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Myth: A New Age CYOA

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

  1. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    No one is excused from the law by virtue of age, even newborns can inherit the debts of their parents in extreme cases. It should be noted however that the accrual of interest on the debts is suspended until they are old enough to work to pay down those debts. This can in some cases lead to a spiral of poverty where the poor carry debts for generations and live their entire lives in prison.

    Well you told him not to do anything completely illegal with your money. He is operating under no such restriction with his own funds. ;)

    He is concerned primarily with losing his money. He does not know who Gareth is or whether or not he can be trusted to pay back the debts. It would reassure him a little to know that an adult would take over after your demise but not enough to give you such a large loan from his own coffers.

    It might interest him but he would need to see it first and it is in your vault under Muirthemne.
     
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  2. Absinthe Prophet

    Absinthe
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    Why is the trading company in the Lost name? I was under the impression that we weren't using that name in the dwarven kingdom at all.

    Also, what about learning any primal magics like Warrior's Mask type stuff? Beyond that, I'd be down for learning dream shapeshifting tricks. Should be helpful with our Invasion magic and as an aide when learning real shapeshifting.
     
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  3. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Good question, I did a quick check of the notes and your correct. The company I had Mayer set up does not actually have a name, I just wrote 'Generic Lost Trading Co.'

    I will just make something up if it ever comes up in an update, that is unless any of you want to make a suggestion.

    Maybe the odd thing here or there but there would be negotiations involved. Morpheus is the easiest to bargain with, give him something that will entertain him or add another piece to his collection and he will gladly teach you a little magic if you do not mind casting spells that will have a certain demonic feel to them.

    As for his brothers, if you meet them and make a good impression they would also likely trade with you though they are markedly less 'human' and the things they ask for might be darker and/or stranger.
     
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  4. Nevill Arcane

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    How does one make a good impression on Phobetor? :lol:

    Wait, how does one know they have made a good impression on Phobetor?

    Wait, really? I thought the point of not making them the Heroes of the Kingdom was that most dwarves would be unaware of their existence altogether. What makes them different from Lyssa or Berty, or even Ceannard for that matter?

    ...I hope no one is under mistaken assumption that he is our husband or whatever?
     
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  5. Jester Arbiter

    Jester
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    The hunter
    They are not dead?
    The rock
    Probably that they are not drowned whole time in odd stuff without escape route?
     
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  6. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Damn it, I meant Phantasos. The weirdo one.

    Hmmm... I guess we could settle on the Isle of Leix and turn it into Japan equivalent. That might earn his attention.
     
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Dream shapeshifting is easy. Heck, I can do that reliably. +M
     
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  8. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    I meant most of the dwarves that 'matter', some the royals, palace staff, people you deal with regularly but do not know that well, those dwarves think you are related somehow. People that know you very well also know that you are not related by blood and the majority of the Kingdom's population would not even know who Biliku and Uttu are (they are not famous like the ladies are).

    What makes them different is that D&T clearly care for them more than Lyssa, Berty and the rest.
     
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  9. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    So the problem is that Mayer has no prior experience with Gareth to make his word mean something, and our word is not good for much if we are dead.

    What about Albrecht's word, then? What if we involve him as our guarantor?

    Would it work if we ask Albrecht to sign a document that would become an obligation to cover 300 WPs from the treasury should we die and Gareth fails to return our loan? I know that he can't give us any more, but this needs not be public and will exist only as a safety measure as I think Gareth will be picking up our company should we explicitly tell him so. The reasoning is that Albrecht knows (from Bari, if not from us) that Gareth is one of the Muirthemne expedition members and our third-in-command, and therefore solid. We know that unless the circumstances are dire, like world-shattering-dire, the King would not have to pay a cent (and if they are, money will cease to matter). The document would exists solely to grant Mayer peace of mind.

    Can it be arranged?

    I know we are asking a lot from Albrecht, but I don't think we spent a single coin on anything that we didn't use or don't plan to use to sort out the situation in his kingdom so far.
     
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  10. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    If you make the case like that Albrecht would probably agree but such a document would serve as a direct link between Mayer, your company and the King. If that fell into the wrong hands it could be used as proof to demonstrate that the King is using you and the dwarf to remove his competitors and establish complete control over the Kingdom. Ideally Mayer would prefer something more immediate and less formal while the King would prefer not to be directly implicated in your financial affairs any more than he already is.

    However Taide does have a CHA of 9, she might be able to convince them to go along with the deal.
     
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  11. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Why can't we work out a scheme that would not mention names on the financial documents themselves?

    An unnamed promissory note from the King deposited in a secure bank cell that would open for Mayer (or one of his agents) or us under certain conditions (we are dead, and Gareth fails to acquire the company in a certain timeframe - or if we return safely in, say, three months time so that we can destroy the note).

    That way even if the document falls into wrong hands, the King need not be implicated unless the contents of the cell are also exposed. The document will only mention us and Mayer (or his representative). There might be additional layers of anonymity measures, but you get the idea.

    I think there may be ways to circumvent the issue, seeing how the intent is for the promissory note to not be used at all.

    Would our own promissory note give an appearance of legitimacy to our actions? After all, no one is 'giving' us money if we give them cheques back. There might be a question of why one would accept a cheque that might not be secured from a foreigner, though.
     
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  12. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Well, there needs to be some sort of guarantee on the King's part that he would actually honour the deal. That would require either his name (or the name of his House) put to the note or the name of an ally he can trust. If the note is simply blank then the King could always choose not to honour it should D&T die.

    You can certainly add additional layers of security to the process but with each additional step you also draw more people into the process.

    Yes, that is a problem with a note in your name, Mayer has no way to know if you have the assets elsewhere to cover the loan. That is why he really wants something valuable up front to serve as a security on the loan, anything less than that will take convincing.

    At any rate it will require a vote give the sums involved and the potential something could go wrong. I can add it to the end of the update when I manage to get it finished if you would like.
     
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  13. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Alright, I should have time to finish the update tonight and I have taken pains to ensure there will be no interruptions.

    The update will be up within fourteen hours.
     
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  14. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Dun dun dunnnn...
     
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  15. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Nah, I meant 'unnamed' as in 'the name of the beneficiary is not specified', unless this is how the promissory notes already work (I was under an impression they work like named cheques).

    I guess we'll see what our options and risks are.
     
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  16. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Generally speaking the beneficiary is named to prevent theft but unnamed notes are not unheard of either.

    The update is done now, I just have to work out all of the options which will take a while (as there are a lot) and there is one more scene that could do with some fixing, I am still are target for an update in a couple hours at the most.

    The accompanying mechanics update will likely be delayed until tomorrow though, we will see.
     
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  17. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
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    Chapter 58: Fateful Meetings

    So what are your options here?

    Leave Letta to Wenzel's tender mercies?

    Well, that won't do at all. You need Letta and her people to help you and the surest way get their help is to rescue their leader.

    You could help the Sovereigns storm Wenzel's compound, you have certainly faced worse odds in your time, and yet you do not really feel like another 'life or death' confrontation today. You are low on energon cubes, out of mandrake roots and your spell rings are empty, not to mention your lack of armour and ammunition. No, you have no intention of walking into Wenzel's compound in your state. In fact, maybe you do not need to enter Wenzel's hideout at all.

    Maybe you can take advantage of your station and connections to make this all so much easier. Now there is a thought that will cheer Caoilainn up.

    You consider the five Sovereigns and as you do so you commit to your course. You will have Albrecht summon his son tomorrow. If Wenzel answers then you will have him at your mercy to properly interrogate and nothing should happen to Letta if Wenzel is in your custody. If the Prince refuses then you will have to go to him but at least you will be well rested when you do so. All you have to do now is convince the five remain Sovereigns to put off their plans for at least a day.

