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Topic: Star Trek: the Edge of Duty
Subject: talk, talk, talk


Stardate 2365.02.11
Gamera Spaceport, Auditorium A  - 14:12


Silas sat at the center of three tables arranged in an open "U" shape on a raised dias; the Kuldar delegation was seated to his left, with the Rytain to his right.  Rows of seats in curved aisles faced the dais, with each row farther back slightly elevated above the row on front so as to give clear sight lines to the central stage area.  Tochi Zai was in the chair immediately to his right; Bethany Farr sat to his left, her face anxious.  All but two of the security personnel from the Peregrine stood watch around the auditorium or in the corridors outside.  The full compliments of the diplomatic teams from the two opposing sides were present - along with a few governmental officials and the like - though several empty chairs at the Rytain table were telling.


So far, it had been bedlam.  Each side accused the other of all sorts of crimes; insults and threats flew through the air unabated.  Among the most vociforous was ambassador Threel, who gleefully levied every accusation under the sun.  Drake found himself wishing that he had let the battle take place, and instead flown his ship in literally any other direction - perhaps even into the center of the Gamera star.  He had expected grandstanding and posturing, but this was entirely intolerable.


The PADD on the table in front of Drake flashed with an update, and the Captain turned his attention to it, eager for any distraction.  After a few moments, however, his visage turned dark and he rose to his feet.


"Excuse me, esteemed dignitaries..." he began, but the debate had devolved to shouting, and he was ignored.  Silas loudly cleared his throat. 


"Pardon me, but I would like..." he tried again, to no better effect.


His jaw set, Silas straightened his back, drew in a breath, and bellowed from his diaphragm.  "SIT DOWN AND SHUT YOUR MOUTHS!"


Gasps rose from around the room, but a hush fell over the auditorium and almost everyone on the dais complied. 


"What is the meaning of this, Commander Drake?" sneered Ambassador Threel in response.  "We are no longer aboard your vessel, you lack the authority to..."


"BELAY THAT!" Drake roared in interruption. "Ambassador Threel, you will be silent and remove yourself from these proceedings!  I have had enough of your obstructionism.  These talks will continue with another member of you government taking your place."


The Rytain official blanched for a moment, before chuckling.  "You have no standing here, you cannot..."


"I said, BE QUIET!" Silas roared.  The Peregrine's CO held up his PADD, keyed it, and the contents were simulcast to the holographic displays.  "You will all note the report here by Lieutenant Reid.  We did, in fact, recover five survivors from the Stormspike.  Four committed suicide, but the fifth is sedated in our sickbay.  All five - as well as another eleven dead aboard the Stormspike - are Rytainian citizens."  Drake paused as titters echoed through the chamber.  "You will further note the transmission logs recovered from the Stormspike, with coded messages sent back and forth to Ambassador Threel aboard my ship.  You, sir," the Captain continued with a finger pointed at the Rytainian, "have aided and abetted terrorists to kill your own people for the purpose of subverting these peace talks."


Silas took a deep breath as a deep hush fell over the auditorium.  "Petty officer," he ordered one of the secuirty personnel, "remove the Ambassador from these proceedings and hold him until his own government takes charge of him."


Threel protested the validity of the charges, as well as the right to arrest him in such a situation.  "You are but a Commander!" he shouted.  "You have no authority over the ranking diplomat of a foreign power in such a negotiation!  You cannot touch me, I..."


"You are incorrect," Silas interrupted flatly.  "As the commanding officer of this battle group, I am in charge of all Federation interests in this system.  As we are absent a diplomat, according to Starfleet regulations, I have complete plenipotentiary powers when it comes to contact with foreign governments.  Make no mistake, Ambassador - my word here is, in fact, Federation law.  You have acted against Federation interests, colluded to damage a Federation starship, and endangered the lives of Federation personnel.  As a threat to operational security, you have no diplomatic immunity, and I hereby place you under arrest."


Petty Officer Brady stepped to remove Threel, and bedlam erupted again.  There was shouting, and gesturing, and general chaos befitting a mob more than a displomatic assembly.  The Kuldar were well into the process of storming out, accusing the Rytain government of bad faith.  The Rytain acted is if they might resist the arrest.  Silas took another deep breath. 


"BE SILENT, THE LOT OF YOU!" he bellowed.  "We came here to negotiate a peace, and that is what we will do!"


