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  • File : 1297028706.jpg-(33 KB, 400x340, AncientGreatWyrm_Red.jpg)
    33 KB Dragon Quest XXXV Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)16:45 No.13806562  
    Wakefulness comes, and your dreams flee. Sadly, as it happens; you're pretty sure there was an interesting, possibly even important one, but that is simply how things are.

    Shifting on your hoard, you stand and begin stalking through the tunnels of your lair; an earthquake a few weeks ago collapsed one or two of your favorite passages, something your lizardmen were eager to remedy. It's proven very effective to let them mine the tunnels, and for you to melt the rock into a cylindrical passage. After which, their crafters and carvers swarm the tunnels, carving their 'religious' symbols and images depicting your might. Their fanatical redecoration efforts seem to appeal to Scinnari; she's recently been more reluctant to dwell within your maze of tunnels and caverns, but has come down frequently to observe your follower's latest work. She seemed particularly pleased with the glyph depicting their master and your chosen consort..

    Pausing briefly to make yourself invisible, you take wing, soaring lazily on the early morning thermals. Mza sprawls before you, the city you've been painstakingly constructing having effectively taken on the island's name. The northern side of the island still has a significant infestation of aberrations, chuul, you believe they're called, but your citizens have been paying mercenaries to hunt them down. Something you'd normally frown on, but they've proven formidable enough that watching a group of would-be dragon slayers stumble into a back of chuul is quite amusing, and watching such events unfold has become a hobby of sorts. It also means you have a constant pool of moderately-skilled mercenaries and adventurers to draw upon, should you so desire it- They've proven invaluable in tracking down this or that, whenever you find yourself desiring something specific.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)16:46 No.13806573
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    Climbing, you reach the summit of your mountain, as always appreciating the view- lower than you'd like, but by far the highest point for dozens of miles in any direction. You circle once more, noting the scattered sails on the horizon, before swooping down to land in the castle's courtyard. You polymorph, and enter the keep. A few of Asha's youngest children scurry out of the way; the older ones merely standing respectfully to either side as you pass.

    Scinnari you find eating breakfast with Asha.

    “And this prince... your half brother? What can you tell me of him?”

    “I... Prince Arranius was... I didn't know him. I was not raised in the palace...” Asha replies hesistantly. Scinnari seems annoyed, but not upset.

    “Yes, but what have you heard of him? You were raised /in/ the court, were you not?”

    “He... is reputed to have sorcerous skill, and be an intelligent politician. The Sultan's favored grandson.” Asha says, barest hint of fear in her voice. She breaks off whens he notices your entrance. “Good morning, my lord.”

    “Morning to you too.” you nod. To Scinnari, you continue, “May I ask what this was about?”

    “Of course. We'll be attending the Sultan's reception, will we not? I wished to find out what dear Asha knew on the subject.”

    “Ah, of course.” you agree.

    “And, as it happens, I would think we should be leaving soon.”


    “Of course! I think we ought to bring a full entourage... as /befitting/ of a king and queen. Don't you? We can teleport, but they would have to leave shortly, if they were to reach Cazranel in time to take the west Road to Tashzmir...”
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)17:16 No.13806847
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    "True. However, teleporting has that... /Style/ that I feel is expected of a sorcerer-king." you counter, teasing. She starts to argue, then realizes that you aren't serious. Or rather, you are serious, but that she will win anyway. "Still. A ship can be arranged." you agree. "Who or what were you interested in bringing?"

    "I... Am sorely tempted to take Asha with us." Scinnari admits, a smile flickering on her face as her gaze lingers on Asha. "To bring a princess to her court as a servant..."

    "Has certain ironic appeal." you agree. "Perhaps. It is... Arrogant, though."

    "Indeed. Hmm... I think, perhaps, an entourage of your lizardmen might be appropriate." she says.

    "Really? Do tell."

    "Well... They know us, are loyal, and seem... extremely competent.

    ""I'm afraid I don't find 'know us' to be under a benefit, as you do." you reply, "I'd hardly like it to get out that the king of Mza is a dragon, particularly the court of Tashz. It would be halfway around the world before we returned home."
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)17:16 No.13806854
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    "Oh?" Scinnari says, standing. She waves Asha away, who gives a small bow and flees, leaving the two of you alone. Scinnari is visibly... rotund. "What, then, do you intend to do about your child?"

    "I'm sorry?" you ask. The change in subject is something of a non-sequitur, but presumably she's been thinking on the subject.

    "Your daughter... or son, it is unlikely to have 'normal' features. If you are set on maintaining your guise as a humanoid sorcerer, you will have to hide her, keep her cloistered like you are ashamed of her. I do not believe such an environment would be.. good." Scinnari says, as if searching for the right word. "Rather, I would not wish to inflict it upon my child were it not necessary."

    "Ah. Of course." you agree, taking a seat. "First, then, may I assume that your request to bring the lizardmen with us was a... way of bringing this up, and not in-and-of-itself important?" you ask smoothly. She halts, and nods. "Very well. I would prefer to refrain from revealing myself to the world at large before it becomes necessary. That said, we are both reputed to be sorcerers of great power. And sorcerous bloodlines are always reputed to be... impure." you say. "I think, likely, it could be easily explained to all but the most suspicious or knowledgeable observers that way."

