The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    An awkward silence slowly settles over the crowd, the realization that Rem, unlike Starislav, will not back down settling upon them. Millie, who so far has been standing by, gives the girl an encouraging nod. Things are going well.

    Still, not all are convinced. You notice one of the slaves on the fringe of the group leaning down and picking up a stone. Quickly, he hurls it past Rem towards Po in a rather uncoordinated fashion, a helpless cry of anger on his lips.

    Yet, his projectile does not reach its intended target. Her body moving reflexively, Rem manages to easily reposition herself and catch the stone with either her hands or her body, whichever she favors.

    Spoiler: If Rem lets herself be hit...
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    The impact comes with a dull, minor sensation of pain, as though Rem had been smacked lightly rather than genuinely hit. Even further, there is no wound nor any blood, her body seemingly far more resilient than it ever was before.


    The slave howls in frustration, but takes no further action. Meanwhile, Po kowtows on the ground, his head pressed into the dirt. Blubbering inelegantly, he can only mutter “Thank you, thank you!“ over and over again.

    No one else makes a move. Perhaps they realize the futility of it, or perhaps they simply dont want to harm their savior.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    There's a stillness as Rem stands there as is her promise - the stone flies and strikes her, prompting a little flinch... though she realises that she's far more resilient than she ever was. She quietly nods towards the slave, looking back towards his anguished face without a trace of judgement in her own expression or eyes.

    "Wounds do not heal overnight," Rem quietly murmurs, looking at Po. "Even in this new form of mine, I will not forget that..."

    But there is another issue. Zu and his slavers. She may need the help of the Magistrate for this. She looks towards Millie and Starislav and says, "Zu may not be as repentant. I may need your firm hand to help guide them along..."

    She moves to find where they've left the former slaver lord. That shard of his was curious as well.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav has nodded grimmly. He simply came along, for now silent. He has decided to focus on struggling with his inner dragon.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    With everything being taken care of in the courtyard, and your divine will made clear, you finally leave behind the slaves and make your way back into the manor. Behind you, the freed Dulimbaians make themselves busy, gathering up the bound but slowly awakening bandits. With their own spears and clubs now in their former victim's hands, and their own hands in cuffs, they are easily kept in check. Po, for his part, quickly follows you, clinging to your side like his life depends on it. It probably does.

    Heading through the manor's entrance and stepping through its corridors, you once again notice all the valuable pieces of art and priceless furniture, as well as many left behind satchels full of silver bars, jewellery, and gemstones. In coin alone there is a small fortune in this place, and if you were to strip it down you would each have more than enough to retire on!

    Still, there are other things to focus on for now, and soon enough you arrive back at the balcony, where Zu awaits you, his goons having somehow managed to prop him up against the railing. He looks quite a bit less dishevelled than when you earlier took him down, and it's clear that he is making an effort to look dignified.

    "I have been watching your actions from above, sages. You have shown a great deal of mercy and wisdom." he says, his voice only showing a hint of shakiness. "I realize that you plan to deliver me to the magistrate. But if you would, let me make you a counteroffer."

    Zu turns slightly towards the countryside, as if gesturing at it. "I am in control of all bandit clans in the area, villains who without me would surely descend into savagery and desperation. Remove me, and you will bring untold chaos to the region. Allow me to serve under you, however, and I can provide you with funds and contacts the like you could not get anywhere. The Tong, drug traders from here to southern Xilong." He pauses dramatically, as though somehow he has practised this speech. "Even the finest of assassins, like the Sanwuzu. The loss of my slaving business will hurt my finances, but even so I could survive." The old man finishes giving his offer with a serious, concerned expression. While some things, like the nature of the curse you put on him must still be elusive, you get the feeling that he has realized the kind of trouble he is in.

    In a bid to make himself useful, Po leans over and whispers to you. "Zu is an honorable man, even if he does cruel things. I'm sure he'd keep whatever promise he would make to you."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem notices the jewelry; she wonders if the slaves could appropriate some of them, enough to be able to re-start a living where they've been forcefully ripped from their lives. There's a note to be had there; something to do in the near future. But now Zu awaits, and he makes his offer...

