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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Grimgravy Augur Patron

    Grimgravy
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    The dreaming may be convenient for us, but I wouldn't call it a mercy for Hallr. We'd essentially be denying him any chance at his heaven. Whether it's real or not doesn't matter. He's been decent with us. I'm loathe to be less than decent with him.
     
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  2. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Which is why I am asking what do you guys propose we do with him.

    His heaven, as he understands it, would be going to his Goddess' place for his service.
    Yet we know he does not really believe that, and knowing what the Goddess really is - and what she really stands for - would drive him mad.
    At this point, the only 'happy' resolution for him is continuing to ignore the truth, which is what the Dreaming is made for. The Dreaming can literally give him his heaven, or as close to that as actually possible, without revealing the irreconcilable differences between his beliefs and reality.

    He spent his whole life on a lie and a lot of people - some of whom he cared for - died or will die because of it. None of this is on us. I propose to never let him know that.

    What else would be decent towards him while also furthering our own goals? Considering that we don't even have to treat him with any kind of concern, since it were his actions that brought upon the situation that nearly killed Thais and the girls. He has things to answer for, we are just being generous because no one got hurt in the end.

    He is the one who preached to the people. He is the one who brought them to the cult and ultimately made them take arms against us and the crown. That he did not intend it because he didn't know what he was doing does not mean he is blameless.

    I guess this can be a subject of our vote in the next update.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  3. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    It has been a day since you left the fort. Morpheus scheduled your first meeting for a week from the Lost or Hidden? update so another six days or so.

    Nanshe did not give you a timeline but again it has only been a day. Only a few hours past between Lost or Hidden and the start of The Second Coming. Detective D brought you to the next morning and the last three updates have all taken place over the course of a few hours (it is currently Nov 12). You are going to have to give her some time to get things in place, you will likely hear from her in a couple days if TWM does not win and kill her.

    Likely in a day or two.

    Others could, in theory, be taught to but you would need a way to produce the threads that she can produce naturally. You would also need some way to render the vibrations of the strings into meaningful information which would require some sort of machine to translate them or at the very least some sort of codebook to figure out manually what they need.

    It is not impossible but it is beyond what most humans could manage easily. If you wanted a spy it would have been better to keep her imprisoned.

    You can but see above for the limitations they will need to overcome.

    Lyssa already dispatched one of her eagles with the cheese shipment. Nothing stopping you from sending another though.

    Given the likely condition of the roads, two to four days. In peace time a good chariot/carriage could get you there in two to three days. To walk that distance would take about a week (maybe five days if you made good progress and traveled light). The army will likely take ten to twelve days to march down there given the slower elements they are bringing with them and their desire not to get cut off from Myrgard.

    By the time you leave they will be more than half way to Stoneheim if they do not encounter any resistance. If they do then they will make less progress. It is likely that they will meet at least some resistance.

    The King can provide you with the means to catch them fairly quickly as long as the group you are transporting is not too large.


    Also the vote is closed. The winning options are the same as those listen above. You will go see Letta; you will take the plates, books and gold; and you will give Jan the spinner and your petrified equipment. The update will be up within fifteen hours, hopefully.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  4. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    So, does the timeline look like this?

    Nov 8 - Hesse and Welf are dispatched to the Fort Blackrock. The army is dispatched to the South.
    Nov 9 - we blow up Gullveig, kill the rest of the Watcher's forces, and fight the singing beasts. Then we sleep for the whole day.
    Nov 10 Evening - 12 hours remain until arrival of the reinforcements. We catch Nanshe sleeping and plan the demise of TWM.
    Nov 11 Morning - we scout out Nephila
    Nov 11 Afternoon - we arrive in Myrgard
    Nov 11 Evening - we visit Brothers Dietfried and Mayer ("A wonderful way to end a day.")
    (...)
    Nov 11 (?) Evening - we visit the Palace
    Nov 11 (?) Midnight - we visit Albrecht at the storehouse
    Nov 12 Morning - we go to the Academy

    I was under the impression that a day have passed between our arrival in Myrgard and our Palace visit, specifically because it said 'Albrecht can wait' and mentioned ending the day, but I guess it makes sense for it all to happen in a single day as well.

    So what would our plans for the future look like supposing they all go smoothly?

    Nov 12 Evening - visit Letta
    Nov 13 - visit the Dietfrieds again (?) and check Timo out
    Nov 14 Morning - visit Wenzel
    Nov 14 Evening - move out of the city. Contact Nanshe about her mission.
    Nov 15 (?) - swing by the east to take care of TWM, then move south.
    Nov 19-20 (?) - meet up with the army.

    Is that about correct?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
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  5. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Derryth had intended to make Albrecht wait until the morning of the twelfth but then you met with Mayer and he explained that the Kingdom is essentially dissolving and anything more than a day south of Myrgard is a warzone. Derryth deemed it prudent to go see the King immediately after that.

