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  • File : 1297636523.jpg-(501 KB, 919x666, red_blue.jpg)
    501 KB Dragon Quest XXXVI Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)17:35 No.13891064  
    The summer heat in Tashz is blistering. A pleasant blistering. You find the dry heat extremely comfortable, and could easily sleep for a week in it. The service you receive as a royal guest of the palace helps too- As Scinnari commented the other day, you could probably ask for virgin's blood and a dozen blind slaves, and not only would they provide it, but they wouldn't bat an eye at the request. There are, evidently, benefits to having an entire empire's resources to draw upon.

    The merchant who met with Shazammaras duly reports the deal, a few days later. The figures he gives you are slightly shrunk, but he's only skimming about two percent off the top. You aren't terribly pleased, but it doesn't demand an immediate demonstration, particularly since one of your entourage being messily executed might raise awkward questions.


    You've been warding off a hail of them over the past few days- you and your guards. Evidently the scrying prevention device you brought with you is entirely effective, meaning that other parties are resorting to more mundane methods of figuring out what your gift is- Your guards have killed one spy, and others have been deflected or simply stopped. If the eggs were any smaller, you'd happily hide them somewhere, and leave their carts as decoys, but taking them into another room would require at least one wall to be mostly demolished. For the moment, you're stuck hoping that your guards maintain the degree of competence they've displayed so far.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)17:36 No.13891085
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    “You should be awake right now.”

    You snap awake, and sit up. Generally your dreams do not give your orders.

    “What?” you whisper in the dark, unsure of where, exactly, the speaker is.

    “Your five-headed goddess evidently can't keep any of her mouths shut.”

    “Hardly 'mine'. Clarify.” you order. The voice obliges.

    “Lezzeskauva, a blue dragon moderately older than you, and of middling power within the courts, has been informed of your identity.” the voice is a whisper, but sounds as if it originates from impossibly far away. “Lezzeskauva has not seen fit to keep the information to herself. Her superiors within the blue hierarchy have been informed. They are taking it into account. They intend to use it to pressure you into supporting their interests in the court.”

    “I see. And you are...?” you ask. Naturally, you're already guessing wildly, but verification would be nice. The voice is difficult to understand, quiet and distant as it is, and you can tell neither gender nor age.

    “ 'Friend'...” the voice replies, dwindling into inaudibility.

    “Who!?” you demand, but the voice does not return. Instead Scinnari awakes next to you.


    “Hmm? Oh, neve-” you start to reply before a knock sounds on your door. You offer a short, unamused stare, then climb out of the oversized bed. One of your men stands at the door, looking rightly nervous for disturbing you at such an early hour.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)17:41 No.13891155
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    “A messenger delivered this, your grace- ah, he said it was urgent, and for your eyes alone, sir.” The small envelope is indeed addressed to you. “I didn't want to disturb you, of course, but he-” the guard explains, but you wave him away. He salutes and returns to his post. You step back into your room, tearing open the letter and reading the message.

    “Dear 'Lord Prestor',
    I am certainly not the first, but allow me to extend greetings anyway; Welcome to Tashzmir, city of the blazing sun. I trust that the Sultan's generosity is providing ample accommodations. Additionally, while obviously you were obligated to heed the sultan's invitation, I also trust that you were not planning to do anything more than enjoy Tashmir's hospitality. Such trespassing would not be looked upon favorably.”

    You are interrupted after reading the first paragraph by a gout of flame, exploding from the letter. It washes over you harmlessly, of course, but the curtains hanging from the edge of your bed catch instantly. You scowl, and turn back to the letter, which, while scorched, seems fine.

    “I am informed that we would prefer cooperation, but do not necessarily need it. Still, if you could indulge us in this matter, we might be able to return the favor....”
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)17:43 No.13891177
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    The letter continues, dodging between threats, bribes, and requests, but overall the tone is not overly hostile, and is that of conversation between equals, or near equals, at least. It is, however, still blatant blackmail. It makes multiple references to the 'scaled goddess', and at one point, “Azaladon” is visible blackened out, where the author wrote “Lord Prestor” instead. Nor is the fact that the entire message is in flawless draconian lost on you. The net request, though, seems to be to back Prince Arranius, and to openly align with him, as the desired heir of Tashz...

    Sighing, you pass the letter to Scinnari, allowing her to read it while you deal with the small fires.

    “How... arrogant.” she says at length. “I hope you don't intend to comply.”

    “Even if it's the best option?”

    “Well, I would advise taking the best option, but I hope that it doesn't not require acceding to their... demands. It feels... demeaning, I think. Still, if you consider it necessary, I won't argue...”
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)17:51 No.13891287
    Fuck yeah Dragon Quest!

    Also, is this a 'What do" moment, or is there more to come?
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)17:55 No.13891321
    Set up an amiable meeting to discover what exactly is wanted.

    Have Scinnari port in, shoot them in the back of the neck, and bring the glove of storing with the dragon slaying sword.

    This bitch is dead. DEAD!

    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)18:00 No.13891370
    This is perfect actually. We've built up such a reputation of being a backstabber that such an overt and brutal method could easily be written off as a bad frame attempt by one of the other dragons.

    But we'd have to do it soon. Very soon.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)18:01 No.13891380
    While the prospect is remarkably tempting, I suspect that since the blues have a whole bigass hierarchy instead of being lone operators like us, killing one of them is not a path to eliminating a problem. We'd have to kill them all- or at least all of them who know our secret.

    Which, while I'm not opposed, would be a somewhat larger task. We'll probably have to use the Spinel to efficiently extract information from each of them that we kill- on how far the information has spread and how the others will likely react, as well of course as for things like hunting down lairs.

    And since we know the blues have a lot of pull, as soon as we get working we'll have to assume that Tashz or at least much of it will go hostile. That's not so great for our safety here, or that of our servants, not to mention our political intentions. We'll need to make sure that we move quickly to take out ALL targets and are finished as quickly as possible, preferably with little or nothing leading back to us at the end of it.

    It's a big problem.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)18:02 No.13891398
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    What do. Also, I evidently forgot to mention that the note is signed 'L', though you could probably have guessed that.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)18:23 No.13891624
    All right, plans.

    I'm thinking that we need to talk to Lezzeskauva and tell her to piss off. If she can't take a hint, then we move to the "behead with dragonslaying sword" plan. But we will not be blackmailed.

    It should not be difficult to get in touch with her. Use the letter to scry her up; if that fails, ask the guard if there was a method for return messages given; if that fails, have someone ask a few questions around the court, since blues are pretty well known here. Once we know where she is, go meet her.

    Does anyone have ideas as to our anonymous informant here? We're acting as someone's pawn and I dislike it, but I see no leads to follow up.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)18:26 No.13891660
    We find L by either asking around the court or scrying the letter's author.

    We go find L, and have a chat.

    We let L know that we will not be blackmailed.
    If L wants to spill our beans, then they should do so. But know that we are prepared for it, and L will have made one hell of an enemy. Otherwise, L should learn the fine art of subtlety. That letter had all the grace and subtlety of a brick, and if L wants to throw bricks we can throw fucking boulders.

    >atomic dragons
    Yes captcha, we will indeed go nuclear on L's ass.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)19:31 No.13892487
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    "I think it would be best to explore alternatives, first." you answer. Truth be told, you find submitting to anything the Blues demand to be vaguely demeaning as well. "Perhaps we can discuss this in a more civilized manner."

    Sadly, however, that is easier said than done. L, presumably Lezzeskauva, is shielded from scrying. You cannot locate her, and she seems to believe she left you with all the instructions you need. No contact information was left. Still, there are other ways...

    Particularly, a few blue dragons are officially taking residence in the palace. The ones that assisted with the reclamation of Azar have been invited to attend the reception, and with some effort, you manage to gain access to them.

    They seem unaware of your complaint, and you see no reason to inform them. While suspicious, they do offer to set up a meeting between you and Lezzeskauva, for a small fee. You grudgingly pay, are guided to the same location where you witnessed your merchant meet with Shazzammaras.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)19:32 No.13892499
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    Shazzammaras receives you in human form, and leads you through the back, and into a series of expanding caverns below the warehouse. Lezzeskauvas meets you somewhere within the labyrinthine maze of caverns, passages, and galleries. She is significantly larger than you, though she does not seem to exude the degree of physical threat that, for instance, Seffestranias did. 'Soft' is not the right word, but she does not seem to be a frequent combatant. Still, she towers above you, as you have not deigned to revert within these tunnels.

    "Greetings, Azaladon. Please tell me that you are not here to claim things you and I both know to be false...?"

    "Ah... Lezzeskauva, I presume?" you ask. The massive Blue nods at you in answer. "I see the famed beauty of blue dragons is exceeded only by their lack of subtlety." you continue, doing your best to play to her vanity while maintaining your air of irritation. "Your message, while correct, had almost all the elegance of a brick through a window."

    "Elegance? I would consider it flawlessly elegant- simple, and it did exactly what it was meant to. I see no reason to avoid the point. I should /hope/ that we have little to hide from each other. Only to hide from others, which I believe was what was in question." Lezzeskauva replies. Not terribly polite, but she doesn't seem insufferably smug, either.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)19:34 No.13892521
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    "In question? I suppose. Your threats, however, hold very little weight. To carry a previous analogy further, if you insist on throwing bricks, I warn that I can return with larger rocks. Were you to reveal what you threaten, I would be somewhat more annoyed than I am now. I find it unlikely that it would be anything more than a minor problem, and all it would do would give me a rumor to quash, and one more enemy."

    "And I'm sure I would find you an unpleasant one, if only because of your talent for meddling with the weather. Still, my Suzerain requires you to support prince Arranius- I can hardly ignore his commandments. But still..." she says, shifting her weight and lowering her head down to your level, presumably understanding that you don't intend to revert, "It's hardly a significant request- you are an outsider, have no real claim to champion, and have received promises from neither the prince's nor the good princess's parties. If anything, my threat matched my request, in it's insignificance. And, of course, that leaves out the... theological aspects." she adds with satisfaction.

    "Which I was unaware of, but suspect you are about to inform me of." you state. Lezzeskauva smiles and continues, revealing many, many, uneven teeth.