    "Really." Scinnari says. It's an agreement, though a somewhat reluctant one. This may become an issue, you decide unhappily. Ah, well. At least it has been brought to your attention.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)17:31 No.13807017
    TG seems quiet, too quiet.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)17:32 No.13807039
    Eh, maybe we're all just having a lazy sunday.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)17:36 No.13807083
    Eh, if it becomes an issue we can put our foot down and just tell everyone that she/he is our son/daughter and we'll have no more of it.

    Scinnari's primary protest seems to be that the child shouldn't be cooped up or viewed as illegitimate. I see no reason to do either. It's perfectly okay to openly show our child about, and if anyone questions we just send the secret police after them.

    I don't see what her main objection is here, considering all that.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)17:41 No.13807124
    I will be shocked if our child doesn't have natural shapeshifting abilities. They will either be very strong like ours, letting it polymorph into whatever the hell it wants, or weaker like Scinnari's, giving it at least a couple forms which it can switch between. I'm pretty sure we'd be keeping it safely at the castle at least until it reaches an age at which it can handle itself in public, regardless; by that time it should be able to easily shift into some form that won't attract the kind of attention we don't want. If through some bizarre twist of inheritance it lacks natural shapeshifting abilities, we can magic up a solution to give it some easily enough.

    Don't bring Asha to the party, for crying out loud. That would be utterly nonsensical; flashing what we've done to her at the court of Tashz would not go over well politically unless she was hated for some reason. Also we don't want them to know that we're quite literally breeding hundreds of potential claimants to their throne.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)17:43 No.13807141
    Assure Scinnari that we don't intend to deny that it is our child in any way or to secret him/her away from the public, and that if anyone asks we'll give them the "sorcerer stare down."

    As said in IRC, wizards and sorcerers are known to be both irritable, secretive, and mysterious. They are also very eccentric and weird, with all kinds of magical shit going on that the average peasant would never know about. I would be shocked if it was anything more than idle speculation after it happens... and even then only at the highest levels, and mere tavern gossip at the lower ends. Then after we fully demonstrate that we consider the child ours I see no reason for anyone to pursue it further.

    Weird shit happens with magic users, everyone knows that.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)17:47 No.13807179
    >I'm pretty sure we'd be keeping it safely at the castle at least until it reaches an age at which it can handle itself in public, regardless

    I don't know about this. Clearly we won't be taking the child to state functions when it's a baby; that's simply something that was not done. But I see no reason to keep Scinnari from showing the little bundle of joy to the nobility of Mza.

    Speaking of which, how is that coming along? Is a distinct noble class emerging yet? And I assume that in all laws and such we have made our power is absolute, yes?
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)18:05 No.13807340
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    The trained have become extremely wealthy off of Mza's expansion. On a few occasions, we've extended our personal favor to someone, usually someone working for us (like founding our merchant guild, or the current head thereof, under us,), and the form an unspoken sort of nobility.

    "Please. First of all, any such problems are still distant, and second, the common... ignorance of magic will aid us in this." you soothe, "Besides. I will make very clear that it is mine; anyone who wishes to pursue the point will have to take it up with me." You bare your teeth.

    "That... is reasonable." she admits, sounding somewhat reassured. "I... Very well. In that case, what do you intend for the reception? They likely intend to honor you, at least somewhat, for the hurricane you called upon Azar..." There is that.

    "We can assemble another entourage, though it hardly serves any purpose. I suppose you will want something more refined than what we took to Beren?" you ask. She nods.

    "Tashmir is /only/ the largest court in this corner of the world, my lord. I would hardly wish to show up with a coterie of glorified pirates." she replies. Sadly, she has a point. Well, to be fair, both your navy and city-guard have become full-time institutions, but... Still.

    "I shall see to it." you promise.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:05 No.13807349
    >Speaking of which, how is that coming along? Is a distinct noble class emerging yet?
    Considering how ridiculously tight our grip on Mza is, I should say not. For a noble class to emerge we'd need people of great independent wealth, and we tend to snap up all the free money and money-opportunities that we can. The best we'll get for a long while is a class of relatively merchants, I suspect.

    Anyway. Entourage. I would bring only soldiers and servants/attendants, including lizardmen as part of that if they've proven themselves capable enough in one arena or the other. In years to come we can mix in some of our death cult for situations like this, but they're not skilled and numerous enough yet and Asha is known and would be a mistake politically.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)18:06 No.13807354
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    >and the form
    and they form, dammit,
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:10 No.13807398
    Ridiculous. Such a tiny entourage is unbecoming of a king. We should have some of our most loyal and powerful people from Mza accompany us as well. Various heads of guilds or businesses. Prestigious and famous artists and craftsmen too, since if you recall we've been attempting to attract such to Mza via relocation subsidies. Maybe our bard thrall, if he's adequately broken and rebuilt and can still sing/schmooze.

    For our gift to Tashz, I suggest we track down a gryphon or pegasus and magically tame it, permanently. Then we can present it to the Prince. Such a fine and rare riding steed would be an excellent gift from one ruler to another.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:14 No.13807457
    The theme on this is good but I would rather go with a clutch of griffon eggs or similar; we haven't the skill to train a wild-caught animal properly, buying one wouldn't be cheap (or appropriate), and permanent magical manipulation is much too heavy-handed to make a good mount at our level of skill.