"Surely, you cannot expect us to speak when they have betrayed the peace so?" Demanded a Kuldarian attache.  "And beyond that, you cannot force us to actually negotiate..."


"I can, and I will!" Drake asserted.  "The Rytainian government is not behind this - we have listed to their transmissions.  They believed this to be an attack by the Kuldar.  This is a hate group here that wishes to see peace fail.  If you walk away from these talks now, they succeed."


For a brief moment, Silas saw the smallest flicker.  "Why do your two peoples fight?" he continued.  "Can any of you even remember?  I have studied your texts - I see no root cause for this war.  I see two neighbors who fight because they have always fought, over some petty squabble no one can recall!  How many more of your children will grow up as orphans - or not grow up at all - merely because the two of you cannot move beyond how it has always been between you?"


It was an opening.  Not a large one, but it was in fact there - and Drake took it.  He hammered ahead, threatening, cajoling, prodding both sides. 


Somehow, some way... it was enough.  The details took hours.  It was a lengthy, torturous process... but at long last, an accord was ratified by all three parties.


All hostilities between the Kuldar and Rytain were ceased.  A framework for peace that both sides could live with - if not necessarily celebrate - was hammered out.  The Federation gained access to the dilithium - at the price of some extensive promises for advanced replicator and medical technology from the Federation. Silas was fairly sure those concessions would earn him a reprimand at the very least, but in the face of his looming court martial, he could not seem to summon forth the energy to care. 


The various representatives posed for the holovids, made a show of signing their names to the various documents, and peace was officially established - even if that peace had come under varying degrees of threats of violence.

**************************************************************


When it was over, Silas found himself numbly wandering the corridor back towards his ship.  The thought occured to him that this would be his legacy; a peace treaty between two backwater worlds. 


But even as he did his best to mnimize the accomplishment, he could see Michelle's face, almost feel her disapproving stare.  She would have pointed out that it didn't matter how big the empires were - the fact was that his efforts, and the efforts of his crew, had spared lives from the potential battle today, and from preventing potential battles in the future. 


If his legacy was that even one person - let alone hundreds, perhaps thousands - would have the chance to live a full life that might not have otherwise had that chance... wasn't today worth it?


At that moment, he came across a viewport with an almost perfectly unobstructed view of the Peregrine, and the Captain was grabbed by a bitter melancholy as it hit him that he would never again lay eyes again on his ship that he could call his own.  Jacobs wouldn't even have to make an effort to see to that - the computer logs of his actions this day would be far more than enough. 


Ah, well.  Perhaps he would get a penal colony cell with a nice view. 



Posted on 2018-08-09 at 16:49:50.
Edited on 2018-08-09 at 17:01:22 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject:


"Hooonnneeeyyyyy.... my elf has to get his freak on!  Can't it wait?" 



Posted on 2018-08-09 at 15:39:53.
Edited on 2018-08-09 at 15:48:16 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: a heads up


Please note that due to completely ghosting us, GrinNoCat has been removed from this game.  Ayrn has expressed interest, and will be assuming he character of Midge.  However, he will be making some edits to the character - expect some details to be retconned. 

Since Midge has had very little interaction with the group, I don't see this as an issue in the slightest.



Posted on 2018-08-09 at 10:50:36.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: agreed


I'm enjoying the Blackthorn posts a lot - we're just RPing the situation is all. 



Posted on 2018-08-09 at 09:40:29.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: a shorter perspective


The halfling sorceror found himself more or less alone with his own thoughts.  Neither Atharis nor Cedric seemed perticularly communicative, and Midge had long since learned that this was the default behavior for Kith.  As the bustle returned to the Inn, Midge elected to focus more on the ale - which wasn't half bad.  Not great, but not bad.

Arancon did provide somewhat of a diversion.  While Midge was no expert in sigie mating rituals, the blonde human woman did seem to be all but waving her smallclothes in the sylavri's face, but for some reason, he seemed more interested in worrying at the reasons behind her and her bodyguard having not been attacked - much like a hairy hound with a soup bone, he simply seemed unable to leave it alone.  She ignored it for a time, but it did seem to eventually rub her the wrong way, as it were, and the bladseinger finally seemed to realize it.

"I apologise, my lady. I did not mean to imply that I wished you any harm, or that you were somehow responsible for those attacks. I am merely puzzled, and trying to figure out the purpose of these events. I fear for the residents of this town and the surrounding areas, for surely they have not seen the last of these attacks." he offered by way of apology and explanation.

