prove that we're a true believer.

    Also, I suppose we could potentially cut a deal with Skarfeld by which both Lamplock and Dio offer up an eye each to join the upper echelons of the cult (our Watchers wouldn't turn against us because at least we put our own ass on the line this time), but it would reduce our effectiveness further. Not sure what the end game would be there.
     
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  25. newcomer Learned

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    C it is
     
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