Last Time on Status Quo Quest: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Status%20Quo%20QuestTwitter: https://twitter.com/QuestBakerAs you walk through the streets of Rabrodnik, you see just how tense things have gotten in the last few days - bands of armed men eye your party as you move through the streets, and every so often the sounds of shouting and violence arise from a distant alley.It's at the point where you're bringing a squad of orcs with you every time you come into the city, just to dissuade the toughs. Today's trip into the city is to meet with the Rector one last time, to finalize your agreements - in the end, the cost seems to have come out to fifty thousand artilucs more than you's initially expected, but......Is that smoke? You sniff the air, and yes, that's definitely smoke. The sounds of steel clashing on steel and the shouts and cries of men fighting and dying drift to your ears, only increasing as you approach the palace....Which, as you turn the corner, seems to be what's burning. A cordon of soldiers, more professional than the street toughs which have been roaming the city, stand across the road, in the colours of the Getaldić. Past them, the guards normally watching the palace are conspicuously absent, although the wall near the gate is redder than you remember.>Approach>It might be a good idea to leave. Now.>...?----------------------I am so late. Sorry.
>>39028315>ApproachThe fuck is happening? A civil war? We need to prop up the Rector so we can get paid and buy our seeds.Unless the other side can offer us a better deal, of course.
>>39028315>ApproachI Woke up just in time
Resting a hand on your sword hilt, you lead your party towards the cordon. One of the soldiers steps forward to meet you, raising a hand to stop you."It would be best if you did not continue." He says, firmly. "At this time, internal matters of this sovereign Republic are being resolved.""...I have business with the Rector." You tell him, eying the palace behind him. "Naturally," He begins, a rehearsed speech, "The sovereign Republic will honour all legally established contracts and business deals going forward. Please do not be concerned." HE continues, "At this time, it would be best to return at a later date - His Grace the Duke will be more than happy to address your concerns when domestic concerns are resolved." The Duke, and not the Rector.Behind him, a bright red light flies up from the palace, before bursting in the air into a bright light, painful to look at, as coloured smoke begins to rise. One of the soldiers begins pointing it out to his comrades, and in an orderly fashion, the street quickly clears, as they all file into alleyways and otherwise put large, solid objects between the palace and themselves....The soldier in front of you, with his back to this, naturally does not.>It might be wise to take a cue.>You aren't terribly concerned. >Point that out.>...?
>>39029760>Point that out.
>>39029760"Well, it appears that things are not so well for the Duke, seeing as your comrades are all getting ready for something to blow up. Thank you for providing us cover with your body."I say we should intervene on behalf of the Rector. We need him and his forces alive for our money, and there's no guarantee that the Duke will give us the same deal.
"So, um." You indicate the cleared street behind him and the pillar of green smoke that's rising from the palace. "...What's all that about?" He turns, confused by your question, and you take a moment to be surprised he actually listened to you. How about that."What's all wha-" He only freezes for a moment. "Get down!" He shouts, as he dives for the ground, his polearm forgotten as he simply flings himself through the air. There's a faint whistling buzz, like something moving quickly through the air, and then - the orcs with you suddenly tackle you and your companion to the ground, as with the sound of shattering stone and a flash of heat, something begins to slam into the palace, sending shards of stone flying and flames billowing towards the sky.It lasts less than a minute, but by the time it is over, the palace is no more - a shattered ruin, being devoured by flame. "What was that?!" You ask, scrambling to your feet as you stare. A head-sized piece of rubble punched through the upper story of a nearby building, you notice, and the sky is clearly visible, but most of the wreckage and rubble flew away from the sea, to your left, as though some giant catapult threw an invisible rock from the ocean."..." The soldier is staring as well, visibly shocked by the destruction. The squad of men he lead trickle back into the street, murmuring among themselves as they stare at what used to be the Rector's palace.A cheer goes up, a few streets away, but it's weak, and no-one picks up the sentiment."...You should leave." The soldier says, after a few more minutes, as he rejoins his men, all of them murmuring about the event."...Holy shit, Hero." Your companion adds, eloquently.>...Let's leave.>Head for the docks.>...?
>>39031177"Leave? When the Duke now owes me five hundred and seventy-five thousand Artilucs? I think not, not until I am paid what I, and the parties I represent, are owed."
