Welcome back, wetlands warlocks, to the sixth installment of Swamp Lord Quest. Once again, you are Lord Jakob Absol, heir of the Archmage Lord Arnveis Absol the Black, rival of the rebel sorceress Albeda Absol, Liege of the Absol Swamp, and Master of Castle Briarfast.Last time, you made plans for battle, arranged a (somewhat for show) trial of the Flame Dancer archmage known as Sister Char, were taken prisoner by a Shadowbinder in your quest for a midnight snack of cheese, and were rescued from said Shadowbinder by the intervention of the gallant lady of the north, Hannah Galdynfyrgenbach.It is now late at night, and despite the impropriety of two young, unmarried people being unchaperoned together in one's apartments well after dark, you are entertaining Hannah with conversation, and somehow managing to avoid being completely fussed over.
You maintain your dignity with difficulty, the temptation is there, but so is your pride, “Hannah, Lady Galdynfyrgenbach, I'm fine, I assure you.” You catch her hands before they would reach the collar of your tunic and reveal the spot where the Shadowbinder bit your neck. “I can handle real enemies, one overzealous suitor is no danger to me.”“Oh. Oh, I...I am sorry. I didn't mean to, um...I'm glad you're alright.” She smiles sheepishly. “Me too. Although I won't say no to being protected sometimes.” You share a laugh, then add more seriously, “I know why you're here.”“You do?” She looks just slightly startled.You nod, “You didn't know me the way the realm knew my father, so you came here to get a sense of me, and by offering your service in pacifying my province hopefully securing my aid in pacifying yours.” She blushes prettily, “You speak like Urdle, my steward. He's so clever. I think you're right, but it wasn't that complicated. I wanted to see you for myself. Talk to you. If you were a good man, surely you would help me save my people, and if you were a bad man...it would be best not to involve you, wouldn't it?” You nod, “And am I?”She smiles, “A good man? So far, yes. Your people drink toasts to your health.” Her smile fades, “Mine...drink toasts hoping I choke on a chicken bone. I've heard them.” Her shoulders slump, “If I hadn't made a promise, I would fain run away. I'm no good at the business of ruling. Whenever I have to speak before people, my head swims and I stammer and the words flow between my fingers and drip down to the floor.” She shakes her head, “...That's what my last tutor said, before she quit. She would get so frustrated that she would hit me. A lot. One day I grabbed her arm. It snapped, and she left.”[Continue]
“I would have broken more than her arm.” You remark. “What promise did you make?”She isn't smiling anymore at all. She hugs herself as if she was cold, her eyes fixed on some point very far away, “To Papa. Mama was already gone, and he...there was so much red, and I couldn't put the worms back into his belly, and my face was all in pieces.” She reaches up and slowly touches her scarred face, shuddering as if the effort hurt her.“Hannah...” You start to tell her she doesn't have to finish what she's saying, but she speaks louder and overrides you.“Papa said 'Live. Survive. Protect them. Promise me.' When I did...he smiled. He patted my head, s-said I was good, and then he wasn't there anymore.” Suddenly, her eyes focus on yours again, and she hurriedly looks away, “I'm sorry, prattling like a child.” “No, it's alright. I lost my parents too. Mother, she...was frail. Giving birth to me nearly killed her, and one day...one day just like any other, she just...in the middle of a conversation with father...one moment she was laughing, then she clutched her head and she was gone.” You remember that day. You remember every detail of it. You, Cailm, Albeda, and even father all sobbing. Few people outside the province can imagine Arnveis the Black crying. Legends, in their own way, are a layer of armor, of memes and rumors, wrapped around real people, washing away the human side of them from the public perception. You wonder whether the Ragged Elder, Brother Grey, had a human side, once, and just became lost in his own legend. Not that it matters. Your plans involve shearing the Night Hunters away from Albeda with or without Brother Grey still leading them. Speaking of legends...“That sword, it's magical, isn't it?” You don't need to touch it and inspect it with your arcane senses to know that. Some magical items are subtle, like Albeda's bear sculpture. This, though? It radiates portent. Once again she smiles, “It's a funny shape for a sword, isn't it? They call it Wayward Daughter. I'm sure there's some reason, but I'm not much good at history. It's very old, though, and the blade isn't steel, like a regular sword. It used to just be plain metal, Urdle says, but the first time I touched it it started to glow. I never feel cold when it's with me, and...oh, let me show you. Watch this.” She unsheathes it, just a few inches, and holds it out to you, “Touch it, go on. Just the flat, NOT the edge. Slowly, gently, as slow as you can.” She gives you a big, happy smile.>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]>[Do not poke the dangerous magic sword]
>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]The obvious choice.
>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]If our magical thorn wall won't hurt us, surely the cursed family's sword won't either right?
>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]It's only a sword.famous last words
>>4564114>[Do not poke the dangerous magic sword]A little common sense goes a long way.>>4564122That was OUR family's thorn wall. This is someone else's.
>>4564141The way I see it is this.Hannah happy, Sword happy.Hannah sad, Sword mad. The Sword hungers.Ya feel me?
>>4564114>>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]what could go wrong???
>>4564114>[Do not poke the dangerous magic sword]
>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]TOUCH THE SWORD DO IT NOW.
>>4564182Touch the ow, do it now!
>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]>>> I couldn't put the worms back into his bellyOh dear, Hannah doesn't really know how basic human anatomy works, I guess that's not super uncommon or something in this world, but I guess she's not the most studious of Nobles eh?
>>4564225Euphemism for guts, but she...look. She's very, very good at Body skills, has high Coordination and a MD in Weapon: Sword. She has a lot of Advantages representing her demidivine blood. Knowledge, Charm, and Command though? Not so good.
>>4564245Oh I got itAsking her to give a speach about the intricacies of the human body is akin to asking Jacob to run a 15km Marathon in full plate.Both of them wish they were dead by the end.
>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
By the way, this show trial you're having, do you plan to follow the normal rules for a trial by the headmen or override them for the result you want?
>>4564308Haven't we made it clear to everyone that the only verdict is death and the sentence is being crucified by the wall?
>>4564114Ask Hannah how she managed after the death of her parents. She sounds like she's either not all there mentally or weren't educated beyond age 11.
>>4564308That does beg the question, what's the 'Normal Rules'? Are the headsmen there to pronounce guilty/innocent, and the lord sets the sentence? Or is this more of a 'everyone votes' thing?
>>4564308unlike the US votes i actually want to rigged this trial
>>4564308We answer to no man, but God. The Verdict is death and woe to any man who defies our will.
Rise up in defence of Vartyne, fellow swamp dwellers!>>4564114>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]Curiousity over magical artifacts will likely overwhelm common sense in this matter. After all, we did touch the castle walls. Some things you have to do to figure out what happens.>>4564308Given that three of the headmen (Ourselves representing Briarfast, Darby of Huskerly, and Nuncle of Grand Crag) out of the 5 that are there are ours, it's pretty much a forgone conclusion that she's going to the wall. Even if Malin of Hookslaw and Skurl of Soursough decide to spare her, with no representatives from Weeptree or Dampmeade to sway it, it's either a tie with us as the tie-breaker, or a 3-2 in favour of the wall. Make it fair, and if Weeptree (which is a ghost-town) or Dampmeade send someone, why, it'll be a 3-3 tie, with ourselves having more weight as the lord of the land. A fair trial, no?>>4564245Hannah is a cute, even if she can't into intrigue or command.
>>4564308RIG THE ELECTION! START THE COUNT!
>>4564322Normally in this kind of trial the headsmen would vote on guilt or innocence. In this case, whether she committed treason. Then the Absolute carries out the sentence. Trial by headmen is commonly used when the case affects the Absol and it wouldn't look good to judge it yourself.
>>4564308I'm torn Denying the will of our people looks bad (especially in the midst of a succession spat) But this also shows us how loyal our headsmen are to us.Jove have mercy on the souls of the unloyal because they might find we have little these days.But who knows maybe Char has max Charm and speach and can worm her way out of getting the wall... Or Her dad from the big City shows up to bail her stupid inter-provincial incident causing ass, out of the fire.
>>4564319There's no public schooling in Vartyne.
>>4564308Normal rules you savages, she's likely to die either way so what's the point in pointless political corruption
>>4564308It's not really a show trial if the proceeding aren't just for show, is it? Her guilt has already been determined, this is simply an affirmation of that.
>>4564308Alright, normal rules with that in mind.
>>4564344That sounds alright, I'm still extremely paranoid about last minute tricks though.
>>4564350Well I say we try to teach her as best as we can, even if we don’t decide to marry her.
>>4564114 #>>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]>>4564308Normal trial please, not that I'd expect her to get off either way.
>>4564444Surely we cam tutor her in the basics of military small squad tactics to help her lead a small squad of elite troops better. And maybe the basics of human anatomy, just she knows the names of the really squishy bits and for easier killing, although I get the distinct feeling she needs absolutely no help in the field on killing things, and most certainly she can teach us many things about that art. Perhaps not the names of the parts of the night body to hit, but at least the general area to slash.
>>4564457>camCan*Hello typos my old friend
>>4564463what's a night body?
>>4564465I don't know anon... An extra word my phone snuck into my post that I didn't notice.
>>4564469Ah mobile posting, how you sabotage us all.
>>4564350It would be reasonable to assume that a duchess would get a private education, no? I want to know why this lady who has presumably had access to competent tutors and statesmen all her life thinks that entrails are worms, and the one conclusion i come to is that she was either mentally stunted at birth, or made so by whoever gave her those scars
>>4564457Why should we use up our own precious time for that? There are plenty of capable scholars in our castle, and we have better things to do. Are you trying to seduce the giant? Why would you want our bloodline to be cursed by a primordial giant?
>>4564513Well she was saying her Tutor would get so angry with her that she'd hit her until Hannah grabbed her arm one day in self defense and accidentally broke it and then her tutor left. And presumably she's been to busy having to deal with constant death threats and terrorist trying to usurp her to ever replace her tutor.
>>4564520Ah man and here I thought that we got to appoint some sort of Acting Justice and their title was the Absolute, and I was *feeling* it.
>>4564520We are Jakob the Absolute, Final Arbiter of the Swamp.>>4564523Gimme dat nickname!
>>4564513She doesn't think entrails are worms. It was a euphemism regarding a traumatic childhood event that left her maimed and an orphan.
>>4564520I mean, in the future, after the not!French Revolution that may just be the honorary title for judges in the Absol Swamps.>All rise for the arrival of the Absolute, His Honour Zachariah of Huskerly.
>>4564534Pick a better revolution. That one sucked.
>>4564669the hippy revolution then
>>4564669Russian revolution because it gave us commies
>>4564308>follow the normal rules for a trial by the headmenLegitimacy is on our side, I'd rather us not run ours now.
>>4564695But the French gave us proto-commies.I'm prefer the American Revolution, the only one you can say that actually accomplished it's goals, and didn't descend into tyranny.
>>4564767Does the Glorious Revolution count?
I am voting to have Char given a fair trial, for multiple reasons.1: I don't think that Char is going to be able to weasel out of a guilty verdict.2: This allows potentially rebellious Headpeople to out themselves so we can keep a better eye on them.3: A side not, I'd rather reserve the thorns for Oath. The other members of her coven are probably worthy of death, but the only true traitor there is Oath, and maybe the monster maker (I forget her title). Gray seems to be strong enough that if he had really wanted us dead we would be so it seems like he's testing us, not to mention the fact that he's already dropping out of the conflict, honestly he doesn't need an execution more of a pardon. Char's school of magic has been discriminated against for quite some time. It's regrettable that we've been pushed to this point where the strongest of her school is engaged in open rebellion so perhaps we need to do something about the discrimination fire dancers have been getting. Gloam seems to have gone off the deep end after loosing so much of his family. Given that he's been tampering with taboos like true resurrection, it feels less like he SHOULD die and more like he might need to die for the safety of the swamp. Maybe talk to Grandma, see if there's something we can do to magically neuter him so he's not a danger to everyone around him?Finally we know next to nothing about the monster maker, so I'm not certain about what should happen with her. I'm leaning towards the most humane execution that would actually stick, but I don't have enough information to judge.
>>4564878The Fleshsculpter is Shell, and I think your making a lotta leaps in logic about Grey, as we don't really know about his situation and motives, beside getting lost in his own legend, as Jakob thought. The Pack we've met seems like nice folk just swept into this mess though.You make interesting points on Char's magic school, but we still don't have the full picture there, so I'll reserve judgment until we get more info.We don't know if Goalm dabbled with true resurrections yet, as he may have been busy with other things. He may be able to still see reason, so we at least give him the chance. Also, bright light or fire will help with the neutering, but I'm not sure we can take the shadow spirits out of his body without killing him. We can deny him the resources he needs to make his spells though.Don't have enough information on Shell, so I'll reserve judgement there until we learn more.
>>4564896>>4564878I can tell you this much about the Flame Dancers. Don't take how they're treated in the swamp with how they're treated down south. Nobles will pretty much never willingly attune to the school, so you know she's probably a commoner, and she's also clearly from somewhere like Escanto and not some kind of oppressed swamp minority. She's very, very foreign. Nothing happening HERE pushed her to this. She's also young, whether or not she's strong, she's far from being an experienced legendary terror like Brother Grey or a polymath groomed to succeed one of the most influential of her kind like Brother Gloam.
>>4564911It really does make you wonder why Albeda originally made a coven with the girl in the first place. I can understand Grey, Gloam, and even Shell to an extent, but why Char?Eh, I'm sure it'll come out in the trail eventually.
>>4564911To expand on this. A contest between mages is often about setting up the ideal circumstances for an engagement rather than just clashing directly. Char's school is actually very good at fighting mobs of melee enemies, especially if she'd had the sense to cast a particular spell and then just dodge while it did the fighting for her, but fighting a flying and completely buffed Jakob forced her into a position where all she could use was spamming Immolate (her firebolt spell), which put her on even footing with Jakob, and gave him an edge because she had to keep rolling Dance. Someone can be a ridiculously powerful sorcerer who knows every spell from their school of choice and get destroyed because they walked into the wrong circumstances (for example, being Jakob unbuffed and getting into grapple range with someone who has Coordination 3, Weapon: Grapple 3 even if she's awkwardly split between being a fighter and being a Shadowbinder). Jakob has strong defenses against mundane weapons, and eventually he'll have strong defenses against magic if you read dad's notes on fighting sorcerers, but he functions best with preptime (and a good bonfire piled with green wood for a nice big pillar of smoke) while some casters aren't nearly as reliant on it.
>>4564920...come out in trial* eventually...
>>4564921Well, it only make sense to read dad's book now before we get thrown into combat against other sorcerers in our campaign, right lads?
>>4564114>>[Poke the dangerous magic sword, risking your health to make Hannah happy]>>4564308our whole platform is legitimacy so I don't think very publicly breaking or bending the rules is wise
>>4564920>I'm sure it'll come out in the trail eventuallyyes, i'm sure that she will come out during the trialif i'm not forgetting things her motivation so far has just been "I want to be helpful to Albeda" or some more nuanced thing thereabouts
>>4564911Yes>>4564921>>4564911I mean in that case, she's not so much a traitor as a foreign mercenary being paid by Albeda in headpats. No reason she shouldn't be executed for an attempted assassination, but also no reason to give her to the thorns. Also no reason not to work on relations with the Fire Dancers.
You look from her happy smile, to the faintly luminescent blade, back to her happy smile. This is a bad idea. Clearly, something is going to happen. Clearly, she is also fairly ignorant of how magic works. Even moreso, one of the few things you know about Wayward Daughter, this sword, is the rumor that it kills with a touch. Still, you're just touching the flat, and she clearly knows her weapon better than you, and her smile is cute. Your choice is clear. Although not devoid of trepidation, you reach out with your finger as slowly as you can. By rights you should feel a bead of sweat trickling down your forehead, but it's not that warm and you're made of sterner stuff.Your fingertip, just the very tip of it, makes contact, and for just a moment you feel the icy sensation of metal against your skin. Then, almost before it registers, a violent impact throws you back, nearly knocking over your chair. You let out a startled yelp, and Hannah hurriedly sheaths her sword.“I'm fine.” You reassure her.She gives you a wan smile, “Wayward Daughter's every blow is like being struck by an avalanche. I won't be useless to you, I promise, even if I'm just someone to stand behind.” She looks determined.“I'd never call you useless, Hannah.” You inform her, and her smile becomes far more lively. “I should go. Um. It's late, and I'm sleepy, and people might talk. The one thing I would never want to be is a burden to you. Well, there are other things I wouldn't want to be, but a burden is a big one. Besides, you need to sleep too! If you stay up all night, you'll get wrinkles under your eyes.” She gets up with a warm smile, leans down, and as if on impulse gives you a big hug before practically skipping out of your room, hugging her sheathed sword against her chest with a huge smile.Sleep comes easily that night, and in the morning you wake up with a sense of purpose. Before you looms the trial, and after that...the campaign. Before, you were a victim, dodging the assassination attempts of a more experienced mage. Now, you are a lord, crushing rebels beneath your sabatons.
>>4565166Maybe having mage-children that are 8 feet tall is worth cursing your entire bloodline? I'm wavering in my previous resolution bros (not because she's cute, dudes. I promise!)
Simple solution, harem route. Become emperor
>>4565219Clearly, the blood curse is a ryddish psyop intended to destabilize the province, allowing the filthy ryds to take control of the ice market.>>4565297foolishness
>>4565297Such degeneracy has no place in the Absol.
>>4565297that's as likely as the celibate routeon that note...Celibate route: Disregard wenches, become an immortal god-emperor
>>4565308Quit Gloamposting.We will have a traditional, fruitful marriage and gracefully pass from the world with pride in our accomplishments, and faith in our heir.
>>4565312>Not developing some kind of Mad Bloodline magic that allows our heir to absorb our magics and knowledge into an ever accumulating mass consciousness of Absol Lords to aid and guide our future descendants.Anon plz
>>4565297What, are you too good for just one wife? Maybe you should head south to Galdea, they seem more like your type of people.>>4564878>reserving the thorns for Oath.We already covered that the Thorns were saved for the most rephrensible crimes directly against the Absol, the swamp, or the well-being of the swampfolk. I'm pretty sure abetting a succession crisis, plotting the death of the ruling Absol, and risking sending the province into the throes of a civil war counts. Char may not have initially came up with the ideas, true, but she was ride-or-die to see Albeda through the crisis, came up with the assassination plan itself, arrived in person to immolate anyone who opposed it, and took up arms in single combat against the Absol. She's not a waif going along with the flow, or a Night Hunter following the orders of the leader on pain of brutal murder. She gleefully offered herself to Albeda giddedy so that she can lash out at what she considered a weak male noble ruler who is what she despises. For that, the wall awaits Sister Char. The other's fates might just be drowned instead depending on what we find, but her's is clear.
>>4565323It's also about making an example out of unrepentant rebels.