    Something like this probably:

    Nov 12 Evening - visit Letta
    Nov 13 Morning - meet with Wenzel
    Nov 13 Evening - Subject to votes
    Nov 14 Morning - visit Timo or something else depends on when he is free to meet you
    Nov 14 Evening - visit Timo or something else depends on when he is free to meet you
    Nov 15 Morning - move out of the city
    Nov 15 (?) - maybe swing by the east to take care of TWM if Nanshe tells you she is successful, then move south.
    Nov 19-20 (?) - meet up with the army if there still is an army
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Can we rearm ourselves from Albrecht's stock this evening provided that we spend the night at the Palace? Not entirely fond of meeting the crime lord in our current state.

    There was a precedent for sending for supplies in "To the Victors", too.
     
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  7. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Yeah, in To the Victors you sent out for supplies. If you want you can give Jan a list of supplies you want and he will pass it off to one of the clerks at the palace. You will not be able to pick up any unique magical items but procuring arrows, bolts and the like should not be too difficult. I will add a few options on to the next update to handle it.
     
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Probably for the best, if they did get access to the 'Dex they might wind up seeing this:

    [​IMG]

    Roll 1d100 SAN damage.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Where is the last known location of the book, anyway?

    Fangshi, can you describe the relative power of our elemental spells? How powerful is the regular fire/energy bolt? How powerful is the Greater one? Would simultaneous casting of two lesser bolts (say, via a ring) produce an effect similar to the Greater ones, or is it on a whole new level?

    Do Greater spells qualify as area of effect spells? We've seen them affecting several targets at once. If not, does their mix qualify? How big is the affected area?

    When is our first loan payment due? It should be soon. I would like to make a proposal to Mayer before we pay up, though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  10. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Alric has it.

    Yeah sure, elemental magic is so popular and common that most spells can be ranked fairly easily in relation to one another. A couple points to note though, the elemental properties of the spells do matter a lot. If you hit someone protected by the warrior's mask with a lightning spell it is not going to do as much as if you hit them with an acidic spell (although if you hit them with a powerful enough lightning spell you might still kill them by melting them). Also of importance is the INT and experience of the caster, spells do get stronger as the caster gets better. Mazzarin throwing around Create Fire can still do a lot of damage (it would be more like create bonfire :lol:) so keep that in mind.

    Level 1: (often nonfatal by themselves and will usually only cause minor injury)
    Gentle Breeze
    Magic Zap
    Create Fire

    Level 2: (can cause moderate injuries in certain situations but rarely fatal)
    None Known

    Level 3: (these are the first elemental spells that are likely to kill)
    Explosive Charge
    Strong Wind

    Level 4: (most of these spells are direct damage attack spells created to kill or permanently maim)
    Firebolt
    Energy Bolt
    Ice Shard

    Level 5: (these spells usually kill what they hit and can hurt/kill those nearby as well in some conditions)
    Exploding Runes
    Greater Firebolt
    Greater Energy Bolt
    Freezing Wind

    Level 6: (these spells usually destroy their primary target and can do substantial damage to all those nearby as well)
    None Known

    Level 7-10: (no sense going into the finer points of spells you can not even use yet but they can take out entire city blocks, armies, and the most powerful can wipe out cities or entire regions)

    Powerful enough to consistently kill most targets and maim tougher ones (mauls, Trow).

    Powerful enough to seriously injure something like a Trow if you hit it dead on. It should wipe out most regular enemies as long as they do not have some way to protect themselves.

    The Greater spells are more powerful than two of the regular spells.

    They are in a grey area. If the targets are bunched up like they were during the standoff in the temple then they can hit more than one target but they are not designed to in the way a fireball or chain lightning are.

    Again, I would say not really. They can hit multiple targets if they are close together and they do, do a bit of 'splash' damage but they are not built to take out an entire group easily.

    You have about a week left before the first payment if memory serve me correctly (it has been about twenty one days so far).
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Would Fireball belong to level 5 or level 6? We've seen one cast by an ex-warlock.

    Yes, but how powerful? Can you achieve an effect similar to the Maximized Greater Firebolt by simultaneously casting many Maximized Firebolts, or does it function completely differently?
     
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  12. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    6, that fireball killed everyone on the far side of the room in one go.

    Well if you cast enough regular firebolts you will eventually get the same effect but it will take four or so.


    Edit:

    Once more the CYOA falls prey to last minute emails. I have to switch over to working on something else tonight. The rest of the update (about four more pages and choices) will have to be pushed back till tomorrow night. Once again I apologize for yet another delay.

