“Alright, little one,” Iris coos sweetly, a laden spoon in one hand and a sharp-toothed smile on her face. “Say ‘Ahhh!’”“Nnnnn,” comes the sonorous response.“Ah, ah, ah!” the beholder corrects, opening her mouth wide to show the small girl how. “Say: ‘Ahhh!”“Nnnnn!” the green-haired child repeats, clearly missing the main point as her lips stay tightly sealed.“Come here, runt,” Rosie grunts, propping the child up on her thigh before using one hand to gently coax her jaw downward. The other grabs the spoon from Iris’ hand, and patiently places the payload of grits inside, waiting for the child to understand.“Mmm!” she hums appreciatively a moment later as the taste hits her tongue, suckling on the silverware appreciatively.“Whadda ye know. Guess she was hungry,” Rosie sighs, carefully retrieving the spoon from the protesting child and getting another scoop from a nearby bowl before returning it to her.“Maybe she didn’t have enough for dinner,” Cici suggests helpfully, brushing her own serpentine hair away from her porridge as they impatiently wait for her to stop watching the spectacle and eat. “More likely this is just her very first meal,” Iris corrects.“Wha-!? You mean she hasn’t eaten before?” Cici questions. “Like, at all?”“Well, probably not in the way you think of it,” Iris explains. “Say what you will of my little friends, but they’re hardly excellent cooks.”Such had been one of this morning’s many strange revelations, that the unknown child who Rosie had found sitting by the fire was not as foreign as she seemed, having been conceived in all likelihood less than a mile away in the house Iris had been staying in. Now she was here, working her way through her fifth spoonful of grits.“So, basically, anything they didn’t know how to do themselves got left out?” Rosie questions with a sigh.“That would be likely, yes.”“Helluva way to start out life…”“Nnnn…” the little one mumbles indifferently, small hands far more focused on grasping the next spoonful of breakfast than contemplating the intricacies or shortcomings of her lot in life.> She probably needs a name…> Write-In
>>1840570For any new players: Welcome to Gorgon Child Quest! Where-in you take up the role of a magical talking artifact being wielded by a young gorgon girl named Cici. Living out of the remains of a once great dungeon, the game will focus on exploration, character interaction, and learning as the voices of the players within the amulet help guide her along.For news about quest updates, my twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/bananon_QMAnd the archive can presently be found here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=gorgon+child
>>1840570>> She probably needs a name…Oleander! Green seems to be her thing, and the origin of the name in my world is similar to the origin of your kind.
>>1840720>>1840570“The voices say we should call her Oleander,” Cici reiterates. “Cuz it’s a type of plant.”“Oleander?” Mama asks. “You mean Nerium tea?”“Anders tend to be names for guys,” Rosie points out.“Ooh! If we’re going with shades of green, we could call her Jade!” Iris submits.“The voices also said she’s something called an android… or maybe a golem or cyborg…”“Well, Cyan is blue,” Iris points out. “I’m kind of stuck on colors here. Maybe Gol-y… Err, Anne?”“Anne wouldn’t be a bad name,” Cassandra concedes.“Or Flora, cuz she’s a plant,” Cici adds, “but one of Brienne’s sisters is named Flora…”The nameless child seems less interested in the conversation than the movements of the other people’s lips as they discuss it.> Decisions, decisions…>  Nerium>  Jade>  Anne>  Other
>>1840760>  JadeThats a good name, always liked it
>>1840760>>  OtherPhyillis. I'm sticking to greek names, dammit.
>>1840760>  OtherRutabaga>gets a lookfiiiine>  Jade
>>1840760>>1840763>>1840783>>1840801“I suppose Jade wouldn’t be a bad name for the time being,” Cassandra agrees, “but that hardly resolves the issue of how we’re going to take care of her.”“Ooh ooh!” Juno speaks up, the sheep triplets fighting to remain awake as they munch through their morning oats and grasses. “We could take her home to Paapa!”“He knows lots of stuff, an’ she can sleep in Tracey’s bed,” Daisy adds.“Hey!”, Tracey objects. “Then where would I sleep?”“You could sleep in Greg’s bed,” Juno suggests. “Then Greg could share Papa’s bed.”“Hmm…” they hum in unison.“Don’t worry yourselves about this, girls,” Mama insists before they can take this train of thought any further. “We’ll hopefully be able to find Jade the kind of caretaker she’ll need after a trip into town. Ms. Willow will likely be able to tell us more about her needs.”She thinks for a moment, then sighs.“If you would, though, girls, please tell your father to come talk to me as soon as he has the chance. I need to speak with him.”“Kay!” they say in unison.“You make it sound kind of serious,” Vivi mentions, the drowsy harpy nibbling on toast as she double checks her bags. “Is everything okay?”“Everything will be fine,” Mama assures her. “We just need to discuss a couple of things, sooner rather than later.”Vivi takes the hint and doesn’t press the matter, finishing her preparations and giving Cici a goodbye hug before taking to the air on her morning route.> Seems the voices may need to decide their own route for the day…>  Go with Cassandra to meet with the town hall>  Go with Cici to school
>>1840920>>  Go with Cassandra to meet with the town hallCassandra is going to need more help immediately.
>>1840920>  Go with Cassandra to meet with the town hall
>>1840920>  Go with Cassandra to meet with the town hall"Hey Cass I think Rosie might want to adopt her. Plus Jade is dangerous so I don't think someone normal will be able to deal with her, unless said person is very tough.""And yes better get things ready for your dear mother visit."
>>1840971>>1840965>>1840943>>1840920“Mama, the voices say they wanna go with you today,” Cici explains.“Hopefully, I won’t need the extra support,” the gorgon mother sighs in response, “but I suppose I shouldn’t say no. Are you certain you don’t mind, sweetling?”“Uh-uh,” Cici affirms, already fumbling with the ties on her wristlet. “Just keep them safe.”“I promise.”As she does the band around her own wrist now, she listens to the voices’ suggestions.[“I understand that Rosie would be willing, but there are matters we’re going to have to settle first. Still…”]She looks to the newly minted Jade, eyes half closed as she leans against the oni’s stomach with her own full.[“It doesn’t seem like it would be a terrible mismatch. For now, however, we need to gather the council and get this meeting under way.”]With the details of today’s itinerary settled, Cassandra coaxes the myriad children to finish their meals and get ready to travel, soon slithering down the road with the cadre at her tail and waving to the farm hands as she passes.They’d become more accustomed to her presence now, some even shouting back greetings by way of politeness. It gives her a bit of extra confidence that she sorely needs as she stops by the gate of Katy’s grandmother’s farm.“I’m afraid you’ll have to walk the rest of the way yourselves,” Mama apologizes, as she bends down to give Cici a hug. “Be good for your teachers, sweetling, and Iris, please make sure she gets there safely.”“Will do,” the beholder assures her with a smile, seeming to strut as she confidently takes the lead. “Now come on girls! Last one there is a rotten egg!”Cassandra’s mind immediately turns to scraped knees and dirty skirts as the girls move to follow after their elder, but despite her immediate instinct to run after them, she stops short.“Be careful!” she shouts after them, but that’s all she offers before heading through the gates and up to the farm house, the massive oni and her small passenger in tow.
>>1840999“Hello?” comes the call from within as she wraps on the door, Agatha’s voice recognizable by its wavy pitch before she comes out in a pair of fresh overalls. “Well, reckon this’d be a surprise. Ain’t seen either of ye in about a week now.”“I’m sorry to stop by unannounced,” Mama immediately apologizes. “It’s just-““It’s jest nothin’,” the old woman chuckles. “Yer always welcome here, skinny britches. Come in, come in! Ye had a bite yet?”“I, um,… I didn’t have much of an appetite this morning,” Cassandra admits, and judging by the pre-emptive rumbling in her stomach, that might not have been the best idea.“Of course, ye didn’t,” Agatha sighs, “but yer sure as hell gonna eat somethin’ before discussin’ whatever brought ye by. Swear to the gods, yer always pale as a sheet…”Agatha tuts and clicks her tongue as she begins pulling leftovers down from the cabinets, setting them out on the table before dragging a large, lamia sized pillow over next to the table. She then pours herself a cup of coffee before sitting down opposite the pair, Rosie struggling for a second before eventually just sitting down on a pair of seats, Jade still in one arm.> What to do…>  Encourage the girls to start talking first>  Explain some of the situation while they are eating>  Start with some unrelated conversation (Write-in)>  Other
>>1841003>>  Explain some of the situation while they are eating
>>1841003> Explain some of the situation while they are eating
>>1841014>>1841007I probably shouldn't have put Write-in specifically on one option. Please feel free to Write in for this suggestion as well and explain the situation in your own words.
>>1841025"First is the easy problem. We've got a new child, artificially created, that's still learning things like how to speak. Some things were left out of her creation, like how to speak, but hopefully she'll learn. Her name is Jade for now. "As for the other things, the Baroness' mother has sent agents to bring back Cici to be used as a breeding stock to revitalize the family's oracle abilities. The Baroness, of course, is against this."The agents, however, seem prepared to dig up everyone's dirty little secrets and blackmail everyone to help them get Cici back to the Isles."
>>1841032Pretty much this.
>>1841003Or just take Cici away to be the new tribe seer. Breeding more seers would be a long shot and that's an ability that's rarely inherited.Oh and they have a magic mirror, those things are trouble.
>>1841032>>1841003Morning peoples. Sorry to have not been around, but I agree with this. The agents will start with blackmail and likely resort to physical force if that doesn't work. The best way to avoid this I believe is to have people admit to what they have done and explain that due to the recent conflux of interest in the land, things may get a little weird for a while.
