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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Alright, so in no particular order.

    1. Reputation.
    a) What does being the Hero of the Kingdom mean for us? How well-known are we going to be beyond Myrgard?
    b) Since the Assembly never happened, why did we become the sworn enemies of the House of Eberhardt? Did we still testify against them as per the original plan, only without them being able to retort due to having fled already? The King mentioned that the Eberhardts were the vanguard of the opposition. Did the other houses who fled got in trouble as well?
    c) Is the girls' connection to us well-known? I guess most of the dwarves got wind of what happened in the fort, but Trakk vanished without a trace and no one seems to raise an eyebrow. Maybe people already forgot everyone but us?
    d) Speaking of Trakk, what happened to his family? Did they testify as well? If so, what did they say? Is their connection to our case known? I mean, it can be spun that the traitors to the crown tried to get to us through our companions that we defended the fort with, so they are actually martyrs to the royal cause... or something like that. Can anything be done for them?

    Actually, I want to ask the king to grant us the right to pardon Trakk if we see fit to do so. The reason for this is that the next time we cross paths with the dwarf (which is likely to be violent), I'd like to settle matters with him. He comlained he didn't have a choice back then, so I want to offer him one. He can return to his family as a loyal servant to the country who suffered for aiding the allies of the crown against the traitorous house - and every word of it would be the truth, since I am almost completely sure the Eberhardts dealt with the Brannons (and surrendering Melete to them was another one of their deals) because they needed allies and resourses to oppose Albrecht. Or he can choose to continue his vendetta against us, even though we were not the ones who wronged him, and die a dog's death as a traitor to his country who fell for the promises of the house that succumbed to the Dark, without a right to be buried alongside his ancestors - and this could very well be the the truth, too. The point is, the choice would be his and his alone this time.

    Of course, he could do something that would render this point moot and make us kill him on the spot, but this does not cost Albrecht anything, so I don't see a reason not to keep this option in the reserve. Especially since I wanted to do this even before we sent the guy into the exile.

    e) What the hell is wrong with the merchant houses? What do they have against the crown and us, personally?
    f) Why is Mayer pissed at us? Is it because it makes his dealings with the rest of the bankers less convenient if he is on good terms with us? Why is the reputation drop less with him, what sets him apart from the others? I'd very much like to follow up on our initial talk with him, but I guess there is no doing so discreetly with an escort of 40 royal guards in tow, and the other bankers would not take it kindly if we continued to publicly ignore them? Or is there a way to meet Mayer without attracting too much attention?
    g) I guess this is going to be covered in the next update, but I'd very much like to know how and why the human Empire become involved in all of this. The presence of the cavalry officer (heh, a fitting death for a Bai Jiutian expy a dashing gentleman if I ever saw one) and the Heron Guard at the Royal Palace can't be a coincidence. Can we get acquaintanced with the Heron Guard? The guy seems cool.
    h) Isn't Albrecht going a bit overboard with his concern for us? How much freedom of action are we allowed? It looks like he has other plans for us, but can we at least squeeze a hint out of him about what they are?
    i) I guess the minor reputation increase with the Warlocks is due to the fact that there are no ex-Warlocks, and we just solved one of their problems for them?

    2. The battle.
    a) Did we ever learn how the attack started and went up until the point we intervened? Was its purpose to break the necromancer out? Were the attacks on the rest of the city merely distractions to prevent the army from assisting where it mattered the most?
    b) Did we learn what the manacles were and why did they glow when the mages cast spells? For that matter, did we learn what was wrong with them? They weren't behaving like sane people. Was it the influence of the stones, or was it something different?
    c) Just who or what was the thin mage? That thing was definitely not human. The way it moved bore uncanning resemblance to the desription that was given to the Deceiver, who 'moved through odd angles, faster than any man, and if unobserved, much faster than that'. But of course it couldn't have been him, because there is no way he would be working for the Watcher, as the insight in his thoughts implied, and no way he would go down that easily. So, who was it? A mage that is as powerful as two exceptional mages combined is surely someone of note. It was ancient, it wasn't even completely alive... Was it a Shade, after all?
    d) Did they get the necromancer to talk? I wonder why the enemy got through hoops to get her out. Or was it the stone they were after? What measures are taken to prevent the history from repeating itself?
    e) Were the rogue dwarves ever identified?

