The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    'Dinner later' would've been a welcome note to the Millie of five minutes past. The Millie of the present however seems quite unimpressed by the constable's offer. She looks like she's about to complain further, when she hears Rem's words. Turning back to the official, the Curse Eater shoots the poor unfortunate a brief death glare and whispering at him. "Dinner sounds lovely. We'll attend if possible. But do tell the magistrate that if he sends one more person up to Xiao before tomorrow morning, I'm marching him up there to join them!"

    Rebuke given, Millie turns towards the new arrivals, smiling at the reunion. She looks a touch bashful at Rem, nodding in response to her synopses. "Yeah, this was... not good." She can still remember Fei Lan: her face, her voice, screaming out Xiao's name. Somehow, she feels confident that the poor woman is at rest now, but that doesn't quite quiet the images in her mind. Still, they're not worth troubling Rem over. Instead, Millie simply smiles at her fellow travellers, beckoning Rem to continue as Nithras had. "But it can wait. Is something the matter?"

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Qotho, Horde-born Warrior of the Toba Plains

    He nodded towards Nithrias and the Curse Breaker, "While you two were playing sorcerer," the look on his face conveyed his disappointment in the attention their actions had drawn to the group, "we encountered a slave trader's henchmen, alerted to the presence of the slaves, we have decided to aid one of those henchmen, Po, in escaping with a slave, whom he favors." He paused, maintaining eye contact with his two returned companions. "Given the plight of all of the slaves, we have decided to arrange a meeting with Zu this evening, and during this meeting we will ensure that his slaves are both freed, and protected."

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    "This sounds more important than the Magistrate's dinner. How can I help?"

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    "I'd like to rescue the slaves and free them from captivity. I'm not certain what we'll be able to do for them in the short term, but perhaps that's where the Magister's favour can come in useful?" Rem muses of both Millie and Nithrias. She sags just for a moment as she reads the Curse Breaker's expression for a moment. Maybe she should've gone with them. "If we can make the slavers repent with our powers as well, perhaps we can still turn them towards a better force for the world."

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    "It would be nice to leave people alive for a change." Millie sighs, with a smile at that thought. Her face turns darker as she glances at the Yamen behind them, lowering her voice briefly. "The magistrate isn't likely to be much help. He's already sending people up the mountain to a sorcerer that's experimenting on them. I doubt he has much objection to slavery, whatever the law says."

    Still, Nithras had gotten him to feel conflicted over the matter. Li might not be a lost cause entirely: something worth considering at least. Millie raps her fingers against the edge of her belt, just above her component pouch as she ponders the outline of events. "Perhaps we should try and help this Po go a step further. We could try to get as many slaves as possible out of their confinement while you are meeting with this slave driver. More overt guests will hopefully require bodyguards for 'Zu', and thus fewer eyes on the captives." She gives Rem a smile, "Trying to change their hearts is a good idea, but if you're unsuccessful, they might try to use the fate of the existing slaves as leverage. Best to ensure that can't happen. And if things turn violent, we'll still be nearby and ready to help."

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    The official behind the gate quickly shrinks back at Millie's glare, only giving her a quick nod and a confirming "I-I'll make sure he is told, wise sorceress!" before the flap is slammed shut. It appears that the poor fool believes that this would save him from you, were you in the mood to prove him wrong.

    However, for now you are not, and instead you leave the scene before you attract even more attention to yourselves, or people start connecting your groups. It takes a bit of walking, and some sidesteps through tight alleyways, but eventually it seems as though you've shaken most of the watching passer-bys, and regained an anonymity of sorts. Cloaks draped over your heads, you settle into a nearby teahouse to wait and get ready for your meeting with Po.

    A short meal and a few drinks later, you return to the alleyway where Po is already waiting, pacing about impatiently. When he spots you, he immediately perks up and runs towards you, ushering you to follow him. "There you are! I was starting to wonder if you'd make it!" To your annoyance, you are all well aware that you are perfectly on time, which Shen can attest to. It appears that Po is impatient to get this done, to the point of not even introducing himself. In his hastiness, he almost overlooks just who Rem, Qotho and Shen have brought along, only realizing that Millie is carrying a bright republic rifle on her back as he gets ready to move out. His eyes grow wide as he does, however, and he proceeds to give your group an understanding nod. "Wow, that's better backup than I've expected. I'll have to thank my ancestors for the fortune they've sent me! Quick now, though! We need to rescue Ming before the day is over!""

