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/qst/ - Quests

Got a bit of a windstorm, but other than that things are clear. Lets pick up where we left off near on a month ago, shall we?

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Lamia%20Legacy%20Quest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LamiaLegacy
Opening Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCQmQwKEEOM
Story Thus Far: https://pastebin.com/fwZwidJR
Season: Early Spring

Money: 1425

Sasha: Skill list
Ranching +4
Scholar +3
Marksmanship +6
Natural Ability (Lamia) +3
Intrigue +4
Casting (Draconic+4 Roc+3 Leviathan+3 Troll+1 Elemental+1)
Falconry +2

Figuring that the problems with centaurs and land spirits are well in hand at the moment you leave Zhou and his crew to their own tasks while you check in with third lamia to ever set foot this far south. You spy a hint of black and yellow scales fairly close to the ruined inn up on the walls to the south. Heading down the thoroughfare, you pause to consider the surroundings. The entire place reeks of desolation, and the ravages of a war you haven't truly experience, but there is a bit of beauty in the Purobka too. Either through the land spirits influence or just the steady march of time life moves on in the form of fresh seedlings poking their way through the ash and a haunting melancholy of some of the collapsed buildings being reclaimed by nature.

Your rumination comes to an end when you reach the wall. The black and yellow you espied was the tip of Liama's tail, about three feet worth idly swaying from side to side. Clambering up as quietly as you can manage, you see how Liama has turned part of the collapsed battlement into a firing position, shaded partially by a rough hewn timber fallen from its moorings and lain askew across the rest of the wall. With the coverage overhead, it'd take an experienced marksman to spot the tip of a gun barrel from the nest she's created for herself. Admiration is tinged with confusion when you realize that Liama is quietly muttering to herself, seemingly unaware of your presence behind her.

>Make yourself known.
>Let Liama finish whatever she's doing.
>Let Liama finish whatever she's doing.
Liama lays at rest, rifle pointed at a single position as she seems to hold some sort of subvocal conversation with the empty air. Murmurs, hums, and the occasional grunt emanate from her as she finishes whatever mysterious ritual she shifts her aim to another point. Upon resting her aim once more, the conversation begins anew. Not wanting to interrupt whatever she's doing, you just observe her for a little while. You have to admit, this point is probably the single most ideal along the ramparts as it holds a commanding view of the plains in the direction of the Krasick lands. Not much help if a separate band of Bandyta try to make a push on the town, but its not the bandyta you're too particularly concerned about. Looking back at Liama, you judge the angle of her latest shot and it seems a ludicrous distance, with the barrel almost parallel to the ground, pointed off at the horizon.

You shift in your position, causing a loose fragment of stone to tip over the ledge and clatter off the stone below. Liama doesn't jump or start, simply freezes in place, tail mid twitch. She turns towards you, "Oh sorry Miss Masterson I didn't hear you climb up."

"What was all the muttering about?" You ask, genuinely curious.

"Nothing really," She says evasively, "Just doing some windage and range calculations."

"Thinking about hitting the Krasicks from here? You're nearly pointed at the sky."

She pats her rifle, "This 'little' fella has got enough powder per round that I might just be able to manage that. Just have to aim a little higher."

"Alright," You say shifting back to your original purpose, "Anything to report?"

"No sight of the outlaws, nor any other movement for that matter. Your centaur buddies have sent a small message party back to Bralin. Not sure what that was about, probably just relaying the good news. The beastfolk are looking for a barracks, guessing you've seen the one they've chosen. Not sure on that though."

"Not sure on what?"

"Leaving them here. Too small of a manpower to defend if anything goes wrong, too large to maintain without decent supplies. Would have to get a supply train out here until the farms are able to be worked again. Fieldcraft is all well and good, but until we can develop such for these environs, its all a crapshoot."

"You got a better idea?"

"As a matter of fact? Yes, I think I do." She says, "Veles has that little relay gateway thing between your ranch and his lair, yeah? Think you could convince him to set something up similar? We get an unseen way in and out of here, and if things do go tits up we can pull out and redeploy as we need."

"That'll take some time, even if Veles does agree to it," You say, doubtfully, "What do we expect to do in the meantime?"

She smiles, "Easy, just have your boys from Bralin watch over it for us in lieu of that return escort we agreed on, with the second front opening we can get the traders back real quick, resupply at the ranch, and then drag Veles down here."

