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Thread XCII:
Got a bit of a reprieve, so we'll try to pick up where we left off as best we can.

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/6SyCQXbW
Season: Spring

Money: 2045-free 3220-spoken for

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

You take a moment to carefully consider Marie's objections before making your rebuttal. "What would it gain him, though? If he were to spread such rumors and get the government to bring the hammer down on us, he would lose all of this to the UFK. They're not going to let him have a monopoly on this land over us. Rather, they'd take possession of this land and make it public and start doing exactly what I'm doing now."

Marie moves to counter but you begin to pick her argument apart before she can get a word in. "Anyone who's been attacked on a semi-regular basis would hire guards. Nothing odd about that, and even if that does go around, we're going to be relocating the majority, if not all, of them to Purobka soon enough. No one will see them here, so, if someone comes by asking, we'll tell them the truth: They moved and found a home for themselves. As for Liama and her's, wouldn't that make people think we're even more on the level? Yes, she's known as a bit of a troublemaker, but so were both of her mothers, honestly."

You shoot an apologetic glance at McCain before you get to your next point. "Next, McCain is dead as far as the world is concerned. Why would anyone think that he wasn't, especially when the Nitor themselves declared him to be dead? You'd need someone pretty high up in the Nitor themselves declaring publicly that they were mistaken about his death for most anyone to believe something so ridiculous."

You gesture over to where Serrak's men are inspecting the bridge to make your next point. "Finally, we're not charging that much on the traders we have been bringing over. Most of that is guide, guard, and translator fees. We will continue to not charge them more than we really do for them as trade picks up. They may only have one option for storage and lodging before going over, but they can learn the language as they choose and they can bring their own guards, and they can learn the route up there. Even if we are a disruptive element, we're far from holding the trade route hostage. We simply are the only ones capable, at the moment, of doing anything to facilitate any trade."
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The little harpy visibly deflates from your dismantling of her points. Feeling a measure of pity you add, "And while unlikely that someone is attempting a power play, I do appreciate your interest in keeping what is ours, ours. I'm also not going to tell you NOT to keep your eyes and ears open from a power play, I just doubt it'll come from someone bankrolling us for mutal gain."

Mollified, Marie goes back to her work and you turn to McCain. "Only should be a couple days before Standish Standoff's shipment gets to us. How long before you think the beastfolk would be ready to head out?"

He peers out of the redoubt to the beastfolk drilling out in the yard. "If'n we worked with them to get the differences between their rifles and the new ones coming? They'd be ready as soon as they get their hands on one."

That's a big commitment, and there are a couple of pressing issues you might want to resolve before your next trip into the wastes.

>Focus on the beastfolk and getting them acclimated to the weapons.
>Focus on working out what to do with Purobka after you take it with Tatiana and Artyom. There are almost certainly policies and traditions you'll want to be aware of.
>Focus on the Traveller's Inn, and the staff recruitment there.
>Focus on the ranch, Tai and co. have been shifted to the wayside for a bit
I'm having a hard time choosing between Staff recruitment for the In and finding out about how we have to handle Purobka once we take it...
If We don't focus on getting the beastmen accustomed to their new guns it'll be at least a week, maybe two, before we can do anything due to their inexperience with them, so that should give us time to learn the ins-and-outs of how to set ourselves up in Purobka

