Ch2 16

Folis leads the party, since she's the one that made the invite. And maybe kinda sorta wanted to act as a buffer.
Folis: "Beggin' y'pardons, Cap- er, I suppose it's Gov'ner now?"
Peter|GM: Leviathan does not always have a governor. There are certain agreements among its harbormasters and its landlords, among the various tradesguilds that serve as its guards, but the formalization of these agreements up to the level of governance, well, sometimes it's there, sometimes it fall apart. Leviathan had been about seven years ungoverned (well, except for a loose council) when all of
Peter|GM: its various interested powers came together and appointed the Lady Elizabeth McGunnery to the office by popular acclaim.
Peter|GM: And as part of that, this manor, out aways from the skeleton itself, was arranged for her.
Peter|GM: A short trail walk up to it and past its fence - not a proper garden, but an estate, with appropriately decorative rocks and rolling grasses - and the housestaff show the party, by appointment, to the Governor's Office.
Peter|GM: And that's where Folis leads them.
Peter|GM: There she is, at her desk.
Folis: "Here they are, for good or for ill."
Lady Elizabeth glances up from a mountain of paperwork she's nearly buried beneath, quill in hand. She then lets out a long, exasperated sigh.
Lady Elizabeth: "You sure are."
Lady Elizabeth: "Just you three or is the entire group comin' to lodge a complaint?"
Folis: "Can't tell. I just wanted to see you again because I missed you terribly."
Elbereth bows slightly. "My apologies, Lady Mcgunnery. Most of them left the island immediately after the incident, and while I stuck around for a while, I couldn't bring myself to let them go off on their own."
Folis: "It took an awful lot of self control t'file this through the proper methods…"
Lady Elizabeth glances at Folis a moment, then directs her gaze on Elbereth, looking equal parts relieved and annoyed.
Lady Elizabeth: "So."
Lady Elizabeth: "Did ya just not eat for a few days and missed my letter somehow… or do ya actually not know how to read those books yer always luggin' around?"
Elbereth shakes her head. "I informed them of the letter. But Sir Santiago headed towards Ecafa the next morning."
Folis: "Oh no, we certainly fed ourselves and such. Just also had an interesting scour of the lay of the land."
Lady Elizabeth: "I guess I'm to blame for this then,"
Elbereth: "Lady Wintervine and myself explored the rest of the arcolith, but after a few days there did not seem to be much point in staying on the island when the rest had already left."
Lobelia steps up to the desk and leans towards Elizabeth, her face plainly showing her anger. "While your servants here were feeding you Leviathan's finest, we were making do with whatever we could scavenge on the way back to civilization."
Lady Elizabeth: "Both for thinking that any one not from Leviathan would give a shit about what happened to it, and also fer assumin' you'd listen to anything I had to say an' then could keep them in line for a short period of time."
Elbereth: "I believe the group also conversed with an imperial spy immediately upon arriving in Ecafa, so to put it bluntly nothing about your plan went… as planned." A sad smile.
Lady Elizabeth pinches the bridge of her nose.
Folis: "What, are you kidding? Leviathan became my second home for a while. These people saved my life."
Folis: "I owe 'em an awful lot."
Lady Elizabeth: "An' all of ya leavin' the arcolith almost immediately almost put a lot of delicate shit in danger of fallin' apart."
Elbereth: "The next morning, in fact." She nods.
Folis: "Eh? How's that?"
Lady Elizabeth leans back in her chair, pulling back from Lobelia's lean.
Lady Elizabeth: "Okay well as you may have noticed, there was a goddamn imperil war fleet inbound."
Elbereth: "Lady Mcgunnery specifically told the lot of you to stay on the island. But you all merrily followed Sir Santiago off of it the very next morning."
Lady Elizabeth: "They were not, as you may have been thinking, planning on meerly making a pit stop to resupply here before moving on."
Lady Elizabeth: "There was a deal in place to retrieve the seed for them, in exchange for them *not* decimating my home and killing all of my people."
