Saeri is a little quieter now than she was before, the expression on her face mellowed from the bright smile it once held. As she leads you through the winding city streets, she looks a little more disheveled. You can't blame her, of course-- having an attempt made on one's life while showing around a foreign diplomat would put you off of your game, too. At the very least, she manages to throw you a bright smile every now and then, looking to you to ensure that you're keeping up with her rapid steps.Your assailants aside, what you've seen of Poinstmar, the city below the wasteland, has been surprisingly pleasant. True, the spires of stone and iron in the city center are intimidating at first glance, but even in the markets and the outlying, poorer districts of the massive village, the people here seem happy. By and large, no one looks underfed. The worst you could say for the citizens is that the vast majority of them seem overworked, but they all seem to bear it with a kind of determined acceptance. Whether that's born of genuine good will, patriotism, or something more insidious, you can't be sure.After securing a promise from Saeri that you would be allowed to examine the city's correctional facilities before you made your final decision, you elected to visit the farms. You've spoken with the people of the mobile city, but its spirits remain yet a mystery to you. The path to the farms is a long and winding one, taking you north past the city's center. Your eyes dart upward as you pass the General's tower. The imposing building's cap of fell flame is not just a little intimidating.(Cont.)
"You've been quiet, Totemist," Saeri says, doing her best to avoid dropping your name in a public space. "I hope your injuries aren't plaguing you further."You shake your head. "No, nothing of the sort. Your healers put me right, sure enough. It's just..."> Those men in the alley. It's still bothering me.> I've never been in a city so large. It's a lot to take in.> I'm starting to re-evaluate my opinions of the General.> Nothing. I'm quiet by nature. Don't mind me.> Other.---You are Osyki, journeyman Totemist and first line of defense for your village against the rabid Behemoths wandering the land. Your master, the previous Totemist, fell in a battle against a terrible Behemoth, leaving the duty of defending your settlement to you.Now, your newfound role as a Stone Knight demands that you scale the Ikrin Peaks and destroy the Iron Tyrant who challenges your Emperor's claim to his domain. After delving through cracked caverns in a blasted wasteland, you have discovered Poinstmar, an advanced and prosperous city below the earth. The Tyrant, it seems, is not the monster you have been warned against. Or is he?[[Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=totemThe Cast Thus Far / Binder's Log: http://pastebin.com/tRq3dSneQuest Twitter: @TotemistQuest]]
>>34650208>> I've never been in a city so large. It's a lot to take in.Hooray Totemist
>>34650208>Nothing. I'm quiet by nature. Don't mind me.>Your rockin' tits are too distracting
Where da players at
>>34650208>>> I've never been in a city so large. It's a lot to take in.We're a country boy in a world that he never thought existed until a few months ago. I think we can pull the ignorance card on this one.
You shrug, raising a hand to gesture to the towering buildings, to the bustling crowds of people and tusked humanoids--Urehan, you think she called them--with something resembling a helpless shrug. "I come from a small village. You could probably house half of my people in one of these towers comfortably. I've never been in such a large city before, is all. It's a lot to take in all at once."Saeri nods. "I understand completely. Where I come from isn't like this at all, either. There are a lot more people, here. At first it feels like the crowd is going to swallow you up, but you realize eventually that they're all people just like you and I." She shrugs, hands swinging easily at her sides as she leads you along yet another wrought-iron pathway. This place is a maze. "It's got its own charm. Not the same charm as a quiet hamlet, maybe, but once you get used to the hustle and bustle it's almost comforting."Her eyes grow distant as she speaks, and a fond smile passes her lips."We're almost there," she says suddenly, pointing ahead of you. You can see the raised platforms at the outskirts of the city.Once you arrive, you will> Take a worker and a spirit aside, and question them seperately.> Walk amongst the people and see how the farming here works.> Address the group of workers at large.> Let Saeri do the talking.> Other
>>34650727> Let Saeri do the talking.
>>34650727>> Take a worker and a spirit aside, and question them seperately.
>>34650727>Take a worker and a spirit aside, and question them separately.I guess?
The ramp up to the farm is long and winding, but the scent of damp dirt that pervades the underground kingdom is immediately washed away by the familiar scents of farmland. As you crest the rise, an almost idyllic scene unfolds before you: The raised platforms are home to tilled fields and silos. You see men and--for the first time, perhaps-- spirits toiling side by side. The crops here are not the grain and corn common to your community. While you do see a few familiar root vegetables, the vast majority of the field is crowned by mushrooms.The fungus comes in a startling array of colors and shapes. Blue, white, gray, even a few red and green caps can be seen in the fields. The men deposit compost from cloth sacks in the dirt, while water spirits walk amongst the blooming fields, the aura of moisture around them doing wonders for the flourishing fungi.You watch as Saeri approaches the group, giving a familiar wave to the workers of the platform. A few give waves back, a few bow. By and large, they all seem at least familiar with the woman. Slowly, the workers begin to gather together."Gentlemen, ladies," she says, giving the assembled workers a shallow bow. "A moment of your time. The man behind me is a diplomat from the lands to the south. If you would, he'd like a moment of your time to speak with you about life here in the city."There's a murmur through the crowd at that. You get the impression they don't have visitors from aboveground often.>Question the workers.>>Suspiciously>>Openly>>Bewildered>Let Saeri lead the conversation.>Walk the fields with the workers.> Leave for another part of Poinstmar (specify)>Other
>>34651494>Walk the fields with the workers>Question them openly
>>34651494>>Question them: OpenlyCan we taste the fungus they're growing?
>>34651494>Walk the fields with the workers.>Question the workers.>Openly>Bewildered
You step forward, giving the workers a small wave as you do so. "I'd be pleased with a moment of your time," you acknowledge, "But don't let me take you away from the important work you're doing. Allow me to walk with you in the fields, so I might learn more of you."Saeri looks surprised as you walk with the workers back into the compost fields. She trails behind at a short distance, carefully stepping to avoid marring her dress with the wet earth.As you trek through the mushrooms, you learn that the workers are more than willing to talk about their trade. Organic waste from the city that isn't infectious or tainted is sent to the farms to be composted. The root vegetables and fungi are the city's main source of nutrition, supplemented only by the occasional hunting party from the surface. The workers grow over a hundred strains of shrooms, with different tastes, textures, and nutritional values. It's enough to make your head spin. A city fed by fungus.The working conditions, you find, are unforgiving. To feed such a large city, there must be a large force of workers nigh-constantly attending the various fields around the city. The workers schedule in rotating shifts for meals and sleeping, but they have very little free time. Still, the General recognizes that their work is important, and so they are better compensated for their time than most.You take a moment to speak with a pair of spirits. The water spirit you question, a man with strange, milky eyes is amiable enough, informing you that Poinstmar is a welcome refuge from the wasteland above. He has his own domain within the city, and is well-liked amongst his peers.The last figure you talk to is one that takes you by surprise. While walking the vegetable fields, you encounter the missing piece of the equation: a light spirit, bent at the knee, crooning gently to the flowers. He's difficult to look at directly, but you get the vague impression of man around your height.(Cont.)
The spirit introduces himself as Ta-Kri. He, like the water spirit you spoke with before, originally roamed the surface before conditions above become unlivable. He seems to regard his presence within the fields as something of a personal mission; "To bring light to the darkest places," he says with a small chuckle. He clearly misses the surface, but Pointsmar is his home now, and he's happy to help it thrive. He is one of two such spirits in Pointsmar, and so he is constantly rotating amongst the fields to ensure the vegetables do not wither for lack of light.When you return to Saeri, you're covered with dirt up to your shins and tired, but pleased with the depth of your investigations. She turns, looking out over the city below you. For a mass of oversized stalagmites in a gloomy cavern, it manages to remain impressive."So," she says, "What now? I should think the General would like to speak with you, if you're ready."> Return to the General to make your final decision.> Visit another part of the city.> (Optional) Spend some time with Saeri before you return.> Other.
>>34652182>> Visit another part of the city.>> (Optional) Spend some time with Saeri before you return.
>>34652182>Talk to the General
>>34652182>(Optional) Spend some time with Saeri before you return.I'd kind of like to talk with our spirits first and get their counsel as well.I can't help but feel like we're really missing something here, but it's been so long that I don't know what that is.
>>34652182>> Visit another part of the city.>> (Optional) Spend some time with Saeri before you return.>> Get her to take us to her favourite spot.
>>34652358This, if we could get the impression of the spirits that are willing to talk with us
>>34652368I guess we could do that, because I don't really have any other ideas on where else we'd like to go.But I don't know, asking her to show us her favorite part of the city doesn't seem like it'll make our ultimate decision any easier.Speaking of, have we made any more progress on that? I feel like we should be talking a lot more than we are.
>>34652182Is it possible to take someone with us into the spirit realm or something similar, where we can question them without Saeri or somebody/something magical watching over them? Could we use Thane for something like this?
>>34652524It's been so long, I can't remember. Did we visit the forges? >"Organic waste from the city that isn't infectious or tainted."Maybe look into this a bit more? What classifies it as tainted?
>>34652524Like, so far we haven't seen anything damning, which is probably because Saeri's been guiding us, and also because the General controls the city.But he still seems like he has an unsustainable model which drains resources, forces the survivors to join Pointsmar, which necessitates even more resources, and if he doesn't stop he'll not only destroy our village, he'd also spark a war with that Moon Empire.But the only way to stop him is to destroy Pointsmar itself, killing thousands, and in our vision quest we chose to have the metal and plants grow in harmony.
>>34652661That was the first place we visited, it's powered by geothermal energy, but since the process isn't perfect they need to supplement that by burning everything, including corpses.I think the forge might also be attracting powerful monsters that feed off the heat, like that deep siren we barely slew.
>>34652667Also, let's not forget that corpse cloud we found back in the Mountains.Tryd said it was sending a message, but to what end? The General used to do it, but said he stopped, and you'd think if he was lying he'd do a better job covering it up.But then was someone trying to frame him? Or was it an execution of a criminal?
>>34652661We should get more info on this, as well as the correctional facilities.
>>34652897>the correctional facilities.Yeah, we were promised this right?
>>34652856All in all, I feel like this might be kind of inappropriately advanced for our second mission into the outside world, what with the might have to singlehandedly destroy a city-state, and the implications that the longer we tarry, the more likely something terrible will happen to our village.Especially since no one seems to be in the thread.
"Almost," you assure her with a nod. "I have perspective from the depths of the city, from the slums, from the markets and the fields. But I'm missing a fairly critical component, here."She turns, raising an eyebrow. In the dim light of the cavern, it almost appears as if her eyes are glowing. It's entirely possible that they are, you realize. Her magic is another unknown quality to add to the situation."I'll need your help," you continue, turning to look out over the city again. "I want you to take me to your favorite place in the city."There's a moment of silence as Saeri stares at you, processing your request. After a moment she turns away, staring contemplatively at the darkened streets. "Alright," she says. "We're pretty close, anyway." You think you detect a genuine smile, not the political mask she's been wearing, but it's difficult to tell as she turns to step down the ramp.You walk side by side with her in silence for a time. She seems nervous, suddenly, her hands clasped in front of her as she quickens her steps. You walk a little ways toward the city, then veer to the east. You come to a halt in front of a small cavern entrance, little more than a sloping hole into the ground. Saeri takes you by the hand, leading you inside.For a moment, it's a perilously dark journey. You feel a tinge of paranoia creep over you as Saeri leads you deeper and deeper into the cavern. Is this a trap? With her abilities, it would be a simple matter for her to leave you for dead down here, if not worse.When she stops, your hand goes to your bow. A small mote of blue light winks into being over her hand, then flares bright. You tense--(cont.)
>>34653100While I'm at it, I'm mildly surprised that our master Overwake never encountered these guys in the past. They seem relatively close by, and he had that magic map.
>>34653149I wonder if this is that waterfall she showed us in her vision?
And your jaw drops.The cavern around you is a scintillating, dazzling display. Hundreds of crystals, all grown at unbelievably straight angles, adorn the walls and the ceiling. The phantasmagoric colors overwhelm you for a moment, but as the light in Saeri's palm wanes, so too does the display around you."It's not much," she admits, "But it's far and away my favorite. The crystals here interfere with the General's awareness, so I come here to get some time to myself, when I feel the need. It's not that he spies on me," she adds hastily. "He can't help but be aware of the city as a whole."> Ask for the truth. You're away from prying eyes.>Appreciate the view. No need to spoil the moment.> Other
>>34653200>> Ask for the truth. You're away from prying eyes.This city can't and won't be allowed past the mountain
>>34653200>Ask for the truth. You're away from prying eyes.I'd like to ask about the diseases, and if Pointsmar is sustainable, maybe even that corpse cloud we detected, like ask if that's how Pointsmar executes criminals maybe?But even though the General can't hear us, she still seems loyal to his cause.