    As for our entourage... I just don't know how well even the best that Mza has to offer will measure up in Tashz. Better to have no entourage at all than one that will embarrass us, y'know? We should put some effort into finding good people for this.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:15 No.13807474
    I suggest a Roc egg. If we are just giving eggs, it needs to be an EXCEPTIONAL egg.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:23 No.13807566
    Well, rocs are huge, but we could probably try some EXTREME EXTRA-PLANAR SHENANIGANS and find something even better. (And, incidentally, smaller. Eighty foot wingspan is kind of scary.)
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:24 No.13807575
    Nah, we can take a Roc easy in dragon form, and even easier by swatting it out of the sky with stormwinds and lightning bolts.

    Extraplanar shenanigans are too much, in my opinion. I think a Roc is just the right mix of exotic, rare, yet not dangerous to us.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)18:51 No.13807843
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    Rocs... Majestic, massive, and rare. It strikes you as the perfect gift. Preferably an egg, or a small clutch of eggs, yes... it seems feasible.

    Finding a nearby pair is the greatest trouble. You spend many long hours at your crystal ball, trying to divine a nearby nest or pair... Finally, you locate a mated pair, with newly laid eggs, to the east of Azar. Azar....

    The war has concluded, for the most part. The region is still reputed to be extremely hazardous, with roving undead, and extra-planar predators, but the bulk of the undead army was crushed, and a great black dragon killed. Lesser liches and vampires still infest the area, but Azar is secured, and slowly being turned back into a city, albeit a mere shadow of it's former self. Not that most mortals would remember that, you have to remind yourself. Their memories are always so short.... Hell, there were probably soldiers fighting there that had been born after the war started... Janissary captain Bel-ibni has been awarded highest honors for the campaign, as have the Blue dragons that assisted in the battle, tearing the black from the sky when he attempted to flee.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)18:52 No.13807859
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    But you digress. Judging by your ability with your Orb of Storms, you could probably conjure a storm to smash into they rocs- Blow them away from their nest, and give you enough time to approach the nest, steal some or all of it's contents, and retreat.

    There are, however, other options. It would almost certainly be possible to purchase an egg, of any variety desired, in Morinth, though it might cost more than, well, more than you'd be willing to pay. Similar to Morinth, other such un-restrained mage-markets are just as good- Though often with more hazardous clientele. Rumors persist of an illithid enclave somewhere in the vicinity of Exheln, to the east, which would likely have as wide a selection, and that completely ignores the potential of other underdark races for trading in the exotic.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)18:59 No.13807927
    Hell, if we were going to waste money buying it we wouldn't have put in the time scrying a pair of Rocs to steal eggs from. Smash them into cliffs with winds and fry them with lightning, then go and teleport the eggs home. Hire specalists in animal care to oversee the eggs and ensure they are properly treated both during storage and transport. Assemble a proper retinue and a small fleet of ships (say maybe five?) for the trip.

    What does the political situation in the world look like these days?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:04 No.13807980
    While the time is passing and our retinue and fleet is in transit to Tashz we should try browsing the exotic markets though. Just because.

    Seconding getting a grasp of all the major players in the world now, and how everything stands.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:04 No.13807990
    Don't kill the rocs if we don't need to; that's wasteful. What if we want more roc eggs at some point in the future? Separating them from their nest and distracting them long enough to slip in and teleport the eggs out will suffice.

    Definitely with you on the specialists, though. Make sure that our gift is exceptionally well cared for.

    Azar might be coming back, but we'd best make sure (using economic means) that it never regains its former position as a major trade hub. That spot should belong to Mza in the years to come.

    It's probably still got enough acid in its waters to melt through hulls in a matter of months, anyway. That'll take a few years to wash out, at least, given how bad it was.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:06 No.13807997
    Go and take the eggs we scryed, but if there's time we should also visit the market if only to become acquainted with them.
    More contacts are better than less contacts after all.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:06 No.13808000
    Not to mention the entire city was literally deconstructed. There is no infrastructure there any more, and the harbor was turned into a stagnant swamp. I seriously doubt it will ever regain the prominence it once had.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)19:15 No.13808085
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    1d100 for either killing or bypassing the parents, and 1d100 for finding a suitably skilled animal-care expert.

    The world currently is relatively stable again. (As much as it ever is, anyway.) Tashz occasionally trades blows with it's eastern neighbors, but has for the past few centuries, and that's nothing new. (Nor has it it been worth an official war, in that time. Border-squabbling.) Rhasver is rebuilding and rather shaken, but still extremely strong. North, the kingdom of Aquitaine is the major power in the cold, unless you count the frost giants and white wyrms north of them. (both are always at war with each other.)

    Exheln , Azar, or rather, these days, Mza's double to the east, is being shot through with paranoia and terror as drow and other underdark races raid the city, or assassinate members of it's leadership. South of Exheln would Urgash, ancient homeland of the orcs, and Tashz's most powerful eastern neighbor.

