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Myth: A New Age CYOA

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Fangshi, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    It would have thrown him off to be sure. If it did not immediately get him killed he would have to adjust his strategy but he has other ways of fighting if he has to.

    Yes but someone has to be aware that you are trying it. Mazzarin, the Faceless Man, Nine, they could all easily stop you from doing it. You don't know if this mage could or not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
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  2. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Heh, and now I wonder if those manacles on the Warlock and the Oneiroi mage aren't controlling them somehow (because manacles = slaves... uh, it made sense in my head at a time; well, that and a complete lack of self-preservation coupled with the fact that the two are the odd ones out among our enemies) and if we wouldn't be able to break that control by retreiving them.

    Of course, the downside could be that Derryth and Thais fall under the influence of the spell, and it is unknown how much free will would change their loyalties in the first place.

    Unfortunately, fancy experimental plans and life of death situations don't mesh well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
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  3. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    I think the manacles are anticaster devices but now that they are broken or are only partially or non effective. Or they could just be regular manacles and they are performing a jail break from inside the compound.

    This is what makes me think that the manacles are trying to absorb the spell but failing.
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Of them all, only the necromancer has a reason to be jailed in the compound (since she is the only one who we know was caught by the royal guards), and she is not wearing any.

    Though of course if they were caught after cleansing the city from mercenaries, they would be put into an anti-magic ward, so maybe you are right.
     
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  5. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 29: Desperate Measures

    There is little time. Too little time. Far too little time.

    With shouts and with screams the two sides join battle.

    Here. A pair of guards tear down and strangle one of the rogue dwarves.

    There. The Warlock hurls another ball of amber flame through the air. It catches two of Argus' men.

    They scream as they burn, gouts of flame and blood coat the ground.

    In front of you the slaughter unfolds and you know what you must do.

    Against all the noise, the screams, the howls, the shouts. Two figures stand in complete silence. They could not be more different.

    The mage stands, chest out, chin up, a confident sneer writ on his face. He gives the impression of a new born flame, confident, hungry, and ready to destroy. His clothes, new and expertly tailored shift in the morning light. His slacks and his coat turn from a pristine white to the most perfect black you have ever seen. You would not be the slightest bit surprised if he pulled that little trick merely to hide the blood he intends to spill. He taps his foot as he adjusts his hold on his axe, any second now he will launch his attack.

    In contrast the Heron Guard stands with head bowed. He is relaxed, his breathing controlled, his mere presence gives off an aura of serenity. His lacquered plates shine in the sun, the banners on his back flap in the breeze, his blades are drawn and at the ready. He is ready, for whatever might come.

    Looking at him you feel more confident, more sure of yourself and of what you intend to do next.

    "The white mage," you catch Thaïs' attention.

    Your friend nods, "Yes, he is the biggest threat here."

    He approaches the Heron Guard a spring in his step and contempt in his eyes.

    "Think we can take him?" you ask her.

    "Hmm... maybe," she replies.

    He darts towards the Guard, a pale flame in the early morning. With axe and with blade he lashes out in a series of quick stabs and chops. The Guard weaves around the blows, a calm morning breeze catches the fabric of his banners as he deflects every blow sent against his. They slide off his armour and his blades; many miss entirely. He takes everything the mage throws at him without breaking a sweat.

    The mage takes a step back and grins, he has tested the Guard and found him worthy of his time. The next attack will be at full strength. That is when you will strike.

    Thaïs knows that look, she knows what you want to do and she will support you without reservation. It is the only way you will have a shot, "Mental or elemental?" she asks.

    "Mental, I think," if the two of you work together and if you can throw him just a little off his guard the Heron Guard should be able to win this.

    You hope.

    He launches his attack and so you launch yours. With any luck you can get him in a single volley.

    Just as he steps within range of the Guard's blades the two of you hit him together. It is like punching a wall, it hurts, but you press on. You hit him in perfectly, together, and blow after blow strikes home in a matter of seconds. The two of you manage to punch a tiny hole in his defenses, it hurts him.

    His attack fails, he missteps and the Heron catches him across the side. Only the spells he has active save him, he is just quick enough to avoid the worst of it and just tough enough to take the blow and slip back out of the Guard's range.

    The mage scans the courtyard and spots the two of you.

    He gives you a wink. It is so very cold.

    He drops the axe, places one perfect, ivory hand to his side as the blood flows. He sneers and begins to cast. He snarls as the wound freezes over. An interesting solution to be sure, you doubt it will last long and it probably did quite a bit of damage as well but he will not bleed out in the short term.