    You grin and begin...

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

    "You have got to be the worst negotiator I have ever met!" Caoilainn lays into you while Thaïs smirks.

    "I am not that bad," you mutter defensively.

    Your disembodied officer scoffs, "You managed to insinuate that the Sovereigns were incompetent, ill-prepared, amateurish and that, that maul had a damned unpleasant stink about him."

    You roll your eyes, you may have made the odd blunder here and there but Caoilainn is definitely over exaggerating, and besides, that maul does have an unpleasant odour about him, "Oh, it was not that bad. I merely explained to them that they would be better off if they let us handle this. Really if they were at all reasonable they could have agreed to at least wait till tomorrow. Besides, if I was doing such a horrible job why did none of you step in to help?"

    Your question moves your grinning better half to speak, "Well love, you managed to provoke a fight in two sentences. There was not that much we could do. Really you should have explained your plan to me, someone could have gotten hurt."

    Thankfully no one did get hurt, well, at least not too badly, but you resent the idea that you need Thaïs to do all of the negotiating for the two of you, "Not you too," you grumble, "Look there may have been a couple misunderstandings but all told it worked out wonderfully."

    If you are honest with yourself the word 'wonderfully' might be a bit generous when applied to the situation.

    In hindsight it might have been a lot to ask but you think you laid out the plan well enough. You merely asked them to let their friends languish in Wenzel's cells and forego their plan of attack in order to gamble on the good intentions of two people they had met only moments earlier... actually, now that you repeat it to yourself you can see why they told you to fuck off... and of course the insults you threw back at them probably did not help.

    Still you could not let the Sovereigns carry out their attack, you do not want to give Wenzel any reason to refuse your summons, ah, the King's summons, in the morning. If half his compound is in ruins after a successful, or worse yet failed, assault he might just have grounds to postpone your meeting and so you invited the Sovereigns back to the palace.

    If there is a bright side to what happened next it is that you got to once more gauge the abilities of the Sovereigns. It was enlightening to say the least and you do not doubt that the Captain will agree, when he regains consciousness that is.

    With a tired sigh you give the order to leave, and you worn, weary escort begins the slow crawl back to the palace.

    It is your sincere hope that every day won't be like this but you can't really complain. You have set yourself against gods and legends; every day you survive is a triumph in itself.

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

    Dinner is wonderful.

    Now this is the proper situation for such a word as a host of people swarm your chambers filling a grand table with meat, fish, fruit and nuts from across the realms. The King has once more spared no expense, perhaps he realizes that none of it will matter anyway if you fail.

    You sit at a small table with your partner and the girls, working through a goose and several bottles of a nice white wine from south of Muirthemne. The conversation is free and easy, and the laughter of the girls does wonders for your nerves.

    "How are your studies going," you gently prod Uttu.

    "Good," she nods, "Mr Levy knows a lot of things and he has promised to teach us everything."

    "Like what?" Thaïs helps to nudge a little more from the girl.

    "Tactics," Biliku replies for her little sister.

    Uttu nods, "And fighting too, he knows a lot about winning fights. He always says, ah," she does her best to impersonate her instructor, "'Remember girls! It is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog!'"

    Biliku cuts in, warming to the subject, "Yeah, he says that we will never be the biggest, or the strongest, or the fastest. He says that there will be plenty of men and even some women that will simply be more, ah, 'naturally gifted' than we are-"

    Uttu nods emphatically, "But the best part is that there are ways around those advantages. He says we have to work with what we have and outsmart our opponents."

    "Right," Biliku builds upon her sister's words, enthusiastically launching into examples, "Let's say we have to fight a guy that is stronger than us-"

    "And faster too! Berty always says they will be faster as well," Uttu adds as she stuffs more goose into her mouth.

    "Okay, stronger and faster," Biliku nods, "Well there are still lots of ways to win. You can win by being more skilled or you can win by fighting dirty or you can win by ganging up on him or even by magic but most importantly you win by-"

    Uttu cuts her sister off, her mouth still full of goose in her enthusiasm, "Buh chusin tha batt-"

    "Uttu, chew your food. Then swallow. Then speak," Thaïs instructs her.

    She moans but does as she is told, you wait patiently for her to begin again, "By choosing the battlefield!" she exclaims.

    Berty glances over to your table, "Damn right girl! Always choose the battlefield!"

    Uttu grins at her instructor as you and Thaïs smirk, "So what exactly does that mean?" you prod her.

    "It means that different people are good at different things but hardly anyone is good at everything," she replies confidently, "So if I had to fight Biliku I should keep her at range, confine her movements and hit her hard, just like Ceannard would do..." she trails off with a dopey grin at the thought of her hero.

    Biliku shoots her sister a competitive glare and responds, "And if I had to fight Uttu I should impair her visibility, advance quickly under cover and strike decisively," she drops her voice to a whisper and blushes slightly, "Just like Gareth would do..."

    That provokes a tiny chuckle from you as you propose your next question, "Alright then, how would you beat us?"

    "Oh, wow," Uttu whispers, "That's a tough one."

    "Yeah," Biliku nods, "Berty says you are the most dangerous type of enemies. He says you are odd."

    You are not sure that is a complement, "Odd?" the two of you ask together.

    Uttu nods furiously, "Yeah, odd. He says odd people are just the worst to fight because they can think like a normal person but they can also do, um, 'unorthodox' things."

    Biliku laughs, "Berty really likes the 'unorthodox'. He says that one creative mind at the right place and the right time can undo the work of even the most careful planner."

    Well, at least being 'odd' is a good thing. Come to think of it Berty is awfully odd himself, it is not surprising that he would like that trait in others.

    Still, you want to see what the girls have learnt so far, "Well alright, let's say we were not odd. How would you deal with a pair of mentalists."

    The girls glance at you, then at one another. They lean in and begin to whisper back and forth. After a few moments of careful deliberation they have something resembling a working plan, "Lead!" Uttu declares.

    "Good thinking girl!" Berty shouts over again. You wonder just how much he can actually hear from his table.

    "Why?" Thaïs enquires.

    "Well," Uttu glances at her sister and Biliku nods for her to continue, "lead stops the Spider Goddess so it should also either stop of limit your ability to use mental spells."

    Actually, that might work and it is something to consider. Definitely something you should test at a later time.

    "Alright," you grin at the girls, "What else?"

    "Ah, we should get you before you even know we are there," Biliku hazards, "An ambush preferably. Some sort of attack that leaves you no time to use your slower spells..."

    "Bows," Uttu adds, "or crossbows."

    "Or even cocktails," Biliku agrees, "Any sort of ranged weapon, deployed in secret and sprung at the last moment. Berty says that, that is the best way to deal with any mage. Kill them before they even know you are there!"

    "That I do, that I do! Damn fine work kids!" their instructor once more bellows.

    "Don't you have a report to work on!" you shout back.

    He grins, raises his beer and turns back to his group.

    "How about, oh, a Fallen Lord?" Thaïs prods them.

    They frown, "You don't fight an archmage," Uttu answers, "Too much power."

    Biliku nods, "Mr. Levy says to stay away from archmages, let the heroes and gods fight each other. The common soldier or even the common commander should not tackle that kind of enemy if they can avoid it."

    "And if you can't?" you poke them once more.

    "Ah," Uttu hesitates.

    "You do it like Alric," Biliku replies quietly, "You hit them hard, you fight dirty and you give them absolutely no chance to slip out. Anything less and you will lose everything."