    (I have a rough draft of the Nanshe battle with TWM around here somewhere, did all the rolls for that earlier today, so I might post that this weekend or next weekend, as appropriate, as an extra update to make up for this delay. We will have to see.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  13. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I've been rereading the previous updates, and I discovered that the enchantment affecting Rand is, in fact, nothing unique, and was actively employed by Miosguinn:
    Speaking of which, what happened to Isolde's amulet? Was it destroyed by an anti-magic grenade when we stopped her assault? Does it mean that Rand can be 'disenchanted' in the same way?
     
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  14. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    It was dispelled by your grenade and then destroyed by the roof that fell on her and Tyrvard. Not much left of it I am afraid.


    I will finally have a moment to work on the update later tonight. It should be up sometime within the next six to nine hours depending on how many interruptions I suffer from.

    Edit:

    Alright, the update is done and edited (and I am just tired enough to think that what I wrote was a good idea ;)). I will post it is a few moments though the mechanics update probably won't be up for an hour or two yet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
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  15. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 57: The Five Sovereigns

    What to do with this dwarf?

    In Jan's office the pair of you circle him, you poke and prod at him, peppering him with questions and it becomes clear. Hallr knows nothing. He is exactly what he seems to be, a scholar and a cultist too but primarily a seeker of knowledge and a loyal servant of the Crown.

    Of course that might not last when he realizes that everyone he cares about is dead at your hands.

    "May I please see Janine now?" once more he asks to see his colleague, quietly, cautiously but persistently.

    So what to do with him?

    Well, it would be easiest to just kill him, maybe the sages are right and he will be returned to the great wheel and be given another chance at life, maybe.

    Or you could take responsibility for him, the penalty for serving the Goddess is death but you have enough pull with the King that he might grant you the cultist as a favour. That does raise the question of what you would do once you have him. If you tell him the truth you can not predict what Hallr will do but you doubt it will be good for you. You can not let him go, can you? Perhaps, perhaps there is another solution but you will have to think on it for a few hours yet.

    You let Thaïs distract him and Biliku delivers another precise blow to the back of his head. Once more he drops like a stone as you turn to Albrecht's son, "Jan, I don't want Hallr killed, at least not yet, and don't tell him about his dead friends yet. We might need him still."

    The dwarf shrugs, "Very well. I will have father's people come and collect him, the rest I will gladly let you handle."

    Well, it has been an interesting afternoon but you will be glad to get out from under the shadow of the Academy and you have much to do still. You settle a few remaining matters with Jan as he escorts you out of his offices. You give him your spinner and lay out your request for a variety of cloaks you think will prove useful in the future. He assures you that the weapons research and development department will be glad to look into the issue for you. You ask him to keep an eye on them, you do not want them breaking your spinner after all.

    He laughs and nods, "A wise precaution. I will keep an eye on the project when I have spare moments."

    Additionally you hand him your petrified equipment, casualties of your battle in the temple, and you ask him if he can figure out a way to reverse the magic that has ruined them. He makes no promises but replies that he will look into it for you.

    The best you can hope for you suppose. You say your goodbyes and make your way out of his warm apartments and into the cool, clean and empty corridor.

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

    You step out into the hallway, Thaïs and the girls close behind. You fan out, filling the width of the austere corridor, as you make your way down to the main floor from Jan's offices. The girls sweep ahead of you, you call them back but they insist they are 'scouting'. Their activity looks more like racing to you but as long as you can see them you suppose there is no harm in it. After the afternoon they have had it would not be so terrible to allow them a small chance to blow off some steam and the odds of being attacked again are quite small. A horrible little voice in your head suggests that such low odds, in fact, make it a certainty but you dismiss such thoughts with a slight frown. No sense in indulging in pessimism, you already have Caoilainn for that.

    You continue on your way, your partner next to you and the girls up ahead. The entire floor is silent save for your collective footfalls and the squeals of the girls in front of you.

    Breaking the silence you quietly begin, "I almost feel sorry for Hallr, he lost everything."

    She nods, "There was a very good chance that he would not be alone in that."

    "And I warned you both," Caoilainn takes the opportunity to interject, "I warned you how stupid your plan was and that it might get one or both of you killed. I warned you-" you do your best to tune her out and it is clear at a glance that Thaïs is doing the same.

    She is, of course, completely correct. You stood a good chance of losing someone important today, not for the first time mind you and certainly not for the last. It makes you wonder how wise it is to put off for tomorrow what you should have done yesterday.

    As if on cue Caoilainn raises her voice, "You two should learn to employ others to do the dangerous work. Do you even care for yourselves? Do you even care for each other?"

    Your disembodied officer has been less direct in her opinions on your private lives than some of your other friends but it did not take you long to figure out were she stands. She wants you to say something already, likely a result of her being chained to the two of you and forced to watch you awkwardly circle each other for the last month.