>>39031399This. We need to get our orcs their money.
>>39031399>rebel against Rector>finally get the power he wants>Hero asking to be paid the money he's owed>starts creditors clamoring for the Duke to pay the debts that the Rector was keeping at bay>Orc Empire suddenly on doorstep, demanding to be paid their moneyThis Duke is in for some unintended consequences
I had to run in shorter time than I thought, and things snuck up on me. I'll be back in a few hours and try to be less shit as an apology.No trip because phone trip is hard.
Bump so the thread won't die while I'm catching up. Damn, you have pretty bad timing, Baker.
>>39037026Well, I have no clue how to vote at this point.
>>39031177>Head for the docks.
>>39031399Not sure if I should vote for this or for going to the docks.
Baker, is anyone else with our party at the moment? What happened to the devils and the knight woman?
I'm home!>>39037809At the moment our party is six orcs - the bodyguard squad and three others - the companion, and the Hero. Zviadi - who is not so wounded, now - will have recovered any time now, and the Knight is still getting tremors, but at least she's not getting winded simply walking around, and strength is starting to return to her limbs. Another couple of days, and she'll be right as rain.Both of them remain at the flesh-mender's tent - and you still haven't been able to catch that healer around.As for Tamazi, he returned to "Captain Separ's" ship, to let her know they were still alive, and to a certain degree, well.
>>39039257Thanks! In that case, I'll be voting>>39031177>Ask your well-traveled companion if she has any idea about any of what just transpired>Head for the docks
>>39039257>DocksI wonder how reliable our IOU is if we tried to sell it as is.
You turn away, heading down the road away from the remains of the Rector's Palace. You have a - very - rough idea of where the Duke's residence is, and you'll be heading there - to wait or to confront him, either way. You need the money you were promised, you need the food you were right on the verge of acquiring. You'll take the matter up with him, then, if you have to. The soldier did say that the Republic would honour all contracts and business deals going forward, and these notes of credit are certainly a contract - of debt, perhaps, but you can use that. The Duke's residence is near the Council Chambers, as you recall, and the Council meets not terribly far from the Grand Market, only through there, and there, and... yes, you THINK you know where you're going."...So, do you have any idea what that was?" You ask your companion, as you walk, curious what she made of that event. She seems troubled, however, as she shakes her head. "...No." She denies, "And it wasn't magic, either." Something like that wasn't magic? You could understand if there was some kind of giant trebuchet, or something, some kind of weapon that left a trace, but...There was only fire and destruction.It's once you're out of the Grand Market that the city begins to slope down into the bay, giving you a good view of the sea, and...out there, in the water, a hundred or two hundred yards offshore, you see it.It's a strange, low-slung shape out in the water. It gleams of copper and brass, as smoke rises from its center. A long moment passes as you stare, and then it belches fire, and a ship attempting to flee the harbour, flagged for the League, shatters, flame licking along the boards as sailors scramble over the sides, fleeing the stricken ship as it lists heavily, before beginning to sink under the waves.With a start, you realise it's a ship of some kind, though you cannot see the sails.>Make for the Duke's residence.>Go to the docks.>...maybe it IS time to go, for now.>...?
>>39040406>>Make for the Duke's residence.
>>39040406>Make for the Duke's residence.
>>39040406>Make for the Duke's residence.eyes on the moneyDark Lord of Industrialization?
>>39040406>Go to the docks.>mfw this is Spear's or another devil's ship and they're pissed because they know League fuckers attacked Zviadi>mfw Duke will just ask us to "do something about that ship in the harbor" before he even so much as considers giving us the spice - I mean grainHe'll be in our debt if we negotiate a ceasefire of our own accord, won't he? Besides, if this ends with the Republic ceasing to exist and being pounded into a smouldering ruin or the granaries burning down, our new IOUs will be near-worthless.