    A bit dire a pronouncement for a causal dinner you must admit but at least Berty is teaching the girls properly. You turn the conversation to happier matters for a time. Eventually the conversation flags for a moment as the girls reload their plates so you spare a quick glance at the rest of the room.

    To your left Lyssa, Berty, Mayer and Skite confer around the stuffed boar. As they pick at the animal they work to finalize their report and recommendations, arguing with on another over salaries, assets and the various merits of the companies they have interviewed today.

    Beyond them Martin and the other mice crowd together around a bowl of fruit, squeaking out some sort of chant, perhaps a prayer, before they dive into the dish.

    The Sovereigns crowd together in the corner, eyeing the exits and your group with a degree of distrust that is completely understandable given the situation. It did not feel right to throw them in a prison cell and they are not likely to escape your group. You will let them enjoy their dinner and then you will have them sent to a secure part of the compound, guest quarters that Albrecht keeps for just such a situation. You have been assured that they will be treated well and when you succeed tomorrow hopefully they will see the wisdom in your actions.

    Your thoughts are broken by your recruitment team rising and approaching your table. It seems they have finally finished their report. You invite them to your little table as the girls excuse themselves to go study in their chamber.

    "Well how did your day go?" you ask Lyssa as she takes the open chair next to you.

    "Better than yours if what your escort says is true," she replies eyeing your wine.

    You motion for her to fill a glass, "It was not that bad, only two fights-"

    "Three, Derryth," Thaïs quickly corrects you.

    "Well only two that count," you shoot back, "And really only one of them was near fatal which is about-"

    "Average?" Lyssa grins and raises her glass, sipping at the magnificent liquid.

    You and your better half exchange a glance and answer as one, "Exactly."

    "So how was your day?" Thaïs repeats your question.

    "Boring," Berty mutter.

    "Enlightening," Lyssa responds.

    "Exasperating," Skite mumbles

    Mayer considers his response carefully, "Profitable, potentially quite profitable."

    Such a varied response strikes the two of you as a little odd, "It sounds like you all had very different days."

    "Not really," Mayer replies calmly, "Some people just do not have any patience."

    "Thirty two mercenary companies Mayer!" Skite interrupts, "Without even a lunch break!"

    "Oh it was not that bad," the banker replies, scratching at his scarred hand absentmindedly, "Only about six of those companies are even worth our time."

    "Seven," Berty adds as he gets up and plucks another beer from the main table, "I still think we can make use of the rookies."

    "They have no assets," Mayer shoots back.

    "They have no skills," Skite adds quickly.

    "Exactly," Berty replies with a grin, "They have no bad habits that they have to unlearn. They have no responsibilities or ties to the Kingdom. They are outsiders but that is an advantage if we are looking for people that we can trust."

    "It is a waste," the banker and the mercenary reply together.

    "Well why don't we let our employers decide," your tactician answers.

    Your team presents you with seven detailed dossiers and an eighth report outlining the independent mercenaries available for hire in the city.

    It is going to take you some time to sort through it all. Thankfully each of your advisers have included their opinions as part of each file. If you can reach a decision by tomorrow they can approach the appropriate parties and work out satisfactory arrangements before you even leave the city.

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

    After dinner most of your guests have cleared out. Berty and Skite have returned to their rooms, the Sovereigns have been safely escorted to their lodgings and the girls are fast asleep in their beds. You managed to bargain them down to only one story tonight, a tale Thaïs has taken to calling Derryth ó Foghladh and the Ark of Covenant. The girls declared it their favourite story yet and drifted happily off to sleep.

    You rejoin Lyssa in the main chamber as the mice scurry about the table, picking at all the remains. Lyssa gathers up a sack of meat and smiles at the pair of you as you enter, "For the eagles, they are always complaining that I never give them treats."

    The eagles do good work, you will not begrudge them a little indulgence now and then.

    Before they clear out though Lyssa does pass on one interesting piece of information. Martin and your mouse team think they have discovered something, one of the King's maids seems to be in contact with at least two people outside of the palace. It is possible that she is leaking information but the mice are not sure. You could have her brought in for interrogation or you could let them continue to observe her and see if they can figure out anything else, the choice is ultimately yours.

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

    One final meeting before the morning.

    You stand in the familiar field.

    A light breeze blows your gown to and fro.

    He is making you wait, well fine, he is royalty after all. A certain degree of arrogance is to be expected but you would really rather not waste your-

    A crash of thunder, storm clouds rolling in.

    He is aiming to make a grand entrance this time.

    "Derryth!" he shouts as he descends in a chariot of fire and mist, "I have come!"

    "Good for you," you shout back, "You're also late."

    He groans, the sky clears and his chariot vanishes. With a few lazy flaps of his wings he drifts down next to you, "Does anything impress you?"

    You consider the question and admit that the answer is yes, Thaïs for example impresses you every day.

    "Some people do," you respond quietly. A slight smile on your lips.

    He nods, "Ah, well never take it for granted. It is an easy thing to fall out of love."

    "It is not just love Morpheus," you lean back against your altar, "Honestly there are not even words for it."

    "Everyone says that," the Prince of the Dreaming laughs, low and sonorous, "But in time everyone learns. Nothing is forever."

    You will admit, you may not be the most objective person in this case but you would bet he is wrong here.

    You shift the conversation, "So are you included in 'everyone'?"

    He grins, once more revealing those razor like teeth, "Perhaps. Perhaps I loved once, or many times, perhaps I fell out of love."

    "Any chance I could meet some of these former flames of yours," you push him slightly closer to your desired topic.

    He meets your question with a question, "Who did you have in mind?"

    "Well your daughter has told me so much about your wife..." you let your words trail off into the meadow.

    "Which daughter?" he smirks, "And which wife?"

    You sigh, "Nephila and your first wife."

    He tilts his head, "Nephila, Nephila," his eyes light up, "Was she-"

    "One of your daughters by the Spider Goddess," you finish his thought.

    "Right, right," he nods a couple times, more to himself than to you, "I have so many children you see but I do recall a Nephila. She came to visit me once. I offered to let her stay. Sadly she did not take me up on that offer but she did have so very many questions," he peers through you, into your very soul, "How do you know Nephila anyway?"

    "We helped one another in the past," you answer cryptically, "Perhaps we will help each other again in the future."

    "What kind of help," the Prince needles you.

    "Do you really need to know?" you respond.

    "Depends," he grins, "Do you need to know about my first wife?"

    You shake your head, "Fine, we gave each other information and we helped each other with our goals."

    He shakes his head, "You should not trust demons Derryth, they will inevitably turn on you."

    "But she is your daughter-" you begin.

    "Then as her father I am telling you do not trust a demon," he answers quickly, "Unless..."

    "Unless you have their oath?" you hazard.

    He studies you carefully, "Did you?" he tilts his head, then bursts out laughing, "You did, didn't you! You formed a blood pact with my daughter! I hope she did not take advantage of you."

    "I doubt it," you calmly reply, "It was her first time too."

    He beams, "Well hell Derryth. Every demon remembers their first time, the pain, the loss of freedom, the connection to a mortal," he sighs, "That takes me back, I remember this little bent chieftain, withered husk of a man really, he wanted youth and he was willing to do all sorts of-" the Prince pauses as you study him carefully, "Well, that is a story for another time but look at you, making deals with demons, blood pacts with my own family no less! That makes you but one step removed from my own kin!"

    You are not quite sure how you should feel about that but you push on, "So, since we are practically family is there any chance I could meet your first wife."

    "Certainly," he beams, "Ah, if I might ask, what for?"

    "I want to talk to her about her family," you quickly reply.