    You follow the hastily stepping Po as he leads you out of town by the east gates, heading towards the hilly countryside. For almost a mile you travel along the well-trodden dirt road, during which Po explains everything that he figures you will need to know. "Zu's the bigshot behind most of the brigands in the area. He deals with Magistrate Li so that he blames their crimes on Raktian bandits, and in return they pay him protection money and lend him their guards. Few of them are directly on his payroll like I am, and they're not too loyal to him. I first wanted to bribe some of them to help me with freeing Ming, but they just as likely would have reported it to the boss." He pauses for a while, looking concerned, then brings up another topic. As he does, he leads you away from the main road onto a dirt path that heads deeper into the hills.

    "He's an old man, and I've never seen him in a fight, so if you get past his guards I don't think he could threaten any of you beyond the girl." A hand of his gestures at Rem as he says this. "But there's a different problem if you want to go down that route. The geezer wears this jade amulet around his neck, you see. I dunno how true it is, but he constantly brags about how it's magical, and that he is protected from all harm so long as he wears it. If you can overcome all that, I doubt anybody will miss the bastard, though. No family or anybody else to take revenge."

    Soon, your path comes to the bank of a deep, bubbling stream of water, and in the distance a vast walled estate comes into sight. At this point, Po leads you off the the road, heading into the thicket of the surrounding underbrush. Sneaking closer, you observe the estate from there, with your guide pointing out everything that he knows.

    The estate consists of a grand main hall house in which Zu himself lives, surrounded by several structures that house servants or store grains for either personal consumption or from his legal businesses. A high stone wall surrounds it, standing even taller than that of the Yamen back in town. Guards patrol atop, one at each side at all times, while inside it is even busier. The stream that you've been following flows right in front of the estate's main gate, only a thin wooden arch crossing it and allowing passage, though all the other sides are landlocked. Po explains to you that the bridge can easily be taken down if there's trouble. Though you can't see it from where you are, he also tells you that the slaves are kept in cages at the back of the estate, out of sight and easily guarded.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    In game terms, from what you can see and what Po tells you, there are enough brigants and guards at the estate to form a Large Mob.


    His brow furrowed, and sweat running down his skin, Po finally turns to you. "So....there we are, then." he says, speaking haltingly. "How are you gonna go about this?"
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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.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    "A magical amulet...? I hope it won't be a problem, but I suppose we won't be able to know until we see it..." Rem muses as she goes along with the group, overlooking the manor as they plan.

    She furrows her brow to look at her allies. "The plan to fake me being a slave is still sound, I think. It'd let us in far enough to do our plan -- if we can compel his guards and brigands to turn or otherwise become disloyal, there should be enough commotion there for people to slip in from the back and free the slaves in the ensuing chaos."

    A sigh, as she murmurs, "I didn't really want to relive those slave days, but... I'll be okay. I know I'm not powerless now."

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Millie can't honestly claim to be 'happy' about Rem doing this. Still, she manages a smile and nod at the Raktine girl's resolution. Whatever she might prefer, Rem wants to try and convince these slavers of the error of their ways. She won't argue with that.

    Still, she can provide some feedback. Millie's eyes dart across the compound: the curtain wall, gate, main house. The Curse Eater frowns as she ponders a problem, "If we all enter as a group, it's going to be hard to split up without drawing some suspicion. We're not big enough for someone to slip away unseen."

    She runs her gloved fingers briefly through the brush, thinking of how best to approach this. There's no obvious alternative entrance point, unfortunately. After some brief consideration, she looks to the party's monastic friend. "Shen, could you jump the wall from the other side of the stream?"