>>34653200>Ask for the truth. You're away from prying eyes.
>>34653200>>Appreciate the view. No need to spoil the moment.
>>34653277That doesn't seem like a very diplomatic thing to say.Even if it is mostly accurate.
One thing to keep in mind is that if we start destroying the city, Saeri will likely try to stop us.And she'll likely succeed as well.
[[ Going to get some lunch to let the afternoon crowd filter in. Please throw in some suggestions for what you would like to ask Saeri about. The General? The corpse cloud? The forges? I'll tally a list when I get back and take the highest voted three.]]
>>34653606>General>Corpse Cloud>Forges>Ever-expanding growth and territory>Unusable or infectious waste
>>34653606I don't fucking know. Corpse Cloud, Diseases, the Forges (in potential monster attraction and general sustainability)?
>>34653606The history of Pointsmar. Where it is from, how it came to be, what its current status is and what plans it has for the future.
>>34653200>> Ask for the truth. You're away from prying eyes.I am sure there is some nasty truth and it is just waiting for us to dig deep enough.
>>34653606Fuck. Too many.Sustainability is a big one. Anon's have talked about this before. Eventually the city will grow to the point where it is unable to support itself and the refugees it displaces. That's a huge problem. Is it worth scarring the land for centuries to have a good city for a few decades?Corpse cloud is certainly an important thing to talk about. Bluntly ask if they burn prisoners, perhaps?Finally: How much of what is said is due to the General's influence? The people cannot speak their minds if they get thrown into the forges for treason when they speak against it.
>>34653606I'm still not sure what to think of the Corpse Cloud.Is it a smoking gun that will turn the General hostile once he finds out we're onto him? Is it just a ruse of some sort?
>>34653606Ask her how the fuck does a city underground where people are worked too hard is worth making the below ground a wasteland.
>>34653606Could we ask Thane if it is possible to create a temporary pact that make sure she can't lie? Like if both parts sacrifice some blood to do it?
>>34653791We'll need to find it though.>>34653819I guess asking how the General treats dissidents is a big question as well, but we have so many other issues to raise.
>>34653819Maybe that last one can be modified to a more open-ended question on the general's leadership? Like whether or not you're allowed to talk about certain topics, and how crimes are punished, etc.
>>34653835And the above ground as well, somehow?That's the bigger problem.
>>34653200Every city or town has a bad side. What is the one here?
>>34653839Are we even capable of just asking Thane things? I thought it was an arduous process just getting in touch with him.
>>34654029We already saw it I think. Remember when those guys foolishly tried to kill Saeri?
The lord of restrain was right.But SHEEEEIIT how will we be able to tear a motherfucking spirit that's a goddamn city while being in this said city?
>>34653819Yeah even with all the dangers of disease and overwork, the city still doesn't have enough power to support its populace, and it seems like attempts to accumulate more resources will also lead to an increased population.On the other hand, is that really a good issue to raise, since a possible solution is leaving no survivors.
>>34654424Could be, only to prove who between the Tyrant and the General is the real persona.
>>34654364We were already told how.First.we need to collapse the Demon Pits, probably using Cordia, then we extinguish the Fellfire at the main building, maybe using the Deep Siren to absorb it, and then tear the Tyrant apart.Not sure what specifically made you think the Lord Restrained was right at this point though.
You give it a few moments more. The silence echoes harshly off of the curling crystal around you, but it may be preferable to what comes next. In that silence, you are unfortunately given a chance to ruminate on just how far you are in over your head. You're barely a man yet, and already you are being asked to decide the fate of a thousand people you do not know. Politics and espionage are not your strong suit. You fervently hope that soon, you will be able to return to the relatively simple peace of your village."Saeri, tell me the truth," you say. "This city--it's been lovely in our little tour, but you're not showing me everything. The wasteland above is proof that this fortress is not a sustainable model for life. How far is this going to go?"She draws a sharp breath, her shoulders tensing. Though her back is to you, you can see the slow exhalation of breath, the forced relaxation of the muscles below pale skin. "The General needs a little more time," she says quietly. "He's almost perfected his new array for harvesting power from the blood of the earth. Another few months and Pointsmar might be completely self-sustained. But--"She turns, regarding you carefully. Her gaze is cool, but not cold. "But you're not going to give us a few months."You fold your arms, resisting the urge to heave a sigh. "I don't know. All know is, as things are now, I cannot allow you to cross the Ikren. My home cannot become the blighted ashes above yours."Another tense silence. This one lasts only a few seconds before you speak again."You burn your prisoners, don't you?"She frowns at that, eyes narrowed. It is her turn to fold her arms before her chest, head canting to one side. "Those sentenced to death, yes. Traitors, murderers. Unsalvagable beasts. They can contribute to Pointsmar in some small way before they die."(cont.)
"And whose judgement declares those people beyond saving? The General, I assume," you say, leaning against a crystalline protrusion on the wall. "His influence pervades the city. It seems to me that everything I have seen is what he wants me to see.""He has no reason to lie to you, Osyki," Saeri mutters. "If he didn't want you here, if he wasn't open to being diplomatic and reasonable, he'd have killed you himself. Or had me do it, out in the mists. He's not a monster anymore. He's-- everything that he was, he's changed. Mastered. He's a spirit unlike any other. Some people call him corrupt for daring to stray from his instinctual base, but I think it's civilized.""Burning people alive is civilized?""Excising diseased growths before they have a chance to spread. Keeping people happy and safe."She seems on the verge of saying more, but with a flip of her hair, she bites her tongue. When her eyes find you again, she watches you cautiously.> Alright. I've made my choice. Take me to the General.> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.> Don't be upset with me. There's too much at stake here to take your word for it.> Other
>>34654556actually, it said something similar to tear his corrupted form down plate by plate.Considering that the General /IS/ the city...well I think we'd have to actually destroy pointsmar.
>>34654967>Another few months and Pointsmar might be completely self-sustainedHow long as this city "lived" anyway?We might be able to take a few refugees and have them live in the mountains/forest/swamp, but in no way we can take them all Or let the city cross over as it is
>>34655145Isn't the mist being destabilized by the destruction of the lands and stuff? If so, what happens when it reach critical mass and stuff like the spiderthing we had to hid manifest itself in the real world? Is it that kind of shit she wants us to let roam in our lands?
>>34655145> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.
>>34655145Ask if harnessing the power of the Earth is really as safe as it sounds?Like that Deep Siren was drawn here by the Forge, and I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't... Things dwelling beneath the surface, behemoths slumbering in molten stone, who could be awoken by the forge.
>>34655145>> Don't be upset with me. There's too much at stake here to take your word for it.This is getting out of hand, and is going far beyond our original expectations. We may not have to fight the General, but also the city itself along with Saeri.We're outnumbered, and outgunned. We're going to either have to leave right now, and literally bring the sky down on their heads or decide on something else.
>>34655145>> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.>> Don't be upset with me. There's too much at stake here to take your word for it.
>>34655356>>34655351Telling her we don't trust her is an absolute shit idea, we might as well get along for now and get more information.
>>34655145>> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here."You're saying that this way is right, just, that people may flourish, and yet, you still hide something from me.""Something, perhaps, you believe will affect my judgement, or cause me to dislike the general, and it is for that reason that I /must/ know it.""The lives of my people are at stake, and I cannot make this decision without knowing what I'm getting into. "
>>34655145> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.The fact is that we've been here for a day. We don't know enough. We want to find a way to make this work out for everyone. We just don't have the information we need to do it. How fast does Pointsmar, in its current configuration, drain the land it passes through? If we know that, then maybe we can come to a conclusion. I think we need to travel to the surface and go deeper into the wastes
>>34655145>> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.
>>34655145>He has no reason to lie.He has every reason to lie. Lying will probably make the difference between Pointsmar being eradicated by Spirittalker Batman and it getting a delicious mountain.I wonder if Saeri has ventured far from her home. I wonder if she's seen a sunrise or a sunset from a mountain pool, seen the red slowly creep across the edges of the mountains. If she's seen the verdant green forests, teeming with life. Or if she's entered the wonderful domains of the spirits and seen the beauty they can weave. Would she destroy it all and betray her allies for a maybes and mights? Would she displace more people and eradicate their culture for a vague assurance that it will be alright? Could she destroy the place her family has remained in for generations?Would she go against the warnings from wise and venerable spirits as old as the earth itself for an uncertain future? I'm going with "fuck this general asshole."> Alright. I've made my choice. Take me to the General.
>>34655145What is the fellfire?
>>34655145>>34655480Meant to add that to> I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.
What was life before Poinstmar?Surely it wasn't rose and candy shit but certainly it couldn't have been THAT bad.Was creating a land eating roving city the only solution they had? Who decided to do that anyway?
>>34655449Here's the thing: I don't think Saeri is as loyal to the general as she's trying to imply. She's in a place where he can't sense her clearly, but his senses are blurred, not obscured. As she told us, the only place it's safe to talk is in our inner worlds. So I don't know what she's saying she truly believes or not.
>>34655480The fellfire is the other name for the forges
>>34655145I know she believes what she's saying about a few months being enough to fix everything, the General probably believes it as well.But is that belief based in reality or is it the sunk cost fallacy in action?
>>34655598That's the demon pits I think.
>>34655145>I need to know more. This is the most information I've gathered since I've been here.Be honest with me. How long has "just a few months until it is finished" been the current status? How long have Pointsmar been doing this?
"I need to know more, Saeri. Understand that, in all the time I've been here asking questions, this is the most information I've gathered. The fact that it didn't come out until we were already obscured from the General is troubling."She bites her lip, looking away. The colors of the cavern play over her form in strange, oily waves of light."You're saying that the city is fine, that you're making progress, but you're still hiding things from me. Something that might cast the city, or the General, in a bad light. Be honest with me: How long has "just a few months" been the estimate on the General's newest solution?""...About a year," she admits. "But I've seen the progress with my own eyes. He shares his plans with me. It's not just grandstanding."You press on. "How long has Pointsmar been bleeding the world around it dry? How much does the land around the city have to suffer before it becomes too much?" You take a step toward her, unfolding your arms and gesturing to the crystals. "Pointsmar is vast and incredible. But it is not the only vast and incredible thing in the world, and a mountain or an ocean does not destroy the world around it for the sake of remaining an impressive whole."She's silent, still, her eyes averted. Her brow is furrowed now. Thinking."What do you want, Osyki? What do you want from me?"You get the distinct impression that they are two separate questions.> Free.
>>34655849I want what is best for the worldand, I want you to help me
>>34655849I want the thruth, I want it so I can think of something that will help both parties without sacrificing the future of the other.
>>34655969Kind of lame, revise it.
>>34655849"I wish for the safety of the people. Not just the people of my village, but those of the Pointsmar as well. I want coexistence. I want a solution where nobody has to die. I want a bright future for us all. And I want you to help me with that."
>>34655849I want the whole truth, I want to hear what you think, I want to make the right decision here, and I want your support.
>>34655992Go ahead bro
>>34655449Here's the thing, if he put his mind to it, the General could.easily kill us. Saeri could as well.If our success is dependent on our opponents not wanting to hurt us, then it's hard for me to think we're.doing the right thing.Also we need to be a lot more diplomatic with how we phrase things.
>>34655849Might as well tell us our order was to raze the city to the ground, but we stayed our hand in order to find a peaceful resolution if possible. It'll only be achievied by knowing everything that could help.
>>34655849"I just want to know what I should do. I barely know what I'm doing here besides that I've been told by some very powerful and very old spirits that they want me to kill the general. Yet here I am, trying to figure out what the RIGHT thing to do is, and I can't do that unless you help me. All I want from you is to help me. I've been totemist of my village for only a few weeks and I'm struggling here. I don't want to destroy this place, so give me another option. Look me in the eye and tell me there's something else I can do."
>>34655849"What I want is peace. A totemist is not a warrior or a fighter. A totemist is first and foremost a negotiator and an advocate for balance and peace. To successfully reach the best agreement for all parties i need to have the honest information from all parties. And i want you to be honest to me. Not just as my duty as a totemist, but also because i want to trust you. There is something about you that resonates deep within me, but i feel i can't really understand you before you tell me the whole truth.
>>34655849"I want to know what you were doing talking to the Lord Restrained. I saw you there in his court, Saeri, don't try to deny it. What did he say to you?"