    And the anger builds quietly inside of Rem.

    "Banditry is a social problem, Mister Zu. One often borne of strife, hardship and neglect from the state, from the ruling and noble class. However... you have yourself long profited from enabling and manipulating desperate people, whether into slavers or slaves or worse, and I have no intention of letting you thrive in that seat any further. These lands will not heal under the thumbs of individuals, especially one such as you."

    But Zu does mention something that quietly incenses her further--

    The Sanwuzu.

    She pauses and reserves herself, letting a scowl go to her face. She calms herself down with breaths.

    "Now, you will tell me what you know of the Sanwuzu assassins."

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav frowned, scaly veins popped on his forehead.
    "You are scum, leading scum. If they do trouble, we will just slay all the beasts." he hissed barely holding his hatred
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Zu becomes noticably agitated at Rem's reaction, taking a step back only to bump against the railing. A look over his shoulder confirms to him that there is nowhere to run. His thugs, meanwhile, scramble aside in their cuffs to put as much space between you and them as possible.

    "Please, think about what you are saying! These people are mere peasants, willing to stoop to such lows to save their own skins! Do you seriously want to move against the emperor himself on their behalf? You will become nothing more than petty rebels, like that savage Golden Lord. And once you grow too bold, you'll be snuffed out, having gained nothing!"

    For the first time since you've met him, Zu has raised his voice. Though his tone is more one of exasperation than of anger. His face, meanwhile, has grown even paler than it was when you first knocked him down.

    "Look, I can help you get in contact with the Sanwuzu. There are contacts I know in the nearby city of Yizhao, and I could easily call upon them if you let me. You merely need to let me go."
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-05-25 at 09:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Emperors, Tzars, petty slave mongers... I fear none of them." Starislav stepped forward.
    "We won't befriend some lowly scoundrels. Don't test my patience.' his palm, turned black and scaled, and claws have grown
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem looks to Starislav and nods firmly at his direction. Then she looks to Zu again.

    "It is as my companion has said. Even in life I swore to myself, as a healer of the Merciful Hand, that I would not look down upon people because of their station. Let alone now.
    And if I were to fear those that have installed themselves in power, then I would not have changed anything.
    "

    She scowls for a moment to say, "The Sanwuzu will have to wait. I can acquire the information I wish in other ways, without your help."

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Zu stares at you in exasperation, utterly speechless. Even Starislav's threats seem to barely get any other response out of him. It seems like his mind is working overtime to comprehend what is happening. But then, finally his features drop into a frown, and the bandit lord lowers his head.

    "I understand, then." There is clear bitterness to his tone, mixed with the condescension of someone who still thinks they know better than you. Still, he appears to be resigned to whatever awaits him now. "Go on then. Bring us to the magistrate. I am sure he will execute us as the law demands, just to save face. But he has always worked together with me, and profited off of my handiwork. His constables If you really are so righteous, why don't you go and start your little rebellion with him?"

    Zu's words are filled with cruel, uncaring spite. It is a tone that Rem knows from her old mistress, one that gives her the feeling that he is not lying to her. The old man, for his part, seems to consider the conversation settled, however.

    It is up to you what to do from here, it seems. What will you do with Zu and his men? Where will you take the slaves? And what will you do with the vast treasures in Zu's mansion? Some of it you could easily carry out on your own, enough to bring you prosperity, but what about the pieces of art and the furniture? If you found a way to get them to Gongfang, you would be rich beyond your wildest dreams!

    Then again, wealth suddenly seems a lot less important, given the power you wield.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Both of you gain 2 points of Dominion each! I originally wanted to go with 1 each, but since our party has shrunk I figured you could use the boost.

    There is 2 points of wealth in easily portable silver bars and jewelry within Zu's mansion that you can loot. If you can figure out some means of transportation, stripping down the estate could get you up to 5 total points of wealth, however!