    He nods slowly, genuine remorse writ on his face, "What a horrid situation all around. I truly wish you and the Spider Goddess would cease quarreling."

    "I doubt that is an option at the moment," you shoot back.

    "So very true," he nods, "If you give me a day or two I can set up a meeting. My dear lady does not like to be startled so I must approach the issue carefully."

    You nod impatiently, "Whatever must be done, do it."

    He grins at you one final time, "Was there anything else you needed?"

    "Yes," you reply with a smirk, "I want you to teach me how to open a gateway to the Dreaming. I want to send you at least one mage in body and mind."

    His grin spreads, growing impossibly wide, "Oh dearest Derryth! You really do spoil me!"

    "Hold on," you warn him, "I have to tell you what I want in return."

    "Power?" he hazards.

    "Knowledge," you answer.

    "And that," he grins, "Is why I like you so much Derryth. You know that knowledge is the only true power to be had."

    You spend the better part of your dream working out the details with Morpheus, you will give him the dwarf Hallr, in return he will give you the dwarf's entire store of knowledge. A fair deal for everyone, you suppose, well except maybe Hallr.

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

    "When is he going to get here?" the maul grunts, "How long do we have to wait?"

    "Until he shows up," you reply, "If he does not show up then we will have the full support of the Crown when we move on him."

    "As long as our friends get out of this alive I have no complaints," the human adds.

    It occurs to you that you still have not asked their names. You will have to change that when you have a moment.

    Now is not the best time though. You are packed into a side closet with three of the Sovereigns. Thaïs, the girls and the other two Sovereigns occupy the closet on the other side of Albrecht's chamber. A perfectly acceptable trap for Wenzel should he decide to answer his father's summons.

    It has been a couple hours though and he still has not shown up, you hope he is merely sobering up and that he has not murdered his prisoners and fortified his compound. You hope you are just being paranoid and that your play will work, you hope you have not royally screwed the Sovereigns, you hope-

    The door creeks open and you hear a guard call out, "Prince of the Blood, Count of the Windspears, Wenzel the Bold seeks the King's permission to enter."

    "Granted," the King shouts back.

    Wenzel, Albrecht's third son, enters and you grasp your first good look at the dwarf.

    Well, he did not spend all of that time making himself presentable, that's for sure. His eyes are bloodshot and sunken, his hair pressed to one side of his head, brown but with the odd streak of grey, there is a certain wobble to his step. He skin is pale and a little green, his bulbous nose is crooked, likely broken and healed several times over the years.

    He stops well short of his father. The older dwarf smiles weakly, "My boy-"

    The son raises a hand in protest, "You lost the right to call me that when you threw me out on my ass."

    "I did not throw you out," the King quietly replies, you do not think you have seen him this dispirited, "I just could not watch you do-" he stops as his son drops into the largest chair in the room.

    Wenzel throws his legs over one of its arm and rests his head upon the other, closing his eyes. The look on his face is one of malice and supreme confidence "Well, I don't really care to be honest. Let's just get this over with, then we can go back to not giving a fuck about each other."

    "Wenzel-" the father starts, taking a step towards his son.

    The son cracks a single eye open and graces his father with a look of complete loathing, "Like I said I really could not give a fuck about what you have to say. I made it clear, not so long ago, I hate you, I hate what you are, I hate what you did to mother, I hated your strength when you had it but honestly I hate your weakness even more. I hate you, Albrecht," Wenzel snorts, "And if you were going to do something about me you would have done it by now so clearly this is not about me. Now, I have to ask what did you want me for?"

    The King turns from his son, with a strained voice he calls to you, "Alright, he is all yours."

    Albrecht does not spare his son another glance, he walks right past the Prince and out the door.

    "Albrecht?" Wenzel calls out as he sits up, "What is going on?"

    You, Thaïs, the girls and the five Sovereigns file out of the side rooms, weapons and spells at the ready.

    "Albrecht!" Wenzel shouts at the retreating figure of his father, now leaving the antechamber, "Who are these people!"

    "Wenzel?" Thaïs approaches him, "May we talk?"

    "Depends," the Prince fixes a single bloodshot eye on your partner, "What do you want to talk about?"

    "How about the Watcher?" you ask, leaning in over his chair.

    The Prince leans back and looks up at you. He laughs, "I have no fucking clue what you are talking about."

    "Alright," your better half interjects, "How about something else then? How about the locations of certain government prisons and their occupants?"

    The Prince spits on the rug, and grins at her, then at you, "Again, I have to plead ignorance."

    The maul, his store of patience quickly diminishing, cuts in, "How about the location of Letta and our fellows?"

    The Prince beams, hatred flares in his eyes, "I see no reason to answer that either. I fact, I see no reason to stay here at all."

    He moves to stand but the maul pushes him back into his chair, "You are not going anywhere until we get some answers. I want to know where our friends are and I want you to free them or I swear I am going to drive my fucking knife through your Wyrd damned throat!"

    "I am a royal prince!" Wenzel shouts, "I could have you hung for even threatening me! Now let me go!"

    "Make me," the maul replies as he reaches for his belt.

    Now might be a good time to intervene, if the Sovereigns kill Wenzel then you won't get any information from him and you will have to explain the incident to the King, then he will have to explain to the court what exactly happened here today.

    Of course, maybe the maul's particular brand of persuasion will work after all.


    1. The Interrogation, You decide to:

    A) Interrogate Wenzel yourselves

    i. You will simply talk to the Prince. Thaïs will try to win him over while you will antagonize him as necessary, the two of you will focus on extracting as much information as possible.

    ii. You will use your mentalist spells to render the Prince helpless. You will then take all the information you need. At least he will not be physically harmed though you may have to explain your actions to the King if Wenzel really does know nothing.

    iii. You have a more permanent solution in mind. You have already talked to Morpheus about using the Dreaming to house individuals you would like to interrogate. You will open a gate and send Wenzel through at the same time that you send off Hallr. The Prince of the Dreaming can then give you all the information you could want and Wenzel would be out of the way. You will have to justify your actions before the King though and it might make retrieving Letta and the rest of the prisoners more difficult.

    iv. 'You will engage Wenzel in a conversation as per Ai. You will come up with a business proposal for the Weazels that would be believable enough for Wenzel to swallow. You will try to convince him to summon his second-in-command here with a signed letter to work out the details. You will then discreetly modify the letter so that it would read as an urgent request to bring Letta to the Palace, signed by Wenzel himself, and send it with the fastest carriage to the Weazels' compound. Hopefully, it would be enough to bring the prisoners here, where you would have an easier time freeing them. Keep Wenzel talking until then.'

    v. freeform

    B) You will let the maul and the Sovereigns conduct the interrogation. They would likely appreciate the gesture but it is likely they will get rough with the Prince and you might have to explain that to Albrecht if Wenzel actually knows nothing.

    C) You will let Wenzel go and then track him. If he will not tell you anything then maybe you can find out the same information by following him. You will have to convince the Sovereigns though without tipping off the Prince.

    D) 'Thais will lead the interrogation with Derryth acting in support, using mental spells when he is distracted, in short you will try not to destroy his mind, in case that doesn't work you will consign him to the sovereigns.'


    Expanding your Operation: Your recruitment team has put together dossiers on seven companies that might be worth your effort to acquire. (As each option has further sub options the way I will handle this is to count each as a separate question. Each question will be broken down into a summary with 'Buy' options and a 'Don't Buy' option. All 'Buy' options will be counted together and the winning choice will be the most popular one. This will mean a lot of voting and you will likely have to be mindful of how the options work together but I have faith in you all...)

