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Thread XCIII:
It's not necessarily the 'tomorrow' I promised, but I think we can agree its a damn sight better than my previous track record.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Lamia%20Legacy%20Quest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LamiaLegacy
Opening Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCQmQwKEEOM
Story Thus Far: https://pastebin.com/GfaNZkUR
Season: Spring

Money: 2045-free 3220-spoken for

Sasha: Skill list
Ranching +4
Scholar +3
Marksmanship +6
Natural Ability (Lamia) +3
Intrigue +4
Casting (Draconic+4 Roc+3 Leviathan+3 Troll+1 Elemental+1)
Falconry +2

Thinking hard on the matter, you ultimately decide not to go with Lyle. Enos strains to keep his face neutral when you tell him about the decision, though whether his frustration is with you or with the situation he finds himself in remains to be seen. Washing your hands of the Minotaur troubles, you turn your mind towards housing for your new staff. With the nearest town a half day's ride away, any sort of commute to work is out of the picture.

Zeke and the other ranch hands are easy enough, they'll be put up in the bunkhouse with the rest of the staff. It'll be tight with the accommodations you've made for Tatiana and Artyom, but if all goes to plan Artyom will likely be overseeing your reclamation of Purobka and freeing up the space. Paul and Gertrude will be put up in the new Inn, since that's even further from town.

Taking a step back, you figure with the crew you've acquired, all essential positions for your trade route are filled. You've got the inn staffed, between Tai, Marie, Zhou's beastfolk, and the new ranch hands, any manual labor and other sundry are also taken care of. Who knows? Perhaps there are some hidden depths to Zeke's crew you can exploit down the line. Not too bad for a days work.

>Keep looking for applicants for a position you have in mind. (Specify)
>Prepare for the weapon shipment
>Check in with Veles on setting up the link with to Purobka.
>Check in with Artyom and Tatiana on running a szlachta holdfast.
>Check in with Liama on the beastfolks training.
>Check in with Artyom and Tatiana on running a szlachta holdfast.
I trust Liama to be doing well, and while we do need to talk to Veles about this, we need to not have enemy armies at our gates right away.
>>Check in with Veles on setting up the link with to Purobka.

An unguarded gate is asking to be sacked.
There isn't a gate there yet. We need to capture Purobka again first.
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It's just a saying. Know what I'm sayin'?
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I guess?
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Your path forward is twofold, firstly you slip through the gateway behind your house to check in with Veles. It's been a couple days since you spoke to the old snake, but true to form the old snake is focused on his latest project to the exclusion of all else. It would appear that he's re-purposed to the ley line dowsing rods he's developed to trace the tracking attempts being made on you. You let him know your intention to leave for Purobka within the week. He cheerfully mentions that by then he ought to be able to pinpoint the signal by then and he'll be ready to rig up the gateway by then. Satisfied, you bid the old snake farewell and give Daisy a pat on the way out before heading back home.

Back at the ranch, you seek out Artyom and Tatiana, finding the pair on the far side of the river equal tending the cattle and minding the little fae spirit from Purobka. You approach the pair and ask if they are ready to give you that primer on Casimiran customs. Artyom nods, and turns off towards herd. Tatiana and the advisor, however, moves over to you and begins their lessons.

A lot of it is stuff you already knew from what Veles told you. Szlachta houses are loosely connected families of similar ideals that united under a single banner to rule an area, and that Tatiana's ancestor Casimir united the Kozaks and the Szlachta into the loosely feudal government that exists today. One thing you didn't know is that the head of a particular holdfast is expected to take on the name of the holdfast, which is often named after the ruling house. Lord Bralin had another name, but gave that up when he inherited the title. If one is ruler of a holdfast subordinate to another, their lordship is their first name, and the are of the other. If one of Lord Bralin's house took Purobka, he'd be Lord Purobka of Bralin. You remember the one hussar you took hostage, Vernon of Dijkstra and inquire about his name. The little fae butts in to point out that the name of a holdfast is not necessarily the name of a household nor is the leader of a house the ruler of a holding. Vernon may very well be a newly established holdfast so small it doesn't even have a resident advisor. Or, more likely, Vernon is one of the house elders of Dijkstra who is in turn subordinate to the Krasick.

[This web of allegience and heredity is giving me a bit of a headache."] You say, trying to puzzle out the useful information.
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[Then there is the matter of succession.] Tatiana says, [While taking a holdfast is an achievement of merit recognized to both genders, titles pass on to the males of a union. Sons and husbands inherit with priority over daughters and wives. A lady of a holding with no male sons will pass the title on to her husband before it would pass to her daughters. The progression of titles proceeds ever downwards in a house's family tree. Sometimes laterally, but never upwards if any other option presents itself.]