    3. Misc.
    a) How bad is Lyssa's sanity loss due to being away from us? Is visiting us once a day enough to offset the loss, or does she need prolonged exposure to our necklaces to remain well?
    b) Since we are pretty chummy with the military, can we get our girls to learn the basics of the Military Tactics? They both have the Leadership skill, they both led men into battle. It would be a shame to stiffle their potential, especially since I feel that we'll be leading an army before long. They may not be generals, but they are a perfect officer material. I want both sisters on it, because they can cover nuances of both close and ranged combat between the two of them, and their rivalry will help them perfect their plans by pointing out weak points in each other's strategies. I know they aren't going to learn it all in a week, but we should start somewhere.

    Edit: Huh, the trial didn't happen yet, but we became the enemies of the Eberhardts? How come? I thought they would not know we are responsible for their fall until then.

    c) Are we still working on integrating the impressions with Thais, or is our work on that front done?
    d) Is there anyone on the 'good side' that could recognize Lyssa? It sounds unlikely, since she worked the assambly lines and did not participate in any of the battle operations (from what she told us), but she was there during the fall of Scales, so I don't really know about that.
    e) What is it that Lyssa wants to do with her free time? I really want her to make use of that academy while we are stuck at the Palace duing social stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  2. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Hmm... okay:

    1. Reputation:

    A) Hero of the Kingdom means that you are now very well known throughout the Kingdom and even vaguely known beyond its borders. Most dwarves in Myrgard know your name now even if they do not know what you look like yet. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the situation. I will add a proper description to the list when I have a moment.

    B) Albrecht is quite good at spinning a story. In preparation for the trial his agents have been spreading tales of your exploits throughout the city. He wants everyone to know who you are before this starts. Hell, he wants the people cheering you when you arrive and calling for the deaths of Eberhardt, his family and everyone who has ever had dealings with him. As a result people now know the 'official' version of events and the Eberhardts know it was you that screwed them.

    C) They have been left out of the stories at your request. Some dwarves know about them (the innkeeper whose establishment you frequented or the soldiers that escorted you to the capital for example) but it is not common knowledge. According to the stories that are currently circulating you faced down the army by yourselves or with a small group of companions all of which were sadly killed. Trakk no longer exists, he is a non person as far as the state is concerned and they are doing their best to keep it that way.

    D) The connection is not yet known. It will be though when the trial begins. The version of events they will recount may be a little different than what actually happened though. As for what happened to them, they are alive and in protective custody and that is about all you know.

    The Pardon: If you really want one he will grant you one in writing as a personal favour.

    E) You do not know though one might suspect that they are hostile to parties that undermine their interests and that their interests may not always line up with those of the crown and old nobility. If you want more you will need to choose an option that deals with that.

    F) You don't know why he is upset, you could always ask him but you have only met the man once. It is not like you know him well. You speculate that his is less upset than the others because he is the sort of dwarf that can see opportunities in adversity.

    If you pay a visit solely to Mayer the other merchant houses will feel snubbed. It is as simple as that, it is up to you whether or not you want to be diplomatic about this. It might be worth it or it might be a waste of time.

    G) The Empire maintains an active embassy to the Kingdom at all times. It is possible they were visiting on business but you do no know. The nobles love to gossip though so you might be able to get information that way including information on who the Officer was and how you can meet Eagle should you so desire.

    H) He does not want anything happening to you or to his city before the trial, this has to be handled just right. Every time you wander off something is blown up or burnt down. The guards are there to prevent that and to discourage potential assassins and mercenaries. He is willing to entertain suggestions on how to spend your time but he would very much prefer if you checked with him before doing anything. If you want to slip away on your own though you could certainly try it.

    I) You solved a very old problem for the Warlocks yes.

    2. The battle:

    A) It started about fifteen minutes before you arrived. Dwarven infiltrators seized the prison complex at high cost to themselves. They freed the prisoners and at some point the thin, white mage appeared though no one agrees on when or how. It seems that the attack was aimed at retrieving the piece of the Watcher and freeing the necromancer. Beyond that you do not know.

    It seems likely that the other attacks were distractions but you can not be sure.

    B) The manacles were meant to prevent a mage from casting. The thin, white mage must have had a way to break their magic. They glowed when the Warlock cast because he was throwing around a lot of magical fire without a care in the world, those manacles probably got awfully hot though he did not seem to notice.

    You think that the Watcher was controlling them through the pieces of him that they carried though you can not be sure what was happening really.

    C) :smug: Perhaps he is simply an amoral zombie...

    D) They won't tell you anything about her at the moment. Something has them spooked.

    E) They were dead men. Legally dead that is. Each was a violent criminal that is on the books as deceased, this time it stuck.