    Note: If you want to try and negotiate some sort of freeform option then feel free to propose it and I will let you know what can be done.


    2. The Blooded Doves: A human outfit, mostly heavy infantry. They are the former guardians of a minor faith, however a schism in their church has left them without a patron. They take on mercenary work to cover their expenses. They dress in red and white and you met a few of them at Meletē's workshop. You could buy them out if you are willing to respect their faith, provide them with space for a chapel at your facilities and clothe and feed them.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: Ada the Dove

    Numbers: Sixty human soldiers. Forty of which are heavy infantry, ten of which are light infantry and ten of which are light cavalry. Their cost is higher than average as each has a great deal of intricate equipment to maintain most of which has a religious significance for them.

    Flat costs: The Doves will run you about 60WPs a month given the supplies they will require for their own use and for their rituals.

    Opinions:

    Lyssa likes this option, she reasons that since they already have a god they will not be easily compromised by either the Watcher or the Spider Goddess. She thinks their mental resiliency will come in handy.

    Berty likes this option, the Doves provide a core of heavy infantry, something your Blackrock mercenaries lack, with a little light infantry to supplement your own and some light cavalry for mobility.

    Mayer does not like this option, the Doves are expensive and will require further assets to maintain their faith. He argues that they simply are not worth the cost.

    Skite likes this option, he has had dealings with the Doves in the past and has found them to be reasonable if a little strange. He argues that if you are willing to respect their faith you will be hard pressed to find a more skilled company of infantrymen.


    A) Hire

    i. To buy out but keep Ada and her officers on - 750 WPs, you will have to make the payments by monthly instalments. Mayer believes that Ada would settle for 30WPs a month.

    ii. To buy out and make Ada a partner - 400 WPs, you will have to make the payments by monthly instalments. Mayer believes that Ada would settle for 15WPs a month.

    B) Don't Hire

    C) Don't hire them now, but postpone the decision until our financial situation improves.


    3. Ta' Blue Bastards: They are, interesting. You met a few at Meletē's workshop as well. They fight naked and attack with multiple blades. Most of them are dwarves but there are a few mauls and humans as well. They paint themselves in blue dye as they believe it will protect them in battle. They tend to drink most of their money away and so are always looking for new jobs. If you gave them food, board and booze they would gladly fight for you.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: 'Ta Blue Bastard

    Numbers: One hundred and twenty 'berserker braves', (eighty dwarves, twenty humans and twenty mauls).

    Flat Costs: The Bastards do not require much more than alcohol. (They will scavenge and steal the rest.) As a result they will cost you about 20WPs monthly.

    Opinions:

    Lyssa does not like this option. The Bastard told her she had nice 'tits' five times in three minutes. In fact it was a challenge to get any information out of him at all. On the bright side she doubts that he, or his men, are capable of being subverted by the Goddess or the Watcher. They simply lack the intelligence to want for more than a full mug and a blood soaked blade.

    Berty is undecided on this option. He says that the Bastard and his men lack the ability to follow simple orders and as a result would be of little long term use. However, you could use them as cannon fodder as it is likely they would charge any enemy no matter the odds. He says it all comes down to what you expect them to do.

    Mayer likes this option. He argues that they are cheap bodies that can be placed between you and most any threat. Sure they will die in large numbers but those that die also do not need to be paid and they are dumb enough to follow damn near any order you could give them.

    Skite does not like this option. He has worked with the Bastards before and they inevitably ruin all that they touch. If you hire them he tells you to treat them as completely expendable because they are.


    A) Hire

    i. To fully buy out the Bastard - 100 WPs and twelve cases of the finest whiskey you can get. The whiskey will run you about thirty WPs, beyond that it is likely to only cost you about 8WPs a month.

    ii. To buy out and keep the Bastard and his fellows on - 50 WPs. This could be done for 5WPs a month, maybe less if you get them all killed.

    iii. To buy out and make the Bastard a partner - Free but he will want any and all alcohol you come across.

    B) Don't Hire


    4. The Mighty Cocks: A traditional mercenary company held together by gold, beer and a bit of violence. The Cocks are good at fighting and little else, as such they are often mislead by their employers and short changed when it comes time to pay up. Given their violent disposition the Cocks usually manage to get their payment, in gold or blood, either will do. They dress in gaudy greens and red and tend to prefer cheap, easy to acquire weapons and armour. Given the company's history of violence it tends to attract a disproportionate number of Berserks, Mauls and criminals. It is led by a massive Maul known only as the Cock, there are a number of rather entertaining stories about how he got that name. It is likely none of them are true. Give them gold or blood and they will follow.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: The Cock

    Numbers: Ninety brawlers (forty Berserks, thirty mauls, and twenty dwarves). They are all poorly armed and armoured.

    Flat Cost: The Cocks will cost you about 30WPs monthly to support them and their lifestyles.

    Opinions:

    Lyssa does not like this option. She says that the Cocks are motivated entirely by material concerns. They will remain loyal as long as you can pay well but they could easily be tempted by the Goddess or the Watcher with the right resources.

    Berty likes this option. He says that the Cocks are the sort of brigands that are easy to understand and easy to use. They have just enough disciple to be a consistent tool and enough viciousness to make your enemies rue crossing you. He does note however that you will need to keep a close eye on them as their loyalty will not be guaranteed.

    Mayer is undecided on this option. Their asking price is not horrible all things considered but it is hardly great either. He says that it is completely up to you.

    Skite is also undecided on this option. He has never worked with the Cocks before. From what he can tell they are more or less like any other mercenary band he has come across and while their materialistic nature does not put him off he also is not terribly impressed by their leadership. He recommends challenging the Cock to a duel if you do decide to recruit them. If you kill the Cock you will have a lot more legitimacy in the eyes of his followers and that might help you control them.


    A) Hire

    i. To fully buy out the Cock - Free, you will need to challenge him and kill him in single combat. Anything goes.

    ii. To buy out and keep the Cock and his lieutenants on - 500 WPs. You could pull this off with a monthly payment of 40WPs, the Cock wants to receive everything he is owed within a year.

    iii. To buy out and make the Cock a partner - 300 WPs. You would be looking at a cost of approximately 12 WPs a month if you keep the Cock around, he would like to be paid in full within two years.

    B) Don't Hire

    C) Ask Berty if he wants to take on the Cock for control of the company. It would be his to lead if he succeeds The girls can provide whatever magical assistance they can before the fight if he wishes.


    5. The Knights of the Broken Lance: A company comprised entirely of cavalry, with a fairly even mix of heavy and light cavalry (about thirty riders in total). Most are the fourth or fifth sons of minor noble houses in the Empire. With few careers open to them in the Empire they came south and offered their services to the dwarves. The dwarves generally lack strong mobile elements in their military forces, with the exception of small companies of chariots so the Knights have managed to make a living within the Kingdom. Many of its members long to return to their homeland though and as a result they are open to the idea of serving other humans that can make that happen. They have made a name for themselves patrolling the highways between Myrgard and Stoneheim, protecting merchant caravans and terrorizing brigands. They have a reputation for professionalism but they have been known to charge a lot for even the simplest of jobs. Still, if you want mobility on the battlefield there are few options as goods as the Knights.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: Oscar mac Cumhail

    Numbers: Thirty riders, twenty heavy cavalry and ten light cavalry

    Flat Cost: The Knights tend to live large. They will cost 80WPs a month to see to their needs and their desires.

    Opinions:

    Lyssa is undecided on this option. They come from the Province so they are unlikely to be already compromised and as sons of nobility they may find the idea of serving a Fallen Lord or a Dark Goddess repulsive. However they also seem to be motivated largely by a desire for money and a chance to return to their homeland. Such motives could be easily corrupted.

