Zg Session 58

Once Ernst is led through the maze, you've hardly had a chance to catch your breath and dust yourselves off before you're escorted up to the Bruse's throne room at the summer court. Several soldiers and various courtiers are hanging about at the edges of the large room, and behind the large throne opens to the balcony hanging over the hedge maze.
Bruse Shantus is seated on the throne, and nearby are a lizardfolk and the dragonborn you saw earlier. The gnoll 'Minister of Rebellion' is standing by himself off to the side. Lya, Rush, and a couple of others are standing in a group along another wall.
Shantus: "Welcome to Ber, constables!" he calls out, arms held wide.
Gerald: "Out of mild curiosity how often to kids get major fucked up or killed during that thing? Those bears were bizzarely beefy."
Phyllis: "If they make it through, they aren't kids anymore."
Garrett: "Thanks for the hospitality. Our visit has been… exciting, so far."
Phyllis: "So, 100% of the time."
Chandrasekhar: "That seems like… the most technically-correct answer imaginable, Phyllis."
Gerald: "Dang."
Shantus guffaws. "It depends on the petitioners. We wouldn't send a bear against someone's little, old grandma. Unless they were an executora. Maybe just someone wearing a red crown who intentionally avoids them."
Zane: "Nah, we file the claws down and train them not to bite. Hardly any fatalities."
Phyllis: "The best kind of correct."
Shantus: "Tell me, what's it like keeping everything safe in an city of growing industry like Flint?"
Garrett: "Exciting in a much more brass and smoke kind of way, instead of scales and bone."
Phyllis: "Everyone wants a piece of it."
Zane: "Complicated and full of ingrates."
Zane: "Its like being an executore, except I have to jail them instead of beat them to death."
Gerald: "Lots of morons thinking they have a lot of power because they have a pistol. Hardly ever works out well for them, though."
Chandrasekhar: "It's a living~." He smiles faintly.
Shantus: "I suppose you could compare it to your mother's stories, Mr. Bieito."
Phyllis: "I hear you have an organization that fulfills something similar? I can't quite recall their name, however."
Zane: "I strive to live up to her shining, blood-spattered example."
Gerald: "And occassionally needed is defuse gigantic ass bombs? That's happened like four, five times since I got assigned. Huh."
Phyllis: "I've only heard stories, but I imagine it's like that. An all-woman crew, if I recall?"
[OOC] Gerald: needing to defuse^
Shantus: "And Mr. Singh! Delightful to see you again. I see you're taking a more active role in Risur these days."
Garrett‘ nudges Gerald
Gerald` tilts his head back towards Garrett.
Garrett` shakes his head.
Chandrasekhar: "It’s a pleasure to be back."
Shantus: "Yes, they say they prefer a woman's more level head. Some of their punishments are certainly welll-thought out!"
Zane: "It makes sense. They are calmer and more practically vicious by nature."
Shantus: "And my sources tell me you've even taken an eventful trip along the Avery Coast Railroad. What's it like?"
Zane: "The food was wonderful."
Garrett: "The breakfast was exquisite."
Zane fistbump.
Shantus laughs again. "I'm sure it was."
Garrett‘ fistbump, with a somewhat ’sorry bro' glance.
Chandrasekhar: "Quite exciting. I'd been meaning to make a journey like that for quite some time. Well, perhaps not -quite- like that." He smiles.
Gerald: "The giant game hunting on a moving train part was kind of interesting. And the other people we met!"
Shantus: "Yes, El Extraño told me a bit about that."
Zane: "Oh?"
Shantus: "He has eyes everywhere, after all."
Zane: "I'm curious what his take on it might be."
Shantus: "I might see if he can get in touch, but that will have to wait. Your petition said you were asking about Tinker Oddcog?"
Zane: "Yes, sire. He is a person of interest in an ongoing case."
Garrett: "The one and same."
Shantus: "And what do you need from him?"
Garrett: "He's just so -interesting-."
Garrett: "And we had some questions about his previous mechanical-arcane works."
Shantus: "Like the giant golem said to be stomping through my mystical backyard?"
Zane: "That does sound right up his alley."
Garrett: "You've heard of it, then."
Shantus: "A little. Ms. Jierre here was telling me a little of what she'd heard from the consulate and the soldiers at the hotel before they called off the peace talks a few months ago when it showed up."
Shantus: "Speaking of her, she's offering some state-of-the-art Danoran warships and Danoran engineers to aid in building railroads and future warships in her bid take Mr. Oddcog off my hands."
Gerald‘ looks like he’s about to say something, but manages not to with some heroic effort.
Shantus: "Dare I ask what you're offerring?"
Zane: "The gratitude of Flint, and technical expertise that doesntut our country further under Danor's boot."
[OOC] Zane: *doesnt put
Phyllis: "I'm sure we can come to some equivalent arrangement. Danor's at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to blending technology with magic."