    3. Misc.

    A) Her SAN loss is the same as yours or Thaïs'. If she were in perfect mental health she could survive for a week without doing permanent damage though she would be a wreck by the time she joined up again. Two weeks and she would be completely and permanently insane. Symptoms start to show after a day or two and you do not know how sane she is to begin with though she seems normal enough all things considered. Short term exposure will keep her from getting worse, long term exposure will actually improve her sanity.

    B) Sure though it would take time to arrange something and months for them to learn anything really useful. I will keep it in mind should training options become available while in the city.

    The Trial: Albrecht is busy laying the groundwork for the trial. He does not want anything left to chance. That means bribing people, 'finding' evidence, marshaling the actual evidence and also playing the public opinion game. His agents are in every bar and salon in the city talking up your achievements. Soon everyone will know who you are and what you have done (though the official story may not bear much resemblance to the actual events).



    Current Tally:
    Show Spoiler
    asxetos 1.C 2.A
    Zero Credibility 1.D>B>A 2.x
    Kz3r0 1.A 2.A
    archaen 1.A>F>C 2.A>C
    Jester 1.B>D>F 2.E
    GreyViper 1.F 2.A
    Smashing Axe 1.B>A>C 2.B>D>E
    Nevill 1.C>B 2.A
    Azira 1.C>B 2.A
    Grimgravy 1.D 2.E

    1.
    A) 2 votes
    B) 2 votes
    C) 3 votes
    D) 2 votes
    E)
    F) 1 vote

    2.
    A) 6 votes
    B)
    C)
    D) 1 vote
    E) 2 votes
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
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  3. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,698
    Divinity: Original Sin
    B> A> C

    B> D> E

    On phone can't discuss
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    All right.

    Even though I introduced F as a choice, now that I have considered the alternatives, I prefer C. It looks like it might alienate the other merchant houses to the point where they may become our enemies. While it does not bother me much, this leaves Mayer as the only business opportunity we can pursue, and monopoly is never a good thing. He can easily use that against us if we don't have a choice in the matter. In this case, it is in our interests to be diplomatic about this.

    I don't want to invalidate our initial time investment in Mayer by pursuing something else. We have to begin making money one day, because we've went through 1/3 of our wealth in a month that we've been here.

    If that fails, I want to bro it up with the younger generation of nobles who are part of the Royal Army. I don't want to deal with the old farts who don't know how to hold a sword.

    I guess in the long run it does not matter if the girls stay at the safehouse or come with us, renown-wise. If so, I prefer to keep everyone together.

    So, C>B A for me.

    Also, :lol: at Albrecht:
    Doesn't he know that's exactly the thing that makes one a hero?
    Did he think that 'like a dorf' sticker was just for show?
     
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  5. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,175
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    I'm with Nevill on this choice (gasp!).

    C>B
    A
     
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    More answers:

    Yes but it has only been a couple of very busy days since you started working on it. All of these updates have maybe covered two weeks or so in game so it will take some time and some peace and quiet to make more progress on it. If you choose to stay in the palace they can probably work on it in their spare time, if not then they will likely be too busy to give it much attention now.

    No way to know really though it is not likely.

    If you tell her to go to the academy then she will go to the academy. Otherwise she will spend her time how she likes, that may involve going to the academy anyway but it also might be something else. She still wants her birds back so she spends a lot of time on top of the safe house waiting for them.

    I can add it as a question on the next update if there is interest.
     
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  7. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Well, I don't want to force her, and it would be good to show interest in what she is doing. I intend to fully integrate her in our circle and get her to green status ASAP, so count me in for everything that helps with that.

    What were her birds told to do last time she saw them? Were they to spy on the Watcher's activities to the east?

    By the way, does she know how did Mazzarin dispose of the necromancers in Myrgard? Ceannard reported that four of them went missing.

    Can we ask Albrecht or Argus about the robed figures and the riders Ceannard told us about? I imagine Argus would be easier to talk to due to him being a simpler fellow somewhat indebted to us due to the recent events, although he may know less. Were the riders from the Empire? At least that would explain the Cavalry officer.

    I feel like the dwarves are holding out on us.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    A variety of things but mostly they were to search for and keep tabs on any necromancer activity in the area.

    She says she has no idea.

    This will have to be put to a vote. If they know nothing it will make them curious as to where you got this information. If they know something then it will make them very curious as to where you got this information. Naturally you can always lie to them but it might not be the course you wish to take with this. If there is interest then I can add it as a question on the next update.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    We can always tell them we can talk to the birds and the birds told us. Lyssa did use them to spy on the necros, after all, so it's not that far from the truth. If they don't know anything, they deserve to be informed. If they know something, we deserve to know this as well.

