The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "A fine name' Starislav agree shortly.
    "It's not exactly my ideals, but they are noble enough. I'll follow.'
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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    The Dulimbaians gathered in this room listen quietly to what Rem has to say, captivated by the goddess voice. There is fervor and determination to what she says, a force of personality that she could not have mustered in a previous life. In some of their eyes, she sees faint flickers of hope flaring up, ignited by her own radiance. Yet even those who do not agree enthusiastically appear to be lost in thought.

    "You sound much like a Patrian." Says the family elder finally, his brow furrowed with worry. "Would you have us worship the Creator, and abandon our ancestors? And would you have us surrender to the warlike barbarians to the north?"

    Both of you are roughly aware that what he is speaking of is the still ongoing conflict between the Dulimbaian Regency and the bordering Patrian Empire. The two nations have been at war since the days of the Shattering, when Heaven and the mortal realms were torn to the pieces they are today. Indeed, the Church of the One is still the state religion of the Patrians, teaching that the Creator will one day return and that all should serve his doctrine of kindness, purity and lawfulness. You two having been born in Raktia and Nezdhova, respectively, would know this as the religion of your parents, perhaps even your own.

    Ming, for her part, looks expectantly at Rem, waiting for her to answer. Po, however, is quick to turn to Starislav, seeking a way to diffuse the situation. "W-wait, Bogatyr! What were your ideals? Maybe some of us would like them more?" While the situation does not feel nearly as tense as the nervous thug seems to think, he may have hit upon something. Perhaps some of your followers would align more with the perspective of a warrior?
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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.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Starislav were surprised at the attention he somehow attracted.
    "You must be aware... sadly, I am not an ideal champion of the Bogatyr ideals. I 'ave an evil beast inside of me, I barely contain.
    he paused, holding his beard lost in thoughts.
    "But I try. I try to be a true bogatyr, like our ancient k'heroes were.' he stopped again.
    "Bogatyrs 'ave to be strong. Defend the common people and serve their motherland with love. Stop evil where ever it dare to show it's ugly face.'
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem regards the family elder quietly. It isn't an unfair thought to have, and very much these people are shaped by the conflicts that scar their land.

    "Would it be heretical of me to say I wish for my values to be free of allegiance to a country or religion? My parents were once worshippers of the Creator, I admit. But I cannot deny that I am an outsider, a foreigner here." Her face becomes more resolved as she admits, "I am already imposing much with my own beliefs. I cannot in good conscience ask you to discard yours as well, for I believe there is so much wonder for people to hold their own views and beliefs."

    A pause, as she glances to Starislav. "I will do all that I can to help you, my friend. I admit I am but a fledgling tempering these thoughts into something that must be tested, to become mature." A pause. "I believe that you can achieve the values of a Bogatyr."

    She closes her eyes. "... and to that end, elder, allow me to answer the more pressing concern: if it ever becomes necessary that we need to defend ourselves, if diplomacy and discussion and compassion have all failed us, then I will fight for you, no matter how much it wounds my heart."

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Once more, your words appear to pacify the worried Dulimbaians, the family patriarch offering you an understanding nod after all that you have said. "Perhaps it is not my place to question divine wisdom, even when it comes from a foreigner. You are already showing great consideration for us and our customs." With a faint wave, he gestures at Starislav.

    "What I do know is that, whatever a true Bogatyr may look like, your friend is a man of filiality and duty. If a man so dedicated to filling his role is loyal to you, and you would swear to protect our communities, I see no reason to fear you." And oddly enough, just like that, a quiet seems to come over the gathered family. It appears as though his verdict was the deciding one in this matter.

    While Po exhales in relief, Ming gives Starislav an encouraging knock in the side. "If grandfather decides it is alright, then it is alright. Well done, you two!" It seems that at least in this situation, the Dulimbaian culture has made your goals a bit easier to accomplish. If you emphasize the same points from now on, it should not be difficult to convince the rest of your network to adopt your ideas for themselves.

    Spoiler: Rem OOC
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    So, going by the guidelines from the Lexicon, it sounds like your "cult" has

    • no specialised priesthood
    • no daily obligations
    • free initiation
    • some relatively stern prohibitions like not allowing slavery, which is usually accepted in Dulimbaian culture
    • a clear duty to fight hatred and cruelty, which they may encounter on a regular basis


    All in all, that would put it just barely at the most relaxed level of cult possible, which means it grants you Dominion equal to its Power each month. Since your cult is only village-sized, its Power is 1, and that's how much Dominion you gain each time. However, it also does not come with any intrinsic problems.