    You also regain any Effort you have spent for the scene, if that matters.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-05-31 at 09:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav didn't looked impressed. 'Save your' l'ittl'e petty po'litics to your' master'."
    he turned to Rem 'We shal'l' take those citizens, and demand they wil'l' be aided by the one in charge.'
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    It doesn't exactly surprise Rem that the Magistrate has had a hand with Zu. She has seen the ways in which noble courts' webs spread to one another, the way one struggles to try to remain clean and yet have skeletons in their closets surface and lead them astray.

    "If there is further corruption to root out, then that is another issue we will deal with," Rem speaks as she looks to Starislav. She nods.

    Rem isn't particularly interested in wealth for wealth's sake... but the wealth would be important to helping the slaves get back on their feet. "The former slaves will need funds to help them restart their lives. We should distribute what is easily portable now, then arrange for transportation to ensure they have a longer-term supply, whether to get back to their homelands, or to start another life nearby."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'm not super-familiar with how Godbound treats wealth, but I'd like to give those 2 wealth out to the folks, since that's the easily portable part of the equation.

  13. - Top - End - #133
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav had nodded.
    "Agr'eed."
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Leaving Zu to his sulking, you take him and his men downstairs, ready to conclude your business at the manor. For now, you plan to leave the more unwieldy treasure at this place, having more important things to think about. Like for instance bringing the slavers to justice and making sure that the slaves can rebuild their lives.

    As you announce your decision to divide the bandit lord's treasures among his victims, a cheer breaks out. Few of them seem to have expected this level of kindness from you, given how much you already have done for them. Still, they are quick to rush forward, each eager to for their own fair share. At first, there is a bit of conflict, with many of the slaves claiming more or less dubious ownership of certain treasures, but nobody seems willing to contradict you when you make an effort to give everyone a fair share.

    "You know-" Zu notes in-between carrying satchels of silver downstairs. "-Zu's been taking money from many people, including those in town. Lke that ink-painting of emperor Yan Xuo he's got hanging in his bedroom. I took that one as protection money from a merchant. There'll be more people asking for a share once they hear what you've done, is all I'm saying."

    Afterwards, you load up the arrested slavers and their leader in the wagons that they used to transport slaves in, and prepare yourself for the trek back. By this point, the sun is already hanging low in the sky, and you figure you'll make it back for the banquet with Magistrate Li just in time. Together with your little caravan, you head back to Gongfang.

    Your journey back through the hilly countryside goes over without incident, the sounds of crickets, wild monkeys, and running rivers serving as a calming background noise. Once back on the main road, you get many strange look from the farmers that make their living here, and you notice one or two slaves already breaking off to meet with what looks like their families, but nobody dares approach you for now.

    That changes when you approach the town gates. There is a grand commotion as you approach, and immediately guardsmen rush forward to question you on your purpose. Though boisterous at first, they quickly shrink back when they realize that you are not only the mighty sorcerers/gods that the Magistrate has invited for a banquet, but that you have also captured Big Feet Zu entirely on your own. Still, while they quickly get to work bringing the arrested bandits to the Yamen, where they will be imprisoned until the Magistrate decides on what to do with them, they also deny the slaves entry for now.

    "We can't possibly allow that many strangers into the city at once. You'll have to talk with Magistrate Li about that as well. Don't get mad, this is out of my hands!" the commanding officer tells you, hands raised defensively.

    While the situation is annoying, the setting sun in the west tells you that your meeting with Li is only a short while off. Surely, he won't object once he learns that the slaves have enough funds of their own to get settled in.

    Before you can go, however, both Po and Ming approach you, each seemingly for their own reason.

    "If you don't mind, I wanted to thank you again, gods. Your kindness knows no bound. I will stay here and keep everything organized while you're gone, if only to give back a little. Once I have time, I will be sure to write a poem in your honor." Ming finishes with a little bow.

    Po, for his part, is not nearly as graceful. "Well, uh, if you'd like I could come along. If you need a servant, or anything like that." he offers, awkwardly scratching the back of his head and smiling crookedly. "O-Of course if you don't, I can just stay here. Look after the sla-..uh, the people."