    To hell with it, maybe she is right about that too.

    This is not the most romantic place, a sterile hall in a silent academy. No music, poor lighting, and no great words or sweeping gestures to go with it. Still, do you really need all that?

    "Thaïs," you stop, pulling off to the right as she slows and circles back for you.

    "Yes," she tilts her head slightly, curiosity reigns as queen of her countenance.

    You can feel Caoilainn hovering at the edge of your mind. A captive but enthusiastic audience for what is about to happen.

    Best just to get this out there, you are no poet and you would only screw it up angling for something flashy, "I love you," the words come easily enough, so easy they actually surprise you a little.

    Caoilainn gasps, and squeals in spite of herself, "She finally said it! Finally!"

    It seems your words surprise Thaïs as well, she takes a step closer, then a step back and drops her gaze, "I- I am sorry Derryth. I have found someone else."

    The bottom falls out of your stomach, your legs wobble and your face turns as red as a Madrigal radish.

    Caoilainn lets out an even more dramatic gasp, "That bitch!"

    "That's, ah-" you have trouble finding the words. This is just like that time with the Baron Connolly's youngest son, Henry mocked you for a week after that. You wish you could just curl up and die.

    Then you begin to pour over the 'facts'.

    You have only been back for two days and she has been with you the whole damn time. When would she even have a chance to meet someone? Unless...

    You put on your best 'broken' expression, not that it is terribly convincing, and you begin again, "I, I am happy for you," you try to strike a weak smile, "I am happy for you and, ah, who is this person anyway?"

    She looks up at you, tears in her eyes, not terribly sincere tears but plenty of them all the same, "Ceannard, he just swept me off my feet!"

    "What!" Caoilainn screams, incensed.

    Your eyes sparkle for but a moment, she is having a little fun, she has to be, and you won't ruin this for her. Even if you can't be tricked you both know someone who can and she deserves it a little after the way she has behaved lately. You do your best to make your face impassive and your voice flat, you do well enough, "Oh did he now? How did it happen?"

    "Yes," Caoilainn hisses, "How did it happen!"

    Thaïs' lip quivers but the corners of her mouth have already begun to give her away, "He waited until Caoilainn was meditating and then he came to me. He swept me off my feet and onto a bed of roses,"

    "Must have pricked a little," you remark as you do your best to fight back a laugh.

    Caoilainn damn near weeps.

    Thaïs gives you a slight smack and you resume your mournful posture, "He brought me jewels and wine, honeyed cakes and pomegranate sorbet."

    "Was there music?" you ask.

    "Oh yes!" she replies with enthusiasm, "He has trained his Arrows to be masters with the flute and they serenaded me for hours!"

    If Caoilainn had a body she would probably be choking your better half right now.

    "I imagine it was a truly impressive sight," you manage to reply as you choke back laughter.

    "It was, oh, it was," she spins on her heel and sighs happily, "And the best part was he did not make me wait three months to tell me he loved me!"

    That stings a little, you needed that time to work everything out, but you nod your head in agreement and play along, "No he pretty much hit on you from day one."

    She ignores you, "It was love from first sight," she sighs again dramatically and comes to rest leaning on the wall beside you.

    "There is but one wrinkle you may not be aware of that I feel obliged to draw to your attention," you lean in next to her.

    "What is it?" she replies innocently.

    Around you the ethereal officer continues to rage, "That she is an unfaithful harlot!"

    "I am in love with Ceannard as well," you confess with all the emotion you can bring to bear, "I only told you I loved you to distract you so that I might have him all to myself!"

    "WHAT!" you almost feel bad for your clueless aide.

    "It's true," you raise a hand to cover your face as you just barely hold it together, "The only reason I taught Caoilainn how to mediate was so that I might be alone with him. Candlelight, fresh lilacs, and a twenty person choir. It was simply more than I could resist, I-"

    You can't do it, it is simply too much. You and Thaïs share a conspiratorial wink as Caoilainn sputters, "Of all the mistakes! Of all the screw ups! You two! I have been waiting a month for you to get your acts together and, and-"

    You burst into laughter together, it is enough to bring Caoilainn to a screeching halt.

    He next words are delivered with the sort of dry contempt that you have come to expect from her, "I- you- both of you-" she grumbles, "I hate you both."

    "Caoilainn," you begin, in between gasps as you catch your breath.

    "I don't want to hear it," she mutters.

    "Caoilainn," Thaïs attempts to apologize.

    She will have none of it, "I am going to go mediate. I need a break from you children. Try not to get yourselves murdered while I am gone."

    You feel her presence disappear from your mind as you hold Thaïs' gaze, the two of you snickering like girls half your age.

    "Poor Caoilainn," Thaïs manages to say.