    Berty likes this option. Mobility can be key to controlling any battlefield and can provide a commander with a number of options that would not otherwise be available. If you plan to wage war on open terrain then the Knights could prove quite useful.

    Mayer does not like this option. Cavalry are very expensive and the Knights have no real assets to speak off in a corporate sense. Each knight receives his or her share of a contract and nothing is kept for communal needs. This company will cost you.

    Skite is uncertain about this option. He is ready to admit that a strong cavalry branch could open all sorts of tactical and strategic possibilities but he is uncertain of how readily the Knights would follow the lead of a pair of commoners or a handful of regular mercenaries. He is worried that their may be leadership issues if the Knights are not handled carefully.


    A) Hire

    i. To fully buy out the Knights - 1000 WPs, so that Oscar can return to the Empire and settle on a proper estate. The first 300WPs would have to be paid up front with the remaining 700WPs paid out annually in chunks of 200 to 300 WPs. Mayer could lend you some money f you really needed it or you could take out another loan with the moneylenders.

    ii. To buy out the Knights but keep Oscar on - 400 WPs, in monthly payments of about 16 WPs.

    iii. To buy out the Knights and make Oscar a partner - 300WPs, in monthly payments of about 12 WPs each.

    B) Don't Hire


    6. The Hounds: A fitting name for a company that trains and utilizes beasts on the battlefield. Most of the company is comprised of dwarves and their pet wolfhounds but a handful of fir'Bolgs and humans bring more exotic beasts with them as well. Your team did not get a chance to see such creatures first hand.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: Egil

    Numbers: Twenty dwarves, fifty hounds, six humans, four elephants, two fir'Bolg, six Ermine wolves

    Flat Costs: The Hounds will cost you about 60 WPs monthly to feed, house and take care of all staff and animals.

    Lyssa does not like this option. Not because they might be corrupted but because they treat their animals horribly. She almost wept when she saw the scars on some of their hounds and the conditions they kept them in.

    Berty likes this option. He can think of a number of purposes these animals can be set to and he is fairly confident that the Hounds are smart enough to properly execute them.

    Mayer likes this option. The animals require little more than basic food and a place to rest while the wages for the handlers are not outrageous either. The elephants are something of a drain but they are just so impressive that he is willing to make an exception.

    Skite is undecided on this option. He has only heard of the Hounds second hand and has not directly dealt with them. From what he knows they are decent enough but he is unconvinced about the use of animals in war. He argues that you should not send a hound to do the work of a man but he is ultimately willing to defer to your judgement.


    A) Hire

    i. To completely buy out the Hounds - 500 WPs, one hundred of which is to be paid up front so that Egil can buy a little plantation he has had his eye on. The rest is to be paid annually in increments of 100 WPs.

    ii. To buy out the Hounds but keep Egil on - 400 WPs, at about 16 WPs a month

    iii. To buy out the Hounds and make Egil a partner, 200WPs, at about 8 WPs a month

    B) Don't Hire

    C) Don't Hire and don't let those animals suffer either. You will have Martin, your rodents and perhaps the eagles work together on freeing the Hounds' animals. They will attempt to escape to a secure location and contact you when they are done.


    7. The Grey Arrows: A rather interesting company founded by the Lady Grey. It is hard to say if she is actually a Lady with full rank in the Empire but she certainly has the money to back up her claim. Her company consists of archers, equipped with the finest weapons and armour that money can buy but they seem to lack discipline and any real combat experience. The Lady Grey approached your team when she heard that you are close friends with the Black Arrows and regularly work alongside them. It seems that the Lady has a bit of a crush on the mysterious Ceannard, the Black Arrow, and she has sought to emulate him in all things.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: The Lady Grey

    Numbers: Sixty 'Grey Arrows', novice human bowmen in exquisite gear.

    Flat Cost: The Greys will cost you nothing. In fact the Lady Grey holds assets that bring in about 70 WPs monthly. As long as she is kept happy those funds could likely be yours.

    Lyssa likes this option. She thinks it will be a good way to have a little fun at Ceannard's expense and the Greys are unlikely to already be compromised as they all come from outside the Kingdom.

    Berty is uncertain about this option. The Greys are a little green and normally he would not consider that a problem but the Lady Grey takes a very firm hand in training them. Unfortunately she is training them improperly. He says a lot will rest on managing the Lady Grey herself.

    Mayer really likes this option. The Lady Grey has money, lots of money, and is willing to share under certain circumstances. He says that of all the companies they interviewed the Grey Arrows are the only one that would actually improve your financial situation.

    Skite does not like this option. He says that the Lady Grey is merely pretending at being a mercenary to attract Ceannard's attention and worse yet she is completely unmanageable, at least in his opinion. He says you should not bother with her.


    A) Hire. The Lady Grey has no wish to retire or become someone's employee. If you wish to absorb her company she insists on being made a partner. Should you agree to this proposal she is willing to pool her resources with yours in exchange for a fair share of all profits (+500WPs).

    B) Don't Hire.


    8. The Brickyard Boys: A new company, founded after the fire that ravaged the poor end of Myrgard. This company is comprised of former shop owners, clerks, beggars, and unemployed tenants. They cobbled together what equipment they could find and organized themselves behind the biggest member of their group. They seek revenge against the Watcher and his necromancers as well as food, shelter and a decent day's pay. When they heard that the 'Heroes of the Kingdom' were seeking recruits they quickly applied. In fact their representative was first in line.

    Show Spoiler
    Leader: Ajiak the Mason

    Numbers: Four hundred dwarves armed with makeshift weapons and cloth armour or no armour at all.

    Flat cost: It will cost you an additional 20WPs a month to feed and shelter all these people. Options to equip and train them will be available should this option be chosen.

    Opinions:

    Lyssa is uncertain about this option. She did not detect any outside influences in the representative the Brickyard Boys sent but with such a large group, with such an open membership, it would be difficult to weed out any spies.

    Berty is strongly in favour of this option. He argues that you have a body of willing soldiers without a strong command structure or any preconceptions. They are as unmolded clay and you can build them up as you wish. You get the impression that he is quite excited about the possibilities they could present.

    Mayer is against this option. In fact he was even against its inclusion in the list provided to you. He argues that these mercenaries will be nothing but a drain on your resources, you will not only have to feed them and shelter them but you will also have to arm and train them and worst of all they have no resources of their own to contribute.

    Skite is uncertain about this option. He says it is a bit of a gamble and he is certain that at least some of the members of this company are unfit for military service. However if you can organize and train them it would give you a military presence on par with some of the smaller Great Houses and you would dwarf many of the lesser Houses in size. There are definite possibilities there.


    A) Hire

    i. Hire but keep Ajiak on - 100 WPs, payable in 5 WP monthly instalments

    ii. Buy out the Boys and make Ajiak a partner - 50 WPs, payable in 2 WP monthly instalments.

    B) Don't Hire


    9. Unaffiliated Mercenaries: There are a number of unaffiliated mercenaries that approached your team seeking work. Wages (per month) and numbers listed below if you would prefer to take a more 'a la carte' approach. All of these mercenaries are skilled but none of them are veterans, they are simply 'regular' examples of their professions unless otherwise noted. (Given the nature of this type of question any option that receives majority approval will be selected, the most popular number/variant will then be chosen. So if you select an option from this list be sure to include the number you wish to hire. If you do not want to hire anyone this way then simply write 'no hires' and I will count it as a vote against each option.)

    Dwarves: As the majority race in the Kingdom most of the mercenaries available are dwarves.