That sounds like a good idea, though I'm not sure how excited the Hussars will be to become a garrison force for a ruin.
Though Elim can probably keep them in line.

Would be terrific if Zhou or one of his could speak the language so that they could stay to continue with rebuilding without having communications breakdowns...

I'll keep the idea in mind and revise the original plan.
See if we can persuade the locals to provide garrisoning. If not, we may well have to push them off again. Given the losses that the Bandyata took, they might not be itching to come back.
"That's honestly not a bad idea." You say, eliciting a smile from the other lamia, "It'd take bit of convincing, I'm sure the hussars aren't keen on spending a week or two here. Worst case scenario, we gotta leave this place alone for a minute or two."

"But would those bandits move back in?" Liama says, concerned.

"After the losses they took? They might not risk it. And if we came in with Veles, you, and me with the beastfolk?" You counter, before musing out loud, "There's tunnels all through this place, I wonder if we could go in through there next time."

She looks up from her scan of the horizon, "Tunnels?"

"Artyom took me through them, we found the local advisor, she'd been holed up down there for some time. A strange one, but it seems all those fae have some quirks about them. Took a shine to Zhou and his crew though." You notice her frown, "You don't approve?"

She scoffs, "Given my lineage, I've got more than a little suspicion towards land spirits, even the fragments of one."

"I suppose you've got a point." You concede, "Nevertheless, this one seems scared and alone, from what she's said, the bandits are trying to gather up as many of the land spirits as possible, shipping them to the south, probably on behalf of the Krasick."

"That's not disconcerting at all."

"Right? I'm tempted to just bring her with us, if only to keep her out of the Bandyta's hands."

With your check-in completed, you ease yourself back down from the wall and into the city itself. You wonder what you should do next, now that you've taken the city. You could head over to where Elim and the hussars are, see if you can convince them to hold this position or you could see if Artyom and the Advisor's search has borne fruit. Lastly, you could always help the beastfolk with their battlefield renovation of that inn since you'll be spending at least one night in the ruined city.

We'll need to talk to Elim first.
At worst, we both leave 12 men and hope that they don't have major communication problems.

Won't be here from 2.30 to 9.00pm EST
oh hey, one of these. I've a headache, but I'll chime in when I can.

Yeah, talking to the hussars seems solid. I mean, if they can hold this place, it takes a load off our shoulders, regardless of portal thing or not.
File: ConsiderTheFollowing.png (434 KB, 1220x1116)
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Rolled 15 (1d20)

You head over to the flurry of activity near the gates. You espy Elim overseeing a group of hussars and flag him over. He pauses, before barking a few short orders to the hussars who proceed to start piling debris into one of the rebuilt wooden hoppers on the back of the gates. Sauntering up to you, he gives a short nod. [Needed to reinforce the gates, managed to find some oil for the mechanism. Purobka had a fairly elaborate gate mechanism, it'd be easier to break through the walls than a fully weighted gatehouse. Once filled they will take a battering ram without issue, but swing open with ease if the lever is pulled. May have to steal the idea for Lord Bralin. Doubt anyone would mind overmuch.]

[I do not know about that,] You start, [I am not certain how Artyom and Purobka's advisor would feel about that.]

[So he did find her? I saw you head underground, figured that was the reason.]

[Yes. He was headed your way last I saw him, with her astride him.]

He shakes his head, [Never ran into him, must have been distracted by the advisors fascination with some aspect of the place. They get like that some times. It's why we Kozaks never really put much truck in them. No need to try and court blessings from the fickle. Was the information important?]

[Not as far as I know, I had another matter to speak to you about though.] You pause, unsure of how to word this. [My other counterpart, the one like me, she's suggested something that may prove beneficial to both of us, it just requires a bit of negotiation.]

He squints, [And what are we renegotiating?]

[At the moment we have no means of resupplying any garrison we establish in this town. They would be, in effect, living off the land in the most literal sense of the word. We are also unfamiliar with fieldcraft in this area, and while I do not doubt the skill of my men in that matter I do feel that the Bralin hussars would be more poised to hold this for some period of time.] Seeing him frown, you pick up the pace, [I am not dumping this place on Bralin, I a merely asking for the hussars to defend it for a period of time so that I can bring the traders home and fix my own resupply issue in a more permanent fashion. Naturally we will not ask for the escort we originally agreed upon, as the defenders here and any patrols between the two places would serve the same purpose.]

