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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
    Joined:
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    1,997
    What harm can she do? Probably none, but maybe some, and that is the thing that worries all mages.

    With someone like Caoilainn the risks are minimal from her but there are ways it can harm you. If you willingly let her in then your mind will be completely aware of her presence and it will be difficult for her to directly do something to hurt you, she is not a Fallen Lord, she can not simple wrest control of your mind from you but it would give her an idea of what your mind is like. Over repeated trips she would come to know the geography of your mind quite well and if she consistently shows herself to not be a threat then your subconscious mind will also stop viewing her as such and you lose much of the 'home field' advantage you would normally have through your naturally suspicious mind.

    Now I am not saying that she would ever try something but if you let her into your mind then she will have knowledge of it and her mind is a much easier target than yours (or Thaïs' for that matter) for any enemies you may have or acquire. Someone could in theory raid her mind to seize an advantage against your own. Or perhaps they could plant a spell in her mind that would activate while she is in yours and cause significant temporary or permanent damage.

    So she is not a direct threat in all likelihood but it pays to be a bit paranoid when it comes to mages and mind magic.

    Depends on the spell used. If you are just using regular mind spells like Derryth usually does then you will get one or more general images of the place. Enough to give you a qualitative understanding of the sort of mind you are dealing with. IF you push further in you might get moving images and general emotions. If you push all in and enter through force or guile then you will have limited access to the person's mind. You will be able to explore a little, maybe uncover a few memories, experience a few emotions, though you will view both as an outside observer (they will be different from the impressions you and Thaïs share. If you go with the Infiltration ritual then your mind will enter their mind and there will be nothing separating the two except your respective wills. In that case you will get an experience similar to what you saw with Nine though most minds are far more stable and 'human'.

    Time passes faster in the mind than it does in the physical world in all the above cases but it only really matters with the Infiltration ritual as that is the only case (you currently know of) where you will spend more than a minute or two in contact with the mind in question. Most of the time the subconscious or conscious mind of your target will quickly realize that a foreign presence is present and will attack so most mental spells are designed to quickly achieve what is needed whether it be a suggestion, compulsion or a direct assault.

    Possibly, that would take some time to experiment with though. Caoilainn already does that through the spells in the bracelets to a degree in that she can send you still images when you are in danger. You could try to do it a couple of ways, enter her mind/let her enter yours and 'talk' to her, tell her what you need sent on. She could then enter Thaïs' mind/Thaïs could enter her mind and receive the message but it would require a lot of practice and complete trust between the three of you (both things you would have to work on). She also wants to get back to a body (preferably her's but any will do) so she might be a bit suspicious of things that make her more useful to you as a disembodied mind. If she starts to suspect you will try to keep her like that forever she may start to resent you just a little (it would only be natural).

    The other way would be to try and modify the False Memory spell to send actual messages either verbal ones or still images but that would take a fair bit of research, you are not the first to try it. The bracelets might help with that though Caoilainn will naturally be hesitant to see you do anything that might harm them while she is in them.

    She could very well be the weak link in your defenses if exploited by the right enemy. She might still be loyal to her evil god and you would hate to have her unleash some sort of dark magic in your mind. She might accidentally damage or alter something which you can not easily fix. The list of risks could be quite long, it is up to you all to determine if they are worth the potential rewards.
     
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  2. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I was talking about other implementations. If there is a battle and there is a need for us to react quickly, we can withdraw back to our linked conscience to come up with a plan, and it would be faster than anything we would have achieved with words. Similarly, if we are doing, say, spell research as a team, it would help us get results faster it we did all the DISCUSS in a 'compressed time'. Is such an application of a 'time dilation' effect possible?

    I rather dig the idea of being able to achieve with trust what the other mages could not do with all their fancy theories. So if there is something we can do to strengthen our relationship with Caoilainn, count me in.

    And no, we probably won't be keeping her in a disembodied state if we can help it, but it is a long way to go before we will be able to produce a body and perform a mind transplantation. Might as well use this time to improve our chances to survive until this moment. The upside being, of course, that once we finally do it, we'll get another companion we can completely rely on - and I would hesitate to state right away what would be more useful.

    Eh, all of it applies to Thais as well. Still, we can make Caoilainn's mind our meeting place for the purposes of linking. At least she would not have to worry that we will compromise her non-existent defenses. :lol:

    I'd definitely pursue these options, given the chance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  3. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
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    You would need to devise a version of Infiltration with an immediate casting time for that as the other spells are not built for communication.

    Possibly but again you are looking at some sort of modified Infiltration ritual (though the ritual itself would also work for this). The danger is of course that the more people you invite to these little gatherings the greater the chance that someone loses control for a split second and you wind up with the insane hivemind scenario that you just barely avoided last time. If your mind enters that of another then fusion will always be a concern.

    You will just have to be mindful of any opportunities that may arise. The only thing you know for sure would improve her estimation of you would be to get her a body somehow (preferably her own).