>>4565297found a rebel scum, let the wall take him
Flanked by a double column of soldiers in masked helms, Lord Absol descends from his keep. People crowd the balconies and porches of the castle town, their children in their arms and whispers on their breath, eager to see how their ruler metes out justice. Clad in full plate harness, accentuated by the armor of smoke that adds unearthly gravitas to his image and the cape billowing behind him, a cape pinned with a brooch in the shape of the Absol eye, Lord Jakob is an imposing figure as he sweeps through the town. Behind him, in their ceremonial hooded robes of black and wooden ritual masks, walk the headmen. His visor is down, the eye adorning it serving him as his mask.The hunchbacked steward of Castle Briarfast, Harvin, his twisted form visible even in his robes, wears a green mask whose features (aside from the slitted eye and mouth holes) are all drawn in spiny thorns.The Stormtongue archmage, Arad of Grand Crag, wears a ferociously ornate mask carved in the visage of a golden eagle with its beak open to issue judgment, its gaze surpassingly fierce. His long beard hangs down from beneath it.Pudgy Darby of Huskerly wears a tall white mask of soft-edged rectangular shape, virtually unadorned save again for the eye and mouth holes, resembling nothing so much as a grain of fresh rice. Apple-cheeked Malin of Hookslaw wears a rather mischievous blue mask whose mouth and nose together form the shape of an anchor, and whose eyebrows are fishhooks. Skinny Skurl of Soursough wears a yellow mask whose eyes are whirlpools, whose eyebrows are puffs of cloud, and whose mouth has the downward curl of a ray's mouth. Behind them are the prisoners.[Continue]
Oh yes I've been waiting for this all day
The gates are opened, and beyond lies the swamp, and the rice paddies...and the camp of the loyalist Absol army. Columns of smokemass have been raised, and atop them, sheets of smokemass. Although the castle town has barracks for soldiers beyond the usual garrison, barracks that stand empty in peacetime, with the banners called to war troops have poured in from all over the province, and thus additional space was needed. Some of these smoke platforms are crowded with tents, and cookfires, and the usual accouterments of a military camp, but others are devoid of anything save for rank upon rank of men at arms and sorcerers. Overhead, a patrol of Stormtongues fly in a v-shaped squad, circling the area. Ahead lie two platforms. One just above ground level, the other standing elevated just above it and behind it, where seats have been placed. Lord Absol ascends these first, followed by the headmen, each taking their seat on a folding stool awaiting them on the upper level. The platforms are lined with braziers, and the smell of sweet incense fills the air. The headmen take their places, but none of them sits until their master does. Behind your helmet, you let out a slow exhale of breath. “Twull of the Pack, student of Rask Shieldhand. You and your students have attempted to usurp your rightful lord. Do you deny this?”Twull, unbound, steps forward and kneels, “I do not, my Lord Absol. My life is in your hands.”Sister Char gives him a look of contempt. “Whether I agree with it or not, you followed the law of the Pack. Your superiors chose a side for your community, and as neither myself nor Albeda had challenged you and won, as my father had, and neither of us was of the Pack, you were obligated to follow their lead and side with her.” You reason, just as you had with him in the dungeon.He nods, “Just so, my lord. Just so.” His voice, as always, is even and mild. [Continue]
“Is that still the case?” The best questions, in a trial, are the ones you already know the answer to.“Why no, my lord. For you are of the Pack, and you have challenged and beaten us. We give you our throats and our bellies. Should you give us your teeth, our blood will water your wall. Should you give us your mercy, we will follow you as tradition dictates. Such is our way.”Sister Char's eyes go very wide, she had likely not known Twull had taught you the spell known as Whiff of the Blood. With it, you are technically a member of the Pack, outranking those who have surrendered to you, and of uncertain status to those above you (namely Rask Shieldhand, the Three White Wolves, and the Ragged Elder himself). If you understand it right, most normal members of the Pack had to swear fealty to these superiors to learn the spells. You did not. “You will swear blood oaths, vowing never to take up arms or bare your fangs at me again on pain of death and a curse upon your souls. You will serve in my armies, though as I understand it, it is ill done to demand Pack fight Pack outside of a challenge bout.”>[I shall respect this tradition]>[I shall not respect this tradition]
So, Whiff of the Blood is an Intensity 1 Night Hunter spell. It takes two rounds of preptime to cast, and then for Height in minutes it gives you a MD to all Scrutinize rolls. It does not require Attunement. It's actually fairly useful, although to cast it you have to have the moon in the sky, or a vial of liquid moonlight handy. Because of how spells cost, though, I had to pick another one for you...so I selected Spark, from the Wings of Words school. It does just what you'd expect. Makes a little electric spark. It doesn't explicitly SAY it can start fires, but I figure if you get at least a decent set an electric spark is absolutely going to light, say, your censer when you need it to. It also deals a point of Shock damage when you poke someone with this spell. Also Intensity 1, no Attunement required.
>>4566618>[I shall respect this tradition]
>>4566618>[I shall respect this tradition]We're not quite in the position where we can run roughshod over our people's traditions. No point in sowing more division right now, we've got bigger fish to fry. Might potentially have to challenge the Ragged Elder or one of the Lieutenants though in the future if they try and say that since they outrank us, we'll have to oby Albeda. Doubtful, but stranger things have happened, and if that's the case, we'll need to do it anyways to bring them under heel regardless.
>>4566622They would have to challenge you to force that. Normally, a Whelp in the Pack would have to swear an oath so that the Ragged Elder (who at one point personally slew or beat every Night Hunter master who did not acknowledge him as their superior) did not have to PERSONALLY come fight them, but as an outsider with special circumstances you never swore that oath. So if the Pack members above you want to tell you what to do, they have to fight you for it.
>>4566620Neat! It's kind of babby spells, but they'll be useful for utility at the least. We still have a couple bottles of liquid moonlight that we confiscated from Braidbeard when he was in our dungeons iirc, and it's helpful knowing a spell that hurts that doesn't need Attunement, smoke, or the freedom of hands and mouth to sculpt the smoke even if it's just 1 Shock. At least it's a decent hold-out for if when we get grappled again.
>>4566622They might, but I doubt it. They may outrank us, but we did not learn from them, and I doubt they want to push that issue with an Absol actually in the Pack rather than the Absol outside it.
>>4566618>[I shall respect this tradition]hope we get strong/lucky enough that when one of the higher ups comes a knockin, we don't get beaten within an inch of our life
>>4566618>[I shall respect this tradition]This is our goal, officially.Also yay for picking up a 1 damage ping spell that doesn't need external components.
>>4566618>>[I shall respect this tradition]
>>4566618>[I shall respect this tradition]time for some good old soviet trials
>>4566618>[I shall respect this tradition]>SparkHahahahahahahahahahaCailm is in for a whole new world of being tazed for comedic effect
>>4566637>whole new world of being tazedSince we don't need to be Attuned to use Spark, it's even worse because there's no warning of 3 words or static crackling before it comes now. Truly, we are blessed this fine day.
>>4566641Plus we don't run the risk of accidentally tazing him TOO hard now
“I shall respect this tradition. Guards, strike off their bonds.” Soldiers step forward, and undo the ropes tying the hands of the Night Hunters, “By my office, I would free and pardon you. Headmen, what say you?”A chorus of ayes greets you, and you nod, “So it is done. Twull, those of your followers who perished fighting my forces have been given the proper rites, and their bodies returned home. They, too, are pardoned. They died as people of the Swamp, as my people, and I mourn their loss. It is a waste that was not their fault, and their loss shall be weighed as one of the sins this tribunal is to judge. For this, and for your crimes of attempted assassination, murder of swampfolk, and treason...what have you to say in your defense, Sister Char?” You turn your visored gaze to the pyromancer as Twull and his students bow to you and depart the platform, formally accepting the return of their weapons. Just as you and Twull rehearsed, there is a place up front in the ranks of your soldiery just the perfect size for him and his students to stand and join the ranks. Symbolism matters.Sister Char has not been permitted enough freedom to walk on her own. Her legs have been bound, tied together from thigh to ankle, and she has been strapped into a chair with wheels attached to either side, such as one might find on a wagon. Balanced with weights, and wheeled forward by a guard, one could easily mistake her for an invalid, were it not for the constant, seemingly thoughtless movements of her legs rubbing together, as if constantly testing her restraints. Her eyes meet yours, and there is a flash of something in them deeply unpleasant, “My thanks.” Her voice is acid, “For your kind permission to speak in my own defense. I rather expected I wouldn't be permitted to.”“These are my lands, and we abide by Vartynen justice. Were I your mistress, I doubt you would be permitted.” Truthfully you had been tempted to make this trial a true farce and remove any chance of it turning out in any way where Char does not end up on the wall or possibly IF you're feeling particularly merciful, drowned in the bogs. “Vartynen justice?” She laughs, “Oh, what a farce! You, boy, you speak of treason? No, I will not deny I plotted to kill you, and that I plotted to install the better candidate on your little chair in your little castle...but I am no traitor. Treason is when one plots against one's rightful ruler, and you are not that. Nor are you fit to lead these people.”[Continue]
“What small animal am I going to be compared to today?” You let out a sigh of disgust, “I've heard this before. If that's all, I am more than happy for you to summarize it.” The boredom in your voice isn't entirely feigned. Albeda and her people can call you boy and throw their weight around when they actually manage to accomplish something other than losing to you. “Not this, you haven't. I am entitled to speak my piece, and be remembered even after I die by your hand. Fear not, I will explain to you precisely why you are a traitor, not Sister Oath, not me. A traitor to your father. A traitor to your people. A traitor to everyone who relies on you, selling their lives so that you can keep your castle and your chair.” She draws herself up to as much of her full height as she can in her chair, and she begins to speak. No, rather, she begins to orate. Her posture is excellent, her voice polished. You've heard better, but you've also heart a lot worse.“I was born in a small village, in Escanto. My mother named me Naiada. When I was eleven, the Aunts and Uncles came to inspect the children of the village, see them at play, and choose the most graceful to take on as apprentices. It is a hard choice, for some parents, to lose the prospect of grandchildren...but my family was poor and had other children. Losing a mouth to feed was a relief itself, and the Aunts and Uncles offered gold for the children they took to train. I studied under an Aunt whose name I shall not sully by repeating in this company, and quickly became the most incandescent of her pupils. At seventeen, I was hired out to repay the investment she had made in buying me from my parents, as is tradition. I was presented to Lord Aester Durvall, a noble with an estate on the shores of the Undyne peninsula, and instructed that I was to serve as bodyguard to his two children.” Her tone becomes faintly condescending, “The custom may be foreign to you here, but down south it is common. A willowy Flame Dancer girl will not bear embarrassing fruit should a noble boy lay hands upon her, and is far more decorative and subtle as a guard than some sellsword who might be tempted to plant equally embarrassing seeds in a noble girl.”“No, up here we have our own sorcerers, thank you.” You remark, propping your chin on your fist.[Continue]
“How could I have missed them? Lord Aester had a son, Eurot, who was...fifteen, I believe? Perhaps fourteen, I never quite cared so much. He was a typical boy, brash, loud, obsessed with swords and proving his manhood to all the other dull little boys he placed with. The girl, though, she was special. Alia. She was thirteen when I first met her. Perfectly well mannered, a little lady, with all of the grace and charm her brother and father lacked. Perhaps I fell in love with her then. Or perhaps, time has simply faded the outline of my memories and suffused them with rose.” She closes her eyes, pain on her face. “We became friends instantly. Unconditionally. Every secret, we shared. Every worry, expressed. Every hurt we faced, together. When her brother staged a mock trial and a hanging for her favorite doll, I rescued it and gave him a taste of the belt to boot. When she skinned her knee, I was there with a poultice. When I grew homesick for the desert, she was there to comfort me with those soft, gentle eyes. The years rolled by, as years are wont to do, and one day there came my Alia's sixteenth birthday.”She sighs, a bittersweet sound, “The day she became a woman. Her father didn't even give her the chance to breathe, at her birthday dinner he was already discussing marriage prospects, and if he had been a less greedy man he likely would have slapped her into a wedding dress there and then before we finished the banquet. She sat there, looking so frightened, a little bird feeling the cage restrain her wings for the first time, and my heart ached for her. That evening, with her father half-insensate from drink and her brother tangled with a serving girl...it's funny how little that, by comparison, seems to hinder one's marriage prospects while a girl is expected to remain pure...she sought me out and bade me join her in the gardens. Lord Aester spent no time there, they existed purely to exist, and to be beautiful, and to be remarked upon by guests from a distance. Much like me. The garden had become our place. Our sanctuary. We walked together, and for a time it was in silence. Then she told me she didn't know how she could be a bride, she didn't love any of the men her father had spoken of, I was the only person outside her family who had a place in her heart. Then she told me, her voice breaking, that she didn't even know how to kiss someone. Somehow, I...there by a crystal stream thick with lilies...I showed her. I kissed her, and knew I had found someone worth dying for. If only I had had the chance. For years, we were lovers in secret. I had always known men were crude, clumsy, and scarce differentiated one from another, while every woman is unique in her mystery and beauty. My attraction held no surprise for me, but to see the wonder in her eyes as she awakened to how a woman could make her feel...ah! It was paradise!” [Continue]
You hear someone whistle from the crowd and know immediately it was Cailm. Immediately. He's supposed to be out with the sentries, having a drink and avoiding the formal event as a favor to him, why is he making his way towards you? “The first suitor Lord Aester allowed to stay at his home and court terrified me. I was so frightened of losing her. He was a bold man, but with grabby hands. I forced myself to smile at him when no one was looking, to show more thigh than was proper even for a Flame Dancer, and when he finally laid hands on me in a darkened corner I screamed rape so loud the gods heard it. Even among nobles, there is some sense of propriety. Less for my honor than Alia's, I think. Eurot, young man of the house that he was, had the unlucky paramour driven out with a horsewhip before Lord Aester could suggest otherwise. The rest were easier. By the end, I was confident enough to be overly protective of my Alia in public, undercutting and demeaning the young men who came to compete with me to their very faces. I walked with her as a husband might with his wife, straight-backed and proud, basking in her smiles and letting her lean against my side. I emasculated every lordling who dared look at her and glowed with pride, and every night I stole into Alia's room and made love to her with all my heart.” The joy, the pride suddenly drains from his voice, “Then one day, Lord Aester landed the biggest fish of all. A man who owned more land than any noble of Old Vartyne save King Ulrich himself. A man of power and influence. A man who I sorely underestimated, seeing as merely a fop. A man I lost everything to. A man named Ralf Schwaltz, Lord of the Schwaltzwood.” You lean forward slightly on your stool. Your neighbor to the south, eh? Interesting, and it's good to know more of him considering he has asked you for Albeda's hand when this is over. “Lord Schwaltz was a peacock, but a jovial one. He near charmed my Alia with the sweet words hidden beneath his bombastic mien, but I mocked his every move and gesture to her in private until she laughed, and when she laughed at him I felt triumph, knowing she was mine. I even began in secret to plan how we could escape, live together in some cottage by the sea where no one cared who we were or that we were in love, that she was my blossom, my pearl, my everything. I was careless. Within a week of his arrival, that spider had his fingers on everything within the household, every servant in his pocket. To this day I don't know who betrayed us, but Alia's sweet face was betwixt my thighs in the garden when he strolled in on us, with not a hint of surprise on his features.” [Continue]
Her face twists with ugly emotions, anguish and bitterness and hate, “He could have just let it go! We were both women. There was no chance of bastards in her womb from me. I would have let him bed her once if a child was needed, he could have any maid in his province and neither of us would have said a word, content to keep up appearances while all loved as they willed in private. Yet no. There was no chance of that. His wife to be was his, and his alone, and naught else would satisfy his pride. The pride and spite of men is without measure. He denounced her, loudly, before Lord Aester and all of his assembled guests. Named her fornicator and tribade, looked me in the eyes and smiled, and asked which of us had led the other astray. I heard her sob, and my heart broke, yet before I could challenge him with my flames...were a commoner like me even allowed to do so...her brother stepped forward. Eurot, sword in hand, would not hear his family honor besmirched. Sometimes I wonder if it was for Alia's sake, but more often I think it was for his father.”“He named Lord Ralf a liar. Frontier trash, seeking to create scandal and leave his father indebted to him for his own ends. His sister, he insisted, was a virgin pure, and I a trusted family retainer who knew my station. He mocked Ralf Schwaltz, who had apparently negotiated hard on the dowry, asking how many more cattle and bolts of silk he hoped to secure with this facade. For just a moment, my heart soared, thinking that we were saved...and then I saw Lord Aester's face, and knew that he knew the truth from how Alia clung to my arm. Then I saw Lord Ralf's smile, and the terror grew in Lord Aester's face as the Forest Lord stepped forward, hand upon the pommel of his sword, and ask Eurot quietly whether he would retract his insults or back them with steel. Eurot had miscalculated gravely. He was a boy who had some tutoring, fighting a grown man who had had the finest instruction money could buy, but retreat was not in his nature. It was almost as if he stepped forward and impaled himself on Lord Ralf's blade. The fury of his charge undone with a single, casual movement. Eurot dropped dead to the floor, and Lord Ralf wiped his sword clean on Lord Aester's doublet, patted his cheek, and strode laughing from the hall. Lord Aester turned to look at us, and I will never forget how he had aged in that moment, and how everything but hate had washed from his face. His male heir lost. His female heir, dishonored, for as he left Lord Ralf promised merrily to tell this tale to whoever else sought Alia's hand. I knew that the warm campfire of our happy future was now naught but embers, but how little I understood of the cruelty of nobles. How willing they were to break the only good members of their kind. How evil, how vile this structure I yearn to tear down is. Even Lord Ralf's suffering later was no just recompense.”[Continue]
Okay what does telling her villain origin sob story is supposed to accomplish here
“When exactly was this?” You cut in. You remember hearing somewhere that Lord Ralf had killed at least one man in a duel, but you had assumed it was over the rumors that it hadn't been a hunting accident that killed his predecessor. “Just before the Cheillan War, as shall soon become apparent. With raspy voice that shook with rage, Lord Aester bid his guards imprison us. Alia and I were locked in separate rooms, the servants forbidden on pain of death to speak with us when they delivered food. The only way we had to communicate was by knocking on the wall that divided us, to let the other know that we were still alive. That our hearts still did beat. I thought for certain, if we just endured, we would survive this. My station and fear still restrained me, I had Alia to protect, if I simply burned down the door and took her hand and fled, I feared she would come to harm, and so...curse me...I behaved. Then one day, after I know not how many weeks, how many months, we were summoned back to Lord Aester's great hall. He had, at last, found a new husband for Alia. One who had insisted I accompany his new bride to his household.”She gulps, and shudders, her voice breaking slightly, “When I saw him, I thought...surely, Lord Aester is speaking with the groom's father. He was not a young man. Balding. Middle-aged. He was built like...like a great toad, fat and hideous. Lord Tralger Murlon, was his name. A rich and influential man of the Capital, a noble of Magdal itself. Yet I scarce noticed him, for Alia was with me again, and I resolved whatever the circumstances we would survive them together. Love, I believed, was stronger than anything else in this world. We would endure. He inspected Alia and I like cattle, and pronounced us satisfactory, then resumed talking with Lord Aester as if us overhearing was of no object. The subject of the night was revenge. Both men were gloating over the circumstances of Lord Ralf Schwaltz, and this is the part that you should pay most heed to.” Her eyes meet yours, and she speaks slowly, “Though I knew not at the time, the King had just declared war on Cheill, and these two lords were gloating over the composition of the troops. Of note, not a single soldier from Old Vartyne was being sent to war, only the Frontier Provinces, under the command of that most terrifying of sorcerers. I speak, of course, of Sister Oath's teacher and your coincidental father, Lord Arnveis Absol. They drank many a toast to the fact that Lord Schwaltz's province was being bled dry of men, and spoke openly of new prospects for investment, and new land to be available in the provinces for their use, as well as Cheill itself. At the time, I cared little, though I came to understand the importance of this later.”[Continue]
She takes a deep breath, and licks her lips, “That night, Alia and Lord Tralger were married. There was no great ceremony, no cake, no fine dress, no party, none of the things that are done for the glory and enjoyment of the bride. There was only a simple exchange of vows, spoken through Alia's tears...though my beloved was brave, for Lord Tralger had assured her that her cooperation was saving my life. An exchange of vows, and...and the bedding...” She shakes as her voice quivers, “By Mihto I begged him to take me instead. I pleaded with him, near swallowed my bile and attempted to service him there and then, and for my pains received a clout across the face. Then he spoke to me, quietly, so she could not hear. No, he wanted Alia first. He enjoyed hurting women, he had chosen us so that he could hurt us, and that he would spend the rest of his life tormenting us. That was why he wanted me too, to watch, to listen, to pleasure him later so Alia in her own gilded cage could hear me cry, to delight in our suffering and separation. Two little birds with clipped wings. I was returned to my room, but I could hear...I could hear her scream. It was not hard. He was so much bigger than her, and a woman unprepared is...small, and delicate. He obviously took no pains to ready her for...for...” Her face goes pale, and for a moment you think she's about to vomit, but she chokes it back and glares at you. “The next day, I saw how bitterly satisfied Lord Aester looked, and knew that he had never seen his daughter as more than a tool, that he held her responsible for the death of the child he valued. Lord Tralger boasted that tonight, he would have me, and he laughed. Alia, limping, with none of the life left in her eyes, was left unguarded for but a minute...and gods, gods I should have saved her. 'I'm sorry. I can't.' Four words, like drops of falling blood, and she threw herself off a balcony above the gardens. I remember them shouting, ignoring me and running downstairs. I remember seeing her...the blood, like a red flower blossoming around her. I...I moved my feet, and every drop of love and grief and rage that had been pent up inside me burst forth. I danced. I danced a spell I did not know, one that came from the heart, scarce aware of what I was doing as the flames rose hundreds of feet and carried me with them. The lords' soldiers, mages and swordsmen alike, burned like candles when my gaze fell on them. I stood in the sky, a giant of love and grief, and sobbed my Alia's name. When I came to, naught remained but ash. The manor was gone, and the gardens, my darling Alia and every monster that surrounded her. To this day, I remember the horror on Lord Aester and Lord Tralger's faces as I erased them from this world with a gesture.”[Continue]
>>4566667It's her choosing to use her defense to try and emotionally sway the headsmen in her favour rather than provide actual reasoning. Too bad for her that it's not Old Vartyne, where politicking and filibuster rule, but the Frontier, where people band together against the threats of all where her trial is being held. If she wanted to impress the smallfolk with demands for throwing off the chains of the nobility, she should have gone to Galdynfyrgenbach, they'd more than happily assist her in that regard.
>>4566671I continue to fail to see how this is relevant to anything other than finding that this girl is not only guilty of treason to the Absols but most of the country...
>>4566671And she's holding us responsible for the actions of another of our peers? In a different province, even? And so you burned the servants, the mages, the soldiers who did nothing but swear loyalty to that lord?
>>4566675Clearly she's perfect bedfellows with Albeda in having zero regard for any other living being
>>4566673There is a very specific new detail buried in all of her "poor me" talk.
>>4566679You mean her skirting around accusing out mother of being unfaithful and us not being a real Absol?
>>4566669>“Though I knew not at the time, the King had just declared war on Cheill, and these two lords were gloating over the composition of the troops. Of note, not a single soldier from Old Vartyne was being sent to war, only the Frontier Provinces, under the command of that most terrifying of sorcerers. I speak, of course, of Sister Oath's teacher and your coincidental father, Lord Arnveis Absol. They drank many a toast to the fact that Lord Schwaltz's province was being bled dry of men, and spoke openly of new prospects for investment, and new land to be available in the provinces for their use, as well as Cheill itself. At the time, I cared little, though I came to understand the importance of this later.”Huh. Really makes you wonder...