    She's seen a little of the Dulimbian's skills on the road to Gongfang, and while vaulting curtain walls is an extreme ask, with the power the party has now it seems at least worth of discussion. Millie continues, "That way, I can go in the front with Po, for some reason or another, after the main group are already inside. We'll find a high vantage point in the main building where I can provide supporting fire, and he can move to assist you. You move to free the slaves, covertly if you can, I cover your retreat if you're discovered. That leaves Nithras and Quotho with Rem, trying to either talk Zu down or turn his men against each other failing that."

    It seems smart. She can provide her best support from a well chosen sniper's nest, and the slaves are likely Dulimbian: a local face will be far more reassuring than a stern looking foreigner. Millie adjusts the brim of her hat, looking back to Zu's abode. They should have this in the bag.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    "Personally I was thinking they might be very distracted if a dragon were to fly over and start attacking the estate," says Nithrias, smiling beatifically, "wouldn't that be very convenient?"

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Shen quietly considered both Nithrias' and Millie's suggestions. Millie's was more discreet, and definitely less likely to draw attention to themselves, but Nithrias' plan would provide the distraction they'd need to get the slaves out. "Why not both? Nithrias can stay with Qotho, but if I get found I can make a pretty sizable distraction on my own. Use that opportunity to transform and I'll be able to use that chaos to get the slaves freed."

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    "I think that's a good plan, yes, working to each of our strengths," Rem nods gently. She's shifted the somewhat muddied cloak about her, her wings twitching for a moment underneath as she looks towards the estate in turn. "I think it'd be useful to have a signal so that we can alert each other when we should execute the distraction. I could transform and create a lot of light, if that would suit you and the others outside, Millie?"

    She's referring to a form that seems to have been granted to her as part of her seeming godhood -- where her body could shift to that of an angel's, bright and burning like the sun. In the midst of the setting sun like this, it'd probably be pretty hard to miss.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Millie looks sceptical at Nithras' suggestion. She listens while Rem and Shen agree with their dragonic friend, but still seems skeptical. "I don't like the idea of chaos outside if we can avert it. You're going to make the guards panic. Guards do stupid things when they panic. Like try to appease the 'monster' by throwing slaves at it for meat. Or kill them to make sure there's no one left to bear witness to what happened here."

    Perhaps overly bleak. But after what happened in town, Millie is not in the mood for more civilian casualties. Still, she tries to smile at Nithras, "If you want go loud, go with Qotho and Rem, and save it for Zu. We'll likely need your strength to get through his magical protection, if it comes to a fight." She grins at the other two Dulimbians in the party, clenching her fist with a confident look in her eyes. "I'm sure Shen, Po and I can take down as many of the courtyard guards as we need to, especially if Po can get me to a good vantage point. You just focus on drawing guards into the meeting so we've got less threatening the slaves."

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    "I suppose it would be best to get the lay of the land first," says Nithrias, "it's a shame, I was looking forward to scattering fools like so much wheat before the scythe of my divine fury."

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    "W-huh?" Po stammers as you discuss your plan in front of him, his eyes widening. "You have a dragon on your side? An actual dragon? Large and scaley, head like a boar with antlers? That kind of dragon?" It seems that the poor man is about to keel over, and he actually has to prop himself against a tree when it becomes clear to him that you really do want to bring in a dragon and jump over the wall.

    It only brings him back to reality when he overhears that you want to bring him along on the mission, as well as Nithrias bragging about his divine nature. "Divine fury? You are genuine made gods, like the ones in the east?" While the comparison is not exactly flattering, you are all more or less aware that he is referring to the Thousand Gods, a region of jungle kingdoms ruled over by countless, feuding, patched-together divinities. Their well known tyrannical nature may account for why Po is currently shaking in his boots.

    Spoiler: Shen and Nithrias
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    Born in Dulimbai, it comes to your minds that the founder of your nation many eons ago was a Made God known as the True King. His teachings still form the base principles of Dulimbaian culture, and to this day the Emperor swears loyalty to him, though of course nobody knows if the True King himself is even alive anymore.

    Reminding Po of a more virtuous example of divinity may serve to calm him, or perhaps even trick him into ascribing you more authority than you really have.