Lady Elizabeth: "This plan, however, included one particular detail I was not, myself, terribly fond of! Namely: killing off my crew so no one knew what happened other than me, presumably for leverage to hold over my head, least I before to antagonistic after laying claim to the port."
Lady Elizabeth: "So, as I wrote in my letter -"
Lady Elizabeth: "We needed to make it look like the crew was dead."
Lady Elizabeth: "The whole lot of you comin' ashore not even a week later… well. As you can see there are still a fair few number of imperils left in the area."
Lady Elizabeth: "And if they find out I negged on part of the agreement, they might decide the entire fuckin' thing is null an' void."
Elbereth: "I admittedly do have one question that has perplexed me, Lady Mcgunnery."
Lobelia: "And your plan was to have us lot of corpses you left behind meekly wait on an unpaid vacation like a bunch of dogs and hope they don't search the scene of the crime for bodies."
Folis: "… Lobelia."
Lady Elizabeth: "Hence the explosive display, Miss Winter."
Lady Elizabeth: "If that even is your real name."
[OOC] Folis: Oh, if I used the wrong referential ICly, my bad
Lady Elizabeth: **Wintervine^))
Folis: "Getting heated now won't solve anything and would only raise further suspicion."
Folis: "The lady's right, things have become rather hairy and we need to put some serious thought into how to resolve all this."
Elbereth coughs into her hand. "Lady Mcgunnery, if you had no intention of killing the crew, why did you place your faith in a bunch of strangers instead of going with your team? Not THAT many were injured by the Soulflayer. I bought that you did not wish for them to see danger under the initial plan, but going into it with the information you had, why would you risk all of Leviathan with such a gamble that strangers would stay put and c
Elbereth: strangers would stay put and cooperate? "
Lady Elizabeth: "Because there was a very real chance they would have sent a spy to keep tabs on the operation. Also if they knew anything at all about me, they would have known there was no way in hell I would have killed my own men."
Lady Elizabeth: "Had to make it all look believable."
Elbereth shakes her head. "My apologies. There is little meaning to my focusing on the what-if's. The fact of the matter is that the Imperials know of the deceit at this juncture."
Folis: "Which likely means we need to get ourselves prepared."
Lady Elizabeth gives Lobelia a long hard look, before shaking her head and turning back to Elbereth. "Then I reckon I'm in for an even bigger headache an' better hope I can feign ignorance, and hope that that meteor crash in Ecafa warrents more of their immediate attention."
Lady Elizabeth: "And you lot should probably leave as soon as you can."
Folis: "… I figured I wouldn't be here longer, anyway."
Folis: "I am sorry, Captain."
Elbereth: "I believe it is because of that meteor crash that they have let them move this long, Lady Mcgunnery. It is rather clear that the imperials wish for me to bring the World Savior to Agaap."
Folis: "Oh, right…"
Folis: "That 'meteor' is now a current part of our crew."
Lady Elizabeth starts to respond to Folis, then pauses and blinks at Elbereth. "What now?"
Elbereth: "A sentient machination from the stars, claiming that they are here to save the world from the patrons."
Lady Elizabeth: "…I see."
Elbereth: "It is a lot to take in, I admit. But I can vouch for their credibility. I took them to Filios to confirm."
Lady Elizabeth: "Well, that's… good. Sounds way higher priority than lil ol' me."
Lobelia: "Alright, I've heard enough. If you're not even going to do anything about the imperials on our asses because your hands are full covering your own…" Lobelia steps away from the desk, waves farewell, and exits the governor's office through the door.
Folis: "… Okay bye."
Lady Elizabeth: "Miss Wintervine."
Lady Elizabeth: "Take note that I am *not* taking the easiest and surest way out of this."
Lady Elizabeth: "IE. informing certain powers that be that I found a certain runaway that they have been looking for, for quite some time."
Folis gulps.
Lady Elizabeth: "Or notifying them of anyone else here. Or that the Hundred Clan I'm personally taking care of is related to one of the old crew, or that it included the daughter of a certain reseacher they'd like to have their hands on as well, or that there was a Gods-damned If-ys on board, or any other number of other things I know that would be worth something."