    "She will get over it," you reply, "Besides, after all her little remarks over the last month she deserved it."

    Your better half nods, "If you can not take it then best not to dish it out."

    You incline your head in recognition of one of Henry's many sayings, "Exactly."

    "Now that we truly are alone," the smile fades slightly from your confidante's face as she returns to your earlier words, "When you said you loved me..."

    You take her hand, "I meant exactly that," you reassure her.

    She beams in response and kisses you.

    Thankfully nothing explodes this time as you are dragged into a whirl of competing emotions and the seconds drag out into eternity. Every moment, every minute with her from the second the two of you met speeds through your mind and all of it comes crashing down, distilled into this single moment. Now it is entirely possible that you have had better in your time, there have been several instances you do not recall with complete clarity, what with the wine and the whiskey and the sleep deprivation but of those you can remember this is the best. It just feels right, in a way nothing else has before.

    Sadly, as you are so often told even the finest of things must have an end. The end of your embrace comes in the form of two adorable little girls, freshly returned from their 'scouting' trip.

    "Derryth, Thaïs, are you coming or- wow!" Uttu's voice chimes in from the very edge of your senses.

    "What is it Uttu? Why are they- oh!" the voice of her older sister resonates along the uneager extremity of your perception.

    "Are they going to be okay?" the younger girl ponders.

    "Hush," he sister commands her, "Come on, we need to give them privacy."

    You catch the two of them at the boundary of your vision, Biliku grabs her sister by the arm and pulls. Uttu, naturally resistant to any idea that originates in her older sibling's mind refuses to budge and the two of them quickly fall to fighting.

    "Let go!" the younger sister yelps.

    "Will you just come on!" the senior sibling demands.

    Thaïs, her eyes still a little misty whispers to you, "I suppose we had best tend to the children."

    She is right of course, "If we must, we must," with a final glance to your better half the two of you spin on the girls, "Biliku!" you shout.

    "Uttu!" your confidante calls out.

    The girls snap to attention in mid squabble, "Sorry," they call in unison already well aware of what your next words will be.

    "Don't be sorry just get over here and act like professionals," you command them, doing your best to put on a stern face.

    The word 'professionals' has exactly the sort of effect on them that you hoped. They quickly separate and in complete silence hop to your sides.

    You extend an arm to Thaïs but she slips past it and hooks her arm around your waist instead. You shoot her a surprised look but she merely shrugs and smiles. With as much natural ease as you can muster you reciprocate. It is, in a word, comfortable. You might just be able to get used to this.

    The girls bound along beside you as you resume your course through the building, "Are you free, let's say-"

    "Two nights from now in the Dreaming?" she finishes your thought.

    You cast a curious eye over her, "Yes, exactly what I was going to ask."

    She matches your gaze, a look that clearly asks, 'just what are you up to?'

    It seems you will both be getting a bit of a surprise in the days ahead and if you had to guess Morpheus is probably involved in more ways than you know.

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

    This new captain has done a fine job so far. When he saw you come waltzing out of the Academy, armour in ruins, clothing dishevelled he damn near had a heart attack and demanded to know what happened. When you told him about the cultists you could swear he did.

    When he regained the ability to form coherent sentences, after a bottle of the strongest swill he could find, you informed him of your plans for the afternoon. At first he thought it was a wonderful joke on your part, to travel into the rough side of the city, weakened as you are, and arrange an impromptu meeting with a mercenary company he has never heard of. When he realized you were completely serious he promptly downed another three bottles.

    At this rate you are going to develop a bit of a reputation with the King's guards.

    That is not to say that he failed to rise to the challenge you presented him with. He has been careful, perhaps too careful, in escorting you from the Academy to your current location. A rather nondescript little tavern you have been informed is frequented by the Ten Sovereigns, the mercenary company you wish to hire.

    Or course, for you, nothing is ever that simple...

    Thaïs pulls you back toward her as a bottle arcs past your face and slams into the wall. You spin her out of the way of a pair of dwarves duelling with barstools to your right. It is a good thing that Caoilainn has stopped pouting, without her guidance you probably would have taken a few hits by now.

    Believe it or not but this bar fight is not actually your fault.

    It began when a rather sizable group of mercenaries picked a fight with a maul, a fir'Bolg, a human and a pair of dwarves. As neither group seemed to much like the other or was willing to back down the inevitable occurred.

    "Flying turkey, twenty centimetres to your left," Caoilainn barks her order and you swing your confidante out of harms way as she pulls you down just far enough to avoid a clay pitcher the tumbles through the air above you.

    With the girls and most of your escort waiting outside you could put an end to this fairly quickly but a large part of you both wants to see how your prospective employees handle themselves in a fight. So far the group of five, who you assume belong to the Sovereigns, have held their own against more or less the entire tavern. An impressive feat given their complete lack of magical support, however now might be a good time to end this.