>>4566679I'm picking up that the capitol was trying to weaken the frontier so they could pick up expansion opportunities.Schwaltz's men, our father. Sent to die in Chell?Should we be expecting more foreign backers of Albeda, or at least more nobles seeking to leverage the Swamp's weakened position?
>>4566671She failed and betrayed her oaths as a bodyguard, subverted a noblewoman to her own desires, foiled attempts at her lover to enter a marriage (despite the constant refusals being bound to eventually burden the family with worse and worse suitors), caused the son to die at the hands of Lord Ralf (tarnishing the Aester and Schwaltz names in the process), and basically annihilated an entire noble household by her own hand. All for the sake of her own wants. The wall awaits.At least we've gained a bit more of a better idea of how Schwaltz is. Interesting to see how easily he wins friends amongst another's household. A bit of a cruel, possessive and prideful streak too. Good to note for later. Also useful to find out that it was only Frontier men who died in Cheill. Might be the Old nobility trying to sway a despondent and depressed king to sub-divide the lands further, giving them something more than household guards and an estate to their name.
>>4566669Vartyne King conspired with Cheill to weaken frontier provinces and remove potential revolt related threats.
She smiles, tears trickling down her cheeks. “I walked. Barefoot and clad in ashes. North, because that was where the road took me. I had some idea of setting the Schwaltzwood aflame, but by the time I reached it, I had no spirit left. I walked, waiting for the moment when I could walk no more after sleeping, when I would lay down and die, my last ember fading away, and see my Alia again. It did not matter, the villages I passed through were bereft of hope. Everywhere I heard the wailing of families who had lost loved ones. Children. Parents. Siblings. Spouses. Lovers. A world of ash without, reflecting the world of ash within. Eventually, I made it through the forest. More than one bandit had died by my hand, for I had passed through some fear, some hesitation within my heart, and come out from it a master of the flames. Yet it didn't matter. What was power without Alia? What was freedom without love? A flame without fuel dies, and so it was with me. When I reached the place where the forests ends, and the swamps begin, a fever had taken hold in my flesh and I collapsed in the road. I believed I was dead. I accepted it.”As long-winded as she is, those facing death are entitled to speak their piece, and so you let her continue, “It would have been better if death accepted you, too.”She sneers, “Typical boy and typical noble both! I woke in a hut, in an abandoned village built among the boughs of the largest willows I had ever seen...”“Weeptree.” You know exactly what she is talking about. The swamp isn't exactly full of abandoned towns matching that description. “Let me guess, you were saved by Albeda?”“Yes. I woke to find myself in a hut...”“In Weeptree.” You note. If she's going to play this stupid self-pitying game you might as well enjoy it, “With Albeda in bed beside you, naked and wanton, and you forgot your Alia at once, right?” She snarls at you, “Your parents should have slapped you more often! No, she was there in mourning, clad in sackcloth and ashes, so that snot-nosed little BEASTS like you could not see her weep for her dying teacher. She found me and nursed me back to health. Bit by bit, I told her my tale, and she told me hers, and unlike you she noticed the significance of the fact that NARY A SINGLE SOUL FROM OLD VARTYNE WAS SENT INTO THAT HELLPIT OF A WAR!” Her voice rises to a shout.Cailm vaults up onto the back of the platform, “A wagon approaches by the east road.” He whispers in your ear, “Draped in flags of parley.” He's panting for breath, he must have run all the way here, “...Albeda, and three long-haired albinos.”>[Accept the parley]>[Deny the parley]
>>4566681How about her hating Ralf with a loathing passion?She may be useful, if only cucking Ralf out of a wife.
>>4566687>[Accept the parley]Oh boy, the fun part has arrived .Now, remember lads, it's probably a Glass Diplomat, to denying it will be fruitless.
>>4566686By all accounts up until the big fuckery wuckery curse happened the Cheillan war was very one-sided. The Cheillans were horribly outnumbered and out-magicked.
>>4566687>[Deny the parley]We need to institute a shoot all Albedas once policies and openly refuse to deal with any of her dammed glass whoresI genuinely doubt she's here
>>4566687>[Accept the parley]Looks like the three white wolves and another Glass Diplomat arriving. They can wait until after the trial though, parleys are done in private after all.
>>4566687>>[Deny the parley]They should've came before the trial
>>4566692Or only accept the Parlry if one the white wolves strikes Albeda to prove she's real
>>4566690Also, don't forget the Wolf Trio that's there. We just got the Pack semi-into the fold, why waste all that work?
>>4566687>[Accept the parley]Glass diplomat. Time to request her to take a needle to prove she's actually there, and if not we can try to talk to the Wolves.
>>4566701Walking up and slapping the fuck out of her the moment she starts talking is perfectly acceptable. If she's a Glass Diplomat then you only have the albinos to deal with. You have utter plausible deniability by this point.
>>4566671Huh. I know that spell...
>>4566704Well the first Glass diplomat did suggest we slap her....
>>4566685Don't see it like that at all. The nobles conspired to kill our father, so I see justice in their deaths.
>>4566706Big ole Smoke and steel gauntlet slap right to her face....A genuine shame our strength is very low
>>4566707It's true that letting her live would be just taking the biggest shit in the coffee of any surviving relatives of those lords. Sometimes mercy isn't about people deserving to live, it's about their enemies deserving to be salty. Of course, she did try to assassinate you and you do have a big cool thorn wall just ripe for crucifying people on.
Also, forgot to tack on that, apparently to Char, Albeda left for Weeptree to weep in silence. Not to see her teacher interred with his ancestors. Not to pay the final respects owed to the man who sheltered her after the ravages of the Dancing Fever took every last soul in Weeptree. Not to stand with the people who were safeguarded by Arnveis the Black. Not to stand with the household, who mourned Arnveis the Father, who loved his wife dearly and missed her ever since she passed on. To weep alone, in silence, so that others couldn't see her tears. Nevermind that no one else would see them for the tears of their own. Fuck her, and the crocodile tears she loves to shed. She has more in common with the R*ds than the Absols.>>4566704>'Smack My Bitch Up' intensifies.
>>4566707Yeah, we'll have to deal with those snakes in the grass. Something to look forward to after we deal with our shit, and the shit of our neighbours.
>>4566713I see things differently. A student with a loving master, the only father she ever knew... and he chose his son over her. That would have been very upsetting if it was Jakob on the other foot.>>4566717Agreed. They will get their just deserts.
>>4566713A correction. This would be before your father died, he took a LONG time to die but it was apparent for a long time that he was not getting better. >>4566721I feel like it has come up before, but Lord Arnveis never explicitly said "you take over, Jakob." When he was dying and blind, he grabbed your arm and said your name shortly before the end, nothing more. However, you're...you know...also his only son and blood heir.
Oh, start rolling dice. Sense+Empathy roll.
>>4566713Don't forget that like a week passes before she sends a night hunter with a bomb, before even attempting to perhaps negotiate.>>4566721I'm willing to hear her out, but this still reads like she's attempting a temper tantrum over not being picked to rule.If she had stayed, she would have been a valued advisor, someone useful. We didn't like each other, but we weren't gonna toss her out on a whim.At least, I wouldn't.>>4566727Damn. Well, I don't think that came up earlier.
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4566730But Wong I have no empathy for Char
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4566730Dice time!
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4566730
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4566711That's not the only reason I see a reason for her to live. I know of the power of that final spell she cast. The fact of the matter, despite the mistakes she made in her past, she could still be of much use. She is an Archmagi of her craft, after all.>>4566727Yes, but I am trying to see from her perspective here. It doesn't make her right, but it does explain much.>>4566730Dice!
>>4566731Braidbeard actually mentioned it specifically in Thread 2.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566721Fair enough. I dunno, I'm still on the 'Fuck Albeda' train though. Too much bad blood boiling up, and if things were different, things would be different.>>4566727>Albeda's just salty that Lord Arnveis wanted comfort from his son before he passed on.Hoes mad.>>4566730Dice! Glad Lilly helped us out boosting this earlier.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4566730See I feel like we should point out that all her story shares is her complete lack empathy for all the house staff, guards, soldiers visiting people whom she murdered in mass, And her total lack of ability to take responsibility for her own actions. What a disgusting person. Should just hang her on the wall for her greater crimes to the realm on principle alone...
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4566730>>4566731I agree, but people do fucked up shit when in deep grief. Emotions tend to fuck up the thought process a bit. She's still a moron for doing it though,
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566730dice for the dice pit
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4566734>>4566735>>4566736>trip 7s out the gate.Noice.
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4566734>>4566735>>4566736Lucky tripple 7'sSlot machine jackpot>>4566730
>>4566739Fair. I understand completely, I just disagree as to the punishment. There should be something, just not death.
>>4566738But he's a mook. How the fuck would he know what's on Albeda's mind, and what isn't propaganda?
>>4566747We should let the people who were harmed or lost something in her futile rebellion decide, no?
“Let them into the camp. Bring them straight here.” You quietly instruct Cailm, who nods and dashes off to do as you asked. You then raise your voice again. “It is simultaneously an interesting and infuriating detail, but it doesn't support your central point regarding legitimate authority and why you I am purportedly not one on my lands, which I inherited from my father, who inherited them from his father, who inherited them from his father, who inherited them from his mother...matrilineal marriage due to no male heirs...and so on and so forth.”She spits at you, “There you sit, a good and loyal subject of the King who is an enemy of your own people! Who betrayed them AND your father to their deaths! Yet for the sake of your own power, you tow the line, you remain a good little subject, rather than making way for the woman who can actually WIN! Who EARNED her power, while all you have is your blood! The same sort of blood that gave Lord Aester and Lord Tralger the idea that they had the right to just...just crush and trample anyone who was below them! How can you support such a monstrous way of living!? It isn't right! It isn't just! It isn't human!” She breaks down into incoherent sobs of rage and grief, her shoulders heaving. Thankfully you're saved from dealing with crying traitors as you spot the approaching wagon. The smokemass platforms line the boardwalks, and so it's easy for your men to halt the wagon, practically tear it apart looking for things like hidden bear sculptures or other magical nonsense, and march the four people on it to you under the heaviest possible guard.Three of them are utterly identical. Slender, with waist-length hair, soft-looking, pale as milk, with dark blue eyes, you can't tell whether they are male or female. Their teeth are as sharp as a wolf's, as sharp as Twull's, when they look at you with an unkind smile. The fourth is Albeda, a haughty expression on her face that softens when she sees Sister Char. “Naiada!” She calls out, “Naiada, I am here!”Sister Char looks up, her face streaked with wet, smiling tremulously, “I know. I kept talking and talking, knowing if I just bought time...”[Continue]
>>4566747I'd be down for picking her up as an advisor or something, was never a fan of the murderbus for Albeda. Use her rather than just waste her. If we knew she was not going to stab us in the back immediately, that is.
“Just as I told you to do if you were put on trial. Good.” Albeda is clad in far more finery than you are used to. She wears a broad-brimmed, peaked hat whose band is pierced through with a pin in the shape of the Absol eye, and patterns of golden eyes mark her black robes all over. Strangely, her eyes don't settle on you at first. They go all over the dais, as if searching for you, then finally settle on you with a startled look. Her pupils dilate, and you see her bite the inside of her cheek. “Jakob?” She asks almost hesitantly as you stand up and make your way towards her, “When did you get so tall? I-”You take off your gauntlet and slap her across the face as hard as you can, “Magical constructs are not protected under the terms of parley.” You inform her. She reels, and rather than turning to shards of broken glass, she turns very, very red, “You little IMP!” She raises her hand to slap you back, but you're clad in glassy smoke and stalwart steel, so she kicks your kneecap instead to no more effect. Then punches your bicep, hissing with rage like an angry goose, “Take off that damned helmet you...you dishonorable, usurping...!” She's far more flustered than she should be.The three albinos look concerned.>[Slap her again]>[Laugh at her]>[Say something to bring the temperature down]
>>4566753>[Say something to bring the temperature down]Now we can have a proper talk.
>>4566753>>[Laugh at her]Have you come to listen to your little whelp's final words?
>>4566753>[Say something to bring the temperature down]>Alright, now that I can actually talk to someone that isn't a magical construct, what's your opening offer.
>>4566667for the jury, haven't you watch trials before?
>>4566753>Say nothing for a bit and just stare her down till she stopsMaybe we risk rolling Intimidation? >Are you done throwing your childish spat yet? Have you finished running away from home? Did you have a nice sleep over with your friends?>I sent your night light to you as soon as I knew you weren't coming back, couldn't let you be scared of the dark. Well talk to you like an adult when you act like one
>>4566750Heh. To my knowledge, the only people who died en-mass were the Pentagram. Why should they get a vote in what happens to their leader?
>>4566753>Laugh at herI have no idea how I read through that whole sob story.Amazing filibuster Char.
>>4566761Oohhh, I like that.
>>4566753>[Say something to bring the temperature down]"Now that we have established that you are flesh and blood, instead of glass like the Albeda who attempted murder of the Absol via bear statuette, or the Albeda who attempted to bellow her way into Castle Briarfast at the head of a band of traitorous cohorts, the parley will occur after the trial. You may stand witness, but as you do not have the mask and robes to represent Weeptree, you will not be allowed to render verdict as a headwoman. I will not be removing my helm, as is my right as the Absol overseeing the trial."Be cool, it's not our fault she is trying to subvert swamp law for the life of a mass murdering assassin.
>>4566764And then we just hit her with the>You broke my heart when you didn't come dad's funeral.Even if we don't mean it completely
>>4566753>>4566761 Supporting this
>>4566766I love it! It's perfect, and will take the wind right out of her sails!
>>4566766Ouch, that's cold.Should probably address the White Ones. Why'd they come, and who are they?Mostly to see what they introduce themselves as. Representatives of Grey, or claiming leadership themselves?
>>4566761>>4566766These are both pretty good. Being a bit petty isn't really something to do in front of the people, but may as well make it look as foolish and weak as it is.
>>4566753>[Say something to bring the temperature down]you got fat again
>>4566775It's even worse if we say it as genuine and caring as Lily's lessons allow
>>4566765Something like this, but don't acknowledge her as having legitimate power as a headwoman.Also roll sense to see if she's brought any more bear statues or the like with her.
>>4566780I mean, it was genuine at the time. I'm sure it'll shine through.>>4566783And they were already checked for that, lad.
>>4566783Our people pretty much ripped apart the wagon looking for statuettes. Not a guarantee, but still worth mentioning.The bit about headwoman of Weeptree is more acknowledging the fact that she is probably the only person from there now. If she tries to lever that fact as being their Headwoman, since she (and the TWWs if they try the same tact representing Dampmeade,) doesn't have the regalia that the Headwoman is supposed to have as signifier of office, she is not allowed to stand on the jury. It's what prevents people from just saying that they're the leader of the village in judicial matters like this.
>>4566784Fair, in my defense I never learned to read, the rest of my vote stands and I need to learn to read
>>4566788That raises more questions than it answers, anon.
Good ideas so far. Gimme a Sense+Eerie roll while you're touching her to see if you can feel any magic items on her.
>>4566787I mean, she's also criminally negligent. Or stupid. After all, she's trying to wiggler her way in here on a technicality, after two failed attempts at usurpation, that latter of which caused more deaths on her side than ours.Though I do find it hilarious how she intentional demoted herself to a Headwoman of an empty village.
>>4566784She wasn't, though, so start rolling dice.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566790Dicemen, assemble!
Rolled 5 (1d10)>>4566790A failed roll, that is.
>>4566766honestly with this sob story i want jakob's youthful angst to come out and him complain that being a noble is not easy.learning the laws, disciplining yourself to be proper and shouldering all the responsibilities etc. etc.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4566790Dice for the Dice gods
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566790Let the dice flow though you...
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4566790
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566790Another die
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4566790>>4566799Hey! It's not over until the dice are in! Now, no more of that defeatist crap. To victory!
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4566790If this bitch is really about to break a parley...
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4566790Yet more dice!
Rolled 6 (1d10)
You're all filthy lucky, keep rolling dice. There's a lot of Sense+Empathy opportunities here too.
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4566790We really, really, REALLY need tp boost our Eerie skill to something other than 1
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4566808By the power of yandere shadow grill waifus
Rolled 8 (1d10)>>4566805Was referring to me failing my roll attempt here>>4566797
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566790>>4566810More.... Dice...
>>4566800And watching your family try and take your birthright from you, while tearing apart the realm your father cherished. It's too easy to go down that route...
Alright, good. Luckily your Passions netted you the first roll, then you got a quick 3x6 instantly on the second.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4566810>>4566790Something about your MC's grant the blessings of Lady luck and madam fortune
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4566810Says the dice addict!>>4566813Oh. Well, rip dice post.
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>4566811Yeah, that's probably the next skill we should boost up when we get a chance. Too many risks that we just scraped through with lucky Sense+Eerie rolls so far.
Rolled 10 (1d10)More yandere shadow waifu power
Rolled 10 (1d10)>>4566819>>4566811Just upgrade our Sense stat overall. It'll save us in the long run.
>>4566816>Jakob's wish for a worthy wife comes into play, saving his life while he cops a feel on Albeda.L-lewd.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4566822Forgot to add some more dice.
>>4566822>They go all over the dais, as if searching for you, then finally settle on you with a startled look. Her pupils dilate, and you see her bite the inside of her cheek.Tall man making the ladies swoon in full smokeplate.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4566816So, do we keep rolling?
>>4566822Well dad's not around to tell us not to pump his apprentice full of bastards anymore..... Though now she needs to compete against Hannah, Grandmama's chosen Shadowbinder, Lil and Ameranthe lady breed of goats and ill begotten gold, assuming she gets her rolls together and gives us a decent game of Regicide
>>4566829Thought Wong said we were good here>>4566816
>>4566832I thought so too, but then another anon rolled, so I thought we might need more dice.
>>4566828>Meanwhile, in Swamp Lady Quest;>oh no, he's hot.>we're saving ourselves for Char, Jakob-shitters get out, reeee...>told you we should've gone with another Mirror Diplomat, gonna be fucking shit getting through all that armor.>fuk u yurifag, Ralf did nothing wrong.
>>4566837Wong's hunger for dice will never end, but it can temporarily be sated.
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566837MORE DICE?
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566838Double kek.>>4566839>>4566841ALRIGHTY THEN!
>>4566831The trio, potentially...
>>4566838>>Meanwhile, in Swamp Lady Quest;>>oh no, he's hot.Oh yeah, nothing turns the ladies on more than a man with a MD in Sorcery, fully clad in steel with a smoke paint job
For a moment, you can't help but laugh as she blows on her knuckles and winces in pain from trying to bully someone clad in so much armor. That laughter fades a little when you see Hannah in the crowd, her sword partially out of her sheath, only slowly putting it away as She hasn't even put herself in a position of prominence. She's right next to one of the merchants who came with Headwoman Marin of Hookslaw. The one in the...oh. Nevermind.“Are you down throwing your childish spat yet? Have you finished running away from home? Did you have a nice sleepover with your friends?” You can't keep your voice entirely polite, “Did you get your nightlight? I sent it to you as soon as I knew you weren't coming back. Couldn't let you be scared of the dark...and it was a damned sight kinder than what you sent my brother of the Pack with.”The three albinos bare their teeth. “You? One of us? Silence, whelp.” One of them hisses, its voice contralto and oddly rusty, as if they aren't used to the human tongue.You wheel on them, “Were we not under a flag of parley I would silence you myself. I am one of the Pack, and have won challenge with these who now serve me.” You gesture at Twull and his students, “Funny how they were all taught by someone of your rank who is out of the province, I didn't see any of your students running into our billhooks. Selling out your own family is unworthy of even a jackal. Muzzle yourself, curs.” If they attacked you here they would be cut down consequence-free, but they don't take the bait, simply snarling at you.Truthfully you're not that confident. Until you're as good at countermagic as your father, they might know any number of tricks to defeat your strategy of flying and throwing arcane missiles at them. You turn back to Albeda, “It broke my heart not seeing you at the funeral.”You put your hand on her shoulder, and extend your arcane senses. Surprisingly, you detect no magical items on her. No carvings, no mirrors. “What went into the ground was just a husk. The man I admired above all others, he had already departed. There was no need for me to be there.” But her last sentence comes too late, you've already detected the lie in her words.“You wanted to be there, didn't you?” You ask her, softly, so softly no one else can hear. She responds in the same quiet voice, “Of course I did. He was a father to me. I couldn't, though. I was voted down. Now will you please take off your helmet? Talking to you through it is...it's uncomfortable.”“Voted down?” You stare at her in noncomprehension.>[Remove helmet]>[Do not remove helmet]
>>4566849>[Remove helmet]We will not show fear, or weakness.
>>4566849>[Do not remove helmet]Paranoia, sorry sister.
>>4566822I want to deny it but this was literally what happened.
>>4566849>[Do not remove helmet]>I refuse to remove my Sigal while you clad yourself in it, remove your own eye before you dain me remove mineWe aren't removing our symbol of authority silly girl
>>4566849>[Do not remove helmet]you're no baby yoda!