Lady Elizabeth: "What more do you want other than quick and safe passage out of the city?"
Lobelia pauses with the doorknob half turned. She turns towards Elizabeth, grinning. "So that's what you were getting at with that comment earlier. If you know so much, surely you know what happened to the last person who tried to play the 'blackmail' hand?"
Elbereth: "I believe that you forgot that Master Hayreddin had a large imperial bounty on his head." She smiles.
Lady Elizabeth nods absently to Elbereth, while sighing at Lobelia.
Lady Elizabeth: "That wasn't blackmail ya idiot."
Lady Elizabeth: "Just sayin', I am still kind of stickin' my neck out."
Folis: "I was planning on getting some supplies. And maybe re-routin' some enchantments if we have the talent here somewhere."
Lady Elizabeth: "I'm sure Beth can show you a place."
Folis: "Ah yeah, I mainly meant doin' it in a way taht doesn't further y'headache."
Elbereth pulls out a paper before jotting down directions. She hands it to Folis with a smile.
Folis takes it, looking it over. Her tail curls this way and that. "… Right, yeah! I'll get around to this when our business here's done."
Elbereth: "With the lack of ships leaving port as of late, I imagine they are more than eager to see a customer with trinkets. When treasure is lacking, so is business after all."
Lady Elizabeth: "Mmhm."
Folis: "Finally, I've been itching to start browsing through a proper market."
Elbereth makes her way further into the room before glancing at the desk. "Still, Governor of all things, Lady Mcgunnery? I did not picture you settling down to a desk all day."
Lady Elizabeth gives weary sigh.
Folis: "I reckon it's a fine line she's walking."
Lady Elizabeth: "Lemme tell ya, I don't know if I'd stick with it if I had ta redo it."
Lady Elizabeth: "This is the shittest job I have ever had, bar none. Includin' that summer I was helpin' the tavern and the ports froze over and we couldn't get rid of that pirate crew."
Folis: "Is there any way we'd be able to assist you before we leave again?"
Lady Elizabeth: "You solve one fuckin' problem without shootin' someone and then everyone thinks yer a fuckin' doormat, and then you got half the city lookin' down on you and the other -"
Elbereth chuckles lightly. "You wouldn't have gotten that story about me freezing someone had you not, though."
Lady Elizabeth picks up a peice of paper, glaring at it. "- You got writin' in about petty shit like 'Misses Arthur keeps putting her laundry line up on my room even though I've repeatedly told her not to, arrest her.' THIS WHAT NOT WHAT I FUCKIN' MENT WHEN I SAID MY OFFICE WAS OPEN TA HEAR COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE WAY THE CITY'S BEIN' RUN!"
Folis 's ears flit back.
Lady Elizabeth tosses it back into the pile in disgust.
Elbereth: "How is Herald doing? I admit I came here first."
Lobelia: "Why bother digging up graves if you aren't even…" Lobelia sighs loudly, rubbing her forehead. "Whatever. I'm getting out of here before I get the urge to break something." Lobelia leaves, the ranting of the governor masking her heavy footsteps.
Lady Elizabeth: "But naw, just… lay low until the wayward Scion of Ecafa's ship departs." Elizabeth rolls a shrug to Folis.
Folis: "Alright. Hopin' we can go drinking together again, once the dust clears."
Folis pads her way out, ready to start lookin' through the markets for particular things.
Lady Elizabeth: "Gramp's doin' fine, was pretty upset when I told him you'd be gone a few weeks though. Imagine he'll be less thrilled when I tell him that's about to extend into months."
Lady Elizabeth waves Folis out, then sinks further into her chair.
Lady Elizabeth: "Well. That wasn't nearly as bad as it coulda been, I guess."
Elbereth waits until Folis has left before letting out a tired sigh. "Are you really okay with this, Lady Mcgunnery?"
Lady Elizabeth: "With what?"
Elbereth: "Just sitting here. That meteor was only the beginning. Tailing them was an opponent far more dangerous than the Imperials. Should they have their way when they land, there is going to be no empire anymore. Nor a Leviathan."