Midge snorted into his fourth mug as Arancon tried desperately to extricate his foot from his mouth.  "Oriana's teats, man! " the mage exclaimed.  "The lady wants you to tell her tales of your bravery and adventures.  So tell her some tales!"

He cut his eyes at Davena.  "You should have seen him with the bandits a fortnight ago.  Three of their swords against his one - but it was they who had no chance."  The cid catches Arancon's gaze, then subtly leans his heard toward the blonde woman. 

Come on, man!  he mentally admonishes the warrior. Take the opening!



Posted on 2018-08-08 at 14:09:50.
Edited on 2018-08-08 at 14:16:46 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject:


Davena smiles self depreciatingly.  "I am no adventurer - I am a scholar.  I do have some business interests here and there, and yes, we are bound for Tenimere - as I said, I have a trade contact there.  There is much knowledge in the world that is handed down in story, but stories change over time; I prefer to document what I find.  Normally, I would administer my business from afar, but this contact seems to think that they have found something I might be interested in seeing in person, and I trust them enough to make the trip."  She pauses.

"Garn, here, is a solider in the employ of my family.  He is my sworn bodyguard, though he sometimes forgets his place." the last is spoken with a pointed look at the man, who snorts and takes another swig of ale. 


The blonde-haired begins to turn solemn.  "I cannot answer to you, mellon, why we were not accosted on the road.  Perhaps the larger group made more noise than the two of us; I truly cannot say.  To be honest, I am beginning to wonder... are you angry that we were safe, while others were not?  Are you blaming us for their troubles?  Are you suggesting that Garn and I are somehow responsible for what happened to those poor folk on the basis of us traveling the same road?"

As she speaks, Davena straightens, pulling away from Arancon. 



Posted on 2018-08-07 at 15:50:04.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: elsewhere


The back of the acolyte's shaved head was all that the older woman could see, what with the man's face pressed to the stone floor like that.  "Get up," the senior snapped irritably.  "Cease your simpering, and tell me of the Ritual."


The acolyte's face came up as he assumed a more normal kneeling position, though he was careful to never make eye contact, instead keeping his gaze cast downward.  "I'm sorry, mistress," he replied, "but the Ritual has failed again." 


"WHAT???" the woman bellowed.  Striding forward, she drove the back of her hand into the acolyte's face, causing his neck to snap to the side and nearly knocking him off of his knees.  "What went wrong this time?" she deamanded.


Stinging, the acolyte fought to keep fear out of his voice.  "There was nothing we cold do, mistress!" he nearly wailed.  "It seemed to be gaining strength, truly!  But even as it waxed, she waned.  She succumbed, and it perished less than a day after.  There was nothing we could do!"


The woman shrieked in fury, spewing epithets that made the young man flinch.  "This cannot be!" she railed. "If it does not embrace both sides of its nature, the Ritual can never be completed!  Now our efforts is for naught, and we will be forced to begin anew!"


"I know, mistress!  I'm sorry, mistress!" The kneeling man was nearly panting in terror. "We tried, mistress!"


The young man flinched as the older woman laid a hand on his shoulder, but this time, her gesture was comforting.  "Yes," she murmured from behind the acolyte.  "I'm sure that you did." 


At first, it was a sting only.  Then, it was a burning.  As the acolyte's hands came up to his throat, the molten agony spread all across his gullet, throbbing up through his temples, as a ringing sound filled his ears.  His eyes went wide as his fingers came away dripping.  The young man slumped to the ground, gaping, his mouth trying to work, though death was already upon him; no sound beyond a choking gurgle would come.


The mistress stared down as the light went from his eyes and the puddle bloomed into full crimson radiance beneath the body.  The gleaming knife was held reverently in front of her, though the light did not reflect from the last few inches of the blade.  Casually, she murmured, seemingly to herself.


"The Dark One accepts your sacrifice."



Posted on 2018-08-07 at 14:27:54.
Edited on 2018-08-07 at 14:56:20 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: more dinner conversation...


Arancon is extremely polite and well mannered, but as the conversation with Davena develops, he does pursue a couple of topics - the first of which is wondering how she and Garn had no issues with the undead, while the pilgrims had been harried the past four nights. 