[So expect marriage proposals as soon as you retake my town.] Purobka's advisor says cheerfully.

[What!?] You sputter, completely taken aback.

[It's to be expected!] The fae continues, [As soon as you take on the mantle of Lady Purobka ambitious little centaur youths will be crawling out of the woodwork to propose.]

[So not only am I losing my name, but I've gotta beat off suitors with a stick? How would that even work?] You say, not really prepared for this turn of events.

[The normal ways I would expect. They are not looking to make centaur lamia hybrids, just getting their hooves on a holdfast when you croak.] She says heedless of your reaction. [Well you could always rename the town Masterson to solve that one issue.] The fairy says, pondering openly, [Plus there are ways you can deal with the other problem.]

Would they fuck off if I told them I only liked other women? Otherwise, how would you suggest getting them to leave me alone? I'm assuming the main way of getting them to leave me alone is to already be married or by having someone else be in charge of Purobka?
*would they leave me alone if-
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Where's Zeke at?
[He's kind of cute. He can pose as my husband while I figure out a way to have this all sorted out.]
He's not cute. Guys aren't cute. He looks strong. That's about all he's got for him. If we have to pretend, then we're going to tell them that Artyom or Zaou is the one that took the place and is keeping it, and we were just aiding them.
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You're right. Guy's are more on the handsome side, like him. That's not fair. He's young, he's new, he's full of... potential. We should get to know him more and see how willing he is to go along with this plan. Who knows? We may even end up doing more than "pretend".
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>We may even end up doing more than "pretend".
No, nay, never.
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Just "imagine"
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Shhh.... just let it happen.
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Bring Veles and let the assumptions flow.
>>3412114 >>3412108

If the ranch gets a semi-land spirit girl and Mari shoots us down, then fine. We'll date Ranch-chan.
[How would you suggest getting them to leave me alone? I'm assuming the main way of getting them to leave me alone is to already be married or by having someone else be in charge of Purobka?]

[Those are the two simplest solutions.] Tatiana says.

[And I am assuming that saying I'm not into these relationships is right out?] You ask, getting a nod from her.

[You are already a Kutkh, one that wishes to extend influence into our realm. To deny the traditions would cause rumors abound, charges of deviancy, make those unfamiliar more hesitant to have relations with your influence.] She explains.

[If you want to play their game, you have to respect their rules.] Purobka's fae says, clearly enjoying the awkwardness this conversation has caused.

[So can I just have someone pretend to be married to me? Would that work?] You ask, running through a number of possible options.

[Faux unions are a known tactic, and are one of the options available to us. But I would advise against any of your direct subordinates. Usually consorts amongst your underlings are only done as a desperate measure for houses near the brink of extinction. It is not a display of power. One could create a false persona for the subordinate, but in the event the truth gets out it is even more damaging.]

That rules out anyone on your payroll. [Do you have any suggestions?]

[Marital unions are, as I stated before, determinations of succession and declarations of allegiance. A rulers spouse is either to be affiliated with another major power, or is a power in their own right. As of right now I only have two suggestions.] She glances southwards, towards the pass. [The best lies are the ones with a grain of truth in them, and being the spouse of the Lord of the Northern Mountains would likely satisfy all curiosities.]

[Lord of the Norther- You mean Veles?] You ask, balking at the thought.

[He is of your kind yes?] She continues. [And he is a known element, even if it is just whispers. It'd satisfy most of the nobles curiosity and is an easily maintained lie if you can convince him.]

You're not certain, he's been incredibly forthcoming and helpful to all sorts of unreasonable requests on your part, but you don't want to strain that. [And the other option?]

You blink. [I'm sorry?]

[My father spirited me away before the Krasick rebellion. We could always say it was to create an alliance with the snake people of the north.]

[But that'd be announcing your survival to the Krasick.]

[It would, but it'd also spread like wildfire throughout the noble courts. It's a decent mix of scandalous and shocking. There are many perennial waverers that may just second guess allegiance to the pretenders.]

You don't really see a downside to this other than things accelerating quicker than you may like. [I'm sensing a massive but here...]

[I am not going to be a direct party to a grand falsehood to my people. If we are to continue this avenue of discussion, the only lie will be date the union happened, the marriage itself will be real.]

This is going too fast for you, [You can't seriously be sugg-]

[I can and I am. I am seventeenth in line to the throne, unusual marriages for alliances are almost expected. If the worst has come to pass and I am the last of my line, if we were to go this route the lineage of my family will die with me.] She says, visibly pained by her declaration.

[And the succession crisis after?]

[Will be just as great as one if I were to take a consort amongst the Kozaks, as was the original plan. Only my line would continue then for good or for ill.]