[It does seem the most logical course, and were I in command of fellow Kozaks it would not be an issue, but the hussars will be prideful and with that pride comes a stubbornness. They do not like things changing quickly.] He murmurs to himself before looking at you again, [I can try and bring it up with them tonight, though I am not certain how the banner will fly in this case. If they decide to return to Bralin, there is not much I can do to stop them.]

>Let him try to convince them.
>Suggest the even split of forces.
>Try and sweeten the deal. (Specify.)

Also give me a 1d20 roll please.
Rolled 7 (1d20)

I say we let him try to convince them. After all, this is just us working the angles. If it falls through, then we go back to the original plan of teleport circles or just doing things the hard way and actually retaking the place later with a proper shipment of supplies.
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>Suggest the even split of forces
I also have a mind to leave a number of men that I brought with me to allow them to begin reconstruction efforts with what is already available here. If we already had the ability to resupply them, then I would not need to ask for the Hussars to aid us in this, however, again the problem of a lack of knowledge of local fieldcraft.

Perhaps if you were to put it to them as a volunteer position to aid my men for a short amount of time? Not sure how well that will go, though.
We're doing teleportation circles anyway.
We only need them to stay here until we can set up the circles.

Also, fuck.
well, yeah, I'm just positing a third thing we could do if for some reason teleportation falls through.
Gotta play the angles, and all that.
[Well, how about this. I have a mind to leave a number of men that I brought with me to allow them to begin reconstruction efforts with what is already available here. If we already had the ability to resupply them, then I would not need to ask for the Hussars to aid us in this, however, again the problem of a lack of knowledge of local fieldcraft. Perhaps if you were to put it to them as a volunteer position to aid my men for a short amount of time? If they don't seem amenable to shouldering the guard for the few days we'll be in transit.]

[It is possible.] He says, rubbing his chin. [Let me see what I can do.]

You're interrupted by a call up from Liama's firing position, "Miss Masterson, we've got company."

Excusing yourself, you clamber back up the wall to see her staring off to the south.

"Small group, probably four riders. Came out from the south, look like the boys you brought, but yellow instead of purple. Went that way." She says, pointing her rifle to the southwest.

"That'd be the Krasick." You respond, "There's no way the routed forces made it to the holdfast that quickly."

"Could just be a patrol, damned unlucky either way. I'm sure they've noticed the place changing hands, given how quickly they scampered off. Either way, that means we're gonna have company here soon." She looks over at you, "Any orders?"

Huh. That force is vaguely unfriendly to us, right? The bandits did flee that way.
I don't think we have any hard proof of this yet though. All we can do is set our guys to patrol what remains of the walls.

Either that or outright bail if this is worse than I thought. I dunno, I'm not feeling confident in running from centaurs.
"For now, shoot at the Krasicks if they get in range. I'll get the Beastmen to the walls soon."

[Slight change of plans, Elim. Liama just spotted a Krasick patrol, and they know that their bandits aren't here anymore and are probably going back to get some friends. I'm going to rally my riflemen to the walls. I'll trust your judgment for your own men's placement.]

Go get the Beastmen. Try to find Artyom.
We're just as fast, and much more agile, though we cant go max speed for as long, we also have guns and fire. If they try to get in, we can make them burn for having attacked OUR town.

And they are very clearly unfriendly. They want Tatiana dead, and we want her not dead. They also burned Purobka to the ground the first time.
Fair, we'll hold out.
And what i'm worried about is if we have to bug out and actually run for long distances. Not confident.
I'm sure we'll be fine. They can't chase us if they're on fire.
I've known people to sometimes go faster when they're on fire.
We'll just add MORE fire. Also, lead. They'll die eventually.
"For now, shoot at the Krasicks if they get in range. I'll get the Beastmen to the walls soon."

Descending the wall you quickly, but not overly urgently return to Elim. [Slight change of plans, Elim. Liama just spotted a Krasick patrol, and they know that their bandits aren't here anymore and are probably going back to get some friends. I'm going to rally my riflemen to the walls. I'll trust your judgment for your own men's placement.]