    Quickly, the broad-shouldered man turns to Millie, wringing his hands fearfully. "Y-You should not take me with you! I''ll die for sure if I try to fight against that many! There's a good spot on a balcony up high, though. I c-can just point it out to you!" For all his fear and general dimness, Po has a point. A single stray arrow or spear could be the end of him in that estate.
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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.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Millie looks almost disgusted at Po's fearful expression. She can't fault the lout's logic, but his courage could use some work. Disappointing, though far from surprising. He's hardly the first self proclaimed tough the Curse Eater's known to drop their posturing of strength when faced with long odds. Millie raises an eyebrow, shooting the thug a caustically quizzical look. "Weren't you planning to break out one of the girls and run away with her? And you're going to hang back in the face of danger rather than stick with us?"

    The Republican seems quite unimpressed. Still, arguing and criticism is pointless. With a sigh, Millie offers Po her hand, giving the terrified thug the most human smile she can manage. "Come with me to the balcony. It'll be far safer than the courtyard, and having someone watch the door in case of reinforcements would be useful. All you have to do is call to me if someone's coming so they don't surprise me. With a little luck you won't have to raise a finger."

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    Rem couldn't blame Po's reaction, honestly; it must have been a shock for him to encounter divinities. She thinks for a moment how she'd react if she were still the ailing girl she was prior to their encounter with the dying god. "You should also tell us what Ming looks like. It would help us identify her amongst a crowd," as she tries to orient him back towards his own goals rather than his panic.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    "Less like those Made Gods, but hopefully like the True King. Time will tell, but have faith in us," says Shen, clapping Po on the shoulder before turning back and continuing his scan of the perimeter. As Rem spoke up, Shen glanced at her, nodding in agreement. "I was expecting to save that for after we'd dealt with Zu and his men, but knowing what she looks like before we head in would be a good idea."

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    "Do not worry, friend Po," says Nithrias, wearing his trademark beatific smile, "it is a very friendly dragon."

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    In response to Millie's snark, Po shuffles nervously aside to get either Shen or Rem in-between her and him. Luckily, it appears that the combined efforts of her and Shen do calm him down a little, and his stance relaxes.

    "Like the True King? I guess you are just trying to help. And somebody like me, too..." The thug's head lowers for a moment, the corners of his mouth drooping, before he gives you an understanding nod. "Okay, I'll come with you if that's what I need to do to get Ming out of there." You get the feeling that his response is partially motivated by guilt, and partially by him being more scared of you than he is of the people inside the estate.

    As Rem speaks up, Po turns to her, his head tilted. "Ming? She's pretty small and thin, with fine features like an official's wife. She has a very bad cough, too, so you can't really miss her."

    His eyes glance towards the manor for a moment, and his fingers reach for the knife at his belt, as if to test that it is still there. When his attention turns back to you, he asks "Is that all you need to know? The sooner we free her, the better."
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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.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    To anyone reading this thread who is not a player, at this point in time our group has lost Qotho's player. For simplicity's sake, this means that we will retcon out Qotho and his involvement in the story, and have Millie be the one to accompany Rem instead of him.


    As for you, my players, I will rush through the parts that set up the meeting with Zu here, just to ensure that we don't have to split the party for very long once again.


    As you all voice your agreement to go ahead with the plan, Po gives a faint sigh of relief. "Alright then." he says, before gesturing for Rem to come towards him. "You're gonna have to give me your weapons for this to work. I'll tie your arms up, too, but not too hard. You'll be able to slip out easily enough if you need to."

    With no other recourse but to comply should you want your plans to succeed, Rem hands over what little weaponry she has for self-defence, comforted by the knowledge that at least she has her powers and those of Millie to fall back on in the worst case scenario. Afterwards, as required, Po binds her wrists behind her back with a length of rope, though she can feel how loose the bindings really are. From the perspective of everyone else, they look convincing enough at a cursory examination, which should be enough with a person who looks outwardly as frail as Rem does.

    Then, with everything prepared, Rem, Millie and Po head back over to the road and begin their march towards the estate of Big Feet Zu, while Nithrias and Shen move to circle around the compound's back.