    Despite their differences, you get the feeling that you have earned a loyalty of sorts from these two people in particular, one that goes beyond that of all the other people you have rescued.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Feel free to make some last decisions here and do anything that you want to do before going to the banquet. Afterwards, I'll move you forward to the meeting with Li.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-06-10 at 12:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    For what it's worth, Rem figured that there would be claims of ownership from the belongings robbed; at this point, however, they didn't really have the time to verify what belonged to who, and that it was more important that people had a sustainable amount of money to restart their lives.

    "Indeed..." Rem speaks on the topic of what Zu has taken. "It isn't just the slaves that have suffered - the nature of his influence is such that he has usurped people in town too. We'll need someone trustworthy to oversee the cases where we need to return belongings to their rightful owners, since appraisal isn't my specialty..."

    They've returned to Gongfang, with Rem seated on one of the carriages. She appreciates the sound of the countryside; it's only now that she realises she can more enjoy nature, without her illness distracting her from all five of her senses. There's a smile on her face. She waves off to the former slaves who've reunited with their families, wishing them well.

    But at the town gates..

    "... I suppose that is to be expected. However, these are people who have been displaced by slavery. I would at least see that we be allowed to set up camp outside the city bounds and have appropriate security for these people who have suffered," answers Rem to the commanding officer in turn. The former slaves each have their funds, but perhaps it would be best and safest if they kept as a group for now.

    "Ming," she greets when the woman approaches, smiling quietly. "May I leave you in charge of the people while we discuss with Li? I think Po's presence may unsettle them, but you were a driving force amongst the captives back during your stay -- I think they will listen to you more. I will see what we can do that none of you are harrassed."

    On the topic of Po... she's not certain whether they should bring them with them. Leaving them with the former slaves doesn't seem wise. She looks to Starislav for some input.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Starislav rode the road with a grimm attitude. For him, a victory was a douboe edged sword- yes, justice was done this time, but he used the evil wyrm within.
    The voices of darkness and entropy became louder and louder in the mind of the Bogatyr who wanted to be a chivalrouse champion of the good.

    "I am no god!" he scolded, parts of his face became scaly and black as he hissed

    He didn't judged the guards. With commands, those soldiers will do good. He would have been dissapointed, id they would have let them pass just like that.

    "Da. Let's take the sl'aver" with us. Impr'ovised excuestation won't be justice. 'E wil'l' k'help us with the magistr'ate." Starislav voiced his opinion in quite assertive tone.
    More assertive then he would like.
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    The officer takes a quick look about, eyeing your followers with suspicion. “Well, so long as they don't uppety now that they are freed, we won't have any issues. They can make camp outside city gates, but we'll have to keep an eye on them.“ Already, he starts waving some of the nearby guardsmen over, eager to order someone else to take care of it. From what you hear him say, it sounds like he's not planning to do much more than keeping a few extra constables around.

    Meanwhile, Ming shows herself not all that intimidated by Starislav's display of power. She barely flinches, and when she speaks again her voice is firm. “Then tell me what we should call you. I can't just use your names after all.“ From what you know of Dulimbaian society, such a thing would be indeed unthinkable. Then again, so would be Ming's bluntness in usual circumstances.

    Towards Rem, she gives a confirming nod. I'll take care of everything. Now that my strength is returning, you can rely on me for anything you need.“ On her still pale face, there is a cocky smile, and her eyes beam with life. Ming is not lacking in confidence, it would seem.

    “Thank goodness.“ Po sighs, wiping sweat off his brow. “Uh, I mean, good choice! It will look more impressive if you have a servant with you too.“ Immediately, he stumbles up to your side, rearing to go.

    Behind him, Ming crosses her arms and shakes her head.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem nods at Starislav with a bit of a smile. His confidence can be a boon in these times, where her own may be lacking, even if she is trying to gather her own resolve. She looks to Ming and tilts her head. A title?