    The difference being that Thaïs is on your level, cracking her mind is in effect as difficult as cracking yours, Caoilainn is a much easier target. Some of the orphans (some of the six to eight year old orphans... :lol: ) could even do it if you taught them an assault spell or two.

    Sure, I am drawing up the options even as we speak. I can add a few questions about this to the list as well.



    Update is done, it just needs a few more passes and I will post it. Maybe another hour, two at the most.
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    :hahano:

    That said, if we manage to trace down the Faceless and convince him to vacate the premises and kindly return to the bracers, that would improve our own estimation of ourselves, too.
     
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  5. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Chapter 35: Miracle Worker

    You think you are ready. At least Eagle has been an incredible help to you all. His knowledge of the theory behind restorative spells has been invaluable to your efforts though it has been an odd experience.

    It became clear early on that he was convinced you had learnt your spells from one of his colleagues despite your claims to the contrary. As such he has attempted to reveal the 'truth' behind your magical theory for the better part of the last two days. For your part, you have attempted to get him to reveal as much information as possible about Heron spells.

    Neither of you really got what you wanted.

    He has found no evidence that your knowledge has Heron origins while you have not been able to steal any substantial knowledge from him. What you have achieved together, however, is a stable and, reasonably safe Greater Heal spell. You should be able to cast it without worrying too much about dying and Eagle even offered to help. An offer you immediately accepted, anything to make this process safer really.

    You are not worried about the ritual, it is everything else that worries you. You want everything about this day to run perfectly so it is with great trepidation that you, Thaïs, Lyssa and Eagle await the tools you will need to complete the ritual.

    "Where are they," Lyssa paces the courtyard, her usual worn clothes and the straw in her hair reinforce the impression that she is something feral from beyond the end of civilization. A savage danger from the darkest mountains, in truth she is simply bored and annoyed though you suspect she enjoys spooking the servants with her wild looks.

    "Don't know," you mumble in response as you fan yourself with your hat, your leather armour chafes slightly in the heat, "They are half an hour late."

    "We simply have to trust Sir Argus, he has not failed us before," Thaïs reminds you both. In contrast to the two of you she stands perfectly still, of course her armour is quite a bit lighter and easier to bear in this heat.

    She is right though you will just have to be patient but it is difficult to do so with everything waiting on your supply of mandrake roots. Without them you may have to call this whole thing off and it is scheduled to start in mere hours.

    You tap your foot in quiet annoyance until you hear a truly wonderful sound. The wheels of wagons and the boots of soldiers.

    "Do you hear that?" Caoilainn whispers in your mind.

    "Yes," you and your friend answer in unison.

    As a pair of carts push into the courtyard you can not help but smile. They are overflowing with mandrake roots. It is quite possible that every mandrake root in the entire kingdom has been gathered for this occasion.

    The carts are escorted by what must be one hundred soldiers. Not House Albrecht guards either, these are Royal Army soldiers as this is a formal function of the state. Their armour gleams in the sun, each moves in perfect step with their neighbours. These are dwarves of war and they have practiced their art to perfection. Their uniforms are different than those you have seen around the city, the deep purple of their surcoats bear the royal arms of the King, a golden, two headed falcon. At their head is Argus also dressed in the royal colours. These men are the king's very own guard.

    Eagle frowns, begins mumbling and shoots the dwarves a number of hostile glances.

    "Well, Albrecht certainly came through for us," you whistle as two whole wagons of mandrake roots roll up next to you. You are truly impressed.

    "There must be hundreds of them," adds Thaïs with not a little disbelief.

    "I have never seen so many," Lyssa stops in awe on the other side of you, "I wonder what this cost?"

    "Less than you would think," Argus calls with a laugh from across the courtyard. He has just finished dismissing the soldiers that served as escort for these roots, "We merely had to promise that the names of every vendor to help with this ritual would be published throughout the kingdom. Most offered what they could for the publicity alone, the rest were still willing to negotiate rather steep discounts. Everyone wants to help the heroes that saved our kingdom rescue a poor child from a fate almost worse than death!" the champion grins at the three of you.

    Finally he notices Eagle's expression, "And what is wrong with you, eh? Eat something that disagreed with you? Drink something a bit too strong perhaps?"

    "Those colours," the Guard answers.

    "Yeah, what about them?" Argus presses on as the mirth drains from his tone.

    "Your king has no right to use them," the Guard states with complete conviction, "Those colours belong to the Emperor himself!"

    Argus merely laughs, "Really now? I did not realize a man could own a colour."

    Eagle glares at the dwarf, "As per the treaty sign with Emperor A-"

    Argus waves him off, "To hell with your emperors!"

    "How dare you!" the Guard tenses, "If not for Emperor Alric you dwarves would not have your kingdom today! He was the Emperor that defeated Balor! He was the Emperor that killed the Watcher! He was the -"

    The Champion interrupts him, "Well now that is quite impressive but are you sure you have the right man? Is that the same emperor that abandons his friends on the word of a pair of vipers? The same emperor that spends all his time locked up in his capital? That emperor? Well I will tell you what I think of that emperor, he is a fu-"

    "So! How many roots did you manage to get?" you shout over Argus in an attempt to redirect the conversation.