    A) Grenadiers - Basic load out includes satchel charges (4) and cocktails (40). Wool armour and a knife if needed. Cost: 1 WP for every two. Maximum of forty.

    B) Warriors - Basic load out includes a hand weapon, plate armour and shield. Cost: 1 WP for every four. Maximum of forty.

    C) Crossbowmen - A rarer sort of soldier, each is armed with a heavy crossbow and a quiver of thirty bolts. They wear leather armour and each has a blade similar to a cutlass. Cost: 4 WPs each. Maximum of twenty.

    D) Mortars - These are technically illegal so you would have to be careful in how you deploy them but there are a few available. Each dwarf has his own mortar and twenty shells. Wool armour, a metal helmet and a knife round out their kit. Cost: 10 WPs each. Maximum of five.

    E) Enchanters - A few of the junior members of the Academy have also approached your team, drawn by tales of adventure and battling great evil. They are accustomed to a certain standard of living however. Each wears leather armour and wields a two handed hammer and four throwing axes. They specialize in enchantments with some basic knowledge of elemental magic. Cost: 8 WPs each. Maximum of five.

    Humans: The second most common race in the Kingdom.

    F) Human Sellswords - Each wears leather armour and carries a broadsword and large round shield (leather over wood). These are the basic sorts of mercenaries found the world over. Cost: 2 WPs for three. Maximum of thirty.

    G) Human Archers - Each caries a bow and quiver with twenty four arrows. They are also equipped with quilted armour and falchions. Cost: 3WPs for two. Maximum of twenty.

    H) Former Legion Warriors - Each carries the mail of a former legionnaire along with the traditional kite shield and broadsword. These men are superior to regular sellswords but they also cost more. Cost 1WP each. Maximum of twenty.

    Mauls: The least common of the races that make up the mercenary pool in Myrgard. They tend to command a high price.

    I) Warriors - Each wears a combination of furs and simple chain armour. They tend to wield large clubs but a handful have invested in metal weapons as well. Cost: 5WPs each. Maximum of ten.


    10. The maid: Martin's team may have discovered a lead in the form of a maid that may be selling secrets to at least two individuals outside the palace. What do you want to do with her?

    A) Bring her in for questioning. You and Thaïs will talk to her.

    B) Bring her in for questioning. You and Thaïs will use your mentalist spells on her.

    C) Bring her in for questioning. You will give her to Morpheus and let him interrogate her in her dreams.

    D) Bring her in for questioning. You will let the Pathfinders take her and do what they do best.

    E) You will let Martin continue to investigate her as he so chooses.

    F) You will have the maid assigned to your person and get her to help you with mundane matters. You and Thaïs will then distract her with conversation and attempt to scan her thoughts.

    G) You will attempt to flip her and turn her into a double agent.

    I) freeform


    11. A loan from Mayer: It has occurred to you that you might be able to convince Mayer to lend you some funds in order to pay down your debt. Admittedly you will then owe Mayer but you might be able to convince him to hold off on collecting payments until your other debts are settled. This should put a little extra money in his pocket and get you out from under the heels of the Goldsmiths sooner. You just need to come up with a way to propose the deal and ease any concerns he may have.

    A) Drawing on the wealth you have in Muirthemne you offer Mayer a promissory note and instruct him on how to find Gareth should something happen to you. The dwarf may be a bit hesitant to take such a guarantee however as he has no way of knowing that your wealth is real.

    B) You ask Albrecht to draw up a note guaranteeing the sum you intend to borrow. It will be deposited with the goldsmiths and Mayer will be able to collect using one of his many aliases should something happen to you before you can repay the debt.

    C) You will give him something you own of sufficient value to cover the debt. When you have paid off the debt he will return the item to you. (Options include all of your spare spellbooks, your half of the Halcyon Stone, and the like. Feel free to suggest something and I will tell you if it covers the amount in Mayer's eyes.)

    D) You, or rather Thaïs, will reason with the dwarf. You are convinced that you can show him it is in both of your interests to work together on this. A short meeting is all it should take to sort everything out... you hope.

    E) You would rather not ask Mayer for a loan.

    F) freeform


    12. You are sick of being hamstrung by your finances. You will convince the academy to help you open a portal to your base in Muirthemne at a site outside the city so tat you can retrieve 700WP (if available) to pay down your debts to the Goldsmiths. This will take an extra day but it may be worth it to have a free hand in hiring the mercenaries you will need to keep your investments sound and reassure your dwarven partner that you are indeed solvent. Also, it would be nice to check up on your interests in Muirthemne and leave a will in case the campaign goes sour.

    A) Yes, you will attempt to open a gate back to Muirthemne

    B) No, you don't wish take the risk or to share your gate spell with outsiders and time is of the essence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
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  18. Fangshi Arcane

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

    Party Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Derryth:

    - All magic devices reloaded

    Thaïs:

    - All magic devices reloaded

    - Gained three magazines of bolts

    Uttu:

    - Gained three quivers of arrows

    Lyssa:

    - Ocypete returns from the fort, nothing has changed out there so far.


    Organizational Changes:

    Show Spoiler
    Reputation changes:

    - The Royal Academy +10


    Rolls:

    Show Spoiler
    Not too much in this update.

    There were a few at the beginning when Derryth 'explained' her plan to the mercenaries. Now I was expecting her to fail but she did absolutely horrible. So bad in fact that she managed to provoke a fight before I could even roll for Thaïs to try and salvage the situation. As far as horrible rolls go, hers were right up there. :lol:

    Derryth's failure triggered another fight. Not a lethal one, just a brawl, and your side managed to contain the mercenaries without any serious injuries befalling 'your' people. Your guards got pummeled though and the Captain once more was thrown into the bar. He actually hit it so hard that he was knocked unconscious and no doubt he will have a few interesting stories to tell his colleagues when he does wake up.

    Following the fight there was little to roll for in this update until you met Wenzel. Your group rolled a few times to try and get some information out of him but none of you succeeded and Wenzel moved to leave.

    Outside of the update there were a handful of rolls to the south and a handful of rolls to the north. All of them must remain mysteries for now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
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  19. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Oh my. This bears a serious consideration and promises a good old-fashioned DISCUSS.

    I have a questioon though.

    If Wenzel fails to return to the Weazels' hideout and goes missing, say, for a day (or for a longer period of time), why would that make freeing Letta more difficult?

    If we or the King's enforcers show up at their compound with an order to transport Letta and the rest of her crew to the Palace (and we can make Wenzel sign such an order as well - I suppose every prince has a signet of some sort as a proof of their royal lineage, just like Jori did), why would they refuse such an order? If we look at a situation through their eyes, their patron was summoned to the Palace, presumably due to some extremely important and urgent business (because the father and son don't really talk much anymore, and the former usually does everything in his power to ignore the latter - it would take something unusual to make Albrecht turn to his son for anything.). Is it too unfathomable to think that Wenzel would not show up in person to claim his prisoners due to the urgency of the request? Are Weazels in a position to defy both the King and the Prince by refusing such an order?

    I lured him out of the hideout to create an atmosphere of uncertainity among the members of his gang that would leave them easier to manipulate as we see fit. They have no way of knowing what transpires at the Palace, except that it might be big. I doubt any of them would want to get involved with that without a warranty of impunity, which Wenzel, in his absense, can't really provide.

    Or am I missing something?

    I don't mind trying a 'friendly' approach first, milking him for information in an old-fashioned way, but I am afraid Wenzel will force our hand one way or the other, as we are after his 'prize', and I don't think we have anything of sufficient value to compensate him, nor do I wish to, to be honest. I still think we will have to resort to at least a moderate mindfuckery (to probe his mind like we did with Hesse, at the very least) to get through this cleanly.