Lady Elizabeth: "The fuck could possibly be more dangerous than the imps?"
Elbereth: "A foreign entity that wishes to reshape our entire planet is my understanding of it, Lady Mcgunnery. I admit it is a bit hard to believe, but even the imperials seem to be taking the comet seriously."
Lady Elizabeth: "I see."
Lady Elizabeth: "Well, maybe we'll get lucky and they're wind up killing each other."
Elbereth: "That truly would be a Miracle for the world, wouldn't it?" She shakes her head.
Lady Elizabeth: "I duno though."
Lady Elizabeth: "I'm kind of tied down, here."
Lady Elizabeth: "I guess it's a good think you found that meteor…?"
Elbereth: "Found is certainly a term for it."
Lady Elizabeth: "I'd say if there was anyone I'd trust with the fate of the world, it'd be you. But given recent not-listening-to-me events…" Elizabeth smiles, slightly.
Elbereth gives her a pointed look. "Would you have preferred me to confront you at the ship? That was the alternative had I stayed, Lady Mcgunnery."
Lady Elizabeth: "I would have preferred you not gettin' involved at all, then you sittin' on the island for a few weeks if not, but I mean."
Lady Elizabeth: "Can't exactly change the past, now can we?"
Lady Elizabeth shakes her head.
Lady Elizabeth: "An' as much as this plan sucks, it was still way better'n yers."
Elbereth: "I am rather confident I could have sunk the black knights ship, I'll have you know."
Lady Elizabeth: "God."
Lady Elizabeth: "After meetin' him? I'm not sure it would have mattered."
Lady Elizabeth: "I kinda feel like he's actually the suit of armor and is some kind of weird, fucked up, half made Familiar and not actually a man."
Elbereth: "Did he have the sword with him at the time?"
Lady Elizabeth: "From what I gather from the gossip, there ain't never a time he don't have it, or his armor."
Lady Elizabeth: "Guy is a fuckin' nut job. Heard from one of his men they saw him sittin' in a saune, head to toe in his gear once."
Elbereth: "If he is a familiar I'll be able to tell soon enough. I don't have centuries of sorcery under my belt for nothing."
Elbereth: "I do have one concern, however."
Lady Elizabeth: "Well, watch your back when yer out there in either case. For as weird as the guy was, absolutely everyone was scared to shit of 'em too, so he's gotta be at least half as skilled as they say."
Elbereth: "I can't help but notice this place is completely vacant of anyone who was in charge prior to the expedition. Are they…?"
Lady Elizabeth stares at Elbereth for a moment, not sure if she's joking or not initially, then rolls her eyes.
Lady Elizabeth: "Fuck's sake Beth, you really need to do a better job keepin' up with the times. I know ya been here for three generations and all but…"
Lady Elizabeth: "Naw, we just ain't had a Governer in like seven years."
Elbereth grins slyly. "That was actually the trap I was aiming for, Lady Mcgunnery. Hard to say you're tied here when the city has been fine on its own for seven years."
Lady Elizabeth: "There weren't imps on the doorstep durin' those seven years."
Lady Elizabeth: "Everything is kinda held together by a thin thread right now. It's complicated, and delicate."
Lady Elizabeth: "The gigantic fuckin' pile of refugees ain't makin' it any easier, either."
Elbereth: "I do concede that it is a complicated matter, but what do you intend to do knowing that the imperials are aware of everything you did at the moment?"
Lady Elizabeth: "How the hell was I suppose to know all ya'll were gunna survive an explosion and then somehow also find a way off an isolated island with no form of transportation?"
Lady Elizabeth: "…How in the fuck did ya manage to do that anyway?"
Elbereth: "They swam from inlet to inlet for four days taking breaks on the small islands. They showed much determination."
Lady Elizabeth: "That sounds like an astoundingly larger expendure of effort than waitin' a bit woulda been." Elizabeth shakes her head in amazement.