    He does not bother to retrieve the axe. Immediately he attacks.

    "Ready for another attack?" you ask her.

    She nods, "Whenever you are."

    You focus on him again as he advances on the Guard but he is terribly distracting. His movements are... wrong... for lack of a better term. He moves at odd angles, his limbs twist, they spiral and his blade lashes out in impossible ways. His strikes are completely unpredictable. The mage lands a blow, then a second and a third, each more severe than the last. The Guard takes three step backward and steadies himself as the mage lunges in. This time though the Guard barely moves, as each blow comes for him he waits and at the last second he blocks, he parries, he dodges. You are actually a little surprised that the Heron Guard can keep up. Then you notice that the Guard's eyes are closed, he is listening for the blows and it seems to be working. But he will not win this way, he needs help.

    The two of you resume your attack. It is more difficult this time, he is ready but you have no intention of attacking directly again.

    You begin with a false memory, the love of his life is in danger, he needs to help, he-

    He laughs in your mind. This is a man that loves no one but himself.

    Thaïs tries something a little more clever. She suggests that he would gain an advantage by shifting his footing, by pressing his attack just a little farther. That should work, he has proven to be quite aggressive so far.

    You throw your support into this new feint. You show him images of his enemy defeated, of victory and success.

    He does not respond, he maintains his assault on the Guard. Quick and brutal, at least on the surface, but now that you observe it more closely you can catch the nuance.

    He is not like a flame. He is not hungry. If anything his soul is overfull. He is confident but it is not the brash confidence of the new flame. It is the ancient confidence of entropy, of the end of all things and the cold of the grave.

    He is ice masquerading as fire and the thought chills you to the bone.

    You think upon this and come to a number of realizations.

    He is not going to fall for suggestion or compulsion as he has no real desires to exploit.

    False memories will mean nothing to him as his own true memories mean so very little.

    And crashing through his defences will be akin to trying to shatter an iceberg with a spoon.

    He is wearing down the Heron Guard as you watch. Quickly and cleanly he is closing the noose around the Guard's neck.

    You sigh, "Thaïs, we have to switch tact here. There is nothing we can threaten him with, nothing we can promise him to make him slip up."

    The mage catches the Guard in the leg. The Guard falls

    It is all over for the Guard and when he falls the rest will follow. This is it, it is over, the Heron guard is resigned to his fate, the mage is...excited? No. He radiates passion but there is nothing behind it. He is empty. He is cold. He is... bored?

    Then it hits you.

    Oh! Oh that might work...

    Thaïs frowns, "So what do we do, force our way in again? Retreat?"

    "No. No I have an idea. Give me your hand and trust me," you grin.

    As a nasty little hope worms its way through you, you grin.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Six Winds Soaring Eagle has served the empire for over four hundred years.

    The mage sneers as he looks down at Eagle. He begins to hum under his breath, the Guard can not quite make it out.

    In all that time Eagle has only failed in his duty once.

    The mage places a single, very expensive shoe on his enemy's chest.

    The night Muirthemne fell he was not there. The night his emperor fell he was not there.

    The mage shakes his head, he continues to hum to himself, "It's too late to be grateful."

    Eagle lived through the shame of that failure. At least he will not live through this one.

    The mage brings the blade down, "It's too late to be late again."

    In mid stroke he stops, he is staring at something, someone.

    Whoever it is has his full attention.

    Eagle knows an opportunity when he sees one.

    And he has never been one to hesitate.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    The mage stands triumphant. He takes no joy from that fact.

    What is one more victory in a chain of endless victories.

    As he stands there ready to take a life he is so completely, incredibly, indescribably, bored.

    He raises the blade and mutters the lines he has thousands of times before. He says them with all the feigned emotion he can muster. It is important to seem 'alive' even if he no longer believes it himself.

    The blade come up, then it comes down.

    It will snuff out a life.

    Then something far more interesting happens.

    A mind reaches out to him. Strong but also bolstered by another.

    It takes him a moment to remember those pretty little things across the courtyard. Perhaps he will take them with him when he leaves. They look interesting enough, perhaps he will-

    She plants a false memory in his mind.

    Effortlessly he resists it.

    She tries again.

    Again he shrugs it off.

    She is not even trying to hide it. What is she trying to do?

    Again she tries.

    This time he lets it through.

    She can not harm him, not really, and he is awfully curious about what she is trying to do.

    The memory takes hold. It will only last for seconds before his mind rejects it.

    He takes it in, he considers it.

    Oh!

    Oh dear.

    Now that is interesting.