    "This information was passed on to me by the goddess herself- Perhaps it is her /will/ that you assist us in this matter."
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)19:36 No.13892542
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    "Ah. 'The goddess is on my side'. I confess, I did not expect that card." you reply dryly, "However, I also find it rather implausible. I would consider it more likely that Tiamat wants me to be revealed, presumably by refusing my cooperation in this matter. More likely, at least, than Tiamat taking sides in such a... minor dispute." As you speak, you clasp your hands, mostly to cover your fiddling with one of your rings. "Scinnari. I am discussing the matter with the one responsible." you send out, followed by a brief description of the tunnel you can see behind Lezzeskauva. "Feel free to join us."

    "Of course." Scinnari replies, presumably teleporting, or making her final preparations. You return your attention to Lezzeskauva.

    "To presume such knowledge of the lady Tiamat...! Still, I confess that I can hardly claim otherwise." she replies. "Very well. Ignoring that matter, it is my simple request against yours. I will concede that I could have been more tactful about the matter, and apologize for any offense. I merely... considered it unnecessary, as one dragon to another.". You frown slightly, as your magically-enhanced sight continues to fail to reveal Scinnari. You venture another contact.


    "I can't. I am blocked, somehow- you are on you own." She replies, worry evident in her voice. Hmm... That might also suggest that teleportation from her would be blocked too. You hope not.

    "Well? I hope that you don't need to think on the matter. Really, it is very little I ask..." Lezzeskauva prompts, eager for a response.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)19:42 No.13892579
    "I care nothing of /her/ will. I make my own power, I TAKE my own power. And I will not be blackmailed by either her, nor you.
    Now then, if you would be willing to present an open wing rather than an outstretched claw, we may be able to work a deal.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)19:47 No.13892629
    Tell her that she speaks the truth, and we really don't have any reason to refuse... other than the fact that we are being blackmailed. Point out, ironically, that since she knows what we are then she should also know our reputation concerning pride. We would rather be revealed and rain hellfire and pain upon them than accede to blackmail. A deal, however... that is something we can do.

    The reputation of reds works against us often enough, why not make it work for us this time?
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)19:55 No.13892725

    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)19:58 No.13892774
    "Ensuring that one's messages do not explode when read strikes me as a rather trivial courtesy, but perhaps things are done differently in Tashz.

    "In any case, as you say, I require no time to think on this matter. Your current offer asks me to admit that you have leverage over me, usable as you see fit. That I will not do. If you me to take any action, spitting upon my pride is rather counterproductive."
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)19:59 No.13892794
    If she knows we're a red, that was in fact a courtesy to us. If anyone OTHER than a red had read it, they would have been immolated. Dummy.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)20:01 No.13892813
    Seconded, it was to keep the message safe, hopefully, despite the lack of subtlety she displayed. After all, she can hardly blackmail us if the information already leaked.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)20:05 No.13892845
    She set our room on fire! That's very rude. And keep the message safe my ass, if she wanted to do that she could have asked for a meeting straight-up.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)20:13 No.13892932
    It's something that she knew wouldn't hurt us. It's no more rude than what was in the message, in my opinion less so.

    Don't make it an issue.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)20:47 No.13893096
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    "I barely need to consider it at all to know that I would prefer to burn you all from your caves rather than bow. Some may believe that blackmail makes the world go 'round, but I must disagree. On the other hand, it is true- I have little serious feelings one way or the other. Either side could sway me. Given the right offer. Blackmail, however, will get you nothing but my enmity

    "Ah, blackmail won't work, but bribery will? Though, actually, I believe I promised such in my letter to you..." Lezzeskauva replies. Her voice suddenly drops to a purr, "Perhaps I was too subtle?" You do not react, so she continues. "Indeed, considering the reputation of your kind, you are, even for such a diminutive task, far beyond our price range."

    "For an entire suzerainty? Please." you reply, "Greedy I may be, but I am... eminently reasonable. I am sure even my wildest dreams are well within your capacity, in this matter." you assure her. Blatant lies, of course.

    "Very well. We can make the... distinction. Pride is entirely understandable, and It was foolish of me to make threats. I apologize. Let us see... five thousand for visibly aligning yourself with the prince?"

    You double over laughing. Redoubling when you ascertain that she's serious.

    "Please. Five hundred thousand would be closer to the correct order. Still, I claimed to be reasonable....

    While she looks like she wouldn't be a terrible threat physically, she proves and excellent haggler. Eventually, you work her up to eighty thousand, on the condition that you continue to align yourself with her suzerain, and that you are paid after the fact. Further haggling manages to drop one clause, but she is adamant that the money is delivered /after/ the succession is sorted out. She is, however, willing to swear it on her honor, a concept which Blues are reputed to adhere to.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)20:54 No.13893154
    Hmmm. Fair enough, not nearly what we're worth but hey...

    It will, sadly, probably make Tashz stronger than if the princess gets elected but... really, that wouldn't have done a lot I imagine. Especially with the previous Sultan's support.

    Just in case, I would propose a meeting with the current Sultan just to see why he support his daughter over his son.

    Tell her that we will have her answer by the end of the day? Gives us time to meet with the Sultan as a head of state, and all.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:01 No.13893215
    Seems fair, surely a better off than the other claimant gave us. I would still suggest looking into the succession ourselves, though.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:02 No.13893225
    Well, that seems reasonable... though "continue to align yourself with her suzerain" is vague enough that I would want that clause either eliminated or made specific in what it will require. Our long-term allegiance is not for sale for mere tens of thousands of gold.

    Also, paid after the fact is fine but we get paid even if the candidate we're supporting loses.

    I would rather just take the deal now. I'm not really inclined to go poking our nose even further into the succession than we already have, and frankly would rather deal with other dragons than human rulers anyway, and long as they're not being assholes like that bitch Seffy. Let's call it done.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:05 No.13893258
    Eh, I'll agree to that then. You make a good point. Changing my vote to just agreeing then.

    Now that I consider it more fully, we really don't have much need to play around in Tashz when we have so many other areas that we could conquer. Areas almost as valuable from the long term standpoint.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:07 No.13893273
    Make sure we put in the clause that we get paid no matter who wins.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:07 No.13893275
    Is there any way we can get a tally to how much money we have or are owed? We've been getting steady income from Mza for something like 20 years now right? How much would 80,000 could compare to our current hoard?
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:10 No.13893309
    Pocket change.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:14 No.13893356
    Tiny, but at the same time- as was observed, this isn't really a matter of money. It's a matter of pride. As long as we are being paid, and the amount isn't utterly trivial (and tens of thousands of gold is always worth getting, when the effort and risk is minimal), then we're good.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:14 No.13893357
    No sultan, no meddling, just get paid and get on with the formal state visit. We've made a large profit here if this all goes through and we aren't strong enough to tangle with Tashazmir internal politics yet.

    Take our chips and cash them in here. Better than betting our winnings against the house and losing.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:19 No.13893422
    >though "continue to align yourself with her suzerain" is vague enough that I would want that clause either eliminated or made specific in what it will require. Our long-term allegiance is not for sale for mere tens of thousands of gold.

    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:33 No.13893632
    Ooh, good point. We don't want them getting us with loopholes and the like
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)21:36 No.13893663
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    "Hmm.... Your offer is reasonable. However, if you're insistent that you wait until it's done, I don't see that I should agree or disagree right now. You will see what I decide."

    "Hmm.... I cannot really argue with that. Very well. In that case...?"

    "I believe we are done. I can see myself out if you desire." you state. She shakes her head.

    "Not necessary. Shazzammaras, please escort him out. And deliver my compliments to your.... consort? Mate?" she asks. You decline to clarify.

    "Thank you. Of course." you promise, following the younger blue out.


    Scinnari, it turns out, has taken the time to arrange a meeting between the Sultan and you. A productive use, since she wasn't on call in the caves. You rejoin her in the palace, and proceed inward to the meeting- An unofficial one, really, but you can tolerate that. Prefer it, even.

    Scinnari, though, is somewhat insulted when she is not allowed to attend- The sultan will receive you and only you. You don't like it, but can hardly offer threats. You reluctantly concede, and are escorted through the Sultan's private quarters- more like a private wing of the palace. Vast, and luxurious beyond even what you might have imagined. You suppose it's reasonable, considering how long they've had to build it up.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)21:37 No.13893680
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    [That was the dropped clause.]

    The Sultan resides within his harem, lounging on a couch, listening to music. When you enter, he sits up, but waits almost a minute to greet you, allowing the woman playing the harp to finish. When she does, he waves her away, and finally turns to you.

    “Ah. Lord Prestor. My newest northern neighbor. Thank you for joining me.”

    “I believe I should be thanking you- I am under the impression that I requested it.” you reply. He nods.

    “Indeed. However, you waited longer than I would have liked... To the point where I was almost going to request it myself.” The sultan looks old, but not feeble. Without looking, he waves a hand, a signal, obviously, and a servant steps forward with a game board of sorts. The sultan waves again, and the servant, along with the other two in the room, depart.

    “For whatever reason?” you ask, moderately intrigued. “And I'm afraid I don't play. You will have to teach me.”

    “Of course.” the sultan agrees, and the next few minutes are a brief explanation of game mechanics. You pick it up quickly, and signal your readiness shortly, interested in what he really wants.

    “I'm an old man. Older than I look. I want many things.” he says, as he moves a piece. “Among other things, I'd like it if the wheels kept on turning. It would be a hellish title, to be remembered as the last sultan.”
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)21:38 No.13893688
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    “Understandable.” you agree, reaching for the dice, “But Tashz is the largest empire in the world. Debatable, particularly since so much is desert, but essentially accepted. It looks to be in no danger of toppling.

    “Of course not. But then, only in the best of occasions does a situation match exactly what it appears to be on the surface. For instance, Azar- Your assistance there was most appreciated.”

    “The least I could do.” you reply, not necessarily true, of course, but polite.

    “Of course.” he says, not believing a word of it, “Still. I am an old man. I want the succession to proceed... smoothly. But I would rather not have to execute one of my grand children in the process.”

    “Common knowledge seems to hold that you favor your son.” you reply neutrally.

    “Indeed. However, common knowledge also holds that I am more fond of my grand daughter.” he replies. You remain silent.