    "Have you seen enough?" your partner asks.

    "Yes," you calmly reply as the pair of you dance past a three course meal that has up and taken flight, "Best to end this before someone gets hurt."

    The Captain crashes into the bar in front of you just as the words pass your lips.

    "Well, before someone else gets hurt," Thaïs corrects you with a wink. You are certain she is enjoying this just as much as you are, no doubt your wonderful influence at work.

    You let out three shrill notes and your escort comes crashing in, weapons drawn. No matter how drunk the fighters are, bar stools and tabletops are no match for swords and incendiary cocktails and the appearance of your guards and the girls, all armed and ready for a fight is enough to scare off most of the patrons.

    Quickly you give your escort the order to surround the five Sovereigns and to their credit the mercenaries do not back down. A couple of them even reach for their weapons.

    You step up to address the mercenaries while the Captain stumbles to his feet muttering.

    The five Sovereigns consider you casually, not a hint of fear in them. Good, they may need such courage. You begin, "Are any of you Letta?"

    One of the dwarves takes it upon himself to speak for the group, "Why are you asking about Letta?"

    "We have a business proposal that might interest Letta and the Sovereigns," your partner answers, "If you could direct us to her we would be very appreciative."

    The dwarf spits, "Can't do that I'm afraid."

    "Why not?" the two of you ask in unison.

    "Letta's a prisoner," the second dwarf responds, "That fucker Wenzel finally got her three days ago."

    "What did she do," the Captain asks, still shaking his head from his earlier collision with the bar.

    "She would not pay his taxes," the maul answers with a grunt, he rolls his shoulders forward and considers your escort with a mocking grin, "Took thirty of Wenzel's best to take her and the rest of our company but he did it all the same. Came for her early too, if I had been sober they damn well would have regretted trying it."

    Well, that puts a damper on your plans but maybe you are in a position to do something about this, "Does Wenzel actually have the right to collect any taxes? Is she being held legally?"

    "Wenzel's the son of the King," the human speaks up, "Not much that can be done against him and he does whatever he wants for the most part. He has a small army in that compound of his."

    "So they are not being held legally?" Thaïs repeats your question.

    "No," the first dwarf replies with a snort, "They are not being held 'legally'."

    You turn to your partner, "Perhaps we can demand their release in the name of the Crown?"

    Thaïs shrugs, "He might not cooperate if all that we have heard about him is true."

    As the King's third son you are not sure if Wenzel will feel the need to acquiesce to your demands and even if he does it might damage your broader investigation.

    Of course you might also be able to simply take Letta and the rest of the prisoners, "Do you know where they are being held?"

    The first dwarf nods, "Yeah, but I am not telling you anything. We will deal with this ourselves."

    "What if we could help you free them?" your confidante presses on.

    "I am still not-" the first dwarf is stopped in mid sentence by the second.

    She is certainly suspicious of you but at least she is willing to hear you out, "You would be willing to go against a royal prince? Who are you anyway?"

    "Ladies Derryth and Thaïs," the Captain answers for you, "Heroes of the Kingdom."

    That elicits the odd muttering from the group before you and even the cocky maul gives you the once over, reappraising his odds perhaps.

    "Maybe you could help," the first dwarf speaks again, "But why would you?"

    A fair question, why would you help? Especially in the condition you are in. Either way a decision has to be made.


    1. You decide to:

    A) Wait till your meeting with Wenzel tomorrow and bring the topic up with him then. Evening is already rapidly approaching and you would prefer to return to the safety of the palace if only to restock your supply of bolts and arrows and refresh your spells.

    B) Go immediately to Wenzel's compound. You will request a meeting tonight to discuss Letta's imprisonment. It might be a little risky but you are national heroes and in possession of letters authorizing you to act in the name of the King in all things.

    i. You will use your position and the letters to force Wenzel to release Letta and her comrades.

    ii. You will negotiate for her release and the release of the rest of the Sovereigns without using the letter.

    iii. freeform

    C) You will stage a break in at Wenzel's compound alongside the remaining Sovereigns and liberate the prisoners by force. It would probably be best if he does not find out you are responsible for it.

    D) You will have Albrecht summon Wenzel to the Palace first thing in the morning without giving him the reason. As his influence comes mostly from familial ties, you do not think Wenzel would be able to refuse such an invitation. You will meet up with him in Albrecht's stead and take it from there. You will bring up Letta's imprisonment with him and see firsthand what kind of man he is, what he knows, and what further actions are warranted, if any.

    E) freeform


    2. Hallr: As a cultist he is your enemy and a potential threat but he has not directly harmed you, in fact he has been largely helpful and reasonably friendly so far. The question is what to do with him now?