    Thaïs comes to your aid immediately, approaching the nearest cart, examining its contents, "Good, very good, it looks like a few hundred at least. We will need every one of these to cast the rituals. When do we begin?"

    "As soon as Brenna and her father arrive, everything is ready in the throne room for us to begin," you answer with only a hint of reluctance as you remember the exact conditions you will be required to perform under.

    Albrecht was willing to help. He immediately set to work securing everything you could need, of course he also had a number of conditions he wanted met. Most were reasonable but some of them...

    One of Albrecht's conditions was that the rituals be performed in front of the whole court. He wants everyone to see what a kind and decent leader he is, no doubt. He also argued that it would be good for the 'Heroes of the Kingdom' to demonstrate their magical prowess. You tried to get out of it, you warned him that if something went wrong an audience would be the last thing you would need.

    You fought tooth and nail but he is the King, in the final accounting of things his word is law. You just have to ensure that everything goes according to plan.

    "We should go get changed," Lyssa mutters clearly no more excited than you are.

    Right, another of Albrecht's 'conditions', you have to look respectable while doing this. Albrecht even had a proper dress picked out for Lyssa, a beautifully deep chocolate with metallic gold trim.

    As a small concession you managed to get him to add a matching mask. You claimed that Lyssa gets a little shy around large crowds and with Thaïs' help the King readily believed you.

    The last thing you need is for someone to recognize her.

    You sigh, nothing like casting a demanding ritual in a corset to start the day, "Well, let's just get this over with then."

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

    The King sits upon his throne, draped in the symbols of state. The only change in his attire is the colour of his robes, now an impossibly deep purple you have not seen before. You catch Eagle glaring at him occasionally. He either does not notice or does not care, part of you suspects that he has made this change specifically for Eagle's 'benefit'. Perhaps he has at that.

    Next to him sits his Queen and in front of them four dwarven princes, each perched on a smaller, lower throne. You notice a few empty thrones, the sixth throne in particular catches your attention, Jori's throne. It will remain forever empty.

    Around you on all sides are the remaining nobility of the Dwarven Kingdom. They easily fit into the throne room with room to spare. Lords and ladies crowd up against the living wall formed by the royal guards stationed to defend you.

    You are dressed in you finest. The gorgeous green dress you have worn only once before to the Barings' dinner. It looks magnificent but you would rather be doing this in something a bit more practical. At least the jewels you have woven into your hair serve an actual purpose besides looking pretty, most of them have been enchanted to increase your mental clarity and quicken your response time. A few seconds could mean the difference between success and permanent damage to your health.

    You look over your much reduced casting circle.

    Thaïs stands, radiant, to your right in her red gown. She appears to be the most at ease of your group but you know her well enough not to fall for her act, she is every bit as nervous as you and Lyssa.

    Lyssa occupies the spot to your left and has so far drawn most of the attention. Suitably teased and tortured by Albrecht's army of servants she has transformed for a backwood witch to a fine lady at court. When it was all said and done she even admitted that it was sort of fun even if a 'complete waste of time'. Her mask is firmly secured in place by not one but three ribbons woven into her hair, you are certain it will not come loose while you cast.

    You notice some of the nobles pointing at her. Ah, a little mystery and they forget all about their 'heroes'. Well, if everything goes according to plan that will change quite quickly.

    Finally you lock eyes with Eagle. He has donned his parade uniform. Lacquered plates polished till they shine in the torch light of the hall. Great banners bearing the Emperor's own coat of arms hang from his back. On each hip rests the thin, deadly blade of the Heron Guard. The jewels set into the hilts suggest that these are merely ceremonial blades but from what you know of the Guards they do not believe in form without function. You are certain those blades would prove lethal in a fight.

    You take a deep breath, this is not the first ritual you have cast though of course it is your first time casting this ritual. It is also your first time doing so in front of an audience. Honestly it makes you a bit nervous but you are the lead mage here, they will all be looking to you for direction and this is your ritual, your creation. You will pull this off without any complications.

    You trust yourself.

    You trust your aids.

    You trust your spell.

    You are certain you will succeed you simply have to want it badly enough.

    One look at the child in front of you gives you all the motivation you will ever need.

    The four of you stand at each corner of the massive slab of white marble the King has had cut just for this occasion. It is draped in thick red cloth and the child is supported by a small red pillow. She looks up at you, eyes filled with trepidation.

    You give her a smile, "It will be alright kid. We will have you fixed up in no time," you wink at her. She smiles weakly, trying her best to ignore the crowd. You curse Albrecht under your breath for involving them.

    It has been decided. Brenna will go first, Anleifr, her father, insisted. He wants her fixed while you are all fresh and the chance of something going wrong is lowest. There is wisdom in his demand, she will be easier to repair than he will be and it would be good practice.

    Calmly, carefully, you begin.

    A number of species can regenerate lost limbs or organs. You are not quite sure what strange elemental spirits allow them to do so, you are after all not a doctor. However you do know that it is possible, you have seen lizards do as much with missing tails and legs. If they can do it then why can't you?