    Their enemy is back.

    Mazzarin is back.

    That is far more important than anything that is happening here.

    That is something that his 'master' would very much like to know. Provided it is not a lie of course but he is fairly certain it is not.

    He will definitely have to take these women with him now. He will need to interrogate them thoroughly about the return of the archmage.

    Perhaps this trip was not a waste of time after all.

    He smiles at the women.

    He bows to them slightly.

    Then he remembers he is still in a fight.

    Just a second too late...

    -----------------------------------------------

    "Hah! Got the fucker!" you cheer as the Guard's blade comes up and opens the mage's throat.

    You hug Thaïs, she hugs you. You cheer.

    Then the mage's blade comes down and into the Guard's chest.

    "Oh!" your friend gasps.

    "Damn..." you curse in frustration.

    "Wait!" she points to the Guard.

    Thin ribbons of green light weave around him. That is right, he is a Heron Guard which means he probably has mandrake roots.

    The thin, white mage staggers backward as the Guard regains his footing.

    The mage gasps, the spells around him begin to collapse. He raises a hand to his throat but the Guard deftly cuts it off.

    His spells unravel, dissolve, and evaporate. His clothes begin to grey, to flake and fall apart. His skin wrinkles, cracks and splits away as it dries over his bones. His hair falls out, his eyes cave in, his blood turns to dust as he collapses backward and shatters. The wind catches what is left of him and carries it away into the sky.

    And as quickly as that it is over... or at least you hope it is over...

    The Guard salutes the two of you from across the courtyard and you each give him a slight bow in return before each turning to new enemies.

    The battle is bloody, the casualties are high but victory is now a certainty.

    It is just a question of time.

    ------------------------------------------

    It has been a busy week. Things moved quickly in the aftermath of the battle.

    Casualties were high on both sides. Argus survived in large part thanks to your ring but the Cavalry Officer did not make it. Over half of the Albrecht guards also perished. At least your enemy's casualties were higher. The Oneiroi and Warlock both died on their feet, they cast until it killed them. The rogue dwarves also all perished in the melee. Of your enemies only the necromancer survived, badly wounded. She was taken away to a more secure location along with the three pieces of the Watcher you recovered. Finally of the archer that provided your much needed opening, not a trace was found.

    You never did reach the Grand Assembly. It turns out that the entire city had been attacked by necromancers, mercenaries and worse.

    As soon as the sounds of battle reached the Assembly it dissolved and the lords scattered to the wind. Many took up the defence of the city but many more fled to their estates in the countryside or to the old capital of Stoneheim. Amongst them were the Eberhardts and most of their supporters.

    The King has seized upon this opportunity. He has formally accused the Eberhardts and their supporters of treason and conspiring with the Dark.

    They try to run, to hide but against the Pathfinders such things are impossible.

    While Bari and his people track down the Eberhardts you have some time on your hands but Albrecht has been kind enough to suggest ways for you to fill it. He does not want you splitting up and he does not want you 'wandering off' and to that end you now have forty House Albrecht guards as a permanent escort.

    This changes your situation a little. You will be moved into one of the wings of the Royal Compound as formal guests of the King and Queen. You have a number of decisions to make as well.


    1. 'Heroic Duties' - Albrecht wants you to stay out of trouble. He is willing to let the two of you sit in the palace all day if you want but he also has a number of suggestions on how you can spend your time as 'Heroes of the Kingdom'.

    A) Parties - You spend much of your time meeting the dwarven nobility, establishing contacts and getting to better know them. The older nobility in particular will be eager to meet you.

    B) Hunts - A popular pastime amongst the officers of the Royal Army is ghôl hunting. You will join some of these hunts to prove your skill and establish ties with the younger nobility.

    C) Dinners - The merchants and bankers are not interested in the grand parties of the nobility. They like long, hardy meals and good conversation. If you want to establish more ties with the merchant set this would be the way to do it.

    D) Relief Work - Much of the city has been ravaged by fire or attacks by the undead. You could spend your time helping the poor and desperate, they would certainly appreciate the attention.

    E) Sit in the Palace - If you do not want to bask in the attention of the whole city you could just stay in the palace and work on your spells. (Feel free to list spells to master or teach, the top choice(s) will be chosen if this option wins.)

    F) Meetings - You will set up a number of 'social' calls to the Mayer Estate to discuss your future dealings. The other merchant houses will take note of this of course.

    G) freeform - any plan will have to meet with Albrecht's approval though.


    2. The Rest of your group - Lyssa and the girls have remained at the safe house to avoid attention but the girls want to come see you. How do you want to handle that?