    Rem, Millie and Po

    As you approach the front gate and the guards standing there, you are greeted by several sneers and spears lazily pointed in your direction. There is confidence in numbers, it seems. One of the guardsmen, a big fellow with bushy brows, calls out to the one individual among you he knows. "Po, what are you doing here? Who are these women? Brought some entertainers for the night shift?"

    In response, Po gives a rather awkward looking shrug, smiling sheepishly. "Sorry, but these are customers. Found them while in Gongfang. They're from Raktia, and the woman in black wants to sell the other one here as a slave." For all his lack of solid acting ability, at least his bluff sounds convincing enough.

    Luckily, given the way that the other bandit smirks at the explanation, it appears that it did the trick. "Hah! That's a fine haul there, Oxhead! The old man will give you a bonus for that. Guess you're not completely useless, huh?" The taunt causes the other men around to chuckle, which Po quickly joins in on, though not without offering the suggestion first that the guardsman should put his own spear somewhere rather inappropriate.

    "Fine, we'll tell him about it." the man says once the laughter has died back down. Then, he points at Millie, or more specifically at the rifle she carries on her back. "You're gonna have to give us that gun, though. Don't want you making any trouble, right?" Knowing full well that you can simply summon your weapon back to your hands at any point in time, there is no reason not to comply. Were Millie not so intrinsically dour, it may even take some effort to suppress a smile as she does.

    As one of the men takes the rifle from her, another quickly hurries inside to set up the meeting with Zu. You wait for a few minutes until he returns, giving confirmation that the crime lord does indeed want to see you. With that, you are lead into the compound and towards the manor. You step past the busily working servants and not so busy guards, quickly entering the opulent house of Zu. The slaves are well out of sight, though you suspect that some of the servants must be here less than willingly. You are led up stairs and through corridors of polished wood, adorned with fittings of gold and pieces of fine art, porcelain vases and statues of Dulimbaian poets. Were it not all surely stolen from other people, it might be pretty impressive.

    Soon, however, you are brought to a little balcony, where Big Feet Zu waits for you along with four of his bandit guards. He sits on the cushioned floor, an elderly man in fine gold-threaded robes, with only a short white beard of hair. Between that and his wrinkles and crooked shape, he must be at the very least in his late seventies. A mouth full of stained yellow teeth smirks at you as you enter, and he turns for a moment to take a deep breath from an opium pipe that is set up next to him. Meanwhile, his eyes examine you with an almost palpable coldness, the way a butcher would look at a dead animal.

    Spoiler: Rem
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    Having spent some time in servitude to a noblewomen, and being as capable in the healing arts as you are, you recognize that Zu's teeth are as crooked as they are due to lifelong abuse of opium and similar drugs. It's quite frankly a miracle he has lived to be as old as he is.


    And there, around his neck, hangs a faintly glowing fragment of a jade circle, the fabled amulet that grants him invulnerability according to Po.

    Except, of course, that's not what it does at all. You are not quite sure how, or why, the knowledge of this enters your heads. It is simply something you become aware of instinctively. That amulet that Zu is wearing around his neck is a Celestial Shard, a broken piece of heaven filled to the brim with divine energy. Just looking at it makes your mouths water, and for a moment you have a hard time concentrating on anything else. With its energy, you could make the impossible possible.

    Of course, in its current form, it has precisely no effect whatsoever. Zu's protective charm is utterly worthless to him.

    Unaware of this revelation, Zu himself proceeds to greet you, his voice sharp and thin, but with a courteous tone. "Well met, my dear guest. Please, have a seat, take a sip from the pipe. From what my servants tell me, you have brought business for us to discuss?"




    Shen and Nithrias

    As the rest of the party heads towards the front gates, you continue sneaking towards the underbrush towards the river. It takes you a bit of time, but a short walk upstream you finally find a grown-over point that you can cross unseen, and a quick leap of the monk god takes you over with no problems.

    From there, you sneak towards the back of the compound, moving up as close as you can. To your annoyance, however, the growth is less thick between where you are hidden and where the wall is. Only a single bandit guards on top, but to jump over you will definitely have to risk exposure to his sight. Still, he is unlikely to be able to do anything about it at that point.