>>4566849>[Do not remove helmet]I don't know if you noticed, but a trial is going on right now Albeda, keep up gurl. You wouldn't ask the judge to take his robes off in the middle of a hearing. giddedy. >>4566854Bueno.
>>4566857He eats fetuses, dude.>>4566858Double giddedy
Interesting, I like this take on it. Would you remove her helmet if she also divested herself of symbols of Absol authority? Jakob knows her well enough to know that this is just a case of the helmet getting under her skin.
>>4566849>>[Do not remove helmet]
>>4566860>fetusesThose eggs were unfertilized.
>>4566862I mean, we'll have to set aside our cloak as well, since we have the eye on our brooch too iirc. Not sure how much more of our armour has the eye on it though. If it's on the breastplate, no dice. It would be fitting for a parley though, if we're trying to talk it out as 'equals' in this matter.
>>4566862Sure. I saw wearing it in her presence as a sign of weakness anyway, though I do like the formal perspective more.>>4566865How would you know? That's a living sapient beings babies he's eating right now. Plus, there was that aborted spider egg as well.
>>4566862Either we are even as Absols Or we are even as persons How does she want to talk?As pseudo siblings or as two people claiming right to rule?But yeah, if she removes hers, we'll remove ours Giggidy
>>4566862Maybe after the trial has concluded, until then no.
>>4566862Eh, I'll swap to supporting this, if it really is a phobia of hers or something.
>>4566868Most species of frogs fertilize externally.
>>4566872Would the frog see it as a snack, or an abortion?
>>4566871Less a phobia and more nerdy scholar girl social awkwardness. Albeda wasn't always stacked, attractive, and confident. It's hard talking to people when you can't meet their eyes and they're just an intimidating Dark Lord figure, especially when you used to bully them.
>>4566849>[Do not remove helmet]Trying to get the headgear advantage on us?Clever girl, but any lord worth his salt knows the importance of funny hats.
You keep patting her down, no sense in letting her know that your arcane senses are more keen than she remembers. Pat pat pat. “I refuse to remove my sigil while you're wearing it. This helmet comes off when your sigil does.” What happens next stuns you. Her hat hits the smokeglass floor, then she pulls her robe off over her head, and tosses it onto the ground, standing before you in a breastwrap and bloomers, arms folded challengingly, “Off. I can't talk to you through that thing.”You stare at her, and slowly remove your helmet, handing it off to Cailm, who has mysteriously appeared at your side the MOMENT he saw a tit and is staring with you. Pat pat pat. She gives you a look, “I'm going to assume that the Glass Diplomat I left behind in the castle explained in broad strokes, perhaps a bit annoyed as I would be in her shoes, what the Pentacle is about. Noble blood is not a good measure of who should rule. Erudition and arcane might are, and are traditional to the swamps before Vartyne instituted a noble family who fortunately integrated and adopted, for the most part, the Old Ways. I may be the executive head of the Pentacle, with the oath I swore to avenge Lord Arnveis by breaking Vartyne's hold on the Absol Swamp, but I cannot simply overrule three senior archmagi and one very talented peer.” She gestures her head towards Sister Char, who is once again straining at her bonds and trying to wheel her chair over with her toes. “Everyone but me agreed that it was very likely you would throw me in the dungeon the moment you had the Lord's Seat under your backside. A Pentacle has five points, and five seats that vote on matters of import.”“You tried to have me killed, Albeda. Twice.” You point out, “Even Grandmama has told me to kill you, not imprison you.” Pat pat pat.She snorts, “Grandmama. Be wary around her, I know more about her now than I would like. Let's just say I've heard a thing or two from Brother Gloam that have me convinced her advice is entirely aimed at helping herself. Not you.”“You tried to have me killed, Albeda. Twice.” You repeat it with slightly more emphasis. Pat pat pat.“It was very unlikely the bear would do more than badly injure you, and a Jakob crying like an infant in his sickbed is a Jakob who could not stop me walking in and taking Castle Briarfast.” She clicks her tongue as if chiding you for holding something petty against her.“You sent a chimera to rip me limb from limb!” You are slightly louder this time. Pat pat pat.[Continue]
>>4566876She's still in shock from that MD in Sorcery giving us an extra 6 inches of vertical lift
>>4566876No better time than the present for this then.
>>4566883Still love it btw anon.
>>4566880>>>She snorts, “Grandmama. Be wary around her, I know more about her now than I would like. Let's just say I've heard a thing or two from Brother Gloam that have me convinced her advice is entirely aimed at helping herself. Not you.”AHEM>And whose fault is it that she is one of the most prominent advisors I have now?>Had you not insisted on this course of action you would have had the seat beside me, you are family and Father's most powerful apprentice, he groomed you to be by my side and help me foe once he was gone Albeda.Engage objection
>>4566885>foePhone why are you adding random words?
>>4566885Add to the fact she could have just told us the old noble houses conspired to kill dad, and we probably would have joined her. Like, not even a letter? She has a Glass diplomat for fucks sake!
She rolls her eyes, “Yes, I'm not denying it. I tried to have you killed. Quickly and humanely. For what it's worth, the vote on whether to have you killed was three to two.” She gives Sister Char a withering glance, “Not in my favor.”You just stare at her, but she sounds like she's telling the truth, “What?” Pat pat...squish.“I won't tell you who voted which way, although I suspect from who led the attack that you can guess at least one. I opposed it. Regardless of what the prophecy says. But I had committed, I had sworn the same blood oath to our cause as the others, and so I had to abide by the vote. I chose something that would kill you quickly, a moment of surprise, a moment of pain, then blackness. Hardly being crucified on the wall, now is it?” She looks down at your hand on her breast, then pats your cheek, “You've got a harder look in your eyes than I remember. If nothing else, this has been good for you. You're stronger than you were when you first took your seat, weren't you?” How closely has she been examining you, or is it all a bluff?“Stronger than you keep trying to tell people I am, anyway. I've never mewled in my life!” Squish squish squish.She pinches your ear, “You have so. You used to mewl all the time. Listen to me. I mean it, listen. Naiada isn't lying. We were sacrificed. Someone knew that Cheill had that curse or...whatever it was in their back pocket, buried behind all that sanctimonious religious nonsense they believe about the evils of magic. Someone used it to kill our people, and the King was involved. Moreover, I know why.”“You did mention a prophecy.” You bat her hand away from your ear. You're too old to be bullied by girls......a sudden flash of memory, of being pinned against a wall by a girl with black eyes, is quickly dismissed.“I did. I was also voted down when I proposed telling you about it, but the situation has changed. I'll endure censure if I must for overriding the Pentacle's decision.” She starts to speak, but you cut her off.“I have to say this first. If you object to Grandmama having the influence she has, take responsibility for it. Whose fault is it that she is one of my most prominent supporters? One of the most powerful advisors I have now? Had you not insisted on rulership, you would have had the seat beside me, you are family and father's most powerful apprentice. He groomed you to be my by side and help me rule once he was gone, Albeda.”>[I need you. With me.]>[But you've thrown that away, and for traitors there is only death and exile]
>>4566885>>4566887Plus, could also play off sentimentality to not want to kill one out of literally 3 family members we have left in the world. Even if she was the one chosen by Father over us, we wouldn't be trying to marry her off on the R*ds or Schwaltz for brownie points with the other Lords. Maybe set up a meeting with Based Balam to see what happens for her, but we're not the Aesters, selling our relatives off for land and bolts of silk.
>>4566887Glass DIPLOMAT. DIPLOMAT. Not glass SUICIDE BOMBER.
>>4566892>[I need you. With me.]Wrong time, but that's fine I guess.
>>4566895Also not need, but like to be with, but that's fine too.
>>4566892>If what you say is true than prove it to me, because if it is I will need you far more in the immediate future than I did when you left me to bury Father alone! I mean, Cailm WAS there, bit he only counts when I don't want to Taze him.Catcha stop eating my post
>>4566892>[But you've thrown that away, and for traitors there is only death and exile]It's a rough choice, but ultimately, the only one to take. We already know that she won't bend the knee, and there's no point in hiding it. The chance for forgiveness was gone when the bodies of our people died by our retainers hands for her ambitions.
Man, It's weird Interacting with someone with lower Social skills than Jacob. Especially one that used to bully him by simple virtue of being a bit older.I've got a huge sinking feeling that she isn't the one pulling the strings of the Pentical.....
I'll add a third option since there's no clear consensus.>[Keep silence for now on the subject of Albeda's fate]
>[But you've thrown that away, and for traitors there is only death and exile]>>4566905Will the real Sister Shell please stand up
>>4566892>[I need you. With me.]Or you know you will fall alone. No matter the allies. You may laugh at me, but whatever Elders and Chimeras, the dead who walk under you, there was a reason the Thorndwellers fell. And If what you say about the King is true, know that I'll bitterly miss every mage who dies fighting amongst us.
>>4566906>>4566900>>[Keep silence for now on the subject of Albeda's fate]Yeah I'll change to this option
>>4566905Definitely feeling more like the TWWs steering the Ragged Elder and Char steering Albeda. Not sure about Shell, but given Gloam apparently giving more of a damn about his experimentation, it's getting a bit more clear.>>4566906>[Keep silence for now on the subject of Albeda's fate]Swapping over to this then. No point in tipping our hand yet, and she may reveal something in that 'prophecy' that will persuade me.
>>4566906The problem is that we really can't go for this. Not while we've got Char on trial right now, and WILL execute her most likely, and that will seal the book on Albeda not fighting us.
>>4566892>>4566906>[Keep silence for now on the subject of Albeda's fate]I'll go with this for now since I'm ultimately undecided, But I have to say that If she had any intention of working with us from the beginning, she would have told us this shit and wouldn't have gone through the trouble of building her own little 'No Jakobs Allowed' club. She can try throw the other members under the bus for the assassinations, but she's the one who started the group in the first place.
>>4566914Nobody can call you a dick for executing someone who tried to have you killed. Especially if they changed the plan for their own personal glory.
>>4566906>[Keep silence for now on the subject of Albeda's fate]Sure, why not.>>4566913It was 3 to 2. Someone must have voted in our favor.>>4566914Honestly, I'm leaning on leniency with Char. She's got some useful magic up her sleeve, and it would definitely help in future wars.
>>4566918Probably the Ragged Elder, who would have preferred a duel.
>>4566918Char just admitted to mass murder broAnd she lead an army of OUR swamp landers to their death in an attempt to kill usShe's not just getting a quick slap on the wrists and told not to keep having a raging uncaring disposition to human life
>>4566919I'm not so sure. Remember, most of the forces in the assassination attempt were the furries. Why send them if he wanted to duel?
>>4566918>>4566919Yeah, I think that too, given the distaste Twull had for the plan and what Blem said about The Pack's preferred option being to just mob us with a shit-tonne of wolves to rip us apart while we go hunting or something.
>>4566921I'm not calling for a slap on the wrist, but that last spell she described is an army killer. It would be undoubtedly useful, given how much fighting may end up doing, especially if we go the rebellion route.
>>4566922The furries are literally their only footsoldiers until Gloam can begin mass producing the Big Z- I mean Zombies, and from what the prisoners said, they were mostly there to show support and shout down dissenters. They were never meant to actually fight anyone.
>>4566915Maybe. At the same time, approached when she was at her lowest, grieving over dad's death, and offered an opportunity to rule? I can see that happening. If you're looking at it from a sympathetic point of view.>>4566918I'd like to just keep Char locked up also, but people voted to roll her up on trial and execute her, so here we are.>>4566921Look that was mass murder of a different province. It can be swept under the rug or played up, as we decide. People with the skill or knowledge to be useful don't always get executed if they're valuable.See: Wernher von Braun, the nazi rocket scientist for example.
>>4566926And what's the point of having a weapon like that if it will never willingly serve us and we constantly have to exist in a state where she is plotting to kill us even if Albeda stops her little rebellion?
>>4566892>[But you've thrown that away, and for traitors there is only death and exile]
>>4566930>People with the skill or knowledge to be useful don't always get executed if they're valuable.Yes, people who are willing to serve US, Char clearly has no intention of that even if we take up Albeda's supposed cause.
For a moment, there is an uncomfortable silence, as if she expects you to say more. “Food for thought.” You finish.“What I am about to tell you is not to be repeated. To anyone.” She glares at Cailm, “...Go away.”Cailm doesn't move until you gesture for him to shoo temporarily, and only then does Albeda continue, “It is known to a tiny handful of people, one of whom understood that the reaction to it is doing far more harm than good. It is known that King Ulrich has not been seen in public since the Queen was murdered so brutally her coffin had to be kept closed at her funeral. What isn't known is the lengths he went to to find the culprit, and how deep his paranoia has become. There is a substance I have only seen once, smuggled out of Magdal by one of our associates...whose confidence I cannot betray...known colloquially as godbile. Apparently, it enhances one's arcane abilities and senses, although much as I'm sure you would be I am very hesitant to try it myself when I don't know what it is. Our King does not share these feelings, and apparently, he fed it to his favorite diviner. The woman gazed into her bowl, read the King's future, and fell into a trance, ranting. She saw one great, burning eye rise up over the north in place of the sun, and wherever it looked, other eyes closed, and when its gaze fell upon her she saw the Royal Palace in flames, the flags of the royal family burning. Now, this is just my conjecture, but I think His Majesty in his inbred royal wisdom then decided this meant that the most personally powerful lord in his domain, the terrifying archmage of the swamps, the mailed fist of Vartyne himself, was going to overthrow him. It would not surprise me one bit if he was somehow sabotaged by inside agents during the campaign to ensure he was exposed to whatever vector was used to spread the curse. I also think that like so many famous prophecies, this one ends up being self-fulfilling. Lord Absol's heir destroys the power of the royal line. The question then, is who is his heir, and who stands a better chance of conquering Vartyne.” She puts her hands on your shoulders, and says to you in the softest, quietest voice, “Do you really have the will to do this, Jakob? You were not that sort of child. Imagine that this was no longer about survival, and that the loser need not fear the winner. Which of us is stronger? You know the answer. Which of us could better do this thing?”>[You...]>[Me]>[It will be decided on the field of battle]>[I'm not convinced we should be rebelling against the crown on this kind of evidence]
>>4566930People voted for a show trial as bait, and it succeeded. Execution wasn't written in stone. And from the sounds of it, she executed conspirators, so I don't really care about her sins before.>>4566932Frankly, I don't think that's the case. Her problem is a prejudice for male nobility, for being corrupt to the core. She may change her tune.>[Me]>[I'm not convinced we should be rebelling against the crown on this kind of evidence]A murder-hobo's sob story does not evidence make.
>>4566930One thing to point out is that Jakob started out nowhere near as hard or confident as he is now. He has had a series of baller moments that have greatly improved his confidence and made him stronger as a character, including how well he's rolled against Albeda tonight (without giving too much away, you've done good to get this much out of her and not have someone else interfere by now). He could have easily been a Shinji Ikari type who lost to Braidbeard and got rescued by Cailm putting an arrow in the lupomancer, not earned the allegiance of the Pack, survived the assassination attempt due entirely to his bodyguards as he fled the chimera through the halls of the castle, and avoided fighting Char one on one. He has had several opportunities to bitch out and has consistently refused to do so.
>>4566938>[Me]>then squeeze those puppies one last time"the trial resumes!">squeeze
Ya know, at this point I'd be willing to spare her if she were the one initiating the proceedings. If she's willing to take the first step we should follow suit, but I would be surprised if she was willing to do that.That being said;Me, I am not the better sorcerer, I am the stronger leader. If the swamps are to rebel against the crown, we will need more than just magical might. We will need a ruler who is capable of functioning as a noble, which you are not.
>>4566892>[I WANT you. With me.]It's a subtle but important distinction.We don't NEED Albeda, her girlfriend, or anyone else in their little club. But Jakob has proven time and again he has an aversion to killing his own people when he can help it. If it can be avoided, we should save the lives of our people as much as possible, especially if anything about this conspiracy is accurate then it would be wonderful to have them on board. But if they truly prove a danger to everyone else they will be dealt with and we need to make that clear.
>>4566940He could, but would that have made him a more inspiring lord? I think not.
>>4566938>[Me]>"Do you know the first thing about ruling a country? About Lordship? Could you bring about the fighting spirit of your soldiers with nothing but a few words? Personal strength matters little when your up against an army, much less an entire kingdom, and going into open rebellion with no one to aid you is probably the fastest way to get the Absol line completely erased from history."I'm fucking awful at speeches.
>>4566938>And you really think that you're better suited to lead armies during a war?>I'm not the one currently flying the banner of ParleyInb4 Albeda has never even been able to beat Jacob in a single game of Regicide
>>4566938>[Me]>[I'm not convinced we should be rebelling against the crown on this kind of evidence]Not by personal strength of steel and smoke. Unlike Albeda, we have a talent for strategy and oratory. We don't stumble over our words and get indignant at the first sign of arguments. There's a big difference between winning a fight and winning a war. We're not our Father, but neither is Albeda.As for the prophecy, who's to say that it's not being fulfilled by the aftermath of the Cheillan war? We weren't alone in the fighting, but if this rebellion that she caused didn't happen, the Swamp would be the only Frontier province with it's shit together. It could have been the Absols gaining the support of the others by aiding them, and then starting to overshadow Old Vartyne. After all, divinations and the future are not set in stone. The fact we're standing here instead of inside the belly of the Squonkog in the dungeons is proof.>>4566940Fuck yeah, proud as hell of not being another Shinji. The luck has been nice too.
>>4566950>>4566951Does Albeda even know how to officiate a trade deal?Or what the gross domestic produce of this swamp is? Or how much food can efficiently taxed without harming villages or bankrupting the province? Or how much calories of food are needed per soldier per Mile of marching?She spent her time with Dad learning how to cast WE spent our time with dad learning how to RULE!
>>4566950To be honest, your not that bad mate. It's a good speech.
>>4566948Damn it.>>4566938>[Me]>[I'm not convinced we should be rebelling against the crown on this kind of evidence]
>>4566938>[Me]>I think it's pretty clear how much you've misjudged me over this last month.I also like >>4566953 and his points about the different paths of the future.
>>4566954I bet Albeda doesn't even know how much cheese is produced domestically and how cheese the province imports or even what provinces we import cheese from and to!
Fuck it, roll some dice boys, Command+Inspiration let's let the troops hear your answer.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4566964
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4566950it's bretty gud mate. Not super flowery, and gets the point across pretty easily.>>4566964>laughing at the mental image of Char moving forward by her toes and hearing us shittalk her new waifu.
Rolled 1 (1d10)>>4566964Oh boy! Dice!
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4566964Know this, Albeda.
Rolled 6 (1d10)>>4566964Cheers to the Dice Lord! ALL HAIL THE DICE KING!
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566964Tossing out more dice, to persuade the plebes that they picked the right Absol to back.
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566964Oh god here WE GOOOOOOO
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566967>>4566968Oof, a 2x1 isn't much, but at least it is a set for now.
Rolled 2 (1d10)>>4566964We are the number wizard! All bend to our glorious rolls!
Rolled 9 (1d10)>>4566964Dice gods be kind to usLady luck shine upon usMadam Fate we call for thee
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566964>>4566967>>4566968well, it's a match...
>>4566972>>4566975I am shined up tonight Kek
Rolled 7 (1d10)>>4566964I DIDN'T HEAR NO BELL
Rolled 4 (1d10)>>4566976>>4566971>>4566973We might have scored a 2x4 here, but I think it might be one short depending on if we have other bonuses. At the least, we didn't cock it up, even if it's not exactly stirring.
2x4 with Passions applied. So far they've been working out in your favor because you've been laser-focused on putting down these rebels.
>>4566980Well, Albeda is half-naked in front of us, for all intents and purposes. It doesn't exactly make her lady-like, but it's understandable why their distracted.
>>4566981Solid. Not looking forward to gaining maluses for disrespecting our ancestors by not getting on over on the R*ds in negotiations in the future. That's a problem for future!Jakob though.>>4566977Noice. I just combed through and found out I rolled 3x 4s in a row. Shame it was a wee bit too late.
>>4566984Plus, doesn't that only increase the men's moral. The enemy is literally stripping for us in front of the army. That's some powerful charisma right there!
>>4566984>>4566987Definitely a position of strength right now. We're down a helmet, and she's standing there in a breastwrap and bloomers. Londo R*d would have eaten her alive in negotiations for his dragon problem.
>>4566989All he'd probably need to do is flatter her a bit and her face would turn into a tomato.
