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  • File: 1334872750.jpg-(20 KB, 340x306, Silver_dragon.jpg)
    20 KB Dragon Quest LXIX: Silver Age Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)17:59 No.18783425  
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)18:00 No.18783435
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    Altair was getting frustrated.

    You could tell from how quiet he was getting. That silent look of his as you managed to throw up another counter to another lightning bolt, blowing cushions into searing ash as it arced and grounded into another statuette of ice.

    Well, mostly silent.

    "You know I haven't decided wether to thank or curse your sister for casting my brother out back then? Such as shame it needs to happen to hers."

    You roll and slam a hand to the ground, lifting up the marble floor to shield yourself, the missles blowing the stonework apart- and giving you a brief glimpse of what lay underneath the building - what looked like a way to the catacombs under the town- before necessity forced you to launch a chair into the path of another acid arrow.

    "I mean really, how many elves have you seen walking around here?!"

    Yeah he was getting annoyed alright.

    It wasn’t the property damage that was irritating him though. Nor was it the fact he had yet to land a decent hit- there was no doubt that he would get one eventually, and you’d been plenty buffeted by his admittedly impressive grasp of evocation. By all accounts he had every advantage in a straight up brawl; especially with another Blue in his corner...

    ...But then, you suppose that might be his problem. If that Blue wasn’t, in fact, in his corner. And might, in fact, be in yours.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)18:01 No.18783448
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    “There’s no need for this- I’m only here to follow up on a-”

    Duck. Another priceless portrait ruined.

    “- lead for my employer.”

    You’ve continued to push for innocence and ignorance, sticking to your fabrication even in the face of what you would assume to be long odds of conventional survival. So far however, being so dangerously reasonable has paid off- in information if nothing else, as he’s taken the opportunity to blab between bolts.

    Firstly, Altair seemed to have trouble deciding whether this was simply business or not, judging from his remarks. His little history talks have let you infer a few things- like what your presence would mean to their operations here, and how much he knew about the reason for your sister’s last visit. Perhaps some correlation in timing, as well? You’re not sure how intermittent your families ‘visits’ are...you could be right on schedule.

    The second thing is some of the regrettable ‘tells’ he’s pulling out to confirm his suspicions. ‘How many Elves have you seen walking around town’ indeed. You feel there’s more to what he knows that he’s letting on, but he’s lapsed into a morbid quiet now, choosing instead to argue internally. Which brings you back to your original hope.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)18:02 No.18783454
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    Halla, it seems, is either buying your act...or otherwise disapproving of Altair’s actions. For the past minute of your physical and verbal sparring she’s reclined herself comfortably to watch, passively taking in your spiel while causing Altair’s frown to continue to deepen- throwing off his aim and making him careless enough for a counter-attack...not that such an action seemed wise; she might not be pro-killing you, but she hardly seemed anti-killing you either at this point.

    Then again, maybe not.

    “-What do you mean ‘what if he isn’t’?!” Altair suddenly whirls, a burst of magic blowing you against a wall sans a follow up, “Of course he is! Look at him! You think I can’t tell?!”

    “Cousin...” She admonishes, and you can almost see the mental tut at him peeping their argument out loud.

    He shrugs back to you, pushing his shoulders to shove whatever reasonings she was providing off his mind as he tears up yet more of the room; a chair exploding to tinder as you roll behind a miraculously un-singed divan.

    You raise for another word to chip away at his position but find his next move takes you by surprise: A blast of ice. Something that has no chance of hurting you...but could be another mark against your cover story if not bluffed properly. Or dodged. Angry he might be, but certainly not an idiot. Well, that’s a dragon for you, you suppose.

    But he’s no Silver, that’s for sure.

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:16 No.18783609
    rolled 56 = 56

    Well, he seems to be wasting a lot more magic than we are. Provided we can drain him dry, it would probably give us better bargaining position with his coz, who does look interested in bargaining. That will probably require a second meeting, preferably with her exclusively, explicitly for negotiation.

    I'd vote for continuing to play reasonable mouse and see if we can keep the cat talking. If we start to get hurt, we can make an escape, either through the holes he's blowing in the wall of his own house, the hole he's blown in the floor of his own house, or simply teleporting if we can. (I would be inclined to head underground, where he might have minions, but his superior age and size isn't as significant.)

    Do pretend to cast some kind of ice-warding spell before he does hit us with one, though, or explain our immunity to ice as a bloodline-kind of thing. (Quite true, technically.)

    Dice in case necessary.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:22 No.18783648
    Well what should we say to keep up our reasonable appearance?
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:26 No.18783693
    That given he's jumped straight to trying to kill us, our reluctance to shake his hand last time around as proven to be a perfectly reasonable precaution.

    Also, we might want to point out that, as a mercenary, we can, you know, be bought. So all of this fighting is completely unnecessary. Hell, he probably could have saved money by hiring us instead of trashing a room that will doubtless be expensive to repair.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:28 No.18783721
    Given who we're pretending to be, we've no real reason to quarrel. As far as we know, his machinations and our goal do not conflict. And, of course, if we were to come into such conflict, we would have no hope of survival. (Obviously belied by the fact that we're evading his attacks pretty handily now, but I'm banking on flattery here, not to mention his inflated sense of self-worth, to have him ignore that. It'll be nicely ironic in retrospect, though.)

    When the time comes to escape, we should try a quiet little invisibility spell. Will be almost useless, I bet, as he'll immediately counter it, but it might take him just long enough to counter it for us to drop down to the caverns below, or leap out a window.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:30 No.18783747
    rolled 42 = 42

    > or explain our immunity to ice as a bloodline-kind of thing. (Quite true, technically.)

    I don't think that would hold much water considering that he's already suspicious enough that it would just confirm what he already thinks. We need to evade or counter it.

    And since dice for DQ is best of two, here's another roll.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:38 No.18783820
    I think that he's pretty much convinced as to who we are. There isn't anything we can say to persuade him. What we need to do is get out of there and report to our grandfather. This is out of our league. The whole idiotic "oh, we can handle this, we don't need to get help, and running away would look bad" thing that people argued last thread is both obviously wrong and just asking to get us killed. There's a point where stubborn refusal to admit that we're in over our head just becomes a sign of stupidity, and we passed that some time ago.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:44 No.18783881
    We seem to be doing alright at the moment. If anything, I think that sticking this out a little bit before escaping (and not a panic-escape, a genuine "Well, you don't seem interested in talking. I'll see myself out, then.") would probably leave our enemy here looking phenomenally foolish, and his counterpart might be that much more interested in dealing with us.