Honestly, it should only take a full day or so to go over everything that we need to know about how to officiate our claim on Purobka, but it'll take a while to figure out things for the Inn. At least 3 days, probably 7. If the beastmen take a week on learning how to use the new rifles effectively, then we have 9-10 days if we don't start on them now.
Though we're assuming that there's enough time to train them before their guns get here, so... 7 days before the guns? In that case, we'll take "night classes" (read: talk to Artyom and Tatiana about it over supper and a bit after), while we're doing that, we'll interview prospective employees for the in- no. We'll have to go out of town to get to them... Okay. We're doing this:
>Step 1: Make sure the ranch isn't on fire (~1 day)
If the ranch is not on fire, move to step two; If ranch is on fire, put out fire
>Step 2: Aquire Inn staff (~3-6 days)
If more time is required, we delay deployment; move to step 3
>Step 3: Learn how to not piss off the locals at night while training the beastmen during the day (~7-14 days)
>Step 4: Re-plan how to unfuck everything if original time estimates are wrong
You feel a modicum of guilt for fobbing the responsibilities of the ranch off to McCain and Tai. It, in of itself, is the basis of your income. Your bread and butter if you will. Should everything about this trade route, and the slew of resources your land is giving you go up in smoke, your familiarity and experience with ranching are the means by which you'd claw your way back out. Excusing yourself from McCain and Marie's fortification work, you head into the study to dive into the paperwork. Shuffling through expense ledgers herd projections, you try to figure out if you can spot any issues with Tai and McCain's handling of the ranchwork. McCain's been ranching since before you learned to properly pronounce the letter 's' and Tai's got a childhood full of experience with farmwork. As such, you really don't see any issues with the day to day running of your ranch.

However, when it comes time to actually bring the cattle to market, you do figure that you'll either need to personally oversee the cattle drive, or at the very least head to Riverport to broker the deal ahead of the drovers before heading back out. It really depends on if the Phoenix still have that bounty on your head and if you can get the uninterrupted free time to drive the herd. You could always delegate, but if things go to plan, you'll be even shorter on beastfolk than the last run, and should it take some time to get Purobka established you'd be even more short staffed than projected. You sigh quietly to yourself, you could always miss this run until you take on some more help, but if you want to get this inn up and running you'll already be draining the local talent pool. Missing the run also means that you'd be paying your help out of pocket rather than with the carefully factored expense account that you've been quietly handling all that business through up until now. If the trade route doesn't prove to be lucrative enough... Well, you'd rather not think about it. Either way, the run itself is not for a few more months, so you've got time.

>Plan to spend some time and personnel in the future on another cattle run, banking on either resolving your current endeavors, or at the very least scaling them back for the duration. Whether or not you delegate the responsibilities remaining to be seen.
>Plan to keep the herd in reserve for the first run, necessitating a different income source to maintain upkeep on the ranch without it tapping into your personal funds, but also freeing up all personnel to focus on other potentially lucrative projects.
>Plan to spend some time and personnel in the future on another cattle run, banking on either resolving your current endeavors, or at the very least scaling them back for the duration. Whether or not you delegate the responsibilities remaining to be seen.

It's a necessity. We know we can and will make money off of the herd and we can't be certain in the trade rout, with only one round having been made. Yes we made bank on that run, but we have to assume that it could be a negative venture until we have regular trade.
There is no sense denying it, the cattle industry is and will be the lifeblood of your operations for the near future, as such you'll need to account for the responsibilities. This puts a fairly strict timetable on your other projects. On your way down to dinner, you make a note to mention your plans for the drive to McCain and the rest. Kicked into gear, you outline your plans going forward. To Tatiana and Artyom, you mention on how you want a crash course on proper etiquette and expectations of a Szlachta lord before the end of next week, so that when you do take Purobka you can look the part. Artyom balks slightly at this, but Tatiana simply nods. [I'm to expect you aren't hoping for perfect, just not appearing outlandish, yes?] She says, which you confirm.

To Zhou and his beastfolk, you outline your plans to drill them on repeaters, making sure to stay in the highborn speech. Liama and her shadows offer to help with the rifle drills. The shadows repeaters are Nitor grade, and provided they'll be able to replenish stock from the incoming shipment they'd be able to get Zhou and Lady Wu up to snuff in the interim. Then they'd propagate the information through the ranks. Figuring that's well in hand you then turn to your most immediate concern.

"I'm looking to hire on more staff to the ranch, specifically hospitality industry. Serrak's folk are almost done with their work, and he's been trying to push a staffing agency. I'd rather we didn't go that route."

"What'd you have in mind?" McCain asks.

"Well, I was thinking hiring local. Not from the mainland. If possible."