>>4566990Albeda's Charisma appears to be so bad I feel like she's been swindled by the other members of the PenticalMore a figurhead Albeda then Leader Albeda
“You should know how unreliable prophecies are, Albeda. I want you with me. With me, because to answer your question...” You raise your voice, “The answer to who is stronger? Me. It has always been me. If it were me, I wouldn't have allowed supporters with their own agendas to keep me from telling you about this from the beginning. The province would have come out of the Cheillan war unified, and we would already have our troops in the other provinces beating back the rebels and barbarians at the gates of our neighbors and already overshadowing southron influence. I wouldn't have let a prophecy I hadn't personally performed dictate my actions to such an extent. I wouldn't let a subordinate archmage sabotage one of my battle plans, in part because I would have been there in person, purely so they could get into my bed. You may be the better magician, Albeda, but you are not fit to rule over me, and so for the sake of my people I cannot give you the throne. You place too much trust in your magic. Do you know the first thing about ruling a country? About lordship? Can you raise the fighting spirit of your soldiers with your words, or are they the walking dead and howling beasts, unable to hear you? Personal strength matters far less when you're up against an army, much less an entire kingdom, and going into open rebellion with no one to aid you is probably the fastest way to get the Absol line completely erased from history. Rebelling against the crown is serious business, it is not undertaken lightly. The losses we suffered should have reminded you of the cost of war, not made you thirsty for more.” It's a very factual speech and not the most stirring, but the crowd is nodding along with you, “I'm not the one currently flying the banner of parley.” You give her breast one more squeeze, “I'll tell you what I told the first of your shades I encountered. You were taught sorcery, yes, but I was taught to rule. If you need any evidence for that, you're mostly naked in front of my army, and I'm still in almost full armor. The trial continues!” You return to your seat.>[Leaving her robes where they are]>[Taking her nice, Albeda-scented, soft robes with you back to your seat]
>>4566998>[Leaving her robes where they are]Alright, that's enough humiliation.That image is top kek tho.
>>4566998>[Leaving her robes where they are]I'd rather not risk Cailm stealing them for his own 'business.'
>>4566998>[Leaving her robes where they are]Clean yourself up, you're a mess. Let her at least have some dignity. Don't want to be a degenerate after all in front of the public.
>>4566998>[Leaving her robes where they are]
>>4566998>[Taking her nice, Albeda-scented, soft robes with you back to your seat]
Leaving her robes where they are
>>4566998>[Leaving her robes where they are]I permit you to at least preserve some of your Absol dignity and cover yourself Wouldn't want Cailm suddenly swapping sides and putting an arrow in us over some tid
>>4566998>[Leaving her robes where they are]Also, this >>4566883 needs an update.
>>4567014I'll be re-working it after the session, so it'll be the most up-to-date version later. Probably going up tomorrow evening.
Ok. How does everyone feel about having Char and Albeda lead us to the rest of the Pentacle and just...hashing shit out?Cause the way things are going this whole fucking rebellion is a series of poor character judgment calls and gun jumping on their part and besides Gloam, all of them seem to have a clear path to be pacified without bloodshed.
>>4567020I'm fine with hashing it out.
“Now cover yourself. You are an Absol, ostensibly.” You clap your hands, “Headmen, have you heard sufficient evidence?”Albeda pulls her robes back on, “May I suggest an alternative?”“You are free to speak, but I am free to get back to the business of executing your subordinate for treason while you do.” You remark.“Take me instead.” Albeda suggests, “You know that this is the real me, and not one of my imagoes. Part of leadership is taking responsibility for one's underlings, is it not? Free her, and imprison me in her stead. I hope to be more resistant to execution by your hand than she is, and I would like to show you the strength of the Pentacle. After all, it is true that you inspire your underlings, but so does Brother Grey. It is true, you can lead men in battle, or at least have done so successfully so far. However, Brother Gloam is older than you, and has made more of a hobby of war than you have, and I have faith in his ability. Would it not be sweeter to gloat in person, if you win?”>[Agree]>[Disagree]
>>4567022Dang, forgot a picture.
>>4567020Char need to die, either way. She's far too dangerous to be left alive.>>4567022>[Disagree]Now that we know she has the ability to melt entire castles, there's no way we're letting her go.
>>4567022>>[Disagree]No. I would rather defeat you personally in battle to show you my worth.
>>4567022>[Disagree]Strongly, sacrificing your King to save a Rook hardly seems like a solid move. Unless Albeda actually is just a figure head. The only reason to take Albeda is if it actually ends this farce But she likely has a dozen glass hags out there putting plans into motion Some Of which maybe be willing to sacrifice the fleshy original
>>4567020Eh, don't think it's going to shake out that well. Grey may not give a shit, but that doesn't mean they're all like him.>>4567022>[Disagree]We're not here for gloating. The fact that Albeda thinks we're doing this strictly for our own benefit is further proof that we should be leading. Letting Char live will be spitting on the deaths of the people of Soursough, who died in her bid for favour with Albeda. Nevermind that Char escaped the crimes she committed in the south, she will not escape the ones she committed here.
>>4567022>[Disagree]let the lady die and meet her lover already
>>4567029Adding>Albeda are you really willing to pay for all the lives she has coast the swamp?>Because if I take you, you take her palce on trial for her crimes
Rolled 6, 8, 5, 9 = 28 (4d10)
>>4567022>[Disagree]If you think I want to hand back someone who has burned castles to the ground in the past, so she can do the same to my army? I think not.Counteroffer- Surrender yourself, and I will intercede on her behalf. She will sit this rebellion out living, as will you, while I bring your remaining fellows in line.Too hardline?
>>4567035>no sets.>inb4 Cailm's "Get down Mr President!" moment.If that's on Albeda's end, she really is shitting the bed on her rolls, considering that her imago missed the chance to bear-statue us on a similar set of rolls before.
>>4567022>>4567036No, in fact put me down as supporting this.
>>4567039Might not be Albeda. If that's the triplets combined social score, would be amusing AF.
>>4567036I'll support this
>>4567045>the triplets tried to seduce usWew.I would like to add, we would be sparring Char for this, not freeing her.
“Albeda...” Char's voice is sick with dread, “Albeda no. No, please. Not this. No, anything but this. I cannot go through this again! I will not!” Albeda smiles sadly at Sister Char, “Consider it punishment for your failure. I want so badly to slap you, you silly girl. The wall of thorns isn't even singed. You lost to a child. Now stop crying, and live up to your failures. Grow stronger, just a little. Letting you die would be letting you get away with it.” “That is a pity.” You remark, “Because I have no intention of complying. You could have your mirrored minions about all sorts of mischief elsewhere, while there is only one of her here, and now I know how strong she can be in the right circumstances. I will defeat you personally, and leave no excuses that circumstances barred your ascent. Moreover, she has cost the lives of my people. Her circumstances may be tragic. She may be your friend, but if it was Cailm up there for the same crime he would deserve punishment just as surely. Headmen?”“Her guilt is without question and uncontested.” Arad says solemnly. He, one of your archmages, has been sitting there, formal in his role, from the beginning. Not outvoting you. Bless Nuncle. “What will you do the next time King Ulrich demands your children die for him?” Albeda demands of the headmen.“Trust Lord Jakob.” Surprisingly, nervous Skurl is the one who pipes up.Harvin, that gentle, pacifistic soul, hasn't said a word.>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]>[The penalty is imprisonment (because she is too useful to kill and the rebellion will be over someday)]
>>4567039It was Albeda. Specifically the last two lines of my last post cover what she attempted. Not one of her stronger dicepools.
>>4567052>>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]
>>4567054Rather, the bit with Skurl and Albeda's question.
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]Rip Flame dancer
>>4567052>[The penalty is imprisonment (because she is too useful to kill and the rebellion will be over someday)]She is too useful to kill. +1 Might lads.
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]Fealty is a burden that occasionally is useful. git rekted scrub, getcher nose oudda books and talk to your neighbours sometimes. a little fresh air is good for the bones.
>>4567052>Give Albeda the offer to turn herself in for the keeping Char's life, then even if it is declined:>[The penalty is imprisonment (because she is too useful to kill and the rebellion will be over someday)]One day, you will serve for your crimes in an useful manner.
>>4567059She's referenced the giant of flame enough that I'll let you slide on having looked up what that spell actually does.
>>4567059You lads also forget that she's a bargaining chip as well. This is a mistake.>>4567061Would support.
>>4567064Ya know, I had no idea what he was talking about
>>4567064Actually, I looked it up way before this trial. I do apologize for the spoilers though.
>>4567065Yeah the bargaining is happening right nowThis is the moment Albeda has to give us a real offer here or she loses her piece permanently
>>4567052>>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]She freely confessed to war crimes! This is a no brainer.
>>4567068How do you know she isn't trying and failing horribly? That probably was a haggle roll.
>either we imprison them both, or Albeda let's Char die.>Albeda does not take the deal we do need to follow through on our threat.
I'm gonna leave the voting open through tonight, ask a few more searching questions about how you're handling this tomorrow, and resolve it then.
>>4567065yeah no, ready her story again, she will do things on her own and do everything to better her love one, in this case albeda.
>>4567061>>4567065I'll agree to giving her an offer to imprison both, but if she refuses, Char's going to the wall. She's too much of a burden that will burn us. At the least, showing that Albeda doesn't care a whit about her subordinates and conspirators in this if she refuses will help erode her support among the few rational people she has left. It's just letting her dole out more rope to hang herself with at this point.
This might also end up being an Intimidate roll situation. I need to think about it.
>>4567079Do the rest of you support this idea? At this point the vote seems to be between "Char dies right here right now" and "Char dies unless Albeda turns herself in and then they can BOTH sit in cells".
>>4567065She's a psycho. She's uncontrolled, don't let waifu logic cloud your judgment.
>>4567081Yeah I'll support this
>>4567076Look if we can get Albeda to follow us, Char's a package deal. If we kill Char, we probably lock Albeda into no negotiation, ending with one of us dead on the ground, and the Swamp lesser for it.One day having someone willing to pocket flamestorm could be valuable one day when we need to pull out all the stops on a battlefield.
>>4567076I'm not saying release her, I'm saying she's really useful. We'd be foolish to waste an Arcgmage.>>4567079Two points here. One, you can't dance in heavy chains. Two, Albeda already wanted to exchange places with her, and this will only poison Albeda further against us.>>4567082Don't let your bloodlust cloud yours. This isn't about waifus, but about utility, and we'd be foolish to throw away such a powerful piece.
>>4567081And yes, I support it.
>>4567088I can see the utility of someone like her if she was just a mercenary or adventurer not a mad, jilted and bloodlust driven woman.
>>4567096But she isn't jilted and bloodlusting for us personally is more the point I'm making. It's more directed at older nobility than it is us really, and we may end up fighting them soon enough.
>>4567088There are other Flame Dancers in Vartyne you know. She is highly skilled, but not completely irreplaceable. I still remember the story of Gaius Pontius from before. Letting a humiliated and vengeful archmage walk free is just asking for trouble, let alone one who's only tie to the Swamp's wellbeing is the desire to jump Albeda's bones.
>>4567086>>4567088well you can take that argument to them too, jakob is a valuable political piece for a rebellion even making him a puppet to further that agenda yet they chose to kill him.
>>4567052>>4567081This seems reasonable.
>>4567081I'll support this. If it's this or straight execution.>>4567096>mad, jilted and bloodlust driven womanWhy do people keep Barbarians around? (Besides being PC characters) Or people like The Mountain? Because they can be directed at useful targets, and sometimes you need something to let off the leash once in a while.
>>4567101I don't think she will take kindly to us keeping her chained up like a cocoon if that time comes.
What ifWe pull the omega Chad Move>The punishment is death, now unless you have a genuine offer of surrender, I have a well that needs to be filled in.And then we just launch our military operations after kicking Char on to the wall spartan style.
>>4567115>>The punishment is death, now unless you have a genuine offer of surrender, I have a well that needs to be filled in.This is the only offer I'm willing to entertain. Complete surrender of her forces and an end to the rebellion now or death.
>>4567102We're not letting her walk free, I don't understand why people keep thinking this. And you just don't know how rare she really is. We may never find one like her again.>>45671043 to 2, it was a close vote, and we really don't fully know about the politics of the Pentagram yet. Plus, this isn't just about politics, but practicality. How many of our countrymen's lives will we save if we let her live? How much firepower can we truly bring to the battle? This would be a loss, and not just a political one.>>4567112That is not set in stone, or spoken in a prophecy. People can change, the prime example being us.
>>4567102Plus, many of the Flame Dancers are probably loyal to Old Vartyne, and we literally cucked our Fire Dancers out of existence. I honestly doubt we'd find another as powerful as her, let alone other lesser Flame Dancers flocking to the provincial lands.
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]rip spicy lesbian
>>4567115>>4567122albeda does not have real authority to command the rebels to stand down.they literally said they are fighting for a complete change of power, these are rebels dream of a revolution even we kill their leaders another one will pop out.
>>4567137Honestly, at this point I think your bloodlusting mate.
>>4567137Diplomacy is about finding solutions that benefit the people. It shouldn't be hard to pacify Char if we promise social reform and promise her and Albeda will make it out alive if they cooperate.
>>4567139yes batman i think we should jail all criminals and change them for the better, lets put all our time and money doing that while ignoring our friends and a company with thousands of employees.
HANG THAT THOT, I GOT THE ROPE RIGHT HERE!
>>4567149You only proved my point. If nobody's going to give serious thought to my arguments, why should I even bother? You all are free to make your own mistakes, but don't try and put makeup on a horse, lads.
>>4567152Your only argument is "I can change her pls no kill", ignoring justice for all her past deeds and calling people bloodlusts for not seeing the benefits of keeping her alive.
>>4567153Not my only argument. If you don't care, that's fine, but don't lie like that.
Kill the hoe>She hates Jakob and the government in general>Voted to Kill Jakob>She killed several swamp folk Spare the bitch>Albeda will be pissed if we killed her and having Albeda on our side would be great as it takes down two pillars of the rebellion without bloodshed.>Fire Dancer skills and magic on our side, something we'd be hard pressed to find otherwise. Am I missing anything?
>>4567052>[The penalty is imprisonment (because she is too useful to kill and the rebellion will be over someday)]Finally finished catching up. I'll be entirely honest a fair portion of me wanting to keep her alive is because I enjoy her as a character for interaction but also because killing prisoners always put a bad taste in my mouth.Also, for shame Anons, we have our patented mini-taser fingers and were in close range to Albeda and no one suggested shocking the bitch?
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]Are you guys not suspicious of how willing Albeda is to hand herself over to us? She is plotting to do something that can only be done from the inside.
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]It's all about setting an example.
>>4567159No, that's correct. Thank you for summarizing, anon.>>4567206I'd say she came in good faith, but I'd know that'll fall on deaf ears. I will however add that you'd only be proving Char right in the end, and also in the eyes of Aldeba as well. Such a wasted chance at a potential diplomatic end to the violence, but I guess we'll deal with the fallout after the trial.
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]THOT STATUS At Large Patrolled[X] Executed
>>4567081Supporting, even if the count seems to be pro-execution so far
>>4567081We're going to give Albeda an ultimatum, not because it's a good idea even, but because I personally can't sit back and watch us execute someone, even someone like Char. Yeah, I'm a moralfag. However, if we keep playing our cards like we have so far, (fucking excellently) we're going to make the most out of this choice, and the potential gain from this course of action, even if it's with a fair bit more r i s k than the other one is a lot greater. Also, we've rolled well enough on our checks that I assume to be sense motive that Albeda should be mostly telling the truth, we're definitely going to have to deal with whatever she's planning, but again, we plan to gain a lot more from this than the other path, and I trust all of us to see it through to its best conclusion.
>>4567052>>4567081This. I don't really give a shit about Char either way, but Albeda definitely does if she was willing to come all this way to come get her. There's always the threat that Albeda has some trick up her sleeve to take advantage of Jakob's softness, but given the alternative is fulling committing to killing Albeda and waging war against our own people, It's a risk worth taking.
>>4567081Char dies now. Because Albeda doesn't care about her own life. Her mirror images are copies of her, and are happy to die for her cause. This means that her real self is equally willing to die as long as "she" wins in the end. If we try to execute her, one of her mirrors likely just assumes her place, and if we imprison her they'll just lead in her stead. Either way, Char is far more valuable to them than Albedas true body, and that doesn't even take into account the fact that she could probably burn down the thornwall if given enough time.>[The penality is death (because the crimes she has commited are too severe for anything less]
>>4566998>You give her breast one more squeezeL-l-lewd>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]It's a trap ya moralfags
>>4567282Admittedly, this can go wrong, very wrong (for both Jakob and Albeda), but if Albeda chooses to go through with some plan from the inside of her prison cell, despite knowing the very real risk of her and more likely Char getting the guillotine finally, then there's no more moral fagging for Albeda, ever. This is officially her last chance to try and cooperate with us, I say we should at least let her the benefit of the doubt before inevitably having to kill her.
>>4567294Glass Diplomat doesn't work like that, as the imagoes die when she does, and the only way to overt that is for one of them to kill and take the place of the original. So no, it does not mean the real self is equally willing to die. Figured I'd clarify that for ya.
>>4567146>Social reform>In a feudal societyAnon, i...>>4567272>By executing her for the crime of rebellion against the lands rightful liege, as well as contributing to the death of many citizens of the swamp, that by law warrants execution you're proving that nobles disregard the law and don't care about their peopleChar is a self-righteous hypocrite that torched untold numbers of innocent commoners alive and only thinks about how good it felt to kill two tyrants. She seduced that girl fully knowing what the consequences of breaking those social barriers would be, but didn't care as long as she got what she wanted. When the obvious consequences of her actions came along, she projected her own failure to either keep it in her pants or run away with the girl onto us, and directly or indirectly killed a sizeable number of our subjects without knowing anything about us. She even went against Albedas wishes in order to kill us, because we are male and of noble blood. She long crossed the point of no return, and now she will atone for her heinous crimes by nourishing the walls.
>>4567300Fair enough. I'd imagine that they would try something like putting an arrow in her if we tried to execute her publically, then. Either way, she probably expects us to keep her alive out of sentimentality, which will allow her copies to continue without her largely unfazed. Killing their fortresscracker still seems like the better deal.
Unless I missed something, have we found out who the mysterious figure we caught trying to disguise their way in to the castle was?
Things we know about Char>Hates Nobility>Hates the kingdom in it's entirety>Hates men>Hates us specifically>Loves women>loves Albeda>doesn't really give a shit about the Swamp or the Pentagram.If, IF, we let her go, than all we'd be doing is giving her free reign to attempt more assassination attempts in order to get Albeda on the throne.
>>4567312the one we saw after we yeeted the bear sculpture? It was Albeda's mirror clone.
>>4567312It was the 7 foot demigoddess sword autist thinking no one would notice her if she pulled up her hood
>>4567052>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]Finally able to vote. Someone has to die for the attack on the castle, and it makes some sense for that person to be Naiada. We have gained a sense that she was one of the strong supporters of the attack against even Albeda's wishes. I assume they vote the same way most of the time, so this detail might be significant. I don't trust Char and Albeda to not continue to conspire against our sovereignty if they spend lots of time together again. Char is 100% committed to Albeda personally, not the Swamp's best interest necessarily. She will always be pushing her to rule.Yes, she could be a powerful ally and this may further the conflict between Flame Dancers and the Swamp. But that conflict exists for a reason, and I value the support and trust of our Headsmen more than the nebulous idea of a future where all the Flame Dancers are under our rule.
>>4567052>"Char dies unless Albeda turns herself in and then they can BOTH sit in cells"It's as much mercy as we can afford to show, I don't think there is anyway to change Char's mind she is completely delusional about her own role in what happened. And I would even support hobbling her or otherwise disable her ability to use her magic, if she is ever let go. That said she was dealt a shit hand but she played her cards with all the skill of cardshark with mirror glasses.
>>4567081> "Char dies unless Albeda turns herself in and then they can BOTH sit in cells".Lurker jumping in on a big vote. This is Ableda's moment (and our opportunity) to tesr her willingness to co-operate...and while there's definitely risk here, there's also more potential gain. We may as well leverage the threat of execution to get BOTH of them imprisoned. Albeda has also been rolling like a crack bitch as we've tried to sense her motives, so I'm pretty sure the dice gods will favor our intimidation.
>>4567300Albeda's glass sloot very clearly explained in the first encounter that the glass diplomats do frequently kill off the originals and take their place, they are a complete copy of the person at the time they were made. They just can't ever learn new magic. So even if THIS Albeda surrenders or joined Jacob her diplomats would not as they are copies of an earlier Albeda hell bent on their revolution. And would be more than happy to off their traitorous original.
>>4567383Basically what we need for as a counter offer from Albeda is her as a prisoner also, as we are not releasing Char, and she needs to give us the locations of her glass whoresOtherwise ahe herself has very little actual value as prisoner in this exchange unfortunately. Hell Char is the only one of the Pentical that has committed high treason, we can forgive The other members for their transgressions in exchange for Char's life.But Char either dies or spends the rest of her miserable life in chains to be either in a cell or being carted around with the army only to ever dance at targets we choose, never free to dance for herself again. And even then odds are she will immediately try to kill everyone when given the chance...
>>4567383Well Committed High treason openly anywayAlbeda's claim of being the true heir can be brushed under the rug as she hasn't openly killed any of our people.
>>4567052>"Char dies unless Albeda turns herself in and then they can BOTH sit in cells"Put it on her
>>4567081>I'll vote to support it.But I'm a lurker so take my input as you will.
whoops, big typo>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]They're murderers and rebels, letting them live is a disgrace to our people and should honestly inspire another rebellion in itself.The power of friendship stuff doesn't always work.