    “The real strength of Tashz is much less than it appears, you know. Particularly beyond the borders- the desert is one of our greatest allies.” he says, then, conversationally, “Did you know, if you decided you wished to invade Azar, even with your... much smaller forces, your could probably take it. And any thing I could do to prevent it, beyond the current defenders would be at least a month away.”
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)21:41 No.13893726
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    “Really.” you say. “I have a hard time believing that you are offering sound strategic advice on how to invade your empire.”

    “I don't expect you to follow it.” he replies. “But I do intend you to know, the power of Tashz is not quite as overwhelming as it might appear. We are... decadent, I suppose.”

    “Perhaps you can tell me what you desire? If you would, I can tell you whether I can do it.”

    “Very well. Succcession, for Tashz to remain... strong, requires my grandson to take the throne. I would prefer, though, that I did not have to bury my grand daughter in the process.”

    “I... Could, conceivably get her away.” you admit. “I don't see why you desire me to do so, though. Or rather, I don't see why you desire /me/ to do so.”

    “Ah... Well, Exheln would also be an option, but they're hardly safe at the moment.”

    “And... A more established faction might use her against Tashz, eventually.” you guess. The sultan inclines his head slightly, not enough to be called a nod. “The others are either old enemies, or rivals. Or Exheln.”


    “Old enemies. Very old, but enemies none the less.” the sultan replies. “I would be most grateful if my grand daughter would end up... out of the kingdom, but safe. And not held as political leverage.”

    "I am hardly... Ah." You reply. "You wish to convince me that Tashz is not a threat, so that you can convince me to help you grand daughter escape."

    "Beg is a strong word." the sultan replies, "And, I can... deal with the outcome, no matter what. But my request has been made clear."
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:48 No.13893830
    Tell him that we will see what we can do about this. What does his grandson think of this plan? Or does he know? Also, why did he allow his granddaughter to participate in staking a claim for the throne if he knew it would end up like this?

    Finally, mention to him that we know of several less human associates interested in the succession. Ask him what they would think of this.

    Then when we go back and talk with Lezzeskauva we will know the right questions to ask her to determine what our position should be with regards to the daughter.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)21:54 No.13893892

    At the very least, we can use the young lady to keep the bloodline of our Sorcerer Assassins more pure.

    I seriously doubt the other dragons care much about whether the girl lives or dies - merely that she does not ascend the throne and never does.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:00 No.13893972
    I'd be willing to go along with this, although we should clarify with the Sultan exactly what each of his grandchildren knows about his plan and how they feel/would react to it. We'll probably want to arrange it to look like the girl died, for public consumption; we'll need a body double or a clone or something, which should be well within his means.

    Also, we'll need to know what we'd get out of this directly, as while it's always nice to shelter fugitives doing so is not without risk and we'll need compensation.

    We personally should be able to produce an anti-divination device, preferably a hugely heavy duty one like we've got, but altered/cursed so that she can't take it off and so that it gives us some measure of communication/control over her. And possibly changes her appearance. Then we can both have her protected from people inclined to hunt her down and treat her as relatively loyal to us.

    Somehow I don't think that turning her into a brainwashed baby machine is what the Sultan has in mind for his beloved granddaughter.

    I do not think that we need the blues' approval for this one, and running it past them at all seems unwise to me- if they disapprove I don't want them to be in position to block us off.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:00 No.13893984
    Insist on a meeting with this girl first. If we are going to be giving her asylum we want to know what she is like, surely the Sultan can understand that.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)22:16 No.13894185
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    “How will they react to this?” you ask, “Do they know?”

    “Arranius might suspect, but he would not know. He would make attempts to stop you, but I don't think he would pursue the matter seriously. Lessana does not know, however, I can arrange for her to escape 'to' you, should you agree. Or to wherever you desire.”

    “And may I meet Lessana, if I am to give her asylum?” you ask.

    “No. She will not meet with you on her own, and I do not wish to tip my hand. She is not insufferable, though. If all else fails, you only have to get her away from Tashz- she is capable of taking care of herself to some degree, once she escapes her title and reputation. She is... somewhat temperamental, but not terrible. ”

    “I see. The more... reptilian members of your court, do they have an opinion?”

    “Ah. Of course, half the court is composed of dragons, and they pull all the strings here....” the sultan agrees, as if recounting popular rumor. “They have no say in this. They have always had far less say than they think they do, but they do, at least, tend to plan for the long game. Generally, they desire what is wise for Tashz anyway... But in this, they shall not be indulged.”

    “I am not certain I wish to risk offending your longer-lived courtiers... What can I expect to receive for assisting you with this?” you ask.

    “Well, obviously you receive as much leverage as you could hope for, for free.” the sultan replies dryly, “But assuming you intend to deal with me... honorably, in this regard, I can see my way to making sure your are compensated. Do you have any specific requests?”
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:20 No.13894237
    While he will not be Sultan afterward, I for one am sure that he will still remain a powerful political force. If we could have him pressure his grandson into formally recognizing Mza as a kingdom on the world stage that would be excellent. Perhaps some trade deals, now that Azar has been annihilated? It would surely be good for both states, but hopefully they can benefit us a bit more than they do Tashz.

    Ask him if he has the false execution and such taken care of, or if he just planned to spirit her away mysteriously?
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:22 No.13894261
    Free access in and through his empire for all of our caravans and shipping. Mutual extradition of criminals. Open exchange programs with his universities, trade schools, and colleges of wizardry. These would need to be bound by treaty, and ideally his heir would be willing to honor them.

    If nothing else this should convince the sultan that while we're looking to our own benefit, that benefit won't be accompanied with a knife in his back.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:25 No.13894301

    seconding this , also a no aggression pact might be nice too
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:26 No.13894318
    Firstly, ask for his aid in making Lessana appear to be dead. We'll handle getting her heavy-duty divination protections (so that we can add control elements, not that we'll tell him that), but ideally no one will seek her because she's believed deceased. Things would be far cleaner that way, and there would be less... awkwardness between you and the draconian types. That should keep her safe and you well protected politically in the long term.

    Her temperament should not prove a problem once we have her away from Tashz and in our power.

    Of course we intend to deal honorably with the Sultan in this. No blackmail over it, at least within his lifetime; as a dragon we can afford to wait a generation or two before using Lessana's claim to the throne (or rather, that of her descendants) to our advantage.

    At the moment, ask for his aid in making Mza rise in prominence as a trading nation. He's got an endless web of connections, he must- he should be more than able to manipulate things so that they go our way in terms of international trade without ever making it appear that he's directly favoring us, and to do so in a fashion that will make the effects of his actions last long after he passes. That's what we want- to make Mza rich and strong.

    I think we can leave the details to his discretion, as a capable and honorable individual.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:29 No.13894361
    Not all of this has to happen at once. He can give us some of it as repayment for our actions in the war, obviously, but more of it will need to be done quietly by the Sultan working politically out of his retirement in the years to come, so that it's not obvious to everyone that he's got a reason to shower us with tons of impressive international-scale gifts.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:37 No.13894468
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    Picture related to the IRC. You know what about.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:44 No.13894544
    What is that picture from anyways?
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:47 No.13894578
    A good point. Our assistance in the campaign against Azar could easily explain Tashz's recognition of Mza, and the Sultan in his retirement could work out the treaties, to better our 'friendship'.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:48 No.13894596
    You probably don't want to know.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:49 No.13894606
    Oh I asked. Ergo I most likely want to know.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:50 No.13894626
    According to Google:
    Mei Shoku No Rei Hime Yuruya Kani Hai Metsu Suru Ao Sango No Mori

    fucking moonspeak, man.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:51 No.13894637
    Meishoku no Reiki
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)22:52 No.13894649
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    You pause for a few dozen seconds, thinking it through. Yes, you can work with this... You can even work honestly with this.

    “Very well. Provided she is 'assumed deceased', I can assist you in this matter. I presume you can make that happen?”

    “Of course.” the sultan says, moving another piece on the board.

    “In return, I want benefits for Mza. Recognition is nice, but not most important- What I really want is your assistance, over the years. Subtle things. Opportunities, favorable trade circumstances, and so on; I want your assistance in maintaining Mza's growth. Growth and power to protect itself, obviously.”

    “Indeed. I can make it happen... and I think I will be pleased with this arrangement.” Obviously, if you renege at a later date, he'll be able to halt his efforts.

    “Very well...”

    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/13/11(Sun)22:52 No.13894664
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    The game lasts another half hour, during which the sultan trounces you soundly. Admittedly you were somewhat distracted, but... Well, you didn't expect him to be quite so lucky. Luck. Of course.

    You are escorted out, and return to your chambers, where Scinnari awaits you. Quietly, you fill her in, confident in you magical protection, but aware of the more mundane variety of espionage. Scinnari is laughing by the time you finish.

    “Asha will have company soon!”

    “No.” you shake your head, “No need. We can wait until the sultan dies, at least- he's over eighty. This is one agreement I think we can keep honestly.”

    “I see... a pity, but wise. You are correct, of course.” Scinnari says, pausing to consider it. “Like always, it seems. Now, as I understand it, the reception is in two days, when the succession will be announced. Is there anything we need to do before then?”
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)22:58 No.13894734
    See who the diplomat Freeport sent is, and why he was sent if they are old foes. Enhance the protections around the eggs with magic. Maybe a solid fog bank that can't be seen through. That way if any spies do get in they won't be able to feel or see what the eggs are. They will just know there is one huge item.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:02 No.13894781
    Yes, several things.

    First, we need to take action to be visibly seen as keeping our agreement with the blues, to be sure that we get paid.

    Second, we need to make or buy the magic item described in >>13893972- it will likely take a bit more time than two days to get something high-quality arranged, but if nothing else get some decent anti-scrying measures on short notice that we but no one else can punch through. We need to prepare to protect a fugitive, and that'll require some work to set up.

    Also prepare rooms for the princess somewhere. Our castle at first, I think; we can move her out into someplace useful later. Just so long as our people expect and are ready for an honored guest.