He snaps to alertness immediately, [Understood, I'll have them keep shoring up the defenses for the time being.] He begins directing the hussars as you make for the inn. You see that the beastfolk have largely cleared the debris out of the way and are in the process of patching some of the holes in the solid construction. Spying Zhou, you beckon him over. {We have located the enemy, the southern wall. We will probably need to defend ourselves in the near future.}

He nods quickly, and heads back to the rest, barking orders to the beastfolk much akin to Elim moments before. They move by squads to the wall, taking up positions on either side of the gatehouse and the interspersing themselves along the walls, leaving one group of four to patrol the rearward flank. In this flurry of activity, you look for Artyom and the advisor, who are nowhere to be found. Giving up, you return to the wall where you see the beastfolk waiting at the ready. The hussars, however, are merely working on the defenses, with a few standing near the gates themselves, ready to open them.

[Shouldn't we be preparing for the assault?] You venture to Elim, finding him standing on one of the few overlooks that still can support a centaur.

[If it was a patrol, then they have a days hard run back to their holdfast at the very least. If it was an advance force, well, Krasick do like to bandy words, and will likely try and force us out with threats before they gut us on the retreat. We've got some time. Nonetheless, I've got a patrol of my own swinging to the south, and I've sent one of mine to catch up with the messenger to relay this new development. We'll have fair warning when they show up.]

You look over to where the beastfolk are, in cover. If what Elim says is true, they could be put to better use than waiting for an attack that might not happen this afternoon.

>Just wait for the attack.
>Shore up the defenses.
>Maybe ready some traps?
>Try and find Artyom and the advisor.
I guess recall all of 'em except the standard couple you leave on eternal watch, and have them assist with repairing the place. We've got damaged walls AND a damaged inn, after all, and it all needs shoring up.
We (I) may have over-reacted a bit.

Call down all but 4 of the beastmen and have them set up traps.

We will attempt to find Artyom and the advisor.
Zhou is in charge while we're looking for them.
>Maybe ready some traps?
The inn is mostly irrelevant until we need to actually keep men here for more than a day. The walls are also not that badly damaged.
well, what defenses are there to shore up then?
Is it just making traps?
The doors, anything else that was made of, or supported by, wood, things like that
if the doors are broken, I think that that's counts as pretty dang damaged.
Let's at least get a continuous, unbroken ring of obstacles around us. Step one: doorfixing.
The doors are still there. I was mentioning that they could be made more secure.
Like putting timbers against them to make them harder to open
ah, okay. Not as important then.
You give it a few minutes before you call Zhou over. {Patrol might not be an advance force but rather a grim forecast of the future. Keep a sentry up on the walls and keep an eye out for them, but in the meantime we've got an engagement to prepare for, any traps you might have for cavalry that you can think up will be much appreciated.}

He nods, and within a few moments the majority of the beastfolk have broke from their gunline and are spreading out into the plains to the south, with a small portion remaining on this side of the wall setting to their own plans. Zhou turns back to you, {There is not enough time to dig proper traps, Mistress. Yet we can still set snares to break a charge and set up fighting positions. I will see about getting some defenses up on the walls in case we end up the one sieged. Is there a chance we will be attacked at night?} You relay that question to Elim who shakes his head in the negative. {Then we will see about a proper sleep rotation in the barracks we have been clearing.}

Leaving them to their business you set to take care of some of your own. Primary of which is locating your own hussar who seems to have vanished along with the advisor. Stalking along the ruined stone buildings of the higher nobility you finally hear movement. Looking in the direction of the noise, you see the big fire gutted house behind which you originally found Artyom, inside you can hear some noises and Artyom's voice calling from the bottom floor. Poking your head inside, you see the hussar standing there calling up the fire blackened wood rampway leading up to the second floor.

[Is it not up there?] He says.

[It's here, just stuck. Can't get it out.] The advisor calls back muffled, [Fire didn't touch it, but there's a big log across it.]

[What's wrong?] You ask, as Artyom whirls around.

[We needed to secure some of my late lords important fires. Most of the records are ash, but he kept most of the important things in a strongbox. If it survived... well, consider it a repayment for your assistance.]

You're taken aback, [You didn't have to do that.]

[Do not thank me yet, I don't know what the strongbox contains specifically, but if some of his trade secrets live on...] he trails off, looking for a way to articulate what he means.

[Don't worry about it, I think I understand.] You say, [So you're saying this box is stuck?]