"So pulling from Riverport or Snake's Landing then?" Tai follows. "If I had the choice, I'd recommended Snake's landing. They already have plenty of hotels and may as well be the premier tourist spot on the continent. People would be experienced, pricey though."

"And Riverport?"

"Well, you saw what happened when we went there." Marie says, grimacing. "The cordon's already squeezed people dry, so you'd have no end of applicants. That said, quality of those applicants might be suspect."

You neglect to mention the fact you hired both of them in Riverport. McCain, though, has his own thoughts. "What about South Fork? They'd be local, we'd be able to vet them easily, and they'd know the area anyways. Would be slim pickings, but we aren't expecting too much traffic just yet."

>We can weed through the chaff Riverport sends our way.
>We can afford the price that Snake's Landing demands.
>We can make use of the few South Fork have to offer.
>We can make use of the few South Fork have to offer.
It's closer, and skills can be trained and learned relatively easily. Finding someone who's trustworthy (or making someone trustworthy) is quite a bit harder than that.
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"Trust is probably the one thing that takes the longest to develop, and time is our biggest constraint." You say, making your decision. "Marie, on first light you'll be heading back to South Fork with a recruitment form. We'll be able to find folks to vouch for any applicants and get them ready before we head out."

She nods, and with that you bid everyone goodnight. Curling up into bed, you run various plans through your head until sleep finally takes you. The next morning finds you near the Shadow's tent. In keeping with the next phase of your plan, you opt to have Liama and her men give the few senior beastfolk a crash course in repeaters. They already understand the basic gist of the weapons, what with that sole Phoenix one you had looted during the attack on the ranch being passed around, however it's awkward caliber and lack of munitions had limited its usefulness. Eli, Caff, Jack and Liz however had Nitor issue rifles, and happened to be very similar to the ones you ordered.

Zhou's standing at attention, dutifully waiting for whatever you've got planned. Wu is somehow managing to stand in a way that displays her disinterest with the whole situation while still maintaining a respectful regard towards your orders. Given the personal claim she's been making on the Phoenix repeater during drills, you suspect she feels she's not expecting to learn anything today.

Nevertheless, covering the fundamentals is what your goal is today. The only question remaining is how to go about it.

>Personally oversee the initial training, (1d20 roll, specify what you want to focus on.)
>Liama and her men will be better served leading the training.
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>Liama and her men will be better served leading the training.
Request that they focus on rapid aimed shots (mad minutes) and reloading efficiently under pressure (Want to avoid dropping rounds while reloading as much as possible)
Ignore the roll. I forgot to take it off.
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"Liama, you take the lead here. I'm suspecting their main opposition at this time is going to be Casimiran Cavalry and degenerate troll hordes. Rapid response and dexterity are going to be key."

"Let me confirm the fundamentals, and then I'll have my boys run through the same with the rest." She says, nodding. She runs through the basics, outlining the function, behavior, and theory behind repeaters to the two, talking loud enough in highborn phoenix speech that the rest of the assembled beastfolk can hear. Then, for emphasis she strips down Eli and Caff's rifles, interchanging the parts. A murmur of shock runs through the assembly, and thinking back on it you remember that once one of Zhou's people claimed a weapon, it was for all intents and purposes theirs. They'd fine tune it to their own specifications and aside from the lone repeater, they were not to be shared. The idea of mass produced weaponry that parts could be swapped on a whim was not so much a taboo, but something simply not considered by mercenary tribe. Liama had clearly identified that and sought to break them of that notion. Confident that her introduction gave them food for thought, she instructed her Shadows to run through the care and maintenance of the weapon with the rest of the tribe.

Returning to you, she pauses. "Zhou and Wu have enough familiarity with the repeaters that a more 'intensive' training might be on the table in keeping with your goals." She says, "But I would prefer that we used the rifle they are familiar to. And that gun might not survive the training itself."

You grimace, loathe to destroy assets. But given how quick she was to identify a possible issue and resolve it, you figure it might be worth it to burn an aging weapon with a limited amount of foreign and hard to acquire ammo.