Phyllis: "If we can have some time to confer with the powers that be?"
Gerald‘ .oO(Is there a reason no one’s bringing up the fact that Lya and her associates are, like, terrorists hell bent on destroying the collective nations of the world in order for them and theirs alone to rule via threat of GIANT FUCKING AUTOMATIONS, by the way?)
Shantus laughs. "Don't worry about it. I have something more interesting in mind, and it'll give you time to figure out things like that."
Garrett‘ .oO(Well… because the idea sounds ridiculous on its face and our two governments aren’t playing by the same book.)
Phyllis: "Something more interesting? So you know of something we have for offer?"
Phyllis: "I mean that sincerely, it's escaping my mind at the moment."
Shantus: "Let me introduce you to vizier Zarkava Ssa'litt," he motions with his right hand to the lizardfolk beside him who nods her head in acknowledgement, "and my minister of dragon affairs, Kenna Vigilante," he says, waving at the dragonborn to his left.
Zane: "Some service we can perform for Ber, no doubt."
Garrett‘ looks like he’s about to say something, but doubles back at the last second.
Shantus: "I should also mention our honourary minister of rebellion, Pardo, though he's not directly involved in this."
Glaucia snarls and visibly bristles at the mention of the gnoll.
Gerald‘ .oO(He said he had someone keeping an eye on our oversees trip, right? SURELY that attack on the train, if nothing else, didn’t go unnoticed? Plus like all that shit with the Priestess, Lya's brother, the arena thing… But I mean if ya'll this this is the smart play… I definitely don't have the best handle on world politics.)
Shantus: "Glaucia, are you alright…?" He gives a brief laugh. "Ah, yes, I remember how you two know each other now, sorry. I shouldn't have brought him up."
Zane bites his lip.
Shantus: "Zarkava and Kenna will be helping me decide which team is a better choice to grant access to Tinker. Zarkava is concerned about the nation's prosperity and security, while Kenna has a clear handle on its finances. I see myself as the heart of the country. Head, heart, and purse-strings will each have one vote, based on their opinion of the two parties."
Shantus: "But to give us time to make our judgements, I have two challenges for your teams. The winner of each challenge will earn one vote."
Shantus: "So out of the five votes, two from the winners of the challenges, two from my advisors, and one from myself, we'll decide who gets access to Tinker."
Zane 's fingers twitch, ever so slightly.
Phyllis: "Convincing your associates, I understand. But why the challenges?"
Shantus: "How you complete the challenges can help you convince us."
Phyllis: "I assume there is some logic, I trust you on that much." Though she hasn't heard the -nature- of those challenges yet.
Phyllis: "That much was apparent enough. I'm just curious how."
Shantus: "Before I go any further, however, you must promise to wait until sunrise so I can explain the rules and ensure a fair start for both groups, as well as a couple of other ones."
Shantus: "First, neither group may leave the grounds of the summer court before sunrise tomorrow."
Gerald‘ rubs at his face.
Shantus: "Second, if any member of either group or anyone affiliated with them attempts to locate or contact Tinker before the end of this contest, the offending group will receive the ire of myself and the nation. No cheater shall be allowed to meet with the gnome, and anyone who acts in bad faith will be named an enemy of Ber."
Shantus: "Third, if any member of one group attacks anyone in the other group, the attackers will forfeit." He grins. "I admit I’m a bit open to interpretation on this last one. A little friendly disruption via third parties
Aleith|DM: is fine, but we're all civilized here, and I won't abide killing someone from the other side. "
Phyllis: "I assume permanent dismemberment is right out, too."
Garrett‘ .oO(This guy is playing more games than the entire city Nalaam.)
Lya speaks up. "My group and I promise to adhere to those rules."
Gerald` .oO(Kinda wanna shoot this guy too, now, yeah.)
Garrett: "Killing the third parties is fine, right?"
Zane pinches the bridge of his nose. "I sure hope so."
Shantus: "They’re not part of it, though it depends on who it is. I'm not giving you carta blanca to murder my citizens."
Gerald: "Pretty sure they're running out of those anyway at this point…"
Shantus: "If you want to quibble about it, the protection extends to Lya and her three….four?…associates."
Lya frowns.
Zane: "Probably just three now…"
Zane shrugs slightly.
Garrett: "Anything else?"
Shantus: "Those are the three main rules you have to promise to adhere to."
Phyllis: "We promise to adhere to the rules, yes."
Shantus: "Very well then."
Shantus: "The first challenge is to assist our country in the building of the Cantabrilla Railroad, which will connect the nation's east and west coasts so that freight won't have to travel along the southern coast, which has its share of hostile territory, such as the unincorporated gnoll tribes," he explains, motioning slightly in Pardo's direction.
Shantus: "The entire length will come to three hundred and twenty-five miles, stretching between the cities of Reo Pedresco and Renza."