[The advisor cannot free it, but the rampway is not safe for me to climb, and I am not certain how strong the floors up there are.]

>Volunteer to check it out.
>Redirect them to the defensive concern.
>Volunteer to check it out.
>Volunteer to check it out.
We have the time, and we'll hear gunfire before we're really needed, I'm sure.
[Well, I have one advantage in that regard.] You say, approaching the centaur stairwell. Inspecting it, you can see why Artyom was hesitant to climb it, the wooded slats that went from one side to the other are little more than a charred mess, with a hole in the base that suggest Artyom had already made an attempt to climb it. Staying close to the solid stone of the walls, you ease your way up to the second floor. Traversing the wide hallway is just as treacherous as the ramp itself, and you find yourself hugging the walls and hoping the mortar was not weakened by the fire that gutted the place.

Eventually you reach a doorway where you hear grunts of exertion. Peering through, you catch sight of the advisor, even more disheveled looking heaving on a soot blackened chest. The cause of its entanglement is fairly clear as a main support joist has come loose from the roof and fallen crosswise atop the thing. You don't think that the joist itself is load bearing at this time, but it does look rather sizable. The advisor seemingly gives up, slouching down against the rear wall panting heavily. Spotting you, she re-attacks the chest with vigor, not managing much more than jostling it from underneath the log that pins it.

>Move in and free it. (Will require a 1d20+3 roll.)
>Let it be for the time being.
Rolled 7 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

>try to free it
Rolled 18 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

I guess that chest must be important if we need to be sure to open it properly. Help out.
That's the spirit!
I mean, otherwise we could just bash the thing open with an axe or something.
I was talking about your roll
well, yeah, but still, if the contents of the chest aren't THAT important, an axe'll get 'em out.
We don't have an axe, and no it won't. This is a strongbox that survived the city being torched
We're going to have to agree to disagree on how well we can fuck up boxes with axes.
And I'm sure we have one somewhere, we're in a large group.
It's fucking made of Iron or steel. You're not opening that with an axe.
I agree to disagree, my friend.
Rolled 20 (1d20)


You coil yourself around the offending strut, heedless of the soot and ash that cling to you as you do so. Constricting, you get a proper grip on it with your lower half and push against the masonry. With an almighty heave you manage to unseat the log from its position, and nudge the heavy metal container free. Easing the weight down, you extract yourself and put some distance between yourself and the timber. Without the strongbox acting as a brace, the log itself comes in contact with the weakened timber of the floor piercing and splintering it. The whole mass then comes free, crashing through to the ground floor. From the safety of the doorway, you hear a second crash which can only mean that the support strut is now resting in the basement.

[Is everyone alive up there?] You hear a distressed Artyom call from his vantage point.

[I am good, it is just your new leader has a propensity for destruction that your progenitor trolls would find appealing.] The advisor calls back.

[And the box?]

[No idea where the key is, but it is largely intact. The dent in it was prior to any of our influence.]

You sigh, ignoring the jab, and look over the strongbox. It's a solid metal construction with rivets and banding around it. Inspecting the lock, you're surprised to not find a mechanism, but rather a rune. [Any idea how to open it?]

[None. The lords of Purobka never entrusted me with it.] The advisor says cheerfully, [But your stubborn hussar lackey says you have an expert kutkh who knows the ins and outs of runes.]

You heft the box up and half carry half drag it down the stairwell. At the bottom, you deposit it into Artyom's waiting arms who carries it off, almost reverently. The advisor, apparently bored, flutters off along with Artyom, headed towards the inn the beastfolk had been working on.

It's late in the afternoon, Elim claims that the Krasick wouldn't make it here by nightfall, nor would they attack by it, but you're not so sure. That said, given the activity of today you can feel the exhaustion creeping up as the adrenaline works its way out of your system.

>Keep your men up on a rotating guard duty throughout the night.
>Trust Elim's judgement, get your men some rest. With a token sentry just in case.
>keep your men up on a rotating guard duty
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Erring on the side of caution, you decide to split your forces up into three rotations for the coming night. Figuring that the Krasick wouldn't be beyond trying any funny business, you hurry back to the inn to deposit your latest acquisition and to relay your orders. Leaving someone conversant in Phoenix in charge on each shift, you have Liama take first watch, Zhou take the mid shift, and you take the morning shift. You figure that if anything happens in the dead of night, Zhou will easily wake you or Liama and then spread the news to the rest of the camp. With that taken care of you decide to turn in early with the rest of the morning watch.