    Hell, while we're busy dodging stuff, why not ask that bastard gnome whether this is sufficient proof for him?
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)18:54 No.18783984
    > Hell, while we're busy dodging stuff, why not ask that bastard gnome whether this is sufficient proof for him?

    Eh, personally I'm in favor of just ditching him entirely. He's done nothing but lead us around by the nose, I see no reason to work with him any longer. He's certainly not paying us enough to put up with his shit.

    And really, I'm pretty sure half the damn town already knows that we're a silver dragon, so I don't see any real reason to get trip over ourselves trying to preserve that cover.

    At this point, we should point out that he could have saved money by working with us instead of trying to kill us and trashing the room in the process, and then try to escape. The longer the fight goes, the higher the likelihood that we will make a mistake and get wrecked. We need to get out.

    After that, we should go back to our old man and tell him that the town is swarming in heavy hitters. Then, with that obligation discharged, we can leave that miserable town behind and finally go somewhere else. And drop our current, hopelessly compromised Victor identity and never touch it again.

    Then hopefully WG will give us a chance to make one for ourselves instead of forcing us to use one with incredibly obvious tells like he did with this one.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:05 No.18784098
    >that fucking gnome
    Here is what we are going to do.

    We're going to save this fucking town. By ourself, if necessary. Death or motherfucking glory.

    And when this town's high-council, or whatever, is sufficiently indebted to us, we're going to get them to push something through into law for us.

    We're going to pass a very modern and progressive bill of rights here- Rights for citizens and visitors. Make it illegal to randomly drug or scry on people. Make it illegal to detain anyone without sufficient proof and/or court warrant. All that stuff.

    Basically, we're going to force the most obnoxious set of operating rules on that goddamn gnome. He's going to have to go by procedure, he's going to have to obey the law, he's going to have to follow the book

    And we even get to do good for the people of the city as a side effect.

    This will be our vengeance.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:09 No.18784131
    > We're going to save this fucking town. By ourself, if necessary. Death or motherfucking glory.

    That's stupid. You're being so stubborn to the point that I think you're actually TRYING to get us killed. There are two blue dragons, a cult that worships what is probably a red dragon, on top of that bunch of summoners with bugbear minions that beat us even after we reverted. We got beaten by a half dozen of their minions. At this point we'll be lucky to survive to escape and report this to our old man.

    Try to understand that while you might want us to die, not everyone here shares that desire.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)19:10 No.18784147
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    Evidently Altair is not quite as skilled with ice as you are, and in the time it takes him to launch his projectile you've calmly put a hand up to cancel it with your own; Halla billowing a sleeve up to her face as the crystals shattered around the room.

    "Look, obviously I'm overmatched here," You attempt with flattery- despite the apparent ease of your defence, "So surely there's no harm in just trying to reason with me here, yes? I'm a mercenary first and foremost, there's nothing to say I can't be bought."

    "There's ME to say you can't be bought," Altair smiles, fists crackling, "And believe me that's more than enough to count."

    "Are you sure? It really would be a shame to wreck any more of your lovely home. Especially in front of family." You push, betting on pushing over his line to step into hers.

    He glowers deeply, apparently and finally angered.

    "Homes can be rebuilt. I wouldn't say the same for-"

    "-Oh come on now cousin," Halla finally speaks up in a tone so neutrally bored you can feel how much effort is being taken on her part to stop smiling, "All that's happened here is you jumping to conclusions and destroying property that took decades to collect. Perhaps you just want to see how much grandmother would reimburse you for? An accurate, if crude way to judge your personal worth."

    "Oh you can't honestly BELIEVE this charlatan!" He groans back, "Even then, you think it even matters anymore if he is who he says he is?!"
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)19:11 No.18784159
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    "You were the one who said we can use him," Halla shot back, examining her nails, "So I think we should. As Victor says, there's no harm in a polite conversation."

    Altair seems a little too stunned to sputter, just pausing and making vague, ethereal gestures while his opposite continues to examine her manicure. You elect to remain carefully silent as he snaps himself back into incredulity.

    "Alright. Do what you want cousin. Spend the night revealing our plans- maybe even invite him home as a mate. Walk right into that lion's den. I'll be sure to stay on hand to pick up the pieces once you've finished ruining another thirty years of work."

    He halts as he makes his way toward the exit, sending an eye over your way.

    "And don't think we're through just yet, either. Mark me on that, boy."

    The door shuts and, after a moment, Halla stretches, curling herself over to the edge of her seat to stare at you with some amusement.

    "My my. What trouble you've managed to cause. Whatever shall I do with you?"

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:18 No.18784254
    "I'm sure we can come up with something that will please us both." Courteous bow, double entendre. "You also seem willing to reason, perhaps even cut some form of deal. I would very much like to finish my quest and be off, learn what I may. And it was mentioned you might have a use for me. Let's start there, hmm?"
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:22 No.18784300
    > You were the one who said we can use him

    I'm curious as to what this meant.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:24 No.18784320
    rolled 29 = 29

    Seems pretty good. Charming, impeccably polite, and completely unfazed by the halt in hostilities. (I think we should have avoided actually succeeding here. Would have been so much more satisfying to simply skip out on him after remaining entirely civil the entire fight.)

    Subtly try and feel out just whether she actually believes us, or simply doesn't care
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:24 No.18784326
    I like this, but maybe we should cut out
    > I would very much like to finish my quest and be off, learn what I may.

    Reminding a potential employer that we might have ulterior motives is generally not a good way to get hired.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:25 No.18784333
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:26 No.18784344
    Sorry, noticed a typo so I deleted the original post.

    I assume you're agreeing with >>18784326 ?
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:28 No.18784370
    rolled 73 = 73

    I think she simply doesn't care.

    Also, in case that roll matters, here's another. Hopefully it's slightly better.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:30 No.18784397
    Yes. I'm sad that our humiliation of her relative was not complete, but I think we can deal with Halla here. Possibly even at the expense of Altair, if she's down for that.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)19:43 No.18784573
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    "I'm sure we can come up with something that will please us both." You smile, giving a short bow, "You also seem willing to reason, perhaps even cut some form of deal. It *was* mentioned you might have a use for me. Let's start there, hmm?"

    "Oh, there's plenty of 'uses' I can think of for a man like you," Her eyes flashed with some small mischief, "...Though currently, this might be limited to circumstance."

    "Circumstance?" You push, taking an offered seat near to her.

    "Mmm. More obviously you admission that Welskin is listening in. Believe me when I say that the only reason you're still here is because I can see your utter distaste for him is no lie."