Shantus: "To motivate its fast completion, the Ministry of Dragon Affairs hired two companies: Griento Railways out of Renza, and Liss Rail Construction out of Reo Pedresco."
Shantus: "Currently the heads of the two lines are separated by thirty-six miles, and each side can lay one or two miles of track per day. Going is rough because the route passes through the central river lands, rugged terrain full of steep gullies carved by numerous rivers and streams."
Shantus: "I will award one vote to whichever group gets their railroad to lay eighteen miles first."
Shantus: "You will be helping Liss Rail Construction, and Ms. Jierre's group will be helping Griento Railways."
Zane: "… I agree."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: http://storagebin.wikidot.com/zg-skill-challenges updated
Garrett‘ nods.
Shantus: "As for the second challenge… The ’Riven Sea of Gold,' Marrajado de Oro, forms part of the border between Risur and Ber. For centuries Risur had to defend against naval attacks from fleets of the dragon tyrants and later by orcish warlords. But times have been peaceful since Vairday Bruse united the nation."
Shantus: "However the current executive authority there, Cavallo de Guerra, is a thorn in my side. He's refusing to pay a fair share for the construction of the Selestala Railroad, which will link his capital city Citado Cavallo with Seobriga. This is just the latest dispute."
Shantus: "For the constables, I task you with convincing Cavallo to make a public pledge of loyalty and to agree to pay for his share of the Selestala route."
Shantus: "As for Ms. Jierre's group, you will be tasked with discrediting Cavallo, by convincing him to launch an attack on Risuri territory, specifically the fort Manhill across the sea, which has long defended against orcish attacks."
Shantus: "Whichever happens first earns that team a vote."
Garrett: "So their task is to begin an international incident?"
Zane narrows his eyes very slightly.
Gerald: "Wait."
Shantus: "Damages will be paid, but I imagine you'll do your best to convince Cavallo otherwise, yes?"
Garrett: "At the whimsical capriciousness of Ber?"
Phyllis: "Children complain. Adults solve their problems."
Phyllis: "… In other words, yes."
Gerald: "Did you just tell member of the RHC you're making a group of Danors convince another ruler of Ber to attack Ber's closest ally in order to garner favor with you?"
Gerald‘ looks at Zane with the most ’is this guy for real' expression he's ever worn before.
Shantus: "That about sums it up, yes."
Garrett: "Okay. Just so we're clear on the borders of engagement, then."
Garrett‘ .oO (If they ’win' that point, we should probably just kill them all at that juncture.)
Chandrasekhar seems like he can't even think of anything to say, seized by a fervent reminder of why he was glad to leave Ber after all.
Garrett‘ telepaths that to his allies.
Gerald` ,oO(It strictly becomes a matter of national security and our allies bold facedly betraying us at that point, yeah.)
Zane .oO(I apologize, friends. I did not remember Bruse Shantus being a gormless fucking idiot.)
Zane takes a deep breath.
Garrett` .oO(We’ll have to do a Sending, later. Time to stretch the third-party net.)
Shantus: "There's cottages on the grounds for each of your groups. An attendant can show you to yours."
Phyllis .oO( Griento, Nalaam. Plenty of favors to ask. )
Gerald‘ nods.
Shantus: "Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some stargazing to do with this fine new telescope. I hear that Jiese is going to be passing over the full moon tonight, and should make for an excellent test run." He heads off, folllowed by a couple dozen guards and a few courtiers.
Aleith|DM: A harpsichordist begins playing in the background as he departs.
Gerald: "Have fun."
Garrett‘ turns to whoever’s left and not in Lya's group. "Dinner?
Phyllis .oO( Should we pre-emptively warn Manhill in the possible event that we lose that challenge? )
Zane rubs his face. "OK well. That… happened."
Phyllis: "Please."
Rush, the half-elf, heads over towards your group anyway.
Gerald: "Hey." Gerald raises a hand in greeting.
Chandrasekhar is lost for words.
Rush: "So. What happened to Merton?"
Gerald: "Was that the T-Rex guy?"
Zane: "Tyrannosaurs and goats."
Rush: "Sounds like him. Half-orc, thick helmet, big staff?"
Zane: "Ber can be a very dangerous place."
Gerald: "Yeah real shame about that, he seemed like he would have been a riot at parties."
Gerald: "Not much you can do about getting stepped on by something that big though."
Zane: "Well, thats what happens when you go punching out of your weight class."
Rush: "Fuck."
Phyllis: "My condolences."
Zane smiles slightly, shark-like. "She keeps setting them up… I wonder when it'll be your turn."
Rush sighs. "All that aside. Which ambush do you think was better? I'm guessing his was some kinda stampede since you mentioned goats?" He points towards Brakken standing over by the side. "I'm the one that got him arrested, and then, well, tried to ambush you at the journalist's place."