    A) You move the girls and Lyssa into the palace.

    B) You move the girls into the palace and Lyssa will stay at the safe house.

    C) You move Lyssa into the palace and the girls will stay at the safe house.

    D) They will all stay at the safe house

    E) They will all stay at the safe house but you will have them brought to the palace to visit when they want.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Party/Organization Changes:

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    Gains Magical Item:

    1. Gold Ring - Argus returned it after the battle.

    Loses Magical Item:

    1. 1 Energon Cube - expended fighting the thin, white mage.

    Gains Skill:

    1. Hero of the Kingdom

    Thaïs:

    Loses Magical Item:

    1. Energon Cube - expended fighting the thin, white mage.

    Gains Skill:

    1. Hero of the Kingdom

    Argus:

    Loses Magical Item:

    1. Gold Ring - returned to Derryth

    Leaves Party


    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Reputation Gains:
    Imperial Government +5
    Heron Guard +5
    The Legion +5
    The Warlocks +5
    The Royal House of Albercht +35
    The Royal Army +40

    Reputation Loses:

    The Brannons -40
    The Honourable House of Eberhardt -100
    The Barings -30
    The Goldsmith Guild -30
    Mayer's Estate -10


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    Fair number of rolls in this one.

    First up were the general, abstracted rolls for the fights you were not involved in. Argus did well, his men did about average. The Oneiroi and the Warlock did okay but not well enough to actually survive once the thin, white mage fell. They needed allies to win that fight. The Necromancer did not achieve much of anything except get shot one more time and get stabbed trying to flee. The Soulless were useless. The Archer did quite well. The guards and rogue dwarves just kind of were there, neither side did much of anything really.

    The interesting fight was the one you picked. The thin, white mage rolled very well on all of his checks except the last one... The Heron Guard did alright but would have definitely lost had you not been there. The ladies did fine, but not spectacular. Though on your last attempt to influence him you with your friend's help you rolled damn near perfectly. Also the 'spoilers' rolls were interesting as well but those are plot relevant so I can't get into them.

    Finally the Cavalry Officer confirmed his uselessness by bleeding out in record time. Seriously, that guy did not do one thing right since I introduced him. It will probably change a few plot arcs now that he is gone but that will be dealt with in later updates probably.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  7. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Hey, did we manage to save the officer that caught a spear the hard the way when we took out the mage? Or did he bleed out by the time we got to him? I seem to remember something about him having a couple of minutes, but I'm not sure how long the fight lasted. And the other fighters as well, did the archer survive?
     
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Show Spoiler
    He did not make it sadly. Bled out quite quickly really. I must have deleted that paragraph by accident, I have put it back in the update.
     
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  9. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
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    I fucking love all the mental assault scenes.
    I guess we could have saved the Cavalry Officer too while the Heron Guard and the White Mage tested each other...

    1C. Now its time for business.
    2A. We cant keep hiding Lyssa forever.
     
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  10. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    No way in hell I'd be crossing the courtyard with all the fireballs and Soulless flying around and the rogue dwarves duking it out with the royal guards between us and the officer. No until we officially switch to the profession of a battle mage.

    Hm... can we just meet Mayer instead of all the other parties? I firmly believe that he is all we need, business-wise, and I'd rather not waste the time trying to befriend those Barings and Goldsmith pricks. We'll be leaving them in the dust once we start our own business with the Empire anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  11. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    Funny how we took a rep hit with the merchant factions there. They must've been backing the usurpers.

    It'd probably be a good idea to explore that a bit more thoroughly.
     
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  12. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Sure, if you do not want to be diplomatic about it, I will add it as an option.

    Edit:

    Added as option F
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Well, Mayer knows best, I suppose.

    If he deems it necessary to maintain ties with these guys, we'll abide.

    By the way, what does building a reputation with the rabble poor folks entail? As far as I've seen, there is no such faction as 'dwarven people'. How would it help us, and will there be repercussions as far as the reputatuion with the other factions is concerned (I kind of expect the nobles to become offended a bit)?
     
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  14. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well it has more to do with exploring all available avenues and not purposefully offending people but like I said it is your call. Derryth and Thaïs also are not really prepared to grant financial control to someone they have had one conversation with so there is also that to consider.

    Factions tend not to be as broad as the whole dwarven race but there are a lot of factions out there that you do not (and may never) know about and they do watch your actions if you catch their attention.