    Aside from that, just protect our gift and keep hanging out in court meeting people, I suppose.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:07 No.13894874
    Uh, do we really want to keep her near Asha? What if they... Eugh, recognize each other? I don't know what effect that would have on Asha, but that would be horrible for the princess. Perhaps we can establish some lodgings for her in the city? "A friend of lord Prestor" or something. Not, you know, a royal guest.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:09 No.13894897
    Good point. Perhaps something an estate within or near the city, but not in the castle itself. When asked why not, answer that the palace is the first place that would be searched by spies and assassins.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:11 No.13894921
    You have a point. She probably should be kept away from our more sensitive secrets until we've slapped a controlling device on her. A place in town, then; just make sure that she can't be randomly seen and identified. Cheap alteration spell or something.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:12 No.13894946
    If we plan to make use of the princess then she will eventually know about Asha. Asha will tell the princess whatever story we want her to. She has been a mindbroken slave for over two decades at this point. I doubt seeing a younger relative (who might not have even been born at the time she left) will do much. I would be shocked if the princess recognized Asha, considering she was no doubt in the single-digits agewise when Asha ran away.

    Plus, we want the princess close at hand, under close supervision, and not making plots against us that we don't know about.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:27 No.13895162
    I know how we can reasonably keep the princess in Mza. Once she is given a new identity and appearance, she is resettled in Mza in a well appointed manor, though it's certain to be modest by her standards. She'll have a small stipend, and a basic staff of servants (and a one or bodyguards posing as staff) to see to her daily needs. The reason for her presence and wealth? Why, it's a poorly kept secret that she is King Prestor's concubine. His wife doesn't approve of such arrangements, so he keeps her nearby, but well outside of the castle grounds, and is never seen in public to her.

    It would readily explain why she's so well taken care of, and it would discourage anyone from casually attempting to harm her. Lady Prestor could of course act as disapprovingly as she chooses in public about the arrangement.

    For the princess, it's certainly a step down, but she'd still have considerable social status in her new society, and it beats a knife in the back or poison in the food, and she'd still enjoy some level of freedom. Not only that, but she'd also be concubine in name only, unless she chose otherwise.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:29 No.13895197
    I don't like it. It seems her talents would be put to better use as a steward or social manipulator.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:30 No.13895215
    The two things are not mutually exclusive.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:31 No.13895231
    After we get her under control I was rather planning to send her off to the northern cities we've taken and have her work as a high-level type- sort of a duchess to our king, although with far less autonomy than the title usually implies. Her skillset would hopefully allow her to grow our holdings there and her own prominence along with it.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:32 No.13895246
    Being our concubine actively hinders her ability to be a social butterfly or our steward. Everything she says or does afterward will be linked to us implicitly.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:41 No.13895374
    Plus it makes marrying her off harder, and for a princess to be directly demoted to concubine... yikes.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:42 No.13895394
    But just think of the tsundere conversation opportunities!
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:44 No.13895414
    That's not a formula for tsundere, it's for actual hate.
    >> Anonymous 02/13/11(Sun)23:46 No.13895435
    I don't see the difference here.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:07 No.13895700
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    Aligning with Prince Arranius is simple, though it requires some swallowing of your pride. Well, sacrifices must be made, and there are plenty of worse causes than for another eighty thousand gold...

    An air of paranoia, however, leaves you with other things to do. Among other things, preparations for the rapid departure you are scheduled to make. Something to protect Lessana, beyond simply 'being in your presence' and your amulet of protection. Such preparations are relatively easily made. Additionally, making sure you have the other attendants in hand... You consider eliminating the random factor that is the Urgash prince, but decide against it, as you aren't even certain it would be beneficial. You stay your hand, and turn to other matters- The Exheln ambassador's present becomes clear with some mundane spying- a ring of sorcery, a powerful one, at that. Not quite worthy of a sultan, you suspect, but a passable gift for such a small state.

    And the reception approaches. The amount of lavish service and ostentatious display increases, beyond what you already considered the maximum. And then more. The stream of Tashz nobles and officials entering the capital for the even peaks, and tapers off, with only a few arriving on the day itself. Rumor has it that some of the ones that “didn't make it in time” are holding off because they fear the results, having allied themselves with one heir or the other too closely. But as one vizier of a distant province comments to you over dinner the night before, “Fools! A Tashzmir succession is worth a hundred slow deaths!”. Exaggerated, but not inconceivable, considering what the Sultan is raining on even the least of his guests.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:07 No.13895711
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    When it finally comes time to attend the reception itself, Scinnari insists on preparation, fine-tuning her (and your, to your distress,) outfit and regalia for the event. You can't really argue, of course- this is the event of the century. Final instructions to your guards, who have had their hands full, and preparations for your rapid departure... The reception starts at noon, and shows no promise of stopping before midnight.

    And what a reception. Fifty visiting dignitaries, of lesser stature than yourself, a half-dozen major ambassadors, a hundred major nobles of Tashz... As the Vizier spoke the previous night, it is a spectacular display, and the closest thing a mortal could probably achieve to heavan. Well, a humanoid mortal... That thought dulls the display some, but not much.

    The first few hours involve the Sultan receiving his own subordinates, nobles, viziers, and other dignitaries from around Tashz. Gifts are exchanged, lesser, obviously, than the things the other nations and you have prepared, but otherwise most lavish. As always, the Sultan gives the greater of the gifts. Another thing you notice with some surprise is that he seems to know everyone in attendance. /Everyone/, by name. An impressive feat, for a mere human.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:09 No.13895729
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    Music is a constant, as is food- an unending feast is constantly refreshed, and people arrive throughout the day. An entire wing of the palace seems devoted to the event, and people pass from room to room freely, but you see many people around... A few you even recognize. Scinnari points out the general from Azar, who she warned about your storm, you recognize the Freeport emissary, that half-elf member of the council... Arias, maybe? Yes, that was it- A few others catch your eye, too- A trio of imperious women, for instance, unrelated except for the color of their sapphire attire. You hardly need that visual clue- simply the manner of their bearing is enough to explain who they are. The gift-giving moves through the nobles, and the general is called up. The Sultan's gift for the successful campaign is generous: The general is made a chosen servant of the Sultanate, something roughly translatable as 'knight', or 'duke', and given the province of Azar to manage as his own. He makes suitably grateful noises, and the Sultan moves on to the lesser foreign dignitaries. Another hour as they pass, then on to the major ones. You identify both Prince Arranius and Princess Lassana in attendance, eying each other hostilely.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)00:21 No.13895895
    Well, not a lot to do here. Enjoy ourself, make sure the Freeport guy doesn't get a look at/recognize Scinnari, chat with people. It's not our party, and it seems like it's flowing along pretty well.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)00:37 No.13896057
    Second. Maybe try to see (subtly) if the granddaughter was informed of the plan.
    We do not want to appear as if we are kidnappers.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:40 No.13896093
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    [Someone requested descriptions, don't worry, real posts coming.]

    Prince Arranius is tall, imperious, and, you are forced to concede, looks the part of a sorcerous sultan. Impressive and intimidating, at least, among the lesser races- the fact that you would be several dozen times his height, normally, keeps you from being too impressed. His titles suggest a martial history, as well- A veteran of a few campaigns including some fairly vicious ones against the Urgash tribes.

    Princess Lassana is different, nearly his opposite number- a more mundane-looking queen. (Sultaness? You aren't certain about how the specifics of such a title work. Gender-indistinct, you think.) She commands attention, though, and looks quite beautiful, as far as humanoids go. She seems to have inherited some of her grandfather's talent for names, and seems to know most of those in attendance at the party, or at least be able to chat amiably with those she doesn't know. Scinnari doesn't seem too terribly impressed with her, but then again, Scinnari is hardly impartial.

    You meet with both, and while they are polite, both have an a air of passive disdain. Not so much contempt as utter certainty that they will inherit the most powerful empire in the world tonight... Scinnari briefly asks you in draconic whether you she will be able to cure her of that, and you hurriedly remind her that now is hardly the time or place.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)00:41 No.13896118
    I can't wait to see the reaction when we present the eggs of that whatchamacallit
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)00:44 No.13896160
    can't stop
    can't stop the roc
    you can't stop the roc
    can't stop the roc
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:46 No.13896185
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    Rhasver is first- And makes an impressive show of it. The iron golems tower above the crowd, menacing and lethal-looking. It occurs to you that they're probably quite different to dwarves than they are to others- They're /several/ /times/ the height of a dwarf, whereas they're only close to twice as tall as an elf or human- The impact must be somewhat different for them.

    Such thoughts keep you distracted, and probably keep them from making quite as much of an impression on you as the seem to on everyone else. The few guards around the occasion, and the recently promoted general, seem quite uneasy at the sight- perhaps left over from their not-so-ancient war. Still, the Rahsver emissary's words are mostly on 'peace' between the two nations, and hopes for a mutually beneficial future. Exheln makes a similar statement, playing up the reputed power of the the Sultan's sorcery, and apologizing for the turmoil in their own country that prevents a more worthy gift. Scinnari scoffs disapprovingly at their not-quite-blatant pleas for help, but you think she might be exaggerating. No matter, though.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:47 No.13896192
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    The Urgash prince's gift, however, is an interesting presentation. Nobody seems particularly impressed with him, or the token he offers the sultan, but his words are another matter.

    “This will protect you, or any who wear it, from anything the desert may hold for them. Sun, sand, wind, and creatures will not harm the bearer- if pressed, the desert will rise in the bearer's defense.”

    An impressive claim, but you aren't certain you don't believe it- you can smell the magic on the talisman from where you're watching, and by the gestures of the blue dragons you've identified, they can too.

    Freeport is less interesting. Arias brings nothing, but states that the “best ship in the world” sits at the Cazranel docks, courteous of the master-shipwrights of Freeport. His assistant, a scribe who looks slightly familiar, but you can't place, presents some paperwork, then follows her superior back from the sultan's throne, into the crowd. And so it comes to your turn....
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:48 No.13896210
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    “His Grace, Lord Varian Prestor, ruler of Mza.” is called. You wonder idly how 'dragon-king' would go over, if attached to your list of titles, but not seriously. You advance, and signal your armsmen, getting them to roll the carts in. Witnesses reactions are interested, and enough people start whispering to give you the impression that your carts have become semi-infamous, and an object of discussion. As they roll up, your guards arrange them behind you, and you remove the covers of each cart.