>>1841073>>1841072>>1841032>>1841071>>1841003Agatha strikes a thoughtful pose as the voices take the initiative to explain some of what’s going on to the older woman, her hands never leaving the steaming cup between them as she nods along to what they say.“I gotcha,” she finally says at the conclusion. “I was wonderin’ about the little one and why she looks like she took a dip in a bucket o’ paint, but I guess that’d do it. Ain’t much a fan of tying women down with a baby in their belly for the rest o’ their lives. Not when they’ve got hopes and dreams to be chasin’ after, and more to offer ‘tween their ears than ‘tween their legs.”Cassandra chokes as something clearly goes down the wrong pipe.“Take it easy, hon,” the old woman advises, handing the teary-eyed gorgon a napkin. “Ain’t the first of the last time I told ye that either.”“I’b sorry…” she whines through troubled sinuses.“Anyhow, so they’re plannin’ on catchin’ ye by the tail and fightin’ dirty to get what they want. Reckon they could shake down a fair bit o’ the council if they had the right mind, but I sure as hell don’t have any laundry to air out and there ain’t a damn thing they could offer me to sway me much one way or the other.”“Dat’s why…”“That’s not what yer worried about, I take it,” the old woman finishes on her behalf, “and that’s why ye swung by with the big ol’ girl in tow instead of comin’ by yer lonesome. Yer worried they’ve got somethin’ that’ll make folks more nervous than they already are with her an’ the biggun wandering around the woods.”“That’s right…” Cassandra admits, clearly a bit off-kilter from being read so easily.“Well? Out with it, then,” she says, pointing to Rosie. “Ain’t much point in ye taggin’ along if yer just gonna stuff yer face and look anxious every dern minute.”“I, uhh…”Rosie looks uncomfortable. > What to do…>  Let Rosie speak. Knowing her, she’ll be crass, but direct. You can then run damage control>  Try to explain the situation for Rosie.
>>1841090>>  Let Rosie speak. Knowing her, she’ll be crass, but direct. You can then run damage control
>>1841090> Let Rosie speak. Knowing her, she’ll be crass, but direct. You can then run damage control
>>1841090>  Try to explain the situation for Rosie.
>>1841090>>  Let Rosie speak. Knowing her, she’ll be crass, but direct. You can then run damage control*With Rosie, she'll get along well.*
>>1841090> Try to explain the situation for Rosie."Simply, Rosie and her brother were enslaved by a man that beat them, so they broke free and killed their abuser in the process. Since they didn't have food, they ate him."
>>1841093>>1841094>>1841097>>1841099>>1841100Gonna be a little longer on this next update. Need to grab some dinner.
>>1841090>>1841093>>1841094>>1841097>>1841099>>1841100“Well,” she starts out with a grunt. “Me and the big guy used to live at a circus. More like we were kept as side attractions, I guess. It wasn’t exactly a fun situation for the whole family. In fact, they kinda had a whole performance lined up around gouging out our eyes and slicing off various bits.“Err… Then, I killed ‘em all. Memories from that night are pretty hazy, but I got out and killed somethin’ like three dozen people and ate more’n a couple. It’s kinda how I wound up looking like this.”She gestures to the horns.“We ended up on the lamb afterward, and I had to kill a few more people who came after our heads. Sometimes it was on accident. Sometimes it was on purpose, but I fed one o’ the bodies to Mischael and he turned into the big guy ye know today. Figured it would toughen him up, ye know? And I wasn’t exactly wrong. Still, wouldn’t have done it if I had known…“After that… I guess we kinda just kept on knocking heads. We tried to shy away from killing, and I tried to keep Mishi wrangled as far away from people as I could manage. Still, he had a knack for findin’ trouble and his appetite and lack of brains sure as hell didn’t help. “One thing lead to another and we wound up bumping into Cass here. She didn’t know every little detail back then, but she offered us some land and a pardon if we’d help her sort out some bandits for her. We’ve been good for our word there, but we sure as hell haven’t been up front with the council about it… for obvious reasons. Still, don’t want Cass and Cici catchin’ hell because they covered for us, if ya know what I mean.”Agatha’s expression is unknowable as she soaks all of this in.> Anything to add?>  Write-in
>>1841212"Oh, and Rosie and Misha hunted a giant crab that had been terrorizing the lizardfolk and eating up all their fish. Shouldn't forget that."
>>1841212>>  Write-in"We ourselves were on the fence about her, to be honest. We were worried that she'd hurt Cici, that she'd run off with her brother, that the kindness we'd give her would be refused or thrown aside.""I cannot speak for the other voices, but I am glad we've given her a chance. She's been willing not only to help us, but she's been the closest friend Cass has had these past few days. If they did do terrible things before, they deserve a chance at redemption due to their previous circumstances."
>>1841212They are not bad, just what happens when monsters are abused. Considering that is lucky they didn't end worse than they did.
>>1841327>>1841306>>1841221>>1841212The voices try to pepper in a little more mention of the good the duo have done since joining the territory. The older woman nods along, as she has been doing, but come the end, she just sighs, a long, tired breath escaping her lips as she mulls over her answer.“And what do ye want from me?” she finally asks. “I ain’t a constable or a judge. I ain’t a priest, neither.”“I…” Cassandra falters a bit at that, but recovers. “I just feel that there are some things that I need to disclose to everyone on the council, and I guess you just seemed the most level-headed. You’re also the closest to our home…”“Yeah, I suppose I can see that,” she nods. “I suppose… It’s a nice home ye’ve built for yerself and yer little one out there, as a matter o’ fact. Can hardly believe it used to be a broken-down tower in the middle of a haunted graveyard…”“I… Thank you?”“My point is, hon, that ye’ve done a lot of good with what ye’ve had. Ye always have, and the way I figure, it’s because yer practical. Ye don’t throw anything out that might still do some good for somebody, and ye balance the risks ye take around people rather’n politics. “I can’t say what ye said doesn’t affect me, mind. Hell, I don’t think it’d fly right past anybody, but ye’ve both done right by me as best ye’ve known how. So long as ye keep doin’ right, I’m not gonna turn my back on ye.”“Thank you, Agatha,” Cassandra responds.“Yeah…. Thanks…” Rosie grumbles.“Don’t thank me yet,” the old woman quips. “After all, it ain’t me ye have to worry about. At least ye saved Martin’s jack and a half, fool mule of a brother from the noose, but the Potsly estate’ll smell blood in the water. Just know that if the knives come out at the meetin’ that I’ve got yer back and about half o’ hers.”She thinks for a second.“Meant that more as a size joke, hon. Ye ain’t done nothin’ wrong since ye been in our neck o’ the woods, and if Skinny Britches is gonna put her stock in ye, least I can do is give ye some support. Now, was there anything else I needed to know about?”> About that…>  Mention the triplets and their father>  Mention the possible doomsday weapon>  Leave it at that for now>  Other
>>1841344> Mention the triplets and their fatherFull disclosure and all.
>>1841344>>  Mention the triplets and their father
>>1841344> Mention the triplets and their father"Good news is, we aren't dealing with a foul necromancer here, bad news is, he still created life."(The weapon is not something they can blackmail us with. Only Cici can use it, if anything they would be quite stupid to even mention it. Not to mention the weapon guardian might get angry if they dare to take Cici away.)"Thing is, what that wizard did was not only against common law but also against wizard law. It would be different if he just created golems, or even if he breed certain kinds of animal like monsters but... he created human like life. And... is complicated. He still promised to never do it again and take care of any health problem the children might have. Not to mention he is acting like a father to them."
>>1841372Wasn't there a loophole that Cass used in the law? Something about it being technically legally gray, but would still get him blacklisted by the
>>1841374Is legally gray by law not for wizards's rules. Hence why the golems won't get exiled after creating Jade. We need to tell the Golems to not create more life by the way. There is only so much orphans we can get others to adopt.
>>1841376>>1841374>>1841372>>1841362>>1841355>>1841344Now, it’s Cassandra’s turn to exhale.“I gave pardon to William Hawthorne, the wizard and father of the three sheep girls: Juno, Daisy, and Tracey,” she manages.“Heard that one through the grape vine,” Agatha mentions. “Ye went and told Sylvia Potsly ‘bout the fact ye had the wizard workin’ under contract on account o’ somethin’ he did, and o’ course she went and blabbed to everybody with ears.”“However, I didn’t tell her the specifics of his crime,” Mama admits. “He, well- He created those children from the remains of his late wife and their unborn child. He used magic to violate the laws of life and-”“Hon, relax,” Agatha soothes, combing the back of Cassandra’s hand until her breathing becomes less erratic. “It ain’t gonna help if ye get upset when tryin’ to convince folks not to be upset by this stuff. “Now then, ye know we don’t have a court system. Last one’s about ten miles over the border where the lines were drawn. In cases like those, the baron’s within her rights to make the calls and exceptions. Ye ain’t gotta apologize for that to nobody.”“B-but-““Shush, hon. We’ll have the courts set up eventually, and if yer still bothered by anything that ye’ve decided on yer lonesome, let folks sort it out for themselves in a trial. For Willy, it ain’t even our business anyhow. Wizards have got their own rules, their own courts, and we’d just wind up shipping him down river when all was said and done. How ‘bout ye pass a note up-river to that fancy britches Grandfather o’ Cici’s and have him start sortin’ things out for ye insteada pullin’ yer hair out over here?”“I… I’m just afraid the girls will be orphaned,” Mama explains. “They need their father!”Cassandra is clearly torn on this.> What to do…>  Convince Cassandra to tell Brad. Maybe he can provide leniency.>  What the wizard’s court doesn’t know isn’t an issue for now.>  Other
>>1841387> Convince Cassandra to tell Brad. Maybe he can provide leniency.Deal with it soon, before those agents get here. The secret was coming out one or another; this way you can make sure your opponent's punch has no force behind it.
>>1841387>>  Convince Cassandra to tell Brad. Maybe he can provide leniency.
>>1841387>>  Convince Cassandra to tell Brad. Maybe he can provide leniency.>>  OtherHe's been away for a time. Might be a spell before he gets back without urgent business. Let him know of it then.