    As a faction, these would be its stats:

    The Redeemers

    Power: 1
    Action Die: 1d6
    Cohesion: 1
    Trouble: 0
    Features:
    • Lady Rem brings us hope for the future

    Problems:
    -

    Does that all sound alright with you?


    After a few moments, when things have settled back down again, Po turns back to you, a question on his lips. "So, what's the plan with the Golden Lord? Are you just gonna walk into one of his camps?"
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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.

  6. - Top - End - #186
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    That sounds fine with me, thank you!


    "I feel quite honoured to have the friendship and trust of a man like Starislav," Rem quietly nods. And she does mean it -- she values his traditions as well as wishes to support him in his struggles to contain the beast within.

    With regards to the Golden Lord, however...

    "I'd like to speak to him," Rem answers Po. "Just based on what we know so far, it's likely we have some common cause. I would rather have an ally in him and his forces than an enemy. We know where they are likely to reside at present..."

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Starislav blush under his beard, from all the support.
    The beast like oaf of man, didn't cared for powerful people, nor danger.
    But he couldn't handle compliments well.
    He was happy for the change of subject.
    [B]"Well, from what I k'have seen, the rulers of this land, hate anything that give the commoners 'ope. I think as well, we should try and befriend him.'/B]
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    "R-Right." Po stammers, staring dumbly for a moment as he tries to figure out how to rephrase his question. Finally, a jolt goes through him as his mind comes up with something, and words begin to flow from his mouth.

    "N-no, wait! I get t-that you want to work with him, but he's a rebel leader, whoever he really is. Those guys don't just trust anyone. I don't think he'll show his face just because you show up."

    When you look at Ming, she shrugs her shoulders at this. "He does have a point. Do you have any divine powers that would let you find him, or anything you could do to show him that you're on his side?"

    "Worst comes to worst, I guess you could have one of his followers relay messages to him. But that'll depend on how you'll approach them."
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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.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I guess we'l send a message through k'his followers. There is no need to play kh'ide and seek."
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem glances to Starislav gently, then back towards Po and Ming. "I could fly to locate their camp." Her wings wiggle very gently behind her as she says, "Though in terms of coming in peaceable terms... I was meaning to offer my usual services, of healing and ridding them of disease should that be an issue."

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    "That even better.' Starislav agreed with a nod.
    "....I..." he pause. "I guess, I could fly too. But.. " he looks at few dark oily tiny scales on the back of his hand
    "My flying for'm might... provoke 'ostility."
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    "Well, we do know where they're at already. But it might be a good idea to sneak up and spy on them first. You could try and figure out where they have their boss at. They'll probably ask you to prove your intentions somehow, though."

    Spoiler: Starislav
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    Po is absolutely right. From your own experiences meeting rebels who fought against the Autokossaks in your native Nezdhova, they are a paranoid bunch. If you meet them without concrete proof of your allegiance, they'll probably first give you some kind of deniable task to prove yourselves.

    However, it's up to you whether you'll try and bring some proof or simply wait and see what the rebels will ask of you.


    Ming, meanwhile, gently puts her hand on Starislav's wrist, looking up at the warrior's face. "Do not worry, Starislav. The woods are thick, and we know where their camps are currently. Rem need only fly quietly among the treetops, and she should be back within a few hours.

    Just make sure that the magistrate's men do not see you leave. They may get suspicious if they notice you heading into the woods. Perhaps you could use some magical disguise or beguile the guards somehow."
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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.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem quietly thinks of Ming's suggestion. "I possess a relation to both the sun and the skies. Perhaps it is possible for me to blend in with such elements of nature?" is the first thing that comes to mind. She's been so interested in using her powers to heal and inspire that she honestly hasn't used them much for disguise and subterfuge, but better it comes now than later.

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    I'm thinking of using a Miracle of some kind to disguise myself using the Sun/Sky domain to move in/out of the city; would that be possible?

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    "Bah. Secrecy or not, the governor is of no concern." Starislav waved it off.
    "But we will be prepared for any move from aby faction."
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    "I will go soon. Starislav, please protect the people while I scout."

    With her course of action prepared, Rem bids farewell as she drapes herself in a simple and unassuming cloak and sneaks out the back; when she's satisfied no one outside is looking, she focuses on her power. Not the powers of healing, for now, but those that associate her with a disciple of the heavens-- both the skies and the sun, as she focuses on the very sensation of sunlight around her... for a moment she disappears, and those looking would find their eyes briefly blinded as if some unpleasant and rude bit of sunlight just reflected off a plate or some other metallic surface.