Here's the current tally:>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]>>4567055>>4567057>>4567058>>4567060>>4567136>>4567222>>4567249>>4567274>>4567294>>4567295>>4567365>>4567517Twelve Votes>[The penalty is imprisonment (because she is too useful to kill and the rebellion will be over someday)]>>4567059>>4567198Two Votes>Offer to imprison both>>4567061>>4567083>>4567079>>4567089>>4567108>>4567282(1 post)>>4567286>>4567369>>4567381(1 post)>>4567459(1 post)>>4567498(1 post)Eleven Votes (four from single post ids)
>>4567527Oh shit, didn't realise the vote was that close. Guess I'll change in hopes of some chance of their survival.>>4567052Changing my vote (>>4567198) to supporting >>4567061.
>>4567527But have you accounted for people who support the death penalty and then went along with the idea of a possible surrender? I'm trying not to let my own pro-execution sentiments interfere.
I'm mostly down for offering double imprisonment because it eliminates two enemies rather than one.
>>4567527You didn't count my vote.
I'm fine with offering double imprisonment and then killing both of them but I feel like no one else is going to be on that train with me.
>>4567539How can a QM be so based?He's managing to patrol his inner-thot(patrol)!
>>4567539I only counted explicit votes.Still don't understand how people expect sparing her to go well, considering she's a remorseless mass-murdering terrorist that despises every aspect of our being.Not to mention, she's a lesbian, and thus cannot be trusted or reasoned with in good faith.And that's not even taking into account the will of the people, and our whole purpose in having this trial in the first place. Now is not the time for leniency, especially for a foreign agitator.
>>4567631I've been thinking about it, but the potential for 2 for 1ing here seems good with Albeda turning herself in. Won't be too torn up if the execution option wins, or she declines and Char dies.
>>4567301I don't see it that way. Self-righteous hypocrite, totally. But did she seduce our people to her cause, was she a rallying pitch for the rebellion? The fact of the matter is that she didn't kill our people, they joined in, albeit reluctantly. And our domain starts at the Swamp, so I don't see the actions she committed against against other conspiratorial nobles as anything to to with the Swamp. Fact of the matter, she was just another foot-soldier, not matter how highly ranked, and it makes no sense to prove her case about male nobles with Aldeda right in front. If you wanted to make this civil war personal, killing friends is a good way to go about it, and I don't think that'll save more of our countrymen's lives in the immediate future.>>4567304I think your reading too much into the capabilities of a Glass Diplomat. They may be able to live beyond their caster, but it'll still be a hollow existence, being just as brittle as glass.Plus, aren't we going to be Northern rebels that took fortresses in the North? In the end, she may end up saving more live than she cost, which would be for the benefit of the Swamp as a whole.>>4567343Why does everyone assume we'd be letting her go scot-free? FFS lads, I'm saying let her run-amok unsupervised, I'm saying she's a fucking tool for ending this silly rebellion faster, as well as potential dumb muscle to save live in future wars.>>4567358Kek >>4567365The problem I see is that this will only prolong this silly conflict (the rebellion, we know jack shit about the other Flame Dancers besides them fucking up and the Shadowbinders taking advantage of the situation), not bring it to a closer end. Second, your assuming that when the rebellion ends, that she'll continue plotting against us, but we're not the ones who caused her troubles, and bared no personal resentment against us, so I doubt she would continue when we got Old Vartyne breathing down our necks, wanting a piece of the pie.>>4567383In good ol' Vartyne, your probably right, but it would be and incredibly stupid and silly option, as there would only be one and not multiple, and that one as delicate a glass. And that's if she wanted to continue the rebellion after her death in the first place, and I don't think she's that committed to the rebellion, or so powerhungery as to transcend glass magic and kill the original.>>4567399Besides Gray, you mean. As he did send the furries to commit his treason. Somehow people keep forgetting this little fact.>>4567577*Sigh*>>4567631I don't understand how people expect killing her to go well, especially considering we'd be doing it right in front of her friend. It would only strengthen her resolve, not break it.
>>4567701...as anything to do* with the Swamp.......I'm not* saying let her run amok unsupervised...I do hate when autocorrect eats up a post.
>>4567052>>[The penalty is death (because she is too dangerous to live and help the rebellion somehow)]Look if Albeda is going to surrender herself to us without a fight then she has no value as a prisoner or fighter. She's just a puppet of the pentagram and this war isn't going to magically end because you want it too. It will only show our weakness.
>>4567701>*Sigh*Oh come on, they're traitors and murderers, they don't deserve common courtesy unless they willingly capitulate. You have to tear this kind of thing out by the roots if you don't want constant instability.Grey and Gloam are the only ones I'd consider sparing at this current point in time. Same with a lot of the footsoldiers depending on their crimes, many of them are unable to leave.
>>4567539>I'm trying not to let my own pro-execution sentiments interfere.Based Wong. The wall hungers.
It looks like death prevails.>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless]>[Death by Water: Drowning in the bogs, medium]>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]
>>4568033>>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]TO THE WALL
>>4568033>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]All in all she's just another thorn in the wall
>>4568033>[Death by Water: Drowning in the bogs, medium]For the Irony. Flame dancer dies by water.Also because torture for days on the walls seems extreme, even for traitors. I personally don't want Too brutal of a reputation.
>>4568033>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]Let Char's corpse serve as an example of what happens to those who threaten the realm, and the people within it. Hey Albeda, looks like your bookclub is going to have a lot more ties in it's votes right now.
>>4568033>Death by SnakebiteAn Absol lord should be steadfast in his principles, but does not need to be cruel. This will guarantee we make a point about traitors while also giving a decent chance about not driving away on-the-fence rebels.
>>4568033>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless]>>4568022>Oh come on, they're traitors and murderers, they don't deserve common courtesy unless they willingly capitulate. You have to tear this kind of thing out by the roots if you don't want constant instability.>Grey and Gloam are the only ones I'd consider sparing at this current point in time.Take a moment to reflect, mate, on your position here.
>>4568033If it is going to be a gruesome execution, I want it described in full detail. Bloodlust should be rewarded with blood.
>>4568033>>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]Drowning would be fine too, it is delicious irony for a flame dancer to be consumed by water as the anon said.
>>4568052Eh, Gloam has just kind of been holed up in his cave the entire time, has he really done anything to mess with us? I'd be fine with giving him a chance to surrender if and only if he doesn't start unleashing hordes of undead on us or something. I guess I wouldn't be horribly bothered if Shell capitulated, but in my eyes they already tried to brutally murder us with their weird gorilla-frog-thing so they'd have execution coming.As for Grey it's not a matter of whether I think they deserve the death penalty or not, but we're already going the diplomacy route with the pack, I want to commit to that.
>>4568033>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless]
So I've been thinking more about Jakob's strong wife prospects. If Albeda's words are to be taken seriously, which they don't seem to be but whatever, I think we might want to pay extra attention to that Shadowbinder girl Grandmama sent after Jakob.I don't expect something fowl, just that Grandmama might have some special interests beyond getting one of her girls more closely linked to the Lord's family. As much as I'd want to meme about it, I doubt Clemmy 2.0 is actually just the same shit again, At least, for variety's sake I really hope not, so it's very likely it's a facade hiding something completely different personality as well as different intent other than winning the Lord's heart and getting fucked preggo full of babies. Something to consider.>>4568033>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless]For the sake of salvaging any future business and familiar relation Jakob might have with Albeda. There is no reason to feel any particular contempt for Char, unless your pride is so easily hurt by the words of a desperate woman at the end of her rope.There will be other more worthy victims for the wall to take and it seems like a really weird move to spend all this time buttering up Albeda with sentimentality just to spit in her face by torturing her lover to death while she watches.
>>4568065What has Char really done to us, besides some mean words and failing to duel? I'm serious here, as it doesn't matter what happens now.And why do you think Grey would take the diplomacy route? The Pack I understand, but Grey probably did vote to kill us, why else would the Pack follow his orders?
>>4568065Look if we did the thing of imprison them both then execute them, why would Gloam be ever willing to surrender, when we would have just proved we were gonna kill all traitors, no matter what platitudes we said.>>4568033Also I'll swap >>4568042 to>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless]
>>4568033>>[Death by Water: Drowning in the bogs, medium]Snakebite is letting her off too easily and thorns is too much.
>>4568033>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]
>>4568092It also sends a highly symbolic message. Outsiders who meddle in swamp affairs will be drowned by the swamp.
>>4568083>failing to duelWhether she failed or not isn't really the point, she tried to kill us and clearly isn't going to capitulate. If we don't kill her she's just going to try again in the future.As for Grey you make a fair point anon, maybe it wasn't worth going the diplomacy route with the pack. Still, I do recall some discussions a thread or two back about hunting rights and autonomy that might be able to satiate him. Diplomacy-wise there's also the possibility of wresting control of the pack from him in a fair fight, but I see almost no chance of that happening with our current strength. (although it would be awesome)so tdlr; it'd be nice if it worked out but it's more than fair to doubt that it will, I just want to give it a try first>>4568084>Look if we did the thing of imprison them both then execute them, why would Gloam be ever willing to surrender, when we would have just proved we were gonna kill all traitors, no matter what platitudes we said.He wouldn't be willing to do that if we actually went through with it, no. If that's what we were meant to be discussing I agree with you. I figured any loss of surrender potential on Gloam and Shell's end would be evened out by the loss of one of their strongest mages.My point was that as for the current situation we've voted for, if Gloam surrendered I would be willing to accept it unless it came to light that they massacred a village or something.
>>4568033>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]More out of curiosity than anything else
>>4568110>Whether she failed or not isn't really the point, she tried to kill us and clearly isn't going to capitulate. If we don't kill her she's just going to try again in the future.We've dealt with and are now working with tons of people that wanted to kill us in the past.From the way she talked in her little speech, if we had allowed her and Albeda to be together in some capacity and "left well enough alone", she probably would have calmed down significantly. At least to the point to see that Albeda was right all along in not killing Jakob. People make it sound like dealing with Char is some kill or be killed sort of ordeal, forgetting completely that she's 100% at our mercy and that all she really wants is to be able to muff dive without the risk of persecution of people beyond her station. She's a horrible bitch sure, but the price of peace and not expending unnecessary lives fighting a pointless civil war is dealing with the occasional bitch, and given what Char actually wants it would have been simple enough to get through this leg of things without all the bullshit and even work towards building a world where people like Char don't come to be in the first place. That last bit might be a bit too idealistic, but if anyone's in the position to do it it's Jakob.
>>4568033>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]Those who swear fealty live, those who still resist dies horribly, simple as.
>>4567527You counted me twice anonOnce for kill her and once offering to take Albeda prisoner in exchange for imprisonment in place of death for Char>>4568033Damn I had lots of time to think while ar work So I'm going to do my write in and maybe people will be on board with it give me a few just got in the door.But incase they don't. >SnakeWe can at least make it quick I guess as some kind of consolation for Albeda
>>4568033>>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]Thots btfo
>>4568033>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless
>>4568168>Albeda I had hope I could simply knock some sense into you and that it would be enough for you to see your mistake and come back home.>And here you are, and yet you come to tell me you are only here to defy the wishes of your cabal and save this fool who so openly and gleefully talks of massacring innocent people to achieve her revenge... And in that same breath tell me you were unwilling to defy them to save me, we are family Albeda. But if it meant saving the lives of the denizens of this swamp I would tear out my own heart and hang you on that wall.>Albeda, in front of all my headsmen, my soldiers and my people I offer you this, I will spare this fool the wall, but only if you come home, and not as some prisoner of war to sit out the fighting in the dungeon. Come home, help me bring your friends into line, help me prevent the bloodshed of OUR people. Together let us March north and crush the false god worshipping cultists! Together slay the Dragon bring havoc to the mountains! TOGETHER we will find out the true extent of the kings depravities and if he has truly betrayed his station and his people then UNDER TWO EYES OF ABSOL SHALL HE SQUIRM, WRITHE AND WITHER! >Albeda I offer this to you once, because if you don't take my offer now than it will truly be war and I don't know if I can ever open the gates of castle Briarfast to you again.>Don't make me harden my heart and kill the Jacob who pestered you to play Regicide. The Jacob who watched in wonder whenever you came to show off the new spells Father taught you. >Ableda come home.... Oh my god wall of text Had hours at work to think out an entire speach and no internet to post it.Well anons, agree, disagree, suggestions? Let me hear it. >
>>4568214Good effort anon, but.....We weren't terribly close before, and seems a bit pandering to her. Let's not callout in front of everyone that the King has betrayed us and our family unless we're totally sure about it. Seems like a fast lane to be given an excuse to crush us by other provinces or the nobles, with the king's blessing.It commits us to marching north, then heading off to help the Ryds, all while telling everyone our plans that we are leaving, giving away free intel.Smacks of a little too much desperation to keep her around, in short.I'm a little more of a fan of "I will bury you, unless you give up" rather than "Please come home....."
>>4568256Eh, not all my ramblings can be winners But yeah, it was meant as a last offer for Albeda because I very muh doubt we will ever be in another position to give her one. Once she walks out those gates, no God, king or realm will save her from us, we burn her and her ilk out of every hole, cave and Craig till we have stamped out her rebellion in full. If she leaves Castle Brairfast now she only returns to it on the wall...
>>4568267>While noble it's too little, too late. We will promise her that we will do things which may or may not come to pass.
>>4568267People that are for crucifixion are fully convinced that Albeda is trying to pull a fast one on us and both her and Char are lost causes that need to be made examples of. Based on Wong being bias towards execution I wouldn't be surprised if that turned out to be the case despite everything. Unless of course he just like the drama of us making less than optimal choices.People that are for snakebite just want to damage control whatever relationship with Albeda is left.You also gotta remember that for all our recent sentimentality, Jakob and Albeda don't really have the best relationship to start with. I was hoping that her imprisonment would have led to an olivebranch of sorts being offered, but it seems like we won't get the chance. No way she'll be anything more than an enemy if we hang Char up, and even if we don't and give Char the snakebite, I doubt Albeda will go quietly even if she's more likely to go eventually. At this point it's either have Albeda become our archnemesis that needs to be slain or have Albeda be an enemy that needs to be stopped.Either way bloodshed is assured at this point.
>>4568070Sure, laddy. I totally believe that the Shadowbinding ritual, which peels off you flesh so dark spirits can seep in, produces sane, kind women in the end. Totally.But your right about it being something to consider.>>4568110So fear of the future. You could say the same about the rest of the Pentagram, but sure. You have not convinced me of you point about future attempts, though. Things would be different in peacetime.But it is interesting you'd give the rest a chance to atone, though.And I don't think cornering a wounded animal, let alone magi, is a good strategy. Leniency is always better to prevent them from pulling a Cheill.And if Goalm did massacre a village, he goes to the Wall.>>4568135Same, mate. But it's a mute point now.
>>4568214I like it. Support.
>>4568285Yeah, Albeda is willing to go against the Pentical to save CharBut she wasn't willing to do the same for us, I even said as much. Really does say alot about Albeda and Jacob's relationships eh?But yeah, Would have been nice if I could have posted this earlier, but alas the real world takes priority.
>>4568287>produces sane, kind women in the end. Totally.That's not what I meant.I'm still expecting a Yandere, just not the manic Clemmy type. Maybe the cold, calculating type that plays the role of the easily manipulated cloying fangirl only to flip the script on you and turn into ice around people she doesn't need to fool.At this point she's JUST Clemmy 2.0, which is something I find to be incredibly suspicious given this new info about Grandmama.
>>4568285Keep in mind, this is our first actual interaction with her a a proper character. I don't get all the fear of being caught off guard, they are at our mercy, yet we fear them still? It's irrational to me.And bloodshed was only assured because most voted for execution. It's why I prefer it to be wanton bloodlust, because the other options seems like we're lashing out like a fearful child, and causing more strife for our Swamp. I don't want to play a Lord Shinji lads.>>4568301Eh. I honestly don't picture her to be that sort of character, but whatever fits your fancy lad.
>>4568319...her as* a proper character.
>>4568319>And bloodshed was only assured because most voted for execution.That's basically what I was getting at, yeah.You can't kill a bitch's waifu and expect her and her's to just take that laying down. I'm sure most Thornfags understand this and are more than willing to sacrifice the lives of the swampfolk if it means dabbing on dykes, but maybe I'm giving them too much credit. Maybe I'm not giving them enough credit and Albeda really is a complete fucking psychopath and this whole thing really was a counter trap from the jump. We'll see soon enough. >Eh. I honestly don't picture her to be that sort of character, but whatever fits your fancy lad.I picture her as anything other than a repeat of what we've seen already. I'm sure Wong won't let me down.
>>4568033>[Death by Water: Drowning in the bogs, medium]sploosh
>>4568337The funniest part is that we've been lucky with the rolls. How long do they expect that luck to last? We may lose this yet, and I'll be laughing my ass off if it happens. I can only hope that when it bites us in the ass, it won't be infected.
You know what pissed me off? She's willing to throw herself into the proverbial fire, for the fire-dancer. But when it came to us? Nah, fuck us, she actively planned and conducted multiple assassination attempts, her mirror-image bragged about it, and even now she's unrepentant. If she had presented herself before the chimaera (abomination) attempt and made her case, I'd be all too willing to forgive her and co-operate if need be. But she doesn't' care about us, and if she did, it is dwarfed by her own ambition.She loved a foreigner more than her own brother(not in blood). I wonder if the MC is actually hurt (emotionally) by that knowledge, that any love he had for her was one-sided at best.
>>4568360Anon I think you need to take a deep breath. You are getting very worked up over a quest. I just hope everyone is having fun, it's a game that's the point right? And besides we all know Wong is enough of a sadist to make us pay for our own choices, it may not be immediately, but all our opinions, all our arguments and all our choices come home to roost in some form or another.
>>4568378It's not the quest that's making me worked up necessarily, but I do appreciate your advice.
>>4568378If you think this is bad just wait until we get into the pleasurable business of settling on a waifu.
>>4568360It's kinda funny how the dice, the Lucky trait, and some solid planning have allowed us to dominate pretty much all of our encounters, minus the midnight snack one.If the consensus is that we've hardened our hearts, then we've got to move on and keep working towards crushing the rebels swiftly, with as few losses as possible.Still, I'm interested in who or how Albeda got the prophecy from. Because I'm thinking someone got that info, and then approached Albeda with the thinking of "I need an Absol to fulfill this, so I can shit on the king" or break the kingdom or something along those lines.
>>4568400Time for another 400 post shit storm where Wong gives us free levels in seduction I guessSam and Clemmy forever the UJCDF (I think that's how it was written) Makes the best girls You can't change my mind. vegies lovers and Martians get fucked.
>>4567159This is me btw
>>4568400I'm all for going for Monk Jakob. Monks get all the bitches, right?>>4568405We were distracted insatiable lust for cheese.I imagine it was Char, unless Albeda got a harem of foreign simps while she was away.
>>4568373Honestly, this is valid.Still think Jakob would try to be the better man about it though.
>>4568428+1, both are valid
>>4568424The Absol Family's legendary Insatiable lust for CHEESE is arguably a greater weakness than Jacob's poor physical and interpersonal stats
>>4568033>[Death by water]I'd go for thorns but hanging her on the walls would just give Albeda an opportunity to rescue her. A watery grave will be less symbolically powerful, but is better than the snake bite. And to all the diplomancers ITT: does it really seem reasonable that we play nice with someone that tried to have us killed the moment we became ruler? This isn't undertale, where any problem can be solved with just being nice to the enemy until they can't bring themselves to kill yoy anymore. There are people that will use your kindness against you to squeeze every bit of advantage they can, especially if those people have a cause they're willing to die for. Albeda might hold some vestigal fondness towards us, but she has clearly shown that sentimentality means nothing to her, compared to power. Don't think that our legitimacy will survive pussyfooting around punishing traitors either. A feudal ruler is, by his very nature, a dictator, and no dictator can maintain hold over his subjects by being just and merciful. The admiration of one's people is easily forgotten once things get tough, but a measure of fear will keep hostile propaganda from influencing them. The very minimum required by such a ruler is to make an example out of those that challenge his rule, and that is why Char cannot live, even if we were inclined to spare her
>>4568518Something akin to Our Father had enough power and reputation to be sympathetic and forgiving to those who would cross him, like Grey who I can only assume lives because Arnveis let him. But Jacob isn't the Archmage Lord Arnveis Absol the Black... Yet
>>4568518I mean, this was a cute attempt at convincing lad, but I frankly just don't believe in your reasons. Somehow, we're weak and lack legitimacy? That kindness is weakness? That because we live in a feudal society, we're demanded to be dictators? Usually, it's those who lack legitimacy that use fear to keep others in line, simply put. And quite frankly, Albeda seems the more sentimental than powerhungry type, for why else did she arrive here in the flesh but to contest a friend's death? Frankly, your logic doesn't follow through. Only weak rulers use fear to legitimize their rule, and we aren't a weak ruler. You'd do better at appealing to emotion than cold logic, lad.After all, I'm not the one trying to invoke Undertale to win a argument.
>>4568033>[Death by Serpent: Snakebite, quick and painless]Send her to her lover
>>4568267Eh. There is a bit of a difference there, I think. There is no way she surrenders without her deal being accepted, because she's not here to give up. While I was, as I said, FOR executing Char personally...useful rivals and rebels have, in the past, been pardoned and converted to good effect.