    A) Let the dwarves worry about him. He is a dwarf and should be judged by their laws, even if the penalty is death.

    B) You will request that he be given over to your care and you might have enough pull with Albrecht to have your request granted provided you assure the King that Hallr will never be a threat. What you do with him after that is your business.

    i. You tell him to leave the Kingdom and never return, then you let him go.

    ii. Morpheus is always looking for new pieces, ah, people to add to his collection. You will give Hallr to him in exchange for something you desire. (Feel free to name what you want, I will tell you if it is feasible or not. The most popular option will be selected if this choice wins).

    iii. Have Morpheus construct a pocket dream for Hallr where Janine is alive and his apprentices are all law-abiding, and let him live out the rest of the life he is accustomed to there. In exchange, you will ask Morpheus to tell you any information Hallr knows upon your request.

    iv. You try to persuade him that the Cult used him and that it led him to lose everything he cared for.

    v. Offer him a job. Explain the whole unpleasant truth about his goddess and the fate his faith has led him to (death or exile). If he doesn't go insane, tell him you have got a better offer. You have a whole tower of things to research and children in the exact same situation he is in that could use a level headed mentor and teacher. For life after loss of this magnitude, he'll need a mission. He's got one waiting for him at your tower with plenty of examples that there is life without the goddess.

    vi. freeform - do something else with him

    C) freeform - do something completely different with him


    3. The 'Truth': Janine, Hallr's apprentice and most of his subordinates died at your hands. Do you tell him yourself what happened to them or do you keep him ignorant of their fates?

    A) Tell him.

    B) Don't tell him.


    4. A Plan: You will ask Morpheus to put you through with the Spider Goddess. Since you have common enemies, despite being enemies yourselves, you might even exchange some of the information that does not directly concern you. You would like to look your adversary in the eyes and see what are her goals in all of this, and it should be rather safe since Morpheus is under an agreement to grant you protection while in the Dreaming.

    A) You go with the plan:

    i. You go through with the plan to contact the Goddess. You think such a meeting might give you additional insight into the situation you are in, even though she is hostile to you and not terribly trustworthy.

    ii. You will contact the Goddess, but you will also write a will requesting Mazzarin to destroy her, her kin and any of her followers of note (with the obvious exceptions of your girls, the orphans, Christine and Nephila) if you ever die regardless of the reason to blackmail her into not interfering with your actions. You are as sick of her constant meddling as she is of yours.

    B) No, you do not contact the Goddess. You do not believe it will work and you see it as a waste of time and resources.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
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  16. Fangshi Arcane

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

    Party Changes:


    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    Lost Items: - All three lent to Jan for study and use
    1. Petrified Quiver
    2. Petrified Shield
    3. The Spinner

    Gained Items:
    1. Spell Plate Fire/Water
    2. Five Spell books written in the language of the Spider Goddess

    Thaïs:

    Gained Items:
    1. Spell Plate Thunder/Earth


    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Gained WPs:

    +5WPs looted from cultists


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    There are not many rolls for this update so there is not much to say this time.

    Or at least not many that are exciting. There were a handful of social rolls all of which were not too difficult and there were a handful of rolls to avoid getting smacked around during the bar fight but this update was mostly just setting up the dilemma for the next update(s).

    As far as the bar fight went the ladies were mostly just observing so their rolls were not too hard. A few of the dwarves that served as your escort did get drawn into the fight proper but only your new Captain managed to get hit (and he really got hit hard :lol:) other than that though most of the rolls were made by unaffiliated fighters and are not of much direct interest to what you were trying to achieve.

    There were a number of rolls around the Kingdom though, most of which you are not likely to find out about until you leave the city.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
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  17. asxetos Augur

    asxetos
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    807
    Location:
    Greece
    1A.
    2A. Would love to ask Morpheus for some defensive trinkets in 2Bii but it seems crueler than death to me.
    3B.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
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  18. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,412
  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    First, on the issue of Hallr.

    The problem with Hallr has two aspects: a moral an an utilitarian one.

    The moral one is quite simple, really.

    I don't want him dead, because he did not did much to deserve that.

    I do not want him free, either. He has no place on the dwarven soil, but we have already exiled one dwarf, and he didn't take it well. If he does not go mad from being told that everything he lived so far is false, if he does not swear to destroy us for killing everyone that were dear to him, then the realization that the blood of many of the people he brought to the cult is ultimately on his hands will finally ruin him. There is simply no 'happy' outcome for him. He has led a life so deeply entangled in lies and misconceptions, that waking up from it would be crueler than death. He would be lucky to lose his mind.

    And then there is another thing to consider. He knows information that directly pertains to our investigation, but is unwilling to disclose it. He fears for the lives of his fellow cultists, but he does not undersrtand the danger the Goddess poses to the kingdom and its people (because he does not believe in her as an entity), and does not realize that he dooms even more people by harboring the traitors. When did ever something good came out from the cult?