Elbereth: "I stayed at Filios and explored further during this time. But once I confirmed they in fact made it to the mainland through the fiend I had no choice but to follow."
Lady Elizabeth: "The fiend?"
Elbereth blinks before catching herself. "Ah, yes. My apologies. I summoned a fiend in the depths of Site B and made a pact of sorts with them. They let me use their hands to connect two portals to one another for fast travel. I gave the other to Echo Thirty-Six."
Lady Elizabeth: "… I guess that would explain how some of you more heavily armed types got out. Huh. Sounds like you had yerself a proper adventure after all."
Elbereth: "I am afraid I cannot let you dodge that question any longer, however. Deflecting with the fact that you didn't know they were going to leave the island has little to do with the future."
Lady Elizabeth rolls her eyes.
Elbereth: "I am concerned for you, Elizabeth. You and Leviathan."
Lady Elizabeth: "Like I said earlier, we get to see how well I can feign ignorance now. As far as they know I at least tried to do it, and everything else has worked out just fine beyond that. It means I need to be a little more careful about not pissin' them off, but I mean."
Lady Elizabeth: "In the end, they still got the seed and they still got shit they and lord over me in they need ta, so I think it'll work out. Their contact has been… mostly reasonable."
[OOC] Lady Elizabeth: they can lord^
Elbereth: "How much do the citizens actually know about all this?"
Lady Elizabeth: "Fuck all."
Lady Elizabeth: "They don't want no one knowin' about the seeds."
Lady Elizabeth: "So I can only assume what people are thinkin' I did fer this but…" She shrugs.
Elbereth starts to laugh. "You're telling me that they took you of all people at face value when you said you wanted to be Governor. Lady Mcgunnery, the same girl who couldn't stay put for ten minutes at school?"
Lady Elizabeth runs a hand through her hair.
Lady Elizabeth: "They know that, for whatever reason, I'm the main reason that we didn't get invaded."
Lady Elizabeth: "Which has been enough to keep people from doin' anything stupid, so far."
Lady Elizabeth: "And they're payin' their fees down at the docks, at least, so no one can really complain on that front."
Elbereth: "What of the refugees? The imperials intended to shoot those ships down. They have left them be?"
Lady Elizabeth: "I guess they decided it was our problem now. Can boy has it been."
Lady Elizabeth: "I can only assume the let it slide on the off chance they started a riot of something and gave them an excuse to act, but. Well, I got that under control in a hurry."
Elbereth: "How bad of a defecit are we in now? The ships are moored and we've taken in a large influx of citizens."
Lady Elizabeth wobbles a hand.
Lady Elizabeth: "We should be able to hold out until they're finished securing Ecafa and have a bigger port with more places to bunk up their army."
Lady Elizabeth: "An' they're not really preventin' anyone from comin' or goin', just gettin' priority."
Elbereth: "The Elven ship leaving isn't going to present any issues?"
Lady Elizabeth: "Isn't a problem I've heard about, least."
Lady Elizabeth: "Can't imagine the imps would really have any beef with any elves though."
Lady Elizabeth: "They mostly go around scrappin' the kind of shit pirates and hunters are lookin' for, which is probably a boon as far as the imps are concerned."
Elbereth: "I admit I am not looking forward to dealing with their kind again. The ones we've dealt with at Leviathan are rather mild compared to that of Fearnought."
Lady Elizabeth laughs.
Lady Elizabeth: "You snuck in on an elvaan warboat?"
Elbereth: "I secured passage on an Elvaan warboat. Much to the captains disdain harboring a Mirage Witch. But the price of trade was too steep."
Lady Elizabeth: "How'd that work out?"
Elbereth: "I destroyed a patrons artifact from the depths of the Ecafan treasury before closing a fissure to hell and leaving the city as the entire imperial army descended upon us. Given we are still in one piece, I would say swimmingly."
Lady Elizabeth: "And ta think, you were worried about me sailin' out for a simple salvage run on an acrolith. Hahah."
Elbereth: "I admit it's been a while since I've gone on such an excursion." She sighs wistfully.