    You carefully strip the girl and give her the once over, noting every scar, every missing piece, every stump, every growth, and every imperfection while you are at it.

    You cast out your mind and reach for those of your colleagues. You find them quickly enough and they lend their strength to yours.

    Eagle, positioned across from you will be your 'adversary', he will act to steady you and to limit you.

    His primary task will be to restrain your mind and soul should you push too deeply. He will provide a limiting factor throughout the ritual. According the Eagle this is a common role in a great many of the Guards' spells. The life of each Guard belongs to the Emperor and the Emperor alone. They are not to endanger themselves needlessly and without his orders, so everything must be done carefully. He has informed you time and again that the greatest threat posed by restorative magics is the threat the caster poses to him or herself. The more powerful the healing magic the more tempting it is to push yourself beyond your limitations. To try and help as much as you can, to save every life even at the cost of your own. Learning to let go, to stay within the circle of one's own abilities, is one of the first and most difficult lessons a Guard must learn and he is convinced that it is a test you too must pass to successfully use this ritual.

    Thaïs and Lyssa will take on more traditional roles, each according to their natural inclinations. Each will support one of you in your tasks. Thaïs will support you in casting the spells necessary to help your patients while Lyssa will support Eagle in protecting you all.

    As you close your eyes and picture Brenna's abstracted form you let out a deep and calming breath.

    Eagle's second piece of advice was to control your breathing. You must control yourself if you intend to control the spell. If you let it do whatever it wants it will take too much from you. It will strive toward the aim you set for it and will burn you up to nothing along the way.

    It is odd to think in this way. So much of what you know of magic stresses pushing yourself to your utmost but Eagle's theory revolves around limiting yourself. Weakening your impulses and achieving complete control through their negation.

    It seems to be working too.

    You begin by taking hold of the spirits of the body, you will need their aid for what is to come. You begin with her pneuma, that elemental air, she is young and all things considered healthy so it take little effort to coax it forth. You harness it and increase the production of natural spirits.

    As you do so servants bring forward four mandrake roots and break one at each of your feet. The energy swirls upward, twisting green strands dance around you as you cast. A few of the nobles gasp and gossip, you suspect you look every part the hero they dream you are. Even as the ribbons of energy rise from your feet the servants are retrieving more from two great piles to either side of your casting circle. They will need to keep up a steady stream of roots to prevent the exhaustion of any of your group. If you begin to weaken the spell may fail and that would prove disastrous to you all.

    You marshal the natural spirits, driving them towards her wounds. They should stimulate growth, all they need is a will to guide them.

    Brenna screams, the process has begun.

    Someone jostles you slightly. Likely a servant restraining the poor girl. You ignore it and push on.

    You can feel the spirits building at every scar, every stub, every sore and wound and you work with a speed and dexterity you did not know you possessed. You pour everything you are given into the spell, you pour in all you have and it works. You can feel her body regenerating, restoring itself but you can go further than that. You can do more, always more! You could improve her eyesight, strengthen her bones, give her skin as smooth a marble, you can- No, you will do what is needed. You will restore her, you will give her back her body but you will stop at that. You will stop at what her body instinctively knows and you will go no further. Those are the limits you set for yourself and you will remain within them.

    You finish restoring her form and seize upon the vital spirits of her heart next. You ease them through her new appendages, slowly and careful. First you gave them form and now you breath into them motion.

    She lets out a few muffled cries, the poor dear. But it is almost over.

    As her vital spirits begin to make the circuit through her restored form you sneak a peak at your work. She lies before you, perfect. The child is as good as new, or at least her body is.

    She sobs to herself, not out of pain but out of joy. As you wind down your spells and still the magical energies swirling around you, you are filled with indescribable joy.

    Somewhere deep within you, you are certain that this is the single finest thing you have ever done.

    She looks up at you, tears in her eyes, unable to speak she merely mouths two words, "Thank you."

    The crowd cheers as the child is bundled up and carried to her father. They share a quiet moment together while the crowd applauds, first your collective actions and then the King's unrivalled charity and foresight. Someone shouts for a speech but thankfully Albrecht waves the idea away. You have work to do and the hardest part is still ahead of you.

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

    It takes almost five straight hours but then Anleifr is in much worse shape than his daughter. To reconstruct all of his limbs and most of his face and throat is a serious task and as you finish the last piece of the final incantation you breathe a tremendous sigh of relief.

    You are momentarily spent but it is over, you have restored Trakk's family to perfect physical health.

    The assembled nobles of the kingdom look on a mixture of approval and boredom on their faces.

    Then a scream of rage fills the chamber, followed by a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth. Five dwarves, dressed as servants, charge into the room with lit cocktails in hand. You are not certain how they managed to smuggle weapons into the throne room but you can do little to stop them and if they succeed in throwing those cocktails there will be precious little of any of you left to worry about it.

    As soon as they see the weapons the nobles rush in a mass toward the doors. They claw and trample each other in an effort to escape. Barely ten of them move to defend the king and not one pays you any mind.