Rush: "You guys sure don't pull your punches."
Phyllis: "Zane, please."
Gerald: "Stampeed was WAY more unexpected. Gets a lot of points for uniqueness, too."
Zane: "No. We don't. I hope she's paying you a very large amount of money."
Phyllis: "We don't. A lot is at stake. Much more than whatever contest you had with Merton."
Chandrasekhar smiles, and it doesn't reach his eyes. "Sooner rather than later, I'd imagine, Mr. Bieito."
Garrett: "I'm making some amazing boots out of the stampede, so…"
Zane: "We shall see, Mr. Singh."
Rush: "So did you kill the others, too, or just send 'em to prison?"
Gerald: "I think you're the only one we've run into outside of Risur that's still breathing."
Garrett: "Funny thing, that. A lot of them tend to die while in prison."
Rush: "And yes, it's definitely a hefty wage."
Zane: "Which others? We've been very busy."
Garrett: "So we just learned that the 'where' doesn't really matter."
Rush: "The others with me back in Seobriga."
Zane: "I think most of them went to prison."
Phyllis grimaces. "Please speak for yourself. If I had full say in matters, they'd be imprisoned. I wish I could stay and try to reason with them. I do not think of you as lost."
Zane: "No point in killing them, not their fault their leader didnt have the cojones to show up."
Lya walks over to Rush and snaps at him. "Stop being so discourteous. We've got some planning to do. Come on." She starts walking away.
Gerald: "Oh no mom's mad."
Garrett: "You're still not endearing or useful enough to avoid such a fate," he asides to Rush.
Gerald: "See you later." Gerald nods to Rush.
Rush: "Well, you heard the boss lady. I'd love to be all in the spirit of competition and shake your folks' hands, but I'm not sure I won't catch something shaking his," he says, waving off-handedly towards Zane. "Catch you later!"
Phyllis: "Don't be foolish, now, child."
Zane smiles. "Oh I'm sure you wouldn't catch anything worse than you've alerady got."
Rush: "Touché!"
Zane: "Sleep well, Lady Jierre…"
Zane turns and walks off.
Aleith|DM: Alright. Any plans for tonight?
Gerald‘ is making a bullet with Lya’s name on it.
Phyllis: Sendings, Sendings, Sendings. And re-evaluating her spellbook. Her utilities, espcially.
[OOC] Garrett: yeah what are they doing for dinner
Zane is writing a letter home.
Aleith|DM: Vizier Zarkava walks up to Phyllis. "Excuse me, Ms. Lenz?"
Phyllis: "Oh! Yes, Vizier? What's the occasion?"
Zarkava: "You study Eschatology, yes?"
Phyllis: "Study, yes. Adhere to, it depends on which variety that you mean. I've had the privilege to speak with Vlendam himself on the matter, and we're in agreement that some portion of popular understanding is … lacking."
Phyllis: "But the notion that one should take care in their life so that matters end well, yes."
Zarkava: "I'd like to consult with you, as another thinker. Dare I ask your impression of the Bruse?"
Phyllis: "Oof. Where to begin? Is everything such a contest here? He seems more interested in entertainment than in responsibly governing. I don't think him fully incompetent, but - does he seek to spark a war, with the request he's given the others regarding Cavallo?"
Phyllis: "That won't … end well."
Phyllis: "I think somewhere, he has the potential to improve. But you asked for impressions, fleeting as they are. Those are my current thoughts."
Zarkava: "He wants Cavallo to fall in line, one way or the other. It would be better if he came willingly, but being forced to submit as part of reparations would help him as well. Certainly not the best way of doing things."
Zarkava: "I fear the distance he keeps from the common people-tradiationally a fine stance for a king-is angering Berans, who want to see themselves as part of a movement, not merely subjects."
Phyllis: "Yes. That is what I meant by not responsibly governing. He sees how people can serve him, not how he can serve his people."
Zarkava: "Sometimes…" Her voice quiets. "Sometimes I wonder whether it might be best to have another sitting in Shantus's place."
Phyllis: "If he cannot be convinced to change his ways, perhaps. But do not focus on one particular method - focus on the best outcome for all. The method will follow."
Zarkava: "We shall see. Maybe your successes will inspire something in him."
Phyllis: "And if not, well - the method will follow."
Zarkava: "Do you have any questions about this whole…thing?"
Zarkava: "The Bruse's game embarasses me, and I sincerely hope it doesn't cause damage to any vital infrastructure."
Phyllis: "How do you ascertain neither side has broken their agreement? I'm the scrupulous sort, but I'm afraid of playing at a disadvantage if the other side isn't as such."
Phyllis: "Why a game? Why can't he just decide using his and your judgment? Why the five votes, and not the three of you?"
Zarkava: "We have people that can report to us about anything that happens. We're sending communications about this now. If you do have any complaints about what the other party does, we can investigate."