    Yeah, I'll bite. Is anyone with me?
     
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  10. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    Im in if Derryth answer will be "a little bird told me". Later she can explain.
     
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  11. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    I'll go along with a little bird told me. We should also look into finding an offer that they can not refuse.
     
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  12. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,270
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
  13. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    The vote will close in twelve to fourteen hours with an update twelve to sixteen hours after that.

    Show Spoiler
    Current Tally:

    asxetos 1.C 2.A
    Zero Credibility 1.D>B>A 2.x
    Kz3r0 1.A 2.A
    archaen 1.A>F>C 2.A>C
    Jester 1.B>D>F 2.E
    GreyViper 1.F 2.A
    Smashing Axe 1.B>A>C 2.B>D>E
    Nevill 1.C>B 2.E
    Azira 1.C>B 2.A
    Grimgravy 1.D 2.E

    1.
    A) 2 votes
    B) 2 votes
    C) 3 votes
    D) 2 votes
    E)
    F) 1 vote

    2.
    A) 6 votes
    B)
    C)
    D) 1 vote
    E) 2 votes

    Flops:

    1.

    1)1 vote from 1.D to 1.B

    2)1 vote from 1.A to 1.C

    3)1 vote from 1.B to 1.C

    2.

    1) 1 vote from 2.B to 2.E

    Post Flop:

    1.
    A) 1 vote
    B) 2 votes
    C) 5 votes
    D) 1 vote
    E)
    F) 1 vote

    2.
    A) 5 votes
    B)
    C)
    D)
    E) 4 votes
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
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  14. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I'll flop to 2E to give the option a chance if someone else thinks it is worthwhile. I am still undecided.

    Will the question about the mysterious groups be put to a vote? So far there were 3 people voting for it, but I don't know if the rest even saw that question. :)
     
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    1,997
    I will add it as a question on the next update and deal with it then if no one else votes on the issue now.
     
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  16. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
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    I don't like E as it seems like it could lead to ambushes and kidnapping of members of our group. All we need is for Lyssa to be grabbed by a necromancer that recognizes her and go insane while we fruitlessly search for her.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    11,060
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    They are staying at the Pathfinders' safehouse and under their care. Probably under Alvis' supervision, too, since they don't send him on the missions anymore. It is as safe as it gets.

    The last time we've gone out, they have assigned a minder to us (Astrid), so it's not like our charges will be alone.

    What is there to prevent this exact outcome if Lyssa moves to the Palace, anyway? Unlike us, she does not get an escort of 40 guards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
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  18. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
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    621
    It is the wandering back and forth. The first time they come to the palace likely nothing will happen but they will be noticed and this happens with either 2A or 2E. If they stay in the palace any attacker will have to contend with military garrisons, spies, royal guards, and pathfinder to come after them. If they come and go a force just has to wait in an alley and can escape into the city. E seems to be a halfway choice with no benefit. We reveal our friends, which is the only downside to A, and then on top of that let them wander around a city full of necromancer and traitors with a target on their back. We also keep our party split. If things go down I'd rather we be together.
     
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  19. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Alright, 1.C 2.A take it.

    You will try to improve your relations with the bankers and you will transfer everyone over to the palace.

    The next update will be out in sixteen hours at most, I expect it to be rather long but we will see I suppose.

    Edit:
    Still can not get a draft I really like here. I am going to cut it back a little, give it a few passes and put it up since I am not really achieving anything this late at night anyway. It should be ready in an hour maybe two.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    Chapter 30: The Calm before the Storm

    You have fought armies that outnumbered you fifty to one.

    You have stared down dark gods and goddesses.

    You have negotiated with some of the greatest archmages to ever walk the lands.

    You are a mage, a treasure hunter, some say a 'hero'.

    So then why is this so Wyrd damned difficult!

    "No, not that one!" Thaïs scolds you, "That is the wrong fork again!"

    She is to be your tutor in this. You quickly lost patience with the dwarves the King sent to 'educate' you. They treated you like an imbecile and a peasant so you had a little fun with their senses. As a result none of them will come near you, thankfully your friend is well aware of proper dining etiquette and has taken it upon herself to improve your manners.

    "Damn it!" you shout back, "There are thirty two Wyrd damned forks! Twenty knives! Fourteen spoons! And I do not even know what this thing is!"

    You heft a large wooden mallet and shove it at her.

    "That," she grins as she takes it and swings it through the air, "Is a ghôl mallet. You use it to smash open the ghôl skulls they will serve as our main course."

    You turn a little green, "We... we are going to eat ghôls?"