    There's no snide response in your head. Perhaps he's busy, now? She straightens a little, pointing as if miming a lecture.

    "Also, don't misunderstand me, Victor. My cousin may lack foresight, but he's not unintelligent. I'm hardly inclined to believe him wrong on a matter he holds so dear to his heart..."She pauses, then lifts her eyebrows in a shrug, "However, as I say- he lacks foresight. Let us say for argument's sake you were the one he was after and he managed to off you. For all we know that would be all the sign such a benefactor needed to step in...and banishment would not be a mercy available to grant after that, I should think."
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)19:44 No.18784583
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    The slender woman rolls onto her back and looks away from you, fixing her eyes up to the sky, wistful.

    "Yes, that would have been a shame. If only some arrangement could be made to remove him. I'm sure my people would be open to negotiate some reasonable holdover here that would upset no-one...there's no disputing that this place has gone to the dogs under current 'leadership', if you could call it that."

    "Ah," She continues, "But that's not something to be discussed with you, is it? My apologies. How may you desire to serve?"

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:52 No.18784677
    Mind is having trouble coming up with anything suitably flirtatious. So let me ask you people this- what are our current goals with this dragon?
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)19:58 No.18784742

    This mindset tickles me.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:05 No.18784814
    Work in that if she wants us to serve like that, she'll have to buy us dinner first.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:05 No.18784823

    Well I'm not sure. I guess there's a lot we can do. She seems reasonable enough to level with, if we wanted to but of course that might just be a trick she's telepathically set up with her cousin to get us to reveal ourselves, so I don't know whether we should push it that far.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:10 No.18784873
    rolled 54 = 54

    Well, assuming we're who we're accused to be (I think an unspoken admission is suitable here- we both realize that isn't going to fly, let's not insult her by pretending she'd believe it,) we are interested in restoring some sense of order, stability, and independence. We're interested in making sure that 90% of these different factions making power-plays for the city are shut down, cut off, eliminated, or convinced to try elsewhere.

    We're happy to try and arrange something favorable to a sophisticated lady such as herself, if it were possible.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:17 No.18784948
    I think we shouldn't try to make any sort of ideological claims just yet. We're a merc, we do a job, we get paid.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:17 No.18784954
    rolled 17 = 17

    Also, second roll, in case it matters.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:19 No.18784979
    I suppose we could maintain that we are one, but it's pretty clear she doesn't buy our 'cover' any more than her brother does. She just feels less upset about it.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:25 No.18785045
    "What I might desire is wholly inappropriate, especially given our /circumstances/, as you call them. But I too am displeased by the current state of the city. Stabilizing and granting it order would no doubt satisfy a sophisticated woman such as yourself."

    Think that is decent enough.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:25 No.18785055
    It's not even really much of a lie. We do things for money.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:30 No.18785104
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)20:33 No.18785148
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    "Well if you want me to serve like *that*, you'll have to buy me dinner first," You grin, "Otherwise, well... if I am who I say I am, I suppose I wouldn't mind running an errand or two- so long as you give me the 'why'. If I was who Altair supposed I was... we are interested in restoring some sense of order, stability, and independence. So pretty much the same. Certainly room enough either way to accommodate the desires of a sophisticate."

    "Hmm...I thought I already *did* buy you dinner. That reception was quite expensive you know," She mock-pondered, failing to supress a smile of her own, "...Though I suppose this is something to be carried on at length at a later date. Perhaps in more...private, less ruined settings. And with less ears to hear it with."

    You feel a mental nudge, distinctly passive- as if just delivering a message.

    /If you do want a job though...how about killing Welskin? He's certainly grown to become more than a hinderance. Things can pass on fine; he young guard are young enough to accept a more competant commander. Do that, and that will be enough to...bring you into the family fold. If only on the fringe. How about it?/

    She eyes you casually, but expectantly. The threat in her eyes was more of disappointment and dismay than violence; balanced to tip depending on your own probe back. Regard, if nothing else, was on the line here- and how high she'd hold you in it.

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:41 No.18785238

    Counter with an offer or order, rather than more destabilization. Ask her what's going on? It's the 'why' we mentioned, and we would like to finally hear what the fuck is going on in this town from someone.

    While we are willing to indulge in violence to solve a problem, simply being a paid assassin seems a bit crass. Especially since, if we're going to kill that gnome, we'd like to do it for ourself.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:42 No.18785245
    Flash her a grin, say we will see what can be done about it. Proceed to do so. Nothing like a good old, 'oh here's the news- *shank*'.

    Unless anyone objects.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:43 No.18785258
    Rescinding my post to agree with this one- >>18785238

    Scratch >>18785245
    Though we really should kill the damn gnome some time.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:43 No.18785265
    I object.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)20:44 No.18785279
    rolled 27 = 27

    He is currently listening in, so I see good reason not to take this offer up in good faith. If we do agree, it ought to be in cooperation with Welskin, rather than with intent to murder him.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)20:56 No.18785411
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    /It sounds like a decent deal...were this guaranteed to bring some order. I would be much more happy carrying out a task I want to do anyway if I could be reassured that doing so would go a good length toward restoring order here./

    /Oh, perhaps not directly,/ She answers back quite candidly, /You could swap the internal ministers right now and things would remain the same. However...the problems that this city suffers from stem from discord. Tune the instrument, remove some of the players, and I think you will find more harmony./

    She flattens her cheek against a pillow and smiles.

    /To be less obtuse- If you do this, I can trust you. If I trust you, then I could discuss with you how to improve the place. I'm sure a number of problems will fade away simply on that basis. Dragons such as myself can do wonders to stimulate and protect trade...though I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new there./

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)21:11 No.18785554
    That wasn't quite what I was going for there.

    The reason we aren't interested in killing Welskin for money is because if we kill him, it will almost certainly be because we personally want to do so.

    Likewise, simply being a hired assassin leaves little operational freedom, and doesn't feel terribly interesting.

    We're an individual of honor, as, I should hope, she is too. Our interest here is in stabilizing what the hell is going on. Crazy summons plaguing the roads out of town, kobolds hunting thieves down below (A guess, but one that seems reasonable given that the priestess said those who robbed them were medium sized and the kobolds seem to want to find someone or thing specific.), and an entire dwarven hold being wiped clean.