Phyllis: "He doesn't think. He sets up these games so he doesn't have to think. He … defers."
Phyllis: "And thank you. I will do so if I notice anything. I don't want to get into details, but our dealings with Lya in the past have been less than pleasant."
Zarkava sighs. It's not much different from a mammal. "He says it's to give you time to earn our favour, and provided nothing terrible happens, the railroad benefits the country, and the second benefits him, which could be said to benefit Ber as well…"
Phyllis: "The first one makes sense, actually. At least on the surface."
Phyllis: "The latter strikes me as particularly dangerous on the world stage."
Zarkava: "She does seem canny, that one. She's spent the day buttering up the Bruse before you got here, telling him of various stories, including some of the recent happenings in Ber."
Zarkava: "If you succeed before Lya does? Nothing bad will come of it. I do fear the opposite, however. Bad for Manhill, bad for our relations with your country, even if it will help the Bruse bring Cavallo to heel."
Zarkava: "Bad for our countrymen when Manhill puts up a fight, too."
Phyllis: "That, and there's nothing stopping us from alerting Manhill with a Sending. I don't know if that breaks the terms of the game, but at that point, the game's effectively not worth as much to us. It's salvaging the outcome as best we can."
Zarkava: "Warning them would only be prudent. It doesn't prevent an attack, just prepares them for the event. And it's something you can mention in your own negotiations."
Phyllis: "Regardless if Shantus grows into the part or not, what qualities would you like to see in a ruler?"
Zarkava: "As Bruse Shantus currently is, he's liable to provoke apathy and slow the growth of our country's might, so I'd like to see someone that's energized towards our revolution, with determination to bring Ber into the world stage along with the other countries, and to protect its citizens from death, whether from external sources, or the internal strife with the unincoporated tribes."
Phyllis nods understandingly.
Phyllis: "I think we're in agreement there."
Zarkava: "I hope you do well, then, both for your sake and for our countries' relations. Good night."
Phyllis: "Good night."
Phyllis spends some time preparing her spellbook that night. Memory to Mist, Disguise Self.
Garrett‘ sighs through his nose as he sidles up to Phyllis.
Aleith|DM: Those do sound useful…
[OOC] Garrett: oh oops haha
Phyllis: "Yes, Garrett?"
Garrett: "So… seemed reasonable enough, right?"
Phyllis: "Who?"
Garrett: "Zarkava."
Phyllis: "Quite. I enjoyed our discussion."
Garrett: "It seemed level enough, yes. There’s at least some hope for the future."
Garrett‘ .oO (But this conversation is just cover right now- there’s something really, -really- weird about Pardo's soul.)
Phyllis: "I think we have a strong case for convincing her, yes."
Phyllis .oO( Go on. )
Phyllis continues flipping through her spellbook. Eye of Alarm seems useful tonight, to prevent any wayward activity to their persons while they sleep.
Garrett‘ .oO (I saw it when he was in the stands during the challenge: it’s… stretched, if you can imagine such a thing. Not unlike a long shadow being cast, and for whatever reason, it was pointing south.)
Garrett‘ .oO (From what little Ber geography I know, that’s roughly in the direction of Seobriga.)
Garrett‘ .oO (Just about where Rush confirmed ’the others' were.)
Icecylee .oO(What would that imply? He's some kind of lich and his phy… phli… that little box thing they keep their souls in is still in some other city?)
Garrett: "Well… at least some people aren't getting any enjoyment out of this game."
Garrett: "I'd be worried of all of Ber was."
Aleith|DM: Kenna, the minister of dragon affairs, walks up to Chandrasekhar and Zane. "How're are you two gentlemen finding your return to Ber?"
Zane .oO(… Shit.)
Garrett‘ .oO (It implies that someone directly in a… well, I guess ’seat of power' is an odd term to use, but roughly that- higher up in Ber is an obscurati member.)
Gerald: "I'd like to point out that The Bruse forbid us from shooting Lya's team, but not… The Bruse himself."
Zane: "Less well-managed than I remember."
Zane .oO(I think its worse than that. I think it's Quital.)
Chandrasekhar: "I can only imagine I've grown used to Risur's pace in my absence."
Kenna: "Maybe if Shantus was handling more of the day-to-day stuff… Zarkava and I've got our hands on the tiller, so to speak."
Kenna: "Although it's true we can only do so much."
Phyllis .oO( I don't have anything for you immediately, but I'll keep it in mind. )
Phyllis .oO( That does seem on the right track, though. )
Zane: "Stupid question but… has anybody *told* the Bruse he's doing a shitty job?"
Kenna: "Yeah. They work in the swamps now."
Gerald: "Nice."
Zane: "Nice. Can we arrange a private meeting with the Bruse? He can't send me to work in a swamp."
Chandrasekhar: "I… mmm. Well, now I understand the words I was hearing from the voice of the street, at least. That's unfortunate."