    For now, all that remains is to plot, and to wait.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-03-23 at 08:42 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.

  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Rem quietly hands over... a dinky little dagger that doesn't look like it's seen much combat. She thinks a little bit to how she wasn't much of a fighter before divinity, and even Millie's best attempts to teach her some self-defence wound up being a bit sad, then actually sad as she got sicker and sicker. She places her hands back and quietly lets them be bound, nodding very quietly as she murmurs, "I trust you all... let's do this."

    The approach to the guardsmen proves to not need acting from Rem - her time as effectively all but a slave in name rather brings back unpleasant memories as she scuffs her feet and whines softly. She has to remind herself that it's different now.

    Big Feet Zu's presence does prompt a quiet reaction from her, biting her lip as she both quivers a little under his gaze but also... the way his teeth shape. She's seen it before, many times. People who wouldn't listen to her, well on their way to destroying themselves with the substances they often trade in.

    And that amulet...

    A broken piece of heaven. Tension fills Rem's body as she quietly wonders how it is she knows of it, but says nothing. How was it so that their destinies were so altered and power granted to them... but only questions mounted in their wake?

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    You idiot. You stupid, worn out, toothless good for nothing idiot. That amulet is worth more than this entire mansion. You could've traded it for almost anything with the right buyer! The Republic would pay top dollar for anything that could help fix the Etheric Nodes...

    The Republic would pay...


    Millie has to take a moment to adjust to this. Rational thought has almost left her head between exasperation and shock at this discovery. She closes her eyes, breathing deeply as images of her throttling Zu play out in her mind. A Celestial Shard might be her ticket back to the Bright Republic, a cushy job and a life of ease. It's not some vague, impractical dream of a way home. It's the thing the Republic wants more than any other item in the world, sitting right in front of her. And the old man holding it could do nothing to stop her like this. He's a slaver, a criminal, a wretched waste of flesh surrounded by underpaid local toughs. No one would care if she killed him, if she just opened fire right here and now and layed this entire building to waste!

    No. One person would care. Damn it.

    Millie looks to the young Raktine girl beside her. She'd asked for a chance to talk to Zu, to the slavers. To give them an opportunity to change their ways. She'd been willing to put on the slave act to make sure they could get through the front door. Name of the one, she will not let Rem have gone through all of that degrading wretchedness for nothing!

    The shard can come later. Opening her eyes again, Millie bows her head. "Beg pardon, sir, but your folks got it wrong. I'm just an escort, if I'm telling you the truth. The one who came to speak to you is my friend here." Only Rem will catch the shift in the Curse Eater's voice. Millie sounds different, as if part of some other world for a second. She steps back, putting a hand to Rem's shoulder and giving her friend a confident grin before whispering in her ear. "C'mon Remmie. If anyone can do this, it's you."

    And if things go wrong, I've got your back. I'm with you until the last stop of the line.

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Rem, Millie and Po

    As Millie reveals the truth, an uneasy quietness descends upon the room. Zu himself does not seem all too disturbed, but his guards certainly shuffle about nervously, as does Po. Some of the bandits begin to raise their weapons, but their leader stops them by simply raising his hand.

    "Po, you have vouched for these two. It is very unfortunate that you lied. That will have consequences." he proclaims matter-of-factly, his smile not leaving his lips. Then, he turns his attention back on Rem, observing more curiously now. "Still, I am willing to listen. One so bold as you must have strong reasons."

    Stroking his beard, he patiently waits for an answer. It seems as though he is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt for now.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Just wanted to give a minor update to the IC. No need to feel rushed, given that Merilan is currently still in Japan.
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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.

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem lets drop her cloak, and shimmies softly out of her binds; no need for them now, that she was going to speak. No, even before that...

    Her eyes close as she lets her thoughts and feelings sink into the same space as when she first reached her spark of divinity. In a moment, the sun's light is upon the room at her chest as white feathered wings furl around her in a protective, cocoon-like embrace.

    "My name is Rem, and I am but one such newly divine being."

    Her wings spread as that light spreads further; she looks taller, her vestments have changed to the magical regalia of that of an archangel. A subtle crown seats atop of her hair, long and flowing.