    (Aw, dammit, I'm going to have to go expand my map.)
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:17 No.13808097
    rolled 87, 97 = 184

    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:18 No.13808110
    rolled 92, 95 = 187

    big money, no whammy
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:19 No.13808115
    Looks like we got a truly exceptional and rare breed of Roc, or something.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)19:28 No.13808218
    With the aid of truly hellish high-velocity winds, Scinnari and you teleport south, emerging literally on top of the nest. With parents of such magnitude, there are no nearby threats, and you set about examining the eggs.

    Five of them in total. One is smaller than the others, by a several inches, and they are all massive, gargantuan things. Larger, even, than a dragon egg. You are glad that you won't have to be /walking/ back with these- sheer size suggests exactly WHY they are such rarities among mortals.

    You are capable of teleporting yourself and the eggs, though if you desired to steal all five, it might take a second trip.

    [Dice1d100, one more time]
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)19:30 No.13808228
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    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:31 No.13808239
    rolled 95 = 95

    Big money, no whammy
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:32 No.13808261
    Of course we desire to steal all five. Why settle for less than everything?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:36 No.13808301
    I wonder why one is smaller than the rest, and if there's any significance
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:37 No.13808311
    I vote we keep the smaller one, and two of the larger ones.
    >> Gloquenteentleman !yVrZbEGJ8A 02/06/11(Sun)19:43 No.13808370
    rolled 42 = 42

    Meh, there always tends to be a runt in a litter. Perhaps another creature laid it's egg there for the Rocs to lay on. Similar to certain reptile's strategies. Oooo, maybe we might have stumbled on a dragon egg xD.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:44 No.13808377
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:46 No.13808404
    I... would rather just give them all to the new Sultan, or at most keep the small one only. We can find our own rocs later if we want them, and we don't have a huge number of ways to stand out amongst the just-as-wealthy-and-better-established at Tashz; a truly impressive gift is one of the best ways we've got. Why stint on it?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:49 No.13808429
    There is nobody like that other than the royals who will be in attendance themselves. We are a sovereign state here. Even the highest raking dukes and such of Tashzmir can't begin to rake in the kind of money and power that we hold. Especially after such a crippling two decades of brutal war.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:50 No.13808436
    Because then we can breed Roc Bombers for Mza!

    Just picture it: a squadron of Rocs, circling a storm. Each one carrying a large barrel in each claw. They fly over an invading naval force, too high for their arrows to reach. An unseen command, and they release their cargo, magically directed to their targets.

    They're full of Alchemist's Fire and explode on contact.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:52 No.13808454
    Or we could just summon up a bunch of air elementals to do the same thing, with the added bonus that they can fly through the storm completely unimpeded.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:53 No.13808467
    We could, but why would we bother when we have a Roc Bomber Squadron?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:54 No.13808471
    Or we could have both
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:55 No.13808492
    But we can breed roc bombers for Mza by snagging more rocs over the course of the next couple years, rather than lessening our diplomatic gift.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)19:55 No.13808493
    Well because air elementals are invisible, expendable, cheap, and don't require huge support staff like the Rocs.

    They are better in every way.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)19:58 No.13808524
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    Designating the eggs as the ones you desire to bring with you, you begin casting. Before leaving you had the foresight to arrange a suitable nest for them on Mza, a surrogate home until you're ready to leave. Depositing them, you return, and repeat the process. The entire expedition takes just under five minutes, not counting the time you needed to prepare the storm.

    Finding someone who can care for such things is also high on your list- An dwarven ranger by the name of Carmak is who you end up hiring. His knowledge of the species proves total, as does his reputation from what you can find of him. Rhasverian, yes, but one who seems to be loyal to money at heart, and you are willing to part with significant sums for his expertise.

    Significant to him, at any rate; your hoard has essentially become the main treasury for a small empire. (And you would have it no other way.)

    A small fleet of your navy, almost all at least one-time Rhasverian ships, is assembled, and Scinnari begins appointing them "As befitting a royal conveyance.". While you hardly desire to spend significant time with the fleet, Carmack has warned you that the eggs require serious care, among other things, very stable rides. A storm, he says, may smash or shake them to death, if it's too strong. You ask Scinnari to work with him to take care of those arrangements, and leave her to it.

    Some minimal scrying and information-gathering determines that several other individuals on the guest list- A single representative from Exheln, a prince of the Urgash tribes, the three dragons who assisted with the reclamation of Azar, an ambassador of Rhasver (The invitation was extended to the prince, who declined,), and a single ambassador from Freeport, you have determined. Presumably there will be internal guests from Tashz itself, too, but you consider those of less import.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:01 No.13808563
    See if we can scry on the gifts they are bringing, so we are sure to be outdoing them with our own. If it looks like we might be threatened for top gift well... we can probably arrange an accidental misplacement at the last minute.
    >> Anonymous Drunk 02/06/11(Sun)20:03 No.13808583
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:09 No.13808660
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:13 No.13808704
    Well, make sure the ships you're sending have fair weather and good winds, if your gift needs it.