    She nods, enjoying this revelation just a little too much, "Certainly. It is considered quite the delicacy amongst the dwarves. I am told that our hosts have managed to get over a dozen fresh for our dinner."

    You push your chair back, "I... I can't do this. Can't you go without me? Please!"

    "Sorry, you are our fearless leader remember," she winks at you as she returns the mallet to its place above your plate, "You have to learn how to do this sooner or later."

    In resignation you sigh, "Fine, fine. Let's just start from the top then."

    "Alright," she takes a deep breath, "Now we are only dealing with the merchant set here so the meal will be smaller from what I understand. There will be eleven courses and only about half the full one hundred and twenty utensils will be utilized. We will begin with the soups..."

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

    You think you have it all down.

    The greetings, the seating order, the utensils, the movements and positioning.

    You are certainly smart enough to figure this out, you just have trouble caring.

    It is all just so terribly pointless. One fork is functionally as good as another from what you can tell and many of the rules seem contradictory. You are to make conversation but not to actually talk about anything substantial. You are to enjoy the food but not too much. You are not to complement the cooking, nor are you to complain. Yet you also can not simply ignore the food either, it is all quite frustrating.

    Then add to that the fact that all of the people you will be dining with likely hold some sort of grudge against you and you are certain that the next several evenings will be uncomfortable ones.

    Of course things are not all bad. Albrecht refused to let you go out in your armour and worn clothing. New attire is in order: smocks, hose, kirtles, gowns, surcoats, girdles, capes, hoods, and bonnets all in a variety of styles, colours and materials are paraded in front of you and you take the opportunity to try it all on.

    You settle on a number of outfits for a variety of occasions, parties, hunts, diners and more practical affairs as well.

    The palace staff also take pains to make you 'presentable'. With a great deal of water and terribly stiff brushes they damn near scrub you raw and douse you in stinging ointments, powders, and oils. They menace you as they clean and style your hair, they torture you as they squeeze you into your bodice, they torment you ceaselessly and more than once you have to fight off the urge to set a few of them on fire. It is a complete and absolute pain but it is difficult to argue with the results.

    They wheel over a full length looking glass and you are forced to admit you are like a new woman. Dressed in forest green and earth tones, your hair truly clean for the first time in years, jewel stones in your around your neck and woven into your hair, you are absolutely stunning. A sentiment that is quickly echoed as Argus and Thaïs enter the room.

    He whistles, "Those girls really do a great job don't they."

    Your friend beams at you as she advances, "He is right Derryth you look gorgeous."

    "Um, thanks. Both of you," you smile awkwardly as you turn to greet them. You are floored by what you see. Albrecht's maids have worked their wonders on your friend as well, red silk and gold cloth, she looks amazing and you can not help but return her compliments.

    While the two of you trade compliments and commiserate on the torture you have had to endure Argus taps his foot impatiently.

    You let him wait for a minute before finally addressing him, "You look like you want to say something Argus."

    "Thank you yes," he draws closer to the two of you. The maids withdraw from the room, "The people you will be visiting this week are amongst the most powerful dwarves in the entire kingdom. I would urge you to be cautious and not to purposely antagonize them."

    Thaïs gives the Champion a slight nod in gratitude, "We will naturally endeavour to avoiding creating enemies."

    "Yes well the advice still stands. Be diplomatic," he looks you in the eyes as he speaks those words.

    "I am not that bad Argus," you grin.

    "I know these people Derryth. You are going to want to set half of them on fire the second you meet them," he laughs, a short, gruff thing, "I am asking you on behalf of the King to please play nice and not to torch or blow up any of the merchants' houses."

    The two of you nod and give him your most innocent looks, he simply smiles and shakes his head, "Get going you two. Please do not destroy anything and try to have fun."

    As you slip past him arm in arm you lean in and whisper in your friend's ear, "I think those two instructions are mutually exclusive unfortunately."

    She elbows you as you slip out the door headed for the front of the compound and the carriage that will carry you to your destination.

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

    Tonight you dine with the Barings, an up and coming family of bankers.

    You are welcomed warmly enough but you are no fool. You know that most of the people in this mansion have little love for you and are simply looking for reasons to hate you or use you. Initially your instincts urge you to leave this den of vipers but you stick with it. The King knows where you are, if anything were to happen to you the repercussions would be quite extreme. You are completely safe for the time being and so you resolve to make the best of the situation and attempt to get to know the guests.

    The other guests consist of eight dwarves from a number of minor trading companies and lending houses. No one you have ever heard about in your inquires into dwarven finance. You manage some basic small talk and keep from making an absolute fool of yourself largely by keeping your mouth shut. This is the sort of thing Thaïs excels at and you let her do much of the talking.