    Request that she allow us to address one of those things; for a dragon such as herself, stability would obviously be both more profitable as it goes and easier to work in. On our honor, (or whatever credibility we have, if she doesn't happen to believe that,) we hold no ill will for a wonderful lady such as herself, and will do our best, should our goals ever happen to conflict, to find as mutually pleasant a solution as possible.

    tl;dr: No, we were trying to offer something /aside/ from killing him. (Though we aren't quite ready to rule that out yet.) We'd prefer to simply tackle one of the specific problems that affects the city- There are certainly lots of them. Maybe we can engineer an outcome acceptable both to her and whoever we (supposedly) are.

    If mutual exchange of information is acceptable, we could offer to cite excerpts from Welskin's personal files on her and her brother, since he gave them to us to study before coming here.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)21:39 No.18785849
    Make sure we very clearly aren't ruling out the possibility of killing that gnome. If she's set on it, wouldn't want to disillusion her here, nor would we want her to think we aren't willing to cooperate or play on her side here.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)21:57 No.18786079
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    /No. Nor are you telling me much new regarding the state of this city. My hope would be more to work in ways that would improve the situation of the place- widen those trade routes, for instance...figure out what today's worg attack was about. There are other things going on in this town that no-one is telling me about; and telling me even over one would go some lengths to making me confident of whatever job I undertook./

    /And,/ You continue, /If it's proof of my trust-worthiness you require, how about I turn the files Welskin has on you and your cousin over? I'm sure you'd like to know what he's found out over you./

    Halla considers this for a moment, then shakes her head dismissively.

    "All that would prove," She starts again aloud, "Was how much you're willing to screw over Welskin."

    /If Welskin is removed,/ She continues on mentally, /Then what is written in his files becomes a moot point. What he knows becomes irrelevant. And though there are some situations I would love to get your views on, now is not the time pursue them. I do not wish to be vague, but your 'condition', for one, makes talking on such matters an...unwise choice./

    "It's getting awfully late," She speaks up again, "And today's excitement has certainly been tiring. Perhaps you are not ready to accept my offer just yet? Then I will leave it on the table, to be cashed whenever you want. The work might be a bit cheap or dirty for a man of your calibre...but it's a lot cleaner than I presume your first job here was, yes?"

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:10 No.18786237
    I guess it's time to thank her, tell her that we will consider her offer, and then leave.

    Then let's see how much of that Welskin heard.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:12 No.18786254
    I like her. A chromatic, but she seem reasonable, and willing to deal. I think it would be polite to thank the good lady for her time, promise to consider it, and take our leave.

    At this point, we simply need to know what is going on. I suppose we could try scrying on who is where in the catacombs, or we could try grabbing those adventurers and returning below. We do need to figure at least one "who is responsible for what" here.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:13 No.18786264
    Shouldn't be too much if we're halfway decent at keeping our mind partitioned.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:20 No.18786356
    You and me both.

    Would be great to find out soonest.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:32 No.18786526
    Also, we should take the opportunity to offer that, since she was correct when she said that she did buy us a rather expensive dinner, we'll buy her dinner next time around.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:34 No.18786546
    Also we should get some mind shielding (like a medallion of thoughts, or helm of mind blank). I really don't like that the gnome came read our thoughts.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:41 No.18786639
    He did spike our coffee with the grindings of an artifact. Might not help us all too much under those circumstances.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:43 No.18786677
    I don't see why that matters. It would still be external mind-reading.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)22:44 No.18786686
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    /I see your point,/ You start before switching to speech, "Then I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, both for the offer and for clearing up that...unfortunate business earlier."

    "Not at all; I shall thank you for an evening saved from much uglier affairs." She smiles, rising up and offering her hand out, which you duly take for a kiss, "A servant has been summoned to lead you to the exit- I'm afraid my cousin has a penchant for...shall we say...'abstract' house designs."

    "I was never one to doubt his lurid imagination," You return, "Goodnight my Lady; I'll be sure to give you an answer soon- and dinner, to repay your generosity."

    "Ah, too kind! Perhaps I will have more to offer you as well, the next time we meet..."


    The ride back to the tavern, provided by Halla's personal carriage, was one filled with thought, but not without dialogue. If Welskin was listening in to any of that- and you had to assume he was- he was keeping his ponderances about it in his own head, not in yours. Even calling out to him mentally didn't change that, and you weren't in the mood to argue with the air for a better deal. Now, however, you felt would be a good time to pursue a conversation with the miniature troll, while you had a more secure advantage of information to barter with...not to mention the very real option of being able to off him if he didn't give answers that you liked. It was unusual to think that it would be a shame if that powder had worn off, but such was the feeling during the trip over.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)22:45 No.18786698
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    Aside from those dark, gnome-filled thoughts, the other puzzle pieces were brought into sharp focus on entering the tavern as you were met with the barkeep, his name sketchily remembered as Tarrin, alone and hard-polishing a single glass, sat up on the bar...most likely waiting for Allandro and Jorm to come back from another tour through the catacombs.

    "Ah, Victor. I was wondering if you'd survived," He said with a humoured concern, as if he didn't believe any other outcome possible, "Heard about what happened over at the party..."

    "It was a little hairy...but that's more due to the things I had to fight than the actual difficulty of it. No need to worry over me, Tarrin."


    He paused, burnishing his glass a little more thoughtfully.

    "A quick question before you retire for the night or change for some more practical garb?" He hums out as you pass him by, "What...do you think it was about, with the Worgs?"

    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:47 No.18786744
    We haven't a bloody goddamn clue.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:50 No.18786777
    He's asking us?
    He's the one who has been hiding as much as he can from us, and now he asks us to help him figure something out?
    Fuck him.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:52 No.18786807

    Well we could take a stab at it. He isn't asking for specifics here, I guess patrons could be asking or wondering about it already.
    >> Anonymous 04/19/12(Thu)22:57 No.18786878
    "The owners of the house did not seem terribly concerned. Perhaps it was some obscure variety of party-favor."

    Answers, is sarcastically irritated as we no doubt are, and doesn't actually cased any suspicion on Halla. Seems reasonable.


    If the adventurers are out, we can scry. If not, we can hire them to head below and try and find some answers once and for all.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)23:53 No.18787633
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    You run your hand down your face to pull your thoughts into your hand...then, seeing the lack of them, throw them over your shoulder with a shake.

    "Well, I see it two ways. One involves me not knowing a damned thing about why they showed up. Another involves me drinking. Neither of these are mutually exclusive."

    He frowns, looking unusually caught on the idea before shrugging it off himself.

    "Haha yeah I guess that's something for higher minds than mercs and barkeeps work out, eh? So what'll you have?"

    "Just give me a bourbon to take up. I don't feel nearly drunk enough to say I've been at a party," You groan, coffee and adrenaline having done wonders for your sobriety, "...Think I could join up with Allandro and Jorm tonight?"