    “Roc eggs.” you say, not quite unnecessarily- some whispers your unnaturally sharp hearing picked up seemed to be guessing that they were dragon eggs- These people obviously haven't seen such a thing in their life. Well, most of them, you suppose, remembering three particular guests.

    “Roc eggs.” you repeat clearly, “And my dwarf informs me that they are near hatching. I am certain that Tash can use them to their benefit in some fashion.”
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)00:50 No.13896233
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    “Even if only for exceptionally large omelets...” The sultan says faintly, standing and coming to examine the nearest egg. “A... Princely gift.” He signals, and a servant steps forward with a tray with an obsidian bottle on it.

    “A Dao, an earth-genie that owes quite a bit in debt. I do not know whether he will offer you the customary wishes, but either way, likely to be of service.” the sultan replies, placing the bottle in your hands. The volcanic glass is smooth, and warm to the touch.

    “You are most generous.” you reply with a nod, accepting your dismissal. You return to the crowd with a thin smile, though- The sultan stood for exactly one other person, an old friend of his. This is not lost of the crowd.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:02 No.13896378
    Oh shit what can we do with a genie? Also, how does the sultan even know what to give us in return? He just signals a servant and they come with the right gift.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)01:03 No.13896396
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    “And now... as many have expected, the primary event.” The sultan is old, but his voice rises easily above the crowd's murmurs. “I call my heir.... Son of my son, Prince Arranius. Come forth.”. A murmur arises from the crowd, and you sweep your gaze... Yes, there's Arranius, and there's Lassana, making a hasty exit. At least the Sultan seems to have made arrangements- she seems to know the guards at the exits, and is let out. You turn your attention back to the events unfolding. Very formal and ceremonial, the sheer pretentiousness inclines you to tune it out to some degree, but they are, thankfully, short.

    The sultan stands, gives his crown and scepter to his grandson, and allows his grandson to take the throne. Applause breaks out, and the crowd begins to scatter- The reception is over, the celebration has begun.

    [Official 'What Do?'. Any specific goals?]
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:04 No.13896406
    Earth-genie, you say? Maybe we can use him to reinforce our castle, or expand our island... And that might not even need a wish!
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:06 No.13896435
    Having a Dao in our debt/service could easily be better than three wishes.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:09 No.13896471
    who are in our entourage again? If we have any Ashaites around we should probably have them shadow the good princess and make sure she is safe from harm.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:09 No.13896473
    >Also, how does the sultan even know what to give us in return? He just signals a servant and they come with the right gift.
    He secretly prepares like fifty gifts, assigns each to a servant, and has distinct waves that he uses to indicate which servant should come forward. Easy way to make sure he can match or top whatever is presented with minimal initial preparation.

    I rather assume that it's customary for each person present to give their congratulations to the new ruler; we'll need to ensure that we do so. We should also- subtly- speak with the Sultan at some point, although that should wait for a while and be done only briefly.

    Presumably arrangements have been made such that we'll be contacted when the princess is secured somewhere that we can extract her from. Until then, we hang out and enjoy the party, dance with Scinnari, get a sense of how our gifts given and received went over, what our political position is as a result of the Sultan's standing for us.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:11 No.13896511
    The Sultan was going to "arrange for her to escape 'to'" us. The ball is in his court until she is delivered into our keeping, at which point she becomes our responsibility.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:13 No.13896537
    First, as is only proper, we go to the new Sultan and congratulate him on his rise to power. Say how we hope Mza and Tash will continue to have good and profitable relations in the future.

    Then let us get something to eat and mingle, see how our gifts went over and more importantly how our reception by the old Sultan went over. Speak with important looking people, especially powerful merchants or nobles who support those merchants. Tell them how we look forward to profitable relations in the future. Let Scinnari choose some that we visit as well, she has a good eye for potential marks. Try to avoid introducing Scinnari to the ambassador's aide. That sounds like Cygnis. Voice our suspicions to her and have her watch the aide from a distance while we go speak to the Freeport ambassador. When we come back she can report on what she saw.

    Then on to the fun. Dance with our lady and some others, eat our fill, and partake of the entertainments that are no doubt around the palace. Jesters, dancing bears (or giant scorpions in this case), and who knows what other exotic entertainments there will be.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:14 No.13896554
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    My sugestion

    we probably should mingle to be polite and gather up on rumors. one of us should stay behind to make look like we have been present the whole time after we meet enough people. After a while either we or Scinnari could check up on how the departure of the heir is going. making sure to cover our tracks and deflect suspicion.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:22 No.13896653
    Details for custom amulet:

    Mind Blank.
    Alternate form into a single different body, also human female.
    Cursed so that she can never remove it without our consent.
    Lets us scry on it and communicate with her as we can with Scinnari and cast on her without being inhibited by the Mind Blank.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:23 No.13896673
    Seconding. We should speak with the old sultan dude too while we are at it. Thank him for the gift and everything.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:24 No.13896695
    Nah, that's the Sultan's thing. It would just look weird if we were asking around after it, and if it's well enough concealed to get her away then... well, we won't be finding it in a few hours.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:25 No.13896701
    rolled 59 = 59

    Rolling as per WD request, I guess.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:25 No.13896703
    rolled 43 = 43

    Rolling for custom amulet

    Big money, no whammy
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:26 No.13896708
    rolled 9 = 9

    And again.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:28 No.13896739
    Last minute addition! Make it so that the curse is such that she never even thinks about taking it off, so she never needs to try. We don't want her getting all resentful.

    Though, if she notices and confronts us we can just tell her we don't want her blowing her cover because it was removed. This is dangerous for us too, ect. ect. Makes sense, after all.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:29 No.13896760
    >Try to avoid introducing Scinnari to the ambassador's aide. That sounds like Cygnis.
    >His assistant, a scribe who looks slightly familiar, but you can't place
    Considering that we talk with Cygnis at least once a month, and presumably she's not always wearing scales, I daresay we'd be able to place her in a matter of seconds. Not to mention that we've got magical truesight, so if that is her she's protected from detection by that. We might mention to Scinnari that the scribe looks familiar, though.

    Also even if Scinnari was somehow recognized, I think that our Cibach persona ditched her way back so it's hardly a problem.

    For the record, I believe the desired attributes were:
    -Protection from scrying, all the way up to mind blank level if we can get it
    -Alter self, or at least alternate form into a single different body so that she can't be recognized
    -Cursed so that it can't be removed
    -Lets us scry on it and communicate with her as we can with Scinnari
    -Lets us hit her with mental influence spells through its own protection/gives us a bonus to target her

    Your basic "you are now under my protection, and also working for me forever" item, really.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:32 No.13896798
    It's not necessarily a magical disguise.

    In any case, it's worth further investigation.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)01:33 No.13896812
    With the money in her hoard, a polymorph spell is not out of reach.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)01:54 No.13897105
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    “Your Grace? A message for you. If you'd care to attend..?” the servant speaks nervously, having picked you out of the crowd.

    “Oh? What is it?”

    “Ah, private, I was told. A... 'friend', I was told.” he says, and you nod. That would be the signal to go assist with Lessana's disappearance...

    “I see. I will be with you in a moment.” you reply. You excuse yourself from who you were speaking with, and catch Scinnari's eye, on the dance floor- She signals her acknowledgment, and you follow the servant out. Past the guards, to whom the servant flashes the Sultan's seal, and through the palace, to the wing your entourage inhabits. Princess Lessana awaits you in your quarters.

    “I am told... you can facilitate my exit of the city?” she asks, still proud, but with an undercurrent of fear in her tone. She knows what awaits her if she remains.

    “Your grandfather has made that request of me. He is arranging for your 'death' to occur, and I am ready to take you away from here. First, though, this.” you reply, producing the amulet you had prepared. Were anyone to identify the princess as hiding under your protection, it would ruin the death the ex-sultan had planned, and would raise some awkward questions. Things like, “Why are you harboring a fugitive of Tashz?”. The amulet you had prepared will go a long way towards preventing that, perhaps all the way. As well as some other features....
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)01:55 No.13897115
    “I... Very well. I thank you for assistance in this matter.” Lassana replies. Evidently swallowing some pride to say it. She seems reluctant, but dons the amulet without question.

    “Thank me when you are on Mza.” you reply. “That should not take very long, however. Are you ready?” She nods, still nervous, and you teleport the pair of you several hundred miles North- To a room you have made ready in Mza, a private estate in the city.

    “As I said, you are now on Mza- The estate is yours, however, I will have to ask that you stay here for the moment- your needs will be met, but I do not want questions raised, such as why someone happened to show up before I returned. Particularly right after this day. When I return, we may discuss things further. Now unless there is anything else, I must return before I am missed.” you pause, allowing her an opportunity to ask, but she doesn't take it- she seems somewhat queasy over the teleportation, a side effect you haven't encountered before, but have heard of. “Very well. I will speak to you before then.”

    Teleporting back, you exit your quarters and rejoin the servant. “Thank you, that was most urgent. I have dealt with it- if you will show me back to the reception?”

    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)01:57 No.13897145
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    The party goes on, and now without the threat of being called away, you are free to join Scinnari and others on the dance floor- Scinnari, Two of the three Blues (one of whom makes a fairly suggestive invitation- you decline politely), some nobility of Tashz... The night wears on pleasantly. Scinnari shares a dance with Sultan Arranius, and delivers your congratulations, though you still make a point of doing so yourself. The prince is less distant than previously, and seems to have re-evaluated you- Rocs are apparently extremely dangerous creatures, and everyone seems quite impressed with your gift. You both make vague promises of friendship and mutual profit, and he graciously accepts your compliments on his succession. After speaking with him, you move to find the ex-Sultan.

    “I hear you were called away on urgent business.” he says by way of greeting.

    “Sadly unavoidable and necessary.” you reply. “It was, however, dealt with.”

    “Well. I am glad you were able to make it back.”

    [More coming, anything else you want special attention paid to, feel free to mention]
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)02:00 No.13897182
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    >-Protection from scrying, all the way up to mind blank level if we can get it
    Mind blank. Check.