That was disturbingly similar to what happened to the Rector's palace, you realise. Just what is going on here?The Duke might know. And you still need to make sure he'll still be giving you what you need. You turn away from the harbour view, heading down a side road towards your destination. The soldiers at the Duke's palace - and this one is a palace as well, though less richly appointed - part instantly as you approach, allowing you unhindered passage into the building. One joins you as a guide, leading you through the corridors. You notice that these guards seem much more relaxed - and also are conspicuously not wearing the colours of any House."His Grace has been waiting for you." He comments. "The first audience since he was elected, and you're it." He seems somehow interested and completely apathetic about it simultaneously. Bemused, perhaps."When were the elections?" You ask the soldier, curiously. He shrugs."The Small Council probably decided about a week ago who they'd pick." He claims, idly, "Though getting the Large Council to agree probably took about that long." He shrugs. "Guess the votes were officially taken yesterday though." "Ah." You nod. "He was waiting for us?" "The guy with the orcs, we'd know him when we saw him." The guard shrugs. "And here you are." It's a fancy-looking set of double doors, with another guard in front of it. He steps aside as you approach, leaving the doors accessible.>Enter strong.>Enter easy.>Orcs open doors.>...?
>>39042973>Enter silentlycalm. in control. Big guys behind us, but not as threats.
>>39042973>Orcs open doors.
>>39042973>Enter easy.We need to be accessible. Let the orcs be our metaphorical big stick
I actually keep forgetting to tell you guys when I try to leave - so much for being less shit.The ten hour block starts. Maybe I can update more quickly tomorrow, who can say.
>>39043673Yeah, if you can drop us a note, we can better bump this shit.
You swing open the doors powerfully as you walk into the room, filled with confidence - or at least, that's the air you're trying to project. You haven't had to deal with the nobility much, to be honest, and certainly not with anyone as highly-ranked as a duke - although, being a republican duke, newly elected, things probably won't be too bad. Seated on a throne, before you, you can see the Duke, dressed in the colours of House Getaldić. His face is firm, and serious. "We accede to your demands." He begins, with no preamble. "League officials will be expelled from the city. Your tribute will be delivered as requested. In return, the blockade and siege will be lifted." He sighs, heavily, looking troubled. "The City of Rabrodnik will acknowledge the suzerainty of your...'Kralj'.""You cannot permit this!" A nearby, richly appointed man protests, as you're trying to understand what's going on. A pair of armed guards come up, apologetic looks on their faces."Sir." One says. "You only have a few hours to gather your possessions." They ease the angry man out of the room, even as he continues to hurl invective.The duke's face remains serious until that last representative of the League is eased out of the room, and then he smiles."I have to thank you, you know." He tells you, conversationally, as you are still trying to process what's going on. "With you and the Lady Separ in the city at the same time, and your forces outside..." He grins, wider. "It didn't take too much to fabricate an... incident.">What.>What do you mean?>For what purpose>...huh?>...?
>>39049309"oh i see you think i'm the invaders, yeah i think we have a small misunderstanding here i'm just here to claim a debt of five hundred and seventy-five thousand Artilucs."
>>39049309>...?"I see. You will accede to all of my demands, and pay the tribute? Then have one million Artilucs prepared by sundown, as well as the seed and food wagons ready to move out."I'm not stupid, Duke. And I don't like being used."Actually, is Hero supposed to be that stupid?
>>39049309>...?"Oh, think nothing of it. I couldn't care any less about who rules the Republic as long as I get what I came for, Duke, but this besmirching of my good name is really very unappreciated.""That said... I'll not turn down diplomatic relations or fair trade once matters here have had time to 'stabilize'. And by the by, where exactly IS Lady Spear?"
"What?" You ask, surprised. "For too long," The Duke begins, as though he was just waiting for the chance, "The Republic has been exploited, crushed under the boots of the Visoan oppressors, under the auspices of the farcical 'League of Free Cities' - nothing but Visoan hegemony." He's warming up to his topic. "We of Rabrodnik refuse to bend the knee to Visoan overlords any longer - and so, between 'orcs outside the walls' and the 'Devil's Blockade', we have cast down the Rector, that Visoan scum, and expelled the League." He shrugs. "Of course, there's no Kralj - or else some token tribute WOULD be necessary, but-"And that's about when your companion bursts into laughter."He..." she laughs, "...kralj..." She's too consumed by the hilarity to really get the words out. You scratch your head, a bit awkwardly, but reply to the duke's bewildered expression seriously."...We are, in fact, ah..." You choose your words carefully. "A sanctioned trade mission from the halls of the Kralj, established with his blessing and accompanied by one of the..." You cast back for the specific title. "Agha Beys."The duke's face is a hilarious picture of shock. He sighs, leaning back in his throne."...There's going to be an incident." He says, rubbing his face. "...Shit." With a sigh, he shrugs. "Either way. The transaction you were seeking to complete is prepared for completion - minus the excess charges the Rector was trying to apply, the final cost will be three hundred and twenty-five thousand artilucs. We can have the first set of wagons ready within... three days." He shuffles through some parchments next to him. "Yes. We just need to suppress the Ranjina, and we can take care of your goods." The Duke nods. "...And whenever his Lordship, the Agha Bey is prepared to meet, I will of course be willing to enter negotiations regarding the relationship between our demesnes. The Small Council will be required, however, to approve any agreements of that nature."