You wake to Zhou's hand gently shaking your shoulder. Bleary eyed, you gaze around the surroundings in alarm before he simply shakes his head. {No sign of enemy horse men this night, Mistress. However, it is the time you requested to lead the watch.} Thanking him you crawl out of the corner you'd claimed the night before and head towards the exit as Zhou moves from bedroll to bedroll, waking the morning watch. On the way out you spy Artyom in another corner of the inn, having staked personal claim on guard duty of the strongbox, and the local advisor staking her own claim on him as her personal pillow. Smiling slightly, you head towards the wall where Liama had set up a firing position. Settling in, you look over to the token pair of guards that the hussars had left at each entrance, they seem just as tired as you feel, but with the bulk of Elim's forces resting in a makeshift camp at the ruins of the town square, if anything does happen you've got a good chance of having fresh soldiers. Turning back, you raise your rifle and keep your eyes to the south.

It's dawn when you finally see signs of movement, a squad of four hussars clad in yellow approaching through the plains. Keeping your rifle trained, you signal to the beastman nearest to wake the rest of the expedition. They don't come within range of a clean shot, but make a wide half circle around the southern perimeter. Elim and his crew have roused themselves by the time you catch sight of the main force, a good two dozen hussars. You train your rifle on a group that breaks off from the main force and moves at a parade march right towards your gates.

[That'd be their leader.] Elim observes, [Probably wants to negotiate with Bralin on the behalf of the Krasick.] He looks up at you, [I can handle Lord Bralin's obligations should you prefer it, but that'd leave you off the negotiating table. Since this was your idea, I do believe the choice falls to you.]

>Take the lead in the negotiations
>Let Elim do it.
We will take the lead. This was our idea, after all, and it is we that intend to keep the town.
Make sure that Artyom is with us.
[I intend to keep the town, so it'd only be fair I take the lead, for better or worse.] You decide, [Grab Artyom, get him up here, I want him to be present while we do this.]

It takes a minute, but you take a position of clear visibility along the wall while they fetch Artyom. The war party had nearly arrived by the time he makes it up to one of the fire damaged overlooks ramps built into the walls. [Had to convince the advisor to stay with the chest.] He says quietly, [Rather not let the Krasick dogs know we have her, or any of my late lords secrets.]

You nod, and look down upon the enemy party. Flanked by a trio of hussars, the leader looks naggingly familiar from a distance. He looks up to you, [Good morrow Madam.] He calls, [If I am to understand it, Lord Bralin has finally decided to do something about our mutual enemy, yes?]

You try and give yourself a bit of an authoritative air, [Not quite, this is an altogether more... improvised arrangement. I am the one championing this effort, Lord Bralin merely provided forces to supplement my own.]

[Ah,] He says, momentarily at a loss for words, [Then you have me at a bit of a disadvantage, I am Duren of Krasick, heir to the folwark of Krasick.]

Now you recognize him, he's the pompous oaf that Veles punned into impotent rage back at the Kozak camp. [Sasha Masterson, Lady of Lion's Head.] You respond, keeping

[Not a house I am familiar with, nor any heraldry I am familiar with either. Are your colors... brown?] He asks, gesturing to your trail leathers. Apparently that's something of a joke as one of the three behind him suppresses a laugh.

[No.] You respond coolly, looking over to the green silks that Artyom is still clad with. You decide to raise yourself up, exposing your lower half and your scales. [Dark green.]

His eyes narrow, [Ah, a kutkh. So you do have civilization to the north? How quaint. I was sure it was all barbarians in the wastes. Nevertheless, I had heard reports that bandyta had sacked and taken Purobka, I had been meaning to get a force out here, but with our current... disagreement with Bralin we had not been able to commit the forces. I am glad that at least someone was able to push back the Bandyta menace, especially since the Kozaks have abandoned their end of the treaties.]

[That lying bastard, it was Krasick that sacked this place.] Artyom says under his breath, about to draw a weapon before Elim places a bracing hand on the hilt.