"I didn't buy enough guns to have them get used up just in training." You say.

"Oh I don't think it'll be destroyed the first couple times."

"Fine." You hiss.

"Perfect. I'll be taking those two with me." She says gesturing towards the two beastfolk leaders, something of a manic grin spreading through her features.
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{USE YOUR GUN! USE IT!} Liama shouted in highborn to the prone form of Zhou, face first in the dirt near treeline on the far end of your property. You'd tagged along with her and Eli, curious about what she had in mind until she had handed Lady Wu the phoenix repeater and began her tirade. A series of commands in an authoritative and furious tone had startled everyone but Eli as she began to put the beastfolk through their paces. Calls to fire from different positions, her tail lashing out, shoving them out of stance, ripping the weapon from their hands. Calling for them to do pushups and the like before resuming their stance. Grinding the weapon into the dirt and having them clean it while she used Eli's rifle to keep the steady staccato of gunfire going.

"This is training?" You ask, looking to her subordinate.

"Yeah, this is her intensive course." He'd said impassively. "Nitor didn't like it, but me and the others went through it after we'd signed on with her. It works."

You wince as her tail randomly shoots out, pinning Zhou to the ground and calling for him to drop his rifle and do pushups. Lady Wu had soldiered through the first round, and it had only ended once Liama had deemed it satisfactory. The exhausted wolf woman was laying off to the side, watching her leader getting manhandled the same way she had. The only problem is Zhou was trying to predict Liama's actions based on what he had witnessed. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to her orders as the rifle, now dirtied up had jammed. All but screaming into Zhou's ear she yelled for him to clean his gun and that he was dead otherwise. The shift from the normally genial mercenary to psychotic drill instructor was jarring, to say the least.

"The point is to disorient and simulate an actual gunfight. Then drill in actions so that they become muscle memory." Eli said, watching the display with disinterest. "Problem is its hard on the rifles. I give it that one maybe six more goes before it'll need some repairs."

If it works, it works. I just hope I don't need to buy three more rifles for everyone days after they got issued.
"If it works, it works. I just hope I don't need to buy three more rifles for everyone days after they got issued." You say, deferring to the experts when it comes to combat training.

Thankfully, the rifle survives the two courses along with Liama's two victims. Depositing the two exhausted beastfolk in the bunkhouse, you go and see where Caff, Liz and Jack are running through mock rifle drills with the shadow's other repeaters. As far as you understand it, the other beastfolk aren't anywhere ready for that intensive course and as such they are focusing on familiarization and fundamentals. You've half a mind to ask her about run you through that training course, but given the few interviews you're going to have to do soon, you're not certain you want to go into it looking beat half to death.

Mid afternoon Marie arrives back from South Fork. She's said that she's already had one bite on the position, but the people wouldn't be coming to the ranch until tomorrow. A little surprised at the quick response, you thank the little harpy who then goes about her business. Confident that Liama and her crew have training well in hand, you wonder what to focus on next.

>Focus on working with Artyom and Tatiana. (Any particular questions you may have off the bat.)
>Focus on the questions you'll be asking your potential employees. (Any specifics you wish to ask to get a feel for the candidates.)
>Focus on the questions you'll be asking your potential employees. (Any specifics you wish to ask to get a feel for the candidates.)
We'll ask them about:
>previous experience
>character references
>expected wages
Probably more (I need to go. Will potentially finish later.)
>What are your hobbies/what can you tell me about yourself
>What do you know about what you're going to be doing here, and what we do
>Is there any reason why you may not be capable of coming to work on time every day on time
>Is there any reason why you may not be capable of completing any of the duties that may be asked of you
>>work on time every day on time
*work on time every day

>What are your hobbies/what can you tell me about yourself
>What do you know about us
>previous experience
>Is there any reason why you may not be capable of completing any of the duties that may be asked of you
>Is there any reason why you may not be capable of coming to work on time every day on time
>character references
End first wave
Check Character references
If they check out:
>expected wages