    >-Alter self, or at least alternate form into a single different body so that she can't be recognized
    Alternate form, [human female, beautiful], at will. Check.

    >-Cursed so that it can't be removed
    It cannot be removed. check. (No mental hiding, or compulsion, though.)

    >-Lets us scry on it and communicate with her as we can with Scinnari
    >-Lets us hit her with mental influence spells through its own protection/gives us a bonus to target her
    You are capable of overriding the mindblank, but only you.

    The device is saturated with magic, though, and can be no further altered.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)02:21 No.13897442
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    Sifting through the crowd, you manage to single out Soderheim, the Freeport ambassador. He does not look terribly pleased to see you.

    "Ah. The sorcerer-king of Mza... I would not advise visiting Freeport any time soon, Lord Prestor, Lady Katya. You are somewhat infamous there.”

    “Arias Soderheim.” you state, in similar greeting, “Really? And to what do I owe that particular honor?” you ask, amused, “The last I heard someone that unpopular, all they did was save the city.”
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)02:23 No.13897456
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    Part of your comment couldn't be posted...
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:26 No.13897496
    FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF- How are we going to explain this to Cygnis? Our explanation for having an Erinyes with us was that she was 'bound' to us by an evil wizard, or something... (It hink, it's been, like, THIRTY threads, so I could be wrong.) How do we explain why she's chillin' with the epic-level sorcerer of Mza?

    also, how do wejustify not having mentinoed this before?
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:27 No.13897507

    Female assissant by chance...?
    And I hope we just didn't bump into our mutual free port friend. They'd have no reason to be at one of the important events of decade right?

    Might be wise to determine if it just happens to be a gold dragon running around in disguise as an assistant...again. Preferably in a manner that doesn't use Scinnari.
    >> Maximus 02/14/11(Mon)02:27 No.13897508
    You don't. The assistant just has to disappear. Unless the assistant IS Cygnis herself. Then you're boned period.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:30 No.13897533
    Pff, it's hardly a big deal. We've been speaking with Cygnis on a fairly frequent basis, but presumably Scinnari was hardly the topic. So if/when she brings it up, we just say "You saw who? Really? Wow, so that's what she's doing these days!"
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:30 No.13897546
    Uh, why is this a problem? Explain it like so: "You were completely right, I banished her back to the hells eventually... I can hardly be responsible if some other sorcerer then summoned her. Devils are, sadly, immortal. I couldn't slay her."

    And we can straight lie to her now thanks to our Mind Blank.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:32 No.13897563
    that explanation might come back to bite us if/when we go back to our Cibach persona
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:36 No.13897607
    I'm pretty sure that we're only going back to being Cibach long enough to get some cash from Cygnis and ensnare her into a truly horrible fate. Long conversations in which we dwell upon the fate of certain devils should not be a part of it.

    Ascertaining if that assistant is Cygnis could be nice. But eh, whatever. Keep partying it up, meeting people and making contacts, let the festivities wear on.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:36 No.13897610
    Right now our Cibach persona is looking far inferior to our current one, and I don't see how it would. If we banished Scinnari then... well, we honestly couldn't be held responsible for anything else she did. And Cygnis herself told us that she was dangerous and should be banished.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:38 No.13897626
    If we said she was bound to us couldn't we just say that the "epic-level sorcerer of Mza" was the one who did it?
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:38 No.13897629
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    'Yes. 'Female assistant' verified, it says 'her' at the end. Waifu-wars, activate!
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:38 No.13897632
    plus anyways, she wouldn't necessarily recognize her on sight, as i would assume the "lady Katya" persona looks different than scinnari. WD, am i correct in my asumption? if so, i wouldn't worry too much
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:39 No.13897648
    I doubt she looks much different. Scinnari can't alter her form nearly as much as we can, she was still clearly recognizable when she was disguising herself for the Finn business.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:40 No.13897655
    oh, and continue partying, forgot to add that.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:43 No.13897676

    Waifu war is already over. We got Scinnari knocked up with true offspring. Our assassin princess banging out kids for the sake of having more minions. We just got another princess to add to the harem. And we've already decided to bind the gold dragon whenever it's convenient. Problems solved. Only issue is if we get a pure draconic waifu going on here, it will disrupt the greater wafiu hierarchy substantially.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:43 No.13897682
    Better yet, say we had the Sorcerer-King of Mza banish her back to the hells for a fee.

    "We were there, he waved his hands and she vanished. I then paid him and left to look into more cult leads.

    Wait, you mean he didn't actually banish her? But why!? That lying bastard! I'll come visit you soon and we can make plans to go to Mza and destroy him."
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:45 No.13897696
    We cannot actually lie to Cygnis. Anything we say must be an evasion or truth which implies a falsehood.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:47 No.13897724
    Yes, we can. Mind blank amulet. We could tell her that she's a kobold and she won't be able to tell we are lying through magical means.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)02:58 No.13897821
    >(one of whom makes a fairly suggestive invitation- you decline)

    Aww yeah. You say no, WD, but the potential harem just keeps growing...
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)02:59 No.13897835
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    Scinnari does indeed look different. She seems to have an 'alter self at will' ability.
    Yes, female.


    The events carry long into the night. Scinnari seems to be enjoying herself greatly, and you on multiple occasions overhear her conversing with people, either manipulating conversations skillfully, or making with vicious verbal repartee. You are, on more than one occasion, complimented on your wife, and congratulations are given for her pregnancy- Scinnari happens to be nearby, on one occasion, and she positively glows after hearing it.

    Though the festivities extend well into the next day, you depart shortly before dawn, unwilling to fall asleep at the party. And while you could plausibly maintain such a presence, the number of awake-and-present guests has diminished considerably. You excuse yourself, and overhear some conversation on the way out- Apparently Princess Lassana was detected attempting to flee the palace, and executed by a retainer of the Sultan's. Dead, she is no longer a threat to succession... The sultan is evidently competent at his job.

    The 'reception' lasts next week in various forms, and you are obliged to stay for most of it- Not that you're complaining, as it every bit as luxurious and lavish under Arranius as it was under his grandfather. Still, you are vaguely relived when the time comes to leave- Fantastic the palace may be, but it is not /yours/, not Mza. You are also pleasantly satisfied when an extra cart appears among your entourage, one that you did not bring with you, but upon investigation is revealed to contain eighty thousand gold pieces.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:02 No.13897854
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    i may be a bit paranoid but...

    it could be the devilish plot that Scinnari was forced into. she had to tell her superior about our plans. if that is the case devils are trying to take over free port via corruption of church.

    either that of the gods have gotten a bit more chatty than usual and we are on a divine black list.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)03:03 No.13897863
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    BTW, What do, and all that. What are you planning on saying to Lessana, once you return to Mza, and are there any other plans people intend to pursue?
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:04 No.13897873
    Just let her know her place in Mza, propose a few ideas as to her social status and generally let her choose whether or not she wants to be a real concubine (probably not, but it never hurts to ask.)

    Ask her if there's anything further she requires and then move on to a timeskip barring any further mishaps or attention demanding events.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:06 No.13897889
    That doesn't make sense at all. And gods are chatty in general to their worshipers, why are you shocked?
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:07 No.13897896
    Well... Wait, are we posing as a god for the lizardmen? This is important, gods tend to frown on competition.

    Though actually, it is concievable that their sea goddess got tired of them assuming it was HER wrecking the fleets and claiming ships. Divine passing of the buck, that sort of thing... Well, maybe that isn't very likely, I don't know. Never mind.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:09 No.13897906
    That seems rather blunt. No asking her to be a real concubine, at least until we get to know her first, damn.

    But yeah, just let her know her place in the new world she is going to live in. Not mean or vicious, but firmly. Get a set of her skills at politics and rulership, and ask if she would be interested in joining our staff for running Mza. If she proves particularly good then assure her she will rapidly move up to becoming our steward for the city... though of course completely subordinate to us and our wife.

    If she asks about the amulet not being removable just tell her it's a precaution we are taking. It's to protect both us and her, so we would of course like a measure of security as well.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:11 No.13897923
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    we could technically tell a half truth that we did it to deflect the acid rains caused by a black. that statement is true leaving out the rest.

    however doing so is admitting guilt i want to find out if it really is divine Communion or if it is a plot by another power first.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:12 No.13897931
    >eighty thousand gold pieces
    Delicious golden candy.

    Back to Mza, then. Hopefully we won't encounter any additional difficulty with that bronze on the way back.

    Oh, and hey, on the trip back quietly pressure that merchant into cracking and admitting that he was skimming money from us. Nothing violent or overt, just make sure that he knows we know and won't tolerate.

    >What are you planning on saying to Lessana
    That depends a great deal on how she's adjusting to being trapped in an estate and unable to take off that necklace. The latter can be explained away easily enough- no way in hell would it be wise to risk someone under our protection getting careless and endangering both themselves and us.

    Anyway, the question of what to do with her... I suppose we can offer her the option of staying in that estate indefinitely with a small stipend, courtesy of the sultan's request for us to take care of her, or of working for us. If she's willing to work for us, then we can give her a fairly high rank and set her to the task of managing and expanding our cities in the north. She'd basically be a noble and free to expand her holdings, with the understanding that "her holdings" are in fact our holdings and that we will not tolerate the slightest deviation of her loyalty- Lord Prestor does not fuck around with traitors and betrayers. Still, it'd be a way for her to basically keep living the life of someone high-ranking, and probably a lot less boring for one of her skills than exile in a minor but comfortable estate.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:13 No.13897938
    Yes, but lizardmen and kobolds generally worship dragons as gods anyway, and gods don't run around stomping out everyone that claims to be one. That's silly. They have only limited intervention into the world anyway.

    This isn't the Forgotten Realms, where every adventurer has an artifact blade and every tavern has a polymorphed dragon or godly avatar in it.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:14 No.13897944
    What the hell? It was the goddess. Even if it wasn't why would we care? Freeport is not really a big concern, screw them.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:18 No.13897969
    This is a good idea, but don't ship her off. Give her a room in the castle and let her manage from Mza. We don't really want to let her out of our grasp.