    What I know for sure is that I have no intention of letting him go unless Letta's situation is resolved, and I will not take his word for it, which suggests to me that until she is free one way or the other, he will have to stay at the Palace, distracted either by an indebt conversation (while we send our agents to free her, for exapmle), or by a well-placed hit to the head.

    There is not much to explain to the King, as far as I am concerned. Even if Wenzel knows nothing, he is illegally holding hostage the very person we intend to hire for the investigation to find out something, therefore hampering our investigation. If he is opposed to freeing her, I feel justified in breaking her out, by force, if need be. And if it stays a private matter inside the Palace walls - it is all for the better.

    Oh, and about the maid. How deep can our mind scan go unnoticed? What I have in mind is to question her without her knowing that she is being questioned. Have the stuff manager assign her to our quarters for the night to help us with whatever it is that rich noblewomen do in their spare time. To change a hairdo? To try on a new dress? Something she is competent at.

    We may be able to talk to her and scan her that way, without alerting her to the fact that she is being under surveilance. But how much can one learn that way? Judging by our previous experience with a ghol during the Drowned Dead chapter, in which we made him reveal their entire battle plan, it might be quite a bit. But then again, we weren't neither gentle nor subtle there.

    It is a hybrid solution that allows us to pursue both avenues depending on what we find. We may be able to act on the information immediately, and we would not spook the informant (and most importantly, the people she is contacting) away.

    Make it 10F.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2014
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  20. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    I guess that would depend on what his standing orders are/were and who is in charge over at the compound. I am afraid I can not tell you more than that. This may just be Derry's paranoia acting up or it might be a legitimate concern, no way to know for sure without taking action.

    If you intend to be gentle/subtle then you will be able to get an idea of her general mental landscape and perhaps some of her surface thoughts (for example if she is helping you try on dresses it might be about how pretty you look or it might be jealous rage that she will never own a dress half that nice :lol:).

    If you want specific memories you will have to get a bit rough and if you want all of her knowledge (whatever that may be) then you will have to either use your ritual or feed her to Morpheus.

    Added.


    I will get the mechanics posted after I have a chance to proofread the update. It did not seem so bad earlier this morning but at a quick glance I caught at least five easy mistakes I missed in the rush to get it out...
     
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  21. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    24,412
    1.
    A) ii

    2
    A) ii
    Our own crusaders.

    3
    B
    Worthless troublemakers.

    4
    B
    More worthless troublemakers.

    5
    B
    Expensive and untrustwothy.

    6
    B
    Lissa doesn't like them an probably everyone knowing animal spells can turn them against us.

    7

    A
    Free money, I am also sure that she will get along with Derryth just fine.

    8
    Aii
    Our personal army here.

    9.
    A) Forty.

    D) Five.

    G) Twenty.

    H) Twenty.


    10.

    E)

    11
    C)Spare spellbooks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
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  22. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Alright. A rough draft of what I think might be done with Wenzel without knocking him out outright.

    - Engage him in a conversation. There must be a few topics he might be interested about. He is of a sort that abuses money and power, so he should be interested in making even more money and gaining even more power for him to work with. We might tell him that we are indeed investigating some shady matters concerning the Watcher, the Pathfinders, and Letta's crew, and we would like to enlist the help of the Weasels to do it. We were the ones to arrange this meeting, and even Albrecht knows nothing about what we are going to discuss with him. We might have a proposal that would make us both a fair bit of money while letting us act with the full authority of the crown, rather than in its shadow. We can play on his differences with his father, we might allude to seeking new allies now that Albrecht's rule is crumbling. We can offer to pay Letta's 'debt' for an outraging sum. All bullshit, of course, but that might catch his attention and keep him from leaving for a while.
    - We would probably want the maul's mouth shut, either by signaling him silently with a spell, or by giving him - or the dwarf that seem to be the Sovereigns' spokekesman - some cues, verbal or not.
    - Speaking to Wenzel about his company and their worth as an organization might clue us in on how things are run in there. We might even get names of people in charge.
    - It would be wonderful if we can get him to write (or sign) a letter, or an order, or some kind of document to his gang, if only to see how they communicate between themselves.

    - And for Wyrd's sake, LET THAIS HANDLE THE TALKING. At least where it matters.

    For example, suppose that Wenzel uses his signet as proof of his authority to seal the letter he will be writing to his second-in-command. Working with Thais, we can cast Lost's Retrieve Item into one of our rings while she shares a drink with the prince. We can excuse ourselves and go outside to write a letter of our own, have Caoilainn give us a signal when it is safe to steal the signet, cast the spell, sign the letter with a signet, and send a group of the Pathfinders and guards to summon the prisoners and Wenzel's man in charge to the Palace. They should make it appear like the matter is urgent, and the letter should support it as well. Meanwhile, we return with the signet to our prince and drop it nearby, feeding him a false memory of him dropping it while he was drinking. If everything goes well, he will be none the wiser right until the moment his prisoner arrives.

    There are a few things to iron out, such as an explanation of why the letter would be not in Wenzel's hand (and even that can be arranged with a pair of tricks), but that is one way of doing things without getting rough.

    Naturally, getting rough might be easier to pull off, but not necessarily better. Breaking a prince with witnesses around might not be the best idea. If we can dupe him instead, I am all for it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    As for the letter... I think there is an old trick in a book just for this case.

    Write this by our hand:

    Code:
    "Dear woobie-in-charge.
    
    We would like to  summon you to the Palace  to discuss a  matter of | mutual benefit.  The matter needs to be handled with discretion and
    utmost  urgency.  The  nuances require  your presence.  Please take | into consideration the matter in question concerns the fate of
    Letta and her crew, which we believe are currently held by you, and | so we would like to ask you to hold on to them for a while. Please
    head  to the Palace immediately to talk the details over.
    
    Heroes of the Kingdom,
    Lady Derryth and Lady Thais."
    It is pretty innocuous, all things consideded. Give it to Wenzel to read and have him give his seal of approval:

    Code:
    "I brofist this message."
    Signed, Prince Wenzel.
    When it is time to send the letter, tear the paper in two so that the message would read:
    Code:
    We would like to summon you to the Palace to discuss a matter of
    utmost urgency.  The nuances require your presence.  Please take
    Letta and her crew, which we believe are currently held by you, and
    head  to the Palace immediately to talk the details over.
    Which is pretty unambiguous in its meaning, and it would be signed by both us and Wenzel.

    I am not a native speaker, so I can't say if it is seamless or not (it is a draft I came up with in 15 minutes, after all), but you get the general idea.

    We might not even need to steal the signet this way.

    Hell, once it is sealed, we might have Wenzel order one of his goons to deliver it for maximum effect. That way they would be able to see that the order comes from him directly.

    By the way, Fangshi, can out Lost's Retrieve Item retrieve a certain part of the item? That way we would be able to pull the wrong half of the letter out of the sealed envelope. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014
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  24. Fangshi Arcane

    Fangshi
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,997
    Depends. If the piece you want to retrieve is sufficiently unique it can be done, otherwise you might run into complications. Would half of the letter be sufficiently different to qualify with no obvious differences? Hard to say, it would be close and since you have never tried something like that before you do not really know.
     
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  25. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Messages:
    11,060
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Ah, but does the content not identify the piece as unique? If we could differentiate a hare by its color, why can't we differentiate a list of paper by its writing?

    There were no other hares that were red at a time, but there are no other letters that start with "mutual benefit. The matter needs to be..." either. ;)
     
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