    "Eh, they've been gone a while...you could always venture down on your own, but I wouldn't recommend it. Haven't you tried your luck enough tonight anyway?"

    "Maybe," You think, deciding to down it in one before grabbing the bottle and heading up the stairs, "But maybe I need some answers. Tab me for this."

    You figure you bought the scrying equipment, so may as well use it. Go check on them, maybe direct 'em on where to go, see if you can nab a Kobold or two to explain what they're doing down...


    You stand still in the doorway of your room, Welskin lying next to your bed.

    A very dead looking Welskin.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)23:54 No.18787651
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    You enter quietly, looking around before turning the body over. Weighty. Heavy...unblemished, currently. But no pulse. Just left in your room.

    /Not bad, eh Vic? Had it made months ago, for just the right occasion. Now seemed a good time to use it. Sorry about no talking, I was busy setting it up- good job on handling Altair mind; I thought for sure he was just going to fry you! S'why I took this beauty out of the pan. Can't kill what's already dead, right?/

    /And you thought it was smart just to leave this in my room?/ You grit your teeth.

    /Nah, I figured you'd put it in your bag of holding for safekeepin' or something. You might need it...afterall, things're coming to a head aren't they now, Vic? And we've gotten all we can get while I'm still in the picture./

    /And what *exactly* have we got, Welskin? Other than me angry at your lolling around./

    You use the short silence to go through your drawers to find your belt, unclasping one of the interior bags large enough to find the facsimile into. Finally, just as you're finishing up he speaks again- distracted, as if he was looking at something else. Perhaps he'd taken the time to get some more forms- you don't know. However...from his tone, it seemed that your days of ignorance were coming to an end. The Blues may have just been a litmus test.

    /Well Vic, I reckon we've got enough pieces now to start taking a crack at the puzzle. Sure as hell no reason t'hold back now I'm dead, right? And this channel should be secure enough for this conversation. Oh and make no mistake, I AM going six-feet under now...which is probably where you should be going, but we'll get to that in a minute./

    You settle back on the bed, bottle in hand, waiting for him to start.

    /By all means, get to it./
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)23:55 No.18787663
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    /Well alright.../ You hear him as if flicking through a folder of confessions, /First off, I guess we should make something clear about my..shall we say...'eccentric' behaviour. I'm sure you've been wonderin' why I've been such a tool to ya'; which is a fair enough-/

    /-Actually, aside from your childish enjoyment of it, I can already guess from what Halla said,/ You interrupt, taking a quick swig from your bottle, /Associating with a man like you obviously leads to unpleasant ends; heaven forbid if anyone actually liked you on top of that. She already guaranteed my body in a morgue if she thought I were colluding with you./

    /You're not wrong there. An' if the rest of my department didn't hate me, well, they'd want them pulled down with me too- an' I ain't got the resources fer a masoleum o' fake bodies. Being a single target can get you far if they're all looking at you and not the people around ya. So what el-/

    /-What else can I figure out? How generous to prompt me to assemble the pieces for you,/ You snort, /Perhaps you would be so kind as to lay them out for me?/

    /Fair enough. And we'll start with me. I'm sure you heard I switched out everyone in my department and hired a load of naive young fops? Not very popular a move. Well-/

    /-the reason for that is obvious-/ You snap up again, quite pleased with having the opportunity to do so now that you're free to sit and think about these things, /You hired new staff in your department because the old staff was as corrupt as hell-that's why the military and our charming nobles curse you out so often for switching to a generation too idealistic to control. Give me something with more merit behind it: You want me to listen you should have something worth saying./
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/19/12(Thu)23:56 No.18787681
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    There's silence on the other end for a few ticks.

    /...Alright then. Then let's start with your new true-blue friends; (happily confirmed to be Blue due to your conversation tonight I might add, so thanks for that) you want to know why Halla didn't want to tell you anything? Why she was so sure the problems would fade away after you'd come to an arrangement?/

    You tipped your bottle away from you, as if offering him a turn.

    /Because they're responsible for half of it./


    /You're a smart dragon, see if you can connect the dots with me. There's a lot of trade routes coming into the area. You'd need a lot of magic on hand to summon a lot of creatures to keep it from coming through. Resources that only some intensely magical organization could evoke. And the less trade that comes through, the less valuable the town is. The less valuable the town is, the cheaper it is to buy land in it. And what was tonight's big fancy ball celebrating?/

    "...Purchasing land-leases." You conclude out loud with a sigh, "Buying up the town piece by piece. Then when they have all the right areas, open up the trade again. A puppet state that looks independent...but isn't. Not exactly compatible with the Old Man's current terms."

    /Mmm. But the press would be better if they could say they owned it, wouldn't it? I think our Madame Halla's getting ambitious. Think you could use that, if you get the opportunity? Even better, do you think you can use -her-?/

    Well well. An honest question for a change. Didn't think you'd ever hear that from him. Now what's the honest answer...
    >> bump 04/20/12(Fri)00:17 No.18787933
    Bumping in case folks missed this.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)00:33 No.18788120
    >>1878768 Every thing has the potential to be used, just need to know how. But the thing is I don't know enough about the players or the long game too use anyone properly.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)00:38 No.18788182
    Technically our grandfather's agreement was to keep the city independent of the mage cities and their squabbling. Nothing about blue dragons in there.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)00:40 No.18788200
    Meddling mages are the given instructions; Blues running the city seems like a "no shit" scenario. Unless they're some estranged family or something stupid.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)00:40 No.18788204
    Seem likely. She seemed amenable to some kind of arrangement, which he no doubt knows. I bet we can find some kind of setup where she profits from it but we still maintain the status our grandsire desires. Maybe we could set her up so that she appears ostensibly in sole control of the city to outward observers, and the actual city remains independent from her and safe from at least one form of outside assault.

    She would even have to contribute to its defense if others tried to make a play, to maintain the illusion that she was its sole controller. On the flip side, it would remain an independent city, still protected, first by our grandsire, second by her. Win for us.

    She would gain both the appearance of actually being in control of it, (success where I think her cousin is going to fail, and apparently his brother did fail,) street cred for having taken it from our old man (except they are both complicit in the scheme,) and the ability to profit from legitimate, above-the-table enterprises in the city. (Without interference from anyone else.)