>>4568070Clemmy would never have touched magic if it existed, and certainly would never have NOT fought Hannah personally, to the death. She had to get her mech reduced to a torso by Red Siren aurographing it with the Archen's coherent beam projectors to get her to calm down. They both have some gremlin energy, but there are pronounced differences.
>>4568678For one thing, Clemmy would have headbutted Jacob as a form of greeting the second he entered the kitchen.No hiding in the shadows.
>>4568673I just don't trust Char to not make another attempt at our life, especially if we went with that one anons plan of locking her up until we need her to nuke someone.
For anyone feeling guilty, I would like to tell you a story from the lifetime of a man famous for pardoning his enemies and weeping over the death of his greatest rival.https://www.britannica.com/story/the-time-julius-caesar-was-captured-by-piratesSister Char pushed for and spearheaded a plan to have you, you personally, killed. Despite what Albeda said, dying at the hands of a chimera is not exactly pleasant. Now, Albeda might not know this because they don't have National Geographic in Vartyne, but monkeys are known to start eating when their prey is still alive. Baboons have definitely been caught on tape doing this to baby antelope, for example. If you hadn't been on the roof, you would have had this thing prowling around your castle at night, hyperaggressive from the drugs and with a very high Stealth and Climb pool. Lilly could have run into it, or Harvin, or some friendly old cook who's never hurt anything that wasn't being slaughtered for your table. If you're intent on sparing say, Gloam, or Grey, or Albeda, or Shell, none of them have quite launched anything with so much collateral damage potential even if they voted on an assassination attempt. Shell maybe, since she was involved in providing the creature. Char also helped coerce some of your subjects, who are otherwise fairly regular Absol Swamp mages aside from some weird adoptive tribal traditions, into a situation where they were expected to bring violence into your castle town, to people who are directly under your protection. Several Night Hunters died specifically covering Char's retreat. Now she could have avoided that by casting the spell that makes her effectively have Might 2 on her own, taking on more personal risk for better odds with the Unconventional Attack that got beaten by your Policing roll. Char did you, personally, a big wrong. I try not to think about this stuff when I'm writing it, but on a reread a few weeks later, I can definitely see an interest in seeing justice done, and that doesn't necessarily mean that Jakob is going to crucify literally everyone who doesn't kneel in his presence.
>>4568714Oh I don't feel bad about executing CharThis whole using her execution as bait was originally my idea that another anon added the trial too.She served her purpose of luring out Albeda, shame Albeda wasn't willing to offer what I/we wanted, but such is life, now we siege the well and begin grinding her and her collective into unremembered dust or they capitulate.We get to play the game of how many of Albeda's treehouse club friends does it take hanging on the wall for her to realize she dun fucked up.My bet is on four, but five wouldn't shock me.
>>4568413The only word you were missing was Independent. The United Jovian Colonies Independent Defense Force. Ironically there was also a UJCDF, usually shortened to CDF, which consists of a colony's local forces. On a typical Jovian colony, they're basically just police, they can maybe handle small pirate crews with a bunch of weapons, a few suits of power armor, and a couple of Harpies, but pirate captains with fully-stocked hangars and Jovian or Martian military cruisers for pirate ships instead of repurposed transport ships and passenger cutters? The kind that you had to be at minimum to get a mention in Roarke's armada? Those kind of threats are a matter for the UJCIDF. Now, for a planetary colony? That's an entirely separate issue. For a long time, the Avalon War consisted of Jovian-armed and Jovian-funded (or Martian-armed and Martian-funded) planetary CDF fighting Avalon-backed insurgents until proper Avalonian and Jovian forces actually started getting sent to disputed worlds. Local auxiliaries in slightly elderly Bluegills on Qu'lir, for example, would count as CDF. Martians do it slightly differently, because the Holy Militia functions differently. Anyone wealthy enough to be important is expected to field armor and either serve directly in or sponsor professional soldiers affiliated with the Martian Holy Militia, a practice they encourage (and sell mecha to) among any Hakimite Islamic population they convert on a planet where they're active. It's why Mohammed got stopped on Qu'lir, they probably assumed he was a sponsored pilot in the Holy Militia and wondered why the fuck he hadn't been at mosque.
>>4568714>Caesar made himself at home among the pirates, bossing them around and shushing them when he wanted to sleep. He made them listen to the speeches and poems that he was composing in his unanticipated downtime and berated them as illiterates if they weren’t sufficiently impressedWhat a fucking chad.
>>4568732Caesar could be argued as one of the greatest Chads of history I'd say. Considering how much his name is a synonym for Ruler across Europe (I.E. Tzar, Kaiser)
>>4568729Unconditional surrender? It wasn't realistic, especially with revenge on the mind.
>>4568690Literally correct. Although, keep in mind, Clemmy had horrible personal trauma and General Fairchild as her only friend making her the way she was. This girl is around Jakob's age, and presumably has not caught at least a bit of Space Madness.
>>4568732Easily the best part.
>>4568340>>4568033Switching to >[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]It's definitely warranted in this situation. I didn't expect this execution to be so polarizing.
>>4568739Well actually I wanted her or 1-3 of the White Wolves to March an army and attack the castle in the period between us holding the trial and when we actually put her on the wall where we and our main army were sieging the well so we could pincer her forcesHer actually showing up, in person, under the flag of Parley was outside the scope of my Original plans.I genuinely did not expect that. Also my plans got slightly thrown askew when people wanted to immediately execute Char before we marched on the well.Shrugs
>>4568740Space madness is the finest spice
>>4568756I thought that was the plan as well, which was why I was confused about why people wanted an immediate trial and then march to the Well, instead of said pincer maneuver. Sort of why I originally thought it was bloodlust, because most of the lads originally wanted to rest and not be proactive after the first battle, and I had to convince them that striking while the iron was hot may have been a smart decision.
>>4568758On the other hand, she is a Shadowbinder.
>>4568781Well she's definitely been touched by an all consuming void of darkness.... Just not the same one as Roark and friends!
>>4568732>He would participate in the pirates’ games and exercises, but he always addressed them as if he were the commander and they were his subordinates. From time to time he would threaten to have them all crucified. They took it as a joke from their overconfident, slightly nutty captive.>It wasn’t a joke. After 38 days, the ransom was delivered and Caesar went free. Astonishingly, Caesar managed to raise a naval force in Miletus—despite holding no public or military office—and he set out in pursuit of the pirates. He found them still camped at the island where he had been held, and he brought them back as his captives. When the governor of Asia seemed to vacillate about punishing them, Caesar went to the prison where they were being held and had them all crucified.Holy shit. Absolutely based.
>>4568033>>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]It's what she deserves.
>a whole shit-tonne of posts going up while I spent pretty much all day driving.Taking personal distaste for people trying the sympathy defense out of their actions out of it, the explicit methods and choice of execution were laid out in the previous thread if I got it right. Snake is for crimes worthy of execution without exceptional malice to the accused, like a murder to steal property from your neighbour. A Bad Thing, but clear in motive even if it is detestable. Drowning is for crimes worthy of execution that were disgusting in nature, infanticides or a murder of a related minor. Mothers and Fathers shouldn't kill their children after all. Thorns are for execution crimes against the Absol, their family, or especially horrific crimes. Mass murderers who rape and kill children, high treason, assassins, etc. Given the nature of the fact that Char came up with the plan, had killed entire households in her past down south, and is unrepentant for any of these crimes, the Thorns is the only one that makes sense. She took the lives of innocents (not the lords, but the serving people and guards who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) via burning, a very nasty way to die. She also caused the death of swampfolk by changing the plan, and weakened them as a whole. Even factoring out the fact that she plotted and attempted the murder of the Absol, she'd still be worthy of the wall for the priors. The plots just cement it in my eyes.I'm less intent on executing the other heads of the Pentacle, mainly going to make up my mind depending on how much effort and pain they cause the province by the time we capture them. Call me biased, but Char is a foreign agent, whereas Grey, Shell, Gloam and Albeda are swampfolk. Even if they wind up snake-bit, drowned or crucified regardless in the end, so far Char is the one who has caused the most explicit harm to the swamp. Grey hasn't ripped apart anyone that we found yet , Shell has only sent out the one chimera, and Gloam has been using the dead from ancient battlegrounds rather than fresh corpses for now. It may change later on, depending on what happens, but it's not there yet.As for marching on the well right after the trial, it's more striking while the iron was hot. Use the trial to bait out Albeda so that she would attempt to rescue Char with our army mustered outside the castle or leave her to her fate, and then move onto the Well before they get much more re-supply from Dampmeade. They may still try and assault Briarfast while we're away, but trying to disrupt Gloam's zombie production is worth it while they're still reeling from losing a substantial amount of Night Hunters from the botched putsch. Didn't expect her to try and parley for Char, but it is an opportunity to undercut Albeda's support among our own. Her winding up in her undergarments and being unable to rescue her fellow Archmage will spread and damage her credibility as a ruling prospect further.
Also, tossing this one up to make up for the tl;dr above this post. Made sure to add in the eyes on Albeda's robes, since we know that detail now.
>>4568714Yeah and he was literally stabbed in the back.Execute Char.Demand Albeda commit honorable suicide or be executed when we win.Death to the Pentacle traitors.
>>4569126Still a legend and the creator of one of the greatest empires in human history, if Jakob could have a run like his, that would be a blessing
>>4568955I must say, even if I disagree with the method, I do appreciate the logic in your post.Also, >>4568993 is based.
>>4568993Love it.Only thing is that I don't know when Char came into the picture, so keeping the mater info a secret might not be true. I can totally see this as informal peasant talk later though, so 100% accuracy might not be needed.
>>4569238* masterGod damn it
Random pic bumping post here. Got a bit inspired from the descriptions of the Headman masks, and decided to knock together my own interpretation of them for the ones we know of so far. Still needs Dampmeade and Weeptree to close out for our major villages, but should be fine enough for now. Labelled them for ease of reference, even if they're not exactly right. A bit simplistic in drawing, but did pretty decent for drawing with a mouse in Paint like a mongoloid.
>>4570210Dude. I already love it! You have my appreciation.
>>4570210Even better than I pictured them! Dampmeade is a bright red mask, what little of it can be seen with its thick mustache and beard of dried reeds. Weeptree's mask is made from rough textured bark that gives it the look of aged wrinkles, and is painted grey with bright blue painted into the wrinkles beneath the eyes, to give the impression that it's crying.
>>4570247There's Wong Bingo, I think. I had my trip off posting on /k/.
>>4568033>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]Traitors get the Wall
>>4568033>[Death by serpent]Tempting as feeding someone to the Wall is, I'd like to think that we don't delight in causing suffering. She deserves to die, we've voted that way. So her life will end. Quickly, cleanly, and with a minimum of ceremony. This isn't revenge, it's justice.That said, I'm not sure when I'd personally vote for Thorns for anything at or above a "LN" alignment. Maybe the King himself? If someone made an attack more on our people, IE poisonings, or something just absolutely vile? (Hey Gloam whatcha doin' with our people's ancestors buddy)This is really about a message, and that message is "We're not to be fucked with, but we're also not a savage." You have to EARN the Wall.
The annoying thing is that there's a middle ground here, drowning, but there wasn't enough votes for that in the beginning, and so probably polarized a lot of people to either the Wall or Serpent.
>>4570544Except the requirements for each punishment has been clearly laid out, and Char more than deserves the Thorns.
>>4570587Well, it was quite polarized before just determining punishment, so it makes sense it would carry over to the style of execution.
>>4570625That's the weird thing about compromise timing. If there's a near even split and then you "compromise" after, you're just further toward the side that won. If, for example, the vote is "higher or lower", split 51/49, the "compromise" should be "barely higher." But if you position the compromise solution after that vote, when the new decision (how much higher?) options are "a little, a decent amount, a ton." It's not a true compromise, it's just the average of the 51, not the average of the 100.
I don't care about physical appearances or any other pro's/con's of waifus. I have only a deep patriarchal drive to convert Albeda into a trad wife.
>>4570818>A menagerie of thots desiring the Seed and Attention of Lord Absol.>Big, Smoll, Thicc and Svelte, if it's possible, Absol can have it. >But they don't realise, Absol has an incest fetish>>Insert Abelda's horrified look
>Death By Drowning
>>4568033>Death by water
>>4570249When are you planning on running next Wong?
>>4568033>>[Death by Thorns: crucifixion upon the wall, the highest form of execution]
>>4571016He runs whenever he wants to
>>4570873She's not actually a blood relative. Informally adopted and allowed to use the Absol name because some relative of hers who she's not directly descended from married an Absol who Jakob isn't directly descended from.
>>4571016Friday, I'll make a post here shortly with the execution, it's just easy to procrastinate and rewrite it a bunch between the usual gametimes because I often am not satisfied with the first version of it.
“Lord Jakob isn't occupying our homes with his troops, forcing men off their farms and into a suicidal attack because they know the wrong magic.” Apple-chekeed Marin hisses like a viper, her vitriol shocking, “Some of 'em are children, little boys.” Her gaze is on the Night Hunters behind her mask, “And the monster that climbed the tower...one of my nephews was on guard duty that day.” The Last Loyal are drawn from all over the province, it's unsurprising that some of them are from Hookslaw, “If he hadn't been, someone else's would've been. His Lordship baited it to him, the way I hear it. He endangered himself to protect us. That's what a lord does, you brats.” Her gaze fixes on the three albinos with particular venom, “You animals.”The three of them peel their pale teeth back from their pale gums, revealing teeth as sharp as fangs, and snarl in unison. The soldiers nearby tighten their grips on their weapons, and you see some of the nearby mages draw dolls out of their sleeves, spread their wings in anticipation, or reach a hand towards the nearest brazier for smoke to shape. Your steward sighs, resignation in his voice. You put your hand on Harvin's shoulder, and squeeze. He despises killing, after all. You can't expect more than support in a tie, and all the others seem to be in agreement, “It doesn't have to be unanimous.” You say quietly, then raise your voice, “Naiada of Escanto, known as Sister Char. You released a dangerous animal into my home, threatening my life and the lives of my people. You spearheaded a plan to have me assassinated, coerced my subjects into assisting you, and got several of them killed. Nor was it an isolated incident, you've killed people uninvolved with wronging you before. There's no posh Southern manor without a fleet of servants, guards, tenants, and you killed them as surely as you did those two lords. Your entire life has been a display of selfishness and overweening pride burning those around you. Headmen, do you agree?” You watch everyone but Harvin nod. “The sentence is Death by Thorns. I give you to the Wall, that in death you may at least provide nourishment for something that lives. Guards, take her away.”[Continue]
“The...Wall? What does he mean by that?” Sister Char, her face no longer obscured by a mask, stares at Albeda.Albeda's expression is blank. Unsurprised, if a trifle pale. She had to know this was the most likely outcome. Naiada deserves the Wall, and she is too unpredictable, too arrogant, and with too much hatred for men and nobles of the blood to ever be useful to you. “Think of Alia.” She says, her voice strained. You still have your helmet off, perhaps that's for the best. “Yes. Because you killed her too.” You don't even look to see the reaction your words get. “Albeda, you will remain here, or depart at your leisure.” You know if you didn't say that, she probably would go along, “I can't have you spying any more closely on our defenses.”“As if I needed to! You dare play this condescending game with me? I owe her this much!” She hisses at you in that trying-to-whisper-but-too-angry-to-do-it-right volume of tone.>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]>[Let her watch her friend be crucified]
>>4572898>[Let her watch her friend be crucified]
>>4572898>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]Last I saw, we were still under parley. If that is no longer the case, she may leave. If she sticks around after the parley is concluded, well, she must be desperate to see the inside of Briarfast's dungeons. We can arrange that for her.
>>4572898>>[Let her watch her friend be crucified]
>>4572898>>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]Parley is over. Please return back to your lines.
>>4572898>“Yes. Because you killed her too.” Holy shit.>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]Last I checked, traitors aren't allowed on the castle grounds.
>>4570247Added in Weeptree and Dampmeade to the picture, re-arranging it so it was neatly oriented with the 8 masks. Went for something reminiscent of a Hannya mask for the fierce bog demon look for Dampmeade, and a bark pattern similar to willow bark for Weeptree. Also added in the grey on the high points as if it was dry-brushed on when made, and slowly wearing away to reveal the original bark texture. Hope you all enjoy them, designing masks is always fun to do. So much you can do with a brief description.
>>4572898>Let her watchShe must know fear before she is to be broken.
>>4572898>[Let her watch her friend be crucified]Changed vote after rereading the post. Might as well give her the bloodiest olive branch we can at this point
>>4572898>[Let her watch her friend be crucified]She needs to learn that her choices have consequences, and after this show of Jakob's authority may be more willing to bargain later on. Either way, she's remember who's really reigns in this Swamp.Plus, we haven't talked properly with the Albinos yet, and I'm interested in learning more about them before they depart.>>4573018Also, based.
>>4572898>[Let her watch her friend be crucified]Think about it hard Albeda. Doesn't need to be your fate.
>>4572898>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]"But you have no currency that I would accept for this debt."
>>4572898>>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]"If you stay, I'll have to put you in the dungeons"
I love that people can't decide between bullying Albeda and trying to traumatize her.
>>4573613Either would be entertaining desu>>4572898>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]
>>4572898>[Dare to play this condescending game with Albeda]You owe her nothing, she's earned her fate all by herself.>>4573613Bullying is always good, doesn't hurt we know you write Bullying well.
>>4573018Very based, you're actually sitting on a decent bit of exp now.