    Three of the assassins make for the king as the royal guards all move to intercept. Most are splattered by a volley of cocktails. They simply do not have the weapons necessary to resist the assassins like this. Given a few minutes they could route the attackers but it is time they do not have.

    The remaining two head straight for you and your allies.

    You are spent and have no weapons, even Eagle's swords will do little good here.

    Thankfully you are not alone.

    The first of your attackers raises a cocktail above his head and screams at you, "Death to the traitor king! Death to his pet witches! Death to eeeahhh-" a very large potted fern launches itself at the dwarf. As it falls toward him it extends an arm and snatches the cocktail from him. Deftly it hurls the cocktail across the room and into the pack of dwarves assaulting the king. They disappear in a thick red mist and a light rain of body parts.

    The assassin stands, mouth agape, in complete shock as the fern produces a spoon and drives it forcibly into his eye socket. He howls as a chipped plate connects with his throat. A series of punches and a suplex finish him off. He lands on his neck with a sickening crunch.

    The remaining assassin eyes the fern warily.

    With but a single cocktail between him and the murderous plant he hesitates. It proves to be his undoing as an arrow and a knife catch him in the back. Biliku and Uttu wave at you from behind a pair of statues before disappearing again as the potted fern orders them back into hiding.

    As the girls disappear so too does the fern, slipping into the shadows of the chamber and disappearing around a column.

    In the chaos of the attack it seems that no one witnessed the heroic acts of the plant. When they do finally realize that the attackers are dead they naturally assume you are responsible. A great cheer goes up from all those assembled. You are heroes, for the third time this evening.

    You smile at one another as Thaïs extends an arm and you gratefully take it. The four of you make your way past the crowd of grateful dwarves and towards a very thankful royal family. Along the way Trakk's family wave to you, you can not resist waving back.

    Eagle leans forward between the two of you, confusion writ clearly on his face, "What. I mean. A fern?"

    Lyssa giggles under her mask and even Caoilainn chuckles in your mind.

    Laughing, you respond in unison with but two words, the two words that explain everything, "Berty Levy."

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

    In the days that follow Trakk's family return to the safe house they are being sheltered at. If assassins are after supporters of Albrecht then they may not be safe until everything settles down. Neither you nor the King are willing to risk losing them now.

    The possibility that assassins now stalk your every step fills you with a degree of apprehension but you must see to your business, you can not remain locked up in the palace at all times. Albrecht assures you that the Pathfinders remain on the case. You have even heard from Argus that Bari himself has volunteered to lead the hunt for the remaining House Eberhardt loyalists behind the attack on you, you do not like your enemies' odds.

    You sit at your desk across from Thaïs as the two of you sort through your files. You have received a report from Mayer detailing the results of your initial round of bidding. You have also received a number of requests for meetings from former clients of the Eberhardts concerning your willingness to discuss the terms under which you will continue to provide them secure lodging and protection along your assigned trade route. Finally you have received a letter from a Mr. 'Jawbone' acting head of Blackrock Securities

    You have two primary concerns to deal with over the coming weeks and a number of more general policy decisions to make.


    1. What would you like to focus on first? Albrecht understands your desire to get out but is still unwilling to grant you two separate escorts. Unless you wish to sneak out without an escort you will be limited to dealing with one issue at a time.

    A) Blackrock Securities - the sooner you can get them organized and making money as opposed to draining assets the better. You will meet with this Mr. Jawbone and run through your options.

    B) The Caravan Contracts - you will meet with the Eberhardts' former clients and see how many you can keep under your banner. Without clients you will not be able to make money of the trade route after all.

    C) Ditch the escort and split up - You will slip out without your escort and each of you will deal with one of your problems. If you vote for this option then stipulate who will go to each meeting.

    D) You will pretend to play along - Thaïs will take your escort to go talk to the merchants. You will then try to sneak out of the palace with the rest of your group to go check up on Blackrock. The King won't like it but if the plan works he never needs to know.

    E) freeform


    2. Mayer has sent you his report on his efforts to secure property for you. He has spent 200 WPs worth of the funds you gave him and has secured properties that should bring in an estimated 45 WPs monthly while only annoying a couple of competitors. Would you like him to change his strategy?

    A) Yes, be more aggressive. Bend the rules if necessary.

    B) No, stay the course.

    C) Yes, be less aggressive. No sense making enemies.


    Now for the questions proposed in the discussion:


    3. It might be possible to develop new tactical possibilities by training Caoilainn into an actual mage. However, Derryth does not believe she has the skills to be a truly capable mage and it will likely take effort and time on your part to do so. Do you make the attempt?

    A) Yes, she might be useful.

    B) No, it is time better spent on improving your own skills or working on something else.

    C) You will attempt to teach her the theory behind a single attack spell (Firebolt) in case she needs it some day, beyond that you will not bother.