Kenna grabs a couple snacks off the platter of one of the attendants walking by and swallows one whole.
Phyllis casts Eye of Alarm on their sleeping quarters for the evening. [Arcana, -25gp?]
Kenna: "Probably not tonight, unless you want to interrupt him and his new toy. You can, of course. Early morning might not work 'cause he'll probably be sleeping in. But if you can't catch him tonight, you can always come back and visit the Court in the evening. We can let you know the sigil for the military base nearby."
Zane: "I think I may have to. This idiotic competition is going to have us running all over the damned place instead of doing our job."
Kenna: "Speaking of which, either of you want to come run with me tomorrow morning? Over to the base and back, we'll do it before dawn so you'll be back before sunrise. It's not technically off the grounds and I'll be watching over you." She looks over at Zane. "You probably could run a couple quick drills with us."
Zane: "Love to."
Kenna: "Alright, I'll come knocking early."
Zane: "Great. Get that sigil to Phyllis if you would. I have all the magical traning of a small rock in Danor."
Kenna: "Well, international relations seems to be your job at the moment, right? Being a native helps."
Zane: "Not when I want to throttle the damned Bruse it doesnt."
Kenna nods. "Will do." She eats the other snack she was holding, before grabbing a glass of wine off another passing tray.
Zane: "Which, to be completely clear, is not why I want this private meeting."
Chandrasekhar: "Arguably, Mr. Bieito."
Kenna: "True, but you don't get to win if you kill him."
Zane: "OK long term, maybe."
Zane: "Short term, that yes."
Chandrasekhar has the grace to not look disappointed.
Zane: "Also, what happens to the Griento railroad company if we beat them to the midmark?"
Zane: "I don't want to screw a good son of Ber in the long term if it means I win short term."
Kenna: "They still get paid for what gets laid, but don't get the larger bonus for finishing first."
Zane: "Alright, that's good at least."
Zane: "Well, it looks like I'm in for a long night and an early morning."
She grabs a chocolate morsel from another attendant. "Lots of things to set in motion, right? Anything you got to offer us yet?" She wiggles her eye…ridges. It's not like she has eyebrows.
Zane runs a hand over his short-cropped hair and grabs a snack off a passing tray.
Zane: "I'd offer you a night with Geralds nubile young body, but I'm not sure he could handle you…"
Chandrasekhar: "Besides continued international peace and cooperation-" -he cuts off into a snorting chucklefit, calms himself with a sip of wine.
Zane: "But for what its worth, I am one hundred percent certain Lya and her people are playing you all, and the Bruse in particular."
Kenna laughs. "Oh, that's a good one. No, I'll have to pass on a smoothskin."
Gerald: "NO OFFENSE TAKEN."
Kenna: "She's Danor's Minister of Outsiders. I'm inclined to believe her offers are good. But I'll take it under advisement."
Gerald‘ shouts over his shoulder while fiddling around with a carving knife and a bullet.
Zane: "Lets just say she’s a woman of many hats. We've had dealings before in unofficial channels."
Gerald: "She's also a Godsforsaken terrorist. Just throwing that out there."
Kenna: "As much as you say you're representing Risur's interests, her title's a little more impressive than yours are."
Zane: "Sure. But look at the Bruse and then look in the streets and tell me just how much a title is worth right now."
Kenna: "Fair point. What's this about her being a terrorist?"
Zane: "Geralds got a big mouth and the impulse control of an angry snake."
Kenna: "That I've noticed."
Zane: "Like I said, we've had dealings with her in unofficial channels."
Gerald: "I'd have a lot better impulse control if you guys just let me shoot her."
Zane: "Not right now, boy. You went to college, you should know better."
[OOC] Aleith|DM: Phyllis - What's your Arcana result?
Gerald: "I know I know, It's frusturating though."
Kenna: "Well, I guess she better get out of the country quick after this competition then."
Zane: "Yeah it is. Believe it or not, I sympathize."
Phyllis rolled d20+21 and got 14 ( Total: 35.0 )
[OOC] Phyllis: Three eyes and darkvision.
Kenna: "And shooting her in front of us would probably cause a diplomatic incident…"
Zane shrugs at Kenna. "All I want is an nppportunity to turn Gerald lose without starting a war, yes."
Kenna: "Harder than it looks, I know."
[OOC] Phyllis: One in the center of the room, one above the door in the hallway outside, one right above her bed.
Gerald: "I still think my plan for killing her in international waters was technically all on the level and particularly ingenous, but I guesssss it still would have looked bad and potentially sparked a war."
Aleith|DM: The cottages are out in the open, not connected to any other bulidings.
[OOC] Phyllis: Okay then just outside gosh! )
Aleith|DM: yep just making sure
Zane: "Much like I wanted to be sure I could win without screwing over Griento. I went to Dyer, I try to consider the consequences."