    Most importantly, assuming she is a normal blue and that she assented, she would probably be willing to keep her word. Not get too greedy, not rock the boat, just enjoy a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    Alternately, we could go full noir, and tell him not to ask us for answers about the dame yet. It would fit with the bottle of whiskey.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)00:43 No.18788232
    But the only things I can think of are:
    1 Arm the populace (as the merchants and temples suffering greatly they would be highly motivated to find out who is be hind it) but the populace are very hard to control.
    2 Get in touch with noncorrupt elements of the army stage a counter conspiracy. But I don't even know how we would do this.
    3 Convince the blues to use you to replace Welskin. But that would tie us down and would be ahrd to do without raising some alarms.
    4 Some assassination. If we kill the masterminds the plot should fall apart. But we have no assurances of that and killing them would be hard in it's own right.

    Also Note we still have little reason the trust Welskin, we should get on that.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:01 No.18788464
    Seconded. This seems obvious.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:17 No.18788646

    Well the two blues apparently have quite an large amount of backing to pull off what they've managed in this town at this point. Let alone what was done to the dwarves or what someone else did to them. Going against the blues in a straight forward manner is the only option off the table here for us.

    Somewhat concerned that if we turned over Welskin's "body" that they would be able to tell we are lying to them on this issue, since they do seem to have some sort of truth detection spell or ability from what I've been reading (This inference would just be a misread on my end).

    Really, at this point we should be questioning why Welskin cares about this town so much. He's obviously in over his head by several leagues if he didn't have us around and there are probably more valuable uses of his time if he just wanted status or money. As a silver, his reasoning or logic for going through all this trouble in the first place is the only thing we have left to actually possibly care about him. Failing to give a reason at this point doesn't make him really useful to the situation in the long run if he's just simply power hungry. Worst case scenario he's still bite sized and tastes good with ketchup.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:24 No.18788731
    Regardless of what we decide to do, we need to at least send a report back to our grandfather summarizing what we've learned so far. I know that everyone despises that idea, but remember that he's going to interpret never hearing from us again as a GOOD sign, namely that it means that there was nothing worthwhile to report. At the very least we need to indicate that something is very wrong with this town, that we're investigating it, and that if he doesn't hear from us again it means that something BAD has happened.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)01:31 No.18788815
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    /...She might go for a deal,/ You muse, swirling the drink around, /If we could get her into a defence deal of some kind in exchange for the prestige, if might work out good. You know why the Old Man's defending this dump?/

    /A promise, right?/

    /Yeah. I figure that so long as it's safe and free to govern itself he'd be happy. Might need some convincing though. Her too...not sure what to do with Altair, but she signalled she might be able to take care of it./

    You take a moment to think on your suggestions, smacking your lips together a few times to make the alchol taste less like lamp oil in your mouth.

    /Though really Welskin, I've no damn reason to trust you over her, when push comes to shove./

    /Hey you're the guy who won't shake hands with anyone, if anything *I* shouldn't be the one trusting *you*,/ He counters, /I've half been expectin' you to skeddale every day now- an' if I told you half this crap before, who knows what you could've said to who knows how many people. You're lucky I know your sister./

    /Tight, were you?/ You ask, squinting over the top of the bottle, trying to get it cap level with the shelf.

    /Nah, she hated me. But she got me in when a lot of the old-old guard got out during her visit./
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)01:32 No.18788830
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    /Mmhmm,/ You swig, losing interest in another man's nostalgia, /So. The Kobolds?/

    /Not enough info on them, but we can all guess who put them down there- but see this is where the trouble sets in. Blues might want the town, but they want it to line their pockets- they ain't pushing for a conflict, they wanted to do this nice and easy...so this kind of business is comin' from somewhere else- same with the Dwarven Hold being wiped and the Orcs. The Worg thing was a push toward a knee-jerk reprisal, mark me on that. Not much we can do to stop it, unless the Council sees sense...I'm thinkin' this might push them from neutral, though./

    /All this from third player you don't know anything about? And here I thought that bluster of yours was protecting something a bit more useful than your ego./

    /Hey hey now, we do the best with what we've got. The book we brought back from the Hold was just a historical tome. We don't know what they wanted with any of that stuff, or even if it had anything to do with the rest of this...except for one thing./

    /'The Dragon.'/ You venture, /Whatever they were doing, they were doing it knowing some Silver was or is going to be involved./

    /Damn right. Now I'm not all too sure how that pans out with the rest of the stuff, but lemme tell you something my guys do know that the religious board ain't tellin' anyone- things HAVE been stolen, not just wrecked./

    /Oh?/ You prompt, choosing this as a good point to take another slug of bourbon.

    /Mmm. Same stuff as from the market-stalls really, the odd bottle of oils or powder. Candles, focusing gems, things like that./
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:33 No.18788843

    I'm curious about that too.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)01:33 No.18788845
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    /Blues involved in it?/

    /I wouldn't have thought so lad; they've got most of the religious types in their pocket...but for the newer ones set up over the last few months- of which most have only suffered break-ins, not thefts. Might be just to cover their bases...it could be some of the newer religious stalls are fronts or working in collusion with these thieves./

    You decide not to comment on that, covering your own ideas on it with a gurgle of bourbon. You have passing familiarity with at least one of what you assume to be the 'new' cults..perhaps you could investigate them yourself, but at the same time, they hardly seemed violent themselves...an unhappy coincidence?

    /Maybe. What can the things be used for? Scrying?/

    /A lot of things. Too many things, really. Might be fair to say it'll involve warding an area though, Divination or something with boundaries. You're going down with the military tomorrow, right? I wanted to keep the Kobold thing hush-hush because...well, I didn't know who else to trust to look down there. But if you're with them, then that'll be fine. If nothing else, you'll get to see where they stand on all of this./

    "Tass n'that?"

    /Yeah. Anyway, I'm going to have to skedaddle soon, powder'll be running through your system and ebbin' out pretty quick now...I'll say something else though before I go though- Council Members?/

    /-Dodgy. Yeah I know,/ You console with him, /Otherwise they'd have done something about all of this. And?/

    /And? You concentrate on this piece of the puzzle, I'll be looking for where they meet- this Worg business should be stirring them out of their monthly meet cycle, and I've been...ah...'monitoring' some people who might be a part of it./
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)01:35 No.18788863
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    /Our Chromatic friends?/

    /Amongst others. We gotta check policy an' see what happens when an' upstandin' citizen such as meself goes missin', yeah? Anyway, I'll set something up so you can contact me if you want. Prep yourself for tomorrow, maybe investigate some of those leads I know you're hiding from me. Other than that...well, you know what I know now. /

    /Which isn't much,/ You gripe, /...But I suppose it's a direction...I'm not stumbling around in the dark anymore./

    You hear fading laughter echo in your head.