>>1841429>>1841399>>1841397>>1841387The voices try to sway Cassandra on the matter, honestly surprised that she hadn’t told the wizened grandfather about this before. Then again, Cassandra’s protective instincts as a mother had a way of changing her judgement.“I’ll send a letter as soon as I’ve spoken with William, myself,” Cassandra agrees, seeming a bit defeated.“Well, you two do that, and I’ll get around to gatherin’ folks for a proper meeting,” the old woman groans as she gets up from her chair. “It’s as much for his good as it for yers. If these folks’re lookin’ to throw you off-kilter, there’d be worse ways than havin’ wizards from the council haul off a mage in yer employ cuz ye didn’t act quick enough.”“Agreed,” the gorgon concedes, lifting herself up from the cushion as Rosie scoots back her chair. “I’ll have a word or two with the folks I figure I can sway,” Agatha promises. “Ya’ll just travel safe and quick as ye can.”“We’ll send a messenger harpy and meet him halfway there. It hopefully won’t be more than a few hours.”With that settled, they leave the matron’s home and begin the rest of the long trek into town, good as their word making a bee-line toward the harpy post and sending their fastest, short-distance flyer ahead of them to alert Will.In the process, they find the enigmatic Jasmine snoozing in a pile of mail meant for Cassandra, the tiny manticore no doubt jealously guarding her ticket to easy fish until it would be convenient to deliver it homeward.“I think she’s claimed mail cubby four as her nest,” Andrea chips in, the owl harpy giving that same drowsy smile she always had in the mornings. “It’s kind of cute.”“It’s all fun and games until someone gets hit with a poisoned barb,” Cassandra sighs, calmly reaching over the counter to deposit both mail and still dozing cat into her traveling bag. “My apologies.”“No trouble at all,” she assures Cassandra. “Come again, soon!”
>>1841470And, it's already late. I'll need to get some sleep, folks, and pick back up tomorrow. Look forward to it.
>>1841474See you soon!Though how intelligent is Jasmine? Just below human level, or human-child level?
>>1841493Sadly, no one has yet developed the manti-cat turing test, but she seems a little smarter than your average household feline maybe. At the very least, she clearly understands transactions, and developed a mail-delivery racket without Cassandra having to do anything.Who knows, if you could sit her down in one place long enough with some logic puzzles or just poke inside her brain a bit with a mental link, you might be able to get a more clear assessment.
>>1841523>Voices: Come on, Jasmine, how smart are you really?>Jasmine: Quiet, you upjumped magical child's toy! I've got a good thing going here while Dad's away; as long as the bipeds and snake-lady think I'm just a cat, I don't have to do jack around here!
>>1841546> nb4 Some months ago..> Manti-dad: And remember child, you must keep the child of the Seers safe from temptation and all who would seek to do her harm, even those of her own kind. Don't just sit around eating fish and small birds.
>>1841523Her father can talk so is just a matter of time until she can do the same. Also she is basically a young child so she will get smarter as she grows up.
>>1841474>>1841523>>1841588Ahh why do i always miss these for work..Read through itit anyway per usual. Still love it.
>>1841910He can talk because he became a Chosen of the twin gods of war. He wasn't born or grow that way.
>>1842260Technically, he got a Boon from them and the terms were that he has to aid their Champion.
A little worn out after a day of running around. Gonna grab a quick nap and then try to get back to writing. Eta is about two hours.
>>1842260>>1842270And our little Gorgon girl has destiny written all over her.Honesty, if that mirror really worked, it would tell the Gorgons tribe to stay on Cici's good side or else. She has so much potential... but for that same reason she should make her own choices as much as possible.So yeah is Jasmine became one of Cici familiars she could learn to talk or at least use a work around.
>>1841470“I’ve been meanin’ to ask, actually,” Rosie comments along the way out of town, the large woman’s eyes clearly trained on the gently rustling carrier bag. “Where the heck’d ye get that little runt, anyway?”“Huh, you mean Jasmine?”“Yeah. Last I heard, manticores weren’t exactly from around these parts, and they don’t grow on trees, either. Was the dwarf smuggling other shit before the tiny griffins?”Speaking of which, Cassandra could swear she sees a pair of them scrabbling up a tree ahead of her, the strange, bird-like creatures moving with a swiftness and grace that belies their comedic visages. The one in the lead seems to be instigating a chase, of course, looking back at the slower one following him, tail swishing playfully and back arched as the other draws near, only to hop away and gain distance at the last possible moment. It works well enough. That is, until they hit an old, dead branch, the duo looking to each other curiously as a sharp crack echoes from beneath them, their talons reflexively sinking in and their expressions showing a mild panic as they go swinging down in a puff of leaves and feathers.“Cass!” Rosie repeats forcefully. “Quit spacin’ out, will ye?”
>>1843085“Huh? Oh,” the gorgon shakes her head. “Well, now that you mention it, I suppose you never met Cici’s uncle, did you?”“You mean, Yesh?” she asks, and if you didn’t know better, she looks a little nervous. “Met him plenty o’ times.”“Another uncle,” Cassandra clarifies. “Her Uncle Lee, to be specific. He’s a bard by trade, and… Well, he was human before he came back as a sapient skeleton.”“Pah!” the oni guffaws. “What the actual fuck?”“Language,” Mama reminds her, running a hair through Jade’s hair. “The last thing you want is for her first word to be a swear.”“Nnnn,” Jade agrees, apparently enjoying the contact and the warm, late summer day.“Fair enough, but what the heck? Was he a left-over from the vampires or somethin’?”“In a manner of speaking,” Cassandra admits. “The vampires left golems made from human remains after they died, and he just sort of ‘woke up’ one day when we were under attack. He left shortly after that with a group of adventurers, and then came back a couple of weeks later with the deed to the barony and a manticore.”“And he just left you a manticore?” Rosie asks. “Wait, he toppled a fucking barony for you!?”“Rosie, please,” Mama begs. “And yes, pretty much. He seems to have a knack for stirring up trouble… Ugh, that’s the last I heard from him before he went off to fight pirates on the high seas.”“If yer screwin’ with me…” Rosie warns. “Then again, I don’t know why I’d be that surprise at this point.”“Life’s certainly become interesting in the past year,” Cassandra sighs. “Well… more interesting. I’d really like to get back to boring soon.”“Heh. Good luck with that,” Rosie laughs, and that’s the last bit of substantial conversation they have as they continue walking the road toward William’s house, both of them enjoying the scenery and the silence until they hear the sound of hooves coming their way fast.“Woah! Woah!” they hear a familiar voice cry as the wizard rounds a corner on a steed, the man’s wiry frame looking almost comical in his traveling cloak as he dismounts and spares a moment to mop his profusely sweat-covered brow with a rag.“B-baroness,” he begins. “Err, it’s a pleasure to see you, ma’am! I received your letter and- Uh, ahem…”Seems the news has him rather hard. No surprise there.> What to do…>  Offer a bit of an explanation yourselves>  Encourage Cassandra to take the initiative>  Other
Nap was miserable, sweat inducing, and overly long. My apologies, everyone.
>>1843089> Encourage Cassandra to take the initiativeCome on, Baroness. You don't have anything to worry about here. Remember that you are in control of yourself, and you can take charge of the situation.
>>1843089>>  Encourage Cassandra to take the initiative>>1843091No one deserves that. Sorry to hear.
>>1843089> Encourage Cassandra to take the initiative
>>1843262>>1843208>>1843194>>1843089The voices err on the side of motivating the Baroness, delivering a short pep-talk.[“It feels like myself is the only thing I have control of today. Still, you have a point. So did Agatha. I can’t be more nervous than the person I’m trying to calm down.”]“Will,” Cassandra begins. “Just try to relax.”“I just- Well, I thought you had said that you’d table the matter until something forced your hand,” he stammers. “I thought I’d have more time…”“I thought so too,” Cassandra sighs, “but something has forced my hand, my mother specifically. You likely know what the implication is there.”“S-Seers…” he concludes, “and that means…”“Nothing we want to keep private will remain so for long,” Cassandra finishes, “and as much as I’d prefer to keep your matter private, I don’t want you caught unaware and undefended should they choose to act.”“I got stuck in the same boat,” the oni sighs. “Trust me, I know the feelin’.”“Why do you have a child? Why is this happening now?”“The golems created her from clay and an elder root,” Cassandra groans. “As for my mother, she likely wants to add Cici’s abilities as a seer to the greater population on the Stone Isles.”“That’s absolutely fascinating… but I don’t see how one child would make much difference, frankly,” Will complains. “I mean, gorgons live for a thousand years. There must be dozens of them on that rock. Why her? Why now?”“I wish I could tell you more. All I know is that the blood’s running inexplicably thin, the curse is waning, and it has them in a panic.”“The gorgon curse that has lasted multiple millennia suddenly coming to an end…” he murmurs in disbelief. “It’s unheard of, and no doubt a source of study for many of my former colleagues, but no, I can understand now. Still…”He seems to sag a bit, scratching the back of his head as he leans against his horse for support.“What would you ask of me?” “I came to you first, because I want your permission to try to help. My more-or-less adoptive father is Bradenburry van Ostigar.”“Meister van Ostigar?” he asks. “How has this not come up before? He’s pre-imminent in my field, even a former professor from my time at academy. He’s… Well, he would know my name, at least.”“Would you trust him to bring your case before the council, to represent you and start the process on your behalf? I’m asking you before I ask him, but I doubt he’d say no.”“Assuming he doesn’t turn me into a frog when he finds out, I can’t rightly decline,” Will sighs. “I’m just- It’s worrying, Cassandra. In the worst case, I might not see my girls again in this life. What then?”> Do the voices have any strong suggestions?>  Write-in
>>1843334If the worst comes to pass, Cassandra, you have the power of the barrony to bring to bear on the problem. Though it will not be a substitute for a proper father, if you would agree Cassandra, you might foster them. You have gained a bit of a menagerie, but with those girls it may become a self sustaining one.
>>1843091Generally shouldn't nap beyond 30 minutes or it turns into proper sleep, and waking from that without extended rest is unpleasant at best
>>1843334Your secret will come out either as a piece of blackmail or under conditions that can be somewhat controlled by you.Which is better, to throw ideas at a wall and into a cauldron and hope they don't blow up the lab, or at least keep track of the variables so that you have something written in your lab journal to turn in at the end of the semester?This is a chance to finally be out from under the weight of your secret, always fearing that someone might follow up on your work and realize what you've done. Take it, Will, and free yourself and your daughters from the fear of exposure.....At least yourself, at any rate. Your daughters have no worries except what's going to be their next meal.