>>34655849I was ordered to raze this city to the ground. To destroy it. To kill the general and stop this engine of destruction before it could harm my village or the spirits that protect it. After you attacked me and the corpse cloud, I had no doubt in my mind. But I've seen the city. It's wonderful. I've never seen so many people in one place, working together as one. It's amazing. But I can't ignore my mission. I am sworn to protect my land, yet the only way to do that is to stop this city. If I stop this city, those who live here will die. There is no way they can live on the surface. But I can't let you raze my home to the ground. And thus I am faced with a dilemma. Condemn my people to a slow death, or leave a thousand people homeless. Neither option appeals to me. I am a totemist. I am the first and only line of defence against threats to my people; all people. I want a future where everyone is happy. Where no-one suffers due to my actions or inaction. Where what could be fighting is replaced with co-operation. I want you to help me.
>>34656275Well we could always try changing the generals mind.
>>34656261This on top of whatever else we chose please
>>34655849A combination of these two>>34656275>>34656261
>>34655849"I want a mutually acceptable solution. I bear no ill will for the citizens of Pointsmar, and my time among them has only grown my respect for them.I don't want to have to destroy Pointsmar, or die trying, to keep my village safe, nor do I want the rivers of my home tainted black with ash and my forests burned for fuel.My Master would have decided on a course of action by now and one way or another this would have been resolved, but I'm young, inexperienced and far outside any experience I've had. I want to do the right thing, and I don't know how."
>>34655849"I want to be a Totemist, someone who strikes.a balance, not an enforcer, whether of the Stone Emperor or the Lord.Restrained himself And I want you to be true. True to me, yourself, whatever. Just tell me what you want from me."
>>34656147>but also because i want to trust you.this is good
Okay, I think I have an idea: The Grand Forge can't be shut down, because the General has tied his essence to it so fully that to turn it off would turn him off. What happens if we find another energy source for him? Namely, Osyki. We bind the General as a totem, cause him to be diminished but not destroyed, and use that as an opportunity to modify the Grand Forge. Shutting it down completely would make it easier to work on, too. We can relocate the people of Pointsmar to somewhere over the mountains during this, so they'll be safe without the life support the General's machines provide. Then when everything's through and Pointsmar is perfected, we put it all back together and unbind the General.
Just wanted to say I cant participate because I am already half asleep but I will be reading this in the morning for sure.
>>34656261I forgot about that. Yeah that's probably really important.
You take a moment to center yourself before you answer. Check your impulse, reign in the reactionary side. Your role here is an ambassador and a diplomat. You'll need to act like it to avoid tragedy. A flash of flowers and steel-- purple and red and yellow and silver--fills your mind for a moment. What do you want?"I was ordered to destroy this city," you tell her. You see her eyes harden, but you press on. "To destroy it. To kill the general and stop this engine of destruction before it could harm my village or the spirits that protect it. But I've seen the city. It's wonderful. I've never seen so many people in one place, working together as one. It's amazing."You run a gloved hand carefully over the fantastic crystals on the wall. Like metal flowers, you think. Blooms beneath the earth." I can't ignore my mission. I am sworn to protect my land, yet the only way to do that is to stop this city. I want coexistence. I want a solution where nobody has to die." You look up at Saeri. "If I stop this city, those who live here will die. There is no way they can live on the surface. But I can't let you raze my home to the ground. And thus I am faced with a dilemma."She nods, smoothing imaginary wrinkles from her dress with armored hands. "And your duties as a Totemist demand that you protect the world," she says quietly. "That you preserve the balance of the natural world."You nod. " I am the first and only line of defense against threats to my people; all people. I want a future where everyone is happy. Where no-one suffers due to my actions or inaction."You step forward, extending a hand to her.(cont.)
>>34656553We'd need to beat him first, and we can't do that without closing the demon pits, which it seems like they'd have to do whenever they.wanted to move the city
"I want you to help me."For a moment, an expression of surprise flits across her face. Hesitantly, she places her mailed palm in yours."And," you continue, "I want you to be honest to me. Not just as my duty as a Totemist, but also because i want to trust you. So tell me: Why were you talking to the Lord Restrained? I saw you there in his court, Saeri, don't try to deny it. What did he say to you?"Her flinches, and her expression goes dark. Her eyes dart left and right, scanning over the crystals around you."I.." she falters, withdrawing her hand from yours. The gauntlet closes into a fist. "I was asking him to show a little more restraint." Her smile, though extant, is rueful as she speaks. "I knew he sent you here as an assassin, even if the General doesn't wish to believe it. I was trying to explain to the Lord that progress is something to be respected and nurtured, not feared. We-- we didn't see eye to eye, I'm afraid. Your arrival there was a surprise. I didn't know anyone else knew the way."She rubs her upper arm with one hand, gaze downcast. "I'm on the General's side, Osyki, but I'm not beholden to him, and he is not my master. I serve other interests. Other interested parties. And that's all I can say for now."She seems regretful. As if she wishes she could tell you more. Still, her tone is resolute.> Very well. Let's see if the General is as reasonable as you are.> Thank you for your honesty.> I need some time alone to think, if you don't mind.> (Optional) When this is over, you should come back with me.> Other (Write-in)
>>34656896>Time to talk to the General
>>34656850I was actually thinking that we convince him of it, not do it by force. You don't have to defeat the thing you're binding in combat, you just can't have it be resisting you. For a beast the only way to do it is to crush it in battle, but a spirit can agree to help you. That's how Quinn got his bird spirit or we got Amal. Which reminds me, what do our spirits think of this? One of the big advantages of being a Totemist is that you're never without council.
>>34656896>> Thank you for your honesty.need more info, go to the prison or have a look around the wasteland if possible.
>>34656896> Very well. Let's see if the General is as reasonable as you are> Thank you for your honesty.> (Optional) When this is over, you should come back with me.
>>34656896> Thank you for your honesty.> Very well. Let's see if the General is as reasonable as you are.I'd invite her back, but I don't know what that would truly mean, in full.Besides, we already have a love interest and I feel like that relationship would be strained.
>>34657003And get the impressions of all our spirits that can speak
>>34656896> Very well. Let's see if the General is as reasonable as you are.> Thank you for your honesty.> (Optional) When this is over, you should come back with me.
>>34656896> Thank you for your honesty.> Very well. Let's see if the General is as reasonable as you are
>>34657042Seems like some of them can'tThe Turtle and...one more I believe have never spoken to us and don't seem to possess the ability, even when offered something that probably would have made them request it.(that being the elemental earth)
>>34657013>>34657043Please no on the optional, I really don't want this to devolve into a waifu war
>>34657123I want to see if we can convince her that fucking over nature is a bad idea by showing her spirits and shit. Best she gets some other perspective.
>>34657123What? She has information and power, I doubt anyone here would pick the optional because of waifu reasons. I'm against waifus just as much as you probably are but I still think it's a good idea to have her join us.
>>34657094It seems that being converted into a spirit doesn't make a creature any smarter. Anything that was just an animal before won't be able to talk to us. Thane is an exception, but who knows what his deal is? Dude's a spirit of obfuscation, being confusing to casual observation is the entire point of his existence.
>>34656896> Thank you for your honesty.> Very well. Let's see if the General is as reasonable as you are.No to the Optional.
>>34657094That's why I said those that can speak, like Amal, Tryd, Thane, the Skyserpent, though Amal's back in the village I seem to remember and fuck Thane for having us waste time looking for him
>>34656896I didn't think our duty was solely to nature, but more a bridge between nature and civilization.The problem is that right now the General is a danger to both. Like if people chose to live here knowing the risks that'd be one thing, but they don't seem to have any alternatives.
>>34657338He's getting better at it, at least. Used to be we'd have to spend a half hour to summon him forth, now we can do it in a couple of minutes. Either he's warming up to us or we're becoming more used to his power.
You nod, respecting her wishes for privacy. "Thank you," you say. When her eyes rise to meet your gaze, you gesture to her. "For your honesty," you clarify. "It's a difficult position I'm in, and I admit that I am inexperienced in dealing with... well, with any matters even remotely like this. So I appreciate your candor."She nods, her features softening. She's not quite smiling, but she looks relieved, at the least."I'd like a moment alone, and then we'll go see if the General is as open to diplomacy and negotiation as you say."Saeri nods, brushing past you gently. You watch her retreat up the tunnel, dress swaying back and forth as she walks. Maybe when this is all over, you'll ask her to leave with you. You could use someone with her skill to watch your back. That might be idle fancy, of course-- she's admitted that she serves other interests. As Ayren once told you, "Everyone serves someone".You unbind your gloves, your cloak, your bow. The scintillating cavern fills with a kind of hazy mist as you call your spirits forth. Cordia whirls to life in a cloud of jade dust, and Thane stretches in a seat in a convergence of shadows, as if he's been there all along. The massive eye of the Skyscythe Drake opens in the gloom, the light of its gaze backing Amal and Tryd as they, too, shimmer into being.Your council of spirits. Time to get a second opinion.(cont.)
After a brief discussion, it appears that your spirits are divided. Amal and Cordia seem to believe that the General will be open to diplomacy. If you can find a way to buy time for this geothermal array to reach completion, he will no longer need to come over the mountains. The Emperor's domain will be safe, and you will be fulfilled in your duties as a Knight of Stone.Tryd and Thane (who appeared without much of a struggle, for once), unsurprisingly, are recalcitrant to trust at all. Though Tryd admires the Grand Forge, he tells you that you can't trust -any- spirit large enough to have a mobile domain. The General, he says, will say and do anything to keep you off of his back. Thane chimes in that the General, contrary to Saeri's opinion, has -every- reason to lie to you. A Totemist is a powerful enemy to make, after all.The Drake respects the General's power, and thinks that you ought to fuck off and let he and the Emperor duke it out. Survival of the most worthy. When informed that is not an option, it merely scoffs.> Question one of the spirits more directly (Who?)> Go to meet with the General.> Ask your spirits about something else, while they're here.> Take the time to rearrange your bindings.> Other (Write-in)
>>34657694Rebind for combat, just in case, then go meet with the general. Remember that he's probably going to lie his ass off.
>>34657694> Go to meet with the General.
>>34657694>> Other (Write-in)Talk shit with them, ask them if they'd want to stay in a preferred piece of equiment or something.
>>34657694> Ask your spirits about something else, while they're here.If it comes to it, if we can't resolve this peacefully, how do we stop the General? He's an entire living city. Osyki's strong, far stronger than any Totemist this green should be. But that's not going to be enough. Do any of them have any ideas?
>>34657694> Question one of the spirits more directly (Who?)Try and talk to the siren, it should have some inside information if it can speak.
>>34657694>Question one of the spirits more directly (Who?)To all of them in general: "Is there anyone that knows of a way to magically bind him to any promise he makes? If we reach some sort of agreement i wanna be able to return home knowing he won't break it while i am gone."
>>34657694>>34657879Seconding this I guess.
>>34657849Everything.seems straightforward until the whole "plate by plate" thing.
>>34657849If a Thane binding can hide our presence, then we should be fine. We can go full Batman on this city. We're far stronger than any individual apart from the General, and we can just avoid him
>>34657849The city is an embodiment of greed, devouring everything around it. Modi Magni would probably be more than happy to give a good deal of help.
>>34658078Oh shit totaly forgot about rip'ntear magni.
>>34658031Exactly. We can fight a powerful spirit, but destroy his entire kingdom? I'm not sure we could do that even if we went into Elemental Corruption mode and went wild with Cordia. Modi Magni might, as >>34658078 suggests, might be able to hold off the General while we work. But that would still leave use with an incredibly daunting task.
>>34658129Yeah, even though he is pretty OP he should only be used as a last resort. Batmanning the city wouldn't be very effective, as the general IS the city.
>>34658157>Modi Magni might, as >>34658078(You) suggests, might be able to hold off the General while we work.As a greater avatar of wrath he would probably be able to kill the general himself. But we can't afford to let him get to powerful and getting out of control.
You eye the Siren's Heart warily. You know that the beast inside is under your control now-- you bested it, fair and square. Despite that reassurance, your side aches as you pour your focus into the corkscrew gem. It shines, and immediately a low trilling sound fills the air. You open your eyes to see your spirits staring at the bulky figure filling the narrow tunnel.It's larger than you remember it, and the rocky armor has hardened into spikes of black chitin. A hundred eyes glow with burning red light as the spirit of the Siren regards you, silent save for that trilling song."Put it away, Totemist," Thane says, apparently the only one of your spirits not immediately put on edge by the thing. "It's an insect. Not up to polite conversation."You decide that, in this instance, it may be best to take the shadowy spirit's advice.You take some time swapping your bindings around, preparing for potential combat. You don't want to walk into the General's tower armored and armed to the teeth, but you need to be able to fight at a moment's notice. You arrive at a reasonable compromise.>Current loadout:Boots: Cloudwalker's StrideBow: Plummeting StonePants: Velociraptor's GreavesCloak: Nocturne's EmbraceShirt: Vestus QuiesWhich leaves you with the Razor Wing and the Siren's Heart Foci to bind.> Edit Bindings> Proceed to the General's Tower> Other
>>34657694as a spirit with a body, the Iron Tyrant isn't bind-able, is he?