>...Well.>I will... relay your offer.>What's this about the Devil's Blockade?>...?
>>39050604>I will... relay your offer.>What's this about the Devil's Blockade?
>>39050604>"Three hundred and twenty-five thousand Artilucs? No, Duke. The price with the Rector was Five hundred seventy five thousand, but this insult has now raised the prices to six hundred thousand Artilucs. I, and the Kralj, will not be insulted by this obvious attempt to shortchange us."
Come on, guys. The Duke just insulted and threw out the League from this city-state. It has NO security treaty with anyone. He's in an extremely weak position right now and doesn't even realize it.And he's trying to fuck us out of a fair price. 500,000 was the Hero's estimate, favoring the Rector. Now the Duke is trying to low-ball us with an offer way below market-price for the gold that we have with us. He knocked 43.4% off of the amount we were originally going to get. Are you really going to let him get away with cutting us off from 43% of the money we are owed?
>>39051002no but we aren't going to contest him on this at this moment in time it will make a good thing to bring up later when he needs our help.
>>39051117>it will make a good thing to bring up later when he needs our help.He intends for the price to be fixed and he's already planning on dealing with the Devils himself. There's not going to be a way to renegotiate the price if we don't do it now.
>>39050908>>39051002I think you guys are forgetting something. You were already paid for your gold, and in fact, no longer have it at all.(In letters of credit, but hey.)This is what you are paying THEM for the grains, wagons, and other related incidental costs.Negotiating it up to five hundred seventy thousand is asking to pay a lot more.I'll be back with a post in about four hours or so, so think about what you're going to do and have it all fixed in less than three, okay?
>>39051352Oh, I thought we hadn't gotten the letters of credit yet, and the price for the gold had just been agreed upon.
>>39050624>I will... relay your offer.>What's this about the Devil's Blockade?
>>39050604>>39051352>>39050624>What's this about the Devil's Blockade?>I will... relay your offer.>But all this trouble from the incident, and besmirching the Kralj's name....I think it would be best if you offered some sort of long-term trading agreement. It will definitely benefit both parties, at any rate.
>>39050604Why don't we just invade him right now ? We have a Orc army outside, the city is currently in a state of panic and, if we do not want to control this place directly, then we could re-instate the previous rulers. They be completely in our debt. They would basically be our bitch.
>>39053509because we are the hero and not some evil douchbag.
>>39053573But its not evil, what we are doing is stopping a terrible revolution and re-instating the proper rulers. Surely that is a good thing.
>>39053635well i guess that's one way of painting it.
>>39050624He looks like a CHAR to me.
Bump.What are your thoughts on these developments? We should probably sort out what our collective position is.
>>39056120Well, those boats are bad news. We should probably investigate.As for the political situation, getting backstabbed sounds bad, but we need SOME trading done, at least in the present.If we can be "that place without political bullshit", we can expect some immigrants later on.
"Then I will... relay your offer to the Bey." You tell the duke, noncommittally. "I am sure there will be a response for you soon." Probably. Uzair would probably be all for meeting with him, to be honest. "What's this about the Devil's Blockade, though?""Ah." The duke nods. "Officially, the Lady Separ took offense to an attack on one of her countrymen, and engaged a blockade on our port, sinking any League ships that try to depart." He coughs, here. "...Which is mostly the truth, actually. We at least managed to let her know about our departure from the League, and she's agreed that only the Ranjina will be held accountable after that." You recall that Tamazi mentioned them. "We've agreed to hand over persons of interest in the attack, and she's indicated that she will lift the blockade on our request.""Is that so?" You nod, considering. "I see.""Oh, so that's what that was." Your companion starts, suddenly. "She's the one who razed the rector's palace, huh?" It's not so much a shock to you, after what you saw, but you hadn't quite put it together - but the duke is frowning. "What?" ...Oh. So he doesn't know?>You should tell him.>Beat around the bush.>Never mind that.>...?