The blonde woman grows thoughtful at this line of questioning.  "Truly," she states in a level tone, "I do not know why were were not harried when those poor travelers were.  Perhaps these fiends were but minions of some fell power, and they were directed to harm the Lysorans, and we were not worthy of their attention?  Perhaps Garn's strong arm and blade made us a tougher target than the common folks you described?  Perhaps the gods were simply kind, and we escaped their attention?"  she shakes her head, hair fairly floating about her as she does.  "We never came across these pilgrims on the road; perhaps they were unfortunate enough to have enough of a lead on us as to attract their attention, while we remained unaware?  I cannot say."

Garn, for his part, ignores the conversation utterly - or makes it a point to appear as if he is doing so.  He eats, drinks, and scans the crowd from time to time, and makes no effort to engage anyone in talk of any sort.

The second line of questioning from Arancon - as to how the women has recognized him as a bladesinger - causes Davena's blue eyes to dance with amusement.

"Watching you, lord?  Hardly.  Call it a lucky educated guess, if you like," she teases.  "It's rare enough to meet a sylvari this far from home... unless perhaps, one is in Coria.  It follows that any of your people who thus travel would either be merchants, emissaries, or adventurers.  You are not dressed like a trader or a diplomat, and you keep the company of a colorful band.  That says 'adventurer' to me.  You do not wear the robes of the arcane or a symbol of the gods... so you are no wizard or priest."

Her grin is slightly crooked. "Of the sylvari warriors I have met, all have carried a bow; it is fairly synonomous with your folk, is it not?  Yet you have no bow, no quiver.  Your armor is exquisitely worked - not plain like Garn's! - and the pommel of your blade is likewise ornate.  And you carry yourself, lord, with such grace and presence as I cannot recall witnessing in person."

Her cheeks flush, as she seemingly realizes that she is gushing.  "I mean no offense; if I have caused it, I sincerely apologize.   The exploits of your order are legendary, so to meet you in the flesh is... exciting."



Posted on 2018-08-07 at 13:45:47.
Edited on 2018-08-07 at 13:50:43 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: meeting of the minds?


Midge puts down an impressive amount of food for such a small fellow.  Stew, bread, cheese, ale - all of it seems to agree with him quite nicely.

When the warrior priest asks about the meeting, the cid shrugs.  "We don't have a set meeting, exactly.  I have a summons, more like - meet with Jerrin Balewood here in Crandel, and to make haste.  That's all I really know."

Looking around the common room, the litltle wizard muses.  "Most little towns like this don't take kindly to outsiders wandering around at night, so I figure that it's best to look for him in the morning.  It shouldn't be too hard, I can't imagine there are lots of blue-robed mages running around in a country town."



Posted on 2018-08-07 at 09:53:23.
Edited on 2018-08-07 at 09:59:48 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: wench talk


Nya bobs her head at the request for a refill.  When Ch'dau adds the query about the beared man, she grins.  "You want to speak with Mort?  I reckon 'e'll be awright with it.  Follow me."

Without waiting, she heads deftly for a doorway on the far end of the room, balancing empty dishes with practiced ease. 

"Pardon me, friends," Ch'dau says, taking leave of his companions by stepping over the bench and moving to follow Nya, "I shall return shortly." Having excused himself, the great cat follows in the wake of the little serving woman.

Ducking through, she calls out.  "Mort!  The cat-man wants to talk to ya!"

A muffled voice can be heard in reply.  "Tell 'im to sit tight, I'll be back up in a minute!"

Nya's eyes dance.  "It takes you longer every trip, I think" she calls back in taunt.  "Taking a nap down there, are ya?"

"Poor some ale and get back to work, afore I box your ears, girl!" he calls back.  Laughing, she moved off to pull more ale. 

"Stay 'ere, love," the wench instructs as she heads back into the common room.  "Mort'll be up in a minute."

"Yes," the kazari nods, "Thank you."

Ch'dau finds himself alone in what is obviously the kitchen of the Inn.  A pot of stew simmers over a low flame, and assorted crockery is stacked in a handful of piles. A doorway nearby opens into a narrow staircase; the muffled voice of the Innkeeper came from the bottom. 

Stomping footsteps can be presently heard, and the beareded man reappears from the steps.  He places his burden of two large cheese wheels down on a counter, wipes his large hands on his apron, and thrusts one out in greeting. 