>>1843334>>  Write-inBy coming forth on your own, after having raised and found alternative caretakers and education routes for your children, shows that you understand not only the legal and ethical consequences of your actions, but also look to make reperations for your acts. By coming forth, and entrusting yourself to the highest of authorities overseeing your violation, you show a good side, one of repentance, of sorrow, and of humility. You show that the grief which drove you to commit this has been replaced by care and love, and that you will not only not do it again, but that you are willing to accept punishment. This is like moving towards a whip, by moving closer to the danger, you lessen its sting.All it takes is courage.You may not have the courage for your own self, but We Know that you can and will have this courage for your children.
>>1843334(You probably should have taken a shower first, or suck ice cubes, how hot is over there?)And Cassandra could talk in favour of the wizard in his trial.
>>1843489>>1843360>>1843358>>1843351>>1843334The voices weigh in, doing their best to assure Will this is the proper route, his best chance to show remorse and redemption. “L-look, I… I know, okay? And frankly… Bloody hell, I couldn’t give less a damn about myself. I just want the girls to be safe, t-to grow up healthy and carefree in spite of everything I’ve done.”“Will…” Cassandra sighs. “Listen to me when I say this. Come what may of your trial, which I will do everything in my power to sway in your favor, you should not worry that your girls will go unprovided for. So long as I have a roof, so will they, along with whatever they need until they are ready to strike out on their own. Until then, there is no power in the realm that can require me to extradite a minor for any reason.”The wizard’s expression is hard to read, his scruffy face and sunken expression speaking of equal parts apprehension and relief as the moisture wells in his eyes.“I… It’s just-““Listen, jackass,” Rosie interrupts, getting a glare from Cassandra. “Yer comin’ back. If ye have to leave at all: believe it, live it, and until then, don’t you dare worry about those fluffy little runts. Got it?”The man seems to wilt.“Look, Cass’s stuck her neck out for people that have tried to murder her, myself fucking included. If she says she’s gonna take care of yer kids, ye best believe she’ll take care of ‘em. I will too assuming they don’t try to behead my ass after my own little meeting with the law in somewhere shy of two hours, alright?”“I… You what?”> Uhhh…>  Try to explain>  Let things proceed
>>1843489>>1843357I'm in the ongoing process of nailing down a job after grad school. It means I take calls at odd hours and get woken up way earlier than I planned sometimes. Speaking of, probably going to need to start getting ready for bed-bed now. Sorry for the short run today, folks. I'll try to do better tomorrow.
>>1843527"What, you thought you were the only one with a dark secret, Will? Rosie and her brother are escaped slaves from a circus; you can imagine the kinds of shows that take advantage of troll regeneration, can't you? So, there's the people dead from the breakout, and some of the hunters sent after them. Undoubtedly, some of them deserved it, others were just unlucky."
>>1843560>>1843527“No!” Will rejects as the voices try to explain the murders. “That’s terrible, absolutely horrendous, but why were you trying to kill the baroness?”“Cuz we thought after everything we’d done, nobody was gonna give us a chance,” Rosie levels. “Instead, she gave us land, medicine for the big guy, and her protection, and it’s because she keeps stickin’ her neck out for assholes like us that she’s in this mess to begin with! Ye got it?”“Y-yes…”With the oni’s massive face pressed close to his, the man’s knees seem like they’ve turned into liquid, sweat once again building on his brow as he collapses.“Nnnn…” Jade murmurs, as if to remind the oni that she’s still there as she wraps her arms around part of the woman’s tremendous ribcage.“Don’t worry, runt,” the oni sighs, lifting the little one up in both hands and bringing her to eye level. “You get a pass on all this shit.”“Rosie!”“What, it’s not like she’s gonna-“Rosie stops as she notices the little one seems to be mimicking her lip movements, a look of profound concentration on her tiny face until she realizes she’s being watched. Then it turns into confusion on both sides.“Say, ‘Ahhh!’”“Nnnnn!”“Thatta girl!” Rosie cheers. “We’ve still got plenty a time to teach ye to talk right!”“Nnn?”“Wait,” Will begs. “You mean they didn’t teach her how to talk?”“Or eat, apparently.”“Fascinating, but she’s learning, I take it. I wonder what they could have been thinking or how she was designed…”“Hands off, asshole!” Rosie barks, slapping the wizard’s hand away as he subconsciously reaches toward Jade, apparently with far more force than she realized as the man cradles his wrist. “Ah crap. I just… I don’t want anyone trying to turn her into a lab rat or a guinea pig till she’s, ye know, grown up or whatever…”“Perfectly reasonable,” the wizard groans, flopping his wrist back and forth in an unnatural way before unleashing a wave of magic from his other hand and setting the latter back in place with a crack and crunch. “I’d… Well, I can understand the sentiment.”“So, you’ll talk with Brad?” Cassandra asks.“I’ll write him a letter with a formal report of exactly what I’ve done,” Will sighs. “You can send it to him along with your letter.”“Just hold onto that until he arrives,” she insists. “He’ll be arriving in the next couple of days, according to his last correspondence. Honestly, it will be a miracle if the letter I send out today actually reaches him before he’s on his way.”“Well, that will be that, then. Anything else I should know?”> Anything else?>  Write-in
>>1845322Let's see, he knows about the dark secrets of others that we're going to be used as blackmail material and the airing of such secrets in the future. That's about it. But I think Will should still do a check of Jade's body. Given what's missing that we know of, what else might be missing from her?
>>1845322Someone should take a look at Jade's body just in case.
>>1845383>>1845360I agree with you two. However, we should also consolidate whatever we know about the rest of the town and council so as to make sure that when the messengers come, they have to rely on aggressive actions if they want Cici. In doing so, they will show that they are in the wrong and will declare an act of war if they try.
>>1845322>>1845360>>1845383>>1845387The voices point out that they really should have someone take a closer look at Jade, to make sure she’s healthy, if nothing else. That doesn’t mean Jade necessarily agrees, however, as the little one digs further down into the crook of Rosie’s arm as the strange man approaches her.“Listen, if she doesn’t want you touching her…” Rosie warns.“It’s all fine,” the wizard promises in a light, almost playful tone, speaking to the child more than anyone else. “Nothing to be afraid of here, and nothing that will harm you. It’s just a little bit of magic to help us make sure you’re as healthy as can be. All it takes is a simple, light touch and…”A small spark flies from the wizard’s fingertip as he touches Jade’s nose, and immediately, her body seems to fade away from view, her pale skin vanishing to reveal what lies beneath, a tangle of plant matter, glowing veins and roots making themselves known like so many capillaries and nerves… Much to the child’s discomfort.“Nnn!” she objects, apparently clutching Rosie tightly from the indentations her hands make on the large woman’s shirt. “She doesn’t like it,” Rosie concludes. “Turn her back!”“Just a moment,” the wizard cautions. “Just a moment.”“NOW!”Her tone brooks no dissent as the wizard quickly backs away, the clay that makes up Jade’s skin reappearing in splotches as she buries her head into Rosie’s chest and shivers.“Aww, it’s okay, Jade,” the oni promises, patting the little one’s back reassuringly. “It’s all better now… The fuck did you just do to her, Will?”“I-I… Nothing untoward, I swear. I just made the clay that serves as her outer layer transparent! That’s all! It actually provided a lot of information about how her body functions!”“If you want your body to -keep- functionin’, ye better scram!” she warns.> Rosie is upset.>  Write-in
>>1845455>>  Write-inRosie, we understand that you are mad right now, but you need to calm down. This helped us understand Jade, and make sure that she is okay. It will help in the future when she injures herself like all children do.Do you really want to be the overprotective helicopter parent?
>>1845455Dammit Rosie, do you want her to be healthy or not? The fuck can't you keep your goddamn temper in check? Of course a kid is going to be uncomfortable with a doctor's visit, but a health checkup when you know that she was put together with missing parts is for her own good. What are you going to do if she's missing a kidney or her heart was formed with a missing valve?
>>1845487>>1845471>>1845455The voice’s explanation does little to dissuade the dour ogress.“Listen, she’s plenty fucking healthy at the moment,” she growls at the voices. “You know what ain’t healthy? Having her freak the fuck out cuz some asshole made her think her skin fell off. Look at this!”She gently pulls the child away from her chest and shows her to the voices, her face contorted in fear and apparent agony.“That look healthy to you?”She pulls Jade back to her chest and begins stroking a hand through her hair to calm the child. The other two adults give her some space in the meantime, waiting for the woman herself to calm down.“Look,” she says after a long moment. “I apologize for threatenin’ ye. I ain’t gonna break yer arms or anything for what ye did. Just, I ain’t gonna let someone panic her without a good, damn reason. She’s healthy right now, and I wanna keep her that way. And that includes the parts ye can’t see.”“Nnnn…” Jade groans, perhaps in approval, perhaps just because.“Figure out a way that doesn’t make her like this before ye try anything else.”“Certainly,” Will agrees. “At the very least, that little bit of study, while traumatic, was quite insightful. It seems, as I suspected, the majority of her body is a sort of malleable clay, her organs simplified to approximate a throat, esophagus, lungs, and stomach, but otherwise left empty.“Your voices are talking about a malformed heart, but in fact, she doesn’t actually seem to have one, kidneys either, for that matter. Her ‘hair’ is little more than the equivalent of grassy vegetation and though she may have water stored in some places in her body, I don’t believe she possesses anything that we would identify as blood.“It’s actually quite remarkable, a sort of green golemancy, if you will. Why they chose such a simple animus, let alone such a small body for something that must have required plentiful resources and work, however, is completely beyond me.”“Frankly, I don’t give a crap,” Rosie concludes. “All that matters is she’s got feelings and doesn’t know right from left so far as what’s goin’ on around her. Until she does, I don’t want anybody messing with her.”“Fair enough.”> Another oddity for the pile then…>  Ask Will some more questions>  Let him get going to write his letter>  Other
>>1845580>  Let him get going to write his letter>  Other"William, do you have any hard candy, a lollipop maybe? From what I can remember of seeing a family doctor, a sweet for enduring an unpleasant visitation is traditional, and I would say Jade has earned it for being a brave little girl."