>>39058087>You should tell him.Do you REALLY have this all under control?
>>39058087>You should tell him.
>>39058087>You should tell him."Perhaps your position is less secure than you'd made it out to be. The Bey will be most interested."
>>39058087>You should tell him.>Make sure not to leave out any details, like the green smoke and the bright light shooting into the sky beforehand, or the fact that we didn't directly see Spear's ship shoot at it and don't know for certain that ship even belongs to Spear, etc.
>>39058328>SpearHer name is Separ.
>>39058451What? My whole life has been a lie!
>>39058087>>You should tell him.
You really ought to tell this guy what's going on in his own city. So you do. As you explain to him about the flare, and the smoke pillar - and, now that you're thinking about it, the way the soldiers on-site reacted,as though they knew what to expect. His face grows more and more grim as you tell your tale, until he finally sits back in his throne, a scowl planted firmly on his face."'Observers'..." He mutters, "Pfah. So, that's what Separ was doing? Razing the Rector's palace like that..." He grumbles, "It's a statement. And a warning." He sighs, and runs a hand through his hair. "Thank you for telling me about this." He adds, after a few moments. "Was there anything else?"You shake your head."At the moment, no." You say, "Our business here is done." A few minutes later, you're back on the street, watching a a pair of bloodied, disarmed Ranjina toughs are carried past."What now, Hero?" Your companion asks.>Head back to camp. You need to talk to Uzair.>Head down for the docks.>No, there was something else in town...>...?
And since I caught myself just staring at a completed update for more than thirty minutes, it's time for the ten hours.See you guys then.
>>39061295>Head down for the docks.
>>39061295>>Head down for the docks.
>>39061295>>Head back to camp. You need to talk to Uzair.
>>39061295>Head down for the docks.Visit the devils, I guess.
>>39061295>Head back to camp. You need to talk to Uzair.
>>39061295I am tempted to say that we should go back into town to look for the guy who gave us the pendant and ask him about it, but I guess that can wait till after we check out the docks. >Head down for the docks
bumps for the bump throne.
"Let's head for the docks." You decide, at last, turning to start off. "Let's see what's going on down there.""Sounds good!" Your companion chirps, walking close by your side. "Let's go see the devils' ship up close~!"Hopefully, they'll be ending their blockade, now that things have mostly come to an end - the League's been officially expelled, the Rector's dead, a few ships have been sunk...Hopefully nothing more comes of this.The streets of the city are even more deserted now than they were earlier, and the closer you are to the docks, the quieter everything seems to be. It doesn't make you confident in your decision.As you finally emerge from the screening buildings, you get your first up-close look at the ship, as it comes in to the docks. You can't see any sailors on it, and thick, black smoke pours from what would be a central mast on any other vessel. As it slows, for no visible reason, a pair of devils - crew members, you suppose - climb out of a hatch atop the ship, and begin the preparations to tie the vessel into place. Your party observes, as the strange ship is secured at the dock, and then a few more figures emerge from the depths of the ship. You think you can recognise Tamazi, mostly by his horns, but his companions are unfamiliar.And that's when the last one comes out.It's the first deviless you've seen, and the way she holds herself, her bearing, and the length of her horns...You tentatively identify her as Separ. One of the Great Devils, the pinnacle of her race.She's disembarking. Now the question is - why did you come down here?>You need to talk with Separ.>You were hoping to speak with Tamazi, again.>You're just trying to see what's going on.>...?
>>39070618>You need to talk with Separ.Trade agreements and the current political situation between the Devils and the Orcs.
>>39070618>You need to talk with Separ.
I need to leave early today, but don't worry! Due to reasons, I can actually run almost all week!Man, every time I try to be less shit, there are more and more delays. On a brighter note, I'm very pleased with my preventative measures when it comes to these updates - today alone I would have lost this last update three times.
>>39070618>You were hoping to speak with Tamazi again, both to see how he's doing and to see if he can introduce you to Separ, who you need to talk to in either case.
>>39071162I recommend Notepad++.