    And she is gone, soaring into the air! Oh, how wonderful it felt to actually fly; cascaded by sunlight and the verdant blue skies, she surrounds herself with the cloud as camouflage. Her form seems to be just a little bit hazier and mist-like as she goes from cloud to cloud, seeking out the camp of the Golden Lord as highlighted by her intel. What can she learn here...?

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Protected by the blinding light of the sun, Rem takes off into the air unseen. While a few of Magistrate Li's constables find themselves suddenly having to cover their eyes as the sun shines into them from seemingly impossible angles, it all happens too fast for them to figure out that there is foul play at work. And with nobody knowing the actual extent of your powers, they are unlikely to get suspicious either.

    For the next few hours, all the way until shortly after noon, Rem flies over the countryside, checking out the forest camps of the Golden Lord that she has been made privy too. Careful to stay out of sight, she spies on them from afar, noting their contents and inhabitants.

    The camps themselves are rather small, being composed of only a few crude bamboo huts inhabited by never more than two dozen people. Men, women and children all live here in these small communities, entire families from what it looks like. They don't appear to have any fields or other obvious means of feeding themselves, and seem to spend the vast majority of their time being instructed in either martial arts or the Golden Lord's religion. From what little you can overhear up above, there seems to be a focus on overcoming personal afflictions and ignoring pain. Their teachers look to be monks covered head to toe in freakish amounts of scars, of whom there are between 2 to 4 per camp. Unlike the peasants who they instruct, they move with a deadly speed and precision, the kind you've seen only from experienced Curse Eaters and mighty warriors you've meet in your travels.

    However, despite these monks being everywhere, Rem cannot seem to spot anyone who would be even above them, nor anyone who could fit the moniker of a 'Golden Lord'. If he truly exists, it would seem that he does not actually live within one of the camps.

    As she flies, Rem happens to notice another thing of interest. While passing over Big Feet Zu's mansion, she sees a large group of the magistrate's constables, gathering up the crime boss' ill-gotten gains on a pair of carts. They don't look to be too happy with their worker, occasionally looking inside drawers and chests and always groaning in disappointment when they do. It appears they are disgruntled that you already took all the easy pickings that they could have taken for themselves.
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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.

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem's initial foray into the camps looks positive. Families live here; there wasn't exactly something akin to cruelty or slavery, though she takes note of the focus on martial arts and faith. The scars on the monks draw her eye though -- she isn't certain whether it's scars they've endured from battle or something self-inflicted. They look to be particularly dangerous foes, if it ever came to that. Hmm...

    Where could the Golden Lord be? Or was the title not referring to a person at all? Curiouser and curiouser. The topic of Big Foot Zu's manor is interesting too, but perhaps something to press the Magistrate on later if he were to cause a ruckus.

    She draws a little bit closer to try to listen in on some of the conversation when she finds some of the Monks teaching. If not information, then some of their doctrine would be interesting, to see if there was an incompatibility between their ways...

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    I'm going to try to sneak a little closer!

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    Though she has no particular training in matters of stealth, Rem's natural grace and speed allow her to land silently amidst the underbrush, from where she can sneak closer to one group of cultists as they listen to a sermon by one of the monks. They all seem to be fairly distracted, luckily, allowing the goddess to listen in on them from her more nearby cover.

    "-and so the Junzi have hurt you deeply, brothers and sisters!" The monk speaks to the men and women who each sit before him in an unmoving lotus position, their hands clasped in prayer. "Through their greed and decadence, they bring corruption into the world! Through your connection to this world, the corruption enters you and brings you suffering! But will you despair? Will you surrender?"

    In unison, the cultists answer, not moving an inch from their position otherwise. "We will not flinch in the face of pain."

    "Within you is a font of wisdom and serenity, free of corruption. Through your original will, you shall overcome your afflications, and you shall disregard your suffering."

    Again, the cultists give their answer. "Our will is the source of all strength. It will cast off our shackles."

    Suddenly, the monk shouts "Behold!" From his belt, he draws forth a dagger, letting its steel glimmer in the light. In a clearly ritualistic manner, he holds out his arm for all to see. Then, without hesitation, he stabs the dagger into his hand, and drags it upwards from there. Even as blood runs down his body, his face shows no pain, and he even continues his sermon as if to make a point. "The Golden Lord has awakened the original will within myself. He has taught me discipline, and shown me the path to enlightenment. Through his teachings, I fear no Junzi, and I fear no soldier!"