A small noise attracts your attention, behind Artyom the instigator of this discussion, the little fae spirit, is trying her hardest not to burst out laughing.

[What is so funny?] You ask, cross that the fairy is making light of Tatiana being torn between her sense of duty to her family and her duty to her people.

[You're all making this way harder than it has to be. Just play the marriage game, be open to the propositions. You'll get to see who the ambitious and the hungry are. You'll outlive the buggers with any luck, maybe you'll stand to make a few inheritances of your own.]

I thank you for being forthcoming with me, however, I would never ask you to jeopardise your lineage, Tatiana. You are right, games can be fun, even with my future on the line. I'll make the best of it and who knows? I might actually find one that I like.

Maybe one that looks like Zeke. Redheaded, tall, strong, human. MALE
"Thank you for your offer Tatiana, but I would not force you to end your lineage in such a way. Veles would likely be a fine choice for rumor mongering, so I'll ask his permission. As for YOUR... advice, that would take time I would prefer to use elsewise. My land is on it's way to development that may have as much or more worth, with fewer problems. Besides, opening myself up to "accidents" like that would be foolish."
>find one that I like

Tatiana as a wife isn't as good as Mari...

Though, the succession line isn't a problem. We can magic ourselves into having kids. It's how Liama was born. She has two mothers. We can just learn how to do it if we need to wife Tatiana, though she'd have to have the child, as we'd die within a few years if we had a kid.
I am uncomfortable with even pretending to be married to anyone I don't (and will never) like that way, so we're just going to have to beat the suitors away with a stick or something.
Artyom, would you be okay with being my vassal and being Lord Purobka... Or, would I need to marry him for him to be my vassal? If I would, then we'll just fight off suitors.
Do we know about the magic baby method though? I can understand the second bit, but I'm not, and we can just make it look like they were just making assumptions, to make it even better. The vassal idea is a nice option though, we HAVE land of our own already after all.
And I would like it if both you and >>3412338 would lay off the "romance" a little. We're a Lamia, we're living for a long bloody time, and we have more pressing issues to deal with. Let's choose someone based off who they are at least?
>Let's choose someone based off who they are at least?
I already am. I wanna wife Mari. She's fun
Also, it doesn't matter if we're a Lamia. Everyone needs love. Even while CAPITALISM HO! is in effect.

We may not know it personally, but it's no secret that Liama's "uncle" invented the spell for her moms. At the bare minimum, we have to know that there is a way.
Sasha is a cutie who deserves a little R&R with a big beefy human male. And this is actually part of the narrative, hence why we're advocating our positions.
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[Thank you for your offer Tatiana, but I would not force you to end your lineage in such a way.] You say to the distressed princess before turning to the general assembly. [Veles would likely be a fine choice for rumor mongering, so I'll ask his permission if we decide to go that route.] You then turn to the little fae spirit, [As for YOUR... advice, that would take time I would prefer to use for more productive efforts. My land is on it's way to development that may have as much or more worth, with fewer problems. Besides, opening myself up to "accidents" like that would be foolish.] Ignoring the muted 'hmph' you then turn to Artyom, [Another avenue for consideration is this, would you be at all amenable to becoming the Lord of Purobka?]

It's the burned hussar's turn to blink, [I have not.]

You gesture to the ranch and the dozens of folks working it, [If you wanted to consider this a holdfast, Lion's Head is a fief in its own right. You'd be vassal to me and run that town in my stead. And besides, if Purobka was an independent folwark, you being the sole survivor would make you the heir, would it not?]

He seems to pause, mulling the idea over. [It would be an acceptable solution, however I fear I am not cut out for courtly intrigue. I am but a soldier and lordship is a skill not developed on the battlefield.]

[But you wanted me to do it?] You counter.

[You said it yourself, you already run a folwark. You have experience as Sasha Masterson, Lady of Lion's Head. The role of Lady Purobka would not be much different.] Tatiana says.

[If it is needed, it will be a role I will fulfill] Artyom says, [It may take some time for me to learn what is required.]

You're torn with indecision, so you figure the best way forward is for both you and Artyom to learn how the 'nobles' act. The rest of the afternoon is spent learning subtle mannerisms and protocols inherent to a Casimiran lord. A lot of it is stuff you had picked up in your travels, but given how intensely focused Artyom is on the studies, you suspect it the nuances are something the Hussar had never considered, despite having grown up in a Casimiran Folwark.

>What next?
>Prepare for the weapon shipment
Barring that.
>Check the chest.
Which chest? Mari's, Liama's, or Tatiana's? /kapa

Inform Serrak about us having acquired employees. Otherwise, same as>>3420184
Changing this.