    D) freeform


    4. It may be possible to use Caoilainn's split mind as a meeting place to instantly communicate in battlefield situations. It might also be possible to use the quicker passage of time within the mind for further research and development at an accelerated pace. A couple conditions must be met first however. Caoilainn needs to trust both Derryth and Thaïs (and they need to trust her) and a modified Infiltration spell must be developed that has a quick casting time and fewer components. The risks involved include those that are always present when entering another's mind, the chance of mental collapse and fusion. While the first condition can not be rushed the mages could begin to research a way to alter the Infiltration spell should you so desire. Is this a worthwhile path to pursue?

    A) Yes, begin research immediately though this will divert attention and resources away from other activities.

    B) Not right now, this may be an interesting path to follow but do so at a later date. Preferably when you are back in Muirthemne with your full Circle and assets.

    C) No, Derryth will not pursue such a dangerous path of research.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
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  6. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
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    Party/Organizational Changes:

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    Spells Mastered:

    1. Greater Heal

    Spells Learnt:

    1. Calm Casting - A Meta spell you have managed to cobble together from the general theory Eagle supplied you with. When cast it will help you focus, improving your casting speed and accuracy for five minutes. It also numbs your mind slightly to emotions which may or may not be an advantage.


    Thaïs:

    Spells Mastered:

    1. Heal

    Spells Learnt:

    1. Greater Heal

    2. Calm Casting


    Lyssa:

    Items Gained:

    1. Gorgeous Chocolate and Gold Evening Dress

    2. Intricate Chocolate and Gold Mask

    Spells Mastered:

    1. Heal

    Spells Learnt:

    1. Greater Heal

    2. Calm Casting


    'Berty' Levy:

    Lost Items:

    1. 1 spoon

    2. 1 chipped plate

    Gained Items:

    1. A Very Large Fern

    2. 6 buttons

    3. A candlestick

    4. A small sack of sharp clay shards



    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Monthly Income Changes:
    +45 WPs per month

    Factions discovered:

    1. Eberhardt Remnants - enemy (-100)

    2. The Loyal House Hesse - neutral (+5)*

    3. The Industrious House Berg - neutral (+10)*

    4. The Ancient House Seinsheim - neutral (-10)*

    5. The Honest House Reginar - neutral (+5)*

    6. The Virtuous House Welf - neutral (-5)*

    *Added as a result of Mayer's activities.

    Known Faction Reputation Changes:

    1. The Heron Guard +10


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    Lots of rolls this time.

    You had a number of checks while you were preparing for the ritual. You rolled excellently on the ones you needed and poorly on the ones to steal extra knowledge.

    For the first ritual, you had a number of will checks but you did well to perfectly on them so not much to mention there. Your fellow mages had some simple rolls to do as well but you did your research and brought in the expert so you were not in any real danger unless everyone consistently under-performed.

    For the second ritual you cut it a bit closer, you were not in danger of permanent injury but you did run out of roots towards the end there. If you want to know how many roots it took for each (to gauge what you need to do this in the future) Brenna's ritual cost in the high eighties while her father's ran at just over two hundred to build him almost an entirely new body. You have also used up almost all the mandrake roots in the kingdom so if you need more they will not be cheap. There was the possibility that some of your mages would have enough energy left to defend themselves against the attack but in this case you burnt through everything you had.

    For the attack at the end your group was not in lethal danger given the presence of Berty, Biliku and Uttu watching over you. The two dwarves attacking you had an astronomically slim chance of actually doing anything to you. The ones attacking the royal family could have done a bit of damage though (it was not likely that they would get all the royals but it was possible to get a few, particularly the princes).

    The attackers had to make a number of rolls to sneak into the compound and get to the throne room. They were quite skilled (Eberhardt's version of the Pathfinders you could say) but the checks were also quite high. As it was they rolled well enough to get to the throne room but not well enough to do much after that.

    Berty rolled magnificently which let we do some truly absurd things with him. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Messages:
    8,175
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    1A
    2B
    3B
    4B
     
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  8. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I think we have to concentrate on our merchant clientele, first. Their numbers will be dwindling quickly if we don't do something about it, given the sort of attention we get. On the other hand, from what I understood, Blackrock Securities, while unwieldy and losing money for now, is not going anywhere.

    The way Mayer is going, we are looking at 225 WPs monthly. As long as it pays off the interest on the loan, we are gaining momentum. Let him continue.

    Even though I started the discussion about Caoilainn, I don't think we need to put effort in changing her whole profession. Let her manage it at her own pace if she thinks it's worth it.

    The communication idea - while interesting - is certainly not a priority. We have our hands full as it is.

    BBCB

    As for Trakk's family... I think I have an idea what to do with them further to try and settle matters with Trakk, but we'll probably need to restore their minds, too. I suppose we'll get to it once we deal with more immediate concerns. It is good that they now've become valuable assets for Albrecht.

    Damn, that was one costly operation. If we go by the market price of 1 gold coin for 1 root, it cost about 300 WPs. Naturally, the King managed to get it cheaper, but still the scale of the ritual boggles the mind.