    "I have come here to ask you to stop this cruel business of slavery." She purses her lips for a moment, and says, "The business which has so destroyed your own life to the drug that you take. I can heal you too, that you would not have to suffer the rest of your life in pain. But this..."

    She glances around, but then back towards Zu, "This cannot continue. Not for the ailing, who only desperately seek shelter and sustenance. Not for you."

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    As Rem reveals her true form, the bandits shrink back, weaponry now held at the ready.

    "She's an angel!"

    "Is she going to kill us?"

    "You idiots, don't make her angry!"

    Even Zu is visibly taken aback, and he drops onto his back for a moment in sheer shock. He quickly hurries onto his feet with all the speed his withered old body can muster, though he soon relaxes when the goddess wishes are revealed to him.

    "D-do forgive my shock, Lady Rem." A nervous smile is back on his face, less certain than his earlier expression at the situation. "I do not often receive visits of beings such as yourself."

    Then, he sighs, slightly lowering his head. "While I do appreciate your straightforwardness, however, you ask a lot of me. My business is quite lucrative, as you surely have noticed, and giving up on it would greatly reduce my income. Besides, cruel though it may be, it is also perfectly legal." Despite him reiterating Rem's verdict of slavery, there is not a hint of remorse in his voice.

    "However, perhaps we could help one another. I've no need of a healer, as I already am aided by the medicines of an esteemed sorcerer and taoist."

    Spoiler: Millie
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    Dulimbaian Taoists are well known for their efforts at immortality research. Though there are dozens of different schools among them, all of them know some way or another of bolstering ones body. Archmages of the Taoist schools can live up to 120 years in perfectly good health so long as they live according to principles of sincerity and simplicity, and avoid the consumption of cereal grains.


    "Still, if you are as powerful as you say, you could take care of a far more tangible threat to my health. Lady Rem, have you heard of a deity called the Golden Lord?"
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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

    The bandits' shocked reaction does prompt surprise from Rem, though she tries to hide that she's not used to this.

    Rem stares back towards Zu, her lips thinning. "These people deserve better than shackles and forced labour. Nobody should be exposed to slavery," she expresses firmly. "It is deep unfortunate that the laws of the land have allowed such corruption of basic life to spread. Please do not try our patience, Mister Zu."

    Her eyes narrow very gently, when he talks about a sorcerer of his own, though. She looks to Millie for advice, but blinks as he brings a name up.

    "The Golden Lord? No, I do not know of such a being..."

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Millie watches quietly as another piece of the puzzle clicks into place. The Republican snorts to herself - of course this wretch was tied to the same scumbag that the magistrate was in hock to. He likely gouged the prices enough for Xiao to look into a fresh source of 'subjects'. With a toothy smirk, Millie steps forward shaking her head, "If this sorcerer of yours is that 'Ephemeral Sage' Real Man Xiao I'd advise against relying on his medicine. It's turned at least one woman into a crazed spectre who went to her death shrieking his name while trying to slay the magistrate who sent her to him."

    She meets Zu's gaze, winking at the old criminal, "I wonder if any of those spectres are on their way to you?"

    It's honest advice: more than the blackguard deserves, but it's in service of Rem's attempt to show him the error of his ways. Millie takes a step back, leaning against the rail of the balcony and looking out at the view. "You might want to double your guard. And foresware your occupation. I'm a Curse Eater by trade, and the magic in that amulet of yours?"

    Before the guards can stop her, Millie's withdrawn a glass vial from her inner jacket pocket. With a flick of her finger, she pops the cork stopper out, letting a noxious black smoke rise out into the room. The bottled curse rises up, an ominous cloud that settles in place briefly above the small assembly before being pulled downwards. It's as if some swift tornado sucks the magical vapour down towards the floor, coils of it flow into Zu's opium pipe, running through it and rushing up into the old rogue's mouth and nose before he can so much as react.