    /You're a dragon with blindsight Vic...you never were./

    And with that, all that remained was the rest of your bottle, and a bodybag to go back in your belt.

    You wonder how much you're going to get paid for taking on this amount of trouble.

    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:40 No.18788924
    > You wonder how much you're going to get paid for taking on this amount of trouble.

    Not enough, that's for certain.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:42 No.18788948
    Blindsight my ass, Mr. Reads-from-the-monster-manual. He's still a dodgy sack of excrement. Hope he dies humiliatingly.

    Fuck everything. Scry for these missing items, and just to try and map out the underground. Failing that, try and find the adventurers and go meet up with them. We have kobolds to kidnap or other things to stumble upon.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:43 No.18788957
    We need to send a message back to our grandfather, informing him of all this shit.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:48 No.18789003
    Sounds good. We should mention we're heading down to investigate the third party here, and if we end up with a sudden case of the "never seen again"s, he should be somewhat wary.

    Also ask what sister did/said when she came through here. Seriously.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)01:49 No.18789013
    And we should head down to investigate tonight, incidentally, if that wasn't clear.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)02:21 No.18789283
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    You spend a small amount of time sending a message to your grandfather, trying to compile everything that you've learned so far into a single missive, along with a worryingly obligatory message of 'If you don't hear from me in a week, assume something bad has happened.' A bit fatalistic you feel, but necessary.

    Pausing a moment to examine the half bottle you have remaining of the bourbon, you add an addendum, asking for exactly what your sister did during her last visit to this place, if he knew. You'd prefer to hear it off the Old Man rather than the gnome...though he could be rather...hmm...'archaic', when the mood suited him. What's more, it might be days until you received a reply; he spends a large chunk of his time asleep these days- short of a physical appearance or extremely urgent missive, little would shift him when constructing an adequate response.

    Or so you think, until the booming 'I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR MESSAGE, BOY' thunders inside your head on the way down the stairs, causing you to stumble over a step.

    You stop midway down and wait for the rest of the message to follow...but it doesn't. You suppose he was just acknowledging it for the meantime and dozed off again until a more suitable time could be arranged for delivering a message- perhaps less loudly.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)02:22 No.18789299
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    A quick talk later and you were let into the basement of the inn- setting up a quick scry to see how far Allandro and Jorm had gotten- Actually investigating another stretch of land further out over on the other side of town that you're unfamiliar with. Sending a short missive to them to perhaps meet up later, you decide to follow the route that you'd already mapped out previously- happy to see all the traps you'd marked out- with a few exceptions, had been rest where they were or left deactivated. As such, not only did you get to practice trap-spotting and dismantling yourself, but progress was swift toward the religious understreet where the way further down was located...and another slightly familiar face.
    The second of those priestesses, the one who you'd purchased things off, was sat in a much more unusual meditative pose than the other, but still on the same step, apparently guarding the entrance to their little hovel. She was shorter, a little rounder and less well toned than the other one..but exotic in a different way- her facial features and indigo eyes pointing towards an unusual heritage.

    "Oh...hi! It's you!" She beams, hopping out of the pose toward you, attention rapt, "I ah, I wasn't expecting visitors, but my sister told me that maybe I'd get some! And it's you! Did the silver salt work out okay? Do you need me for... for anything?"
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)02:47 No.18789512
    Cool. She's the one who was actually there to see the attack; let's hear what she saw or heard in her own words. We're waiting for the others, and we're going to attempt to get to the bottom of this 'cults getting robbed thing', so everyone ought to be happy. We might also ask whether she'll be willing to heal us if necessary like her peer/co-priestess was.

    Hope the adventurers don't drool all over everything when they arrive. We're finding either thieves or kobolds down here. Possibly both.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)02:55 No.18789568
    Sure. Let's head down quickly, though. Time is running out, and I would like us to actually get some answers at some point.

    Come to think of it, that Welskin gnome was apparently completely fucked until we came along. He didn't seem to have anything he was going to succeed at without us.
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)03:22 No.18789765
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    "The equipment was fine, worked perfectly well," You assure her, "And...as a matter of fact, there is something I need you for."

    "I'm glad," She beamed, stepping a little closer, "There's nothing better than being needed, right? So...what do you wish of me?"

    "You were there when your stored produce was attacked, yes? Perhaps you could describe the event a little more clearly to me? If that's not too much trouble."

    "Oh..." She trailed off before perking up again, "Oh! Okay! Um...well it was more I first got a 'sense' of it happening at first, without seeing- the Red Lord protects his favoured subjects, so it's a normal thing for ones like me. So anyway I sat up and turned and there were these three creatures, off in the other room. Tall...thin. But other than some grey rags, there wasn't much to them. And once I'd shouted and my Sister and I shot a fire fireballs their way they scarpered off. They hid really well in the shadows, but they weren't ethereal...or looking for a fight. Needed to use doors and things like the rest of us, so-"

    -She thumps her foot down on the trapdoor she's been guarding, now stood on-

    "So long as it stays shut, I think we'll be a-okay!"

    "I see- I'm glad someone special like you is here as a warning," You flatter and see her flush at the praise, "And your sister, too. Speaking of, do you share her agreement to heal those who come through? I'm expecting friends in a moment and goodness knows what state they'll be in."

    "Oh, sure, no problem. I'll do anything. Healing's not a problem."

    "Glad to hear it, Miss..."
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)03:23 No.18789769
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    She looks confused for a moment, then hops up a little, embarrassed.

    "A...name?" She starts, then frowns into thought, "Hmm, a name...well my sister came up with a name but I haven't needed one in forever...if...if you really want one though..."

    She looks you up and down, biting her lip.

    "Um...how about you name me? Would that be okay? I'm no good with decisions like that...but.."

    Her eyes thin a little, arms from her sides to behind her back.

    "...I'd be okay with you making them."

    "I'm sure he'll be more than fine with a task like that." An airy, amused voice calls out.

    "Sister!" She jumped as the door to their church slammed behind her, "You-you're supposed to be in bed!"

    "True," She smirks before hugging her and whispering something in her ear that you can't quite catch; sending her into giggles. Turning to you, she continues.

    "But when last I communed with the Lord, I found myself growing...inspired by these people. There's an urge to aid them that I find myself powerless to resist. And so I aid them I shall."

    Aizya offers a polite half-bow to you, as if apologizing.

    "If you find the intrusion of my company acceptable, I would wish to be a part of your travels for the evening."
    >> Writer_Guy !/tSjfYr5fE 04/20/12(Fri)03:25 No.18789784

    And that'll be it for today, folks! I hoped you enjoyed today's quest- I sure have. We'll be starting again same time and day next week too. Have a good few days, and spend the rest of the thread-time planning on what to do next! Let her join or not? Or...just name the other one? Maybe think of what to do while you're down there?