    I wonder how people view us now. That ritual was bound to gain a lot of publicity, and given what happend right afterwards... I bet the rumors have us grow a feet taller with every update. :lol:

    Wonder if Damh is pissed off at Eagle, too, for furthering Albrecht's case.

    Edit: amended the 3rd vote.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  9. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Greece
    1D>B : C implies a roll for success and i dont want to risk that. The Caravans might need urgent attention because of the different parties involed. Blackrock is important too but i guess it can remain stagnant for a few more days. I think we can pull off a sneak with Berty while Thais goes to the merchants though.
    2B : I dont see a reason to change tactics atm. 45WP/month for 200WP is pretty great.
    3B : Lets not make everyone a mage. Caoilainn seems to be a skilled mercenary and will have a place in the company anyway.
    4B : The trust will need time to grow and we can postpone the spell for later.

    That Berty Levy fern was just awesome.

    just wtf is this guy doing?
    Show Spoiler
    'Berty' Levy:

    Lost Items:

    1. 1 spoon

    2. 1 chipped plate

    Gained Items:

    1. A Very Large Fern

    2. 6 buttons

    3. A candlestick

    4. A small sack of sharp clay shards
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  10. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    1.C > B
    I was wondering if we could arrange for one member to leave with the escort to see the merchants, say Thais, with the implication being the other member will stay in the palace. Then we grab the girls, Lyssa, and Berty and sneak out to meet the mercenaries. The merchant houses will do well with charisma from Thais where the mercenaries are going to want to see a shrewd and able commander. Berty will see the sneaking out of the castle with an asset as an excellent lesson for his pupils. I will call it C and pet it and love it forever. This is dependent on Thais being able to take our honor guard.

    2. B

    3. C > B
    We just teach her one good attack or mental spell that fits her personality type. If it ever comes down to us needing just a nudge to push us over to victory it may come in use.
    B.4.
     
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  11. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Sure, I don't see why you could not try. Added. If you get caught sneaking out though Albrecht might get a little upset.

    Also I am going to have to rename it D (sorry) as there is already a 1.C. ;)

    Added. Firebolt would probably be your best bet from what you have to hand.
     
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  12. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I am not complaining that even the royalists ignored us, since it is completely understandable that the heroes that have crushed an army with a hundred-to-one odds can manage a few assassins.

    Still, I'd like to know the houses they belong to. I think me might need allies besides the crown if we are to stay in the kingdom, and these are the kind of people I want to deal with.

    If the King wants to throw a ball in celebration of the murder of the Eberhardts our feats anytime soon, I want to start building up connections with them there.

    If it does not harm our chances at unlocking Thais romance, of course. :oops:

    The Tome of Elemental Magic quietly and lonely sitting in our backpack makes me sad. So many options, so little time...
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  13. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,698
    Divinity: Original Sin
    A - It puts us in a better position to bargain with the merchants. We can't very well offer them our services when we ourselves don't know what our potential is. Splitting up sounds like a bad idea.

    A>B - Make friends once we're in a better financial position. Note that it didn't say anything about illegal activity. I don't see why we're avoiding it. Also note that some great noble houses actually like us more from Mayer's pressure.

    B - I really hope we don't opt to do this. Fangshi has said before that we'd be neglecting our own self improvement, and this is effort spent on someone with very little potential as a mage. Just, no.

    C - Not worth it. Backdoors in our mental fortress are bad. Let's not waste so much time on useless Caoilainn. There's likely much better things we could be doing with the time and risk involved in developing this.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  14. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Greece
    Actually the sneak out with Berty is very interesting and with high chances to work. I will flop to that.
     
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Well those ten belonged to houses Welf and Hesse primarly but they died with the guards trying to protect the royal family.

    After yet another attempt on his life he is not likely to be holding any parties anytime soon. You could always choose to hold one if you move out though. You would need somewhere to host it of course but that could be arranged depending on what exactly Mayer manages to get.

    Much of your spellcasting time is being eaten up by casting and maintaining enchantments on your gear. If you wanted to you could stop enchanting and turn your efforts towards teaching your group spells. It might be slow going as they only have a couple hours a day at most though.
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I was under the impression that enchantments take an hour a day at most. They aren't what is eating our time, our business activities are.
     
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  17. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Yeah but you can't drop the business activities (what with 1000 WPs worth of debt, plus the 200 from Albrecht, plus your monthly expenses) unless you want to flee the country with a bounty on your head.

    You could drop the enchanting and get an hour for group studies instead if you really wanted to use the book now, it is an option.
     
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  18. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,698
    Divinity: Original Sin
    Even if that works out to be the case, the thing is we're going to be paying off 200 monthly from the interest on the 1000 loan, plus our monthly costs of 35, plus the pathetic interest on Albrecht's loan. We're still losing on net each year even if things continue going as they are, and if we do come out ahead we'll not be seeing any money from this for a very long time.

    Furthermore, we've seen no signs of the apocalpytic fears you have regarding our business activities. We ought to push more to ensure we're not losing each month. I don't see why we don't. No where in the text was there any mention of illicit acitivites that Albrecht might frown upon anyway. And with the recent PR stunt we did, we're even more golden.