    Dinner is... interesting.

    When dinner is called you are led in first on the arm of the host, Johann, you take your seat as you run through the thousands of little steps you must take to avoid insulting your host. It makes engaging in petty conversation difficult but perhaps that is for the best. None of them are saying anything interesting anyway. You reply to every question leveled at you politely and you even manage to impress your host with your firm grasp of dwarven.

    Twelve courses spread out over a forty minute period. It is less of a marathon than a sprint. Thankfully you do not try to actually eat everything that you are given. Instead you quickly realize that most of this food will simply be thrown out, it exists merely as a physical demonstration of the wealth and resources of your hosts. Cheeses and smoked meats from the Province, fish from south west of Stoneheim, soups and broths and a number of delicacies local and imported including the ghôl skulls your friend mentioned. You manage to will yourself into eating some and the dwarves nod in approval as you swallow a couple modest spoonfuls.

    No expense is spared and it is clear that your hosts are trying to impress you even if they do not trust you or even like you very much.

    You guess that they are hoping you will put a word in for them with the King. This suspicion is confirmed following dinner when you all retire to drawing room for refreshments and cards. The Barings and their friends speak fondly of the government and of the King but you think you sense an undercurrent of resentment there as well. You have little to go on but your instincts, yet you suspect that these dwarves are quite unhappy about the dramatic fall of House Eberhardt. Try as you might though you are unable to draw them into a conversation on the issue through subtle direction. In truth you just are not very good at it. You could try using your mental spells on them but you do not know if any of them have any magical talent and if you are caught the results would be disastrous.

    Across the room Thaïs works a much larger crowd. She has them enraptured and you hope she is having much more success than you are.

    Unable to extract any useful political information from them you instead turn the conversation towards more personal matters, finances and the place of the Barings within the larger financial community. Johann warms readily to the subject, perhaps a result of the alcohol you have been plying him with, "Well I will admit Miss Derryth. At the moment my family are not large players in the field but we have substantial holdings in the western empire and it is only a matter of time before we bring those advantages to bear against our competitors," he leans in and whispers conspiratorially, "In fact, I have often thought about expanding our banking system into the human empire. I mean just think of it! All those people and absolutely no competition!"

    That news does not sit well with you, this man and his family could well represent a threat to your own plans for the future. Though, perhaps they could also be strong allies should you decide to work with them.

    As the evening's entertainment winds down and you and your friend return to your carriage you finally have a chance to discuss your findings. You explain what you learnt from Johann.

    Thaïs responds, "Well if they already have the infrastructure set up they could be a real thorn in our side, of course they could also be a great help to us if we decide to ally with them."

    "You think they would work with us?" you ask in reply.

    She nods slightly, a little unsure of herself, "Yes, I think they would if they saw an advantage in it. I am fairly certain they were discretely supporting Eberhardt but they have been very quick to cut all social ties to the fallen House. They struck me as incredibly pragmatic. They will follow the path of least resistance to power. That might be a problem-"

    You finish her thought, "-or it might be a great opportunity for us. A means by which we can control them. If they really are that predictable then we simply have to ensure that they see us as their most likely path to power."

    She nods in agreement, "Exactly. We will never be able to trust them, or at least not the current crop of managers but we should be able to control them without too much difficulty as long as we appear powerful."

    You steer the conversation to broader topics, "Did they say anything else?"

    Thaïs beams confidently, "A little drink and those dwarves were willing to tell me all sorts of secrets. It turns out that House Eberhardt is in deep with a good portion of the Goldsmith Guild. Supposedly they were supplying the Eberhardt's with the financial support necessary to undermine the King. Mrs Baring was of the opinion that much of the guild will suffer the King's ire before long. I doubt we will find too many allies there now that we are well known. I also would not be surprised if the Guild is formally disbanded in a few weeks, rumours seem to indicate that Albrecht wants the power that comes with the material assets the Guild holds. The Barings are convinced that he will accuse them of conspiring with the Dark and will have the whole lot of them killed."

    You frown, "A little extreme isn't that?"

    She nods, the idea worries her a little as well, "Perhaps there is more to what is going on in the kingdom than we first realized."

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

    Each day is similar to the last and throughout each you and Thaïs prove inseparable. You rise early and receive proper instruction in how a lady of the kingdom should comport herself. Some of it is even sticking. You spend time with the girls and see to their education. You check in with Lyssa to ensure her mental health and keep her company while she waits for her eagles. You continue to lecture Caoilainn though it is slow going and finally you work on narrowing down the formulas required to revive Meletē. Another day or two and you should have it you think. Everything is going well but you still have reservations, something just does not feel right.