    "... I'd like to keep using Rem amongst us. I think retaining a sense of my humanity is important. But outside... you do have a point," Rem muses. She tries to recall of what Dulimbaian custom would require.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'll try intelligence? Check 8. (1d20)[13]

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "If you ar'e obliged to cal'l' me, by name other' then the one my mother' 'as given to me, then cal'l' me..." Starislav paused.
    "Bogatyr'. Bogatyr' will do." though, he didn't felt like he deserved such a title, but maybe this will help him to fend off the beast within.

    "Ver'y wel'l" Po. It's seems l'ike the begining of your' jour'ney towar'd r'edemption."
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    Ming tilts her head sideways, and crosses her arms. "Retaining a sense of your humanity? Now that sounds absolutely romantic." Suddenly, she is beaming, caught up with inspiration. "I'll be sure to write about that."

    Towards Starislav, she gives another nod. "Boggatier? No, Bogatyr? I can't say I know how to spell it, but it sounds like a good title."

    Suddenly, Po interjects, fists clenched with an odd excitement. "Oh, you should probably mention that Bogate thing to the magistrate! If you're a noble, even a foreign one, you'll be sure to get a whole lot more respect!" Just as suddenly, Ming roughly pushes him aside, scowling.

    "Yes, Po, we have had quite enough suggestions from you." She sighs, then continues. "I recall you mentioned not being of noble birth? That does make things more difficult, but you could still adopt the titles of Lady or Mistress. Perhaps mother, too, though you are a bit young for that. Alternatively, you are a capable healer. You could call yourself Sage, or take on a title of your choosing, as the Taoists do." Hearing her make that last suggestion, you are reminded of Real Man Xiao, whose name suddenly makes a little bit more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Bogatyr isn't the same as noble." Starislav sighed.
    "Nobles of my motherland 'ave been r'eplaced by dol'ls. Bogatyr is a warrior who act with k'honor and nobil'ity. They don't gain r'espect for bl'oodl'ine nor titl'e- but for their actions."
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  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem has a soft chuckle at Ming as she comments that her desire sounds romantic. Was it...? It felt like it was something that she absolutely needed to make sure of. She wasn't sure about godhood - or the ways in which people can lose their way in it.

    "Lady Rem... I suppose that would do," she whispers. "If it would carry enough weight in the courts. I am not yet learned enough to consider taking the title of Sage."
    Last edited by Merilan; 2019-06-18 at 08:22 PM.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Oh, I see." Ming gasps, holding up a hand in front of her mouth. "You are a wandering Xia, then, Starislav. A chivalrous vigilante who fights for benevolence!" All of a sudden, she is beaming again, taken by her own interpretation of the warrior before her.

    Then, she clears her throat in an attempt to regain her composure. "Well, anyway. I will take care of everything here while you are gone, Lady Rem and Bogatyr Starislav. Hopefully, the magistrate will listen to what you have to say." Saying your own goodbyes, you turn to leave the former slaves and together with Po head back to the Yamen for your banquet. Behind you, Ming sees to getting everyone settled down and preparing for what will likely be a night outside the city gates.

    Walking through the city streets, even this late in the evening, you can't help but notice the eyes of many xiaoren peasants on you and overhear them whispering about your most recent deeds. It appears that word is already spreading of who you are, though the details seem to remain sketchy yet.

    "Where's their soldiers? They took down Big Feet Zu, right?"

    "Didn't you hear? They did it all on their own!"

    "No way! Look, there's Po with them. They must have used some kind of trickery!"

    Nevertheless, you manage to make your way to the yamen unaccosted. There, you are swiftly greeted by the guards, who hurry to open the gates and then rush to close them once you are inside. If questioned, they tell you that they do not want any snooping peasants to come after you, though they appear to have no problem with you taking along Po as a guard.

    Inside the compound, you find a small collection of buildings, including the town hall, courthouse, a small prison that looks like it is currently overflowing with both guards and the men that you arrested, as well as some private and servant housing. A lesser official approaches you, and welcomes you in the magistrate's name in a rather formal fashion. After dismissing some, but not all of the yamen guards, he ushers you to what looks to be the magistrate's private household, asking your names as you go.