"Mortimer Greenfield, a' your service," he speaks as he grasps the kazari's forearm in a warrior's clasp.  "What can I do for ya?"

Ch'dau's gaze narrows as he searches the man’s face in hopes of sparking any sort of recognition in his own mind but he doesn't hesitate to accept Mortimer's greeting. "I am Ku'hr Ch'dau," the kazari responds, clasping the human’s forearm in kind, "Well met."

Releasing the warriors clasp, the cat-man’s ears tip forward and his tail curls in curiosity. If he'd ever fought at this man's side, he certainly doesn't recall his face. "You have already done enough for me, rrow'ka," he continues, "but I would trouble you for one more honor… Tell me, how is it that you know of the Kazari? I do not recognize your face and, if we have battled beside one another, I apologize for not recalling it. Neither, in my years in these lands of Antaron, have I encountered another of my kind and I find myself interested how you might know enough of my people to have defended our honor so?"

The burly man grins broadly and gestures to a tattered pennant with a green and black checkerboard pattern hanging on the wall above the doorway.  "It's been damn near on ta ten years," he states with a chuckle, "as ta gray in me 'air might boast, but I served with the Lockshir Reg'lars for quite a few seasons.  Was always careful with me coin, did 'ardly any boozin' or 'orin' like most o' that lot does, so when one o' that bastard khord's axemen nearly took me leg at Wolfsview in four forty-five, I 'ad enough set back ta retire 'ome an' open up this place."

He shakes his head, and his left hand unconsciously drops to his leg.  "Tha 'ealer did everything 'e could; Therassor knows I'm grateful ta still walk.  But tha damn limp is there fer good, it seems.  An damn when tha first frosts come!"

He laughs and shakes his head.  "But tha dunna tell ya naught about 'ow I came to know o' the kazari, ah?  If'n I recall c'rectly, it were in Pardinal... Miras, I believe.  The Reg'lars 'ad a contact there, an' while we wer there, one 'o your folk came to serve wif us.  Only knew 'im for a few months, but tha fuzzy bastard saved me life from the 'airiest, ugliest ungoulid sumbitch ya ever laid eyes on.  Thing 'ad slunk up out of a 'ole, was about ta open me guts from behind wif a spear while I were walkin' sentry, but tha cat fella saw it an' tore tha damn thing's throat open wif teeh an' claws afore I even knew it were there.  Then just went back ta work like it were naught."

Mort's eyes shine with the memory.  "Mos' mercs are always lookin' fer an angle.  Lookin' fer a way to scratch out an extra coin or three.  Tha cat fella weren't like that... an' if 'e told you 'e'd do something, it were done or 'e were dead.  'e were a damn sight better man than most 'o the so-called warriors I ever served wif, an' tha way 'e talked, 'e made it seem like all 'is folk were tha way."

He shakes his head.  "Tha's been a long time, o' course.  I cannae say wha' 'appened to 'im, as we left Pardinal altogether a few months later, an' I never seen nor heard abou' 'im again.  Truth be told, you're the first 'o 'is kind I've seen since then.  But I owe 'im me life, so tha least I kin do is threaten' to bash a few silly drunks wha don' know wha end 'o a spear ta 'old when they don't show tha proper respect to 'is kin, eh?"


Mort limps his way to a tapped barrel and grabs a mug.  With practiced ease, he pulls a pint as he speaks.  "Nya's been servin' ya tha reg'lar ale, I reckon - like a good lass.  But 'ere ya go - take a pint 'o me pers'nal store - make tha rest look like swill, eh?" 

He pauses for a moment.  "Also, I were smokin' some jerky up, but I just so 'appen to 'ave some beef left that I 'aven't cut up yet.  As I recall, your kind take ta raw cuts, eh?  If'n ya like, I'll 'ave Nya bring a red chunk to ya."  He gives the kazari a stern stare.  "An' I'll not 'ear of coin fer it.  'avin' all me guts in me skin makes me look at it like repayin' a favor, eh?"

Mort grins.  "Now then.  Back ta tha common roof wif ya.  I 'ave work to do, an tha girl will give me no end o' 'ell if she 'as ta wait on me!  " 

 



Posted on 2018-08-06 at 16:33:47.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 17:05:18 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: business?