    And if you're considering sabotaging others' gifts, take steps to protect your own. At least putting some anti-scrying on them at all times until they're given away would be appropriate.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)20:18 No.13808741
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    The Rhasverian ambassador is bringing a dozen steel golems, and one composed of pure adamantine. Terrifically expensive, and horrifically powerful, if it is anything like those you have heard of, completely aside from the more numerous but mundane ones. The Exheln representative, as far as you can tell, bears no gift, though you suspect that it is your failure, not his. The orcish prince of the Urgash tribes carries a metal disc-shaped medallion- Etched like the sun, but otherwise plain copper, as far as you can tell. What it is, you don't know, but he seems to consider it valuable. Freeport proves interesting, with who shall take the ambassador's role being the subject of some contention. As for their gift, you know no more than they do.

    Scrying your route, however, brings one potential problem to your attention: The western coast of Tashz is a rich trade area, though not quite as concentrated as Azar itself. A Bronze Dragon, with just over half a century on you, claims a swathe of the sea there, and may demand a toll- Something you aren't terribly eager to pay, but could likely afford. Alternately, it may react more violently, as Mza has a reputation for unrepentant piracy.
    >> Anonymous Drunk 02/06/11(Sun)20:19 No.13808754
    Agreed and seconded, and we should make the final list on who we taking with us.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:21 No.13808772
    Sigh. I suggest we visit this bronze then. If there is one thing bronzes love to do, it's talk. We can talk to him and if he's unwilling to let us pass then we can kill him.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:24 No.13808793
    He's 50 years older than us. A bit too risky for my liking, especially if we don't want to transform into Dragonform.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:27 No.13808830
    Bronzes are the aquatic metallic dragon. Lightning, almost as dangerous in the air as a blue, and dangerous in water. And they occasionally work as mercenaries. They aren't really fond of talking, though, as far as I can tell. I think you're thinking of copper or brass. (I always get those two confused.)
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:28 No.13808832
    Same age category, and bronzes are straight up weaker in every way than us naturally.

    But yes, I would prefer not to require killing him.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:31 No.13808863
    Can we somehow cloak our ships so that he doesn't notice them, and we can get in without bothering with the toll or fucking with him?

    If not, well. If he's planning something violent I daresay that we'll be able to point out that we're bearing gifts for the Sultan's coronation and attacking our ships would be extremely disrespectful to the new ruler of Tashz, at least on the way in (implying that we'll take him on when coming back if he wants). And if he wants a toll, well, unless we feel like killing him we'll have to pay it. We'll want to be continuing relations with Tashz in the years to come, after all, and that means thinking not only of what we personally can do but also the level of support our merchants will be able to get in the future.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:35 No.13808908
    Try and chat him (her?) up when we go by, perhaps. Point out that we're making Mza legit, and, like >>13808863 said, it would be a faux pas if it waylaid us. (Like a common highwayman!)

    Incidentally, should we be thinking of gifts for the other dragons going there? The bluies?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:37 No.13808935
    Gifts for them, from us? I don't see why we would unless we're trying to court the favor of a specific one.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:40 No.13808948
    Agreed. No reason to present the blues with gifts. It's not their court. At least, they would never admit that it was in the presence of humanoid rulers who just slew a 500 year old dragon.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:48 No.13809039
    Maybe if we could find something to heal the wing of that blue dragon
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:56 No.13809122
    Screw that, we don't need to bother. We don't even know that dragon, plus it was a very stupid one. Charging in like that? Pfft. We don't WANT allies that stupid.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)20:57 No.13809129
    There was an idea a few threads back about sending it a 'get well soon' card with a potion of fly as a cruel joke.

    Perhaps we should do it now?
    >> Anonymous Drunk 02/06/11(Sun)20:58 No.13809149
    Yes lets
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:04 No.13809214
    While funny, let's not antagonize. Dragons hold grudges, sometimes for centuries.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:05 No.13809221
    Hilarious, but why make an enemy for nothing more than a laugh?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:06 No.13809232
    remember to log in to #dragonquest@IRCHighway
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:16 No.13809359
    Can you tell me the website you can use to access?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:16 No.13809361
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    With preparations made, you begin the too-lengthy journey. Azar is too dangerous, and so the journey along the western coast is the way. Most of the time, you can remain back at Mza, but you make a point to teleport to the fleet at least once a day, and make sure to have either you or Scinnari there at all times, if not both.

    The bronze does waylay you, to your pronounced displeasure. You are shaken from some scrying you were doing, trying to find the truth of the Exheln envoy's gift by cries of terror and a noticeable list to the ship. Deciding your safer outside, where you can safely revert if necessary, you stand and walk outside, noting how the deck is now slanting forwards and down....

    "Pirates and thieves, in my waters?" the dragon asks in common, eliciting cries of terror from most of the crew. It's clambered aboard, and occupies the foredeck. To their credit, though, most of your soldiers have gone for their weapons, and haven't run. (Probably due to a lack of places to run, you suspect.)

    "I would be careful who I call pirates and thieves, Bronze. I am King Varian Prestor, and am interested in why you have boarded my vessel." you reply in draconic. The dragon turns it's attention to you, and you sense it attempting to turn it's Presence on you. Naturally, it fails, and your distraction proves long enough for your crew to get a hold of themselves.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)21:16 No.13809366
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    "A civilized tongue. How unexpected. Very well, I am Plesangrast, and this is my section of the sea. I was interested in who and what had decided to intrude upon my seas." he replies.