    Your evenings are spent visiting with the various merchant houses of the kingdom, some are members of the Guild and some are independent but all are nervous about what the future holds. They seem to fear the King without exception and you suspect that most of them have ties to the Eberhardts either directly or indirectly. If the King does truly intend to purge dissident elements in the kingdom this could get quite bloody.

    You tell yourself that, that is not really your concern. You push that thought from your mind and enjoy the fruits of your labours. The King is nothing if not generous and he lavishes gifts upon you. They make everything else more bearable.

    Tonight also marks a special occasion. Tonight you will go to visit Mayer at his estate. He was not quick to send an invitation, in fact he waited until you had met the vast majority of his peers to even extend the offer to meet him for dinner. You often wondered why and the mystery surrounding the dwarf only deepened as you asked his competitors about the man.

    It seems that Mayer does not attend social functions. He does not go to dinners and he does not invite anyone to his manor with very few exceptions. Some say that he is a servant of some dark goddess, a terrifying creature of darkness and despair that grants him success in all he does. Others say that he is really a necromancer and a former ally of the Watcher's though nothing has ever been proven. The more level headed individuals you questioned simply shrugged and said that the dwarf enjoys his privacy and does not have time for pointless niceties.

    All of them agreed though that he demonstrates an uncanny ability to make just the right deals on just the right ventures to always come out on top. The other bankers distrust him, some even hate or fear him but all of them respect him. He started from nothing and his rise has been meteoric. An invitation to have dinner with him is seen as unusual to say the least.

    As your carriage pulls up to the estate you begin to suspect that this dinner party will be much smaller than any you have yet been to. The building is well made but not terribly impressive. In fact it is on the small side although it is two stories tall. It lacks any ornamentation or distinguishing marks of any kind, in fact it is so simple and clean as to be striking in and of itself. Despite the quickly advancing night there is only one light coming from the entirety of the building. It shines from the second story window on the far right

    As you enter the building through the front doors you realize that you are in fact the only guests here. Mayer does not come to meet you, instead you are met by an ancient little dwarf, holding a single tiny candle, in an unmarked black uniform. He does not speak a word but motions for you to follow him into the depths of the unlit building. You are not led into a sitting room or a dining room or even a drawing room. You are led immediately to his office.

    Light pours out from under the door. The servant knocks once, "Come in!" a voice shouts from within.

    The servant opens the door and ushers you both inside. He closes it behind you as he leaves the room.

    There in the center of the room, at his desk and surrounded by ledgers and scrolls sits Mayer.

    He does not even look up at you, "Good evening ladies. I shall have my man bring in something to eat shortly though first I should like to ask you who you really are and why you feel the need to meddle in the business of this kingdom."

    You begin to tell him the story you have carefully crafted with Albrecht's agents, "Well it seems that House Eberhardt has been involving themselves with the Dark. After we defeated that army of the undead on the way to Myrgard the Eberhardts took out a contract on our lives, we had no choice but to-"

    He raises a hand in annoyance his face buried in a scroll, "I do not have the time or inclination to listen to lies. If you will not tell me the truth then we have no business together and if that is the case then you will both have to excuse me if I ask you to immediately leave."

    Thaïs speaks up, "What makes you think we are lying?"

    He shakes his head as he strikes out a pair of entries, "I am not an idiot and I am aware of all major contracts currently outstanding in this city. I am aware that the Eberhardts have no dealings with the Dark at all. I am also aware of the story you have been peddling and I know it does not add up with the information I have been receiving. So I will ask again, why have you involved yourself in the affairs of this kingdom?"

    You answer his question with a question, "Where do you get your information from that you are so certain we are lying?"

    He looks up and smiles slightly, "A little birdie told me," the smile fades quickly as he returns to his paperwork, "Now answer or leave."

    As you stand in silence you can hear a pair of voices quietly talking in the adjoining room. It seems you are not, in fact, completely alone.


    1. Your answer:

    A) You tell Mayer the truth minus your adventures with certain archmages and former necromancers. Government agents and ancient artefacts. (Just your (mis)adventures with Meletē, the connection between the contract on her and the Eberhardts and your desire to destroy them to help your friend.)

    B) You leave. If that is the way he wants to be then fine.

    C) You will attack him physically. It is admittedly an extreme reaction but if he knows something you do not then you will have an answer right now.

    D) You will attack him mentally. Perhaps you can force him to talk without actually hurting him physically.