    As he finishes drawing the dagger along his body, another monk brings him a bowl of water, in which the preacher proceeds to calmly wash his weapon.

    "Those who are faithful to the Golden Lord, and those who are of untainted resolve shall be invincible. No ailment shall bother you, and no corrupt official shall have power over you. Praise be to the Golden Lord! Ours is the Unfettered Will!"

    "Praise be to the Golden Lord! Ours is the Unfettered Will!"

    "Rise now, brothers and sisters. You have much yet to learn, and we will teach you."

    At this point, the cultists finally move from their positions, getting up and readying themselves for what looks like it will be more combat practise. They'll probably become more attentive now, so it may be a good idea to get out while Rem still can.

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    Rem slips away without a second thought more, frownign quietly. She wonders to herself if this is the way all beings blessed with godhood might wind up going at one point or another. Will she be like that? Instilling a doctrine on people so firmly... she's having second thoughts now. The unfettered will... was that really the way the relationship between mortals and those with shards of godhood are destined to go?

    Assuming that she isn't spotted, Rem quietly slips back through the clouds before too long, back towards the city. She's careful to not re-enter through the same way should some of the guards have suspected something, but once more -- it is another flash of sunlight that draws her down to the street and towards Ming's parents' home.

    "I have returned," she speaks quietly, a frown on her voice. She relays what she has seen -- the doctrine she has been able to glimpse, the way the camps are organised to skilled monks and families living in crude places that follow them... and the Golden Lord's absence. This complicates matters somewhat.

    "... if we are to pursue this matter further, we may need to speak to one of his monks. That may..." she glances aside. "That may come to conflict. I am uncertain."

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    The bearded grimm warrior, lightened up, when Rem has returned.
    "By the Motherland! I was worried!' he stop and nod.
    "There is no need for worry. We shall speak. At failure we shall strike. No point to overthink it. What should we know beforkh'and?'
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    "I ... well, I was not able to actually locate the Golden Lord," Rem explains. "It is right now unknown to me whether that means he is hiding, in disguise, or whether or not he even is in the same place as his followers. As for what we should know beforehand..."

    She thinks for a moment. "The head monks are extremely skilled, I believe, and they demonstrated a skill through their faith in which they were able to ignore even a dagger stabbed to their palm. So those are likely the most dangerous enemies we will face, if it should come to blows." She furrows her brow. "A lot of the camp dwellers follow their lead, but they are largely impoverished, disenfranchised followers... though they are training them in combat. If at all possible, I do not wish to harm those people, Starislav."

    She looks to Ming as well. "There is also the matter of some of Magistrate Li's men who I saw looting Big Foot Zu's manor. They loaded quite a lot of furniture and art - I ponder if this is a fact we can use to press him. I imagine that the proceeds would go directly to Li's coffers."
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav frown.
    "Maybe it better, if I just TAKE those furniture back?'
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    "That would get you into direct conflict with the magistrate." Ming points out, her arms crossed and in thought. "It's a shame. I doubt he is going to return any of those treasures to their owners."

    "Maybe you could hide your involvement! If nobody knows that you took Zu's riches, you could pin the blame on bandits or someone else."

    Either way, you figure, it's about time you decide. The arrival of Perfected Woman Wen won't wait for you, and if you want to speak to the Golden Lord or his followers before it you should make use of the time you have. Either you'll make a plan to do something about Li's men en-route, or put it off until later and just approach the Golden Lord's camp for now.
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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 - #204
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I am not hiding. I don't care for magistrates. I serve the common folk.' Starislav said decisivly.
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Let's do one thing at a time," Rem advises. "My concern is that we are not yet at the right time to openly move against the magistrate -- like Starislav says I support the common people, but they are the ones who have the most to lose and suffer while we have tasks on our plate."

    Rem looks to the Bogatyr. "Once we can ascertain whether or not we really have allies or enemies with the Golden Lord and his camp, as well as resolve the matter of Real Man Xiao, we will have a clearer picture who supports us and not. Until then, we will gather more evidence of his wrongdoings."

    She looks to Ming in turn. "Could you send message to some of the informants to keep an eye on where the furniture will be headed, and gather evidence as best they can?"