    "Very well. As you can see, we are not dragon-hunters, and we 'intrude' upon your seas so that we may reach Cazranel in a reasonable amount of time. Is anything else...?" you reply, phrasing it impeccably, but with an air of impatience. He acts as if he hasn't heard you.

    "King... Prestor? My, my, I believe my information was out of date. Since when have you adopted such a sobriquet?"

    "Since I claimed Mza with my power, and have expanded it into a small kingdom." you reply, managing to avoid adding '/obviously/' to the end. "Since when have you claimed this section of the sea?"

    "Bold." he replies, head tilted and still, as if contemplating something. A moment later, he starts, as if deciding something. "Since I claimed it with my power, and have eradicated pirates within it." it replies.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:20 No.13809401
    Since we'd rather not let on we're a fellow dragon. We should have the sailors stand down, (they're useless anyway in this scenario) and explain the reason for our trip. That we're passing through benignly should set it more at ease.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:21 No.13809415
    Whoops out of date. Carry on
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:22 No.13809424
    "I can assure you Mza no longer harbors pirates. As a matter of fact, we've been invited to the coronation of Tazsh and are currently en route. It would be most unfortunate were one of the honored guests to come to harm from a denizen of that nation while traveling in good faith, dragon. It might inspire multiple nations to hire dragon hunters in order to keep the waters safe."
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:25 No.13809449
    "Well, then, it is as ever a delight to make the acquaintance of... another individual of power. My compliments on your effectiveness in eliminating pirates, as I have not seen any thus far on our trip. As long as you are on my vessel, would you care to join me for some wine and conversation? This ship is not appointed as grandly as some but the accommodations are by no means lacking, and I am fond of several of the vintages onboard."
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:26 No.13809453
    Well, since he has eradicated pirates within it then we need not fear on our purely legitimate state-sponsored diplomatic journey. And then, with a tone of mild annoyance, inform him that we would prefer not to endanger our fleet by fighting him here. Show no fear and say it in passing, like we're perfectly confident we would win... we simply don't want the collateral damage it would cause.

    Tell him we would prefer civil relations. We ourselves are working to turn the pirates into legitimate businessmen, so there is no reason to fight.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:28 No.13809470
    also, roughing up a legitimate envoy seems to carry a certain buccanner attitude to it
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:40 No.13809599
    Just a question, but exactly how strong are we? I know we're a 10th or 11th level sorcerer or something like that, but what does that translate to power-wise?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:44 No.13809649
    We can teleport across the world in a matter of seconds, fling fire, ice and lightning to kill lesser men by the dozens, blast the very life force from those who oppose us (though only a bit at a time), and cloak ourselves with invisibility while we do so. That's before getting into the more subtle tricks in our arsenal.

    We're pretty badass. Also, as I understand it we're playing pretty loose with the rules at this point so I wouldn't rely on the 10th level caster tag for more than generalities.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:54 No.13809762
    So how would we fare against a dragon our own size, and of the next age group? And how much older would some other sorcerer have to be to match our power?

    I know these questions don't really matter but I find these kind of things really interesting.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:57 No.13809786
    It's complicated. Come to the IRC.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)21:58 No.13809797
    A bronze fifty years older than us like this one would be slightly weaker than us (21 hit dice to our 22) going strictly by the book, or maybe on par if he's on the strong side as bronzes go. His sorcerous powers would be somewhat weaker (only 7th level casting, so fireballs but no teleportation or greater invisibility).

    Sorcerous power in general doesn't really scale with age except amongst dragons. It's mostly a matter of innate talent and drive to continually exploit and expand that innate talent.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:04 No.13809853
    I don't know how to join the IRC. Was gonna ask the question there but couldn't figure out how to join
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:04 No.13809858
    Actually, a bronze 50 years older than us would not be on par with us even if we were a vanilla red, much less with our enhanced casting. We outclass him in hitpoints, SR, abilities, stats, and ESPECIALLY in breath weapon. Our breath weapon is almost twice as powerful, though shorter ranged.

    And then you add in the fact that we have a very large magical boost to our powers we would pretty clearly come out on top even before taking into account our devious cunning nature.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)22:05 No.13809863
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    "Well. If there are no pirates here, then as a legitimate diplomatic envoy, I should have nothing to fear, yes?" you reply, matching his stare.

    "Technically, no. However, in this case, yes." He replies, tail lashing. The boat rocks each time it does. "I have no interest in a toll, or other excise. I apologize for the misunderstanding, and thank you for the pleasure of this conversation. Humanoids are rarely so skilled in the draconic tongue." He proceeds to return to the sea, and the sturdy Rhasverian frigate gives a pained creak as it bobs up from the water. You move to the edge of the boat, and stare down as it sinks into the water.

    "I trust my return shall be just as 'safe'?" you call down.

    "Indeed. Good luck in the courts of Tashz, sorcerer. Beware my desert kin." it warns.

    "I was aware." you reply dryly.

    "Of course. My apologies. I wish you and your wife well." Plesangrast replies, sinking below the waves. Lashing his tail, he disappears into the depths, farther even than your eyes can see. You turn and wave dismissively, signalling your crew to return to their duties. They seem slightly overawed, either by the dragons' display, or by your fearless treatment thereof.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:05 No.13809867
    If you're using firefox, get chatzilla and then put irc://irc.irchighway.net/dragonquest in your URL bar.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)22:05 No.13809877
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    Coming ashore in Cazranel, your ships are left behind, along with their crews. The majority of you, however, proceed inland, Tashzmir, the golden city, your destination.