We have to go talk to Vales about this asinine bullshit now.

"Hey, Vales? 'You mind pretending to be my husband for the purposes of scaring suitors away after we take Purobka since I can't just tell them I only like girls? This is a backup plan, mind, but I still need to make sure that it's viable. Plan A is to get Artyom to a point of being able to take it over instead of me. Plan C is actually marrying Tatiana. I don't really want to force that on her, though."
>inb4 you gay?
"Yes, but that's not important."
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You have half a mind to immediately contact Veles and try and work out whether that particular option is available. Its tempting to get one foreseen difficulty handled immediately, but you'd already visited the old snake once today. As late as it is, it probably would not be too prudent to come barging in with another demand to partake in a false marriage to stump casimiran nobility, no matter how amusing it might be. Besides, there are other concerns to consider. First of which is the arms shipment due in any day now. It's gonna cause a commotion, especially since the wagon is gonna roll right through the very town you posted help wanted advertisements in, so its best if you lock that down right now.

Heading over to the redoubt, you find that McCain and Marie have wasted no time in creating spots for your entire force. Over a dozen separate partitions with spots for rifles and equipment have been added or cut into the emplacement. It'll serve as a cool dry place to store powder as well, sufficient enough for your purposes. No matter the crowd that Standish Standoffs gathers, you'll at least be able to stow the munitions away quickly an expediently. Though, thinking on it more, it may be prudent to have Liama and her shadows refrain from drilling the same day that Standish arrives, if only to not give those following the wagon a show.

The second concern, the one that has snagged your curiosity for a while, is the chest you looted from Purobka. It's safely secured in your office, and has been the fixation of your other spoil of war, Purobka's fae spirit. At the very least the little fairy has managed to clean up the metal strongbox, but her attempts to open the runic lock have been met with failure. Heading up to your office, you pull out the strongbox and give it a light shake, feeling the shuffle of parchment and a few more solid items shift inside.

>Work on the safe yourself. (1d20+1 roll)
>Let Veles take a look at it when you ask him about the marriage dilemma.
>Leave it all alone for now.
Rolled 19 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>Work on the safe yourself. (1d20+1 roll)
How will we learn if we never try?
I guess we're doing this, then.>>3423319
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>You have half a mind
I almost immediately rolled another d20 after this, and it came up a 20. I will never have that level of luck again.
Rolled 9 (1d20)


Focusing a bit of energy on the crest, you're surprised to see it respond quickly to your ministrations, expanding outwards into four seperate runes. Focusing one you, you see it cycle into the next one and the next. With a pad of paper you sketch out the sigils you witness, noting that they don't appear to represent anything identifiable, which is strange since Veles gave you a primer on common ones. Staring at your sketches, you come to realize that the runes are separate Casimiran sigils superimposed on top of one another. You can readily identify discrete markings in each one that tie themselves to elemental runes, but the others are more... abstract.

The rune for earth is combined the the rune for simplicity, the rune for fire is superimposed on the one for arrogance, the rune for water is mixed with the rune for madness, and finally the rune for air is mixed with that of foolishness. Working that out, you idly cycle each of the four runes to a single combined sigil and focus on the lock. You feel it sap you of some energy, but it doesn't budge, though it doesn't seem anything else happens.

Doing some quick mental math in your head, you're looking at another two hundred and fifty five possible combinations. Given the lack of response from the strongbox itself, you're not particularly concerned that there are any measures to stop you from trying out each and every possible arrangement of runes. The only limiter really will be your own stamina reserves to keep the runic lock open and a toll of each attempt to open it.

>Use up time and energy to brute force the combination. (1d20+4 roll,)
>Try and figure out the combination with what you've learned.
>Consult another party on how to proceed.
>>Try and figure out the combination with what you've learned.
I'm pretty confident in our ability to just force the lock open, though, we do have a head on our shoulders. It shouldn't be too difficult to figure out the combination.
>Try and figure out the combination with what you've learned.
So, we've got the symbol for:
Trolls with Earth and Simplicity
Dragons with Fire and Arrogance
Leviathans with Water and Madness
Rocs with Air and Foolishness

Who was it that fucked to make Centaurs again? Trolls and Dragons?

Do we have to use all of the runes?

What do you guys think? >>3429053
That's the option where we, the players, have to figure it out.
>Try and figure out the combination with what you've learned.
Casimiran are all Troll, they come from a single Troll from long ago... Troll... Simplicity... Is it that symbol four times?
Could be the order of the second sigil. Simplicity>Foolishness>Arrogance>Madness.
Though there is a Leviathan right under us, so the only one absent was a Roc, so maybe place it Simplicity>Arrogance>Madness>Foolishness?

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