Supporting >>3373528

Seems interesting, I'm gonna go read the archives, is this low participation normal?
Only because Chem has real-life problems and the threads are months apart most of the time.
I'd like it if I wasn't the only one in here, though.
You retire to your study, thinking hard on how to filter through the recruits that will be coming in from South Fork tomorrow. You outline a brief series of questions you want to ask, ranging from personality traits, hobbies, knowledge about your operations, other experience, and possible references they'd like to use. You then couple that with some boilerplate employment concerns and a ballpark of what the prospective hire thinks that they are worth. You figure you'll get through the glut of interviews tomorrow, and can follow up on ones you deem a good fit in the next couple days.

The next morning you catch sight of the crowd of prospective hires coming down the trail shortly after breakfast. Liama and her crew are already midst training the beastfolk, and you do see a number of the people side eying the display. You've no doubt there's going to be a flurry of rumors around South Fork, but the spread will likely be minimized just due to the size of the town. Artyom and Tatiana have taken to tending to the cattle while they puzzle out your primer on Casimiran land ownership, they are on the far side of the herd and the group hasn't noticed them as of yet. It's a motley crew, mostly human at that, but amidst the few elves stomps Enos' the Minotaur shopkeeper. You're a bit confused why he is here, but as the twoscore or so people form up an orderly queue in front of the house, you figure you'll get to it with time.

>1d20+3 business roll for the interviews. Will determine how well you can read your prospective hires and who catches your eye.
Rolled 2 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Make sure to explain to them that they're training caravan guards.
Rolled 5 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

(Just in case the other guy doesn't come back to roll)
Not much better
Rolled 16 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Let me help you out there.
Nice. Allow me to get dibs on the character, if you will. A 6'0 strongman human red-headed male that wants to mate with Sasha. Looks a bit like Fry when he the parasites were in him. For love, for the farm, or if he just likes lamia, I'll let you guys decide.
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For reference.
>male that wants to mate with Sasha
>wants to mate with Sasha
Yeah, nah.
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Forgot pic

Also changing name to best represent what part of Sasha's brain I tend to advocate.

You make it a point to stress that the training is for caravan guards. You aren't sure if that explanation was believed, but you can see a few looks of disappointment from the back of the crowd. Beckoning the first one in, you begin the interviews. Later on, you begin to wonder what kind of image your projecting to the outside world. The first dozen or so are applicants to the "Masterson Militia" and half of those were expressing visible disdain at glimpses of Tai working on the next meal in the kitchen as you brought them up to the office for the interview. As far as you understand it, the main motivation of these folks were to 'stick it to them phoenix bastards and get paid for it' and had heard words of your exploits in that regard. To that effect, you ran through the list of questions you had, thanked them kindly for their time, bid them farewell, then unceremoniously dumped the notes on each applicant into a folder to be trashed later.

The next group is a bit more promising, but still has you double checking your help wanted posting. It's a crew of five local boys, four humans and an elf, late teens to early adulthood. And despite your advertisement requesting employees for your inn, these guys are here to be ranch hands. They have the look you remember from your father's time ranching. A diverse cast of characters ranging in builds from a elf's lanky awkward swagger, to a giant of a man built like a farmer's third son. The only real common characteristic is that they are all, light above, about as sharp as a sack a wet dirt. You're about to beckon one in to start the interviews when their spokesman intervenes. Their designated brain trust identifies himself as Zeke, and he says that he'd heard that the ranch was getting back on its feet, and that he remembers his older brother saying there was good money to be made in that trade. They mumble out some introductions, and by a couple of the last names you can identify a few come from some of the smaller farms on the outskirts of South Fork. Not the brightest candles, but, from your measure of them, honest workers. What really gets your attention is the wages they're asking. It's actually a little under the market for what you'd expect out of ranch hands, and you could get the lot of them and free up some of Tai and Marie's responsibilities. McCain would have to wrangle them but he's had almost two decades of experience in that. You figure them viable, and see at least a little hint of potential in them.
After getting them done, you're down to two, not counting Enos. The next couple are clearly together but allow themselves to be interviewed solo. Turns out to be Paul and Gertrude, a pair who worked in the South Fork tavern as the informal innkeep staff. Paul moonlight as a bartender and Gerty, as she liked to be called, was the maid and washerwoman. When pressed on their reasons for looking for work here Gerty was evasive but Paul later broke it down. It would appear the two fell for each other, and the owner of the town tavern frowns on that sort of relationship between employees. They want to keep doing what they are doing, but they also want to actually be free to display affection towards each other. Accepting that reasoning you figure the two are more than able to run an inn on their own, and the debt of gratitude would likely extend to other benifits down the way.