    You pause a few days while Carmack commissions a pair of carts made- He's very specific about how little the eggs can be rocked or moved, and you indulge him since he seems to know what he speaks of. It delays the trip a few days, but you set out shortly thereafter, taking to the Western Road. The Western Road and the desert...

    Probably the most dangerous part of the journey, you think. The blues that live about it are only loosely organized, but at least /usually/ leave travelers that stick to the Roads alone. In this case, they do, and you are grateful- You don't fancy tangling with a blue, definitely not in the air... They leave you unmolested, though, and the guards you bring along are sufficient to deter most passing thieves. A small group of ankhegs attack one night, but your guards to manage to fight them off, with the help of Scinnari and yourself. No actual deaths, though one of your lizardfolk lost her arm in the battle. Eventually, though, Tashzmir itself looms on the horizon before you, and you pass through it's gates.

    You are immediately ushered up to the sultanates' palace, a 'small' wing is granted to your party. Quite luxurious if you do say so yourself- it proves to be large enough to comfortably board twice your party, and even your guards have quite generous quarters. As for yourself, well, the Sultan's famous hospitality more than lives up to the legend. The needs of your entire party are waited on, and instantly supplied. Though you could simply enjoy such excellent service, you have arrived a few weeks early, and feel you should make use of the time.

    [What do?]
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:06 No.13809882

    channel is #dragonquest
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:17 No.13809978
    We got dancing lessons from Scinnari already, yes? If not, get some. We don't want to trip over our own feet.

    Next, let Scinnari go about being a social butterfly and see if she can dig up any threads for us to exploit while we are here, since she's into the late first or early second trimester now she shouldn't be accompanying us into taverns and such.

    As for us, let's check out the city. Markets, taverns, gossip, and underworld. See what's going on and if we notice any potential cracks in the powerbase we can slip into. Try to get information on the travellers coming here, including ourselves.

    Do all this incogneto of course.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:26 No.13810061
    Well, we should of course meet the representatives of all other major factions within our first couple weeks of being there, take their measure. Get to know the major players in Tashz as well, as long as we're here; significant nobles who we might be able to cut deals with at some point, the potential heirs to the Sultanate, any dragons who make it a habit to hang around the courts.

    Teleport back to Mza every so often to make sure that everything is going smoothly.

    Aside from that... I'm not terribly interested in doing the cloak-and-dagger thing here. Tashz has too many powerful parties used to feuding with one another to think that we could successfully insert ourselves into their intrigues on anything but a diplomatic and trading level. Make as many friends and contacts as we can, learn what we can about the powerful people here so that we'll be able to later exploit that information, call that enough.

    I'm sure we've mastered dancing at some point in the last couple decades, since we know she likes it.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:36 No.13810177
    >I'm sure we've mastered dancing at some point in the last couple decades, since we know she likes it.
    Point. I imagine we've hosted several balls ourselves for the local upper crust in Mza, anyway.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)22:44 No.13810278
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    While the service is impeccable, you can hardly let the opportunity to observe Tashz itself pass you by. Scinnari refuses to be confined, though deigns to accept a magical disguise when her ventures take her out of the palace. Between her efforts and your own, you determine that the local view on politics is somewhat different to how it appeared from over seas...

    The Sultan's daughter is dead, and two children survive her- her son, Prince Arranius, and a daughter, Lesanna. While prince Arranius is expected to inherit, The sultan is reputed to favor Lesanna, and the city is currently rife with maneuvering and political play.

    All for naught, at least according to the commoners- Lesanna has shown no magical talent, and, while not in and of itself necessary, the Sultanate has traditionally been held by one in which the purported draconic blood of the royal line runs strong. Magical talent is the most reliable indicator, and Lesanna, with no power, is enough to throw the balance towards Arranius.

    As it happens, this turned out unnecessary- you are approached by agents of both potential heirs within days of your arrival, both requesting to meet with you, presumably to negotiate for your support. Additionally, more subtle requests are made by a 'Shaz', leader of the local underworld, who you suspect to be (or be backed by,) a blue dragon. Of course, technically they aren't made of you, but you make a point to keep track of your underlings contact. The merchant guild representative approached accepts the invitation.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:53 No.13810367
    If we can weaken Tashz, so much the better. Back Lesanna when the time comes.

    In the meanwhile, let's investigate this underworld contact more. Find out what he wants, and which Blue is backing him.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:56 No.13810408
    Of course we're interested in meeting with everyone's reps. There's no sense committing to a side before we know what everyone has on the table. Since we should be meeting with many nobles and other nations' reps during our time here as part of our get-to-know-everyone endeavors, it should be easy enough for each faction to have someone meet with us without anything unusual being required on our part.

    Lesanna might be a weak Tashz because of succession difficulties, but she might mean a stronger Tashz if the Sultan favors her with good reason. We'll need to learn more. I do agree that a weaker Tashz is better for us, though.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:56 No.13810413
    Obviously we meet with all the delegates.