Kenna: "Oh, right, you did go to school here, too. What'd you write about?"
Gerald: "I wonder if we could talk him into giving his people a week off before Lya shows up, speaking of."
Zane: "Arms and armor comparisons between typical work here versus the Far East. It generated a lot more controversy than I expected, but so far the field tests have been interesting."
Kenna: "Oh nice. I'll have to look it up. I can show you some things from 'How not to be Shot' in the morning. I'm not particularly fond of your friend's choice of weapons."
Zane: "I am, when other people are on the wrong end of the dodge bullets game."
Chandrasekhar: "Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that myself, no."
Gerald: "I can always appreicate a person that really, truely, wants to Not Get Shot."
Gerald: "We don't run into many like that, though. I always warn 'em!"
Kenna calls out, "you can join us for the run if you want!"
[OOC] Zane: The Ber military presents: How NOT to get your ass kicked by the police
Gerald: "Yeah sure might as well!"
Kenna: "I'll see you in the morning then. Good night!" She gives you a sharp salute.
Zane salutes. "In the morning, then."
Aleith|DM: Alright. What's next?
Zane is going to harrass the Bruse if nobody else has anything.
Aleith|DM: When you ask after the Bruse, you're directed to a high field nearby, with twenty guards standing in a loose circle around the Bruse.
[OOC] Zane: god, do I ninja in or not guys…
[OOC] Gerald: probably don't spook the bruse and get him even more defensive that he already is, same reason gerald's not going with >_>
[OOC] Zane: eh nah, no sense in antagonizing him any more than Im about to yeah
[OOC] Garrett: the bruse is a butthole, antagonize him like cheap toilet paper
Zane does not tenchu his self into the guard circle, but calmly walks up to the guards. "Evening, fellas."
Guard: "Mr. Bieito, right? The Bruse is busy at the moment."
Zane: "Yeah… that's part of why I'm here to yell at him a little bit." He holds his arms up. "Unarmed, feel free to search. Tiny gods know I wouldn't let me near him otherwise."
Aleith|DM: They do give you a pat-down, just to be sure. "Alright, I guess you're fine. He looks like he's getting bored anyway." He calls out, "Bruse Shantus! Zane Bieito is here to speak with you!"
Zane nods. "Thanks, guys. Believe it or not, I am still loyal to home even if I work in Risur."
Zane heads through the circle.
The minotaur looks up from his telescope. "I've already seen Jiese tonight. I guess I can spend some time with him after listening to Lya all day."
Zane: "Good news, I'm not going to kiss your ass and bullshit you like she did."
Zane: "Bad news, I'm not going to kiss your ass and bullshit you like she did."
Shantus weighs one hand, then the other. "It works either way."
Zane: "Yeah." He looks up at the sky. "How much attention to you pay to your people?"
Shantus: "I listen to the various reports that come in."
Zane: "In other words… not much. I'm given to understand the last people that criticized your method of rule are currently working in a swamp somewhere?"
Shantus: "If they were reassigned to a desert or a wetland, that's where their talents were best suited."
Zane snorts. "Shit. Like a bunch of your friends and family just happened to be best suited to well paid government jobs? C'mon, man. I figure you probably don't know me from Joe the Shoeshine Guy other than some report someone handed you about me. But I am hoping at least that report told you where I went to school?"
He has think for a moment, but he does remember. "Dyer, right? Then you know as well as I do that I don't have to listen to your crap. Is what you have to say worth listening to, even if I can already tell I don't want to?"
Zane: "If I didnt think my crap was worth listening to, I wouldn't waste your time with it. Believe it or not, I do respect your office. I'm here to try and help. I'm not a politician, but I can give you the viewpoint of the people better than some report."
Shantus: "Then what do you want? 'Oh no, you're a terrible ruler, and the people hate you'?"
Zane: "The people don't hate you, Bruse. Not yet, at any rate. As far as being a terrible ruler… There's definitely things I'd suggest a change to."
Shantus: "I suppose they haven't been downplaying those protests much then…"
Zane laughs. "Bruse, the city is this close to rioting. Your people are *pissed*. And it seems, to them, like no matter what they say, you don't listen. You don't seem to care about them. Answer me honestly, please. *Do* you care about your people? This country? Or are you one of those rulers that gets all the wealth and power and decides the common man can go fuck himself?"
The Bruse groans. "I must be drunk if I'm subjecting myself to this. I did care. I still do." He sighs. "No, don't laugh. You want to take away my new source of inventions? Then I want you to make up for it. Help our railroads. Bring one of our founders back into the fold. Stop your opponents from making a diplomatic incident…"
Shantus groans again. "How many people deep is that line outside?"
Zane: "Miles, Bruse. There are a *lot* of people. And I'm not saying you cant take some time to enjoy being the big-swinging-dick ruler of the land. I'm suggesting you find a balance. Nobody says you cant spend a couple hours riding. Or enjoy a nice night looking through the telescope. Shit, you have *an entire country* on your shoulders, you NEED a break sometimes! But you gotta find that balance.