>>34658446[[The chances of success with a Feral Bind would be much lower than that of a beast. There are other methods for binding a spirit, but your research on them is on a case-by-case basis. You could attempt to wing it, but that is dicey at best.Of course, with the spirit's consent, the entire process becomes much simpler.]]
>>34658397> Edit BindingsRazor's Wing on sword, Siren's Heart on gloves.
>>34658397We probably don't need stealth for this, I reckon we can trade the cloak out for Edge of Dawn.Or just stick the siren's heart in there and see what happens
>>34658397Can we try to find more items to bind our spare spirits? Mask pls.
>>34658530Pretty sure they're untested. However, go ahead. They're not likely to be detrimental.
>>34658569Razor's wing on sword is tested, Siren's heart is not.
>>34658397>Edit BindingsPutting the razor wing in the cloak gives us the wings that shoot fireballs doesn't it? We should get those, we need to be loaded for bear not set up for stealth.
>>34658397so the gloves, chainmail & sword haven't been bound yet, and we have 2 foci left. only know combo is the razor wind and sword: Dawning Zephyr
>>34658397> Edit BindingsWell, we have some free Foci so let's test out some new bindings. Let's put Siren's Heart in our sword, and try Razor's wing in something else, maybe our gloves or chainmail.
>>34658626We also have our mirror.
>>34658397> Edit BindingsSiren's Heart to gloves. The Deep Siren was a creature of flame, yes, but it fueled that flame by absorbing ambient energies. And glove bindings tend to let us physically manipulate the theme of the spirit. So combining them should enable us to grasp and parry energy attacks without being as obtrusive a defense as using it for armor would. The General is a spirit of earth, but he's definitely picked up some fire. I want energy defense.
>>34657694>> Ask your spirits about something else, while they're here.What do they think about Saeri?> Take the time to rearrange your bindings.Rebind for combat. Right now we're leaning to peace but if the general decides that our terms are unacceptable well then we wont' have time to be rebinding right then
>>34658397Why do we have Vestus Quies? That muffles any sounds we make. That's not very useful if you're going to be negotiating.
>>34658397Suggested LoadoutBoots: Cloudwalker Stride, enables powerful jumps [est. 20 feet straight up], safe landingsBow: Plummeting Stone. Sends resonant waves through pierced targets, shattering them with powerful seismic waves.Pants: Velociraptor Greaves. Boosts Osyki's running speed, increases jumping distance. Provides a modicum of lower body protection.Armor: Vestus Sonitus: Reacts to powerful blows with an equal wave of concussive sonic force.Cloak: Edge of Dawn. A pair of powerful wings bound to an ornate amulet, usable as blades or to produce orbs of volatile sunlight.Siren's Heart to GlovesFanged Stalker to Amulet?
>>34658672I was thinking the same thing. I suspect it's because we're trying to avoid being overt. It might be more useful on the bracelet though (record and playback sounds)
>>34658715I like this. What else do we have on us that we could put the fanged stalker into?
>>34658397I think the time for stealth is over. Remove the Fanged Stalker from the cloak, and Crystal Scale from the Shirt. Try the Fanged Stalker in a Sword or Dagger, it should make a good side weapon.Put Siren's Heart in the cloak, I don't know exactly what it'll do, but I wager it'll be handy.Try out Razor Wing in our shirt. And put Crystal Scale in something new, some sort of mask if we can, amulet otherwise, I'm hoping for some sort of tremorsense which would be invaluable underground.
>>34658795How about the sword? we might get an invinsible blade
>>34658715Only problem I see is Vestus Sonitus. Walking into a peace talk in heavy armor might give the wrong message.>>34658795the mirror is the only other thing i can think of (unless we brought the shovel)
>>34658834God damn finding masks seems to be harder then finding gold.>>34658853Good idea.>>34658868I doubt it would make much difference considering all the weapons Osyki is going to be bringing.
After a moment's consideration, you change a few bindings around.>Current Loadout:Bow: Plummeting StoneBoots: Cloudwalker's StrideCloak: Edge of DawnPants: Velociraptor GreavesArmor: Vestus SonitusWith your final totems, you decide to roll the dice. Thane's pelt is fused (without, you notice, the usual flash of light) into the sword you keep belted to your hip. The blade warps and twists, one edge growing dull, the other spiking in minute, serrated spines.> [Binding Discovered: Nyx's Kiss.]The Heart, you press into your gloves in an explosion of ruby light.> [Binding Discovered: Fist of the Mantle.]The resulting gauntlets-- and they are gauntlets, armored with that same spiky black chitin-- are each set with a glowing ruby gem. When you flex your fists, the gems shine with light, and the air around you seems to grow chill. You refrain from experimenting further in such tight quarters.Loaded for war, hoping for peace, you make your way up the tunnel steps.Saeri regards you with muted surprise as you emerge from the cavern. You are, after all, quite a sight. Your armor, crystalline and green, tapers off to gauntlets of dark shell. The necklace round your throat gleams with restrained sunlight. In your left hand is your spear, and at your side, a serrated blade. With every step you bleed sparks. With every motion, the bow on your back hums.You are, all things considered, a monster in your own right."I hope you know what you're doing, Os--Totemist," she says, gesturing for you to follow. "The General is waiting."Now, you find, you are the one given a wide berth in your passage through the streets. When you arrive at the tower, Saeri pauses."I'll wait for you down here," she says. "This talk-- I think it ought to be just the two of you."> Wish me luck.> Are you sure?> Thank you again.> Other (write-in).
>>34658924we've talked about masks some, but haven't taken the time to acquire one.We only only a bow & a sword/knife & the gloves if they're bound to Cordia for weapons, although that is plenty by normal people standards.
>>34659118>MEGAMAN GAUNTLETS ACQUIRED>Thank you again
>>34659118>> Thank you again.
>>34659118> Wish me luck> Thank you again.
>>34659120Shit we could of taken some of that sirens chitin to make into a mask.
>>34659118>> Wish me luck>> Thank you again.Welp, lets hope this works
>>34659118> Wish me luck.IT'S TIMETO NEGOTIATE
>>34659267>BIG MODI, IT'S SHOWTIME!
>>34659344What happens if we bind a totem into a statue?
>>34659118> Thank you again.> Other (write-in)."Thank you for your help, Saeri. I have one more favor to ask of you, though: If it does come to blows, contain the damage. I won't ask you not to act against me, but please make protecting the city your priority. You've seen what happens when I cut loose. I meant it when I said I don't want to harm Pointsmar."
>>34659396Technically if it comes to blows we do mean to harm pointsmar.
>>34659438You know what I mean. Undue harm, unrelated to destroying the General. It's the difference between tearing down the city and crushing everyone within it under the rubble.
You move to walk past her, but pause at the doorway. She blinks in surprise as you put a hand on her shoulder."Thank you again, Saeri," you tell her. "With your help, I hopewe can negotiate a peaceful accord to a difficult situation.""Says the man in plate armor," she mutters. Still, the gentle admonishment comes with a smile."Wish me luck," you say, suppressing a chuckle as you head inside."...Good luck, Totemist," you hear her say. It's said quietly, almost with a touch of melancholy. When you look behind you the door has sealed shut, leaving only the towering staircase before you.Well, then. Time to face the Iron.You ascend.The door to the General's office is open when you arrive. He stands with his back to you in the featureless gray cube, his desk and the chairs on either side of it the only decoration in the cage of metal. The window behind him looks out over the city below-- he's quiet as you make your entrance."Totemist," he says. His tone is reserved, moderated. You can see the metal muscle fibers moving between the plates of his skin. He does not turn. "Take a seat."> Thank you.> I'd rather stand.> I think not. (Attack)> Other
>>34659512> Thank you.We're going to be polite until we absolutely don't need to be.
>>34659512> Thank you.
>>34659512> Thank you.Let's stay polite unless given reason otherwise.
>>34659512>> Thank you.
>>34659438That reminds me, I think our equipment was poorly chosen if our goal was to fight the General.Remember that our first move is to run to the Demon Pits to collapse them, and then extinguish the Fellfire above us, and THEN fight the General.
You step forward, and the chair before you moves of its own volition to scoot you forward before the desk. Another reminder of the General's seeming omnipresence within the city. You swallow quietly.After a few tense seconds, the metal figure turns. You can hear the tiny whirs and whines as he orients himself to regard you sidelong, the pinpoints of red light that serve as his eyes spearing into you. His hands are clasped behind his back in a militaristic posture. Once again, you are reminded of Elder Haine. Quiet in a regal way, demanding of respect."I trust your investigations were satisfactory, if brief," the General says. "I deeply regret that you came to harm in the course of your stay. Allow me to extend my thanks for ridding my forges of that unwelcome pest. I've not seen its kind in some time-- they are exceedingly rare in these times."He continues, turning to face you more fully. The gleam of the city below casts him in sharp chiaroscuro shadows, gleaming plates of white and deep black crevices. The only constant is those piercing eyes. "I should like to hear the report of your findings. I assume you have questions."> Question the General (Write-in).> Inform him of your findings (Write-in).> Ask him about Saeri (Write-in).> Other. (Write-in.)
>>34659748Inform him, he asked us first, and it is his domain. Be polite, leave out anything person or that might be endangering to Saeri.
>>34659748> Inform him of your findings (Write-in).> Question the General (Write-in).maybe play a game of back and forth.The city's amazing for sure, but it was poorly though off creating such a energy inefficient wonder. How long would it take him to perfect his tech so he doesn't bleed the land anymore?Gotta ask how come this city came to be
Whered errbody go?
>>34660093AEQ, Banished and a fresh start are all on at the same time I'm having trouble following them all and responding in each
>>34660093It's kind of a a difficult moment, not sure what to do here.
>>34660093I am unsure what to say and don't want to fuck up.
>>34660157It's just a game bud, and it's by vote anyhow. So if we all vote to be stupid it wouldn't be your fault.
>>34660215But what if I had a stupid idea that everyone thought was a good idea?
>>34660244then that's everyone's fault
>>34659748Talk about the Deep Siren, how I'm not sure if Saeri or ourselves could take.it down individually, and Saeri implied it would be far more dangerous if it could absorb heat from the Grand Forge directly.Ask him what he knows about that kind of monster, like where do they come from and how common are they.
>>34660254But it would be especially my fault.>>34660274We could have probably taken it if it didn't get the jump on us and we were kitted out for a fight.
>>34660274Who gives a shit about the deep siren? This really isn't the time to talk about some random creature.
>>34659748> Inform him of your findings (Write-in).Start by talking about how impressed we were with the people of Pointsmar, more people than we've ever seen in one place striving together for a single goals. How it has its own beauty, and promises a better future. Sure, there were some disconcerting parts, but there were understandable reasons behind what we saw. Then move onto the problems, like the sustainability of Pointsmar, and the long-term dangers of Pointsmar growing, or if others imitate Pointsmar is could lead to an extremely unpleasant arms race between consuming cities, which would be bad for most everything else. If growth like this remains unchecked then it will eventually fall apart and leave naught but ruins behind. Ask further about the geothermal arrays. How they work, if they can keep up with growing consumption, and if they'd draw the attention of things like Deep Sirens or worse creatures lurking below.
>>34659748Explain the results of the investigation, clearly and concisely. "Iron General. You are a spirit who has seemingly become something more than what nature dictated. There are some who regard this as a corruption of the true order. The Lord Restrained deems it worthy of execution, even. But you are the city, and the city is you, and you seem to care for your subjects - They are surviving, thriving, even, and they are happy. Mostly. I don't want to get in the way of that.But what is the cost? The land above is ruined for decades, perhaps centuries, and you have been 'making progress' on a solution to this for a year. How can I trust you not to do the same to my home, and the land around it? How can I trust you to deliver on your promise of salvation to the people of Pointsmar?I think I need to see your research before I can go further. I need to understand what you are trying to do. If you would allow me to summon some of my lesser spirits, I believe they can interpret for me what I cannot grasp myself."Tryd and Amal, specifically. Together, I figure they have a reasonable chance at understanding geothermal power.