    Millie shakes her head, smiling at the grim spectacle before her. "It's nothing that special."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Millie just used her Curse Eater magic! She has two Low Magic spells prepared, noted on her sheet. This is a Greater Curse, designed to render Zu unable to enjoy any material pleasure. Fine food tastes like ash, he'll cough on Opium, every cushion in his house will feel like jagged rocks. He'll no longer be able to enjoy any of his ill gotten gains. That's not technically given as an example of how curses work, and I'll go a different way if you'd rather 'boldi, but it seems to fit genre wise.

    And I can't find anything noting if he gets a save against this.

    And hey. Millie just showed him that he's not as protected against curses as he thought. Zu should be thanking her, then paying her extra for a better protection charm. That's how this works, right?

  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Zu meets Rem's gaze with slight hesitation, his mood not yet having fully tipped over into uncertainty. "I understand you are quite passionate about this. Do understand that it is not so easy for a man in my position to give up on a major source of income, however. Please, I am sure we can come to a deal."

    As soon as the goddess expresses interest in hearing more about the Golden Lord, he latches on. "He is a godling much like yourselves." Zu explains, gesturing towards the party. "Or at least, so his disciples claim. I have not met him myself. Supposedly he has returned from the dead after a thousand years of slumber, to punish the corrupt and wicked." His forehead wrinkles up and his expression darkens as he continues to speak. "Normally I would not pay much mind to the fantasies of impoverished xiaoren, but fact is that a camp of these cultists managed to wipe out a crew of mine who stumbled upon them just a week ago, using mystical martial arts. As such, they do worry me."

    It is then that Millie speaks up, tearing the bandit chief from his thoughts. "W-...wha-..specters? He must be getting careless." he mutters to himself, his eyes widening.

    At this, Po actually taps Millie on shoulder, trying to deliver a warning "Hey, don't taunt him like that. You don't know what he's gonna do!" he whispers, carelessly loud enough for most everyone to overhear.

    Even so, however, his warning is ignored, and the sorceress works her curse on the defenceless criminal mastermind. Zu only manages to open his eyes in terror before the smoke shoots into his mouth and nostrils, leaving him choking pathetically. He doubles over in pain, shuffling away from you in a panic as Po struggles to draw his blade and everyone else pulls up their spears.

    "ACK! CAGH! UARGH! Get them! Get them, you worthless idiots! Guards! HUACK!" he just about manages to get out between coughs. Already on the case, the four guards in the room charge you, spears levelled. Out in the corridor, you hear the heavy footsteps of more warriors approaching. The old man, meanwhile, is trying to move towards a door at the other end of the room, eager to escape.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Aaaaaaand time for combat! As is the rule, you get to go first. I would recommend sending a signal to Shen with one of your actions so he can participate.
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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.

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    As the spears rush forward, guards faces wreathed in anger, the errant Curse Eater does not seem upset. Instead she chuckles to herself

    "Pitiful."

    There's a rumbling sound, followed by a thwoom as the bandits are about to close with the group. The first guard stumbles backwards, tumbling and falling against the wall as his friends turn, shocked. Millie's hand is wreathed in spectral force, edys of energy swirling across her balled fist. The red headed Curse Eater grins. She'd tried to avert this, but... Rem had given these fools their chance.

    "We're doing things the hard way then!"

    Spoiler
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    Committing 1 Effort to Rain of Sorrows to have my Fray dice target every enemy I can reach
    Omnipresent Reach brings my reach to 'line of sight'



    Assuming these are regular mortals, Millie may not even have to take an action to deal with the bandits currently threatening us. But I could roll a 1 here, so...

    (1d8)[4]

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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    The warriors are approaching as things break down; Zu is escaping, but first things first, they needed to deal with the guards. As someone who wasn't even a fighter before, Rem shouldn't overestimate what she's capable of. And what she's capable of...

    "Stand down. Please," Rem speaks with verve tinged in her voice; hers is the calm, yet still radiant side of the sun, embodied through the personae of an archangel who wishes no bloodshed unless it were utterly required. As if to illustrate the point, she holds her hand out to the nearest of the guards to settle them down into a calm, pacified state.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'm having Rem 'attack' using her glow to sap the guards' fighting spirit as we discussed a while back! I'll use the Fray dice for this, if that's ok.

    (1d8)[3]

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