Davena is deeply in conversation with Arancon, and initially misses the query from Cedric.  A flush colors her cheeks as she stumbles momentarily for an answer.  "Er... ahem, I mean..." she stammers before flashing a smile.  "Forgive me, father, for I was lost in conversation.  Garn and I are traveling east, to the city of Tenimere and a trade contact there.  Crandel itself holds no business for us; a roof over our head and a break from the road were attraction enough to convince us to stay the night."

The cleric of Solanis scans the room, but by this point, there appears to be little to no interest from the locals in the goings on at your corner table.



Posted on 2018-08-06 at 15:42:53.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 16:55:21 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: missing mage


As an FYI - I have put GrinNoCat on notice for the lack of posting.  He's now eleven days in with zero contact, including any response to the multiple messages I have sent.

This game requires a minimum of 1-2 short posts per week, with posts consisting of more than "I attack the orc." 

I fully understand that life happens.  People have work issues, family issues, get sick, go on vacation, etc.  All of the above are fine.

For reference: if at any point, something happens to prevent you from playing, just let me know.  Post here.  Send me a PM.  Email me (olansuddeth@gmail.com).  Do something!

If you let me know, we will work something out.  I can NPC your character for a specified amount of time (till quarter closing is done at work, till you get back fro vacation, till you feel better, etc).  If you know that you cannot return in a reasonable timeframe, I can endeavor to find a new player for your character or write them out in a positive manner.  No harm, no foul.

If, on the other hand, I don't hear from you, I will NPC your character for a very short while.  After that, your character will simply take no actions for a short while.  After that, I will either look for a replacement player or write your character out of the story entirely. 

If we are in a town and it makes sense, I will usually find some reason that your character cannot continue on the adventure.  If not, it really does not make sense for your character to just wander off; ergo, your chracter will likely die in battle or have a similar nasty fate befall them (remember - this **IS** a horror flavored game). 

Please respect others enough to not simply drift off and quit playing. 



Posted on 2018-08-06 at 10:42:15.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 10:44:38 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: dinner conversation


The woman gives the briefest of sideways glances at her companion, whose mouth tightens into ever so slight of a frown, before she tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear and answers.


"Indeed," she speaks, "we encountered no such monsters to the west. Though," she admits, "we did hear odd footfalls more than once - not the normal sounds of the road, you understand.  You are correct, the mists seem most unnatural, and they give the feeling that they are hiding something, as it were."

As small talk is exchanged, the woman slowly learns forward more, and her body language shifts, as well.  She seems particularly taken with Arancon; while she is ameniable enough to anyone who cares to speak to her, anyone that is paying attention can see that he gaze continues to return to the sylvari warrior. 

"Forgive my query if it is too bold, sir slvari," she states, "but I wonder... you are a warrior of Megilindar Nost, are you not?  You practice the bladesong?" 

OOC: assuming some sort of positive response...

Her eyes light up.  "How fascinating.  If the tales are true, you have spent as much time honing your skills with that blade as our serving wench has spent out of diapers."  For the briefest moment, her hand comes to rest on top of Arancon's. 

A frown from her companion draws a returned glare from the woman. "Ah, but forgive me," she adds, sitting up straight, "I am Davena, and my bodyguard here is Garn. Alas, Garn does not share my interest in other cultures; what he finds tedious, I find fascinating." Davena brushes a golden lock back behind her ear, and fixes her gaze on Arancon directly, all but ignoring the rest of the party.

"So tell me of your travels, macar.  How far across Antaron have you ranged?"

The conversation in the common room has fully retruend to a normal level; the locals seem to have forgotton that the group exists.   The serving wench returns to check for any additional requests, notices Arancon and Davena in deep conversation, and gives a sly smile and a wink as she leaves.



Posted on 2018-08-06 at 09:55:31.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 11:37:35 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: characters added


I have added a list of character names, classes, and a brief physical desription to the first post in this thread.  If anyone would like for me to edit anything, please let me know.



Posted on 2018-08-06 at 00:27:08.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: no prob


I will put this together.



Posted on 2018-08-05 at 19:29:52.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: agreed


Agreed.  Blackthorn, you have really stepped it up, and I find myself looking forward to your posts like I do some of the veterans! 



Posted on 2018-08-04 at 14:18:02.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: nope


Sorry if it was confusing.  You started in the woods near the village of Crandel - southwest of Daviena castle, near the Sendrian border.  Not southwest of Crandel.