    We need the list of the attendants on these meetings they hold. There are likely to be leaders of the cultist movement there, head priests and the like. Hell, Rand himself was there. If that is not a sign that something big and nasty is brewing there, then I don't know what is. The list of names Hallr can produce may solve a lot of our problems if we give it to the Pathfinders to investigate.

    If we want to protect the kingdom under Albrecht's rule, and not under one of the Goddess' puppets, we must put an end to this conspiracy.

    And yet, I do not want Hallr given to the torturers and broken over this.

    When I propose to send him to the Dreaming, I do not think only of how we would profit from it. I simply fail to see what else can be done for Hallr that would not also harm Albrecht and ourselves.

    Unless, of course, you want him hanged right after you tell him his beloved ones are dead just so he suffers more, and ignore the opportunity to get the list of your and King's enemies just so they could better strike you from the shadows - and call it a 'mercy'.

    What I propose is to contact Morpheus and ask him to construct a special dream for Hallr. The one where he is tried and found innocent of the crimes attributed to him. The one where Janine is alive and they bicker about the role of the Goddess during lunch breaks. The one where he goes to annual meetings of the faithful and all they do is worship their idol without planning mutiny and treason. The one that can only exist in his fantasy.

    I think this is the best resolution he can hope for. He is so withdrawn from reality that the only place he can be happy is a dream.

    It will likely be a very small world, too. From what we've seen, he does not need much to be content. Don't let Morpheus scare him by appearing before him in his demon form, either. Hallr is certain that there are no powers in the world but what mortals think up themselves. Let him believe that. Isn't that what the Dreaming is for?

    In return, I want access to everything the Professor knows. We aren't asking for much, too - everything Hallr has can be taken from him if we break him, either ourselves, or with some help from King's finest - ahem - investigators. We just don't want to do this, so we settle for a more gentle variant. Morpheus can easily pose himself as a fellow faithful, or an apprentice, or a colleague to have him tell us what we want to hear. I will ask for information about the spells he knows, the experiments he conducted, and the artefacts he had in his care while working in the Academy. But first, I will ask for the list of cultists to keep the investigation going while we are away fighting the armies of the Dark. The future of the Kingdom might depend on this.

    2. Biii) Have Morpheus construct a pocket dream for Hallr where Janine is alive and his apprentices are all law-abiding, and let him live out the rest of the life he is accustomed to there. In exchange, you will ask Morpheus to tell you any information Hallr knows upon your request.

    3. B

    On the issue of what to do with Wenzel, I have a few ideas, and most of them are freeform, but I need time to figure them out. I will just say this - he might not heed a request from us, but he will have to acquiesce to the request from the King himself, as Albrecht is his father and the source of his 'invulnerability'.

    For the moment I am toying with the idea of having him summoned to the Palace at Albrecht's request, and then taking it from there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
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  20. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    1,493
    1A
    2Biv - try to persuade him that cult had used him leading him to loosing everything.
    3A
     
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    How did the cult even use him? Did any one of them ever lie to him? Janine was even trying to tell him that the Goddess is real all the time. And the King does not make a secret out of why the cultists are persecuted along with any other followers of the Dark Gods.

    He did not want to hear any of this. He was not misled, he was willfully ignorant.

    I just have no idea how do you 'explain' it. That is something a man has to realize by himself. We played with idea a bit and I don't think he is able to look the truth in the eyes from what I've seen.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
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  22. archaen Arbiter Patron

    archaen
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2014
    Messages:
    621
    1 .A
    2. Bii
    3. A
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Would you guys voting for Bii clarify what you want with Morpheus?

    Fangshi, how different is Biii in intention from Bii? Maybe I should not have split the vote like that.

    Is there a reason why we want to tell Hallr the truth? I mean, what purpose does it serve other than to torment him? I can understand Jester who wants to open his eyes - you can't do that while lying, but telling him that right before killing him seems unnecessarily cruel, and telling him before sending him to Morpheus risks breaking the offering before it is made.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Biii is essentially Bii.

    The way the Dreaming works is that it creates the perfect prison or refuge (depending on your viewpoint) for each mind cast into it. If what Hallr wants most is Janine and his subordinates alive and well then that is what it will give him so you do not need a separate choice for it unless you need Morpheus to interfere directly. If you are fine with letting that natural process take its course then you do not need a new option.
     
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Well, I don't know what it looks like for a new transfer. We've spent our time in the Dreaming as wolves without suspecting a thing, but there were other forces at play then.

    I want to turn Hallr into a willing informant by accomodating him to the best of our ability so that he never even thinks that something is amiss. If that can be achieved naturally, I will revert my vote to the standart option.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
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