Lastly, you pull the large minotaur shopkeep in for an interview. Both you and he know that he hasn't turned over a new leaf and just wishes to be a simple innkeeper so you ask him what he needs. The way he says it, he's got a younger cousin named Lyle on the mainland. Lyle's in a bit of a bind and looking for work. He's trustworthy, per Enos, and willing to learn. Citing family obligations, Enos ptiches him to you. If the kid is anything like the shopkeep, you doubt there will be any trouble in the inn, and any troublemakers will likely be made to leave bodily. You just make a note to yourself if you do hire him, to not install any large plate glass windows into anything the kid will be working him.

The kids and the couple seem to be good choices. We'll take them. (would also mean we can have a larger herd)
Once the kids are actually competent, raise them to market rate

Having a Minotaur for security wouldn't be too bad, but what kind of bind is Lyle in? Is it just that he can't find work, or something else?
You cannot deny his birthright, a sweet, sweet lamia rancher wife.

Well alright! Let's hire them good ol' boys, the two lovebirds, and Lyle.
I can and will. We like girls that way, not boys.
(Unless I become outnumbered consistently, though this is unlikely.)
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Don't I, though?
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Do you?
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Though they aren't what you explicitly asked for, you aren't one to turn down a deal when it is right in front of you. Zeke's crew of hired muscle aren't gonna win any scholarships anytime soon, but they'll help with the more important task of keeping the herd in line while you focus on other matters. Besides, they may be able to develop some more marketable skills in their time here. You'll be sending out missives to their families offering the jobs and putting them up in the bunkhouse in the next couple days.

Paul and Gertrude are a no-brainer for the inn itself. The experience of running a similar enterprise, and the fact they'll be owing you a favor makes it all the better of a deal. They'll be put up in the Inn itself, getting acclimated while you sort out the trading problems. You figure you'll have Marie head on up to South Fork again to give them the news personally. Maybe event see about heading up yourself with the carriage, give them a chance to move their belongings.

You're tempted to go three for three on your prospects, but Lyle gives you pause. You'd raised an eyebrow when Enos had mentioned the bind, and kept it up until you had wormed the truth out of the uncomfortable minotaur. Apparently Lyle does not show the best judgment on financial matters, and had taken out a high interest loan to go prospecting in the northern part of the UFK. This went poorly, to say the least, and Enos had bailed out the youth on his sister's request but that meant taking Lyle under his wing. Faced with the prospect of two bulls in his china shop, the minotaur was looking for a place for his cousin to work where he wouldn't get in trouble.

You're torn. Gertrude and Paul will make fine innkeeps on this side of the mountain, but if you were to take Purobka back, that place is likely to become a hub of trade, which would necessitate another rest stop for traders. Without the defense of the mountain, it could get rough there and having an innkeeper as durable as the Casimiran on hand to deal with such matters would be good. He could cut his teeth learning from the couple in the meantime, but his future would be predicated on your success on your next expedition.

No worries.

Take him on. We are sure to succeed in our endeavors. A wise man once said, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
Don't take on Lyle.

Politely decline taking him on to Enos

I don't trust him to not try to steal from us or do something stupid.
gonna toss a second vote in here
only employ people you can trust or in positions you can monitor, and he's neither

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