    Soon, you are led into a large, candle-lit chamber where several tables have been prepared, all filled to the brim with tablets, bowls and platters of all manner of delicacies. Steamed and roasted meats are laid out before you, accompanied by mountains of boiled vegetables and rice. Poached eggs are gathered next to vast jugs of wine and heavy containers of soups and sauces. To your sides, you spot just as many servants as there are guards, all ready to bring refills once the banquet begins. For both of you, it is the greatest feast you have seen in your lives.

    At the farthest end of the table, Magistrate Li awaits. A stout, portly man in his thirties, stroking a lustrous black beard and wearing the fine embroidered robes of his rank, he calmly observes you as the lesser official announces your entrance.

    "Honorable Magistrate Li Shu, the Foreign Lady Rem and Bogatyr Kalchugevski Starislav have arrived as per your invitation." He bows deeply towards his superior, who in turn gives a little wave of his hand. You note that as per Dulimbaian tradition, he spoke everyone's surnames first.

    "Thank you, Hong. You are dismissed." Li says, his voice heavy and booming. As the official turns and leaves, the magistrate gestures at two chairs that have been set up across from him. "Please, sit down. Let's eat a little before we begin. There is much we have to discuss, and we shouldn't do it on an empty stomach!" His tone is warm and affable, and he does sound happy to see you.

    Out of the corner of your eyes, you notice Po staring at the banquet with wide eyes, though he does not take anything for himself, nor does he look like he wants to speak up. In here, it seems, all the talking will be between you and Li.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem smiles gently for Starislav. "That sounds like a title worth fighting for. It suits you," she compliments gently.

    The xiaoren are murmuring about them, but she wonders about their words. Trickery... well, is their newfound power a form of trickery? Depending on who you ask, the answer would be very different indeed. Once inside, Rem notices that the prison was unlikely to fit all the members of the thugs they've arrested; this region wasn't quite built for such large upheavals so quickly. But that was another topic for another time.

    Rem's eyes widen a little at the feast -- but at the same time, after a moment she recollects herself and narrows her eyes. It reminded her of the lavish feasts her mistress used to have when she was a slave.

    She did not want to lose herself in such revelry.

    Rem bows gently to express, "I express my humblest gratitude at your offer, Magistrate Li." She looks to Starislav, but then steps to sit down quietly and looks to Po. "... may I request that our companion to be fed as well?"

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    After Rem makes her request, an uneasy silence falls over the room. Li seems uncertain of how to answer, and his eyes wander over the unwashed and unshaven man that's accompanying you. "Your companion, is it?" he says, brow slightly furrowed. All around, you notice the guards exchanging nervous glances.

    "Well, I suppose if you wish for a mere xiaoren to eat with us, you must have your reasons." Li finally finishes his sentence, smiling a bit less enthusiastically than before. "Perhaps it is one of your foreign customs?" At this, you feel a wave of relief washing over the room.

    Spoiler: Rem
    Show
    Inviting Po to eat with you just now must have been a major breach of etiquette. For some reason however, Li seems to be willing to overlook it. Giving what you've learned of these sorts of courtly and noble affairs, it's probably because he wants to stay on your good side.


    At a clap from the magistrate, one of the attending servants rushes to get another chair for Po. The ruffian himself hesitates, however, waiting until you have sat down first before following suit. From the looks of it, he is attempting (and failing) to copy the way that you do it. "Th-Thank you!" he quickly mutters, before grabbing a honey-covered rib from a nearby plate and biting into it.

    Li, meanwhile, clears his throat to regain your attention, raising a bowl of wine. "In any case, to your health, Lady Rem and Bogatyr Kalchugevski!" With one gulp, he empties the bowl, clearly expecting you to do the same. Then, he continues. "Please, enjoy yourselves! And, if you don''t mind me asking, what has brought you to humble Gongfang?"
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-06-23 at 01:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    In many ways, Rem knew her request would be taken as rude amongst the noble court. The boundary between nobility and the "unwashed" -- the masses, the servants, the unlearned -- was something she was made clear and plain aware of, after all. But she did not want to enforce and enable such norms. She was not going to be able to stand with her morals without upsetting those that are benefitting from this divide.