You have been traveling west, towards the Sendrian border.  These woman and her companion have apparently been heading east, further into Ertain - same as the pilgrims.



Posted on 2018-08-04 at 12:44:19.
Edited on 2018-08-04 at 14:17:22 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: get out of the rain, already


The gate guard gapes in surprise at Ch'dau's action, and he stammers in response at the golden coin pressed into his hand.  "Er.. yes, yes it will.  Cover them all, I mean." The guard ducks his head.  "My thanks to you, cat man.  May the gods watch over you and yours this night."

The sentry glances back over his shoulder, up on the palisade, and speaks out in a loud voice.  "Let them in, Les."  At his bidding, the gate is unlatched from inside, and swings outward.

As the party begins to move inside, he speaks a final time.  "The Nicked Shill be straight ahead - the only Inn in town.  Ye ought to be able to find a bed there, as well as food an' ale."

*******************************************************

The dirt streets of Crandel are quiet. Many of the buildings and homes are dark, but those with lit lanterns or torches shine with an almost otherworldly light against the sticky fog. As you press forward, you come across one lone, well lit building, and as you come closer, you see a wooden signboard bearing the depiction of a worn, damaged copper coin - the Nicked Shill.


The interior of the inn is well lit, and the atmosphere is fairly bustling, if not truly friendly. Several long tables run most of the length of the common room, with benches lining either side. The tables are by and large occupied by folk in plain garb such as you might see on farmers or laborers, and these locals peer at you with less than hospitable expressions; you could swear that conversation dies down upon your entry.  When the gazes settle on Ch'dau, the voices turn from less friendly to outright hostility; angry murmurs can be heard.


"Maybe you should go get the Watch!" someone announces in a stage whisper to a comrade. 

"Who let a monster in here?" another demands.

Fortunately, that chain of conversation is quelled by a large, burly, bearded man in an apron.  "Ya sorry lot cut that out now, ya hear me?" he bellows in a deep baritone.  "That be no monster - 'es a kazari!  Not only are they a damn sight better warriors than most 'o those what drift through 'ere, but ya can take one at 'is word." 

He points a finger at Ch'dou.  "Ya 'ave coin, cat man?" he asks loudly.  "Are ya 'ere to cause trouble?"

OOC: assuming that the kazari answers in the affirmative and negative, respectively...

"Right, then!" he bellows.  "Nya, get the kazari an' 'is friends sommat ta eat an' drink.  The rest 'o you lot, mind yer own business, or leave - now."  With the admonition, the big man reaches behind the counter and drawns forth a large, heavy cudgel, which he casually leans against.  A hush falls over the room, and it seems that no one will take the big man up on his offer, but after a long moment, two men dressed in the uniform of the town watch stand.  One finishes his ale in a single gulp, the other spits on the ground, and the two leave, muttering and casting dark glances back over their shoulders. 

But that seems to be the end of the drama - for now.  Soon enough, conversation picks back up around the room, though people seem to alternate between outright staring at Ch'dau and the party or pointedly ignoring them.


Soon, a young, befreckled brunette maid greets you warmly enough, and directs you to one of the few open spots - which is in a corner table unoccupied by locals. "Welcome to our inn, travelers," she speaks in an accent very similar to the gate guard's. "Special tonight is pork stew with peppers; we may still have some potatoes. We 'ave strong ale an' small beer," and with a measured glance at the sylvari, "an' I may be able to scare up some fall wine; mayhap there's some left. We've got good bread and cheese, but it's too early in the season for much in the way of fruits."


After taking your orders, she leaves.


There are two occupants at the end of your table; both are humans in travelers' garb. One is a tall, stubble-faced, sinewy man dressed in leather armor and a brown cloak, wearing a sword at his belt. He sits easily, though you notice his eyes periodically sweep the room.


The other is an attractive blonde woman dressed in form fitting black clothing with a purple cloak. She wears a broad-bladed knife at her belt, as well as some sort of silver pendant at her throat.


The man's eyes narrow at you as you take your seat and his hand subconsciously drifts closer to the handle of his blade, though after a few moments, he gives a curt nod and appears to slightly relax.


The woman, on the other hand, seems to view you with more interest. While she doesn't truly smile, her expression is not unfriendly. Upon closer inspection, you realize that her left cheek bears several silvered scars, one of which begins at the corner of her mouth and ends right next to her blue eye.