>>34659748> Inform him of your findings (Write-in)."My findings have been mixed, General. Your city is magnificent, only a fool would deny that. Your populace seems happy and well taken care of, and any objections I might have to your customs can be dismissed as...let's say 'cultural differences'. But I have serious misgivings about the long-term sustainability of Pointsmar. There are numerous inefficiencies and losses throughout the entire system. And by the migrant nature of Pointsmar, they're likely to only grow as you do. I know, you're working to correct that. If I can give you the time to make your improvements all those fears will be made irrelevant. So tell me this truthfully, General: How close are you actually to completing the Grand Forge? A month? A year? I want to help you. This city is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. But I can't in good conscience let you pass through the mountains unhindered if it would mean that my home and the lands beyond would face the same fate as these wastes."
You report your findings to the General in brief. A city, not without its issues, but clearly filled with happy, prosperous life. An interesting farming structure. A fascinating punitive system.But you have your doubts.You ask the General of his plans. The city is inefficient, energy-wise, and leeches the world around it. The constant rotation of the city of turning the world above into a hellish nightmare. How can you reasonably justify allowing him to pass the mountains?You taper off, lapsing into quiet. Throughout your speech, the General has stared at you, unmoving. After another few seconds of gut-clenching silence (mentally checking over your bindings, being careful not to flex your armored fingers -too- tight) he speaks."I see," he begins. "You appear to be under a few misconceptions, Totemist. Allow me to free you from these shackles of worry."He takes a seat opposite you. Even sitting, he is taller than you would be standing."What Saeri has told you is correct. I am scant weeks from completing the newest prototype of my geothermal array. Contrary to your fears, I do not seek to cross the Ikren Range with Pointsmar, laying waste to the land above in a mad campaign of deforestation. Pointsmar has existed in its current state for nearly a decade. If required, it could continue to do so for a number of decades yet. We are very nearly entirely self-contained. The wasteland on the surface, you see, is the results of the misguided past. One I seek to distance myself from."(Cont.)
>>34660320kinda, what would have happened if we didn't see that one? does he have defences strong enough to repel such monster? If they failed to stop one what would it means for the city and the land(ours) around.Nigga should have a plan for it, and if he doesn't then that's another mark into the "bad idea to let you roam" column
>>34660320I'm asking because even when fully operational, the Grand Forge could still dig too greedily and too deep, and unleash nightmares from a forgotten age.That's vad.
>>34659748> Inform him of your findings (Write-in).I've found more pain than prosperity on Pointsmar. The Great Forge, the heart of this city, It draws monsters (gesture to gauntlets) from the deep that carry terrifying power, and I fear what can be brought to the surface from the deep. Your criminals walk freely through the city, kept in line through magic brands and torture. The farms are a marvel, yet they, like so many other parts of this city, only operate because man and spirit alike can see no other choice. Everyone in this city is a refugee from the lands it poisons and I fear what it will do to my own home in less than a year. (people can add to this if they want)
Ropes of corded metal muscle flex tight as the General steeples his fingers."Those who sent you here to ensure my demise have long memories, and forgive slowly if at all. If that is the path you choose to pursue, I will not bear you ill will. Obligations, like fears, are heavy burdens to operate beneath."He leans forward, looming over you from across the desk. The lights of his eyes flicker, red to green to red again, as he regards you."Should you wish to avoid that path, however, I can offer you an alternative solution. A way to slip the heavy obligations that encircle your hand and your heart in bands of cold iron. An alliance with one such as yourself, to serve as an ambassador and a negotiator for future cities, would be a great boon indeed. A worthier use of your time than a bejeweled statue in a cripple's empty court, I think."> Free.
>>34660421>not intentionally waking nightmares from a forgotten age so you can put them in your shoesDo you even totemist?
>>34660461That doesn't explain shit, call him on that.Refuse
>>34660461A grand offer, to be sure. However my duty is to my people, and I would not have it any other way.
>>34660461I must Refuse.
>>34660507This sounds good.
>>34660461"Fascinating, to think that you can break such binding. Fascinating, but irrelevant. General, my oath is to defend the Stone Emperor's domain. It says nothing of my methods. I want to find a path that satisfies both of us. So please, tell me just why it is that it's so imperative that you cross the Ikrins with such haste, if there is no need for Pointsmar to move yet. Because I really want the answer to be something that doesn't involve us coming to blows."
>>34660461Yea it's about as I expected.Going to have to refuse however, our fist duty is to our people.Counteroffer, if he will be open to trade and further dealings, we can set up such between our peoples. We would certainly enjoy learning from this place and perhaps we can be a boon to one another. After all, we are a totemist, and a totemist is a valuable ally.Still, not too keen on working /for/ him
>>34660461[stains of time intensifies].
>>34660461Is he lying to us, right to our face?If our village wasn't in danger of being overtaken, why didn't.Saeri say so?Also, while I disagree with being his subordinate, I don't see the problem with negotiations, assuming he stays put.What are people intending with refusal?
>>34660461Refuse, tell him we'd be open to take on refugees and trade with him, but as it is his city and him can shove it.
>>34660461"I have no objection to aiding you in future negotiations. Provided, of course, that you can prove the harmlessness of your plans. You told me what Pointsmar is not, General, but not what it is. Why do you need to cross the Ikrins so soon, if you can survive in these lands for decades longer? What are your plans? I want to help you, I really do. But you can't expect me to trust you implicitly when you have put so much time and effort into convincing the rest of the world that you are a brutal tyrant. You need to be more open, or no one will be willing to work with you."
>>34660707>What are people intending with refusalMoving the conversation to negotiations
>>34660461"If I sought a fight one of us would likely be dead by now. I have hoped for a peaceful resolution since I arrived.I am Totemist of my village first and foremost, and I can not forsake this obligation. But I would be willing to act as an impartial party to bridge any metaphorical chasms between Pointsmar and the other cities of the world."Then let's ask some more about the geothermal array, and the "misguided past" he's distancing himself from.
>>34660822I like this response best
You shake your head. "No, General. I must refuse. My oath is to defend the Emperor's domain. I have no constrictions to my methods, and so I will find a path which satisfies us both. My obligation is to my people, first, and I would not have it any other way."The General simply nods. You lean forward in turn, placing your hands on the desktop."If I sought a fight, one of us would likely be dead by now. I've been working toward a peaceful resolution since I arrived. My job, now, is to be the impartial bridge between Pointsmar and the rest of the world. To do that, I need information."Again, the Tyrant nods. "Ask," he states, his tone remaining neutral."Why is it so imperative for you to move over the mountains? If your city is sustainable as it is, I don't see the rush."There is a moment's pause. Then, "Totemist, we subsist here. We survive. We endure." He leans back in his chair, shaking his head with a whine of iron on iron. "We are stagnant. The land above is blighted. We cannot flourish, cannot grow. My people fight to survive. I would have better for them. You can not begrudge me that. With the perfection of my geothermal research, you need not fear your side of the range becoming a despoiled waste like mine. But stagnation is the death of industry, Totemist. I must have new land to settle in before that stagnation drives my people to desperation. New peoples to trade with. Lumber, in moderation. True plant life. Anything but the desolate buzz of dust and death above our--their heads."
>>34661030Cont or write in?
>>34661030Wait, can't he just wait until his geothermal research is completed and then come and ask us again?
>>34661030Would now be a good time to point out our village recently elected to join the Empire of the Moon, the newest.dynasty of the empire our village was a forgotten outpost of?Because depending on how he acts, he could have a good trading partner or a war.
>>34661166We didn't do that. We arranged to trade with them. Big difference. Hopefully. They may just annex us, I admit.
>>34661166no we don't want to tell him that.We are enough of a threat by ourselves.Honestly if osy wanted to murder everyone in pointsmar he probably could with his combined tricks at the moment.
Do we have our map on us? I find it hard to believe that he's drained the resources from everywhere but here.
>>34661030Calling it now he is avatar of industry and progress
>>34661212We didn't agree to become their vassal state?My mistake then.
>>34661244That.was obvious last year. It's also why he's so hard to stop.
>>34661030The desire for a better life for your people is admirable, to be sure. However at the cost of lowering another's life is not acceptable. There must be common ground. Nobody wants a war, it would do far more damage than good.
>>34661030We can open trade routes, give away some much needed suplies and even take on some refugees if that's possible to a certain point.>Don't call it a wasteland, it's the future YOU chose.
>>34661030"Why did it take you until now to say tell me this? The way you phrased Pointsmar's troubles earlier made the situation sound rather more ominous. I've been going about these investigations the wrong way, focusing on damage rather than other consequences. So let's start over, and maybe we can make this work: How long will it take you to traverse the Ikrins? I'll need time to set things up on the other side, but if you linger too long in the mountains the Emperor is sure to object. Would you be willing to make an oath of your own, so as to put him at ease?"
>>34661030"No, I can not begrudge your people their needs. Nor ignore the benefits your presence could bring to my village in trade.Could you tell me more of the array you are constructing? Its current state, and the history of its creation. It appears to be the crux of any plans for sustainable relocation."
>>34661030I'll back this:>>34661324also, why does he need to go to the mountain? why not a different direction?
>>34661327>>Don't call it a wasteland, it's the future YOU chose.I know it's a crack comment, but I like it, dunno how he'd react by having that shoved in his face tho
>>34661470The Ikrin mountains isolate the north-east section of the continent. He needs to cross it to reach new lands, no matter what he does.
>>34661476I'd really rather not. We're trying to work with him, let's not get accusatory.
>>34661526I agree, but it's not accusatory, really, since it's actualy the thruth.
>>34661500>He needs to cross it to reach new lands, no matter what he does.sounds like a different conversation should be happening right now then, more to the tune of minimizing damage to the mountains & forest.
>>34661030"No, that seems reasonable. So let's actually work out the details: How quickly are you going to be moving? How long will it take you to pass through the Ikrins, and once you do how long will you remain in my lands? What sort of resources do you need? My own village is seeking trade partners right now, so I'm sure they'd be willing to trade with your people, but I don't know if we'll be able to spare what you need. And what efforts are you willing to make to placate the spirits of the lands you pass through? Because I can tell you right now that the Mother of the Swamp is going to have trouble with you. Not as much as the Stone Emperor, but she values her isolation. How do you plan on crossing the swamp, anyway?"
>>34661030Is this the part where we raise the idea of sanctions and binding contracts in order to reassure the land spirits that he's not going to.steamroll a mile from whatever inch he's given?
>>34661742Yes. We've gotten him to finally say what he wants instead of dancing around the issue. Now we can actually negotiate.
>>34661695A good post, sir
>>34661695I support this.
You grow quiet. It's true-- you can't begrudge him for wanting better for the people of the city. They're good folk, from what you've seen. But this is not the negotiation you were expecting. Not the conversation you've prepared yourself for. This is a man--a machine?-- seeking new land to settle, not a kingdom to devour. Still, this comes with further complications. Mortal charges aside, the spirits of whatever land the General settles in may be less than pleased with their new occupant. You find yourself growing weary at the thought of negotiating a path through endless territories for Poinstmar to make its advance."Your request is... reasonable," you admit. "But I'm still lacking in details. Your geothermal array-- tell me more about it. Its history, and its current state."The General waves a hand over his desk. The flat metal surfaces depresses, etchings raising from the top to reveal complex schematics. "Originally, the Grand Forge was less sustainable. Below, I mentioned the capacitor at the heart of the machine which absorbs ambient spiritual energies. When the Forge was young, it devoured the land above. Stripped it of its vital energies to produce for my goals. I have become aware of the lack of sustainability of that model with my... progression," he says. The schematic remain in place, but they're indecipherable at first glance. "Since, I have pursued alternative energy sources. When I brought the city below the ground, I realized the potential of tapping the core of the earth for my needs. The Forge was converted for that purpose. It has been continually retrofitted since. This, as you might imagine, unveiled a new series of issues for me."He reclines in his chair, perhaps a fraction of an inch. You take this as a sign to speak.(cont.)
One thing I don't understand.Why does he need to KEEP moving.If he shifts over to the other side and this is as sustainable and intrusive as he says, why would he need to move again?There are a few things that don't add upAnd I keep thinking we need to get him to swear an oath to truth by something powerful
"I see. So you seek a new place, less isolated, less desolate, to stake your claim. How quickly are you going to be moving? How long will it take you to pass through the Ikrins, and once you do how long will you remain in my lands? What sort of resources do you need? My own village is seeking trade partners right now, so I'm sure they'd be willing to trade with your people, but I don't know if we'll be able to spare what you need. And what efforts are you willing to make to placate the spirits of the lands you pass through?"The General considers this. "I am, as you may be aware, bound inextricably to the city. I send envoys in my stead, though I would prefer to negotiate myself. Given time to gather power, in as little time as a month we could have the requisite energy stored to make our trip, though it would exhaust the city. Time of passage over or under the mountains, we will say, would be a week. Conservatively. A city does not move quickly through solid rock. My plans place me to the northwest-- as directly west as possible, for conservation of fuel. Perhaps on the outskirts of the forests, near enough to the ocean to begin a port trade."> Free.