    As for reputation it won't hurt you with anyone really. You would be doing charitable work, shaking hands, kissing babies, meeting with the 'dwarf on the street' that sort of thing. The nobles and merchants might even approve in that it is fairly harmless all things considered and could be seen as fulfilling the obligations the 'better sorts' of people have to the 'less fortunate'.

    Really though the outcomes are based on how Derryth deals with the situation in front of her more than anything.
     
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  15. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
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    Well I never really cared about the merchants that much in the first place and this reputation drop with them definitely doesn't help with that. Fuck' em. I'll be voting for something that doesn’t involve people that don't like us.

    D > B > A

    Anyway, maybe doing some PR charity work would help the king by strengthening our heroic reputation.

    As for my second choice, I'm not sure. The girls can go, sure, but just how likely is it for someone to recognise our former necromancer? Because that would be very awkward. Can we ask her that, or maybe can we disguise her a bit, just in case? And what about our prisoners, would we move them to prison or would someone remain in the safe house to watch them?
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I'd rather we think more carefully about who we invite to the palace. The reason why we wanted the girls to stay at the safehouse when we left for the Assembly was to avoid bringing heat on them. Nothing really changed since then. I don't know if we want to bring everyone in the spotlight just yet, even though I personally want to keep them as close as possible.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Congratulations, ladies, you've got yourselves a stalker. And we just barely got rid of one, too!

    *sigh* The beauty is a curse, indeed. At least the new guy is more shy and less obnoxious than the previous one.

    Can we ask the Pathfinders to - gently - investigate this helper? I'd like to meet them in person.

    Was the piece of the Watcher we recovered from the necromancer the same Ori captured with her, or was it a new one, similar to the ones the Warlock and the Oneiroi mage got? At this rate King Albrecht would actually be the one to assemble the Watcher in his basement from all the pieces the enemy brings to his doors.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  18. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well there are people she worked with in Soulblighter's service that could recognize her just like the necromancer she murdered before meeting Mazzarin so it is a possibility. If you want to disguise her that would certainly be possible though it might raise questions among the dwarves and they might start to wonder who she is that she needs to hide her identity. The prisoners would stay at the safe house unless you bring everyone over in which case they would be brought to the palace prisons for ease of access. Meletē would stay as well unless you decide to move everyone over or come up with a another option.

    They are already looking into it. So far they have nothing.

    It was the piece Ori brought in. They did not think anyone would dare to attack the palace so they kept both the necromancer and the stone on site. They have split them up now and each is going to a less well known destination.
     
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  19. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
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    Fangshi, I assume we are still working on waking up Meletē and that is happening independent of our choice here? If so:

    1. A>F>C


    We have the backing of the royal house and access to a business shark that should be able to pull the rug out from under the rest of the merchant class with our support. No need to kowtow to lesser men Dorfs. We could also cozy up to the nobility and get them on our side. If we do the parties, maybe we could make sure that Mayer gets invites to all of them and have a back room to do a little business in when convenient.

    We need Lyssa with us before her necklace makes her go bonkers because she is too far away from us.

    2. A>C
     
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  20. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Instead of having Lyssa with us all the time, why not grant her full access to the Magic Academy for a week and allow her to visit us whenever she pleases? I am sure she would like that arrangement much more than being a public person.
     
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  21. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    That is correct yes.

    Certainly, she can access the academy regardless of what you pick in 2. Albrecht is only really concerned about something happening to you before the trial he is not too worried about what your friends get up to.
     
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  22. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    Reputation Loses:
    The Brannons -40
    The Honourable House of Eberhardt -100
    The Barings -30
    The Goldsmith Guild -30
    Mayer's Estate -10

    This is interesting. I assume brannons, barings and guild were either Eberhardt allies or one of people who run away, reputation loss with Mayer is confusing to me. Is he pissed about stronger control of King?

    1) B > D > F - Army like us very much we should get to ally reputation here. Helping poor would show us in good light and i like dwarfs dont mind to buddy up with ordinary people here (ehm there is that little part we took part in blowing up half city too).If not any of that go speak money.
    2) E - we didnt take them for a reason Marvin.

    Edit. actually in 2 we do need Lyssa to avoid mental stress. E should clear Mazzarin artefact part and mby she will borrow us magic books as bed time stories. ;D
     
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  23. GreyViper Erudite

    GreyViper
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,294
    Location:
    Estonia
    1F 2A

    We work better with her around due nature of the necklace.
     
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  24. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Hero of the Kingdom? Dont see description anything special about that?
    Wonder if we will ever get friend of dorfs. On one hand we are heroes... looks like hero... we could be... they think we are heroes, on other we pissed of half of state and burned half of capital.
     
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