>>1845624This.So she is a golem plant girl?
>>1845580>Ask questions"The important questions: Can she get sick? What does she need to eat? How much is plant and how much is golem? If she skins her knees, should we apply clay to them or just wash it out with water?"
>>1845707>>1845649>>1845624>>1845580“Sweets?” Will questions as the voices explain standard operating procedure for doctors. “Well, I’ve never been much of one for them, but… Hmm.”He murmurs idly as he approaches a nearby tree, a maple which with a wave of his fingers opens a channel to let sap flow through. Another wave and the channel closes, the wizard coming away with his sample in a small wooden bowl which he continues to gesture over, making the sap stir and morph.“It’s been some time since I’ve been in academy,” he explains, producing an apple slice from his saddlebags, “but back in those days, a little craft went a long way toward an evening’s bread and butter.”The apple seems to disintegrate with a flick of his hand, dissolving into a fine powder that vanishes into the darkening sap, the whole mixture hardening and solidifying down into a semi-solid before he places in a small spear of wood and finishes the process, coming away with a perfectly shaped brown lollipop.“Mums the word to my children,” he insists, placing a finger to his lips. “I fear they’ve plenty enough energy without a steady trickle of sweets. Now, here-“ He smiles, presenting the strange treat to the hesitant child. “A present for a model patient.”Jade just stares at him as she clings to Rosie, eventually prompting the ogress to take it herself.“Jade,” the oni calls. “Say, ‘Ahhh!’”“Wahhh!” The little golem finally seems to get what’s expected of her as she opens her mouth, almost instantly closing it back as the sweet lands on her tongue. “Mmm!”“I think she likes it,” Rosie confirms as the child turns into her bosom and away from the scary man who had wronged her.“Well, there’s that at least,” Will concedes, though clearly a bit disappointed that the sweets weren’t a magical fix for everything.All the same, he returns to his saddle and bids the group a fond farewell before galloping off back whence he came.“All’s well that ends well, I suppose,” Cassandra sighs, leading the way back to town, shortly.“I guess…”A rustling from her bag defers any further conversation, however, as a pair of perked ears poke out from within, followed by a feline head, torso, and a pair of paws.“Good morning, Jasmine,” Mama greets as the cat lazily yawns and flexes her wings. “I take it you slept well.”In response, she gets a purr, returning that mild affection with a scratch behind the cat’s ears. Incidentally, this brings the bracer into direct contact with Jasmine herself, and a thought occurs.> Probe Jasmine’s mind>  Yes>  No
>>1845722>  Nonot that im not curious, but I think we have enough things to investigate today, so im willing to let her keep whatever secrets she may or may not have for a while longer.
>>1845722>  NoWe have enough to deal with already.
>>1845722>YesSo the others want blissful ignorance, then? Just as bad as the townsfolk who tried to get Cassandra killed.
>>1845763Is not the same thing, we have to deal with jerks wanting to take Cici away. If the catbird is really smart or not can be ugnored for now.
>>1845763Thats hardly an eqivalent comparison and you know it. Besides, Jasmine isnt going anyway, we'll have plenty of time to check her brain when at night or something
>>1845763>>1845750>>1845731>>1845722The voices consider the wealth of answers they might be able to obtain from a quick brush against Jasmine’s psyche. They consider it, and then realize that the threat of distracting themselves with a mental wrestling match with a kitten probably wasn’t worth knowing which houses in town had the best handouts. Instead, they focus on the matter at hand, the coming trial by fire that Rosie and Cassandra were about to endure.The council, as Cassandra explains it, is actually a bit of a tricky issue still, with the territory having grown in every direction away from the tower where the barony was centralized. It made it difficult to gather all of the active members.Fortunately, it seems the vote on ratifying the lamia village’s request for annexation brought a collective majority into the immediate area, enough important individuals to constitute the who’s who of who needed to know the oni’s situation. More importantly, it seems that vote was ratified, meaning that the lamia themselves had a seat already allocated in the council for their newly minted representative.Other members included a representative from the Potsly estate, a lawyer that served as their retainer, an Emmanuel Warner from Sojourn, Mr. Martin representing the merchant’s league, Agatha representing the local farmer’s union, the mayor of Shadesborough, and the assistant mayor of Oakhaven.> Do the voices have any strong recommendations for the duo as they prepare for the coming presentation?>  Write-in
>>1845971>>  Write-inI think it might be time to talk to Mr. Martin about his brother, his contacts, and his prior get-rich-quick schemes. While everyone knows Otto(?) a sleazy little sneak-thief when he's not inventing his newest project, but we don't know how deep his contacts go, and what he did for them. Plus, if we pardon him, we can get him working on another project for us, one that might help us with Cass's mother...
>>1846003Not enough time. The best we can do with the guy is to keep him busy inventing things and pay him for doing that so he stops his schemes. I know the type, all he cares is building stuff and getting money to build stuff. The thing is, can we afford to pay him?I mean we could just get Jasmine to boss around the catbirds if needed but him trying to hunt them keeps him busy and also makes him build things to catch the catbirds so...We can leave the guy for later.
>>1845971Remind everyone that this will be a limited window where everyone can air their dirty laundry without legal repercussion.And make sure to emphasize that everyone's dirty secrets will be used against them, so no judging others because everyone is as bad as everyone else.Except for the lizardfolk, harpies, and lamia. The worst they've got is probably one of them pranking some humans with a stinkbomb or something.
>>1846114>>1846086>>1846003>>1845971“I don’t know what you mean about a device to deal with my mother,” Cassandra says, “but I don’t think involving Oscar in any capacity as regards those meetings would be wise. Better that he be off on a hunt or cleverly hiding the fact that he hasn’t been hunting for the past week than giving them an excuse to resort to physical retaliation.“As far as giving anyone blanket immunity for their actions, I haven’t done so thus far. Rosie and Mischael were assigned public service, as was William. It’s more a matter of ensuring that I clear the ambiguity whereupon my omissions could be construed as a means to circumvent due process. However, I suppose inviting them to mention their dealings in the council, lest they be wielded against them due to my mother, could be considered wise…“Then again, it might be tantamount to unleashing bedlam… Honestly, I hadn’t entertained the possibility of telling them of my mother or her agenda during this meeting. In the grand scheme of things, it will make my actions seem motivated by fear rather than a sense of noble purpose, and that will make my subsequent dealings more difficult.”“Yeah. Plus, it’ll give whatever dumbass that wants to make your life miserable an easy source of info. Ye don’t want that.”> What to do…>  Insist Cassandra tell the council about the Seers>  Let the Seers go without mention>  Other
>>1846353>  Let the Seers go without mentionno need to give them more ammunition. The people who you can trust mostly know already
>>1846353>  Let the Seers go without mentionBut are you sure? Couldn't the agents, when they arrive, reveal their origin and relation to you, and so people could suspect that you encouraged the airing of grievances because you knew they were coming?I mean, yes, it's a good idea on its own merit, but people might be more offended that they were manipulated into it, no matter how much good it did them.
>>1846374>>1846367>>1846353“I’m not planning on instigating an airing of grievances,” Cassandra clarifies. “I don’t intend to allow my people to incriminate themselves without merit, especially not when I am not predisposed to offer them sanctuary. “This is a time when I exclusively plan to offer up Rosie and Mischael’s case for their consideration, and when I will mention, though not explicitly explaining the nature of his crimes, that William has a pending date of judgement with the wizarding council in Ashport. I will lay at the feet of the council the judgements I have made in their absence, my arguable duplicity in not immediately bringing them to bear, and allow them to affirm or challenge those judgements.”“And I guess I’m kinda just there to nod my head and let ‘em know I ain’t a monster,” Rosie shrugs. “That good enough?”> Is that good enough?>  Yes>  No
>>1846415I guess? Also talk how the school is going.
>>1846415> NoAs underhanded as it may be, you may need to play up doting on Jade a little. It would typically be below your dignity perhaps, but it may make life easier if they view you with a woman with attachments and things to lose.
>>1846596Don't you mean Cici?
>>1846616I mean Rosie taking Jade along, given that she has yet to be enrolled in school or anything.
>>1846596I agree. Showing that you acted not as a sister, but a mother to Mischeal then, and Jade now, would help further your case. It shows what you are on the inside: a caregiver who will do what it takes to keep those she cares for safe.Many of the people in the town will likely empathize, with personal experiences or family stories that reflect similar occurrences to them.But don't try and play up your position, just care for Jade like you normally do. Natural is best.
>>1846667>>1846596>>1846452>>1846444>>1846443>>1846415“Hmm? The school was going well last I checked. Mr. Martin began teaching history in the afternoons with a smaller group of students, which brings us to a total of three professors with Mina waiting to figure out her ideal placement.“It’s a long road to a fully-fledged academic program, and there are still difficulties getting students from further away parts of the barony in for classes. However, as the roads are completed and the public cart program comes to realization, I imagine we’ll see the student body grow quite substantially, bringing in additional funding from parents in those towns, which we’ll promptly re-invest into widening our teaching roster even further.“As it would turn out, we actually have a surplus in the trickle of money we’re receiving from the copies of the chronomancer’s logs Brad brought back to Ashport. Since Mr. Martin kindly donated such a large amount, we’ll eventually have the means to employ seven full-time professors. Until such time as our body reaches the size that warrants that, I’ll be reinvesting those funds accordingly.“I have a commission for thirteen or more passenger carts outstanding across three cities and am already scheduled to pay Brad a lump sum for bringing in a new brace of books for the program. Yesh, meanwhile, is contracting with the lizard tribes to provide a brace of paints and art materials for a fledgling program as well as working with a young group of children to try to get an introductory group for cross-cultural experimentation.”“I was wonderin’ where he’d been…”“It’s been a lot of work with his other priestly duties, but I think we’re getting toward a point where we need these two groups talking to each other. It will eliminate cultural misunderstandings in the long-run, and promote peace with the spirit tribe lands the barony now encapsulates.”“Cass, where the hell do you find the time for all this?” Rosie questions, scratching her head as details continue to pile up.“I can read and write rather quickly, and I’ve never been a slouch with my mathematics.” The voices begin to voice their concerns with that. “And I’ve been delegating!” she whines. “Dear gods, It’s not like I have that much to do while Cici’s away at school every day! It’s usually just me and the cat…”“Mew?” Jasmine inquires, poking her head up.“That’s right, you.”“Heh.”“And don’t you start.”“Start what?” the oni questions coyly. “Just laughing at a funny joke, I heard yesterday.”