“You have no currency I would accept for this debt.” You inform her. “You arrogant little bastard.” Albeda snarls at you.“I'm taller than you and don't talk about my parents that way.” You remind her, “Besides, you aren't allowed on the castle grounds. I'll make an exception for the dungeons, you can bunk with the chimera.”“You've always been cocky.” Her ale-colored eyes blaze with fury, “But these are new heights. Lordship has made you insufferable.”“You suffered me before? How sweet. Me? Cocky? How can YOU of all people say that?” You're legitimately a bit stunned at her lack of self-awareness here, “You spent our entire childhood lording it over me that you were a few years older and knew a few more spells.”“Hardly just a few. I am a prodigy, you're merely...acceptable.” She juts her chin upward proudly.You snort derisively at her, “This is exactly what I meant. Acceptable is at least a step up from puling baby sparrow or crying goat hiding in its stable or whatever else you have your proxies call me when you're not within distance of a swift lightning bolt. The most creative one was when you told me to kiss your slipper and slink off into the swamp to work as a faggot-bundler for the rest of my days.”She hesitates, “When did...I do that?” She asks slowly.“Your doppelganger with the bear sculpture.” You realize abruptly something very interesting. She doesn't know what her Glass Diplomats experience.“I admit I came up with that, I didn't realize I used it.” She mumbles, then raises her voice again, “I never did anything unfair to you. I simply taught harsh lessons to remind you of your place.”“You made mirror images of me and...” This is not a discussion you want to be having in front of the troops. Well do you remember the little Jakob doppelgangers peeing out of windows onto people.Her mouth forms a hard, thin line, “You were being especially insufferable. You had just learned your first Stormtongue spell and were strutting like a little bantam. Gloating because your mother wouldn't teach me any of them.”“I didn't even know she'd refused to!” Your voice rises in volume, “You...you...why are you like this, Albeda?”She sighs, “This is off-topic. I am still under parley, and...and I'm responsible for her.” She looks at Sister Char with an emotion you've never seen in her before. Pity. “For what is about to happen. I have to watch.” “Come along, then.” You turn your back on Albeda. You'll let her watch Naiada die. Maybe it will give her cause to think long and hard about whether she needs to drag this little rebellion out. [Continue]
“Thank you.” She states, grudgingly.“We have no need to see this.” One of the albinos states. Its voice is musical, reminiscent of jingling bells, an eerie contralto, “We have come to say this, you are not of the Pack. We do not acknowledge you. None who do not serve Brother Grey are welcome among us. These ones, you have suborned.” It gestures at the Night Hunters, “A meaningless thing. We, and those who serve us, will extend you no protection or consideration for this silly joke.”“Then no protection or consideration will be extended to you, either. I'm disinclined to negotiate with minions, however. I would have words with Brother Grey himself.” This is something you decided a good while ago. If you can, you want to get the Pack to stand down without decimating them.“Unworthy!” “Unworthy!” “Unworthy!” The three hiss at you in irritating unison. “I don't understand. Death by Thorns, am I just going to be stabbed and have my blood given to the plants until I bleed out? Let us go, I am ready.” Sister Char's voice is venomous, but with the faint nervous edge of not understanding. This is not a punishment that exists in Old Vartyne. The old ways are harsh and uncompromising, designed to take the idea of causing mayhem in a small community and crush it like a bug beneath a rock. Death by Thorns may not predate the Absol dynasty, but being hung out to die dates back to the days when it was believed a sorcerer's power would rush out for him and curse his surroundings if he died violently. Coincidentally, sorcerers tended to do the worst sort of crimes that merited execution.A single public mourner begins her dirge, a low wail. It sweeps from one to the next, like flame spreading through parchment, as they begin their wordless keen of grief. A skin drum begins a slow, steady beat. The guards begin to wheel Char's chair forward as your personal guard fall in behind you, forming a procession with you at the head and the headmen at the rear. This too is traditional. You are conducting the justice, they are seeing it done. You make for the gate of Castle Briarfast, where in anticipation of your will two grand braziers full of herbs have already been lit. You weave the smoke into a set of stairs, leading up above the gate, to a section of wall you had already picked out for the purpose.“What is this?” Sister Char demands again, angrily, “Is my corpse to be displayed like some trophy, you barbarian?” [Continue]
You don't bother to answer her. Only Shadowbinders talk to corpses.A burly member of the Last Loyal stands ready, awaiting your word. His billhook has been set aside in favor of a heavy wooden mallet. Char hisses and spits, her defiance slowly melting into terror as she's freed from her bonds and frog-marched up the steps, the power and terror in her guttering out as she realizes that this won't be a simple throat-slitting, no dignified and quick death. The executioner hands you the mallet. Four thorns on the wall have been marked with white paint, presumably by him. The guards take her and place her back against the wall, each pinning the back of her hands above one of the marked thorns. You follow them, accepting the hammer as it is offered to you. You do not hesitate, even as her eyes widen in horrified realization. The mallet rises. The executioner points to the right spot, the upper part of the palm where the thorn will angle away from the wrist. The mallet falls. Your stroke is pure, clean. Right on the palm of her hand, driving her hand onto the thorn digging into its back, forcing the spike through her flesh. The hammerblow doesn't bend the thorn in the slightest.She screams, in terror and incomprehension, writhing as both guards clamp down on her other arm, her fingers twitching and convulsing like a drowning spider until they force her hand flat and fingers outstretched. The mallet rises, the mallet falls. More blood stains the wood. “Now her legs.” You instruct. The feet must be nailed in place too.“No!” Sister Char struggles in her chair against her bonds, “Not my legs! Not my legs!” Her eyes roll like an injured horse's, teeth bared in panic, the scars on her face left by your lightning in sharp relief as she shrieks for Albeda to help her. Of course, her power comes from her legs, she isn't mentally prepared to lose them even in the face of death, “Damn you! Damn you! May every errant god feast on your soul! May you be torn apart and-AIIIEEEE!” She screams as the mallet rises, then falls. [Continue]
There is a sound of tenderized meat, as you drive the soles of her feet onto the thorns, making sure to impale them firmly. If she were to get them free, find purchase with her soles, and move her legs she could dance herself free. Of course, it would be a long fall onto the boardwalk right outside your gate or into the moat, but only a fool takes chances with someone like this. It almost disturbs you a little, how clinical you are about all of this. She sobs for Alia, for Albeda, and you glance at the latter's face.Albeda is pale as a sheet, her nails digging into her palms, but she isn't looking away, and she isn't embarrassing them both by begging for mercy after the sentence has been passed.Char can scarcely even squirm, with still more thorns pressing against her back, forcing her body to bow outwards, unable to even truly hang limp or risk more pain. The mourners wail louder, to drown out the noises she makes as her blood drips down the thorns, sliding along the vines towards the roots far, far below. You and the guards turn, and descend the steps. You hand the mallet back to the burly executioner. Then, you dismiss the smoke steps from existence, so that some enterprising traitor can't run up and try to free the maimed Flame Dancer. You don't need to issue the order for her to be guarded day and night. It would be an insult to the vigilance of your soldiers to voice the words, and imply it will not already be done. You do spot some money changing hands amongst them, and your eyebrows lift. Before you can say anything, though, one of your bodyguards mutters to you, “Bets on the means of execution, m'lord.”“Did you make any money?” You whisper back.[Continue]
He nods, “Sure did, m'lord. Some of the others said that, on account of you being young, and new to your seat, you were like to be merciful and choose the snake. Others said that there was, er, what's it...bardic justice? No, no, poetic justice. Poetic justice in drowning a Flame Dancer, see? Extinguishing her flame in the swamps and all that. It was pretty heated, but me, I knew it'd be the Wall. Example to be set, you know, plus it meets the technical legal standard, that's what my pa said. Sorry for not telling you, m'lord, but...influencing it wouldn't be fair, right?”“Too right.” You agree. It's a harmless enough thing to gamble on. One thing your father had impressed upon you, and Nuncle Arad had further reinforced, is that soldiers are not saints and cannot be expected to act as such. Soldiers are men. Men can feel terror, or greed, or lust. Men will gamble and fight over whores and run away from sufficiently terrifying magic. One can instill virtues in them, and particularly in their officers where it will trickle down. One can inspire them. One can lead them well. One can be loved by them, and love is a powerful force, or feared by them more than they fear the enemy, which is also a powerful force. One cannot stop them from being human, though. Albeda watches Naiada. Stony-faced. Silent. She jumps as you put your hand on her shoulder. “Take your things and go.” You tell her, a bit less unkindly than you meant to. “If you want my advice, you'll flee the province and go to the Schwaltzwood. I hear Lord Ralf is looking for a wife.” With that, the execution is concluded. At least, you think it is, until you hear a sudden wail, and someone pushes through the crowd.[Continue]
>>4573977>>4573986>>4574018>>4574021>scrubs always act tough until the hammer meets the handsStill interested in bringing back the old ways Albeda? This is the Old Way for dealing with sorcerors sentenced to execution after all. Why aren't you enjoying it when it isn't finding out who gets to sit in the Crocodile/Heron chair? These are the Ways you advocated for.Fucking brutal Wong. It's pretty much everything I expected it to be for this way. Rest in Piss our token Flaming Lesbian.
“OH, MY POOR, DEAR JAKOB!” Grandmama gnashes her teeth, being as loud as an old lady possibly can as she makes her way towards you, “Make another space there, beside that traitor! We must carry out another execution today, much as it breaks my heart!” She's dragging the Shadowbinder girl who raided your kitchen behind her by the ear, her sharp nails miraculously not drawing blood as she shakes the poor woman. “Grandmama stooooooop! You're embarrassing meeeee!” The black-eyed girl wails. You see Hannah and the merchant woman she's standing beside cross their arms simultaneously, and you can almost hear them harrumphing.“My poor, sweet little Jakob!” She turns towards the crowd, “Assaulted! Besmirched!”“IT WAS JUST A KISS!” The Shadowbinder girl howls, “HE'S PROBABLY KISSED LOTS OF GIRLS! GRANDMAMA LET ME GOOOO!” “My darling Jakob. I am so, so sorry this happened. My honor is in tatters. I can barely see through the veil of tears. Ah! My heart, it beats unsteady!” She clasps her withered bosom and staggers where she stands, “To be so shamed by my own great-granddaughter, I cannot bear it! I swear, dearest, Grandmama won't let this happen again. I will find you a better girl. A more polite, demure girl to be in your service, and you can put Doloranna here on the wall to be with her own kind! Unless, of course...for some unknown reason, you want her to stay?” Her crocodile tears vanish immediately.Uncle Arad's face has never been more impassive behind that aquiline mask, but you can see him rubbing his temples beneath it.>[Pretend like you're going to have her crucified, and demand a different Shadowbinder girl]>[No, I like Doloranna]
>>4573986>>4574018bloody awesome, i hope jenny makes some spores soon
>>4574042>[No, I like Doloranna]grandma please your acting is pretty bad
>>4574042>[No, I like Doloranna]Honestly Grandmama, she isn't going to be getting the Thorns regardless. The snake would be more appropriate after all. Stealing kisses is a crime of passion, not treason. No reason to have our men go through the trouble of finding a space and painting new thorns that'll fit for her while we're preparing to march out.
>>4574042>[Are you fucking serious right now?]
>>4574042>Grandmama, the wall is for traitors, not jests>[Are you serious right now?]
>>4574042>Ah so the Midnight Kitchen Bandit has a name>[No, I like Doloranna]So many ways to shorn this name, Dolly, Anna, Ran, Lora... And yet she introduced herself by eating our dinner/breakfast (Fuck it I'd eat ribs for breakfast if they were presented to me) The wall is reserved for persons who actually try to kill usBesides, she hand fed us cheese, that's at least worth down grading her to getting the snake Grandmama
>>4574053She's Grandmama. Back when her tits were worth looking at she fed one of your ancestors from them (your grandpa, I believe) because your great-grandmother (I think) couldn't produce enough milk. If anyone can get away with this nonsense, it's her.
>>4574042On the one hand Doloranna is the least interesting girl in the Jakobbowl right now and I wouldn't mind replacing her. On the other hand it's kinda callous to turn away a girl before getting to know her.>[No, Doloranna is ok]Side note, if we do end up scolding Grandmama, don't be too mean. The old crone means well. Give her hugs after scolding her please.
>>4574042>[Pretend like you're going to have her crucified, and demand a different Shadowbinder girl]Better to tease her with a replacement.
>>4574052Realized my vote here makes more sense as>[Pretend like you're going to have her crucified, and demand a different Shadowbinder girl]but with replacing the crucifixion with the Serpent's Kiss.
>>4574082>It 'twas just a kiss, you harlot. Your lips are better for a Sepent's to kiss.
>>4574042>>[Pretend like you're going to have her crucified, and demand a different Shadowbinder girl]At least she didn't try to hold my hands grandma! That would be outrageous!
>No, I like Dolorana, specially how she was willing to stand up to a demi-god to protect usIf we must joke about execution please go with the serpents kiss
>>4574074Least interesting, she stood up to a Giant for us.
>>4574095I must say, that's the most hilarious interpretation of the encounter I've seen yet.
>>4574094I mean, she did bind them in rope first, so that we couldn't pull them apart or away while she could do what she had planned for with them. Truly, it's a great thing Hannah came into the kitcheon to save our virtue when she did. Otherwise, we'd be ruined for marriage!
>>4574099Inversely the Giant stood up to some crazy shadow demon summoner whose face was smeared in BBQ sauce who she thought was kidnapping us. But Hannah has yet to hand feed us cheese. So Doloranna has that going for her.
>>4574107So our mouth was covered in cheese and barbecue sauce? A heinous crime, those flavors do not mix!
>>4574115No, we didn't even get our ribs. She stole and ate them.
>>4574115Have you never had a bbq meat sandwich or Pizza anon?
>>4574118Two heinous crimes! The snake will love her!
>>4574107Keep in mind Hannah has also never seen a Shadowbinder before and had no idea what she was fighting.
>>4574119No, I never had a shortstack covered in BBQ. I imagine it would be traumatizingly delicious.
>>4574107"And thus, the mighty Lady Galdynfyrgenbach smote the vile Rib-Witch, freeing the good Lord Absol from her disgusting, BBQ-scented grasp. She asked him for help restoring peace in her icy lands to the North, and he was all too happy to work alongside her, bringing back some warmth to those frozen lands, removing the split blood from the pure snow." Given that Lilly is a bard with a gift, can't wait to see how she writes the meeting of whoever wins the Jakobbowl.
>>4574121In defense of the lesser of the two girls, I suspect she would have stood against a Shadowbinder regardless.
>>4574121Surely Hannah didn't assume the sauce covered lady of childesc proportions was hostile purely because she'd never seen a midget before?
>>4574042>[Are you fucking serious right now?]drop the nonsense grandmamaalternatively>[Pretend like you're going to have her crucified, and demand a different Shadowbinder girl]is acceptable
>>4574132To clarify, when I mean proportions I was referring to her height, Jacob can already confirm there is nothing childlike about her assets.
Say, can we come visit Char again later at night? She refuses to speak at all earlier but perhaps now she might be willing to divulge a few things or curse us some more. We can give her some water as a small comfort to loosen her tongue.
>>4574042>[Pretend like you're going to have her crucified, and demand a different Shadowbinder girl]>[Are you fucking serious right now?]>>4574272>We can give her some water as a small comfort to loosen her tongue.Or dangle it tantalizingly until she speaks
>>4573977The Wolf Trio seem to misunderstand their position. We should show them who's the real Alpha of the Swamp.We should Inspire the troops, get them to chant while Albeda and the Wolves traverse through the middle of our army. It'll make for quite the intimidating force, and may help them reconsider their stance.
>>4574042>[No, I like Doloranna]>[Are you serious right now?]
>>4574280Only Shadowbinders talk with the dead
>>4574042Grandmama, please, I am not inclined to feed another aggressive woman to the wall
>>4574597What, she is already died? I thought this was like crusifiction and she would be dangeling there half alive for a while
>>4574042>[No, I like Doloranna]Doloranna? Interesting name.
>>4574622Pretty sure he's riffing on the "dead man walking"/"already dead to me" vibe.She still has a pulse (for now), but she's crossed the border from being people into being a carcass.
>>4574042>execute her too.
>>4574622the whole wall is living and was worshiped as a god long before our absol ancestors, ritual sacrifices were made to it so it knows how to efficiently suck nutrients from humans even if they look alive on the outside.
>>4574622No, she's the talking dead.In all seriousness, I don't mind talking to her, but it had to be done before we voted for execution. It's too late now, and any backtracking will make us look weak. You gotta live with your choices, you know?
>>4575006This is actually not really true. The Thorndwellers did hang up anyone who defied them from the thorns, or sacrificed them for the creation of their monsters, but it wasn't worshipped as a god. It also wasn't a wall back then, it spread out further and wasn't as tall. More a big, semi-enclosed mound of thorns than a cylindrical wall.
“Grandmama, are you serious right now? The wall is for traitors, not jests.” You fold your arms and give her a glare. Grandmama may be a beloved (and terrifying) family retainer, but she gets away with far too much. You're in the middle of a serious execution. Albeda is right there, watching. Smirking. “Drop this nonsense, Grandmama, you'd make a poor mummer.”She grins widely, displaying her witchy teeth, “My dear, sweet Jakob. Nonsense? Oh, no. Assaulting you is a crime, and crimes cannot be ignored. They must be punished, or pardoned. I have many great-granddaughters, I can easily send another into your service. There is plenty of room on the wall.”“The wall is reserved for a higher class of treasons. Stealing a kiss and my food is an act of passion, not premeditated treason. If anything, she would get the serpent, and...no Grandmama, I like Doloranna just fine. She can stay.” For all you know the next one would be much more insidious.Doloranna wrenches herself out of Grandmama's grip, although you're sure the canny old crone released her on purpose. With a demure, tearful cry and small, swift steps that have her lean forward in a maidenly fashion, the front of her skirt lifted away from her toes by her slender fingers, she runs to you, coincidentally stumbling right against your cuirass and into your arms, “M-my lord, I was so frightened...” She clings to you. This is diabolical. The gremlin fury and irrepressible mischief you saw when you were alone with her is hidden deep. Aside from her black eyes and the clink of maille beneath her robes, she could be any princess with her long, blonde hair, short frame, and that winsome expression on her face, “I was hungry, my nerves were too aflutter from seeing you to eat aught at dinner. Pray forgive me! All else was a result of your charming nature!” She is too skilled at grappling to easily dislodge and she knows it. She flutters her long, blonde lashes and gives you a sweet, innocent smile...which momentarily flashes with wickedness.“Ah!” Grandmama turns to the crowd, arms spread wide, “I am too old to deny children what they want. If she is dear to him, who am I to part them for a spat of impropriety? Let them be together, then, and blessings upon it!” The Shadowbinders in attendance begin clapping and cheering wildly.This is unfair. This is a trap. [Continue]
“My lord, you are too gentle with her!” Hannah Galdynfyrgenbach cries out indignantly. It's a breach of protocol, but she steps forward and levels an accusing figure at Dolorana, who smiles cattily and nestles against your chest, “She had your hands bound with rope! You were being kidnapped! When confronted, she summoned foul demons!”“They aren't foul!” Grandmama points a spiteful finger at Hannah before Doloranna can respond, “Merely the spirits of the dark, mirthsome and mild, inhabiting shapes they deem alike to those of the sunlit world.”“I did throw lightning at her first.” You admit begrudgingly, “I also may not have identified myself.” “...But...but that's bad.” Hannah suddenly wilts at being glared at by so many black eyes. “You can't just treat Lord Jakob that way! He's a good man! Have some respect!” She blurts out.Doloranna covers her face, “Oh woe, to be accused so! My poor, dear lord.” Oh the maiden of tears, made mournful by misunderstanding, “I saw an ungainly giantess, an ogre in plate, stalking the halls in pursuit of him, and like any leal sorceress I thrust my fragile body between them...” Fragile nothing, she's all curves and muscle, “...and used my magic in his defense. Would any of you do aught different?” Her eyes travel across the crowd, before settling on Albeda, who despite her pallor at Naiada's execution is smirking broadly at your discomfort, “Not you. Traitorous whore.”Albeda raises her eyebrows, “More pure than you. O thief of kisses and breakfasts. Unhand him.” She gives you a withering stare, "I cannot believe I have to save you from your own servants, boy.">[Say something to get you out of this predicament]
Also, anyone who didn't see this coming hasn't been paying enough attention to Grandmama and her scheming.
>>4575611So, I'm torn. Serious RP me suggests we have some guards take Doloranna on house arrest. *Enough*. This is an execution. We have clearly been too soft, and approachable, and this is where that has gotten us. Make our displeasure with Grandmama known. This is inappropriate, and while at other times we might have tolerated it, this is not the time or the place. Doloranna will be locked in her room, and if she pulls any bullshit she's off the table, and we will permanently swear off consideration of any shadowbinders as our bride. Don't TRY me, Grandmama.Alternately, this has been off and on a lighthearted tone quest (see above) so my gut is probably overreacting, but imo this bullshit cannot be allowed to fly.
>>4575620Alternately, there's really no reason to tip our hand to Albeda here. We can deal with this in private later."I don't seem to be need in saving. You, on the other hand, have been here long enough. Your parley is ending. Take your dogs with you, they've been frothing at the mouth since you arrived and I'm hoping it's not contagious."
>>4575611"I have a war to fight and win and if you aren't marching with us get out of the way." *ignore them and walk to the war council* And tell Albeda that parley time is over and that the next time we see her she dies.
>>4575611Funny how Albeda suddenly believes that we can't control ourselves because of a pretty woman throwing herself at us. Projecting much?"That's enough indulgence of this foolishness. Dealing with scheming sorceresses for the better part of a month was frustrating, even when the only one doing so was Albeda. We'll resolve this after the battle, there's a rebellion to quash."Play it exasperated, and make a point of how this isn't the time or the place. Reminding Albeda that the parley is over and she can slink off to her hole in the ground at any time now with her hounds should also be brought up.
>>4575611Supporting>>4575631This is just tiresome right now. Parley is over, leave unless you wish to end the war here and now.Taze the limpet shadowbinder and move on. We need to stop this precedent of getting grappled. More spikes on the armor maybe? Like small, low-key barbs?
>>4575631Probably shouldn't mention the battle upcoming, tho.
>>4575644Pretty sure Albeda can put 2+2 together. We do have the levies raised and housed for a scrap outside of our keep. Far more than we used for the policing action. If she can't spot an incoming fight right now, she's even less suited to political deals than I though she was. She might not know the exact location we're marching to, but there isn't many places that we'd know about that would require that much force in arms to take.
>>4575611Taze the Shadowbinder, tell grandmama to cut the shit, and leave.
>>4575631>Supporting this, dont mention the battle though>>4575611
>>4575611You really want to play this way Grandmama? Fine then.>You wish for Judgment? Fine, Grandmama you get not hugs for a month, anyone caught giving you one gets time in the dungeons, and as for you Doloranna, I hope you know how to march because you are being press-ganged into my service for your transgressions.While we are at it should we request to hire lady Hannah as a mercenary from her current headsmen Employer? It's at least an attempts at keeping her identity secret while publicly bringing the steel clad giant into our forces.
>>4575613I saw it coming, which is why I wanted a more scathing rebuke of her actions(>>4574053 is me). Although I probably should have been more clear on my reasoning.I'm also 90% sure I know what Grandmama's ultimate goal is, if not the finer points of it.
>>4575666the devil trips have spoken. heed their warning, mortals.
>>4575611>Allow yourself to laugh a bit. Play it off for what it is, a joke to lighten the mood after a draining crucifixion and before a major battle.>Then say something along these lines >>4575631 without bringing up the battle. Albeda definitely shouldn't be allowed to enjoy in light hearted moments with our people, and our people should be thanked for trying to bring our spirits up. Even if that wasn't a deliberate move on their part, giving them the credit while painting them as fools joking at the lords expense is preferable to trying to seriously chastise anyone.
>>4575733You know what, that's probably a better way to spin this, just make sure that they know they were joking. I am a little worried about Grandmama eventually getting out of hand though.
>>4575747I think a woman that's been around as long as she has would know when it's time to stop. Unfortunately for Jakob that time will probably be route lock, but I can't imagine anything sinister coming from her.The way I see it, I'm treating her like I would one's actual grandmother. You don't get huffy and upset when you're grandmother starts talking about her neighbor's sister's grand niece do you?Now mind you, in this case it would be as if you were fresh out of a very important stockholder's meeting and your grandma rushed you in your place of work, but even so, getting huffy about it isn't a good look. You humor your grandmama, laugh, tell her you're busy, and then send her off with a kiss to the forehead and a promise to visit her this weekend and to eat the cookies she brought with her only after you eat your dinner.No one here is deliberately trying to undermine Jakob, besides Albeda. Jakob just happens to be surrounded by fussy women that all care about him. Anyone with half a brain, besides of course Albeda, would be able to see that so there's no need to flex our authority to save face. It will make Jakob look like a child that doesn't know how to handle doting. Accept their concern, laugh off their insistents, and move forward.