    Also, Fangshi. Does Calm Casting use energy like normal spells, or is it just meditation?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  19. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    OK with updated vote.

    1. D > B
    2. A
    3. C > B
    4. B
     
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  20. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Yeah, no.

    First, that is what our two enterprises are for. The merchants and the security company are a separate potential source of income entirely.

    Second, there is our Muirthemne money that we can transport here to pay off the loan.

    Third, I think Mayer would only be glad to pay off our loan by himself for a bigger cut of future profits. Unlike us, the dwarf can consider the long-term perspectives.

    The ways to solve this are numerous. In the end, it means we've finally found our source of steady income.
    I am not bending the rules for profits. We've tested our luck enough.

    Don't at least some of the younger nobles belong to the officer corps of the Royal Army? Some fucking nice officers Albrecht has if ten people are all that came to his aid.

    I hope that wasn't the last of the nobility of the houses Welf and Hesse. Maybe we can work some kind of an alliance with them, seeing how they are most loyal to the King. I also hope Albrecht is making mental notes about where the houses stand.

    Nah, throwing a party in the middle of civil unrest sounds like asking for it. With all the terrorists running amok, chances are someone will try to murder us and kill the guests, turning the whole thing into a big disaster. We'll pass.

    I wonder who is directing and sponsoring the Eberhardts' remnants, though. I hope the Pathfinders get them.

    Hmmm... if it turns out that the Brannons family are financing the assassination attempts on the dwarven king, what sort of consequences are we looking at?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  21. Smashing Axe Arcane Patron

    Smashing Axe
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    2,698
    Divinity: Original Sin
    While it's true that the two enterprises have the potential to earn us money, the way Fangshi has worded both of them, with the merchant contracts requiring manned, high quality holdings across the trade way, and the mercenary company in organisational disarray, leaves me to believe there will be some more initial investment required there, which will have to come out of the loan's funds, which is going to reduce the earnings we receive from the properties further. And who knows when the revenue from that will start, I can see it taking half a year to get fully up and running, while our loan compounds each month.

    As for the Muirthemne money, we don't know how much of it has been spent by Gareth, who was told to do some setup work for us, and even then, transporting it is going to be either extremely risky (portal) or risky and extremely slow, both of which aren't particularly appealing to me.

    And bending the rules isn't breaking the rules. Loopholes are there to be exploited. And Mayer's a pro at this.
     
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  22. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    While it is nice to theorize, I believe we'll need to meet with them to assess the state they are in. Then we will plan accordingly.

    Not to mention Mayer has about 300 WPs worth of funds of his own. Raise his share in the venture, and that won't be a problem anymore - if that is too much of a concern to you.

    Nah, there is no need to put the cart before the horse. If Mayer is going to invest our money by 200 WPs increments, there will be 4 more opportunities to correct his course. For now I see no reason to change things when we have no information available on the status of our assets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
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  23. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    It is technically a spell so it does use a little of your reserves to cast however it is quite low maintenance. Casting it once is equivalent to casting Light or Polish or something else quite minor. There are mundane forms of meditation (body training) that can have similar effects but those would take you a bit of time to learn even if you found a teacher.

    Some of the younger nobles do belong to the Royal Army yes. If you recall though it was mentioned that many of the officers would go where the money is. Well most of those officers are young nobles. :lol:

    They weren't the last.

    You might be able to ally with them if they like you.

    Albrecht knows where the Houses stand.

    If the Brannons were funding dwarven terrorists? Well you would be looking at an ultimatum from the dwarves to the Empire. Turn over the Brannons for execution or prepare for war. War would be the more likely outcome.

    Derryth is not sure how great the dwarves' odds would be to be honest. The Imperial armed forces probably outnumber them something like ten to one though the Kingdom's solders are more skilled.


    Current Tally:
    Show Spoiler
    Azira: 1.A, 2.B, 3.B, 4.B
    Nevill: 1.B, 2.B, 3.C, 4.B
    asxetos: 1.D>B, 2.B, 3.B, 4.B
    archaen: 1.D>B, 2.A, 3.C>B, 4.B
    Smashing Axe: 1.A, 2.A>B, 3.B, 4.C
    Kz3r0: 1.A, 2.C, 3.B, 4.C
    Jester: 1.A, 2.B, 3.C 4.B
    Grimgravy: 1.D>B 2.B 3.B 4.B
    Kipeci: 1.A, 2.A, 3.C, 4.C

    1.
    A) 5 votes
    B) 1 vote
    C)
    D) 3 votes

    2.
    A) 3 votes
    B) 5 votes
    C) 1 vote

    3.
    A)
    B) 5 votes
    C) 4 votes

    4.
    A)
    B) 6 votes
    C) 3 votes

    Post Flop:

    1.
    A) 5 votes
    B) 1 vote
    C)
    D) 3 votes

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

    3.
    A)
    B) 6 votes
    C) 3 votes

    4.
    A)
    B) 6 votes
    C) 3 votes
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
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