    "I thank you for your great consideration of our foreign ways," Rem agrees. It was a bit like a codeword, but she did not wish to further belabour the point.

    Meanwhile, Rem quietly eats from the vegetables - it did not seem she had an appetite for meat. Perhaps it is a slave upbringing, or perhaps it was love for animals that drove her to not consume it such. When Magistrate Li raises the wine, she quietly holds it up with a bow... though she finds it difficult to gulp in one go. Hopefully her godly constitution means she isn't going to get bewilderingly drunk.

    "We have come regarding our efforts regarding the banditry around these lands, particularly those led by Zu. In particular, you would find that his operations of slavery have been dismantled. We have requested aid from your border officials regarding a temporary camp for those that have been affected, and we would like to discuss options to re-integrate them back to a proper life."
    Last edited by Merilan; 2019-06-24 at 03:02 PM.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav tried not to droll, but couldn't help but to devour the meat infront of him, with draconic gluttony.
    He stopped just to say. "I am man of action, mostly. But Lady Rem has my full support on every of her demands."
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  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Despite Starislav's (and Po's for that matter) lack of manners, Li does not seem all that perturbed at how you go about eating. In fact he too delves right in, albeit not as voraciously, displaying the hunger of a man used to eating his fill. At the very least (unlike Po), he actually uses the provided chopsticks.

    The wine, you note, is quite weak but not unpleasant in taste. It's about what you expect from Dulimbaian alcohol, albeit of a higher quality than you are used to.

    Despite the many distractions however, Li listens intently as you explain your purpose. The magistrate raises an eyebrow when Starislav explains his subservience to Rem, but otherwise keeps his affable expression. "The people of Dulimbai pride themselves on our great meritocracy." he explains, pouring a ladle of sauce over a bowl of rice for himself. "If Lady Rem's words are filled with wisdom, then following them will bring you great merit, even though she is a woman. There is no shame in rightful obedience." With a grin, he adds "But perhaps such musings are best left to students of the Pattern, yes?"

    Both of you are vaguely aware that the Pattern is some kind of moral code that Dulimbaian society adheres to, but what exactly its tenets are or where it comes from is beyond you.

    Li, meanwhile, takes a moment to munch down on a few parcels of rice before continuing. "I am thankful to you, in any case. Big Feet Zu has been a thorn in my side for many a year. Lacking the strength and funds to deal with him, I was forced to cooperate with his cruel banditry, as otherwise he would surely have disposed of me." His expression turns grim as he explains his situation. "Be assured that I will cooperate fully to see those who suffered due to his illegal slavery be reintegrated into society. That is, of course, once we have confiscated his stolen goods and rounded up what remains of his men in the countryside."

    For a second, he puts down his chopsticks, stroking his beard thoughtfully. "In turth, I must admit I am somewhat worried. Zu still has many hidden allies who will certainly try and take revenge on you. After all the good you've done, your lives might now be endangered."
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-06-25 at 12:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "If I may. Though Bogatyr Kalchugevski seeks my counsel, I see him purely as my equal, as much as I seek his advice on other matters," Rem felt it prudent to address the relationship between them. It was not as if she would look down on him for not preferring to speak; she's certain she will need his aid when it came time to those where counsel and words, and compassion and kindness do not work.

    But it is only so much an issue, and the conversation moves onward...

    "Big Feet Zu's influence was palpable, and even not being in this region for long it could be felt subtly," Rem expresses. "And I thank you for your prudence. It would deeply hearten me to see those that have suffered be allowed a chance back at a normal life, more than anything."

    Li mentions allies, however...

    "Magistrate Li. I thank you for your warning, however I chose this life not expecting a sanctuary of safety. I have the Bogatyr for my safety; would you know of the identities of some of his allies?" She tilts her head. "Do you know of any leads we may pursue?"

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "If I die, I'll die with pride. Life filled with shame are much scarier to me.' Starislav said, when he stopped to breath between his gluttonouse devour pangs.
    'Just point at the evil, and I'll destroy it.'
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