    Then again, with the ability to freely scry and cast nasty mental spells on her and mess with her mind... no big deal to control her way out there either. Especially with Scrying and Teleportation. It's like a short walk to us.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:21 No.13897985
    Yeah. She won't be out of our grasp no matter where she goes, for the rest of her life.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)03:38 No.13898103
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    The voyage back to Mza is thankfully short- Even if you hadn't brought your orb of storms, it is now extremely easy for you to teleport back and forth to wherever you need. Conjuring up the winds you desire, you make your trip effortless and fast. Even before you're back, though, you begin dealing with a few of the things that have accumulated.

    First of all, Lessana. She is verging on 'outraged' a week after she arrives, when you speak to her next- She opens up with a tirade about being a prisoner, wearing a collar, and how she refuses to stand for such behavior, and demand an explanation. You weather it impassively before pointing out that she /can't/ remove her necklace to sleep- It only works while she wears it, and, while it is possible to remove, (you demonstrate this for her,) it was for both of your good that it cannot be removed except by you. She can't be found by assassins, and her brother won't find out that you are harboring his sister. Reluctantly, she is forced to concede the necessity, helped by some subtle use of suggestions by you- not strictly necessary, you think, but desired to test the effects of the amulet. You are not very pleased... She seems highly resistant to it, but you manage to bring her around anyway by teaching her to use it's alternate-form enchantment.

    Next, you deal with the 'prisoner' point. She seems grudgingly to accept that cloistering her was necessary, but is reluctant to give ground in that regard until you offer alternatives- namely, being your steward in Mza, or your vassal on the mainland. She seems more interested in the later, as it would offer her a larger degree of autonomy, (and, you suspect, because it offers her a lifestyle more similar to what 'Sultan Lessana' might have experienced.)

    It's tricky to set up, but you introduce Lady Issa as your province-governor, and it seems to maintain for the moment.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:38 No.13898104
    Not really. A duel in the skies over Tashz between a Red and a Gold would be awesome. The blues would be placing bets. I think we might even overpower her magically.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)03:53 No.13898219

    hmm, question: did we make her a Governer over a specific city or over all/some of the cities/towns/whatevers we hold in the north?
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:03 No.13898299
    Pointing out just how powerful a magic item like that is would also help. It's easily worth at least as much as a small castle, complete with staff, etc. . .
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)04:06 No.13898317
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    Cygnis calls is attempting to contact you daily, and you are forced to answer her even before you're officially back. You make a brief excursion to Morinth, under guise, and receive her call. She is suspicious, but you explain that you had been in dangerous territory, (true, with all the blues around,) and were unable to spare the time. It was mostly devoted to staying alive and making your journey successful.

    Alright, that's technically not true, but it did occupy a major portion of your time. You find out that the reason she was so terribly worried is that she recognized, not Scinnari, but Scinnari's choker, that particular piece of jewelry you provided her. Ah.

    “I see... Truth is, dealt with the sorcerer of Mza, Prestor fellow.” you explain. “I thought he took care of her- Well, I meant to hire him to unbind her from me, send her back to the hells.” you explain, “If he didn't... Well, if he did and called her back, that could be why. Evidently bears further examination. Perhaps even 'dealing with'. We should speak about this next time we end up face-to-face.”

    “Definitely. I'm sorry for the suspicion, but.. Things have been most unpleasant recently.” Cygnis says, a hint of sorrow in her voice. “Among other things, my brother seems to have vanished-” she smiles understandingly at your expression, “I know, he's hardly nice company, but I am somewhat worried- he seems to have been gone for years, and his lair was looted- I fear he was killed.”

    “That's... horrible.” you reply in mock-sympathy. Surprising, that it took her this long to find this out. “You... Ah, I see, you went to Tashz to check on him?”

    “Yes.... for all the good it's done. It's as if he's dropped off the face of the world. I didn't /love/ him, but I- well, to be quite honest, I don't have many relatives that I keep in contact with. I'm somewhat worried about what happened to him.”
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:07 No.13898324
    Well, that worked out. Keep a sharp eye on her in the future; she is to be acting wholly in our interests, whatever the perks she gets on the side. Maintaining her own forces, doing things in her own name, and otherwise moving towards autonomy isn't really in her cards. She gets to be powerful, but only as our hand and we demand full loyalty. If she steps out of line, she gets a demonstration of why we're the Sorcerer-King around here.

    And if she's incompetent her position gets re-evaluated, obviously.

    Anyway. Aside from that, back to governing Mza, I suppose.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:10 No.13898337
    > I don't have many relatives that I keep in contact with.
    I expected a "Sometimes I feel like you're the only one I have left"

    Then I laughed.

    Then I cried for my dead humanity. Well, not really
    (my SuperEgo is crying softly in some corner of my psyche, though, so I guess that's something)
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:12 No.13898344

    Well, first of all, the merchant in our OP- He's skimming 2% off the top. Maybe we should check with Scinnari, and our Lawful-Evil-O-meter? Is that within our lawful evil empire margin, or should we hammer down on him?

    Don't forget our Dao. Oh.... Oh my... Could we get him to resurrect our volcano?

    And Cygnis. Do we want to deal with her now? We've got a throne, a lair, and a castle, and can chain her up to any of them, so we're just about ready to go, I would think....
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:15 No.13898356
    "Cygnis...perhaps it is too much for me to presume, but I feel as though you and I have gained a great bond these years. I will always do what I can to be there for you."

    Basically keep deepening her dependence on us.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:15 No.13898360
    There is also Seffy to deal with. We have all her spies on our payroll.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:16 No.13898367
    Add that we will try to visit her soon, we've been waiting to see her... and that we've had an amulet crafted for her that we think should protect her from any cult influence, using the knowledge we've gained over the years.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:20 No.13898385
    Offer to go visit her. Spend a week or so in her company, making her feel better and such to ensure that she loves us lots.

    >And Cygnis. Do we want to deal with her now? We've got a throne, a lair, and a castle, and can chain her up to any of them, so we're just about ready to go, I would think....
    I am willing to move forward with the Cygnis game, but doing so will require carefully crafted plans and several magical items. It must be done perfectly- there is VERY little room for error.

    >Don't forget our Dao. Oh.... Oh my... Could we get him to resurrect our volcano?
    Feasibility study first. If we accidentally melt our own hoard, it would be utterly mortifying.

    I'm inclined to leave that for a while longer; we'll only get stronger relative to her as time goes on.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:20 No.13898386
    Have the Dao do a feasability study on reawakening the volcano first. What he would need, what it would effect, things like that.

    And yes, deal with that merchant.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:22 No.13898394
    Oooh, comforting Cygnis and getting her to depend on us even more since the tragic loss of her brother... that would be nice.

    Did we ever have that dress made? We should get her sizes while we are there. Do it playfully, like we are trying to get them for a gift. Which we are...
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:24 No.13898406
    Isn't Scinnari getting close to delivery? Don't go running off to Cygnis if that's on the horizon. We need to be there to assess... well, everything. Her, our child, binder influence, everything.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:24 No.13898409
    Fashion it from her bothers skin. Not actually, but the idea is amusing in a hideous way.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:25 No.13898415
    seconding this
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:26 No.13898425
    Oh snap. You're right.

    Looks like we're staying at home then and waiting for delivery.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:27 No.13898429
    Uh... that's exactly what we were planning you know. Dress from his skin and scales.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:27 No.13898431
    We, uh, actually saved her brother's scales precisely to do just that.

    Scinnari should have months yet, at least. Enough to steal a little time for what appears to be a potentially critical moment in the Cygnis ploy.

    Though yes, I do hope that our efforts to figure out how to shield our offspring's mind from the Binder have borne fruit.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:29 No.13898443

    Wouldn't she notice that it was made of gold dragon scales? I mean, she wouldn;t necessarily know it was made of her brother, but she'd be repulsed by the fact nonetheless.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:31 No.13898454
    thinking about it... we don't really need her sizes since she can polymorph to fit in it.

    We should probably get a hold of some gift for when we go visit her though. Some old forgotten tome for her library or some cute exotic critter.

    >masei cousins
    we should also find out if she has cousins and make a matching stole for that dress...
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:31 No.13898456
    Precisely the point. We don't actually give it to her until she is already under our control and has no choice in the matter.

    THEN we tell her who so kindly donated those scales.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:31 No.13898457
    Idea. Offer to personally look into her brother's vanishing. When she protests (or not...) insist that we want to do it for her, because we care about her and her wellbeing... and even Az's wellbeing, if it matters to her. That's how much we care. Assure her that we will do everything we can to find out the truth behind the matter.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:32 No.13898459
    Indeed. Save it for an ironic "gift" for after we bind her.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:32 No.13898465
    That's kind of the point. We force her to wear it when she is utterly under our power, just to drive in deeper that we're an utterly evil and sadistic bastard.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:35 No.13898485
    to be fair i think it would be Hilarius to bring azi back as a bound red dragon, a color more fitting for his attitude.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:36 No.13898494
    What are you talking about? We... you... that's not even possible.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:36 No.13898496
    Spend a week with her, then offer to do this. Then in a few months reveal that we've discovered a red dragon was responsible.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:42 No.13898535
    And that dragon is Seffi. Then we bring her the dress as proof.

    Cygnis will snap and go on a psychotic killing spree looking to destroy Seffi. Then, when they're both weakened, we take them both as slaves.

    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:43 No.13898541
    Here's the plan. And it's brilliant, if I do say so myself.

    We offer to investigate, and eventually we tell her a red dragon is responsible. A red dragon with power and who is looking to move up in the world, and who needed the money in his hoard. Then we tell her that Seffy... might have. We can't tell if she wanted him dead, but suggest that both she and us investigate in Beren. After all, we will need backup dealing with a dragon.

    Then, during the course of the investigation we one day come home with the dress made of Az's scales... we're so sorry, Cygnis. So sorry. She will break down, and in her moment of grief we will naturally comfort her and hold her close. Then she will have an indomitable resolve to destroy Seffy for us... and take any hits that might have otherwise been directed at us. She can do the big combat while we use our dragonslaying sword or whatever.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:45 No.13898558
    Oh, and an addition not suggested by myself: Since we have so many agents in Beren already we can make it look perfect and plant whatever clues we want all around the palace.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)04:45 No.13898566
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    “Listen, I'll try and make it to Freeport sometime soon. We'll talk then. I'm working on fashioning a... amulet, that should protect- well, protect it's wearer from outside influence. The Binder, the cult, whatever.” you explain. You weren't, actually, but it's now on your schedule. “And who knows, maybe I'll get you something else. A dress, perhaps- I haven't seen you in a dress, I don't think. Not in far too many years, at least.”