>>34662032How do we ask him to prove his trustworthiness without sounding like a dick?
>>34662068Sadly, we don't
>>34662032>>34662068We can't, because he's lying. He has no incentive to tell the truth, and Saeri would have mentioned the fact that the Pointsmar doesn't bleed the world around it dry in this post.>>34655849She would have said "Actually, it doesn't bleed the land around it dead.". So the General is lying.What is a lie and a few dead forests as a sacrifice to progress?The main problem is that we're both inside of him and right next to him. We're fucked if we try to fight, and if we refuse he'll probably kill us and steamroll over our land. I have no idea what to do other than flip the table, jump out the window and begin our journey back.
>>34662032Okay, this makes things much simpler. Why didn't he open with this? If he had, we could have gotten this over with a year ago. Er, maybe not the best argument, but you get my point. Okay, let's ask him if he's willing to let us contact back home, now. We need to talk to the Stone Emperor with the rune on our hand, and use our Link Pearl to speak with Boand and through her, Sylvianis. Let's get the negotiations started in earnest. See what oaths our employers would require of him in order to trust his intentions.
>>34662032It is likely true that the court I am representing today is not as quick to forgive and trust as myself. I want to give you that chance, to give your people that chance. However, they will need more than just your word and mine in this matter.
>>34662181I don't see why he would offer his hospitality to us if he were lying. He could of just ignored us and continued doing what he wanted
>>34662271Because a Totemist is a baller ass fighter and he want it on his side instead of dismantling his innard.
>>34661030>stagnation is the death of industryLack of planning is also the death of industry
>>34662310We are strong, but not city-fighting-by-ourselves strong. I dunno. Tough call.
>>34662182I am going with this guy.
>>34662408Most of these people are civilians, and could not put up a fight against OsykiTyrant can't protect them all himself.
>>34662440You are implying we would go kill his farmers
>>34662408Does he know that?>"So that dude who picked up the role of totemist a week ago just fucked up a manifestation of the strongest being around.">>"Neat.">"And he's coming to dismantle the crap out of us because we're going to destroy his homeland.">>"Shit.">"And if his growth is constant, he'll probably fuck us up.">>"Shit. REV UP THOSE LIES, CRACK DOWN ON DISSIDENTS, STOP BURNING PRISONERS. WE GOTTA LOOK GOOD"We have a pretty cool reputation.
>>34662440You know, we have no idea how common totemism is. Does the General have his own cadre of low-level totemists? I imagine he'd have to in order to support the Forge. Doesn't mean they'd be combat-capable, though. Likely they're just craftsmen of talismans.
>>34662440I think he means Osyki might not be up to fighting a genius loki city.
>>34662032Bring up a map of the area if we can and take a look at look at his projected path and whose territory the city will be going through. Ask the General if he has considered the sun as a source of power to supplement other methods. Also ask about the likely consequences to the surrounding area if there's some failure in the geothermal system, and the likelihood of a Behemoth or other nasty underground creatures getting drawn in excessive numbers to it.Calling Boand seems like a good idea. She knows a lot about the area which is helpful for planning this out, and can either get us in contact with spirits we need to talk to, or knows about them and can help us get a list together of entities we'll need to chat with.
>>34662490We are the better man
>>34662524What about tidal generators? He said he was going to the shoreline.
>>34662490We are ridiculously powerful for how experienced we are. Diarca said at one point that Master Ayren's training regimen left us with far more power than the average totemist. Osyki's pretty much been conditioned to be some idiot savant of totemism. We don't know all the information we need to, Ayren planned on still being around to complete that part of our training, but what we do know we're ungodly capable at.
>>34662484We wouldn't, but he can't take that chance as a city leader with a mostly unknown entity.Very little idea what we'd get up to, we're new on the scene >>34662507This is true, but even so, Osy could still do a lot of damage. Unless everyone was prepared for him to come and destroy everything he could do a fair bit of damage before anyone could react, even with leaving himself time to escape.Remember how unmolested we were on the way in through the tunnels?If we'd decided to kill everyone in there (a decision we almost made) it would have almost certainly been possible, judging by how little reaction we got to attacking the drone.
>>34662599Oh, I'm not disputing that Osyki can do a lot of damage. Look at how, despite having third degree burns, he still managed to kill and bind a creature powerful enough to endanger the entire city. Granted he had access to healing magic to numb the effect of his wounds, but that doesn't mean it's any less impressive. All I'm saying is that Pointsmar wouldn't be helpless. He's conquered many lands before, I'm sure he has an army stashed away somewhere.
>>34662756Yeah but most of his enemies don't know to first smother the demon pits and then extinguish the fellfire before tearing apart his corrupt body, plate by plate.
>>34662524Maybe we could use the map to check out where the General wants to settle, see if it's stable.
[[Internet returns to me. Post incoming shortly.]]
>>34662181I don't know, I think currently the General isn't denying that Pointsmar will bleed the land dry, he's.just saying that he's almost ready for it not to do that anymore.Though "almost" can take a long time to happen, apparently
>>34663000Did we even work out what we wanted to say?
You recline in your hand, putting a hand to your chin. Logistics. This, you feel comfortable with. You could, reasonably, negotiate with the Emperor and even Sylvia if all the Tyrant seeks is passage. Damage could be kept to a minimum with proper pre-planning, assuming a convenient route could be secured.Of course, the Land Guardians aren't the only factor to consider."Let me see a map of your projected route," you suggest. The General swipes his hand across the table once more, and a grid rises in place of the schematics. Rough approximations of mountains and forests rise on your side of the table. On his, the flat, cracked plain of the wasteland, with Pointsmar marked by a glowing pin."As I said-- as straight west as possible," he indicates. A dotted line rises to illustrate the route. It would put him a ways northwest of Grisoch by your estimations, nestled a fair distance in the grasslands between the forests and the mountains. "Burrowing through the mountain would be vastly more expedient than climbing it, but the city is capable of either feat, given time. I understand the Emperor--" he says the title with, perhaps, a trace of amusement, "--might have reservations about a massive hole in his mountain chain."You nod. "And if your geothermal generator fails? I won't have my land drained to the last because of a catastrophic failure of some sort."The General drums heavy metal fingers on the table. "I had considered bringing Pointsmar to the surface in a more permanent fashion," he tells you. "The Grand Forge could be extended deeper underground, while the energy needs of the majority of the city would be alleviated by natural resources. On this side of the peaks, obviously, that model is no longer an option."You put a hand to your armored chest. "I need some time to consult with the spirits back home. Would you allow me to unbind my palm and make contact?""So long as you remain within this chamber," he says, "I have no objections."(cont.)
Slowly, carefully, you slip free the gauntlets on your hands and unwind the runic bandage around them. Immediately, you feel a rush of cool, green energy fill your veins. The link to the Emperor is strong here, even so in the Tyrant's domain. As you clasp you hand to your Link Pearl, you find that connection a bit more tenuous.> Call Boand first.> Contact the Emperor.> Contact both simultaneously.> Other.> What proposal will you present to the one you contact?
>>34663403>BothThen relay all the information we have gathered, once that is done we can come up with someone
>>34663403>bothThis is stupid, but it's goodDOIN IN
>>34663403> Other.Call Boand to give her time to bring Sylvianis in on the conversation, then conference call to the Emperor. Explain to them the situation and all that we've seen to make us give credence to the General's claims. Ask what they'd have us secure from the General in return for their cooperation.
>>34663403>Call Boand first.I don't think it'd be a good idea to talk to them both, the Stone Emperor seems like he'd demand all our attention.
>>34663403> Call Boand first.Go for Boa first. We aren't going to have to negotiate with her for passage given the area of her domain, but she's an excellent source of information and talking to her first can let us get a better idea of how the Emperor will take this and how best to present it to him.Tell her about the plans to move the city, without scouring the land, whose territory the planned path might impinge on, and likely concessions that the important spirits are going to want out of the General.
>>34663403> Call Boand first.
You clasp the Link Pearl tight in your hand, pouring your energy into it. The veins of blue flare to life on the sphere as reaches out through the ether. The General watches with-- interest, you assume. You can't be sure, given his lack of facial expressions at large.Finally, after a long silence, you feel a small -click-. Boand's presence floods into your mind, filling previously occupied crevices you were only dimly aware had been emptied by your trip through the mists."Osyki?" She calls, her voice echoing tinny inside your head. "Is that you?""Boa," you respond, "I need you to get Sylviannis, quick as you can. I'm sitting in the Iron Tyrant's office, attempting to avert a war.""...What?"You break down for her, as quickly as you can manage, the situation. She agrees to fetch Sylvia for you."I don't know about this, Osyki," she mutters while you wait. "The Emperor's never been a reasonable spirit, even at the height of his power. Now, he's bitter and covetous of whatever scraps of power he can retain. I don't know how he'll react to a city walking all over him."There is another click, and you are overwhelmed momentarily by the scent of forest. Sylviannis' voice echoes as well within you, much clearer than Boa."Totemist. Why have you called for me?"> Explain the situation to her and bargain for passage.> Explain the situation to her and ask for advice.> Explain the situation to her and call for backup.> Other
>>34663918Kind of combine 1 and 2 I think?
>>34663918> Explain the situation to her and bargain for passage.> Explain the situation to her and ask for advice.
>>34663918> Explain the situation to her and bargain for passage.> Explain the situation to her and ask for advice.We need to know what she'd require to assure her domain's security. And what she thinks the Emperor would like, as well.
>>34663918> Explain the situation to her and ask for advice.> Explain the situation to her and bargain for passage.It'll probably be easier to convince her to let a city be near her forest, than it will to convince the Emperor to let someone dig a hole through his mountain range. So her advice on dealing with him should be useful.
>>34663918It's too bad it's not possible for her to talk to the General directly, she might know better questions to ask than we do.
>>34663918>> Explain the situation to her and bargain for passage.>> Explain the situation to her and ask for advice.Perhaps we can ask the Tyrant to plug the hole behind him as he digs through the mountains? all that material has to be going somewhere.
>>34664678He said he can have the city go over the mountain, which might be preferable.
>>34664712Either way it's going to be difficult for him. He has to stay close enough to the surface that his people can breathe, but deep enough down that he can access the magma. Tough to do when you're in the mountains
You break down the situation again-- it occurs to you that you'll have to do this explanation at the very least once more before your day is done. Sylvia listens intently, without interruption save one or two clarifications of the Stone Emperor's precise instructions to you. When the situation is laid bare for her, she hums thoughtfully."You are a different animal from Overwake altogether. He'd have razed the city by now, I think. You seem as if you have the situation... balanced. If this General is as good as his word, I have no issue with him settling on the outskirts of the forest, provided his people refrain from engaging in deforestation in excessive degrees. A spirit of his ingenuity could be an asset to our defenses, should the Magus decide to make another appearance, or a Behemoth rear its head. Do please be sure to let him know that if he goes back on his promises, however, I will plant a tree in his ruined remains."Ah, Sylvia. Ever the eloquent conversationalist."What about the dangers of attracting further Behemoths, and the like?""No further danger than what already exists. I've never seen evidence that any monstrosity is attracted to civilization over other, more esoteric locations. They follow a logic entirely their own."You nod."Advice for dealing with the Emperor?""Massage his ego," she says flatly. "Find some way to ensure the Tyrant is indebted to him. He clings at scraps and shreds of power like a drowning man swims for the surface."> Call the Emperor> Ask something else> Other (Write-in)
>>34664760I was under the impression that when the city is mobile, the Grand Forge/Demon Pits wouldn't be active. Like it's not as if he's gonna dig a trench behind him leading to the Earth's molten core.That's why he said it would expend a lot of energy.Indeed, I'm pretty sure the city would be most vulnerable when it's moving, since the Demon Pits would already be smothered and it's possible that he wouldn't be able to maintain the Fellfire either.
>>34664789>> Ask something elseAsk if given enough time if she could regrow the vegetation on the other side of the mountain
>>34664789>> Call the EmperorIt is timeAlso thank Sylvia for her time
>>34664789>call the emperor
>>34664789> Ask something elseDoes she know anything about the Lord Restrained? The Emperor believes him to be a myth, but we definitely met him. Do you think we'll be at any risk of reprisal for not doing as he requested?