Zane: I'm gonna say something outrageous, but bear with me. "
[OOC] Phyllis: BER WITH ME
Zane: "The first Bruse… he had it easy, man. 'Look, dragons! Fuck those guys!' It was great, the people had a common enemy to unite against, throw down the opressors, break their symbols, all that hoorah. You… You got it hard, man. You gotta try and keep this shit together during peacetime."
Zane: "I don't want you to think nobody realizes how much that sucks. Because I do."
Shantus rubs his snout between his hands. "Alright. You're right. I'll spend more time listening to these people who went out of their way to visit me while I'm vacationing, camping outside for days so I listen to them for 10 minutes. And while I'm doing that, you help keep Ber from falling to pieces under whatever mess your Risuri friends and Danoran opponents get themselves up to. I'll even listen to what Cavallo has to say without dismissing it out of hand since I really do want to work with him. Just get him to talk to me again."
Zane: "Cavallo is gonna be a pain in the ass. He still mad that the crown didnt get passed to the orcs?"
Shantus: "He sure is. I may not be sending as much things his way as I could, but we're both being stubborn old bastards about it."
Zane: "God, what a pendejo. This is why I could never be a politician. I'd knock both your heads together and be done with it." He laughs. "What's he want you to send his way, anyway? More men? Gear? Is he really trying to make it look like he's massing an invading force on the damn Risur border?"
Shantus: "Mostly business from my end. His region's not as profitable as it could be."
Shantus: "I'm sure he wouldn't object to some Risuri warships though."
Zane: "Tch. I'll see what I can do. Also, for what its worth, my bosses don't want to just snatch Oddcog and leave your ass in the wind. I'm pretty sure an exchange of ideas, sharing some technology, that sort of thing, would work out good for everybody in the long run." He rubs his hand over his hair. "I can't promise anything definite, but… I'd like to think maybe my squad has a little more
Zane: stroke than average all things considered. "
Zane: "And when I retire? I'm coming home. Don't doubt that. Everything I have learned in Risur, I'll bring back."
Shantus: "His eldest daughter's at least reasonable. Corta Nariz de Guerra. She does a good job overseeing the logistics of our navy. Hasn't seen combat, which is a good thing, but we haven't lost strength at sea with her overlooking things."
Zane nods. "I'll keep her in mind."
Shantus: "I'm sure we can work something out about Oddcog if you win. I can't guarentee you'll get my vote, though. We'll see how I feel after actually working again…" He motions for a jug of wine nearby and takes a long pull. "Want some?"
Zane: "How many other men will get a chance to say they sat under the stars and drank with the Bruse?"
Zane takes a drink.
Zane: "Honestly, even if it costs us your vote in the short term… the long term will be better for Ber. Which is something I have to consider. I want both the short term victory and the long term."
Phyllis: Somewhere distant, Phyllis approves. (+3)
Zane: "And so should you."
Shantus: "Alright, Mr. Bieito. I'll take your advice instead of throwing your ass into a prison. You do well, go figure out what's going on with that golem stomping around the Dreaming, and come back here later? You'll probably be looking pretty good if you decide to come back home."
Zane: "Good, good. I'd hate to have to break myself out of a Beran jail, I'd feel guilty for years."
Shantus: "Hell, you'd probably get let loose within a day or two when Risur's ambassador starts giving me hell, so I can't even do that."
Zane: "Tch, truly your job sucks."
Shantus laughs. "It'd be a race to see which got you out faster, though."
Zane laughs. "Glad I don't have to find out. Thank you for the wine, Bruse. And for listening, more importantly. Now, I somehow let myself get talked into an early morning run so I should probably get some sleep."
Shantus: "Have your self a good night, and good luck in the morning. I'll probably turn in soon myself, at this rate. I was going to get my guards to entertain me, but someone had to talk me into being more responsible…."
Zane: "What an asshole!"
Shantus: "I know! Some of them even like headbutting each other!"
Zane: "it's because the minotaurs take all the women. And some of the little boys."
Shantus just snorts and waves you away.
Zane: "See you in the morning, sir."
Zane salutes and gets out.
Aleith|DM: Not long after Zane gets back to the cottage, there's an unholy racket that sounds something like a cockatiel screeching bloody murder.
Aleith|DM: Yes, it's coming from Phyllis' Eyes of Alarm.
Gerald‘ is probably the first one up and running in the direction, gun out and ready to fire at the first thing that looks out of place.
Aleith|DM: There’s a knock at the door. One of the guards speaks through it. "Uh, constables? It looks like Ms. Lya Jierre is here to visit you…?"
Phyllis bolts upright and rushes to the door. "Don't quite shoot, we don't quite know who's co - oh."

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