    “Too many indeed. Not ever, I think, but that's beside the point. By all means, come; I have plenty of acquaintances, but few I can actually number among 'friends' here- It's been- too long.” she agrees. You promise to contact her later, and sign off. Returning to Mza, you enter your castle, check in on Scinnari, Asha, and Asha's brood, and turn your attention to your gift. The dao... Making suitable preparations in your lab, you unstop the bottle. A column of sand and gravel pours out, coalescing into the earth genie.

    “Ah. Greetings, O Master. You demand your wishes?” The figure is powerfully built, a humanoid with massive muscles, dark skin, and very earthy-tones. Very low-set, too- Almost dwarf-like. But still around six feet tall.

    “Actually, I was interested in some answers.” you reply, “After all, I believe that granting the wishes, or wish, would free you, yes?” He seems quite disheartened at your guess, but answers immediately.

    “That is correct, Master. Sad am I, Forrandras, to find my bottle held by a knowledgeable individual. What answers do you reacquire?”

    “You are a dao, a spirit of earth, yes?” you ask, “Would such things as... reinforcing a castle, shaping caverns, or reigniting a volcano be within your domain?”

    “Ah... A very knowledgeable individual.” Farrandras says sadly. “All three are conceivably possible, however the last would require the assistance of an efreet, I believe. And probably a wish- I do not believe I am capable of doing it on my own.”
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:46 No.13898568
    We don't know how to bind stuff yet. We should start learning though. With a nation and the ex-sultans help, we should be able to get enough for a binding or two. If all else fails we can try using the Wishes from the Dao if need be.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:51 No.13898607
    Throwing my support behind this plan, with the caveat that we must be entirely prepared to move forward on both the Cygnis plan AND the Seffy plan before we set it off. That means we have everything in place to swiftly take over Beren using our agents and representatives, and all magical items and such ready to hold Cygnis prisoner and grant us influence over her. If we do not have both plans at 100%, the whole thing could blow up in our face and cost us far too much planning.

    But if it does work... it'll be beautiful. Spend some time with Cygnis now to set the stage, and six or eight months from now, after Scinnari's given birth, we'll move forward with the plot.
    >> Writer-dude !!cxzh3hxzuC1 02/14/11(Mon)04:53 No.13898626
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    Incidentally, it's getting on in the morning, so why don't we come to a consensus on what we want to pursue over a timeskip of a few months (or immediately?), and what I should start the next thread dealing with.

    2d100 for me to go off of.

    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:54 No.13898629
    rolled 9, 39 = 48

    Big money, no whammy
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:55 No.13898638
    rolled 8, 59 = 67

    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:56 No.13898650
    rolled 1, 1 + 0 = 2

    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:57 No.13898665
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    i believe this motivational poster fits the situation. Fate hates us
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:57 No.13898667
    rolled 40, 48 = 88

    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)04:59 No.13898675
    wow, just wow
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:00 No.13898686
    rolled 35, 23 = 58

    Eh, that roll was fucked up, not actually double 1's.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:05 No.13898710
    Timeskip of a few months...

    -Spend some time with Cygnis. Make sure she loves us. Tell her we'll look into the matter of her brother's death with adventurer-fu.
    -Get an item or something which can shield a mind from all mental influence, even the binder's. We need this for our child in case they inherit our binder link.
    -Carefully, lovingly craft a cursed collar of thralldom for Cygnis's neck to be graced with. It should be anti-scrying in case anyone looks for her, let us locate and spy on her, issue commands, and keep her in human form and unable to use magic of any kind unless we deem otherwise.
    -Craft an actual protective amulet to give to her, and add on an enchantment that lets us swap it with another amulet (which we intend to be the cursed one), planning for a moment of horror and style to come when we show our true colors.
    -Build up our spies in Beren and the regions around it, slowly preparing to move in should a power vacuum be created.
    -As always, build up our trade and wealth. There are new contacts from our efforts in Tashz to be exploited here, I think.
    -And also as ever, continue making our military more professional and skilled when possible.
    -Keep a close eye on the Lady Issa. We'll want to evaluate her performance and loyalty very carefully.
    -Feasibility study with the dao for reawakening our volcano.

    I'm sure I've missed something, but those strike me as the essentials.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:06 No.13898717
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    testing dice roller

    dice 2d100
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:06 No.13898720
    Eh well, I suppose our visit to Cygnis should be covered in the timeskip. In general we should reassure her and tell her that we will look into her brother's death... for her, because we care. Sexings might or might not occur, no idea, will leave that to others.

    Anyway, after that we should head home and begin prepwork for our MASTERPLOT, and deal with Scinnari's birth. The prepwork can be timeskipped, but the birth can not. We have a lot of ground to cover there, from Scinnari herself, to our child, to trying to find out if there is any Binder influence and if so how to negate it.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:07 No.13898724
    dice +2d100

    garr trying again
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:07 No.13898726
    an Idea on the Seffi Frame job:
    instead of putting the shackles on Cygnis right there after the fight, Prestor shows up and takes everyone prisoner.
    Then we get to use all that training we had at breaking minds on Asha on a proper dragon (or two, if we decide to take Seffi too)

    We can spend time keeping her spirit up as Cibach and spend time breaking her mind as Prestor...
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:09 No.13898734
    rolled 19, 87 = 106

    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:09 No.13898735
    Put it in the email field, broseph.

    Eh. I'm moderately inclined to say 'yes', as it would increase trust, bring her closer to us, and I don't think anything would happen because we would (dear god, I hope,) both be polymorphed. That said, I'm also inclined to avoid such... things... in an RP. Still, as long as it doesn't come out in incredibly awkward and explicit detail, I have no real objections.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:09 No.13898736
    e-mail field, yea fool
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:12 No.13898748
    >Eh well, I suppose our visit to Cygnis should be covered in the timeskip. In general we should reassure her and tell her that we will look into her brother's death... for her, because we care. Sexings might or might not occur, no idea, will leave that to others.
    I'm okay with it being covered only briefly, but I'd appreciate some significant looking at it- if only because we'll need a very good handle on what our relationship with Cygnis is when we move forward on the more delicate phase of the plan, and it might help to give us a reference point. Anything to make her like/trust/depend upon us more, up to and including sex, is go in my opinion. Just as long as we maximize our influence over her and have a good idea of how far we can push her and what her mental state is like prior to putting her into the Beren game.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:13 No.13898751
    I say no. That's too dangerous. Even a wounded dragon is very very powerful and dangerous, and two of them? Ugh.

    Too much of a threat. We can get Cygnis after the fight because she will trust us, and we can get close to her and slip it around her neck as Cibach.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:15 No.13898768
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    this question is a wild theory but should we ask the crystal if Cygnis use to be an aspect of the binder? would explain her 2 year memory loss.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:24 No.13898809
    This is a shot in the dark but i may have a theory of how to temporarily negate the binding. What if to escape the binding temporarily you have to lose control of yourself. an example would be going into a mindless rage where your no longer logically can control yourself.

    this is going of the idea that the binding takes control over you higher functions completely.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:27 No.13898819
    What are you going on about? Duh. That can let a Bound resist temporarily. We were told that flat out. But it's not permanent.

    Nor are we a Bound. We're something unique that she can't directly influence. If our kids have the touch of the binder on them then it's likely they would be like us rather than a Bound.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:27 No.13898821
    The relative power levels [both under nine thousand,], and WD seem to suggest that Seffes- Seffer- Seffy could curbstomp Cygnis without breaking a sweat. (I'm envisioning Seffy as a fighter or barbarian to our sorcerer. Without the horrendous wizard/fighter imbalance.)

    I think setting Cygnis after Seffy is a good way to get Cygnis killed, really. Except, perhaps, plotting and backing, as opposed to actual combat- that might work, but we could probably do it better ourselves.

    I mean, we were originally planning on taking Cygnis by ourselves anyway- if we're close enough to do the deed, we can just put 'loltrap' amulet on her after we've, ah, ridden her into the ground, as it were. (Plus the style of screwing her, and her waking up chained up in a dungeon/throneroom. Awwww yeeeeeeah.)

    My two cents, anyway.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:29 No.13898834
    We won't be sending her alone, we'll of course just use her as a distraction while we deliver the killing blow. Cygnis is a dragon of comparable age to Seffy, and a Gold no less, she won't be instagibbed or anything. She will just buy us time to execute whatever master plan we come up with.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:29 No.13898837
    i am just throwing out a theory to explain away why it can be resisted temporarily like that.

    actually that reminds us should we investigate rumors of a bound dragon under that mountain earlier?
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:32 No.13898854
    Oh, Cygnis definitely won't be able to take Seffy alone. But she'll have us specced out in adventurer-style gear with a dragonslaying sword, plus whatever other support we can scrounge up- and I bet that with our spies in place we'll be able to get a fair bit of supporting fire.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)05:57 No.13898998
    Still seem needlessly risky. I mean, sure, it brings more to bear on Seffy McBitchqueen, but it doesn't seem necessary- we want our delicious vengeance, but I don't think we ought to piss of Seffy without serious cause, Cygnis-backup or no. Let's just settle for getting Cygnis- as stated previously, if we can bone her, we can get a no-polymorphing,-magic,-or-escape collar on her, either by giving her a gift, and she'll wear it because she trusts us, or by putting it on her while she's asleep in bed. (Betrayal of trust, that, but I don't really see it stopping us....)

    K.I.S.S., people. Simple, elegant, effective. It's particularly.... well, not ironic, but think of how efficient it is! We can use the same necklace we originally made for her, that Scinnari used on Az way back when.

    And then...

    Then we get our BBEG on.
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)06:06 No.13899038
    did someone archive this thread already i don't know how
    >> Anonymous 02/14/11(Mon)06:08 No.13899051

    Could have used a wordier description, but it's there. They're all there. (Except for the pair that were mis-tagged. And even then, one of them is there.)

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