>>1846742“Whatever. You should listen to the voices at least, and keep Jade with you. It’s… Well, it’s a bit obvious, but it might do you some service?”“Service how?” Rosie asks. “’s not like she’s mine or anything.”Cassandra gives Rosie an incredulous look.“I told ye, didn’t I? I’ll take care of her if no one else’ll take the job, but there’s gotta be somebody better qualified. Here, you hold her for a sec.”Rosie picks up Jade and deposits her into Cassandra’s waiting arms.“What? No! Don’t hold her like that!” The objection is reflexive and immediate as Cassandra pulls the child in and lays the small chest against her shoulder.“Wait, what’s wrong with holding her like this?” Cassandra objects.“Just… Well, your arms are too damn small, aren’t they? I’m sure we can figure somethin’ out, though…”“Nnn!” Jade is already insistently reaching back to Rosie with both hands, demanding the huge woman’s attention.“Pipe down, runt. The grown-ups are talkin’.”Of course, Jade’s comprehension of language isn’t exactly pristine and she just keeps on wiggling, suddenly popping out of Cassandra’s arms without warning before she goes tumbling toward the ground.“HOLY SHI-“A split second later, Rosie is once again cradling the child, her face flushed and a look of irritation plastered on it as Cassandra looks on with a satisfied, borderline smug expression.“Fine…” the oni concedes with a groan. “Guess she’s mine, after all. Just, I ain’t exactly a good role-model or anything… I haven’t ever raised a kid before, and… What if I fuck it up?”“I ask myself that every day, but the truth is that so long as you keep trying, you’ll find a way to make it work. Besides, it’s not like I’m going anywhere.”
>>1846744And I think this might be a decent place to end for tonight. I'll come back tomorrow and we can finish up this thread then.
>>1846748Thanks, Bananon! Love your work.
>>1846748Why do you right such addictive and comfy fluff? Now I want a SoL series of Rosie raising Jade.
>>1846742You should hang out with your Game Warden more. It'll do you some good to socialize with another mother.
>>1846751>>1846772Thanks, anons. I appreciate it and having you all along for the ride.Also, I imagine at some point Jade would make a twig crown when her horns don't come in.
>>1846773Just what we need, daily fights to establish pecking order...
>>1846773A nice Mother's Night Out would do some good for all of them, go down to the local tavern, have a few glasses of wine or cocktails...>Tavern burns down>Pastries everywhere>Cass and Rosie in same bed together>Hellhound woman stumbling down main road without top
>>1846806>>1846773>>1846802Are you implying that Faye is not a perfectly well-behaved and demure, motherly figure? Because, she'll fi- I mean, politely refute those claims with absolutely no fire or violence... Yeah...
It would be a good social program! Faye still has a husband, right?I was just thinking that a Young Single Mother Support Group might help.
>>1847437Man...I don't know. Support groups are not good for people. Getting these women hitched to eligible bachelors would be better. Might tire Faye of omnicide.
>>1847437Danny's never really mentioned his father, now that you think about it... Might have been a short, but heated affair.>>1847527Speaking of, do you want puppies? Because that's how you get puppies!
>>1846744To ensure that Rosie won’t be going anywhere either, they double their pace heading back toward Jonasburg. Along the way, they pass the school, and it just so happens that now would be the time, the children are out to lunch.“Mama!” Cici calls excitedly as she catches the duo out of the corner of her eye. She starts with a simple wave, but a half-second later is stumbling out of her seat to run over to them, giving her mother a hug before transitioning to one of Rosie’s massive legs. “Have you guys been having fun?” she asks. “Has Jade said anything yet?”“Sweetling,” Mama tuts, picking up her daughter to bring her eye-level with the smaller girl. “Learning to speak takes time, and lots and lots of practice. Jade is just a baby right now.”“But how’s she gonna go to school, then?”“She won’t, at least not for right now. She has a lot to learn and plenty of things to discover, but until then, you’re Aunt Rosie will be taking good care of her.”The oni looks a little uncomfortable at the proclamation still, but she still manages a smile and a laugh.“And here I thought I would be the mother,” Iris comments, the beholder girl floating off of the ground and gathering the little one’s hands in her own. “I suppose big sister wouldn’t hurt, though.”“Nnn…” Jade murmurs mysteriously.“Hmm? Now what have you got in your mouth?” Iris inquires. “Say ‘Ahhh!’”“Waah!” Jade mimics, revealing the sucker still dissolving on her tongue before she closes her mouth to continue whittling away at it.“Ooh! Someone gave you a present,” the gazer concludes. “Nice catch!”“See, Baarbraa,” comes another voice as Juno leads the fluffy troop of four away from the table as well. “I told you they found a green baby this morning!”“Yeah!” Daisy confirms. “Told you!”“Her name is Jade,” Mama explains to the growing throng, “but please, girls, get back to lunch. Rosie and I are presently on our way to something very important, and we don’t want to be late.”“Something important?” Cici asks innocently. “What’s that, Mama?”> Do the voices want to explain?>  Write-in
>>1847580We will tell you later.I think we should go with Cici now, what do you think guys?
>>1847580Just a business meeting, we'll tell you the details when we get home
>>1847608>>1847595>>1847580“’Kay,” Cici leaves it at that when the voices explain that it’s just a business meeting.The intrinsic trust of a child is truly a remarkable thing.“Are you going to spend time with your Uncle Guyus again, today?” Mama asks, getting a nod in return. “Well, be safe, okay? I’ll pick you up after Rosie and I are done.”The voices consider for a moment whether they want to pass on to Cici, but with so much more about to happen on Cassandra’s end, they hold fast, following the duo of adults down the street and to the large building whose outside bristles with horses and whose inside hums with curious voices.“Are you ready for this?” Cassandra asks Rosie.“As I’ll ever be,” the oni sighs.Built with the baroness in mind, the entryway to the wood and brick building is a ramp, rather than traditional stairs, the sound of the gorgon’s scales slithering up the ramp apparently enough to quiet some of the council in preparation for her arrival. Naturally, inside is not quite the collective you would expect from a big city, modern-day bureaucracy. These were working people mostly, with sunbaked faces and simple dress. They look to Cassandra expectantly now as she slithers into the partially darkened and stuffy board room that served as their office, the graceful hybrid moving toward her place at the fore of the great, circular table around which they all seat themselves with slow, purposeful movements.Many had grown accustomed to their strange liege at this point and others are at least doing their dead-level best to guard their mistrust of her species. As another, massive shadow darkens the doorway, however, the muscular ogress making her way through the too-small door with the creaks and groans of the floor boards protesting her entrance, their discomfort grows quite noticeably.“So, Baroness,” begins a man of many winters, a white, bushy beard rustling with his chin as he moves to open discussions. “I’d planned to begin my travels south today before receiving your letter. While we are all, naturally, at your disposal and the realm’s, I imagine I am not the only one curious as to your reason for calling another meeting with such haste.”There is a general murmur of agreement, though you can tell by the relative silence of Agatha, Mr. Martin, and a few others that they may already know the reason. Cassandra simply waits for a moment, eventually waving her hand to request silence before responding.“Esteemed members of the council,” she begins formally. “As many of you know, my inheritance of the barony as well as the responsibility of its governance was a rather sudden affair. Suddenly in absence of many of the public facilities and judiciary bodies formerly responsible for ensuring the continued governance of law and the military forces required for the enforcement of those judgements, we were (and to some extent still are) in a process of recovery.”
>>1847764“Baroness, if I may,” speaks up one young and clean-shaven man not yet past his thirties. “Was this not already discussed in a prior function as well as a resolution to acquire the funds to elect an impartial judge to a general court?”“Representative Nutley,” Mr. Martin interrupts. “You would do well to remember the process of interjection agreed upon by the council. The baroness has not yet yielded the floor. Surely, she yet has more to say that would likely answer your question.”“Rescinded…” the younger man concedes, seeming to wilt under the gaze of the wizened dwarf.“Thank you,” Cassandra says with a nod. “Now, as I was saying, the reason that I have called this special session of the council together is that in absence of the formation of even this council, my responsibilities as baroness required me to act as sole arbiter and judge in a number of cases whereupon my judgement might be called into question.“In these cases, I exercised my authority as baroness to grant executive pardons, something that technically falls within my jurisdiction but, nevertheless, is tantamount to circumventing the law entirely when instated in absence of a jury.“I view a lack of public discourse over these matters, including the specific nature of the crimes which I have chosen to pardon, as a form of dishonesty now that we have a council to pass these deliberations in a more official capacity. As leaders of the community throughout the barony, it is you, in the end, who must decide what crimes can be forgiven and which cannot in the interest of the safety of your general populations. I therefore put forward the motion that the cases of my pardons be revisited now by this council and again in a court of law should it be deemed necessary by this council’s judgement.”[“But where should I start?’]> What to do?>  Start with Rosie. She’s here, after all.>  Start with Will.>  Other
>>1847767>  Start with Mr. Martin's Brother, as an example.Theres almost no way anyone would have a reasonable problem with it, but it will be a good way to gauge their responses.Also, someone might actually volunteer a solution to the griffon issues, because I dont see that getting anywhere at this rate.