    But if we can back Lessana and get the support of the current Sultan as well as the up-and-coming one for doing so... Hmmm...
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)22:59 No.13810444
    We should clearly feel around to see who is backing which person, too. If one has overwhelming support then backing someone who won't possibly get elected is stupid.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)23:03 No.13810484
    I suggest we see the people in this order:

    Underworld Consultant (find out what he wants and who he's working for)
    Lesanna (Find out what she wants exactly and try to get a better lay of the political land from her)
    Arranius (Tell him that his sister offered us her full support in exchange for ours, see if we can't get him to offer the same)
    Lesanna again (Tell her that her brother offered us his full support in exchange for ours, get her real support and back her as the weaker heir.)

    Basically, get both of them to think the other one wants us badly.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)23:43 No.13810925
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    Lesanna's agent is happy to see you, and free with information. Slanted heavily in her favor, of course, but it's still free. Once filtered out, it offers another piece of the puzzle- Among other things, that apparently the Tashz 'tradition' is that whenever multiple siblings vie for the throne, whoever inherits has the other executed, as rapidly as possible. Common to the rest of the world, too, you suppose, except that here it is apparently the accepted standard. Also, evidently, a part of the reason the Sultan has kept his post as long as he has without stepping down- he desired to prevent his grand children from killing each other off prematurely.

    So informed, you promise nothing, begging time to think on the issue, and receive Arranius' emissary. He isn't terribly different, as it happens, though he is a sorcerer of moderate power. A tad more powerful than yourself at the moment, perhaps, but probably no more. And stripped of his magic, he isn't a dragon.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)23:45 No.13810942
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    Both, though, promise very little.

    "Mza, while useful, is hardly a major power." and "There is little you can offer us in exchange for what we desire.", respectively. Arranius' representative is most difficult, though both are somewhat obnoxious. Both of their offers seem to consist of little more than promises to look favorably upon Mza, or to support Mza's legitimacy, as if you needed that. Smoke in the wind, as it were. Arranius' emissary, in particular, seems totally unimpressed with your bluff of what Lasanna has offered you for your support.

    The meeting with Shaz proves more interesting. You allow things to take their natural course, and the merchant contacted meets with crime boss- You attend, suitably cloaked and shielded from detection. Scinnari you instruct to observe remotely, hoping that perhaps a second set of eyes may pick up whatever you miss. She reports, though, that the location

    Almost unnecessary. What you observe is a simple smuggling deal, the extension of mutual contacts, and agreements to a few initial shipments. It remains to be seen whether your merchant is dealing with you in good faith, but Shaz seems pleased with the arrangements met. Shazzammaras being a young blue dragon- not quite what you expected, but, you suspect, working for an older and more powerful family member.
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)23:46 No.13810954
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    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)23:51 No.13811010
    He's stronger than us in sercerer power? How old is this guy?
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)23:55 No.13811047
    To be fair, we're only a mid level sorcerer right now.

    Anyway, if we can use our influence to obviously (to the one being put on the throne, that is) put them into power then we should, but honestly it really does look like we don't have much chance of influencing this. There are likely massive draconic politics already going on here, from several dragons who are both much older than us and who have a home field advantage. We should support the winner first and foremost.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/06/11(Sun)23:56 No.13811061
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    Forty-ish. He's unlikely to get much more powerful, though. (His effective limit.)
    >> Anonymous 02/06/11(Sun)23:58 No.13811076
    >There is little you can offer us in exchange for what we desire.
    ...perhaps I'm parsing this wrong, but doesn't this mean that they have no reason to talk to us at all?

    >It remains to be seen whether your merchant is dealing with you in good faith
    Merchants of Mza had best ALWAYS deal with us in good faith, or they come to messy ends the likes of which should be whispered of fearfully in shadowed corners. If the man hasn't told you everything by the time we get back to Mza, make our displeasure known- he gets only one chance to spill everything and demonstrate that he intends to see we get our rightful cut of all profits.
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:00 No.13811099
    Agreed, also seconding the whole "If we're that minor why are they talking to us at all?"
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/07/11(Mon)00:14 No.13811234
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    They seem mostly interested in not having a powerful sorcerer on the other side, should it actually come to blows between their followers. Something that is gained as well through your neutrality as through your support for their own side. Plus, they were making friendly gestures, even if you didn't like the fact that they wouldn't promise very much.


    [Alright. I'm wimping out because I need sleep. Next thread, sadly, will be either wednesday (25% chance, I think,) or sunday. (I'll make that for anything short of an emergency. Or, you know, the whole area's wifi dying.) Very sorry about the short, slow thread today. Will try to be better prepared and faster next time. Will take any final actions, can be reached by email, and 2d100 (Second one isn't for us! Don't roll too high!) ]
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:19 No.13811265
    rolled 16, 81 = 97

    Dice then.
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:20 No.13811281
    rolled 3, 82 = 85

    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:20 No.13811283
    rolled 99, 69 = 168

    Big money, no whammy
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:22 No.13811307
    Just a bit too late man...
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:24 No.13811340
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    the dice gods hate us apparently
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:31 No.13811388
    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)00:57 No.13811548
    Archived, don't forget to vote.


    >> Anonymous 02/07/11(Mon)01:37 No.13811892
    >low first, high second

    We are so boned.

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