"Sylviannis, thank you for your time," you mutter to the pearl. It's not strictly necessary, but you'd rather the General have the idea that you're making some progress, rather than sitting silently in front of him for an interminable duration. Before you sever the link, however, you call to her one last time."Given time and power, do you think you could regrow the vegetation on this side of the Ikren?"There is a moment's silence at that."I don't know," she admits. "The level of devastation you've described is near complete. There's only so much a land can recover from, Osyki. Being drained of spiritual energy on a fundamental level is as complete a death sentence as I can imagine. Still, given enough time and a sufficient reserve of energy, little is impossible for a spirit such as myself. For now, I would recommend you focus on the present."You nod, allowing the connection to lapse.Time for the hard part.The seal on your hand flares to life the instant you move to activate it, jumping at the faintest spark of spiritual energy. The Emperor, it seems, has not been waiting patiently. His vast visage fills your mind, the jewels that form his eyes scintillating with unknown light."Is it done?" he asks. "Have you slain the threat to my domain? I admit, I had thought you deceased when our link was shrouded."> Free.
>>34665122The threat to your domain may not be a threat to your domain for long, although not by means of his death....I have some information to share with you before we continue...
Did we ever find out what it actually means for a spirit to be corrupted?
>>34665122>>34665188I don't know if honesty is the best policy here.What we need to do is play off the General not wanting to bother with crushing the Stone Emperor as him being unable to do so. Like make it seem like the Stone Emperor is a big deal as opposed to mostly below the General's notice.
get the general to appease his pride in some way.
>>34665122"Actually, Emperor, I think I may have something better to offer you than his death. The iron spirit has been put in a...precarious position. We have the opportunity to both remove him as a threat and indebt him to you. Granted, he'll remain alive, but I believe I can extract oaths from him not to challenge your domain. And in return, you'd gain access to a useful resource and the prestige of being able to say with honesty that the Iron Tyrant had to beg a request of you. Shall I go on?"
>>34665225I think it was implied earlier this thread as not following your "function" for lack of a better term.So that one snake guy is "corrupt" for not liking the swamp and wanting to move to the forest, I guess?
>>34665238Yeah, this seems reasonable.
>>34665238I don't know about begging, but yeah having the Iron Tyrant tread carefully around the Stone Emperor's domain could imply that he's a big deal for the Iron Tyrant not to simply crush him.
>>34665238THIS IS PERFECT
>>34665238Can't really think of anything better to say, which sucks because this is where that silver tongue of ours is the most important.
>>34665122Why did the General want to suppress the link in the first place? He doesn't seem to respect the Stone Emperor as an enemy.
You grin. One of the more expressive plates on the General's face ratchets up an inch as you do so, and you can hardly blame him. In this circumstance, you might think yourself insane for grinning, too. Insane, or dangerously unstable.Fortunately, sometimes dangerously instability has its uses.""Actually, Emperor, I think I may have something better to offer you than his death," you begin, leaning back in your chair. You find yourself wishing you had a pipe to smoke, like Elder Mayhew always does when he's winning at the esoteric war games he plays with Haine. "The iron spirit has been put in a, shall we say, precarious position. We have the opportunity to both remove him as a threat and indebt him to you. Now, granted, he'll remain alive, but I believe I can extract oaths from him not to challenge your domain or sovereignty. And in return, you'd gain access to a useful resource and the prestige of being able to say with honesty that the Iron Tyrant had to beg a request of you."You pause to let that sink in. The Emperor's eyes are practically alight, the rubies shining with inner fire."Shall I go on?""By all means," comes the response, perhaps a second too quickly. "Yes, yes. Tell me how you subjugated the fool so thoroughly that he begged for vassaldom, my Knight. I am intrigued."> Tell him the truth.> Embellish the truth (write-in).> Lie through your teeth (write-in).> (Optional) Casually mention that Sylviannis is on board with the plan.> Other.
>>34665649Some secrets are only shared with a select few
>>34665671>> Embellish the truth (write-in)>> (Optional) Casually mention that Sylviannis is on board with the plan.I think we'll have to embellish the truth a bit, but I don't have the time to do a proper write in. Hopefully one of us can do so.Just enough to make him feel he's in the advantage here, but not so much that he thinks he can just demand whatever
>>34665671>Embellish the truthTell him only that at a turn of events, the General wants to leave this land, and does not seek to impede on the Emperors territory. He wants passage to the coast, where he will never return, and has even offered to open up favorable trading rights/conditions with the Emperor in exchange.Leave Sylviannis out of it for now, if he asks how we will handle that problem, casually mention it has been 'taken care of.'Gotta maintain our suave composition
>>34665671Well let's see here, we can just say true statements, and let him fill in the gaps.Like the Iron Tyrant decided he didn't want to be a destructive monster only AFTER he had reduced the land above him into an uninhabitable wasteland.One of his top enforcers was attacked by dissidents right in front of us, and we had to personally intervene to fight a dangerous monster that appeared to risk causing massive damage to the Tyrant's operation.
>>34665671>> Embellish the truthDownplay the Iron a bit. Exaggerate his need for Emperor's permission. He has killed his own land in his foolishness. At least the land killed has given him enough knowledge to make it possible for his city to continue on without destroying everything around. He needs to pass, not settle but pass, over Emperor's mountain to settle in somewhere his city can settle.> Say that you believe Syviannis will agree to this plan.I think it would be better to say that we can convince her. He may not like that we talked to Sylvia about the matter before him.
>>34665671Could we say that our reputation preceded us, and that the Iron Tyrant gave us the run of the place the moment he knew we were there?And he moved his whole city, mostly to impress us?
>>34665803Yeah we should specify that the Iron doesn't want to become a vassal as he is so much humbly seeking passage through the Emperor's territory.
hrm, how about somehing like thiseSo, we snuck into his city, careful to avoid being seenGot entry to his citadel with easeThere was a massive battle (against the siren) and we almost perished, but in the end we were able to 'make the tyrant see it our way'then move on to some of what this anon >>34665757 is suggesting
>>34665671> Embellish the truth (write-in)."It turns out the Tyrant is not nearly as strong as he would like others to think. Oh, he is assuredly powerful, but the choices he's made have left him with certain vulnerabilities. What it amounts to is that he has invested too much of himself into his domain. Should it fall, so will he, and his kingdom survives only barely. It would not take much to tip it over the edge into chaos. Now, I could do that, I've already been in a battle that's demonstrated that I have the power to, but we have a better option. The Tyrant is impressed by my talents, and has reasoned that at this point it would be better to negotiate than risk being destroyed. And we are negotiating from a very strong point. The Tyrant needs access to the lands beyond the Ikrins, or his kingdom will starve. You control passage through the mountains. We can leverage this, secure your domain from him, and gain access to a potentially invaluable resource in the process. All it would take in return is that you him move his city across the peaks. What do you say?"
>>34665961I feel like that's a bit too honest.Like if we expose how precarious the General's position really is, we run the risk of the Stone Emperor breaking the accord and trying to destroy the General himself. Which would put us in an awkward position.
>>34665982The Emperor wants power. He wants every advantage he can get. If he destroys the General, he doesn't really gain anything from it, seeing as the general is clearly too weak to impress the other spirits. It's better to let him live.
>>34665982Stone Emperor doesn't have the strength to do it himself, since our master broke the contract he sealed. That's why he needed us to help protect him. Tyrant doesn't know Emperor is crippled. Emperor doesn't know Tyrant is crippled. Any fight between the two would lead to mutual destruction. And we don't want either to fall. So we have to put them at peace and facing away from each other's domains.
>>34650189Long time no see, Diarca! You have no idea how much I've missed Totemist Quest. Thanks for bringing it back.
>>34666025I'm pretty sure the Iron General knows how weak the Stone Emperor is. Like he called the Emperor a cripple.If he really does intend to not be terrible, it'll be out of a combination of he genuinely wants to be better, and he doesn't want us to kill him.
>>34666025Technically we broke the contract, actually. The contract was contingent on Elena being given to the Magus when she had grown of age. And we refused to hand her over. So we're arguably at fault for the Stone Emperor's current state.
>>34665982Fair enough. I retract it, then. Let's just say that we've been in battles here and convinced the Iron Tyrant after some struggle than working with us is superior to being destroyed by us. Keep the essence but make it sound more like our strength than the General's weakness
>>34666064She's been 'of age' for a while. We just replaced the hidden masking wards around the village. Our master is the one who hid us all from the Magus in the first place.
>>34666064I'm pretty sure Elena became of age when Overwake was still alive. It's just he cloaked the village because he never intended on following through in the first place.
>>34666093>>34666095Good point. So we're not responsible for the Emperor's weakness, but we had the opportunity to restore him and didn't take it.
>>34665671> Embellish the truth (write-in)."All rulers, the Tyrant more than most, must bow to the needs of their domain to retain their position. If the Tyrant's city does not move to greener pastures then it shall die, even though he has discovered far less destructive methods to power his city. I doubt that I could defeat him in a direct confrontation, at least not without great personal sacrifice and luck, but in this way, despite his strength, he is vulnerable.My power is sufficient to upset the tenuous balance his city rests on, and he knows this. He dares not gamble the safety of his domain, his soul and his people, while negotiation remains an option."
>>34666129That seems pretty honest, though we do probably know how to defeat him in an indirect confrontation.
>>34666114We were never 'signatories' on the deal. Only Overwake could restore the deal, and he died, unless the contract stipulated an 'or representative thereof' in its terms, which I doubt.
You tell the Stone Emperor the truth. Well, parts of it.You explain to him how you gained entrance not only to the Tyrant's city, but his private citadel. How you engaged in a battle that nearly cost you your life, but obtained a potent new artifact in the process. How you personally intervened to secure the potential asset of the kingdom from destruction when it was clear the Emperor could stand to gain. You even throw in a little nod to the Tyrant's foolish destruction of the land above, and his remorse for the actions of the past.With the Emperor chuckling quietly to himself, you move on to outline the situation. The Tyrant requires his magnanimity to reform himself to a better way of life. He, and a thousand people beneath his reign, would be in the Emperor's debt should he allow them passage across the Ikrin Peaks. That the Tyrant has recognized the strength of the Stone Court, and wishes to cooperate rather than fight a futile battle.The Emperor makes a show of considering the offer. His eyes gleam more like emeralds than rubies in the light of your mind. He even hems and haws about the price to be paid for hubris.But the picture you've painted is tantalizing, to say the least."Tell the little Tyrant that, given his acceptance of cooperation and trade in the future, I will allow him to pass the Ikrin Peaks once," the Emperor finally decrees. "The mountains will not crumble, should he move his domain over it. But under no circumstances is he to withdraw any resources from the mountains in his crossing, nor will he settle within the borders of my domain. I do not offer him asylum, Knight. Only permission to pass.""Very generous," you quip dryly. "I'll inform him at once."The link goes quiet. Funny. Though you've never accepted lessons from Sylvia, you're fairly certain that you just played that land guardian like a fiddle.> Inform the General of the terms.> Negotiate for a more favorable position.> Ask the General more questions.> Other.
>>34666212> Inform the General of the terms.Alright, let's do this.
>>34666212>Inform the General of the terms.Also, if possible, ask him to at least feign respect for the Stone Emperor. I mean, it's not completely his fault, what ended up happening to him.
>>34666212>> Inform the General of the terms.We've done enoygh weheeling and dealing, no need to strain matters. If the general doesn't accept this is going to be a problem, swinging any change with the emperor after we played up his lack of choice so much
>>34666212> Inform the General of the terms.
>>34666212>like a fiddle.Where's that Kaz image I had.
>>34666336Yeah that is... pretty bad.With what the General said>Given time to gather power, in as little time as a month we could have the requisite energy stored to make our trip, though it would exhaust the city.I think it might be a good idea for him to take a bit longer, so long he can have a surplus.
>>34666336Actually wait, was the negotiate supposed to be on behalf of the General, to the Stone Emperor?
You raise your gaze. The General has waited impassively, still as a statue, while you conversed silently with the spirits connected to you. As you return to the here and now, you faintly hear the -whir- of his eyes focusing in on you. If not for that, he might as well be asleep at his desk. Or dead, you think in a moment of sudden macabre.You lay out the terms.The General is nothing if not gracious in... defeat? You suppose he's actually won, when you stop to think about it. Your coming to destroy him has ensured his safe passage to a more prosperous land, with very little in the way of immediate obligations required of him.Suddenly, you don't feel quite so assured of your negotiating abilities.Still, you've improved the lives of thousands of people, more or less single-handedly. You'll take the victories where you can get them."I'll begin making preparations for retrofitting and departure immediately," the General says staunchly. "Barring further delay, we will be ready to make the move safely in a month's time. You have my gratitude, Totemist. I will admit, from your reputation I had prepared for the worst."You smile congenially at the Iron giant before you. "As we discussed, Sir, rumors of a man are a poor way to judge. I'm pleased as well.""What will you do now?"> I'm departing. I've no doubt I'm needed at home.> I'll stay the night and depart in the morning.> I plan to explore the wasteland a little further.> With all due respect, General, it's really none of your business.> Other (write-in).