>>1847778This. Let's get the softest issue handled first
>>1847767>>1847778>>1847843>>1847909“To begin with a familiar face to many on the council, there was a certain matter concerning Mr. Martin’s brother, Oscar.” The voices notice the dwarf shift uncomfortably. “Some month and a half ago now, my daughter had the strange circumstance to bump into the man as he was attempting to smuggle a pair of male and female pygmy griffins across the territory. Due to an unfortunate spill he had while carrying the crate he was shipping them in, the birds got free and are presently reproducing in the forests surrounding Jonasburg.“In short, I caught him in the process of trafficking an illegally acquired exotic species through the territory without a license with intent to sell. Due to a lack of a proper jail to imprison him in as well as a general doubt as to the utility of putting him behind bars, however, I gave the dwarf an alternative assignment to recapture and present the loose specimens to me before the end of the year. That was my judgement at the time.”“Aye, and I thank ye for that kindness,” Mr. Martin speaks up, sitting up a bit straighter in his seat as he makes to address the council. “Obviously, inasmuch as the man’s my brother, I must excuse myself from any declarative judgement as to his fate. However, all the same, I’ll not rest easy till I’ve spoken my peace on the matter for the rest of yer benefits, offering my knowledge as a scholar of the law and as a witness to whatever moral character the man could lay claim to.“First and foremost, I’ll say this, though I take no joy in it. Smugglers hang in the homeland from whence we hale or come away short a finger or five at the very least. Compared to those judgements, the Baroness has given the damn fool a kingly blessin’ in the form of a one-year grace period in which to make amends.“In thanks, he’s hardly shaped himself up as a model citizen, I’m sorry to report. Instead, he’s continued his schemin’ ways, tryin’ all manner o’ cockamamie schemes and deceptions to gather the coin for one mad invention after another. Spigots that shoot flame, flyin’ balloons he can stuff in a pack, extendable claws, launchable nets. If the daft bastard had a modicum of sense, he’d ne’er need to scheme another day in his life.”The dwarf sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose.“Unfortunately, the ancestors have a sense of humor with that one. He’s a curmudgeon stuck in his ways, and I fear ye’d never get him to see the sense o’ what should be plain as day to anyone else. There’s a brilliance there, aye, but it’s tempered by a terrible illness of the heart and mind.”
>>1847937“Objection,” Cassandra finally interjects. “With all due respect, Martin, you don’t seem to be doing your brother any favors here.”“Aye, I suppose ye could say that, lass, but it’s all in service to a point. What I mean in the end is that ye can’t steer a gods-damned, bloody hurricane, but ye can mine the salt after it’s passed. If ye put the damned fool in a shop with a king’s ransom and a team o’ the finest technicians, he’d burn the bloody thing down in sight of a week without a beggar’s copper left in the bank, but if ye set him to a task, ye can bet yer arse he’ll invent everything from here to heaven save a solution for the damned thing ye set him about in the first place.”“So, you’re suggesting letting a criminal run free on the off chance he’ll invent something useful?” the white-bearded gentleman scoffs. “You’ve said it yourself. He’s a deviant who will commit crimes and deceive in order to fund these projects of his!”“Nay, what I’m saying is-““I know what I heard!”Mr. Martin sighs.> Do the voices want to chip in?> Write-in
>>1847940>“I know what I heard!”Sorry, but what you heard is immaterial, what was SAID was important.And anyway, Several of those inventions brought are both feasible, and maybe be useful in the foreseeable future. So on that note, the sentence given has born some fruit in some small way, which is better then the alternativeThe goal of the punishment was to discourage the repetition of the crime, and hopefully, to put the offender towards some kind of more worthwhile endeavor, as were all of the ones we will be talking about today. Generally, hard and fast executions, while maybe satisfying to some of those handing down the judgement, dont actually do anything to either fix the crime committed, or lead to any improvements to the community, and often have a poor effect on public morale, especially in the case of non-violent crimes.
>>1847940Sir, what would you do? Hang the man, or cut off his fingers? And then what? You'd still have a problem with an invasive species running around, and no appreciable change made to the disincentives of smugglers.
>>1848028>>1848006>>1847940“And what’s this then?” he asks, as the voices begin speaking to him. “Isn’t this the toy your daughter normally keeps in her possession?”“They are an intelligent projection of several dozen voices,” Cassandra explains. “While it is unorthodox, please consider them an adviser that I’ve brought in on my behalf and allow them consideration on the floor.”“Yes, if you weren’t so busy talking over them, you would have heard,” a lamia woman on the right points out.“I heard well enough,” the man insists. “My point stands that Martin himself has claimed his brother is continuing to commit crimes. We can’t overlook that, regardless of possible future proceeds. If we do, we break the rule of law ourselves. Otherwise, in principle, I agree that a sentence in correcting his mistake serves the community best.” “I said that he’s a propensity for hare-brained schemes,” Martin corrects. “I’d not overlook anything illegal he’d been doing, but what I mean is that he’ll invent an air pump for a net launcher, realize he can jury rig it into a pellet gun. Next ye know, he’s hockin’ ‘em to every damn kid with two coins to rub together.”“That still sounds dangerous!”“Dangerous, aye. Reprehensible, aye, but it isn’t illegal.”“He has a point,” the man named Nutley sighs.“I won’t pardon a single crime my brother perpetrates in order to serve his sentence,” Martin assures the council. “My point is rather that if the Baroness’ punishment seems light, which to me it does, ye can consider assessing a monetary penalty rather than commuting him to a prison sentence. There’s precedent for it in the laws of the realms, and the jackanape’ll probably end up inventin’ enough here and there, the designs for which I can barter to associates of mine to pay his tab. I’d just rather he serve the realm, even in ignorance, rather than havin’ him rottin’ in a hole somewhere.”The floor opens up from there to debate the finer details of Oscar’s sentence, the members of the council bouncing around the merits and risks of allowing him to run free and the legal complications of selling intellectual property from underneath the inventor. In the end, however, the votes come in in Oscar’s favor, allowing the dwarf to run free and establishing a payment cap after which any subsequent amount to be considered his personal property.[“So far so good. Who next, then?”]> Who’s on second…>  Rosie>  Will>  Other
>>1848048>>  Will
>>1848048>  Will Hmm, I'd consider trying to cut right to the hard stuff, but...
>>1848048> WillThis one is a little thorny in the sense that the crime was not committed within the barony, and the wizards have jurisdiction over him first.
>>1848063>>1848062>>1848055>>1848048“With the matter of Oscar settled, we should continue,” Cassandra concludes. “There were three notable cases today that I felt deserved special attention, and so if there are no objections, we’ll see to all of them before departing.”A few murmurs rise as the council talks among themselves, but no one comes forth with an objection.“Good. Then as for the second, we’ll be discussing Mr. William Hawthorne, a wizard whom I took into the barony’s employ some time ago on the condition of his assistance in creating a new breed of horses for use in the public transport system.” “Thereafter, through channels everyone is aware of,” Cassandra says, looking pointedly at the female Potsly representative, “you will have been informed that his employ was a form of public service that I assigned to him due to certain wrong-doings on his part. These wrong-doings, I feel I am now under obligation to clarify, were of a magical nature, and by the laws of the kingdom thus fall outside of our jurisdiction to adjudicate penalties for.“He offered this confession to me, freely and privately before any offer of employment was made. This is something that I feel I should say in his defense. I also feel that we should bear in mind that we are an independent entity from the mage’s council, and as such are under no direct obligation to extradite him personally or divulge the nature of his crimes within our borders should it not suit us. “However, through our discussions, Will has seen that his best course of action may be to confess his own crimes to the mage’s courts, lest those iniquities come back to bite him later. As a result, he may experience a term of absence, after which, it becomes clear that we must make a decision as to whether his continued employment through the barony’s coffers should be permitted.”“With respect, Baroness,” the white-bearded man speaks up.“Yes, Mayor Donnell.”“It seems that you are taking especial pains to avoid the details of the crime itself, which I feel is central to our decision of whether or not a suspension of his employment would be necessary.”[“I had hoped to keep that matter private.”]> To speak or not to speak>  Convince Cassandra to divulge the details>  Convince Mayor Donnell the details do not matter>  Other
>>1848115> OtherAre you suuuure you want to know, Mayor Donnell? Because once you know something, you're liable for knowing it.
>>1848115>>OtherMayor Done, while you are correct in that the details of William's crime matter, the fact of the matter is that the act of divulging the details will taint the perception of the jury and judge that will try him. The records are sealed to the public until such a decision by the mage's council says otherwise. However, you can know that the confession and details of the crime are being sent to an expert Archmage in the respective field, and they will be collecting William for his transport to trial in the near future. At that time, a license to know the specifics of William's crime may be given to the members of the town's council.However, no one outside this given license are allowed to know, and dissemination of such knowledge would be a violation of legal contract.
>>1848115>  OtherAssure them that the crime in question was non-violent and did not bring harm to anyone as far as you know, and after, ask them if they still need to know, for purposes other then curiosity
>>1848145Are you sure about that? Because unless you can cite an actual story post detailing that, you're trying to bluff him, which could end very badly.
>>1848152>>1848147>>1848145>>1848139>>1848115“As of this point in time, I have no idea what will be declared criminal and what will not,” Cassandra admits. “Being as none of us gathered here today are mages and that Will himself is absent, I would prefer not to share further details on his circumstances for fear of misinterpreting the situation. No doubt, the mage’s council will come to their own decision on the matter, and then we can form our best judgements under the lens of their final conclusions.“What I can swear to you all is that based off of his account, the crime was non-violent in nature. No one was hurt nor defrauded. No one was even inconvenienced. All the same, while breaking no laws within our territory, he nevertheless committed actions that went against the code of ethics wizards swear by. He will now face punitive judgements for those actions, possibly including a stint of absence, and in the vein of ensuring that no one is surprised or misinformed about those matters, I am telling you now, the basic outline of his situation.“If no one takes umbrage with the matter, I elect that we table the matter but let the record show that we will revisit it once we have the judgement of qualified professionals to help us form fresh opinions. All in favor?”The aye’s seem to have it, with a few withstanding and no nay’s. Even so, a black-haired gentleman does stand from his seat.