    Spoiler
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    I'm thinking we'll keep with the Golden Lord plot for now, and keep tabs on the furniture since Magistrate Li has dealings happening with Real Man Xiao anyway?

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Starislav nod.
    "You speak with wisdom. Ver'y well. We shall do it your way.'
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  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "I was hoping to finish that poem." Ming grumbles for a moment, but then swiftly relents. "Very well, I will make sure to let everyone know what we are looking for. Whatever Li is planning, we'll figure it out."

    With everything taken care of, you proceed to head into the woods, leaving your allies to the tasks you've delegated to them. Soon, your followers will be proud to call themselves Redeemers, as much as they will be eager to help you with chronicling the magistrate's corruption. Their loyalty to you, you can feel, will ensure it.

    Leaving town is a rather easy task for two gods like you. While Rem once again takes to the skies, unseen by the earthbound constables, Starislav uses some of the magic he has been granted to warp his features and clothing to those of a common Dulimbaian farmer. He is able to pass by the city gates without even being questioned. Once outside and out of sight of the constables, you meet back up, and travel the roads as far as they can take you towards your destination. The sun bears down harshly on your backs, but Rem's mystical connections to its radiance and Starislav's divine toughness leave you unaffected by the discomfort that the heat of the Dulimbaian dry season would usually cause you.

    Soon, you pass into the woods, where you move away from the existing beaten paths and make your way through brush and over side-tracks. The cultists of the Golden Lord are well hidden, but you know where they are at. Within only two hours of leaving town, you approach one of the forest camps, a small community living amidst crude bamboo huts.

    You approach with raised arms and sheathed weapons to demonstrate that you've come peaceably, yet still the immediate reaction of the present cultists is to gather together, some holding weapons, others getting into fighting stances. Women and children are among them.

    One of the monks, his scarred chest barred, approaches you first. There is no hesitation in his movements, and he eyes you with a fearless strictness. "Tell us who you are." he demands with a throaty, raspy voice. "What has brought you here?"

    Another monk, you note, stands among the crowd of cultists. He eyes you warily, though without the same fear that the common believers show.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-10-04 at 10:58 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.

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    "Forgive me. I am sure the poem will be wonderful," Rem chuckles softly to Ming.

    Off to the woods with them, then; she is surprised at how comfortable she has become with the sun - traditionally something that she has had to deal with as much as she relies on it. She approaches without a visible weapon to come peaceably, and yet...

    "... my name is Rem - a godbound of the Redeemers, and this is my companion, the Bogatyr Starislav," she speaks firmly as she lowers her hands. "We are those who seek freedom. Freedom from slavery, from tyranny and fascism. The freedom to choose one's life. The freedom of compassion, kindness and understanding."

    She lifts her head up slightly. "Recently we have unravelled the tyranny of Big Feet Zu and rescued those that would be slaves under him. From there we have heard tales of the Golden Lord - and wished to know if you -- and he -- would share our beliefs in undoing those that have a corrupt thumb upon these lands."

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    As Rem speaks, the monk slowly circles you, silently listening to all that you say. Roots and tangled branches crunch softly under his feet, punctuation each deliberate step he takes. In fact, he only responds once he has made a full rotation. His eyes lock with yours, and he begins to speak.

    "The two godlings. We have heard of you. We have heard of how you've left Big Feet Zu alive despite all he's done, and how you've negotiated with the magistrate behind closed doors." In his voice, you hear a certain amount of venom.

    "You claim that you oppose the corrupt junzi, but how can we trust that you are not simply deceivers in their employ? What proof do you have that this is not a trap for our Lord?"
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-10-07 at 11:40 AM.
    Always look for white text. Always.
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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.

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: [Godbound] Ten Buried Blades IC

    Rem takes note of the roots softly, her brow creasing very softly. They're also well informed...

    "I am not an executioner, but a guide," she answers firmly. "I believe that a God who too eagerly indulges in being a judge to humankind risks losing themselves to divine tyranny. I wish to see the human spirit be unshackled that its common folk may be empowered and enlightened -- that the common folk can decide how to handle its sinners, its wrongdoers. Without oppression from a system that has benefitted the corrupt and wealthy."

    She folds her arms softly.

    "I will be clear -- we are not the Magistrate's allies. Even now we are gathering more and more evidence of their wrongdoing. We do not move yet as we have many under our charge that are still vulnerable and would suffer the most from rash action."

    She looks towards the monk again.

    "We have evidence and leads. We would like to know how the Golden Lord responds."

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