    Either and any way...goodnight!
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)03:37 No.18789854
    Uh... Okay? I guess?
    Azaladon taking interest in us is ominous at best, though I suppose there's a minute chance it isn't him, and we don't really know how the whole cult works. (Try to get information on their hierarchy and operating procedure.)

    In character, it sounds like whatever evil dragon, (probably red,) is playing god is taking an interest in us, and that's probably bad. (Evil dragon cult should have been in our missive to our grandsire, too.) I would be inclined to come up with some polite excuse and refuse, though that would likely only offend. Best to just accept and hope she leaves shortly.

    Aloud, something along the lines of 'Always room for a healer and some combat magic', though perhaps with a request to watch the friendly fire. (We have no idea how combat-trained she is, after all. Is it a peaceful religion?)

    Not sure what to name the other one. Aiyza and... Arri, maybe? I suck at names.

    >Think of what to do while we're down there
    Are you kidding? It's been repeatedly mentioned above; we're searching for Nameless' attackers, or kobolds. Either of them we want alive. If we can find any hideouts, they might be worth trying to stealthily scout out. Look for secret doors, especially, given where the kobolds fled last time. Scout out some of the other temples first, if we can, then we start looking for old-but-well-used passages and concealed hiding places/passages. Divine stuff if it might help, or ask the priestess whether her divine stuff can help.

    If someone can think of a way to politely refuse (that won't just make us look like at tool when the halfling and half-orc arrive,) Aizya's company, I'm up for it. I really don't want her tagging along.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)03:47 No.18789920
    "Apologies, priestess, but my business is personal business. I intend to recompense the individuals I am waiting on, but am not at all certain I could afford to recompense you or your god for your time."

    Probably with "I also do not know your god, and do not wish to accept the assistance of one I know nothing about. Afterward, if you were willing, I would be interested to learn whatever you were willing to tell me about the Red Lord." Lets us nicely decline, for reasons the adventurers will not be able to overrule, and still gives us an opportunity to gather some information or spend time with the priestesses later.

    Was not thinking it, but am suddenly reluctant to allow her to come along too.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)03:51 No.18789946

    That's a bit...meta, isn't it? The only thing we know about these people is they heal us for free, give reasonable prices, and throw fireballs at people who probably won't like.

    And that's it. That is no good reason to turn them away. At all.

    And even thinking 'meta' here, why are we being so self-centred to thing that, if he IS interested in the goings on, he's SPECIFICALLY interested in us, when the chick mentioned the adventurers down here as a collective?

    Let her come along, geez.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)03:57 No.18790008
    >red lord
    >draconic cult
    >not a dragon god we, a dragon, are aware of
    >very possessive looking attire (collars, bracelets, anklets. Decorated, sure, but that doesn't change anything.)
    >seem capable of non-divine casting (fireball, and OP has used OC mechanics-names IC before, so that probably meant the arcane spell,)

    I'm not saying I don't want to accept her healing, I just want to be wary here. She can stay here where we can retreat for healing, just like last time, if we want.

    works. Seconded.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:07 No.18790073

    None of that screams 'these are bad people' to me.

    Can we alignment check them or something? Wariness seems alright, but I don't want to be Azaladon levels of paranoid.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:13 No.18790132
    It's not the people who are in question here, it's the 'god'. Which is not to say we shouldn't worry about them; what if that god decides he wants us dead?

    I'm okay with checking alignment, though I expect neutral or good. Problem is, that doesn't give us their deity's alignment.

    If we can do 'detect alignment', though, we definitely should, and should also try 'identify' as well, see what kind of spells are on their stuff.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:17 No.18790165
    > None of that screams 'these are bad people' to me.

    They're a red dragon cult. There has never been a single instance in the history of ever when that has been a good sign.

    A cult of Tiamat is bad enough. This is the cult of a red dragon who is so egotistical that he thinks he can try to usurp Tiamat's spot. That's a bad sign.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:21 No.18790197

    But...we don't....KNOW...that?
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:23 No.18790210
    When used on the average person alignment detection will just say neutral 9 times out of 10. People who are good or evil enough that they actually read as good or evil are actually not that common. Most people are some brand of neutral, even if they are a part of an organization that is lead by a good person or an evil person.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:26 No.18790235

    We know that they're a draconic cult. Their trappings and other oddities make that obvious enough. They serve a "Red Lord." Which isn't any of the usual draconic gods. That means it's a red dragon cult.

    This isn't actually anywhere near as unusual as you seem to think it is. Dragons pull this shit all the damn time with "lesser" races. It is something that our character would realize is happening here.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:27 No.18790252
    We have decent reason to suspect. We're a dragon with high Int and Wis, capable of casting divine spells, and (I would assume,) a pretty decent knowledge of the cosmology, given that we can cast divine spells. Here is a rather unusual looking cult priestess, dressed head to toe in red, dragon and draconic iconography up the wazoo, and does not appear to be related to any god we've ever heard of or remotely recognize.

    The conclusion seems pretty obvious, though I do allow, both in character and out, it could be some uber-obscure god, or a bizarre sect of an existing one.

    Neither of those are reasons not to be suspicious, though. Secret sect, forgotten god, or dragon impersonating a god, all of those are pretty suspicious.

    I do not know that they do it all the damn time (though I guess we did encounter the remnants of one as Azaladon,) but yeah, I am inclined to agree.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:28 No.18790264
    >head to toe in red
    Correction: What little she's wearing is red and gold. Red is the predominant color here. The result is the same, but I know someone's going to nitpick.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:42 No.18790350
    > though I guess we did encounter the remnants of one as Azaladon

    Actually, as Azaladon, we've encountered four others. The Freeport Binder cult, the cult of that black dragon that was in Azar, the yuan-ti cult of different black dragon, and the cult our protegee was building when we found her. Meaning that the total number that we know of OOC is five. I think that qualifies as common enough for the phrase "all the damn time."
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:44 No.18790363
    Oh, my bad. Thanks for the correction.

    Case in point.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:47 No.18790381
    There was also the cult of the black dragon that lived on Mza before we arrived. So 6 total.
    >> Anonymous 04/20/12(Fri)04:51 No.18790407
         File: 1334911870.jpg-(37 KB, 480x357, NOBODY_EXPECTS_THE_SPANISH_INQ(...).jpg)
    37 KB

    Our three chief weapons...

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