>>34666636>> With all due respect, General, it's really none of your business.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vh0WmT7YQ4if we had something to put over our eyes, we could put thane in it
>>34666636How long have we been gone?Also, how exactly have we developed a reputation so fast, have we really done anything beyond kick a fragment of the Magus to death?
>>34666636> I'll stay the night and depart in the morning."Quinn can handle things for another day at least, and I'm not up for another trip through the Grey Mists so soon. I'd like to leave my link pearl unbound, though, now that we're no longer doing any delicate negotiations. If an emergency happens, Boand relaying the message for him would be how I'd be contacted. Is it alright if I do that?"
>>34666699The General's impression of Osyki was based on what Saeri reported to him. And Saeri thinks we're pretty cool. So he expected us to be this hard-bitten warrior type.
>>34666699We've done a lot of wheeling and dealingAnd said fragment was nothing to sneeze at reallyBesides, they've been watching us, as Saeri has made clear.We're the successor of a very powerful man
>>34666636>I'll stay the night and depart in the morning.I don't think that can hurt?
>>34666636> I'll stay the night and depart in the morning.
>>34666636> I'm departing. I've no doubt I'm needed at home.
>>34666741That's a good point. We were trained by a man that, as Sylvianis said, would probably have burned the city to ashes by this point. He had to have expected we'd have picked up some of Ayren's traits. Though I get the impression that maybe Ayren specifically tried not to pass along his way of doing things to us. That he could tell our personality wasn't suited for it.
>>34666636> I'll stay the night and depart in the morning."It's been a trying day General, I trust I may rely on your hospitality for the night.Please, do not give me cause to regret choosing peace. My master would have left naught but rubble here, and I think Pointsmar is beautiful."
>>34666820I'd hope so, since otherwise in many ways we were an awful student.
>>34666875I think that threat would better remain unspoken.
>>34666887What are you talking about, Osy was an AMAZING studentHis spiritual stamina and FLIPPING MENTAL PALACE are evidence of that. Looks like anyone with a spiritual gift can make totems, but Osy is a league ahead in foundation.
>>34666699We're the successor to Ayren Overwake.We fucking MURDERED a fragment of a being who, to spirits, is basically the devil, hannibal lecter, and Alister Crowley combined. And we did it with our feet.We hold the leash on an avatar of Wrath.We single-handedly ended an age-old feud between two guardian spirits. (Forest and Swamp)We took apart, tamed, and redeemed the soul of a.... what was it Bone warden? Something like that.And now we just marched into spirit-hitler's lair and talked him down to being a mild spirit-putin.Dude, if rumors spread amongst spirits the way they do amongst humans? We're going to be getting a lot of attention we're not ready for. Like swarm-of-papparazzi-stalking-celebrity attention.
>>34666887I don't know, it's been made pretty clear that Ayren expected our apprenticeship to last a LOT longer than it did before we were left on our own. It seems that what he wanted to do was spend the first decade of our training doing nothing but boosting our spiritual energy. Everything else could wait until after he had honed us into the ultimate spiritual weapon.
>>34666956Isn't learning all the technical stuff, but completely missing out on the personal/political stuff, or flat out doing the opposite, every teacher's worst nightmare?
The thought of trekking back into the Mists, so soon after your incredibly trying day, is too wearying to possibly consider. You rise from your seat, resisting the urge to lean on your spear as the tension begins to slowly ebb from your body. Your armor feels very heavy, now that you don't expect to immediately need it."I'll stay the night, and depart in the morning," you say after a moment's consideration. "I'll have to rely on your hospitality for one more night, General." You give him a shallow bow. "It has been, as you may imagine, a trying day.""Of course," he says, his face still an unreadable mask. Six points of red light regard you unwaveringly. "I will have Saeri direct you to guest chambers for the evening."You nod. As you make for the door, you pause. Over your shoulder, you stare the general down. "I'm glad we could come to a peaceful resolution. Pointsmar is a beautiful city."He nods, dipping his head perhaps an inch. "Sleep well, Totemist."You exit. Your stamina for thinly veiled repartee is waning. Saeri awaits you at the bottom of the stairs-- you see her face light up when you emerge without a scratch on you. She was clearly expecting much worse.For the moment, maybe you can sleep soundly for one night.Maybe.[[We'll end things here for the evening, gentlemen. Thank you, as always, for playing. If anyone has questions, feel free to hit me up on twitter.]]
>>34666636>> I plan to explore the wasteland a little further.
>>34666987Given the rate at which Osyki is learning it, though, I can't imagine that he had access to the material in the first place. Like I said, Ayren wasn't expecting us to be doing this job yet. He wanted to give us a long apprenticeship in which to learn everything.
>>34667005Thanks for running, Diarca. This was good. See you next time.
>>34667005ty Diarca, have a good night
>>34667005Thanks for the thread, hope the General doesn't flood our room with carbon monoxide.
>>34666956Osyki seems to be naturally inclined to be a Totemist, he's got damn good instincts. Which is probably why Ayren took him on.He got on better terms with Sylvia after meeting her for the first time as a kid than Overwake ever did. He's well spoken, likable, earnest, and determined, which is a good combination for creating and maintaining a peaceful balance between spirits, and between spirits and people. He's still picking up negotiating skills, but trying to turn a Osyki into a master manipulator when he was young could have made him more cynical and less idealistic and driven. I'm willing to hazard that Osyki had solid, if not downright impressive, spiritual potential before Overwake started powerleveling his base stats and drilling the basics into him. Most of the complicated stuff was going to happen later, but Ayren kinda died before then, at least he left his books and the magic cabinet which unlocks when we accomplish stuff to give us some direction.And well, Osyki has shown himself more than capable in combat, which is an important part of the profession. So while Osyki might not have been the best student, he was pretty capable, and he's done a good job playing it by ear so far.
>>34667176I don't think he'd do that. If we don't return it would look really bad. I think we'll be fine.
>>34667021That reminds me, we've still gotta bind us an avatar.
>>34667255My hope is that if we finally learn Thane's nature he'll convert from a spirit of shadows to a spirit of secrets. Though that's really just wishful thinking. He's definitely something more than a Fanged Stalker spirit, though.
>>34667276That's obvious.It's also obvious that it has something to do with that cloaking spell we cast, since he's all about obfuscation and blood.
>>34667315Yeah. Though we actually bound the Fanged Stalker before we cast the ritual. Then again, we didn't contact the spirit in the pelt until afterwards, and when we first met Thane he was twirling the severed claw of a Fanged Stalker. So maybe something used that ritual as an opportunity to move into the focus. That would be my guess, anyway. Some spirit invoked by the ritual that saw we already had a focus of shadows just sitting around, and we seemed to be a pretty cool guy, so why not stick around?
Just one thing bothers me about this. This city is powered by the blood of the earth. Given the setting this is most likely literal as much as figural. As much as the General talks about sustainability, the city is a huge parasitic entity and while the earth has a lot of energy to give, I fear the nature of the city makes it contrary to balance and the natural circles of energy in this world.Also, the Lord restrained probably doesn't want anyone leeching his energy.
Something I've been wondering about: when Cordia changed, we gained a powerful focus, but lost all her Bone Warden - related things. they're still listed in the Binder's log, So I was trying to think of a way we could access them again. Any ideas?
>>34668645Fight another Bone Warden.
>>34668625A distressing possibility, but you'd think Sylvia would have had some idea, if it was the case.Also, I'm worried that we might have pissed off the Lord Restrained, which isn't good because we decided against purging our elemental corruption.
>>34668668We can always claim that we're just trying to show restraint. We're giving him a chance before we start lightning kicking things. If holding back on the lightning kicks isn't restraint, I don't know what is.
>>34668625Valid concerns. Once the Tyrant has made the journey, we should follow up with the Lord Restrained.>>34668645Ask her about it? current prediction is IF she can, it'll be unpleasant for her.
>>34668668You can't purge elemental corruption. You can only minimize it. Possibly the Lord Restrained, being an incredibly powerful spirit, might have been able to remove the earth corruption from us. But even if we've lost that chance, it shouldn't be too bad. We can reduce our corruption by meditating at the Emperor's cave, and we're growing more resistant to it. It's always going to be there, but I think we can get it to the point where it's not a problem for us.
>>34668735Yeah we were trying to show restraint weren't we?And he of all people asked us to act fast, and not think things through....Which kind of makes me think this is going to bite us in the ass big time, but whatevs, it's a learning experience.
>>34668668>we decided against purging our elemental corruptionwut? We talked to him about it, and he told us how to minimize it, but based on Ayren's writings, there is no cure for elemental poisoning.
>>34668766>>34668786I thought purging elemental corruption was one of the options we had in our mental temple, but we chose instead to control it because we thought it'd give us stat bonuses?see:Choose One:>[ ]Purge Elemental Corruption>[ ]Increase Corruption Resistance>[ ]Increase Elemental Affinity EWe chose increase corruption resistance because... we're dumb?
>>34668737Did the Bone Warden focus even give us anything that useful? As I recall, the only things we used it for was making a mirror that reflected the spirit world (irrelevant now that we have second sight) and armor the removed our need and ability to breathe. That second one might be useful if we need to go underwater again, but otherwise it doesn't matter. The only other scenario I can think of it being useful in would be getting past the sedative pollen to the Mother of the Swamp again (didn't Seprico say she had something she wanted to talk to us about?), and we can just fly there and avoid that whole mess now that we have the Skyscythe Drake.
>>34668807I don't think it removed the condition, just set the counter back to zero. But we can reduce the level of corruption we have through other means, so unless it's gotten ridiculously high it's a waste to use the level up temple for it. In the long run it's better to reduce the rate at which we build corruption.
>>34668807Also here's a reminder of our vision thing with technology and nature>You walk to the left, following the winding, vine-limned path to the Garden. As you walk, the smell of sweet flowers is slowly replaced by the harsh scent of tar and steel. You drop down a level to the garden.>To what used to be the garden.>Beams of metal and plates of rock have been stamped over the flowerbeds. The trees are columns, now. The fruit, tangles of twisted iron.>A trio of flowers bloom in the center of the metal. The smog is oppressive.>You feel alone.>[ ]Tear away the steel. This place is perverted.>[ ]Embrace the change. Metal will guide you.>[X]Nurture the blooms. The rest is irrelevant.>You kneel next to the flowers. Red and yellow and purple. Each beautiful in its own way. So, so important. You're happy they're alright.>The ground is thin and wan beneath the flowers, and the air is thick. Still, the iron posts and metal grates could form wonderful columns for creeping vines and hanging gardens... given the right motivation.>You feel that time grows short.>Now what was it that she said?>"Every life is precious," you whisper to the flowers. "So be careful.">The roots thread through the earth, revitalizing it with a gentle touch. All around you, the twisted metal blooms with greens and reds, yellows and whites. The barren steel supports the fragile life, and together they grow stronger. It's important to consider everything in a situation. He taught you that.Whether we're living up to that, or if that's even applicable, in this situation with the Iron, is up for debate.
>>34668868I wonder if the three flowers, each of a different color, mean anything important. Probably, but I can't tell what.
>>34668890I just noticed that apparently the purple flower turned white?That probably signifies something?
>>34667255If we every have any free time again, we should do some research into avatars (and their binding). Will eral bindings even work on them? Maybe Modi would have something useful to say?
>>34668963I think most Avatars are fairly bound to their core concept, and aren't reasonable? We learned about that so very long ago I'm pretty sure.
So it kind of seems like the Iron General played us just as easily as we played the Stone Emperor, but does that necessarily mean that he's evil and his city must be torn down?Also we forgot to ask about the diseases.
>>34668963I just want to know if Modi's spear is the same thing as the Lance of Lions that Ayren wielded in the flashback. That was a spear that transformed itself to best kill its foe, much like Modi does, and Modi's focus is the claw of a large cat. Also, Ayren's inner monologue said that the spirit in the Lance of Lions was difficult and annoying to deal with, and that certainly describes Modi. It seems reasonable to assume the two are the same item, but Diarca hasn't confirmed that.
>>34668993He didn't play us. If anything, he made a lot of efforts to confound us and give us a bad impression of his city. Seriously, he could have opened with "I don't want to consume the world around me, I just want access to trade routes so my people can thrive" and we would have eaten that shit up. Even if it's a lie, there's no reason not to start the conversation with it. We made a reasonable choice when faced with the issues at hand, just because it got the General what he wanted doesn't mean we were manipulated.
>>34669025It's possible he DID start with that, but we forgot because hiatus.
>>34669062No, he didn't. I checked. He was talking about how Pointsmar needs to stay moving to survive. Nothing about wanting his people to have a better life.