[Nevertheless,] Duren continues, [Your efforts are appreciated, and as a gesture of goodwill I would be happy to see to it that bandyta will no longer garrison this place, and that despite our current conflict, Lord Bralins forces would be allowed to return to their own folwark unmolested in return for the mutually beneficial aide in clearing this place out.]

I wonder how our friends would react if we were to shoot this faggot...
All of our rifles are on the walls, yes?
Just listening to this guy talk is making your trigger finger itch. You look over to Elim, [Is there any downside if I were to shut this oaf up permanently? I mean he's right here.]

[More than a few,] He says, shrugging, [Personally I neither care nor object to his death, but it would put Lord Bralin in a difficult position.]

[How so?] You say, ignoring the droning speech coming from the Krasick leader.

[There is a temporary armistice between Bralin and Krasick. Our breaking it would reignite hostilities. Not to mention the fact that the death of his heir would give Lord Krasick every reason to declare a blood feud on Lord Bralin and raze the town without anyone voicing an objection.]

[Yet they get away with destroying Purobka?] You hiss in disbelief, still looking down at the Krasick diplomatic party.

[Only because they were thorough. Artyom did not appear until they had already spread the story of the Bandyta attack. The word of one hussar weighs little against the nobility of the Szlachta. Such is their way.] He says quietly, one of his sublieutenants, a female hussar looks indignant and goes to interject before he adds, [Provided there are no witnesses, the Szlachta do as their please. If they get caught, well, it is all over at that point.] His subordinate huffs and concedes the point.

[And if I just declare it as my own action, and not any of Lord Bralin's?]

Artyom surprises you by agreeing with Elim, [Then your trade endeavors would be set back almost irreparably as people would not trust you to deal fairly. If you do decide to do the world a favor and remove the Krasick, be sure you can kill the entirety of them in one swoop.]

You look between where your riflemen are set up and the main body of the Krasick hussars. Their rifles would be hard pressed to reach out and touch them, and between you and Liama you're looking at least four full reloads provided every shot hits. Not good odds.

[That is not the only reason it'd be a bad idea. There is succession to worry about as well.] Elim says, [The second son of Lord Krasick is a very shrewd and cunning individual if what I hear is to be believed, if he were to somehow work his way into a lordship then their position might be even stronger. I'd rather have a fool for an enemy than a genius. Besides, we aren't in the worst position. The bandyta clearly did not see you or your forces eliminate them and instead felt it was all our doing, I believe that this young lordling is out of his depth and that may be useful for negotiations.]

You sigh, Casimiran chivalry seems so damned hypocritical.

Respond to the Krasick, then. We will hold the place.

[I appreciate your offer, however, it is unnecessary. I and these Hussars set out to remove the Bandyta from Purobka as a favor to one of my own, who was from here. If I were not to ensure that what remains of his home is unmolested by those who would abuse it to harm others, then how could I claim to be worthy of their loyalty?]
Adding to this:

*Look him in the eyes*
[Rest assured, the ones who burned Purobka and their kind will never step one foot in here again.]
Rolled 1 (1d20)

Looking down at the pompous little twerp, it takes you scant seconds to come to a decision. [I appreciate your offer, however, it is unnecessary. I and these Hussars set out to remove the Bandyta from Purobka as a favor to one of my own, who was from here.] You say, pausing a moment to look back at your forces. [If I were not to ensure that what remains of his home is unmolested by those who would abuse it to harm others, then how could I claim to be worthy of their loyalty?] He pauses for a second, processing your statement before quickly adopting a stance of wounded innocence. You interrupt him mid-declaration by adding [Rest assured, the ones who burned Purobka and their kind will never step one foot in here again.]

You hear barely contained rage in his voice as he calls back, [Bold words and dire accusations from one who just came to our lands. What proof have you of your claims?]

[Outside of the word of a survivor? I've been in this town twice before, once just after the sack, and again during a transaction you and yours were having with the Bandyta.]

[Krasick would never deal with the bandyta!] He says, though you can see his denial more for his cronies benefit than yours. [You sit here with twoscore hussars and impudent words that'd earn death on a good day, you are dangerously close to us having to destroy you just to wipe the dishonor you taint our names with.] Two of his retinue look unsure, whereas the other two bristle angrily at your words.

>Push the envelope, there may be unrest in the house of Krasick
>Finish the argument now, there's nothing more to be gained.
>Push the envelope, there may be unrest in the house of Krasick

It's okay, Chem.

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