>>1848262“If it pleases the council, I would offer at least a brief word on Mr. Hawthorne’s behalf before we proceed.” He waits through a moment of silence before proceeding. “As you will all know, I am the representative of Sojourn and the most part of the northern settlements in this council. As such, I have had more than frequent occasion to have words with Mr. Hawthorne and to check in with his girls than anyone else here today.“What I can say through that wealth of experience is that Mr. Hawthorne is no evil man, and I would suggest that the council think carefully and not allow their imaginations to get away from them as to what the nature of his crime may be. Whether he was boiling poultices or skin creams for the ill, or aiding local farmers with attending to their crops and cattle, he has ever been a faithful and giving public servant, a man whose character few would speak ill of in our neck of the woods.“I would not see him disenfranchised from honest work at the meager pay we afford him as of this moment. Neither he nor his children should suffer a loss of income for his own honesty and magnanimity in submitting himself for investigation into a nonviolent crime. Were all of us as exemplary a citizen in such situations as his, we would have little need for the town watch or the constable. In closing, keep this under your hats, or I’ll be keeping my foot in your ass.”The man sniffs, his mustache twitching strangely before he takes his seat.“Well said,” Mayor Donnell concedes, “and that would only leave us the last case of the evening, then.”[“Where to start…”]> Where to start, indeed>  Write-in
>>1848264Maybe start with how you and Rosie met, then when it comes to crimes, we can let her outline that stuff. she is the only present witness after all.
>>1848264Is slavery a crime? Is abuse of slaves and servants a crime? Like, poking out eyes and sawing off limbs levels of abuse.
>>1848272Perhaps start with Rosie giving an introduction and life story up till her escape
>>1848285I agree, then segway into >>1848277 's line of thought. If we establish Rosie as a caregiver first, and then reveal what she did (in self defense) it will likely lead to a better outcome.
>>1848264>>1848272>>1848277>>1848285>>1848355“Right,” Cassandra confirms, taking a deep breath. “The last case up for consideration would be that of the person behind me and her brother, Mischael. Many of you, of course, will be familiar with the two and the many good works that they’ve done around the barony since their introduction at the beginning of my stay in office.”“Aye,” Donnell confirms. “No one will dispute that they did a fine job clearing out nearly every bandit clan in the southern reaches.”“And obviously we owe them a great deal as well,” the lamia adds.“I’m supposing we’re to take it that she’s another one of your special pardons, then?” Emmanuel prompts.“Yes,” the baroness confirms, “and just as you’re no stranger to her, none of us are a stranger to the rumors that surround them. Be it that they’re demons I’ve inexplicably conjured from the depths of hell or that every full moon I feed my political opponents to them-” There’s laughter from some in the room, but not all. “Obviously, people don’t lack for imagination when it comes to attributing them with deeds or misdeeds.“In the end, it hopefully won’t surprise you that most everything you hear of them from before their time at the barony can be attributed to falsehood, the duo being rather insular when not actively engaging in affairs of the realm and unlikely to indulge in discussions of their past. That sort of reclusiveness can naturally build suspicion, and suspicion in turn builds rumors which can be more harmful than the truth. It’s for this reason that I would like to allow Rosie herself to explain the circumstances which brought her and her brother to our realm, and in the process, hopefully convince you of the legitimacy of my pardon.”The ogress shifts nervously as all eyes in the room turn to her seated on the steps, Jade dozing in the crook of her arm without a care in the world as all of this transpires.“Well… crap…”That nervous expletive aside, Rosie does eventually get into the rhythm of her and Mischael’s story, recounting in as much detail as she had for Agatha the duo’s imprisonment and subsequent escape, narrating the murder, the cannibalism, and the flight from their pursuers that thereafter transpired in a way that makes her audience shudder, her grave tone like that of a person recounting a terrible nightmare.
>>1848437“Cassandra gave me and the big guy another chance when we got her,” she finishes, “and so long as yer willin’ to let us stay, we’ll do our dead level best not to screw things up for ye.”“As you can see,” Cassandra picks up in the ensuing silence. “The crimes they committed early in life weren’t so much a matter of purpose as of necessity. The single odd act of forced cannibalism notwithstanding, the rest boils down to a matter of self-defense.”“And what do we have, other than your word, on the validity of this story?” Donnell asks simply. “It’s a compelling story, to be certain. However, without evidence, it’s nothing more than hearsay.”*THUMP*The table gives a violent shake as Cassandra drops a stack of papers as thick as a dictionary on top of it, an oddment of sorted and pinned together notes written in a variety of hands. Jade gives a groan, and rubs at her eyes as the sound wakes her.“Naturally, I would have wanted to check into those matters myself,” Cassandra indicates, “and for the most part, everything seems to check out exactly as she said. During the spring, seven years ago on the southeastern border of the Great Western Wood, the bloody remains of a carnival was found. Among other oddities located at the site were pickled and preserved troll appendages, though curiously, no trolls were found at the scene.“Naturally, at such time, the captivity and maiming of quasi-sapient creatures was already considered a crime, as was unlicensed prostitution, abduction, and murder, all of which various persons identified at the scenes were suspected of. Mind you, not everyone who died there was a criminal, but many of them were.”She waits a moment for the council to begin pawing at the documents before continuing.“Over the next several years, various contracts were put out by families of the deceased to chase down and eliminate the trolls that had escaped, one of them sometimes referred to as the Red Devil of the Key’s Carnival due to her odd coloration. Four such men and women faced their demise on this hunt, though one from a bear attack rather than anything that even hinted at a troll’s work.“I’ve been accumulating these files for months now, bit-by-bit, but the overall picture suggests that she’s been meticulous and accurate in her recounting.
>>1848440“Very impressive,” Donnell notes, “though somewhat unfortunate. If, as you indicated, she has killed men in a legally recognized profession, I feel that our moral obligation to provide sanctuary is- ““Enough!” the lamia hisses. “If there was a debt to be paid in blood she and her brother paid it a hundred times over in our homeland! While our baron did nothing, they took blows that would have killed a dozen men a dozen times and more, shouldered burdens that were not theirs to bear for the good of people they had never even met!”“I see what you’re saying,” the man stammers, “but-““But nothing! If a neck must meet a noose for what was done, it will be mine, not hers!”> Err, things are getting fairly heated.>  Write-in
>>1848444I think that lamia deserves some tax breaks. Or at least recognition.
>>1848444While the Lamia representatives views are both recognized, and appreciated, I think we'd rather hear any complaints the council may raise so we can answer them in turn.Though i'd like to point out sanctuary isnt exactly what has been given, they are made to work, and they arent allowed to leave with out permission. its more like parole.Also should point out, given the story, if any of you are fishing for execution in this case, you'd be better off giving up now , as even if we were inclined to humor it, which we arent, theres not an axe around thats likely to prove up to the task, and damned if we going to pay for a magic one, or condone the use of burning for it
>>1848539>>1848450>>1848444“Sonya,” Cassandra finally interjects, more like a whisper than anything.Still, it has the desired effect as the woman sits back in her seat.“Good. Naturally, I didn’t bring this issue to bear to have you at each other’s throats. Donnell is not wrong in saying that the crimes that have been committed in this case are serious. Neither is Sonya wrong in saying that the services rendered by the pair has been profound. What we must ask ourselves in this moment is not whether the good outweighs the evil, but if we feel safe allowing these two individuals to remain a part of our community, to build lives and maintain livelihoods within our borders.”“To that, I say I have no objections,” Martin speaks up without hesitation. “The two have done nothin’ but good since they’ve had a roof over their head, and what evil they’ve done is well in the past. Ye’ve said it yerself, lass, that what ye did to yer brother wasn’t what ye had in mind, and ye’ll have to live with that sin for all yer days. It’s punishment enough, I’d say.”“The fat one wouldn’t hurt a fly, either,” Agatha adds. “Worst I’ve had o’ him was when the dumb lug got into the rabbit hutch and had the lot crawlin’ all over his scaly hide.”“Wait, Mishi did what?” Rosie demands.“Calm yer britches, hon. It wasn’t anything a couple hours with a tack hammer wouldn’t fix.”“It should be clear where our people stand,” Sonya says, crossing her arms defiantly.“And if we can find a legal foot to stand on should angry claimants come calling, you’ll have my vote as well,” Donnell concedes.And so, a couple hours later, a pile of open law books lies sprawled across every table, counter, and square inch of floorspace, but the jury finally comes to an agreement. “We’ll pray the day ne’er comes,” Mr. Martin concludes, “but should someone come knockin’ for yer head, we’ve the means now to keep you and yours safe from harm.” The old dwarf groans then, his back popping several times as he stands up from where he’s been crouched for going on an hour. “Now, then, I’ve missed my class for the evenin’ and my wife’ll have -my- head if I don’t get goin’ soon. Reckon I can get an ‘aye’ to adjourn this meetin’?”
>>1848548“Aye…” the zombie-like chorus fills the halls before the drained members begin making their way out, shuffling and stretching as they exit into the afternoon sun.Soon, only Cassandra, Jade, and Rosie remain.“It’s done…” the gorgon groans, slumping over a podium and burying her head in her arms. “It’s finally done…”“Yep, and just in time. I think the pipsqueak’s hungry again.”“Nnn…” Jade agrees.“We’ll get something when we pick Cici up from the bakery,” the tired baroness concludes, “and then I’m going to have a long, hot bath. U…UGH!”The casual groan turns into a gasp as Rosie crushes the gorgon in a one-armed hug.“I owe ye, Cass,” she promises, “and as long as it takes to make all this okay, I’ll be stickin’ around. Ye can count on it.”“Rosie… I can’t breathe…”So, bowed, but unbroken, the duo grab Cici and chase the last light of the evening sun back to their homes in the southern hills. It’s a peaceful evening, and not just in the cloudless skies and the gentle temperature of the evening. Exhausted though she is, Cassandra can also feel it in her chest, a lightness where before she had been weighed down by too many kept secrets. Hopefully, that will provide her the buoyancy she needs to float in the storm still hovering over the horizon.
>>1848550And I think that's where we'll end it for one week folks. Hope you all had fun. Feel free to leave comments, questions, etc, below.
>>1848550>>1848551It was great!And everything went better then we feared!Which means something even worse will happen later...
>>1848569It was always too late, anon. Always...
>>1848602gryphons with Fat Mans... the end of night
>>1848602Eh, at worst we can point to the Gorgons the folly of trusting a magical mirror.