    E) You force your way into the adjoining room to find out who else is here.

    F) Ask Mayer to invite the people in the other room in and introduce us. If he does, go along with his proposal. If he refuses, leave.

    G) freeform


    And the questions that came up in the discussion between updates:


    2. Investigating leads with the government. You might want to check some of the leads Ceannard mentioned about the necromancers with Albrecht and his agents. You choose to:

    A)Ask Albrecht about it but lie about how you got the information (You will not mention Mazzarin or your true adventures in the desert)

    B)Ask Albrecht about it but tell the truth and hope he understands.

    C) Don't ask about it. You do not really care about the necromancers, they are not your problem.

    D) freeform


    3. Lyssa's Activities, how did she spend her time?

    A) You instructed her to split her time between doing what she wants and studying at the academy.

    B) You ordered her to spend most of her time studying at the academy.

    C) You let her spend her time how she pleased.

    D) You ask her to help you teach the girls the basics of magical theory as in 4B, an extra mage might help things go more smoothly.

    E) freeform


    4. The Girls, how did they spend their time?

    A)Training with Argus on combat techniques. They won't learn much in a week but they might pick up something.

    B)Listening to your lectures about magic with Caoilainn. If they get the basics down they can begin to learn a few spells.

    C)With Albrecht's staff. They will be taught how a young lady must behave in polite society. If you have to suffer through this than so do they.

    D)You let them do what they want.

    E) Get them a teacher and a lot of books and start educating them on a military tactics. It won't do anything in a week, but give it a year and who knows.

    F) freeform
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
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  21. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Party/Organizational Changes:

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Derryth

    Stat Gain:

    1. CHA +1: the result of Thaïs' continued influence and memories, the training you are receiving and some truly exceptional rolls during this update.

    Gained Items:

    1. Gorgeous Green Evening Dress

    2. Beautiful Clothing

    3. Attractive Hunting Attire

    Gained Skill:

    1. Semi-Refined Manners - You are beginning to learn what is required to move in polite society. For the moment you find that just keeping your mouth shut works wonders though sometimes you simply can not resist.

    Thaïs

    Gained Items:

    1. Gorgeous Red Evening Dress

    2. Beautiful Clothing

    3. Attractive Hunting Attire



    Organizational Changes

    Show Spoiler
    Reputation Gains with Known Factions:

    The Barings +15

    The Goldsmith Guild +5


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    The rolls for this one are perhaps obvious and there are not very many of them. Derryth had a few CHA checks to avoid making a faux pas and she rolled perfectly. A shame as I had wanted to write a scene of her burning down a mechant's house. She rolled so well in fact that I deemed it sufficient to push her over the edge and get a stat boost.

    You also had a willpower check to determine if you would eat the ghôl dish or not and you passed fairly easily.

    Similarly Thaïs had a number of CHA checks but with 9 CHA it could not have been easier for her particularly since Derryth actually managed on her own.

    As such you came out of the Barings party ahead.

    There was a check to see if you would hear the voices at Mayers.

    There were also a number of other checks but those are spoilers or not something Derryth would be able to know for the time being.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
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  22. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,412
    1. Your answer
    B) You leave.
    This guy is not a friend and maybe an enemy, dealing with him will put us at a disadvantage ot at his mercy.


    2. Investigating leads with the government.
    A)Ask Albrecht about it but lie about how you got the information


    3. Lyssa's Activities, how did she spend her time?
    C) You let her spend her time how she pleased.

    4. The Girls, how did they spend their time?
    A)Training with Argus on combat techniques.
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    What is exactly the truth that we will be telling, Fangshi?

    Why did we involve ourselves with Albrecht?

    What would be our story? Will it include the Pathfinders that do not exist? The return of the artefact maul that is a state secret? The Watcher's stone? Melete and the Brannons?

    Most of the story isn't ours to tell.
     
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    That you were trying to help Meletē and wound up as enemies of the Eberhardts that way. You do not need to mention the Pathfinders, the Maul or the Watcher; or rather Derryth has no intention of mentioning them.
     
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  25. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    2,874
    1. E > B.

    I should probably just vote to leave because I don't even like this guy, but curiosity is just getting the better of me.

    2. A > C

    Again, curiosity.

    3. D > C


    Freeform - I'd prefer if she stayed with the girls and help us teach them a few basics in magic. And they might all be safer if they don't split up.

    4. B > A


    Multiclass to mage please, pure fighters are boring. Even if they will never be full fledged magic users, picking up a few tricks would be really useful for them and our entire circle.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
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