The serving wench is reasonably prompt, bringing the food in a timely manner; the fare is simple, but tasty enough. By this point, the locals seem to have grown more or less bored with the novelty of the party, and conversation around the room appears to be in full swing again.


The woman at your table moves as if to speak a greeting; the man seems about to object, but she silences him with a glare. "Well met, fellow travelers," she speaks politely, her accent leaving no doubt that she is no local. "I do not recall seeing you on the road, so I would think that you did not come from the west. Have you any news from the road to the east?"



Posted on 2018-08-03 at 16:25:50.
Edited on 2018-08-06 at 00:13:42 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: all right


Nice hashtag, activist. 

I'm going to assume from here that nobody will object to Ch'dau paying the road toll, and that you will all agree to the peace knots (which are a pretty common requirement inside of settlements).  If not, I can edit and we can play that out.  Otherwise, I'm goingto move things along this afternoon.



Posted on 2018-08-03 at 13:10:24.
Edited on 2018-08-03 at 13:47:20 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject:


You are correct.  That pays for everyone and lets him pocket some coin. I can imagine that he will react favorably to that.



Posted on 2018-08-03 at 11:54:56.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: yep


Just for frame of reference - this is super common.  Ctitizens of a given area or kingdom will typically pay lower taxes for things like this than will foreigners.  And the gate guard is not speaking out of turn - I am certain that Ch'dau has been utterly prevented entrance at some other towns. 

Do think about it.  We're not talking about modern culture, where the only difference is the color of a foreigner's skin (which can still cause barriers).  We're talking about what looks like a legit monster - in a world where monsters are all too real - walking up and wanting in your town or business.  Given the rarity of kazari in Antaron, it is doubtful that any citizen of this isolated town will have ever seen one.  Considering him a "beast" isn't just them being narrowminded; in most cases, creatures that walk on two legs but are not human, syl, khord, or cid are creatures that want to kill/eat the above species in this world.



Posted on 2018-08-03 at 10:39:39.
Edited on 2018-08-03 at 10:40:57 by t_catt11

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: rules are rules


The gate guard responds in a very serious tone and bows his head.  "Please forgive me, milord.  I do not mean to offer offense to anyone's honor.  You must understand, milord... I am but a simple watchman from a simple town, 'oo has drawn the short straw for the graveyard shift."


His gaze then locks on that of the sylvari.  "You see, milord, the law 'ere is that all travelers who are citizens of the kingdom must pay the road toll of one falchion, while foreigners must pay two.  Now, milord, a simple man such as miself might miss the fact that milord 'as terribly pointy ears for a subject of King Jarom, might p'raps mistake yon 'alfling for a child traveling with 'is pa.  It is dark after all, with evil weather afoot; if a simple man like miself were to miss those, naught would blink an eye."

His eyes flick towards Ch'dau in gesture.  "But milord, if'n I were to ignore yon 'airy beast, the captain would 'ave me 'ead.  Even a blind man can see the 'e's no citizen 'o the kingdom... not 'o any kingdom I've 'eard of.  Fact is, milord, 'im being charged a road toll is an honor to 'im, an honor for which 'e can think milord and the 'oly men with which 'e travels.  Elsewise, 'e might fine 'isself lookin' at a mess of spear 'eads instead."

Nonplussed, Ch'dau attempts to haggle the price, but the gate guard is having none of it.  With remarkable fortitude - truly, the skinny man barely shakes in the face of the kazari who stands more than foot taller than him - he holds his ground.  "P'raps the offer is good, p'raps it idn't.  But the road toll, cat man, is five falchions.  And truly, the law 'olds that all travelers should peace knot their weapons and unstring any bows.  So the lot 'o ye - tie them up now, quick like.  Pay tha toll, and get in off of this road and out of tha evil night."





Posted on 2018-08-03 at 10:35:24.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject:




Posted on 2018-08-02 at 16:42:12.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject:


Okay.  I will note who ever shared food, coin, etc  



Posted on 2018-08-02 at 15:02:57.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: on currency...


Please note that unlike many games, I base my world's monetary system around silver, not gold.  Furthermore, different countries have their own currencies and exchange rates.  If you care to read about it, there is an article here that details currency in Antaron.

If you don't care to read, just note that a "falchion" is the common silver coin of Ertain.  A road toll of a single silver coin is relatively common. 



Posted on 2018-08-02 at 14:11:19.

 
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