Lady Elizabeth: "An' yer plannin' on setting out for another one."
Elbereth: "The mana seed is still in Agaap. A powerful disease of sorts prevents the empire from reaching it. Should we not depart, I doubt that they will be able to retrieve it."
Elbereth: "I fully expect them to stab us in the back and take it upon our exit."
Lady Elizabeth: "Mmm."
Lady Elizabeth: "You sure goin' there is the smartest move, then?"
Lady Elizabeth: "I duno what they want those seeds for - or why they're callin' weird glowin' orbs seeds in the first place."
Elbereth: "Unfortunately, I believe this is still the proper course of action. To combat the threat beyond the stars we will need all of the seeds. And what the Empire takes can always be taken back in a daring move at the Imperial Capital."
Elbereth: "Neither of us can do anything with them if they still sit in the arcoliths."
Lady Elizabeth: "Ya always find a way ta bring it back to that, somehow…"
Lady Elizabeth: "…Just make sure ya stay save out there, alright? I'll make sure ya still got a place to come home to."
Elbereth: "In all honesty, part of me doesn't want to leave. I saw the state of your office, Lady Mcgunnery. You are not better off as a Governor."
Lady Elizabeth: "I fuckin' hate it as much as it probably looks like, yeah."
Lady Elizabeth: "It's like babysittin' a bunch of toddlers, only they're toddlers with a lot of money and weapons."
Elbereth: "What happened to your crew now?"
Lady Elizabeth: "Mine? They're back to work as normal."
Elbereth smiles. "I'm glad to hear that scuffle with the Flayer wasn't serious, then."
Lady Elizabeth smiles in return.
Lady Elizabeth: "That never actually happened."
Lady Elizabeth: "Was just part of the story."
Elbereth purses her lips slightly before shaking her head. "I do wish you at least told me that much. Saying 'I don't want to endanger my crew' was a valid enough excuse."
Lady Elizabeth: "I couldn't say nothin' in pubic!"
Elbereth gives her a look. "Even though you already admitted that the imperials would never buy you sacrificing your own crew? I fail to see why not."
Lady Elizabeth: "Other people were in the bar when we started talkin'."
Lady Elizabeth: "Had to stick to the script."
Lady Elizabeth: "And as you'll recall, I was tryin' to avoid bringin' you in anyway."
Elbereth raises an eyebrow. "So many people that I was singing by myself and you joked that I scared off the patrons."
Lady Elizabeth: "Details."
Elbereth: "I'm glad to see you're safe, Elizabeth. I was not sure if the imperials were going to honor their agreement when you first took the ship."
Elbereth: "Let me know if you need help with anything tonight. I'm going to go pay a visit to Herald."
Lady Elizabeth: "Yeah I figured. Don't worry about it too much an' do what ya gotta do before leavin'."
Elbereth bows slightly. "And I'm sorry, Elizabeth." She makes her way out of the office.
Lady Elizabeth makes a pft noise. "Naw you aren't. But that's fine."
Peter|GM: The howling lifting wind so common along the cape, predictable as the dawn and the sunset.
Peter|GM: As long as this rain comes, no ship can cross the cape without being shattered, driven, dashed to the bottom of the ocean.
Peter|GM: As long as this rainy season endures, the evil ambition of the BLACK-AND-RED EMPIRE is held in check!
Peter|GM: To the north, the republic of Ivolly marshals its neighbors in a heroic last stand.
Peter|GM: And to the east, in Ecafa, a certain consul obtains new power, a strong hand and voice pushing back against Imperial occupation…
Peter|GM: But to the south, in the continent of Dremeos, there is something stranger still:
Peter|GM: The last of the patrons lies sleeping in the ARCOLITH AGAAP, in a stony, arid land -
Peter|GM: A country of holy places and sun-painted rocks.
Peter|GM: What strange mysteries, and what new hopes, lie in this strange, foreign land?
Peter|GM: Strange things are certainly brewing. Dark plots and possible miracles both, as well as…
[OOC] Peter|GM: this is the Meridian Child medley in case you would like it again

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